Entrepreneur Destinee Berman helps spiritual leaders and healers bring their teachings online with her “Launch Your Calling” program. Learn how to turn your dharma into a scalable education platform and business, and what sparked Destinee’s jump from marketing for Twitter, HP and Microsoft into the spiritual growth space.
Melinda Wittstock: Destinee welcome to Wings.
Destinee Berman: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m excited to have you here and I’m particularly intrigued by what it was in your career, while on your journey, that made you want to step up and help all these people who have a message of spiritual teaching or mindset, or personal growth? What made you want to help and step into that?
Destinee Berman: I love this question, and it’s probably one of my favorites. I’ve always had a deep lifelong passion for the spiritual and the intuitive arts. Part of that is just coming from my Chinese-Cambodian heritage. My parents were born and raised in Cambodia. I was born in this refugee camp before they came here when I was a year old. And just being from that part of the world, you’ve also accepted. I’ve always accepted reincarnation and working with other dimensions and working with teachings and healing of a spiritual nature. So it’s been in my blood.
And as I explored other worlds and territories, I then went into studying western astrology and metaphysics and what not. And so they all kind of came together. Then you combine that with the growth of meditation and yoga of a daily meditation practice. I have a consistent yoga practice. And so it just seemed so obvious and so natural for me to serve this market and especially with the opportunities and the gap it were on marketing was really not taking place. It just seemed like the most natural and obvious thing to move into.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s really beautiful. And I love how you’ve tied what your true passion is to business. I mean, I found with all the hundreds of interviews I’ve done, and my own experience and all the networks and masterminds I’m in, the one thing that really everyone has in common, who’s a successful entrepreneur, is that they’re very aligned, I guess, with their soul purpose, S-O-U-L purpose and their North Star. Is this something you’ve always known you wanted to do?
Destinee Berman: Oh my goodness, there’s a part me that knew and there was a part of me that didn’t. I don’t think I realized until when I was working at tech companies and running marketing campaigns and growing revenue, how much I loved that. The marketing piece, how fast the online space grows and really having revenue goals and really pushing yourself to get that, I loved it. But I also knew that something was missing in that territory because of this other side of me, and I just didn’t know how to bring the two together.
For years, I’ve been using astrology for a long time and it was apparent that being in my own business was a thing. My parents were entrepreneurs, just being immigrants and figuring out how to make that work. And there was a lot of stories that I just took from there that I didn’t want to necessarily repeat. And so there was that going on. And so, between trying to figure out these two seemingly not connected areas, within me, I did probably every career self-assessment test there was. I’ve consulted every spiritual type of … Whether be the Akashic and the intuitives. I mean, it was intense for a couple of years, trying to figure what was it that was suited for me.
Melinda Wittstock: For anyone who doesn’t know what the Akashic records are, can you tell us just a little bit, just clue everybody in?
Destinee Berman: It’s primarily if you believe that there is a body or an element of going into the Akasha, where every thought and every action and everything that’s happened has been imprinted. I worked through Akashic Master where she goes into the records and we ask for and we tap into divine guidance in that way. That’s probably the cleanest I can articulate. It’s a lot more than that, but I’m trying to give it the most simple straightforward.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s interesting how all these things help us though, in business. I mean, not only to get aligned with ourselves, but also to get our mindset in the right place, where we can actually go and succeed. Because I mean, honestly, most of us it’s difficult to become an adult without having accumulated a whole bunch of limiting beliefs or self-sabotaging things. And a lot of these are just beliefs that we’ve inherited from other people or they’ve just gone into our brains. And then these unseen drivers that stop us from success. Have you been on that journey to cleanse or let go or have to get rid of a lot of that stuff, to be able to succeed in business?
Destinee Berman: So much. And for me, this is a lifelong unraveling process because … You’re right, it’s very difficult to not have picked things up along the way, whether you believe in past lives or not, subconscious or conscious. And I think that it’s just necessary to really … In order to break free from the past or things that are driving us that we’re just not even aware of, this is really a lifelong area of work, in terms of opening ourselves up. And yes, it has been one of my motivators in being successful in business, but also just being successful in life and in my marriage, and I’m a mom.
To me, it’s just what’s so and what’s needed and also it’s also why I believe in the spiritual wisdom and really helping spiritual business owners bring their magic to the masses and light just so many parts of the world. And so, for me, it’s just what makes sense and what’s needed.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. And so, what are the biggest challenges when you set out to help all these entrepreneurs, essentially coaches, people who are connected with all these different types of wisdom. There’s so many different things that can be taught to help us on this journey, and yet, what were some of the biggest struggles that all these individuals were having in terms of being able to get that message out?
Destinee Berman: I would say the biggest thing is really having this disconnection from marketing. I work with some really amazing astrologers, as an example, and even though they are just true wisdom keepers and they really know their craft and been doing it for a long time, they just don’t have that marketing brain or the training.
So it doesn’t come intuitively. So what happens is even though they have this amazing gift that they’ve really honed, they haven’t applied the not only marketing but online marketing to getting their vlogs out to more people, to getting their videos out to more people or doing live stream. So it’s really orienting, one, that marketing can be a connected, authentic practice, and that two, at its deepest level, it’s really a communication practice and really connecting with your audience, and three, it’s necessary in order for you to move beyond the 101 referrals and to really get your work out to more people, especially if you’re looking to launch online schools and trainings and things like that.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. Well, you picked up on something there that I think is really interesting. So many people have this negative association with marketing and sales as if it’s somehow icky.
Destinee Berman: Yes. Right. That’s right.
Melinda Wittstock: But it’s not because if you think of it the other way around that you’re actually, if you have a message or you have a skill or an ability or a knowledge that can help so many other people, it’s almost criminal not to market it.
Destinee Berman: That’s right. That’s right, and I think that the shift in perspective is really looking at marketing as a communication and connection versus in your face, pushing you to sign up or enroll in something.
Melinda Wittstock: Actually, that’s interesting. So as a woman, when you’re putting together these marketing automation campaigns, do women have to do it a little bit differently than men?
Destinee Berman: Absolutely. I don’t want to make this around a men versus women or masculine versus feminine. However, what I have seen because my clients and my students are primarily women, my launch strategy is much more rooted in nurturing. So there is longer nurturing process leading up to it. We are giving lots of high value content.
Not to say that men aren’t doing the same thing. I do think that women tend to lean into this a little bit easier, and we’re willing to perhaps hold more content webinars where we’re not selling anything and just really taking time to cultivate and to connect with our people, especially if it’s a new person that has just gotten on our email list or signed up for a webinar or watched a video, and to really take the time to do that.
Once it feels better to us, by the time we get to that enrollment period, we’re much more confident in making the sale or inviting them to join. It just feels a lot better and it feels a lot more elegant. I don’t do any type of discounting with my launches, and generally that does resonate and that feels good as well.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, so that’s interesting. We have to spend a little bit more time on the cultivation, on the attraction. Perhaps is goes back to cavemen days. We’re not out there with a spear going for the wildebeest, right?
Destinee Berman: Possible, yes.
Melinda Wittstock: I wonder what that is because I see women who are really effective online, and they do much more of literally an attraction rather than a pursuit.
Destinee Berman: Agree. Agree. There is an energy work behind you too because you’re effectively setting up an energetic container through the content, through your messaging that you’re putting out there, and yes, during the sales period we do need activation. So I like to call that more of the expressive part of things where you’re activating, where you’re doing that Facebook Live or doing that sales webinar and asking people to jump into your course, because without that piece, that’s not going to work as well [crosstalk 00:20:29
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly, but women have such a hard time. Well, I don’t know. This is just a theory of mine is that women have a harder time asking for the sale.
I think that the clearer we are about our messaging and the more nurturing we are doing ahead of time, it does empower us to feel stronger and more confident in that asking. #WINGSofInspiredBusiness #WomeninBusinessClick to tweet
Destinee Berman: We do. We do, and I don’t know if part of it is more what we’ve inherited from society or cultural and whatnot, but it is true that we can be more shy about asking. I think that the clearer we are about our messaging and the more nurturing we are doing ahead of time, it does empower us to feel stronger and more confident in that asking. It is a practice. The more live streams that we do, the more sales webinars that we do, once you put your heart into it and the more you’re invested in it, you will be inspired and motivated to shift and to find a way that’s authentic and aligned for you while also still powerfully asking.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. That’s so true. I mean so I’m curious about how much of your work in helping your clients get to where they need to be is helping them, even though they’re experts in these areas, work on their own mindsets.
Destinee Berman: So much so, and that’s [crosstalk 00:21:43
Melinda Wittstock: [crosstalk 00:21:43, right?
Destinee Berman: I am always say that my work, especially with my private clients where I’m leading their launches is as much therapy as it is launch strategies and marketing strategy just because when you’re reluctant to show up for that webinar or you’re just feeling like you’re not going to be able to pull this off, it’s as much of working with the inner work and the mindset.
Destinee Berman: I do speak to all of this in my course, in my trainings, in my one-on-one work because I really cannot get away from it. When you see a strong, successful launch, it’s as much strategy as it is managing the inner state.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, so exactly right. It’s not just the mechanics of how does the auto responder sequence work or what’s your stock? Should I use Kajabi or ClickFunnels or Active Campaign or Infusionsoft or what time of day should I mail? How many nurtures … I mean, right?
Destinee Berman: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: There’s so many different things that go into that, add to it, Facebook ads, which is a little bit of a black box. You’re trying to AB test or multivariate test more like all the different things that makes it work. So you can get really data-driven and very much left brain about what’s working and what’s not, try and handicap it, and yet, there’s a weird magic around these things that you can’t really define.
Melinda Wittstock: So have you ever had some funnels that you think, “Oh, God. This is a no-brainer. This is going to work,” and it doesn’t, and then there’s another one that’s just like you don’t know why it’s working?
Destinee Berman: You’ve really hit on something here in that intuition I believe plays as much as strategy and as data. So it is data, where we have to look at cost per click and cost per lead and how many people we have in the funnel, and then energetically and intuitively, there is that magic piece where you can just feel that this webinar is going to do so well. Maybe it’s the topic, maybe it’s just the delivery of it, and you can’t quite explain that with data.
I wish that we could just use data because then it’s a matter of getting the number of people on the email list, but then it also has to be the right kind of person. I feel like that’s where the intuition hits, especially with messaging and just really articulating who you are and what you’re about.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. So what was it … You were doing marketing for a lot of big Silicon Valley brands, right? Among them-
Destinee Berman: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: … Twitter, and who were some of the other ones you were working with?
Destinee Berman: Well, let’s see. Back in the days, I ran the Sephora Beauty Insider online launch, refer a friend, social media campaign before social media was a thing, and this was, I believe, in 2007, 2008 [crosstalk 00:24:29
Melinda Wittstock: Wow.
Destinee Berman: My last company, I worked at Eloqua before we were acquired by Oracle, and we were part of their marketing cloud business and the CMO really coined the term internet marketer before it really became a widespread term. I’ve had a lot of experience running marketing campaigns. My clients included Twitter and Box and Sephora and HP and when BlackBerry was BlackBerry.
Melinda Wittstock: Wow.
Destinee Berman: So I’ve seen the range. Yes, yes.
Melinda Wittstock: So what made you want to make the leap and go out on your own?
Destinee Berman: It ultimately came down to something was missing for me, and I believe, at least for myself, when you do so much inner work, you ultimately, you’re forced to have to get aligned. So even though things were going very well and there’s so much opportunity up here in San Francisco and there continues to be, there was something in me just energetically, just wasn’t going there. And no matter what I did, it wasn’t pulling me in that way.
So it forced me to really stop and say, “Okay, what is it that I wanted to do?” Deep inside, I’ve always known I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I just couldn’t figure out what type of entrepreneur and what business and all of that. So I just had to take a big leap of faith and I had no plan. My husband fully supported me. I left. I took a month off and did a yoga teacher training, a 200-hour training, and then I fell into things and did research and talked to people. Then I got my first couple of clients in the spiritual yoga type space and we started launching.
Melinda Wittstock: So was it a big change? Was it hard to get used to when you took that leap? I ask because there are so many women who work for large companies, and they climb the ladder, they do everything right, and there is that glass ceiling or perhaps they always thought, “Man, I would love the flexibility or the empowerment, especially with kids, of being able to do it on my own terms.”
There are so many women now in their 30s, 40s, and even later in life taking the entrepreneurial leap. What were some of the things that surprised you that maybe you didn’t think through in that leap, if you will, and what were some of the things that, yeah, it went exactly like you thought?
Destinee Berman: Well, I think it was helpful that I didn’t have a plan. So I didn’t have clear expectations in terms of how this was all going to look. I was relying a lot on my inner compass and guiding me towards the next move, and, of course, developing a business plan and a revenue strategy ultimately, but it happened along the way.
So I would say that the unexpected was I don’t think I was prepared to deal with that level of uncertainty and unknowns and not really knowing when things where going to hit and when it wasn’t. So that was an internal roller coaster that I had to ride. The second piece was not having coworkers in the office. I was used to going to the office, there’d be coworkers, we’ll have happy hours, and that was really fun. But working in your home office, it was just a very different type of vibe.
Now, at the same time, this all was really aligned for me so nothing really felt too off. It was more of an adjustment, but deep down it just really was … I felt like I was on path. I felt like I was on purpose, and I believe that’s also what had me meet with the right clients in what seemed like a total accidental event and all my clients were coming through referrals and all felt really good. So I felt like I was being carried by that even though it was really unknown and a bit of a roller coaster.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my goodness. Isn’t that interesting how serendipity kind of steps in? When we take the leap, when we’re willing to get … I guess the metaphor perhaps is you get on a boat and you leave the shore, and you get to that point where you can’t see where you’ve left but you can’t quite see the other side either.
That can be a terrifying place, but if you’re in alignment, things start to line up. Magical things happen if you’re in-touch with yourself. You have to be open to it. This is where things like meditation and all this come in because you start to see that there’s so much opportunity around you and you start to attract the right type of people. Again, but you have to be open. It’s always around you, but if you’re not open to it, you’re not going to see it and much less act on it.
Destinee Berman: Exactly. Exactly, and being willing to step, as you were saying, into the uncertainty and the unknown. Now, I’m not saying to take silly risk or just crazy risk. I mean we were in a situation where I could leave and really take the time to experiment and to explore, but there was such a trust in what was really going on, and I do believe that came from all the work that has been cultivated and done exactly what you’re saying.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, and so many women … I mean it’s interesting you being in Silicon Valley because I’ve been looking a lot at the difference between the typical starting point for a male entrepreneur and a typical starting point for a female. There are always exceptions to every rule, but what’s so interesting is there’s so many men in their early 20s go into entrepreneurship. They went to or dropped out of Stanford or Harvard or MIT or wherever, and they’re wearing a hoodie and they’re in a little team of five and they all are in their hoodie and they’re eating Ramen noodles and they’re inventing something in their garage, like that whole stereotype.
Whereas it tends that women tend to go and get credentialed and get experience and they get domain expertise and they hire and fire and they build teams and they get management expertise, and they do all this sort of stuff, and then they say, “Okay, now I’m qualified to launch a business.”
Destinee Berman: It’s funny that you bring this up.
Melinda Wittstock: But it’s so true because what’s interesting, if you look at the data, women start older but not only that, they start with more expertise. So the data shows that more female businesses, or at least businesses that have women on the founding team, the founding C-level team, A, survive, but they also have better results on NASDAQ. I mean there’s a whole series of things.
Destinee Berman: Interesting.
Melinda Wittstock: It could be because of that, because we’re just older and wiser. I don’t know. What do you think? Because I mean you’re around it. You’re around all those startup [inaudible 00:31:29 you’re living it. It’s in your community.
Destinee Berman: Yes. I mean, ultimately, yes, you’re right. I do see the patterns and the trends, and some of it I believe could just be that we haven’t been in the workplace for as long or we weren’t the ones who have established society and working as it is today in modern-day society. I do think that part of it is just in our … if you want to call it generational downloading transmission that we’re also unraveling in modern day. I think that the …
… unraveling in modern day. I think that the maturity that comes with over time, and the resilience, that, I believe that to be true in terms of just being able to navigate the rollercoaster in a different type of way. But the third thing is, I feel like, ultimately, it’s really we all have our own karmas, and we all have our own life path in this time and age, that we have stepped into. For some men, who, in their mindset, some of this is a mindset where, “I can just leave in my early 20s, and go launch, and do this thing, and create this company, and get a ton of funding, and go for a big exit.”
That’s great. Because that’s part of mindset, part of perspective, perhaps, part of in their astrological blueprint. That’s what they’re here to explore. Maybe over time, as more and more woman continue to lead, and be in the workplace, maybe we will have reduced that, and we will be starting businesses sooner. I don’t know, but I feel like the factors are just so, between society, and culture, and history, and then, our own internal mindsets, and then our blueprints, right? There’s just so many factors that influences that. I hope that doesn’t sound elusive, but I just see it from all these different perspectives.
Melinda Wittstock: This is so interesting, though, because I think, as women, there’s so many things where we come to the table with so much going for us, right? Like our empathy, or our ability to connect dots, for instance, in ways that sometimes men cannot. But also, to solve problems that aren’t necessarily obvious for men. There’s all these opportunities to transform healthcare, education, or all these industries, by applying technology in new ways, and doing all these kind of really innovative things.
Yet there’s something in our acculturation, though, I think sometimes holds us back from going big enough. Where are the women with the moon shots, right? It sort of feels like we do things around the edges, rather than the big scalable, like, “Okay, I’m just going to go create some billion dollar thing, or whatever.”
Destinee Berman: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Why do you think that is?
Destinee Berman: I think that’s a big question. I do think that a lot of it has to do with the mindset, and the society, and just, what has been in place to date, right? I mean, we’re always talking about, how, for the same job or the same movie role, the woman is earning less than men. And so, I think, part of that is what’s been built into the collective consciousness, at least in our society, as it is today.
So I think that part of the unraveling, and part of what’s going on right now, in terms of women stepping into their leadership, into the power, I do think that will shift. But a lot of that does have to do with what’s inherited, consciously, subconsciously, right?
Or not even, just being in the conversation, or the opportunities, of being able to do something differently, or tap into that, or being taught, absolutely, you can go after this. Like, this is what we’re about.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. Exactly, right. So, what’s next for you? Where do you see your business going and growing? What’s the big vision?
Destinee Berman: Big vision? Well, short-term vision is around, I’ve been releasing new products. One of them is called Launch Your Training. It’s a marketing launch training for spiritual business owners, and I’ve got more products that are streaming through, I mean, that will be coming Out, in terms of online trainings, and whatnot.
And then, beyond, it’s really establishing myself, in terms of speaking, and really taking on this message of helping spiritual business owners bring their magic to the masses, and really normalizing what we see as woo-woo, or a little bit underground, and really making that, at least playing a part, in helping make that more mainstream.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that’s just wonderful. And so, all the people who are listening here, which, I know I have a lot of women and men, who probably qualify to work with you, because they’re coaches or practitioners in this area, and they’re struggling with how to scale. How to get their message out. All of these sorts of things, and could use your services. So, how can they find you, and work with you?
Destinee Berman: Ah, so, best place to find me is my website, destineeberman.com, and that’s where you can get access to a free launch guide. I’m hosting a free master class, and you can get access there, as well. And then, to stay connected, follow me on Instagram, and that’s at desberman. It’s really where I’m spending a lot of my time. If you want to reach out to me one on one with a message, a comment, a question, that’s the best place to reach me.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful. Destinee, thank you so much, for putting on your wings and flying.
Destinee Berman: You’re welcome. This has been a great conversation, and I just love where you took things. So thank you so much for having me.