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The Business Activist Entrepreneur Podcast: Triple-Bottom-Line Your Business and Life
3 minutes | Sep 18, 2018
We're taking a little hiatus from the podcast. In the meantime listen to Grandma's Wealth Wisdom... grandmaswealthwisdom.com.
26 minutes | Sep 11, 2018
048: From Coffee to Grandma?
Listen Here and Now for the Coffee to Grandma Story How do you come up with and hone in on your 2nd business idea? Listen to our story for how we went from coffee to Grandma… it’s a winding road. Quotable of the Week “Your vocation in life comes from where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.” -Frederick Buechner Highlights from the Episode Brandon: Why we got into coffee. Amanda: When we realized we were ready for something new. Brandon: How we discovered coaching At a coffee shop and Googling Did a 5 day mini-course to see if coaching would be right for us Amanda: Realizing I got a lot of joy from talking to people 1-on-1 Asking, “How could we do more of this?” while noticing every coaching client also had this need for financial advising. Brandon: Then, the phone call from Mark. Told “No.” at first because too entrepreneurial. Then figured out how to make it work as “out-of-house” contractor…. AND wanted Amanda to do it too. Amanda: I said “yes” because I knew I’d get to have more 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 conversations with people solely for the purpose of seeing how I could help them. Brandon: So we started the journey into financial coaching. We realized a couple things along the way: The financial industry is full of mistrust and skepticism. Amanda: The people coming to us through the firm were mostly in their 50s and 60s and saying things like, “I wish I knew about this earlier.” and “I hope I’m not too late.” Because we’re seeking to serve, we started to ask, “Why aren’t people in their 30s hearing about this and getting a plan together?” A few reasons… Underemployed and with lots of student debt. The messaging out there is geared toward Boomers. We’ve decided to take on the challenge of helping people who feel they are at a disadvantage when it comes to getting ahead and building wealth… especially Millennials. Brandon: Enter Grandma. A lot of Millennials’ and Xers’ Grandma have already passed on. Many of our parents are entering retirement. We noticed that our grandparents seemed to have things figured out while our parents are unable to retire or near poverty in retirement. We want to be more like our grandparents than our parents. But is that even possible? Amanda: That’s exactly what we’re going to exploring in this new podcast… the strategies Grandma used and how they can work today. Why a podcast? It’s a free service. We love podcasts and listen practically every day. We can take the podcast and share it on a blog, via Youtube and even social media. Brandon: Grandma’s Wealth Wisdom is coming out very soon. You can already subscribe on iTunes and other places where great podcasts are found. We also have a sneak peek of episode 9 available before any of the other shows are on iTunes. To get the sneak peek visit: https://bit.ly/2NIxrVr. (only available thru September 14, 2018!).
23 minutes | Sep 4, 2018
047: Teachable is Not Just an App (It’s a Way of Life)
Listen Here and Now to Stay Teachable You’ve heard it before, “Never stop learning.” Here are 3 strategies to stay teachable as an entrepreneur. Highlights from the Episode This episode is Brandon’s rant. The topic has been on Brandon’s heart a lot lately. There are a lot of “leaders” out there that aren’t very teachable. They love to teach but don’t like be taught. Even I sometimes have to check myself to make sure I’m staying open to learning. We tell lots of stories throughout the episode. Quotable of the week “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” ― Meister Eckhart 3 Points for How to be Teachable Learn from everyone. You’re not the expert on everything. No matter who you meet, there’s always something to learn from them. Start by listening. Have a mentor. Don’t just be a mentor. Therapists have therapists. Doctors have doctors. Find people who can do for you what you do for others. Get your team of advisors together. Consume. Read. Listen. Act. Share. Even the smallest paragraph can teach you something when you ask, “What can I learn from this?”
15 minutes | Aug 28, 2018
046: The Top 5 Tools to Make a Positive Difference in the World (Without Adding More to Your To-Do List)
Listen Here and Now to Make a Positive Difference Who’s got extra time on their hands? Not many of us activists. Here are 5 ways to make a positive difference without adding to your to-do list. Highlights from the Episode Note: I’m making a big assumption here. I’m assuming you’re not a couch potato and are already active. I know the title says this won’t add more to your to-do list. I tried to make that true for most people but it might not be 100% true for you. Take what you can from these tools. No pressure or judgment. 1. Upgrades Take something you really enjoy and use a more ethical version. For me, I started with coffee. I drank it everyday and went to coffee shops regularly. To make a positive difference in the world, I upgraded my coffee and only drink ethically-sourced (better than fair trade) coffee. It didn’t add any more to my to-do list since I was already drinking coffee but now I am making a positive difference with every cup I drink. You’re already using a product with a more ethical version, make an upgrade to that version and make a positive difference in the world. 2. Charitable Giving Don’t underestimate the value of those donations you give to your 1-2 favorite charities. In fact, your consistent, focused engagement over time is key to making a lasting impact. Give. Read letters and reports. Volunteer at the same place you give. As you’re invited, ask tough questions. Invite your friends and family to get involved. You’re already giving, staying informed, and volunteering, simply focus on 1-2 nonprofits for maximum impact and make a positive difference in the world. 3. What You Already Have If it ain’t broke… don’t replace it. This is a great guideline for a lot of things but my favorite one is technology. We don’t need the latest and greatest all the time. We can use less environmental resources by only replacing technology when it breaks. This could actually remove some items from your to-do list. No more standing in lines for a new release or keeping tabs on what’s in the pipeline. You’re already using a great piece of technology, keep using it until it breaks and make a positive difference in the world. 4. Your Mouth This seems intuitive. Stand up for what you believe. You cannot change the world by yourself. I’d encourage you to take it a step further. Use your mouth to build deeper relationships and build them with people different from you. To do this, transform your small talk to big talk. Ask deeper questions. Talk about what really matters. When you’re in a room with lots of people (a networking event, a party, or even at a bar), seek out those who seem different from you. You’re already talking to people, transform the way you talk and to whom you talk and make a positive difference in the world. 5. Your Ears As you go about your day, pay attention. Listen actively. Be present where you are. No one makes a positive difference except where they are. You’re already going about your day, transform the way you listen and make the world a better place.
11 minutes | Aug 21, 2018
045: September 1 is better than January 1
Listen Here and Now for Preparing for Fall September 1 is a great time for making positive personal change. I share the 3 questions to ask to make the best change for you. Quotable of the Week “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” ― Mahatma Gandhi Highlights from the Episode What if I told you the best time to make a change for the better was September 1 rather than the typical January 1 with its New Year’s Resolutions? Who does resolutions anymore anyway? I am starting from the point that there is power in choosing a date and making a change starting then. Otherwise, the change continues to get push off until tomorrow and tomorrow never comes. With that point out there, the next question becomes, “Why September 1?” I’ve noticed that September is the time when life gets busy. It seems most people are done with vacations and trying to get as much done before the holidays kick in. There’s a little breathing room leading up to Labor Day. This breathing room is perfect for some reflection, decision making, planning, and actual steps toward a positive change or two. Let’s pretend you buy this line of thinking and want to make some positive changes in your life, starting September 1. The possibilities of what you could choose to change are endless. To help you decide, here are my top 3 questions to ask yourself. The 3 Questions to Ask What has caused me the most stress so far this year? – Make a list. It could be 1 thing or 100 things. What activities do you least enjoy or create drama in your life? What has caused me the most joy so far this year? – Make a list. Maybe put this list next to the first list. Again, this could be 1 thing or 100 things. What activities do you love doing and can’t get enough of? How can I have less of #1 and more of #2? – Be creative here and do what you can. It might mean spending the first 15 minutes to an hour of your day doing things on list #2 so that you start with some positive vibes before you have to do the things on list #1. It might mean finding someone else to do the things of list #1 for you (delegating, outsourcing, asking for help). Here’s an example from my own life. A couple years ago, #1 for me was email. #2 for me was writing. So I started spending the first hour of my day writing. I would write before I would check email. I also turned off email notifications on my phone. Still to this day I haven’t turned them back on. This year, I’m having a hard time working in reading time so after I feed the baby, I hand him off to Brandon for tummy time and I read. Here’s why this matters When you do more of what gives you life and less of what stresses you out… You are helping make the world a better place. You are more likely to share your unique gifts with those around you. You are more likely to be kind and hospitable to strangers. There are so many possibilities!
17 minutes | Aug 14, 2018
044: Leading with Transparency
Listen Here and Now for Leading with Transparency Join us as we share a real story of an example to follow. Plus, 5 results of leading with transparency. Quotable of the Week “We are all living during a time when people want and expect their leaders to be more human, less perfect and at times a bit vulnerable – regardless of hierarchy or rank.” – Glenn Llopis, in Forbes article, “5 Powerful Things Happen When A Leader Is Transparent” Highlights from the Episode This past week we had the awesome opportunity to have lunch with 2 leaders of a company we match some of our clients with to better their financial future. In the spirit of this episode about transparency, the company is Lafayette Life Insurance Company. Yes, life insurance can better someone’s financial future – especially with a special design we use and with one of the top companies like Lafayette. I was really encouraged by the entire pre-lunch meeting and lunch. I actually got to sit right next to the President of Lafayette during lunch. He’s a soft-speaker so I was glad to be right there to hear him. Before I talk about what was most encouraging, let me just say that this leader was practicing something every leader should do – going out and talking with your people. You want to know first hand what your customers, your employees, your contractors, your vendors, etc. think about you and your company. If you’re spending all your time at a computer in an office, you’re not getting the honest input you can get face-to-face with people how regularly interact with your company. They practiced active listening, not just pretending to listen. I have seen leaders just do the nod and smile thing and are not really listening. You can tell when someone is really listening based off their response and the questions they ask to dig deeper. With that said… Here’s what was most encouraging… He was very clear with us that we could ask any question we desired. Short of giving away proprietary info, he would answer them. Now sometimes when a leader says that they don’t really mean it. You can tell because when you begin to ask questions, they don’t really answer them. Not with this leader. He was very clear in answering our questions. The other person with him was too. It was truly an example to follow. I’m excited to share this story with any clients that are a good fit for the work Lafayette does. Plus, I know I can go back with any questions for which clients or I would like to get answers. On a side note. Harkening back to our last episode about how to get more sales, this leader was not afraid to ask for the sale. Before leaving the table, he said, “I want 100% of your business.” He knows we have options and can work with multiple companies… yet, he was upfront about asking for our business to increase with his company. If you want to learn more about increasing your sales, go back to episode 043. Back to the topic of this episode – the results of transparency As I was researching this episode about transparency, I came across the Forbes article mentioned in the quotable of the week. The author Glenn discusses 5 results of transparency. I want to share these 5 and give our take on them. Problems Are Solved Faster – The leaders from Lafayette definitely shared the top 3 issues the company is currently facing and invited us to give ideas for solutions. Many minds are better than just a few. I bet they will definitely solve these issues faster with lots of people working on them. Teams Are Built Easier – It was fun to hear the 2 leaders from Lafayette talk about their workplace and coworkers. I could tell they form a close-knit unit and have a lot of fun together even while doing such important work. Relationships Grow Authentically – I don’t feel like besties with these leaders and probably won’t. There’s still a hierarchical relationship but it’s still a relationship. If there was no transparency, there would probably be no relationship. People Begin to Promote Trust in Their Leader – You probably trust this leader and the company even a little, simply by hearing me tell this story. Higher-Levels of Performance Emerge – In the article, Glenn says that when the first 4 points are there, you’re naturally going to have increases in performance. I think there are other factors at play. For example, the entire workplace culture can be built or crushed by the leader. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, we invite you start a financial analysis. To schedule an easy, light 15-minute call, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep.
22 minutes | Aug 7, 2018
043: 5 Best Ways to Get More Sales
Listen Here and Now for How to Get More Sales Join us as we share the top 5 ways to get more sales. As an activist entrepreneur, you need more sales to create the impact you want to see in the world. Let’s make it happen. Quotable of the Week “Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them” – Ann Landers Highlights from the Episode We just wrapped up our series about ending poverty… you might be thinking, “Why are we talking about sales now??? That’s quite a jump!” It’s not… here’s why… The more you sell the more you’re making a difference through your business activity AND the more you’re able to contribute toward ending poverty. We’re all salespeople. Anytime you’re trying to persuade people to do something, you’re selling. From a child who wants dessert to a preacher on the streets to a volunteer coordinator at a nonprofit. You’re selling when you ask for a date and when you interview for a job. You’re even selling when you interview someone who wants to work for you. (Amanda: I sell Brandon on changing diapers when I’m in the middle of doing something.) #5 – Invest in some training to grow your sales chops. #4 – Fill your pipeline. #3 – Move people along your funnel. #2 – Ask for the sale. #1 – Buy your own product. If you’d like to see a good example of a sales process that feels more friendly than sales-y, we invite you to go through our financial analysis. To schedule a call, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep.
13 minutes | Jul 24, 2018
041: The Overflow Principle
Listen Here and Now for the Overflow Principle Join us as we share the Overflow Principle and how it has driven and continues to drive our lives and businesses. Quotable of the Week “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Highlights from the Episode This is where you’ll be able to tell that I’m an optimist. Brandon is a pessimist though so I’ve learned how to share my optimistic perspective with pessimists. Tell me if the following makes sense to you, especially if you’re a pessimist asking this question, “Can we really change anything?” Martin Luther King, Jr. is often quoted as saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” All the pessimists say, “Yes. Indeed.” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” “Positive things happening anywhere can result in positive things happening everywhere.” My optimistic side likes to say the inverse, “Positive things happening anywhere can result in positive things happening everywhere.” “Positive things happening anywhere can result in positive things happening everywhere.” I call this the Overflow Principle. It’s where Overflow Coffee Bar, our first business, got its name. The Overflow Principle is represented by a fountain. We’re all self-interested so at the top of the fountain is you and your close friends and family. Positive things happening with you and your close friends and family overflows into positive things happening right around you – in your neighborhood and at your workplace. Which in turn, overflows into positive things happening in your larger area – the city. Positive things happening in our city can result in positive things for our state, for our nation, and the overflow continues to the entire world. Then we get to my favorite part of fountains: their feedback loop. Positive things happening all over the world feed back to you and your close friends and family. It’s a virtuous cycle of sustainable community. The Role of Economics Ethical economics plays a huge role in this because we live in a world that’s increasingly economically integrated and interdependent. If you looked at your day by the countries you touch – where you food comes from, where the raw materials in your clothes starts, who assembles your clothes, where the fuel to power you car or the bus or your home comes from, where you coffee in the morning is grown to where your late night snack was grown. – most likely we all touch every continent every day with the exception of Antarctica. I don’t think even my ice cream can be manufactured there. In his day, MLK Jr could say that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The world is even more interconnected now than it was then. His words would be even truer today. And I believe mine are as well, “Positive things happening anywhere can result in positive things happening everywhere.” Like Chinese Checkers A friend of mine likes to say that making a difference is like playing Chinese checkers. Chinese checkers isn’t like your typical checkers where you go from one side of the board to the other. In Chinese checkers the players advance from all sides. Doing something that changes the world – like eliminating extreme poverty – needs all kinds of positive things happening for all different sides. Positive change needs to happen in each stream of the River we talked about in last week’s podcast. Positive change needs to fight poverty of all types in all different ways (see episode 039). More positive things need to happen in as many places as possible and the result will be positive things happening everywhere. Here’s an action step: Journal your responses to the following questions. We all experience poverty in some way, shape, or form at some point in our lives. It might not be monetary poverty. It could be emotional, mental, spiritual, or relational. Think for a moment and list any ways that you feel poor right at this very moment. When you’re ready, answer the following questions: Which polluted stream of the River relates to this area of your life? (See episode 040.) What kind of alleviation do you need – relief, rehabilitation, or development? (See episode 039.) How could a positive change in this area for you be shared with people around you? Here are 2 stories of how the Overflow Principle has worked for us. Overflow Story 1 We love coffee. In fact, most of our dates when we were dating were at coffee shops. When we learned about the injustice in the coffee industry and how 23 million small coffee farmers live in poverty, we switched our coffee habit. We started drinking only direct trade coffee grown in sustainable ways and purchased at above fair trade prices. We discovered a few personal benefits: (a) the coffee tasted really good because of the care put into it, (b) we felt really good about the difference we were making for the farmers and the planet, and (c) we got to know some really cool people with similar passions. Guess what happened next? We started sharing those benefits with others. It wasn’t a pushy or judgmental thing – or at least we tried not to make it one… sometimes it’s hard not to judge the protester drinking Starschmucks. We’d share what we learned and how we were benefitting. It became such a thing for us that we made it our job. We started our own coffee shop promoting direct trade coffee. Overflow Story 2 Fast forward a few years and we had a transformative experience with our money habits. We thought we had it all figured out. I (Amanda) am a budgeting nerd and had a Suze Orman book that I used more like a Bible… but then we watched a documentary. This documentary shared just how much the banks and Wall Street control the world but there was a solution for increasing personal wealth outside the traditional banking and Wall Street system. We saw a way to build wealth in a safer, more guaranteed way while making sure we weren’t supporting companies we didn’t agree with or the systemic oppression of banks. So we changed our plan and immediately saw benefits. Some of those benefits included: (a) more control and predictability with our money now and for the rest of our lives, (b) more ability to live the lives we desire – lives of entrepreneurship and generosity, and (c) knowing we were doing more good than harm with how we grew our money for buying a home or retiring one day or whatever life throws at us. Guess what happened next? We started telling people about it. In fact, we’ve benefitted so much and told so many people about this money strategy that, when we decided to sell our first business, we decided to make this our life’s work. Those are just 2 of the stories of how the Overflow Principle has worked in our lives. How about you? Have you seen positive things happen for you that then spread to other people? It could be from receiving an act of kindness that leads you to do something kind for someone else. I bet you can think of at least 1 time in your life that you’ve seen the Overflow Principle at work. Maybe even within the next 24 hours, you’ll see it. All you have to do is keep your eyes and your heart open and allow the positivity to flow through you and toward others. Comment and Share Your Story Be sure to share your experience with the Overflow Principle in the comments at http://businessactivistentrepreneur.com/041-the-overflow-principle/. We recently updated our website too so be sure to take a look around while you’re here.
22 minutes | Jul 17, 2018
040: Going Upstream
Listen Here and Now for Going Upstream Join us as we share thoughts about changing how we look at poverty in order to provide the appropriate solutions for the root causes of poverty. Quotable of the Week "Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life." — Nelson Mandela Highlights from the Episode We’re in the midst of a series about poverty. Today’s topic is a concept that we first learned from a really wise man named Tri Robinson back in 2009. We like to refer to it as “The River.” It's something that we've adapted overtime and made it our own. Let’s jump right in. We have a video on Facebook with this same concept. The River Imagine you have a river and the river has many tributaries or streams that feed into it. The river that we're going to start looking at represents everything that's wrong in the world. These are the things that might depress you and make you angry. They aren’t fun to think about or dwell on but they are reality. The suffering in the world is a great place to start in order to find your business idea and figure out which form of suffering you can help alleviate through your business activity… maybe the suffering is something you or someone you love has experienced as well. These can be hard to think about but it’s where we must start. At the head of the river we see a lack of meaning. People not knowing the reason for their being alive or the purpose and meaning behind their lives. For those with a lack of meaning, everything might seem fine but there’s an inner emptiness. No matter how much money they make, those with a lack of meaning work just for the money. There’s no passion or purpose behind their work. A lack of meaning can lead to struggles with depression and addiction. Here are some facts: The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that by 2020, mental health and substance use disorders will be a major cause of disability worldwide surpassing physical illness. The societal cost of substance abuse problems is approximately $511 billion. A 2015 study suggests that finding a higher meaning should be the highest priority for programs aiding people who struggle with addiction - higher even than forming secure relationships. We also have a discrimination stream. People are not given the rights inherent to all human beings. Individuals and groups are treated differently because of their nation of origin, location, language, religion, ethnicity, or any other status. Another stream to the River is educational inequalities. Adults and their children lack access to quality education. Then there is poor health & disease. This includes lack of access to quality health care and exposure to diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and so forth. Next is environmental decline. This includes general environmental issues that affect the whole planet and localized ones like famine, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, wildfires, and many more disasters. Then we have hunger. People lack access to healthy food or are unable to grow or purchase healthy food. Finally, we have leadership corruption. We know this one in Illinois very well but it exists all around the world in government and in business. The Sea of Poverty All of these streams gather together and pour into a sea. I call this sea at the end the Sea of Poverty. Each one of the items we went through is a contributing factor to poverty. For people who live in poverty, they experience most if not all of these issues. You'll notice there are houses on the banks of the sea. These represent nonprofits. Along the shores of the Sea of Poverty is where nonprofits usually set up. From there they rescue the dead bodies out of the water and administer emergency services to bring the people drowning in poverty back to life. One really unique thing about this River is that you can imagine it on many different scales. This River runs through your neighborhood, your state, your nation... This River represents the entire world. Another thing to keep in mind is that this River doesn't just represent monetary poverty. You and I both know the emotional, mental, spiritual, and relational poverty that comes from many of these streams. Even if you live in a monetarily rich neighborhood, you aren't totally free of this River. At least 1 but probably many of the tributaries can be seen if you look hard enough at millionaire and billionaire communities. Cleaning up the River But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can clean up the pollution in these streams. We could go to the sources of the streams and remove the pollution. Real, lasting change happens upstream. What would it look like to have meaning? Where everyone knows his or her purpose and is fulfilling it? What would it look like to have equal human rights? Where no one is discriminated against. Instead, their differences are celebrated as part of what makes humankind as a whole great. What would it look like if everyone had a great education? What if everyone has good health and was free of disease? ... the planet was thriving? ... everyone could provide for themselves 3 square meals a day? ... every leader was full of integrity? You see that the River runs pure and blue. Now stop and think for a minute. What would the Sea be called then? If it's the Sea of Poverty with all that pollution, what would it be called with completely clear, pure water? When I've asked people this question, they have come up with some very unique answers. I encourage you to share yours in the comments below. For now, I'll fill in “enough.” That's what I'd called this Sea. The Sea of Enough. Going Upstream The whole idea here is "going upstream." In addition to rescuing people from the Sea of Poverty, we need to go to the root causes of that poverty so that fewer and fewer people end up needing rescue. Take Action Here’s an action step: Journal your responses to the following questions. Which tributary of the River appeals to you most? What polluted stream makes you the angriest? Which clear steam would give you the most hope? Why do you think this is true? Where do you see the impact of this River around you? Who do you know that suffers from one or more of the polluted streams? What would be needed to make their stream(s) clear and clean? Where do you see the impact of this River around the world? What about other communities’ stories captivate you most? Why do you think this is so? We'll share more practical action steps in our episode in 2 weeks - Episode 042. Brandon’s Response to the Above Questions Lack of meaning a purpose. Oftentimes we want meaning. I recently listened to a Ted talk by Elizabeth White. I strongly recommend it. Elizabeth is this 50 year old women who graduated from Harvard. She tells her story about how she, who on outward appearance looks successful, is so near poverty. She shares the reality that so many of us face. It wasn’t just one thing from the river of poverty that got her there. It was a number of things and she is opening the dialogue to share her own retirement crisis. I see it all around us. Often people don’t want to acknowledge they are in a place so close to poverty. Like Elizabeth White, they want to keep up appearances. That’s why we moved into this industry to go upstream to help people who want to live “small enough” as Elizabeth shares. To help them not be a statistic and enter poverty as they become seniors. I see it all over. In our economy, we buy stuff from other places all the time but we want free and cheap. It’s that mindset that has gotten us into this circumstance in the first place. Amanda’s Response to the Above Questions Lack of meaning because I believe with a sense of purpose or destiny people can surprise themselves with what they are able to accomplish - whether to raise up their own lives or the lives of others. This can be a deep, spiritual sort of thing or it can be as simple as having a sense of purpose or destiny but feeling it’s utterly impossible because you don’t have the resources to accomplish it. That’s why I am now a financial and business coach. I love helping people who have some sort of sense of purpose figure out a path forward to making it happen. I see this River all over the place. We need a lot more people and organizations going upstream. See last week’s podcast for how to do this. Everyone is talking about the Thailand cave rescue, which thankfully has had tremendous results. I can’t help but thinking of all the people around the world who are so isolated that they feel like they live in a cave 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Maybe because they are bullied or because they suffer from a disability or whatever the reason, they feel no one cares or loves them. This breaks my heart. Conclusion From here we go on a little rant about advertising, marketing, and scary sales tactics. We can feel bullied by these and not want to look deeper at our true feelings and financial situation.
19 minutes | Jul 10, 2018
039: Not All Poverty Is Created Equal
Listen Here and Now for Not All Poverty Is Created Equal Join us as we share thoughts about changing who we look at poverty in order to provide the appropriate solutions for different types of poverty. Quotable of the Week “You can’t comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable.” — Diana, Princess of Wales Get ready for some possible affliction. Highlights from the Episode SOME FACTS ABOUT POVERTY Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day. 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. The statistics start to make us feel like poverty is insurmountable. It is easy to lose hope that poverty might come to an end. Yet, I learned in a very compelling documentary that extreme poverty might be eliminated in my generation. In fact, in the last generation the extreme poverty rate was cut in half from 52% of the global population to 26%. In our generation we could go from 26% to 0%. A 2012 statistic I saw put extreme poverty at 18.4%. We’re still talking about 1.3 billion people in extreme poverty and many, many more living below what we might call The Poverty Line (it’s 1/4 of the population where I live in Chicago). All these numbers easily become cold statistics. It’s easy to throw everyone living in poverty in a pile and treat them all the same – give them handouts, pass laws for better education, etc. Yet, when we look at real people’s stories of poverty, we begin to see how drastically different types of poverty there are… Let me tell you 3 stories that showcase 3 different types of poverty. POVERTY STORY #1 It’s 2005 and Hurricane Katrina has just struck New Orleans. Tarah and her two daughters Melle and Trin got out of New Orleans on a train before the storm hit but are displaced from their apartment. Tarah had a minimum-wage job but now that’s gone. What little they could bring with them is all they have. This is an actual crisis. Tarah is not personally responsible. Tarah doesn’t have all the resources she needs to help herself and her two children. To eliminate their immediate needs, they need immediate relief – food, water, and shelter. What does hope look like for Tarah? Hope comes in the form of her brother in Illinois. Thankfully, because Tarah is in the United States, she has a brother in Illinois she can stay with for awhile. This kind of poverty is easiest to picture using a natural disaster as a cause but there are other causes. The thing that characterizes this type of poverty is that it requires effective relief. By effective relief I mean temporary and immediate relief by means of essentials like food, water, shelter and medical care. In Tarah’s case, her brother knows that she isn’t going to stay with him forever. He can provide food, water and shelter for the family temporarily but there would be serious strain if the assistance went on indefinitely. POVERTY STORY #2 For the next kind of poverty, it’s 2018 in Chicago and we meet Sam on the street. A few years ago Sam was the victim of a hit and run. He didn’t have medical insurance so he mounted up huge medical bills. Both the physical and financial effects of the incident caused a downward spiral of worry, fear, unhealthy eating and drinking. This spiral got so out of control that Sam couldn’t focus at work and lost his job. Unable to pay his bills, Sam was evicted from his apartment. With no one to go to, Sam is out on the streets trying to figure out what to do. He’s confused and doesn’t know who to trust. Sam lives in poverty. What does hope look like for Sam? Sam might have a few immediate needs that need to be met with relief – food, water, shelter, medicine. What he really needs is not a bunch of handouts over and over again. Sam needs rehabilitation. He needs to grow and learn. He needs someone to trust in who can help him deal with or find a counselor to help him deal with the emotions and psychological issues that caused him to go on this downward spiral. As he’s growing, learning, and healing, he needs a job to do that’ll help him practice skills like focus and showing up on time. As he makes this transition, he’ll also need a place to live. POVERTY STORY #3 Let’s take the story of Akim. Akim is a Kenyan charcoal seller. He works very hard to make charcoal to sell and is very proud of his business. But he doesn’t yet make enough money to be completely out of poverty. He and his family still live on his meager profits. The problem is that lots of Kenyans make and sell charcoal. The market is flooded with charcoal, which keeps the prices low and no one can make enough money. Akim lives in poverty. What does hope look like for Akim? To give Akim and his family relief – food, water – would only be good for as long as it lasts and would keep them from supporting their local food supplies. Akim doesn’t need rehabilitation – he knows the basics of having his own business. Akim needs development. He needs to be inspired to and to learn how to go into a different business. If charcoal is never going to pay him enough money, he needs to be in a different line of business that will at least make him enough money to provide for his family. This could mean a governmental incentive for charcoal workers to do something different. This could look like a grant or loan program for charcoal sellers to go to a trade school. Or this could look like a new invention – an alternative to coal – that Akim can make and sell. This would be more of a system change that benefits Akim and many others. THE POINT OF THESE POVERTY STORIES To kick off this series about poverty we wanted to start with this way of thinking about poverty that I learned from some old people who’ve spent their lives fighting poverty. To me their ideas seem more hopeful than other ways of thinking about poverty. Here’s a link to their book. The idea is summarized easily in this phrase: “Not all poverty is created equal.” We tend to think of and treat poverty as one really big, insurmountable obstacle to having a perfect world when poverty really is multi-faceted. “Not all poverty is created equal” means that there are different types of poverty depending on their cause, the length of time they’ve existed, and how to eliminate the poverty. These types of poverty and their aid requirements can be summarized in 3 words: Relief. Rehabilitation. Development. Often, we lose hope in eliminating poverty because we’re only thinking about and doing relief. Relief is what we hear about on the news and see in commercials. Relief is the easiest part of this chart to do and to get donor money for. It’s easy to show off relief work and say, “We fed 100,000 people this year” or “We built 100 homes.” Yet, only a small percentage of the global population are experiencing an immediate crisis that they’re not personally responsible for and can’t help themselves get out of – only a small percentage of those living in poverty need relief. Yet, those of us not in poverty do lots of relief work. If someone doesn’t need relief but instead needs rehabilitation or development, and yet we give them relief anyway, we can do more harm than good – for them and ourselves. They don’t get what they really need and we lose hope because we don’t see much getting better. That’s the problem. What we like to do to fight poverty doesn’t match up with what’s really needed. Let me share a possible solution. I think this solution might bring hope for those of us who are disillusioned about fighting poverty. THE IDEA IS TO DO REHABILITATION AND RELIEF WORK USING A DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH. When we give relief or provide rehabilitation, we can ensure the participation of those we’re trying to help. We can treat people as the responsible stewards we want them to be. This also means that if the people we’re trying to help can address the problem themselves, we should let them. Only if they need help, should we help them. The idea here is: “Do not do things for people that they can do for themselves.” By way of example, let’s say we wanted to start a soup kitchen to feed the hungry in Chicago. This is a form of relief. How could we do this is in a developmental way? We might set up a way in which those receiving the food help prepare the food and clean up afterward. We might ask them what kind of food they like or take someone along with us to pick up the food we’re going to prepare. Once the food is ready, everyone would sit down to enjoy it – even those not living in poverty. Over the meal, conversation would happen. Development would mean doing the soup kitchen not to the people or for the people but with the people. The key dynamic in development is promoting an empowering process in which everyone involved becomes better people. So, relief, rehabilitation, and development are all needed to fight different types of poverty. Plus, relief and rehabilitation can be done in a developmental way. HERE’S AN ACTION STEP: Bring to mind a familiar community that experiences poverty. Write a few sentences to describe their suffering. How could you help alleviate their poverty in a developmental way? If you don’t feel like you’re familiar with a community that experiences poverty, make this a purely creative challenge. Then go out and make some new friends by connecting with a community experiencing poverty. This is a great way to enrich your life. ONE FINAL THING. We’re very passionate about ending poverty. According to a recent report published by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, 33 percent of current workers in America aged 55 to 64 are likely to be poor or near-poor in retirement based on their curre
11 minutes | Jul 3, 2018
038: Are You Tracking?
Listen Here and Now for Tracking Progress Toward Your Goals Join us as we share thoughts about making sure you track your progress toward your goals throughout the year. Quotable of the Week “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. Activist entrepreneurship is hard work. It requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle because we’re aiming for human progress. Be encouraged. It’s the common experience of all those aiming for human progress. Highlights from the Episode We’re half way through the year! What makes a person “successful?” It’s not usually about any great skill. For us, we feel like it’s because we did the day-to-day small tasks that overtime built up to something much larger – both in profits and in purpose. At this point mid-year, it can be hard to know how you’re tracking with your revenue and your impact. You might feel like you’re pushing a boulder uphill, especially if you’re toward the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. So reflect with us for a minute. What goal did you set in January (sales, financial, impact)? How is it working? If you work backward, are you going to reach it? What do you know you need to do to get there? Are you making adjustments along the way? The definition of insanity – doing the same thing but expecting different results. You have to really ask yourself, “Is this working?” If so, keep going. If not, what needs to be adjusted? Maybe you need to double down on what you’re doing, try something totally different, or somewhere in between. For us in the coffee business, we had an average daily gross we were aiming for in order to get the results we wanted for each year. We tried lots of different things to get to this daily amount… some worked, some didn’t, sometimes we’d hit it for a season and then the season would change. We kept a super close eye on this metric, shared it with our staff, and sometimes made it a game together. I have a coaching client who has a set monthly recurring revenue he’s working toward. Each time we do a coaching call, I check in on how close he is to that recurring revenue. We’re constantly talking about what he needs to do to continue to reach his goal. It helps clarify the conversation and the subgoals he needs to make between each coaching call. He stays on track because we have the clarity and the accountability. We have lots of metrics we track on a weekly basis for our business, only 1 is a revenue metric. Personally, we track our net worth on a monthly basis. No matter what happens with our budget, if our net worth is increasing, we’re on the right track. I track my workouts too. We’ve learned a lot about goals and how to make them most effective in business. One of the top things we’ve learned is that you have to track your progress toward your goals on a regular basis. Otherwise, how will you know if you’re reaching them? Here’s the key point: Set up your tracking system and track your progress toward your goals. It can be a simple spreadsheet. That’s how we track our business goals. Set a routine to fill in the data and review it regularly – weekly is what we’ve found to be helpful. Stop just putting out fires and do your high value activity first and foremost. Then track them to see how you’re doing over time. You might also need or want someone else to help you track and encourage you to keep reaching for your goals. Coaches are great people to do that. If you’d like to explore coaching with us or even just get a little boost on your goals and how you’re tracking toward them, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/schedule and schedule an Exploratory Conversation. Additional Notes Would you like to have control of your money rather than gambling it in the stock market? Take responsibility into your own hands with our new video series “5 Truths Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know.” In the videos, I bust Wall Street’s bubble with simple to understand, no-holds-barred language. You’ll be empowered to take control for your financial future. Get your exclusive access now.
13 minutes | Jun 26, 2018
037: 7 Reasons Not to Talk with Us
Listen Here and Now for Reasons Not to Talk with Us Join us as we share 7 reasons NOT to talk with us or schedule a free, no-obligation financial analysis. Quotable of the Week “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” —Will Rogers Just a fun quote this week. Now you know how to double your money. Highlights from the Episode The story of how this podcast episode idea came to be from Dr. Z. You’re welcome to steal this idea for your business too. You might have noticed that we offer a free, no-obligation financial analysis. If you haven’t noticed that, then now you know. OUR MISSION is to transform the financial lives of thousands. We are committed to providing activist entrepreneurs, individuals and couples with confidence and certainty as they arrive at their most important business and financial milestones. We work with individuals and business owners who want to create wealth in a safe, predictable, and ethical way and be empowered to become their own source of funding. Here are 7 reasons NOT to take us up on the offer of a free, no-obligation financial analysis. 1. YOUR DEFINITION OF “DIVERSIFY” MEANS “STOCKS AND BONDS AND POSSIBLY SOME REAL ESTATE.” Lots of people say they want to diversify their portfolio. They are usually talking about not putting all their money in the same stock or same sector of stocks. We like to talk about diversifying your portfolio by getting your money out of stocks, bonds, and real estate, and into a vehicle with guarantees. 2. YOU WOULD RATHER PUT YOUR RETIREMENT MONEY IN JAIL SO YOU CAN’T USE YOUR OWN MONEY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A BUSINESS OR REAL ESTATE OPPORTUNITY. With many retirement vehicles, you can’t access your own money without a penalty prior to age 59 ½ or without large fees to take a loan. Some people like that so that they aren’t tempted to touch the money. Others end up liquidating their retirement because of a medical emergency or a season where they don’t have a large income. The fees and the penalty become too much when they need to access their money so they end up losing most if not all of it. We like to look at a savings vehicle that gives you access without large fees and penalties. 3. YOU LOVE THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AND BELIEVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS YOUR BACK IN RETIREMENT. Paying taxes is a very patriotic thing to do. Americans love taxes. We just want everyone to pay their fair share. See this podcast for more. Maybe you want to leave a large percent of your assets to the Internal Revenue Service when you graduate from this life. Maybe you’ll be so grateful for the amount of money you receive from Social Security and the benefits from Medicare that you want to add the Internal Revenue Service as an heir of your estate. We like to look at paying your fair share while maintaining confidence that you and your family will be provided for in the future no matter the national deficit. 4. YOU WANT TO PAY SOMEONE TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY FOR YOU. Money managers are popular. Paying them a 1% fee to manage your money is pretty much assumed these days. We are not money managers. If anything, we’re educators. We help you learn a few things, get a plan together, and then implement that plan while making adjustments when life changes. When you work with us, you manage your own money. Because you’re not fully in the stock market, you can do that. We’re there to support you along the way and it does not have to cost you a penny, depending on your situation. 5. YOU ARE GOING FARTHER IN DEBT EVERY MONTH. In complete honesty and transparency, it’s very difficult to find a financial solution for someone who lives beyond their income. That said, you don’t have to be wealthy or totally out of debt. You just have to be ready to save for your future both short and long term. We believe it does not have to be either/or. You can save for your future and get out of debt at the same time. You can build wealth no matter your starting point. We know this because we did it ourselves. 6. YOUR LIFE PARTNER AND YOU WON’T TALK ABOUT MONEY TOGETHER. This one is pretty simple. If you have a life partner with whom you share financial obligations, we want to work with both of you together. If that’s something he or she and you aren’t willing to do, then our process isn’t for you. 7. YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO PUT FORTH THE WORK TO LEARN A NEW CONCEPT. Like we said earlier, we’re not money managers, we’re more like educators. We came across a financial concept about 5 years ago that has dramatically transformed our future, which impacts everything including our finances. We’d love to share with you. It only takes about 30 minutes to understand. We’d love to share it with you and get your feedback. So there you have it: 7 reasons NOT to schedule a financial analysis with us. We hope this gives you a better idea of what we do. If you’d like to schedule a financial analysis, you can either text BAEFinancial to 44222 or visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep. The financial analysis is free and no-obligation but, like we shared today, it does have a few pre-qualifications. If you meet the qualifications, go ahead and schedule a time to get started now. Text BAEFinancial to 44222 or visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep. Additional Notes Would you like to have control of your money rather than gambling it in the stock market? Take responsibility into your own hands with our new video series “5 Truths Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know.” In the videos, I bust Wall Street’s bubble with simple to understand, no-holds-barred language. You’ll be empowered to take control for your financial future. Get your exclusive access now.
24 minutes | Jun 19, 2018
036: The Power of Responsibility
Listen Here and Now for The Power of Responsibility Join us as we share about the power of responsibility as entrepreneurs. Brandon shares the #1 piece of advice he received for entrepreneurship and beyond. Quotable of the Week “A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” -Bob Dylan As entrepreneurs, we can have great freedom. For many of us, we became entrepreneurs for that freedom. Yet, we must not forget the responsibility that comes with that freedom. Highlights from the Episode Check out the Facebook Live Brandon did on this topic recently too. As a parent, you definitely have to take 100% responsibility at the beginning. As the child grows and learns, they take on more responsibility for themselves. Yet, we’re still responsible long after they become adults. In your business, it’s the same thing. You are 100% responsible, especially as a young business. As your business grows, you hire staff and they take on responsibility. Yet, you hired them so you’re still responsible for their actions. The goal of a business is to grow beyond the newborn phase. The maturing of a business isn’t necessarily about growing big. Maturing is spreading responsibility while still maintaining 100% responsibility as the owner. The thing that gets me is a victim mentality or assuming others will take responsibility for us. From your staff to your accountant to the Internal Revenue Service to your mayor to Social Security… we pass on responsibility to others all the time. Two Key Points You can’t blame someone else for your failure or hand off your success to someone else. You need to take 100% responsibility for both success and failure. This doesn’t mean you don’t get help and seek advice. Stereotypically speaking, the rich hire lots of help – from financial advisers to accountants to attorneys to marketing experts. Stereotypically speaking, often what holds us back is not seeking help or not taking control and responsibility ourselves. We have to do both. As we’ve been in the financial sector, we see people deferring responsibility and hide from planning. Successful people usually have multiple plans and take responsibility no matter what happens in the external markets. The rich often have multiple financial advisers where the average person or those struggling with poverty don’t have any. Shouldn’t the average person be seeking financial experts to help them make solid financial plans. Additional Notes Would you like to have control of your money rather than gambling it in the stock market? Take responsibility into your own hands with our new video series “5 Truths Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know.” In the videos, I bust Wall Street’s bubble with simple to understand, no-holds-barred language. You’ll be empowered to take control for your financial future. Get your exclusive access now.
19 minutes | Jun 12, 2018
035: Do you trust me?
Listen Here and Now for Building and Maintaining Trust Join us as we define the trust problem in business. Then we share 2 keywords for building and maintaining trust in you and your business. Quotable of the Week “This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower We wonder what he would say today if he were president. Highlights from the Trust Episode MUSINGS ABOUT TRUST Trust is a fickle thing, especially in business. As we’ve personally experienced and heard from many other independent business people, trust is very, very hard to build but can easily be destroyed in a heartbeat. This doesn’t seem to be true as much for big business. Just think of how many people still go to Starschmucks or have an account with Wells Fargo. Big businesses just have to say they are changing, close for an afternoon of training, nixing an outdated practice, or whatever. They can recover easily. Yet, I’m reminded of a cafe on the east coast who had to close because the owner’s daughter posted something wrong on social media. It wasn’t even the owner. It was the owner’s daughter. Yet, their business went down the tank because the town started boycotting. Now, I’m not saying that the town shouldn’t be mad. I’m just calling out the bias people have. Most people can have the same experience at a chain store and at a locally-owned store but react totally differently. We saw it time and again in the coffee business. I’ve heard the same from other business owners. In fact, I heard one Ace hardware owner talk about this once. In case you’re not familiar, Ace is a retailer co-operative, meaning each store is independently owned and operated. This owner talked about how customers would come to her store because their customer service is better than Home Depot’s. Yet, if they screwed up even once and even just a little bit with their service, they’d lose their once-loyal customers to Home Depot. It doesn’t make sense to me. This was her experience though and it was mine too while owning and operating a coffee shop. Fast forward to now, being in the financial sector, and the trust issues we are coming across today. Even just mentioning the word “financial” seems to break trust immediately. And for good reason. There’s a lot NOT to trust about the financial industry in the United States of America. Remember, a decade ago, we had to bailout a good majority of the sector because of some poor decisions. Perhaps it’s better to call this the United States of Amnesia though since so many seem to forget. People won’t even allow us to get to the point where we’re able to share that we work to get their money out of Wall Street and give them control of their financial future. It’s already been a journey to figure out how to build trust – not just in us but also in our new business venture. Good thing we learned a lot about building trust previously. HOW TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN TRUST How can you (the independent business owner, the personal brand, the solopreneur, the activist) build and maintain trust in you and your business? Authenticity. Be real. It’s become a cliche but it’s so true. Share your why. Be the same person all the time. Consistency = Discipline + Perseverance Easier said than done. Be sure to listen to the episode to get our full details on these two trust factors. Additional Notes Check out the Social Entrepreneur Podcast with Nathan A. Webster. Get your access to our newest free resource.
18 minutes | Jun 5, 2018
034: Making the Most of Summer
Listen Here and Now for Making the Most of Summer Join us as we share the top 5 ways you can make the most of summer for your business. Quotable of the Week “When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.” -Wilma Rudolph The good summer weather can make us feel like superheroes. We’re more optimistic and ready to take on the world. Highlights from the Summer Episode When everyone else is taking it easy this summer on vacation, here are 5 ways to set your business up to prosper 1. GET OUT AND ABOUT. Networking events. Fun activities with like minded people. Have some fun and you’ll get your creative juices flowing and solve real business problems. Build relationships and you’ll feel more connected, which builds your levels of happiness. 2. GET A JUMP START ON FALL AND WINTER ACTIVITIES. Write your content. Develop your marketing tools. There are things you can do now. Go ahead and get them done. 3. DEVELOP PERSONALLY. Learn. Get fit. Do both at the same time. You have a lot more motivation when the weather is nice than when it’s freezing and there’s snow on the ground. 4. REVISIT AND RECOMMIT TO YOUR GOALS. Remember the goals you set at the beginning of the year? See episode 11 for more about setting annual goals. This is a great time to revisit them. How are you doing? Do the goals need to be adjusted? Do you need to adjust your actions to reach your goals? 5. REVIEW YOUR FINANCIALS. Your taxes are either done or extended to September. Either way, you’re likely to have your 2017 financial information handy. Now is a great time to make some changes and set yourself up for 2018 taxes, short-term needs and goals, and longer term dreams. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE For #4 and #5, it’s very helpful to get some outside, expert perspective. We’d love to give you that outside perspective on your goals and on your financials. Schedule a 20-minute conversation with one of us at businessactivistentrepreneur.com/schedule. We promise to help as best we can without getting sales-y. We will serve first. We encourage you to carve out 2 minutes to schedule 20 minutes. It’s a great way to kick off your summer.
16 minutes | May 29, 2018
033: 5 Truths Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know
Listen Here and Now for Access to Our New Wall Street Video Series Join us as we share how to access our new video series titled "5 Truths Wall Street Doesn't Want You To Know." Quotable of the Week “Fugazi, Fugazzi. It's a wazzy, it's a woozy. It's [whistles] fairy dust. It doesn't exist. It's Neverlanded. It is no matter. It's not on the elemental chart. It's not f*cking real. Stay with me. We don't create sh*t. We don't build anything. So if you've got a client who bought stock at 8 and it now sits at 16, and he's all f*ckin' happy. He wants to cash in, liquidate, take his f*ckin' money and run home. You don't let him do that, because that would make it real. No. What do you do? You get another brilliant idea. A special idea. Another "situation". Another stock, to reinvest his earnings and then some. And he will, every single time, because they're f*cking addicted. And then you just keep doing this, again and again and again and again. Meanwhile, he thinks he's getting shit rich, which he is, on paper. [wink] But you and me, the brokers, we're taking home cold hard cash via commission, motherf*cker!” - Mark Hanna, played by Matthew McConaughey, in Wolf of Wall Street Watch the clip here: https://youtu.be/xbBD7VIJ4cc?t=35s. Read those last 2 sentences again. That's really how Wall Street works. Highlights from the Wall Street Episode This week we’re releasing a brand-new, educational video series called “The 5 Truths Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know.” Wall Street and its promoters have built a fortress around the collective consciousness of the American public. Wall Street has brainwashed too many Americans into believing we must accept risk and volatility in order to grow our wealth. Join me as I bust Wall Street's bubble with a simple to understand, no-holds-barred video series. All you have to do is keep an open mind and be ready to think critically about what I share. There’s even an opportunity to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns with either Brandon or myself. You can get your exclusive access to the complete video series at businessactivistentrepreneur.com/5truths. A word of warning: This isn’t your typical material. Some of it might even make you mad - mad that you’ve never heard this before, even if you have a financial advisor and mad that these truths are real. Our story with money We went into this field because it changed our life. We didn’t realize how corrupt it is. Nor did we realize that Wall Street has a stranglehold on so many people’s minds. Seriously. People are confused and scared of making a mistake or being a pawn in scheme. Seriously, everyone wants a piece when you are a business owner or even as an individual. Trust me, I know. They promise this and promise that but the reality is we want you to be in control of your business and future not some wolf on Wall Street! We got into this field to be the change we want to see in the world. Activism brought us here. Our mission is to transform the financial lives of thousands. We are committed to providing activist entrepreneurs, individuals and couples with confidence and certainty as they arrive at their most important business and financial milestones. We work with individuals and business owners who want to create wealth in a safe, predictable, and ethical way and be empowered to become their own source of funding. You have a choice. You can bury your head in the sand and pretend we didn’t make this video series available to you OR you can decide to keep an open mind and spend less than an hour total to potentially transform your financial future and maybe even your business. It’s up to you. All you have to do is go to http://businessactivistentrepreneur.com/5truths to request your exclusive access to the video series right now.
23 minutes | May 22, 2018
032: The Most Important Self-Care Strategy for the Startup Entrepreneur
Listen Here and Now for the Most Important Self-Care Strategy Join us as we share THE most important self-care strategy for the start-up entrepreneur, which is also super important for more veteran entrepreneurs. We break down the strategy into 5 actionable steps too! Quotable of the Week “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” -Coretta Scott King The compassionate actions of those around you are critical when you're starting a new venture. To do something great, you need a great community! Highlights from the Self-Care Strategy Episode During last week’s episode we compared having a newborn to having a new business. It’s very similar. We discussed last time how you have to live like you’ve never lived before at the very beginning of both a newborn and a new business. On the business side, we shared strategies to transition from your business running you to you running your business. Go back and listen to the last episode if you feel trapped by your business. We dedicated that episode to you. For today’s episode, we’re going to share the most important self-care strategy for those in the first couple years of their businesses. It’s very important for older businesses and more veteran entrepreneurs too. It’s a strategy we found especially helpful years ago when we were first starting our business. We’ve been reminded of its importance as we’ve welcomed a newborn into the world. The most important self-care strategy for those in the first couple years of their businesses is surrounding yourself with the right people. Starting a business is a very lonely pursuit. That’s why it’s so important to stay connected with those who build you up and help you stick with it. 1. Invest in a mentor/coach Find a mentor who is where you want to be. Maybe they are in a different industry but they exude the values in their business you want to have in yours. Coaching is so important as long as you pick the right coach. Don’t necessarily pick on budget but decide on value. Finding the right coach and mentor is so important. Find out more about our coaching program by scheduling an exploratory conversation here. 2. Invest in a peer group It’s best to do this in person. Choose a group that fits you best - maybe a small mastermind like I am part of. For me, I have a small group of female social entrepreneurs that I consider my peer group. FB groups can be super helpful in this regard but the key is to be involved in the community. Be active. We lead a community like this and would love more involvement. To join visit Business Activist Entrepreneur Community on Facebook. But I am also highly involved in a really fun and very active facebook community. It’s called the Co-opvertising Network for Entrepreneurs. I like the Co-opvertising Network for Entrepreneurs because I am learning from people and friends who are in similar places as me. They are also helpful in building alliances and helping me communicate my business mission even better. Plus, they host offline, in-person events too. So what peer group are you investing in? 3. Be open to learning from everyone you meet. There’s a balance here. As an entrepreneur, everyone wants to give you advice but not everyone’s advice is good advice. We suggest listening to everyone. People just want to be heard. Then weigh the advice and do what you ultimately believe is best. You just never know who great advice is going to come from. Being in the finance world I have found that lots of people just regurgitate things they hear. One I hear all the time is “buy term and invest the rest.” Most people don’t even know why they think that. They just copy what they heard. However, because we were teachable, we learned a new way of thinking that changed our business and financial future. We could have just been like all our peers and said this is the way everyone else is doing it. If you’re open to learning new ways of thinking about finance, we offer a complimentary and educational financial analysis. To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222. As an entrepreneur be teachable. As you learn something new it could change everything and my bet is as an entrepreneur you are challenging a new way of thinking through your own business. 4. Help others learn. Bring others on the ride with you. Find people who could learn from you and involve them in your business as much as you can. These can be official interns or people who want to build their resumes. Lots of people out there want to be involved in something bigger than themselves. Your business is an opportunity for them to do just that. How we ended up in this new industry we kept sharing what we learned. We kept sharing about how this changed our life and it also helped us understand and grow even more. 5. Don’t forget about your friends. While you probably cannot do all the things your friends invite you to do, we highly suggest not cutting them out of your lives entirely. You’ll have to make some sacrifices. Yet, you can also creatively think about how they might be involved in your business as well - even if it’s simply to grab a beer or coffee every once in a while and listen to you complain about this or dream about that.
26 minutes | May 15, 2018
031: Is your business running you?
Listen Here and Now for 5 Strategies to Transition to Running Your Business During the first couple years, your business runs you. You live like you've never lived before. Yet, you can't do it forever. Join us as we share 5 strategies for transitioning to a more sustainable business. Quotable of the Week “If your goal is anything but profitability – if it’s to be big, or to grow fast, or to become a technology leader – you’ll hit problems.” – Michael Porter If your business isn’t profitable, it won’t last very long – no matter how big or fast it is or how much you are a technology or thought leader. See #4 below how profitability. Highlights from the Business Running You Episode When you first start your business you live like you’ve never lived before. Yet, you know you can’t do that forever. With having a baby, this is true for the first 6 weeks at least. With a new business, it can last a couple years. Then, you have to make changes. We share 5 changes to consider in order to transition from your business running you to having a more sane life (a.k.a. running your business): 1. Hire quality staff. Hire slowly but hire before you’re ready. 2. Set routines. Have clear boundaries for when you work and when you do not work. 3. Say “No.” Especially if you’re an ideas person, say “no” to every idea you come up with for at least a month but more like 3 months. Instead of adding new things, focus on getting better at what you already do. 4. Make profitability your #1 goal. “If it’s not profitable, it’s not sustainable.” You cannot sustain a business that’s not profitable. At some point you need to figure out how to make enough money to run your business well. The sooner you get to profitable, the better… for your business and for yourself. Download our free resource 101 Strategies for Entrepreneurial Profitability. 5. Consider giving up and moving on. Don’t stay a “wantrapreneur.” Perhaps with the profitability measure, give yourself a deadline. Perhaps, if you’ve been at it for a while, you say, “If I’m not profitable by 6 months from today, then I can walk away from this business.” We’d love to hear from you. It can be helpful to get a really clear picture of your personal and business financial situation in order to make decisions about how to run your business. We’d love to offer you a complementary financial analysis that will help you build your plan around your unique financial goals and concerns. We’ll take you through the exact process we went through almost 5 years ago. This process transformed our financial future from an uncertain one to a future about which we feel super confident. We’d love to share the experience with you. To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222.
17 minutes | May 1, 2018
030: When Facing an Uncertain Future
Listen Here and Now for 5 Ways to Prepare for an Uncertain Future Facing an uncertain future? We are very much so! Most entrepreneurs are. Here’s what we do to prepare and make the most of not knowing what the next season will be like. Quotable of the Week “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” -Eleanor Roosevelt The only thing that’s certain is uncertainty. We want some flavor in our lives but we also want strategies to deal with life’s ups and downs. Highlights from the Uncertain Future Episode By the time you’re hearing this podcast (or reading this post), we will have had our first child. We’re recording/writing this prior to his birth but it’s scheduled to be released afterward. Last month, we talked about money management. We thought May would be a good time to talk about self management. Of course, personally, we’re in a very different season in May than ever before in our lives. We will probably also learn a ton about how to best work in our new situation. For this episode, we want to share with you some items we’re really glad have made it into our daily lives and have helped us prepare for the uncertain future ahead. We all have times in our lives where the future in uncertain. For us, it’s having a baby. For you, it might be a big opportunity or a big challenge you know is just around the corner. Perhaps, like many entrepreneurs, you feel the future is always uncertain. Whatever the case, here’s our best advice for how to deal with pending uncertainty. 1. Still plan. In fact, make at least 3 plans. Plan A if things go well. Plan B is things don’t go well. Plan C if things go better than expected. Better to have plans and know what you can be doing than throw your plans out the window and live in complete uncertainty. Planning can happen on various levels. Of course, you want to have a business plan at the ready when an opportunity for an investor comes your way. What I’m talking about here is more of a plan for facing the uncertainty coming your way – which might require a 90-day plan or a 30-day plan. Recap #1: Take the time to plan. Commercial break brought to you by Brandon – Planning includes not just your activities but also your money. We’d love to help you put a financial plan together for your life and business. We offer you a complementary financial analysis that will help you build your plan around your unique financial goals and concerns. To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222. 2. Focus on the things you can control. The things you can control are the things that go into your plan first and foremost. You can’t decide for someone else what they will or will not do but you can prepare your best for when you talk with them. For example, your plan might have “Schedule x # of meetings per week.” Think twice about including in your plan, “Get vendor to give me a discount.” A personal example… we don’t know how this baby’s temperament is going to be. Will he be loud and a light sleeper? Will he be chill and sleep soundly? We can’t control that. We can control how many meetings we have lined up for when we’re back and how we spend our time when the baby is sleeping. Recap #2: When you make a plan, focus on the things you can control. 3. Have a solid morning routine. When we transitioned away from opening a coffee shop by 7am 6 days per week, people thought we’d start sleeping in until Noon or so. We couldn’t do it. My alarm still goes off at the same time every morning. Brandon and I still have a morning routine – breakfast, journaling, setting priorities for the day, and reading are the 4 big components. It makes all the difference for us. I look forward to figuring out how to continue it in the future. Recap #3: Start each day on the right foot with a morning routine that helps you accomplish your plan. 4. Decide your non-negotiables in advance. There are things you care about more than other things. It’s unique to each of us. I can’t tell you what yours are and you can’t tell me what mine are. For example, one of Brandon’s big non-negotiables is making it to the gym and listening to podcasts and audiobooks while he’s there. For me, I need time alone to sit still and think, read, and write. Together, we like to have plenty of time to talk – usually on a walk if the weather is nice enough. These are constants that won’t change, even as life changes. In fact, I look forward to going for long walks with the baby. Recap #4: Throughout your days and weeks, have non-negotiables that act like big rocks within a shaky terrain. 5. Remember your why. Your why is a solid foundation to stand on no matter how uncertain the ground around you becomes. Come back to your why over and over again for yourself and for everyone with whom you work. I want to help end extreme poverty within my lifetime. We’ve shared this before but in case you’re new to the podcast, Brandon and I both grew up in poverty. Our families were below the poverty line but not in extreme poverty as defined by less than $1.25 per day. Knowing what we know about living in poverty, we can’t imagine what life is like for the 1.3 billion people in the world who live in extreme poverty. That’s why we’re activist entrepreneurs. We believe building more activist businesses and helping people develop financial plans that allow them to create the change they wish to see in the world is our way to help end extreme poverty. For my son, I want him to have different problems to solve but be proud that his parent’s generation solved extreme poverty. This will keep me going with caring for him and working hard within my business no matter what the future holds. Recap #5: Your why is your foundation. Keep yourself locked onto it, no matter the storms or mountains you face. We’d love to hear from you. How do you face uncertainty and triumph? Leave a comment now. By the way, it’s way easier to face an uncertain future when you have a solid financial plan put together. We’d love to offer you a complementary financial analysis that will help you build your plan around your unique financial goals and concerns. We’ll take you through the exact process we went through almost 5 years ago. This process transformed our financial future from an uncertain one to a future about which we feel super confident. We’d love to share the experience with you. To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222.
17 minutes | Apr 24, 2018
029: Methods for Money in Maturity
Listen Here and Now for How to Have Money in Maturity In this episode we share three ways to help yourself get motivated to save for your future self. Will you have enough money in maturity? Quotable of the Week “Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren't going to get rid of me that way.” -Betty White It’s no secret that we’re living longer and spending more years in “retirement.” As entrepreneurs, “retirement” can mean a lot of different things. Some entrepreneurs still plan to make passive income from their business while someone else manages the day-to-day. Other entrepreneurs plan to sell their business and use the proceeds to fund their retirement. Many entrepreneurs, especially younger ones, haven’t even thought that far in advance. Highlights from the Money in Maturity Episode One thing is for certain, as an entrepreneur, you have to figure out your plan for when you’re 65 or 70 for yourself. You don’t have an employer matching a contribution to a 401k. Before you even start figuring out which financial vehicle to use, you have to find the motivation to save money aside for your future self rather than use it to meet today’s needs and wants. I did some digging into some psychological research about how we view our future selves. First of all, we tend to view our future selves more like totally different people that like ourselves. The future self is an “other” and it’s hard to put the needs of the “other” above the needs of the self. (this psychology research info has even infiltrated the Simpsons… I went on from there to find some useful research in how to counterbalance seeing the future self as “other” and how we can get a better handle on our motivation to take our future selves seriously and start saving for that time. Here is a link to the original research. 1. Similarity Do you imagine yourself at 65 or 70 being the same or different from who you are today? If you think you likes, beliefs, values, ideals, etc. will be the same as they are now, you’re more likely to put future needs as a priority and do things like save more for retirement. 2. Vividness Vivid visualization of yourself and your situation at age 65 or 70 can help you feel more connected and empathetic toward your future self. Spend some time daydreaming or journalling what you want life to look like then and how you’ll think and feel about it when you get there. There was some cool research done here where they showed college students images of themselves in a mirror via Virtual Reality. Then they were given a hypothetical monetary allocation task. The ones who saw themselves in a mirror with age-progression at 68 allocated more toward retirement savings than those who saw their current age in the VR mirror. Pretty cool, right? 3. Positivity Do you see aging as a positive phenomenon? If so, according to research, you’re likely to have better physical health - especially cardiovascular health - than those who see aging as a negative process. Positivity about the aging process could also impact your saving for when you’re older. If you see your future self as still having energy for the things you enjoy most, you’re more likely to save money for that future self than if you imagine your future self as decrepid and unable to be active. An exercise they used in research that you could replicate would be this: Take a photo of any elderly person. Write a short narrative of what his or her day is like. Similarity, vividness, and positivity. Those are 3 ways you can prepare emotionally and mentally for “retirement” whatever that means to you. Time to take action But how do you prepare financially? That’s the key question after you’ve prepped your head and your heart to take your future self seriously. If you’re currently living within your means and interested in learning about a strategy that is based on a financial asset that has increased in value every year for more than 160 years, we’d love to talk and hear more about your financial goals and concerns. Schedule a meeting. We’d love to offer you a complementary financial analysis. To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222.
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