Teresa de Grosbois: Her Failed Africa Charity Opened Unexpected Doors

Teresa de Grosbois: Her Failed Africa Charity Opened Unexpected Doors


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #173 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Teresa de Grosbois. She is the Founder of the Evolutionary Business Council, an International Speaker and the #1 International Bestselling author of Mass Influence: The Habits of the Highly Influential, which is now a best seller in seven countries.

You can download a complimentary digital version of the book here.

A 4X International Bestselling Author, Teresa teaches marketing courses around the globe to business leaders and entrepreneurs on how to create massively successful word of mouth campaigns. 

As the Chair of the Evolutionary Business Council, Teresa leads an International, Invitation-Only Council of Speakers and Influencers dedicated to teaching the principles of success.

In this episode, Teresa tells her favorite mistake story about creating a non-profit organization in Sudan that failed. Why did she “quickly realize this wasn't right”? What did she learn from this and how did that experience in Africa lead to the unexpected opening of doors to better opportunities?

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • How did you create 3 best sellers in 8 months? 
  • What if you’re reaching out to influencers and not getting a response?
  • From the book the book –  habits and mistakes people make in trying to influence others
  • Do aspiring influencers mistake self promotion and bragging?
  • Should spend more time on building relationships with other influencers?
  • Never talk about yourself vs. always talking about yourself?
  • “Influencer” (like social media) vs true influence?
  • A mistake to think you’re trying to reach “everyone”? Or is “all business leaders at all levels” even too broad to be effective?
  • What’s the difference between “practicing at business” vs. being “aligned with your passion”? 
  • How common is the mistake of “focusing on how you make money” instead of “the service that you want to bring to others”?
  • Big mistake — not choosing who you want to play with based on fully respecting that person?
  • Tell me about the Evolutionary Business Council…

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Find Teresa on social media:

Watch the Full Episode:


"Within about six months, I realized, wow, I really don't love running a charity. It's very bureaucratic. And it's like banging your head against the wall. Really. It felt like that for me..."
"Within a week of opening a school [in Sudan], the military took it over. So what we achieved was building a really nice military installation on the Canadian charitable donors' money. And that devastated the people that were involved in the charity, including me."
"Stop making the biggest mistake that most people make when they're trying to build a relationship with someone influential, which is, as I would affectionately call it, the premature ask."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's upcoming book is The Mistakes That Make Us. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.