100 Women, Innovating, Networking, Growing, Scaling: Grab Your Wings!
On this 100th Episode of WINGS of Inspired Business, host and serial entrepreneur Melinda Wittstock shares the secret of inspired success in business and life. Together with guests Kara Goldin, Tina Sharkey, Ping Fu, JJ Virgin and others, Melinda talks Mindset, Mojo and Money: How to get past your fears, align your business to your “soul purpose”, and valuing yourself so you can create value for others.
What does it mean to create a truly inspired business? Every day we all have ideas – some we dream about, many we dismiss, (start MUSIC SOFTLY – from here) or don’t even acknowledge, and some, we act on. Every day most of us will say, “Someone should fix that”. But how many of us step up to be … that someone?
I’m Melinda Wittstock, this is… WINGS of Inspired Business … episode 100… wow, and I’m stepping up.
On Saturday I watched, tears streaming down my face, the articulate bravery of 11, 15 and 17-year-olds in Washington DC, speaking their truth for the one million gathered, and the many millions more all over the world. Stepping into the light, finding their voices – as individuals and as one, being the change they truly wish to see.
True innovation and leadership, I believe, starts with a problem, a problem we feel moved to solve. More often than not, we are moved to solve it because … that problem has hit home, close to the skin, personally… it has hurt us.
That hurt … or perhaps a lack … becomes a calling, a true purpose, and when that purpose is aligned with your joy, your true talents, what you love to do … magic happens.
For me, today, well episode 100, is truly magical.
Use some music here – to turn corner – raise softly …
It was only a few months ago that I launched WINGS.
For too long, I thought, women entrepreneurs had succeeded in silence. We didn’t fit the stereotype – you know, hoodies, garages, ramen, 20-something dropouts from Stanford, Harvard or MIT. We weren’t getting our fair share of capital to grow and scale our businesses. And most female founders were never getting off the startup sticky floor to crack the $1m ceiling.
What would it mean, I wondered, to change the game? GRADUALLY fade music gone by here
What if… women showed up for each other, mentored each other, spoke up for each other, threw business to each other, invested in each other?
What could I do to make that happen? To help women in business take flight? How could I BE the change I wanted to see in the world?
So back to that thing about creating an inspired business.
There is a pattern that predicts success and true game-changing greatness … and I see it in my hundreds of interviews with women entrepreneurs for my book and this podcast.
- A burning desire to catalyze change.
- Aligning that desire with your true talents, what you love to do.
- Trusting – through the ups and downs on that path – in yourself, in your vision, in your abilities
- Valuing yourself – so you can create value for others.
- In essence, a willingness to grow as a human being as you grow your business – retiring any limiting beliefs and negative self-talk, loving and accepting yourself for who you are, and showing up “all in” with gratitude and grace.
The successful female entrepreneurs I interview on WINGS all stepped up to solve a problem …
Like Gitte Pedersen of Genomic Expressions. She set out to cure and prevent cancer by connecting the right drug to the right patient … by sequencing RNA – her parents having died of cancer.
GITTE PEDERSEN: “So, way back when my parents got diagnosed, and it was my mother in particular, it was clear to my brother and I … My brother has a Ph.D in genetics, I have a background with a degree in chemical engineering and working for Novo Nordisk, I think the largest biotech company in the world right now. The standard of care options was a death sentence. You know, it was like evidence-based death. Lung cancer, you get diagnosed, and then it's just a matter of time. You die. And that was just not okay with us,
Women like Kara Goldin, busy building what started as a project in her kitchen … into a $1bn unicorn.
Kara Goldin: “It was almost 13 years ago now. I was trying to get off of my Diet Coke addiction; and really was looking at every day I would wake up and I would have Diet Coke.”
Kara had three kids, and she’d also left her executive role at AOL.
Kara Goldin: “I had had three kids at this point. I found that I had no energy. I was looking for a job. I had terrible adult acne. I had a lot of extra weight on me even after losing the baby weight that I had gained while I was pregnant.”
Then she went cold turkey on the diet coke.
Kara Goldin: “After two and a half weeks, I lost over 20 pounds. My acne cleared up. My energy was back.”
It dawned on her that words like “diet” and “low fat” did NOT mean “healthy” – consumers were being misled.
Kara Goldin: “I was drinking plain water for about a year and thinking like, ‘I'm so bored with plain water. There's got to be a better way.' One day, I started slicing up fruit that I had my kitchen and putting it in the water to … just for the taste. I went to my local Whole Foods in San Francisco and asked for a product that was bottled that just had flavor in it that didn't have sweeteners in it, that didn't have preservatives, that they were really made from real fruit extracts. I was shocked to hear that nothing like this was on the market
“How hard could this be,” Kara asked herself (and I laugh because every entrepreneur with a big idea starts this way….) and 13 years on, she has built a mission-driven business that will hit $1bn dollars in revenue later this year.”
Then there is Susan Bratton of Personal Life Media.
Susan Bratton: “I think that was the original reason that I run a company teaching passionate lovemaking techniques. It was because I was sexually abused as a child.”
Susan, her marriage crumbling, set out on a journey to heal herself and save her marriage.
Susan Bratton: “We ended up going to a therapist who uncovered the fact that because I'd been sexually abused, I was kind of checking out emotionally in my own sex life, which was a big part of the reason. It wasn't just the lack of orgasms. It was also that I was dissociating from sex. She got us to come back together and for me to stay present in my lovemaking.
I learned the tools, the techniques, and the skills. I expanded my pleasure map. I stayed present in my sex. I felt more confident about my sexuality.
That was the start of Personal Life Media, producing lovemaking techniques and bedroom communication skills for couples around the world.”
“it wasn't until then when I was denied employment due to the severity of my credit, is what made me actually look at my credit report. And from there, I saw how damaged it really was but I also saw how inaccurate it was.”
Arnita’s ‘aha moment?’
Arnita Johnson: “One day I was walking to my mailbox and I had all type of disconnection notices, pink slips, etc., past due bills falling out of my mailbox, and as I was walking back to the apartment with my daughter, I said “God, if you create a way for me to get out of this situation, I promise you I will pay it forward tenfold.”
And the result, Arnita has built a multi-million dollar business, AMB Credit, to help Americans get financially literate and out of debt.
Everyone’s path is different, and the secret of success is finding your true path.
Steve Jobs famously said, “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
So today, episode 100, and I’m full of gratitude because all the dots are finally connecting for me –
My ups and downs as a serial tech and media entrepreneur… my previous career as an award-winning journalist and TV host … my social nature and joy in connecting people to each other … my profound pull to solve big problems in the world.
I am truly living my mission and my moonshot … to help lift other women …to acclaim and affirm the entrepreneurial ‘SuperShero’ journey – for you and women in business everywhere.
And you know what’s amazing, well, a little woo, actually…
As I step up to help advance female entrepreneurs, there is not a day a female entrepreneur doesn’t step up… to advance me.
At first it seemed like a coincidence.
The woman I happened to be interviewing that day for WINGS … happened to be providing the exact advice that I needed … to hear then and there.
Then it kept happening, a cascade of coincidences.
You see, I have an automated calendar and appointments fill up my day, seemingly at random, whether guests for my podcast, potential clients for my business Verifeed, mentoring calls, or video recordings with any of the 50 inspiring women who are joining together for my WINGS of Success Summit coming up next month.
(More on that in a sec, because YOU have to join us).
But I digress.
I let them pick the day and time around blocks I’ve opened up via the app Calendly. .
No matter what issue or challenge I am facing at any moment of any particular day, the exact RIGHT person shows up at the exact RIGHT moment to help me deal with that particular issue or challenge – without even knowing they are doing it. Really.
For instance the perfect advice from Sue Jacques to resolve a communication problem with a team member…
A timely reminder to take care of myself from JJ Virgin when, working hard to pull the Wings of Success Summit together, I was forgetting myself and my self-care, against my better judgment, skipping meals and meditations…my kids wondering why the laundry wasn’t done or why we’d run out of their favorite foods.
Wake up call.
And another time, as I was beginning to think about creating live WINGS events and epic experiences… I happen to be interviewing Lauren Hall, who has built a 9-figure business around event planning software…
I wonder how often we all downgrade the magical, blow off serendipitous signs from the universe that we’re on the right (or perhaps wrong) path … and write off what our conscious minds cannot compute.
The elegance of INSPIRED BUSINESS is listening to the universe, being present, being open to inspiration, hearing that symphony of synchronicities … that beautiful sound you hear when you are on the right path.
The Universe is telling you something, teaching you something, confirming something.
For me, ever since I got clarity around my true purpose as a catalyst, bringing top entrepreneurial women together to give forward to millions more women … and working to foster a collaborative ecosystem where we all mentor each other, send business to each other, invest in each other and lift each other … things have been increasingly in synchronous flow…
So I’ll take it as confirmation I’m on the right flight path!
But along this journey – no matter how enlightened we do become – we all still struggle with that inner voice that says, “what makes you think you can do this?” “who do you think you are?” “will anyone really come to my event? Will anyone really buy my product?” “what if I am not enough?” “what if I fail?”
You know that voice right? We all have it. Hashtag #metoo.
That’s why every day on Wings of Inspired Business, we talk about how to find our mojo in business and life…and why the key to success is in our heads – our inner mindset, and how to get past our fears.
“Do one thing a day that scares you.” What if you're not being afraid is a problem? To me, I look at life, and I know when I get to a point that something is not scaring me; then I'm playing small again.
Then I am not expanding my horizons, getting out of my comfort zone. My thing that I use with being in a coaching program, a mastermind with a bunch of health entrepreneurs, is I teach them to be afraid, to face that fear, to step through it, that it's critical, and that if you're not afraid, you're playing small.
That’s JJ Virgin, the New York Times bestselling author and health entrepreneur.
“I always tell people that instead of actually articulating to all kinds of people around you that you can’t do it, instead why don’t you question yourself why you don’t believe that”.
Again, Kara Goldin.
“It’s also learning how to be kind to yourself, value yourself so you can create value for others. And… surrounding yourself with people who truly want you to fly as high as you want to fly.”
Ping Fu: “Don’t let anybody tell you no, because you know what problem you want to solve, and you know you’re the best person to do it.”
Ping Fu, the inventor of 3D Printing.
Ping Fu transcript p15 top – continued
“If you can create the value, the money will follow you.”
What I have discovered on my own entrepreneurial journey is that innovation in business is a roller coaster ride that puts you on a course of self-discovery – whether you like it or not. It pushes you to get out of your comfort zones, to find the silver lining in adversity, open yourself to inspiration, clear any limiting beliefs – and to grow as a person as you grow your business.
JJ Virgin again:
JJ Virgin: It's interesting. I had two big mentors early on, and one of them is Ali Brown. I'm sure you either know or have heard of Ali.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
JJ Virgin: Ali always said building a business is the biggest personal development course you'll ever be on, and it brings up all your shit, is what she said.
They are interconnected. You need the right mindset to get the mojo to get the money. And money without the right mindset can just be extra zeroes around an unhappy heart.
And that’s why on this 100th episode of WINGS I’m so excited to invite you to that Summit I was talking about moments ago, Music underlay starts…(Beyoncé girls track) the WINGS of Success Summit.
We’re taking Mindset, Mojo and Money – over 5 incredible value-packed days from April 23-27th – with many of the women you’ve heard on this podcast … all sharing their success habits, proven methodologies, business advice, self-care tips, and more practical hacks you can implement right away.
JJ Virgin, Kara Goldin, Gitte Pedersen, Fran Hauser, Tina Sharkey, Lauren Flanagan, Melissa Bradley… More than 50 Entrepreneurs who have built 7, 8 and 9 figure businesses … Female investors who have invested upwards of a $250 million between them in other women … best selling authors, thought leaders and influencers.
If you picked just ONE thing you’ll learn each day from this Summit and actually implementing it – in your personal life or your business – you will get 10 times, well, 100 times the return.
I know it.
So I hope you’ll join me and the women who are innovating, networking, growing and scaling. Women like Julia Pimsleur of Million Dollar Women who has made it her personal mission to get one million women to $1m in revenue by 2020.
JULIA PIMSLEUR The paradox here is that the very skills that got them to where they are, which is impressive, are the ones that are going to keep them from getting to that million dollar mark.
Maybe they created a better way of freezing baby food, and now they've got this $500,000 baby food company. Whatever it is, they're really, really good at what they do.
But, it's that very same domain expertise, and high level of expectations, and sometimes perfectionism, that keep them from scaling up, because no one can do it as well as they can. It's very hard to delegate, it's very hard to have other people do the work. I'm saying this from experience: I am a recovering perfectionist. There should be an AA for recovering perfectionists.
Women like Teresa de Grosbois…
Teresa de Grosbois “the minute you think about stepping up to lead, especially the closer you get to your own dreams of really being a contribution and making a difference in the world, the closer you get to that, the more your inner dialog and self doubt is going to flare up, because your dreams are scarier to you than they are to anyone else on the planet. They're your dreams; that's freaking huge, right? We tend to stave off the things that actually are closest to our heart, because they're scariest to us, and in fact that's the place where it's easiest to be influential, it's easiest to succeed, because that's the place that you'll be the most inspirational and the most passionate.
Teresa wrote the best-seller Mass Influence
TERESA DE GROSBOIS: “Playing big is so much easier than playing small. Find something that totally lights you up and that the world really needs, be the solution to a huge problem, and when you do, business gets a whole lot easier.”
Women like Tina Sharkey, the investor and visionary behind iVillage and now brandless – Tina is thinking Big, Bold – with the mindset, mojo and money to land her moonshot.
“What I'm proud of at Brandless, this angle, is that nobody wrote about the fact that Brandless is being run by a woman, they wrote about the fact that Brandless was disrupting an industry”
We all soar higher when we fly together
… so today I want to thank you for listening. Thank you for taking the time to invest in yourself and your future success. And I hope I’ll see you at the WINGS of Success summit – please go ahead, be an early bird, and save your seat at wingssummit.com. That’s wingssummit.com.
Women. Innovating. Networking. Growing. Scaling. That’s WINGS.
I’m Melinda Wittstock.