Posts in business resources
Lou Mongello : his entrepreneur journey from Jersey lawyer to Disney expert
Lou Mongello Disney
Lou Mongello Disney

Lou Mongello made the journey from New Jersey Lawyer to building a business around his passion for Disney.  His podcast WDWRadio was voted the best travel podcast for nine consecutive years and has built a loyal community of friends.  In this episode of the Onward Creatives Podcast we look at how Lou pursued his passion and built a business even though many friends said it would fail within six weeks.  At the center of Lou's business is community.  He has built his business one friendship at a time and shares the importance of "caring at scale."

The entrepreneur world is full of sales funnels, webinars, promises of passive income and shortcuts to success.  Lou debunks these and offers a different way of thinking about success, with authentic community at the center of it all.

Click here to listen.

Build around your personality, strengths and preferences
waltandteam
waltandteam

You are definitely your best asset!  But the reality is....in spite of what our mom said, none of us are perfect. We each have unique personalities and giftings but none of us are great at everything.  Regardless of whether we're self-employed or working within an existing company or organization we're guaranteed to be more successful if we build around who we are.  There are three ways to build around who we are:

1. Build around your personality.  We use the Meyers Briggs test to dive into who we are.  Not only is it helpful to better understand what you do naturally, it also helps to understand the roles that will drain you.  One of the weaknesses of my personality is that I have difficulty focusing on details.  So I have to double down in this part of my work, or hire someone to help me with this.  It's great to have someone close to you fill in these gaps with their personality.

2. Build around your strengths.  The Strength Finders Assessment is a great way to assess your top 5 strengths.  If you're like me when you see your results you'll have an "a-ha" moment and some things that you thought were quirky turn out to be your greatest strengths.  For years I was told that I asked too many questions and was even labeled as a rebel.  I struggled through this for a long time until I realized that I was actually wired as a futurist who ideates.  This understanding changed what I labeled as a liability into an asset. With 34 strengths out there it's vital to know your own and then bring in others to help build a complete skill set.

3.  Build around your preferences.  In addition to our personalities and strengths we also have preferences.  We shouldn't discount these when it comes to building a team.  For every task I prefer not to do there's someone who loves to do it.  So I say, let them do it!  It helps them fulfill their role and it leaves time on your plate for the things that come more naturally.

Click here to listen to this week's podcast.

Why hitting rock bottom is the best thing that ever happened to me.
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I was working around the clock, drinking coffee like a mad woman and had jitters to the point that being hooked up to a coffee IV would have probably felt the same. When I wasn’t chained to my desk, I was partying all night long, spending my hard earned cash on endless rounds of drinks. Trying to forget it all. I got in with the wrong crowd. We went to underground bars and got into any mischief worth the thrill.

During the day, I was chasing after every new shiny thing because society told me that it’s what I was supposed to do. Consume more. New phone, new laptop, perfectly pressed outfit & friends who complimented me on my expensive haircut or my freshly manicured nails. I was leading a pretty posh life, but I was unhappy - exhausted really - and it just wasn’t happening. I wasn’t getting any closer to the life I wanted. It always seemed so far out of reach. To make things worst, between the stress of work, my toxic relationships, hardly ever eating anything & sleeping less than four hours on a good night, I started getting really sick. Until one day it got so bad that I just couldn’t get out of bed anymore. I spent an entire summer cooped up in my apartment sleeping and just trying my best to stay alive. I was depressed, in physical pain constantly, I didn’t know what to do with myself & I pushed every single person I knew out of my life.

I wanted out.

“Sometimes, you have to hit rock bottom in order to figure out you’ve been on the wrong path for way too long..”

That’s when I learnt that sometimes, you have to hit rock bottom in order to figure out you’ve been on the wrong path for way too long and you’ve ignored all of life’s flashing neon signs telling you to turn around now. I’m a go big or go home kind of gal. It’s all or nothing for me. So I figured I would use my stubbornness & resilience towards something that made a little more sense. I started with “if it isn’t super useful or doesn’t make you happy, chuck it”.  I used that idea on everything. From my apartment to my things & even some of my so called friends. Everything and everyone who didn’t make my life a little brighter got the boot.

I’m going to be real with you right here and tell you that it’s not an experiment for the faint-hearted. Cutting people out and getting rid of things can be a tough business. However, when your life’s toxic meter is through the roof and it becomes a “them or me” survival situation, you’ve got to learn to make the tough call. So I did. Once I had a somewhat clean slate, I focused all of my remaining energy on figuring out how to get myself out of my health mess. I was way underweight and kind of looked akin to a Halloween decoration. Ghoulish eyes and stuck out bones are not a cute look on anyone. I had some pretty serious digestive issues and I couldn’t sleep. "Hot mess" didn't even begin to cover how I felt.

Good news is, I was always a bit of a book nerd, so I buried myself in all the health / diet / lifestyle books I could get my hands on. I replaced my round-the-clock working with learning. I wanted to figure this thing out because I knew that being a zombie was no way to live.

Fast Forward a Few Years

Today my life couldn’t be any more different. I look back at how I was before - malnourished, on edge, freaking out all the time - and relish in how I feel in my body now.  These days, my life is just as full as before, but there are some enormous differences. A new mindset is at the root of it all. I call it, the slow life. The rules of engagement, if there were to be some, would look something like this.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH. BE PRESENT. GROW SOMETHING. LEARN TO BE MORE MINDFUL. TUNE INTO YOUR BODY. FOCUS ON WHAT'S ESSENTIAL. GET ROOTED. NOURISH YOURSELF. COOK LOCAL, SEASONAL, PLANT-BASED RECIPES. LIVE SMALLER. LOVE BIGGER.

Instead of building my days around MORE I build my days around LESS. I ask myself questions that force me to be more mindful. 

An example would be: What are the three things I can do today that would serve my family, my garden, my life & my business best? While keeping in mind the things that bring me the most joy. I try to avoid busy-work with all my might.

I rest when I’m tired. Even if it’s just for two minutes. I constantly question things that I buy. Do I really need this? Will I keep it for a really long time? Will it truly serve me? I look around me. At nature. At the seasons and wonder how I can get in sync with it. I try to get up with the sun. I cook things that grow now, out of respect for the earth & in support of my local community, their farms, their families. I have come to realize that I am an infinitely small piece in the puzzle that is life, but that by aligning myself with the natural order of the universe I can achieve mighty things. And you can too.

originally published here.