Get a peek into the lives of our members with The Faces of ADP™. Meet Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Local Directories.
One-on-One with the CEO of Advice Local and owner of Judy’s Book.
Bernadette, you have inspired directory publishers over the last several years to embrace online in a new way. We’d like to know more about you and what drives this passion for digital.
If you weren’t the Queen of SEO, what other career would you have chosen?
Well, I was a stockbroker for 16 years and always loved trading, and with the craziness in the market right now, I think I’d like to try my hand at day trading.
What’s your favorite charity and why?
My favorite charity is TryMunity. It was founded in 2012 by myself and my son after he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It’s a safe online community of people trying to overcome life’s unexpected turns. We have thousands of people on the site that have been touched by someone – or who is someone – with a brain injury, sharing experiences, solutions, and just communicating with others like them.
Congratulations on being reelected to the ADP Board. Where do you see the Association three years from now?
ADP is a unique group of people that are passionate about this space. And now that ADP has opened up membership to online directories as well as print, I only see this as a group that has extreme potential to make a difference. I see us as leaders that will accomplish every goal we set for ourselves. If you are in this space and not a member of ADP, you need to be!
You have been tremendously involved in the development of the Trusted Local Directory. How do you think this initiative will affect the directory publishing industry?
I think this will set us apart from other initiatives. This is all about trust, and people need to be able to trust the data. By creating Trusted Local Directory™ for people with trusted local businesses, we are giving them what they desperately need. Here is a group of people with directories that is coming together to create something for the “greater good.” This will make members of the publishing industry stand out as leaders.
What do you think the short-term goals for the Association should be?
Members, we need to drive new members. There are thousands of directory owners out there that have not even heard about our association yet. We need to reach them and let them know we are here, and that together, we equal power.
What do you think are the benefits of being an ADP member?
Besides the fact that the association has launched many new benefits like the Trusted Local Publisher™, Trusted Local Partner™ and Trusted Local Business™ initiatives, it also provides access to clean data and powerful conferences. Plus, just being able to collaborate and network with others in the space is an exciting benefit that leads to much more.
What is your favorite business book you have read and why?
My favorite book is Getting To Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. The negotiation skills they teach us remind me that we are negotiating constantly – in business and in life. We learn that there are choices, and sometimes you just have to walk away. It clearly explains the art of negotiation and offers a roadmap to solutions that I can adapt to my professional and personal life.
We love your passion for helping the association and the directory publishing industry grow. Let’s dig deeper into how your past has shaped how you handle being a CEO today.
Who influenced you the most from one of your first jobs?
Actually, in my first full-time job, my boss introduced me to positive thinking by sharing books like Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking and Zig Ziglar’s See You at the Top. I’ve tried to be positive ever since, and am successful at it … most of the time.
What strategies do you use to motivate your team?
I try to foster collaboration within each department, and I relish working right there beside them. I try not to micro-manage and to avoid useless meetings. I want my teams to feel empowered, because with that they will go the extra mile. I make sure we have some fun too.
How do you define success?
I define success in two different ways. At work, it is exceeding the goals I set for myself and my employees. Seeing my vision evolve and proving out our solutions gives me great satisfaction. At home, it’s knowing that I have given all of myself to my family. Seeing them being successful is my reward.
What is your favorite movie and why?
I can honestly say that I’m an avid movie fanatic. Over the last couple of years, I’ve tried to broaden my horizons, exploring foreign cinema, indie movies, and all kinds of genres. But my favorite movie is The Wolf of Wall Street. I can appreciate the crazy and unbelievable rise and fall (and back to rise again) in this man’s story. Plus, the way it was directed, shot and filmed is incredible. I always love Leo’s and Scorsese’s incredible work, but this one hit home.
What’s your favorite thing to do on your downtime? Listen to audiobooks. I listen to about 4 books per week.
Now that we have covered the nitty-gritty on what drives your day-to-day and how you wind down, let’s have some fun!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? An artist – go figure! Today I just collect it.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? Started my own business.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful? My incredible blended family.
What have you always wanted to do but never had the courage to try? Skydiving.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Cookies and Cream ice cream.
If you had to describe yourself in five words, what would they be? Caring, impulsive, loving, giving, and a bit crazy!
What’s the first thing you would do if you won the lottery? The first thing I would do is sit down and calm myself! Then I would wisely invest every dollar to take care of my family now and in the future.
What’s on your bucket list? My bucket list is comprised solely of one goal, to travel the world. It’s the single best activity that can expose me to new cultures, help broaden my mind, move me out of my comfort zone, and allow me to meet new people.
What is your most useless skill? I can wiggle my ears.
What is your most valuable skill? I can see the whole picture.
Thank you, Bernadette, for sharing a peek into your life with ADP’s readers.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming Faces of ADP.