For 20+ years, Anne-Marie has helped to transform the lives of smart, savvy CEO’s and senior executives from LATAM, the West Indies, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe as well as the United States.
The following reprint of an interview with MACS Womenwill give you an insight into Anne-Marie Ditta, the person and the professional.
What Inspired You To Create Your Business?
During my career as a senior account executive in advertising sales, my former employer regularly arranged for me to attend conferences and workshops with world-renowned motivational speakers such as Zig Ziegler, Brian Tracy, and Tony Robbins.
These conferences taught me the value of goal setting and planning for achievement. I learned the right words and questions can move people into action. Having benefited both personally and professionally, I felt compelled to share the gift .
My transition to the career services industry was with a non-profit organization based in New York City, where I coached and wrote résumés for displaced homemakers who were reentering the job market. In that position, I learned to develop, plan, and lead work shops in life-skills, career planning, job search strategy, interview preparation, and workplace etiquette.
Within less than a year, I was instrumental in helping 70 women restart their careers and was offered a seat on the service cabinet of the Training and Employment Council of Brooklyn.. One client whose life was transformed by the process, continued to call me every mother’s day long after I left the organization.
Despite my contributions, the program was restructured. This was my turning point. Knowing I was enthusiastic about career coaching and résumé writing, friends and colleagues started to seek me out for career guidance and writing services. My first solo presentation drew over 100 of my peers. I made the transition to private practice. Memberships in the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Thought Leaders allowed me to gain valuable knowledge and earn credentials as Certified Employment Interview Professional, Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Management Coach, and the Executive Career Coach certification from New York University.
What Do You Love Creating Most In Your Business?
I love being instrumental in helping clients reach that aha moment, where they understand who they are, what they offer, and where they will thrive. There is no turning back from there. This is the point where career paths can be chartered and career communications can be written, i.e.: resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles.
What Are Some Challenges You Face in Business?
Like many people who are in a career transition or job search the biggest challenge is keeping up with changes in technology. However, the new technologies make it easier to be a one-woman shop.
How Do You Stay Motivated and Overcome Challenges?
My faith sustains me. It is hard to worry when I know that my circumstances are only a piece of a larger plan.
On the technology side, I pay close attention to what other people are using, participate in webinars, and conference calls. If I see something I think would be helpful for my practice or one of my clients I research it.
What Has Your Business Taught You About Yourself?
I have always been somewhat insecure about my abilities. However, running a business has taught me that I am smart, talented, and tenacious. Recently, I heard the term “Gig Career” and I thought “oh my gosh, that’s me”. A few years ago, I learned career coaching and résumé writing skills were transferable to grant writing. The first grant I wrote supported an after school programs for middle school students in my community. Not only do I get to do the thing I love to do but I get to help change lives in the process.
Which Technology Do You Use Most In Building Your Business?
It may sound old school but I still enjoy using MS Office. When I am not meeting with clients or out networking, I am at my desk crafting documents to help clients market themselves. I can get pretty creative with the document design. Every document I write is stored for life. This makes it easy for me to update and revise documents. However, my favorite technology is no technology. I like to meet with people one-on-one.
The Biblical definition of love is endurance, to suffer with. Being a coach requires I walk along side people while they struggle to make sense of their professional and personal life. It has taught me how to meet people where they are at – not where I think they should be.
I attribute my client retention to the commitment I have for the people I am privledged to work with. As one client put It “You are not just my coach, you are like family to me.” I have coached this client while he was in the Ukraine, Dubai, Spain, and New York. During that time he has advanced from a director to CEO of a construction company
In addition to being committed, I keep current on changes in my industry. This keeps me ahead of the curve. I can be the nicest person in the world but I must back it up with value. Otherwise, my clients will go elsewhere.
Focus, focus, focus…
What you put into something is what you will get out of it. I invest in my own professional development. Stay around positive people who challenge me to do better. I try to be patient when things aren’t moving as fast as I would like them to. I remind myself that success is a journey not a destination.
We can be poor one day and rich the next – what is inside matters more to me then a new car, fancy home, or any other way that the world measures success.
Your Strong Belief In Yourself?
All I have to do is think about how far I have come. My mother raised my sister and I alone. We were poor but somehow she never let it directly affect us.
I have a lot of my mother in me. I am a fighter. I have seen the miracles in my life. Whenever, I feel discouraged I think back to where I came from. It helps me put things in perspective. If I got through with less, than anything is possible.
I was born passionate. The Myers Briggs reports I am an ENFP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeler, and Perceiver). People who share this personality type are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.
My Favorite Quote…
I once heard my uncle say ‘You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man”. Little did I know this was the title of the 1939 film that starred WC Fields. Not cheating an honest man means that if someone is honest they will partake in get rich quick schemes. Honesty is amongst my greatest values. I try to live my life in a way that is honest and truthful.