Why Your Brand
Must Transform to
DR. Steven Hymovitch
How To Do It
Boss Mom Interview
with Dana Malstaff
How Millennials Can
Freedom Through Real
Estate. Ryan Boykin
The Role of a Mentor
Boost Resilience, Beat
DR. JOE VITALE
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 1
2 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
Cover Photograph: Courtesy of Dr Joe Vitale
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Writers and Contributors
DR. Steven Hymovitch
Dr Joe Vitale
Mark C. Perna
Christopher and Darcy Alkus-
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 3
IN THIS ISSUE
The Role of a Mentor
By Neil Ball
Working Capital Management
What It Is & Why It's
By Steven Uster
By Dr Joe Vitale
Why Your Brand Must
Transform to Stay Relevant—
And How To Do It
By Whitney Vosburgh
4 Steps To Leadership Nirvana
By DR. Steven Hymovitch
Resonating with Every
Generation on Your Team
By Christine Erickson
How Millennials Can Achieve
Financial Freedom Through
By Ryan Boykin
15 Signs You Are a People
Pleaser – and What to Do
By David Neagle
Why Our Old Approach to
College Is Putting a New
Generation at Risk
By Mark C. Perna
Boost resilience, beat
By Beth Kennedy
How to Break into Tech as
a Woman of Color
By Ximena Hartsock
Starting and Managing a
Successful Business as a
By Christopher and
Interview with Dana Malstaff
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 5
DR. Steven Hymovitch
Christopher and Darcy Alkus-
Mark C. Perna
Dr Joe Vitale
6 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
fear – or
Whether you want to speak in public, open a
new business, talk to potential dates, do
stand-up comedy, climb a mountain —
or anything you haven’t done before —
you’re bound to feel fear and want help in
6 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
Well, how do you do it?
After recording six albums of songs, my Band
of Legends politely nudged me to perform
While I’ve spoken on stage numerous times
over the decades, I never sang on stage.
Thinking about it brought up serious fears.
I didn’t even sing in the shower.
Childhood memories of being humiliated
when I tried to speak or sing stayed with me.
I overcame the speaking one.
But I refused to even touch singing.
It felt too vulnerable.
I managed to do it in the studio for my six
albums, by basically managing my
adrenaline, but I couldn’t accept ever singing
on stage live.
But I did it.
A friend remembers me saying I would
NEVER sing in public.
I had to overcome panic attacks, anxiety
ambushes, and near nervous breakdowns to
overcome the fear of public speaking.
But public singing?
I did it!
And it was a huge success.
I was strong and confident, owned the stage,
and led my Band of Legends into a
It was an historic moment.
It was a personal breakthrough.
And it will live forever in my mind as a
moment of greatness for me.
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 7
So, how did I go from terrified to
I’ll share my own process, as it will illustrate
the art of overcoming fear. I’m sure you can
be inspired by this adventure.
I of course did all the standard things that I
teach, from practicing ho’oponopono (as I
wrote about in my books, Zero Limits and AT
Zero) to rehearsing in the studio and in my
the show, but I do remember the impact the
principle had on me.
I started Miracles Coaching more than a
decade ago for that reason – to give people
someone who could believe in them.
To help them overcome fear.
To help them attract miracles.
I’ve had a lot of people support me and
coach me in performing:
But two months before the show, I also —
1. I Got coaching.
A basic rule of self-improvement is this
You can accomplish more if you have
someone who believes in you more
than you believe in yourself.
I first saw that insight in the home of Jerry
and Esther Hicks, of Abraham fame, decades
ago. Jerry (who has passed on and I greatly
miss) told me he first heard it in an early
television western. I don’t recall the name of
Jen Sincero is a badass author of two NY
Times bestselling books, You Are A
Badass and the recent You Are A Badass at
Making Money. I discovered her first book
years ago, knew it would be a hit, and
interviewed her. We stayed in touch.
I had lunch with Jen when she came to
Austin for a book signing. I knew she had
been in a band at one point, so I told her my
dilemma. She told me that I had already
done the hard part of singing.
“You sang for Melissa Etheridge,” she
explained, referring to when I had a private
songwriting lesson with the rock icon last
November. “Singing one on one is harder
than singing on stage, and you sang for an
icon you idolize and adore.”
8 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
who is on my first album, Blue Healer. She
was the first person I sang for.
We met and she told me she always feels
nervous before getting on stage. But she
thinks of herself as a messenger, not a
That reframe made the idea of singing
“I am a messenger,” she said. “I focus on the
The last time I saw Melissa Etheridge, just
for a moment after her show in San Antonio
in June, she told me she loves my latest
album, The Great Something.
She said to “Keep at it.”
I dedicated that album to her. There’s a song
on it I wrote for her.
Her encouragement helped me stay
She once told me, “Feel the fear and do it
That insight helped me drop the idea of
being a singer and adopt the idea of being a
messenger. It helped me relax a little.
Meghan Sandau is a new friend. She has
promoted big music events. She wanted to
see me do a concert. She said she likes my
Her belief in me helped make me more
In fact, none of this would happen
Sarah McSweeney is a singer-songwriter
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 9
She set up the event for my Band of Legends
She held my hand and encouraged me.
Meghan also suggested I do an energy
clearing session with Nicole Pigeault of Los
Angeles. I love energy work and do clearings
for others, so I leaped at the chance to hire
Turned out to be one of the most powerful
esoteric washes ever.
The hour session helped me release fears
and settle into confidence.
rehearse, listening to me confide my fears,
and urging me to hang in there.
Then there’s Patrick Stark in Canada. He’s a
filmmaker making a movie about
It’s called “One Life: No Regrets.”
He interviewed me for it. He plans to sing on
stage with the band U2. But it will be the
first time he’ll sing on stage EVER.
The first time you sing in public anywhere is
on stage with U2 and thousands watching.
Well, if Patrick can drum up that kind of
courage, then so can I.
I found preparing for the event
mainly a battle with my mind.
Most of my thinking was
negative. It was all, What if it
But Mendhi Audlin came to visit. She
teaches what if up thinking.
But she wasn’t the only person to support
She wrote the book What If it All Goes
Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon has been
coaching me for years now. We’ve made
numerous instrumental albums together,
such as Invoking Divinity.
He stayed in my corner, listening to me
10 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
She coached me in other ways to think: what
if it is a breeze? What if I love it?
It also helps to see people successful
in one field try their hand in a
completely different field.
James Altucher tried stand-up-comedy. He’s
a writer. He’s doing something out of his
But he’s willing to do it for the experience,
and he’s sharing his learning curve to inspire
Though I haven’t met him, knowing he was
stepping out beyond his fear fortified me to
do it, too.
2. I got educated.
To prepare for my show, I attended an online
Masterclass with David Mamet, and another
Both were astoundingly good.
My band of legends: me, Daniel Barrett, Glenn Fugunaga, Joe
Mamet is a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright
and screenwriter. I think he is a genius.
He said most people are too afraid to be bad
to be good.
You have to be bad first to start
You have to start someplace.
I reminded myself of this as I prepared for
the live event.
While I wanted to step out on stage and be
“perfect,” Mamet reminded me that I will
probably step out and be bad.
But bad is where you start. You can’t get to
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 11
great without starting at bad.
Usher said to prepare, to be confident, but
to expect something to go wrong.
Don’t expect perfection.
He told a story of a performance where he
injured himself at the beginning of a twohour
show and had to keep dancing and
singing despite the pain.
His insights and pointers were priceless in
helping me create a mindset for success.
And I bought a set
called The Relaxed
Musician. It’s a 14-
day course in
It helped me
realize I had a big
belief that if I
looked bad as a
performer, it would hurt my reputation in
other areas, such as an author or speaker.
But like most beliefs, it didn’t hold up.
I could forget all my lyrics and totally wash
out on stage and it wouldn’t even dent my
image anywhere else. Most people forgive
In fact, a miss on stage could give me a
terrific story about how I bombed and lived.
I read a terrific
book on how to
liked the book so
much, I read it
It was called, The
to a Great Live
It became my bible. I read it on planes, took
it with me on my iPad, and shared it with
And I read a wonderful book on
overcoming fear and panic, titled
You 1, Anxiety 0.
Author Jodi Aman helped take the mask off
of fear so I could see what it really was: an
illusion. I soaked up the wisdom in this book.
It really helped me.
I also read a 1950 book by Vernon Howard
called Word Power.
It was about how you talk to yourself, as well
as to others, effects your behavior and your
results. It’s not so much affirmations but self
Pretending you are fearless by saying “I am a
fearless performer” is a way to begin being a
But I didn’t stop there.
12 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
And I read a recent
It explained that
success is a plan for
failure unless you
In other words, thinking the show will go
without a flaw is not realistic, as Usher
pointed out. There is no such thing as
With Meghan’s urging, I wrote out a script of
how I wanted the show to go.
I focused on my feelings, not anyone else’s,
so I could focus on what I could control.
The script was a type of Nevillizing (which I
write about in my book, The Attractor
Factor): feeling as if the
event already happened the way I
But visualizing success and understanding
there is work to do to get
there, can almost guarantee the result
That was a mind-spinning insight.
I did more, too.
I didn’t visualize the show happening, I
visualized that the
show already happened.
I wrote the script from the point of view of
the next day, after I performed on stage.
I read and re-read it every day for a week
before the show.
4. I got relaxed.
3. I got Nevillized.
I got massages, I got plenty of rest, I drank
lots of water, and I went into a flotation tank
at The Zero Gravity Institute for 90 minutes
the day before the show.
I was doing whatever I could to be at peak
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 13
form when I stepped on stage.
As a slogan I coined says, “It is
what you accept.”
I’m the luckiest musician alive to have a
band of this caliber: Drummer Joe Vitale
(yes, same name as mine), bass man Glenn
Fukunaga and lead guitarist Daniel Barrett.
I was taking care of my body and mind.
I was getting ready for my moment.
5. I got faith.
Faith doesn’t always mean something
Faith in yourself, faith in other people, faith
in my practice and prep, faith in my Band of
Legends – all of it gives a level of confidence
that allows the best to surface.
I accepted that the moment would be
perfect, even in any imperfections.
It would be “perfectly imperfect.”
These incredible musicians encouraged me,
supported me, and brought my songs to life.
We raised the roof and tore down the walls.
We shook the earth and wowed the crowd.
Talk about overcoming fear!!!
I gave everything I had in me, delivering my
messages with energy, enthusiasm,
electricity, and a sense of fearlessness and
At the end of our set, we got a standing
A standing ovation!
I did it.
And I loved it!
I let go.
And, after two months of preparing,
My Band of Legends and myself performed
on July 21st at The Townsend in Austin.
Now, what do you fear that is time for you to
Isn’t today a good day to begin overcoming
14 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
Dr. Joe Vitale is a globally famous author, musician, marketing expert, movie, tv, and radio personality,
and one of the top 50 inspirational speakers in the world. His many bestselling books
include The Attractor Factor, Attract Money Now, and Zero Limits, and his latest releases are
The Miracle: Six Steps to Enlightenment, and Anything is Possible, Seven Steps For Doing The
Impossible. A popular expert on the law of attraction in many movies, including The Secret,
Joe has appeared on all the top tv networks and in The New York Times and Newsweek!
Also well-known as a healer, helping people clear their subconscious minds of limiting beliefs
that prevent them from manifesting their desires, Dr. Joe Vitale is an authentic practitioner of
modern Ho'oponopono, a certified Reiki healer, certified Chi Kung practitioner, certified clinical
hypnotherapist, certified NLP practitioner, ordained minister, and holds a doctorate in metaphysical
science. Creator of the Miracles Coaching® program that helps people achieve their
dreams, this man, once homeless is today a bestselling author who believes in magic and miracles
and has spent the last four decades learning how to master the powers that allow us to
channel the pure creative energy of life without resistance.
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 15
The Role of a Mentor
By Neil Ball
Launching or running a business is exciting.
You get to claim your independence. You can
finally make the rules. But the details can
bog you down.
When you don’t have experience, you can
get overwhelmed by questions about what
to do to ensure success or how to make
business decisions that are specific to your
industry. Mentors have been through it and
can give you their support and share their
wisdom with you.
Approximately 50 percent of small businesses
don’t last five years. However, 70 percent
of small business owners make it past that
hump when they work with advisors to build
their leadership skills as they learn and grow.
Those who want to be on the successful side
of those statistics need to make sure that
they create a solid relationship with some
type of guide or teacher who helps them
reach their full potential. Mentors need to
understand their roles so that they provide
valuable insight and create confident trailblazers
that have the determination to run a
16 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
Serve as a Guide
According to the Merriam-Webster Online
Dictionary, a mentor is a “trusted counsellor
or guide.” The secondary definition is “tutor,
Most experts agree that someone in a mentoring
position plays a different role than a
coach would. Coaches typically help businesses
set and meet goals. They focus on
helping entrepreneurs, business owners and
managers come up with the most efficient
ways to achieve their objectives.
A good coach doesn’t tell someone what to
do. Instead, coaches help draw out
someone’s inherent wisdom
tasks, exercises and questions.
For this reason, a
business coach doesn’t
need experience in an
individual’s industry to help them develop
the skills that are necessary for a productive,
They are advisers. They are teachers. They
are leaders, examples and guides.
A mentor can help an individual create a
map to steer through the stumbling blocks
that come with starting, managing or running
When someone is launching a business,
mentoring can help them create a business
plan and structure the business. A colleague
in this position can offer advice for setting up
the foundation of the company.
The relationship usually goes on for a longterm
period. Mentoring advisers continue to
work with individuals
when they have questions
about the intricacies
of the business,
the cost structure, setting up marketing
strategies, making hiring decisions and allocating
They are advisers. They are
teachers. They are leaders,
examples and guides.
A mentor, on the other hand, usually has direct
experience in the same field as the
mentee. Those in mentorship positions help
entrepreneurs and business owners learn
how to work industriously, make assessments
and set priorities.
But their guidance doesn’t stop there. They
have been through the same challenges that
their mentees are undergoing. They can explain
how they navigated certain obstacles
so that their protégés can identify their options
and understand what works without
having to experiment themselves.
When difficult decisions have to be made,
people in mentorship positions can help
their mentees look at the pros and cons of
the available options. In many cases, the
mentor has been through a similar situation.
Mentoring can offer specific advice from a
personal perspective when the business
owner otherwise has access to only general
Give Advice and Feedback
A relationship of this kind gives individuals a
chance to get advice and feedback when
they need it. Mentees can look to their advisers
to provide an objective outlook.
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 17
The counsellors don’t have a stake in the decisions
that are made. Therefore, they can
provide a devil’s advocate perspective and
debate problems without worrying about
A mentor doesn’t have to be instantly accessible.
However, advisers do need to be approachable
enough that the mentee feels
comfortable looking to them for support.
During mentoring, the mentee must be
trained on the best way to contact their adviser
when they need assistance. They
should set up a protocol that involves understanding
when to share important information,
how to contact the mentor and
what to expect in return.
Mentees should be instructed to reach out
to their guides before circumstances become
actual problems. When business owners and
managers turn to mentoring to evaluate potential
issues before they happen, they learn
how to manage their situations to ensure
success instead of simply putting out fires.
Mentoring can help someone reach their
business goals. People in this leadership position
provide accountability and keep their
mentees on track.
Mentoring helps people take responsibility
for their actions. People in the leadership
role can often serve as a direct example of
what can be achieved when mentees accept
ownership for their decisions.
To create accountability, mentors must set
specific, realistic expectations. This establishes
clear boundaries and provides direction
for the relationship, enhancing the potential
for positive results.
Help With Networking
Having an adviser gives mentees a chance to
build their networking opportunities. A colleague
on the giving end of this relationship
has been through it all before.
They’ve usually created a network for themselves.
They can help mentees access this
network to boost their own potential. An adviser
is an insider who is on the outside of
the mentee’s social and professional circle.
This relationship can help someone make
contacts that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed
Offer Motivation and Support
Part of the mentorship role is to provide support
and encouragement. These advisers
should demonstrate that they are counting
on the mentee to act a certain way.
As a role model, a counsellor is inherently
motivating. These individuals have usually
been successful doing what the mentee
strives to accomplish.
They can enhance the motivation factor by
working with the mentee to access intrinsic
motivation. When mentees consistently access
the fundamental rewards that come
from certain behaviours or a particular level
of performance, they maintain their desire
to reach their goals.
All mentoring relationships are unique. To
make the most out of this ongoing associa-
18 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
tion, the adviser must be respectful, honest
and non-judgmental. The best connections
are built on trust. Both of you should know
what you want out of the relationship and
give as much as you receive.
Neil Ball has been a serial entrepreneur
for over 25 years with businesses
in sectors such as Printing,
Consumer Electronics, Distribution,
Removals, Storage, Mail Order,
Property Investing, Publishing and
more. He has had his share of failures
and successes on his entrepreneurial
journey. The most successful
of his businesses sold approximately
£300 million or $500 million
of products via retail, mail order
and ecommerce and was one of the
largest independent consumer electronics
companies in the UK.
In recent years Neil’s passion for entrepreneurship and helping other entrepreneurs has led
him to becoming a podcaster on his daily podcast The Entrepreneur Way where he interviews
entrepreneurs and business owners on their entrepreneurial journey and their secrets of success.
He is also a business coach and helps a small number of one on one clients in his coaching
When he isn’t working on his business or helping others your will find him spending time with
beautiful wife Lorna and his 4 adult kids.
To connect or learn more go to:
www.neilball.com Twitter: @NeilDBall Linkedin: @NeilDBall
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 19
When you look at a healthy company, one of
the first things you’ll notice is its access to
working capital. The second thing you might
notice is how the company manages that
capital. Working capital is frequently defined
as the difference between your company’s
assets and your liabilities. That means you’re
talking about money that your business has
on-hand, unpaid invoices, and any inventory
compared to your accounts payable and
money your business owes. It looks simple.
But how do each of these different elements
20 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
come together to form the basis of working
It’s important that you have a fundamental
understanding of what makes up working
capital. Working capital management usually
has three key features. Each of these features
is equally important in determining the
financial health of your business.
1. Accounts Receivable
First, look at your accounts receivable. This is
the money due to your company. Any services
or goods you’ve already provided for
which you’re expecting payment can be considered
as accounts receivable. Your accounts
receivable also include any overdue
invoices you’ve sent to clients or customers
that they’ve agreed to pay, but haven’t
gotten around to yet.
Most importantly, your accounts receivable
represent your incoming cash flow. Goods or
services for which you’ve already invoiced
can be collateral you can borrow money
against. Knowing that you have incoming
cash flow on the books can be a big deal
when it comes to getting your money.
2. Accounts Payable
When you have determined your accounts
receivable, you can check out your accounts
payable. Your accounts payable are any bills
(or other money) that your company has to
pay in the short term. A lot of companies
often try to delay accounts payable as long
as they can to maximize how much positive
cash flow they have available.
One way companies do this is by applying
“net” payment terms — such as net-30, net-
60, and so on. These net terms can be beneficial
for large businesses, but they’ve also
made a ripple effect through all kinds of industries
where small and medium-sized
businesses (SMBs) are put in tough spots.
3. Assets and Inventory
You also need to make sure you keep track
of every asset belonging to your company.
Any inventory of everything your company
currently has on hand is thought of as a positive
asset. This is assuming that any inventory
you have on hand is going to be sold and
converted into capital.
How a business manages its inventory can
indicate the overall operational efficiency of
your business. It’s important that you have
enough inventory on hand to fulfill any potential
orders, but not so much that you
have an inordinate amount of working capital
tied up in your inventory.
How your business handles these three components
is the cornerstone of working capital
management. Now that you know what
working capital management is, it’s crucial
for you to understand why it’s so important.
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 21
Working capital management is vital to the
success of your business and how your business
is viewed by others.
The ability to properly manage working capital
also relates to the growth of your business.
This is in addition to
its overall operational viability.
Managing your working
capital is about more than
keeping cash on hand and
having a financially solvent
company. It’s about how
you’re using that money
and if you have the business
acumen necessary to capitalize on your assets.
Reliable working capital management means
ensuring that your business maintains a positive
cash flow. This cash needs to satisfy any
short-term operating on top of any other
health of your company. A ratio of less than
1.0 may indicate that your company cannot
to meet its short term debts and might be
dealing with liquidity issues. This is also a
sign of a business experiencing cash flow
If your working capital ratio is too high, it
could mean you don’t know how to take advantage
of an opportunity. If
your working capital ratio is
higher than 2.0, it may reflect
that you don’t know
how to make the best use of
your assets to invest back
into the business and continue
to grow your company
while increasing revenue.
The “goldilocks” zone of where you want
your working capital ratio to lie tends to fall
in between 1.5 and 2.0. This tells people that
your business is financially solvent with plenty
of cash on hand, but is still taking proactive
steps as it pursues future growth.
The amount of working capital you have
compared to your existing obligations defines
your working capital ratio. The formula
for your working capital ratio is that you take
existing assets and divide them by your liabilities.
This ratio is key to determining the financial
We’ve shown how you can define working
capital management. You also need to understand
why properly managing your working
capital is important. What can SMBs do
to create more working capital in a world
where it seems like everyone is trying to delay
payments for as they can?
We already discussed it, but existing invoices
22 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
are a key component of accounts receivable.
We also mentioned how you can rely on
these invoices as a form of collateral in securing
additional working capital. This is
where invoice financing and invoice factoring
can come in handy.
to them in as little as 24 hours, it’s not hard
to see why. As long as a business has documented,
outstanding invoices, it can reach
out through online invoice financing to secure
the working capital it needs to continue
to operate at a high standard.
While net-terms can be convenient for large
businesses looking to manage their working
capital, they can quickly become unfair to
the small and medium-sized businesses relying
on these payments to keep their businesses
Invoice financing provides a much-needed
lifeline for SMBs looking to get a firm grasp
on their working capital management and
allow for the cash flow they need to keep
debt obligations paid and everything else
Alternative lending is gaining traction among
small businesses thanks to its more relaxed
qualifications, convenience, and fast access
to a capital. When SMBs can have up to
100% of their outstanding invoices advanced
It’s hard to talk about working capital management
without having the cash flow to
manage in the first place. Thanks to alternative
lending services like online invoice financing,
businesses are no longer held hostage
by one-side net payment terms that only
serve to benefit large companies.
Through access to more working capital on a
faster timeline thanks to invoice financing
and invoice factoring, SMBs are able to proactively
manage this capital to further grow
their business. Rather than wait for months
on end to be paid for services rendered or
goods you’ve already produced, a business
can receive the money its owed on time and
focus on running their business, rather than
tracking down customers for payment.
Steven Uster is the Co-Founder & CEO of FundThrough, an invoice funding service that helps business owners
eliminate "the wait" associated with payment terms by giving them the power and flexibility to get their invoices
paid when they want, with one click, and in as little as 24 hours.
Prior to FundThrough, Steven was an investment banker in New York at UBS and
Centerview Partners. Steven has an MBA from The Wharton School and a Bachelor
of Commerce with Honours from McGill University, where he was a Loran Scholar.
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 23
Why Your Brand Must Transform to Stay
Relevant—And How To Do It
————————————————————————————————— BY WHITNEY VOSBURGH ————————————————————————————————
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from “WORK THE FUTURE! TODAY 2019 POCKET
PAL: A faster path to purpose, passion and profit,” available on Amazon.
For the past 20 years, we’ve worked with a
wide range of companies and organizations
all over the world, including a number of
Fortune 20 companies. We’ve noticed a
growing sense of dissatisfaction, and the desire
of both leaders and employees at all levels
to find greater meaning and impact in
their work. As we begin 2019, this widespread
hunger for a new sense of fulfillment
in our work and the need for transformation
to meet the challenges that constant change
bring is more prevalent than ever. With this
in mind, we offer a step-by-step path to filling
this void with a new sense of shared purpose
The purpose of transformation
Old into new: In 2019, we need to transition
more than ever from the Old Story of Profit
First to the New Story of Purpose, which is
made possible by a three-part path, which
we call Working The Future! Today:
1. Purpose: Why?—your destiny.
2. Place: Who?—your destination.
3. Practice: How?—your journey.
To pull all this together with a clear view of
the path forward, we explore foundational
thoughts on perennially popular corporate
topics: collaboration, innovation, and transformation—all
of which are about creating a
better today and tomorrow.
The Old Story of Profit First is dying, and
there is nothing to replace it. What we des-
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perately need and yearn for is a New Story
of Purpose First. The old triple bottom line of
profit, people, planet—in that order—has
taken many of us far, but no longer. We need
a new triple bottom line of planet, people,
profit. Why? With no planet and no people,
there can be no profit. Companies must become
prophets of the new, so they can continue
to earn new profits. In order for companies
to accumulate wealth, they must not
only share the wealth but also ultimately
recognize the role of all parties in the cocreation
of that wealth—commonwealth.
Transformation nation: Sadly, so many people
have neither meaningful work nor life,
which is made dramatically evident by the
rapid rise in our suicide rates, opioid addictions,
debilitating stress levels, and lack of
civic engagement across almost all demographics—the
United States of Alienation.
Collaboration into sharing: People do not
truly collaborate unless they know their best
interests have been fully embraced. That is
called shared purpose. Innovation does not
happen in a vacuum—it is part of an interconnected
chain of simultaneous events,
factors, and influences such as shared purpose,
vision, and leadership, as well as inspiration,
imagination, and invention; all of that
leads to shared value creation.
What combines shared purpose and cocreation
of a future desired state is community,
and from both the corporate and stakeholder
points of view the ultimate fruit of
these unions is called commonwealth,
wealth for all, not just for the one percent.
Within the corporation, that commonwealth
is called culture—all that you do and don’t
do relative to others in the minds, hearts,
and wallets of your brand community of
stakeholders and the places you do business.
The purpose-profit connection: In the New
Story, which is the future of work, there is a
direct connection between purpose and
profit. All healthy businesses are founded
with a core purpose and values, as well as a
vision, mission, and value proposition. Purpose
has to come before profit, not only at
the inception of a business, but all through
the business lifecycle. Increasingly, the more
stakeholders have an ever-renewing brand, a
new sense of positive purpose and value,
the more profitable and sustainable a business
will be. Customer experience and content
are made from these threads.
Transformation is not a standalone concept.
It is like a valued brand: an active, shared,
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 25
positive, and aligned purposeful culture,
which is built on a foundation of strong,
emotional, transformative experiences such
as a sustaining story of origin—why we exist
and whom we serve—to serve as a collective
and sustaining north star. A healthy, vibrant
sustainable culture has three legs:
Each leg is supported by its brand community
of stakeholders. The stronger the community,
the stronger and smoother support for
the three legs of the culture. Incremental innovation
is possible without a purposeful
culture. However, continual transformation
is only possible in a purposeful culture, and
without continual transformation, businesses
and organizations will not be sustainable.
They will be tomorrow’s corporate road kill,
squashed by relentless competition, change,
The power of transformation
Work The Future, Today: Collaboration, innovation,
transformation: There are two
basic processes that bring the future to you
and your organization: innovation and transformation.
Too much has been written about
innovation and too precious little on transformation.
And neither is truly possible without
collaboration, which is the social glue
holding and bonding them together.
Collaboration, at a conceptual level, involves:
Awareness: We become part of a working
entity with a shared purpose.
Motivation: We drive to gain consensus in
problem-solving or development.
Self-synchronization: We decide as individuals
when things need to happen.
Participation: We participate in collaboration
and we expect others to participate.
Mediation: We negotiate, collaborate, and
find a middle point.
Reciprocity: We share and we expect sharing
in return through reciprocity.
Reflection: We think and consider alternatives.
Engagement: We proactively engage rather
than wait and see.
Innovation is the harnessing of creative
thought and action to a useful end for a
short-term goal, which is meant to—at
best—keep you where you are today, instead
of slipping back.
Future value creation for a shared long-term
A shared act of imagination translated into a
The art of scientifically bringing creativity
continuously to life.
Applied creativity that makes a long-term
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Irreversible, substantive, creates new identity,
and contains a shift in
A shared activity where people
come together to cocreate
the future today and
create something of lasting
and sustaining value.
Creating your brand new
story: It might be said that
true and sustainable transformation
is about creating
an ever-renewing story encapsulated in a living,
breathing brand and culture that is kept
together by shared purpose and value. The
three ingredients of a sustainable culture—
sustained by shared purpose—in the new
world of work are:
1. Brand Purpose (WHY: promise, passion,
2. Brand Participation (WHO + HOW: partnership,
participation, and process)
3. Brand Performance (WHAT + WHEN +
WHERE: planet, people, and profits)
What’s your New Story? Purpose, leadership,
and place let you pull the future toward
you. You surround it, you dance with it,
and you make it real and share it with others.
The outlines of the New Story narrative are
emerging from the fog of the past. It’s more
about harmony instead of control; it’s more
feminine than masculine; it’s
more about stewardship than
exploitation; it’s more about
co-creation than about
what’s already built. And it’s
more about living in the present
with an eye to the future
than not being present and
looking toward the past.
We conclude with a playbook
to get you started on your
pathway to purpose, possibility, and plenty.
The path to sustainable profits and overall
sustainability is through shared, aligned positive
The path of transformation
“The cave you fear to enter holds
the treasure that you seek.” — Joseph
Finding your true north: The way to make
your way along the path of emotional transformation
toward purpose parallels the classic
story of the hero’s journey. It is a path of
what Carl Jung called individualization or becoming
oneself. Or, in an organizational
setting, finding your purpose—your true
north. The process by which this occurs is
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 27
called differentiation and has as a goal of the
development of the individual or organizational
personality, the discovery, and acceptance
of one’s true purpose. The path is
often summarized as having seven distinct,
but overlapping, stages.
The brand new path to purpose: Now, we
are at a point in our journey where we need
to look at just how we’re supposed to be
able to make this transition to purposeful
and sustainable transformation. Use this seven-step
path to guide you and your organization
through this transition.
Below you’ll find the steps in the order you’ll
take them. For each step, you’ll see the
name of the state associated with that step,
the quality you should be experiencing during
that particular stage of transition, and
the activity you’ll associate with that step.
7 Steps: The purpose path
Step 1. Initiation: Recognizing the Real
Socialization: Looking from outside to inside.
Brand focus: Your focus is on your brand.
Brand development (activity): Awareness
that something is missing and time is passing.
You move to get something you need.
You begin seeking answers to nagging ques-
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tions, such as “What is our core purpose?”
Step 2. Involvement: Call to Adventure
Brand action: Struggle: Looking from inside
Brand focus: Your focus is your brand in the
Brand development (activity): Looking at
parts of ourselves we don’t want to look at.
Introspection: “Is it us or has the world
changed without us?”
Step 3. Inquiry: Meeting the Mentor
Brand action: Service: Moving from inside to
Brand focus: Your focus is on your brand
Brand development (activity): Sharing what
we know in order to build future capability
with our stakeholders and the communities
where we do business. Sharing provides a
bridge from what was to the New Story.
in brand new ways, building off the old into
Step 5. Inspiration: Road of Trials
Brand action: Sensing: Opening up to cocreation.
Brand focus: Your focus is on collaboration
with your brand community.
Brand development (activity): Actively cocreating
brand value and perception. Firmly
committed to a pathway of purposeful
Step 6. Innovation: Seizing the Prize
Brand action: Stewardship: Walking your
Brand focus: Your focus is on brand leadership.
Brand development (activity): Realizing and
acting upon new marketplace demands such
as authenticity, transparency, responsibility,
Step 4. Improvement: Crossing the Threshold
Brand action: Showtime: Going from old
playbook to new.
Brand focus: Your focus is on brand activation.
Brand development (activity): Creativity is
expressed through innovative culture. You
experience the “flow” state and begin to act
Step 7. Iteration: Return with the Treasure
Brand action: Simplification: Knowing shift
Brand focus: Your focus is on your brand future.
Brand development (activity): Oh, shift! Developing
a firm grasp of the obvious: Purpose
= profits. Change, complexity, and competition
are relentless and ruthless.
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 29
Call to Action for a Brand New
Humans change at the speed of snails, but
everything around us changes quickly and all
the time, with ever greater velocity, impact,
and complexity. We all need a flexible new
framework. We call this contextual reimagination.
If you want to grow or keep
growing your brand, you need to keep it new
and stay focused on your shared purpose
and value, while embracing change and possibility,
and driven by continuous renewal
through collaboration, innovation, and transformation.
WHITNEY VOSBURGH is co-author of the two WORK
THE FUTURE! TODAY books, and co-founder of the
company of the same name, which is a social venture
offering vision, leadership and solutions for maximizing
personal, organizational, and societal potential. He
is also co-founder of Brand New Purpose LLC, a brand
transformation consultancy that creates purposebuilt,
value-driven opportunities for leaders and organizations
of all sizes. As an interim Fortune 20 Chief
Marketing Officer, Whitney has guided over $20 billion in value creation. His expertise has
been featured in four books on the Future of Work, including a bestseller by Dan Pink. Whitney’s
work is featured in numerous media outlets including ABC, BBC, Conscious Company,
Newsweek, Time, US News & World Report, Venture, and The Wall Street Journal. As an author,
speaker and workshop leader, Whitney always asks, “Why?” — and then creates actionable
clarity by turning complexity into simplicity. His purpose is to elevate people, organizations,
and communities to a brand new sense of purpose, possibility, and plenty. Whitney focuses
on inspiring and leading short-term innovations and long-term transformations, so we
can share our gifts and passions with the world to make a lasting difference. Whitney graduated
with a M.A. in Religious Leadership for Social Change from the Graduate Theological Union
in Berkeley, and with a B.F.A. in Communication Design from Parsons School of Design in New
York. He has a world of experience — having lived, studied, and worked all over Europe, Asia,
and America — and brings this all together both in his work, writing, speaking and art.
LinkedIn: @WhitneyVosburgh Twitter: brandguru
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4 Steps To Leadership Nirvana
BY DR. STEVEN HYMOVITCH
I don’t believe leaders are born; I believe
that they are self-made. Sure, there are
times when, by sheer seniority, somebody
gets bumped up into a position where they
might suddenly be running the shop, have a
bunch of employees under them; ‘leading’ in
a manner of speaking. But one must grow into
being a leader, and to do this, one must
climb the rungs of an imaginary ladder, learning,
losing their footing even well before one
gets to leadership nirvana if they ever get
there at all.
Some people don’t ascend to the metaphorical
leader penthouse, while others are
quite content on reaching and staying at a
specific rung. Only you know the kind leader
you will turn out to be. But to be a person
who influences others in the most positive of
ways, and uses the full force of his or her
awareness and abilities, you need to climb all
the way up these levels, not skipping
any steps along the way.
As I just mentioned, a man or woman
can, and often do, become boss,
only by being promoted. But if you have
even a smidgen of awareness, you will quickly
realize how little real power and influence
you have, even though you are the boss. At
this level, I dare say you’ll have to work to
gain the trust and respect of people, earn the
‘right to lead,’ whether you are a principal of
a school, or just promoted to head dentist.
Teetering on this first rung, one relies
on rules, regulations, politics, and organizational
charts to control people; don’t get a big
head here, you are not much more than a glorified
manager. Sure, this is the first step, but
being a boss doesn’t mean you are a leader.
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This next-level up the leadership
food chain is the first step to
real leadership, although lots of people view
this as a step back and avoid it, much to their
detriment. Employees give their leader permission,
allowance, a welcome to lead them,
only if a leader has earned their respect, caring,
and nurtured friendships. Although plenty
of bosses, leaders think that cultivating
fear or creating an antagonist relationship
with their people is what pushes them to success,
you’ll attract more bees (and buzzing
happy bees) with honey; friendship being the
sweetest honey of all.
When a leader is a friend to his staff,
workers, students even, he finds people following
him or her because of affection and
respect as opposed to them kowtowing for
fear of losing their jobs or favor. The leader
working at this level isn’t protecting their position;
he or she is getting to know their people
and figuring out how to get along with
them. Showing someone mutual respect and
caring feeds the need we all have, boss and
employee both, for connection.
Delivery man or woman
What a leader makes happen, the
results from his or her actions, the
implementation of a plan or vision, are sure
to leave a profound impact on a team. This is
the shut-up or put-up level; a leader can’t
fake their results as a delivery man or woman.
The staff I hired as I grew my practice
saw that I was on an upwardly- mobile trajectory.
Sure, I was often knuckled under by
enormous stress, but I like to think my drive
was infectious, that the people who worked
for me wanted to be part of the growth of
what came to be ten dental offices. My people
looked to me as the answer-man, the
leader, because they saw how serious I was
in making things brighter, better, and bigger.
Even if a leader shoots and misses at this
stage, the team will be much more forgiving
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ecause, at least, they saw that the leader was
trying; putting an effort out there to make
things better for everyone.
Quaker leader C.W. Perry said:
“Leadership is accepting people where they
are then taking them somewhere.”
I enjoy watching people grow, develop
their skills, cultivate their talents. I want
to see people excel, become the best worker
they can be, even become leaders themselves
(on a selfish level, the more folks you cultivate
into leaders, the more pressure you can
take off your shoulders.) I won’t say getting
to this level is easy. I had to take myself from
working in my business and work more on it,
which included, tweaking and cultivating my
people. But when a leader gets to the last
step, mentoring, typically he or she is less
concerned with production output and delivery
and more their people’s productivity.
Stepping up the ladder of these four
Woman and Mentor and retaining the best of
what you learn along the way brings one to
the penthouse suite of leadership. This is
what we saw with Steve Jobs, Martin Luther
King; Gandhi. These leaders stood heads and
shoulders above so many others and were
able to bring all that they learned through the
four steps transcending their workplace, their
class, even their political and cultural structure—what
was expected from them for mere
productivity—making everyone they came in
contact with that much better. The leaders
who make it to this stage can change the culture,
influence technology for the betterment
of us all, lead revolutions, become historical
figures as much as envied CEO’s.
I ran through levels one and four with
a few paragraphs for each, but it takes years
to exercise your muscles for this climb, to
not get knocked back a few rungs on occasion,
to maintain a level long enough to
make the necessary strides needed to jump to
steps, from Boss, Friend, Delivery Man/
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 35
Dr. Steven Hymovitch, also known as “Dr. H”, is the proud co-founder of The
Scottsdale Leadership and Coaching Center. He is a Certified Executive Coach
from Royal Roads University and a Level 1 and Level 2 TalentSmart Emotional
Intelligence certified trainer and currently coaches’ executives, upper management,
and doctors within the healthcare industry as well as faculty groups
within dental colleges. In his words, “I coach as it really gives me the satisfaction
of knowing that I can unleash the inner potential of driven and motivated
professionals and entrepreneurs.” The focus of Dr. H’s coaching and speaking topics is leadership in the
Additionally, as a professionally trained endodontist (Root Canal Specialist), Dr. H is the founder and CEO of
Valley Endodontics and Oral Surgery. He continues to run 10 successful endodontic and oral surgery practices
throughout Arizona since 1996. Valley Endodontics and Oral Surgery is the largest Endodontic/Oral
Surgery practice in the Southwestern United States.
Dr. H was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. He received his DDS degree from McGill University, his Endodontic
Certification from Tufts University in Boston, and an MBA from Arizona State University. Dr. H
served as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces for 15 years and was meritoriously awarded the Canadian
Forces Decoration (CD) medal in 1993 after attaining the rank of Captain.
Dr. H sponsoring the 2019 Summer Health Institute at ASU’s College of Health Solutions. The summer before
their senior year of high school, participants stay for a week on the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus,
where they enjoy an immersive college experience while learning about various health career options.
Now approaching its sixth year, the Summer Health Institute has demonstrated its ability to inspire promising,
college-bound high school seniors from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds to pursue careers in
health and health care. His sponsorship provides 24 students the opportunity to participate in this one-of-a
-kind learning opportunity, regardless of their financial situation.
Dr. H is married to Julie, and is the proud father of three girls and two boys. In his personal time, Dr. H is
very involved with his two sons travel hockey team. His oldest son David was the first American forward
drafted in the WHL Bantam Draft in 2018 by the Calgary Hitmen, and was drafted in the USHL 2019 draft by
the Sioux City Musketeers.
Business Website: Scottsdale Leadership and Coaching Center www.scottsdalecenterofleadership.com
Dr. Steven Hymovitch on Linkedin www.linkedin.com/in/steve-hymovitch-dds-mba-cec-786399a
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BY CHRISTINE ERICKSON
Take a look around your
office (or for the start-up/gig
economy, the coffee shop).
It’s a melting pot of generations
-- from Baby Boomers,
age 54-72 to the first Gen
need to figure out how to
get people in a 50-year age
span to connect.
First and foremost, stop
Regardless of what phase of
entrepreneurship you are in,
it's critical for all of us to
learn how to connect across
generations. It's what fuels
innovation and drives business.
Here is how we -- and
our clients -- successfully approach
Z’ers who just graduated
college), and everyone in
between (Millennials and
Forget trying to figure out
the office thermostat -- we
audience. Believe it or not,
many of these generations’
needs and preferences do
overlap. Some Baby Boomers
love Twitter. Some Millennials
will put their phones
Healthy team members are
happy team members no
matter what age they are.
Today, wellness is expected,
and it’s changing business
dynamics. One tip: Find new
ways to weave physical and
mental fitness into your employee’s
day or at your business
events. One thing
these generations have in
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40 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
common: most prefer to
stay active, eat well, and feel
FYI, fitness doesn’t mean a
long, grueling marathon or
Touchpoints for mental and
physical wellness can be
everywhere -- inspirational
speakers to get the brain
moving differently or even
Morning yoga not for you?
No problem. What about
providing mental motivation?
that feed problem-solving
skills are multi-generation
Don’t forget those “no-tech”
spaces and activities where
everyone puts away their
phones and instead interacts
face-to-face, or simply…
We sometimes forget that
everyone processes information
need more time than others.
When you ‘gift’ decom-
“Engage your team
on a personal and
by opening up networking
pression time, people get
inspired and recharge and
you will see successful results.
BRIDGE THE COLLABORA-
Across all generations, we’re
still learning how to best utilize
and technology. In fact, I’m
not sure anyone has mastered
this yet. Finding that
perfect balance of technology
and personal interaction
is… well, hard.
Companies and entrepreneurs
coming close to the
time balance incorporate
the existing, most-used tech
teams want and need. People
are engaged when collaboration
is simple – so use
intuitive options that are
easy to implement and are
To take it one step further,
consider cloud-based solutions
that unify these tools
and applications. Then incorporate
so all generations can
quickly and easily contribute
-- while transferring
knowledge in real-time.
Some examples here include
using collaborative whiteboards,
apps, and social media
We sometimes forget that
the goal of technology is to
keep everyone engaged, not
distracted. So, in the end,
just keep it simple.
Professional networking and
accessibility to all team
members (company found-
ers and below) is key to any
successful business. Your
team wants to grow their
network and enhance their
skills so they can keep
reaching towards their ultimate
Engage your team on a personal
and professional level
by opening up networking
events. We live in an age
when information and
knowledge are at everyone’s
fingertips. Because of that,
work hierarchies can disengage
and deter ‘lower level’
employees from engaging
with the ‘top brass’.
Networking IS a motivator.
People like hearing others’
career stories and meeting
and connecting with other
professionals. Some examples
to open networking --
a) giving audiences the
opportunity to interact
with a keynote speaker
or leader following a
b) Creation of smallsession
and breakouts and...
c) Create ‘wow’ content
and experiences to get
people talking, connecting
and get inspired.
MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT
From environmental sustainability
to human rights –
every generation wants to
contribute to the world
around them. They want to
“Members of all
the desire and
capacity to grow as
share their resources
ideas, and passions) in moving
their ideals forward. Social
responsibility is a key
component of this belief.
People want mind-share and
Start by clearly defining your
business’s goals for positive
impact – what are the values,
principles, and ethics
you want to highlight? Then,
survey your team. Learn
what they want. Then curate
your community give-back
Next, look at your providers.
Are you working with suppliers
who prioritize fair wages
and safe environments? Are
you sourcing meeting properties
that are working to
reduce their carbon footprint?
What are your own
office’s alternatives to plastics?
Whatever your business’
impact, own it. Ensure
your team is well aware of
the contributions and
strides they too are contributing
to by simply participating
in your program or
Members of all generations
have the desire and capacity
to grow as individuals.
Everyday business meetings
and events are uniquely po-
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 41
sitioned to fulfill those
needs. These opportunities
provide people with learning
and discovery, a change
of perspective, and building
a strong sense of team community.
The pièce de résistance
when it comes to selfactualization
for your team is to provide
-- authentic experiences
that incorporate resonating
content. FYI, this isn’t free
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and does take some coordinating
-- but you get the
highest value from them.
Shift your resources to help
your team members focus
on new feelings of euphoria,
joy, and wonder surrounding
their job. If your surprise
and delights tend to be
goods or ‘swag’, make them
more meaningful. Or, rather
than a physical takeaway,
consider creating an a-ha
moment that supports the
realization or fulfillment of
one's talents and potentialities.
The goal of self-actualization
moments in the workspace
should not be to entertain
but to make a lasting impression.
No matter how you look at
it, age is simply a number.
Everyone wants to be invited
to the conversation. Everyone
wants to be inspired
and make positive change.
Ultimately, employees want
to be part of an environment
that genuinely connects
them to other people,
the community, and the
Invite all generations to participate
in your research,
surveys and organization’s
board meetings and events.
Ask them to idea-share or
crowd-source, so their topics
There is never a one-size-fits
-all approach to designing
the perfect team member
experience. But, we are
closer to finding impactful
solutions when aim for the
middle of the Venn (or in
this case, Gen[eration]) diagram.
Identifying the center
of your workforce generational
diagram is key to understanding
can relate and succeed together.
In an industry dominated by forward-thinking women,
Christine Erickson stands out with her phenomenal leadership
skills and proven ability to pilot a creative brand.
As Senior Vice President, U.S. Event Solutions at BCD
Meetings & Events, she heads a team of 75 event specialists
with expertise in planning, procurement, creative design,
business development and operations – all serving
customers globally. Annually, her team produces 300+
events across the globe, stemming from the U.S. market,
with a portfolio of incentive programs, product launches,
national and global sales meetings as well as high profile
marquee events conducted by organizations.
Erickson’s passion to help clients improve their businesses through creative and innovative
events has been honed over 27 years in the hospitality, travel and performance improvement
industries. Her diverse background lends itself to progressing within the fast-evolving
meetings and events industry. She began her career in planning operations, traveling the
globe 260 days a year as a senior trip director executing programs. Moving into business
development and sales, she worked closely with Fortune 100 customers in multiple verticals,
understanding what is necessary for a business to be successful and how those needs
can be supported with various expertise and services.
In 2019, she was recognized by the Meeting Magazine in their "Top Influential Women in
the Meetings Industry".
BCD Meetings & Events: www.bcdme.com
Facebook Page: @bcdmeetingsandevents
LinkedIn Page: @bcdme
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 43
By Ryan Boykin
Contrary to the narrative
promulgated by social that
millennials don’t save, studies
show that they are cashsavvy
– and they’re saving
more and buying less than
previous generations. In
fact, this group represents
the bulk of adherents of the
FIRE (Financial Independence,
Retire Early) movement,
wherein people try to
save at least half their income
to achieve financial
freedom, and in some cases,
According to Liz Thames, author
of “Meet the Frugalwoods:
Independence Through Simple
Living” and a prominent
advocate of the FIRE movement,
the concept hinges on
44 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
three main elements:
The piece that
might be missing
from this picture
To build a solid
for all of your financial
goals, such as retiring at a
relatively young age, living
comfortably, providing for
yourself or your family and
not being married to your
job, you should understand
that investing your savings is
just as important as the action
One of the best ways to
build steady wealth is to invest
in real estate, and you
don’t have to be inherently
wealthy or hold an MBA to
get started. Through conservative
investment and prudent saving,
millennials can use real
estate as a pathway to financial
are four ways to use real estate
to start growing your
future nest egg:
Be A Borrower
You don’t have to put a 20
percent down payment on a
home to get into the game.
Government loans exist for
the very purpose of helping
first-time buyers become
“just by collecting more in rent than your
monthly mortgage payment. Rental properties
provide steady passive income each month.”
homeowners. In fact, you
can often buy a house with
just a three percent down
payment. So, if you’ve fallen
in love with a house, townhome
or condo and you
have reason to be confident
of the neighborhood’s future,
don’t let a smallerthan-ideal
cash savings keep
you away from buying.
Live For Free By Taking In
To help ensure your monthly
income exceeds your total
monthly expenses, consider
doing what many early investors
do after college
graduation: buy a home and
rent out a few of the bedrooms.
Your rental income
could cover most, if not all,
of the cost of your monthly
mortgage, meaning you can
essentially live rent-free in
your own home.
Again, as long as you’ve
done your homework on location
and you’re reasonably
sure of your ability to
find renters, this is an excellent
only will you
eliminate one of
people to pay
for it, but you’ll also build
equity in the process.
Invest In A Rental Property
Perhaps you’re already a
homeowner. You’re not
looking to move and maybe
that savings nest egg of
yours is a little bigger. This is
an ideal time to begin investing
in a rental property
in order to increase the second
of those three FIRE elements:
Millennials in this financial
situation should look into
purchasing a townhouse,
single family home, duplex
or fourplex (a building divided
into four apartments). By
renting out each of the
units, you’ll again be covering
your mortgage plus
building equity in the property.
However, because you’re
now renting out entire units
rather than just rooms, your
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 45
asking price can be a good deal higher. If the
location is right, you could be making money
each month – just by collecting more in rent
than your monthly mortgage payment. Rental
properties provide steady passive income
Maybe you’re focused on that third element
of the FIRE movement – time – because
even a three percent down payment for a
month, a property that’s in your name building
equity and, of course, additional monthly
Good Ethics Lead to Good Results
While these four methods can help you
achieve your financial goals through real estate
investment and ultimately give you the
freedom to retire early or pursue other interests,
I learned many years ago that the
way in which you do business is as important
as the results you achieve.
I reached a turning point in business
when a mentor, the founder
and CEO of WhiteWave
Foods, shared his life and company
core values with me: good
for me, good for you, good for
everything. I embraced those
values for myself and my company
and quickly realized that if
I am not doing something that
fits those parameters, then I and
my team members should not
be doing it at all.
piece of property wouldn’t be fiscally responsible.
To decrease the number of years
it will take to realize a consistently higher income
than expense, you could share a real
estate purchase with a financially likeminded
By partnering, you will reap all of the benefits
of your combined down payment savings.
This can lead to fewer upfront fees and
no private mortgage insurance (PMI). It also
means you can divide landlord responsibilities
once you start renting, while still gaining
the benefits of a paid mortgage every
This ethos has become the guiding light I
have applied to all of my work, relationships
and activities in the world. It has been deeply
gratifying to see these values take hold in
my business and personal life and to know
that I am doing much more than transacting
a deal when helping Millennials with wealthenhancing
real estate investments. I’ve been
mentored well and now it’s my turn to share
some wisdom: As you work toward achieving
financial freedom, always seek positive
results for everyone and everything. Good
ethics lead to good results.
46 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
Ryan Boykin has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur.
His first endeavor in 2004 was Scout Cleaning & Maintenance, an
environmentally conscious cleaning service, and the next year, he
co-founded U.S. Capital, a private equity holding company that
sold to Northport Investments in 2008. This sale opened the door
for the co-founding of DP Assets, LLC, a real estate asset holding
company for institutional investment, which would eventually purchase
the investment firm, Atlas Real Estate Group, in 2013. Ryan
is also co-founder of a wellness-based social club, Archipelago, and
a marketplace technology, venUse.
Today, Atlas Real Estate Group has several divisions: investment,
which helps people achieve their personal path to financial independence;
property management, including residential and commercial
properties; a full-service buy/sell brokerage; and in the Denver area, Atlas represents Zillow Offers in
all its transactions.
Ryan is an expert in real estate investment, having purchased over 4,000 units of investment real estate in
the last 10 years. Ryan is also a regular contributor of articles and commentary about the real estate market
and has commented or been featured in Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report,
RealtyTimes.com, The Denver Post, Colorado Real Estate Journal, Investopedia, and other local and national
Ryan was a Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree in 2017 and is a graduate of the University of Denver.
He’s generously contributed to the Denver community for many years, having served on non-profit
boards focused on education and the environment.
Atlas Real Estate Group was honored with the Top Company Award in Real Estate by ColoradoBiz Magazine in
2018, the Best of Colorado Business Choice Award for Best Property Management for three consecutive
years, 2017, 2018 and 2019, and Best Places to Work, 1st place, medium size company, by Denver Business
Journal in 2019.
The Group’s internal real estate holdings are over $50 million, having bought and sold more than 4,000 properties
on behalf of individuals and institutional investors totaling over $750 million worth of transactions. The
group manages over 2,800 units of residential investment real estate for its clients.
Business Website: www.realatlas.com
LinkedIn Page: @atlas-real-estate-group Instagram: @atlasrealestategroup
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 47
48 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
A “people pleaser” is one of
the nicest and most helpful
individuals you can meet.
They never say “no”, can always
be counted on for a
quick favor and get the
Being a people pleaser
doesn’t sound half bad
Yet, the truth is that it
can be an extremely unhealthy
pattern of behavior
and one that
runs deep into our subconscious.
looking for affirmation for
others, you aren’t always
doing what is best for you.
People pleasers come in all
shapes and sizes. They can
be highly impressionable,
have an intense need to not
be wrong, emotionally immature
with low self-esteem
and oftentimes addicted to
approval. It causes us to accept
things in our lives that
Image from clipartimage.com
are completely out of balance,
the wrong types of people
and staying in bad relationships
-- both personal or
professional – way too long.
While almost everyone exhibits
to a degree, there are some
where these types of behaviors
are taken to a toxic level
– and that is where things
can go awry.
Here are 15 signs you
are a toxic people pleaser
– and what you can
do about it.
15. You are impressionable.
How impressionable are
you? Do you think for
yourself, or do you always
ask the opinions of
others? Do you believe everything
that is told to you, or
do you investigate the truth
for yourself, and then make
an educated decision?
People-pleasers have a ten-
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 49
50 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
dency to be very impressionable,
because they really
don't trust themselves.
And with so many people on
social media, we see this
even more. People compare
themselves to others, think
they are less than others
and then start questioning
themselves. There's something
wrong with me, they
14. You isolate yourself.
One of the things that people-pleasers
do is that they
have this intense need not
to be wrong. They will avoid
an argument at all costs. So,
they will isolate and move
away from confrontation.
Self-isolation is also a way of
self-protection, and saying,
“Don't see me. I really don't
want anybody to observe
13. You are immature.
When we're talking about
people pleasers, these people
often get stuck in the
emotional intelligence of a
child, meaning they seek out
the appreciation, attention,
and the protection of other
12. You are excessively altruistic
You are constantly giving
away things in order to buy
a person's love or respect.
And no, I am not talking
about birthday gifts, Christmas
presents or a token of
appreciation to your employer.
Rather, I am talking
about consistently giving in
order to get appreciation
and attention back.
11. You are addicted to approval.
This is when you will do anything,
your own beliefs, morals
or values, for the sake of approval.
I think what makes
this toxic is when we're not
getting that approval from
other individuals, it's painful
-- it physically, emotionally
and mentally hurts. You go
into self-blame mode: What
did I do? Why was I wrong?
Does this person not like
me? And then it turns into a
kind of obsessive behavior:
How am I going to win back
the approval of this person?
10. You have low selfesteem.
Low self-esteem, or low selfworth,
is when we have a
very stunted image of ourselves.
I understand that
there are situations in our
lives we can’t control -- terrible
relationships, to name a few
-- that can impact our confidence.
But I believe the root
of this really comes from
fear. It comes from adopting,
adapting and protecting
yourself within a dysfunctional
unit where a person
will not let you express
your own individuality. For
instance, If you're a gregarious
person, but you're family
consistently shames you
for being "too much,” you
will shut down your true
personality to be who others
are telling you to be. You
shut down your ability to
communicate in a way that
you need to communicate.
Your ideas, feelings and
accomplishments are not
validated by other people,
and it causes a loss of self.
Therefore, you seek that
self in someone else and
piggyback on their accomplishments,
9. You rationalize away
You're constantly making excuses
for poor behavior, either
your own or someone
close to you (i.e. family
members, spouse). You rationalize
it away, focusing on
the one thing being done
right versus the 10 things
you are doing wrong.
8. You are emotionally dependent
Emotionally dependent is
when you are dependent on
another person, because
you are afraid to own your
Image from clipartimage.com
own feelings. So, if you can't
be happy without somebody
else being happy, if you have
to walk around on eggshells
in your own home, then
you're a people-pleaser.
Codependent is when you're
with somebody that has an
issue, you tolerate that issue
and don’t set a boundary for
their life, as we all have issues.
It's when you’re with
somebody who refuses to
take responsibility for the
issue and don't do anything
about it, because you're
afraid to leave.
7. You lack proper boundaries.
While some may think not
having any boundaries increases
intimacy, I call BS
on that theory. By having
boundaries, you are saying,
“Here's who I am, here's
what I stand for, and I want
to be with somebody that
has the same kind of value
system I do.”
If you don't have boundaries,
you are a doormat for
the world – and anybody
can do anything and you’re
not going to stop them.
Almost everybody has been
in situations like these in
6. You are an over-doer.
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 51
You are the person that has to have everything
right all the time. This comes from
more of an internal judgment, than an external
judgment. A lot of people have a dad or
a mom, a priest, a teacher, a coach or somebody
in their head that is constantly on them
about not being good enough., So everything
always has to be perfect. And, if it's not
in their head, it's somebody in their life; it's
like there's no room for mistakes there.
5. You have a loss of control.
If, unfortunately, you were raised thinking
you were not good enough, you may seek
out attention to get approval from others.
You may continually make drama in your life
-- something is always going wrong. You are
constantly looking for some kind of sympathy
from other people.
When you say no and then give a huge explanation,
if unwarranted, that's a sign of
low self-esteem. You just need to say no and
3. You have the desire to be loved.
The desire to be loved really comes from a
sense of not loving yourself. When we don't
love ourselves then we have a big issue, because
we want that feeling of love. And if we
don't have the feeling of love, then we have
the threat of abandonment. So, if we can't
generate the love ourselves, we're going to
seek it in someone else; and when we're
seeking it in someone else, we have a tendency
to look over things that we probably
shouldn't be looking over.
2. You are naïve.
4. You are unable to say “no.”
“No” is a complete sentence, and it needs no
further explanation. However, the word no
can be one of the most difficult things for
people to say to other people. So, you will
lie, cheat, make excuses in order to not have
to look somebody else in the eye and just
It's our responsibility to stay abreast of
what's going on in the world, and not walk
around uninformed. You can't be informed
about everything, but when you walk
around with somebody that is just totally naïve
about everything in their life, they're hiding.
There's a safety component to that: The
less I know, the less fear that I have to be in.
1. You trust.
52 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
When you don't trust yourself, you have to
trust others to a point that it is not healthy.
So, when you don't trust yourself, you will
give power of things in their life that are very
important over to somebody else. That
could be finances, health, problems in your
personal life, business, issues with their children
or whatever. It's a stay-blissfullyignorant-type
thing. So, we have to work on
trusting ourselves, and the way that we do
that is a very simple exercise that I teach
As I said before, these traits, at extreme levels,
can be a sign that you are a people
So, what can you do? It starts by picking
things that you're going to commit to and
keep your word. Start with small things that
you know that you'll keep your word with,
and then add more, bigger things as you go.
This helps develop a trust muscle. You develop
that integrity with yourself about keeping
your word, and as you continue to do that,
not only do you trust yourself more, but you
build more self-confidence.
As that begins to happen, the other traits
begin to start correcting themselves, helping
you live a happier, healthier and more secure
David Neagle is the founder of the multimillion-dollar global coaching
company Life Is Now, Inc, helping thousands of entrepreneurs,
experts and self-employed professionals gain the confidence and
find the right mindset to increase their revenue, turning their endeavors
into seven- and eight-figure ventures.
Being in the coaching and mentorship industry
for more than 20 years, his clients include many well-known people, including New
York Times #1 best-selling author Jen Sincero.
Because of the results his clients have achieved, along with his dedication, David’s
coaching has expanded to more than 30 countries, and his business expertise has been
featured in Inc., CNBC.com, Business Insider, Farnoosh Torabi's "So Money" Podcast,
HLN, and much more. He is also the bestselling author of The Millions Within, a book
focusing on intention, focus and awareness to build your dream business and life.
www.davidneagle.com Facebook: @DavidNeagle Facebook Page: @DavidNeagleCommunity
Linkedin: @TheDavidNeagle Instagram: @David_P_Neagle
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 53
Why Our Old Approach to College Is
Putting a New Generation at Risk
BY MARK C. PERNA
Society has done a huge disservice
to young people by
relying on outdated educational
models developed 50 years
ago. Our one-size-fits-all approach
that promotes college
as the single path to a profitable,
high-skilled profession is
putting both the economy
and an entire generation at
We face a national crisis of
rising college costs, decreasing
and employer frustration
with the younger generations
in the workplace.
Meanwhile, we’re pushing
young people to obtain college
degrees while simulta-
neously ignoring the importance
of also acquiring
valuable work skills. As a result,
only 1 in 5 students feel
prepared for today’s job
market. We’re saddling
them with enormous college
debt for degrees that may
not pay off.
Today’s emphasis should no
54 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
longer be just about getting
young people ready for college.
It should be about preparing
them for careers for
which college is one of many
available options. College is a
great postsecondary option --
if their career path requires it.
Too many young people today
go just to go, and too often,
because of lack of forethought,
they choose a field
of study where there either
are no jobs available or they
aren’t adequately trained for
What young people don’t
often know -- because no one
tells them before they venture
into the workforce -- is there
are great, living-wage careers
to pursue that don’t require
them to go to college. Many
of today’s high-paying, highskilled
careers require a specialized
industry credential or
certification, not a college degree.
The disconnect between
sending young people off to
study for degrees without regard
for whether it trains
them for a profession has resulted
in dramatic skills gap in
today’s workforce. Employers
are starving for people with
hands-on skills and experiences
that come from certifications,
and career training
programs. A recent study
showed that by 2025, the
United States will be short
11 million qualified workers
to support the economy.
Manufacturers around the
country, for example, are in
desperate need of precision
machinists. But attracting
the younger generation to
the work is remarkably
difficult because of the stigma
that only lowerperforming
choose this kind of career.
Still, the field offers immediate
wages and advanced opportunities.
Far from the
old stereotype of a deadend
factory job, work in
this field now ranges from a
robot operator to a machine
builder to a computer
Students in both middle
and high schools need to
be made aware of the
plethora of career avenues
available and their respective
training and salary prospects.
planning early on will allow
them to choose advanced
education purposefully and
give them a better chance
of reaching their goal.
Prioritizing early career exploration
1. Gives young people a
sense of direction. Once
they’re made aware that
their interests can translate
into exciting career opportunities,
they can begin exploring
the appropriate academic
early training opportunities
that will catapult them into
a promising future.
2. Answers the “why” behind
their high school educations.
“Because I said so”
is not enough of a reason for
Gen Y and Zers who want to
know the “why” behind all
what’s asked of them. Opening
their eyes to the path
needed for pursuing a chosen
career can spark enthusiasm
to perform at a higher
level. They’ll understand the
relevance of their education
to the life and career they
want to achieve.
3. Invites more experiential
learning. When teachers,
coaches and counselors
know what careers their students
want to pursue, they
can connect the coursework
toward the attainment of
their students’ dreams. Assignments,
field trips, guest
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 55
speakers, service projects and
more can allow students to
explore their interests and
prepare for their various career
4. Allows them to acquire
skills and industry knowledge
that can empower young entrepreneurs.
and other hands
-on opportunities are just a
few of the ways young people
can begin to excel in their
fields of interest. Studies
show that students who
are exposed to career options
early on in their educational
high school in great numbers
(93% over the national
average of 80%). Career
and technical education
programs give students a
distinct competitive edge.
5. Positions them to know
their objectives before investing
time and mon-
ey. Most young people have
been taught to first pick a
college to attend, then pick
a major, and when they finally
graduate, then decide
what job they want to do.
But reversing the order
would help direct them
along the way and save
them from having to figure
out life with that enormous
financial clock ticking.
Mark C. Perna is the author of the award-winning bestseller Answering Why: Unleashing Passion,
Purpose, and Performance in Younger Generations that Publishers Weekly calls
“perceptive…reasonable and thought-provoking.” Mark is the founder and CEO of TFS and
has over 20 years of experience in coaching educational organizations and businesses on today’s
unique intergenerational workforce and the hiring, training and retention of the newest
generations. www.tfsresults.com/ Twitter @MarkPerna
56 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 57
By Beth Kennedy
58 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
Several years ago, the company for which I
was providing career consulting was purchased
by another company. The merger resulted
in an unusual circumstance for me—
coaching fifteen leaders in the same organization
as they transitioned to a different culture
and new systems. I observed over the
next twelve months that the resilient leaders
were able to acknowledge the uncertainty
and stress, then continue to develop their
careers in the direction they wanted. Other
individuals, lacking resilience, focused on the
doom and gloom of the merger, which became
a barrier to finding new roles, whether
inside or outside the company.
I identified five common strategies that
these resilient people possessed as part of
their career toolbox. I was amazed at how
these strategies eased my own business
transition. Within one
month of leaving the organization
where I had
spent fifteen years, I had a
major new training client
and fifteen new leadershipcoaching
I now have an opportunity
to coach leaders in diverse
companies, schools, nonprofits, and small
start-ups, as well as entrepreneurs and individuals
all over the globe and I continue to
focus on the five strategies with my clients:
well-being, self-awareness, brand, connection
Well-being is key to being productive and
focused, which is essential for entrepreneurs.
Do you make your well-being a priority?
Do you exercise regularly? Do you give
your body the fuel it needs to perform? Are
you getting the amount of sleep you need to
be at your best? Do you know your stressors
and have strategies for dealing with them?
Are you deeply connected to something outside
yourself such as art, music, literature,
nature, or religion?
Try one of these Well-being boosters:
Start your day with a morning intention.
Think about what you would like your day
to look like and how you want to feel.
Some examples include: calm and confident;
refreshed and focused; and relaxed
Notice how you feel throughout the day and
whether your stress level increases or
stays the same. Being aware
of your stress triggers can prevent
you from reacting to
them in unproductive ways.
Take a break from career and
life pressures by going on a
retreat or getaway by yourself
or with friends. This can be a
great way to gain clarity and
restore your energy.
Self-awareness includes purpose, mindset,
and personality type. Articulate your purpose—it’s
the starting point for developing a
clear focus for your business. And, as an entrepreneur,
knowing your purpose will fuel
you when circumstances are challenging. Be
aware of your mindset—it’s essential to re-
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 59
silience and you have the ability to change it.
A useful tool for recalibrating your mindset is
mindfulness, which makes you aware of
when you are focusing only on what’s wrong
in your situation or engaging in negative selftalk.
Knowing your personality style and how
it affects how you deal with people and situations
gives you the tools to be flexible in
Brand isn’t just about the attributes that describe
you—for example, strategic, detailoriented,
collaborative—it’s about the impact
you make with your customers. Together,
attributes and impact will create the reputation
that gets you recommended to others
and makes individuals want to learn
more about your expertise. I have taken my
brand very seriously since I began my business
25 years ago. I make sure I attend industry
conferences, and always focus
your interactions with people whose styles
are different from yours.
Some ways to boost your self-awareness:
What can you do this week to focus on a value
you would like to integrate more into
Do you often feel that you “have” to do
something? Ask yourself, “What would
realistically happen if I didn’t do this?
What do I want to do? Is there room for
negotiation?” The point is not to ignore
commitments but to make sure you don’t
Be aware that when you become seriously
stressed, it can amplify the more negative
aspects of your personality type. When
that happens, remind yourself to pause
and employ your stress-management
on ways I can offer more value to my clients.
When you do this, you will be seen as
an expert and become a thought leader in
To boost your brand:
Every Friday, ask yourself, “What impact did I
make in my business this week?”
Make sure your brand is clearly reflected on
your LinkedIn profile with a professional
headshot and a summary statement that
reflects your attributes and your impact.
Connection is about cultivating relationships
and building a support system of people you
can trust. It is not about gathering as many
business cards and LinkedIn connections as
possible, but about creating and nourishing
trusting relationships. As an entrepreneur,
you cannot underestimate the importance of
connecting with others. Every month, meet
with someone who can inspire you or motivate
you. Alternatively, find an organization
you can develop a community with; you
60 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
don’t want to isolate yourself.
To foster connection:
Schedule time with friends and colleagues
who support and energize you, and limit
your time with toxic people. When
meeting with colleagues, notice whether
they drain your energy or give you energy.
With friends, notice whether you feel
renewed and refreshed or dragged down
and negative after spending time with
Think of connection as a business competency
and make a monthly connection plan.
Be sure to include face-to-face opportunities;
connecting online is sometimes the
only option, but by meeting with colleagues
in person, you can develop trust.
Innovation isn’t just for companies; it applies
to individuals too and I believe is key to
resilience. Innovation keeps us growing, flexible
and thinking creatively, all of which are
essential to surviving and thriving in today’s
environment. As an entrepreneur, don’t neglect
your personal innovation. Having an
absorbing hobby or volunteering for an organization
in which you believe can recharge
you and provide energy for your business.
The key to successful innovation is to create
the vision, then figure out what goals you
need to accomplish to make the vision a reality.
It’s important to ask yourself if the
goals are personally meaningful to you, to
make sure they are worth your time and
To get started on innovation:
Professional and personal innovation can include
reading books, listening to podcasts
and watching videos. What is a resource
you have wanted to explore, and when
will you make time for it?
Creativity and play are important for innovation.
What are you doing this week that is
creative or playful?
Focus on your resilience and enjoy the journey
MEET BETH KENNEDY
Beth Kennedy, MS, LMFT, brings more than twenty
years of experience to her role as a leadership
and executive coach, resiliency-training expert
and speaker. She is the author of Career Re-
Charge: Five Strategies to Boost Resilience and
Beat Burnout. For more about Beth Kennedy,
please visit her website at:
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 61
-By Dr. Ximena Hartsock, co-founder and
President of Phone2Action
The tech industry undeniably is tough environment
for women. Today, women are underrepresented
in both technical and leadership
roles at Silicon Valley’s best-known
companies. Women founders brought in just
2.2 percent of venture capital dollars in
2018, while mixed malefemale
brought in 12 percent.
Women of color have it
even harder. Since 2009,
black women have
brought in just 0.0006% of
VC funding, and Latinx
women just 0.32% according
As a co-founder of
Phone2Action and a Hispanic
woman with an accent, I know what
it’s like to face these odds. I wish my identity
weren’t a disadvantage, but it is, so I swallow
my pride and focus on our mission. If
that means having my white male cofounder
do VC pitches without me, I’ll do
what it takes.
No set of tips that will guarantee success,
respect or whatever you’re after. In retrospect
though, I believe that certain choices
can made a difference for me, and they
might help you too.
Work for strong women
My first boss managed a Department of Education
grant for the W ashington D.C. public
schools. She was unapologetic,
firm and honest. I
didn’t think of her as a
mentor, but I now realize
that observing her leadership
shaped my career.
My boss noticed who responded
well to challenges
and gave those people
opportunities. I saw firsthand
how hard work led to
While that sounds naïve, most work environments
teach the opposite message — that
politics trump merit. I grew up in Chile
where family connections determined your
prospects and zip code is destiny. I watched
how the politics played out, so I left for the
land of opportunity, the United States. Even
62 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 63
here, too many women build their careers
under mediocre bosses.
Don’t settle for that. If you want to start a
company or break into a top tech firm, work
for strong women and men. They won’t tell
you how to shape your career (no one can).
However, they will model effective behaviors,
take you under their wing (if you work
for it) and condition you to equate opportunity
Take feedback without emotion
As a woman of color in a hyper-sensitive social
environment, you better learn to separate
your emotions from critique. If you respond
to feedback with anger, offense or dismissiveness,
you will stop receiving feedback,
and you won’t grow.
When I was assistant principal at a D.C. public
school, I had a situation with a teacher.
She forgot to fill out a field trip form, so I
completed one for her. The principal had already
reprimanded the teacher. I told the
principal that was unfair. The teacher had 45
kids and one girl in a wheelchair. She was
stressed and forgot the form.
The principal, another strong woman, said,
“She didn’t follow the process, and you need
to learn to follow the process too.”
I wanted to make an exception, but I realized
that as a leader, breaking the rules is destructive.
I had to model our rules (or
change them). Otherwise, important processes
would break down. The critique was
Feedback means that someone cares
enough to stop you from repeating your mistakes.
Critique from tough bosses prepared
me for the harsh feedback I would get when
launching Phone2Action. If you’re not receiving
critical feedback, ask for it — and
keep a lid on your emotions.
Learn to negotiate
When you start a tech company or take on a
role with power, you will go into challenging
meetings with people who ask tough questions.
One way to prepare for those moments
now is to improve how you negotiate
wages and promotions.
Women chronically undersell themselves. At
Phone2Action, I once offered a candidate a
salary, and she asked for less because she
wanted room for growth. No man would do
that. I insisted that she take the higher salary.
If you are frustrated because you feel overworked,
underpaid or overlooked, here’s a
suggestion for you. At your next performance
review, negotiate a raise.
Before the meeting, decide what percent increase
in compensation you want and bring
data showing why you’re that valuable. “I
would like a five percent raise and here’s
why…” is great practice for tech entrepreneurship
and leadership. If you can negotiate
a raise, you can negotiate investments,
partnerships, sales deals and much more.
64 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
Unfortunately, I hear about women who
show up to meetings with excuses. “I am
bad at math,” they say, to pardon themselves
from knowing the numbers. Not acceptable.
If you want to be taken seriously,
take yourself seriously and learn. Whatever
function or title you have, know your numbers
and know what outcome you’re after.
If you’re a minority woman, you’re not the
conventional image of a tech leader. No one
sees you coming. No one expects you to
launch a company, become a CEO or show
up in the news.
A generation of entrepreneurs spent billions
of dollars on first-world problems and nickknacks
for the wealthy. Now, it’s your turn to
step up. You’re the cohort that will tackle
the systemic challenges of healthcare, education,
food security, energy, and civic life.
But it’s not going to be easy. Put yourself
through the gauntlet by seeking strong leaders,
harsh feedback, and tense negotiations.
No advice will save you unless you’ve trained
yourself to handle adversity.
Meet Dr. Ximena Hartsock
Ximena Hartsock is co-founder and president of Phone2Action, a digital advocacy
platform that connects citizens to lawmakers. Prior to Phone2Action, Hartsock managed
membership and outreach for a national advocacy organization. She has held numerous
leadership positions in Washington, D.C., and in 2009 was appointed to the executive
cabinet of D.C. Mayor Fenty. She has a doctorate in policy from George Washington University.
www.phone2action.com Twitter: @ximenahartsock LinkedIn: @dr-ximena-hartsock-95088828
Facebook: @Phone2Action Twitter : @Phone2Action
LinkedIn Page: @phone2action-inc
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 65
We run a successful real estate business and
are approaching our 10th anniversary of
having created the firm.
That’s the short story.
As with many entrepreneurs, there is much
more to tell: lessons learned along the way,
difficulties overcome and advice we have for
others in the same position. Happily, we can
report that at the end of the day, the rewards
of success far outweigh the problems
that we encountered. Not that it has always
seemed that way.
We are Christopher Barrow and Darcy Alkus-
Barrow and our company is Foundation
In building our business,
we faced the normal
hurdles of a married
couple working together
Homes Property Management. We are located
in Marin County California, a bucolic area
of Northern California just across the Golden
Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Our area is
66 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
lessed with great weather, outstanding recreational
diversity and excellent schools.
And, as you might expect, residential home
prices that are among the most expensive in
With a background in real estate, we bootstrapped
Foundation, starting in 2010, creating
a real estate firm
that identified and has
become successful in a
specific niche of the industry.
than $150 million (U.S.)
of residential long term,
single family home
property. Most of our
rentals exceed $4000
per month with a
mean/average price of
about $6500, some
renting as high as $20,000/month.
In building our business, we faced the normal
hurdles of a married couple working together:
that of never being able to turn off
work. We chose to embrace the circumstance
because we recognized that being together
24x7 can also be extremely valuable
in a startup. Inspiration can strike at any moment,
and your business partner is always
there to bounce ideas off. (Noteworthy to
add: our 70-hour start-up workweeks were
Early in our business career, we faced a major
health crisis, not once but twice, even
though we were in our 20’s at the time.
Christopher was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon
cancer, underwent “successful” surgery
and then - when the cancer resurfaced -
faced another bout and underwent another
surgery. All the while we were developing
our careers and learning by working in the
field. As much as we wanted to spend
fulltime on our clients, we faced the reality
of Christopher’s illness. (Which didn’t stop
him from negotiating deals when going
People ask us how we did it. We answer,
“There was no other choice.” While our
“crisis” was health related, there is no end to
circumstances that you might have to overcome
when starting a business. Our advice is
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 67
to take stock of what is going right in your
life and/or business, celebrate your small
wins versus what you don’t have, identify
your next target and…. plow ahead. Hurdles
come with the territory. Success comes with
staying in momentum.
While Christopher’s family had a heritage in
real estate, we knew that there is no genetic
guarantee of success. Christopher’s grandfather
was a San Francisco real estate developer
in the 1960s and even wrote a book about
how to negotiate a real estate deal. The
book includes tactics like, “Only negotiate on
an empty stomach, so the blood stays in
your head, not your stomach.” A catchy sentence,
but not exactly a successful strategy
Along the way, there were skeptics who
thought that the long term residential, single
family home rental business was not a
standalone in real estate. (“Why don’t you
just sell real estate?” colleagues would ask.)
But when we looked around the San Francisco/North
Bay area, we saw that property
was expensive, new building regulations
stringent and available land limited. With increasing
state and local regulation, selfmanaging
rental properties in California was
and continues to be more complicated and
riskier every year. We noted that the majority
of our clients, while affluent and often
greatly successful in their own field of business,
were not experienced landlords and
would regularly get them into unintentional
legal trouble while managing their tenants.
Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is no excuse
in a courtroom –as a result, we saw our
clients regularly needing more help from us,
so we saw the need for detail-oriented property
management. We also believed that we
measure success by both financial and softer
measures. If our clients and our staffed
thrived, then what we were doing would be
Our sense of the traditional real estate business
was that it was mostly transactional in
the eyes of the established firms and that
68 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
We also faced a world in
which potential staff had to
be educated about how
they could be financially
successful in a business
where large commissions
were not the order of the
day. We had to build a model,
develop a process and
demonstrate its viability.
rentals were almost always a veritable second-class
system. Real estate firms want to
list and to sell property, agents want to realize
commission and, as a result, very little
time was directed to building a community
of clients or to providing anything more than
short term guidance. We saw real estate
agents chasing the $3 million sales not servicing
the rentals they took on well, so we
knew there was an opportunity to take rental
listings and service them with intention
and attention to detail.
In other words, we looked at rentals as a fertile
area for a new approach that could be
carved out with minimal relevant competition
from established firms. They, by and
large, didn’t want the business that we were
going after and did not have the interest or
energy required to develop it into a successful
Because we had no legacy
infrastructure, we set out to
build both a unique business and one that
took advantage of demographics, technology
and online based communications and marketing.
And one that fit our vision.
In building Foundation, we divided the tasks.
Christopher has concentrated on clients,
sales and new business as well as industry
leadership opportunities. I run marketing,
administration, staffing and have developed
a quarterly survey now in its fourth year that
uniquely tracks the high-end residential rental
If you access our website today
(www.foundationhomes.com), you will see a
mix of information about our properties, educational
information about residential
home regulations, easy to understand guidelines
that help potential clients as they decided
whether renting their property is right
for them and a healthy dose of social inter-
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 69
action and community building opportunities
We are also extremely community oriented.
Next year, we’re launching our nonprofit,
LifeBoost Charity Fund. Christopher is active
in various cancer support and nonprofit organizations
and Darcy serves on the board of
the Marin Foster Care Association and writes
for a local non-profit mother’s magazine,
We’re often asked for advice to married couples
looking to start and to successfully manage
a business together. Here are “dos” and
some are “don’ts.”
• Understand there will be hurdles
in and out of the business; don’t focus
on what is going wrong in your life.
• Do define areas for each spouse to
develop and to be the “expert” to facilitate
autonomy and reduce overlap.
• Don’t think that you can separate
your business and private lives. Leverage
the communications opportunities
rather than fight them.
• Do, however, set time limits and
• Measure success by how well your
clients and staff are achieving their
goals by working with you.
• Don’t be afraid to reject conventional
• When confronted with hurdles of
any sort, embrace them, learn from
them and move beyond them; you
learn a little from success, but you learn
much more from stumbling and overcoming.
We are an entrepreneurial couple. We love
our business. We love our family. We love
our community. The success of our business
ten years on is a testament to how embracing
what you face in life and in business can
be the foundation of your success. It’s why
we’re here and why we and our clients
Darcy Alkus-Barrow and her husband Christopher
are the co-founders and co-managing
partners of Foundation Homes Property Management,
which is located in Kentfield, Calif.,
USA. The firm, founded in 2010, manages
more than $150 million (U.S.) of single family
home long term rentals in the San Francisco
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Founder & Owner of Boss Mom
Interview by Neil Ball
Neil: Can tell us more about your business
and personal life?
Dana Malstaff: Yes absolutely, so I am a
Mom, first off and I am an entrepreneur. So
I have my own business, I have had for
three years now. And my journey to becoming
a mom and my journey to becoming entrepreneur,
sort of happens simultaneously.
That was not planned, but that is sort of
how you know, things happen. And it
brought me down this path of feeling really
guilty that I wanted to create and make a
business and nurture a business in this
But I also wanted to create and nurture a
family as well, and how was I going to divide
that time? and every time I wanted to
nurture my business, it made me feel as
though I was giving away part of my heart
that I should have reserved, you know all of
for my son.
So, I began to figure out how to try and get
past this guilt and that’s how I came up
with the Boss Mom Book. To help women
get past this guilt they feel that to really,
really accept and give themselves permission,
that they have this passion inside
them, and this nature to create in this
world, and that by creating a business, it is
just another kind of baby, and by doing
what we love, we are then able to show our
children what a life well lived looks like.
And that, that in turn helps us to raise a
generation that has the mind-set, where it
is important to do things that we are passionate
about. And that you can actually
grow a business and support your family, by
doing those kinds of things.
And that is sort of how I have built my boss
mom tribe. And within it that is how I actually
help people execute creating a business
that thrives is through the content and
business strategy which really is all about
this idea that we create content all day
long. We create products and services and
things that we want to go out and sell, but
very often we don’t sit and think about the
long game, we don't think about the strategy,
we don't build a business plan. We don't
think about how all our family goals fit into
our business goals and vice versa, so I help
mom entrepreneurs to pull that all together.
And really make sure that what they are
creating in their business helps serve them
in a way that really maximises the return on
them reaching the goals that they want to
reach in life and I execute that in my own
business as well.
And that is sort of where I help people and I
think a lot too with content strategy that all
boils down to also helping them figure out
how do you build your tribe? How do you
create content that drives people to your
email lists and then also to buy your services
and do all those things. So it’s everything
that is encompassed in creating a
strategy for your business that helps it
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 73
Neil: Do you have any examples of how you
have helped somebody that?
Dana Malstaff: Oh yeah sure. So, a lot of
what I do with clients is I have clients where
I actually just help them build their business.
So, we will maybe say ok, I have got
somebody who is doing blogging. Well how
do you become intentional with exactly
what you are blogging about to help you
grow your business? So, we work through…
So how are you going to actually monetize
your business? Is it through affiliate marketing
or is it through actual products you
create? and what will that look like? And as
we start to build that out. Then how are we
going in and creating content in your blog
that drives people in that direction?
So those are some instances of clients that I
have helped, I have also done actual
launches where we say you are creating a
course, and if we look at your course, then
how are we… and I call it stacking. But a lot
of other people might call it splintering or
things like that, but how are we pulling out
from that? the content of your course, to
help create webinar content that drives
people that help create opt-in content that
helps create blog content, that when people
are being pulled in to you, they are understanding
your message, they are loving
what they are hearing about you and they
are going from loving that, to nurturing
them through the cycle, of bringing them
all the way to the purchase decision of your
actual larger content.
So how does that all fit together? And then
from a larger strategy standpoint, you know
I work with clients a lot and talk with… I
was just on a panel actually for a membership
site, talking about this idea that everything
you create should multi task for you.
So how do you make sure that you are creating
blogs that drive people to different
parts of your business and then creating
blogs that you can multi task that content
to maybe put in membership site, or go into
more detail, but use that content in other
places, so those are some examples of
just things that I have done, and helped
people with from a content strategy standpoint.
Neil: How do you actually make money
from what you do?
Dana Malstaff: So, I have three actually I
have four main ways that I bring in income
that I think is pretty well synced with how a
lot of people bring in income these days.
So, I have coaching, one-on-one coaching
clients, so I max out at five, but I usually
keep them at three. So, the beginning of
the year I usually take five, because people
are wanting to get their year going. But I
generally keep three clients, one-on-one
throughout the year. I have a group coaching
programme and that is called the Decision
Map Academy, which is all about a sixmonth
programme to help you create your
74 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
usiness plan, create your vision boards,
help grow your business and build your
business. So, you are really confident in
what you are creating, and making decisions
to help that business thrive, become
And then I have an evergreen course called
the 'finding your course programme,' which
helps teach people how to build their
course, and that runs throughout the year
and I do Facebook ads and different nurturing
things to help grow that participant
base. And then I have affiliate marketing, so
people that I partner with, or smaller courses
that I have on other platforms, that help
promote larger courses that I get a cut of
that profit. Things like that, so those become
the four main areas that I pull in revenue.
Neil: Can you tell us about your book?
Dana Malstaff: Ooh yes, I could talk all day
about my book. Ha that’s an easy one. Yeh
so it’s Boss Mom, it’s the ultimate guide to
raising a business and nurturing your family,
like a pro. And it is meant to be a resource
guide, you know you could read it all
at once, but it’s meant to kind of go
through the stages of when you begin to
think about starting your business and your
family, all the way to the toddler years. And
there will be more boss mom books to
come out in the works of making it a fun
But the main point of it, is that it correlates
how we look at our business, and how we
look at our family, and how they are both
children that we nurture, and raise, and
how we can learn from each other so there
are chapters like, 'is your business teething?'
and 'is your baby and business as cute
as you think?' and you know and that kind
of thing. And so, it teaches you to look at
your business in a way that helps you really
understand that you are truly raising a business.
You are not just running a business,
you are raising a business. And at some
point, that business is going to begin to
take on a life of it’s own and personality of
it’s own, and you need to recognise and
look at that, and be able to learn from that,
instead of fighting that. Because that is how
you are going to allow your company to
grow into something healthy and beautiful,
that contributes out into the world, and the
same thing with your children.
It also walks you through getting away from
the guilt of how do you deal with overwhelm?
How do we manage our business
when we have kids and you get pregnant or
you have kids and everybody gets sick for a
week. You know, how do you build a business
that can sustain itself when you have
other priorities in your life that are really
important like family. And it just walks
through that, and it becomes a support system,
for the women that are in the Boss
Mom community to read that and know
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 75
that they are not alone. That it’s hard to
raise a family and have a business, I think
it’s hard for men as well, as a woman, I
think I come from a place of knowing what
it’s like as woman, and so that has sort of
become my tribe, but I think being a parent
and an entrepreneur in any capacity is
tough. We on a daily basis face priorities
and what's important to us, and what we
are going to accomplish and why we are accomplishing
it, and you know you say the
phrase for posterity a lot because we are
doing things for our children and for the
next generation, and so that is challenging
and it helps provide the support to help
women go out and create businesses that
are amazing, and help raise the next generation
that is going to create businesses that
Neil: What do you enjoy most about what
Dana Malstaff: Well I am all about creating.
My family growing up, we called ourselves
the McGiver family because we just love to
build. You know, my dad builds and restores
vintage cars, my brother is a sculptor. You
know, my mom does illustrations and my
step-dad is a writer and so I come from a
family of creators, and so that is what I do
every single day is I figure out how can I
create beautiful but useful things in this
world that will help people run their business
and raise their family. And how can I
do that, that makes their lives easier. So,
shorten that learning curve for them. Teach
them well, also while motivating them. And
so every day I wake up and I have something
on my plate that allows me to create
and that really drives me and excites me.
Neil: What drives you to do what you do?
Dana Malstaff: I think this is different than
when I was in corporate America, I think
this is the difference between someone
paying you and you creating a business
where you are in charge of everything you
make. It’s that I have control over what my
future looks like, you know I have the ability
to say, this is what I want and I need to
make this much more or I need to work
with these kinds of people and I can make it
so, and I think that is a beautiful driver in
business is that I have that control, it’s also
super scary that I have that control. Because
that also means that I have to 100%
own my failures. But then I can easily pick
myself up and go, I mean the two words
that I talk about that I never say anymore
after having started my own business, is I
never say politics and I never say red tape.
Because I can be as agile and flexible as I
want to be in my business, and I can pivot
and I can tweak as much as I need to in my
business. To get me to what I want, and
that is beautiful and I think the most important
thing that I help my clients with
and I am really conscious about in my business
is I have to know what I want. And as
soon as I know what I want, then it’s a driv-
76 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
ing force to me to do whatever I need to be
able to do to get that.
Neil: How do you relax when you are not
working in your business?
Dana Malstaff: Mmmm, not working, what
is that like? ha ha ha you know there’s a lot
of things, one is my mornings are my kid
playtime. Sometimes I think taking care of
my kids is super stressful or super challenging.
But the mornings is my time, we play. I
make sure that I am consciously remembering
that playing is fun. Because I think oh I
gotta get the kids things together and I
gotta prep for a meeting I'm doing, or an
interview I am gonna be on, and I have
gotta do all these things. But in the morning,
we get up and it’s just what they want
to do. You want me to get into your little
spaceship or sit in your pantry and play
with our cars, and pretend they are flying,
yes. That’s what I wanna do and I love that,
and I get to be a part of their life in a way
that is really interactive. And is really about
creating adventures together and that is extremely
relaxing and rewarding for me.
Neil: Do you have any role models who are
Dana Malstaff: Oh gosh, I have so many
role models. I was just talking about this today,
that I wrote a blog on linked in some
maybe year or two ago, that was about the,
I think it was the 11 different types of mentors
that I had talked about. And there are
different times in our lives when you have
them, and there is you know, your cheerleader
mentors which are the people that
you love that are your family and those
kinds of people. And those are the ones
that help support you when feel down, you
know, they help tell you that no matter
what you are amazing and they just love
everything about you. They also don't understand
the business world that you live
in. They may not be in your space, they are
obviously not your ideal client, so you take
their love but you weigh their advice because
sometimes their advice is going to be
born out of love, but not out of experience.
But then, what I am finding right now, is
most prominent in my space is what I call
proximity mentors and those are the people
that are not necessarily further along in
their business than me, they are kind of
where I am. And we are I would say colleagues
versus someone being at a different
advancement than me. So, they were in
proximity to each other in terms of our
business, but we have different things that
we are better at. So, I may have written a
book, but somebody else may have started
a membership site that is really successful.
Or somebody else might have done this
group coaching, and we learn from each
other by proximity.
So one that I was on a call with today and
helping her with her membership site, is
Jacqueline Malone, and she has the All Up
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 77
in Your Lady business podcast and she has
the Chasing Dreams and Littles incubator,
which is her membership site. And I am
learning so much from her, about what she
is doing and how she is running her business
that is so helpful in my business, even
though we are on the same track. You know
we are able to teach each other because it
is just the proximity of saying, 'here is what
I have learned, and here is what I have succeeded
and failed at.' and taking notes
from each other, so she is one I love.
Heather Crabtree, who has the savvy business
owners Facebook group which is wildly
popular. And she just launched a savvy
business conference which is great. And so,
there are these women that are in my
space, that are just super motivating and
really wonderful to see how they are growing
their business. And that is where I have
been looking too lately.
Neil: How important do you think it is to
have a mentor or a coach?
Dana Malstaff: Oh I think it’s vital, so I think
there are three things you have to have to
grow a business. I talk about three tools
you need, and people go, 'oh good, what
software is it?' and I go no no no, the three
tools you need to start your business and
grow your business, is you need a coach,
you need a mastermind group, and you
need a community. And so, my current
coach is Dawn Mars, she is from Mars Marketing.
She also is the co-host of the ‘Social
Media Happy Hour’ podcast. And she is
amazing, and she fills a need for me which
is I need to get better at what you would
call the nurturing system which is once I
have people in my community, how do I
nurture that relationship? And that is
something where I get so excited about
getting people into my community that I
don't have an expertise in the nurturing
part. That I am sort of new to that. So, she
has been really helping me hone in on that,
and has just been an amazing coach, so and
I always have a coach, and I always make
sure the coach fills the need that I have.
You know when I talk to coaches, if I want
to get one, then I will talk to five or six or
however many it takes to feel like not only
do they get me in my brand and understand
what I want to accomplish. But that they
also feel the need for me, so that I don't
need somebody to motivate me or hold me
accountable, I am very good at that. I need
somebody that is going to help me go to
the next level. So, I find a coach that is at
that next level. So, Dawn fills that for me,
she is amazing. And then a mastermind
group, you can either do paid or not paid. I
have actually yet to pay for a mastermind
group, I have been lucky enough to be invited
to some really amazing ones.
And the best way I have found to get a mastermind
group is by through in-person
events so I will go to for instant. Hal Rod is
one of my favourite, he is a friend of mine,
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he wrote the miracle morning, and he does
his event here in San Diego. So, every year, I
go to that and almost every year I find an
amazing group of people and we start a
mastermind group. And from there, I got
my book coach to help me write my book
last year. I have gotton multiple different
clients that we have referred to each other.
We have helped each other grow our businesses,
we have been on each other’s podcasts.
So, find a mastermind group, that
works for you because that helps you understand
ideas, come up, brainstorm things
but also be held accountable. And in your
community, I have a Facebook community,
multiple Facebook communities that I engage
in. That I have sort of found my tribe.
And I reach out to them to help validate the
ideas for what I am going to do in my business.
So, what I am going to name things,
what I am going to do next, when I am going
to launch things. All that kind of stuff so
that it helps me make sure that I have a finger
on the pulse of what my ideal client actually
needs. So have a coach, have a mastermind
group, and have a community.
Neil: What difficulties you had to overcome
when you started your business?
Dana Malstaff: Oh yes, so I don't know if
anyone will resonate with this, so I have a
feeling it’s possible though. When I was in
corporate America, so I had big ideas about
what I was going to do and be and I finally
got into a spot, I was at a director position.
And I was making six figures. So that was
one of my goals, you know I wanted to be
in a management role, and I wanted to be
making six figures. So, I got to that point
and I was with a smaller sort of patient advocacy
company, and I helped build behaviour
modification coursework. So, diabetes
management, tobacco cessation, that kind
of thing. I loved programme development
and helping people to create change and
action in their life’s. Well this organisation
kind of went into new management and
you could see, so I think it’s good to always
be realistic about the lay of the land, is I
could see that they were sort of moving the
people in management out to replace them
with the people that this new management
knew, you know so I was associated with
the old management. You want people in
that you know, I totally knew, could see that
that was happening and I recognised to not
get mad about it. Because that is what I
would do, you know, I would want to make
sure that there are people that fit what I
am doing and get rid of the people that are
not so that I can run the business the way I
So I basically said, I am going to be proactive,
I went to the chief marketing officer
and I said, 'look I kind of see what is going
on, I have a team that I love, I would like to
put together a 90 day package of me sort of
transitioning out before you bring anybody
else new in.' And they said they loved it,
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they loved my approach to it and everything
like that. So, I had an idea 90 days to
find a new job. And I basically went out,
and I told my husband there is one other
company I want to work for. And if I don't
get the job, then I think I should start my
own business, because I think now is a
good time, we had a bunch of money saved
up, we both had good incomes. We could
financially handle it. He said ok, great. So I
applied for this job and they called me and
it was between me and one other guy and
they said, 'you know Dana, we love you, we
would love to work with you but this guy
just had this other experience that you
don't have, so we are going to give the job
to him but we really love to find a way to
work with you.' and that is when it clicked
in my mind, 'oh my gosh, if I own my own
business, and I was just a consultant, to
businesses or a coach, I could do that, you
could hire me for a project. You don't have
to hire me as a whole, a person that you
pay and give benefit’s to.' And so in my
mind, it was just the perfect thing to shift
my mind-set. To be able to go, 'wow being a
consultant and having my own business
could be amazingly successful and rewarding
if people really want to work with me?'
but it’s not, to go in and work with one
company and so that was the beginning to
starting my own business and shifting that
mind-set about how I was going to grow my
So, I took what my friend at The Art of Epic
Wellness, Nicole Keating who I have been
on her podcast and love what she is doing,
she is another proximity mentor that I have.
That she says turning poison into medicine
which is I could have taken the idea that I
needed to leave my job, that you know that
I was kind of being a little bit pushed out
and those kind of things and let it get me
and let it be negative in my life. But I decided
to use it as something that would be a
positive force in my life, and it helped me
jettison me into starting my own business
and to what I am today, which is working
with people I love, doing what I love and
growing my business in a way that works
for me and my family.
Neil: I just love that phrase, 'turning poison
Dana Malstaff: I know isn't it awesome, she
calls it up levelling and unburdening which I
love. I use that in my life now, like if I am
going to do something in my business, how
can I up level it? and what am I putting in
my life that is not useful, that’s not beneficial.
Who am I putting in my life, that’s not
useful and not beneficial? and then when I
recognise that, how can I unburden myself
of those negativities and it has really
helped me make sure that I am only surrounding
myself with people who get me
and love me, and only surrounding myself
with things that are helping me bring my
purpose to life.
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Neil: Did you have any doubts that delayed
you starting your business?
Dana Malstaff: Well I got pregnant. Not
necessarily a doubt, but I would call it a
little bit of something that totally throws a
wrench in things. In a sense that I had never
had a baby and I never had a business
and I was in a scenario of trying to figure
out how to give birth to both. Which is just
a whole crap load of challenges, all in itself,
so I often wonder if my business would
have really become super successful before,
but then this is what I love about recognising
how the universe, you know bends
itself for you. Is that, we had my son, and I
was sort of, I had a business but it was kind
of you know, kind of working, I had some
clients, but you know nothing crazy. I was
trying to figure out exactly what my purpose
was and what I was doing, and I am
originally from San Diego, and we were living
in Columbus, Ohio. I had my son and we
would go and work at the coffee shop, and I
would see like a mom with her little kid and
then her mom, so like the grandma there,
and it just made me cry, like 'oh my gosh,
my family is out in San Diego and I am really
close to them.' So I told my husband, I want
to move back to San Diego, and of course
for him, we are like in the dead of winter in
Columbus, and he is like, 'I'll quit my job tomorrow,
I'm done and done' like that was
an easy sell. But we got here and it turns
out, it was the best thing we could have ever
done because San Diego is a bustling
community of entrepreneurs, especially in
the online service industry. There's tons of
like all the really million people follower
people like Jon Lee Dumas who does
'Entrepreneur on Fire' I am now friends
with him, I am having lunch with Kate Erickson
on Friday. You know I am going to his
book launch, I am friends with Hal. Like I
am getting introduced to all these people
that are really well known, in our industry
because of my proximity, because of me living
here. And so, it turned out that my business
was able to really significantly grow,
because we moved here. And we would not
have moved here if I had not had children,
so while I think of the challenges it was to
have a son and try and start a business at
the same time. I recognised that the universe
presented itself in a way, that by having
a son, it prompted us to move in a place
where my business could really thrive. So, it
all kind of fit’s together.
Neil: What mistakes did you make that
slowed your journey?
Dana Malstaff: Well I make mistakes every
day. I continue to make mistakes every day.
I like to think that mistakes don't slow my
journey. Of course, we would all love it if
we could make a mistake, move past it and
have some epiphany, I think ultimately, a lot
of our mistakes are a series of mistakes that
build up to the success. But I do think that
there are two big mistakes, I think that I
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made and a lot of people make, and one is
that I thought I could do everything by myself.
I thought I needed to do everything by
myself. And that is a huge mistake. You are
not an island, business is not products and
services, business is people. And the only
way to grow your business is to recognise
that you need people. You need people to
support you. You need people to help
bring expertise in areas, that you are not
an expert in. You need people to love you
and promote you, and you need people to
buy into what you are doing. So, you know,
you have to get past the idea that everything
has to be made by you, done by you,
originate from you. Like there is just as
much as you can become successful from
curating as you can from creating. So, to
keep that in mind, is really important. And
then I think the other thing too is that, as
an entrepreneur, we have the sort of wonderfulness
of being able to assess and pivot
when we need to.
And I think one of my biggest mistakes is
when I started out, I did not do what I do
now. I did more of a mindful communication
coaching, it felt really in line with what
I was doing in corporate America. But it really
was something that I was interested in.
But it didn't, there is this Venn diagram that
you need to, maybe I should send you the
image so that you can have it in your show
notes. But there is this place what you are
amazing at, what comes easy to you. And
then you have got the box of what you are
actually, what you want to do, what makes
your heart sing. And then the third one is
what people actually need. And you have to
find that little spot in the middle where you
are doing what comes easy to you, what
you really love, that people need. And I
think in the beginning, I was doing what I
really loved, but I was not necessarily pulling
it into what I am really good at.
And I was not positive of how to place it in
a way that people really need. And what I
discovered is when I started in a place of
what am I really good at. What comes easy
to me and that is, strategy, content, creation,
this idea of creating content which I
did in corporate America, and being a mom
and being an entrepreneur and when I
pulled all those together, I figured that
what I am good at in terms of helping people
with strategy. Then I recognise that part
of that strategy is being mindful and communicating
to your community, so you understand
what they need. Filled that part of
what I love. And then being able to go out
and build a community of boss moms, and
understand really what they need and I was
able to hone in on that centre part.
And I think my mistake was waiting too long
to recognise that I needed to pivot, that
you need to be agile as a business. And if it
is not working, you assess why and you immediately
make changes because entrepreneurialism
is all about trial and error, but it
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does not work unless you recognise the error
and quickly move past it. It’s called the
'trial and error' because trials are meant to
be a short period of time. It’s not meant to
be over the length of your business. You
know like that would like 'business and error'.
So, trial and error means the second
you recognise it’s not working. You figure
out how to tweak it or pivot so that it can
work. And I think the mistake is holding on
too long, and we reach this opportunity
cost where it’s like you are gambling at
some point, you may have put money in
but if you don't stop, you are going to continue
Neil: Do you think culture is important from
the beginning in a business?
Dana Malstaff: Oh absolutely, I think culture
is everything. I think that we… well I
will tell you this, in the solopreneur world
and in entrepreneur world culture is your
brand. I was just talking about this today
that one exercise that I really love when I
help people to create their brand, because I
work a lot with creative entrepreneurs and
they love Pinterest and their boards and
things. Is that we actually visualise a home
as your business, and if you were going to
invite people over, how would you want
them to feel? Would you want them to feel
cosy? Would you want them to feel at
home like they could just get in the fridge if
they wanted and pop up their feet on the
couch and feel like open and supported?
Would you want them to feel like it’s edgy
and new and they need to immediately
take action? You know, what is it that you
want them to feel? And that is the essence
of culture, is that you were creating an environment,
an emotional environment, that
creates a certain type of reaction and interaction
and so, even if you are owning a
business that is brick and mortar that has
people that come to work every day, or you
are in an online business where you are in
social media, and you are building a community
Your culture is your brand, it’s the feel and
the look and the things that you do, do you
want to create a place where people feel
like that can get up from their desk and play
and have fun because you know, that they
are actually able to get their work done
better when that happens. Or are you in a
place where it says 'hey you have to be
here 9-5 and this is what you have to do.'
You know, are you in an online community
that says, 'hey I want you to be open and
supportive because we don't judge here',
or do you want a place that says 'we are all
about just action' if you are not going to
give tips and practical information, then
this is not the place for you. So, the culture
that you create, ultimately decides who will
gravitate towards you. And if you are not
really conscious about your culture, and the
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 83
kind of branding that you want for your
business, whether it’s a big business or just
you. Then you are going to start attracting
people that are not the right people, and
there is nothing worse in your business
than having team members or clients that
are bad fit’s. It’s bad for your soul, because
they won't value you, they will nickel and
dime you. They won't be happy, they will
eventually leave. And you will have spent
time and effort and love and sweat and
tears on people that don't truly get you and
are not willing to pay you and it can ultimately
end up being the demise of your
business. So yes, culture is everything.
Neil: Knowing what you know now, is there
anything that if you had known it when you
started out, would have helped you to
shortcut the learning curve?
Dana Malstaff: Yeh I think one of the biggest
things, besides getting people to support
you which is big. You know, getting a
team of people even if you cannot afford it
to get into that. I think one of the things
that would have really helped shorten my
learning curve and build my community
faster, is so much more collaboration. Now
there is a big part of my business where
there are other boss moms like Jacqueline
Malone, who is in the Chasing Dreams and
Littles. She does something similar to me,
she actually has a community that is very
similar to mine. They have a little bit differences
but her and I collaborate a lot, we
promote each other a lot, so you know doing
that sort of affiliate marketing, even if
there is not necessarily a pay part of that
affiliate marketing but you are promoting
each other. That’s huge for my business and
I know other people's businesses is that,
that growing trending phrase that collaboration
over competition, is so true like find
your tribe, find people who also serve your
tribe in different ways and find ways to collaborate
with them, because they will help
get you visibility, they will help get you out
there, they will help you grow your business,
and those are vital, so I think definitely
the collaborations are the place to be
Neil: How much does gut feeling influence
your decision in your business?
Dana Malstaff: Gosh you know, I would say,
it is at least half. I think I used to have it be
a 100% I would just go with my gut and
what felt good. And what I found, in really
growing my business and creating a good
strategy for my business, is that I use my
gut to help me create my strategy, and then
I don't have to worry about it not feeling or
settling well because everything I decide in
my business, I bounce it off of my business
plan and my vision board, I create a business
plan vision board, which is part of
what my group coaching does. So that I can
easily, visually look up at every decision I
make, and make sure it really resonates
with everything I want to accomplish this
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year in my business and my purpose and
my ideal client. So, I don't have to really use
my gut as much, because I used my gut to
create a plan that I know is in line. And
there are just sometimes when I get those
people asking me to do things, where I am
not able to see my vision board and I go
'god I don't know if that like fit’s right' and
then I am able to just come home and easily
just gage that and go now I know why.' I
know why because it is really not going to
guide me here.
Or it’s going to use my time over here that
is not going to be really helpful in a way
that I want to accomplish this year, so
hopefully that answers that.
Neil: Yeh well it’s your personal opinion, isn't
it, but I was reading something the other
day about this and scientists now have
discovered that it is more than about just
your brain, there is actually something real
about gut feeling. I'm not going to try and
explain it anymore but it was something
that Daniel Goldman talked about, on
LinkedIn the other day and it’s really interesting
getting to understand all of that.
Neil: How do you try to keep up with
Dana Malstaff: Yes, it’s happening, change
is happening every single day. I think in our
businesses and I am not the first one to say
this but if you are riding the wave of things
you have done in the past, without recognising
how you will need to alter according
to the way things are changing, especially
now, as technology and the millennials are
becoming, the people are becoming the
purchasers now, you will fall behind. So,
change is absolutely a huge reality in business
and I was saying the other day that it
is funny, when you do research to write a
book, they tell you to look at what is out in
the market. You know, is it a saturated topic,
you know, all those kinds of things. But
you only have to look five years. Anything
that was written more than five years ago
becomes irrelevant. So, if you wrote a book
that is on an almost exact topic of something
that was written six years ago, and
you are looking to get it published, they
would not pull that old book in as a reason
to say no. It’s no longer relevant, and I love
that, that totally puts into perspective
when you are thinking about your business,
is thinking about how do I stay relevant?
And I think that is the big thing with
change, is how do I stay relevant in my kids’
lives? How do I stay relevant in keeping myself
healthy and the tools I have to do that
and the beautiful part about change is that
it actually creates opportunity for you. Because
if you stay stagnant, then you are
missing out on potential things that could
make your life easier, that could help you
Like for instance, I was trying to use a particular
project management tool, and I was
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 85
trying and trying it, and just was not working
for me, but I really wanted to create a
place where I could manage everything in
my business and my team. And then Trello
came out, I am a massive fan of Trello
which is a free project management tool, I
basically live in Trello now, I call it my workwife.
And it’s a new tool, it’s a complete
change, it took a little time for me to get
used to it, but once I got used to it, it has
changed the way I run my business. I am
actually able to take on more clients, if I
would like to do more everyday because I
have this system and I have created this.
But I have to accept that I needed to
change. I had to accept that I needed to try
something new, and there are possibly
things out there that might fit better with
me. I was on another example of this, I was
on a panel today talking with a Q & A. And
someone said, 'I used to build websites and
now I want to move into coaching, but the
people that I talk to keep asking me to build
their websites, you know what do I do?'
and I said, there is this awkward transition
that you are not going to be able to get
past, where you are going to have to say
no, to the things from before, so you could
say yes to the things of tomorrow. And I
think that is truly important, when you are
talking about change, you have to accept
that in order to embrace change, there are
things that you are going to have to start
saying no to, that you used to accept, and
things that you are going to have to start
saying yes to that you may be did not even
realise were there. But when you recognise
that, that is ok, that saying no to the wrong
things means that you have space to say
yes to the right things is what is going to
help you guide you through the change in
an easier transition and ultimately grow
Neil: What is your favourite book on entrepreneurialism,
business, personal development,
leadership or motivation? and can
you tell us why you have chosen it?
Dana Malstaff: Yes so actually you mentioned
Daniel Goldman, and I believe he
wrote 'emotional intelligence' yes, one of
my favourite books. I also read focus which
he wrote, huge fan of him. So, I would absolutely,
'emotional intelligence' is, get to
know that. Just that topic in general and he
is very well known in that. So that would be
a huge one.
A book I am reading right now, that I am in
love with and it’s 'Big Magic' by Elizabeth
Gilbert. And I think she is awesome, and I
love the way she approaches the idea of
creativity, so that’s great and one that I
think totally, like.
My husband has mentioned like, 'I don't get
it, this makes no sense for business' but
‘The Five Love Languages’ is an amazing
book because you think it is for like romantic
relationships, it’s by Gary Chapman. But
it’s not, it’s about every relationship and it’s
86 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
asically this idea, that there are five ways
that we feel loved and that means that we
feel valued because when we feel valued,
that is when we feel love. And you were
talking about culture, culture is all about
helping people to feel loved and valued and
that you care. And when they feel that way,
they trust you, and when they trust you,
they pay you. You know it’s this nice cycle,
but it starts with understanding how they
needed to be loved and valued. This book
gives you five ways that we feel love, and it
actually has an assessment you can take
that you can see how you feel love. Like,
what does that look like for you? And so,
what is great is that you can start using the
questions in there, to look at your target
audience, and see how would they answer
this question, and it helps you build tools
that are more useful for them, helps you
communicate to them and provide them
with things that are meaningful. So, for instance,
you might have a group of people
that really, that they love to receive gifts. So
I have a community where my clients like
valentine’s day, I am making valentines gifts
for all of my clients because my clientele
will really feel valued in that way.
You know, maybe you have someone who
wants to be verbally celebrated and that is
kind of how they feel valued and you are
doing that with your clients. And so I think
this book seems like it’s not for business
but I am telling you, five love languages -
read it and just totally get to know it because
it will help every relationship in your
Neil: What one thing would you do with
your business if you knew that you could
Dana Malstaff: I think it’s funny, I think I
have that mentality every day. There is no
failing, there is only learning. I think that
sounds like a Yoda phrase. But I think that if
I knew I could not fail, like almost as if I
knew that everything was just going to happen
the way I hadn't thought it would happen,
which is of course never how it actually
works out, but I think that I would have
an empire, you know, ha ha ha.
Neil: Why not ha ha ha.
Dana Malstaff: Why not you know, I have
an empire and I have a raving community of
massive amounts of boss moms around the
world that are you know starting business
and doing there sort of side hustles and
growing things in a way that is amazing,
and I would have a family situation where
my husband is and this is what I am building
my business towards anyway, where my
husband is able to quit his job so that he
can really start to figure out what his true
passion and purpose is, like he gave me the
space to do, and create an environment or
have an environment where we can go for a
month and go and spend it on a ranch with
my family while also making money in my
business. I would have a non-for-profit
business that helps create resources for
MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1 | 87
moms that want to start a business but cannot
afford to get day care or child care or
business coaching and give them those resources
so that they can have that space to
grow a business, because we have so many
beautiful minds that may be don't have the
resources to do that, so yes it would be an
empire that would be supportive and useful,
while also helping me live the lifestyle
that I would love to live. And yes, that is
what I would love to do.
Neil: I think maybe you have to have a
movement to create an empire and I think
you have already got that haven't you?
Dana Malstaff: Well we are starting, yes we
are starting. We are well on our way, I am.
One of my favourite people is Melissa Cassera
and she talks about what she calls the
swirl effect, which is basically she helped
you write copy that infuses your personality
and your business. But she talks about this
idea of a movement, and she talks about
the idea of pulling people on this journey
and everything with you. And she talks
about sharing your content and everything,
and I love the way she inspires me always
to create a movement that is powerful and
get people excited about it, and so I feel like
we are getting there. It will take time, but
everything takes time.
Neil: What skill if you were excellent at it,
would help you the most to double your
Dana Malstaff: I think automation is something
that I am working on a lot. This year
is… once you figure out, you know it is hard
to automate, when you are still figuring
things out, but now that I have got a good
established business. So I say that when I
had my son I was building my business and
when I had my daughter I was growing a
business. And so, when you are at that
point when you are ready to grow, it is all
about the automation. So, part of the coach
that I have now and what she is really helping
me do is create that automation so that
a lot of things run on their own and a lot of
the way that I approach different things in
my business, become really systematic. And
by doing that, it frees up my mental capacity
to be creative in the really impactful and
powerful areas that will then exponentially
allow me to grow my business to the next
Neil: In five years from now, if a well know
business publication was publishing an article
on your business after talking to your
customers and suppliers, what would you
like it to say?
Dana Malstaff: well I would love it to say
Dana Malstaff, the Boss Mom movement
sensation with her multiple boss mom bestselling
series, we could not catch her to interview
her because she is off spending
Christmas in Paris with her family. But she
will be doing her 'always booked boss mom
retreat' in San Diego in the winter and is
out in her community, because of the busi-
88 | MENTORS MAGAZINE | EDITION 1
ness she has built is able to go and have
time to go and contribute back to her community
both virtual and in person, and help
to raise and nurture her children, and
spend time with them while also help manage
a community that helps women and
mom entrepreneurs thrive. Something like
Neil: What is your favourite quote and how
have you applied it?
Dana Malstaff: There is a quote, it is a book
and it is called 'The Law of Divine Compensation'
by Marianne Williamson, really
great book and she has a line in here that I
just love and it basically talks about, lets
see, say ‘the greatest gift we give ourselves
is often our willingness to change our
minds.’ And that is one of the things I say I
love about being an entrepreneur, is that
we have that ability. We have that ability to
pivot and to shift and when we give ourselves
permission to do that, we allow our
self to seize opportunities that can truly
help us and our businesses grow. And I
think that is beautiful thing.
Neil: Do you have any favourite online resources
that you can share with us that
would be useful to other entrepreneurs?
Dana Malstaff: Yeh so if you are a creative
entrepreneur, I think that the Savvy Business
Group, Facebook group is a great place
to be. Obviously, the boss mom Facebook
group, if you are a mom entrepreneur is a
great place to be. I also like, I said, Melissa
Cassera is awesome, her all the resources
she provides and in her email list as well
she is always giving away amazing work
books and things in her emails. Awesome
for you to help write your copy, for your
business, which I think is something that I
think a lot of entrepreneurs including myself,
even as a journalism major, are very
lacking in, there is an art to that. So, I think
she's a must that you want to go and figure
that out, her online research does cost a
little money, it’s called the swirl effect, it is
a workbook that I love and go back to, time
and time again that really helps you hone in
on that message. So, I think those are to
start, just some really great places to go
and find some good content.
Neil: What is your best advice to other entrepreneurs?
Dana Malstaff: I would say that to make
everything that you do in your business a
conscious effort, that to make everything
that you are creating, and everything that
you are doing on a day to day basis, that
you are gaging in that gets a sounding
board to make sure that it is actually guiding
you where you want to go, which means
you have to think about where you want to
go. And as you have not thought about that
yet, then you are potentially just creating a
bunch of things that might not get you anywhere,
so that strategy up front, may seem
like it is in that important but not urgent
quadrant, that we often neglect. But by do-
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ing that little bit of work you can absolutely
help to create a business that will thrive
and where you are not exerting yourselves
in areas that you are not able to maximise
Neil: Is there anything else that you would
like to add about your business?
Dana Malstaff: If you resonate with me, if
you find that you are falling in love with
me, as a tribe should with somebody that
they enjoy hanging out with, then go to the
boss mom website and learn more and let’s
connect and lets engage. I think that is always
the first step. And the most important
step is to just find your tribe. And then I
think ultimately, even if I am not a good fit
for you and being part of my community is
out go and find your community. There is
nothing more rewarding than finding your
tribe they will support you, they will encourage
you, they will help you take action
in your business which is what an entrepreneur
does, is take action, and ultimately
help you bring your purpose to life which is
all we could ever hope for people that are
looking to build something.
Neil: Dana you have shared some absolutely
great tips and advice with us today, thank
you for giving us so much insightful information,
it has just been mind blowing quite
honestly. So thank you very much,
Dana Malstaff: Oh thank you for having me,
I love to talk, so this is easy.
Dana Malstaff is a mother, business and content strategist,
coach, speaker, writer, podcaster, brainstorm facilitator,
and a blind spot reducer. Dana is the author of Boss Mom
the ultimate guide to raising a business and nurturing your
family like a pro. And the founder of the boss mom movement.
She serves boss moms who yearn for more time and
less guilt when it comes to building their business, and
starting or raising their family, by providing the tools they
need, to get more out of their content and business, without sacrificing their family goals.
When she is not creating new content, or building new strategy tools, for creative entrepreneurs.
She can be found chasing her son on the beach, rubbing cheeks with her new daughter,
or thinking of the next fun new family adventure.
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