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Launching a Family-Run Business with Chantel Valentene and Brian Mackin

Mission Driven Business

Release Date: 06/08/2021

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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 mission-driven can be broad.

For Brian, a mission-driven business is one where you commit to actualizing a vision without profit being the central motivator. He likes that definition because it’s a little broader, allowing entrepreneurs to define their mission beyond just social or environmental justice causes.

“It’s really important to allow people to define what mission driven means for them individually,” he said.

Chantel agreed with that definition, cautioning that some businesses may abuse the idea of being socially responsible without following through. She also said it can be helpful to think of a mission-driven business as a values-driven one -- something that she and Brian aspire to do with their own company.

 “As a family-run business, the mission that we have is maybe more internal,” she said. “Does this business serve who we are as a family? Does it serve our intentions? Does it serve our values in our life as we’re looking to move forward?”

 

Not solely focusing on profit can give you freedom.

Both Brian and Chantel describe some of their early entrepreneurial efforts as self-serving. But as their careers have grown, they’ve found passion and purpose in using their jobs to also make an impact. As a result, they have naturally evolved towards running mission-driven businesses that serve them and the greater good.

“The purpose drives what the company is doing and what I’m doing,” Chantel said. “The profit is there to serve us, not for us to be enveloped in making money for no reason.”

Brian expanded on that idea, saying that focusing on a mission has provided him and Chantel the freedom to bring to life the vision and ideas of other business owners they believe in.

“If everything that we were focusing on was the bottom line, it would have been much harder to migrate and evolve into those spaces,” he said.

 

You don’t always have to know the destination.

Brian and Chantel didn’t intentionally set out to start Start Today OmniMedia. But when the pandemic hit, they saw an opportunity to use their complementary talents to meet interesting people and do interesting things.

“It was a level of self awareness that we both have and open mindedness to what’s in front of you,” Brian said.

Chantel agreed, adding, “You don’t always have to know the end of where you’re going.”

That mindset ultimately led to the creation of the Start Today podcast, which in turn led to the joint business venture. It also contributed to the podcast’s tagline: The best things in life are on the other side of fear.

“I think it’s obvious that we took that to heart,” Brian said. “How do we not live this? Because this opportunity is right in front of us, and we don’t know when it’s going to turn out to be.”

 

Resources + Links

 

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.