Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do (general)

Matt Miller graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989 and was an Air Force pilot for 9 years. His long-term desire was to start a business to build a lifestyle based on freedom and choice. A conversation with a good friend led him on a 10-year business quest that has brought Matt's franchising company to the cutting edge of both the vending and school fundraising industries. Starting with an investment of $100 he has built School Spirit Vending into a multi-million dollar vending business.

After a successful career in the corporate world, Matt found he was looking to take control of his life. The success of his business allowed him to move to the country, home school his children, and live the life he wanted. He loves living in "the middle of nowhere" and raises pigs and then sends them to freezer camp.

Learn more about his company and download his book on owning a franchise business at

Direct download: CTED_209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am EDT

This episode is the audio of a webinar that Thom Singer did with Kelly Newsome from ConnectRoot. The topic is a discussion of going from Networking to Sales. Meeting people is great, but we need to get to a point in our business relationships where we are converting our networking activities to the bottom line.

The advice on how important it is to "network" is taught to everyone in business, but people are confused as to what it means. The definition of the word "networking" has come to mean too many different thing in our business communities. Networking should not be a verb (you should not "go networking"), but instead a way of life that impacts all aspects of your business and personal world.

What does networking really mean? It is the creation of long-term and mutually beneficial relationships between two or more people, where those involved find more success through the connections than they would without the connection. Thus networking is not just one-sided or for those times when you are in need of new business.

But building relationships alone is not enough. Knowing people and not actually growing your business is a waste of time.

For the full webinar visit:

Direct download: CTED_208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09am EDT

Roger Rickard is a speaker, trainer and consultant that helps businesses, non-profits and associations find their voice in advocacy.

About Roger

Roger has been an advocate for citizen involvement since the age of 13. He was elected to public office as a young man, later served as a legislative staffer for the Pennsylvania State Legislature, and has worked on many local, regional and state campaigns as well as numerous Presidential campaigns.
His work spans a cross-section of local, regional, national and international organizations. In 2011, Roger authored The DMO Advocacy Toolkit for Destination Marketing Association International. In 2013, Voices in Advocacy® built a grassroots meetings industry advocacy platform for the Convention Industry Council called the CIC AdvocacyHub™.

In 2013, Smart Meetings Magazine did a cover story on Roger, entitled Passion & Purpose, Roger Rickard’s Call to Action. Also in 2013, Successful Meetings Magazine named Roger one of the Six People Worth Watching in the Meetings Industry. In 2014, Meetings Focus Magazine named him to their inaugural list of Meetings Trendsetters.

Roger majored in Political Science at Pennsylvania State University and is still a proud Nittany Lion.

His education, experience and enthusiasm enlighten audiences on key issues and relationships that turn passion into action.

Listen to episode 207 of the podcast to hear Roger's entrepreneurial journey and his advice for those who want to join the ranks of entrepreneur.

Direct download: CTED_207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38am EDT

If you have ever visited Ann Arbor, Michigan the odds are you have eaten at Zingerman's Deli. This episode is a great interview with Ari Weinzweig, co-founder and founding partner of the company now known as Zingerman's Community of Businesses.

Ari moved to Ann Arbor from his hometown of Chicago to attend the University of Michigan. After graduating with a degree in Russian history, he went to work washing dishes in a local restaurant and soon discovered that he loved the food business. Along with his partner Paul Saginaw, Ari started Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan, a staff of two, a small selection of great-tasting specialty foods and a relatively short sandwich menu. Today, Zingerman’s is an Ann Arbor institution—the source of great food and great experiences for over 500,000 visitors every year. Each day the Deli serves up thousands of made-to-order sandwiches with ingredients like corned beef and pastrami, homemade chopped liver and chicken salad. The Deli stocks an array of farmhouse cheeses, smoked fish, salamis, estate-bottled olive oils, vintage vinegars, whole bean coffees, loose leaf teas and much more. Ari and Paul have built Zingerman’s into an organization with a 500+ staff and annual sales approaching $40,000,000 a year.

Ari is involved in many educational activities. He has served as a board member and president of The American Cheese Society and as a board member of the Retail Division of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. He is a frequent guest speaker in business classes at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, as well as at various food and business conferences in this country and abroad including the American Institute of Wine and Food, Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust, the Gathering of Games, and the NASFT Fancy Food Show.

In 1988 Zingerman’s was instrumental in the founding of Food Gatherers, a perishable food rescue program, and continues to be a major supporter of the organization. Every year Food Gatherers delivers over a million pounds of food to people in need. Ari has also served on the board of The Ark, the longest continuously-operating folk music venue in America. In April of 1995, Ari and Paul received the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County’s first Humanitarian Award for their community contributions. Ari was recognized as one of the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the 2006 James Beard Foundation. In 2007, Ari and Paul were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Bon Appetit magazine for their work in the food industry.

Ari has written over 250 issues of the Zingerman’s newsletter, and has contributed to such magazines as Fine Cooking, Specialty Foods, Gourmet Retailer, and Food and Wine. He is also the author of several books which can me found at


Direct download: CTED_206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:09am EDT

Jean LeFebvre is the founder of Panache Images, a personal style and wardrobe consultancy for people who want to dress to enhance their professional and personal image.

If you are like most people, you were not born knowing how to dress for your unique face, body and coloring. So you end up with closets full of unflattering, mismatched clothes that don't fit you or your current life. And with lots of frustration over the money you have spent with so little to show for it.

When you are ready for a more positive clothing experience, having a pro to guide you in creating a personalized wardrobe is the short route to looking your best. Panache Images works with you to develop and execute a personalized wardrobe plan within your timeline and budget. Consultations are informative, friendly and private. Services such as Color and Style Analysis, Closet Edit, Personal Shopping and Closet Integration give you real help in having the right clothing for you and knowing how to wear it to flatter your shape and form.

Panache Images provides the creative and practical support you need to choose clothing that complements you for any occasion of your life.

Check out this episode and hear about Jean's journey as an entrepreneur.

Direct download: CTED_205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Donna Kastner helps event professionals and association executives improve revenue performance through her consultancy, Enlighten 123. Locking in on critical needs for top targeted segments, she works with clients to fine-tune their content marketing strategies, grow loyalty, and ultimately, create raving fans who appreciate how events accelerate their journey to better.

Donna is also the Founder of Retirepreneur, helping experienced business executives with knowledge/skills in areas where needs are high, but the candidate pool is light to "jump the shark" and make a smooth transition from full-time employment to more fulfilling and flexible work as a consultant. She has just released the official Retirepreneur Podcast. Give it a listen on iTunes or at

Direct download: CTED_204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:35am EDT

Steve Cunningham is the CEO of ReadItFor.Me.

What is is a way for individuals and teams to learn, retain and apply the ideas from the best business and personal development books the world has to offer to businesses and their lives. We help people spark the conversations that can unlock their greatest work.

How is this different from something like Cliffs or Coles Notes and other book summary-type services? is more than just a book summary-type service. Most other book summary services simply take the main concepts or ideas from the books and summarize them into bite-sized pieces. by contrast was developed based on research into how people learn, behave and act therefore taking it beyond just summarizing books. We take the world’s best business and personal development books, and turn them into engaging, zero-preparation workshops that leaders can run with their teams in less than one hour a month.

Steve started his career as a lawyer in Toronto, and after one week left to join his family business. Later he started a digital marketing agency and eventually founded ReadItFor.Me. His journey is one we hear often from entrepreneurs, in that he did not plan his path, but he loves every part of the entrepreneurial ride.

In this episode he talks about his experiences, advice and has a special offer for the listeners at

Direct download: CTED_203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:26am EDT

Ruud Janssen is a Facilitator, Business Modeller, Event Designer & Marketeer with expert knowledge of Global Meetings industry and Membership Based Organisations. Author, Digital Event Strategist, Networker, Visual Thinker, Consultant & Serial Entrepreneur. Radically creative and able to inspire people.

Internationally he is recognized as a thought leader in the meetings / events industry.

He is the founder of Event Model Generation, a Training and Consultancy organisation that helps organisations align their activities by illustrating potential trade-offs of their events. The Event Model Canvas is a strategic management template for developing new or documenting existing events and conference models.

Building a thorough Event Model Canvas can be achieved through a 10 step #EventCanvas methodology where the team involved in the event systematically analyses, describes and outlines the inputs for the components in the final canvas prototypes. The methodology is sequential and makes use of a range of visual thinking techniques.

The Foundation is the organisation that enables anyone to download the #EventCanvas for free under a 4.0 Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives license worldwide. It’s sole purpose is to promote and support innovation in the field of Event Design.

The Foundation supports and enables the creation of a common visual language for events design using the #EventCanvas.

It is tasked to provide the funding and resources to enable research, training and to make the Event Canvas and the methodology available to as many practitioners as possible. Ultimately, it enables teams across all geographies to design events that matter using a common methodology and template.

It is a foundation under establishment in the Netherlands (Stichting Event Canvas Foundation).

To support the cause, the foundation accepts donations from donors to enable scholarships, development and evangelism for Event Design and the Event Canvas.

Direct download: CTED_202.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37am EDT

In episode 201 Thom Singer shares his journey the last six months that has included changing his diet (he gave up most wheat and sugar), training to run a half marathon (He had almost never ran in his life), and changing his outbound business development habits.

Entrepreneurs can fall into two camps when it comes to their diet and fitness. They are either very dedicated to good choices, or they let their health slide. Thom had been in the later camp for most of his career. For Lent he gave up sugar and wheat, and then took up running in the spring. The result is a weight loss of 25 lbs, a new wardrobe (because his clothes no longer fit), more mental focus, and suddenly he calls himself a runner (excitedly going 3-5 miles a day four or five days a week).

He also doubled down on his business and has become a daily outbound salesman again. His speaking and coaching businesses are seeing an immediate impact from his efforts and he is excited to show others how they too can have results if they commit to small actions daily.

If you want to make some changes in your life, you need to listen to this episode. Thom opens up about what he has been doing and how he is changing his focus each morning to make sure he is making the right choices.

Knowing your goal makes it easy when you have to make hard decisions. What do you want to accomplish?

Direct download: CTED_201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58am EDT

Episode 200 is a big milestone for any podcast. When Thom Singer started this show he had no idea it would become such an important part of his business life. In interviewing nearly 200 entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, business leaders and others with the entrepreneurial spirit he has been exposed to many people with different paths to success.

In planning for this show Thom decided to look at what he has learned in speaking to others who have carved their own career path.

Ten Lesson Learned From Hosting "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do"

1. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone - and that is okay.
2. To be successful you have to go for it.
3. Enthusiasm and ambition matter.
4. Planning and focus (with execution) are key.
5. You have to take the risk if you want the rewards.
6. Networking is important.
7. Your product or service must fill a need.
8. Sales, sales, sales.
9. There will be rough days and weeks.
10. Pay attention to your numbers.


Direct download: CTED_200.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT