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Spotlight: Dawn Nicole McIlwain

Ascent Small Business Promotion, LLC

Charlotte attracts people with “vision, a purpose and a mission.”

As Charlotte, NC is among the best place for women entrepreneurs, Dawn Nicole McIlwain is among the best brand strategists in the business. This relatable, Queen Boss knows a bit about succeeding as a solopreneur. To her credit and his benefit, Dawn thrives today working in tandem with Brand Disco, LLC President and co-Founder, DeMario McIlwain.

Yep Yep, Dawn deconstructed her minority-owned, woman-owned company in favor of building a marriage and partnership. You see, well before marriage though, DeMario confided that he was doing marketing for business, and as a disabled Veteran found a niche in government contracting. Rising to the occasion, Dawn suggested the opportunity to work together. No surprise to her, DeMario extended an amazing grace by selflessly placing his clients in her hands first before he would do their marketing. Their chemistry accelerated Dawn’s determination to automate their branding and marketing services. They struck an agreement soon thereafter. DeMario agreed that if she envisioned their “it”, he would build it.

The pair spent the first three months of 2017, the pair spent building

“Brand Discovery,” popularly known as Brand Disco.

Walking in alignment with their goals, taking a step at a time, proved helpful in marriage and business. Turns out that Dawn and DeMario truly enjoy partnering on stages by speaking and training together. It seemed “light work” for them to blend their life and work, so I asked for advice on behalf of couples looking to partner in business.


“On the business side, I think you have to create a space to allow conversations to happen. Some of the beauty is in finding the answer together.” Communicate in a healthy way to avoid seeming adversarial, interrogating or investigatory. Try saying “let’s do this together and investing in an idea board in your [shared] workspace.”


“Don’t work harder in your business than you’re willing to work in the relationship.”

Turning back to the concept of alignment and doing things in incremental steps, opened our conversation to an unexpected place. Dawn reminded me that purpose in life is in our action not our thinking. And as easily as that, these words rolled plainly from her lips,

“Get Out of Your Head and Onto Your Purpose: When Thinking Stops and Doing Starts.”

Just like that, the interview turned toward speaking life into the pages of Dawn and DeMario’s book getting into corporate and signature events, entrepreneurial summits, leadership conferences, colleges and universities. So, was writing a book any different, better or worse than co-managing a husband-wife business? I needed to know…I needed you to know. According to Dawn, it took them 2 and ½ years to pen

Get Out of Your Head and Onto Your Purpose: When Thinking Stops and Doing Starts

Ascent Small Business Promotion, LLCMotivating The Masses To Move The Needle

…and even more impressive, when they got serious, it took about 30 days.

Today, I’m cheering for DeMario and Dawn Nicole McIlwain, Brand Disco, LLC, and their book that is critically acclaimed to be a bestseller.

Please get on to showing them some love at

Instagram: @ontoyourpurpose

Facebook: @ontoyourpurpose


A note from Tisha Hammond, The Small Business Cheerleader™:
I reside and own Ascent Small Business Promotion, LLC, in Farmington Hills, MI. A great author encouraged me to Think and Grow Rich, by choice. So, by choice, I hunt goals as a Speaker, Author, Small Business and Non-Profit Consultant, Grant Writer, Young Entrepreneur Mentor and Board Member for organizations that tug at my heartsrings. Ascent Preparatory Academy for Entrepreneurs is where I share online, self-paced training to launch, build and grow your business. Fun fact – I’m an Alumni Recruiter for Coppin State University (HBCU #CoppinProud). A wonderful husband, Ken; 5 children (4 are grown – we’re in the homestretch); grand babies; and a big dog complete me. I drank the Networking Kool-aid and liked it. Find more of my writings in Career Mastered Magazine.

Ascent Small Business Promotion, LLC

Virtually everywhere at





Ascent Preparatory Academy for Entrepreneurs


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