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How to Shape Leadership with Authentic Communication Techniques Featuring Kelly Whitaker

Kelly Whitaker (she/her) is an LA-based communication specialist, speaker, and head of Kelly Convos. Her dynamic and singular approach empowers conflict-averse leaders and individuals to confidently and compassionately conduct difficult conversations in service of personal growth and lasting problem-solving.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will discover the strategies for successful communication that can transform your leadership and resolve conflicts effectively.

Kelly and I discuss:

  • Her altruistic motivations and diverse career path leading up to her current role [00:01:00]
  • The importance of communication skills across different social spheres [00:02:00]
  • Deliberate focus on conflict resolution and the needs it addresses [00:03:31]
  • A methodology for conducting difficult conversations and finding solutions [00:05:01]
  • How recruitment experiences shaped her approach to communication [00:06:39]
  • The decision to transition from employee to entrepreneur [00:08:40]
  • The impact of effective communication on leadership and team dynamics [00:10:19]
  • The value of interpersonal communication in a digital age [00:16:39]
  • Networking and community building to enhance personal and professional growth [00:19:40]

Learn more about Kelly at her website www.kellyconvos.com and follow her on Instagram @kellyconvos.

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How to Master Resilience in Work Transitions from Corporate Leadership to Entrepreneur Featuring Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier

Throughout her career in business management and psychology, Dr. Pelletier has spearheaded the dialogue on crucial issues of leadership resilience and work performance. Drawing on her extensive background in the corporate, insurance, governance, and public sectors, she brings an international perspective and unique expertise to leadership. She is a practicing leadership psychologist and executive coach with over 20 years of experience and holds a Ph.D. and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. 

Marie-Helene is a member of the Global Clinical Practice Network of the World Health Organization and a past director on the boards of the Canadian Psychological Association and the International Association of Applied Psychology. She has presented, authored, and co-authored numerous industry and academic publications and has won several academic and industry awards. In 2024, Dr. Pelletier published her award-winning book, “The Resilience Plan: A Strategic Approach to Optimizing Your Work Performance and Mental Health.”

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, we explore the critical role of mental resilience when making the leap from corporate life to entrepreneurship.

Dr. Marie-Helene and I discuss:

  • What motivates career changes and transitions [00:21]
  • Strategies for successful career transitions [00:56]
  • The influence of mental health in shifting from corporate to business ownership [02:00]
  • Enhancing supply to meet increased demands during transitions [03:26]
  • The significance of relationships and community in building resilience [14:39]
  • How to strategically plan for resilience in business [20:12]

Learn more about Marie-Helene at www.theresilienceplan.com and receive the free worksheets: https://drmarie-helene.com/free-resources-sign-up/

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How to Build a Personal Board for Financial Success Featuring Erika Wasserman

Erika Wasserman, Your Financial Therapist, is one of 70 Certified Financial Therapists who work with clients to shift their mindset and develop new beliefs around money that lead to freedom, choices, and opportunities for clients all around the world.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn the transformative power of financial therapy and how it can help you navigate through life’s transitions, gain control over your money, and align your finances with your values.

Erika and I discuss:

  • Her journey from corporate America to financial therapy [00:15:24]
  • How our relationship with money affects life transitions [00:00:35]
  • The importance of controlling and communicating about finances [00:01:13]
  • Strategies for aligning spending with values [00:05:17]
  • Overcoming fear during financial transitions [00:07:09]
  • Building a personal “board of directors” [00:08:36]
  • The role of community in financial empowerment [00:21:52]

Learn more about Erika at:




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How to Master Client Attraction and Grow Your Freelance Brand Featuring Amy Posner

Amy Posner is a seasoned online entrepreneur and business coach who helps digital creative freelancers build breakthrough businesses.

Over her 30-year career, Amy launched six successful businesses and mentored thousands of freelancers to success. She empowers freelancers to grow the business they want by teaching them the skills they need to attract the right clients – in her Complete Breakthrough Freelancer course and as co-host of the Business Badassery podcast.

In her free time, you’ll find Amy adventuring around the Pacific Northwest, hiking, gardening, and making a ruckus!

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you’ll discover insider strategies to innovate in your industry and position yourself as a thought leader.

Amy and I discuss:

  • The unexpected transition from the fashion industry to entrepreneurship [01:22]
  • The revelation that business ownership is a creative pursuit [02:07]
  • The evolution from business operator to business mentor [03:04]
  • The importance of business skills for digital creatives [04:00]
  • The key concepts and skills needed for freelancers to succeed [08:04]
  • The role of discovery calls in client acquisition [08:30]
  • Crafting compelling proposals and scopes of work [11:13]
  • The significance of client relations and communication [13:31]
  • The distinction between selling to small businesses vs. enterprises [15:58]
  • The value of peer support and community in business success [25:37]

Learn more about Amy at https://amyposner.com/podcast.

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How to Engineer a Successful Side Hustle Transition Featuring Damien Schreurs

Damien Schreurs, a former engineer with 18 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 US company with an R&D facility in Luxembourg, initiated EasyTECH as a side hustle in 2013 to explore entrepreneurship while maintaining a steady income. In September 2016, Damien left his 9-to-5 job to provide Apple training and consultancy services in Luxembourg.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how Damien transitioned from his corporate career to entrepreneurship, gaining control over his time and dedicating himself to his family and work.

Damien and I discuss:

  • The trigger that led to his decision to quit his nine-to-five job [01:09]
  • Why he started his business as a side hustle and his experience with part-time work [01:09]
  • Adjusting his financial goals and saving strategy to facilitate his transition [04:05]
  • The role of patience and impatience in making the move to full-time entrepreneurship [02:53]
  • How community and networking were instrumental in shifting his business from B2C to B2B [14:10]
  • The strategic decisions and personal reflections that guided him to focus on B2B training [16:29]
  • His experience with mentorship and the impact of COVID-19 on his business evolution [18:04]

Learn more about Amy at https://macpreneur.com, https://macpreneur.com/smashing, and https://macpreneur.com/youtube.

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How to Leverage Layoffs into Launching Your Own Business Featuring Holly Jean

Holly Jean Jackson is a Revenue and Performance Consultant, Speaker, Podcast Host, Author, and Founder of Business Builder Throwdown. Her career encompasses a range of fields including technology, communications, organizational change, public relations, and content strategy.

With over 12 years of experience, she has been instrumental in helping business leaders rejuvenate their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Holly Jean has spearheaded a Local to Global Policy Initiative, influencing the impact of future leaders on communities. A fun fact about her: Holly Jean has performed as the first chair clarinetist in Carnegie Hall and holds a black belt in karate.

Her Peak Performance Blueprint offers a comprehensive and pragmatic approach to success, recognizing that monumental business achievements require a life that is equally or more successful.

Business owners engage her services to master the art and science of genuine success. Many lack direction, take insufficient action, and see lackluster results. Holly Jean steps in to help define and design a business roadmap that ensures impactful visibility, intentional profitability, and unfailing sustainability.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you’ll learn about Holly Jean’s journey from multiple layoffs in corporate America to becoming a successful entrepreneur and finding the balance and respect that she desired in her professional life.

Holly Jean and I discuss:

  • The pattern of layoffs and health challenges in her corporate career [00:42]
  • Acknowledging a need for appreciation and a push towards entrepreneurship [01:00]
  • The dehumanization of layoffs in large companies [01:44]
  • Transitioning to a consultancy role and how it differs from employment [05:03]
  • Establishing a more respectful and balanced consultant-client relationship [06:14]
  • Holly Jean’s process of finding her consulting niche [08:15]
  • The impact of COVID on her business strategy [10:46]
  • How to strategically pivot your business for growth [11:37]
  • The importance of niching down your target market [12:00]
  • Leveraging personal achievements and passions to build your business [13:52]
  • The significance of internal validation over external comparison [14:12]
  • Tactical advice for transitioning from corporate to entrepreneurship [16:32]
  • The critical role of community and support in building a successful business [21:07]

Learn more about Holly Jean at:



https://www.instagram.com/coachhollyjeanjackson/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3ElvJLGqpJ2ThA9utJCqMg


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How to Foster a Coaching Career from Corporate Communications Roots Featuring Alan Heymann

Alan Heymann excels at coaching fellow introverts, helping them discover their superpowers in an extroverted world. He has coached leaders from 32 countries across four continents. His diverse clientele includes individuals from Fortune 50 corporations, nonprofit organizations, public utilities, and various levels of government—federal, county, and municipal.

Alan is the author of “Don’t Just Have the Soup: 52 Analogies for Leadership, Coaching, and Life.” His extensive experience spans over two decades in public, government, and nonprofit communications, where he has led teams of sizes ranging from two to over 100 people. Motivated by his own career transformation, which was facilitated by an executive coach, Alan established Peaceful Direction in April 2019.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn about Alan’s journey from a communications expert to a respected executive coach and successful business owner. 

Alan and I discuss:

  • His career transformation inspired by executive coaching [00:44]
  • Navigating complexities in his most challenging role [02:29]
  • The unforeseen benefits of coaching for career development [03:00]
  • Serving a diverse range of clients across the economy [03:40]
  • Adapting coaching methodologies to suit client needs [04:28]
  • Transitioning from corporate employment to entrepreneurship [05:39]
  • The practicalities and psychology of running your own business [07:00]
  • The importance of cash flow and financial management [09:16]
  • Alan’s approach to growing his business and client base [10:06]
  • Balancing personal preferences with market demand [11:01]
  • The business development aspect of coaching [13:31]
  • Building a coaching business and the challenges faced [14:26]
  • Utilizing community and networks for business growth [23:22]

Learn more about Alan at https://www.peacefuldirection.com

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How to Integrate Proprietary Data Methods for DEI Excellence Featuring Diana File

Diana File founded DF Analytics to instill rigor and accountability in DEI efforts worldwide. As a research and organizational psychologist, she has devoted 15 years to refining her proprietary data science methodologies, driving impactful results for Fortune 500 corporations, startups, government agencies, nonprofit institutions, and small businesses globally.

Diana leverages data science to enable companies to cultivate highly diverse and inclusive teams that excel in productivity, collaboration, and profitability. Her proprietary analytical methods reveal the underlying neuroscientific factors that determine success or failure. She then translates these assessments into actionable strategies, leading cross-functional implementation throughout the organization. This comprehensive approach ensures companies remain at the forefront of the evolving generational and cultural landscapes affecting both employees and customers.

As a former consultant for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Diana has redefined decision-making processes within complex hierarchies and has led pioneering global research on fostering the resolution of intractable conflicts. Her breadth of expertise encompasses workforce analytics, team development, project management, organizational effectiveness, conflict resolution, and research on best practices.

Diana is a sought-after workshop leader and keynote speaker, contributing to prestigious institutions such as Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Columbia University School of Professional Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, National Libraries of Medicine, HR Leadership Forum, and various industry associations.

She earned her B.A. in Psychology, graduating cum laude from Yale University, and holds an M.A. in Psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Diana is proficient in English, Hebrew, and Russian.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn from Diana File how to bring accountability to DEI efforts using data science.**

Diana and I discuss:

  • Her journey from a child immigrant facing intolerance to a DEI leader [00:47]
  • How Diana’s personal mission shaped her career path [01:31]
  • The importance of addressing systemic inequities through organizational psychology [01:59]
  • Her groundbreaking research in trauma recovery and conflict resolution [02:19]
  • The birth of DF Analytics and its mission [03:37]
  • The pivotal year of 2020 for DEI and how that shaped her business [05:18]
  • Why certain industries like healthcare, technology, and financial services focus on DEI [07:14]
  • How Diana uses her coaching approach to build business relationships [08:50]
  • Overcoming the fear of rejection in business development [12:32]
  • The business model behind DF Analytics and working with a diversified team of consultants [16:37]

Learn more about Diana at www.dfanalytics.co and https://www.linkedin.com/in/diana-file

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How to Craft Empathy-Driven Stories in Tech Marketing Featuring Jessica Mehring

Jessica Mehring is a strategic consultant for technology companies, a published author, and holds an M.A. in Communication. Through her graduate academic work, she has closely examined the impact of generative AI on strategic communication and is exploring how storytelling fosters empathy and helps us connect in a modern context. When she’s not working to infuse tech marketing with more humanity, she can be found researching the intersections of art and science, creativity and data, and communication and innovation.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how to leverage storytelling to make your marketing resonate with your audience and build a successful consulting business that can change the way technology is perceived and utilized.

Jessica and I discuss:

  • How Jessica’s passion for writing and storytelling shaped her career [00:01:59]
  • The pivotal moment that led her to entrepreneurship [00:04:11]
  • Her approach to creating high-performing content for tech companies [00:08:18]
  • The role of storytelling in establishing customer connection [00:11:14]
  • Jessica’s advice for corporate refugees on using storytelling in their businesses [00:13:56]
  • The significance of community in Jessica’s entrepreneurial success [00:22:18]

Learn more about Jessica at https://www.horizonpeakconsulting.com/jessica/.

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How to Transition from Executive to Entrepreneurial CEO Featuring Gina Cotner

Gina Cotner is the CEO of Athena Executive Services, a firm that pairs virtual executive assistants across the United States with swamped and successful entrepreneurs and executives. Her team of high-caliber executive assistants works part-time from home, taking many tasks and projects off the plates of successful people, leaving them free to spend their time where they are most needed.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how to transition from a secure corporate job to founding and scaling a company that aligns with your personal values and lifestyle.

Gina and I discuss:

  • Her initial decision to leave IBM and her corporate life behind [00:00:38]
  • The journey from planning to open a martini lounge to becoming an entrepreneur [00:02:59]
  • How Gina faced and overcame financial fears during a divorce [00:05:10]
  • The inception of Athena Executive Services and its growth [00:07:54]
  • Strategies for dealing with disappointment and the importance of keeping it simple [00:15:19]
  • Building a business that thrived during the pandemic [00:11:00]
  • The benefits of community and networking in business development [00:19:08]

Learn more about Gina with Athena Executive Services on social media to stay updated on latest insights and offerings: 

Facebook: [https://www.facebook.com/AthenaVirtualAssistants]

Instagram: [https://www.instagram.com/athena_executive_services]

YouTube: [https://www.youtube.com/@athenaexecutiveservices5248]

LinkedIn: [https://www.linkedin.com/company/athena-executive]

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How to Transform Your CPA Expertise into Entrepreneurial Success Featuring Tyler Martin

Introducing Tyler Martin: a Business Coach and CPA with a talent for growing businesses. He escalated a staffing firm to $25 million a year and expanded a CPA firm to 200 clients in just five years. Tyler’s unique strength lies in his hands-on business experience — he’s not just a coach. He has personally built and sold successful companies. Specializing in service businesses with revenues of $1-15 million, Tyler provides practical, actionable guidance to help them grow. He is the ideal mentor for business owners eager to develop their enterprise.

Tyler Martin is a seasoned CPA and business coach with a knack for helping businesses flourish. With his firsthand experience in growing a staffing firm to $25 million and building a CPA firm from scratch to 200 clients in just five years, Tyler understands the ins and outs of business growth. Moreover, having sold successful companies of his own, Tyler brings a wealth of knowledge and practical advice to his role as a mentor to service businesses with revenues between one to $15 million.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how to navigate the waters of business growth and deal with the challenges of being a corporate refugee starting from scratch.

Tyler and I discuss:

  • His transition from CPA to entrepreneurship and why he took the leap [00:01:13]
  • Building his own CPA firm and acquiring 200 clients in five years [00:01:33]
  • Strategies for lead generation and client selection [00:03:06]
  • The significant pivot from business coaching to providing CFO services [00:09:23]
  • Overcoming the fear of investing money into seemingly sinking ships [00:15:25]
  • The balance between proactive business modeling and reacting to emergent opportunities [00:07:07]

Learn more about Tyler at www.thinktyler.com.

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How to Leverage Writing into Business Success Beyond Law Featuring Erica Holthausen

Erica Holthausen is the founder of Catchline Communications, where she provides consultants with essential tools to develop and share a body of work that enhances their authority, boosts their visibility, and creates new opportunities. Leveraging her background as a freelance writer and editor, Erica assists her clients in selecting topics, pitching ideas, composing articles, and securing publication in prominent industry trade journals and business magazines, such as Harvard Business Review, Inc., and Entrepreneur.

In this episode, Erica and I discuss:

  • Her unexpected career transition from law to communications [00:00:54]
  • The role of mentorship in her professional development [00:06:18]
  • Erica’s advice on asking questions and being open to help [00:07:47]
  • Overcoming doubt and the power of trusting oneself [00:10:03]
  • The evolution of her business, Catch Line Communications [00:15:41]
  • How she pivoted her services to meet the consultants’ needs [00:15:58]
  • The creation of her group program and the upcoming community [00:17:34]
  • The importance of community for entrepreneurs [00:20:11]
  • One actionable step for corporate refugees moving towards entrepreneurship [00:22:59]

Learn more about Erica at Catchline Communications at https://linktr.ee/catchline and connect with her on LinkedIn.

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How to Transform Selling into an Authentic Success Featuring Nikki Rausch

As the CEO of Sales Maven, Nikki Rausch possesses a unique ability to transform the often misunderstood process of “selling.”

With over 25 years of experience in selling, Nikki is now hired by entrepreneurs and small business owners who seek her expertise to learn how to sell successfully and authentically.

Nikki is the author of three books, all of which are available on Amazon. She also hosts the podcast Sales Maven, which can be found on your favorite podcast platform.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you’ll discover the nuances of NLP in sales and learn how to use these techniques to boost your business.

Nikki and I discuss:

  • The pivotal moment that led her into entrepreneurship [00:02:52]
  • How NLP transformed her approach to sales and communication [00:11:42]
  • The importance of treating your business as a separate entity for sales success [00:10:13]
  • Turning the discomfort of change into an opportunity for growth [00:21:50]
  • The strategies that helped her pivot from a lavish lifestyle to a savvy entrepreneur [00:07:02]
  • Nikki’s continued investment in personal and professional development [00:19:00]

Learn more about Nikki at:






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How to Launch a Successful Design Agency After a Corporate Career Featuring Andre De La Cruz

Andre de la Cruz is a UX and Product Design professional with 15 years of experience. After losing his job last July, Andre co-founded an agency called Rally, which specializes in Brand, UX, and Product. He established the agency with two seasoned professionals in Brand and Product, along with a team of senior talent. Rally offers startups flexible monthly access to their team of senior designers and product managers through a subscription service. Prior to founding Rally, Andre spent the last five years at early and growth-stage startups, building and leading design teams, and collaborating with product and executive leadership to develop new products from inception to launch (0→1) and to evolve version one (v1) products into a more mature, polished, and professional state.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, Andre shares insights on making the bold move from a stable full-time job to creating and managing a successful design agency.

Andre and I discuss:

  • His career progression and the decision to start an agency [00:01:00]
  • The experience of leading design teams at startups [00:02:00]
  • The journey of founding Rally with his partners [00:04:00]
  • Shaping and adapting agency business models for market demand [00:10:00]
  • Diversifying into the software industry [00:12:00]
  • The pivotal role of community and networking in entrepreneurship [00:17:00]
  • Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs considering their own venture [00:21:00]

Learn more about Andre at https://www.joinrally.co.

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How to Build a Thriving Business with Ethical AI and Community Featuring Jessica Spencer

After nearly two decades in the corporate world, Jessica founded the educational media company Penguin Connective, which seeks to create greater equality and opportunity in challenging areas such as future readiness, foster-to-adopt, and transitioning to adulthood. She is the creator of the AI Explorers Society and a ChatGPT for Teachers course that currently serves over 1,800 educators globally. Jessica resides near Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and their five children.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how continuous learning and strategic diversification can create a resilient business model.

Jessica and I discuss:

  • Her transition from corporate administrative roles to entrepreneurship [00:50]
  • The advantages and challenges of acquiring education while working full-time [01:12]
  • The evolution of her career through multiple industries [01:34]
  • How a diagnosis with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome influenced her life choices [05:15]
  • The role of diversification in achieving financial security [06:46]
  • The importance of ethical AI and its application in education [14:09]
  • The value of community and collaboration in a successful business [17:29]
  • Introducing the AI Explorer Society and its goals [16:12]

Learn more about Jessica at: https://www.aiexplorers.io

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How to Embrace AI and Analytics for Entrepreneurial Success Featuring Genevieve Hayes

Dr. Genevieve Hayes is the Director of Genevieve Hayes Consulting, which assists organizations in understanding emerging technologies, such as AI and analytics, and how to use these technologies to create business value. She also lectures on data science at the University of Melbourne and hosts the podcast “Value-Driven Data Science.”

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn from Genevieve’s bold transition from a secure corporate career to the dynamic world of entrepreneurship in the midst of a global pandemic. This episode is a trove of insights for anyone considering taking control of their professional path.

Genevieve and I discuss:

  • Her journey from being an actuary to becoming an entrepreneur [02:00]
  • The moment Genevieve decided to leave the corporate world [06:00]
  • Insights into the risks and control associated with owning a business [08:00]
  • The importance of freedom and the ability to challenge oneself [10:00]
  • Genevieve’s innovative approach to data science in business [12:00]
  • Her current projects and goals for the future [14:00]
  • The balancing act between client work and business growth [16:00]
  • The power of community and networking in business success [18:00]

Learn more about Genevieve at www.genevievehayes.com, and connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gkhayes/.

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Learn How To Use Your Experiences To Build A Successful Business And Become Influential Featuring Michael Levin

New York Times bestselling author and ghostwriter Michael Levin is a prolific ghostwriter, having written, edited, published, or consulted on more than 1,000 books. Levin’s own books have been published by Simon & Schuster, Random House, Penguin, and a variety of other top publishers. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, LA Times, Boston Globe, and many other top outlets. His ghostwriting clients include Boeing and Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar (he edited Zig’s last book), NFL legend Pat Summerall, and countless other leaders in business, sports, broadcasting, real estate, finance, insurance, and many other fields.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how to harness your skills and experiences to build a successful business and become an influential voice in your field.

Michael and I discuss:

  • Michael’s transition from corporate law to entrepreneurship [00:01:40]
  • The realities of starting a business and the importance of sales [00:07:48]
  • Overcoming the challenges of entrepreneurship and self-promotion [00:09:10]
  • How to embrace and manage the inevitable changes and pivots [00:13:41]
  • Strategies for networking and finding like-minded individuals [00:20:08]
  • The role of content creation in establishing thought leadership [00:27:10]

Learn more about Michael at www.michaellevinwrites.com.

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How to Convert Software Development Skills into Successful Business Models Featuring Troy Larson

Troy has over 40 years of software development and technical management experience, including five years at Amazon as a Solutions Architect.

In 2022, Troy founded The Unique VA Experience, a Filipino-based coaching company that has trained nearly 300 VAs, providing opportunities for Filipinos who are looking to change careers and for stay-at-home parents looking to enter the workforce.

In 2023, Troy launched The Developer’s CEO Newsletter, building on his 40 years of experience, focused on the unique challenges faced by software developers who are running a small business or looking to start their own business.

In today’s episode, you will discover the transition from corporate life to entrepreneurship, the founding of The Unique VA Experience, and his 2023 launch of The Developer CEO Newsletter.

Troy and I discuss:

  • The journey from corporate life to entrepreneurship [00:01:05]
  • The motivation behind The Unique VA Experience [00:02:10]
  • The significance of the “Unique” aspect in his business [00:03:40]
  • Offering a distinct, hands-on program for VAs [00:04:35]
  • How The Unique VA Experience evolved against expectations [00:06:05]
  • Utilizing community for entrepreneurial success [00:08:00]
  • The unexpected wisdom gained from community interactions [00:09:40]
  • The role of OKRs in fostering accountability within communities [00:11:50]
  • The simple yet effective implementation of OKRs [00:18:15]
  • Navigating the trials and learning from failures in business [00:20:25]

For those seeking to delve deeper into the world of virtual assistance or to tap into Troy’s rich repository of knowledge, visit www.troylarson.com. Troy also offers resources on hiring a VA and has made his developer-centric newsletter available for those intrigued by the intersection of software development and business leadership.

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How to Navigate From Corporate to Coaching Through Life’s Adversity Featuring Rebecca Babcock

Rebecca Babcock, Founder of Rebecca Babcock Coaching and The Babcock Method™, has conquered a great deal! As a chronic illness warrior, a nine-year sobriety champion, a resilient divorcee, and a highly effective corporate leader, she has navigated both triumphs and setbacks throughout her over 20 years of corporate experience. Now, she has chosen to embrace her true calling: empowering others to discover their purpose and passion, regardless of life’s unpredictable twists and turns.

In today’s compelling episode of Smashing the Plateau, Rebecca reveals the raw and transformative journey that led her from a high-flying career in corporate America to a profound coaching practice. After navigating the rollercoaster of life’s ‘lifey’ moments, Rebecca now empowers others to steer their own ship, even through the roughest seas of adversity.

Rebecca and I discuss:

  • Her transition from corporate leadership to life coaching [00:00:20]
  • Embracing life’s unpredictability while pursuing passion and purpose [00:01:07]
  • The paradox of seeming success and the underlying feeling of ‘meh’ [00:04:30]
  • The fallacy of the elusive ‘playbook’ of life and the freedom in admitting imperfections [00:05:30]
  • Her holistic approach to increasing life satisfaction and finding joy in authenticity [00:11:00]

Rebecca’s poignant insights and her own experiences illustrate that sometimes the most inspiring stories come from the most unexpected places.

Learn more about Rebecca and her journey at https://calendly.com/rbc-coaching/rebecca-babcock-coaching-clarity-call-whatsapp

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How to Embrace Femininity and Triumph Over Burnout Featuring April Roberts

April Roberts assists Gen X women in attaining greater abundance, love, spirituality, and alignment by embracing their femininity. As a high-achieving former attorney and financial advisor with degrees from Vanderbilt and Notre Dame, April comprehends the societal pressures that frequently result in burnout among women. She is the host of the Vixen Voice podcast, where she shares the narratives of Gen X women who have cast aside the conventional definition of success to follow their genuine passions.

In this episode of Smashing the Plateau, we dive into April’s transformation from a high-powered legal professional to a devoted entrepreneur and mentor for women forging new paths in life.

April and I discuss:

  • April’s pivot from law to entrepreneurship and her insights on societal expectations for women [00:50]
  • The intellectual fulfillment and soul-level dissatisfaction April experienced in her former roles [01:15]
  • Identifying the call to engage in work that truly resonates with the spirit [04:25]
  • April’s foray into financial advising and the unique entrepreneurial spirit inherited from her family [06:40]
  • Responding to intuitive nudges and the third-time charm that redefined April’s career direction [09:10]
  • Launching Vixen Gathering amidst the pandemic and the journey to double its recurring revenue [10:20]
  • The five pillars of Vixen Gathering and the specific challenges Gen X women entrepreneurs face, especially around money mindset [15:10]
  • The enriching community experience in group settings that April facilitates, fostering growth and accountability [20:40]

April Roberts extends her impact through her podcast, the Vixen Voice, a platform where she highlights stories of Gen X women who have broken free from the traditional mold to follow their heartfelt desires.

To learn more about April’s work and to connect with her, access the Vixen Core Values Worksheet Download at: https://www.vixengathering.com/core-values-worksheet.

Thank you to our sponsor:

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How To Transform Career Lows Into Entrepreneurial Success Featuring Suzy Rosenstein

Suzy Rosenstein is a master certified life coach and host of the popular podcast for midlife women, Women in the Middle®. Utilizing her upbeat approach to the highs and lows of aging and navigating life over 50, Suzy helps you gain clarity on what you truly desire, reigniting your excitement for life.

In this episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will discover how Suzy turned a career-low into a triumphant journey into entrepreneurship, inspiring others along the way.

Suzy and I discuss:

  • How being laid off became a catalyst for change [00:02:50]
  • The role of creativity in Suzy’s entrepreneurial journey [00:03:45]
  • Confronting fears and societal expectations in midlife [00:09:00]
  • Embracing technology and lifelong learning [00:12:40]
  • Assisting women in midlife to avoid regrets and find clarity [00:15:14]
  • The benefits of group coaching and community support [00:21:16]
  • Understanding the ‘why’ behind your life’s direction [00:26:07]

Learn more about Suzy on her website at www.suzyrosenstein.com and get the free Get Unstuck Midlife Podcast Bundle at www.freepodcastbundle.com.

Thank you to our sponsor: 

The Smashing the Plateau Community

How Conscious Choices, Inner Work, And Community Forge New Paths In Life’s Latter Half Featuring Paul Ward And Sandy Demarest

Dr. Paul Ward is a leadership and life coach, often referred to as the Consciousness Whisperer. He is the President of 2Young2Retire, LLC, a company that specializes in coaching, consulting, and training.

Paul is the author of “The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership” and the coauthor of “Midlife, New Life,” which is set to be published in January.

An adjunct professor at the University of Phoenix online, Paul has dedicated more than thirty years to consulting for organizations across Europe and the Americas. He splits his time between West Palm Beach, Florida, and Portsmouth, England.

Paul Ward and Sandy Demarest are reshaping the concept of midlife through their co-authored book, Midlife New Life, and their professional coaching efforts. They bring a wealth of experience to those navigating life’s transitions, offering strategies to embrace change with purpose and intention.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, we’ll explore the conscious choices that can redefine one’s journey during the second half of life and the importance of inner work and community in forging a new path.

Paul, Sandy, and I discuss:

  • The inspiration behind Midlife New Life and the story of its creation [00:04:00]
  • Sandy’s journey from career development to co-author [00:05:50]
  • The significance of midlife as a stage, not an age, and its broad appeal [00:08:05]
  • Addressing unexpected challenges and the importance of planning [00:09:10]
  • The concept of working for fulfillment versus working for a living [00:10:36]
  • Strategies for corporate refugees turning to entrepreneurship [00:12:40]
  • The role of mindset and support in navigating career transitions [00:14:25]
  • Consciously exploring possibilities before a crisis strikes [00:16:00]
  • Leveraging strengths for personal and professional growth [00:24:45]

Learn more about Paul and Sandy and their work: Midlife New Life Book: midlifenewlife.net

Paul Ward’s Contact: http://2young2retire.com/ and https://drpaulward.com/

Thank you to our sponsor:

The Smashing the Plateau Community

How To Stand Out And Draw The Right Crowd With Digital Marketing Featuring Tina Cheesley

Tina Cheesley runs a marketing agency that specializes in messaging for websites plus email marketing to help clients stand out from the crowd and attract the right people.

In this episode, discover the key steps and strategies that Tina has used to carve out a niche for her business and to guide others on the path to marketing success.

Tina and I discuss:

  • Her professional journey from the print industry to online marketing and the dynamics of working with her husband [00:52]
  • The importance of breaking down the transition from corporate to consulting into manageable steps [06:10]
  • Starting off with the right digital footprint, such as a landing page, and the role of networking in business development [10:14]
  • How to choose a consulting specialization that aligns with your passions and the impact you want to make [14:10]
  • The entrepreneurial mindset, dealing with imposter syndrome, and the significance of goal setting [16:34]
  • The blend of flexibility and structure in entrepreneurship, and how it shapes personal and professional life [18:05]
  • The benefits of being part of a community and engaging in mastermind groups [19:47]

For more insights into effective digital marketing and to get a hold of a useful toolkit for kick-starting your marketing journey, visit Tina’s website at https://flow-online.co.uk/get-more-leads-toolkit/

Tina also welcomes strategy calls for those who have attempted to apply her methods and are looking for further assistance.

Thank you to our sponsor: 

The Smashing the Plateau Community

Learn To Manage Consulting Finances For Future Success Confidently Featuring Erica Goode

Erica Goode has been a Certified Public Accountant for 15 years. She runs a virtual accounting firm that provides coaches and consultants with bookkeeping, accounting, and CFO services, and she also hosts the Coaches, Consultants, and Money podcast. She’s a former Director of Finance at a Fortune 50 company and began her career as an auditor at a Big Four public accounting firm. Erica is also a mother of two and the wife of a fellow CPA. She lives with her family in the mountains of Idaho.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, Erica will discuss the unique financial challenges that come with running a consulting or coaching business and how to navigate them confidently for a successful financial future.

Erica and I discuss:

  • The common fears and misunderstandings about small business finance [00:00:00]
  • Leaving a corporate career for entrepreneurship [00:03:30]
  • Starting a business from scratch [00:04:10]
  • The journey to specializing in coaching and consulting [00:06:35]
  • The benefits of having a niche [00:12:59]
  • Financial challenges and cash flow management in consulting [00:16:35]
  • Retirement savings and benefits for entrepreneurs [00:19:55]
  • The importance of community for entrepreneurs [00:22:15]
  • Continuous learning in finance [00:24:35]

Learn more about Erica at https://www.ericagoode.com, https://www.ericagoode.com/newsletter-signup, and listen to her insights on the Coaches, Consultants, and Money podcast.

Thank you to our sponsor: 

The Smashing the Plateau Community 

Learn How To Review Quarterly Growth, Affirm Values, And Plan Ahead Featuring John Neral

John Neral is a certified professional coach who assists mid-career professionals who feel stuck, undervalued, and underutilized to show up and find a job they love or to love the job they have. John is the host of “The Mid-Career GPS Podcast” and the author of “SHOW UP – Six Strategies to Lead a More Energetic and Impactful Career” and “Your Mid-Career GPS – Four Steps to Figuring Out What’s Next.” He resides just outside of Washington, D.C., with his spouse and their rescue cat, “Amy Farrah Meowler.”

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how to pause at the end of each quarter and assess your business progress, reaffirming foundational values, and deciding your next steps for growth.

John and I discuss:

  • The significance of pausing and reviewing business progress [00:00:00]
  • The shift in mid-career professionals’ attitudes since the pandemic [00:04:00]
  • How to find what you want in your next job or career move [00:09:00]
  • The importance of defining fit, function, finance, and future in your career [00:07:00]
  • How to handle job offers that don’t fully meet your criteria [00:16:00]
  • Why you should consider self-employment and building your personal board of directors [00:19:00]
  • John’s entrepreneurial journey and the introduction of digital products [00:22:00]
  • The power of being a community member and leader [00:25:00]

Learn more about John at www.johnneral.com and connect with him on LinkedIn. Listen to the Mid Career GPS podcast for more insights.

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