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Reflections on Going Solo

We have produced 150 episodes of Going Solo since we launched this show in 2019.

In today’s episode you will hear my reflections on what it takes to be successful when you leave your job and start your own consulting business.

We are pausing Going Solo. We are continuing to produce weekly episodes of Smashing the Plateau, sharing stories, strategies and resources to help you build your consulting business after a long career as an employed professional.

Laura Rotter and Rock Robinson: Building Businesses of Purpose and Value After a Long Corporate Career

After 30 years of successfully managing money for institutional investors including Citicorp and Para Advisors, Laura Rotter founded her own firm, True Abundance Advisors, a fiduciary, fee-only financial planning firm located in White Plains, NY with a satellite office in New York City.

Laura created a business that was in alignment with her own values and took advantage of her strengths.

Rock Robinson is an accomplished Sales Executive with 40 years of achievement growing revenue with the likes of McGraw-Hill, Sallie Mae, Stericycle & the Univ. of Phoenix.

Rock developed a framework for developing new relationships that can open up fabulous opportunities.

Learn more about them here:

Laura Rotter: https://trueabundanceadvisors.com/

Rock Robinson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rockrobinson9

Think and Grow Rich – the $5 million SECRET Featuring John Mitchell

John Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur. John has created a 12-minute-a-day technique, related to the popular book, Think and Grow Rich.

In todays’ episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn how a 12-minute-a-day technique creates success.

John and I discuss:

  • What happened when John turned 50 [00:34]
  • How to take control of your life and make money [06:28]
  • Actions you can take that will produce your desired financial results [08:55]
  • Focusing on the bottom line [13:04]

John’s technique caused his own income to go to $5 million a year, after 20 years of low six figures a year.

You can learn more about John and get access to a private podcast that lays out his technique by texting AUTOPILOT to 55444.

You can also find John at: 



How Conversations Support Profitability Featuring Diane Tarshis

Diane is Founder and Principal of Startup Distillery — a global consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs launch successful businesses and secure funding. She focuses primarily on early-stage startups, regardless of industry. That means Diane gets to work with founders in a wide variety of fields, ranging from clean energy to cannabis, movie studios to life sciences, consulting, consumer products, design… and distilleries, of course. Her extensive background in finance, manufacturing, operations and retail informs all the work that she does as she helps entrepreneurs distill their ideas into growing businesses.

We discuss:

  • The words drive the business [03:51]
  • How to avoid running into a cash crunch [06:33]
  • You can’t budget for something if you don’t know what that something is [11:07]
  • Research tip: there is no substitute for talking to people [17:05]
  • The sources and uses of funds [21:14]

Learn more about Diane at https://startupdistillery.com.

Freedom vs. Responsibility Featuring Jacquie Doucette

Jacquie Doucette has undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Pharmacy and has worked for Canada’s Defence Department, both in uniform and as a civilian, for 40 years.

We discuss:

  • There’s more to life than just a job and a desk [02:00]
  • A podcast that’s beyond retirement [04:15]
  • We can make more money but we can’t make more time [07:50]
  • The challenges of creating your own structure [10:24]
  • The thin line between freedom and responsibility [12:53]
  • When you finally find out what you want to do with your time [15:20]
  • What to do when income is not part of the equation [17:49]

She knows there’s more to life than a job… and more to retirement than just leaving a job. With Beyond Retirement, she’s hoping to shed some light on other paths people have taken in their journeys away from the corporate world, to share with her listeners and her clients a variety of ways to lead rewarding and fulfilling lives outside that 9-5 world.

Learn more about Jacquie at https://beyondretirement.ca.

Should You Buy a Consulting Franchise Featuring Tom Scarda

Tom Scarda is a Certified Franchise Expert. He was the number one franchisee of the year with his first franchise concept and failed miserably in his second franchise. The lessons learned from failure are what make him such an expert.

We discuss:

  • A business with training wheels [02:09]
  • If you can’t make a movie about it, then you don’t really have a life [05:51]
  • A funny way of God humbling you after a great success [07:35]
  • The pros and cons of the franchise business [10:34]
  • The synergy of a franchise network [12:57]
  • What makes a good franchise candidate [14:49]
  • How to find a consulting franchise that supports your goals [17:36]
  • Reasons not to buy a franchise [20:39]

Tom is the author of several books including the number one bestseller, Franchise Savvy. He hosts The Franchise Academy Podcast and has produced an online Master Class on investing in a franchise. He has helped more than 1600 people figure out if franchising is for them since 2005.

Learn more about Tom at www.thefranchiseacademy.com

Reinventing Yourself as a Writer in Your Own Business Featuring Kristi Meenan

Kristi is a Dallas native and at 50 years young, she reinvented herself and transitioned from a job she needed to creating the career she always dreamed of. Kristi is a certified resume writer, job search strategist and LinkedIn pro. In 2018, she launched her business We Write It Now and has never looked back.

We discuss:

  • When fear of success is stronger than fear of failure [02:00]
  • The most important aspect of a resume [06:02]
  • Transforming resumes while transforming personalities [10:43]
  • How to better take the lows for what they are [13:12]
  • Chipping away blocks bit by bit [15:50]
  • You can’t be everything to everybody [17:28]
  • Where to find your tribe in terms of colleagues [19:55]

Learn more about Kristi at www.WeWriteItNow.com and LinkedIn.

Designing a Business that will Enable You to Leave Your Job Featuring Jake Lang

Jake Lang is an author, entrepreneur, and founder of over eight online businesses. Jake now helps new entrepreneurs start and scale their first online business at TheEntrepreneurRideAlong.com where he shares his experiences along the entrepreneurial journey of starting and growing new businesses.

We discuss:

  • What keeps people stuck in their day job [02:09]
  • How to know when it’s time to jump [03:43]
  • Secrets to getting your online business work [08:04]
  • Why it’s crucial to share content that shows your expertise [10:27]
  • Reasons why people don’t share content before selling [12:58]
  • How to get over the fear of talking to people you don’t know [14:20]
  • How to know if you have a good process for starting a business [16:12]
  • Use your job to quit your job [17:55]

It’s Jake’s mission to start a new online business every year and share everything behind the scenes through his books, Podcast, and Blog so that new entrepreneurs can learn from Jake’s mistakes, understand the struggles of starting a new business, and find the path to entrepreneurial success.

Learn more about Jake at https://theentrepreneurridealong.com/

How Mick Spiers Launched The Leadership Project

Mick Spiers is the Founder and Principal of The Leadership Project and the host of The Leadership Project podcast. His vision is to inspire all leaders to challenge status and to have people stop, reflect and rethink what it means to be a leader. His mission is to empower leaders with all of the tools and skills they need to create amazing teams and workspaces.

We discuss:

  • Flipping the way leadership development is done [02:08]
  • Starting your own business versus starting one for other people [06:30]
  • Why your first client could be your last employer [09:18]
  • A skillset to discover yourself as a leader [14:57]
  • How to align your market’s needs with your vision [20:34]

Learn more about Mick at www.mickspiers.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

The Power of a Sabbatical Featuring Cornelia Walther

Following two decades in the humanitarian sector, Cornelia Walther quit to focus on POZE, a paradigm for social change that begins with individual transformation. Over the past years, she published a couple of books. Now Cornelia is expanding the network of like-minded thinkers and doers, whilst making the POZE perspective and related mythologies accessible around the world.

We discuss:

  • A twiddling faith that makes you doubt yourself [02:05]
  • Why a sabbatical rather than changing organizations as an employee [06:38]
  • Four methodologies to bring social change [09:33]
  • A training tailored to fit reality [11:15]
  • How to support your lifestyle while going through a self-reflective process [15:48]
  • Wash me but don’t use water [18:36]

Learn more about Cornelia at www.poze.cc and LinkedIn.

Building a Fractional Expert Business Featuring Jen Hamilton

Jen Hamilton’s love of effective and efficient teams and processes started as a CPA with PwC. Now as a Fractional Integrator with Wolf’s Edge Consulting, she loves to work with burnt-out visionaries by managing the business’s day-to-day operations so they can focus on profit and impact growth, and do what they love to do most.

We discuss:

  • No more jerks at work [02:22]
  • How to run a really well-oiled machine as a business [06:36]
  • A temporary CEO: from mess to maintenance [09:46]
  • What helps when a client does not want to end a relationship [11:19]
  • Not the best case of monkey see, monkey do [15:22]
  • The dividing line between the consultative sale and consultative delivery [20:21]
  • What to do in the sales process when you’re not getting paid [22:32]

Jen is a natural collaborator, problem-solver, strategic thinker, and leadership coach. She keeps the team laser-focused on what is best for the company and who they serve while developing the team.

Learn more about Jen at www.wolfsedgeconsulting.com and LinkedIn.

Interpersonal and Political Savvy Featuring Rick Brandon

Rick Brandon, PhD, is founder and president of the globally respected Brandon Partners, offering workshops on interpersonal and political savvy. His courses are taught worldwide in scores of Fortune 500 corporations as well as in many government agencies, healthcare organizations, and educational institutions.

We discuss:

  • Not a shrink but a stretch [02:36]
  • Marketing a company versus marketing yourself [07:27]
  • A roadmap for how consultants work with clients [11:46]
  • LPGA questions to explore your clients’ needs [16:28]
  • How to change your self-talk to overcome objections [18:48]
  • A lesson from a Henry Ford’s neighbor [22:05]
  • A world safe for straight talk skills [24:00]

Dr. Brandon wrote the Wall Street Journal bestseller Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success, which won book of the month for Fast Company, Forbes, CEO.com, and the Institute for Management Studies (IMS). He is a distinguished faculty member for the Institute and spent a year presenting in 20 cities around the world as its most requested speaker. With 35 years of performance improvement experience, Dr. Brandon has directly trained hundreds of thousands of people in workshops and speeches. He has consulted, trained, and presented at companies worldwide, from start-up e-commerce to blue-chip companies.

Learn more about Rick at www.BrandonPartners.com.

How to Heal from a Toxic Workplace and Create a Business You Love Featuring Kerstin Ramstrom

Former Wall Street stock analyst who walked away to focus on her own health and helping others improve theirs.

We discuss:

  • The moment you learn to take a nap on your desk [01:47]
  • The signs of a toxic workplace culture [03:46]
  • Why you shouldn’t piss off a Wall Street research analyst [07:39]
  • Traveling as a means to get out of a freak-out mode [09:27]
  • The importance of shifting your focus from earning money [13:37]
  • Work smarter, not harder [16:16]
  • Why game stoppers are worth the money [21:06]

Learn more about Kerstin at www.carefullyhealing.com and Instagram.

How to Grow Your Leadership Coaching Business While Employed in a Full Time Job Featuring Earl Breon

Earl Breon is a former active-duty United States Marine with over 25 years of experience in coaching and leadership development. He is the CEO and Founder of The Leadership Phalanx where he combines his civilian and military experiences with his love of history to bring you what he calls, “The 11 Shields of The Leadership Phalanx”. These shields work together like the ancient Spartan formation to provide you a strong leadership foundation that values diversity and inclusion as fundamental to building strong, successful, and innovative teams.

We discuss:

  • Know your team and take care of their welfare [02:20]
  • How to keep the boat close enough [08:47]
  • The two things that give you credibility [10:27]
  • The first conversation to have before going solo [17:09]
  • The best time to jump and go full time in your own business [19:17]
  • How to integrate the eleven shields of the leadership Phalanx into your career journey [21:12]
  • How [not] to set yourself up for failure [23:27]

Learn more about Earl at https://www.leadershipphalanx.com/ and LinkedIn.

Leaning into Your Unique Skills and Experiences Featuring Gayathri Shukla

Gayathri Shukla is the founder of Campfire Kinship, a social enterprise on a mission to unlock the power of empathy through story-based solutions. She practices human-centered design and is also certified in an innovative method of storytelling called guided autobiography.

We discuss:

  • Entrepreneurship as a sense of calling [02:22]
  • A journey to what unity means [04:56]
  • What happens to teams that can’t deal with diversity [08:43]
  • The results of having purpose aspiration [11:56]
  • Threads of ways to deliver your offerings to an audience [13:40]
  • How to make an analysis of what business model to follow [17:13]
  • How to move yourself back into an objective lens [19:54]
  • Clarity: the number one advice for anyone considering transition [21:29]

Gayathri empowers individuals to discover their authentic strengths while creating inclusive cultures via workshops, keynotes, and creative storytelling campaigns. Gayathri transitioned to entrepreneurship after a 17-year career in the energy sector. She has an electrical engineering and Executive MBA degree and volunteers on the Board of Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association.

Learn more about Gayathri at www.campfirekinship.com and Instagram.

When Opportunity Knocks on Your Door Featuring Adam Mirabella

With clients like Amazon, Dell, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, eBay, Facebook and Peloton, Adam specializes in Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Creating a “Winning Culture” and Career Transition. He works with industry leaders to strengthen leadership and communication skills.

We discuss:

  • Opportunities find you when you are ready for them [02:26]
  • How to get over the things that slow us down during a transition [04:22]
  • How to build confidence when going on your own [07:24]
  • Investing in yourself can come in many different ways [09:20]
  • How to stay connected after leaving the corporate world [12:33]
  • How to align your business life with your new destination [17:13]
  • The key elements to having longevity without being burnt out [19:18]

Adam is especially skilled in working with leaders to understand and build their capabilities in the areas of emotional intelligence, team dynamics, and powerful communication. Adam has a style that resonates with leaders at all management levels, successfully helping them portray their leadership vision and improve their business results as well as their professional life.

Learn more about Adam at LinkedIn.

Feeling Grief After Losing a Job Featuring Jennifer Fondrevay

Jennifer J. Fondrevay is the Founder and Chief Humanity Officer of Day1 Ready™, an M&A consultancy that advises Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and small businesses on the people challenges of business transitions. An advisor to senior and frontline leaders, Fondrevay ensures a company’s human component, such as culture, engagement, and employee experience remains central to the transformation strategy.

We discuss:

  • Mourning the future that won’t be [04:44]
  • How to go from denial to acceptance [07:50]
  • Bargaining: stuck in the middle with yourself [10:34]
  • What makes the best credibility for a consultant [15:58]
  • The reason why a large percent of M&A fail [19:00]
  • How being on a quest can help you overcome grief [20:36]

A survivor of three multibillion-dollar acquisitions, Jennifer sheds light on navigating a rapidly changing work environment through her speaking, contributions to HBR, Inc, Fast Company, and Forbes, and book NOW WHAT? A Survivor’s Guide for Thriving Through Acquisition, published Nov. 2019.

Learn more about Jennifer at https://jenniferjfondrevay.com and LinkedIn.

Work from the Inside Out Featuring Tammy Gooler Loeb

Tammy Gooler Loeb is the author of Work from the Inside Out: Break Through Nine Common Obstacles and Design a Career That Fulfills You. She is a career and executive coach, speaker, and facilitator who focuses on career satisfaction, and leadership development. Tammy’s clients represent many sectors and industries.

We discuss:

  • Finding a way to a happier place at work [02:53]
  • What it means to work from the inside out [04:20]
  • The experience of more life [06:13]
  • Fear and excitement often feel the same way [14:12]
  • How to avoid thinking in extremes when feeling afraid [17:07]
  • Why going external makes people hear what you say [19:20]
  • Possibility does exist at every age and situation [22:18]

Tammy’s weekly podcast, Work from the Inside Out, showcases career transition stories of people who found more meaningful work. Her expertise has appeared in Harvard Business Review Ascend, Forbes, Fast Company, The Boston Globe. Tammy holds a B.A. in Psychology from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, and an MBA from Boston University, Boston, MA.

Learn more about Tammy at www.tammygoolerloeb.com and www.workfromtheinsideout.com.

Adding a New Revenue Stream Featuring Diana George

Diana George is the founder and president of By George HR Solutions. While working with small business owners, Diana found a common thread with most of her clients; the ability to hire employees that fit their company culture.

We discuss:

  • What it was like 2 years ago [02:54]
  • How to know you’ve done a great job on a video call [04:11]
  • Tricks to get people turn their video on during a call [07:02]
  • How to duplicate yourself successfully [10:02]
  • How get instant results from online courses [13:50]
  • A labor of love: the process of course creation [16:04]
  • The growing need to hire the right people [20:54]

Diana has worked with global companies such as BOSE and the luxury watch brand OMEGA where she learned early on how to motivate and get the best out of people. She teaches entrepreneurs how to hire right the first time so that their brand is a reflection of them, and they can focus on growth. Diana is the person you go to when you want to learn how to hire right the first time.

Learn more about Diana at https://hireforgrowth.com/.

Becoming Unstuck from Your Midlife Career Featuring Lucia Knight

Lucia Knight is a midlife career satisfaction researcher and designer. She spent 20 years in the world of corporate headhunting in UK and Australia before embarking on her quest to design work that would be MUCH more satisfying.

We discuss:

  • A slowly dripping tap of career dissatisfaction [02:58]
  • Feeling brave until you start feeling stupid [05:31]
  • The state of modern mid-life crisis [09:27]
  • A formula for a lifetime of satisfying work [12:00]
  • Ways to learn before you experiment and try [15:03]
  • Using your superpowers to get paid more to use your superpowers [16:44]
  • How people make themselves look average [19:01]
  • A lovely 50/50 split [20:56]
  • How to change your career in the next 10 minutes [22:44]

After diving headlong into a MSc Psychology in her early 40s, she designed a personal research project to interview 100 midlifers who changed careers and felt happier because of their changes. She then wrote a book on the secrets she discovered. Her career consultancy is called Midlife Unstuck. She now helps midlife professionals who feel stuck doing work that isn’t fully satisfying – to design work that is.

Learn more about Lucia at https://www.midlifeunstuck.com/.

Taking Control of Your Life Featuring Sheryl Hammontree

Designer Sheryl Hammontree left the corporate world in 1993. Over the years, she realized that leaving corporate doesn’t necessarily mean you left the corporate habits back at the office. She was successfully going solo at her studio, but, the addiction to being busy and the need for approval left her feeling unfulfilled. Sheryl recently hired a business coach and rewrote the story she’d been telling herself for so many years. Today, she’s the owner of Thoughtful Threads, a custom-designed apparel line spreading messages of empowerment, equality, love and kindness.

We discuss:

  • Addicted to being busy and proving you could do it [02:35]
  • The one more thing that would make you happier [08:33]
  • The control to completely overload yourself [10:26]
  • Longing for all the reasonable elements of a career life [14:37]
  • Five intentions to follow when choosing a project to work on [16:38]
  • The open mind is the only kind [18:26]
  • Ways to monetize your experience [21:17]

Learn more about Sheryl at https://www.thoughtfulthreadsco.com.

Fractional Leadership Explained Featuring Ben Wolf

Ben Wolf, founder and CEO of Fractional Leadership, is the author of Fractional Leadership: Landing Executive Talent You Thought Was Out of Reach. He wrote his book and created www.FractionalLeadership.io to educate business owners and leaders on what Fractional Leadership is, how it works, and to help them find right-fit Fractional Leaders. As background, after building a tech-powered healthcare startup from zero to the largest organization of its type in New York State, he “went solo” and created a Fractional Integrator (outsourced COO) firm, Wolf’s Edge Consulting.

We discuss:

  • How fractional leadership is easing the frog-kissing process [02:23]
  • The three main factors why fractional leadership is exploding more now [07:10]
  • The means to help you be the center of gravity [13:28]
  • Prevalent budgeting models for fractional leaders [16:16]
  • Who is fractional leadership for [19:55]

Learn more about Ben at https://www.fractionalleadership.io/.

How to Find Clues to Your Future Success Featuring Frank Agin

How to Find Clues to Your Future Success Featuring Frank Agin

Frank Agin is president of AmSpirit Business Connection, which empowers entrepreneurs, sales representatives and professionals to become successful through networking.

We discuss:

  • Jumping from a great job into the great unknown [02:00]
  • How to start making a pathway to becoming successful [03:20]
  • If you can’t bring in new business, you’re not running a business [07:58]
  • The only direction to go in is success [11:00]
  • Anything but the truth [13:48]
  • Why getting referrals is much easier than direct communication [15:50]
  • The benefits of a 90-minute workshop versus a week-long [17:45]

He also hosts the Networking Rx podcast, which has insights and interviews related to better business relationships. Frank is the author of several books, including Foundational Networking.

How to Become Profitable in Two Years Featuring Katherine Ann Byam

How to Become Profitable in Two Years Featuring Katherine Ann Byam

Katherine Ann Byam (MBA, FCCA) is the wing-woman to your genius and a business resilience / organic growth consultant. As a strategic partner to leaders, she helps businesses design and embed effective strategies for responsible brand stewardship, to deliver outcomes that favor a wider stakeholder view.

We discuss:

  • The queen of transitions [02:36]
  • How to deal with the glass ceiling effect [04:02]
  • A psychological battle of wills [07:00]
  • Freeing up time and capacity for innovation [10:14]
  • How to move forward when things get tough [13:09]
  • How to manage the cycle of your energy [15:16]
  • Employees are the greatest innovators in the world [19:58]
  • The things to learn before you start pitching [23:38]

Learn more about Katherine at https://www.whereideaslaunch.com/, LinkedIn, Medium and Facebook.

Why You Need Help to Build a Successful Consulting Business Featuring Karen Gershowitz

Why You Need Help to Build a Successful Consulting Business Featuring Karen Gershowitz

Karen Gershowitz started her career as a marketing researcher at American Express and Emery Worldwide. She was then a partner at BAI Global, a marketing consulting and research firm. In 1991 she founded Strategic Action Inc., a marketing strategy consultancy working with Fintech, performing arts and other not-for-profit institutions.

We discuss:

  • Trying not to be the best-kept secret in the United States [02:44]
  • The structure of Score: where to start when growing a business [06:21]
  • Why a consultant can’t be a jack of all trades [09:02]
  • Why consultants should be partners as well [12:42]
  • The importance of having a good political radar [17:18]
  • The three big things consultants can do that employees can’t [21:15]
  • Out there lonely with the worst demons [25:11]

Since 2017 she has been a mentor at Score NYC. Her clientele are mainly individuals looking to start or grow a consulting business. Karen teaches three webinars on consulting for Score. Karen is also the author of Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust.

Learn more about Karen at https://newyorkcity.score.org and LinkedIn.

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