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Podcast title The Business Activist Entrepreneur Podcast: Triple-Bottom-Line Your Business and Life
Website URL http://businessactivistentrepr...
Description Whether you call yourself a social enterprise, a conscious capitalist, a B-Corp, an L3C, or whatever... this podcast is for activists using our businesses to make the world a better place. You are not alone in your venture. This podcast exists to help you succeed in generating revenue and making the change you wish to see in the world. This podcast is for all Social Entrepreneurs of any shape or model
Updated Fri, 13 Sep 2019 11:20:50 +0000
Image The Business Activist Entrepreneur Podcast: Triple-Bottom-Line Your Business and Life
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1. 049: BRB
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We're taking a little hiatus from the podcast. In the meantime listen to Grandma's Wealth Wisdom... grandmaswealthwisdom.com.

2. 048: From Coffee to Grandma?
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Description: 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!).

3. 047: Teachable is Not Just an App (It’s a Way of Life)
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Description: 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?”

4. 046: The Top 5 Tools to Make a Positive Difference in the World (Without Adding More to Your To-Do List)
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Description: 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.

5. 045: September 1 is better than January 1
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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!

6. 044: Leading with Transparency
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Description: 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.

7. 043: 5 Best Ways to Get More Sales
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Description: 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.

8. 041: The Overflow Principle
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Description: 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.

9. 040: Going Upstream
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Description: 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.



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.

10. 039: Not All Poverty Is Created Equal
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Description: 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.



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.



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.  



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.


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.  



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.



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.



 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 current levels of retirement savings and total assets.  The researchers suggest that the issue of poverty in retirement is only going to get worse.

You might be familiar with terms like the Federal Poverty Line or ALICE from the United Way.  ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Try searching “Poverty in the United States” to learn more about how poverty is defined and different estimates of poverty levels in the USA.  What you’re likely to find is that poverty is a real big issue.

Even though globally extreme poverty is shrinking, poverty and near-poverty seem to be growing here in America. We believe it might become a huge issue within our lifetime if something isn’t done about it.  So we are doing something about it. We’re offering complimentary financial analysis for you who are listening right now.

Many financial advisors target those who have large assets or high incomes.  That’s not us. We want to work with anyone who is committed to ensuring they don’t experience poverty, regardless of their current assets or debts.  If that’s you, we invite you to schedule an analysis at businessactivistentrepreneur.com/schedule.

11. 038: Are You Tracking?
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Description: 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.

12. 037: 7 Reasons Not to Talk with Us
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Description: 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.

13. 036: The Power of Responsibility
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Description: 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.

14. 035: Do you trust me?
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Description: 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 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.

15. 034: Making the Most of Summer
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Description: 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



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.



Write your content. Develop your marketing tools.  There are things you can do now. Go ahead and get them done.  



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.



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?



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.  



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. 033: 5 Truths Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know
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Description: 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.

17. 032: The Most Important Self-Care Strategy for the Startup Entrepreneur
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Description: 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.

18. 031: Is your business running you?
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Description: 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.

19. 030: When Facing an Uncertain Future
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Description: 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.

20. 029: Methods for Money in Maturity
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Description: 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.

21. 028: Manage Your Money or Your Money Manages You
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Description: Listen Here and Now for How To Manage Your Money

In this episode we share a tool with its four rules to help you manage your money within your business.  As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to know your numbers but you don’t have to hire a CFO… we share how.


Quotable of the Week

“I feel that your ambitions should always exceed the budget.” -Guillermo del Toro

Keep your ambitions alive.  Then budget the resources you have available.  With your ambitions, you’ll know what to do as your available resources increase!  Never stop casting your vision for a better world.


Highlights from the Manage Your Money Episode

As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to know your numbers.  We all know that to be true but HOW do you get a good sense of your numbers easily without having to hire a CFO or spend hours doing data entry and developing reports?


Today, I want to tell you about a tool I’ve been using for over 4 years.  I use it to manage my personal budget, my mom’s budget, and the budget for our business.  It’s called You Need a Budget (YNAB, for short). Now, before you turn off the podcast because you think we’re going to use this curse word “budget” too much, stick with us.  As the people at YNAB say, “You’ve never budgeted like this before.”


YNAB has 4 rules.  We want to share them with you and how they can apply to your business.


  Rule 1 – Give Every Dollar A Job As an entrepreneur, money comes into your business. This rule basically states that as the money comes is, you assign it to what you need it to do… you give it a job.  In entrepreneurial speak, “Treat each dollar like an employee.” Let’s say you just got paid $2,000 from one of your clients.  YNAB allows you to say things like, “You, $500, buy inventory. You, $1,000, you’re going to my take-home pay. You, $150, you’re going toward marketing.  You, $100, you’re for those nasty monthly subscriptions I have to pay.” etc until the $2,000 is fully given jobs. A big point here is that you only assign dollars you have.  You could forecast if you want but lots of businesses get in trouble counting on money they never receive.  That’s one reason I like YNAB. I’m giving every dollar I’ve actually received a job.


  Rule 2 – Embrace Your True Expenses You know that bill that comes once a year or quarterly?  Maybe it’s an annual renewal of a business license or software.  Maybe it’s taxes. “Embrace your true expenses” means you set aside money monthly for everything – even the things that don’t happen monthly. A big one for most entrepreneurs will be taxes.  Whether you pay annually or quarterly, you want to be setting aside the amount you expect to pay in taxes right when your income comes in.  Then, you’ll always have the money when tax payment time rolls around. Some business owners I know have a separate account for taxes only so they don’t have to worry.  With YNAB there no need to keep transferring money to a separate tax account. You can move it around within YNAB and know it’ll be there when you’re ready to pay up to Uncle Sam. I know I have a lot of things that happen annually or quarterly that might otherwise put me back financially if I don’t embrace the expense on a monthly budget within YNAB – website domain and hosting renewals, annual software renewal, licensing, special promotions.


  Rule 3 – Roll With The Punches All entrepreneurs know that the unexpected comes up.  We used to joke that the #1 rule of the coffee shop business is, “Everything happens at once.”  We’d get a bunch of catering orders back-to-back. Then, we’d have a season where it seemed like all the bills were due.  We’d have equipment problems all at the same time. A big reason budgeting doesn’t work for many entrepreneurs is that it’s too rigid and doesn’t account for the unexpected.  Not true for YNAB. YNAB makes it easy to adjust your budget on the fly. The bottom line here: give yourself permission to adjust the budget as needed and use a tool that provides you the flexibility you need as an entrepreneur.


  Rule 4 – Age Your Money I’ve found that when I follow the 1st 3 rules that this 4th one sort of takes care of itself. What are some of the benefits of having “old” money?  Here are 3. You aren’t freaking out and needing to have a flash sale on an emergency type basis.  Individuals live paycheck to paycheck. Many businesses live sale to sale. Break the sale-to-sale cycle! When it’s time to pay expenses (payroll, vendors, licenses, taxes), you know you have the money to cover those expenses.  You simply write the checks. You get to stop stressing about your money and worrying if you’ll have enough for everyone else who takes their cut.  In fact, you’ll get to start dreaming about what you’ll do with more revenue coming in.  Your dream (whether paying yourself more or being able to make a bigger impact) can be a big motivator for going out there and getting the sales!


  So, there you have it.  

4 simple rules and 1 tool to manage your money.  

A bonus tip: 1 subscription to YNAB includes unlimited budgets so you can use YNAB for both person and business budgets.  I even use it to manage my mom’s budget as her caregiver. It helps tremendously when she wants to spend more on Christmas gifts than I think is appropriate.  But that’s an entirely different conversation.



Time to take action

We have 2 calls to action for you today:

Try YNAB.   Use this link and, if you sign up after the demo, you’ll get an additional 1 month free.  Disclaimer: it’s an affiliate link so we get a month free too (at no extra cost to you). We’re sure you can tell that we are only recommending YNAB because we love it and use it ourselves.  We just thought we’d get you the free month since they make it available.  Schedule a meeting.  YNAB works even better when you have short and long term plans in place for both business and personal finances.  We’d love to offer you a complementary financial analysis. To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222.

22. 027: Mark iMparts a Money Memoir
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Description: Listen Here and Now for our First Interview Episode... a Money Memoir

In this episode we interview Mark Willis as he shares his money memoir. Check out Mark’s podcast “Not Your Average Financial Podcast.”


Quotable of the Week

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” -- Marianne Williamson


Highlights from the Money Memoir Episode What did you learn about money from your parents? Mark tells a story of taking the money he saved in a paper bag to the local bank.


What was your relationship with money during college and graduate school? Managing money wasn’t something that was talked about, even when studying organizational development at a seminary. Learning about money came from an outside desire to figure out what to do with six figures of student loan debt.


What made you decide to do what you’re doing today? Check out the PBS documentary Mark recommends: The Ascent of Money.  (Watch the 4 hour UK version here.) Mark tells a story of first hearing about a strategy that he heard about but was skeptical.  He researched for 7 months and it eventually helped him break free from debt and the banking system! It started with an hour turning point.   “We all arrive at a paradigm shift slowly but then all at once.” This is all about how you think.  Your relationship to money and how you think about it is the most important. Our stories with money start with what’s going on inside our head.  [Check out last week’s episode for money mythbusing and mindset shifts to make.]


What are some parting pieces of advice you’d give to the activist entrepreneurs listening? Be careful what you wish for.  Being faithful in one direction will create results. Find out what you really want your impact to be and work backward from there.  Think 4 generations from now.


  Time to take action

We’d love to hear about your financial goals and concerns.  Schedule a 15-minute call here.

In fact, we offer a complementary financial analysis.  To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222.

23. 026: Money Mythbusting
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Description: Listen Here and Now as We Do Some Money Mythbusting

We share the top 5 myths about money that entrepreneurs (and beyond) believe.  Let's do some money mythbusting.


Quotable of the Week

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” -Henry Ford

Yes, we're talking about money but really just as a tool to make the change you wish to see in the world happen.  Money is important but it's not the most important for us activist entrepreneurs!


Highlights from the Money Mythbusting Episode Myth #1: Artists/Activists starve.  The reality: It’s not either/or. You can make great art and make great money.  You can create change and wealth. Sure, you might not become a billionaire but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Remember the quote from Henry Ford.   We would also add that there is a ton of value in a life lived pursuing art and activism.   Especially as artists and activists, we just need to flex our creative muscles just a little bit more to figure out how to make it work.


Myth #2: You have to gamble to build wealth.  The reality: Rich people aren’t gambling with their money. Some very wealthy people use a strategy that’s advertising is heavily regulated but gets people away from the rollercoaster of Wall Street. We’re talking about people like Presidents FDR, JFK, and Clinton to business people Walt Disney, JC Penny, and the Rockefellers.  Does it surprise you to hear they were NOT gambling on Wall Street with all their money?


Myth #3: Compound interest is for someone else (like Warren Buffett).  The reality: No matter your income, you can make compound interest work for you. Whether you start with $10 or $10,000, uninterrupted compound growth on your savings can make a big difference over the time you have it saved. For example, saving $10 per week over 30 years at 5% compound interest would take $15,480 and turn it into $35,204.  That’s more than doubling your money!  In other words, your money grew by 227%. The problem though isn’t how.  At least intuitively, you know how compound interest works.  They problem comes in understanding why. Why is it a good idea to save that $10 per week? Each person’s why will be different here but let me tell you a story of Benjamin Franklin that’s the epitome of compound interest for activists.


Myth #4: I don’t have the money to ____ [fill in the blank].   The reality: You have the money for what’s most important to you. In the coming weeks, we’ll dig in deeper to budgeting and retirement planning.  We bring up this myth today to simply get your mind starting to evaluate what’s really important to you.


Myth #5: I’ve got a guy. Or I’m too poor to need a guy. The reality: You need a team.   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. In fact, we offer a complementary financial analysis.  To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222.

24. 025: What We Wish We Knew When We Started
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Description: Listen Here and Now for "What We Wish We Knew When We Started"

We share the top 5 things we wish we knew when we first started our entrepreneurial journey in 2008.  Listen to learn from our mistakes.  This is a great "pick our brain" episode.


Quotable of the Week

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” -Plato

We’re sharing what we wish we knew when we started but we want to make sure to say this: The most important thing is to get started.  Your never going to know everything.  Whether you’re just starting a new venture or you want to start something new within your current venture, as Steven Pressfield writes, “Start before you’re ready.”


Highlights from the Episode

These are the top 5 things we wish we know when we first started.

Do more marketing. We were brainwashed about wealth building and money management.  (Learn more about wealth building during entrepreneurship here.) The importance of focus. Relationships and masterminds are critical.  One’s zone of genius can change over time.

There are more but those are the top 5.  Visit the show notes to leave a comment with what you wish you would’ve known when you first started.


25. 024: “The People Who Have Influenced Me Most” (Amanda’s Story)
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Description: Listen Here and Now for “The people who have influenced me most.”

Amanda shares the 3 people who have influenced her most… 2 positively and 1 negatively.  She also breaks down how you can find inspiration in their stories.

Quotable of the Week

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Muriel Strode

Amanda’s life quote.  Notice this is NOT Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Read more about Muriel Strode here.


Highlights from the Episode A band camp story about role models. The 1st person taught Amanda just how much you can do with very little.  Listen at 7 minutes, 54 seconds. The 2nd person taught Amanda how to build community through service and listening. Listen at 15 minutes, 40 seconds. The 3rd person influenced Amanda by shaking her confidence in your own voice. Listen at 20 minutes, 10 seconds.

Want to talk more with Amanda?  Schedule a 20-minute phone call here.

26. 023: “If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.” - Brandon’s Confessions
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Description: Listen Here and Now for "If I can do it, you can do it."

Brandon tells his story and breaks down the inspirational lessons from which others can benefit.


Quotable of the Week

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain

Brandon loves this quote.  Many people, like doctors, have belittled him and his ambitions.  He's overcome and so can you!


Highlights from the Episode

Age 0 to 5 [2 minutes 30 seconds]

At Age 17 [4 minutes 25 seconds]

After the Marine Corps [6 minutes 25 seconds]

When Discovered the Dark Side of the Music Industry [9 minutes 0 seconds]

Feeling Like a Cog in the Wheel [11 minutes 28 seconds]

Inspirational Life Lessons [13 minutes 15 seconds]

As an entrepreneur (as a person really), never let someone tell you what you can and cannot do.  Entrepreneurs are those who defy the odds and overcome obstacles. Be an overcomer. You can always make excuses or just get over it and do something about it. Always be learning.  As an entrepreneur (and even before), it’s something been hard to learn things that came easy for others.  That doesn’t mean I gave up though.  I encourage you to keep learning and growing. You’d be surprised what can happen when you pursue a dream and just ask for what you want.  This is true in business and outside of business. Partnerships help you get where you want to go.  Don’t be the lone entrepreneur.

27. 022: Risk and Wealth Building as an Entrepreneur - Can you really do both?
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Description: Listen Here and Now for Our Story about Risk and Wealth Building

We break down the 3 phases of our entrepreneurial journey over the last 10 years and how we took risks and built wealth during each phase.  Yes, we believe entrepreneurs can do both risk and wealth building!


Quotable of the Week

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

Let’s keep this straight – the true joy and thrill of activist entrepreneurship lies in the creative effort it takes to achieve the change we wish in the world AND not go into poverty ourselves in the process.


Highlights from the Episode ASSUMPTIONS “Controlled Risk” – as an entrepreneur, you’re taking a lot of risks.  You control your risk by doing things like writing a business plan, counting visitors to your website or traffic on your block before making a big decision.  You also play a numbers game – in sales, reaching out to 100 people is likely to yield more results than reaching out to only 10.   In some ways, it’s easier to start a business when you have money already.  You’re putting less of your money at risk because you have more of it. If you’re like us and maybe starting your business while still paying off student loans, you’re putting proportionally a lot more at risk. Key question: What would it look like to build wealth (financially and legacy-wise) as an entrepreneur when you’re not starting off with the best chips dealt to you?


OUR STORY Phase 1: Pre-launch – bootstrapping, throwing events, building partnerships… basically doing to hustle to make it happen Phase 2: First 5 years – still hustling… never making as much as we wanted to from the business.  Best thing that happened: meeting our financial guy.  We also learned the 10x rule.   What does that mean? Phase 3: Transition – after we were debt free but still not making as much as we should given the time and effort we were putting in, we started dreaming again.


MAKING IT PRACTICAL (1) If you’re not already, start saving.   (2) Start questioning everything you might have been taught – especially by your HR if you worked for a big company.   (3) If you’re living within your means and looking to get rich for sure rather than get rich quick, do a financial analysis with us.  To find out more and request a meeting, text “BAEFINANCIAL” to 44222.

28. 021: The Many Hats You Wear as an Entrepreneur
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Description: Listen Here and Now for our Take on the Many Hats of Entrepreneurship

As an early stage entrepreneur, wearing many hats is a necessity.  We share the pros, cons, and biggest lesson we learned about the superhero expectation put on us entrepreneurs.

Quotable of the Week

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius

We hate this quote.  You choose to be a ______ [insert your passion or main product or service] but you find out you also have to be a marketer, salesperson, accountant and so forth in order to be a ______ [insert your passion or main product or service].  In other words, there's still a lot of work beyond what you love to do.

Highlights from the Episode

On the one hand, one central tenet of entrepreneurship we believe wholeheartedly is Take responsibility for everything. 

On the other hand, one of the big dangers in entrepreneurship is becoming a Jack or Jill of all trades, master of none.  

When you’re first starting out, you do everything.  You wear all the hats. 

We did that... from the beginning but also many years in.

#1 thing we learned: we don’t know everything so we should be teachable.  

You have to learn from seasoned business people and keep learning.

No one on your staff and definitely none of your customers or investors want to hear you say the words, “I don’t know.”  They want you to have all the answers on a moment’s notice. 

Do you know where to go look to find the answers you need?  Do you have a trusted peer group and mentors to seek solutions for marketing, sales, HR, finances, communications, and so on and so forth?

It definitely takes a group of people, not just 1 or 2.

This is a big reason we launched Business Activist Academy.   As an entrepreneur you are expected to wear all the hats but the reality is you don’t have to.   Through Business Activist Academy, we want to give you not only the play book to make an impact in your business but also the revenue.  You want to learn from someone who has actually played the game.   

If you’re listening to this episode right when it comes out, we’re taking enrollments in Business Activist Academy with a 30% lifetime discount.  To find out more and enroll, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/academy.  If you’re listening to this episode a little later, enrollment may be closed or open.  Go to the link to either enroll or join in the waiting list for the next time enrollment opens.

29. 020: Scary Staff Issues and How to Deal
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Description: Listen Here and Now for our Scary Staff Issues Episode

We share 5 actual stories from our 7 plus years of employing staff.  We share the moral of each story and then 3 of our best tips for employing people.

Quotable of the Week

“Dogs have owners.  Cats have staff.” - popular saying

As employers, we might have dog or cat-like tendencies.  We might appeal to our employees more as best friends or as butlers.


Highlights from the Episode The 5 stories and their morals: The barista who said Brandon needed to clean more instead of talking to customers.

Moral of the story: you’re the boss.


2. The baristas who fought over milk.

Moral of the story: they are adults and should be expected to be professional.


3. The baristas who acted like 8 year olds while we were on vacation.

Moral of the story: be clear on who’s in charge when you are not available.


4. The barista who missed a lot of work during her first 3 months.

Moral of the story: if someone is planning a big trip, don’t hire them before the trip.  Hire them when they return (if you still need someone).  The first 90 days are critical.


5. The barista who was always late, missed shifts, and might have been stealing.

Moral of the story: Toxicity in the workplace can seriously impact your health.


3 of our best tips I’ve heard it said, “You should fire an employee the first time you think about it.”  I err on the side of allowing room for growth so we used a 3 strikes policy - with verbal and written warnings before firing. You might have heard it said, “Hire slow, fire fast.”  We tried to do that.  We also agreed not to fire or hire anyone unless we both agreed. My favorite way to avoid a lot of these scary staff issues: build trust.

30. 019: Mardi Gras Special: FOMO to JOMO
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Description: Listen Here and Now for our Special Mardi Gras Episode

We share how JOMO and FOMO apply to entrepreneurs and Amanda's best strategy for embracing JOMO within our businesses and lives.


Quotable of the Week

"Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, one directionally, without regret or reservation."   -William Sheldon

Brandon does this for Paczki Day now so that he doesn't have FOMO or regret missing Mardi Gras in his hometown of New Orleans.


Highlights from the Episode You’ve probably heard of FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out. There’s an alternate narrative replacing FOMO.  It’s called JOMO - Joy Of Missing Out. What does this have to do with business? Plenty!  Amanda shares some examples with marketing decisions, important projects, and making sure we spend time on our true priorities (including life outside of work... yes, some entrepreneurs want to have that too!) JOMO goes deeper than saying "no" to external things.  As entrepreneurs, we need to look internally and learn to say "no" to ourselves (and our gadgets). I share all of this because it sets me up to share with you my main strategy to embrace JOMO and transform your business and reaching your true priorities... listen to the episode at 10 minutes and 30 seconds to hear my strategy and my 3 top tips to implementing it correctly.


This time of year is a great time to take your productivity seriously.  My "The Ultimate Guide to Entrepreneurial Productivity" is specially crafted for digital efficiency and for Activist Entrepreneurs.  Learn more. http://businessactivistentrepreneur.com/productivity



31. 018: Are you a business activist entrepreneur?
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Description: Listen Here and Now for our *official* definition of Business Activist Entrepreneur

We share 3 stories that helped us come up with this term and 3 key characteristics of what it means to us.


Quotable of the Week

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We’re defining “Business Activist Entrepreneur.”  That’s who we’re trying to become and hope you’ll decide to be one as well.


Highlights from the Episode   INTRO [1 MINUTE 40 SECONDS]

We’ve been using this term “business activist entrepreneur” for a while.  We launched this podcast back in October of last year but we were using the business activist entrepreneur idea as early as June when we started the Business Activist Entrepreneur Community on Facebook.  Yet, we’ve never really defined who we mean by using this term.  We’ve let people self-define really.  Which I’m okay with…

But we also realized it might be helpful to give some of our thoughts behind why we use this term instead of some alternatives like social entrepreneur, social enterprise, mission-driven business, mission-driven entrepreneur, purpose-driven, passion-driven… the list could go on and on…


To help you understand the definition we’ll give you at the end of the podcast, we have to first tell you 3 stories.  These are true stories but we’ve masked certain details to protect the innocent (or the guilty depending on your point of view… we’ll let you decide).

Also, we have a little disclaimer: we’re going to share some controversial points of view in this episode.  You might be offended by something we say.  If so, we hope you’ll comment below and let us know.  The same if you have great stuff to share.  Seriously.  We’re opening the dialogue and we’d love to hear your thoughts.



So, the first story is one you might have heard before.  It’s about how we got into this in the first place.  I was working for a large nonprofit when the recession hit.  Brandon had already started thinking about starting our own business.  I was already questioning the dependency of really good work in the world on outside forces of funding and their often imperial nature within local neighborhoods.  I wanted to figure out a way to empower local communities to do the work they knew would be best for them without having to cater or bow to those powerful and wealthy enough to have money to give them.  

So, I took Brandon’s coffee shop business idea and added my own activist nature to it.  We would be organized for the benefit of farmers around the world and for our local community prior to making a profit.  But we’d still get to do our own thing because we’d fund the entire thing through selling coffee, tea, pastries, etc.  Actually, selling the stuff would be how we impact farmers close by and around the world.  Then, we’d figure out how to take the profits and use them for the benefit of the community – most of whom had created the profits to begin with by being patrons of the shop.



The second story is one we haven’t shared very much.  

We had a old friend who was coordinating a MBA program touring social enterprises.  They would go to a social enterprise for a week and do a project there then go on to the next one.  He contact us to see if we would host a group for a week.  We took the time to answer all his questions and everything but they decided not to include us.  Thankfully, they still stopped in for coffee as they went along their tour.  

We were very confused by who they decided to work with instead.   They decided to work with a local, minority-owned brewery.  Don’t get us wrong.  We like this brewery.  We have met the owners.  They make good beer.  We believe there should be more minority-owned businesses.  From our definition, they aren’t a social enterprise though.  They are just your average brewery.  

When I asked the leader of the group why they chose this brewery to work with and about his definition of social enterprise.  He responded that “any business doing any good could be a social enterprise.”  We disagree.  We thought social enterprises had a specific definition.  But this got us to thinking about how maybe different people define social enterprise differently.



As we started looking for in depth at groups that serve social enterprises.  We definitely discovered a range of definitions.  The most common one we’d come across from large, national groups in the USA is that social enterprises are owned and ran by a nonprofit.  The nonprofit funding is needed to get started and for the first 7 years or so.  The hope is that long term the social enterprise will give the nonprofit more stable income that a complete reliance on outside donors.  

We agree this is one aspect of social enterprises but we weren’t seeing the mom-n-pop, family-run or individually-run social enterprises like we had being served by these larger groups.  In fact, we saw them catering to the larger nonprofits with larger social enterprises – seemingly because they pay higher membership dues and such.



That’s when we started to explore for terms.  We wanted to find something that would speak to the entrepreneur out there starting or running a business because of the change he or she wanted to see in the world, with profit as a secondary motivation.



One thing that immediately came to mind for me is that I would often find myself saying, “I’m an activist first, business-person second.”  My life had been driven by my desire to make the world a better place.  I worked in the non-profit sector except for 1 job the summer after high school.  I didn’t have any formal business training.  I thought a lot of others out there starting businesses to create change could relate to this idea of being an activist first, business-person second.



I definitely think that the person we were trying to describe is also always looking at the triple-bottom line of their endeavor.  Are they making money?  Are they doing good for the environment?  How are they helping people better their lives?  All 3 of these questions are evaluated in designing and running their businesses.  They walk a fine line.  They won’t sacrifice environmental or social impact for more monetary profit but they definitely want to be monetarily profitable as quickly as possible.  They definitely don’t rely on charitable funding.  In fact, they wouldn’t be eligible for tax-deductible contributions anyway.


From these two aspects, “activist first, business-person second” and “always looking at the triple-bottom-line” we’d add a third and final crucial element: “entrepreneur.” So what about the idea of entrepreneur?  Who is an entrepreneur?  

The best definition we’ve come across is someone who takes something of value and puts it at risk to create something of greater value.  Let’s be clear this is not someone trading on the stock market.  They put value to risk through a business venture – they buy and sell products and services for a profit.  An entrepreneur might start a small business or plan to scale big.  She might be a sole proprietor or a CEO with a large staff.  Those specifics don’t matter as much in our opinions.  What matters is the risk.  Even if the activist business is just a side-hustle right now, there are still risks of time and money with the hope of creating greater value for self, for others, and for the planet.



Let’s put it all together.  A business activist entrepreneur has 3 key characteristics:

“activist first, business person second,” always looking at the triple-bottom-line, and takes something of value and puts it at risk to create something of greater value.  

Are these 3 characteristics what drive you and your endeavors?  If so, you’re totally in the right place.  Are there others you think should be included?  Would you tweak any of these?  If so, let us know.  Like we shared before, we want to hear from you.  Leave a comment on this post.  Let’s start a dialogue about the words we use to describe this crazy activist business stuff we’re doing.  I’m sure you’ve come across people who just don’t get you or what you’re doing.  We’d love to help you find the words to describe yourself and your endeavors even better.


As an extra incentive to join the conversation on the show notes page, we’re going to chose 1 commenter at random and give him or her 1-week to try out Business Activist Academy for free.  You’ll be able to go in and view as much of the content as you’d like in that 1-week.  We’ll do the drawing after the comments reach at least 10 or February 15, 2018 arrives, whichever comes last.  So leave a comment below now and share your thoughts about the term, “business activist entrepreneur” and how you’d define it.

32. 017: The Science of Selling: 5 Nuts and Bolts of Sales
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Description: Listen Here and Now for 5 Nuts & Bolts of the Science of Selling

Five essentials to improve your sales no matter what stage of business you're in.  Includes how to never make a cold call ever again.


Quotable of the Week

“He who has a thing to sell and goes and whispers in a well, is not so apt to get the dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers.”  -Author Unknown

We thought we'd use a whimsical fun quote for a more technical episode.  Plus, can't you imagine these two people whispering or hollering and the results they would see?!?


Highlights from the Episode Be sure to check out last week's episode about 5 mindset shifts regarding the heart and art of selling. We are not natural or the best salespeople.  These essentials are what we've picked up along the way.


#1 - Niche down. [3 min 40 sec] (A) You don’t need to reach everyone.  Create a detailed profile of your ideal customer and talk directly to him or her. (B) Be excellent with a few first.  Then build from there as you’re ready.  It’ll amplify what you’re doing over time.


#2 - “Rack the shotgun.” [5 min 53 sec] We admit this analogy is hard... we're pacifists and don't like guns. This idea comes from Perry Marshall's book 80/20 Sales and Marketing.  It's available for 1 penny plus shipping on his website.  The story about the shotgun is in Chapter 2. The basic idea is to get people who match your ideal profile to raise their hands and show they are interested in what you’re doing.   There are a lot of different ways to do this: ethical bribes, prize giveaways, talking to people, and more. Selling to the right people is the most important thing to focus on and shortcut the sales process.


#3 - Set your price so that it represents the value you bring. [9 min 30 sec] There's a big difference between what you do in the early stages and staying there. Free is bad for business. This is different than having an opt-in or lead magnet.  They are giving an email address (of great value) for what you're offering. Know what you're worth and the value you provide. Create win-win scenarios.


#4 - Determine your key criteria that need to match. [12 min 35 sec] This is similar to #1 niche down.   If you’ve ever created a ideal customer profile, you know there are aspects of your ideal customer that you’re willing to budge on and other you’re not.   Be specific about your most important criteria and stick to those criteria no matter what.  You will be tempted to cater to variations from your ideal customer.  That's good but still stick to what you do best.  


#5 - Get out there and do it. [15 min 45 sec] The best way to learn is to practice.  As you do this your confidence will grow and you will know how to communicate what you are doing without sounding like you don’t understand your own product.    You will also be able to learn about any objections that the potential customer may have and be able to implement it into your whole strategy.   


Bonus Tip: You can do more sales calls than you think you can.  It’s all about mindset. [17 min 44 sec]


Wrap Up  So, how can you never make cold calls ever again?  Listen for the answer at 21 minutes, 58 seconds.


If you want to know more about how to improve the sales side of your business, we invite you to check out Business Activist Academy.  In January, we’re talking about validating your idea through sales.  In February, we’re going to do a deep dive into the basics of selling.  This is the perfect time to join the Academy if you know what you’re passionate about and you’re clear on your strengths but you haven’t figured out how to make money or how to make lots of money creating the change you wish to see in the world.   We would love to welcome you into the tribe that’s forming.  All the details are at businessactivistentrepreneur.com/academy.

33. 016: How not to be slimy and still make money (the HeArt of selling)
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Description: Listen Here and Now for 5 Selling Mindset Shifts

The heart and art of selling without being slimy in 5 mindset shifts.  Make these mindset shifts and make more money.

Quotable of the Week

“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar

Brandon shares his story of going on sales calls with his mom growing up.  They would even listen to Zig Ziglar cassette tapes in the car between calls.  Perhaps Brandon is better at sales than Amanda because of that experience growing up and learning to build trust with people.


Highlights from the Episode Amanda also shares what she learned about sales from Brandon convincing her to date him. What we’ve learned about sales hasn’t come from a corporate environment.  It’s come from our personal experience outside of work and within our entrepreneurial experience. Rather than worrying about the latest changes to Facebook’s algorithm.  Let’s go back to some of the basics of selling.


Selling Mindset Shift #1: Sell because you know it’s the best way to serve.  You have to believe in your product.  [7 min 40 sec] Amanda made a promise to herself to always sell to those who might benefit from what she’s selling.  That means she has to get to know people in order to know if they would benefit. You can’t always serve and serve and serve.  You have to get to the point where you actually “pop the question.”


Selling Mindset Shift #2: People buy your product or service because they trust you.  Sales is built on trust.  [9 min 33 sec] This goes back to the Zig Ziglar quotation we started with. The more personal your marketing, the more you build trust so that the sales process goes more smoothly.


Selling Mindset Shift #3: Don’t say “no” for people.  [11 min 5 sec] Not asking is saying “no” for people.  Let people say “no” for themselves. Amanda likes to think about sales like inviting people to a party, especially for an activist business. If you don’t ask, it’s an automatic “no.”


Selling Mindset Shift #4: Practice empathy.  [13 min 45 sec] Ask yourself, “As your prospective customer, how would I want to receive this information?” This is a big reason to never make cold calls.  I’ll share an alternative to cold calls next week. Brandon shares how NOT to do this based on the sales people we’ve encountered.


Selling Mindset Shift #5: Persistence.  [16 min 7 sec] Don’t give up after the first “no” or the first 100 “no”s.  There’s a lot your can learn from “no.” Also be persistent until you get a clear “yes” or “no.”  Set expectation for what the follow-up looks like.


Wrap Up [18 min 0 sec]

Those are the 5 mindset shifts about selling we have for you today.  If I were to recap and reiterate what I believe is the most important it’s this: sales is built on trust.  Build trust as much as possible before trying to sell.  Sell to those you know trust you.  Trust your prospective customer too.  Allow them to say no for themselves.


If you want to know more about how to improve the sales side of your business, we invite you to check out Business Activist Academy.  In January, we’re talking about validating your idea through sales.  In February, we’re going to do a deep dive into the basics of selling.  This is the perfect time to join the Academy if you know what you’re passionate about and you’re clear on your strengths but you haven’t figured out how to make money or how to make lots of money creating the change you wish to see in the world.   We would love to welcome you into the tribe that’s forming.  All the details are at businessactivistentrepreneur.com/academy.

34. 015: Why we really sold our social enterprise coffee shop
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Description: Listen Here and Now for the Reasons We Sold Our Social Enterprise

The nitty gritty of why we really sold our social enterprise coffee shop to a nonprofit. Beware: the reasons might inspire you to stick with or make a transition with your business.


Quotable of the Week

“Switching from one career to another can be scary, but it also can be a thrilling experience. Look at it as an opportunity to really go after what you want to accomplish in life and make a difference in the world. The key is to take small, conscious steps and prepare yourself for a successful transition.” -Jack Canfield

This quotable is a good foundation for what we're going to talk about.  Our current transition is both scary and thrilling.  We love Jack's advice to go after what you want.  When we get to the final reason we share today, we'll talk about the small, conscious steps that prepared us for a successful transition.


Highlights from the Episode You’ve probably heard by now that we sold Overflow Coffee Bar to a nonprofit. Before we get into the reasons why we sold, we should reiterate like we have so many times before how much we enjoyed the entire process from dreaming up Overflow to seeing it come the fruition. When it came down to it, there are a few reasons we ultimately decided to sell.  We’re going to give them to you in ascending order of importance. As we share, evaluate your own experience within your business.


1. Long before any thoughts of selling came up, we learned about the idea of sunk-cost fallacy and committed to making sure we didn’t fall trap to it. [7 min 0 sec] If you’re not familiar, sunk-cost fallacy is defined as “Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort).” (more here) After learning about sunk-cost fallacy, we were determined not to stick with it just because we had put so much time, effort, and money into it.   This commitment was really what opened our minds to consider other possibilities.


2. We tried to be all about serving the community but it was very frustrating when those we served didn’t support us in return. [8 min 34 sec] There are lots of community members who have so very supportive and we are very grateful to them. We tell a real story of a community leader here. Be sure to listen to the last episode for more about how important environment is. Brandon rants a little about being the customer you want to see in your business.


3. The nonprofit we sold to has the financial capacity to take the exact mission of the coffee shop farther than we’ll be able to in the immediate future. [12 min 15 sec] We still believe in the mission. This nonprofit will be able to take the mission farther and faster than we will with our currently growing family.


4. We discovered other opportunities to further ethical economics and community building through coaching and training entrepreneurs and shadowing our financial advisor. [12 min 57 sec] Ten years ago, we were totally different people.  At that point, starting Overflow Coffee Bar was absolutely the thing we needed and wanted to do. Over time though, we’ve grown and changed. In case you don’t know, we have a program called Business Activist Academy. In the Academy, we are taking our knowledge and expertise about starting a business in order to make a positive difference in the world and sharing it along with exercises and a tribe of people who help you take the knowledge and put it into action.  Within the Academy, we’re focusing on 2 major components a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with: marketing and money.  We would love to welcome you into the tribe that’s forming.  All the details are at businessactivistentrepreneur.com/academy. There are also some great benefits for us too.  That's not what it's all about but it's important too. Going back to Jack Canfield's quotable, we took small, conscious steps to try out coaching and get our own finances in order long before anything came up about selling our coffee shop.  These small steps set us up to take advantage of this opportunity.


What sticks out to you?  

What sticks out to you as something to consider within your business?

If we were to chose for you, we’d reiterate and triple underline the idea of always looking for opportunities to grow personally.  Put yourself and your growth high up on the list.  It should help you make more money and more of a difference in the world.  Those things are important but you are the most important.  Without you, none of the things you’re doing happen.

Sharing is caring.  Leave a comment below with your personal insights from this episode.


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35. 014: Our Lessons Learned in 2017
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Description: Listen Here and Now for Our Top 5 Lessons Learned in 2017

We share the top 5 and the stories that helped us learn these lessons.  See which ones inspire and encourage you this New Year!

Quotable of the Week

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” -Confucius

Reflection is the noblest way to learn wisdom.  Reflect on your year and on what we share about our year.


Highlights from the Episode We shared in episode 011 about our year-end review process that helped us uncover these lessons.  Check out that episode here: 011: Forget Resolutions, Set a 2018 Business Goal You’ll Actually Accomplish Important Note: Reflect on these.  Some might apply to you but not all. 1. Podcasting is better than YouTube videos [4 min 23 sec] This time last year we were doing YouTube videos every week.  We did that through September. In October, we switched to podcasting.  We already have a lot more listeners for the podcast than we did viewers on YouTube. We didn't change the marketing efforts.


2. Facebook groups are better than LinkedIn groups [6 min 50 sec] We believe this true at least in terms of engagement.  Plus, we can do Facebook Lives. Again, we didn't change the marketing efforts much.  The same efforts just reached more people. Join the Business Activist Entrepreneur Community Facebook group here.


3. Planning, hosting, and teaching a workshop is too much until we have a team. [8 min 57 sec] Back in May, Amanda planned, hosted, and taught a workshop about productivity.  It was good but it was too much work for 1 person, even being a super productive person. Just in case, here's a link to the workshop recording.  We call it the Ultimate Guide to Entrepreneurial Productivity. There are a lot of pros to live workshops.  We just want to do them when we have more of a team to help. 4. Almost everyone we’ve coached, we’ve referred to our financial advisor as well. [12 min 25 sec] Money is a big asset or hindrance for entrepreneurs.   We've been able to accomplish big things because of our financial advisor.   In the near future, we'll be able to do some of the things he does and teach it to you! You'll be hearing about money a lot more this year. Ready to hear more now?  Contact us and let us know. 5. When a flower doesn’t bloom, you don’t blame the flower.  You blame the environment.  Environment is crucial. [14 min 50 sec] This lesson is courtesy of James Wedmore. We share the details about the environment of our social enterprise coffee shop. Major lesson: as entrepreneurs, we're not flowers.  We chose our environment.  With whom you surround yourself is very important.  Chose well.


We'd love to hear from you. 

Sharing is caring.  Leave a comment on the show notes page with your lessons learned from 2017.  Share however many you'd like.

36. 013: 8 Pitfalls to Avoid in 2018
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Description: Listen Here and Now for Our 8 Pitfalls to Avoid

We break down the 8 pitfalls and practical tips to avoid them.  See which ones inspire and encourage you this New Year!

Quotable of the Week

“It is this broken road with pitfalls and sharp turns and unexpected traverses that has brought me joy and adventure. ” - Alice Walker

Entrepreneurship is full of pitfalls, sharp turns, and unexpected traverses.  These are part of what makes it so adventuresome.  This year is going to be full of the expected.  As we go into this New Year, adopt this mindset that the good, bad, and ugly can bring us joy and adventure.


Highlights from the Episode This is the 4th in a series of year-end, year-beginning episodes.  Check out the first 3 episodes in the series: 010: Pivot or 180 Change? How to Determine What Your Business Needs 011: Forget Resolutions, Set a 2018 Business Goal You’ll Actually Accomplish 012: 8 Ways to Make IT Happen in 2018 Important Note: These 8 are all within your control. 1. Other People’s Agendas and Problems  Stick with your goal and action plan. Refuse to do other people work for them. Most entrepreneurs are problem solvers.  People see this and want us to solve their problems for them.  Be careful.  Take care of customers but don't take on work you shouldn't be doing in the first place. 2. Squirrels. (aka distractions) Again, stick with your goal and action plan. When a new shiny object or idea comes across your path, write down that you want it do it and then wait 1 day, 7 days, or 30 days. Then come back and see if you still want to pursue it. For some "marketing" tasks, limit your time so that tools like social media don't become squirrels. 3. An accountability strategy that wastes your time.  Accountability often looks like meetings for meetings’ sake. We suggest quick 15-minute or email check-ins.  A little can be enough. 4. Staying in dream phase and never getting to action steps.   Set your goal. Write your action plan. Then start right away with implementing. You’ll never know if your goal and action plan will actually work unless you go for it. 5. Doubting your ability to make it happen. Doubt holds more entrepreneurs back than almost anything. Even in the face of doubt, go for it and see what happens. Failure is a part of entrepreneurship so get used to the fact that at some point you will fail. Plus, customers can sense doubt.  They won't buy a product of service in which you're not confident. 6. Comparing you and your business to your competition or to your role models’ businesses. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. The only person you should compare yourself to is you yesterday. Even if all you can do is suck less tomorrow than you do today, then you’re doing something great. Keep in mind that what you think is "sucking" might just be someone else's average or above average. 7. Living paycheck to paycheck or sale to sale. Get serious about your finances - both personally and within your business. This is something we’re going to talk about more this year because we see this as a big issue for entrepreneurs AND for non-entrepreneurs. For now, simply commit to get serious.  Then, stick with us for more on financial matters this year. 8. Sacrificing self-care for the potential to make an extra dollar.   We don’t want to see anyone come to the end of the year and be closer to burn out. Taking time for self-care might even help you make more money. We care about you.  You are important.  Take time to do whatever it is that gives you energy. This one is probably the most important of all 8 pitfalls.


We'd love to hear from you. 

Leave a comment below with what sticks out to you from this episode or this series.  We'd also love to hear what you'd like us to talk about this year.  Leave a comment now.


37. 012: 8 Ways to Make IT Happen in 2018
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Description: We break down 8 ways.  See which ones inspire and encourage you as we go into the New Year! Quotable of the Week

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or back into safety.” -Abraham Maslow

You have a choice this New Year - to grow or to stay the same.  Step forward into self-actualization on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  This may require stepping out of your safe place.  Yet, you need to step forward to fulfill your purpose.


Highlights from the Episode This is the 3rd in a series of year-end, year-beginning episodes.  Check out the first 2 episodes in the series: 010: Pivot or 180 Change? How to Determine What Your Business Needs and 011: Forget Resolutions, Set a 2018 Business Goal You’ll Actually Accomplish. I’m assuming you’ve decided on a single overarching goal for 2018.  Keep your goal in mind as we go. Important Note: These 8 are all positive actions you can take. 1. Stay focused even when things get hard.  Keep your goal your main thing.  You might change strategies to reach your goal but don’t give up so easily on your goal. Especially if you followed our step-by-step process in the last episode, you should feel 100% confident in your goal at this point. But in a couple weeks or a couple months, you might not feel so confident. This is when the average person gives up or reduces their goal. You are not the average person.  Stay focused.  Update your strategy but do NOT give up. 2. Spend time daydreaming about reaching your goal.   Picture what it will be like to cross the finish line.   Daydream now before you get into the thick of things to help develop the strategies you should take to get to the finish line. Daydream later to help you stay motivated and determined to reach your goal. 3. Create an artistic reminder of your goal.   Maybe it’s like a vision board or a photo.  Maybe it’s something you paint or draw yourself. Put it in a prominent place. It could even be something you create throughout the year.  Like every time you hit a milestone you add a piece to the artwork. 4. Break down your goal into milestones.   Where will you be in 6 months?  How about 3 months?  What will it look like to see the first fruit of going after your goal? This can help with developing action steps to reach your goal and toward tracking your progress. Having clear smaller indicators along the way keeps you motivated toward the larger, longer term goal for the year. 5. Scientifically track your progress. Measure your progress weekly. You MUST have a measurable goal.  Make sure you figure out the way you will measure it over the year on a regular basis. For us, every Monday we check in on our goals and how we’re progressing toward them. One interesting thing about numbers is that they are divisible.  You can divide your number by 52 (the number of weeks in a year) to see how you’re tracking toward your goal. 6. Commit to an accountability strategy that will actually work for you. This is probably NOT asking your best friend, life partner, or business partner to keep you accountable.   I highly suggest a third-party like a coach to keep you accountable.  Maybe even check out this website for an online accountability strategy.  You might also try a mastermind group. Especially at the beginning of the year, daily or weekly accountability can be really good for getting a jumpstart on reaching your goal.   7. Share your goal strategically with those most important to you. Ask them specifically for the support you’d like from them. #5 was about getting accountability that works.  This is not about accountability.  This is about your support system.   Maybe your friends and family need to know that you’ll have a particularly busy season and you’ll need some extra grace then. Maybe it’s the other way around and you want to limit your work more so you can spend more time with your friends and family.  You can tell them to expect more hangout time. Whatever it is, when you share your goal with others, share how it will affect them and how they can support you in it. 8. We’d love to strategize with you.   We want to make sure you accomplish your goal and know you can reach it.  We have learned from experience that sharing your goal with someone else outside your circle makes you more likely to accomplish it.   One of us would love to schedule a time to chat on the phone with you about your goal.  We're both certified coaches and know how to review your goal for the year and help strategize your action plan.    To schedule your call visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/20. At the link, you’ll choose a time from what’s available on our calendar.  Then, one of us will call you at that time.  Just be sure to choose a time far enough in advance that you can do the 5 steps prior to the call.   It’s all confidential and complimentary so get signed up at the link today!  I look forward to talking with you then.


38. 011: Forget Resolutions, Set a 2018 Business Goal You’ll Actually Accomplish
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We break down the goal-setting process we go through every year for you.  Plus, there’s a workbook to help you take action easily!


Quotable of the Week

“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” -Harvey Mackay

As entrepreneurs, we often have lots of dreams.  A great way to think about goals it that you’re taking your dream and giving it a plan and a deadline.  It’s kind of like giving your dream legs to happen.  No need to be intimidated by goals.  Goals help your dreams become reality!


Highlights from the Episode This is the 2nd in a series of year-end, year-beginning episodes.  Check out last week’s episode: Pivot or 180 Change? How to Determine What Your Business Needs. Be sure to listen to hear how we do this process each year. Step 1. Review the Previous Year’s Memorable Experiences Write down on a piece of paper or type into a document what happened during the year that you want to remember.   Use your calendar and journal to refresh your memory.  It’s not cheating.  In fact, you might have forgotten to remember something.   Record the good stuff but don’t leave out the bad stuff.  Both good and bad memories have lessons for you to learn.  


Step 2. Synthesize Your Lessons Learned Now, on a separate sheet or on the next page in your document, synthesize your lessons learned throughout the past year.  I like to look through my memorable experiences from step 1 and ask myself the question, “What did I learn from that experience?”  One tip: I like to record these as bullet points – 1 bullet point per lesson – so that the lessons stand on their own and I stay away from any narrative or explanation.  You just want the lessons pure and simple. SIDENOTE You might be asking yourself, “Wait, I thought this was about goals.  Why are we reviewing the year prior first?”   I learned a long time ago that “all meaning is context dependent.”  The meaning for your new year goal comes from the context of the previous year.  


Step 3. Set A Goal for the New Year (notice singular) STEP 3.1 RAW GOAL Start with your goal however it first comes to you.  Now, stare that raw goal down.  Squint at it.  Tell it you are the boss of it.  Get to know it on a deeper level.   Questions to Ask: What’s the motivation behind this goal?   What’s its deeper meaning?   How does this goal make you feel?   If you’re scared or overwhelmed, that’s normal.  That’s why the process doesn’t stop here. STEP 3.2 MAGNETIC GOAL You’re ready to take that raw goal and make it something about which you feel really excited and joyful.   Visualize how your life is with your raw goal completed.  Take your time here.  Get a good picture in your mind.   Now, rewrite your goal from that excited and joyful place.  It should be worded as if you’ve completed your goal.  If you’re salivating while thinking of your magnetic goal, you’ve got it. STEP 3.3 MEASURABLE MAGNETIC GOAL There’s just one more edit to make your goal even more likely to be accomplished.  Add in a number and a date.   This gives you a deadline to get to that place you’re visualizing and a measurement that’s easy to quantify so that you know if you got there or not.   Feel okay even if you don’t hit your goal 100%.  The last 2 steps should help.


Step 4. Break Your Goal into Actions But it doesn’t stop there.  Now, you gotta take that goal and break down into action steps.   The key here is to make these magnetic as well.   There are additional questions in the workbook to help you through this step.


Step 5. Finalize the Process This step might seem unimportant but I highly recommend not skipping it.   Wait 24-48 hours after you finish Step 4.  Then review everything once again.  Give yourself 1 last time to revise your goal and action steps.  Then commit to your goal and its corresponding action steps.


One final call to action for you!

We want to make sure you accomplish your goal and know you can reach it.  We have learned from experience that sharing your goal with someone else outside your circle makes you more likely to accomplish it.   One of us would love to schedule a time to chat on the phone with you about your goal.  We’re both certified coaches and know how to review your goal for the year and help strategize your action plan.   

To schedule your call visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/20. At the link, you’ll choose a time from what’s available on our calendar.  Then, one of us will call you at that time.  Just be sure to choose a time far enough in advance that you can do the 5 steps prior to the call.   It’s all confidential and complimentary so get signed up at the link today!  I look forward to talking with you then.

39. 010: Pivot or 180 Degree Change? How to Determine What Your Business Needs
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Of course there are a couple more options than pivot or 180.  We'll break down for you 2 checks to help you decide for your business.  Plus, there's a bonus tip!

Quotable of the Week

“You can’t rush clarity.” -Marie Forleo

As you hear in Brandon's story, it took him over a decade of 180 degree changes before landing in a business where we've been able to make pivots over the last 7 years.  From the Marines to the music industry to IT to coffee, Marie's quotation rings true.  When deciding what's best for you and your business, "You can't rush clarity."

Highlights from the Episode If you’re like me you’re tired of hearing the word “pivot.”  Thanks to Lean Startup, pivot has become a buzzword that gets used way too often in some circles.   But I do have to admit that there’s value to the truth behind the idea of pivot.   Pivoting isn’t the full story though.  Sometimes a small change isn’t what you or your business needs.  Sometimes you need a to do a complete 180.   So, how do you know which path is the best way forward for you and your business?  Should you pivot slightly? Do you need a 180 degree change?  Is there a middle ground answer? Should you simply persevere with what you're currently doing? The short answer: It depends.  It depends on your industry.  It depends on your stage in the business.  But most importantly it depends on you and your customers. Today, we have 2 checks and balances to determine if you should pivot or make a 180. Check #1: Check Yourself. Go off on your own for however long you need.  Bring your head and your heart.  List all the logical and emotional reasons to make a pivot, do a 180 change, and to stay the same.  Push yourself to think deeply.  Don’t rush yourself.  Get all the reasons out.  Then, read them through to yourself a few times.  Mull them over. Find the time and reserve it in your calendar.  Don’t delay.  Do it before the end of the year. Remember to do this without any distractions. Check #2: Check Your Customers Many people forget the roots of Lean Startup, which are nothing new, just packaged differently.  At its roots, the Lean Startup model is all about talking to your current and potential customers. Sit over coffee.  Send out a survey.  Talk with them on the phone.  Do whatever it takes to get their perspective. Some Dos and Don’ts Don’t ask them for their opinion about your product. Do ask them about their hopes, dreams, pains, and struggles. Do get to know them and how your service or product fits into their lives. Don’t sit there at your computer planning who to ask and what to ask. Do get out from behind your computer screen and talk with your customers. Don’t wait. Do try to have 1 conversation today.    Don’t just talk to 1 person. Do get info from at least 10 but as many as practical. Do compile all the information you receive.  Take notes.  Write a summary after the conversation. Don’t rush it.  *See quote of the week.* Do read through the results a few times.  Mull it over. One bonus tip: Sometimes (actually more often than not) we’re so close to our businesses that we can’t think objectively about them.  This is why coaching can be so helpful.   Do these exercises on your own or with your team.  Then, consider if having a third-party objective voice (aka a coach) would be helpful.   If you decide the answer is yes, sign up a strategy session with us.  We’ll talk about your pivot or 180 decision and, if applicable, what kind of coaching package would fit your situation best.   If you think there’s a 10% chance coaching could be beneficial for you, we suggest taking the chance.  It’ll only cost you a twenty minutes of your time but it could be life-changing. Concluding Remark about Pivot or 180?

We all do pivots and 180s in our lives throughout our lives and businesses.  The goal is to build on what you've done in the past.  Use your past to amplify your future.  You're on the right track.  There will be changes coming.  Get ready!

40. 009: 5 Unique Ways to Make an Impact this Holiday Season
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We share 5 ways to make a unique impact this holiday season beyond giving to charity.  Before that we share some thoughts on charity.


Quotable of the Week

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” -Helen Keller

We can often feel discouraged that there's so much suffering in the world.  During the holidays is a great time to remember and be encouraged that there is so much good out there too!

Highlights from the Episode If you’re like most activists, you probably get tons of emails from nonprofits for their year-end giving campaigns.   Note: According to Wikipedia, Giving Tuesday started in 2012. Yes, you can make an impact by donating money to your favorite charities.   In fact, we highly recommend being actively involved in 1 or 2 charities and focusing your efforts there.   We thought we’d give you a few other options for making an impact this holiday season.   Here are our 5 impact ideas: Most of us know someone less fortunate than ourselves.  Think of something that person would find extravagant and do it with them.   Be as selective as possible with your holiday purchases.  Shop ethical.  Eat, drink, and buy at locally owned small businesses.  Seek out other business activists and purchase from them. Host a holiday party and invite all your neighbors on you block or in your building.   Surprise a stranger with a random act of kindness.  Don’t hand them your business card but don’t be shy either.  Surprise that person with something unexpected, just because.  Who knows, you both might just make a new friend. Take time for yourself to reflect and dream.

Remember, you need this time so that you have energy for making a difference in the year to come.  Plus, the clarity and focus that comes will help you have an even bigger impact.


There are plenty of other ways to make an impact this season more than just giving to charity.  Hopefully, these 5 have sparked your imagination.   The most important thing is to ACT.  Decide right now something you will do to bring the spirit of the holidays to life and make a difference for someone around you… including yourself.

41. 008: Beyond Giving Tuesday - Carrying the Spirit of the Holidays Throughout the Holidays
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We discuss going beyond Giving Tuesday and the transactional in your business relationships. We share 5 ways to build true friendships this holiday season.

Quotable of the Week

“Idealistic as it may sound, altruism should be the driving force in business, not just competition and a desire for wealth.” -Dalai Lama

This quotation should make you feel right on track in your activist business because you are!


Highlights from the Episode This episode airs on Giving Tuesday 2017 after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Ancient philosophers defined friendship not about giving and receiving but more about mutual benefit. With those you work with in your business, you might be the recipient or the giver or both. The best relationships, I believe, exist because the people in the relationship come together to accomplish something bigger than either could achieve on their own. A sense of purpose and mission creates relationships that last even when the “transactional value” disappears. The holidays are a great time to go beyond the transactional and make the relationships in our businesses more authentically “relational.” You don't HAVE to do any of this but it can go a long way and cost you little. We have 5 ways to remind your supporters, fans, customers, employees, and everyone that you’re in this activist business together. Bring at least 1 interaction back to that higher purpose of your business - the change you wish to see in the world. Ban spending money.   Offer a special deal that keeps giving throughout the year.  Check out the Rank & File Article with the juicy details about the coffee shop membership program we've run since 2012. Create a campaign all around the difference you all made this year, together.   Create a reminder for yourself that you’ll see regularly.   There are plenty of other ways to make this season more than just giving and receiving.   Hopefully, these 5 have sparked your imagination.   The most important thing is to ACT.  Decide right now something you will do to bring the spirit of the holidays to life in your business.

42. 007: No One Cares About Your Mission As Much As You
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In this James Bond inspired episode, we discuss your mission and how it relates to customers, employees, and to improving quality and service.

Quotable of the Week

"There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed." - Ray Goforth

First of all, isn't Goforth an awesome surname?!?  There are definitely these types of people out there.  We're here to build a spirit of collaboration and help you succeed at making a difference.  Go forth and do some great stuff! 

Highlights from the Episode Customers are the lifeblood of any business – including activist businesses.  A business without customers is just a hobby.   We thought we’d share some behind the scenes of how we think about our customers as an activist business.  The goal is to inspire you in your own thinking about your customers. Customer Profiles: Business Plan Phase There’s a part of your business plan when you write about your target customers.  Initially, I had a hokey listing of customers who I knew would love Overflow Coffee Bar.  But it was a good starting point in falling in love with the people we knew would love our social enterprise.   Here’s the full disclosure.  Just remember that we changed this fairly quickly after the initial writing. Our top customers were Earthly Emma, Artsy Andy, Giving Gertrude, and Studious Sally.   Second customers included Mommy Mary, Business Barney, Dog-Walking Dan, Espresso Edward, and Caffeine Carla.  We also has people who were likely not our customers – Penny-Pinching Patty, Skeptical Sam, and Elderly Esmeralda.   I totally admit, this is not our best work but it was a starting point.  Remember, you have to start somewhere.  Start with what you can do and you’ll learn and perfect from there. Customers Profiles: After You’re In Operation What surprised me is that a lot of our customers simply came and continue to come because it’s convenient.  They didn’t exactly fit the profiles – some not even close.  I’m a recovering perfectionist and deep down I secretly want everyone to support the mission.  So, after a couple years of noticing this and it bugging me a little, I decided to do something about it. Clearly and definitely, I didn’t want to deter any customers.  I do want to make money.  Plus, I understood those who don’t come because of the mission still and most definitely support the mission with their purchases.  Moreover, we get the opportunity to share the mission with them – especially when they join our email list. I went from thinking about it to talking it over with some really smart people.  After a time, I came to think of my customers in terms of concentric circles.  Here’s how it goes: largest circle – everyone who lives or comes within 1 mile of Overflow 2nd largest circle – customers – anyone who has made at least 1 purchase smaller circle – frequent customers – come at least a few times per month smallest circle – insiders – spend a good amount of money with us and highly believe in our mission It’s a little more complicated than that.  For example, there are people who believe in our mission but have only been a customer once.  There are also people who spend a good amount of money with us but are still skeptical of our mission. The major lesson here is that that larger the outer circles become the greater the probability that the inner circles will grow larger too.   This has really influenced my marketing and advertising decisions.   It boils down to a mindset shift from linear thinking to thinking in terms of these circles. From here, we talk about how this applies to employees, vendors, our bank, and our social network. Final Thoughts Finally, we wrap up talking about balancing quality products and customer service with your mission.  Really, we end up concluding that increasing your mission and quality go hand-in-hand in helping you grow your activist business. You HAVE to have a high quality product and customer service. You HAVE to keep you mission central as HOW you create such a high quality product. They go hand-in-hand like a dance.


43. 006: Our #1 Tool Recommendation
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We share our #1 tool recommendation and step-by-step how to master using it to grow your revenue and your impact. We also throw in some tips on good times to bring it out of your “toolbox.”

Full show notes at http://businessactivistentrepreneur.com/006.

Quotable of the Week

“The journey is the reward.”  -Steve Jobs

Two points here:  (1) It’s not about what you have.  It’s about who you become along the journey.  (2) You chose the journey.  Chose the one that will help you become a better version of yourself.


Highlights from the Episode “Too Many Options Disorder” keep us from making a decision or we try to do too many things. In a business setting, trying to do too many things hinders our success and causes burnout. This is the lesson for Social Entrepreneurship: You are going to come up with or come across so many ideas and options for your business.  Yet, there are only a few that are worth pursuing.  There are only a few that will actually work for you. Here’s the #1 tool: FOCUS! Another Steve Jobs quotation: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” (Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference, 1997) How do you master focus?  We share a step-by-step action plan including important times to take the steps. Most if not all of us walk about with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of ideas in our heads.  With all these ideas in our heads, we’re holding ourselves back.  Even completing Step A can be super helpful. Focus is also a daily practice.  Still the first step is to make that list.

44. 005: The Big Hairy Monster Attacking Millennial Entrepreneurs
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Description: Quotable of the Week

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” -Pablo Picasso

You might not expect an artist to be all about goals and plans.  Maybe that's why Picasso had so much success during his lifetime, unlike many artists.


Highlights from the Episode There is a big hairy monster attacking Millennials and keeping them from starting businesses.  This monster crushes dreams in its wart-covered hands.  It laughs and laughs as the shards of crushed dreams slide through its fingers. This monster is beatable though.  Millennials just need some practice and some tenacity.  By fighting back, little by little the monster gets smaller and smaller until… poof! it’s gone. The New York Times article referenced. Is entrepreneurship dead or dying for those under 35 right now? I don’t think so. Check out Not Your Average Financial Podcast.  The stat referenced is from episode 2. I share 5 of the hundreds of reasons why. The Forbes article referenced in reason 2. Living life on our own terms is a requirement for most Millennials.  Entrepreneurship is still the #1 way to make it happen. We're passionate about helping Millennials become and succeed as entrepreneurs, even in the face of their own debt monsters.  Please reach out to us and we'll see how we can help you (even if it's simply introducing you to the person who helped us).

45. 004: How Social Entrepreneurs Think About Social Media
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Description: Quotable of the Week

“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Spiderman’s Uncle Ben

We all have power and the responsibility to use that power for the benefit of others.  We relate this to social media during the main segment.


Highlights from the Episode How Facebook became a spy tool for Amanda during college. How social media uses your data and why that’s both a good and bad thing. “If you’re not paying for something, you’re the product being sold.” – Internet Meme.  No human should ever be a product being sold. What the idealized version of ourselves we post on social media means for our friends and future archeologists. Here’s a link to the article Brandon mentions about the coffee shop that closed because of her daughter’s social media post. How social media levels the marketing playing field. (or does it still?) How “Protecting the user experience” gives value-providing ads priority.  (or does it, post-2016 election?) The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is using some of that paid advertizing for good.  See their Facebook page for more. How are we kidding with all this??? The paid ad dollars keep social media free for the users.  That’s a good enough reason for a lot of people. Yet, remember, social media companies are still BUSINESSES. Where we stand on social media: it boils down to how the users use their social media platforms. The rule of thumb Amanda’s dad taught her that leads her not to post as much anymore. How social media has the transformative power to alter our offline behavior – in a positive way.  We share some practical ways to make this happen. A great reminder of what really matters – making money and impact, which requires much deeper engagement in relationships.

46. 003: 5 Ways to Build a Support System that Lasts
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Quotable of the week: “Anyone who stops learning is old.” -Henry Ford
Show Notes at businessactivistentrepreneur.com/003

47. 002: 5 Myths of Activist Entrepreneurship
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Quotable of the week: “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” ~ Paul Valery
Show notes at businessactivistentrepreneur.com/002

48. 001: Introducing THE Podcast for World-Changing Entrepreneurs
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Quotable of the week: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” - Theodore Roosevelt

Show notes: http://businessactivistentrepreneur.com/001.