Thought Center


John D. Russell – Photographer, Entrepreneur & Leaper

I have had the pleasure of working with photographer, John D. Russell during several Habitat for Humanity events over the years. There is something special about the people you meet at Habitat builds – from the volunteers who arrive with an open heart and zero build skills to the crew leaders (made up mostly of volunteers) to professionals like John Russell, who provide their time and expertise to support the mission in other ways.

Like all of the people I have met along my Habitat journey, John has become a friend and I am so happy he agreed to share his entrepreneurial story with me. There are many layers to John, which may explain his ability to capture people and places so beautifully. As always, I hope John’s story will inspire others out there to follow their passion and take the big Leap!

Describe what you do for a living.

Photo credit: Paulius Staniunas


I am a Professional Photographer.

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Interview with Entrepreneur Lindsey Morando – Marketing Coach & Leaper

Lindsey Morando is the co-founder of The Marketing Co-op, a company that helps female entrepreneurs simplify the marketing process. I am incredibly proud and excited to share this next Leaper’s story because many years ago Lindsey accepted an internship with my team at House of Blues Entertainment. I have had the good fortune to watch her career blossom ever since and trust me when I say, I take no credit.  Lindsey is an enthusiastic force of marketing magic. After you read her story, you’ll understand why her big leap was no surprise to those of us who know her. Way to go, Lindsey!

What is The Marketing Co-Op?

“It finally feels like I am making an impact and my gifts and talents are fully being utilized.

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Interview with Entrepreneur Laura Conley – Yogi, Happiness Coach & Leaper

Recently, I saw a post on Facebook by Laura Conley, who was celebrating three years as an entrepreneur. As I read about her journey, her energy leapt off my screen and I instantly knew I had to share her story.

“It’s the best life ever!”

Laura and I met when she joined the Development department for my client, Habitat forHumanity of Greater Los Angeles, several years ago. As it turned out, her previous job was in sales at Konica Minolta, reporting to one of my dear friends. We hit it off instantly and stayed in touch even after she left Habitat LA to pursue another sales job. I have watched her journey unfold, thanks to Facebook, and I am so thrilled she agreed to share her entrepreneurial journey here. I hope Laura’s story, and those that will follow in this series, will inspire and motivate others to take that magical leap too.

Please tell us what you do for a living?

I am a Yoga Teacher and a Happiness Coach.

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21 Keys To A Successful Business

When Hildy Gottlieb, author of “The Pollyanna Principles,” spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders in Los Angeles a few years ago, she asked us to walk to the balcony of the meeting room and look out at the horizon.  With the sun setting over the Hollywood hills, it was easy to use the analogy of the skyline representing the mission and goals of each individual organization.

She then told the group that their shoes represented the day-to-day activities required to keep their companies going. She then pointed out that when you look at the things right under your nose, you lose sight of the big picture…that when you are focused on your shoes, you lose sight of the skyline.

For many companies, it feels like there is only time  and focus  on the  “the shoes.

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Celebrating Ten Years as an Entrepreneur!

It was ten years ago this month that I walked away from what I refer to as my last real job.  I was in charge of strategic marketing for House of Blues and for the nearly four years I was there it was a great job.  After surviving several rounds of layoffs during what seemed like the demise of the music industry, I was proud to be leaving on my terms, bound for life as an independent contractor.  I had no idea where this new path would take me and I was nervous as hell, but I knew I was headed in the right direction.

The first year on my own was filled with challenges and apologies to clients (I quickly discovered the pitfalls of selling services) but I persevered and found my groove.  That year I made significantly less money (less than I’d made in a very long time) yet it was the happiest I’d been in years…maybe ever.

I no longer had to ask permission to arrive late, leave early or take the day off.  I was the boss, in charge of my destiny.

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