We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Alise Cortez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Alise, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my business in March 2003, a month after my daughter was born. I fully intended to continue working as a new parent, but wanted to do so more “on my own terms.” In other words, my husband worked as a consultant and traveled 100% of the week. I did not want to have a job that would require me to place my daughter in day care where I’d have to drop her early in the morning and collect her late at night. So, I decided to work for myself and hire a part-time nanny instead. I wanted “it all.” and felt traditional employment in a job would not allow me to do this.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Today, my business is Alise Cortez and Associates (management consulting specializing in meaning and purpose) and Gusto, Now! (online, multi-lingual learning platform). Creating and running my business has catalyzed my own ongoing development and consciousness, without question. It’s challenged my heart and soul, made me into a better human and business person. What distinguishes my work is “energy.” I am schooled in positivist psychology and logotherapy, which combined infuse my work with inspirational positivity. My well-being platform, called “Grab Your Gusto: Vital Well-Being from the Inside Out” is my signature offering. It’s a webcast/podcast/application subscription I bring to companies that gives their employees access to enlivening content that teaches them to access energizing meaning through passion, inspiration and purpose. I’m very proud to have created a program, book, and now platform that gives people a way to awaken to their own magnificence and “step into their shine.” Building my business was never easy and became extremely challenging during the pandemic when so much of what I did was providing onsite programs and speaking. I looked inward to see what else I could do and realized I could move my programs online, which is how Gusto, Now! as a business was born. It’s now my digital complement to the ongoing consulting and speaking I love so much. I have to say the best lesson I’ve learned is that being an entrepreneur is really a journey that you grow into and unfold. I can honestly say that when I started in 2003, it was a matter of “putting out my shingle.” As I found my way in the dark as to what I was trying to offer in the way of services, I became a professional consultant for hire. Then, as I became certified in tools like Crucial Conversations and Gallup Strengths finder, I became a business owner with a practice. Then, when I focused my consulting practice in mid 2018 and drafted the Purpose Ignited book and Vitally Inspired: Living and Leading from Purpose program, I became an entrepreneur. Next stop is scaling in order to serve more people across the world. That’s where Grab Your Gusto: Vital Well-Being from the Inside Out comes in. I can’t WAIT to unleash this program into companies in order to revitalize people just exhausted from the pandemic demands and without tools otherwise to access their vital energy sources. My signature strength is awakening passion, inspiration and purpose with people who have otherwise found themselves on “the hamster wheel of life.” Every day is a “blursday” and they are going through the motions of life, not pursuing their dreams. My foundational approach teaches people to “grab their own gusto” and rediscover those vital ingredients of meaning, passion, inspiration and purpose.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love this question! My scenario is a short pop in but here goes. First, we’d absolutely have to start with cocktails and dinner at The Henry down/uptown. Its vibrant atmosphere, tasty fare, and stellar service just make it a stand out. The short rib pot stickers are a must! Next morning will find us up for a run (or walk) at White Rock Lake. Breakfast at First Watch. Their omelets are to die for! Next on the docket is the JFK Assassination and Museum Tour. Duh. Dinner at my place – grilling on my backyard patio is where it’s at. Next day, let’s head over to Pure Yoga Texas for some hot yoga. This is a tad challenging for the newbie, but if my friend is willing to give it a try, I’m glad to initiate them into practice. (Later, we’ll do a little meditation – the transcendental way). Let’s hit Taverna for lunch. One of us is getting the Lasagna Rustica, for sure. We can leisurely walk along the Margaret Mead bridge that afternoon and marvel at its masterpiece design. We can grab a drink somewhere in Trinity Groves – but surely that evening, we’ll be going to Souk Kebab House. I’ll be suggesting a lamb tagine. Next day, let’s hit the Stockyards in Fort Worth! I love the contrast of personality between Dallas and Fort Worth. It’ll be a full-tilt protein day as Cooper’s Old Time Bar-B-Que beckons for lunch and Cattlemen’s Steak House for dinner. We’ll use the drive back to Dallas to digest the contents of the day and then settle in for a long winter’s nap over the eve. Tomorrow, we set sail for the DFW airport and send them on their way!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A shoutout to Shawn Anderson, my coach I worked with in 2017-2018 for about a year. I sought out his expertise as I had taken a job with another management consulting company in 2016 as I navigated post-divorce life and realized I wanted to get back to working for myself. But this time, I wanted to express more of my own message on meaning and purpose topics. I can absolutely say I would not have made the transition back to working for myself in July 2018 without his expert guidance, constant cheer and support, and guidance. I think sometimes he wanted my success and happiness more than I did for myself.