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Interview with Frank Glassner, CEO of Veritas

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Interview with Frank Glassner, CEO of Veritas

Frank B. Glassner is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veritas Executive Compensation Consultants (Veritas). Additionally, he leads the Firm’s executive compensation consulting practice. His consulting experience includes a wide range of assignments with specialization in: executive compensation; studies linking organizational strategy and compensation programs to business strategies; board of directors compensation and governance; bankruptcy and reorganization compensation and incentive plans; corporate governance and ethics; litigation support and expert witness services, succession planning; tax-deferred compensation; wage and salary administration; job analysis and evaluation; surveys on compensation and organizational practices within specialized industries; sales and marketing compensation; incentive compensation and performance management; and performance appraisal and development.

Frank is a nationally recognized executive compensation and corporate governance expert with over forty years of experience in the field of compensation and strategy consulting. Prior to joining Veritas in 2009, Frank founded and was the Chief Executive Officer of Compensation Design Group, Inc. (CDG), assisting both domestic and international companies in developing unique and specific compensation programs linked directly to business, financial and strategic objectives. Prior to Veritas and CDG, he was the National Director of the Deloitte & Touche Strategic Rewards Practice, and led the Western U.S./Asia-Pacific compensation consulting practice for KPMG.

Frank is frequently quoted in major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, Time Magazine, Financial Times, London (UK) Times, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, USA Today, Directors and Boards, Die Welt (GER), US News & World Report, Boston Globe, New York Times, New York Post, LA Times, La Prensa (MX), India Times (Delhi), Washington Post, China Times (PRC), The Standard (HK), South China Post (HK), TheStreet, MarketWatch, The Daily Mail (UK), The Telegraph (UK), The Globe and Mail (CN), Reuters, Associated Press, Barron’s, the Chicago Tribune, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also appears regularly on CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, NPR, and NBC. He often speaks publicly on such subjects as executive pay, corporate governance, and strategic total compensation. He is a member of the Conference Board, World at Work, American Management Association, and is a Corporate Governance and Leadership Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Where did the idea for Veritas come from?

Many Boutique executive compensation consulting firms today are just spin-offs of bigger companies and have fallen out of favor due to the diversification of their business that was created on a conflict of interest. Veritas Executive Compensation Consultants was created to have independent ownership to avoid these limitations.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

The typical day is usually devoted to clients. Serving clients 24/7 concierge-style. If a client calls at 2 in the morning, there will be work done for them by 9 that same day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Veritas will do a thorough analysis of clients and individualize each one. Every client has their own unique plan because every situation is different. We don’t create cookie-cutter plans that are given to everyone.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Anything outside of the ordinary and outside of the box. We are called whenever there are struggling companies. We have always been the master of the hard case. When a company is in trouble and starting to fall apart, who do you call? You call Frank.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I always lean on the leading edge. Trying to stay 500 miles ahead of the trend. We publish our newsletter twice a week, so no one is left behind. We don’t want to do what others do. If you see 20 dogs eating out of a bowl and another bowl a half a mile away, we ask ourselves why do dogs keep going to this bowl when there’s another one. We will go to the unused bowl and ask how do we fill this bowl. It’s always been; why didn’t I think of that. The master of the abstract. It’s not just us preaching to our clients, it’s more here are some things to think about. We ask ourselves what is it that we can do that is unique and out of the box for this client. We are client-centric 24/7.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’d tell myself to follow your path, be true to your heart, be true to your instinct, and don’t be swayed by industry trends or pressures or meeting people’s needs in place of your own needs. Don’t be afraid of what is unique or different. Never fail to listen to others who are unique and think outside of the box. Always value direct communication. Young people are wiser beyond their years, take advantage of that. Don’t fear the future. Approach life in a way that is fearless and in a way that is unencumbered. Have an unrelenting focus, and don’t be afraid of that. Don’t just work smart but also hard. Have a consciousness of spiritual and physical wellness. Practice the concept of “family is first” practice a concept of “Buddhism has a lot to say”. Always pay it forward and share with those around you, as well as those both in front and behind. Be smarter than I was and always be a mentor to those you work with and share your life with. If you practice all of the above, you will be happy with what you have accomplished.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The world is not your friend. There are factual realities in life that have to be dealt with head-on. One can not put on a pair of rose-colored glasses to change what they see. Always live in a clearly defined and easily understood manner that will benefit your company stakeholders and those around you. Live your life for all, not for one.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Think out of the box. Going back to the empty dog bowl, I always try to think of how do we get this empty bowl to be full instead of using the same one everyone else uses. Be fearless of the unknown. If you remove the fear, you can conquer it all. Many want to climb Mount Everest and be powerful. They want to be a CEO or even the president, and they want to be great. The biggest thing I can recommend is before you take that journey, first learn these three steps. First, learn to put on your shoes. Second, learn how to weave and tie your shoelaces. Third, break your shoes in. The journey can be a million steps, and if you learn how to get there, you always will.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

One thing that has helped Veritas grow is by thinking outside the box. Finding ways to do something that no one else is doing. Going back to starting your journey, one must first learn to put on their shoes, how to tie them, and then break those shoes in as they start on their journey.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I would have to say that every single day is filled with little successes and failures. Face those failures, don’t fear them, and don’t figure out a way around them. Instead, find a way to conquer mountains piece by piece bit by bit molecule by molecule. Have courage and commitment, and you will get where you want to be.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best 100 that I would or could spend is creating educational possibilities to help young people remove their fears. Helping them to better understand what science is, what business is, what medicine is, what politics is, and what the road ahead is. I would ask how can I feed people’s minds and bodies. I wouldn’t go buy 100 fish for someone who is starving, but I would spend that $100 to buy the equipment needed to teach them. I’d spend $50 to teach them to fish and the other $50 to teach them to cook. That way, they will be able to do something with the fish they caught. It’s not just food but books and education to help them remove the fear of learning new things. I would absolutely get people excited to learn things they never knew. It’s like planting a fruit tree and watching it grow. It is exciting watching people learn and grow as well.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I say humorously anyone can be Einstein with Google. However, more importantly, there is a difference between book smart and brilliant as well as there is a difference between spiritually brilliant or educationally brilliant. It takes a tremendous amount of soul searching and learning about philosophy and perhaps a Buddhist life and all things great and spiritual. The greatest educator of all is life as well as looking into the past and, to the best of our ability, into the future as well as finding those in our lives who might look forward to the future with us.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Probably any of the scriptures of Thai Buddhism and any and all things Mark Twain. The scriptures of Thai Buddhism are a way of life. They teach how to be kind and open your heart, how to not be judgmental, and to embrace your fellow person. I would also suggest anything from Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, and Gandhi. The essays on self-reliance Ralph Waldo Emerson.

What is your favorite quote?

One is “radiate boundless caring towards other humans and towards the entire world”. Another one is “give even if you have a little”. Third, “conquer anger with non-anger, conquer badness with goodness, conquer meanness with generosity”. Fourth, “drop by drop a flower pot is filled likewise the wise man gathering little by little fills himself for good”. Last, “those who cling by perceptions and views wander the world offending everyone”.

Originally published on IdeaMensch.

Interviews

Interview with Danielle Levy, Founder of The Boardroom League

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Interview with Danielle Levy, Founder of The Boardroom League

Danielle Levy is the CEO and Founder of The Boardroom League and a sought-after executive who has helped six and seven-figure businesses expand with clarity and efficiency. Danielle established The Boardroom League to give other entrepreneurs a little black book of trusted industry professionals to help them implement and scale their businesses. The Boardroom League consists of experts in a variety of fields; including metrics, design, copywriting, strategic pricing, funnels, social media, and more.

Where did the idea for The Boardroom League come from?

I had a very very successful corporate career in advertising and marketing working for well-known brands and at some of the hottest digital agencies. It was wonderful for many years but I ended up completely burnt out. When I accidentally got into the online space, all of my previous success meant nothing. Suddenly I was responsible for things that I didn’t know anything about or how to solve certain problems that were very specific to my clients. Having a trusted group in my network to partner with taught me so much about the industry and allowed me to show up as a trusted partner to my clients. The results were far better than anything that I could have done on my own. I wanted to bring that same experience to other entrepreneurs just starting out who had proven revenue models but didn’t know how to scale profitably or how to handle specific niche areas of their business.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I’m a mom to 2 teenagers so my day is very much structured around a school schedule and their after-school activities (cliche but true). They aren’t little babies anymore but I certainly don’t have total control over my schedule either. I’ve also learned to really listen to my body about when to work. By nature, I have a really hard time turning my brain off and I really love to work. Some people have hobbies like reading, solving puzzles, or a sport, I just love to work! However, I quickly found that for me working late leads to really unproductive mornings, poor eating habits, and a vicious cycle that drains my energy. So I try to be mindful of real deadlines instead of self-imposed deadlines and how much time I’m actually spending on things. To do this I keep a small notepad for things that have to get done on a given day. This is reserved for true must-do items. I’m a people pleaser by nature so keeping a critical shortlist helps me with boundaries. I’ve also realized that I am best at certain kinds of work based on my schedule. For example, I handle, generally, emails and administrative items between conference calls and items that I really need to think through late in the day or over weekends. I really need my head to be quiet and focused to do my best work and also this helps me get my “rocks” done because I could spend endless hours trying to catch up but not actually getting my work done. It is a balance for sure.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I always start with a project plan. It is a template that I developed years ago and isn’t anything fancy. Even though it’s just for my own purposes, it helps me to define what I want to accomplish, put together a reasonable schedule, and helps me to create boundaries for myself, and dissolve unnecessary pressure. It also allows me to think about who else’s support I need so they have time to plan as well. It really helps me to get the idea out of my head and know that it will come to life in a thoughtful and healthy way. It also helps to keep me on track prioritizing my own work and keeping to my client’s work as well.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I think The Great Resignation has really forced companies to examine their values and policies and truly operationalize them. As someone that has worked hard (really too hard if I’m being honest) her entire career, companies being forced into alignment and integrity with what they say they are is super exciting to me. In the end, I think it serves both the company, the team, and the end customer most optimally. As a hiring manager, I’m definitely feeling the pain of the Great Resignation but as an individual, it’s really exciting to me.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Acknowledging my own zones of genius and when to outsource. I often work with entrepreneurs that are afraid to outsource and I can never understand the concern of losing control or that someone can’t do something as well as they can. When I hire the right people they always produce end results that are way better than whatever I could do and I am freed up to work on the things that only I can do or really enjoy doing. It also re-energizes me to see what other people can do with the inputs that I give them. For me, outsourcing is definitely the way to go!

What advice would you give your younger self?

It’s ok to set boundaries with my clients and team. Setting boundaries will serve you better in terms of completing more, disappointing less (even if the expectations were completely out of whack), and not burning yourself completely out. I had this idea that if I worked hard enough for long enough it would really matter to some of my clients and the reality is that it only became detrimental to me and set the tone for many unhealthy relationships.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The customer isn’t always right. Great client service is important however not at the expense of the team behind it, other customers, and the long-term profitability of business practices. Further, not all customers are right for the business and are worth keeping. It’s ok to professionally disagree with a customer and to stand up for the company.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Every day I do one thing that is uncomfortable for me. As an introvert, this can be really hard. Whether it’s physical or emotional, I always try to push the boundaries and my own safe zone. It’s very specific to me and things that other people might not find hard but for whatever reason, I have a blocker. I’ve learned that many things aren’t nearly as hard as I build them up to be in my own head and when I fail it’s never as bad as I thought it would be.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Not saying yes to every client. Over the last several years I’ve really focused on only working with clients that align with my professional and personal values and goals. Every time I’ve strayed from that profile I’ve ended up frustrated and burnt out and my personal life and work quality always suffers. Having the experience to know the circumstances under which I can show up as my best has really given me the confidence to grow my business, show up as a trusted partner, and go after things that I really want.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Early on in my journey as a service provider, and sometimes a generalist, I’ve tried to be the answer to too many things and often thought of myself more with an employee mindset than as a partner. I’ve since niched in my services, become more forward in my conversations about how to move things forward or prioritize, and have really started calling out inconsistencies and making recommendations on how businesses are run so that they can be addressed. Slowing down and taking control of the conversation, even though it can be intimidating, has served me far better than I could have ever imagined because I know a lot more than I give myself credit for.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Commit to teaching something new about something you are passionate about every month. People are looking for information on what you consider to be mundane. For example, I had a conversation with someone about how they train their cat and another conversation about video editing. Both people said what they did was “easy”. It may be true for them but it was priceless information for me. We all have gifts and sharing information about what we are passionate about is contagious. I don’t think teaching has to be fancy either (in terms of course setups or others). We have so many tools at our disposal. Just go with whatever feels comfortable.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I pay 14.99 for Chrome’s Pro Boomerang extension for my inbox. I love it!! I am able to get through items in my inbox and have them come back when I need them to be there. It takes all of the remembering and list-making away. I love that it comes back and is totally in my face until I deal with whatever the email is and also allows me not to worry about things until I need to.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Ha! See above. I really can’t say enough about Boomerang. I also really love Asana as a project management and organizational tool.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Never lose a customer again” by Joey Coleman. The book applies to every size of business and provides sound, rationale, and examples of how to provide an exceptional customer experience. The book digs into the real emotions and impact of the relationship between customers and business owners and digs into the first 100 days of the customer experience. We’ve all been customers and this book really demonstrates to business owners how to create an amazing experience.

What is your favorite quote?

“Great oaks from little acorns grow”. This reminds me to keep taking small steps because everything great generally comes from humble beginnings. It also reminds me that it also takes several seasons before things end up in the right place. Being small in stature myself, it’s a great visual reminder for me of why I keep going and the impact that I want to make.

Key Learnings:

  • One’s professional journey is a continuous process of learning and growing, hopefully getting every individual closer to something most impactful and meaningful. It really does take time, experience and reflection to step beyond what we think we are supposed to and to start doing what inspires us the most.
  • Everyone’s professional success is a very unique blend of how they choose to spend their time, the tools they use, and a process of trial and error to show up to do their best work.
  • Understanding and acting in alignment with an employee mindset vs. vendor mindset as a service provider is incredibly difficult but important. Ultimately, greater transparency and boundaries, if done correctly, can lead to a more productive and meaningful work relationship.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interview with Jill Koziol, Co-Founder of Motherly

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Interview with Jill Koziol, Co-Founder of Motherly

Jill Koziol is the co-founder and CEO of Motherly, a wellbeing destination empowering mothers to thrive with expert content, innovative product solutions, and supportive community. Motherly engages an audience of 40 million+ readers and viewers a month, with on-demand parent education classes, Webby-award winning videos, The Motherly Podcast, essays, and articles, and a highly-engaged social media community.

She is also the co-author of “The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama: Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey” and “This Is Motherhood: A Motherly Collection of Reflections and Practices.”

Jill is passionate about serving and empowering women and mothers because when mamas are successful, everyone wins. She is an advocate for families, female founders, and how to thrive with multiple sclerosis. Jill lives in Park City, Utah with her husband and two daughters.

Where did the idea for Motherly come from?

The short answer is that I cofounded Motherly simply because it didn’t exist and women were being significantly underserved by the parenting resources that were available to them back in 2015. The idea was born from a call with my now cofounder, Liz Tenety, an award-winning journalist and editor. She called to discuss the seedling of an idea she had for a platform that would speak to today’s modern mothers. On that first call we discovered we had a shared mission to support women as they become mothers and decided to build a next-generation brand that would redefine motherhood for the modern woman, that differentiated as woman-centered, expert-driven, and empowering.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I live and die by my calendar, scheduling every detail from work meetings to workouts to ensure I optimize every moment. The below is a typical day though increasingly I am having in person lunch or coffee meetings a couple times a week.

6:45am I start each day giving myself about 15 minutes in bed to check the news, emails, and my calendar for the day.

7:20am I’m dressed and ready for the day and in mom mode getting my daughters ready for the day and taking them to school

8am Call with my Chief of Staff to discuss any pressing matters and align on priorities

8:30am Workout

9:15 Email Check before returning to my home office

9:30 – 3pm Back to back internal and external video calls and meetings with hopefully a little time between to keep on top of email

3pm Pick up my daughters from school and bring them home for my husband and/or au pair to manage afternoon activities

3:30pm Email catchup, strategy work, occasional west coast calls

6pm – 8:30pm Family time!

8:30pm Final email check

9:30pm Shower & relax with my husband

10:30pm Bed, typically reading a bit before sleeping

How do you bring ideas to life?

I believe in sprints to timebox an idea, providing an opportunity to test and iterate, failing or succeeding quickly before scaling the idea.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Remote-first work policies. Motherly has been remote-first since our launch in 2015.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Timeboxing – I block time out for nearly everything on my calendar giving tasks defined periods to accomplish them – this allows me to stay focused and avoid multitasking too much.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’d tell myself to lead authentically, not to try to be a man or anyone other than who I am, leading with a full heart as my most authentic self. It took me a while in my 20s to learn that people sense authenticity and they follow it.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Nearly 50% of today’s mothers are the primary breadwinner in their families – it’s a fact that many are surprised to learn and have difficulty believing. Because of this it’s a business and competitive imperative that we find ways to support working mothers in the workplace – our economic future depends on it.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Cancel meetings – at the start of each week I cancel as meetings as possible. If it can be accomplished with an email, the goal isn’t clear, an agenda not established, or someone else can handle it as well or better than me, it’s canceled.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Hiring great people and getting out of their way, seeing my role as helping to unblock them so they can be successful.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I believe that success is created when passion and persistence combine and that sometimes the key is to simply stay alive long enough to be successful. So while I fail in little, and sometimes big, ways each day, I see this as part of the journey vs failure. For example, we launched our first digital video class for parents in 2016 and it wasn’t successful because the market wasn’t ready, our audience wasn’t large enough, etc. So we killed it. But now in 2022 much has changed and we are now building the largest expert-driven digital parenting education platform.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I’ve had this idea for a few years and haven’t found a solution yet – with so many streaming services featuring original series I find it hard to know when a new season of a favorite show is launched. I’d love for someone to launch an app that I can flag series I love across all streaming platforms that will notify me when a new season is released. It would be great if it also made recommendations for similar series. If this happens to already exist, please send it my way!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I buy fresh flowers weekly for my home office and while it may seem indulgent, I find that it brings me joy and encourages mindfulness during the day, both important for me to find each day to motivate me.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Trello – I keep track of to-dos and 1:1 topics for my direct reports, as well as notes from meetings.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Reshma Saujani’s new book, “Pay Up”, is an important read on the future of women in the workplace. The ideas she outlines are things Motherly has implemented over the last 7 years, proving they work and can be scaled.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is, “there’s nothing like 10 years of hard work to look like an overnight success.” This has been a critical mantra for me and Motherly because I so often compare myself and our business to others that have been around for a very long time.

Key Learnings:

  • Success is created when passion and persistence combine.
  • Time is your most valuable asset and should be protected fiercely.
  • The only person that you can truly be authentically is yourself. Spend time figuring out who you are, not who you should act like.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interview with Naz De Bono, Founder of Xali

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Interview with Naz De Bono, Founder of Xali

To Naz de Bono, 50, health and fitness has never been just a job, it’s an innate, fire-in-the-belly passion. A passion for the physical body within herself, and that of helping others reach their best place of physical health.

After an early life feeling disaffected by sport, Naz turned to personal training as a way to understand both the strengths and limitations of her own body and mind, and how to work with those challenges to get the best out of herself every single time. For over 20 years, Naz has worked and studied alongside specialist trainers, nutritionists, and mindfulness experts to do the work and learn the lessons.

Cut to a few years ago where Naz had her own very lonely and confusing experience of Perimenopause and Menopause. Naz realised that she wanted to combine her knowledge with her own personal journey to drive the creation of Xali, and build a safe, supportive community for women to access.

Naz’s way of training – the XALI way – is not to challenge you to push beyond your limits, to drag you through the grades to the point of injury or exhaustion. Rather, she will align with your goals and expectations, supporting you every step of the way.

Where did the idea for Xali come from?

When I started going through menopause my whole world seemed upside down. Things that had usually worked for me no longer did. Even my own 14 day challenge programs, which always got me results in the past and left me feeling great, weren’t having the same impact anymore. There were so many fitness apps out there that may be great, but didn’t seem to be helping women like me. On any given day I didn’t know which woman I was going to wake up as. On top of that I suffer from Elhers Danlos Syndrome, which means I have had many injuries, tendon and ligament tears which my doctor confirmed were being exacerbated by menopause.

The more I researched, the more I realised there was nothing out there to address my ever changing emotions (hormone emotions!) So I set out to build a platform with (New Beach) that would serve you up a daily workout based on HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL!

Xali is founded on the realisation that our bodies need many things. We need to have variability in our training but in the right dosage. We need Strength, Cardio, Power, Recovery Pilates and Yoga. I wanted to write an algorithm for each level of woman with different sets of goals to give them a 6 week training program that focuses on ALL their needs for vitality, health longevity and happy movement.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I’ve always been an early riser. Some of my best work is done in the morning before anyone else is awake. I used to jump out of bed, grab my coffee and a big glass of water and hit the gym. Since going through perimenopause, I have adapted my routine to suit me better and I take more time to set out my intentions. This has proved important with my new menopause body which is more prone to joint pain.

Before I even open my eyes, I take a few deep diaphragmatic breaths, whilst repeating this simple serenity ‘prayer’.

I then let the dog out, boil the kettle and turn the coffee machine for my double shot espresso. A very quick body brush to boost lymphatic if time allows, shower finishing with cold burst and then have 1 litre of warm water with a teaspoon of good quality sea salt. Check what my XALI tailored workout is as I drink my coffee. Workout – no matter where I am, I always make sure I have an area set up for me to do my morning session which makes it so much easier to do! Go for a walk and either listen to a podcast or music.

I then meet up with the team and take them through Wimhof breath work and visualisation every Monday to set us all up for the week. I built our team of women from love, and all of us are pretty spiritual, so I am free to expose all my ‘woo woo’ as we call it!

I spend time with each person in my team and we go through what needs to be done / addressed that day and then it’s all systems go updating the platform.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I love that you ask this as I know my best ideas happen when I am moving rather than static. Walking, cycling or doing an intuitive workout session. I always keep voice memos that I store for later as stopping and writing things down will interrupt my flow.

I use otter.ai to play back my recordings into Word documents. I work very closely with my husband, Leo, who has a genius and analytical mind. It has to be said, he winds me up because he questions everything and makes me look at every idea from all sides. This can make the process very lengthy but my attention to detail has improved so much. It can make things slightly annoying for 2 young girls, who feel we are constantly talking work at the dinner table.

When I begin to design workouts and programs for XALI, it can take months. My process begins with jotting down the workout basic outline on my iPhone or a scrap piece of paper. Once I have trialled it physically and passed the feel good factor, it gets written on to a massive A3 post it note and stuck on the wall of our home. Every single workout is colour coded. I think in colours. I learn in colour. It may make no sense to anyone else, but is how all my ideas come to life.

Each workout is designed with music. By creating a playlist for each one I know that I can perform and film the workout with the right emotion and tempo for the particular XALI woman I am creating for, hence it is a true tailor-made emotional platform for women.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Whimhof! But not rigidly. When I first tried, I didn’t like it so much. It felt very male in its energy. Then I met an incredible human being on one of my retreats that I go on regularly to reset myself. He brought a softness, emotion and surrender so that it became much more about breath work, followed by a surrender to the ice. Rather than the fight I had always felt before. I have never liked the cold. I am Egyptian and love to bask in the sun and feel the heat of it on my skin, but when I felt the benefits in my body and joint pain I decided to bring it into my self-care regime. Although now it’s winter, I focus on the breath work and not so much the cold!

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Remembering my WHY. There’s not much in the way of resources for women going through perimenopause and menopause and I want to create a solution for this. Like any entrepreneur, identify a problem and find / make a solution.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your intuition. That voice inside is your wisdom. Don’t try to be like everyone else, fit the mould. Be you, because everyone else is taken. Stay curious about everything. Always listen before speaking, I know that your words have a big impact so choose them carefully. Love yourself, as hard as that may seem, you cannot love anyone else until you love YOU. Find and connect with people who make you laugh, who make you feel good about yourself, who inspire you, challenge you but do not wish to compete with you. When you find your people, your tribe, that’s when your visions and dreams come true. Be kind, always.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Hardly anyone agrees with my own unique way of working on things. It has been said over and over that I work too hard and need to step away from it. While this may be true, I feel it is my tunnel vision when I am working on any project close to my heart (including XALI) I cannot think or work on anything else. I am in the zone so no, I don’t multitask when I am in flow because I am fully present. And I feel that is what people deserve when they ask something of me.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

IRT which has changed my life. It is unlike any other spiritual work I have found, because it is instantaneous and effortless. IRT bridges science and spirituality.

The reason I love Maureen Edwardson’s work is because it is a formula of questions that activates a part of you that knows your authentic self. Think of IRT, as a defrag and anti-viral program, for your human supercomputer (yes that is what we all are!). Once we allow the part of us that knows who we are, there are no boundaries. Then you can achieve all that you want. Why wouldn’t I share this secret with you?

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Realising I needed to step into a place of leadership without expecting to be out front shouting CHARGE!

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Launched an online fitness app during COVID, when every gym, personal trainer and Influencer went on line. I no longer think of this as a failure but as an expanded opportunity to launch a more complete service to women of the world.

If there is one thing that COVID has taught us, it is we need to be more in touch with our emotional side. This was the birth of XALI.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Two things I think someone needs to invent or develop. Firstly a range of shirts or tops that’s designed for women’s shapes to still be figure hugging in a flattering fashion, but that doesn’t get makeup stains all over it when you take it off. I think so much women’s fashion is designed to look great but you take off a jumper or t-shirt and it drags along your face, taking with it, half your makeup and then it’s ruined. Another thing I think should be invented is a fabric that doesn’t show the white deodorant marks on black tops. There are deodorants out there that supposedly don’t show up on black fabrics but I am yet to find one that actually works. So let’s flip that concept and create a fabric where the deodorant doesn’t stain the material. Working in the fitness industry, these are real world annoyances that someone needs to solve!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A facial. Because it makes me feel good and I love the beautiful Parker at Aesthetica, Byron who does it!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Otter.ai. I listen to so many podcasts, I keep a journal on my iPhone voice recorder – all kinds of ideas, to play back my recordings into Word documents. I also record all conversations I have with my mentor.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Your Magical Evolutionary Code Unleashed – The Science of Inner Resonance by Maureen Edwardson. This book automatically activates your subconscious with the science of who you are. Dr. Bruce Lipton said “Maureen’s pioneering work is vital to our Evolution”.

What is your favorite quote?

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m Possible”
Audrey Hepburn

Key Learnings:

  • Trust your intuition!
  • Taking time for yourself and prioritising your needs is not selfish, it’s empowering!
  • Always remember your WHY and understand it’s ok to do things differently to everyone else – that’s what makes you YOU and what will likely create your success.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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