top of page

Octoryia Robinson on Strategies for Staying Ahead

Octoryia Robinson is CEO of Dream That Big Publishing

Can you introduce yourself and share a little about your background?

With a wealth of experience spanning over 16 years as an entrepreneur, I have dedicated my career to coaching and consulting struggling entrepreneurs, assisting them in making successful pivots and achieving their goals. Over time, my expertise has evolved to focus on a specific niche: helping entrepreneurs prosper. The key to my success lies in my continuous effort to stay well-informed about market trends, shifts, and projections. In order to effectively guide my clients, I consistently monitor and analyze the dynamic business landscape. This proactive approach enables me to anticipate changes and identify the need for strategic adjustments that can keep entrepreneurs financially ahead.

As a forward-thinking professional, how do you identify ways to stay ahead in your industry?

The first principle that keeps me moving forward in business is "never get comfortable." In a rapidly changing market, comfort can be the downfall of any business. Leaders must remain alert and proactive, constantly seeking ways to improve and innovate. Resting on past achievements is a recipe for obsolescence, as someone else will seize the opportunity to overtake your market share. The second principle to staying ahead is "frequently evaluate and seek feedback." The market often provides subtle clues before mainstream media catches on. By fostering a culture of evaluation and feedback, I stay connected to the pulse of my organization and customer base. This valuable information allows us to continuously progress and adapt. In the dynamic world of business, my commitment to knowledge, adaptability, and client success is unwavering.

By leveraging my extensive experience and staying ahead of market dynamics, I empower entrepreneurs to thrive in a highly competitive landscape. Let me guide you on your path to success, ensuring that your entrepreneurial journey is marked by growth and fulfillment. Remaining at the forefront of market knowledge enables me to provide valuable insights and tailored advice to my clients. By recognizing emerging opportunities and potential obstacles, I empower entrepreneurs to make informed decisions that drive their success. I offer guidance on leveraging market trends, identifying untapped niches, and navigating industry shifts with agility and confidence. Embracing a mindset of perpetual growth and learning, combined with constant evaluation and feedback, is the key to staying ahead in the business world. By embodying these principles, I help entrepreneurs navigate the ever-changing landscape and achieve their goals.

How often do you reassess your competitive landscape and, as I know you're very busy, I'd love for you to share any tips you have on carving out the time to do this?

As a leader, I am committed to the practice of daily evaluations. John Maxwell famously said, "everything rises and falls on leadership," and I wholeheartedly embrace this truth. In order to effectively serve my organization and customers, I understand the importance of continuous self-awareness and personal growth. At the end of each workday, I set aside around 10-15 minutes for reflection. This time allows me to celebrate our achievements and recognize areas where I may have missed a deadline or an opportunity. However, the true power of daily evaluation lies in the lenses through which I review my performance. I approach evaluation with a mindset of building myself up rather than beating myself up. Instead of dwelling on failures or weaknesses, I focus on finding purpose and learning opportunities within them. By adopting this perspective, I can turn setbacks into stepping stones and leverage my deficiencies to uncover new possibilities.

Daily evaluation, when approached with the right mindset, becomes a transformative tool that empowers growth, highlights potential, and enables me to seize opportunities for improvement. With a mindset sharpened by consistent evaluation, our organization applies the same principles to evaluating the competitive landscape. We understand that remaining connected and abreast of our competitors and market trends is crucial on a daily basis. To achieve this, we actively follow industry leaders on social media, subscribe to relevant email lists, attend virtual events, and make connections whenever possible at networking events. This commitment to evaluation is deeply embedded in our business culture, as we recognize that change happens every day. In the dynamic world of business, it is vital to either adapt and evolve or risk lagging behind and losing market share. By embracing daily evaluation, we ensure that we stay proactive and agile, ready to seize opportunities and maintain our competitive edge.

What have been the most significant challenges you've faced when striving to stay ahead in a rapidly changing world, and how have you overcome them?

One of the most biggest challenges I have faced as a leader is maintaining the morale of my team. Change, although necessary, is often met with resistance and fear. This makes leading a team that is struggling to find purpose in their work while navigating through rapid change a complex task. The doubts, concerns, and unvoiced fears can greatly impact the organization's momentum, leading to a decline in productivity. To tackle this challenge head-on, we have proactively established an open communication environment within our team. We understand the emotional and mental challenges that change can evoke, and we strive to address them beforehand. Our approach involves providing multiple channels for staff members to connect, share their thoughts, and seek guidance and support. By encouraging open dialogue, we aim to prevent silent frustration from hindering our organization's progress and momentum.

Recognizing that change can be unsettling, we are committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels heard, valued, and empowered. Together, we navigate the complexities of change, embracing its potential and transforming it into an opportunity for growth and collective success.

Can you pinpoint a defining moment or experience where your innovative strategies led to success or a competitive advantage in your business or career?

In the highly competitive hybrid publishing market, the most significant obstacle is the consumers' perception. The industry has been tainted by vanity presses, leaving behind a trail of scams and deception. Overcoming this deep-rooted fear and building trust has proven to be a tough challenge. Recognizing the importance of addressing this issue proactively, we made an early decision to take the lead. Instead of asking the market to trust us, we focused on showing them that we were genuinely worthy of their trust. We embarked on a mission of providing free education and valuable resources, with no strings attached. By investing in the consumer's knowledge and offering them tangible benefits, we began to build a rapport based on their positive experiences with us. Our innovative approach was centered around not disassociating ourselves from the negative perception of vanity press, nor bashing it to appear superior. Instead, we chose education as our primary strategy. By allowing consumers to experience the value and integrity of our company's mission firsthand, we significantly increased the likelihood of them forming an independent opinion about our business. This approach yielded remarkable results, generating new leads and customers without resorting to aggressive marketing tactics. We established ourselves as a trustworthy and transparent hybrid publisher by prioritizing the consumer's needs and providing them with valuable resources. By showcasing our commitment to their success and empowering them through education, we effectively dismantled the barriers of mistrust and became the go-to choice in the industry.

In your opinion, what are the key ingredients of an effective strategy for staying ahead in 2023?

First, flexibility is crucial. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and being able to adapt quickly to new challenges and opportunities is vital. A flexible organization can navigate through obstacles without breaking, finding innovative solutions and adjusting its course as needed. Secondly, adaptability is not just an option, but a requirement. New norms emerge every day, and it's essential to identify the ones that align with your goals and integrate them into your infrastructure. By embracing change and proactively adjusting your strategies, you can ensure your business remains relevant and avoids becoming obsolete. Lastly, resilience is the unwavering determination to forge ahead despite challenges. Success is not a linear journey; it's filled with ups and downs. Resilience enables you to persevere when faced with adversity, even when the joy of success is overshadowed by the weight of struggle. It's about having the confidence and resourcefulness to keep moving forward, even in the face of uncertainty.

In your opinion, what role does continuous learning and personal development play in staying ahead, and how do you incorporate these practices into your own professional journey?

Personal development plays a crucial role in staying ahead, both as an individual and as an organization. I firmly believe in the principle that you cannot give what you do not have. Just as food is essential for the nourishment of our physical bodies, investing in personal development is vital for our growth, health, and vibrancy. To incorporate personal development into my organization, I follow a simple yet effective approach. I create a quarterly personal development plan for myself, identifying key areas in which I want to grow, improve, or strengthen. This plan is the outcome of consistent self-evaluation and feedback, which helps me identify opportunities for personal growth as a leader. I also extend this approach to my business by integrating personal development goals into annual reviews with my staff. During these reviews, we engage in discussions about their strengths, goals, and areas for improvement. Together, we identify training programs, tools, or resources that can help sharpen their skills and contribute to their personal growth.

Looking ahead, what emerging trends or technologies do you believe will have the most significant impact on businesses or ambitious professionals, and how are you preparing to leverage them for future success?

I truly believe that one of the most impactful emerging technologies for businesses is Artificial Intelligence (AI). It has the potential to impact numerous sectors, and as a business leader, it's crucial to embrace and leverage its power for the future. To prepare for this AI-driven future, we need to change our mindset. Instead of resisting AI, we must learn and understand it. Investing in AI integration and fostering AI literacy within our organizations should be a top priority. It's not just about saving money; it's about effectively managing the shift to avoid financial losses. Moreover, it's essential to empower our staff and alleviate any fears they may have about AI. We need to counter false narratives and provide them with the knowledge and skills to navigate this new landscape confidently. Lastly, we must conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that AI presents to our internal work environment and the consumer market. Understanding these factors will enable us to proactively adapt and make informed decisions to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving business landscape.

Where should people follow you to find out more about your work?

bottom of page