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,
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?
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?
Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?
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?
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”?
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.
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.
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?
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?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with
this. We wish you continued success and good health!