As interviewed by Leslie Ann Akin

Dana, where are you from?
I was born in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. I lived in Crystal Lake, Illinois outside of Chicago for ten years; in Yardley, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia for fourteen years; and I’ve been in Henderson, Nevada since June of 2000.

Please tell us about your profession.
I’ve always had a strong calling to be part of making a difference in others’ lives.  I invested almost twenty years in fundraising consulting and marketing, with a year in real estate, before pursuing business coaching and consulting.  Business coaching and consulting provides an environment to positively impact others’ businesses and in-turn their lives on a more intimate level. I coach business owners and leaders to achieve successful results, not only in business, we ensure they are creating a business that will support their overall life vision.

Why did you choose coaching?
It chose me. I’ve been in several leadership positions and mentored many colleagues and friends over the years. I’ve hired coaches to work directly with me in several areas of my life (fitness, relationships, diet/nutrition, career, finances, and business). I was also introduced to the world of personal development in a significant way in the early 2000’s and provided tools that are still benefiting me today. I continue to invest in personal growth seminars and materials as I have an incredible passion for learning, growing, and holding myself accountable to create the life I want to live and enjoy.

It is because of the mentors and coaches that have had such a profound impact on me over the years, that I want to share what I’ve learned and be part of helping others to grow their business and ultimately create a life they thoroughly enjoy. Without sounding cliché, this is our life, right here, right now. This is not our dress rehearsal—this is the main act.  It is possible to Serve More. Earn More. and Enjoy More and I can show you how!

What’s different about the coaching you provide?
I think there are many wonderful coaches out there and each of us has the right skills, tools, and ways to share them with the right people. By right I simply mean the individuals who choose to work with us.  Personality and compatibility play a large part in achieving successful results through coaching.

It’s important to realize that each of us has limiting beliefs that may hold us back.  The right coach will help you find tools to get past your obstacles so you can get on to creating the life you crave.  With my extensive background in the consulting arena, my strengths include operations, strategy, client service delivery and analyzing numbers.  Combining these strengths with my passion for personal growth and development (something I think should be a top priority for all business owners) is unique and a built-in formula for success.

My life has not always been picture-perfect, so I am able to relate on many levels. Over the years I’ve battled stress, anxiety, depression, and a family member’s addiction. I’ve experienced profound loss, a miscarriage and fertility challenges, including an unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization cycle. There were times my life looked so incredibly different from what I had envisioned for myself. I wondered, “How did this happen?” Today, I’m better for going through all of it.  All of this, combined with the coaching, mentoring, and personal growth tools, has helped shape me into the person I am today.  As a result, I continue to take all that I have learned (and continue to learn) and support my clients with their goals and their dreams and help them to create a life they thoroughly enjoy.

What attributes does someone need to have in order to be really successful as a coach?
I believe an effective coach is a good listener, empowering, patient, caring, inspiring, supportive, and a visionary—someone able to tap into what others need in a loving manner.  A successful coach is able to stay focused on the results their client has said they want to create and, in turn, is able to help their client navigate the obstacles that appear in order to achieve this.  A successful coach holds their client accountable to what they say they want to create and the actions necessary to achieve this.  A successful coach and consultant is walking their talk, not just talking their talk.

What does your typical day look like?
I exercise and start the day off in a grateful state of mind.  Every single day there are so many blessings around us and I’m learning to appreciate each of them.  I also believe in the power of ending each day celebrating what I accomplished and created that day.  Being thankful for our blessings is one thing, acknowledging and celebrating ourselves is also crucial. It becomes a wonderful snowball effect of creating more and more blessings and celebrations in our life.

On the professional side, part of my day is developing personalized one-on-one, as well as group, coaching programs. I also spend several hours a day being that supporter and advocate in my clients’ lives. I help people create environments where they are empowered.

On the personal side, I have a two-year-old and through him, I’ve learned how easy it is just to be happy. I love seeing the newness and state of “aww” in his expressions. Of course, all of the other stuff that comes with a toddler is part of my day too, and we make the most of it.

I approach each day as a blank canvas that will, at the end of the day, be one of my masterpieces.

What was your most satisfying job and why?
As a mom today, yet I totally get the value of having an honest, caring individual watch my children, and the peace and inspiration of being able to enjoy some “me” time! (Big smile and laugh)

As a fundraising consultant, when the projects, which included raising millions of dollars, were so much larger than myself. Whether it was to build a new wing for a cancer center, a new NICU at a hospital or a new academic building at a college/university, my contribution literally helped to change communities and families across the country. This is incredibly rewarding.

Today I can say coaching brings significant personal satisfaction and reward in my life. To be part of supporting someone in creating the results they want—doubling or tripling their revenue, growing their teams, growing their client base – is incredibly fulfilling.

What’s the biggest mistake you made in your life and what did you learn from it?
At some point early on in my teen years, I had unconsciously adopted the “I’m not going to need anyone in my life. I may want them, but I won’t need them” belief.  Thinking I could go through life not needing anyone and without support, that was a mistake. I learned that is a cold and lonely place.

Since then, I’ve had coaches and I have benefited from being open to new ideas and perspectives that I had had not fully recognized on my own. These amazing coaches led me to see the truth and answers that were already inside me.

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you solve and why?
Hunger. Food and clean water is an absolute necessity of life. I believe every single human is born with a divine right to have access to nutritious food and clean water. So much illness and loss comes from not having good food and I would love to see this all disappear with a magic wand.

What’s been your best work thus far?
Professionally speaking, over the years I received promotions, I’ve been recognized, I’ve received awards, however being gifted with an incredibly healthy, beautiful, adventurous, loving son is my best work thus far. This is where I’ve been empowered to ensure my best work is to be a good role model to myself, my family, and all those I come in contact with on a daily basis.

What motivates you and what doesn’t?
What motivates me: being able to help lift others up and help them see the incredible gifts and skills they have and may, or may not, see.

What’s your five year goal?
To be healthier – spiritually, physically, financially, and emotionally – than I am today. My family, which will have grown in number will continue to be healthy and live a vibrant life.  Professionally, I will have grown and expanded my business which, in turn, means I’ve touched even more lives in a positive way through coaching, speaking and writing.  It will also mean I’ve needed to hire more team members.

Give me the name of a book you have read that had a powerful influence on you
(Without hesitation) Robin Sharma – The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO.  A friend suggested the book to me and after reading it the first time, I gave over two dozen copies to friends and family members.  I’m sure I’ve recommended it even more often.  It’s an easy read with the potential to impact the reader so profoundly with simple reminders on how to live in the moment and live from the heart, not in our heads.

Who are the three famous people you admire and why?
(Big smile) The first one is easy, Amelia Earhart. She’s my fourth cousin and an incredible pioneer role model for both men and women. Oprah Winfrey, because of where she came from, the magnitude of what she has built, and all the lives she’s touched through her journey. And Tony Robbins, through the obstacles he overcame from childhood, to the powerful personal growth tools he shares and provides world-wide.

How do you determine or evaluate success?
I believe that is defined by each person differently based on their own value systems. What I want is to be that loving human being who makes a difference in others’ lives every day. I want to be walking the walk, not just talking the talk on being the best person I was created to be, to love and support myself and others through this incredibly journey. That is success.

Just for fun, Dana, if you could be a cartoon character who are you?
Cinderella. Not because she’s a princess, simply because she’s grounded with a loving, caring, compassionate spirit.

If you were a kitchen appliance, what would you be?
(Laughs) A juicer. I’m grateful for all of my life experiences, there’s no need to throw any part of my past out—skin, core, seeds, good times, not so good times, blemishes, scars . . . when you blend it all together it’s even more lively, nourishing, and potent!

Do you have any additional words of wisdom for today?
I would say my biggest recommendation is to take full advantage of what you have in front of you. Always remember that through giving we receive, through supporting others we grow, and by showing up, we come more alive.