MaturePreneurial: This once a week podcast with Elaine Benoit is where she interviews successful entrepreneurs to learn about their successes, their failures and to get their advice on how best to start an Entrepreneurial journey. Elaine interviews entrepreneurs from all levels of success because no matter where you are on your entrepreneurial venture, there are always lessons to be learned.
Elaine hopes to inspire, teach and give you the courage for people to take the plunge to start their own business.
096: Jonathan Bates | Executive Operation Designs
Jonathan Bates has spent the last 21 years mastering entrepreneurship and systematizing processes. He has served military heroes and continues to serve by bringing his expertise to the backbone of America; his hometown heroes, the small business owner. Jonathan is an expert at diffusing business bombs; bringing owners new levels of success and more importantly, profitability. Nothing is more satisfying than providing the tools, motivation, and accountability that afford business owners the opportunity for clarity, sleep, health, a happy family, all adding up to living a life of significance.
Jonathan is married to his best friend and has four awesome kids. Three days after he was married, he deployed for 13 months. For the rest of his Navy career, he traveled for no less than 180 days per year and averaged over 280 days a year away from his family. Putting his work first afforded him a great military career and experience all over the world, but limited his family time. Sleepless nights, multiple surgeries, concern for his growing family, and arguments with his wife are why he empathizes with the overworked small business owner. Now that Jonathan is back in the states and able to spend time with his family, he has focused his efforts on helping small business owners grow both in business and, more importantly, with their families.
As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer (Bomb Squad) for the United States Navy, he worked his way through the ranks. First, he learned to utilize systems and execute processes as a junior enlisted sailor. He quickly rose through the ranks and mastered the identification of needs and creation of new ways to handle unique situations that demanded reliable outcomes. After 17 years of successful program development and deployments to remote and less-than-desirable locations, he was eventually commissioned as a Naval Limited Duty Officer. His technical expertise, leadership skills, and ability to get the job done right made him an excellent candidate for this leadership position.
The Navy Bomb Squad is the entrepreneurial segment of the military. Jonathan was able to sell his systems and processes to anyone, in any situation, and deliver the desired outcome every time. The secret is the ability to provide choices. To complete any mission, decision makers need the critical ability to produce reliable results. Whether the mission is to disarm an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED), onboard a client for a law firm, bake a cake for a restaurant, recover a lost body underwater, or make the next sale for your company, the results need to be repeatable by anyone on the team.
Jonathan teaches that when a business is systematized, the business owner has choices that include the following:
Expand the current business – take advantage of created efficiencies to produce/sell more Franchise – sell the right to use your systems and processes Sell – when the owner is not the business, the repeatable results are valuable Buy bolt-on businesses – exponentially increase the value of a business with established systems to consolidate the businesses, take advantage of new efficiencies, and create a larger customer base, increasing profit immediately Pass the business to their family Who doesn’t like choices?
095: Matt Miller | School Spirit Vending
Matt Miller spent the first nine years of his career as an Air Force pilot before entering the private sector to work in both the medical device and advertising industries. Although he was a top performer in the corporate world, his long-term desire was to be his own boss. A good friend one day mentioned the gumball machines he and his young daughters owned and that conversation began a 10-year business quest that has brought Matt's company, School Spirit Vending, to the cutting edge of both the vending and school fundraising industries.
Today, School Spirit Vending’s franchising program provides a proven and profitable business system for busy professionals and their families looking to develop secondary income streams, while raising millions of dollars for education at the same time.
In addition to running School Spirit Vending, Matt is devoted to sharing his expertise with others. Through many different venues, including podcasts and public speaking, Matt seeks to enable other entrepreneurs to chase their dreams as well.
094: Anna Celestino | The Shift System
Anna literally wrote the book on change. She is the author of Igniting Change: From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Her life has been a series of fascinating leaps off the proverbial cliff.
Anna grew up in the Midwest, left college and moved to California to work in the entertainment industry. Several years later, she left her job at The Walt Disney Company - where she coordinated a year-long, international promotion celebrating Mickey Mouse’s birthday - to go in search of meaning.
What Anna thought would be a three-month adventure, turned into 11 years of living in-residence studying and eventually teaching consciousness. Anna has combined all or her experience to create a 90-day group coaching program called The Shift System that provides structure, guidance, shortcuts and support for transformational change.
093: Michele Williams | BVU Mastermind
Michele Williams began her entrepreneurial journey in sixth grade, hawking fireballs in the back of the school bus. Over the last 20 years that journey has included a bed and breakfast in Charleston, SC and a high-tech executive recruitment firm.
Although wildly different, each of Michele's ventures and ‘big ideas’ has been unified by a single passion: to facilitate meaningful transformations through innovation, curiosity, connections, encouragement and mindset….. not to mention a truckload of grit and humor!
Today, Michele continues as a strategic growth consultant to small-midsize organizations and professionals under her boutique, executive recruiting firm, Ellington Growth Partners; she co-launched a local networking community for female entrepreneurs; and she is the founder of the BVU Mastermind for women.
Michele has guided hundreds of women, professionals and small organizations through meaningful transformations to become the best versions of themselves for those they employ, serve and love. You can reach Michele at Mojowilliams16@gmail.comor www.bvumastermind.com.
092: Judi Schindler | Judi Schindler dot com
In her corporate career, Judi Schindler was a marketing executive. She is a founding member and past president of the Chicago Area Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She is a member of the Leadership Team of Engaging Speakers and the Advisory Board of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She’s listed in “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in American Women” and “Who’s Who in the Midwest.”
Her book Husbands: An Owner’s Manualoffers witty, candid advice for women who want to stay married for the rest of their lives. Judi claims, "The secret to my marriage is that in all these years my husband and I have never had a single meaningful conversation."
Judi is also an actor, who has been entertaining women's groups with her multi-media show on marriage for the past five years. She wrote her book in direct response to the many requests she's had over the years for a printed version of the program.
"While the book is meant to be entertaining," says Schindler, "I hope readers also learn some useful strategies on how to stay married for life. Slammed doors aside, there's enormous gratification that comes with creating a family and growing old with the same person."
The book is suitable for new brides, husband-seekers of any age and anyone who understands that a sense of humor is essential to a long-term marriage.
Judi Schindler Fun Facts She became a skier at 50, an actor at 64 and an author at 75. She has one child, a son, who has produced six children of his own, which, she says, is "a pretty good return on investment." Her parents, both entrepreneurs, sold their businesses in the 60s, bought a Volkswagen camper and went on the road with no destination in mind. She used to create hand-sewn quilts. She majored in journalism because she wanted to be a police reporter, "like my two role models, Brenda Starr and Lois Lane." She can do a two-minute plank. She was in the same high school class as Ann-Margaret. She has been a member of Weight Watchers since 2001 and still goes to weekly meetings. She collects birdhouses. She survived a heart attack at 39, breast cancer, bladder cancer and two bouts of lung cancer. (Not fun, but worth noting.)
091: Nadine Artemis | Living Libations
Nadine Artemis’s official biography begins when she first combined flasks of essential oils to recreate Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps for a school science fair. These early botanical-inclinations led her on petal-pathed adventures in creating organic beauty balms, reviving elixirs, healing oral care and perfumed poetry to quench the natural yearnings of many.
Nadine opened North America’s first full concept Aromatherapy store, Osmosis, in 1994. Since that day she has received glowing reviews for her formulations in the Hollywood Reporter, Flare, the New York Times, Vogueand The National Post.
Nadine has addressed gatherings at conferences, appeared on television and radio shows, and she is a frequent commentator on health and beauty topics for national media outlets.
In addition to her innovative product work, Nadine is the author of two books: Renegade Beauty: Reveal and Revive Your Natural Radiance andHolistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums. Her healing creations, along with her concept of “renegade beauty,”encourage effortlessness and inspire people to rethink conventional notions of beauty and wellness.
Celebrity fans include Shailene Woodley, Carrie-Anne Moss and Mandy Moore. Aveda founder, Horst Rechelbacher, calls Nadine “a pure flower of creativity.” Alanis Morissette describes her as “a true sense-visionary."