Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do (general)

This episode is a conversation with Chad McNair from Aspen Beverage Group. 
This is a "must hear episode",

With over 18 years in product manufacturing, Aspen has become a leader in high quality custom beverage solutions. A quest for the “perfect” coffee has grown Aspen Beverage Group into one of the leading producers of liquid coffee in the world.

Civil Engineer and CEO, Chad McNair has explored every aspect of coffee extraction, knowing that every step in a process contributes – or detracts – from the final product. He developed the proprietary TRIO™ process and built an industry leader. Aspen discovered that the key to stable, excellent flavor comes from the quality and purity of the ingredients and gentle handling in the process. By applying sophisticated technology to excellent base ingredients, Aspen produces a cleaner, superior beverage. The company has consistently earned Silliker certification for exceptional food quality systems, culminating in the Silliker Platinum Award in 2008.

It all began in Chad and Shelly McNair’s family kitchen. Chad sought a perfect coffee extract that could be mixed with milk and used in a “granita” (ice slush) machine or poured over ice. He shared the resulting mix with his favorite café and the customers called it “fabulous.”

This success caused Chad to consider a new business. As he presented the idea to his wife, Shelly, he promised – her and the Lord – which he would invest only $1,000 of the family’s money and committed to never borrowing any money for this business, and if the business was not doing well in six months, he would quit and find a “real job.” Today, Aspen products are used in restaurants, convenience retailers, institutional kitchens and other foodservice operations throughout the United States and around the world. Distributors enjoy a brisk demand for Aspen products as more and more people “Enjoy the Best.”

The company was named after the rustic elegance and natural beauty they found in the Rocky Mountains, a place where people escape the rigors of daily life and relax in the splendor of God’s creation. “When our customers pour an Aspen Beverage, the aroma fills them with the feeling we get in Aspen – the clear, clean, natural feeling of the mountains.”

Whether it’s a hot cup of Aspen Colombian Blend Dark Roast or a cold, refreshing Aspen Iced Tea, Chad McNair’s vision has produced a line of beverages that satisfy customers all over the world.

Direct download: CTED_279.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:43am EDT

In a variety of industries people try to save money by skipping hiring the professional and try to "wing it". No consultant would ever recommend this as the most efficient way to have the highest level of success, but for entrepreneurs this is a way of life because of limited funds.

In the meeting world, however, it is common to spend $50,000 on a speaker and $40,000 on a chocolate fountain for dessert, but they skip out on much less and get anyone other than a professional Master of Ceremonies.

Thom Singer is a professional speaker and master of ceremonies, and in this episode he talks about reasons why the best meetings utilize EmCees. 

But this episode is not just for #eventprofs and meeting professionals, it relates to all industries. You are a professional something. Do you know why prospective clients in your vertical should hire you vs. finding an amateur solution?

Make a list of why your customers should hire a professional.

Direct download: CTED_278.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:14pm EDT

Business Productivity Coach Teresa McCloy partners with
her clients to stop being productive and do what matters.

Teresa grew up on a farm, and has always seen the benefits of working for yourself. Her father, while a hard working farmer, also had free time that other dads did not have because he was self employed. She wanted that life, and while from time to time she has worked in "jobs" she has always come back to the entrepreneurial life.

A recovering workaholic who was addicted to all the latest
apps, software, and best selling books on productivity, is now
passionate about helping business leaders and entrepreneurs
to assess their habits and execute an Individualized Productivity
System (IPS) for doing more of what matters.

Teresa is a founding trainer and coach with the 12 Week Year™
system, and uses tools such as iEnneagram© and Life Maps,
serving her clients through one-on-one coaching, webinars, and training to discover their unique talents, values and life mission.

http://www.teresamccloy.com/coolthings

 

Direct download: CTED_277.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Thom Singer is having the best year as a "Solopreneur". After 8 years of working for himself, he is seeing some of the results from nearly a decade of hard work. But he does not feel this is happening by accident. 

This year he introduced a new product line (in the form of a new keynote speech called "The Paradox of Potential", and having this new talk has lead to some of the uptick in his sales.... but there is more to the puzzle. 

In this episode he shares what he believes is helping him grow his business, and things that anyone can do to get to their own best year ever.

1. Know what you want.

2. Stop making excuses.

3. Take action.

4. Record and analyze your results.

5. Get others involved.

6. Ask. 

7. Do not undermine your success - keep working.

If you are an entrepreneur, solopreneur, have a "side hustle", are a business leader, or if you are in career job but desire to be more entrepreneurial... then you should listen to Episode 276 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do".

Thom's Ask (hey, he is living these):

1. Tell your friends about this podcast.

2. If you know an association or company that holds meetings, let them know the Thom Singer should be on their short list of speakers they look at for their next meeting.

Also... join the Potential Mastermind Project http://www.PotentialMastermind.com

Direct download: CTED_276.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:36pm EDT

Next Level Insurance Agency was founded by Danny O'Connell and a dedicated team of service professionals who knew there was a better way to serve businesses & individuals. 

They have created numerous innovative forward thinking solutions for employers and individuals to help address the increasing cost of insurance while balancing value based plans. 

Danny's mission is to add value to the lives of clients, their employees, and his team through creative insurance solutions & focusing on the development of the person. 

Danny was the guest on episode 181 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do", but in the last year he left the agency where he had worked for 10 years to start Next Level and to stretch his entrepreneur journey. He is a seasoned sales person with a passion for the insurance and benefits industry. His agency has grown quickly in the first year, and his story is one that will inspire people in any line of work. 

Danny knows the value of hard work, industry expertise, and strong relationships. In this episode he shares his story and gives great advice for all who want to start their own business. We also talk about the importance of insurance and reasons to offer employee benefits. 

You definitely want to listen to episode 275 with Danny O'Connell. 

https://www.facebook.com/nextlvlagency/

 

Direct download: CTED_275.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10pm EDT

"If I am going to work - I might as well work hard" said young Jim Silbernagel. 
In his early job of making cold calls to set appointment he realized he was only going to be paid if he succeeded. Thus he jumped in and did the work.

Today Jim Silbernagel is an independent agent registered with Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. He entered the insurance industry in 1982 followed by the financial services industry in 1986. Jim holds securities licenses; Series 6, 7, 63 and 66. He is insurance licensed for life, health and property/casualty since 1985. Jim has earned both his CFP® and LUTCF designations.

Jim is the creator and host of Real Wealth®, an online radio program for insurance and financial professionals to educate their clients and keep in touch with them between meetings. Jim also leads Power Session LIVE, a monthly best practice and sales ideas session with top industry leaders.

Jim is a 20-year life and qualifying member of MDRT, qualifiying for his first Top of the Table in 2001. He is also a 25-year member of NAIFA, member of FSP, Forum 400, Financial Services Institute, Advisors in Philanthropy, ambassador for Main Street Philanthropy, and past moderator for Junior Achievement. Among other things, he supports IFAPAC, AHIA, the MDRT Foundation and LIFE Happens. In fact, he was a 2006 judge for LIFE Happen’s REAL LIFE STORIES. Jim is a keynote speaker, presenting for many industry groups and companies, including NAIFA, FPA, MDRT and Forum 400. Jim serves Middle America in Kewaskum, WI, a small town of 4,000 people.

Jim has been happily married to Joanne for 29 years. He has two sons, Frank and Warren, and one daughter, Angela. He spends his free time fishing, boating and flying.

Jim’s mission in life is to make a positive, meaningful difference in people’s lives.

If you want to know more about Jim, he said you should just give him a call at 262-626-8892. 

Enjoy this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do"

Direct download: CTED_274.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46pm EDT

Jessica Pettitt has just released her new book "Good Enough Now". Her eclectic background leads her to saying she is "The Wizard of Mutts", but she her work is clear and focused and the 'must read' book of 2017.

Audiences are inspired to stand up and take action as Jessica leads them down the path to understanding they are good enough to make the changes they seek. Challenging long held assumptions about the type of people who drive change and are successful, Jessica eradicates excuses and provides strategies to communicate openly and actively seek success.

Let's roll up our sleeves, make space for real talk, develop reality based plans, for actual change.

Humor is a great equalizer and is often the quickest way to diffuse conflict and move toward real connection. With a background in stand up comedy, Jessica Pettitt, frames even difficult subjects in an engaging and welcoming way.
As a professional speaker, her expertise earned her the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association. A designation held by fewer than 800 people world-wide. As a facilitator, she provides the framework for open, welcoming, and productive conversation. Whether she provides a motivational keynote, an in-depth workshop, facilitates group interaction, or frames an entire conference as emcee, Jessica brings humor, a high level understanding of adult learning, and an ability to engage participants and encourage them to engage with each other. Participants walk away focused and confident in their role to make change now.

By moving the discussion away from daily squabbles or task oriented challenges, to a larger vision of what is possible and how best to engage people of diverse experiences, Jessica provides the context to evaluate the situation now and move forward successfully to what could be.

For more than a decade, Jessica has been educating college and university staff members to support and guide diverse students to success. Her social justice and diversity curricula are used nationwide. This background uniquely qualifies her to educate employers on building welcoming, productive, and innovative teams. The ability to communicate, listen, learn, take responsibility, acquire and retain talent and resources will lead to and maintain a welcoming, and dare we say, fun workplace environment. This has a direct impact on your bottom line NOW.

http://www.GoodEnoughNow.com

 

Direct download: CTED_273.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Damian Mason is an entrepreneur who wanted to find his own way in the world. In 1994 he quit a successful sales career to become a professional Bill Clinton Impersonator and never looked back. He created a successful career and life, but eventually the Bush Administration took over, and the need for Bill Clinton look-a-likes shrank.

Damian reinvented his career and now a successful professional speaker. He inspires audiences in the agriculture and small business arenas and provides powerful content while still entertaining. 

Damian’s life on stage began in 1994 when he won a Halloween contest dressed as Bill Clinton. Within months, he resigned from his sales position with Cooper Industries (now part of Eaton Corporation) and launched his company, Executive Entertainment.

Politics change, and so does business. Damian is now in high demand for his savvy, provocative presentations in two leading areas: Reinvention and Agriculture. His high-energy, entertaining insights on reinvention and agricultural issues is what sets him apart. 

The adaptations required for Damian to successfully stay ahead in his career have made him an expert in Business Reinvention. He’s taken the lessons learned from his own transformation, and insightfully packaged them with real-world case studies of other successful and failed brand reinventions. The result is an inspiring, humorous “How To” program for corporations, small business people, and employees to avoid obsolescence.

Damian also understands Agriculture. He was raised on a dairy farm, has a degree from Purdue University in Agricultural Economics, and currently owns and manages a farm in northeast Indiana. He stays up-to-date on issues impacting the industry of food, fuel, and fiber to deliver entertaining, provocative dialogue to Agricultural audiences.

In addition to speaking at events and meetings, Damian is also available for engaging appearances and interviews on television, radio, podcasts, and as a guest blogger or columnist. He can also be found on SiriusXM Radio - Laugh USA Ch. 98. Contact Damian for more information. 

Damian studied comedy writing and improvisation at The Second City, Chicago. He’s a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and holds a Certified Speaking Professional designation with the National Speakers Association.

When he’s not traveling, Damian can be found on his Indiana farm with his wife Lori, or escaping from winter at their Arizona residence.

Direct download: CTED_272.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In preparing for the national speakers Association conference, Thom Singer is thinking a lot about how people can maximize a conference.
 
This is the ninth consecutive year that he will be attending this event. This year he has many friends were speaking on the main stage and several who are receiving their "certified professional speaker" (CSP) designated.  (Thom became a CSP in 2014 and only about 800 professional speakers in the world have their CSP.
 
Listen to this episode as Thom shares ways people can maximize attending any industry conference.
Direct download: CTED_271.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:22pm EDT

Thom Singer had the honor of being the master of ceremonies and a speaker at the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy 2017 in Philadelphia, PA. ASTRA is the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, and annually the largest gathering of toy store owners and manufacturers. Wow, what a great event. Almost every community has a local toy store, and many of the entrepreneurs who run these businesses are continuing to thrive in a changing business environment.

In this episode Thom interviews toy store owners, and the manufacturers of the products they sell for an informative podcast on what lessons all entrepreneurs can learn from the toy industry.

Founded in 1992, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is an international not-for-profit trade organization that serves more than 1,800 independent retailers, manufacturers and sales representations of the specialty toy industry. ASTRA is a dedicated community of professionals committed to providing children with healthy, quality play materials that have high play value. ASTRA members build their businesses around specialty toys, which are designed with a focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toy can do. ASTRA members are leaders who have a positive influence the economy, culture and creativity of the communities they serve.

ASTRA provides members with access to networking, education, discounts, business products and services to assist our members as they grow their businesses. ASTRA Academy, which houses our education and training resources, was established to provide ASTRA members with on-demand access to up-to-the-minute training in an ever-changing industry. Marketplace & Academy is a four-day trade show and education conference featuring industry leaders and hands-on product demonstrations. The conference draws more than 450 exhibits and includes more than 30 hours of education.

A volunteer board of 14 retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives governs the associations.

 

Direct download: CTED_270.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EDT