Evolving Entrepreneurship: How Nick Sotos Continually Improves His Leadership Game

Evolving Entrepreneurship: How Nick Sotos Continually Improves His Leadership Game

Nick Sotos calls himself an eternal optimist, and that mindset seems to be paying off. As President of iD Additives, Inc, a supplier of foaming agents and other products for the plastics industry, his leadership has helped the company make the Inc. 5000 list for the past seven years running. Today, iD Additives pulls in $8 million annually in sales, and Nick’s plans for growth are only just beginning. They started with an eye toward brand visibility.

The Importance of the One Year Plan

When he attended the Birthing of Giants event in September 2017, Nick set himself the one-year goal of getting the company’s new product line to market and increasing brand visibility. His plan worked out so well that several new opportunities have arisen from it.

“We have the marketing and we have the opportunities,” Nick says. “Now I need people to help me with the follow-up.”

Part of this follow-up requires Nick to take a step back from some aspects of the business. In the past he viewed himself as an entrepreneur who does everything. But during his time at Birthing of Giants, he’s come to realize that this isn’t sustainable.

“That’s how I’ve always done things,” he says. “But I’ve learned to think about getting stuff off of my plate, letting other people grow into those spots so that we can continue to grow.”

Letting Go To Grow

This is one of many realizations Nick has had since joining the program, and not all of them have been easy. He recalls one instance when he pitched his plan to our entrepreneur-in-residence, Norm Brodsky,only to receive some challenging questions back from that entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. Despite his initial hesitancy, he admits that Norm was right, and he’s pleased to have had his mindset challenged.

“Sometimes it’s a little difficult, a little uncomfortable,” he says. “But you have to trust in the process. It’s advice, and you’re going to choose to do what you want to do, but having someone with that level of experience offering you advice helps you rethink things.”

Nick has since attended one of our Gathering of Giants events – our program specifically designed as continuing education for Birthing of Giants graduates. Nick continues to challenge himself as a leader, and bring the insights he learns back to iD Additives. We wish him the best of success!

Birthing of Giants is a gathering of entrepreneurs focused on advanced education via strategy-planning programs lead by a team of leading entrepreneurs in American business. Our programs, including the One-Day MBA and the Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, allow business owners and entrepreneurs to gain from the wisdom of thousands of experienced business leaders. We help you implement proven strategies for sustaining and enhancing business growth.

Article originally posted on https://birthingofgiants.com

Lewis Schiff is the author of Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons From the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons, the executive director of the Business Owners Council and the co-founder (with Norm Brodsky) of BEN Global Mentorship that helps business owners transform their companies into scalable enterprises and, eventually, enduring institutions with help from rockstar entrepreneurs from around the world.

Socialization and #MeToo

Socialization and #MeToo

Why have there been dozens and dozens of men accused of sexual harassment? Why has sexual misconduct continued for decades, despite corporate sexual harassment training and law suits? Why aren’t more men held accountable for their actions? 

The answer comes down to how boys and men are socialized, and the masculine culture of the U.S.

First, what is socialization? It’s a process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society—and it’s the most powerful force in shaping how we behave as men and women.

Second, did you know that the U.S. scores relatively high—ranked 15 out of 53 countries—on masculinity with most people emphasizing traditional gender roles?


Socialization of girls and boys starts the minute we come into this world wrapped in pink or blue blankets. However, our gender identity really takes hold around age 4 or 5. We learn what’s acceptable in society and what’s not. We learn that girls and boys are supposed to line up separately in grade school. We learn that boys and girls should have separate clubs. And, we learn that that playing with opposite gender toys is frowned upon. In essence, we are taught how to behave in ways consistent with male or female culture, according to societal norms.

We tell boys (both in direct and indirect messages) that they must be tough, independent, take risks, not to show feelings, not to ask for help, and to have power over women. These messages are strongly and consistently reinforced through books, TV, movies, religion, politics, and in our corporate cultures. And, given the value placed on male roles in the U.S. (and in most other countries), the environment for sexual misconduct is ripe.


Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social psychologist, has studied national culture since the 1970s. He identified 6 value dimensions, one of them being masculinity. This is the degree that the culture favors traditional masculine roles such as achievement, power, and control, as opposed to viewing men and women as equals. This value system starts in childhood and continues throughout one’s life—both in work and in our personal lives.

What this means is that relative to most global nations, the American culture with its high ranking in masculinity, values male roles more than female roles. It is no wonder then, that such a large gap in leadership gender roles persist, and that sexual misconduct continues.

What Can We Do?

First, we must start valuing women and their roles in society and in our workplaces. Period. All roles are worthy of respect and valued contribution—whether CEO, manager, administrative assistant, actor, or mom. This means listening to women’s needs, treating them with respect, and offering them equal opportunities as men.

Second, the entertainment industry must stop systemically devaluing women. Stop portraying them only as sex objects, victims, supporters, nurturers, or in positions with little power. It’s a fact that women have made significant contributions to our world (past and present), and this needs to be represented accurately. The other side of this coin is to stop creating male characters that casually display (both subtle and blatant) harassment and sexism as if there’s nothing wrong with it.

Third, we must stop the hyper-masculinity of our young men. We must stop teaching them to be warriors and win at all costs. We must stop telling them that they can’t have feelings. We must stop teaching them to gain power, superiority and hierarchy over girls. And, most importantly, we must START teaching them to value and respect all women.

Fourth, we need to start holding men who sexually harass or abuse women accountable. We must stop looking the other way and speak up. We must do what’s right. What’s ethical. The #MeToo movement has made significant strides in this direction, and we need to continue the effort. It’s not okay for men to treat women like this, whether they are in powerful leadership roles or not. We need to teach men that real leadership and strength is about equality and fairness.


Dr. Shawn Andrews is a keynote speaker, organizational consultant, and the founder and CEO of Andrews Research International. She serves as adjunct professor at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, where she teaches courses on Organizational Behavior, Women in Leadership, Diversity in Organizations, and Leadership and Ethics. She was the 2017 Diversity & Inclusion columnist for Training Industry Magazine, and is the author of the book, The Power of Perception: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and the Gender Divide. To learn more about Dr. Andrews, visit www.drshawnandrews.com

The One Year Plan: How Darragh Fitzpatrick is Taking Action to be a Better Leader

The One Year Plan: How Darragh Fitzpatrick is Taking Action to be a Better Leader

Implementing an Actionable One Year Plan 

Darragh Fitzpatrick believes in making things simple. As a partner and Executive VP at The Tabush Group, a cloud and IT managed services provider, his business is built on three key pillars:

  • Simplify IT
  • Promote productivity
  • Help its customers scale

During his time as a fellow at the Birthing of Giants program, Darragh realized that keeping things simple applies to his role as well. He saw that there was a need to extricate himself from core parts of the business’ day-to-day operations in order to focus on growth. (more…)

Van Sullivan Reveals His “Secret Sauce” For Success — Strategy

Van Sullivan Reveals His “Secret Sauce” For Success — Strategy

Traversing new territory is always frightening, but Van Sullivan didn’t get his company Trideum to where it is today by following in the same footsteps as everyone else. Strategy, planning, and innovation are the hallmarks of this company. A successful engineering services contractor for the federal government, Trideum provides high-end engineering for testing weapons systems and training military personnel. In helping to build and sustain the U.S. military, Van’s company epitomizes the place where the supreme importance of defending our nation meets the innovation and entrepreneurship of the private sector. (more…)

Teaching An Old Company New Tricks: How Theresa Smith Is Re-Inventing Her Family’s Business

Teaching An Old Company New Tricks: How Theresa Smith Is Re-Inventing Her Family’s Business

Theresa Smith has a few big transitions ahead of her. She is currently in the process of becoming CEO at her company NaturaLawn of America, where she was previously Marketing Director. A provider of natural, environmentally-friendly lawn care products and services, NaturaLawn today makes 98% of its revenue from its treatment services. But Theresa hopes that under her leadership, the burgeoning retail side of the business will see better sales growth. “I don’t see why the retail side can’t either be equal to the service side of the business or even dwarf it,” she says. “There’s always going to be people who want someone to do their lawn for them, and there’s always going to be people who want to do it themselves.” (more…)

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