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March 22, 2023

Authour And Thought Leader Trish Tonaj Unleashes The Power Of Success Through Creativity And Art (#214)

Authour And Thought Leader Trish Tonaj Unleashes The Power Of Success Through Creativity And Art (#214)
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“Look at each failure in life as an opportunity, just get up and keep on going.” - Trish Tonaj

Trish Tonajis an award winning Marketing Consultant, Artist, Author and Founder of As an artist, her work is best described as bold, colourful, abstracts that enhance your personal space. Colour Outside the Lines workshops encourage your creativity while thinking outside the lines. With a recent solo show at the Relais & Chataux, Langdon Hall, her work is found in Europe, United States and Canada.

In support of the entrepreneurial spirit, Trish is the founder of an international marketing platform featuring business stories that share your great ideas. She is the host for the weekly podcast Business Mentorship; Keepin’ It Real, live and unscripted interviews introducing the person behind the logo. Under the umbrella of mentorship and collabortion over competition, her mission is to increase your visibility, encourage collaboration and build connections in your community.

With a love of writing she has co-authored an e-magazine on Wealth and Wellbeing and is a

contributor to Thrive Global and Canfitpro magazine. As a published author, and speaker, she has written two books:

Breaking Barriers: 10 Entrepreneurial Women Share Their Stories and A Diary of Change 12 Personal Tools.

Join Trish as she trades a pen for paintbrush!

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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. 

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later. 

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Enjoy the interview!


[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast where you learn how to extract your business and personal Deep Wealth.

I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

When it comes to your business deep wealth, your exit or liquidity event is the most important financial decision of your life.

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time and your hard earned money wasted.

Of the quote unquote "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of the deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

I should know. I said "no" to a seven-figure offer. And "yes" to mastering the art and the science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said "yes" to a different buyer with a nine figure deal.

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing the skills that built your business are the same ones to sell it.

After all, how can you master something you've never done before?

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and the 9-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the best deal instead of any deal.

At the end of this episode, take a moment and hear from business owners like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.

Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast where you learn how to extract your business and personal Deep Wealth.

I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

When it comes to your business deep wealth, your exit or liquidity event is the most important financial decision of your life.

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time and your hard earned money wasted.

Of the quote unquote "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of the deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

I should know. I said "no" to a seven-figure offer. And "yes" to mastering the art and the science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said "yes" to a different buyer with a nine figure deal.

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing the skills that built your business are the same ones to sell it.

After all, how can you master something you've never done before?

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and the 9-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the best deal instead of any deal.

At the end of this episode, take a moment and hear from business owners like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience. Trish Tonaj is an award-winning marketing consultant, artist, author, and founder of As an artist, her work is best described as bold, colorful abstracts that enhance your personal space. Color Outside the Lines workshops encourage your creativity while thinking outside the lines.

With a recent solo show at the Relais and Chateau Langdon Hall. Her work is found in Europe, the United States, and Canada. In support of the entrepreneurial spirit. Trish is the founder of an international marketing platform, featuring business stories that share your great ideas.

She's the host for the weekly podcast. Business Mentorship. Keeping It Real Live and unscripted interviews. Introducing the person behind the logo. Under the umbrella of mentorship and collaboration over competition. Her mission is to increase your visibility, encourage collaboration, and build connections in your community.

With a love of writing. She has coauthored an e-magazine on Wealth and Well-being and is a contributor to Thrive Global and Canfitpro Magazine. As a published author and speaker, she's written two books. Breaking Barriers: 10 entrepreneurial women share their stories.

And a Diary of Change: 12 Personal Tools.

Join Trish as she trades a pen for paintbrush.

Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast and wow, am I excited for you today! Because we have an episode, like no other episode. We're gonna talk business. We're gonna spin your head around. We're gonna talk a little bit of the creative side in art.

We're gonna talk Wealth. We have a thought leader, author just at business owner. You name it, she's done it so I'm gonna stop right there. Trish, welcome to the Deep Wealth podcast you know, there's always a story behind the story, Trish, what's your story? What got you to where you are today?

[00:05:03] Trish Tonaj: First of all, thank you so much, Jeffrey, for inviting me to your podcast. I seriously have enjoyed a lot of the other folks that you've had on the show, I'm hoping that my contribution will also be something that your listeners will appreciate. I've been an entrepreneur since 1993. When you do the math, it seems like such a long time ago, and like most entrepreneurs, your journey to success is never a straight line.

We've all seen that graphic where, you know, it kind of curves and swos and goes up and down, and my journey would be no different. Post pandemic, I'm actually concentrating now on helping organizations think outside the box. Explore their creativity. We're doing workshops called Color Outside the Lines because I've personally made a pivot into the professional world of art,

[00:05:50] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow.

[00:05:51] Trish Tonaj: I've always had a sort of a passion for art.

I've been always taking courses sort of behind the scenes and I guess my creativity went into the marketing business that I had, but I've now decided at this age and stage in life to pursue that professionally and so we're doing not only the workshops with corporations, but I'm doing independent art shows and connecting with folks like yourself who are interested in putting a splash of color in their either workplace or their home environment.

[00:06:21] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, Trish, that's quite the story, and really like how you've taken two concepts that most people normally wouldn't put in the same sentence. Art and business, obviously the creativity side is the common element. With all of that, what was that pivotal moment? Was there a pivotal moment where the light bulb went off, and it was, Oh, I'm passionate about art?

I'm gonna be going into there, but wow, couldn't businesses benefit from this as well? What was that all about?

[00:06:50] Trish Tonaj: I think like most folks during the pandemic, I was an entrepreneurial coach, so I was working with small to medium-sized companies, helping people in organizational development. And like everyone, I found myself in a position where most of those folks were hitting the pause button. And being the type A personality that I am hitting the pause button is not something I do well, so I thought, what on earth am I gonna do with all this time?

I actually made some cold calls to some folks to see if they were interested in the art world, and believe it or not, I got some positive responses, and I had a individual show at a Relay Chateau actually in Southern Ontario. And what started that whole thing, to be quite honest, is I've had some mentors, inspirational mentors, I'll call them throughout my life.

And one of them is Georgio Keith and Emily Carr. You know, Artists who kind of think outside the box and who maybe have not also had a very linear career to success. And I thought, you know what? If they can do it, I can do it. And so I just took that leap of faith and reread some of the books that I had sitting on my shelf for both of those Canadian and female artists, and I just decided to go for it.

[00:08:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, and now hanging the shingle out there and saying, Hey, here I am world. What kind of reactions are you getting? I know it's so early days, what's it all looking like?

[00:08:12] Trish Tonaj: I've been really blessed. I have work now in Europe, the United States, and Canada because I do two different types of work. I do work for outdoors in porches and balconies, and things of that nature. And then I also do work for Indoors so I'm kind of covering all the bases, and I think that because I'm doing something a little different, it's creating a buzz.

[00:08:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: Really like what I'm hearing there. And so, at the risk of asking the obvious Trish. Business owners listening to this podcast have a successful business. I'm always looking to get the edge. I want to grow my business along, do all these great things. Maybe one day with all that growth, I'll have an even better Exit.

That's what we're all about at deep wealth. Where do we connect the two to that business owner who's listening saying, Okay, Trish, I hear you? I'm just not connecting the dots. Help us connect the dots. What would you say to that business owner?

[00:09:02] Trish Tonaj: I think that what happens is you not only have to change your business based on your customer, but you have to be able to pivot your business based on the economy and throughout that time from 1993 to now. I don't think we ever started our business thinking about the Exit strategy. But we get to an agent stage in life where we think, Okay so what am I going to do with all of this work that I've accomplished? Am I going to sell my business? Am I gonna close my business? Am I gonna morph my business into something else? I think at this particular stage, I'm looking at taking opportunities and turning them into something that will not only perhaps leave a legacy, but will give me that residual wealth and income down the road that at some point in time perhaps I'll be able to share some of my experience as an author on mentorship, I obviously am also a speaker on the topic. And I think you know, you have to walk the walk and talk the talk. It's an untapped resource.

I think that's available to us all. And wealth is something that's very subjective. And to your point, one of the things that you mentioned when I had heard you speak to another guest was can your business run by itself.

[00:10:18] Jeffrey Feldberg: Big question, big question.

[00:10:20] Trish Tonaj: It is a big question because as an artist, my business can't run by itself.

[00:10:25] Jeffrey Feldberg: right? Ah-huh.

[00:10:26] Trish Tonaj: I'm pretty, integral part of the creative process, but that doesn't mean that the dynamic or the process cannot be duplicated and available to other people. So I think that's where I'm coming from at the moment.

[00:10:40] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Trish, I like how you're thinking. And by the way, for the listeners, Trish was very kind. She had me on her podcast. We had a lot of fun doing that and just exchanging ideas and paying it forward and getting things out there. Trish, let's go back to mentorship because you're really onto something here.

Mentorship through art in this case and working on the corporate side doing that. What does that look like exactly?

[00:11:04] Trish Tonaj: I think that everyone is looking for I call it color outside the lines because I think creativity is where product innovation happens. It's where teamwork is cemented in terms of getting to know the people that perhaps sit beside you in the office or perhaps are on a different floor in your organization.

But when we do the brainstorming, that's really where the magic happens. And creating an environment through the workshops to explore your creativity actually really creates opportunities for brainstorming, and that's where we really see the magic in organizations where they can pivot their businesses or introduce new products.

It's really where all the innovation happens.

[00:11:46] Jeffrey Feldberg: And you know, Trish, as you're talking about that, what's going through my mind and for the listeners, I'll share this with you because maybe you're asking, Okay. Yeah, Trish, I hear that it's a little bit of a stretch. I'm going to mention one company, one of the most valuable companies in the world, at least at this recording that's Apple.

And if you go back to the early days in Apple, completely on the creative side, completely on the art side, was Steve Jobs, who you have that urban legend now took that course in college all about different font styles and font types, and that was pivotal. For the Macintosh so whoever's thinking that the creative side and the business side are two separate things and not to be put together.

There you go. There's one of many examples of why that isn't the case. When you begin to work in the corporate arena, Trish, and you're dealing with corporate leaders and people who just wanna make a difference, wanna take their game to the next level. How does your workshop, how does your mentorship through art coloring outside the line, as you say, how does that give me the edge what's changing in me when I start going through that process?

[00:12:49] Trish Tonaj: I think we're all looking for a competitive edge in our businesses and separating ourselves from the competition. And certainly what we're finding, to your point where you say the. Is always a story behind the story. People are now really wanting to connect in some way, shape, or form with the entrepreneur who started the business.

What are they all about? Let's put the face to the name so it's not just about the logo. We have to get out from behind the logo in order to talk about who we are and why we're doing what we're doing. And finally enough after writing a book on mentorship I actually started the website,, which you so kindly participated in, and hence then the podcast with almost 300 international stories on that website.

One of the things that I have found is we are also very similar and we all experience the same challenges, and it doesn't matter really where we live. There may be some cultural tweaks here and there but common denominator is we're all trying to make a positive contribution to our communities, but every single entrepreneur started with a creative idea.

[00:13:57] Jeffrey Feldberg: You're absolutely right. And Trish, for our listeners, let's tie this all together. When it comes time for exiting a business or even growing a business it's really, I mean, what we do here at Deep Wealth, with the nine-step roadmap, caters to both, and you're talking about the creative side, and as you're talking about that Trish, maybe we can do a little bit of a deep dive on the creative side as it pertains to stories, but not just any stories.

It's a business narrative, to your point earlier, why my business and as an example, oh my goodness, it was a number of podcasts back. We had Barat, who is a professional evaluator and he's done Uber and bridges and businesses and startups and everything else, and right there for the world to hear, Jeffrey, 80% of a company's value comes from the narrative.

Yes, I need the facts and the data and everything else, he was saying, but it starts with the narrative. So Trish, what you're doing? It's right up the alley of that narrative and the creativity to come up with a narrative that's compelling, that moves the dial, that gets people motivated.

But let's flip it for just a moment. Most businesses, when they're not tapped into this, where are they getting it wrong from what you're seeing?

[00:15:13] Trish Tonaj: You know, That's a really interesting question, and one of the things that I can say is they're stymied, they're stuck. They feel that their great idea got them to a certain point, and if now they're ready to expand their business, or maybe they might even be thinking of selling their business, they don't know how to make the connection between a potential buyer between the client.

You know what's going to excite them again in their own business that's gonna get somebody else excited to wanna participate in some way, shape or form, whether it's buying their product or service, or whether it's buying their company. I think it's getting out from behind the logo and sharing that startup story because the startup stories are the things that we really grasp onto.

They're the things that give us, say, Wow, that's amazing. That really was a great idea. And look at how it changed, you know, so it leapfrogs to something else and maybe there's a new product innovation or maybe there's a new service. But it really all starts with the great idea. I remember one particular story from a gal who actually participated in the book.

She said, I started my business at the kitchen table and telling my husband about this idea. And he sort of went, Wow, that sounds fantastic. And when you talk to other entrepreneurs, I would have to say that out of the folks that I've connected with more than 50% of them end up starting to talk about their great idea at the kitchen table with their friends and family, and they use that as a litmus test for leapfrogging from corporate leader into business owner.

[00:16:40] Jeffrey Feldberg: Unbelievable, although completely believable. And Trish, what you're talking about really ties into what neuroscience is telling us today. And for the listeners out there, just to bring in the loop because you're thinking, Yeah, okay, Trish, you sound like a nice person and some interesting stories, but come on, really, art, their creative side stories.

Yes, because through storytelling, which as people, we are wired for stories, the right narrative told by a really effective storyteller does something amazing in the brain, the listeners, and the presenter, a neural link is formed so whatever the presenter, the storyteller is feeling. The listener is feeling the same.

And case in point, if you're being listening in, Jeffrey, have you lost it today? What's going on? Just think about the last time that you saw a movie. Maybe you cried, maybe you laughed, Maybe you felt fear. Well, It's because the narrative, the storyteller for the movie was very effective and got you looped in. Trish, you have me sold on these creative workshops and coloring outside the lines. Can you walk us through your process? So, a person or a company, a department signs up for your workshop, you're providing mentorship along the way. What happens? We show up day one. Can you walk us progressively through how it all works?

[00:17:57] Trish Tonaj: That really depends on the individual organization. I mean, of course, there is the basis of everything that we do is process driven, right? I mean, that's what makes the story successful. We really start by, believe it or not, putting on, you know, those clear plastic kind of jackets that you would put on if you're going to a sporting event, you have to sit outside and it might rain.

We hand those out, we hand out ponchos. And everybody looks at me sideways as if, are you serious? What am I putting this plastic poncho on for? And we kind of say, you know, you're gonna be very creative today. We wanna protect your clothes. We don't want you to feel inhibited. Everybody really starts, that is a really wonderful icebreaker because they put on this plastic poncho.

They start to laugh at one another because it's sort of, you know, everyone might feel a little bit uncomfortable. And then we talk about what does communication mean in your organization? What is thinking outside the box? How do you connect with each other? And we start with a real general conversation, and then throughout that process, we end up giving people all kinds of creative things that they can use when they're starting to think about art. Lots of folks say, Oh my gosh, I can't draw, I'm not gonna be able to do this. But it's a very abstract process and it's either a multimedia where you can put whatever you like on the canvas.

And we have a creative table where there's, stickers and twine and various different tools that they can use. But what the team picks is a theme.

So, what theme do they want to depict that really demonstrates their organization? And then with that word, it gives everybody direction to contribute to the piece of art that they're going to be able to complete by the end of the workshop. So, it becomes really collaborative, and we kind of tie all those little bits together.

[00:19:43] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. Trish, there's a lot going on there. Firstly, you have team building which contributes to culture, and when you have this word that becomes the theme for whatever they're gonna be creating, isn't that the same in business where we come up an effective business anyways, hopefully, comes up with a word for the year perhaps?

Or for the vision statement or the mission statement, Hey, this is our North Star, this is what we're marching towards. So, there's so many similar. Between the art world and the business world, you're starting to illuminate for us. But really they're not that different. And in many ways, there's more things similar than different.

[00:20:16] Trish Tonaj: You know what's fun is then we always ask the organizations to put the art in a particular place perhaps in their lobby or in the bullpen where everybody's doing sharing ideas and being creative because one of the other things that we found is what's on the walls. What on the walls does have an effect on your ability to be creative.

So if there's lots of color around and there's lots of inspirational messaging in your office, or even just something that gives people they can look at it and say, Oh yeah, we did that workshop and that was so much fun. We did such great ideas that we shared at the end of that day. Then it inspires them to think outside the box and be a little less inhibited with each other when they're brainstorming.

[00:21:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Trish, I would imagine that when they're going through this, both during as well as afterwards when the workshop is done or the mentorship is paused, or they're gonna be coming back, whatever the case may be. That there's gotta be an inner sense of well-being. And I know for you, well-being is a big deal for you.

You have a whole system built around this with your W2 or W squared, Wealth and wellbeing so can you help us tie that together of how the workshop, how what you're doing ties into each individual's wellbeing, and then how that translates business wise and personal wise?

[00:21:35] Trish Tonaj: sure. One of the things that I've done over the course of the year is I really very much am tied into the education part of what you do. I think that's what you know when you invest in yourself, you're then able to help others. I'm a certified personal trainer. I'm a nutrition and wellness specialist.

I'm a master coach. I attended Harvard Law School and took a course in mediation and dispute resolution. You know, I've got a degree in labor relations, and I think when you throw all of those disciplines into a pot and you mix it up, you end up finding that there's things that are really creative about what you do and the contribution that you make through the education component.

Then gives you an opportunity to draw things out from other people. The folks that you connect with, the folks that you share stories with. And it just gives us a talking point. Things that we can say, Oh, I remember when, or I did that then, and you're able to connect the dots and really make a really wonderful connection with the individuals that we meet so, the art and the culture and the organizational behavior that we have in offices now, especially with the hybrid models. You know, When I've been speaking to businesses, there's a real disconnect that's happening. We've been in shall we say isolation, working from home for a long time. People are hungry to get together. They're looking for a sense of community. They want to be able to share face-to-face. We can only do so many zoom calls before we're zoomed out, I think that getting together in one room and being able to see the expressions and body language from each other really helps to fuel that creative energy and down the road.

It really helps with collaboration and being able to think outside the square.

[00:23:22] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Trish, it's a terrific segue. You read my mind because one of the things that I was thinking about as you're talking about this collaboration being together, Post pandemic. The world has changed what we took for granted, not that far back. Oh yeah, sure. We can get together. We can do that. We've become much more isolated.

Now, some employees maybe prefer that others don't, but what an opportunity for a company now that has perhaps a hybrid workforce. Some in the office, some outta the office. But before we go to that, what have you seen post-pandemic? How has the mindset changed? What has changed for you? Maybe for the better, maybe not for the better.

That we need to be aware of. Because really our team members, our employees, that's the most valuable asset for any company. That's what really moves the dial above and beyond everything else.

[00:24:10] Trish Tonaj: I think any of the corporate leaders that I've been speaking to are really trying to reconnect their teams because I think the disconnect has affected productivity. It's affected creativity and it's also affected innovation. In that loop, people are saying let's get together for coffee, or let's go out for lunch, or let's go out for a walk.

There's lots of walk-and-talk meetings these days, where folks are meeting outside and grabbing a coffee and walking in a park and having walking meetings. All of those things contribute to the overall health and wellness of an organization. I think what lots of corporate leaders are doing are looking for new and innovative ways to connect with their teams.

And pulled everybody together. I can certainly say from my own personal experience I'm a real outgoing type A personality and being alone and in an environment where I had to stay in the house and I wasn't able to connect with people was probably not the healthiest thing for me in the beginning of the pandemic.

And I found myself really looking for ways to connect. As we mentioned earlier there's zoom calls, There's, you know, the good old-fashioned telephone. But after a while, you miss the human element. You miss the human connection where you can actually physically meet with someone.

So, I'm finding in the last few months, we're seeing those doors opening. We're seeing more opportunities to connect. Networking groups are going back from online to in-person, and it's really helping folks make a connection once again with people. And I also think we're maybe a little bit more open-minded now than we were before.

[00:25:46] Jeffrey Feldberg: And when it comes to creativity. I would imagine all of these are good things. And then for a company who wants to reestablish that connection that perhaps was lost from the pandemic. Now coming out of it, having a workshop with you and having some fun you know, the f-word fun. I would imagine there's a lot of fun with what you do.

Why don't you talk to us about that? How people are having fun, and what that could look like?

[00:26:09] Trish Tonaj: Well, I think the interesting thing is too that, we start with that wonderful poncho that's, the clear plastic poncho, and that sort of sets the stage for the thinking outside the box. And I think what I've noticed most often in the workshops is the acceptance and the non-judgment.

The people who maybe feel inhibited to participate because, they think, Oh geez, I don't want my colleagues to laugh at me. Or I'm not really very good at this. And I think the fun element really comes into play. I remember being at a workshop and we were all working on the word and the theme of the word.

And one called, he looked at the other and said, Jenny, I don't think you realize, but you have a paint in your hair. And it really created this sense of camaraderie because, people were like, Oh, well don't worry about it. You know, It'll just add a little bit of color to the day.

And she was very laissez fair about having paint in her hair. And the next thing their level of creativity really changed because it was like wow, you know, there really is no judgment here, and we really can think outside the box and nobody's going to, there's no right or wrong answer. And so we really found that the energy in the room took on a whole new flavor when people really realized there was no judgment.

[00:27:23] Jeffrey Feldberg: And you know that courage not to have that judgment to put yourself out there. What's been interesting post-pandemic is, on the one hand, the marketplace expects more things online. As a business, if I haven't been online or my online presence is perhaps not as strong as what it could be. Hey, Pay attention, change things, make things happen, get out there.

But it's almost a dichotomy because the marketplace on the same side is saying, Okay, we're gonna do things virtually. I may not even really see you or meet you like I used to, but I really wanna get to know you. Why you? How do you stand out? over anyone else. And when I hear that, to me is what we're talking about, Trish.

Okay? How do we become creative? How do we differentiate ourselves? What kind of narrative can we tell through creativity that can really make a difference? I would love your thoughts on that.

[00:28:16] Trish Tonaj: Well, you know, I think that freedom of expression is something that we have no problem with when we're children. We do paint by numbers. We paint with our hands. We just have absolutely no inhibition. But then we start to lose some of that when people are perhaps critical of the process or because art is very subjective.

What you might feel is really wonderful and something that you'd like to hang in your house. Someone else may cringe and say, Oh geez, that's really, that's not something that I would be interested in at all. But what happens in the workshop environment, or even in at a conference, when people are trying to get together and meet each other in a different environment, in a workshop environment, what's happening is there's a whole new appreciation for what you see.

For the visual elements. And I think that's what really makes it so interesting is that we've lost some of that inhibition, which I think is really amazing. And we're not afraid now to tap into some of that creativity that we may have had when we were kids. And when you make the environment friendly and fun.

Then you really see the, as I say, that, it opens the doors to lots of laughter, and it's really quite interesting to see what people will come up with at the end.

[00:29:26] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Trish for those that are saying, Okay, yeah, it sounds great. I hear you. There's always a but. But my industry, picking an industry, whatever industry, You know what? There are certain rules. We have to be prim and proper creativity and expression and things like that. We got regulators. We have to go through this. We have to go through that.

There's really no room in what we're doing. What would you say to that person?

[00:29:50] Trish Tonaj: I would say that regardless of the industry and regardless of the personality type of your colleagues, everybody loves to cut loose every once in a while, and everybody has a creative side and to be able to tap into that and just have fun. Think of folks that maybe you've gone bowling as a team exercise before, or you've done some of those outside the box where you go to the outdoor events and you're supposed to, fall off of the wall into the arms of your team, that fireman's thing.

And people roll their eyes and go, Oh yeah, seriously? I'm not gonna do that. There's no way. But painting seems to be something that takes us back to the first elements of creativity, and it's a little less inhibitive and a little bit more accepting. I would say every single creative team has a level of creativity and even finding out some of the things about your team members that you perhaps didn't know is another really wonderful way of creating that teamwork environment.

[00:30:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: I would imagine, I can just picture now people are doing the painting and just the camaraderie and the teamwork and getting to know your peers. And even in that fictional example that I gave, while really regulated, we have regulators and on and on. Well, what about internally? What about having a team that really jowls, and they get it? The team that plays together is a team that stays together. And that others saying, one of my favorites, Hey, when the team works, the dream works. And when we're doing the workshop, is each person doing a painting for themselves, or is everyone together collectively doing a painting?

Oh, you do both.

[00:31:30] Trish Tonaj: We actually do both. It starts off with an individual painting, and then it works on the collaborative element, then it takes the pressure off, right? You work on your own individual piece, and throughout the course of the workshop, you can go to the large corporate piece and add your definition or your dimension, and then everyone kind of at their own pace keeps adding things and then you know visual the visual representation really starts to take shape. And what we found in some cases is people abandon their own individual work, and they start to really concentrate on the collaborative team piece. But the intention is really that you have a little something that you can take to your desk.

Or you can hang on your fridge like we used to do with our artwork when we were kids coming home from school. You know, you can take it home and share it with your family, but you've got this wonderful piece of art that you can hang somewhere within your organization's space that speaks to collaboration and really getting to know one another.

You walk away with the two different elements.

[00:32:30] Jeffrey Feldberg: And what's amazing about that, and as business owners, as we think about our teams, particularly post-pandemic mental health is a big issue. And Trish, I can't tell you, I've lost count from a number of people who I never would've expected in a million years to love painting. But they paint, and one of the things they say, You know what, Jeffrey?

It's such a stress relief for me. It takes me out of my world. It puts me into another world, and I can just lose myself in it. I come out feeling so much better and when you can apply that now to your team and into the workplace, I imagine just the compound interest effect, if you will, if I can take that term and put it into what we're talking about of what that would do for a team, for a department, for the culture, it's just beyond numbers.

It's not gonna show up in a spreadsheet, but it will show up in the results on the spreadsheet. Any thoughts on that?

[00:33:18] Trish Tonaj: Oh, that's so, true because,, you kno,w one of the things that we've certainly found is that you know, look at the adult coloring books that are now available. You know, you can go to your local bookstore, and there are all kinds of folks that now have an adult coloring book. And you know, a few years ago, I don't think that any of us would've even been remotely interested in that.

But think about doodling. And some of us, when we're on telephone conversation and doodle while we're on the phone. We maintain our focus, and gives us an opportunity to maybe jot down a few notes here and there about some things that we might be thinking about that we'd like to share.

When you combine some of the things that we organically do as humans, and we're very visual, most of us are very visual. When you combine the visual aspects of sharing even color, the definition of color. And we even go through that. You know, I ask people, What's your favorite color? And then I tell them what the personality type is based on that color, and most of the time, believe it or not, it's bang on. And you'll see other, their other colleagues nodding their heads going, Wow, that's really true about you, and so it creates a whole other conversation that ends up happening as well. The dynamics of the group really depend on the ability of everyone to just be free with information and to feel that they're in a safe zone where they can share.

[00:34:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Trish, as you're talking about this, the mental image going through my mind, I'm now picturing the workplace people are actually there, and they're walking through and unlike so many other things, other types of retreats that are just, it's a great experience, but out of sight, out of mind. With your workshop, as I'm walking through and I'm passing by someone's office or their place of work and I see this art that's hanging up, it immediately will take me back to that fun experience. It's a talking piece. Oh, I remember when we did that. Hey, I never noticed that about your painting there. What's going on with that?

Talk to me about that. What a way just to continue the team building and to bond and for that culture. What have you seen with that?

[00:35:10] Trish Tonaj: Well, And that, to your point, is very true because I remember doing a workshop with some lawyers, and they were all very inhibited to start with, but they're, you know, managing partners said, Oh no, we're going to do this, You know, and we got into our groups and started to talk about, you know, the word or the theme.

And before you knew it they really decided that it was gonna start a whole new conversation. And one the wonderful, great ideas that came out of that is that they decided they were gonna put a like a chalkboard in their lunch room. And people were gonna be able to sort of write sayings or doodle or whatever that they would change it every week, they would leave those images up for the week and then wash them off on a Friday night and then start again the next week. They really wanted to keep that element of creativity going in the office.

[00:35:58] Jeffrey Feldberg: And to tie in that creativity, Trish, as you're talking about that, and for our listeners, I want you to do a quick thought experiment with myself and Trish right now, and Trish lets you and I do this as well. Let's take a pause for a moment and let's think about some of the most successful in the business world.

Business people that we know. Now, maybe it's a family member, maybe it's a friend, maybe it's even a public icon. Someone that you really admire and that you read about, and that you've seen. And as I think about that, the one common element, different industries, different businesses, different personalities, obviously different people, but the one common element is they are creative. They and their companies are creative in how they view their world, their industry, their offering to come up with different solutions to solve problems that no one else thought of before. And that's not luck, and that's not gonna come from the logic side. That's only gonna come from the arts side of.

And that's gonna be on the creative side. Trish, as we're going through that and our listeners, you know, continue to think about maybe their business role models or people who check the box for that, would love some of your thoughts on the creativity that you open up. Really, you're reintroducing people to their inner child, that creative side it's always been there. Maybe we forgot about that. And now you unleash that, literally unleash that, and we take it back into the workplace. What have you seen with that?

[00:37:21] Trish Tonaj: I'll give you one example, and that is social media. We're all looking for content in social media. We're looking for ways to connect with our communities, build followers. And one of the things that we're finding is that if we share more personal stories or personal aspects of our businesses, we are able to engage followers.

What ends up happening from a session such as that is you end up coming up with new ways to new marketing ideas, new ways to connect to your customer and that really gets you perhaps to, it gets everybody all jazzed and excited. And it also releases some of the inhibition about, I don't know if you've been watching your social media, but sometimes we see people who are sharing something about their holidays and never would do that before or sharing something about birthday in the office that they celebrated and everybody had, those crazy hats on and, having cake those are the types of things that helps fuel the energy in an organization and helps to connect the dots with their customers or potential customers, is being able to share a little bit more of the people that work in the organization and so that sort of helps fuel the creativity from a marketing standpoint.

[00:38:38] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Trish you're spot on with that. As I speak to people who are influencers or they're digital marketers, the one thing that they say time and time again, business is no longer what it used to be. People wanna know that you're human. They don't care how big of a company, whether you're a solopreneur or you have a few employees or thousands of employees, they wanna see that vulnerable side.

They wanna connect with you. They want something that they can relate to. And so to your point, that creativity and being able to reach out in just different ways of reaching out and sending that narrative out, there can be the difference from zero to hero in terms of business success.

[00:39:17] Trish Tonaj: And it also, I think, connects you with a whole new dynamic. You may not have even thought of a target market that your product or service would connect with, but when you start to show the human element of your business, I think then it opens the doors to other opportunities that maybe we didn't think of before.

When I first started into connecting with the art world and the folks that were in art, I was thinking those traditional, you know, galleries and maybe online art auctions and things like that. And then when someone said to me, Trish, why don't you do this as workshops and corporations?

And I thought, Oh geez, nobody's ever gonna that. I mean, that's too outside the box. And then I thought, now wait a minute. If you want people to think outside the box, don't you think you need to offer them something outside the box? And so I thought nothing ventured, nothing gained.

You can only ask, and alls you have to hear is know doesn't necessarily mean no, but maybe not right now. And so I've taken that sort of show on the road so to speak, and found that there really is an opportunity for people. We really are looking for something different, and tapping into our creativity is something that we probably would've never done pre-pandemic, but we're interested in doing post-pandemic.

[00:40:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah. So Trish, for our listeners and as we begin to wrap up here, they reach out to you. Hey, Trish, love what you're doing. That whole creative side, that team building, what it's gonna do for my culture in terms of working with you and what this looks like. Is it a one-time occurrence? Is it happening over a period of days?

Can you walk us through that?

[00:40:53] Trish Tonaj: Sure most of the workshops are for a specific time period because people are still cognizant of productivity, team productivity. If you're doing a day wellness day with your team, it can be a segment or a portion of that day. We tend to find that an hour and a half seems to be the right timing for something of this nature.

Unless you're gonna throw in lunch in the middle, and then we sort of extend the time somewhat. And other folks are doing it department by department where they say, Okay, we're gonna do the you know, accounting and marketing department. We're gonna put people together that normally don't work together.

Because we wanna see what their creativity is like. We're gonna put sales and editorial stuff together, or we wanna mix it up. And then other folks are saying, You know what? We have nice small team, let's get everybody together, and let's just see how much paint we can throw on the canvas and how much fun we can have and I also think it's something that you can probably revisit at another time, depending on the dynamics. And as long as everyone is having fun, I think that's really, that would be the word that I would love everyone to walk away with is did you have fun and did you learn something about one of your colleagues?

And as long as you're saying yes to those things, then I think it's a worthwhile effort.

[00:42:07] Jeffrey Feldberg: And so, really, what it sounds like. It can be completely flexible. It can be part of a bigger program. It can be really its own main attraction or something in between that you'll really customize on a case-by-case basis for each company. What they need or departments or people. And then that's where the magic happens.

Once they're there, you're working your magic, and the whole creativity flows.

[00:42:30] Trish Tonaj: And I think that's the nature of business now, post-pandemic. We really have to go with the flow, we can't be rigid anymore. Rigidity no longer works. And being flexible and being able to tailor something to suit an individual or company's needs is really what it's all about.

And I think that's really the only way that we're going to be able to become more innovative in the future is if we give each other an opportunity to be more creative.

[00:42:57] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, that sounds like a definite plan, and one everyone will benefit from, and we should be doing so, Trish, let's do this. As we begin to wrap up the episode, I really have the privilege, and I do mean that I have the privilege for every guest to ask this one question, and here we go. Think about the movie Back to the Future.

And Trish, in the movie, you have that magical DeLorean car that will take you back to any point in time. Trish here's a creative part, it's tomorrow morning, and you look outside your window. And the DeLorean car is not only parked there. But the door is open. It's waiting for you to hop on in, and you can now go to any point in your life, Trish, as a young child, a teenager, whatever point in time it would be.

What would you tell your younger self in terms of life lessons or life wisdom, or, hey Trish, do this, but don't do that? What would that sound like?

[00:43:49] Trish Tonaj: I think, this is a really interesting question because it's a discussion I had with my mother very recently. I'm still blessed to have my parents and we were talking about life in general and she's had a wonderful saying that's been ingrained in my mind, and that is just get up and keep on going.

Because I think we fall down, we got a bruise in our knee. Our mother comes along and picks us up and puts a little bandaid on it. And as children, we just keep running. We just keep going. But as the decades of life progress and we've had a few more bumps and bruises, we maybe don't get up as fast, or we're maybe not as resilient, or we're maybe not as excited to keep on going.

But I think that if we can look at each failure in life as an opportunity and just get up and keep on going. Then we just never know where the future will lead us.

[00:44:39] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, some terrific wisdom and insights for all of our listeners, and Trish, we're gonna have everything in the show notes. It'll be a simple point-and-click for all of our listeners. If someone wants to get in touch with you, learn more about what you're doing, or work with you, where would be the best place online to do that?

[00:44:55] Trish Tonaj: We can do the I try to make things really easy, and I have a website with my own name. And if you happen to be a business and you'd like to share your story on our platform, that would be A totally automated system. I do have a podcast, as you were kind enough to mention.

Where folks we introduce the person behind the logo, and it really is all about supporting and learning from each other and sharing those great ideas.

[00:45:23] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, there you go, listeners, we have two challenges from Trish in the best of ways. Hey, you can reach out to me for some kind of workshop that we can do on the creative side, but if you have a story, if you have a business story that the world should know about, here you go. Trish will give you that platform to help get you out there, and what a terrific way to cap things off on.

Trish, as this is an official wrap of this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your insight and your wisdom, and as always, please stay healthy and safe.

[00:45:50] Trish Tonaj: Thank you so much, Jeffrey, it was really wonderful to have a chat with you, and I certainly look forward to the opportunity to connect with some folks in your network.

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[00:48:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?

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