The Journey

The Journey Podcast

It only takes one idea or one story to change the whole trajectory of your life, career, and work. In each episode of The Journey, we talk to entrepreneurs of all stripes, so you can prime yourself with the knowledge and mindset you need for your own journey.

From Venture Capital to Social Capital with Kobie Fuller
We live in a diverse world full of different cultures, new ideas, fresh perspectives, and uniquely-themselves people. But oftentimes those who are seated around boardroom tables or walking up and down corporate halls don’t reflect this same level of diversity.  In Kobie Fuller’s experience, this disconnect between what we see in our day-to-day lives versus what we witness in the antiquated world of business isn’t necessarily due to a lack of desire to bridge the gap – it’s more about the need for a more edu...

business investment entrepreneur entrepreneurship startup investor owner venturecapital

A System for Success with Shelly Bell
Embracing a certain amount of delusional optimism is the hallmark of every entrepreneur. But what separates the dreamers from the doers? What differentiates those who would like to reach their goals and those who do reach their goals? “At that point I had three children, and staying the course was really me dedicating myself to not going back to work for anyone. … There's nothing about it that makes logical sense, [but] as an entrepreneur, you are always operating with this level of delusion.” That’s Shelly...

business investment entrepreneur entrepreneurship startup investor owner venturecapital

Meeting Your Customer Where They Are with Charley Moore
Many of the institutions that we rely on every day have been built on decades-old infrastructure and outdated business philosophies. There are countless industries with roots in the past that have yet to face disruption or embrace innovation. One such institution is our legal and justice system. Great legal representation, education on the laws and your rights, ease of access to legal advice… all of these things have historically been trapped in the marbled hallways of expensive lawyers’ offices. Charley Mo...


Becoming the Arbiter of Your Destiny with Melissa Bradley
How much of our destinies do we control? How much is predetermined? And how much do the environments around us play a role in who we can be or what we can do? As entrepreneurs, we like to think that we own our destinies, that we are 100% in charge. But the real world has a habit of reminding us that dreams are just that – dreams – and not everyone will see the same vision that we do. “I walked in [to SMBA] and I was ready to apply for a loan and made my pitch to score, and the woman said to me, ‘Yeah, I don...

Representation Matters with Widline Pyrame
We do weird things to fit in… buy the new Nikes, cave to the Kombucha, even try goat yoga. Fads come and go all the time, but what happens when these “passing fads” don’t pass, and they bleed into our cultural definitions, instead? When they become destructive or harmful – all in the name of an arbitrary beauty standard that exists only in our heads? “My hair ended up falling [out] because I wasn't really taking care of it. My mom was like, ‘No, you're not going to [perm] you’re hair because you nine. You n...

Connecting the Dots with Dionna McPhatter
Being too young, or being too old. Having an accent. Overcoming a disability. Being female or a person of color.  These so-called ‘boxes’ that we fall into shouldn’t play a role in how others see us or how we see ourselves, yet so often we find ourselves trapped by the burden of our labels. Dionna McPhatter has a different perspective. In her opinion, standing out doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, with the right mindset, it may just be a superpower. “Everyone has the boxes that they check, but seeing...


Overcoming Success Disasters with Ryan Smith
A huge part of growing a business is understanding what can scale and what can’t. What will HR, sales, marketing, customer experience, employee experience, or even the foundational business model all look like as the company grows? The truth is that none of these systems will look exactly how they did when you started. It could be like comparing apples to oranges when you put Iteration 10 up against Iteration 1. Scale requires doing things that don’t scale and then pivoting. “Our journey is full of these ex...

Go Big or Go Home with Tiffanie Stanard
Every decision we make brings with it a certain amount of risk. Sometimes the risk is so small it’s negligible. Other times the risk is so daunting it scares you into submission. Going all-in on a new and novel business idea, saying no to the steady paycheck and yes to financial instability, investing your life savings with a co-founder you know well but maybe not well enough… these are common high-risk, high-reward scenarios that entrepreneurs often find themselves in. To the outsider looking in, these sit...

Finding Your Founding Team with Kraig Swensrud
We’ve all heard some variant of the phrase “Good business is just about building good relationships.”  But, as true as this statement is, it’s also true that building and maintaining good relationships is hard - it takes time, thought, passion, and connection. And perhaps one of the most challenging business relationships to nurture and keep healthy is the relationship between co-founders. “Starting a company, no matter how much experience you've had, is always a challenge. And it starts with the founding t...


An Honest Conversation About Pay with Cynthia Medina Carson
If you are a fan of this podcast, then you are likely a business owner, an aspiring entrepreneur, or at the forefront of innovation within a growing company. Today, you are the one creating jobs, but think back to when you were the one applying for them. How much did you get paid? Were you paid fairly? Were you paid what you were truly worth? These are difficult questions, but questions that Cynthia Medina Carson faces head-on every day. “There was a woman who literally found out her colleague was making 30...

Creating a Community of True Fans with Amber Atherton
When you live in a world of curated feeds, it can sometimes feel impossible to know what’s real. Finding the companies and people who are making genuinely great products while maintaining the values that you support is like finding a needle in an ever-expanding haystack.  And when you are the company trying to stand out in that haystack, how do you gain the trust of customers to show that you are the real deal?  “We connect brands to their fans, but also we connect fans to each other. And the way that we do...

A How-To Guide in Dreaming Big with Anna Piñol
There’s an old saying that goes “Man plans, God laughs.”  Things very rarely go according to plan. No matter how meticulously we think ahead, the path toward our goals is always subject to roadblocks and detours. But while the journey might rival Pan’s labyrinth, the BIG dream – your ultimate goal and your vision – lives unmoving at the end. “When I was 18, I was reading about Y Combinator in Silicon Valley from my house in Barcelona. I would always see it as something that's so out of reach… I would have n...


Say Hello to Season 6
The Journey is on break this week, but don't let that get you down! We will be back next week with an all-new season focused on community-building inside and outside your organization. Don't miss it! ---  Learn more about The Journey at mission.org/thejourney. The Journey is sponsored by our friends at Salesforce Essentials. We use Salesforce Essentials every day and it’s part of our own business journey. Essentials combines sales and service tools in a single app to help small businesses win customers and ...

Finding Your North Star with Warren Shaeffer
As we grow up, moments of stark realization are inevitable. Our parents don’t actually know everything. Dinosaurs don’t still exist. A whole dollar isn’t really that much money. For Warren Schaeffer, one of those moments meant coming face to face with the darker side of entrepreneurship at a young age. “When I was 12 years old, my father's business totally failed. He went bankrupt and I ended up living with another family when I was 13.” In Warren’s opinion, there are two ways that businesses die. Number on...

Building a Lasting Team with Chris Hsu
Leading a team onto the battlefield of business – or quite literally a battlefield – isn’t for the faint of heart. Being a leader is about setting the route for others to follow; it’s a huge responsibility that often results in having to make extremely difficult decisions. “A month or two into my role as a platoon leader, I'm brand new leading a tank platoon with 15 soldiers and I had to fire my platoon sergeant. And the platoon sergeant is the key guy who is driving the organization. As a 22-year-old kid, ...


Solving the Production Equation with Bill Gamber
Technology is revolutionizing how we live, work, play, and do business. But apps can’t (yet) clothe, feed, or shelter us; we still live in the physical world, and as a result, need tangible products and real-world supply chains to meet our needs. But tapping into those supply chains and actually getting your idea from prototype to production line to store shelves is hardly an easy feat. “My dad always says, ‘It's easy to sell [a product]. It's hard to buy it and produce it. That's where you make a business ...

From Business Building to Culture Building with Vishal Sunak
One of the hallmarks of the human experience is finding where you fit in – what club to join, what sport to play, what friend group to associate yourself with, what career you’re passionate about, what partner to settle down with, what city to plant roots in… the list goes on and on. And just like in life, in business, a huge part of the struggle is trying to find where you fit. Who is the perfect customer? What is the right way to reach them? Who are the right employees for the job? And what’s the right cu...

A Million Ways to Find Success with Sam Parr
When you hear one business story after another, a pattern begins to emerge: that there is no pattern. There are underlying themes, common lessons, similar key takeaways… but there is no formula for entrepreneurship; no step 1, step 2, step 10. And that truth is scary... but it can also be a massive comfort, especially when your story starts a little like this: “When I was between the ages of 21 and 23, I did a lot of crazy stuff, and it all was rooted in a love to party. I liked to do everything to the extr...


Building A Fine-Tuned Machine with Sean Chou
If you haven’t picked up on it already, startup life is not for the faint of heart… Starting, managing, and growing a small business is a feat few can check off their bucket list. And as multi-time entrepreneur Sean Chou will explain, it’s easy to tell the story of your company after it has seen success. The arch is clear, the hero’s journey obvious. It’s when you are stuck in the trenches, riding the ups and downs with your team, that you’re haunted by the big question of “What’s next?” “We were constantly...

Being an Always-Evolving Leader with Nick Mehta
How would you define yourself? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? A wallflower or the life of the party? A leader or a follower? What if, just maybe, you’re a little bit of all those things? Nick Mehta has gone from self-described wallflower to the CEO of Gainsight and he’s on a never-ending mission to learn and grow into the most authentic CEO possible. “For some tech CEOs, I think leadership is the necessary evil. They love the product or the technology or whatever. I love the product and the technolog...

Knowing Your Value with David Chang
Businesses are changing all the time. From company-wide layoffs, to acquisitions or exits, to new investors or leadership, to unexpected crises… the list of ways a company can change goes on and on. Sometimes these developments barely affect the business and how it operates.  Other times, they lead to massive renovation.  And it’s during those extreme transformations when you learn a lot about yourself, what you bring to the table, and where you thrive... “A number of the companies that I have been a part o...


Why Conversations Matter with Stacey Engle
Has there ever been a time when you wanted to tell someone something, but the topic was awkward to address, so you never did? Now flip the question. Has there ever been a time when you heard something second hand and it was more upsetting than if the person had directly told you? Communication is hard and having honest conversations isn’t easy. But most of the time it’s not circumstances that get in the way of being open... it’s our internal machinations – our assumptions and emotions – that stop us. "The m...

From Employee to Founder to CEO with Ben Hindman
Humans are not objective, efficient working machines. Even the highest performer faces times when productivity falls. We get too distracted, too confident, too comfortable. We over commit or under prepare. And as awkward or painful as it may be, we all have times in our lives when we need to have our egos checked. Usually - hopefully-  a candid pep talk comes from your friend or a family member looking out for you.  But in Ben Hindman’s case, that wake up call came from the person you least want to hear it ...

Packing Your Own Parachute with Dyan Gibbens
Think back to when you learned how to swim. If you were lucky, you started in the kiddy pool and progressed little by little to the deep end. But if you weren’t so lucky... you learned the hard way by being “lovingly” shoved into the pool. Whether it was gradually or all at once, one thing is true no matter how you learned: Eventually, you just had to jump in. “I instructed skydiving and… what I learned is that you really pack your own parachute, meaning that you prepare it, you focus on attention to detail...


Putting the Consumer in Consumer Business with Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Serendipity is defined as “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” Many of our greatest moments are these moments of serendipity – meeting your partner, discovering your passion, having that ‘aha’ moment while building a business. These are the kind of moments that in a lot of ways define what it means to be human. And if there’s one thing you can definitely find in every success story, it’s serendipity. “I wrote a 400-page book, and I joke, ‘I sold 10 copies of tha...

Finding the First Real Customer with Eugenio Pace
Of all the milestone wins in the early stages of building a company, one of the most rewarding (and most scary) is the win of getting that first customer. “There's nothing like doing. Before jumping into an adventure, there's fear. You go around asking questions, but there's nothing like selling to the first customer. That's the ultimate validation.” Eugenio Pace is the founder and CEO of Auth0. For Eugenio, it was never a question of if his product was needed – he knew it was. Rather it was a question of i...

Why You Need a Mission with Michelle Zatlyn
Have you ever worked for a company where something was just… out of sync? The goals of the sales department didn’t quite match the goals over in marketing. The hiring and firing process seemed to change a little every time. The values that the managers encouraged in their teams didn’t really align with the ones they held themselves. No matter the department, the team, or the process, everything seemed to operate apart from each other instead of in unison. It wasn’t a sales problem. It wasn’t a product probl...


Following Through with Joel MacIntosh
We’ve all had that moment. Maybe it was at your wedding, or during the birth of your first child, or when you happened upon that ‘revolutionary’ business idea. It’s that moment when your mind and heart fall into sync and something just clicks - you know without a doubt what you need to do and who you need to be. It’s this spectacular moment of clarity… that leaves you completely unprepared to face reality. Marriage is hard, parenting even harder, and building a business is a struggle every step of the way. ...

Being an Underdog with Laurel Taylor
Underdog stories are everywhere — in film, TV, the news, and all manner of books. They are classic heroic tales about the ones no one bet on (and many bet against) coming out on top. And while they may be cliche, admit it… we all love a good underdog story. “I weighed 85 pounds in high school, and no one ever saw me coming. It used to really annoy me, and then I began to realize that that was kind of a superpower being consistently under underestimated.” Laurel Taylor is the Founder and CEO of FutureFuel.io...

Year One with Gregarious Narain
Year one is the hardest for a startup. From managing cash flow, to building a team, to creating a culture, to designing and iterating your business model… it’s a process most people never have to face and one that a handful go through just once. But for Gregarious Narain, year one is something he is all too familiar with…. “The way I usually describe myself when people ask me my role is I'm an ideal year one guy. I love that first year when everything is in flux and we're really trying to coordinate all of ...


Embracing the Moment with Joe Chura
Be it from an app, instructor, or author - we’ve all heard it in one form or another: being in the here and the now matters. But for Joe Chura, CEO of Dealer Inspire, “living in the moment” is deeper than just being in the moment. For him, it’s about taking action in every moment. “Nothing great is easy. Whether that's losing weight or trying to complete a marathon or building a business. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. And it's these little bits of iteration over time, these little chunks of en...

You Can’t Go It Alone with Sonali Lamba
You hear it all the time - the heroic story of the ‘solo’ entrepreneur; the single founder who fought the doubters, went up against the odds, and built a business from nothing to billions. The truth? A lot of the times, that isn’t the whole picture. In fact, we’d argue that most of the time, there’s an army of supporting friends, family, mentors, colleagues, and customers behind each and every small business story. “It's been a personal struggle over the years dealing with all of the complexes that you deve...

Chasing the Dream with Scott Kitun
Do you remember the 2017 DreamWorks’ animated film Boss Baby? The poster featured a serious-looking infant, dressed in a sharp black suit sitting underneath the words ‘Born Leader.’ Well, that’s kind of where our story starts today. “I used to travel every summer with my dad. He put me in this little tux or some goofy oversized suit and I'd sit in and listen to him in boardrooms with manufacturers and reps and resellers and everybody in between.” That’s Scott Kitun, preteen business tycoon-turned-CEO of ent...


Listening to Your Instincts with Ian Morris
Life is volatile. Your closest relationships can end. Your promising business can fail in an instant. The highest highs pave the path for the lowest lows. But these challenging, I-don’t-know-if-I-will-survive situations, present us with the opportunity to learn our most enduring lessons. And for Ian Morris, CEO of Market Leader, one of those lessons hit hard in 2008, at the peak of the Great Recession. “After years of success, I was driving layoffs and took a company down. We took it up from nothing to almo...

Finding The Right Fit with Liz Wiseman
“We are at our happiest when we have a job that's a size too big... I like to think of it as the way you would shop for shoes for toddlers—always a little bit bigger.” When you picture an entry-level job for a recent college grad, what do you see? Maybe an intern making coffee or filing an endless stream of paperwork? An assistant doing repetitive computer tasks and taking office calls. On a good day, maybe this intern or assistant has an opportunity to join a team meeting or chime in on small business deci...

Where Success Comes From with Brian Scudamore
Think back to your high school graduation. You’re wearing your cap and gown and all around you, your friends and family are buzzing with excitement. Your name is called and you walk up to accept your diploma. You shake the principal's hand, wave to the crowd, and head back to your seat. It’s over in what feels like the blink of an eye. But after the buzz dies down, a big question hits you: What does the future hold? Maybe you’re planning on college? Maybe a job? If you’re lucky, maybe you’ve saved up and ha...


Live from Dreamforce with Meggie Palmer and Ali Sabeti
Welcome to Season Four of The Journey! Today’s episode is a special changeup from our usual format. Recently, Mission co-founder Ian Faison was at Dreamforce, the annual gathering of Salesforce customers, partners, and developers to share and learn how to better create and capture value in their business. While there, Ian moderated a discussion with Ali Sabeti, CEO of ZeroCater, and Meggie Palmer, founder of PepTalkHer; you may remember Meggie from Season 3 of The Journey, and we’re exited to talk with her ...

After Show with Austin Craig and Hilary Giorgi
Join host Austin Craig and producer Hilary Giorgi as they discuss some of their favorite takeaways from Season 3 and give a sneak peek into Season 4! ---  Learn more about The Journey at mission.org/thejourney. The Journey is sponsored by our friends at Salesforce Essentials. We use Salesforce Essentials every day and it’s part of our own business journey. Essentials combines sales and service tools in a single app to help small businesses win customers and keep them happy. See how Salesforce Essentials can...

The Value of Community with Amy Nelson
Everyone’s had the experience of being in a group where you don’t feel like you belong. Maybe it was a class at school, a temporary job, a party you got dragged to. It might even be your own family reunion. Finding a tribe of kindred spirits isn’t always easy, or even possible. But even if you feel like you don’t belong somewhere, there may still be good reason for you to be there, to stay there, and to make a place for yourself. That’s what Amy Nelson did in her life as a lawyer on Wall Street. She asserte...


Playing Well With Others with Marcus Cobb
From a young age, Marcus Cobb had always been pretty clear about his strengths. He was bright, creative, a quick learner, and always had his eyes open for opportunity. Teachers in grade school called him a genius.  But he’s also never shied away from his shortcomings and learning from setbacks. He had to learn the mechanics of teamwork by losing a great job. In leading his own startups, he’s learned the value of delegation and relying on other people.  In short, he learned that genius alone wasn’t enough.  ...

Perfection is the Enemy of Progress with Amanda Bradford
The road from idea to product to launch is an emotional one full of twists and turns. It’s even more nerve-wracking if what you are launching isn’t even close to what you hope to be the finished project.  But for a lot of new products and services, this mindset of launch quick and iterate in real-time is a necessary one. Amanda Bradford would agree, and it’s a philosophy she’s embraced in her company since day one.  “I believe that perfection is the enemy of progression. Just getting something out the door ...

Lessons Learned from a Life in SaaS with Jason Lemkin
Software as a Service is so ubiquitous today that it's hard to remember that CDs were once shipped in physical packages. But Jason Lemkin has been a leader in SaaS from virtually the start. His Startup EchoSign was one of the first in the digital signature space, and after an acquisition from Adobe, he started SaaStr to learn about, educate, and connect the entire SaaS world.  With two decades in the space, Jason shared many insights in our interview, more than we could fit into our regular episode. "You ...


Serving Customers for Life with Jason Lemkin
The life of an entrepreneur can take founders to elevated peaks of accomplishment, and deep valleys of desperation. And the time to go from one to the other can be surprisingly short. Jason Lemkin has seen both several times. He’s learned that what matters more than skill or personal network is the individual determination to keep going. Looking back, most entrepreneurial journeys look more like a roller coaster than a well marked trail, and it’s only over when you decide it’s over. “For me, in the early d...

Self-Care with Jesse Draper
Jesse Draper has venture capital in her blood. Her father is famed VC Tim Draper. Her great grandfather started the first venture firm in the Western US. So you might assume she’s always planned on being in venture capital. But Jesse originally set out to be an actress. She hadn’t even considered a life in VC, because growing up, she’d never seen other women in the space. Today she leads Halogen Ventures aimed directly at investing in female-founded startups. She’s learned there’s no shortage of incredible ...

Following Your Gut with Christine Volden
Christine Volden may not fit the salesperson stereotype. She doesn’t like fast-talking and has no desire to create high-pressure situations. Her method is quite the opposite; she helps entrepreneurs become great salespeople by teaching them to listen to their gut and find their true purpose. She learned those lessons herself through many experiences — both good and bad — and shares that hard-won confidence through her sales coaching at Soulful Selling. If you ask Christine, the moment a salesperson believes...


Following Your Gut with Christine Volden
Christine Volden may not fit the salesperson stereotype. She doesn’t like fast-talking and has no desire to create high-pressure situations. Her method is quite the opposite; she helps entrepreneurs become great salespeople by teaching them to listen to their gut and find their true purpose. She learned those lessons herself through many experiences — both good and bad — and shares that hard-won confidence through her sales coaching at Soulful Selling. If you ask Christine, the moment a salesperson believes...

Following Your Gut with Christine Pereira
Christine Pereira may not fit the salesperson stereotype. She doesn’t like fast-talking and has no desire to create high-pressure situations. Her method is quite the opposite; she helps entrepreneurs become great salespeople by teaching them to listen to their gut and find their true purpose. She learned those lessons herself through many experiences — both good and bad — and shares that hard-won confidence through her sales coaching at Soulful Selling. If you ask Christine, the moment a salesperson believe...

Being Well Lopsided with Randi Zuckerberg
Randi Zuckerberg has an impressively diverse work history. She’s famous for her role in the early years of Facebook, acting as the spokeswoman and Director of Market Development. But she’s also an author, television producer, Broadway producer, and even a Broadway actress. She likes to think of herself as “well lopsided”, adding that great accomplishments don’t often come from your typical nine-to-five work. It’s a healthy imbalance she wants women in the workforce to embrace. In her book Pick Three, she ta...


Playing the Odds with Semyon Dukach
Leaving your home country isn’t easy. Overcoming a language barrier is hard too. Being socially isolated isn’t what most people would pick for themselves, especially while growing up. But it was overcoming all those challenges that gave Semyon Dukach the grit and willpower to reach what he wanted, like joining the infamous MIT blackjack team, founding and selling his software firm, and driving returns as an angel and VC investor. Today as the managing partner at One Way Ventures, he’s betting on other immig...

The Stories We Tell Ourselves with Meggie Palmer
Meggie Palmer (Twitter, LinkedIn) founded PepTalkHer to help women in the workplace remember, share, and leverage their own value. The stories we tell ourselves shape how we view ourselves and value ourselves. It impacts how others value us too. And telling the right story can dramatically and measurably improve the value we create and receive. “What I have found is that people relate to stories. And people want to share their stories. Often we focus on the negatives. We focus on the deal we didn't close, ...

Season 03 Sneak Peek with Chad Grills
Season 03 host and producer Austin Craig sits down with Mission co-founder (and host of seasons 01 and 02) Chad Grills to talk about why stories matter to startup founders, what the best entrepreneurs have in common, and what you can expect from the next season of The Journey . Learn more about The Journey at mission.org/thejourney. The Journey is sponsored by our friends at Salesforce Essentials. We use Salesforce Essentials every day and it’s part of our own business journey. Essentials combines sales and...


Welcome to Season 03 of The Journey!
Welcome to Season 03 of The Journey. Over the last year, we've had some amazing conversations and shared some fascinating stories on The Journey. From CEOs and industry titans like Marissa Mayer and Bret Taylor, to authors like A.J. Jacobs and Gretchen Rubin, to small business owners who are in the trenches every day, just like you. But that was just the beginning. Season 03 of The Journey is our best yet. Learn more about The Journey at mission.org/thejourney. The Journey is sponsored by our friends at Sal...

Optimistic Innovation with Bret Taylor
Bret Taylor (Twitter, LinkedIn) has had a remarkable career as a tech entrepreneur. He founded FriendFeed, one of the first social networks, co-created Google Maps, served as the CTO of Facebook, and is currently the President and Chief Product Officer at Salesforce. Throughout his journey, he learned how to adapt and innovate. And he also learned the importance of an optimistic outlook, even in the face of what some might perceive as failure. “The thing that I want to come back to is just the optimism aro...

Mission-Driven Purpose with Stephanie Estey
Stephanie Estey (LinkedIn, Website) is the co-founder of ALTRD, an online platform for clothing alterations and tailoring. If your goal was to empower women, what would you do? Launching a web-based clothing alteration business probably isn’t at the top of the list. But that’s what Stephanie did. And staying focused on that greater purpose is what gave her the courage to make the jump into entrepreneurship and the strength to persevere when she went through tough times. “You have some days where you feel l...


Big Picture Thinking with Regis Malloy
Regis Malloy (LinkedIn, Website) is the founder of G1VE, a company that connects small businesses with nonprofits and automates charitable giving. Before that he had a job he loved, and was hesitant to leave. But a large part of Regis’ worldview is focusing on the big picture. And when he did that, he knew he had to take the leap into entrepreneurship. “The company that I left was probably the best company I had ever worked for. I was extremely happy there. And so you might think, well why would you leave?...

Continual Learning with David Cummings
David Cummings (Twitter, LinkedIn) is a lifelong learner. He launched multiple apps before graduating high school, and founded, grew, and eventually sold a business for more than $100 million dollars. And the key element David points to is something we all have the power to do: continual learning. You’ll be hard-pressed to to grow and realize your full potential by doing what you’ve always done. Success rewards the curious. And if you make the decision to become a lifelong learner, there’s no limit to what ...

Taking Decisive Action with Christine Moseley
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And sometimes it begins with a step in the wrong direction. Christine Moseley (LinkedIn, Twitter) is the Founder and CEO of Full Harvest, the first B2B marketplace for “imperfect” and surplus produce. Imagine you’ve started a business, and spent a year and a half giving it everything you’ve got, but have nothing to show for it. In fact, not only is your business failing, but you know it will never succeed. You don’t just have one or two things wrong...


The Will to Survive with Clarence Bethea
Clarence Bethea (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the founder of Upsie — a company that sells extended warranties for consumer electronics. But Clarence isn’t a typical startup founder. He didn’t go to an ivy league university. He doesn’t live in Silicon Valley. And entrepreneurship wasn’t even on his radar as a kid. He had a rough childhood. And most of the time, his biggest concern was finding food, and surviving until the next day. “If you had asked me when I was ten years old, what do you want to be when you grow...

The Power of ‘I Don’t Know’ with Nadia Masri
Nadia Masri (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the Founder and CEO of Perksy, a platform for gathering consumer insights and market research. She believes that life is too short to pretend you have all the answers. As a leader, it can feel like you have to always know the answers. You’re the captain of the ship, and success or failure rests on your shoulders. But the truth is, you’re not alone. You have friends, family, advisors and mentors for a reason. It’s okay to say “I don’t know”. If you ask Nadia, it’s more than...

Letting Go of Your Plan with Rachel Carlson
Rachel Carlson (Twitter, LinkedIn) would tell you that it's great to have a plan. But sometimes you have to throw out the plan. She's the Co-founder and CEO of Guild Education, a company that helps employers design and offer education-as-benefit programs to employees.  “You're not in charge of the plan. You can plan, but what do they say? Planning is everything, but the plan is worthless. And the plan gets thrown out the door sometimes.” Learn more about The Journey at mission.org/thejourney. The Journey ...


Letting Go of Your Plan with Rachel Carlson
Rachel Carlson (Twitter, LinkedIn) would tell you that it's great to have a plan. But sometimes you have to throw out the plan. She's the Co-founder and CEO of Guild Education, a company that helps employers design and offer education-as-benefit programs to employees.  “You're not in charge of the plan. You can plan, but what do they say? Planning is everything, but the plan is worthless. And the plan gets thrown out the door sometimes.” Learn more about The Journey at mission.org/thejourney. The Journey ...

Optimism in the Face of Uncertainty with Kmele Foster
Kmele Foster (Twitter, Website) is an optimist. He’s not blind to the challenges facing the world. As a former cable news anchor, he’s keenly aware of daunting global issues, including the pitfalls of a 24-hour news cycle. But he also knows there are independent thinkers out there working tirelessly to fix those problems. Kmele co-founded Freethink Media to showcase the problem-solvers going toe-to-toe with the world’s biggest threats. “We've never been better positioned to be able to tackle the world's bi...

Building a Legacy with Brian Linton
Brian Linton (LinkedIn, Twitter) started out as a kid who loved fish and wound up founding United By Blue — a company that’s focused on cleaning up the world’s oceans. Despite starting the business in a recession, he’s thrived and learned lessons along the way about becoming a leader, building a focused business, and not losing sight of what’s really important. “When you look at the world, the world doesn't need sustainability at this point. It needs to get better. And so we want to be a part of helping th...


Asymmetric Forces with Adam Blitzer
Adam Blitzer (LinkedIn, Twitter) had an $8 domain name when he and his co-founder started their company, Pardot. They were battling against other competitors with hundreds of millions of dollars in VC backing and resources that Adam could only dream of. But instead of seeing a tough fight and throwing in the towel, Adam took lessons he learned on the judo mat and applied them to his business. "The whole idea of judo, in theory, is designed around the idea of asymmetric forces, so not competing strength aga...

Learning From Your Mistakes with Rick Nucci
Rick Nucci (LinkedIn, Twitter) is the co-founder and CEO of Guru — an enterprise tool to unify knowledge across the teams in your company. But in the early 2000s, he was still working on his first business, Boomi, and he was having trouble getting along with his own team. He was just 24 years old. He loved living in Philadelphia, but he had no network of peers. He had to learn lessons on his own, the hard way. When I started Boomi, I was 24 years old and I really didn't know what I was doing at all, to be h...

Reinventing Yourself with A.G. Riddle
Jerry Riddle (Website, Twitter) grew up in an entrepreneurial environment. His grandpa was an entrepreneur. His dad was an entrepreneur. So when he found himself in college during the dot com boom, the way forward seemed clear. He started an internet business. Despite initial success, Jerry found himself unfulfilled. “I think the first 10 years of your professional life, I think should be about self-discovery. And that if you're willing to be honest with yourself about what your strengths and weaknesses ar...


Finding Happiness in Life and Business with Shawn Achor
Shawn Achor (Website, Twitter) has built a successful career as an author and a happiness researcher. It’s a niche industry, but one that impacts every single person in the world. You might assume that someone who studies happiness would always be on the upswing, but for Shawn, his greatest findings — and what has helped him be successful as an author and advisor for businesses large and small — came from some of the toughest struggles of his life. “When I got depressed at Harvard, the turning point was wh...

Your Unique Advantage with Tero Isokauppila
Tero Isokauppila has a strange background. He grew up hunting mushrooms in the woods with his family. He’s a man of many contradictions. He’s a new age hippy, who also served in the Finnish military. But by taking the things that are unique about himself and putting them out into the world, he was able to create value and start a successful business. “Health, wellness, and sports nutrition were always kind of a big focus of mine. But I never thought I would build a business around them. That was not my inte...

Cultivating an Incredible Network with Elizabeth Gore
Throughout her career, Elizabeth Gore (Twitter, LinkedIn) has worked closely with decision-makers in some of the most impactful institutions in the public and private sectors. No, she wasn’t born into royalty. She has deliberately cultivated meaningful relationships by creating value for everyone around her, from the most remote communities to billionaire titans. “I do believe your network is your greatest asset over the life of your career and that you have no idea when and where that network might serve y...


Building True Partnerships with Bryce Maddock
Bryce Maddock (LinkedIn) was lucky enough to find a business partner in his best friend, Jaspar Weir. And while that may sound like fun — who wouldn’t want to work every day with their BFF? — it hasn’t always been easy. I've heard so many horror stories of close friends, best friends whose relationships had been torn apart by failed business ventures or sometimes actually torn apart by successful business ventures. Jaspar and I have had our fair share of challenges because we are both hyper competitive, and...

Starting Where You Are with Greg Becker
Greg Becker is the CEO of Silicon Valley Bank. Silicon Valley Bank is a huge bank that services some of the greatest and most innovative companies all over the world. But the company Greg joined was nothing like that. The market value of Silicon Valley Bank was only 50 million dollars. Publicly traded, 50 million dollars. Today we're about $55B AUM so back then, if I'd probably known as much as I should have known, I probably wouldn't have joined them. So how did he help transform a shrinking real estate ba...

Analysis Paralysis with Rahul Gandhi
The son of an entrepreneur, Rahul Gandhi (Twitter, LinkedIn) saw how unstable that life was and wasn’t interested in living with the uncertainty and doubt that went along with it. But entrepreneurship was in his blood, and despite how much he ran from it, Rahul was eventually led back to the path of small business ownership. Even still, though, Rahul resisted, and he had to find within himself the courage to finally say yes and choose the entrepreneur’s path. How did he find that courage? Well, life has a f...


Pushing Through Panic with Adi Arezzini
Adi Arezzini (LinkedIn) had a military career that was professionally empowering but left her personally, and physically, in a bad place due to certain health and wellness issues. When she left the armed services, Adi spent her time looking for a cure for her ills — and in finding a solution, she also stumbled on a good idea for a business. But after a couple of years of growth and success, there was a point when it seemed like everything was falling apart. “The whole year was like this up and down year wh...

Community Building with Gina Bianchini
Building a company is like building a small community, and that takes passion. There is a power that comes from finding likeminded people to bond and build with. No one knows this more deeply than Gina Bianchini (Twitter, LinkedIn), who has spent her entire life in search of community and connection. In this episode, you’ll learn about Gina’s company, Mighty Networks, and how she has been able to do what she loves all by using the skills she’s learned along the way. Learn more about The Journey at mission.o...

Following Your Fear with Laura Sandefer
When her two young children were old enough to begin their traditional schooling, Laura Sandefer and her husband Jeff were at an inflection point. They didn’t want the traditional path for their kids but they didn’t believe they could do classic homeschooling either. What that left them, was the idea to start a school of their own school and create a radical new way for children to learn. The two launched Acton Academy and it has grown into a collection of one-room schools around the world.   It was a big m...


Creating Balance with Y’vonne Ormond
As a small business owner, so much responsibility falls to you to make your business work. You have to be willing to take on many various roles. Juggling these roles can be a challenge, but the ability to create the systems and processes that works for you is also one of the greatest joys of small business. Y’vonne Ormond (Twitter, LinkedIn) spent many years working in the corporate world where she learned the ins and outs of business. But at a certain point, the corporate world became unfulfilling on a per...

When Risks Pay Off with Krystal Carter
Krystal Carter (Twitter) not only wasn’t planning to own a small business, but she also wasn’t even aiming to be in the world of technology. A self-described risk-avoider, Krystal was comfortable working for various other companies and doing a good job … until she wasn’t anymore. When a series of events opened the door for her to start her own business, Krystal had to decide if she was willing to take the risk to go out on her own, and then once she did, she had to decide what kind of leader she wanted to b...

How to Create a Positive Company Culture with Sander Daniels
For more than a decade, Thumbtack has been steadily carving out a niche for itself. As one of the co-founders, Sander Daniels (Twitter, LinkedIn) worked day and night in the early days to get the company off the ground. He was powered by a belief that everything would work and that what they were building would be great, and he spread that message to all he encountered. But was that messaging actually undercutting him as a leader? “If I were ever under any illusions previously about what I was good and not...


Comeback Kid with Tonio DeSorrento
Tonio DeSorrento (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the CEO of Vemo Education, a highly successful company dedicated to expanding access to higher education. But he didn't start there. In fact, his first business crashed and burned so hard, he left the world of entrepreneurship altogether. And it would be years before he found his way back. "I made a six-figure mistake… I made a huge mistake. I didn't do enough diligence. I didn't know what that even meant. So, it was really hard.” Through Tonio's story, we learn tha...

From Intrapreneur to Entrepreneur with Frederic Kerrest
Frederic Kerrest (Twitter, LinkedIn) grew up knowing he wanted to start a business of his own. In fact, he started when he was only eight years old. And while those first few attempts didn’t go so well, he eventually founded Okta — one of the most successful cloud services companies in Silicon Valley. But the journey to get there wasn’t easy. Finding the right market, building a solid team, and learning how to listen to his customers, are just some of the struggles he faced — struggles every business owner ...

How to Quit and Start Over with Rob Forman
Rob Forman (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the President and COO of SalesLoft. But before that, he founded a company called HireIQ, which is still in business today. Why isn’t Rob still with HireIQ? The short answer is because, despite the fact that he had built it himself, Rob did not feel aligned with the company, its employees or its mission. He failed as a leader because he wasn’t able to build a company culture that worked for him. “I was really perplexed that I, as a co-founder, created an environment that eve...

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Finding Yourself with Gretchen Rubin
This is the journey of how one woman went from being a highly-paid attorney, to pursuing an entirely new — and unstable — career of writing.  Gretchen Rubin (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the author of more than seven books, including biographies of Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy, as well as The Happiness Project, a No. 1 bestseller that has sold more than 3.5 million copies. She’s also the host of the Happier podcast, which has been downloaded more than 70 million times. “At a certain point I thought, you...

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome with Marcus Carey
At some point in just about everyone’s life, they struggle with imposter syndrome — a feeling that you don’t belong where you are or that you aren’t qualified to be doing what you’re doing. This is especially true for many small business owners. Marcus Carey (Twitter, LinkedIn), the founder and CEO of Threatcare, had been dealing with imposter syndrome his entire life. “I wanna do what I was called to do, essentially. So the big setback was not having that confidence initially.”   Listening to Marcus’ journ...

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Finding Your Why with Karen Okonkwo
Karen Okonkwo (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the co-founder of TONL, a stock photography company committed to offering a diverse set of photography that includes all races, genders and nationalities. It’s a deeply personal mission, and part of the why that drove Karen to become a small business owner in the first place. “My why has never changed what I will say, what has changed is me actually defining it and putting it to into words. So I've always known that my outcome has always been to serve the underserved.” L...

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Problem Solving with Austen Allred
Austen Allred (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the founder and CEO of Lambda School (Twitter). As a college dropout, Austen never expected to start his own business, let alone one in the education sector. But Austen saw a problem that no one else was willing to fix, and decided to do something about it. "We started Lambda School to solve the problem of how to get a high-quality job-enabling education to folks who otherwise couldn’t afford it.” Listening to Austen’s journey, you’ll learn why you can’t let a lack of ...

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Sacrifice and Success with Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer (Twitter, LinkedIn) is no stranger to sacrifice and hard work. As an early employee at Google, and eventually the CEO of Yahoo!, her journey is a shining example of what can be accomplished if you're willing to do whatever it takes. Most recently, she co-founded Lumi Labs, an early-stage technology studio focused on building consumer applications enabled by artificial intelligence. "There's a lot of successful companies in the world, and then there are the ones that really touch people's live...

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Delusional Optimism with A.J. Jacobs
A.J. Jacobs (Twitter, LinkedIn), an author and experimenter, has spent his entire life dealing with rejection and pain. But he’s used those struggles to create a mindset that sets him apart from his peers, and allows him to succeed where so many others fail. Today, he’s a New York Times Bestselling Author, and writes for many publications, such as Esquire Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and New York magazine. He’s also appeared on television shows such as Oprah and Good Morning America. ...

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Introducing, The Journey!
It only takes one moment to change the whole trajectory of your life, career, or business. A single spark of an idea... the uncovering of an opportunity that everyone else missed... a breakthrough innovation that will change the course of history… These realizations happen in an instant, but the journey from idea to reality unfolds over a lifetime. The Journey is a new podcast by Mission.org. In it, we share the human struggles behind the creation of today’s leading businesses. These are the true stories th...

small stories life business history education storytelling lessons entrepreneur entrepreneurship startup success risk ceos founders takers