Episode 4: Navigating the Ups and Downs as a Social Entrepreneur with Pam Durant

Feb 28, 2023 | podcast | 0 comments

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You can find the full transcript for this episode at the bottom of this page

Entrepreneur life can sometimes feel like you’re on a boat out at sea with one storm after another raining down and no life preserver in sight. When you’re in the thick of it, it may feel tempting to call it quits, head for shore, and return to corporate life.

But what if you’re a social entrepreneur and your company’s mission is close to your heart? What if throwing in the towel isn’t an option because you know firsthand how much the world needs what your company has to offer?

Founding a company designed to solve a problem that your family has been affected by, especially if it’s one that you continue to be affected by today, brings with it its own set of challenges. Even if you decide to walk away from the company, the mission will still be front and center in your life.

That being said, as you’ll learn from our guest in today’s episode, there’s nothing like having a big “WHY” driving your company’s mission to help you to weather the storms of entrepreneurial life and recover from the inevitable setbacks. Prepare to get inspired by our guest, Pam Durant, who made the decision to step out of her comfort zone and leave corporate life behind, all for the greater good.

Pam is a certified health coach, and social entrepreneur, and founder of Diapoint, a social entrepreneurship startup that supports those touched by diabetes. Driven by the lack of support and information when her son was diagnosed with Type1 Diabetes at just 20 months old in 2009, Pam left a successful 20-year corporate career in 2016 as a healthcare manager and consultant to create Diapoint to support and empower others experiencing diabetes or caretaking for someone with diabetes.

I used to let fear hold me back all the time. And I didn’t even realize it. Until I realized I had to be bold and do fearless things. Not saying that I’m fearless, but do fearless things to be an entrepreneur – go after my mission and lead my team to drive things forward. I have to otherwise I’m just going to stay small and stay in the same place. And that’s not going to serve anyone and then I can’t help as many people as I want.

We cover a lot of topics in this conversation in addition to weathering the storms as a social entrepreneur. Tune in to hear Pam’s tips for overcoming fears and self-doubt, the unique challenges experienced by female founders, how she shows up for her team, and more. You’re sure to get inspired by her story of resilience and turning adversity into advocacy as a social entrepreneur.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How Pam’s “WHY” helps her deal with frustrations and setbacks
  • What helps her stay open and creative in the face of failure
  • The unique challenges faced by female founders
  • How she takes action even in the face of fear or self-doubt
  • The type of leadership she models for her team
  • The type of fear you might face after overcome your fear of failure

Find Pam Online:

Resources & Inspiration from the Show

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Disclaimer: The Founders’ Fears & Failures is for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to be used for personal health advice and should not be construed to constitute personal or professional consultation or guidance, or to replace medical or mental health treatment. The opinions expressed by this podcast, including the podcast guests, are not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of a medical or mental health provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your medical and/or mental health needs. If you are in crisis, please visit this website to find a list of suicide hotlines around the globe. 

Episode Transcript:

Melissa: Hi, Pam, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Pam: Hi, thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Melissa: I’m really looking forward to this conversation. Um, you and I, we met. Wow, I think a year ago in a mastermind together. And it’s just, every time I see you posting things on social media and sharing part of your entrepreneurial story, I just always have so many more questions for you. So I’m really looking forward for us to dive in today.

Pam: Thank you. Yeah, me too. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year or a year, maybe more than a year.

Melissa: Yeah, I know, time flies in the entrepreneur world and in life. So why don’t we get started, you have a really personal story about why you ventured into the world of entrepreneurship. I would love if you could share with our listeners that what’s what’s your big why behind starting your company?

Pam: Sure. So I was am a healthcare manager by education, with a master’s degree in organizational management, which is more of a focus on organizational culture, psychology. And I’ve always worked in health care for my entire adult career life started in the US. And then I moved to Istanbul in 1997. And then worked in health care there for eight years. And then I’ve been in Dubai for 20 years, which still surprises me to say it’s been that long. And my son was born here. He’s now he just turned 15. But at 20 months old, he was diagnosed with type one diabetes, which is not something that was expected. Definitely not part of the plan, nothing that runs in our family. So it was a shock. To say it was shocking was a understatement. And 20 months old, it’s such a challenging thing to manage.

While we were here working in healthcare, and building healthcare, and there were so many exciting projects. They’re still even when he was diagnosed, there were not any pediatric endocrinologist. And the endocrinologist that we did meet, they didn’t understand type one diabetes. And he was just he was so small. So we didn’t really have any answers. There’s no cure for type one diabetes. It is immune condition where your immune system attacks the pancreas, it’s not a lifestyle condition. And not not all tied to a huge diabetes advocate. Not all type two is the result of lifestyle either, nor is insulin resistance. But if you have a healthy lifestyle, of course, you can manage your diabetes, well have to throw that caveat in.

But I always say that I used to think I was in health care expert until I had a child with a chronic condition. And then I realized that I was not an expert as I thought I was. And we as all these health care managers were out there making decisions and doing all these things. And yeah, it’s for the greater good. And there are people that are experts and doctors are experts. But until you really live that, and I myself still, I don’t know what it’s like to have diabetes. But raising a child and a small child with one was really difficult. And like I said, my husband and I both worked in healthcare. And over time, once I learned my way around this diagnosis, and I started going to medical conferences, I was invited to present the patient perspective or the parent perspective. And as I listened to what the doctors were discussing that people with diabetes, or parents with children with diabetes were challenged with, which was very similar to my challenge, but sometimes even more challenging. I thought, if you don’t, well, we knew there was no cure, we knew who to ask. When we didn’t have access to the right medical team, we knew who to call and say, Where do I go? What do I do? Who do I talk to who can teach me about this? Who can teach me how to keep my child healthy and alive. If you don’t have access to a health care network like that, it must be so incredibly deeply even more challenging, which I can’t imagine.

So So I changed my entire career, I was a healthcare consultant. No traveling took a more still an important job and admin related focusing on education and development, one that would keep me in the office, I was in a big fortune, top 100 company. And while that was great, and they were supportive, and you know, that flexibility was everything, but I got to a point where I thought I could do more than just what I was doing, because I was not working in healthcare anymore. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to. But I knew that I could do something with my healthcare background and experience and my personal experience, and having a deeper understanding that I might be able to be of use to some people or make it easier for other people that have children with type one diabetes diagnosis, or other types of diabetes. So I thought, why not do something about it, instead of just stay in my comfort zone, I had a really nice job, my salary. And in 2016, I left and I started my company, dire point.

Melissa: Wow. So what was that like for you leaving behind that stability and certainty and making the plunge into entrepreneurship?

Pam: Yeah, it was, you know, I thought about it a really long time. And I’ve been thinking about it for maybe a year or more than a year before I actually finally left and debit. And I just got to the point where in my corporate job, there were, there were challenges to being a working woman, a working mom, you know, and me needing flexibility to take care of a child with a chronic condition. And that’s not why I left. But I think that helped me see that. There must be a better way to help people do something, and make the world a better place. And I just got to this point where then my boss knew I’d been thinking about it. And then I just got to this point where I’m like, I can’t I couldn’t do it anymore. Like I really didn’t want to do it.

Melissa: Yeah, yeah.

Pam: If it does, if it Yeah, if it doesn’t work out, I could always go back and find another corporate job, probably. But, yeah.

Melissa: So it sounds like it started as a sort of an experiment and here you are, what year is it? Six years.

Pam: I know, years later, 2023. And I left in 2016. Before I left, I started blogging, I actually sat down, I thought I was going to leave the corporate world at some point and, and focus on photography. And when I sat down to start writing about a picture, I not intentionally, but I started writing about what it was like to have a child diagnosed with type one diabetes. And it just came out, like, and I think it was very therapeutic, like I was literally at the keyboard like sobbing. So it just came out. And every time after that, I would sit down to write because I did have a blog where I would talk about some of the images I would take when I was traveling or other things like that. But when I sat down to write after his diagnosis, that is largely what would come out, it might start about the picture, but then it would end with being about something. So I guess I needed to just, you know, also get that out. And over time, I thought, but you know, let me see. Maybe this will help somebody?

Melissa: Yeah, wow. It’s such a, it’s such a noble cause that you’ve taken on with with your company. I can imagine it comes with like having it come from a place that’s so connected to your heart and something that’s so personal to you. brings its own set of challenges, though, could you speak to some of those?

Pam: It does, and I think I don’t know it can be a challenge and it can be a strength at the same time. I’m quite a fierce advocate for people with diabetes at the same time. So in trying to run a business, and you want things to be good and you want to help so many people. And while it’s step by step one person at a time or one group of people at a time or whatever you’re doing And having said that, when I see the disparities in the world, or people that don’t have access to insulin, or people in certain countries that are struggling, that is really challenging. And then I find myself sometimes if I’m in a meeting, honestly, in the spirit of transparency, if I’m in a meeting with a lot of corporations that work in the healthcare space, the advocate in me gets really fired up. I mean, I have to learn how to contain that, and what how much of that to release and not release, because, of course, I do work with corporations and clinics, and you know, to help them make their patient experiences and different things better. But at the same time, sometimes I just wanted to shout from the rooftops, like, can’t we just solve these problems? You know, and everyone’s doing their best. So I would say that’s, you know, kind of one of the bigger challenges I have faced and that I’ve examined myself, like going through my thought process, and different things like that, and how I now perceive what corporate life was like, and as an advocate, and it’s still, you know, it doesn’t mean that I’m out there protesting everything. But it’s in somehow a strength that it’s much easier to voice my opinion and, you know, call certain things out and express it in a way that can be understood by people that may have not had a similar experience. So a challenge and a blessing at the same time.

Melissa:  Yeah, it definitely sounds like a, like you’re walking a fine line when you’re doing this work. Right. And I can completely understand its strength. And yes, but it’s something that you have the experience in corporate and also the experience of, you know, living this that that you can really bring that together.

Pam: Yeah, yeah. And then there’s the other side to also when you’re, I’ve now with the work I do, I have very much deeper insight as to why health care is not always, you know, affordable. I don’t want to use the word affordable. But I also see the other side when I see people are challenged, like, why are the prices you know what they are not not for medications, but I’m just having some of the smaller things. And under having a deeper understanding now of how much it costs to run a business, you have to pay your employees and different things like that. And all of that cost, even though you’re still trying so so hard to make everything as affordable as possible in the environment that I’m in. But yeah, there’s there’s a lot of challenges and different things like that. But I think it’s all been to my advantage, because I can see from different sides of the story. And so I’m able to really focus on what needs to happen, how to solve problems, having a deeper understanding of what they might be.

Melissa: Yeah. Tell us let’s launch into a little bit of you know, this is the the Founders’ Fears & Failures podcast. And one of the things I’m talking with a lot of guests about are the failures or well “failures.” I’m putting it in quotation marks right now, right? Because I think as an entrepreneur, we can, we can, it’s important to redefine failure. Maybe let’s talk about some maybe setbacks that you faced along the way in this past few years as an entrepreneur.

Pam: So, setbacks. Yeah, I like that you’re reframing the word failure, because that’s such a loaded word. Not everything’s a failure. And then people are saying, oh, failures or, you know, learning experiences. And they they are, but I like that we’re not calling them failures, because they’re just experiences. And sometimes in business, there’s business decisions. There might be good business decisions, or there may be business decisions that were great at the time, but then they turned out to be not so great. Like last year, I think it was two years ago. Now. I can’t remember if it’s been one or two years, I partnered with one company and I was running a pilot to do some things in the health and wellness space because I’m also a health coach. And, you know, it seemed like a really amazing complementary partnership. And, you know, we started to pilot but then, you know, it turned out that that business that I partnered with, they were changing and there were things happening, and it just turned out to not be a good partnership, and I had to let it go. Because, you know, they got to the point where they weren’t responsive and not following up and, and I just thought, Okay, this is clearly not, you know, viable not going anywhere. And it’s about accepting, it’s about knowing when to move on, it’s not really quitting, but knowing when you have to move on from that, you know, some people might say, Oh, I’m gonna sue that company, or I’m gonna, you know, do this or that. I mean, clearly, there’s a time and a place for that, I guess, if something really major happened or somebody was harmed, fortunately, that didn’t happen. But it’s a matter of deciding where you want to put your energy. And what, for me, where I want to put my energy and what I want to focus on. So I can be angry and put all that energy into something that is not really going to change the outcome. And if I wanted to do some big legal thing about it, then I could say, okay, and then I win. But if I’m spending all my time focusing on that challenge, then that’s time taken away from me helping people that really need it.

Melissa: Yeah, yeah, I hear what you’re saying. It’s so much about prioritizing, right, and figuring out, you know, what things you can accept and what things need to be changed and what things need to be let go of?

Pam: Yeah, I mean, they’ll still make you feel, you know, frustrated and bad or sad, or, you know, involved a client or something that I couldn’t deliver on because of, you know, something else, or, you know, whatever it was, or maybe, you know, I didn’t hire the right person. I once hired somebody, and, you know, they forged my signature, you know, got themselves some bank loans and skip the country and, you know, different things like this have happened, that, and you feel bad about it for you know, when you’re reminded of it for some time, but you can’t really let that stop you from what the mission is, or what the real focus is, like, what? My why, right and like, Okay, can I focus on that? Or someone with diabetes needs help, I’d much rather take that energy and put it back into that.

Melissa: So it sounds like your mission, the mission of Diapoint is really something that drives you and helps you to overcome some of these setbacks.

Pam: Yeah, it does. It does. It’s helpful.

Melissa: You mentioned that your husband works in the same sector as you, what has that been, like, kind of dealing with that any challenges that have come up there?

Pam: Yeah, it’s, it’s good. It’s been a blessing. Because, you know, we both understand each other’s work and how demanding it is. And it can be. Having said that, at the same time, because he was so well known in his home country, he’s from Turkey. And we both worked in health care there. But I guess one because initially, when I moved there, I wasn’t speaking the language. Now I do. And, you know, a foreigner a foreigner and a new country, you know, you’re gonna stand out that and usually, business sectors, healthcare sector is very small. So many people knew me as my husband’s wife. And it felt like for a really long time that I didn’t have an identity outside of that, even though I was you know, working and doing things, but I was just known as I kind of joked that my name was his first name. And my last name was like his last name. I didn’t I never even changed my name when we got married, because that was just an admin hassle. But, but yeah, it’s really, that has been challenging, probably more for me personally, I don’t know if people really think about it. But I’ve joined some women’s groups, and they’re, you know, yeah, pro women and women entrepreneurs, and they’ve even introduced me as such. Oh, she’s so and so’s wife. And I still I was just like, Okay, well, we’re promoting women. And it’s, it’s okay. To, you know, and it’s wonderful. He’s very good at what he does. So, you know, it’s an honor to be associated with him. But at the same time, when you’re trying to build your own reputation and your own business, you want to make sure that it’s on your own merit in your own hard work. And that people just don’t think oh, you’re doing it because it’s someone else’s. Someone else’s, you know, spouse wants someone referred to him as Pam’s husband. And I was like, shocked. I was like, wow, that’s the first time that that’s happened. That happened recently.

Melissa: Okay. A win? Yeah, so frustrating.

Pam: Yeah, it can be but then it’s funny because then when people don’t know. Like last year, we were at a large regional healthcare conference. And they had no idea because we have different last names. We were both judges on the same panel for, you know, entrepreneur contests. So that was kind of fun. Yeah.

Melissa: Well, I think you’re also pointing to just some of the challenges that women face in this space. Right. And I know you you recently posted something on social media about that. We kind of exchanged something, some comments about how why do sometimes our businesses get perceived as hobbies?

Pam: I know, I know, it’s, it’s happened a lot. And I noticed, I mean, I always kind of saw it, but it never registered until I had my own company. And I could read people’s body languages, and then see what what they were saying to me. And I never realized it was such a big thing until a few people asked like when, you know, they had learned that I wasn’t working in the corporate world anymore. I’ve had. And I’m sorry to say it men asked me so. So yeah, so what’s it like being home with the kids? And there is absolutely no shame. It’s, it really is the hardest job in the world. Like some days, I love running to my desk to work, because, you know, being a mom is so so hard. So I don’t want to downplay that. But the fact that society and sometimes men don’t understand how that sounds, and you know, then I say, Well, no, I have children, but I also have my own company. And they’re like, oh, wow, really? Or another thing that I noticed here, because I’m living in Dubai. Again, when a see you know, some people just thought, Oh, so you know, you have a business. Okay, great. You have an office? I said, Yes, I do. And when I told them since COVID, I’ve closed my office, that’s another that’s another podcast about sustainability and different things like that. But I but at the time, where my office was located, and I didn’t choose it for its location, and I didn’t even think it was that big of a deal of being fancy are such a, you know, location, it was just close to my house and affordable. But when I would mention in the location of my business, and what part of town it was, people would physically lean in and go, Oh, tell me more. More than one occasion.

Melissa: And because that told them something about your company that you weren’t communicating?

Pam: That it was, it was a legitimate, successful company that wasn’t like some small, you know, thing? I don’t know, it was, I think it was as if it was going to be kind of quickly dismissed. And, you know, not something real. But, and, and, and people pause, and then when I tell them what I do, they really listen, because they’re like, Wow, this is like really good. I don’t think they, they didn’t expect it. And I don’t think also it’s not just you know, because I’m a female. But I also don’t think people expect someone or a company to be looking at health, wellness and diabetes in the way that I’m choosing to look at it and the way I’m supporting people doing it. And so, there could be a lot of reasons, but But yeah, so many people think that it’s a hobby, and if it is your hobby, if you’re out there listening, and you’re a woman, if it is a hobby, so what started as a hobby, maybe, maybe it will become a business, maybe it won’t, maybe you maybe you want to keep it as a hobby, so you can enjoy it. Like in the end, it was a blessing. I didn’t become a photographer because I have it as a hobby. And I enjoy it.

Melissa: Yeah, yeah, it’s so true. Right? I think that’s a there’s so many as it is and what you just said, but yes, as entrepreneurs, we need to have hobbies, we need to have things that are not connected to our work at all. And, and yeah, I think if we don’t have a crystal ball, right, when we start our companies, we don’t know where they’re going to lead us. And it might just end up being something you explore for a while. Might be a company you have to close down, but it might it might lead you to something bigger and something that that’s really fulfilling for you.

Pam: That’s true, that’s true. Yeah, no matter what it ends up being it’s a experience and learning experience regardless and I’m sure that you you know you’ve helped people on the way with with whatever it is that you’ve done. If you don’t feel you have then you’ve at least really probably helped yourself or learn something about yourself on the way not I don’t see any of it as wasted time or effort or energy. Yeah, having said that, I hope my company continues to grow and be successful and it is growing but I’m not planning to you know, step away anytime soon. But but if I had to I don’t think any of it. I I would have to remind my thought that this time was not wasted because it did serve a purpose. And there were people that were, were helped and supported on the way. And I learned so much too.

Melissa: And sometimes, yeah, we can, yeah, if you if you had to step away from a company, you might, it would kind of require you to pause and reflect. But it’s good for us to pause and reflect throughout all times of our business, right? And it’s so easy to get focused on what’s not going well.

Pam: That’s so true. That’s so true. And actually, I started a thing with my team, where they’re in Slack, I have a channel like celebrations, and we all get really bad about forgetting to do that. And I don’t think I’ve done it. The whole month of January, and people were on vacation. And we’re just kind of gearing up again, but But I try to from time to time start a meeting like Hey, what are we celebrating? Or what are you doing? Or have you focused on your hobby lately? What’s going on with you? But a lot of the time is like, what are we celebrating? As soon as we have something to celebrate? I’ll share it right away. Because that’s so important. We’re always so head down focused on the task, we forget that we’re actually accomplishing a lot of stuff.

Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And we do have to be we have to be intentional about it. That’s fantastic that you found a way that works for you and your team.

Pam: Thank you, I’m still perfecting it try but the I Can I can I can do it so much better. I’m sure I can. But I tried to remember that to celebrate the stuff even the small stuff?

Melissa: Well, I’m so curious that one of the things I’ve been talking with some guests about are the challenges that come with when you you become a leader in your company. And it sounds like you’re managing a team. What are some of the challenges that you find with managing that team?

Pam: So for me, the biggest one, even though I studied leadership, and actually, years ago, before my son was born, I thought I was going to become a organizational management consultant or like a organizational psycho psychology consultant. That’s what I really wanted to do at one point in time. So I’ve read about this topic a lot, study that a lot. Love it, I’m fascinated by how people behave in organizations and how leaders behave. And I always say that Brene Brown’s book “Dare to Lead” is I wish that book existed when I was studying leadership. But I think it’s the book that every every leader no matter what industry, they’re in, needs to lead needs to read. And it also made me forgive a lot of not so great leaders that I worked under. But at the same time, you know, then when I always kind of say, when I went back, and then I read the book about, you know, Netflix, and they talked about how they do things in their leadership. And then I was like, Oh, wow, I don’t know what it’s like at Netflix now since they wrote that book. But it was quite a very, very different corporate culture from what I was used to. So I get a lot of inspiration.

I still, even though her podcasts finished, I listened to you know, a lot of podcasts about leadership, I read a lot of books about leadership. So I’m very in tune in, quote, unquote, what makes a good leader. But I’m not always the perfect leader. And the challenge that I face actually the most difficult one that I think all leaders might struggle with, and they may not say it, is just showing up every day for your team. Because if you want them to show up for you, you have to show up for them no matter what. It’s like having children, my team, they’re not they’re not children. But if you’re a mom, or a dad, and you have kids, you got to show up for your kids every day and do all the things and you because they look up to you. And the team needs you to guide them to lead them to set the goals to help drive the ship to you know, get where we’re going. Because if you’re not out there on deck, like using an analogy of a boat and helping to navigate where you’re going and if that’s your crew back there in a boat. Can you imagine the chaos that it would be if you’re not showing up? So for me that that’s been challenging when it’s been hard when I’ve been tired or if my son has been sick and had you know, a challenging night with diabetes and just you know, keeping that those things in my diary, the team meetings and everything and I love my team and they’re all great, they’re they’re dedicated to the cause and they show up they do which is one reason why I love them. And I don’t think you can work in any organization or any job, and, you know, if you like it or enjoy it, you show up. But as leaders, we have to give that extra to get people to show up for us because it’s a relationship of, you know, give and take. And I think that’s probably one of the biggest challenges.

Melissa: Yeah, well, and I just, I’m also a huge fan of Brene Brown, I’m actually reading, rereading, “Dare to Lead” right now. It’s fantastic. Yeah. And, and one I know from from from being an Brene Brown fan, that when you’re talking about showing up, you’re not talking about just physically showing up, right? And how, how do you model the some of those lessons of Brene Brown for your team?

Pam: Yeah, if it was just physical that would be the easy part. It’s the mental and the heart and soul part. That’s, that’s hard. I just, I mean, when I go back to, I guess, our mission, my mission, my why. And if a lot of times, I’ll put myself in their position and their place. And when I think about, you know, what kind of leader that they need, or that they would want and what I want to be working in a company where there was not good leadership. And also, I know what it’s like to I know what it’s like to work for good leaders and great leaders. And I’ve also fortunately had the experience to know what it’s like to work for not so great leaders. So I learned from all of them. And I want to be a good leader. I want to support people. We’re a company of mostly women. And they, you know, women need support, and leadership, to be able to be working moms or, you know, working on their master’s degree while they’re in school, or whatever it is that they want to do. And I think about, you know, what the kind of leader I want to be and what kind of organizational culture I want to build, because I want the company to grow. And in order to do that, I need to build it really from the beginning.

Melissa: Yeah, really, it sounds like really laying a foundation.

Pam: Yeah. There’s so much I can talk about leadership. I’m just not even sure if I answered your question at the moment. But, but yeah, it’s um, yeah, I love Brene. Brown as well. And I always say like, we should be besties somehow, because I grew up in Texas, and Houston, Texas, and she’s working in Houston, Texas. She teaches at University of Houston, I went to University of Houston. I had a lot of friends from Texas that were social workers. I’m like, how do we not know each other?She’s like a breath of fresh air, if you’re listening Brene…

Melissa: Absolutely. I hope Brene Brown is listening. That would be fantastic. And if you if you ever get together with together with her, please invite me as well, because I will. And I’ll link to her that book we’ve mentioned and her podcast in the show notes too, because I’m sure there are a lot of people listening who haven’t heard of her. I work with a lot of clients who tell me I don’t know, I don’t know who she is. And it’s always a surprise, because I think well get ready, your life is gonna change once you read some of what she’s written.

Pam: Absolutely. And here also in this part of the world, I mean, I think a lot of people in America know her but out internationally, I’m not sure. And there’s some organizational leadership and change management consultants I used to work with and I’m like, you must read this book. And they’re like, Okay, I give it I send it it’s, it’s such a such a great book, all of her books are good, but in terms of leadership, that’s a good one to go back to all the time. And I mean, the other thing I guess I could say is just trying to keep myself healthy. I think if you’re taking care of yourself, then you can show up for other people. It’s I mean, they you know, say like put the oxygen mask on yourself first to some extent Yes, true. But as a health coach, I also for the most part, you know, I have to walk my walk but I’ve always believed in living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve always exercised I’ve always eaten healthy, you know, plant based for the most part before it was a thing. My in the late 70s I remember my parents giving me like all this organic stuff to eat and they had a large garden and stuff like that. So I’ve always been about eating healthy exercising, getting enough sleep. That is like the easiest thing that we can do that I think most of us aren’t doing well. People think entrepreneurship is like hustle culture. And we do have to, you know, give a lot and get a lot of things done. But if you’re feeling tired, you really need to sleep and rest. Because that is what allows you to show up for your team, and other people in your life that that you need to show up for. And even, you know, staying hydrated drinking water. Not too much caffeine. I love coffee, I’ll never tell you to stop drinking it. But, you know, in moderation, everything in moderation.

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah, I think so often in the entrepreneur world, we just get into that mindset, sometimes even without meaning to have that, that we get into sprint mode, right? When it really is a marathon?

Pam: Yes, it is, it is. And I feel like sometimes, I know, for us in the space that we’re working in with diabetes, and health care and health coaching and health and wellness, there is so much to do, it’s kind of a case of their shiny object syndrome. And you can get really distracted and focus on four or five different things at one time. And that’s one thing I’ve gotten a lot better at doing. Like some someone proposed something to me the other day, that would be amazing. But I’d have to pull it off in a matter of a few weeks. And we’re a small team. And we’re already very focused on a lot of other things. And it’s one of those things that I’m gonna say, this is great, but we’re gonna have to maybe do it later than, you know what, what we kind of talked about, because it’s just, there’s endless things that we can do, especially when all entrepreneurs are creative people, that you don’t have to be an artist, you’re finding new ways to solve problems, and there’s many problems and challenges to solve out there. So that’s that. The other thing is try to stay focused, because it is true what they say, if you’re, you know, trying to master everything, then you become like Master of None, or focusing on what’s really niche. And I struggled with that myself in the beginning, even as a as a health coach, because I want to help everyone, I want to be helpful. I want to be useful. I love supporting people giving support, whether it’s individuals or in teams, but I can’t, I can’t support how many billion people are we on the planet, I can’t support everyone. So I have to focus. I have to accept that I one person and the more focused I get, then the better I can help people and be of service.

Melissa: Yeah, and as you mentioned before, like I love that idea of putting down the foundation, right? Because you can help more people, the stronger of a foundation that you have.

Pam:  I sure I like to think so.

Melissa: I mean, that’s my hope, my hope as well. As we said earlier, right? We can’t We can’t predict things. But we can kind of do with what the information we have and what we know of our market like we can do the best, right? And I’d love to know, Pam, what are some that like, what direction what’s next what’s like, what’s next for Diapoint?

Pam: What’s next for Diapoint? So I got a few wonderful ideas that will I’m still like putting together but in this year of 2023 we are going to grow exponentially and focus on creating a space for people that is very special. And let’s just say very innovative and different than the way a lot of people are approaching health I’ll share more of the details with you as that rolls out but but there’s there’s a lot happening and and while people with diabetes are in addition to creating a space and wanting to serve people. And I’m also very mindful that while people with diabetes are very kind of app-ed out and you know, there’s so much technology, sometimes it feels too much you have to follow or get to check your blood sugar and do all these other things that you know you’re supposed to do. But also we are planning to create a useful app that will house a lot of useful information and other things that people need but again, doing it in a unique way. When I first started Diapoint because I we’re not in Silicon Valley but Dubai and the UAE is very forward thinking and the way that they’ve streamlined processes and the way the government is so in touch with you know you you don’t need to pull up you pay for parking you pay from your phone, you know, there’s you have a fender bender. You don’t need a policeman to come, there’s an app, you pull out your insurance, your driver’s license, take a picture, do it, it’s done. Like, things are easy and streamlined here. And they’ve really been able to use the processes and technology to simplify it and make it almost a pleasure to do things that, you know, are in other places a little bit challenging. So, you know, having said that, if we can create things more easily, like when I started Diapoint, so many people would ask, so do you have an app like diabetes, right? What what what’s the name your app? And that would be one of the first questions they asked me. And I realized, like, the app kind of became like the website for a lot of people, and they hear the word entrepreneur and they think it’s going to be a tech solution, high tech, but not necessarily. So I’m happy to say that, after listening to our customers and clients and being around people long enough to understand kind of some of the challenges and things that are missing to use technology without making an app just for the sake of having an app. So we’re working on that at the moment, too. So there’s a lot, a lot going on.

Melissa: A lot going on behind the scenes, well, we’ll have to invite you back on to give us an update. Because I’d be happy to.

Pam: I have a lot of stuff. And I’m sure I’ll have a lot more stories about the stress and the, you know, challenges and readjustments and the failures and going through all that that process, even just doing that to develop an app in and of itself can be quite the challenge.

Melissa: Yeah. And that’s a good point, too, right? Like it, we talked about the metaphor of a marathon. But unlike a marathon, there’s no finish line. And entrepreneurship, there’s no point where it’s suddenly like I have it all figured out. And I’m not gonna have any more failures or setbacks.

Pam: No, every day is new. I never haven’t figured it out. I think that’s one of the things I like about it, too. It’s always exciting. It’s always new, I learned something new every day. And it’s taught me to approach things with a really open creative mindset. Because it’s not, you know, like, there’s something that I want to consider a new way of doing something. And right now, the regulations not in place for me to do that. And so rather than just saying up, it’s impossible, because, you know, the regulations are not designed for that. Well, no, I want to go sit with the regulators and say, How can we make this happen, because it’s going to improve the lives of so many people. And it’s being bold and having those conversations, but also being creative at the same time to solve a problem. A lot of fun.

Melissa: It takes a lot of courage to do this work.

Pam: I guess so. And that that’s a learned thing. It doesn’t always come like that. And it’s still scary to do that. I was I like, for example, just this last week, there’s a guest that I’ve been wanting to have on my podcast for a year or so. And as soon as I learned about them, I sent an email to their team. Like maybe I’d get a response, maybe not. And they said, Oh, yeah, okay. Well, you know, follow up in a few weeks time, we’re just kind of getting organized. And I never heard back from them. And I forgot because the end of the year, November’s Diabetes Awareness Month, and then the end of the year, and then things just got so, so busy. And then something there was an article about this person and something reminded me of them the other day, and I said, I wonder what happened to them what they’re doing. And I emailed the team, again, happy new year, and I was scared. I was terrified. I was like, maybe they just they don’t they don’t want to come on my podcast, why would they talk to me right there. They’re so you know, busy and have all these things? And who am I to even ask this like, that was really in my head, I was so hesitant. And I kind of have these rules for doing scary things. Or asking for big things. And like if it’s not illegal, and it’s not unethical, and it’s not gonna harm anybody, physically or mentally or anything like that, then there’s no harm in asking. Right? What’s the worst thing that can happen? They can say no, and it’s okay. So, I sent the email and I, you know, asked again, just kind of following up to see where you guys are. Within five minutes. I had a whatsapp from someone on that team that they were in town. They’re like, Can we meet tomorrow? Wow. So the moral of the story is, don’t be afraid, even though you’re afraid just jump out of the airplane with a parachute.

Melissa: Yeah, well, I love your framework, too, right? Like if it’s not going to harm somebody and  all the things he listed off, do it right. And

Pam: I use that a lot. It really, really helped me because I’m like, why am I so afraid of this thing? Like what’s, you know, what is the worst thing that can happen? Why am I afraid of this?

Melissa: Yeah, and you don’t let that fear stop you. I think that a lot of I would say definitely aspiring entrepreneurs, but also lots of highly successful entrepreneur entrepreneurs find themselves being paralyzed by fear at times. But I think the most successful ones are the ones that have found tools like this one you’re describing to, to not let that fear hold them back.

Pam: Yeah, it helps. And I used to let fear hold me back all the time. And I didn’t even realize it. Until I realized I had to be bold and do fearless things. Not saying that I’m fearless, but do fearless things to be an entrepreneur, go after my mission and lead my team drive things forward, I have to otherwise I’m just going to stay small and stay in the same place. And that’s not going to serve anyone and then I can’t help as many people as I want. And then the beauty of it is, the more you do it, the more you get used to kind of dancing with the fear. And the other thing I was gonna say, the beauty of it has been pretty much every one that I’ve asked like, do you want to support or, you know, do you would you like to work on this project together? Or hey, I have this idea. Almost everyone has has said yes. The only time that they’ve said no as if they’ve been busy or it wasn’t the right time for them. It wasn’t anything personal. And the amount of support that I’ve received in, in all of those different ways that people wanting to do business together or launching something and people give me really good feedback on it has been amazing. Like I so yeah, what’s the worst thing that can happen? So far? The worst thing that has happened is people have said yes.

Melissa: Yeah, yeah. Which it has, it can be scary in its own way. Right? Because I think that’s kind of we get into that fear of success model.

Pam: I know that’s like, okay, oh my gosh, they said yes. Now I gotta deliver, though. Now it’s a new level of care. Am I good enough? Can I do this? Am I going to blow the interview? Am I going to, you know, mess this up? Can we do it, but you just have to get used to sitting with with that. And, and then the other thing that I would tell myself, okay, if I’m feeling uncomfortable or worried about this, that’s also a sign that like, you’re alive, like, I am alive, and I am living all the things. This this is this is part of being alive. Like how I don’t always like remember that right away. But there’s been times when I’ve been out walking my dog. That’s the kind of meditation I love yoga and meditation, but the dog needs to be walked. So they, they come together, and I’ll be thinking while I’m out walking the dog, and then that just reminds me that this means I’m really alive.

Melissa: Yeah, what if we don’t have any uncomfortable emotions? Well, we’re the opposite of alive, right? And who wants that? Pam you’ve…

Pam: No, I’m sorry, I was just listening to someone on a podcast. I feel like it could have been on the Rich Roll podcast because I listen to his podcast a lot. I like his guests. And he’s just so interesting as well. But they were saying like, you know, you you feel all the feelings. Because also if we’re just, oh, it was someone was talking about, you know, if you’re feeling then just good all the time, then you kind of forget what that what that’s like. So we have to experience all the emotions. So that, you know, we do kind of understand and are able to gauge what we’re thinking about, you know, certain situations and what we’re feeling about them. So it’s hard, but But yeah,

Melissa: yeah, yeah. But feelings at the end of the day, I think really provide us with a lot of information. And it’s, I think there’s a quote about this. That’s not coming to my mind, but just that, you know, we don’t feel the lows, you know, that we might not feel the highs as much either.

Pam: Yeah, they probably ys, they were probably quoting the same.

Melissa: I don’t think that’s the exact quote, I think it’s more eloquent.

Pam: But that’s true. That’s so true. So sure.

Melissa: Well, Pam, I was gonna say you’ve already shared so many nuggets of wisdom for our listeners. I’d love to know if we could go back in time to when you were just starting your entrepreneurial journey. Is there anything else you would want to share with your younger self?

Pam: Probably just to, like they say in entrepreneurship, like fall faster or don’t, don’t be so fearful. Just ask, just do it. And I think, you know, I sat with a lot of things and a lot of ideas I didn’t move as quickly on. And that was okay. Always building something. And, you know, I was trying to, you know, figure out what, where, where exactly, I wanted it to go. So I think it served a purpose. But at the same time, I may probably would have could have gotten there a lot, a lot faster. So I think starting out, is the bigger thing. And don’t, don’t hold yourself back and just do it.

Melissa: Yeah, I love that. Is there anything else that you would want to share with listeners today?

Pam: I think we’ve covered a lot. I mean, I’m sure there’s there’s other things I can I can talk forever.

Melissa: Yeah, I think there are several topics where you’ve already said like, this could be a separate episode.

Pam: Why don’t you there’s there’s a lot of things.

Melissa: Yeah, why don’t you tell us then where can listeners find you and connect with you?

Pam: Sure. So you can find me on social media. My coaching handle is coachpamelad. And that’s on Instagram, Facebook, and I’m on Twitter, but I’m not really tweeting that is just, that’s another podcast. That’s the whole thing. And also for Diapoint. For my company. It’s at dire point me. And again, Facebook, Twitter. Also on Instagram, I’m mostly I mostly in Instagram. And the reason for that is because Instagram started out as a app for photography. I still have my personal account, that is just photography. But over time, it became a business off so so I mostly on Facebook and Instagram. So you can find me there The website also, pameladurant.com for coaching and Diapointme.com for Diapoint. And if you’re interested in or need accessories for diabetes, Diapointshop.com. So again, see you many, many projects, many things happening that you can find me many places, I’m everywhere, not omnipotent. But But yeah. And we’ll be rolling out some, you know, more information very soon. And because of the way things go, my digital marketing manager, she’s like, we need to do more reels and different things like this. So, so I will be doing more things that are, you know, just general health advice. Because one of the things that I find that really is challenging, I think in this day and age for everybody is that somewhere along the way, health, wellness, and everything became this thing that only people with a lot of money could have or could afford. It seems like everything about eating well, or exercise or like it’s gonna cost you money. And you know, there’s a time and a place to pay for certain things. But you can still get healthy by doing some very simple lifestyle changes and tweaks and things like this. So, so we’ll be rolling out more of those very soon and useful for everyone, especially entrepreneurs.

Melissa: Awesome. Yeah. And don’t worry, I’ll link to all of those other different places to find you in the show notes too. And yeah, I think we could do a whole separate episode about just multi passionate entrepreneurs and, and but we’ll have to save it for another day. Because we you really have

Pam: Definitely. All of my friends are like stop giving me business ideas, because I have some very talented friends and I’m like, Oh my gosh, you could like turn this into a business or you can sell this or you should share this with the world. And I’ve been known to just buy websites on the spot for my friends. And I’m like, I got this for you in case you need it. So yeah, I’m super passionate about about people that are passionate about what they do and multi passionate entrepreneurs.

Melissa: Oh, well, I love it, Pam. It was really such a pleasure to talk with you. And thanks again for coming on the show.

Pam: Thank you so much. Thanks so much. It was such a lovely conversation and such a pleasure to be here.

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HI I’M MELISSA

I'm a therapist-turned-coach who loves working with clients around the world! I work with the globally mobile community to support them through transitions as well as entrepreneurs who need support navigating the rollercoaster of entrepreneur life.

I'm also the co-founder of the Location Independent Therapists (LIT) Community, a mom, a self-compassion advocate, and an aspiring author.

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