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“If you try to be your best, then you will naturally end up with a good life” with Andrea Travillian and Chaya Weiner

I believe that the principle that you should do your best will always lead to a good life. Do your best does not mean be perfect. It does mean that you have to try to be the best person you can be in the moment. If you try to be your best, then you will naturally end up with a good life.

As a part of my series about leaders who integrate mindfulness and spiritual practices into their work culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Travillian, the founder of Aspirify, Inc — a small business consulting and executive coaching firm. They specialize in helping business owners improve profitability by working not only on the business but ensuring the leaders are preforming at their best. Andrea has her BBA in finance from the University of Iowa, her MBA from Creighton University and her coaching certificate from the International Coaching Academy. She has owned her own business since 2002 and through her years has realized that the success of any business relies on the people in the business.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you please share your “backstory” with us?

My business backstory has a winding road! I started in corporate America in banking. Then moved onto finance, investments and one season of taxes.

When I finally had it with the corporate world, I started my own event planning firm. While this is drastically different from finance, I had worked hospitality through high school and college and loved the industry. However, when my son was born working with brides and toddlers, just was not working!

So, I started another company working with business owners on bookkeeping, wealth planning, strategy and fractional CFO work. After 10 years, I decided it was time for a change. Coinciding with some major life changes I closed that company and spent a couple of years re-discovering myself.

When I made it through that time, I had a new insight in to how and why business is successful. So, I started Aspirify, Inc as a consulting firm. Helping businesses not only figure out what is not working in the business, but also helping the management team grow personally and professionally.

Only when the management team is operating at their best can the business changes be effective.

What role did mindfulness or spiritual practice play in your life growing up? Do you have a funny or touching story about that?

I was raised Catholic. Other than knowing there was something greater than me out there, I never had a deep connection to religion. Something always felt wrong. Even when I enjoyed it, there was always an undercurrent of something being off for me. It felt more like an obligation, than a true spiritual experience.

How do your mindfulness or spiritual practices affect your business and personal life today?

Today my mindfulness and spiritual practices are very different from when I was younger. During my self-discovery phase I finally found a path that felt right to me. Today I use meditation and Toltec Wisdom to guide me, in both my personal and professional life.

Using these allows me to calm myself in tense situations. It allows me to not take things personal — which is great for a business owner. And most importantly I now feel the power of our Universal life force. That guides me in every decision I make and how I move forward.

Do you find that you are more successful or less successful because of your integration of spiritual and mindful practices? Can you share an example or story about that with us?

I am definitely more successful. Some of the best ideas and business insights I have received were while I was either meditating or studying a Toltec book. When your mind quiets, the wisdom in you and the universe comes out. When I am stuck, or scattered I head for a meditation. Never fails to at a minimum clear my mind. But usually much more comes out — I now keep a notebook right by me when I journal. The ideas that appear are always beneficial.

What would you say is the foundational principle for one to “lead a good life”? Can you share a story that illustrates that?

I believe that the principle that you should do your best will always lead to a good life. Do your best does not mean be perfect. It does mean that you have to try to be the best person you can be in the moment. If you try to be your best, then you will naturally end up with a good life.

A great business example of this is in marketing. I have tried many things through the years working on marketing in all my businesses. By always doing my best when I get to the evaluation point, I don’t have to say “I could have done better here, I only half tried” instead I can evaluate if it was effective, learn the lesson and move on. If I half try something, there will always be the feeling, that maybe if I had tried a bit harder it would have worked. I have one of these half tries from my event planning business. 17 years later, I still wonder if it would have worked differently! If I had only proofread the advertisement would it have had a better ROI?

By doing your best, you eliminate the ‘what if I had tried harder’ question.

Can you share a story about one of the most impactful moments in your spiritual/mindful life?

In early 2019, I had a really bad day. One of those that makes you wonder if the Universe is really out to get you. I had major failures in just about every area of my life in one day, including a car wreck. (Everyone was unharmed!)

Yet I felt joy, happiness and calm. It was almost surreal. What I realized is that all the internal work I had done for years, had finally taken hold. I had crossed the line from trying to mange everything and instead moved to trusting.

From that point on, even when things have been bad, I am not too phased. Of course, I have my moments, but after a centering practice and some downtime, I am back up. My productivity, insights and happiness are better than ever.

This however was not just one moment. I think we get caught up into the idea that it has to be this magical moment. Mine was years of personal work that brought me to this space.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I have two mentors that helped me through the years.

Lisa Aire has been my mentor/teacher for 15 years. She has helped me through some of the biggest transformations I have had. She helped me look at everything differently, and then helped me work on re-wiring my mind to match the new ideas I was taking in. Anytime I am stuck and have no idea where to start, she is the one to go to!

Lori S. appeared in my life just at the right time. I was looking to take my spiritual gifts and energy to a higher level. She is my Reiki Master, spiritual guide and friend! She is my first call when the energy of something feels off and I am struggling with my intuition.

Besides for these two, my friends and sister have been an amazing support. Calling my best friend in the middle of the night, or friends just letting me vent when I am stuck. Without them I would not have been able to do the spiritual work I have done.

Can you share 3 or 4 pieces of advice about how leaders can create a very “healthy and uplifting” work culture?

1. Remember your employees are people who have interests, passions and needs outside of work. You might be all in, but the business may not be their life. When you treat them as more than just someone helping you reach your goal, they will put in more effort for you.

2. Consider adding personal development to the training you offer. Life skills that might not have a direct impact on their job are still beneficial. They create stronger people, and a bigger reason for them to stay. While offering it outside of work is nice, do it during the day and you will reap the benefits. My introduction to Yoga was while I was at Principal Financial Group and it was life changing for me! It is one more tool I use to stay balanced and focused.

3. People are more productive when they are rested. Not taking vacation and working long hours is not only detrimental to the lifestyle of your employees but is bad for your business. Foggy thinking, unhealthy employees and burnout will just cost you in the long run.

4. Let your employees’ voices be heard. Everyone wants to feel like they have some control in their day. Let them give ideas and feedback without fear of retaliation.

Here is the thing to remember about all of this. Your staff is watching what you do. You can’t say something is beneficial and then not do it yourself. If you don’t take vacation, they won’t. So even if you implement all four above, if you are not part of it, then it won’t work. You must work on you to create a healthy work environment and a healthy business.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Stop judging others. When we stop judging and just let everyone be themselves, the world will be a much happier and healthier place.

How can people follow you and find out more about you?

You can find me at or Facebook and LinkedIn

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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About the author:

Chaya Weiner is the Director of branding and photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator. TLI is a thought leadership program that helps leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field. Please click HERE to learn more about Thought Leader Incubator.



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