Thu, 25 May 2017
Entrepreneurs need to try new things. Times change and the expectations from our customers morph over time. Finding ways to remain relevant and to provide unique ways to deliver our products or services are important in a world of change.
Thom Singer recently participated as a Table Leader in a special first time conference called XDP. This event was hosted by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in partnership with 360Live. Dozens of people donated hundreds of hours to create a two-day conference that would redesign many elements of live meetings.
Meetings are an important part of the world of associations. But the same event year over year can become stale, Yet, there are not a lot of options on ways to arrange an experience when bringing together large crowds at a hotel or conference center. But without exploration and trying new things, nothing will ever change.
ASAE undertook a new and exciting event with the Xperience Design Project (XDP). They took many things we expect at a live conference and turned them upside down. Most of the event was interactive discussions in small groups, and it all took place in once ballroom with a round center stage. From the moment participants entered the room, it was clear this conference was going to be different.
Thom Singer got to be a table leader, and the impact of seeing a major organization take such a big risk was inspiring. In your business, are you taking risks? Trying new things? Looking for ways to make your products or services more engaging for your customers? We can all benefit when we step out of our comfort zone.
Also, not everything at the event was perfect. Trying new things means that some parts may not work,... and thus some might complain (They certainly received some some negative feedback). But overall people were excited by what was new and unique, and next year they will build on the feedback.
This episode should make you think about how the XDP experiment could be inspirational for your own entrepreneurial journey.
Direct download: CTED_263.mp3
-- posted at: 7:22pm EDT
Tue, 23 May 2017
Imagine living your whole life as a writer, storyteller, performer and solopreneur.
Bob Stromberg has done just that. He started following his dream a young man, and never looked back.
From his home in St. Paul, MN Bob Stromberg travels continually performing
his very unique blend of original story, standup and shtick. His work has left
lasting impressions on Fortune 500 companies, raised multimillions for nonprofits,
garnered literary and theater awards and broken box office records
in the US and Europe. The London Times said “ He’s a genuinely funny man”.
The Chicago Sun Times called him, “… a mesmerizing physical comedian.”
Most impressively, Bob has joined a very small group of elite artists who
have stayed prolific and profitably busy for over forty years. How’s he done
it? By “Mastering the Craft of Creativity”. In his online class, Bob shares three
profound, transforming disciplines that lead to creating a rich, personal
reservoir of original ideas.
In this episode of CTED Bob shares his advice, ideas and unique long-term point of view with those who want to be more creative as an entrepreneur.
Direct download: CTED_262.mp3
-- posted at: 9:50am EDT
Thu, 18 May 2017
"I was living in a frat house at 21-years-old" says CTED host Thom Singer. But the guest on this episode of the show is already winning in the game of startups and entrepreneurship.
QuHarrison Terry is a serial entrepreneur and self-starter. He is the
co-founder and president of VNM USA, a full service ad agency that
he has run since 2013, the co-founder and CEO of 23VIVI, an online
digital marketplace, and known for his marketing work at EatStreet.
He was listed in Madison’s 40 under 40 and as a frequent writer on
LinkedIn was named one of LinkedIn Top Voices in Technology.
He has accomplished all of this by the age of 21.
He is currently the marketing director of Redox. With the adoption of electronic records, healthcare has been digitized. However, the data is too difficult to access. Health systems have trouble sharing with each other, and vendors have
trouble accessing it for their software applications. Redox was started
to eradicate the technical barriers to data access and usher forth the
future of technology-enabled healthcare.
He is an inspiration to African-American youth, and tries hard to live by an example of personal integrity and trying new things in his path to earn a living and make a difference.
Qu admits that entrepreneurship is not for the weak at heart. It takes effort, but the long term pay-off keeps him motivated. While he sees nothing wrong with having a regular job (being an entrepreneur is not right for everyone), he has been on this journey since he started his first company at age 14.
This episode covers a lot of ideas, including the importance of being ready for the changes in business coming (and already here) with artificial intelligence (AI) and how it will impact every business. The companies already utilizing AI are clearly going to be leading their field in the years to come.
Thom closed the show by saying someday "this guy will be on the cover of Forbes, Fortune and Entrepreneur Magazines". Listen to this episode and you will agree.
Direct download: CTED_261.mp3
-- posted at: 12:00pm EDT
Tue, 16 May 2017
Sometimes life gets in the way of your entrepreneurial journey. Stuff happens and you find yourself wondering if it is all worth it. The grind of keeping your dreams moving forward can weigh heavy. When this happens you might want to quit. Go back to a regular job. But don't. Bad days are just part of the journey.
When you need entrepreneurial inspiration - take action to get back in the game.
1. Observe. Great entrepreneurs are always watching and learning. They see what other companies (inside and outside their industry) are doing and look for fresh ideas to get their business a kick in the pants.
2. Read a book. In a world of constant information overload, we benefit from going old school sometimes. Pick up a good book and read. Better yet, re-read a book that inspired you years ago and look for those nuggets that got you going in the first place.
3. Get away from your routine. Sometimes a vacation, even just for a few hours, is all you need to re-charge. Go do something that is not your normal activities, and that break could be just the reset you need.
4. Network across generational lines. Too many people only associate with people who are from their own age group. Millennials need to cultivate friendships with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Also the older group needs to make connections with younger professionals. Not just a LinkedIn relationship, but real friendships. When we are exposed to people who have had different experiences, we learn.
5. Ask smart people for advice. Reach out to those you admire and ask them for ideas . Smart people often love to share their ideas with others, but few people make the ask. It is easy to be inspired by people who have wisdom and experience, but if you do not seek them out, you are missing out.
6. Join a mastermind group or group coaching program. Surround yourself with supportive people who will hold you accountable. A group like "The Potential Project" (http://www.thomsinger.com/group-coaching-program)
7. Attend a conference. Get to your industry association and participate. Going to conferences brings you in direct contact with like minded people and fresh ideas. It many take a few years of participating before you will reap the whole value, but showing up at events is a great way to get inspired.
Direct download: CTED_260.mp3
-- posted at: 11:22am EDT
Tue, 9 May 2017
Fireman Dryerman was founded by Brett Ketchum, a full-time professional firefighter. In 2014, on his days off from the fire station, Brett began repairing washers and dryers in Austin, Texas. With more than ten years of firefighting experience coupled with two years of appliance repair, Brett was witness to a handful of dryer fires and plenty of lint-filled dryers. He saw a need to include dryer vent cleaning and dryer vacuuming on his list of services. As his days off filled with bookings for this service, Brett decided to hire on some of his favorite fellow firefighters and thus Fireman Dryerman was born.
Check out this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" as Brett shares how he started his side business, and has grown it through word-of-mouth, networking, referrals and social media.
Many people want to start a business, but let excuses hold them back. Brett is a busy fireman, husband and father, and he still finds the time to grow his company. He sees many opportunities in his future, and his enthusiasm is contagious as you listen to his advice.
When he’s not firefighting, teaching CPR classes or cleaning dryer vents, he loves spending time with his wife and two sons.
Direct download: CTED_259.mp3
-- posted at: 10:23am EDT
Thu, 4 May 2017
Thom Singer works as a professional speaker and often coaches business professionals, engineers, technology experts, academics, and others on how to deliver better presentations.
The biggest problem with speaking is that many people assume it is easy to do, or that it is not nearly as important as the content. Being smart or having great research does not mean that your presentation will land strong with the audience. There is more to speaking than having the right information.
In this episode Thom talks about some of the mindset shifts that are needed for non-speakers to transition from dumping statistics and data to crafting talks that move an audience to action.
The speaker needs to be clear as to "why" they are being asked to present. It is not just to share data, as a speech alone is not the best delivery tool for data. If you just want to share the research, a white paper can do a better job of that transfer of information. A speech touches people on several levels, and human to human connections are a key part of a live talk.
If you have ever been to a highly technical conference you know that some sessions can be dry and boring, while others get people talking. No speaker ever takes the stage hoping they bore the crap out of an audience, but many audiences get lost in the sea of charts and graphs.
Too much information crammed into a talk is also a killer. There are time limits to live speeches, and they must be obeyed. Going long is never the right answer. Instead, a great speaker will choose what information goes into a talk, and what gets left out. YES - sometimes you have to leave out part of the data.
Listen to this episode for more ideas on how to speaker better at conferences, and if you want Thom's PDF on speaking tips, email him at thom (at) ThomSinger.com.
Direct download: CTED_258.mp3
-- posted at: 8:33pm EDT
Tue, 2 May 2017
David M. R. Covey has been CEO & Co-Founder of SMCOV since October 2010. He is a serial entrepreneur, author, and father of seven who left the corporate world to start his own business.
Covey, who is the son of Dr Steven Covey (Author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People") was previously the Co-Chief Operating Officer of the FranklinCovey Company. Other positions he held at FranklinCovey include: General Manager & Senior Vice President, US Sales & Delivery, President of FranklinCovey International, President of FranklinCovey Japan and Managing Director of FranklinCovey Australia.
David was also employed at Procter & Gamble and American Express before joining his father's company and eventually starting his own ventures. Covey earned his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and his MBA from Harvard University.
In this episode he shares key advice from his life and experience about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
You will want to get a copy of his new book "Trap Tales: The 7 Hidden Obstacles to Success"---In this book, authors David M. R. Covey and Stephan M. Mardyks train you in the art of Trapology. You’ll meet Alex and Victoria, who have fallen into traps you’re sure to recognize. As you read their stories, you’ll learn about the seven most common traps in life and work, and how even the smartest and seemingly most accomplished people find themselves stuck and unable to see their way out. Traps are masters of disguise, but there are telltale signs that give them away every time. If you discover that you’re actually trapped right now, consider this book your lifeline—the lessons contained in Trap Tales will teach you how to escape these traps and how to sidestep them in the future.
Direct download: CTED_257.mp3
-- posted at: 7:00am EDT
Thu, 27 April 2017
Attending a conference is a big investment of time and money. If you have never been to an event before you have no idea what to expect, and you may be worried if your going to find real value.
Thom Singer is a professional speaker who is known as "The Conference Catalyst". One of his roles at many events is as the speaker or facilitator at the "First Timer Orientation" program. Smart event planners have special sessions for those attending for their first time, as repeat attendance is often based on the experience of the newbie. Too often if left to chance the newcomers feel left out. Associations do not mean to have cliques, but any place that people convene, groups will form. Setting the tone and expectations for first timers can change their whole event experience.
Attendees must have a game plan before, during and after the event. It is often the little things that are overlooked that limit the successful ROI. In this episode Thom Singer talks about things to do if you are going to an industry conferences, trade show, or other event.
Get excited about the show and make sure you are prepared for the whole event (the learning and the networking). Take advantage of all aspects of the conference, while still being true to yourself. If you are more introverted, don't feel bad if you need to take some time away from the agenda. Go to your room, go out for a walk, get a massage, etc... It is okay. Be you no matter what.
Share this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" with friends and co-workers who might be going to an event for the first time.
Enjoy your conference and make is awesome.
Direct download: CTED_256.mp3
-- posted at: 12:00pm EDT
Tue, 25 April 2017
Sharon Spano has a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems. She is an author, corporate business strategist, work force expert, professional speaker and former radio host of WorkSmart Live. Sharon empowers business leaders and entrepreneurs to maximize performance, improve employee engagement, and increase bottom-line results. She is also a Certified Professional Integral Coach dedicated to helping others adopt new paradigms about time and money so that they can step into radical
abundance in every area of their lives. Her research focuses on wisdom, adult development, and leadership. Her work and her new book The Pursuit of Time and Money: Step Into Radical Abundance and Discover the Secret to a Meaningful Prosperous Life (launches Spring 2017) are grounded in research in adult human development.
Direct download: CTED_255.mp3
-- posted at: 10:20am EDT
Thu, 20 April 2017
Connor Gillivan is a 27 year old serial entrepreneur that has built and runs two million dollar companies. He started his entrepreneurial career in his dorm room buying and selling text books on the Amazon Marketplace. After becoming an expert at Amazon, he helped to expand the company, Portlight, to other product categories eventually selling over $20 million on Amazon, building a team of over 60 people, and working with over 1,000 drop ship suppliers.
Connor co-founded his second venture, FreeeUp, in late 2015 after becoming an expert at hiring remote freelancers with Portlight. He and his business partner were frustrated with the current platforms and wanted to create a simpler solution to hiring remote workers online. FreeeUp is now an online hiring marketplace offering pre-vetted workers from $5 to $50 per hour to over 1,000 businesses. The platform is experiencing rapid growth and has been featured in leading publications like The Huffington Post.
Connor's first book, Free Up Your Business: 50 Secrets to Bootstrap Million Dollar Companies, publishes on April 26th on Amazon and FreeeUp.com. The book reveals 50 core lessons that he and his business partner have learned from the many ups and downs they've experienced as entrepreneurs. In his free time, Connor writes about eCommerce, leadership, and startups at http://www.ConnorGillivan.com.
Direct download: CTED_254.mp3
-- posted at: 12:41pm EDT