Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our EDTP Graduate- Meet Clara Lyons- DeVaughn

Posted on 7/26/2018 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Clara Lyons- DeVaughn is the broker/owner and operator of Lyonsview Realty LLC. She is a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with her to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

My father was an entrepreneur. He had a record company named Clara records and then a fish company, Lyons Fish & Poultry - You buy we fry...the first of its kind...so I guess it is in my blood. He set an example that having a business was the norm. He taught me business was just an expression of service to others. My first expression was at 13 when I picked up church members who needed a ride to church on Sunday...no charge, but I accepted donations for gas and I never turned down a free meal. My first paid company was a catering company, Candlelite Cuisine, which provided meal services for intimate/small settings, ranging from couples to company board meetings. I dabbled in other business opportunities, but I came up with the name Lyonsview in my twenties as an umbrella concept of having a life view of a lion, courageous, confident and keeper of the community. Lyonsview Realty is one arm of that company vision.

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

My father instilled in me the importance of ownership, specifically owning land. He owned the apartments, the buildings for his businesses and our homes. On top of that, I love the architecture of homes, and I love the layout of business and residential properties in the community. Ultimately, I want to do development projects that create collaborative business space and affordable housing units.

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

I heard about EDTP from a friend as a program that had the educational resources to assist with business start up and expansion. I felt it would be a good match for me. The first take away was, one must have an "All In" commitment. Committing to be on time in attendance and the assignments for the duration of the program taught me to make myself and my business a priority. The other aspect of timeliness is to be timely when dealing with clients and others in business. This was an area of challenge for me. I found myself on the other side of a locked door with one of my classmates one evening. While the conversation that occurred was divinely ordered and priceless, it was also a wake up call that I had invested too much to be out from the program and the completion of my goals.

The “Ah-ha” now is that as an entrepreneur, you can't do it alone, you need others to be successful. You need the encouragement of other entrepreneurs. You need to hear their experiences. You need others to assist in doing things in order to free you up to do what is most important. You need to map out your plan and stick to it, with the exception being unexpected things pop up that will help you with your vision.

EDTP provided relationship building with other entrepreneurs. I am still in contact with many of my classmates. It provided the tools and structure that I needed to map out my business plan. It provided instructors, mentors and resources to get answers to get my business plan in place and my business off the ground and for others to get their business to the next level.

(4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

My goal was to get my agent license, work the two-three years needed so I could sit for my broker license and open Lyonsview Reatly. I didn't plan that my husband would unexpectedly die. I didn't plan while looking for office space for Lyonsview, I would meet someone that would take me off brand, but provide my first broker of record opportunity with a franchise office of NEXTRE for the state of New Jersey, with staff, infrastructure, and agents already in place. It was a great learning ground without the load of the entire cost. I almost got comfortable, but my vision, my brand, was coming to term and ready to be birthed. And despite extending my time past when I planned to leave, because of corporate efforts to get me to stay, I found new space and launched Lyonsview Realty in May 2016.

Managing growth has been the biggest challenge. As my client base has grown, I realize I can not do it all or service every client. Putting the systems in place for the foundation of the business and developing a team to service clients and run the business is paramount.

(5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

The Lyonsview Realty team is growing, the infrastructure of the business is still in development and changing as I grow. I will be opening a 2nd office location in Williamstown, NJ in November 2018. I also have plans of opening a real estate school in 2019.

(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

My advice for entrepreneurs is 1) Keep focused on becoming an entrepreneur not a solopreneur. Eventually, if not from the start, the business should be able to run in your absence. 2) Use all the resources at your disposal to get the help you need to get your business to where you want it to be; and 3) most importantly don't give up on your dream. It will get hard at times, there will be stops and detours, but don't give up.

Congratulations to Clara Lyons- DeVaughn for completing EDTP and recommitting to her journey on the path of entrepreneurship. Lyonsview Realty provides residential, commercial for small businesses and non profits and property management real estate services. For more information contact Clara at the office 856-209-0905, via email at info@lyonsviewrealty.com, or on her website Clara.lyonsviewrealty.com or her Facebook at Lyonsview Realty, her twitter @lyonsview - EBlogger - Lyonsview - Elevating life to new levels. 

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Winter Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com