As an owner of a female-led small business, I am convinced that the ripple effect of women’s success contributes directly to our local economies and the communities they serve. I am dedicated to creating a network of these up-and-coming entrepreneurs and powerful women in business each month and also highlighting their achievements and sharing their words of wisdom.
This month’s featured Wonder Woman is easily defined as “wonderful,” “smart,” “witty,” “caring” and “powerful” by her peers. She most definitely shares her Wonder Woman powers for the benefit of others through encouragement, positivity and empathy to everyone who knows her. The challenge is getting someone like Dana Mihaly to talk about herself for a change because she is so busy lifting up other women in business, as well as her friends, family and clients -- 24/7 and 365 days of the year!
One thing that makes Dana so impressive is her genuine care and concern for others. She puts others before herself, sacrifices her needs for others, and is always there to encourage other business owners. She doesn’t realize what a strong influence she is to other entrepreneurs.
We asked Dana to give us some details about her journey into entrepreneurship and what inspires her:
How did you get started? Believe it or not, the PTA. That’s where I met Dee Marsh and we discovered we had similar professional backgrounds as well as same-aged kids. I was a stay-at-home mom looking for a way to make a little extra money while my kids were at school. Dee was gracious enough to hire me to help her at LockTite Storage, where she was part owner. After the company sold, Dee and I channeled our entrepreneurial spirits and returned to our marketing roots starting Marsh and Mihaly Marketing Group.
What’s your legacy?
My legacy is to set an example for my children that there is no “one” path in life. As a mom, you can work, raise children, embark on a never-ending educational journey and also redefine yourself at 50 (or any age!). The sky is the limit if you believe in yourself.
What’s your greatest success?
I think every mom would say their children. But my second greatest would be returning to school to learn digital marketing and putting my education into motion by starting a business.
What’s been your biggest challenge as a female entrepreneur?
Although I had a college degree, worked for a Fortune 50 company in marketing and continued to freelance while raising my children, I still felt as though future employers would see a large gap in my resume and wouldn’t take me seriously as a candidate. Returning to digital marketing school gave me the confidence and skills I needed to fill that gap. It also gave me the impetus to start a business so that I could work on MY terms.
Is there a defining moment in your life that led you here?
Hands down, meeting Dee Marsh. She shared her vast knowledge of business management, professional acumen and personal perspective. She is one of the most talented and toughest people I know. There is no challenge too great for Dee and she has taught me so much about perseverance and integrity. Her dedication, love for community and empathy for those around her has earned her the title of Hometown Hero---for which she will always be aptly named!
What would you tell other women starting a business?
Lean on the powerful women around you. Join networking groups. Listen to their experiences and their advice. Give back within your community---you truly get what you give. Finally, look at competitors as collaborators! There is plenty of business for all of us!
How do you think your attitude affects other women?
Positivity breeds positivity. I like to surround myself with people who inspire me to be a better person.
What advice would you give to young women entering the field of marketing?
Never give up on your love of learning. Technology changes every day and it is essential to keep learning and staying on top of new developments to compete in the industry.
Who has been an influence on you and your life and why?
Dear friend and fellow entrepreneur Sherri Hendrix. She inspired me to tap into my creative side when my kids were young and inspired me to join her in opening a pop-up shop featuring hand-sewn creations. It was my first foray into entrepreneurship, and I can happily say that she got me “addicted.” I am eternally grateful for her encouragement and support back then and also now. A strong Wonder Woman for sure!
What do you do when you aren't working?
One of my favorite things to do now (when my college kids aren’t home) is learning more about Dripping Springs. I am currently a Chamber Leadership Dripping Springs Class 6 student (shout out!) and it’s one of the best things I have done both personally and professionally to feel truly plugged into this community.
What does "community" mean to you?
People with shared values, goals, interests and inspiration. People who provide perspective and positivity. 😊
“Dana is like a mirror that we all want to look into. She constantly reflects the best version of ourselves. I’ve never seen anyone with that kind of gift,” says Dee Marsh, business partner. “It has an amazing impact on all who know her and especially those of us lucky enough to work with her.”
In addition to her dedication to her clients, family and friends, Dana also makes the time to volunteer for causes that she cares about. These include Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs, Dripping Springs Women’s Club, and Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Women have a unique ability to juggle life, work and family. And one of the best ways to experience personal and professional growth is to draw from their wisdom. I am constantly inspired by the dedication and determination of these female business leaders. That’s the purpose behind Wonder Woman Wednesday—we gain inspiration by sharing the passions and purposes of others.
So what motivates you? I’d love to hear your story. Email me your thoughts or a recommendation of someone you believe is a wonder woman to all who know her.