Just be yourself already, with Don Mamone

A hospitality veteran and photography entrepreneur, Don Mamone was afraid that their business would be at risk if they were to be who they knew they were. When they finally decided it was time to live their authentic truth, the outpouring of acceptance was greater than they could’ve ever imagined. In this episode, learn what can happen when you start bringing your whole self to the table.

Explore gender and Don’s story more deeply:
Beyond the Binary: A Practical Guide to Understanding Gender
Blog Post: Everyone Has a Coming Out Story
Grit & The Gravel Road Podcast


Don Mamone: I had lived in my home and with my family, sort of comfortable in my little existence, but it was the first time, it was April of last year that I said to the world that this is my identity. This is who I am, and this is who I’m going to live as for the remainder of my days. And it changed absolutely everything. 

Courtney and Dana: Welcome to Hustle and Gather, a podcast by inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana, 

and I’m Courtney. 

And we are two sisters who have started multiple businesses together. And yes, it is as messy as you think, because we know that starting a business isn’t easy. 

Because we’ve done it four times, and on this show, we talk about the ups and downs in the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey. 

But we love helping small businesses succeed. And whether that’s through our venue, consulting, speaking, or team training, we love to motivate others to take that really big leap. 

Or you could just use our misadventures to normalize the crazy that is being an entrepreneur because every entrepreneur makes mistakes.

We like to call those unsuccessful attempts around here. 

And we know it’s just part of the process. And today we’re learning from Don Mamone. Don is a speaker identity coach and consultant to teaching audiences and clients, how to reach their maximum potential and impact by discovering and embracing their true identity and supporting companies dedicated to safe spaces that support unapologetic authenticity. Don, welcome to Hustle and Gather.

Don: I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

C&D: Yes, we are so stoked to have you. I think we met you years ago, years ago, but I can’t remember. Was that an Experience or an Evolve? I don’t remember which one, but many years ago. One of those two.

Don: Many years ago. And the NACE national events blur together. It’s just one big giant party.

C&D: Yeah. That’s true. That is accurate. Awesome, well we would love for you to dive in and tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your entrepreneur journey.

Don: well, my mom and dad met, no, I’m kidding., I, yeah, so here’s the deal. I’m a hospitality veteran or survivor. And so I absolutely love the fact that as a live event photographer as an entrepreneur, I kind of continued where I left off. Because I left off in 2009, I started hospitality, graduating college, in 99 I got a job at a quaint seaside resort in Santa Barbara, California, and I loved everything about it.

It was beautiful. It was wonderful. I was in my twenties; it was long hours. It was modest pay, but I didn’t care because it was so fun. And I got to be a servant to our group sales department. Right, I was the director of conference services and I was at the beach every day. And when I wasn’t working, I was playing, and then I moved to San Diego and then I moved to LA and I kind of worked my way around.

And, and ladies, I think you’ve probably been at a juncture in your life when you’re like, I love everything about this right up until I didn’t.

Full Episode Transcript

Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence.  Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.

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