Tom Rubens was fearless, constantly getting into fights with classmates and always fighting authority. That’s why a job on the Options Exchange in Chicago appealed to him: tons of action, screaming, and jumping. But what he needed was to be his own boss. After over 40 years of owning and operating his own businesses, Tom is keenly aware of challenges small business owners face. His coaching practice, The Accountability Factor, helps them increase revenue, manage relationships and live harmonious lives.
Jeff Sandefer is an entrepreneur and socratic teacher. He started his first company at 16, and his latest venture grew to several billion dollars in assets. The Economist magazine named him one of the world’s top 15 business school professors. Now, he’s a full-time teacher at Acton Academy, a cutting-edge K-12 school whose one-room school house for the 21-century model is spreading across the globe, with over 80 affiliates and over 8,000 applications from parent entrepreneurs who want to launch a school.
Mindy Tatz Chernoff was in her early 30s. Her children were in school all day, and she realized something important was missing in her life. She loved her children dearly, but she needed more. The ache of wanting to make a difference brought her back to her first love. From her horse farm outside Philadelphia, she facilitates workshops, retreats, one-on-one sessions, and the ever-popular horse circles. She has a dual masters in holistic spirituality and spiritual direction.
Brannon Beliso rebelled against his father by intentionally losing 17 martial arts matches in a row. He wanted to pursue his creativity. A hard punch in the face turned him around. Playing the hand life dealt him, he became a champion, first in martials arts, then in creating a life he wanted. He is dedicated to helping people live their best lives by helping them and businesses reach their full potential. He teaches leadership by example, by always being a student and never considering himself a master.
Catherine Rains is an MBTI certification trainer—the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator—and master practitioner, with over 25 years of organizational development experience using the personality tool to support individuals and raise their self-awareness about what comes easy and natural to them. She currently works as a private consultant, certifying individuals on the Myers-Briggs and the Strong Interest Inventory across the U.S., while also pursuing her passion for art, managing a thriving art business.
Suzelle returned to London from Texas at 26. She had turned down a position teaching dance because she thought she was getting old and needed to focus on her own dance career. Little did she know, one day she’d still be dancing at 77 years young Today she is a professional ballet soloist of classical Ballet. Since 2003, she has taught and performed for the Royale Ballet Dance Academy in Dallas, and taught for nine years the advanced children Divertissements for the Moscow Ballet Nutcracker.
Bryan was recruited for a challenging job where he solved problems all day. Suddenly, he had to solve one at home that he could not face. After a few attempts at false bravado and denial, he saw the fear in his little boy’s face. That is when he realized he had a crucial decision to make. Today, he’s a life and executive coach, public speaker, C-level executive, and the best-selling author of “Do A Day” in which he teaches how to overcome challenges and achieve goals.
Pamela Gold founded West Village Parents and tapped her passion for fitness and wellness by founding Fulfill Fitness before returning to the business world to run a behavioral therapy-based food and weight center. She is also the author of Find More Strength: 5 Pillars to Unlock Unlimited Power and Happiness, a guide to developing the inner strength to achieve our greatest outward potential through mind, body and spirit.
Joe Fingerhut knew that connecting with an audience got his juices going. Just as strongly, he knew life is short. The 9-to-5 job was not in his DNA. He craved work that would be fun and exciting, but he did not know what that magic combination would look like. Now, as an author and international speaker, he regularly rocks audiences at leadership events and high schools in America and overseas, sharing lessons from his adventures in travel, language, and stage skills in magic and music.
Kamila Gornia, as a young girl in Poland, was into Japanese comics and art class. When she discovered the internet, she knew she wanted to put her creativity there. Exactly how she would do that, make money, and enjoy her work was the challenge. As founder of the Heart Behind Hustle® brand, she is a business and marketing strategist for coaches and experts who want to increase scalable offers, while having fun. She also is offering coaching and e-courses to grow small businesses’ fans, followers and funds.
Ron Carucci is co-founder and managing partner at Navalent, working with CEOs and executives pursuing transformational change for their organizations. He has a 30-year track record helping some of the world's most influential executives tackle challenges of strategy, organization and leadership. He's is a regular contributor to HBR and Forbes, and has been featured in Fortune, CEO Magazine, BusinessInsider, and many others.
Dr. Jeffrey L. Gurian knew at age 12 he wanted to be a healer, probably a dentist. At the same time, he already loved writing comedy. He asked himself, how could he possibly do both? Who ever heard of a comic dentist? After a successful career as a cosmetic dentist and clinical professor at NYU—doing comedy on the side— he practices spiritual healing and energy work. A nationally known comedy writer, comic, and author, he has written for stars like Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, and Jerry Lewis.
Christie Garcia had a great career, but she noticed how many of her clients put all their eggs in the career basket. She saw the same tendency in herself and decided to find ways to create a life of balance, both for herself and her clients. As a leadership coach and founder of Mindful Choice Coaching, she helps fast growing companies maximize the impact of their management teams. Her latest project is programs, masterminds and adventure retreats to help men step up their leadership, improve their relationships and live a more successful life.
Chris Butsch is a best-selling author, speaker, consultant, and globally-recognized authority on the Millennial generation. Known for his storytelling ability, high-energy stage presence, and immediately-actionable advice, he helps business leaders understand his generation and maximize the world's most unique generation. “I'm all about arming the generations—Millennials and Baby Boomers—with the tools and the information they need to solve their biggest problems working together.”
John Lee Dumas was succeeding in real estate in southern California, hustling and creating a profitable system. Spending so much time in his car, he quickly got tired of listening to talk radio. That’s when switched on iTunes and discovered the opportunity of a lifetime. He founded and hosted Entrepreneurs On Fire, an award-winning podcast featuring over 2000 interviews, 1.3 million monthly listens and annual revenues of over seven figures. He says he is just getting started on his entrepreneurial journey.
Cindra Kamphoff had just reached a personal best in the 2013 Boston Marathon. Exhausted but feeling on top of the world, she walked slowily back to her hotel. Suddenly her mind began racing as she started asking core questions about her life focus. As a mental performance consultant, popular keynote speaker and author, she works with professional athletes, executives and championship teams around the nation. She is the author of “Beyond Grit: Ten Powerful Practices to Gain the High Performance Edge.”
Paula Brown Stafford and Lisa T. Grimes are two former competitors who discovered how well they complement each other. In a dual guest interview, they explain how women can support each other in the workplace rather than competing. Fierce competitors 20 years ago, Paula and Lisa eventually formed a friendship and now, as a team, speak to corporations and women’s groups on a number of topics including Complementing Beats Competing and The Juggling Act.
When Clayton Morris left Fox and Friends Weekend, everyone thought he was nuts. Leaving one of the best broadcast jobs in the industry, when he had the number one cable news show? But he realized it was mostly fear and ego that was keeping him there. He achieved financial freedom through his real estate company, Morris Invest and now devotes himself to helping others buy their first rental property and build passive income to achieve their own financial freedom.
Stephynie Malik has been 100 percent self-reliant since she was in her mid-teens when she became legally emancipated. Looking back at her dynamic career accomplishments and life choices, she finds her teenage decisions explain a lot. From entry-level sales fresh out of college to one of the youngest directors in Silicon Valley at a company now publicly held, to the CEO of a 500+ person software integrator at the age of 28, Stephynie has amassed tremendous experience and a track record of success.
John Vespasian is the author of nine books about rational living. He has turned his international background and his personal interest in history into a breed of personal-development books that emphasize rationality, resilience, and learning from real-life examples. His latest books are On Becoming Unbreakable, Thriving in Difficult Times, and Sequentiality: The Amazing Power of Finding the Right Sequence of Steps, which came out in 2017.
Amber Baker saw the early signs of what she would like to do in her future through being in a peer counseling leadership group as a teen. But when she found herself writing a fan email to a neuroscience textbook author, she knew she was crazy for psychology. A clinical psychologist today in private practice and the host of the Go Friend Your Self podcast, her goal is to help people improve their relationship with themselves, investing energy in being their own best friend instead of worst critic.
Richard Maddox was working 16-hour days–often seven days a week– marketing Silicon Valley start-ups. But through it all he did one thing consistently every day since 1975, which gave him a story to tell hard-charging Westerners about finding enlightenment. His 9-part novel, “Remembering Eternity” and “The Whisper of a Saint” are double international Amazon bestselling enlightenment novels.
Greg Centineo has followed the entrepreneurial path for three decades, mastering the art and psychology of what moves people to believe in an idea, invest in it and commit their time and energy to help create the idea. His ground-breaking animation project, “Legends of Oz, Dorothy Returns,” illustrated his skills to raise $122 million through 1,300 investors in the midst of a recession, and to engage thousands of people to believe in and invest their energy in creating the dream.
Laura Sandefer had no plans to start a school, much less turn education on its head. But as she looks back, she has vivid memories of a pre-dawn chat with her father on the morning she left for college. His advice, “Be curious,” has become a consistent thread in her life’s journey. As co-founder of Acton Academy, her school has sparked a global awakening in education. Her book, "Courage to Grow,” documents the journey to pursue the big questions around learning and unleashing human potential.
Jake Carlson was in a career that was mostly satisfying. When his tightly scheduled life made him miss his daughter’s gymnastic tournament, he realized he and his career were not in sync. After 11 years as a tax attorney, he took his three kids out of school for the adventure of a lifetime. They spent a year living in 12 countries. What he had not expected was to observe the need for strong leadership everywhere he went.