My husband, Mike, and I have operated a small, yet successful, trucking company for over 10 years now. However, without the need to advertise and draw in customers, all of this social media stuff is brand new to me. Thankfully, I have 30+ years experience in customer service, so connecting to people via any medium, is second nature to me.
I do most of my sales and online marketing training on YouTube (just listening) during my 11-hour driving shift, so I get to listen to a lot of good info. One concept that I haven’t been able to grasp, is why people won’t come shop on our site. We have a few likes and subscribers. People like and share our content and our products are strategically priced. So what’s the problem?
While listening to a six-part series by Magical Marketing, Julia Stege asked the same question, “So why don’t you have more customers?” To my surprise, her answer was, “They don’t trust you. They don’t know you to trust you. Blog about who you are.” Easy, right? Well, this is not a novel concept, because I know who I am. Well, that was two weeks ago, and I’m just getting around to figuring out what to write about who I am, and for others to get a closer look at me.
Here goes. My name is Ericka Richardson. I am the face and muscle behind TheDealCutters. Beside the technical work done by a relative and close friend, Janice Duffin, I’m it. Everything from contracts to product placement and pricing, to getting our name out there on the social media sites, is all me. My daughter, Briana, was helping out a bit, but when winter break ended, her college courses took priority.
One might wonder why I chose this bag for this post. Although it is for sale on my site, I am just so attracted to its colorfulness. My husband asked, “You really like that bag, huh?” Well, the deal with the bag is that it is as colorful and diverse as me. To know me is to love me, or hate me, your choice. Hopefully, after reading this post, you’ll get a good idea as to just how colorful I am.
My background is as follows… I was born in Boston, Ma to two native New Yorkers attending college in Boston. When I was about 18mths old, my parents moved back to NY and got married. A short time later, my mother sent my older brother, Peter and I, to live with our grandparents in Ft. Walton Beach, Fl, while she left my Daddy, and moved from Queens to ‘The Village’ in Manhattan. My mother is in the entertainment industry, so this only made sense.
My mother brought Peter and I back to NYC, and we were raised in ‘The Village’ and Chelsea sections of Manhattan. There’s no experience like it. My stepfather, Keith, was a Jewish man who worked as the Stage Manager for Hall & Oates. My grandfather played trumpet and toured with a few big named jazz bands but, after graduating from Juilliard, chose to be a music teacher for the NYC Board of Education.
Entertainment was a huge arena that my family worked in. My brother, Peter, left college to go on a world wide tour as a dancer with some big name R&B and Rap groups. He and a group he was in, had a hit song that topped the charts for 12 weeks in NYC, whereas getting his name well known in the entertainment industry.
I, on the other hand, didn’t really care much for being in the spotlight. With our mother being a “starving artist,” we grew up dirt poor. I mean poor to the point where we looked up to our friends in the projects. Succeeding in that field was a tough and calculated gamble that I wasn’t interested in putting money on. Therefore, I worked in every kind of job, from retail to office and local government jobs.
When I became pregnant with my first child, Andre, that put to rest any ideas of getting into entertainment. Corporate America, here I come! At 19, going on 20 years old, I moved out of my mother’s place, to NJ, and my life changed in ways I never could have imagined.
I lived in NJ for a short stint, before moving to Alexandria, Va. I lived in Va for about a year before moving to the Atlanta metro area. Here, I made a home for me and my son, and soon to be, daughter. November 20, 2013 made 20 years since I signed my first lease in Ga and the only regret I have, is in the Winter, when I think I haven’t moved far enough south…Brr!
So, after working at many different types of jobs, my husband, Mike, and I started a trucking company in 2003. With many ups and downs, learning the tricks of the trade, the hard way, we have finally become a little more comfortable with where the industry is headed… AND WE DON’T LIKE IT ONE BIT!
After our company came to a screeching halt last November, I came to the realization that, I need to go back to what I love… working with people. Not in the corporate sense, though. I haven’t worked in a traditional office environment in over 13 years. But I still remember that I didn’t like it at all.
Hence, TheDealCutters came to mind and, a couple of weeks later, came to life. The ability to interact with people on a greater level, feeds my passion… people. The products are just, for lack of a better term, an excuse to interact with more of them. I love to inspire, uplift and share information with people. I was always told that I was a “plethora of information”. Not formally educated, but smart in many ways.
Why do I say that, to know me is to love me or hate me? I am a very upbeat person. Sometimes to a fault. Some people would rather wallow in their own self pity and look at their current situation in the most negative light possible, but I don’t or won’t participate. So, I let them “curse the dark instead of lighting a match,” and keep it moving to someone who is looking at the cup as being half-full.
My life has not been an easy journey, by far. I’m a 10th grade drop-out, who obtained a GED, and had a baby at age 18. I made some off-the-wall choices, but dealt with it, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy, just get easier dealing with it. My make-it-happen attitude and work ethic have saved me, time and time, again. With God’s grace, mercy and favor, I’ve been able to see the upside in every situation. You’ll see on my FB profile that one of my favorite quotes is, “And this, too, shall pass.” Because it will… Amen!
I love my family, although they don’t always love me. I don’t make it easy for them. We’ve been blessed to be able to bless our kids with opportunities that we, ourselves, didn’t have. Yet, it doesn’t just get handed out like candy on Halloween. As a result, our kids have developed a great work ethic, too. Now, I will admit that I am the perfect Grandmother to our three year old Grandson, Elijah. He gets to do whatever he wants, as long as he helps clean up behind his mess.
I am far from perfect, and my personal and professional goals are far from realized. I am blessed to have the love and guidance of my two Grandmothers, as well as my Mom, Brother and a host of other relatives who, I truly feel, have my best interest at heart. I am blessed, therefore I strive to be a blessing to others.
Well, folks, that’s about it, in a not-so-small nutshell. I hope you have a greater understanding of where I come from and what I’m all about. I’m not hard to figure out. I shoot from the hip and keep it as 100% true as possible. I can relate on just about any level and welcome discussions on almost every topic, so hit me up if you’d live to delve deeper into my experiences.
I don’t mind explaining how I got through my negative situations. If it could help, I’d love the opportunity to give some insight as to how to stay strong through the mess and keep your eye on the prize.