We had the good fortune of connecting with Gretchen Darby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gretchen, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Owning and running your own business takes a unique set of skills. It requires working well independently, and being self-motivated and detail-oriented. In my case, GDC represents my name and reputation, so I have to make sure that I’m always executing quality work, meeting deadlines, and keeping my clients and their priorities at the forefront. It takes confidence, creativity, and solid relationships to make a business successful. Knowledge of your area of expertise is of course important, but leveraging the relationships you’ve built over the course of your career is equally as important. My mantra is “work hard, play hard”, and sometimes that means working late hours or on weekends. I like the flexibility that consulting offers, and it gives me the ability to make my own schedule and be my own boss.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My situation is a bit unique. I office either remotely or out of my home office, and typically work with a limited number of clients or projects at a time. I have 3 young children (2 in elementary school and 1 in middle school), so I manage a very busy household, all of the administrative duties for our home, my GDC workload, and our social and travel schedules. I’ve also recently started substitute teaching for Prosper ISD when I can fit it into my schedule, and I try to give back to the community by participating in career day and symposiums focused on helping students plan for college and careers. GDC is a boutique and woman-owned business, and I truly care about all of my clients on a personal level. They often become very good friends in the process. When I am working for a client, it’s ALL about them, and their success is my success. My business is solely word-of-mouth, and I prefer to underpromise and overdeliver. Sometimes that means passing new business leads on to other colleagues in the best interest of time and scope. My brand is everything I stand for— and for people who know me personally — that means I give 100% and do the best I can to make sure your goals are met and you receive a return on your investment.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I could go on and on about this question! My friends often call me Google and people are always reaching out to me with questions on what to do and where to go. I like to keep my finger on the pulse of current happenings and hotspots, so I would first show them around my town (Prosper) and all of the places we frequent – like Gentle Creek Country Club, The Gin, The Silos, and Gates of Prosper – and we’ll drive by celebrity homes in the area that are always popular in conversation. Then we’d make a trip down to Dallas for drinks & dinner at some of my all-time favorites. I keep a running “Top 5” for restaurants, and my current ones are Al Biernat’s, Nick & Sam’s, Shinsei, Town Hearth, and Dee Lincoln Prime. I also really like the The Charles, Monarch, Drake’s, and Tango Room. I am on the Social Committee for the private club Cowboys Club at The Star, so we would definitely visit there for dinner or attend one of their amazing social or live music events. Lunch one day would have to include Tex-Mex since many of out-of-state friends don’t get to experience that type of cuisine often. I enjoy lounges and speakeasies, and places with fun people-watching, unique atmospheres, and bold design. Dallas has some great luxury boutique hotels to visit as well. I was a part of the opening team at Hotel ZaZa in the early 2000s, which gave me a chance to dabble in concept and design projects. I absolutely love art, great decor, and photography, so those aspects always play into places I choose to visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I believe it takes a village to succeed at pretty much anything in life, I am truly blessed to have a great family, wonderful and supportive friends from all phases in my life and 3 amazing kids. My husband and I have been together 18 years and married for 15, so he’s gotten pretty used to the way I operate and run my business life and manage our household. I also credit my Mom, Stacy, with so many of the good habits I have adopted over the course of my life – like a strong work ethic and responsible financial habits. I believe that if you work hard, are honest and dependable, try to help others whenever you can, and always remain true to who you are, you will be respected and successful. I am the type of woman and friend that LOVES to connect people and I get a great deal of joy out of seeing other women and friends succeed in their own businesses and ventures. Being a connector, supporter, and cheerleader for others is really important to me. And as a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader in the early 2000’s, I learned the character traits and perseverance required to be on an elite team and what it takes to reach the pinnacle of success in whatever you choose to do.
Photo Credit: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (for DCC photo) Photo Credit: Gretchen Darby Consulting