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The Impact Entrepreneur | How Modern Entrepreneurs Are Making An Impact In the Lives of Others

Your host Mike Flynn takes you behind closed doors and invites you into his conversations with game changing entrepreneurs. These conversations go beyond success and failure, beyond product or service or platform, to uncover what is really behind the decisions these entrepreneurs make and what IMPACT they hope to have in the world.
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The Impact Entrepreneur | How Modern Entrepreneurs Are Making An Impact In the Lives of Others
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Dec 5, 2016

It’s week five of the Champion’s Mindset series and I am talking to Erin Cafaro MacKenzie. She is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in rowing and she has podiumed at every World Championship rowing competition that she has competed in – a total of six World Championship Gold Medals and two Bronze Medals. Erin and her husband currently run Power Speed Endurance, a sports-specific training program dedicated to improving skill, performance, fitness and overall potential.

Erin’s definition of the Champion’s Mindset has evolved over the years. At first, it was related to an indomitable spirit – the “X factor” of just going. While that may be a common definition, Erin believes the Champion’s Mindset is something that is more at peace, as opposed to forceful.

“A champion is someone who is doing it not to beat someone else – it’s for them.”

At Power Speed Endurance, Erin and her husband are trying to figure out an equation for each sport to use speed as a monitor for skill. In most monostructural (or endurance) sports – like running, rowing and even skateboarding – the athlete’s balance of friction and connection dictates the speed at which they can perform tasks, and the ability to perform those tasks relates directly to an athlete's skill.

We’ve discussed Grit a lot during the Champion’s Mindset series, and it’s an idea that Erin has been exploring as well. Angela Duckworth has a fantastic TED Talk and book on the subject, but there is also a downside to Grit. Too much friction prevents us from realizing our fullest potential, but just the right amount of friction can propel us to amazing heights.

It’s rare for someone to make the Olympics once, let alone twice, and it’s even more difficult than you might imagine when you consider the adversity and setbacks an intensive athlete can experience. In 2011, a month before the World Championships, Erin broke two ribs; one on the right and one on the left. It was hard for her to stay sane at the time, but, in hindsight, the break gave her perspective on what it means to be a champion.

“If everything was going great and came easily, I probably wouldn’t take as much interest in it.”

After the 2012 Olympics, Erin had to develop a different perspective on fulfillment. Her whole adult life leading up to that was devoted to training and pursuing the win, and then she thoroughly accomplished that. Experiencing depression after a period of great accomplishment or during a big transition is common, and this is a good time to turn to your tribe for support.

“Pain is one of our greatest teachers”

Erin’s ability to endure struggle actually became an obstacle at times, because having a high pain threshold also means having a low ability to evolve and to change. “When it comes to everyday life and you have painful thoughts, and you’re just sitting on them versus actually dealing with them or doing something different so that they don’t reoccur, then that’s when it’s pretty un-functional.”

The greatest lesson that Erin has learned as an athlete is that being a champion is not about being the superstar – it’s about being able to get the best out of your teammates. She is trying to apply this lesson by creating a platform for Power Speed Endurance coaches to share their strengths, reach more athletes and thrive.

I appreciate Erin’s vulnerability and authenticity on this week’s episode, because it shows that even the greatest champions experience struggle and need help picking themselves back up. Communities and adversity can be really powerful tools to help us grow.

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

 

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This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

--

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 
 

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Nov 28, 2016

This week’s episode is part four of the Champion’s Mindset series and I’m talking to Rachel Balkovec, the first female strength and conditioning coach in the history of professional baseball. She is also an entrepreneur and an international speaker.

Rachel has worked as a strength and conditioning coach for organizations such as Arizona State University, Louisiana State University, Los Tigres Del Licey Beisbol and the St. Louis Cardinals. Most recently, she has joined the Houston Astros as their Latin American Strength and Conditioning Coordinator.

“I was discriminated against. Was I bitter? Yes. Am I bitter? No. I just realized that it wasn’t ever me, it was just baseball being ready for it and them thinking that the players couldn’t handle it.”

During Rachel’s first day at her first internship with a professional baseball organization, there was a staff member that singled her presence out. There were preconceived notions that players had to behave differently around her, or that they could not handle themselves around her, but she overcame those notions by showing up every day and doing her job well.

“I wonder just how fast we would get to where we were going if we could just say what we mean instead of taking days, months, years, decades to say it.”

Listeners of the podcast know that I have a love-hate relationship with the word passion, because people often use it incorrectly. To be passionate about something means that you are willing to suffer for it – and Rachel is truly passionate about coaching professional baseball. After graduating with a Master’s degree, she spent multiple baseball seasons working in retail and as an unpaid intern, as opposed to taking positions in college athletics. She had a goal, and she was going to do whatever she could do to achieve it.

“I knew whatever I was doing was getting me closer. Even if it was an inch closer I was going to do it. I would crawl and scratch my way to get where I wanted to go, and I would say no to things that seemed like no-brainers. I knew it wasn’t getting me closer to my goal.”

Rachel doesn’t call herself a public speaker, she calls herself a public empowerer. She loves her job and empowering the athletes, but right now there is nothing that fulfills her more than getting in front of a group of women and empowering them. Her business is not “successful” yet, in the traditional sense, but nothing else gives her the same high as seeing a group of newly-empowered young women.

“How many times can you stand to fail and still continue down your path? That’s the Champion’s Mindset.”

Rachel made history and set herself apart from other coaches by, she says, “being a little crazy.” People on the same path as her didn’t put the same amount of time, dedication or intention into getting things accomplished every single day. For example, she wakes up at 4:30 AM every morning and starts the day by immediately starting a podcast. Before most people are even awake, she spends over an hour learning.

“I’ve just been devouring information to make myself better.”

I really appreciate what Rachel is doing, accomplishing and building. I’m excited to see where her Champion’s Mindset takes her, because I see huge things ahead. You can learn more about Rachel on her website.

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

  • Grit by Angela Duckworth
 

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This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

--

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 
 

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Nov 21, 2016

This week’s episode is part three of the Champion’s Mindset series and I’m talking to Tyler Fox, a professional big wave surfer, Titan of Mavericks, Founder and CEO of Santa Cruz Waves Inc, and Founder of Santa Cruz Waves Magazine.

Big wave surfing, like many sports, requires diligent preparation. Surfers at Mavericks have to be ready to be jump out into an arena in front of hundreds of thousands of people watching when the right wave comes. Big wave surfers have to train their bodies, calm their minds, and know their equipment. Any error and you may find yourself being dragged 20 feet underwater.

“There’s no room for hesitation. You have to give it your all.”

Timing, commitment and endurance are all necessary to become a Titan of Mavericks, but these tenets will also help make you a titan of entrepreneurship.

  • Timing – When are you starting this business? What is your competition doing? Do you need to stop doing something that is costing money? Timing is hugely important, but it’s also very difficult to master.
  • Commitment – Entrepreneurs need to commit to their instinct and their decisions. If you think you have a good idea and the whole flock of sheep are walking the other way, don’t be discouraged.
  • Endurance – Everyone runs into obstacles, but overcoming those obstacles is how we grow. It’s easy to quit when things are difficult, but anything worthwhile requires effort.

We’re all fascinated by champions and we often see them at their peak, but people don’t often think about champion’s struggling. Tyler was having a great year when he was nominated for Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award and featured in magazines, but then his sponsor dropped him. Instead of quitting, which would have been easy, Tyler decided to take fate into his own hands and start his own business.

“A lot of times I think champions are where they are because of perseverance. They didn’t let a setback hinder them from getting to their goals.”

Tyler was an awesome guest. He gave us an idea of what it is like to experience some of the biggest waves on earth and went into detail on how the Champion’s Mindset has helped him succeed both in surfing and in his business. Check out Santa Cruz Waves to learn more about the area, check up on the surf and see some amazing surfing videos.

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

 

--

This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

--

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 
 

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Nov 14, 2016

This week’s episode is part two of the Champion’s Mindset series and I’m talking to Juliet Starrett, a lifelong athlete, attorney, entrepreneur, and Crossfit affiliate. Juliet rowed in high-school, joined the U.C. Berkeley crew team, and paddled for the US Women’s Extreme Whitewater Team from 1997-2000, winning two World Championships and five national titles.

In episode 24 we spoke with Juliet’s husband, Kelly Starrett, about their entrepreneurial journey co-Founding MobiltyWOD.com – the ultimate guide to resolving pain, preventing injury, and optimizing athletic performance – and their endeavor to combat sedentary living.

“People need to sweat the small stuff. They need to show up on time, they need to send professional emails, they need to be pro in everything.”

Juliet’s freshman Crew coach, Jenny Hale, set an expectation that her rowers would show up, give their all on and off the water, be efficient, be prepared, and be professional. It didn’t matter that these college freshman were basically kids, they were expected to be pros – and the champions among them rose to that expectation.

“To be a champion you have to be doing something that you’re interested in. Focus on it, cultivate it, because that’s what’s ultimately going to bring people joy.”

Juliet believes that a lot of an individual’s mindset is mutable, or liable to change. It is possible to develop some aspects of a Champion’s Mindset, which Juliet says is composed of two parts:

  1. Someone who’s willing to take risks.
  2. Someone who responds well to adversity.

Other aspects of a Champion’s Mindset are immutable, because not everybody is a born competitor. You can’t necessarily learn the drive to surpass the person in front of you.

“Can you disassociate from your physical pain and strategize and say I now need to push myself even harder than the plan I had so that I can surpass this person? Not everybody has that.”

Juliet has responded incredibly well to extreme adversity. In college she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and managing her thyroid levels is a lifelong challenge. Then, when she was pregnant with her second child, Juliet was diagnosed with placenta previa. She lost ¾ of the blood in her body and required nine blood transfusions. She was healthy and fit before going to the hospital, and then she was back at square one.

“I went down to do a pushup and I just fell to the ground and I could not push myself back up, and I remember being like, ‘Oh my god, it’s on. Here we go. Have to start somewhere.’”

Less than two years after her daughter was born Juliet competed in the CrossFit Games. Through grit and training, she went from not being able to do one pushup to competing in extreme fitness.

“Resilience, the ability to deal with adversity, risk, having a growth mindset – I think all those things are so mission critical to being able to manage this entrepreneur life.”

This is a very powerful conversation with a lot of very powerful advice, and I appreciate Juliet taking the time out of her day to be featured in the Champion’s Mindset series on The Impact Entrepreneur Show. You can learn more about resolving pain, preventing injury and optimizing athletic performance at MobiltyWOD.com; participate in programs at San Francisco CrossFit; or fight for children’s health at StartupKids.org.

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

 
 

This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

--

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your website, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 
 

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Nov 7, 2016

Today we’re kicking off the Champion’s Mindset series by speaking with AJ Hawk, Super Bowl Champion and host of The HawkCast. He was a linebacker for Ohio State, the Green Bay Packers, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Atlanta Falcons. I also spoke with AJ’s brother, Ryan Hawk, on episode 23 of The Impact Entrepreneur Show.

The HawkCast is a podcast in which AJ interviews rock stars, hall of fame broadcasters, world class athletes, war heroes, bestselling authors, philosophers, and even an astronaut. The podcast is his platform to share great stories and pursue a deeper understanding of what makes people tick.

As an athlete, AJ was mentored by a number of great coaches. At Centerville High School, Bob Gregg and Ron Ullery were incredibly influential. “Those two guys shaped how I attack every single day. They taught me how to work, how to be open-minded, how to learn and how to just shut up and do it.”

AJ’s other coaches – Jim Tressel, Mike McCarthy and Marvin Lewis – had every second of the day planned out. He knew they weren’t going to waste his time, and he respected that. Jim Tressel, AJ’s college coach, surprised him by how much he cared. He didn’t want to make them better athletes, he wanted to make them better people.

 

“In the meeting rooms with Coach Tressel it would always start out with things that had nothing to do with football. It was about your character and your integrity and how to be a good, moral person and how to treat the people around you.”

 

AJ developed a deep respect for process and consistency. If you’re an athlete, entrepreneur or parent, you need to find a way to live in the moment. It’s about the process and being consistent every day.

 

“If you stay the course and you stick with what you believe in, good things will happen eventually.”

 

It’s easy to work when you feel good, but what are you going to do when you have a moment of weakness and feel tired? Committing to the process can help you stay on track in difficult moments, and overcoming obstacles will help you grow as a person.

 

“When things are really tough I can actually grow as a person.”

 

As AJ transitions from the NFL to pursue a life in broadcasting, he is using the mindset and skills he developed as a champion athlete. He is doing his reps and being consistent by getting out there, getting on camera or on mic any chance he gets, and doing what he is passionate about. He’s just trying to get better every single day.

 

“If you just act like you know what you’re doing, chances are people are going to believe you. Just get started, and it’s amazing the momentum you can build through that.”

 

AJ is a tremendously humble and courageous champion, and I can’t thank him enough for coming on the show. Make sure you subscribe and listen to The HawkCast for more of AJ’s thoughts and insights, plus some incredible stories.

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

 

--

This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

--

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your website, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 
 

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Oct 31, 2016

Today’s guest, Greg Amundson, is a fitness expert, masterful storyteller and warrior with an extremely diverse set of experiences: college athlete, sheriff’s deputy, DEA agent, Army officer, author, and CrossFit affiliate. His focus is currently on speaking, writing, CrossFit and promoting Warrior Yoga.

 

“Mentors come in all different shapes and forms, so there’s an opportunity for God to bring people into our life on a regular basis. These seemingly fleeting and temporary relationships all serve a purpose in our growth, in our evolution, in our awareness, in our self-discovery.”

 

One of the most influential relationships Greg has is with Mark Divine, Founder and CEO of SEALFIT and Founder of Warrior Yoga. One of the key gifts that Mark gave Greg was awareness of breath. Mindful breathing is the basis of most forms of meditation, and the story of how Greg found his awareness of breath is quite exciting. It involves hanging from a cargo net in a steel compound, and even more about their powerful mentor-mentee relationship is explored in the upcoming book Firebreather Fitness.

Firebreather Fitness is a profound book in that it is the first to fully integrate holistic fitness, which is simultaneously developing the mind, the body and the spirit. In the early days of CrossFit, Firebreather became a term of endearment based around physical accomplishment. Then Greg realized that there was more to a physical fitness program than physicality.

 

“There’s way more to a physical fitness program than physicality. There’s an opportunity to develop character, emotional resilience, discipline and spiritual awareness, and now we define a Firebreather as one who faces the trials and tribulations of great physical opposition with an indomitable spirit.”

 

A huge part of Greg and Mark’s lives are their morning rituals, and they are both passionate about instilling in people the warrior quality of the morning ritual. Every morning, Greg:

  • Wakes up at four and becomes aware of the transition between the waking state and the sleeping state
  • Remains silent
  • Goes into the kitchen to pour a glass of water
  • Introduces the feeling of gratitude as he drinks the water of immense gratitude
  • Goes into the living room and goes through a series of breathing exercises that are designed to still the mind
  • Meditates to achieve a transcendent state and
  • Transitions to the warrior tradition of First Words, which is the practice of bringing awareness to the first offering of our spoken word
 

The First Word process creates a rippling effect from the beginning of our day throughout the rest of the day. Through breathing exercises and meditation you create a still body of water in your mind, and “the spoken word is like a pebble that you drop into stillness to create an even rippling effect touching the shore of our life on every corner.”

 

“Words are real.”

 

Greg is the last guest in our Small Town series, and he proves that you don’t need to be from a big town to have a big impact. God in Me is available now; Firebreather Fitness releases January 5th, 2017; and you can connect with Greg at www.GregoryAmundson.com.

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

 

--

This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

--

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 
 

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Oct 24, 2016

Today’s guest, Justis Earle, is a natural disruptor and innovator. He successfully Kickstarted HANSNAP, Inc., a mobile accessory design company focused on film stabilization for the active lifestyle. Their main product, the HANSNAP, is a hand-mounted smartphone filming system that folds neatly onto the back of your hand for quick access and hands-free filming.

Before launching HANSNAP Justis was at Tigo Energy, a highly disruptive startup that was one of the first companies to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) to the solar industry. He led the development of a mobile app-based IoT consumer solar system with three of the largest companies in the solar industry, founded the Product and Software Quality department, and designed the largest IoT solar system in Europe.

 

“I believe there’s a definite connection between entrepreneurship and the potential or risk factor of being a troublemaker.”

 

Justis sees a fine line between troublemakers and entrepreneurs. Some people are just natural disruptors, and unfortunately some disruptors don’t receive any guidance, mentorship or leadership. Ultimately, an entrepreneur is somebody who has to challenge the way other people do things.

 

“I look at crowdfunding as a microcosm of business.”

 

Justis actually launched two crowdfunding campaigns. The first attempt failed, but Justis learned a lot and still saw value in crowdfunding. He realized that the crowdfunding campaign had to be run like a microcosm of a business – accounting, engineering, development, photography, video, marketing and more need to be organized, started and completed in a very short period of time.

 

“A crowdfunding campaign is really a fantastic way to put all of those pieces together in a short amount of time and see if you even want to run your own business.”

 

If you want to disrupt a space with your own entrepreneurial vision, Justis has some awesome tips for small town entrepreneurs:

  • One of the biggest mistakes you can make is telling the wrong people about your ideas. “An idea is like a seed. Seeds are pretty robust, but when a seed is cracked – when the idea is formed – it becomes very fragile, and it needs a nurturing environment to really grow and mature.”
  • Do it. Just start doing it. There’s really no substitute for that. “It’s through doing that you understand whether you’re passionate enough about something to endure the hardship and the pain to get to where you want to go.”
  • You have to have a regular influx of positive material in your life. You have to keep putting that stuff in to keep you motivated.

 

Keep your eyes locked to Justis Earle and HANSNAP to see some big announcements soon. I really appreciate his doer mentality, the fact that he doesn’t take no for an answer, and the example that he sets for other small town entrepreneurs.

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

 

--

This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

--

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.



Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Oct 17, 2016

Today’s guest, Matthew Swinnerton, has an eclectic background in Business Development, Event Planning, Public Speaking and Sales. He is currently the Owner, Creative Director and Magic Maker at Event Santa Cruz.

Event Santa Cruz is a monthly speaker series in which entrepreneurs discuss why they do what they do and what motivates them to do what they do, and in between the community enjoys a festive atmosphere with craft beers, live music and fun people. It’s an inspiring night that brings the community together for a purpose.

 

“I like putting on shows. I like getting communities and people together to make something.”

 

If you are starting something and want to build a community, Matthew has one simple but effective piece of advice: “Respect your community.” It’s all about building relationships.

Matthew was born with an entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic. There are very few entrepreneurs who have the same hustle. He gets things done, and through years of hard work he has learned he also needs to work smart.

 

“I hustle, but the next thing I need to do is work smart.”

 

Matthew works hard, but he still spent some time slogging through the corporate world before he found his passion. He shares three tips for exiting the corporate world and launching your own startup:

  1. Start Planning – Really plan it out. Write down in detail what you want to accomplish and by when, and hold yourself accountable. Try to find your passion and establish a business around it.
  2. Associate With Other Entrepreneurs – Whether it’s a mentor or a group, in every community there’s a group of entrepreneurs that can help you get into the spirit of doing.
  3. A Good Social Lubricant is Beer – “When I first started my events I didn’t have beer. After six months I brought in beer. People thought it was the best event ever … and not cheap beer. Like actually good, craft beer.” Of course, drink in moderation.

 

Matthew also shares a powerful story about persevering and adapting in a period of great adversity. His third child was born with health complications, and for nearly a year he basically lived and worked out of the hospital. He managed to give his family everything they needed in a trying time and still maintain enough momentum in the business for it to survive. Three years later, the business is making money and his daughter is doing great.

 

“Take the first step, then take the second step – and plan it out. Every single day do something that gets you to that goal.”

 

Matthew is a powerful inspiration for any entrepreneur, new or old. His work ethic, perseverance and purpose fuel an incredible passion. If you live near Santa Cruz or plan to travel there, I highly recommend checking out the upcoming events being planned by Event Santa Cruz.

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

 

This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

 

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your website, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.



Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Oct 10, 2016

David Dennis is an incredibly interesting individual. He has a degree in sociology, a masters in political science, a career working with major tech companies such as Microsoft, and he is co-founder of a surfboard company focused on ocean conservation.

Dennis is co-founder of Ventana Surfboards & Supplies. They produce hollow, reclaimed wooden surfboards; bodysurfing handplanes; and eco surf supplies. The boards are high performance, surfable works of art that jumpstart conversations in homes and wave lineups.

 

“I wanted to use my skills to give back in more a meaningful way to the community in the areas that I care most about: homelessness, ocean conservation and education.”

 

Ventana gained clarity of purpose through research and a simple vision of creating the most loved surf company in the world, “and sometimes we put surf in brackets because we want to be the most loved company in the world.” In an effort to create the most loved company in the world, Dennis focuses on three brand values:

  • Craftsmanship
  • Responsibility
  • Adventure

 

“We vet everything we’re going to do against that vision and against those brand values and that’s helped us keep very focused.”

 

One way that Ventana maintains their values is the Ventana Upcycle Partner Program. The pitch is simple: Ventana allows companies and individuals to reduce the amount wood and other materials they send to the landfill; they market partners as environmentally responsible; and then they create beautiful, high-quality craftsman products as a result.

Ventana uses upcycled wood from donors like Santa Cruz Guitars, a Czech Republic swamp, wine barrels from SoCal vineyards, offcuts from Knotty Hole Woodworks, wood from the boardwalk rollercoaster, old cedar benches from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and pieces of John Steinbeck’s original home.

 

“The short version of what we’re doing is we’re taking other people’s trash and we’re turning it into amazing products.”

 

For David and his co-founder to maintain focus on their brand values and mission, they have remained bootstrapped since the company launched – and they hope to continue to do that as long as possible.

 

“Find what you’re passionate about and see if you can amplify it for social good.”

 

David is a passionate and courageous entrepreneur endeavoring to make a positive difference in the world by doing what he’s good at, and what he loves. He’s an inspiring and impactful business leader, and I greatly appreciate him coming on the show.

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Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

 

--

This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

 

We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.



Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Oct 3, 2016

Today I’m speaking with Bernie Swain, co-founder and Chairman of the Washington Speakers Bureau and author of What Made Me Who I Am. Bernie fell into this career by accident, but he developed a passion for meeting new people and forming relationships. 

Bernie was prepared to pursue a career in college athletics but, as his boss was ready to retire and promote him, Swain quit to join his wife Paula and his friend Harry Rhoads to start a lecture agency without experience, without a plan, and without a single client.

“We started out not knowing anything.”

The three co-founders started Washington Speakers Bureau from a supply closet belonging to Chuck Hagel, who would later become Secretary of Defense. After a rough year, when their savings were running out, Swain secured their first speaker: Steve Bell, then the anchorman for Good Morning America. Eight years later, WSB was established as the top lecture agency in the world. 

“Your brand is trust and honesty: being able to deliver what you say you’re going to deliver, and deliver it well.”

Over the last 35 years, WSB has represented three US Presidents, four prime ministers of Great Britain, countless American and world leaders, business and economic visionaries, journalists, authors, and sport legends.

“The most important thing is relationships.”

Bernie’s career is built on networking and good relationships. Steve Bell reached out because of a positive experience with Bernie at his previous career working in the athletics department of GWU, and then Bernie and Steve made their deal based on a handshake – a sign of trust. What could have been a huge mistake (not signing a contract) became a huge boon for WSB.

“A surprising number of speakers gave us a chance knowing they could walk away from us at any time if we didn’t do a good job for them, or if they didn’t trust us they could walk away from us. On the other hand, we knew because they could walk away from us that we had to work hard to make them happy.”

WSB continues to represent everyone on a handshake, because that’s the soul of their business. Good leaders build a strong foundation with solid character. With their solid foundation, WSB is still on top and they’ve made countless friends along the way.

“No matter who you are, or what the decision is, you want to make decisions that you feel in your heart are the right things to do.”

What Made Me Who I Am isn’t the story of how Bernie became successful, they’re the stories about how his life changed because of the relationships he has made. Bernie shares first-hand accounts of the powerful influences and defining moments from accomplished leaders like Doris Kearns Goodwin, Colin Powell and Terry Bradshaw. You can find an excerpt on Bernie’s site.

I appreciate Bernie coming by and sharing his story. He is a passionate, risk-taking leader who sets a great example by building a business with a soul and serving his clients well.

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Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:

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This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

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We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 

Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Sep 26, 2016

Aaron Walker is a businessman and life coach who has inspired many through his leadership, mentorship and consistent pursuit of excellence. 35 years of entrepreneurship and marriage have given Aaron a wealth of valuable experience. Aaron is currently on his twelfth venture as an entrepreneur – that’s right, twelfth. He is the founder of View From the Top, a coaching service and community that aims to help men live a life of success and significance.

 

Aaron is an authority on leadership and what it takes to lead a holistic, successful life. In this interview, Aaron discusses how grit and determination have paid off, how he helps ordinary men become extraordinary, how to live a successful and significant life, and the power of Masterminds and community.

 

“I’m helping ordinary men become extraordinary, and we do it in a holistic fashion. We don’t do it just in business and we don’t do it just in life. We do it in both, because I think they’re inseparable.”

 

Retirement doesn’t agree with Aaron. He has retired three different times – sometimes because of success, sometimes because of traumatic events – but not working always makes him (and his wife) unhappy. After his most recent retirement, Aaron was invited by Dan Miller to speak at an Innov8 event.

 

“I’m having more fun today than I’ve ever had in my life.”

 

Before Aaron was in a car accident, he was very successful. However, the accident helped him realize that, while he had great success, he had no significance. Nobody cared about his success but him and his family, but he realized he wanted to leave a legacy of people happy to have known him.

 

“I don’t believe in failure. I believe you either succeed or you learn.”

 

For Aaron, success means:

  • Choosing his schedule
  • Having and engaging family and meaningful relationships
  • Having a clear conscience with every transaction that he does

 

Aaron also believes that you can easily define significance: it is meeting the needs of others. Success has something to do with you, significance has something to mean for others.

 

“I want to learn to be content, but not complacent.”

 

Relationships are everything. Literally. For example, Aaron is in the construction business, and he formed an alliance of sorts with his competitors. By pooling resources, they all saved money – and in the process, they also support a number of local tradesmen. Now all of the people in the alliance are more successful, and they’re friends.

 

“When you start helping, you start sharing, then what it does is it drops the veil and everybody starts helping. There’s enough business for everybody, but we have this mentality that the pie is only so big, but there’s nothing further from the truth.”

 

Aaron brought a gift for the Impact Entrepreneur audience. It is a personal assessment that dives into your identity, ideals, relationship, career and faith. Answering the questions can help you think, and help you realize what it is that you want. Go to ViewFromTheTop.com/Impact to pick up your own copy of the personal assessment, and hopefully they will help you live more successfully and significantly.

 

I am extremely thankful to Aaron, or Big A as he is sometimes called, for sharing so much with us all. He is an incredibly generous person, and he has a lot of valuable lessons to teach the Impact Entrepreneur audience.



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This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

 

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We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 

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Don’t be a podcast junkie…

 

Resources:


Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Sep 19, 2016

Today I have the 2nd episode in my interview series on leadership, and it’s a great one. AmyK Hutchens is an incredibly accomplished speaker, author, trainer and business strategist. Her latest book, The Secrets Leaders Keep, is an Amazon bestseller, and it resonates with me on a lot of levels.

 

AmyK is a catalyst for producing sustainable solutions to a leader’s most pressing challenges, and more than 45,000 executives in nine countries have benefited from her keen insight and intuitive understanding of the issues leaders face.

 

Before entering the corporate world, AmyK was an elementary school teacher. As a student and then as a teacher, she was inspired by a 5th grade teacher to be curious and love learning.

 

“For everything that I do, whether it’s a corporate job or going out on my own, she taught me to be curious, and then she taught me how to help other students be curious, and that stayed with me.”

 

When AmyK was 14, her 5th grade teacher taught her the concept of guided choices. “Guided choices was really about giving people the freedom to explore their own passions.” It taught AmyK to follow her passion, identify where there is a need in the world, and identify the point at which her passion and that need intersect with her skillset.

 

A couple months ago, when AmyK was giving a talk, she was approached and asked why she gives so many of her tools away. Her answer? “Because I have so many more.”

 

“I could train and I could speak every single day until the day that i die, and I would still probably touch a very small percentage of the population on this planet. So, I just believe in playing bigger and finding a bigger stage, and sharing it.”

 

In The Secrets Leaders Keep, AmyK shares many secrets from the perspective of 14 leaders. She shared some of the most common secrets that we can all relate to and learn from:

  • “The most common thing I heard was, ‘Well, it’s lonely at the top.’” It wouldn’t be if the people at the top started talking to each other, because they all have the same issues.
  • Imposter Syndrome is a common issue for entrepreneurs. “Imposter syndrome is when entrepreneurs experience feelings of inadequacy, or chronic self doubt, that persist even when results indicate that the opposite is true.”
  • The Comparison Condition is one of the worst forms of self-abuse, especially for entrepreneurs, because people are constantly looking at the people around them, and thinking they should be there.
  • Choosing to live a life in a state of self-doubt is really selfish, and prevents you from showing up in the world.
  • Leave the ‘hood. “We have to let go of our neighbors, our initial community, to actually maximize and reach our potential.”

 

AmyK helps entrepreneurs overcome Imposter Syndrome and The Comparison Condition: “Stay focused on your journey. Stay on your path, and know that you’re going to make mistakes, and everybody else is making mistakes too.”

 

“Every single day you need to wake up and say, ‘There is room for me in this world.’ I don’t need to be competitive, I don’t need to hoard, I don’t need to be filled with fear. There is room for my gifts and talents for me to play today.”

 

AmyK is the Queen of Questions, and she invented a business adage: “Change your thinking, change your behavior, change your result.” You can’t get a different result if you’re thinking in the same way, so it starts with thinking, “and the very best way to raise the level of critical thinking in a dialog is to ask the bigger, better, bolder question.”

 

AmyK shared some of her favorite questions:

  • How do we define an ideal client relationship?
  • How do we define ideal performance and productivity?
    • Or, what does an A Player look like for our organization?

 

AmyK discusses how, in 90 seconds, you can go from tight ass to triumphant. Start by taking a deep breath and honestly answering four questions:

  1. What would Calm do now?
  2. What would Grace do now?
  3. What would Wisdom do now?
  4. What’s the ideal response if my sincerest intent is to help, not hurt?

 

AmyK’s next writing project is The Secrets that He Keeps. It’s not a self-help book, but a collection of fictional stories, similar to the stories in The Secrets Leaders Keep. “What we’re hoping is that men will read it so that they’re not so hard on themselves, and that women will read it so that they will be more understanding and have a depth of compassion in a relationship with their guy.”

 

“Have compassion and start asking questions.”

 

I had a blast speaking with the Queen of Questions, AmyK Hutchens, about leadership, learning and success. I highly encourage everyone to go out and pick up a copy of her book, The Secrets Leaders Keep.

 

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This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

 

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

 

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We are also brought to you by the Lawton Marketing Group. A full service advertising and design agency serving companies and entrepreneurs at all levels. The are your one stop shop for all your web site, logo, social media, print, app design and reputable management needs.

 

Visit LawtonMG.com for more info.

 

--

 

Don’t be a podcast junkie…

Resources:


Production & Development for The Impact Entrepreneur Show by Podcast Masters

Sep 12, 2016

This week I have a powerful conversation with Jocko Willink about ownership and leadership. Jocko is a retired Navy SEAL, extreme leadership expert and co-author of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win.

 

Jocko retired from the United States Navy SEALs in 2010, with a Silver Star and Bronze Star, and formed the company Echelon Front with Leif Babin, who served under Jocko in the Battle of Ramadi. Echelon Front offers training services that help build, train and lead high-performance winning teams. Jocko and Leif also co-authored Extreme Ownership as a leadership manual.

 

Mentorship is important as a Navy SEAL and a business leader. Jocko embraces mentorship from anyone with something to teach him. He realized early on that he needed to understand something in order to make sense of it.

 

“When you’re working with businesses and working with leaders, you can’t just tell them, ‘here’s the problem and here’s the solution,’ because every problem is different. There’s going to be nuances in everything, and so you have to take these principles that you learn and apply those principles. But you have to apply them not as a mechanic, but as an artist.

 

Jocko relates the process of reaching understanding to a concept called Commander’s Intent, which describes the overall goals, purpose, strategy, and desired end state. A German general once said that the Commander’s Intent should not be added on to the end of a briefing, but replace the briefing entirely.

 

“Knowing where you’re heading, and what the end state you’re looking for is, and what the intent of the operation or the mission is, it should certainly be enough.”

 

Jocko’s military career and his current entrepreneurial lifestyle requires constantly adapting to new and different people, with new and different personalities. He doesn’t have a very large tool kit for adapting to different personalities, but he has effective tools:

 

  • Listen.
  • “Tool number two is what you’re going to take out of your box after you’ve listened.”

 

 

Jocko is a champion of Extreme Ownership, the central concept and title of his book, and he believes that it is the number one characteristic of a high performance individual or team. “The reason that extreme ownership is the most important characteristic is because, if you don’t take ownership over what’s happening in your world, how can you change any of it? ... If you face the reality that what’s going on in your world actually is your fault, and if anyone can fix it it’s you, then you can actually take action.”

 

There’s always other things in the world to blame, but there’s only one you can fix, and that’s you. Taking Extreme Ownership can be simple:

  1. Acknowledge that things aren’t going the way you want them to go
  2. Identify the elements that play into the way things are
  3. Take action to fix what you aren’t happy with

 

Ownership is integral to leadership, and to Jocko leadership is what makes or breaks a mission. Leadership isn’t just about taking orders – it’s about building a two-way relationship with trust and communication.

 

“My goal with every leader that I ever worked for, whether they were horrible or they were awesome, my goal was always the same: to develop a relationship with them where they trusted me and they let me do what I want.” If it’s en egomaniac, Jocko strokes their ego. If it’s a great leader, then out of the gate you are working with them, building a relationship and developing trust.

 

You don’t need to be in charge to take ownership. In most situations, whatever your boss is trying to make happen, you’re the one doing it. Do it the right way (or the wrong way), and you can have a massive amount of influence over it. “If my boss has a vision, I’m going to take ownership and make it happen, and I’m going to build trust. And when they tell me to do something that doesn’t make sense, I’m going to have the relationship to say, ‘Hey boss, this doesn’t make sense right here.’”

 

Jocko shares stories about some of the times things didn’t go well, but he always holds on to the will to win. “The will to win isn’t a short-term thing. The will to win is a deep-seated desire for a long-term end state. You have to recognize that, along the way, you’re going to take wins and you’re going to take losses.” What’s going to trip you up when you fail is when your ego doesn’t allow you to take ownership of the failure.

 

Success is often driven by ego, and Jocko embraces that. We should want to do well, and we should care how we perform. “Where it goes sideways is where the ego becomes so big that it no longer thinks it can do any better, no longer can you be corrected, no longer can you be coached, no longer can you change, no longer can you evolve, because your ego thinks you’re already there.”

 

To keep our egos in check, Jocko has a few simple tools:

  1. Keep an open mind
  2. Don’t believe your own hype
  3. Make an honest self-assessment. The way that you make an honest self-assessment is to detach from yourself and look at yourself from an exterior point of view.

 

I’m honored to have gotten to speak with Jocko about his book, his business and his past experiences. He is a powerful speaker, and he has a lot to share about leadership, ownership and success.

 

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This episode is brought to you by SY Partners and Unstuck, helping you make a change by identifying the things holding you up. Their new program “Life Courses” are based on decades of learning about what inspires people to change. It is created by SYPartners, a transformation company that helps individuals, teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.

 

To start making your change, visit Life Courses by Unstuck on the web.

 

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Download this Episode MP3.


SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What are some steps Jocko takes to bridge the gap between knowledge and understanding?
  • Is it enough to simply begin with the end in mind in order to get to understanding?
  • How does Jocko adapt to different personalities on the fly?
  • Why is Extreme Ownership the number one characteristic of a high performance individual or team?
  • How does the will to win aid in recovering from a situation that is in essence failure?
  • How does Jocko use The Leader’s Checklist with his fellow SEALS, and how can entrepreneurs adapt this checklist in their businesses?

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Why extreme ownership is the number one characteristic of a high performance individual
  • How to build relationships with the leaders around you
  • How aspects of military strategy can improve business strategy
  • How to use your ego as a driver, but keep it in check

 

DON’T BE A PODCAST JUNKIE…

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Sep 5, 2016

Today’s guest, Kelly Starrett, is a coach, physical therapist, speaker, co-creator of MobiltyWOD.com, and author of two NY Times Best Sellers: Becoming a Supple Leopard & Ready to Run. Kelly recently published his third book, Deskbound.

Kelly started the 27th CrossFit gym in the country, with a private student loan from grad school. “It was a total calculated risk. No one knew this; they didn’t know what this was.“ Kelly thought it would be a great place for his friends to train, and he hoped to pick up skills that would make him a better physiotherapist. The gym evolved into a lot more.

“Then we started solving a problem. We started to see the way people moved … Don’t set up a business, be useful.”

Kelly didn’t have one distinct mentor, but he did have many talented colleagues and inspirations around him. “There’s this constant loop of creativity that doesn’t turn off.”

“Process begets process. For us, the mentorship is that we all feed each other and draft off each other and push each other and nudge each other, and that really is sustainable.”

Kelly’s third book, Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World, was released in April, and it is currently the #1 Best Seller in Exercise & Fitness Injury Prevention on Amazon. Deskbound is a blueprint for living pain free in a sedimentary society. It identifies the epigenetic implications of not moving (pelvic floor dysfunction, jaw clenching, shortened hips, insulin insensitivity) and seeks to structure a solution.

“At some point, there’s going to have to be an intervention that actually works, and we think that this is one of those interventions that’s so simple – i.e. get human beings to be what human beings are, what they’re supposed to do, which is move.”

The book opens with, “The human body is incredibly robust. This is a good thing, if you have a plan for getting organized.” Immediately, you can divide your life into opportunities where you can sit, and opportunities where you don’t have to sit. It becomes optional and non-optional sitting.

The book is trying to encourage readers to adapt the environment around them to force more movement. For example, during this interview, Kelly and I are sitting on the floor. Because of this, we’re already in better metabolic positions. We’re not metabolically active, but we’re taking our hips through the full range of motion and we’re at least obeying the range of motion that the tissues are designed for. “What we’ve done is immediately program a whole bunch more movement in, and all we did was say, ‘Let’s not sit in a chair.’”

If you do find yourself having to sit a lot, you have to have a plan to address the tissue restrictions. The second half of the book provides simple tools to open up tissues that are stiff, restore normal sliding surfaces and regain function.

Kids who stand in school will burn an additional 15-30% more calories daily than kids who don’t, and they even focus better. Kelly’s partner at Texas A&M, Mark Benden, has research showing that kids are gaining about 2 percentage points on their body index every year they sit at school, and what Kelly’s seen is that in two years they’ve actually been able to reverse that trend.

“We have to start playing the long game: just do the right thing, day after day, and pretty soon it really makes massive change.”

Kelly is incredibly passionate about health and healing, and he’s doing great work with his wife at MobilityWOD.com. I’m grateful to Kelly for sharing his passion with the Impact Entrepreneur Show.

 

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What is the premise of Kelly’s new book, Deskbound?
  • What are some consequences of not being organized?
  • What are physical cues listeners can pay attention to as they’re listening to analyze what they’re doing right now to see if they’re helping or hindering themselves?
  • What can parents do to improve movement in their children’s lives?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The danger in sedimentary living
  • How we can structure our lives and environments to involve more movement
  • How standing can combat the trend of childhood obesity
  • Why Kelly was drawn to CrossFit in its infancy

DON’T BE A PODCAST JUNKIE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Aug 29, 2016

This week I have a wonderful conversation with Ryan Hawk, host of The Learning Leader Show, Huffington Post contributor and executive at LexisNexis. Ryan truly has a passion for learning, and he shares that passion in this interview.

Ryan was a decorated college football quarterback at Miami University and Ohio University. After college, he wanted to learn more about leadership. He launched The Learning Leader Show in an attempt to build the ultimate PhD curriculum on leadership. Ryan also writes on the topics of leading and empowering others for The Huffington Post.

Ryan believes you learn a lot about someone by the questions they ask. One question that he likes to ask others, particularly deep thinkers, is, “What initial questions do you ask others to truly understand how they think?”

Ryan has done thousands of interviews with professionals over the course of his career. “What really differentiates some of the great ones from some of the good ones [are] the questions that they ask. How curious are they? How thoughtful? How good of a listener are they?”

Ryan suggests making a list of the people that you admire and believe are interesting – people you know or don’t know and people that are famous or not famous – and then ask if you can speak with them. It helps if you have a podcast or write for Forbes, but many people will be willing (and happy) to speak with you.

You can also employ this exercise to seek mentorship and education within your business, community or organization. At the end of this process, the people you admire (and who may be in leadership positions) will like you even more, and you will learn a ton. It’s a simple and repeatable process:

  1. Make a list of the people who really impress you within the company, and then call them or send them a thoughtful e-mail asking if you can talk to them for an hour. By doing this, you are showing that you’re a curious and thoughtful person who likes to learn, and they will be flattered.
  2. Listen, ask good follow-up questions and take really detailed notes.
  3. When you are done with the meeting, send them a recap e-mail of everything you learned in that one-hour conversation.

A key aspect of this exercise is to do it because you want to learn and improve. Most people are trying to find a short cut to a promotion. You want to develop relationships. “Relationships are what this world is made of. People who are not willing or are not willing to build relationships probably don’t do well, and the ones that can usually do quite well.”

Ryan’s impact moment began during a dinner with Todd Wagner, one of Mark Cuban’s business partners. Later, after earning his MBA, Ryan was looking at PhD programs focusing on leadership. However, he did not see any curriculum that he enjoyed. “So I thought, why don’t I just create my own Leadership PhD?”

By creating his own Leadership PhD, Ryan is able to seek out the people that he looks up to and admires, and ask to speak with them. “In addition to just learning for myself, I could release those conversations for potentially all of the world to be positively impacted at the same time. I thought that was a beautiful way to share what I was learning with others.” This project grew into The Learning Leader Show.

There are a few things that happen when you give a speech, or record a podcast episode. “You can change the way people think, you can change the way people feel, and you can change the way people act. I want to do all three of those things for my listeners, and for anybody who comes to one of my talks in person.”

Ryan’s original plan was professional football. He received a scholarship to the University of Miami to play as a quarterback, as was Ben Roethlisberger. Other schools tried to pull him away from Miami, so that he would not have to compete with the best. Ryan did the opposite. He moved to campus the day after graduating high school. “My goal was to show the guys that I was willing to outwork everybody. My goal also was to learn every single teammate’s name.”

After two seasons at Miami, Ryan realized that it still wasn’t enough. “It was a great moment, for me, because it taught me that sometimes you can do everything within your power, everything, and you’re still going to lose.” It’s a powerful (and difficult) lesson to learn that helps Ryan overcome things that other people are unable to overcome.

It was a delight speaking with Ryan today. He is one of the most effective and passionate learners in the entrepreneurial space, and I highly recommend checking out some of his interviews with the best leaders in the world.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • How have mentors impacted you directly?
  • What are things that Ryan did to let go of one dream in order to move into a potentially greater opportunity?
  • What does Ryan desire for his audience?
  • What’s the most memorable experience that Ryan has had executing his process of requesting interviews from the people he admires?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • A process for seeking out knowledge and mentorship from the people that inspire you
  • How pursuing knowledge from the people you admire can improve your life
  • What the questions you ask (or don’t ask) may reveal about yourself
  • How Ryan embraces being a lifelong learner in every aspect of his life
  • How Ryan learned a huge life lesson after working to be a better quarterback than Ben Roethlisberger

DON’T BE A PODCAST JUNKIE…

Aug 22, 2016

I’m excited to have Ryan Michler on the show today. His goal is to help men become better leaders through the Order of Man. Most entrepreneurs think about building a product, but Ryan is building a community.

Ryan grew up without a significant father figure in his life. After getting married and having children, Ryan realized he needed to learn a few things. So, Ryan started the Order of Man: a podcast, blog and community.

I just had no idea how guys are supposed to do this thing, so I went on a journey for myself to figure this out.” Ryan realized that he couldn’t sit on the sidelines of this conversation. He had to be engaged and leading the discussion.

Six years into working for someone else, Ryan made the decision to start his own practice. “But the reality is I just didn’t know how to do it.” So he hired a coach, a mentor, who helped Ryan wrap his head around why this change could be a good thing. “He also got me thinking on a different level, and I think that’s what mentors do. They help you see things you can’t see yourself.”

Ryan has always been a structured, organized and deliberate person, and his experience in the military solidified that. There are other blogs like Order of Man, started at roughly the same time, but they aren’t all successful. Most of that is due to a lack of consistency. “If you want to have success: you gotta be disciplined, you gotta be committed, you gotta be consistent. Those are three things that you can do that you have complete control over.”

Ryan doesn’t believe everyone needs to be organized, but they do need to have organization in their life. If it’s a weakness, you don’t necessarily need to make it your strength. Maybe you’re a visionary; maybe you’re the person who can launch that idea. That being said, Ryan has a lot of tools that are easy to use that can help bring more organization to your life.

One of Ryan’s tools is his Weekly Battle Plan. He schedules everything out. “If you’re not going to schedule your day out, including the planning that you’re going to be doing every day, the likelihood of it actually getting done is very minimal.” Ryan goes through his list every morning, and there are certain things he does every day: exercise, meditate, read, journal, plan out his day.

In addition to his everyday routine, Ryan writes down daily tasks and goals. “What do I actually want to get accomplished today? What is important to me when it comes to the relationships I have with my kid, or the relationships I have with my wife? What’s important with my health, with my money?”

He makes this list every morning without fail, and then he also does an After Action Review at the end of the day. During the After Action Review, Ryan reflects on what he was able to get accomplished, and what he wasn’t, to help him plan the next day. Ryan’s goal is to be deliberate so that every step he makes is maximum efficiency.

Ryan’s goal for his community is to help them become better leaders. That’s the overarching vision. “I want them to become better leaders of themselves. I want them to be able to lead and preside over their own families. I want them to be able to lead in their businesses and communities.” But in order to have that, Ryan believes you need to focus on three strengths:

  1. Physical Strength – Taking care of your mind and body
  2. Mental Fortitude – Mental toughness, resiliency and the ability to overcome obstacles
  3. Emotional Fortitude – Not being scattered or letting other people offend you.

“If I can help guys in those three strengths, in order for them to be better leaders, they’re going to live more fulfilled lives.” They’re going to have deeper relationships, more wealth and be able to succeed in business. Whatever a man is trying to accomplish, Ryan believes they can do that by becoming a leader and focusing on physical strength, mental fortitude and emotional fortitude.

Developing those strengths is a form of self-mastery; something that Ryan believes every man should strive for. Ryan refers to the natural man: a hypothetical man that tends to be lazy, unorganized, undisciplined. Self-mastery is about overcoming those things you have struggles with, and getting better in those key areas. You have to recognize that the natural man is actually there, and then realize you want to actually overcome it.

“Stop sitting on the idea that you have … and start taking action on it.”

I appreciate Ryan coming by to talk about how the Order of Man, the value of structure and his own life experiences.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What is Ryan doing to get clarity every day?
  • What was the impact moment that inspired Ryan to star the Order of Man podcast and community?
  • Did Ryan’s experience in the military shape his outlet for the Order of Man?
  • What are things that anybody can do to exercise their organization muscle?
  • What does Ryan desire for the Order of Man community?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How not having a father around in Ryan’s childhood drives him to become the best man he can be
  • How the Order of Man helps men become better leaders
  • How the structure instilled by the military has helped Ryan achieve success
  • The three strengths that help men become better leaders of themselves
  • The importance of self-mastery

DON’T BE A PODCAST JUNKIE…

Aug 15, 2016

I have a lot of firsts for you in this week’s episode. Jason and Jodi Womack are my first married guests, my first live interview with two guests and my first co-author guests. We also have a lot of fun talking, as usual, and the result is a huge episode packed full of ways to make an impact and get momentum.

The Womacks want entrepreneurs to Get Momentum, over and over again. Get Momentum is an executive coaching and development program that is designed for busy people who want to work smarter, think bigger, lead better and achieve more. Since launching their business in 2012, they have expanded to include the Get Momentum Leadership Academy and Get Momentum: How to Start When You’re Stuck.

The Womacks are both big proponents of mentorship. “The purpose of a mentor is to have someone act as the visionary,” Jason said. “You’re looking at you right then, a mentor can look at you and see you months from now.”

Jodi added that, “I love to think of mentors as someone I have a real relationship with … a real mentor cares about you the person, and the big vision of you that they can see.

Jason has a tactic he uses for clarifying, expanding or narrowing his vision. He looks at a subject as 100, 25 or 1. If you take 100 pennies, 4 quarters or 1 dollar, they all add up to the same amount. “There are some times you need to look at all 100 pieces of the problem, some times I just need to buck it into four quarters, and sometimes I just need to know what the problem is.” Mentors help you look at the problem from a different perspective.

Jodi’s impact moment came while she was Director of Public Events at a training firm. One day, all of the public events were canceled. “I realized I wasn’t the director of anything, as long as I was an employee,” Jodi said. Jason felt he was always running out of goals to reach for. So, they left the firm and started their own coaching and development business.

Eventually, customers were reaching out because they wanted more. They needed a continual refreshing of the content, so the Get Momentum Leadership Academy was born. “If you can get your clients to ask you for your next product before it is built, you are onto something,” Jason said.

Their book, Get Momentum: How to Start When You’re Stuck, is another project that was started after customers expressed interest in a book based on the course. The book is about how you reverse engineer that feeling you wish you had more: momentum. Jason described momentum as “the feeling that you recognize after you’ve had it.”

Being stuck sucks. “There’s no pretty way to dress that up. It is hard, it is lonely, it is depressing,” Jodi said. The other side of the coin is that, if you’re stuck, you’re trying to do something you’ve never done before.

When are you at your best? Every question Jason asks comes down to this central idea. If people consider when they are at their best, they give themselves what he describes as “the gift of their own attention.”

What do you want to be known for? The Womacks suggest you pick a role and pick a period of time. The answer is constantly changing. It’s a powerful perspective, because it makes the question actionable. The book does a wonderful job at providing actionable activities that reinforce the motivational message.

“Get Momentum” is broken into the Five Stages of Momentum:

  1. Motivation – What did I do that motivated me? “The idea of catching someone doing something right is so bizarre, unusual and unique. If you try that for a couple days, you might just revolutionize what’s going on in your office. Since school and the red pen, we’ve been taught to find what’s wrong,” said Jodi. “People are starved for wins.”
  2. Mentors – Jason has two kinds of mentors: Mentors he knows and mentors he doesn’t know. Learn from anybody you can. Jason picks one person from history every month to learn from.
  3. Milestones – The Womacks take everything they are working on and break it out into 90-day chunks. People get overwhelmed with big projects, but this lets you focus on something you can complete – and completing builds momentum.
  4. Monitor – You will know what to look for if you have clear milestones. “What is noticed is repeated. What is negatively noticed is repeated.”
  5. Modify – A dictionary definition of modify is “to make a small change.” The Womacks are big fans of small things done incrementally and repeated. There are three changes you can make to gain or re-gain momentum:
    1. Automate
    2. Delegate
    3. Eliminate

If you consider yourself a life long learner, head over to Get Momentum. I’m grateful that the Womacks took the time to sit down and talk. Their program, and their book, provide a lot of actionable strategies and motivational messages that will help entrepreneurs gain and re-gain momentum.

 

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • Can the Womacks share a story where a mentor has impacted their outlook?
  • What were the Womacks’ impact moments?
  • Why do we constantly find ourselves getting stuck?
  • What are the Five Stages of Momentum, and why are they important?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Why a good mentor is a visionary, and how they can help you shift perspective
  • How to reverse engineer the feeling of momentum
  • The Five Stages of Momentum
  • The value of catching someone who is doing something right, as opposed to something wrong
  • The three modifications you can make to your life or business gain or re-gain momentum

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Aug 8, 2016

This is an incredibly powerful and authentic episode of The Impact Entrepreneur Show. My guest, Chris Faddis, is an author, speaker and entrepreneur. He launched Bene Plates, a revolutionary food and nutrition company serving the chronically ill and the walking well, just a year ago.

In 2011, Chris’ late wife was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Colon Cancer. Fighting that battle with his wife made Chris aware of the importance of nutrition for the terminally ill: 85% of cancer patients suffer from malnutrition, and 40% of cancer patients die from it. “Ultimately, it was food that kept her alive.” Bene Plates mission is to provide high quality, great tasting and nourishing meals for their clients, whether they are chronically ill or one of the walking well.

Rather than going through institutions, which are always going to make decisions for other reasons, Bene Plates goes directly to the patients. “Our goal is to create the demand by proving to people – proving to doctors, proving to hospitals, proving to individuals – that, when they eat well while they’re in treatment, they will do better.”

Chris launched Bene Plates about a year ago, and mind mapping tools have been helpful in the early stages of the business. Mapping his thoughts helps him articulate a clear vision, which in turn makes it easier to delegate tasks.

Chris believes it’s really important to be able to articulate a vision to the people around you, and trust them to make decisions on how to build your vision. “I have to step back, and I have to let certain things go, because if I don’t just articulate the vision and trust the team around me that I put in place, then it’s always going to be me and it’s never going to grow.”

If Chris could go back and launch again, there’s two things he would make sure to do:

  1. Don’t rush to launch. Take the time to read the market, make every small decision and fine-tune your processes.
  2. Don’t launch with debt.

Mentorship helped Chris realize the value of authenticity. Chris has a background mixing corporate business, entrepreneurship and the church space. He used to segment himself between the different aspects of his life, mentally and as separate online brands. “Honestly what I’ve found is … people are more accepting.”

Being authentic – being who you were made to be and living to your full potential – is a big hurdle for a lot of entrepreneurs. Chris believes a key to remaining authentic is having the right partner, whether that person is a spouse, mentor or business partner. “If you ever feel like you’re a wannabe fake when that person’s around, you’re not going to lie.”

Chris overcomes the Fear of Feedback by maintaining authenticity online. “When you’re transparent in your business and who you are, as a company and as a person, all that stuff is accountability.” In one way, that’s where social media is a positive thing.

The idea of the “Walking Well” was born out of Chris’ authenticity on social media – and an accidental reference to The Walking Dead. Delivering healthy food to healthy people is important to Chris too. “I think there’s something really important about us working with the walking well. It’s knowing that, when you buy a product from us, you’re helping us support more cancer patients.”

If you feel stuck in your career and want to break away to start a business, Chris suggests you sit down and think through your intentions. Is it about making money, or is it about doing something good? You will know you are ready to break away from a stagnant career after you:

  1. Articulate in three sentences, very clearly, what you want to do
  2. Talk about it with other people
  3. Start writing it down
  4. Get advice
  5. Make a business plan (Chris used com)

Chris Faddis is a born entrepreneur and an incredibly authentic human being. I’m so grateful that he came by to share his story and I’m excited to see how Bene Plates grows in the years to come.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • How important have mentors been in Chris’ life?
  • What are some steps Chris is taking to make sure he is checking what he is doing against who he is authentically?
  • If Chris was starting this company again today, what are 2-3 things he would do differently?
  • What’s a step someone can take to break away from a career they feel stuck in?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Why to be authentic online, in person and when running your company
  • How to overcome the Fear of Feedback online
  • The value of articulating a vision, then letting people help you build it
  • Why it’s usually better to take your time and launch a new business patiently

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Aug 1, 2016

Geoff Woods is full of great stories in today’s episode. Geoff is host of The Mentee Podcast and he came by to share how he went from employee to entrepreneur in just 10 months.

Geoff Woods’ journey as an entrepreneur (and a self-described Super Connecter) began with tragedy, but a Jim Rohn quote helped Geoff shift his life course: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Geoff wanted to own his own business, wake up every day and feel like he was making an impact, but he didn’t have anyone in his life that.

Geoff wanted to make an impact, followed by the money, and he’s able to do that with a knack for networking. “I try to find a way to add value to people.” He always asks, “What are you working on and how can I help?”

Geoff didn’t just want to make an impact. He also had the courage to act. His first goal was in real estate, so his first step was connecting with people who owned property. “The very first time I opened my mouth, I had the opportunity to become the owner of a 10-story building on the water in North Carolina.” Things only got cooler from there.

Jay Papasan and Gary Keller approached Geoff because they were looking for a new CEO for a publishing company. Geoff took the call because he had a couple names in mind, but ultimately he discovered they were looking for a CEO just like him. “Because I led with trying to be a super connecter, because I led trying to add value, I now have the opportunity to call a billionaire my partner.”

Geoff’s success, and his constant endeavor to add value to other people’s lives, starts with overcoming the limiting beliefs that make us believe we don’t have value to add. “The reality is you have value to give, you just have to figure out how to give value to those people.” Learn new skills and meet new people to increase the value you have to offer.

Geoff is learning the value of leverage. He can only contribute time towards things that align with and further his goals, but he still wants to add value to the people who approach him. He is learning to create systems and hire a person to manage those systems, which in turn creates opportunity for people in his community.

Geoff has advice for how you can find the best mentors, available in a free guide. He provided a great overview:

  • The mentor-mentee relationship is something that happens over time. “For you to walk up to a successful persona and ask them to be your mentor … is the same as men walking into a bar, seeing a hot woman, dropping down to one knee before you’ve said anything to her and saying, ‘Will you marry me?’”
  • You don’t even realize the value you bring to the table
  • Being in the position of the mentee is the most powerful position you can be in
  • Successful people look for up-and-comers who are hungry

Geoff provided an extra tip not in his guide: drop your ego and speak from the heart.

I can’t thank Geoff enough for being so authentic and vulnerable with us. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out The Mentee Podcast.

 

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • How has Geoff been able to connect people to create awesome things?
  • What doors have opened for Geoff because he has the courage to act?
  • What filters can entrepreneurs apply so that they don’t lose sight on the impact and the value they want to have in the world?
  • What are opportunities Geoff has had to turn down because he would not be adding value?
  • Can Geoff share his approach to building the mentor-mentee relationship in the right way?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The power of adding value to other people’s lives
  • Why success follows entrepreneurs who have the courage to act
  • Geoff Wood’s approach to building a mentor-mentee relationship in the right way
  • Plus much more…

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Jul 25, 2016

Today’s conversation with Bob Burg is packed full of authenticity, empathy and value. He is author of The Go-Giver, a business parable about consistently providing values to others, and he has made a career out of helping others.

“I choose to be in business for myself. I have a much better feeling of freedom and liberty that way. I have a better feeling about myself, and quite frankly I think I can help a lot more people by being an entrepreneur than I can working in someone else’s organization.” Bob’s entrepreneurial success is driven by an innate sense of empathy.

“Empathy can be developed, but I think the first step is understanding why it is important.” Empathy is a major aspect of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is understanding both your own and another person’s feelings, or at least understanding that they have feelings about something, and being able to regulate those feelings. By being able to act in such a way because of, or in spite of, those feelings, you are able to bring the most value to other people. “The single greatest people skill is simply a highly developed and authentic interest in the other person.”

Bob’s book, The Go-Giver, is a business parable that collects aspects of many true stories into the fictional story of Joe. In the story, Joe learns a very valuable lesson: shifting one’s focus from getting to giving, by which Bob means constantly and consistently providing value to others, isn’t just a pleasant way to live, but a profitable way to live as well.

For example, Joe asks a mentor if a product will make money. Joe’s mentor tells him that it’s not a bad question; in fact, it’s a great question. It’s just a bad first question. If your first thought is to ask if something will make money, then you’re not thinking about the marketplace itself. A better question to ask is “Will it serve?” or “Does it add value?”

The Go-Giver also provides five laws to guide the way Bob believes we should live our lives:

  1. Value – Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment. We have to understand the profound difference between price and value. Price is a dollar figure, and it’s finite. Value, on the other hand, is the desirability of an end product.
  2. Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve, and how well you serve them. It’s not just value; it’s also how many lives you impact. Your compensation is directly under your control, and there’s no limit to your compensation because you always have more people to serve. Understand that success is a mindset, you can do it, and that building relationships is a skillset.
  3. Influence – Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first. Don’t be a doormat or sacrificial, but make your success about other people’s success. The essence of influence is pull, as opposed to push. Great influencers attract people.
  4. Authenticity – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. All of the skills in the world are for naught if you don’t come at everything from your true, authentic core.
  5. Receptivity – The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. We breathe out, and we must also breathe in. All of the giving in the world is for naught if you do not make yourself available to receive in like measure. “This is why we say that money is simply an echo of value.”

“The Golden Rule of Business is that, all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to the people they know, like and trust.“ There is no faster, more powerful or more effective way to elicit those feelings towards you from others than by making your win about the other person’s win. It’s moving from an “I” or “Me” focus to an “Other” focus.

Bob’s book emphasizes the role of focus and intention for entrepreneurs. “You have to be very focused on accomplishing what you know you want to accomplish every day, every week, every month, every year. Intention comes right along with that. You have an intention to do a certain thing, and you don’t stop until it happens.” Entrepreneurs need to be flexible with strategy and tactics in order to accomplish what they intend to do.

Bob’s passion for helping others is palpable in this interview. I’m grateful that he took the time to share his thought process and some stories about The Go-Giver. He definitely has a lot of value to offer.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What are some ways that entrepreneurs can develop empathy and apply it in our daily lives?
  • What is the premise of The Go-Giver?
  • A character in Bob’s book says, “‘Does it make money?’ is not a bad question, it’s a great question. It’s just a bad first question.” What does he mean by that?
  • How should entrepreneurs think about focus and intention?
  • In Bob’s book, the Law of Compensation says that your compensation is directly under your control, and there’s no limit to your compensation because you always have more people to serve. How can entrepreneurs operate under this mindset and live out this law?
  • How does a go-giver create influence, both personally and in business, and how does that directly relate to new business, or even leadership?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • A greater understanding of what makes empathy an important aspect of a successful business and personal life
  • Why The Go-Giver is a valuable business parable for entrepreneurs
  • The Golden Rule of Business
  • The value of focus and intention
  • How giving can create influence
  • Plus much more…

 

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Jul 18, 2016

Today I have a delightful and authentic conversation with Honoree Corder. She is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker and prolific author. Currently, she is writing her 20th book, You Must Write a Book, for professionals who absolutely should write a book as a differentiator. She calls writing a book “the new business card.”

Honoree was raised with an entrepreneurial spirit. “Being an entrepreneur means you get to eat what you kill.” Your effort is returned to you, and only to you. Entrepreneurs are punished or rewarded based on how much time and effort they put into their businesses.

“Go ahead and start the business, instead of having it as an idea that’s marinating. If it’s been marinating, it’s marinated.” If you start, your business will, over time, take on a life of its own. If you’re currently an employee with the hunger for entrepreneurship, turn your idea into a side hustle.

“Keep going. Be patient. Some day your side hustle will be your main hustle.” Carve out time to do the thing that you really want to do. That will fuel you, feed you and tide you over. If you’re waiting to jump from one situation to the next, you’re missing out on an opportunity for your passion to grow and be nurtured.

Honoree wrote her first book because she had a 15 second mentor. She met Mark Victor Hansen at a conference, and he said to her, “Everybody is a coach and a speaker, you need a book.” She took her most popular presentation and turned it into a book.

Honoree wrote the amazing book Vision to Reality: How Short Term Massive Action Equals Long Term Maximum Results. In order to get from where you are now to your dreams, there are certain steps that have to be taken. You have to take short-term, massive action that will compound, and it will lead to long-term massive results. Four things precede a successful new reality:

  1. Think – If you don’t think you can achieve your vision, you want get to the next step.
  2. Believe – If you don’t believe your vision is possible for you, it will not be possible.
  3. Deserve – If you don’t believe you deserve your vision, you will reach an upper limit to success.
  4. Commit – Finally, you have to commit yourself mentally, and commit your time, to your vision.

Be authentically yourself. Authenticity is so powerful because people want to know that others are imperfect, and that others are vulnerable. Those are strengths, not weaknesses. Honoree invents the word “authentistic” during the interview to describe the act of being authentic and fantastic. You mess up, you have struggles, you are human, and it’s okay.

If you want something, you have to give it away: this can be anything from money to love to authenticity. As an author, Honoree wants good reviews. So, one day she decides to review The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod on Goodreads. Now, she and Hal have a partnership to create The Miracle Morning book series.

“I think that people have the perception that successful people, in whatever they do, are somehow special people, and the only difference between successful people and people who aren’t as successful as they want to be … is that they have done a little bit more a little bit longer.”

Honoree truly exudes authenticity and positivity in the advice and stories she offers during this episode. I had a lot of fun talking to her, and I hope you got something great from it too.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How authenticity can be a powerful force for success
  • Why, if you want something, you have to give it away
  • How to bring an idea from vision to reality
  • Why you should write a book
  • Plus much more… 

DON’T STOP HERE…

 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Jul 11, 2016

I had a very open and passionate conversation with Tom Bilyeu today. He is the Co-founder and President of Quest Nutrition, a company that endeavors to transform the entire food industry by creating foods that taste as good as they are good for you. In 2014, it was named the #2 fastest-growing private company in America by Inc.com. Tom also hosts the weekly thought leadership talk show Inside Quest.

Surprisingly, Tom says that he was not a born entrepreneur – he was actually inspired by The Matrix to challenge his construct of reality and change his mindset. “The Matrix really gave me the framework with which to begin thinking about my life … I think that our mindset is the real-world equivalent of The Matrix.” To get out of the matrix, you have to change the way you think. “You have to stop allowing yourself to believe things about yourself, even if they’re true, that don’t move you forward.”

Changing your mindset is a battle. For Tom, the process of becoming an entrepreneur was really the process of controlling his mindset and realizing it is possible to take control of destiny – not only realizing he didn’t have to be an employee, but also realizing that financial independence was achievable. Your mind is everything, and the narrative that you tell yourself about yourself is the most important thing in your life. If you don’t take time to construct and repeat a narrative that is empowering, you are doing yourself a disservice.”

Tom’s Morpheus(es), or mentors, are the authors of books. He has a deep sense of gratitude for people who take the time to put their wisdom down in a book so that others can learn easy what they learned hard. “It’s a great tradition to write down that knowledge so that it can be passed on.”

On Tom’s site, it says that companies only have a chance at greatness when driven by a mission. He also says that the mission of Quest was born out of misery. When Tom first started working with his current partners, they were working to get rich. After a lot of success, Tom was miserable. He left to embark on a life of purpose and lasting fulfillment. However, his partners agreed, and fought to keep Tom on board. They came up with a new mantra:

  • Work on something that brings value to people
  • Believe in what they’re working towards
  • Work towards something they want to fight for, even if they’re falling

The mission of Quest Nutrition is simple, but big: to put an end to metabolic disease. That’s what makes Quest more than just a food company. It’s a company that won’t stop innovating until global nutrition has been freed from the stranglehold of junk food. This is not a knock on money, but saying that money can come in the service of providing value to others and in service of a greater mission. “It’s about becoming something, rather than having something.”

When you’re solving a real problem, people are going to pay for that value, and what you’re doing is going to matter. Our world is so interconnected that companies can be punished for either having a mission or not having a mission, and your community cares about what you’re trying to do. “All of a sudden you live in this world where people can learn the truth of why your company exists, beyond your products.”

Tom demonstrates that Quest Nutrition makes decisions based on their mission and community, and people think they’re out of their mind for making some of those decisions. Recently, they switched to a different fiber source that costs a lot more than their pervious source, without changing the cost of their product. It nearly cut their profitability in half. However, the scientific community was questioning whether their previous fiber source was, in fact, a source of fiber at all, and the new fiber is much more metabolically beneficial. “If it’s really going to take us 25 years to end metabolic disease, we have to be relevant that long, we have to be trusted that long.”

The Quest Belief System goes beyond core values to draw the map of how Tom evolved from financial instability to confident business leader. “In all of that, I realized there are some real truths here that anyone can apply to their life to, in my language, ‘escape The Matrix.’” Highlights of the 25 bullet points in the Quest Belief System include:

  • Personal growth is the highest priority of all Team Quest members
  • Mistakes are a great teacher to those who are willing to admit that they’ve made one
  • Build your self esteem around identifying the right answer and pursuing it faster than anyone else
  • Take the red pill

Tom and his business partners at Quest Nutrition are doing some truly impressive things. Tom’s passion to end metabolic disease comes through loud and clear in this interview. We should all follow his lead, and work towards solving real problems.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What is the story of Quest Nutrition, and what is it’s mission?
  • What steps can entrepreneurs take to ensure their product or service passes the “soul test?”
  • How does Quest Nutrition you use their community and mission to make decisions?
  • Can Tom tell us how they developed the Quest Belief System?
  • What does Tom think has stirred up this renewed interest in self-awareness and mindfulness?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How the narrative you construct about yourself influences your success
  • How the Quest Belief System can shape the way you think about yourself
  • Why businesses that solve real problems often find success
  • Why every business decision needs to reflect your mission statement and your community
  • Plus much more…

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Jul 4, 2016

I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone who lives more in the moment than Brian Dickinson, and he shares his incredible story in today’s interview. He is an ex-Navy rescue swimmer, a world-class mountain climber and the author of Blind Descent, the inspiring story about how he summited Mount Everest – alone – and overcame descending the mountain blind.

Brian is still learning the ability to slow down and live in the moment, gathering the courage to be content. Brian’s climbs help him gain perspective on the world off of the mountain, because he experiences how slowly time can feel.

It can be dangerous to start climbing alone. “Not even climbing, but everything. If you can latch onto somebody who has a clue, has made the mistakes, you’re going to learn a ton.” There’s so much in your control, if you know how to control it.

Control, on the mountain and in your business, comes down to preparation. “The success is creating a lifestyle of change,” and then you will always be prepared for that next climb or business endeavor.

I’ve described preparation as the bridge between expectation and reality. Sometimes, that bridge can collapse, and things will go south in spite of your preparation – like when you start to develop snow blindness at the highest point on Earth. In these situations, success can come down to willpower. Sometimes willpower means moving forward, using your training, without overthinking the situation.

Motivation can pull us through the impossible, in our lives and in our businesses. Brian used his family to help him descend Mount Everest and overcome his instinct to panic. Use your motivation to focus on breaking a bad experience down to small successes, keeping a map in your mind of where you are going.

For now, Brian is taking what he learned and focusing on having the courage to be content. There’s no shortage of adventures in this world, and he’s going to go on the next few with his family.

We are put in situations for a reason. Usually it’s not at the top of Mount Everest, but it’s always so that we can share something of value with other people, and maybe save someone’s life, career or marriage through our stories.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • How did Brian learn the ability to slow down and live in the moment?
  • How did Brian’s military training aid him in transitioning towards entrepreneurship and the tech industry?
  • How important has mentorship been to Brian in his climbing endeavors?
  • What are Brian’s thoughts on preparation and willpower?
  • When Brian was descending Mount Everest and started going blind, how did he not give in to the harsh conditions?
  • How did Brian overcome panic in an unpredictable situation?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • An incredible story about human strength and willpower
  • How preparation is a lifestyle as much as an activity
  • Why it is courageous to be content
  • How to use motivation to overcome the worst situations
  • Plus much more…

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Jun 27, 2016

Today I have an interview with a modern Renaissance Woman. Kelly Roach is an ex-NFL cheerleader, formerly the top sales person in a Fortune 500 company, author of Unstoppable, the loving mother of a two-year-old, and a successful entrepreneur. Kelly trains other entrepreneurs to launch, monetize and scale profitable businesses.

Kelly was promoted seven times in eight years. She was the youngest Senior VP of the company and managed 17 locations. Her health was sliding to the back burner until she thought, “Every time I get promoted, every time I have success in this environment, it compromises more of who I am.”

Taking some time to think is critical. After reflecting on her core values as a person, she came to the conclusion that she was not living the life she wanted. Kelly’s core values:

  1. Freedom
  2. Financial abundance
  3. Fulfillment

By fulfillment, Kelly means making an impact, doing work that she feels matters, and helping people. Every time she has success in the wrong environment, she will have less freedom to pursue making a difference. She also doesn’t like making a company millions of dollars. She can make that money for herself.

It can be difficult to stop your life and shift course, particularly when things are going according to plan. Kelly accomplished one of her goals when she became Senior VP, but the experience wasn’t exactly what she thought it would be. “I’m getting exactly what I set out to achieve, which means I also have the power and the control to decide where this goes next.”

Take time to consider where your core skillsets intersect with what people are willing to pay for in the market. Kelly believes that, with an 80% failure rate, the people who really need her training are small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Mentorship is critical. Kelly’s passion for leadership, coaching others and making others successful is a direct result of her first mentor’s advice, and they are the ingredients of her success. The prevalence of podcasting and social media makes the process of finding a mentor easier than ever. Look for people who have success in the area you wish to pursue and start following them online. You will be able to find the voice and teaching style that resonates with you and begin a relationship.

Kelly’s book, Unstoppable, ties into her message on every platform. To Kelly, being unstoppable means you are so driven, focused and motivated that you have to be the best you can possibly be in any given situation, no matter what life throws at you. The human experience is full of chaos, but the book provides nine key principles that will help entrepreneurs achieve unlimited success in business and in life.

Kelly is generous enough to share a couple of the principles from her book:

  1. “Stop resenting the 1% and join them.” Kelly started with this chapter because success follows a successful mindset. It comes down to how you perceive others, money, and your own self worth. You can’t attract something to your life that you perceive negatively.
  2. “Focus on something bigger than yourself.” It’s all about imperfect action, and it’s all about focusing on achieving something bigger than you.

Entrepreneurship is heavily romanticized. Don’t expect success to come overnight. There is a grind that everyone goes through – most people fail, often more than once, before they succeed. Entrepreneurs need to be aware that there is nothing wrong with failure, because that’s how we find out what works.

Too many entrepreneurs spend their business life planning. They wait for the perfect opportunity, the perfect product, and it never comes. “The imperfect action is the most important entrepreneurial skill,” so get out there, make an offer, create a course, and start advertising.

Last year, Kelly helped her first client add over $1 million to their business. The key is to put a sales and marketing system in place. Online marketing has been romanticized in the same way as entrepreneurship – to the point that many entrepreneurs forego sales. Marketing is great, but at some point there has to be a conversion event between marketing and sales.

There needs to be a system to convert potential buyers to sales. Kelly’s three-step system:

  1. Leads are generated through marketing
  2. Nurture events take place
  3. Conversion events translate prospective buyers into sales

Kelly’s business has been a great vehicle for freedom and flexibility in her life, and she encourages others to pursue entrepreneurship to gain more freedom in their own lives. I hope she inspires you to reflect on your core values, and to start improving your life.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • What was the turning point that set Kelly on the entrepreneurial path?
  • How did you think about what you wanted for your life? What process did you use to crystalize your thinking?
  • How important is grit?
  • How important has mentorship been for Kelly?
  • What are some steps entrepreneurs can take to find a mentor?
  • What was the inspiration for Kelly’s book Unstoppable?
  • What does Kelly hope to accomplish with her book?
  • How can people push through the grind of starting a business?
  • Does Kelly have to overcome coaching entrepreneurs who spend too much time planning and waiting for the perfection?
  • What shift allowed Kelly’s client to add $1 million in sales to their business?

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The importance of taking time to reflect
  • What it means to be Unstoppable
  • How mentorship can put you on a path to success
  • The vital entrepreneurial skill that is imperfect action
  • Why businesses need a system to convert sales
  • Plus much more… 

DON’T STOP HERE…

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Jun 20, 2016

My long-time friend Aaron Hinde came in for a value packed interview today. He’s a fearless risk taker who jumped into one of the toughest industries out there, the beverage industry, and has successfully grown it and now leads a team of 28 people.

Aaron’s always had the unique ability of empathy which has served him well. It’s the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand where they’re coming from. Many people make the mistake of trying to meet somebody where they think they should be, but Aaron says empathy is about quieting your mind and listening with a non-judgmental attitude.

This kind of positive attitude is also a big part of mentorship, something Aaron is a strong proponent of. All successful entrepreneurs have at least one mentor, and some are paid for and some are not. If you’re in the business of offering your own mentorship or coaching at a price, you’ve also got to have your own mentor you’re paying for, as you’ve got to do in order to be.

Relationships are key in business; mentors, business partners and spouses. An understanding spouse is a necessity as it’s all but impossible to succeed without someone supportive at your side. The same thing holds true for business partners. Make sure yours is one you can bounce ideas off of, one you can trust and share a unified vision and purpose for your business with.

Aaron’s a risk taker, and the ability to take risks is important for aspiring entrepreneurs. If you’re gun shy there are ways to train yourself to take the plunge, like going all-in in poker or scaling heights if you’re afraid. “Push yourself constantly in that uncomfortable zone or else you’ll never grow as an entrepreneur.”

Aaron’s entrepreneurial journey hasn’t been an easy one. But he and his family were willing to endure the years of being broke and living in a tiny apartment to gain the success they now have. He started LIFEAID Beverage with the idea of creating a healthy beverage alternative that actually benefitted you (not like the sodas and energy drinks prevalent today). What drives his company is their over-arching vision of having a tangible, healthy impact on the world, and his million+ cans sold every month is a testament to that.

His company not only has a great vision, but some strong BHAG’s as well (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals):

  1. To be the next BILLION dollar beverage company
  2. To have the most awesome, engaged, kick-ass workplace in Santa Cruz County with the best team surrounding that

BHAG #2 is his actual focus, because a great team is essential and they’re a reflection of the brand. If you make sure the team is engaged and focused then that’ll lead to goal #1. It also helps to constantly invest in your team by making your workplace comfortable and fun, and being ultra-supportive of everyone.

One tenant that Aaron really holds onto is the tried and true “Hire slow, fire fast” mentality. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is hiring quickly out of desperation as you grow. Aaron makes sure they hire great people by following some important steps in the hiring process:

  1. Look for a long history with one employer
  2. Look for a favorable review of their previous boss
  3. Have the applicant set-up a five minute interview with their previous boss

Taking these steps helps him find great people with a cooperative team attitude and a good cultural fit with the company.

Aaron’s empathy and his passion for entrepreneurship and his company really came through in this episode. I’m grateful that he gave us his time and shared with us much of what he knows of running a successful company.

 

SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:

  • How has empathy been a game changer within his business?
  • What are the steps a growing company can take to make sure their vision and values continue to lead them?
  • How does Aaron get his employees to buy-in to his company and culture so well?
  • How does an aspiring entrepreneur protect the business from the overwhelming inspiration behind the business?

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The key to success for any enterprise
  • Why it’s important to carry a note pad with you everywhere you go
  • How having an abundance mindset can lead to raving fans
  • Why discussing the current needs of the business with your team can get them committed to working hard for the customer
  • Plus much more…

  

DON’T STOP HERE…

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

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