Kizzy Parks, Ph.D.: The Hustle Gets Her Company to the Inc. 5000 List!
Hustle your way towards success like Kizzy Parks!
Although an adopted child, Kizzy Parks, Ph. D. grew up in a family who encouraged her curiosity in terms of excelling in school and being entrepreneurial.
She used to collect and clean golf balls that she saw in an alley behind her friend’s house and resell them to golfers, as a kid.
Kizzy then went on to earn her bachelor’s, masters, and a doctorate degree in psychology and established K. Parks Consulting, Inc. (KPC), a management consulting firm providing professional services including staffing, IT, training, and curriculum development.
Over the years, KPC has trained and coached thousands of students and increased their list of customers in both commercial and government spaces including the United States Army, Department of Education (ED), and several non-profit and Fortune 500 companies, among others.
KPC was also recognized by different organizations such as the Association of Employee Resource Groups and Councils and the Society of American Indian Government Employees.
The company was also awarded as the 2014 Enterprising Women of the Year Award and ranked in the Inc. 5000 “Fastest-Growing Private Companies” List twice!
“Everything is possible. Hands down. If you want to succeed, you’re going to succeed. If you want to fail, you’re going to fail.”
K. PARKS CONSULTING
- Parks Consulting started as a company expert in diversity and inclusion. However, when Kizzy noticed a slight shift in the landscape, she decided to move to training and development.
“I knew if I continued down that path, I was going to be so pigeonholed and I was never, ever, ever going to get out of it.”
- Parks Consulting then decided to become part of the 8a program, only when a client in the Navy asked them to. They are actually in their last year in the program.
“It goes along with the lean startup approach, we hands down a practice which is an essence. You may build a prototype, your minimal viable product, but you don’t go out there and spend all this money and resources to build something that nobody wants or you don’t know if they really want it.”
Although K. Parks Consulting is considered as an expert in training and development, the company has also its fair share of mishaps in terms of hiring people.
One particular employee who has a lot of corporate experience was removed by a client and caused the company to suffer for three years.
The other hiring mishap that Kizzy also experienced was when he hired a company to do a background check for finding people for government contracts. However, they weren’t able to do their job perfectly and she fired the company.
So, Kizzy advised to hire slow and fire fast because she had been there and she faced a lot of problems.
ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES
1. Know your why.
In everything that she does, Kizzy always goes back to her “why.” She knows that she wants to help others, that’s why she has aimed to be an entrepreneur ever since childhood.
“So my why has always been and always is to help people. That’s why I went into… psychology is about helping. So for me, all of the ventures that I pursue, all of the contracts, I go after all the opportunities, it all is around helping. It’s all around helping. That’s my why.”
2. Create your own ocean.
Kizzy doesn’t go after shiny objects because it’s too much competition. Rather, she goes to opportunities that most people overlooked.
“So, I go after things that many people overlook. Also, I don’t like to get involved in protest and drama and, you know, everyone fighting for the same client. There’s too much, just because there’s so much, there are so many agencies in the government that buy as well as CBREs and all these other ways to get business that, you know, focusing on that one agency, because they’re within an hour drive from you, I just, I don’t do it. I don’t do it at all.”
3. Work on your skill set.
We often lead with our set asides, but you should be working on your skill set, so that you’ll be able to execute the responsibilities being given to you.
“All these other little things, there’s little techniques to get them closer to wanting to work with you, not just because you’re an 8a or service-disabled or because you have 20,000 years of experience with the FDA, doesn’t matter. They have to want to work with you because at the end of the day, you have to have a solution to their problem.”
4. Hit the ground running.
Don’t directly go to big contracts without doing small projects because these may be small, but this will be able to start building your past performance and get a little bit of money.
Don’t be afraid if you think that this will derail you towards your goal. As long as it helps you build your business while making money, then it is worth it.
“There are other ways to obtain your goals, it just takes a lot of sweat equity.”
5. You can have more niches.
You can have more than one niche if you can’t choose one, as long as you are able to fulfill your promises and can work on it.
“The point is, I look at it from that perspective, if these big companies are diverse, why shouldn’t I be diverse? As long as it makes sense. You know, again, it has to make sense for you. If you feel uncomfortable pursuing staffing contracts, then don’t do it. If you feel uncomfortable providing ammunition, then don’t do it. But if you feel comfortable filling, you know, computer technology opportunities, then why couldn’t you?”
6. Build your network.
Your business won’t grow without you networking yourself and your business. So, while you’re still small, you need to start communicating with decision makers and other people in your industry.
“Because you think about it, you hit 30 a day, let’s say 10 of them say yes. How much work is that? You are probably almost close to 50,000.”
4. Exceed people’s expectations.
Provide the best products and services because whether you like it or not, people have their own biases.
You have to hustle. You have to take care of your clients. You have to resolve their pain points. You have to make their lives easier, so that they won’t replace you.
“That’s why you have to be even better because everybody makes mistakes. There’s no perfect company out there. So, you have to be ready to deal with it. So, kind of just being “okay” is just not going to suffice because, then, what they’re going to do is take you out of the picture, take your work, and award it elsewhere, or just remove it from the 8a program.”
4. Be in a support group.
You are not alone in this journey of building and managing a business, so it is recommended to have an outlet or a group of people to receive support from.
“What’s great about them is regardless of our industries, we all have the same kind of problems, right? There’s you need to hire, you need promote. How do you let somebody go? How do you deal with when somebody committed fraud or, you know, natural disaster or something like you described when there’s literally a fire and how do you handle it, or if you’re being sued or you’re going through a divorce. I mean, we talk about everything in there and we also learn.”
5. Have faith.
Be thankful for both opportunities and challenges in your life and have faith that you will be able to overcome every challenge.
“I really started to focus more on my real… on my faith and having a stronger connection to God and working on a lot of things internally.”
If you want to hustle your way towards success like Kizzy M. Dominguez, then be sure to click the resources below. You can also visit the GovCon Giant website or the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!
The Hustle Gets her Company to the INC 500 list
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How to Believe in Yourself? (First Steps)