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The “Dynamite” Story

From Navy Suit to Dynamite Red: How the Dynamite Brand was Born


The Chick in the Navy Suit Years

My bio says I have been a business consultant and analyst, a change agent and mentor, a coach and general trouble-shooter to entrepreneurs and business leaders for more years than I want to admit.

But I believe in transparency, so I’ll tell you. I started as an analyst and consultant with AFTCO Associates, a medical management and transition consulting firm, in 1994. During that time I was the “chick in the navy blue suit with all the answers.” I trained staff and I trained other consultants. I appraised businesses and I designed business plans. I oversaw practice “transitions,” helping exiting doctors turn over their practices and helping the purchasers manage their new enterprises.  I was good and in demand, but I was also miserable.

In 1998 I decided there had to be a better way to grow medical practices, so I started my own medical management consulting firm, Practice Solutions. I quickly added two other consultants who helped me serve a growing client base. I published in leading journals, I spoke at conventions. I didn’t have to wear the navy suit anymore, but I was still in the answer business. My role was still to diagnose, create business strategy and systems and train staff. And I was still not fulfilled.

Connecting Passion and Purpose

In 2005 two things happened. Well, there were a lot of things that happened, but these two things turned out to be very significant to my career. The impact of the first incident was obvious; a client I had worked with for several years persuaded me to turn over my clients to other consultants and join his new enterprise as COO.  He believed he had a business concept that would ride the rising wave of demand for medical cosmetic services. He envisioned a quick launch followed by multiple locations. My resume was exactly what he needed to make his business plan succeed.

His quick launch was followed by a few quick realizations; the most telling being that the new business conflicted with his primary business, and his “bread and butter” was being undermined. Rather than revisit the business plan and correct the disconnects he chose to abandon the new venture and return his focus to his established business.

That opened the door for me to have some realizations of my own; I was not COO material. I value systems, but I am much better suited to challenge them than maintain them.  I am fired up by working with people, but having them report to me directly wasn’t the way I wanted to work. Besides, it brought back all the reasons that I chose the entrepreneurial life; I really do not do my best work as an employee!

And then there was the funeral. It gives you pause to unexpectedly lose someone who has been part of most of your adult life, who has always been vibrant  and passionate about life, who was only 10 years older than you.

I won’t tell you the story of the journey that I embarked on in the years following that funeral, although I do share it when I present keynotes and workshops on connecting the five P’s; Passion, Purpose, Presence, Platform and Position.

Let’s just say that those two events were wake up calls. I needed to stop doing something just because it served a purpose and start opening a path to do the things that would serve my purpose! I needed to reconnect my Passion to my core Purpose or risk my inner light completely burning out.

The Dynamite Explodes

There are two versions of my brand story, one says it is based on a childhood nickname, the other says it is based on a social media accident. They are both true.

But the real story is that once I had connected my Passion and Purpose, that energy began to show up in my Presence. I was on fire, unstoppable and having a blast! The old childhood nickname was a fit again.

I didn’t intend to start a brand movement when I used @DixieDynamite as my twitter user name. It was available and @Dixie wasn’t. But it stuck, and it resonated, and the more I embraced my core Purpose the more it seemed to just be “me.”

The “rightness” of it became clear in 2009 when I attended Extreme Business Makeovers, a live event for entrepreneurs and business leaders put on by marketing coach, Thom Scott. Bob Burg was speaking and when he introduced me he called out “Dixie Dynamite.” It was a great crowd, they had been enthusiastic in their applause for everyone. But when they heard him call out my twitter name they exploded. It warmed my heart, I felt among friends. Then it hit me later, of the 200 plus people in that room I had only met a handful before that event. Most of them I had yet to meet in person at all. They knew me from conversations on twitter and Facebook, but they felt like they knew the real me.

In a way they did. The conversations we’d been having were about blasting through barriers in life and business, expanding yourself to expand your business success, building powerful connections, incorporating the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success from The Go-Giver, and most of all, living a entrepreneurial life on your own terms.

That was my real voice, it was the real me, and “Dixie Dynamite” was a pretty good description.

A year later I attended Extreme Business Makeovers again, this time as a speaker. The audience still applauded when I was introduced as Dixie “Dynamite” Gillaspie, but this time it was more than my nickname. It was also my brand.