Devin Ford of Devin Ford Photography and founder of Focus Women’s Conference recently joined us at Container Yard as the September BIZCONversations conversationalist. During this time Devin cracked jokes, gave high-fives, but most importantly shared her words of wisdom with fellow entrepreneurs who filled the room. After hearing Devin speak, everyone understood exactly how much this former Hollywood photographer, current mompreneur and movement starter had to share.
Here are five lessons to learn from Devin Ford:
1. Get Involved - Being born and raised in Grand Bay, Alabama certainly did not prepare Devin for life with the stars in Hollywood. Who could ever be prepared to spend the entire day with Serena Williams or conduct photo shoots for models and celebrities. However, Devin noted that the best way to get involved anywhere is to find something you are passionate about and dive in. In California, Devin got to know her local elected officials and the mayor of West Hollywood. This involvement is what allowed Devin to build a brand. When she moved back to our LA (lower Alabama) Devin applied the same tactics by getting involved at the Mobile Arts Council and that is how she has again built a brand for not only herself, but her companies and the Focus movement.
2. Just Because You are an Entrepreneur, Doesn’t Mean You Should Do it ALL ALONE – Devin also shared the importance of having a team to back you. From personal experience Devin has found that “Your team is everything – they make you look good.” Although you may be capable of getting everything done that needs to be done, a team makes it way more fun! Not only do you get to distribute the weight of the job, but you make friends and partners to engage in your passion. Devin does note however, that teams are only successful when they are empowered and appreciated.
3. As Women, You Must Engage Men – As founder of Focus Women’s Conference and the Focus Women’s Movement, it is no secret that one of Devin’s passion is destroying the obstacles women face in today’s society through encouraging, empowering, and educating them. However, with this being said, Devin notes that you still must engage men. Devin has been influenced by men in her life and she continues to welcome the support and camaraderie of men. To truly change the current situations women face, you must have men on your side. This is why Devin always welcomes men to join her in her passions and celebrate women’s victories. Devin also believes that her husband, Shawn, plays a vital role in all they do as business owners and parents.
4. You Can Have It All– As a former Hollywood Photographer, Devin didn’t imagine she would return to the south, however she found herself back in Mobile, Alabama and ultimately reconnected with former friend and present husband, Shawn Conklin. So, Devin brought her photography expertise with her and now operates Devin Ford Photography. She started a movement for women in the deep south with Focus Women’s Conference and she gets to do it all with her amazing husband and beautiful daughter, Charley. Life looks different for Devin than other entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t doable.
5. Self-Care is a Must – It is easy to get burned out, especially when you are a workaholic like Devin, so she shares that you have to take time to revamp and take care of yourself. Devin’s favorite ways to do this is: knowing her limit and not overwhelming herself with involvement in things, making and showing up for Dr. appointments, spa adventures, and of course getting plenty of sleep!
Devin has become a leader in the Mobile Community and thus a mentor to many. Devin will continue to make strides for women and as an entrepreneur, and Container Yard is so happy to call her friend and partner as she continues with her passion. Congratulations on being recognized as the superstar we know you are!