Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do

Dr. Michael Hudson is a teacher, speaker, writer, facilitator, coach & ideapreneur who can help you Get Your Message Heard™. Michael works with Entrepreneurs,

Executives and Experts seeking to get clear on their message and how to communicate it to create their impact on the world. Michael is the author of the book Public Speaker Secrets, filled with practical insights you can use to increase your impact every time you share your message.

Communication is Michael’s gift. He learned early that if you express a vision of what is possible and effectively communicate it, you could generate momentum and engage people in making it a reality. His dream became a reality, when a serendipitous opportunity happened for him to fill in for a speaker who canceled at the last minute. This led to the creation of a multiple 6-figure niche business operated for the past 16 years, before recently selling it.

Direct download: CTED_233.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:29am EDT

Mike Millard loves innovation, entrepreneurs, and learning! He combined all three with the help of his co-founder, Audrey, into Pitch-a-Kid. It helps entrepreneurs refine their pitches and helps kids develop critical thinking skills by evaluating pitches. Through this simple interaction, he believes both the entrepreneurs and kids will learn from one another. And maybe will inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in the process.

For nearly 20 years, Mike worked in a variety of roles ranging from innovation to venture capital to technology commercialization. He reviewed hundreds of pitches and understands the value of clear communication. His stops included Western Digital (enterprise disk drives), Dell (servers and storage), HP (Linux), AT&T Knowledge Ventures (Tech Commercialization), Austin Ventures (PE and VC investing) and most recently Ascension/Seton in an innovation role applying everything he learned in tech to healthcare. Mike has an MBA from Western Illinois University and a BS in Marketing and Business Administration from Illinois State University.

On a personal note, Mike is a dad and does dad stuff like uber his daughter to school and skating practice, check homework, and take naps on the couch. He is known to wear a Monster High backpack throughout the week while vacationing in Chicago. He could watch live tennis all day long, enjoys listening to U2, and has trouble seeing the full spectrum of colors.


Direct download: CTED_232.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm EDT

Jim Comer is a seasoned, multi-faceted communications consultant with more than 25 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies, professional associations and startups. What sets Jim apart is his ability to create and sharpen content, his collaborative, supportive and candid approach, and the extraordinary range of skills he brings to clients.

Jim is a speech coach, speechwriter, author and speaker. He has worked with CEOs of billion dollar companies, written two nationally published books, and speaks internationally on communication skills and his 14-year journey of caregiving for his parents.

Jim brings a depth of experience and creativity to his speech coaching and presentation skills workshops. As a published writer, his turnkey approach to coaching, writing and editing speeches is especially valuable to busy clients who don’t have time for extensive rehearsals. He knows when a presentation needs revising, shorter sentences, clearer language or personal stories – and is often able to make changes on the spot.

Whether working with the CEO, a sales manager, political leader, nonprofit board member, or someone who wants to overcome a paralyzing fear of speaking, Jim treats clients with respect, integrity, and a determination to meet their needs. His coaching philosophy is based on these simple principles:

Find the client’s strengths and build on them
Get agreement on those areas that need work
Celebrate breakthroughs and push for even higher levels of achievement
Emphasize the power of individuality and authenticity
Model individuality by demonstrating that there is no “right way,” only your way
Encourage clients to share stories and experiences that make points memorable
Jim’s experience as a writer is diverse: a book that landed him on the “Today Show”; articles on the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Dallas Morning News; jokes for Joan Rivers; a monologue for the legendary Bob Hope; creating a comedy act that played “The Improv” in New York; a book, When Roles Reverse: A Guide to Parenting Your Parents, that was nominated for Best Non-Fiction Book by the Writers’ League of Texas; and editing his father’s best-selling World War II journal, Combat Crew, currently a best-selling eBook on Amazon.

Earlier in his career, Jim honed his skills as an actor and writer in New York and Los Angeles. His corporate writing experience includes speeches, video scripts, conventions, sales meetings, recognition events and shareholders’ letters for annual reports. He has worked with executives for companies including Avon Products, Rockwell International, Advanced Micro Devices, Emerson, IBM, Universal Studios, Shaklee and Lowe’s.

Jim is active in the Austin chapter of the National Speakers’ Association, the Writers’ League of Texas, an award-winning speaker in Toastmasters, and sings in the choir of his church. He enjoys travel, theater, movies, politics, reading, roller coasters, and is a great dinner guest.

Direct download: CTED_231.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08am EDT

If you are planning to attend an industry conference, or any networking event, then you need to have a plan to maximize the investment of time and money. You are investing a lot to be at the event, do not make mistakes that limit your ROI.

In this episode Thom Singer talks about ways to connect better and make a lasting impression on the people you meet.

Direct download: CTED_230.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49pm EDT

The people who participate in the "Cool Things Project" group coaching program had a discussion recently about standing out from the crowd. This is not as easy as it sounds. We all think the little things we do, such as good customer service, are the key. However, all your competitors are claiming goo service. Nobody tells a client they suck as customer service, and the client can find out they fail until after choosing them. Thus doing good work, having good relationships, etc... are not things that make you get noticed. Doing a good job is expected, it is not a unique selling position.

This episode will challenge you to re-think what you do to stand out from your competitors.

Direct download: CTED_229.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49pm EDT

Julie Ann Sullivan speaks from experience. Many people consider her “a revolutionary.” She does not shy away from that title! She believes when people are given a new way of thinking they have a better attitude towards work and life. Julie Ann seeks to bring a more positive and productive environment into every business she visits. She is an author and a professional member of the National Speakers Association.

Julie Ann was a CPA and spent decades involved in the financial services industry. Now speaking full time, she is a professional member of the National Speakers Association and a member of the World Laughter Tour, Inc. and the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

She has a diverse educational background which includes a BA in Psychology and an MBA in Accounting. She also has a Certification as an Expert Level Practitioner as a Certified Laughter Leader.

Julie Ann is also an accomplished writer. Her newest book is titled, “A Little Bit of GRATITUDE Goes a Long Way.”

Her ultimate goal is not so much what participants hear in a presentation, but rather what they will use in their lives to uplift their attitude every day.

Her client list includes Fortune 500 companies, universities and schools, businesses, government organizations, non-profits, and healthcare facilities

Direct download: CTED_228.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Your leaders may not be as influential as they think they are! Stacey Hanke challenges leaders to stop believing how they feel when they communicate or their titles determine the level of influence they have on those they lead. These misperceptions prevent them from being heard, reaching a call to action and creating a reputation they're proud of Monday to Monday.

Stacey helps individuals eliminate the static that plagues communicative delivery to persuade, sell, influence or simply effectively communicate face-to-face with a clear message. Throughout her career, she has trained more than 15,000 people to conquer public-speaking fears, rid themselves of bad body language habits and choose words wisely. She has delivered over 500 presentations to business leaders, from the financial industry to the health-care industry to government and everyone in-between. Her client list is vast, including Coca-Cola Refreshments, FedEx, General Mills, Cardinal Health, Kohl's, the U.S. Army and Navy, Nationwide, Leo Burnett and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Stacey is co-author of Yes You Can! Everything You Need From A to Z to Influence Others to Take Action. Book #2, Influence Redefined...Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday, will be published in February 2017!

She has inspired thousands as a featured guest on numerous radio interviews nationwide. She has been featured in numerous articles and interviews in the national media: The New York Times, Smart Money,, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Network, WGN Chicago and WLS-AM Chicago.

Her area of expertise lies in offering practical skills and techniques that build confidence and credibility to leadership, client relationships and personal lives. She helps individuals change their communication behavior to maximize performance, build relationships to win business and put more money in their pocket.

She is also a:
- 2009 Recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Award
- Member of the National Speakers Association. Stacey was one of six speakers selected to present at the 2008 NSA Convention in the category "Top Six Under Forty"


Direct download: CTED_227.mp3
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Jason Call is a guy who has done a lot of cool things in his life. He is a successful, results driven executive, trainer, business owner, marketing leader, board member, and manager whose values, experience and creativity bring about increased sales for international and domestic clients in a wide array of industries.

Listen to this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" and hear about Jason's journey and his passion to give back to the greater good. Jason and Thom Singer have been friends since they played baseball together in junior high.

Jason is also behind "Dog Beds for Social Justice", selling the best quality dog beds with part of the proceeds going to the King's Ransom organization.

Direct download: CTED_226.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am EDT

Pat McDaniel is the founder of a website dedicated to helping motivated but weary people keep moving forward by finding the smartest path toward their success. Pat is passionate about sharing his story about how he kept hitting the wall, got mad, and was eventually ready to change how he made decisions, so that he could be on the right path.

Pat has a highly diverse background. He has been a long-time student (made it through the 19th grade) a CPA, a pastor and church planter, a sales manager, a search engine marketing strategist working in a marketing agency, an entrepreneur who started his own business from scratch, and an author of the E-Book: 5 Step Process to Making Better More Successful Decisions.

Pat has a distinct talent for helping entrepreneurs/leaders avoid unnecessary heartache, and find the smartest path by making better decisions to equal a better life. With that, his current research project is on decision making: helping readers understand how to overcome the hidden influences that can lead to bad outcomes.

Direct download: CTED_225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT

Check out this episode where you will hear about an entrepreneur's journey, bull semen, and cow beauty pageants.

Michele Payn personifies passion. Known as one of North America's leading experts in connecting farm and food, she serves as a resource for people around the plate. Michele encourages all of her clients and audiences to find people's hot buttons and speak their language - whether it's growing the conversation between farm gate and food plate, developing strategy, or building an advocacy plan. Widely known as a "change agent," Michele delivers training programs and motivational keynotes to empower organizations to build connected communities.

Entrepreneur: Utilizing her diverse professional experience in the agricultural, sales and not-for-profit sectors, Michele founded Cause Matters Corp., a company designed to build connections around the food plate, in 2001. Cause Matters Corp. focuses on addressing food myths, developing science communication, and connecting farm to food. In each of these core areas, Michele helps organizations clearly identify issues, understand their audience and grow solutions. Michele's goal is to help you communicate "why your cause matters" - whether you're a scientist, dietitian or in agribusiness.

Farm girl. Mom. Science enthusiast: She knows agriculture because she lives agriculture. Payn holds degrees in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science from Michigan State University, where she saw science come to life firsthand as a student worker in the animal reproductive physiology laboratory. Michele is past president of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Association and had the impact of her work featured in one of the first Spartan Sagas. Career highlights include a Regional Directorship for the National FFA Foundation, where she sold over $5 million in corporate sponsorships and led campaigns to develop community support for various Foundation expansions. She has also marketed and sold dairy genetics to more than 25 countries, managed e-business accounts and presented training programs in developing countries. Michele still holds her firsthand farm experience as the best contributor to her work.

Her lifelong passion for agriculture stems from childhood; she has been breeding and judging dairy cattle as a registered Holstein breeder since the age of nine and now resides on a small central Indiana farm. She enjoys working on the farm with her daughter, making memories with friends, traveling, coaching 4-H & FFA members and cheering on the Michigan State Spartans.

Author. Food translator: Michele has been baking since she was a young girl, but became a full-fledged foodie when she lived in Italy for a summer. She wrote the two-sided book "No More Food Food Fights! Growing a Productive Farm & Food Conversation" to encourage farm and food people to reach across the plate to find commonalities. Her new book, "Food Truths from Farm to Table: 25 Ways to Shop & Eat Without Guilt" will be released in early 2017 to bring clarity to grocery shopping and address food marketing myths.

Innovator" Michele's strong belief in community-building and overcoming food insecurity stems from experience on four continents, including working in the Ukraine and Egypt, through United States Agency for International Development (USAID) projects. She has been selected as a Face of Innovation and is also active in her central Indiana community, volunteering with FFA, 4-H, church and school.

Payn continues to hone her skills after helping thousands of people around the world. As a member of the National Speakers Association, Michele is the founder of a professional networking group for generation X and Y speakers. She has earned her Certified Speaking Professional, a designation awarded to CSPless than 10% of professional speakers globally.

Michele founded #AgChat and #FoodChat, a weekly moderated discussion on Twitter, in April 2009. Tens of thousands of people from more than 20 countries have participated in this highly visible conversation around food and farm issues. This community nominated Michele as one of Mashable's Top Three AgChat FoundationTwitter User's of the Year in 2009, putting agriculture alongside celebrities. Michele was one of the founding AgChat Foundation's board members in 2010 to grow the story of farmers, ranchers and agvocates in social media.

Michele measures success in conversations around the food plate by people who are willing to reach out to help make their cause matter. In celebration of this, Cause Matters Corp. awarded 10 food and ag organizations grants on its 10th anniversary. The company will continue that tradition with 15 Cause Forward grants this year in celebration of 15 years of building farm and food connections...stay tuned.

Direct download: CTED_224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EDT