Smashing Entrepreneurial Plateaus with David Shriner-Cahn

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Show Notes:

⚡️ Ever felt like you’re ready to smash through career plateaus?

🔑 Unlock the secrets to transforming from an employee to an entrepreneur with David Shriner-Cahn on “Think Business with Tyler.”

🌟 Dive deep as David, with over 28 years of experience, shares his expertise on navigating the shift from corporate life to solo success, while Tyler Martin unpacks the real stories that resonate.

✅ Leave with actionable insights on building confidence, crafting a 90-day success plan, and finding a community to accelerate your business journey. Don’t miss this breakthrough episode!


With over 800 interviews under his belt, David knows the power of authentic, non-celebrity narratives—stories of overcoming hardships like bankruptcy, homelessness, or building million-dollar enterprises. These are the types of compelling tales both David and I find truly impactful.

In this episode, we’ll take a close look at the challenges people face, especially those in their late 40s and early 50s, when they’re dealing with involuntary job loss and contemplating the entrepreneurship journey. David, a seasoned specialist in nonprofit management and a champion for corporate refugees venturing into the business world, will share his insights into the entrepreneurship mindset, the critical importance of selling oneself, and the trials of marketing as a new entrepreneur.

Furthermore, we’ll uncover the resources and communities, such as David’s “Smashing the Plateau,” that support these brave professionals in taking those bold steps. We’ll explore the vital need for a non-judgmental, supportive environment, the iterative nature of business, and how to embrace failures as lessons.

Stick with us as we discuss the whimsical moments of podcasting, the unexpected sounds of kids and pets, and the invaluable joy found in the entrepreneurial roller coaster. David and I are here to demystify the process of smashing through your own plateaus and to remind you that seeking advice from mentors, friends, and your network is a strength, not a weakness.

So, settle in, power up your passion, and let’s get ready to think business with today’s inspiring guest, David Shriner-Cahn!


David Shriner-Cahn is a seasoned professional with a rich career tapestry woven in New York City. His journey bifurcates into two distinct periods: a 28-year tenure as an employee followed by a bold dive into entrepreneurship beginning in 2006.

Initially trained as an engineer, David spent his early professional years in the field, showcasing his technical acumen. Despite a glowing performance review and a raise at his second engineering job, the tides turned when his company faced significant business losses, prompting an unexpected career pivot.

This twist of fate led David to embark on a period of introspection, eventually steering him toward the nonprofit sector. There he invested over two decades, honing his expertise in nonprofit management and laying the groundwork for his future endeavors.

Transitioning to entrepreneurship, David channeled his deep well of experience into a business that specializes in the very area where he had built his expertise: guiding and managing nonprofit organizations. With his roots set firmly in the bustling energy of New York City, David Shriner-Cahn stands as a testament to resilience in the face of change and the enduring pursuit of professional growth.


1. “Business is about running a series of experiments to find out what works and what doesn’t. The quicker you can discern what’s not working and pivot away from it, the closer you are to uncovering success. It’s about being resilient and adaptable, understanding that not every idea will be a winner, but each one gets you closer to your goal.”

2. “Creating a safe space for feedback within a community isn’t about giving advice; it’s about asking questions without judgment and sharing experiences that others can learn from. It’s that kind of supportive environment that can accelerate personal and professional growth.”

3. “The real stories of everyday people overcoming challenges provide the most compelling conversations. There’s something deeply relatable and inspiring about hearing a person who’s overcome personal adversity or achieved a major milestone, like building a successful business against all odds.”

4. “Starting your own business, especially after years in the corporate world, requires more than just the ability to do your former job independently. It’s about selling yourself and your vision. That self-confidence is often the biggest hurdle for new entrepreneurs to overcome.”

5. “The movement from employment to entrepreneurship isn’t just a career shift; it’s a mindset shift. Having a strong desire to make that transition is key, because if you’re not fully invested mentally and emotionally, the struggle to succeed in your own business becomes even more challenging.”


1. David Shriner-Cahn was an employee for 28 years before becoming an entrepreneur in 2006.

2. A podcast guest continued their interview while their daughter was cooking in the background, creating a surprising and engaging moment.

3. The name “Smashing the Plateau” for David’s podcast was suggested by a member of his team.


Embrace the Entrepreneurial Mindset
Transitioning to entrepreneurship demands a mental shift, especially for ‘corporate refugees.’ David Shriner-Cahn shared that a firm desire to pave one’s entrepreneurial journey is crucial. In the podcast, they explored the internal challenges facing new entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of self-confidence.

They both agree that having a clear entrepreneurial mindset, unburdened by a divided attention between employment and entrepreneurship, is fundamental in building a successful consulting business.

Mastering Self-Marketing
Selling oneself is a common hurdle for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those who previously marketed for others. David highlighted the stark contrast between selling for a company and self-promotion. Tyler echoed this sentiment, discussing how individuals with tech or number skills might still face marketing challenges. The lesson underscores the necessity for every entrepreneur to develop marketing skills to pitch their value proposition effectively in today’s competitive environment.

This is especially crucial for entrepreneurs running a small company, where the CFO or founder often needs to wear multiple hats, including marketing and sales, in order to effectively scale the business.

Incremental Steps to Success
In the episode, David shares “Smashing the Plateau’s” approach to progress: small, consistent steps lead to breakthroughs. He advocates for metric-based 90-day plans with actionable weekly goals to maintain forward momentum. By focusing on incremental progress and pivots, rather than large, risky leaps, entrepreneurs can build resilience and adaptability. This methodical approach is designed to help prevent plateaus and propel long-term growth.

This approach can be particularly useful for the CFO of a small company looking to scale the business in a sustainable way without overextending resources or taking on excessive risk.

Finding Your Tribe
David Shriner-Cahn and Tyler Martin underscored the value of having a supportive community when facing the isolation of entrepreneurship. They discussed how to seek out the right community, recommending to explore various avenues like webinars, workshops, and events. Testing out different groups allows one to find an environment that offers a safe space for sharing experiences and receiving non-judgmental feedback. Building such networks is pivotal for both personal growth and business support.


Smashing the Plateau


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