Neal Parker | Superstar DJ to Entrepreneur

Posted on March 25th, 2019

Neal Parker’s dad didn’t buy him a car at age 16… and that set him on a lifelong journey of entrepreneurship. Along the way, he’s learned many lessons in business and life that he shares today that can impact your financial success… while making sure you don’t lose yourself in the process.

He admits that there is a luck factor in success. But in order to take advantage of that lucky opportunity, says Neal, you need to have skills and knowledge to take advantage of it fully.

He shares what you can do to prepare for your “lucky break,” as well as…

  • Why you can never catch happiness when you chase it
  • What should be your true driving force (it’s not money)
  • How your network can help you succeed but also keep you balanced
  • The real meaning of sacrifice
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: This is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line. And I’m excited today to share with you Neal Parker, who has been an entrepreneur from a very young age, and has done some wonderful exciting things in the business world. And so I want to share with you how he has been successful and what his secrets are for really meeting and exceeding expectations. Hi Neal.

Neal Parker: Hi Maddie. Thank you for the wonderful introduction. It’s really a pleasure to be on the podcast with you today.

Maddie Brown: Awesome. Tell us how you got started in business.

Neal Parker: Well, it’s a pretty simple way to answer that question. When I was 12 at my high school, classmates were all talking about the cars that their parents were going to purchase for them. So one evening when I had gotten home from school, I actually asked my dad what kind of car he would be buying me when I turned 16. And his answer to me was, “Whatever you can afford.” So that was my first inspiration to get out there and start earning money. And it led me to my first job, which was a caddy. At the age of 13, I began carrying golf bags. I think I was about the size of a golf bag, and often didn’t make it past about the seventh or eighth hole. Usually I would be with a pair, and somebody would feel, I don’t know, sorry, or they would just ultimately end up letting me ride on the cart.

But my real start in business was also a little bit later that year, also at the age of 13, when I started my first business, which was a DJ company. And to my surprise, after researching this, the website I created 21 years ago is still online for that DJ company. And starting that company led to a truly amazing experience. And the experience, which I’ll just briefly get into, played a huge role in really my belief that anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and don’t give up. Persistence really is the key factor to success.

To give you a really short version of this, the company I started was a DJ company. And I quickly decided that I would love to be a nightclub DJ in New York City. I lived at the time in Westchester, which was about 30 to 40 minutes out of the city. After spending a couple of years practicing in my bedroom, once I felt I was skilled enough to be playing up there with my idols at these clubs in the city, I created a demo tape and spent I think around a year and a half sending this demo. I believe it was actually a real tape. I’m 34 so about 20 some years ago I don’t think I was on the blank CDs yet. And after a year or year and a half, with no responses, I went back to the drawing board and thought to myself, “This is what I want to do. This is my dream. How am I going to accomplish this? Because I know I’m good enough.” But for whatever reason, no matter how many CDs or tapes I was sending out, it just wasn’t working.

And at that time in New York City, the way you knew a DJ was famous, or famous in that circle, was their DJ name would be printed on these really big flyers. They’re often referred to as rave flyers or club flyers. So, I came up with the idea of coming up with putting my name at the time, DJ Quest, on a flyer that I would create right next to two well-known DJs. And figured if the average club goer saw that my name was next to two known entities, they would instantly assume that I was on the same level. Just again, I could probably tell this story for quite a long time, but to keep it short, what I ended up doing was saving all of the money that I had. I rented out a VFW hall. And for those of you listening, if you don’t know what that is, it’s basically just a big empty space that volunteer firemen use to hang out, and I guess prepare themselves for fires. And they’re also associated with some small events.

So I rented out this space. I hired two well-known DJs from New York City. I then put my name, DJ Quest, right in the middle of their names. Those names, for anybody who’s listening, if you were then, about 18 or 19, 20 years ago, the DJ names were Circuit Breaker and Johnny Fame. I don’t think they’re still around to this day. But I hired them. And I also hired a sound and lighting company to make this volunteer fire hall into a nightclub. And I chose a company very specifically. The company I chose to do the sound and lighting also did club events. My hope was that when they would come to set up all of their equipment and the sound and the lighting, that maybe somebody from the management would come along, and they would see me or hear me DJ, and realize or see the talent that I believed that I had. And that would hopefully segue to my career as a DJ.

Now three months leading up to the event, I spent every Friday and Saturday going to the city and standing outside of clubs, nightclubs, as they were closing at 4:00 in the morning, handing out my flyer. I called the event Pump It Up. I still have photos of this flyer. Maybe we can get it included in the article that will end up being posted. And it all worked out. The company that I hired to do the sound and lighting, the owner had showed up mainly out of curiosity because the event was taking place in Westchester, about 40 miles out of the city, which is a pretty uncommon place to have an event of that type. And while the owner did not listen to me DJ, and that was my main focus. I had told him exactly when I would be playing and really hoped he’d be listening.

I went up to him at the end of the night and asked him. And he said, “You know, I didn’t hear the set. But how did you do?” And I thought he was asking me how I did as a DJ. But he was really asking me if I had made money with the event. Once that was cleared up, and I had to let him know that I had actually made a profit, he literally said to call him the next day. And from that point on, I started a career as DJ Quest, and got to DJ for crowds of thousands. At one time, even got to DJ right after my idol, my childhood idol, who at that point he might as well have been Jay-Z for me. It was a truly amazing experience. I ended my career as DJ Quest in my very early 20s after a year as the resident DJ at the Ultra Lounge on Saturday nights.

One thing my parents instilled in me from a very young age was that you could do anything you wanted to do. And for me, being a nightclub DJ or a rave DJ alongside these other DJs that I’d idolized seemed so far-fetched. It really was almost unattainable, or felt out of reach, just like I would relate it to somebody aspiring to be a musician and hoping that one day they’d get to play at Madison Square Garden. It really had that much weight. And it felt like that big of a task. And achieving that just solidified that even though I had spent a year and a half with no success, sending out all of these tapes and CDs, that with persistence and innovation, anything really was possible. And that has played a really big factor in a lot of the accomplishments that I’ve achieved since.

Maddie Brown: I think that is awesome. It’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of it from this perspective, but when I was a very small child, my father sent me on a mission of making money. And my mission was to soap saddles for the other horse owners in the barn. And so I went around soaping saddles for a living starting about at 7:00 or 8:00, seven or eight age.

Neal Parker: In the morning?

Maddie Brown: No. At the age of seven and eight, I was soaping saddles for my mother-

Neal Parker: Well, Maddie, I just have to interject for one second because this is kind of a coincidence. My mother taught dressage, which is a form of riding.

Maddie Brown: Yeah.

Neal Parker: A big part of my childhood was actually spent at barns. I wasn’t making any money taking care of the saddles. I was mainly running around and just trying to not get stepped on by a horse. But that’s quite a coincidence.

Maddie Brown: My father was a jockey on the thoroughbred racetrack.

Neal Parker: Oh, wow.

Maddie Brown: And he thought that if I wanted to have a horse at the barn, that I should be responsible for that horse. And that required money. And so I learned very early that you need to have persistence. I agree with you. And you need to take action. And I agree with you. And that leads to success, and it instills an attitude about how things get done in the world.

Neal Parker: It really does. And one thing that I’m just realizing I didn’t mention is I did end up buying a car at 16. It was a 1997 Ford Probe. And it was by far not the coolest car in the world. Growing up in Westchester, it was a fairly well off county, so the majority of my classmates were driving around in brand new cars purchased for them by their parents, which at that time up until I had bought my Ford Probe, which is about the best name for a car you could think of, I really was jealous that they were getting these cars just given to them. And they were at the lunch table talking about whether they’re going to get leather on their seats, or what type of options. And all the while I’m thinking, “I need to get home from school so I can walk to the deli to make some money, so when I’m 16 I can buy a car.”

And I think at that point, I might’ve even been frustrated with both my father for feeling like he was doing me a disservice by not buying me a car like all of the other parents were doing, and that I had to go leave school and go work. And this, again, is at a very young age. I think at 14 I had to apply to work legally using working papers. But the gratification that I felt when I bought my first car with my own money, and I knew it was mine, it was hard to describe. And then in the parking lot at school, I would watch my peers or classmates, I was by the way, not particularly popular back then, which was also a motivating factor I think for a lot of the things that I’ve done. But they would treat their cars as if they really didn’t care for them, or care if they got dented, or if they were dirty. And meanwhile, I was treating my Ford Probe like it was a Ferrari.

And I just kind of really at that point, it clicked. The feeling of working for something and reaching that goal and earning, and the satisfaction derived, that was a gift my father had given me. I don’t think it was intentional. I think he just didn’t want to buy me a car. But it really was a gift because it just ingrained in me from a very young age that you need to work for what you want. And in my 20s, I began making what I considered to be a lot of money. And I think I leased five or six Mercedes in the span of 10 years. And now at 34, looking back on that, I feel fortunate that I got that part out of my system because at 13, or 16, it was very easy to equate success with, whether it was a dollar amount, or a type of car, or a watch. And those are all nice things. I like to say money is life’s lubricant. It kind of makes things a bit easier. But for me, after a certain point, money was no longer my driving force.

Maddie Brown: How do you define success?

Neal Parker: That’s a tough question, Maddie. I think that my definition of success has certainly changed through the years. Right now I would just define success as living a life that you feel good about, and knowing when you are actually happy. And what I mean by that is, I used to also kind of chase happiness. And I think the more you chase that, the more elusive it is. And it took me a while, but I finally realized that some of my happier moments were when I was not flying to South Africa, or doing some really cool thing that back then I probably would’ve posted on Instagram. But it was just the moments where I was really enjoying exactly what I was doing and not thinking about what I needed to do next, or what I would like to make this experience better. I was just content.

I think that plays … I know I strayed a bit from your question. I think that happiness and success do go hand in hand. And that there’s probably not one definition of success. I think it’s something that everybody needs to kind of figure out for themselves.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. What kind of mindset and skillset do you think is foundational to being an entrepreneur and being successful in business?

Neal Parker: Well, that’s a great question. And I don’t know that I have an immediate answer. But I do believe that an entrepreneur is probably ingrained in you. I’m a very self-motivated person. And I’ve started now at the old age of 34 to reflect on exactly what motivates me. And I do think that I have drilled it down a bit. I know that I get a great deal of satisfaction from playing a role at a company and seeing the work that I put in make an impact on that business in a positive way. And I really am passionate about learning. And I think most people, and I’m going to use a phrase that mostly associated with eating, but I’m going to use it for business here. I live to work in a lot of senses, as opposed to work to live, if that makes sense.

Business is a passion of mine. And I’ve been fortunate to work in a number of different industries. And regardless of the industry, from my experience now at 34, what I can say is that the core fundamentals of what makes a successful business are probably going to be pretty consistent regardless of the industry. And some of those fundamentals really just circle back to principles and thinking long-term, not short-term, in the sense that I’ve seen many businesses where there’s a lot of money coming in. And the owners or the founders like to take that money that’s coming in and put it in their pockets. And that’s fine, but I think if you want your business to really grow and reach its fullest potential, you need to think about things in a bit more of a long-term sense.

And sacrifice plays a big role in everything that we’ve discussed so far in this conversation, just going back to you mentioning the time that you were spending taking care of the saddles. You were, in a sense, sacrificing time that you could’ve been just hanging out or playing. And for me, I know that I’ve made sacrifices to be able to perform at a high level. You need to continue to absorb information. And my current role is the director of business development at DoYouRemember, which is a publishing company similar to Buzzfeed, but significantly smaller from a revenue standpoint, and also geared towards a different audience.

But the publishing industry, and I’ve only spent about a year and 11 months in it, it’s not in the best shape these days. And if you stay up to date on the industry publications, you’ll often ready of layoffs and companies even declaring bankruptcy. And what has kept DoYouRemember not only alive, but last year we grew 117% over year, over year. And that just really comes back to sacrifice and persistence and hard work and the belief in yourself that you can accomplish what you set your mind to.

Maddie Brown: I think I use another word than sacrifice. What I typically call it is you have the choice. You have the choice, and you can choose to take various actions. And every action you take has a reaction and causes movement in your life.

Neal Parker: Right.

Maddie Brown: And you’re trading your time and your energy for a different result. And when you keep conscious about the choices that you make, you do that in consideration of the results that you want to get. So when you were a young man as a DJ, you made choices. And they were important to you, and guided you and took you where you are. And so it’s not so much sacrifice in a negative sense, but as a choice in how you live and what you do.

Neal Parker: Yes. And I have to say I agree with everything you said. But I would be giving myself too much credit to say that I actually was always making that conscious decision. I think now at 34, I’m able to evaluate my decisions in terms of career goals or opportunities that present themselves, whereas for a good portion of my adult life, I was just moving forward. And I think that the reason that I use the word sacrifice is that in my quest, and it’s funny back in the day that was my DJ name, but in my quest to just perpetually achieve bigger goals, and at one point even money was a big factor. And that was another thing that I was kind of keeping score of, and my desire to make more money each year.

And there were sacrifices, and they were rather unintentional. And I only realize it now when I reflect back on it. But I’m very fortunate to have a few really amazing close friends who I spent a lot of time with in my early 20s, but then when I got uber focused on my career, I really chose work all the time over whatever alternative was presented. And I also don’t know how conscious of a decision that was either. But those friends, to this day I’m still in touch with them. I actually just visited one of them. I’m going to give him a shout out. Fish is what I call him. But his first name is Dave. I just visited him and his new wife in West Palm Beach over the weekend, and had a meeting in Miami on Monday. And now I’m back in freezing cold New York.

But those friends really made a great effort in keeping in contact. And balance is a word you hear a lot in business. And I did not understand what it meant in my 20s. But I’m now understanding in my 30s. And that’s why I’m very appreciative for my friends who stuck in with me and made the effort to reach out because I know this podcast is about business and the bottom line. But if you’re not happy, I don’t think the bottom line matters. There will be times if you’re an entrepreneur when you have to be selfish because to be an entrepreneur means you’re somebody who is a passionate person that is driven, and has an idea, or a goal, or a vision. And you’re going to do what you need to do to achieve that. And in doing that, consciously or not, you’re going to make some selfish decisions.

And those are important to achieve a high level of success. You don’t see any Fortune 500 executives that are hanging out at the beach all day every day, or accept every invite to a wedding, or a party, or a night out. I believe that a lot of them, if any are listening, will probably relate that sometimes there’s even a lonely aspect to being an entrepreneur because sometimes part of the fight is that people don’t necessarily believe in your vision. And that’s where you have to prove your concept. Now we call it a POC because we like to abbreviate things these days. But I know I’m dragging a little off topic here, Maddie. So why don’t you reel me back in?

Maddie Brown: Well, you said something that came to my mind, and is very congruent with what I believe, is actually that happiness is the bottom line.

Neal Parker: Well, I could not agree with you more. But if happiness is your goal, I think that’s a hard goal to achieve if it’s something that you pursue in the way that you would pursue a business venture.

Maddie Brown: Right.

Neal Parker: Or at least the way that I would go about pursuing something. And just to kind of expand on that, I really was chasing happiness for a long time. And I don’t think you go through five Mercedes in your 20s if you’re not chasing something. But what makes me happy now is different. And I think that’s just part of growing up, and I’m probably lucky at 34 that I don’t have those material desires anymore. But I also had a lot of good times too. Some of those wouldn’t be appropriate for this conversation.

Maddie Brown: One of my foundation things that I say to people on a regular basis is money isn’t the most important thing, but it touches everything that is. And in order to be innately happy, you’ve got to have the money to live the life that you desire. And so your business has to support the life that you desire so that you can be happy.

Neal Parker: Well, I definitely think that there is a correlation between not having money and being unhappy. But I’m not so sure that there’s a direct correlation between having money and happiness. But I will say, and I think I may have used this one before, money is life’s lubricant. Having it does make things easier. And to have enough income to the point that you’re not stressed about bills or your bank account, that’s really a blessing. And not a lot of people have that fortunate experience of not having to worry about money. And I knew from a very young age that I was going to have to support myself. Although I grew up in a wealthy area, it was made very clear to me that I was very much on my own. And to that fact, I paid for my own college. And I had moved out by the time I was 18. I know things are different now. And I think I might even sound like an old man saying that, and I’m only 34.

But just kind of watching the shift in the workforce, and how new technologies play a role in business and job creation, it is interesting. But I’m going to now for a second time, Maddie, ask you to reel me back in because I do have a tendency to wander off with my thoughts sometimes.

Maddie Brown: Well, no. It’s interesting to see where these conversation goes. And I think you’ve talked about setting goals. And you’ve talked about being innovative. And you’ve talked about being persistent and making choices that take you where you want to go, and making decisions. And all of those things are really incredibly valuable in business and in life in general. Tell me a little bit more about the company that you’re working with.

Neal Parker: Sure. DoYouRemember, and you can check us out online, We’re a digital publishing company. We have a vast Facebook audience across our pages and groups, I believe we have about 12 million active fans. And they engage with our content about 15 to 20 million times a week. I know last year we did over a billion video views, which is a pretty crazy number to think about. But when I started there, DoYouRemember was a company that had started in 2013. So I’m just approaching my two year work anniversary, so to speak. But Michael, the founder, came up with the name because he had published a book, I believe in the ’90s, called Do You Remember? And it was about nostalgia. And he had raised over $1 million for the company, and had a goal to turn it into some sort of nostalgia, social networking site or app.

But by the time I got there, that hadn’t worked out. And there was also no money left. It was, I think, lucky for me and lucky for the company, because I was looking for my next project or challenge, so to speak. And while I had no experience in publishing industry, I did have the core confidence that my drive and my hunger for knowledge would kind of make up for any lack of experience. And then I also had the benefit of the company couldn’t really have been doing worse, so it could only go up. And I think I must’ve started April of 2017. And in that first, I guess that’s about nine months, the company went from no money to a self-sustaining, profitable business. We had acquired other Facebook pages, so we had grown our audience tremendously. The website went from a million page views in a month to 10 million page views a month. And we did it really quickly. And it made me look really good. But part of that was just because there was a lot of dots that weren’t connected.

2018, ending the year up 117% from that previous year, where we had pretty instantly been able to put the ship back together, that is kind of … So 2018, I’m really proud of. And we have an amazing team. And we’re really a full blown publishing company now. And when I got there, it was a Facebook page and a website, so we’re much more than that. We have a wonderful editorial team of writers, Jane, Lauren, Anna. They’re a few that I’ll just name. Nick, who does video, Paris, our social media guy, Michael, the founder, who had come up with the name for the whole thing, and was able to raise the money that they spent trying to accomplish something. And most startups spend money and don’t accomplish what they initially set out to.

I think that it was really great for me to be in a situation at a company that didn’t have capital because I had to be super resourceful and I had to make very strategic partnerships, and also, sell these partners who were effectively providing us services in hopes that we would make good on my promises, or I would make good on the goals and promises that I had set. And those initial partners played a huge role. And I set some really high goals for the company, and really probably worked 12 to 16 hours a day, six to seven days a week that entire first year. And I’m still working, not as much, but pretty close. Because if you’re ever complacent in business, I think you’re probably on your way out because I firmly believe complacency kills businesses. And while I knew nothing about the publishing business, or editorial staffs, or how to even structure an editorial team, but I did have to hire them.

I think that there was some luck involved in hiring some really great people. And also, one thing I’ll always say about luck, because I do believe that there is a luck factor in a lot of things with life. But in order to take advantage of that moment that lucky opportunity hits you, you need to have the skills and the knowledge to really extract as much as possible from that moment of chance or luck. So really, at the time that I started, I’d been technically working for 19 years of my life. And at the time, I guess, then was 32, or 30. Yeah, 32. All of, whether it was my job at Dunkin Donuts, which was a short job, or carrying a bag for somebody, their golf bag, at 13, or being the managing partner of two medium sized businesses in Westchester that serviced 1000 plus events a year, all of those experiences make me who I am today.

And I think that if I was to rest on those experiences and say, “Okay. Well, I have this experience, so now I’m fine,” DoYouRemember might not have had the same trajectory. It was, I think, from those experiences, understanding that I needed to put in those hours and to, in this instance, make a sacrifice for the business because I saw the potential. And it’s a profitable business now, and could very well … Not that we have plans of selling the business, but in a couple years it could make for a very nice exit.

Maddie Brown: Excellent. That is inspiring. I think you took action, and I think you’re right that you need team, and you need partners. And you need people in your life because you do very few things on your own in reality. One thing that I’ve heard, hire people that are smarter than you are to do things.

Neal Parker: I am a big believer in that. But to really be able to do that, I think you need to know what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are. I think that’s another big proponent of creating a successful business because that would also translate to tasks and responsibilities in the sense that you need to know when to delegate a task, or when to sub something out for the business, as opposed to in house it. In all of those decisions, if you make enough right ones and you learn from the mistakes when you make a wrong or poor decision, you’ll find yourself in a good situation most likely. And if you don’t, my advice would be, is to not give up because unless you’re five foot five and 50, and your dream is to be an NBA player, in that instance I would tell you to probably just play basketball as a hobby.

But really outside of a physical limitation, I really believe anything is possible. And if you, Maddie, were to say to me, Neal, that you wanted to be the CEO of Coca-Cola, I would tell you, Maddie, that if you really believed that, that I would believe that’s a possibility. And with persistence and hard work and innovation, you’ll get there, or you’ll get very close. And you’ll have learned a lot along the way. And you’ll at the very least, have a job offer from Coca-Cola.

Maddie Brown: I agree with you. If people would like to know more about you and what you do and your philosophy, where would they reach you?

Neal Parker: That’s a good idea. Well, thanks for asking that. And also, just wanted to say thank you to everybody who’s listening. And if you’d like to reach me, I think the best place would be LinkedIn. My LinkedIn is, and the number one. So, it’s LinkedIn/nealparker1. Or you could probably just Google Neal Parker, business development. And you’ll see me. I’m a relatively pale guy with a beard and not a lot of hair on the top of my head, but still very attractive.

Maddie Brown: All right.

Neal Parker: I might ask you to cut that part out.

Maddie Brown: Well, thank you, Neal. This has been really interesting. And I think persistence and taking action and being innovative and being willing to put in the time, all those things are valuable.

Neal Parker: I was talking with a friend last night, and I know we have to wrap things up, but we were just kind of venting about various work things. And if you don’t have anything to vent about, you’re probably done. You don’t care about your job enough, or maybe that’s too much of a general statement. But I just mentioned to him, and it was something that he knew very well, that nothing that’s really easy or that comes super quickly is ever going to feel as good, or be as great, as something that you really need to work for. Not to say that if somebody came by with a briefcase with $20 million, I would turn it down. But I will promise you that I wouldn’t be on the beach. I might spend a little more time there, but work, again, I think I’m fortunate that that’s a passion of mine because no matter whether you like it or not, the majority of people do need a job, and they do need to work.

And I feel so fortunate to have, A, had all of the wonderful opportunities and experiences working in different industries. I consulted for Automatic, which is the parent company of WordPress, and got to do some incredible things there. And really, at 34, I feel like I’ve lived a few lives. But I’m extremely excited towards the future. And if there is one thing, and I know I’ve said it before, that I would just want to say to you, the listener, is to really just believe in yourself, and know that failure is a part of success. And if you only had success, I don’t think you’d be able to appreciate it as much as if you had it without a slip up or a failure along the way.

Maddie Brown: I agree with that. Well, let’s wrap up. And I appreciate you being here. Thank you very much. It has been awesome.

Neal Parker: Yes, Maddie. It’s really been a pleasure speaking with you. And thank you so much for having me on Smash the Bottom Line. And just once again, if you did want to reach out to me, I’m sure you can find me on our company’s website, DoYouRemember, that’s, or, N-E-A-L, Parker1. And thank you for listening.

Rocio Perez | Curiosity Is Stronger Than Fear

Posted on March 11th, 2019

Leadership is something that most people think is an innate skill… something you’re born with.

But leadership can be learned. And, says Rocio Perez, founder of Inventiva Consulting, even natural leaders should be examining what makes them effective… and figuring out how to take it to the next level.

We explore her framework of the Three Pillars of Leadership Success and get into detail on…

  • The #1 thing you can do to inspire employees to seize opportunity
  • Why you must be your own best leader
  • The importance of recognizing your achievements
  • The real role of coaches in your success
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: Hi, this is Maddie Brown with Smashing Numbers and we are talking with Rocio Perez and she is going to share with us her formula for success. Things that she has done and what you can do to take the next steps to be more successful and profitable, so that we’d learn from the people that we come into contact with. I appreciate you being with me today. I look forward to what you’re going to share with our group.

Rocio Perez: Maddie, it is quite a pleasure and honor to be here with you. I’m looking forward to our extraordinary conversation and most definitely I’d love to share what are the three pillars of leadership success that I have found in my career. Starting off, we’ve been in such a very pivotal point in our country, in our economy, the Fourth Industrial Revolution. What are the most important things that every individual, including leaders, must know in order for them to move forward in this world and be very successful? That to me, things that make an extraordinary leader, are that soft leadership. It’s a trust, it’s an authenticity, being vulnerable, being personally accountable.

At the end of the day, nobody’s going to come in and save us, right? As things are shifted in the world, the three things that I find that are very, very key are that auto-leadership. “How do I lead myself as an individual into greater levels of success? How do I make myself accountable?” One of the things that are going to be important for me, especially investing in ourselves, in our own leadership development education. All of that is important and making sure that we’re held accountable to ourselves by ourselves, with ourselves and the likes.

The other piece that I find that’s very important in leadership is the intentional leadership. Now, I’ve already made it as a leader. I’m guiding myself, I’ve been very intentional where I’m going, how I’m going and what my path is. One thing is to have insight, the other thing is to have this foresight to have the proper insight in moving forward. It’s almost like having knowledge. Knowledge without understanding doesn’t mean a thing. Would you agree with that?

Maddie: I would agree with that.

Rocio: With that being said, “How am I intentional about myself where I’m going? If I’m leading others, how can I support those individuals to get to where they want to be? Do I know that, as a great leader, what are their insights that I haven’t quite tapped in to? What are their knowledge, skills, abilities? What are their desires at the end of the day?” One of the greatest things that I’ve learned in leadership is when individuals know that the leaders that they’re looking up to care about who they are and where they’re going and will help them along the way to get there, they’re much more willing to work as a team member. They’re much more willing to work those longer hours, do whatever it takes, being that team player in their roles.

Therefore, they start making sure that every time there’s an opportunity to speak up, even things that they may be being uncertain about, they’re always signing in in those opportunities as opposed to holding back. I would say the vast majority of individuals that I’ve worked with in my career, at times will confess that they’ve been holding back. They could kick themselves over and over again, where they hadn’t been quite contributing where they could have been contributing.

Because of psychological safety, and we’ve had companies like Google that has very publicly announced things and they’ve done their own research and figured out that the number one determining factor of high-performance teams are whether an individual or individual team members feel that they’re safe. One of the things, do they feel safe to voice their opinions? Do they feel that they can trust the leaders? Does their voice matter in this?

The last piece that I think is very, very important among many others, is the awareness leadership. If we were to tie those three together. Awareness leadership means, “Do I understand myself?” I don’t know about you, Maddie, I’ve had opportunities where I have led people for almost 17 years and I was like naturally competent, yet I didn’t know why or how. All I knew is that my ability to be able to lead others created magic. I’ve taken individuals who had a limited education in their country, couldn’t even speak English, to get into the institution of higher ed and graduate with a certification and later get credentials with a– Federal education credential.

What a concept, right? They didn’t even speak English to begin with. They graduated speaking 80 plus percent proficiency within a very short period of time. How is that possible, right? Understanding where each and every one of us is. With myself, I had many things. Although I was an extraordinary leader, I had so many different outcomes. After leading thousands and thousands of people, I wasn’t quite aware of my own leadership style. To be frank with you, there was this time that I even looked at my team and I thought it was my team who didn’t really have that self-mastery of those skills that they needed to lead themselves and that they were only relying on me to lead them.

When in reality I really lacked the insight to tap into them, because I hadn’t into me. Although I was leading individuals, I really didn’t know how to present what made them tick. Today, down to the word, I can identify the word that helps an individual, that really clicks with that individual to help them tap into that potential and really bring all the amazing things that are inside of them. That is fascinating.

Rocio: That is awesome. I think one of the things that you mentioned, where are you holding back. What that means to me is you’re probably looking at having some regrets and things you didn’t do.

Maddie: Most definitely, which is very interesting that you picked up on that very well. As humans– And it doesn’t matter. I have worked with and have had clients across from Europe and Asia and Singapore and Korea, all the way to the United States. The main thing– Not really the time, the energy, the money, the resources, the education, the networks that are the problems. It is whether they feel like there’s faith to make that contribution. A lot of them who are holding back, they have a sense of blame. Maybe they have some resentment, maybe they have some anger. Whatever it may be.

Some of those things are not necessarily that, “You can really tell that this person is angry.” Let me put myself as an example. As I was going through my own leadership development after almost 17 years, I discovered that there were some things that I hadn’t dealt with that were actually impacting my business. Although I was the happiest person around and among my friends and colleagues, there were still things that I– The reason why I was viewing the world differently was because there were things that I was holding on to that I wasn’t even aware. Really, emotions and feelings actually have a huge role in our businesses and whether those businesses are being successful or not. It impacts our bottom line.

Rocio: Absolutely. I agree completely. I think that you’ve offered us a thought that is intriguing to me, and that is leading yourself. Talk more about what that means.

Maddie: Leading yourself is, first and foremost, like I said before, it is investing in ourselves. It’s more than just looking in the mirror. We can look in the mirror and say, “Hey. We all look perfect. We took a great shower. We put on beautiful clothing.” Whatever that may be, we all look perfect from the outside. From the inside, again, there may be things that we haven’t quite discovered about ourselves, and even those hidden amazing talents that we haven’t quite tapped into.

Leading myself, yet there’s a possibility that I can continue to ask questions. They say the biggest thing, and the most important thing that anyone could ask is a question, right? You can be curious about life. The only thing stronger than fear is also curiosity. When I’m asking myself, “Is it possible? Is it possible that there could be another level for me?” I say that we never fully, fully arrive. There’s always another level.

For instance, as a junior staff member, what is it that I need to do in order to become who I want to become, right? What skills, knowledge and abilities? What can I look for in myself? For instance, I have clients that come to me and say, “This is where I want to be.” They already know. They know what the end is, their end goal. My job is to make sure that they get there and take that ownership. They take full ownership over their leadership development. My goal is to help them break through every single time so that they can get there.

When it comes to auto-leadership I know that I’m leading myself. I know that I’m intentional. How do I become even more intentional that I know what my path is? No matter what mentor or teacher, whoever may come along to support me in my efforts, is that I’m totally responsible and aware of where I’m going. Then also too, how do I become even more aware? Let’s put another twist into awareness. How do I know that I’m actually not being triggered and therefore that’s why I’m getting the results I’m getting?

If I can understand my triggers, which has nothing to do with the person that’s in front of me who triggered me, has everything to do with myself, and accept 100% responsibility over those triggers, then I can grow as an individual, as opposed to blaming individuals. I can turn around and say, “I wonder why I felt the way that I felt? Is there something for me to look into and overcome, or transcend, and find what we call finding the gift?” What is the gift?

If somebody made me really upset, for me, first of all, I’d say, “Thank you. Thank you for making me upset, because now I know that I’m upset. I discovered that that topic makes me upset.” Now, why is it? It’s my opportunity to go ahead and discover exactly and pinpoint that opportunity and why. It may be that it’s one of my main core values, that’s the reason why I’m upset.

Maddie: I like to rely on Jack Canfield’s work very extensively.

Rocio: I love his work.

Maddie: His number one principle of success is that you need to take 100% responsibility for your life. If I’m hearing you, you’re translating that into taking leadership.

Rocio: Exactly. We all use the same different principles, right? It’s the same principle, different language, different twist. I remember when one of my mentors many, many years ago came to me, and I had been in a car accident. I had this beautiful convertible. I was in a head-on collision, destroyed my car completely, took my life off track for a short period of time. I remember coming to him and saying how it wasn’t my fault, it was the other driver’s fault. He goes, “You may consider thinking that it was your fault.” I said, “How is that possible? I defended my case, I made my case, I won my case. It wasn’t my fault.”

He said, “You got into your car. The fact that you were on the road, you are 100% responsible. You put yourself in that period of time exactly where you were at.” It took me a while, Maddie, to realize that, “Yes, that’s true. I was the one who drove to that part of town, I was the one,” whatever. At the end of the day I was responsible for where I was at, no matter what happens to me.

Maddie: I agree with that. Then, the other side of that, that people don’t always do, is they don’t give themselves credit for what they do accomplish.

Rocio: Oh boy. I see that time and time again and it doesn’t matter. For me, as I’ve worked with a large spectrum and variety of situations and people and so forth. I’ve worked with individuals who are homeless, I’ve worked with CEOs with companies, I continue to lead executives, and so forth. It doesn’t matter. People do not take credit for their work. It almost feels like it takes a part of them away every time that they’re not celebrated, every time that they’re not even acknowledging in themselves. It almost wilts them to a certain degree.

Celebration’s huge for me and the clients that I work with, because they start breathing differently, they start acting differently, they start taking ownership. They start feeling good about themselves, and they start feeling good about the potential contributions that they can make. Instead of holding those contributions, they’re stepping up to the plate and saying, “Hey, I can potentially do this. I’ve got this.”

Maddie: It is interesting. Where did you get your start? Where did you come from?

Rocio: This is so funny. That’s a great question. I started off as an individual. I was helping contribute to a business in my late teens, and then later I became a manager in my late teens. I was actually 17 years old. I was actually afraid of the people that I was leading, I didn’t know what to do to be frank with you. They put me in a position of leadership, and they were old enough to be my parents and they said go back to high school. I was nowhere near high school.

Fast forward a couple of years later, by the time I was 19, I was leading other individuals, 160 plus individuals. That’s where I got my start. It was really an opportunity for me to take care of my family, not necessarily somewhere where I saw that this is going to be my career for the rest of my life, which is what it became. Actually, pursuing business on a different scale. I said, “Well, I’m going to do international trade,” and so forth.

The more that I help people find their fullest potential, to tap into what really made their hearts sing, is what excited me, and it continued to make me grow as an individual. As a matter of fact, 17 years ago– Not 17 years ago, 17 years into this work, I decided that I didn’t want to do it anymore. I said, “Maybe how about I speak from this stage and that way I could help even more people and let go of this individual coaching.” One of the things that I can say, Maddie, I was miserable. I was really miserable because I really thrived on listening to people’s successes and watching their lives become better. Their careers become better, their relationships with their spouses, with their children, with their families, with their communities, with everything become better.

That’s how I got my start, and that was over 24 years ago. Starting then, Inventiva was born, I continued to do leadership over and over again, throughout my different companies. I became a serial entrepreneur. This is my latest company, Inventiva, in which we help people tap into their fullest potential, so that they can live a happy, healthy life.

Maddie: Awesome. Talk to me a little bit about how you work with people and what things you offer in terms of opportunity.

Rocio: Most definitely. One of the ways that we work with individuals is that we take– Let’s say that it’s an individual CEO of a company or a team lead who would like to tap into their potential. We do a two-day training just with them, one on one, to help them discover, so that’s the part of auto-leadership and awareness. Taking a look at self, because when you can find and discover, when they see and discover in themselves, what makes them happy, what keeps them stuck in motion, what keeps moving towards success, then they can see it in others. First see it in yourself, then see it in others.

The next thing that we do immediately after that two-day training, that one-on-one day training, we go ahead and take them through a 45-minute coaching session every week for the next 52 weeks. That is helping them break through constantly and stay– As you know, everything that momentum is so important. They continue to move forward. One of the reasons why this program is one year is because we have a natural tendency to go back to our old behaviors, no matter what our best efforts are, right? Sometimes we don’t even notice how we do that.

We may have something that happened in our family and then we have a little bit of a regression. I’m not sure if you have any children, Maddie, or if you have seen this in children, I know that I’ve seen it in my own child and other children, they get hurt, and all of a sudden, they’re acting as if they were a year younger or whatever that might be. We also have our own types of regressions into that. My goal is to ensure that people continue to break through, so that they can sustain that new change that they want to become, because I’m sure you would agree that who we want to become we don’t quite have the skills, or else we would already be there. Would you agree?

Maddie: I would agree with that. It’s about mindset and skill set.

Rocio: It is about mindset and skill set. After that individual has that opportunity to take a look at it and then they have all the new tools and resources that are important to them, and specifically to them. Leadership to me is almost like having a magic prescription for you. It’s designed for you and it’s only for you, it’s not for Billy and Joe and Mary. This is your unique prescription and that’s what makes our work very, very successful and the outcomes of the individuals.

Of course, everybody owns their own outcomes to say, “Hey, I really want to go ahead and lose 10 pounds,” although some people have lost 1000 pounds, you just continue to lose the same 10 pounds forever. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I know what it’s like. For me it’s to get people off that constant standing point where they’re just continue to move around the hamster wheel without any progress. It’s not even the hamster wheel, it’s the hamster wheel in the mud, if you can only imagine that. It’s these moments of decision that really keep us moving forward.

To me, an extraordinary coach is a coach that helps you see it from such a subtle way that you break through versus, “Hey, this is what you need to do.” To me, that’s an advisor, somebody showing you what to do, they’re an advisor. They’re not a coach. To me, it’s so much more important to have somebody that can help shine some light where I discover that that’s the growth.

Maddie: Who have been some of the influential people in your life that you’ve drawn from?

Rocio: I have drawn from so many individuals. For instance, Dr. Stephen Covey, I love his work. I have really enjoyed Clark Bristol’s work. I have enjoyed Jim Rohn’s work. There’re so many individuals, honestly. I spent years and years going through their work over and over again. From New Yorker to people that- they’ve been gone for centuries. Which is very fascinating.

Maddie: It’s interesting to me because there– I say from time to time that there is nothing new in the universe, but it gets recreated and it uses a different vocabulary. When you hear it from the right person it can penetrate and get into your thought pattern. As far as the concept–

Rocio: I agree.

Maddie: The concept hasn’t changed in thousands of years.

Rocio: It has not.

Maddie: It is a matter of interpretation and awareness. You find people saying the same thing in a different way, but you’re in a place where you hear it differently.

Rocio: You are, and that has a lot of different factors into it. It can potentially be that you weren’t even ready for the message. A lot of the times I truly believe that this message has been around for a very, very long time, it just took us that long to hear it. That we had to unlearn or release whatever it was inside of us that no longer served us, so that we can see what’s actually before us.

To me, it all goes back to the individual. Here’s a great- one of my favorite quotes from Abdul Kalam, some 5000 years ago, “When there’s righteousness in the heart, there’s beauty in the character, and when there’s beauty in the character, there’s harmony in the home. When there’s harmony in the home, there’s order in the nation, and when there’s order in the nation, there’s peace in the world.” To me, that’s fascinating, because it starts with me, it ends with me. If I change the way that I look at things, the things that I look at change. Here I am quoting Wayne Dyer and so many others, but at the end of the day, leadership starts with us.

Maddie: Yes, excellent. That is really, really excellent. If someone wants to know more about your work or how to get in touch with you, how would they do that?

Rocio: Most definitely. They can come and visit Inventiva Consulting. That’s the word invent I-V-A consulting dot com. They can also reach me directly at 303-587-8367. They can look us up on LinkedIn, online, everywhere.

Maddie: What would you want if you were going to give a person one thing to take away? Can you distill it into one important perspective that people need to develop?

Rocio: I’d say learn and lead yourself. Invest in yourself. Lead yourself. At the end of the day, you’re the one who knows exactly where you want to go and whether it shows up in the way that you want it to look, that’s a different story. Only you know exactly where you want to go. Nobody knows it better than you.

Maddie: Yes, that is so true. That is so true. I want to thank you for taking the time to do this and I am excited to know more about your work, so it is really a pleasure to have met you and to have talked with you, because I love your perspective.

Rocio: Maddie, thank you so much. It is quite an honor and a privilege to be on your show. I am looking forward to the next time that we have a conversation.

Maddie: Okay, thank you.

Deb Brown | How to W.O.W. Your Clients

Posted on February 25th, 2019

Deb Brown, founder of Touch Your Client’s Heart, loves to surprise and delight her coaching clients. How does she do it? It’s something you already do… but probably only with friends and family.

It’s just one strategy Deb uses and promotes to strengthen the most important element for success in any business: relationships.

Too often, she says, business people and professional service providers have too much churn, and focus on getting new clients instead of developing profitable long-term relationships with existing customers.

She tells us the fun – and effective – way she does that, as well as…

  • What you should always ask your customers and clients at first contact
  • The 4 business relationships that will make you the most money
  • How to make sure you don’t neglect your best customers
  • The W.O.W. framework for leading prospects to a sale
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode: and

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: Hi. This is Maddie Brown with Smash The Bottom Line, and we are excited today to have with us author Deb Brown. She has a book that she is excited to share with you, and we’re going to talk about how to touch your clients’ hearts. I am excited to hear what Deb has to say and how she’s been successful in her business, and so we’ll just dive right in. Deb, talk to me a little bit about what you have done so far in your business to create the success that you have made.

Deb Brown: Yeah. Well, thanks for having me, Maddie. I think the bottom line is, it’s all about building relationships. That’s what my business is all about, and there’s so much in the online world that tells us, “Do more of this, build your list, and then it will all work, and send more emails, and make more posts, and more and more and more, or do more networking, collect more cards,” but I think, often, as we’re doing that, which are all good activities to a point, we are sometimes neglecting those contacts that we’re making. If you take the time to nurture the relationship, it can be night and day in your business.

Maddie Brown: Now, relationships are the touchstone of most business, and I think you’re right. I think it is, it’s important to build and sustain that relationship as you go forward, so how do you help do that? How do you do that in your own business?

Deb Brown: Yeah, so one of the ways I do that is just letting my clients know I care. I do that in a variety of ways. Sometimes, it’s simply by listening to them and mirroring back, and being understanding of what they’re going through. Sometimes, it’s paying attention to the little details and doing something extra special for them to surprise and delight them in a way that they weren’t expecting. It might be something like recognizing a birthday or sending a little something in the mail. All those little things that we might do very well in our personal relationships, sometimes it’s hard to translate that to our business relationships.

Maddie Brown: How do you keep track of all that?

Deb Brown: Yeah. It’s a lot, isn’t it? Well, the most important thing I do is, I have an onboarding sheet, and I either ask the questions directly on our first interaction when they hire me, or else I ask them to fill it out, and so I get some details about them right up front that are going to help me to delight them later down the line.

Maddie Brown: Do you have systems in place that you use, or do you have a spreadsheet? How do you keep track of all of it?

Deb Brown: Yeah, so I mean, you can be as old-school or as advanced as you want to be. I find spreadsheets work just fine, and I have usually a paper copy or a virtual Word document that they’ve filled out that gives me that information, so I keep that in their file, and then when I know I can make a mark in my calendar that, “Oh, this is when their birthday is,” or at the end of a project, if I think, “I want to say, ‘Thank you,’ in a way that’s really going to delight them,” I go back to that onboarding sheet and check the questions that I ask them. That gives me a clue as to what I could do for them that would make them happy.

Maddie Brown: Cool. When you’re working with clients, what is their reaction when that happens? What do you hear back from them?

Deb Brown: If it’s in person, you get a smile and maybe a delighted little chuckle. If it’s a more virtual relationship, I usually get an email or something going, “Wow. That was so cool.” It just surprises people. It takes them off guard. They’re not expecting that.

Maddie Brown: What brought you to this passion of yours about building relationships? What prompted your development?

Deb Brown: Good question. As in any business, it was like a crazy road that took you with twists and turns, and you didn’t think this was where you were ending up, but you did. I actually had started a different business, and I was very conscious about delighting my clients and being very intentional about that. I had a client who was a small business owner who said to me, “You are so good at making me feel special, and I want my clients to feel just as special as you make me feel. Can you help me do that?” Well, it was like, “Oh, that’s a thing that people would need help with.” It just hadn’t occurred to me, and so at that point, that was when I really took a sidestep and started looking for ways that I can help other business owners do what I had been doing for my own clients.

Maddie Brown: It is not unusual for people to develop a business around something that they do very naturally and easily, and what comes easily to one of us is not necessarily easy to anyone else. Most of my clients did not sign up to be accountants.

Deb Brown: Exactly.

Maddie Brown: They don’t understand their numbers, and it comes second nature to me and my team, but it doesn’t come second nature to the people that we work with, and so what you kind of take for granted as a basic skill is something that is actually useful to other businesses and other individuals.

Deb Brown: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I was just talking with someone yesterday who said, “It doesn’t come naturally for them to be thoughtful.” These are kind of the thoughtful things. It’s not that they’re not a nice person, but to do something extra above and beyond and make that thoughtful act, it just isn’t on their radar, and so sometimes we need a little system, a little framework around that to help us do it better.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. What would you say has been the cornerstone of your success? What has prompted your business to be what you wanted it to be?

Deb Brown: Putting other people first and really coming from a place of giving without concern about what am I getting back from it, because it always comes back to you, but when you give and expect something in return, it feels different to the other person. Just giving first and building relationships, making sure that you’re thinking of the other person and putting yourself in their shoes and what is it that they need and they want. When you can do that, then you can serve them in a different way.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. That’s awesome. Tell us a little bit about what you do in your business and how you help people.

Deb Brown: Yeah. Thanks for asking, Maddie. Obviously, we mentioned I’m an author, so the lowest entry point to picking my brain, shall we say, is my book, Lifelong Loyal Clients. Then I also speak and train to groups and organizations. I do in-house trainings for my own people on client retention, referrals, anything relationship marketing, loyalty-building-related. I also worked as a consultant where some businesses feel that they like the concept, but they don’t have a clue where to start, or maybe they’re just busy doing what they’re doing, and they want someone else to figure that piece out, and so I come in and create a plan for them. Then some clients will then hire me to implement that plan. Sometimes, people can do it themselves once they know what to do, or they might have an assistant to hand things off to. Other times, they just want me to do it, so sometimes you’ll find me actually sticking things in the mail and ordering gifts online and things like that for my clients as well.

Maddie Brown: What do you find are the most successful gifts?

Deb Brown: The ones that are the most personalized. It’s a horrible answer, isn’t it?

Maddie Brown: It’s not an easy answer.

Deb Brown: Right. Yes, we would love it if you could just say, “Give everyone a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates, and we’ll all be good,” but if you give a bottle of wine to an alcoholic or a box of chocolates to a diabetic, it’s all of a sudden not so good. If you can find ways to personalize things, and I do try to stay away from food, especially for clients, if it’s something for a client, I want something that’s a little more long-lasting that they’re going to keep around, because the longer they keep it around, the longer they’re going to think of you, whereas a food gift is very disposable. It’s gone right away.

That does, however, I think, make a great gift for a referral partner, because you can give them a more repeatable gift, so every time you get a referral, you send them a cookie, they come to kind of expect that, and it’s an easy way to thank them over and over again. Yeah, I think the biggest thing is finding out up front a little bit about them. Some of the questions I ask people are what gets them fired up, what things are they really excited about, and so that could be hobbies or causes that they support, things that they love to do, and then I like to ask them what’s their favorite way to reward themselves, because that will tell you a lot about what would delight them.

For some people, I had one client who said that she loved getting a manicure or a pedicure, so I knew that a gift certificate to get her nails done was going to be the thing that would delight her. I made sure I found the place that she always goes and got it from that place. Other people, it might be a specific food or drink. I had one gentleman who said his favorite thing that he did to reward himself was have the Malt-O-Meal brand, like Cocoa Pebbles. That was his thing that nobody else in the family could eat, and that was his way to reward himself. I could give him a bag of Cocoa Pebbles, and he would be so happy, because that’s his thing, but if I mixed it up and gave him the manicure, and her the Cocoa Pebbles, it’s not going to work at all.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. Well, how do you keep track, let’s say … It’s easier, I think, when you have a small number of clients. The more clients you get and the more people you’re working with, the more challenging it has to become in order to be and do something that is personalized, so how do you address that problem?

Deb Brown: I would say you definitely want to focus your highly personalized efforts on your highest and best clients. Look at your top 20%, the people who are working with you privately. Those are the ones that you really want to reward in that bigger, more personalized way, but sometimes, there are smaller ways to personalize things and maybe relate it to your business without it being a branded mug or a pen if you can think of maybe your business has a certain color, or phrase, or like a animal or a flower, or something that is associated with your brand, then you can use that in a gift.

Like I have a client who, the cover of her book has a certain flower on it, and she really loves this flower. It’s very meaningful to her, so if we can give a candle holder, or a necklace, or something with that flower, now, she mostly works with women, so that works well, if you worked with men, the flowers might not work so well, then it reflects her brand in a way that people see it and think of her without it being a branded item. Then you can do a more bulk approach to things if you have even 20, 30, or hundreds of people that you feel like you need to reward. You can do more of that. Sometimes, it might be just as simple as putting their name on something. If you put someone else’s name on it, then they care about that. If you’ve got the mug that says your name, you care about it, but if you have the mug that has someone else’s brand on it, it’s like, “It’s another mug.”

Looking for ways to put their, the other, the client’s brand, or the client’s name, or something personal to the client onto whatever you’re giving makes it personalized without being too overwhelming if you have a lot of gifting to do.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. Well, and this is the time of year that everybody’s really thinking about it.

Deb Brown: This is the worst time of the year for businesses to send gifts, so yeah, I really tell my clients, “Don’t do it in December, because, number one, you risk offending someone. They may be Christian, or they may be Jewish, or they may not celebrate anything at all, and so it can be kind of a touchy time to celebrate.” People are really focused in December on their personal lives. They’re focused on friends and family, and they’re bombarded with gifts and cards in the mail, and all of that stuff that your message is not going to stand out, whether it’s sending holiday cards to everybody or sending gifts to your top 20%, it won’t stand out. It won’t be remembered, so pick a time, a different time in the year, that makes sense for you and your brand, and send out gifts or cards then, and it will really stand out, because there’s not so much clutter like there is in December.

Maddie Brown: That’s very interesting. That’s very insightful.

Deb Brown: Thank you.

Maddie Brown: Talk to me about your book and what, who your book is geared to helping.

Deb Brown: Sure. The book is called Lifelong Loyal Clients: How Smart Professionals Turn Relationships Into Revenues. It’s aimed at independent professionals like your real estate agent, financial planner, insurance agent, that type of person, as well as like a solo entrepreneur, small business owner, anyone who’s very independent in growing their book of business, however that looks for them. It walks people through the four main relationships that have potential to bring you more money in your business, and those are prospects, clients, past clients, and referral partners. Then I give a framework of how to approach each relationship, and the framework spells WOW, so it’s easy to remember, because you want to wow these people.

The first W stands for welcome, and it’s just all about making a good first impression and whether that’s with a prospect, a client, or a referral partner, the first impression is a little bit different. Then the O stands for ongoing outreach. You have to stay in front of people, because they quite simply forget about you, and you probably, you will approach it in a little different way. If it’s a prospect, you may be following up every week if you’re trying to push forward a sale. If it’s a client that you’re interacting with one-on-one, you don’t need to bombard them with things every week. You might be talking every week as it is, just because of the work you do, but you can do some things on a monthly or quarterly basis just to add a little extra touch there.

Then the last W stands for, “What’s next?” You always want to be leading them to what’s next, and for a prospect, that’s making a decision about the sale, whether it’s yes or no. For a referral partner, what’s next is them giving you a referral and getting a reward for doing that for you, so you’re always looking to, what are you leading them to? That is, in a nutshell, what the book is about.

Maddie Brown: Awesome. Well, that sounds amazing, and I appreciate the copy that you sent to me.

Deb Brown: My pleasure.

Maddie Brown: That is amazing. Thank you. It’s really something that I feel like I can do a better job of doing in my business, and so there’s perfection in everything.

Deb Brown: Yes, and I think most business owners feel that way, because they’re busy doing what they do, and, Maddie, we want you to be good at accounting. Right? That’s how your clients are hiring you, and you have to do your best at that piece, and this tends to be an extra, something that you want to do that you wish you’d done more of, and just by putting a plan in place, it makes it a lot easier to actually act on those good intentions.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. I think that that is amazing. If someone wants to know more, how can they get in touch with you?

Deb Brown: Yes, so I would suggest going to On there, you’ll find a link to the book. You can also find the book on Amazon or on Barnes & Noble, Nook, or all the places you find books. Then it also has links to different events that I have around the book, some of those virtual, some of those in person. That’s probably the best way to get in touch with me.

Maddie Brown: Okay. Who do you consider your ideal client?

Deb Brown: My ideal client is an independent professional or solo entrepreneur who has been in business long enough to know what they’re doing, what they’re offering, and they’re having some success, but with that success, they’re finding that some things are falling through the cracks, and they may be realizing that they’re leaving money on the table by not doing enough follow-up or not taking care of their clients well enough, so they’re seeing some churn in clients, and those are the people that I love helping.

Maddie Brown: Yay. That sounds awesome. I will check that out and see. You and I probably need to have a conversation. I think you offer some, an amazing service.

Deb Brown: Thank you.

Maddie Brown: It is great to hear about how you can develop greater loyalty with your clients and how you can wow your clients and make sure that they have an experience with you that is really meaningful. That is tremendous and awesome. Congratulations on your book, and…

Deb Brown: Thank you.

Maddie Brown: … the success of your business. I think that that is incredible.

Deb Brown: Thank you.

Maddie Brown: Okay, so they know how to get in touch with you. This has been Maddie Brown talking to Deb Brown, and her book is Lifelong Loyal Clients: How Smart Professionals Turn Relationships Into Revenues. I recommend that you check it out and use it to enhance your business. Thank you for being on, Deb. I really appreciate it, and if there’s anything that you have questions about after this, you can get in touch with Deb, or you can get in touch with us, and we can get you pointed the right direction at Thank you, and I appreciate your inspiration, Deb

Deb Brown: Thanks for having me. It has been a lot of fun.


M. Shannon Hernandez | What Entrepreneurs Are Afraid of Most

Posted on February 13th, 2019

Are you charging enough for your services? There’s a good chance you’re not, says marketing consultant M. Shannon Hernandez.

She’s seen too many coaches and consultants setting fees that make it impossible to make a healthy profit. They have a hobby – not a business… and don’t even realize it.

She teaches a “fee formula” that ensures you turn a profit and can live the lifestyle you want.

We go over that step-by-step and also discuss…

  • How to ensure you’re viewed as an expert – and get paid accordingly
  • 3 ways your business must benefit you
  • The free quiz that provides your perfect content marketing strategy
  • The secret of a joyful business

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: Hi, this is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line and I am excited today to have M. Shannon Hernandez on the phone and she has done some amazing things. I’ve known Shannon for a very long time and, the first time that I worked with her, she had $14 worth of profit in her business and she is now multiple six figures and I want to talk to Shannon so she can share with you some of the things that she’s done to help her get from where she was to where she is. Hi Shannon.

M Shannon Hernandez: Hey Maddie! Thanks so much for having me.

Maddie Brown: Tell us a little about your business and how it has grown and morphed over the couple of years that we’ve known each other.

M Shannon Hernandez: Sure. Yeah. So, Maddie first came into my life when I called her in a panic because I realized I did have a business, kind of, and it was a stationary business. So I was sitting at home, rolling paper roses and hot gluing stuff onto invitations for people all around the world. Literally for people all around the world, I had used the power of social media to get out my content and my designs and my thoughts on beautiful handmade stationary and, before I knew it, the end of the year was near and my husband said, “Babe, you have a business. You might want to get an accountant.” and I was like, “Oh no.”

So, I don’t know, I asked around and I was led to Maddie and she had to do a lot of cleanup because I didn’t have receipts and I didn’t have any of this other stuff that I should’ve had, but anyway she ran the numbers and I had made a whopping $14 for the whole year of business. Being busy, I might add, too. I was really busy. I had a lot of clients. I knew when she came back to me with that amount that it was not going to work because who wants to make $14 a year?

Maddie Brown: Nobody wants to make $14 and, interestingly enough, they say an entrepreneur is someone that is willing to work 80 hours a week so that they don’t have to get a 40 hour a week job. What’s true is, I see too many entrepreneurs that are making less money than they would make flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s.

M Shannon Hernandez: Exactly. So, what happened from that conversation was, I got a wakeup call and I realized, “Well holy guacamole! If I could get this famous from putting out content that people actually like and haphazardly doing a marketing strategy, maybe my zone of genius is not rolling paper roses and gluing them onto paper, but actually helping people with their marketing strategy and their content and telling stories with their content. So, I closed down that business and I opened my own business named M. Shannon Hernandez and I am now a marketing consultant and I help coaches and consultants step into the highly paid confident expert and that’s the fast track version. That was five years ago. We have grown consistently. I have a team of 12. I’ve got a multiple six figure business. I’m moving to Costa Rica, we bought a house. There’s just so much good stuff going on and Maddie’s been a part of every single decision of this journey, personal and professional.

Maddie Brown: And Shannon has put in a boatload of work and she’s willing to do the thing that so many entrepreneurs are afraid to do, which is to reach out and pick up the phone and talk to people and really let people know what’s going on in your business. So, What would you say were the most important things, that you have noticed, that you think make for a successful business?

M Shannon Hernandez: Okay, the most important things are the things that I teach over and over and I only do what I teach. So, that’s really important, right, is that I know what works because I’m actually doing it for my own business. The first thing is that you are priced for profit and you know what you’re selling. You would not believe how many people come to me and they’re like, “I don’t know. I could be doing this and sometimes I try this.” They don’t, they’re not solidified in their offers. Right? So, you know your offers and they’re priced for profit. 93% of coaches and consultants who come to me are not priced for profit. They are making like $50 an hour, if even that, when it’s all said and done and they’re wondering why they’re not seen as an expert, treated as an expert, and being paid like an expert.

Maddie Brown: Yes.

M Shannon Hernandez: So, first thing is, let’s get you priced for profit. Understand your numbers. The second thing is let’s put out content, and it doesn’t need to be a ton of content, but let’s put out content that positions you as an expert and helps people understand how you can help them. That’s really what people are going to buy, right Maddie? They’re going to buy how you solve their problem, okay?

Maddie Brown: Right.

M Shannon Hernandez: So, we talk about, what do you want to be known for? What’s your zone of genius? This is now your offer, let’s talk about it.

Maddie Brown: So, explain what you mean by priced for profit.

M Shannon Hernandez: This is a long conversation. I teach a whole course on this, but being priced for profit means at the end of selling a package, so one person whether it’s a group coaching or a one on one coaching, that’s mainly the world that I work in, let’s say it’s a four-month package for $5,000. At the end of selling that package, you are able to pay your team, you are able to pay yourself, you are able to pay your business expenses, and you are able to put money aside for your taxes and you have made a living doing what you love.

Maddie Brown: So, I work with a lot of people in finding out what that magical sort of breakeven number is that you need to make in order to pay your taxes, to pay yourself, to pay your team, and how you get to that number so that you know what you need to make and then, when you look at what Shannon’s talking about, you look at how many sales, how many people, who do I need to talk to to make this happen? So many people don’t really know what that number needs to be on a monthly basis.

M Shannon Hernandez: That’s right and, going back to what Maddie said, what you need to make on a monthly basis is actually based on the lifestyle you want to live.

Maddie Brown: Yes.

M Shannon Hernandez: Maddie’s done a lot of work with me on this and its why we bought a home, were able to buy a home, in Costa Rica a few months ago, two years ago bought a home in the Poconos, which is now for sale because we’re like out of here, And have this apartment in Brooklyn and it’s like, “What is the lifestyle you want to live?” and so many online people that do marketing, they don’t look at the people’s lifestyle and they are just teaching them to go build this magic number per month and nobody’s asking them what they really want.

Maddie Brown: Yes. And your business needs to support you physically, financially, and spiritually and I know that you believe in joyful marketing. There’s a course that you teach, what is it? What is the name of it?

M Shannon Hernandez: I teach a retreat called “The Joy Money Retreat”.

Maddie Brown: There we go.

M Shannon Hernandez: Yes, and we talk about, what are the things in your life and business that bring you joy? What are the things that don’t bring you joy? Believe me there’s a lot of stuff we have to do sometimes that’s not bringing us joy. Then we look at all the things that bring you joy and we put offers around them and packages that include those joyful things and then we put a premium price on it. You are now joyful.

Maddie Brown: Do you have anything that you regret in your business over the last five years?

M Shannon Hernandez: I do. I have a team, I’ve always had a team in my business, and I outgrew my team and the thing that I regret is that I didn’t replace with a new team soon enough because I liked my team and I liked the people on my team, but they just weren’t the right people anymore when I really started growing this business the way its growing now. So that would be a regret, because I wasted some time there when I knew in my gut that they weren’t the right team.

Maddie Brown: What do you consider a basic team that a small business needs to accumulate?

M Shannon Hernandez: Well, I think everyone needs a coach. Seriously. So my coaches are always part of my team and of course those change as I grow and my needs change. Somebody that’s going to do all of your numbers stuff for you, like Maddie Brown. That’s important. A virtual assistant, in my case, because I’m a virtual business. So, somebody that’s going to send out and collect payments and all that kind of stuff. And a tech person, somebody that’s going to take care of copy for your next program and get it on your website and figure out how to make all the techie things work because, most of us, that’s not our zone of genius.

Maddie Brown: It’s interesting to me, so many people try to wear every hat in their business and you have always been one to delegate and utilize team in your business and I think that’s one of the reasons that you’ve grown the way you’ve grown, is that you are using team and you’re staying in your element of where you really bring the greatest service. We live in this environment that it’s a do it yourself kind of thing and everybody thinks, “I should do it myself.” and I don’t think you believe that.

M Shannon Hernandez: I do not. In fact, I, if we’re going to talk about joyful marketing and joyful living, which is what I stand for, I’m only doing the things that bring me joy and I know what those things are. They are consulting. They are developing marketing strategy for people. They are doing things like this, I love interviews, they are so fun to me and a few other things and the rest of it, I’m not doing it.

Maddie Brown: Absolutely. Absolutely, so tell us a little about who your ideal client it. Who do you, who’s your people?

M Shannon Hernandez: Yeah. So my people are coaches and consultants who love the work they’re doing and they know that it’s changing the world, even if their world right now is small, we expand that vision to a global kind of perspective, and, really what I’ve learned in the last few months Maddie, is my people want to make a minimum of $10,000 a month, month after month after month. When I run my course called “Ten Pay Months and Loving It”, we often find that $10,000 a month isn’t enough for everything they want to be doing and so that’s why I said a minimum. Many people come out of that three week course and they actually now have 25 or 45 or 100,000 dollar a month plans because they understand the math.

Maddie Brown: Yes. It is really not a complicated math problem.

M Shannon Hernandez: No, but nobody was really talking about it too much, so it makes it murky, right? Makes it murky.

Maddie Brown: Well, it makes it murky and people have so much guilt and shame and fear around their money that its really easy to close your eyes and not look at that so that you can learn from it because, as you said, when you saw the $14, the difference between you and a lot of people is, you didn’t continue doing the same thing. You changed what you were doing to make it work and that’s what the math enables you to do, is to make decisions about how you want to work, based upon what you want to make as far as a life for yourself. So, tell us a little bit about what kind of programs you offer.

M Shannon Hernandez: Awesome! So, I actually offer a few things and the first one is my yearlong Content Strategy Academy. This is the place for coaches and consultants who want to step into the highly paid confident expert, to come and understand how to make content and marketing fun and how to make it work in their business. That’s a really fun yearlong program. I get to know the people really well and it’s just a lot of value in there. People build great relationships, referrals happen, business happen, et cetera. That’s a lot of fun.

I also offer the Joy Money Retreat. This is offered two times a year where we look at your whole life and your whole business in terms of how much joy are these things bringing you and how much money are you spending or how much money are you earning? Then we package offers around your joy, your perfect blend of joy, and we make sure you make a lot of money from those offers. That’s kind of my thing. I want people that want to make money in their business. That’s the thing here.

Then I do one on one consulting, marketing consulting, and that’s really fun. I get to work with a few people a year and we do a deep dive into their business and I can help them with all kinds of things. If speaking is their main thing or they, whatever marketing avenue is going to be fun for them and fits them, we work on that. I also teach people how to sell, so that when the leads are coming in from the really fun content, they can actually get on the phone and sell their stuff. I’m really proud to be able to offer both of those because a lot of people, if you don’t have leads that’s a problem, if you have leads and can’t sell that’s a problem, I solve both those problems at one time. We just get to the bottom of it and get people making money.

Maddie Brown: The other thing that you have that is really awesome is your quiz that helps you with your content. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

M Shannon Hernandez: Yeah. So, I developed a quiz called “The Content Personality Quiz” and, in a matter of about five minutes, you can take the quiz and you can figure out what type of content is best for you. The reason this is so revolutionary, yet simple, is because there’s a lot of people saying things like, “You should do podcasting” or “You have to have a video show” or “You’ve got to blog twice a week” and all of that is not true. What you should do is you should do the things that are fun and bring you joy and the things that you’re naturally comfortable at already and the quiz helps you, with just four questions, understand exactly what you’re already good at and then we help you with that piece.

Maddie Brown: Where can they find this quiz?

M Shannon Hernandez: They can find it at M as in Mary, Shannon Hernandez dot com.

Maddie Brown: Okay, and that’s a free quiz, correct?

M Shannon Hernandez: Free quiz! Free quiz with tips tailored right to your content personality, delivered to you as soon as you take the quiz.

Maddie Brown: That is awesome. So, where do you like to hang out, what’s your marketing style?

M Shannon Hernandez: I love video, as you know, I do a lot of video. My marketing style is things that I can engage with people on. So I have my own Facebook group called “Marketing For Thought Leaders” and we have a lot of fun in there. I also have, I do live trainings on Zoom and workshops on Zoom and, if you’re not familiar with Zoom, it’s an online video platform and we gather there and it’s live. We have a lot of fun and I love Facebook lives and I have a newsletter that goes out. So, that may sound like a lot. Of course, I’m not doing all of that at one time, but I’ve got a strategy and I’ve got a plan and we’ve got leads coming in every week and sales being made every week and that’s really what we teach people to do.

Maddie Brown: You know, you have a business. So many people have really not got a business. They have a very expensive hobby and they are not profit driven and they don’t make decisions based upon profitability and things that are going to put them in business. So, one of the things that I admire most about you, is you have a business mind and we have so many people that are, they have a hobby is what they really have, because they haven’t designed and structured their business in a business-like manner. They don’t understand why they’re not successful and you have taken a position of really treating your business like a business.

M Shannon Hernandez: Yes, and I didn’t know all of it, I had to get help and that’s why I said you’ve got to have people on your team that can see what you can’t see, and can help you get where you want to get, because it’s very hard to operate in a silo all by yourself.

Maddie Brown: Absolutely. You need people around you and you need people working with you and sometimes an extra pair of eyes. When you look at something, you see it through a different lens than the person that you’re working with and so you can share so much more because of the perspective and the experience that you have.

M Shannon Hernandez: Yeah, that’s true, and its why I stay in coaching and its why I encourage other people that I work with to make sure you have a consultant or a coach who is helping you every step of the way.

Maddie Brown: Well, every major athlete in this world has a coach. There’s a reason for it because they shortcut and they take away the necessity of trial and error and you can learn to make decisions and make choices that bring you to profitability faster.

M Shannon Hernandez: Exactly.

Maddie Brown: How would you like people to get in touch with you Shannon? What’s the best way to get started if you wanted to have some more information?

M Shannon Hernandez: Well, I think the perfect first way is to take the quiz. The Content Personality Quiz, which they can find at and then, once you take the quiz, it’s going to say, “Hey, we’re having lots of fun in the Facebook group, click here to join.” So, if you’re a Facebook person, come on over to Marketing for Thought Leaders. We talk about all kinds of things in there. It’s a great group, very engaged and that’s really the best way that people can start to explore how we’re helping people with marketing and sales and using their content personality for that.

Maddie Brown: I think that your Facebook group is, without a doubt, the most engaged group that I have ever been associated with and I think there’s lots of reasons. So, what do you think is the secret to your success in keeping people engaged on Facebook?

M Shannon Hernandez: Well, I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I think it’s because I show up in the group. I’m there and I’m answering questions and I’m putting out thoughtful prompts and I’ve built that culture and everyone that posts has to have a question and we have built a really engaged, helpful community.

Maddie Brown: It really is. It’s an awesome community and you should be very proud of that and you also do another thing is you limit the participants. So you want to talk about, so many people think that bigger is always better.

M Shannon Hernandez: Yeah. We don’t believe that. In fact, I talk a lot in my marketing about less is more and really having a strategy is the key. That goes with people too, and I’m talking about, a lot of people will tell you to build lists with 10 and 20 and 30,000. I run a multi-six figure business with about 2,000 people on my email list and 300 people in my Facebook group. This does not have to be some big numbers game. It’s not what I teach, it’s not what I stand for and one of the things that we value in the Facebook group is that, if you don’t participate, you actually don’t get to stay and we’ve seen people come and go and sometimes they come back, but if you’re going to be a thought leader and you’re going to be a business owner and you’re going to want to be known, you can’t hide. Being invisible is not an option. So we really practice giving people a safe space to join and participate so they can learn and grow their businesses.

Maddie Brown: Awesome. Well, Shannon, thank you for talking with me today and I really admire everything you’ve done and built for yourself. It’s been a lot of hard work and I know you’ve had a lot of fun doing it, but you should really be proud of what you accomplished, because I am. I think you’ve done tremendous things.

M Shannon Hernandez: Thank you Maddie! It’s been so fun.

Maddie Brown: Well, okay, so we know how to get ahold of Shannon, I strongly recommend you take her quiz. Look for her Facebook group and I would love to see you there! This is Maddie Brown with Smash The Bottom Line Podcast. If you want to get in touch with me, you can go to and we have ways to talk, its auto-magical. Thank you.


Dawn DelVecchio | Awakening Success Within Yourself

Posted on January 28th, 2019

Leadership coach Dawn DelVecchio presents a harsh reality: 80% of entrepreneurs out there right now are going to crash and burn.

In our interview, Dawn explains what sets the other 20% apart. It’s not their startup capital, number of clients, marketing plan, or anything like that. She calls it the “inner compass.”

We get into the nitty-gritty of what that means and face some harsh – but also enlightening – truths.

And with Dawn spending a good chunk of the year in Southeast Asia, she also offers some practical tips for making a “digital nomad” lifestyle possible.

It’s easier than you might think to have the adventure of a lifetime as you run a thriving business.

Listen in to discover…

  • The technology that makes a “global” business possible
  • What to use and what to ignore in traditional coaching
  • Where to find deeper motivation to move you forward
  • How – and why – to incorporate “spirituality” in your business
  • And more

Listen now…

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: Hi, this is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line Podcast, and thank you for listening. We are glad to have you here. I have the great honor today of talking with a good friend and colleague, Dawn DelVecchio. Dawn works with women and empowerment and spirituality, and she has a skillset that is unsurpassed. I love being able to share what she’s doing with you because I think there are a lot of people that want to really work. She is doing the whole global travel and keeping her business going and expanding. I’m really excited to hear how she’s doing.

Dawn DelVecchio: Thank you, Maddie. Thank you for that lovely introduction.

Maddie Brown: Well, so Dawn, tell us how you got started in business.

Dawn DelVecchio: That’s an interesting one. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I would say my first true business endeavor began in right after university. Let’s say, I think 1991. I started a little desktop publishing company. It was very small. I didn’t really have good business savvy skills, but I really was just putting myself out there to local businesses to help them design menus for restaurants, transcribe a document, navigate their way around Apple computers, that sort of thing. From there I also partnered with simultaneously with partnering with the man who became my husband in running his martial arts gym, and really putting some structures in place like contracts and schedules and things that he was the willy-nilly about. I started to see my knack for, so that was a long time ago and I’ve had several businesses since then, but that’s really when it started.

Maddie Brown: Wow. Well, how long have you been traveling the globe with your business?

Dawn DelVecchio: That’s a great question. When my son was a young adult was when I really started. The year 2001 the spring was my first foray alone and that was to India. Then a couple years later I moved to Southeast Asia. That’s when I began doing travel writing. Writing for anyone who knows me, writing is the sort of common thread through a lot of this is my skills as a writer and development as a writer. I had a freelance writing business, magazine editor, that kind of thing. Then when I got trained, what was it like nine years ago now, working with Mindvalley, an internet marketing company for personal development. That’s when the new iteration of the business came but throughout before that during and after, I was traveling primarily to Southeast Asia. That’s sort of my hood in the world, if you will. Of course domestically in the United States as well so we’re talking about early 2010, late 2009, something like that.

Maddie Brown: Awesome. What drew you to Southeast Asia?

Dawn DelVecchio: Yeah, that’s a great question. Man, it started when I was a young girl and I was very, very attracted to … Do you ever see one of those Asian import stores where they have the block print tapestry and the Indian music? Yeah, well when I was 11 years old when I was a young girl, my grandmother always took me to the local shopping mall in the fall to buy my school clothes. I was very close with my grandma and this little import store opened up there. I mean, it was a visceral attraction for me. I had to be in there, I wanted to smell the incense. I wanted to buy all the clothes. I wanted the tapestry. It was something deep, deep inside of me felt such a draw. Then many years later, so all along I was always attracted to that aesthetic, but I didn’t have much access to it.

Then what happened was when I moved to Santa Fe, when I first started that first business and I began dating the man who become my first husband, he was a lifetime martial artist. He was specifically an expert in the national sport of Thailand called Muay Thai. That began the fascination with Southeast Asia in particular and it has been a sort of intellectual and energetic and spiritual romance ever since. On the side, something as not part of my businesses, I’ve become really, I would say probably an expert in the art culture and the architecture of South and Southeast Asia and the influences of India and China on those regions. That’s really deeply a passion of mine but not as part, not per se a part of my business, except that I have retreats there. In that sense it is.

Maddie Brown: How much time do you spend traveling versus being in the United States and how much time were you spending overseas?

Dawn DelVecchio: Yeah, that’s a great question. I’ve reduced it recently. I would say up until 2017 it was getting near a third of the year if you count some of the other places I’ve been in Europe and just traveling for other events and stuff. I brought that down a little bit just because I got tired of traveling, but basically I spend about a quarter of the year in Southeast Asia, Thailand, Bali, Malaysia, primarily and three quarters of the year here in Sedona, Arizona.

Maddie Brown: Tell me how that works. How do you communicate and how does that fit in to your schedule?

Dawn DelVecchio: I’ve got clients all over the world. For example, right now I have clients who live in Spain, Dubai, the United States, Thailand, where else? London, did I say London? Malaysia. Seems like there’s somewhere else that I’m forgetting. Several states in the United States. Regardless of where I am, I need to use certain technologies, whether it’s private one-on-one coaching or whether it’s group. I have one group program that I’m working with a group of nine women in a very intensive level so I’m always using technology to facilitate that. Specifically, Zoom is my main medium of choice. Zoom is great, and then we have a WhatsApp group, group WhatsApp.

Then of course when I host retreats and I also do VIP for two and a half to four day retreat here one-on-one. In that case, clients come to me and they work with me. Well they can work with me here in Sedona. I’ve done them in Bali, I haven’t done any yet in Thailand, funnily enough. Then that’s just a matter of negotiating timeframes and then they get themselves there and we do our work together, whether that’s business intensive work or holistic healing and deep transformational work.

Maddie Brown: As you are now and today, what is your ideal client? Who do you help and what do you do with them?

Dawn DelVecchio: That’s great question. My ideal client is a woman who is very savvy and it’s like she has received spiritual marching orders. So she holds a big vision for something she must fulfill. Her advocation is also her vocation or her business. She’s seen the noise in the marketplace. She has probably experienced some of the high ticket, low touch coaching models that are out there and has recognized that they are not actually in service to her and to bringing her business forward. She wants that really bespoke touch from a woman who is both marketing savvy and strategic and also deeply, deeply spiritual. The way I work with my clients, for example, I’ve been a sole evolutionary astrologer for a number of years.

I’ve been studying it for many years and I’m looking at their astrological profile for what is their evolutionary intent for this life on a soul level. I work with NLP and hypnosis and ceremony and really the magic of life to really be sure they’re connected with their vision. Connected in a really like a sacred way that’s associated with what we could call the rising of the divine feminine on the planet. Then from there we unfold whether it’s developing a certification program, rolling out a new program, launching a membership site, all of that. Then we put in what is the strategy, what is the team? What are the implementation tools? All of that comes in the container, in the vessel of sacred feminine empowerment and sacred space.

Maddie Brown: Wow. That sounds beautiful.

Dawn DelVecchio: Thank you. It’s pretty magical after having done the real left brain coachee people stuff. This is so much happier for me and for my clients.

Maddie Brown: You have a successful business that has sustained the life that you have wanted to live for a number of years. What would you say are the two or three things that have really enabled you to be successful?

Dawn DelVecchio: Okay. So initially it was a lot of hard work. That was initially. I had a deep learning curve. I had to produce a lot of contents and I had to generate revenue to invest in my business. I did that a lot through copywriting because that is my, my first skill set, so to speak and so it was really a way for me to generate revenue. Now, things have shifted quite a lot for me. I would say that my success now is it’s a deeper, more satisfying level of success because I love what I do more and it really comes down to. I walked away from the noise in the marketplace. I walked away from the coaching industry as it is structured primarily. I walked away from those models and I really turned inward and said, what is my own soul sacred intent for this life and how do I want to unfold that?

It’s a journey. It’s still unfolding. The few things became very clear to me. I did not want to work with everybody and do an empire building approach to business where I had tons and tons of clients. It’s not in my joy to do that. My joy is to work with a few women and sometimes I do work with men. I don’t exclude men. I work with a few people very, very intensively. I give a lot and I love it because I’m not overwhelmed and I listen regularly. I have my daily spiritual practice that guides me through my life and through my business. I don’t have a problem saying no to a potential client if I don’t feel that they really want to bring forward their work. I want to clarify that for a moment.

I’ve seen a lot in the coaching industry, coaches who are building their empires and so they’re working with a lot of clients. I’ve been in a lot of masterminds where there are a lot of … Basically, what you would say is wannabe, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I think there’s maybe the 80/20 rule applies that maybe 20% of visionary women and men who hold a vision for business actually are willing to do what it takes to bring that to a really success.

Maddie Brown: That is a really important point to make as far as the 80/20 rule because you are so right when you say that few people are willing to do what is required.

Dawn DelVecchio: Yeah. It’s one of the biggest personal development things you could do is run a business and that’s where I feel like when we are given as I am, I want to say sometimes our goddess marching orders. When we are being driven by a soul or a mission that’s bigger than ourselves, we’re motivated in a different way. That probably comprises possibly 20%. For me, what I had to come to peace with was that I didn’t really want to do that other model. I wasn’t really chasing after the millions. That may come in time and that’s fine. What I want to do is work with the ones who are driven by a bigger mission and vision from their soul level and they have the willingness to do what it takes.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. You know, I talked to a lot of people that don’t have the willingness to do what it takes in respect and it is, it is challenging because being self-employed is a tremendous tool for personal development as you said. Most people aren’t prepared to do that. Successful business people are actually relatively rare. We hear all kinds of statistics about how many businesses fail and that failure is usually because they weren’t willing to do what’s needed to be done to be successful.

Dawn DelVecchio: Right. Right. I think it’s worth noting the requirement of a level of flexibility and this is that thing again of being in tune with your own deep self. Your own deep self may call you to make a change that your mind was not prepared for. This is where, and that’s what I mean. I think that’s sort of this level of sort of criterion of who I want to work with and who I’ve attracted to me as I embody that are the ones who say, wow, I thought in my brain that this was what I needed to do, but now I’m starting to feel there’s a different guidance here and I have to sit quietly, listen, deepen and trust that and then walk in trust for what I’m being called to do. I noticed that the more that I do that trust walk, the more …

It doesn’t mean not doing the practical stuff. I really want to emphasize here. I still have to do the practical things that I do, but it’s going in and giving myself permission to listen deeply and to trust that and go, okay, spirit, I don’t really know exactly how this is going to look, but I’m going to start to follow this thread and see where it leads me. Meanwhile, you know, dot my i’s, cross my t’s, keep track of my accounts, that’s tough and just move with that. I think what happens is once people start getting that inner guidance, like the inner compass is showing them something and they’re afraid to go with it because it doesn’t look practical that they get burnt out doing that old thing that everyone says it’s supposed to work.

Maddie Brown: I think there’s a theme of people that I work with and it is a much more spiritual perspective than you might hear from a lot of accountants. It’s always, it’s always good to reconnect back to what’s really important and follow your inner guidance so that you do live a life that you love and work with people that you value working with. Not working for everybody and not anybody with a pulse, but actually choosing clients that you work with.

Dawn DelVecchio: Exactly. It’s kind of rite of passage for coaches to fire a client.

Maddie Brown: Well, you know, I’ve had a lot of clients and we do serve a lot of people because we do taxes and accounting and my favorite clients are the ones like you that really follow their dream and live the life that they are really called to live. I love being in support of those people.

Dawn DelVecchio: Thank you. Yes, I feel the same. I love being in support of those people as well. I just want to say, you know, I get it that not everyone is cut out for this and that’s not a judgment on people. You know, we’re all designed differently. We’re wired differently. We’re called to different purposes in our lives and there’s a sexy appeal to my lifestyle. I could be a full-time digital nomad if I wanted to very easily, but I have a husband who sells real estate in Sedona, so obviously I’m not going to go away that long. I think what happens sometimes is people realize, wow, I’m not really cut out for this to do it in this way or in that fashion or in this other fashion.

There’s no judgment around that. It’s just about really, you know, I would say anyone could benefit from tuning in and going, Oh, you know, actually I think I’d be, I feel better just having a job that feels better for who I am and how I like to have my days and my life structured and that’s totally cool. Sometimes I think the entrepreneurial, the experiment of business from owning can teach someone, that can reveal that to some people that, “Wow, this isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be,” and that’s totally okay. We need all kinds of people in all kinds of roles of service and support on our planet.

Maddie Brown: If you are going to talk to someone about being a digital nomad and traveling and keeping their business going, what would be a couple of tips that you would give them to help them be more successful?

Dawn DelVecchio: Well, that’s good. The first thing I would say is get your books in order and that means working with an accountant, accounting firm like yours, Maddie. Someone who gets that lifestyle, who understands that you’re going to be traveling a lot and knows how to maneuver that tax wise. Next to that would be your legal guidance. You know, how to do the legal leads, those contracts and all that stuff. Next is your credit card companies as well because you know, I travel into Indonesia and I’ll tell you what, those little ATM machines sometimes you can hardly take any money out. You need to keep taking it out and if your bank doesn’t know that you’re taking money out every day, then you get it blocked.

All of that, you know, your credit cards, your accounting, your legal stuff, that’s the first piece of it. There are some amazing hubs for digital nomads right now. There’s a lot of resources so do some searching on digital nomad hubs and getting in those communities where you could find out about the resources available to you and then take care of your health. Be aware that different countries have different, all sorts of different, different, different. If you’re going to certain places, as they say, don’t drink the water. Just the common sense about those kinds of things.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. Awesome. If someone wanted to get a hold of you, I know you’ve written a book and how could people learn more about what you do and where you do it and how if they might be called to talk to you and get some more information?

Dawn DelVecchio: Yeah. There’s my website, and there’s a whole bunch of information on there. If you are interested, if anyone here is interested in exploring the empowered feminine leadership retreats that I host in Thailand and Sedona, there’s an events page on my website. There’s also my contact. I mean, you know, if you go to my website, basically you can search around a little bit, find my email, you could find my events, you can find out what I do and that’s probably the best way. I don’t have my book on there. If you’re interested in the book particularly, it’s called, “Spirit, Mind and Money.” You can find it on Amazon. You can Google search my name on Amazon. Those would be the ways.

Maddie Brown: Awesome. Do you have anything else? If you were sitting sipping coffee with someone, what would be your number one principle for success? What do you think the most important thing is?

Dawn DelVecchio: Connect with your heart. In these times as the world is changing, we have to do what we love and love what we do. So connect with your heart first and then from there definitely get the right support to help you. Everybody’s different. Some people are great with business so they don’t need business coaching, but if they need business coaching then they need that. Connecting with the heart is the first thing because if you just got a wild idea that’s coming from your head because Joe and Sam and Bob and Sue are making money at it, that is just not the way to go about it anymore. That used to work. It doesn’t work anymore.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. Well thank you, Dawn. I really appreciate you taking the time to share with our listeners.

Dawn DelVecchio: Thank you.

Maddie Brown: It has been a joy to talk to you as always.

Dawn DelVecchio: Indeed, Maddie. I feel the same.

Maddie Brown: This is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line and the bottom line is always money. That’s something that everyone I think needs to take to heart is money is important, but it isn’t the most important thing. We want you to be profitable so that you can have more impact in the world. That is really where success comes in.

Emi Kirschner | Conscious Mindset Management

Posted on January 14th, 2019

Everybody has limiting or negative thoughts at some point… even the most “positive” person. It’s how you deal with those thoughts that matters, says business coach Emi Kirschner of Tribe of Leaders.

One of the most harmful impacts of limiting thoughts you can experience as an entrepreneur and service provider is not valuing yourself, your product, or your service enough… and not making the money you deserve as a result.

We explore the practical and mental tasks you must do to turn that around, as well as…

  • 3+ ways to actively re-train your brain and embrace positivity
  • Eliminating shame and guilt around money
  • How to pinpoint negativity – it’s not always obvious
  • Why you must run your business according to core values – and how to do it
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode:,

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: This is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line Podcast and I am really excited today to share with you Emi Kirschner, who has been an awesome business woman and done some fabulous things in her life and career and has a lot to offer and I’m excited to have a conversation with her today about what has made her so successful and what her guidance is for someone who is trying to be or wants to move to the next level. So Emi, thank you for joining us today, I appreciate it.

Emi Kirschner: Thank you, I’m really excited to be here. I’m really excited to share just a little bit of knowledge but have the conversation.

Maddie Brown: Right. How did you get started in business?

Emi Kirschner: You know, that’s a really funny question. I got started in business, I mean, my Bachelors is in Business Administration and Marketing and out of college I had a couple of different jobs where I did some convention and conference planning and event planning, et cetera but really the catalyst for me being an entrepreneur was my son having digestive issues as a baby and the doctors and all the tests that we had done, they showed no results. The doctors had no idea what to do and the last Pediatric Gastroenterologist was like, I’m sorry, I have no idea. Give him some more olive oil. That may slow down his digestion and see you later.

And that really freaked me out as a 20-something year old new mom who had no clue what she was doing. So I started researching everything and not only did I heal my son. It gave me a sense of how powerful food is as a way to heal, but that really moved me into catering, personal chefing and then my business, as it started originally here as a health coach and it’s evolved over time into the business coaching with entrepreneurs. So it’s kind of a crooked path, but it worked.

Maddie Brown: You know, they say that a sailboat is off course 99% of the time, so you course correct. It’s not a direct path. So is your son okay? How did that turn out? I’m concerned now.

Emi Kirschner: Oh yeah, no. So, that was 20 years ago. He’s going to be 20 in January. He was about a year and it took me about a year and a half to really figure out and through a lot of experimentation because when your kid’s like 15 months old, they’re not like, oh hey this grape is no go. So, I kind of like put food in, see where it came out and then through all the reading I did, I really cleaned up our diet in general, but yeah, he’s great.

Maddie Brown: Okay good. I’m glad-

Emi Kirschner: Healthy, strong, yeah in college, thriving.

Maddie Brown: Yeah, so I have a question that I like to ask. What do you think is most important in being successful, mindset or skillset?

Emi Kirschner: Oh definitely mindset. It’s all about the game you’re playing in your head, absolutely.

Maddie Brown: What do you mean by the game you’re-

Emi Kirschner: You can learn the skills. Yeah so our minds are like a really interesting place right, because we have all these thoughts going on every minute of the day, every second of the day and I’m going to say 75% or maybe even more of them are generally either really negative or limiting unless you’re consciously managing your mindset. And when you start freeing yourself up from any limitations that you’ve set before yourself or stories that you’ve created that aren’t necessarily true about what you can do or what you can’t do.

And when you’re really free of that and you’re in positive space, you can make essentially the impossible, possible and you can learn whatever it is that you need to learn, and I know that from my own experience where essentially any position that I’ve ever held whether it’s in my own business or when I was working for somebody, I’ve been thrown into the middle of something that I didn’t know how to do and I figured it out, and I’ve seen that with entrepreneurs over and over and over again.

Maddie Brown: I agree with you 100%. You can learn to do almost any activity if you put your mind to it. Your mind is your biggest thing that you have to manage so that you set goals and you are aware. I think one of the hardest things for me is becoming aware of where those negative thoughts creep in and where they limit me that I can make shifts. So how do you recommend people figure out what their limiting beliefs are that are holding them back?

Emi Kirschner: So first of all, I think it’s really about uncovering layers of the onion, right? So some of it’s just being aware of like where do you feel negative? Where do you feel like you can’t do something, or it’s too much? Look for repetitive statements that you’ve got going on and that first piece, that awareness, that like really paying attention is the biggest step because a lot of times, we’re not even thinking about or aware of what it is that’s going on.

I’ve had clients come to me after we’ve started talking about this and they’ve been very intentional about seeing what comes up for them, essentially and they’ll come back and they’ll be like, oh my god, I didn’t realize like how negative I am. I always thought I was a positive person. And they really are a positive person, they just haven’t learned how to manage the mindset piece, and then it’s really just like, I think the next step is in undoing that. So I love affirmations and success statements and creation statements and meditation as a way to actively retrain your brain.

Maddie Brown: I am a big fan of meditation and visualization and I have proven to myself on a repeated basis that thoughts become things and so I try very hard to monitor, but I think your comment is A, set an intention and B, be very aware of the chatter that’s going on in your head.

Emi Kirschner: Yeah and also allow it to be kind of like a stepped process. One of the things that I’ve had to, for myself, like I want to master everything, right? And you can master your mindset, but it’s going to be one step at a time and there’s different deeper layers to potentially the same story. So, don’t be frustrated, I guess is I want to share is, don’t be frustrated if you think that you’ve got one story completely dealt with and it comes back up in a different way later on. Just move through the same process and you can let go of it.

Maddie Brown: My comparison on that is that it’s interesting as I work with clients and their accounting and their money and their taxes, the perceptions and the thoughts that take place around money don’t change over time, but the dollars get bigger when people are successful. So I’ve got clients that are making seven figures that have the same mindset and cashflow problems that clients that are making 100,000 have and so as crazy as it sounds, it isn’t the number, it’s how you look at it.

Emi Kirschner: Exactly, exactly and particularly when we’re thinking about money, we really assign a lot of good or bad to it. We’re not thinking about it as the tool that it is.

Maddie Brown: Yeah, it’s a lot of shame and guilt and one thing that a person that I admire said once, is that lack of money is a symptom. It is not a cause of anything but it is a symptom of your thinking and your actions.

Emi Kirschner: Yes I totally agree and it’s for me, what I usually see is that it’s you’re not valuing yourself enough or your product or your service or whatever it is.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. I had a client just about half an hour ago that said to me that they didn’t bill as much on this particular job because it was only them working on it. They didn’t have any subcontractors and they could make a better price for the customer. And it’s like, why are you shorting yourself when you wouldn’t short a subcontractor?

Emi Kirschner: Exactly, exactly.

Maddie Brown: And people don’t value their time and skillset. Skillset is important as well, but people don’t value their own time as much as they need to make a business that supports them financially and really is what they want it to be. So when you’re making decision and setting goals, what are your criteria? How do you go about doing that?

Emi Kirschner: The first one is whether or not I feel lit up about it because if I’m not excited about it, I’m not going to do it and it took me a really long time to get to that place. Even when I’m taking on clients, like if I’m not excited about the project or the client or their business, I won’t take them. Like I’ll recommend them to somebody else or find something else for them that may be suitable, but I want to bring my absolute best to people and I want to help them shine and have the best result, but they’ve got to be really committed to doing the work.

Maddie Brown: And what do you mean by the work? What do you take them through?

Emi Kirschner: I have a process that I take all of my clients through that helps them really get clear about what it is that they want, not only in their life, but how to build the business around that, and then we create essentially strategies and plans and put goals in place and I help keep them supported and accountable to reach those goals. And the strategies can be anything from creating a marketing plan, sales, improving your sales conversations, employee training, working on systems so you’re automating things as much as possible so that you have more time, and I really teach my people how to lead in their business, not just be another worker bee.

Maddie Brown: That is really … Talk more about that.

Emi Kirschner: Sure, so most of my clients are very creative. They’re service-based entrepreneurs and they love and are super passionate about whatever it is that they do and they’re great at it. I mean, they’re excellent. The business piece is, generally speaking, where their skillset is falling short a little bit, so I help them gain that essentially. I help them be able to step back and really look at, from a clarity standpoint, am I operating my business from my core values and what I want to achieve? How do I get there? What does that look like? How do I make more money? How do I increase the revenue? And typically, for my legacy leader clients, my results are doubling and tripling their revenue.

Maddie Brown: Wow, that’s awesome. So what do you mean by that legacy? What is that?

Emi Kirschner: I love and as I said, most of the people that I work with, really want to make a difference in other people’s lives. So it’s really about creating a business that leaves a lasting mark on the world and that could be anything from graphic design to a professional organizer to other coaches, financial advisors, accountants, et cetera. So it varies, topically speaking, but they’re very passionate people.

Maddie Brown: Cool. So if you had to pick two or three things that have really helped you be successful, what would you say they are?

Emi Kirschner: Outside of working on my mindset constantly, I would say definitely hiring a coach has been helpful because having somebody that can see outside of you and help you see where your blind spots are has been super helpful. And then the other thing for me is I created what I call, life team and it’s all the people in my life who really support my dream and keep me kind of on track and that’s my accountant, my financial advisor, my kids who love to give me a good kick in the tush when I feel like things aren’t working and at the speed that I want them to. I have a couple of girlfriends who make sure that I’m out and having a social life, et cetera, because I can get really focused on my business and growing it and serving too, so they help me stay balanced and in flow of having all aspects of my life really good.

Maddie Brown: I like that idea of a life team. I kind of apply it to business and I tell people that they need a board of directors.

Emi Kirschner: Yes.

Maddie Brown: Even if they’re a solopreneur, they need a board of directors and that’s their accountant and their attorney and people that support them in what they’re doing in their business. And if they don’t have someone that’s doing that, then I advise them to make someone up.

Emi Kirschner: Yeah exactly and it’s so helpful and really, I think you want both in your personal life and in your business life because it does give you the support that you need and starting a business is hard.

Maddie Brown: Yeah it’s a great course in personal development.

Emi Kirschner: Yes it is. It is and there’s so many things to overcome. So when you have all these people who are really on your team and supporting you and cheerleading and holding you accountable and pointing out where you’re not quite on track, is fantastic. I was in an accountability group for the last year. We just finished up and each one of us at different times has had tremendous breakdowns and breakthroughs and without the support and the knowledge base of these other three women, my business wouldn’t be where it is.

Maddie Brown: Wow, so how did you get that accountability group? Where did that come from? How did you find the people that participated?

Emi Kirschner: Yeah so I was in a program and I was looking for … Let me back up and say, I do much better when I have to report to somebody with what my goals are. So I was looking for a group of people who could help me with that and that were like-minded because as much as my kids are supportive, I’m a single mom. My parents live in North Carolina. They’re awesome but I don’t think they really get what I do either, so the family support isn’t there as much as it may be for somebody else and that’s totally okay, but I’ve been able to fill it in with accountability groups and friends, et cetera, and they are building their business and kind of at the same place that I’m at. So we’re all going through the same successes and the same challenges and it’s like, oh hey, I’ve done it this way and it works, even though their businesses are completely different.

Maddie Brown: You’ve mentioned a few things that you’ve used. Affirmations and meditation and you have accountability partners and a coach and these are all valuable resources that you can create for yourself to be more successful.

Emi Kirschner: Yes, absolutely.

Maddie Brown: So tell me a little bit about who your ideal client is and how do you help them? What do you do with them?

Emi Kirschner: Sure, so as I said, for the most part I work with creative entrepreneurs who are service-based. They’re passionate about helping other people. They want to make an impact in the world, but they also at this point in time, at the point that I’m meeting most of them, they either are just starting out or they’re at a place where they’re making some money but they’re starting to really feel burnt out because they’re working way too much and they don’t know how to delegate or they’re not sure who to hire to bring in.

So I help them figure all of that out and then, just depending on what they need, I really create custom plans but as I said before, it’s really the strategy piece of implementing. All right, this is what you need to do for your marketing. You’re not closing enough sales. Let’s look at that. Not only create and implement a sales process, but how do you overcome the objections that you handle. Most of my people are more big vision thinkers, so the details of the systems and how to implement that and actually make life easier, they’re not finding that piece. So I help them do that and free up a lot of their time.

I still bring the health coaching piece in too because we’re talking about energy level. We’re talking about stress. We’re talking about, are you sleeping enough and your habits and the productivity level that that all comes with as well.

Maddie Brown: Yeah, that’s great. So you do a lot of one-on-one work. Do you have anything on a group level that you do?

Emi Kirschner: Yes I do. I am launching, in the next couple of weeks, something called the Tribe of Leaders. It is a membership community designed, and again for both really emerging entrepreneurs, but if you’ve been in business for a few years, it could be a great opportunity for you and the reason why I’m starting this community is that there have been so many times I know in my experience and most entrepreneurs that I’ve met with where if the learning curve had been a little bit shorter, I could’ve achieved success faster.

So in the membership community, we have and as a member, you have access to videos that include, and 24/7 you can access them anytime, but include everything from sales, marketing, finance, personal finance, wellness, spirituality, business law, Facebook ads, like all sorts of different topics. And then we also have monthly, via Zoom, monthly live training. Co-working days, so you’re going to actually map out like what you’re doing for the next month, the next quarter, and a monthly mastermind. So, it’s an opportunity to really collectively ask questions, get support, be mentored, be coached a little bit, and then in the spring, we’re going to do some one day live in different cities mastermind events as well.

Maddie Brown: That sounds exciting.

Emi Kirschner: I’m really excited because we’re getting great feedback. I know that the value is right there and it will help so many people and part of what I want to create with it is that sense of community, that sense of belonging that you’re not just doing it on your own, and also the networking piece of it where you get to meet people from all over the country who can help you grow your business.

Maddie Brown: Yeah that is awesome. My network of people, we live in a small town in northwest Iowa, and my networking group is really diverse. I’ve got people in New York. I’ve got people in California, but you can have that support from people that are anywhere in the world really, because of the technology that we have at this point in the world to utilize, and so you can do so much online from the privacy of your own home watching videos and studying and learning and planning.

I’m a big planning fan. I like to have a one-page business plan, okay, that hits the high points and then the second page to the one-page business plan is a financial projection and plan. So the two of them fit together and help keep people focused and on point and that is … I’m a big proponent, and a lot of times, people when they’re starting in business, are determined to do it themselves and to use their own money and I can do this on my own, okay? And it’s like, you can’t. You just can’t. There is no business that runs in a vacuum with one person and the sooner people ask for help and get help, the faster they’ll progress. What do you think of that criteria? Does that make sense to you?

Emi Kirschner: Yes absolutely, wholeheartedly, totally agree and that’s why I’m starting the Tribe of Leaders is the more information you have accessible to you, the more people that you can talk to and connect with, the faster you will succeed because not only will you have the knowledge base and the skills, but you’ll gain the mindset from it. You’ll see where your blind spots are and you can address them a lot faster.

Maddie Brown: It’s always interesting to me, every person sees things from a different perspective and they hear things in a different way. You can say the same sentence five different ways to five different people and get a different perception and so we don’t always have an accurate perception of ourselves, and when you have a coach or someone that you work with, they have a more objective perspective on you and what you’re doing and what’s happening, and learning to listen to that is really valuable.

Emi Kirschner: Yes, I agree. I agree and typically too I think, when you’re looking at working with a coach, they have a certain level of experience that may be ahead of you. So they’ve already kind of been there, done that and that’s really helpful. They’re looking out for you.

Maddie Brown: Absolutely I agree. So if someone wanted to get a hold of you and find out more about you and what you do, how would they go about doing that?

Emi Kirschner: Oh sure, two places, multiple places, but I would check out That will tell you about the membership community and everything else about me and then obviously, I’m on social media. So Facebook and Instagram are my two favorites and where I’m most prevalent and it’s just Emi Kirschner. It’s E-M-I K-I-R-S-C-H-N-E-R.

Maddie Brown: Have you found Instagram to be helpful in your business as far as a marketing tool?

Emi Kirschner: I’m starting to … I really just started playing with it a couple of months ago. So I’m starting to see yeah, some really cool results in just the following, growing, people interacting, and I think that the next step will be seeing where the conversion is.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. What about Facebook? Has that been a good tool for you?

Emi Kirschner: Absolutely yes. It’s a great way … I have a Facebook group called the Tribe of Leaders too which I invite everybody to join and it’s been a great way to start building the community and personally, I went to three high schools, so it’s been a great way for me to stay in touch with everybody from a very long time ago.

Maddie Brown: Yeah awesome, awesome. Well, do you have anything else that you’d like to share with our listeners that you think would be a takeaway? If you had one thing, what would you tell them to do?

Emi Kirschner: Okay I have to pick one?

Maddie Brown: One, you might sneak in two.

Emi Kirschner: This week I’m all about celebrating everybody’s uniqueness and their value and the gift that they bring to the world. So make sure that you’re doing that every day. Really step into who you are and when you do that, what happens and I think is so cool, is that your energy level and your vibration rises and you start attracting more of what you want.

Maddie Brown: Yeah awesome, perfect, perfect. We’ve had Emi Kirschner here today with and check out her website and her new group that she’s got going. It seems like a tremendous resource and I thank you for spending the time with me. This is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line and if you have questions or comments or anything that you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Thank you.

Melinda Wittstock | Why Having a “Job” Is Bad News

Posted on December 31st, 2018

You can have a six- or even seven-figure business… and still be on shaky financial ground, says serial entrepreneur Melinda Wittstock. We take a deep dive into how and why that’s possible, as well what you can do right now to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

A big part of the problem could be your attitude about money… something you may not even be conscious of, says Melinda. Many entrepreneurs are also very busy… without anything to show for it.

We discuss strategies for leaping over those obstacles and so much more, including…

  • Why working hard doesn’t automatically translate to success
  • The next step beyond positive thinking you must take
  • Overcoming the limiting beliefs you don’t know you have
  • A visualization technique for getting important things done
  • And more

Listen now…

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: Well, this is Maddie Brown with Smash The Bottom Line, and I am very excited today to have a self-professed serial entrepreneur visit with us about what she’s doing in the world, and she is Melinda Wittstock. She is the owner of a couple of different companies, and I’m going to let her tell you about those companies and decide how we can best serve you today. I’m really excited to hear about Melinda’s success strategies. So Melinda, tell us a little bit about how you got started in business and how you got to where you are today.

Melinda W.: Oh, hey Maddie. Thank you, first of all, for having me on your show, and I’m excited and grateful to be here. Let’s see, how did I get started? Man, I think some people just have an entrepreneurial gene. I didn’t know what an entrepreneur was when I was six years old and I went door to door in my neighborhood demanding prepayment from all the neighbors for my show, okay? I guess I kind of showed up at their doorstep and I was smart enough, I don’t know where I got this idea that they should prepay, but I kind of knew that, and I also had my black lab with me, just to back me up, give me a little bit of confidence. I remember asking my father, “Hey, where can I get a hundred chairs?” And he’s like, “What?” Because I’d sold like … I’d made like a hundred bucks, right, as a six-year-old, and I’m kind of ancient, this was a while back, and literally he had to get a whole bunch of card table chairs and we set it up and people showed up and I did my show.

Maddie Brown: Wow.

Melinda W.: So these things are … I don’t know what it is, just this thing where you have an idea. A lot of people have ideas. A lot of people have really, really good ideas, but I think what makes an entrepreneur is you’re prepared to execute on that idea, to do what it takes to make that idea real, that you have a purpose and passion about it, that it’s really in alignment with why you’re here on the planet, you want to solve other people’s problems. Usually other people’s problems are a problem that you yourself have experienced, right?

Maddie Brown: Yes.

Melinda W.: And so really my career took off from there. I’ve done lots of things. I’m an award-winning journalist. I joined The Times of London when I was 22, and I was a business correspondent and I learned a lot as I wrote stories on mergers and acquisitions and financial results. I got to interview people like Steve Jobs, and it was an amazing experience.

Soon I was a media correspondent, I was writing about a new thing called the internet, and I just developed this real expertise in that area, and was always very enterprising, so I was like, “Hey, well, why don’t I create a TV show?” I had this idea to create a TV show, and so then I approached the Financial Times and CNBC and I created a business television show, grew that to a massive audience in Europe and Asia, moved from there to the BBC as a television news anchor, and it wasn’t long before I had another idea for a show that I created and grew to an audience of 20 million people.

So I’ve always had this kind of enterprising gene, right, and also a love for content and a love for really connecting people around a story, around … because I always think that great content is actually conversation, and this is something that runs through all my businesses. I’ve had a series of them, serial entrepreneur. One of the big ones is Capitol News Connection that I grew to a team of 50 people. We were heard by three million people across the country on radio and TV stations. We won lots of Murrow Awards, it was political news agency.

While I was there, I started to get more and more interested in technology, in particular, crowdsourcing, and I created an app in 2007 and grew it to three million people in eight months. It was one of the first crowdsourcing apps, a thing called Ask Your Lawmaker that let any citizen in the country ask any questions they wanted of their lawmaker in Congress, and our journalists went and got those questions answered. So it was an interactive app, and really the technology bug bit me then and I have always been fascinated by where technology and content and connection and meaningful relationships meet.

So long story short, Verifeed, one of my companies now, is a social intelligence platform. What that actually means is that we understand lot, our humans and our algorithms understand a lot about people from what they share in their social media conversations. Right? In any given day on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, wherever, people are talking about their hobbies, their problems, their issues, things they have in common, and this data is very useful in being able to understand and qualify who your customers are. Moreover, it’s very helpful in being able to know enough about them that you can really personalize the experience when you come to interact with them to really grow engagement around a brand or a business or a cause. You know enough about them, not to be creepy, but to just make what you’re producing relevant to them, ask them questions that show that you care about them, so you can show up and be a lot more authentic.

With Verifeed, because this technology can be used for good as well as bad, and I’m a goody two-shoes, I love big social impact that improves the world, so we only work with people who are really conscious and wanting to do something good to improve the world. So that’s Verifeed, and I could go on. I’ve done lots of things. I’m old.

Maddie Brown: Ah no, you’re seasoned.

Melinda W.: Seasoned, I like that.

Maddie Brown: I like seasoned too. It’s interesting, when you were talking, when I was five, six, seven, I was a person that went around to all of the stables and wondered if I could saddle soap their saddles so that I could buy hay for my horse.

Melinda W.: Oh, that’s so … that … You see, I think kids, I think a lot of kids actually have an entrepreneuring, enterprising spirit, but I think, and this is just my opinion, right, but I think a lot of the school system and just the way our society is organized tends to train that out of them so they can be obedient and fit into current structures and whatnot. I think we’re training our kids wrongly, and I think that’s beginning to change in the education system, certainly in some quarters, but kids should be able to graduate from school with a growing sense of confidence that they can be resilient, they can do hard things, they can come up with solutions for things and think outside of the box, is how best to prepare them for how the economy’s changing. Because honestly, everybody has to be entrepreneurial now.

Maddie Brown: Well, yes and most … One of the most frustrating things that I’ve dealt with in my profession as a CPA is that schools do not prepare people to be business owners. They-

Melinda W.: Oh no, they don’t at all. I so agree with you. And so you have to go and fix that for everybody, right, Maddie? I mean …

Maddie Brown: Well, people know what they know how to do, and they do that very well. But when it comes to managing their money and business planning, they have very little skill set to take them where they need to go, and you are correct, everyone here depends upon selling their services or their business product to another person. Without a sale, there is no business, and schools do a pitiful job of preparing people for that business requirement and making sales and being a successful business owner.

So if you had to pick two or three characteristics that were key for you to be successful in all the things that you’ve done, what would you say those things were?

Melinda W.: Oh, goodness. Well, it really begins with mindset, and I’ve become more and more sophisticated in this area over time. Started out for me as just believing in positive thinking, and then it evolved a lot more, because you can be thinking positively but underneath all of that, subconsciously you can have a lot of limiting beliefs. Right? Inherited in so many different ways, from whatever you experience, like the money story that you took on and the meaning you put on all those times that your parents were arguing about money, or if you had any challenges in that way, or whatever belief that you have about how deserving or not you are, or all of that.

All those things, we take on as children and it comes from television, it comes from social media, it comes from the education system, our parents, everywhere, we all have millions of these memories and millions of these thoughts, and they can often serve as counter intentions that interfere with that positive thinking and law of attraction and all these things that are very much in vogue. Without being able to clear those out and away, people can get stuck doing the same thing, effectively, and expecting different results.

So at the end of the day, when anyone is having money issues or team issues or issues in any area of their business that’s a challenge, the first thing to do is look inside. It all starts with you, and I know this personally, because I’ve spent years [inaudible 00:11:10] some of these things within myself, as well, and I’ve gotten to the point now where instead of, for instance, a task list of like to-dos in my day, I have an intentions list, and I think about what’s the result I want at the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of the month, and I imagine it and visualize it completed. I feel genuinely the gratitude when I’m visualizing this of having done it, and then I release it and I look for inspiration about the how, and so that when I am taking action, I know my priorities. Right? So then I can take focused, massive action in only the things that are going to provide me leverage, and these things really connect very, very profoundly for me in my business. We all can so easily get stuck in the busy work, and never progress. We’re busy, we’re working hard, but we’re not getting anywhere. And that-

Maddie Brown: [crosstalk 00:12:19].

Melinda W.: That’s the thing that really needs to change for most people.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. You said something that I really find interesting, and I would like you to give some examples of setting an intention on a daily basis. What does that mean? How do you do that?

Melinda W.: Yeah, and so it could be something as simple as you say it as [inaudible 00:12:49], so “I have a million-dollar runway.”

Maddie Brown: Yeah.

Melinda W.: I’m so grateful, I’m so happy I have a million-dollar runway. Right? Okay? I am so grateful that all my customers are really happy with what I delivered today. Right? I am so excited that my [inaudible 00:13:10] hit a half a million downloads. Whatever it is, right? I am so grateful that I am fit and healthy and I feel great. I am so grateful that just by being who I am, people want to work with me. I mean, there are loads of them, but the clue is to be able to say them as if they’ve already happened. Right?

And what’s interesting is when you go through this process, if you’re new to this, often you’ll say something like that out loud or to yourself and then just as quickly as you say it, you know you have a counter intention or a block if seconds later you say, “Oh, but who am I to think that? Oh yeah, like that’s going to happen,” or whatever. Right?

If you’re literally choking as you’re saying something like that, you know that there’s something that needs to be let go of, and I think at that point, and most of us have that, I know when I started down this path, I had all that kind of [inaudible 00:14:12] and in those moments, it’s always good to say, “Oh, how interesting. This is showing me something about myself that I don’t need,” and it doesn’t even matter where it came from. You don’t have to be an investigative journalist like I used to be to go figure it out. You can easily just say, “Hey, I don’t need this anymore. This isn’t serving me. How interesting that I feel this, but you know, hmm. I don’t need this. This is just a memory. It’s just a belief, it’s nothing more. It’s not me.”

Maddie Brown: That is awesome. If you had … Who have been some key people in your life that you have followed and learned from?

Melinda W.: Oh, gosh. What a wonderful question, because I think we don’t get anywhere unless we have great mentors and coaches, and one of the hardest things for women, in particular, in business is to ask for help. We spent a lot of time on our business kind of doing the proverbial cleaning the house before the housekeeper comes, and that’s exactly the wrong way to go about it. I’ve made a great effort to make sure that I was in masterminds and I was surrounding myself with people that knew more than I did at all times in all different areas of my life. Even to the point of looking for someone on [inaudible 00:15:30] something, well, who’s the best person that you can find that does that thing, and find it on LinkedIn and say, “Hey, how do you do that?” I mean literally. You’d be surprised, because people who are really successful, they feel really flattered. They want to help, right? They want to give back or give forward or whatever, right?

So I think I had different mentors at different phases of my life. I struggled in my early life because there weren’t very many female mentors around. I mean, there just weren’t at sort of the higher levels. But yeah, so many, and right now, I feel like I’m very blessed. I’m in a wonderful mastermind group called The Unicorn Club, and it’s for women that have seven, eight, and nine figure businesses, and all these women … What was really funny is that we’re all there and every single one of us felt on some level like we didn’t belong, and we all ended up confessing [inaudible 00:16:38] here we are, we’re in this thing, and what was really is, I remember I was having these feelings like, “Oh, gosh. Like really? I’m here, with these women? This is like amazing.” It’s women like JJ Virgin and Lisa Sasevich and Christy Whitman, like wow, these are some of my heroes, and suddenly I’m in the same room, in the same group, and I had to kind of get like what, really? And then what was really interesting is to hear from them that they were having the same feelings. It’s like, wow.

So even at that level, it never really quite goes away. It’s all relative. I’ve been blessed, too. I have a wonderful … I’ve had always wonderful investors in my business and I have one in particular right now who’s just so supportive and everything that I’ve done or intend to do, he’s done before me God knows how many times. I mean, he’s built and sold six of his own companies for high nine figures and he’s had all kinds of his own failures but tremendous success, as well, and the ups and downs and very advanced in mindset and everything like … Just having people around you [inaudible 00:17:58] and done that, and a diversity of them and being able to ask them questions, being in a coaching group, being in a mastermind group, being … It’s vital. If you’re not doing that, oh my God. Nothing really worked for me until I realized … In business, anyway, in terms of growing a business or scaling it, nothing worked until I really took on a bunch of different groups.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. It’s interesting, there are millions, millions of businesses in this country, and less than 4% of those businesses are seven-figure businesses. So that is a very small percentage, and the other thing that I have always found true is generally, your income is the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Melinda W.: Oh, yes. That’s true, and it’s not just your … I mean, that’s true. Same thing with your mindset, but yes, definitely true of your income, it’s true of your mindset, it’s true of your health. It’s true of all of those things.

Maddie Brown: You’ve got to choose carefully where you invest your time and your energy and your brainpower.

Melinda W.: Yes, you do. It’s so, so vital. I mean, [inaudible 00:19:28] interesting, too, I’m talking a lot about women because my own podcast is aimed at women entrepreneurs and women who want to become entrepreneurs, and over [inaudible 00:19:45] my episode is like at episode 192 or 3 or something like that today, and you see these patterns for what makes a successful female entrepreneur, and almost in all cases, they … Well no, not almost. Entirely in all cases, they understand leverage. They know how to ask for help. They know how to focus their efforts on specific things of leverage that will make a big difference. They ask for help. They hire earlier. They figure out systems. They think like owners instead of doers, and in every case, every single one of us has had to figure out how to get out of that doing, because it’s so natural for us to want to do everything and please everybody, keep everybody’s drinks full, be the hostess with the most-est, and so many women end up burning out doing that. They create a job for themselves, but not the systems to be able to scale that into something else.

The other thing that all these women had in common, and most men, too, is that they are in mastermind groups, they do have coaches. They are actually investing in themselves, not only their own education, business education, networking, whatever you want to call it, but they’re also investing in their own self-care. They’re going and sitting in the float tanks or getting a massage or going for a walk in the woods, taking those moments, quiet time to really, to prioritize, getting out of the busywork. Working on their business instead of in it.

Maddie Brown: Those are all great, great things that clear the path for you to achieve the results that you really want to achieve.

Melinda W.: Absolutely, and I think it’s so interesting on the financial side of things with money. You were mentioning with the education system, they don’t train kids about income. Most kids have never heard of something like passive income. Most of them don’t even understand debt or what types of debt are good and what types of debt are bad.

Maddie Brown: Right.

Melinda W.: Right? None of those things, and in fact, most business owners, even at the seven-figure level, eight-figure level, are often … their business is fueling their lifestyle. The more they succeed in business, the more their lifestyle demands kind of increase, the more they have to take out of their business or the more their business [inaudible 00:22:34], and they get trapped, because they’re not taking enough to invest in passive income. And this is true, not just of ordinary people. When I say ordinary, I just mean like non-entrepreneurial, civilians, right? This is true of them, but it’s also true of a lot of entrepreneurs who don’t even get the personal finance part right.

Maddie Brown: It’s interesting, and I see a lot of behind the scenes information in the accounting and the bookkeeping work that we do, and it’s amazing how many seven-figure businesses do not retain that kind of money on the bottom line and-

Melinda W.: Right, yeah.

Maddie Brown: … [crosstalk 00:23:17] what’s interesting is they have the same problems when they’re making seven figures that they had when they were making five figures, and the numbers and the size of the problem just escalates as you grow, unless you do the personal work that has to go with that money mindset so that you can really achieve financial freedom and success and be comfortable with where you are, and so many people struggle, even when they get to the seven figure mark. It takes a certain mindset and an understanding of how the energy of money works in order to really create what you want for results.

Melinda W.: Right. Well said. That’s absolutely true, and the time to start is not when you’re at seven figures. The time to start is when you’re just starting, to lay the foundation correctly, and it’s so great that you help people do that, Maddie. It’s really important work.

Maddie Brown: Well, I have a lot of people that say, “I’m not ready for an accountant. I’m not ready for a CPA. I need to grow more,” and really, when you’re getting started is when you need the most help.

Melinda W.: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, yeah. No, it’s true. People make rookie mistakes, even on things like legal things, like not creating an LLC or not understanding … Yeah, tax. There’s so many different things, yeah.

Maddie Brown: Yeah, there is. So when you work with clients, what do you do? Tell us a little bit about who you work with and how you help them.

Melinda W.: Oh, wonderful. Okay, so there’s two different areas of work that I do. One of them is a program that I have called Wings of Success, and this is aimed primarily at female entrepreneurs, although we do have some men in this, as well. Just like I learned a lot from men all the way through my career, I think men can learn from very successful women entrepreneurs, as well. But it is aimed primarily at women because all of the coaches are women. I brought together 60 of the top female entrepreneurs in this country to all create lessons from mindset to mojo and money, all we’re talking about, about how to obtain financial freedom and passive income, but changing our relationships with money, how to build a personal brand, how to grow your influence, the legal piece, all the different areas, like how to fundraise for your business, all the different areas that you would need at different phases. How to attract great clients, how to close the deal, so many of these things, and so all 60 of us have created these video lessons.

I launched this originally as a summit. It still is a summit, it is an evergreen summit product, and what’s amazing about it is it’s actually free if you sign up for it. It’s called, and if you sign up for this, you can kind of livestream the content over a five-day period, although that’s kind of overwhelm, because there’s so much of it. It’s like a massive over-deliver. So we suggest that the easiest thing to do is just invest in download access to all the content. It’s not expensive. It’s like the cost of a nice dinner out.

Over on top of that, the summit runs kind of perennially, like evergreen, whenever you want to sign up for it and I’ve always … just kind of updated it and added a lot of great content to it. On top of that, you can upgrade and do group coaching so that myself and my kind of expensive mentor referral network can help you implement everything you’re learning from Wings of Success and also provide the business family that you truly need to succeed, the people who are going to support you and encourage you and give you that feeling of safety as they call you on your stuff and make you accountable to succeeding. My goal with the group coaching is to get women to a million dollars or more in revenue profitably, so those are the people that I’m really looking for, people who are in the five figures, six figures, who really want to make it to seven, in that group coaching.

I also do one-on-one coaching, and one-on-one coaching on the female entrepreneur side of things, I work with women at all different areas, everything from … and this where my Verifeed expertise comes into it, like how to grow your thought leadership into a personal brand, your marketing and sales funnels and all of that sort of stuff. I’m kind of a genius at that, but I also really end up focusing on the mindset, because that’s where everybody needs help, and then when people need very specific help, I do a lot of referrals, win-win-wins to people in my network. So Maddie, when I have people who are struggling with some of the money things, I say, “Hey, I know a great woman, Maddie Brown, you’ve got to go work with her.”

So that’s kind of how that whole Wings thing works, and a little bit on my mission there, because just to clarify, I really, my intention is to create and catalyze an ecosystem where women, in particular, show up to help each other meaningfully. Not like, “You go girl,” but I mean really, like meaningful introductions, connections, through to mentoring each other obviously, throwing business to each other, but also investing in each other.

And so the Wings of Success, all those products are aligned in that way with affiliate marketing in more so everybody that’s participating is getting passive income from it, is getting lead generations from it with qualified leads, like I’m throwing business to them and they’re throwing business to me, so it’s very much of a business model aligned with my mission. So that’s Wings, and it’s growing, there’s a lot of stuff in the road map, including really high-ticket mastermind and epic experiences all over the world for high-performing entrepreneurs, and you know, whatever level you’re at, there is definitely something for you. So I’m excited about that.

On the Verifeed side of it, again, it’s really about your social media. It’s about working and engaging people, the right people, so you can turn happy customers into your sales force virally online. So it’s a mix of our technology and our humans going to work for you on that.

Maddie Brown: Okay, awesome. So you said that it was

Melinda W.: Yes, that’s right,

Maddie Brown: Okay. If they want to get in touch with you and get more information, how would they go about doing that?

Melinda W.: Okay, so there’s a couple of different ways. You can help me test out my new chat bot, so if you go to,, you’ll kind of connect with me on Facebook Messenger that way through a chat bot, and you can obviously get through to me personally, too. And then I’m everywhere on social media, as well. So on Facebook, my public figure page is I am Melinda Wittstock, and on LinkedIn, I’m Melinda Wittstock. On Instagram, I’m MelindaWittstock2020, and on Twitter, I’m MelindaWings, and you can check out my website at, and Verifeed at

Maddie Brown: Okay, and what about your podcast?

Melinda W.: Oh, my goodness. I can’t believe I forgot to mention my podcast. That’s just criminal. So it’s called Wings of Inspired Business, and it’s everywhere where you can get your podcasts, on iTunes, Google, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify, iHeartRadio. Yeah, I think that’s all of them. And we appreciate people checking it out on iTunes, in particular, because I want more women to discover the podcast, so if you’re kind enough to go to and listen to it there, download as many episodes as you can and leave a review, that helps us up the iTunes algorithm so more people can find us. I really appreciate that.

Maddie Brown: Okay, awesome. Well, we’ve been talking with Melinda Wittstock about success and how she got to where she’s going. Her podcast is awesome, and I’d encourage you to check that out, and you can look at her summit at, and I appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to talk with our audience and if you have questions for me, you can always reach me at And thank you, Melinda, for taking the time today to talk to us. It’s been awesome.

Melinda W.: Well, it was wonderful to be with you, Maddie, and everybody, when you go check out Wings of Inspired Business, look for the episode with Maddie Brown! It was awesome.

Maddie Brown: Okay. Thank you.

Michelle Mazur | A Successful Business Is a Journey Not a Destination

Posted on December 17th, 2018

You’re an expert in your field. You do good work… when people actually hire you.

Trouble is, says communication expert Dr. Michelle Mazur, you’re getting lost in the crowd.

You need a brand… and a core message that ensures you stand out from the competition and compels prospects to say “Yes!”

Michelle has spent a lot of time refining this approach and how it applies to everything you do in your business, from marketing to speaking engagements to client interactions and beyond.

She tells us all about that and…

  • What you can learn from today’s big social movements
  • An unexpected reason to form an S Corp
  • Why you shouldn’t think of prospects as adversaries
  • How to tell if your business must “evolve”
  • And more

Listen now…

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: This is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line, and I am here today with Michelle Mazur. And she … Dr. Michelle Mazur. Sorry about that. Don’t want to forget that important PhD. She is an expert in her field, and she’s done some amazing things in her business. And I’m excited to share her experiences and successes with you today. So you’ve done so much in your business, and what has got you to this point in your life and career?

Michelle Mazur: Oh, that is such a great question. I believe what gets me to this point in my career is resiliency and stubbornness, like a good combination of those two qualities. Because a little bit about me, I started my career in communication. I was an academic, so I was a professor at the University of Hawaii. For a whole host of reasons, being a professor in … You know, being a professor on the most isolated island chain in the world just was not working out for me.

So, I ended up leaving the academy, and at that time I had this little inkling in my head. It’s like, oh, you should start a business working with speakers, working on messaging. You’d be so good at that, and I had no idea how to do that. So, instead I decided, hey, I have a PhD. I’m a good researcher. I might as well go into market research. So, I did market research for like five years with like fortune 500 companies, and it was soul sucking. And at one point in time one of my good friends said to me, Michelle you just know so much about communication and speaking, and you’re not sharing any of that. So share it. Like do something with that information, and that led me to start a blog, which led me to my first client, which led me to build the business, and just keep on going, and keep experimenting to get where I am today.

Maddie Brown: You know, they say 80% of what you do doesn’t work, and you make your living on the 20% of things that do work.

Michelle Mazur: I would agree with that. And once you find things that work in your business, then it’s like, okay, I am going all in on this.

Maddie Brown: Absolutely. So talk to me a little bit about how you work with people.

Michelle Mazur: Yeah. So, I basically work with people in two different capacities. The first part of my work is with entrepreneurs, and business owners, and speakers who really wants to make a bigger impact. So, these are the people who are either in a transition in their business, so the business that they built no longer fits them, and they need to change that. Or it’s for people who are stepping out from behind the computer and wanting to be known for the work they do. So, what I call this process is called the three word rebellion, messaging intensive.

And for me this process is critical for getting known for what you do. And I discovered this three word rebellion framework at a point in my business where I was completely frustrated, and I just couldn’t go on anymore because I had been recording a podcast for about two years about speaking. And it was very tactical, like how do you get paid? And how do you market yourself? And how do you write the speech? And although that information was good and interesting, I was like, this is not my working world. This is not going to be how communication changes the world. And eventually, I was very honest with myself, like I can’t go on. And I started noticing an interesting pattern because there are all these social movements in the United States that are cropping up, whether it’s Never Again, or Me Too, or Black Lives Matter, or even Make America Great Again. We’re seeing the rise of social movements.

And I realized there was a pattern between social movements and business owners and speakers who were really successful. And the similarity that I discovered was that they had a message that could be summarized in a couple of words that described what their business or what their movement was about. Because if you look at very successful people like Simon Sinek, his three words were, “start with why.” Or Mel Robbins, she has the five second rule. And I thought to myself like, okay, it’d be cool if I can apply the questions you use in social movement theory about, what are you rebelling against? What do you want to see changed? What kind of future do you want to create? And take those questions and apply them to business owners and see if I can find that core message. And I realized as I started to experiment with it that it worked, and I was finding people’s messages, like the message they want to be known for in sometimes 30 minutes or less. I was like, whoa, this could be like the Domino’s Pizza of messaging.

And so then I created that into an entire service. So, I help people create that three word rebellion that gets them known. Then, I help them craft their, basically, brand pillars or content buckets, but I call them your talking points to move people from being resistant to the change you want to give them, to saying yes to your three word rebellion. And then creating stories that actually support you along the way so that you have basically all of the messaging your business needs. You have the angle. You have the stories. You have the talking points. The customer journey that moves people to yes. So, that’s the first thing I do in my business.

And then the second thing I work on with speakers is that, we still do the same work, and then we write … We take that work, and we write either a keynote speech from it, a Webinar, or a workshop. And then figure out some kind of marketing plan to get that out into the world.

Maddie Brown: Yay. You said- [crosstalk 00:07:15]

Michelle Mazur: Yeah.

Maddie Brown: You said several things that intrigue me. Okay?

Michelle Mazur: Okay. Sure.

Maddie Brown: And, the one thing … The first thing that comes to me is a business that no longer fits, and that seems-[crosstalk 00:07:31]. That’s something that most people really overlook is that a business is growing and changing, and what worked for you five years ago or 10 years ago may change. And your business plan has to change along with you because it doesn’t fit you anymore. People tend to think they’re going to get into business and stay the same, and it requires growth and development.

Michelle Mazur: Absolutely. Because I see that with … I’ve seen that with myself. I see it with my clients, is that some of my clients are very successful, and they’ve gotten known for a specific idea, a specific thing they do. And all of the sudden, they wake up in five years, and they’re like, what I am doing no longer fits who I am and who I want to be in the world, and it no longer fits the business that I want to create going forward. And instead of just like, keep on keeping on and just doing the work because you know it works, that’s a sign that it’s time to evolve. And it’s okay to evolve and change. You might lose some people. You might lose some clients, but most likely what will happen is you’ll gain new people who didn’t think your work was for them before.

So, I think it’s a very powerful thing to look at your business and be like, hey, it’s okay if this changes, if this evolves as I evolve.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. It’s an ongoing process. It is not a destination. It’s the journey, if you will.

Michelle Mazur: Yes.

Maddie Brown: The other thing that I love that you said is that the communication changes the world.

Michelle Mazur: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Maddie Brown: That is so incredibly true, and people need to learn to communicate in a way that effectively conveys their message, and that is such a challenge. It’s been a challenge for me. I think it’s a challenge for basically all entrepreneurs to find that message and really hone it to where it changes the world.

Michelle Mazur: Yes. Yeah because … I love that you picked up on that because that is my why behind my business, and I’ve had that why forever. And what I’ve noticed in business is that the message is often overlooked. It’s the one thing that doesn’t get work done, so people will buy a course in Facebook ads, or how to write copy for their website, or how to do a Webinar. And that’s all well and good, and the information is good, but when you go to sit down and write the copy, do the Facebook ad, create the Webinar, if you don’t have a message, those courses aren’t going to help you find that message. So then you can’t take action and build your business, so you do have to … As a business owner, one of the most important things that you can do is to figure out what that message is because it will inform everything you do in your business going forward.

I often say that the three word rebellion is the heartbeat of your business because once you have that, everything else becomes easier because you know how to communicate to change the world.

Maddie Brown: Awesome. You know, one theme that runs through most of my clients … We work with a lot of coaches, and entrepreneurs, and healers, and most of my clients have a mission of some kind to change the world and to make a difference on the planet. And actually I kind of take the position that good accounting records and being profitable in your business is integral to being able to change the world in the way they want to change it. Because if you’re not profitable and making money, cannot have the impact and the change in the world that you want to be.

Michelle Mazur: I 100% agree with you because I believe that when you are making money, you can actually do more good because you’re out of survival mode. You know that your rent is paid, and your business expenses are paid, and you have health insurance, and life is good. And then you can focus on doing more good, and the only way you can do that as a business owner is by making sure you’re making money and having a profitable business.

Maddie Brown: Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of people kind of hide from that money thing. They don’t want to talk about it, and they don’t want to look at it. And that doesn’t do them a good service.

Michelle Mazur: Not at all. I know for me, after being in business for what now? Six and a half years, that working on my money issues has been the biggest journey that I’ve taken and continue to take in my business. And so, being a business owner, it forces you to look at your numbers, and it forces you to look at why you don’t want to look at your numbers and do something about that so that you can have that profitable business that does good.

Maddie Brown: Well, everybody wins when you’re profitable.

Michelle Mazur: Yes.

Maddie Brown: Absolutely. So if you had to pick two or three things that have really driven your success, what would they be?

Michelle Mazur: Well, not surprising coming from me, but I think for me, finding my message, the three word rebellion was critical, or is critical, to my success and my growth. Because before that I was very tactical in my business. I was working with speakers, helping them get paid, setting their fees, finding speaking gigs, all of that jazz. And I still do that, but it’s very hard for me to be truly known and seen as an expert and someone you should talk to you or have on your podcast because it was so tactical. But when I found my core message, when I found the three word rebellion, all of that changed. Like all of a sudden people were asking me to be on podcasts or to speak on a stage instead of me having to try to create those opportunities. Or clients were coming to me because they wanted to create their three word rebellion, and that was a critical juncture for me.

And then I would say the other thing that made a difference, and as a person who loves the numbers and doing accounting, is I feel like my business changed and my identity changed the day that my business became an S Corp. Because all of the sudden it was, I was no longer an LLC, sole proprietor. I owned a business. I owned an S Corp. I started filing a W … You know, like paying payroll taxes because I am the employee of my business. That changed my identity, and how I viewed myself, and how I viewed the potential of Communication Rebel, and what I want to create.

Maddie Brown: That is really interesting. There’s a lot of reasons that people form S Corporations, and we could … I could talk about that, and why it’s a good idea, and why it may not be a good idea at length, but that’s a perspective that I hadn’t heard before, is that it made you approach … Creating an S Corporation is a little like having a child. It’s a separate tax paying entity, and you have to treat it as an independent business, an independent entity to you when you have an S Corporation. And so many people get into it without really understanding that they’re creating a separate living, breathing, taxpaying entity when they create an S Corporation.

Michelle Mazur: Yes. I 100% agree because it’s … I also, it’s odd, but I also view your message as like this living, breathing organism that’s going to go out into the world and do its own thing after you’ve birthed it. And it’s the same when you file an S Corp. It is … It shifts how you look at yourself and at your business, and you see it. It’s like, oh, right. I’ve created this being, this entity that gets to start having its own life beyond me, and that just … It just feels so different.

Maddie Brown: Yeah, you have to work on your relationship with your business. And your business is a relationship, and your relationship to money is a separate relationship. And so you’ve got to treat those relationships with respect, and care, and time, and attention. And money loves attention. Your business loves your attention. And so you can do amazing thing when you get really crystal clear. So I love your three word rebellion. I think that that is awesome.

Michelle Mazur: Thank you. Yeah, it was … And just goes back to something you were talking about earlier, about the importance of your message and how it’s an afterthought. And it’s really difficult to find that kind of message all on your own because you do work with consultants, and coaches, and healers. We are so close to what we do every single day that it takes someone with an outside perspective to actually point out what’s important.

And I know for me, I was having lunch with a book coach named Jenny Nash. She was here in Seattle visiting, and I was … I thought I was … Originally I was like, okay, I think I want to rewrite my first book and get it traditionally published, and then as we started talking I was just telling her, ranting and raving, about all the things that I was seeing and the patterns, and she’s like, ooh. She’s like, I really like this idea you have around the three words speech. And I’m like, oh. Like, oh, that’s pretty interesting. She’s like, maybe you should be writing a self-published book on that. And I was like, ooh, three words speech. I’m like, that feels good and not right.

And it was afterwards, I was like, okay, that’s not edgy enough for me. And when I went home and gave it a little space, I was like, oh, it’s the three word rebellion. That’s what I’m creating. But if I never had that conversation with another human being, I would have never found my message because I do believe your message already exists. It’s just swimming in all of the ideas and your body of work, and just waiting to be found.

Maddie Brown: Well, I noticed on your Facebook page that you have a quiz. Would you like to-

Michelle Mazur: That quiz is a little bit old.

Maddie Brown: Is the quiz a little bit old?

Michelle Mazur: Yes.

Maddie Brown: Okay. Well, I didn’t know if it-

Michelle Mazur: Yes, I probably should update my Facebook page. I haven’t been giving that as much love as I need to, and it’s … Well I think it’s partially because I’m in that pivot and transition as well. So, getting rid of the things that no longer serve you in your business is one of my action items. So-

Maddie Brown: Okay, so what are you pivoting towards?

Michelle Mazur: I’m really pivoting towards more of the messaging for businesses. So, I love speakers. I love working with speakers. I probably will always work with speakers because I am a speaker. They have a special place in my heart. But I realized the work that I’ve been doing with my speakers, they were able to use it in so many different ways in their business. Like I would see what we created for their speech in Instagram post, or on a Facebook live, or in a newsletter, or even for a launch that they were doing for a service. And I was like, oh, that’s super, super interesting, and it made me realize that the power of what I do applies to more people than just speakers. And I want to reach this larger audience of these change-making businesses that really need that message to tie it all together for them so that they can become more visible, get known for their message, so that their audience can easily spread the message that they have.

So, that’s the pivot. It’s a slight pivot, but it’s a pivot nonetheless. And so when you’re going through a pivot, it is about doing an audit of everything you’ve created, and figuring out what no longer serves you and your business, and letting those things go, which is really hard because you spent a lot of time creating those things. And figuring out how can you take what you have and pivot it or change it into something else.

So, for instance, like with my podcast, I’ve been doing the Rebel Speaker podcast for a couple of years, and in September I’m relaunching it as the Rebel Rising podcast so I can really focus on those people who want to be the next generation of thought leaders, and influencers, and have conversations about the messy journey to having that kind of impact.

Maddie Brown: Yeah, well, and it is a journey. It is a journey. And my … The other thing that you mentioned at the very beginning was that it was helpful to be stubborn and resilience. And the persistence, perseveres. If you’re persistent in doing what you’re doing, you will find the path that leads you to where you belong.

Michelle Mazur: I … Yes.

Maddie Brown: They … Too many people don’t … They stop before they have achieved what they set out to do. And it’s not that they didn’t have good intentions, but they get scared, and they get frustrated, and they quit. You know? And I’ve got a mentor that I’ve had in my life that says, businesses don’t fail. The owner runs out of ideas.

Michelle Mazur: Oh, interesting. [crosstalk 00:24:00]

Maddie Brown: And I have found that to be so true because people give up, and they … That persistence that they need to have in order to build a successful business doesn’t come easily always.

Michelle Mazur: Yes, 100%. And I think my experience with this, and the persistence, and the resiliency, stubbornness to make this business work, because what I found when I was working with speakers, it always felt like a very hard sell to sell my services. It was just hard to sell it because speaking is a long-term strategy. Like you just don’t start applying like what I teach you, and then a day later you get a speech, and you’re getting paid $5,000. That’s not how it works at all. And so it was always a struggle to sell what I do, even though my process works. People have gotten great results. But I was always struggling with that, and then when I was developing the three word rebellion messaging intensive, I quickly realized that that was a much easier sell because people struggle with their message every single day. And it makes their business 10 times harder to run, 10 times harder to get those clients in the door, 10 times harder to be profitable because they don’t have the message.

And so that was … And it was … And the messaging, that’s something they can start using while we’re working together. They can start putting out what we’re creating during the process to see how it works. And if I wouldn’t have made that change, that pivot, and just kind of followed my intuition, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. And I think I would have given up because it was really frustrating to have something that was really awesome for people and I knew could really help people, and yet it was so hard to sell.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. Well, and we aren’t, I don’t think, born knowing how to sell. There’s-

Michelle Mazur: Oh, no.

Maddie Brown: And people, a lot of people, don’t want to be in sales. Really running a business requires sales. If you don’t have sales, you don’t have a business.

Michelle Mazur: Gosh, yes. Yes. I just … Sales is an important skill to learn. And the thing is, is that you can do it in a way that matches your personality. You don’t have to be a high pressured, inauthentic type of sales person to sell your product or service. Like when I get on the phone with a potential client, I spend most of my time just listening to them. What are they trying to do? What do they want to create? What are their goals? And then I can kind of … I can see like, oh, can I help you with this, or can I not help you with this? And then it’s easier to transition into the conversation about my work, and what I do, and it’s almost like I see sales as an act of service because if somebody has a problem and they’re struggling, and you have something that can help them move forward, then you should be offering it. It’s the right thing to do.

Maddie Brown: Absolutely. There’s another mentor of mine that says that sales isn’t something you do to someone. It’s something you do for someone. And I think that that really is important to keep uppermost in your mind is what you’re offering them is a positive life force growing success in their business through working with you. And if you don’t offer that, then you’re really doing a disservice to your potential client.

Michelle Mazur: Yes, I agree. You have to … It’s about shifting sales from like thinking about, oh, you’re going to get money from this thing and that doesn’t feel good, to how can I be of service? And when you are of service, like energetically, you should be compensated for that.

Maddie Brown: Absolutely. Absolutely. I agree with that. So, if people want to get ahold of you, what do you recommend they do? How do they find you? And what’s your first step in working with you?

Michelle Mazur: Yeah, so the first step in working with me is I would encourage, if you want to find your own three word rebellion, I have the process at And it takes you through the super fun writing prompts that give you the raw materials to find your three word rebellion. And you can also find me on Instagram. I hang out there a lot at Dr. Michelle Mazur. And everything else, you want my website at

Maddie Brown: Excellent. Okay. So, just to wrap things up, if you were to say one thing that you want people listening to you to know and take into their hearts, what would that one thing be?

Michelle Mazur: Don’t be afraid to evolve. Don’t be afraid to evolve your message, evolve your business, change things that no longer fit or are no longer working for you. Because what I have found is that your audience will come along on that journey, especially if you’re sharing it. So, if you find a different message that you want to be known for, start talking about it. Don’t think, oh my gosh, this is going to ruin my entire business.

If you want to have a different service or a product, create it, and put it out, and see if people are interested in it. Look at it as an experiment and don’t be afraid to evolve and change.

Maddie Brown: That is beautiful. Thank you. This is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line, and we’ve been talking with Michelle Mazur. And she is a rebel and communication rebel, and she has a tremendous amount to offer. Thank you for taking the time to visit with me today, Michelle.

Michelle Mazur: Thank you for having me, Maddie. This is so much fun.

Maddie Brown: Okay, well thank you. And if you have any questions or any information that you would like to call, you can use … You can contact us at, and we will get connected with you, and help you move forward. Thank you, and I appreciate you listening.


David Neagle | Living in Your Purpose

Posted on December 3rd, 2018

Everybody wants to be successful in business and life. But, says best-selling author and success mentor David Neagle, many people always struggle.

What makes the difference?

David explains the three things you must change in yourself to be one of those who enjoys personal satisfaction and financial freedom. These are things you can start doing right now.

The foundation of lasting change though is taking full personal responsibility. David explains what exactly that means and the other values you must adopt.

We also discuss…

  • How your perception of the world is holding you back
  • Aligning yourself with universal principles for success
  • 4 questions you must ask yourself before every decision
  • Strategies for combining mindset and skillset
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: This is Maddie Brown with Smash the Bottom Line and I am really thrilled and excited to be here with one of the people that I consider most influential in my business. That is David Neagle. He has strategies and teachings and opportunities for us that I think everyone can benefit from. I’m really pleased to have you with us David.

David Neagle: Thanks Maddie, I’m happy to be here.

Maddie Brown: Let’s give everybody just a little bit of background. How did you get started in business? What would you say was the goal that got you to where you are today?

David Neagle: That’s a good question. What got me started in business was first a curiosity about some changes that I made in my life primarily from a financial perspective. I watched my income go up dramatically when it really wasn’t supposed to, based on my background. I had quit high school when I was 17 years old. I had no further education although I did get my GED when I was in the army but I really didn’t get any further education beyond that. I was creating a lot of responsibility in my life by starting a family young and not having a way to fulfill that responsibility.

After a lot of frustration on my end, and attempts to try to change my situation, I was stuck. I was just completely stuck and I started working. I had an experience one night when I was driving a forklift. I used to load food into trailers on a dock. I had this experience just out of pure exhaustion where I kind of had a bit of a mental breakdown. I was just crying and I was frustrated and I was tired and very overwhelmed. A voice in my head said, “Change your attitude.” That’s where it started for me was with that voice in my head that’s saying, “Change your attitude.”

I started playing with that idea. I kind of boiled it down to changing three things within my attitude. One being, acting like I loved what I did because I really hated what I was doing. Doing every job to the very best of my ability because I had never had someone in my life to kind of guide me into let’s say a proper work ethic. I was not really doing the best that I could as far as the quality of my work went.

The third thing was treating people with total respect. I was not doing that because I was angry about the situation that I was in. I was angry with myself. I was angry about a lot of things. But it had nothing to do with other individuals yet that’s kind of where I was taking it out on other people and really not respecting them.

I decided to change those three things and I did not expect a correlation in my income to appear nor did I expect it to appear as fast as it did. My income tripled in a month after I did those three things. I was literally stunned by this transformation that happened. It caused me to be extremely inquisitive about what I had done. People that I knew were telling me that I got lucky. They were making up all kinds of excuses for the good fortune that I was experiencing. I didn’t believe in any of those excuses nor I did I believe in luck. I knew that it had something to do with what I had done but I didn’t know what or how that played a role.

That put me on a journey of studying. I started reading books. I started going to seminars. I studied for a period of about seven years before I started my business. The passion of learning what I had done and then studying human potential and the success of other individuals, especially individuals that had started from a meager background, where it didn’t look like their life would amount to much at all, really intrigued me. Once I started to learn how to kind of replicate this, I started teaching it to other people and some people that I was teaching it to were getting results and some people weren’t. I realized real quick that that had a lot to do with the desire for a person to change.

That led me to starting a business in the industry of professional and personal development. I had an enormous passion for it. It was, I had found my life’s purpose and I’ve been doing that now for about 20 years.

Maddie Brown: Wow. That is awesome. It’s an incredible story. I think that I would like to know if you had one, what do you mean by change your attitude? Can you be more specific?

David Neagle: Yeah, sure. Yeah, I can. I think that when I was a little kid, I did not like school. The reason that I didn’t like school I think were because I was moved around a lot as a child so I had to go, I went to a lot of different schools. Every time I went to a different school I had to start over. Nobody was taking the time to teach me how to study proper educational techniques, that type of thing. As a result, I was not doing well. Because I wasn’t doing well I wanted to avoid it even more so I wasn’t having any fun with it. I just ended up just hating school.

The teachers would, when they would call my parents in for a parent teacher conference, they would always say, “David is a pretty bright kid if he would just change his attitude he would do much better in his studies.” And I would go home and I would get yelled at and they would tell me, “Change your attitude.” I would get grounded basically from one report card to the next. That was their solution to this problem was that I had to go to school, come home, stay in my room and I had to do this until my next report card came out with the idea that I was supposed to go in there and study but nobody was really teaching me how to do that.

I was in there daydreaming, building models, reading magazines, listening to music, not doing anything productive so my report card didn’t change and my attitude wasn’t changing. When this voice in my head after I became an adult said, “Change your attitude,” it wasn’t the first time that I had heard this but it was the first time that I paid attention to it.

The attitude is basically how we think about what it is that we’re doing. What is our overall value system and our ethical system about how we’re approaching life and how we actually see life and are we going to see it from the perspective of I have unlimited potential? There is nothing that I can’t accomplish if I put my mind to it and I work diligently at it and that I am going to show up with good spirits, grateful, happy, loving with my work and with other people.

Of course, I was not doing that but I learned how to do that. I taught myself how to do that. When I changed my attitude, it changed my perception because your perception is controlled by your belief system. The way that I was perceiving my world was that everybody was out to get me. I was not going to make it. I was going to struggle all of my life. The thought of that was really devastating to me. It was very discouraging. I had a feeling inside of myself that I was meant to do a lot more but I didn’t know how to get there and I didn’t know what it was.

As I began to change my attitude, which changed my outlook on life, I actually began to see things in my world, in my surroundings, that I did not see before. It was, some of it was that I just didn’t see those things and some of it was that I didn’t see them the way that they really were. I saw them the way that I was which was a person with a poor attitude, a poor outlook on life.

Maddie Brown: Okay. Who do you work with in today’s world that you help the most? Who’s your ideal candidate to talk to? Who can you help the most?

David Neagle: Well generally I work with people that are small business owners or entrepreneurs. I think that that’s probably our core market but basically we work with anybody. Anybody that has a desire to change. It just so happens that people that are entrepreneurs and business owners that have come from a middle class, working class, blue collar background, they have a tremendous desire to accomplish something in their life but they don’t necessarily have the value system that goes along with what is required for them to have the success that they’re looking for.

Many years ago I created a program that was called, The Art of Success. The idea behind that program was that the value system between an entrepreneur, successful entrepreneur and your average middle class individual is very, very different. When you change that you’re going to change the outcome that you’re getting in your life.

What we do is we’re looking for people that want to make a significant change. They want to live in their purpose yet they have various different belief systems, value systems and problems and challenges in their life that they believe are preventing them from having success. In many cases, it is the reality of their life. We help them change their mindset around it plus give them a strategy to follow for the success that they want. We have really good results. We help people typically go over seven figures, eight figures in their business in generally around 12 months, sometimes a little more, sometime a little less depending on the person and their situation.

Maddie Brown: What is the most successful person in your program do? What do they do that others don’t do?

David Neagle: You mean what do they do as far as their business? Or what do they do as far as the change work?

Maddie Brown: Action.

David Neagle: The action.

Maddie Brown: Change, work and actions.

David Neagle: Number one, they are willing to confront the issues in their life that are keeping them from, basically keeping them from success. It always starts off with a mindset issue. Here’s they have a belief of about here’s the way my world should be. And their world consists of the relationships that they have with themselves and with other people, their relationship that they have with money, their relationship that they have with their health, the relationship that they have with their business, the relationship that they have with their family and anything else that might exist in their world.

The how they have been raised to make it either functional or dysfunctional in their life. If they’re willing to look at their personal responsibility and come from a place of really accepting personal responsibility for everything in their life, they then begin to take back the power that was either never given to them or taken away from them as a child because all of this dysfunction that people experience starts as children.

If they were never allowed to step into their power or it was taken away from them at some period of time, by accepting responsibility for their life and everything in their life, they’re able to take that power back. When they take that power back, now we’re coming from a place of, what do I need to learn as far as changing how I think so that my thoughts are in line with universal principles that will allow me to have success based on the law of cause and effect? Because let’s face it, everybody is the cause of the experiences that they’re having. Even if they’re not aware of that.

When I first started, I wasn’t aware of that. I was what you would call an unconscious competent. The more I became aware of how my thinking was controlling my results, the more excited I became about actually changing the way that I thought. We start with that with an individual. If the ones that really have great success are the ones that are able to step out of any kind of victimization and step into accepting responsibility for their, for everything in their life basically.

Maddie Brown: That is very profound. I agree with you completely that you’ve got to take responsibility and it makes perfect sense that taking responsibility gets your power back. You said something about cause and effect and you’ve created your experience. Can you talk more about cause and effect? The law of cause and effect.

David Neagle: Yeah, absolutely. Everything, somebody said to me one time, I remember when I was learning and I was studying and I had my mentor, he used to say all the time that money was not a problem or the lack of money was not a problem, it was a symptom of a problem. That money in and of itself is an effect, it’s not a cause. One of the things that I did was I studied what we call the universal laws. There’s seven basic universal laws. There’s a lot of subsidiary laws that go with it but there’s seven basic laws and the law of cause and effect is one of those laws. I think it was Ralph Waldo Emerson that said that, “The law of cause and effect was the law of laws.”

If we understand the law of cause and effect, we understand that in our life, the way that we create our life, we are the cause of the effects that we’re experiencing. However, what’s fascinating about this Maddie, is that as children, we’re really kind of not taught that. We’re taught that we have very little control over the world that we live in. Other people or other entities or people in positions of power or authority or whatever, have more control over our life than we do.

We don’t really see ourselves as being the cause of anything. What we see ourselves as experiencing different things as an effect but somebody else is creating this effect. We’re not creating the effect. When we begin to grasp the idea that we are a cause for our own life and we understand how to create the cause of different effects that we want, we can change our life like night and day and we can do it really, really quick. One of the places that we do it with people is we help people with money. We help them earn a lot of money in a very short period of time.

It all starts off with them understanding that they are the cause of the amount of money that they want to receive in their life. When they begin to understand that and then put that into practice into their life, it sets them free for the rest of their life from ever having to be like a slave to money again. Because most people when we’re talking about people that live in a free world, every decision that they make at some point has a financial component to it. If they do not understand from the law of cause and effect how to bring money into their life in whatever amount that they need to live the life that they feel that they were put here to live, then they do the exact opposite. They actually live a life of lack and limitation because they have this belief that there’s not enough and how much money they make is based on what somebody else will give them to do a job or show up and trade their time for money.

We work from a place of the law of cause and effect where they are the cause of how much money that they want to make and one of the skillsets that they need to learn, as the cause, so we have the mindset and the skillset, as the cause, in order for the money to be the effect that they want to change in their life.

Maddie Brown: I like your statement that lack of money is a symptom. That is something that I see in my business as a very common symptom. It’s always fascinating to me to talk about what the most effective decision making process is and how you recommend that people make decisions so that they don’t experience the lack of money.

David Neagle: Yeah. That’s a really great concept. The first thing is that they have to understand that there’s an abundance. It starts off by changing the belief system that the person is operating by within their world. If you turn on basically any news channel, you pick up the newspaper, you go on the internet, whatever it might be, everywhere they’re talking about a lack. Everything is in a lack of something. We’re taught that there’s not enough. When we’re studying universal principles, one of the things that we change in the person’s belief system is understanding that we come, that we live in a universe that is actually abundant.

Even if there was a lack of something, that something else would be created to replace it so that a person and life itself will never be without the things that it needs to progress it forward on a consistent basis. That’s the first change that begins to happen in a person’s thinking.

When we’re kids, we’re not really taught how to make a decision. It’s not that we don’t have to make decisions, we do. We’re making decisions all the time. But the question is, where are we making the decision from? I was basically taught that once you understand that everything in the world is already there, it’s already here. Everything’s already been created. What we do by making a decision is put ourselves in harmony with the thing that we’re deciding that we want to have in our life. It comes down to four basic questions that we ask about any specific thing that we want to be, do or have.

And here’s what those questions are. The first question would be, is this something I want to be, do or have? You’re in the process of making a decision. It really doesn’t matter what that decision is about. The question is, do I want to be, do or have this in my life? If you have, if you get a yes, if the answer to that question is yes, you go onto the second question which is, is being, doing or having this going to move me closer to my goal or my life’s purpose? Whatever it is, however it is that you’re evaluating the destination of that decision, what it’s going to create for you.

If you get a yes there, you move onto the third one which is, is being, doing or having this in harmony with God’s laws or the laws of the universe? Whichever a person wants to believe. I have no agenda there. They can believe whatever they want. I just teach them how to use it. The law that we’re looking for whether it’s God’s law or universal law, is the law of more life. In other words, if I make a decision to be, do or have this, is it going to add to my life? And is it going to add to the lives of other people? Because I believe that everything that we see that is alive, that is life, not only does it have a purpose but the purpose has two basic functions. One is the total satisfaction of the person who is doing the purpose, living the purpose, creating the purpose, that’s where our fulfillment comes from inside our psychic income and it benefits other life of some kind. We’re human beings, it generally it’s supposed to benefit other individuals.

The answer to that question would be yes. If it’s in harmony with God’s laws or the laws of the universe, basically the law of more life, if the answer is yes I go to the fourth question which is, is being, doing or having this going to violate the rights of others? The right that we don’t ever want to violate with another person is to take away their ability to choose. The answer to that question is obviously a no. We’re looking for a no. If I get three yeses and a no, then I can make a decision to move forward on whatever it is the opportunity that’s coming to me to that I’m being presented with.

It is the first way to start learning how to make decisions because we’re not taking into consideration belief systems when we make these decisions. If a lot of people will say, “I would love to do this but I don’t have the money.” Well you don’t need the money to do it until you make a decision. Once you make a decision you put yourself on a vibrational plane or frequency with everything that you need in order for the fulfillment of that decision to manifest in your life. But a person has to begin to understand the laws to understand that that’s how it works.

Otherwise, we’re making decisions from a place of what we were taught. And if we were taught that you had to be smarter or you had to know somebody different or you had to be better looking. People put all these conditions on success that are simply not true. Coming from the laws erases all of that and it allows you to come from what is really true about making those decisions and how to make the decision and then how to stay in the frequency of that decision so that it shows up in your life.

Maddie Brown: That’s leads me a question about how do you advise people to set goals? And to define their purpose? What is the optimum thing that people can do to make sure that they are living on purpose?

David Neagle: Well I think when it comes to setting a goal, goals give our life direction. Our purpose is, it’s the reason why we’re here. It’s the overall reason why we’re here and what we’re supposed to do in this lifetime. I think that in my opinion, that that is forever unfolding for a person. If a person will adopt the value system of continued growth in their life, their purpose will continue to unfold as they go through that growth. In other words, you’re not going to see your entire life’s purpose laid out to you all in one request. Like, God please show me what my purpose is.

Back when I worked on the forklift, Maddie, if you would’ve showed me everything that I was doing now and how I was living my life and affecting other people and the amount of money that I made and I get to travel all over the world, I wouldn’t have believed you. I absolutely would not have believed you. But you have to understand that I was also coming from the perception of what I thought was possible for myself and in my life at that time and the experiences that I had up to that point.

It only became more reasonable in my thinking of how huge my purpose is by the more that I kept growing and the more that I kept producing from an effect standpoint in my life. It’s very important to understand that when we’re talking about goals and a purpose for somebody’s life because their purpose is going to keep unfolding as they continue to grow.

When we’re setting goals, what’s important about a goal is to ask yourself a very important question and that is, is this something that I think that I can accomplish? Or is this something that I really want? I really, really desire to have this in my life. Because most people set goals from a place of what they think they can accomplish and that’s really based on the growth or the lack of growth of their own self esteem. As we grow our self-esteem, as we step into a higher self-worth for ourselves, we make more and more, or we set more and more goals based on what we really want versus what we think we can accomplish.

What we think we can accomplish is really coming from a lack of belief in ourselves and what’s possible for ourselves. When I’m teaching a person how to set a goal, I’m always having them really, I really ask them that question to just sit back and really think for a moment, is this something that you really want? Or is this something that you think you can accomplish? And then get them to set the goal from the place of something that they really, really want in their life.

I point out to them that, you know, whatever that you’re doing in your life, you’re trading your life for that thing. That work, that time, the people that you’re surrounding yourself with, the quality of life, the things in your life that you’re tolerating. You’re trading your life for those things and you can’t ever get that time back. The quality of the time that you’re trading should match what it is that you desire because when you do that then you’re really in your purpose and you start living an amazing life.

Maddie Brown: I love that. Trading your life for the things you want. That’s amazing philosophy and I see too many people in my business that are really trading their life when they’d be better off working at McDonald’s then they are in their business. And they’re trading their life and they’re not getting the results that they really want and they see they can learn to see through your work how they are the cause and effect of that. That is an amazing thing.

The other thing I wanted to talk to you about is how do you determine if something is something you really want versus something that you think you can achieve? How do you differentiate that? How do you expand your thinking?

David Neagle: I will ask a person if, so I’ll set up a scenario in their thinking and I’ll ask them if money was not an issue, in other words, if it was an unlimited resource for you. I gave you a blank check and I told you that you could write it for whatever you want. For whatever you needed in order for the fulfillment of this goal that you want for yourself. That would number one.

Number two, you would never have to worry about what somebody else thought about you based on what it is that you wanted to do. Because one of the two main reasons that a person does not go after the goal that they really want is because number one, they don’t want other people to see them fail. Or they don’t want to be judged by other people. We find that people have we call them stories, sometimes they’re poverty stories and wealth stories when it has to do with money. Sometimes it is a story about the kind of the grandiosity of their own success. Like who do you think you are to be this successful? People ridicule you or judging you based on how much success you want to have for yourself.

If you didn’t have to worry about that, in other words, you would be certain that nobody would ever judge you or they would not see you, the people that would judge you would never know. Between that and having enough resource to be able to do what you wanted, would you pick the thing that you’re picking? When you put that scenario down for another person very often they’ll say, “No, I would pick something completely different.” And now you know that what they’re doing is they’re really suppressing what it is that they want in life.

Then it’s about a conversation about who is it in their life that they don’t want to disappoint or they don’t want to be judged by or they don’t want to lose in a relationship because they’re too successful for that person. Then working on their money belief about how can they create the money or whatever resources that they need for the fulfillment of that dream. Maddie, you really start to see people’s lives change when they come from that place.

Maddie Brown: What are your goals? Where do you want to go in the next five to 10 years?

David Neagle: I’ve a very big goal with my company. The goal is to reach as many people on a global basis as we possibly can to help set them free in various areas of their life. Because we deal also with personal issues in a person’s life. We are from a measurement standpoint of like revenue coming into the business, our goal is to hit a 100 million a year doing that worldwide. Five to 10 years from now, I don’t have so much of a five to 10 year goal on that because we’re consistently working on making whatever changes are required to move us along to the biggest part of that goal.

We have a lot of intermittent goals that we have to hit but they’re really based on exposure and they’re based on the ideas of having something that is duplicatable and that has legs and that can be replicated on a large basis. Those are the kinds of more immediate goals that we’re working on to allow the big goal to actually happen.

Maddie Brown: That’s really exciting. How can people get in touch with you and find out more?

David Neagle: Here’s the thing, I believe that everybody is born to be a success and we have a free program on our website called, You Were Born to Be a Success. If they go to, my last is spelled, N as in Nancy, E-A-G-L-E. It’s, they click on, You Were Born to Be a Success. They put their information in there and they’ll be able to download that program. That would be a really great place for them to start with us. And then if they want to take it further, we have all different kinds of programs and seminars that we put on on a regular basis. Or they could talk to one of our personal coaches about what it is that they want to accomplish. Where they are. Where they’re stuck and we’ll be happy to help them get pointed in a direction that they want to go.

Maddie Brown: Okay, so if you had to share just one principle that people need to be embrace to be successful, what would that one thing be?

David Neagle: Personal responsibility. It is the number one place for a person to start and everything that they need will come after they do that. What’s unfortunate is if they don’t do that one piece, they won’t make much progress anyplace else because personal responsibility is required in order for them to take their power back and their potential is in that power. Everybody has all the potential that there is. There’s nobody on the planet that can actually say how far the human potential can go because we’ve seen it just explode over the last few 100 years as far as what people can do.

In my belief based on the laws, there’s just no end to it. We’ve only begun to tap into what we have the potential to do in our lifetime. But it does start with personal responsibility and then everything that they need will begin to show up and direct them in the steps and the stages that they need to accomplish why they’re here. What they’re going to do and really make life a complete joy. We believe that you should do what you love with people that you love and that’s the way life should be lived. Really actually enjoying your day, having fun, waking up every morning and saying, “I get to do this with my life.” Whatever that might be for your purpose. Not that you feel that you have to go to work and do something that you don’t like to do but you’re really meeting the day with the excitement and the enthusiasm and the curiosity of a kid.

Maddie Brown: That is wonderful. I am so glad that you took the time to talk with us today and I always get new information every time I hear you talk. It is an interesting perspective because very quickly things change. I really appreciate that you took the time today to do this podcast and I encourage people to download the program that you’re talking about at And you can also find him on Facebook if you would like to get some other information. I would encourage you to go to and download his offering because I think it will help you shift into your next level of where you want to be in the world.

Thank you David, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and it’s been very insightful.

David Neagle: Thank you Maddie. It was an absolute pleasure and honor to do so.

Maddie Brown: Thank you.

Monica Kenton | Injecting Spirit into Business

Posted on November 19th, 2018

The only regret Monica Kenton has about starting her business as a coach and shaman is… that she didn’t do it sooner.

As a result, she has a knack for helping others overcome the fears and blocks preventing them from getting a venture off the ground or taking it to the next level.

At the core, says Monica, you have to be in a business that speaks to you… doing work you love.

It is possible, and we take a close look at how to make it happen.

We also talk about…

  • The daily ritual you must embrace
  • What travel can open up inside you
  • How to listen to the universe
  • Growing a business without stress
  • And more

Listen now…

Episode Transcript:

Maddie Brown: This is Maddie Brown with Smash The Bottom Line and I am here today with my friend and colleague, Monica Kenton and Monica is an amazing coach and Shaman and she does some fantastic things in this world and I have enjoyed working with her and she’s a friend and I’m excited today to share her and a little bit about her with you and I’m really glad you’re here, Monica.

Monica Kenton: Oh, thank you. I am, too, Maddie. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Maddie Brown: Okay, so to give everyone some context, what brought you to where you are in your business career life right now? How did you get into business? What got you started?

Monica Kenton: Well, how I got into business is first of all, I was more intrigued with spirituality and energy and all of that and I had had a car accident which kind of propelled me into searching and looking at all of those different areas for my own personal healing and then I found out I was really good at it and then I was just like, “Oh, wait. I could actually do this as a business.” So I started thinking about that and then really needed to understand about business, about marketing and sales and money and all of those pieces, so then started bringing that in as well to really understand how to market myself and how to get myself out there. And so, from that point, just kind of continued to hone and figure out what it is that I really wanted to do, how I wanted to help people and so took all of the things that I’m really good at and combined it into kind of my own job description.

Maddie Brown: Yay. Now you were in education for how long?

Monica Kenton: Twenty-one years. I was a university instructor for 21 years at the University of Minnesota and I taught Spanish language and I also was the supervisor of the Fourth Semester Program there, supervising instructors for about 12 of those years, as well.

Maddie Brown: Wow. So, that’s a big transition to walk away from 21 years with the University and open your own business. That’s very brave.

Monica Kenton: Yeah, it is very brave and at the time I just felt that it was one of those things where I just knew something was changing and shifting. Something was kind of shifting and changing within myself and so I knew that I needed to figure out what I was going to do because I needed to leave that place and it was more painful to stay in that and know that I wasn’t totally fulfilling what I’m here to do and what I’m really, really excellent at and so it was a thing of bravery and also it was just knowing that the clock was ticking. It was saying, “Hey, Monica, it’s time to do something else and to be able to take your gifts out in a bigger way.” But it was a scary risk, definitely.

Maddie Brown: Well, I’ve worked for the government for almost 20 years and left government employment and the only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner because I’ve [crosstalk 00:03:40] . I love what I’m doing now and it is a lot of fun and I get to work with fascinating, exciting people and so the only regret I have is that I stayed as long as I stayed.

Monica Kenton: I get that and that just totally makes sense and I love that you’re sharing that. Here on the coast, I have a feeling that there are a lot of people who are in that situation as well, who just need to know from other people that it is possible to do things that you really, really love.

Maddie Brown: It is possible to do things that you really love and that really, in my mind, is the first place that you look when you’re thinking about starting a business, is doing something that you love because the days go much faster if you love what you’re doing.

Monica Kenton: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yup, that’s very true.

Maddie Brown: It’s a lot more fun. If you had to pick two or three things that have really impacted you, what would you say they were?

Monica Kenton: So, impacted me in what way, with my business or-

Maddie Brown: With either events or people or things, what would you say has been the most impactful in your life?

Monica Kenton: Okay. As far as impactful events, I would say first of all, I’m a mother, so I would say my son’s birth is something because that was a big thing for me to have a child, so that was an impactful event. As far as business goes and how my life journey has changed, I think it would be the car accident that I had in 2000 that kind of propelled me into going out of the books because I used to read books on energy and spirituality and connection and all of that and so with the car accident, I had to really live that stuff and start to learn that and that actually completely changed the trajectory of my life into a whole new area. So, that would be a huge piece for myself. Another one would be going to a dream conference somewhere about 15 years ago where I just wanted to go just for fun.

I just thought like, hey, I’m going to check this out, I’m going to have some fun and it was ultimately life transforming, meaning that, when I came back from that … it was a five-day event. When I came back from it, I remember talking to my old therapist and he’d seen me and he was like, “What happened to you Monica? This is crazy. I’ve been trying to get you to understand this or to get this piece for five years now and what did you do?” And for myself, I said, “I did the dream work, but they were my images and they were my things,” and so that was something that was super-pivotal for me to be able to understand that I can do this myself. So that would be another one.

And then, I think the last one, there’s kind of two that meld together. One is deciding to really understand how to make this as a business and to let go of whatever other people say that, “Oh, you can’t make a business with doing spiritual and energetic mentoring and helping people,” so really understanding that business piece and realizing that I’m really good at it and that I can do both of those. But then, also realizing that I went too much into that at one point and forgot about all of the stuff that I really do and so knowing that when we stay aligned, or at least for myself, when I stay aligned to my soul, amazing things happen. So I guess those would be three areas that really helped me to say, “Hey, yeah, I can do this,” but make sure I don’t lose my soul, my essence of why I really came to it. And those were pivotal moments for me.

Maddie Brown: Well, that is awesome and I know you’ve done some traveling and you’ve been to Peru?

Monica Kenton: Yes, that’s actually where I had done some of the shamanic training that I was doing and I had been actually to Peru six months before my car accident, actually. In 2000, I had gone to Peru and I was talking about, “Oh, I really want to go see the Shamans,” and I didn’t see them and then had the car accident six months later and then about eight years later, I went back to Peru, but this time it was to be training with the Shaman and I always tell people that that trip, that first trip, really activated me because I was looking for somebody. I was looking for Shamans and actually I was in search of myself and I love Peru. I think it was amazing. It really helped me. I think traveling and going different places gets us into a different way of being, you know? And that was a very powerful time, so yeah, I love to travel and I love to see what other cultures will open up with myself, right?

Maddie Brown: Yeah, that is very cool. Well, you do some amazing things with your clients. Tell me a little bit about how you work with people and who you work with and how you work with them?

Monica Kenton: I work with typically the person who is the high functioning, gets stuff done, likes to take action, tends to be an entrepreneur who wants to create something really magical and big in the world, really has a big heart and wants to share something big with the world and they might not know exactly what that is, but has that calling, but at the same time can get so much in their head. I call them the practical mystics, meaning that they want to get stuff done and they want to do the practical things in the world, but also they want to incorporate universal principles, spiritual principles, whatever it is their connection to God’s spirit universe, so really helping them to align to what is in their true nature. So, some people will say, “Oh yeah, Monica, I don’t know what you do, but I really love it,” so they’re not quite sure how I do it, but they’re just like, “I just know that I have these magical shifts and changes,” and that’s because of some the background work that I’ve done as a Shaman, dream teacher, all of that.

I’m holding that energy for shifts and changes and when somebody comes in to work with me, we first start out with saying, you know, what is their intention? Because everybody has different intentions. It might be to grow the business, but at the same time, it’s how can one do that and live a life as well and so bringing those into alignment, so I’ll help people craft an intention of what we’re going to work on and what they want to see happen and then we’ll start out and it depends on the person exactly what they need. I might start out with a clearing session, stuff where it’s clearing out old energies and I know from people who might be listening to the podcast, that might seem foreign to some, but it’s kind of like when we look at light bulbs and they go on and we don’t know all the electrical wiring behind it. There’s an electrician that takes care of that. That’s kind of what I do.

So I help people to be able to really see those or feel those connections that need to be cleared up and then start working on what are actions that they can take. I might do something where I’ll do a guided visualization to their future self because it’s more of who they’re wanting to become. You know, becoming more of that person. I might do some journeying or some drumming work, depending on the person of what are some blocks. I’ll have people connect in more with what’s happening in their bodies. So, I’m really also showing people how to be able to connect in deeper with themselves so that they can start to see, like empowering them as well. So I’ll help coach people, but I’m also helping people step in, in a deeper way of owning their own connection. And so, helping them understand signs and all of that.

But then also being able to … I might use numerology as a way of saying, “Hey, here’s a soul language that you can understand,” to understand that piece of you that maybe isn’t able to be a habit, to be able to understand, say for example with the Myers-Briggs or something like that. And helping people to really connect in with their heart’s desire, because ultimately any business or anything that really is going to make a big impact is coming from the heart. And so helping people to distinguish what is the mind that’s saying, “Well, I should be doing this, right?” Like same for me, “Oh, I should be teaching at the University, but it was like, what was my heart saying and what did I really want to do,” because we are supported. So helping people with that and giving them the tools to understand and then like a third or a half of it is the magical stuff that I do on my end which is really people are, like I said, people will say, “I don’t know how that happened, but boom, this is where we are.”

The intention was created and partially it’s because of the people that I work with. So I talk about the high functioning over-achiever at certain points that really get stuff done. That means that they take it seriously and they’re like, “Okay, I’m going to do the work or I’m going to do the stuff to make the shift” and it’s really beautiful to see because so many people are surprised and be like, “Wow, I didn’t even know this was possible. I didn’t even know this could happen,” and that’s really what I love to do and seeing people then living their lives and not being so crazed with a clock and time and everything and being able to start slow with it and then also see, “Oh, yeah, I get to do this with my life as well,” and so finding that balance.

Because I think so often in the business world, we’re taught that we have to work, work, work, work, work 24/7 and I just really believe that whatever our connection is to the divine, God, spirit, universe, didn’t make us to just always work, made us to have fun, to be connected, to enjoy life and to make an impact in whatever way it is so that we can have a lot of fun and enjoy ourselves and flow with it. So, that’s just kind of a little bit of some of the stuff I do.

Maddie Brown: That is awesome and I will say that I have experienced the talent that you have and it is an amazing thing, but I’d like for you to talk a little bit more about intention and what that means and how it shows up.

Monica Kenton: Yeah, so intention … I always talk to and teach people that one of the things that we forget about is putting an intention out there that we’re wanting to accomplish in the world and so sometimes people will say, “Well, what do you mean by intention, Monica?” I mean more of, what do I want to experience or what is kind of like a goal or something I’m wanting to do, but not to the point of saying, “Oh, I want to make this amount of money or that,” it’s more of an open thing. So, an intention, some of the intentions that people have had in the past have been to really be aligned. Some of them have been to get back to themselves to step into taking care of themselves physically. Others have had intentions to have more fun with what they’re doing. Others have had intentions of being more inspired or feeling more peace, so it can be as far as like an emotion of saying that.

Others have … when I work with people, will craft an intention that will be different, like one person I’m working with, her intention right now is to do it differently and that means every aspect of her life, she’s willing to do it differently. Some people are to grow the business, but also at the same time, open to the flow so that they’re not super-stressed. Some people might have intentions of being able to create new connections with themselves or new relationships and that not only affects themselves, but also the people that they attract as far as they have employees that are working for them. So I always tell people that intention is really big in that where we start when I do the work with people but I also recommend and for anybody listening to this podcast to have an intention every single day but what happens is it shows up within 24 hours if we’re really diligent about creating new intentions.

And then we get the opportunity to start living that because if we don’t put out there to the universe what we are looking for, then the universe has no idea what to send us and then also we are not able to understand the amount of clues coming into us. I always say that there’s so many different little clues from the song on the radio, a random comment from somebody, something else. Even your question right now about asking me about intention, because that’s something that I’m putting in a program that I’m writing and I forget that people don’t do this as much. So, I’m using that as a clue right now from you, so that’s one of the reasons why intentions are so important, because first of all, it gives guidance to the universe to say, “Hey, I’m going to start sending you all the clues you need,” and then also it helps us on the other end to be able to distinguish what everything has happened in our life that day to be able to say, “Oh yeah, that is getting me to that intention.”

And then the other piece about it is then we can start to hone it because sometimes we ask for things that we really don’t want until we start to see it and if we put it in an intention, it’s like, “Oh, that’s what I’m getting? I might not want to do that.” And that’s the beautiful way of working with it because it empowers us to co-create with the universe. Instead of letting it happen to us, we get to be a part of the co-creation. Does that make sense?

Maddie Brown: I think that makes sense and I think that it’s interesting for me to remember that the intention changes and shifts. It’s not one thing and that is it for the week or the month or the year or anything. It changes and it shifts as you experience more things and it is more … I like the word alignment very well that you used because it just helps you to flow with what’s happening as opposed to resisting it and regretting what you’re doing.

Monica Kenton: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And it gives us the opportunity to experiment as well. I have one of the pieces of my business I call the living dream map, meaning that we’re constantly getting the opportunity to release old maps and create new pathways and new ways of doing things, but until we try it out, we don’t know and I think in this culture … well, I know in this culture we have this belief that we have to do this one thing and then if we start doing it and we realize, “Wait a minute. That’s not totally in alignment with me,” but we feel that we still have to do it because we said we would, then we get derailed and so by having layers of intentions, like one for the year, one for the month, one for the day, then we can start to hone it even more and that’s what helps keep us in alignment.

Maddie Brown: It’s kind of … in a way it’s goal-setting.

Monica Kenton: Yeah.

Maddie Brown: But it’s on a much more granular level. Does that make sense?

Monica Kenton: Yeah, exactly. It is kind of like goal-setting and then also it has a little bit more of an energetic vibe, right? So we might add, with the goal-setting thing, I would love to create this in my business, but then still start to see, “Okay, if I create this in my business, does that mean I have to work harder? Do I have to do this?” And so we’re kind of shifting that. We get the goal piece, but then bringing in, for example, emotions. I want to have fun. I want to be happy. I don’t think that … sometimes in our goal-oriented society, we forget to put those pieces in and so adding even more to it and co-creating with the universe and saying, “Yeah, this is the direction. This is where I’m wanting to go.” And that is a goal, in a certain way, yes.

Maddie Brown: Yeah. If you were going to recommend two or three daily practices that people do on a regular basis and stay in alignment with, would they be rituals, would they be … what would you recommend people do on a daily basis?

Monica Kenton: So, on a daily basis, there’s different ones that I would recommend for people that I work with. I do a lot of rituals and things like that and ceremonies. However, some just really practical things is having an intention for the day, I think is just really powerful and having a journal. I tell people that a journal is the most important book that they will ever read. Some people aren’t into journaling that much, but just putting some things down, you know, writing down the intention and then writing out what happens, so there’s that. Also, consciously breathing and so that might be, for example, meditating or listening to a mantra or just getting the brain calmed down because I just know that the people I work with as well as myself, we can get really wrapped up if we don’t calm ourselves down and so, for example, people can use the app, Insight Timer or things like that to do that kind of a meditation.

And the other thing that I’m really big on is understanding dreams because that is our guiding force that’s really helping us and if that is about treating life the daytime of the dream if you don’t remember it at night, but really honoring the clues that are coming into us and so that might be something at the end of the night saying, “Hey, you know, this person said this. This thing happened. This thing happened.” And then have gratitude for it. Gratitude is a huge, huge thing of just saying, “Wow, thanks for giving me these answers.” Because those three practices, I think, intention, breathing, calming down and harvesting your own clues, be it through the dream time in the day or night, those are three practices that I think are great.

Maddie Brown: Talk more about daytime dreaming.

Monica Kenton: Daytime dreaming. So, sometimes I have people who don’t remember their dreams at night and eventually they do if they work with me. I am that, if they want to. But the daytime dreaming is that whole piece that we have an intention, that is in the day and really the universe starts to show us certain things to give us clues because that’s what the nighttime dreaming does as well, is it helps us give clues. So being able to have an intention and I tell people to experience the signs of the universe and so having an intention, then going out into the day, what are the things that really resonate with somebody, like all of a sudden, what’s the first song on the radio that all of a sudden is like, “Oh, wait, they’re talking to me” and write that down. What’s the message of that song?

A snatch of conversation overheard from somebody, something on a billboard, something you just see on Facebook, a random email that you get or all of a sudden the connection of just like, “Oh, I’m thinking of a friend,” or you run into a friend. It’s like all of those things are dreaming awake and just being able to start to see that those symbols start to show up in our lives and then at the end of the day saying, “Okay, how did all of these fit with my intention?” And that’s dreaming while awake because so often it’s that whole thing. Instead of getting stuck in life happening to us, life happens through us and it’s how we flow with it and when we’re honoring these signs that are coming in so often, that that’s the dreaming while awake and we’re constantly creating our reality. And so if we’re not looking for cool clues and we wake up crabby and we don’t shift it with meditation or anything like that, then we’re going to encounter crabbiness in our day and then we’re dreaming our reality in that way.

So that’s what I mean by dreaming while awake and it’s a really fun practice. Can I just quick tell a story? I was doing this dreaming while awake and I call it synchronicity experience and one day I was just burned out, fried out. You know, everybody here gets that, those moments where it’s just like, I’m not inspired and I just wrote my intention, I want to be inspired. So I decided to go to an art fair way across the city in another city. I’m in Minnesota, I’m in Minneapolis so across the river in St. Paul, and I went with my husband and we’re looking at different things and I’m like, “Oh yeah, that’s cool, that’s cool” and I asked people at the buildings we were at, I said, “Hey, what building should I go to?” And then they’d tell me a building and we went to a different building. We got lost in the wrong building and still not inspired.

And then as we’re leaving a friend sees my husband who he hasn’t seen in 20 years and says, “Hey, you need to check out this place in St. Paul.” And I’m like, “Oh, yeah, sure.” It’s a new place and I would have never gone there and as soon as I got there, I was inspired and I went, “Wow, that is really interesting.” I had my intention and so I was like, “What is this place about?” And then as I started to realize over the days afterwards, I kept on going, I still was inspired. Then I realized I had a dream a year before of doing classes, being a part of the community in this big warehouse building, but I thought it was on the other side of the river. Now I’m there, I’m teaching classes, I’m doing all kinds of things, but it started because I decided to play a game with the universe, play a game of dreaming while awake and I was very clear. I had to be inspired and then it was just like this is the place.

So then I could get out of my head and saying, “Well, why am I traveling 40 minutes across the city to come here?” It was like, because that’s where my soul wants to be and wherever our soul wants to be, our heart feels connected, that’s where magic happens. That’s where flow happens. That’s where all of a sudden, opportunities show up. So I just wanted to share that with people because it’s that easy to do.

Maddie Brown: That’s beautiful. That is beautiful.

Monica Kenton: Thank you.

Maddie Brown: So, if someone wants to know more about you, how do they get in touch with you?

Monica Kenton: They can go to, so that’s K-E-N-T-O-N dot com and you can get on my [inaudible 00:30:28] or you can look at my blog. Also, I’m on Instagram. I do a lot on Facebook as well. I love doing live videos so I do Facebook Live. I do posts on Instagram. I do have some blog posts. And then also, if you go to my website and people, if you’re interested, just put something in the comments section and I get on the phone and talk with people. I do answer all of my own emails, which sometimes people are surprised at, but I do do that. So that’s the way to get ahold of me and then sign up for my [inaudible 00:31:08] if you want. I give three different things for people there.

Maddie Brown: Yes, and you have events and special things that you do throughout the time and so there’s good opportunity to find out more and learn and experience what you do because what you do is really an experience and it is a tremendous gift.

Monica Kenton: Thank you, thank you.

Maddie Brown: Now, I want to thank you for taking this time to talk to me and our people and if you have any questions for Monica, you can reach her at If you have any questions for me, you can reach me at and I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you, Monica.

Monica Kenton: Thank you so much, Maddie.


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