Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do
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

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