Tue, 25 June 2019
Thom Singer wrote his first book, "Some Assembly Required: How to make, grow, and keep your business relationships" in 2005. The book sold well and helped him launch a successful speaking career.
Thu, 20 June 2019
Carlos Hidalgo returns to the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast for the third time to talk about his new book, "The UnAmerican Dream. Carlso is a 25-year business veteran. Over the span of the last two plus decades, Hidalgo has held corporate roles, started his own entrepreneurial ventures and served in non-profits.
After leading his first agency to three consecutive Inc 5000 awards, Hidalgo made the decision to leave and start his second company VisumCx, which works with clients from the Fortune 50 to start-ups on developing and implementing customer experience strategies.
In addition to his current role as CEO at VisumCx, Hidalgo also serves as a managing partner in a health care platform start-up and serves on the board on a tech start-up.
In addition to his various roles and business pursuits, Hidalgo is the author of Driving Demand, one of the Top 5 Marketing Books of all time according to Book Authority which was published in 2015. And int 2019 he released "the UnAmerican Dream" (now available at Amazon.com).
Additionally, he has followed his wife’s lead in volunteering for Beauty For Ashes Uganda, an organization dedicated to the long-term sustainability and healing for single moms and widows in Uganda.
Carlos and his wife Susanne have four grown children and have lived in Colorado Springs, CO since 2010.
You can follow Hidalgo on Twitter @cahidalgo
About The UnAmerican Dream Book
What is the real price of our modern, hustle-all-all-cost business culture? Something terrible has happened to the American Dream. For so many entrepreneurs and professionals, the relentless pursuit of success leaves behind damaged relationships and personal life carnage in their wake. In The UnAmerican Dream, Carlos Hidalgo reveals his thrilling journey to entrepreneurial triumph, and the simultaneous path to rock bottom. Despite impressive accolades and remarkable professional achievements, he found himself miserable, discontent, and at risk of losing his most important personal relationships, forever. Through authentic, honest, and vulnerable storytelling not found in most business books, Hidalgo asks us all to question, “is it really worth it?” Featuring the perspective of a variety of executives from across the country, this book reveals the truth about the cost that many pay in order to keep pace with modern business pressures. Hear from Hidalgo’s wife, Susanne, who reminds us that with every quest for success, there are real relationships impacted.Hidalgo details the life changes he made to re-center himself, and offers a step-by-step guide for others in a similar situation to find happiness and fulfillment. The UnAmerican Dream is an invitation to shed hustle culture, cultivate that which is life giving, and find both personal and professional success on your terms.
Tue, 18 June 2019
How To Stay Focused At Work
Thu, 13 June 2019
Listen to episode 467 of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast. Host Thom Singer interviews the co-founder and CEO of Woven. Tim Campos shares his technology and entrepreneurial journey and adds insightful advice. Hear about his path from CIO and vice president of information to technology at Facebook, to the founder of an exciting Silicon Valley start up.
The Woven calendar app makes shared scheduling much easier, a first step along the way to better managing your time. The app pulls together every stage of the calendar lifecycle – planning, scheduling, preparation, meeting, and follow-up – and puts it into a smart, cohesive view. It uses AI and a rich calendar graph engine to create Woven Events that are plans for how you want to use your time.
Woven Events connect people collaboratively and bring together any set of information like emails, Google Docs, conference links, maps and more, adding enriched capabilities to existing calendaring systems like G Suite. Read more about their vision or sign up now – it’s free.
Tue, 11 June 2019
Nick Ducoff is the Co-founder and CEO of Edmit, the SXSW EDU award-winning company helping families make smarter college financial decisions. Nick has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal which described Edmit as “a website that predicts aid packages and provides advice on the value of different colleges.”
Previously, as Vice President for New Ventures at Northeastern University, Nick developed leading programs that have reached thousands of students and contributed millions in revenue. His mandate was to incubate new business ideas, diversify revenue streams, and advance a new model of higher education. Nick holds a business degree from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, and graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with Honors in 2006.
Thu, 6 June 2019
Episode 465 is co-produced in partnership with the Austin Technology Council, the largest tech industry organization in Central Texas. ATC empowers members by using insights, resources, and connections so their members can succeed and thrive.
Tue, 4 June 2019
In episode 464 of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast, host Thom Singer talks about business motivation. Thom has spent ten years as a solopreneur working as a business motivational speaker. He has interviewed hundreds of people about how they achieve success. In this show he shares seven to get motivated or stay motivated in business.
Thu, 30 May 2019
Episode 463 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" is an interview with Foodee CEO Ryan Spong. In this episode he shares his journey from Investment Banking to being a top entrepreneur in the ever expanding food industry.
Tue, 28 May 2019
What can we learn from the top motivational speakers in the world? Anyone who reaches the top of their career field must know something the rest of us are missing. Thom Singer believes that "Success Leaves Clues" and he studies people who are at the top of their game in his industry, but this applies to everyone.
Thu, 23 May 2019
Check out episode 461 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" where Shawn Rhodes talks about his journey to entrepreneurship and why systems matter in business.
Tue, 21 May 2019
This week Thom Singer watched his daughter graduate from college. As he looked into the crowd of over 1000 students, he knew that many of them were destined to put their ladder against the wrong wall and chase a career for the money, prestige, or because its what they think their parents want them to do. As they go into their life after college, Thom hoped they could hear the words he never heard: "It is okay to carve your own way in the world"
In episode 460 Thom Singer talks about what he wants for his daughters, and everyone under 30. That is to know that when they figure out what they really want (not just money or titles, but the whole package of life), then it becomes easier to make choices.
Read his blog post on this topic at https://thomsinger.com/
Thu, 16 May 2019
Check out episode 459 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" for an chat about the importance of entrepreneurship with lifetime entrepreneur Jim Hunter.
Tue, 14 May 2019
Sales team motivation matters.
As a business leader or entrepreneur your long-term success is tied to your top performers (and your whole team) meeting long term and short term goals.
Sales goals are great, but they are just potential. Sales activities and sales quotas are important, but without the right actions they are just hopes and dreams. Hoping and dreaming is not a sales process.
On episode 458 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" host Thom Singer walks you thought what is holding people back, and some tips to get focused on crossing the gap between potential and performance.
As a business owner or a sales manager you need to have your sales reps (or yourself if you are a solopreneur) meeting the sales goals. Making calls without the ability to close deals is not going to pay the bills. Actions do not equal money in the door.
Thu, 9 May 2019
Tom Gimbel is the General Manager of the KLRU television show - Austin City Limits. Austin City Limits is the longest running music show in American television history, the only television program ever awarded the National Medal of the Arts, a certified Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Landmark, and in 2012 the recipient of an institutional Peabody Award celebrating “37 years of excellence in television.”
Prior to joining Austin City Limits in early 2011, Gimbel’stwenty-five-plus year music industry career has included roles in independent marketing, indie and major record labels, and artist management. From 1995 – 2005, Gimbel held senior executive positions with Arista Records where he guided successful campaigns for Grammy Award winning and multi-platinum sales certified artists such as Santana, Outkast, Pink, Dido, Whitney Houston, Carly Simon, Annie Lennox and Sarah McLachlan.
In 2005, Gimbel founded and served as President of High Wire Music Management, an independent management, label services, and music distribution company with a roster of more than 30 client artists. Gimbel also founded and served as CEO of Clatterhead, Inc., a social media advertising and marketing company.
In 2017, Gimbel and Courtney Blanton co-founded the Hi How Are You Foundation – a Non-Profit organization dedicated to removing the stigma and encouraging open conversation around mental health issues.
Tue, 7 May 2019
Entrepreneurs and sales professionals need momentum. If you are standing still it is much harder to get things done. Momentum allows you to get closer to closing the deal and allows you to have the ability to pivot when necessary.
In episode 456 of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast, host Thom Singer talks about momentum and how it leads you closer to your potential. Thom works with companies and sales teams to help them focus on the actions needed to cross the gap between potential and performance.
In this workshop, "The Paradox of Potential", he discussed the three buckets toward success: Plans, Passion and People. In this episode the touches on all three of these and how to use them to find more sales success.
Thu, 2 May 2019
Charlie Burgoyne is the founder & CEO of Valkyrie Intelligence, a consulting firm with domain expertise in applied science and strategy. Charlie is also a managing partner for Valkyrie Signals, an AI driven hedge fund based in Austin, as well as the Chairman of the Board for Valkyrie Labs, an AI product company. Charlie leads a team of highly trained scientists and strategists to implement advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence into industrial processes and consumer products. Previously, Charlie held a variety of roles including Principal Director of Data Science at Frog Design, Director of Data Science at Rosetta Stone, Vice President of R&D for a government contracting firm specializing in cybersecurity and machine learning, a research physicist for the DOE and NNSA, and a research astrophysicist for NASA in conjunction with George Washington University. Charlie holds a master’s degree in theoretical physics from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s in nuclear physics from George Washington University.
Valkyrie Intelligence is a strategic data science consultancy that transforms markets and drives measurable strategic impact for clients by applying cutting edge machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to critical challenges across a variety of industries
Tue, 30 April 2019
Jonathan Mendonsa is the co-founder of the ChooseFI podcast. ChooseFI started in early 2017 out of Jonathan's living room with co-founder Brad Barrett; since then ChooseFI has been downloaded millions of times in over 190 countries and spawned hundreds of ChooseFI local groups with ‘in real life’ meetups in 20+ countries across the globe.
Thu, 25 April 2019
Brock Blake believes so deeply in the American Dream that he made it his life’s mission to help small businesses across the country fuel their own aspirations. As Founder and CEO of Lendio, the largest online marketplace of small business loans in America, he has helped thousands of business owners access more than $1 billion in funding.
Shortly after graduating from Brigham Young University, Brock won $50,000 to start a business through an entrepreneurship competition. He turned that money into FundingUniverse, a company that connected entrepreneurs with angel investors and VCs. But the company hit a wall when Brock realized that nearly 99 percent of businesses in the U.S. belong to Main Street rather than Wall Street. So he hit the reset button. Brock shut down FundingUniverse and launched Lendio, a decision he calls painful but necessary, as practically overnight his monthly revenue went from nearly $1 million to $0.
Since then, Lendio’s free-to-use marketplace has become a hub of small business lending, with a network of over 75 lenders offering a variety of loan products to thousands of American entrepreneurs. Brock has likewise seen his star rise. He has been named an Inc. 500 CEO, Utah’s Emerging Executive of the Year, and one of Utah’s top entrepreneurs. But he is most proud of his less public accomplishments, like building a fun-loving, results-hungry company culture while successfully juggling his roles as full-time CEO and full-time father.
Lendio helps business owners find the right small business loans in just minutes. The free online service simplifies the application process, matching qualified business owners with a network of over 75 banks, online lenders, and more. Lendio fuels the American Dream for business owners, facilitating over $1 billion in financing through more than 50,000 loans to-date.
Tue, 23 April 2019
Thom Singer showed up at a comedy open mic night in March 2018 (at age 51). Nervous as hell, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. A friend, who is a comic, pushed him to give stand up a try.
Thu, 18 April 2019
Laura Gassner Otting inspires people to push past the doubt and indecision that keep great ideas in limbo because her presentationsmake listeners think bigger and accept greater challenges that reach beyond their limited scope of belief. She delivers strategic thinking, well-honed wisdom, and perspective generated by decades of navigating change across the start-up, nonprofit, political, as well as philanthropic landscapes. Laura dares listeners to find their voice, and generate the confidence needed to tackle larger-than-life challenges. She leads them to seek new ways of leading, managing and mentoring others.
Laura’s entrepreneurial edge has been well-honed over a 25-year career that started as a Presidential Appointee in Bill Clinton’s White House, where she helped shape AmeriCorps. She left a leadership role at the respected nonprofit search firm, Isaacson, Miller, to expand the startup ExecSearches.com. Laura also founded and ran the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group, which partnered with the full gamut of mission-driven nonprofit executives, from start-up dreamers to scaling social entrepreneurs to global philanthropists. In 2015, Laura sold NPAG to the team that helped her build it, both because she was hungry for the next chapter and because she held an audacious dream of electing our nation’s first female president. Along the way, while serving on Hillary Clinton’s National Finance Committee, she was asked to do a TEDx talk which became so popular that it launched a speaking career.
Laura has spoken across the United States and internationally to universities, companies, conferences, accelerators, TEDx, and the US Military. She is the author of Mission-Driven: Moving from Profit to Purpose (2015) and the upcoming Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life coming in April 2019 via IdeaPress. She lives with her husband, two teenage sons, and troublesome puppy outside of Boston, MA.
Tue, 16 April 2019
Are you asking yourself the right questions on a daily basis? Thom Singer shares his list of "Curious Questions" on episode 450 of Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do.
Thu, 11 April 2019
Ryan Santwire is a born and raised Northwest product, growing up in the greater Seattle area. He truly loves the Seattle
As a kid, he started out by working paper routes, painting houses, mowing lawns and doing whatever it took to make a dollar as a young teen. One of his first full-time jobs, was a busboy in a restaurant, then moving up to waiter and continuing in the restaurant business through his college years. He was only 19and still in college, when he worked his way into a union job only 30-somethings got into and was the youngest person in the company by 12 years. From there he leveraged the funds he made to start a liquidation business, an advertising company, a deal company similar to Groupon and many other companies.
Over the last 20 years, he has been a consultant for corporate and enterprise customers, helping them maneuver through their technology needs and platforms. He has been involved in billions of dollars in sales, closing some of the biggest deals in the world for Verizon (a Fortune 20 company) with firms like Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, Nordstrom, Getty Images, Weyerhaeuser, Expedia, etc. He has extensive experience driving sales on a global level with Managed Services, Data Center builds, Application Management, Application Performance, Cloud Services, IT integration, IT Security, ERP, Professional Services and Enterprise IT delivery.
He has been in senior management positions and loves to roll up his sleeves and work to contribute to whatever aspect that will drive a company and the business forward. His motto in business and life is, “you do whatever it takes to make it work” and believes that we all need to dig in where needed and that we’re all in this together.
Ryan is also the president of a Seattle restaurant icon, Paseo. They have three locations today, with a new Tiki Lounge concept they’ve launched, as well as a new location inside T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners. This is a place Yelp has rated as the #3 restaurant in the country. Anthony Bourdain has visited on several occasions and called Paseo out as a top place to eat in the Seattle area. Esquire called it out as having the best sandwich in America, with TLC’s Food Network saying it had the 2nd best sandwich in America. People from all over the world have contacted Ryan about investment and franchise opportunities with Paseo and he is now finally ready to make that a reality.
He has been involved in energy businesses, technology companies, wine businesses, several restaurant businesses and many other businesses tied to the hospitality business. He has really been able to tap into those past experiences to better how he works with his opportunities today. He has truly worked from next to nothing, to a vibrant leader that is always looking for new challenges.
As for philanthropy, he is also a board member for the Pike Place Market Foundation and previously the American Cancer Society, raising funds and helping support both causes in the Seattle area. His view is that it is all of our responsibility to help the community grow, have more interaction within, function better overall and to give back wherever we can. He looks at philanthropy as a part of his life and is involved with a variety of additional causes.
Ryan is an avid oenophile, with aspirations of making some of his wine own someday.
If you would like to contact Ryan, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tue, 9 April 2019
New book by Damian Mason - "Do Business Better"
Thu, 4 April 2019
John Del Bello of Capital Strategies LLC is an active member of the Austin Technology Council. This episode is co-produced in partnership with the ATC, the largest tech industry organization in Central Texas that empowers members by using insights, resources, and connections their members need to succeed and thrive.
John is the Firm Business Development Director at Capital Strategies. He oversees all outreach and client services in the start-up(funded) & small business markets throughout Texas and across the country. He has developed a unique & proprietary platform offering employees & teams at companies with 5-500 employees (majority employ 40-300) Free Financial Education, and Benefits that may include Financial Planning for individuals and any financial services that may not be available through their employer. He has a team of Financial & Investment Advisors that deliver this solution to many companies who lack these services.
Capital Strategies LLC has been operating in the mid-size company space for more than 6 years with a similar offering with great success. At CS our mission is to provide a client focused approach in a collaborative process that delivers valuable strategies to each client and provides expertise and customized solutions based on our team of specialists.
Hear John's story on Episode 447 of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast.
Tue, 2 April 2019
April 1, 2019 marks ten years since Thom Singer became a full time professional speaker. He was laid off from his corporate marking job on the first day of April in 2009 (the bottom of the Great Recession), and he has never looked back.
Thu, 28 March 2019
Scott Walker and his family founded Screenmobile in 1980 in their garage in Glendora, California. The Walker family started by converting a tent trailer into the first mobile manufacturing unit for screens. This trailer allowed them to measure, manufacture, and install all of their product offerings on-site at the convenience of the customer.
After completing a few jobs, the Walkers received incredible feedback regarding the speed and quality of the product and service. They quickly realized the potential of this model and began to scale the business, launching franchising in 1984.
After 35 years Screenmobile, has grown to more than 100 franchise owners across the US – and the brand continues to grow into new and existing markets as they pioneer the industry.
Scott has led the Screenmobile Corporation as its CEO and President since 1999. Prior to that, Scott served as the Vice President and spent 18 years as a Service Technician, Support Manager, and Operations Manager.
Tue, 26 March 2019
“The American Dream is dead” were the words said to me by a 50-year-old entrepreneur in talking about Millennials and Generation Z. Thom Singer disagreed. In episode 444 or the “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast Thom shares his opinions of what potential lies ahead for business professionals of all ages.
Thom chose this topic to speak about on this episode because of three conversations he had in the past week about the economy, income inequality, and the great recession. While there may be a recession coming, it is not the end of the world. We have had a depression and many recessions in the past. The one consistency is all of these dips have been followed by economic growth.
Thom launched his full-time business as a motivational business speaker on April 1, 2009. He had just been laid off from his corporate marking job, and his prospects for long term employment were bleak. While many might have thought that was an impossible time to start a business, Thom had no choice. Over the next few years his business grew year over year.
A Google search for American Dream showed a vast majority of negative articles. Many writers have the belief that the American Dream is dead, and there is not hope for the Middle Class in the United States.
Some seemed to think at there is no income mobility for the average person, and that only rich people will get ahead in the future. This episode deals the the reality that there will be people who overcome the odds and start businesses in the next few years who grow them to amazing heights. There will be intergenerational mobility for those who started in poverty who will out-earn their parents. Thus, why not you? If it will happen for some, Thom thinks you need to believe it can happen… and take actions accordingly.
Maybe Thom Singer is a Pollyanna. Maybe he is too optimistic. But he lovers the famous quote from Henry Ford; “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t...you are right.
He is not saying it isn’t hard. His own career is really difficult to keep moving forward. He has made less money over the last decade than he might have earned in a salaried corporate job. And he realizes that some people have privilege and others have more obstacles. Yet he is obsessed with “potential” and believes we all have the chance to create a new path in the world.
Those who find success are not just lucky. They take risks and work hard. Most successful entrepreneurs have failed at least once. The American Dream is not dead. But it is not easy. Everyone has issues in their life that can hold them back, but many people can work around those roadblocks.
Thom talks about his ten tips to reach potential in the end of the episode:
Check out episode 444 and decide for yourself if the American Dream is dead (No, it is not).
Thu, 21 March 2019
Antonio Grahm and Daniel Cline are the co-founders of Krystal Luxury Transportation, in Austin, Texas. Check out episode 443 of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast to hear their story of entrepreneurship.
Krystal is a family and friends owned and operated chauffeur company founded in 2013. When the two young entrepreneurs arrived in Austin, Antonio and Daniel noticed one big issue with the Austin chauffeured industry - The service sucked. They witnessed chauffeurs were often under dressed, unclean vehicles were the norm, and drivers regularly arrived late.
In founding a new company, Daniel and Antonio wanted to fix the fundamental issues of the industry. In their first year the co-founders of Krystal focused on mastering the basics. After they got the service right, they were able to focus on other systems.
The duo worked hard to make sure their company was committed to ease of booking and billing for their clients. They created a system of easy communication with chauffeurs via GPS tracking of vehicle and chauffeur location sent directly to the client’s cell phone.
Krystal is focused on building real relationships with clients, so they understand the personal preferences of everyone; having a newspaper, coffee, or specific water brand in the vehicle upon arrival.
Over the past six years Krystal Luxury Transportation has been able to refine their chauffeur service to provide a remarkable, consistent, transportation experience.
Antonio and Daniel have been friends for over 20 years. Growing up in the city of Tyler, Texas, they moved to Austin in their twenties to start their ground transportation business. Growing a company has presented many challenges. Any company with two hard driven founders, with different temperaments, will face ups and downs. Both these young entrepreneurs have unique talents and understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses has allowed them to overcome all the challenges of launching a new company.
Krystal cares about the great city of Austin and everyone who visits. They are hands on with the Austin Concierge and Gust Services Association and sit on the board of the Austin Hotel and Lodging Association. These dynamic entrepreneurs believe that from the time a traveler sets foot in Austin to the time they leave they need to experience the great hospitality the city has to offer. Additionally, they work hard to ensure local customers are given the same high level of personal care.
Tue, 19 March 2019
The Spring is time for live events. If you are in business, the odds are you will be attending meetings in your industry sometime soon. Local events for groups like a chamber of commerce or national multi-day conventions seem to all clump in the fall and spring (winter and summer have other challenges that make many associations and companies hold their gatherings in these time frames).
This episode of CTED podcast is for you if you are not sure why to attend a industry meeting, or you want to make sure you get the most ROI for your time or money. Live events can change the trajectory of your business and career. The education, networking and motivation / inspiration all can come together and get you to take new actions. But change does not happen by accident. You need to be prepared to maximize your time at the event.
Meetings today are different than they were ten or twenty years ago. The expectations of participants has changed. People do not want some "sage on the stage" to talk at them, but they want to be engaged and feel they are part of the event. Attendees want the event to be interactive, engaging, and willed with actionable learning with a good amount of networking.
Planners of meetings have to be willing to take risks. (Check out this article in the MPI Magazine about how one organization threw away the standard keynote and created a peer to peer learning session - https://www.mpiweb.org/blog/
5 Reasons to attend live events:
1. Educational Opportunities
2. Networking with Peers
3. Encounter Vendors and Suppliers
4. Position Yourself as an Expert
5. Have an Experience / Have Fun
5 Tips to Maximize the Conference
1. Attend with a sense of adventure
2. Do not spend all your time with co-workers and friends
3. Say "Hello" to others
4. Talk to the speakers after their presentations
5. Plan for the follow up
Thom Singer is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies. He is also the host of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast and the author of 12 books. He can be reached at https://www.ThomSinger.com
Thu, 14 March 2019
Brian Scudamore is the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. He is also the author of "WTF?! (Willing to Fail): How Failure Can Be Your Key to Success"
Brian started his business in Vancouver, Canada at the age of 18, and later went on to franchise 1-800-GOT-JUNK? as a way to expand operations. Today, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has 1000 trucks on the road throughout some 180 locations in Canada, the United States, and Australia.
Brian has received wide recognition in the media and business community. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? has celebrated appearances on the highly-acclaimed Undercover Boss Canada, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, CNN, ABC Nightline, the Today Show, The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, and the View. His story has been told in Fortune Magazine, Business Week, New York Times, Huffington Post, and Wall Street Journal, to name a few. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is currently the starring junk removal attraction on the hit A&E reality show, Hoarders. In addition to interviews and guest appearances, Brian contributes written articles on building a business and entrepreneurism to many national magazines, including a monthly column in PROFIT Magazine.
In 2004, Brian was inducted into the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and served as a board member for the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization (YEO). In 2007, Brian was honored to have been named the International Franchise Association’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Other accolades include Fortune Small Business’ Best Bosses Award, Globe & Mail’s Top 40 under 40, and a three-time winner of a prestigious “Best Company To Work For” award.
As a public speaker, Brian has brought his entrepreneurial success story to many conference stages, including the Fortune Small Business Magazine’s national conference. A strong believer in personal and professional development, Brian graduated from MIT's four-year Birthing of Giants program, and has subsequently completed several years of MIT’s BOG’s alumni program, Gathering of Titans. He is also a participant in a nine-year executive education program at Harvard University through YPO Presidents’ University.
Connect with Brian on LinkedIn here.
Connect with Brian on Twitter here.
Mon, 11 March 2019
While at the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas, Thom Singer had the chance to meet author and speaker Laura Gassner Otting (author of Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life). She started her SXSW presentation with a powerful statement:
"You can't be happy living someone else's dream"
Boom. That stuck in Thom's mind for the last few days, and when preparing for Episode 440, he knew he had to share this quote and the reasons it resonated with him.
By the way, Laura agreed to be a guest on "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do", so look for that episode in April 2019.
Thom Singer spent most of his career with his "ladder against the wrong wall". He was doing a career that he fell into (sales and marketing). While he was very successful, it was not his dream. Happiness was not front and center.
Fast forward to today and Thom is a successful professional speaker and podcast host. He is living a life that few people get to live, and he is happy. Not happy every single minute of every day, but when it comes to his career, he knows how fortunate he is and reminds himself of this daily.
This episode is a challenge and he point blank asks the question of all listeners; "Are you living your dream?"
Check out this episode and then email or DM Thom about what your career dream is all about.
Thu, 7 March 2019
This episode is co-produced in partnership with the Austin Technology Council, the largest tech industry organization in central Texas that empowers members by using insights, resources, and connections their members need to succeed and thrive
Tue, 5 March 2019
All businesses should be creating some sort of content marketing. In the age of the internet, content has become more necessary than ever in history. But dropping a blog post onto your website and hoping for millions of views is not realistic.
So what is a entrepreneur or business leader to do? In episode 438 Jill Schiefelbein and Thom Singer talk about how to repurpose content. Jill has lived this...and she found ways to create real results. She has millions of YouTube views, but didn't stop there. She turned her video strategy into paying clients, syndication offers, and a collaboration with Entrepreneur Magazine.
Listen to this episode for actionable strategy on how to take a single piece of content and turn it in dozens of different digital touch points across the web.
About Jill Schiefelbein
Thu, 28 February 2019
Michael Smerklo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Austin-based venture capital firm Next Coast Ventures. NCV provides early-stage capital to high-growth startups in ‘Next Coast’ markets, using macro trends and themes to guide their investment strategy.
Michael has been in the technology industry for almost 20 years as an operator, investor and board member/advisor. Michael currently sits on the board of NCV portfolio companies Tenfold, Navegate, LeanDNA and AlertMedia. He serves as a board observer for NCV portfolio companies EverlyWell, Stoplight and Cloverpop. Previously, he served on the board of OnRamp (acquired in July 2018) as well as SPS Commerce (NASDAQ: SPSC).
Prior to founding NCV, Michael was an investor and advisor to emerging growth companies in Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas from 2014-2015 via his personal entity, True North Ventures LLC. From 2003 to 2014, Michael served as CEO (and Chairman from 2008-2015) of ServiceSource International, a company he acquired via a search fund, at a time when the company had one office, 35 employees and a few million dollars in revenue. Under Michael’s direction, ServiceSource grew from a groundbreaking idea into a publicly-traded company that is the market leader in Recurring Revenue Management (NASDAQ: SREV). Michael was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Award Finalist in Northern California in 2010. Michael retired as CEO in 2014 and from the Chairman role in 2015 as part of his planned relocation to Austin.
Prior to ServiceSource, Michael was an early employee at Loudcloud (renamed Opsware), working closely with Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz in Business Development. He previously worked at Morgan Stanley (Silicon Valley Technology Investment Banking), Lehman Brothers (M&A) and Ernst & Young (Audit, CPA).
Michael received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern (with distinction) and a BS in Accounting from the Miami University (Ohio). Michael is an active member of Young President Organization (YPO) in Silicon Valley. He is also an active blogger, focused on the Entrepreneur’s Journey, on his personal site www.mikesmerklo.com.
Tue, 26 February 2019
Most surveys show that the New Year's Resolutions we set are abandoned by the end of February. People set goals, and then the routines of their life set in and we fall into the same path we have been walking for a long time.
Thom Singer believes in goal setting and New Year's Resolutions. While he knows that most people never do much with working long toward their goals, for those who do, it can be magical. But it is not about reaching to goal, the success in in the progress you make along the way.
As humans, we like the idea of a "fresh start". This is why birthdays, anniversaries, and New Year's Day are such a big deal. We get to move ahead with a new path. We get excited about that potential, but potential is not a solution. Potential does not equal results. The key here is "performance".
In observing peak performers, Thom Singer has seen a pattern. There are things people do who reach come closer to reaching their potential, than those who are stuck in a rut (Thom believes that you never really reach your potential, as once you climb a mountain you find bigger mountains to climb). Peak performers keep trying and they enjoy the journey.
Peak performers take action. Many people feel they are coming up short, and those are often the same people doing the same routine day after day. Those who are achieving more are not static in their actions.
What Peak Performers Do:
1. Peak performers "Try New Things" and pivot off actions that are not working.
2. Peak performers take ownership of their life.
3. Peak performers set goals.
4. Peak performers are not sidelined by doubt and fear
5. Peak performers connect with people and show gratitude
6. Peak performers believe in themselves.
Check out episode 436 of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast. If you like this episode, please share it on social media or with your friends.
Thu, 21 February 2019
Let’s Talk Funny
Nothing is less funny than a podcast interview about comedy. Episode 435 is an interview with comedian motivational speaker Garrison Wynn. This conversation covers a lot of ground about his career and what makes things funny.
Garrison got into stand up comedy early, and it has impacted his whole career. He has seen a lot of things between the world of comedy, the Fortune 500, and the speaking business.
Nine months after his first open mic he was earning a living as a comic.
Today he is a professional keynote speaker. On this episode we dive deep into comedy. Garrison has had a very interesting career path, and he is very open in this interview.
It is hard to find funny in some rooms. You need the right environment to get the humor to connect with the audience. Most people, even when they are funny, do not realize what makes them funny. There are many things that go into making humor work.
About Garrison Wynn
Garrison helps people make the jump from being great at what they do to developing the qualities it takes to be consistently chosen for the job. He gets them to understand why their products, services, or leadership styles-or those of their competitors-are selected. As he says, “If the world agreed on what’s best, everybody would choose the best and nothing else would be considered. Decision making doesn’t work that way.” His presentations help people become more influential regardless of circumstances.
With talents that established him as a Fortune 500 leader and professional stand-up comedian, Garrison Wynn, CSP, fuses comic timing and research to deliver motivational business expertise.
For 20 years, he has given keynote presentations to clients (such as American Express, Wells Fargo, Oracle and NASA) at corporate and association events. He is the author of the Amazon bestseller The Real Truth about Success, the Amazon #1 bestseller The Cowbell Principle, has been a weekly contributor to the Washington Post and featured Forbes and Inc. Magazines.
In his teens he debuted the world’s first video gaming system (Odyssey) with baseball legend Hank Aaron and as a young man spent 6 years touring comedy clubs with the top names in the business. He went on to become the youngest department head in a Fortune 500 company’s history where he researched and designed processes for 38 company locations nationwide and developed & marketed products still being sold in 30 countries.
Garrison Wynn can be booked through your favorite speakers bureau or directly at https://www.motivational-
Check out his first interview on Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do from August 2016. https://thomsinger.com/
About Thom Singer
Thom Singer is the host of the “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast. He is also a motivational keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies. Thom took up stand up comedy at age 51 and began visiting comedy clubs, bars and coffee shops for open mic nights all over the country.
While he is not a comedian, he as become a student of humor. He does not put jokes into his keynote speeches, he has learned that comedy is the best teacher of timing and audience engagement.
Tue, 19 February 2019
Leaders must have followers. You cannot set up to set the pace if the other people behind you don't care what you think and do not respect you.
Thu, 14 February 2019
Zach Benson is one of the standouts in the world of influencer marketing. A TEDx speaker, social-media trainer for international brands like The Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and ViceRoy, and past participant on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Benson doesn’t just manage his own Instagram network of millions; he’s also the founder of Assistagram, where he’s guiding other influencers and Fortune 500 companies into social-media success.
Lastly, he is the founder of 6 Figure Dancer Academy, where he teaches other dancers the exact step-by-step system that he used to create a profitable 6-figure dancing business, traveling the world.
What you probably don’t know is that Benson’s childhood resembled something far closer to outright failure than the kind of wins he has experienced today.
At only 4 months old, Benson, who was born in South Korea, was adopted by his parents in the States, where he was taken home to Des Moines, Iowa. Benson was one of the very few Asian kids in his school.
Benson was bullied and abused by his peers in school due to his ethnicity. On top of looking different, he sounded different too. Benson was diagnosed with a speech impediment and was placed in speech therapy classes. And to top it off, Benson was diagnosed with ADHD and consistently found himself getting in trouble at school.
With this type of background, many people would assume that these were the characteristics of somebody who was headed down a dark road. Many of us have never had to face daily battles against racism, learning impairments, or even the inability to talk properly, but a combination of all three seems unthinkable.
Like anything, though, change is a series of small steps, starting with one foot in front of the other. Benson told me how he implemented this in his own life.
For a man who was bullied, judged, and ostracised, it would seem human to simply give up,but Benson did not. Instead, he focused on moving the meter forward every day.
With this type of mentality, it makes it easier to silence that voice in your head that whispers all of your shortcomings to you. By being persistent and showing up every day to work towards your goals, you can overcome some incredible obstacles like Benson has. There is no barrier to your success.
Ask Yourself These Questions
“Should I do it?
Can I do it?
Do I want to do it?
For Benson, success is in the execution of the ideas and not in the ideation. “There are many of us who wait for the right moment when in reality that moment does not exist,” Benson said.
We feel that if we wait long enough, everything is just going to be perfect. Well, waiting means sitting and hoping. Accomplishing means getting up and chasing what is yours. Be curious in life and be open to venture off the perfect path and discover what is not visible to most.
By supplying yourself with answers to these three questions and immediately acting upon opportunities, you set yourself apart from almost all of your competitors and peers who spend their time wishing for the right moment.
These questions allow Benson to keep his internal compass focused so that even if he ventures off in a new direction, it aligns with who he is. Benson has shown us that whatever impairment you have in front of you can always be overturned with consistent progress and the ability to take action.
“The past is the past, the only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes. In my experience, it’s the ones that make the most mistakes and actually learn from them that grow the fastest,” said Benson.
Make mistakes, learn, and suck it up.
Yes, life is hard. You must confront the brutal facts of reality that life is hard but things will get better in the future if you keep working and developing yourself and comparing yourself to your best self, you will become the person you want to be in future,” says Benson.
This is the type of advice we all need to hear at some point in time.
To follow more of Zach’s incredible journey and what he stands for you can visit his personal site, Assistagram, and connect with him on Facebook
Check out episode 433 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" and hear more from Zach Benson.
Tue, 12 February 2019
The same efforts and same agenda will not produce new results.
Thu, 7 February 2019
This episode is co-produced with the Austin Technology Council, the regions largest tech industry organization who empower members by using insights, resources, and connections their members need to succeed and thrive".
Tue, 5 February 2019
James S. Fell, MA, MBA, has bylines in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, TIME Magazine, and many other publications. His blog, BodyForWife.com, has millions of readers and he is the author of two books: The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant (St. Martin’s Press, 2019), and Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind (Random House Canada, 2014).
Thu, 31 January 2019
Episode 429 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" features a return visit to the show from Phil Gerbyshak. Phil and Thom Singer candidly discuss issues around the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology, and spend a lot of time unpacking the power of using LinkedIn.
Phil Gerbyshak is Connected
Phil has interviewed Tom Peters, Sally Helgesen, Seth Godin, Tim Sanders, Carol Roth, Bob Burg and a host of other great people.
Phil is an active member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and has spoken at many of the regional chapter meetings on social selling and the power of connecting the right way on social media.
Phil has been featured on the cover of Speaker Magazine, and also frequently contributes articles.
When he’s not traveling, Phil does a weekly show on social media called #SocialChatter on Facebook Live here. It’s unscripted, unedited, real and raw.
Phil Gerbyshak is Wired
Phil is a technology geek who is always trying the latest and greatest tools so you don’t have to. He’s kicked the tires for you and can recommend the right tool for your needs and budget, whether it’s scheduling social media posts, livestreaming, transcribing, video editing, etc.
Phil has been recognized as the Best of BeLive (livestreaming platform) by Ross Brand and Rachel Moore.
Check out Tuesday Tool Day with Phil on his blog to learn about what’s new and hot.
Phil Gerbyshak is Experienced
Phil Gerbyshak is a former vice president of information technology at a full-service financial services company, where he and his team were responsible for supporting over 100 applications used by advisors, investment bankers, research analysts and support staff.
Phil also worked as a director of social strategy for a compliance software vendor focused on the financial services vertical where he coached, consulted and trained customers and prospects on integrating social media and social selling into their daily sales practices.
Currently, Phil presents programs, trains, and coaches sales organizations and small business owners on sales and marketing strategies, optimizing their use of technology and social media.
Phil Gerbyshak has written 5 books, more than 2,500 articles, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Daily Globe and Mail, Financial Times, Investor’s Business Daily, Inc. and many other publications.
Phil lives in Tampa, Florida where he spends his free time reading business books, listening to podcasts, and playing pinball.
Tue, 29 January 2019
In episode 428 of the “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast, Thom Singer shares his tips for how to find a speaker and hire the right person to “WOW” your event. In the previous week before recording this Thom was contacted by three different people asking for advice on how to hire a motivational speaker. These people were seeking experts in other topic areas that his expertise, but they had never before brought in outside professional speakers.
Thu, 24 January 2019
Mike McDerment is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the #1 cloud accounting software in the cloud designed for freelancers and service-based businesses. Mike has spent the last decade making accounting software accessible to small businesses and is the co-author of Breaking the Time Barrier, which helps professionals better price their services. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times he is reportedly the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.
Check out episode 427 of “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” for a compelling interview with Mike McDerment. He and CTED host Thom Singer have a great chat about Mike’s journey to success and how he founded and grew FreshBooks.
Tue, 22 January 2019
Business Growth Ideas
Thu, 17 January 2019
Brianna Carney started her career at a small startup which helped her to better understand how small organizations scale. She moved to Amazon which is where she experienced the impact leveraging the global workforce can have on an organization. She began to question why so many domestic companies are limiting themselves.
After traveling around Asia, she was inspired to connect the robust workforce of the Philippines to US businesses looking to scale. With outsourcing being a very competitive market, she set out to differentiate CrewBloom by reinventing the industry. By outlining rigorous screening process to applicants and clients alike, CrewBloom now has access to the top 2% remote professionals in the Philippines and clients supporting human-centric workplace.
With leadership built on confidence and empathy, Brianna guarantees client happiness by taking care of her people. For her, preserving humanity in the workplace is more crucial than ever in a world that’s becoming more technology-focused by the minute, and that trust continues to be the recipe for a successful business.
In her spare time, Brianna loves scuba diving, running, reading, and cooking. She has also been taking the time to learn to speak Tagalog.
Tue, 15 January 2019
January is National Mentor Month, and this episode is dedicated to how anyone can go out and find a guide to help them with their career and their life.
Thu, 10 January 2019
Roman Gonzalez knows about growing food and growing a company. Gonzalez is Founder and CEO of Gardenio, an Austin based startup with the big mission to get the world reconnected to their food by sharing the joy of growing it themselves – not with fancy, expensive, patented gardening gizmos, but with old fashioned good soil, good plants, and good people. Gardenio sends you everything you need to start growing on your porch or balcony, in the amount you need, curated to your area, for under $35. A kind of Blue Apron and Brandless for making your space edible. They're working on a mobile app to help you as you grow, organizing thousands of years of food growing wisdom, and more. Gardenio is a public benefit corporation built on the pillars of sustainability, public health, and food justice.
Roman is a Brown University philosophy graduate, former community organizer, and current human centered designer hell bent making the gardening experience more accessible, approachable, and fun for the new gardener. Eighty percent of new gardeners are millenials like himself, and he found others like him had a similar difficult experience starting, often giving up on gardening, all for reasons that were completely solvable. Roman spends the little time he has not working on Gardenio to read books about fruit trees, learn about craft cocktails, and advocate for social justice in tech, in the food system, and in the rest of the world.
Tue, 8 January 2019
As a follow up episode to last week where Thom Singer talked about how to overcome a failure in 2018, he has dedicated this episode to how to focus on sales.
Thu, 3 January 2019
Tamara Celeste, the Home Buying Coach, is a real estate financial empowerment coach and the #1 bestselling author of Buy Homes Not Shoes (or other stuff) a Women’s Guide to Buying Her First Home.
She coaches women who are looking to buy their first home or invest in real estate so that they feel comfortable and confident when starting the home buying investment process. Tamara’s believes “Buying a home should be exciting and easy, not complicated or confusing”.
Tamara also coaches female real estate agents to teach them how to grow their business and align their work with their passion.
Tamara has always had a passion and a gift. Her passion is for people; always expressing a genuine interest in getting to know the people she meets. Her gift is being able to talk to, and find a commonality with almost anyone. Tamara started her career on Wall Street after graduating from law school. After almost a decade on Wall Street Tamara realized that she could never be fulfilled in a job unless she was making a difference. Upon moving to Florida in 2006 she obtained her real estate license and finally found her passion. Having joined real estate at a time when the market was tumbling she soon found her niche in short sales and became one of the top agents in her County serving others in their time of need and helping her clients navigate the long, arduous and complicated short sale process with dignity.
Tamara is the owner of Sweet Life Realty Group in West Palm Beach, Fl. Tamara has earned numerous real estate awards throughout her career such as Broker of the Year and Global Realtor of the Year from her Realtors Association. In her spare time she loves spending time with her family and travelling to visit friends and exploring new countries. She also volunteers her time and currently sits on the Boards of The Sonoran Initiative, which is a non-profit based in Miami whose mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty among underprivileged youth and Pace Center for Girls in Fort Pierce FL, which is an intervention and educational program for at-risk girls.
Tue, 1 January 2019
Many people are glad to see 2018 end. While some had record years with lots of celebrations, others had trials and tribulations that left last year coming up short from their expectations.