Which Emotions are Good (or Bad) for Business? - with Naomi Dunford


Emotions always get in the way. It’s when we IGNORE our emotions  – that’s when all wheels fall off the bus. {Naomi}

Today’s episode is the most special to date. I’m talking to Naomi Dunford, the sharpest, most effective, and most compassionate growth coach I’ve ever known. She’s, honestly, one of my favorite people on the internet and in real life. While this conversation is deep and personal, Naomi shares priceless practical insights on systems, emotions and the interplay between them. Tune in, I think you’d really enjoy this one.

HIGHLIGHTS and QUOTES [episode 6]

In this rich conversation we discuss...

  • Emotions in business – when they propel us forward and when they paralyze us  
  • Speaking of propulsion – it could be positive feelings ( like love)  as well as negative (like stress from deadlines)

  • The system “beyond my salary cap” that helped Naomi to stay in business despite mountainous overwhelm, and the dizzying relief it provided. As in “The freedom of it… I want to say it was exhilarating, but it actually made me cry.” 

  • Feeling constantly under a microscope  - and  how the one that's looking is not necessarily outside your head

  • Getting back to business after a huge tension drop, after “the creative whirlpool is over” 

  • Systems in “linear realms” like launches (easy) and the challenge in “blue ocean” realms, with no defined rules (“makes me crazy”) 

  • Naomi’s systems for publishing blog admin (15-20 min a post)

...and finally

  • Can anyone build a successful business? What are the practical and emotional traits that predict a comfortable level of success, and which traits cannot be overcome and will ensure failure?

Naomi on emotional landscape of a business owner:

“When we run a business we have none of the culturally created structures, feedback mechanisms, no reward-and-punishment matrices that we have virtually in every other arena of life. When we have a business, that matrix… disappears entirely and our emotions just flounder.” (Tweet that)

on self-control:

"When there’s any kind of external authority, consequence, social pressure, we are remarkably in control of our emotions. But when we are in our own private space – this could be a marriage, this could be a friendship, or a family relationship, or it could be a business – anything involving self-initiative - we CAN allow our emotions overwhelm us, and therefore we do.” (Tweet that)



Can anyone build a successful business? What are the practical and emotional traits that predict a comfortable level of success, and which traits cannot be overcome and will ensure failure?
It's the maturity to know that certain of your weaknesses, your peccadilloes, your resistances must be overcome before your move forward. There’s an ability to get over yourself and over your story that creates “Unstoppable”.

About Naomi:

Naomi Dunford is a marketing and growth coach to hundreds of small online businesses. She works with a range of clients, from the newest of startups to NYT bestselling authors, internationally renowned coaches, and established personal brands. She has been coaching and teaching online marketing since 2006.

Past clients include Danielle Laporte, Chris Guillebeau, Clay Collins and Jen Louden.

She has been featured in major outlets such as Forbes, Cosmopolitan and USA Today, and her newsletter has attracted over 50,000 subscribers from across the globe.

You can find Naomi at

Her website: IttyBiz.com
Or on FacebookTwitterPinterest , or Instagram




Jumping from a Plane Every Morning with Carolyn Cole

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“I jump from a plane every morning”

 “How do get the courage to do that? Metaphorically speaking, where do you get your parachute?”
“I don’t get one. I just flap really hard”

My guest today is Carolyn Cole, the Host of the global Boomtank Business Show, a podcast for sharp female entrepreneurs and cool guys who support them. For nearly two decades, she was a Fortune 100 and Fortune 200 Senior Corporate Trial Attorney. Now she makes the case on behalf of our business dreams – and happiness too.

We talk about "prepared visibility", the courage to take action and how different are the challenges in the beginning vs. later in business.


Carolyn on courage to take action:

“Don’t dream fantastic things, take action on fantastic things. Unleash the innovation with a business plan attached to it.” (Tweet that)
  • Appropriate vulnerability and appropriate exposure
  • The message trifecta of a clear “who am I, what do I offer, how do I say it”. If you have all that it’s OK to be nervous, you'd be fine.

Carolyn on Prepared Visibility:

“Just do it” kamikaze-style could be really good from a personal development perspective. But I’m asking people to be more precise about it.” (Tweet that)
  • Why is “showing up” rather than hiding behind the mic works better today than 2 or 3 years ago.
  • Charting your business journey “The bottom rung is crowded, but there's SO much room at the top”


Resources we mention in the episode:

WordPress Divi
Brag! by Peggy Klaus



Carolyn: “Visibility is the lifeblood of your business. Take action every day where you’re gaining visibility, you’re unleashing your creativity, and you have the technology to support that”. (Click to tweet)

About Carolyn

Carolyn Cole is Show Host of the global Boomtank Business Show, a podcast for sharp female entrepreneurs and cool guys who support them. For nearly two decades, she was a Fortune 100 and Fortune 200 Senior Corporate Trial Attorney. Now she makes the case on behalf of your business dreams – and happiness too.

You can find Carolyn at
Her website: BOOMTANK.com or on 



Happy Accounting with Katherine Pomerantz

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My guest today is Katherine Pomerantz. She’s an incredibly enthusiastic, resourceful, and knowledgeable money mentor. Katherine translates accounting and business jargon into happy English and trains her clients to lead, think strategically, and improve (read: love) their relationship with money.

She combines 1:1 coaching and worksheets with practical tax and bookkeeping services. And she is absolutely in love with her job!

This episode is a lively debate - we disagree about quite a few things. Why people resent systems, how we feel about Quickbooks,  when is the right time to install a big boy system for your business. I think you'd like hearing us disagree and me being a difficult host.



Katherine on money mindset:

If your heart and your head is not really in the game, then you can’t move forward. (Tweet that)
  • Building trust: there's a step before clear communications. It's understanding what you want vs. what you need.
  • Financial Documents security - are Google Drive and DropBox secure enough?
  • Why do people hate systems? Is it because we only notice when a system breaks, or is it about giving up control to a system you don't fully understand?
  • When it's time to upgrade to a big girl system like QuickBooks or InfusionSoft or some such?

Marina on control and resentment:

People don’t what to relinquish control to a black box they don’t fully understand. 
If you don’t trust the system and don’t fully understand it, there comes resentment, which leads to avoidance, and you end up with no systems and it’s a mess. (Tweet that)

Apps we mention in the episode:

QuickBooks online



Strategic money mindset and healthy attitude are as essential to recurring revenue as your accountant's tax and bookkeeping expertise.

Katherine, in her own words:

Hi! I'm the most enthusiastic, resourceful, and dedicated money mentor you'll ever meet. I help entrepreneurs on the edge of burn out improve their relationship with money so they can build their business empire authentically and sustainably. I translate accounting and business jargon and train my clients to lead, think strategically, and love their money by combing 1:1 coaching and worksheets with practical tax and bookkeeping services. And I love my job! I absolutely live for the moment my clients stop stressing and start acting like the badass CEO they always were.

You can find Katherine at
Her websitebookkeepingartist.com


Special offer from Katherine:

Book a Financial Strategy Session with me for the special rate of $97!
See details on my website, or book directly here: https://bookkeepingartist.as.me/schedule.php


The Wall of Awful with Brendan Mahan

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This time I’m hosting Brendan Mahan  - an ADHD/Executive Function coach, a veteran educator, and the host of the ADHD Essentials podcast. We are going to explore the "Wall of Awful"  - a model he created to helps people better understand the emotional toll that negative thoughts and repeated failure have on their ability to take risks and initiate tasks. While the Wall of Awful applies to any life aspect, I find it EXTREMELY relevant to entrepreneurship.


  • What IS the Wall of Awful? And how does it explain why anxiety happens
  • Wall of Awful in professional and personal relationships
  • The 5 ways people try to get past the Wall of Awful: two that don’t work, one that works but it’s damaging, and two that are effective.
  • Hulk-smashing through the Wall of Awful – does it work, and what’s the emotional price?

Brendan on the pain of disappointing others:

“Once we disappointed someone, whether they know it or not doesn’t matter. All the previous disappointments are wrapped up in there. It’s about how we perceive things, about our emotions and perspectives.” (Tweet that)
  • How the Wall of Awful provides a concrete way to talk about shame, frustration, and other emotions tied to failure, making these feelings easier to navigate and ultimately resolve.
  • Unintentionally building a Wall of Awful for other people – how to avoid it

Marina on dealing with Awful:

 One of the most productive ways to deal with the Wall of Awful is to climb it (Tweet that)
  • Changing our emotional state as a way of putting a door in the Wall of Awful - by  transforming the environment (on the outside) or by shifting our way of thinking (what would Gary V do? Heck, what would Batman do?)
  • In the world of entrepreneurship we bump into Walls of Awful… what’s the opposite of “few and far between”? How amazing would it be to recognize these Walls and have the tools to get past.


In the beginning stages of business 80% of your time and energy are spent… battling your own emotions. Not the practical activities of setting up a business, building a list, getting exposure, hiring, or serving clients.  These all present themselves, sure. But the emotional component is so overwhelming, and paralyzing, and distracting, and painful, and… I can go on with the list of adjectives.

Just think – what if you have the ability to find a door out of this emotional state. To get to the other side where it’s calmer.  This is what Wall of Awful model is about.

About Brendan:

Brendan Mahan, M.Ed., MS. is an ADHD/Executive Function consultant/coach, veteran educator, and host of the ADHD Essentials podcast.  Brendan works with adults, children and families to address the emotional, academic, lifestyle and career effects ADHD has on the lives of the people who have it, and those who love them. His "Wall of Awful" model helps people better understand the emotional toll that negative thoughts and repeated failure have on their ability to take risks and initiate tasks.  He can be reached at brendan@ADHDessentials.com.  Learn more at www.ADHDessentials.com.

You can find him on

Brendan's Free E-Book:
5 Ways to Overcome The Wall of Awful

An INSANELY Prolific Content Schedule with Marc Mawhinney

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This time Systems Meet Humanity welcomes Marc Mawhinney. He’s a lifelong entrepreneur that helps coaches get more clients without paid advertising, a speaker, a big-name podcaster, and he also runs one of the most ENGAGED groups in the entire Facebook universe. We’re going to talk about “paint-by-numbers” methods, about pulling an insane content-creation schedule, about the systems he swears by, and much more.


  • Why Marc uses somewhat of a “paint-by-numbers” system to help his coaching clients
  • The unique importance of systems for a coaching business using Tim Hanks’ Castaway and Marc’s own examples.
  • How to find the delicate balance between following a known systems and finding the framework that works with your strengths and weaknesses.

  • How Marc pulls off his insanely prolific content-creation schedule - a mega-engaged Facebook group, daily emails, Alexa flash briefing, two weekly podcasts, and that’s not even all of it.
  • The story of overcoming two business closures and leveraging this energy into building a coaching business, or in Marc’s words how “Coaching business saved my life”,

  • The emotional landscape of running a business: the steep climbs - the negative emotions that hinder our progress in business, and the green valleys – feelings that help us grow and keep us motivated and fulfilled.
  • A systems Marc swears by, the he’d be completely lost without. If you disagree with him, he wants to challenge you to a fierce debate, because there’s no running a business without it!
  • Fantastic examples for how to spark a debate among your audience.


The real "secret" to creating A LOT of quality content - don’t be afraid to open up. Use your life. Don’t try to make yourself look perfect. Don’t fret over not pleasing everyone.- Controversy and debate are great for business. Ideas spring up all around,  - in pop culture, movies, clients’ lives. Just don’t be afraid to pick up a few and go with it.

About Marc:

Marc Mawhinney is a lifelong entrepreneur who helps coaches get more
clients (without paid advertising)! He achieves this with his coaching
programs; his podcasts (Natural Born Coaches and The Marc Mawhinney
Show); his Facebook group The Coaching Jungle, and his exclusive print
newsletter – Secret Coach Club.
He's been a speaker at events like Social Media Marketing World, frequently
makes media appearances and contributes for Entrepreneur.com

You can find Marc on:
His website: NaturalBornCoaches.com 
The Coaching Jungle Facebook group
The Marc Mawhinney Minute (Alexa Flash Briefing)

TREAT: Productivity and Emotional Well-being with Mike Vardy

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My first ever guest on Systems Meet Humanity is MIKE VARDY! Mike is a writer,  a productivity strategist, and the founder of Productivityist, a podcast that routinely tops all kinds of “best productivity podcast” lists.  He’s  the creator of TimeCrafting, a simple, durable, and flexible personal productivity methodology.

Tune into our gem-packed conversation about his TREAT model for personal productivity and emotional well-being. I promise - the TREAT acronym is really fitting.


  • Ultimately, what is TimeCrafting? It’s definitely not a mere set of tools, it’s more of a philosophy. It’s a simple, durable, and flexible way of life to be productive.
  • How to avoid being swept up by our to-do list.
  • Working by mode is a TREAT, which stands for

o   Themes

o   Resources

o   Energy

o   Activity

o   Time-Based

(to learn more click here)

  •  Working by mode is the best (and the only effective) way to multitask.
The right mindset is getting half the job done” –- Marina Darlow
  • Using verbs to move you along your to-do list
  •  Horizontal modes – why and how? 
  • Don’t! Use all 5 categories for every task.
 “Using emotion alone to guide you through your to do list will likely make you choose the wrong thing”  -- Mike Vardy
  • How email can be a dangerous thing
  •  “All or nothing” approach in weight loss leads to opposite results. Same is true in adopting good systems. Better do it in bite-size chunks.
  • The difference between tools and methodology and how the former is kind of worthless without the latter.


“Productivity is very personal. And you have more ownership over your time than you likely realize. Ultimately, productivity is intention fueled by applied attention
-- Mike Vardy (Tweet t hat)

About Mike:

Mike Vardy is a writer, productivity strategist, and the founder of Productivityist. He has served as the Managing Editor at Lifehack, and contributed articles on productivity to 99u, Lifehacker, The Next Web, SUCCESS Magazine, The Huffington Post, and more. Mike is also the author of several books, including The Front Nine: How to Start the Year You Want Anytime You Want (published by Diversion Books) and is the creator of TimeCrafting, a simple, durable, and flexible personal productivity methodology - formerly known as The NOW Year Method.

You can find Mike at:
His website: https://productivityist.com/



Mike's exclusive bundle for Systems Meet Humanity Listeners:
 - The 5 Categories of Modes: The Way to Make Work and Life TREAT You Better
 - Productivityist Daily Progress Planner
 - How I Added Flexibility and Freedom to My Weekends
 - Why I Journal (and Why You Should Too)