Clearing Obstacles - Blissful Ambition

Welcome to Clearing Obstacles – The podcast for Leaders, and those that want to be. It can be a lonely journey when you find yourself confronted by challenges in business. Taking the lessons learned along the way, your host Dan is ready to unpack common business challenges, from real-life situations in a way that’s both relatable and actionable for you. In Season One, Dan will introduce you to other professionals like yourself who share in your struggles along that path to a healthy business and a healthy team. But then we’ll also share the way out of those struggles, by clearing the obstacles at their origins, and helping you Get There, From Here. In Season Two, we bring in thought-leaders who are redefining what Leadership must look and feel like in our changing world. Our acclaimed experts will introduce you to core principles, along with actionable steps you can take to evolve into the leader your team is yearning for.

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6 days ago

Join host Dan Kent in Episode 3 of the Clearing Obstacles Podcast for a deep-dive as he explores transformational leadership strategies alongside world-renowned business moguls and thought leaders. In this riveting episode, we feature the inspiring journey of Teddy Tannenbaum, founder of Tannenbaum Consulting, from his vibrant spiritual communities to the cutting edge of corporate training and leadership.
Delve into wisdom that stems from Teddy's diverse experiences, addressing key aspects of leadership, including vision, accountability, and vulnerability. Learn about the essence of building persistence and fostering high-performance teams. Listen as Teddy shares valuable insights on understanding your influence on others, balancing self-acceptance and self-improvement, and harnessing emotional intelligence as a powerful tool for effective decision-making.
This episode not only enhances your understanding of impactful communication and collaboration but also digs deep into misconceptions about self-awareness within the business domain. Leverage the art of leadership development and harness the power of presence to make a lasting impact. Discover the delicate dance between persistence and experimentation, and understand how emotional self-control can act as a guiding compass in your entrepreneurial journey.
Learn from the best in the business and take home transformative insights for effective leadership. Whether you are a CEO, a budding entrepreneur, or just emerging in the corporate world, this episode offers valuable perspectives on the roles that define a successful leader. From maintaining clear visions and aligning strategies, to fostering accountability and seizing growth opportunities, get ready to redefine your leadership style with us.
Finally, equip yourself with a nuanced understanding of professional growth using effective feedback tools like the Harrison Assessment. Learn how understanding your preferences and balancing your strengths can drive your professional success. Also explore the pivotal role of emotional balance and authenticity in leadership through real-life anecdotes and pragmatic approaches.
Come along with us in this enlightening conversation with Teddy as we explore the complex facets of entrepreneurship, decision-making, and transformative leadership. Gain profound insights into managing stress, nurturing high-quality teams, and redefining success through healthy leadership in our modern world.
To work with Teddy:
To learn more about the Harrison Assessment tool:
To get a free Coaching Session with Dan at Best Self Coaching:
Learn about Best Self Coaching:

Wednesday May 15, 2024

Welcome to a new episode of our podcast series, "Clearing Obstacles". Our guest for this week is none other than the charismatic and insightful leader, Dave Radparvar, co-founder of Holstee and Dive into this compelling episode as Dave unravels the intricate relationship between ambition and contentment and how acknowledging one's 'enoughness' can lead to a more fulfilling life and business. 
Harness the power of journaling; a transformative tool for self-awareness, emotional growth, and understanding life's patterns. With a focus on the we delve into the effectiveness of journaling, as shared through personal anecdotes and stories of transformation from our users. From gratitude exercises, to journaling -- get ready to reshape your mindset.
This episode extends beyond this reflection and dives into strategic ways of enhancing personal and professional interactions. Using unique conversation-starting playing cards from Holstee, we explore how meaningful dialogue can bridge the gap between the personal and professional, leading to a more connected and productive team.
Finally, join us as we discuss the nuances of trust-based leadership with Dave. Inspired by "The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership", Dave opens up about his own leadership journey and the evolution of his perception towards a trust-based system. Listen to find out how conscious leadership could lead to a thriving workplace environment and benefit the broader community.
The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success 

Wednesday May 08, 2024

Leading with Empathy - Redefining Leadership, Self-worth, and Ambition
In the exciting premiere of Season 2 on the Clearing Obstacles podcast, we delve into the profound concepts of leadership, relationships, and reciprocity. We challenge traditional paradigms and explore the importance of offering care, compassion and understanding to yield extraordinary results in the workplace. Discover fresh insights from our distinguished guest Stephanie Harrison, founder of The New Happy, on achieving authentic happiness and redefining your world.
Transcending Society's Norms: Breaking Free from Self-Doubt and Embracing Blissful Ambition
In this enlightening dialog, we expose the high toll exacted by societal expectations and our self-esteem's dependence on success. We underline the significance of separating our self-worth from achievements and introduce the practical "breakup method" to bring you closer to self-growth and resilience. Confront the illusion that happiness equates to success, and explore how Stephanie's bespoke visual art presents personal development concepts, creating a bridge for those hesitant with traditional content. Face your fears with us, acknowledging it as a protector rather than a deterrent, and unlock blissful ambition.
Empowerment through Fear: Strategies to Ignite Confidence and Leadership Growth
We will also take a journey into the art of facing fears, building self-confidence, and the pivotal importance of leadership in personal growth. We unlock potent strategies for befriending fear and delve into the power of written fears. Explore care in leadership with us and its direct link to motivation, performance, and organizational success. Imbibe practical tips on navigating self-worth and fulfilling role expectations to manifest personal, professional, and leadership growth.
Empathy and Mindfulness: The Pillars of Effective Leadership
The episode delves into the significant role of empathy and mindfulness in effective leadership. Uncover the profound impact of daily positive actions compounded over time. Learn the "love map" concept to understand, value, and nurture your employees' inner world, leading to stronger professional relationships. Explore the 'mirror strategy,' a powerful tool to validate, boost self-esteem, and unlock potential in your employees. Discover how simple acts of empathy at the workplace can translate into profoundly positive outcomes as we dive into powerful anecdotes of impactful leadership.

S02 E00 - Season Two Trailer

Tuesday May 07, 2024

Tuesday May 07, 2024

Welcome to "Clearing Obstacles," a dynamic podcast dedicated to leaders, emerging leaders, and anyone who aspires to lead effectively. This is an invaluable resource for any organization, large or small, because effective leadership is the key to any entity's success.In Season 2, we're bringing listeners even more insights into the world of leadership. We've invited thought leaders from all corners of the globe, each with a unique and enlightening perspective on how to redefine and reimagine leadership in our rapidly changing world.Our topics of discussion include vision and authority, accountability, management, culture, vulnerability, and beyond. We believe these are the key aspects of leadership that today's leaders should master. After all, the success of any vision often depends on how well it is driven by its leaders. Our esteemed guests will contribute a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience, offering listeners an insightful and balanced understanding of leadership principles. So, get ready to step into your potential as we clear away the obstacles that stand between you and effective leadership.Cue the music, and get ready for an enlightening and inspiring journey into the heart of leadership with the second season of "Clearing Obstacles".

S01 E11 - Go Big Island Life

Wednesday Jul 19, 2023

Wednesday Jul 19, 2023

“If you're always distracted by going from one thing to the next, to the next, you'll never get enough traction to be able to share the gifts of this profoundly successful real estate agency,” explains host Dan. With entrepreneurs, there is never a shortage of good ideas. The hard part is reigning those ideas in, and staying focused on your actual overall goal. Today, host Dan is joined by Gretchen and Bobby Harttown, the owners and operators of Go Big Island Life, a real estate agency in Hawaii to discuss the obstacles that are keeping them from maximizing their potential.
Gretchen and Bobby’s goal with their business is to make a big impact within their community. Where they are struggling currently is with the ability to focus and keep one another accountable. Dan suggests that they find a group or a coach that can provide a more objective perspective and help them stay more accountable to their commitments. When asked what their 3 year vision is for the agency, Gretchen and Bobby did not have an exact idea of this vision, nor a written plan for how to get them there. Dan explained that their first step would be to get aligned on their vision for the business and learn how to say ‘no’ to the ideas that are not worth their time and energy. 
Next Actions:
• Consider bringing in a freelancer or part time employee who can do technician & logistical work, specifically, to free up 5 hours (or more!) per week for their schedule.
• Isolate the parts of their marketing strategy that work best for them and put more of the resources toward those. Say no to distractions and stay focused on the goal.
• Identify your ideal customer and pre-qualify people early on through psychographics and demographics of your prospects.
• “By not maximizing your potential, you're also not able to serve or help as many people as you otherwise could.” (0:26 | Dan) 
• “How we get there is as important to where and when we get there for us.” (11:00 | Bobby)
• “One of the things that we've been talking about as far as our marketing is to be really impactful in the community.” (14:30 | Gretchen)
• “Find a group or a coach or somebody that can hold your feet to the fire and pin you down on your commitments and then support you in achieving those commitments.” (27:10 | Dan)
• “If you're always distracted by going from one thing to the next, to the next, you'll never get enough traction to be able to share the gifts of this profoundly successful real estate agency.” (32:48 | Dan)
• “In not honing your ability and having the discipline, the focus to say no to those things that are not worth your time, you're denying those who will be worthy of saying yes to because you're too distracted.” (1:18:33 | Dan)
Connect with Gretchen & Bobby Harttown:
Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown
Clearing Obstacles: The Customer Journey
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Episode 10 - Adam Smolak

Friday Jul 07, 2023

Friday Jul 07, 2023

“One thing I have learned is just to go slow, and build the systems as we go,” shares Adam Smolak, founder and owner of Entity EcoTherapy. While Adam does have a systems implementation plan in place and knows what needs to be done for his business to scale successfully, he still finds himself struggling with overwhelm from wearing so many hats as an entrepreneur. Today, host Dan is joined by Adam to discuss the next steps required for him to reduce that overwhelm and reach his business goals by his August 2024 deadline. 
Being the President, Owner, CEO, CFO and staff manager all rolled into one can quickly become overwhelming. Adam knows that to sustain his business and have the freedom he wants for spending time with his family, he will need to hire more specialized staff such as a support coordinator and a participant coordinator. His operations manual is around 85% complete and from Dan’s suggestion, Adam is going to mark time on his calendar for continually revising and improving the manual. Dan shares that the best way to handle overwhelm is to reduce the uncertainty by setting realistic timelines for each step with buffer room, delegating tasks out, and designing his systems in reverse order.
Next Actions
• Make a list of what is missing from each of your systems. In Adam’s case these are his operations manual, his onboarding manual and his hiring manual.
• Design the systems required in reverse order. This way you will not have to play as much catch up down the line.
• Play Tetris with the tasks for each system by assigning staff and resources based on priority. Outline what each staff member is responsible for and set up a timeline with enough buffer room.
• “Overload means there's too much on your plate. Overwhelm means your relationship to that overload is dysfunctional.” (15:38-15:44 | Dan)
• “I probably do get overwhelmed because there is a sheer amount of work. However, not all that work has to be done at once. So I prioritize those things. At the same time, I do know that I will have to introduce new staff members to help me.” (17:00-17:16 | Adam)
• “Before you grow, make sure you've got functionality within the business, otherwise you just scale dysfunction.” (17:41-17:47 | Dan)
• “One thing I have learned is just to go slow, and build the systems as we go.” (18:23-18:30 | Adam)
• “There's a pattern with myself where I get really uncomfortable  and I'm forced to do things. And that's when the business grows the most.” (28:25-28:35 | Adam) 
• “If we were doing work together on a client call right now, Adam, I would say pull open your calendar right now, and isolate two or three days where you can dedicate to those revisions… This is the reverse engineering process when it comes to time, money and people, resources. So it doesn't catch you by surprise.” (34:54-35:31 | Dan) 
Connect with Adam Smolak:
Clearing Obstacles:
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Episode 9 - Steph & Co.

Monday May 29, 2023

Monday May 29, 2023

“Start with what's most imperative for your life, that essential purpose. And then let's build a business that we can make sure fits that,” explains host Dan. Today, Dan is joined by the co-founders of Steph & Co, Jeffrey and Stephanie Chapman, to discuss the next steps for their business after scaling down and modifying this past year, as well as take a look at redesigning their KPI scorecard to include both trackable data and intangible or emotional KPIs. 
In 2022, Jeffrey and Steph rebranded their business from Clay by Steph to Steph and Co, moving operations to Nashville from California, and downsizing the team back to just the two of them. They also began a transition to working with less labor intensive materials to make their jewelry products. Instead of working their lives around their business, they wanted to start putting higher priority on their family and home life after the birth of their youngest child. Although the brand was successful before the changes, these value-based decisions ensure that the rebranded business will fit in better with Steph and Jeff’s lives. 
Next Actions:
• Switch the sequencing. Instead of building your life around your business, build your business around the life that you want to have.
• Some KPIs are not just numbers and business data. Emotional KPIs like how you feel each day about your business are just as important to keep in mind when making decisions.
• Measure your business against the three pillars of relationships, expectations, and balance.
• “Start with what's most imperative for your life, that essential purpose. And then let's build a business that we can make sure fits that.” (0:25-0:33 | Dan)
• “Our long term vision for the company was always to make it less labor intensive than it was.” (9:10-9:15 | Jeffrey) 
• “We rebranded the company early 2022, as a step towards giving us the flexibility in the long run of leveraging some more of these products that we are offering that might not require so much overhead in the transition period.” (9:44-9:56 | Jeffrey)
• “Economy changing was one factor, and seeing numbers start to drop, that are KPIs that we've been tracking for a while, and trying to figure out what inputs were causing that.” (13:38-13:47 | Jeffrey)
Connect with Jeffrey and Stephanie Chapman:
Clearing Obstacles:
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Episode 8 - Nick Lawler

Monday May 15, 2023

Monday May 15, 2023

“Critical thinking is impossible without imagination. So, thinking is a creative process,” explains Nick Lawler, founder and CEO of Sukha Business Coaching, which offers business coaching, research services, and consultancy. Today, Nick joins host Dan to talk about critical thinking and why it is important for business owners. He shares six steps that critical thinking entails as well as actionable tasks you can take to begin creating a work culture that encourages curiosity, creativity, and thinking critically. 
One of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs is allowing their own limited thinking to get in the way of achieving their goals. In order to clear that obstacle, business owners must learn how to think critically and be more mindful of their process and approach to solving problems. Instead of just running on autopilot and continuing to be blocked by blind spots in your thinking patterns, try writing down the best question you can think of. Then, gather evidence based data, check the validity of that data, and collaborate with others who can see around your blind spots and give their feedback. 
Next Actions:
• Create a space and a structure to give yourself room for thinking critically. Be mindful of which places allow for the space and structure that you need such as while in the shower, walking the dog, gardening, or reading. 
• Start writing down the questions and ideas you think of. Make your question as specific and clear as possible.
• Get feedback on your written ideas through collaboration. This will help you to see around your blind spots. 
• “The biggest obstacle we face that we need to clear is how our limited thinking stops us achieving the goals we want to achieve.” (7:40-7:50 | Nick) 
• “Make the question small enough to be specific and make the question small enough that you have a good chance of being able to answer it clearly.” (25:42-25:55 | Nick)
• “Don't do your thinking before you do your writing. Start writing, because that's what will help your thinking.” (33:35-33:41 | Nick)
• “Critical thinking is impossible without imagination. So, thinking is a creative process.” (37:53-38:00 | Nick)
• “Create some space and some structure that gives you thinking time.” (43:33-43:38 | Nick) 
Connect with Nick Lawler:
Clearing Obstacles: 
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Episode 7 - Chad Davis

Wednesday Apr 26, 2023

Wednesday Apr 26, 2023

“Trusting other people to do it right has always been my struggle. And I have to remind myself, I can't go over there and try to fix this problem. They’ve got to figure it out for themselves,” explains Chad Davis, CEO of All American Landscape. Today, Chad joins co-hosts Matt and Dan to discuss the obstacles that he needs to clear in order to reach his goals of growing the maintenance side of his business.
Chad loves being involved in the larger installation projects, but is not nearly as fond of doing the sales and administrative side of the business. Even though he has employees working on the installs, he finds himself tempted to work on-site himself and struggles with trusting others to do things correctly. In order to continue growing the business and have more time available to spend with his wife and children, he needs to focus more on the management side of things. While talking with Matt and Dan, Chad realized that the business processes and specific job title expectations are not written down. By blocking out spots on his calendar for strategic work and making a commitment to that investment of his time, he can create set Role Foundations so that each employee is clear on what is expected of them.
Next Actions
• Determine your vacation time and put it on your calendar as a set goal line.
• Block out a minimum of 5 hours a week (even if it’s in 1 hour increments) on your calendar for strategic work.
• Create Role Foundations by identifying the expectations for each specific role within the company, including the standards expected.
• “I used to do all of it. I’d do the sales, make sure it's installed right. Do all of that. It just was too much.” (9:41-9:50 | Chad)
• “That's another reason I brought the maintenance department in. You can't sell a company like mine without some kind of constant revenue stream that you can say on paper.” (10:45-10:53 | Chad) 
• “Five year goals would be just more than doubling the size of the maintenance part. I don't think I want to grow too much more on the installation side.” (12:55-13:07 | Chad)
• “I don't chase the money. I want to make a good living. I want it to be worth money, but there's a certain point where quality of life is no longer worth the amount of money that I make.” (14:01-14:12 | Chad)
• “Trusting other people to do it right has always been my struggle. And I have to remind myself, I can't go over there and try to fix this problem. They’ve got to figure it out for themselves.” (20:09-20:20 | Chad)
Traction, by Gino Wickman:
E-Myth Mastery, by Michael Gerber:
Connect with Chad Davis:
Clearing Obstacles:
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Episode 6 - Lisa Furilla

Monday Apr 17, 2023

Monday Apr 17, 2023

“I feel like I can learn from everybody I meet. And I allow my management, my employees, everybody to be involved with a lot of the decision making that we do,” shares Lisa Furilla, owner of Practically Perfect Day Spa and Salon. Today, Lisa joins co-hosts Matt and Dan to set an action plan for how to navigate the obstacles she is facing with opening a med spa addition to her business..
Lisa has been in business for nearly 13 years and attributes her success to employee management and having a fantastic tribe, many of whom have been with her for more than 10 years. She has a strong passion for her employees and explains that one of her main obstacles is handling those employees who are not aligned with her vision for the business. Since Lisa does not have her vision and core values written down and clarified, it is currently not scalable and difficult to enforce. Additionally, she struggles with ensuring that her employees are following all processes properly and adhering to every safety standard. Doing this sometimes causes Lisa to feel like she is micromanaging. Dan explains that in actuality she is micromanaging the processes, not the employees because safety is a huge requirement for the beauty industry. In order for Lisa to successfully open the med spa, she will need to write out her vision and incorporate her values into an everyday shared ethos, so that those values and their aligned behaviors can be scaled and be present even when she is not.
Next Actions
• Write out the vision. Get those ideas, dreams, and values well-documented. That clarifies it for you, for your team, and then provides you with a mechanism to help correct that behavior or departure from your intended vision or values. And then it also has the potential to become scalable.
• Micromanaging the processes as the new business gets underway, so you can avoid the compulsion to micromanage the people.
• Keep the Values alive by incorporating them into everyday ethos and conversations, so they are not merely forgotten platitudes.
• “It's never been about money for me. It's always been about just enjoying the people around me. I think that makes a big difference.” (5:12-5:22 | Lisa)
• “The beauty industry is constantly changing, and there's always something new out there. So just never getting stuck in your ways, always knowing you have to grow, I think that's kind of what sets us apart.” (5:32-5:45 | Lisa)
• “I feel like I can learn from everybody I meet. And I allow my management, my employees, and everybody to be involved with a lot of the decision making that we do.” (10:56-11:09 | Lisa)
• “You could bring me in a gazillion dollars, but if you are messing up the whole morale of the place, you’ve got to go.” (14:11-14:18 | Lisa) 
• “I want people to feel at ease around everyone that works in our place. Your attitude and the way you present yourself is a big deal.” (24:17-24:29 | Lisa)
• “There might be some room to micromanage the processes, so you don't have to micromanage the people, right? If you can be really precise in all the protocols and safety measures and hygienic and aesthetic, and those processes are so meticulously crafted, people won't feel micromanaged as much as the processes are being micromanaged, again, out of necessity, because of the nature of what your industry is.” (36:58-37:26 | Dan)
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Are you a business owner with an abundance of frustration over how the business is running? (Otherwise known and Every Business Owner Ever)

If you have any questions about how to identify obstacles and apply solutions in YOUR practice, we would love to have a conversation! Chances are good that you are not the only one with those problems. 

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