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Absolute Advantage Podcast

The Absolute Advantage is about learning from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and achievers at the top of their game. When chasing your dreams, a lot of times there isn’t a need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, shorten your path to success by learning from the stories, strategies and concepts shared by our guests. Then shorten it even further by learning about amazing resources (books, webinars, tools, software, events, coaching, etc.) that should be on your radar. You are not alone in the challenges you face! It's my mission to help you walk away with at least one idea you can apply each episode and to offer content that inspires, encourages and helps you grow and progress QUICKLY both professionally and personally.
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Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 27, 2016

Kristin Marquet is the founder and managing director of Creative Development Agency (formerly award-winning firm, Marquet Media). She oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency as well as directs all client accounts and projects. Kristin also develops, manages, and implements various internal and external communication and social media initiatives. With a strong eye for creating memorable brands and a diverse range of knowledge, Kristin provides strategic counsel to clients interested in developing successful internal and external communication programs across all media platforms.

Kristin has forged successful partnerships with celebrity fashion designer and correspondent NV Nick Verreos; womens wear designer Yunes Swathe; Vancouver Fashion Week; prestige hair care brand Briogeo; French accessory designer Mona Roussette; and many more. She has generated media placements in Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, Seventeen and Lucky magazines, Glam.com, and countless other outlets.

Kristin holds a master’s degree in marketing and PR from New York University, and is also a contributor to Entrepreneur.com and NYDailyNews.com. She is also the founder of the business blog LifestyleandBusiness.com and lifestyle tech startup, TheLABDaily.com.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Kristin’s background and journey
  • What you need to figure out before you start hiring employees
  • Kristin’s story of how losing a big piece of business led to a bigger, better opportunity
  • The mentorship lessons Kristin took from her father
  • How Kristin learned to let go and start delegating effectively
  • How she finds and hires people
  • Looking at your company from your hire’s perspective
  • What “A Players” look like to Kristin
  • How to nurture your employees so that they stick around
  • Leading yourself through focus and time blocking
  • Why prioritization is so important
  • Kristin’s brand coaching packages

Ways to contact Kristin:

Oct 25, 2016

Lee Caraher is the CEO of Double Forte PR & Digital Marketing; an acclaimed communication strategist, she’s known for her practical solutions to big problems. Her company works with some of the top consumer and technology brands in the country.

Lee’s the author of “Millennials & Management” based on her experience with failing and then succeeding at retaining Millennials. Her next book, “The Boomerang Principle,” will be published in April 2017.

Lee has a reputation for building cohesive, high producing teams who have fun together at the same time. She is a straight talker who doesn’t hold too many punches, although she does her best to be pleasant about it. Her big laugh and sense of humor have gotten her out of a lot of trouble.

Lee is active in the community and currently serves on three nonprofit boards. A graduate of Carleton College with a degree in Medieval History, which she finds useful every day, Lee lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two sons, and a blind cat.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Lee’s background and journey
  • What Lee and Double Forte did to survive the market crash
  • How that crash forced Double Forte to become exceptional at customer service
  • Why they changed their model from only hiring people with 10 years of experience to hiring people straight out of college and what their balance of employees under/over 30 looks like today
  • How Lee’s experiences failing and then succeeding at retaining Millennials led to her publishing “Millennials & Management”
  • Why you have to have millennials in your business if you want to have a future
  • Why you need to work at creating an environment where your millennials will thrive
  • Creating a culture where employees are appreciated
  • Why you need to explain to millennials why they need to do things
  • What “A Players” look like to Lee
  • How Lee finds her “A Players” and what Double Forte does to use them effectively
  • Running an alumni program
  • What Double Forte’s interview process looks like

Ways to contact Lee:

Oct 20, 2016

John Livesay is a funding strategist who helps CEOs craft a compelling pitch that engages investors in a way that inspires them to join a startup’s team. He is partners with Judy Robinett in Crack The Funding Code which gets founders funded fast. He hosts The Successful Pitch podcast with investors from around the world. He is the Pitch Mentor at Startfast.net, the number one accelerator in Upstate New York. INC magazine calls him the Pitch Whisperer. After a successful 20 year career in media sales with Conde Nast where he worked across all 22 brands in their corporate division, John won salesperson of the year in 2012. John is the author of “The Successful Pitch: Conversations On Going From Invisible To Investable.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • John’s background
  • John’s book “The Successful Pitch: Conversations On Going From Invisible To Investable”
  • What makes a great pitch
  • Why collaboration is the secret to success
  • How to improve your confidence
  • What John learned from his mentor Tim Sanders
  • Why John started his podcast The Successful Pitch
  • Why building your team with people that fit your culture is more important than anything else
  • What John’s interviewing process looks like
  • How to avoid making the wrong hire
  • What you need to do to inspire your employees
  • Strategies you can use to lead yourself
  • Why you must meditate if you want to be good at sales
  • Strategies to maximize productivity

Ways to contact John:

Oct 18, 2016

Tracey and Doug Hepner founded IWS in 1987. IWS has built a staff of seasoned personnel with a reputation of broad experience, pride in craftsmanship and the ability to deliver both complicated and off the shelf solutions to their customers. The integrity of what they supply from the bid to the installation shows in their professional approach and desire to supply the very best.

Their key to success comes from running a well-managed small business that supports their dedicated family of employees and includes their extended family of vendors and customers.

They take the team approach to everything they do. They involve all the right people and create a winning attitude that allows long-term relationships to be built and maintained. IWS works under the belief that their reputation and signature is on every piece they deliver and that’s the way they like it! IWS applies the same quality to production runs as it does to custom runs, ensuring that the inside is as strong as the outside is beautiful. That is one reason their customer base is so loyal — if they say they can do, they do it. Their slogan is, “If you can draw it, we can build it.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Tracey’s background and how IWS came to be
  • Why you need to surround yourself with quality people and why you need to listen to what they have to say
  • What Tracey learned from her dad, an entrepreneur himself
  • How Tracey made it through the time when IWS was on life support — and how her business mentor helped her turn it around
  • Why Tracey had to turn away a major business opportunity and why it turned out for the best in the end
  • The point where Tracey decided that her team was wearing too many hats and how she grew the team to where it needed to be
  • The award-winning project for the University of Washington that moved IWS to the next level
  • Why the organizational chart is so important for the growth of your company
  • How to recognize which employees are holding you back
  • Why “A Players” are self-motivated and have the entrepreneurial spirit
  • What IWS’ hiring process looks like
  • How IWS onboards their employees — and why Tracey believes this is something that needs improving
  • Getting the processes out of your head and onto paper
  • How IWS stands out through their culture and opportunity

Ways to contact Tracey:

Oct 13, 2016

Kelly Hatfield is co-founder of Enginuity Advantage, Advantage Staffing Group, Enginuity Virtual Recruiter and Impact Real Estate Real Estate Group based in Everett, Washington. She has been in the recruiting and HR field for over 20-years and loves serving others. Kelly and her business partner have built three successful companies with the purpose of helping others succeed and delivering remarkable results. Kelly and her team strategically align themselves as “The Partner of Choice” with clients and strive to be the first place clients call when they are looking for extraordinary service, quality, and reliability. The resulting outcome has been an outstanding referral network that has built and continues to build their companies.

As Co-Founder and Owner of Enginuity Advantage, Advantage Staffing Group and Enginuity Virtual Recruiter, April (together with her amazing partner) has created and developed three successful businesses aimed at matching exceptional talent with the top organizations. With 17 years in the human resources and staffing realm, April has experience, knowledge and a love for people and aims to offer solutions to all who are served. Being a natural problem solver, she prides herself on developing and leading a team of recruiting professionals whose mission is focused on connecting people to opportunity. Through creative and exhaustive methods, the Enginuity Group successfully matches the right talent with the right businesses each and every day.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

Quotes from the following people and the lessons that we have learned from them:

  • Maya Angelou
  • Henry Ford
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Warren Buffett
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • John Wooden
  • Dr. Seuss

Ways to contact Kelly:

Ways to contact April:

Oct 11, 2016

Kute Blackson is a charismatic visionary and transformational teacher who offers a fresh, bold look at spiritual awareness for a whole new generation. Blackson’s unique lineage lay the blueprint for his approach to breaking down barriers and setting the gifts and greatness of others free. Born in Ghana, West Africa, Blackson’s multicultural upbringing as the child of a Japanese mother and a Ghanaian father has spanned four different continents. His unique lineage lay the blueprint for his approach to breaking down barriers and unlocking an individual’s true gifts and greatness.

Blackson has had a gift for transforming lives — including his own — since childhood. The son of a revered spiritual leader and healer, Blackson was speaking to his father’s congregations in more than 300 churches by the age of eight. At the age of 14, he was ordained into his father’s ministry and groomed to carry on the family’s spiritual legacy. But his heart’s truth told him that his destiny would not be in the church. He would need to take a leap into the unknown and forge a path of his own.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Kute’s background and why he decided to pursue the path he’s pursued
  • Why entrepreneurs can feel unfulfilled and why living a life of service can alleviate that feeling
  • What to do when it feels like nothing is working
  • Avoiding the trap of success
  • Why we constantly lie to ourselves and why the truth will set us free
  • Why it’s so important to stay in the moment
  • Why you have to lead yourself first
  • Kute’s personal routines and rituals for staying on track and leading himself
  • Kute’s book “YOU.ARE.THE.ONE.”

Ways to contact Kute:

Oct 6, 2016

Kelly Hatfield is co-founder of Enginuity Advantage, Advantage Staffing Group, Enginuity Virtual Recruiter and Impact Real Estate Real Estate Group based in Everett, Washington. She has been in the recruiting and HR field for over 20-years and loves serving others. Kelly and her business partner have built three successful companies with the purpose of helping others succeed and delivering remarkable results. Kelly and her team strategically align themselves as “The Partner of Choice” with clients and strive to be the first place clients call when they are looking for extraordinary service, quality, and reliability. The resulting outcome has been an outstanding referral network that has built and continues to build their companies.

As Co-Founder and Owner of Enginuity Advantage, Advantage Staffing Group and Enginuity Virtual Recruiter, April (together with her amazing partner) has created and developed three successful businesses aimed at matching exceptional talent with the top organizations. With 17 years in the human resources and staffing realm, April has experience, knowledge and a love for people and aims to offer solutions to all who are served. Being a natural problem solver, she prides herself on developing and leading a team of recruiting professionals whose mission is focused on connecting people to opportunity. Through creative and exhaustive methods, the Enginuity Group successfully matches the right talent with the right businesses each and every day.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why it’s sometimes necessary to use a staffing firm in lieu of trying to hire alone
  • Some of the common complaints about staffing firms
  • Choosing the right recruiting firm for your specific needs
  • Why your recruiting firm must be a partnership, not a vendor-client relationship
  • Why working with multiple recruiting firms is a bad idea
  • The prep work that needs to be done to set expectations and why you should expect pushback from a good recruiting firm
  • Why you need to be clear on what you’re hiring for
  • Making sure the employees you spend a premium to hire will succeed in your company
  • Interviewing staffing firms like you would an employee

Ways to contact Kelly:

Ways to contact April:

Oct 4, 2016

Marty Wolff is a serial entrepreneur having started and operated four different businesses. Those businesses were in transportation, retail, management consulting and business/executive coaching.

Marty has been recognized as a Presidents Club member as the leading indirect sales person for Cellular One, the VP of Sales and Marketing in the state of CA for Patrick Media Group, the Regional Sales and Marketing Manager for US Foodservice in Baltimore, MD, and the Director of Sales for Reinhart Foodservice of Eastern PA.

As a business coach and consultant Marty has played an important role in the success of large publicly traded companies, some with revenues exceeding $20 billion and with privately owned firms in many different industries.

Marty serves as an executive coach for several CEOs of privately owned companies. In 2012 Marty started the Business Builders Radio Show and Podcast. The show has nationally and internationally recognized speakers, authors and CEOs as guests.

Marty is also the host of Business Leaders Radio, a Northeastern PA based radio show for entrepreneurs, which is a production of Bold Gold Media. Effective March 2016, the Business Builders Show is also doing video interviews at major conferences across America. Combined with Marty’s success as a business/executive coach, the podcasts have created a demand for Marty as a professional speaker, meeting facilitator / emcee and as part of the media teams at major conferences.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Marty’s entrepreneurial journey
  • What freedom looks like to Marty
  • The importance of seeking advice from a number of different sources
  • Why you need to read Ari Weinzweig’s books before you do anything
  • The mentors that Marty has learned from throughout his career
  • The failure that led Marty on his path
  • What you need to think about when scaling your business
  • Why “A Players” are team players
  • What to look for on potential employees’ social media accounts
  • What Marty’s hiring process looks like and techniques he uses to find the right employees
  • The challenges of engaging with your employees in 2016
  • What causes people to leave and how to prevent it
  • Marty’s tips for continual growth
  • Why keeping a routine is so important
  • Why your to-do list needs to be focused on what moves the needle

Ways to contact Marty:

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