Culture Of Opportunity With Mark Monchek [PODCAST 169]

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GTF 169 | Culture Of Opportunity

Do you ever feel like there is so much distraction in your business or that things are changing just so quick and faster than ever, and it’s hard to keep up?  Mark Monchek is the author of the Amazon #1 Bestseller, Culture of Opportunity: How to Grow Your Business in an Age of Disruption.  With over 35 years of business experience under his belt, Mark provides clear, action-oriented and inspiring lectures nationwide to entrepreneurs. In modern business, Mark has crafted a masterful take on seizing opportunities even in the unlikeliest of places. Many think his advice is so simple, it’s genius…

Listen to the podcast here:

Culture Of Opportunity With Mark Monchek [PODCAST 169]

Do you ever feel like there is a certain amount of distraction in your business or a certain amount of like things are changing just so quick and faster than ever? How do I deal with all these distractions and all these interruptions? In fact, we are going to focus on one core thing that is going to transform the way you think about building your business. How do you grow in a culture of distraction and in an age of disruption?

We have a special guest today who is an expert at this single topic. We’ve got Mark Monchek, whose mission is to empower conscious leaders like you to build a great company that makes a difference. He founded The Opportunity Lab, which is a strategy and leadership firm that provides direction, systems, and tools to help take your organization to the next level. He’s worked with leaders from companies like Google, Apple, Chase, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, The New York Times, Wharton School of Business, and a whole lot more. He’s definitely expert. He also has the bestselling book, Culture of Opportunity: How to Grow Your Business in an Age of Disruption. Mark, welcome to the show. How are you?

Thank you. I am very grateful to be here, I’m very excited to share what I know with you and your audience. I’m excited about the disruption and all that happens in a given day about that. It’s interesting, I woke up at 3:00 AM and I saw your email. We talked about nine months ago and it totally went off my radar screen that we had this show. I booked something else, and I said “No, I got to do this show,” so I thought that’s an opportunity that comes out of disruption. I woke up at 3:00 AM. I ended up writing two poems for a dear friend of mine and I thought about the show and I went back to sleep, and now I’m talking to you and, I try to make a great opportunity out of a little disruption.

That’s a great example that we all deal with. One of the things as I was doing some prep work for our show is on your about page. You have your values and you have your guiding principles. One of them stood out and it ties in with your bestselling book. You say that a sustainable business needs an opportunity culture. Speak to that a little bit.

We’re in a world where everybody is looking to blame somebody else and some other institution for what’s wrong, and that’s understandable. There are a lot of things going on in the world. I found through my life that when the things that happened to me that when the worst at the time I thought were tragedies ended up to be the greatest learning experiences and the greatest opportunities for me.

When my wife and I bought our first home, our dream is to buy an old home and fix it up, six days after we moved in we had a disaster as far as somebody tried to burn it down. Then worse, a couple of days later, they came in the middle of the night and they stole right out of the wall four hand‑carved antique fireplace mantels. They came back two days later, they stole the stained-glass windows, came back one more time and stole everything else that was worth anything, microwave, bike, and TV, so we moved back into this house with no heat, no hot water, no windows, no kitchen, the house was filled with the smell of smoke, and we decided we’re going to take back our home and figure out what is the opportunity here.

GTF 169 | Culture Of Opportunity

Culture Of Opportunity: The only thing we have that is permanent is our relationship with God or Grace or the Higher Power, whatever we call it.

What is the opportunity when someone tries to burn down your house? The first thing you realize is that you don’t own anything in this life. I don’t care how wealthy you are, anybody can change your situation by trying to burn down your house or trying to hurt you or whatever. Everything we have is rented. The only thing we have that is permanent is our relationship with God or Grace or the Higher Power, whatever we call it, and our family and friends and our community. What I learned is when you put out there that you’re in need, people came and responded. It was such an incredible experience where people who I didn’t even know lent us things, gave us things, guided us through, family members lived in the house with us for quite a few months, and I understood the power of what we call now the resource ecosystem, which is a concept that’s in the book. I realized that everything you need is already within a few degrees of separation from you if you understand the interconnectivity of all life and of all living things on earth, so that tragedy became the greatest learning opportunity of my life.

That is such a powerful story, Mark. There’re so many different angles. What I’d love to ask is if you can take yourself back to that time, for you, for your family as you’re going through this disruption, it had to be a little bit of chaos to say the least. What do you think was one of those defining moments? Was it just you being willing to ask? Was it an accidental ask where you reached out for help? Was it on purpose? I’m curious what was your mindset at this point? Can you remember back?

I remember it like it was yesterday because it was such a powerful lesson. The most powerful lessons get imprinted in your prefrontal cortex. I’ll give you a couple of powerful moments from that time. My wife and I were in the elevator, we’re going off to a party. This is the actual evening that this fire happened. We opened the elevator doors and one of our closest friends said, “Your house is on fire,” and I said, “Freddie, that’s not funny.” He goes, “Your house on fire. I’m not joking.” I said, “That’s not funny.” This is the guy that would always be joking around. Then when I saw his look on his face, I realized he wasn’t joking. He said, “Somebody set fire to your house. We’ve got to go there right now.” We got in the car. We drove to Brooklyn, turned the corner, and I saw these six fire trucks. I saw water pouring out of the front of the house and smoke billowing all down the block.

My wife looks at this house and she’s crying hysterically in terror as I am. I didn’t know what possessed me, but I looked at her, I had to say something that would be hopeful. I turned to her and I said “Honey, you’re going to get the kitchen you always wanted” and I hugged her. I don’t know where that came from, Dan. I don’t know if that came from some other place, if that came from the soul, if that came from grace. I don’t know exactly, but she laughed and then we said, “We’re going to have to make this house better. There’s got to be something that we make out of this that is better.” That was one defining moment.

Another defining moment is probably a few weeks after the fire, we were terrified of somebody breaking into our house. When somebody comes in three times and basically steals everything that’s worth anything, you’re in that house and you don’t sleep at night. You’re waking up when the wind blows. It was an old house built in 1899. The floors would creak and we’re waken up. A couple of days after the fire, a guy is walking down the block with Doberman pinscher. He looks at me and says, “What happened to your house?” and I told him. He said, “That’s terrible. Would you like a guard dog?” I said “Sure.” Something like this happens in New York, it’s just one of the quintessential New York moments. I said, “A guard dog?” He says “This is my dog Ginger. I’ve got two Dobermans and they don’t get along. I’m your neighbor. I live down the block. Would you like to borrow this dog for a couple of months?” I looked at him and I said, “I sure would,” so we ended up taking this dog in and nobody came in that house.

There was no worry. This dog looks ferocious. He was actually not, but that was a moment where this guy just gave us his dog because he saw what we had been through. I started seeing all of the generosity that people have when you’re in need. I got more comfortable with asking. I was probably a person who grew up more giving than asking, but when you’re in those situations, you ask and then you realize people love to give. People have a tremendous sense of generosity and it’s giving and taking are all part of the same circle.

That is so powerful. How long did you keep the dog, Mark?

The funny thing is I had that dog and my other friend, Freddie, who was in the elevator who told me about the fire, he had brought his dog, so I have these two big dogs. Freddie’s dog, Tiger, is a mix between a Great Dane and a Scottish Deerhound. With these two dogs together, we’re very secure and we felt comfortable. One day, they go in the backyard and it turns out that Ginger got pregnant and ended up with nine beautiful puppies. We gave birth to them. I’ve built a whelping box and we delivered them in our own home and we gave away nine beautiful mixed breed dogs, and Ginger went back to his owner probably a couple of months later. We kept Ginger maybe five or six months, which was quite generous with this gentleman, and it was a memory. It was one of those things that you never forget, the generosity of people when you’re in crisis.

I’m curious. Let’s backtrack a little bit. The idea of culture of opportunity and how to grow your business, in this case, grow your life in an age of disruption. What do you see as the biggest problem that most people have with dealing with disruptions or distractions or interruptions, whether they’re convenient or not?

The biggest problem that people have and businesses have is they do not want to believe that this should happen to them. They get pissed off. They get frustrated, “Why is this happening to me?” and they get into the victim mode or they get into the judge mode. When you’re in the victim or judge mode, you’re not in a culture of opportunity. You’re not in the mindset of opportunity.

I learned about how to deal with these radical disruptions from my parents and grandparents. My mother was a Holocaust survivor. She escaped from Germany when she was fifteen. My father, Stanley, came among one of the largest migrations ever from Eastern Europe. There were 2 million Eastern European Jews that came from Russia, Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary between 1880 and 1920. They came to America with a steamer trunk and a dream and basically nothing besides that. They had their hearts and they had their families. They rose from poverty to the middle class and beyond in one generation. I always love hearing stories about my family and how they did it. The way they did it was they were all in it together. They all understood that for each individual to survive, they had to be part of something larger than themselves, which are their immediate family, their extended family, and the communities they lived in.

When we had that fire, I harkened back to how my ancestors came and survived and thrived in the United States. They were part of this larger ecosystem of relationships and I drew upon that strength to be able to help me figure out how to deal with that disruption. When something happens that is a disruption, I realize that there are a million people that wake up every morning that don’t even have enough food to eat. What’s the disruption to me, even a fire like that, is a modest disruption compared to what a lot of people have to deal with. There’s a humility that has to come with the learning how to deal with disruption.

To the audience, what would happen for you if you were able to take disruptions, interruptions, distractions, and transform them to turn that into your elegant opportunity? We’re going to go deeper with Mark Monchek on how you can create your culture of opportunity and transform your business growth in an age of disruption. You’re going to want to grab a pen, grab a piece of paper. We’ve had over 169 hours of insights, wisdom and strategy from some of the top experts in the world like Mark and many others. If you never want to miss an episode, you can go to, follow the process, download it on iTunes and many other channels.

Mark, in your book, one of the frameworks that you hit on is the idea that there’s an old way of thinking, a traditional way or the norm of thinking about building our business. That old way is keeping us stuck. Talk about that a little bit and what’s a better way to be thinking about it.

For many, many years, the business schools taught that you needed to have a long-term strategic plan. You need to set and look at five and ten years into the future. If you remember the Japanese, they had a 200-year strategic plan. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, when we started to learn about Japan, we said, “They have a 200-year strategic plan.” You can’t predict what’s going to happen two minutes from now, let alone two years or five years from now, so should you not plan? Yes, you need the plan, but the planning has to more come out of the intention that arrives from a strategic culture or what we call a culture of opportunity rather than a fixed plan that is set in stone, and then when things change, you can’t respond to it.

For example 2008, which was one of the most difficult disruptive years for many of us in the United States and around the world, I saw something that I had never seen in my 35-year career in business happen. You have companies that were number one and number two in their markets, iconic companies, literally go out of business almost overnight or shrink to a tiny fraction of their former selves. You remember Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. Remember Blockbuster? We used to wait in line for videos. Nokia, a Finnish cell phone company, was the number one maker of handsets in the world back in 2008, bigger than Apple and bigger than Samsung; now you hardly ever hear of them. Do you remember how many people had Blackberry’s back then? We don’t see any Blackberry’s anymore. Big department stores, Sears, Macy’s, and JC Penny, these are shrunken companies because they bet on big box stores and they did not see the internet coming.

They weren’t resilient and the culture did not emanate from the people on the ground. It emanated from the C-Suite where there was a handful of people creating the future of a company without having a good sense of what’s happening out in the world. Cultures of opportunity start from inside out and they’re constantly monitoring the environment and shifting based on what customers, employees, and communities care about not on a fixed long-term plan. Does that make sense?

Absolutely. In fact, when you talk about the mindset around this, one of the things that stands out is that you recommend people focusing not on being focused on a tactic and not be focused on old ways of thinking. You hear some experts, “You’ve got to become an expert at webinars and blogging and podcasting” and all these different kinds of things that take people down these rabbit holes. It drives me nuts frankly, hearing all these experts leading people down the wrong path. I love your take on it. You talk about developing a new capability and becoming a certain type of expert, so speak about that expert.

An expert in opportunity is an expert to see what opportunities exist in the situation that is “happening” to you, so rather than “This is disruption. I can’t believe this is happening,” it is “What’s the opportunity?” That is the mindset that we try to instill in all of our people in our company and all of our clients. When something happens that you don’t expect or seems to be not good for you, you say, “What’s the opportunity in this?” It turns any situation, however bad it might seem, into an opportunity to improve yourself. Just like we did with the fire, I’ve had many other situations that looked like they were dire situations.

In 2008, I’ll give you a quick story about that. One of the most defining moments in my career, in February of 2008, about ten years ago, I discovered that one of our employees had stolen an enormous amount of money from our company. This was the exact same time that the economy was headed down, so I would wake up in the morning and I would see stock market down, 350 points, Bank of America lays off 5,000 people. As the economy was crashing, I was crashing. My opportunity mindset went literally into the dark and I could not see for that period of time what was the opportunity in this tragedy of this person stealing all this money. I felt betrayed. I felt ashamed that I had let it happened. I ended up in a hospital. I couldn’t get out of the depression.

I woke up in the hospital bed and the word “gratitude” was the first word that came to my mind and the second word was “opportunity” and I said, “What is the opportunity in my personal crash?” and “What is the opportunity in the crash in this economy?” That’s how the book Culture of Opportunity and the process that comes from the book was born. In seeing all these disruptions happening and saying “What do I need to do differently?” I needed to be more resilient. I needed to be less scared and more confident that I and our company could adapt to the changes that were happening and we did become that, and hence here we are right now.

GTF 169 | Culture Of Opportunity

Culture of Opportunity: How to Grow Your Business in an Age of Disruption

What a powerful example of seeing the silver lining. Probably going even beyond the silver lining to a spirit of gratitude and a spirit of opportunity. There’re all kinds of different angles. One of the things I’m thinking running around the entrepreneurial circle as we do, we meet a lot of visionary innovators and such. I’m thinking of a few friends of mine who have a tendency to disrupt their world purposefully all the time. Can someone take the idea of disrupting their world to create opportunities too far? I’m curious about your thoughts on that.

That’s an interesting question. I suppose you can take anything too far, but I do like the idea of disrupting your situation purposefully because we are creatures of habit and we tend to get into habits and those habits can be good habits, but they can also be not good habits. I have a routine in the morning. I meditate when I get up, I have a five-minute journal where I set my intentions for the day. I do a series of exercises, stretching, rolling, muscle activation, a little bit of yoga. That works for me, but once in a while, I decide “I want to go for a swim. I want to get outdoors. It’s a beautiful day. I want to go for a bike ride. I want to go call my daughter.” The routine is good, but you also got to be hearing what your heart has to say. Sometimes I will be purposefully disrupting different habits that I have because I don’t want to get stuck in the habit. I want the habit to work for me, not me to be a servant to the habit.

That’s such good advice. To the audience, what are you a servant to? What is a ritual maybe you have that could use a 30-degree turn or a shift that could put you in a place to transform your personal world and transform your business world? Disruption isn’t what happens to us. It’s what we get to happen for us. Mark, in your talk, it seems that a building an opportunity team is critical in what it takes to create a culture of opportunity. Talk about the importance of having an opportunity team. What would be a few tips that you can share with our audience to be able to go out and create their opportunity team?

Let me share why the opportunity team is so essential, how it came about in our thinking, how we do it, and some tips on how the audience can do it. Having worked with entrepreneurial companies for 30-plus years, I saw the difference between companies that were resilient and continually adapting and being successful in any economy and those companies that could not survive a major disruption. The difference often is companies that had a diverse team of people that were looking for opportunities and able to source and select the right ones for their particular success DNA are the ones that were able to survive and thrive into the future. Those that just basically were carving a fixed path and there was not challenge to their path, there was no challenge in the assumptions were often the ones that went out of business.

The reason we create an opportunity team is we want a diverse group of people from different parts of the company and people outside the company, not just inside the company, to challenge the status quo. When we build an opportunity team, we look at who are the most strategic people? Which part of the company will help tell us what the customer is thinking, what the employee is thinking, and what the community is thinking? Who outside the company cares about us and can bring a complementary set of skills and ideas to make sure that the team is constantly vibrant and changing over time.

I will give you an example. Examples are really helpful and then some tips. One of our clients have been around in the consumer electronics space in New York City for 45 years. They had built up a strong brand in New York in the metro, even nationally, for cameras, video, film, equipment and consumer electronics and then they hit the thing that most people understand that happens to many businesses now. They hit the Amazon challenge. For many years, if you had a brand and you had good pricing, good selection, and people knew about you, that was enough. When Amazon came along and they started to disrupt so many industries, if you’re buying everything else in Amazon, why not buy a camera on Amazon? Why not buy a speaker on Amazon, because that’s where you’re buying everything else.

We realized with our clients that they have to differentiate themselves from Amazon and they had to get out of the box. We created an opportunity team and we went through a five-month exercise and we looked at what worked in this company. We call it success DNA. What’s the heart and soul of what works in this company? We took the five most successful projects that we did over the last couple of years and we mapped the conditions inside the company and outside in the market. We looked at that and we said, “There’s a pattern here.” What was your biggest failure when we looked at that? We saw when we failed, we don’t communicate well. We don’t have alignment, we don’t get buy-in from senior management all the way down the line. We don’t go to our area of competency.

Once we looked at our success DNA and we got some viewpoints from throughout the company, we had people from customer service, from the store, from marketing, from the warehouse, and all different parts of the company. People outside of the company and myself, we brought in an expert from Wisconsin, another person from another part of the world, and challenged the status quo. Now we have a very forward-looking resilient three-year plan, but that plan is changing every month because we have to adapt to the marketplace. We’ve doubled our business in the last probably eight or nine years and we have a good resilient strategy because we’ve got voices from all parts of the company and outside the company. Does that make sense?

Jay Abraham has been a mentor for over twenty years for me. He says the best wisdom we can all get is going outside of our business because we get different perspectives that then we can bring inside of our niche and inside of our industry as well. To the audience, I challenge you to think about, “What would have to happen for you to build your opportunity team? What would have happened for you three months from now, six months from now, a year from now, two years from now, as you had a team that could think outside the box, challenge the status quo, hone in on your success DNA? What makes you unique? What is it that makes you special? What is it that allows you to connect with your ideal potential clients?” When you do, magic happens. As Disney says “You can steal all my ideas,” and there’re certain online companies doing a great job of that, but they can’t steal the magic. We’ve going to talk more about your magic and creating a culture of opportunity on Mark, what action steps would you recommend our audience take about being able to go build their culture of opportunity and/or their opportunity team?

I will do that but first I want to answer the question many of your audience is having that may be dissuading them from listening to what we have to say. Here’s what I typically get. They go, “I love your book. The process is fantastic but I don’t think it applies to me because I’m a solopreneur. I’m a one-person, two-person, three-person business.” The book and the process of that comes from the book is equally applicable for a one-person business, small business, as it is for a larger company. I’m going to take you through the steps and show you how you can do it even if you’re one person.

Step one is define the business results that is success for you and your business. Before you do anything else, you have to say, “What does success look like?” Typically the business results need to be financial, personal and above all else, they have to serve a customer because that’s who we are in business to serve. Your business results could be sales, it could be profit, it could be customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, new product development. There’s got to be a mix of financial goals as well as strategic goals that keep your business moving forward. Those results need to be measurable and over a period of time. Typically one year, in 2018, what does success look like for your business? No more than five measures, but definitely more than two, so it can’t just be sales and profit. It has got to be sales, profit, and the other areas that are important. That’s simple. That’s something that you probably have learned through a gazillion other ways, but you got to do it. You got to write it down and you got to look at it and put it in front of you everyday, so you’re working for those results. That’s the intentionality.

The second thing is the opportunity team. If you think “My business is too small, nobody’s going to spend half a day or a day with me.” Wrong. As I said earlier, people want to give, if you ask with care and with specificity. Think about the five people that you think embody the values and the skills that you want to attract into your business. Ask those people, “Would you be willing to help me define the future of my business for, let’s say, three hours?” You can do a lot in three hours if you’re focused. Mix people who have complementary skills that would add to your existing team and a quality of generosity and somebody who’s willing to tell you the truth in a nice way. Generosity, truth-telling, and complementary skills. People are shocked when they ask somebody, even a famous person, and goes, “Oh my goodness. They said yes.” They want to help but you got to ask first.

Business results, step one; opportunity team, step two; step three is we do something very weird and strange. We study success in companies, we call it success DNA, which I mentioned earlier in the show. In the book, you can do all these exercises very quickly. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to create a simple how-to book. You can use everything in the book and you can do it yourself. Success DNA, look at the five most successful projects you’ve done in the last two or three years and list the conditions inside your company and outside in each success and then look at the biggest failure and compare the pattern of success and the pattern of failure. Then you’ll say, “This is what will make success for me.”

Business results, opportunity team, success DNA, and then we create a resource map. We talked before about mapping the ecosystem, and it’s also in the book. We map people and we break people down into connectors, experts, and accelerators. Connectors are people with large social network, experts are people who are very well-known and respected in their field of expertise, and accelerators are somebody like you Dan who has a unique combination of expert and connector who can move the needle by putting the right people in the room around the right question. You’ve got people, you’ve got organizations, markets, sources of capital, knowledge, and communication. When you see all of those aspects of resources on a mind map and how interconnected they are, you start to realize that all the resources that you need already exists three degrees of separation from you. LinkedIn has an algorithm which tells you how many people you can reach three degrees of separation from you. As an example, I have roughly about 2,000 direct connections on LinkedIn and I could reach roughly 11 million people within my network three degrees from me. When you understand that interconnected math, you understand that everything you need is out there. You just have to be intentional and ask for it.

That is so powerful. Mark, we’re running short here. This is so good. To the audience, I hope you’re taking notes, define your results, build your opportunity team, success DNA, resource map. There’s certainly more. If you like what Mark’s been sharing with you, this is just the tip of the iceberg, a glance at the wisdom Mark has. Mark, how can people reach you? How can they get in touch with you and go deeper with your wisdom, your tools, and your resources?

They can go on our website, You can reach us at [email protected]. You can sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website. If you need to get to me, just contact Discover and somebody will route that to me and I’d be happy to talk to you. We do a lot of speaking engagements and a lot of podcasts. We’re teaching the course at the University of Maryland this semester. Last semester, we did at Stanford University in Palo Alto. We did George Washington University in Washington DC. We love teaching at universities because students are getting the kind of knowledge that maybe they didn’t get in more traditional business education a few years ago. It’s exciting what’s happening in the world and we’re starting to see business can be the driver of social change.

I would encourage you, if you’ve been inspired in a small way or a big way, like me. I’ve got five pages of notes here, and I do this for a living, and so this has been fantastic. If you want to go deeper with what Mark has been sharing with you, go to or you can hit them up at [email protected]. I want to encourage you to get the book. What I love about the book is the simplicity in the way Mark lays it out. It’s basically designed to be a checklist for you, a blueprint literally walking you through the steps of how to define results, your opportunity team, success DNA, your resource map, and look at transforming your culture of opportunity, and how you can grow in uncertain times and in times when it’s thriving especially in an age of disruption. Mark, what would you hope would be a few action steps that our audience would take as a result of our time together?

Certainly defining of the success of your business, what are the results that you want to achieve and making sure that that success is both financial, personal, and with the people that you serve, your customers and your employees. Certainly looking at your success DNA and understanding that there’s a core of something good that works in your business. Even if you’re struggling, even if certain things are failing, understand and honor that there’s a core of stuff that works. There’s a wonderful quote from Emily Dickinson which says, “Hope inspires the good to reveal itself.” When you start to look at your successes, not your failures, people are too quick to blame themselves and look at failures, you’ll understand that there is a core success DNA that every human being and every organization has. The more you can understand that, the more you can leverage that. Reach out to some people who are generous or honest, who care about you and your business and have some complementary skills, and talk to them. Even if before you set up an opportunity team session, get on the phone, have a cup of coffee and say, “I need help in this area. Would you be willing to help me?” You’d be surprised how many people will say yes.

GTF 169 | Culture Of Opportunity

Culture Of Opportunity: Reach out to some people who are generous or honest, who care about you and your business.

That is great advice. What is something I should’ve asked you that I didn’t get a chance to ask you?

What are you most hopeful about? I answered it a little bit indirectly with some of the other questions. Dan, I thought your questions were fabulous. I feel like we’ve been talking for five minutes and the hour is almost up, so I have a lot of gratitude for you and your show because this is the kind of dialogue and platform where people need to retain hope. What am I most hopeful for is there is a way that people can grow sustainable and meaningful businesses that we haven’t had before. Shows like yours, books like mine. You’ve had many, many guests who also have tremendous amount of knowledge to share. The resources are out there everybody, the people you can reach three degrees of separation from you are able to help you. It’s about asking, being clear, and taking the steps.

Asking, being clear, and taking the steps. To the audience, what would happen for you if you were to create your culture of opportunity, create your opportunity team, define your success DNA, build your resource map to realize that you can do this? It can work and you can go out and transform the world or your small community or have a worldwide impact, have a bigger reach, a bigger impact, a bigger contribution. Mark, I like to mix in some personal things in our shows a little bit. If your wife were sitting next to you, what would you turn to her and thank her for in her supporting of you on this journey as a creative innovator? Many call us the black sheep, we’re out of the box, we’re the bull in the China shop, all that sort of stuff. What would you thank your wife for in her support of your journey as an entrepreneur?

Thank you for the extraordinary courage in the face of a lot of adversity that you and I both face together and individually. Thank you for bringing a hundred thousand lives into the world. She started as a nurse. She was my nurse. I had a knee operation back in 1978, one of the first arthroscopic surgeries, where we met and fell in love. She just retired from Maimonides Hospital as the Chief Nursing Officer. Over her career, she has brought more than hundred thousand lives into the world overseeing of mothers and their families giving birth to their children, so I definitely thank her for that, and being a great mother to our daughter too.

Speaking of your daughter, if you had to instill one to three values that you would hope your daughter would get as a result of your leadership doing what you do, what would that be?

Dan, it’s funny you asked that because I’m a storyteller. I do a lot of public storytelling and one of my favorite stories is called My Daughter, My Mentor. I believe that you need to instill values in your kids, but you also need to realize your children can be mentors. My daughter is one of my best and most important mentors. She alerts me how to be graceful, do things in the simplest way possible, and try to enjoy everything you do. I learned that from her. I hope that she learned that a little bit for me.

That’s awesome. He’s Mark Monchek. I would encourage you. If you’ve been inspired, go check out what Mark is up to. You can go to and get his book on Amazon. Mark, it’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to have you with us here my friend.

Dan, it’s been my pleasure and my privilege. Thank you for being a great culture of opportunity leader in this world.

Thank you. I encourage you to take action with what Mark’s been sharing, build your opportunity team, identify your success DNA, build out your resource map, and realize you have all the tools right here, right now to go transform the world and have your big breakthrough.

Resources mentioned on this episode:

Breakthrough Strategy Call

If you want to go deeper and create a personal plan to get unstuck, stop the leaks in your business, ultimately free yourself from your business, or to get your next BIG Breakthrough, let’s have a Clarity Call.

You’ll walk away from it with clarity, new insights, and actions you can take to exponentially grow your business… to grow with less stress- even if we never work together.

To reserve your Clarity Call, go to or send an email to [email protected]  with Breakthrough Strategy Call in the subject line.

PPS: As we’re heading into a period of change in advertising and economy shifts, if you know of someone else who is looking for effective strategies, here are 3 ways we can help:

#1 – Send them to our Podcast (over 200 hours of insights, wisdom, and strategies) at

#2 – Forward this episode to them.

#3 – Make an introduction and connect us at [email protected]  and/or encourage them to schedule a Clarity Call at 

About Mark Monchek

GTF 169 | Culture Of Opportunity

Mark’s mission is to empower conscious leaders to build great companies that make a difference in the world. He founded The Opportunity Lab, a strategy and leadership development firm that provides the direction, systems, and tools to take organizations to the next level of sustainable growth. Mark has worked with leaders from Google, Apple, JPMorgan Chase, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, The New York Times, the Wharton School of Business, Columbia University, NBC, Time Warner, and the United Nations. Mark’s book Culture of Opportunity: How to Grow Your Business in an Age of Disruption was used at the Stanford University Distinguished Career Institute and in a graduate organizational management course at George Washington University.

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