MENTORS Magazine: Issue 1


Mentors Magazine</a>" >Discover what MENTORS Magazine has to offer in each issue by subscribing for free. With our outstanding articles written by expert contributors you will develop yourself with the rich content and actionable takeaways in every issue. To take advantage of our launch offer and subscribe for free go to <a href="">Mentors Magazine</a>


Issue 1


Steps To



Why Your Brand

Must Transform to

DR. Steven Hymovitch

Stay Relevant—And

How To Do It

Whitney Vosburgh

Boss Mom Interview

with Dana Malstaff

How Millennials Can

Achieve Financial

Freedom Through Real

Estate. Ryan Boykin

The Role of a Mentor

Neil Ball

Boost Resilience, Beat


Beth Kennedy





MENTORS Magazine

Edition 1


Neil Ball


Sally Jones

Graphic Designer

Tim Swan

Ad Designer

Cover Photograph: Courtesy of Dr Joe Vitale

You may NOT copy or use any of the articles in this magazine without

permission from MENTORS Magazine. The articles in this magazine are

teaching and instructing other people about how to develop personally, in

business and other things the writers feel is beneficial to developing

personally and in different areas of business. Other articles in our magazine

are written by companies, authors, and businesses that have something of

value to share and they promote their work to our readers. We also share

other stories which we feel are valuable resources for people to learn from.

MENTORS Magazine is not responsible for the content or claims of any

advertising or editorial in this publication. All information is believed to be

accurate but is not warranted. The reader should do their own due diligence

on any information provided in editorial content and for any advertising

claims before taking any further action. The reader is responsible for their

own actions. Some of the links in the magazine may be affiliate links and we

may receive a payment if you make a purchase using them. Copyright

Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made

for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,

teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright

statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or

personal use tips the balance in favour of fair use. If you would like the

magazine to share a blogpost or website please contact

All Rights Reserved © 2019 MENTORS Magazine

Joseph Dawson

Writers and Contributors

DR. Steven Hymovitch

Steven Uster

Ryan Boykin

Christine Erickson

David Neagle

Dr Joe Vitale

Mark C. Perna

Whitney Vosburgh

Dana Malstaff

Christopher and Darcy Alkus-


Ximena Hartsock

Beth Kennedy

Neil Ball

Contact Information



Facebook: @MentorsMagazine

Twitter: @MentorsMagazine





The Role of a Mentor

By Neil Ball


Working Capital Management

What It Is & Why It's


By Steven Uster


Cover Story

Overcoming Fear

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

Real Estate

By Ryan Boykin


15 Signs You Are a People

Pleaser – and What to Do

About It

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

Married Couple

By Christopher and

Darcy Alkus-Barrow


Interview with Dana Malstaff


Contributing Writers

DR. Steven Hymovitch

David Neagle

Christopher and Darcy Alkus-


Mark C. Perna

Steven Uster

Cover Story

Ximena Hartsock

Dr Joe Vitale

Ryan Boykin

Beth Kennedy

Whitney Vosburgh

Christine Erickson

Neil Ball


Dana Malstaff

Cover Story



everyone is

interested in


fear – or

should be.

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

overcoming fear.


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.

Even terror.

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.

No way.

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?

Forget it.

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

triumphant performance.

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.


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.”


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

song’s message.”

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

without her.

Sarah McSweeney is a singer-songwriter


She set up the event for my Band of Legends

to perform.

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

overcoming fear..

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.

Imagine it.

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

goes bad?

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


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

comfort zone.

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

with Usher.

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

being good.

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


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

of audios

called The Relaxed

Musician. It’s a 14-

day course in

exploring limiting


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

and forget.

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

deliver an

unforgettable live

performance. I

liked the book so

much, I read it


It was called, The

Musician’s Guide

to a Great Live


It became my bible. I read it on planes, took

it with me on my iPad, and shared it with

singer-songwriter friends.

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

fearless performer.

But I didn’t stop there.


And I read a recent


called Succeed.

It explained that

just visualizing

success is a plan for

failure unless you

also visualize

planning for


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

envisioned it.

But visualizing success and understanding

there is work to do to get

there, can almost guarantee the result

you want.

That was a mind-spinning insight.

I did more, too.

I didn’t visualize the show happening, I

visualized that the

show already happened.

Big difference.

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.

And —

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


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.

I trusted.

And, after two months of preparing,

what happened?

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


Expect Miracles.

Ao Akua



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.


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

thriving business.


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

through structured

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,

efficient business.

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

a business.

Create Structure

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,

including understanding

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.


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

offending anyone.

Be Accessible

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.

Provide Accountability

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-


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: Twitter: @NeilDBall Linkedin: @NeilDBall


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


come together to form the basis of working

capital management?

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.


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


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

running smoothly.

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.

Instagram: @FundThrough_

Twitter: @FundThrough

Facebook: @fundthrough


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

and value.

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-


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,


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,

and transformation.

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.

Transformation is:

Future value creation for a shared long-term


A shared act of imagination translated into a

treasured future.

The art of scientifically bringing creativity

continuously to life.

Applied creativity that makes a long-term



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,

and perception)

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


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-


tions, such as “What is our core purpose?”

Step 2. Involvement: Call to Adventure

Brand action: Struggle: Looking from inside

to outside.

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

long-term sustainability.

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,

and engagement.

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.


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




4 Steps To Leadership Nirvana


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.





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


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

the next.

steps, from Boss, Friend, Delivery Man/


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

healthcare world.

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

Dr. Steven Hymovitch on Linkedin





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

that multigenerational


Z’ers who just graduated

college), and everyone in

between (Millennials and

Gen X).

Forget trying to figure out

the office thermostat -- we

compartmentalizing each

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



common: most prefer to

stay active, eat well, and feel


FYI, fitness doesn’t mean a

long, grueling marathon or

cross-training session.

Touchpoints for mental and

physical wellness can be

everywhere -- inspirational

speakers to get the brain

moving differently or even

offering dietaccommodating

menus and


Morning yoga not for you?

No problem. What about

providing mental motivation?

Gamification challenges

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…

remains still.

We sometimes forget that

everyone processes information

differently. Some

need more time than others.

When you ‘gift’ decom-

“Engage your team

on a personal and

professional level

by opening up networking


pression time, people get

inspired and recharge and

you will see successful results.



Across all generations, we’re

still learning how to best utilize

face-to-face connections

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

perfect digital/face-to-face

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

collaboration sessions

so all generations can

quickly and easily contribute

-- while transferring

knowledge in real-time.

Some examples here include

using collaborative whiteboards,

employee engagement

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

career goals.

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.


From environmental sustainability

to human rights –

every generation wants to

contribute to the world

around them. They want to

“Members of all

generations have

the desire and

capacity to grow as


share their resources

(knowledge, experience,

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-


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

transformational experiences

-- authentic experiences

that incorporate resonating

content. FYI, this isn’t free


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

get heard.

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

how everyone

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:

Twitter: @bcdme

Facebook Page: @bcdmeetingsandevents

LinkedIn Page: @bcdme


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,

early retirement.

According to Liz Thames, author

of “Meet the Frugalwoods:

Achieving Financial

Independence Through Simple

Living” and a prominent

advocate of the FIRE movement,

the concept hinges on


three main elements:

• Expenses

• Income

• Time

The piece that

might be missing

from this picture

is Investing.

To build a solid

financial foundation

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

of saving.

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

spending, smart

investment and prudent saving,

millennials can use real

estate as a pathway to financial

independence. Below

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

option. Not

only will you

eliminate one of

your largest

monthly expenses


getting other

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


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

each month.

Partner Up

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.


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,, 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:

Twitter: @AtlasRealEstate

LinkedIn Page: @atlas-real-estate-group Instagram: @atlasrealestategroup



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

job done.

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.

By constantly

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

are completely out of balance,

including attracting

the wrong types of people

and staying in bad relationships

-- both personal or

professional – way too long.

While almost everyone exhibits

people-pleasing traits

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-



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

my flaws.”

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

or philanthropic.

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,

including compromising

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

upbringing, unhealthy

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,

emotions and


9. You rationalize away

any wrong-doing.

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

or codependent.

Emotionally dependent is

when you are dependent on

another person, because

you are afraid to own your

Image from

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.


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

move on.

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

say, “no.”

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.


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.,, 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. Facebook: @DavidNeagle Facebook Page: @DavidNeagleCommunity

Twitter: @DavidNeagle

Linkedin: @TheDavidNeagle Instagram: @David_P_Neagle


Why Our Old Approach to College Is

Putting a New Generation at Risk


Society has done a huge disservice

to young people by

relying on outdated educational

and workforce-training

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

degree-requiring jobs

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


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

a profession.

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,

apprenticeships, licensures

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

employment, high

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

automated manufacturing


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.

Intentional career

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

pre-requisites and

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


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.

Internships, apprenticeships

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

journey graduate

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. Twitter @MarkPerna



By Beth Kennedy

Boost resilience

beat burnout!


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

and innovation.

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

and happy.

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-


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

your life?

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

overwhelm yourself.

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

your industry.

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


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

of entrepreneurship!


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:


-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

leadership teams

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

to ProjectDiane2018.

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



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

with persistence.

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.


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.

No expectations

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. Twitter: @ximenahartsock LinkedIn: @dr-ximena-hartsock-95088828

Facebook: @Phone2Action Twitter : @Phone2Action

LinkedIn Page: @phone2action-inc


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


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

the nation.

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.

Foundation currently

manages more

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

through chemo!)

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


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

these days.

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


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

(, 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-


action and community building opportunities

for clients.

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,

The Crier.

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

working hours.

• 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

Bay Area.




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



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


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


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

are amazing.

Neil: What do you enjoy most about what

you do?

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-


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


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,


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

want to.

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,


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

into medicine'

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.


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


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


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

to lose.

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


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


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


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

your business.

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


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

not fail?

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


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-


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-


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

its benefit.

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.




More magazines by this user
Similar magazines