Tonyah Dee is a Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian (R.D.), and recipient of a Bachelor of Science degree from Loma Linda University. Upon graduation, she worked for two of the Charter Psychiatric Hospitals as Director of Nutrition Services. While working for Charter, she gave public lectures on topics such as stress management, nutrition, and healthy habits. She also worked for Pritikin Longevity Center, where she taught cooking classes, and lectured on motivation, lifestyle and the optimum diet. She has experience as an eating disorder specialist and a midwifery dietitian. In addition to nutrition, Tonyah has earned certifications in Christ Centered Life Coaching, equine therapy and meditation.
She has studied the Bible and wisdom traditions of the world for the last 30 years. Her main teacher has been her son, who above all else, has taught her how to practice the life lessons she has learned, especially the teachings of Jesus and his unconditional love.
Growing up in San Diego with parents who were educators is what fueled her commitment to lifelong learning. She spent her summers at Grand Teton National Park, where her father was a seasonal park ranger. Her deep appreciation for nature, stillness and silence really took root during those magical Wyoming summers. She now resides half time in Orange County and half time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Eight years ago, when I was meditating, I received a holy impartation that told me to create devotional chants based on what was in the bible. This voice grew stronger over the next few months and as soon as I accepted it, even though I knew nothing about music, everything fell into place, the music just flowed out of me, I met a musician and a friend who owned a music studio offer to help.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I like to wake up early, while it’s still dark, and jump in my pool. The cold water really makes me feel alive and wakes me up. Then I’ll make tea or coffee, go to my “God Spot” where I chant, meditate and pray. Then I journal, read, and write. Having a good breakfast, getting fresh air, exercise, journaling, reading, and staying healthy are all very important to me and help me stay productive, so I always find ways to incorporate them into my days.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My ideas come from God’s guidance. God is our guide till the very end, so I connect every morning to that wisdom, and it allows me access to all sorts of creative paths. Once an idea comes to mind and manifests, it seems that all the right people come along and help me make it happen.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Devotional chants are making their way back into churches, music festivals, and mainstream events. Kanye West is even doing them.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Discipline. Being able to focus and put work before pleasure.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Hurt people, hurt people. Not everyone has the capacity to love, especially if they’re hurting. I’d tell myself to have compassion for everyone but it’s important to protect yourself from those who aren’t able to love in the way you need.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You should spend equal time focusing on what’s inside your soul as you do everything outside of it. People are so scared of what’s inside but once they learn to accept who they are, it’s so liberating. Once you get good at it, you can free yourself of all emotional burdens.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Wake up early, have a spiritual practice. I chant, meditate, pray and read. Activate and connect to a Higher Power. I have found that this helps me overcome challenges and gives me added inner strength for the day brings.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
When COVID hit, I began meditation classes online that helped teach women how to cope and navigate through grief, identity, and finding peace. I was unsure about doing this at first but once I started receiving positive feedbacks and learning how positive and impactful my classes were, it gave me the confidence and inspiration to continue with them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve typically viewed failure in terms of losing money, resources, and relationships. At the onset it seems and feels like failure, but then I can see where I went wrong take accountability and learn from it and prevent it from happening again. Having faith and trusting that what is meant to be, keeps me moving forward.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I want to host a spiritual retreat in Costa Rica.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I adopted a family for Christmas as they fell on hard times. Giving to others always makes me feel good inside.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Dropbox daily. It helps me collaborate, share files, music, and videos instantly with my entire team without using up all the memory on my computer.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren. This helped me to understand why I am here during this very brief time on Earth.
What is your favorite quote?
“God said love your enemies, and I obeyed him and loved myself”
- Define your authentic truth and path – spend time going within.
- Focus on what it means to you to love God or something higher than yourself. It’s good to focus on something outside of ourselves.
- Develop an intimate relationship with your soul, learn to value and listen to who you are, your unique soul.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.