Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do

In this episode Thom interviews Scott Ingram from the Sales Success Stories Podcast. Scott is the brains behind the Sales Success Summit that is being held on May 7-8, 2018 in Austin, Texas. Thom Singer will be co-hosting the event, and together they discuss how this event came to be, who should attend, what to expect, and the big take-aways that successful sales professionals will get from participating in this conference.

Sales people who make a career selling products and services are a unique bunch of people. They can be some of the highest earners in the business community, and yet there is often not the same types of events held for producers as there are for those in sales management, marketing, or other roles. Sure, big companies have sales rallies, but smaller organizations do not have the ability to expose their people to the education, motivation, and high-level networking. This event is ideal for those people.

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Leo Ramirez has launched and managed social ventures, lead multi-disciplinary teams, and built solid relationships with civic and corporate leaders. But he is best known as someone who is passionate about connecting people and inspiring philanthropy.

His 23-year career has spanned executive management, business development, consulting, nonprofit management, technical support and engineering positions with Southwest Key Programs, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Coremetrics, Trilogy and Apple.

Leo co-founded his first non-profit, EDCO Ventures, in 2005 to address job creation in economically underprivileged regions through high-growth, entrepreneurial ventures. I he co-founded MiniDonations, whose mission was to make social impact, through micro-donations, a part of everyday life. He also co-founded Copán, LLC, which provided NextDooring services from Latin America.

In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, he is a Board Member at CASA of Travis County, Board Advisor and former VP of Memberships on Mexic-Arte Museum's Board of Directors, Board Advisor for Dance International, and Entrepreneur Mentor for CleanTech Open. He was formerly VP of Development for MexNet Alliance Board of Directors

Leo was a Deacon, Choir Member and 2 & 3 year old Sunday School Teacher at First Presbyterian Church of Austin and has volunteered for many other non-profit organizations. He created “Cliff’s Notes for Dads,” Austin’s first childbirth prep class for new fathers.

Leo grew up in McAllen, Texas and went on to attended Stanford University’s Computer Systems Engineering Program from 1992–1996. 


Potential Mastermind Group -

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Maura Thomas is an award-winning productivity and time management speaker, author of two books, founder of Regain Your Time, and nationally recognized expert delivering her unique message that the key to productivity and effectiveness is attention management. She is a TEDx Speaker, a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and was invited by one of the largest publishers in the world to literally “write the book” on productivity (Personal Productivity Secrets was her first book.) Her work has appeared in hundreds of national media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Huffington Post, to name a few.

Maura Thomas developed the acclaimed Empowered Productivity™ System, a process for successfully managing the details of life and work with less stress. She has delivered inspiring and motivational speeches and training to audiences both nationally and internationally for over a decade to clients such as the American Heart Association, Dell, Honeywell, and Old Navy.

Maura earned an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and has studied the field of productivity all over the world for more than two decades. She was awarded the 2015 Communication Achievement Award by Austin Toastmasters, joining the likes of Governor Ann Richards, Molly Ivins, and Congressman Lloyd Doggett. Her work has been featured in hundreds of national media outlets, and she is very active in her local community of Austin, Texas, where she has held volunteer leadership positions in a variety of different community organizations and charities. Maura was chosen from almost 7000 applicants to be a Climate Project speaker, and was personally trained on the subject by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his team of leading climate scientists. Maura offers pro-bono presentations quarterly to local nonprofits and donates a percentage to charity of all fees received.

Maura’s latest book is Work Without Walls: An Executive’s Guide to Attention Management in the Age of Distraction.


Open Sky Fitness -

Podfly Productions -

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Randy Pekowski is the second generation in his family business, The Expo Group, which was founded by his father, Ray Pekowski. The Pekowski's have worked hard to make sure that the business is about more the visionalry founder, and have created a growing company while establishing healthy boundaries between work and family life. 

This episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" is all about the realities of working with your family. Many business owners dream of having their children join the company, but it is not easy. If you (or someone you know) has a family business - they need to hear the advice that Randy shares.

With over 20 years of experience in trade shows and events, Randy was promoted in 2016 to President of The Expo Group. He has been heavily involved in both strategic planning and operational execution throughout his career. His insight and leadership in process and technology management led him to become an inventor-of-record for The Expo Group's Automated Convention Processing System and Method (U.S. Pats. 6,557,007 and 6,721,763), that enables the company to deliver its renowned Single Source Solution®. Since that time he has continued to work to push innovation across the enterprise. 

Randy is involved with IAEE, PCMA and ESCA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management from Texas A&M University and has studied at Harvard Business School.


Open Sky Fitness -

Podfly Productions -

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Sandeep Gupta is the Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CTO at Calavista. He began his career in technology by earning degrees in Cognitive Sciences and Electrical Engineering from Rice University, and a master’s in Computer Science from MIT. His academic research at these institutions focused on parallel and distributed operating systems, and shared memory architectures.

Throughout his career Sandeep has worked at large companies such as IBM and Texas Instruments, and private start-up companies such as Trilogy Software and Aviri in various development and consulting management roles.
In 2001 Sandeep founded Calavista Software with his business partner, Lawrence Waugh. Since the company’s inception, a keen focus on driving successful customer deployments along with a proprietary and patented Hyper-Agile® software delivery methodology has taken the company to an unparalleled customer success rate of 90%.

Sandeep is passionate about providing children with an opportunity to spark their interest in technology development. He volunteers as a Robotics Coach at his local elementary school and has presented at the school’s Science and Engineering Day. Sandeep is also a Sunday school teacher for a high school group. He, his wife, and two kids have called Austin home for 20 years.


Potential Mastermind Group - http://www.Potential

Podfly Productions -

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Dawniel Winningham is America’s Leading Quit Coach. She is a Former JP Morgan Chase Vice President, Certified Executive Coach, Master Sales, Master Business, and Master Life Coach who left corporate America to live her dream of helping others live their dreams. She is the best-selling author of multiple books (her most recent book Passion, Purpose, and Profit debut at number one in five categories on Amazon). 

She has been featured in over 100 magazines (Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Essence Magazine) and online publications (Huffington Post,, worldwide. Each day she empowers 1000’s of women via LIVE stream to QUIT their JOB and live their dreams with practical tips and techniques and a mindset shift to match!

In this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" Dawniel shares her journey out of a corporate job and into a life where she can be herself everyday. She loves people and her mission is to help others find their path toward success. 


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Potential Mastermind - http://www,

Direct download: CTED_303.mp3
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Dave Lukas is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, investor, and Founder of the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast. His companies have been on the INC 5000 List multiple times. He has been featured on radio, TV, and many top trade publications and web such as Forbes, INC, Yahoo! Finance, BTN, BTE, and others.

His is the author of the amazon best-seller “The Ten Year Career, The Fast Track to Retiring Young, Wealthy and Fulfilled.” The book is a culmination of 5 years of dedicated research into the mindset and habits of high performers, and gives the reader the missing links and path to greater success and fulfillment. 

Dave founded the Misfit Entrepreneur, a weekly podcast devoted to giving the audience incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs and highest performers with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. In less than a year, the show has grown it’s footprint to over 60 countries and reaching over 30,000 per month.

Dave is also an accomplished investor in real estate and stock investing. Through his 12 Minute Trading System, Dave has mentored and trained thousands of students worldwide. He has spoken extensively in front of a wide array of organizations from many of the Fortune 500 to top Universities and Trade Groups with an emphasis on teaching individuals the strategies to reach their true potential and deliver exponential results. 

He lives with his wife and daughter in Columbus, Ohio.


Podfly Productions -

Open Sky Fitness -

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Your competition is not evil. Do not spend you time mocking, dissing, or belittling your competitors, as you do not win by being so negative all the time. Instead, turn your competition into your professor.

If you have people in your industry who are more successful than you, it is easy to fall into the trap of pointing out all of their flaws (to yourself and anyone else who will listen). But if they are crushing it in business, why mock them? Instead, admire their success and become a pupil of their achievements. 

Thom recently heard from a friend that another speaker said something negative about his success and pointed out why he was "not so great". It made him laugh, as he recognized how he used to take a similar point of view of those who were ahead of him on the career ladder. And while everyone can fall prey to professional jealousy, he decided years ago when he would catch himself mocking somebody who was doing more in business, he would mentally make them his teacher. 

What can you learn from your competition? A lot. You can do this from a distance, or by asking them to show you the ropes. Many people are surprised how often others in their same business are willing to open up and share their experiences on the road to success. 

Have you visited your competitors website? If not, invite someone outside your industry to sit with you and give their "gut feeling" response when you visit the sites of several successful businesses in your vertical, and then visit your site. Look for the "feeling" that outsiders get when they see your content vs. the content of others. (make sure the person will be honest and not just tell you yours is better).

Join your trade association or other industry group, as that will put your around people in your business who are at a variety of levels. Seek out the ones who are successful and develop professional relationships and friendships with them.

Success leaves clues. If you are watching your most successful competitors they cannot help but to teach you about how to do more in your business. While a SWOT analysis is important (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and treats), do not get too focused on their weaknesses. Certainly do not use their short-falls as a way to self-justify yourself.

Do not copy your competitors, but look for the trends and success traits that you can emulate. 

When all those ahead of you (and many behind you) become your professors (whether they know it or not) .... you will become much more successful.

Direct download: CTED_301.mp3
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A finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award, Bryan has 25 years of experience founding and growing Exact Systems (1991), Perficient (NASDAQ: PRFT) (1997), Fusion Learning Systems (2001), and Mahana (2013).

He is active in Austin’s technology scene, and is a co-founder and Mentor of Capital Factory, a seed stage mentoring program for technology companies. Bryan is an investor and advisor to a select group of early stage technology companies and runs the popular Austin Tech Happy Hour.

This episode is a great conversation about the long-term journey of entrepreneurs and how to understand trends before they happen. What's the new new thing? Bryan says it might be Blockchain. There is currently a paradigm shift happening and there are more resources available than ever before. No matter what new technologies are coming, there will be many who will figure out how to get involved, stand out, and penetrate new markets. 

There is a more level playing field, but it is more competitive than ever for ideas. But while much is changing, some things stay the same. The need to work with great people is still as important as ever. 

Check out episode #300 of Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do and you will be exposed to some great thoughts about business and life.

Direct download: CTED_300.mp3
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Marine Officer and F/A-18 fighter pilot, Scott Lopez, MBA is an investment banker who helps companies raise crucial capital for growth and expansion. On a daily basis, he works with disruptive tech companies and investors and has deep relationships across the country in numerous innovation eco-systems.

On this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" Scott shares his journey from a simple childhood, through college, the military, and to a career investing in some of today's most disruptive technologies. 

During his transition from the military, he was a medical device sales rep, corporate executive, small business owner, and public affairs officer. Scott earned his MBA at the Thunderbird School of Graduate Management, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, and the single father of two teenage daughters. 

A former welfare kid, he is passionate for his home state of New Mexico and his second home, Newport Beach, CA.

Direct download: CTED_299.mp3
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