Home Interviews Dave Molenda of Positive Polarity: How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur

Dave Molenda of Positive Polarity: How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur

by Christina Gvaliant
Dave Molenda of Positive Polarity: How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur

Being a founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur  we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Molenda.

Dave Molenda, CPBA, CPDFA, CPEQA is the founder of Positive Polarity, LLC, a Midwest-based sales coaching/training firm that brings solid growth to companies from over 30 years of real-world experience. He developed a formula for success, ST + ICE = P (Strengthening the Team + Improving the Customers Experience = Profit) and with this formula, he has helped companies with their business growth. His #1 Amazon best-selling book called, Growing on Purpose, details the importance of both the team and the customer and how, if treated properly, profit will follow! He also recently launched The Positive Polarity Podcast, a weekly Podcast that interviews awesome entrepreneurs with amazing stories!

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Dave Molenda: I started in sales in my teens and realized that I loved it and wanted to learn all I could about it. I enjoy not only helping people but also engaging them. Then I realized that I wanted to tell as many people as I could and tries to find ways to multiply the audience. Social media, speaking, writing a book, and starting a podcast are recent venues I am using in addition to the traditional one-on-one and team coaching.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

Dave Molenda: When I started my company with no sales and just me in 1991, I eventually sold it with sales at $10 million and 22 people on my team. During that time, I realized my passion was for growth and teaching people how to do it. When I realized that the people, I was training were more important than the company I was running, I knew I had to shift to coaching.

In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

Dave Molenda: People are created a certain way. We can adjust and course-correct slightly, but the farther that you are from your passion, the more stress in your life. If you are naturally a leader and you don’t lead, I believe that you will not live as fulfilled as if you follow your passion.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

Dave Molenda: Being an only child, I was forced to learn on my own a lot. Couple that with the fact that neither of my parents was entrepreneurs, I realized that I had it in me and I pretty much did everything solo.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Dave Molenda: When it comes to business coaching, I have certifications and 30 years of actual experience do it. I started a company with zero sales and built it to 10 million dollars in annual sales before selling it. What makes me stand out is that I have already done what I am helping other people do.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Dave Molenda:

Three of my strengths are: positivity, connectedness, and strategy (from Gallup’s Strength Finders)

  1. Positivity — “I will figure out what makes people unique and special…and be optimistic about life…” I want to rub off on the people around me, so they become more positive. Daily, it is my duty to get people to smile and realize how special they are.
  2. Connectedness — “I will help people overcome obstacles, inspire others and hold to a code of values…” As a coach, if I cannot inspire others to greatness, then I need to go find something else to do. Weekly I help people accomplish things that they did not think were possible. “I would not be where I am in my career”, is a statement that I have heard more than once!
  3. Strategic — “I will delve deep, be on the cutting edge and identify opportunities…” I love to dig deep into things. I picture an iceberg and I want to understand what is under the surface of the water. Why did you do this, and what is the outcome?

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

Dave Molenda: Many people have said… “Cash is king…” When I put money ahead of the team or the client, I get out of balance. So, I try to make sure and always put people first!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

Dave Molenda: When we understand the individual better, we can provide them with an environment where they can flourish. I liken it to two different plants, a cactus, and a rose. Each one requires a different ground to plant in and differing amounts of water to live with. Mix those up and they both die. Realize each person is unique and different. Assess them with things like DISC and EQ assessments so you can get an idea of the makeup of your team.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

Dave Molenda:
  1. Write a book.
  2. Start a podcast or be a guest on other people’s shows.
  3. Contribute to an article like this.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

Dave Molenda: Two reasons:
  1. There are so many people doing with you do today. You need to differentiate yourself.
  2. These are great ways to keep yourself out in front of all your prospects.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

Dave Molenda:
  1. Not having a sales plan is a huge mistake. Invest in a plan.
  2. Not having a marketing plan is just as bad. Invest in a plan.
  3. Not having someone hold you accountable. Get a coach, or accountability partner, other than your spouse/significant other/family member.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

Dave Molenda:
  1. As a new owner of a business, or start-up, you are wearing multiple hats. You must prospect, sell, deliver, invoice, service, and warranty what you do. Each of these is required for success. Some of these you enjoy, and others are painful for you. We love to do the fun stuff and it gives us the high. The low comes when we must do something that we do not like to do.
  2. As your business grows, the tendency is to think you are still the best at each task. The low comes either when you realize that it is true, or you realize that it is not true. If someone can do it better, it is high. If you are still the best at it, it can become a burden.
  3. When you look at the entire business as the owner, you are always looking to improve. That means there is something that is not as good as it could be. This can cause a low.
  4. “Regular jobs” tend to have an ending point in the day. Entrepreneurs tend to go 24/7 which can cause an unhealthy work/non-work balance which causes a low. So you try to limit work, which can cause an even lower low since you are not working and guilt tends to follow.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

Dave Molenda: I am proud to say that I created a company from nothing and turned it into a ten-million-dollar company. That is high for me. No one can take that away from me!

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

Dave Molenda: After pulling an all “nighter” at the office, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. I used to wear it like a badge of honor. Until I realized that the company itself never said thanks, nor did the team around me or the customers. I think that was the last time I ever did that!

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

Dave Molenda: Realized that a balance needed to be found. Don’t work too much, and don’t sleep too long!

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

Dave Molenda:
  1. Be self-aware. Always be conscious of how your actions and words affect those around you. Early in my career, my emotional intelligence was much lower than it is now. When something bad happened, I would tell the world how bad things were and spread hopelessness. Now, there is always hope!
  2. Watch those around you. If they are nervous, realize that you might be the reason. We tend to have blind spots around our highs and lows. The more aware we are, the fewer others stress out. I used to be oblivious of others and how my blind spots affected other people. They did not want to be around me, and I did not want to be around me either!
  3. Have an accountability coach. Someone needs to help point out your highs and lows when you are not aware of them. This is the hardest part when someone can call you out on your poor actions/attitudes. So often we want to deflect, justify, or turn it back on them.
  4. Realize that the highs and lows are temporary. There comes a time when the emotions are over. Once you think that it will pass, then you are much more likely to have success riding the tide. I tell myself that in a month this will look way different than it does today, and it always does!
  5. It is only money. It is not the end of the world! Money cannot buy peace and contentment. I learned this every time I buy something and I think I have arrived!

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Dave Molenda: Two things:

  1. The ability to spring back
  2. Try to remain calm and even

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

Dave Molenda: I never finished college and it always gave me imposter syndrome. So, to combat that, I have done as many certifications as I could and read books consistently. I spring back at the negative attitudes with what I am doing right.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

Dave Molenda: My company name is Positive Polarity. It forces me to think positively. When I am negative, people who know me call me out on it and remind me of my company name!

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

Dave Molenda: Positivity spreads just like negativity does. Actually, there are people who are prone to be negative, and it takes more energy to be positive for them. Which is why more and more people are going negative. If you were to write a story on ten tips to be more negative, and one that was ten tips to be more positive, which one would get more readers? People see being positive as something to ascribe to.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

Dave Molenda: George Patton said, “If am man does his best, what else is there?” When I look at my life, the successes, and failures, I need to temper the failures with asking if I did my best. If I did, then I can go on with my head held high that I did my best. If I did not do my best, then I see where I can work better next time…either way, I win!

How can our readers further follow you online?

Dave Molenda:



This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with
this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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