We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Denise Dickson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica Denise, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I love this question! My answer is simple but there are complexities behind it. The answer? Be true to yourself. Honor your own truth. As an entrepreneur, when I first started, I felt so tossed by everyone’s ideas of what I needed to do to be successful. The world was full of unlimited tactics and strategies. The “top five ways to” . . . “how to make six figures in a month” . . . so much information that turns into noise. Noise ends up becoming clutter, and that clutter can keep us disconnected from our sense of self. It can block us from being able to discern what our embodied truth is. What is our embodied truth? It’s what we know to be true about who we are, and our purpose. It lives within us. And it is a journey to get there. There is something within us that knows what’s right for us and what’s not. So many teachers and gurus and experts tell us that we need their system or tools. Those tools may support us, or help us come back to our truth, but ultimately we have to do the work of knowing ourselves so we can find our own way. The work of success is continually carving out and leaving behind the voices that are antiquated and those that don’t belong to you. It’s finding people who can speak truth to you that aligns with your soul and support you in moving forward and in your continual expansion. It’s courage that stems, not simply from a blueprint or strategy that someone handed you, but from knowing who you are and the confidence that you were made to be fully-expressed in who you are and in your contribution to the world. You have to develop the self-trust that believes that your soul KNOWS the blueprint to your success, and that it will lead you to what you need to get where you want to go. This ended up being advice giving. (Giggles) But only because this is the journey that I’ve been on. I’ve had to say “____ doesn’t work.” Or “______ is completely out of integrity with who I am, I don’t care what the stats are.” I’ve slowed down and tuned into what I know is right. Even when it seemed like I was doing the opposite of what the most popular tactics were telling me to. But I have LOVED what I’ve created. And because I have been in integrity with who I really am, I don’t have regrets about what I’ve created even when I pivot because I realize it’s not the thing I really want. Being true to ourselves takes real work, and it is some of the most important work that we’ll do that will contribute to our success in ways that just churning out productivity and taking action could never. It is my authenticity that people can see and decide whether they’re attracted to it. Those who aren’t move along. Those who are wind up creating whole new lives in their worlds. The truer I am to who I am, the more people can find their truth and their truest selves. I don’t know if there is any greater gift that we can give as business owners than ourselves.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I would say that entrepreneurship is one of the biggest catalysts for growth that I’ve experienced. Some parts I’ve loved and some parts have been very challenging. When I first started, I really struggled with being in a different field. Higher education is a very specific industry, and the coaching field felt highly specific in a different way. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to ‘convince’ people that I was Jessica Denise Dickson, coach, despite having a Master’s degree in Counseling and spending a decade or more mentoring and coaching people. Imposter syndrome was totally a thing. I finally met a mentor and coach, Trudi Lebron, who helped me see that I have SO MANY skills from my past to really launch a successful business. She encouraged me to utilize wisdom to do things my own way and helped me get clear on what ‘my own way’ is. The more I owned my experience, and the fact that I have expertise in at least a few areas, I started to fully own my personal brilliance. And that’s when I started to see success. I learned how important it is to really understand all that I bring to the table, and that these are the things that I give to people in our work together. Busting out of imposter syndrome wasn’t easy. It took real clarity around my purpose and knowing that what I had to offer was important. I’ve pivoted a lot since I started my business, and it’s all led me to my next right steps in the path. We cannot be afraid of pivoting. It’s how we remain adaptable. Pivots are how we grow. And pivots are easier when we’re fully grounded in who we are, rather than trying to be the version of ourselves we believe others will find value in. Even recently, I’ve made a pivot. I’ve decided to create a community instead of a ton of different programs. The goal is the same. Liberation. Enneagram work. Embodiment. I’ve been thinking about this community for quite some time now. Antiracism work became too small for me. We are allowed to outgrow even the parts of ourselves that we knew to be certain. This community is called Life on Vulnerability and I’ve created it to be a place where we can all come and be fully known and fully seen, while also transforming and expanding who we know ourselves to be.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is such a fun place to visit! OF COURSE, we’d have to go to Tacos El Gordo in Chula Vista for tacos. That might even be the first stop! Lucha Libre is delicious and has such a fun ambiance, it’s hard to skip over that. (I could swim in their chipotle sauce, it’s so delicious.) There would have to be a brunch! Duck Dive for bottomless mimosas with a nice walk on the beach and a sunset would be perfect. I’d also have to take them up to North County, to Oceanside. Beach Break Cafe’s corned beef hash is the best corned beef hash I’ve ever had. I can’t forget Fig Tree, which has my favorite breakfast potatoes. (I don’t know if they’re really the best, but they made my taste buds dance and were the first breakfast potatoes I had after I moved to San Diego. I don’t think it’s just nostalgia, though.) Speaking of sunsets, my favorite places to watch are Sunset Cliffs and Windansea. While in La Jolla, we’d have to visit the tide pools and see the seals. I love taking people for a drive around the harbor so people can see how beautiful the history and ships are. A walk around Seaport Village is definitely in order. I’m also a lover of coffee shops, so we’d have to sit and sip in North Park for a bit. Subterranean has a delicious Nutella latte, and their Reese’s latte is life-giving. And, before they go, I’d definitely have to take them to Phuong Trang to get the garlic butter chicken wings. They’re the best in San Diego. Before it sounds like this whole trip revolves around food, know that it absolutely will. I love the food in San Diego. We’ll bounce back and forth from food to the beach, to a brewery, back to food. And every second will be worth it.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people I could choose. I have an amazing community that supports me with every step. This shout out, I want to give to Dr. Grace Abenoja Bagunu. We met in my last professional role in higher education. When I knew it was time for me to leave, Grace believed in the power of my work. I did my first group training as an entrepreneur with her team. Every step of the way, she’s supported me. I wouldn’t be who I am if it weren’t for her constant encouragement and for her pointing me back to who I am when I’m frustrated or feel lost on my path.

Website: jessicaddickson.com

Instagram: instagram.com/jessicaddicksoncoaching

Image Credits
Anna Johnson KT Crabb Photography

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