Paul Jarvis: Are YOU a good creative?

Paul JarvisVery much a pleasure to welcome Paul Jarvis to the show today! Paul is an author, web designer, and gentleman of adventure. You can find him here.

He joins me today to discuss his latest book, The Good Creative: 18 ways to make better art.

Discussion guide from today’s show:

1. How do you define a creative?
2. How do you define art?
3. Did we really need another book on this topic?
4. Aren’t we all creatives? Don’t we all create art?
5. Isn’t the mindset shift that comes with accepting this really when the magic really happens?
6. The book is organized around 18 habits. So, why habits? And not rules, laws, or steps?
7. You say that we have to embrace failure. What does this really mean? How do we actually do that?
8. How do you promote yourself without coming across like a used car salesman?

You can find Paul’s book here (affiliate link):
The Good Creative


To hear from other intrepid souls like Paul Jarvis, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. Or, you can get the latest episode sent DIRECT to your INBOX! Thanks for listening!

This is episode 114.

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Chris Brogan: Getting your FREAK on!

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Chris BroganReally great to welcome my friend, Chris Brogan, who joins me to discuss his latest book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. Chris is the CEO + Publisher of Owner Media Group.

Today’s discussion guide:

1. Are you a freak? Freak defined.

1.5. Chris describes some examples of freak businesses. And they aren’t what you expect.

2. Why do we call these people freaks? Isn’t this mindset the new way to do business? Will there come a day when doing business this way won’t be considered freakish?

3. Why do people play it safe? Is this all still fear-based?

4. Evolving and reinventing yourself (and your business) over time? Isn’t this a natural and expected thing?

5. This is all about belonging, closely identifying to a like-minded group of other freaks, and raising each other up.

6. Explains the monchu (the true secret to Chris Brogan’s success).

7. Can you properly execute the freak mindset offline? Or do you really need to engage in some technology and digital social platforms?

8. The importance of clarity: “You need to understand, truly understand, your business to the molecular level.”

9. Doesn’t this all boil down to truly doing business in a more human way?

You can find Chris Brogan’s latest book here (affiliate link):
The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth


To hear from other intrepid souls like Chris Brogan, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. Or, you can get the latest episode sent DIRECT to your INBOX! Thanks for listening!

This is episode 113.

j j j’s Mike Faith divulges the most important business trend

Mike FaithA great conversation with serial entrepreneur and CEO + Founder, Mike Faith.

Some notes from my conversation with Mike Faith:

Unsatisfied with a product or service? Start your own business and do it better. Sure, makes sense, but actually how?

How to actually plan, the entrepreneurial way. “Plans are useless, planning is essential,” someone famous once said.

“On the road to 800,000 customers, I made many mistakes. So will you.”

“You can’t replicate someone else’s success plan. You have to create your own path. Do you own thing. Make your own mistakes.”

A successful leader conveys his vision not once, not twice, but as often as necessary until the team gets it. This might go on a while.

Good team building doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a while, and it takes mistakes.

Three keys to marketing success: customer service, whacky marketing, and direct mail.
Really? Direct mail?

Finally, Mike shares the most important trend to look for in business. It’s not what you’re thinking.


To hear from other intrepid souls like Mike Faith, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 112.

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Ryan Holiday: The obstacle is the way

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Ryan HolidayToday’s guest says this was the book he was born to write. Well, this was the book perfectly written for a guy like me.

Joined by return guest Ryan Holiday, and we discuss his latest work, The Obstacle is the Way:

[from Amazon] We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek.

These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who struggled to articulate a method for excellence in any and all situations. This book reveals that formula for the first time—and shows us how we can turn our own adversity into advantage.

Discussion topics from my conversation with Ryan:

1. Ryan leads us off by explaining what stoicism is, and what it means to be a stoic.

2. Why he wrote the book, and who is it for.

3. Is this just about mindset?

4. We discuss what’s happening internally to someone when they are beaten down by perceived obstacles.

5. How does one adopt this new framework, this new “operating system,” and begin to change their life?

6. Is Marcus Aurelius the only self-help guru any of us need?

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. Marcus Aurelius

7. Ryan explains that the book is divided into three sections: Perception, Action, and Will. While I understood the first two, I needed help understanding how the force of will plays into this. He explains…

8. We talk about the different applications of this philosophy and framework, and how it applies to not only entrepreneurship, but to sales, business, personal issues, and health and wellness.

9. This never ends. Obstacles will always present themselves. You can choose to always be depressed by that reality, or you can become a stoic, and see a life full of (never-ending) opportunity.

You can find Ryan’s book here (affiliate link):


To hear from other intrepid souls like Ryan Holiday, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 111.

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Kevin Allen: The case of the missing cutlery: A leadership lesson

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Kevin AllenA real pleasure to spend some time talking leadership development with Kevin Allen on today’s show. Kevin is a former ad man, best-selling author, and founder and chairman of Planet Jockey.

He joined me on today’s show to discuss his latest book, The Case of the Missing Cutlery: A Leadership Course for the Rising Star.

A few key discussion topics from today’s show:

1. Kevin tells the actual story of the missing cutlery, which sets the table for the whole book. And explains the importance of leadership.

2. For me, the first key lesson from the story is the power of stepping up and volunteering for difficult jobs and tasks, and how doing that very things plows the field for big things in your career.

3. Three, as you’ll learn from the story, “the manager” didn’t solve the problem…his people actually solved the problem, but real leadership created an environment where problem solving could flourish.

4. What it means to be a buoyant leader, and how to achieve it.

5. How Mayor Rudy Giuliani was a buoyant leader, and how that changed New York City forever.

6. The important of the “We Will” statement, and how JFK changed the world forever because of using one.

7. Why it matters to have real ambition.

8. Why you need to create a mental movie.

To learn more about the book, CLICK HERE!

You can find Kevin’s book here (affiliate link):
The Case of the Missing Cutlery


To hear from other intrepid souls like Kevin Allen, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 110.

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The art and science of giving and receiving feedback

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Stone + HeenIt’s not everyday you can have a casual chat with two Harvard Law professors…

But that’s just what I did today with Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone, co-authors of the best-selling book Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.

Feedback. Do you realize how important feedback is? A majority of us aren’t very good at giving it, and honestly, most of us are really bad at receiving it.

And I’m just talking about myself….

Enjoy today’s scintillating conversation!

Discussion topics from today’s show:

1. Managers aren’t the only ones who need to learn about this feedback thing.
2. What is the bigger problem? How feedback is GIVEN? Or how it is RECEIVED? And where is their more opportunity for impact?
3. Why do we take the same advice from different people differently? Why does that happen? And what do we do about it?
4. What are the three critical feedback triggers?
5. Are we hard-wired to not take feedback well?
6. If you aren’t good at taking feedback, is this problem fixable?
7. What are the real business applications of feedback? Both giving and taking?
8. How does your ability to give and take feedback impact your ability as a salesman, your ability to close deals? Can it help?
9. Don’t ask for generic feedback. It is too vague, and not helpful. Instead, ask for “one thing!”
10. Is there an appropriate time to ignore feedback?
11. How is social and digital media media impacting this whole idea around feedback?
12. Who does social/digital media benefit more….the giver or taker of feedback?
13. When one hears feedback, you either take it as coaching or judgement. Which are you?
14. Why do we stink at self-learning? Is part of the answer that we take all feedback as judgment?
15. Both Sheila and Doug share some key steps on how to take feedback better and improve your personal and business life…
16. A big piece of this is lowering your own anxiety and reactiveness to feedback…even if from your own Mother-in-law….
17. For the record: Taking feedback well is a key predictor of successful, stable marriages…
18. Doug share the more surprising discovery from the book’s research…

To learn more about all things Heen + Stone, CLICK HERE! This includes a worksheet on how to improve the giving and taking of feedback in your organization!

To pick up a copy of this wicked cool book, click below (affiliate link):


To hear from other intrepid souls like Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 109.

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Dana Ardi: The paradigm shift you need to make to thrive

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Dana ArdiOne of my favorite bloggers, Fred Wilson, talked about new book called The Fall of the Alphas, by Dana Ardi. So, I checked it out, really enjoyed it, and added it to my reading list.

A few weeks later, some of her people saw my reading list and contacted me about getting her on my show. I immediately said yes. Today’s show is the result. Enjoy!

Key discussion topics from today:

1. Dana is a corporate anthropologist, and we discuss what that actually means.

2. Who/what are the Alphas? And why is that business model dying?

3. The new Beta business culture/model has emerged. Why? Is it JUST because of the technological revolution? Or is there more to it?

4. Alpha: A General and his army. Beta: A conductor of a symphony orchestra. Dana explains…

5. Core features of the Beta culture: communication, collaboration, empowerment, and self awareness. And why that all matters to your talent management and recruiting.

6. Beta leaders are curators, not commanders. How in the heck does the concept of curation play into this?

7. Will an Alpha organization survive in the long-term?
8. And can an Alpha organization change and evolve into a Beta organization? And if so, how?

You can find Dana’s book here (affiliate link):


To hear from other intrepid souls like Dana Ardi, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 108.

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Waldschmidt: Forget the skills, do you have the WILL?

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Dan WaldschmidtI believe strongly in the concept that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Which is why I do what I can to spend as much time as possible with today’s guest, Dan Waldschmidt.

Dan joined me on the show today to discuss his recent book, Edgy Conversations.

This book is about how ordinary people can achieve outrageous success, and get beyond the nonsense in their life to do what really matters.

This planned twenty-minute conversation lasted nearly 40 minutes. It is a raw, human dialog which gets right to the guts of what we need to do to achieve a life of meaning and success.

I hope you’ll enjoy it. Dan inspires me every time I speak with him…

You can get a copy of Dan’s book here:


To hear from other intrepid souls like Dan Waldschmidt, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 107.

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Simon Sinek: YOUR job may literally be killing you. Do you know why?

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Simon SinekIf you ever ask me why I podcast, I will answer that it affords me the chance to talk to people such as today’s guest. Best-selling author Simon Sinek joined me on today’s show to discuss his latest work, Leaders Eat Last: Why some teams pull together and others don’t.

You get into podcasting to talk with gentlemen like Simon. He is the author of the best-seller Start with Why, and his TED videos are amongst the most watched of the entire mind-blowing portfolio.

Discussion topics with today’s show:

1. We start with what inspires Simon. What is his why? This is, after all, the fellow who wrote the classic book, Start With Why. I ask why he is devoting his life to helping others discover their own mission and purpose.

2. Most organizations will sacrifice people to save the numbers. Shouldn’t the goal be an organization that is willing to sacrifice the numbers to save the people? Why is this rare?

3. But why does this happen? Why does our culture foster negative work environments that are far too common? Why is it accepted that work environments have to be negative places? How did we let this happen? Does this start with our parents?

4. Start With Why discussed the WHY we do what we do. Is the next book the WHAT and the HOW? Or is it the continuation of the journey?

5. Is your job literally killing you? Simon shares some compelling dialog about how our biology significantly impacts how we operate and integrate into the modern world. Trust me, you need to hear this.

6. Are you a true leader? Or are you merely an authority? And if you don’t know the difference…you need to speak with Simon…

7. Does someone have your back? And why does that matter?

8. Leadership is a choice. It is a choice to serve. Not to dictate.

9. Simon shares some practicable counsel on how to take the initial steps towards this new path of modern leadership…

10. Who is responsible here to turn this all around? Is it leadership? Is it the employees? Or is it the responsibility of all of us?

Get Simon’s newest book here:

And get Simon’s classic here:


To hear from other intrepid souls like Simon Sinek, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 106.

[You shouldn't miss this presentation:]

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Pam Slim: Building your body of work in this crazy, unstable world

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Pam SlimPam Slim is a good friend. Well, we only just met. But she wrote a book JUST FOR ME. And that’s why she was a recent guest on the show…to discuss her latest book, Body of Work.

Pam Slim is a speaker, business coach, and best-selling author of not only this book, but also the popular Escape from Cubicle Nation.

Discussion topics from today’s show:

1. Will there ever be stable career paths again? Pam and I say no. So, should we embrace this new reality? The long traditional corporate path of staying with the same organization for the duration of your career has long passed…

2. Is instability the new way of life? Economic instability. Political instability, etc. Is the only truth path to finding “stability” in your life to acknowledge that the world is an unstable place?

3. In a similar vein, is it wrong to judge people (as I do) who complain about the lack of security, say, in the job market? Can’t we all accept this as a given?

4. An important future skill to learn is to blend all the different things in your life into one, tightknit story: Your job, your freelance work, your volunteer gigs, your passion projects… How do you weave all these into one interesting story to tell the world? And why is that important in this modern age?

5. The book’s subtitle is: Finding the thread that ties your story together. Pam and I discuss how most people don’t know how to tell their own story, let alone even KNOW what their story is. So…how important are storytelling skills in this project-based, digital, and social world we live in?

6. When I suggested to Pam that the ability to continuously reinvent yourself is an important skill, she kind of agreed, but said that the true skill to learn is the ability to create new things to define you and what you stand for. And that this is a never-ending process….

7. Pam gives me some free consulting: I tell her that the question I fear the most is “Todd, what do you do?” Since I have my hands in so many pies, and am involved in so many projects, I am never sure how to answer people when they ask me this question. Pam provides some keen insights on how to deal with this new reality.

You can find Pam’s book here (affiliate link):

[And a quick shout-out to Bill Ramsey who won a free copy of Pam’s book! Join the mailing list to be eligible for future book giveaways!]


To hear from other intrepid souls like Pam Slim, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 105.

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