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At a time when there is significant discord within the US legal and criminal justice system, it seems like perfect timing to feature my guest this week.

Sonja Skvarla is the Founder and CEO of A Social Ignition, a social change organization that is dedicated to enhancing the system for people in transition from having criminal records.

The thing I really love about Sonja is that she’s working to create an environment that prepares people for personal and financial success while also working to improve the current system in important ways.

Sonja and I are going to discuss her inspiration for building an organization that makes a big difference and why she believes that business and entrepreneurship are the best leverage points for initiating change.

 “Know who you are and where you want to go. Your vision for the future will feed everything you do.” – Sonja Skvarla

If you want to initiate change through the work you do, this episode is jam packed with lessons and advice about how to make that happen.

Here are some of Sonja’s favorite things:

Most Influential Book

Business Super Power

  • Fierce compassion and authenticity.

Most Effective Strategy For Growing Your Business

  • Slow risk taking – pushing boundaries slowly.

Favorite Business Tool or Resource

Most Recent Exciting Adventure

  • Building A Social Ignition – going into prisons three days a week and working with men to help them make the transition to creating a sustainable and meaningful career.

Show Highlights

  • Learn what inspired Sonja to create a social change organization that’s centered on the idea of creating self-sufficient entrepreneurs.
  • Did you realize that over 25% of working age adults have a felony on their record and can therefore be legally discriminated against in the hiring process?
  • Why it’s so important to equip people to be successful entrepreneurs.
  • Why business plans don’t matter when you’re just starting out.
  • Sonia’s advice to someone that wants to initiate social change. I loved her answer and it will probably surprise you!
  • Why it’s more important than ever to understand the full impact of your business solution on other people, the environment, and the planet (both positive and negative).
  • Sonja discusses the biggest barriers that many entrepreneurs face most often.
  • Why it’s much better to start with a problem than a solution. Sonja’s insight on this is pure genius.

* Also, here's an update to the statistics that Sonja shared in the episode:

  • Just over 25% of working age adults have felony records
  • 30-40% of adult black men 
  • 1 in 32 adults are under correctional control (prison, probation, parole) 

Question: What's the full impact of your current business or the business you want to create? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Interview Links for Sonja:

  • A Social Ignition – Be sure to check out Sonja's main website where you will learn more about A Social Ignition, their programs, and how you can get involved.
  • Reach out to Sonja directly at sonja@asocialignition.com
  • Say hello to Sonja on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn

Mentioned in this show:

What's your breakthrough business model?

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