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#014 – No matter what you want to improve in your life it all starts in the same place.

Leslie Nafus is an entrepreneur, professional copywriter, author, speaker, wife, and mom. And she has opened pandora’s box into some of her most difficult experiences… so you can skip the mess and go straight to success.

Preview powerful insights today, ahead of her book release, into how you can renew your mind to transform your life. 

Tune in to discover…

  • Why success for Leslie looked glamorous on the outside but did not match what was happening on the inside… and how she set about to fix that.
  • What mistakes Leslie made that bottlenecked her business and took her to a breaking point… and how you can avoid those mistakes in your business.
  • Humans act on a rational basis, right? Wrong. Learn the real reason behind the decisions you make and what rational thought does for most people.
  • The painful realization Leslie had (and had to overcome) that set the stage for her success… and how you can apply that discovery to propel your business and marriage forward.
  • The secret to entrepreneurial life Leslie learned and reveals… so you can save yourself years of grief and heartache.


Thank you for listening! Remember, if you enjoyed this episode please share the link on Facebook and Linkedinthank you for your support.

Always Forward,


Resources Mentioned:

Leslie Nafus 0:05

Most people they get the idea. And the next thing you know they're marketing, trying to start a business. Don't start a business with an idea. And you don't start a business with marketing.

Joe Pomeroy 0:19

Hey everybody. Welcome to today's episode of the Forward with Joe Podcast. I am here with Leslie Nafus. She's an entrepreneur, professional copywriter, author, speaker, wife and mom who teaches women and men the skills they need to create and run a successful business. Welcome, Leslie. So happy to have you on the show today.

Leslie Nafus 0:38

Hey, Joe. Thanks for having me.

Joe Pomeroy 0:40

Yeah, that might be the most formal introduction You and I have ever had. Most of the conversations Leslie and I have are kind of like an brother sister razzing each other aspect,

Leslie Nafus 0:52

Right. We almost never say helloto each other. We just start where we left off.

Joe Pomeroy 0:56

That's pretty good, though. I like that.

Leslie Nafus 0:58

Yeah, I like it too

Joe Pomeroy 0:59

It makes life an adventure. So speaking of adventure, you've got a fantastic story. And I'm really to have excited to have you on here for a number of reasons. Your story has a lot to do with changing your thought patterns in order to achieve success. And I'm just excited to hear that I'm excited to hear from where you start in just making that discovery to where you are now with having a book getting ready to launch and publish and launch and all that and so many exciting things. So So start us off. Where did your, your journey as an entrepreneur, where did it begin? And then when and where did it really start to take off for you?

Joe Pomeroy 1:36

So I started my first business when I was 10. I opened a lemonade stand one hot summer day, and I sold lemonade for six weeks and made enough money to buy school clothes, which at the time was like 50 bucks.

Joe Pomeroy 1:54

That's a shirt now,

Joe Pomeroy 1:55

right? So there was something that hooked me about that. I also come from a long line of entrepreneurs. So it's kind of in my blood. But that was the first taste I got of it on my own was that lemonade stand, and I realized that there was power to be had in working for yourself. When it really started taking off for me was about I would say, almost nine years ago, I opened a gluten free bakery on the island of Maui where I lived at the time and and it was sort of on a whim I was laid off and I didn't have anything better to do is right in the middle of the economic crash and the aftermath of that I had a kind of a great sexy job that I had gotten laid off of. So I set about developing recipes and ended up selling to WOLFGANG PUCK'S restaurants, the Four Seasons resorts, several other high end clients that I promised I would never tell their names, and I can say Wolfgang Puck and the Four Seasons because they advertise themselves and it became pretty successful. Really fast. On the outside, but I didn't know really what I was doing. I knew marketing. So I had this idea. And I started marketing. And pretty soon I had bottlenecked myself in business, and it would cost a lot of money to undo that. And I didn't know how to undo that. So it was this became this really difficult position. I had done things out of sequence. And I had spent money when I shouldn't have spent money on things I shouldn't have. I should things that should have come later. I didn't spend money on the right things when I should have at first I just had it all out of sequence. And so while I became sort of locally, well known and you know, I was called the gluten free lady people would stop me in the store. Oh, aren't you the gluten free lady? I'm like, yeah. And

Joe Pomeroy 3:50

it sounds like a moniker you didn't want or something. And it's I'm very excited about that.

Joe Pomeroy 3:54

Well, it was, um, it was strange because I wasn't looking for any kind of recognition. I was I needed money. So I started a business, right. But then I embraced that later. And I even had a little outfit that I wore every time I was in public as the gluten free lady, kind of my brand. And, you know, I had things that I talked about. So it was kind of fun. There was some fun to it. But ultimately, it became something where I didn't sleep at night. It wasn't working well on the inside, it started getting bound up. And I was actually saved from having to go through the process of untangling all of that by a family accident that required us to remove ourselves from Maui. We had to just go Well, yeah, so I miss it a little bit, because now I wish if I had known what I know now, then I would have been, it would have been world domination.

Joe Pomeroy 4:47

That's so much of the entrepreneur journey, though. I mean, you're talking about you spent money on things you shouldn't have. You didn't spend money on things you should have. You did things out of order. You didn't have you bottlenecked your business I mean, that's so much of what entrepreneurs tend to do, or people that want to launch something tend to do. It's, it's this desire this burning passion to pursue something and we don't necessarily know how yet.

Leslie Nafus 5:13


Joe Pomeroy 5:14

And you talk about the hindsight 2020. And you could go back and you could do this knowing what you know now, but part of the reason you know, what you know now is because you went through what you

Joe Pomeroy 5:24

did, exactly. So what I want to do, what I do, besides being a professional copywriter, and speaker and author is I teach people the things that I learned, primarily I teach women and I also teach men, the skills, the foundational skills that you need in the right sequence so that you don't have to make the same mistakes that I did. Most people, they get the idea and the next thing you know, they're marketing, trying to start a business but you don't start a business with an idea and you don't start a business with marketing. You can get They're from having a great idea. But that is, if you have an idea and you start marketing, it's the recipe for business disaster. So the first thing that I really learned, and I didn't really learn that until later was how to control my mind and my thoughts. Right? Right. And we have 10s of thousands of thoughts every day. Most of them are from the past or about the past, and you grow pathways in your brain. And you're not really responsible for every thought that comes into your head, but you are responsible for the thoughts that stay. And if you find yourself in a pattern of incorrect thinking, you're going to think incorrectly about your business, you're going to think, Oh, I have this idea. I should start marketing. And that that's not right thinking about business. And the really interesting thing in the course of my life, I figured out that I needed to have thoughts that served me, not me serving my thoughts because thoughts become feelings, feelings, ultimately become actions. There's a little bit Have a more of a process to it. But when you do that, because we think we act on rational basis as human beings, or we buy, or we sell, or we do any of those things we buy because of feelings, and then we rationalize it with our mind after, right? Right, right. So if I would have had one tool that I wish that I would have known right from the beginning of where my entrepreneurial journey took off, is that was thought control, and mindset control, ultimately.

Joe Pomeroy 7:32

So that's really interesting to me, because I've been to conferences and workshops and over the last decade of gaining knowledge both about how to be a better business person as well as a better husband, a better father, things like that. And it's interesting to me, the idea is sold on Hey, we're going to teach you how to write copy or we're going to teach you how to build a membership or we're going to teach you how to create widgets. It doesn't matter and you like you I want to learn how to create widgets. And so I go to this thing and I say, Yep, widgets. That's for me, I need to know how to create widgets. And then the first module in an online course, or the first day of a three day workshop, or the first whatever, it's almost always an anything worth the value that you're paying for. It always starts with mindset. And at first, I feel like I resisted that. No, no, I don't need that. I don't need to know how to say to tell myself affirmations and make myself feel good. I need to know how to create widgets. Tell me how to do a tell me how to do be tell me how to put it all in line. I don't care about that mindset stuff. And I really resisted it. So did you find yourself resisting this idea? or How did you come to this point where you said, I have to fix my mindset, or I'll never succeed in what I want to do?

Joe Pomeroy 8:52

Well, the short answer to that is yes, I've actually encountered the controlling your mindset several times over the last 20 years. Let's say and never thought to apply it to business. Interesting. I applied it to my family life. I applied it to my spiritual life. I applied it to my relationships, but I didn't apply it to business. And so yes, I think I did resist that. But as you know, as an entrepreneur, business and life are not separated, it's all one big seamless flow as much as you would like to have it be separate. So I continue to encounter that resistance and the obstacles that it created in my mindset as I went about business, and I realized one day in a mastermind somebody said something, and it just totally devastated me. And it was meant constructively there was no mal intent. The person doesn't even know that they what they said affected me that way and they won't know I mean, because it was just that wasn't the point. But by the time I got done at 3am in the morning, from 10am the morning before I realized I had to start thinking about my business differently. I had to make my thoughts serve me. Otherwise, this was going to happen a lot. And it was going to make me unproductive, just like in other areas of my life. It made me unproductive. So I changed. And

Joe Pomeroy 10:19

do you remember what was said by chance?

Leslie Nafus 10:21

It was something about struggling, always struggling, always struggling. Everybody's always struggling, why can't everybody always be moving forward? Or it was something like that, right. And at the time, I was really struggling because I joined the mastermind without a business idea. I was I joined the mastermind to get the business idea. So I was struggling and that struggling then that comment, it was like you need to stop struggling and start deciding. And I was like, Oh my god, how do I I don't even know how to function with that idea. Yeah, and I, you know, it caused this total negat it was, it was It did is it didn't cause anything, it revealed that I had a negative mindset about what was going on. I had obstacles in my thinking that were preventing me from moving forward decisively into that. And ultimately, what happened is the idea for my book was born that day from that conversation and that struggle. And I didn't know at the time that it was going to be a book, but here we are. And it's all it's all about a real simple, and I'm all about simple because life is hard and nothing is easy. But if you make it simple, you can break it down into smaller bite sized steps that you can accomplish. Anyone can accomplish. So I really enjoy simplicity. In fact, at 14 I read Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Joe Pomeroy 11:49

Like most 14 year olds do,

Leslie Nafus 11:50

yeah, sorry. I actually had an education and his words, simplify simplify, simplify, he had a whole chapter penetrated my soul and changed how I saw the world. And so it became my underlying thing to always simplify. Because life is hard. We can do hard things. But if we simplify them into smaller steps, or, you know, however we need to think about them, it's easier to do those hard things. Yeah. So I just say this, that God gave me a download of a four step process that I could use for myself. And then I realized other people can use it to to get control of their thoughts, which will help them get control of their mindset, which is a habitual thought pattern that will help totally renew their mind and transform their life. And that is now the title of my book, renew your mind, transform your life, four simple steps. And it's the first book in my simple business foundation series that I'm in the process of Writing.

Joe Pomeroy 13:00

That's fantastic. That's quite a journey to get there. Because the crash that you're talking about is back in 2008. Yeah. And I always think it's funny when you say you had a real sexy job because you had a marketing job.

Joe Pomeroy 13:12

Yeah, exactly. It had everything to do with being the public face of marketing organizations where I got to be large and in charge and know a lot of important people and influential people and help them get their marketing needs met.

Joe Pomeroy 13:29

So you went from that to nothing. And you decide, okay, I need I need money. So you start, you become the gluten free lady and you're building something that really has the potential to become an international brand. And with especially because some of the big names you're working with, and you pretty much are freaking out, not sleep in and you get saved by a tragedy that then causes you to be able to bail or bow out with, quote, unquote, Grace. Exactly. I think some time When we consider success, people will talk about, oh, you have a fear of failure, or you have a and I've had people say, Joe, you don't have a fear of failure, you have a fear of success. And I go, yeah, you know, I used to think if, well, if I just stay in the gutter, then when I eventually mess up, it's not that far of a fall, and it won't hurt as bad. And so this idea that if I just skyrocket into success and become something big and wonderful and powerful, and I'm helping all these people, well, that's a much further fall back to the gutter. So you experience something like that, where you started to have big success, and you felt the things that came along with that. What have you had to do to let go of that to enable you to embrace the success that's coming to you now.

Leslie Nafus 14:52

So as a lifelong serial entrepreneur who has it in my DNA, basically to start businesses And run them successfully. Having experienced that failure, I didn't deal with it in a very healthy way. Honestly, I pushed it aside, I pretended it didn't matter. I can do this anytime. Look what I already did. But unbeknownst to me, for years, I was grieving the loss of that business. I loved that business because it was something that was birthed out of my heart and being a celiac person, out of my experience and out of my need and out of the needs of other people. And one of the things that I love to do is serve the needs of other people watching someone, a little kid or grown up who hasn't had a cupcake in four years because they got diagnosed with celiac disease, take a taste of a cupcake and start crying in front of my booth. Because not only have they not had anything like that, but have it tastes so good because my stuff Really tasted good. You couldn't tell that it was gluten free. And if you've ever tried gluten free stuff, you know what I'm talking about. Most of it is like,

Joe Pomeroy 16:08

yes, some of it's terrible,

Leslie Nafus 16:09

awful. Most of it is awful. But when something is better than nothing in certain situations, so but mine wasn't like that and having people come back week after week and become dependent on my supply and know that I was making their life better. The quality of their life shot up. It wasn't about the gluten free baked goods. It wasn't about local notoriety. It wasn't about any It was about that was about touching someone's life for the better. So I grieved for years, and but I did it. I shoved all of that down and locked it away and pretended that it wasn't going on until I was forced with a choice. I kept having couldn't find a job after we moved back to the mainland. I'm highly qualified and highly skilled. I presented Well, and nobody wanted me. And then I met Ray Edwards and thought, Well, I can. I'm a great writer. I've been in marketing, I know about copywriting. I have an English degree. Maybe I can start hustling up writing work. And I ended up being really good at copywriting the way Ray teaches direct response, I get it, it works for me. But I couldn't. I found myself stuck. And I talked to a lot of people, and no one could really help me until I realized, Oh, I am afraid to move forward into this new thing, because I don't want to lose it. Like I lost the last one. And granted, I lost the last one, one because of circumstances and two because of the choices I made in my own ignorance. Right, right. And so I'm responsible for that. That didn't happen to me necessarily. I'm not a victim of that circumstance. But I actually had to go through a grieving process for about a year after I met Ray and that process ended the The day that I had this struggle breakdown that I talked about, and I had to admit out loud, I loved my business. And I'm sad that it's gone. And part of me wishes I could have it again,

Joe Pomeroy 18:13

Can I jump in I want to talk on that for a second.

Leslie Nafus 18:15

Go ahead,

Joe Pomeroy 18:16

because you mentioned earlier that you're grieving for an extended period of time, but you were not grieving. during any of that time. You were hiding. You were putting it on a shelf, you were ignoring it. You were trying to, basically you're trying to have this future blossom, and you weren't cutting out the dead roots that needed to be removed and let go. Exactly. And then what's interesting is once you decided to acknowledge it, how long did that grieving actually last? Was it an hour a day a week was it a year?

Leslie Nafus 18:53

It's been a process since then, talking about it out loud because one of the things that I did not do When I introduced myself to people who wanted to know about my entrepreneurial past, I didn't even bring up my old business. Oh, wow. Ray didn't know that I had run a successful bakery. I just presented myself as slightly better than a savant idiot trying something new.

Joe Pomeroy 19:18

So that's a part of what makes all of this interesting to me is that how long do we shelve things? How long do we put something on hold? How long do we put our future on hold? Because we're determined we don't need to acknowledge a pain in the past, right? I think I can ignore what happened and still advance forward because only the weak dive into the past only victims dive into the past only and that's not me. That's not who I am. So I can just sit on that or and sometimes maybe it's just we don't know how to process that. Or we don't know we need to process it like that. So I'm excited about the story that you're sharing because part of what I'm taking from this already is that it sounds like it's important to do a consistent analysis of what's been going on. And what has happened, not for the intent of wo is me My life has been so hard or anything negative in that regard, before the intent of what messages, what thoughts, what patterns have been existing, that I need to acknowledge so that I can let go of them so that I can actually grieve what I need to grieve so that I can actually rewrite what needs to be rewritten and achieve the dream and the goals that I desire and that I believe that I can achieve.

Joe Pomeroy 20:46

Yes, the irony of that whole situation is that I had been through about 20 years of inner healing. We're all I did is learn to deal with reframe forgiveness. Give and make my past serve me, but never with business and I had not encountered. So in all of my previous inner work that I had done with that very thing that you're talking about, it all been about the past and things that other people had brought into my life. It wasn't about really the things that I had done that was about my wrong response to the things that had been done to me for sure. But it was most of it didn't originate with me. This was something that I had created and caused in my life. I had hurt myself, and it was business and I didn't think I need to deal with business that way. And that's when I learned the secret of entrepreneurial life. business and life are not separate. There is no compartmentalization that you can do. If you are going to become an entrepreneur because what affects your business affects your life and what affects your life affects your business. It's all the same. It's all the same life, amen. All the same life.

Joe Pomeroy 21:58

I feel like you're doing a promo for my Business everybody that wasn't planned I didn't pay her to say that but i mean that's like the life integrated course that I'm getting ready to launch that's I mean everything about what I do is that idea that like look, you don't have to do all these separate learnings for each individual thing you spent 20 years figuring out and learning and healing from past things in your personal life. And if only I had been around back then to be able to say hey Leslie This also applies to business exactly that could have saved for years exactly right.

Joe Pomeroy 22:34

And there would have been now international domination that's what we'd be having this thing we'd be having this interview about Oh, how did you come become to be dominate the international market for your for your audience? Well, Joe Let me tell you it was all you

Joe Pomeroy 22:52

No, but it just I there still be international domination will just be and that's his book pitcher doing and his book series. So tell me about the book series. Because this is book number one, and you said in a four book series

Joe Pomeroy 23:03

Mm hmm. Or it might be five

Joe Pomeroy 23:06

might be all right? Well in an undetermined but awesome amount of book series and it starts with thoughts and mindset.

Leslie Nafus 23:13

Absolutely. The first book is renew your mind transform your life, how you can totally change your life in four simple steps. And something that you can do over and over and over and you can see immediate results day one, you can actually see immediate results in two minutes. If you follow a little bit of a I introduced gratitude practice, and if you follow one of those, you can transform any stressful moment and gain perspective in two minutes. And that was something I learned and it's really simple. You can focus on anything you want your heartbeat, a sunset, a good cup of coffee, for those who have wine, a nice glass of wine, your kids, your spouse, your favorite pair of jeans, I don't care, something you're grateful for and then combined With some breathing, and thinking about everything that you love about that, and that you're thankful for, it opens up your heart, it opens up your mind and lets them connect. And then pretty soon it pushes, it's like this forcefield that pushes stress away, and your thoughts can become clear, and your heart can become open and all of a sudden your perspective changes, then you can start focusing on paying attention to your thoughts. Sure, driving down the road, just start paying attention to the thoughts that go through your brain. Or this when you're standing in the mirror after your shower. What are your thoughts? Are they kind? Are they harsh and condemning?

Joe Pomeroy 24:38

For me harsh and condemning? Totally,

Joe Pomeroy 24:40

right. You know, you're like, hmm, that could change. Gosh, that's not as good as it was when I was 20. Or

Unknown Speaker 24:46

I had to do some push ups. Yeah,

Joe Pomeroy 24:48

right. Right. You know, and so you have to catch yourself in the act of thinking which is not something we regularly do, but you can make that a practice and a habit and it starts all with that. There are five basic areas in this sequence that would be entrepreneurs need to know. First, you need to get control of your mindset. You need to get to know yourself and your customer, Simon Sinek calls it your y. I have another word for it because that y was so vague for me I had to dig and dig and dig and dig and dig to get to understanding what that meant. You need to get control of your activity management, otherwise, your schedule your time management, you need to understand the right sequence for business building. And there is a sequence for business building. And five you need to understand managing and making money. So I'm going to produce some more books on each one of those topics. But it all starts. As you can see, if you listen to the list that I just made, it has to start with how to control your mind.

Joe Pomeroy 25:54

Yeah, it has to Mm hmm. There's really no other option. There's no other way because once you start diving into Any of those other aspects like let's say activity management, which by the way, I love that you called it activity management instead of time or, you know, schedule like it's time is gonna keep doing what it does, regardless of what I do. But so activity management, if I'm somebody with a past pattern of, I'll sit down and do my calendar and I know what's going on and I know what I want to do. But then an email pops up, and suddenly now it completely changes my focus. Or, you know, at my job, maybe an employer walks in and gets upset at you for something and says, You need to redo your project or your work. There is a thought there is a mindset that says, Well, why bother or bother creating a schedule? I never follow it. I'm never able to follow it right time to life doesn't allow me to follow it. It's this mindset. And so there's no point in learning how to do activity management if I don't know how to create a healthy mindset that allows me to move into that activity. Manage in a positive way,

Joe Pomeroy 27:01

that's right. One of the keys is managing that first thought when it pops up. Why do I even create a schedule? That thought you need to capture it? There's roots behind it, you need to decide is that thought serving you? Is it moving you forward into the place you want to be? What is it, then you need to either reframe it, reform it and replace it. And some of those are simple flips. As a woman who's had five kids and raise five kids, and you know, things are a little different. I can look in the mirror and go, Whoa, girl, there's some problems there. Or I can respect my body in the work it's done and say Good job, girl. You're working the hardest you can, looking pretty good for your age and what you've done. So you there's simple flips, in thoughts that you can do. Sometimes we have to tear the thought completely apart and remake it create a new thought I'd begin over learning it, writing it, seeing it seeing it replacing it requires reading it on my phone and playing it. And over time you create a new pathway in your brain. It's it works. It's not easy, but it's simple. And then you just simply execute. Every time you find yourself thinking the old thought, you execute the New Thought you do it.

Joe Pomeroy 28:16

I like that, because there's actual science behind this. There's actual science behind this that says it's neuron paths that go from point A to B. And these are these are pathways that have existed for some of us for decades, right. And so the idea that I'm going to instantly be able to change that. You spoke this a little bit before where it's, it's something that you can have positive change within a couple minutes. But it's also something that you do consistently and you can just consistently reapply so that you're carving out that new neuron pathway within the brain. Is that accurate?

Joe Pomeroy 28:55

That is accurate. That's right. And you know, the interesting thing is no one Else gave you those thoughts in that thought pattern you created that, by your response to the thoughts that came into your head. The fortunate thing is, you have the power to change it, you made it, you can change it. If you want it bad enough, you can have it. And that is the thing. I think with anything in life. If you want it bad enough, you'll make the decisions that bring clarity, the clarity will help you with action. The actions will cause some success or failure. But if you learn from the failure, there's really no failure, there's learning, it will create confidence in you and build momentum in your life. That's my next book.

Joe Pomeroy 29:46

I love it so much value here. And so so we're about we're about out of time. So I'm going to give you the question that I asked each of our guests, what is the one principle that you would like our listeners to walk away with from This episode and then to how do we get in touch with you?

Leslie Nafus 30:03

I would say the one principle from this talk is that your thought life is foundational to the success of the rest of your life. If you keep your thoughts healthy and serving you, then your feelings are going to line up and your actions are going to line up because healthy thoughts create healthy feelings which create healthy actions. Perfect. how people can get ahold of me is there are lots of ways to get in touch with me, you can go to my website, www dot Leslie Nafus dot com. The spelling will be in the show notes. You can follow me on Instagram at Leslie underscore Nafus. on Facebook at Leslie J Nafus. At on twitter at Leslie Nafus they made you all have different ones. I don't know why I tried to say of my name. And then on LinkedIn, you can just search for me at Leslie mayfest

Joe Pomeroy 30:55

and we'll have all that in the show notes everybody can see and I look at this idea have thoughts and then the positive influence and how we need to create healthy thoughts in order to live the life we desire. And from your story and from others that I've heard that it applies everywhere, that there's nothing about this that says, I need to have healthy thoughts so that I can be healthy physically. Yes, that's true. But it doesn't stop there. It's a healthy marriage. It's a healthy parenting, right? It's a healthy business.

Joe Pomeroy 31:26

That's right. And it doesn't matter what area you find not working right for you. Whether it's your marriage, your kids, your business, your health, your fitness, your relationships. It all starts in your thought life. There's an ancient Greco Aramaic text that says be transformed by the renewing of your mind. So if you want transformation in any area of your life, you got to figure out what's going on in that head of yours. And if it's serving you or not,

Joe Pomeroy 31:59

that's Perfect. Thank you so much, Leslie for being on the show. I'm excited to get my hands on your book and be able to start reading that and help further strengthen my thought life. And we'll again, we'll have links for that and everything in the show notes. Thank you so much for your time. It was great speaking with you

Joe Pomeroy 32:16

know, you're welcome, Joe. Thanks for having me again.

Joe Pomeroy 32:23

Thank you for joining us on today's episode. If you found the information helpful, remember to share it with your friends and family. And make sure to subscribe on Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast player. You can find more episodes at forward with Joe dot com. Thank you and we'll see you next time.