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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: 2016
Sep 22, 2016

Dan Lok is the CEO of Emperor Business Group, a multi-millionaire, serial entrepreneur, and an international best-selling author. Dan is considered the world’s leading expert in internet marketing and is referred to by many as the “Millionaire Mentor.” Dan Lok’s success extends far beyond the digital marketing space and into the business world where he has built a thriving network of multi-million dollar enterprises that are inspiring people around the world to build their dreams as entrepreneurs and business visionaries as well.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Dan’s journey
  • Why failure is so important
  • The lessons Dan learned from his two biggest mentors
  • What makes people quit and how to prevent disappointment
  • How to get the freedom you want through entrepreneurship
  • What Dan has learned in his career (including what he learned after losing $2 million)
  • The number one key to new business success
  • The most common struggles in scaling businesses and Dan’s strategies for overcoming these
  • Why you can’t let your ego get in the way
  • How to get the most out of conferences
  • What Dan looks for when he hires employees
  • The three kinds of employees
  • Why “time is money” is a terrible myth
  • Dan’s big productivity tips

Ways to contact Dan:

Sep 20, 2016

Kathy Northrup is the Owner of a top-ranked State Farm Agency located in Everett, WA. Her firm has been acknowledged repeatedly over the years ranked number one in production in our 6 state area and in the top 100 of 17,000 agents company wide. They have received lots of rewards over the past 35 years, but what matters most to Kathy is helping one client, one family at a time, achieve financial success and avoid financial loss. She has a passion for serving others and her success is directly attributed to that.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Kathy’s career journey and how she ended up in insurance
  • Why the most important element of your business is your people and how to get those people
  • The leadership lessons Kathy learned from her dad
  • A recent experience where Kathy had to make the decision to abandon a goal she had worked hard to achieve
  • The biggest challenge Kathy has found in scaling her business
  • Why a great attitude is the #1 most important factor of “A Players”
  • The challenge of scaling in insurance
  • How to find great employees
  • Kathy’s onboarding process
  • What Kathy give her employees to keep them from leaving
  • What to do when a key employee leaves
  • Why you need to constantly be improving yourself in order to be an effective leader
  • Three strategies for maximizing productivity

Ways to contact Kathy:

Sep 15, 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:

  • How we define “A Players”
  • Why “A Players” want to work with “A Players”
  • Challenge, opportunity, and growth: why the bigger picture matters to “A Players”
  • Why you need to invest in “A Players”
  • Why you need to keep “A Players” in the loop
  • How much does compensation matter?
  • What else besides compensation should you bring to the table?
  • What you should be doing to keep everyone engaged and in tune with each other

Ways to contact Kelly:

Ways to contact April:

Sep 13, 2016

Ross Warne P.Eng is Anvil’s Manager of Resources where he has the responsibility of leading Anvil’s Project and engineering effort. He establishes annual goals, works metrics by working with all disciplines to ensure Anvil continuously provides consistent, quality products and services to all clients.

Ross joined Anvil in 1997 as a Mechanical Engineer where he provided detailed discipline engineering for several of Anvil’s main clients. From there he moved into a discipline lead role and managed the mechanical work for several of Anvil’s largest projects. Following that he transitioned into a project management role from 2009 – 2010 and then managed their Anchorage office from 2010 – 2011. When he returned from Anchorage, Ross took over the Management of the Mechanical department from 2012-2013 before taking on his current role.

Ross has over 30 years of Mechanical Engineering, Construction Management and Mechanical design experience. He has mainly worked in two industries, Pulp and Paper in both domestic and overseas projects and Oil and Gas. He started out in the trades earning his Journeyman Certification as a machinist and worked in heavy oil research and development in the late 70s.

Ross holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary, a Journeyman Machinist Red Seal certification from the Province of Alberta, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the province of British Columbia. He immigrated to the United States with his family and they are now American citizens.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Ross’ journey and the challenges of his career
  • Why listening is the most important part of leadership
  • The lessons Ross as learned from Jim Wakefield, one of his most influential mentors
  • What Ross has learned from making mistakes and why mistakes don’t stick as much when you make them learning experiences
  • Why engagement is what separates the “A Players” from lesser employees
  • How Ross finds and recruits his talent
  • What Anvil’s onboarding process is like and how that is supported by their strong culture
  • How to provide meaningful careers to employees from different generations
  • What leaders need to do to keep learning
  • Ross’ personal development strategies
  • Three strategies for productivity

Ways to contact Ross:

Sep 8, 2016

Ari Weinzweig is CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, which includes Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Bakehouse, Creamery, Catering, Mail Order, ZingTrain, Coffee Company, Roadhouse, Candy Manufactory and the newest business—Cornman Farms. Zingerman’s produces and sells all sorts of full flavored, traditional foods in its home of Ann Arbor, Michigan to the tune of $60,000,000 a year in annual sales. Ari was recognized as one of the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the 2006 James Beard Foundation and has awarded a Bon Appetit Lifetime Achievement Award among many recognitions. Ari is the author of a number of articles and books, including “Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon” (Zingerman’s Press), “Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service,” “Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating” (Houghton Mifflin), “Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 1: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business,” and “Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader.” “Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3; A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves,” was released in December of 2013. “Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4; A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to the Power of Beliefs in Business” is scheduled for release in 2016.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Ari’s background
  • What “A Players” look like to Ari and why they’re different from other employees
  • Ari’s customer service philosophy
  • Ari’s employee onboarding process for developing the right employee mindset from the very beginning
  • Why Ari treats his employees as his customers
  • How Ari is able to retain employees and help them develop
  • Visioning and getting clear on the future you want to create
  • Ari’s four Zingerman’s business books (these don’t have to be read in any specific order!)
  • How Zingtrain came to be

Ways to contact Ari:

Sep 6, 2016

Kerry Ward is the Founder and CEO of Corporate Explorer Training. Business education that is effective, memorable and FUN! He is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience building companies in the technology and training fields. His extensive leadership training has served Kerry well in his roles as CEO, trainer, writer, media producer and father. His videos have been seen and downloaded by millions of people. He has carefully studied technology, information publishing, and internet marketing to stay on the cutting edge of modern business. An infectious love of Adventure pervades any of the high-energy courses facilitated by Kerry and his team.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Kerry’s entrepreneurial journey
  • The four different areas of development Kerry’s training focuses on
  • How energy and attitude influence everything
  • Enthusiasm, experience, energy, education, and entrepreneurial experience: how the “Five E’s” make a great leader
  • What Kerry learned from failing to make a challenging run in the Grand Canyon
  • How Kerry learned that you don’t have to have be fully formed before going to market
  • What qualities the “A Players” in Kerry’s business all share
  • How to keep virtual employees motivated
  • What to look for when interviewing potential hires
  • How to create a strong culture
  • Giving people an opportunity to shine

Ways to contact Kerry:

Sep 1, 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 making the wrong hire is one of the costliest mistakes you can make in your business
  • Identifying key attributes to look for employees
  • Getting laser-focused on a consistent hiring process
  • Why it’s important to get current employees involved in the hiring process
  • Why you need to have multiple interviews per potential hire and how to structure them differently
  • Why you need to interview with a partner
  • Should you allow your potential employees to submit a counter offer?
  • Putting systems in place to track employees after they’ve been hired
  • Why you need to be transparent with employees all throughout their employment — especially if it isn’t going right
  • When to pull the trigger and fire an employee

Ways to contact Kelly:

Ways to contact April:

Aug 30, 2016

Vera Fischer began her career in residential real estate, working her way up from Leasing Agent to Property Manager. She segued to Operations Manager for the first privately held Cognitive Rehabilitation clinic in Austin, Texas. In 1993, Vera launched her career at GSD&M, an internationally known advertising agency. After various positions within several Austin area agencies, Vera went client-side to Forgent Networks. There she managed and implemented a multi-million dollar marketing budget for several years.

In 2004, Vera founded her agency, 97 Degrees West known as The Brand Marketing Agency. Since 2004, the agency has survived both recessions and shown significant growth since 2012. Clients include: LS Tractor USA, United Heritage Credit Union, FirstCare Health Plans and several area small businesses in real estate, oil & gas and speciality medical practices. 97 Degrees West has been the recipient of 15 international creative and marketing awards including a Stevie Award from the American Business Association.

Vera is a member of the University Area Rotary Club, a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University, a Mentor at Capital Factory and most recently, was accepted to the Masters program at Texas State University in Strategic Communications.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Vera decided to start 97 Degrees West
  • How hiring a coach helped Vera stop making the same mistakes over and over
  • Understanding what you can and can’t do and hiring employees to offset your strengths
  • What Vera focuses on herself
  • How Vera has combated the challenges of unpredictable revenue
  • Why Vera has removed herself from 97 Degrees West hiring process
  • The qualities “A Players” at 97 Degrees West share
  • How Vera is able to retain employees
  • Things Vera does to develop her own skills
  • What Vera does to stay focused
  • Vera’s calendar scheduling tactics that keep her organized
  • Vera’s upcoming podcast launch

Ways to contact Vera:

Aug 25, 2016

Dave Gardner has spent over 25 years as a professional in the Real Estate industry as Professional Land Surveyor, Builder, Residential and Commercial Investor, and Mortgage Advisor. From early on, he built a career serving others. In his role as a Mortgage Advisor, Dave helps purchasers with much more advice than just their rate and the cost of their loan. His resume spans many years and experience in all aspects of real estate.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Dave decided to go into business and the journey he’s been on since then
  • Dave’s unique housing project
  • Surrounding yourself with good people and setting up your business to survive after you leave
  • How Dave sees mentorship from a career-long perspective
  • Why you should hire a coach
  • Dave’s struggles in the early days of his business and the lessons he learned from
  • What to look for in employees and how to find them anywhere
  • How to get employees to stick around
  • Making sure your business is ready for anything
  • Evolving both professionally and personally
  • Why it’s so important to hire an assistant as soon as possible and other methods Dave has for staying productive
  • Why your business can only survive if you delegate

Ways to contact Dave:

Aug 23, 2016

Wendy Keller is an award-winning former journalist, a respected literary agent, an author, speaker and acclaimed book marketing consultant. She got her first job as a newspaper reporter as a 16-year-old college freshman. Since then, Wendy worked for PR Newswire; the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain; as managing editor of Dateline magazine; and as associate publisher of Los Angeles then-second-largest Spanish-language weekly, La Gaceta. She founded what is now Keller Media, Inc. as ForthWrite Literary Agency in 1989.

She has sold an astonishing 1,500 rights deals worldwide, including 17 New York Times best-sellers and 9 international best sellers.

Wendy was 26 when her own first book was published. Today, she is the author of 31 published books under 9 pseudonyms and 11 self-published books.

Her next book, “The Ultimate Guide to Platform Building,” will be published by Entrepreneur Press in Fall 2016.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Wendy started her own agency and how she was able to grow it quickly
  • The physically and emotionally devastating experience Wendy experienced early in her career
  • Creating a business that lets you live your life on your own terms
  • How Wendy helps entrepreneurs as a literary agent (it’s not just selling books!)
  • Some of the big mistakes entrepreneurs make
  • The things Wendy wishes she would have done earlier
  • Why you need to delegate whatever you can
  • The best hiring strategy
  • Wendy’s strategies for recognizing great employees
  • How Tony Robbins changed Wendy’s life
  • Why it’s so important to do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it
  • Wendy’s list of five things that have to get done every day
  • How to set clear expectations of others
  • Making life as systematized as possible
  • Growing your personal platform

Ways to contact Wendy:

Aug 18, 2016

April Taylor, Co-Founder and Owner of Enginuity Advantage, Advantage Staffing Group, and Enginuity Virtual Recruiter, has, with her business partner, 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:

  • April’s career before co-founding Enginuity Group and why we decided to co-found it together
  • How to be a clear communicator
  • The lessons of leadership April learned from her dad
  • A challenging time in our business and how we were able to make it a turning point
  • The challenges we’ve faced scaling our business
  • The attributes of a successful team member on what an “A Player” looks like
  • How to find and keep great employees
  • What to do when key employees do leave
  • Why complex isn’t always better
  • Why you need to surround yourself with people smarter than you
  • Why staying organized is so important for April
  • The importance of strong delegation tactics

Ways to contact April:

Aug 16, 2016

Stephen Woessner is the CEO of Predictive ROI and the host of the brilliant Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, “The Small Business Owners Handbook to Search Engine Optimization” and “Increase Online Sales Through Viral Social Networking.” His digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Inc. Magazine and more. His agency blends education in very transparent ways for clients.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Stephen’s background and why he started Predictive ROI
  • The lessons of parenting that can be used when running a company
  • What Stephen learned from his grandfather that impacted the way he runs his life and his business
  • The lessons Stephen learned when Predictive ROI lost $200,000 on a failed event
  • Why “proactive” is Stephen’s favorite word and how the Predictive ROI team is built around this
  • How to find “A Players” and recruit them into an internship program
  • The improvements Stephen and his team have had to make to their onboarding process due to previous failures in that area
  • Why overnight success is a myth
  • How to keep your employees
  • Why you need to be very careful of who you are spending your time with
  • Why you need to be completely transparent with your mentors
  • What separates the super-high achievers from the rest
  • How to protect your schedule

Ways to contact Stephen:

Resources:

Aug 8, 2016

David Mammano is the Founder/CEO of Next Step Education Group, entrepreneurial coach and professional speaker.

He has created five companies from scratch and has become known as a successful, serial, grassroots entrepreneur. He loves helping other entrepreneurs shorten the learning curve.

David’s mission in life is to help people realize their highest potential through education. To accomplish this mission, David founded what has become Next Step Education Group, in 1995. Next Step Education Group is a multi-media enterprise with digital, mobile, video and consumer products and has grown to become a nationwide resource that helps millions of students a year with college, career and life planning.

In 2004, David published his first book, "101 Things You Can Do To Become an Outstanding Young Adult." His second book, "Make Love in the Workplace," a guide to awesome culture in the office, was published in 2014.

David has spoken at hundreds of high school, college, business and EO events. In June 2012, he was able to check something off from his bucket list and spoke at a TEDx Conference.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What made David decide to become an entrepreneur and how his career has evolved since then to where it is today
  • Why you need to surround yourself with mentors
  • Why business leaders have to put their egos aside, hire people smarter than them, and let them do what they do
  • Young employees vs. veterans: who should you hire and when?
  • Turning failures into opportunities
  • The challenges David has faced when scaling his business
  • What David looks for in his “A Players”
  • How to retain your employees easily
  • What David uses to work on his personal development
  • Why you should never ever wing your schedule

Ways to contact David:

Aug 8, 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 result 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:

  • Our recent experience speaking with a company that had a high employee turnover rate
  • Why hiding major leadership change creates an environment of fear that leads to people making their own inaccurate assumptions
  • How to show employees that they are valued when increasing pay is not an option
  • Why your employees need to know what your expectations for them are
  • Why you need to be careful when promoting employees into new roles
  • Our recommendations to the company

Ways to contact Kelly:

Ways to contact April: 

Resources:

Aug 8, 2016

David Long is a Speaker, Author, World Class CEO and Student of the Game of Business. He is the Founder and CEO of MyEmployees, a 27-year-old firm in the Top 1% Worldwide in the Employee Engagement and Recognition industry. His firm specializes in helping managers build stronger, more engaging relationships with their team members while linking the rewards and recognition program to the desired goals of the company.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The story of how David started his company from desperation, not inspiration
  • Why David’s company is able to grow by 20% every year and how he’s able to take more than 20 weeks of vacation a year
  • Why you need a mentor and need to keep learning
  • What David’s father taught him
  • How David turned a really negative situation into (conservatively) $20 million
  • The problem with hiring friends and family
  • What “A Players” look like to David and how to find them
  • How David creates a great culture
  • David’s onboarding process
  • How he’s able to run a business where people don’t leave
  • The importance of the mastermind group
  • How replaying today helps David make tomorrow better

Ways to contact David:

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