What is Circumstantial Calm? with Jodi Levy

Whenever someone asks me how to find balance, I always say that they are not actually striving for stillness. Then there are other people who achieve a sense of peace and quiet, and don’t know what to do with it!

That’s exactly what today’s guest is experiencing. Jodi Levy, Senior Sales Consultant at 2M7 Financial Solutions, doesn’t know what to do with her newfound state of calm. With a very energetic spirit, work and kids, Jodi had been looking for some calm in her life, but now that she has found it, things feel a little too calm…

How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

Run a quick Google search for “How to be a successful entrepreneur” and you’ll see the same, tired advice over and over again. Most blogs will provide the dictionary definition of an entrepreneur, give some half-baked advice about spending less money on coffee and TV subscriptions, and end with a blurb about never giving up on your dreams. 

In other words, the existing literature on entrepreneurship isn’t exactly revolutionary. 

Instead of talking about surface level business tactics that anyone can learn, this blog post is going to zero in on the lesser-known aspects of entrepreneurship that separate successful people from those who end up quitting on their goals. 

Without further ado, here are several things that’ll increase your likelihood of success as an entrepreneur in 2023. 

1. Forget about “outer calm” 

In a recent article on entrepreneurship, the author talked about cultivating a space of “outer calm.” In other words, they implored business leaders to create an environment void of distractions in order to focus on important business decisions that needed to be made. 

We’re here to tell you that’s nonsense. Why? Because you can’t control whether or not your environment will always be calm. Sometimes your kids will be knocking at your door while you put together a fundraising proposal. Other times, the dog will eat chocolate the night before a big presentation. And still other times, your company might lose a supplier and run out of paper, flour, gas or any other essential commodity that helps your business run.  

In instances like these, you can’t count on an environment of “outer calm.” Instead, you need to develop an environment of inner calm, where you can still function at a high level despite the stresses and pressures of everyday entrepreneurship. 

A sense of inner calm doesn’t mean being still, indecisive or bored. Actually, it’s the opposite. Being internally calm gives you a blank slate to make decisions that keep life interesting — and decisions that will keep your business growing. 

Whenever your entrepreneurial venture starts to stagnate, turn to the calm inside you, and think to yourself: “What kind of opportunities can I create at this very moment that will help me stay busy, growing, thriving and inspired?”

That’s what makes a real entrepreneur. Inner calm > outer calm.  

2. Don’t travel the entrepreneurial road alone 

When you go on a long hike, you don’t go alone. Even if you do go alone, you always tell someone where you’re going first — a friend, a family member or your partner. 

This mentality applies to the business world, too. If you’re an entrepreneur, doing it “all by yourself” is a sign of ignorance, not independence. The best business leaders seek out help wherever they can find it in order to build the best teams and acquire the most up-to-date knowledge possible. 

In terms of team building, creating a group that can execute on the tasks required while also contributing to a strong internal culture is no simple feat. To do this, don’t be afraid of networking — you don’t have to cold call your way through a Rolodex of potential associates, but finding like-minded people in your area and asking them for coffee never hurts. 

Another networking tip: try playing the “no” game with yourself. To play the no game, simply keep asking for things until someone tells you no. Whether it’s asking for an in-person meetup, a one-on-one call or resources to improve your business, you’d be surprised at how often people will say “yes” if you only ask them!

In terms of improving your knowledge, coaching goes a long way toward ensuring you succeed as an entrepreneur. Many CEOs have their own coach to help them see their own blind spots and achieve their goals. If you don’t already have a coach, now’s the time to invest in one. 

Bonus tip: when looking for a coach, choose someone who has already climbed the mountain you’re trying to climb. They’ll be able to show you the path while avoiding pitfalls along the way. 

3. Check in with yourself

Getting a mentor is an amazing tool in becoming a better entrepreneur. However, it’s not the only tool. You also need to consult the first and foremost expert on what you need and want:


That’s right — at the end of the day, only you know exactly what’s going on in your mind. That’s why we recommend keeping a journal to record and catalog your thoughts. When you need to make hard decisions about what comes next, journal about them. 

Your journal prompts can take the form of anything. Your priorities, your shopping list, your biggest dreams, your fears, your new ideas… as long as you feel enriched by what you’re writing about, the subject matter isn’t as important as the practice of journaling itself. In other words, by capturing everything, you’ll almost certainly capture something of immense value. 

How to be a successful entrepreneur: listen to yourself and others  

You’ve made it to the end of this article, but that doesn’t mean you’re done learning how to be a successful entrepreneur. The next step is pretty simple: listen to our podcast episode about an entrepreneur who decided that, after years of running a successful but chaotic business, she wanted to “choose” the kind of chaos she cultivated. 

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I am the president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person. Today, I have a local. A local means someone from Toronto, her name is Jodi Levy.

[00:00:26] Jodi Levy: Levy, but it's okay.

[00:00:28] Kim Ades: Levy. Not Levy, Levy. Jodi, welcome.

Thank you very much. And the Levy apparently is a Montreal thing, which I am rooted in, so hence why I like to correct the Levy or whatever it is to Levy.

The levy. Okay, the Levy. So the funny thing is that Jodi actually is very familiar with my roots and where I grew up, so I'm really excited to be talking to her. But Jody, just fill us in. What are you up to? You work for a company called what is it? Three... No. 2M7. [Chuckles]

[00:01:07] Jodi Levy: 2M7 Financial. You know, I'm a pretty... A type, come from a family of five kids, and we were really taught from the beginning, we don't really care what you do, but you have to be the best. And so we kind of all grew up with a spirit of competition in its most spirit, I would call intended way almost like capitalism was intended before it went completely rotten as far as I'm concerned, but that's not for today's podcast...

And with that took, a spirit of excellence everywhere I went, got two masters consecutively or concurrently, I should say, not even consecutively, and ended up, quite by accident in the recruitment space, and found great success immediately. And despite what I was trained to do, I fell into this and for a series of Murphy's law type of things, was it meant to be? I don't know, clearly here we are, such as the flow of water.

[00:02:12] Kim Ades: So what is 2M7 Financial?

[00:02:15] Jodi Levy: So recently I made a career shift into a less corporate executive leadership type of role into a more sales driven role. 2M7 is a small kind of agile, I'd like to say sexy, business funding machine, if I may. But truth be said, we operate in the second tier funding space, which is essentially where we will fund merchants across Canada, specifically.

We are the funders, so it's always nice when the money comes from your pocket because you have a lot more discretion and control. And we ultimately are a more of a boutique operation, it's not a one size fits all, which is why I chose to work at 2M7 of all the places.

The industry itself is massively growing second tier funding, that is. So in terms of when to run in and jump in a new, having come from what I felt was semi stale, just based on my personality, not in reality, although...

Anyway is really kind of a cowboy time in this market and really carving out our value proposition, carving out space and ownership market share. So it's been a lot of fun for all kinds of reasons.

[00:03:32] Kim Ades: I wanna just go back, 'cause I think it's important to help listeners understand. When you say you fund merchants, does that mean people who run stores? What's a merchant?

[00:03:41] Jodi Levy: So a merchant-- very good question, Kim. We fund merchants, so it's business owners, right? Business owners across the country.

[00:03:48] Kim Ades: So any type of business?

[00:03:51] Jodi Levy: Any type of business, really. There's a couple of industries that kind of perform best or have a greatest need for our funding, like construction and services industry, where you're doing the work prior to getting the money.

So there's always that cash flow especially companies that are in high growth, right? That's when even you might be making a ton of money, but your cash flow is tight. And where we come in is to provide funding fast, albeit not cheap. It's not it's second tier funding, we take on the risk that the bank won't. So before a product hits the shelf, it's got a cost associated with it.

[00:04:29] Kim Ades: And what do you take? Do you take equity in exchange for the funding? Or is it--

[00:04:33] Jodi Levy: Oh no, it's so much more simple. I mean, I'm like super advertising for 2M7, which is great and I epically love them. So what I will say is, you know, we're basically providing, we're looking at our merchant's most recent performance, so their business bank statements for the last three months, and essentially advancing them their future revenues today to cost.

It's fast funding. It's not bank, long term, low interest. We are kind of fast funds available. There is no interest rate, it's a cost for capital, like your running shoes. Not that there are cost for capital, but what is the shoe cost? That's the cost of the shoe. Similarly with the capital. So we make it as easy as possible, you know, funds available and cost are tied entirely to each specific merchant's performance.

So in that sense, we're always looking to customize the opportunity to meet or maximize ROI for our customers. And for that, that's why I'm there, I get to use my brain in addition to of course, drive revenues, for myself, for merchants, for my company.

[00:05:39] Kim Ades: Right.

[00:05:40] Jodi Levy: And be flexible and take care of my kids.

[00:05:42] Kim Ades: Right, and take care of your kids. And we're gonna come to all of that in a brief moment. Because we have a lot of business owners who listen to this podcast, are you only supplying funds for Canadian businesses or for US businesses too?

[00:05:56] Jodi Levy: Canadian only, unfortunately, my fellow international viewers, I think, or whatever it's called in the podcast world. But certainly we are specific to Canada, which I think is kind of a bit of a bonus trend just given in a post COVID world, which I hope we are.

I mean, we're always kind of navigating in and out, but that desire to build your local economy wherever you are has risen and I feel good to be part of it. And while, again, the money's not cheap, at least you get somebody who's gonna be straightforward, honest through the process.

[00:06:31] Kim Ades: And if somebody needs access to these funds, how do they find...

[00:06:36] Jodi Levy: Jodi.

[00:06:36] Kim Ades: How do they find you? How do they find you and how do they find 2... I don't know why I just can't remember.

[00:06:41] Jodi Levy: 2M7. It's 2, like the number two, M like the letter I call it for money or mom, for those of you who are mothers, we know that kids think you have a money tree in the backyard. So, you know, I feel money and mom or-- either way! 2M7, the number, Financial Solutions. Is it Solutions? 2M7.

[00:07:00] Kim Ades: Okay, got it.

[00:07:01] Jodi Levy: And of course, Jodi Levy would be the person you want to particularly reach out to. Jodi Levy. And certainly feel free to reach out to me through LinkedIn. If anyone has any interest in that kind of funding, I'm always open and interested to have the conversation.

[00:07:15] Kim Ades: Perfect! But let's take a sharp right turn. You are on The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, and we are here to provide you with some complimentary, but extraordinarily valuable coaching. So what is the challenge that you wanna share with us today?

[00:07:33] Jodi Levy: I wanna first just say, if I can, I appreciate the seriously valuable opportunity on the fly-- coaching on the fly, it's so impressive that you're able to do that for starters. Bus as I've always said, having worked in the human capital space forever, there's nothing more valuable than feedback.

And there's nothing that's gonna make you feel more satisfied and more wealthy, frankly, in spirit and pocket, because the more feedback you get, the more effective you can beat your job and therefore increase your value. And so the opportunity to come on your podcast and, you know, at this stage in my life, I would say I'm moving out of increasing my value in the market of business, but rather increasing my value in the market of life, and kind of what does that mean?

[00:08:20] Kim Ades: Let's see. Okay, so what is it that's like maybe causing you to feel out of sorts?

[00:08:29] Jodi Levy: That is great question. I did spend my-- I'm a hectic human, there's nobody who will say I move slowly. There's probably no one who will say I have a massive, amazing attention to detail. Like, "if you want the details managed call Jodi Levy". [Laughs] I am a fierce loyal advocate for my customers, my friends, my family, and the things I believe in. What was the question now? My apologies.

[00:08:59] Kim Ades: So what I'm looking for is, what is the area that you are looking for coaching?

[00:09:05] Jodi Levy: Right. So having had that, like one of my goals in the last few years was to stop being so frenetic, whatever that meant. And in every way, as is often the case, whatever your thing is, it shows up at work, with your family, with your relationships.

So in that sense, 'frenetic' was kind of core to my existence and it made me incredibly effective, it's part of the ADD, you can kind of tap into a bunch of things. But also very hectic, and not just for myself, but arguably people around me. It started to become a little static. Needless to say, getting away from that has been the goal.

[00:09:46] Kim Ades: Okay. And what have you tried--

[00:09:48] Jodi Levy: [...] Into a whole life of frenetic, I'm like in a panic state of what does not frenetic look like, what is not chaos? What is, and, you know, for lack of a better word, and I don't use it, is 'calm'. What does a calm space look like? And yeah, it's kind of frightening to be, and I'm in a calm space. It's weird.

[00:10:09] Kim Ades: You're in a calm space because your kids are out there in school?

[00:10:13] Jodi Levy: Per minute from being out. And I almost like them again, having suffered teenage years of dramatic proportion.

[00:10:19] Kim Ades: Okay, so what you're really saying, and I'm gonna just translate a little bit for our audience, is you're in a new stage of life. Your kids are out of the house, you're doing this job, you're doing a great job at this job, things are running smoothly, and there's no drama right now.

[00:10:36] Jodi Levy: Yeah. Like for an extended period of time. So yeah, it's a really new space and recognizing that, wait, it. It looks like it's here to stay, Kim. [Chuckles]

[00:10:47] Kim Ades: Well, the question--

[00:10:48] Jodi Levy: In terms of the non-drama and how do I wanna fill that time.

[00:10:53] Kim Ades: Yeah. But here's a question. Is there any part of the non-drama that is comforting to you? Or is it just like, "whoa, I'm lost"?

[00:11:02] Jodi Levy: Yes, I would say it is comforting, but way more out of sorts than comforting. But a recognition I'm smart, I'm wise enough, I've done enough work. It's incredibly valuable.

[00:11:16] Kim Ades: Yeah.

[00:11:16] Jodi Levy: And so recognize that I feel more peaceful, calm. I just don't know what to do with that quiet.

[00:11:23] Kim Ades: Okay, so I don't think quiet is a good way for you to live, 'cause it's not aligned with your DNA, it's not aligned with your nature. Except, what I want you to kind of think about is the distinction between then and now, and the distinction between then and now is that then you had frenetic thrust upon you, right? Like it was all these things--

[00:11:49] Jodi Levy: Circumstantial in so many ways.

[00:11:51] Kim Ades: Circumstantial. All these external things coming at you that cause a sense of frenetisism, and now you have circumstantial calm. But what I want you to think about is the choices that you can make.

So before you had no choice, you had kids, you had this, you had that, you had all these moving parts, right? Now you have choice about what you want to add to your world, to create energy, to create movement, to create a sense of excitement for yourself. You need that. Without that you won't function properly.

[00:12:28] Jodi Levy: Right. And it could lead to bad places. I'm just saying.

[00:12:32] Kim Ades: It could lead to bad places. And so for you, the goal is not to live in a state of calm, peace, subdued restfulness, 'cause you're gonna do that for a day, a day and a half, if we're lucky, and then that's it! You're gonna implode or explode. Something's gonna happen, because that's inconsistent with your nature. And so what we always--

[00:12:56] Jodi Levy: At least for everyone around me, I'm probably more explosive than implosive. Sorry. [Chuckles]

[00:13:01] Kim Ades: So what we wanna do is we wanna leverage your nature and say, okay, so Jodi's a person who needs to keep moving, she's a person who needs a lot of action. So now Jodi gets to choose, "what action do I wanna experiment with? What action do I wanna try? What do I wanna bring into my life that causes me to get turned on?" And I don't mean sexually, but I mean--

[00:13:27] Jodi Levy: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:13:32] Kim Ades: Right? So that's the whole thing. "So what do I wanna try now that's interesting to me, that creates for me synaptic charges and ignites me?" And so now you have a huge range. And I know you and I spoke briefly before, I think the things that you're choosing are not really aligned with that energetic self of yours.

They're aligned with "stay calm, stay cool, stay quiet". So when I look at you, and I don't know you, right? I think music, I think social circles, I think this dynamic environment where you're able to be naturally excited in those worlds.

[00:14:25] Jodi Levy: Sorry, hashtag I'm so loving the free moment. I'm fucking writing everything down. So I'm sorry if I'm not looking in your eyes, I'm looking at your eyes through my pen and paper. This is getting documented, kim.

[00:14:35] Kim Ades: No problem. But how does this resonate for you?

[00:14:38] Jodi Levy: Oh, it's super resonating, which is why I can't even look at you, I have to capture every single word on paper, which I did.

[00:14:43] Kim Ades: Great, amazing. So the thing is that we want to NOT force Jodi to calm down, we don't wanna put a lid on Jodi, we don't wanna put her in a can and put a lid on her--

[00:14:55] Jodi Levy: Yeah, "nobody puts Baby in a corner".

[00:14:57] Kim Ades: Right, we wanna take the lid off, but then we wanna say, Jodi, go choose some things that are cool and interesting for you to try, that allow you to use your energy in a productive manner. And honestly, like I gave you a couple suggestions, but you could--

[00:15:13] Jodi Levy: What suggestions? I didn't hear any of them-- Oh, moving, dance, social circles! I got it. Yeah. Music. Okay.

[00:15:19] Kim Ades: Music, dance. You could join a rowing team for God's sakes, which sounds outrageous, but that's like an incredible--

[00:15:27] Jodi Levy: No, no, no. I know. I'm thinking. I just, even in our pre-chat, it did kind of inspire me somehow just in our... Right? And even that form, like good questions, which is what a coach does and probably differentiates one from the other, and I'm just saying epically, good questions by Kim... A D E S, I don't wanna pronounce it, I might screw it up. But anyway... I forget what the question was...

[00:15:51] Kim Ades: You're funny. You might even wanna try standup comedy, to be honest.

[00:15:56] Jodi Levy: I know. You know what? I really actually should. People have been saying this forever. I've had... So anyway, the point of the matter is which I do love what you're saying. First of all, I don't wanna put a lid on me and I don't feel I'm in this space where that's the point, and I think what I have gotten to, which you well articulated, with the calm is really not calm, it's the ability to make a choice. The calm has given me the position of... Qu'est-ce que je veux faire? Je pourrais faire tout ce que je veux.

[00:16:23] Kim Ades: For those of you who don't understand French it's "what do I wanna do? I could do anything I want" but with a French Canadian accent.

[00:16:32] Jodi Levy: --giver, frigging question, like who gets to have that question asked?

[00:16:36] Kim Ades: So in your shoes, what I would be doing is saying, what are all the things that I've always wanted to try? What have I wanted to taste experiment with? Where have I wanted to go? Who have I wanted to meet with and talk to? What do I want in this world that I now have this space and time to dabble with?

[00:16:59] Jodi Levy: Do I have 10 more seconds? No, I don't. I'm probably out of my free time. Shit!

[00:17:03] Kim Ades: You have 10 more--

[00:17:04] Jodi Levy: My last question, I would say is... That's so powerful, but like, to leave me hanging with not even a direction of where do I go, that's the best question and anything is too big. Don't leave me! Don't hang up! I'm sorry.

[00:17:18] Kim Ades: So, what I would do is literally... For those of you who know me and a lot of you who listen do know me, I would encourage you to grab a piece of paper and a pencil, or a pen, and start journaling. And what I would do is write down, you could do it in a list, all the cool things you've ever wanted to do. Just write a list!

[00:17:37] Jodi Levy: I just love people, that's my favorite thing in the world. Making people feel better is my favorite thing.

[00:17:43] Kim Ades: So you like more than people. You also like specific things. So you wanna connect the people with the things that you enjoy. Whatever those things are. You enjoy... I don't know, playing cards? Go play cards with people. You enjoy taking a dance class? Go take a dance class. You enjoy traveling? Go travel with a group. The world is your oyster, but go milk the world. Go try things, go do things.

[00:18:12] Jodi Levy: Yeah. I love that choice concept. It's so--

[00:18:15] Kim Ades: And while you're doing things, you don't have to have external circumstantial chaos. so that you are at home. You don't need that. You don't need to tune into that.

[00:18:27] Jodi Levy: Not at all. I don't even like it or want it, and I'm kind of getting used to a bit of the calm and stuff. But as I plan to your point, I think it's some blended version of the calm keeps you calm, but it really just gives you the opportunity to--

[00:18:42] Kim Ades: But what is calm? Calm, isn't where nothing happens in your world--

[00:18:46] Jodi Levy: No, I know. And I think--

[00:18:46] Kim Ades: Calm is when you are relaxed inside, regardless of what's happening around you. And the truth is, you have the ability to handle a lot of moving parts, so take your newfound calm and go enjoy all the moving parts of the world.

[00:19:06] Jodi Levy: I like that.

[00:19:09] Kim Ades: Good?

[00:19:10] Jodi Levy: That was powerful. Good job on the close, Kimmy! Take-- Wait! Shhh! Don't talk. Take the calm I found, and do what with it? Yikes.

[00:19:21] Kim Ades: And apply it to exploring the world.

[00:19:23] Jodi Levy: Go explore. Fuck, I love that.

[00:19:27] Kim Ades: Okay, good.

[00:19:28] Jodi Levy: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

[00:19:29] Kim Ades: For those of you who are listening...

[00:19:31] Jodi Levy: Thank you, that was great. Thank you.

[00:19:33] Kim Ades: ...some of us in the world are at a stage in life where we feel like things are a little too calm. I don't find a lot of people in that state, but maybe some of us are, or we think we could use a little excitement. And the excitement that is possible is in your hands. Go and choose, go and select, go and experiment, go and taste things, try things.

Experiment is my greatest piece of advice there, and select the things that sound even mildly interesting to you to go and try. I think a life is much richer with more experiments in it. I think the more things you try, the more things you learn, the more things you're exposed to, the more things you can identify and decide what you want more of and less of, but the more you experiment, definitely the more rich your life is.

[00:20:28] Jodi Levy: Collect the data, man. I love it.

[00:20:30] Kim Ades: For those of you who are interested in a conversation for yourselves, where you are potentially having a challenge that you'd like to discuss, please reach out to me. My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. And I just wanna say, Jodi, thank you for being my guest, thank you for sharing your very exciting spirit.

[00:20:54] Jodi Levy: Thank you. Yeah, I love that. I love that advice, really. It's like having a choice with a spirit like mine, that's kind of been carrying me through, I've been like chasing my own coattails. It's such a radical, crazy place to even hear the word 'choice'. It's so powerful. Thank you.

[00:21:15] Kim Ades: I hope that one of your choices to experiment with is being on stage, in some kind of entertainment modality, because--

[00:21:24] Jodi Levy: I don't think that's not wrong. Fuck it. Fuck it!

[00:21:27] Kim Ades: Because you have entertained us to no end. Have an amazing experience.

[00:21:34] Jodi Levy: I appreciate it, Kimmy. Thanks very much. I appreciate the opportunity on your show. Thank you again for your time. Peace, love. And do we cut?

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