35 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 • 11 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.

    Hot Entrepreneurship Tips with Yana Tallon-Hicks

    Hot Entrepreneurship Tips with Yana Tallon-Hicks

    Brian Thompson chats with Yana Tallon-Hicks, a pleasure-positive sex therapist, educator, and writer. On the episode, Yana shares her unexpected journey to becoming a relationship therapist and business owner. She also gives tips for using a sliding scale fee model and offers insight into the process of writing her upcoming book, Hot and Unbothered: How to Think About, Talk About, and Have the Sex You Really Want.
    Episode Highlights
    Make money in a way that aligns with your values.
    Yana defines a mission-driven business as one that pays attention to its values and goals so that it can make money in a way that aligns with those values and goals.
    “It’s a business that pays attention to what their values and goals are every step of the way, to the best of their ability,” she said. “Because at the end of the day, a business needs to make money … and I think that it can still be done with their mission and your values.”
    Be intentional about structuring your time.
    Yana’s career spans her incorporated work as a relationship therapist, sex writing, and education projects. Juggling all of these responsibilities requires a lot of balance, and she blocks out time dedicated to specific projects, like writing her new book and general administrative tasks.
    Yana is also a co-parent, which has prompted her to keep her schedule regimented to ensure she can be fully present for her child when she’s with him. While she felt busy before she had her child, she’s found being an entrepreneur and a parent has helped her unlock a new level of efficiency.
    “Having a kid really helped me get into much better balance,” Yana said. “I actually think I’m doing more work, more efficiently, and better.”
    Set clear expectations from the start.
    Being part of the LGBT+ community, Yana knows that she’ll run into her therapy clients more often than some therapists might, so she lays out ground rules and expectations upfront. For instance, Yana asks current clients not to follow her on social media, and her intake form includes a paragraph that clients may see her while out in public.
    She is also clear about her use of a sliding scale fee model and has prices listed on her website and intake form. Her clients have been very responsive to the model, and people who can pay the highest amount generally do.
    “Business owners assume that if you do a sliding scale, people will always pay the bottom of your scale, and that is just not true,” Yana said. “The trick is you really do need to be truly okay with whatever people choose.”
    Resources + Links
    Yana’s Website Hot and Unbothered: How to Think About, Talk About, and Have the Sex You Really Want Yana’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, 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.

    • 46 min
    Former Inmate to Business Magnate with Coss Marte

    Former Inmate to Business Magnate with Coss Marte

    Brian Thompson chats with Coss Marte, a former inmate turned business magnate. Coss is the founder of CONBODY, the first fitness method developed in prison. Through CONBODY and his two other ventures, Coss is fulfilling his mission to aid and uplift the formerly incarcerated community.
    On the episode, Coss shares how he found his passion for fitness after losing 70 pounds during his incarceration as well as his struggle to start a company as someone in and out of the prison system. He also discusses how his “figure it out and survive” motto has spurred him to create three ventures, including one in the legal cannabis industry.
    Episode Highlights
    Mission-driven businesses do good from front to back.
    Coss defines a mission-driven business as one that doesn’t just say it's doing good upfront -- but also does something good on the back end.
    “You want to make money and do good as well,” he said.
    For Coss, the tripartite mission of CONBODY is to destigmatize the formerly incarcerated community, ease their transition back to society, and change the criminal justice system -- all barriers he’s faced as a formerly incarcerated person himself.
    “I saw the pain I had to go through, and I really didn’t want people who were my friend or my people that were coming out of the system to go through that,” he said.
    You don’t need a formal business plan.
    Coss created his business plan for CONBODY while in solitary confinement. He didn’t have a formal mission, list of values, or vision statement. But he did write down the extensive workout he used to get fit while incarcerated and how he could turn that into an opportunity.
    “I did what I wrote,” Coss said. “I came home and I started doing it in the local park where I grew up, and eventually, one person turned to two, to three, to five, to six, and my mission started evolving.”
    If you don’t ask, you don’t eat.
    Coss’s mother always told him: If you don’t ask, you don’t eat. It’s a strategy he took to heart when developing CONBODY.
    “When I came home, I validated by getting one customer in the street, and just stopping them and talking to them and telling them what I’m doing,” Coss said. “I got a gazillion nos, but fortunately enough, I’ve had a few yeses.”
    Coss eagerly shares his mother’s advice with fellow entrepreneurs who have smart but unvalidated business plans. That includes Ivy League MBA students who have incredible, technical business ideas but have yet to ask whether anybody wants their products.
    “You gotta ask,” Coss said. “If you go to the market and nobody wants this shit you just lost a lot of time.”
    Resources + Links
    CONBODY: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube Second Chance Studios: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn  CONBUD: Instagram, Facebook, Forbes write up Conbody the book Coss’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, 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.

    • 40 min
    Redefining Disability with Hannah Olson

    Redefining Disability with Hannah Olson

    Brian Thompson chats with Hannah Olson, an advocate for people with disabilities and co-founder and CEO of Chronically Capable and Disclo. Through her companies, Hannah helps people with disabilities navigate their careers and companies manage employee health disclosures and accommodation requests.
    On the episode, Hannah discusses why she chose entrepreneurship after her aggressive treatment schedule for Lyme disease resulted in her having to leave her dream job. She also shares advice she received while fundraising and why disabilities are something to be celebrated.
    Episode Highlights
    The mission is at the center of mission-driven businesses.
    Hannah describes a mission-driven business as one that puts its mission at the center of everything it does. At her companies, she goes one step further by hiring people who are also centered around the mission of empowering and employing people with disabilities and chronic conditions.
    “It’s less about the excitement of the business, but more so, at the end of the day, who are we helping? Who are we serving?” Hannah said.
    One business idea can lead to another.
    In May 2019, Hannah and her co-founder launched their first venture, Chronically Capable, to help people with disabilities and chronic conditions connect with inclusive employers. The company grew quickly, but as it did, Hannah learned about an unmet and unique need for HR professionals to manage employees’ health conditions and accommodation requests in safely and privately.
    Hannah and her co-founder quickly realized they could turn that need into a business opportunity. They raised funding and launched their second venture, Disclo, in May 2022. Disclo takes the mission of Chronically Capable one step further by bringing compliance tools to HR managers.
    “We initially thought the problem was just being able to find a job and an employer who cared, but we realized there was a much, much bigger problem because if you get the job, how are you going to keep the job?” Hannah said. “But when it comes to compliance, it’s not a nice-to-have anymore; it’s a must have.”
    Sleep is a key business strategy.
    The entrepreneur culture espouses the value of hustle, but Hannah pointed out that you can’t hustle hard without adequate sleep. That’s why she said sleep is the foremost business strategy she has to share with listeners.
    “Sleep is so important for anyone, but especially for me as someone who has been recovering from a very, very bad illness and also as someone running a business,” Hannah said. “This hustle culture has this mentality that we have to be working, and the times you’re not working, you’re not doing anything. But if you don’t sleep, you’re not going to work well the next day.”
    Learn from no.
    When Hannah was raising funding for Disclo, she received about 120 rejections. After the first few, she took the advice of a friend to ask people who said no either to provide feedback she could use to adapt and change or to introduce her to three other people.
    “I started adopting that practice and I learned so much in a very short time,” Hannah said. “I was able to fundraise very, very quickly. In a month we went from not having any luck to people knocking at the door.”
    Resources + Links
    Chronically Capable: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Disclo: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,  Hannah’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 supp

    • 35 min
    Advising Women in Tech with Danika Waddell

    Advising Women in Tech with Danika Waddell

    Brian Thompson chats with Danika Waddell, founder of Xena Financial Planning. As a certified financial planner, registered life planner, and certified student loan professional, Danika focuses on helping women who are in tech or otherwise receive equity compensation.
    On the episode, Danika shares her journey to starting her fee-only firm in 2020, including why she made the entrepreneurship leap and how she’s managed the extremely fast growth. She also discusses the importance of having difficult conversations with clients and how she defines success.
    Episode Highlights
    Mission-driven businesses are meaningful.
    For Danika, the idea of a mission-driven business comes back to doing meaningful work. When she started in the finance industry nearly 10 years ago, that sort of meaning was missing from her job.
    “When I got into this industry almost a decade ago, what I was doing previously was very transactional, and I just felt there was something very lacking,” she said.
    Danika wanted to have more meaningful relationships with clients, leading her to pivot from accounting to starting her own financial planning firm. Now, she regularly gets the opportunity to have a deep connection with clients.
    “There’s something just so satisfying about having the types of engagements with my clients in exactly the way I want to have them, and being able to show up for my clients in a way that I’m not restricted by my employer or anything like that,” she said.
    Uncertainty can lead to growth.
    Danika wasn’t expecting to start her business. After a crisis at her old firm, she decided very quickly to try entrepreneurship. She first defined the types of clients she wanted to serve and how she wanted to serve them, then she created a space for herself and her clients to be fully who they are at all times.
    “I’m thrilled about what happened because I was comfortable enough that I probably would have never done this if I wasn’t forced to,” she said.
    Define success by impact - not dollars.
    Danika emphasized that making money is not the priority of her business. While she does take into account revenue and sustainability, she measures her success by impact - not dollars.
    “I definitely do not define success by the numbers,” Danika said. “I do define success by the impact I’m having on clients.”
    For instance, Danika felt great success in supporting a long-term client through a car purchase. As she thinks about growing her business further, she wants to help more people feel that kind of empowerment.
    “I’m not done,” Danika said. “Success to me will look like reaching more people. I don’t know how that’s going to happen yet, but I know that it is going to happen.”
    Resources + Links
    Xena Financial Planning Danika’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
    Financial Planning for Sex Workers with Lindsey Swanson

    Financial Planning for Sex Workers with Lindsey Swanson

    Brian Thompson chats with Lindsey Swanson, a certified financial planner and founder of Stripper Financial Planning. Lindsey started her fee-only financial planning firm after noticing a severe lack of financial advice for workers in adult entertainment. Through her company, she offers tailored advice in a supportive, kind environment. On the episode, Lindsey shares financial challenges that workers in the sex industry face, including restrictions from banking institutions, payment processors, social media companies, and website hosting firms. She also discusses the importance of choosing the right people to seek advice from, and why she’s thinking of changing her company name.
    Episode Highlights
    Mission-driven businesses have integrity that others can see.
    It can be hard for people within an organization to self-diagnose a mission-driven business, according to Lindsey. She believes that others outside of a company may be better at recognizing whether a mission-driven business is truly accomplishing a higher goal.
    “So many times, there’s a business that alleges they have a mission, but I don’t see any actions coming from that,” Lindsey said. “For me and my own business, it comes down to having a direct line between what I’m trying to accomplish and making a profit.”
    Seek advice from supportive people.
    Although Lindsey knew the sex work industry is stigmatized, she was surprised that some people wouldn’t give her good business advice if they didn’t believe in her business’s mission.
    “One of the things that I realized not early enough is that I can’t ask for advice from people who don’t want the same things as me,” Lindsey said. “I could talk to whoever in marketing or branding or whatnot, and if they don’t think that what I’m doing is worthwhile, they don’t give me good advice.”
    For instance, some marketers don’t want sex workers to be seen or heard, and Lindsey felt their advice was tainted by a belief that they didn’t actually want her to succeed. Now, Lindsey specifically seeks out advice from people who are supportive of sex workers.
    “Otherwise, I’m not going to get people who are supporting me,” Lindsey said. “And that sounds obvious if you say it, but I thought anyone could give me good advice because everyone has something they can bring to the table.”
    Not all industries are treated equally online.
    One issue Lindsey faces is online censorship of the sex industry. She initially thought marketing and publicity would revolve around SEO and key terms, but she says the reality is more of a nightmare.
    “A lot of my clients are starting to create their own websites and host them offshore not because it’s illegal but because there’s so much censorship that happens on Squarespace and Wix and Wordpress,” Lindsey said. “I built my site on Squarespace, but I’m anticipating that at some point it’s going to get taken down. … And it’s so much harder for people in the business.”
    Help your audience find you again and again.
    Website hosting is only one censorship-related challenge for Lindsey. One of the main words in her business name -- stripper -- gets censored on social media, which prompts the sex industry to use an evolving litany of alternative terms to outsmart the algorithms.
    While Lindsey is leaning into her company name as she grows her publicity and brand recognition, once she’s successful, she’ll likely have to create a more veiled version of her business so she can stay on the internet. It’s a move she’s learned from her clients.
    “It’s just amazing how good these individuals are at branding and recreating themselves and having an audience that’s so sticky that they are willing to find them again,” Lindsey said. “I have one client that has put up her TikTok 20 times. … She’s been taken down, and she's recreated that 20 times.”
    Resources + Links
    Stripper Financial Planning Lindey’s Social Media: Twitter, Li

    • 43 min
    Starting A New Business with Dr. Samantha Franklin

    Starting A New Business with Dr. Samantha Franklin

    Brian Thompson chats with Dr. Samantha Franklin, a school counselor, college professor, and founder of Intersection, LLC. Through Intersection, Samantha uses therapy and mediation to help people learn how to set boundaries and advocate for themselves. It's also the first company she's founded. On the episode, Samantha shares the values that led her to start her own mission-driven business and the areas she’s struggling with as a new entrepreneur. She also discusses how she balances working with three different types of clients and the tools she uses to charge what she’s worth.
    Episode Highlights
    Mission-driven businesses solve problems.
    For Samantha, the definition of a mission-driven business is an easy one. It’s a company that comes into being to solve a problem.
    “Maybe that person knows how to fill that gap in whatever industry it is,” Samantha said. “I’m on a mission. The mission is to solve a problem.”
    Through Intersection, Samantha helps people who have a hard time advocating for themselves in their business or personal life. She works in three different types of markets: therapy for families, mediation for divorced or divorcing couples, and advocacy for school counselors.
    “Some people don’t know how to use their voice, and some people just don’t know how to stand up for themselves,” Samantha said. “And so the overriding mission of my company is advocacy.”
    Charge what you're worth.
    One of the aspects of entrepreneurship that Samantha struggles with is charging clients appropriately. Part of that comes from her background as a teacher, which required her to work essentially for free at night. In the early days of her business, Samantha also doubted whether she should charge clients for some services she considered easy or straightforward.
    To learn what to charge, Samantha asked for advice and guidance from people in the consulting and financial realms. Although she’s come a long way, she’s still adjusting how she charges as she takes on new experiences and continues to grow her business.
    “It’s really figuring out how much jobs are going to cost,” Samantha said. “How much time is taking me away from my family, and deciding what it’s worth.”
    It’s okay to say no to clients -- even if you’re just starting.
    Saying no to the wrong clients is a theme that’s come up before on the podcast, and it’s a point echoed by Samantha. Even though her business is new, she emphasized the importance of setting boundaries.
    “As we build businesses, a lot of times we feel that we should take all the business that comes our way, and that’s not always true,” Samantha said. “Know your boundaries and what you need as a person and for whatever unit you have around you. It’s okay to say no to business. It’s okay to refer out.”
    Resources + Links
    Samantha’s Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, 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.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

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.

KarinOConnor20 ,

Love this new podcast!

Bringing together personal passion, values and business through a smart and experienced lens. ❤️

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