Why Beyond the Doubt

We think you’ll agree we have a pretty compelling case for why we are uniquely—if perhaps unconventionally—qualified to talk with you about managing uncertainty in the business world.

Time in the trenches

Beyond the Doubt Co-Founders Jeff Bell and Shala Nicely have both spent a lot of time working for big and small companies. Let’s start with Shala: Not only was she in sales for several years in the 90s, but she worked on commission—now that’s uncertainty! After selling more than $15 million in products and services, she decided to try her hand at marketing, although her timing was not great … she joined her first technology company right after the dot-com crash in 2001. Throughout almost ten years in high-tech, Shala experienced an incredible amount of corporate change and the uncertainty that always accompanies it: product and company repositioning, regulatory shifts, layoffs, you name it. From there, she started her own marketing consultancy, co-founded a non-profit, OCD Georgia, and launched Beyond the Doubt with Jeff.

So let’s talk a bit about Jeff’s management and leadership experience. While his decades-long radio career jeff on tvhas included stints as a program director and marketing director, what stands out most about Jeff’s accomplishments in this arena is his success creating an international non-profit organization … from scratch! In fewer than four years, Jeff has turned a simple, but powerful notion—that we help ourselves by helping others—into a non-profit, The Adversity 2 Advocacy Alliance, comprising more than 50 well-known health advocates, dozens of passionate volunteers and “Ally Organizations,” and respected scientists from institutions such as U.C. Berkeley and Harvard. Add to that Jeff’s 25 on-air hours per week spent covering news in Northern California, the very center of the high-tech world, and there’s no question he understands the most important issues at play in today’s business world.

Both Jeff and Shala have MBAs. Jeff earned his at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Shala earned hers at Emory University, where she was awarded a Woodruff Fellowship and spent a semester on exchange at London Business School studying business strategy.

Keynote Preso 1Ability to spin a good yarn

Both Jeff and Shala love public speaking and have been doing it professionally since college. And while they are “public speakers,” they agree a much more appropriate title would be “storytellers.” Stories engage, enlighten, and give hope, and Shala and Jeff love inspiring people to live less stressed-out lives, while providing some good entertainment at the same time.

Our biological predispositions

Did you do a double-take when you read this particular heading? If so, we understand. We concede it’s a bit unusual to tout one’s biology—especially neurobiology—in a review of qualifications, but allow us to explain.

Both Jeff and Shala were diagnosed with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in their 20s. They didn’t know each other then, but they had similar journeys, in that it took each of them a really looooooonnnnnnnnnggggggg time to get the right treatment and overcome this highl130720ocdconferenceeditalrm-0007y debilitating disorder.

What in the world does this have to do with business uncertainty? Luckily for us and for you: everything. OCD is essentially a pathological intolerance of uncertainty. Like others with this disorder, Jeff and Shala fought horrible worries about bad things that were going to happen (obsessions) and did all sorts of really weird things (compulsions) to prevent awful consequences, all because they couldn’t handle the uncertainty of not knowing whether something bad was really going to happen!  Whew—yes, it was exhausting! In learning how to overcome OCD, Jeff and Shala taught their brains how to tolerate unbelievable amounts of uncertainty. The result is that they can now live pretty peaceful and normal lives.

You can think of how this relates to you like this: Say you need self-defense training. Wouldn’t it be cool to get it from someone who was in Special Ops in the military? Someone who knows really cool tactics that have been successfully deployed to defeat a highly sophisticated enemy? You obviously aren’t going to be up against a military foe in your everyday life, but wouldn’t it be fun to learn from someone who has outsmarted a deadly enemy who can really show you the ropes?

As Jeff and Shala would tell you, overcoming OCD was like becoming part of a Special Ops squad, one focused on the enemies of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.


We hope so!  Contact us to learn more!