Episode 159 | How to Create a Rich Nonprofit with Marissa Nehlsen, Part 2

I am joined today by Marissa Nehlsen, CEO of a 7-figure business, public speaker, coach, philanthropist, and an all-around incredible person.  Like me, she is originally from North Dakota which makes my heart happy! 

What advice would you give to someone who is stuck in the financial mindset?

I love this question and here’s my strategy.  First, you take a notecard and it’s a WIG (wildly important goal) and what you do is get those four areas into alignment.  The heartbeat of your organization is your vision, your purpose, your goals.  What relationships do you need to focus on?  When you focus on building strong relationships, you can call on those people in times of need.  People will forgive a bunch when you have a strong relationship.  This is where the notecard comes into play – what are three areas you know you can build strong relationships?  Here are mine – who am I going to serve, how am I going to serve them, and what am I going to specifically do for them today?  My dreams are not built into days, they are built into decades.  I use a Trello board to do this – ten years, five years, three years, on year, quarterly, this week, and then this day.  And I do the same thing on the emotional side.  What am I doing to take care of where I’m going on my personal growth journey?  What am I pouring in?  Who am I listening to?  Who you listen to matters.  Who you mentor with matters.  Get into a mentorship program.  Find a thinking partner.  Now, when you take your new ideas, you have to act on them.  I use the ACT method, what do I need to apply, change, or teach.  This is about systemizing your business.  Once you really focus on your WIGs and what you need to do, it’s very easy to make a decision and not get thrown off course in your organization.

What does freedom mean to you?

I was raised really poor, like eight kids in a trailer court with my mom in North Dakota, no heat in the winter poor.  It was rough when my parents divorced.  When I was 14 years old, my mom said to me, “Marissa, you can be a victim, or you can be victorious.  Who are you going to be?”  And freedom to me means being able to live out who I was designed to be.  I am uniquely and wonderfully made.  Now, there are a lot of things I am really junk at.  But I was really fortunate that I knew what I was good at early on.  For me, freedom is the ability to act when I’m given the opportunities to act on.  I can act out in faith, I can act out with my checkbook, I can act out in emotions and relationships, I can make decisions quickly because I have freedom in my life. 

What parting advice do you have for everyone?

I believe we can educate, empower, and equip people to make better decisions going forward.  That is the foundation of who I am.  As we do that every day, it’s with real tools.  Now, you’re not going to get there in 30 minutes or 30 days.  I would encourage you to find a system.  That starts with everything going into your head in the morning, to whom you surround yourself, to whom you let speak into you.  You have to be with people who are growing and moving forward.  If you don’t want to be like them, don’t hang out with them.  I want you to live life rich.  The more I give, the more I get.  Small actions over time lead to big change.  That’s why I love the WIGs because if you can take one small action every day, you can make great change. 

Resources mentioned:

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

Connect with Marissa:


Live Life Rich Podcast

Connect with Mary:

Mary Valloni

Fundraising Freedom Academy

Fully Funded Academy


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