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Why I Started My Mission-Driven Business

Mission Driven Business

Release Date: 05/25/2021

Launching a family-run business with Chantel Valentene and Brian Mackin show art Launching a family-run business with Chantel Valentene and Brian Mackin

Mission Driven Business

Brian interviews entrepreneurial couple Chantel Valentene and Brian Mackin. Chantel made a name for herself building brands in the fashion industry and is now the managing director of a socially conscious design studio, while Brian founded an artist residency and a creative agency. Now, they’ve joined forces to launch Start Today OmniMedia. On the podcast, Chantel and Brian discuss how building their business has created choice and freedom in their lives. They also share how they use their family values to pick the right opportunities and clients.   Episode Highlights The definition of...

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Why I Started My Mission-Driven Business show art Why I Started My Mission-Driven Business

Mission Driven Business

In this very special episode, host Brian Thompson opens up like never before. He shares why he started his own mission-driven business, and some of his highs and lows he encountered in the process. You’ll also learn the difference between strategy and tactics, and why entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily more risky than being a W-2 employee. If you’ve wanted to know more about Brian and his own story, this episode, hosted by Latarsha Stewart, is for you.

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Brian chats with Mike Michalowicz, the mastermind behind Profit First Professionals and author of books for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Mike shares his experience growing several multi-million dollar companies only to lose almost everything. He then details how hitting rock bottom became the foundation upon which he built the Profit First method, which has yielded him 14 years of profitable quarters and is now used by more than 500,000 small businesses.

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Brian chats with Ron Saharyan, co-founder and managing partner of Profit First Professionals, an exclusive community of accounts, bookkeepers, and business coaches who help their clients build profitable businesses. Ron discusses the merits of using an envelope-based budget system for business. He also preaches the strengths of running a profitable business and breaking the entrepreneurial doctrine of sacrifice in the process.

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Brian talks with Pamela Capalad, a CFP, Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC), and the founder of Brunch & Budget. Through Brunch & Budget, Pam helps people who feel ashamed or embarrassed about money have a safe and friendly place to talk about it and make real financial progress. Pam shares why it’s important to tackle both the technical and emotional sides of money and why running a business mostly sucks.

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Brain talks with Phuong Luong, CFP, an educator, financial planner, and investment strategist focused on economic justice. In the episode, Phuong shares her winding path to founding Just Wealth, a financial planning firm for individuals and families. You’ll also learn the best piece of advice she received when starting her business and why she believes education about structural barriers to wealth can be empowering.

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Brian talks with Jacob Padrón, an artistic director working to create a more inclusive American theater. In this episode, Jacob praises the merits of values-based leadership and a practice-what-you-preach organizational culture. You’ll also hear why Jacob admires leaders who can ask for help -- a strategy he tries to employ in his role as artistic director of the Tony-award-winning Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT.

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In this episode, Brian chats with Bill Bynum, the founder and CEO of HOPE, a family of financial institutions serving economically distressed areas of the Deep South. You’ll learn Bill’s definition of a mission-driven business, what motivated him to found HOPE, and the unique challenges he faces working in the Deep South as opposed to in Silicon Valley or New York City. Bill also shares why institutions like HOPE are part of the solution to closing racial wealth gaps.

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Mission Driven Business

Brian chats with Dawn Hancock, the founder of socially conscious creative studio Firebelly Design. In the first episode of the Mission Driven Business podcast, you'll learn the life event that compelled Dawn to create her company at age 25, the grit that led to the studio's two-decade-long winning streak, and Dawn's plans for the future.

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What to Expect from the Mission Driven Business show art What to Expect from the Mission Driven Business

Mission Driven Business

You can create a business with impact and profit. The Mission Driven Business podcast is designed to show you how. In this introduction, host Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, outlines the five principles for creating successful mission-driven businesses. You'll also hear his goals for the podcast, and what you can expect to learn in each episode.

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More Episodes

In this very special episode, host Brian Thompson opens up like never before. He shares why he started his own mission-driven business, and some of his highs and lows he encountered in the process. You’ll also learn the difference between strategy and tactics, and why entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily more risky than being a W-2 employee. If you’ve wanted to know more about Brian and his own story, this episode, hosted by Latarsha Stewart, is for you.

 

Episode Highlights

Mission-driven businesses serve.

For Brian, mission-driven businesses have both a purpose motive and a profit motive. Brian wants clients and listeners to know that you don’t have to run a non-profit in order to run a business that does good and makes an impact.

“The underlying current of all this is that mission-driven businesses serve. And you can make money and make a good living by serving,” he said. “That's been my focus and why I try to meld these two together. Because you don't have to do one or the other. You can do both.”

Things happen at the right time.

Brian had been working at a tax law firm when everything in his personal and professional life shifted. The partners of the law firm split up; his long-term relationship ended; and marriage equality was making huge strides. Brian ended up using the uncertainty to forge the future he wanted. 

“So you have this moment in time to say — What do you actually want to do? What do you want to do with your life?” he said. “Having the support of my friends and my ex-husband and all that just came together at the right time.”

Find your niche.

During this time of uncertainty, Brian decided to start a financial planning firm focusing on LGBTQ couples. But he soon learned that his core audience was a target market and not a niche.

When looking at his client base, Brian realized his roster included a lot of business owners who were coming to him because of his background in tax law — and he enjoyed the complexity of meeting their needs. So he redefined his business focus as helping LGBT business owners who run mission-driven businesses.

At the same time, Brian is passionate about closing the racial wealth gap, which is 3:1 for people of color who are entrepreneurs versus 11:1 for non-business owners. He sees his niche and business as an opportunity to fulfill that motivation as well.

“You have to serve a specific amount of people, so you should make sure that those people are the people that you want to serve and the people that you want to hang out with and the people that you want to talk to,” Brian said. “It's a very significant mind shift that really freed me up and allowed me to really enjoy the process.”

Let go of perfectionism.

One of the hardest lessons Brian had to learn on his entrepreneurial journey was to let go of his perfectionism and live in the moment.

"I had to do it out of necessity because nothing was perfect. And nothing was exactly the way that I wanted,” Brian said. “I learned how to adjust and pivot and navigate. I had to be okay and get okay with things not being perfect, and things needing to just go.”

Now, Brian is used to constantly trying things out and learning from them. He resonates with the metaphor that running a business is like building an airplane while trying to fly it.

“You just don't either have enough time or energy or space to try to do everything perfectly,” he said. “Which is actually a huge relief for me to realize it actually doesn't need to be perfect, and things still happen, and things still go.”

 

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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.