It was December 2014, in San Diego, California. She had recently quit her job, was 3 months pregnant, and was trying to get her business off the ground.
She knew absolutely nothing about who I was and she hadn’t read The Miracle Morning. Yet there she was, shaking my hand at the first ever Best Year Ever [Blueprint] LIVE experience.
Despite being dragged to this event by a friend (who happened to have an extra ticket) and knowing next to nothing about me or The Miracle Morning, she looked at me with a smile and said:
“I’m probably the only person here who has NEVER read your book, but I have a feeling we’re going to be friends. You’ll be seeing more of me.”
Turns out, she was right! That woman was Dana Malstaff, now the CEO, author & founder of Boss Mom.
At the time she attended her first Best Year Ever [Blueprint], she had no business, no community and no following. In fact, she was making less than 20k per year and felt super guilty about wanting to be both an entrepreneur and a Mom.
Despite her morning sickness being in full swing, Dana took a leap of faith and made the decision to attend her first ever BYEB event. Check out how the experience completely transformed her life and became the catalyst for everything that proceeded…
Today, in addition to being a proud mother, Dana is an entrepreneur with over 20,000 people in her community, published author, business strategist, podcaster, and is recognized as one of the “50 Must-Follow Women Entrepreneurs in 2017” by Huffington Post.
Being that we are only a few days away from the 4th annual Best Year Ever [Blueprint] LIVE Experience (which Dana Malstaff will be one of our “Entrepreneur Day” Instructors at), I thought you’d love to hear this short but powerful discussion between Jon Berghoff and Dana.
She shares the story of when we first met, how BEYB changed her life, and the steps she took to build a successful brand and business that is now recognized by entrepreneurs around the world.
- Hear the story of how Boss Mom was born and the key lessons she’s learned from building the Boss Mom brand.
- Discover the new world of influencer marketing—a more collaborative approach to leadership.
- The importance of clearing space and making way so you can be more productive towards the things that matter the most.
- Dana shares the 3 keys to having your best year ever!
- Deal breakers vs dream breakers—how to use these concepts to seize only those opportunities that serve you!
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[00:00:31] Jon: Achieve Your Goals Podcast listeners, Jon Berghoff here. Your guest today is Dana Malstaff also known as the creator of the Boss Mom Movement and here’s some fun trivia for you. So, Dana was at our first ever Best Year Ever Live Blueprint Event back in 2014 and the entire Boss Mom idea was really born at that event which is kind of interesting because our episode that we dropped last week was with Rob Dial who he was also at our first ever Best Year Ever Live Blueprint Event where he came up with a vision and an idea for a podcast that is now had over 50 million downloads or video views which is crazy. So, one week after another, two individuals who were both at the same event three years ago and both sharing their story of what they have created in their lives. I think you’ll love Dana and what she shares.
And by the way, I don’t know how this is going to work. When Dana and I recorded this episode, we had major technical problems and somehow, we have this magical mystical mystery team of editors that can turn anything into a coherent conversation. At least they told me they could. I don’t know how they did it because when I was talking with Dana we had massive dysfunction with technology. But if this actually sounds like a halfway decent conversation then huge kudos to Charlie, to you, and your editing team because it was a train wreck when we recorded it so thank you if you were able to actually edit this out and make it sound like a normal conversation.
So, nothing further. Enjoy everybody and, hey, we are one week away, one week away from our Best Year Ever Blueprint Event. I don’t know if by now we actually have tickets available but if the website still lets you buy them, feel free to go to BestYearEverLive.com and we will see many of you next year or not next year but next week. We’ll probably see you next year also. Hey, for all I know, some of you I’m going to see you all the time forever, for the rest of our lives. Thanks, everybody. Bye.
[00:02:31] Jon: Achieve Your Goals Podcast listeners, it’s Jon here. Hey, I was about to jump on the microphone by myself today which I’m very comfortable with, I hope you are too, and I was going to share some thoughts with you that I was looking forward to. And I looked up on the wall and we had a list of individuals that we had in queue to bring to you and one of them is Dana Malstaff and someone on my team said, “What if we texted Dana and she could jump on with you right now?” and here she is. So, Dana, how are you?
[00:03:02] Dana: I am great. I actually just got in at midnight last night from hosting my Boss Mom retreat in Charlotte, North Carolina and today was like a rest day. So, no better way to rest than to chat with you.
[00:03:16] Jon: Nice. Well, thank you for letting us chat on your rest day. And just to set this up so everybody knows why I’m super pumped to bring Dana to you right now is because I first met you, Dana, at our First Best Year Ever Blueprint event back in 2014 and I’ll just put it this way. Between the moment that we met and this moment right now, you have gone from an idea that was born sometime around the time of that event to a thriving community where you are helping women entrepreneurs best known as the Boss Mom Community and maybe you have a different name for it at this point, but it’s been amazing to see what you have created. It’s been amazing to meet women who have told me about their experience of learning from you. And the coolest part is we’re not only going to talk right now but you’re going to be at our Entrepreneur Day at the Best Year Ever Blueprint event coming up. So, we’ll do a deep dive there and to kind of dissecting how you’ve grown your brand and how you’ve helped a lot of women. But for now, can you bring us back to when we first met? Because I really want people to hear about your journey. I think it’s a major inspiration.
[00:04:38] Dana: Thank you. Yes. So, I had moved back to San Diego because I just had my son who’s about five years old when I move back, and I started going to, it was like an entrepreneur support group. Live Your Legend, that’s what it was called. And I met a lovely woman named Lina who I would later find out was madly in love with Hal and the Miracle Morning and she did it every morning.
[00:05:01] Jon: Who isn’t? Who is not?
[00:05:04] Dana: Who isn’t, right? So, she comes to me and she says, “Dana, I’ve got this ticket to this event that this guy, Hal, put on and I bought the best ticket you could buy so I have like all the things and it comes with like a companion ticket,” and she goes, “Nobody I know actually really does business.” She’s like I’m the only one and I was hosting that support group at the time. She said, “Would you go with me? I was like, “I would love to go with you. I have never heard of this person or this Miracle Morning you speak of.”
[00:05:37] Jon: Nice.
[00:05:38] Dana: And so, I was actually three months pregnant with my daughter at the time. So, I got to morning sickness. I’m like trying to figure out this, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to have two babies,” sort of thing and we get to this event and I am immediately like connected with these people and I’m loving the way you guys are forcing us to get up and talk and do all these things and I’m just going, “Oh my gosh, this event is like no event I’ve ever been to. I’m loving this.” And at the time, Boss Mom did not exist. I was just doing content strategy, didn’t have any podcast, didn’t have any books, anything like that. And I remember going up to Hal and I went up to him and I was like, “Okay. I’m the only person here that probably have never read your book. I promise tonight I’ll go home and I’ll read it,” and luckily if you gave a testimonial, you got a book. So, I was like, “I’ll go give a testimonial now. I’ll get the book. I’ll go home and read it. But I have a feeling we’ll be friends, so you’ll probably be seeing more of me.” He was just totally taken aback by me being like, “We’ll be friends later. I’m going to go read your book. We’ll hang out, but I have no idea who you are, but I’m delighted about it.”
Basically, from there I remember you and me having a conversation about communication or something along those lines and I was like, “Oh, I’ve got this resource for you.” And so, I went up to give you the URL where you could get this thing and I remember telling you like I’m just getting this vibe, but the vibe is I’m going to probably speak at this event at some point and, now here we are which is kind of crazy.
[00:07:10] Jon: That’s so awesome. That’s so awesome. Well, we’re honored to have you speaking at our Entrepreneur Day, the first day of the Best Year Ever Event. Dana, you know what I’d love? I’d love for people to hear a little bit about this journey that you’ve been on since that moment, since you and Hal and I met, and you declared that you would speak at our event and here it’s three years later. I’d love for people to learn a little bit about the journey you’ve been on and then as soon as we can, I want them to hear about some of the lessons that you’ve been teaching the women in your community. Because as I’ve gotten to know who you are, who you’ve become and how you’re teaching others, I’m a huge fan and I believe that the way you’re approaching, helping women, I think it’s lessons that apply to all of us. So, super pumped to have you share that with our audience today. So, what happened after that event? Where did it go from there?
[00:08:09] Dana: Yeah. So, I was in basically got to connect with some people at the event. From there, I was asked to join a mastermind group and from that mastermind group, I met Azul Terronez and he’s a book coach and he said, “Does anybody want to write a book?” and I said, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” And so, we connected and started this process. And then he said, “Hey, by the way, I like to go to this thing called the 1-Day Business Breakthrough with Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker,” and he said, “I think you should go. It’s really great.” You can ask to go and be part of a hot seat. So, I bought a ticket. Azul and I were working on this book. I bought the ticket and then I filled up the form and got chosen to be in the hot seat and then the hot seat I get to sit down and tell them about this idea I had at the time. I had this individual Dana brand and was thinking I haven’t been named the Boss Mom yet but like this is the book I want to write about, mom entrepreneur and like not feeling guilty about being a mom and entrepreneur. And they basically, it was so funny, they sat there, and they were like, “Oh, we love that idea. You have no brand. You have to make it one brand. Your website sucks,” and they basically just said these are all the things you can’t do anymore.
[00:09:24] Jon: Nice.
[00:09:24] Dana: And it was great because I walked away going, “Okay. Great. Scratch those things. Let’s do this.” And so, Azul and I got together. We’re brainstorming what this might be. We came up with a bunch of different names. We went out to the community and what the community said was, “Boss Mom,” like all day long unanimously, “We love Boss Mom.” So, we went, we branded it. The book started doing so well that we made it a podcast. We made a website. Now we have Boss Mom retreats. We have the Boss Mom minis, one-day workshops. I’ve written the Boss Mom, the book. Confessions of a Boss Mom, the book. We have more series of Boss Mom, things to come. Well, we pretty much Boss Mom everything you can possibly Boss Mom and it just continued to grow. I mean, we grew the Boss Mom Facebook group. I mean we’ve got over 20,000 women in there in just a year from when we started it and that’s kind of crazy that there are these many women coming in and just wanting to feel like they’re in a space where they can connect with each other and have that space.
[00:10:20] Jon: I love that. So, Dana, you’ve now helped a lot of women through this community. What are some of the core lessons that you feel are messages that women need to hear, any entrepreneur needs to hear? Because you and I are chatting just a few minutes ago and I really, I love the way you approach bringing people together and some of your beliefs around helping others.
[00:10:44] Dana: I love the idea that I just did a, let me put it this way, I just did a podcast episode in my own podcast recently that was all about the new world of influencer marketing. And to me, the new world of influencer marketing is to build other influencers. When it comes to leadership, my stance is that it is my job not to just lead people. It’s my job to make other leaders. And to me, that’s the legacy, that’s the ripple effect that we can have on each other is when you wake up in the morning, you don’t just say, “How can I do things that help people but how can I create more people that help people?” And I think if we approached it that way, and that’s how we approached the Boss Mom community that it really becomes a collaboration over competition. It really becomes a connection. It really becomes a way of helping each other. And in that space, we can be experts and we can raise ourselves up and we can raise other people as we go.
And the cool part about it is it becomes this stepping stone that the more that I help other people become influencers and become leaders and become connectors, they sort of become steps under me that raise me up and raise me up and I raise them up, I raise them up, and it becomes mutually beneficial for everybody. And the Boss Mom retreat that I just came home from was the absolute I think proof of when we get people in a room together and we help them open up to each other and help each other that we don’t actually have to do as much as a leader except for stand back and let people unleash their awesomeness upon each other. And I think that it’s something really amazing to be able to watch that when you give people permission and space and connection, that that starts to really have a massive impact and a ripple effect on our communities and everybody else’s communities.
[00:12:36] Jon: What I would love to know is you said something earlier before we jumped on and started recording that I want to go back to and you said that the things that we think we need to learn might not always be what we really need to help ourselves. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Because I agree with that and I’d love to understand what you mean by that.
[00:13:00] Dana: Yeah. Sure. So, when I started planning this retreat and I know you plan events and there are a lot of other people that plan events that it’s an experience you want to create. I really sat down to think about, “How can I actually help people in this space move forward?” And I started to think about if you go into a space and a lot of us do this and we go, “Okay. I need to learn this skill or this tool so I’m going to go and I’m going to learn how to do a webinar or how to start a business or how to write a book.” So, what we do is we seek out the information to learn that thing. And then all of a sudden, we get overwhelmed or we get confused or we sound so like we’re so excited and we’re so motivated, but it never happens or it starts to happen and it never gets finished. There’s all these things that end up getting in our way and a lot of times we don’t realize they have nothing to do with our skill level in that particular activity.
And so, the examples that I’ll give to kind of make this real for everybody that’s listening is we started the entire event with like an appreciative inquiry exercise that had to do with what does it mean to be a boss mom. What does that term mean to them? And why do we want to have that title? I mean, what am I actually doing here? Why am I coming to this space? Why did I leave my kids? Why did I leave everything to come and spend several days and maybe you should think about this going to the Best Year Ever Blueprint like what am I doing here? We had them go through that exercise. It was likely flooded out all of that stuff that gets in the way of us being productive and effective by forcing us to be honest with ourselves about who we are and what we care about and what we’re doing here. And when everybody got really honest and cried it out because being honest with ourselves is hard, then we were able to like to dig in and do the work.
[00:14:59] Dana: And I realize there’s just really interesting balance between clearing space and making way so that we can be productive and effective in things that matter and really prioritizing who we are and what we want to accomplish so that we know we’re not having – like the fact that shiny object syndrome is an overly used term nowadays is a sad testament I think to the fact that we don’t know what our values and priorities are to know when something is not the right thing to do. And I would love it if we could create a space where shiny object syndrome is not a term that we use and say, “No, no, I’ve got focus. I know what I want. I know who I am. I know what I want to do and I’m going after it.”
[00:15:37] Jon: Dana, for any of our listeners, regardless if they’re going to be there to meet you at the Best Year Ever Blueprint or not, what advice would you leave somebody with if they’re looking at the next year of their life, 2018? If you could give somebody one or two or three pieces of advice, you notice I gave you the choice there, but for anybody who’s thinking about, “Hey, I want to have the best year of my life,” what’s the one or two or three most important questions to ask, habits to build, ways of being to embody at least from your experience in helping yourself and those in your community to have their best year?
[00:16:17] Dana: Yeah. So, to me, planning and prep is everything. If you want to have the best year ever, one of the things I think you have to do is you have to sit down and look at the upcoming year and I put them into three categories, I want you guys to sit down and go, “What do I want my environment, my emotions, and my finances to look like?” To me, those are the three categories. What do I want to be surrounded? To me, the environment is the people like if you go to Best Year Ever Blueprint, you’re going to meet people that will become lifelong friends that care about the things that you care about. So, what do you want your environment to look like and be like? That includes like I want to get a new house. I want to change the city I live in. I want to travel more. I want to surround myself with people that are entrepreneurs or people that are parents or people that do these things so that they get me. Like what do you want environmentally to be in your space? Because if we are the sum of who we are around then you want to look around and make sure you’re surrounded by people that actually impact you in a way that empowers you.
The emotional thing is how do you want to feel? Are you stressed out and hustling right now? Do you want to feel calm? Do you want to feel empowered? Do you want to feel excited? Do you want to feel exhilarated? We all want to actually get different emotions out of things and you want to be really clear on how you want to feel because that gut feeling that you get when you’re trying to make decisions every day which life is about making decisions, those decisions, if you know how you want to feel going into the next year then you can help your gut and your emotions come together to help your brain make really good decision so that emotional state, how do you want to feel the next year, how you want that to look like. And in financials I think you need to know, are you running a business? How much money do you want your business to make? Where do you want to be financially? And what does it look like now versus what you want? Because once again, when it comes to decision-making, you want to use these three planning aspects of your next year to be your sounding board to help you decide if every decision you’re making is the right decision for you.
[00:18:20] Dana: And then the second part to that, I think, is you have to find a community that gets you. And you may have more than one community because you may have the Best Year Ever Blueprint / Miracle Morning world that gets you from this entrepreneur standpoint and then you may have something like Boss Mom that gets you from the parenting standpoint. You may have a completely other community that gets you from the basket weaving standpoint, whatever that is. You need to find communities of people and circles of people that not only get you, they get excited to talk about things you want to talk about. They get excited to learn. You want to learn from each other. You want to connect each other to other people. And if you don’t have that community then life and business gets really, really hard and doing it alone is a massive uphill battle. And so, if you want the best year you can have, those would be the two things I would do.
[00:19:15] Jon: I love that. That is beautiful advice, our environment, our emotions, our financial vehicles and we’ve got to connect to the communities that can help us with that. That’s awesome. Dana, we’re going to see you in one month from today, the day that we’re actually recording this. And I can’t wait. My favorite question to ask which I’ll finish with is this, is there anything else?
[00:19:45] Dana: Is there? Actually yes, there’s one more thing.
[00:19:47] Jon: I love it. Great.
[00:19:48] Dana: I have one more thing. When we were talking about the environmental, emotional, financial future that we want, the one other thing that I love to do is I love to decide what my deal breakers and my dream makers are. So, my deal breakers for me last year when my daughter was one was that I didn’t want to travel for more than two days at a time. And so, even though speaking is something that I absolutely loved to do, I said no to a lot of things that took me away from my family at that particular time for too long. And so, knowing that that was a deal breaker even if something came up that I knew I would have fun at or I thought could be valuable, I always put it against my deal breakers to understand if it would impact my life in a way that was just a no go. I think it’s really important to know those because certain things, opportunities come up that sound great but I know too many people that go, “I wanted this thing and now I regret that it took this other thing away from me that was really important,” and if you know what your deal breakers are then it can help ensure that you’re only seizing opportunities and accepting opportunities that serve you in all of the ways that you want in your life and not just one.
And then your dream makers are like I want to be the voice of a Disney character and if I know that that’s like the ultimate dream maker thing for me, if I know that part of my dream maker bucket list three or four years ago was to go be on the stage and be able to talk at Best Year Ever Blueprint, if I know what those are, and I verbalize them and I put them out to the world, they happen. And if you don’t know what your dream makers are, not the thing you’re going to do today or tomorrow or in a year but like in your lifetime, it is your dream maker. It’s like the alternate to a bucket list but to me, they’re like all the big things. Then that means everywhere I go I’m telling people, “I want to be the voice of a cartoon character,” like I want to be – we’re singing at all of my events like I sing sometimes on my podcast and everybody knows.
[00:21:47] Dana: And someday someone’s going to come up to me and go, “I heard this thing and I’d like you to come and audition to be the voice of a cartoon character.” And then I will get on my podcast and be like, “Oh, my dream maker is happening,” but those things don’t manifest themselves unless you verbalize them, you write them down and you know what they are. And then because they’re top of mind, you infuse them into your life and what you do to bring yourself closer. And what you don’t realize is you manifest them like you don’t just put them out into the universe and they happen, like you actually make it happen because you verbalized it and it’s in your mind and you bring yourself closer through your daily actions to make those things happen.
I honestly think that events like the Best Year Ever Blueprint and going to events like that are the absolute catalysts for the things we want in our lives. Because that space where we get so massively energized that we can’t help but burst with excitement about the things we want and then meet people in the space that want those same things. Every single time I look back to an event that I have attended, even if it wasn’t a very good event, I can absolutely pinpoint massive change that has happened in my life and my business and my mindset from it and that doesn’t happen online. Like there are amazing things that happen online but when you get people together in a room and that energy merges and explodes. And you guys do such an amazing job of infusing experiences, which I love, with just work. You’ve got to go to events. If you’re going to go to an event, go to this one but at least go to events even if they’re little meetups because that physical interaction of people I think can make a massive change to get you closer to where you want to go.
[00:23:28] Jon: And all I had to ask was, is there anything else? Dana, that was awesome. Thank you so much and we will see you in a month.
[00:23:41] Dana: I know. I’m super excited. It was so fun to come on and hang out with you guys.
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