MENTORS

& INFLUENCERS

We are who we surround ourselves with.

In each day, as we learn, unlearn and grow,

the gifts of experience,

insight and wisdom

shared by these individuals resonate with us and have resourced us.

Their guidance has been essential to building a sustainable, impactful, and fulfilling business,

which has paved the way for us to mentor and guide others to do the same.

It’s an honor to introduce you to the

mentors and influencers of our work

and the impact they’ve had on our business.

THE FACETS OF DEVELOPING A BUSINESS THE WHOLEHEARTED WAY

HUMAN-CENTERED BUSINESS

VALUES-ALIGNED BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, & ACTIVISM

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSIVITY

STAGES OF BUSINESS & LEGAL

MONEY & FINANCE

THE CREATIVE PROCESS

STORYTELLING BRANDING

DESIGN, COLOR,& TYPOGRAPHY

HUMAN-CENTERED BUSINESS

We’re thrilled that perfectionism, always having to get it right and grinding through our work lives in a way that doesn’t honor our humanness is in our rearview mirror. Also gone is the idea that there is the work version and the personal version of each of us. Now what we value and aim for is to bring our whole, integrated, compassionate selves to each moment. That means we don’t leave parts of ourselves behind and understand that sometimes life, relationships, and creating anything of value can be messy and not always go the way we’d planned or intended.

Brené Brown | Research Professor Studying Courage, Vulnerability and Shame, Best-selling Author, TED Speaker

If websites had a dedication plaque (hmmmm, there’s an idea in there), the online home for our business and the beautiful container that has become our work would acknowledge the role that Brené Brown’s work has played in inspiring us to claim that business can absolutely be done with unreserved enthusiasm, dedication, determination, and sincerity … that business can be done wholeheartedly. It was in reading ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ that we connected with how embracing our humanness — yes, even in business, that the word ‘wholehearted’ took hold. Its meaning to us personally and in our work has only deepened with each passing year. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you, Brené.

Heather Plett & Krista dela Rosa | Centre for Holding Space

We have grown a great deal as a team and a business over the years, and the most influential evolution of Wholehearted Business has been reconnecting with and reclaiming our humanness as entrepreneurs and business strategists. This continues to be our most important work as individuals and as a team. In 2013, we connected with Heather Plett’s speaking and writing, which has been the primary catalyst for us opening up to the possibility of not just being okay with bringing our humanity into our work, but how much more valuable our work becomes and how much richer our relationship can be when we do. Then in 2019, we had the great good fortune to work with both Heather and her new business partner, Krista dela Rosa, in the branding and website development for their new Centre for Holding Space. Our work and relationships with Heather and Krista continue to be a guiding force, a source of inspiration, and an anchor for how we show up in our work, within our team, and for our clients.

Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach, & Amanda Doyle | We Can Do Hard Things Podcast

Glennon, Abby, and Amanda’s podcast have been a great source of comfort, inspiration, and encouragement to keep going, especially when it gets hard. We always share with clients at the very beginning of our work together that there will come a time in the business development process and our work together when the fun wears off for a bit, sh!t gets real, and resistance shows up — and that this is the precise time when the precious metal that is your business is being forged, and the real foundation for your vision and work that is wanting to emerge is being laid. It is when we hit the places that challenge us most and we choose to move toward and through them that we embody the work and can then share with the depth of our own experiences with others.

VALUES-ALIGNED BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, & ACTIVISM

When we launched Wholehearted Business Development back in 2013, recently shortened to Wholehearted Business, we felt there was resonance and rightness in the name we’d chosen for the business, and there was also some fear and trepidation. Many of us had come out of the corporate world, and we wondered if we’d be taken seriously as a credible business development firm using ‘heart’ and ‘business’ together in our branding, much less naming the business using those words!?!

Hiro Boga | Mentor & Guide for Visionary Entrepreneurs

Fortunately, for the Wholehearted Business Team and for each client we’ve worked with over the past decade, we found our way to Hiro’s work at the very beginning of launching Wholehearted Business. So much of the way we work with clients and each other has been influenced by Hiro’s wise and elevated perspective of what business is and the role it can play in our lives, which can be found in her many books, programs, blog, and social media posts. It was Hiro who inspired us to see the work, service, and contribution we offer our clients as business alchemy. We are who we are as business strategists and creative professionals because of Hiro’s mentoring and her rich body of work.

Karen Walrond | Work Your Purpose, Change the World

At the heart of why we do this work is to make a positive difference in people’s lives and for the planet. We work exclusively with business leaders that are changing the world on big platforms, through entrepreneurial endeavors, and in grassroots community efforts. Since 2012, Karen Walrond’s speaking, photography, and written words have challenged us to use our position of influence to create changemaking work without compromising our integrity, convictions, beauty, or joy. Through Karen’s work as an author, coach, speaker, activist, and attorney, she has inspired us for years on how to create a purpose-filled life and work by living our values.

Katherine Golub | Center for Callings & Courage

We LOVE Katherine’s work because she reminds us that we can find our brave to do the work we love, we’re meant to do, and that we can do it in a way that we don’t burn ourselves and each other out. We fall in love with every client and every project, and because we love what we do, we can easily lose track of how to slow down, push the pause button, and step away. Katherine reminds us that if we want our contribution and impact to last and be around for a while, the time we put into our work needs to be sustainable. The real truth is we continue to be a work in progress in this area, but we are committed to practicing radical discernment and self-care and recognize that every time we make that choice, we honor ourselves and the work we do together as a team and the contributions we make to our clients.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSIVITY

Some of the best, hardest work we’ve done since launching Wholehearted Business nearly a decade ago has been showing up consistently for the work to help us awaken to our inherent biases, internalized racism, and the oppressive systems we’ve been a part of and contributing to for a very long time. Initially, as a predominantly white, cis-gender team, we had our work cut out for us. Over time, our commitment to consistent attention, education, training, exposure, and how we like to say, being willing to get it wrong, to finally get it right, we’ve grown the diversity on our team.

Desiree Adaway | The Adaway Group

We have Desiree Adaway and the other members and collaborators with the Adaway Group to thank and acknowledge for guiding us on our path as we were just starting out in our DEI discovery and education work. Through participating in programs and events like ‘Diversity is an Asset,’ ‘Tending the Threshold,’ and ‘Praxis of Liberation’ and following Desiree’s posts online, we began to understand what it means when Desiree says, ‘we’re not free until we’re all free,’ and that ‘our impact is not just measured by who’s thriving, but who we leave behind.’ It’s been our connection to and relationship with Desiree that has led to many other opportunities and relationships to do this essential work.

Bethaney Wilkinson | The Diversity Gap

Once we were on the path and committed to unraveling the narratives and biases we held, we were eager to learn what it meant to work toward being anti-racists and allies for marginalized communities, groups, and people. We were determined to find resources that aligned with our mission, vision, and values. When we came across Bethaney Wilkinson’s book and podcast, it felt like home to us. Her philosophy of ‘contributing to racial healing, instead of causing racial harm’ and learning how to ‘advocate for change from a place of capacity and strength’ has provided many opportunities for us to advance our awareness, understanding, and capacity to work on our own transformation and how we can transform our work together as a team and with our clients.

Jewell N. Fears & Jenna Britton | Wholehearted Business DEI Consultants

STAGES OF BUSINESS & LEGAL

We are fortunate to have long-standing client relationships with two attorneys that set a high bar for what working with an attorney who truly cares about people and what practicing law in a conscious and mindful way offers their clients, their teams, and the community. It is through our relationships with our attorney clients and other attorneys we’re associated with who practice values-based law have shaped how we have proactively taken care of our relationships when it comes to negotiations, agreements, and contracts, which are an integral part of business development.

Alix Devendra & Téa Godfrey | Aligned Law: Heart-Centered Legal Counsel for Purpose-Driven Businesses

Through our work on behalf of a long-time client on an event called ‘Lawyers as Changemakers’ in 2017, we had the good fortune to meet and work with Alix Devendra, which was the beginning and foundation of our relationship and work with her. Not only is Alix one of our new thought leader clients, but her firm also provides the values-based and heart-centered legal counsel we seek to proactively care for the relationships we have with each other and with our clients. Aligned Law also assists us with our intellectual property and estate planning as business owners. Alix is one of the sharpest and most talented women I know and what’s so extraordinary is that beyond all of our legal, business, and strategy smarts, she is an incredibly caring and compassionate human being.

J. Kim Wright, J.D. – Integrative Lawyer, Innovator, Systems Change Agent

Business and law are inextricably intertwined. Purpose-driven entrepreneurs and business owners are very often visionary changemakers and tend to be experts and leaders in their fields. With that comes the responsibility to comply with laws, rules, regulations, codes of conduct, and guidelines. Early on in our business consulting and mentoring work, we experienced the gap of how the practice of law was not evolving at the same pace to guide mission-driven business owners in addressing their legal needs in a way that supported their values. Traditionally, a lawyer’s role had been very much focused on compliance and protection in such a way that the concepts of cooperation, service, and relationship were rarely a part of the conversation. For years the idea that there would be attorneys who would be aligned with and supportive of mission-driven business owners seemed like an impossible proposition — until we met Kim Wright. 

 

Through Kim’s pioneering and trailblazing career,  she has not only been instrumental in the development and advancement of the  Integrative and Conscious law movement, she has been a pivotal mentor for our growth and understanding of  how business can evolve from being purely transactional to relational, and how our path as business owners has the potential to transform and elevate our purpose and client, customer, collaborator, and community relationships.

Conscious Contracts

Through our work with our attorney clients, we’ve had the opportunity to meet and connect with the founders of Conscious Contracts, which is an organization that developed a process that teaches how to prioritize and place relationships at the heart of developing agreements between people, organizations, and businesses. We value and align with the idea that the work you do proactively and at the beginning of new relationships and endeavors, by getting crystal clear about the parameters, expectations, and conditions of agreements, is how we show that we care about the people we work with and how we value the work we’ll do together.

MONEY & FINANCE

Whether you have it, you don’t have it, or you’re working hard to earn it, money can be tricky for many people, and until we are in the right relationship with the flow of finances in — and yes! out of our lives, it can be a barrier to creativity and building anything that has a strong foundation and is sustainable. We have built Wholehearted Business on the principles that the work we do, whether we’re talking about the vision for a business, developing a business strategy and plan, or the resources that will need to be invested to grow a business — it all starts with soul searching and an internal dialog with ourselves.

Lynne Twist | The Soul of Money

When we’re willing to be brave enough to examine our attitudes and choices in our relationship with money — earning it, spending it, and giving it away, we often times gain surprising insights into ourselves, our values, our fears, and the things that can hold us back in our lives. Through a rich tapestry of personal stories and practical advice, Lynne Twists invites us to discover how we can align the way we use money with our core values and how to support the goals we have in our lives. She challenges us and offers us the opportunity of liberation by transforming our lives through transforming our relationship with money.

Morgan Housel | The Psychology of Money

In his book, The Psychology of Money, Morgan Housel has also used the process of sharing short stories about 19 individuals’ relationships with money as a way to explore and understand how we can shift our behavior. As much as we’d like for this to be different more often, we have personally experienced and seen with our clients what Morgan says, “people don’t make financial decisions from a spreadsheet.’ They tend to make them in partner and family discussions or in business conversations, where our personal histories, experiences, our own unique views, and perspectives of the world, including perspectives motivated by our egos, are all mixed up together. We wholeheartedly agree that when we bring our stories of our relationship with money out into the light of day, we can heal them, and we can positively change our behavior

Bari Tessler | The Art of Money

For many of us, we didn’t learn how to think about, talk about, manage, save, or spend money, in a way that empowers us in our lives. Imagine having a compassionate guide that offered an approachable process to explore how our emotions are linked to our relationship with money and the impact that has on our choices and decisions!?! In her book, The Art of Money, Bari Tessler, offers an integrative approach that weaves together gentle therapeutic techniques with straight-froward, nitty-gritty, in-the-trenches practices to rewrite our story with money and help us experience financial flow as a liberating resource in our life.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS

One of the very best parts of our work is lifting the veils of mystery about the creative process and cultivating welcoming spaces and experiences that support our team and clients to connect with their creativity. Our process is based on collaboration, and our role is much like a creative midwife, where we aim for anyone we work with to feel safe to explore and share their creative expression and are appreciated for their contribution. For years we’ve been refining the dance steps the Wholehearted Team does together in creating beautiful and meaningful work, and yet we delight in how each new project provides an opportunity to approach our work from a fresh perspective and to explore something new.

Seth Godin | The Practice & Anything Else He’s Written

This book so aligns with what we believe and practice in our work. We love the way Seth talks and writes about pretty much anything. He’s been labeled the ‘ultimate entrepreneur’ and knows a thing about the role the creative process plays in building brands and messaging that connects us with our people. One of our favorite Seth Godin quotes is, “All the creativity books in the world aren’t going to help you if you’re unwilling to have lousy, lame, and even dangerously bad ideas.” We love the spirit and wisdom in this quote because it speaks to showing up for the creative process and not having to get it ‘right.’

And from his latest book, ‘The Practice,’ Seth captures something that is so foundational to the way we see our work, “Along the way, we’ve also been brainwashed into believing that creativity is a gift, something mysterious that the muse hands to a few select people. We’re not to look at it too closely, or it might disappear. Nonsense.”

If you need a muse or a little extra fuel in your creativity tank, check out Seth’s work!

Elizabeth Gilbert | ‘Big Magic’ & TED Talk, ‘Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating’

Elizabeth Gilbert’s books, speaking, and online presence have awakened us to a greater sense of freedom and ignited the idea that with determination and consistent effort, we can create a life on our terms, for our good. She has also been an example of bravery and courage in her willingness to share tender and vulnerable stories of her path from being an aspiring professional writer for many years to becoming one of the most recognized and successful authors of our time — and then what the other side of all the fame and recognition was like for her.

Through Elizabeth’s books and TED Talks, lectures, programs, and social media posts, she offers endless inspiring stories and potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration and creativity and about how what we create can survive failures and lack of receptivity when we can stay tethered to what it is about our work that we most love and cherish. When we stay diligent, devoted, and honor the work that is ours to do — when we commit ourselves to attitudes, approaches, and habits that support us in living and working from our creativity, there will always be more … more inspiration, more sparks, more innovation, more life-giving opportunities to express our unique gifts.

The Creative Process | Podcast & Exhibitions

Quite simply, the creative process is discovering something new within ourselves and embarking on a quest toward expression. Whether we’re naming a business, creating the visual identity for a brand, designing a webpage, or writing blog posts, we have found the alchemical process is very much the same that brings an idea to life and a vision into form. The unfolding nature of creativity is a dance between our inner and outer worlds and is rarely linear. The experience tends to be more like moving along a spiral path and includes four main stages; preparation and information gathering, incubation and space to marinate, illumination and revelation, and finally, commitment to form and sharing the value.

Understanding the framework for the creative process reminds us we can lean into the messy middle, roadmap in hand, knowing that chaos proceeds beauty and order and that the AHA! moment is just around the next bend in the spiral.

And in times when we get stuck, tuning into The Creative Process Podcasts often helps to unlock the block and reopen the flow. There are currently 16 different podcast series covering topics across arts, culture, and society — all through the lens of creativity.

STORYTELLING BRANDING

Behind every brand is a story. Sharing our stories authentically, transparently, and with compassion, and by placing our clients at the heart of the stories we tell about the WHY of our business, is how we demonstrate that we understand their challenges and needs. Storytelling has become the bedrock for our branding work and how we help our clients grow engaged audiences and communities that are built on trust and relationship. Through our stories, we convey our values, what matters to us, why we care about something, and how we show up.

Park Howell | The Business of Story

After being named Advertising Person of the Year in 2010 by the American Federation of Advertising, Park knew that branding influenced by big advertising agencies no longer worked and that the internet was leveling the playing field and the masses would now own the story. The old way had become irrelevant. Thank goodness!

This gave way for change, and Park went on a quest to find answers. Like all good quests, they’re personal. This led to the realization that story has been a part of his soul since, well, always, which led him to Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey story framework.

Park recognized the power of branding immediately, and the Story Cycle System™ was born. His work now is to help leaders of purpose-driven challenger brands and their people excel through the stories they tell.

Melanie Deziel | Story Fuel

As one of the world’s leading experts in branded content, an international keynote speaker, and a skilled virtual presenter, Melanie Deziel has taught brand-building enthusiasts around the globe how to brainstorm better, think like journalists, and tell better brand stories.

Melanie is also an experienced online educator and has delivered countless webinars and digital keynotes, which lead her to develop and teach multiple courses online in digital marketing and social media, including a Master’s-level online course in content marketing.

From this impressive body of work, she wrote her bestselling business communications book, The Content Fuel Framework, which identifies 10 different focuses of content that resonate, and how to tailor them across 10 different formats. Filled with practical strategies and valuable templates, The Content Fuel Framework takes the pain out of coming up with compelling content with a foolproof tool that can generate countless exciting ideas and topics that can be applied and multiplied across any number of platforms.

Donald Miller | Story Brand

When we’re clear, when we say just what we mean — in a way that matters to our clients and customers, we attract our people and build community. It is when we clarify our message and take the guesswork out of what we do, why we do it, who it’s for, and how it makes a difference for our clients and customers that we put up the virtual beacon for our brand, and communicate how our services and offerings will benefit potential clients and customers.

On his teaching and coaching platforms, StoryBrand and Business Made Simple, Donald Miller is on a mission to take the mystery out of growing a business by developing frameworks and teaching practical skills that help propel entrepreneurs and business owners through the business development process.

In his book, ‘Story Brand,’ Donald Miller walks readers through the proven ‘Building a StoryBrand’ system, which includes seven universal elements of powerful stories to dramatically improve how they connect and engage with their clients and customers and to grow their businesses.

  • The seven universal story points all humans respond to
  • The real reason customers make purchases
  • How to simplify a brand message, so people understand it
  • How to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media

Whether you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur or you’re an established and savvy business owner, the Building a StoryBrand process will transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.

DESIGN, COLOR, & TYPOGRAPHY

Design affects us emotionally and influences the way we think and feel.

Design … the color pallet, typefaces, images, shapes, and space communicate the values of the brand. Design done well impacts our experience in a way that builds connection, impacts credibility and earns trust. The irony is that exceptionally well-done design isn’t there. It’s woven into, and a part of the tapestry of the vision and message the brand is aiming to convey, but it never steals the show.

David Airey | Logo Design Love & Identity Designed Books & Blogs

The visual identity for a brand does not have to be complicated to be done well and for it to be impactful. Think about the most recognizable global brands: the swoosh, the golden arches, and the red cross. Their effectiveness is in their simplicity. The art and talent for creating memorable and influential brands comes mastery over the process of starting from a blank sketch pad or white digital screen. Creating a visual story, imagery, and ultimately a strong brand id or logo is a process of distilling down the wide world of possibilities into only the necessary elements that convey a feeling and experience that reinforces the brand story.

With more than 100,000 copies sold, translated into 13 different languages, and visual identities created in over 30 countries, from his independent design studio in Northern Ireland, David Airey works with clients worldwide and writes for his two blogs, Logo Design Love and Identity Designed have attracted millions of views.

David’s exquisite work is a consistent source of inspiration, and his blog and books have helped us both reign in and expand out our process on our own visual identity projects.

Leatrice Eisman | The Complete Color Harmony

Color is one of the most essential elements in design. It has the potential to draw us in or drive us away. The way we use color can influence our thinking, cause emotional reactions, and shape our choices.

Memorable and impactful brands are developed from in-depth research about the brand story, the brand promise, and careful color planning. The color palette for the visual identity of a brand is one of the most critical considerations and tangible components and often what people notice first and remember most.

A thoughtfully-designed color pallet that reflects the personality and characteristics of the brand evokes an emotional response, cultivates connection, and is a powerful tool for communicating the values of the brand.

We so appreciate the decades of experience that Leatrice (Lee) Eisman, Director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information & Training and Executive Director of the Pantone® Color Institute, has offered our work. Her many books and ‘Color Blog’ have been a source of inspiration and have assisted us with the color research and planning we do for our clients and the design projects we work on.

This paraphrased quote by Lee sums up just how critical color choices are for a brand and the impact they have. We get it, and we wholeheartedly agree.

“The power that color wields is seen at every level of communication: in corporate identification, packaging, signage, advertising on television, billboards, in print media, on the computer, at point of purchase, and in the product itself. Color is often called the ‘silent salesperson,’ and it must create enough interest or curiosity to induce the would-be buyer to find out more about the product or service.”

Sarah Hyndman | Type Tasting Online Home and ‘Why Fonts Matter’ Book

Brand typography is one of the influential elements of the overall brand identity that ties together the written content in a way that visually communicates the brand values, personality, style, and tone.

Thoughtful development of a typography palette evokes intended emotions and associations and creates trust, confidence, and credibility.

When developing a typography palette for a client, we aim to create a font story that:

  • Attracts our client’s ideal audience
  • Engages their attention
  • Establishes a hierarchy of information
  • Creates and builds recognition
  • Contributes to continuity and harmony in the overall brand identity

Sarah Hyndman has been a graphic designer for nearly twenty years and specializes in how fonts influence us. In her work, she has collaborated with psychologists from Oxford University and built on perception research from around the world. She has given talks about typography at TEDx, TYPO, SxSW, and a range of other conferences.

About the Wholehearted Team
Amanda Winn
Dom John
Téa Godfrey
Rich Yodsukar
Marri-Beth Serritella
Elizabeth Aikens
Jewell N. Fears
Jaden Winn
Valerie Derbaudrenghien
Karissa Love
Jenna Britton
Jennifer Alyse
Join the Wholehearted Team
Digital Marketing Specialist
Overview About Our Services
Strategic Planning

DEIB Consulting


Building Your Brand Story
Website Development

SEO & Google Business Product Consulting

Video & Photography
Community Engagement

Program Development

Website Maintenance & Monthly Reporting
About Our Process
Overview About Our Mentors and Influencers
Human-Centered Business
Values-Aligned Business

Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity & Belonging

Stages of Business & Legal
Money & Finance
The Creative Process
Storytelling Branding
Design, Color, & Typography
May We Recommend
Welcome To Our Blog
Developing Your Brand Story & Identity

Heart-Centered Business for Social Good

Working to Create Race Conscious & Culturally Diverse Spaces
Social Engagement & Community Building

Developing Your Online Business Home™

Google Business Profile & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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