In late 2014, I set out to organize a virtual wealth summit to kick off 2015. I wanted to engage entrepreneurs and CEOs whom I deeply respect and admire and get them to talk about money, wealth building and the challenges they had encountered along their path to success.
The response was overwhelming. In less than two months, I completed 30 in-depth interviews and can honestly say what I learned from these brilliant business minds has changed my life forever.
I've collected a great deal of wisdom through these conversations and I wanted to highlight some of the best and most inspirational advice these entrepreneurs shared with me about how they developed their own path to discovering what it means to have a combination of both inner and outer wealth.
- Time is What Matters Most. “Time is limited but money is not," serial entrepreneur John Rampton explained during our discussion. "You can never get time back -- even if you're charging a million dollars an hour. At the same time, the amount of money you can make is infinite. You can always make more of it. Keep time in mind and prioritize what's important in your life."
- Always Ask For What You Want. I started my conversation with Bruce Van Horn of www.Lifeisamarathon.com by telling him I was hesitant to contact him. He had more than 300,000 Twitter followers and an established network of influential connections. But I really wanted to hear his insight, so I took the gamble.
Bruce pointed out that, in and of itself that was one of the biggest lessons he could teach me: “If you never ask the question, the answer is always no.”
- All Change in Life Starts With The Mind. Having never run a race before, much less a marathon and being in poor physical shape after going through a series of horrific life events, Bruce was shocked when his visiting brother, who had just run the Richmond Marathon, suggested he try running one to feel better. “I laughed, choked and then told him, 'Unless I go on vacation, I don't even like to drive 26 miles, let alone run them.'"
Even so, something his brother had said stuck with Bruce after the visit. "He said that the hardest part is believing that you can, and then making the decision to at least try."
So, Bruce started to work out. He still scoffed at the idea of completing a marathon but he worked up to a full mile without stopping, then to two and eventually to three. "By that spring I entered a community 5k race and then later I ran a 10k," says Van Horn. "It was about one year later when I ran the Richmond Marathon with my brother. And I beat him quite handsomely," laughs Bruce.
“What I learned through this experience was that before I could condition my body, I had to first condition my mind to convince my body that it was even remotely possible," Bruce shared.
- Mentors Make All The Difference. "The amount of value and insight I received from my three mentors was unbelievable," Marc Diana, CEO of MoneyTips.com shared in our conversation. "They helped arm me with information that helped me shift from being bogged down by business problems to putting them on the solution track."
- Make Your Mess Your Message. After battling depression and then an overspending problem, Ruth Soukup of Living Well, Spending Less explained that, “I needed something else to fill my time so I started a blog about how to live well on a budget. That was how I started to fill my time -- with writing," says Soukup. "I realized quickly that it was something I really enjoyed. I loved to write. I couldn't figure out why I hadn't started earlier," she laughs. Her message has made a big difference -- Ruth's websites now reach more than 1,000,000 women a month!
- Set Big Goals. Can you imagine taking a business idea from nothing to 200 franchise locations in five years? Sounds overwhelming. But that’s exactly what Felena Hanson, founder of HeraHub, plans to do. Realizing that twice as many women as men are starting businesses, she wanted to ensure those businesswomen had an incubator where their ventures could grow. HeraHub is a spa-like co-working space designed for women to network, collaborate and succeed. You may not have one in your area yet, but you will soon!
- Dream Big and Then Make it Happen. I was particularly inspired by Trajan King, CEO of Invincible Startup and serial entrepreneur. Several years ago, while running a marketing company, Trajan set a goal to work for six months out of every year from various locations around the world. Within two years, King visited a dozen countries. Not only did he accomplish his goal, but in 2013 he was able to work from Paris for six straight months without anyone in the U.S. even knowing where he was! In 2014, he spent another two months in Rome; he just moved to Paris, where he’ll reside for all of 2015.
- Our Challenges Often Lead Us to Greater Clarity. Speaking with frugal living specialists Mark and Lauren Greutman was particularly inspiring. Their pursuit of the American dream crashed under a load of debt, negative monthly cash flow and a new home that was under water. Instead of giving up, Mark and Lauren took this horrible experience and used it as a wake-up call to change their life drastically. They learned how to budget, coupon, meal plan and save money. That eventually led them to build a business showing others how to be frugal and live happier lives. The business has become successful enough for Mark to ‘retire’ from his job as an actuary and join Lauren in the family business -- allowing themselves to enjoy life more than they ever dreamed possible!
- The Power of Building a Community. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely at times. My friend Jason Vitug spoke about the importance of finding like-minded people to connect with regularly. He feels that while we have all been dealt different hands in life, when we come together and support each other, we have the opportunity to get exactly where we want to go. I couldn't agree more and I am feeling blessed for this opportunity to make many new friends as a result of this very special event.
- You Can Change Your Life -- It is NEVER too Late To Begin Anew. At 55 years old, Pat Mussieux was going through tragedy, illness and dealing with the death of family members, all while walking away from a bad marriage. A self-proclaimed poster child baby boomer, she took her life back, moving across the country and growing a successful business in less than 5 years, even winning the STEVIE Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 and 2013 and Female Executive of the Year in Canada in 2014.
Pat credits being able to get her mindset in order before being able to achieve rapid success in her new business. Pat shared with me that “everything is a mindset... from the minute you open your eyes, your mindset kicks in, and you have control of whether your thoughts are going to be positive or negative, and it is up to you to control your self-talk. If you don’t control your self-talk, your self-talk will control you!”
So many great minds offering such impressive and relatable advice, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. The Art of Mindful Wealth Virtual Summit runs until Sunday, February 8th - I hope to see you there!