6 Killer Strategies to Price Your Product Properly: Make Money Your Mindset

How Your Money Mindset is Affecting Your Bottom Line

You are a budding entrepreneur and just created your first product! This is great news! You break out the champagne, and you celebrate! This is a big deal! Now you are going to need some strategies to price your product properly.

Let’s begin.

How to Choose a Price You’re Really Worth

It’s time to put a price tag on your dear firstborn product baby. You don’t want your baby to be rejected, that would hurt too much. So you rationalize:

“Nobody knows who I am.”

“Why would anyone buy from me?”

“I don’t even have one lousy testimonial.”

“How will people know whether it works or not? They are taking a risk by buying this.”

“If I put a higher price tag on this, people will think I am full of myself and that I think I am all that.”

“Maybe I should put a small price tag on it, just to get people to buy it.”

“I could also offer some discounts.”

“Maybe I could send it to my friends for free just to get people to give me feedback.”

Sound familiar?

Many entrepreneurs go through this dance, and they all learn the hard way that the conversation you are having with yourself should have absolutely no bearing on how you price your product.

It is your product’s value to the customer that should dictate the price, not whether you feel you have enough experience or not, or whether you feel people are going to think you are full of yourself for charging a higher price.

These are natural feelings, and they all revolve around your money mindset.

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The Importance of Money Mindset

Money mindset is a set of beliefs we have about what money means to us, what it says about us, and who deserves to receive it.

To figure out whether you have a positive mindset about money, ask yourself a few questions:

  • When you charge money for a product, do you feel the urge to give that money back?
  • If you put a high price tag on your product, does it make you feel like it is really not worth that much?
  • Do you feel that people should keep their money in their pockets and just learn how to Google stuff so they don’t have to pay you for your product?
  • Do you feel better when you give free advice than when you charge for it? Like helping for free is the right thing to do, and charging for it is icky?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you are in the same boat as a lot of other entrepreneurs are and you may have some trouble pricing your products correctly.

The Negative Consequences of Negative Money Mindset

An unintended consequence of this negative money mindset is that pricing your product too low will attract the kind of client who expects lower quality, but is willing to take the risk because it’s what they expect for a low price point.

This is because, as consumers, we all associate low prices with low value.

The truth is that the price of your product says more about your client than it does about you; you probably always thought it was the other way around.

It’s the same as when you give products away for free: their value diminishes to, well, nothing.

Raising your prices will start attracting clients who expect higher quality. These clients appreciate the value of what they just paid a premium for because people show up differently when they have skin in the game.

Don’t disappoint them, and they will keep coming back for more.

The 6 Strategies to Price Your Product Properly

Here are 5 strategies to get over your money mindset issues and start pricing your products what they are worth:

1.) Be aware of your money mindset hang-ups.

Start by asking yourself the questions above and be aware of the conversation going on in your head. Then do everything in your power to convince yourself that pricing your product should have nothing to do with your feelings. You may not cure your money mindset right away, but you will not let it sabotage the value you are putting of your product.

2.) Think of what you have to give to your audience in terms of abundance.

When you create your first product it is as if you have just created the one thing all your dreams were made of. You have put your heart and soul into the creation of this new product baby, and you want to make sure it is successful, happy and makes you proud.

The problem with that mentality is that it makes you believe that nothing you could ever create could ever compare to how you feel about this one.

Let it go. You have so much more to offer to your audience. When you have only one product, pricing seems like such a big deal; but when you think about all the other revenue streams you are planning on creating, this product is simply one piece of the puzzle.

Put a price on it, release it, and move on to the next one.

3.) Have a multi-tiered offering.

Take your abundance mindset and create products that satisfy different pricing points. If you are starting out, think about what your audience needs RIGHT NOW and start there, then build all your other products around that core value and create a value-packed product suite.

4.) Do your research.

How much are others charging for the similar products? What value are you providing that others are not? What is everyone else providing that you hadn’t thought of? Your price should be competitive in the marketplace, and the only way to find out is by knowing your competition inside and out.

5.) Remember that your pricing can (and will most likely) change.

It can be paralyzing to even think you could price your product wrong. The great news is that you have full control over it, and yes, you may botch it the first time, or the second time. But as your audience begins to use your product and starts providing you with feedback, you will learn how to find that sweet spot. Find a price you are comfortable with, one you can confidently explain to anyone who asks and prepare to learn from the experience.

6.(Bonus Tip): Stop trading time for money.

If you are a consultant or run an agency, you might be tempted to do ‘hourly pricing’ but I would advise against that. Many people generally think that if I charge x for this many hours, the buyer or client will know that I’m putting a lot of effort into it. But what you haven’t considered is that your hourly rate must always include your expertise, your years of experience, your energy — all the things you bring to the table.

Hourly pricing can also get you stuck in your business growth. How can you scale your efforts when there are only 24 hours in a day? You can’t.

A better way to think about pricing is ‘value pricing’ which comes back to our discussion again on money mindset. Think about the ‘value’ you offer your customers and clients. What is that worth? That’s up to you decide. Trading money for time is a mindset that you’ll need to break away from quickly if you want to scale, grow and become the business leader you are meant to be.

Some Final Thoughts — How to Make More Money Today

Understanding where you are in your money mindset journey will help you become increasingly more comfortable with pricing your products and with their value.

It’s time to let go of those negative thoughts about money, and start welcoming it into your life. Are you ready to start charging what you are worth?

Have you ever thought about your money mindset and how it affects your bottom line? Let us know in the comments section!

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Seth Godin Marketing: Are You Building Something Average or Magical?

Seth Godin is one of the most engaging speakers in the world. He takes the stage and quickly grabs your attention with stories that inspire you and ideas that jolt your worldview.

This talk is no different as he explores what leadership looks like today during a changing system today.

Where does the magic happen?

Most people think we need to address the external stuff, strategy, tactics, tips, if we do that enough it will be a lever to help people change their internal narrative. As people trying to make a difference we are addressing the internal and along the way, people become enrolled in getting the tactics and strategies.

The systems we are playing in are changing faster than anyone may realize. As we went from vinyl records to digital formats the system changed but there is more music than ever. Some will see this as a blank slate other will feel lost.

The Four Letter Word “More”

More market share, more sales, more revenue. The word “more” leads to mass marketing which means average stuff for average people. This is problematic. Most of the people you’re trying to reach don’t have the problem you’re trying to solve, or they don’t think they do. It has been stated that the average consumer today has the attention span of a goldfish. So we are treating people like goldfish so we dumb down our products and message. But these are human beings and we are just making the problem worse.

Sort By Price

Mass marketing means people will be hit over and over and interrupted by ads as products fight to stand out. But now, every digital good aimed at the masses will be subject to sort-by-price or distance…etc. They will choose the cheap one because they are all the same, they are all average. People no longer want to hear from the marketer anymore.


As more clutter of average products saturate the market and fight for attention the desire for more or to see the line graph go “up and to the right” leads to compromise. The bad news is that you cannot interrupt yourself into success. This is a losing situation.

Normal Distribution

Everyone in the world can engage with you but at the same time, everyone in the world is your competitor.

But when you’re going to the market with your product you must understand that not everyone, the mass market, cares.

There is a law of distribution to consider.

Referencing distribution chart shown below there three key areas. This will apply to any population.

  1. The first part is a small percentage of early adopters who care.
  2. The middle is the average person who could care less.
  3. The final part is the people who are last to the party. As Godin states, they are the people with the “12” still flashing on their VCR.

“If you’re seduced by the mass-market mindset you’re going to be confused for a long time to come.” Seth Godin

Where Is The Magic?

Godin goes on to explain that he believes there are multiple steps of what we make when we make something important.

Those steps include:

  1. Transforms from the people you reach to create an identity and drive loyalty (loyalty means they would pay extra when they have a choice)
  2. Some of those people will tell friends
  3. You shift the culture of a group

Linkages and Storytelling: The Stories You Tell Matter

Understanding how things work together is essential for growing your movement or business. Godin shares a bowling analogy by explaining that when the pins are moved 1 inch farther apart from each other you will never roll a strike, but if you move the pins 1 inch closer to each other you will roll a strike every time.

So where does it all begin? When do people first engage? Well, it’s with the story you tell. Nobody knows and if they will personally be happy with a product until they try it. Whatever course, product or craft you make starts by engaging people with a story.

We all want to make something special but over time we start making things more normal based on feedback and other external forces. As we make things more average you will fight on Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Companies that prey on people making things average because then you have to fight for attention. People tend to lower price or even raise the price but sort-by-price is a game you will never win.

Smallest Possible Audience

The way to win is to target the smallest possible audience that you can live with. They will be ignored by competition and the bigger stuff takes care of itself.

Two questions you need to ask:

  1. Who’s it for
  2. what’s it for (change you’re seeking making)

This leads to how you tell your story.

Where to Begin

We have been taught to aim for the middle because that’s where most people are but those are people that don’t care. Today more than ever before, we can find the people on the edges. The people who care.

Always start at the edge with interesting people.

All the products you know so well today started on the edges because that’s where you begin, with the interesting people.

Average is nice but not beautiful – the edge is beautiful.

Final Words

Tribes share a vision and goals, way of being in the world. There is a role for each person in this world and we like being in sync with the people around us. But we have to stop doing what we were told and take a stand as a leader.

It is important to remember that if failure is not an option, neither is success. Innovation is failing over and over until something works.

While it might be scary you must leap into the void because that’s when you’re most alive. It always feels too soon, you will always want more proof, or to be more prepared.

Sure, you can be prepared but you can never be ready!

Will you choose to matter?

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How to Turn Your Coaching Gig into a Passive Income Goldmine

You did it! You created a business and now are a full-blown entrepreneur with clients and all. Congratulations! But now you find yourself working more hours than you ever did in your full-time job, you’re not making nearly as much money, and you’re wondering if perhaps it’s time to end the experiment and go back to work.

Not so fast.

There is another way of doing business that does not involve the trade of time for dollars.

This mysterious force is called Passive Income, and it can help you scale your business so that you do not have to work so hard for every single penny earned.

Why Passive Income is so Vital to Long-term Success

Passive Income is not just an idealist’s dream. It is a reality that the most successful entrepreneurs have figured out, and it is time for you to discover how it can help you.

But first, I will dispel the popular myth that generating passive income is easy. Just because the word “passive” is in its name, does not mean it is without effort.

Setting up a passive revenue stream requires knowledge of the subject matter, grit to not give up despite roadblocks, consistency of content and action and humility to understand when you need help. And even after it is set up, it requires maintenance and reinvestment.

The best way to illustrate the process is by walking through a specific example, so bear with me for a moment while I name you honorary Personal Fitness Coach. Congrats!

You are fit, you have a myriad of certifications to back up your knowledge, and you take on private clients (you do particularly well with the senior demographic). You could fill a book with advice for men and women on how to keep up their stamina in their golden years.

Your current business model is based on a pay-per-visit paradigm. The more clients you have, the more money you make.

Then you read this article and the wheels start turning. You are ready to put that passive income machine to work.

How to get your passive income machine to work

Here’s what you do:

1. Build an audience

Create a website with a blog

Start posting 1 article a week with great advice, and always make sure to offer a freebie at the bottom of the post that expands on what your ideal customer has learned from the article.

If your article is about how to properly exercise your back muscles, your freebie may be “The 10 Most Harmful Exercises You Are Probably Doing Right Now” (or maybe something more positive, but with a zest that makes them want to find out more).

The freebie leads to a sign-up page where your ideal customer will provide their email address in exchange for their freebie.

Email your list at least once a week

Send 1 email a week to your mailing list with more great content. One week you talk about the benefits of drinking green juice every morning, and another week you talk about the latest trend in elder care. Ask your audience questions, let them reply by email and keep the conversation going. They’ll get to know you, like you and trust you.

Create a Facebook group

Create a Facebook Group to keep your audience in one place and keep providing them excellent content. People sign on to watch you live as you give more advice for their health. They comment, “heart” and like your posts. Your members interact with each other and answer one another’s questions.

Go live on video

Go on Facebook Live and on YouTube Live to give advice and answer questions from your audience in real time. You may be a thousand miles away, but it’s like you are just next door.

Multiply your content via social media

Create pins for Pinterest that lead to your freebie, videos and blog posts. Complete strangers start to find you via Google searches and Pinterest, click on your link and sign up for your email list.

Now that you have their attention, it is time to prepare for giving your audience even more value and even more of you.

2. Prepare to Launch Your Premium Offer

For you, the fitness coach, this will be a membership site.

The site includes videos with select exercise routines for the whole week, dripped every Monday morning. The package will include access to all your content in one place, worksheets to create their perfect healthy menu (including a shopping list), and access to an exclusive Facebook Community where you will be answering questions live every single week.

For this premium package, your audience will pay $49/month ($588 annual).

Set up your launch

Your new membership site launch consists of a webinar, which you will present 5 times at different times of the day to tackle different time zones and different schedules.

Tell your email list

In order to fill the seats for your webinar, you start by making your current audience aware of the upcoming date. The best way is to engage them through a 3-part email sequence where you provide content around the webinar and build up to providing the registration link.

Update your freebie Thank You pages

Update all your freebie Thank You pages to inform your audience of the upcoming irresistible webinar and a form where they can sign up.

Post on all social media outlets

Consistently post on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram to drive your followers to your registration page.

Run ads

Create Facebook Ads to attract your target audience to your webinar registration page.

3. It’s Showtime!!!

On your webinar, talk about something your audience is desperate to find out or learn about: “The Celebrity Secret To Staying Fit After Retirement.”

During the webinar, deliver your pitch. 1% of attendees will sign up. Some will sign up after the webinar is over.

Let’s do the math: for every 100 people who watch your webinar, only 1 person will sign up. If you had a goal of earning $25,000 on this launch, you will need 4,250 people to hear your message.

4. Rinse, Repeat.

With the huge milestone behind you, you celebrate your accomplishment, congratulate yourself and those who helped you get there, and the clock resets for your next launch in 3 months.

Nobody said getting passive income was going to be easy. In fact, it is not something you can just do and walk away from, no matter what other gurus may want you to believe.

But once the process is in place, you will be able to scale, reinvest, and seek out larger returns. Not to mention the natural growth that comes with being known by more potential customers.

This is just one example of how to turn your current coaching gig into a passive income generator.

As a bright and resourceful entrepreneur, you will find the parallel between our fictitious coach’s journey and your own business. Use this as a jumping off point to create your own passive income opportunities.

Have you ever tried to create a passive income source from your business before? What has worked and what hasn’t? Let us know in the comments below!

Neil Patel Advice: 4 Tips to Win With Video on Facebook

Hopefully you know by now that video is a part of the online marketing future. That’s where people spend their time and that’s where big online brands are leaning into. Any technology trend or new development such as Facebook Live and Facebook Watch will be favored by Facebook. They will give you more reach if you use those tools because it’s their next big thing.

Consider this, by 2019 it is expected that Facebook will be 90% video! Think about your own behavior. Do you stop to watch videos that have text subtitles mostly or do you open articles?

Experts like Neil Patel test strategies all the time and he’s got some great tips to share that will help you make your videos have a better chance of going viral. They do weekly marketing videos jammed with great advice. This stood out because video is such an integral part of the online marketing future.

I realize that video is not everyone’s sweet spot but sometimes you have to find ways to break into new areas you might not be comfortable with. And you will suck for a while…but that’s part of the process. We all start that way.

So what do you need to know?

1 – Never share a Youtube video on Facebook

Something Facebook thrives on is their engagement rates and they are always looking for ways to get people to spend more and more time on Facebook. Any link out of Facebook is not favored by them.

This means you need to upload the video to Youtube and Facebook natively.

Neil has found they will likely get 20-50 times more views by doing this than if you used the Youtube link.

2 – A Video Length of 5-10 Minutes Seems to Work Best

This is one of the more interesting tips in this video.

We have all probably heard that shorter videos are better because people don’t stay and watch. We all now have short attention span, right?

Well, that’s not the case here.

Again, the goal is to get people engaged and videos between 5-10 minutes work best on Facebook.

But it’s important that your creative is good and you target the right people. If your video is relevant to a certain region of the the country or world, target them specifically.

3 – Make Sure You Have captions or subtitles included in the video

As I mentioned earlier, you most likely stop regularly to watch a video but don’t always click it to hear the sound. You just read the text on screen, right? If it gets really interesting you might pop it open.

This is critical to hooking people who are just curious and getting them to engage. If you don’t have the text on screen they may not even give you a shot.

Neil found that videos get 30-35% more views and engagement when they included the text on screen. Makes perfect sense, right!

4 – Presentation Matters

You might think they’re talking about the quality of the video. Honestly, I personally had a nice DSLR (Cannon) but for the sake of simplicity I moved over to using an iPhone because the the quality is great. Keep it simple. You don’t need $10k of studio gear. iPhone and Lapel mic does the trick.

But they aren’t talking about quality, they’re talking about how you present yourself.

Russell Brunson calls it the “attractive character.” Present yourself with enthusiasm, emotion, show passion for what you do, be authentic. These are traits of great leaders and entertainers.

If you’re boring then anyone who sees you will be bored. Nobody is a master of this art right away. It takes practice.

Hopefully at least one of these quick hit tips are helpful. Pass on the knowledge to someone who you think might benefit from these tips!

If you want more from Neil Patel check out our exclusive interview here >> “Turn Ice Cold Prospects into Smoking Hot Traffic: Interview with Neil Patel”

Gary Vaynerchuk Advice: How to Win, Right Now in Business

Gary Vaynerchuk continues to storm stages around the world not just building his personal brand but to impact people’s lives by helping them understand the incredible time they live in right now.

Change Creator has said it before and I’m going to say it again now, there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur…if you’re willing to go all-in.

In this one hour video, Vaynerchuk passionately shares his insights around two key components for success:

  1. Mindset
  2. Facebook & Instagram

The Essential Foundation

While he hates to talk about the nontangible mindset factor he makes it clear that it is the essential foundation for long-term success.

“Too many of you are about to take fucking notes right now and think it’s about a Facebook ad, but if your foundation isn’t right you have no shot at long-term success.” ~Gary Vaynerchuk

He explains that so many people are in the “excuse business.” I could not agree more and it’s a huge challenge for people.

It reminds me of an interview I did with the founder of Addicted 2 Success, Joel Brown, I brought this very topic up to hear his perspective.

At the time I had many conversations with people who told me they wanted to start a business of their dreams or make a change they desire in their life but said the didn’t have time because they are busy with family, kids, whatever it was.

I asked Joel if those life situations were reasonable or excuses.

His answer was:

‘Unfortunately, those people are making excuses and the sad truth is not that they don’t have time, it’s that they aren’t willing to make the time.” ~Joel Brown

The hard truth Vaynerchuk shares is bold, honest and unfortunately, spot on – a lot of things can happen in life but the world just doesn’t give a shit.

So what has worked for Gary?

Well, simply put he states what worked for him is – optimism, gratitude and overall, a positive mindset.

Black and White

From Vaynerchuck’s perspective, life is black or white – you can be on the offense or the defense.

It’s a really simple way of putting it but sometimes keeping things simple is the best way to put it.  You can walk through life creating reasons “why not” or you can walk through life creating reason “why yes.”

Sounds simple, right?

These perspectives are easy to understand but most will not consciously put in the effort to shift their thinking.

The problem is that you are deeply conditioned through all the years of your life. They way you think now is not something you just flip the switch on and change. You have to work hard at it.

The optimistic outlook he talks about is important and fundamental to long-term success because it will shape how you make decisions and the results you get.

We talk about this in a recent article we shared, “4 Tips to Get Out of Your Own Way And Create Next Level Success.

Most of what Vaynerchuk has shared in 2017 was based on a USA perspective but during this talk, he shares fresh insights. While everyone tends to lean their marketing towards the USA as the biggest market he has found that Australia and New Zealand have a market with a 20%-40% higher consumption rate.

Don’t Judge

Nobody wants the new technology to come along and change everything we know. A lot of people hate change. I’m sure you have heard a member of an older generation say things about how it used to be or that kids today have lost the ability to connect in person.

Vaynerchuk makes the point that you can sit around and judge kids for being on the phone and not connecting the way people used to but at the end of the day, nobody cares. If you don’t adjust you will be totally left behind.

New Reality

The world is being lived through the smartphone today and that is the reality.

Years ago it was newspapers, Tv, and radio. Today its blogs, video, and podcasts. It’s the same idea but people are putting their attention in a different place.

Anything you want to do in life today as an entrepreneur requires a person’s attention – written word, audio, video. You must figure out where the people you want to share it with are and then you have to share the content.

We have all heard the hype of video. So does that mean you should become a video master? Not necessarily.

Vaynerchuk stresses that you have to be self-aware, who are you and what are you good at? Do what you’re good at!

Facebook & Instagram

Facebook and Instagram have massive audiences and the ad product is deeply underpriced right now. But it won’t be forever.

Vaynerchuk states that if you do not spend 2018 obsessing over how to succeed on Facebook and Instagram you will lose.

When Vaynerchuk was building his father’s liquor store google AdWords came out he has one big regret that offers a powerful inight. He bought every wine term for five cents a click and was getting customers for 40 to 80 cents which was worth $10-$15 to him. A huge win! But his regret was that he built his father’s company to a $60 million company but feels if he was smart he would be built it to a $250 million company. Why? He goes on to explain, at that time if he was smart he should have taken all his energy and money out of print, radio, and direct marketing and gone all in with AdWords.

From 2002-2008 guess who did go all in on that platform? Amazon!

Another great example he explains is the company called, Wish. A few years ago a few former Google engineers started the company and all they did was run Facebook ads. They were the biggest Facebook advertisers for the last five years and have exploded!

shopping app called wish – biggest facebook advertising in last five years

Nothing Lasts Forever

It’s important to understand that this opportunity could turn into a regret if you don’t take action because it will not last forever.

He estimates that you have about another 12-18 months before change happens. The biggest companies in the world are not spending enough money on these platforms. However, Vaynerchuk explains, once big brands like Mercedez Benz, Budweiser, and Coca-Cola get their act together moves their budget from old traditional marketing over to Facebook, you will no longer be able to spend $4 on a CPM (cost per thousand). It will become $86 for a CPM.

Facebook and Instagram are marketplaces. If you want to promote in their feeds you have to pay to play.

At the same time, as years go by people will get so tired of seeing ad that it will be hard and harder to get them to click and that will jack the price too.

This is a micro-moment – it will pass – you can act on it or look back later with regret.

While Vaynerchuk believes if you’re not spending 65% of your cash on Facebook and Instagram you’re leaving money on the table but he makes a few key points as to back that up with three key points before people go ham on these platforms:

  1. The creative and copy matter – if they suck you will lose
  2. Start with small budgets, test the creative and copy and then invest more on the winners.
  3. You have to be the practitioner to be successful – learn it yourself, don’t pass the work off to someone esle.
  4. Context is key – make your ad relevant such as localization – speak to specific people

It’s a science my friends, and you have to run tests.

Final Thoughts

Vaynerchuk shares a lot in this video and we tackle some of the key points here.

Being a successful entrepreneur is a skill set. You need to get yourself in the right place mentally and it takes a lot of work. Not just work, but smart work.

As we always say, the number of hours you work doesn’t matter as much as the quality of those hours.

Knowing what to do is far different than taking action and executing.

You might also enjoy:

This is How to Raise Seed Funding – Advice from Investors at SOCAP

32In this 1-hour video (above) you will hear leading impact seed funds talk about specific investment strategies and how their focus on impact boosts performance. Don’t worry, we break this video down for you and highlight the key takeaways below.

As the world of business continues to take on a new form new opportunities for funding purpose-driven startups are rising.

Historically, accelerators and incubators addressed funding for purpose-driven companies, producing a group of early-stage startups on the hunt for seed money.  Over time, many of accelerators have transformed into seed funds as the field has matured.

The Change Creator team attended SOCAP in 2017 and found priceless insights from this this panel.

Most of the VC firms on stage have been working in the impact space for over 10 years and there has been a lot of evolution during that time.

Years ago there was very little early-stage capital and that has changed quite a bit.

Who’s on Stage in This Panel?

Moderator: Wes Selke | Better Ventures

Wes is Managing Director and Founder of Better Ventures.  He’s the resident “numbers guy” and enjoys helping startups figure out how they’re going to make and raise money.  Wes has 15 years of venture capital and financial advisory experience with Good Capital’s Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, William Blair, and Ernst & Young’s Mergers & Acquisitions group.  He earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a BBA from the University of Michigan.  Wes has volunteered with organizations around the globe, which has fueled his passion for applying his business skills to build a better world.  He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and two young kids and enjoys road cycling in the East Bay hills and Sunday trips to the farmers market.

Julie Lein | Urban Innovation Fund

Julie is a co-founder and Managing Partner of the Urban Innovation Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in the future of cities. The fund provides seed capital and regulatory support to entrepreneurs solving our toughest urban challenges – helping them grow into tomorrow’s most valued companies.

Shantel Poulson | Reach Capital

Shantel is the General Partner at Reach Capital which supports the most promising entrepreneurs developing technology solutions for challenges in early childhood, K-12, and higher education. We invest in early-stage tech tools, applications, content, and services to improve educational opportunities for all children.

Tasha sites | Impact Engine

Tasha Seitz is a partner with Impact Engine, a venture fund that invests financial and human capital in early-stage, for-profit technology businesses that are improving education, health, economic empowerment, and resource efficiency. Tasha has two decades of venture investment experience as a partner with JK&B Capital, a technology venture capital firm based in Chicago with over a billion dollars under management. As a partner, she has been responsible for identifying, evaluating and making investments in early-stage start-up software companies, serving on the board of directors, managing growth, coaching and hiring executive teams and managing investments through the exit.

Brian Dixon | Kaper Capital

Brian Dixon focuses on identifying and evaluating early-stage investments along with helping portfolio companies grow effectively. Brian joined Kapor Capital in 2011 after spending two summers as an MBA intern and was promoted to partner in November 2015. He is committed to making sure entrepreneurs of all backgrounds have access to advice and capital in order to make their business succeed.

Are you an impact fund and how do you think about “impact”? (7m28s)

Impact can either sink your ship or help make it rise up states, Wes, as he sets this question up.

Brian jumps in up to explain that when they are making an investment they want to know how something is going to make a difference.

They put structure around it to ensure they can define what the impact will be over a period of time.

Julie makes a great point about the word itself by stating that the definition has become very diluted. In initial screenings of a potential investment she wants to know that the entrepreneurs are in it for the right reasons. In the end, actions speak louder than words.

The way impact is evaluated has progressed over time, according to Shantel. Her teams look at who they are impacting, usage penetration, satisfaction, and lastly if it’s improving student outcomes.

Actually, many entrepreneurs won’t even identify themselves with impact. Why? Because they worry about the baggage or challenges associated with the world. It’s a charged word. For example, some investors have an immediate reaction to believe that if a company is focused on impact they are not focused on market return. This has led a shift to entrepreneurs stating they are ‘impact’ curious.

Julie’s team is a market rate driven fund and they are 100% purpose-driven. But many of their entrepreneurs will not self-identify as impact because they worry about the challenges of that word.  In some investors minds, it triggers ideas such as being concessionary or not market return driven. You want to lead with things like market rates.

Many of their investors would not identify as impact but more-so, impact curious.

They all measure impact!

Related: Funding Your Social Enterprise: First Stop – Grants

When you evaluate a deal what is more important to you between the team or the market and what else do you look for? (13m25s)

In early stages, it’s important to focus on the team because they are driving the company, states Shantel. The right team will figure out the market and should have a big vision.

Julie agrees with Shantel but shares a great point stating that many times people talk about investing in a team but what does that really mean? It’s common that in Venture Capital you see affirmation bias where many of the same faces and names get funded over and over. When she looks at a team she really tries to place a large stake on execution…

“[…]so showing that even when you’re early stage you can still have traction, you can demonstrate that you’re hungry, scrappy and working really hard at starting to have a lot of market penetration in an early stage – for us thats really the most important thing”

Tasha agreed with Julie but added a little to that by explaining she also looks for entrepreneurs targeting large markets or where they see market adjacencies because they are trying to drive and attract a financial return. So many companies have great products and even great teams but if there isn’t a big market opportunity its just hard to grow a big valuable company.

For us it comes down to the “why,” claims Brian. Why is it a problem you want to spend the next five years addressing? That doesn’t get his team to invest but it sparks their curiosity to look more closely. They will take a closer look but you must have a product established, at least an minimum viable product (MVP), and some type of revenue. This does not mean you have to be profitable. It means you have sold something and proven people will buy it.

Everyone on stage agreed that it’s near impossible to raise money today without a product for seed round and revenue for series A.

It’s important to recognize that the world has changed dramatically. As Tasha points out, today, it does not cost a lot to create an MVP.  Entrepreneurs can get a long way without a lot of cash today. It may not be a final product but you can get something done – they want to see you get scrappy.

A great example Julie shares is about an entrepreneur that pitched them and was way too early.  Their idea was to make city commuting better. The pitch had passion they liked but it was too early. Two weeks later the same entrepreneur showed up at their office again saying, “I did it.” He starting driving around town running tests and not only demonstrated his ability to get things done but starting providing his idea works and made financial transactions. His company is called Chariot and less than two years after Julie’s team invested they sold to Ford.

How do you think about portfolio construction? (22m)

There were a few interesting points made during this segment that are helpful to understand.

The strategy of each fund changes over time-based on the landscape.

For example, Shantel’s team used to plant many small investments all over the place as one-off investments. But today, they identify a couple seed deals and reserve cash to double down later with winners by doing a follow-on investment.  On the on side of the coin teams like Tasha’s don’t have a lot for follow-ons.

Some funds are ownership stake driven but others they are multiple return driven. They focus less on the size of their equity pool and more on the ability to make a big return.

What is the investing landscape? (25m)

Most of the funds are open to convertible notes and SAFE models. This is more common for early phase. The biggest challenge with convertible notes is that with different caps things can get very mess. This means price models are important to help give everyone clarity. Entrepreneurs must be conscious of time and if things are messing and complicated it’s a huge time suck that nobody wants.

80% of Brian’s deals come from convertible or SAFE. They try to educate entrepreneurs about the pros and cons. SAFEs are easy to do because it’s just 3 things to select.

Tasha followed that up stating that they do a lot of SAFE and convertibles but not without a cap.

What’s broken or doesn’t work with the VC model as it relates to purpose-driven entrepreneurs? (29m)

We’re really thinking about the exit outlook, stated Shantel. Now it’s M&A and mainly PE. For example, one company they worked with did a management buyout and became an employee-owned company. They are looking to explore more unique exits like that.

Tasha’s team has been considering alternative structures for liquidity. Right now, the percentage of funds fully liquidated after 10 years is just four percent!

There are a few more talking points in this segment about their structure and liquidity but I think it’s something you can listen to directly in the video.

What are the do’s and don’ts of fundraising? (35m)

Here I just bullet out the do’s and the don’ts that the panel shared which really offered some valuable insight any entrepreneur should know when raising funding.

The Do’s:

  1. Know how much you need and why
  2. Have the team pulled together or show up with the team and hires you have already identified so that when you raise the funding they will convert to your team.
  3. Show you spent some time on the product, MVP.
  4. Show real customer data
  5. Show your impact in the next year and 5 years
  6. Do your homework and know who you’re talking to so you can convince them they are the right fund
  7. Cold emails are fine but personalize them, make them unique


The Don’ts

  1. Don’t raise multiple rounds at once such a seed and series A. It creates confusion for the investor and makes them feel you don’t have a real plan in place. This does not mean you shouldn’t think ahead and know how many rounds you need. Just avoid the confusion.
  2. Don’t cold email an investor with a generic template or CC the whole group


What do you think about equity crowdsourcing? (40m)

Brian’s team is invested in Angel list which he thinks is a great resource if you already have traction. It is not an approach to take to start your fundraising. If you have already raised $750k of a $1M goal, then you might use something like Angel List to close the round.

What is the difference between pre-seed and seed? (48m)

Today’s seed round is yesterday’s series A round.

Seed rounds are now landing around $2M-$3M and sometimes even as big as $4M-$5M.

Pre-seed is what used to be seed so there has basically been a shift in the models. Pre-seed is really early but they have a founding team, MVP, but are just starting. Before pre-seed entrepreneurs commonly leverage accelerators and friends & family.

Shantel made a very interesting point by calling out that today there has been a shift to multiple seed rounds. This was new to us at Change Creator and something to explore more.

An important point Wes made during this segment is to avoid “bridge rounds”. Basically the idea that you have not gotten as far as you thought you would and need just a bit more cash to get there. You have to show progress.

Some Final Thoughts

These are exciting times and the impact investing space is not only growing but it’s constantly evolving during these transitional times. The way we approach and think about business is changing, it’s in transition, and these changes reflect that evolution.

Today there is no excuse to not have an MVP and some demonstration of revenue to prove out your idea. This is essential to be considered and taken seriously.

Nobody wants to invest in a small vision, so please think big and be prepared to demonstrate how you’re going to bring your vision to life but also the impact of doing so.

When connecting with an investor it does pay to get a referral or meet in person, big time! But that does not mean cold emails are off the table. When done right it can work and most of these funds are open to cold emails. Actually, they have benefited quite a bit from cold emails so don’t shy away.

You might also like, How to Know Which Type of Investment to Seek For Early Stage Startups

In This Video Jay Shetty Shares Powerful Perspective That Inspires Hope

“Not everything that counts can be counted. Not everything that’s counted truly counts.” ~Albert Einstein

In this powerful video, Jay Shetty shares what he believes true success is but also what you need to know about achieving it.

An important point is that there is no “right” schedule to live your life by.

A few great talking points Shetty uses to demonstrate this include:

“Some people graduate at 21 and get a job at 27”

“Some people graduate at 27 and get a job right away.”

“I know people who took gap years and found their purpose.”

“I know people who were so sure about what they were going to do at 16, they changed their mind at 26.”

Related: Jay Shetty: What is Storytelling and What Makes a Good Story?

We all seem to be in a race in life and put a ton of pressure on ourselves. But there is no race. There is no right or wrong. Everyone has their own clock which plays out just the way it supposed to. Don’t judge your life based on others.

As Shetty mentioned, Jk Rowling, who wrote Harry Potter, was rejected by publishers until age 32! Jack Ma didn’t even start Ali Baba until he was 35. Morgan Freeman didn’t get his big break until he was 52 years old.

One of the most important lessons is to be patient and do what you love.

If you want to create a meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling life, you should work on using your passion to make a difference in the lives of others.

This is sound advice not only from Shetty, but also from people such as Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, the Dali Lama and so many more great thinkers. It’s up to each of us individually to listen and act on their wisdom.

One of my favorite books that I found really inspiring was called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

If you’re interested, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s a must for anyone!

4 Life Lessons From The Legacy of Stephen Hawking (One will truly strike home!)

World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76 but his legacy will live on forever.

He is a true inspiration and one of the greatest thinkers of our time. He is the epitome of having a positive attitude and the will to live life and not to ever give up.

Hawking has said we are all different but share the same human spirit.

Throughout his career, Hawking has helped us better understand the planet, and at the same time, ourselves. Here are some thoughts he’s shared that have had a profound impact on me.

“I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.” ~Stephen Hawking

He reminds us to stay as curious as we once were as children. He shows us how to be courageous. Life itself is one big question mark, and we’ll never truly stop asking others and ourselves for the answers.

“If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.” ~Stephen Hawking

Like everyone else he’s still a dreamer. His longing to do things he might never be able to do shows how he’s just like the rest of us. We’re all human at the end of the day, and as humans, we can only do so much that our minds and bodies will let us. Again, he’s the perfect example of never giving up.

“The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” ~Stephen Hawking

This is a reminder about how important living presently actually is. We are in charge of the limitless possibilities. We have the power to do amazing things with our time on this Earth but they can only be accomplished in the now.

“The quality I would most like to magnify is empathy. It brings us together in a peaceful, loving state.” ~Stephen Hawking

This really struck me as it is a common quality in the greatest impact leaders of today.

Hawking has stated, “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression.”

He noted that the act of aggression may have had its advantages in surviving during “caveman days,” but it now creates a threat to humanity. He then elaborated on the importance of empathy.

He explained that empathy is ultimately what can counter aggression.

Rather than some complex mathematical calculation having to do with the universe, empathy, according to Hawking, is what will save mankind.

Empathy means to have a feeling of understanding and the capability to share another person’s experiences and emotions. This is something we all have the ability to express and feel but it can be numbed by culture. It takes practice to strengthen it.  That practice can lead to great and positive change.


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Hunting For Happiness: Joe Rogan’s Pearls of Wisdom

He’s known to be a comedian and radio show host but Joe Rogan has become a modern day philosopher dropping some nice pearls of wisdom worth noting.

We all want to find happiness but how do you really do that?

Our culture today has put a lot of focus on money and material goods. But we have all probably heard the saying, “money can’t buy happiness.” It can surely make life more comfortable but that’s a bit different.

There have been many studies, such as the 75 year study Harvard did, to understand happiness and in this video Joe shares some very sound insights that align to those studies.

We live in a high paced world and I never really understood where we were racing to but that’s another story.

Work hard. Climb the ladder of success. People flaunt their big houses on cribs and fancy cars which make us wish we had those things. They are nice things to have but only part of the story behind happiness. Actually, happiness can be found with or without those things. But those things can never bring you authentic happiness.

Someone once told me that if you’re a person who “wants” things then you will never be fulfilled. You will always be a person that wants things and that ongoing thirst is like a quick high that goes away and leaves you looking for the next fix. There is no fulfillment.

There’s more to happiness and that’s where the inner-game and relationships come into play.

“You have to find out what actually makes you happy and it’s not having all your ducks in a row on paper. It’s improvement in the way you manage your mind. It’s improvement in the way you manage your emotions.” ~Joe Rogan

So many successful people meditate and have learned to master their mind. When you can learn to be happy with who you are, the life you have, the relationships you have, and stop wanting more things, you will begin to find happiness.

In our interview with Tony Robbins, he said:

“The most sacred gift that you can give, besides your love, is your labor. So find something that you’re here to play for that’s more than just yourself.”

I love that statement. More people today are looking for more fulfillment in the work they do and it’s driving the revolution of business to solve major social problems is rising up.

Take time to work on yourself. Do work that helps others. Build strong relationships. You’ll find happiness.

If you want to dig a little deeper you might want to read How Can I Matter.

If you’d like to read our interview with Tony Robbins just download our app from iTunes or Google Play and it’s available for free download!

This Video Will Change The Way You Think About Water

To scale impact of any cause you need smart marketing and a powerful story.

The people in this powerful video were going about their day, just as we all do.

Suddenly, their whole reality was jolted and thrown off course by a smart, authentic and conscious marketing video that packs a punch.

Personally, I love this video because it connects with people in a genuine way in which they can relate. It’s effective at triggering empathy and is reminder we are all in this together.

“We don’t have any water,” said the waiter. “It will take about six hours.”

People stood their confused.  

They said:

“My time is valuable.”

“I’ll go somewhere else.”

“Water is expected.”

People were really shocked by this to say the least.

Suddenly Matt Damon appears in a video and people are completely shocked – I mean who wouldn’t be.

“Millions of people spend up to 6 hours a day just to collect water.” Matt Damon

The Big Challenge

Water is important to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water.

The scary part is that 663 million people still don’t have safe water and 2.4 billion don’t have a toilet. That’s not all. The burden of collecting water falls on women and girls; about 70% of the responsibility in Sub-Saharan Africa is theirs. Globally, women spend 86 billion hours each year looking for a safe place to go to the bathroom.

Power Through Collaboration

Matt Damon (Water.org) and Stella Artois (delicious beer) decided to partner up back in 2015 to collaborate on raising awareness about the water crisis around the world and to provide solutions.

Their goal is to change 3.5 millions lives by 2020 with clean water.

They have already impacted over 1 millions lives!

Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers market-driven, financial solutions to the global water crisis. For more than 25 years and across 14 countries, Water.org has transformed more than 9 million lives with access to clean water – giving women hope, families health and communities a future.

If you want to help someone get access to clean water you can get your own chalice!

According to their website, the purchase of a Limited-Edition Stella Artois Chalice helps provide 5 years of clean water to someone in the developing world. This year’s collection features hand-crafted designs inspired by Mexico, India and the Philippines, created by female artists from each of these countries.

Stella Artois Limited Edition Brazil Chalice, 33cl

Stella Artois Limited Edition Uganda Chalice, 33cl

Stella Artois Limited Edition Cambodia Chalice, 33cl

The Most Sacred Gift You Can Give According to Tony Robbins

tony robbins change creator

Tony Robbins, the unconventional social entrepreneur.

With one knock on the door on, Thanksgiving Day, his life changed and his mission to give back started. Now, as a coach, author, businessman, and philanthropist he has changed millions of lives.

He could have retired at the age of 26, but he realized there is much more to life than money. In 2016 he personally provided 59 million meals to people in the USA and matched 100 million more through his partnership with Feeding America to honor those who helped his family during tough times.

Check out Change Creator Magazine with Tony Robbins – Full Edition!

How Fitppl’s Social Mission is Helping Busy People Stay Fit

This article was originally posted by Grant Trahant on Caustartist

“…there needs to be something to help busy people stay fit people.”

Fitppl is a BCorp certified collective of individuals who are producing forward thinking products, such as plant— based protein powders and ethical apparel.

The founder of fitppl, Patrick Schecht, strives to reduce plastic pollution by using kraft paper pouches and wooden scoops for their protein powders.

Fitppl takes their entrepreneurship a step further and provides funding for Active Cleanups, which are fitppl hosted events where the fitppl community cleans up heavily littered areas.

change creator fittppl

Check Out My Q&A with fitppl founder, Patrick Schecht.

What’s the story behind fitppl and its community!

Fitppl started from an idea back in 2012, while standing in the company kitchen of a startup that I was working at. The options provided were mostly unhealthy, and was I feeling the effects of consuming them daily. This was right after returning from living in Costa Rica, where I was eating clean local foods and smoothies.

I asked the office manager to bring in a protein powder to offer smoothies as a healthier option. She ordered a generic dairy based protein with flashy graphics and a laundry list of ingredients I didn’t understand.

Other employees wanted to make healthy choices too, but I noticed they needed simplicity to balance out the busy workday. I remember standing in the kitchen thinking, “there needs to be something to help busy people stay fit people.” This was during the explosion of social media and smartphones, common words were usually abbreviated on these platforms.

So I abbreviated people and came up with fitppl. I loved the simplicity and uniqueness of the name. Now I had a name and an idea.

I eventually quit that job in March of 2013 and pursued freelance film, a skill I’d taught myself from personal interest. This schedule allowed me to spend time traveling and put more focus towards fitppl, which was still just an idea at this point.

The purpose piece came to me while traveling through Thailand in the Fall of 2013. Swimming near Koh Hong Island, I noticed a lot of plastic floating around the otherwise clean and crystalline ocean, this sparked my concern. I started doing research while in Thailand, and the more research I did about plastic pollution, the more dire the situation became.

The catastrophic plastic waste in the oceans is one of the biggest problems facing our species and countless others.

The origins of the Ditch The Plastic initiative was born from the experience, which was the catalyst that took fitppl from an idea to conception.

I spent 2 years developing everything and then launched in late 2015. Our community has been flat out awesome since the launch. They are incredibly passionate and an integral part to spreading our mission.

What types of plant-based proteins can be found in your protein and superfood blends?

We started with two products, our plant proteins and our 2-in1 superfood. Starting a company that was so purpose driven towards the environment, I couldn’t use whey due to the environmental toll that dairy farming is causing, not to mention the nasty hormones and steroids in dairy. I also could never stomach whey protein with just water. I wanted something I could mix with water, but still versatile enough that people could make recipes.

For the plant proteins, we use an organic rice, pea, and hemp blend and instead of flavoring it with artificial ingredients commonly found in protein powders, we use fruits like acai, goji, pomegranate, and blueberries. Then, we created two flavor variations, Vanilla & Goji and Cocoa & Blueberry. Both are really smooth and delicious with just water, and can be added to smoothies or whatever you can think of!

Our 2-in1 superfood is a blend of alkalizing cereal grasses and algae which make up the greens, and a diverse array of fruits which make up the reds. Hints the name, Green & Red superfood. This blend delivers a combination of chlorophyll & antioxidants to increase energy, promote detoxification, battle cell damaging free radicals, boost your immune system, and other benefits. It’s our most versatile as far as recipes.

We even had one person submit their superfood avocado dip. It can be mixed with just water also, it’s tangy and delicious!

For those not in the fitness world, what makes your protein different from what most of us see on the shelves in stores.

It’s what sources of protein we use, and what we left out. If you look at our ingredients, you don’t have to google anything. No xanthan gum, emulsifiers, or artificial ingredients. We also left out the stevia. It’s usually highly processed in powder form, turning it from a green leaf to a white powder.

We’re 100% plant-based, which is better for people and better for the planet. Our diets have an immense effect on the environment, mainly due to meat and dairy production. Cows require a lot of water, energy, and transportation. They also release a good amount methane gas through belching and farting. This is without even touching on the animal cruelty aspect.

Do some research on humans consuming cows milk and there are some alarming facts. Plus, milk gets denatured due to Pasteurization, the process of heating milk to high temperatures, which destroys vital vitamins, minerals, good bacteria and enzymes. Additionally, most commercial whey protein powders are highly processed at high temperatures leaving a highly denatured and damaged protein.

Our plant proteins do not go through this high temperature processing, while still achieving a complete amino acid profile. You can also find plants and nuts that have more calcium than milk.

So, if you can replace meat or dairy with plants, it’s a win-win, for you, the environment, and animals.

[Related] If you’re liking this than you’ll probably love “Spotlight: On The Ground Floor With Yarden Garden


change creator

Tell us about the Ditch The Plastic Initiative and what it means to you.

“A lot of people don’t realize that 80% of plastic pollution enters the ocean from land.”

Our Ditch The Plastic initiative is an integral part of the of why fitppl was created, it’s all about action and awareness. There are too many people littering and not enough picking up, we want to shift this trend and influence individuals to make an impact in their everyday lives. If you see plastic or trash litter, pick it up and dispose of it properly.

This is really what put the idea into overdrive. I didn’t come from a background in any kind of environmental studies or influence. I just saw the plastic pollution issue first hand in Thailand back in 2013 and literally thought to myself, “This is f*cked up and I have to do something about it.” The challenge was how to get people behind a daunting issue, the facts are real and can be discouraging.

There’s an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile in our oceans, and by 2050 we’re estimated to have more plastic than fish in our oceans. Plastic production is set to double in the next 20 years and we’re dumping a garbage truck worth of plastic in our oceans every 60 seconds.

This is where the problem lies, when plastic makes its way to our oceans, it causes havoc for sea-life, and eventually human health. This plastic doesn’t magically go away, it can take up to an estimated 1000 years to decompose.

So the initiative is about action and awareness. I wanted to weave the initiative into the brand in a way that empowered people to support our purpose. Consumers have immense power with their spending. Where you spend and invest your money is a powerful way of voting each day to support a healthy you, and planet. So each purchase supports our mission to reduce plastic pollution through our Active Cleanups and forward-thinking products.

Our Active Cleanups combine the active lifestyle of fitppl and our company mission, by hosting free community workouts with an organized plastic cleanup afterwards. These are free for anyone to join and as the company grows, so do the cleanups, our goal is to host all over the U.S. and eventually the world. We also drastically reduce plastic packaging and eliminate plastic scoops. We did this by using kraft paper stand-up pouches and reusable wooden scoops included inside. All future products will honor this initiative. Our Ditch The Plastic initiative is an integral part of the of why fitppl was created. Our branding, messaging, products, and cleanups all tie together to allow customers to get involved in numerous ways.

We’re loving the organic clothing. What ethical fabrics are you using in crafting your fitppl tops?

We use organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles. They’re also made in California using low-impact dyes, and water-based screen printing. A lot of people are unaware that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter of freshwater resources on the planet, behind the oil industry. A quarter of the chemicals produced in the world are used in textiles. People wanted apparel, but we couldn’t promote this mission, then cut corners when making products outside of our core focus.

What’s the fitppl collective about and how does someone become a member?

Most brands in the supplement space have ambassadors, which is commonly a person, celebrity, or athlete with a large social following selling their products for an incentive. What we’re doing with the collective is featuring people who are creating real change in their communities towards our mission. Activist, environmentalist, and community leaders actually doing positive things and making a real impact. We don’t care about followers or likes, we care about impact. We recently launched this and are looking for people to feature, you can go to fitppl.com/collective/ to apply.

If their were a few tips you could give to someone who wants to create a more healthier lifestyle for themselves, how would you tell them to start what are the most important first steps to take.

There is a lot of information, diets, and fads floating around. Simplicity is the best way to start. A good starting point is to eat 5 times a day. Eat mostly plants. An ideal day of eating should include breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and dinner. This will help keep your metabolism in check and curb over eating. There are calculations you can use with your weight and height for target calories.

When you buy food products, the less ingredients, the better. You should be able to count them on your hands. If you have to pull out your phone to google ingredients, you may want to pass.

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5 Traits of a Great Leader From Richard Branson [video]

We all have life experiences. Some reflect failures and some are successes.

If you’re an aspiring social or business entrepreneur you have probably heard that you should surround yourself with people that do what you want to do and can lift you up.

Why not take a page or two out of successful entrepreneur Richard Branson’s playbook? His list of accomplishments is nothing to sneeze at. Now we might not all go on to create the next Virgin Records or Airline but we can learn an awful lot from a person who’s walked that path.

Whether you have heard these core tips before or not doesn’t matter. These are foundational pieces of advice that we all need to hear every so often as a reminder. It’s so easy to slip back into bad habits or poor lines of thought.

Take these seriously, apply them in your life, make them habit!

THREE: Expose Yourself

Richard Branson is visible.

You have to be willing to put yourself out there. No great leader hides behind a desk.

Branson always makes a point to visit his staff and meet customers.

During interviews, Branson has mentioned that when he is on one of his flights, he will go and meet his crew and passengers with a notebook in hand. Why? This way he can both hear and record their ideas (remember what we said about listening?).

This is a very busy person and despite that, he takes their names and email addresses and makes a point of responding to them by the next day. That is very powerful.

He also puts himself in the spotlight, whether it’s on the internet or TV or movies.

You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

FOUR: Challenge the Status-Quo

This is straightforward but many people neglect it because of fear. It’s easier and more comfortable to go with the grain than against it. But no “game-changing” idea was ever status-quo

Great leaders think without boundaries and believe in themselves despite what others say. If they think you’re crazy, maybe you’re on the right track then. Detach yourself from other people’s opinions and ideas and believe in yourself.

“Challenge the status-quo, disrupt the market and say YES! And remember that innovation is an endless quest.” ~Richard Branson

Branson broke the mold with banking. Virgin Money is a bank in Britain where the branches look more like living rooms than banks. There are tables for Wi-Fi, newspapers, and comfortable seating. This eliminates lines and teller windows.

Virgin Money Bank
Virgin Money Bank

FIVE: Money Shouldn’t be the Top Priority, Create Value in the World

Branson has stated that he never has gone into any business purely to make money. He believe that if money is your only motive, then you shouldn’t launch the business at all.

“As you design your product or service, remember your resolve to serve the public; business is about improving other people’s lives. Hopefully, once you’ve done that, more money comes in than goes out. From Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic to Virgin Money and Virgin Active, our team has always launched businesses out of a genuine desire to disrupt the status-quo and improve things for customers. “ ~Richard Branson

This is a great piece of advice. Why?

A great business has loyal customers but loyalty has to be earned. You have to earn their trust and offer them a lot of value. When you build a business to solve a problem that offers people value, and that’s your driving force, money will follow.

ONE: Great Leaders Listen More

One of the most difficult of all, aside from attempting to stop complaining, even for a week.

Humans tend to wait for their turn to talk. We get thoughts in our heads which are triggered by what the other person is saying. As soon, as that happens we are no longer listening, we are planning what we’ll say.

Some people will cut you right off because they get so anxious they just can’t wait. Have you ever experienced this or even done it to someone? Don’t lie, you know you have! We all have.

Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” will back this recommendation up any day of the week.

It’s a bad habit and it takes practice to break a bad habit.

Richard Branson’s success is also attributed to the fact he was a great leader. Great leaders have learned the value and power of genuinely listening to a person.

You can have a conversation with someone for 30 minutes and just listen sincerely to them. They will walk away thinking it was a great discussion.

“To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice. “ ~Richard Branson

TWO: Keep it Simple

You want to be unique. You want to do something nobody has done before to stand out. That’s great but it doesn’t mean you have to do something that’s overly complicated.
Look around, there are many problems the world faces today which can be seen as opportunities simple business solutions.

“Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.’ ~Richard Branson

So often, people feel the need to over-complicated things which not only makes it more likely to fail but it takes longer and requires more investment. Stay focused, keep it simple.