Thursday, November 5, 2015

Diana Costain

November 2015 Featured Sophisticated Rebel - Diana Costain
Diana Costain
I have never been one to be awe struck by others and their accomplishments, but the day I met Diana Costain at an event for entrepreneurs, I literally turned to her and said, "I want to be like you when I grow up!"  She was embodied everything that felt defined success... owned several businesses, financially free, beautiful, healthy, happy, smart, approachable, helpful, fun and adventurous!!   Little did I know, she would become one of my dearest friends, confidants and mentors.  I am honored to feature her as this months Sophisticated Rebel and share her inspirational story with you.  

Diana was born and raised in Vancouver BC, Canada.  The early years of her life were not easy, her father was incredibly abusive (he especially enjoyed beating her on her Birthday)... after showing up at school with bruises from head to toe, child protective services stepped in, removed her from her parents and put her into a foster home.  Foster care did not to turn out to be any less traumatic... her foster father choked and raped her and told her she had to call him "dad".  Diana ran away figuring she would be much better off on her own. When CPS found her, however, they threatened that if she continued to run away from foster care that she would be put into a women's detention facility until she turned 18.  This is when Diana's heart filled with hatred.  She was determined not to return to foster care and convinced CPS that she would stay in school and get a job.  Diana was 15 years old and completely on her own.

Typically these types of challenges lead to a life of bad choice and continued cycles of abuse,  but not for Diana, she had her eyes set on greater things and used these challenges to fuel her.

Her accomplishments are nothing short of incredible, including several "firsts" for a woman.
Diana was the first female to have a paper route (an entrepreneur from the beginning).  
She was one of the first female stock brokers in British Columbia and was the first woman to stand on the floor of the Vancouver stock exchange.
Diana was the founding share holder in the largest all cash software deal in B.C. 
She hosted and produced a weekly radio show called, "The Art of Investing" and was a frequent guest investor on a show similar to Shark Tank... 
All of this while raising her two daughters BY HERSELF!

Diana with her two daughters and granddaughters
Diana now lives in Phoenix Arizona where she owns and runs a commercial real estate investment company, she is an active investor in other companies, is an integral part of the business community, a doting grandmother and  a member of a water ski club.  She is inviting, supportive, driven and loyal and the world is a better place because of her.  I hope you all get the chance to meet Diana Costain one day.  In the mean time, I grabbed a few minutes of her time to ask her some of the questions I figured we could all learn from. 

Me: "What is the biggest struggle you've overcome?"
Diana: "Learning to believe in myself, it's very hard to accomplish anything in life if you don't believe in yourself."

Me: "What have been your biggest motivators?"
Diana: "When I was in my 20's I was motivated by anger and revenge.  My motivation came from wanting to prove to all the people that said I couldn't do it and wouldn't amount to anything, that they were wrong.  Over the years that has changed a lot, once I realized that it didn't matter what those people thought of me the anger and revenge faded.  What motivates me know is learning to find a better way to do things and then sharing that knowledge with others."

Me: "What are you most proud of?"
Diana: "My independence, the ability to no longer need approval from others... I no longer care what others think of me."  "What others think of me is none of my business" she chuckles.

Me: "What advice would you give to other women?"
Diana: "Stop looking to other people and external things for your happiness, look internally and take responsibility for your own happiness.  Remove the "if" from you inner dialogue (if we had more money, if we lived closer, if the schools were better, if only ______ then I would be happy." 

Me: "If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do different?"
Diana: "Nothing... my experiences (all of them), made me who I am today.  I am proud of who I am and really like myself, so I wouldn't change a thing."

Me: "What goals do you have for the future?"
Diana: "I was always way more afraid of success than I ever was of failure, now I am ready to embrace success, be crystal clear on what I want and accept things as they come.  I am working of focusing my energy on what I want rather than what I don't want."

Me: "How would you define a Sophisticated Rebel?"
Diana: "Someone who is strong, determined, an independent thinker, has charisma, is focused and most of all doesn't give a damn... does things their own way."

Me: "Is there anything you'd like to see SoReb (the company) do?"
Diana: "No, I love the name, what you stand for and everything you are doing... I can't wait to see what is coming in the future!"

Diana and me (Kasten Spethmann co-founder of Sophisticated Rebel)
Diana is an incredible role model for women everywhere... you will never find her cutting other women down, instead you will find her building them up and helping them find their own strength.  She is truly a Sophisticated Rebel.

By Kasten Spethmann


  1. I cried reading this story. It really hit home for me. I want to meet you Diana!

  2. Someone should fact check this... Not cool to say untrue things.