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Life and Work with Denisse Ypiña

Today we’d like to introduce you to Denisse Ypiña.

Denisse, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In the summer of 2015, I found myself at a sales job that wasn’t a fit for me. In an attempt to turn things around, I looked for something I was lacking: sales training. A quick Google search revealed that Dale Carnegie of San Diego had local courses to choose from. Filling out a “Contact Us” form on their website notified of my interest its recent new owner and President, Brittany, who called me right away!

She was so real, a true consultant, and such a great sales person, that I was instantly intrigued and excited about what I could learn from these courses! A few weeks later, I was enrolled in their Sales Course, where I met Brittany in person. By week 2 of the course, Brittany offered me a job! She later told me she saw something in me which told her I’d be a great fit for a position at Dale Carnegie. During our presentations in the sales course, she mentioned she could tell that with training and support, I could command a room and be an exciting representation of what Dale Carnegie was all about. That was a huge compliment and big challenge at the same time — Dale Carnegie Training has been around for over 100 years and its courses show people the art and science of communication, how to be authentic and how to be a leader others want to follow, among other ‘soft skills’ that deliver concrete results.

At the halfway point of this sales course, I was officially a Dale Carnegie sales rep! I was very excited about my new position, and even more excited about the opportunity of becoming a Dale Carnegie Trainer down the road!
It wasn’t a smooth road: it took a lot of patience, dedication and a ton of grit to stick with it and make it work. Selling a service is very different from selling a product, which was the only thing I sort of had experience with; and selling training and development can be even more challenging in a world where we tend to value present distractions more than working on themselves and our future. Training also tends to typically go out the window with budget cuts and is put on the back burner when a company is growing or changing. There are many things and many people who helped me hang on and not fall off while riding the biggest learning curve I’ve had to get through!

First, talk about the value of a team! It certainly should come as no surprise that the people who work at Dale Carnegie of San Diego are authentic, caring, cheerful, and just overall, a great support system — after all, we do train others on ‘people skills’ and communication, and I’m proud to say, we ‘walk the talk’ here at Dale Carnegie. The friendships I’ve developed with my coworkers have really helped during the challenging times, and I can truly attest to people in the workplace being a big reason for sticking with a job or not!

Second, my trust and admiration for our fearless leader! I’ve learned so much, and continue to learn so much, from Brittany. She is an exemplary leader — someone who believes in us, often times even more than we believe in ourselves. She sure knows how to make everyone in her team know they’re special and I’m sure that has a lot to do with the awesome people she attracts to the team!

Thirdly, my belief in what we do was always definitely a big reason why I’ve stuck around through the challenging times. I’ve seen our courses change people’s lives — and they’ve done wonders for me as well! I truly believe that if more people would apply the tools we discuss in our programs, the world would simply be a better place.

And lastly, knowing that I could become a Dale Carnegie Trainer if I stuck around long enough was probably my biggest why! I’ve always liked learning through teaching, and I couldn’t think of a bigger honor than to be a certified Dale Carnegie Trainer. Getting through the certification was one thing, getting in front of participants was a whole different animal, and the biggest challenge of it all is staying true to the curriculum and embodying our own tools and principles, inside and outside the training room. I knew that if I became a Trainer, I’d just be a better version of myself — I had to! And that was very motivating, given my passion for ongoing learning!
Now, after 2 years and a half, things have not become easier — I’ve changed. I’ve adapted. I’ve grown and I’ve learned, and so things seem not as hard as they did at the beginning. The sweat, hard-work and dedication have paid off: last year I was awarded on stage at our national conference for making and exceeding my yearly sales goal! And to date, I hold 2 of our Dale Carnegie Certifications and am on my way to acquire another 2 later this year! Things are beginning to get very interesting, and I can’t wait to figure out how to overcome the upcoming challenges that will lay ahead!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In my first real job right out of our college, I worked in a male-dominated industry, and I was the only Millennial working with a group of Baby Boomers. In addition to that, cultural differences (I’m from Mexico, born & raised) added to communication issues — or lack of, mostly on my part. It was hard to be taken seriously and many times my ideas were shut down. It got to the point where I believed I truly had nothing of value to add. I believed the story that the circumstances of my current job were telling me. It took a long time to ‘snap out of it’ and realize that job just wasn’t a fit and that it didn’t have to be that way — I just didn’t know that the possibility of being happy and fulfilled at job did exist — I suspected it did! I always had it in the back of my mind, the “what if” — what if things were different and I could speak up for myself, contribute, and do something I enjoyed. When I joined Dale Carnegie and had a boss who encouraged me to speak up, who welcomed my ideas, and my input, it comes as no surprise that I was not ready for that: I had to work a lot on my confidence. It was very hard to believe that what I had to say mattered, and that’s why I was being asked for my ideas and opinions, and just so I could be shut down as I had been in the past! Luckily, I was in the right place: a supportive environment with a supportive woman as a leader, and now, they can barely shut me up! Just kidding! There’s of course, still, work to do, but I’ve improved a lot, and it truly makes me feel valued when I know I am being listened to.

My advice to women starting out their careers is to trust their gut! If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right for you! It doesn’t matter what others are trying to make us believe — most of the times, we know what we want, and we just need to act on it. That requires confidence, and that’s my second piece of advice: know that confidence is something you can acquire. You can work on improving your levels of confidence, and I wish someone had told me earlier on that, that “lack of trust” in myself had a name — that it is called ‘confidence’ and that there were things I could do to acquire it! Putting ourselves in challenging situations, things that scare us, being OK with making mistakes, and simply trying new things, those are all things that help us improve our levels of confidence. Never stop working on yourself: read personal and professional development books and articles, be curious and ask a lot of questions, even if you think you should know the answer. All of these will prepare you not only for a career where you are happy and fulfilled but overall to be whole-rounded person whose company others will enjoy — and the more you learn and explore, the more you’ll learn about yourself and the more you’ll you will be comfortable with yourself and your decisions, too!

Please tell us about Dale Carnegie Training of San Diego.
I do a lot of things, and I love it that way! Primarily, I am a Dale Carnegie Account Executive and Instructor. I work in the county of San Diego, helping individuals and teams to enhance their results through sharpening their soft skills. I do this through one-on-one consultations to find out which of our courses or customized solutions would be the best fit for the desired outcomes. I also instruct our foundation program, the Dale Carnegie Course, and our public speaking and communication course, High Impact Presentations.
When I’m not Dale Carnegieing, I lead fitness classes! For the past 6 years, I’ve been working with a local fitness provider, Fit-X Fitness. I love going around the county to apartment complexes and companies that have internal fitness & wellness programs to encourage people to exercise. Recently, I acquired my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification (from Yoga One, voted best Yoga Studio in San Diego multiple times!), and I’ve been very honored to add yoga to the mix of classes I can offer. And for a few times now, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to share my passion for fitness with others through videos, photography, and in printed/online articles and magazines. One of the organizations I’ve done shoots for is the American Council of Exercise (ACE), which is a great honor, as I hold a couple of their fitness and wellness certifications, and they are a solid and credible source of information in these areas.

And when I’m not leading fitness classes or doing my own workouts, I enjoy being involved in community and personal development organizations, like Junior League of San Diego where we promote voluntarism and leadership for women; and Toastmasters Club 7, where I continuously learn more about communication from watching others deliver speeches, as well as continue to challenge myself by trying different speaking styles in a safe and friendly environment.

I am proud, humbled, and honored to be a part of the top-notch organizations listed above! With only 3 years under Brittany’s leadership, Dale Carnegie of San Diego has positioned itself as a leading franchise in the Dale Carnegie network! And it has now been awarded multiple times year after year!

Fit-X Fitness is also a company with strong women-leadership, that has had a presence in San Diego for 20+ years! Year over year, we had to the number of sites we service and this all started with Deno Bell’s dream of helping San Diegans to move and keep moving!

In working and collaborating with all of these companies and organizations, I am their brand! And it makes me truly happy to represent companies and organizations with which I share the same values of -quality, standing up for what we believe in, and always thinking of the client/customer/participant and what’s best for them.
What sets me apart from others is my level of commitment and integrity. I do all of these things because I am passionate about them, and when I believe and trust someone or something, I give my 100% + every time. I do have a high level of energy! It comes in handy when multiple things are going on, too!

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
In the last couple of years, I’ve been lucky to meet some very smart, business-savvy and driven women. And what I’ve learned from them is: us women, we make those opportunities happen for us! Through preparation, through perseverance, we can achieve any position, career or goal we go after. If you are a woman who is feeling like you need a role model, I encourage you to look for organizations where you can learn from women who are already doing what you aspire to do. Being in the regular company of people we aspire to be like can be very motivating and inspiring! And, it can open doors for us, too!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Toastmasters Club 7, La Vida es Color Fitness

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