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The Impact Entrepreneur

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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Now displaying: October, 2016
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:

 

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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

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:

--

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

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