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My Year in Reflection

Mission Driven Business

Release Date: 12/28/2021

The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 47: Diversifying The Financial Services Industry with Choir show art The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 47: Diversifying The Financial Services Industry with Choir

Mission Driven Business

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...

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Numbers For The New Year show art Numbers For The New Year

Mission Driven Business

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...

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Your Year-End Checklist show art Your Year-End Checklist

Mission Driven Business

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...

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Scaling With The Right Clients with Christopher Dale show art Scaling With The Right Clients with Christopher Dale

Mission Driven Business

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...

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When Pivoting Is Hard with Aimee Kandrac show art When Pivoting Is Hard with Aimee Kandrac

Mission Driven Business

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...

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Creating The Products You Want with Anjali Jariwala show art Creating The Products You Want with Anjali Jariwala

Mission Driven Business

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...

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Charging What You’re Worth with Liz Szporn show art Charging What You’re Worth with Liz Szporn

Mission Driven Business

Brian chats with Liz Szporn, an accomplished executive and entrepreneur and current Profit First Professionals Homebase Guide. Through her work with Profit First Professionals, Liz helps to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty by coaching members to build more profitable businesses for themselves and their clients. On the episode, Liz opens up about her successes and struggles with founding a professional development organization for educators. She also digs deep into some of the strategies and tactics she shares with her clients for building a successful, profitable business, including the magic...

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Making Complex Ideas Simple with Carl Richards show art Making Complex Ideas Simple with Carl Richards

Mission Driven Business

Brian chats with Carl Richards, CFP and creator of the Sketch Guy column in the New York Times. Carl shares how he became an accidental artist by using a Sharpie to help a client understand a complex idea with a simple sketch. He also tells how he landed his famous column by saying yes to an opportunity and figuring out the rest later. On the episode, you’ll hear Carl’s driving concept of groundlessness and why he believes profit equals permission for entrepreneurs. He also shares the importance of more people doing “their thing” in the world -- and how he’s following suit by doing...

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Starting Your Business The Right Way show art Starting Your Business The Right Way

Mission Driven Business

In this special episode, host Brian Thompson shares how to build a proper foundation for your business to ensure it can support long-standing success. He outlines eight essential tasks to check off when starting a company that can help minimize risk and give you a solid foundation. Episode Highlights Starting a business can be daunting and setting up a solid foundation to grow from is critical for future success. Here are eight first steps to start your business on solid ground. Step 1: Pick your company name. As new parents know, picking a name isn’t as easy as it may sound. A business name...

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Bettering the Lives of Black Transgender Women with Elle Moxley show art Bettering the Lives of Black Transgender Women with Elle Moxley

Mission Driven Business

Brian Thompson chats with Elle Moxley, the executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. The institute seeks to better the lives of Black transgender people through organizing, advocacy, and community. Elle founded the nonprofit institute in response to the murders of transgender women of color.  On the episode, Elle shares how the Marsha P. Johnson Institute resulted from her vision for her own life and the wider world. She also discusses the racial tensions following the murder of George Floyd and how she combats exhaustion by pursuing joy daily. Episode Highlights...

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More Episodes

It’s almost the New Year, which means it’s the perfect time to reflect on the first year of the Mission Driven Business podcast. In this special Year in Reflection episode, Brian re-lives some of the best moments from the first 21 episodes of the podcast.

You'll hear some of the insights, strengths, and hope shared by the diverse podcast guests on their respective episodes. Brian also shares some of his favorite nuggets of wisdom, and he recounts how each guests’ story ties into the larger podcast theme -- that you can make money and serve a purpose.

Episode Highlights

There is no one definition of mission-driven business.

If you’ve listened to the podcast, you know that the first thing Brian asks his guests is to describe what a mission-driven business means to them. That’s because mission-driven businesses are distinct, and everyone has a different answer.

One of Brian’s favorite answers came from Phuong Luong, who shared a quote she heard in grad school.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs,” she said. “Instead, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs is for more people to come alive.”

Regardless of their definition, Brian makes sure listeners know that your business can make money and serve a purpose. It’s a point echoed by many of the guests on the podcast.

In the very first episode, Dawn Hancock summarized the principle by saying, “Profit does matter. It just doesn’t have to be the only thing.” But Brian Floriani may have said it most succinctly in episode 18: “No margin. No mission.”

Everyone has a different journey.

Every entrepreneur on the show has had a different path to their career. Brian highlighted how in episode two, Bill Bynum credited his childhood experiences as fundamental to him later running one of the largest community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the U.S.

Other entrepreneurs had numerous twists on their paths running companies with purpose and profit. In episode 13, attorney Nici Kersey shared how running her own businesses wasn’t something she planned, but came after her company let her go because of a military move.

Nothing is perfect.

Unforeseen circumstances are a given with entrepreneurial life. In episode 11, Lauren Klafke opened up about how her work and home life adjusted when her business started booming at the same time she was caring for a newborn and overseeing a house remodel.

One way to navigate unforeseen circumstances is to know your values. Perhaps the best example yet of letting your values guide you is financial planner River Nice.

In episode 20, River shared how their values first guided them to leave the corporate world and try their hand at entrepreneurship, then again when defining their niche. The result is that River's day-to-day work is aligned with their strengths and values.

“I’m just so happy on a day-to-day basis,” River said. “Who knew life could be this good? It feels like bragging, but that’s the point, right? The point of this podcast is that life can be this good, and you can do it, too.”

Learn from the experts’ experiences.

While it’s nice to hear about purpose and values, podcast listeners have most enjoyed learning the strategies and tactics guests rely upon to run their home and work lives.

In episode 16, the owners of Columbus Running Company played up the importance of community, while in episode 3, Jacob Padrón praised the merits of asking for help. But Brian particularly appreciated the insights of Nici Kersey on how to let go of perfectionism: watch baseball.

“Watching baseball made me really focus more on the fact that you don’t have to be perfect,” Nici said. “These players are the best in the world at being a baseball player, and they mess up all the time, right?”

Self-care isn’t selfish.

Brian always ends the episode by asking each guest to share anything surprising they’ve learned on their journey. One of the most commented lines ever on the podcast came from Pamela Capalad’s answer to this very question.

“Running a business mostly sucks,” she said in episode 5.

While running a mission-driven can suck at times, all entrepreneurs on the podcast say the freedom and fulfillment are well worth pushing the uncertainty and overcoming the inevitable obstacles. But the grit needed to do that can be hard to learn, said Mark Suh in episode 21.

“That belief in yourself has to be strong enough that you don’t quit,” he said.

While the year has been filled with wisdom, Brian’s favorite piece of advice also came from the answer to this last question when Emlen praised the importance of self-care. In episode 10, Emlen explained how incorporating self-care into his regimented schedule has helped him ultimately have a more productive day.

“It was the aspect of tracking over time that made me realize, when I do this, I was a better husband, I was a better dad, I was more patient with the kids,” he said.

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.