Jessica Fabrizi loved meeting new people on holidays during her childhood. She always got their addresses. Many people promise to write, but Jessica actually did, cultivating relationships through her letter writing, first in her native Italian, then in seven other languages. This passion for connecting with people has stayed with her and is now a critical part of her newest business, One Degree to Connect
Meredith Bell explains how replacing an old, established way of doing things with a “new and improved” way can seem unnatural and inconvenient. Time, commitment and effort are key. In business since 1982, she helps companies develop the people side of their business. Her software company’s programs are used by consultants, coaches and HR professionals to help managers become more effective leaders. She and her business partners have worked together for 25 years. Many of their clients have used their products for 20 years.
Brendan Ridings was adrift after college at age 24. A client he was training at the gym told him about his trips to Haiti and later invited Brendan to join him on a trip. Brandon said yes. What he would see and experience would reshape his life forever. This included developing a product to help alleviate back pain, which he built into a company, and now he helps fund a school in Haiti, and has partnered with the Make in India initiative to develop and implement advanced wound care for underprivileged populations.
Michelle McQuaid was at a high point in her successful career, living in New York, the city of her dreams, when she suddenly felt she was living a life of “grays and blahs.” She started asking herself, “Why am I not enjoying myself? Is this what being a grown-up looks like?” Then, an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Steward totally changed her direction. Harvard professor Tel Ben-Shahar was describing on the science of positive psychology on a television show, the idea that we can measure human flourishing and create interventions to improve it. He said we can actually teach people to be happier. Soon she was commuting from Australia to Pennsylvania to learn the science that was energizing her.
Drew Taddia was captain of winning high school teams in three different in Canada, but his hundreds of letters to U.S. college coaches were coming back, “Not interested.” So, he targeted four states with warm climates, packed his bags and just showed up at a California college. The coach looked at him like he was crazy when this unknown player told him, “I’m going to play for you,” but Drew made it into the tryouts and onto the team. Knowing he had work to do, he taught himself nutrition and fitness. “Soon I became the go-to guy of how to design a fitness program.”
Regina Partain and her husband built a $4-million staffing firm and a 44-year marriage. Then came the recession. But helping others achieve their dreams was still her passion. “No spring chicken,” she set about finding a new way to empower others. Using her life wisdom, she learned coaching and internet marketing. Remarried now, her practice includes helping couples build their marriages and their businesses.
Hilde Larsen is a certified health and wellness coach and detox specialist with a burning passion for life and the power we all hold within. She has overcome severe illness, pain and suffering through natural healing methods, and is now helping others find their true health and passion, to go from surviving to thriving. She has spent the last 10 years studying health and healing on all levels. Her strength is her firsthand experience of the subject. She is currently writing a series of five books, which will include her own journey from "Hell to Inspired,” detoxification, nature's ability to heal, and raw food living.
Dan Kuschell, a serial entrepreneur, was building five companies simultaneously when his son was born. Only two weeks later, after morning chest pains, he was lying in a hospital bed facing a frightening prognosis and writing his will. He did go home in four days, but his life would never be the same. Now, with his health scare behind him, he spends his time working on fun projects, including helping Joe Polish and his GeniusNetwork.com grow, and coaching clients in how to have a greater impact and expanded contribution. In addition to his “To Do” list, he also keeps a “Not-To-Do” list.
Kim Martin was in a job interview to be the manager of a fitness club. She had some management skills, but was a total newbie in the health and fitness world. Added to that, she had struggled with weight issues all her life. But something dawned on her, and she knew there was nothing random about her being there at Curves Fitness that day. “This could be the opportunity for me to take control of my life, get healthy, and use it as a motivator,” she thought. “If this works for me, I really believe I can inspire a lot of women.”
Parish Kohanim was born into the lush, natural beauty of the wine country of southern Iran, into a loving family that savored their times together absorbing nature. Would this 17-year-old want to leave it all behind for the U.S., and with only $300? Parish had a love for the United States and all things American, strong enough to convince his parents to let him go. He believes his lifelong love of visual beauty was recorded in his subconscious during his childhood with his parents and siblings in the Iranian countryside.
Deborah Maragopoulos knew early on she had a gift for healing. Her gifted grandmother saw it in her as a young child. First, she tried to suppress her gift, then to justify her healing abilities by getting a university degree. Reaching the perfect healing path has been her life-long challenge. Through clinical research and two decades of collecting empirical data, Deborah developed a unique holistic healthcare model blending naturopathic and allopathic therapies, as well as developing a promising nutraceutical product.
Bob Burg shares how his popular Go-Giver principles can be used to build principled leadership. Bob is an advocate, supporter, and vendor of the free-enterprise system, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve. A sought-after speaker at leadership and sales conferences, he is the author of several books on sales, marketing, and influence, with sales well over a million copies. He was named by the American Management Association as one of the Top 30 Most Influential Thought Leaders in Business for 2014.
Steve Garchow was tasked with completing a half-billion-dollar project, but members of his multi-disciplinary team might as well have been speaking different languages. Poor group dynamics made matters worse. He knew he had to find a way to make all the parts work together. Could he craft a process that would work before things fell apart? “Creating this method led to what I am doing today, teaching companies to use this lean strategic decision model.” Steve’s passion is working with companies to improve their strategic decision-making.
Caroline Greene is a recovering lawyer, chronic overachiever, and two-time Amazon best-selling author of MATTER: How to Find Meaningful Work That’s Right for You and Your Family and NEXT: How to Start a Successful Business That’s Right for You and Your Family. As a life and business coach, Caroline helps determined moms build businesses and whole lives that truly matter to them.
Mitchell Mays was several years into a successful chiropractic practice, when he noticed the patients who kept returning with recurring conditions, no matter what he tried. Then, he had an “ah-ha!” moment that took his practice in a whole new direction. Today, he is the #1 best-selling author of MIND GATE: Demolish Fear, Overcome Anxiety and Create the Life You Want. A certified master hypnotist and hypnotherapist, he employs functional medicine, biofeedback, nutrition, guided imagery and hypnosis for chronic anxiety, stress and pain.
Meredith Bell knew early in her career as a classroom teacher and administrator, that she had a knack for helping people build relationships. When politics and bureaucracy began to bog her down, she decided to start her own company. But there was one problem: she had zero experience in business. That was in 1982. She has been an entrepreneur since then. An expert in helping companies develop the people side of their business, her software company’s programs are used by consultants, coaches and human resources professionals to help managers become more effective leaders.
Michelle McQuaid is passionate about translating cutting-edge research from positive psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies for health, happiness, and business success. She offers actionable insights into how to do more of what you do best, beginning by identifying your true strengths and using them in a balanced way. She is a best-selling author, workplace well-being teacher and playful change activator and has more than a decade of senior leadership experience in large organizations around the world.
Angus Nelson had spent his 20s traveling the world, working with young people, doing good. At the nonprofit organization he formed, he began to burn out. “The harder I worked, the more difficult it got,” he recalls. In those dark days, the words of an author spoke deeply to him. Despite his self-doubts, somehow he knew: he was headed for Alabama to meet that man and see what he could learn from him. He gave himself a year.
P.J. Jonas—like many educated women—faced criticism when she left engineering to be a stay-at-home mom. Soon her problem-solving skills and creativity would be put to the test. After all, she was planning to homeschool her eight children. And raise goats. As an undergrad at the University of Virginia, making things from goat’s milk was nowhere in her plans. What started out simply as a means of getting good milk for her children produced a wide range of unanticipated discoveries—and a thriving family business called Goat Milk Stuff.
Paul Maskill set out for Chicago and the American dream in 2007, bolstered by his degree in finance from the University of Michigan. Stuck in a cube farm as the worst recession in decades rolled in—watching his co-workers being laid off—he knew he had to change his vision of the right career for him – and NOW!” He faced the question, “What’s the worst that could happen if I leave my corporate job?”
Vasavi Kumar was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 20, a student at Boston College. Instead of taking it as the death knell of her career, she wondered, might there be some similarities between bipolar peaks and valleys and the roller-coaster ride most entrepreneurs experience? From a potential stigma and curse, she found opportunities to transmute into a blessing, both in her own life and in the lives of her future clients.