Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do (general)

Marine Officer and F/A-18 fighter pilot, Scott Lopez, MBA is an investment banker who helps companies raise crucial capital for growth and expansion. On a daily basis, he works with disruptive tech companies and investors and has deep relationships across the country in numerous innovation eco-systems.

On this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" Scott shares his journey from a simple childhood, through college, the military, and to a career investing in some of today's most disruptive technologies. 

During his transition from the military, he was a medical device sales rep, corporate executive, small business owner, and public affairs officer. Scott earned his MBA at the Thunderbird School of Graduate Management, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, and the single father of two teenage daughters. 

A former welfare kid, he is passionate for his home state of New Mexico and his second home, Newport Beach, CA.

Direct download: CTED_299.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Katrina Sawa is known as The JumpStart Your Biz Coach because she literally kicks her clients and their businesses into high gear. Katrina is the creator of the JumpStart Your Marketing® System and the author of Love Yourself Successful. She works with motivated entrepreneurs and speakers who want to make a lot more money doing what you love. She inspires you to think bigger, set bigger goals and then consistently implement all the online and offline marketing strategies, and business automation strategies it will take to get you there.

Katrina has been a huge networker ever since she founded her business in 2002. Consistent networking, follow up and offline marketing strategies are the primary reasons Katrina has been so successful in her business. She developed her first product, the Jumpstart Your Marketing Follow Up System in 2005 having learned that no one does such extensive follow up as she did. After packaging that training up for other entrepreneurs to learn from she transformed her local, hourly-fee based business into an international online marketing coaching and information-product company that it is today including a whole host of online do-it-yourself programs, products, trainings and live events. This has leveraged her own time and money in ways where it’s freed her up to design the business that better fits her lifestyle – family, relationships, friends, traveling, speaking, volunteering, etc.

Katrina enjoys inspiring, motivating and educating other entrepreneurs on how to design a business to fit your lifestyle but also how to make a lot more money at whatever that business may be. She works with dozens of different industries and businesses to help them think outside the box plus help them get a more savvy online and website presence. 

Katrina has been featured on the Oprah and Friends XMRadioNetwork, various other print and online magazines, ABC and TheCW. She lives in Northern California with her husband Jason, step-daughter Riley and their German Shepherd Willow. She loves wine tasting, gardening, and entertaining, plus she’s a great cook too! You can find out more about her plus get a host of Free Trainings online at

Direct download: CTED_298.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Rob Dionne is a lifestyle and fitness expert based out of Los Angeles. He specializes in helping busy people and entrepreneurs get out from behind their desks and carve out time to create a better quality of life for themselves and their family's. You might have hear Rob on the Rdella Training Podcast, Dear Matty Show and many others, discussing his views on why the traditional approach to weight loss is a waste of time. 

Check out this episode for a detailed talk about his transition from a career as an aspiring actor to being one of the leading voices of fitness. This episode is a candid discussion about how entrepreneurs sometimes need to make a pivot in their business, and how you can change course and find the success you desire.

Learn more about Rob at and check out his Open Sky Fitness Podcast on iTunes (or wherever you get you favorite podcasts).

Direct download: CTED_297.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am EDT

On this podcast we like entrepreneurs who are in unique industries, and today may be the most unique. Carolyn J Carpenter runs Mable's 6 Feet Under, the official haunted house of the city of Anaheim, California. This interview is awesome. You can't miss her story. And she went to San Diego State University (same as Thom Singer).... so "GO AZTECS"

Carolyn is an entrepreneur, producer, writer and actor. She is the Executive Director and founding partner of Neo Ensemble Theatre, the founder and creator of the award winning mega hit MABLE's 6 Feet Under Haunted House, the founder and CEO of Midnight Table Talks, and the founder of Hi Tech Haunts. She has produced hundreds of events and theatrical productions. She wrote, directed and produced instructional line dance videos, selling over a million copies. She wrote, produced and codirected two short films starring Oscar winner JK Simmons (WHIPLASH). Her plays RANDOM WOMEN, MUTE, THREE LITTLE WORDS, ILLUSIONS, WRETCHED, ENIGMA, HUES, and MISNOMER have been produced multiple times in and around Hollywood. She has written a book of scenes and monologues now available on Amazon. She has acted in projects and produced events with JK Simmons (WHIPLASH), Patrick Warburton (GET SMART) Anthony Geary (GENERAL HOSPITAL) Shirley Jones (PATRIDGE FAMILY), Florence Henderson (BRADY BUNCH), Gavin Macleod (LOVE BOAT), and Lily Tomlin, among others.

Carolyn has served as a Story Analyst for people and companies such as James Cameron (AVATAR), Richard Dreyfuss (MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS), Village Road Show (AMERICAN SNIPER), Phoenix Pictures (BLACK SWAN), Inferno Films (YOUNG GUNS), Constantin Films (TRAFFIC), Rhythm and Hues (TAMMY), agencies such as Innovative Artists, as well as the Sundance Institute, the Scriptwriter’s Network and the CBS Diversity Program. She has served as a guest speaker on panels with the Newport Beach Film Festival, the American Scriptwriters Association and Writer’s Network among others.

Direct download: CTED_296.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Intimacy Expert Allana Pratt inspires open-hearted living, with delicious sass. Featured on CBS, TLC & FOX, this cum laude graduate of Columbia is the Author of 4 books, Coach to celebrities and Host of the sexy empowering podcast “Intimate Conversations LIVE”.

Allana helps thousands who struggle with the fear of rejection from the bedroom to the boardroom. She teaches women that their vulnerability is what makes them sexy and shows men how to cure their ‘nice guy’ and become a noble badass.

Allana’s devotion to help her clients create hot, healthy intimate relationships is rooted in her own journey. She endured a brutal custody battle yet emerged more courageous, radiant and loving than ever.

Allana’s joy for life is contagious. She savors motherhood and pole dances for pleasure. She inspires her clients to be unapologetically true to themselves, successfully date and find lasting soul-shaking love. 

On this episode Allan shares her path to a spiritual practice and building a life as an entrepreneur. She also has a great line in the question about "networking" about how she "network's with God".

Direct download: CTED_295.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:58pm EDT

Natalie is the CEO of Bella Ballerina, a company that empowers women and moms to take control of their ambitions and create companies that fulfill their desire for a flexible lifestyle and entrepreneurial ambitions. Bella Ballerina offers franchise and license opportunities as well as retail sales through it’s family of products and services. With over 10 years experience in growing businesses into multimillion dollar empires, Natalie helps both her own clients and others find the path to building the right business for them with an unapologetic outlook on their goals. Natalie is a passionate and energetic leader who inspires and motivates her audience to live their best life in the way that they want, not just in the way it’s presented to them. Her passion for empowering others is contagious and allows her to connect with her audience to create powerful entrepreneurs.

Natalie is the CEO of Bella Ballerina, a franchise offering boutique dance studios for young children. She is a native of Jamestown NY and a graduate of Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. Natalie spent over 10 years growing service based businesses into multimillion dollar companies before stepping out on her own to start her company. In 2011 the first Bella Ballerina studio was born followed by two more in the two consecutive years following before the company began to franchise all over the US and abroad. Natalie now lives in California where she continues to grow the Bella Ballerina brand name through a mix of services and products for entrepreneurs, existing dance studio owners and directly to Bella Ballerina's customers through their name brand dancewear line. She is the proud mom of one confident and talented daughter who also loves to twirl and her husband who supports her to no end.

Direct download: CTED_294.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:24pm EDT

September 30, 2014 was the day that episode #1 of the Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do Podcast launched. In three years (and 293 episodes) Thom Singer has interviewed over 250 entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, business leaders, and intrapreneurs. Some have accomplished amazing levels of success, while others are just starting their entrepreneurial journey.

Along the way Thom has learned a lot of things, both from the guests and via the experiences of hosting a show twice a week. The people he has met has changed his life forever. Friendships have been made that will last a lifetime.

In this episode he marks the 3 year milestone with 5 things he has come to know true for anyone looking to do more in their career:

1. You need to focus.

2. You need others to hold you accountable.

3. You learn more when you are part of a community.

4. Taking action beats sitting around thinking.

5. You have to assess your progress.

Listen to this episode and share in the celebration of the shows reaching nearly 300 episodes, and get ready for some positive growth and changes coming in the future of this podcast.

Direct download: CTED_293.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Mike Belsito thought he wanted a career in sports management, but found himself loving starting new things. His first job was working as employee #1 for a startup, and he has never looked back.

Today he is the co-founder of Product Collective. They founded the company in 2014 as a way to help product people all over the world connect, collaborate, and generally be inspired. As product people themselves, they found they were wanting to find places where they could meet other product people. They looked around and were surprised to find a lack of a product community that gathered in one place often, especially outside of Silicon Valley.

And so Product Collective was born.

Product Collective’s first initiative was INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, which initially took place in 2015. In its first year, INDUSTRY attracted 250 attendees from 21 states and 7 countries. Just one year later, attendance nearly doubled — with attendees from both years represented from larger enterprises and venture backed startups alike, including IBM, Intuit, Oracle, Shopify, GoDaddy, LeadPages, and others.

Today, Product Collective educates and connects product people in many more ways, including through Product Brief (our weekly newsletter) and Product Lunch (our monthly webinar series).

Their mission is to redefine and shape the future of product management, and it’s one that they know they can’t do alone. Mike and his team hope you’ll join Product Collective to be a part of this evolution.

Check out this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" to hear Mike's journey.

Direct download: CTED_292.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am EDT

Chris Mefford has done it all, from starting his own company to working for churches, and most recently as a former VP at the Dave Ramsey organization (planning live events and more) and EVP for Dr. Henry Cloud.  Currently, Chris is the acting COO for Standard Behavior Digital. In his many roles, Chris has had the opportunity to change people’s lives by providing clear, actionable strategies to help people make smart business decisions and turn a fledgling department into one of the best in
the company.

Chris has coached leaders from businesses and nonprofit organizations nationwide. He offered his expertise and insight to assist senior executives and small business entrepreneurs to build better cultures, turn around underperformance, hire the right employees, know when to let people go, implement efficient processes, manage finances, and implement the organization’s mission all while making money and changing lives.  Chris even played a part in helping the Ramsey Organization win the“Best Place to Work in Nashville” award for 8 straight years. Chris is a former high school teacher and holds an MBA from the prestigious Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor.

In short, he knows a lot about business, communication and leadership. Chris is passionate about sharing his experiences and using his teaching skills to help others create amazing cultures and places to work.

Direct download: CTED_291.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

I recently heard a story of a person who was listed as a reference by a job applicant. Upon hearing about this great job (big opportunity for a small town) the reference pitched herself as a better option for the job. And.... the company hired her, leaving the applicant they had put through weeks of interviews on the sideline.

Now, this story has several elements. First, I only heard one side of the story (and stories have a way of being told from the point of view of the storyteller). Yet, no matter how you slice this tale is has some ethical issues that can be called into question.

The woman who took her friend's opportunity and spun it into her new career admitted to the original applicant that she was jealous of such a great job and wanted it. She also was crying when she told him the details, clearly showing she was not fully proud of her actions. 

They were good enough friends (former co-workers) that they would hang out together on occasion with her spouse and shared many mutual friends. I imagine that friendship is now over.

Then there is the company. While checking references decided to hire the person who applicant listed as a reference. Now I have no way of knowing if they would have gone all the way and hired this guy (they had gotten to the calls to references), but either way I wonder if this is the right hiring technique. Also, they had worked through a headhunter, and it now sounds like they are bypassing paying the placement fee since they did not hire the search firm's candidate. Afterall, they found this person on their own....right? (I don't know if they are skipping out on the placement fee, but I would think the headhunter is owed their part based on the series of events that lead to this hire).

What do you think? Do ethics matter in love, war and business? Or is all fair?

The moral of this story is to think twice about who you list as a reference on a job application.

Direct download: CTED_290.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT