Making Moves Podcast | Corporate to Successful Entrepreneur

The Making Moves Podcast (with business guru's Seema Alexander & Kelly Lynn Adams) is dedicated to helping 9 to 5'ers, side hustlers & entrepreneurs go from following the rules to creating their own. Get ready to be exposed to weekly bite-size trainings and inspiration about business building, money making, mindset training, and so much more. You will hear from top entrepreneurs and influencers (in all industries) tell the good, the bad and the amazing of the journey from employee to entrepreneur. This is the place to learn more so that you can be, do and have more.
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Making Moves Podcast | Corporate to Successful Entrepreneur


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Now displaying: January, 2017
Jan 30, 2017

Elisa Marshall is the Founding Partner of Maman--a french-inspired bakery and café in SoHo, New York City and Toronoto,

  • [01 : 22] -Maman serves locally sourced, family-inspired dishes and baked goods, both savory and sweet, from the South of France and North America. In this collaboration, Elisa manages the design and packaging, handles front of house and contributes to the recipes and baking.
  • [01 : 22] - PASSION is Elisa’s motivation and drive in making a move in her career from stability to opening a restaurant and tackling entrepreneurship head-on.
  • [02 : 45] - Elisa was doing everything at 20% of capacity for each area from fashion to baking, event planning, interior design, marketing, etc.  This was not fulfilling enough.
  • [03 : 10] - Created a world for herself and doing everything she loves all under one roof – that’s how Maman, a French-inspired bakery and cafe came about.
  • [04 : 10] - Elisa’s first business partner was her husband, Benjamin Sormonte and still is.
  • [04 : 54] - Three of Benjamin’s friends who were from part of a large hospitality group invited Elisa and Benjamin to join them.
  • [05 : 19] - Elisa and Benjamin quit their jobs and took a big leap.
  • [06 : 00] - Working in that restaurant was a great learning opportunity before venturing to do their own thing.  Be prepared to learn.
  • [06 : 49] - What should we do and what should we not do in “Partnership” and “Founders”? - Ensure that we have separate strengths and weaknesses.  There should be no gaps and not too much overlapping as both can cause issues.
  • [10 : 07] - One of Benjamin’s childhood friends is Michelin star chef Aramand Amal.  Chef Aramand’s accolades added credibility and made people take them more seriously.  Credibility is important.
  • [10 : 35] - Intimidated by the New York market, they needed to have the competitive edge, something more special.  Be different.  
  • [10 : 53] - Elisa’s recipes were given to Chef Aramand and he tweaked them to make it special.
  • [12 : 07] - Branding is super important – how do you balance food quality and ambience for a new restaurant? - It’s very important that they go hand-in-hand, especially in New York where competition is fierce.  
  • [14 : 42] - How much does marketing and PR play a role or is it just plain word of mouth? - We are fortunate because a NY restaurant opening in Toronto sounds much more intriguing to the media than vice versa.
  • [16 : 00] - Our coffee cups are unique and eye-catching.  In SOHO NY, we are in an environment where we can have celebrities come in and Instagram something.
  • [19 : 03] - How do you manage the process of moving to the other locations? - It’s a matter of finding the same level of expectation and interest.  Finding staff is the biggest problem in NY.
  • [21 : 10] - If you could go back and redo the investment for Mamon, what would be the two things you would have invested first?
  1. People
  2. Aesthetic


  • [23 : 45] - No. 1 advice to fellow “transitioners” who want to start a restaurant business today.
  1. Transitioning in general – to really create a world for yourself and make sure what position you are transitioning into, that you’re passionate about, that you love and that you’re willing to sacrifice a lot physically, financially and emotionally.
  2. Restaurant industry – willing to work very hard, probably ten times harder than you ever anticipated it to be, finding and managing good people.

Key Points:

  • Be prepared to learn
  • Credibility is important
  • Be unique and different
  • Be passionate and love what you do



  • [28 : 52] - Maman has six locations:


  1. SOHO
  2. Tribeca
  3. Franklin
  4. Greenpoint, Brooklyn
  5. International Centre of Photography Museum
  6. Toronto


Jan 9, 2017

John Paul Lee is the CEO of Tavalon Tea, founded in 2005. He left a career as a management consultant to pursue his dream of entering the world of entrepreneurship---and entering the world of tea. John found a void in the tea market and took upon himself the task of revitalizing the image of tea by making it more accessible to the masses and creating a quality brand. Tavalon Tea products are found today in over 4800 worldwide locations, and they maintain office locations in NYC, NJ, Hong Kong, Seoul, Cairo, Phnom Penh, and Dubai. John has been featured in many publications and is regarded as one of the top entrepreneurs of our time.

Time Stamps:

  • (2:20) Leaving a cushy management to job to “make moves”
  • (3:23) John’s AHA moment: Living abroad, looking for a way out, and finding the solution in tea
  • (6:05) How the naysayers fueled his passion and dream
  • (7:20) How NOT to finance your business—from John’s personal experience
  • (9:45) The tipping point for Tavalon: Adjusting and adapting from retail to wholesale and opening the first international office in Seoul
  • (13:35) The benefits of partnership, which is as crucial as a marriage
  • (16:31) The importance of an operating agreement, with rules, roles, guidelines, and responsibilities
  • (17:06) Growth strategies that worked for Tavalon: A tiered approach
  • (21:02) The first successful “in,” before the brand
  • (22:22) Funding strategies in the beginning for your business
  • (25:19) Tavalon’s Advisory Board—full of influential people
  • (28:50) John’s story about pricing advice from a marketing guru
  • (30:26) How to form an advisory board---it doesn’t hurt to ask!
  • (33:14) John’s advice about initial investments for a product-based business: raise capital strategically, look for experienced business partners, make good decisions about your location
  • (35:14) John’s advice to fellow transitioners today: “Entrepreneurship is very hard. You have to really understand your product and have a passion for it.”

Key Points:

  • Why John followed his dream to make Tavalon  the lifestyle brand of tea, like Starbucks is for coffee
  • Don’t be afraid to transition from retail to wholesale
  • Don’t partner with someone with the same skill set as you
  • The best way to build your brand is through associations


Find Tavalon Tea on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Jan 4, 2017

Nely Galan is a Latina media mogul, author, teacher, entrepreneur, speaker, Emmy Award-winning producer, and savvy influencer. She is a quintessential maker and an advocate for gender parity. As a Cuban immigrant, Nely worked her way to the top as president of Telemundo’s entertainment division, producing over 700 episodes for TV in English and Spanish. Another claim to fame is that Nely was the first ever Latina to appear on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice show with Donald Trump. Nely’s book, Self Made, is a NY Times bestseller about becoming empowered, self-reliant, and rich in every way. She also founded a nonprofit, The Adelante Movement, which trains other Latina women for entrepreneurship.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • (2:39) How Nely made the transition from working for someone else to “making moves” on her own
  • (5:21) Overcoming the fear of making the leap into entrepreneurship
  • (7:23) The value of side hustles
  • (9:08) Cultivating the “self-made” mindset


  • (10:44) Nely’s experience and lessons learned from Donald Trump and Celebrity Apprentice


  • (15:16) Self Made: a new way to define success for women--through the book, the concept, and the movement
  • (19:35) A self-made woman that has inspired Nely? All the women who turn pain into profit
  • (22:45) Engaging your entrepreneurial muscle, beginning with ONE hour each week
  • (25:51) Nely’s advice to other women? “There is hidden money in America for all of us, especially for diverse women who start businesses.”
  • (29:00) Take baby steps every day, work because you WANT to, and find choices and freedom within the money you make
  • (30:20) How to find out more about Nely, her endeavors, and her resources online

Key Points:

  • Start incubating your idea while you still have a job
  • To be successful, you are going to be afraid and you WILL fail
  • If you listen to what everyone else says, then you’re not SELF MADE
  • There is no Prince Charming and no one is coming to save you; self-reliance is the key
  • Have a vision and take baby steps, beginning with ONE hour each week


Self Made by Nely Galan