My education journey: Starting with a powerful year-long course

Can you relate? I worked too many jobs - in finance, education and retail jobs. How does a multi-passionate person find the perfect career? I had to see the path and shift my mind. Here’s my journey to entrepreneurship.

Landmark Education Wisdom Unlimited Course
As an avid learner, one ‘landmark’ training that helped me mature and be curious was the Landmark Education Wisdom Course. First as a participant in the year-long journey and then coaching it as a volunteer for a year. It helped see the life patterns in multiple perspectives. It was a call to honor what’s come before us and design a new way forward. It was Design thinking applied to life. This course helped create a guide to move forward from being stuck.

John Cundiff with Market Advantage Technologies
I started working at CB Richard Ellis Commercial Real Estate doing marketing for the top producing sales team. Our team did the Market Advantage Training with John Cundiff. It changed the way I saw the world and spoke to me on a deep level - teaching me that different roles are best suited to kinds of people in business deals - that we each have an automatic driver in our personalities we can leverage.

Two degrees in university: Fine Arts & Adult Corporate Training
From studying graphic arts to majoring in Fine Arts as an undergraduate, I mentored as an installation artist combining tangible artwork in large scale environments. The ability to transform people from one space to another was compelling. My Master’s degree followed in corporate training. I also worked in recruitment and helped leaders with resume writing, interviewing skills and getting clarity on their marketing messages with employment marketing products.

Testing: learning & leadership in large organizations

Training & Leadership in Action at work
I worked for Gap Inc. clothing retailer working in accounts payable finance, then moved to their human resources training area. I focused in website communications and global finance training to all business units often with international travel. This propelled my work, thinking and applying how adults learn.

I moved into training leadership - building a training organization for a 2700-person for Bernalillo County Government in Albuquerque, NM - including the design of two training centers, curriculums for staff at all levels, facilitating all leadership conferences and doing strategic visioning offsites for executive leadership.

This was my minimum viable validation test and it worked. I’ve trained a few thousand individuals, both with my own courses and those I enhanced for brain friendly learning. I applied design thinking and adult learning to help clients build skills and focus on intentional change.

Brain survival lessons using Spiritual age regression hypnotherapy
I also conducted evening and weekend ‘age regression’ hypnosis and ‘spirit release’ therapy. It taught me that our brains are wired for survival, not success. In that process of survival, we get lot’s of emotional associations scrambled creating unsuccessful behavior patters. The subconscious mind ties every related decision to that scrambled association that may or may not make sense. Undoing and correcting these events is the aim of this kind of therapy and it can create lasting shifts for clients.

My ‘unofficial’ Ph.D co-authoring a personality type model
I attended courses by in MBTI-based personality psychology. During a side discussion, Linda Berens and I decided to work at co-authoring a new psychological type model around the MBTI-based sixteen types. The model was a four style mental patterns style I call ‘Intentional Styles.’ We wanted to simplify an aspect of the theory for practitioners.

To create this model, I had to really understand all the other type models inside and out to filter them out when they came up in the research. I spent an entire year finding the patterns from the data, and we’ve been using it every since in our work and lives. We traveled the world type conferences and chapters presenting our research.

Today, personality psychology is a strong basis for my work because there are deep psychological motivators at work in our lives every moment of every day. I use personality type models, work strengths and developed skillsets to help people determine a satisfying way forward in their work and their lives.

Wisdom: People helping me learn effective systems and processes

The culmination of a clarity mentor, advisor and writer helping clients get ‘unstuck.’
At the core of all my work is a driving need to understand the design of efficient systems, their patterns and processes. I want to see the integrated construct beneath the surface in work and people. Once people see who they are, what they do well and the gift they bring to every situation, they become efficient with choices. I use deep self-discovery clarity to find market clarity with clients.

Along the way I’ve worked and learned professional with some amazing people.
In the ability to understand core psychological motivations in work and life, I created a large part of my education to Dr. Linda V. Berens, John Cundiff, and Suzanne Cook-Greuter.

In the training and marketing worlds - which often overlap in the online course creation world, I credit a large part of learning and helping me see my own effective training frames to Jeanine Blackwell, Sean D' Souza at Psychotactics and David Sibbet of Grove Inc. These three people have shaped how I see education, change management and marketing that honors people and teaches them in a way that's brain friendly.

I also appreciate the spiritual education I’ve received from Dolores Cannon, Mark V. Johnson, Greg McHugh, Mary Ellen O’Leary and Sara Pearl. They’ve helped me understand the nature of brain and spiritual change from a deep subconscious and universal perspective that gave me a depth with my own spiritual development.

Parents: My first marketing role models.

I was fortunate to have a dad who was dutiful to his family serving in the US Air Force as an aircraft mechanic, and later for the US Postal Service as a postmaster in his local community. His work ethic and business curiosity still informs and drives my work.

My mother was not only a home maker to my brother and I, but she stretched money and taught me the value of budgeting and saving. Her inventiveness around the house and her love of crafting inspired my imagination, design thinking and ultimately how I envision frameworks, systems and processes in teaching. She is discerning and has an eye for detail.

Growing up dad always talked about new entrepreneurial ideas he wished he could pursue and mom taught me the power of creating useful products like popcorn balls and jewelry to sell to the neighbors. Marketing seemed a natural fit to help get your work powerfully out into the world.

Clarity: Working with creative start-up entrepreneurs

I was someone struggling trying to translate a corporate career into an entrepreneurial offer. I learned course and product creation in my career as a corporate instructional designer and trainer. I went on to learn basic website conversion, and marketing assets. I saw what closed businesses down, and what made them work.

I love working with open-minded ‘empathic creatives’ - like artist, teachers, healers and personal service providers who want a non-traditional look at starting-up a business. Most of the people I’ve enjoyed working with have great knowledge, skill and passion to help people in their fields - like teaching art, healing fields and even start up marketing. They like to do deeper work with their clients, and while some people love fast results, I believe it’s more important to give clients effective results in a brain friendly way.

How I help new business owners.
I employ the roles of clarity detective, impartial guide, business shaman and helpful decision maker for my clients. They needed an impartial guide, someone to really hear them, help them see their work and themselves. Then they can translate it to their audiences in simple, effective ways through their products and promotional vehicles. My work is to be impartial, work side-by-side with the client and help them see themselves and their work clearly. Together, we work so each step is clear and resonates with the client and their audience.

My Why: How I leverage my work into a fruitful life.

So what do I do when I’m not working?
I’m someone who loves exploring culture through world-wide travel, tasting new cuisines and learning to cook a variety of different tasty foods. I feel that people are closest when experiencing new adventures and enjoy a good meal together. Meals can put people at easy, allow them to be honest, and enjoy the experience of connecting and being human.

One of my favorite trips was to the island of Bali, Indonesia. The experience of being on an organic farming island with lots of interior trekking and ocean snorkeling was a highlight of my life. The people were colorful both in dress and in personality. The food was simple, organic and delicious. I had two cooking lessons on the island - one traditional and the other vegan nutritional.

The only down side is wanted to collect the people I’ve met and bring them all back to my community. I know that’s not practical, but many of them have become friends for life.

I’m no 10x fast-cash at all costs ‘guru.’

The world of rapid 10x business promised by marketing ‘gurus’ isn’t sustainable and can lead non-traditional entrepreneurs all over the place and without focus. By nature, creatives - healers, artists and service providers don’t work well with traditional ways to create and market a business. It was a stumbling block for me trying to fit what gifts I have into a franchised model built for a one-trick pony with a few facebook ads and compelling copy. This doesn’t work for me and how I want to do business.

Compassion is my super power. I try to approach each person as an individual who enters into work together with their history, challenges, failures, issues, wants, needs, desires, dreams, wins and the whole range that makes you unique. This also means that we need to figure out what makes your business unique and compelling from who you naturally are in your life and the world.

I took a few very popular business courses that sells millions of dollars worth each year. But when I tried to apply much of the content, it was inauthentic. It didn’t cast me in an honest light, it didn’t use my uniqueness and clients didn’t really like my marketing.

How do I know? They’d get to my website and stop talking with me. But if I could get them on a call, or show them past testimonials, they’d often change their mind and want to work together. I had to get back to what works for me. I feel you need to do that too in your start-up business.

I have a business so I can enjoy my life. Not the other way around.

I believe in work life balance as much as possible, and balancing work with family. I’m often spending time on weekends with family and make time between work to catch up with my friends for coffee. Working ourselves to death is not a dream business. I’m committed to having a business so I can enjoy life.

This means knowing my limits, creating my limits and limiting my budget and my income goals. I enjoy gifting to charities so I work to have income to help others. I share this so you have a bigger goal for having a business that fuels your work and creates focus for meeting your goals along the way.

Are you ready to start your new journey together? I’m here cheering you on. Here’s to your new adventure in creative start-up. When you are ready to take the next step, I recommend learning more about the Madonna Start-up method.



P.S. We have many sunny days in Placitas, NM. We enjoy the creative famous towns of Santa Fe and Taos to the north, and many outdoor trails, mountains, historic ruins and some lakes around our state. I hope you get a chance to visit the Southwestern High Desert in the USA. Who knows, maybe I’ll host a few workshops here. 🙂

Chris Montoya