Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do (general)

Melanie Deziel has been recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on native advertising and a leading influencer in Content Marketing. Her mission is to educate as many people as possible about the power of brand storytelling through writing, speaking, workshops, consulting, startup advising and through the native ad industry newsletter, The Overlap League.

Melanie travels the world giving keynotes, presentations and workshops that teach marketers, publishers, creators and companies how to create the best possible brand storytelling. She also shares what she’s learned in a column for Inc, on podcasts, in guest posts across the web, and as a member of the advisory board for the Native Ad Institute.

Melanie has degrees in journalism from UConn and Syracuse, of which she was one of 50 honored alums in 2015. She’s served as an executive judge of the Digiday Content Marketing Awards, the Native Ad Awards and the Mirror Awards, and was the author of the native ads that won the Best Native Advertising Execution OMMA Award in both 2014 and 2015.

Prior to becoming a full-time consultant and speaker, Melanie did content strategy, business development and branded content creation for The New York Times’s T Brand Studio, HuffPost Partner Studio, and Time Inc’s portfolio of 35+ media properties. As an Expert in Residence at BRaVe Ventures, she provided native advertising and content strategy insights, training and information to both advisory and portfolio clients.

Direct download: CTED_333.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Author of "Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World", Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today's leading organizations faced with the greatest risks.

As a strategic advisor and keynote speaker, Melissa Agnes has worked with NATO, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, global non-profits, and many others, helping them understand risk and build invincible brands that can withstand even the most devastating of events. 

In 2015, she gave a TEDx talk in Los Angeles where she discussed the secret to successful crisis management in the 21st century.

Agnes is the editor of the Crisis Ready Blog, a contributor to Forbes, and a go-to source for the press, with recent coverage including the Wall Street Journal, VIBE Magazine, USA Today, and many others.

As a university guest lecturer, Agnes teaches crisis management in university courses around the world, including at NYU and McGill.

She mentioned two amazing entrepreneurs and their books:

Michael Bungay Stanier's book, The Coaching Habit 

Phil M Jones' books, Exactly What to Say .... and .... Exactly How To Sell

Direct download: CTED_332.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm EST

Justin Schenck has been named a Top 8 Podcaster to watch in 2018 by and chosen as an ‘Icon of Influence’ in the new media space. What started out as a way to connect with top people and inspire others has become a way of life. Now getting played in over 100 countries every single week he is able to make a greater impact than he could ever imagine. He not only speaks to organizations on how to overcome adversity and utilize podcasting to grow your business but he helps others launch and grow their own podcasts with

Direct download: CTED_331.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Sometimes we experience success that takes us far, but not all the way.  From the outside people might even think you are crushing it, but you know inside that you are stuck.  But when that log jam comes at a high level, it is hard to complain to others or yourself.  Things are good.  But you want things to be great.
The middle used to be okay, as the "middle man" had a lot of power and controlled the flow of goods and services.  But in a would where more things are "direct", the middle can lead to obsolete.
Have you ever felt stuck in the high-middle? When it happens you have to be a leader if you want to advance.  Regardless of if you lead a team of 1000, 100 or just yourself, there are certain actions leaders take to help themselves and others advance. 
Real leaders are sought out by other.  
Leaders collaborate.
Crunching numbers and hiding behind statistics are not what leaders do.
Leaders are visionary, and they want to learn, observe, and try new things.
Being unique matters to leaders.
Waiting around is not what a leader does, leaders hustle.
Leaders test assumptions.
Playing big is how a leader shows up.
Leaders recognize patterns and know that success leaves clues.
In your daily efforts do you show up as a leader? If you are stuck in any way, then the time is now to become a leader.  Do not expect others to come to your rescue.  The world is more competitive than others.  Potential is good, but it is not enough.  The Paradox of Potential is about how we cherish potential, but that does not equal results.  Leaders care about results.  
Hiding behind busy is another problem.  Working 70 hours a week does not mean you are efficient. In fact, we look at busy as a faux badge of honor in today's world.  Being busy makes many people feel good, but we need to do more than clock hours.  Progress and results are key. 
Direct download: CTED_330.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Marie White has had a tough journey, but is a thriving entrepreneur. One of her most exciting businesses is Book Overhaul. She helps authors who already have a book turn their project around and re-release their masterpiece. 

Marie was born to write, but it would take one horrific event to send her into full-time writing. 

When her youngest child was abducted, the world felt upside down. Grieving with her husband and older children, she wondered how God could allow this to happen. Yet in the sea of pain, her family witnessed God’s unending love and purpose. 

She began praying for God to show her what to do with her life. His answer to her prayer was a podcast announcement that missionaries were needed. Marie trained and became a missionary with Global Media Outreach. Within the first few months she had spoken with over 300 converts to Christianity in countries all over the world.

Another of the purposes she found was that many people she knew became Christians as adults, and many had never attended Sunday School. That left a gap in their ability to understand sermons that referenced other Bible characters such as Joseph, Moses or Abraham. She started recording a YouTube channel to help new, adult, Christians learn the Bible quickly. Bible Stories for Adults was born. 

Marie started recording with a shaking voice and bad self-videography. As she put it, “I was practically hyperventilating.” She kept the series a secret, but soon her secret project had amassed over half a million views. 

Marie knew that there was more for her to do. She could see God comforting her family, making them stronger, and she began work on a book to teach others some of the things she had learned about God's goodness. That book became the Amazon best-seller, Ten Day Bible Study.

Through the loss of their child, she watched her family and church grow in ways it could only do through pain. 

Still, she knew that God had more for her to do. She began to see other people's pain differently and her eyes were opened to high rate of suicide and homelessness within the LGBT community. What could comfort someone who was hurting?

This began her journey into the Bible for verses that would offer comfort, hope and love to those within the LGBT community.

Following a strict set of standards for Biblical accuracy, verses not taken out of context, and translations that conveyed the clearest meaning, God’s Love for LGBTQI was released. 

Marie’s writing had just begun. Her next project was a book for anyone wanting a better life, titled Changing Your Life in Just Ten Days. 

Over 10,000 people have picked up a copy of Changing Your Life in Just Ten Days through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iBook and Nook. 

Next, Ten Day Bible Study was translated into modern Greek, and began being used by missionaries in Greece. 

Marie’s next project began as a how-to for families trying to survive the loss of a child through abduction, divorce, running away or being taken into foster care. The book evolved into something bigger, as she started to reach out to parents and experts in the field of grief, alienation, loss, reunification and private investigation. 

The result is a comprehensive survival guide for parents with children missing from their life. Strength for Parents of Missing Children: Surviving Divorce, Abduction, Runaways and Foster Care provides insight and direction for hurting parents. 

When she’s not working, Marie enjoys talking to people who are inspiring others.

Direct download: CTED_329.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EST

Jeff Sandefer is an entrepreneur and a teacher. As an entrepreneur, he founded a number of successful companies -- his first at age 16; his largest with billions of dollars in assets.

Business may be his day job, but Jeff’s passion is teaching. While he was at the University of Texas, his students five times voted him the school’s Outstanding Teacher and The Economist named Jeff one of the fifteen top Business School professors in the world.

In 2009 Jeff and his wife Laura started Acton Academy, a cutting edge K12 school named after Lord Acton, a 19th-century scholar who championed freedom, whose most famous quote is “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Acton Academy’s learner-driven model is spreading like wildfire across the globe, with over 150 locations launched or soon to launch, and thousands of applications pending to open a leaner driven community. In an age where Google shares information, Uber shares cars, and Airbnb shares rooms, Acton Academy turns learning upside down by equipping children to share learning with each other, in a close-knit community with extremely high standards of excellence.

Learn more about Acton Academy at

Direct download: CTED_328.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

James Ashcroft believes that if you’re not growing, then you’re dying.

Conscious growth is a common thread in all facets of his life.

It all started in 2012, when he rolled off the couch as a fat, 38 year old guy and went running.

4 months later, and 40 pounds less, he crossed the Ironman Miami 70.3 triathlon finish line, shocking not only himself but everyone in his life.

Over the past 5 years he’s completed a full Ironman and 4 of the 6 Major Marathons.

He’s also owner of a fire security business in south Florida.

He bought the company 4 years ago, and has grown the business, both organically and through acquisitions, from 17 employees to over 70, and maintains profitable revenue.

He was the 2016 Chair of Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s South Florida Accelerator program where he helped 40+ companies scale over $1mm in revenue.

In 2017, he launched the Growing Not Dying Facebook group that helps motivated entrepreneurs build successful businesses and be held accountable to do the work they said they’d do.

He’s happily married with 3 kids, and lives in Austin, Texas.


Growing Not Dying:

Direct download: CTED_327.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Known as “The Vitality Vixen” for her contagious curiosity, enthusiasm and charisma, Yvonne Larson has a become somewhat of a modern-day 
Pippi Longstocking muse for those she serves.

As a singer, speaker, author, mentor, healer and fur-baby momma to three precious pups, she’s passionate about play, creativity and thriving in her own full self-expression. She believes everyone can live their Optimal Life once it has been distinguished, defined and designed.

Referred to as a healer by her clients, she is renowned worldwide
for her unique blend of performance based bodywork
with intuitive coaching to eliminate emotional restrictions
for her clients both on AND off the massage table. 
In the last 20+ years, Yvonne spent well over 10K hours acquiring experience, training and certifications in Emotional Release, Reiki, Massage, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Life and Executive Coaching. She’s an expert in clearing and healing Solopreneurs in going from exhaustion, overwhelm and isolation to living their optimal life. 

With so many skills, talents and interests, her path to becoming the Vitality Vixen was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. Then the picture finally became crystal clear and unlocked her unique full potential.

Now she’s building a tribe (Vitality Nation) in an online community (The Optimal Life Playground) where they co-create, collaborate and contribute to each other through the ups and downs of life as an Entrepreneur.

She believes that play is your access to joy and satisfaction. Play is a space of curiosity, discovery and learning. It leads to your deepest levels of creativity, empowering you to thrive in all areas of life. So, her mantra, “live playfully to live profoundly” is the foundation of the playground. 

The Optimal Life Playground supports those seeking to successfully navigate the critical conversations of exhaustion, overwhelm and isolation so they play, create and thrive with other solopreneurs.

Direct download: CTED_326.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:17pm EST

Understanding your potential is the secret to doing more. Thom Singer has become obsessed with personal potential and the gap that exists for many between potential and results.

Having potential seems awesome. When someone tells you that you have potential it is a real compliment, but so what? Without the right plan, a driving purpose, and the right people around you this means nothing. There is a paradox surrounding potential because people give it more credit than it deserves. Actions are the key.

Recently Thom met an impressive young man who is thirty years old and already smart enough to realize that he had to make a change from his current job, as it was going to lead him down the path of years of disappointment. Being successful is not enough if your ladder is against the wrong wall. In a short conversation Thom saw himself, and thousands of others, inside this guy who was seeking a new and more fulfilling path.

In this episode of Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do you will hear about why it is important to understand potential, to get clear on what you want, and how to be honest with yourself.

There are many moving parts to building influence, unlocking potential, and driving performance. There is no secret sauce and life if hard (and unpredictable), but the actions you take daily are the difference between hoping you will succeed and surpassing all expectations.

Check out episode #325 of Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do and connect with Thom Singer at

Direct download: CTED_325.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Megan R. Fenyoe is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been working in the field for the past 15 years. She worked for the Michigan State and Federal Government as a CPS Worker and at the VA providing therapy to Veterans. 

At age 33, Megan made the decision to commission as an officer into the Air force and moved from Michigan to California in 2012. Megan was a Captain and provided mental health and substance abuse treatment to fellow active duty members and veterans. 

Since separating from service, Megan has been working full time as a Mental Health Therapist at Kaiser Permanente and owns her own Health Food Franchise. Megan has been in the fitness world since she was a teenager and even with her busy schedule she maintains 5-6 workouts per week, as well as incorporating whole based nutrition into her daily intake of food. 

Megan recently began a new adventure and is the business owner of Mission Strength. The focus of Mission Strength is to help people identify hidden sabotaging patterns such as negative self-talk and create better coping strategies, new behaviors and healthier habits. Megan helps people accurately assess their challenges and identify ways they can change, capitalizing on the strengths they already have while building new ones.

Being a mental health therapist, business owner and fitness fanatic has taught Megan a great deal personally and professionally about the positive effects good health and positive mindset. She inspires health and strength mind, body and soul.

Direct download: CTED_324.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST