Thu, 28 February 2019
Michael Smerklo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Austin-based venture capital firm Next Coast Ventures. NCV provides early-stage capital to high-growth startups in ‘Next Coast’ markets, using macro trends and themes to guide their investment strategy.
Michael has been in the technology industry for almost 20 years as an operator, investor and board member/advisor. Michael currently sits on the board of NCV portfolio companies Tenfold, Navegate, LeanDNA and AlertMedia. He serves as a board observer for NCV portfolio companies EverlyWell, Stoplight and Cloverpop. Previously, he served on the board of OnRamp (acquired in July 2018) as well as SPS Commerce (NASDAQ: SPSC).
Prior to founding NCV, Michael was an investor and advisor to emerging growth companies in Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas from 2014-2015 via his personal entity, True North Ventures LLC. From 2003 to 2014, Michael served as CEO (and Chairman from 2008-2015) of ServiceSource International, a company he acquired via a search fund, at a time when the company had one office, 35 employees and a few million dollars in revenue. Under Michael’s direction, ServiceSource grew from a groundbreaking idea into a publicly-traded company that is the market leader in Recurring Revenue Management (NASDAQ: SREV). Michael was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Award Finalist in Northern California in 2010. Michael retired as CEO in 2014 and from the Chairman role in 2015 as part of his planned relocation to Austin.
Prior to ServiceSource, Michael was an early employee at Loudcloud (renamed Opsware), working closely with Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz in Business Development. He previously worked at Morgan Stanley (Silicon Valley Technology Investment Banking), Lehman Brothers (M&A) and Ernst & Young (Audit, CPA).
Michael received his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern (with distinction) and a BS in Accounting from the Miami University (Ohio). Michael is an active member of Young President Organization (YPO) in Silicon Valley. He is also an active blogger, focused on the Entrepreneur’s Journey, on his personal site www.mikesmerklo.com.
Tue, 26 February 2019
Most surveys show that the New Year's Resolutions we set are abandoned by the end of February. People set goals, and then the routines of their life set in and we fall into the same path we have been walking for a long time.
Thom Singer believes in goal setting and New Year's Resolutions. While he knows that most people never do much with working long toward their goals, for those who do, it can be magical. But it is not about reaching to goal, the success in in the progress you make along the way.
As humans, we like the idea of a "fresh start". This is why birthdays, anniversaries, and New Year's Day are such a big deal. We get to move ahead with a new path. We get excited about that potential, but potential is not a solution. Potential does not equal results. The key here is "performance".
In observing peak performers, Thom Singer has seen a pattern. There are things people do who reach come closer to reaching their potential, than those who are stuck in a rut (Thom believes that you never really reach your potential, as once you climb a mountain you find bigger mountains to climb). Peak performers keep trying and they enjoy the journey.
Peak performers take action. Many people feel they are coming up short, and those are often the same people doing the same routine day after day. Those who are achieving more are not static in their actions.
What Peak Performers Do:
1. Peak performers "Try New Things" and pivot off actions that are not working.
2. Peak performers take ownership of their life.
3. Peak performers set goals.
4. Peak performers are not sidelined by doubt and fear
5. Peak performers connect with people and show gratitude
6. Peak performers believe in themselves.
Check out episode 436 of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" podcast. If you like this episode, please share it on social media or with your friends.
Thu, 21 February 2019
Let’s Talk Funny
Nothing is less funny than a podcast interview about comedy. Episode 435 is an interview with comedian motivational speaker Garrison Wynn. This conversation covers a lot of ground about his career and what makes things funny.
Garrison got into stand up comedy early, and it has impacted his whole career. He has seen a lot of things between the world of comedy, the Fortune 500, and the speaking business.
Nine months after his first open mic he was earning a living as a comic.
Today he is a professional keynote speaker. On this episode we dive deep into comedy. Garrison has had a very interesting career path, and he is very open in this interview.
It is hard to find funny in some rooms. You need the right environment to get the humor to connect with the audience. Most people, even when they are funny, do not realize what makes them funny. There are many things that go into making humor work.
About Garrison Wynn
Garrison helps people make the jump from being great at what they do to developing the qualities it takes to be consistently chosen for the job. He gets them to understand why their products, services, or leadership styles-or those of their competitors-are selected. As he says, “If the world agreed on what’s best, everybody would choose the best and nothing else would be considered. Decision making doesn’t work that way.” His presentations help people become more influential regardless of circumstances.
With talents that established him as a Fortune 500 leader and professional stand-up comedian, Garrison Wynn, CSP, fuses comic timing and research to deliver motivational business expertise.
For 20 years, he has given keynote presentations to clients (such as American Express, Wells Fargo, Oracle and NASA) at corporate and association events. He is the author of the Amazon bestseller The Real Truth about Success, the Amazon #1 bestseller The Cowbell Principle, has been a weekly contributor to the Washington Post and featured Forbes and Inc. Magazines.
In his teens he debuted the world’s first video gaming system (Odyssey) with baseball legend Hank Aaron and as a young man spent 6 years touring comedy clubs with the top names in the business. He went on to become the youngest department head in a Fortune 500 company’s history where he researched and designed processes for 38 company locations nationwide and developed & marketed products still being sold in 30 countries.
Garrison Wynn can be booked through your favorite speakers bureau or directly at https://www.motivational-
Check out his first interview on Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do from August 2016. https://thomsinger.com/
About Thom Singer
Thom Singer is the host of the “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” podcast. He is also a motivational keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies. Thom took up stand up comedy at age 51 and began visiting comedy clubs, bars and coffee shops for open mic nights all over the country.
While he is not a comedian, he as become a student of humor. He does not put jokes into his keynote speeches, he has learned that comedy is the best teacher of timing and audience engagement.
Tue, 19 February 2019
Leaders must have followers. You cannot set up to set the pace if the other people behind you don't care what you think and do not respect you.
Thu, 14 February 2019
Zach Benson is one of the standouts in the world of influencer marketing. A TEDx speaker, social-media trainer for international brands like The Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and ViceRoy, and past participant on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Benson doesn’t just manage his own Instagram network of millions; he’s also the founder of Assistagram, where he’s guiding other influencers and Fortune 500 companies into social-media success.
Lastly, he is the founder of 6 Figure Dancer Academy, where he teaches other dancers the exact step-by-step system that he used to create a profitable 6-figure dancing business, traveling the world.
What you probably don’t know is that Benson’s childhood resembled something far closer to outright failure than the kind of wins he has experienced today.
At only 4 months old, Benson, who was born in South Korea, was adopted by his parents in the States, where he was taken home to Des Moines, Iowa. Benson was one of the very few Asian kids in his school.
Benson was bullied and abused by his peers in school due to his ethnicity. On top of looking different, he sounded different too. Benson was diagnosed with a speech impediment and was placed in speech therapy classes. And to top it off, Benson was diagnosed with ADHD and consistently found himself getting in trouble at school.
With this type of background, many people would assume that these were the characteristics of somebody who was headed down a dark road. Many of us have never had to face daily battles against racism, learning impairments, or even the inability to talk properly, but a combination of all three seems unthinkable.
Like anything, though, change is a series of small steps, starting with one foot in front of the other. Benson told me how he implemented this in his own life.
For a man who was bullied, judged, and ostracised, it would seem human to simply give up,but Benson did not. Instead, he focused on moving the meter forward every day.
With this type of mentality, it makes it easier to silence that voice in your head that whispers all of your shortcomings to you. By being persistent and showing up every day to work towards your goals, you can overcome some incredible obstacles like Benson has. There is no barrier to your success.
Ask Yourself These Questions
“Should I do it?
Can I do it?
Do I want to do it?
For Benson, success is in the execution of the ideas and not in the ideation. “There are many of us who wait for the right moment when in reality that moment does not exist,” Benson said.
We feel that if we wait long enough, everything is just going to be perfect. Well, waiting means sitting and hoping. Accomplishing means getting up and chasing what is yours. Be curious in life and be open to venture off the perfect path and discover what is not visible to most.
By supplying yourself with answers to these three questions and immediately acting upon opportunities, you set yourself apart from almost all of your competitors and peers who spend their time wishing for the right moment.
These questions allow Benson to keep his internal compass focused so that even if he ventures off in a new direction, it aligns with who he is. Benson has shown us that whatever impairment you have in front of you can always be overturned with consistent progress and the ability to take action.
“The past is the past, the only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes. In my experience, it’s the ones that make the most mistakes and actually learn from them that grow the fastest,” said Benson.
Make mistakes, learn, and suck it up.
Yes, life is hard. You must confront the brutal facts of reality that life is hard but things will get better in the future if you keep working and developing yourself and comparing yourself to your best self, you will become the person you want to be in future,” says Benson.
This is the type of advice we all need to hear at some point in time.
To follow more of Zach’s incredible journey and what he stands for you can visit his personal site, Assistagram, and connect with him on Facebook
Check out episode 433 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" and hear more from Zach Benson.
Tue, 12 February 2019
The same efforts and same agenda will not produce new results.
Thu, 7 February 2019
This episode is co-produced with the Austin Technology Council, the regions largest tech industry organization who empower members by using insights, resources, and connections their members need to succeed and thrive".
Tue, 5 February 2019
James S. Fell, MA, MBA, has bylines in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, TIME Magazine, and many other publications. His blog, BodyForWife.com, has millions of readers and he is the author of two books: The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant (St. Martin’s Press, 2019), and Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind (Random House Canada, 2014).
Thu, 31 January 2019
Episode 429 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" features a return visit to the show from Phil Gerbyshak. Phil and Thom Singer candidly discuss issues around the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology, and spend a lot of time unpacking the power of using LinkedIn.
Phil Gerbyshak is Connected
Phil has interviewed Tom Peters, Sally Helgesen, Seth Godin, Tim Sanders, Carol Roth, Bob Burg and a host of other great people.
Phil is an active member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and has spoken at many of the regional chapter meetings on social selling and the power of connecting the right way on social media.
Phil has been featured on the cover of Speaker Magazine, and also frequently contributes articles.
When he’s not traveling, Phil does a weekly show on social media called #SocialChatter on Facebook Live here. It’s unscripted, unedited, real and raw.
Phil Gerbyshak is Wired
Phil is a technology geek who is always trying the latest and greatest tools so you don’t have to. He’s kicked the tires for you and can recommend the right tool for your needs and budget, whether it’s scheduling social media posts, livestreaming, transcribing, video editing, etc.
Phil has been recognized as the Best of BeLive (livestreaming platform) by Ross Brand and Rachel Moore.
Check out Tuesday Tool Day with Phil on his blog to learn about what’s new and hot.
Phil Gerbyshak is Experienced
Phil Gerbyshak is a former vice president of information technology at a full-service financial services company, where he and his team were responsible for supporting over 100 applications used by advisors, investment bankers, research analysts and support staff.
Phil also worked as a director of social strategy for a compliance software vendor focused on the financial services vertical where he coached, consulted and trained customers and prospects on integrating social media and social selling into their daily sales practices.
Currently, Phil presents programs, trains, and coaches sales organizations and small business owners on sales and marketing strategies, optimizing their use of technology and social media.
Phil Gerbyshak has written 5 books, more than 2,500 articles, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Daily Globe and Mail, Financial Times, Investor’s Business Daily, Inc. and many other publications.
Phil lives in Tampa, Florida where he spends his free time reading business books, listening to podcasts, and playing pinball.