(38 minutes)

Makenna Johnston

Makenna Johnston

I had such a great time chatting with Makenna about her work. She is definitely one to watch with a crazy interesting background. She has been marketing since she was in high school, where she did work for local businesses at $20/hour! The bio she sent me prior to our conversation is so colorful and interesting, that I’m going to do something out of the ordinary for me and post it in full here:

I was born with strong lungs & full head control, and I am the one an only kiddo birthed into my awesome family of Mommio (a do good-in’ nurse who protested the Vietnam war naked) and Daddio (Psychology graduate turned business man of some renown).  We lived and breathed California surf & salt until my dad’s career which kept us on our toes, moved us to the sunny mountains in Boulder, CO.  Hello sunshine, snow, skiing, and opportunity.  In High School, due to my bone crushing awkwardness with folks my age I started two businesses. While friends flipped burgers, I did marketing consulting & made jewelry. Quick witted and easily bored I planned to graduate high school early, but lo and behold!  NO DICE.  I was diagnosed with the big C (12 years cancer free now).

After a year of clipped wings, I spread them east to become a woman of Smith College and join the ranks of folks like Gloria Steinem & Julia Child. There I learned to write, had too much fun, & thought about hard stuff like theories of Tibetan emptiness.  I absorbed an obsessive travel bug & quickly started globe trotting.  My passion for business and do-gooding {result of years of travel} led me to seek a M.Sc. degree from NYU where I studied Private Sector Development–the intersection of private sector business and development problems. From there i worked with the great minds of the Kate Spade brand, a pulitzer prize winning photographer, the brains that basically rule the financial charts of the interwebs, and many more. Enter starting a non-profit that used grassroots development efforts to produce BIG returns on investment, while simultaneously being a business professor for two years. Exit non-profit after failed economy, goodbye cush teaching job thanks to a military move. Lucky me, I found Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching, which gave me the mental ninja skills to help clients reach new heights.

Smoosh it all together, add a dash of marriage & movement & a deep desire to change the world through entrepreneurship and the Bliss Doula (that’s me) was born.

I’ve been lucky enough to consult, coach, and work with hundreds of clients including–individuals, small businesses, medium sized businesses, artists, creatives, non-profits trying to change the world, social entrepreneurs, writers, and even teams from Fortune 100s and 500s.  I utilize my passions for ‘being the change you wish to see’ by investing time and energy into the TEDx movement–I’m the co-founder of TEDxMacon and lead teams for TEDxSan Antonio. These days I’m getting rule breakers like you to play bigger, bust up blockages of fear/procrastination/creativity, and live their blissed out life.


Other fun facts:

  • Makenna is a birthing doula who helps deliver babies.
  • We just discovered that we have a Facebook friend in common: a family friend of mine who Makenna taught when she was a professor at Mercer.
  • This is Makenna’s fourth business. She was CEO of her own non-profit.
  • Makenna has studied Tibetan meditation and believes that philosophy really prepared her for marketing better than anything.

Challenges for YOU this week:

  • Reasonable challenge: Investigate areas outside your area of expertise like Makenna did with philosophy. How can you incorporate out-of-the-box training and education into your own work?
  • Bigger challenge: Can you make time for a 10-day meditation retreat in Tibet? How about a birthing class? What totally unrelated hobbies can you explore in a BIG way?