How to Unleash Your Greatness with Dena Patton
By Yuresh Shayzer
January 02, 2023
In today’s episode, our guest is Dena Patton. This episode explores ascension in her work with high-level individuals, uncovering battles CEOs and executives face behind the scenes. It also focuses on three crucial areas essential for creating something remarkable. Deena shares insights on maintaining these foundations to avoid unexpected challenges. The conversation also touches on her personal journey, from leaving her location to building and selling businesses in New York. Without further ado, let's dive into the episode for these insightful perspectives.
[1:55] Why should I listen to you?
You should consider listening to me because I consistently share fantastic stories. Having lived through various experiences, I always have engaging and enjoyable tales to tell. Additionally, I am genuinely interested in people's origin stories, delving into what drives them, their passions, and the dreams they are actively pursuing. Engaging in conversations about one's identity, purpose, and aspirations is what I find truly enjoyable, making it a worthwhile experience for you.
[3:18] So if you don't mind, could you go back to the steps that kind of led you here?
The journey that brought me here is quite intricate. I've always pursued my dreams, followed my intuition, and stayed within my strengths. Course correction is something I embrace, unafraid of the possibility of failure. At 21, I, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, embarked on a significant dream—to move to New York City. Selling my belongings for $2,000, I ventured to the city with a passion, eventually starting my first business, a PR and marketing agency specializing in the entertainment realm. Despite a background in professional dance and acting, I transitioned to the other side of the camera, finding fulfillment in producing, directing, and casting. The allure of storytelling led me to choose between becoming a writer or pursuing PR and marketing. I chose the latter, enjoying the art of sharing people's stories through traditional media channels like newspapers and magazines. However, my entrepreneurial journey faced a turning point. I neglected self-care, relationships, and well-being. At 27, I experienced a minor stroke, prompting a profound reassessment of my life, gifts, and priorities. The realization dawned that self-care is crucial for business owners. I had to acknowledge the importance of saying no to the wrong clients and prioritize my well-being, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach to mind, body, and spirit.
[5:53] Are there any moments in time prior to this trip that gave you red flags, or was it just that one that woke you up?
Reflecting on the past, there were numerous red flags, especially considering this was 22 years ago, a time marked by hustle and business building in the early days of the internet. Despite challenges, I sold my business to a.com, gaining valuable experience in scaling websites and memberships during a year-long consultancy. This laid the foundation for my subsequent venture into business coaching and training. Navigating through hardships has taught me crucial lessons, such as the importance of a CEO self-care plan, encompassing mind, body, and spirit. Over 22 years of coaching CEOs and entrepreneurs, I've witnessed that neglecting personal well-being while focusing solely on business leads to a collapse of the mind, body, and spirit. It's essential to simultaneously build your business and nurture your holistic well-being, including aspects like life, marriage, and parenting.
[8:40] How does someone initially overcome the stage of the ego, particularly when they're a leader? What do those actions look like on a day-to-day basis?
There is often resistance from the ego to acknowledge the importance of mind, body, and spirit. Some might dismiss it as "woowoo" or fluffy, but I've learned that it forms the crucial foundation. Just like a house needs a solid foundation to stand, your mind, body, and spirit are the fuel that sustains your business or leadership role. Shifting the mindset to recognize its significance is vital because building a business involves constant challenges, ups and downs, and diverse personalities pulling you in various directions. Without a solid foundation in mind, body, and spirit, I've observed over my 22 years of experience that people can fall apart, facing the brink of physical, mental, or relational breakdowns. Unfortunately, some come to me reactively after such crises, while others, about two-thirds, are proactive in seeking support to maintain balance and resilience in their personal and professional lives.
[10:55] If I want to be proactive about working on my mind and spirit, what would be actual genuine actions?
Having a concrete plan is crucial, especially for someone like me who thrives on systems and structure. For those looking for a template, greatness.com offers a free one that can be downloaded and printed, focusing on mind, body, and spirit. What's key is recognizing that what fuels my mind, body, and spirit might differ from what works for you. The initial step involves understanding what that personalized plan looks like. My CEO self-care plan, outlined in the template, includes daily, weekly, and monthly intentional activities for mind, body, and spirit. For the body, prioritizing sleep, exposure to sunlight, regular movement, and exercise is fundamental. The spirit aspect involves activities aligned with your spirituality; for me, it's Christian practices like prayer and meditation for at least 30 minutes daily. Nurturing a strong spirit is essential for the challenges a business may bring over time. As you envision your business growing, you don't want your spirit to be easily broken by criticism, judgment, or the demands of stakeholders. Mentally, I delve into these principles in my book "The Greatness Game."
[13:15] Is there a way someone can figure out what their spirit needs for improvement?
The spiritual aspect is distinct from the mental game. In my book, "The Greatness Game," I delve into mindset methodology and mental resilience. The goal is to ensure that in the process, your mindset, body, and spirit remain unbroken. Spiritually, it's about maintaining the energy, connection, and purpose that fuels your endeavors. For me, integrating God into my business is essential, providing strength as I navigate a demanding global schedule. Regardless of religious beliefs, everyone needs to identify what brings spiritual, mental, and physical fulfillment on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to excel as a CEO or leader. The key is understanding yourself on a deeper level and starting with a couple of practices if needed—perfection isn't the goal; self-awareness is. Whether you're aiming to grow from a $10 million to a $20 million company, remember that the journey involves transforming into a $20 million CEO.
[19:50] If someone decides to join Bible study groups, how do they navigate interactions with individuals who may be passive-aggressive or unaware of their actions?
I resonate with that because we've all faced haters and judgers, right? It's crucial to embrace your journey, not just in business but as a continuous process. We're always evolving, and that journey might face judgment. Own it. I'm on the path to becoming a million-dollar CEO, learning in mind, body, spirit, leadership, and communication. The tool set for a $9 plus business differs greatly from a $200,000 business. Embrace your journey—classes, coaches, books, or Bible studies—without apology or over-explanation. I prefer checklists on my template, holding me accountable in daily, weekly, and monthly actions. No apologies for this journey. Ego might suggest hiding or deeming it wrong, but it's your path. Be discerning about sharing details, whether it's a Bible study or a new methodology. Your journey and goals don't require constant explanation from everyone. Maintain privacy around your next moves, even with your team. Being a powerful CEO involves discernment—strategically sharing and not blurting out everything to everyone. That's the key.
[23:24] Where do your clients typically find a supportive community or a group that fosters growth? Is it among other CEOs, or is it through low powwows with you?
That's a great insight because we often fall into the routine of being part of groups without taking a step back. It's crucial, especially on an international scale, to carefully choose a couple of groups. One should be within your trade, like my involvement in a coaching Federation for coaches, ensuring constant education and improvement within my profession. For CEOs seeking positive communities, it's vital to find local and live groups, stepping away from online interactions. Whether it's a mastermind group, an entrepreneur group, or a leadership group, it's essential to test it out. Look for groups that are growth-oriented, not just social gatherings. Evaluate if the people in the group can genuinely contribute to your growth, people you admire and can brainstorm with or build referral relationships. If these aspects are missing, it's likely not the right fit. Being part of groups, especially for entrepreneurs like myself with 27 years of experience, has been instrumental in personal and professional growth. Sometimes I stay in groups for an extended period, like six or seven years, and other times, I join shorter-term, high-level masterminds based on my current business needs. It's crucial to assess where you are in your CEO mindset and business trajectory, selecting a group that aligns with your goals.
[33:45] Has your brand been designed in a way that allows you to step away, and someone else can take the torch and carry it?
It's an interesting question about productizing ourselves, a trend many have embraced by packaging into programs and evergreen content. Personally, I haven't gone down that road. My focus has been one-on-one coaching and group retreats, which, while not exactly productizing, has become well-established, especially with international retreats run by a dedicated team. On a different note, my nonprofit, the Girls Royal Foundation, which offers empowerment and leadership programs for teen girls, is a productized aspect that operates independently.
Sc capturing your brilliance and purpose is crucial regardless of the form it takes, be it books, products, or courses. It's about ensuring your gifts and greatness don't just stay with you but contribute to the world. For me, having a successful book is one way, but the essence is putting your legacy and brilliance into something tangible so it endures beyond you.
[40:10] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
That I would help people with their gifts, their greatness and their purpose to be out in the world in great ways.
[33:08-33:14] One thing that most people lack understanding of is not just you achieving something; it's becoming what you've alluded to.
[35:20-35:25] It’s important to get your brilliance, get your purpose into something, a book, a product, or something because it matters.
How to connect with Dena Patton