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About Me & Awaken Dreams

Hi! I'm Debi... very happy to meet you!

My business in a nutshell... 

I'm the President & CEO of Makana Mai Akua, Inc. (www.Makana-Mai-Akua-Inc.com). The name of my company is Hawaiian and, literally translated means 'Gift from God.' I'm a multi-passionate entrepreneur with a talent for jewelry design (www.Designs-by-Debi.com); an extraordinary knack for internet research (www.YourInternetResearchSpecialist.com); almost 30 years of teaching, coaching and mentoring experience (www.aWAEHQndreams.com) and an intense heartfelt connection to the Islands of Hawaii (www.Hawaii-Escape-to-Paradise.com). 

Some Fun Facts About Me... 

I'm an Eskie Mom currently living in Rhode Island with my American Eskimo, Niko, who I truly believe is love covered in fur and the cutest thing I've ever seen. He captured my heart at 5 weeks old and has filled the last 14 years of my life with more joy than I ever thought possible. I'm a work-at-home doggie Mom running my company from home with my fuzzy little apprentice every day :)

I'm planning to relocate to Hawaii because it's the place my heart calls home.

I'm a die-hard New England Patriots fan and, though I usually watch on TV not in the stadium, I never miss a game. Ever.

I'm a coffee addict and have at least a dozen flavors of coffee in the house at any given time. With enough coffee anything is possible ;-)

My other addiction... flip-flops! I have them in just about every shade of every color... pretty soon they're gonna need a closet of their own!

Being a philanthropist is my ultimate goal in life and for my business and I'm off to a fabulous start. I'm passionate about supporting and honoring our troops, veterans and military families for which I'm starting my own Charitable Foundation, The Phaneuf Foundation, in honor of my grandfather and great-uncle, both Army veterans.

Why Am I Here and How Did Awaken Dreams Happen? 

I'm a Gemini... pretty sure that's where the "multi-passionate" thing comes from. But, even though I've had a multi-division corporation planned from the beginning, Awaken Dreams wasn't part of that plan. So how did it happen? Because people started coming to me for business help, I happily obliged... and more people came... and more... and more... and I enjoy it.

I came up with the idea for Awaken Dreams in the fall of 2011 after suffering a couple of shattering losses which led me to do some honest, deep down, soul searching about what I want, where I'm going, what I do and, most importantly, WHY I do the things I do.

Upon close inspection of myself and my behavior, I realized that helping people is the driving passion behind everything I do. I frequently put aside my own (enormous) To Do list to help someone with a business question or problem... and I didn't realize just how often I was doing it! But I knew I wasn't going to stop.

It shouldn't have come as a surprise. I've been teaching, coaching and mentoring in one form or another for almost 30 years... from teaching CCD to gradeschool kids... to coaching Special Olympians with intellectual and developmental disabilities... to teaching Intraoperative Interventional Radiology to technologists and other medical staff. 

It seems to happen without me even having to think about it at this point! And I recently found out why...

I've always known I had being a Gemini to thank for not wanting to do the same thing day after day, but there was something very important about me that I didn't realize... or rather didn't fully explore until recently. 

And as enlightening as it was for me to finally understand this, it's even more valuable for YOU to understand, so allow me to elaborate. My Myers-Briggs Personality Type is INFJ. I've known that for many years, but, until prompted by one of my coaches a few months ago, never bothered to really learn what that meant. I was blown away by what I discovered.

Why Me? My Super-Rare Secret Advantage and Why YOU Should Care

Why should you care about this? Because there's probably no personality type better suited to help you than an INFJ. And only 1% of the population is INFJ (most people will go their entire lives without even running into one). It's by far the rarest of all the personality types. I wrote a whole post about this that you'll find interesting if you're considering working with me. 

But here let's just take a quick look at some of the INFJ traits I have that make an effective coach:
(my artistic side made some of the most important ones into graphics to keep it interesting for you) 

* generally described as patient, caring, highly intuitive, insightful, artistic, creative, dedicated, compassionate, inherent "givers" and strongly humanitarian

* have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication

* are twice blessed with clarity of vision, both internal and external
* are creative problem-solvers who actually enjoy problem-solving

                                                          * are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range
                                                              and depth of their talents
* are sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people

* have uncanny insight into people and situations

* place high regard on their reader and audience and write to communicate with people in a personalized way
* are systems builders who put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done
                                                        * like to please others and tend to contribute their own best efforts in all situations
* have unusually strong drive to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping people
* are excited about the future and possibilities and enjoy using their organizational skills and imagination to create plans to achieve grand visions

* are generally well-suited to the "inspirational," service-oriented professions such as counseling, teaching (especially in higher education) and the arts and are successful in these fields because their great personal warmth, enthusiasm, insight, depth of concentrations, originality, and
                                                         organizational skills can all be brought into play

Why Are You Here?

First let me say I hope you'll get in touch and tell me exactly what brought you here and what I can do to help. But for now allow me to take an educated guess :) 

You're most likely here looking for some kind of help or support for your artisan business... or maybe trying to decide if turning your hobby into a business is truly what you want.

You'd prefer to have help from someone who understands you and actually cares about you. Well, I do. So let's see if we might be a good fit to work together...

Why We Might Be a Perfect Fit

I'm an artisan myself with a successful artisan business. I'm the owner and designer at Designs by Debi.

I passionately support women artisan entrepreneurs. I believe the world deserves to enjoy the amazing and beautiful creations of your talented mind and hands. And that you should embrace entrepreneurship and be properly compensated for your skills and work.

I absolutely light up with joy when I'm able to help artisan business owners make breakthroughs and see results in their business and life!

I deal with life and business together because, when you're an entrepreneur, the two are inextricably intertwined. And, especially if you work from home, they collide daily.

I'm here to challenge you and show you options you don't even know you have. I want to impact lives. I've changed my life. I want to change your life. Hell, I want to change the world!!

I want you to create a lifestyle business that celebrates your talents, values and priorities and is the very essence of what success means to you.

Lifestyle Business Design for Artisans & Creatives... That's what I'm about. 
I'm not here to teach you how to succeed on Etsy.
I'm here to teach you how to own and run a business that allows you to design your life the way you want it. 
I'm here to open your eyes and mind to the opportunities available to you. 
I'm here to challenge you to embrace entrepreneurship and all that it can do for you and your family. 
I'm fiercely committed to your success and happiness. 
I'll help you define what success means to you, put a plan in place to achieve it, and support you on your journey so you can kick ass in business and live the life you've imagined.

Ok, now it's YOUR turn! I want to hear about YOU. Pleeeeeeeeease introduce yourself and tell me about you, your business, family, dreams, favorite coffee flavor... anything at all you'd like to share. I did just pour my heart out so fair is fair...

If for some reason you're not sure I contributed enough information yet to warrant some sharing on your part (or you just want to learn more), feel free to keep reading...

I'm retired from the medical field and on a new journey in life. While on a medical leave of absence from my job (as a Radiologic Technologist specialized in Interventional Radiology and CT Scan), I began working with beads and wire. It was basically self-imposed occupational therapy in an attempt to regain my fine motor skills and return to caring for my Veterans at the job I loved so much. Unfortunately, that was not to be. I lost my career and was devastated. I needed to recover, grieve and find a new path... something I never expected I'd have to do. And, not only did I need to start over, I needed to work for myself! Best way to describe that discovery... shock... and terror.

My entire education and background was in medicine. I had no business education at all... zero... none. The thought of starting my own business never even crossed my mind until it became a necessity... and I had no clue where to begin. But, all that occupational therapy I was doing had produced a whole lot of jewelry! My Mom was wearing my jewelry to work and her co-workers and patients loved my designs and were inquiring about them. People were showing an interest in my jewelry and I needed a business, so Designs by Debi was born. Thank God for somehow leading me to discover a talent I otherwise never would've found and giving me something I desperately needed at that point in my life... hope.

I had a lot to learn though. Luckily I'm a real do-it-yourselfer and good at figuring out how things are made and done. ((Thanx Dad!)) Thanks to my parents, I also had an excellent education. So, even though I had no idea what I was doing, I knew how to find out what I needed to know and how to learn. And learn I did. I've basically gotten myself a customized MBA. All things considered... not bad.

In the process, I found I had an incredible knack for internet research. I was good at it... unbelievably crazy good. I've learned everything I know about business, accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, branding, jewelry design, digital photography and editing, graphic design, web design and SO many other things I do by figuring out what I needed to learn, researching it online, reading books about it and then learning by trial and error. And I continue to learn more every day.

I started my business and formed my corporation, Makana Mai Akua, Inc. It's the parent company for all my current business endeavors. Designs by Debi is my handcrafted jewelry business. Because I'm so good at it, I offer my services as a freelance Internet Research Specialist. I'm in the process of building a website about Hawaii.

And I started Awaken Dreams in the fall of 2011, as I explained above, after an all-out self-evaluation to determine my "WHY." Upon close inspection of myself and my behavior, I realized that helping people is the driving passion behind everything I do... that's when I'm happiest. It's probably why I ended up in the medical field. It's also most likely the reason why I do so much custom designing and memorial jewelry... it helps people. Through my jewelry, I help them celebrate, express themselves, champion causes, grieve and remember. I love creating jewelry that holds deep meaning for people.

Quite a lot of networking with and coaching of artisans allowed me to see that there are many who could benefit from some assistance; that all the research that came so easily to me doesn't to others; and that many people are being given a whole lot of misinformation. I was already helping people with their businesses using what I learned and used to build my own. I have a wealth of information and knowledge filling binders, file cabinets (yes, plural) and thousands of computer files, not to mention what's floating around my brain... no reason to keep it all to myself!

It took me a while to realize this was the coach in me coming out... again. I finally saw that there's a huge common thread running through the last 30 years of my life... teaching, training, coaching, mentoring. Whatever you choose to call it, I've been doing it, in one form or another, for almost 30 years! I started teaching CCD to gradeschool kids when I was in junior high. I'm a very fast learner and very responsible. So, right from my first job at a dry cleaner at 16 years old, I was training people. I trained new hires and I trained new managers to run our drop stores. Once I was out of college and had more time, I started coaching for Special Olympics year round... soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball and track & field... 2-3 days/nights a week for many, many years. Within a year of graduating and passing my Diagnostic Radiology boards, I was promoted to Clinical Instructor and responsible for the Clinical Education of the CCRI Radiology Students at the hospital, a job that I held for well over 10 years. In addition to their clinical education, for which I also gave my own classes at the hospital, I tutored them in college courses they were struggling with. It became commonplace for me to hold Radiation Physics classes in the sunroom at my house every Spring; and extra-help sessions for groups of students every semester to help them prepare for their exams! Over time I passed advanced board certifications in both Cardiovascular Interventional Technology (which includes Angiography, Interventional Radiology and Cardiac Catheterization) and Computed Tomography (CT or "CAT Scan") and was put in charge of the Interventional Radiology and CT departments, which also had me training students, technologists, nurses and resident physicians. I trained and mentored students and staff throughout my entire medical career.  And I guess the mentoring bug has bitten me again because here we are!

Awaken Dreams is about helping people. It's a Women Artisan Entrepreneurs HQ that I intend to be an ever-growing resource of information and services to help you succeed in business and in life. For women entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and mompreneurs this is a delicate dance... or maybe a chaotic juggling act depending on your situation... but it CAN be done, YOU can do it and I'm going to help you.

Whether you've been at it for awhile or you're just now deciding to turn your hobby into a business, you'll find tons of useful information here. And, although I think this will primarily interest women artisans and those looking to run an online business, anyone is welcome...even men :) 

My mission is to give women entrepreneurs the knowledge and tools you need to successfully make a living from your passion and run your small business on a small budget while also empowering you to grow as big as you want to be and live the life you have imagined. And, for women, this means more than just textbook business information. In fact it means a whole lot more than just business information! It means looking at the whole picture... you, your business, your personal life, your goals, your ideal life and ways to achieve it... time management, strategic planning, resources, networking, support and most important... a mindset for success! I want to help you create and implement your unique path for your business and transition to an entrepreneur mindset so you're confidently running a multi-faceted online business with the convenience of being home for your family while also contributing to your household income.

I'm not an expert on everything, but I have learned everything I've needed to get to where I am and continue my journey. I have BIG plans and fully anticipate reaching all of my goals. But when I started I had zero business experience, A LOT to learn, a lot to do and I had no money so I needed to learn how to do the things I couldn't afford to pay others to do... logos, graphics, websites, advertisements, branding materials, bookkeeping, corporate maintenance documents, etc. I've cultivated a range of business skills that I can use to help you.

I'm very happy to have you here with me. I hope to walk along side you, get to know you, help you on your journey, celebrate your successes and watch you achieve your dreams!

To learn more about what's available to you here, take a peek at the Products and Services and Work With Me pages.

Now I would say I've DEFINITELY shared enough to earn some sharing from you so get busy! Leave a comment here, shoot me an email (Debi @ makana-mai-akua-inc .com), connect on Facebook, whatever you prefer, just do it! I'm looking forward to hearing from you :)

Much Success and All the Best to You Always,

Website: http://www.Makana-Mai-Akua-Inc.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakanaMaiAkuaInc

Blog: http://blog.designs-by-debi.com/
ArtFire Studio: http://www.DesignsByDebi.artfire.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DesignsByDebi
Twitter: @designs_by_debi   https://twitter.com/designs_by_debi

Website: Right here for now :) Coming soon to www.AwakenDreamsSuccessCoaching.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AwakenDreamsSuccessCoaching
Twitter: @AwakenDreamsSCD https://twitter.com/AwakenDreamsSCD
             @Debi_Auger http://www.twitter.com/Debi_Auger

Contact Me
For now you can contact me at:
Debi (at) makana-mai-akua-inc (dot) com
until I get the Awaken Dreams permanent email set up
Thank you!!

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