Meet Cory Damon. He, together with his partners Tim Bartlett and Steven Ma, founded The Change Element which seeks to help entrepreneurs and leaders achieve success through holistic coaching, consulting and training.
Cory specializes in working with entrepreneurs in helps them to identify and understand their individual value and then creating and maintaining consistent daily routines and habits that have been proven to lead to change. As entrepreneurs, time management can quickly become friend or foe. By taking a holistic approach to an entrepreneur’s entire day, Cory and his team have discovered that true change can occur to unlock our potential.
In this episode, Cory speaks of his own entrepreneurial journey as shares many candid moments on discovering his own potential.
Cory's Personal Site: CoryDamon.me
WHAT DO YOU DO? [03:11]
So, what I say is that I help individuals discover their value and unleash their vision. Essentially I do that through coaching, consulting and training.
WHAT IS IT THAT REALLY PROMPTED YOU TO START THE CHANGE ELEMENT? [05:42]
Cory explains his progression from going from a full-time job as a Director of Operations to starting a small screen printing company. Cory then later progressed to eventually sell that business and start an online, crowd-funding business. His progression put him in contact with his now two partners, Tim Bartlett and Steven Ma, and together they wanted to make a greater impact in a much more holistic way.
Their desire to help inspire and motivate other entrepreneurs led them to create The Change Element – an organization that focuses on entrepreneurs reaching their potential through a combination of coaching, consulting, training and providing a myriad of resources to aid them in their journey.
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON PITFALLS THAT YOU SEE IN WORKING WITH ENTREPRENEURS? [10:28]
… A big one is partners. I was so against having partners for so many different reasons and that really hindered me and I didn’t discover that until I actually brought in partners and started to work with partners and I realized, you know it’s that analogy of the candle; if I’m holding a candle that’s lit and you bring a candle up to mine and yours isn’t lit, you hold it up to mine and all the sudden yours is lit, my candle didn’t get diminished at all. That’s a great analogy for partnerships…
… I think that we just need to surround ourselves with people that are going to be real with us. They’re going to hold us accountable. They’re going to have a different perspective and viewpoint from ours and so the sooner that we can really start to get those people around us, the better off we’re going to be.
Another one is… priorities. I think a lot of entrepreneurs are like me, we have shiny object syndrome, we want to chase everything. We have so many ideas in our head that seem great. Many of them aren’t but they seem great and so we want to do all of these things and really you’re going a mile wide and only an inch deep… We want to go deep in one direction and then that will eventually catalyze us and allow us to go wider.
HOW DO YOU RECOMMEND THAT ENTREPRENEURS CAN REALLY FOCUS ON WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT? [12:27]
In large part our ability to focus and to prioritize and really just focus on the things that are important are understanding what our purpose is and whatever it is we’re doing.
Cory goes on to explain how powerful daily routines and creating intentional habits can transform your focus into accomplishing your goals.
WHAT WAS ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST AH-HAH MOMENTS? [20:28]
Probably that our passion and desire and what we thought was a great idea; it’s not enough. Just having those things wasn’t going to automatically attract people to us.
Cory continues to explain that being an entrepreneur takes a lot more than a great idea and passion, you’ve go to have a plan surrounding the goals of your overall purpose and direction. The most important assets of his company are the client relationships that he has built and continues to build.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? [27:24]
Fortunately, in the morning as I’m meditating/praying… my reading is often reading scripture in the morning and so just going through that and understanding and seeing the human dynamic that unfolds in scriptures is really captivating to me. The stories are captivating. So I get a lot of inspiration from that…
Cory also shares that he gains a lot of inspiration from his business partners and he enjoys clearing his head while running.
HOW DO YOU VIEW FAILURE? [29:00]
…It was something that I had to learn, but I don’t view failure as failure in the typical definition of it. Failure to me is always a learning experience and I embrace it. I know that there are people out there that say ‘no you shouldn’t ever try to fail’ and of course you shouldn’t try to fail but, the reality is its going to happen and so I actually embrace it. I’ve failed enough that I’ve learned to embrace it and really learn what it is, okay examine that failure. Why did I fail? What caused it? Was it in my control or was it completely out of my control? And then moving forward you know; how can I apply that to whatever I’m going to do next to make sure I can avoid that? Or, every time I fail by learning from that, I’m able to now see the failures coming before I ever get to them and so I can avoid them.
Cory then continues by giving candid advice on some of the self-talk that he goes through when failures and setbacks arise.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOURSELF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? [33:41]
Cory shares a story about how he stayed at a company for more than five years, already knowing during that period of time that he had greater aspirations, but continually questioned himself during that time. He states:
I would tell myself back then: you’ve got to listen to your voice. Listen to that gut. Know your value. Understand that yea this is a risk, but all good things are risky at one point or another and so jump into it…
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS? [38:06]
It’s about having people around you. I use the word partners but… it’s much broader than the definitions we typically give to that word. But just having people around you. It’s so important! None of us were really meant or even capable of traveling alone…
The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni
Design Your Life – The Change Element