Episode 152 – Unstoppable Founder and CEO of IROC MBS with Cori Fonville Foster

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Meet our guest this episode, Cori Fonville Foster. Cori is a market at heart although she didn’t start out by founding her own company. However, after experiencing a rare eye disease she left a career in the medical industry and started her own marketing firm. Her story by any definition shows why I call her “unstoppable” and I think you will too.

Cori had a wide variety of experiences while growing up since her mother was in the military and, like many, served in places around the world. Yes, Cori got to go along and experience many places and peoples. We have had a number of guests on Unstoppable Mindset who had a relationship with military parents. Pretty much all of them seem to want to learn and grow from their childhood experiences and often end up in fields where they get to serve others.

Cori spends time discussing with me her story of losing most of her eyesight and how she came to discover that she was still as normal as anyone. I had no idea when I first met her on LinkedIn that Cori was blind, and again, blindness does not necessarily mean a complete lack of eyesight. Cori’s story shows us all just how unstoppable she is.

Near the end of this episode Cori and I discussed an organization called Bookshare. This is a nonprofit established to provide a method of providing any book to persons who cannot use print to read. Its services are covered under current copyright laws as you will learn if you visit www.bookshare.org.

About the Guest:

Cori Fonville Foster is the CEO of IROC Marketable Business Solutions, a small business marketing firm that supports coaches, consultants, speakers, and authors as they learn to unlock their full potential and monetize their passions. Cori has always had a desire for helping others, which led her to pursue a career in the medical field early on. However, after complications from a rare, disabling eye condition, Cori decided to pivot and start her own business.

As an entrepreneur herself, Cori quickly realized the gaps in services and support for small business owners with great products and services, who lacked the knowledge and funds to scale like larger businesses. In response, she founded IROC MBS to help small business owners across the U.S. and Canada start, run, and scale their businesses.
Through her work with IROC MBS, Cori has helped countless entrepreneurs feel empowered to live life on their own terms. Her expertise in marketing and business strategy, combined with her passion for helping others succeed, has made her a sought-after speaker and consultant. Whether she’s delivering a keynote speech or working one-on-one with clients, Cori is dedicated to empowering others to achieve their full potential.

Ways to connect with Cori:

Website: https://www.irocmarketablebusinesssolutions.com/

About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.

Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.


accessiBe Links
https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/

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Transcription Notes

Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i  capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson ** 01:21
Welcome once again to unstoppable mindset where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. It’s fun when we get to do all three of those in one podcast. You know, sometimes we have people who come on who happened to have a disability, which means we can deal with inclusion because a lot of times diversity doesn’t. But of course diversity is relevant. And then the unexpected comes along, which is always fun. Today, Cori Fonville Foster our guest, I think can represent all three of those. She can make her own comments about that if she would like. So Cori, welcome to unstoppable mindset.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 01:58
I am so excited to be here for our conversation today.
Michael Hingson ** 02:02
So it’s okay to say that you represent all three of those. Yes. safe assumption. Cool. Well, why don’t we start by you telling us a little bit about you, kind of where you were born your younger life and the the early quarry and we’ll go from there. Oh, my God
Cori Fonville Foster ** 02:22
is the early quarry Well, I’m a native to Virginia. But I only stayed here till I was about seven. My mother was in the army. And so I was lucky enough to get to travel to Texas, we were stationed in Germany, Hawaii, and then back here to Virginia. So we just made a big circle. And I really enjoyed just traveling as a child and exploring other people’s cultures and getting to know you know what people wanted to do in life, just hearing the different stories that individuals had. But I did go to high school here in Virginia. And then I went to Virginia Commonwealth University, where I thought I wanted to be a psych major, and then and then found out that was not for me. But even through all that I kind of figured that what I found to be a common theme throughout all of my years was this idea of like of wanting to help people. And so while didn’t finish it, VCU, I did find kind of a new passion in the medical field with helping people in that way.
Michael Hingson ** 03:29
What was school like in other countries and so on? How did you cope with all that? Because it must have been a little bit of a challenge moving around.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 03:38
Actually, I really liked it. I was never afraid to be the new kid. Especially because I went to a lot of areas where there was a lot of military. So I was definitely not the only new kid there. Texas Killeen, Texas. People are familiar deep in the heart of Texas. Lots of military there. And the only thing I had to realize that I was I thought I was country being from Virginia, but I was very country. Once I left Texas, Germany, I went to school on base but I did have to take German classes and Hawaii we actually had to take Japanese classes and hula dancing classes. That was part of the curriculum, but all in all school to school. I did. I didn’t really like going to school, but school was school. Do you
Michael Hingson ** 04:21
remember any of your Japanese
Cori Fonville Foster ** 04:23
and not not even
Michael Hingson ** 04:26
about hula dancing? Oh,
Cori Fonville Foster ** 04:29
yes, actually, I do remember a little bit of hula dancing. That was fun. But ya know, the language just kind of fell off. I have like a little bit of German last, but not much not even enough to have a whole conversation.
Michael Hingson ** 04:42
Yeah. If you don’t use it, it does kind of go away. But I’ll bet if you really got put back in that situation again, some of it would come back.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 04:51
Yeah, probably so.
Michael Hingson ** 04:54
So you went to college and tell us then about going into the medical profession.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 05:00
Yeah, so I went to college, like I said, trying to be a psych major. I don’t know how I ended up. Getting in there. I was early decision, I knew exactly what I wanted to do got in there my first semester, and found out how long psychologists actually go to school. And I realized, that is not what I wanted to do, I didn’t want to spend all this time in school. And so after a year and a half, I left, but I ended up kind of landing myself in a nursing home. As not not as a as a, as a person living there. But as a worker. And I really fell in love with, you know, helping individuals that needed more support that you know, physically needed more support, so needed people to help possibly feed them, help them move around, bathed them, that kind of stuff. I was like, Okay, this is cool, not so much mental concerns, but even physical needs, like everyday needs. And I found that that was a lot more rewarding for me.
Michael Hingson ** 05:54
Ah, so then what did you do with that? So you, you didn’t stay in college? Did you go back to college ever? Or?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 06:01
Yeah, I did. I went back to school. I did. I did a lot of home health work for a while. And I realized that I wanted to have more education in the medical field. So I went back to school, I have a associate’s degree as a medical assistant. And then I was actually in school to become a registered nurse when my condition flared up. And unfortunately, I wasn’t able to complete that degree, I was three credits away from graduating as a registered nurse. But unfortunately, but I guess fortunately, too, I found my true calling after that. But I did have to leave school and leave work, and basically go out on disability. Very, very close to the finish line of becoming a registered nurse.
Michael Hingson ** 06:43
Well, what was the eye condition? What happened?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 06:46
Yeah, so I have a rare condition called UV itis, it’s a inflammatory condition. It’s very rare. And the kind I have is even more rare, because usually, they can find out like what makes you you know, have this condition. But in my case, they call it idiopathic, meaning they basically don’t know why I have it, I just do. So they treat the symptoms. And so I actually got diagnosed in high school, and lost all the vision in my left eye, my first year in college, but then nothing else. It just like, got calm, I had no issues, until I was about 20 to 23, somewhere in there. And that’s when it flared up again. And it was just so bad that the doctors couldn’t kind of get ahead of it. And they basically sat me down and said that they thought I was gonna go completely blind. From the condition. I did not go completely blind. That’s that’s a little longer story. But I did have to, like I said, discontinue my studies, and leave the job that I had been working at for quite a while. What did
Michael Hingson ** 07:51
you then go and do them move. So as a result, you you weren’t a nurse, you weren’t going to be able to be a nurse, although you’d worked at that, but you obviously gained a lot of knowledge and so on. So what did you then go off and do?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 08:02
Yeah, so after I had to go out on disability for about six months, I actually did nothing. I had, I had no coping skills as as a person that was visually impaired. Because before the flare up, that flare up that sent me out, I had 2020 of my right eye. So I was still kind of living life as a very able to visually abled person. And so when my vision quickly dissipated, I didn’t really know what to do. I didn’t know how to read Braille, I didn’t know how to use a cane. I didn’t know anything. So I just kind of was sad and depressed for about six months didn’t do anything. Didn’t know that there was lots of support out there. Unfortunately, I didn’t have really great doctors at the time. And now I do thankfully, but I didn’t have I didn’t know that I could reach out and ask for help and get resources. So I did nothing for six months. And then after the six months, I decided to start a business. Why not? Where you’re in the in the pits of despair, I started a business because I wanted something to do. I didn’t want to be in the house and I wanted to make income. And again, I didn’t know that. At the time. I didn’t know that people who couldn’t see could work. Now I’ve learned a lot that we are just as capable as everyone else. But then I back then I didn’t know so I started my first business it was called Iraq marketable. I’m sorry, Iraq, my buddy. And so that’s what it was called. And I sold like handmade soaps and bath bombs and body butters and you know, just a lot of handmade things for women to take like bubble baths, basically. But it was a cool business and I got to talk to a lot of small business owners, which was really cool to hear all their amazing stories and that kind of led me into starting the business that I run now.
Michael Hingson ** 09:46
So how did you learn how to make soaps and, and all those sorts of things that was totally different than the kinds of things that you had been studying for?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 09:56
Yeah, it was definitely like a complete one ad I like to learn period, like, I just like to learn things. And I needed to find something that I could do with the vision that I had. And so I was just YouTubing different things. And I would see people make, you know, different little bars of soap or make their own body butter, which can be used like a lotion on their skin. I was like, that seems cool. Let me try that. And it wasn’t a lot of money to invest, because I didn’t have any because I was unemployed. And at that time, I hadn’t gotten my first disability check. So I was like, Okay, this seems, you know, easy enough. And my mother was a crafter. So I knew that she knew about like vending events. And I was like, okay, I can do this, I can do it at my own pace, I can do it with the vision that I have. And I just a lot of trial and error. But I got real good at it. I made I made some good money doing it, though. So I’m kind of proud of myself. While it was a little business that kind of came out of nowhere. It definitely was a lucrative business, that game gave me a lot of confidence. Because like I said, before, that I didn’t think that, like I had a future because I was like, I can’t see, like, this is it for me that you know, I just, it was like the world came crashing down, I really felt like, there was nothing that I was going to be able to accomplish, because I couldn’t see. And so that gave me just a little bit of confidence to say, Okay, you’re not, you know, helpless, you can do something, you can be productive. And that kind of gave me the confidence also to advocate for myself, I ended up firing my doctors getting a new team of doctors that helped me finding that organizations were out there that can support me, I actually connected with your organization, someone who was completely blind, that was like, girl, you can work you can do different stuff. And I was like, Really, she was like, yeah, she had written a book. And it really opened my eyes that this was not something that was going to limit my capabilities.
Michael Hingson ** 11:47
So what did the doctors tell you? I should have asked that earlier, I suppose. But what did the doctors tell you when they decided that you weren’t going to be able to see again,
Cori Fonville Foster ** 11:57
I’m telling you, I had a really bad doctor, she literally just sat me down, it was very matter of fact. And she said, your eyes are angry. That’s the words you use. And she says there’s nothing we can do about it, we can’t do surgery, there’s no drop, she said, You need to just go ahead and quit your job, go home and collect disability. That’s what that’s literally what she told me. And because I didn’t know any better, I did believe that for a long while, like a good. I said six months to a year I thought okay, the only thing I have the choice I have was to go home and go blind. And that’s it. But like, so once I got a little confidence, and I found new doctors, they told me that, you know, while there was no cure, they could fight. And if I was willing to fight, they would try to preserve the vision I had, and they got me connected with people that can teach me how to live in my new normal.
Michael Hingson ** 12:46
Yeah, and that’s exactly what it is, is a new normal. You know, I had a similar experience with a doctor a number of years ago, in that I was dealing with a lot of eye pain, which turned out to be glaucoma, eye pressure, and so on. But the doctor, by the way, I had already secured many years before a master’s degree in physics. So I had a little bit of knowledge about one thing or another. And this doctor would only say to me, your eyes are mad at you. They’re angry. And, you know, I said, What do you mean, they’re, my eyes are mad at me. But they are and there’s nothing we can do. And I said, What do you mean by mad at me, he wouldn’t deal with the issue. And he couldn’t take eye pressure. Because being having been blind since birth, I didn’t know anything about controlling my eyes and looking up and looking down. And when he was trying to take high pressure, he kept saying look up and I said, When are you going to understand, I don’t know how to do that. You know, when I said if you’re going to treat me this way, I’m leaving, I’m not going to pay you a sin. And I’m going to make sure other people know how you treat blind people. And, you know, and that’s exactly what I did. My wife was in the room at the time and heard the whole thing. And she agreed. It was it was not a good experience. And there’s no need for that. And it’s unfortunate that the Optima logical world doesn’t get some of the training that they need to recognize that they’re not failures just because the person can’t see. And that it is high time that we stop preaching here now talking about blind and visually impaired and equating us to vision. You know, blind and low vision is one thing, but when we hear things like visually impaired, why do I need to be creative, equated to how much vision I have or don’t have. And blindness is a characteristic and low vision is a characteristic. But doctors don’t learn those things and the schools don’t teach them that which is so unfortunate.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 14:55
Yeah, I agree. And I’ve had so many instances where people don’t get The condition and they don’t, they don’t treat us with care I ended up in where you say God call me triggered me. Because I remember I my pressure got really high one time. I mean, it was like at 40. It was crazy. I felt like a giant was squeezing my head.
Michael Hingson ** 15:13
I was 70 Once I know what it is. And yeah,
Cori Fonville Foster ** 15:17
and so for people listening who are not visually impaired, like right now I’m in like the single digits. So So you know, you’re not supposed to be in the doubles. But yeah, I went to the emergency room. And the nurse practitioner on call, didn’t know how to use the pressure machine, she sat next to me on the bed, I’m in tears. And she pulls out the instructions to the machine that she was about to poke in my eye. And she’s like reading it. And I was like, Can you please go out the room, read what you got to read, get yourself together and come back confidently, because you’re about to touch my eyeball, which is already in pain, I ended up having to have emergency surgery the next day to get my pressure lowered. And it’s just like, that kind of stuff just drives me crazy. Because I again, I was on the other side of that I was in the medical field. I was you know, we’re helping doctors see patients and I’m like, why would you do that when somebody is in such need, right? They need you to support them, calm them down, give them reassurance and instead, they make us more scared, or less confident in not only their abilities, but our outcomes. And it’s just a horrible place to be because I’ve had several eye surgeries. Now I’ve gone through several doctors and different prognosis. And it’s just, you know, you want people that at least believe that, you know, they’re gonna give you the best care and the best options for you. And sometimes, oftentimes, that’s not what we get.
Michael Hingson ** 16:37
Well, and you want people who believe that you’re a person. And that eyesight isn’t the only thing in town. And that’s what’s so unfortunate is that so much of our society thinks that without eyesight, you’re not really a whole person at all. And that’s just not true.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 16:54
Yeah, you’re right.
Michael Hingson ** 16:56
And that’s one of the reasons that I tend to, when I’m talking with people and hear the term get away from visually impaired, it’s like deaf people who will tell you that they don’t like the word hearing impaired because they don’t want to be acquainted with or compared with its deaf or hard of hearing. And that’s really the way it ought to be with blindness. It isn’t all about eyesight. And unfortunately, there are too many people who have no vision anyway, that is to say, they may see really well, but they don’t have any vision. And that’s a different story. But we won’t worry
Cori Fonville Foster ** 17:31
about that today. Just a bar right there. I like that one.
Michael Hingson ** 17:35
Yeah. And in my book center dog, one of the phrases is don’t let your sight get in the way your vision and it happens all too often. Definitely, it is one one of the major things, it’s an issue. So you, you are black women, women woman living with or working with a disability, which you obviously have learned to recognize is not really the disability at all. It’s more what the public views it as but how does all that work in your business? And now that you’ve got IROC up and running, are you still doing Soper? What is IROC morphed into?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 18:14
Yes, IROC is no longer doing so we have grown up at there doing my first business, I found that there was a gap in the market for small business owners trying to market their businesses and get them out to the world. And so now I own IROC markable business solutions. We are a small business marketing, and coaching firm, where we’ve actually been able to help hundreds of entrepreneurs all over the US and into Canada, market their small businesses and get in front of their target audience. So it’s been a definite big change. But like you said, I don’t see my quote unquote, disability as a disability, I just consider myself to be differently abled, there are things that I do, and I just have to do them differently than quote unquote, the norm. But that doesn’t mean I’m incapable. Very few things have stumped me. And usually, once I’m stumped, I go and find a way to get around it. But it’s just like anybody else. Nobody’s gonna be good at everything. Nobody’s going to get something, you know, done amazingly, their first time through. And so I learned and even since my diagnosis, I’ve done makeup for people. I’ve done photos for people. Right before this podcast, I was editing video content for a client. I am not my disability. I really, I definitely use my story to inspire others, because I want people to realize that they’re capable of doing amazing things, but I am not consumed or defined by my condition. It’s just a part of, you know, the who I am. It’s, it’s just one little piece. It’s not even a big piece. It’s one little piece of who Cori is, but it doesn’t stop the show.
Michael Hingson ** 19:56
And it shouldn’t. On the other hand, Cory Let’s get really serious here, Bed Bath and Beyond has just announced that they’re going to be going bankrupt, there might be a great soap market out there.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 20:10
I don’t know. I’m not gonna lie to you. Because I tried to go back and do it. It’s a lot of hands on work. Our team now to help me, I don’t want to go back to just being by myself. That’s a lot.
Michael Hingson ** 20:23
Yeah, no, I understand. And, and so you’re doing that all over the country? Well, tell us a little bit more about what you do.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 20:31
Yeah, so I always tell people, I got into business very untraditionally. Because like I said, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, when I grew up at the time, I was just trying to kind of find myself in my new world of, of having this condition and finding a way to still help people because that’s always been my mission in life, is to help people in some way. And so through that, and through the business, we’re able to do coaching, right, we talk to individuals, and help them identify their goals, figure out who their clientele is, we also help them turn their passion into profit. Meaning that they find something that they’re really good at really passionate about, and we help them monetize that thing. And then we offer them marketing services, like building their websites, working on email campaigns, working on their social media management, those types of things to kind of help them along. And I mentioned me being in the business, not traditionally, because that’s our target audience, people who didn’t come into business with a business degree or come into business with tons of investors and capital, there are people who really just genuinely want to help other people through the thing that is their gift. And so that’s really the people that we really enjoy working with them. It has been just an amazing ride thus far.
Michael Hingson ** 21:51
Do you focus a lot on businesses with persons with disabilities? Is that an issue? Do you focus in more on the broad market or what?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 22:03
So we have had many individuals who identify as people with disabilities, seen and unseen. So we’ve had people with MS, we’ve had people that just have really bad anxiety, who have come from a lot of trauma, have physical conditions. I mean, the list goes on and on. But again, my disability is just one little aspect of me. So I don’t go out searching for individuals that that identify as having disability, but we do definitely welcome them. And I feel that I am uniquely positioned in the fact that I understand there their worries, and their sometimes lack of confidence as they build up their business, because they’re worried that people will see them as less than I know, I definitely did. When I started, I said, I used to not even tell people I was legally blind, I would say, you know, I’m just kind of keep going on unless they asked me, because I thought that they would be like, Well, how is she going to get this done? But now that I’ve been in business, and people have seen my work, I’m like, Look, this is who I am. And guess what, I’m going to be amazing. And I just happen to be legally blind as well. So yeah, don’t go on my way looking for but we definitely do attract people who can can resonate with my story for sure.
Michael Hingson ** 23:22
So what specific kinds of things do you actually then do to help companies? Maybe a better way to put it is, what kind of problems do people bring to you? And how do you solve them.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 23:34
So the majority of people who come to us are really struggling with solidifying their marketing plan, they have an idea, they think it’s going to work, or maybe they’ve even been doing it for people for free. Like I work with service based businesses, mostly. So these are coaches and consultants. That’s why I said they like to help other people, because they are working with different target audiences trying to solve their problems. So they come to me, they say, Hey, I have this idea, or I’ve been doing this thing. And I really want to take it to the next level. So through our coaching program, we really work kind of hand in hand, I call it a white glove service. And we help them identify what their goals are, we put times behind it, we keep them accountable. And then we give them tools, techniques, guides, scripts, all the things they need to actually achieve that. So basically, we’re a business coaching service, but then we also provide those tangible, practical elements they need to do the thing that is called business.
Michael Hingson ** 24:33
So do you oftentimes end up having to help people maybe even restructure their business, do things more efficiently change their operation to to become better at what they do?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 24:47
Absolutely. A lot of what we do is kind of go in and look at the systems or lack thereof with their systems. We do something called a brand audit, where we go in and kind of look like how are you doing this? How are you structuring it? Because usually a lot of new entrepreneurs are having issues with burnout. They’re trying to do all the things themselves, and in the most tiresome ways, and so we teach them about outsourcing, we teach them about working with their CEO mindset. And then of course, building confidence to sell because that is something that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with as well.
Michael Hingson ** 25:22
Yeah. And we’re also afraid of failing, what do you what do you say to somebody who says I’m afraid of failing?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 25:30
That is, that’s a great question only because I almost want to laugh. I talked to my clients about this all the time, who say they’re afraid to fail, I always tell people, you’re not afraid to fail. Because when you know that you have a gift, and that you have a talent or you have a product that people need, and you don’t act on it, you’re already failing, you’re doing it every day that you don’t work towards your goal, that you don’t strive for greatness. And so you’re not afraid to fail, because you’re already doing it, what you’re afraid of is success. Because if you weren’t afraid of success, you wouldn’t worry about the what ifs, you would just keep going until you hit that hit that success, and really make that mark that you’re trying to make. So I always say people aren’t really afraid of fit failure at all. They’re definitely afraid of what success will look like on them.
Michael Hingson ** 26:16
Very good point. And the other part about it is that oftentimes people don’t recognize that failure is in what they define as failure is probably one of the best learning experiences around because what does failure really means? Alright, something didn’t work. So hopefully, you’re smart enough to realize I won’t do that again, and you start to think about other things to do that may make it more successful.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 26:43
Absolutely. They call it faultless. And failing forward, you take every failure as a learning experience, and you move forward.
Michael Hingson ** 26:51
Exactly what should happen. And all too often, we don’t tend to teach people about that, you know, a very strange example of that is guide dogs. For years, even the guide dog schools would say that the dogs that didn’t make it as guide dogs failed, and they just didn’t measure up. And so they had to go do other things, they finally realized that that was the wrong terminology, because they weren’t failures. The reality is that not every dog is meant to be a guide dog. And it’s like with people, not everyone can do every particular job, which is what you said before. So the guide dog school started saying their career changed. Some of them have gone on to be cancer, detecting dogs or diabetic detecting dogs or in so insulin reactions and issues, seizure, detections, any number of different things. But they’re not failures. And that’s one of the things that we really need to get over is recognizing or not recognizing that a failure or our expectation of something that goes a particular way that doesn’t go that way, is really the opportunity to explore something different. Absolutely. And you know, all too often, we really need to do some of that. Well, so for a person with a disability and putting it in air quotes, what are some of the challenges that you and others with disabilities have had in starting businesses and moving forward with them?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 28:27
I think for me, I struggled. One was confidence, because I didn’t know how others were going to perceive me. Like I said, as someone who, I guess, in my eyes visibly looks like, there’s something going on. I think some people don’t know that like is like something’s off with their face. I’m not sure what it what it is. Because people don’t know what blindness looks like. And sometimes I and sometimes people actually will get mad at me because I didn’t think I was legally blind. And they were to think I was making it up. And it’s, it’s been both ways. So I was kind of lost comp will not lost confidence. But I lacked confidence early on, and just that fear of what people were going to think. But then also the practical things of like how I was going to get things done, my eyes get really tired. I’ve had a lot of surgeries on my eyes and eyes are just like any other muscle where they get fatigued. And now I have really bad light sensitivity. And so I can’t sit in front of the computer for a long time. I can’t go outside a lot without shades and even with shaved, my eyes get really sensitive. And so I have to be really cautious about the types of activities I do the places I go. So that I can still work. I have to take lots of breaks. And so sometimes that impedes on work. And I have to find a way to make a schedule that allows for those breaks. And that’s why one of the reasons why I actually stayed working for myself because I did later find out that yes, people who are blind can work and do work and are amazing workers. But because of my light sensitivity In my fatigue, I decided that it would be best for me and less frustrating if I work from home and work for myself so that I could take breaks and didn’t have to worry about explaining myself to others because I’m the boss, and I take a break when I need to. And if my eyes get too much sun exposure, I can go lay down and close my eyes or put a mask over my eyes or whatever I need to do to take care of me. So some of the things I’ve had to learn a business are definitely how to do everything, how to what computer devices you use, what apps will help, some websites do not allow me to zoom in, it’s the most stressful thing ever, different apps will allow me to zoom in. So I can’t see how to do things I’ve had to learn how to do workarounds for that, when I have surgeries and can’t see it all, I have to quickly figure out how to listen well, because they have a lot of apps out there that will talk to you. And my condition is a little different than some people who are consistently blind. And that I feel like they get the skills because they use it all the time. But I can go from being able to drive to not being able to see my face really quickly, like within three days time. And so I have to quickly pick up those skills of listening well, so I can use all those amazing apps to help me navigate the TV, my phone, the computer, all kinds of things. And luckily, there are amazing software’s out there. But I have had those challenges and just navigating that as I build my business. And as I just live my day to day life.
Michael Hingson ** 31:34
Have you learned to use things like screen readers, such as JAWS, and so on to verbalize what comes across the computer? So you don’t have to necessarily strain your eyes as much can I recognize that you can go from not seeing well to seeing fairly well. But have you thought about the concept of maybe using a screen reader regularly might ease some of the eye strain and and make for an easier process and use it to augment what you do get to be able to do when you can see.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 32:04
Yeah, I’ve been playing more with that lately, since I had a I had an emergency eye surgery a couple of months ago, and I’ve been trying to use the technology more, I’m just really, I’m really impatient. I’m not gonna lie to you, I am very impatient. And so sometimes I’m like, Ah, it takes forever because a lot of times it’ll it’ll read. So I’ve used apps where it’ll read to me, like where a button is like when I pass over it. But then I have to hit the button like twice. And this is like ah, so oftentimes I get frustrated and take it off. But I have been getting better at trying out different apps and different software’s and trying to use them more consistently. Even like using my walking cane, I try to remember to go back and use it more often. Because what tends to happen is when I really need it, I haven’t used it in a month. And then I’m like, oh my god, I gotta learn this fast. And then I have all the anxiety around kind of getting back acclimated. So yeah, I have been trying to use them more consistently, because with consistency comes confidence and the tool. But like I said, I just I’m really impatient. So it’s been a struggle, that is definitely something that I continue to struggle with.
Michael Hingson ** 33:12
Well, but the other side of it is that you, you may find that it helps another way. So for example is talking about using a cane. If you’re using a cane, and you use it regularly. One of the things is that people will know you’re blind, and that may or may not build barriers, but for a lot of people, hopefully it won’t, because you’re already doing what you do. And worst case had opens up the opportunity to have a conversation about it. Well, the same thing with different technologies you talked about when you find a button and you have to tap it twice. That’s when you’re using a touchscreen. But on the other hand with your computer, you can use a program such as JAWS, or NVDA, or Microsoft Narrator which is built into Windows and actually verbalize whatever comes across the screen and still use your keyboard the way you normally do. And then the point of doing that consistently, is that you use your your eyesight to complement and enhance what you get with a screen reader or using the technology as opposed to just using one or the other. Because you have the ability and the opportunity to use both. Does that make sense?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 34:23
Well, absolutely. And as I said, I’m just I’m just now trying to do it more often. But I definitely see the benefits and doing it for sure. And I said I I like to be really honest about the fact that I’ve had this condition now for many years. But over the last, I don’t know, four or five years. I’ve had the harder time because I’ve had the biggest changes in my vision really fast. And so I’ve had to get over. People are looking at me and again what did the people think? And I had one lady who was helping me with my came and learning how to do that. And she was like, Why do you care so much? What people? What are people what people are thinking that are looking at you, you can’t see them anyway. And I was like, Well, that’s true. Because I just felt like they’re looking at me. And she was like, but you can’t see them. So don’t worry about it. And I was like, well, she is right. So it’s a it’s an emotional and like a mental block that I’m I’m fighting to overcome. And I don’t want people to think that, you know, none of us go through that, because I definitely do. Because I do care what people think, and I shouldn’t. And that has definitely kind of guided some of the choices I’ve made in my accessibility. But like you said, it’s kind of limiting me sometimes. And so I definitely, like I said, I’m coming to a place now more of acceptance. And now I am learning more and trying to utilize, like you said, all these different things that are available to me so that I can do even more and do it for longer, because they don’t know how long I’ll have vision and how much vision I’ll have. So I definitely will probably forever be using these tools. And I need to get pretty good at them pretty quick really quickly.
Michael Hingson ** 36:11
Yeah, that’s the of course major issue that, that especially if your eye condition, or any eye condition deteriorates more consistently, then you need to, or get to depending on how you want to view it utilize those technologies? And isn’t it better to really become familiar with them, while you still have access to both worlds rather than waiting until suddenly now you’re in a different position? It’s it’s adopting a different mindset. And you said something interesting when you worry about what people think it caused me to think about something that I hadn’t ever really expressed or thought of and that is, should we worry about what people think or worry about what they know. And that’s really the issue the problem with most people and what they think is, the reality is they don’t know. And they’re thinking based on erroneous information and wrong assumptions. And so, like it or not, we all get to be teachers. But that’s really it right? It’s matter of what they really know, not what they think. So I think your friend was right, it shouldn’t really matter to you what they think it’s more a matter of what they know. And you know, like you and me in and are and others, there are things that are acceptable in society to do, you don’t wear two different colored shoes, or you’re not supposed to anyway, or any number of things like that, and you develop develop techniques. So you don’t have to do that. But those are our different issues, then you’re using a cane to travel around, which should certainly be okay. And even if you do it every day consistently, you get more comfortable with it. But the other part about it is that other people start to recognize maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 38:12
Yeah, I agree. It definitely is a mindset shift. And I think most people go through some type of confidence hit when they are seeing or feel that they’re different than I hate using the word normal, because nobody’s normal, but then what people expect to be the normal thing. But like I said, I am every day, every day, and I’m excited because this is a different feeling. I’m everyday, getting more and more comfortable with me. Right? Like, I’m great at certain things already. Like I’ve known one amazing business person, I know my grades, I’m a great mom and a great wife. But being a visibly disabled person, I wasn’t always the greatest at out of like I said, fear, you know, self doubt, whatever the case may be. And now I’m just like, hey, this is me, you like it or not. And I’m gonna do what I need to do to be amazing and everything. So I love that, you know, I’m getting to meet people like you and others who are out here rocking it, regardless of what people perceive as issues or you know, different things that make life tougher, everybody’s life is gonna be different. And this is my life. And I’m excited that I now feel more capable of, you know, doing it on my own terms.
Michael Hingson ** 39:27
The biggest problem, I think, with blindness is that more people haven’t tried it. Now, the problem with saying that is, you can’t just put a blindfold on and suddenly you’re an expert at being blind. You know, that’s one of the reasons that a number of us don’t like this concept that some organizations and restaurants have started dining in the dark. Because if you go into a restaurant, and it’s totally dark, and they take you to a table and they sit you down, and you get your food and things fall off your fork and all that. What have you really learned you certainly haven’t learned How to eat like a blind person. You haven’t learned the techniques, it doesn’t train you, which continues to reinforce misconceptions and the wrong stereotypes. And that’s what we really need to get over somehow is dealing with those stereotypes. And so it is important that we all do work toward helping others recognize that blindness isn’t what they think it is, and that in reality, it’s just another characteristic, like being male or female or being left handed or anything like that.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 40:36
Yeah, definitely. Even though the left handed people are weirdos. Oh,
Michael Hingson ** 40:41
you tell them? Yeah, well, some of them are. But there are some pretty weirdo right handed people too. So I won’t go there. But But I hear what you’re I hear you know, it’s an issue. And you know, that’s an interesting question. If you’re left handed, is your brain so different that you don’t work in function in the world like the rest of us, and I’m not ready to go there. I don’t buy that. But I hear what you’re saying. And you’re picking on your mom, that’s what you’re doing?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 41:10
Definitely. She’s a lefty.
Michael Hingson ** 41:12
She’s a lefty. Hey, there’s some good lefty baseball pitchers. So be nice. Okay. Well, when you’re doing your work, and you’re you’re working with businesses, and so on, what do you do in general to make sure that as they go forward, they tend to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. And so when do you educate them? Do you have the opportunity to educate them? Does that ever enter into what you do?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 41:43
Yeah, when I have the opportunity, I definitely do. So something that a lot of coaches have right now, our courses, like on demand courses, they’re just the thing everybody wants, because it’s great passive income. And I do talk to them about that, because people will have courses where there are, there’s no way for people who have trouble hearing to access it. Like they’re just they have a video with just them talking. So I’ll say Well, hey, you know, maybe if you had the the the transcripts available as a form of the course that would be great because it can read it. And then also having maybe captions for those who need captions, making sure they’re using technology that like I said, zoom for people like me who struggle to see that you people can zoom in some are more friendly than others. And then just thinking about in general people’s learning styles, because again, I work with people who also have that are autistic, have ADD ADHD etc. And so I also talked about that, like making sure that you’re thinking about how people learn, some people cannot sit for long periods of time. And so they need quick bites, some people lose focus easily. And so we talked about, just think about who your audience is, and what their needs are, oftentimes, as entrepreneurs, we think about ourselves and what we would like, but you really have to be cognizant of what your audience needs and what they like. And so we talk about accessibility from all the viewpoints, not just, oh, people can go like the most common ones people can’t see or they can’t hear. It’s like, No, how do people think, how do they access information? How do they learn, and make sure that you are addressing those things as well. But we definitely have those conversations about just you know, different things, especially when it comes to websites, like how do people access your website? I’m still updating mine as I learn more things as well. So yeah, when the opportunity presents itself, we definitely have those conversations. But I’ll be honest, I’m still learning as well. And I think that if people go into life in general, saying that they’re open to learning and growing, that’s just where we need to all be because nobody knows everything. Like you said, people go to that dinner and the document like, okay, now I know, but you don’t. And it takes really being open to understand listening, and then adjusting as needed. And so I tell my clients just be open to changing and adjusting, just like I’m open to changing and adjusting as I grow as well.
Michael Hingson ** 44:12
One of the things that I’ve encouraged people to do is instead of doing things like dining in the dark, is get a white cane, and a pair of glasses, since that’s part of the typical stereotype. But the whole point is for you to continue to be able to see what’s going on around you and walk down the street using a cane and look at how people react to you. That’s going to teach you more about the issues that we face as blind people rather than dealing with things that are going to continue to reinforce stereotypes because people will look at you weird people will move away from you and so on. And those are the barriers that we really need to address and deal with and in society and all of us who are born blind or my wife who was in a wheelchair for her whole life or other people in terms of things that they have that are so called disabilities when, especially when they’re visible. You see firsthand how people react to you. And that is where the real story is.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 45:17
Yeah, definitely. That’s what I said that was one of my biggest issues is like, yeah, people looking at you. Because when I was going through cane training, I could see I wasn’t in a flare. And like I said, when people’s when I first started, people’s head would turn, like you said, they jump out the way or, or they will be mean and not get out the way. It’s like, why would you do that? I told you, in our previous conversation about when I traveled by myself, I was treated so horribly, I was lost at the airport, the people forgot about me that were supposed to get me from point A to point B, people were making comments to each other about me, and it’s just not nice. Like we should all strive to be good humans. And when in doubt, you don’t know what to say Just don’t say anything at all. Because we can hear like people will like ants can hear. I don’t know why people think we can’t. But it’s like, Don’t talk about me like I’m a child or less van. Because you see that I am moving throughout the world, definitely, then you might assume I should.
Michael Hingson ** 46:17
My wife and I and my inlaws went to Spain in 1992. And I remember, we got to Madrid, I think it was, and the people decided I had to sit somewhere special being blind, not even my wife, and I was separated from them, the rest of the family, and they wouldn’t even tell the rest of the family where I was. And finally, we got connected again. But I can tell you that the airline personnel heard a great deal about it, from me and from other people, because it is inappropriate for them to make a lot of the assumptions that they do. And now, of course, part of the problem was that, it would have been a major challenge for me to go wander around and try to find them because even finding people who would speak English that I could communicate with to say, Help me find a lady in a wheelchair or whatever. That tends to be part of the issue. But the bottom line is that you’re right, people just don’t think. And again, they make assumptions. And so oftentimes, we do have to take stance, I would react differently today, if I were put in the same situation, because I wouldn’t even allow us to get separated. And if people didn’t like that, then fine. Let them call the police or whoever, and we’ll have a discussion about it. But absolutely.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 47:50
And I think that’s the thing, too. The more confidence you get, the more you’re capable of advocating for yourself, because you’re right stuff that happened in the beginning. Even like with doctors, I let them for years, treat me any kind of way. And now it’s like, oh, Nah, you can quickly be fired. If you don’t believe real easy. You’re not gonna try for me good day. For sure, I will not be disrespected anymore.
Michael Hingson ** 48:15
Well, in addition to your business, you I think you do a lot of speaking.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 48:20
Yes, I do. I do a lot of speaking on building your confidence. Because I really think that that’s a major cornerstone and being able to achieve anything that you want whether you want to be an entrepreneur, whether you want to be a writer, whether you want to be I don’t know, Baker, whatever you want to do. Confidence plays a big role. And so I use something called the aarC framework when I talk and when I teach and train and work with my clients, and it’s all about taking small actions to build your confidence now, I don’t like people to get stuck in the mindset and the what is the woulda, coulda shoulda us of things. I say, You know what, figure out what your goal is and take action. And those actions will feed your confidence. Because if you never tried that you only are working around the assumption that you won’t succeed, right? I was like, Oh, I can’t have a business. I can’t make money. I can’t. I got there was so many things I thought I couldn’t do and it wasn’t until I started trying to do those things that I was like, okay, all right, I can’t do this. And now I can do more. And I can do even more. And so when I do speaking engagements, I’m always talking about building confidence, basically to unlock your full potential as a person in general.
Michael Hingson ** 49:30
Yeah. And it’s, it’s, of course, still all about education more than anything else. So how do you how do you find speaking engagements and how does all that work for you?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 49:44
It’s always a constant battle. Like I don’t have a cool story like you do. I was like, Wow, man, your story’s amazing. But I do I use my network. And I also pitch to different conferences and apply to different conferences and I also host my own events. I do a lot of podcasting. Like I’m on your podcast today. But I do a lot of podcasting. And I talk about some entrepreneur things. Some does mom things because I’m a mom, I’m a homeschooling mom, too. But like I said, the overall theme for me is always about confidence.
Michael Hingson ** 50:17
You have your own podcast,
Cori Fonville Foster ** 50:19
I do have my own podcast. Yes, it’s called I run business with confidence, podcast, let’s Sorry, no cute name. But I wanted people to understand the premise. It’s about business owners building their confidence. And we have experts that come on weekly, and talk about their business journey hurdles, they’ve overcome their unique perspective. And then of course, giving people some real tangible things to implement in their business, to move them forward so that we can all have amazing businesses and rock them with confidence.
Michael Hingson ** 50:51
So as a speaker who’s been out there, and who’s been all over the place, what advice do you have for other speakers, much less other speakers with disabilities? What What kind of advice do you offer for people? Or would you suggest
Cori Fonville Foster ** 51:05
authentically you, I think for any speaker that identifies a have a disability or not, you seen a lot of times you fall into the trap of trying to imitate, or copy or duplicate somebody else’s personality or their style, do you and do what you need to get the job done. I, I always worry about what I shouldn’t say worried, but I’m always concerned about things like am I going to be able to see time clock since the end of stages and make eye contact or are a little like I’m making eye contact, I should say, with the audience and different things like that, guys, just be you show up people like my personality, I don’t think they care if I’m actually looking at them or not. Which is great. Because that used to be a thing like, oh, you know, I have to do this and that, but no, I’m me. I show up as my goofy self. I tell my stories, I I laugh with everybody, you know, I make them feel something, I give them my strategies, my techniques, and then people go away with something that’s amazing. And so I would just encourage anyone out there, if you’re going to do speaking, be you use your stories, your frameworks and get your point across in your own very special way.
Michael Hingson ** 52:18
And I absolutely agree with you, the most important thing that we as speakers can do is be ourselves. I once was encouraged when I was first starting out, I was encouraged to write speeches and read them. And I didn’t like that idea, because I didn’t think that that was necessarily my style. But I tried it a couple of times, and then listen to myself and heard how horrible it really was. But more important. What I noticed is that when I talked with an audience that is, as a speaker, I don’t talk to an audience, I want to talk with them, they may not be saying anything. But it is important that I connect with them. And that really means talking with them talking at whatever levels that they are at and trying to strike a chord by talking about things they want to hear about, in addition to the things that I would like them to understand. That’s all part of being authentic. And that’s what’s really necessary for any speaker to be truly effective.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 53:23
Absolutely. And it’s funny that you mentioned writing down I actually, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Toastmasters, but I was in leadership with their organization for a while and they do a lot of public speaking. So I will work with a lot of new public speakers. And some people were very much like, I must write this down. And some people did bullets. And some people like to speak from the cuff. And I’ll just say do what works for you try out different methods for sure. For all our listeners out there, try what works for you. I do have people that really cannot do speeches, if they don’t write them down word for word, they won’t read them in public, of course, but they really like they want to make sure that they hit all the words that they planned. And they prefer to kind of work off of that. And then I’m a bullet girl, I like to outline my speeches, and then just talk through them. Like I’m talking with the audience. And every time I do a speech, even if it’s on the same topic, it’s gonna always be a little differently different. Even if there’s a like a slide deck that goes with it, I’m going to speak based on the topic, but then kind of change it depending on my mood for the day. And then I like I said, I have some clients that I’ve worked with who just off the cuff. They know how much time they have, and they just go and I more power to them. I would ramble on forever. And so I prefer to have a little bit of structure, but with a lot of freedom. Well, and
Michael Hingson ** 54:41
you can do that no matter how you speak and there’s nothing wrong with that. I will use notes, especially when I’m speaking to an audience and I’ve interacted with the event sponsors and they talk about certain things they want in the messaging and so on. I will make sure I have notes of that I deal with those issues, but I also believe that again, a speech that is the most effective is one that you’re truly having a conversation with the audience over. And so the notes are important. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But reading a speech, I’ve heard some people do that it just doesn’t really go over very well. Sounds really nice way to do. Yeah, well, have you written any books.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 55:28
So I haven’t, but I’m in the process of writing a book, I’m super excited, it should launch depending on when this podcast comes out. It may or may not be out, but it’s gonna be summer 2023. And it’s about monetizing your passion with confidence. So same same lines as what I do, but I wanted it available for individuals who want it, to read it on their own and pass it in and you know, do like that first step before they went into like a course or a coaching program. So I’m really excited. My very first book, but it’s been a long time coming. So it’ll be on the shelves, summer 2023,
Michael Hingson ** 56:03
you have a publisher, are you publishing it yourself?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 56:07
I have a self publishing I am a do it yourself kind of girl. I’m actually trying to figure out how to do the audio part of the book myself. But we’re still in the research phases of that, but it’ll happen.
Michael Hingson ** 56:18
Well, an audible has a way to do that, where you can actually, if you choose to and can do it. Well, you can read your own book, but you can certainly go to audible and learn about how to do an audio version of your book. So there’s a lot of value in doing that. And of course, having an audio copy of it makes it accessible for other people. And the other thing that you could consider Have you ever heard of bookshare.org? I have not Bookshare as there used to be a company called Napster. Are you familiar with Napster? So Napster was the thing where you could go off and share records and all that, and it got to the issue and the point where the problem was people were violating copyrights and so on. Well, Bookshare in a sense, is is the Napster of books for people who have a need to have alternative ways of getting books that are normally in print, the difference is that an organization like Bookshare is covered under the copyright laws. So doing it is legal. And you can take any book provide an electronic version of it, and they will put it out in their system. And it is something that’s available, they can also even do on demand, converting it to Braille. So something to look at. But I would also suggest so that you can make some money, looking at if you want to read it or get someone else to read it. Look at doing that on Audible, because you may find that that’s another revenue source.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 57:45
Absolutely. That’s one of my main things I wanted to build on Audible, because that is how I read books. My eyes do not like trying to read paper books. And there are some there are many times I would say actually 50% of the time, if not more, where I cannot read the print and a book. So it’s the only way that I can really enjoy book is through an audible audio version. And so I wanted to make sure that others can read listen to my book as well. I would hate to have a book out that I can’t read that would be awful.
Michael Hingson ** 58:15
Have you have you learned any Braille? Or have you tried to do I have
Cori Fonville Foster ** 58:20
not? And it is not even on my to do list? Because yes, that is just it’s an undertaking, maybe in the next five to 10 years, but right now I’m just like, I cannot put another thing on my plate. Just kind of be honest. I don’t even read regular we’ll just like I I get tired fast. So yeah, I’m like, it’s definitely something that I know I will have to do eventually. Not yet.
Michael Hingson ** 58:47
Have you become a patron of using the Library of Congress National Library Service and getting books that way? Okay. Yeah, gotten that. That’s, and by the way, although that isn’t a revenue source, once your print book is out, that is something that you could submit, and they may or may not make that book available through National Library Service, but Audible is a better revenue source anyway.
Cori Fonville Foster ** 59:13
Yeah. And I didn’t even know that that existed until I connected with the organization was like, oh, you know, are you able to read books? And I was like, No, I haven’t read a book in a year. Like, I’m just sitting around, not doing anything. And they’re like, hey, this, this is available, they’ll send it to you for free. I was like, Really, I even had a newspaper. It was like a, like a radio station or newspaper that they gave us free echo dots. And so they would read the paper and everything in it that like opened up my world to because yeah, I just didn’t have a lot of access. And I shouldn’t know when all this was happening in the beginning. I definitely was in a different financial place. You guys can read through the line. So there was no money to go out and buy all the fancy things. I literally was at you know, like if it wasn’t free, I probably wouldn’t get it and so now I’ve learned about so many cool organizations that offer things, whether they’re affordable or free, to allow people to have access to the world. It’s amazing.
Michael Hingson ** 1:00:10
Check out bookshare.org. And it’s just like it’s FBO. Okay, sh ar e, one word.org. That would be very useful it, there’s a, a subscription price per year, I think it’s like $50. Or maybe it’s gone up, they it’s one of the ways that they get some of their money, but they get a lot of it from grants, but it’s well worth it. Because anyone can submit any book and a lot of people have scanned books that are not available in any other form. And then they submit them to Bookshare to get them published. And Bookshare also goes to publishers and gets electronic copies of books so that they can put them out. So you may find that a very relevant and useful source in a lot of ways. So definitely something to look at. What are some upcoming projects? What kinds of things do you have in the future for IROQ MBs?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 1:01:02
That’s a great question, too. So like I said, we have the book that’s coming out summer 2023. We also have what are called IROC master classes that actually occur once or twice a month. So whenever you hear this, definitely check out IROC, marketable business solutions.com. And we will be updating the website to show what events we have, because we always have new ones coming, whether they’re the master classes, we also have some challenges coming up to help you grow your business. And then we also have our Iraq Summit, so that we have once a year, and this year, it will be in September. So definitely keep your eye out for that. But no matter when you hear this or see this, if you’re looking to grow your business, with confidence, definitely check us out. So we have a free, private community. There’s always stuff going on in there, where we’re supporting one another giving each other tips, strategies, networking, collaborating, and it’s absolutely amazing. And you can access that as well through IROC micro business solutions.com.
Michael Hingson ** 1:02:04
Well, definitely. That is great to know. And also when your book comes out, or when you have it, please send us a copy of the book, cover a photo or whatever, that we can put up and alert me to when it’s out. If you think it’s will it be earlier in the summer or later in the summer,
Cori Fonville Foster ** 1:02:25
we’re hoping that it’ll be earlier in the summer. So we’re hoping around you so well.
Michael Hingson ** 1:02:30
Well, if that is the case, then it’ll be published, probably before this actually gets to go up. So all the information you can give us to promote the book, please do that we’d love to. So again, tell us how people can reach out to you and learn about you and what your website is and so on and spell things if you would,
Cori Fonville Foster ** 1:02:51
definitely so you can get you can connect with us to our website that’s IROC. markable business solutions.com IROC is spelled I R O C, and that’s marketable business solutions.com. You also can check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tik Tok either by my name Cori Fonville Foster and that C O R I Fonville is F O N V as in Victor I L L E. Foster is F O S. T E. R.  you can check us out on all those platforms by searching my name or IROC, marketable business solutions.com.
Michael Hingson ** 1:03:28
And I haven’t even asked, although you’ve referred a couple of times to it, you’re a mom and married and all that How old are the kids?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 1:03:35
So I have an 11 year old son who’s absolutely amazing. And then we have two of my cousins who are adopted into my family. So they’re like my kids, too. And they’re amazing as well. They’re twins. And they are fifth teen. Oh, my goodness. They’ve seen so you have 250 year olds in 111 year old 15 year old girls. Yes. Yeah, exactly. What is
Michael Hingson ** 1:04:00
your husband? What is your husband do?
Cori Fonville Foster ** 1:04:03
Um, he’s a marine flora. So he makes the flooring on, like all of your ships that our military serve on. So he’s he has a pretty interesting job. He gets to travel and put down cool floors and you know, help our military folks out. He’s ex military as well. He knows
Michael Hingson ** 1:04:19
how to swap the deck. Yes. Well, Cori I want to thank you very much for being with us today. This has been fun. And I hope we’ve been able to educate people a little bit. And I mentioned like Bookshare and so on, I’m going to make sure that I include in the notes, some information about some of that for listeners who may want to know they’re mainly us programs, but there are also programs in other countries. And one of the neat things that the National Federation of the Blind was a part of several years ago, was working with other countries to make sure that copyright laws regarding being able to provide books that are in alternative formats to blind people around the world are available. And so in fact, that really has happened. So sometimes working through like a local library here, a library for the blind, and, and, or anyone who has a print challenge through the Library of Congress, they can actually even explore finding books from other places, it’s really kind of cool. So I will put some notes up about some of that as well, just so it’s there. But you definitely when you get the book cover, please send that to us. And we will make sure that it’s included in up in the notes for the podcast, and for and for those of you listening, thanks for doing it. Thanks for being here. I hope that you found this interesting. I’d love to hear your comments. I’m sure Cori would as well. You can always reach out to Cori but you can reach out to me as well. Please give us an email at Michaelhi M I C H A E L H I at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com Or go to Michael hingson.com/podcast. And wherever you’re listening, please give us a five star rating. We really love those ratings is also what helps more people find out about us, and it shows your support of us. And for all of you Cori included. If you know of other people who might make good guests on unstoppable mindset. Please refer people to us, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you. So Cori one last time. Thanks very much for being here and for being a guest on unstoppable mindset. I hope that the book goes well and that you do well.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:06:43
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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