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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: 2017
Apr 11, 2017

Hilary Laney is the President of Evia, Inc (formerly Tri-Digital). She has been at Evia for over 12 years, and she has held the position of president for nearly three years. During her time as President, she has been responsible for the growth of the company from 11 employees to over 35 today, and revenue growth 71%. Hilary has achieved this by anticipating clients needs and expectations for the future and working closely with her team to develop innovative solutions. Most recently, she has overseen the launch of Evia’s first product, a self-managed virtual events platform, as well as the first-ever rebranding of the 23-year-old company.

Hilary knows that every organization has a story to tell to their employees, partners, and customers. In a virtual world, these stories can be told through videos, social posts, blogs, infographics, and on and on. The problem most companies are faced with today, is there are TOO MANY options for releasing content to their audience, so it often feels disconnected. This is where Hilary and her team at Evia have made an impact. They are experts in sharing the stories of their customers, and she embodies the company’s mission: to unify people through access to relevant content.

Hilary has applied her talents to philanthropic efforts as well. She is always keeping her eyes and ears open to the community around her so she can work with them to help achieve their goals rather than simply donating checks. A few of the organizations she is most committed to are: Friends of Youth, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, TEDxSeattle, and the Museum of History And Industry (MOHAI), where she is a candidate to join the Board of Trustees.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Hilary’s background
  • Why you need to surround yourself with people who know what you don’t
  • The lessons of honesty and integrity that Hilary learned from her dad while working with him
  • How Evia took a massive failure at an event and turned it into a great business relationship with Microsoft
  • Why you need to work on your personal development and the development of your team
  • Why Hilary has a one-on-one with every employee in her company twice a year
  • The challenge Hilary faces in finding employees that fit into Evia’s culture
  • What Evia’s culture looks like
  • How Evia retains their “A Players”
  • Why you need to look for the positive in everything

Ways to contact Hilary:

Apr 6, 2017

Larry Ransom is founder and president of The Synergy Network and Brain on Future. He earned his master’s degree in applied behavioral science from Bastyr University. Larry worked for over 10 years with Jim Bergquist, founder, and president of bizFuture’s Consulting Company, coaches to the world-famous Pike Place Fish Market.

Larry has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, Starbucks, Hallmark, and more, providing his expertise as a trainer and coach in building high-performance cultures and teams. His clients also include a number of high-profile individuals such as a Platinum Recording Artist, an Emmy Award Winning Director, and a National Best Selling Author.

Larry’s passion is to empower individuals to take responsibility for their passionate purpose and creativity, so they can produce results beyond what they might normally imagine. Larry believes in the concept of ownership mindset where each team member not only takes ownership for his/her individual role within the team but also takes ownership of the overall success of the organization.

Once team members have been given the tools and strategies to tap into their power and passion, Larry gives them the opportunity to invest and commit themselves as a member of the team and to take a stand for the overall objectives and vision of the organization.

Larry’s focus is to produce results you can measure. Larry’s technology for aligning, engaging and inspiring your team equates to results that you can see.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why you need to get really clear on your “why”
  • Why you need to build your business on purpose, vision, and values
  • What Larry learned from his three most influential mentors
  • Why you absolutely need a coach to learn and grow to your highest potential
  • Why you need to look at failure as an opportunity to grow
  • What will happen when you ask your clients “what’s missing?”
  • The five key elements to building a high-performance team
  • Why your business is an expression of who you’re being
  • What Larry does with Brain on Future

Ways to contact Larry:

Apr 4, 2017

Jonathan Martin was born in California but raised in Auburn, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and started coolblueweb from his basement in 2009. He loves getting to see the impact of his work in the community and enjoys the hard-working, fun-loving culture at the company office. When he isn’t at the office, Jonathan can be found rock climbing or spending time with his wife, two daughters, and son. His favorite Seattle landmark is Alki Beach.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why you need to build a team of exactly the right people
  • Why you need to be painfully honest with anyone you communicate with
  • The lessons Jonathan learned about taking care of your employees while an employee himself at Costco
  • Why you need to let go of the people that aren’t right for your business
  • The sales skills Jonathan learned as a real estate agent
  • Why you need to ask yourself “why” a lot
  • Teaching your team to deliver the most value for your customers
  • How to sustain a great company culture when your business grows past your ability to know every employee well
  • coolblueweb’s culture of character, passion, forward thinking, and quality
  • Their morning daily meeting where every employee shares what they’re working on and what they need help with that day
  • What coolblueweb’s “A Players” look like
  • Why having an interview at a restaurant is a great idea and what Jonathan learns during these interviews
  • Why listening to your “A Players” is a must if you want them to stick around
  • Why you need to celebrate your wins with your team
  • Why you need to surround yourself with a peer group
  • Why you should use a stand-up desk

Ways to contact Jonathan:

Mar 30, 2017

Michael Hauge works with people who want to change more lives and make more money, by telling better stories. He is one of Hollywood’s top story experts, script consultants, and authors. He now uses the principles of blockbuster storytelling to help entrepreneurs, consultants, and business leaders with their speeches, articles, and marketing emails. Michael has presented seminars, lectures, and keynotes in person and online to more than 70,000 participants worldwide. According to Will Smith, No one is better than Michael Hauge at finding what is most authentic in every moment of a story.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Michael’s background working with Hollywood storytellers to tell better stories, and how and why he’s brought that to other industries
  • The critical evaluation of Michael’s script coaching and how he used that feedback to improve his coaching services
  • The three secrets to success in screenwriting Michael learned from his mentor Art Arthur (which can be applied to all forms of writing)
  • Why stories are a great way to an emotional question between you and your audience or you and your clients
  • The six steps of a success story (and how to apply them to your business)
  • The common mistakes business owners make when telling a story
  • Why you will tell a better story and connect with your audience better when you own your fears

Ways to contact Michael:

Resources:

Mar 28, 2017

Randy is a Principal at The Spur Group and a leader in executive communications and staffing practices. He has over 20 years of experience in the consulting industry.

He has written internal & external communications, developed presentations & speeches and created communication plans for many executives at clients including Microsoft, Cisco, Nokia and Juniper Networks. In addition to the communications experience, he has led large team projects for the clients I just named as well. Excellent training and management of his teams have led to the development of a practice line of placing highly talented, highly skilled people in fast-paced environments with great results.

The Spur Group has been recognized for its culture and investment in people in magazines such as Seattle Business Magazine for the last three years.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Always looking for the beauty in the people you work with, for, and around
  • The lessons of respect Randy learned from his father
  • Why you need to get really clear on your “what” and your “why”
  • How The Spur Group overcame their struggles with scaling
  • What Randy and his team looks for in candidates during the interview process
  • What The Spur Group’s culture looks like
  • Why you need to give candidates a well-rounded view of your business throughout the interview process
  • The week-long paid training program The Spur Group has candidates go through before deciding whether to hire them as employees or not
  • Mentors, Career Managers, and Engagement Managers: the three people each employee is assigned to help aid them in their career at The Spur Group
  • Why you should offer your “A-Players” the opportunity to lead
  • How to prepare for key employees leaving
  • Why you should force employees to answer their own questions
  • Why you need to really focus on getting every engagement right from the beginning
  • The importance of being open and inclusive

Ways to contact Randy:

Mar 23, 2017

Valerie McMurray, President/CEO of NorthStar Consulting Group, has 25 plus years of human capital management experience with leadership roles in human resources, organizational and leadership development, coaching, and training. She has held strategic HR positions in the financial industries, professional services, manufacturing, and distribution. Valerie has an extensive background in the development of innovative human capital management programs and leading cultural change emphasizing collaboration and effective employee engagement initiatives. As President/CEO of NorthStar Consulting Group, Valerie works with individuals and organizations to expand capability and capacity with innovative human capital management initiatives building on the strengths of clients to move toward their greatest potential. As a board certified executive coach she works with profit and nonprofit leaders and managers to coach them in leadership, professional development, and career transformation.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Valerie’s journey
  • The WISE (Women’s Inventory of Success Empowerment) Profile tool and how it can be used by both male and female leaders
  • The lessons of self-awareness Valerie learned from her mentor early in her career
  • Why you can never stop working on your own personal development
  • Why underestimating your own limitations is so crucial
  • Valerie’s daily reflection and planning strategy that keeps her focused on her priorities
  • Why you should think about “how you can be a better…”
  • Why you need to be aware of your own emotions and the emotions of those around you
  • Developing processes to mitigate unconscious biases in the hiring process
  • Why you can’t afford to hire people that are just like you
  • Structuring your interview process so that you come away with the information that you actually need
  • Why you need to understand the individual motivations of every member of your team
  • Why you need to set up an onboarding process and longer success path (30 days to a year, depending on resources) to make sure new hires achieve success
  • Why you should always seek out as much feedback as you can

Ways to contact Valerie:

Mar 21, 2017

Ryan Neal is a seasoned investor, director, and advisor with more than ten years of experience in collaborating with the owners and managers of private companies to increase their value. Ryan is the President and co-founder of Blueprint Consulting Services, LLC. He also is an active member of the Seattle chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization.

Blueprint Consulting Services is Washington State’s fastest-growing private company for 2015 and 2016 by Puget Sound Business Journal. They’ve also won Best Company to Work For by Puget Sound Business Journal and Seattle Business Magazine.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Ryan’s background
  • How Blueprint Consulting Services bridges the gap between strategic analysis and solution delivery
  • The challenges they’ve faced growing from 0 to 600 employees in just four years
  • Why you need to be uncomfortable to keep growing
  • How and why Ryan vets applicants so that their team is full of people who take challenges that would intimidate most people and figure out how to better their company through the solutions to those challenges
  • Why Blueprint treats all their employees like entrepreneurs and gives them the freedom to spend their time wherever they want
  • Why Blueprint celebrates when then their employees leave (and what they do when an employee leaves for a reason that is Blueprint’s fault)
  • Why you have to have crashed and burned to learn the lessons you need for success as an entrepreneur
  • Why you should never stunt an individual’s growth because you “need” them to service your business in a certain way
  • Why you need to reevaluate your processes and be self-reflective as an entrepreneur
  • Aligning your priorities so that what you focus on is aligned with who you need to be
  • What Ryan’s learned from his mentor John Connors
  • Why you need to have the humility to not be an expert

Ways to contact Ryan:

Mar 16, 2017

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 a hiring search will lose direction and momentum if a Project Champion is not in place
  • Why having too many people working on a hiring search instead of just one Project Champion can make the whole process very confusing
  • How not having a Project Champion can leave candidates with a bad impression of your company
  • Why having a Project Champion to keep things moving has a bigger impact on your business than you realize
  • Why the Project Champion must have a vested interest in the success of the search
  • The qualities that make a person a great fit to be your Project Champion

Ways to contact Kelly:

Ways to contact April:

Mar 14, 2017

Ray is the Managing Principal and leader of The Spur Group, Inc, a business consulting firm. He brings over 30 years of experience to Spur’s consulting business. As the leader of Spur’s communications and operations practices, Ray is responsible for developing and delivering offerings that drive organizational impact and business attainment. Prior to founding The Spur Group, Ray was the Managing Principal of Touch Business Consulting where he grew the business to a nationally recognized consulting firm.

The Spur Group won several awards in 2016 from the likes of Inc Magazine, Consulting Magazine, and Seattle Business Magazine.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Ray’s journey
  • Connected communications: how The Spur Group builds marketing and sales materials around difficult and technical topics
  • How to manage rapid change
  • What The Spur Group’s great culture looks like
  • The nine attributes that make up Spur’s “A Players”
  • Spur’s clear career paths, challenging work, and shared profits: how they keep their “A Players”
  • Why Spur’s training program is based on having team members work on their strengths — not their weaknesses
  • Why Spur’s attrition rate is so low — and why they’ll often have people who have left come back
  • Asking your team what they know vs. what they suspect
  • Why you need to constantly assess if you’re focused on what matter
  • The importance of picking the right partners
  • Why you need to say hello to everyone you can in your business every day

Ways to contact Ray:

Mar 9, 2017

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 you need to really get clear about what your reputation is
  • How to figure out what your employees and customers think of you
  • The kind of feedback about companies that we receive as recruiters
  • Sites like Yelp, Google, and Glassdoor where you can find feedback
  • Why no presence is as bad as a bad presence
  • Why you need a person keeping their finger on the pulse of social activity
  • What to do when something negative happens online
  • Why you should always share anything that makes your company look positive
  • Making sure you’re visible when people are searching for jobs
  • How to use your reputation to retain employees

Ways to contact Kelly:

Ways to contact April:

Mar 7, 2017

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic®, The Loyal Customer, The Cult of the Customer, The Amazement Revolution and Amaze Every Customer Every Time. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus™, a customer service training program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

In 1983 Shep founded Shepard Presentations and since then has worked with hundreds of clients ranging from Fortune 100 size organizations to companies with less than 50 employees. Shep Hyken’s most requested programs focus on customer service, customer loyalty, internal service, customer relations and the customer experience. He is known for his high-energy presentations, which combine important information with entertainment (humor and magic) to create exciting programs for his audiences.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Shep’s background
  • How to get great feedback (and how to understand feedback that you’re not being given)
  • Why your job is not the product or service you create
  • The six steps for creating a customer-focused culture
  • What you can learn from Walt Disney about great customer service
  • Why everyone in your company is your internal customers (and why you must treat them as such)
  • Learning from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s 10 core values that their culture is built upon
  • Why you need to create a journey map for the journey you want your customers to take
  • Thinking outside to take away customers’ complaints
  • Why you need to make it easy for your team to succeed (and how that ties into having a clearly defined mission)
  • The difference between learners and successful learners
  • Why you must act and behave like you want others to act and behave
  • Shep’s virtual training course

Ways to contact Shep:

Mar 2, 2017

Menlo Innovations CEO Rich Sheridan had the all-consuming thought during a difficult mid-career in the chaotic technology industry that things can be better. Much better. He had to find a way. His search led him to books, authors, and history, including recalling childhood visits to Greenfield Village every summer. The excitement of the Edison Menlo Park New Jersey Lab served as his siren call to create a workplace filled with camaraderie, human energy, creativity, and productivity.

Ultimately, Rich and his co-founder James Goebel invented their own company in 2001 to “end human suffering in the world as it relates to technology” by returning joy to one of the most unique endeavors mankind has ever undertaken: the invention of software.

Their unique approach to custom software design, they named it High-tech Anthropology® has produced custom software that delights users rather than frustrating them. The programming team creates the software that works every day without the emergencies that are all too common in the tech industry. The process itself is so interesting that almost 4,000 people a year travel from around the world just to see how they do it. Many spend a week or more studying “The Menlo Way” being taught by the Menlonians who love to share their experience and knowledge.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Rich’s background
  • Menlo Innovations’ joyous culture that people come in the thousands every year to witness
  • Why you need to turn your sights outward to who you serve and deliver joy to them
  • Why Menlo has its employees work two to a computer and bans the use of earbuds
  • How Menlo simulates the work environment during the interview process
  • Why Menlo doesn’t even look at resumes
  • The three-week paid trial new hires at Menlo enter into
  • The tower of knowledge problem that becomes a prison on knowledge problem in the IT industry and what Menlo does about it
  • How Menlo systematically gives each other feedback
  • The one meeting Menlo has every day (and why they avoid other meetings at all costs)
  • Why the Menlo team doesn’t even look at email on vacation
  • Why staying the same is riskier than growing

Ways to contact Rich:

Feb 28, 2017

Craig Cody is a Certified Tax Coach, Certified Public Accountant, Business Owner and Former New York City Police Officer with 17 years experience on the Force. In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant for the past 15 years, he is also a Certified Tax Coach. As a Certified Tax Coach, Craig belongs to a select group of tax practitioners throughout the country who undergo extensive training and continued education on various tax planning techniques and strategies to become, as well as remain, certified. With this organization, Craig has co-authored an Amazon best seller book, Secrets of a Tax-Free Life.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Craig’s background in the NYPD and how he became a Certified Tax Coach and Certified Public Accountant
  • What Craig learned on the NYPD that influenced what he looks for when hiring employees
  • What Craig learned from his dad, one of his biggest mentors
  • Why Craig hired a coach for himself and how that had a big impact on his business
  • How Craig structures his hiring process and how it’s helped him hire great employees
  • Why a great culture has to be built on the working relationship working for all parties
  • Why you should never ever hire in a panic
  • Proactive tax planning: how Craig helps his clients save more of what they make
  • The biggest mistakes business owners make all the time
  • Why Craig doesn’t just work with his clients during “tax season”
  • Craig’s free giveaway: “10 Most Expensive Tax Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Thousands”
  • Why you need to join a mastermind group and need an accountability partner
  • How to know if you are getting the right kind of tax planning (and what to do if you aren’t)

Ways to contact Craig:

Feb 23, 2017

Michele Stuart graduated with a Masters in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) from Va. Tech. She has performed improvement projects using Lean/6 Sigma tools, advanced analytics and simulation for 40 years concentrating on Healthcare organizations over the past nine. Since 1994, as President and founder of Efficiency Engineers, she and her staff have been bringing together the expertise and experience of internal teams utilizing the Lean/6 Sigma tools for sustained meaningful change. Whether the organization is a single hospital/physician office or a network of over 20 hospitals, Lean/6 Sigma teams under Michele’s facilitation have not only made the patient experience better, but better the clinical outcomes and the organization work more effectively.

As a Project Management Professional, PMP, Michele also provides expertise in keeping her projects on time and on budget. To ensure that her expertise remains fresh, she also has and continues to teach PM, Lean/6Sigma, and IEOR courses through various universities including Lehigh, Penn State, and DeSales University. Mentorship and expansion of learning are a cornerstone to her management style as well. Customers enjoy the empowerment of expanding their staffs capabilities whenever Efficiency Engineers joins them as a partner in projects.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Michele’s background
  • How Michele learned that she had to bill more of the total project cost up front
  • Why you need to listen to what people are telling you
  • Taking enough time to review information before jumping to conclusions
  • Why Michele runs her business virtually and doesn’t pay her employees on a salary
  • Why you should let employees work when they’re most productive
  • Why it’s easier to replace employees that leave on a project-based business
  • How Michele pushes her employees to think outside the box
  • Why your employees have to be able to give and receive feedback
  • Why you always have to be ready for change in industrial engineering
  • The ongoing problem of masters level students in engineering being primarily foreign students
  • Michele’s presentation at the Society for Healthcare Systems conference in February on the Implementing Electronic Medical Record Systems

Ways to contact Michele:

Feb 21, 2017

Involved in the financial planning profession since 1979, Lynn Evans was the first person in Northeast Pennsylvania to earn the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. She is a graduate of Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA and has over three decades of experience in financial planning. She is the founder and president of Northeastern Financial Consultants, Inc., a fee-only financial life planning firm in Clarks Summit, PA.

Named by the Governor of PA as one of the Top 50 Best Women in Business, Lynn maintains memberships in the Financial Planning Association, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and is one of the founders of the Northeast PA Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Lynn is a Founder and former Board Member of the Women’s Resource Center, Inc., a domestic violence shelter, a member of the President’s Advisory Board of Keystone College, and served as a volunteer with the United Way of Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.

Lynn is also the author of a recently published book, Power of the Purse, Fear-Free Finances for Baby Boomer Women, available on amazon.com, and is the host of Power of the Purse Podcast, on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Lynn’s background
  • Why listening more than you speak is a great tool for leadership
  • Leaving a legacy behind you
  • The story of how Lynn recovered from a cease and desist order and got the law changed to be more relevant for financial planning
  • Why you need to treat all of your employees fairly
  • The challenge (especially for women entrepreneurs) for needing to set boundaries but wanting your employees to like you
  • Why you need self-directed employees
  • Focusing on the things that are most important and doing what furthers the progress of your business
  • Why Lynn doesn’t function doing the same things in the same order every single day
  • Lynn’s podcast Power of the Purse

Ways to contact Lynn:

Feb 16, 2017

Amy Anderson is the creator of Transformative Writing for Non-Writers, founder of Anderson Content Consulting LLC, and former senior editor of SUCCESS magazine. She’s an Emmy Award-winning writer, writing coach, and speaker who has worked with clients like John Addison, Todd Duncan, John Assaraf, and Darren Hardy, as well as companies like Advisors Excel, Ryan, and Dell. Today, Amy has turned her years of experience toward helping experts, coaches, and consultants discover their authentic voice and write with confidence so they can build connection, inspire action, and change lives.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Amy’s journey
  • Why you should sit down with an experienced entrepreneur if you’re fearing going out alone
  • Why you need to be willing to sacrifice more for your business than you’re asking anyone else to sacrifice
  • Why a virtual business is the way to go
  • Why “A Players” have to be good people
  • Why your team needs to feel like they’re all in it for a cause
  • Amy’s challenge learning to slow down and do things like small talk
  • Why Amy believes being spiritual helps her be a better leader
  • Amy’s strategy for staying focused by writing out her intentions
  • What Amy learned working one-on-one with Darren Hardy
  • How to receive mentorship (and why you must invest in mentorship)
  • Amy’s Transformative Writing for Non-Writers course

Ways to contact Amy:

Feb 14, 2017

Summer Tannhauser teaches small business owners and bloggers how to build an email list, increase website traffic, and make sales through the power of Pinterest. She matches Pinterest with content creation and conversion strategies, to create a powerful marketing “machine” for any online business.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Summer’s background
  • Lady Boss League: Summer’s business built around driving leads with Pinterest
  • What you need to do Pinterest well
  • Why you need to find a way to get your team as invested in your business as you are
  • What Summer’s virtual business looks like and why that makes communication between her team so important
  • Why you need to be able to let go of your control as you scale
  • How Summer learns about potential hires before she ever gets on the phone with them
  • Why Summer made the switch from independent contractors to employees
  • How she realized teaching wasn’t for her and why she made the switch into entrepreneurship
  • Why network/mastermind groups have helped Summer push herself to new levels
  • Why Summer breaks her to-do list into the big project she wants to complete each week
  • How to figure out what you should be doing in the business

Ways to contact Summer:

Feb 9, 2017

Marketing professional, speaker, and writer Don Osmond focuses on authentic marketing to help businesses develop sound branding strategies. Widely regarded as a marketing and communications thought leader, he works with clients to develop the genuine narrative of their companies, which becomes the foundation for their branding and messaging. Son to international entertainment icon Donny Osmond, his approach to marketing incorporates lessons from the entertainment industry. After years of education and experience, he knows firsthand that good marketing requires truth-telling and invitation, not spin. Don believes that authenticity is the only true value proposition that a company can offer, so he serves his clients by developing genuine story-based marketing and authentic marketing strategies. Don lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Jessica and two tiny storytellers-in-training, Truman and Leo. He loves hiking, biking, and camping, all of which are easily accomplished in this city full of green spaces.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Don’s journey
  • Why you need to just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward
  • Why storytelling is so important in marketing
  • Why a company’s most valuable asset is authenticity
  • Why it’s so dangerous to assume that you’re smarter than your customers
  • What Don learned from his father, entertainment icon Donny Osmond
  • Why Don’s business OzComm focuses solely on strategy and how he helps his clients do the execution
  • Why you need to reach outside of your organization for help
  • Why you don’t need to spend time on all social networks equally and the dangers of automating too much

Ways to contact Don:

Feb 7, 2017

Kate is the co-author of the award-winning book “Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption” and is also co-author of the best-seller “The Leadership Code: Five Rules to Lead By.” She was named by the London Times as one of the world’s Top Emerging Management Gurus for her career work in the leadership development space. She specializes in leadership, culture, high performing teams and the inner work of developing oneself as a leader.

Kate has advised, trained, coached, and consulted with leaders and organizations in 26 different countries over the past 20 years. She and her family also lived in Asia for 3 years. A former editor at Harvard Business Review, she worked closely with renowned thought leaders like Jim Collins and helped them articulate their groundbreaking theories and models into material that could lead to publication. Kate has written over fifty business cases for clients.

Kate is a visiting lecturer and coach at MIT’s Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship. She has authored and published more than 30 articles on leadership-management in respected journals, magazines, and newspapers worldwide, such as Forbes, Sloan Management, the Boston Globe, and the Asian Economic Times. She has blogged for Fast Company and Harvard Business Review.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Kate’s background
  • Why you need to be very careful about the culture that you create
  • Why you need to pause frequently to ask yourself “what am I doing and how am I doing it?”
  • What Kate has learned from her many mentors
  • The advice Jim Collins gave Kate about how to lay out her week and why it’s so effective for her
  • Why you need to be very selective of what you’re working on
  • Staying focused on what you’re trying to accomplish and the key few things that will get you there
  • How to become genuinely helpful to other people and not get distracted from what you need to be doing
  • Why resiliency is the most important thing
  • The dangerous blindfolds entrepreneurs can wear
  • Why you need to be with people who compliment you, not give you compliments

Ways to contact Kate:

Feb 2, 2017

Elise Mitchell, the CEO of Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network, is a smart, successful, female entrepreneur and new author that is inspiring leaders with her latest book, Leading Through the Turn: How a Journey Mindset Can Help Leaders Find Success and Significance (McGraw Hill, January 6, 2017).

Elise Mitchell started her public relations firm, Mitchell, from scratch and quickly turned it into one of the Top 10 Fastest-Growing Firms included in the Holmes Report global ranking and a two-time Small Agency of the Year winner honored by both PRWeek and The Holmes Report. She attracted major brands including Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Hilton Worldwide, Kraft, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant and Southwestern Energy.

Under Elise’s leadership, Mitchell grew more than 500% in five years and became one of the top 35 PR firms in the U.S. and made Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies, Women Presidents Organization/ American Express OPENs 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies in North America and PRWeek’s Top 50 Power Player and Global Power List.

At the end of 2012, Mitchell sold to one of the world’s largest communications networks, Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network. Today, Mitchell is the leading PR agency brand at Dentsu. In addition to her role as CEO, Elise is working to build a global PR brand for the network.

Prior to founding Mitchell, Elise worked on both the agency and corporate sides of the business serving as the top public relations executive for Promus Hotel Corporation, vice president at Sossaman, Bateman, McCuddy and assistant director of public relations at Walker & Associates.

Elise has been awarded Agency Professional of the Year from PRWeek, Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year from the National Association for Female Executives and Enterprising Woman of the Year from Enterprising Women.

Elise is a wife, mom, runner, motorcyclist and author. She is a mentor, a passionate advocate for women entrepreneurs, and a frequent writer and keynote speaker on leadership, the public relations industry and the secret to enjoying the journey while reaching the destination.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Elise’s journey and why she founded Mitchell
  • Elise’s book “Leading Through The Turn”
  • Finding significance in life and not just being focused on the destination but the journey
  • Why you need to focus on what only you can do and give the rest away
  • Why to be a great leader you have to admit what you don’t know
  • Elise’s four point plan for handling growth
  • Why you need specialized talent more and more as you grow
  • Creating a culture that attracts the right people
  • Reclaiming time that you spend in other ways
  • Learning to look at people holistically
  • Why you need to always make the right decisions for the business

Ways to contact Elise:

Jan 31, 2017

Jim Cathcart is one of the most award-winning professional speakers in the world. He’s been inducted into the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame, Speaker Hall of Fame, received the Cavett Award, the Golden Gavel award and much more. As the author of 17 books he has delivered over 3,000 speeches worldwide and tours China each year delivering lectures to 1,000+ people for 6 hours at a time. He’s a mountain trail runner, life member of the American Motorcyclist Association, a professional guitarist and singer, and past president of the National Speakers Association.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Jim’s entrepreneurial background and connection to President Clinton
  • How to become an expert at anything
  • How Jim got to know and work with Earl Nightingale and ended up being the only speaker other than Jim’s wife at his memorial service
  • Jim’s Ted Talk “How to Believe in Yourself” and his book “The Acorn Principle”
  • Traditional selling vs. relationship selling
  • What separates top producers from everyone else
  • What Jim learned from interviewing over 100 self-made millionaires
  • Jim’s commitment to fitness that changed his life
  • “The Self Motivation Handbook”: Jim’s newest book

Ways to contact Jim:

Jan 26, 2017

When your message must be memorable, your presentation powerful, and your sales successful you need to know Patricia Fripp. She is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, executive speech coach, sales presentation skills expert, and online learning expert. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine wrote that the sixth best way to invest in your success is to learn presentation skills from Patricia Fripp. Patricia is now virtually everywhere with her interactive virtual training, FrippVT.com Powerful, Persuasive Presentations.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Patricia’s story
  • How to inspire your team
  • The power of stories
  • Why you need to make everyday people into heroes when speaking
  • The big mistakes leaders make when presenting
  • Why you should get a speech coach like Patricia
  • Why you should “schmooze” with your audience
  • A speaking mentor that Patricia learned a lot from
  • Fripp VT: Patricia’s online training course

Ways to contact Patricia:

Jan 24, 2017

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:

  • What to pay attention to on a resume
  • Verifying education, certification, and licenses
  • Checking up on candidates on social media (without taking it too far)
  • Vetting references: how to listen to what companies say and don’t say about past employees
  • Why the background, drug, and credit checks are important pieces of the hiring process

Ways to contact Kelly:

Ways to contact April:

Jan 19, 2017

Brian Duncan has over 12 years in the restaurant industry beginning his career in college working every job from dishwasher to server. After graduating from Purdue University, Brian went on to work in food and beverage consulting focusing on international chains and consumer products manufacturing for such companies as Hilton and Revolution Foods. During his time consulting Brain focused on creating efficiencies by utilizing technology. Brian’s background paved the way to multiple tech startups including Chowly. Brian now serves as co-founder and board member for Chowly Inc. and is primarily focused on business development, sales and marketing.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Brian’s background
  • What Chowly is and why Brian created it
  • The challenges of the early stage of a startup
  • Why strong relationships are so important when you’re starting a business
  • Why you need to plan for everything
  • What Brian has learned from his mentor
  • Why you need to provide your employees the opportunity to learn and grow
  • Why Chowly offers unlimited time off for their employees
  • Why your employees need to know that you understand that your business is not more important than their life
  • Why Brian lives in his to-do list
  • Why you need to speak with the people you depend on every single day

Ways to contact Brian:

Jan 17, 2017

Dean Marchese is the President and CEO of Empower Media, which is a business growth consulting firm. As a matter of fact, Dean has been President and CEO of many organizations from high-tech companies to Non-Profits. Throughout his career he has successfully started and/or turned around nearly 30 organizations, purchased and grew over 20 separate companies, and helped run a billion dollar public company. Dean has been written about in magazines and interviewed on TV and is an in-demand speaker all over the world.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Dean’s background
  • Why you need to choose the words you tell yourself very carefully
  • Dean’s job where he was treated terribly that taught him how important it is to treat your employees right
  • Why you need to give your team the luxury of failure
  • Why you need crystal clear communication with your employees
  • Why treating your employees like adults will help your turnover rate
  • What you need to teach Millennials — and what you don’t
  • Figuring out and communicating the parameters of your culture
  • Why you shouldn’t ever have your salespeople collect money
  • Why an employee being great in one role doesn’t automatically mean they will be great in a role you promote them into
  • Why all employees need to understand how they’re making someone else’s life better
  • Why leaders need to focus on their strengths — not their weaknesses
  • Why you need to be laser-focused on your goals
  • What entrepreneurs must focus on to be successful today

Ways to contact Dean:

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