48 episodes

Diverse entrepreneurs share their experiences, strength, and hope to help mission-driven businesses thrive. In a series of intimate conversations, attorney and CFP Brian Thompson and his guests provide practical steps to create businesses with impact and profit.

Mission Driven Business Brian Thompson

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

Diverse entrepreneurs share their experiences, strength, and hope to help mission-driven businesses thrive. In a series of intimate conversations, attorney and CFP Brian Thompson and his guests provide practical steps to create businesses with impact and profit.

    Diversifying The Financial Services Industry with Choir

    Diversifying The Financial Services Industry with Choir

    Brian chats with Sonya Dreizler and Liv Gagnon, the co-founders of Choir, a business dedicated to lifting the voices of people of color, women, and non-binary professionals in industries historically represented by white men. Sonya and Liv share why they started with a focus on the financial services industry. They also discuss how they’ve adapted to meet the needs of their customers while staying true to their company’s mission.
    Episode Highlights
    Mission-driven businesses look inward and outward.
    Like other guests on the podcast, Liv defines a mission-driven business as one that balances doing good with making a financial impact for those involved with the business. Sonya expanded on that definition by noting that mission-driven businesses can also apply their mission within the company itself. At Choir, that means not only helping other companies diversify people speaking at conferences and in the media but also hiring internal professionals and contractors from diverse backgrounds.
    “What’s the mission you’re accomplishing with the business, and what are you doing inside of the business as well?” Sonya asked.
    “The financial impact is going to go back to people who have been underpaid, underserved,” Liv added.
    Being aware of a problem is powerful.
    Part of Choir’s mission is to use data to make organizers aware of how conferences lack diversity. A recent analysis by the company showed that men of color, in particular, are lacking in the financial services conference circuit. It’s a data point that may be surprising but is a good starting point for change.
    “Just knowing and understanding the challenge makes next year a lot easier to increase representation — not just for representation’s sake but to make it a more interesting event and draw more people,” Sonya said.
    Successful businesses adapt.
    Liv and Sonya set out to connect professionals from underrepresented backgrounds with conference circuits and media. But how they’re achieving that aim has already changed a few times based on client needs. For instance, the platform they had initially wanted to build, Voices, got pushed back to launch the Choir certification first. They also iterated their pricing structure for Choir based on client feedback.
    “You become so much more emotionally tied to your ideas and your business model, so it is a challenge every time you have to pivot because you’ve put so much heart into it,” Liv said.
    “People have a lot of opinions about what we’re doing,” Sonya added. “We have changed things because of people’s suggestions and made what we offer better, and we’ve also looked at feedback and said, ‘It doesn’t fit with our mission.’”
    Resources + Links
    Choir: Website, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube Sony’s Social Media: Website, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Liv’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Brian’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast 
    Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
    On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.

    • 50 min
    Numbers For The New Year

    Numbers For The New Year

    Brian kicks off 2023 with tactical tips to start the new year. Now that you’re hopefully relaxed and ready for a new year, Brian digs into the numbers to give you some targets to aim for over the next few months. He covers revenue, retirement, health savings accounts, and more.
    Episode Highlights
    Look for new revenue figures.
    Because of inflation, many revenue and tax figures have increased quite a bit in 2023, meaning you can make more money and still pay less in total tax. For example, in 2023 single filers with a taxable income of $95,376 - $182,100 will have their last dollar taxed at 24%. Last year, that same tax bracket ended at $170,050.
    Don’t forget the QBI deductions.
    If you’re a business owner, don’t forget about the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction. QBI allows pass-through entities like partnerships and S-Corps to take a 20% deduction on their business income, saving some businesses thousands of dollars.
    Importantly, you lose the QBI deduction if you exceed certain income thresholds. For instance, the QBI deduction begins to phase out at $182,100 in taxable income and goes away after $232,1000 in taxable income.
    Use retirement accounts to shelter income from taxes.
    Maximizing contributions to retirement accounts is one strategy to avoid taxes and save money for your future self. Here are some things to know about common retirement plans:
    401(k)s and Solo 401(k)s: Employees can contribute up to $22,5000 plus an additional $7,5000 in catch-up contributions if you are 50 or older. Employers contribute another $43,500. SEPs: You can contribute 25% of your net self-employment earnings or $66,000 -- whichever is less. SIMPLE IRAs: Employees can contribute up to $15,500 with a catch-up contribution of $3,500 if you are 50 or older. Traditional IRA or Roth IRA: You can contribute up to $6,500 with a catch-up contribution of $1,000. Importantly, Roth IRAs have income range phase-outs, starting at $138,000 for single filers and $218,000 for married filers. Consider opening an HSA.
    A Health Savings Account (HSA) is one of Brian’s favorite savings vehicles and one of your few options to save money on taxes up until April of the following year. An HSA offers triple tax savings:
    The contributions are tax-deductible. The money grows tax-free in your account. Withdrawals are tax-free if the money is used to pay qualified medical expenses. For 2023, you can contribute up to $3,850 for eligible individual plans and $7,750 for eligible family plans. You can also open and contribute to an HSA if you’re self-employed.
    Resources + Links
    2023 Important Tax Numbers PDF Brian’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast
    Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
    On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.

    • 7 min
    Your Year-End Checklist

    Your Year-End Checklist

    Can you believe it’s already the end of the year? Now is the time to celebrate with friends and family, reflect on the past 12 months, and plan for the new year. To help you out, Brian created a checklist you can use to review 2022 and start 2023 with a clean state. The checklist includes business and personal to-do items as well as links to resources sure to help you out.
    Business Checklist
    1. Review your goals.
    The end of the year is the perfect time to review the goals you made at the beginning of 2022 and set new ones for 2023. Ask yourself:
    How did I do this year? What did I accomplish that I’m proud of? What could I have done better? 2. Update your cash flow.
    If you’re using the Profit First system, look at your buckets and see if one looks too full or too sparse, then adjust your allocations accordingly. Remember to not make any adjustments of more than 3% per quarter.
    3. Review your profit and loss.
    At this point in the year, you should have a good sense of your gross business income. If you have a little extra profit this year, look at ways to shelter some of that income so you’re not paying unnecessary income or self-employment tax.
    4. Find your tax return.
    December may seem a little early to think about taxes, but while you have some downtime, it can be worthwhile to organize and prepare for tax season. Finding your tax return will also help you out in your year-end review.
    5. Max out your retirement savings.
    If you’re a business owner and need to shelter some profit, retirement accounts like a Solo 401(k) or SEP IRA are great resources.
    6. Defer income and incur expenses.
    The end-of-the-year is an excellent time to defer income until 2023 or incur business expenses that you know you’ll have at the beginning of next year. This is an easy way to reduce your tax liability as long as the expenses are ordinary, helpful, and necessary.
    7. Consider out-of-the-box expenses.
    When considering expenses, don’t forget some out-of-the-box expenses, such as employee benefits, cell phone reimbursement, educational assistance, or dependent care assistance. You can also expense up to $25 per client for gifts as well as expenses for a holiday party for your staff.
    8. Update your asset list.
    Did you buy new assets in 2022? Review your list of assets associated with your business and make sure it’s up-to-date before the new year. You can also consider what equipment you no longer need and what you can acquire if you’re looking to reduce your bottom line.
    9. Review your business structure.
    When you evaluate your business structure and qualified business income (QBI) deduction, don’t forget to consider setting up a Solo 401(k) before the deadline of December 31.
    10. Don’t forget pandemic programs.
    We’re coming to the end of the government pandemic benefits for 2020 and 2021, so don’t forget to review whether you can receive any benefits from programs like the PPP and ERC.
    Personal Checklist
    1. Review your goals.
    Review where you succeeded and where you fell short. Use that information to decide what changes you can make in 2023.
    2. Update your budget.
    The end of the year gives you a solid endpoint to assess whether you matched the goal you set at the outset of 2022. It’s also a great time to create a budget that finally works.
    3. Create a holiday spending bucket.
    Consider how much you want to spend this holiday season. Create a separate bucket just for the holidays and stop spending when the money's gone. You'll thank yourself when January comes and you don’t have a huge credit card bill.
    4. Spend the benefits you’ll lose.
    Whether it’s vacation days, a medical flexible spending account, or a dependent care flexible spending account, some workplace benefits don’t roll over to 2023. Take stock of your remaining benefits and use them to your advantage before January 1.
    5. Make charitable contributions.
    December 31 is the last day your donations can go on your 2022 ta

    • 10 min
    Scaling With The Right Clients with Christopher Dale

    Scaling With The Right Clients with Christopher Dale

    Brian chats with Christopher Dale, CFP, the founder of Life After Grief Financial planning. Through his practice, Chris helps clients in grief navigate financial matters by providing objective, impartial, and confidential financial advice.
    On the episode, Chris shares how his own life experiences, including the loss of a parent and a child, served as a catalyst for him narrowing in on the niche of his business. He also shares his strategies and tactics for keeping the business impactful and profitable as it grows.
    Episode Highlights
    A mission-driven business is a life passion.
    Chris has a very specific definition of a mission-driven business: “I describe it as a life passion turned into a career where you never feel like you’re working.”
    That definition certainly rings true for Chris, who started his financial planning firm to step away from his stressful corporate job and focus on his family. It also allows him to use his own life experiences to help others navigate death and illness.
    “I had all of this grief life experience, and then you couple this with the financial experience, and I’m uniquely suited to help somebody that is exactly like me,” Chris said.
    Owning a niche can lead to unexpected opportunities.
    Chris knew he had found his perfect niche when he couldn’t find any other companies that provided financial expertise to clients experiencing grief. But while marketing his niche to clients, he also connected with financial advisers aspiring to learn more, which led to opportunities he didn’t imagine at the start.
    “It evolved into me making an online training course, and the feedback that I got from it was wonderful,” Chris said.
    Grow with the right clients.
    At this point in his career, Chris doesn’t have to grow his business that fast. He’s instead prioritizing picking the right clients for his skills and services than picking clients he’ll have to stop serving in the future. By being picky with clients, Chris can have a unique relationship with each person.
    “When I look at my client base, there’s not one individual that I would like to shed,” Chris said. “That’s a pretty good feeling.”
    Even though Chris is holding capacity at the moment, he’s still laying the foundation to grow his business in the future by nurturing the marketing for his services. However, as a business owner, he appreciates that he doesn’t have to pick between growing his business and spending time with his family.
    “If I have to choose between something to do with my boys or my wife or bringing in new clients, I am going to absolutely choose to impact my family,” Chris said.
    Resources + Links
    Life After Grief Financial Planning Life After Grief Consulting Chris’s Social Media: Twitter, LinkedIn Brian’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast
    Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
    On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.

    • 38 min
    When Pivoting Is Hard with Aimee Kandrac

    When Pivoting Is Hard with Aimee Kandrac

    Brian chats with Aimee Kandrac, the co-founder and CEO of WhatFriendsDo and the first female CEO in the state of Indiana to close a $500,000 funding round. The WhatFriendsDo platform offers a simple way to create organized, actionable support for families experiencing a crisis, and Aimee’s work is instrumental for bringing communities together during times of hardship.
    On the episode, Aimee shares how a friend’s terminal cancer diagnosis at age 25 was the catalyst to create WhatFriendsDo. She also opens up about her struggle to raise venture funding as a female entrepreneur in the Midwest and how the business has pivoted to reach the right clients and stay profitable.
    Episode Highlights
    Most entrepreneurs run mission-driven businesses.
    Aimee says that most entrepreneurs qualify as owners of mission-driven businesses because entrepreneurs wouldn’t have the passion and energy to build a business if they didn’t feel like they were fulfilling a personal mission. For Aimee, that mission is to connect and help people, which is a central tenet of WhatFriendsDo.
    “I feel really lucky because the mission that I’m fulfilling fits really nicely with the passion that I have for helping other people and connecting other people,” Aimee said.
    Pivoting can be tough but necessary.
    When WhatFriendsDo started, it was a B2C business in which the customers were the same as the end-users: families in the midst of a life-changing event. However, about five years ago, the company pivoted to stay profitable, shifting to a B2B model in which the company licenses its program to organizations with the same end-users. The change was hard for Aimee.
    “Businesses have different needs, want different ROI expectations than my end users, and I still struggle with it sometimes because I’m just so passionable about the end user,” she said.
    The pivot came with the added challenge of identifying industries that not only could benefit from the WhatFriendsDo platform but also understood the technology behind it. While WhatFriendsDo is still refining its niche, the company is able to do value-based sales pricing better than before the change.
    “We started out in healthcare and sold to hospital systems, so hospital systems have the opportunity to white label an app for their patients,” Aimee said. “This is a way for a hospital or healthcare provider to extend their reach beyond the doctor’s office, beyond the hospital walls.”
    Get out there and try it.
    Aimee knows first-hand the glass ceiling she faced when raising funds to build WhatFriendsDo. In 2016, she became the first female CEO in her home state of Indiana to close a half-million-dollar venture funding round. In at least one case, she was the first woman to pitch a venture capital group.
    We still have a long way to go, and Aimee cited statistics that female founders and people of color are still getting less than 7% of venture funding. Which is all the more reason for Mission Driven Business podcast listeners to take charge and start their own businesses.
    “Get out there and try it,” Aimee said. “If it fails, then fix it or now you know not to do it. But it’s better to go do it than to regret having not tried.”
    Resources + Links
    Aimee Kandrac: Website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn WhatFriendsDo: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Brian’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast
    Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
    On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them

    • 43 min
    Creating The Products You Want with Anjali Jariwala

    Creating The Products You Want with Anjali Jariwala

    Brian chats with Anjali Jariwala, CPA, CFP, an experienced investment manager and founder of FIT Advisors, a financial planning firm serving physicians and business owners. Anjali shares her newest passion project, Why We Eat with Our Hands, a children’s book that describes the rich beauty of Indian culture.
    On the episode, Anjali highlights how the lessons she learned building her business have helped her to navigate the book writing process. She also shares what she wished she knew before starting her book and how the idea started as a gift for her daughter Nyla.
    Episode Highlights
    Mission-driven businesses make an impact on your well-being.
    Anjali says a mission-driven business is one in which the primary goal is to have a bigger impact, either through the work the company is doing or through the work of the individuals behind the company. Anjali’s company FIT Advisors provided her with the resources to write Why We Eat With Our Hands, helping her to create something different and have an impact.
    “FIT Advisors gave me surplus to be able to really fund this project and to fund it in a way in which I didn’t have to cut corners because I had the resources available to do so,” Anjali said. “That to me was such an eye opener because I can’t believe FIT me helped me in turning this passion into a reality.”
    Build the right support team.
    Through her work at FIT Advisors, Anjali deftly creates financial plans and puts a winning team into place. She used the same approach to writing a children's book, which was critical because she didn’t have any prior experience in publishing.
    To create her winning team, Anjali found a group of professionals and consultants who “just got it” and could provide her with valuable advice as someone new to the industry. She also valued the input of her daughter Nyla, who was the inspiration for the project.
    “It really stemmed from trying to build Nyla’s inclusive bookshelf and wanting her to have books that she could not only see herself in but also challenged preconceived notions,” Anjali said. “And I was really just coming up short on books that featured South Asian children, also written by South Asian authors.”
    Don’t undersell your work.
    Because Why We Eat With Our Hands is a true passion project for Anjali, she didn’t think about a pricing plan or the break-even point. Even so, she needed to set a selling price for her book. Her team gave her a recommended range but advised she didn’t undersell herself since women authors tend to underprice their books compared to men.
    “I want to make sure we’re charging appropriately for the work that we’re doing because we do good work,” Anjali said. “We shouldn’t sell ourselves short with how we price our services.”
    Anjali ended up pricing her book on the high end of the range. Why We Eat With Our Hands debuted on September 27, becoming a bestseller on Amazon New Releases and breaking one of her distributor’s records for first-day sales.
    Resources + Links
    Why We Eat with Our Hands: A Celebration of Indian Culture and Heritage by Anjali Jariwala (author) and Shelley Seguinot (illustrator) Fit Advisors Anjali’s Social Media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Brian’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast
    Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
    On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

WonderWoman1212 ,

A Must-Listen For Entrepreneurs and Side Hustlers

Mission-Driven Business has completely changed the way I think about my own “side hustle” and is a must listen for any current or aspiring entrepreneur. Brian and his guests get into the details of running a business, and there’s always at least one actionable takeaway I can use — no matter the topic. I also LOVE that Brian uses his platform to feature guests from diverse backgrounds, which makes the conversations and advice all the more meaningful.

Millennial Financial Planner ,

Amazing content

Brian and his guests do an amazing job demonstrating why having a mission behind your business soooo important!

Alka RD ,

Inspiring!

I really appreciate the balance of business, passion and leading with an authentic mission. It’s an inspirational reminder that work can be more holistic and that your values can drive real change.

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