Tonika Bruce lives in Tampa, Florida, and runs an innovative digital marketing agency with a global workforce.
Tonika Bruce is a nurse, business owner, and entrepreneur who overcame a workplace injury to build a thriving digital marketing agency.
She now shares how she went from being injured and unemployed to starting her company and leading start-up ventures in an inspiring story of resilience.
Fresh out of college at age 21, Tonika Bruce was an ambitious, talented and competitive visionary. It was this drive that has always fueled her success from the start. She had a successful basketball career and was ready to take on the business world.
Then one timely day, seeing an Ad for a $20/hour job marked the beginning of a successful journey for her in business. She applied for the position and got an invitation for an interview. That was the first time she came across the network marketing business model.
‘That day, I felt I’d seen what success looks like – wrapped in an expensive suit, with conviction in his voice, Alan could make people feel what he felt.’
The way Alan, the presenter at the interview, commanded the room and easily connected with the 50 people present became the inspiration she needed.
With conviction, she left the interview and purchased the required kit using her rent money to start her first sales job.
Even with zero sales background, she was committed to be the best. She modeled Alan and did a ton of research. Soon enough, she received an invitation to work with the company owner in Ft. Lauderdale.
In a few months of working in Ft. Lauderdale, Bruce had grown and was ready to move out and open her location in Dallas. She did, and expanded to eight more in just six months. At 23, she was generating a six figure income monthly.
The success here went down the drain after the economy took a hit during the 9/11 incident. Broke and broken, she had to start from scratch. She applied for jobs and worked in various industries to make a living, with coaching seemingly being the passion, but not necessarily what paid the bills.
After the passing of her grandmother, her path took a totally different direction into nursing. By this time, she had been in sales, coaching, public speaking and hospitality management.
During her time in nursing she thought she couldn’t rise up again. Shortly into the profession she encountered a severe injury that left her with a neuro deficit in the leg and foot. She couldn’t walk, bend, or sit down-that meant she couldn’t work.
Unable to work meant-reliance on workers’ compensation to make ends meet. For the next two years, Bruce struggled with the physical and emotional aftermath of her injury.
Her income dropped from six figures to less than the average household income. Although she faced loss before, the difference this time, she did not have the capacity to go out and take action.
Sometimes we just need to be shown what success looks like.
‘I had a patient who’d had surgery in both eyes and couldn’t see my face. She asked for my name. When I told her, she smiled, called me Dr. Bruce, then said I wouldn’t be a nurse for long. I was going to lead people and head a successful business that would grow internationally.’ – Tonika Bruce.
Between the injury, enduring workers compensation processes, and more than enough time in her hands, this became a blessing in disguise.
She was approached with another opportunity involving network marketing and went for it. From this, she began fine tuning and expanding her digital marketing agency, Lead Nicely, Inc, which has grown since to integrate people from across the globe.
The agency offers a full range of digital marketing services, including web design, logo design, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and pay-per-click advertising.
Not always encountering seamless transitions, Bruce witnessed firsthand the complexity of running on many automation tools as a digital marketer.
Some proved too complex to work with, and others didn’t integrate well. Most of all, some were too expensive for any small business.
With so many tools, products, and opinions out there, Bruce went through a lot of headache and frustrations, so instead of trying to add another organizational or productivity tool, she added a CRM Software that ties these operational services into a single automation solution.
For startup companies like the ones she serves, that cost snowballs rather quickly, hitting the roof in months.
Therefore, solving this became a requirement. That meant getting in the trenches and testing a combination of software that would work. The following few years this became her goal. She tried many tools that failed to meet the demands of her business cost-effectively. That’s until Phalera.
This is not just another CRM in the market; it is an innovative marketing solution designed with entrepreneurs in mind.
Like Tonika, many entrepreneurs would prefer not to have to log on to several tools to accomplish tasks daily. Phalera offers this reprieve-and she has already started rolling out the system with her clients.
Lead Nicely, Inc., is on a mission to help the often overlooked business markets build an online presence- professionals with start-up projects, non profits, small businesses, and companies that help or educate others.
In addition to running the agency, Bruce is also a best-selling author, nurse leader, business coach, mentor and serial entrepreneur. Her other ventures span coaching, fitness, and healthcare industries.
Bruce believes everyone has a specific purpose or mission to live up to; hers is to help people solve their problems, and this is the goal of Lead Nicely Inc.