During his 40-plus years in advertising, Brent Kuhn brought 30-minute infomercials to the mainstream, greatly expanding direct response advertising. Before founding Bennett, Kuhn, Varner (BKV), he worked for leading ad shops McCann-Erickson and Tatham-Laird & Kudner. Now in active retirement, he continues to pitch new clients as Vice Chairman of BKV. Bolstered by the confidence he gained as a 10-year-old watching his father prepare for business meetings, Brent says he learned how to do well in interviews. Self-assurance overcame his academic background and landed him a job at an ad agency that typically only recruited from top-notch schools.
An entrepreneurial spirit has helped Jeanne Rivard adapt to new interests and career opportunities—including advertising, real estate, construction, food and entertainment, to alternative healing. At each new venture she added skills and explored new talents. Now she’s writing a book on chronic illness and practicing acupuncture-related Tong Ren. Learning to trust her instincts has rewarded Jeanne richly. Mentioning her interest in real estate, to her employer, the president of the company listed his house with her. When it quickly sold, word of mouth referrals followed, leading her to a 20-year successful career in real estate.
Calling himself a serial innovator, Mike O'Horo’s current venture is Varsidee, software that reimagines the broken hiring process, relying on concrete demonstrations of capability. This eliminates screening bias completely, opening opportunity to all. It eliminates all but qualified, genuinely interested candidates. After college, a top advertising executive told him he’d “end up living under a bridge” if he held out for an ad job during the recession, Mike set his eyes on precious gems, loving it. Unwittingly, he created a manager training program that eventually paved his way into a career coaching executives.
Practicing yoga for 25 years, Sarah Boler has been teaching it for one. She is also a certified health coach and teacher, using yoga and meditation to help her through some difficult times. Sarah is passionate about sharing yoga with as many people as possible. At 22, she tried yoga, loved it, and found it compatible with her athleticism. Moving to Australia at 23, she continued practicing and learning, as she worked full time as a dental hygienist. Taking a teaching job in the U.S., she began teaching yoga to fellow teachers, viewing it holistically.
With a passion for understanding people, Tom Tavantzis, Ed.D., has helped thousands develop their strengths in his 35-year career. A top leadership psychologist and career development expert, his workshop participants and students call him a transformational leader. You can't truly “know thyself” without other people helping you, Dr. Tom explains. His methods blend self-examination with agenda-free feedback from people on a similar journey of discovery. Freed from the influence of family or unconscious expectations, clients often discover things they already sensed, but at a profound new level.
Woodworking artist Arthur J. Stevens, has loved “making stuff” since kindergarten. His shop does full service woodworking and exhibit fabrication, finely crafted furniture exhibits and woodwork, specializing in bent laminate veneer and vacuum press marquetry. Connecting with the American Craft Council Shows, the Philly Fine Furniture and Providence Fine Furniture Show in the early '90s, Art says, “It was just interesting to see people making a living ‘making stuff’.” Seeing his work displayed alongside that of “people with actual qualifications was a fantastic experience.”
Diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2009, Rosanne Lindsay set out to heal herself naturally. Delving into her own healing for lessons, she is working with others and seeing the same reversals when they can really embrace the idea that they are their own healers. “My biggest turning point happened between ages 40 to 44. I began to question why I was where I was, to explore my interests in natural health and our connection to the planet. I could see from the perspective of my own kids how important that was,” Rosanne explains. “People are afraid of thinking with their own minds. They give up their power to somebody else.”
Ever since clerking for a small, business immigration firm during his time at Tulane Law School, Russell C. Ford loved the idea of being an entrepreneurial lawyer in a practice focused on helping people. Controlling his own destiny while helping others has consistently motivated his career, he recalls. Working at a large law firm’s immigration practice, Russell connected with four like-minded colleagues who shared a sense that there had to be a different, better way than just racking up billable hours and selling. “Working together really wasn't like work. Our similar mentality has just worked out for us.”
Living and working in Subiaco, a small town near Rome, Italy, Maria Grazia Spila has taught English to Italian teenagers for more than 20 years and “loves everything British.” Her favorite hobby is blogging in English, which has changed her life in recent years, opening doors around the world. Using social media, especially Facebook, she formed new friendships and opportunities for collaboration. This led to more travel, while also exposing her students to a wider view of the world. Her passions include classic literature, books, costume movies, period drama series, art and traveling.
Business and success strategist Adele McLay coaches her global clients to achieve greater success in their businesses and lives. An entrepreneur herself, she has been coaching clients for over 20 years. She coaches people to achieve the success they dream about in their lives. Many people don’t achieve their dreams because they lack profound clarity about what they really want. Adele teaches seven powerful steps she calls seductive clarity, magical mindfulness, a daring dream, vivid values, passionate purpose, magnificent motivation, and vibrant visualization. She even breaks down “dream” into actionable items.
A web series about infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger came about through personal sacrifices learned early in his life, says Jeff Hennessy, who wrote, directs, produces and acts in Whitey. Bulger was caught in Santa Monica, California, after 16 years on the run. Jeff’s life turned upside down in 1971 when both parents died in a plane crash. At 15, the “silver spoon” son of a prosperous family in Wellesley, MA, Jeff had to dig deep inside for determination to carry on. He learned the value of sacrifice and persistence in reaching his goals.
Texture and precision are her passion, hair is her outlet, barbering is her profession, education is her gift. Laura VanderMoere started her career behind the chair and worked her way to become Director of Education for the world's leading manufacturer of clippers, Wahl Clipper Corporation. Enjoying her love for the creative, hands-on part of her work deepened her sense of using her talent. Relationships with people and being able to make them feel better about themselves and their hair than they did when they came in gave her instant gratification. “I felt I was creating.”
Doing all things voice related, Neil Scott-Barbour thrives as an announcer, narrator, Emcee and actor. But as a 12-year old in England, he felt plagued by a thick Yorkshire accent he sorely wanted to lose. Today he’s in great voice on the U.S. side of the pond. He cites interpersonal relationships as key to career advancement. “I believe strongly that the best way to get forward in life is to build relationships. I have never gotten a job by means of a resume or a letter. All the things I've done in my whole life have been done through relationships and connections I’ve formed,” he said.
In the late 1970s, Mary Brown started a pioneering company to set up corporate childcare centers at the workplace. Work-life balance was a novel idea. Over 38 years, her company kept on innovating as Mary followed her love for people. In 1977, there were no hard data available to build a business case for on-site childcare. Occasionally advocates were tossed out of boardrooms—sometimes labelled socialists—but Mary and colleagues gradually convinced progressive employers the plan would be good for employee morale and business, building her own profitable business along the way.
Psychologist Steven J. Chen, an organizational consultant and author, has worked with individuals and companies for 25+ years. His knowledge of human behavior and what works in practice allow him to quickly diagnose issues and create unique, long lasting solutions. Verbal and nonverbal communication are at the core of helping people understand themselves. Effective listening and communicating are very helpful in moving relationships forward. Ineffective communication can be damaging and ultimately very hurtful. Everyone benefits from understanding each other and listening openly and deeply.
Currently painting real people and situations using oils on canvas, artist William Cain recalls, “I’ve been a model, actor and fashion illustrator lucky enough to travel around world. I hope you get both a sense of déjà vu and joyfulness when viewing my artwork,” he tells host Don Hutcheson. Wanting to get away from judging people by their looks, growing tired of the Hollywood "casting couch" mentality, he dropped out for awhile. Approaching his 40s, thinking about aging, he took a corporate art job, but found it “soul crushing”. Before work, he would get up early in the morning to paint.
After her e-book languished a year on Amazon.com, Michelle Kulp focused her legal researcher skills on finding out why. “A year later, I published a book called, Never Work Again: Six Secrets to Earning a Playcheck Instead of a Paycheck. In one day I had 2,128 downloads of that book.” Plunging into a 24-month learning period, Michelle continued her research and worked with a coach. She put everything she’d learned into creating a six-week online course. Half her students got their books to the bestseller list. The other half read the course work but decided it was too much work.
An internationally-recognized author, Jamie Turner is the CEO of 60 Second Communications, a marketing agency specializing in ROI-based marketing campaigns. He has been profiled in the world's best-selling advertising textbook and is a regular guest on CNN and HLN on the topics of mobile, social and marketing in general. “A smart phone is not necessarily a phone as much as it is a remote control for your life,” Turner says. “For every success, an entrepreneur experiences numerous failures. People see and remember your successes, not your failures, so leverage the hell out of every success.”
Working to save Africa’s big cats, Drew Abrahamson founded Captured In Africa out of a pure love and passion for them and the African bush. Growing up around rangers and wildlife veterinarians, Drew had many close encounters with wild animals, and has cultivated a deep love, understanding and mutual respect for all living things. Her passion for lions began early in life, but she detoured several years to become a hairdresser and a mom. She got back on track by connecting with the dynamic Louise Joubert, director of San Wildlife Sanctuary, volunteering in fundraising and public awareness.
Setting goals and achieving them is paramount for everybody, advises Dorothy Neddermeyer, Ph.D., regardless of where they are or what they want to achieve. Most people are not taught to write a strategy with specific steps—including how, when and in what order—so they don't reach their goals. Many people rarely accomplish their goals. Only 8% of people accomplish their new year's resolutions. Many don't set goals that are realistic, for which they have the requisite abilities or can enlist the help they need to be successful. They need a specific plan for each step toward their goals.
The "Hippie Jedi” and “Freedom-Preneur” Justin Verrengia innovates in marketing, social media, and in how society lives. He went from barely being able to afford his rent to a seven-figure income in two years. With his wife D, his top-ranked Weird Entrepreneurs podcast inspires listeners worldwide to live their dreams. After teaching in China, Justin and D settled in their dream location, Costa Rica. Their comfortable network marketing income was suddenly slashed by 75 percent. Believing in divine purpose, he found a new company and created an income of $26,000/month in 30 days.
Founder and CEO Susan Cartier Liebel of Solo Practice University, heads the only online educational and professional networking community for lawyers and law students who want to create and grow their solo/small firm practices. She's a wife, mother, mentor, avid traveler and all around curious about life and the planet we inhabit. With ten years in business before law school, Susan noticed her school’s complete lack of support for the 50 percent who would likely become solo practitioners. Law is the one license that allows you to be self-employed, yet students are being taught how to be employees.
Lee Ellis knew his passion and talents early in life. After college he pursued his dream, becoming an Air Force fighter pilot, and a leader and manager of officer development programs. Later he developed career and leadership assessments that led to his role as leadership consultant, executive coach, author, and speaker. As a fighter pilot, he was shot down and held 5 ½ years as a P.O.W. in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He returned home more mature, diligent in performing the duties he didn’t like. Always good about work he liked to do, he’d never been as motivated to do those things he didn't like to do.
A lover of life, Adèle McLay is a mother, wife, great friend, dancer, vegetarian foodie and traveler, coaching entrepreneurs worldwide to achieve greater success in their businesses for 20+ years, and a life coach. She has six books being published by 2016. Leaving investment banking, Adèle bought into a consulting firm, working with New Zealand's biggest corporations, midsize companies and charities, helping them to be more successful. In many ways it was a precursor to her current coaching practice. She still uses her financial skills in property acquisition and management with her husband.
NetWeaving takes traditional networking—“how can you help me?”—and flips it to resemble a combination of the Golden Rule and Pay it Forward. Creator Bob Littell developed NetWeaving 16 years ago. He’s been teaching others around the world how it can be a powerful tool for building trusted relationships. NetWeaving amps up traditional networking by teaching three practical skill sets: 1) how to be a better connector of others; 2) how to be a gratuitous resource; and 3) how to be constantly on the lookout for exceptional people to know and to recommend to others to benefit all concerned.