Everyone faces the feeling that they aren’t good enough at some point in their lives. The Imposter Syndrome can be debilitating; it can prevent you from making the progress you want for your business and can allow you to convince yourself that you aren’t good enough — so how do you get past it? In this episode of Onward Nation, bestselling author and business, relationship and mindset coach Tommy Breedlove discusses his own battles with The Imposter Syndrome and shares how focusing on others — rather than himself — became the key that unlocked his potential for authenticity, vulnerability, and self-love.
Tommy spent three years working on his book, but once the draft was finished he was left with the hollow feeling that his words didn’t mean anything. Tommy surprised everyone (including himself) by starting over from scratch, but this time he was committed to pouring his passion and authentic self into his words. He felt a drive to help others — and that drive broke him out of his own limiting beliefs. Needless to say, Legendary was a huge success, and Tommy attributes this success to the fact that he allowed himself to be vulnerable, open, and honest. Tommy had to realize for himself that his words had value for others and that he had something profound to offer the world — and this realization formed the backbone of his book. Too many of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, but Tommy believes that these feelings can be conquered by allowing ourselves to love the people we are and the contributions we have to offer.
The act of writing Legendary was transformative for Tommy, but even he was surprised by the benefits he received from writing his book. Legendary became a huge credibility-building tool that led to coaching work and other business opportunities for Tommy. The book became Tommy’s cornerstone content — and it all came about because Tommy was able to beat The Imposter Syndrome and achieve a personal breakthrough, by seeking to serve others. The lesson here is that generously offering your expertise can only pay dividends and open new doors and form new relationships. Mindset is the backbone of success, and believing in yourself is an important ingredient in achieving the goals you have set for yourself.
Tommy Breedlove is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of the book, Legendary, and Atlanta-based business, relationship, and mindset coach who is regularly featured keynote speaker at global events. He serves clients and audiences by empowering them to build and live Legendary Lives. He guides them to build a lasting legacy, work in their zone of brilliance, obtain financial confidence, and live with meaning and balance.
Oftentimes we fall into the trap of doing things the way we do them because it’s how we have always done them. But it’s the creative business solutions — not the same old strategies — that have the potential to create new opportunities and even disrupt entire industries. In this episode of Onward Nation, health insurance company Hooray Health founder and CEO Shane Foss shares how identifying the unmet needs of America’s millions of uninsured employees formed the basis for his company’s mission to reinvent health insurance from the ground up, and he explains why thought leadership has proven to be a powerful tool to build credibility and get his message out.
For Shane, the “aha!” moment came when he saw firsthand the challenges that uninsured workers were facing in getting access to basic healthcare. Shane began questioning the status quo and wondering if there was a better way to do things — and this train of thought ultimately culminated in the formation of Hooray Health. Shane identified an underserved group and then innovated cost-effective solutions to help them gain access to necessary healthcare services. He saw the problem and then built and iterated on solutions to address it, without falling into the trap of becoming too attached to the solutions his company created. This allowed Hooray Health the flexibility to find new angles and opportunities and to adjust based on the needs of their clients rather than getting too locked into their business model.
At every step during the process of building Hooray Health, Shane was told “you can’t do that” or “that will never work”, or “you’ll never find an underwriter willing to take the risk”. Shane might easily have listened to the naysayers, but he kept going. Eventually, he was able to put all the pieces together and offer low-cost, practical healthcare plans that empowered part-time workers and other overlooked segments to attain healthcare while protecting themselves from predatory billing practices. Shane and his team put together creative business solutions that allow them to meet the needs of an otherwise untapped market — while simultaneously creating profits for their business and looking after the needs of their clients. None of this would’ve been possible had Shane just accepted the conventional wisdom of health insurance at face value.
With over 20 years of tenure as an executive in the medical industry, Shane Foss became frustrated with how under-served Americans were with the current healthcare options. He set out to make a change and in 2018 achieved this goal through launching Hooray Health, an unconventional health insurance company dedicated to providing affordable basic and urgent health care alternatives to high-deductible health plans.
Through Hooray Health, Foss and his team focus on offering peace of mind to lower-income individuals and families who face medical challenges, while also providing business owners with an affordable way to reward and retain employees. Partnering with companies like Sedera, Ameritas, and Aflac, they have been able to add critical services and supplemental plans giving immense value to employers and individuals.
Throughout his professional experience, Foss has negotiated complex, multi-million-dollar contracts, worked in device sales management, created business strategies, and optimized P&L. He holds an MBA from Rice University’s Jones School of Business, a BS from the University of the Incarnate Word, and a Surgical Technologist Certificate from the United States Air Force.
Negotiation is a powerful skill — especially in uncertain times. With the pandemic disrupting so many existing business agreements and contracts, renegotiating these arrangements can be the key to salvaging them. But how do you start tough conversations? In this episode of Onward Nation, encore guest, lawyer and expert negotiator Kwame Christian shares key business lessons on negotiation and conflict resolution that can help you survive and even thrive in uncertain times. As the pandemic and the effects of social distancing have made certain obligations difficult or impossible to fill, finding new, mutually beneficial solutions is important.
The secret to great negotiation lies in a few key skills: being proactive, authentic, and empathetic, and being prepared to ask key questions and carefully consider the answers you get. Kwame says that expressing empathy and understanding with your negotiating partners’ position can help you generate goodwill and trust, and it can also help you find new solutions that satisfy all parties involved. By showing that you understand their perspective and recognize their expectations, you can find common ground and shore up your agreements with them. We can’t control the impact that the pandemic and social distancing requirements have on our businesses, but we can often find alternative solutions.
One of Kwame’s most important business lessons in his career is the power of the magical question, “what flexibility do you have?” By asking this question, you are passively assuming that the other party has room to negotiate, priming them to your way of thinking. This question often catches others off guard and encourages them to be more willing to bend. In return, Kwame says it is important to be willing to bend your own expectations and work toward common ground. Almost anything can be negotiated, Kwame says, as long as you’re willing to ask.
Kwame Christian, Esq., M.A. is a business lawyer and the Director of the American Negotiation Institute where he puts on workshops designed to make difficult conversations easier. As an attorney and mediator with a bachelor of arts in Psychology, a Master of Public Policy, and a law degree, Kwame brings a unique multidisciplinary approach to the topic of conflict management and negotiation.
His TEDx Talk, Finding Confidence in Conflict, was viewed over 160,000 times and was the most popular TED Talk on the topic of conflict of 2017. He also hosts the top negotiation podcast in the country, Negotiate Anything. The show has been downloaded over 350,000 times, and has listeners in 181 different countries.
The mentor-mentee relationship is about more than just learning from a more experienced, seasoned business professional. When done correctly, both parties can reap incredible rewards and discover new opportunities. These trusted relationships can lead to new business introductions and even new business ventures for both the mentor and the student. In this episode of Onward Nation, encore guest and “Original Shark” on Shark Tank Kevin Harrington discusses the broad benefits that make these relationships so rewarding, he discusses how to find and how to use a mentor effectively to get the most out of the relationship, and he shares stories of his own experiences both as a mentee and as a mentor to others.
Before you can learn how to use a mentor effectively, you have to find the right mentor that fits your business and its needs. As Kevin explained during the interview, the best way to find the ideal mentor is to explore your existing relationships with the lawyers, accountants, and other professionals you’re already working with. Your professional network knows your business and your values and can potentially connect you with a great mentor who would be a good fit for your business and its current challenges. As Kevin suggested, ask yourself who you write checks to and start mining those relationships.
Once you’ve formed a relationship with a mentor (or as a mentor with a new mentee), be clear and upfront about your expectations. As the mentee, it’s your job to prove to your mentor that you are their best, most attentive student. Respect the wisdom your mentor is willing to share, and take action based on their recommendations. If you “don’t have time” to follow their guidance, why should they spend the time mentoring you? Learning how to use a mentor effectively is about listening, communicating, and then following through. If you put in the effort, the rewards both you and your mentor will discover may surprise you.
As an “Original Shark” on the hit TV show Shark Tank, the creator of the infomercial, pioneer of the “As Seen on TV” brand, and co-founding board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization, Kevin Harrington has pushed past all the questions and excuses to repeatedly enjoy 100X success. His legendary work behind the scenes of business ventures has produced more than $5 billion in global sales, the launch of more than 500 products, and the making of dozens of millionaires. He’s launched massively successful products like The Food Saver, Ginsu Knives, The Great Wok of China, The Flying Lure, and many more. He has worked with amazing celebrities turned entrepreneurs including, like Billy Mays, Tony Little, Jack LaLanne, and George Foreman to name a few. Kevin’s been called the Entrepreneur’s Entrepreneur and the Entrepreneur Answer Man, because he knows the challenges unique to start-ups and has a special passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed.