Making Waves at C-Level


Those are the words repeated time and again by people who’ve experienced an inspiring program led by motivational speaker, Shannon McKain. Her powerful and uplifting messages have audiences nodding and cheering—and driven to get out there and achieve their dreams.

For nearly a decade, this Kansas City native has shared her charm, enthusiasm and inspiring words with young adults, employees and organizations, presenting each audience member with an important “gift”—the tools and motivation to harness their potential.

Using her own life experiences and encounters with adversity as a backdrop, Shannon shows audiences the way to the “Happiness Path,” providing easy‐to‐follow nuggets of inspiration participants of all ages can use in their daily lives. Shannon has entertained and educated audiences around the world, receiving several accolades and awards throughout her career. She has worked with TV personalities all across the country and was even featured on Nickelodeon in 2017.

A former professional NFL cheerleader, Shannon draws on that “go team” attitude to show her audiences how to gain yardage in the game of life. Her magnetic energy and enthusiasm will continue to inspire hearts and minds, long after the lights go down on your event!

In this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" Shannon shares her story of starting over. In the last month she has re-branded, changed her name back to her maiden name, and moved to a new city. Entrepreneurs always face change, but she has had more in one month than most will have in a year. 

Changing your name and moving to a new city is not uncommon, but when you are your brand, this can be a big thing. Hear her upbeat and powerful message about managing these changes in this raw and personal interview.

Direct download: CTED_349.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Susan Fowler is founder of Fowler Studios and co-creator and host of Full Time Hustle Podcast. She lives in Virginia with her husband Josh, and their two kids Hazel & Zane. Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains, she learned the value of hard work as she watched her dad build his business. She also swore she’d never become an entrepreneur because she saw exactly what it took to succeed.

Fast forward to 2010, she started photography so she could volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, and figured she would do a few photo sessions to make money while she was at it. When they moved to a new state, Josh told their new friends that Susan was a photographer, and before they knew it business was booming. In 2015 Josh quit his job to join the family business as a videographer.

Full Time Hustle Podcast began as an idea to help entrepreneurs take their side hustle to a full time hustle. Susan watched over the years as creative entrepreneurs struggled with the business side of things, and never quite managed to take the leap to full time with their passion. Full Time Hustle fills that void with free education for business owners to grow and thrive in their industry. Susan and Josh share what has worked for them over the years, as well as interview incredible entrepreneurs who have started from the bottom and built successful, ever-growing businesses.

Direct download: CTED_348.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

From an entry level sales person fresh out of college, to one of the youngest directors in the Silicon Valley at a Publicly Held company (now private), to the CEO of a 500+ person software integrator at the age of 28, to founding a Global IT consulting firm at the age of 32, Stephynie Malik has a tremendous amount of experience and an undeniable track record of success. She’s spearheaded and orchestrated multi-million dollar acquisitions, closed global deals and strategic partnerships in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars realm and was successful in single handedly growing her consulting firm into a global leader.

As the founder and driving force behind MalikCo, Stephynie Malik brings over two decades of dynamic IT consulting experience to her role as President and Chief Executive Officer. Now, as the founder of Chique Speak, she is making it happen again… from Technology Consulting to Human Consulting Stephynie Malik is crushing it globally just as we expected her to do!

Her creative vision and business acumen have been instrumental in
building the highly regarded global business that is MalikCo today. Her
entrepreneurial spirit, backed by years of experience in enterprise software and telecommunications companies and her drive to create long-term relationships with clients has helped her forge strong associations with the industry’s most widely respected IT leaders.

Stephynie recently founded and is in the midst of launching yet another specialty firm designed to ignite men to their true potential on every level. Stephynie Malik does not play small. In her first month in launching ChiqueSpeak, she was inundated with over 400 applications from Executives and Entrepreneurs all over the world. Her coaching style is real… not fluffy. It is proven and tried through all industry leaders and her countless awards speak
for themselves.

Direct download: CTED_347.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Zevia CEO Paddy Spence has been in the natural industry for over 25 years. He was the first head of sales and marketing for Kashi when it was seven employees and later went on to found SPINS, the first market research company tracking the sales of healthy, natural and organic foods. Paddy sold SPINS after running it for 9 years. After his time at Kashi, he went on to lead Zevia to corner the market on natural sodas. He can speak to what it takes to bring natural brands into the mainstream, and trends in the natural food & beverage space. He cut sugar from his diet completely over 17 years ago, and can also speak to the benefits of taking gradual steps, personally and as a family, to reduce sugar intake in the context of the American sugar consumption crisis.

Direct download: CTED_346.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Check out this episode of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do" and hear the story of how Thom Singer got past a 25 year fear of trying his hand at a comedy open mic night.

Now he has done it four times. Don't worry, Jerry Seinfeld is not nervous about his job security, and Kevin Hart is not asking him to open for him in his sold out arena comedy shows. But it has been a unique and inspiring experience for him and he plans to do it a few more times.

This episode is dedicated to talking to everyone about the importance of trying new things, and doing it with an open mind. No, not everyone needs to do a Stand Up bit in a comedy club or coffee house, but when you get past the fear of looking foolish or the fear of failure, there is power and growth in the trying.

Thom's first time ever at an open mic night was in New York City. He was convinced that all the comics would be great and that his five minute set would be the worst. That the word "bomb" would forever be attached to his one time comedy effort. But the result was positive. He got laughs, and found that comics have a supportive community.

His second time was a mess. Not his three minute bit, but the place he took the stage was disorganized, the hosts were not engaged (gave the best time slots to their friends and acted like a bunch of frat guys who didn't welcome strangers into their home)... but he still got laughs (although there were only 6 people still in the room, as all the comics were outside drinking with their friends). But the lesson here is that all open mic night experiences are not created equal. But it also made it clear that not everyone who got up on the mic would be funny... so why was he so worried.

The third and fourth times at open mic were really good and have inspired him to keep going. No, not to ever be a comic or to incorporate elements of stand up into his corporate speaking, but because the power in pushing yourself to do things out of your comfort zone come from what happens along the journey.

Check out this episode is you have ever wanted to try something hard, but let the fear hold you back.

Direct download: CTED_345.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Jessica Pettitt has been a guest on nearly 100 podcasts. In 2018 she made it a goal to appear on one show per week. Her experience as a guest who is committed to doing a great job for each show she has appeared on has lead her to some interesting observations about things podcast hosts do where they miss the mark of in creating their best possible product and a positive experience for those who are on the show. 

In a conversation we were sharing the mistakes of both hosts and podcast guests. We decided to take this topic onto episode 344 of "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do". With the boom in podcasting still accelerating, many are looking at joining in on both sides of the interview.

In this episode Thom Singer and Jessica discuss areas where both hosts and guests can be more aware in able to partner for greater success in the interview process. 

5 mistakes podcasters make when dealing with their guests

1. Disorganized in planning for their own show: Time zones, scheduling software, and expectations are just a few things to think about.
2. Surprising the guest with video. If your show is a video podcast or if you will be livestreaming on Facebook Live, you need to tell the guest in advance. 
3. 1984 called, it wants skype back... use zoom
4. Demanding too specific equipment / microphones
5. Canceling the appointment at the last minute. 

Bonus- Charging guest to be on your show with false promises of real reach. 

5 mistakes guests make when appearing in a podcast

1. Not having a good microphone. Yeah, while you may not need a $1000 mic, your built in microphone in your laptop is NOT good enough. 
2. Pitching to be on the show because you are smart with no attention to being a partner in promoting the episode. 
3. Failing to have listened to previous podcast episodes
4. Not aligning message with shows theme or podcast host and just pitching your book.
5. Cancelling or rescheduling at the last minute.

Listen to this episode and see the points of view from both the guest and the host, and you will create a better and more valuable partnership in your podcast hosting or guesting experience.

Direct download: CTED_344.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT

Mike Ganino s a culture + storytelling expert who helps executives, teams, and thought leaders communicate, connect, and engage. He is the author of Company Culture for Dummies and has been named a top 30 Culture Speaker by Global Guru. His unique experience as a hospitality and tech industry executive combined with his years as an improv actor help his clients and audience craft the kinds of stories that drive their culture, boost results, and increase sales. 

Mike’s work as a professional speaker, communications coach, Emcee, and trainer has helped create memorable performances and events for companies like Snagajob, PeopleMatter, Uber, US Foods, American Marketing Association, and more. He is faculty member at Heroic Public Speaking where he works with public speakers to boost their performance to book more stages. 

Audiences love Mike’s high energy, high engagement keynotes that fire them up to rewrite the stories happening in their organization. They leave with real-life strategies they can begin implementing immediately for improved culture that drives employee and customer experience. 

With a strong background as a hospitality and tech industry executive in charge of creating compelling cultures at companies like Protein Bar, ChowNow, Lettuce Entertain You, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Mike is the perfect choice for companies trying to create employee and customer experiences that deliver big results. His organizational know-how matched with his improv background from world-famous Second City, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and Improv Olympics helps him work impactfully with executives and leaders to communicate on target.

Direct download: CTED_343.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am EDT