Jamie DeNovo is an author, speaker and coach in Calgary.
Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?
DeNovo: I’ve always been passionate about catalyzing positive change and I bring that perspective into everything I do. My professional area of expertise focuses on helping people learn techniques to reset and remap their brain. When clients learn how to do this, they can get unstuck in any situation, get their brain on the team and move forward to create successes that would otherwise be impossible.
I’ve been a successful entrepreneur for 20 years in a unique company I co-founded with my husband, which is a whole other story. My career course changed after criminal events halted our expansion and left me with life-threatening PTSD. I was going through the worst, most impossible time of my life. None of the expert books, therapies, programs, advice from friends and business associates started at a place I could reach from the real world, which felt like ground sub-zero. It just made me angrier; it seemed so template. Plus I could no longer buy into a lot of the catchy platitudes and popularized ideals.
I spent five years searching and researching how to build the ability to create a new reality, even if I didn’t know where or how to start. Even if I didn’t believe and couldn’t think positive. It was a matter of life and death.
My journey led me through the halls of brain and behaviour sciences and down the rabbit hole to the world of Alice in Wonderland and into the lives of everyday people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
I brought my discoveries into the real world of real people and wrote the book I.M.Possible Muscle for the Mind: The Power to Achieve Success When Success Seems Impossible. In creating this blueprint, I had to live the processes in order to create them. In doing this, I had two phenomenal mentors, Dr. Bryan Kolb, whose name is recognizable in his field as one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists, and neurocognitive therapy psychiatrist Dr. Roy Turner, head of psychiatry at Rockyview Hospital.
Since that time, I’ve been able to help hundreds of other people learn how to make changes and attain positive outcomes that once seemed impossible. It’s one thing to make a transformational decision; it’s another to keep the momentum going to actualize it.
My book and programs are designed to be lifelong tools for pushing through even deeply entrenched mental barriers and to give you a permanent means to keep the momentum going. Even when you’re a success, there are areas where you’re going to have blind spots and you may not be able to identify it. Until you read my book or take the training course.
I understand the true meaning of unstoppable. I’ve gone through events where I should never have been able to get up and move forward again. I had to find a way to do what should have been impossible – and do it again and again. I had to do the walk before I could create the talk, but I did it. Now nothing will stop me from fulfilling my highest purpose in life.
And more than ever today, any entrepreneur who wants survive and thrive needs to understand how to do that – become unstoppable.
What do today’s entrepreneurs need to do to be successful?
DeNovo: Obviously I’m all for independent business and pursuing a passion. But in our fluid economy, it’s critical not to be swept away by emotional thinking. I’ve seen small businesses fail time and again because the entrepreneur got caught up in the excitement of a vision, but didn’t have a realistic grasp of the complexities involved.
What it really comes down to is quality preparation, a well-researched business plan and solid understanding of your customer base.
You don’t’ need to spend a bundle on consultants; talk to people who own similar businesses, check out government resources, elicit advice from friendly insiders such as angel investors. Their input and observations are based on economic and demographic realities and extensive experience working with entrepreneurial enterprises. It’s invaluable.
Last but not least, you need integrity and follow-through. If you don’t keep those qualities intact, it’s probably only a matter of time before you lose the rest. Unfortunately, most big companies set a terrible example with their singularly bottomless profit-for-purpose mindset. But it doesn’t work well for entrepreneurs who operate that way.
We have the opportunity to fill a gaping hole big companies leave when we treat clients or customers like they are truly valuable, and serve our interests by serving theirs.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs in their road to success?
DeNovo: Underfunding: There are always unforeseen expenses and cost overruns. Years ago, investors advised us to budget 50 per cent more money than we thought we’d need. We had an exceptionally well-founded and researched business plan, but they were right.
Growth and transition crisis: This is a hugely vulnerable time for small business. You’re excited about moving to the next level, you need to expand but you don’t have the manpower or expertise to cover all the areas that need to be addressed. Especially when investment money is involved, this is the time financial predators move in like sharks.
Economic fluctuations: Cost increases, rampant inflation and resulting changes in consumer spending can drastically alter client base and your cash flow.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received on being an entrepreneur?
DeNovo: That’s a hard one. There are a few that stand out, each relating to different aspects of business. But I guess you could sum it up in two key mantras I emphasized to my employees nearly every day. The most costly mistakes I’ve ever made in business happened because I deviated from one or the other.
- Never assume. This means do the reality checks on everything that matters to your business. It’s the old saying, “It isn’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you think you know for sure that just isn’t so.” If something doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t matter who tells you or what their credentials. Go to step 2.
- Details, details, details. Keep records of everything that matters. Check important records, especially financially, if someone else is keeping them for you. (Never let anyone have access to your accounts.) If you make an agreement with someone, don’t ever leave it verbal. Write it down. Spell out all the details. If a detail doesn’t make sense, don’t let it go. If someone tells you, “We don’t need to spell that out. It’s implied.” Tell them, “Imply it in writing.”
Can you tell me a little bit about your contribution in an upcoming Jack Canfield book?
DeNovo: The career move from director of special projects in the covert security sector to author and life success coach is a big one. Jack had read my book and was so impressed he told me, “I.M.Possible Muscle isn’t just a book. It’s a movement. The neuroscience application you’ve made is something new in this field. It’s brilliant.”
He then interviewed me on video, which you can catch on my website www.I.M.Possible.com or www.jamiedenovo.com.
Jack listened to my story and offered to help bring attention to my book and work. Every year, he publishes a book of shared insights and lessons learned in conjunction with other experts in the field. The book this year is called Success Strategies, published by Celebrity Press. Jack honoured me with an opportunity to contribute, and said, “Don’t worry about fitting in to a pattern. This is your chance. Stand out.”
It was such a relief. The challenge then came in how best to introduce such a unique mental training guide. I.M.Possible Muscle for the Mind blends neuroscience, fairy tale, muscle building, interviews and real-world success principles in a moment by moment blueprint for brain remapping. It’s something anyone can use to create successes that now appear impossible.
I spent two weeks waffling between following my own processes and complaining to Jack via email about the word count restriction. If you want to know how that story ends, or if you are stuck in a dark place from which it seems impossible to move forward, read the resulting chapter: Three Passwords You Need To Know To Go From Impossible To Unstoppable.
Like all the best mysteries, it begins with, “It was a dark and stormy night. …”
I’m going to make the chapter available to read for free when it becomes available. If you send me an email at Jamie@jamiedenovo.com, I’ll send you a link as soon as it’s released.