David Taylor II loved and admired his father, a successful African American small business owner, but knew his father’s dream was not his own. Then, at age 12 or so, his father succumbed to several strokes. A business he didn’t love fell squarely on David's shoulders. “It took me some time to come back around to realize where my strength and my desire really was, and what I was born to do. I went back to school for music, which is what I had always wanted to do.” Today he’s a best-selling author, award winning playwright, Top Ten music producer and songwriter.
Astrid’s path toward her passion was circuitous, but her desire to follow her heart remained strong. She combined some formal education with internships and a variety of entrepreneurial attempts, learning with each step. “I found a different strategy.” Today she is a creative serial solopreneur with a background in branding and design. She loves helping women business owners through online training programs, including the Astrid Mueller Brand Academy. Originally from Switzerland, she lives on beautiful Kodiak Island, Alaska, from where she connects and empowers women around the world.
Steve Taubman’s mom was a lover of Broadway musicals, amassing a collection of recordings. In his early teens, he knew he wasn’t one of the cool kids, but one vinyl album in particular awakened his sense of wonder and possibility. Years later as a trained hypnotist, his coaching and writing help clients wake up from their trances and discover a sense of possibility for themselves.
Stacey J. Hentschel was acting on her childhood yearning to contribute to the world by touching people in ways that would bring them joy. Then, she was seized by a fatigue so intense she barely remembered her high-energy self. Her recovery deepened her compassion and empathy and taught her about the inner strength everyone has at a heart level. Since then, she has worked with thousands of people for over 25 years in developing visionary businesses and leaders and creating empowering relationships. She also facilitates the building of consciousness and sustainable organizations.
Barry Selby is a passionate champion for the divine feminine. He helps strong, successful, single women stop short-changing their love-life. When women get manipulated and hurt it really ignites his passion to help them become wise and smart in their dating choices. He is passionate about women being honored and respected in love. “In new relationships, we tend to be attracted to what we see externally. Who we are, really, is often well below the surface, like the iceberg, maybe, five percent of the story. Be willing to take the time to explore and learn about the person in real interaction.”
Joe Calloway was in his early twenties when two roads diverged in front of him: working for the President of the United States or leaving politics altogether, moving to the Pacific Northwest to help his brother-in-law start a real estate company. Today he is a leading performance expert with a client list that reads like a Who's Who in business. He is the Executive in Residence for Belmont University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, and is the author of six critically acclaimed books on business success, including “Becoming A Category of One.” He is an investor and advisor to a range of start-ups.
Rhonda Barrymore was divorced, with two kids at a young age. She had to get a job. She started working as a make-up artist and one of her first clients was Diane von Furstenberg, who had recently introduced a cosmetic line. From then on, she says, “I became known as a celebrity make-up artist.” Self-taught as a make-up artist and stylist, she went on to work with Presidents and First Ladies, and with TV networks at Olympic Games since 1996.
Steve Cockram was well into a teaching career he loved. “I thought I would be there forever.” Then, he felt a call to be a pastor. His three years of ministerial training included many practical field placements. Not one of them prepared him to run a nightclub. Today he runs a global transformational consultancy that works with leaders, teams and organizations. He is a charismatic public speaker and recognized expert in the fields of personality, communication, apprenticeship and driving team performance. He is fiercely practical and committed to “Applied Leadership Learning.”
Joanie Connell always liked making things and solving problems and was fascinated by the math and science behind how things work. With her electrical engineering degree from Harvard, Silicon Valley seemed like the perfect place to launch her career. After staying up into the wee hours of the morning debugging circuitry, for days on end, however, she had to face the hard truth…. She earned a doctorate in psychology from UC Berkeley and now specializes in leadership assessment, development and retention for all levels. She is also an executive coach and the author of "Flying Without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life."
T. Allen Hanes has a passion for helping entrepreneurs, business owners, authors, speakers and coaches to be bold and position themselves as the go-to person and the authority in their niche. He and his team have created over 600 bestselling authors to date. A retired U.S. Navy photographer and video producer and bestselling author, he loves teaching entrepreneurs and corporate refugees around the globe how to awaken and claim their expertise through publishing and media. He's been widely featured on mainstream media, including CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC.
Rye Taylor was sitting on a porch swing, listening to complaints about Aunt Eunice’s bunions. His childhood adventures in Africa’s Zambesi River Valley were a distant memory. He realized he’d made a terrible mistake in the trajectory toward his life’s passion. Something had to change. Years later, his motto is: "Build a better business by telling a better story." When he isn’t helping others craft amazing stories, he can be found speaking about storytelling in business and creating his own unforgettable audio at www.ryetaylor.com.
Susan Weeks competed with 2,000 applicants for a coveted programming job at a new Nissan factory in Sunderland, UK. She won one of only two positions offered. The work was challenging but she felt like a square peg in a round hole. When a new start-up hit town, new vistas suddenly emerged. Today she is a busy online implementation specialist, podcast producer and video marketer who helps entrepreneurs create clarity, simplify strategy and tame technology. A single mum, she’s happily settled in a small seaside town on the East Yorkshire Coast of England.
Tom Schwab had completed four years at the U.S. Naval Academy, an outstanding education paid for in full by Uncle Sam. Then, in his senior year he found out that he wasn’t physically qualified to be in the military at all. “My path only makes sense in the rearview mirror.” Today he helps clients break through the noisy digital world to get more web traffic, leads and customer fans. An inbound marketing engineer, his refreshingly different approach focuses on supercharging time-tested strategies.
Melinda Chen loved the world of international sales, dealing with different cultures, wearing elegant business suits into corporate offices. Then she got an opportunity to leave the corporate world and venture out on her own. She had a crucial decision to make. Her decision to become an entrepreneur equipped her with experiences to share with other women. A sales coach today, her company, Women Making Big Sales, allows female entrepreneurs to start connecting and sell to big clients. Her vision is to really inspire female entrepreneurs to dream big, and make their business as big as possible.
Jim Gregory, marketing expert, explains how marketers are caught in a Catch 22 situation: they know the tremendous value of branding but face a gap created by generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP) that simply don’t take this into consideration. Much has dramatically changed in the concepts and methods of valuation since 1975, but accounting methods have not kept up. A leading expert on measuring the power of corporate brands and their impact on financial performance, Jim has written five books on branding, including Powerhouse – The Secrets of Corporate Branding.
Ryan Magdziarz won a scholarship and got into the private high school of his dreams in Melbourne, Australia. He was a nervous and shy 13-year-old, but hardworking. Then, one morning he awakened to hear his father shouting into the phone, “What do you mean you’re not coming back?” Ryan Magdziarz is now an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and founder of Winning International, which he scaled to seven figures at the age of 21. Ryan’s company helps coaches take their business to seven figures and beyond, creating an amazing impact on many people’s lives
Ellie Laks couldn’t sit still for the service at her family’s Orthodox Jewish temple. As a five-year-old, it felt like torture to her. Faking a trip to the restroom, she slipped out the temple door. Suddenly, she was covered head to toe in Monarch butterflies. At seven, she defiantly told her parents, “You’ll see! When I grow up I’ll have a huge place full of animals! And I’ll show the world how beautiful they are!” Today she cares for hundreds of unwanted animals at her childhood dream, The Gentle Barn.
Barry Friedman was five when his parents divorced. Suddenly everything was up in the air, and he and his brothers were facing uncertainty. When his grandmother sent him to summer camp, he faced two choices, and one involved a “hot, smelly box of a room in San Fernando Valley.” He opted for juggling because it was taught by the pool, but he took to it immediately. “I never put those balls down at the end of that summer camp!" He and another camper did a little show together. People were laughing and applauding. He knew his life would never be the same.
Rachel Flower was going through university, studying physics, always trying to perform well, hoping somehow to make the world right. She was putting out a lot of effort, getting straight A's, but inside she struggled. In hindsight, she saw she was not living her passion. Depression followed, which led her to make a 180-degree turn when she earned her degree. Today, she coaches artists and entrepreneurs and uses a precise system of spiritual numerology called soul contract reading to help people get to the core of their purpose and passion.
Dr. Thomas O’Grady, an economist, walks listeners through rethinking retirement and prospering long after 50. Life expectancy is approaching 90. Many active years ahead offer opportunities for pursuing new careers and interests. “Approach the new reality from an optimistic standpoint,” economist O’Grady advises. “You can learn and do new things. Think of the kinds of careers that will be available in the future. You may be doing something full-time now and decide on some new or other work you will do on the side. Or, you may decide to start your own business.”
Jason Thelen was a top corporate sales guy, making what he called “an embarrassing amount of money.” He had all the trappings that went with it—the watches, cars, suits, and the things. But the more money he made, the more money he needed. And he needed it faster than he was bringing it in. With those days behind him, Jason is the founder and chief adventure officer of Argo Adventure Labs. He has devoted the last 20 years of his life to pursuing adventure, while continuously striving to learn ways to support the integration of mind, body and spirit, which is vital to sustaining high performance.
Jo Hausman knew she wanted more when she was a single mom in her early 20s. For starters, she wanted to see some places other than her native South Dakota. But with a toddler two and a half years old, there was no shortage of people telling her she was crazy. Today she holds an MBA in Business with Entrepreneurship from the University of Sioux Falls. She owns several small businesses and is a real estate investor and city council alderwoman. She is the author of Go For It! A Woman’s Guide to Perseverance.