Her experience taught her how to market and sell products, services and herself. Now, Christine Clifford shares that message with others.
What is Christine Clifford Enterprises?
Christine Clifford: Christine Clifford Enterprises is the umbrella under which four companies reside, offering a variety of products and services including professional speaking on the topics of sales, marketing and using humor to get through life's adversities. I also am an author and a consultant, providing education and support to two specific groups of people: divorcees and those dealing with cancer.
You founded a company called The Cancer Club in 1995. What inspired you to leave the corporate world where you were a highly paid senior executive to become an entrepreneur?
CC: I asked myself the questions every entrepreneur should ask: Can I offer something or have I done something unique that no one has done before? Is there an area in this particular industry that is untapped or unfulfilled? Do I have much competition? And can I put a new twist on my subject matter that will appeal to a broad range of people?
You started a professional speaking career speaking to hospitals and healthcare organizations. What led you to speaking and consulting with corporate clients and what are your specialties?
CC: I came from a very strong sales and marketing background with the packaged goods industry, yet I was selling an intangible service: multi-million-dollar retail services contracts for which there was no tangible proof of performance. This combination of recognizing how to brand and market products, combined with selling the intangible-services-proved to be a topic near and dear to every corporation's and organization's heart and bottom line.
I understand you have recently created a new business called Divorcing Divas. How did that evolve?
CC: After going through my second divorce, I really felt empowered, like a bird out of a cage. Divorced women didn't know where to turn, or who to talk to. So I designed a company to offer all-day educational conferences for people on this journey.
You have said many times that a great passion of yours is philanthropy. In what ways do you give back to the community and why is that important to you?
CC: I hosted a celebrity golf tournament for five years, and we raised over $1 million for breast cancer research. Now, Divorcing Divas has partnered with Tubman, a non-profit shelter in Minneapolis for abused women, a cause near and dear to my heart. I have also served on several boards including Angel Foundation.
Who is your inspiration?
CC: My mother. She died of breast cancer when she was only 42 years old.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
CC: Don't be a jack-of-all-trades; instead, become a master of one. Each of my companies has a very specific function, and I don't wander away from our missions. Use the media to gain recognition and grow your business. Create connections that can help you drive your business. And don't forget to laugh!