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Navigating Business When You Don't Fit The Mold

Written by: Andrea Spyros, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


I was in my final year of the business school at the University of Michigan when a classmate, whom I’ve had almost all my classes and study groups with, said, “Wait! I thought you were in Art School!” I didn’t fit the mold of the business atmosphere. I knew it, I just didn’t realize everyone else knew it too.

I’m colorful, I’m light-hearted, I laugh out loud loudly, and I lift others up. These traits set me apart from my fellow business majors (in addition to the slightly unconventional way I dress #artschoolvibe).

This presented a conundrum for my developing mind. I knew I enjoyed this work and felt much more at ease around this type of thinker. Yet it couldn’t be denied that I also embraced the more artsy woo-woo creative thinking kind of mindset. (Fast forward: Businesses LOVE creative thinkers and innovators like me!)

For many years I saw this as a trait that set me apart and held me back. Now I know that this is one of my greatest strengths.

I realized that you don’t have to fit the mold to be on the right path. (*mops brow*)

Ben Cichy, Principal Systems Architect for Blue Origin and former engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where he worked as an engineer on the Mars Science laboratory mission that recently put a rover on Mars tweeted to the world…

“Got a 2.4 GPA my first semester in college. Thought maybe I wasn’t cut out for engineering. Today I’ve landed two spacecraft on Mars, and am now designing one for the Moon.”

“STEM is hard for everyone. Grades ultimately aren’t what matter. Curiosity and perseverance matter.”

Curiosity and Perseverance

I love that tweet and I love these words (also the names of the two Mars Rovers). Two things that are too often undervalued in the workplace today. Many companies are looking for people who just show up and do what they’re told day after day.

This never sat right with me and the way I ran my business. I made a career out of inspiring people. I empower my staff to take ownership and in turn, a family was created. From this place of trust and compassion, my business grew into one of the most successful retail stores in Los Angeles. I focused on well-being and success followed.

Now, as I move into expanding my speaking career, I aim to help other businesses do the same. I realize there are enough like-minded people out there that I don’t worry about convincing anyone what they need to do or why they should hire me.

I focus on attracting businesses that value building habits around the well-being of their employees. Building skills amongst staff that benefit all and increase productivity.

We all know that a happy employee is a present employee and a productive employee. When businesses work on the habit-changing advice I offer, not only do absences decrease but innovation and creative problem-solving increase as well.


Teamwork and Collaboration

We are in a new age of doing business. It just takes a while for some people to figure it out. Wellness programs are becoming more of a focus and collaboration is a key factor in moving any modern company forward.

I have the pleasure of working with organizations looking to support their teams, their customers, and their families. Helping everyone to live healthier happy lives.

When I am invited in as a consultant the first thing, we look at is how to optimize your product or services. We look at ways to move your product design forward, and we talk about employee wellness.

The way a business approaches these topics lets me know right away if we’re a good fit.

I work with companies that care, not companies with all the answers.

I come in to help you embed the habits for success.

We all know how to do it, but we don’t know how to get it done.

I give companies the tools to re-align with their goals. Most companies and employees focus on an outcome but fail to look at the habits needed to produce the outcome.

You can’t do an aspiration, outcome, or goal, you can only do a behavior.

By simply switching the staff mindset to the behavior you will leap forward toward your goals with greater ease.

Behavior change is the only thing that will guide your team closer to your goals, and I deliver results.

Are We a Good Fit?

  • If you’re reading this and work in a place that values its employees, and believes in collaboration and empowerment then we might be a good fit.

  • If you are ready to work as a team to identify problems and celebrate successes then we might be a fit.

  • If you understand the value of many coming together for a common goal, then we might be a fit.

  • If you care about developing positive relationships with your customers then we might be a fit

  • If you believe in giving staff the tools to succeed and grow with the company then we might be a fit.

  • If you value humility, knowledge, and wisdom, then we might be a good fit.

  • If you believe in giving back to the community and earth as part of your mission, then we might be a fit.

The only way to know is for us to connect. Let’s see if together we can’t search for answers to help you grow in your work. Simply by moving your focus from goals to habits.

I’m a referral business and you might be reading this now because you heard me speak or have been referred by a friend. Let’s take some to brainstorm and figure out the best strategy for your unique business.

Everyone should have a sense of belonging and feel valued at work. Don’t let a good employee or idea slide by because your focus is in the wrong place.

So often, great employees lose interest because they feel like they don’t fit the mold. Don’t let that happen to you. A square peg will never fit a round hole. But if you work with them, empower them, and build habits together, you will find how circles and squares create some of the more productive work environments.

Let’s collaborate on your next big move.

Here’s what clients have to say:

Andrea is an incredible presenter and coach who brings openness, positivity, humanity, and humor to connect with people.

Matthew Temple, Senior Director, Alumni Career & Professional Development, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Andrea Spyros, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Andrea Spyros shows leaders, teams, and organizations how to optimize their efforts and get tangible results quickly and easily. Trained by Stanford behavior scientist and New York Times best-selling author of Tiny Habits, BJ Fogg, she combines emotional intelligence and spiritual wisdom with a proven system backed by science. Her keynotes and workshops marry innovation with practical, actionable steps so organizations can easily navigate change and create products, services and systems that work for all stakeholders.



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