Creative / Entrepreneur
WHO AM I?
My name is Ron Donovan and I am a creative, a change agent, and an entrepreneur.
I am the product of the innumerable and diverse experiences, successes, and challenges I have had in my life.
I have truly done a bit of a lot of things, and I take great pleasure in using all that I have learned to help others manifest their best lives.
The common thread through all that I do is the intention I put towards adding value for all I encounter and the world as a whole.
Several of the primary means through which I do this are my entrepreneurial endeavors,
The Soul Strategist, my performance coaching practice,
Ron Donovan, my New York based luxury lifestyle brand, and
The Shoemaker's Studio, a platform through which I share my skills as a craftsman, and as a fashion industry entrepreneur.
Continue below to discover more about my personal journey...
- I was born and raised in South Carolina, and pride myself on being a "Southern Gentleman".
- My eclectic life developed throughout my school years, I was deeply involved in the performing arts, social organizations, my community and athletics.
- Upon graduating from high school, I attended The Georgia Institute of Technology.
- I was accepted academically, then “walked on” to the university's NCAA Division I basketball team. My teammates included quite a number of eventual NBA players, including John Salley, Mark Price, Yvonne Joseph, and Duane Ferrell.
- As a member of the "Georgia Tech" team, I had the opportunity to compete against many other recognizable talents, including Michael Jordan, Len Bias, Johnny Dawkins, Kenny Smith and Spud Webb.
- While at university, I also pledged my beloved Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
- After graduating from "Tech", I began a career in technical design and sales.
- Despite tremendous early success, I yielded to a burning desire for entrepreneurship and left my corporate position in search of what I would come to call my “right livelihood”.
- My first business ventures produced nominal, if any, successes. But I was not deterred. And before long, my natural inclinations lead me to fashion industry. Here I found my stride.
- A perfect example of “necessity being the mother of invention”, I began focusing on shoe-making because of my inability to find stylish high-quality footwear for my size 15 ½ feet.
- This lead to the founding of my signature luxury lifestyle brand, RONDONOVAN Footwear & Accessories.
- Now with over 25 years of experience, I continue to design and produce footwear, accessories, and apparel for my RONDONOVAN brand, and for a number of other prominent brands.
- Along the way, I have been the director of couture for a prominent 7th Avenue couturier, was named an FGI Rising Star Finalist, and founded several other fashion related businesses.
- One of these is THESHOEMAKER'SSTUDIO, through which, I offer footwear and accessory making classes and experiences. I have also taught shoemaking at various colleges and universities, including FIT and Parsons.
- My life has revolved around a wide range incredible travels and experiences.
- I lived for a number of years in Monte Carlo, Monaco and continue to spend considerable time in The South of France and Italy.
- One of my greatest undertakings was walking The Camino De Santiago De Compostela (an 800 plus kilometer trek which begins in the South of France, crosses the Pyrenees Mountains, traverses across northern Spain, and ends in Santiago, near the country's west coast.
- Along my journeys, I have been blessed to have met some of the most incredible people, each providing their own invaluable lessons.
A Test Of Faith
- Perhaps the greatest challenge of my life was being diagnosed with prostate cancer at a relatively young age.
- Despite my life changing significantly with the surgery and ongoing treatments, I am extremely grateful to be a survivor.
- While not always easy, I continuously strive to embrace the beautiful life that I have versus mourning the life I "thought" I had lost.
- I attribute much of what I have achieved and transcended to a mindset balanced by faith, logic, and creativity. This mindset has been developed over time, and forged from many experiences, including a few major screwups.
Becoming "The Strategist"
- In retrospect, it is evident that I have been an "unofficial" life guide/coach most of my life.
- As long as I can remember, people of all ages, statures, and relations, have come to me for direction, encouragement, and support.
- However, it was the suggestion of a trusted friend/advisor that turned the thought of coaching into a tangible pursuit.
- I immediately I began working, devouring any and all information I could find. I read books, researched articles and individuals, and listened to countless hours of messaging. I studied some the most successful coaches and evaluated their beliefs and approaches. I then compared what I discovered with whom I know myself to be, the experiences I have had, my successes, strengths and gifts, my challenges, and my failings.
- The more I looked, the more I realized that there was not only space for me, but a void that I am uniquely gifted to fill. So, I clarified my vision, defined my messages, developed my plan, and have formally launched TheSOULstrategist.
Learning Is A Two-Way Street
- Over the years, I've been described as many things, focused, confident, resilient, optimistic, caring, empathetic, etc. People comment about my transparency and my handling of adversity. I have been told I am gregarious, fun-loving, and a gentleman.
- I love that people see these things in me. They are who I strive daily to be. However, to be frank, like most people, there are still times when I don't feel like "this guy", when doubt creeps in and I'm not quite so sure of myself.
- It is only with self-reflection, self-work, paradigm shifting, critical thinking, resounding faith, and outside support that I have developed processes that enable me to course correct pretty quickly, to get back to my most authentic self.
- One of the greatest blessings for me is that as I share with others, I am continually learning and gaining knowledge.
- Who/what I am, and where I stand at an given moment, can be tied directly to my experiences, and all they teach me. As a result, I am ever evolving as a creative, an entrepreneur, a change agent, and global citizen.
I look forward to sharing with you the wisdom I'm continuously gleaning from this blessed life...