Insights from Dana
High Security Prison Punishments = Good Business

Went to an in-person retreat with my mentor last week.

She took us to one of the most highly secured prisons in the world.

Well, at least it was when it was still a prison (and not a tourist attraction).


It was bone chilling to say the least. To walk where some of the most notorious and “evil” people in history were held prisoner.

Anyway, the entire trip was riddled with HUGE life and business lessons for me and the one I want to share with you today has to do with Resilience and Sticktoitiviness.

Which is extremely important when it comes to being an entrepreneur.

Allow me to explain…

At Alcatraz, they have a punishment cell called “The Hole”.

It’s an empty room, no windows, no lights. Bleak as can be. Prisoners who acted out of line were sent there. Most people ended up there for a few days, but one guy was there for 19 full days. Talk about solitary confinement.

Now, that may not sound all that bad.

An empty room with no other prisoners trying to murder you in your sleep, getting frisky with you in the bathroom, or shank you for taking their seat in the mess hall, BUT…

Think about it.

Pitch black for as many as 19 days straight. Sure you’d get a slice of bread every morning, but other than that, you’re completely alone… just you and your inner demons.

It’s pretty terrifying, don’t you think, and…?

If put through this kind of torture, most people would crack. They’d go crazy within the first night. I know I wouldn’t want to be in there very long.

But one prisoner did something quite genius.

Something that all women entrepreneurs should know and do.

Even in the bleakest of bleak moments – stuck in a dark room, alone, in the most notorious prison in the world – this guy did not cave.

He occupied himself.

He plucked a button from his prison uniform and would throw it up in the air. He’d listen for what probably felt like an eternity to hear where the button fell. Then he would crawl on his hands and knees to go find the button. After he found it, he’d throw the button up into the air again. Throw after throw, he’d go after this button in a pitch dark room, with no real way out.

He used what he had to get him through such a dark time.

How does this apply to us women entrepreneurs?

I’ll tell you, but you’ve got to keep reading…

I recently launched my first version of Big Success Academy, and to be frank, I did not want to.

I did not want to do any of it.

I didn’t like the idea of having to be completely virtual where there’s no heart-to-heart, face-to-face interaction.

It takes away such an integral part of the transformation and breakthrough process that I believe so many programs and products are lacking right now on the internet.

I do not want to become another “gooroo” trying to push their products and programs.

The future of my group coaching program looked bleak (and boring). So much in fact, I came thiiiiss close to scrapping the entire $20,000 project.

I was going to give up doing a group program and just stick with 1-1 coaching. Sure it would mean alienating a lot of women who wanted to work with me because they couldn’t yet afford my 1-1 fees, but at least I’d get my way… ha!

Stay with me here. I’m getting to my point…


A good friend of mine pulled a button off her jacket and gave it to me, metaphorically speaking.

She told me, “Just record the first module and then see how you feel after that.”

In other words, use what I’ve got to get me through this dark moment.

So, I took that button and started to play… and guess what happened…

I had a HUGE breakthrough, of course! I figured out a way to create a one-of-a-kind group coaching experience that allows the high touch, heart to heart interaction and support that I wanted for my ladies PLUS the virtual accessibility to anyone no matter where they are in the world, as long as they have an internet connection.

Anyway, moral of the story:

When things are looking dark and bleak in your business, like it’s all falling apart, use what you have to get you through. Do that, and you’ll see that thing’s aren’t falling apart, rather they’re falling together.

Turns out high security prison punishments aren’t so bad after all. In fact, they’re down right good for business.

What have you done in the past to help you get through a rough time in your business? What helped you to keep moving forward even when the situation seemed doomed from the beginning? Share your tips below.

Until then… stay passionate!

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  1. Tina Rea

    After 20 years in my own business and many more in the work of life, when I feel like things are bleak I reminding myself what I love about the work I do. Reading through notes from one of the many Shiatsu workshop with my favorite Shiatsu teachers inspires me and connects me to what I love. Making sure I am getting my Shiatsu and Acupuncture treatments too.

    Thank you for the insight Dana.

    • Dana


      You’re so welcome! Thank you for being committed to your business and open to listening!

      Lots of Big Love,


  2. Julie Fast

    When I reach my lowest moments, I see myself as a Phoenix who rises through the ashes no matter what has happened in my life. Julie

    • Dana


      I see you as a Phoenix as well. You are beautiful and on fire!


  3. Chikeola Karimou

    Simply wanted to say thank you Dana for sharing; I felt my energy swell while reading you and simply happy to know you. I realized that you are validating what I am standing for: that we do not need to know people a thousand years to let them in, as in let them in our heart. Simply glad I met you, and thank you for Being you.

    • Dana


      I return the gladness in my heart for having met you as well!

      Big, big LOVE!!


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