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Interviews

Interview with Cyndee Harrison from Synaptic

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Cyndee Harrison, who recently launched Synaptic, a business consultancy that helps entrepreneurial leaders address their most common challenges–people, systems, and marketing.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Sure! My superpower is taking complex issues and breaking them down into smaller, more bite-sized pieces. This has helped me become successful as a trainer as well as a marketer. 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

Launching Synaptic is a culmination of my last 20 years of training and experience, not only in Marketing but also in Operations and People Development. I’m confident in the training and initiatives that I’ve put together and I’m passionate about them.

Still, I think it’s always a little tricky to promote yourself since most of us suffer from imposter syndrome and have those moments of questioning why anyone in their right mind would listen to us. And so, it’s felt great to have so many people — some of whom I haven’t heard from in ages — who have stepped forward with words of encouragement and support. It’s been very humbling to realize the impact that I’ve made with different clients or projects or jobs that I’ve had along the way. So it’s been sincerely heartwarming to reconnect.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I don’t know if it’s funny to anyone else, but I always find myself kinda chuckling when I hear one of my advisors telling me to refine my message or be more succinct. Over the years, I’ve coached dozens of clients on the importance of doing exactly that and boiling their messaging down, and yet it’s a real ongoing struggle for me.  I think that there are a lot of entrepreneurs who run into this sort of thing in their own businesses, feeling like the cobbler’s children who have no shoes.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

The marketplace is flooded with solutions that are aimed at entrepreneurial leaders. Business owners have countless books to read or webinars to watch or conferences to attend. But bringing that back to their brick-and-mortar business and successfully executing new strategies throughout the organization can be challenging and lonely work. The Synaptic Approach is different because we walk through new initiatives with every level of the organization. We not only work with the business owners and leaders but with front-line employees. This approach keeps everyone focused and accountable and it’s why I am comfortable guaranteeing my work — because this is how long-term success if built, from the ground up. It’s something that I’m really proud of.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

One of my favorite mantras is ‘Everything is Temporary’. I think that fatigue is a natural byproduct of passion. Being an entrepreneur can be exhausting, no question. Focusing on the long-term objective rather than short-term “over-this-ness” can help prevent fatigue from evolving into full-blown burnout.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There have been so many people who have helped me along the way, it’s difficult to pin down just one. I’m lucky to have a lot of people in my life who are very entrepreneurial-minded and hardworking, particularly my family. When I think of one person of influence, I would have to say that my last job involved a lot of exposure to new things because it was such a unique situation.

I worked for a family-owned business, a pawnshop, that was the subject of a really successful reality television show. I’m lucky that my boss, a fourth-generation pawnbroker, was really generous in letting me take on new challenges and try some pretty remarkable things such as dozens of national and international media tours, a Financial Literacy Class for our customers and a Workforce Diversity project that provided meaningful employment to individuals on the Autism spectrum. As a result, I ended up traveling all around the world as well as all over the country not only on media events but also working with other business owners. Ironically, it helped me have the confidence to launch out on my own.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

As I look back over my career, I’ve been a part of some pretty cool things that brought significant change into the world. I briefly mentioned a couple of them before, like the Financial Literacy Course and Workforce Diversity. But there’s one that is remarkable to me just because I could have never anticipated its outcomes.

The economic downturn that began in 2008 impacted donations to arts and cultural organizations across the country and Metro Detroit was particularly hard hit. I was managing communications for the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan at the time and it was our job to help these hard hit organizations not only survive but thrive.

We knew that one of the key things that these nonprofits needed to ensure their survivability was an online presence, so we launched a one-day online giving challenge using a pretty significant grant as a matching fund. The caveat was that in order to be eligible to participate, these organizations were required to have an online presence, something that most of them sorely lacked.

It was one of the first endeavors of its kind in the world and we raised almost $5M in a single day, all in online gifts, surpassing our original goal by almost $2M. I still get goosebumps when I think of this, because it started with a few of us huddling around a table helping these organizations launch their first Facebook pages or websites and it ended up contributing to their survivability in ways that remain important to this day.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of my favorite quotes is “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” by poet Mary Oliver. It’s a simple reminder that we really only get one chance to design a life that we will be content to look back upon someday. I do my best to remember how wild and precious each and every day really is.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1-FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN ATTAIN: When I was first exploring the possibility of launching a business consultancy, I found that there are a LOT of gurus out there whose webinars and emails promise untold fortunes and followers when you follow their approach. When I applied their revenue goals to my own work, however, I ended up with the feeling that I was falling short even though I was successful by any measure of a business launch. Therefore, I had to take a look back and re-examine the goals and success measures that I had set for myself and align them with my mission which is what I would advise others to do from day one.

2-WE LIVE IN A GOLDEN AGE—AS LONG AS YOU SEE IT FOR WHAT IT IS: Never before in history have we had the access to information, communications, and connectedness that we now enjoy. This shows no signs of stopping or slowing down, but that doesn’t mean that we need to abandon the personal interactions that make us human. So keep posting, keep growing your online reach … but keep on showing up too. Keep lunching and coffee-ing and mentoring and volunteering and networking and writing personal notes. Because we can’t know what’s next, be we do know this — our ability to connect to one another shouldn’t depend exclusively on any one channel or medium. My business launch really only felt real when I started kicking myself off of my laptop and showing up at networking events and reaching out to set in-person meetings with people that I know.

3-NOISE ISN’T KNOWLEDGE: Before I started researching my launch, I don’t think I fully appreciated how much the term ‘entrepreneur’ has morphed over the past few years. I have a personal friend who went on a nutritional program a couple years ago who now sells these products for the company. She not only considers herself an entrepreneur, but also an influencer in the personal nutrition space, largely based on the quantity of content that she posts to her social media profiles about the topic. I also have countless other connections who promote themselves as beauty industry influencers because they post videos of makeup tutorials. All of us enjoy feeling like our opinions and viewpoints matter and we all do have a level of influence over others, but we need to stop kidding ourselves. Not everyone should be an influencer.

4-ACTION WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE PRODUCES FAILURE: About 15 years ago, I launched a business that was remarkably successful. My success in executing gave me a really false sense of confidence in my own ability to do everything involved in running a business. As a result, I attempted to handle my own bookkeeping and accounting. And I ended up in a big mess. Luckily, I had good resources to help me clean it up, but it was long, painful, and expensive. I’d had the best of intentions and certainly wanted what was best for this company that I owned, but I unintentionally derailed the success of the business. Similarly, there are well-intentioned and highly motivated employees who make critical errors in business every single day because they’re tasked with doing things for which they have a skills gap. Motivation and mindset are never enough. When you don’t know what you’re doing, stop and ask and get help.

5-BE NICE TO YOURSELF: I’m my own harshest critic which is something that I think is pretty common to entrepreneurs. This time around, though, I’m taking some steps back to remind myself that I’m doing my very best every day—days that I knock it out of the park or days that I strike out swinging—and I am making a more conscious effort to stop myself when I hear negative self-talk bouncing around in my head.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It sounds sappy, but I wish that there was more of an emphasis placed on the importance of self-awareness in our society. When we each understand our own needs, desires, strengths, and shortcomings, I think it makes us more empathetic to others. We start to see the need for surrounding ourselves with others who can offset our weaknesses.

We live in a world where there’s so little privacy, even for those of us who aren’t famous or well-known. This connectedness can breed judgment and toxicity, whereas it would be really nice if we could reverse that and instead begin to look at one another and seeing our imperfections and faults as opportunities to relate to one another and support one another. 

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I love connecting on Linkedin and I’m pretty easy to find because I spell my name so oddly (Cyndee Harrison).

My Synaptic channels are all listed at www.synapticapproach.com and I’d love to hear feedback from your readers!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

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Entrepreneurship

Interview with Raul Villacis – The Edge

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Raul Villacis from The Edge. Raul has started a global wave of male re-empowerment. As an entrepreneur and a man who believes in the power of family, Raul knows the difficulties men face as they try to find balance in being business leaders, family men and role models. He knows what it’s like to pursue balance while trying to find strategies to boost life to the next level. His determination and drive are fueled by an overwhelming desire to bring about tangible change. After years of research and personal experience, Raul has developed a unique and powerful approach to help individuals create balance, find purpose and infuse creativity into their lives. His highly successful professional development brand, “The Next Level Experience” focuses on helping entrepreneurs, CEOs and celebrities devise a system to regain the balance in their lives and create success in any economy. Raul is a highly successful entrepreneur with over fourteen years of business experience. As the CEO of minority-owned and operated, ARG Advisors, a real estate firm based in Connecticut and New York, he led the company to consistently market and sell over $100 million per year in distressed real estate. His acumen working with top financial institutions caused the Wall Street Journal to dub ARG as “One of the Nation’s Top Real Estate Firms”. Raul can relate to business owners and companies because of his own success keeping ARG strong and profitable through the financial meltdown. Raul has also co-authored books with Steve Forbes and Brian Tracy. He believes The EDGE stems from having the capacity to execute while others sit on the sidelines and wait. Learn how you can get the EDGE at www.TheNextLevelExperience.com

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Interviews

Interview with Anastasiia Dashynska

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Anastasiia Dashynska. (Two university degrees, A number of international certificates (including  PsychologyWorld, InternationalNLP), Scientific articles on coaching and psychology; the author of self-coaching diaries)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

  1. Coaching services are becoming more and more popular in the last decade, and accordingly, coaching does not stand still as a direction. Now there are over 500 species. This is not to mention the number of people offering their services. At the same time, most of them are people thanks to a rather narrow arsenal of tools obtained by a coach in the learning process. However, most importantly, it works.
    It turns out that having the right tools everyone can be a coach. Therefore, I had an idea to offer people something they need to achieve results without resorting to the services of a coach.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

The best job is to do what you love – in this case, this definition will be one of the most correct. Initially, I developed methods “for personal use”, depending on the problems, interesting and relevant to my loved ones. Accordingly, I rechecked each element, the logical connection of questions and their impact on the perception of customers or friends. They turned out to be effective, but the process took a long time. So, there was a situation when there was a choice between creating a method and direct consultation. And then, there was an interesting story-one of my client (and a friend part-time), learning that I cannot give her time, said, “Give mnesvoi records on the topic I need, and I’ll try to work myself.” Oddly enough, it turned out to be no less effective than the classic work in a bunch of coach-client.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

This is quite interesting: Since my audience speaks different languages, I came to a rather original decision – to lead one page, but in Russian and English at the same time. This is a very unusual decision, because to communicate and distribute attention to 2 so different key groups is a kind of challenge. But now I understand that this step was too desperate – English-speaking subscribers of the page regularly received notifications about new posts in Russian, the same happened with Russian-speaking. This made a fuss and did not give the expected results. That OK, I had to go on cardinal step – to remove this fan-page and open two new. Conclusion? Do not mix what is not comparable to each other.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

There are no secrets and special stories here – just what I do really helps people, respectively, is in demand. But if in the case of coaching consultations requires a record, the agreed time and a considerable amount of money, when working with my self-coaching diaries, this process is simplified – a person just buy it and print. Then he can return to its use at the moment when he sees fit. Another important issue is the price – its purchase is much cheaper than a live coaching session. The last factor is very low competition. I monitor what is currently on the market of such services and I can say with confidence that today, I do not see competition. In addition, coaching services – is not only the business organization, but primarily a specialist, around which the business is built.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

If there is a huge competition in coaching, this is a self-coaching area that is not yet clear enough. But I’m sure there will be many more authors. I think it is worth paying attention to the fact that with the cooperation of the coach with the client, one can control the course of the conversation, feel the state and humor of the person and undermine it. In self-coaching, there is no such possibility and we must assume that usually the client does not understand the psychology and standard tools, therefore, all the achievements should be max simple and at the same time, effective enough for everyone, and for zmogl himself to find the answer he is looking for.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There are number of common stereotypes; one of them comes down to the fact that a person must act according to a certain given scenario: born, learned, then he must work according to the profession he has received and do what he has learned. It does not matter if he chose this path himself and whether it was true (my diary was just dedicated to this “false goals” so, about the same scenario was assumed for me. Therefore, given the fact that I am a journalist by my first education, I was predicted to have a career in this field. Not all my developments have arisen out of nowhere. All of us are dependent on the environment one way or another. In my case, I can say that those who were around me treated the project rather skeptically or simply indifferent. Only one friend of mine believed in – actually, a rather problematic person, on whom, were “tested” new tools in the first place. In addition, he, understanding that “it works,” showed interest and fully helped.  Now, trying to answer on this question, I cannot say unequivocally that more helped those who supported and gave faith or those who were indifferent and thereby aroused excitement and a desire to show something. In any case, I am grateful for both.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?  

Understanding yourself is very helpful. Any psychologist will tell you this. The paradox is that people actually do it very rarely (most often when an urgent need arises). Why?

Usually there is no time for this or no apparent need, so many go around for their problems or agree to much less than they deserve. Another problem is that not everyone is willing to share their goals, plans or feelings with someone else. Therefore, self-coaching is the most obvious solution. Namely, the self-coaching diaries that I create become the tool that helps to find answers with ease. So, the search for answers becomes available for everyone. Moreover, my practice shows that people sometimes look for such unexpected solutions that it completely changes their lives. In turn changes in each individual at least a little, but can change the world around.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

«No one can understand you better than you». By acting as a personal coach, I concluded that most people sincerely believe that someone else can solve their internal problems. They come to specialists hopefully that they will find answers and solutions instead of them. However, it is apparently that outside help cannot be as effective as the conclusions reached by self. In addition, the most important answers are hidden in the man; only he has to find the time and energy to talk to himself “heart to heart”. Only for this, you need the right tools on which I focused my attention.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. People need simplicity.

I have a number of scientific articles that analyze certain psychological problems in detail from a scientific point of view. All this is quite understandable for specialists, but a person who has not encountered psychology is unlikely to be able to understand all the details. Accordingly, it is not necessary to show many nuances, you just need to create a “track” that leads to the result step by step. In my case, these are chains of consecutive questions, which are simple and intuitive; everyone gets to the depths of his subconscious and finds the necessary answers in response to them

  1. Do not take on too much.

Initially, it seems that the organization of the process will be simple – there are a number of understandable actions that you just need to regularly perform. However, the more actively the project develops, the more tasks appear, and all this needs to be kept on memo.

  1. The more tasks, the more detailed the organization is.

In continuation of the previous topic, it becomes a question of organization. It is almost impossible to keep a large amount of parts in mind and it takes a lot of energy, so there is a need to separate tasks into subtasks and systematize them. By the way, when I faced this problem myself, I created a self-coaching diary…

  1. Separation of duties

Even if you are superman, you will not be able to do everything. In addition, to find the right people at the last moment is very difficult, so you should think about it in advance and find like-minded people.

  1. The subtleties of the language

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amounts of good to the people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It seems to me that what I am doing now is precisely that movement.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://www.facebook.com/Anastasiia.Dashynska/

https://dashynska.online/en/main

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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Entrepreneurship

Interview With Tal Maimon The CEO That’s Disrupting The Luxury Rental Business In L.A.

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I had the pleasure of interviewing 33-year-old Tal Maimon, CEO of Maimon Luxury Rentals and Concierge services. He currently lives in Los Angeles taking over the luxury rental business. I wanted to learn more about this business and the lessons he had for entrepreneurs who might be interested as well. Here’s what he had to say:

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you give us a look into your background story and how you got started in the Luxury Rental Business?

Tal: At age 23 I completed my service in the Israeli Navy and decided to move to united states. I worked as a waiter for the first year and slowly began to set my sights on a position that was more financially stable. After that I worked in construction to gradually build my knowledge on how to build a home, from cost of materials and goods to financing. I really enjoyed my work however, I had always felt that my interest’s were in real-estate. During my work in construction I took the opportunity to invest in a solar company which I am currently a partner at. By this time in my life I was also a nightclub owner and partner in a production company.

The lessons I have learned during this process have played a huge role in my success. The people I have met along the way have been so inspirational and have really shown me that with dedication and hard work anything is possible.

It’s sort of full circle for me that I’ve ended up where I am today. Growing up my father was in real estate and I remember him always pushing us to pursue a career in real estate as well. In 2017 I decided to take the initiative and combine all the connections I have made over the years with clients, realtors and homeowners and provide a luxury service for high end clientele. By 2018 it was apparent that I needed to expand my business since the demand for this specific kind of luxury services was high. I got in touch with every homeowner I knew and slowly started to expand my listings. It’s been a fast growth but that’s not to say that hard work hasn’t been done. On the contrary I have spent countless hours going over details and contracts with both home owners and the clients to insure all parties are satisfied. Every job, lesson and hardship I have had has fully prepared me for the position I currently have. I really enjoy what I do and that to me is a blessing in itself.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company? 

Tal: Once I had an individual contact me regarding a birthday for their 75 year old grandmother. They had given me the list of the attendees and what I assumed was the correct number of guests. It sounded like a great gathering with friends and loved ones. We also had a mutual friend so to me it sounded like a great deal and I agreed not to take a big deposit. I knew that both the homeowners and the clients would be happy with the services that I was providing. 

So, I went ahead and verified the booking and received the payment and all was well. Little to my knowledge the house I had just rented out was being used for a party of 100+ people who were parked all over, blocking homes and driveways, and creating an overall disturbance, not to mention breaching a contract they had signed. Needless to say I was left to deal with the aftermath of police officers, tow trucks, not to mention all the damage that was done. That day I learned a very important lesson. To protect myself, homeowners and clients because at the end of the day, this business works best with long term relationships and commitments.

What inspired you to go after the luxury renting Industry?

Tal: I wasn’t born into a luxurious life style but growing up I always knew that I wanted to have more. It just so happened that my father’s advice along with my connections gave me a perfect platform to launch Maimons Group.

What has been the biggest challenge and, on the flip side, the biggest reward of starting the Maimons Group?

Tal: The biggest challenge was transitioning from nightlife to luxury services. Of course, it’s a completely different clientele and of course, we all know how much doubt there is with starting a new business. But I truly believe that if you aim for perfection and set high standards for your own performance, then you will succeed

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? What lesson did you learn from them?

Tal: Adrian, who has been my friend for over 10 years was the one who introduced me to this market and really showed me the ins and out of what it takes to have a successful rental company business. It is because of him that I used my connections in the city and applied it to this business. An I am immensely thankful for him. It’s a blessing to be around people who support you and help you to reach your end goals.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Tal: The best advice would have to be the one my father gave me. I remember his words vividly.

“Pick your partners wisely, everything is good when its good and everything is bad when is bad. to get in to partnership or a relationship is easy, to finish them is where it gets hard and ugly.”

What were the biggest entrepreneurship lessons you learned from your experience with Maimons Group?

  1. The biggest lesson for me has been to deal with homeowners and clients directly. This way you’re minimizing misunderstandings and you’re also building a connection that will essentially bring you returning clients.
  2. Always make sure to have the payment and deposit before the client checks in. In this way you’re protecting the homeowners and yourself. So many people in this city bypass this very basic step and end up with damaged property and extended stays that will never be paid for. My goal has always been to protect the homeowner and provide a nice experience for the client.

What’s the best way for our readers to find you?

 

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