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“I want to start a walking tsunami”

With Diana Liberto, CEO of WalkMyMind


Well, considering I believe walking is a wonder drug — so much so that I quit my corporate career and started a walking company, I would love to start a walking tsunami. Everyone, everywhere walking. And walking with each other. Helping each other. Knocking on neighbors’ doors and saying, “would you like to take a walk?” Going to senior citizen homes and taking people on walks. Walking children as you tell stories. Walking bookclubs. Volunteering to walk at clinics, rehabs, etc. All sorts of interesting people donating their time to lead walks and talk on great subjects, helping others by engaging their minds and distracting them from what they may believe is “exercise” but soon will come to realize is just sheer bliss. That’s my dream.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Diana Liberto. Diana is CEO and Chairman of the Board of WalkMyMind, Inc., a corporate wellness company she founded to encourage walking while engaging the mind with “walkcasts,” audiobooks and live guest speakers. Prior to her start-up journey, Ms. Liberto was in-house counsel at Walmart Stores, Inc. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Cohen & Co., Inc. (NYSE — COHN) where she is Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and a member of both the Audit and Compensation committees.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I wish this was a “happily ever after” story but unfortunately my path to CEO was unintended and the result of several traumatic events that occurred in my family. I literally got back on my feet through walking. It cleared my mind, lifted my spirit and enabled me to begin to move forward again. It’s hard to believe that something as simple as walking can be so powerful, but it is. My mission then became to help others discover the amazing power of walking. From this experience, WalkMyMind was born.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

The most interesting aspect of starting an unfunded, untested, created-out-of -whole-cloth company was seeing how many people believed in my vision and joined me in bringing it to fruition.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I made more mistakes than things done right. Having left my very good job to start this company put so much pressure on me to make this happen that I don’t think I found any mistake I made funny. Maybe with some distance now I can think of one ……. Hmmmm, nope. Nothing was funny. So perhaps that’s the lesson — don’t lose your sense of humor!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story? Presently we provide WalkMyMind as a wellness benefit to corporations. The thing that most interests the decision makers is the “Brand Box.” This function enables corporate customers to load their own custom and/or curated content to the app. So employees aren’t tethered to their desks. They can walk and listen to corporate e-learning, company announcements, compliance modules, leadership talks, podcasts created by colleagues and any other interesting and innovative use that they can dream up. For instance, the CEO of one of our clients creates a weekly podcast on the subject of leadership. Another client loads the Brand Box with monthly wellness talks based on a particular theme — nutrition, smoking cessation, living with diabetes, etc. One of my personal favorites would be to have a walking challenge based on listening to an audio book — who can walk the 70+ hour audiobook of War and Peace the fastest? I haven’t found any takers on that but I’m ready!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I believe tenacity is a “must have” trait in the start-up world. Tenacity, however, can certainly lead to burn-out. So my recommendation is to take the time to WALK — seriously, it does so much to clear and calm the mind.

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?

My family and friends have been incredibly supportive. There were many, many times when I believed I couldn’t keep going and then someone or something would pop up and be just the thing I needed to reignite my spark.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

My passion is built on bringing the amazing healing powers of walking to the world. I hope WalkMyMind reaches a zillion people!

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

My fourth grade teacher gave me a small book of African proverbs. One has stayed with me forever: “Rain does not fall all on one roof.” It helps me during those “why me?” moments.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. It’s not easy and chances of failure are enormously high.

I, instead, believed everyone who kept telling me I was going to make millions and millions of dollars and that my idea was the second coming of Facebook.

2. Based on no. 1 above, my second admonition would be not to quit your day job until you have a solid proof of concept. The added pressure is almost unbearable.

3. Not all consultants fit all situations. Shop around. I went with recommendations as I didn’t have faith in my own ability to build a business and a team. Trust your own instincts. You know better what you want to build and who you want to build it with.

4. Don’t get caught up in “entrepreneur euphoria.” There’s an entire industry out there eager to entice you to spend money on the

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. :-)

Well, considering I believe walking is a wonder drug — so much so that I quit my corporate career and started a walking company, I would love to start a walking tsunami. Everyone, everywhere walking. And walking with each other. Helping each other. Knocking on neighbors’ doors and saying, “would you like to take a walk?” Going to senior citizen homes and taking people on walks. Walking children as you tell stories. Walking bookclubs. Volunteering to walk at clinics, rehabs, etc. All sorts of interesting people donating their time to lead walks and talk on great subjects, helping others by engaging their minds and distracting them from what they may believe is “exercise” but soon will come to realize is just sheer bliss. That’s my dream.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

dianaliberto.com website

@libertodiana Instagram

@Diana Liberto Facebook

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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