We may be practicing social distancing, but we are getting closer to our region’s morning newscasters. Typically swayed by the glamour of television, we can easily forget the rigorous schedules and the unsolicited—often critical—viewer feedback that come with this lifestyle. It is the career path that Bryce Fulton followed for 14 years before trading her 2 a.m. wakeup calls in for more time with her then two small children. In 2008, she completely switched fields, joining PROforma Communications Group, the company launched by her father and brother, Brian Dinley, six years prior. As the executive vice president of sales and marketing, Fulton and her family members enjoyed multimillion-dollar success for a while, though the transition didn’t come without challenges.
“It was a difficult pivot as I navigated my way, learned the industry ropes, found my new identity as a business woman and figured out where I could be an asset in the business, but I ultimately made those shifts,” Fulton shared. “Now I have the flexibility to still be a news junkie, but to also be the caliber of wife, mother and business partner my family and my team deserves.”
When Fulton’s father passed away in 2016, she and Brian merged with another Proforma owner, Adam McCarthy, to form PROforma Turnkey Marketing of which they are all principals. Fulton’s nominator said that she “approaches business with a sense of solution selling, creativity and innovation that creates lasting relationships and true value to her client,” which puts her at an advantage to develop and execute the company’s marketing initiatives, manage social media platforms and contribute to overall sales achievements. As her nominator also pointed out, perhaps, most importantly, Fulton is a “vivacious personality, a leader in her own right and a mentor and friend to all.”
What Brings Her Joy Professionally and Personally
At work, my team brings me joy–watching us strategize, work together toward common goals and then succeeding in the process provides a great sense of accomplishment and joy. The only thing better than our success is the fact that we manage to have a great time and share lots of laughs in the process, so it seldom feels like work. That’s when you’ve got something really special!
In my personal life, my husband, two kids and four animals are my everything! They keep me level-headed, laughing out loud and make sure I’m well-loved. Being on a perpetual personal growth journey brings me tremendous joy–living outside of my comfort zone, continuously learning something new, always reaching for more. It keeps life fun and interesting, and it keeps me growing in remarkable ways.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
Few distributorships achieve sales in the multimillions, so when Proforma recognized us at the $5 million milestone, it really stood out as a proud moment because it meant we were being acknowledged for having achieved something few others do. It meant our hard work, the persistence to stay the course and the chances we took amounted to something meaningful that was being celebrated by our peers who know all too well the challenges and hurdles we faced to do it. Alongside that, I am proud to have received the Proforma Innovator of the Year award in 2010, Proforma’s Women’s Leadership Award in 2013 and Counselor Magazine’s Hot 25 in 2014.
On Working in a Traditionally Male-Dominated Industry
One afternoon, my business partner, Brian, and I met with a gentleman who was interested in talking about our marketing solutions. Brian and I had both dressed up, both prepared equally well for the meeting and were both engaging this man in a professional manner. However, the man refused to make eye contact with me, specifically, and when I spoke to him, he was aloof, completely uninterested and borderline irritated. As the meeting progressed, it finally dawned on me that it wasn’t what I was saying or how I was saying it that made him so irritated, it was merely because I was female while saying it. When the meeting concluded, the man said he would be in touch and he shook Brian’s hand, but not mine.
As we exited the parking lot, Brian turned to me and said, “Well, I gather he doesn’t want to do business with a female, so we don’t want to do business with him.” I appreciated Brian’s support, but the fact is it wasn’t the first time this happened, and it wouldn’t be the last. We would need to find a new strategy, and we have.
Truth is, there will be men–and women–in business who have a preference whether they realize it or not. The good news is it’s pretty easy to identify in people, and we’ve gotten quite good as a team at distinguishing those preferences early and then pairing them with the best salesperson on our team.
Her Job Advice to Women
Go for it! There is enough room in this industry for more women, and I welcome you to the party! In fact, I would guarantee you there are women who have done extremely well in this industry who would be more than willing to mentor you, to help direct you in your transition, to provide their roadmap as a guide and to cheer you on. Figure out where you’re headed, what it will take to get there, and implement an action plan to make it happen.
Her Favorite Leader
At the moment, Rachel Hollis, a mom of four, a very successful entrepreneur, a two-time New York Times best-selling author and a highly sought-after motivational speaker. Through empowering women to dream big and achieve their goals, she built a profitable business and cultivated a like-minded community of goal-getters and a fiercely loyal following. In a world where women can sometimes tear each other down, Hollis builds them up, shares all of her secrets and offers a helping hand. She’s a great example of how women can overcome adversity, achieve their goals and lift each other up in the process.
Her Upcoming Goals
Professionally, we are aiming to increase our sales this year by 10 percent, to grow our team with the addition of customer service representatives, and to establish more of a footprint in the community through our business memberships and not-for-profit organizations. Personally, I’d like to learn how to play the piano, to learn how to speak Spanish and to get in the best physical shape possible.
How She Maintains a Work/Life Balance
I don’t believe such a thing exists, honestly. I think it’s just about doing the best I can on any given day to show up well for my team at work, for my husband, my kids and myself. Some days that means someone or something gets more or less attention than on another day. That’s just life! I’m more about giving myself some grace, especially with the emergence of COVID-19. I’m trying to play business owner, teammate, wife, mom, referee, homeschool teacher, sister, friend, neighbor, etc. Right now, I can barely spell balance let alone achieve it, and that’s OK.