Episode 209 – Unstoppable High Performer and Wise Coach with Danielle Cobo

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Our guest this time is Danielle Cobo. Danielle began her first entrepreneurial endeavor at the age of seven years of age and never really looked back. Born and raised in Orange County California, Danielle attended college obtaining a BA degree in communication with a minor in psychology.

After college she began a career in sales where she proved highly successful. Along the way she managed a low performing team she turned into a highly successful one which earned her the title of “Regional Manager of the Year”. She also has won four Sales Excellence awards. Danielle knows how to work and excel even in highly stressful situations.

In 2020 Danielle made the decision to leave her corporate career as she felt it was best for her life as well as the lives of her husband and twin boys. She will tell us about that and discuss her values of how she feels she, and probably in fact many of us, aught to better make use of our time. As you will hear, she has strong family and personal values.

At the beginning of 2021 Danielle began to write posts on LinkedIn that soon lead her into a teaching and counselling career she promotes today. She is a coach and a highly knowledgeable leadership and team expert. Danielle is also the author of a book as well as a podcast, Unstoppable Grit. Be sure to check out her podcast and I hope you will purchase her book. It was just released and, even before its release, it has become an Amazon bestseller.

The business acumen Danielle projects is well worth your time to explore in this episode. I hope you like what Danielle has to say.

About the Guest:

Danielle Cobo a former Fortune 500 Senior Sales Manager, is renowned for empowering individuals with the grit, resilience, and courage to thrive professionally and personally.

With over 15 years of corporate experience, she knows how to build high-performing teams that increase sales, productivity, and employee retention. She propelled her team to the number one national ranking, even amid the upheaval of downsizing, restructuring, and acquisitions. Her commendable leadership earned her Region Manager of the Year. Her resiliency motivated her to earn four consecutive national Sales Excellence Awards.

Danielle is the best-selling author of Unstoppable Grit and hosts the globally top-rated podcast, Unstoppable Grit Podcast with Danielle Cobo.

When her husband, a Blackhawk pilot in the Army, was deployed in Iraq for a year, Danielle learned to balance a demanding job while keeping up with her dynamic duo of thrill seeking 1.5-year-old twin boys.

From a 7-year-old entrepreneur to a two-time 3-day 60-mile walker—she defines relentless ambition.

Danielle has a bachelor’s in communication with a minor in psychology from the California State University of Fullerton, Certification in Inclusive and Ethical Leadership from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business, and accreditation in DiSC Human Behavior from Personality Insights. Inc., and Leadership from Boston Breakthrough Academy.

Ways to connect with Danielle:

Unstoppable Grit Book: https://amzn.to/3tqhr4t

Connect with Danielle Cobo https://linktr.ee/DanielleCobo

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniellecobo/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedaniellecobo/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDanielleCobo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanielleCobo

Website: www.DanielleCobo.com

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@daniellecobo

Unstoppable Grit YouTube: https://youtube.com/@UnstoppableGritPodcast?si=EeZHgq4cyZ3PbT9Q

Unstoppable Grit Podcast with Danielle Cobo on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0ROM7ru95TF06XzKhTcO5V?si=M1eyb3ZvS8C_sjlz2EGbGg

Unstoppable Grit Podcast with Danielle Cobo on Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unstoppable-grit-podcast-with-danielle-cobo/id1571797640

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.


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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
Well, Hi, and welcome to unstoppable mindset from wherever you may be. I am your host, Mike Hingson. Our guest today is Danielle Cobo, who has been a very top ranked sales professional has won a number of awards. Now she helps people transform lives in a lot of different ways. And I think we’re going to learn all about that. I don’t want to give it away. So Danielle, welcome to unstoppable mindset. We’re really glad you’re here.
Danielle Cobo ** 01:48
Well, thank you for having me on the podcast. I’m excited to be here. You
Michael Hingson ** 01:52
have your own podcast.
Danielle Cobo ** 01:53
I do very similar to unstoppable grit podcast with Danielle KOBO.
Michael Hingson ** 01:58
Well, we’re not sure I have to come on that someday.
Michael Hingson ** 02:02
Well, that would be fun. Well, now that I’ve done my invitation to be on your podcast anyway, so let’s go ahead and and move on. Why don’t we start if you would, by you telling us a little bit about the early Danielle growing up and all that sort of thing? Oh,
Danielle Cobo ** 02:16
well, I grew up. I currently live in Tampa, Florida. But I grew up near you in Orange County, California. So I grew up in the beautiful area of Dana Point right near the beach, which is absolutely beautiful. But my childhood was quite unique in the sense of I was, like many people that was raised by a single mother. However, my upbringing kind of really shaped me into who I am today. So when I was two years old, my mom actually kidnapped me from my father. And I didn’t know I didn’t eventually really meet my father again until I was 15 years old. So in a lot of ways, my upbringing has helped me develop grit, because I saw this role model of my mom, who was a single mom going back to school who climbed the corporate ladder, working in a fortune 500 pharmaceutical company and being a manager in the early 1990s. And I saw her determination and motivation and her grit and tenacity. And she became such a role model to me to show me what is possible. But in a lot of ways, I also eventually found out that she took me from my father, and it didn’t create a lot of resentment. So in anger inside as well. So I would say my upbringing, there was a lot of good aspects, there was a lot of negative aspects of it. But ultimately, it did shape me into who I am today. And it’s a part of my story and a part of my life and who I am.
Michael Hingson ** 03:53
Well, I don’t know whether it’s relevant, but how come she could death you? That
Danielle Cobo ** 03:57
is the question of the hour, I would love to know that reason. Fortunately, unfortunately, for the, my mom passed away March 8 of 2020, and we had a 13 year estranged relationship, and I ended up losing my mom to suicide. So it’s always going to be a question that I will always wonder and eventually, I hope that I get to have that conversation with her one day in heaven. But until then, I am just going to kind of assume that it may have been related to her own mental health and maybe some disagreements with my father. Gratefully, I do have a really good relationship with my dad now and he’s remarried and have a stepmom and they’re amazing support system for me. So
Michael Hingson ** 04:46
enjoy that relationship. He and He offers no insights into all of that.
Danielle Cobo ** 04:51
You know, I believe that the pain of him, the pain of me being taken from him is so deep rooted inside that I believe it’s hard for him even to have the conversation. I think there’s a lot of guilt associated with it as much as I’ve tried to reassure him that it’s just a part of who I am. But he’s not very open about it. Most of the information I’ve kind of heard is through other family members. The only thing that I do know is that one day he showed up at my house, and I was gone, the whole house was empty. And my mom had moved us to another area about an hour and a half away. My earliest childhood memories, though, my my one childhood memory that I have was when I was two years old, and my dad came to pick me up. And I just remember wanting to go to this baseball game with him. And I remember trying to reach for him, but my mom was holding me back. And so I was crying. And I was, I had my arms wrapped around the trunk of her leg. And I was falling this two year old little girl. And she wouldn’t let me see him. I never understood the reason why. And so I’m sure that that played a part in whatever was taking place at that time, but I don’t know the answer to it.
Michael Hingson ** 06:15
Yeah, people do things, and not a lot you can do about it at this point now, except move forward. And at least you have a good relationship with your dad and his she said, Someday you’ll get to talk to your mom about it. And hopefully that will be a better relationship now. But you know, it got so you, you went to school and all that and you went to college? And what did you get a degree in?
Danielle Cobo ** 06:42
I got a degree in marketing and average communications, a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in psychology. So I actually changed my major, probably five different times in college because I was very ambitious and wanted to study a bunch of different subjects, but eventually ended up with a communications degree. Why
Michael Hingson ** 07:05
works, that’s okay. And why communication. So I
Danielle Cobo ** 07:10
always knew that I wanted to be in sales, like I had mentioned, my mom was such a role model for me. And I saw her rise through this corporate ladder and the success that she had, and I had such a passion for sales. My first business that I started with when I was seven years old, and I would go with my mom and my stepdad and go cut down mistletoe down from the trees, near Saddleback Church in California, we’d cut the mistletoe down, and I would stand outside the grocery store. And I would sell bundles, and mistletoe. And that’s how I would afford the finances to be able to provide gifts for my family members. So I always had that kind of entrepreneurial sales spirit deep inside me. And I loved medicine, and I loved psychology. And so I pursued medical sales.
Michael Hingson ** 07:58
Cool. So you, again, sort of followed in your mom’s footsteps by going into medical sales and pharmaceuticals and all that? Absolutely.
Danielle Cobo ** 08:07
Shoot her career was in pharmaceutical sales. Yeah. And my career was in medical equipment and medical device related. Very related. Yep. Same same industry, but different approaches to business. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 08:21
But at the same time sales is, is sales. And the trick is to learn and adapt and figure out how best to be successful at it and whatever you choose to do. Absolutely. So did you start out right after college going into sales, or did you do other things first?
Danielle Cobo ** 08:42
Yeah, so I actually started working full time when I was 16 years old. So I started in retail sales. Then I worked in the restaurant industry and hospitality industry. And then I had a fun stunt doing the working in the mortgage industry doing home loans before getting my foot in the door for outside sales, which I started in copier sales, which carpet copier sales is very difficult. Yes, a lot of cold calling a lot of door to door knocking was not my favorite. I only did it for six months before the doors opened up for me to transition into dental sales. And that’s where I spent five and a half years before transitioning into medical esthetics. Yeah, the
Michael Hingson ** 09:26
the copier industry is is a fascinating one. And I don’t know what it looks like today. But of course, back years ago was Xerox versus IBM, and then some other people got into it and so on, but that it was a fascinating world. And I guess he got into it. So several people got into it. But yeah, it was definitely an interesting and very commodity ish sort of sale, even though sometimes the machines were extremely expensive. It seems that way from looking at it from the outside, I worked with a company that’s was the developer of Omni font optical character recognition, technology. And then eventually Xerox bought the company. And what they wanted was the technology and not the people, which was unfortunate. I’ve never been a fan of companies that do that, because they lose so much tribal knowledge, if you will, but companies still do it. So, you, you deal with it, and you go on? Well, so, so that makes it kind of fun. Well, so you’ve been in a number of different kinds of sales, I’m assuming that medical equipment sales is what you liked the best.
Danielle Cobo ** 10:42
I really enjoyed my role, my most recent role, where I was a senior sales manager in the medical and aesthetic industry. So I did do majority of my career, the first half of my career was in capital equipment, sales and dental and medical esthetics. And then I transitioned into the medical esthetics, where I was leading a team for Fortune 500 company throughout the southeast. And I would say that that was probably my favorite role. And the reason being is because the sales approach was very different than other roles that you might find in medical sales. We were helping medical practices in the aesthetic industry, build their business. So we were looking at ways that they could, we would teach them how to market their practice, we would teach them how to recruit new patients, how to retain their patients, how to get one patients from doing one service to another service. And I really believe the principles and the foundations that I learned has helped me in owning my own business, because I used to teach businesses how to be successful. So I really believe that that helped me have the principles and the strategies and tactics when I decided to go out on my own.
Michael Hingson ** 11:54
Did you always think of yourself, even when you were selling as kind of a teacher,
Danielle Cobo ** 11:59
I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed mentoring. And being able to see something unique in somebody and seeing it flourish, pouring into them and seeing them flourish and grow, whether it was working with a business or whether it was working with an individual when I was a manager. So I always feel like mentoring and teaching has always been something that I’ve enjoyed. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 12:22
And I think personally, the best salespeople are really mentors and teachers, I mean, you can try to force people to buy stuff, but if they don’t want to buy it, you’re not going to get anywhere and the ultimate sales experience is one where you can teach and counsel and guide. And then if you do it right, and you have the product that they need, that’ll be pretty obvious all the way around.
Danielle Cobo ** 12:51
I agree with you sales is definitely not about selling a particular widget, it’s how can you best understand the challenges and the pain points of what the customer is having provide a solution and deliver value. And that’s whether you’re mentoring someone teaching somebody or you’re in sales and you’re working with a customer is how can you find a way to bring value to that particular person?
Michael Hingson ** 13:14
Yeah, and a lot of it does have to do with pain or lack of better getting rid of it, but it is all about value. And you need to find out what value a particular individual has or needs, in order to see how you can make what you have fit into that if it’s possible. So it makes perfect sense. So you, you did that for a while, and you kind of progress through if you will the the success ladder, you eventually ended up being a very successful sales manager. Yes.
Danielle Cobo ** 13:49
So I was very fortunate when I was in dental sales, the first five years of my career, I earned four consecutive awards for president’s clubs. So what that means is when you’re a top performer, you get awarded President’s Club, which means you get a paid vacation on the company, which I always thoroughly enjoyed. It’s what helped me travel some of the world some of my favorite places I’ve gone to is through the President’s Club. And that was when I was an individual contributor. Eventually, when I went into leadership, I was very blessed to have taken a team who was historically one of the poorest performing teams, we were going through a hostile takeover. And I believed through my approach of heart centered leadership and really understanding the values of what my team want was like, what their values were and how it aligned with the company in the organization’s value and building a team. We were able to take it to the number one region in our organization. So we were I was awarded region Manager of the Year which I believe is not just much about me being the manager of the year but it was more about our team achieving that number one goal Yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 14:58
and usually is about the team, not an individual. And that’s what’s always so frustrating with companies that have a successful team. And they reward the manager, but it’s not the manager, it’s the team.
Danielle Cobo ** 15:13
I think it’s combination of the team and great leadership, because you can have a phenomenal team, but a poor manager, and you have a great manager and a phenomenal team. And that’s the sweet spot of where success lies.
Michael Hingson ** 15:26
Yeah, and the really high end, very successful team often comes about because a leader knows how to guide people, I’ve always told people when I was managing them, that the most important thing that I can do is to figure out with you individually, how I can add value to what you do and make you successful. And that’s what I should do as a manager, trying to make a team work well. Yeah, yeah. So it’s always about adding value. So So how long were you in sales professionally, working for companies and so on all along?
Danielle Cobo ** 16:03
So I was in medical sales for about 15 years. So I left in August of 2020.
Michael Hingson ** 16:10
Okay, now, why did you leave
Danielle Cobo ** 16:14
2020, like many of us experienced a year of a lot of transitions. And for me, I felt like transitions was happening professionally. And personally, for me, I started the year off January, early January, my husband was serving a deployment in Iraq. And while he was in Iraq, I remember this distinct moment of being on the phone with him. And over the phone, I hear Incoming, incoming, take cover, take cover, take accountability, take accountability. And for any of our listeners who have served in the military, you probably know that that means that your base is about to be attacked. And early January, while it’s at our national sales meeting, my husband’s base got attacked by 13 missiles. And by the grace of God, he was able to come home a few weeks later, and be able to come home and be in a position where he was safe. And we were grateful for that. And as we were trying to come together that I would say that it was difficult for him while it was difficult for us while he was deployed, because obviously put, he was in a whole nother country and I was I had my job. But I was also being the primary caretaker to our twin boys, which were two at the time. So it was a very demanding time period. But that transition home was very unique. I didn’t really anticipate how different we were when we came back. I was a different person from him being gone. And he was a different person after serving at war. And so we really had put some effort and intention into reconnecting as a family. And right as we started to find our rhythm. March eighth is when I lost my mom and I lost my mom to suicide. And I was devastated. And I could you as you can imagine, probably got brought up at an another array of questions that I have from my mom when that conversation does happen on day. But I didn’t get the time or space to really cope and heal with the loss of my mom, because just a week later, the pandemic hit Yeah. And I wasn’t able to go back to California and sort through her things and maybe get some answers to some of my questions. In fact, if anything, the time period that that happened just right after that was a lot of uncertainty with the pandemic and and everything had been shut down. And looking at what is this? Is this going to be our new normal. This is what a lot of us I believe were asking ourselves. And just a couple months after the pandemic and shut the world down. The company that I had been with for seven years, had gone through an acquisition, and it was acquired by another company. And it became a very toxic work culture for where I was at. And so a company that I loved and it thoroughly enjoyed the people that I had worked with, had become so toxic that I in the series of events that had just taken place in my life professionally. And personally. I realized that I wasn’t happy, and that I needed to leave. And I didn’t know what the next step in my life was going to be. But I knew it was time to say goodbye. And that’s why I ended up leaving the company that I was with.
Michael Hingson ** 19:34
And so what did you do? Did you take any time off to figure it out? Or what did you What did you end up doing once you left? Because that’s a big step. Needless to say, of course to really decide to leave a company. I
Danielle Cobo ** 19:48
didn’t have that next job lined up. So for the first time in over two decades, I was unemployed. And at first I was saying I’m going to get a job right away but Then I realized that it was going to be really difficult for me to show up as the best version of myself in my interviews if I wasn’t happy, and I was still having anxiety and anxiousness over some of the events that had just taken place, I needed to not only heal from losing my mom, I needed to heal from that toxic work environment. So I decided to give myself to some time off. So I left in August of 2020. And I gave myself until January 1, to really dedicate some time off and I found myself getting into a healing, a healing technique that I get into, in my book, unstoppable grit is talking about getting into the creative flow. And I love the holidays, obviously, I started my entrepreneurial journey when I was when I was selling mistletoe. So during my time off, I spent a lot of my time, you know, spending time with my husband and my kids. But I hand painted all of the Christmas decorations that are outside of my house, that I still use today. And just that process of having something that I’m passionate about without being tied to a particular outcome helped me process my emotions helped me heal from the inside out, and helped me gain clarity on what this next step of my life was going to look like and whether I was going to go back to corporate or not. So I did end up taking some time off. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 21:32
not makes, you know, that makes a lot of sense. It’s important to decompress. And it’s important to really assess where you are and think about where you want to go. What was your husband doing? What When did he come back from the war.
Danielle Cobo ** 21:45
So he came back in late January, and he was able to take a few months off. So he’s now a reservist. So he works the one weekend, a month, two weeks a year, but he’s also a Blackhawk pilot. So he does still work quite a bit during the week for as to maintain his aviation hours as flight hours. But right when I right before I left the company, he had been extended a job offer to work as a project manager for an asphalt paving company. So he started to work. So we were very fortunate that we had one income that we were on. With that said, though, I in our relationship, I was the primary breadwinner. So there was a sense of I had tied so much of my identity to my career, and my job title and my paycheck and 401 K and stock options that when all of that was gone. I felt lost and confused. And I believe that that’s another reason why I really needed to take some time to identify what success means to me and define my own version of success versus tying it to the outside of what society thinks that success should be.
Michael Hingson ** 22:56
So did your husband still work in asphalt? He
Danielle Cobo ** 23:00
does work in the asphalt industry. However, he does work for a new company. He’s a VP of Operations for a milling company. And
Michael Hingson ** 23:06
he also does his black hawk. Yeah, probably not going to use a black hawk to carry asphalt somewhere, though I bet.
Danielle Cobo ** 23:15
Michael Hingson ** 23:18
Well, so let’s talk about this idea of success. Because we always hear people talking about what makes them successful, or they want to be successful. And it’s such a nebulous term. And people have so many different views of buy, make a bunch of money that makes me successful. And I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t mind making money, I would like to make more money. But by the same token, I think there’s a lot more to success. So what did you end up deciding that success really meant to you?
Danielle Cobo ** 23:52
To me, I so one of the exercises that I did, and I take people in my book, unstoppable grit, I take people through a series of exercises to help them to define to get clear on what their life’s goals are, what their professional and life goals are, as well as getting defining what success means for them. So when I thought about how I may not know myself at this point, when I was going through all of those changes, I didn’t know who I was, I remember I tied my identity to my career. So one of the activities I did is I went on Facebook, and I went on LinkedIn. And I said if there was three words to describe me, what would it be? And I was flooded with comments of driven, determined motivated, tenacious, gritty, empowering and Stier inspiring. And I said, so interesting because sometimes we don’t see the strengths and us that other people see and us and I sort of that’s how people are perceiving me. And this is such a strength of mine. How can I lean into this? Yeah, what are some ways that I could utilize this strength that I have where people feel like I’m inspiring and empowering them? And then I looked at, okay, I took all of these words. And the next step that I did was I wrote my own obituary. And I wrote my own obituary from the perspective of a colleague, and the perspective of my kids and my family. And I started to think of thinking about the words of way people were describing me, at the end of the day, when I when it comes time for me to pass, what do I want people to say, at my celebration of life? What? And it’s about what type of impact do I want to make? And that in itself is how I started to really define what success means to me. It’s not so much about the title, but I think about the impact of how do I get to make positive change in this world? How are people going to feel when I’m in the room? And when I’m out of the room? What impact is it going to make on their emotional and physical well being. So that’s kind of what inspired me to pursue. And then the next step was, when I was working on rebuilding my brand, and I went on LinkedIn, and I started to work on rebuilding my brand, I started to share, okay, I’m going to start sharing inspirational quotes. This is something that people feel like I’m inspiring, well, then I’m going to just share my messages on LinkedIn. And eventually, I started to post quite frequently, and people started to reach out to me, and they started to say, You know what, I really enjoy your posts. I was feeling down today. And your post just lifted me up, or, Hey, I noticed that you have experienced as a hiring manager, will you please provide some perspective on how I can show up in the interview because I started to talk about leadership as well. Eventually, it rolled into people asking me to mentor them. And so I started to mentor people. And the continuous feedback that I started to hear from people was, you really should focus on career development. And instead of looking for a job, I believe that you should start speaking, and you should start career consulting. And that’s what transpired into what I’m doing today. I had no intentions of starting a job. I mean, starting a business. In fact, I thought that I was going to be going on LinkedIn so that I could be looking for a job. But I ended up transpiring into two and a half years later, I now do speaking full time, I have a podcast, unstoppable grit podcast, and I have a best selling book, unstoppable grit, and I more fulfilled than I ever have been before, because I get to see the transformation in people’s lives. And that is fulfilling.
Michael Hingson ** 27:49
What is your business called?
Danielle Cobo ** 27:52
My business is ironically, its first and lasting impressions. It’s when I first started the business when I was doing a lot of career coaching, but I never use it. It’s just what it says. Most of my focus in is my tagline is ignite transformation lead with grit and resilience. Wow.
Michael Hingson ** 28:08
That’s a pretty good mouthful. Well, so you have been doing it and I gather pretty successful. Are you getting a lot of clients? Are they from all over? I assume you mostly from a business standpoint, do virtual work?
Danielle Cobo ** 28:24
From a business standpoint, I actually do a lot of in person speaking. So either company speaking Yeah. Yeah, speaking, I’ll come in and I’ll, I’ll facilitate and lead leadership programs. So I’ve got a peak performance leadership program that I’ll lead, or they’ll have me come in and do speaking. And then from the coaching and consulting aspect, most of that is virtual.
Michael Hingson ** 28:44
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking all over the world. Cool. And you work with people all over the world.
Danielle Cobo ** 28:50
Yeah, right. That’s one of the benefits of technology these days is just like you and I are having a conversation on two different coasts of the US zoom and some of the other technologies that are available out there have really been able to expand our reach of the people that we get to serve.
Michael Hingson ** 29:06
We you have had to balance a lot of things, you know, you lost your mother, your husband came back you you left your job and so on. And you are also being the caregiver for for two twin boys. How did you balance all of that? It
Danielle Cobo ** 29:24
was not easy. So I I believe that that is you know, what we see on Instagram and social media, people have this perception of this is my life and it’s I’m smiling in every picture. I’m very transparent and saying that year that he was deployed was very difficult. There were many times that I was exhausted and I felt overwhelmed. But I knew going into that year that I needed to be very intentional about what was important to me. So I knew that the year that he was deployed, there was a couple focuses that I wanted to enjoy sure if I was able to uphold when it came to prioritizing my family, and I knew that even though I needed to travel every single week, I knew that I either wanted to be there to put my kids to bed, or I wanted to be there when they woke up. And sometimes that meant red eye flights. And sometimes that meant getting really creative with my travel schedule. But if there were times where I was going to be doing an overnight, I always at least wanted to be there. For one of those. I was also very intentional. There’ll be times where I knew that I had a manager’s meeting, I would be gone for one week. So I’d fly my parents out so that they get to spend quality time with their grandkids. And if I was going to be gone for an extended period of time for work, I knew that I intentionally wanted to ensure that the next couple of days that I got home, was one on one quality time with my kids. So I think if anything, when it comes to creating balance in our lives, and I’m not saying balance is an equal share of time of work, and family, because we do spend more time at work than we do with our own family. When I say balances, how is your soul balanced? Where are you balanced in, in, in your energy, and it all comes down to being intentional about how we’re spending our time and who we’re spending our time with?
Michael Hingson ** 31:19
You know, you’ve, you’ve said a whole lot of interesting things to talk about here. In our world today, we have so many people who are so tied up and work and so on, they say well, I really don’t have a lot of time to be home with my kids, my wife when she was still alive, talked about being a teacher, and was a teacher for 10 years. And, and a lot of times, she felt that kids were really not paying attention to her. And what she realized eventually is as she described them, they were latchkey kids, they really took care of themselves. The parents were off, she taught it at Irvine High School. And so the kids really took care of themselves, they took care of each other at home, they even did a lot of the cooking and so on. How do you help people to understand that there’s really a need to do a little bit more of a balance to spend more time with your kids.
Danielle Cobo ** 32:19
I live by the philosophy, take care of yourself, take care of your family, and then take care of your customers. So in order for us to show up as the best versions of ourselves, whether it be a spouse, a friend, a colleague or parent, we’ve got to take care of ourselves first. Yeah. And that means mental, emotional, and physical well being. And then it’s taking care of our families. I actually just got off a conversation with somebody recently. And they were asking me to be on a board of directors for a particular organization. And I am very intentional that between the hours of five and 730 are my hours with my kids. That is where my phone is often in another room. I am cooking dinner with my kids, my kids do everything with me. So they don’t just sit on the couch and play with their tablets. No, they’re with me. And they’re cooking, and they’re learning and that is our quality time together. And, you know, there’s going to be times where I may be saying No, and it’s not a no, it’s uh, not right now, not right now for this phase of life that I’m in. And that’s okay. Because eventually there’s going to be a phase in life, where my kids are going to want to spend more time with their friends than it is with me. But for right now, I am going to enjoy every moment while they still want to be little latchkey kids to me, and spend that quality time with them and be intentional about it. So I think that’s important for us to remember that these you know, as a parent you often hear the days are long, but the years are short. And they do go by quickly. And you know if I do balance a lot running a business and travel and kids and family, but I always look at ensuring that when I’m looking at my calendar ahead, where’s my family time first, and then I work everything around that.
Michael Hingson ** 34:11
I had an interesting discussion just this morning with someone about scheduling time and dealing with time and she said that she spends Well, she does a lot of over committing and she’s got to learn and she’s working on learning how not to be quite so overzealous and accepting so many things. And I talked about my experience a little bit, especially in the last four years. I’ve been using my Outlook calendar as a way to really define what I do. So I have meetings, as you know, where we talk about doing a podcast and they’re a half hour and I have the actual podcast interviews which are roughly an hour and all of that gets scheduled on the calendar. And I’ve also blocked off certain times that we don’t schedule, or can’t schedule, or at least Calendly can schedule and I can schedule something in or I use that time to do things like catch up or eat breakfast or visit or whatever. But if I need to, I can schedule a particular appointment. The other part about the Calendly is that when somebody schedules an interview, and this is I think what gelled with and resonated with her this morning, when I schedule an interview, let’s say not an interview, but an additional an initial introductory meeting, let’s say it’s it noon, my time at 1230, roughly speaking, because it could go a little longer, but roughly 1230, the meeting is over. But nothing can be scheduled on the calendar for the next half hour, which also means that that gives me time to reflect catch up, or whatever. And I really think that doing something to make sure that I scheduled time appropriately. And I learn to manage time is such an important thing to do. And I think so many of us don’t do that.
Danielle Cobo ** 36:15
I agree the I love the fact that you are looking at your calendar and managing your time so well by our calendar, because we can put parameters in our calendar that are going to help us create a better be intentional about spending time for ourselves as well as our family. I remember when my kids were in VPK, so they were four years old, and they’re going to VPK, they would get home at 1215. So I always blocked out time around 1215, it was always blocked out a half hour, so that I would always be the one my nanny would go pick up my kids. But I would always be the one to open the door and open, like with wide arms ready to hug them so that they walked in the door and that I was the first person that they saw. That only takes 15 minutes. But I imagine that that’s probably so impactful that they feel like I’m always there for them. Yeah. And then only was just a few minutes throughout the day, just that I blocked off and having those parameters to do that. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference. It’s not always about the the quantity of time sometimes because they are kids like her own independence, but it’s about the quality of time that we’re there for our family.
Michael Hingson ** 37:25
Well, in the other part about his Yeah, kids like their own independence, and so on. But at the same time, if you’re all communicating, and you learn to understand each other, then not only can you have meaningful conversations, if something needs to change, or a kid wants to change something, and it may not be the right time, but you can talk about it. Because you’ve learned to really know each other, which is so important. I want to get back to this success thing a little bit. I assume that when you were in the corporate world success was defined in one way, and you would probably define it differently today. How do you define it now as opposed to how you defined it then? And? And how do you how do you deal with that in the corporate world, when success probably isn’t necessarily just what the corporate world thinks it is. But it’s what it wants you to think it is?
Danielle Cobo ** 38:18
That’s a great question. I believe that success is when our core values are aligned with what we do. And so when you talked about money, for example, and you say there’s a lot of people will view success as making a lot of money. Well, to me, I’m driven to make money. But what’s the why behind it? The more money I make, the more money I get to give and donate and make a positive impact in this world. So to me, my somewhat my somewhat of my success is making money so that I can make a positive impact. And that’s part of my core values is impact. So when you think about what does success mean to you? It’s how does your core values align with what you do? And do you feel when it is aligned? Do you feel fulfilled? Because that to me is what when you’ve have found success? Well,
Michael Hingson ** 39:12
I am curious, also, if we could you wrote your own obituary, what did you say?
Danielle Cobo ** 39:24
Oh, I said, from my kids perspective, from a from my kids perspective, is that I was always there for them, that they felt safe to be themselves and that they can come to me for anything, and then I would support them and believe in them. I think that it’s so important as a parent and even as an employer that we create a psychologically safe environment for people to show up authentically as themselves and to be vulnerable and to share their challenges and to have open In discussions and whether it’s with your kids, whether it’s with your employees, but my hope is that when I show up in this world, people feel like they are seen that they’re heard that they’re supported, that they’re acknowledged, and that they believe in themselves. And that’s part of the impact and legacy that I want to leave.
Michael Hingson ** 40:24
When you started your business, I mean, clearly, it kind of snuck up on you a little bit, needless to say, but it it was, in a sense, as you discovered your passion, but how did you make sure that what you chose to do, because of your passion really became and would remain a sustainable business? How do you or do you even separate the two? I
Danielle Cobo ** 40:50
always, when I kind of look at where is my business going? And where am I spending time, I look at kind of where what brings me joy. So I thoroughly enjoy coaching. So I still keep that a part of my business, because I enjoy the intimacy of seeing the transformation, and working with somebody for a six month, year, year timeframe and seeing the transformation over time. But I also like to see the reach that I get to make when I’m doing a speaking engagement. And so when I’m thinking about different programs, where I’m thinking about different aspects of my business that I want to focus my time in, I always kind of gut check it with myself and say, Well, how is this aligning with my core values?
Michael Hingson ** 41:38
When you started your business, what kind of challenges did you have to overcome? Or what were some of the challenges? And how did you overcome them?
Danielle Cobo ** 41:47
I believe that one of the biggest challenges that I had, was this self doubt this inner critic, can you be successful? A lot of times it right, right. In the beginning, people started to ask me for career coaching. And I said, Well, who am I to be a career coach? Yeah. And now I laugh about it. Because I said, Where did that even come from? Because I was a hiring manager for seven years, I look at some of the career coaches that are out there. And they don’t have the first hand experience of interviewing people of building high performing teams, they don’t have that experience you. And so when I think that anytime that you are experiencing self doubt, look back at some of the challenges that you’ve experienced, what were the steps that you took to overcome them? How has it shaped me shaped you into the person that you have that you are today? What experience have you gained? And are you continuing to uplevel your competencies and skill sets because even though I do have experience as a hiring manager and building high performing teams, I’m constantly reinvesting in myself, so that I can continue to stay on the competitive and cutting edge of where business is today to ensure that I’m aligning value and where we are today, because the world is always changing. How
Michael Hingson ** 43:09
do you keep up with all that? What do you do to keep up with business and new trends? I
Danielle Cobo ** 43:15
focus a lot of time I dedicate time to listening to podcasts, to reading books to reading articles. I spend time on LinkedIn kind of seeing what the market trends are what people are saying, I have a level of awareness of being able to see trends on different platforms, and kind of hearing some of the pain points that are out in the industry. But I think that it’s important that to stay to stay relevant. You’ve got to dedicate a part of your time in your business and in doing research.
Michael Hingson ** 43:49
Otherwise, you’re not able to connect with people because they’ve evolved right or wrong. And if you don’t keep up you haven’t. When did you write unstoppable grit.
Danielle Cobo ** 44:03
I started writing the book in May of 2022. No 2022. So it took me about a little over a year to write the book. But then of course, it took some time to go through several rounds of copy editing and content editing and oh yeah, cover design.
Michael Hingson ** 44:21
There is all of that. But but it is out there. What kind of lessons did you learn about perseverance from writing the book that you might want to pass on? There
Danielle Cobo ** 44:31
were many times that I wanted to give up because it was exhausting trying to run a business while being a present mom and spouse and writing a book and I was dedicating 20 hours a week to writing the book in addition to everything that I was doing so I was getting up before my family was getting up and writing and then you know after they’d go to bed I would write and throughout the day would write and I believe that any when it comes to perseverance It is really envisioning what you want the end game to look like, and ensuring that you are consistently checking in with yourself and saying, envisioning, how’s it going to feel when you achieve your goal? Because that’s going to keep the motivation to keep going. So when I think about what is it going to feel like to hold the book in my hands? How was I going to feel when I start to receive those messages of people who have read the book and say, Hey, Chapter Three really resonated with me, I love the exercises that you walk me through. So I started to envision what people were going to respond with. And that’s what helped keep the perseverance and motivation going when I would hit those roadblocks when I would want to give up
Michael Hingson ** 45:43
what made you decide initially to write the book? What got you started down that road? Yeah, I
Danielle Cobo ** 45:49
initially, I felt like, I wanted to have a voice. And when I towards the tail end of me working with the organization, and it was a toxic work environment, I didn’t feel like I had a voice, I felt like I was very much so kind of pushed down. And I had done so much work, to help me move past some of those challenges that I had throughout my life. And I was like, if I have experienced some of these challenges, and I’ve found tools that have helped me, I wonder if there’s other people out there that it will help them. And that’s really what inspired the book. And when I always kind of there was times where I would always gut check myself and say if I can, if I can, if the book can change one person’s life, at the end of the day, that will be worth it. And if anything, it was a very healing process to go through. There’s a lot that you discover about yourself and the why you do the things that you do when you write a book. Yeah. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 46:52
a lot to be said for that, then writing a book isn’t easy. I can say that with experience, but at the same time, it is fun. And especially then once it comes out has sales been good? Has the book been pretty successful? Yeah, the book
Danielle Cobo ** 47:09
hit best seller within its first week. So it hit best seller for job hunting, best seller for women in business, and then top new release for motivational self help. That’s on Amazon. That’s on Amazon. So and it doesn’t actually fit ship until February 21. So we’re still in pre launch. Wow,
Michael Hingson ** 47:30
that’s pretty exciting. So did the publisher do it? Or did you self publish?
Danielle Cobo ** 47:36
We self published. Okay. Hybrid publishing.
Michael Hingson ** 47:38
Hybrid publishing? Well, that’s fair. That’s cool. Well, going back to what you did, you left the corporate world, you started your own business that has to have occurred, in part because you’ve had to probably you had to change some of your your mindsets. What’s kind of a big mindset that you shifted, when you went from corporate to being your own entrepreneur,
Danielle Cobo ** 48:04
I believe the biggest mindset shift that took place was refocusing. And seeing seeing the impact do you get to make on like, focusing on the team level, but then how can you create transformation in a shorter period of time, because when you’re working with a team, you get to work so closely with them. And however, but when you’re doing like a keynote speech, you may get them for you may get to work with them for an hour, so you may get to, and then also, you can continue on with doing workshops. So it’s these kind of micro moments within people’s lives, and how can you make the biggest impact in those short periods of time? Now, that was a shift for me. Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 48:52
Because you were working with teams, and you could either delegate or you all work together, but it became more of just you, as opposed to having the same kind of team. But on the other hand, one of the things that I found and being a public speaker is that learning about the audience as much ahead of time, and doing the things that I did, I also discovered that, in reality, when I’m giving a speech, I’m talking with the audience, they’re really part of the team.
Danielle Cobo ** 49:26
Great perspective, they really are,
Michael Hingson ** 49:29
they really are part of the team and, and I value that, that they really need to be so I never believe that I talked to an audience, I need to be able to talk with an audience and I will find ways to interact and give them the opportunity to interact when I speak as well because they are a team. We are a team. Yeah,
Danielle Cobo ** 49:48
no one wants to be talked to right they want to be involved in the conversation. I think those those days of standing on stage and just talking to the audience is probably surpass People want to be, we know from research that when people are in are involved in the process, the learning process, whether they’re repeating the information, they’re writing it down, they’re getting up, they’re standing up when they’re involved in the process. And they’re going to retain that information at a higher level than if they’re just sitting and listening and trying to digest it. So I believe I’m in agreeance, with you that getting them involved and having them be part of the team is, is where, where the industry is going at this point, and what is going to best serve the audience. I’ve
Michael Hingson ** 50:34
also found that, like a lot of times when I’m doing meetings, or when I’m doing a keynote speech, and then when I’ve observed other people doing speeches, they’ll have a bunch of slides, or they may even have material to hand out. And the problem with that, that I see is, slides actually separate you from the team and handout separate you from the team, because people are focusing on the slides on the handouts. And they’re not focusing on what you have to say, and there needs to be a better way. Or we really need to be a little bit smarter about finding a way to make sure that when we’re speaking with that were really speaking and they’re listening, and let the handouts and slides serve a different purpose. Perhaps later.
Danielle Cobo ** 51:22
Yeah, that’s an interesting perspective. Because I believe that people learn in various ways. Yeah, I’m one of those people that loves handouts, because I love to take notes. In fact, sometimes when there isn’t time where I can’t take notes, I get frustrated. So I enjoy handouts. I like to take notes, I like visual presentations. Now I’m in agreeance, with you if a visual presentation is, is if the speaker is relying on the visual presentation to give this speech, then they’re not using it for the right way. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Yep, exactly. So the presentation is a complement to the keynote to provide a visual representation of the principles that they’re teaching. But it is not the speech. So I believe it’s important that as speakers, we really understand, like you said, understand your audience, and tailor your approach to the desires that they have and what they’re used to. I’ve worked with some organizations where that’s an expectation that there’s a PowerPoint presentation to go along with it. And then I’ve worked with some organizations where they’ve said, No, we prefer not to have a PowerPoint presentation. So seeking to understand what your audience’s needs and wants and desires are is important. As a speaker, I
Michael Hingson ** 52:31
have done a number of PowerPoint presentations, although in a lot of the speaking I’ve done lately, I haven’t. But I like sometimes to do PowerPoint presentations for a different reason, actually. And that is nobody expects a blind person to do a PowerPoint presentation and being able to point to the screen. And what I love to do is when I’m doing a PowerPoint presentation, I will actually in my script, have all the information about where different things show up on the screen, and literally can point over my shoulder to whatever it is that I want to draw people’s attention to. But my my best example of how successful that is, for me as a strategy is that I gave a speech once or a presentation once and was doing a PowerPoint show. And somebody came up afterwards and said, We’re mad at you. And I said why? And he said, well, because usually when people do the kinds of presentations that you’re doing, they’re first of all, very boring. Second of all, they focus more on looking at the screen, and they’re either reading just from the screen, or they’re they’re trying to see where they’re pointing, and so on. And they’re not paying attention to us. And so we fall asleep. You never looked away. We didn’t dare fall asleep. We forgot you were blind. Oh,
Danielle Cobo ** 53:44
that’s a good compliment. Well, I
Michael Hingson ** 53:46
was. But I also said, well, even if you had it doesn’t matter, my dogs down here taking notes. So we would have Gotcha. But but you know, it’s it’s true. And all too often we rely on visual aids and miss the value of having that greater interaction with audiences. Yeah, which I think is important.
Danielle Cobo ** 54:06
Yeah. I’m glad that the that the way that the industry is moving now, is that more interactive presentations? Yeah.
Michael Hingson ** 54:15
What would you advise someone? Or how would you advise someone who’s kind of at a career crossroads, and they want to move toward their passion or doing something different kind of advice do you give them one
Danielle Cobo ** 54:26
of the advice that I give them, because I continue to hear through the pandemic, we went through the great resignation. And one of the barrier that I keep continuing to hear from people is I want clarity, I want clarity. So one of the exercises that I take people through in my book is take your resume, and then take a piece of paper and on your resume and look at your resume and write down three aspects of each job that you’ve had. What did you love about that job, and what did you dislike about that job? And as you’re going through each of the roles that you’ve had throughout your career, you may see a theme that comes out, I really enjoy these aspects. And there’s a theme throughout each of the roles that you’ve had. That might be one way of getting some clarity on understanding what your passions are. Think about when you’re at work. When are the times where you enjoy the most like you get energized when doing a particular role, wrap, task or responsibility. That’s another way of seeing where your passions lie. Look at where your hobbies are. And then how could you turn those passions, those hobbies, the role, the particular aspects that you currently do in your current job? And what you like about it? How could you possibly find a job that aligns with it? Or start a business that aligns with it?
Michael Hingson ** 55:49
What’s next for you? What is your future going to look like? What do you want to do for the next part of your life? Do you want to learn to fly? Or do you want to fly a Blackhawk? But anyway,
Danielle Cobo ** 55:59
I have no desire.
Michael Hingson ** 56:02
Has he ever taken you for a ride?
Danielle Cobo ** 56:05
No, he has not require him in me that would meet require me joining the military and I have no desire. I have the utmost respect for the military. But I I’ve served enough as a spouse, I do not want to join. Okay, okay. What’s next for me is I do see the possibility of writing another book. So I’m working on a workbook that complements the book, I do see that and I just continue to be flexible and seeing what resonates with the readers. And that’s going to be the direction of where my business goes.
Michael Hingson ** 56:36
You’re going to continue being an entrepreneur doing what you’re doing, and you’re enjoying it way too much not to. Yes,
Danielle Cobo ** 56:44
I mean, I owe that the thought process does go through my mind of what would it look like to go back to corporate, there’s an aspect of missing the steady paycheck and the Commission earnings and 401k and company current stock options. I was very blessed. I had a very lucrative career when I was in corporate. But every time I think about that, I go, am I willing to take that and trade it for something that every single morning even though sometimes it feels like I work more now than I did when I was in corporate, it doesn’t feel like work because it feels like I’m just doing my hobby because I’m so passionate about what I do. And and I’m not willing to give that up at this point. And the freedom that I have with my family. You know, now because I’m not tied to a particular company, I get to travel with my kids, I could go to California and my parents could take them for a day while we’re out there for a week. And I work that day and I take the rest of the time off during the week. In fact, every time I go to a National Speakers Association Conference The following week, I take my kids out to California for a week and we get quality time as a family. That flexibility I really enjoy at this phase in my life right now. That’s cool.
Michael Hingson ** 57:59
Well, if people want to learn more about you, maybe explore letting you or having you coach them and so on. How do they do that?
Danielle Cobo ** 58:05
The best place to find me is to go to my website, Danielle cobo.com. And you can also find me on LinkedIn and then of course pick up the book unstoppable grit on Amazon.
Michael Hingson ** 58:15
And Cobo is C o b o Yeah, think
Danielle Cobo ** 58:18
of the Cobos are going to Cabo. Oh,
Michael Hingson ** 58:22
there you go. Oh, an A and when are you going?
Danielle Cobo ** 58:25
No, I wish, you know, think about the military that continues to put some restraints on where he can go. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 58:34
and when Yeah, so that’s fair. Well, I want to thank you again for being here. And I want to thank all of you for listening to us. I hope you’ve enjoyed this. I would really appreciate it if you give us a five star rating wherever you have heard our podcasts wherever you’re listening to us. We appreciate your five star ratings and we appreciate your reviews and any comments that you have so please pass them on. If you’d like to reach out to me an email I’d love it. You can reach me at Michaelhi M i c h a e l h i at accessiBe A c c e s s i b e.com. You can also go to our podcast page www dot Michael hingson. That’s m i c h  l h i n g s o n.com/podcast. But either way, we’d love to hear from you love your thoughts. And Danielle for you and everyone. If you know anyone who might be in ought to be a guest on unstoppable mindset. We’d really love to hear from you. We value your your input and your thoughts and appreciate your introductions. So please do it. And again, Daniel, I want to thank you for being here and spending so much time with us. We appreciate it a great deal.
Danielle Cobo ** 59:39
Thank you so much. It was an honor to be on the podcast.
**Michael Hingson ** 59:46
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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