Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine The Referral Engine, and SEO for Growth. He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world.​
 
Listen to this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" and hear Thom Singer's conversation with John Jantsch.
Direct download: CTED_487.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

In episode 486 Thom Singer talks about how someone in his line of work, who is very successful, recently met up with him to give him some advice. This person only did it because he likes him and wants to see him do better.  
 
How many people do that?  Too few.  Thom likes the idea of people being helpful and believes that givers get more over the long run.  Having received some amazing advice, he went on to be reminded to do more for those he can help.
 
In this short episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" Thom challenges everyone listening to think of two or three people they could help and then to take action.  Wow, what if people really do it?  That would be cool.
 
Direct download: CTED_486.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

The artist is an entrepreneur. On episode 485 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do", host Thom Singer interviews a French Filmmaker, actor, producer, director about her journey in art and business. 

Jenna Suru established Belle Époque Films in January 2015. Her experience in film production started in Los Angeles, where she was Production Assistant on Dahn and Alimi Ballard's (Numb3rs, CSI, Castle) TV show "The Experiment with Dahn and Ali".

With her company Belle Époque Films, she produced the highly-praised, sold out Los Angeles Premiere of "Happy", published by Samuel French. She Executive Produced two UK shorts. The first, "Spitball", was funded by the Northern Ireland Screen, and the second, "Bigger Picture", starred BAFTA-nominated Robert Sheehan (Misfits, The Umbrella Academy) and Rosie Day (Outlander).

She directed and produced her debut feature film "L'Âge d'Or" ("The Golden Age") with an international cast, 35 exceptional locations and an outstanding soundtrack, featuring songs from Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed. She's a reputable Line Producer in France and her company Belle Époque Films has now become an official French feature film company, organizing shoots for multiple foreign productions filming across Paris and Europe. Jenna has been working for Canneseries (Cannes Series Festival) since very first edition and her multiple talents enable her to give the best of herself on any project, from development to distribution stage.

Find Jenna / Contact Jenna - 

Instagram - @jennasurureal 

Instagram, Facebook and Twitter - @lagedorfilm, @belleepoquefilms 

Here’s the IMDb film page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9091118/

Company website is www.belleepoquefilms.com

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https://thomsinger.com/podcast/artist-as-entrepreneur

Direct download: CTED_485.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Following up on his participation in the American Society of Association Executives Annual Meeting (ASAE - #ASAE19), Thom Singer is fired up about Plans, Passion, Purpose, and People. 

Thom attended the event with his wife who works for an association, but as a speaker he often works at association meetings. This time at a conference he was a participant. He followed the advice he gives others, and went in looking to soak up any ideas, information or inspiration that would show itself.

From the main stage he heard messages from the outgoing chair, Sal Martino, the incoming chair, Patricia Burke, and the interim president and CEO, Susan Robertson. All had talks that were more than inspiring. Each spoke from the heart about their organization and the future of their industry. 

Thom was reminded that all companies and associations thrive when they have plans, passion, purpose and people. And this is the message for today's episode of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast.

https://thomsinger.com/podcast/ASAE-Follow-Up

Direct download: CTED_484.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Kate McCrery is the Interim Director for Loyola's Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development and an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business. Originally hailing from the New Orleans area, Kate was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and also taught high school students in Busan, South Korea. Previously, she was with the international social entrepreneurship fellowship organization Echoing Green and also worked as Global Communications Director for Village Capital, a Washington DC-based impact investment fund and accelerator program for entrepreneurs solving social problems. 
 
About the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development:
 
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development is a student-centered, community-engaged, and impact-driven organization that serves as an entrepreneurial hub for Loyola University New Orleans and the greater New Orleans area. With an emphasis on training a new generation of founders eager to build scalable businesses with a high social impact, the CECD practices an interdisciplinary approach to entrepreneurship education. Since opening in 2014, the Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola University has provided hands-on training in problem-solving and creative thinking to young entrepreneurs in every college through internships, pitch competitions, technical training, academic tracks, mentorship opportunities, and community events. The CECD brings the strength of community partnerships to Loyola University students and functions as a vital member of the New Orleans entrepreneurial ecosystem.
 
Direct download: CTED_483.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00pm EDT

In a follow up to a recent blog post on "Giving Referrals", Thom Singer talks in this episode about how to get referrals. Getting referrals is key to any entrepreneurs growing their business.

As a professional speaker most of Thom's clients come from referrals. While he conducts outbound sales campaigns and works on SEO, almost all his business comes from word of mouth. This is the life blood of most small business people.

Thom has recently joined a business group in Austin called BAP (Business Advisory Professionals) which is made up of some high quality people in a variety of industries that serve local and national clients. This is a structured referral group, but it is more than that - it is about relationships. 

Relationships are key to getting referrals. If you want more business from referral sources, you need to cultivate meaningful connections.

Thom also talks about a book called " Renewable Referrals" by Joe Stec (and others) about this topic of creating partner referral programs that work. Joe is a BAP member who has a marketing agency, and a new friend of Thom's.

5 Tips for Getting Referrals

1. Give Referrals. And just give in general. Helping others achieve their goals will set the tone and others will want to help you, too. If you cannot remember the last time you sent a referral, why would you expect to ever get one?

2. Be Active in your Community. If you are the best kept secret in your city, you will go hungry. You have to show up if you want to be top of mind. 

3. Respond, Follow up, and show gratitude. 

4. Be Great at what you do. You have to do good work if you want people to sing your praises.

5. Ask for Referrals. If you do not remind people that you are seeking new opportunities, they may not come to that conclusion on their own. Let them know you want to work with other cool people. 

https://thomsinger.com/podcast/getting-referrals

Direct download: CTED_482.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Episode 481 of “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” 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.
 
 
About Dan Kryzanowski
 
Dan Kryzanowski is a serial revenue driver and active alternative asset investor. Prior to joining Rocket Dollar, Kryzanowski led new initiatives, partners, and teams across multiple startups and Fortune 50 companies, including General Electric and Merrill Lynch.

He also serves as an advisor to entrepreneurs and executives across the FinTech world and self-storage industry. In addition, Kryzanowski is a certified Project Management Professional, and a graduate of GE's exclusive Experienced Commercial Leadership Program. He also serves as the Corporate Board President of Hugh O'Brian Youth Texas Capital Area. 

Kryzanowski graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has an MBA from Thunderbird, graduating with distinction (top honors). He resides in Austin with his wife and son.
 
About Rocket Dollar
 
Rocket Dollar was founded in 2018 with the belief that retirement is changing. They believe that people should not be limited in their investment options as they work towards the retirement they envision for themselves. They are here to make it safe, simple, and fast for people to take control of their retirement savings.
 
About Thom Singer
 
After a successful career in sales and marketing, Thom Singer became a growth leadership speaker in 2009. A decade later he has brought his high energy presentations and action-oriented content to over 700 audiences. Thom knows that as the speaker or master of ceremonies he has a responsibility to set the tone for a strong conference attendee experience. Known as "The Conference Catalyst" he creates an atmosphere of fun and interaction that lasts beyond his presentation.
 
Thom earned his Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) in 2014 and is committed to the business of meetings.  He is the author of 12 books and is the host of the popular "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast.  On his show he has interviewed over 350 entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, business leaders and others with a focus on discovering how the most successful people get farther across the gap between potential and results.
 
 
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Direct download: CTED_481.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

in episode 480 of “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” Thom Singer talks about the importance of joining your trade association. 
 
Thom is currently at the 2019 National Speakers Association annual conference… Called “Influence”. While attending this event he has realize that associations across-the-board, in all industries, are growing if they are willing to adapt and change to meet the needs of their membership. 
 
The National Speakers Association is one of these associations. Listen to this episode and find out to some of Thom’s opinions about why it’s important for you to belong to your trade association and ideas on how associations can meet the needs of their members
 
 
Direct download: CTED_480.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

Episode 479 of “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” is an in-depth conversation with Colin Guinn.  You may know Colin from season 5 and season 31 of The Amazing Race (he and his wife Christie won $1 million on season 31 in 2019).  He is also credited with helping create the commercial drone industry.  
 
Do you always look two or three steps ahead in business and life? Colin does. Check out this interview and be inspired. 
 
 
About Colin Guinn
 
Colin Guinn is a serial entrepreneur and high tech product development expert. He is currently the founder of Guinn Partners, an autonomous robotics and emerging technology consultancy and investor. Prior to this, he founded Austin startup Hangar Technology, after serving as Chief Revenue Officer at 3D Robotics and founder/CEO of DJI North America. Colin has product developed, invented, and/or holds patents for some of the most popular drones in the world, including the DJI Phantom, Zenmuse Gimbal systems, the 3DR Solo, and several others. He is one of the most interviewed experts on robotics and drone technology in the world, and provides product development guidance to startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. He has testified on the subject of commercial drones in a congressional hearing, has been featured at premier industry conferences, and in countless top-rated publications and newscasts, including 60 Minutes, CNN, Techcrunch, Forbes, and Fast Company. During his career developing drones, Colin has had the opportunity to teach many of the world’s greatest technologists, artists and filmmakers about drones; including Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Stephen Spielberg, Michael Bay, Carlos Slim, and countless others.
 
About Guinn Partners 
 
Guinn Partners serves discerning clients in the drones & mobility, enabling technology and outdoor sporting goods spaces with best in class marketing and product development.
 
Direct download: CTED_479.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Rupert Boneham competed on Survivor a total of four times. He was the first contestant to compete in back to back seasons, first appearing on Pearl Islands and then on All-Stars. Out of his four seasons, he placed highest on All-Stars, earning himself the fourth place spot. He was also awarded one million dollars on Survivor: America’s Tribal Council after being voted the fan favorite. 

Rupert was also a contestant on Season 31 of The Amazing Race. It was at the cast party and watching party for the finale that Thom Singer had the chance to meet Rupert and learn about his life long commitment to helping young people who are dealing with drugs and crime to get a fresh start in life.

After learning about Rupert's Kids, the organization that was founded by Rupert Boneham, Thom knew he had to be a guest on the Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do podcast. And wow.... this is a great interview.

Rupert's Kids is a is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that takes individuals who have recently been released from the correctional facility and helps them become active and contributing members of society. The mission of Rupert’s Kids is to empower our participants to discover their inner strengths, realize their own self-worth and recognize their value to society. Their participants face many obstacles from their previous life choices. They provide mentoring as well as the opportunity to learn work ethic, social skills, and life competencies for future success. 

Check out episode 478 and hear how Rupert and his team have changed lives, inspired entrepreneurship, and help their community. 

Also, hear about how he chased a dream to become a contestant on Survivor, and won $1 million. 

https://www.Rupertskids.org.

Call Rupert's Kids at 317-251-4732

Donate to his cause and help them grow.

Direct download: CTED_478.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Rik Roberts is a Nashville, TN based comedian and speaker who focuses on providing 100% clean comedy and creative keynotes to groups who need a fun and engaging program. 

Most recently seen on Pure Flix Comedy All-Stars, Rik keeps his humor relevant and easy to relate to. As a father of two young kids, he has found there are enough real life situations that we can all laugh at without going “below the belt”. Family friendly comedy is his specialty. Crafting comedy club level funny along with church clean content, his programs are a good fit for corporate groups, fund raising events, awards ceremonies and faith based events.

His emphasis on storytelling paved the way towards his speaking career. Just like in comedy, Rik keeps the pace of his keynote programs up using stories, facts, current events, visuals and crowd participation to make the points relevant to each group.

Rik grew up in Kentucky working alongside his father on tobacco farms. Later, he also logged in several Summers on thoroughbred horse farms in and around Lexington, KY. He draws upon these experiences along with the rural way of life in his programs.

A huge Andy Griffith Show fan, Rik developed a “Mayberry Method” approach to his business. After seeing increases of 34% in his first year after implementing the program, he decided to share the process with others in a keynote program of the same name. His slight resemblance to the bumbling deputy comes in handy when he takes the stage as Barney Fife.

Rik met his wife at a comedy club in 1998 and they have been married since 2002. He spends his time off stage writing songs – many of which are aired daily on SiriusXM radio’s LaughUSA and Jeff & Larry’s Comedy Round Up channels.

He’s appeared on:

  • Huckabee (TBN)
  • Comedy All-Stars (Pure Flix)
  • Chonda Pierce’s “Stand Up For Families” (Dove Channel)
  • “20 Greatest Redneck Moments” (CMT)
  • “The Henry Cho Comedy Show” (Great American Country)
  • “Bananas Family Comedy” (SONY)
  • “L.O.L. Comedy” (Syndicated)
  • Car Talk (NPR)

Rik is a member of the National Speakers Association and is the current President of the Christian Comedy Association.

Aside from his keynotes and comedy shows, Rik teaches comedy writing workshops across the country and online through his “School of Laughs”. He also releases bi-monthly episodes of the School Of Laughs Podcast.

Direct download: CTED_477.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Justin Schenck is the host of the top rated podcast the Growth Now Movement and founder of Growth Now, LLC which is a full service podcast production and coaching company. He has been named a Top 8 Podcaster to follow by INC Magazine and chosen as an ‘Icon of Influence’ in the new media space. 
 
What started out as something fun to do in order to connect with top influencers and help one or two people along their journey, has grown to become a podcast that is currently getting played in over 100 countries every single week and ranked in the top 15% in the world. Justin now works with some of the worlds elite entrepreneurs and business owners like Fabio Viviani, Sarah Centrella, and Cindy Eckert. 
 
He is also the host and creator one of the most exciting live events for entrepreneurs and forward thinkers; Growth Now Movement LIVE! 
 
Direct download: CTED_476.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Check out episode 475 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do".  Podcast host Thom Singer interviews Yancey Strickler about his journey from small farm town to being the co-founder of Kickstarter.  Thom met Yancey at a conference where they were both speakers, and was instantly impressed with his world view and cool personal demeanor.  When Thom asked "will you be on my podcast", he was thrilled that Yancey responded "yes" instantly.  This is a great interview and Strickler shares very useful insights for all entrepreneurs. 
 
About Yancey Strickler
 
Yancey Strickler is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the cofounder and former CEO of Kickstarter and the author of This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World, coming October 29, 2019 through Viking Press.
 
Yancey has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People. He’s a former music journalist whose writing has appeared in Pitchfork, theVillage Voice, and New York Magazine. He’s spoken at the Museum of Modern Art, Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals, Web Summit, and events around the globe. He’s cofounder of the creative resource The Creative Independent, the record label eMusic Selects, and an app that lets fans announce NBA games called Micd. The London Spectator called him “one of the least obnoxious tech evangelists ever.”
 
Learn more about Yancey and his new book at https://www.ystrickler.com
 
 
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Direct download: CTED_475.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

We always here "Don't Mix Business with Pleasure", but in episode 474 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" Thom Singer tells us how and why to take your passion and put it along side your business.  Yes, mix it up.  Try new things.  Create a way to put what you love into your job.
 
Thom spent most of his career with his ladder against the wrong wall.  As a kid he wanted to be an actor or comedian, but never did anything about it.  Now he is an advocate for others to find a way to pursue their dreams, even if just on the side.
 
In 2018 Thom tried, for the first time, stand up comedy.  Since then he has gone to about one open mic night a week, been a featured comic in three shows, and this week begins hosting a weekly open mic night every Wednesday in Austin, TX.  His love of comedy is making him a better professional speaker and master of ceremonies.  
 
He also announces his partnership with a comedy production company as their VP of Corporate Events.  In this role he will help the company create content on using humor and producing clean comedy shows for companies and associations. 
 
Direct download: CTED_474.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:44pm EDT

Episode 473 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" 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.

About Cendea 

Cendea is an intriguing mix of innovation and the tried-and-true, and best known for our high touch approach. Our partners’ careers started at firebrand companies like PC’s Limited and Federal Express, better known to the world these days as Dell and FedEx. While innovation has been at the core of these brands, we believe that it takes persistence, depth and execution to truly differentiate from the rest of the field. We don’t see walls, we see solutions. We’re national in scope, but proudly Austin-based and in our 25th year of becoming a key Partner for companies to recruit the right people to maximize their organizational results. We help navigate through this critical process because we have all been executives in multiple industries. We mix the traditional and the innovative…for positive results. That’s what we’re good at!

About Wade H. Allen – President & CEO

Wade has a keen, innate ability to convey his own personal experience, understanding of business and technology – specifically how to drive a profit – to help firms get to the next level. He developed a unique process to obtain the Human Capital that has established Cendea’s Partners as innovators and advisors who are true business assets to their clients. His 30+ years range from Fortune 50 to start-ups and turnarounds where he has personally helped drive company growth by applying his executive management experience. Wade holds an Executive MBA from the University of Texas as well as an MEE and BSEE from Rice University.

About Jim Bledsoe – Senior Partner

Jim has had a rich career consisting of executive positions with FedEx and Pulte Homes as well as entrepreneurial ventures in several industries. One if his many skills is that he has always matched great talent with great opportunities. Jim holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Memphis State University. He has been chairman of the board for March of Dimes and a member of Make a Wish’s Board of Trustees

Direct download: CTED_473.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47pm EDT

Being a entrepreneur can be lonely. Sometimes we all feel the weight of the world is on our shoulders. It is hard. 

But you are not alone. Life is a team sport. All you have to do is identify who is on your team.

In this episode Thom Singer shares the parts of his entrepreneurs journey that are not all wine and roses. He admits he has bad days. You do too.

You need a peer group, or a mastermind, or a therapist.... as you cannot always dump all the sad and hard times on your spouse or best friend.

Join an association

Go to networking events

Find cool random people.

No matter what you do, be careful of the naysayers. The people who will suck the energy out of the room. The emotional vampires. Be ready for them and choose a positive attitude. 

https://thomsinger.com/podcast/lonely-entrepreneur

Direct download: CTED_472.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Larry Albukerk is Managing Partner of EB Exchange. With over 20 years’ experience founding, managing, advising, and investing in hundreds of private venture-backed companies, he is an expert on private equity financing and capital structure.

Mr. Albukerk founded EBX in 1999 with the goal of helping entrepreneurs achieve liquidity and diversification. He created and managed special purpose funds to allow accredited individuals and institutional investors to invest in pre-IPO companies such as Facebook.

Prior to founding EBX, Mr. Albukerk founded two companies: Visible Interactive, one of the earliest location-based services companies to leverage mobile computing technology, serving clients such as the Smithsonian, Sony, and Disney; and Basement.com, an Idealab-backed pioneer of online reverse auctioneering for consumer products. He also licensed and sold a portfolio of mobile technology patents, one of which he was the primary inventor.

Outside of EBX, Mr. Albukerk advises the X Prize Foundation on matters of private equity donations and is an active fund raiser for his children’s schools. He is also a frequent lecturer on founder liquidity and startup capital structure.

Mr. Albukerk earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 registrations.

Https://www.thomsinger.com/podcast/Larry-Albukerk

Direct download: CTED_471.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm EDT

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. 

But since that time the world has changed. Facebook and LinkedIn barely existed, YouTube was founded the same year. Twitter as still a year from its release, and Instagram was 5 years away. Since his book came out, networking for business has changed. 

Or has it?

The more things have changed, the more many things have stayed the same.

In episode 470 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" Thom Singer talks about how he has revisited his views on networking and building relationships. The tools that exist today have changed the game, and this has caused him to rewirte all his speeches to be relevant in 2019 and beyond.

But much of the message is the same. People are still people and we get opportunities from other humans, not from likes or links. 

Listen to this episode and hear his review of his own book, but also the 5 key points that matter now:

1. Be relevant in your community
2. Its not about numbers, the quality relationships are where the opportunities come from
3. You are always being watched and reviewed. You are always "on", as people can find information about you in all areas of your life.
4. Choose people. There are times to put the electronics down and engage.
5. There is not online networking and face-to-face networking. There is only "Networking". Combine it all as one. 

https://www.thomsinger.com/podcast/new-networking

Direct download: CTED_470.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

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.
 
Direct download: CTED_469.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29pm EDT

How To Stay Focused At Work

Do you struggle with distractions throughout your day? Ever get to 6:00 PM and realize you have been busy, but have little results to show for your efforts? Thom Singer understands. He is not one who naturally stays on task. He often finds himself chasing activities down the rabbit hole.

In episode 468 Thom shares how after a week of being off task, how the course corrected and go things done by doing simple things that made him choose the right tasks.

He has seven tips:

1. Know your long term goals
2. Prioritize your tasks. Make sure you do the important ones.
3. Pay attention to health: exercise, eat right, hydrate
4. Check your emails once an hour or less
5. Make a daily to-do list from your longer list of priorities
6 Stay off social media.
7. Don't let jerks, office gossip, or what others think about you keep you from doing your work

Take a listen to this episode and see if it helps you get things done.

https://thomsinger.com/podcast/stay-focused-at-work

Direct download: CTED_468.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11pm EDT

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. 
 
 
About Woven
 
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.
 
Direct download: CTED_467.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

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.
 
Direct download: CTED_466.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EDT

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. 

Janice Omadeke is the CEO and Founder of The Mentor Method, an enterprise platform helping companies keep and develop their diverse talent using the proven power of mentorship. 

Using a double-blind algorithm, The Mentor Method is closing the opportunity equity gap in the workplace. 

Her company won Capital Factory's Women in Tech Challenge, is a MassChallenge Texas Gold winner, and has been featured in The Washington Business Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, is a Startup to Watch in 2018 from DC Inno, and a 2017 Startup Grind Global Exhibition selection. 

Janice served as a DC Ambassador at SXSW, was selected to attend The 2016 White House Summit on Building the Tech Workforce of Tomorrow, and a top 10 finalist in Rent the Runway's Project Entrepreneur. 

Janice Omadeke is certified in entrepreneurship from MIT, built a mentorship program scratch as a Manager at PwC, and is PMP certified with over 10 years of corporate leadership experience for Fortune 500 companies.

https://www.thomsinger.com/podcast/

Direct download: CTED_465.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:46am EDT

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.

7 Tips For Business Motivation

1. Set clear goals.
2. Work at a realistic pace
3. Remember your "because"
4. Surround yourself with cool people.
5. Try New Things (https://www.trynewthings.shop)
6. Read or listen to inspiring people's work
7. Celebrate the small wins

https://www.thomsinger.com/business-motivation

Direct download: CTED_464.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01am EDT

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. 


Ryan Spong is a reformed investment banker, successful partner and restaurateur of the popular Tacofino and Superbaba brands in Vancouver, and now CEO and co-founder of the Vancouver-based food-tech startup, Foodee. He is a founding board member of the Knives & Forks Investment Co-op where he advocates for local businesses and economies.


Ryan was recruited from his MBA at the University of Toronto in 2003 to a formal career in investment banking. Three years later, he founded Mainstreet Advisors, a boutique financing company. There, he and his team raised tens of millions of dollars for public companies, some of which he served as CEO and CFO. Over the years, he started, grew and sold several innovative businesses, including Raincity Rock and Preform Construction. In 2010, he invested in Tacofino Cantina and helped lead its growth to eight stores. In 2013, he joined Foodee as CEO and put in place growth strategies that led to the 2017 and 2018 Deloitte Fast50 Awards.


He and his family live in the growing tech startup hub of Mount Pleasant in Vancouver, BC. Ryan recently moved Foodee’s Vancouver headquarters to the heart of technology startup culture in the shared, collaborative workspaces of WeWork.

https://www.food.ee

Direct download: CTED_463.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

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.

His ten tips in this episode include:

1. Have a clear vision
2. Be self-aware
3. Be Brave and work past fear
4. Build a good network and reputation
5. Be open to feedback
6. Manage your potential
7. Try new things
8. Find tune your skills
9. Make it easy to work with you
10. Never give up.

Check out Episode 462 of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast and hear this inspiring message.

https://www.thomsinger.com/podcast/top-motivational-speakers

Direct download: CTED_462.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55am EDT

Check out episode 461 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" where Shawn Rhodes talks about his journey to entrepreneurship and why systems matter in business.

Shawn Rhodes is an international expert in creating high-performing organizations. He's a Tampa-based TEDx speaker and his work studying organizations in more than two dozen countries has been published in news outlets around the world including TIME, CNN, NBC, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and INC. His clients have included Deloitte, ConAgra, Serta-Sealy and Coca-Cola and dozens of similar businesses. Shawn is also a nationally-syndicated columnist with the Business Journals and author of the new book "Pivot Point: Turn On A Dime Without Sacrificing Results."

https://www.thomsinger.com/podcast/systems-matter

http://www.shoshinconsulting.com

http://www.speakersalessystems.com

Direct download: CTED_461.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08pm EDT

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.
 
Direct download: CTED_460.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Check out episode 459 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" for an chat about the importance of entrepreneurship with lifetime entrepreneur Jim Hunter. 

James H Hunter III is a Serial Entrepreneur & Co-Founder of DynaTrap® (Dynamic Solutions Worldwide, LLC)

Hunter is engaged in many entrepreneurial enterprises. He started an industrial products company (Handle-It, Inc.) in 1976 that is now a $6 million sales company. He started teaching, and continues to teach, the Entrepreneurship Class at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 1996, training over 1,000 upper classmen at the Lubar School of Business in the art of Entrepreneurship. In 2014, Hunter joined with four other executives, who were related to the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, to form a new company to supply unique metal-matrix composites for use in internal combustion engines and other rotating mechanical devices. Hunter, for the past 20 years, has been a Board Member at Economics Wisconsin, a non-profit that promotes free market economics to elementary and secondary school students. 

In 2010, Hunter co-founded Dynamic Solutions Worldwide, LLC, manufacturer of the DynaTrap® insect and mosquito trap, a safe, silent and simple way to attract, trap and kill mosquitoes – both outdoors and indoors. The company has introduced for 2020, the DynaTrap® Discreet Outlet Trap (DOT), an award-winning discreet indoor solution to those pesky flying insects in the home and garage. Like all DynaTrap® products, the DynaTrap® DOT does not use pesticides and it is odor-free. From its start in 2010, Dynamic Solutions Worldwide, LLC has grown to a level of sales of $35.2 million for 2019.

Direct download: CTED_459.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

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.  
 
 
************************
Direct download: CTED_458.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:45pm EDT

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.  

 

As an artist manager, he has represented the legendary underground musician and artist Daniel Johnston for more than 20 years.  

 

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.

 

Https://www.thomsinger.com/podcast/Austin-city-limits

Direct download: CTED_457.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:15pm EDT

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.
 
Direct download: CTED_456.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

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.
 
About Valkyrie:
 
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
 
Direct download: CTED_455.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24pm EDT

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.

ChooseFI blends personal finance, entrepreneurship and personal development as a life optimization strategy that focuses on intentionality, freedom, community and ultimately happiness.
Jonathan has a PharmD Degree from VCU and started his career as a pharmacist with $168,000 in student loans. He aggressively paid off the loans in 4.5 years and using the tenets of Financial Independence to cut his life expenses significantly, coupled with his business startup, he left his corporate job to focus on full-time entrepreneurship 9 months after starting the podcast.

https://www.choosefi.com

https://thomsinger.com/podcast/jonathan-mendonsa

Direct download: CTED_454.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am EDT

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.
 
About Lendio

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.
 
Direct download: CTED_453.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54am EDT

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.

When he was younger Thom had wanted to do stand up, but never had the guts to try it. But in his 50s his motto is "Try New Things", so when invited to accompany Drew Tarvin to an open mic in New York City, he said YES.

He was not great (but he did not bomb). But it was a solid push out of his comfort zone. Thus he decided to keep with it. He committed to doing 100 open mic nights to see what he would learn.

He is not at 50 open mics, and has performed in two comedy shows (was even paid once). 

But more than the comedy, the experience is teaching Thom about business and life. The learning is huge. 

Comedy is the hardest use of the spoken word. With over 800 professional speeches and 452 podcast episodes, Thom is not shy about being in front of people, but doing stand up has been hard. And he has bombed a few times.

But spending time with comics is teaching him things about business. In this episode he talks about four of those things:

1. Work hard. The comics that make it work hard. They do not half-ass even an open mic night. They put in the time to ensure they are prepared and they treat their comedy as a real job.

2. Craft the details. The success is in the small things. The best comics will work on fine tuning a joke time after time. They realize that good enough is not the answer.

3. Never say die. 100% of the people who quit never make it to the top. If you want to succeed you keep going.

4. Try New Things. This is Thom's life motto. He sees it in the best comics. They try new jokes and new ways to tell them. If you are not satisfied with your results, change your actions.

Direct download: CTED_452.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:14pm EDT

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.
Direct download: CTED_451.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EDT

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.

This episode is about finding you way toward better performance. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and never take the necessary actions to reaching your potential.

Thom is a solopreneur who has over ten years of experience working for himself, but he often has had those days where he gets nothing done. Since developing his habit of asking these questions on most days he has seen more achievements (he is human and forgets and blows up his routine with busy work sometimes).

Thom Singer's "Curious Questions"

1. What really matters?
2. What brings you joy?
3. How will this impact the business (or your life)?
4. How will this impact others?
5. If you succeed, how will you feel?
6. What did you learn today?
7. What action did you take today?
8. What will you do tomorrow?
9. Who should you meet?
10. Who can you help?

https://www.ThomSinger.com

Direct download: CTED_450.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

Ryan Santwire is a born and raised Northwest product, growing up in the greater Seattle area.  He truly loves the Seattle area, calling it one of the greatest cities in the country, with so much to do and everyone has something in common - dodging rain drops and mud puddles.  

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 restaurantthen 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 were 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 theyve 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 TLCs 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 info@paseorestaurants.com.  

Direct download: CTED_449.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

New book by Damian Mason - "Do Business Better"

Damian Mason speaks on the two subjects he knows best: Business and Agriculture. Since 1994, he has spoken to nearly 2,000 audiences in all 50 states and 7 foreign countries. 

Damian is a graduate of Purdue University. He also studied comedy writing and improvisation at The Second City – Chicago. Damian is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the National Speakers Association. He is one of only 900 public speakers in the world to hold the Certified Speaking Professional designation. 

When he’s not traveling for work, Damian can be found on his Indiana farm with his wife Lori or escaping from winter at their Arizona residence.

Direct download: CTED_448.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT

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.
Direct download: CTED_447.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am EDT

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.

The journey has been difficult. When he was let go from his job he knew there were not many opportunities in marketing available, so he decided to jump in full time to making a go at professional speaking.

Being a professional speaker was something he had dreamed of doing. While working in a career in sales and marketing he had attended a lot of events that featured motivational speakers and other thought leaders. Because he was not sure he was in the right job, he would watch these presentations and think "They have a cooler job than I do".

Alas he had not choice but to follow his dream, and in 2009 he went full steam ahead into a career as a professional speaker.

His family and friends were supportive. Many people in his network when out of their way to make introductions to companies and associations that hosted meetings and got him considered for the keynote speech.

But the most important thing that happen was meeting other speakers. It was connections he made in the National Speakers Association who showed him how to do the business side of being a professional speaker. Being good on stage is just one part.

In this episode Thom shares his journey. He openly talks about the ups and the downs of the last decade. 

Check out Episode 446 and hear Thom Singer's story about becoming a professional speaker and sustaining that for over ten years.

https://www.ThomSinger.com

Direct download: CTED_446.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36am EDT

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. 
Direct download: CTED_445.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:28pm EDT

“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:
 
  1. Take ownership of your own life.
  2. Set goals.
  3. Work hard, even in the face of fear.
  4. Connect with people.
  5. Ask for help
  6. Do good work
  7. Accept that change happens (and some of that change will suck).
  8. Show gratitude to the people who help you.
  9. Try New Things
  10. Believe in yourself.
 
Check out episode 444 and decide for yourself if the American Dream is dead (No, it is not).
Direct download: CTED_444.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54pm EDT

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. 
 
(512) 944-8470
Direct download: CTED_443.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm EDT

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/article/making-attendees-the-star-of-the-show).  
 
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 
Direct download: CTED_442.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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.
Direct download: CTED_441.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

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.
 
Direct download: CTED_440.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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 

Join Underminer Studios CEO, Alex Porter and CTO Timothy Porter for a look into their startup company and how Austin has played a role in their growth. They are candid about working together as a married couple and how they navigate emerging technology markets. 

Underminer utilizes Visualization Technology like Augmented and Virtual Reality as well as Volumetric Video to design innovative products for business that will help define the future of human-computer interaction. 

Alex’s background in physical and digital design started with her education in Interior Design and made its way to founding a tech company. She drives the vison for the company with a focus on how their work can contribute to accessibility and functional uses for technology.

Tim spent a decade in games and movies specializing in optimization, automation, and pipelines. He uses many of those entertainment paradigms in leading-edge technology applications across health, marketing, education, and business tool creation. 

Together they are working to humanize the digital world. They were both recognized by Intel Software as 2018 Top Innovators. Austin is home to their family which includes their two young kids, a cat, and their business. 

Check out this interview with host Thom Singer.

https://underminerstudios.com/

https://www.thomsinger.com/podcast

Direct download: CTED_439.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am EDT

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
 
University faculty-turned-entrepreneur, Jill Schiefelbein is an award-winning business owner, author, and recovering academic. She taught business communication at Arizona State University for 11 years, analyzed terrorist documents to provide counter-terrorism messaging strategies to the military, and was a pioneer in the digital education space, creating an office serving 60,000 students and—with no staff or operational budget—adding $1M in revenue in its first year. 

Today, Jill resides in New York City and runs The Dynamic Communicator®, providing custom communication training and strategies for her clients—through workshops, keynote 438
speaking, consulting, and virtual training.
 
She’s helped clients all over the spectrum learn dynamic communication skills: from Boomers, to Millennials, to Generation Z, from Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and even some reluctant professional athletes. 
She's a VIP contributor to Entrepreneur, and a livestream video personality. She has a syndicated YouTube channel that teaches communication skills and reaches thousands each week. Her latest book, Dynamic Communication: 27 Strategies to Grow, Lead, and Manage Your Business, is in bookstores around the country.
 
Direct download: CTED_438.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27pm EDT

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.
Direct download: CTED_437.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

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.
Direct download: CTED_436.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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-speaker-success.com/
 
Check out his first interview on Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do from August 2016.  https://thomsinger.com/podcast/long-term-success-with-garrison-wynn/
 
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.
Direct download: CTED_435.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am EDT

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.

To be a good leader, you must begin by leading yourself in a direction of more success. 

Thom Singer takes this episode of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast into the explorations of self leadership.

If you are living as a fraud, others may not know it... but you are very award. People cannot lead self if they are out of sync with their own soul. You may be acting bigger than reality, or selling yourself short. Either way, if you are not honest with yourself, you will bounce around lost for a long time.

Confidence is important, but over confidence or under-confidence are a fine line away. 

How you communicate with others will impact your ability to lead, but also you ability to self lead. If others are always mis-understanding you and your intentions, then you are probably not internally clear as to who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. 

The best leaders want to always be learning and growing ("those of you listening to his podcast are clearly good leaders, as you come here to learn and grow").

Be aware of who you are is hard, and often even harder for younger people. We spend a lot of time doing what we think is expected of us in our lives and careers. Somewhere around age 35 most people come to be aware of who they are (the good stuff and the bad stuff). That awareness allows you to be honest about your intentions and motivations. The games you have to play in relationships lessen, since you no longer are hiding your true self (from others of from yourself).

Becoming less judgmental of others is a big part of knowing your own strengths and weaknesses. 

To lead yourself you have to define your goals. Having goals make it easy to navigate the tough decisions we all face daily. 

Knowing your purpose is key. This is not some trendy "Know your why" statement, but instead a clarifying point where you realize that when you know your purpose in every interaction with others, you make a difference. This is how you leave a legacy.

And in the end, the person who masters great self leadership will have influence on others. Followers line up for the leader who knows about their purpose and can clearly communicate that message. 

Listen to episode 434 and share it with a friend.

*****

Thom Singer is a motivational keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies / emcee. If you are planning a meeting, call Thom to discover if the is the right fit to have a meaningful impact on your conference. https://www.ThomSinger.com

Direct download: CTED_43428R29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

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.
Direct download: CTED_433.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am EDT

The same efforts and same agenda will not produce new results.

No matter what industry you work in, the guess is that you, your employees, your products and services, your vendors, and your customers are all caught up in the same routines. 

It happens in all industries. Thom Singer wrote an article for the February 2019 "Meeting Professionals Magazine" titled TRY NEW THINGS (page 30) about how one of his clients totally re-thought their opening general session. 

For decades this group, like most associations, had an opening business session that included a famous keynote speaker. But in 2018 they wanted to try something new. No Keynote. (As a keynote speaker himself, Thom does not advocate for killing off the keynote! Ha). 

Instead, they created a 2 1/2 hours general session that focused on the brilliance of their members, sponsors, and other industry VIPs. They hired Thom to help facilitate the session, and got hundreds of people to engage and share best practices instead of sitting by and listening.

It was a huge success, but it was not without risk. They had to get buy in from the attendees in advance to ensure that all stake holders were on the same page. If it had not worked out, they needed people to be positive about the concept of trying new things.

Thom also shares in this episode two other clients who wanted to shake up their conference with new experience driven ideas. 

But this is not just about the meetings industry. Everyone should be looking for ways to have more experiential interactions with customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc.....

Check out episode 432 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" and see if you are inspired to try something new. 

http://www.TryNewThings.shop

http://www.ThomSinger.com

Direct download: CTED_432.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:23pm EDT

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". 
Rob Kaczmarek is the managing director for projekt202. Rob has a love and passion for introducing innovation and transforming experiences Globally. He has an entrepreneurial background launching two global technology companies and a service company aimed at transforming peoples’ experience with technology. With a background firmly rooted in Computer Science he has spent his career bringing innovation to challenging markets and worked with the likes of Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Amazon, Formula 1, Roush Yates, McLaren, BMW, GE, Rolls Royce and numerous others to implement technology into the engineering and retail industries.

With over 15 years perfecting our approach, projekt202 has the experience, teams, skills and scale to deliver sophisticated software solutions that improve any and all touchpoints across the user journey.

projekt202 is the leader in applying experience strategy and observational insights to the development of mobile, cloud, web and workplace software. The company is actively redefining the user experience (UX) and changing the ways people interact with technology around the world. Recognized by industry analysts for setting the standard for the way modern businesses develop software, projekt202 builds emotionally rich, resonant solutions that enable customers and end users to fully realize technology’s potential in today’s connected world.

Check out episode 431 of the “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast as Rob has a powerful conversation, with host Thom Singer, about entrepreneurship, business success, and the Austin tech scene.

Direct download: CTED_431.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:27am EDT

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).

The Holy Shit Moment Book

After years of helping people change, James Fell had a sudden insight about sudden insight: significant life change doesn’t often come from just putting one foot in front of the other, carefully observing and altering habits, slogging through baby steps toward new behavior. Rather, the research reveals that serious life turnaround usually happens in a moment, with a flash of inspiration. Epiphany arrives like a lightning strike, rapidly shifting the recipient of such enlightenment onto a new path that creates a better life.

Motivational psychology has traditionally focused on slow and steady―gradual improvement over time to reach a desired goal, whether it’s weight loss, career change, battling addiction, or success in relationships. We’ve been told since toddlerhood that the tortoise beats the hare. But, through compelling science and powerful stories, James Fell shows us that the hare has the edge; overwhelming desire can be awakened fast and furiously. When you learn to become attuned to that sensation of sudden awakening, a new path can be followed almost effortlessly, because it feels like destiny.

Everyone has the ability to experience the lightning strike. The Holy Sh!t Moment will teach you how to create a life-changing epiphany and go directly from intention to action.

Check out episode 430 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" to hear James Fell share how to create change.

http://www.BodyForWife.com

Direct download: CTED_430.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

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 JournalDaily Globe and MailFinancial TimesInvestor’s Business DailyInc. and many other publications.
 
Phil lives in Tampa, Florida where he spends his free time reading business books, listening to podcasts, and playing pinball.
Direct download: CTED_429.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38pm EDT

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. 

Please note that this episode is all about discovering and connecting with speakers. 

Why hire a speaker? Often an expert with an outside view is just what your company or association needs to get fresh ideas. Too many people will tune out their co-workers, but based on third party suggestions will take new actions.

Some roll their eyes at motivation, but Singer believes that all speakers need to be “Motivational Speakers”, as the opposite is not good for your meeting (de-motivating?). 

Before you begin you must know all the details of your meeting and be clear on the desired outcomes. Do you want the speaker for an hour or three hours? Is it your desire they stay all day and be part of your event? Should the speaker be experienced on stage or is their knowledge enough? Does your group prefer a lot of interaction? All of these things must be determined before you start your search.

To find great speakers start by asking your co-workers, friends, vendors, clients, and even competitors who they had seen speak in the last year that could be a good fit for your event.

Next turn to any speakers you have worked with in the past. The best motivational speakers have other friends in the business, and they know who is good and who is great. 

Be aware that professional speakers may cost more than you think. Celebrities can cost over $25,000 for a one hour talk. There are many factors that determine the free that a speaker charges, but you can always try to negotiate (within reason).

If you or someone you know is looking for some tips on hiring a speaker, check out this episode.

Direct download: CTED_428.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32pm EDT

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.
 
Direct download: CTED_42.7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Business Growth Ideas 

As business owners we know this journey can be hard and lonely. Attracting new customers is the most important thing we can do, but it is easy to get lost in the weed of developing new products and services, meeting payroll, customer service, and serving existing customers. 

On the “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast Thom Singer has worked hard to interview business executives, small business owners, and solopreneurs to get a cross section of fresh ideas that can inspire listeners to grow their business.

Success leaves clues, so getting around others who own and run a successful business is the best way to get fresh ideas. After a flat 2018, Thom is supercharged to make this new year his best year ever. If you want to grow your business, then you have to listen to this episode of the CTED Podcast and join him in this year’s growth journey.

Thom believes that all opportunities come from people, so part of his growth plan is to extend his network. He has done a few things to match with the four legs to his business table:

Connect with more people - NETWORK
Attend educational events
Develop an outbound strategy
Improve “Findability” and SEO / Social Media

http://www.ThomSinger.com

Direct download: CTED_426.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15am EDT

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.
 
Direct download: CTED_425.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

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.

Thom Singer has been fortunate to have several people who have helped him along the way in his career. He met these mentors through volunteering, at work, through professional associations, and via networking. 

He also serves as a mentor to others, especially two young professionals who he has worked with for over 6 years. They have become like family, and he realizes that his level of mentor / mentee connection is rare, he also understands that it is valuable for the both the mentees and the mentor. 

Check out this episode for tips on how to find a mentor. 

1. Realize you have to develop a relationship before asking someone to be your mentor. Successful executives are no waiting for strangers to call and ask for this level of commitment, but once someone knows you and sees a reason for the relationship, they just might be willing to help. 

2. Being a mentee is give and take, Do not just assume the mentor has no needs or that you cannot help them find more success. Keep your eyes and ears open and look for ways to help them grow their business or meet key people. If you help someone they are more likely to notice you exist, and then be willing to serve in a more official way as your mentor.

3. The mentee must own the relationship in the early stages. If you want grow a meaningful connection with your mentor, you have to be the one who calls them and schedules your getting together (by phone or in person). Your mentor is busy, and probably has never been a mentor before, so you must instigate the ongoing conversations (at least early on).

4. Do what is asked of you. If your mentor gives you a suggestion or advice, take action and then report back. If the advice does not resonate with you, that is okay, but let them know why you did not do anything. 

5. Be flexible on when you meet. Do not expect your mentor to move his schedule to accommodate yours. If early morning or a weekend is the best time for them to meet, that is when you meet.

6. Remember that you must make all decisions. You cannot ask you mentor to make decisions for you. A mentor is a guide, but you have to take ownership of the decisions you make. 

7. Be open and honest with your mentor. You must tell your mentor the whole story (even if you do not look good), as they cannot properly advise you without all the knowledge of the situation. 

All opportunities come from people, and a mentor can directly and indirectly impact the future success that you will have in life and career. If you are fortunate enough to find a real mentor, cherish that person. A real powerful mentor will help you from making the same mistakes that others have made, and thus let you accomplish more. 

https://www.ThomSinger.com

Direct download: CTED_424.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

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. 
 
Direct download: CTED_423.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm EDT

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.

Since his conversation about coming up short last year, many people have commented that they understood the feeling of last year not being their best. Getting refocused for entrepreneurs and sales professionals is important, and there is no time to waste. 

Thom believes we need to have a plan and "Try New Things" (http://www.trynewthing.shop). To be more attentive to his sales for the new year he spent several weeks reviewing his past and present situation, and had to be brutally honest with himself about why he came up short. 

Sales is the life-blood of any enterprise. You do not have to be the entrepreneur or the sales person to care about how business development is progressing. Everyone is in sales.

Thom has five tips for selling more in 2019. He has implemented them in his own business, and just a week into the new year he is seeing some momentum and is excited about where the rest of the year is going.

1. Have a strategy. Thom is honest that he has spent too much of the last decade relying on word of mouth. While this has worked well, hoping the phone will ring is NOT a strategy. Thus he now has a plan in place that is changing up how he acts on a daily basis. 

2. Your attitude matters. Failure is not an option, and feeling sorry for your past failures is not going to bet you to new results. Thom encourages everyone to believe in their products and services and to believe in themselves. But cautions that having a thick skin is key in sales, as some people are going to say "NO". A rejection is not personal, it was just not the right fit for that client, and each "NO" brings you closer to the next "YES".

3. Understand your clients. We cannot tell people what they want to buy. If we want to sell (and we all want to sell), we need to analyze what the client needs and wants. We also have to understand that there might be more than one constituency within each client.

4. Visibility / Findabililty / Social / Networking. The world of connecting with people and showing up on their "Short List" is not about one thing. SEO, word of mouth, networking, reputation ,etc.... all are intertwined. To get success we cannot ignore any of these and must get them all working together.

5. Take action and have accountability. Ideas alone are not enough. To get more sales you have to take actions. Thom is all about actions in 2019 and thinks you can be too. He also share the importance having people who will hold you accountable and check in on your progress. Great sales professionals do not live alone on an island.

Make 2019 your best year ever. Get focused on sales and make thing happen.

https://www.ThomSinger.com

Direct download: CTED_422.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12am EDT

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.
Direct download: CTED_421.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:26pm EDT

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.

Thom Singer is honest that 2018 was not great. It was not horrible, but he came us short in business and is ready to launch into 2019 with a fresh perspective. 

If you can relate, then this episode is a "MUST HEAR".

Thom has 7 tips for making a fresh start in 2019:

1. Learn from your hard-knocks in 2018

2. Take action now.

3. Don't dwell on the mistakes you made.

4. Set goals.

5. Try New Things (http://www.trynewthings.shop)

6. Build your network.

7. Be realistic.

If you want to be part of something bigger in 2019... join the Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do community (check out the Facebook page, Twitter, etc...). Reach out to Thom and start a conversation. 

Thom is all about making 2019 "The Year of Human Connection".... and it starts with you.


http://www.ThomSinger.com

Direct download: CTED_420.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14pm EDT

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