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Meet Odette Toppin – Your Business Efficiency Consultant

Meet Odette

A Couple Things About Me

  • 🦋  Butterflies remind me of freedom, elegance, change, and my grandmother. 
  • 🧡  I LOVE gadgets and all things tech.
  • 😂  I have a hearty chuckle (ok, loud) to go with my love of peace & freedom.

I didn’t always know exactly what I wanted to do with my life after military service. I did though, always love organizing, planning, details, and writing things down step-by-step so that I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. My formative years definitely set the tone and military service honed my organizational and process-driven skills. I was born in Jamaica, raised in love, grew through experiences (travel & life are great teachers), and landed on a passion for helping Chiefs eliminate behaviors and decisions that makes the business dependent on them.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my hardcore & militant persona was formed early through the no-nonsense parental talents of my grandfather, ‘dada’ AKA ‘Busta’ and my momma. Although I was the only girl & grandchild living at home with my grandparents, I wasn’t coddled growing up on their farm in the cool hills of the Jamaican countryside. My grandfather was revered and, even now, the mere mention of his name in the district still evokes deep respect. That’s because he lived every single day with integrity, kept his promises, and never did anything half-assed. Dada was a quiet disciplinarian. Momma, on the other hand, actively and vocally expressed daily her expectations for me. My sweet grandmother ‘mama’ was the soft balance. I STILL strive to make them all proud. 

With no one else my age at home and a strict grandfather, I was a lonely child who felt boxed in living on a farm tucked away in the country, far from anything remotely resembling a modern life. I’m not the farmer type, not the creative type, and fiction books weren’t readily available. I was always drawn to figuring out “how to” use electronics like the radio, refrigerator when we first got one, and the TV when that magically dropped from the sky! Thank goodness for moving to the city with momma to attend high school because otherwise, I might have never found my calling.

My Love For Tech

Even though living in the city seemed like the best thing to happen to me, I didn’t have access to technology; not even have a telephone. All that changed when I moved to the US at age 16. My love of tech exploded! Bulky as they were, the registers and computers at Burger King (my first job) fascinated me. I took copious notes about everything: how to turn on the computer, how to print, from the books at the library…I even wrote out “how to drive”. I’ve just always wanted to capture “how-to” do something from the first time I did it because I hated spending time figuring it out again and again. 

Throughout my teenage and young adult years, I shied away from the arts and creative experiences (except music) but craved details and exact disciplines such as math and the sciences. These interests led me to an early career in banking but I didn’t thrive in the client-facing aspects of the financial industry because I was most passionate about the operations side that drives the whole system. Frustrated and uncomfortable with my trajectory, I eventually decided to enlist in the United States Air Force which, while somewhat of a misguided decision, turned out to be incredibly rewarding. 

Military service nurtured my persona and provided the opportunities for my analytical and process-driven mind to flourish. Being an air traffic control (ATC) apprentice I learned patience, contingency planning, and flexibility. As an ATC trainer, I mastered strategy, organization, teamwork, adapting to different learning styles, listening, instructional design, communication, and collaboration. I enjoyed developing & evaluating training programs, certifying personnel, creating operational guidance/standard operating procedures, and managing departments ranging from 5 to 300 people. While I was humbled and honored to earn one of the highest ranks, promotion carries even higher levels of responsibility to every Airman, many stakeholders, and the entire system: my controllers, my commander, airspace users, the base, the Air Force, fellow service members, and the nation.

To effectively and efficiently honor my operational and leadership responsibilities, I kept the early values my role models instilled in me at the forefront of every interaction, engagement, decision, and action. Pay attention to details. Don’t do anything half-assed. Keep my promises. Live with integrity. Not surprisingly, these behaviors were essential when I transitioned from active duty and began serving in a different role as a veteran-owned business leader, which has turned out to be the best way to continue serving.

Meet Odette

Hubby didn’t initially understand why I wanted to serve other entrepreneurs rather than work in a corporate role after the military. He thought I was throwing away the value of my education and experience. I felt the exact opposite and also realized that the concept of stepping out on my own and asking others to trust me was just very different for him. 

The skills I learned turning around numerous training programs and facilities are the perfect complements to business owners who need help documenting processes and training the team to remove themselves from the daily grind! 

Loving My Support Network

I continue to draw on the values and morals of my support network. Hubby is the new calming influence to fill the gap my grandmother left. He always says I approach things in ‘black & white’…and I’ll own that because, for you and your business, it means that you can count on decency when working with me, you can count on promise-keeping, and you can count on having a no-nonsense commitment to your success. I thoroughly enjoy business operations and helping your team strategically develop systems and tactics that support business growth and resilience lights up my belly. Whether it’s creating SOPs or training your team on how to use the tech, tools, and systems, I love that I still get to serve. I love that I get to work with you Chief. 

Everyone’s business journey is different but the strategies and tactics we should employ to create the life we crave are often the same. I didn’t know where I would land after my humble island-girl, country beginnings, but I am in my perfect place. I get giddy about implementing solid systems and documenting your business processes crucial to ensuring you avoid building a business that owns you. If you want the flexibility to step away for a day, to have a 4-day workweek, to travel, to sell your business, then build one that can continue without you. 

Let’s get to work so that you can stop worrying about how crazy things get when it’s time to take a break and breath for a few days. Let’s get to work so that you no longer have to be available for the answer to every “how do I do this?”. Let’s get to work to prepare your foundation, perfect your processes, and, ultimately, protect your business. This is how my expertise allows me to show up for you! Let’s Work Together! 🦋

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