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Meet Kimberly Sulfridge of CEO Focus DFW in Plano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Sulfridge.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I guess you can say I was always destined to be an entrepreneur. I grew up in my parent’s insurance agency that they started the year I was born. At the age of two, I marched into my mother’s office, hands-on-hips, demanding an office of my own. With some negotiations and probably a quivering bottom lip, I managed to secure the supply closet for my chalkboard desk. As I got older, I started my own “fake” insurance agency by mimicking what my parents were doing. My mother was even nice enough to save some of that evidence for me. It did, however, lead me into my first business, an insurance agency of my very own. I started my agency during my sophomore year (age 19) at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. I graduated with a small business started, but it was time to thrive now that I could devote my full attention to it.

It was the early two-thousands, and the insurance industry was changing significantly for agents. I did not like where things were going and found myself not even wanting to get out of bed. I knew I needed to make a change, but I was scared. It took some time and a leap of faith, but I finally decided to sell my insurance agency and start over from scratch.

It wasn’t comfortable starting over, but I had to make a change. It wasn’t long before I friend recommended a contracting position to me, and little did I know it would lead me to my next venture. It was then that I started a business consulting firm which I am proud to say has changed with the times and added on new areas of development for business owners.

Has it been a smooth road?
Business ownership is never a smooth road, but it shouldn’t be. If it is, you’re probably playing it too safe. I had a pretty smooth ride building my first company, which unfortunately gave me a false sense of what it is like to start from the bottom. Looking back, I realized I had a secret weapon, a built-in mentor in my mother. If she didn’t know the answer, she knew who did. It was great, and I learned so much, but unfortunately, the day came when she was no longer with me. With the start of my second venture, things were far from smooth sailing. I struggled, and I didn’t understand why. My sounding board was gone, and I was on my own. I found myself scared to make decisions because I was concerned about more setbacks. Operating scared is never a good way to do business. It took some time, but I finally realized what I was missing … a mentor. I needed that person to help hold me accountable. I missed that sounding board I had in my mother. So, it was time to get another one!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
CEO Focus DFW works with startups and small business owners. We create mastermind groups for business owners that harness the power of peer-consulting. Imagine the collective wisdom of a room full of fellow business owners working together to find the perfect solution to your issues. Working in a vacuum is not only lonely, but it’s also not good for business. Having a high-quality sounding board can provide those game-changing ah-ha moments you need to stay on top. Groups are exclusive to industry and generate outside the box thinking.

I am especially proud to be launching our new female entrepreneurs’ group, Thrive. This group specializes in startups and small female-owned businesses that are looking for steady growth. A Mastermind group may not be economical for those just starting, so we created Thrive to help bring some of that collaboration to new business owners. Thrive is a resource-driven program giving owners access to business experts, a sounding board much like a Mastermind and a way to hold themselves accountable. We started a Virtual Women’s Business Book Club last year that has inspired many business owners and produced several new ideas.

One last area we specialize in is Half-Retire. Half-Retire is a program we specially designed for those CEOs and business owners that are looking to pull back from the day to day but not necessarily sell their business. While we coin it as working two half days a week, Half-Retire can be whatever you want to make it. While it was designed for those looking at retirement, we have found many younger CEOs that have gone through the program to dial back on one venture to start another. Half-Retire is what each individual wants to make it.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Absolutely! Dallas is one of the top cities for startups and small businesses. We have incredible resources available to us here for almost any industry. Dallas and the surrounding metroplex has a rich history of thriving companies with new ones arriving every day. With these larger companies flocking to this great city of ours, it brings more opportunities for the small businesses to support them. Dallas is a fantastic area for CEO Focus since we cater to these smaller companies. I would, without a doubt, recommend this area for someone starting out. Whether it is moving here or starting their own company, Dallas has so much to offer.

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