The Bellwether, October 1 2023

BELLWETHER 3RD Quarter 2023 THE Issue 4






Editor’s Note

Our promise is to deliver added value, without the ads. In today's business climate, many companies big and small have lost their way when it comes to upholding a high standard of core values and ethics. We believe that in order to create a more honest business society and to promote trust between corporations and consumers, we cannot simply rely on society’s laws to dictate how we should behave and conduct business. We must seek out and develop the habit of doing what is right, not just what is legal. This is a great first step in reforming our business culture and can result in an action that can truly change the world. Please review our Credo and join us in helping the world live well and prosper fairly. We hope you enjoy The Bellwether Magazine.

Our Belief

We live in a world that is full of content, much of which is geared towards entrepreneurs, fashion lovers and lifestyle enthusiasts. However, the majority of even the most established magazines have become overrun with ads and provide little value. Our vision is to provide a high value magazine and resource that is geared towards entrepreneurs and business leaders who enjoy fashion, travel, and a diversity of culture. Our Mission One of the main objectives of The Bellwether Magazine is to not only provide extreme value to our readers, but to promote our Credo. Our hopes are to attain the eventual goal of 10,000 companies adopting it as the framework by which they operate and do business on a daily basis.

Executive Editor Michael Garrison


Real Estate Road Map


Health Hacks




Bellwether Features


Closing Credits


Money with Morals


Tech Bytes


What’s the Word


Author Advantage


Not Forgotten






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ABOUT THE TEAM The Bellwether Magazine began as a humble passion project by a group of visionary entrepreneurs with a shared goal—to create a platform that celebrates the journey of entrepreneurship, from the thrill of starting a venture to the triumphs of scaling and beyond. Like you, we know the exhilarating highs and daunting challenges of forging one's path in the business world. It was this shared experience that drove us to build a community of like-minded individuals, pooling together our collective wisdom to inspire and support each other on our entrepreneurial quests.

Tanya Brockett | Managing Editor

Deborah Froese | Contributing Writer

Michael Garrison | Executive Editor

Debra Wallace | Contributing Writer

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“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” John Rohn



Becoming an Authority What Makes Someone An Authority to Speak on Real Estate Investment

In the dynamic world of business, where opportunities abound, real estate investment stands as a time-tested path to financial success and wealth creation. For the savvy investor or aspiring entrepreneur, the realm of real estate offers a diverse array of strategies and approaches to explore. From educational initiatives to strategic partnerships and innovative investment methods, let's delve into the intricacies of real estate investment that can pave the way for entrepreneurs to thrive. Speaking on any topic can be a very lucrative endeavor if you have the credentials and the charisma to pull it off. Some do, many do not. However, much more thought should be put into who YOU should listen to and whose advice you should, and more importantly, should not, take, especially when many real estate deals require expertise and large sums of your hard earned money.

possessing a comprehensive educational background is paramount. An authority in this field should have a profound understanding of the market dynamics, economic trends, and financial principles that drive successful real estate ventures. They should have invested time in learning about property valuation, risk assessment, and effective negotiation techniques. Having successfully completed educational programs, workshops, and seminars demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning. However, nothing is a substitute for actually doing it and being successful in the existing marketplace of today. An authority should be able to guide others through the process of acquiring knowledge from many sources, enabling them to make well- informed investment decisions.







should firsthand experience in leveraging these partnerships to optimize investment opportunities. possess Effective should recount stories of successful ventures made possible speakers through strategic alliances with experienced realtors. Sharing insights on how to find, engage, and maintain these relationships offers valuable guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to navigate the intricacies of the real estate ecosystem.

Strategies that Stand Out: Wholesaling and Fix and Flip

An be proficient in the strategies that define the field. For instance, an authority on wholesaling should have hands-on experience in identifying distressed properties, evaluating market potential, and negotiating advantageous deals. Their individual should expertise in building a network of investors, coupled with their ability to share practical advice, makes them a trusted source of information.




Bridging the Gap

A credible speaker on real estate investment should be able to articulate the symbiotic relationship between investors and realtors. They should not only understand the distinct roles each plays but also emphasize




Building Success



When it comes to speaking on the topic of real estate investment

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Similarly, a speaker specializing in the fix and flip strategy should showcase their prowess in assessing renovation costs, understanding design trends, and estimating resale value accurately. Their insights should encompass both the technical aspects of property transformation and the strategic decisions that lead to lucrative outcomes.

continuous A recognized speaker should be well-versed in the industry's latest trends, technological advancements, and innovative practices. Their insights into the rising demand for data- driven decision-making and specialized certifications show their commitment to driving excellence in the field. learning. By spotlighting the advantages of ongoing education, an authority inspires aspiring entrepreneurs to seek out resources that equip them to thrive in a dynamic market. Their ability to articulate the benefits of obtaining certifications, such as CCIM or REIT Manager, adds credibility to their expertise.

As you consider those who should be an authority worth listening to speak on real estate investment, look for individuals who possess a robust educational foundation, hands- on experience, and a track record of successful ventures. These qualities, combined with a passion for sharing knowledge and empowering others, make for an authority who can truly illuminate the path to entrepreneurial success in the ever changing world of real estate investment.

Harnessing the Power of Real Estate Investment Groups

An authority on real estate investment should advocate for the power of collaboration, particularly through investment groups. They should have actively participated in or facilitated real estate investment group activities, demonstrating their firsthand understanding of the benefits and challenges such groups offer. By sharing success stories and lessons learned, they provide a roadmap for others to capitalize on collective expertise and resources.

Your Journey Begins

An authorized speaker on real estate investment is not just a repository of knowledge; they are a guide, a mentor, and a source of inspiration. Their ability to distill complex concepts into actionable insights, coupled with their practical experiences, allows them to lead others toward success.

Michael Garrison is an investor, real estate entrepreneur, and construction industry consultant whose mission has been to promote purpose, security, and success. He was once a radio celebrity and is also the executive editor at The Bellwether magazine. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

Empowering Through Education

Staying ahead in the ever- evolving landscape of real estate requires adaptability and

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Igniting the Presence Movement: Three Steps for Conscious Entrepreneurs

By Anna Choi, Forbes Contributor

aligning our mind, body, heart, and soul. Yet, conscious entrepreneurs face significant challenges in today's rapidly changing business landscape.

exist, and 90% of the entire world’s data was generated in the last few years. Technology is only accelerating to the point of singularity. Imagine what it will be like two years from today.

In a world that once celebrated the relentless pursuit of growth at any cost, a new wave of conscious entrepreneurs is emerging. They're challenging the traditional "hustle and grind" culture and prioritizing well- being and happiness alongside profits. This shift is giving rise to what I call the Presence Movement.

Need for Constant Adaptation

Decision Overwhelm

In a world where technology evolves faster than our ability to keep up, adaptability is key. The deluge of daily data and the ever-accelerating pace of change mean the skills we acquire today may be obsolete tomorrow.

The information age has left us with countless choices and distractions, leading to decision fatigue. Conflicting online advice makes it difficult to align our decisions with our true selves and business objectives.






The Presence Movement is all about fully engaging in business and life. It's about conscious self-awareness, well-being, and

Some say 65% of preschoolers will be in jobs that don’t yet


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How This Applies to Your Business

ideally a week per quarter, to allow a full recharge for the next quarter. Once they realize that rest is not only more productive but required, it debunks any myth that working harder, longer or faster is more effective. Instead, they discover how going slower can actually be faster in creating more quality, long-term, sustainable progress.

accountable is sharing this with others. Staying connected in a community online or in person is key to keeping your commitment alive through the conversations you have with like-minded folks who care about this, too.

How make decisions for your business from the inside out, amidst the noise of the external world? In what ways can your business integrate the can you quadruple bottom line of people, planet, profit, and presence (the 4 P’s) to make a stronger impact in your community and beyond? These questions are what catalyzed the Presence Movement. Amid challenges, conscious entrepreneurs must ask two vital questions: these My clients have inquired into these questions. Just by asking themselves these questions, they are able to make new choices, allowing themselves to be more present and more in flow during their day. For example, one client has learned to breathe. They counted the number of breaths they took in a minute and discovered it was too high. They now set a timer labeled “breath” every hour that reminds them to pay attention to their body and notice their quality of breath. With other clients, they are now ensuring they take a minimum of four weeks, if not six weeks, off a year,

The Presence Movement Starts With You

Being present is a choice you make each moment, every instant, right now. By learning to listen to our breath, integrate our brain with our bodies and make more time to rest, we create an infinite wellspring of energy to draw from and circulate with others, elevating the consciousness of those around us and beyond. By igniting the fourth P, or presence, in the quadruple bottom line of people, planet, profit, and presence in your business, it allows an empty space to simply be, in wonder and awe of what will emerge. Original version published in

Three Simple Steps to Ignite a Presence Movement


Taking without commitment won’t work long term through the unexpected breakdowns that are likely to happen. By committing, you can navigate through challenges and obstacles. When the storms of life inevitably hit, your commitment acts as a beacon or guiding light of what direction to take next. actions


To calculate is to track and measure an intended action, or to design and plan. What is your baseline to measure your progress? Take an assessment, and then set a goal for where you want to go and what your focus will be for the next quarter.

Anna Choi, Founder and CEO of SolJoy, Forbes Author, and TEDx Speaker, serves high achieving, creative, conscious business leaders who want to quiet the mind chatter, cut through distractions, and tap into boundless energy creating leaders with more health, happiness, and peace. Learn more at


The key to making something be alive and to be held

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Photo Credit to Gabriel Meinert on Unsplash . | The Bellwether |

With Deborah Froese

Light the Way for Youth

Moving from a small rural town to the suburbs as a teenager threw me for a loop. I never quite found my place in that new community. Fortunately, during high school, three teachers took an interest in me. Although I didn’t recognize them as mentors then, their guidance provided a solid shot to my self-esteem and a sense of direction when I badly needed it. One of these mentors was a music teacher who recognized my passion for songwriting and my ability to play by ear. Instead of dragging me through music theory in the traditional fashion, she taught me how theory could help me play by ear more effectively. When I tackled a double major in high school— university-track courses and what was then known as “commercial art”—a graphic design teacher gave me real-world assignments to help develop my skills. He patiently encouraged me and taught me that creating art is not about perfection but communication, and that “mistakes” are better viewed as gateways to improvement. What a great life lesson! Eager to escape the confines of high school, I structured my timetable for early completion. I finished all but an English class in the first half of Grade 12. My English teacher arranged for me to complete the remaining coursework on my own time so that I could get a job instead of hanging around a place that made me miserable. She also allowed me to tailor one of the assignments to my love of music: I wrote a song for which she, a musician herself, provided solid feedback.

Each of these earthly angels saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself. Their willingness to spend time with and encourage me made a deep and lasting impression. They cared, and I felt it. Teenagers and young adults live on the brink of everything. When the future appears bleak or uncertain, they are deeply impacted. Today’s teens face unprecedented challenges in a tightly- wound world—gloomy news cycles, the pervasiveness of digital (social media) relationships over real ones, and the residual effects of the pandemic’s impact on social development.

Young people need us.

If you can offer a formal mentoring program to a young person through your business or another organization, do it. If you can’t, look for other ways to light their paths. Hire youth, tutor, or coach them. Model good work and leadership habits, remembering they may know more than you think they do in some areas and less in others. Acknowledge their efforts—even if, at first, those efforts aren’t great.

An adult willing to listen, encourage, and spend time with youth can make all the difference.

Is there a young person in your life who could use a friend or mentor? Reach out and see what happens. It could be life-changing for them and you.

Author, editor, and story coach Deborah Froese is on a mission to spark change through the stories we share.

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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of

their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt

How to Lower Your Liability Risk

Liability is always a risk in business, and the retreat industry is no exception. However, it is possible to lower your risk. The more thoroughly you prepare ahead of your retreat, the less likely you will encounter costly surprises. Clear and specific information, committed to by clients, reduces the chance for misunderstandings and liabilities. It reduces misconduct, too, creating a safe environment for everyone involved.

By Catherine Kontos

You certainly don’t want responsibility for an ill or injured client who is left stranded with no money to pay for their medical bills. Concerning COVID-19: As a private vendor, you are permitted to require proof of vaccination, antibodies, and/or insurance covering COVID-19 from every client. The decision to do so is up to you. If you choose those stipulations, add them to your sales page and contract along with any testing required during travel or entry to another country.

Here’s my list to avoid legal issues on retreats.

Visas and entry requirements

If you’re planning an international retreat, make sure that the country you plan to visit is open to tourists. Research precise details of entry for that country. The last thing you want is to choose a destination that requires expensive or time-consuming visa applications from your attendees. An entry visa can be denied, or the applicant can wait for a long time to get a response. These expenses and stresses are best avoided through careful planning.

General and professional liability protection is essential.

General Liability Insurance covers any injuries that might occur at an event that takes place in your personal venue. If someone slips, falls, hurts themselves, and chooses to sue, your insurance and contract should kick in to cover your costs. Cover yourself. Draw up a lawyer-reviewed legal contract. Buy insurance if you or your lawyer feel more coverage is necessary. Various kinds of insurance might apply:

Travel and health insurance are non-negotiable

Make sure you and your staff are covered—and DO NOT assume your credit card covers you fully. Call your credit card company and ask for the details to be sent by email. Further, protect yourself by requesting proof of insurance from your participants before it’s time to leave.

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Business Insurance will cover liability for injuries that occur in a venue owned by your business. Errors and Omissions Insurance protects retreat planners by covering any errors in planning or aspects of the event that don’t unfold according to plan. Event Insurance is a must- have if you plan to have more than 100 guests in attendance.

documentation you intend to present at your retreat.

form. This release permits you to use pictures and videos that include images of your participants. You may also include General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which protects data privacy and security.


Contracts with participants should include as much as the above information as applicable, plus any details relevant to your retreat and business.

Independent contractors (ICs)

Seller of Travel Law

ICs can be considered your legal responsibility if they own their own company, are flexible with their time, charge you a fee, and place you in charge of their actions at your event.

Seller of Travel Law (SOT) is a central source of legal guidance for the travel industry. It includes elements of contract law,


Waivers, releases, and disclaimers These should be included in the contract and on your website or sales page when clients reserve or book their spot to your retreat. This way, the client has no legal provision to claim they were unaware of any specific retreat information or that they weren’t told about it until after booking the retreat. If you want to market your retreat, make sure to have your participants sign a media release

employment issues, tourism and hospitality procedures, anti-trust rules, regulatory and agency compliance, and international treaties. The SOT may vary among states or provinces and various travel regulatory enterprises in other countries. If you are not a travel agent or if you are not working with a travel agency, you could encounter restrictions. Those restrictions depend upon where you or your business are physically Page 17

If you’re hiring ICs—and you likely will—make it clear in your contracts that you are not responsible for any mishaps that occur while under contract. That way, you’ll be covered should an independent contractor decide to sue.


Copyrights will protect what you teach and anything you present. Include copyright notification in your contract and on all the

located, the physical location of your retreat, and client places of residency. If you don’t comply with SOT requirements or if you aren’t authorized to sell travel, you may face fines and penalties. Because restrictions vary from place to place, your best bet for compliance is to check with the local authorities for your retreat location who are responsible for SOT. If you aren’t authorized to sell travel, you will need to work as an independent contractor through a travel company.

Sends you proof of receipt; Requires and initial on each page and a dated signature at the end of the contract; and Sends you a copy of the signed contract. For additional security, ask the client to submit a scanned image of an official photo identification document such as a driver’s license or passport.

Be careful not to over-structure or over-regulate; it will defeat the purpose of the retreat. But make sure clients read, understand, and sign the rules. DISCLAIMER : The information in this post is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information in this article, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

Rules and Guidelines

Group and retreat rules or guidelines for group conduct set the stage for friendly interaction

Venue and supplier contracts

and help avoid the potential for uncomfortable confrontations. These guidelines shouldn’t be a control tactic, but a friendly reminder of the behavior expected at your retreat. Some facilitators might define strict rules that result in the expulsion of an offending guest, while other facilitators will merely suggest appropriate behavior or employ a mixture of both approaches. Rules and/or guidelines create a sense of structure within the group and make guests feel more comfortable.

These need to be read carefully and negotiated, most importantly, what is or is not included in cancellation policies, deposit requirements, and dates.

Electronic Signatures

May seem easy and practical, but are they legally binding? It depends on the platform you are using and any proof they provide. Electronic signatures are binding when the platform:

If you have any questions or want to see if you qualify to build your own retreats, reach out to Catherine Kontos, Founder & Retreat CEO at RetreatBoss™

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"Life is what happens when you're busy making

other plans." —John Lennon

ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS and the Cigar Ritual In the dimly lit lounge of an upscale club, where the scent of aged leather and bourbon mingles with the rich aroma of Cuban cigars, one can often find entrepreneurs, business moguls, and visionaries gathered around a table, raising their glasses, and lighting up their cigars. It's a tradition that has endured through the ages—a symbol of success, accomplishment, and the pursuit of excellence.

A Ritual Steeped in History

the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The birth of the cigar-smoking ritual during these times signifies a shift in how success was perceived and celebrated. When a child was born, fathers would hand out cigars to friends and family as a symbol of their joy and anticipation for the child's bright future. It was a gesture that celebrated the continuity of their legacy and the hope for their child's success. In this act, cigars became a symbol of hope, optimism, and the promise of a better tomorrow. Likewise, cigars became a staple in the victory celebrations of entrepreneurs, athletes, and leaders. After a long-fought battle, whether it was in the boardroom or on the field, lighting up a cigar signified the culmination of relentless effort and the taste of triumph. The ritual was a testament to unwavering determination and the sweet satisfaction of achieving one's goals.

The association between cigars and success has deep historical roots. Cigars, dating back to the Mayan civilization in 600 AD, have been a symbol of celebration, a mark of prestige, and a symbol of power throughout the ages. However, it wasn't until the late 19th century that cigars became closely linked with entrepreneurial triumph. In 1889, the legendary financier and industrialist, J.P. Morgan, was photographed with a cigar in hand, exuding an air of unassailable confidence. This image captured the essence of the emerging business elite—men who commanded empires, forged deals, and shaped industries. The cigar became a metaphor for their success—a declaration that they had arrived.

The Mindfulness of Cigar Smoking

But the cigar ritual isn't just about celebration; it's about mindfulness and the art of slowing down. Smoking a cigar demands time, attention, and reflection. In our fast- paced world, where entrepreneurs are often consumed by emails, meetings, and deadlines, the act of enjoying a cigar becomes a moment of respite. As you sit in a leather armchair, cut and light your cigar, you enter a state of mindfulness. You savor the aroma, appreciate the craftsmanship, and engage in a meaningful conversation. It's a moment of reflection, a pause that allows you to clear your mind, reevaluate your strategies, and find inspiration. Page 21

A Cigar for Birth and Victory

The tradition of celebrating both the birth of a child and a major triumph with cigars can be traced back to

Cigar aficionados will tell you that smoking a cigar encourages creativity. As the smoke curls into the air, your mind can wander, and you may find yourself contemplating new ideas, innovative solutions, or the next big venture. This quiet contemplation fosters creativity and decision-making.

A Tradition Worth Preserving

In a world driven by technology and efficiency, the timeless ritual of smoking a cigar endures. It connects us with history, with the great entrepreneurs and leaders who came before us. It reminds us that success is not just about the destination but also about the journey, the relationships, and the moments of reflection along the way. So, the next time you see an entrepreneur lighting up a cigar to celebrate a milestone or to find solace in a moment of contemplation, remember that it's more than just smoke and ash. It's a connection to a rich history of success, an appreciation of life's achievements, and a ritual that enhances mindfulness, creativity, and decision-making in the entrepreneurial world. In the world of cigars and business, it's not just about the tobacco; it's about the tradition, the symbolism, and the mindful moments that inspire greatness.

Michael Garrison is an investor, real estate entrepreneur, and construction industry consultant whose mission has been to promote purpose, security, and success. He also hosted two radio talk shows and is the executive editor at The Bellwether magazine. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn.


On Point



Written By Tanya Brockett

When you look at the success of someone like Dr. Dan Young, you have to marvel at all that he has been able to accomplish in his short 47 years. He stands out now because of his accomplishments, but he used to stand out for other reasons.

On Successfully Blending In

Dan’s family was no stranger to success. His father was a Harvard graduate who worked at the largest bank in Delaware, and his grandfather, who had a master’s in education from UPenn, was the first Black principal in Delaware. It is no surprise, then, that Dan would become successful in higher education. But situations were different for Dan growing up. His dad’s success meant they could live in an all- white neighborhood. “There probably wasn’t another Black family for about five miles,” Dan remembers. “That had an interesting effect on me as a young person. Unfortunately, you are used to being around people who aren’t like you. You grow up, at least in the 80s and 90s, with this feeling that you’re not as attractive as other people. You’re that person that when you ask a girl out around where you are, they say, ‘I really would like to, but my dad would kill me.’ You grew up in this weird situation where you’re

felt comfortable.” Like many of us, Dan had to learn to “code switch very well.” You can step into any room and fit in. What happened to Dan at age 21? While doing an internship from grad school at the University of Delaware (which was close to 5% Black), he found it easy to relate to everybody because of the variety of experiences he had in both the Black and white communities. “It allowed me to be like my real self. You learn to really be a chameleon, and you learn to really live to be a man of all seasons.” (Like the Rudyard Kipling poem, “If,” that he memorized in his fraternity.) “I'm good with talking to billionaires. I'm good with talking to the janitors who work in the buildings,” because of the situations he grew up with.

special, but you don’t want to be special.” Dan felt what many integrated Black kids experienced during that time. Growing up in a suburban area and school district where you are too Black for the white students and too white for the Black students. “Now what that does for you, as you get older, is you learn to empathize a lot,” Dan says. When you see someone who doesn’t fit in and is off to the side, looking like an outsider, your level of empathy and compassion goes up because you know what that is like. “I'm also used to being in situations where I'm very comfortable being uncomfortable. I'm very comfortable in chaos. Because probably for the majority of my life, at least before the age of 21, I never

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“Around the age of 21 was about the point that I'd had so many experiences with both cultures that as I started talking to people, people who were Black saw a lot of themselves in me, but then also people who were white saw themselves in me. That made it very easy to be able to lead more effectively and be able to move in between different communities with relative ease.” Dan’s ability to connect has fueled his success in higher education. He was the second entrepreneurship professor at the University of Delaware, where he received his Bachelors and Masters in Marketing. He acquired his Ph.D. in Marketing and secured certificates of entrepreneurship at UPenn and Babson College, and his accolades continue to grow.

Finance Institute at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. It was a partnership between the Wharton School and students at HBCUs across the country to provide badges and certificates in the field of finance and private equity. The initiative was designed to help more young people of color with finance, investment banking, and private equity, as only about 1% of private equity employees are people of color. Dan, knowing what it is like to be one of the few, was tasked with designing all the courses for the online platform. building masterclasses,” he says, “creating curriculum, creating standards, and creating course maps.” He then had to identify professors who were able to teach at that level, helping them to structure their content and then working with production studios to record their masterclass “It's almost like

video content online in a way that it's palatable and enjoyable for the average nineteen- to twenty-one- year-old, Black HBCU students. “That was very entertaining,” Dan says. Running the Institute was an entrepreneurial venture within a large bureaucratic institution. “I would venture to say it's significantly harder to be entrepreneurial inside of a college or university than it is to be an entrepreneur.” He also has the experience of engaging with several large institutions like the University of Delaware, Temple University, and Wilmington University. “Trying to decode how to change higher education became something that I was really good at and why I was able to progress through a number of different schools through a number of different opportunities.” Part of what kept Dan engaged in higher education was the students. Page 25

On Faculty

Dan was most recently the founding director of the Wharton-Alt

“I saw how excited students were when they were doing something new or when they were doing something special. I've never really been addicted to the money; I've been addicted to watching the lightbulb go on overtop someone's head. That's the real addicting part of higher education.” He achieved his directive at Wharton and recently left to pursue other projects that he is excited about. “Part of the reason why I say I'm excited now is because I think it's way easier to just be an entrepreneur.”

supporter of speakers who wish to take the stage at a TEDx event. To many, Dan is TEDx Wilmington. One of Dan’s entrepreneurial ventures, Ready Speaker One, provides training to aspiring speakers of TEDx events. (His first talk was about how he grew up with ADHD and dyslexia.) He knows what is needed to be successful on the stage because he has been the organizer of the TEDx Wilmington event for ten years. Dan makes clear that no one has to go through his training to be a TEDx speaker, but his training focuses on how to get your story out the way you want to and how to structure your talk so it is effective on stage. The theme of next year’s TEDx Wilmington event is Currency. It taps

into the speaker’s message being current or contemporary, valuable, and shareable with someone else or passed on like an actual coin. The date of next year’s event is Saturday, April 27, 2024. At TEDx Wilmington, Dan creates an exciting environment full of networking at happy hours and after parties for a full weekend experience. This coming year’s celebrity chef dinner will be prepared by Robbie Jester, winner of Netflix’s show Pressure Cooker. Speakers gain more than an exciting opportunity to share their message, they can expand their networks, become a part of the community, and have a good time as well. If you know anyone who was a part of this year’s TEDx Wilmington

On Stage

You cannot be in TEDx speaker circles for long without hearing the name of Dr. Dan Young. He has the reputation of being an incredible

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event, you have probably heard that it was a great experience for all —audience and speakers alike.

Given the founders’ extensive nonprofit work, LEAN is likely to be an enduring source of success for the company and the clients it serves.

“I came from a family that was very much into risk mitigation,” Dan explains. “My father was the head of human resources at the largest bank in Delaware. And my first job out of school was as a financial advisor, which at that time, you got paid an $18,000 base salary plus 40% commission on any products that you sold.” Dan’s father couldn’t understand why he would want to do sales. Dan couldn’t imagine pushing paper in an office all day. “I've always kind of had a drive to involve myself in ventures that had a little bit of risk,” Dan says. He wanted to be a part of something that “builds things, builds businesses, and helps build people.” Throughout his life, and now in his own ventures, he is fulfilling that purpose.

On the App

On His Own

One of Dan’s current projects was created with the nonprofit powerhouse Theresa Huff. They co- founded LEAN: Leadership Excellence Academy for Nonprofits LLC, designed to raise the bar for leadership, training, technology, and fundraising in the nonprofit sector. As part of its multi-generational approach, LEAN has created an app called G ive ALA tte (GALA). This app incentivizes young people to defer consumptive behavior in order to donate to a nonprofit. It helps remind those who have a desire to give but have a tendency to forget to do so. The app reminds them to choose between having that expensive coffee at the local shop and giving it to an organization instead. Once a donation is made, the app sends a social media post that shares news about the donation. The app builds the value contribution over consumption.

While these projects are exciting, it is the first time in thirty-five years that Dan has not received a paycheck from someone else. Many of us know this feeling of cutting ties and relying solely on our ventures to carry us through. Dan has always been a serial lifestyle entrepreneur. But he has had a job that covered the dimes while having side hustles to feed investments, multiple ventures, and his lifestyle. The hustle with a paycheck has been with Dan since childhood. Beginning around eleven years old, he had a newspaper route, then he was a stock boy at a drugstore, and he washed dishes at a retirement home. When he was in college, he had a marketing and promotions company.

Tanya Brockett, MBA Tanya is a ghostwriter, editor, podcast host, and book coach who skillfully guides the emerging author from baffled to bestseller. Over nearly two decades, Tanya has coached hundreds of authors, trained thousands in business and publishing, and reviewed/written millions of pages of prose. Tap into Tanya and her expertise, courses, and services on LinkedIn or at

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TEDx is a global movement with a local impact, exemplified perfectly by TEDx Wilmington, Delaware. These events are catalysts for innovation, igniting conversations that transcend boundaries and inspiring positive change within our communities. In Wilmington, the atmosphere at TEDx events is electric. Diverse themes ranging from technology to the arts are explored through captivating talks delivered by local experts and thought leaders. It's an intimate gathering where attendees actively engage in discussions, leaving no idea unexplored. What sets TEDx Wilmington, Delaware, apart is its dedication to amplifying the voices of local visionaries. From healthcare trailblazers to creative artists, these speakers share their unique perspectives, sparking dialogue that reverberates through the city and beyond. TEDx Wilmington, Delaware, isn't just an event; it's an experience that empowers individuals to think, connect, and act. It's where innovation thrives, conversations flourish, and positive change takes root, making our community a better place, one idea at a time.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward Embarking on Your TEDx Journey

By Debra Wallace

saying. The main philosophy of TEDx is that you are giving a gift to the audience and that gift now belongs to the TEDx universe.” For Young, his favorite part of the TEDx process is “bringing people together to share ideas, energy, and camaraderie.” He is also aware that a successful talk can bolster the career, company, or brand of the speaker. “If you are trying to be someone else, or if you are trying to sound like a TEDx speaker, it won’t work,” said Young, an experienced professional speaker and speaking coach, who worked with several of the recent presenters on their talks. Of the 100 most watched TEDx talks, a researcher broke down the content and discovered that 65 percent of them created an emotional connection, 25 percent used logic, reason, or statistics, and 10 percent focused on personality or background. “So, the best advice I can offer,” said Young, “is to be authentic.” Every TEDx organization in the nation has its own platform, and Young said that because Wilmington is a ‘business hub’ it is known for business, leadership, entrepreneurship, science, and aspirational growth. “I always want to hear from people who are talking about relevance.”

are Lisa Yeung, M.D. who spoke about Better than Logic: How to Make Your Most Important Decisions; Joy Vanichkul on the topic of Intelligent Beauty, and Jules Weldon and Stacey Pierce on their message, Give Up Your Stuff, Not Your Dreams. Dr. Lisa Yeung’s talk on How to Make Your Most Important Decisions focused on the fact that she believes “we often get stuck in indecision, not because we don't know the answer, but because we are fighting our intuition and we think we need to justify it with logic, reason, and other's opinions.” Although Dr. Yeung finished writing her final draft “much later” than she expected, she said that she trusted the process while she allowed the talk to unfold. The experience solidified her belief in the message she shared on stage: “Our Intuition is much more powerful than logic, reason, and even expert opinion. So, after you consider the necessary and relevant information and perspectives, trust your intuition.” During her talk, she shared two personal stories and three client stories that illustrate her point in different ways. “It's not necessarily easy to trust your intuition—it can be scary, uncomfortable, and even disruptive,” explained Dr. Yeung.

When it comes to approaching a major endeavor like your first TEDx talk, it is always best to be as prepared as possible so that you will shine during your big moment. While talking to organizers and several recent participants, it is crystal clear that there is no one single path to follow, but there is certainly sage advice that can be invaluable. Some 25 speakers—most of them Bellwether members—prepared for their TEDxWilmington talk on Saturday, April 29. The talks were 18 minutes in length and packed a memorable and powerful punch. Organizer Dr. Dan Young has successfully worked closely with dozens of speakers during the past 10 years and strongly believes that each of us has our own method for approaching a TEDx talk. But he offers crucial advice that could make the difference between a dud…and a dazzling presentation. “Everyone has his or her own way to prepare, but the key ingredient for a successful presentation is flow,” explains Young, co- founder/owner of the Leadership Excellence Academy for Nonprofits. “With that flow, the audience feels as if it is transported into your world for a bit,” he added. “They have a true emotional connection to what you are

Among the recent TEDx speakers, who are also Bellwether members,

“But it is often more than worth it to trust your intuition and live

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your truth. Said another way, the benefits and the liberation that comes with living your truth often far outweigh any potential risks or fears.” When it came to preparing for and giving her talk, Dr. Yeung faced many challenges that caused her to need to lean into the very message that she was sharing. “I had to trust myself and my intuition when it came to what I would share in the talk and how I would write it. My talk seemed different than other TEDx talks that I’ve seen because I was sharing personal and vulnerable stories,” Dr. Yeung said. “I learned even more to trust myself, give myself permission to do it my way (in a way that was authentic to me), and not compare myself with others or do it the way I thought I was supposed to.” Now that her TEDx talk is available on YouTube, she has basked in the positive feedback. “The best part of the experience is people reaching out to me in person after the event or via social media after watching the video to tell me how much my talk has resonated with them and impacted them,” explained Yeung. “This has made all of the hard work worth it,” Dr. Yeung said. “Knowing that people have heard the message and it has inspired and empowered them in some way in their lives is exactly why I embarked on this journey!” While many TEDx speakers are afraid to take the plunge, Vanichkul called the “big stage

with a great reputation” the perfect place for her to share her knowledge about her topic of Intelligent Beauty while reaching a global arena. She said that she honed her craft for about two months and taking Dr. Young’s speakers course with several other Bellwether members gave her valuable insight into the process. “Being in a group that was experiencing the same thing was extremely helpful because we supported each other, and I learned a great deal from every aspect of this experience.” Her individual process involved “gathering all my ideas, constructing the points, feelings, and the journey that I wanted to lead the audience on,” said Vanichkul, who has extensive experience in the health/wellness, fashion, and beauty arenas. “I reviewed, rehearsed, and practiced with close friends and family. After I received comments from those I trusted, I adjusted

and practiced again. For me, it was about not compromising my key message which is the importance of Inner and Outer Beauty in harmony.” would recommend anyone considering taking the TEDx plunge to thoroughly follow the TEDx guidelines and make sure to have someone to help who is experienced enough to guide you in the right direction. She said that she “Just because a topic sounds cool or impactful, does not mean it will work for TEDx,” she said. “So, I would say it is important to pick a topic that is close to yourself or your heart. I think people speak better on topics that are meaningful to them.” The main aim, Vanichkul said, is that speakers are “creative and authentic. It’s just not about cool sentences or stories, it’s more about the connection with the audience. When the speaker is able to speak from that authentic

| The Bellwether |

place, it’s captivating; they can get the audience to follow easily in all they do.” Another piece of advice she shares is to “find a small group of supporters who will always be there for you and lighten up your spirits on your journey. No matter how much speaking experience you may have, you might get nervous on the TEDx stage.” When asked what stands out for her, Vanichkul replied, “The whole experience. I learned about my strengths and the skills that are always within me. I learned that the concern about my accent wasn’t a barrier.”

TEDx talk had long been on their bucket list. “We have lived a unique and interesting story and to get the chance to be on the world’s largest stage—together—in order to tell it was a dream come true.” When it comes to preparation, they said it goes back five years when they started writing their story about going “all in” for (OME Gear) their outdoor furniture company that is perfect for camping, the beach, tailgating, and other sports and nature- related activities and recreation. The actual talk, they said, took them about a month to write and memorize. “We prepared it old

Pierce adds that “procrastination is not your friend. So, don’t put it off, and don’t think you can just get up and do it off the cuff. Also, don’t beat yourself up after your talk is over; celebrate the opportunity no matter how you think you did!” For this dynamic duo, the best part was sharing the stage together, and having their story validated on such a large platform. “The biggest challenge,” Pierce said, “is having to memorize 18 minutes and recite it in front of a large audience. Our story, which took 25 years to live, is very emotional to us, so keeping our emotions

“Everyone has his or her own way to prepare, but the key ingredient for a successful presentation is flow” —Dan Young

She adds, “Speaking with my authenticity, sincerity, and passion is what moved the audience. The standing ovation at the end was the cherry on top.” Not only does Vanichkul appreciate the positive feedback she has received from her talk, but “it reminds me of the whole journey and the great friendships that happened along the process. We always know that strong part inside of us, that we can do it. That’s why we applied for speaking in the first place. To put energy and effort into something that’s meaningful is always fruitful.” Entrepreneurs, innovators, and life partners Jules Weldon and Stacey Pierce say that doing a

school style—writing it out, breaking it up, and then starting to memorize it,” Weldon explained. Adds Pierce, “Once we felt like we had it memorized, we said it again, and again, and again. Then, we did it in front of people, got their feedback, made edits, rememorized, then practiced some more!” Their main piece of advice is “practice, practice, and practice,” Weldon said. “Rehearse saying it in front of other people; time yourself; and have some fun time. After all, this is the chance of a lifetime!” They practiced in front of trusted family and friends and after taking their advice, the story flowed more smoothly.

under control was also a major challenge.”

When it comes to the finished product, they are immensely proud. “We did the very best we could,” added Pierce, “and we put our hearts and our story out to the audience. What more could we ask of ourselves?” There are many life lessons that they discovered. “We prepared, we messed up, we adapted on the fly, and we felt like we crushed it,” Weldon said. “So, we would say ‘Never give up—someone needs to hear and be inspired by your story!’”

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