We had the good fortune of connecting with Dionne Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dionne, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always been an entrepreneur at heart since I was a freshman in college. I always felt as though something was tugging at me to earn additional income outside of my traditional jobs and employment. As I grew older and matured, I understood the importance of “creating your own economy”. That mindset prepared me for full time entrepreneurship which is where I am now. I created Her Virtual Gym in 2018 where I began helping busy women fit quick workouts and healthy habits and flexible eating into their busy schedules. With the success of the virtual gym, I had other health and fitness professionals reaching out to me on how I went through that process. This led me to launch my Health & Fitness Coaching arm of my business in 2020. With being a Health & Fitness Business Coach, I teach other health and fitness professionals how to grow their business via systems and digital products. Now more than ever, creating my own economy has allowed me to be a full time entrepreneur. Back in 2020 my job of 9 years laid me off and it was then that I knew, I could more than sustain myself and my daughter with my business. The mindset is the key and then you have to put what you know into action and always be learning from a coach or mentor.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I wholeheartedly believe in showing up as your Authentic Self. This is very important because if you show up as “your representative” each and every day, one day the real you is going to appear and what do you do then? People will feel as though they have been dealing with your façade this entire time. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have what’s called an “alter ego” that shows up and you use this for your creative flow, but people still need to know who you are at your true essence. People buy into your first even before they make a physical purchase of what you have to offer. So, for me, I show up as the jovial, energetic, confident and go getter person that I am and I also let it be known that we still get down to business and get things done. That which you give off will attract your target, your audience, your tribe. This is what makes me stand out. Being myself has afforded me opportunities where I may not have been the most qualified, but I had the determination, work ethic and interpersonal skills to get the job or project completed. I make sure that I am thorough and produce results that people can say they are able to glean or use for their projects, business or everyday life. As mentioned previously, I have always had an entrepreneur spirit and knew this is what I was put here to do. I have had businesses in the past that I started without any help or mentorship and it was hard. I once had a candle business and hair and body product business that I began back in 2006. I ran that business as a “hobby” because I didn’t know how to do it any other way. I had to rid my mind of traditional things I was taught like make sure you go to school, get a good job and retire and live off the retirement. I did go to school, got “good jobs” but ended up with debt from college and was working to pay it down and I knew I didn’t want to wait until 69 1/2 to retire. It didn’t make sense to me. People cannot live off their retirement for the rest of their lives comfortably because most people retire on 40% of the monthly income they used to have when they worked. Now for some, if you were barely making it off of 80-90% of your pay while working, how can you live comfortably and maintain the same lifestyle if you are retiring living off of only 40%? You have to supplement it somehow. For me it just didn’t seem 100% accurate because you don’t get to control your income, your time, or your retirement when going this route full out. This was my thought process and I knew I had to do something different. After closing one business and starting another I knew I had to invest in a mentor or coach or that cycle was going to continue. This understanding has gotten me to where I am today. Live your life with intention and run your business with intention. We don’t have time to lose so be very intentional about what it is that you do. Time is the number one commodity that once we give it away, we don’t get it back. This is how I live and run my brand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I absolutely love the diversity of Houston TX! The food, the people, the experiences etc. Some of my favorite places to eat are Taste Bar & Kitchen, Steak 48, Empire Cafe, Dish Society, Turkey Leg Hut, The Breakfast Klub, Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, and Nara Thai Dining to name a few. I love trying all sorts of cuisines. Anything with a live band is the cherry on top so the events hosted by EATS BEATS & JAZZ are awesome. Any live concert filled with neo soul, r&b, and jazz artists are my favorites. Houston has many parks that are nice to chill with your family and friends while taking part in food truck lineups. Discovery Green and Herman Park are a couple I like to frequent. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Mary A. Murphy – My Mom Donny Reed – Sister Sherrie Frank – Business Bestie Jennifer King – Business Bestie Tiffany Mason – Business Bestie Eve Guzman – Fitness Business Mentor LaTonia Taylor – Spiritual Coach & Mentor Dawniel Winningham – Business Mentor
Photographers Dionne R. Murphy Roderick Lightfoot Photography