Creativity & Innovation Archives - My Quest for the Best

Category Archives for "Creativity & Innovation"

Episode 195: The Fabulous F Words of Business Ownership – Interview with Fabi Preslar

President of SPARK Publications

Bill Ringle and Fabi Preslar discuss several F-words that are germane to guiding, enlightening, and enriching the business owner’s journey.
Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth.
Top 5 Highlights from this Interview 
  • Why books are not the “money makers” of a business plan.

  • How a cancer survivor used a book to build her platform.

  •  How to recognize what your audience wants from you

  • The fabulous F-Words of Business Ownership

  • The questions entrepreneurs stuck in a rut should be asking themselves

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:03 How Fabi’s dad inspired her when she was growing up.

3:03 “I moved to Charlotte at 17 and started my life, and that was a very independent journey.”

4:29 “I love having these amazing clients and people who come into our business and our circle that have great stories to tell and those stories are stories that can really impact and build platforms for other people.”

5:06 “The building of the platform comes when they are able to start establishing a tribe, an audience, and they are able to share information through books or their programs.”

5:30 “That’s what I call building a platform, it’s taking what you know and being able to put it out there in a much bigger, better way.”

7:15 How a cancer survivor used a book to build her platform.

8:15 “It needed to stand apart. It needed to be able to speak more directly to the audiences that it was speaking to. So in order to do that, you need to have a really good marketable book.”

8:59 “They’re not mass market books, they could become that way, but that’s not our goal.”

11:13 How a “yes” when it should’ve been a “no” during a business deal ended very badly for one SparkPublications author, and how she was able to eventually turn all of that around for good.

13:32 “Sometimes you think you have a great message and sometimes you think you have a good audience to speak to, but you’re not really clear on what they want from you.”

14:26 “We establish peer reviews for our authors.”

15:33 “Someone who thinks they can do a book for $1200 is not someone with the same focus as what we’re looking for.”

15:48 “We really focus on the success of the book, and the success of the goal that the client has for the book.”

16:59 “I could not have gone through this just to keep all this great knowledge to myself.”

18:40 What inspired Fabi to write the book. – “I came into this world as an F word.”

19:24 “I became obsessed with finding fabulous F words for everything.”

19:58 “Fog is just that blanket of overwhelm that’s caused by a lack of knowledge or outright fear.”

21:23 “What do your desk and counter space look like?”

21:52 Lightning Round

Expert Bio

Fabi Preslar is the owner and president of SPARK Publications, a national, award-winning, custom design firm specializing in niche magazines and independently published books. Her firm’s publications enhance credibility and distinction – enabling individuals and organizations to thrive and excel.  Preslar was named 2017 Woman Business Owner of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners – Charlotte Chapter, and the firm was honored as the 2018 First-Generation Family Business of the Year by the Charlotte Business Journal.

For more about Fabi Preslar, go to her website.

Contact Info for Fabi Preslar

Web address: SPARKpublications.com

Travels from: Charlotte, NC

Contact:

LinkedInTwitter

Resources Mentioned or Authored by Fabi Preslar:

Become a SPARK author at SPARKpublications.com/book 

  

Episode 174: 99 Wows of Creativity – Featured Interview with Randi Brill

Chief Creative Officer for QuaraCORE

Randi Brill and Bill Ringle discuss the practical aspects of creative design for small business owners.

 

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • How Randi’s mother nurtured a creative, empowered mindset for her children
  • The question that every manager should ask to gain more clarity: “What problem are we really trying to solve?”
  • A behind the scenes peek at what happens at a “creativity lab” for businesses
  • What makes creativity intimidating and what you can do about it so that you’re tapping your people’s creativity
  • How trade show managers benefit from JIT design that builds upon their work

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:17 The two mantras that Randi’s mom held when Randi was young.

2:44 “What gets positive reinforcement is what you pursue.”

4:30 Randi describes all the early creative jobs she held that fostered her young entrepreneurial spirit.

6:03 “Creativity for business and entrepreneurs is different than art for art’s sake and fine artistry, and it’s very much driven to solve business strategy and problems.”

7:05 “Design, when it’s done well, enhances whatever the content and message needs to be. When design is not done well, it’s decorating.”

8:20 “I’m a mapmaker, I draw pictures.”

10:15 “It’s so hard when you are in your business to look at your business.”

11:07 Why a designer or design team is uniquely positioned to assist a company in solving their content strategy issues.

15:11 Why everyone at Randi’s creative lab wears a coat and goggles.

16:54 Randi’s design team’s first step when working with new clients is determining their underlying set of priorities.

18:40 “A lot of people look for answers. The best way to get to the answers is to have the right questions.”

21:08 Randi explains why each of her company’s “labs” last for two days.

21:40 “People always make a better decision when they’re given viable choices from which to make that decision.”

22:15 “Creativity isn’t something that a lot of people are comfortable with.

23:46 The importance of complete client confidentiality.

25:06 Randi tells about an unconventional creativity lab that led somewhere different than the client was expecting.

27:43 “I’m not coming in as the outside bad cop, I’m coming in with very clear glasses to look at what’s been done, to understand why suddenly no one’s happy.”

29:09 “No one should be reading a powerpoint.”

30:56 “There are lots of ways to be right.”

36:09 “It’s about trusting that you’re hiring people who are there to complement your strengths.”

39:05 “I’m up until 2AM most days making my own luck.”

Expert Bio

At 14, Randi Brill announced she was going to be in charge of something—and she has been in charge of many creative “somethings” ever since.

In 1982, armed with only her recent BFA in Graphic Design from Carnegie Mellon University, $57 and a fierce drive to succeed, Randi launched her first company, Quarasan—and she’s launched many successful companies since. Randi grew this design sole proprietorship into a multi-million dollar educational design and development firm, serving the nation’s largest educational publishers.

In 2014, Randi transitioned Quarasan into QuaraCORE, her thriving design agency in Chicago. QuaraCORE focuses on the CORE creative offerings that Randi and her team are known for—and adore. Randi defines herself as a “simultaneous entrepreneur.” Rarely content with a linear progression of companies, Randi can often be found at the helm of at least two businesses at once.

In July 2017, Randi released her first book, 99 CREATIVE WOWs: Words of Wisdom for Business in both softcover and e-book forms to capture and share her business expertise and creative strategies under her own Randiland Press imprint. She’s currently creating 99 companion podcasts to underscore the strategy and application of each WOW. In November 2017, the 99 Creative WOWs for Business Podcast episodes are slated to start releasing on i-Tunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.

In her roles as Chief Creative Officer for QuaraCORE, Randi “lives” her WOWs each day. She uses these compelling life lessons and sound business principles to energize and jumpstart her clients’ creative visions in QuaraCORE’s vibrant problem-solving “Creativity Lab.” As the Creativity Lab Guru, Randi dons her lab coat and goggles to dream up creative solutions for robust and complex business challenges with clients across a range of industries. A vital part of all her work with clients, Randi also uses her 99 WOWs to inspire both seasoned staff and new interns and to personally support family and friends. In all cases, Randi applies both her creativity and her wisdom to “create great new results that help others soar to success.”

In 2012, Randi founded Teacher Peach, LLC, a snappy e-commerce retailer with one focus—recognizing and rewarding teachers and students with amazing teacher gifts and motivating classroom materials. As the company’s Chief Peach, she essentially built this company from the ground up and personally designed its products—on her own dime (if only it were just a dime!). She was determined to learn the ropes of e-commerce and nonprofit givebacks first-hand. What began as an entrepreneurial learning experience has grown into a highly successful e-commerce company, selling over 250 products exclusively on Amazon, with multiple top sellers on that competitive marketplace. In addition, Teacher Peach gives back! 10% of the profits from every sale go into its Teacher Peach Seeds Fund to support a range of charitable initiatives focused on confident and creative kids.

Randi’s also an avid and entertaining speaker, podcast host, author and blogger—the latter activities occurring most often from 1 to 3 am in the morning when she’s still wide awake and working—to create her own luck. Stay tuned; Randi’s just warming up.

For more information, visit Randi Brill’s website.

Contact Info for Randi Brill

Web address: https://www.quaracore.com/

Travels from: Chicago, IL

Phone: 312-981-2540

Contact:

LinkedIn

Resources Mentioned by Randi Brill:

Episode 167: How Creativity Remakes the World – Featured Interview with Anthony Brandt

Author, Director Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University

Anthony Brandt talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about how creativity is an untapped wellspring of ideas to enrich your life and business.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • How making cards and gifts in his family growing up nurtured his belief in everyday creativity, which is why he still carries on this tradition in his family today.
  • How business leaders can harness the dynamic tension between what’s familiar and what’s new to improve products and services.
  • Examples of how to encourage creativity in the workplace, and when to recognize that you’ve gone too far and are making your people uncomfortable.
  • The importance of creativity in your company’s culture, and whether to concentrate on a dedicated team or to imbue creativity throughout the culture.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:08 Anthony describes one of the ways he and David co-author Eagleman initially connected.

1:41 How Anthony’s parents practice of restricting TV, and introducing construction materials, in the home encouraged his early creativity.

3:13 “From the moment I did something like playing the violin, I also wanted to make the music myself.”

4:15 Why hearing their piece rehearsed is such a joy for composers.

4:45 “David’s an amazing scientist. Not only does he do cutting edge research, but he’s also a best selling novelist.”

5:53 Bill tells off the collaborative efforts between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison

7:39 Why did Beethoven move to Vienna? – “He needed to be embedded in a culture in order to thrive as an individual creator.”

8:17 “There’s this virtuous loop between social engagement and the actions of our own imagination.”

10:06 Anthony describes the process of writing the book with David Eagleman.

10:38 “The only reason animals have memories is in order to better predict the future.”

11:01 [Exploration vs. Exploitation] – “Every animal. even if their in the most bountiful environment, they’ve got all the food they could ever want, will dedicate a certain amount of their life to exploring new environments.”

11:40 [The roots of creativity] – “Being able to think beyond the present moment and detach from reality and imagine alternative futures, that was where, evolutionarily, the seed of creativity was born.”

13:54 “It’s true that some examples of creativity exist in the wild, but they’re very anecdotal and they’re very limited.”

15:31 “[Creativity] is something that is absolutely normal. It is awe-inspiringly ordinary. “

16:55 Anthony’s steps for people who want to reconnect with their creativity. – “Whatever you can find that you can make yourself, do it yourself.”

18:29 “Creativity is too often presented as being all about novelty…human minds like to have one foot in the familiar and one foot in the unexpected.”

22:44 “One of the most dangerous concepts is that of the finish line.”

24:20 “How do you know when you’ve come up with a great idea?”

26:05 What companies can do to foster creativity in the workplace.

28:10 “There’s no doubt that creativity is risky.”

31:00 The importance of play not just for children, but for adults too.

33:13 Why composers are so deadline driven, and why it’s essential to create “intermediate deadlines” for yourself in the midst of a large project.

35:20 What Anthony uses to stay on track and productive.

37:12 “The smartest and the most successful people are the ones who are generating the most options.” 

Expert Bio

Composer Anthony Brandt is a Professor of Composition and Theory at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Artistic Director of the award-winning contemporary music ensemble Musiqa. He and neuroscientist David Eagleman have co-authored “The Runaway Species: How Creativity Remakes the World” (“Essential and highly pleasurable reading”-Kirkus, “A refreshing and thought-provoking book”-Booklist ,”Beautifully produced, illustrated and written”–Nature). Dr. Brandt’s musical catalogue includes orchestral, chamber, vocal, theater, dance and television works, installation pieces and two chamber operas. Recordings of his music are available on the Albany and Crystal labels. His honors include a Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, and the Houston Arts Alliance, and fellowships to the MacDowell and Djerassi arts colonies.

He has been a visiting composer at the Bremen Musikfest, the Universidad Veracruzana, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Baltimore New Chamber Festival, Cleveland State University and SUNY-Buffalo, and composer-in-residence of the International Festival of Music in Morelia, Mexico and Houston’s OrchestraX. Dr. Brandt has co-authored articles for the journals Frontiers and Brain Connectivity and is a contributing author to the upcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology. He is also the author of the innovative free online music appreciation course “Sound Reasoning,” available at OpenStax.org. He is currently a co-investigator in a study of music and stroke recovery at Methodist Hospital’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine. Dr. Brandt has been awarded Rice University’s Phi Beta Kappa and George R. Brown Teaching Prizes.

For more information, visitAnthony Brandt’s Website.

Contact Info for Anthony Brandt

Web address: https://runawayspecies.com/

Travels from: Houston, TX

Phone: (646) 928-5999

Contact:

 Twitter LinkedIn

Resources Mentioned by Anthony Brandt:

Episode 166: The Everyday Joy of ‘I Get To’ – Featured Interview with Ted Larkins

Owner of The Get To Principle, LLC

Ted Larkins talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about how to adopt a “get to” mindset and become more peaceful, productive, and satisfied in your everyday life.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The significance of the Dalai Lama’s advice that the purpose of life is to find happiness.
  • What happens when you start thinking in terms of “I get to” instead of “I have to.”
  • What an Indian man who lived in a 10 x 10 home with his wife and four children taught Ted about happiness.
  • What happened when a successful Tampa real estate agent started applying the “Get To” principles.
  • What matters to celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi when it comes to happiness.
  • Ted’s 15 minute daily morning practice that strengthens his mindset and creates a blueprint for success.

 

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:49 How Ted’s parents passed onto him the ethic of “getting out and doing things.”

2:58 [Paraphrasing the Dalai Lama] – “The purpose of life, I believe, is to find happiness.”

3:28 “When you make the choice to be happy, it’s really powerful.”

4:25 The benefits of smiling more often.

5:30 The “30 second rule” of changing your mindset.

5:49 [The Get To Mantra] – “You say, ‘I get to do this,’ you smile, and then you do what you’re going to do.’”

7:08 The essential difference in mindset between “I have to” and “I get to.”

10:15 Why the kind of happiness Ted refers to isn’t a “Polyanna” kind of happiness.

13:08 How Ted’s experiences traveling through India helped him shape his worldview.

14:59 “When I’m deliberate about saying ‘I get to do this,’ the more in control I am of my life.”

15:49 “We all have our level of frustration and things like that, but we do have the choice.”

17:28 Ted recounts his work with Bon Jovi, and what it was like to get through the trust barrier.

18:49 “We’re born and then we die, and in between we get to do this thing called life.”

20:09 The point of the mindful movement.

21:43 [Ted describes his 3 month executive coaching process.] – “It helps take people from this mundane [mindset] or just going through the motions and brings them up to really experiencing life.”

22:30 Case study of a Florida business man who just wasn’t getting the most out of life.

23:45 [On writing Get To Be Happy] – “I had the best time.”

25:24 “I learned that just being focused and dedicated to something for 30 minutes a day, you can get a lot done.”

28:15 Ted’s daily exercise for staying happy and productive.

Expert Bio

Ted Larkins is an author, speaker, accomplished business executive and coach on happiness. Through his book and keynote talks, he shares the powerful Get To Principle, the ability to say “I Get To” as opposed to “I have to”. Ted also co-developed a leading entertainment licensing company in Tokyo, representing major movie studios that included Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. He’s worked on projects with Jon Bon Jovi, Jack Nicklaus, Mariah Carey, and many other artists. He is former Senior Vice President of the North American division of CPLG, one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies. He is on the board of directors of the Licensing Industry Merchandise Association (LIMA), co-chairing the charity committee and sitting on the executive committee. He is a guest lecturer for the UCLAx Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts program.
Over a year and a half period, during his daily 4 hour train commute to work in Hollywood, he wrote the book, “Get To Be Happy: Stories and Secrets On Loving the Sh*t Out of Life. Ted lives with his wife of 22 years and their two children in Southern California.

For more information, visit Ted Larkins’ Website

Contact Info for Ted Larkins

Web address: http://www.tedlarkins.com

Travels from: Costa Meza, CA

Phone: (818) 261-8262

Contact:

LinkedIn  Twitter 

Resources Mentioned by Ted Larkins:

 

Episode 165: Lessons Learned after hosting over 410 TEDx Talk Speakers – Featured Interview with Ajit George

TEDx Wilmington organizer and Certified Dream Builder™

Ajit Mathew George talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about his experience with running TEDx Wilmington and how the 410+ TEDx presentations have shaped and improved his life.
Ajit George

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • How his family of engineers and doctors served as “reverse inspiration” on his entrepreneurial career path
  • The story behind becoming the TEDx Wilmington founder in 2011, which now has showcased over 627 speakers and received over 6 million YouTube views.
  • Keys to delivering a great talk in 12-18 minutes (hint: requires 50 hours of rehearsal!)
  • Background stories on two standout TEDx presentations: Actor Yvonne Orjii on why she has decided to stay a virgin, a direct contradiction to her choice in screen roles; and Yolanda Schlabach, whose 2016 talk raised the awareness of sexual trafficking along Route 95 between Washington DC and New York to the attention of the Governor of Delaware for legislative action.
  • How Ajit’s experience as a TEDx host has made him a better listener for his life coaching clients.
  • The legacy project of creating a hydroponic garden center run by former prison inmates to provide organic produce to restaurants within 200 miles of Wilmington.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:51 Ajit tells about growing up in a family where all his cousins were either engineers or doctors and how it made him want to do the opposite. “I wanted to not take a safe route.”

2:50 Ajit recounts the four years he spent in India as a youth working in a children’s league, and how a key leader in the league helped develop his organizational skills.

4:08 “It’s ok to fail…and recovering from failure is almost as important as failing.”

5:33 How Ajit became involved with TED and TEDx

7:00 Ajit gives tips on how to put together a TEDx talk.

7:07 “People feel the need to put everything they know into a talk, which is a huge mistake.”

7:31 “What is that one idea worth spreading?”

9:15 [How to resist the urge to condense multiple ideas] – “Write down every idea [you] want to share in a TEDx talk, it doesn’t matter whether it’s one talk or multiple talks. Once [you] write it down on a sheet of paper, I then say, ‘What is the one idea of all those ideas on the sheet of paper you want to share with the world if you never got an opportunity to do a second TEDx talk?’”

10:09 “[TEDx Wilmington] no longer let anyone come without a lot of rehearsal…It’s a very conscious, determined process that we have.”

11:14 [Ajit explains why TEDx talks don’t allow notes] – “A good TEDx talk takes at least 50 hours of rehearsal.”

13:26 Ajit describes the organizational challenges of running TEDx.

15:02 What makes a fascinating TED talk.

17:12 “Often what we try to do is give a global platform to people who have great messages, but who are not getting them across.”

19:05 What it means to be a good life coach.

19:15 “You can only show them how to walk and give them the directions.”

20:33 “It’s much harder to get people to gracefully surrender something that they passionately believe in.” 

21:00 Ajit tells about his upcoming project Second Chances Farm, an organic farm where individuals recently released from prison will have a place to get back on their feet, and the goals he has for its development.

24:43 How Ajit became involved with doing work with Wilmington prisons through the organization Breaking Bread Behind Bars.

25:52 [On hiring individuals recently released from prison] – “There’s a huge shortage of labor force in the United States right now.”

27:50 [The importance of prioritization] – “The key is remembering that there’s no such thing as multi-tasking…so at the end of the day you have to decide if you make a list of 25 things, what’s the one thing that you must do today?”

Expert Bio

Ajit Mathew George is a TEDx organizer, certified Dream Builder™ Life Coach, creative marketer, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, gastronaut, wine aficionado, and dream catcher who divides his time between Wilmington, Delaware and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. He has over 40 years of experience in creative marketing, strategic planning, and business development in many different areas ranging from broadcasting, non-profits, resorts, and real estate development.

Through Magic Dust, LLC, he helps organizations and individuals build their dreams, accelerate their results, and create richer, more fulfilling lives through Life Coaching, strategic marketing, and event planning. Over the years, Ajit has sprinkled his “magic dust” to create some magical events such as First Night Wilmington, Meals From the Masters Celebrity Chef’s Brunch, Evening With The Masters, Cellar Masters Wine Auction, Evening of Style, Black Tie Monopoly Tournament, Virgin Islands Winemakers Dinners, MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival and TEDxWilmington.

As the organizer and executive producer of TEDxWilmington (www.tedxwilmington.com) Ajit organized six annual TEDxWilmington Conferences, the 2018 TEDxWilmingtonED Conference, the 2016 and 2017 TEDxWilmingtonWomen Conference, 2017 TEDxYouth@Wilmington and 18 TEDxWilmingtonSalons between 2014 and 2017 including a very special TEDx Salon inside a prison in July 2015. These 29 different TEDx events featuring 397 speakers from around the world who gave 375 TEDx talks. As of March 5, 2018, the TEDx talks given at TEDxWilmington had over 6.351.709 views on YouTube.

Ajit is the Chairman of the American Wine Society’s First State Wine Guild. He was also the founder of the MidAtlantic Wine+ Food Festival that in 2015 consisted of a series of 33 acclaimed food and wine events in 4 states over 4 days featuring 60 chefs + 23 winemakers from 6 continents. He organized this annual Wine + Food Festival for 4 years.

Ajit is the founder of Second Chances Farm LLC, which is creating an organic vertical farm in Wilmington, Delaware that will exclusively hire people re-entering society after completing their prison sentence.

For more information, visit Ajit Mathew George’s website.

Contact Info for Ajit Mathew George

Web address: http://www.tedxwilmington.com/

Travels from: Wilmington, Delaware

Phone: (302) 521-9769

Contact:

LinkedIn  Twitter 

Resources Mentioned by Ajit Mathew George:

TEDx Wilmington

Second Chances

TEDx Videos Mentioned

Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: Young Lives, Insane Profit | Yolanda Schlabach | TEDxWilmington

The wait is sexy | Yvonne Orji | TEDxWilmingtonSalon

 

 

Joe Calloway

Episode 142: Focus on WOM – Featured Interview with Joe Calloway

Business Author, Consultant and Speaker

Joe Calloway, author of Magnetic, talks with Bill Ringle about being intentional about attracting new business and satisfying your existing customers.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The importance of committing to make every business experience to be a positive one for all involved
  • How to get more positive WOM (word of mouth)
  • The single most important strategic asset for many companies and how it relates to your relationship with your customers.
  • What he said to correct a misunderstanding, even when it came at significant out-of-pocket expense to replace 600 of the wrong title books sent to the meeting planner

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:03 Calloway recounts his childhood experience with entrepreneurship despite growing up in a small town with a father who was not, by any means, an entrepreneur.

1:53 “From an early age I was into selling stuff. I mowed a million yards, I raked a trillion yards. I think part of that came from my dad…if there was something special that I wanted, he would say ‘That’s great, how much money do you have saved up?’”

3:00 How Calloway transitioned from an interest in politics to a career in business.

3:49 [Recalling a stint in a real estate agency] – “The way I got paid was based on how much all the agents made, it was based on all the revenue generated in the firm, and that’s where I got big by the bug of ‘What can I come up with or what can I pass along in terms of ideas that will help other people be more successful?’ Because the more successful they were, it had an absolute direct impact on my own income.”

5:00 “I just am really good at paying attention. And that was my technique and my method, and I do it to this day, my job is to study the marketplace, and to look for individuals and organizations, businesses large and small, across the board, every kind of industry, and profession, and business you can imagine, and what I look for is quite simply this: who are the ones who are the market leaders who are successful and able to sustain that success?”

5:55 “What is it that top performers do that any of us could do if we just chose to?”

6:18 “It’s not easy to succeed in business, but it’s not a mystery. I don’t believe there are any secrets to success. I think the ideas that work are right out there in the open for all of us. So it’s a matter of getting intentional about using those ideas and doing the hard work necessary to execute on those ideas.”

7:58 Calloway describes why it’s important for people in this industry to stay relevant.

8:17 “I have to stay relevant, which means I’ve got to stay current on what is working in the marketplace.”

8:31 [On being hirable as a speaker] – “I work really hard at having a deep understanding of who is in my audience.”

9:04 The significance of tying what you’re speaking about to the audience you’re addressing, regardless of whether or not you’re an industry expert.

9:26 “You can have what you think is the greatest idea in the world, and be very passionate about it, but if other people don’t want it, if they don’t see the need for it, then you’ve got a hobby, you don’t have a business.”

11:00 Calloway asks the question: What’s the competitive advantage of being easy to do business with?

13:05 [On how to address people in an industry you’re not an expert in] – “What I can do is help make the link between ‘Here’s the principle, here’s the illustration of it, and here’s quite clearly what it has to do with you and your business.’”

14:20 “I perceive myself as being more of a facilitator than a speechmaker, because…I want to facilitate their thinking in a way that’s useful when they go back to work.”

14:50 [On what small businesses all say] – “How do I get customers, keep customers, and attract more customers?”

15:25 “It’s not what you say about yourself that matters one way or another, it’s what other people are saying about you, it’s what your customers are saying.”

16:08 [On using the internet and social media to you’re advantage] – “My biggest energy isn’t about what I post on social media, it’s about being intentional about creating a customer experience that is so compelling that my customers are saying things that drive new business to me.”

16:35 [On the worth of positive word of mouth] – “The biggest force in being magnetic is passed through word of mouth.”

17:25 The story of Western Water Works California and what they’ve done to become a market leader.

19:58 “The single greatest competitive advantage out there is satisfied customers.”

21:30 [On not apologizing to customers] “A lot of businesses [who] find themselves apologizing frequently to customers – well, hello, that’s a clue that you need to back up and solve whatever’s causing you to have to apologize.”

21:50 How a humble response to an honest mistake – but a big one since he sent 600 of the wrong title books sent to the meeting planner – kept chaos at bay and even made the situation better than expected.

23:14 “The point though is this, you don’t argue with a customer, you make it right, and you make it right so overwhelmingly that they say, ‘Ok, you just knocked my socks off. I’m going to talk about this.’

25:28 A nod to Warren Buffett and a discussion of the importance of using “no” to narrow your focus.

26:30 “Over the years, little by little, I’ve learned that it makes me a lot of money over the long haul to stick with what I do best and let other people do what they do best.”

27:45 How having a low tolerance level for jerks can be an effective filter in creating new business.

28:35 “I think it serves people really well to say ‘No’ more often, because it actually creates opportunity for the right things.”

29:20 Why you should say no to or walk away from those clients whose philosophy is in conflict with your philosophy.

31:15 [On saying no to clients who will be a drain on your energy] “Even though it’s money, it’s not good money.
32:35 The story of the Saint Paul Saints and how the owner’s dedication to hiring great people and getting out of their way makes the organization successful.

34:48 [The Saint Paul Saints method] – “If you hire the right people, you can totally turn them loose as long as they understand the direction that the business is going, you’ll be successful.

35:07 [The Saint Paul Saints method cont.] – “Fun is good.”

36:51 Pig-asso the baseball delivering pig.

37:10 “If people like doing business with you, that is a competitive advantage.”

37:55 How Old Dominion Trade Line simplifies their company language to encourage personal responsibility and ensure employees’ high performance.

40:00 [Paraphrasing Steve Jobs] – “If you can make things simple, you can move mountains.”

41:27 [On how expanding focus can lead to losing magnetic mojo] – “One trap that’s easy to fall into is to say ‘We could also do this, and we could also do that, and we can also this service, and we could also offer those products.’ Which might be the right thing to do, but we often stretch ourselves way beyond where we should be in terms of trying to do too many things.”

42:16 “For every ten ideas I have, for nine of them the market says ‘No, I don’t think so.’”

43:19 “You have to change to stay relevant. You have to improve, you have to innovate. But you’ve always got to create value in the eyes of the customers, otherwise it won’t work.”

43:45 [On reevaluating inventory] “We all need to periodically sit down with ourselves or with our teams and ask ‘Where are we spending way too much energy?”

46:02 Calloway’s daily rituals for productivity and success.

47:28 “You have to work at constantly being sure that you, and everyone else, are focused on what is most important.”

Expert Bio

Joe Calloway is a business author, consultant, and speaker who has served Coca-Cola, Verizon, and American Express among other well-known corporations. He also works with medical practices, law firms, and a range of professional services groups. Joe is the Executive in Residence at the Belmont University Center for Entrepreneurship.

Joe is the author of Be the Best at What Matters Most and five other business books that have been well-received by publications like The New York Times, Retailing Today, and Publisher’s Weekly.

His latest book is Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business.

For more information, visit Joe’s website.

Contact Info for Joe Calloway

Web address: www.JoeCalloway.com

Travels from: Nashville, TN

Phone: (615) 429-7600

Contact:
LinkedIn Facebook Twitter

Resources Mentioned by Joe Calloway:

Felicia Slattery

Episode 127: Kill the Elevator Speech – Interview with Felicia Slattery

Creator of the Signature Speech System

Felicia Slattery talks with Bill Ringle about how to kill the elevator speech and make authentic connections.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • What to ask instead of “What do you do?” for better networking connections.
  • How to make your best impression at a network event.
  • When to use the FORM technique to create more points of interest with a new contact
  • How to make the most of follow-up
  • The best advice Felicia ever received about connecting in person: relax and be yourself

Expert Bio

Felicia Slattery is on a mission to help business experts and celebrities to create meaningful connections through effective communication and public speaking.

The two-time Amazon #1 best-selling author of Kill the Elevator Speech and 21 Ways to Make Money Speaking has shared her ideas across the United States and abroad. Felicia presents to audiences on communication, speaking, and being a successful entrepreneur in spite of every twist that life can surprise you with. As a cancer survivor,  Felicia’s enthusiastic passion for communication is contagious because she knows that one important message delivered with power can transform a life

For more information, visit Felicia’s website.

Contact Info for Felicia Slattery

Web address: http://www.feliciaslattery.com

Travels from: Chicago, IL

Phone: (630)-464-0199

Contact:

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter YouTube

Resources Mentioned by Felicia Slattery:

 

michael tchong

Episode 117: Ubertrending – Featured Interview with Michael Tchong

Change Agent and Founder of Social Revolution

Michael Tchong talks with Bill Ringle about Ubertrends and how they are shaping our business opportunities and personal lives.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Why analytics will become increasingly important to companies in planning
  • The Ubertrends of multitasking and control freak that technology has created
  • What to look for in global competition
  • How it is smart to use the technology you write about for clients to gain an advantage in your own business
  • Favorite sources to study to learn about Ubertrends in society, technology, and global business

 

Expert Bio

Michael Tchong is an innovation specialist, change agent, entrepreneur, and speaker. He is the founder of five startups, including MacWEEK and ICONOCAST, and has pioneered ventures in desktop publishing, personal information management, internet analytics, and online marketing. His latest startup is Social Revolution®, which aims to reinvent America by crowdsourcing innovative solutions.

As a speaker, Michael uses his knowledge of marketing, media, and technology to help audiences better grasp how massive waves, which he calls “Ubertrends,” are reshaping society, as well as the opportunities and innovations these Ubertrends propel. His ability to identify emerging trends was refined at such prestigious ad agencies as DDB and Chiat/Day. He is the author of Social Engagement Marketing, an easy-to-navigate guide to the world of social media.

For more information, visit Michael’s website.

Contact Info for Michael Tchong

Web address: MichaelTchong.com

Web address: ubercool.com

Travels From: San Francisco, CA

Follow Michael:

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook

altBooks by Michael Tchong

Social Engagement Marketing Coveralt

les mckeown

Episode 97: Predictable Success – Featured Interview with Les McKeown

Founder and CEO of Predictable Success

Marblehead, MA

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The causes of complexity in a growing business
  • The 7-stage lifecycle of a business
  • How to achieve the key balance between systems and processes vs.  creativity and innovation
  • Overcoming the arithmetic extension myth

Expert Bio

Les McKeown is the President & CEO of Predictable Success. In this role, he advises CEOs and senior leaders of organizations on how to achieve scalable, sustainable growth and speaks to Fortune 500 companies about his breakthrough strategies.

Prior to founding Predictable Success, Les established himself as a serial founder/owner in the global business spectrum, starting more than 40 companies, in addition to being the founding partner of an incubation consulting company that advised on the creation and growth of hundreds more organizations worldwide.

Les is the author of Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track—and Keeping It There and of THE SYNERGIST: Leading Your Team to Predictable Success. He has appeared on NBC, ABC, BBC, and CNN, and in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today,and The New York Times.

For more information, visit Les’s website.

Contact Info for Les McKeown

Business Phone: 617-237-0235

Web address: PredictableSuccess.com

Travels From: Boston, MA

Follow Les:

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook

Books by Les McKeown

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josh linkner

Episode 91: Disciplined Dreaming – Featured Interview with Josh Linkner

Bestselling Author and Founder and CEO, Detroit Venture Partners

Detroit, MI

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How creativity is the new currency of success
  • The most exciting news about creativity (hint: it’s something we can all tap within ourselves)
  • What one corporation did to encourage calculated risk-taking among all employees
  • What creating an arch enemy does for boosting creativity at all levels in a company
  • A novel technique for overcoming timid ideas in brainstorming sessions

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:35 How an interest in jazz music sparked Linkner’s early passion for creativity.

1:55 “Creativity, truly, is the currency of success.”

2:08 “Today with the challenges of our times more difficult than ever, creativity has shifted from a ‘nice to have’ to ‘mission critical.’”

2:31 “In business we’re often heads down and doing task-oriented things and are following a manual, procedure, or process. In creativity involves using your imagination to come up with new ways, whether it’s a new product or service, or new way to communicate and tell the story of your business.”

2:59 “What we’ve found is that following the operating manual is no pathway to success. If anything that we learned from the financial crisis of 2008, it’s that the rules of the game have fundamentally changed.”

3:25 Why improvisation is such a valuable skill in the marketplace.

3:44 “In today’s world of dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and ruthless competition, creativity has really become job #1. A recent survey of 1500 CEO’s across 32 countries reveal that the #1 most important attribute for success in the next 5 years of business, in fact, is creativity.”

4:09 “What we need more than ever aren’t people who can just do what they’re told and follow the rules and cut costs, we need people that can think on their feet and who can innovate new products and services, and reimagine the way they do work. The people that are always obsessed with finding a better way.”

4:19 “Creativity is fundamentally a learned behavior, which means that all of us as human beings have enormous creative potential, we just need a systematic approach to unleashing it.”

5:13 “Most of us are brought up in environments that restrict creativity. We’re taught in school to follow the rules, there’s only one right answer, and whatever you do don’t make any mistakes. The problem is that if you run that game plan in the real world, if you run that game plan today, it’s a surefire path to mediocrity. Doing exactly the opposite is what allows us to reach our potential.”

5:41 Examples of companies who are fostering creativity well.

6:34 “So many individuals in companies spend their lives trying to play it safe, only to discover playing it safe has become the riskiest move at all.”

6:47 “The companies that embrace making mistakes and failing along the way, understanding that mistakes are the portals of discovery, are the ones that truly thrive and are building sustainable organizations.”

7:15 The story of ePrize and how they used creativity to stay ahead of competitors, even the ones they invented themselves.

9:52 “The most important natural resource of all is the human creativity that lives inside your team…Your job as a leader is not just to manage costs, but to help unleash that creative capacity.”

10:27 Why the way leaders interact with their teams affect productivity or, in some cases, keep employees from unlocking their creative potential.

11:50 How 3M fosters continually fosters innovation.

12:41 “No matter how big or successful you get, you always want to be focused on reinvention. You always want to be the force of disruptive change. Because it’s always more fun to be the disruptor than the disruptee.”

13:20 The difference between incremental and disruptive change.

13:29 “Disruptive thinking has to start with the ability to imagine what can be, instead of what is. It’s about imagining the possibilities and not being restricted by the way things currently are.”

14:25 The story of Detroit and its innovative early years, complacent middle years, and its rebirth of innovation in current years.

15:51 [On Detroit’s future] “Creativity can be applied not only to small companies, but even to troubled cities.”

16:38 “Sometimes the only way to make progress is through bold action.”

17:55 What if the Founding Fathers had not taken bold action?

18:30 The prevalent myths of creativity.

19:16 “Everyone in an organization, irrespective of job title, not only has the ability to be creative, has the responsibility to be creative.”

19:50 Why it’s important to spend time doing things you enjoy away from work.

20:15 The art of role-storming, rather than brainstorming.

Expert Bio

Josh Linkner is the New York Times bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, named one of the top 10 business books of 2011. He is also the CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners where, together with business partners Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert, Josh is actively rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship.

Josh is the Founder, Chairman, and former CEO of ePrize, the largest interactive promotion agency in the world providing digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands, and has founded three other successful technology companies. He is also Adjunct Professor of Applied Creativity at the University of Michigan.

He has been honored as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year, and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. Josh is a regular columnist for Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, and his work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, and The New York Times.

Josh is also a Berklee-trained professional jazz guitarist who performs regularly in jazz clubs throughout the United States. Most importantly, Josh is on a mission to make the world more creative.

For more information, visit Josh’s website.

Contact Info for Josh Linkner

Business Phone: 760-603-8110

Web address: JoshLinkner.com

Travels From: Detroit, MI

Follow Josh:

Twitter Facebook

Books by Josh Linkner

dev patnaik

Episode 88: Wired for Care – Featured Interview with Dev Patnaik

CEO, Jump Associates

San Mateo, CA

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How his first job unlocked new ways of thinking about design
  • What most businesses miss in terms of making strategy pay off
  • Why the learner’s mindset matters more than most realize
  • Critical components of an innovative work culture
  • Why Target refers to its customers as “Guests”

Expert Bio

Dev Patnaik is the CEO and Managing Associate of Jump Associates, a hybrid strategy firm that’s built to tackle the kinds of persistent, highly ambiguous questions that keep great leaders up at night. He is a trusted advisor to senior executives at some of world’s most admired companies, including General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Target, and Hewlett-Packard.

When he’s not at Jump, Dev serves as an adjunct professor at Stanford University, where he teaches innovation methods to design and business school students. He is the author of Wired to Care, a critically acclaimed book about the connection between empathy and business growth. His articles on innovation and strategy have appeared in several leading publications, including BusinessWeek, Fast Company, and Brandweek. A frequent speaker at marketing, design and innovation forums, Dev was a featured guest on “The Business of Innovation,” a series on CNBC.

For more information, visit Dev’s website.

Contact Info for Dev Patnaik

Business Phone: 650-373-7200 (CA) or 212-392-5000 (NY)

Web address: JumpAssociates.com

Travels From: San Francisco, CA

Follow Dev:

Twitter Linked In Facebook

Books by Dev Patnaik

lisa bodell

Episode 81: Creativity is for Everyone – Featured Interview with Lisa Bodell

Founder and CEO of futurethink

Lisa Bodell talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about creativity, positive thinking, and spring cleaning.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The reality behind how innovation occurs in business.
  • What makes leadership harder than it has to be for some.
  • The importance of mindset in approaching solutions.
  • How you can unlock creative energy in your company by killing stupid rules.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:37 Lisa’s days in advertising showed her that she was creative in a strategic way, leading her to create innovative businesses.

2:53 “I thought that everybody could be creative and innovative, they just needed to be able to flex it in different ways.”

4:40 A big misunderstanding in business and innovation is that only artists are creative, and Lisa wants to make sure people understand that every person at every level can be creative and innovative.

6:11 “It’s often the folks that are stereotyped as least innovative, that want to be innovative the most.”

8:20 Lisa observes that one of the biggest obstacles to fostering creativity is skepticism, and that business leaders need to break down their propensity to immediately be skeptical of new ideas.

9:10 “Skepticism definitely does [have a place in the creative process]. But what we’re talking about is a balance with potential. What we’ve groomed today are professional skeptics, and when that’s all you do, you don’t give ideas that have potential a fair hearing, and you might miss out on big opportunities.”

12:10 Lisa estimates that 80% of companies around the world are committing a grave mistake: having a complacent culture, where employees are resigned to the status quo and to not make waves.

13:25 There is a diagnostic in Lisa’s book “Kill the Company” where an employee can see how complacent they are, and she outlines three things one must do to no longer be complacent: diagnose oneself, figure out which behaviors one wants to change, and then figure out what small things one can empower others to do to contribute to an overall cultural change.

15:00 Lisa is careful to point out that these changes should be implemented from the middle out. In other words, it is not effective to have upper leadership telling people what to do, instead empowerment should come from the people at the center.

16:01 Lisa implements something she calls ‘Little-Bigs’ in which a company can see the biggest overall change by doing little, every day changes. She gives two examples that have been effective for her clients.

17:30 One of the most effective exercises Lisa has used with executives is having them imagine they were trying to kill their own company as a competitor would, which helped them identify the things which were weak or not working, enabling them to root out the bad to make room for more prosperity.

21:03 Lisa makes sure her own company implements these practices she teaches, and does a lot of ‘spring cleaning.’

Expert Bio

Lisa Bodell is the founder and CEO of futurethink, an internationally recognized innovation research and training firm that helps businesses embrace change and become world-class innovators. She founded futurethink on the premise that everyone has the power to innovate — they just need to know how. Clients such as 3M, GE, and Johnson & Johnson look to futurethink to develop new styles of thinking and generate innovative ideas.

Lisa is globally recognized as a leader and pioneer in the field of futuring and innovation — creating a unique, straightforward approach to an otherwise complicated topic. She created the widely adopted SIPC Innovation Framework (STRATEGY, IDEAS, PROCESS, CLIMATE), which has helped innovators around the world easily embrace innovation, providing a clear method that breaks innovation down into manageable parts.

In addition to running futurethink and lecturing, Lisa currently serves as an advisor on the boards of the Institute of Direct Marketing in London, The Women’s Congress, the Association of Professional Futurists, and the prestigious Institute for Triple Helix Innovation think tank, the only innovation initiative of its kind within the U.S. government. She also serves as a finalist judge at the annual Idea Crossing Innovation Challenge and FIT’s innovation challenge (which futurethink co-created), has taught courses on marketing and creativity at American University, and serves as a faculty member of the American Management Association.

She is the author of Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution and an author of Success Simplified, a collection of works featuring other chapters by Dr. Stephen Covey, Dr. Tony Alessandra, and Patricia Fripp. Lisa has appeared on FOX News, and in publications such as Crain’s, Business Week, The New York Times, WIRED, Investor’s Business Daily, Successful Meetings, Harvard Business Review, and The Futurist.

For more information, visit Lisa’s website.

Contact Info for Lisa Bodell

Business Phone: 646-257-5737

Web address: futurethink.com

Travels From: San Francisco, CA

Follow Lisa:

Twitter

Books by Lisa Bodell

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tamara gerlach

Episode 79: Cultivating Radiance – Featured Interview with Tamara Gerlach

Founder, Cultivating Radiance

Tamara Gerlach talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about networking, persistence, and what it means to cultivate radiance.

Top 3 Highlights from this Interview:

  • How to take yourself lightly and your business seriously
  • The rapid business boost a successful book can provide
  • What interviews and focused networking can do for your business growth

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:28 Tamara has found that creating partnerships and collaborating have grown her business in the last six months.

4:09 These partnerships have been intuited through paying attention to the clues that others display when they want to work with Tamara.

7:17 A core part of Tamara’s business is referring to others’ works and networking.

8:57 Tamara finds self-care is essential to creating a sturdy foundation on which people can then help others: “People will take care of everyone and everything else, and put themselves last.”

10:30 Tamara gives an example of a ‘Radiance Makeover’: start with self-awareness and think of an aspect of your life you could be a bit more radiant, create a new story to see what else might be possible, then recalibrate and let your light out.

11:56 “It’s about turning up your lights. The new story is the beautiful, radiant ‘turn up your lights’ story, and you get to enthusiastically choose what you’re going to do with confidence, and wake up all your passion. Tell the story about the life you want to have, and then you start acting like that.”

14:21 One of the first shifts towards sustainable business practices was finding a mentor, who told Tamara that she was running a business, not just working a job, after she started her own gymnastics center.

16:07 Tamara identifies resiliency and persistence as key aspects for business owners to have in order to promote change by taking risks.

21:13 “Be more radiant; your life will be better!”

Expert Bio

Tamara Gerlach has taught, mentored, and coached thousands of people in creating freedom and Cultivating Radiance in their lives since 1982. She loves to create opportunities for others to deeply experience what they are learning, and to inspire others to become empowered by getting into action around changing their lives.

She began life and business coaching in 2001 after working with Rich Fettke for several years and seeing the impact coaches have on people and businesses. She obtained her training through the Coaches Training Institute, as well as completing Leadership training through Coactive Space. She has assisted the leaders of numerous coaching courses as well as a nine-month leadership course.

She is passionate about working with business leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes, parents, students, and anyone who wants to empower their life to achieve their goals.

For more information visit her website, TamaraGerlach.com.

Contact Info for Tamara Gerlach

Business Name: Cultivating Radiance

Business Phone: 925-864-2093

Web address: www.TamaraGerlach.com

Travels From: San Francisco, CA

Follow Tamara: Twitter

Books by Tamara Gerlach

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scott belsky

Episode 67: Making Ideas Happen – Featured Interview with Scott Belsky

Founder and CEO of Behance and Bestselling Author

New York, NY

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How Scott’s book, Making Things Happen, helps his company reach and engage new audiences.
  • How to create a live event program with a waiting list of hundreds of creative professionals.
  • How Scott busted the top 5 myths about how to make creative ideas really happen.
  • What creative people need to make their ideas happen.
  • Why it’s important to optimize your best skills.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:22 “Behance started from this obsession of mine which was helping organize and get the creative world in order a little bit. I just was very frustrated by the fact that so many creative people and teams that I knew who were writing screenplays, working on books, thinking of business they wanted to start. They would talk about what they wanted to do, and they would talk about it again, and then talk about it again…”

2:06 How Belsky formulated his plan for creating Behance.

2:28 “I realized there was room for a business with a mission to organize the creative world.”

3:05 “Once you have an idea and you’re thinking ‘Now what?’ That’s really where I’m interested.”

3:50 Belsky tells about the 99% conference and its purpose in helping creative people execute ideas.

4:30 [Measuring the effectiveness of the 99% conference] – “Each conference we ask people to write down ideas that they’re really hoping to complete, and then we follow up a year later and hold them accountable and ask them their progress.”

5:38 “There’s a shared need that people have to be accountable to their ideas and to work on the execution.”

6:01 “The biggest myth is that ideas happen because they’re great or by accident. People think that the better the idea is the more chance of it coming to market. But we know that there’s no such correlation.”

6:30 Ideas come into being because they are executed, not always because they are great.

6:40 [On organization] – “How do you manage your energy on a daily basis? Do you run too many meetings? What do you do in your meetings to make sure that they’re actionable.”

7:12 “When something that you are trying to do is working out for you, you focus on things that need to be fixed rather than optimizing things that are working. The most effective creative leaders in the world are constantly optimizing the way that they work and the way that they do things, because that’s really what they recognize as their competitive advantage.”

8:14 The story of a LA designer and how Behance accelerated his career.

9:27 How Belsky has used the platform to develop and showcase his own work.

9:36 “We built the Behance network as a platform to showcase and discover creative work. And we think it doesn’t only appeal to the people who create the work, but also the people who want to discover it.”

10:10 “The book has just been an incredible way to open the doors to large organizations who may find some of our technology too forward thinking, may not be really ready for some of the things we’re trying to do in the creative industry, but all share the desire to help their creative people who they currently employ execute more effectively.”

11:18 Why it’s a bit unnerving to have your thoughts in print.

11:30 “As an entrepreneur who’s trying to change the mindset of an industry, it’s very helpful to have the credibility that comes along with writing and being able to speak about what you write about in front of tens of thousands of people.”

11:58 Belsky describes the ups and downs of a writing process.

13:30 “The book has been a great calling card for our business to reach out to all different types of people and build credibility, and to engage new sorts of customers. And most importantly, it’s about our message.

13:50 “We wanted to be a media agnostic business. While most companies say they’re a technology company or a paper company or a consulting company or a conference company, we didn’t want to be about our medium, we wanted to be about our mission, which was to help empower and organize creative people to make ideas happen.”

14:45 “I have an incredible team of people, [I had] no real expertise in the areas of design or technology prior to starting this 5 years ago. And the people that I surround myself with every day now are the people who taught me everything I know.”

15:42 “I think deciding which things to do first – prioritization is always a real challenge in a business like ours with so many creative people and so many things we want to do.”

16:16 “I think in the technology business there’s no idle moment. Everything is changing at light speed around you, and you just have to really try to keep up.”

17:09 “Twitter is a great way of following curators.”

Expert Bio

Scott Belsky believes that the greatest breakthroughs across all industries are a result of creative people and teams that are especially productive, and has therefore committed his professional life to helping organize creative individuals, teams, and networks.

Scott is the founder and CEO of Behance, a company that develops products and services for creative industries. These include The 99%, Behance’s think tank and annual conference devoted to execution in the creative world; Action Method, a popular online/mobile productivity application and line of organizational paper products; and the Creative’s Outfitter, which distributes a selection of products that help organize creative people and teams.

Through his work at Behance, Scott has become an advocate for technology and community initiatives that empower the careers of creative professionals and help businesses leverage the creative potential of their people. He has worked with leading media and Fortune 500 companies, including GE and Hewlett-Packard. He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek, and has shared Behance’s research in segments on ABC News, MSNBC, and with the United States State Department and CIA. Scott has also guest lectured at Cornell University, Harvard University, VCU Brand Center, and UC Berkeley among other institutions, and serves as a small business expert on American Express’ Open Forum website. In 2010, Scott was included in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” list.

Scott is also the author of the best-selling book Making Ideas Happen.

For more information, visit Scott’s website.

Contact Info for Scott Belsky

Behance Web Address: Behance.com

Scott’s Web Address: ScottBelsky.com

Travels From: New York, NY

Follow Scott: Twitter

Books by Scott Belsky

Resources Mentioned

Tech Crunch

Mashable

Gadget

Apple Insider

elizabeth jeffries

Episode 63: The Heart of Leadership – Interview with Elizabeth Jeffries

Professional Development Expert and Certified Speaking Professional

Louisville, KY

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What it means to “layer” learning.
  • The importance of cultivating curiosity.
  • Factors to consider when choosing an executive coach.
  • What helps executives thrive in a coaching relationship.

Expert Bio

Elizabeth Jeffries is a seasoned professional with expertise in developing people. She’s been challenging, encouraging, and coaching executives and high potential managers for over twenty years. She knows people. She understands how to get the best from them.

From the platform as a keynote speaker, to the classroom as a seminar leader, and from the conference room as a facilitator, to the executive office as a coach, she’s worked with CEOs, vice presidents, directors, and managers across the country. Over a million people in more than 4,000 presentations have participated in Elizabeth’s can-do, how-to messages. From General Electric to the Crystal Cathedral and from the American Hospital Association to the famed Churchill Downs, her clients are leaders in their field.

Elizabeth is a Certified Professional Behavior, Values and Talent Skills Analyst, a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), and an award winning speaker inducted into the elite CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame. She is also the author of several books, including The Heart of Leadership: How to Inspire, Encourage and Motivate People to Follow You.

For more information, visit Elizabeth’s website.

Contact Info for Elizabeth Jeffries

Business Phone: 502-339-1600

Web address: TweedJeffries.com

Travels From: Louisville, KY

Books by Elizabeth Jeffries

jeff tobe

Episode 45: Coloring Outside the Lines – Interview with Jeff Tobe

“The Guru of Creativity” and Primary Colorer at Coloring Outside the Lines

Trafford, PA

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Why Jeff believes everyone is creative, not just a chosen few.
  • The question that helps a business leader shatter the limiting stereotype of how customers perceive his or her company.
  • The 2010 Gallup survey finding of only 42% of American workers engaged in their work.
  • The two key components of creativity and how to think through value delivery at every touchpoint.

Expert Bio

Jeff Tobe is the Primary Colorer at Coloring Outside the Lines in Pittsburgh, PA. He believes in the power of creativity to look at business from a new perspective and teaches organizations that to grow, and increase their bottom line, they must first implement strategies that have a fresh approach.

A Certified Speaking Professional, Jeff was dubbed “The Guru of Creativity” by Insider Magazine, and readers of Convention & Meetings Magazine chose him as one of the top 15 speakers in North America. Jeff is one of the most dynamic speakers in the country as attested to by clients including the IRS, the AIA, ReMax International and Pepsi Cola International.

Jeff is the author of Coloring Outside The Lines and the co-author of the bestselling books The Sales Coach and The Communication Coach.

For more information, visit Jeff’s website.

Contact Info for Jeff Tobe

Business Phone: 412-373-6592

Web address: ColoringOutsideTheLines.com

Travels From: Pittsburgh, PA

Follow Jeff:

Twitter

Books by Jeff Tobe

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charles lee

Episode 32: Good Idea, Now What – Interview with Charles Lee

Author and CEO of Ideation Consultancy

El Segundo, CA

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Why in most cases, the problem a company is facing isn’t necessarily the problem that needs to be fixed
  • What’s needed in order to overcome the recycling of ideas
  • Simple steps to be a better implementor of ideas
  • How to think more strategically about ideas
  • Key elements of ideation

Expert Bio

Charles Lee is the Founder and CEO of Ideation, an idea agency that specializes in helping organizations and businesses take their ideas and make them remarkable via creative strategy, branding, design, marketing, web, social media, and custom events. He is also the author of Good Idea. Now What?, a book that guides people in implementing ideas well.

Charles is deeply committed to making our world a better place through collaborative social enterprise; to that end, he is the creator of grassroots efforts including JustOne, Ideation Conference, and the Freeze Project, as well as the co-founder of JustOne. He regularly speaks around the country on topics such as creative process, idea-making, innovation, branding, new media, and compassionate justice.

For more information, visit Charles’ website.

Contact Info for Charles Lee

Business Phone: 424-757-4875

Web address: TheIdeation.com

Web address: CharlesTLee.com

Travels From: Los Angeles, CA

Follow Charles:

Twitter

Books by Charles Lee

 

amy_robbins_wilson

Episode 25: Transformational Mothering – Interview with Amy Robbins-Wilson

Co-founder, Angelsong Creations, LLC

Belfast, ME

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How business ideas can come from unexpected inspiration.
  • Advice on positioning yourself and your business where people will look for it.
  • The importance of creating a genuine dialogue with your customers.

Expert Bio

Amy Robbins-Wilson is an author, singer, composer, and performer who is passionate about supporting new moms in developing their own parenting style and becoming the best mommy they can be.

A recipient of the Harry S. Truman Award for scholarship, leadership, and public service, she is committed to creating comfort and inspiration through the arts. Her book Transformational Mothering: A Prayerful Companion for New Mothers won the Mom’s Choice Award in 2010. She is the Co-founder of Angelsong Creations, LLC, is the Lullaby Lady at LullabyLink.com, and has recorded several CDs of music for mothers and babies, including the Gold Mom’s Choice Award-winning “The Divine Hours of Motherhood.”

To learn more about her work please visit AmyRobbinsWilson.com.

Contact Info for Amy Robbins-Wilson

Business Name: AngelSong Creations, LLC

Web address: AmyRobbinsWilson.com

Travels From: Bangor, ME

Follow Amy: Twitter

Books by Amy Robbins-Wilson

aaron_shapiro

Episode 23: Users Not Customers – Interview with Aaron Shapiro

Author and CEO of HUGE, Inc.

New York, NY

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How a company pivots based on customer feedback.
  • What steps a full-service digital agency take to insure success with high stake assignments from Fortune 1000 firms, including Comcast, Target, and HBO.
  • How the magic of good design leads to rapid product adoption.
  • The demand for a great online experience (and how the bar keeps getting raised) by the generation of consumers now in their 20’s.
  • What Forrester research says about the role of online sales transactions in 2012.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:08 How Shapiro’s experience in business school pointed him in the direction of a digital career.

1:53 “I actually thought that I was first getting involved in the internet because it was the next generation of cable TV, I was really interested in media back then. So the idea of getting on the ground floor of something that I thought was going to be the next cable TV or media ecosystem was this really exciting thing.”

2:23 Shapiro tells about pitching “internet for your television,” and how although no one would fund his project, they all wanted him to build their websites.

3:50 [On his second company] – “We developed a technology for people to be able to send rich e-mail. You could put in photos, and video, and graphics in an e-mail message and send them to people. It was initially designed for consumers.”

4:29 “We evolved the company from a consumer play to email marketing where our customers were businesses.”

4:50 “HUGE is a full-service digital agency, and what we do is the full range of digital services for what clients need to be successful online.”

5:41 HUGE’s evolution from design company to full service.

6:10 How HUGE helped with launch of HBO Go.

6:49 “The biggest challenge for [HBO Go] as well as with a lot of other clients is the pressure we’re put under. So HBO hired us not to do an interesting reader, they had a single goal, which was to create the single best entertainment experience which you can have on a mobile device or on an iPad.”

7:37 “The secret, and the real challenge, for this project and a lot of others is to really understand why are users using your experience and what are the core things that they want to accomplish?”

8:58 “Users are notoriously bad at guessing what they want.”

9:27 [On the use of ethnographic research to create personas] – “There’s a few things we do to differentiate between what users actually want and what they say they want.”

10:28 “[Personas] are hypothetical people describing who these people are, their characteristics, and what they’re common tasks and problems are”

10:57 “The key thing is: You can think of lots of problems, but what are the core one or two  problems that are motivating them to use this product.”

11:23 Why extensive testing is essential in developing breakthrough user experiences.

12:43 How HUGE screens subjects to remove the potential for unhelpful outliers.

13:07 “People tend to use products and solve problems in very similar ways. Our goal is not to find quantitative data to find whether something works or doesn’t work, it’s to find problems.”

14:08 “People actually use the internet in remarkably similar ways around the world.”

15:25 Shapiro explains how great design encourages users to fall in love with the product.

16:11 [On the emotional impact of design] – “We’ll often spend a lot of time creating small visual cues and little things to surprise and delight users so they feel that the something that they own is really special.”

17:15 [On why HUGE is a full service agency] – “Design becomes this gateway to the customer experience, and what a lot of other folks do, that work in the company, have nothing to do with the design, but are equally important in making clients successful on the internet.”

18:51 Shapiro discusses why transformative change within the organization is essential for companies to be successful in the digital arena.

19:28 “Every company must be a digital business to be successful in our economy today, and a lot of companies don’t really understand this.”

20:06 Why organizational lag in embracing digital as an essential business component led Shapiro to writing his book.

20:40 Shapiro’s biggest challenges in writing the book.

20:57 “Writing a book forces you to formalize your ideas.”

22:20 “The most successful companies think about users as the core to their business.”

23:36 “Removing the anonymity to digital traffic and thinking of those people as real users that are gonna interact with your company, and making sure that they have a good experience is really the core to being successful.”

24:30 How Shaprio analyzes companies to see how their web experience can improve.

26:41 “If you’re company is not set up to resonate with a digital first customer, then you have a real problem, because those people are just gonna work with your competitor who is set up.”

Expert Bio

Aaron Shapiro is CEO of HUGE, a digital agency that helps companies re-imagine how they interact with their customers and manage their business in the online economy. He has spent more than a decade as a technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist and management consultant. This includes being founding CEO of Silverpop Systems, a leading email service provider, and starting a national magazine distributed by Time Warner.

Aaron frequently writes about the digital economy at AaronShapiro.com and for publications including The Huffington Post, MediaPost, and Fast Company. He is the author of Users Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business, and was named one of Crain’s “40 under 40″ for 2011.

For more information, visit Aaron’s website.

Contact Info for Aaron Shapiro

Business Phone: 718-625-4843

Web Address: HugeInc.com

Web Address: AaronShapiro.com

Travels From: New York, NY

Follow Aaron:

Twitter

Books by Aaron Shapiro

michael broder

Episode 11: The Art of Living Single – Interview with Michael Broder

Psychologist, Author, & Lecturer

Philadelphia, PA

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How joint venture partnerships yield significant marketing results.
  • Tips on making partnerships mutually beneficial.
  • How small ideas have the power to take your career in unexpected directions.

Expert Bio

Michael S. Broder, Ph.D., is a psychologist and author whose work centers around helping people to bring about  change and resolve major life issues in the shortest time possible.

He is the author of several widely-published books, including The Art of Living Single, The Art of Staying Together, and, most recently, Stage Climbing: How to Achieve Personal Greatness in Any Area of Your Life. Dr. Broder has also created numerous audio programs.

In 1987, he founded Media Psychology Associates (MPA) to provide training and consultation services to a wide variety of clients, including employee assistance programs, law enforcement, and industral, education, and government organizations. He served as the Chief Psychologist of the Philadelphia Police Department from 1995-2000.

He has hosted an award-winning radio program; made countless radio and television guest appearances, including on Oprah and The Today Show; and written for or been quoted in numerous publications, including Time and The New York Times.

To learn more, visit his website: DrMichaelBroder.com.

Contact Info for Michael Broder

Business Phone: 215-985-1132
Web address: DrMichaelBroder.com
Travels From: Philadelphia, PA
Follow Michael: Twitter

Books by Michael Broder

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