Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do

From an entry level sales person fresh out of college, to one of the youngest directors in the Silicon Valley at a Publicly Held company (now private), to the CEO of a 500+ person software integrator at the age of 28, to founding a Global IT consulting firm at the age of 32, Stephynie Malik has a tremendous amount of experience and an undeniable track record of success. She’s spearheaded and orchestrated multi-million dollar acquisitions, closed global deals and strategic partnerships in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars realm and was successful in single handedly growing her consulting firm into a global leader.

As the founder and driving force behind MalikCo, Stephynie Malik brings over two decades of dynamic IT consulting experience to her role as President and Chief Executive Officer. Now, as the founder of Chique Speak, she is making it happen again… from Technology Consulting to Human Consulting Stephynie Malik is crushing it globally just as we expected her to do!

Her creative vision and business acumen have been instrumental in
building the highly regarded global business that is MalikCo today. Her
entrepreneurial spirit, backed by years of experience in enterprise software and telecommunications companies and her drive to create long-term relationships with clients has helped her forge strong associations with the industry’s most widely respected IT leaders.

Stephynie recently founded and is in the midst of launching yet another specialty firm designed to ignite men to their true potential on every level. Stephynie Malik does not play small. In her first month in launching ChiqueSpeak, she was inundated with over 400 applications from Executives and Entrepreneurs all over the world. Her coaching style is real… not fluffy. It is proven and tried through all industry leaders and her countless awards speak
for themselves.

Direct download: CTED_347.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Zevia CEO Paddy Spence has been in the natural industry for over 25 years. He was the first head of sales and marketing for Kashi when it was seven employees and later went on to found SPINS, the first market research company tracking the sales of healthy, natural and organic foods. Paddy sold SPINS after running it for 9 years. After his time at Kashi, he went on to lead Zevia to corner the market on natural sodas. He can speak to what it takes to bring natural brands into the mainstream, and trends in the natural food & beverage space. He cut sugar from his diet completely over 17 years ago, and can also speak to the benefits of taking gradual steps, personally and as a family, to reduce sugar intake in the context of the American sugar consumption crisis.

Direct download: CTED_346.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Check out this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" and hear the story of how Thom Singer got past a 25 year fear of trying his hand at a comedy open mic night.

Now he has done it four times. Don't worry, Jerry Seinfeld is not nervous about his job security, and Kevin Hart is not asking him to open for him in his sold out arena comedy shows. But it has been a unique and inspiring experience for him and he plans to do it a few more times.

This episode is dedicated to talking to everyone about the importance of trying new things, and doing it with an open mind. No, not everyone needs to do a Stand Up bit in a comedy club or coffee house, but when you get past the fear of looking foolish or the fear of failure, there is power and growth in the trying.

Thom's first time ever at an open mic night was in New York City. He was convinced that all the comics would be great and that his five minute set would be the worst. That the word "bomb" would forever be attached to his one time comedy effort. But the result was positive. He got laughs, and found that comics have a supportive community.

His second time was a mess. Not his three minute bit, but the place he took the stage was disorganized, the hosts were not engaged (gave the best time slots to their friends and acted like a bunch of frat guys who didn't welcome strangers into their home)... but he still got laughs (although there were only 6 people still in the room, as all the comics were outside drinking with their friends). But the lesson here is that all open mic night experiences are not created equal. But it also made it clear that not everyone who got up on the mic would be funny... so why was he so worried.

The third and fourth times at open mic were really good and have inspired him to keep going. No, not to ever be a comic or to incorporate elements of stand up into his corporate speaking, but because the power in pushing yourself to do things out of your comfort zone come from what happens along the journey.

Check out this episode is you have ever wanted to try something hard, but let the fear hold you back.

Direct download: CTED_345.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Jessica Pettitt has been a guest on nearly 100 podcasts. In 2018 she made it a goal to appear on one show per week. Her experience as a guest who is committed to doing a great job for each show she has appeared on has lead her to some interesting observations about things podcast hosts do where they miss the mark of in creating their best possible product and a positive experience for those who are on the show. 

In a conversation we were sharing the mistakes of both hosts and podcast guests. We decided to take this topic onto episode 344 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do". With the boom in podcasting still accelerating, many are looking at joining in on both sides of the interview.

In this episode Thom Singer and Jessica discuss areas where both hosts and guests can be more aware in able to partner for greater success in the interview process. 

5 mistakes podcasters make when dealing with their guests

1. Disorganized in planning for their own show: Time zones, scheduling software, and expectations are just a few things to think about.
2. Surprising the guest with video. If your show is a video podcast or if you will be livestreaming on Facebook Live, you need to tell the guest in advance. 
3. 1984 called, it wants skype back... use zoom
4. Demanding too specific equipment / microphones
5. Canceling the appointment at the last minute. 

Bonus- Charging guest to be on your show with false promises of real reach. 

5 mistakes guests make when appearing in a podcast

1. Not having a good microphone. Yeah, while you may not need a $1000 mic, your built in microphone in your laptop is NOT good enough. 
2. Pitching to be on the show because you are smart with no attention to being a partner in promoting the episode. 
3. Failing to have listened to previous podcast episodes
4. Not aligning message with shows theme or podcast host and just pitching your book.
5. Cancelling or rescheduling at the last minute.

Listen to this episode and see the points of view from both the guest and the host, and you will create a better and more valuable partnership in your podcast hosting or guesting experience.

Direct download: CTED_344.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Mike Ganino s a culture + storytelling expert who helps executives, teams, and thought leaders communicate, connect, and engage. He is the author of Company Culture for Dummies and has been named a top 30 Culture Speaker by Global Guru. His unique experience as a hospitality and tech industry executive combined with his years as an improv actor help his clients and audience craft the kinds of stories that drive their culture, boost results, and increase sales. 

Mike’s work as a professional speaker, communications coach, Emcee, and trainer has helped create memorable performances and events for companies like Snagajob, PeopleMatter, Uber, US Foods, American Marketing Association, and more. He is faculty member at Heroic Public Speaking where he works with public speakers to boost their performance to book more stages. 

Audiences love Mike’s high energy, high engagement keynotes that fire them up to rewrite the stories happening in their organization. They leave with real-life strategies they can begin implementing immediately for improved culture that drives employee and customer experience. 

With a strong background as a hospitality and tech industry executive in charge of creating compelling cultures at companies like Protein Bar, ChowNow, Lettuce Entertain You, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Mike is the perfect choice for companies trying to create employee and customer experiences that deliver big results. His organizational know-how matched with his improv background from world-famous Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and Improv Olympics helps him work impactfully with executives and leaders to communicate on target.

Direct download: CTED_343.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Jordan Harbinger is a Wall Street lawyer turned talk show host, social dynamics expert, and entrepreneur.

After hosting a top 50 iTunes podcast for over a decade that enjoyed nearly four million downloads a month at its zenith, Jordan has embarked on a new adventure: The Jordan Harbinger Show, where he deconstructs the playbooks of the most successful people on earth and shares their strategies, perspectives, and insights with the rest of us.

Jordan’s business sense, extensive knowledge of the industry, and contemporary approach to teaching make him one of the best and most sought-after coaches in the world.

Jordan Harbinger has always had an affinity for social influence, interpersonal dynamics, and social engineering, helping private companies test the security of their communications systems and working with law enforcement agencies before he was even old enough to drive.

Jordan spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world, including South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and he speaks five languages. He has also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, traveled through war zones, and been kidnapped — twice. He’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any type of situation.

Jordan was on episode 41 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" three years ago. Lots has changed for him, and we have a great chat on episode 342 about how he left the "Art of Charm" and is starting over. This is an open and important topic for all entrepreneurs. Check it out.

Direct download: CTED_342.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Tammy Shaklee is the “Gay & Lesbian Matchmaker” as a trailblazing straight ally. She is a former broadcast journalist, then district director for a Texas state senator turned ambassador to Sweden. After completing the acclaimed year-long business leadership program, Leadership Texas, Tammy followed her passion for mentoring by replicating a national mentoring program to prevent high school students from dropping out, was donor services director for a $150 million community foundation, then saved a Texas chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation as its CEO with aggressive increased revenues of 250%, receiving national recognition.

In 2012, Shaklee researched, designed, and founded H4M Matchmaking ( in Austin, Texas. H4M is the private, offline, and personal matchmaking service designed exclusively for gay and lesbian professionals. Now serving clients from coast to coast including Texas lesbian women and bisexuals, H4M is leading a movement of more traditional introductions, courting and dating for today’s modern gay single seeking a monogamous long-term relationship. She believes the pro-equality movement invited straight allies to join in support. H4M is Tammy’s contribution to bring a traditionally straight service to the LGBT community.

Happily married to her husband she met through a matchmaker, Tammy consults in leadership, hosts a monthly salon of media-savvy women, blogs, mentors, is (still) working on her first book, and has filmed a “sizzle reel” for an unscripted reality show on tolerance and inclusion.

Tammy was a guest on the podcast 3 years ago (Episode 30). In that time her business has grown and expanded nationally. Check out this interview.

Direct download: CTED_341.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EDT

Chris “Drama” Pfaff in an entrepreneur and brand operator who has been “causing drama” since his days in Akron, Ohio, growing up passionately in love with skateboarding. And while his talent didn’t let him go pro, he knew he wanted to be involved in the industry in whatever way possible. 

After turning eighteen, he planned to move to Los Angeles (the skateboarding capital of the world), but that was delayed after he survived a catastrophic accident that left him in a coma for four days. Finally, he was able to move to LA to become the assistant to his cousin, pro skater and reality TV star Rob Dyrdek.

In 2009, Chris turned his experiences and opportunity as a reality TV star to create and market his clothing line, Young & Reckless: a stylish streetwear-inspired brand for young people that anyone can get at an affordable price. Young & Reckless is sold in more than 3,000 stores including PacSun, Macy’s, and its own online store. 

On this episode we talk about his journey from skateboading to reality TV to entrepreneurship. Check this out.

Continually creating content and executing innovative ideas, in 2016, Chris began creating new platforms for himself and his brand with his podcast, Short Story Long.

Direct download: CTED_340.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

In this episode Thom Singer shares his experience as a TEDx Speaker. 

For over five years Thom has thought about how cool it would be to deliver a TEDx Talk, but the opportunity never happened. He applied to several TEDx events, but was not selected. 

Having attended eight different TEDx programs, and having watched over 200 TED Talks online, he understood that the TED "brand" is special, and he knew that if the chance ever came to speak on that RED DOT CARPET, that he could not treat it as just another speech. 

Recently he got his chance. In preparation he put in about 50 hours and hired a "Short Talk Expert" to help him structure the message to ensure that he would be able to maximize his idea in a limited amount of time. 

Along the way the gravity of this opportunity got in his head. While not "nervous" (Thom has presented over 700 professional level talks), he did over-think the whole thing and got himself worked up and worried about all that could go wrong. He did not want to choke or let the organizers down.

In the end he let go of any fear and hit the stage ready to share the message. He had lived the story, and he believed in the advice he was going to deliver. He even re-wrote the opening of the talk while standing in the wings.

When he reached the red carpet he took a few seconds to appreciate his surroundings and enjoy the moment. Then he just talked. He did not throw out the whole script, but he let much of it go as he just talked to the audience. 

The whole experience was a blur. But he is proud that he never abandoned his desire to be part of the TEDx community. He does not expect his video to go viral, nor does he think it will change his life. But at the same time he knows he was impacted by his participation.

Check out episode #339 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" as he openly shares what happened to him as a TEDx Speaker.

Direct download: CTED_339.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Your attention span is NOT as short as a goldfish". 

Neen James is the author of nine books including Folding Time™ and
her most recent, Attention Pays™. In 2017, she was named one of
the top 30 Leadership Speakers by Global Guru because of her work
with companies like Viacom, Comcast, Cisco, Virgin, Pfizer,
BMW, and the FBI, among others.

Neen earned her MBA from Southern Cross University and the
Certified Speaking Professional designation from National Speakers
Association. She has received numerous awards as a professional
speaker, is a partner in the international education company Thought
Leaders Global, and is a member of the prestigious League of Heroic
Public Speakers.

Neen is a leadership expert who delivers high-energy keynotes that
challenge audiences to leverage their focus and pay attention to what
matters most at work and in life. Audiences love her practical
strategies they can apply personally and professionally, and meeting
planners love working with her – they often describe Neen as the
energizer bunny for their events.

With a strong background in learning and development and managing
large teams at various corporations, Neen is the perfect fit for
organizations who want implementable strategies that will help their
employees avoid distractions, stop interruptions, prioritize daily
objectives and say ‘no’ to requests that steal time and focus from real
goals and priorities.

Oh, did we mention that Neen is Australian? Why does that matter?
Well, it means that she’s a bit mischievous, is pretty witty and a little
cheeky. She also considers herself an unofficial champagne taste
tester … and a really slow runner.

Direct download: CTED_338.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT