MDH 70 Fabienne | 6 To 7 Figures

MDH 70 Fabienne | 6 To 7 Figures


You can reach your end goal without sacrificing important things in your life by just knowing and doing the right things! You don’t have to sacrifice your family time to earn a huge amount of money. Instead, take care of yourself and the people that you love. In this episode, author, mentor and coach Fabienne Fredrickson discusses how to go from 6 figures to 7 figures and get your life back. Most often than not, people earning this much with their job have to trade it for something else in their lives. It could be sacrificing their time and health. It’s time to get your life back!

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A Proven Recipe To Go From 6 To 7 Figures Without Getting Overwhelmed With Fabienne Fredrickson

I am so excited about this episode. We have some amazing guests every week with incredible expertise who is generous with their time. This particular guest’s story is so familiar to me. If you’ve been following my show, you know a lot about my story. Her way of getting to the end goal and everything about her is very similar to my own story that I had to have her on. Her name is Fabienne Fredrickson.

She’s the author of a bestseller, The Leveraged Business. She also runs an amazing community of thousands of women on her website Before I ramble on about her expertise and background, I’m going to have her come on the show and explain to us why she does what she does and why it’s important to have some sanity and balance in our lives. Welcome to the show, Fabienne.

Thank you, Victoria. I’m delighted to be with you.

Tell us a little bit about your background, what you do, why you wrote your book and so on.

I realized back in 1999 that I was unemployable and had to get out of corporate because it was never going to make me happy. I left corporate to open up my own nutrition practice out of my home. I thought, “I’ve been in advertising, marketing and sales. I’ll fill my practice. It will be fine. If I could make $65,000 a year, which is what I last made in corporate, I’ll be so happy.” I realized that when you’re selling yourself, it’s not easy to do that. It was a lot of dark nights of the soul, “Do I stay self-employed but very unhappy and struggling or do I go back?”

I decided to stay self-employed and create a client attraction system for myself. I filled my practice within eight months to full capacity. Other people started asking how I did it. A year and a half later, I became a business coach. I’ve been teaching women for many years how to use this client attraction system to get to $10,000 a month consistently.

MDH 70 Fabienne | 6 To 7 Figures

The Leveraged Business: How You Can Go From Overwhelmed at Six Figures to Seven Figures (and Gain Your Life Back)

Once I went to multiple 6 and 7 figures, other people started asking me, “How did you do this, especially with three small kids at home?” I said, “Let me reverse engineer what I did. First, I leveraged my team, systems, etc.” It has now become a proven recipe that you follow if you want to go from overwhelmed at 6 figures to multiple 6 figures and eventually 7 figures with your life back.

I believe that most people who are at that critical juncture of six figures are overwhelmed. They work evenings and weekends. They don’t pay themselves enough. They say too often, “One more email, and mommy will be right there,” with pangs of guilt. It doesn’t have to be this way. This is the process that I’ve reverse engineered, and now I teach it to thousands of people around the world.

That’s interesting because I’ve been there. As a daughter of immigrants, my parents told me that you got to get hyper-educated, become a doctor, lawyer or get an MBA, and get yourself a great job with upward mobility. That was your quickest and surest way to reach the American dream. I did all that and did get my job. What I quickly found out was that the higher up I got, the more hours came with that higher pay. I never got to see my kids. You have to wonder, “Why am I doing all this? What’s the end goal?”

You want to provide for your family and all that but you weren’t there. That’s the most important part of what you’re providing for your family, you’re not there. Other people are taking care of your kids and all that. For those of you who are reading this now who are overwhelmed, I talked to many of you quite often because a lot of you live locally here and you see me. You’re doing mid-six figures and you’re overwhelmed. You’re working crazy hours, seven days a week. You got your phone and email system attached to your hips. As you said, “One more email. One more client. One more product to develop. One more thing.”

When my kids were younger, you think, “It’s going to get better when I get the next $100,000 or something,” then that comes with more work. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and not even realize that you’re overwhelmed. A lot of entrepreneurs, especially women, are now working more hours than they did in corporate. You’re making less money than you did in corporate with less job security. You don’t have healthcare benefits. You don’t have a lot of the stuff that comes with the structure of the corporate.

Especially those who have great college degrees wonder, “Should I go back to work because my life might be simpler or do I stick with this?” I love that not only did you survive this, but you’ve come up with a system that other people could follow. I love that The Leveraged Business book goes over the system of how you can economize scale and do all that stuff with small children. Tell us a little bit about the meat of the book. What’s the whole premise of it? What does the reader get out of that at the end?


We are always improving above and beyond positive and loving.


What I realized long ago is the recipe to get to 10,000 a month or get to six figures in the first place requires a lot of digging deep and doing everything yourself. It requires long hours of learning. You’re building the plane as you fly it. Once you get to $100,000 or more in your business, what got you here won’t get you there. There meaning 7 figures with 14 to 16 weeks of unplugged vacations a year. For you to grow from six figures and get your life back, you need to do less better.

I believe there is no such thing as a self-made millionaire in the sense that you cannot do it alone. You need the right people that you can trust so that you can stop white-knuckling it and let go. It’s going from the control enthusiast to the person who can delegate more fully to the people in her care, then it’s about creating systems for everything. Most of us start our business based on our personality. It’s us doing everything.

After a while, the mindset that needs to be adopted is that we become a process-driven company, not a personality-driven business. When everything is documented, has checklists, and runs like a well-oiled machine, fewer things fall through the cracks. You know this, Victoria, because this is how you have been so successful. When you take these two elements, because the right systems and processes are there, you can fully delegate to your team. This allows you to leverage your time. You leverage your team and your systems.

Now, instead of being a doer who has got her hands in everything and becoming a bottleneck for the company, you begin to use your time in a more leveraged way, focused entirely on what we call in the book as EGAs or Exponential Growth Activities. Those are the things where several of our clients will get to $1 million in a year or two because they are using their exponential growth activity days to create way different results and to change.

You leverage your business model instead of working hours to dollars. You’re working one too many and scaling your business. There’s more but if we focus on those first four first activators out of the eight activators, that’s when you can rapidly grow your business. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in or what you do, this is proven to work when you follow those processes.

I agree with you on that. Most people will agree that you can’t do it all. You need some help. I’m going to be a contrarian and ask you a couple of questions because that’s what this show is all about. The first thing is the agreement part. Look at companies that are successful out there like McDonald’s. McDonald’s started here in San Diego, not too far from where I live now. First, it was the owners flipping the burgers, packing them, talking about it, going door to door and buying all this stuff. All the relationships and the know-how were with them.


MDH 70 Fabienne | 6 To 7 FiguresMDH 70 Fabienne | 6 To 7 Figures

6 To 7 Figures: The recipe to get to 10k a month to get to six figures in the first place requires a lot of digging deep and doing everything yourself. It requires long hours just learning. You’re building the plane as you fly it.


They realized there was more money in franchising and systemizing what they were doing. Now they’re talking about a robot doing it. It’s a full-proof system that they have. There’s nothing that could go wrong in their system. There are 21 steps to make their fries and you don’t skip one so it’s exactly the same.

I agree with you that building a system is critical to growing. You can grind it out, grow and work more hours, but that is not the quality of life that we all aspire to have, nor was it what we envisioned with us working more hours. When you don’t delegate and don’t realize this, all your relationships with your vendors, clients, students and IT person are all with you. That means every phone call has to be initiated and answered by you. You don’t have enough time of the day to do that.

You work with a lot of entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs. We’re very control freaks. This is how we became entrepreneurs. It’s hard to let go of that control. Do you think that it’s because we don’t trust other people and we don’t trust something is not going to go well? Why is it so hard for people to let go of some control? What do you think?

From my experiences, when we open up our own business, very few of us are taught how to hire strategically. What happens is when we are freaking out, working sixteen-plus hours a day, our instinct is to find anybody with a pulse to stop the bleeding. We’re just grabbing the first person who seems sane, a neighbor or a friend. We say, “Do this,” and we’re just focused. There are so many plates spinning in the air that we don’t hire strategically. We don’t use assessments to put the right person in the right seat. We don’t have most of us everything documented so that even a six-year-old could follow the process. What happens is we say, “Do this and I want it by tomorrow.” I’m exaggerating but not really.

I call this drive-by delegating, which is you’re throwing a hot potato at somebody. On the receiving end, that assistant or even a CEO that you hire doesn’t know what to do with the hot potato. You haven’t explained what it’s supposed to look like. You haven’t given examples. You didn’t take into account how much else they have on their plate. You didn’t tell them when it was realistically due. They either stand there frozen.

A lot of them are in fear because they don’t want to disappoint you, but they have no idea how to get it done, or they go down a rabbit hole for three weeks, and then they come back scared and proud of the work. They say, “Here you go.” You look at this and say, “Three weeks into this? This is not at all what I wanted. I could have done it better myself.”


When you have hundreds of women blowing wind in your sales, there is nothing you can’t do.


Do you think that sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we tend to hire the people we like or people we think could do multiple things as we do? Do you think you’re better off hiring a specialist that you are not good at? For example, I’m horrible at IT. I would hire somebody who talks like me, who is creative and all that which would be a real mistake in the IT world for my business. In IT, you want to have a system that works and that you can count on all the time. Do you think that’s one of the problems? You wrote a whole book about it, The Leveraged Business.

What do you think? Are we hiring people that are experts at specialties that we’re not good at? As an entrepreneur, you’re used to doing everything. We expect our employees to do half as much as we do. A lot of entrepreneurs tell me that. The reality is that most people who are going to do twenty things at the same time aren’t going to be working for anybody. They will be working for themselves.

Here’s a secret that I used to get to $1 million. I hope it’s helpful for the people who are here. I’ll talk about the four ways that I’ve discovered to hire the best people. When I started taking assessments early on being a business coach, I realized that I am a high idea generator who loves to start new things and entreprendre. I’m half French so I know this. Entreprendre means to initiate. Many of us entrepreneurs, 95% of us from my recollection, love to start new things but are not also wired to finish them.

The secret that I figured out is that I don’t have to change. I am who I am but I must surround myself with people who are wired to finish things, who are not coming up with sixteen fabulous ideas a day, but more who like to dot the I’s cross the T’s and are wired to follow through. The more you have people like that on your team, the more they can help you discern whether all those sixteen ideas are worth working on. They will basically take whatever you’re working on and make it happen. That’s one of the ways that you get there.

When you are looking to hire strategically, what I’ve discovered is you’re looking for four things. The first one is a skillset. Can that person do what you want them to do? The second is experience. Have they done this a lot before? Believe it or not, those two things are not always necessary. If you don’t have a lot of funds, you could hire some 23 years old from college as we did in the beginning, and you teach them the skillset. Eventually, they will have the experience. What is non-negotiable is the last two quadrants or elements, which the third one is wiring. Are they wired for the job? A lot of times, we hire a person to do coding, admin stuff and input, which is very dry. We also want them to pick up the phone and sell. You can’t do that. The wiring is strategic and so helpful. That is non-negotiable.

The fourth thing is culture fit. In my company, we are always improving above and beyond, positive and loving. We own it when we speak up. If somebody on my team is not positive and loving, they don’t own it, and they are just trying to clock in and out, they’re not going to fit with us. They’re not going to fit with our clients.


MDH 70 Fabienne | 6 To 7 Figures

6 To 7 Figures: When you are looking to hire strategically, what I’ve discovered is you’re looking for four things. The first one is skillset. The second is experience. The last two elements, which are wiring and then culture fit.


The culture fit is necessary. Once you’ve got at least the bottom two, which are the wiring and the culture fit. Ideally, you’ve got the skillset and the experience. That’s when with the right systems, you onboard and train them in a certain way that eventually, you let go and delegate safely and show them how to pay for themselves in the first 3 to 4 months. You can then move on knowing that you’ve got the right team you trust. They’re taking non-necessary things off your plate, and then you can go and scale the business.

That’s interesting. I love the word you used there. This is the sweet little sound to entrepreneurs, delegate safely. It’s like your other child when you give birth to your businesses especially those of you who are in that physical business and restaurant business. It’s those hours of grinding. Every single time you serve a meal, that’s your product and consistency going out there. When you delegate, it’s scary because your reputation, future and everything are on the line, especially the perfectionist. I happened to be one who used to be guilty of that.

I had let go a long time ago because my kids were sick a lot. I had to count on some people and let go. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. I love the title here, The Leveraged Business: How You Can Go from Overwhelmed at Six Figures to Seven Figures and Get Your Life Back. That’s what we all want. We want to be able to grow by working fewer hours with less resources because you’re much more efficient and you can scale upwards.

I’ve done the 8 and 9 figures. I can tell you that it’s much easier going from 7 to 8, and then the 8 to 9 almost happens on its own. My daughter is 30. She has a child. She started her own business pretty young realizing, “There was no way I could sustain this life.” Her child was born during COVID. She spent a lot of time at home and then she’s like, “Now I got to go back to work? What do I do?” What advice would you give to a younger you many years ago?

It all depends if the person already knows what business they would want to start. If the answer is no, one of the things that I have people look at is a four-question process that doesn’t need to take more than 30 minutes. An hour is ideal. It’s to answer the four ikigai questions, the reasons for being. The questions are these, “What do I love and what am I passionate about? What am I exceptionally good at, even if I take it for granted? What does the world need? How can I get paid?”

When you ask yourself these four questions, you receive a huge amount of clarity as to what you can do in the world in a way that has you passionate about using your skills so that it lands and it’s relevant to what the world needs according to why you’re here and how you can get paid. When you have those four things, it’s about giving yourself permission to start.


Leverage your team and systems.


The permission train isn’t coming, especially for young women. We’re waiting for people to give us permission. You give yourself permission and you go out there. Self-belief is a huge thing. I know you could say, “Self-belief? is that the secret?” I’ll tell you this. In my communities of women who are from all walks of life at all different levels of business, this feeling of inadequacy among women of, “I’m not good enough. I don’t know enough. I’m too much,” the self-belief changes everything. It’s about learning how to get to $10,000 a month and get to $1 million and more. It starts with that.

I completely agree with you on the whole self-belief thing. If you go into your first entrepreneurship business without fully believing in your business or yourself, and you don’t have a community like Fabienne’s community or you don’t have a mentor like her, what happens is you’re wondering, “Am I doing the right thing? Is this going to work?” You’re spending your time doing that. The first time something goes wrong, you’re going to give up.

That’s because our society and the school system are set up to create workers in factories. The minute you hit a bump in the road, your best friend, sister and even your spouse will say, “Maybe you’re not cut out for this. Maybe it’s time for you to get a real job.” What happens is you’re hearing all these toxic voices, which are creating toxic thinking in your own head. Society rewards the masculine, especially in business. You’ve got these little kids, and then you feel guilty all the time. When you’re working, you’re thinking about them. When you’re with the kids, you’re thinking about work.

There are so many toxic voices that have you question whether you are cut out for this. Get yourself in an intentional community, not an accidental community, meaning neighbors, people at the club or whatever. Forgive me, gentlemen, if you’re reading this. Many women benefit greatly from being in an intentional community with other women in business. Why? It’s because we are wired differently. We are wired to need to talk ideas through.

We don’t need everybody to fix us. We need the bonding chemical oxytocin. We need to feel elevated by other women, not women who will compete with us or try to tear us down. It’s a community where a rising tide lifts all ships. There is extreme generosity and encouragement, “If you can do it, I can do it. If I can do it, you can do it.” However cheesy this sounds, when you have hundreds of women blowing wind in your sails, there is nothing you can’t do.

It doesn’t sound cheesy at all. I’m old enough to have been born at a time of working women. Very few of them actually worked as an entrepreneur when I started my company in 1989. When I was working in corporate, women were often the people that would compete with you and compare. It’s time to stop competing and comparing and start to lift other women and collaborate.


MDH 70 Fabienne | 6 To 7 Figures

6 To 7 Figures: Women are wired differently. We are wired to need to talk ideas through. We don’t need everybody to fix us. We need the bonding, a chemical oxytocin. We need to feel elevated by other women.


Everything you said resonates with my own story. You talked about passion and purpose. I wrote a book called Million Dollar Passion. It’s about turning your passion and purpose into a dream business. One thing we didn’t get to talk about here is that Fabienne is a mother of three children. She has built this incredible business and community, and lifting thousands of other women with her children being a full-time mom. That’s the real jam. It is possible. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, and we both know a lot of other women who’ve done it. You can all do it now.

You have to take a deep breath, scale back a little bit, and figure out what you’re best at and what your passion is. We all do things we don’t want to do. I hate selling. I go on TV and sell. I hate being pushy. There are a lot of things that we don’t like doing. I have other people who do the selling for me. Figure out what you’re best at and what your passion is. Focus on that and delegate the rest. If you are scared of delegating or don’t know how, there’s a great book that Fabienne wrote, The Leveraged Business. I suggest that you check that out. Fabienne, how do people connect with you if they want to learn more about this fascinating subject?

One of the best ways to find out more and even get the book if this speaks to you is to go to Put your ear to your heart and then boldly go and do the thing. The book is free there. You just cover $2.95 in shipping. You can read hundreds and hundreds of stories of other women who have gone from being overwhelmed into creating businesses with little kids at home. I invite you to watch those videos and read those stories so that you can increase your own belief in yourself. If others do it, there’s no reason why you can’t put the same resources.

You can’t put a value on that. I’m sure anybody has done it. The road is not smooth. It’s full of landmines, sharp turns and some disappointments. It’s how you handle those. When you connect with other women who’ve been there, seen things and have experienced things that you can’t see now, there’s a lot of value in that. Unfortunately, when I started my business, I didn’t have mentors. We didn’t have online communities. There was no Facebook and internet. Microsoft was formed in ’89. That’s how far that goes. There was no community of online people that I could connect to or mentor.

I didn’t even know there was a mentorship program or anything like that. I went to USC and there were some mentorship programs, but they were in real estate or something. I design jewelry. Talk about having people tell you, “You need to get a real job. Let me tell you something.” I got that a lot. The best benefit of living nowadays if you’re a Millennial mom is having that online community and other people. The internet has opened a lot of doors, mindset and free books. It’s amazing. Take advantage of all of it.

As we close, I want to remind you, please stay happy and healthy. Happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices. If you have not subscribed to the show, please subscribe and share it with at least one person so we can amplify our voices and help more women out there. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to help other people succeed because, in my culture and family, you are not successful until you help other people succeed. I’m here paying my dues. Thank you so much for coming to the show, Fabienne.

Thank you, Victoria. Thanks, everybody.


Important Links


About Fabienne Fredrickson

MDH 70 Fabienne | 6 To 7 FiguresFabienne Fredrickson is a beloved mentor to thousands of women in business. As founder of The Leveraged Business program, Fabienne has reverse-engineered how she scaled her business to several million annually, while remaining powerfully feminine.

Her book, The Leveraged Business: How You Can Go From Overwhelmed at 6-Figures to 7-Figures (and Get Your Life Back) is the definitive roadmap showing women how to increase their income and impact with heart. Find her at

MDH 69 Corey | Ultimate Safety

MDH 69 Corey | Ultimate Safety


What are the top three things you need for ultimate safety? Victoria Wieck sits with Corey Jones, the Principal Owner of Safetyman Consulting. The first is awareness. If you’re going somewhere, make sure you know how to get there. Decide your parking place and figure out if it’s a safe place. The next one is avoidance. Avoid bad areas and bad behavior. Don’t walk around with your head bent on your phone. You can do that later in a safer place. Join the conversation to discover more valuable ways to avoid dangerous situations.

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


What You Need For Ultimate Safety With Corey Jones

This is a very different kind of episode and it has to do with your safety, which is what we’re talking about that’s important. I’ve got somebody who’s got an extraordinary background in this. My guest Corey Jones was with law enforcement for 25 years. Everything from SWAT team to community policing, supervising, internal affairs, you name it, he’s done everything.

He understands how every party feels, how things work like in the police department, how they should interact with communities and how we can all feel safe. He’s a very interesting person and as his way of paying back, he’s got a couple of community service-type things. He’s got a TV show hosted by RadioVision Network called Be Ready with Safetyman and The Corey Jones Show. He’s also got two different podcasts to help you understand how you can keep your family safe and also do your part in your community as well. Welcome to the show, Corey,

Thank you so much, Victoria. I appreciate you welcoming me on. Hopefully, we’ll have a great talk.

When I look at your resume and bio, it’s scary all the things you’ve gone through and done. We see words like lethal weapons and things like the SWAT team. Thank God I’ve not had to interact with one in an interactive situation but you have done everything from diffusing a little thing around the community to some of the most lethal events.

I’m looking forward to this conversation about how we can feel safe. That’s a vague word, meaning that some people have different tolerances. How can we keep our employees and businesses safe? What do you think is the biggest problem out there in your last years of experience? What do you think are the top three things that people should be aware of to keep themselves safe? Why is the word safety such an elusive word?

In the first word, you hit the nail right on the head. I was on the news, NBC local to Philadelphia, speaking about the rising carjackings. It’s happening in a lot of big cities across America starting in 2020. Even in 2022, there are still, unfortunately, setting records that no one’s proud of for the amount of carjacking, some of which are fatal.

My message to everybody who’s potentially involved in a carjacking is the three A’s. The first one would be Awareness. I’m going to pretend to you that I’m training a secret service agent and I’ve had some training with the secret service. Some dignitaries come to my town is that situational awareness. Whenever you see a secret service person, their head is on a swivel. They’re looking around.

That second A is going to be Avoidance. Let’s avoid bad areas and negative behavior. Let’s not be walking around in transitional spaces or that area from our office to our car or when we’re at a red light or a stop sign, when our head is buried in our cell phones, trying to update that Facebook or return that cell message that can wait for a safe place.

When you travel, do pre-operational surveillance.

The last A is going to be Action. We want to have a plan that we already talked about on what action is going to be. What am I going to surrender? Am I going to escape the X, get off the X and drive away quickly? Am I going to fight for the lives of the people that are in my car, including my own, my kids, my significant other or some other person that’s in the car? Those three A’s are the three things that I want everybody to take with them, man, woman, at home, at work, anyplace.

I didn’t think about it in this very analytical way. I’m a female business owner and have traveled 4 million miles on flights. I’ve been to countries where bombs were flying over. When you’re traveling, you don’t know those things are happening while you’re in the air. I remember I was flying into Abu Dhabi and unbeknownst to me, I took a flight from Hong Kong to Bahrain. That’s how I got to up Abu Dhabi.

There was a bombing by US Forces in Lebanon and it was all over the place. You don’t sometimes know the situation that you’re going to get into. When I travel and book my flight, as well as my hotels, I always go online to see how well it is lit. How far is it from the parking? Is it underground parking to the front door? I look at all the reviews to see. I’ll do what I can. When I get there and it’s late at night, I would go to the front desk and say, “I feel a little bit uncomfortable parking my car over there and walking by myself at midnight. Would it be okay if I left my car here?” Most of the hotels will let you do that.

With your idea of awareness, doing your research, avoiding potential problems, being aware of that and avoiding all the things you could do ahead of time, bad things could still happen to you but you got to do your part. The part I don’t understand is action. How do you know when you surrender or fight? That’s fearful if you think about somebody coming after you and they’ve got a weapon or I’m looking at somebody a lot larger than me who’s got bad intentions. How do you know if you’re safer to surrender or you’re better off trying to fight for something? If you do fight, what do you fight with?

I want to commend you first off. You’re teaching my class for me that I teach people when I go places. It’s fantastic that when you travel, you do some pre-operational surveillance and that situational awareness. You know where you’re going to be, how to get from the airport to your hotel or your place of work and where you’re going to park. You found something that made you feel unsafe, so you want to avoid that. You then took action by going and speaking to the front desk to get your car parked in a safer place so you could do that. Secondarily, you can have somebody walk you to your car or watch you walk to your car to make sure you’re safe.

To your specific question of how do you know what action to take, you want to know what your skill level and line are. Everybody has a line of what they’re going to allow somebody to do to them before they decide to fight. If you’re by yourself, that line may be one place. If you’re with a significant other, that line may be another place. If you’re with children, that line maybe even in third place.

You have to come to terms personally with yourself like, “If I take action, I’m going to fight 100%.” I recommend that everybody go to a few self-defense classes. In most areas, there are self-defense classes that are offered where it’s women-only, so you don’t have to have that awkwardness of having a hot, sweaty male that you never met laying on top of you. It’s that exposure of what that feels like, some of the techniques that are going to tell you how to defeat a hair pull, a wrist grab, a purse grab and so forth.

I teach my clients to try to surrender verbally. Put your hands in a neutral but protective position. “I’m going to cooperate and give you what you want. Do you want my wallet or purse? Here it is.” Throw it far away. If they go after the money, the purse, the cell phone or the item, the watch, the jewelry that you threw, you run the other way. If they’re chasing you, it’s no longer a property comp crime. It becomes a personal crime. We’re going to have to fight. Attack the eyes through the groin and eliminate the ability to see, breathe and stand.

MDH 69 Corey | Ultimate Safety

Ultimate Safety: The mission is to make people feel safe with the police and to make the police better.


Follow what Corey is saying. Also, I want to say that before you even do that, check out his two podcasts. One is called Safetyman Consulting Podcast and the other one is called Safetyman Podcast. I’ll tell you why this is important. Safety is a continuum thing. You can never be safe enough. For example, I was robbed here at my home. I live in an incredibly safe area. If you look at the safety rating by the government, it’s the number 2 or 3 safest place in the United States. That’s why I came here. Most of my neighbors don’t even lock their doors. It’s pretty rural where I live, so it’s hard for people to get out of here.

I’ve lived here since 2004 and felt safe but I’ve got a husband who’s a real paranoid person when it comes to his family’s safety. We have security cameras and an alarm system that is a motion detector. We have community policing here. We have a very active patrol service. The headquarters for that is two minutes flat from my home. You would think that you feel safe and I felt pretty safe but he would always lock all the doors and turn the alarm when we leave. We did that day.

My mother-in-law had passed away and all of us were out. We had a remodel going on, so we’re still trying to figure out who’s who here but when the motion detector company called and told us there’s a security breach and we got an alarm that went off, we were on the block. Our house is on a street that only runs one block.

It was pitch-black about 9:00 at night. I told the guy that it was probably a false alarm because the motion detector was set pretty high and we were on our block. I said, “Let’s go back home and see what’s there.” Our home has a private gate. It opens slowly, so if somebody is driving away, you could see it because I’m on this block here.

When I got home, I still didn’t see anything. The gate was closed. The gate picks a full 45 seconds or so to open and then it’s a long driveway. What happened was we entered the house. My dog is going crazy and it looks like the people who robbed our house were still in the backyard. I didn’t know it at the time. The community police had already gotten here because my neighbors had already called them and everything was going off. We all got here at the same time, within two minutes.

The sheriff’s department, as well as the patrol, said that the robbers know that once the alarm goes off, they have a full two minutes before they have to get out. When the alarm goes off, they first called the landline and then the cell phone line. It takes anybody two minutes to get there. They know that they have somewhere between 2 to 5 minutes while they have to get out and they took exactly 3 minutes to get out. They were probably still in the backyard because of the way that my dog was behaving.

The only thing I can say is I took all the precautions but my feeling right at that time was, “Are they still in the house?” Secondly, I’m glad that they didn’t come after us with bodily harm. What I’m saying is that if you feel like you’re safe because you live in a safe area and crime is not a huge concern, it could hit you from everywhere. You should probably listen to a podcast and a radio show. It’s free. Safety is real. It only takes one incident.

The good news about this is my house is almost all glass, a very California home. It’s all tempered-proof glass, so they had to take it with a crowbar and take the glass piece by piece to be able to put their hand through. They left some blood drops, so we’re able to get the DNA. I don’t know what’s going to happen. They told us that we were the eighth home that they hit in this area. They were very quick.

Go to a few self-defense classes and learn techniques.

All the areas they hit were super safe and it just took them two minutes to escape. There was one woman that was raped about 4 miles down the street. I feel glad that they didn’t kill us or take us hostage. Who knows what they would do if you entered the home right there? Safety is something you take very seriously.

Some people are scared when they see policemen and some feel like they’re very safe that the policemen are there. I have mixed feelings about that. What do you think the origin of that is? Do we reach out to the neighborhood police stations and see if they can come and talk to us? How does that work in terms of the community versus the law enforcement that’s around us that’s supposed to help you?

As a retired police officer, I’m tired of going to parties and people finding out that I used to be a police officer and I still sometimes engage in training law enforcement officers that they give me a bad story. They had this interaction that they considered negative with a law enforcement officer. One of my life’s missions is not only to make people safe but to make people feel safe with the police and make the police better.

Let’s be honest. In law enforcement, we had some rough edges and some things that we had to fix and have to fix. One of the things I teach law enforcement officers is Verbal Judo, verbal de-escalation and treating people with dignity and respect. I can come up to you and say, “Give me your license.” I also can say, “I’m Corey Jones from your local police department. The reason I’m talking to you is we had a report of a suspicious person in this yard. Are you allowed to be here? Is everything okay?” That sounds much better. I can get a better result as a law enforcement officer doing that way.

I want you and your readers to know that law enforcement officers across the country are focusing on verbal de-escalation and treating people with dignity and respect. What I would tell citizens to do to answer your question is you can have an officer from the community policing division or their public affairs division come to a local meeting that you have, whether it be a neighborhood watch, a community meeting that you had or community event.

If you’re having a barbecue, they’ll come out and play with the kids. They’ll answer all the questions that you have about how many officers are working, what their crime rate is, their response time is, help ease those concerns and show that positive image that we’re trying to do. In my career, I’ve trained with law enforcement agencies from the federal state, local and county from the East Coast to the West Coast and some from outside of this country.

The vast, overwhelming majority high, 98% of them were professional people that I would trust coming into my house to rescue my wife and kids if I were traveling abroad. There are those bad apples that, unfortunately, the ones that get plastered all over the media. What do we do as citizens? We see that and think that all the rest of them are the same way. They’re not. I was in internal affairs and if somebody did something wrong, we could either handle it with additional training, have minor discipline, major discipline or fire that person. I’ve been involved in all of those things.

I am apt to tell you a funny story. I was flying for years and years. I was doing my show on the Home Shopping Network for many years. The first few times I flew into Tampa, I didn’t know the lay of the land and they didn’t have the GPS like they used to have after, so you had those little maps. I’m a very dyslexic person. I’m not very good at directions. When somebody says Northeast, I don’t even know if that’s a left turn or right turn.

MDH 69 Corey | Ultimate Safety

Ultimate Safety: The vast majority of the police officers don’t have crystal balls.


I was driving and see these flashing lights. I pull over on a bridge. It’s not an off-ramp or anything. It’s one of those bridges that go a few miles. Two policemen come out. He was trying to say something to me. I watched a lot of those crime shows on snapped. It’s so bizarre. People can kill somebody. I’m addicted to the show.

I watched a true California story. There’s a sheriff officer that was assaulted and in prison at this point. It was very fresh on my mind. When the officer that stopped me walked over, I lowered the window so that I could speak to him. I asked him if I could take a picture of his badge. I called in his badge number, not to his police station but to my husband and everybody like, “I’m in Tampa Stopover.” I looked out for him.

He said, “Your taillights aren’t working,” or something. I can’t remember what it was. It was something minor. I said to him, “It’s a rental car. I didn’t know that. I’m lost. I might have been weaving a little bit. I’m not sure because I’m reading this map.” He said, “No problem.” He asked me for my driver’s license, so I went ahead and gave it to him.

These two officers escorted me to my destination, which was a few miles. They were very pleasant. With my robbery here, I freaked out. We were coming back from the viewing of my mother-in-law, who had passed away a few days before. We didn’t even know what to think because that was the last thing that we were going to deal with that day.

The officers were very calm and asked me to step outside because it was not safe. They went through the whole house, the backyard, the front yard, the neighbor’s yard and all this stuff. He also told us that there are some security issues. If I wanted to feel very safe, they’re going to go ahead and make some recommendations. We had security cameras but they weren’t pointed at the right places like the entry points and things like that.

They gave us a whole recommendation and walked through room by room. For example, I have those motion-detected flashing lights, so it shocks people. It’s hardwired. They were very nice. Sometimes I’m stopped over for something and an officer might say something like, “Do you want to step outside?” I’m like, “What did I do wrong?” They don’t want to talk to you. They treat you like you are drinking or something. I don’t even drink.

A lot of that has to do with your background. People’s minds go to the worst experience they ever had and the worst thing that could happen. Safety is something that we have to take very seriously because we don’t have any control over that. Secondly, if you’re going to be safe, you’re going to need officers to help you. They’re the ones you can call when you’re in trouble.

If you’re potentially stopped by someone and you’re not sure if it’s a real police officer, I have a podcast episode that deals exactly with that and what you’re supposed to do. The main thing is to turn on your four-way flashers, reduce your speed to the speed limit, pull over to the right but not over if you’re unsafe and call 911, which is everywhere in the United States.

Verify if, in fact, the one stopping you is a legitimate police officer.

If you have an idea of where you are, the 911 operator will be able to locate that police officer attempting to stop you and verify if it is a legitimate police officer. That little bit of time that you took with your four-ways on is not going to make that police officer any more upset because that 911 operator is also going to communicate with that police officer like, “Your motorist was trying to verify because they were scared.” That is well within the law as long as you’re not committing any additional motor vehicle violations when you do that. I talk about some other things in the podcast too.

I want to congratulate you because you told two positive stories. Even if you’re doing it subconsciously, you’re balancing them against some of the negative experiences in the stories you had and giving officers a chance to do the right thing. Two of those stories that you told me were right out of the playbook of how I would train my officers, the one on the car stop, finding out who you are, identifying you, making sure you’re not a criminal or wanted and then helping you to your destination safely. The second one is getting you out of the danger zone of your house that was recently burglarized and would still be occupied by dangerous, desperate armed people and clear that for you.

Going so far to give you some tips and techniques to make your house safer and prevent that type of situation or worse, like some assault, from happening later. They were right out of the playbooks. I want everybody reading to understand that the vast majority of the police officers don’t have crystal balls. We don’t know what we’re going to show up to. We know a dispatch tells us but it’s often inaccurate because that’s based on a 911 call from an upset person. We have to handle everybody as a potential suspect. My job is to be able to teach officers how to handle a person as a potential suspect while still treating them with dignity and respect.

With the sheriff officers that came here, I’m able to call the detective. He usually returns my call. I thought he’d be so busy because he got murderers to deal with. I just got the robbery thing going, so I feel a little guilty when I do the follow-up calls. I’m not interested in getting my things back. I’m just interested in making sure that person doesn’t go out and do any more harm. The other biggest fear is what if they come back because they didn’t get all they wanted? We didn’t come back at five minutes. We came back within a minute when we got there.

I love the idea of having some collaboration with your live watchman officers, whether they’re sheriffs, the police or community policing. It’s hard if they freaked out that you may be the suspect, the suspect might be there trying to hurt them and then the victims freaked out as well. Wouldn’t you say that over-communicating and having a little bit more tolerance and giving everybody a little bit more benefit of the doubt might help a lot of the situations that we don’t have to face unnecessarily?

The collaboration between law enforcement and community, we touched on that already by inviting your law enforcement officers to your business, residence or if you’re having a block party or something like that, you got to lure them with donuts and coffee though, just haven’t been a cop or something exciting for them like if you want to get kids to come, you got to have candy. If you want to get guys to come at someplace, you got to have beers.

Have them come through your business and check their business out so the first time they’re there on your block, it’s not during an emergency. Transition that to all your neighbors working together.

When you responded to the incident at your home, your neighbors were there also and called because they heard the loud audible sirens, which is good. Have that plan in place where everybody’s looking out for each other. They’re reporting suspicious vehicles immediately to the police department. Having that local two-minute response time, use that to your advantage.

MDH 69 Corey | Ultimate Safety

Ultimate Safety: My job is to be able to teach officers how to handle a person as a potential suspect while still treating them with dignity and respect.


We want to scare those bad guys away. We want them to know that when they’re out there pre-planning and doing as we did, which is the situational awareness, they’re doing that pre-operational surveillance. We want them to get caught and see that they’re not going to be able to get away with this in the fashion that they wanted to.

Everything that you said makes complete sense in many ways. They are things that we don’t think about because crime is something you don’t think about until it happens to most people. Luckily for me, I was in the jewelry business, so we were always targets. I went through a lot of safety training and that kind of stuff. I wanted to commend you for everything you’ve done and all the service that you’ve given to your community and this country. Also, what you’re doing is educating all of us on how to keep you feeling safe.

That’s the other thing too. Being safe is one thing but also feel safe enough where you can function at your maximum. I loved that. Also, all the things that you can do to preemptively prevent some of those things that could happen or going back to your three A’s, being aware, avoiding and also taking action. For those of you who are interested in more safety, I can’t stress enough to you how important that is to follow someone like Corey, who’s been there for a long time to prevent anything like what had happened to me.

Luckily, the only thing that happened to me was they took a bunch of jewelry. I designed jewelry, so it’s not all that devastating to me per se but it was an eye awakening experience and a shakeup moment for me as well. Corey, I’ll have you tell where people can listen to you, how they connect with you and how they could also get you to speak at their events nationwide, virtually or in person.

Thank you for that and those words of confidence. They can go to my website, which is They can have me come out. I can teach verbal de-escalation, crisis management and active shooter preparation. I can come out and speak specifically to women business leaders and teach them different things that they want to do to prepare themselves for internal or external problems to help with the “#MeToo Movement,” all different types of things and how they can report that.

They can look at my podcast channel, which is Safetyman Podcast or Safetyman Consulting and then my YouTube channel, which is Safetyman Consulting. Everything that’s on the podcast channels is also on the YouTube channel. If you like my smiling face, you can watch it on YouTube. If you want to listen to it on your ride home, you can go right to the podcasts. I update them weekly. You’ll find that the common theme is making those preparations and plans, communicating those plans of who you’re with and then making those plans happen or taking action if something does kick-off.

Thank you so much for coming in, sharing your expertise and time with us and also all the places that we can connect with you. Those are all free channels. It’s just an investment of a little bit of time for you to get super aware of what’s going on. Until next time. I wish you safety and happiness. Remember, happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices. Thank you.

Thank you, Victoria. Stay safe.


Important Links


About Corey Jones

MDH 69 Corey | Ultimate SafetyI served 25 years with the Mt. Laurel Police Department (NJ) beginning in 1993. During that time, I served fifteen years with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, ultimately becoming the leader for the Burlington County Regional SWAT team. I am trained as an instructor in all lethal and less lethal weapon platforms as well as verbal de-escalation.

In 2000, I was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. As a Sergeant, I was tasked with conducting routine and advanced training, public information, community policing, supervisory duties, internal affairs investigations, quality control and operating as the incident commander for critical events. I served as a shift commander and retired in September 2018 at the rank of Sergeant. I oversaw more than one thousand arrests and numerous critical, life-threatening incidents.

With Safetyman Consulting I specialize in four critical services stemming from Safety, Security and Survival. I am the consultant for several multi-billion-dollar companies including Annie Mac, Jefferson Healthcare and Royal Farms.

1) I provide critical instruction to all levels of employees and management. I teach Tactical Communications through the Verbal Judo Institute. I stress conflict avoidance strategies. The goal of this instruction is to increase safety and enhance professionalism.

2) I train private citizens, security guards and professional law enforcement officers on how to properly deploy firearms and Tasers.

3) I train businesses, schools, houses of worship and daycare centers in readiness response. Specifically, I instruct active shooter prevention, training and recovery.

4) I train 1st Responder agencies in Incident Command and Crisis Management.

In an effort to give back to the community, I conduct speaking engagements with youth on how they can survive an encounter with police while protecting both their lives and their rights.

I have weekly, online TV Shows hosted by Radio Vision Network ( ) called “Be Ready with Safetyman” and “The Corey Jones Show”. I have a two weekly podcasts on all major podcast sites called “Safetyman Consulting” and “Safetyman Podcast” where I provide safety and readiness information.

My goal is to leverage my training and experience for your organization. I plan to deliver current industry-standard content which is geared to build a culture of safety, resilience, readiness and professionalism in the face of unexpected adversity.

MDH 68 | Personal Brand

MDH 68 | Personal Brand


Understanding the target audience is fundamental to our success. How do we do that? We have to learn how to build a personal brand that is authentic and memorable! Join your host Victoria Wieck as she sits down for a conversation with Mary Henderson about creating your own personal brand. Mary is a heart-centered, compassionate, and tenacious entrepreneur who thrives on human transformation and witnessing people fulfill their dreams. She discusses the key concepts of developing an unstoppable brand that can solve people’s problems. As an entrepreneur, we want to find a unique way to understand what people are looking for and not just aim for fame.

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


Be Unstoppable: How To Create An Authentic Personal Branding With Mary Henderson

We talked about the terminology, personal branding, how important it is that you become likable and become a part of your brand, and how that brand has been exemplified in everything that you do, starting from your heart. It’s a topic we never stop thinking about. We can always grow into this. I have an amazing guest and her name is Mary Henderson. She’s been doing this for quite a while with tens of thousands of hours she has personally put into finding her own unique way of helping you build your personal brand. Mary, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me.

You have a background that’s very similar to a lot of our audience, especially female entrepreneurs. We don’t wake up one morning and say, “I was born to be a female entrepreneur.” I’m pretty sure there are some people like that. In your case, you grew up and did all the things that most people do. You get a job, climb the corporate ladder and all those things, then your kids come, and then that whole wake-up moment happens.

That happened to me. After my first child was born, I was thinking to myself, “I can’t sustain this life. I can’t be giving 150% of my life, my time and my effort to my job, my boss and my clients, and then come home exhausted while a nanny or someone else is taking care of my children. What’s the purpose of my life here?” I went through that whole epiphany at one point. That’s how I got into the entrepreneurship space. I know you did too. You went ahead and started your own company, then you sold it and you started doing something else. Can you tell us a little bit about what happened, a quick bio or an overview of what event shaped your life and how that led to what you’re doing now?

In the year 2000, I was climbing at the height of my corporate career. I was in the IT sector, which I loved. On the first day of this new job, my boss said, “I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is you’ve got this amazing opportunity. The bad news is you’ve got twelve weeks to fix the problem.” I’m thinking to myself, “I wish they could have told me that in the interview,” but I’m up for a challenge.

I had the interview. I had my very first meeting with the client and there was a whole room of people that I was there to meet, but the person who was meant to be the decision-maker didn’t show up to the meeting. The meeting was more or less null and void because they had already decided as an organization that they were going to move their business from our company.

This is a declining $8 million business per year at this point. As I leave this meeting and I’m heading into the lift, there was this woman in the lift. I’m wearing my red snakeskin boots. I could feel the daggers on my back and this person was checking me out up and down. She turns around and says, “I have to have those red boots.” I looked at her and intuitively, I knew it was the person that was supposed to be in that meeting that didn’t show up.

I turned around and said, “Is your name such and such?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “You were supposed to be in my meeting but you didn’t show up.” She said, “That’s because we are pulling all of our business away from you. No one in your company has been able to solve this problem and we’re done.” I said, “Are you going downstairs to have lunch?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Please let me buy you a coffee. Maybe other people haven’t been able to solve the problem but I truly believe I can.” I had no idea what I was saying, by the way.

Strive to be the person that every IT company wants.

We sit down for five minutes and she looked at me. She goes, “Tell me what you want.” I said, “I want you to give me twelve weeks with your operations team. I need to understand your system. Once I understand the system, I can solve the problem.” She said, “I’ll give you twelve weeks. You can come and sit here for twelve weeks and figure out what the problem is. On the 12th week, if the problem is not solved, you guys are out.” I said, “I promise you, I will solve it.”

I’m sharing that story because that was a sliding door moment for me. When I left that meeting and as I was crossing the road, I paused for a moment and said to myself, “I’m either going to screw this up or I’m going to build a brand around Mary.” That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to command my own demand in the industry and be the person that every IT company wants. I have an opportunity of a lifetime to fix this complex problem.

To cut the long story short, I solve the problem. I built that business from $8 million to $22 million in eighteen months with double-digit margins which in IT, that’s unheard of. I started getting job offers from all other vendors, not just in Australia but internationally. The next job I was offered was by an American company. I was there for four years. I built that business from $4 million to $54 million in 48 months. I had a massive sales team. It was at that moment that I realized I’ve got an opportunity here to turn these salespeople into brands or I can leave them as job descriptions. That’s what everyone else does.

I was there on a mission. I knew how to build brands because I built my own. I knew that it was a different approach to just showing up as a job description. That happened, and then in 2005, I decided to leave the corporate sector. I was traveling a lot and my body was done. I started my own business which was a web-based software company. I can see that there was a major opportunity and a niche in the academic sector so I went after that niche. We built software for that sector.

In 2011, my second son was born and that was the moment where my whole life collapsed. I had this child and three hours after, I had the most incredible epiphany. My business card fell out of my purse as I was reaching out to get some lip balm. I picked up this business card and I’m thinking, “My whole life has been a label.” Everything about me has been a label, mother, daughter, boss and MD.

I knew at that moment that I would resign from my own company. I resigned from the company that I had built from the ground up that I had for seven years, turning over seven figures per year. In January of 2012, I merged that business with a design agency. I took a twelve-month sabbatical to find out what am I going to do for the rest of my life.

In that twelve-month process, I had two incredible mentors. One, in particular, was a professor in Philosophy who would be the person that would change the trajectory of my life and make me understand. In that twelve-month period, I unpacked Mary, my knowledge, my wisdom, my skills, my gifts, my talents, and I made sense of it all.

Coming from a tech background and loving systems and Excel spreadsheets, as I was unpacking this version of Mary that I didn’t think had any currency, suddenly, I could see the passion and I could see that I could solve some complex problems. If I could merge those two together and design a system, I can go out into the world and serve people who I can help. That’s where I’m at now.

MDH 68 | Personal Brand

Personal Brand: We’ve never been taught to view our professional and our personal experience in the form of currency.


Let me dive right into the brand. You mentioned the word Mary is a brand, and I agree with you. Without a personal brand in a small entrepreneur space, it’s tough to make it. You can have a business where you can make more money and more revenues than costs, but you’re never going to build a scalable business unless you have a brand. Either the business is a brand or you are a brand or hopefully, they align with one another. In your opinion, what are some of the key essential factors that make a brand?

The first thing we need to look at is at the center of personal branding is you, the business. It’s the human being. We need to understand what that “you” looks like in its authentic state of being. To do that, we need to understand some fundamental attributes. We need to understand what the identity is of that natural state of being. What does it look like? What does it sound like? How do we want the outside world to perceive that person? We need to understand our core values. We need to understand what our core story is. All of those attributes convert to us being believable and trustable. That’s what we’re looking for.

The other element is, “What problem can I solve that makes me believable and trustable?” What I see a lot of people doing is going and chasing a niche or chasing an industry because they’ve been told to do that. That’s the worst-case scenario because it’s only a short-lived experience. When you can solve a problem based on your knowledge, your wisdom and your skillset, there’s a currency right there. That is another form of currency outside of dollars in your bank.

We’ve never been taught to view our professional and our personal experience in the form of currency. Think about it. It never depreciates. It’s always with you. Whereas dollars depreciate and you could lose it. We need to give that currency a whole new meaning. The other part of your brand is, “Who are we talking to?” Understanding the target audience is fundamental to our success. These three critical pillars are the core to developing an unstoppable and memorable brand.

I have to disagree with you on one thing, which is dollars depreciate. I say that for a lot of small entrepreneurs. If you are not careful, you can depreciate your personal branding as well if you do things that are contrary to your stated core values and your stated mission. One of the things that I see a lot with small entrepreneurs is that they get what you were saying, all the three points that you made.

The end goal is that people will only buy you, your services or whatever that you have to offer if they trust you and respect you. We want to attain some level of respect and trustworthiness from the digital space. They come to your website and they haven’t met you in person. They don’t know you. They are making judgments by a few clicks they’re making.

A lot of entrepreneurs will try to look bigger than they are. They will try to look more professional than they are. They will try to do all these things on their website that don’t jive with who they are. If I meet you in person, I might go, “That Mary is so smart, professional and on top of it. She’s down to earth. She’s a mother of two kids. I get her story and I want to give her a try.”

I’m not saying you particularly, but a lot of times, you go to Mary’s website and they don’t know you and the juicy part of you that makes you trustworthy is omitted. There’s a lot of space out there for somebody to cash in on teaching small entrepreneurs how a whole lot of themselves, including their vulnerabilities, are all translated into everything they do in the digital space.

At the center of personal branding is you.

This is why consistency and congruency are critical. I would never work with an individual that hasn’t accumulated at least 10,000 hours in their specialization because so many people are chasing fame. This is the biggest problem. A lot of those people come to me. They are the people that want to be famous for being famous. I can’t work with those people because the people that I work with are already running their brick-and-mortar businesses. They have PhDs and Masters. They have been in corporate.

These are people that have got a lot of information stored as a currency inside of them. That currency needs to be organized, not just organized in the problem that they can solve, but also in how they want the outside world to perceive them. If I’m coming on this show and you’re asking me a question on personal branding, I’ve come face to face with personal branding for many years. I’ve converted what I started to know that has become my vocation into an actual system. That’s lots and lots of years of trial and tribulation, lots of practice and lots of people that I’ve tried it on.

The congruency and the consistency are what create the believability and trustability factor, but also the authenticity. I don’t want to be anyone else. I want to be myself, including my vulnerabilities and the knowledge and skillset that I want to share with people. The other thing and the most important thing out of all of these, the ones that are genuinely creating their brand essence are the ones also that have the capacity to also create ecstatic brand experiences for paying clients and for prospects.

This is the biggest gap that I see in a lot of people who are going down this path of creating supposedly a personal brand. What they’re thinking is, “I want to be famous.” There’s a very clear line between those and the ones that genuinely are wanting to package all of their genius because they know they can solve a complex problem. They know that they can serve an audience. They’re on a mission to solve a problem for that target audience. It’s a very different mindset.

It’s interesting because a lot of coaches out there have never run a business. When you are about to lose a customer or build something for a client, sometimes they work great. You go from $5 million to $54 million in so many months. There are others that you don’t do all that well, but there is a learning experience with every one of those, even the ones that went right. Even the $5 million to $50 million that you do and you’re thinking, “If I could have only done this one thing, it could have been a $500 million business.”

I think coaches were never coached but they learned all the buzzwords. They learned how to teach. They just don’t have that authenticity or the core DNA. There are so many amazing people out there that are serving and adding value to their clients. They are so busy and exhausted from working so many hours that they don’t even realize what they need to digitize and monetize their businesses. They enjoy doing what they’re doing. Every day is like a school day.

For someone like yourself, a client comes to you and you can look at them and see how they talk, what their desires are, who their target audience is, and whether or not their mission is aligned with what they’re doing. Also, if they truly have the desire to build a true personal brand. You don’t have to have fame in the end. I have a personal brand. I’ve sold over ten million pieces of jewelry just here in America. Even in the US, I’m not a mainstream everyday celebrity but within my audience, my name is the most googled name in the jewelry industry. Building a personal brand that turns into a currency that you can trade and make money off of takes time. It takes knowledge and hard work.

If you want to dip your toes into this, Mary has a free program in She can quickly diagnose you. That’s an amazing service for anybody. It’s free and you get the expertise of somebody who has been through a lot of clients who are lost. You may even be sitting on some amazing wisdom, knowledge, skills and experience that could be packaged into a coaching program. I do a lot of speeches and I do a lot of pro bono work. I work with a lot of people that are sitting on an amazing gold mine of experiences that should be monetized.

MDH 68 | Personal Brand

Personal Brand: The ones that are genuinely creating their brand essence are also the ones that can create ecstatic brand experiences for paying clients and prospects.


A lot of people are in that position which is incredible.

Mary, if you were to give a younger Mary Henderson some advice on how you should go about charting your future, what would that be?

I’m quite a deep person, so I’ve spent a lot of time in reflection, stepping into the shadow of my vulnerabilities and things that we all downloaded as children. The belief systems that were never ours, to begin with. For me, doing that work, whilst it’s quite confronting and difficult to make sense of your past, you have to go there in order to see the other side of the coin. Everything has a duality.

What I’ve come to realize is the embodiment of every aspect of who I am. It’s not just the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s also the pain, the disappointments, the sadness and the trauma. All of that needs to be embodied. I’ve enjoyed that process because it’s in that space where I have found possibilities, ideas and creativities. I also found the true person of who I am.

Knowing what I know now, I would go back to my younger self and say, “It’s going to be okay. Trust the process.” That’s a very important word for me, trusting that process and having a deep relationship with my spirituality and what that means to me. That whole trust process has been a very big part of my journey. When you go through that process, yes, you’ve learned knowledge and skills and you’ve all turned it into wisdom, but then there’s the underlying thing. What lies beneath the surface of the skin?

Our 70 trillion cells are carrying memories that are converting into our behavior and our state of being. That’s where I want to go. I want to give all of that a whole new meaning. While it’s been difficult, it’s been an amazing journey. I’ve been able to embody all of the aspects that make up Mary and become the best version of myself, which is how I feel now.

What you said is so profound. In America, if you ask our children or teenage kids to define the word success, there’s going to be some form of money, fame or both in there. What you are saying is that there’s so much more. Each of us has different journeys. You took a year off to reflect upon yourself and look at how to live a happy purposeful life.

There are some coaches that will tell you, “I can turn your business from $2 million to $3 million tomorrow morning.” You can do that but at what cost? Are you going to stop seeing your family? Are you going to stop being a parent? Are you going to be turning into a psycho that nobody understands? I’m taking that as an extreme, but that’s different than someone like you, Mary, sitting down with someone and saying, “How do you envision your life five years from now? How do you want to live your life? If you want to live your life where you’re spending 50% of your time with your family and you want to monetize your business, this is how you’re going to get there.”

We have to stop thinking that we have to get to the destination as soon as possible because then we miss all the teachings and the wisdom.

It’s understanding the total need, not just the monetary and the business aspect. We all want to be successful in business so that we could be free to spend time the way we want to spend it. A lot of times people are chasing the things that do not lead to a purposeful life. Don’t get me wrong, but some people don’t know and have never taken the time to reflect on it and say, “What’s the purpose of my life here?”

It’s a work in progress. Where I was in 2012, fast forward to now, I’m still a work in progress. I’ve embraced that because I don’t think we ever stopped learning. For me, a very important word is order because I need order in my life. We don’t understand the power of being still and making sure that our household, our business, our relationships and the clients that we have. When I have order in my life, I’m attracting order as well. I see a lot of people define success as dollars in the bank account. They’re chasing something outside. They are chasing this thing called dollars. Making money is the effect of my cause. I’ve completely flipped it.

I don’t wake up in the morning like, “I’m going to manifest $100,000.” I don’t do that. I’m very systemized and ordered. I am in a position where I can choose who I want to work with. The reason I do that is that I’m passionate and clear on who I want as part of my tribe. I don’t want toxicity and craziness. I want to be able to work with people that I can show up with that I’m all in. I’m showing up 100% of the time. The positive side of that is that I’m available.

That’s very important to me in my business because if I’m available and my clients can trust me, from the bottom of their hearts, not only do they become my brand advocates, which converts into referral business, but also that’s the brand that I want to be known for. I don’t want to be known as a quick-fix brand or somebody that makes false promises. I want to be the brand that people say, “I trust her. Anything I need, she’s there for me.”

I had a weird sleep and I reached out to get my phone. One of my clients messaged me and said, “I need to run something by you.” She’s got some issues. I’m like, “Of course.” I didn’t wake up there and then, but I said, “Let me wake up in the morning. I’ll send you some time. It’s a done deal.” If you want to build a brand around being memorable and creating a brand signature, we have to understand right from the outset, “What does that look like?”

The effect of a brilliant brand is the opportunities, the dollars, and the abundance that follows that. A lot of people have flicked it. They have got it the wrong way around. Even in my methodology, we start with personal branding, but the effect is a lead generation strategy. The dollar is the last thing because it’s easy to make money when you have the system in place.

You and I have a lot of things in common. I’ve been a mentor in a lot of different programs for both the schools I’ve gone to, UCLA and USC. I do a lot of mentoring programs for women’s networking and small businesses. If somebody does not believe your personal brand and how you serve others, and they just want to chase the dollars, you cannot ever convert until they change their thinking paradigm.

This has been a delightful conversation. I agree with so many things. I built my brand with no money and all I had to sell was myself and my brand. I didn’t even know I was building a brand, but working my rear end off and always being the first person to offer a solution and never criticizing anybody else. I don’t even have time for that. I ended up building a brand for many years.

MDH 68 | Personal Brand

Personal Brand: The effect of a brilliant brand is the opportunities, the dollars, and the abundance that follows that.


I’m glad that you came on this show and explained how building a brand is not something you can teach somebody overnight. It’s not fancy advertising that you’re going to spend on Facebook. It takes a lot of work understanding yourself and how you can easily then align yourself with your target audience who understand you. It’s a journey. The journey itself of discovering the solution, who you are, what works and what didn’t work is the most beautiful part of what we do. I hope I never have to get off this journey.

That’s what I say to people, “You’re either the tortoise or the hare in the race.” I want to be the tortoise. I want to stop, absorb, listen, smell the roses and then move along. That’s what the journey is about. It’s all about the good, the bad and the ugly. We have to stop thinking that we got to get to the destination as soon as possible because then we miss all the teachings and the wisdom. That’s what I crave.

I’ve got a very loyal audience taking in every word of my guests. If you’re working at some company and you have yet to become an entrepreneur, but you always think, “I should,” and you’re running around with 50 ideas. Every time you have a bad meeting, a bad day or you lose a client, you’re thinking, “I should have.” Think about it this way. Sometimes what you think is the safest thing is the riskiest thing. There’s nothing worse than at age 55, you get laid off because no one is going to want to hire you. There’s age discrimination. There’s discrimination in everything going on.

Age discrimination is real. It seems to be an epidemic. I know so many people who are in their 50s getting laid off, downsized and being moved. When that happens, I would hate to see you freak out and panic. If you’ve worked for somebody as the senior vice president, CFO or head of sales for some company, you’re sitting on 1,000 hours, 10,000 hours, 20,000 hours, 30,000 hours or 50,000 hours of knowledge, compassion and know-how.

You may think, “No one is going to pay for it.” Let me tell you something. You probably can package, systemize, and digitize what you know. Even as a side hustle, you could generate some income from what you know. What you know is authentic. What you’re sharing is authentic. Real knowledge is not some textbook theory.

That’s the key.

It turns into the transformation of somebody else who can benefit from what you’ve gone through. You’ve got a lot of young Millennials who are 35-years-old starting a business. Can you imagine if you’re 50 years old and you’ve gone through all of that process already? You are being reasonable about that. Check out and what she has to offer. I wish you all the best. Mary, how do people get ahold of you other than the website?

Feel free to email me at You can connect with me on Facebook, which is Mary Henderson Coaching. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn at Mary Henderson Coaching with a pink circle around my face, and my website,

Thank you for coming to my show and sharing your knowledge and expertise. For the audience, thank you for tuning in to this episode. If you haven’t shared the episodes already, please go ahead and share them with your best friends because that’s how you can amplify and be a force multiplier. Until next time, please stay happy and healthy. Remember, happiness is a choice, and I hope you make great choices.


Important Links


About Mary Henderson

MDH 68 | Personal Brand Mary is an internationally recognised Personal Branding & Online Business Specialist. Mary helps Service Industry Experts systemise, digitalise and commercialise their knowledge, wisdom and skills into a scalable & profitable online business and a brand so they become an authority in their niche or industry.

Mary has 20+ years of experience building 7 & 8 figure businesses & building high-performance sales teams in the IT sector and 15 years delivering online solutions for large and small businesses. She has been featured in many publications and is regarded a thought leader in the digital sector.

Mary’s point of difference is her Personal Branding technology, a SaaS platform that has the ability to define a person’s s brand essence with precision that can be applied across all communication touchpoints. When you engage Mary, you access 39,000+ hours of experience, knowledge and wisdom in Personal Branding, client profiling, lead generation strategies, online program development, sales leadership, content development and digital acumen.

Mary embraces technology and social media in a big way and her followers are growing daily. Mary is a heart centred, compassionate and tenacious entrepreneur who thrives on human transformation and witnessing people fulfill their dreams.

MDH 67 | Exponential Growth

MDH 67 | Exponential Growth


Exponential growth is something all entrepreneurs want for their business. So how can you achieve it? Victoria Wieck and her guest Bimal Shah, the CEO of Rajparth Achievers, LLC, dive into scaling your business and achieving growth. Bimal is passionate about helping entrepreneurs, and he shares his insights and resources on how to hurry the scaling of your business. Tune in for more great lessons in growing your business.

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


Grab Your Business Goals: Achieving Exponential Growth With Bimal Shah

I love sharing with you some amazing stories of great entrepreneurs who are now in a position to help other people collapse time and get funding, and all those things that small business people want. The top two reasons why people go out of business are lack of money and lack of customers. There are a bunch of other reasons too, which we are not going to get into. We have someone who can help us with both of those fronts. His name is Bimal Shah. He is an expert in helping you scale your business. He scaled his own business, which is in the financial sector. Now, he helps entrepreneurs achieve their three-year goal and collapse it into one year. I want to welcome Bimal and have him introduce himself and tell a little bit about his journey and what drives his passion. Welcome to the show.

Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate the opportunity. My passion has been to make a million entrepreneurs and convert and transform them into pioneers. My goal is to make a million pioneers in the world before I die by helping them scale to the next level. I’m taking their 25-year vision, converting it into a five-year moonshot, and then taking their 3 to 5-year goal in one year. I built a lot of resources. I have written a full thirteen-book series, Becoming A Pioneer. The first one was launched on Amazon. It was the number one new release.

Thank you for sharing that. I have written two books. I have to tell you that unless you’re crazy or you don’t understand how money works, writing a book is a low ROI proposition. You and I can all go out and make a lot more money doing other things if you have skills than writing a book and getting $9 or whatever a copy. If you’re publishing it through a publisher, you get $1 a copy. Those of you who are writing books or authors like Bimal, you do it because you love it. You do it because you want to help other people. You got to give your heart and soul. Every word has to mean something. Thank you for sharing that.

The first book is Becoming A Pioneer and that’s on Amazon. You’ve got thirteen other books. Before we get to scaling, I want to talk about small business people. Do you think they don’t have the expertise or don’t know about setting goals? If you ask a lot of people, “What are your goals?” They will tell you, “My goal is to make $1 million.” Some of them might say, “My goal is to get 300 new customers this year,” but they don’t have a clear picture of their 25-year goal versus what you can achieve in the next five years versus how you can achieve the next measurable goal. Let’s talk about goal setting in the first place. How should they start? A lot of people I meet don’t even have goals because they don’t think their goals will come true.

One of the biggest things that I see in entrepreneurs is setting goals. That’s one of the reasons. 99.7% of the businesses are small businesses. It’s sad to hear that even 80% of them fail after fifteen years in the business. Goal setting is so important. The very first thing in setting a 25-year goal. I always say, “Don’t set a goal of I want to make $1 million or $1 billion.” Think about the impact and transformation that you want to bring. Think about the problem that you want to solve. When I said that my passion is about making pioneers, I want to do this. I’m committed to making a million pioneers however long it takes. That is my passion.

Similarly, in your business, think about the passion that you have and what transformation you want to bring to the table and make that your vision. I’ll tell you a quick story about a $1 billion company that was built on that. That is from Naveen Jain. His passion was making chronic illness a choice. He founded the Viome, the testing that we do. That is where we start. We start with a 25-year goal on what is your character vision and bring it down to moonshot. I have a very specific question, and the first book on Amazon is about that.

MDH 67 | Exponential Growth

Exponential Growth: Goal-setting is one of the reasons why 99.7% of businesses are small businesses. It’s sad to hear that 80% of them fail after 15 years.


Let me go back to the word scaling. I don’t want to offend and be insulting to anybody, but I’m going to define the word scaling. There was so much confusion in the business coaching or business world about what the word scaling means. Scaling doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re growing exponentially. You can grow exponentially if you’re willing to put in $5 million a year into your business, but properly scaling in a small business environment means that you are not having to spend an exorbitant amount of resources to grow.

If you’re putting in everything you’ve got, you’re banking every single penny you make back into the business, and you’re facing a diminished rate of return but you’re still growing, that is not scaling. Scaling means you’re putting in fewer resources and less amount of time because you’ve got all the right systems in place. You’re taking something that’s working and scaling this up.

I want to make sure that we understand that when you follow Bimal’s system, you can see a lot of things that he’s got. He’s got a whole platform, dashboard, monthly workshops, and all these things are going on. It’s Bit.Ly/ThePioneersClub. You can go and follow more about this. In terms of scaling, I say this because a lot of people who are coaching scaling, you go into a mastermind program, workshops or whatever, and their whole goal is to sell you more services so that you can get more business. What that means is you’re spending more money in all the wrong places to grow a little bit more than what you had before. That is not what we’re talking about here.

You specifically said that you’re going to take their three-year goal. If you said, “This year, I’m going to hit the $1 million mark. Next year, I want to do $1.2 million. In the following year, I’m going to do $1.5 million.” You were saying that you can take that three-year goal and have it accomplished in one year. Tell me how you help people do that.

I will tell you a quick story so you can get the idea. One company wanted to scale ten times. They are a $5 million company and says, “We want to grow it into $50 million company, but we don’t want to grow ten times the number of our staff. We don’t want to grow ten times our expenses as we grow. How do we build a lean company and grow that big?”

What we did is we started with a dream come true profit and loss statement. We build their financial for the future. That’s where I start. Even with the company that says, “I want to take this $1 million to $3 million,” we’ll build that $3 million P&L statement. I can tell you another company that’s a home healthcare company. All we needed to do was add 2 more people to grow 3 more times. That is structuring their responsibilities, building the organization chart for the future, building clear responsibilities and outcomes, and building the right target.


Think about your passion and what transformation you want to bring to the table and make that your vision.


As you said in the beginning, it’s the lack of customers and lack of money. If you’re after the right customers, it will take less time and fewer resources on your part. You make 3 to 5 times for the same effort or even 10 times more. That’s chasing and going after the right people. That’s what we did. We built the right relationship and strategic alliances. We did that even with the law firm and built them a whole list of public adjusters that they would make more than $500,000. That’s one of the things you start with.

When you said you could grow three times as much by hiring two people, I want to qualify that as two right people, not just anybody. That takes skill. The other thing is small business people can use a lot of help in finding the right people. A lot of small business people think that since they were doing everything and they’re wearing all these hats. They’re the CEO, CPA, lawyer. They’re meeting customers or vendors. They’re shipping and doing everything. They’re going to need to hire somebody who is more like themselves. No, you don’t want that because no one is going to work that hard for you for little money. You’re probably better off hiring some people to do things you are not good at.

Let’s say I don’t like to sell. I’m not a pushy person. If I send them a nice polite email, I think people should send a nice polite email back to you rather than me having to keep nudging them. I’m not good at that. What do you do? If you have somebody like you, the two of you are waiting for the email to show up. It’s not going to happen.

You need to hire somebody whose expertise is that. You may not like people that are pushy, but you need a pushy person for your business. I’m using that as an example. A lot of people don’t know how to hire people, and when they hire them, they don’t know how to manage them because they haven’t set out a clear vision. They haven’t set up clearly what their responsibilities, boundaries and expectations are. Do you have help on your site on all of those?

I will share three steps structure on how to hire right. One of the things we do is we divide your hiring into three different units, before unit, during unit, and after unit. Before unit is how you attract your dream come true employee to come to you. My company website is On that, there is how to build talents and how to attract talent. There is a link there. That’s Bit.Ly/MyDreamEmployee.

One of the things I always tell every company is to ditch the title. Whenever you want to hire someone, get rid of the title because the title boxes or limits the employee’s capability that you want to hire. I have a whole system that I’ve built that many entrepreneurs can utilize for free. They can go on Bit.Ly/MyDreamEmployee. There’s a six-stage questionnaire that allows you to build your dream come true employee profile. Even if you don’t work with me or utilize me, going through that profile and getting the information back to you, you know exactly who you want.

MDH 67 | Exponential Growth

Exponential Growth: Whenever you want to hire someone, get rid of the title because the title boxes limit the employee’s capability that you want to hire.


It’s interesting because what you’re saying is to hire the person and not the tasks. When people ask me about my own journey, I have the same issue. When it comes to hiring people and growing employees, it’s a whole art by itself. A lot of people tell me, “When you started it back in 1989, things were so much simpler. It’s so much harder these days.” I’m like, “No, things were a lot harder back those days because, in 1989, we didn’t have internet.” When I started my business, I didn’t have internet. I didn’t have free access to information as we have now in Google or YouTube.

You can learn how to build a rocket ship now on YouTube by yourself if you have the time. We don’t have podcasts and people like you sharing information. I always say, “Only a stupid person will only learn from their own experience. Smart people learn from other people’s experiences, other people’s failure, as well as their successes.”

Now, things are so much simpler. You have everything you want. Running a business is free. Your Google calendar is either free or $10 a month. A lot of information you have, you might have to run through or sift through information. A lot of crazy information is out there on the internet. If you’re listening to a podcast like mine, I bring amazing guests every single week. Believe it or not, I only have 26 guests a year because it’s a weekly show, and then every other episode is me to them.

You can imagine I don’t put on everybody. I only put on people relevant to my audience who focused on transformation. I believe that information is free. Why should I have another podcast talking to them about information? People are willing to pay for transformation. They’re not willing to pay for free information. That’s why I’m focused on transformation.

When you go and check out Bimal’s site, it is full of the tools you need. They involve simple tools and big tools. You can utilize all the freebies as you do on my site on how to scale your business, and how to work fewer hours with fewer resources and make more. You’re going to be more efficient and more effective to your target audience. If you want to work with them, I’m sure you have a bunch of different programs you can plug into. You have a community of people, do you or do you not?

We have the pioneers community, and you can connect with other pioneers. My whole mission of making a million pioneers is that I want to build a community of people that connect with each other and help them scale. When you ask about managing people, I have a whole system of building culture structure, building an optimal day for everyone, and accountability, which is big in many companies because they don’t have these systems. I have already had these all set up. It’s all plug-and-play for many companies because I built all of these things. As I work with companies, one of the things I do is if it’s a problem for one, it’s a problem for many.


Always dream big. Don’t cut yourself short. Think about your dreams and have them clearly spelled out.


The other thing too is a lot of the things that a bigger company with a bunch of employees, office politics and all of that stuff happens to you. When you’re a small business and got four people, you can have management problems unless you know how to manage. That’s a huge thing. In terms of community, I’m a huge believer in collaboration.

Even if you’re in the same business and you see your competitor as somebody evil or somebody you need to get rid of, try to find ways to collaborate with anybody you can. When you have a community of people, you can find somebody you can collaborate with, learn from, lift, impact, and help you transform your business. I’m glad that you started the interview with the fact that instead of looking for money or anything, look for what impact you have on other people’s lives.

The only way an entrepreneur makes money is if you add value to somebody else’s life. In the long term, that’s the only way you’re going to make money. That word impact is huge. I happen to be Asian. In Asian countries, we look at more than money or anything when you die. The thing you want to look at is what legacy you leave behind. While you’re building your career or dream business, if you have a chance to leave that impact, even if it’s in front of the 50 people that you know, that’s huge. Learn everything you can.

We’ve talked about scaling and growing your business, and this is something that we all dream of. Bimal came to us with a lot of experience on how to do it himself. He shared it with thousands of other people as well. As we close this interview, if you can give one piece of advice that you have not shared so far here to a young entrepreneur starting now, what would it be?

I have a saying, “A journey of a billion miles begins with three steps.” You’ve heard that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one, so I’ll give three. Number one, always dream big. Don’t cut yourself short. Think about your dreams and have them clearly spelled out. It’s a vivid vision where you’re detailing everything. That’s what the first book is all about. Building a very detailed vivid vision, including what visual you see of your building, office, people, the team, everything is very thoroughly detailed.

Number two, you need to hire right. You cannot do everything yourself. You don’t need to necessarily mean that you have to put employees on the payroll. We live in a world where we can collaborate and work with people. All kinds of stuff are possible. You don’t have to necessarily take the word hire means, “I have to have employees.” It means that you look for resources that you can get done elsewhere.

MDH 67 | Exponential Growth

Exponential Growth: You’re probably better off hiring some people to do the things you are not good at.


Number three is you need to have proper messaging and marketing. People need to know who you are and what you do. You need to hire right and market right. You need to be in the right market with the right message. You need to have at least seven touchpoints with any ideal customer that you’re chasing at a minimum. Ideally, it would be 25.

How can they get ahold of you, find your books, and everything?

On Amazon, they can search Becoming A Pioneer. If they buy the book and join can join the club, it’s Bit.Ly/ThePioneersClub, or they can go to my website, I also have a website called In any of these places, you’ll be able to access many of the resources.

I have built a whole system. These thirteen books were there for a reason. It’s not to write many books, but my mission is to leave behind the system that people can use 10, 20, 50 years from now to keep using that over and over again to scale themselves. These thirteen books are a whole system, step-by-step, week-by-week to help them achieve the three-year goal in one year.

Thank you so much for coming to this show. Thank you so much for those of you in the audience. Please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice. I wish you a great week where you’re making great choices. Until next time.


Important Links


About Bimal Shah

MDH 67 | Exponential GrowthBimal is the Founder of Rajparth Group of Companies that provide unique and customized consulting to executives and teams of companies to positively impact their bottom line. Bimal is on a mission to make pioneers out of entrepreneurs by helping them achieve their three-year goal in one-year and have the government pay for it through Grants. Bimal Shah is well-known in South Florida and in business community for the last 21 years. He is a recognized speaker with presentations at several professional business associations, conferences, and meetings like Goldman Sachs Cohorts, Miami Beach Chamber, FCPA chamber, Boca Raton Chamber, ABWA, BNI, NPI, BRIC, Vistage, SFHHA, SFHNG, Lab Miami, AANGFL, SFTA, and Religious organizations like JAINA and SFHT.
MDH 66 | Montessori School

MDH 66 | Montessori School


Montessori school is individualized learning; it allows the child to be who they truly are. Victoria Wieck introduces Brigitta Hoeferle, the Founder of The Montessori School of Cleveland. Brigitta shares how she wanted her children to go to a Montessori because she didn’t want to push them into one classroom. Since there weren’t any around when her first child came, she created one herself. Join in the conversation to discover how you can start your business ventures with your current resources. Start with a big vision in mind, but with small steps. And make sure to create a detailed business plan. Tune in to learn more!

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here

How Montessori Schools Support Individual Learning With Brigitta Hoeferle

I’m excited to discuss some very needed topics in this day and age and someone who can speak from firsthand experience. Her name is Brigitta Hoeferle. She immigrated here from Germany with a lot of skills and had to start her life over here again. She’s taken all of the great things that she’s learned in Germany, as well as what she learned as an immigrant here, and started some amazing things. I will let Brigitta speak about her own journey here so that it will be a little bit more accurate and interesting. When she speaks about her herself, it’s a little bit more interesting than if I can read her bio. Welcome to the show.

Thank you, Victoria. Thanks for having me. This is exciting.

Tell my audience a little bit about your background. What fuels you? What it was like to come here and start your life over? What age was that when you came? You don’t have to state the age and what year but I want to know if it’s teenage years or later on.

I will give you the whole rundown. I was born and raised in a very small village in Germany. It was 600 people. Gorgeous Southern part of Germany, vineyards all around, and we played in the vineyards but it was very small-minded as well. I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there. I went to school in Germany, all the way through my university times. I have two degrees. I started my life in Germany. I climbed the corporate ladder in Germany. I met my husband in Munich. I’m not originally from Munich but I worked there in a large publishing house.

When we met, I was in my very late twenties like 29. It was that late. We decided to get married and have children. Me, being a student that never liked being in school, although I hold two degrees, I hated school, probably because I was bullied and overweight. That’s a story for a whole other time. One of the degrees that I hold is in Social Pedagogy, and that is to be a teacher. I never did anything with it.

When it was time for us to have children, I didn’t want our children to go to a Montessori school, which is very individualized learning. It allows the child to be who they truly are and not try to push children in one classroom, and they are all in the same box, if you will. Through my education times, my university times, when I learned about the methodology of Maria Montessori, which has been around for more than 100 years now, I thought, “What an incredible methodology. How come I never went to a Montessori school?”

It was clear to me that I wanted our children that were not even born yet, weren’t even conceived yet, to go to a Montessori school. I created a Montessori school out of necessity because when it was time to give birth to our first child in Munich, the waitlist for Montessori schools was three years. I didn’t have that time because I loved what I did, and I traveled a lot through Europe into the United States, back and forth for the publishing house, with the organization that I worked with. I couldn’t do that, being a stay-at-home mom, waiting three years to have a space in a Montessori school for my child, our daughter, Emily, I said, “I have the degrees. I have the knowledge and marketing. Why don’t I start our own school?” I did that.

I was 32 at the time when we moved to the United States to grow the business because I came to a place where I needed a much bigger facility in Munich. If you know anything about Munich or German real estate it’s, A) Very hard to get and, B) Very unaffordable. For me to grow into the big vision that I had, my husband and I said, “How about we moved to the States?” We made that decision and did that. Now that I’m talking about it, it sounds very simple. It wasn’t all that simple moving an entire business and household with a small child but we did it. We started with our own child, the school, and grew rather quickly into 125 students that we have now.

Montessori school is individualized learning; it allows the child to be who they truly are.

You basically started your first Montessori school out of necessity. You had to go abroad to live out your vision of bringing that experience, an individualized learning experience, to other people.

I want to. It was a choice I made.

It’s true but if you are living in a place where you’ve got 600 people living there, it is pretty limiting. It is a choice but I would say, either way, you made that decision. It’s interesting because I come from a whole family of school teachers, and I was not a great student. As with you, I have degrees from very prestigious universities. I did get pretty good grades. I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t like it and don’t use it. I’ve got two MBAs and all that stuff. I have never used it because I’m an artist. I make a pretty good living practicing my art.

The conventional thought of becoming a doctor, a lawyer, an MBA or whatever, to gain your freedom, didn’t apply to me. I sometimes think to myself like, “How much more successful I would have been if I was allowed to become an artist ever since I was a kid?” I never went to art school, any design school. I created an amazing business for myself. I agree with you that people, especially children, should be nurtured for their individuality and work with them. They develop at different ages, different things. They have different dreams. Not everybody fits in that same set of boxes that they put us in.

Let’s go back to what it takes to start a school. Not only start it but sustain, then grow and scale it. All those things came in handy here. By the way, I do think that in America, I wish there were more Montessori schools, more school choices because when I sent my kids to school, as you said, there were all these waitlists. We didn’t have those choices. My kids literally went to part private, part public, and part homeschool. I have one child who excelled in Literature but hated Math. That child needed specialized education to get to the national average. She excelled in Literature. She could have taught her teachers a few things.

The other one was good at Math and Science. She took after my husband, who went to Harvard with Math and Science and all that stuff. She hated Literature. They were in the same school, as you can imagine. We need a lot more of the Montessori school or types of school that you have created. I wish you all the best in the future because I’m sure you haven’t stopped helping other people. In terms of how do you start, what do you get funding for? How do you go find your target audience? How do you talk to them? How do you convince them that this is their thing?

I have funded it all through my own capital that I brought from Germany and I didn’t bring a whole lot. It varies oversee a full amount that I brought.

When you were in Germany, how did you fund the first one?

MDH 66 | Montessori School

Montessori School: You need to have a team, and you need to know how to delegate.

Through my own capital. I didn’t have any investors. Everything that I have done up until now, I have done through my own efforts. I never looked for investors. I did have some investors that wanted to be part of it. I said, “When I need you, I will let you know,” but we have organically grown from facility to facility. We started out with a small facility went into a medium facility. We moved over the pandemic in July 2021 into a very large facility and are now able to take even more students. We haven’t started high school yet. That’s a whole another can of worms that you would open.

How did I start out? I started with a business plan. Being in marketing, a smart businesswoman, I knew I had to have a very clear business plan laid out. I knew I needed to start not big with a big vision. I needed to start with a vision in mind but with small steps. What can I do with everything that I have? What can I do with the funds that I have now? What can I do with the knowledge that I have now? I knew continuously pouring into myself as the owner of the school will help me with the growth as well.

For the business to grow, I’ve got to grow as well. It’s going to have to start with me, so business plan. Starting with a handful of students. We started with seven students in Germany. Out of that, I did some market research. Who is my target client? Who sends their kids to Montessori school? What do they appreciate? For what reason would they send their kids to a Montessori school and pay high tuition rather than sending them to public school?

I did all of that research. That was all part of my business plan. With that, we left Munich, and we went to Cleveland. When we touched down in Cleveland and bought a building, and started there, I immediately became a member of the Chamber of Commerce. That was one of the first things. I became a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and I’ve also got some help from the Small Business Development Center, which most small business owners don’t even know that they are around. They are paid by our tax money, go and use their services.

They helped me tremendously, especially coming from a different country. It might be easy to cross cultures from Germany to the United States until you do it and get everything set up. If you are not familiar with the ins and outs and the banking in a different country, all of that is a learning curve. All of that takes time.

I became a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and out of that, my first students came about. A lady that I met at the Chamber of Commerce. She had twins and a little one. Her twins were a little bit older, and she had another little one. She spoke German, and that’s the connection that we made. Connections are always made with people that you sympathize with and that you know, like, and trust. There was that immediate connection of the two of us being German. She says, “I love that.”

Out of that, within the Montessori school, I then created the German language school. I was partnering with the General Consulate here in Atlanta. All of that happened organically. I continued to pour into myself, into my staff, into the business. By that, I mean in knowledge, in wisdom, in mentorship and learning, and coaches that would come in and help us grow. That’s why we are where we are now. I’m not in the day-to-day operation anymore. I live in Atlanta now, and the school is still up in Tennessee.

There’s a lot that small business people can learn from what Brigitta did. Basically, you, starting up a school or any business, it starts with identifying your target audience then finding out their need. What are they hungry for? What are the needs that are not being met? What are your competitors doing? Competitors in your case were public schools and maybe some super expensive private schools that are doing the same thing that public school is doing with a controlled environment for a little bit more money. In your bio, one of the things that you listed that stuck out right away to me and I have it highlighted here, which is active listening.

Start with a vision in mind, but with small steps.

A lot of people say listening is important. All of that becomes a buzzword. A lot of times when you are talking, and you know somebody is listening to you, especially when you meet somebody at the Chamber of Commerce or wherever like in a big function, they are listening to you. They are still looking around. You almost see their heads spinning, trying to figure out how to respond to what you are saying before you even finish what your sentence is. To listen with empathy, listening actively, listening with care, their care in mind, what their needs are that was your first step, whether that’s one person at a time or as a community of school moms who have this need.

For those of you who are reading, these are the stuff that we talk about the week in and week out, identifying your target audience. It wasn’t all school moms. Some school moms love being in public schools. They think Montessori schools are great. They don’t even know what that is. It’s fine but that was not your target audience. You went there. You look for help.

By the way, on your first remark, Small Business Development Center. There are many associations, so much help out there that a lot of small business people don’t know to look for. I, myself, volunteered at SBA. We have chapters all over here, retired people from all over the country volunteering their time, mentoring, finding money for you. That is a great resource that you mentioned. Scaling your business now, this is how you’ve got started, how you identified yourself.

Now, what did you do to scale that business? As you said, you are not there actively day-to-day. I identify as scaling your business differently than growing your business. Growing your business means you are putting more resources, working more hours, putting more money into something to grow at. Scaling your business, you are working less, fewer hours. You don’t have to put in proportionately the same amount of money to grow it exponentially. Tell us a little bit about how you scale your business.

As I already said, I’m not there at all anymore. I have meetings once a quarter, and that’s it. I have a great team that runs the business, an incredible team, and a big shout-out to them. Now that we have 125 students and we started with 7 students in Munich and 3 students here in the US and grew it from there, we started with one classroom. If you know anything about Montessori, there’s one classroom with many teachers. I had to choose to have quality teachers and train them in the Montessori method. They went and got their diploma in the Montessori method as well to put an official approval stamp on it.

There are a few components in scaling. First of all, you’ve got to have a good team. Second of all, you’ve got to know how to delegate. You’ve got to know what the big picture is. How are you going to get there? How can you reverse engineer of seeing that big picture? What do you have to do now to get to those steps?

That’s where most business owners fail because they see this big vision. They want to scale, grow but then they don’t know which next steps to take, then they get frazzled, sidetracked, and it all falls apart. They never get to the growth that they desire. We started with one classroom. As we had enough funds, we added another classroom because, organically, this is what happens. The children in our one classroom grew older, grew more mature then were ready for the next classroom.

We were organically filling our next classroom. I often ask my clients as they are scaling their business, “What do you already have that you can use to not recreate the wheel but you can use and utilize that and use it in your growth that you don’t have to go out and buy another this or do another that?” No, use that very strategically for something else. The something else was another classroom with students that we already had.

MDH 66 | Montessori School

Montessori School: Where most business owners fail is how they see this big vision. They want to scale and grow without knowing which next steps to take, then they get frazzled, sidetracked, and it all falls apart.


Constantly, we are working on getting new students in, and it was word-of-mouth. I hardly ever did any marketing other than being very involved in the Chamber of Commerce. To a point where they asked me to serve on their board, which I did. I was then asked to serve on several other boards, and that helped me to be visible. Visibility plus credibility. I had the huge credibility that I worked for. I had credibility coming in with the credentials that I brought but being in a community like Cleveland, Tennessee, there wasn’t any other probability than the official stems that I had from school.

I had to work on that. I had to work to make a name for myself. Being invited to serve on the Chamber of Commerce board was a huge credibility piece. I was the only female person around the boardroom table, and I was about a good 25 to 30 years younger than everyone else around the boardroom. All of that to say is, you’ve got to be out there. You’ve got to be visible. You’ve got to be credible to be profitable. All of that helped me in scaling my business, and that’s where I’m coaching other organizations to scale their business.

Basically, you have a great team behind you, build an amazing system, usually by testing, growing, small steps at a time. I’m going to take it a little bit even further back to your original. When you first started out, it was very similar. You started with seven students. That was a great flexible testing ground or because you were truly meeting each individual person’s need.

You know the names of every single person there, probably their parents and grandparents. You basically built and accelerated the growth a little bit when you came to America. I love that business model. Going back to a little bit about visibility. People have to like you. You have to be credible. They have to trust and respect you before you can even get visibility.

The way you do that is by getting out there like you did, meeting all people, not theoretical people. You would be amazed at the doors that open for you if you truly are authentic and giving your heart, your expertise, and your share freely. All those things come to you. Believe it or not. That’s a great lesson to learn, and you’ve got great firsthand experience in that. As I said, there was a lot of need for all types of schools. I’m not advocating Montessori. Maybe your kid needs a structure.

I have two children. My one child wanted to be in the biggest school. She went to UCLA. She thrived there. There are 100,000 kids there, and she loved it. My second child didn’t want to be in a big school. It was overwhelming, and they wanted a 3,000 school-type thing, and that’s okay, too. Not one is not better than the other. Giving accurate and tailored information, offering options that fit a lot of different kids, you are doing an amazing service for our youth. I have this one little beef. Maybe you can since you are in that position now to help. I’m not trying to pitch you on this at all but I’m passionate about it when it comes to children. I found that with my own two kids going to college and they are now older than your kids are.

I found it interesting that our schools here in America, at least, we teach Math, Calculus, Algebra, Geometry, all these things but we don’t teach any relationship with money and life. All of a sudden, they go to college and get so awestruck by the kid who can buy $100 worth of whatever. I’m actively involved here now in California, trying to bring a little spirit of entrepreneurship early on because what does entrepreneurship mean? As you said, it requires you to understand other people. When you understand who your target market is, what do they need? You’ve got to find out what they need, what are they willing to pay for it, and how often.

When you have conflict resolution between your vendor or your customer, they want to pay you, let’s say, $10 for the iPhone case. You have to charge $30. “Why are you charging me so much money? We are friends.” The kids can learn negotiating tactics and understand conflict resolution pretty early on. I wish that somebody would start doing something like that in school. Especially when they are a little bit older like a sixth grade on, that would come full circle even if they don’t become entrepreneurs later on.

Connections are always made with people you sympathize with, like, and trust.

I agree with you. Our daughters go to an entrepreneurial high school here in Atlanta, and they do that. They have to build a website for their business. They have to create a business, finding something that they are passionate about. If they might continue it after high school or not, it doesn’t matter but it teaches them how to build a business plan, how to create a budget, and how to stick with the budget. What does stuff cost?

It’s interesting that you brought that up because within building my Montessori school and being invited to speak at all conferences on that topic, I found that the work with children is easy. I love working with children. It’s the parents and adults around them. That’s why I created another educational facility for adults because we can pour into our kids over and over again.

If there are certain adults around them, thought leaders, parents, aunts, uncles, family members, religious leaders, teachers. You name them. They are not in the right mindset, then that has an impact on our kids. The work is not being done on our kids. The work needs to be done on the parents, the thought leaders, and the teachers.

I heavily pour it into and continue to pour into our staff, into our parents. That’s why I started coaching parents because I had parents come to school. They would have a meeting with me and say, “Something that I’m not getting here. You seem to have a completely different child at school than I have at home. What is up?” We said, “There are boundaries. There’s a very clear structure. Within that structure, there’s also freedom.” That beautiful balance, I’m not saying all of the kids but a lot of kids are not getting that at home.

There is no enforcement of boundaries. There’s no positive enforcement of empowerment of a child. I took it on for parents to learn that because that’s where it starts. I want to share with my child what it takes to open a bank account and what it takes to budget or make sure that we have enough money for groceries this month. It’s all about being active in the family, too.

As we close, how do people get ahold of you? Do you have any last-minute advice for young entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurial moms?

The advice that I have is don’t give up. Keep going. You are doing this for a reason. Be mindful of what the big picture is and keep going. There are no unresourceful people. There is only an unresourceful state of mind. You might at times find yourself that you are not resourceful, which is not true. You are in an unresourceful frame of mind. Find someone that can be a resource, and I would love to be that resource, If you google my name, I’m the only one that comes up with that name. That’s how you get ahold of me.

Her name is Brigitta Hoeferle. I wanted to thank everyone for reading because this was very meaningful. Many of you, not only are you business people but many of you are young moms. You’ve got kids anywhere from 2 years old to 18 years old. You are not alone. You have choices. You might not know you have all these choices because I run into people who don’t think they have choices but you do have a lot of choices to give your children the education that you envisioned. Anyway, thank you so much for coming to this show. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, Brigitta.

MDH 66 | Montessori School

Montessori School: The work needs to be done on the parents, thought leaders, and teachers.


Thank you, Victoria, for having me.

For those of you, I always sign off by saying, please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices this coming week. Thank you.


Important Links


About Brigitta Hoeferle

MDH 66 | Montessori School

Brigitta was born and raised in Germany and resides in the U.S. since 2004 with her two wonderfully independent
and successful teenage daughters, and her husband, the renowned Culture Guy. She is the award-winning founder of the German Language School and the Montessori School of Cleveland.
As the Founder and Shareholder of The Montessori School of Cleveland, and as CEO & owner and Grandmaster of The NLP Center, a global institute located in Atlanta, GA she gives full credit for her success to her unique communication and listening skills, her tenacity and her never-ending desire to take something from good to outrageously great. To add even more fuel to the fire and more credibility to her work, Brigitta has created Coaching Programs for large Corporations and conducts extensive trainings for Corporate and Government Organizations,
leading The NLP Center with knowledge & heart as the CEO and master trainer.
MDH 65 | Empathy

MDH 65 | Empathy


It’s easy to talk about buzzwords like motivation and resilience, but without proper action steps, they are fruitless. Joining Victoria Wieck is Asia’s #1 Business Coach, Daniel Tolson. In this episode, Daniel defines emotional intelligence and empathy and their impact on sales. He also breaks down the four fears business owners have that hinder them from success and counters them with tips to help you overcome and deliver. Plus, Daniel shares actionable, achievable goals to help you translate emotional intelligence and motivation into your life. Get a look into Daniel’s inspiring journey from overcoming learning disabilities to now helping others succeed by tuning in.

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here

Daniel Tolson On Emotional Intelligence, Empathy, And Overcoming Fear in Sales

I’m so excited to share this time with you with an amazing business coach. In fact, he is Asia’s number one business coach specializing in emotional intelligence. Ladies and gentlemen, can we all agree that we all need more emotional intelligence? The world would be a better place if we all exercised more emotional intelligence. I want to introduce you to Daniel Tolson. I’m going to have him explain a little bit about himself and his amazing journey. This is where I’m going to have him speak to you about it directly. He has an amazing story that’s very powerful. Daniel, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me here. It’s a great pleasure.

Tell my audience a little bit about your journey and specifically all of the learning disabilities, fear, and limiting beliefs that you have had to overcome yourself, which has fueled your passion for helping other people overcome similar obstacles. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I remember running at school in the school carnivals. I will be running, and my knees will collapse. My mom would be saying, “Daniel, what is going on?” I said, “I don’t know. My legs collapsed.” At age eleven, one day, I came home. I stood in front of my mom at home, and my whole body collapsed. She said, “Daniel, it was like a bag of bones on the ground. You collapsed. We started to get some medical treatment. We noticed that your hips are out of alignment. Your spine and neck were twisted. They discovered the platelets in the cranium were pushing down on the left and right hemispheres of the brain. That was giving you all those constant nosebleeds that you had.”

As I started to do these checkups, they realized that I was visually impaired. Albeit I had a 20/20 vision, I still couldn’t see properly. I was going for music lessons and constantly make mistakes playing the guitar. I was repeating mistakes over and over again. They realized I was tone-deaf. I’ve got diagnosed with a linear sequential learning disability. It was one of these interesting disabilities where you could see everything on the blackboard at school but when you write it down, nothing matched on the paper. When I would read what was on my paper, it was all jumbled up.

I could remember the kids laughing at me, and the teachers started to think, “Maybe there’s something wrong.” The teachers did some work with me, and then I was diagnosed with a linear sequential learning disability. For five years, I sat in remedial therapy. I remember going to one special school. They sent me down with a big piece of butcher’s paper. I was probably about twelve. All the other kids were about age five. I knew there was something wrong.

All I had to do in this room was to draw a figure eight on a piece of paper. By doing this, it was supposed to be re-aligning the left and right hemispheres of the brain. I was doing that, and this went on for five years. After five years of remedial therapy, I’ve got Epstein-Barr Virus, chronic fatigue, and teenage chickenpox. I dropped out of school and never finished school. In the following two years, I had reconstructive knee surgeries. The first nineteen years of my life were a mess.

MDH 65 | Empathy

Empathy: Once you figure out what doesn’t work, you find the one thing that works, and you start to put all of your energy into that. That’s why you need the resiliency because you’re going to fail a lot, and you’ve got to keep getting up. You just can’t stop.


That’s what makes it amazing because most people could have and would have given up. It would have been so tempting and easy to limit yourself and say, “It’s because I have physical limitations, and I can’t think clearly. It’s because something is wrong with my brain. I was medically diagnosed. I’m doing the best I can. I’m doing great for people that are disabled.” It wasn’t enough for you. You decided that nothing was going to stop you, and you were still going to find your maximum potential.

You found a formula that worked. I’m sure that there were a lot of professionals that helped you along the way. If you, the patient, aren’t willing to work with that and experiment and be constantly in search of excellence, you wouldn’t have come to where you are now. The word emotional intelligence is something that seems to be a lot of people are now using as buzzwords. In your opinion, what is it? Why do we need it? How does it help you get ahead in life?

It’s a buzzword, and people throw it around. We’ve got to get back to the roots of it. It’s being street-smart. That’s what it is. My parents were pawnbrokers. They bought and sold secondhand goods. We used to buy and sell secondhand jewelry. My parents were not formally educated. My father was a farmer. My mother was a hairdresser. They were street-smart. They could read people. They also knew their strengths and weaknesses. When we look at emotional intelligence, it’s being street-smart. We can use that intelligence in business and get rewarded for it.

Dr. Daniel Goleman said, “Emotional intelligence contributes to 58% of your success in your daily life. It’s a huge contributor to success.” When we look at somebody who is confident, confidence is a part of emotional intelligence. Imagine trying to do a business, and you lacked confidence. Imagine trying to do a business, and you don’t believe in yourself, and you are comparing yourself to other people.

What happens is you feel worthless. You don’t feel that you deserve the good things, so you don’t take action. The first part of emotional intelligence is that self-awareness, “Who am I? What are my strengths? What are my limitations?” Instead of focusing on what is wrong with you, you focus on your strengths. What we say is, “What you focus on grows.” You focus on your strengths and apply to them. That’s where you start to grow your business around that strength.

That’s interesting because you say that something like 58% of your emotional intelligence is directly responsible for your success. I would argue that’s 80%. I have a Master’s degree and all that, which I don’t use. Thank God. I had to unlearn how to do that. When you say the word street-smart, how do people get street-smart? In my opinion, it’s people that have a pulse on other people’s emotions.

If you look at a customer and you are going on about something, and your customer is staring at you like blank-stare, somebody who is street-smart is going to go, “I have lost this person. I need to get back on track.” Where somebody with a PhD in Communications might go, “I’m doing fine. This person doesn’t understand. They don’t realize that the customer is what matters to you.”

If there is no empathy, there is no sale. People are 100% emotional when it comes to purchasing.

I tell people in marketing, “If you can’t convince a fifth-grader, then you have lost it. The fancier words you use, somebody you are talking to is either confused or they have to look up a word in the dictionary, that’s each and every opportunity to lose a customer for good. If they don’t understand you, they are not going to buy anything from you.”

Street smart is having a pulse and understanding how to read body language. It understands when I say, “Daniel, welcome.” We shake hands, and everything is great. All of a sudden, he started staring at you. You know he is either confused or he doesn’t like what you are saying. He is not interested or something else is distracting him. You don’t have his attention. You’ve got to do something right.

A street-smart person would be pivoting and thinking about, “When was the last time he was smiling at me? When was the last time he seemed so excited?” and you want to go back. On TV, we do this all the time. We have to read the screen. The host is talking in your ear like, “When you set a soccer mom, all the phone lines in California went through the roof.” I would pivot, “When I took my daughter to the soccer games, you keep on doing this.”

Street-smart is not something you have to go get a degree on. It’s caring more about people and understanding your plan. That’s an important part. I don’t have any problems with people who have all these academic degrees. A lot of times, when you get that, you hide behind those papers, certificates or whatever you’ve got thinking that you are on a higher-playing ground or that what you are saying is intelligent. I feel like some people lose something in the process of getting all those degrees.

What you are talking about is empathy. Empathy is the ability to read other people’s emotional makeup. That comes through sensory acuity. I will unpack what you are saying. You have heard the voice in your ear. It’s soccer moms. A lot of people hear soccer moms. It will go in one ear and out the other but you’ve got that sensory awareness to say, “This is emotionally interesting to people.” You focus on that. Also, it’s hearing that and saying, “This is important to others.”

What people don’t understand about empathy is that if there is no empathy, there are no sales. People are 100% emotional when it comes to purchasing. We become logical in the left brain, and we make the decision in the right brain. When you find those little things, you drill down into them. It’s like following that seam of gold. It might only be an inch wide but it could go a mile-deep into the Earth.

Daniel has written a few books. My favorite is the Mental Detox. He has another book called How To Win a Sales Now. They go both hand-in-hand. A lot of people who teach you how to gain sales will teach you all these manipulation tactics on digital media, digital space, or all the marketing buzzwords. Whenever you are doing marketing campaigns, even advertising or giving a speech, when you don’t have empathy, and you are not authentic, it shows through. Believe me. Those people that are buying from you know when you are full of BS, and you have never cared about anybody. If you learn all these buzzwords, they know.

MDH 65 | Empathy

Empathy: If we’re optimistic about our future and believe in what we can achieve, we become more resilient.


If people don’t like and trust you and don’t think that you care about them, they are not going to buy anything. In America, we have a 30-day money-back guarantee for everything. You are not going to do it. It’s caring about what other people think and always having that pulse. It’s caring enough to know their temperature when they are angry, starving or confused. What you are asking is to invest time to understand that.

In that sense, people like you and me with learning disabilities had to work extra hard. Back then, in the 1970s, when I left, we were second-class citizens to men. I watched my mom watch body language in a room. I watched my mom and grandmother not only pay attention to what was said in the room but also what was left unsaid in the room. Between that and my learning disability, I’ve got pretty good at being quiet and a great active listener.

That’s something that our society needs more than ever before. Daniel, let me get back to overcoming fear, the lack of confidence, and courage. It’s all these things that limit not only your beliefs and performance but also your potential. Give me 2 or 3 tips on how we can handle this. You could go to Daniel’s website. It’s Share with us a few nuggets here.

The first step is self-awareness. Self-awareness is being able to name the fear that you are experiencing. We say, “If you can’t name it, you can’t tame it.” There are four fears that are going to be triggered when you start your business. The first one is the fear of being taken advantage of. If you are experiencing the fear of being taken advantage of, you won’t be asking for help. You will hear messages from experts and authorities. You won’t ask for help because you are afraid of being taken advantage of.

The second one is you will feel the fear of rejection. Rejection comes when you are about to stand up, pitch your product and service. You will say, “I don’t want people to disagree with me and say no.” You experience that fear of rejection. Thirdly, it’s the fear of losing your stability. Many people who have got a side hustle are afraid to go all-in because they say, “What if I try then lose my financial stability?” They get stuck in their comfort zone.

The fourth one is the fear of trying and then making a mistake. They say, “What if I try and make a mistake? What will people think of me if I have a temporary failure? My whole world is going to fall apart.” The first part is self-awareness. The second part is being able to regulate these fears. That’s the key thing. When it comes to regulation, one fear that’s triggered can impact your performance for four hours. You may get the fear you triggered, and then for the following four hours, you are like a deer in the headlights. You have frozen and you are not productive. All business virtually stops.

Thirdly, you need to have resiliency. In business, you are going to fall over many times. The majority of the things that you do are never going to work but I can promise you that 1 thing out of 100 that you do will pay back so handsomely. It’s like you’ve got more than half a billion dollars in sales. I bet the majority of things at the start didn’t work.

If you can’t name it, you can’t tame it.

Eventually, once you figure out what doesn’t work, you find the one thing that does work, and you start to put all of your energy into that. That’s why you need resiliency because you are going to fail a lot, and you’ve got to keep getting up. You can’t stop. You’ve got to keep moving forward. Those are the three things. It’s self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation.

Here is the thing. Of the things you named, self-awareness, as hard as it sounds, it’s probably one that most people don’t have a problem coming up with. In fact, they are going to come up with too many things that they are aware of, “I can’t sell. I’m not a salesperson. I’m not good at accounting.” There are all these things that they can’t do. Of all those, resilience and motivation are the two things that consistently people have problems dealing with.

In the first few years, I would send out 50 letters that were manually typed. This was before computer days. I would send out 50 letters every single day. The conversion rate was at 10%. At that time, they were telling me, “You are lucky if you get 10% of the people to respond and 90% of the people who respond will respond with no.” Your conversion rate of getting a maybe or yes was at 2%. It was very low.

If you look at someone like Michael Jordan or you can take LeBron James even. I’m not a basketball fan. I don’t even understand it. Whenever you do watch him play, every other shot, they don’t make it. They are not making 90% of their shots. They are making 30% of their shots. If you think about that, they are the best. Can you imagine the professional basketball players who are not legacy names? They are missing 60% to 70% of their shots.

Someone like Michael Jordan is given a lot of the Hail-Mary shots when the clock is winding down. They’ve got no shot at all. He is making whatever. That’s similar to our business environment. A lot of the stuff that we do are Hail Mary. Do you see somebody like Babe Ruth? When you read his stories, he was batting 400 or 500. That means 5 or 6 times out of 10, he was missing as well. They have made such a name. Don’t be afraid when you fail and when something doesn’t work out.

Rejection is feedback. What I do always is to ask people, “Thank you so much for writing back to me because most people never take the time to read my letter. Of the people that read my letter, very few people take the time to tell me no. Thank you so much for even doing that. If I can indulge you a little bit about why you don’t want it, is it too expensive? If there is any feedback you can give me, I will be so blessed. You don’t have to buy a thing from me.”

When they give you that feedback, you incorporate that. You can go back months from now. You can go use it with other pitches because they are giving you some good feedback. That’s how I’ve got my business started. The resilience factor doesn’t just mean that you have to have thick skin. It means that you’ve got to make that commitment no matter what. Don’t let those temporary rejections and failures or whatever outcome that you didn’t get to set you back because you’ve got to stick to it.

MDH 65 | Empathy

Free Drugs for Entrepreneurs

I listened to Denzel Washington when he gave a commemoration speech at graduation. It was such a befitting thing that he was giving this speech at that very stage that he had assumed was going to be his last audition. He said, “I have been going to audition after audition forever. I’ve never even got a one-liner.” People said, “You are not a good fit.” He said, “I had booked this audition.” He realized for the audition before that, that he was never going to be a good actor. He was never going to get a break.

He said, “I gave my word that I’m going to come to the audition, and there were people waiting for me. I will give my best and let it be. I’m going to go and be a taxi driver or whatever life has waiting for me.” That’s the one he got a breakthrough role. He said, “Had I quit the day before or had I not shown up to this one because I was disappointed, there would be no Denzel Washington.”

He was giving that speech at that very auditorium that he was not going to show up to. He showed up to this one. Resilience is a huge thing. The last thing is motivation. I don’t know about you. I’m going to ask you a little bit about this now. You are suffering from anxiety with all the fears and everything else and then something doesn’t work. You are like, “Everything I fear came true.” It’s so easy to do.

If you are lucky enough to have a wife, son, friend or colleague and say, “Daniel, that’s not true. Look at what you have all accomplished so far. You didn’t get exactly what you wanted but look at all the stuff that you learned. You’ve got to keep going.” You keep going, and then the second time something doesn’t work, that definitely gives up. You don’t even ask anybody. That’s what I see a lot, especially with Millennials. They don’t have patience, resilience, commitment or persistence. How would you advise someone on the best way to motivate themselves in that situation?

I wrote a book called Free Drugs for Entrepreneurs. Free Drugs was all about releasing this competitive advantage in your body. The first thing about motivation is our goals are in the future. We are going to spend the rest of our life in the future. If we are optimistic about our future and believe within ourselves what we can achieve, then we become more resilient. There are a couple of things we’ve got to do. The first one is we have to set a goal. That goal has to be realistic for us.

If you have a goal that is totally unrealistic for you, then your subconscious mind says, “This is not true. I reject it.” You will cause fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs within yourself. We say, “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch. By the yard, it’s hard.” Have a big vision but have goals that are achievable. When you set a goal, you get dopamine. Dopamine floods through the body, and it gets you excited. It’s that thrill of the chase. You haven’t started yet, but you get excited. Secondly, you take one step towards that goal, and the body releases adrenaline. The heart starts to pump, and you get excited. Once you achieve a little win or one small step, and you succeed there, the brain releases serotonin. That is nature’s happy drug.

Once you’ve got these three neurotransmitters and positive chemicals in your body, dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin, you can’t feel depressed and anxious. Your enthusiasm levels start to rise and you say, “If I can take that, I can take the next step.” It’s one step at a time. If you can do those one steps, then you will keep that motivation. It’s not just it’s going to stick around for a day. It stays around for weeks, months, and years. That’s a competitive advantage.

You have unlimited potential. You can do more than you ever thought you could.  

What you are saying is to take that next measurable step, and then it’s a cumulative effect of training your body to release happy chemicals it uses on its own. I enjoyed our conversation. You brought some incredible knowledge. A lot of times, when we talk about things like emotional intelligence, motivation, and resilience, these are very vague words. A lot of people don’t use it. I’m sick and tired of listening about motivation, inspiration, encouragement, empowerment, and all this stuff.

If they are not matched up with action and goals that are achievable, then they just become words. They don’t transform your life and your way of thinking. You can’t then impact other people, which is depressing because you are working pretty hard to do that. I appreciate all the knowledge that you shared. For any young entrepreneurs, would you like to say 1 or 2 words that are key to how they would succeed that you haven’t discussed before? It’s a little tip if you want to leave with the parting.

You are so much more than you think you are. Your DNA is what you are made of. If you could stretch it out from where you are, it would reach the sun and back 300 times. You have unlimited potential, and you can do more than you ever thought you could.

I completely agree with you on that, whether you are talking about Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, each person came to Earth, born with the potential to be whoever they wanted to be. Some of us have it easier than others. The other thing that you and I didn’t discuss and that we probably would agree on is the quality of life that we desire too by doing this right. It’s not just grinding it out all the time pointlessly.

Ultimately, all the entrepreneurs want freedom from our horrible bosses. We want freedom from feeling like a slave to a paycheck. We want to be able to live our life the way we design. Thank you so much for coming. Once again, would you tell us how the audience can reach you and all the freebies that you offer on your website?

Come and play. My website is There are a ton of resources. There are my free books, Mental Detox and How To Win Sales Now. Set that goal. There are a lot of free webinars and training also, so you can develop your emotional intelligence.

Thank you so much for joining me here and coming to the show. For all of you reading, I always say, “Be happy. Happiness is your choice.” I hope you make great choices. Have a wonderful week.


Important Links


About Daniel Tolson

MDH 65 | EmpathyI am a former Australian Champion Athlete. I co-lead a team of more than 17,000 Cabin Crew and currently serves as a consultant to more than 17,500 business people globally.
With more than 6,500 case studies into the science of Emotional Intelligence I am considered as one of the worlds leading business coaches specialising in emotional intelligence.
I show people how to become successful, by providing scientific and evidence based methods on how to catapult your influence, accelerate your impact and unleash new income levels.
MDH 64 | Zen Millionaire

MDH 64 | Zen Millionaire


If you want to be a millionaire, you need to master your emotional intelligence with money. Become a Zen millionaire by listening to Japan’s bestselling Zen millionaire, Ken Honda in today’s episode. Learn that money is like ice, if it’s not handled properly, it melts away. Make your money like air. Learn how to have the emotional intelligence to only notice it when you need it. Join your host, Victoria Wieck as she talks to the bestselling author of Happy Money. Find out how you can make peace with your money today!

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


An Interview With Ken Honda – Japan’s Best Selling Zen Millionaire

We have an amazing topic of discussion, one that I’m very passionate about. Also, to discuss this topic with me is a super amazing guest. His name is Ken Honda. You’re going to learn a lot about him, his work and his passion. Every week, I try to help you navigate some of the challenges that we have in our society now as entrepreneurs, moms, dads or human beings.

Our topic is about money which is a complicated topic and some of us have different ways that we can make money, earn money, use the money for whatever purpose. Ken wrote a couple of books and he sold over 8 million copies, which is an outstanding number in its own right. Without giving you everything about his background, I want to welcome Ken Honda and also have him discuss a little bit about how he became this expert and how he can help us. Welcome to the show, Ken.

Victoria, thank you for inviting me. I feel so happy to be invited to your show.

Your latest book is called Happy Money and it is about the Japanese art of making peace with your money. Before I forget, I want all of you to go check out his website, which is simple There, you can learn a lot about this deep and complex topic that our society makes difficult and complex. It could be simple. He’s going to go in and simplify it. As the expert, did you have a particular relationship with money? Did you struggle with money or did you have too much of it at one time? How did you come up with an understanding that there was a problem with how we process our relationship with money?

In Japan, I have published more than 200 books. I wrote a few books on my life but to make it short, I was born into a happy family. My father was a successful tax accountant. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. I learned so much about money before going into grade school because my father believed in money education, which is very unique in Japan and probably in North America as well. Nobody talks about money.

I got all the money ideas, knowledge and skill by the time I was twenty. I started my business when I was twenty. I never worked for anybody else in my entire life. I became financially independent in my twenties and I retired for four years. During the four years of semi-retirement for my baby girl, I had this inspiration to write. I never wrote anything in my life. I was a Law major student and I did accounting consulting in my early twenties. That’s how I made my business and money.

MDH 64 | Zen Millionaire

Zen Millionaire: Unfortunately, some people have a very high money IQ, but very low money EQ. This is why some movie stars and hedge fund managers end up being broke because they make decisions based on their emotions.


I thought I was crazy thinking about writing a book, which I did. It was a few pages of a booklet like an essay. My friends loved it and I printed the copies and stapled them every day. By word of mouth, the words got out and people wanted more. I self-published my booklet for about 3,000 copies which disappeared in a week. I printed another 5,000 and another 5,000.

By the time I had given away my booklet for about 100,000 copies, a publisher called me and then I started writing books on happiness and money. That’s what got started my career many years ago. Since then, I have published about 200 books and sold about 8 million copies here. The first English one is Happy Money and now it’s out in 40 different countries.

In that short life story, there were so many great nuggets that we can now analyze here. Number one, you’re absolutely right. I don’t think of any society that I can think of and I’ve traveled to so many different countries, millions of miles of travel myself. I have been in these countries and talked to people that we do not educate our young people, financial literacy and the relationship between money. We focus on math and they think that kids are going to grow up and figure out the relationship with money and how it applies to life. What does it mean? How much do you need it?

They go to college and they are confused. They get influenced by the first kid that has a few thousand bucks and they rule the campus. It’s interesting that your father taught you financial literacy at a very young age, which obviously helped you. You understood the genesis of how to make money and what you do with it and what happens when you don’t accumulate what you need.

That was interesting so any of you who are reading this might want to take some lessons on that. I’m not saying your kid needs to be like a CPA but having a little understanding of that. The other thing I thought was impressive about your story is that you never worked for anybody in your life. That’s the other thing. I went to school in South Korea when I came here. Not a whole lot changed about instilling in our children the spirit of, “I can do it. I believe in myself.” It’s all about getting a degree, becoming a lawyer, doctor, CPA or whatever for your financial security. They don’t take into account your emotional freedom.

I was an artist. I was a painter. I wanted to paint. I wanted to be like Van Gogh. Every time it’s career day or somebody asks me, what do you want to do when you grow up? I would say, “I want to be like Van Gogh.” Kids will laugh at me. They would feel sorry for me. My parents were angry at me because they thought like an artist doesn’t make any money until they die. It’s a losing cause. “Why am I supporting that lost cause as a parent, teacher or society?”

Money management is like dieting. Are you willing to look at your body size and confront where you are?

I did make money when I worked with someone but I was suffocating inside. The money I was making caused me the emotional pain I had because I felt like I couldn’t express myself. In order to make more money, I had to keep my mouth shut and I started losing my voice. That’s really toxic. This idea that you’re about making peace with money, you’re writing about money somehow causing your happiness, I wouldn’t say that money is caused your happiness but when you collect it, understand it and you do it in the right way then you can make peace with your money. Is that the premise of your book?

I teach about money IQ and money EQ. The book, Happy Money is about money EQ, which not many people teach. I shared the same stage with Robert Kiyosaki. Those people are teaching money IQ, which is financial literacy and the one I teach is money EQ, which is emotional health with money. Unfortunately, some of us have very high money IQ but we don’t have money EQ. That makes us all feel miserable and seeing movie stars and all those hedge fund managers with high money IQ ended up being broke because they make decisions based on their emotions. Now, money EQ has to be learned as much as money IQ.

How hard do you think it is to learn for people who have never heard of it and who have been conditioned all their lives? Maybe they’re 50, 60 years old and they have conditional lives. All you need is to learn how to do money IQ and make that money no matter what it takes. How hard is it to unconditioned yourself? Do you need to necessarily walk away from money IQ to get too emotional health with your money?

Money is a symbol of many things for some people, money is a symbol of security. For some people, money means power or love. You have to look deep in yourself and then if you realize that you have some emotional issues around money, “Are you willing to face and heal it if necessary? That is my question about how long it will take or how hard it is. Take a look at yourself. It’s the same thing with dieting. Are you willing to look at your body size and can you confront where you are?

My question wasn’t necessarily how long does it take in terms of time. Before you can even learn to confront your own problems, you’d have to admit that you have a problem. A lot of people who have a high money IQ or making a ton of money don’t think that they have a money EQ problem. They’re miserable, going through their fifth divorce and they’re making everybody around them miserable. They haven’t talked to their own kids or their parents and yet they don’t think that it’s their fault. They don’t think that they have an emotional problem. What I’m saying is are there phases of this journey of understanding money EQ and working on that?

For a lot of people, money can be icy, cold and solid. When it melts, it becomes water. Unless you control it right, it becomes a drought or flood. Either way, if you’re making too much money, it could wash out the entire family. If there was drought, which is no income, it also gives your family a hard time. When you’re free of money emotionally, now it becomes air. That means money is there but you don’t even notice it and don’t care as much.

MDH 64 | Zen Millionaire

Zen Millionaire: Money can be icy. Then when it melts, it becomes water and if you don’t control it right it becomes a drought. When you’re free of money, emotionally, it becomes air. You only notice it when you need it.


For you, Victoria, you don’t pay much attention to money because it’s there when you need it. For some financially independent people, money is like air. You know it exists but you don’t care and worry about it. “Can I sniff all my air? For tomorrow, I have to save it.” You don’t complain to your friends and neighbors, “You’re sniffing my air.”

I never worried about money, not because I have plenty of it but I always thought that I was never going to have any. As long as I wasn’t going to have a lot of it, I might enjoy my life. I decided that as long as I’m going to struggle my whole life trying to make enough money to feed my family, I might as well enjoy that journey. I might as well do what I enjoy doing. I’d rather paint or draw to make a little less money but I enjoy it so it’s not resentful than make me try to go to some Corporate America where I’m picking orders all day and I’m still making not a whole lot more money but I was miserable.

I then pretty much pursued my happiness, at least in the one facet of my life. My backstory when we first came to America, my parents got all their assets frozen. He found himself with $30 and there was no money. I didn’t get to see my parents most often because they went to work at 6:00 AM in the morning. They worked two jobs each so they came home at night. I had to raise my younger sisters and brother. When I grew up, the one thing that was not negotiable for me was me abandoning my children for some paycheck.

I decided to be at home or be a present mom. Hiring nannies and all that, even though I could afford it, it was not an option. For me, happiness was being present at home. I built my company around their school schedule. I got up at 6:00 AM LA time is midday Europe. I called all the department stores in Europe between 6:00 and 8:00. When my kids went to school, I dropped them off and then I worked during the day, East Coast on but then when I picked them up at 2:00, I didn’t work. By then, you had to figure out, “I’m never going to be rich, which is I’m working essentially part-time but this was enough to sustain me.”

Eventually, like your books, you became a successful author by growing your community organically. There were a lot of people everywhere I showed up because my message was authentic. I was very vulnerable but I showed it. I told them, “I’m not a business person. I’m not a great designer but I have dreams of doing this. Is there any possibility that customers might like anything here?” I would carry on my sketchbooks and that’s how I ended up selling the $1 million worth of jewelry. We’re both saying that if you seek happiness, the EQ first and then you try to achieve the IQ portion of it. The hard money can come as a result of it.

Let’s move on to the next topic here about you say making peace with your money. Is there necessarily a tension between having money and having peace? Why are many people that have so much money feel like they have to chase more of it? We’re now living in an area where the millionaires are chasing the billionaires and the billionaires are chasing the trillionaires. It’s never enough. Is there a human DNA that does that to us? Is it physical? Do you think it’s all emotional EQ?

Make everyone happy by giving more than necessary.

Have you played with a cat? When it wants something, the cat is going to go. I enjoy playing with my cats. We are that way. One time, I sat down with a millionaire and my original question was, how old were you when you started feeling, “I’m wealthy?” I thought he would say, “25 years old when his company became public.” I was expecting that answer and he paused for a moment.

He said, “I don’t feel I’m wealthy at all.” “But you have a public company with a thousand employees?” He said, “I don’t have a private jet.” Later on, I had met somebody with a private jet. I asked him the same question. He said, “I’m not wealthy yet,” because he said, “My friend has a bigger private jet.” There’s not enough unless you call it.

You’re saying that it would be nice to have a number in mind. That happened to me. I remember I tried to make $2,000 a month and I made a lot more than that. I had a horrible year. I made less money than my employees. I was moping around and unhappy. My husband said to me, “Do you remember you had a business plan when you started your company?” I said, “Yes.” “Do not forget it.” I opened it. He said, “What does it say over there?” I said, “Goal is $24,000 a year.” He said, “Last year you did $300,000 and so this year you’re going to make $140,000 or something. Even with that, you’ve done 5, 6 times more than what you thought you could do.”

You’re right. Having a number and reminding yourself how far you’ve come and that what you would have been happy with a few years ago. That’s neat too. I have another question. You were saying money cannot make you happy. There are a lot of other factors. I know you’ve had your own businesses your whole life, by definition, you would know the entrepreneurial spirit. If you’re selling physical goods as I do.

I’ve been buying some stuff and then I’m having to ship the things. You’ll have some good years and years and bad years. You wrote 200 books and some sold better than others. What happens is you never know when a rainy day will come. You don’t get a paycheck unless you create that yourself. You never know when the rainy decade will come for you. I’ve never learned to spend money. I don’t have other people that could help me out. I was always also somebody who didn’t live my life to try to impress other people. I saved my money for a rainy day but a lot of people don’t do that.

I hang on to it because they want to show their success. As you said, for some people, it’s a status symbol and for other people, it’s power. How do we find consistent ways to ground ourselves when we make money and have the blessings and the gratitude of having excess or a little bit more than what we thought we would? Do you think it would be a good idea to pay it forward to other people or do you think that helps in terms of you being happy?

MDH 64 | Zen Millionaire

Zen Millionaire: Instead of making yourself money, you can become friends with investors and happy millionaires. Becoming friends with other people is really the key.


Yes. Once again, you have to find your own balance. Some people say 10% is good enough with tithing and some people say 20%. My mentor, John Gray, who is the author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus tips people 30% sometimes 50%. I was shocked but when I went to a restaurant with him, I remember the chief waiter came running.

He makes everybody happy by giving away more than necessary. He seemed very happy about giving very big tips to everybody. You can be generous with your money. You don’t have to wait until you become a billionaire. This generosity around money is tied in with your happiness. The more generous you are, the happier you feel but you cannot go bankrupt by giving way too.

Once again, you have to find the right balance that feels very comfortable for you. If you feel comfortable about giving away a lot, go ahead. If you don’t feel comfortable, wait and save enough amount that you feel safe and then start sharing something. I advise anybody to share something so donate a dollar or quarter in a box at the cash register when you feel anxiety around money. That’s a good reminder that you have more than enough. Unless you do that, you cannot have felt that there’s abundance in the world. You feel tight and then squeezed along the way. You have to choose which world you’re living in. Is it an abundant world or a scarcity world?

I was reminded often by my mother-in-law and my grandmother of this one phrase and that is, “There was this man who used to complain all the time about how he didn’t have any shoes and he had to walk in the snow until he met a man without any feet.” I’m not saying, as you said, you go bankrupt or make any significant donation but every time you give, it will be a reminder that you have something to give.

Even if you’re complaining, “I didn’t have a great year last year so I’m going to get less this year,” you still have something to give and that is how you remind yourself with optimism. That gets me right into another thing that I’m curious about that I commend you for, you have built this community called Arigato Living Community. I used to have a show in Japan.

I learned a few little Japanese words, not a lot. It’s a very complex language to learn but in English, it translates to Grateful Living Community. Tell me a little bit about why you founded it and those of you reading, Arigato Living Community, information about that could be found on Ken’s website, Tell me a little bit about you founded it and what’s your vision with that community.

You can be generous with your money today. You don’t have to wait to become a billionaire.

Thank you. I teach about money EQ, as I told you. With this teaching, I always explain visible assets and invisible assets. Networking and trust among people are some of those invisible assets. Instead of making $1 million in your bank account, you can become a best friend with a millionaire, which I did in my twenties. It’s the same thing. It’s almost like you have this bank allowance. You don’t have the money yet but you can borrow up to $1 million. Instead of making yourself money, you can become friends with investors and happy millionaires. Becoming friends with other people is the key.

That is a concept I started in my Japanese community. We have about 15,000 to 20,000 membership online and offline. In this community, people just share knowledge, experiences and friendship. In my community, people get married because they met through my network and they make a lot of friends. I thought it’d be neat if I started something like that in English. We have about 600 members now from twenty different countries.

Once a month, we meet and I teach money EQ stuff but at the same time, I want to learn from other people. I’m so curious about a friend learning from a friend like Azerbaijan, Poland and London, which we cannot meet one another with the circumstances. I’m very excited to meet my international friends that way. That’s my Arigato Living Community.

I’m smiling all the way because what you’re doing is important and it’s a healthy community coming from Japan, a lot of people may not realize how small Japan is. It’s smaller than California, yet you have many people living there but it’s a small place. For those of us who come from these small countries, there is this undying curiosity about other places. That’s why I travel millions and millions of miles and make friends all over the world. I physically visited places like Bahrain and these places and made some amazing friends.

More important than that, your comment about learning from other millionaires. I have done this. I always tell people not to try to do everything by themselves. Try to learn from other people that have succeeded and try to learn from other people who didn’t succeed. Even the people who didn’t succeed still have seen all the troubles you cannot see right now. They have seen all the landmines and all the dangers. Some of them didn’t make it but they’re alive enough to tell you about it and avoid them.

There are people who created this amazing business life and things for themselves and they’re willing to share it with other people who don’t have it yet. Creating a community like that where people can meet online and hopefully, we’ll be able to do that in person as well and have some great conventions and stuff. That community helps bridge the gap between the money IQ and EQ. I love that you’re doing that.

MDH 64 | Zen Millionaire

Happy Money: The Japanese Art Of Making Peace With Your Money

I’m going to do my part in populating that message of Arigato Living Community because we need it here in the States. From the definition point of view, it’s being thankful, living and breathing air and connecting with amazing people that willing to share their knowledge and resources. Any other thing that I didn’t cover? I know that we’ve covered a lot of bios. Happy Money that’s in English and it’s by Simon & Schuster. I would highly recommend that you pick up a copy. It might be life-changing for you because it would be life-changing.

I will make a confession. I do have more than enough money. I was hoping to make $2,000 a month but I’ve had a journey with money. I grew up so poor so when I first came here, I went through a phase where I felt so guilty for having money. I felt guilty that money came easier for me than other people. There was a lot of that guilt associated with money.

I had to work through that and stop beating myself but many of you might be struggling in different ways. Ken’s book, Happy Money, the relationship making peace with your money, it’d be a life-changing thing for you. You will still learn a few things about it that are going to give you happiness. I highly recommend that. Ken, any word of wisdom that you want to share before we close this episode?


Thank you. Lastly, I want to recommend one small practice that I enjoy. I learned it from my mentor, Wahei Takeda, who was called the Warren Buffett of Japan. He was one time a major shareholder of more than 100 public companies in Japan. He said, “A secret to money is arigato in and arigato out.” This means when money comes in, you say, “Thank you.” When money goes out of your life, when you spend money, also say, “Thank you,” to the money. By doing this, you can start the cycle of appreciation.

The next time you receive a check from your company or who you’re working for or from clients, say thank you to the money and thank you to the people who pay you the check. Next time when you spend money, say thank you to that money and thank the person that you’re paying to. Enjoy that. It doesn’t cost you anything. It makes you feel so good.

Think about Christmas time. How many of you are running around looking for the perfect gift because there was so much joy in giving than receiving. That’s a deeply thought-out thing that most of us don’t think about. Thank you for sharing that wisdom with us. I highly recommend you read Ken’s books and listen to his teachings and join any community that he has.

You can tell from this episode how authentic, genuine and happy Ken is. We all love to have every day blessed with such happiness. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode. Until next time, stay healthy and be happy. Remember, always sign off by saying happiness is a choice and I hope you make great choices.

Thank you, Victoria.


Important Links


About Ken Honda

MDH 64 | Zen MillionaireMoney and happiness expert Ken Honda is a best-selling self-development author in Japan, with book sales surpassing eight million copies since 2001.

His latest book is called “Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money” (June 4, 2019, Simon & Schuster). Ken studied law at Waseda University in Tokyo and entered the Japanese workforce as a business consultant and investor.

Ken’s financial expertise comes from owning and managing several businesses, including an accounting company, a management consulting firm, and a venture capital corporation.

His writings bridge the topics of finance and self-help, focusing on creating and generating personal wealth and happiness through deeper self-honesty. Ken provides ongoing support through mentoring programs, business seminars, therapeutic workshops, and correspondence courses.

Ken is the first person from Japan to be voted into the Transformational Leadership Council, a group of personal and professional development leaders. He is fluent in Japanese and English; lived in Boston, Massachusetts for two years; and currently resides in Tokyo, Japan. Learn more at


MDH 63 | Dream Team

MDH 63 | Dream Team


You are only as good as your team. If you don’t have a bad team, they will always find a great idea to mess up. But if you have a great team, they’ll fix all the things that need to be refined. Dream Team Architect Veronica Romney has a lot of experience in dealing with and cultivating great teams. Veronica helps online entrepreneurs dial in their human resources and develop phenomenal company cultures and profitable bottom lines. Veronica joins Victoria Wieck to share her insights on what makes a dream team. Tune in as Veronica drops her most effective team-building strategies so you can start growing your own dream team today.

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here


Building A Dream Team: Getting Your Business Dreams Dialed In With Veronica Romney

I am so excited to have an amazing guest who can help all of you. Her name is Veronica Romney. She’s too humble to say this, but people have called her the Dream Team Architect. As many of you know, I always believe that you are as good as your team. If you have a bad team, they can always find even a great idea to be messed up. If you’ve got a great team, they will fix whatever was wrong with the little things that need to be refined.

She comes to us with a lot of experience. She has been in the digital space since 2008. She has worked behind the scenes. A lot of times, people who work behind the scenes don’t get the glory but make everything work. She worked behind the scenes as a speaker, trainer, director, and chief of staff for brands such as Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Pete Vargas and BossBabe. A lot of these big names, you might think, “They’re so far ahead of me,” but she is going to teach you how to translate that into a small to medium-sized business. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome, Veronica, to the show.

Thank you. I’m super excited to be here.

Tell us a little bit about your journey. What is it like to work in a corporate environment and then make that transition? How did you become the expert that you are now?

Maybe I’m going to be controversial but I don’t hate the corporate world. Some people are like, “I hate the corporate world.” There are pros and cons of both the corporate environment structure that you have and this psychological safety to know what is expected of you, who you report to, who to call if your computer is broken, the benefits and things like that. There’s then this promised land of freedom that comes with entrepreneurship.

My parents are Cuban immigrants who started a company many years ago and also came to this country with literally nothing. I’m the oldest child so I was front row to their hardship, and that has always been inside of me. Even though I was having enormous success in my corporate run, I was like Moana. I could feel the calling inside of me, that still small voice that was calling me forward. When I had my first son, that life transition was the transition in my career too.

I don’t hate the corporate world either. If you’re a Millennial mom and I know I’ve got a lot of you, some of you may have heard the pros and cons of living in the corporate world. The best thing to do is spend a few years there because they do know how to put things right. They have a structure and system that works.

Most of the time, in the corporate world, you don’t get to shine as an individual; you get to shine as a team.

The problem with a lot of corporate structure that works is that because they are so structured and ingrained in what they do, they’re not most nimble and flexible. As an individual, you are plugged into a system. If you’re lucky, you can impact that system and grow with the corporation. Most of the time, you don’t get to shine as an individual. You get to shine as a team, as one little cog in a wheel. That’s okay. For a lot of people, it works. Taking what you’ve learned from that corporate world and now transitioning into helping small businesses that have to do everything.

In the small business world, we don’t know how many have an IT department. My IT department is my husband and son-in-law. I do have outside help. I had an IT team that came out here because my internet wasn’t working, and I’ve had to reschedule many show interviews because I live in an area where the internet doesn’t work at the time. It was like several thousand dollars and eight hours later, four guys came here and hardwired my whole house. The point is when you’re a small business, you don’t have a marketing department to go to. You don’t have the legal department that can look at your language. You don’t have a backup team that can help you.

When you’re hiring a small team for a small business that has four people, for example. You got somebody who excelled in sales, somebody who does your accounting and HR. In a small business, is it true that you would hire somebody who is much more flexible and diverse in their area of expertise? How would you go about doing that?

This is the controversy with small companies or teams, especially in the online space. We look for Swiss Army knives. That’s what I call them. In the corporate world, a Swiss Army knife is like an executive assistant. There are certain people that wear 5,000 hats and are chameleons. If you need a nail file, you get a nail file. If you need a screw, you get a screw. They will do whatever is required because the position demands it.

In online entrepreneurship and these businesses where the majority of the time, founders have had either little or no corporate experience, they don’t understand structure and titles or anything like that, they personally have had to do everything. They’re the janitor, IT, bookkeeping, all the things. When you’re trying to replace yourself, you replace yourself with people who look and talk like you in the sense that they are also Swiss Army knives like you are. If you’re doing everything, you want somebody who can also help you do everything. The problem becomes when you start to scale, and there needs to be more definition and delineation between responsibilities.

That’s when all of a sudden, a Swiss Army knife becomes a Frankenstein. It’s no longer advantageous that somebody can do marketing, operations, HR, IT, and does all the things because then they’re never being put in a position to succeed if they have to do too many things and they serve too many masters. I try to help my scaling business owners recognize that a Swiss Army knife within a department is okay. A Frankenstein role that is part marketing, part operations, part platypus, part duck is not okay. There are differences between the two.

I work with a lot of female-owned businesses that’s been around for many years. They’re doing pretty close to seven figures, and they’ve done it by networking everywhere, outworking everybody, buying and lifting everybody else. They’ve done it by working and grinding it out. Now, their kids are gone and they want to scale their business. It’s also true that if you’re not careful when you’re scaling, you can grow broke. Where is the balance?

MDH 63 | Dream Team

Dream Team: If you’re not careful when scaling, you can go broke.


If I’m the founder, I’m a control freak. I’m used to doing everything myself. I was the marketing head, legal head or whatever, and all the relationships with my customers and vendors are with me. That’s the truth with a lot of entrepreneurs who are successful. What happens is when you want to scale, do you find out then what is the position that you most need help with and go for the expertise there? You can’t afford to hire five people.

You have to scale in a way that’s financially sound and feasible. I made this mistake when I jumped from corporate to start my own digital marketing agency. I was operating under the mindset of I’m going to hire a whole bunch of W-2s, everybody is going to get health benefits, and it’s going to be great. I’m like, “What was I thinking?”

I barely paid myself, let alone giving everybody all these perks and benefits that I was accustomed to receiving as a corporate employee, and then thinking that I could turn around and do that in a small business right out the gate. I made that mistake. When I’m consulting with my clients, “You don’t need to rush to W-2 status. That doesn’t make you legit or official, nor does that give you the title of a scaling business owner.”

For a long time, especially because of the blessing of technology and the online resources that we have that we’ve never had before, a lot of the people that you will surround yourself with will be your team, but they will be in the form of vendors, contractors, part-timers, and that’s okay too from a business expense standpoint.

Who do you surround yourself with first, and who makes the most sense? This is where I don’t agree with the general wisdom that’s out there. There’s a lot of counsel to get an assistant right away like, “Get an assistant right away because they can do a lot of the inbox and calendar management. They can do a lot of the stuff that won’t ever generate money for you but then at the same time, it’s part of the job.” I’m like, “There’s that option.” Maybe this is my marketing background, but I don’t like to separate myself from voices very early on in a business venture or in releasing new products to the marketplace. It’s also my speaker training.

The most valuable feedback that you can receive is hearing what’s working and what’s resonating with what you’re saying with the marketplace. I am still in my inbox. I like being in my inbox. I’m the one direct messaging people on my Instagram account. I want to be close to the people like I would if I was on stage reading the room. Where I do start to let go is all of the techs.

The first thing that I counsel people is all of that tech, wiring, emails service providing and funneling that is so desperately required for your virtual office and to automate your business, so you don’t have to hire a whole bunch of people that are unnecessary that technology can take for you, that’s the first person that I would probably invest in more than I would in somebody doing my inbox.

You don’t want somebody to work for you because they think you’re perfect. You want somebody to work for you because they can help you improve.

The idea is that you have to figure out as a CEO, if you’re a tech-oriented company, you don’t want to remove yourself from tech. If you are a marketing-oriented company, I agree with you because I’m in the jewelry business, and I see jewelry, fashion and apparel. Many times, designers like myself work in a separate space, and then we send it to the buying team. The buying team buys the stuff without any feedback from the marketing people.

They send it to the marketing people and say, “Market this,” and then the merchandising people can only merchandise what was bought. They are constantly pointing fingers at each other when, in fact, they are all in the same room creating the product at the same time. It’s true that in a TV, retailer or department store, they can look back at what sold last month. They were saying that feedback but it isn’t because it’s reflective of what you’ve offered last month. It’s a garbage in, garbage out thing. I agree with you on that.

In terms of, aligning your vision, purpose and company’s mission with the people that you’re hiring. How do you know that? Sometimes savvy applicants can do all this research online, and most companies have their mission statement on their website, so they will tell you everything you want to hear. How do you find that person or a team that’s going to reflect your mission and purpose, and provide that to your clients and customers?

This is an interesting topic because I do a lot of screening and phone interviewing. I’m not a recruiter for my clients as their Fractional Chief of Staff but I help them make sure that we’re getting the right people in the door and then onboarding them correctly for success. Because I work with such bigger personalities, we get a lot of fans that apply as you would.

They’re either your students or they’ve purchased your products or courses from the past. Not only they could read your mission statement and values on your website, on top of that, they are also fans who want to emulate you and aspire to have the life that you’ve created for yourself with your products and services. Is it best to hire your fans or is it best not to hire your fans?

That’s a controversial thing because sometimes the easiest and quickest way to fill a seat is to go to your community and go, “I have a spot.” What takes time is going to Indeed and going through a recruiter. Sometimes what I have found, this is my personal Veronica’s book of observations and experience, is that for marketing-centric roles, I don’t like hiring fans and students because they’re not coming to work for us to improve us.

They’re coming to work for us to leverage the name and take in internal learnings for their own gain and benefit. Their truest aspiration is they bought our products so that they can do their own thing one day. The only exception to that is operations, customer service or customer-centric. I love pulling from the community to help provide customer support or community management. There are certain departments that I like to fish in the community, and then there are certain positions that I don’t.

MDH 63 | Dream Team

Dream Team: You have to scale in a way that’s financially sound and feasible.


If you don’t have a name like Tony Robbins or Dean Graziosi, if you were Veronica Romney or Victoria Wieck, is there a systematic way of figuring out how to align your vision with the people? A lot of times, when you hire somebody, you have a 30 to 90-day probation period, and you can hire somebody new but it’s time-consuming. You want to be able to hire the right person and grow with them and evolve. If you evolve, they need to evolve as well. How do you go about doing that?

Where my spidey sense goes off in an interview is when somebody is leading too much with flattery. Everybody has a level of ego and it feels right. It’s like, “Thank you. You researched me. You took the time and that’s great.” However, I don’t want somebody to work for me because they think I’m perfect. I want somebody to work for me because they can help me improve. The truth is as business owners, you and I know that we’re not perfect nor close to perfect. One of the questions I tend to ask people in interview processes, especially if I can tell that they’ve done their research, I’m like, “Because you’ve done your research, where do you think I can improve best?”

That’s good. I love that a lot because I’m a very optimistic and complimentary person. I do homework on everybody I talk to. That’s a minimum you can give to somebody who’s going to give you their time. The gift of time is the most precious thing anybody has, and they’re giving that time to you, so I feel like I have an obligation to find out who they are and find some common ground and all that ahead of time.

To me, when somebody comes to an interview and knows a little bit about me and my business, I feel like, “They’ve done their homework.” That’s the absolute basic minimum. I won’t hire anybody who hasn’t done any homework on my part. In fact, the interview will be very short if I find out that. Hiring someone because you know that you need to improve, evolve, short-handed, that is not your forte, or it’s not your expertise, then that may turn into fiction a little bit or having to depend on that new hiree. We don’t want to hire people who are exactly like us because then you’re going to duplicate yourself.

Good advice will be like, “Hire people that are smarter than you. Hire people that have complementary strengths that hone the same strengths as you.” It’s one thing to say, it’s another thing to do it. You’re basically asking for somebody to disagree with you. You’re asking for somebody to think for themselves and challenge conventional wisdom and how things have been run. You have to be humble enough to receive that feedback if you genuinely want to improve and scale your business beyond where you are.

A lot of you have 1, 2 or 3 people working for you, and you’re already seeing some minor office politics or disagreement on your employees. When I first started my company, I had some issues where I had six people in the office, and two people didn’t get along with each other. It was getting to the point where we were starting to lose this whole real family atmosphere. How do you either prevent, manage or navigate that?

It’s hard to prevent because personalities are personalities. People rub each other the wrong way with or without you hosting a company picnic. Most of these things happen at sometimes even company-sponsored events where like, “Everybody should be happy,” and then somebody said something. It’s not to say that there’s nothing you can do to prevent it but at the same time, we are not Thanos. We’re not in control of the universe. We can’t just snap our fingers and everything stops. Things will happen with or without our intervention.

If they happen, it is certainly the responsibility of the leader to be very swift about saying this is okay and not okay, especially with small teams. If you have a smaller work family and you can tell that two people aren’t getting along, you have to decipher as a leader, “Is their conflict affecting the rest of the team?” If the answer is no, not yet, then you hope they’re going to handle it. If you can tell that the ripple effect is starting to be a distraction or negatively impact work productivity from the others because it is a small environment, then I very much intervene very quickly.

You don’t want somebody to work for you because they think you’re perfect. You want somebody to work for you because they can help you improve.

I will bring two people into my office or my virtual office on the Zoom call. I’m like, “Guys, I respect and admire you and your roles. I’m so appreciative that you’re here. You, I’m also extremely appreciative that you’re here. I feel saddened that there’s this tension and conflict between the two of you. I counsel with you. I’m going to ask the two of you to work it out because it’s negatively impacting the rest, and if this isn’t resolved, we have to have a different conversation.”

I do move very swiftly and call out the elephant in the room and have a crucial conversation because 9 times out of 10, keeping your job is more important than stupid drama. If they can’t see past stupid drama to keep the job and to be in a place where they’re appreciated, then I don’t know if they’re a good fit, generally speaking anyway.

That’s important. This goes directly to the small business owner who worked and pretty much did everything herself. She didn’t sleep at night and all this stuff, then she hires the first one. She’s relieved and if she’s lucky, then she hires the second one, and the two don’t get along. A lot of times, the people that are barely scratching the seven figures that are hiring people, are not used to managing people or managing teams. They’re used to doing their thing and living with their consequences. The instinct is like, “Why can’t that person be like me? Why can’t they just suck it up?”

I thought I would ask that question because this is the one question I get a lot from entrepreneurs. I do a lot of speaking and helping female small business owners, and that’s one of the first things I get. “I need all of them. Some of them just don’t get along.” You and I are on the same page on that as well. In terms of the different methods people scale. Is it necessarily only coming down to the teams or were there other factors involved in scaling a business correctly? Having the correct team is a key factor. Nothing else happens without them, but what else is there?

There’s a difference between a growing company and a scaling company. A growing company is growing because you’re adding either more resources like team members or more products that you can sell to the same customer or increasing that average customer lifetime value. There are multiple ways that you can grow a business, and that’s the definition of growing a business. It’s the addition of resources or offers in the marketplace.

A scaling company is a company that can still make more money without adding more resources to the pot, no more products, and getting more from the team that you have. There comes a place where the goal is to scale, not necessarily to keep growing and adding because you have more headaches. There’s more logistical operational drag the more that you add in your pursuit to make $1 million or $10 million. You don’t want $1 million on the top line and $1 million in expense on the bottom line. It’s not even worth it.

You don’t want to get into the situation where you’re getting a point of diminishing return on your investments in terms of human resources as well as all the other resources. I know that you still do a lot of speaking and help other small to medium-sized businesses scale in a way that’s not disruptive. A lot of times, if you don’t know how to scale and use the right resources, you can go broke. I’ve seen that many times.

I’ve been on HSN for many years, and I can count maybe 200 different companies that did all the right things up to that point, and then when they want to grow from $10 million to $50 million, that’s when they go broke because the stakes are so high at that point. Every order, instead of a $10,000 order, it’s a $1 million order. You make one little mistake and that money has gone. Maybe you have a customer who owes you $2 million that goes bankrupt, then you’re tight. There are a lot of things that could go wrong. Growing for the sake of growing is not all that glorious at times. Any other words of wisdom that you want to leave our audience with?

MDH 63 | Dream Team

Dream Team: Fans don’t come to work to improve the company. They’re coming to work to leverage the name and take in internal learnings for their gain and benefit.


Always ask yourself, “Why do I want to scale or why do I want to hit certain revenue projections?” You’re right. Sometimes quite frankly, the sweet spot is $1 million, $2 million, $3 million. When you hit $3 million, everything breaks. When you hit $10 million, everything breaks. There are certain milestones that are almost like that seven-year marital itch where in seven years, you’re like, “I don’t like you anymore. What’s happening?”

You go through those seasons with your business where sometimes you’re like, “I liked it when it was a baby and it had fat chubby little thighs and I could sit it down. Now, it’s like an unruly teenager that I want to kick out of the house.” There are different seasons. As business owners, you’re the captain and commander of the ship. You can decide if you want to stay where you are because that is where you’ve hit this perfect balance of work and life. Not letting something that seems appealing and the glory of saying that you’re X figures or you’ve hit this, but do you want the lifestyle that comes with that because you’re more exposed and there are sacrifices? You feel like you’re selling your soul.

Even in my own ambition, I’m a highly ambitious human being, there’s no doubt. I can’t help it. Maybe it’s the Cuban genes in me. I’m a very ambitious person but there is a conversation I have with myself all the time of, “How far do I want to go before it’s too much?” It’s not a diminishing return in net profitability, but a diminishing return in my lifestyle and my family relations.

If I were to part ways with your audience, I’d be like, “Don’t go for something because somebody else does that.” I say that as the representative of the big names. People are like, “I want a Tony Robbins business or BossBabe business.” I’ve been behind the curtain and it comes with an enormous cost. Don’t try to emulate something you don’t understand.

That is something that I talk about week after week. As children of immigrants here, I am an immigrant because my parents brought me here involuntarily, we see it the sacrifice and the need for balance. Our parents probably worked too much. My father passed away in 1999. If all the additional revenue or profits come at an enormous personal cost, whether that comes in the way of your health, mental or physical, personal relationships or not having time for yourself.

I love to paint and play the piano and all this stuff. If I need to give up so much of my life at some point, it’s not worth it. If you make $150,000 a year or something. I read somewhere that you could afford almost everything you want in life. You could be quite happy. Understanding scaling and all of that is great but this whole episode wasn’t about you going from 7 to 9 figures. It is about growing to 7 or 8 figures so that you could work fewer hours and high-quality time with your family.

That was very well said, Veronica, and thank you so much for coming on this show to share your expertise and heart. You can reach Veronica and find out all about her life, her journey, and everything that she’s committed to doing. Simply go to her website, or, and you will be amazed. Until next time, everyone, please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice and I hope you make great choices.


Important Links


About Veronica Romney

MDH 63 | Dream Team“You Can Build A Business Alone, But You Can’t Scale It On Your Own”

I’m Veronica Romney and I work with online entrepreneurs struggling to get their teams dialed in.

I am an Integrator personality to a T, and I love managing people. I’ve also been in the online marketing world since 2008, most recently working behind-the-scenes as a speaker, trainer, Director, and Chief of Staff for brands such as Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Pete Vargas, and BossBabe.

Simply put, my unique superpowers and professional background will help you actually take a vacation – not another workcation. Need I say more?

Learn more how we can work together here >>

MDH 62 Tim Fitzpatrick | Key Marketing Fundamentals

MDH 62 Tim Fitzpatrick | Key Marketing Fundamentals


Learning the fundamentals of something is important if you want to get good at it. The same thing applies to the key fundamentals of marketing. Having these in your pocket helps make marketing your business easier. Victoria Wieck and Tim Fitzpatrick of Rialto Marketing get into the basics. They discuss the concepts and how each is an important part of the whole. Tune in and see the breakdown of marketing your business.

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here

The Key Marketing Fundamentals For Success With Tim Fitzpatrick

Many of you, readers, are already entrepreneurs, and quite a few of you are successful. Some of you are struggling. I always like to start my show with a proposition, also to solve problems that you are facing every single day. One of the first things that a small business entrepreneur has to navigate, if he or she will be successful, is the whole idea of marketing yourself, getting yourself out there, getting visibility, letting people know what you do, how you serve them, and why you are the unique and the best in that field.

Why will they give you a try? This is all part of the world of marketing but we are living in a world of so-called experts who tell you what marketing is. It could be digital marketing, advance, use slick ads, all those things come into play. I’ve got somebody here who has grinded it out over several businesses that he has founded and worked through. This isn’t marketing solutions for people who’ve got millions of dollars to spend. This is for those of you who have to watch your money, actions, and time as well. Without further ado, I want to welcome Tim Fitzpatrick, who is a marketing expert. Welcome to the show.

Victoria, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

First of all, give our audience a two-minute overview of how you became a marketing expert and why you are uniquely a different kind of marketing expert.

My entrepreneurial journey has not been a straight path. I don’t think any of them are but when I graduated from college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was a Math major. My dad had been an entrepreneur for a long time. He had started a wholesale distribution company a couple of years before I graduated. I knew he needed some help. He had no full-time employees at that point.

I said, “Let me work for you for three months. Give me time to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. You need the help.” He said, “Yes.” I jumped in. We were selling consumer electronics and home theater equipment to contractors. After three months, I was hooked. I loved it. I became the first full-time employee. I was wearing every hat. I was, “Let me pick up this phone.” I’m doing AR, “Let me do this.” I’m doing sales. It was an awesome experience. My dad and I grew that company about 60% a year for nine years, and then we sold it.

I learned more doing that in 6 months than I did in 4 years of college. It was an amazing experience, one that I would never want to change. When I’ve got out of that, I needed to do something different. I shifted gears. I’ve got involved in residential real estate for a while, which I did not like. The one thing I learned from that was how to put myself outside of my comfort zone. There’s not much I’m not worried about jumping into.

When I decided to get out of real estate, I was waking up each day going, “I hate this.” Why own a business if you are going to be in that position? I shifted gears again. That’s when I’ve got into what I’m doing, which is marketing. We focus on the fundamentals, keeping marketing simple. It is so easy to overcomplicate these days. I love marketing. It’s dynamic. It’s always changing but the fundamentals of any discipline do not change.

I agree with that 100%. I forgot to tell you this but I have a Master’s degree in Marketing. I was told that I was not going to be good at Marketing because I didn’t understand the nuances. My professors were looking out for me. They didn’t think there was any future in me with Marketing. They convinced me to change my major from Marketing to Finance.

Marketing is dynamic. It’s always changing, but the fundamentals do not change.

I had taken too many courses at that point to give up on the majors. I went ahead and finished that out and I still got a degree in Finance, neither of which I use. I wouldn’t say I don’t use that Marketing degree per se but a lot of the things that they teach you in school are not applicable for a small business. They are made for plugging into a large company and learning how to spend their money. In your case, in your father’s company, that’s where you probably have learned a lot about marketing principles.

In this day and age of all the slick, the buzzwords, and the new trends in marketing that comes and goes, the basic principles of marketing don’t change over time. How human beings react to something, a word or a message, how they feel about how somebody touches you in terms of the wordings, whether you do it digitally, TV or in person, they don’t change. All of a sudden, it becomes some sort of an animal. In your opinion, what is marketing if you have to describe it simply? What are some of the principles, and why are they important?

To answer your first question, what is marketing? Marketing to me is getting someone who has a need or a problem you can solve to know, like, and trust you. That’s it. We all buy from people we know, like, and trust. The job of our marketing is to get in front of those people, get them to know, like, and trust us so that when that need or problem they have that you can address becomes great enough and they raise their hand, they think of you, and then it’s transitioning to sales.

When it transitions to sales, it’s not a cold conversation. It’s a warm conversation. They already know, like, and trust you. That conversation then becomes so much easier. To me, that’s what marketing is. Why the fundamentals are so important? The easiest way for me to describe this is from a quote from Michael Jordan, “Get the fundamentals down, and the level of everything you do will rise.”

I don’t care what the discipline is. The fundamentals do not change. The fundamentals of shooting a free throw are the same as they were years ago, and they are going to be the same 50 years from now. The fundamentals are immutable. The fundamentals lay the foundation for you to build the rest of your house from.

If you skip them, you are building a house without a foundation. You can have success skipping the fundamentals but it’s going to take a lot longer. You are going to waste time and money. At some point, it is going to come crashing down. You are going to hit a ceiling that you absolutely cannot push through. A house without a foundation will stand up for a certain time but when stuff goes bad, it’s going to fall down and crumble.

There are plenty of people who skip the fundamentals. The biggest mistake I see is most people skip the fundamentals and get tactical immediately. You mentioned this, Victoria. There are all kinds of shiny objects in marketing. We see people battling information overload. You need to be on Clubhouse. You need to do TikTok. You need to have a blog. You need to have a podcast. It’s like, “What do I do? There’s so much information coming at me. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what the next step is.”

That’s why we need to get back to the fundamentals. When you get the fundamentals in place, it helps you eliminate all that information. It helps you cut through the noise and outline what your priorities are so that you are not overwhelmed. You know exactly what you need to do when you have clarity but you can’t do that until you have the fundamentals in place.

There’s quite a bit of information that you unloaded there. It’s interesting because my husband is in real estate, and he used to do commercial property. He retired. It’s interesting that we still build our houses and any structure in the same way. We don’t build a roof first. You always start with the foundation because if you build a great foundation, later on, you want to add a second story, you can do that.

MDH 62 Tim Fitzpatrick | Key Marketing Fundamentals

Key Marketing Fundamentals: One thing we learned from real estate was how to put yourself outside of your comfort zone.


You don’t ever start building homes or anything else with the roof because it’s more convenient, or it looks shinier or prettier. You are going to end up having to go back. When you said you can achieve success, skipping some of those foundations but eventually, the way you succeed is you stumble onto some of those basic principles, whether you like it or not, because some of the key principles have to be there.

We are going to get into the key principles. Tim said earlier his definition of marketing is getting in front of your target audience and get them to like and trust you. Let’s go back to that very basic principle in the first place. One of the first mistakes I see a lot of beginner entrepreneurs and those who succeed in the first five years after you figure this out is identifying your target market in a way that’s too broad or narrow sometimes. You can have the right product for the wrong people. You could have the wrong stuff to the right people. When do you know when you have your target audience nailed down?

You have your target audience nailed down when you are working with people day in and day out that you love working with, that are profitable, that you get great results for. There are too many people that their target is too broad. Unless we have an unlimited budget, we cannot target broadly. When we say narrowing down that target market, that doesn’t mean those are the only people you are doing business with. That means those are the only people you are targeting your marketing towards.

When you can hone in, and you know who those people are that you enjoy working with, why do you want to be in business and bang your head against a wall every day? If you are going to stay in business, you need to work with people that are profitable. There’s nothing wrong with making money. If you are going to work with people and stay in business, you have to get great results for them. You have to understand who those people are.

Initially, when you first start, it can be hard to know that. Unless you have prior experience in the specific market that you are going into, it’s hard to target it narrow. What you need to do in that case is do a little bit of research and get an idea based on what you know, who you believe is going to be best. You need to take those assumptions, go out there and test them.

Based on what we know, we believe these types of people are going to be best for us. Let’s get out there and start to market to those people. Once we start to have some success and do business, then we can dig deeper and hone in on it. A lot of the people that we work with have been in business for a while. They have current and past customers. That’s when you hone in on your ideal clients, you look at the people you have worked with and ask yourself three questions. “Who do I love working with? Who do I get great results for? Who are our profitable clients?”

When you ask yourself those questions of the people you have already worked with, you end up with a subgroup of customers. It’s that subgroup that you can start to dig deeper in, to look at the demographics like, “What are the numbers around these people?” More importantly, though are the psychographics. What are their thoughts, their feelings, the results they are looking for? What are their behaviors? As you start to identify those elements, inevitably, what happens is some smaller groups with commonalities come to the surface. Those are your ideal client types.

Why is it that once entrepreneurs, even experienced ones, have a little bit of money, their first thing is to go out and try to broaden their target market? I do a lot of mentorship work, free speeches, and workshops. I’m doing quite a bit of volunteer work. When I work with new entrepreneurs, they are so insecure about identifying their target market in a narrow way.

For example, I sell jewelry. If I say every woman loves jewelry, that’s great. I always tell people, “Try to think about placing a Facebook ad. If somebody gave you free money and you had to place a Facebook ad, and your target market is all women, what would your ad say?” You might say something like, “All of you love this stuff. It’s 25% off or whatever.” You can’t identify certain types of women.

If you’re going to stay in business, you need to work with people that are profitable. There’s nothing wrong with making money.

In my case, when I first started my company, I targeted working women because I was the first generation of women who went outside the home and had titles like Director of Marketing. We weren’t in an administrative capacity. A lot of us left our kids at home, making good money. We had to stand out in a workplace that was very rigid.

My ad would have said, “This is great for a workplace where you can look polished. You can add a little femininity with a lot of affordability. When you are done with that, ten years from now, you can pass it on to your children for peace.” That was very targeted. By the way, working women had money.

When you are staying at home as a stay-at-home mom, and you are working on one income, the husband’s income, and you are young, your husband is not making a whole lot of money yet because they are not at the peak, you don’t have money for one. Number two, you don’t have a need to go anywhere to look for jewelry. You are not buying anything.

Identifying that working women in a corporate environment was the smartest thing you could do at that time. A lot of times, by identifying a target market that’s narrow will narrow your marketing message. The other thing too is you also know where they hang out so that you can connect to them quickly with less expenditure. I love the fact that these are basic marketing principles that a lot of people like so-called experts, don’t talk about because there’s no money in it.

Like a lot of drug companies won’t tell you if we find out that spinach is a cure to cancer. They are not going to ever talk about that because there’s no money in it for them. A lot of your experts out there doing these masterminds and everything else will charge you all this money to come up with the new sleek campaign about the unique selling proposition.

You have to get down to the basics first. Understand who you are dealing with, who you want to do business with, and how you can make money before you play with all these other variables that come into play that can amplify more once you have those basics. In terms of your principles, are there any other nuggets you want to share?

You touched on this a little bit. Once you understand who the target market is, then you can determine where they hang out and congregate. You have a list of where you can be to get in front of the people that you want to attract. Rather than casting a line out into the ocean, seeing what fish you catch, you are casting a line out, knowing exactly where you need to fish to catch those exact people you intend to work with.

It’s super important. Many people go out there and throw up over everybody, and it doesn’t work. The first fundamental is the target market. The second is your message. How do you communicate your value in what you do? How do you gain their attention and grab their interest? You honed in on working women. The message to working women is a completely different message than to a stay-at-home mom. It’s not to say that one is better than the other.

The message is different. If you try to put that message for working women to stay-at-home moms, it’s going to fall flat. It’s not going to go anywhere. When you are targeted, and you know who you are going to attract, and you understand them as well, if not better than they understand themselves, then and only then, can you create a message that is going to get in front of them and grab their interest. It’s super important.

MDH 62 Tim Fitzpatrick | Key Marketing Fundamentals

Key Marketing Fundamentals: It helps you cut through the noise and outline your priorities so that you’re not overwhelmed and know exactly what you need to do.


The third thing is we’ve got to have a plan. What’s our plan going to be to get that message in front of those people? Too many people don’t have a plan. When you don’t have a plan, everything looks like an opportunity. When I get an email that says, “You’ve got to check out this newest marketing tactic.” If you have no plan, you are like a squirrel chasing a nut. You follow everything, spin your wheels, and don’t get consistent, repeatable results. You get overwhelmed because you can’t sort through all the information overload. You’ve got to have a plan to get started.

Tim Ferriss talked about the 1,000 raving fans. You don’t need 10,000 people to like you on Instagram, especially if your customers are not on Instagram. TikTok could be the new, big thing. If you are selling anything serious like marketing or even expensive jewelry, TikTok is not your ideal customer. You can get a lot of followers there but it’s completely useless.

You have to figure out where your ideal customers hang out and engage with you. You have to get your people. When you are first starting out, if you are launching a new product, you are better off getting those 1,000 raving fans who are fanatical about you and your services so that if they tell 10 people, each person, there’s your 10,000.

With that, you can do a lot. You can do quite a bit of business. You can do a lot of research. There’s a lot to build from. Understand your market. I’m out there. I work with the Global Society for Female Entrepreneurs. Whenever I’m talking like how you and I are talking, a lot of women will say, “This is so much information. I’m overwhelmed. I’m overloaded.”

If you are reading, and feeling overwhelmed and overloaded, don’t worry because you can go to Tim’s website. It’s If you do that, you are going to get a lot of free information there that’s downloadable. You can learn a lot about this. I love free information. Even if I go through the whole website, I find one thing that I didn’t know before, it’s worth it.

If you want to connect with him further, you can go to Don’t be overwhelmed. We are having a conversation here. You go through all of Tim’s materials and narrow it down to actionable tips. Strategies are great but without logistics, a real action you take in a certain order is going to help you more than just talking about strategy forever. Go to those actionable tips. The easiest way for you to be un-overwhelmed or feel like you can tackle this is doing your homework.

Find out who you think your target market is and where they shop. What TV programs do they watch? You can do a lot of research on the internet. You can put a call. If you get 20 to 50 random people, not your friends, mom, and dad but random people to give you feedback, you have a lot of information there that you can chew through. Do your homework, ask them questions, and be vulnerable. Let them know that you are not perfect.

Let them know that as a small business owner, this is your distinctive advantage, being able to be nimble, personable, likable, and somebody you can trust. A lot of Corporate America doesn’t look like they are cuddly, nice people that are going to care about you. They can’t because their personas are already out there.

It is so easy to get overwhelmed as business owners. There are so many different things that we’re working on that it’s very easy to fall into that place.

Do your homework and educate yourself. That’s the other thing. I built my business. Many of you know my background. I built an over $500 million company without any money. I have spent less than $10,000 in 35 years of advertising. Think about that. I was grinding it out, understanding who my target market is, and keep on evolving, whether you like it or not, your customers are constantly evolving. They move away. They do all these things. You have to keep on evolving and elevating. If you don’t have the foundation, to begin with, you are going to have a hard time elevating or innovating. Is there any other information you might want to share more on this path?

I will add to one of the things you said, Victoria, which was about being overwhelmed. It is so easy to get overwhelmed as business owners. It’s very easy to fall into that place. One of the things that have always helped me there is focusing on the next measurable step. When you look at the high level, there are all the details and all these things you have to do. Do the first thing you need to do next that you can measure to get that much closer. When you get that done, then you go to the next one and the next one. It makes it so much easier and less overwhelming.

The reason why many small business owners, anybody who’s doing that $5 million and under, feel uncomfortable that this is a territory you don’t know is that you are bombarded with experts telling you all the marketing tactics, the trends, and what’s working. Most small business owners are good tacticians and technicians in what they do. They are passionate about their product, the marketing, the legal, the admin.

These are all the stuff that they’ve got to do but they don’t know it. They think, “Can I do this?” The answer is, yes, you can. You are better off doing it yourself than hiring somebody else because those other people don’t know your business, your heart, and your product. You have to pay them to educate them. They’ve got 200 clients.

Learn how to do it yourself. When you do that, when you understand your business, when you understand your target, then you can hire an expert who’s fit for you that you can work with that is going to be surgical about your business in your effort to market and do whatever you have to do. Talking about short attainable goals and being able to measure them and keep yourself accountable, whether that’s weekly or monthly, the next measurable step.

Every year, 75% of Americans have a weight loss goal in their New Year’s resolution. By February 15th, 80% of those people had given up on their goal already because their goal was something like, “I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to get into this. I’m going to get healthier. I put it off for 5, 10 years. I’m 20, 40 pounds heavier. I’m going to lose weight.” This is their goal.

You try to lose weight. You don’t know where to go. You do know. You have to cut down on eating and probably have to exercise but you don’t have time. It’s the last thing you do. The next thing you know is, “I’m going to get to it later.” The next year comes, it’s the same thing. If you said to yourself, “I am going to lose 10 pounds in the next 10 weeks. I have to lose 1 pound a week.”

MDH 62 Tim Fitzpatrick | Key Marketing Fundamentals

Key Marketing Fundamentals: Don’t skip the fundamentals. The fundamentals are the fuel behind the tactics. Any tactic can work; it’s what you put behind it that will determine whether it works or not.

If that was your goal and you say, “What do I have to do to lose one single pound a week?” You have to cut out 300 calories a day. You are like, “I can cut out my wine in the afternoon or my toast in the morning. I’ve got to walk my dog anyway. I will do that.” Ten weeks later, you might lose 7 pounds, not 10. You might lose 15 pounds but either way, you’ve got momentum. You are better off then.

If you didn’t get to the goal, if you’ve got the 7 pounds off, the next 10 weeks you do that, you might get another 7 pounds. That’s 14 pounds off, and that’s 20 weeks. Think about that. It’s the power of setting those very short, attainable goals that you can achieve. That’s true with marketing, whatever you do, think that, “I love that.” That’s how I built my business. I started my company, trying to make $2,000 a month so that I can feed my kids.

I was driving a car with 150,000 miles on it. It was a Ford Pinto that blew up. It was known for fires and stuff. This one didn’t make it. I bought the whole car for $1,500. I drove that thing for five years. I was trying to make $2,000 a month. The next month, I was trying to make $3,000 a month. Once I’ve got to $5,000 a month, I was making $20,000, $30,000. I did more than $1 million in the first 18 months by doing that. When you do those short attainable goals, it makes you good at the things that you focus on. You don’t relearn that skill.

On the first day, you might walk your dog down the block and have cut out one piece of toast. After ten weeks, you might go, “That wasn’t so bad. Maybe I will cut out the toast and the wine. Maybe I can go down two blocks because when I went down that block, I saw a little lake there.” The next week you might go three blocks. It builds momentum. You already know the two blocks along the way. It becomes easier, and your dog is conditioned to doing this. There’s power in everything you have said. Tim, as we close this episode, do you have any last-minute tips?

I’m going to sound like a broken record here, Victoria, but don’t skip the fundamentals. The fundamentals are the fuel behind the tactics. Any tactic can work. It’s what you put behind it that’s going to determine, whether it works or not, whether you choose to have me help you with those fundamentals or not, don’t skip them. You will be so much better off. You will get to where you want to go faster by taking the time to get these in place.

How do people find you, Tim? What’s the best place for people to connect with you and find you?

Our website at is the best place. If you want to connect with me personally, LinkedIn is the best place for me, it’s

Thank you so much for reading. I sign off every week with wishing you health and happiness. Remember, happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices this coming way. Thank you.

Important Links


About Tim Fitzpatrick

MDH 62 Tim Fitzpatrick | Key Marketing Fundamentals

I am an entrepreneur/business owner with expertise in marketing and business growth. I have 20+ years of entrepreneurial experience with a passion for developing and growing businesses. That passion served me well in operating and managing a wholesale distribution company I co-owned for nine years. Our company grew an average of 60% a year before being acquired in 2005.
Since then, I’ve had failures and successes that have helped me continually grow. I started Rialto Marketing in 2013 and have been helping service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. We do this by creating and implementing a plan to communicate the right message to the right people. Most people overcomplicate marketing. It doesn’t have to be that way.
MDH 61 Jeremy Streten | Legal Rights

MDH 61 Jeremy Streten | Legal Rights


Everyone needs the protection of their legal rights, especially entrepreneurs. The law can be scary and misunderstood, but luckily, we have people who can help us understand the law. Victoria Wieck and Jeremy Streten, CEO of Business Legal Lifecycle, sit down for a chat about the law and entrepreneurs. We examine why legal help is a must for many entrepreneurs and why it is an investment, not an expense. Learn more about why entrepreneurs need to invest in legal aid in this episode.

Watch episode here

Listen to the podcast here

Explaining The Law For Entrepreneurs: Learning Your Legal Rights With Jeremy Streten

Welcome to another episode. Many of you who are in small businesses or some of you who might want to start one, if you are living in the United States or any country, one of the biggest things that are in your mind but you do not action it until you need it has to do with the law. It is a scary thing to deal with a lawyer. Not all lawyers are bad. I have got a couple of lawyers myself and my family and they are not evil.

I always wondered why we all wait until something happens to us and then we frantically will find a lawyer. You usually find somebody at the last minute and try to understand the situation you are in. I have someone from the law profession who has been practiced business law. He foresaw the need to be proactive as a business people.

You are going to be able to operate more freely because you know that you are within the boundaries of the law that is going to protect you. You are going to have that layer of protection because you have that knowledge and also ultimately to save time and money. Without further ado, I am going to introduce Jeremy Streten, Esq. to my show.

Welcome to the show, Jeremy.

Thanks so much for having me, Victoria.

Tell me about the idea that you have, which is to help people understand their rights as well as their customer’s rights and all the boundaries. If you are in business, you have to understand the legal ramifications of every action, everything you write on your website and your employee manual. Tell me about how you came up with this idea of helping people proactively, not once they got in trouble. How did you come about?

I do not practice law anymore. I’m over here in Australia. I do this and help to expand the business out. There were two matters where I acted for clients. One was where a client almost lost $2 million of his own money and another one where two gentlemen lost $1 million of theirs and other people’s money. It was all because they did not take proactive legal advice. Victoria, it was one of those moments where I was sitting at my desk and both these things happened around the same time.

People don’t like talking to lawyers because we use terminology in the legal profession that is unnecessarily complicated and makes it seem fancier.

I was thinking, “Why won’t people get legal advice?” I spoke to both of them and asked them, “Why do you think you get legal advice? It would have solved the problem earlier if you had gotten legal advice.” Both of them said the same thing, which was they didn’t know what they didn’t know. They didn’t know the unknowns. They did not like talking to lawyers because they were scary and mean.

We use terminology in the legal profession which is unnecessarily complicated and makes it seem fancier. They saw it as a cost rather than an investment. I sat down and, by that stage, I would act for around 5,000 different business owners. I mapped out the ones in the order of things that people did well when they were successful mapped that out then I overlaid that with people who did things poorly. I mapped out this journey of the business legal lifecycle and thirteen phases of when you should take certain steps in the legal profession.

A few years before that, I had engaged a business coach and he told me one day I would write a book. I laughed at him and said, “What lawyer writes a book that people will actually read?” When I had my thirteen phases, I rang him and said, “I’m sorry. You are right.” I had thirteen phases of how we can help business owners to understand the law from a legal perspective and how they understand what they need to do in that business. That’s how I generated the concept of the lifecycle. Since then, I have taken it to the UK and the US and adapted it for the laws in the different countries. It has been a good journey so far.

The book you wrote that you thought no one would read is titled what?

The Business Legal Lifecycle.

That is the genesis of the service that you provide now. I have many years of entrepreneurship journey myself. Many people reading know that not all those years were rosy and not everything I have done was successful. I have had some pretty fantastic failures and I use the word fantastic in a very sarcastic way that those failures were pretty painful.

Let me ask you a question about this. A lot of times, the first question most people have when they are first starting their business is, “I got this brand new idea. I invented this. I have a new way of doing something.” Because I’m on TV and my name is quite well known out there, people would ask me, “Can you put this on TV? This does XYZ.” I always tell people, “Do me a favor. Do not tell me anything that you want to protect because I do not want to get sued later on for taking your stuff and giving it to somebody else or talking about anything like that.”

To protect your intellectual property before you tell me anything that you believe truly is prepared proprietary to you. A lot of entrepreneurs do not even think about NDAs or protecting their intellectual property, their rights or their trademarks. They do not even think about that. They keep talking to anybody who will listen. I can’t say this on this show but there are so many household products that we know of now that were not invented by those people that made all the money.

MDH 61 Jeremy Streten | Legal Rights

Legal Rights: Entrepreneurs saw legal aid as a cost rather than an investment.


It was invented by somebody else who then got copied by somebody else and then got copied by somebody else then somebody out there, marketing genius, came in and made that amazing company. That is the first thing. The second thing I want to know is small business people are negotiating all the time, whether you are negotiating with the customer, business to consumer or business to business. When you are negotiating, I find that a lot of small business people, because they do not know, give up a lot more rights and a lot more than they have to because they do not understand the boundaries.

Most small business people are real small tacticians and technicians on what they do well and they do not understand this whole world of legal side of the business. How important is having some understanding of the legal ramifications of the decisions they make early on and ongoing? How important do you think that is in the journey of a small business person?

It is crucial. Education is the key here because there are so many different nuances to the law. There are so many different parts of the law. You talked before about nondisclosure agreements. You need to work out whether that’s right for you or whether that’s the right thing. That’s what I said before, the unknown unknowns. There is a business side of when you start that business.

You do not know what those problems are going to be. You do not know what they could be. This is where you would need to talk to a lawyer and research yourself about what it is that you might need in your business from a legal perspective because there are certain steps that you need to take in a business to protect yourself.

Spending all that money getting a nondisclosure agreement might sound all good right at the beginning but unless you have got a new, innovative idea, it is not worth the cost. You need to go out and get some clients, get some customers, see whether or not people are going buy from you, potentially bring on a team and employees and start to do that and then protect your intellectual property.

You need to do it at the right time where you have proven that you have a business before you go spend that money. I’ve seen far too often people go, “I have got a great idea.” Everyone thinks that they have a perfect idea, the next Facebook or the next whatever. You need to prove it out first and then protect it. For the first part of your question, that’s important. Make sure you have got something and then go and protect it.

Unless you do have something that’s innovative then you can look at what we call patients, where you protect the actual process of development and understanding all of the legal aspects is super important. That is one of the reasons I wrote the book. It was to have people understand what it is that they might need to do so that when they go to see the lawyer, they know what they are supposed to do and what they are talking about.

I’m going to give you an example. It is interesting because I have been an entrepreneur for many years and I have never been sued and I have never sued anybody. I’m thinking, “I’m well-protected. I have had great lawyers. Give me some advice. All my forms are up-to-date and it is current. It meets all the regulations and standards of every state in the country.”

What education does is it empowers you to then go and have an intelligent conversation with a lawyer.

When I started coaching five people because this was a special course that was probably never going to be repeated again, it was very high-powered women who were running seven-figure businesses already and they wanted to go to the eight-figures so I did a four-month workshop. The first thing my husband said to me was, “Are you not going to need some confidentiality agreement for this particular course?” I said, “Why would I need to do that?” He said if those five people were in the same group and they talked to each other and then one of them told somebody else, you might be liable for that because you were the center of gravity.

I had to go get a confidentiality agreement specific for that one thing and also a nondisclosure. There were all these things because the stakes were so high in this particular course. A lot of people are glad to make money and they do not realize how open you are. In that case, it was not even somebody suing me. It was somebody suing each other and then me being the deep pocket person at the end where I’m going to be named as a part of a party. A lot of small business owners won’t realize like, “I could be exposed to that.” You offer a tool to help business owners to see what the risk factor is in any given situation.

We have a tool that we developed. I live in a state called Queensland in Australia. We won the Queensland Law Society’s Innovation and Law Award a couple of years ago for this tool. What it does is you answer 30 questions and it takes about 10 minutes. It identifies what your legal risks are and it gives you a report that is in plain English. Everything I do is in plain English. We are not using legal speak and if I do use legal terms, I explain them.

It tells you where you are in the lifecycle out of the thirteen phases, what you need to do there, what you might have missed from the phases that you might need to go and do and then what you need to do for the future. We are very proud to win that award. It is very useful for business owners to see what those legal risks are that they can then take to their lawyer or their attorney, get them to fill the gaps and reduce those legal risks in their business.

Congratulations on winning the Innovation Award. I do think that what you are saying is you are not trying to be their lawyer. You are trying to help them come up with the risk factor and when they need it, at what point because you do not need to spend the money until you feel like there is something to protect. It could be intellectual property. It could be a right not to be sued. I always wondered why we wait until we get sick to go see a doctor. By that point, by the time you feel the symptoms a lot of times, it is a pretty tough thing to fix.

It is the same thing with legal. I find that if you can talk it out and have an understanding, make the compromise you can make upfront, you do not get sued or you do not spend not only the money but all the years of pain and the stress level that you have to deal once you are involved in a legal matter. That is not fun at all. I love what you are doing and also how you help. When I say talk about small business owners whether it is selling vitamins, cosmetics, coaching services, massage services or anything you do especially ingestibles, you are going to need some layer of protection.

When I’m on TV, both on HSN and Shop HQ now, many of you who are female and have watched cosmetics shows and cosmetics advertisements always say that you are going to get a cosmetic lift and results may vary, best case scenario is shown. They will say something like, “This is a temporary lift.” There are always some disclaimers in there so that it helps them.

It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It does not reduce wrinkles and fine lines. A lot of people overlook that. With ingestible, it is the same thing. There is the equivalent of that in everything. You have to cover yourself because there could be somebody who sits there and say, “I use this $30 cream. I’m not looking 40 years younger. I do not know what happened.”

MDH 61 Jeremy Streten | Legal Rights

Legal Rights: Education is the key here, because there are so many different nuances with the law. There are so many different parts of the law.


That’s the point. A lot of people do not realize that they can protect themselves. They do not think, first of all, that they might need to. You can’t protect yourself from everything but there are a lot of things that you can protect yourself on. If people do not look and do not understand the law, we have a tagline, “You can understand the law without a Law degree.”

That is simply by explaining it in plain English for people. People can understand all that stuff they need if they go looking for it. If they look at it, it is not an area, especially with what you are talking about, where you want to do it and ask for forgiveness later. That does not work and that can get a lot of people in trouble.

Jeremy, if you had to give entrepreneurs three tips on how to protect themselves aside from using your tool, what else would you say? What are the top three things entrepreneurs can do?

The first thing is education. You do not have to go under a Law degree but research. There is lots of great material online. There is a lot of stuff on our website but there is also lots of stuff on lots of other websites and great tools to educate yourself. The second thing is do not think that by being educated you can go and do it yourself. You still need a lawyer or attorney to do that.

Now, there are lots of great tools out there. I was on a call with a gentleman from Connecticut. We are talking about the legal shield. That’s a great tool and that serves a point but you still need to go and get legal advice. It is educating yourself but know that you still need to get legal advice. What education does is it empowers you to then go and have an intelligent conversation with a lawyer.

A lot of people say to me, “I want you to do that. I want my lawyer to handle that.” This is a partnership. It is like medicine. You go to a doctor. The doctor is not going to fix you. You have to do something. You might have to change your lifestyle. You might have to take some drugs and have to do something. It is still something you need to do. It is the same with the lawyer. You still need to do that.

The third thing is to be curious as to what might happen and do not think that you will fix everything later on. Those two gentlemen are just two examples. They lost $1 million of other people’s money and nearly lost $2 million of his own money. I talk about that around the world. I have been to the UK, US south Africa and lots of places around the world. I talk to lawyers about this and they all come up to me afterward and say, “I had someone who had a very similar situation.” It might sound extreme, maybe they are not losing that much money but this happens all the time. People need to be curious about what is going on so that they do not fall into those traps that are so easily avoided.

All three pieces of advice you gave are very relevant. Number one, educate yourself. I say, educate yourself because let me tell you something. This happened to a lot of my friends and the fact that I didn’t have any money. I had to educate myself because I thought I could do it by myself helped me. It helped me figure out what kind of lawyers I needed. Number two, I told you I have two lawyers in my family and yet none of my family members were able to help me. I didn’t use them for my business because they did not relate to what they were doing.

A lot of people think the law is black and white, but that’s not the case. If that was the case, there wouldn’t be a need for professional lawyers. We wouldn’t even need a Supreme Court.

My sister does Family Law and my brother does logistics. Educating yourself and understanding what you need so you can surgically find a lawyer who specializes in that particular category. That is the first thing so you are hiring the right people. Two, do not do it yourself. When you say do not try to do it yourself, what I did was when I negotiated these mega contracts, my contracts were north of $1 million to $10 million at a time, I did most of the business deals myself. Meaning that, “Do you want to take returns? We want to pay you 30 days, not 45 days.” All things were already negotiated between me and the other party then I hired a lawyer to put that in writing.

If my lawyer did not understand my business, how are they going to negotiate on my behalf? I didn’t want to pay my lawyer to try to explain to him what I do and what is special about me. I was paying $1,000 an hour and that was going to be a north twenty hours just to educate them. I would have a meeting with my lawyer and say, “Here is what I’m negotiating with. They already told me they are going to do XYZ and they are not negotiating these things. I compromised on this. I want to put this in writing so that there is no more room to move around what we have already said.”

Every word can mean twenty different things. I want to make sure that what I thought agreed on is what was agreed on. Later on, if there was a problem, if whoever I was negotiating with left the company and I’m dealing with a new guy or girl who didn’t want to honor the contract, what are my options at that point? How do I exit the agreement? I wasn’t going to do it by myself and because I was educated, I was able to do it at a pretty affordable cost with top-notch lawyers that surgically came in and fixed that.

Lastly, being curious. When you look at the US Constitution or the State Constitution of California or any of these things that people say are so crystal clear, there are lawyers on both sides arguing this for generations already. It is the same document. It is not a huge document. It is just a few pages. Every word can mean different things. Jeremy, you might find this interesting. Great lawyers are some of the most creative people because they will look at the same word and they will find ways to shape their narrative where you come out on top or they will shape the narrative where you can get more money or add layers of protection without sounding like it is a disclaimer.

The lawyers that I had hired when I was first starting out are now all in their 80s because I have had the same lawyers forever know my business. I do not have to explain to them again and again the new thing. They are now my family members. They come to our birthday parties and everything. It could be a great relationship. They were starting out back then or I was starting out and it is great.

That creativity is right and great lawyers are creative. A lot of people think the law is black and white. If that were the case, there would not be a need for professional lawyers. You would not even need a Supreme Court. We have a high court over here. There are lots of shades of gray. You are right. You need to be able to look at different words, work out what does that mean, how that can be interpreted and how that should be interpreted.

I do not know a lot about law. I’m a real creative person. I design jewelry for a living. I draw and paint. The one thing I do know for sure about law is that there is always an exception to every law. “What do you mean there is an exception to this? This is such a simple little sentence.” I enjoyed our conversation, Jeremy. I have told every lawyer I ever met to come up with a course or informational webinars so that entrepreneurs are walking into their entrepreneurship journey with some kind of legal shield around them.

Not because they are trying to screw somebody over but because a lot of us give our heart and soul and we work to provide value to our product. We are not aware that we might get ourselves in trouble because we are so eager or we want to protect the product too well. Thank you so much for coming in. How can people find you and connect with you more?

MDH 61 Jeremy Streten | Legal Rights

Legal Rights: There are lots of shades of gray. You need to look at different words and work out what they mean and how they can be interpreted and how that should be interpreted.


If people want to find out more, we have created a webpage as a thank you for having us on the show. People go to as one word. They will get a page with lots of free resources. If they are interested in taking our legal risk assessment tool as a thank you, we have a 50% discount tag on there.

There is a code that you can use, it is usually $97 and it will be $48.50. It identifies well over $1,000 worth of legal value for people. If they are interested, I do provide a lot of content on LinkedIn. If they search for my name, I’m the only one with the spelling of that name on LinkedIn. People will be able to find me there and I would love to connect with the readers of the show.

Thank you so much for coming in. Thank you for reading, ladies and gentlemen. Until next time, please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice and I hope you make lots of great choices.

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About Jeremy Streten

MDH 61 Jeremy Streten | Legal RightsJeremy Streten is a founder and chief executive officer at Business Legal Lifecycle. He is the author of the amazon number one best selling book “The Business Legal Lifecycle”. Jeremy has appeared on various television shows, podcasts and radio interviews.
He also provides regular content for websites across Australia.