Barb Stegemann

Barb Stegemann

Entrepreneur Speaker, Social Entrepreneur Expert, CEO and Founder of 7 Virtues, Social Advocate

Oct 30, 2019

Barb Stegemann – Doing Well By Doing Good

Barb Stegemann is a motivational keynote speaker. Her entrepreneurial vision was formed after her best friend—a soldier—was severely wounded in Afghanistan. Understanding that supporting Afghanistan’s economy was key to building stability for its people, Stegemann created The 7 Virtues, a company that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil (such as Afghanistan, Haiti, the Middle East and Rwanda).

I’m kind of on a mission here to wake people up that the ROL—the return on love—is as important as the return on investment, and is the only way we’re going to get to a healthier planet.

Episode Highlights


The universe tapped you on the shoulder. A lot of people are kind of numb to that. How did you know that was a moment?

I think the challenge for those who may be missing those signs is that they’re worried about what someone thinks about them. Look, I was made fun of. A tabloid, I couldn’t go grocery store shopping. I was on the cover all the time being made fun of, “How dare she think she’s going to help Afghanistan?” Paid no attention to it. It hurt. I’m not going to pretend it didn’t hurt.


What was the snap for you, where you went, “Oh. That’s what I-” really that specific moment? If you could put me in that setting, where that hit you.

My best friend and mentor from university was sitting in a peaceful shura in Afghanistan, discussing how to bring clean drinking water and healthcare to the family, to the village, and a man who did not want to see his community have free thought or free will put a Taliban ax through my best friend’s head. 

You know, he wasn’t supposed to make it through the night. Suddenly, you look at your life completely differently.


When were you first introduced to the classics, because they obviously have had a huge impact on your life. I mean, it just spoke to you. Tell me about that.

I think I was always by necessity out of poverty a natural philosopher, before I actually began to read. Then I felt I was at home. So you know, when people would make fun because you’re poor, or people would doubt you or underestimate you, you learned to listen to your own voice.

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