Cash In on Your Business Idea | Dorine Rivers


How can you build, grow, and exit a business—all while enjoying the journey?

My guest Dr. Dorine Rivers is here to share how you can get the idea out of your head and “cash in” on it.

A jack of all trades (who has mastered all of them), Dr. Rivers is, among many things, the author of Brain to Bank

In this episode, she’ll walk through the process outlined in the book, including:

  • Naming the baby
  • Knowing your why
  • Understanding your avatar
  • The meaning of “working together alone”
  • And more



Dorine Rivers: The reason you want to know your why is because it can get difficult and you just hang on to that. And it gets you through the tough times.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast with professional speaker, coach and consultant Nicole Greer.

Nicole Greer: Welcome everybody to the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. My name is Nicole Greer, and they call me the vibrant coach. And today I have an amazing, they’re always amazing, but this one is especially amazing guest today. You know, as you know, vibrant culture is a podcast to help you turn your dreams into reality. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or leader inside of a corporation. Whether you’re starting your business, running your business, or getting ready to exit your business. 

Each podcast I bring you brings you an expert in a specific area to help you both personally and professionally with your experience. And to give you a few words of wisdom. And today, there is an exception to that rule. What? Yes, you most likely have heard the statement. These people are a jack of all trades, but master of none. 

And that similar statement means that some people have learned a little bit about a lot of different areas in many different areas, but have never really become an expert or a thought leader or a master in any one area. 

But today is the exception to that statement because our special guest is Dr. Dorine Rivers, better known as the river or the mountain climber. We’re going to hear about that for a hot second tonight. So when you look at what she’s done, it sounds like she’s a Jane of many trades, which she is yet she has mastered all of them. She has a degree in creative writing. 

A PhD in business management, experience in investment banking, has a general contractor license in construction, has built, grown and sold many different businesses, from software and technology companies to medical and life health science companies, to education, as well as many other industries. Plus, she’s an award winning photographer, graphic designer, and has been a screenwriter and a producer. 

It may not seem possible that somebody could know anything about all these subject areas, and become an expert in all of them, yet she is. Plus, let’s add in just for fun that she is the author of Brain to Bank. We’re gonna talk about that tonight. And she is a speaker, adventurer, mountain climber and mother of five successful children. 

River truly is an expert in many different areas. But today, the message is going to be concentrating on the theme of our podcast, how can you build, grow, and then exit a business and enjoy your journey. So get ready to get some mind expanding ideas, many of which you can implement immediately. Now, on a personal note, you can sum up River’s life experiences with this quote from Helen Keller. 

She says life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. So please welcome to the show, Dr. Dorine Rivers, or let’s just call her River. So River, my first question for you is how do you know as an entrepreneur that you’ve got a good idea worth pursuing?

Dorine: I am so happy to be here and your energy is contagious. 

Nicole: Oh, good. 

Dorine: Thank you for that. I’ll answer that question by telling you a story about how I knew I had a great idea. I had my first business when I was eight years old. My brother and I had gone down the street and saw all these kids’ lemonade stands. And you know, we thought well, they’re making money, how can we make money, and we decided we could not do what everyone was doing. And we had to do something different. 

So we took those old fashioned ice cream trays, ice cube trays, and we filled it with Kool Aid. And then you have to remember about halfway through to open the freezer, and stick in the toothpicks. And we call them cube sickles and we sold them for two cents apiece, twice as much as the lemonade was going for. But in a week’s time we had all the lemonade business. 

And the reason we knew we had a good product is because we had everybody else’s business. And we had come up with something no one had thought about and maybe didn’t even know they wanted until they saw it and then they had to have it. It’s not unlike Steve Jobs. When he introduced the iPod right, and he said 1000 songs in your pocket. 

And no one even knew what that meant. But as soon as they saw they had to have 1000 songs in their pocket. A great idea will resonate like that. And the worst people you can ask are your family and your best friends. Because they’re always going to tell you, it’s awesome that you’re the smartest thing. That’s why we’re great friends, you’re brilliant, blah, blah, blah, you want to ask other people. 

But furthermore, if you have a great idea, it really helps, and there’s always competition. If someone says there’s no competition, they haven’t searched well enough. But you look at the competition, and then go in and read the comments of what people say about their product. And you will invariably see comments that say, I love this product. But I wish it did this, but I wish it had that. There’s your clue right there, people want that. It’s not out there. 

So I always tell people, they can go about launching their great idea in one of two ways. One, you can make what you want to make, and you think it’s really cool. And you can go out and try and find someone to buy it. And a lot of times that involves educating them as to why this is such a great product. 

Or you can do some research, and you can find out what people want. And you can provide that. And guess what your target audience and your people who are going to buy that, they’re already there. You just plug in, and it’s plug and pay. 

So that’s a great way to test your product. And it’s a great way to test your idea. And it’s a great way to find out what does the marketplace need? What do they want? And then whatever hits your hot button, or you’re already on, you know, something that you know is going to work, you can fine tune up from there. And it works every time.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. Which leads us right into the fact that you’ve written an entire book about how to take this idea that’s in your brain. And whether or not you’re working in the research and development, the R&D department at a major corporation, or you are sitting there thinking I’ve got this great idea, I’m going to become my own entrepreneur, your book Brain to Bank will help people get that. And in your book, I quote, it says get the idea out of your head and cash in. So will you talk a little bit about what the book is about? And how you kind of got started? Why did you write this book?

Dorine: I wrote this book because I spent the last 30 years of my career helping startups. Companies would call me and hire me to come in and start their company. I’ve come in as early as to even name the company. But you know, they’re looking to set up systems and processes. And what about product development? And how do I get the materials in? And what about logistics? And what about, you know, global expansion? 

And I’m sure that to the listeners on the podcast here, most of them have an idea. Everybody has at least one good idea in their lifetime. What have you done with that? What do you want to do with it? You know, so as we continue talking in this podcast, you know, some of the things that you’ll learn about are, you know, where to begin to get your idea out of your head? Where do you start? What steps are involved in that? If it was easy, everybody would do it. 

But if you have a blueprint, and you know what to do, all you do is follow it and you’ll get to the end of it. And then you know where can I get more tools and resources that will help me be better at what I’m creating here. And those are the things that the audience will leave with today. Brain to Bank covers all of that. It’s a culmination of 30 years of helping people start their businesses. And more than anything, I have learned what not to do, because I’ve seen it all.

Nicole: Which is almost more important, right?

Dorine: It is more important. Oliver Wendell Holmes said you know, you can’t live long enough to make all the mistakes that you can make. So just learn from somebody else. And the book has a section and it’s called another episode in the drama series of I didn’t see it coming. And all these businesses have made these huge mistakes, because they didn’t know what not to do. And the book talks about what not to do, and then it will tell you what to do. 

And so you get to skip all that learning stuff and go right to the smart stuff and implement it. And you’ll not only know where to begin, but you’ll learn how to create your target market. Who’s your audience? You know, if you’re selling to everybody, you’re selling to nobody. So would it not be better to be a great big fish in a small pond and control that niche market rather than another me too, in a market that’s oversaturated and really doesn’t need what you have anyway. 

You know, so as we explore developing and launching your ideas in a real business, you’re going to feel inspired and excited and challenged and motivated. Because you’ve had this idea for a long time. How do we get it out of your head now and into the hands of consumers that have been waiting for you to get your idea to them?

Nicole: Yeah. And I love what you say. I mean, already in the introduction, she’s giving you kind of a clue. And she says, you know, finish this sentence. Yeah, I’ve got a really awesome idea for a really cool product that will change the blank. Right? So you know, what people are looking for is a solution, an answer. Something that helps them live life in a higher better format do work better. So will you talk a little bit about making sure that you understand what your product does for the client, for the customer?

Dorine: Yeah, that’s a great question. And it’s one to ask early in the game. And there’s a worksheet in the book, it’s to create your avatar. Now, I have to admit in the beginning, when I first started in this industry, I thought an avatar was something that James Cameron created and was blue and flew across trees. And I didn’t realize that it was actually what they call a, who’s your perfect person that will buy this in marketing. Your avatar is what you write down, who’s the perfect person. 

So you know, if you’re creating a cube sickle to sell on the street, who’s your perfect client? Well, it’s probably the neighborhood kids and that live within a radius of one mile, right? And they’re under the age of 12 and they’re riding their bicycle, and they come over on your street for one reason or another. And you can write down all the reasons why they’re your target market. 

Well, if you’re creating a service, let’s say you’ve got a really great way to market social media that no one has ever thought of before. Who’s your target? It’s to begin with is probably entrepreneurs that have to get their message out. And so concentrate on that to begin with, who are they? What age group are they in, and there’s a whole, I don’t know, four or five pages that you can write all your answers in. 

And then you look at it and you go, okay, this is my target market, and more importantly, everything outside of that is not. So then you’re going to learn what your message is going to be. And if they’re going to be Gen Z, that’s going to say something a whole lot different than if they’re baby boomers. 

And you’re going to know how to address them, what their hot buttons are, what they’re looking for, not to be too technical, or maybe even more technical, or, you know, be a little edgy, or be straightforward. It’s gonna tell you all about how to do your messaging and how to get to them. And that way, they’re going to understand what you’re selling, and why. That’s a really great thing for them to look into buying.

Nicole: Yeah, yeah. And you say that at the end of every chapter, there are these worksheets, and so she’s got like an area where you think about it, you organize it, and then you start to do it. And I love what she’s saying too, about figuring out your avatar. You know, in the marketing world, I’m an old marketing gal, you know, we would sit down, we’d figure out the demographics. You know, who is the ideal client, like you’re saying, and then of course, the psychographics, which is how does this person think. How do they move in the world? 

And how can I reach them where they are? So definitely got to reach out and don’t forget, the book is called Brain to Bank. All right. And so you talk about part one, you kind of challenge everybody like, you know, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and you talk about knowing your why. Will you talk a little bit about if I’ve got a product, I want to bring it to the market. Why do I need to know my why and how do I figure that out?

Dorine: That’s a great beginning question. Because it’s the first question you probably need to ask yourself is, you know, why do I want to do this? And an answer as simple as, well, I need money. It doesn’t really hold water at the end of the day. It’s a lot deeper than that. If you ask the whys, about five levels down, you get to the real answer. Well, why do you need money? 

Well, I need money because my husband was injured and he’s out of work. And I don’t know when he’ll go back. Well, so why do you need money? Well, because I’m the only one here that can really do that. Well, why do you need money because my kids need shoes because they need to go to school. Well, why do you need money? Because I don’t want my kids to be embarrassed that they’re on welfare. It goes on right? You can dig deep. 

The reason you want to know your why is because even though this is outlined in 17 chapters, and it looks like you go from one to 17, and all of a sudden you’re off on vacation to Italy somewhere, it’s deeper than that. Because when it gets tough and it invariably will, you cling to that why, and you figure it out, I want my kids to be happy and accepted. And I want them to have those Nike shoes that they want so they’re friends don’t make fun of them. And I care more about that than I do about an extra hour of sleep tonight. 

So I’m going to stay up and run the numbers on this. So I understand it. It gives you that grit and that place to go that gets you through the hard spaces that always happen. And that’s why you need to know that. And that’s why you need to know it to begin with. Because it can get difficult and you just hang on to that. And it gets you through the tough times.

Nicole: Yeah, 100%. And if you go into page 16, she’s got five really powerful questions. One is, why do I want to bring this idea to life? So there’s the why, which is your purpose, but then why do I want to bring it to life? Why do I think it will be worth my time, effort and money to develop and launch? 

Why do I think investors will want to invest money in developing my product? And why would anyone want to purchase this product? And why would anyone tell others about my product? So I mean, I think if you sat and answered all five of these questions, I mean, I think, Rivers, they would be I mean, it’s almost like entrepreneurs need to convince themselves first, right? Otherwise you grow weary in the trying.

Dorine: Well, I think that’s right. And I think it’s understanding all the answers to all those questions that fine tunes your passion for what you’re doing, the reasons why you’re doing it, and why other people should care about it. And you will have many opportunities for people ask you just about those same questions. You’ll already have the answer. You will have already thought about it. You’ll already have gotten down to the roots of those whys. 

Which means that you’re convinced as to why you’re doing that, and why it’s worthwhile, which makes it so much easier for you explain it to other people, including investors down the road. Or a spouse who’s tired of you spending all your nights working on your extra project, or whatever it is, you’ll already know. And you hang on to that.

Nicole: Yeah, 100%. And, you know, I think another like kind of genius thing you’ve got in here is on page 23. You challenge your readers to think about, you know why you’re good at business or five things you know, you excel at in business, because number one, you need to recognize your strengths. Number two, you got to recognize maybe areas where you’re gonna need some help.

Dorine: Well, that’s absolutely right. And I think that everybody obviously has different strengths, and different things they’re good at. So know what those are. And then I have a section in the book talking about outsourcing things, you’re not good at. Let’s just say you’re really creative. 

And you’re in you’re great connector with people, but you’re not not good with the financial part of things. So you’re going to start with having a basic understanding of the finances. So when you outsource that to somebody else, and they send you back a P&L, or a balance sheet, you actually know what that is. 

And you can, you know it well enough that you can ask the right questions, but you don’t have to do it and you don’t have to learn it on a cellular level. And so you know, there is Dan Sullivan said, you know, there’s no sense in working on your weaknesses, because all you get is strong weaknesses. So work on your strengths and let those champion the day and farm out the rest of it through outsourcing.

Nicole: Yeah. 100% Yeah. So I am very familiar with Dan Sullivan. And, and he’s got a great little book. So not only do you need to get River’s book Brain to Bank, but totally and I know she will endorse it too. He’s got a little book called Who Not How. So there are some things that you don’t need to know how to do it. You just need to know who can do it. 

So a fantastic book by Dan Sullivan. Love that. All right. Well, let’s keep working kind of through the book because I think you’re laying down some great ideas for people. And in chapter two, you really talk about mapping out the action plan. So you’ve got this idea in your brain and you want to take it to the bank. 

So you’ve got concept, research, development, regulation, and then marketing. So we could probably just spend the whole rest of the podcast talking about these five stages, but will you kind of take us through the mapping out of your action plan to get your idea from brain to bank?

Dorine: Well, those are the five pillars, which turn into your business plan, which is covered in a subsequent chapter. And here’s why you want to explore that and more particularly the business plan in detail. People get so excited about their product that they cannot wait to get started, especially if it’s a product that moves or does something. 

Engineers want to create that. And so they’re going to create this cool robot that goes across their desk and picks up the pin and brings it to them. And everybody needs one of these. And it’s the coolest thing ever. So at the end of the day, what do they have? They have a robot that picks up the pen, they do not have a business, they have no framework in which to sell what they just spent a whole year creating. 

So the business plan does a couple of things. One, it forces you to think about all the different aspects of your business, some of which we’ve covered. Who’s your target market? How are you going to market to them? Who are your competitors? Who’s your target audience? All of those things are covered in the business plan. It makes you stop and figure it out. And that tells you number one, what you’re doing. 

And number two, it allows you to not go off track on something else that’s going to cost you time and money. Because you didn’t have it figured out. So the business plan is for you to begin with. And then secondly, I have worked with companies and sold companies in mergers and acquisitions, who never wrote a business plan. 

They were 10, 11, 12 year old companies, and they went to sell their company and the investors who are going to buy the company says, well, let’s take a look at your business plan. And then these cross-eyed people are going, uhh. Now they’re writing a business plan for the last 12 years that they should have been adhering to to begin with. 

And you have to make it up because you can’t remember what happened 12 years ago. And it’s not the same thing. So write it, and as you go and you develop your business, you’ll change parts of that. And that’s okay. And it happens more than it should. If you’re moving along and learning new things that are actually going to make it better. You go back and you change a little bit of it. 

But you still have it. It’s still your roadmap, and you still adhere to it. So you don’t get off track and waste time and money on something that you never meant to do. So all those elements are critical. And they’re obviously after figuring out why you’re gonna spend the next couple years of your life on this. Okay, what am I going to spend it on? And how am I going to do it? And the business plan offers that roadmap for you to follow.

Nicole: Yeah, and you give such great examples. Especially on page 34, you talk about you’ve got to have a strategic focus, the strategic plan. So a mission statement, where are you going and why? The values that your organization is going to uphold? So you’ve got to have that kind of around this beautiful brand new product or service. The vision. Where are we going, you know, what’s, what’s the endgame? What are we hoping to get accomplished in the future? And the goals to make that vision happen. 

And then the strategies, and then of course, how we’re going to implement it. So really great information in the book about how to get that strategic plan in place. So you also talk about identifying partners in the process, and how important it is to surround yourself kind of with the right people. Will you talk a little bit about how important potential partners are and how you kind of discern who’s right and who can help?

Dorine: It’s not unlike the process of figuring out who your target audience is. So let’s say you’re manufacturing your robot, okay. And you don’t really have a manufacturing facility. You don’t want to own one, but you need to partner with someone that’s going to do that part for you. So you’ll interview people who are also aligned with your values and how you’re going to conduct your business. 

And it’s very important to get references from other people. But then these people become a partner in what you’re doing, as opposed to you having to do every single thing by yourself. They’re gonna be your manufacturing partner, and it behooves you to listen to them. There’s a thing called manufacturability. And what that means is there’s a certain way that you can manufacture something and have it come out just like you thought it would. 

And then then there’s you saying, oh, I don’t want to do it that way. I heard about this, and the manufacturer partner is going well, you know, our experience is that doesn’t work great. Well, I want to do it that way. There’s a great example in the book about a company that did that. 

And they ended up with about 2000 parts that ended up being boat anchors, because they never turned out the way they were supposed to turn out. And so the bottom line is, listen to the advice of your partners. Once you’ve done your due diligence, and you’ve selected a great strategic partner for yourself. Listen to them. Another type of partner is one that maybe sells something similar to what you sell. 

But it’s not a competition. And so if you partner with both of those together, maybe you have a better chance of selling twice as many, because people will buy theirs, and then see yours and go, I need this too. And those are super great partnerships, if you have that kind of a product or service.

Nicole: Yeah, and, you know, the thing about being entrepreneurial, or coming up with an idea is I think sometimes you’re very protective. You want to kind of keep it to yourself, but what River says in her book is, is if you find the right strategic partnerships, you’ll have these benefits. You’ll probably have increased revenue, expanded customer base, expanded geographic reach, expanded, or excuse me, extended product lines, shared resources, and then maybe even access to different technologies. 

And different things that could help you kind of get the business off the ground. So thinking about being strategic about your partners is really, I think, truly essential to getting this product, this product, this idea out of your brain and over to the bank. So really great stuff. So another thing you say in the book is we’ve got to take action on items, and you’ve got to be really action oriented. So again, thinking it, organizing it and doing it. 

So will you talk about one of the first things is like being very strategic about naming. You say in the book, I loved what you say this. Naming your baby. And you said that you’ve been brought in as early as the naming process of the baby. So will you talk a little bit about naming the baby?

Dorine: In this day and age, most people know they need a website. To get a website, you’re going to need a domain name. So you’ll go on to something like for example, GoDaddy, and you’ll type it in and you always type .com. And obviously it says almost every time it says this has already been taken. Well people have gone in in the last decade and hoarded URLs, for whatever reason, I don’t know, but they’re hanging on to him. 

So you have to get creative. And I make a joke about that in the book and go pooch go and then someone’s you know, trying to find a name that works. And but GoDaddy has gotten a lot more sophisticated. They’ll give you alternatives that are close to what you wanted. And then there are also it used to be that the .com was the big thing. 

And that’s what you wanted and chances of getting that in this day and age without paying some gigantic premium for it aren’t real great. So get creative. If you’re going to create a health product and the .com is gone, you know, why can’t you put something like a and choose a different extension that actually says what you’re doing and is available. So looking for a name, I always get the domain name first. 

And then I’ll go to the state and register the name of the company. Because I don’t want to register the name of the company and then never be able to get anything close on a domain name. So I do it in that order and just secure it. You can get it for, you know, $9 for one year, while you’re thinking about does this really work. 

I mean, it’s worth nine bucks just to sit on it. And I’ll typically choose two or three and I’ll look at those. And one of them will start to resonate and I’ll do some research on who the competition might be. If someone has a similar name, what’s their business and is it going to be confused with what I’m doing. 

You have to do all that now because it’s just not that easy to choose the name and then think that you’re free and clear and that no one else is going to confuse you with someone else that might have something similar. So do all that. And then when you have all that done, get your name with the state and then you know, get your license and go get your bank account and do that after. But I always get the domain name first.

Nicole: Right. And then after that, she gives you all the suggestions, you know, you’re gonna need to then look at your print media, your video advertising, social media management, content creation, and then logos and graphics. But grab that website and that domain first. Absolutely fantastic. 

All right, so then you talk about writing the actual business plan. I know we’ve talked about that a little bit. But I think people sometimes aren’t as clear. We gave the outline earlier of mission, vision, values, those kinds of things. But the company business plan, it’s a pretty robust document. And it’s beneficial in a lot of ways. Will you talk about, instead of like you said, the company that’s been kind of winging it for 12 years. 

What are some benefits, or maybe a story you have about somebody who really got it thought out? They think it, they organize it, and then they executed on it. Will you tell us a little bit about a story, or maybe one of your companies where you got that business plan, and it just really nailed it for you?

Dorine: Yeah, you know, there’s a couple ways to do the business plan. And I actually suggest you do both of them. There’s something called the one pager or the lean plan, and it really kind of has boxes on it. And you just fill in the most overview of that section that you can. And it gives you a really good head start on just getting clear for yourself. 

What is the product? Who am I selling it to? How will I manufacture it?Just the real basics. And then from there, you would do a traditional business plan, which is blowing that out in every aspect. But things are so easy now because there are online programs.

Nicole: Yeah, resources like crazy. 

Dorine: They are and you just go on there, and it’s like painting by numbers. Like paint red right here. Now paint blue, now paint your green right here and in you just literally fill in the boxes right down to the scariest part of financials, where it practically just cranks it out for you. And there’s your financial plan. So it’s nothing to be afraid of anymore. The only thing to be afraid of is not doing it and what happens if you don’t.

Nicole: 100%. Yeah, and you know it’s so funny. You said you know, the financials is the scariest part, you know, but chapter six, the title of her chapter six is Financials, Budgets and Value. I think that’s hilarious. So will you talk to us a little bit about financials, budgets and value? Why did you include that?

Dorine: Because it’s how I came to finally be able to reconcile the fact that I had to learn financials and understand it enough. I’m a creative person. I’m a right brain creative developer, come up with a 30,000 view plan. And I can implement that. And I can figure out what all the pieces are, until I get to the money part. And then I just stare at it. Because I don’t know financials. 

And I’ve never known financials. And there’s a funny story in that chapter telling you that I finally made myself learn it right down to having to take the series 79 investment banking test, which is nothing more than these three page formulas of numbers. And I studied my guts out. And it took me three times to pass the test. 

Because I made myself want to understand it and learn it on that level. Nobody listening needs to learn it on that level. I’m an overachiever that just can’t be fixed. But for most people, there are references in those chapters that say, here’s a free online course just to understand what the P&L, profit and loss statement, what does it really mean? Go take it, it’s an hour of your life and you’re going to understand your business 100 times more than before you took it. 

And you’ll be able to ask your accountant the right questions. And when they explain things to you, your eyes aren’t going to get crossed and get stuck there. You’re going to actually understand not only what they’re talking about, but to be able to ask more questions, so you’ll understand that better. 

So it can be scary and it could be something you’ve never done before. The marketing section in the book could be the same thing for you. Maybe you’re great at numbers, but you don’t know how to do marketing and talk to people and connect to them because numbers don’t yell back at you, and they don’t have personalities. 

And that’s a much easier thing to deal with. So everybody has their little section of what they’re afraid of tackling. But there is help for every single thing in that book that you think you might be afraid of. And it’s like, here’s how to not be afraid to do this.

Nicole: That’s right. That’s right. Yeah. So she has in this chapter about financials, you know, she explains what an income statement is, what a cash flow statement, a balance sheet, which are the three basics of accounting and takes you through it and shows you how they’re intricately linked, which I think is absolutely fantastic. And really, that’s the first section of the book. And so that’s really getting your ducks in a row getting your act together. 

And then you talk about in the second part of the book is going the distance. Because this is a lot about, you know, having the endurance to carry on. And so everybody’s curious about what I was talking about in the intro. Just real quickly, tell us where you just got back from and how you demonstrated some serious endurance.

Dorine: That’s a, it’s a great analogy for life in general. I was on safari in Africa, in October of last year. And I kept flying over Mount Kilimanjaro on the way to these camps. And about the third time over, I’m looking at this beautiful, snow capped mountain and I’m thinking two things. One, this has been on my bucket list to hike since 1993. Hello, 30 years ago. And two, you ain’t getting any younger. 

So I came home, and I signed up with an extremely reliable and credible expedition company called Tusker Adventures, and I put my money down. And then I went online and I got my airline reservations. And I know myself well enough that if I tee myself up like that, which is I get organized enough to do it. I’m going to do it. 

And so I practiced and trained hiking for almost nine months. And it really was like giving birth to another baby, when that thing finally happened. And, I went to Kilimanjaro. And I knew, when I took that first step, I would finish. Even if I had a crawl on my hands and knees, I would have finished. 

Because taking the first step is always the hardest. But it is the beginning to the end of finishing that goal. People are afraid to start. But if you commit to the start, means you’re going to commit to the ending, then you just take that first step and you go okay, game on.

Nicole: Yeah, and that is exactly what it’s like to take something, an idea from your brain to the bank. You’ve got to figure out which side of the mountain are you going up? Who’s going to partner with you? In this case, it was the folks at Tusker did I get that right? Yeah, and then you’re going to have to, you know, do that. And really, I love the title of chapter seven too which you say is Working Together Alone, which is I mean, nobody’s gonna carry you up Mount Kilimanjaro are they. 

You’re gonna have to work together alone to get up that side of the mountain, right? So somebody can show you the way, you can have a Sherpa, you can have these partners that we talked about at the beginning of the call picking a strategic partner to help you be more effective, but definitely working together alone. I love that.

Dorine: That working together alone, actually is also a chapter about outsourcing. A lot of entrepreneurs are actually solopreneurs. And they’re working alone in their office at home at the kitchen table, whatever it is. And yet you can still hire and work with global partners all over the world. I have partners in Russia and in Spain, and in Poland, and Bangladesh and Kenya. 

I work with these people almost on a weekly basis. Because after working with them for years, I have fine tuned, here’s my video editor. Here’s my graphic design person. Here’s the person that handles my calendar. And they are a whole team and yet I don’t hire them as W-2s. They’re 1099s. I pay them as I need them. 

But when I need an expert, I have someone, the best in their field that’s not on my payroll, but is there when I need them for a specific project. And working together tells you how to do that successfully. And what they find is that people who outsource actually are saving about 40% of the cost, other than if they were hiring this out. 

And it saves them time, which means it saves them money. Now you got this money to put somewhere else, maybe it’s going into marketing, maybe you’re going to upscale your manufacturing. Whatever. But 40 percent is a big chunk. Especially in the get go, and it’s out of your own pocket. So working together, I actually just spun out into a new book that I’ll have ready in about probably two months. 

And it’s all about how to do all of that on your own. And you’re working together as all these people alone by yourself handling it, like a general contractor handles all the best subcontractors that they’re working with. And pretty soon you’ve built this incredible house, because you hired the best of the best in each one of those areas.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. Yeah. And she goes on in the book to talk about, you know, protecting your intellectual property. And just all sorts of great things that help you take your idea from the brain to the bank. It is at the top of the hour, and I can’t believe it, we just got started. 

But you know, River, what I want to do is I’ve got a listener out there, I know that is saying, oh, wait, don’t let her go. I just want one more nugget from River. So would you just kind of lay down one little more thing that somebody might take an idea from you, or a tip or strategy and put it in their pocket and take that to the bank?

Dorine: Well, I think it really comes down to if I can do this, so can you. Imagine yourself a year from now and you’re sitting in your own office, you’re running your own business, you’re creating this project, or this service that you’ve had in your head for a long time. And you’re reading the reviews, and the reviews are awesome. 

And you’re just sitting there feeling this great pride and satisfaction in what you’ve accomplished. And then you turn your attention to not analyzing an Excel spreadsheet or not looking at your balance in QuickBooks, but a colorful page that you googled and the heading says bike riding through Tuscany, the ultimate Italian vacation, or some other dream adventure that you have been hatching for a decade, but never did. 

And you envision the look of the faces of your friend, or your spouse or partner, or that grin that your kids get. And you decide how you’re going to best surprise them with the fact that you’re going to spend time with them and create another memory. 

And all of this is possible because you had the guts to dream big, to get your plan organized. And to do it from beginning to end. And what you’ve really created is the freedom to do it your way. And to get to the end of that and feel like oh my gosh, I actually did this. And you can do it. You can do it.

Nicole: Yeah, that’s awesome. What motivation everybody’s got now. So question everybody. What is the idea, the service the thing that you’ve got in your head? And how do you get it to the bank? And you could do that by going out there and purchasing Dorine Rivers’ book. So how do we find you? Don’t forget you’re on a first name, nickname basis with her. River, how do we find you? How do we find your book?

Dorine: Well, a couple places you can actually go to the website, And I actually got the real name of the book. Amazingly, it wasn’t taken. And you can also look on Amazon. It’ll be there. Barnes and Noble. Your bookstores carry it. 

There’s the audio book, there’s a hardback, a paperback. There’s an ebook. And there’ll be an online course about in the next two months. And if that’s easier for you to learn to have some person talking to you and training you, great. That’ll be up and running too.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. Thank you so much, River, for being on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. It has been an absolute delight. Everybody go out and check out Brain to Bank. Thank you so much for sharing your time and energy. 

Dorine: Thank you

Voiceover: Ready to build your vibrant culture? Bring Nicole Greer to speak to your leadership team, conference or organization to help them with their strategies, systems and smarts to increase clarity, accountability, energy and results. Your organization will get lit from within. Email And be sure to check out Nicole’s TEDx talk at

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