Meet Bobby Govanus, Founder of Reinvention Retreat & Bestselling Author, A True Visionary Leader Who Connects Entrepreneurs to Their Pasion & Success in Life!
Q: Prior to starting your own company … can you share with us a little about your career in retail?
BG: I began in retail at age 16 and took on increased responsibility and different roles. I was eventually a Buyer for women’s clothing, Merchandise Manager and store manager with my biggest store doing $17 Million annually. I loved my years in retail because it is a people business and creating relationships that build sales and training people to do the same is a recipe for success in ANY industry. I believe everyone should work at least a month in retail or food service to get to know how important it is to treat everyone with respect.
Q: You’re an Amazon Best Selling Author … can you tell us what inspired you to author four published books? Do you have other releases on the horizon?
BG: I know that everyone has a story to tell. I believe that bringing those stories to print is the best way to be not only a cautionary tale but a mentor to anyone willing to take the time to read. I have been an avid reader my whole life and espouse that you are the last 5 books you have read. In conjunction with that the five people you spend the most time with will also determine who you become. It follows then that I would want to write. My next book is “Party Planning for my 100th Birthday” which includes tips on organizing an actual party but really the focus is how to create a life worth celebrating. I am also publishing a book of 366 Daily Scripture Reflections entitled Awakening to Scripture. These are taken from my Scripture Blog. https://bgovanus.wordpress.com/
Q: I see we have one thing in common … a passion to support nonprofits. Can you tell us about some of the projects you’ve been a part of?
BG: I have always been involved in philanthropic causes since my youth. I have led the Retail Division for the United Way, served on boards for medical organizations that serve the homeless, been President of a non-profit that raises money for scholarships for women and have served on every committee at the churches where I have worshipped through the years. I have a passion to help create a vision for organizations that sometimes get too focused on the deliverables and have forgotten what their mission was when they started. When I can help someone see how they can participate and make a difference, I feel I have done my job. Everyone needs to give; it makes them a worthier and happier person. I love helping people discover what they are passion about and then engaging with a cause that matches that passion. That is truly a win/win/win.
Q: Your title is Certified Passion Test Facilitator, for those in our audience you may not be familiar with that title, can you tell us more about what it means?
BG: I became aware of The Passion Test, a book by Janet Bray Atwood and Chris Atwood at a very low time in my life. It had a huge impact on me as I used what I learned by reading it. I needed to refocus and begin to live again! This book showed me how to be on purpose and begin again with passion! The method outlined helps you identify your top five passions. When I started doing retreats, I learned that there were Passion Test Facilitators and brought them to deliver the three hour workshop as part of my Reinvention Retreats. After several years and bringing people from around the world to deliver to over 200 attendees, several people suggested that I should become a Facilitator myself. The rest is history. My personal Purpose Statement is “Revealing Passion” and now I do that for a living. How cool is that?
Q: In 2015 you created the Reinvention Retreat at Sea for those who want to make the rest of their life the best … can you give us a little insight on this?
BG: When I was going through the searching process mentioned above, I read Brian Tracy’s book, Reinvention, Making the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. I read in that book that 80% of the people surveyed by Gallop were dissatisfied with their life. So many people feeling the same angst that I had felt told me that I needed to do something to help. Retreats that were best for me had always been at secluded places where I had no decisions to make but could just turn myself over to the moment, unplug and be open to what I needed to do to make the changes I sought. So, I thought a cruise ship would be the perfect spot for this kind of reawakening. All needs were being met, and Royal Caribbean had dedicated Conference space, so my retreat was born.
The Passion Test was the mandatory beginning and once the attendees knew their top 5 passions, they could attend breakout sessions they chose to learn how to bring their individual passions to life. I offered multiple areas of focus… personal, career, physical and spiritual. There was something for everyone.
Q: Your company Interactive Media Productions has helped take many individuals to the next level … can you share a success story with us?
BG: IMP offers solutions for business owners who need biz coaching, personal mentoring, organizational redesign and branding clarity. My husband, the technical guy, who has also authored thirteen books and creates web sites, writes email campaigns and allows me, the Marketing Maven, to handle the creative side.
A success story that might resonate with many of your female readers is a Solopreneur who was undercharging for her services. We worked together discussing her value and establishing some ways she could better use her time, create a funnel and establish benchmarks. She tripled her revenue and now only accepts clients that appreciate her and align with her passions.
Q: What are some of the best practices you have employed to enjoy a successful career?
BG: Read a minimum of 30 minutes a day from a book that motivates, educates or inspires. I read for fun too, but the mind has to be stretched often or it stagnates. I recommend to people who say they don’t have time to use Audible and use car time as a positive instead of a negative.
I believe whole heartedly in Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule. Act immediately when something important occurs to you. An idea not acted upon is soon LOST!
Get up early. Even if you are NOT a morning person, your circadian rhythm works best if you follow that clock. NEVER hit the snooze alarm… your life is waiting!
Delegate the things that you hate doing. You might be great at them but if you dislike the task, you are putting negatives in your life. Negatives stifle growth and creativity. This is one of the key points in The E Myth by Michael Gerber, a book I recommend every entrepreneur read.
Q: What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?
BG: Fear of FAILURE! It can stop you from achieving even the simplest goal. Because of procrastination or perfectionism, I put off doing what I feared. I wanted to be perfect but learned there is no such thing. One of my books, Breaking Through, Reinventing After Failure was written to help myself as much as help others. For example, when I was making the move to owning my own company, I spent a lot of time working on my business plan. I wanted it to be perfect! I finally had to just start! In the first six months, my company, For Your Instructors did a million dollars in sales. Perfection can be a real barrier to greatness.
Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?
BG: I think the most memorable would have to be being named: Entrepreneur Magazine’s Home-Based Business Owner of the Year. I was honored and awed that they selected me. I had created For Your Instructors, Inc (FYI) from the basement of my Minnesota home and brokered computer trainers around the world. My staff was thrilled, and I included them in our featured article in the magazine because no one achieves success alone.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
BG: There are so many who inspire me! I love Brene Brown, Mel Robbins and Rachel Hollis because they are amazing authors. What they are doing for the women’s movement of empowerment has me so excited! Both men and women are learning and embracing what they have to say!
I have always loved Oprah who went for her dreams even though there were so many huge obstacles in her path. Her excellence in anything she does has set the bar high so that others can’t even come close.
I respect and admire working moms who raise amazing kids and excel at a career they love. They have made it possible for all of us to be accepted as the leaders we can be.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
BG: I think the biggest challenge women face today is gender bias. After all the years of working to be considered equal, women still earn 20% less than men, are not considered for top spots and struggle to be accepted for the great talents they bring to the table. Because of this bias, women do not think themselves worthy. Studies show that a woman will not apply for a job if she has only 90% of the qualifications required. Men apply when they have 60% or fewer. This bias has contributed to a lack of confidence that I have seen in generations of women. I now speak at colleges to encourage women students to know themselves and never be afraid to go for what they want.
Q: What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
BG: It is imperative that when you want to lead, you continue to learn. What got you to where you are is not enough to keep you there.
You must surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are in their areas of expertise and then you must empower them to be the best version of themselves. Leadership is casting a vision that can be shared and embraced by a group of people. “Leadership is hard to define, and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.”
- Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo)
No one can lead anyone to do anything that does not inspire them. You can use a stick to get a mule to move but once you stop beating him, that mule will stop. If you use a carrot, the mule stops when the carrot is gone. But if you get racehorses who are proud and want to win, you don’t need the stick or the carrot. You just show them the prize and get out of the way.
Q: What are some of the best practices you have employed to enjoy a successful career?
- When you work for others; treat your job like it is your own business.
- Take the responsibility of making goals for yourself and exceeding them.
- Communicate with superiors and your team so that there will never be any doubt what you will do or what is expected of them.
- Manage up as well as down or you will never be promoted. Your boss must respect you or he/she cannot support you in your quest for more money, more responsibility or their job.
- Plan YOUR Life and do it. Schedule yourself and write down what you will do tomorrow before you leave the office for the day. Then don’t think about it until you come into the office. Your mind is still working in the background…
- When you own your own business, you must set boundaries! Work time, family time, play time must all be scheduled and honored.
- You may have more flexibility in your schedule as a business owner, but you can never forget to work at achieving a balance that you and those in your life can accept. Personally, I am a workaholic by nature and do get a LOT done but it is crucial to the health of your body, soul and relationships that you understand there must be limits and only you can set and honor them.
- DELEGATE and use the least costly person for each job. If you can spend an hour making calls that will bring in $1000 in sales, why would you spend your time stuffing envelopes or paying bills?
Five Things About Bobbi Govanus
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I would love to ask her how she remained so committed and humble in the face of her notoriety and the overwhelming mission that she faced.
2. What’s your favorite movie?
Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life
3. Do you have a favorite quotation?
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
4. Where is your ideal vacation?
Cruising!!! Going anywhere! I love not having to pack and repack but get to see lots of different places. I love the ambiance and entertainment, the food and dressing for dinner. I think that I am a throwback to the 19th century as I love the gentility of meals with several courses and long leisurely time with friends. Favorite spots to cruise are Alaska and Europe.
5. Whose’ your favorite TV or Movie star?