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Jan. 26, 2022

Episode 10: Inspiring Courage with Mandi Dana

Episode 10: Inspiring Courage with Mandi Dana

Fulfillment coach & business trainer, Mandi Dana, helps to transform the quality of lives of leaders and entrepreneurs.

With over 9000 sessions of coaching and mentoring with the world’s number one personal development brand, she has gained a treasure chest of knowledge and insights, both personally and professionally.
 
Prior to coaching, she was a determined entrepreneur and built several businesses, the most significant being an international infant shoe brand where she was dubbed “the shoemaker to the stars” for the brand's popularity among celebrity parents.
 
What she is most proud of is that she is a single mother of three amazing teenagers residing in coastal northern California. When not changing lives, she loves adventures of all kinds, both internal and external! Her favorite things to do are traveling, spending quality time with her kids, and strengthening her inner sanctuary.
 
Mandi@mandidana.com
https://www.instagram.com/the.sweet.lyfe/

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Transcript
Melissa:

Hello, and welcome back to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast. This is episode 10 and I'm your host, Melissa. Adkin. I'm excited today to introduce you to Mandy Dana. She's a fulfillment coach and business trainer, and helps to transform the quality of lives of leaders and entrepreneurs. With the over 9,000 to sessions of coaching and mentoring with the world's number one personal development brand, she has gained a treasure chest of. Knowledge and insights both personally and professionally, prior to coaching, she was a determined entrepreneur and built several businesses. The most significant being an international infant shoe brand, where she was dubbed the shoe maker to the stars for the brand's popularity among celebrity parents. What she is most proud of. Is that she is the single mother of three amazing teenagers residing in coastal, Northern California. When not changing lives, she loves adventure of all kinds, both internal and external. Her favorite things to do are traveling, spending quality time with her kids and strengthening her inner sanctuary. Let's meet Mandy. Hello, and welcome back to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast. I'm really excited for you to meet my new friend, Mandy de. Mandy, as you can tell from the introduction, I am really excited that you're here. And I think that the folks listening to this podcast are going to fall in love with you just as soon as we start talking. So welcome to the podcast today. How are you? Uh,

Mandi:

thank you so much for the warm welcome. I'm really excited to be here as well. I'm doing amazing. Absolutely amazing. Thanks for having.

Melissa:

Excellent. Now you live out in Southern California and I believe the weather is probably nicer there than it is here. Is it nice and sunny and beach going weather where you are

Mandi:

actually I'm up in Northern California. So I don't get as much done as Southern California, but I do get a lot. And currently it's raining here, so we're getting much needed water.

Melissa:

Well, as you can tell, I'm not a geologist. So don't ask me for directions. Folks. If you're traveling to California, that I'm glad you're getting some much needed water. And I hear that you had a great holiday. We're recording this at the end of December, just after Christmas. So it was nice to catch up with you and hear about your family. Get together. Now the listeners here, we tune into this podcast and I've created this podcast because we struggle. Life is difficult. And so many things come up in our lives that just make it more and more challenging. Now, Mandy, you just bought a house out of Northern California and life is

Mandi:

good, right? Yes. Very good.

Melissa:

But was it always good?

Mandi:

No, I mean, no, it was, I've had my fair share of challenges. Absolutely. Um, the year leading up to buying my home, actually, I just celebrated one year in my home and the year, so it was 2020 COVID was actually one of the most challenging years I had. Um, but, and it's not my first challenging.

Melissa:

Well, let's, we'll get back to that in a little bit, but I want to go a little further back in your story. Yes. Can you tell us a little bit about what life was like when you had little kids?

Mandi:

Oh, yeah. So I'm back with my kids. I have three kids, they are three and a half it's three and a half years from start to finish. So I, it was boom, boom, boom. I had them all three and, um, I was when, early in their childhood in the very beginning I was a stay-at-home mom. And so it was, and then their dad was working full time and he was also in school studying for his master's degree. So you can imagine the amount of, um, I don't want to say pressure, but demands on my time. I had that at that phase in my life. And then when they, when my youngest one was about a year old, I launched a business and built a business. So it was both stay at home mom. I was still working in their schools and, you know, driving them to all their practices and having play dates. And then in the afternoon, well, when they were in school and then in the evenings, I was building my business.

Melissa:

That's a lot. Yes, no. Were you operating in the same time space continuum as the rest of us were there just only 24 hours in a day? As far

Mandi:

as I recall.

Melissa:

Awesome. And then I know those early years are so hard. I remember, you know, stretching that paycheck. Have you ever had an experience like that? Having to make that work?

Mandi:

Oh, yeah. During that time, you know, my husband, my ex-husband, um, where I'm not married anymore, uh, was a teacher. So he got paid one time. And, you know, in the beginning, especially when the, when the, when the kids were babies and when I was building my business, um, I, I mean, it was, we were paid once a month and we were essentially out of money by probably the top of the month, almost every single month. It was extremely stressful. And that was before I went back to work. Um, and then even in the beginning, You know, I wasn't making money. I was still putting money into it. And, uh, so I'm not, I actually don't even know we made it through that. We just did. And so, yeah, there was a lot of financial strain as well, and it's, you know, and I have had times since then that have been similar.

Melissa:

This is what fascinates me about entrepreneurs and business owners that you describe a time when you got paid. You have three children depending on you and you were, that money was spent by the 10th of the month? Yes. So there were 20 days in there where you had to figure it out and make it work. How do you find it within yourself to invest in a business when the stakes are that high? I mean, that's terrifying.

Mandi:

You know, I think that, that thank you for the acknowledgement. And I would say that, you know, there's a couple of things that come to mind when you say that one of them is resourcefulness. I think it's really important, you know, to, to really tap into your resourcefulness. And that's what. I feel like I'm, I've always been really good at. Um, and then as in terms of building the business, I think, and then no matter what, it's, I think it's really about having a vision. So when I was building the business, I just had this belief that it was gonna work and I was going to make it into a brand and it was going to go big. And so I didn't have. Uh, part of me that was doubting it. I basically, I worked for Tony Robbins and he has a quote that's, um, it's burned the boat to take the island, burn the boats, to take the island. So, you know, you have to have that mentality of you're all in. That's basically saying I'm all in. And so when I was building that business, you know, obviously I'm all in with my kids and family and I was all in with the business. So I didn't even question what to do. I just.

Melissa:

That's amazing. What would you say to someone who's working the nine to five and putting in the time, but has a little something more that they want, they have an idea or they have a dream and they're already struggling. They're living paycheck to paycheck, but they have this dream or this vision. What would you say to that person?

Mandi:

I would say believe in yourself and, um, find a way, create a way because there is always going to be a way when you're committed to something enough when you have a strong enough vision, when you're, when you want something badly enough and you have a strong enough why for it, that you'll figure out. Okay. And, you know, it takes getting out of your comfort zone. It takes stretching yourself out of what you're comfortable in to create something new and different. And you could always stay, you could always stay in your comfort zone. You could always stay in that nine to five job and, you know, live in this space of, uh, maintaining. Right. I would call that more of like a maintaining space where you're like, oh yeah, this works. It's good. It's comfortable. It's not good. It's not bad. It's just. And, you know, we, we've all done that at periods in our lives. Um, even I have, and, and I, you know, when you're in that space, you're never really going to find yourself totally fulfilled. There's no passion, there's no excitement. And when you think back on, when you look forward, let's imagine you look forward 20 years down the road, 30 years down the road, and you're looking back on your life. What have you, what do you want to have create. And do you want to have lived your life in a space of well it's okay. Or do you want to live your life to its fullest? Because truthfully, we get one shot here in this lifetime that we're currently in, depending on your beliefs. And so, you know, why not make the most of it? It was like, think about, you know, the, the millions a hundred million years or whatever the, the human beings have been on the planet. And we might get, if we're lucky, 8,200, And, you know, it's like that it goes. And so why not just be in it and take risk and really live because that's what, the way I see it is taking risk and, and really being committed to something. And, and at least trying is it's, that's living that's when you feel a little.

Melissa:

Wow. That's really inspiring. Now I have all kinds of thoughts running through my head of things I want to do and things I want to try and vacations. I'm going to take, I have to tell you for three days, we were really cool people. We're pretty ordinary folks, but we had an amazing vacation when we went zip lining and did a lot of the fun things. And we were so cool for three days and it felt so good. It was a lot of fun. I love that advice is take the trip, figure it out.

Mandi:

Yes. I agree with you. And you know, it's it, a lot of times, it's, it feels impossible. And it's, it's pushing past that internal belief that it is impossible because you know, the first step is the visualization. The first step is going. I want to go on a vacation and zip line and I want to take my family and I want to go for X number of days. And, and then you put it on the calendar and then once it's on the calendar, you find a. And now you're not

Melissa:

just speaking. Just random thoughts. You speak to corporate leaders and inspire them. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do for a living?

Mandi:

Yeah, so I am a coach, uh, I'm uh, it's life and business coaching. Then I'm also a trainer of business trends. Um, which essentially is business strategy development, leadership. So I work with teams. I work one-on-one with clients and help them. Live their dreams, create their dreams, follow through, get past limiting beliefs that are stopping them and create those visions that I keep talking about and follow through on the steps that it takes to get them get to achieve them. And then I also work with teams where, uh, an owner or a leader will purchase a training package and we spend about six months of that team and we work on business strategy and development, leadership development. So it's usually. Groups anywhere from, could be like three to a hundred depending on the company. So I just helped to create them. It's more like a, a cultural team building course. And so, so I work with the teams and then I work one-on-one with the owners. That's really cool. And then I'm also a mentor coach. So our company has it hires coaches. They have to be trained once they come in and train. To improve and really, um, embrace the strategies and the tools that we use to coach our clients.

Melissa:

That is really cool. I have to say, how many hours experience do you have? Do you track those kinds of things?

Mandi:

Yeah. Um, at this point I'm about at 9,000 sessions. So just a couple or two,

Melissa:

you know, in my profession. In ministry, we can really over-complicate things. I think that most things in life are simple, not necessarily easy but simple. You know, when it comes to faith, we try to golly, we just go really overboard with a lot of stuff, but honestly it boils down to love. God love. And however you name God, whether it's higher power source or a particular name from your belief system, but love God, love people. That's really it at the core, but we can do a whole lot to complicate that it, I sensed when you were speaking about what you do professionally and how you approach life and what you were saying to us who are listening to the podcast. That there really are just a couple of core messages and it's simple. It may not be easy, but just believing in yourself and persevering seemed to be at the core of a lot of what you do.

Mandi:

Yeah. It's self belief. And you know, even when you don't believe in yourself, or you might doubt yourself, it's stepping forward anyway, it's, it's courage really, you know, courage to, to pursue the things that you want in your dream. Um, that's at the core of everything, because without that nobody would take, ever take any risk and nothing would ever get done. We wouldn't have the lives that we have if it weren't for people having courage and vision and resilience and commitment.

Melissa:

Okay. What's the most courageous thing you've ever done?

Mandi:

Oh, no, that's a big question. I've done a lot of courageous things. The first thing I wanted, the first thing I would say is probably having chill, having children, you know, that, that's the first thing that came to mind for me. And if I go back before that, um, early on in my early twenties, I was a big traveler or I was very adventurous, I'll say. And one of the most courageous things I did was I took a backpack and moved to Hawaii was $500 in my pocket. And I didn't know. And then, um, I took over the course of the next five years, I went on trips around the world with just, just my backpack. So that was pretty courageous think starting my business was courageous. Um, yeah, I think that's a really great question. And I don't know. I think courage builds on itself too, that once you start to do something courageous, it becomes easier. And then you just do more of it. So it's hard to say which one was the most courageous,

Melissa:

my understanding of hero. And I've said this many times it has changed a lot through the years and after 20 plus years in ministry, my, my highest understanding of hero is the people I serve, the bold steps that they have taken in love for. In the care of a family member, whether it's an aging parent or a child or, or someone in their family, just stepping out into a world that they don't know about or haven't experienced and stand there boldly to overcome an illness or to walk with a parent who's aging in, uh, experiencing dementia or Alzheimer's. Or caring for a child that is sick or who is experiencing particular difficulties. Those are my heroes and they don't think of themselves as heroes, but the courage that it takes to do what they have done is truly amazing to me. And I think we can build on those things, you know, so you don't have to have supernatural power. It just, I think you've summed it up. Well, a hero is someone who is courageous, who, despite the fears takes a step.

Mandi:

That's so true. I love that the way you said that. And I do agree. I wholeheartedly agree with you. You don't need to do something extraordinary and get on the pages of, uh, you know, the newspaper or be acknowledged that we're all heroes. Everybody is a hero in some area of their life. If you really look at your life, if you really look at someone else's life, somewhere in their lives, their hero, and it's showing up, it's like you said, it's showing them. It's giving your heart. It's it's serving here. You know, being a hero is service and there's some way we're all serving others.

Melissa:

That first step is a doozy though. I know standing on that platform at the zip line, when she unclipped the safety line, no one was there to give you a push. Yeah. You had to decide to take that step off the planet. Yes. And that first step is tough after that, you know, the momentum will carry you, but that first step is difficult and that's a good metaphor for life that, you know, we're not always standing physically on a platform of zip line, but sometimes life can feel that way or up against something.

Mandi:

Absolutely. And I like to tell my clients that, you know, it's not, you don't get the emotion and then take the. You, you know, basically you're learning on the job. You have to take the action and then you build the emotion. So if you want to feel more confident or more courageous, you have to take courageous, competent action. And then you get to build the muscle of courage and confidence. It doesn't just doesn't happen for. 'cause you can't get it without the action, boy. Wouldn't it

Melissa:

be cool if it did work in the reverse?

Mandi:

Definitely. We can, we could bottle that and sell it,

Melissa:

but yeah, we are courageous because we took not will take, but because we took a courageous act.

Mandi:

Yeah. I mean, if you think about all the character strengths that you have, all of the experiences that you've had that have served you in your life, not all of the experiences that have served you in your life have been good experiences. Some of them have been really challenging and they've built good qualities within you because you've gone through them.

Melissa:

So true. Self-reflection is a powerful tool.

Mandi:

Absolutely.

Melissa:

I want to go back to something you were speaking about earlier, you mentioned Tony Robbins and his saying about burn the boats to take the island. Can you tell us a little bit more if we don't, if Tony Robbins rings a bell, but we can't quite place who he is and what he does. Can you tell us a little bit more about him and, and what he means when he's.

Mandi:

About the boat. Yeah. He's uh, he's uh, the number one personal development, he's kind of the grandfather of the coaching industry. He started, he's been doing it for, I don't know, almost 40 years. I think it's 40, about 40 years now. Um, and so he's the coaching industry. He's also a business strategist and he also is a philanthropist. He's. Donated like 750,000 meals and he continues, he was ready to hit a billion and he's written books and really powerful business books and personal development books. Um, and with burn the boat to take the island. That's just what he means by that is that you, you have, you let go of all doubt. It's that's courage at its finest. Honestly, that's like letting go of everything. And just going forward, it's full commitment. It's all in. That's what he means by that being completely all in

Melissa:

sounds like doing a trapeze act without a net. Now, Mandy mentioned before, when we spoke that you had a gift to offer our listeners.

Mandi:

Yeah. So, um, I, one of the things that I find really, um, powerful in my own growth and my own ability to create and achieve is rituals. And so I have a guide book on creating and maintaining rituals that I'm going to share with Alyssa. Wow.

Melissa:

I love that rituals kind of gets a little bit to my, to my heart as pastor. It's not all about the ritual, but rituals can really help us create a space to discover, uh, holy or depths or greater depths. So I love that you're offering that. Thank you so much. Absolutely. And this is from someone who has over 9,000 hours under her belt and his. Teams and businesses and individuals accomplish amazing things. So I can't wait to download that workbook. Do you have any parting thoughts or well-wishes for the listeners?

Mandi:

Oh gosh. Well, um, another thing that stands out for me that really makes an impact in my life is granted. And so despite what you're going through in your life, whether it's challenging, whether it's, you know, living paycheck to paycheck at the moment, or whether it's you have a sick family member or, you know, there's, there's so many different, you're going through a transition in a relationship. Um, the health challenges. There's so many things that we're always dealing with. And especially right now, All with the state of the world that we're living in. There's a lot of uncertainty, there's a lot of fear and uncertainty. And the one thing that I would say to carry you through that is to live in gratitude is to look at, look for the good in everything. Even if it seems really bad is what always seek out the gifts and grace in, in everything that's offered to you from God universe, whatever your beliefs are, because if you decide to see. The gifts, they will, they will be there, but it's a decision that you have to make. It's a mindset that you have to have is to seek out the gratitude and the gifts and everything.

Melissa:

Beautiful words. Thank you, Mandy. And we will have links in the show notes to your website and to your, where you are on social media. If anyone wants to follow you. So thank you so much.