Recognizing the opportunity to start her own Public Relationship firm, twenty two years ago, Extraordinary Woman of the week, Angela O’Mara, confidently seized the opportunity and did not look back.
She specializes in strategic marketing, private media training and on camera interviewing skills. She has placed her clients on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, E! Entertainment TV, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, The View, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Early Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Telemundo, Univision the BBC and has showcased her clients in magazines newspapers around the world.
Meet Angela O’Mara, mother, author, lecturer, public relations expert, and our extraordinary woman of the week.
Shamelessly plug yourself and your business.
Twenty two years ago I was working as a business/office manager for a plastic surgeon handling his million dollar bank account, two offices (Newport Beach and Beverly Hills), two boats (one red, one blue), 5 Rolls Royce vehicles, as well as his PR and Marketing. It didn’t take long for me to realize that a.) I was good at my job. B.) other high powered doctors could benefit from my PR and Marketing skills. When I decided to become an entrepreneur and set up my PR Agency, he became my first client and paid me a lot more money than when I was an employee. From that moment on, the sky was the limit, and it still is.
How long have you been in business?
Twenty two years
What has been a defining moment in your life or an AHA moment?
I have actually had several defining moments in my life. Seizing opportunities is something that I now recognize comes somewhat naturally to me. I also have realized that when someone tells me that I cannot or should not do something, I generally have to prove to myself that I can. After I decided to leave the UK at age 19 and follow a dream of coming to the USA, on the night I was leaving my father said “see you in 6 weeks kid.” As the baby of the family, I took that as “you’ll never make it on your own.” Well, here I am 30 years later thriving in the USA and living a life I could never have dreamed of back then and filled with no regrets. My father is no longer alive, but was definitely very proud of my accomplishments. Another defining moment came out of my divorce. Knowing that it was up to me to be responsible for my children’s lives gave me all the more reason to be successful as a business owner. And being a single-mom in business has helped me be much more compassionate to the other moms I have employed over the years.
What has been your biggest challenge?
In my first book Lipstick.Laptops.Life. I go into detail about a failed business experience. As I said earlier, I seize opportunity easily. Sometimes, however, opportunities don’t always work out the way we expect. With this particular incident I bought into a Franchise System that I believed had great potential. One year and a lot of money later I came to realize that the whole system was set up on fraudulent information and I had to get out of it. Losing the money was one thing; dealing with attorneys and investigators was another. I now consider that part of my life as my Harvard Graduate School experience – very costly but very, very valuable. It also happened at about the same time as the global economic meltdown we have all been experiencing and the biggest challenge was juggling the money to keep up the lifestyle I had achieved, while paying off the financial commitments I had made at the same time as losing large sums of money, paying a lot out in attorney fees and working diligently with clients whose budgets have shrunk due to the economy. I am glad to say that time is now behind me and I am finally seeing the silver lining in that black cloud.
What has been your greatest reward?
I’d like to say that my business was my greatest reward but honestly, it’s my three children who are now in their early twenties. They have each grown up to be strong, independent, intelligent and loads of fun. There were challenging times during their teenage years, but watching them bloom is just the best thing to me.
How do you stay confident to receive your goals ?
I am a constant learner. I read everything I can get my hands on. So it’s important to me to know that my mind is sharp and I have a good knowledge of world events. Most of my clients are extremely intelligent and educated people and I have the confidence to be at their level all of the time because I have a wide-open world learning approach to everything. I also work to try and stay fit and slim, take care of my skin and hair so at least I feel that most of the time I look OK and sometimes I think I look pretty darn good. That attitude keeps me confident.
Who or what has had the strongest positive influence in your life?
My mother. She would always encourage me to do more, try harder, not take “no” for an answer. I remember her often saying “what’s the worst thing somebody can say to you?” and I would answer “no”. She would then say, “and that’s not so bad is it?” And, guess what, it’s not. She is now 86 years of age and still a very strong woman, goes dancing and walks a mile every day
How do you give back to your community?
The homeless population, which is growing rapidly, has always had a soft spot in my heart. I came from a working class Irish family and it just kills to me to see that here in the richest country in the world we have hungry, homeless people. I began a few years ago (during my most financially “broke” time) to give a few hundred dollars a year to Mission Rescue to feed the homeless. My company still donates money to that fund but my family and I decided to step up our efforts and now we volunteer at a local homeless shelter. We actually really enjoy it. I’ve come to realize that the California homeless love salad so I do my best to make the best salad they ever have. Even the other volunteers want to try some.
What do you do on a regular basis for a healthy mind, body and spirit connection?
Working out is important to me. I exercise regularly. I walk almost daily either with the family and the dog, or alone. I also work out with weights and more recently have begun taking Zumba classes (aerobics) which I just love. I also focus on eating healthy because I am a believer that what you put into the body affects what you get out of it. My most recent fad has been fresh coconut and coconut juice in the morning (straight out of the shell- no bottled juice). It keeps me even keel all day. Spiritually I am very aware of the energy levels within us and around us and do my best to be in tune with that energy. I’m a big believer in gratitude. I am grateful for everything I am given.
Do you have any limiting beliefs about self or money?
Like most of us, I sometimes feel that I work so hard for such little or slow return. My biggest limitation being patience. While it is a virtue I am still coming to terms with, I can now look back and see how far I have come, and know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
From your experience – share five things that a female entrepreneur should do for a successful business
There are many things important to a female entrepreneur, but I would say my Top 5 are:
- Faith. Not in a higher being, but in yourself. If you dream it and believe it, you can achieve it.
- Trust. Not only in others, but in yourself. Many of us ignore that inner-voice of intuition or “gut” reaction. Trust what your basic instincts are trying to tell you.
- Strategy. Continuing to develop a vision for a business is important, but having a good strategy of how you are going to breathe life into that vision is vital.
- Image: A good, basic black business suit should be hanging in every girl’s closet.
- Sense of Humor: If you can keep your sense of humor (or develop one) it will help keep you going when the going gets tough.
Share with us a little know fact about you.
My life is literally an open book which as been pretty much documented in Lipstick.Laptops.Life. One little known fact is that at the age of nineteen, I almost went to work in London rather than New York. So glad I selected New York. Not sure where my life would be now had I not made that choice.
Is there something you want to share that was not asked?
Lastly, I would like to state that much of the hype that I see about “I can teach you how to make a million dollars while you sleep”, is just that. Hype. Starting and staying in business takes hard work, common sense, communication, relationship skills and a drive and passion that makes you jump out of bed each morning. After 22 years, I am still jumping out of bed to get to my job!
Angela, a big thank you for sharing your information with my readers.
I wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.
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