Todd Schnick

Founder and Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA, Todd Schnick is a media + business strategist and talk show host + producer. He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist. Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.

BUSINESS, CONTRIBUTORS, LEADERSHIP, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

Get used to being uncomfortable

I have a good friend going through a tough time right now. He’s just recently suffered a big loss, and despite putting out a strong front to the world, I know he is struggling mightily.

“I suck at this,” he says. Followed by “I feel so broken.”

I get it. We’ve all been there.

And then today, as I write this, I had a big business setback myself. A project I was counting on fell through at the very last minute.

“How could this have happened to me,” I yelled out loud earlier today, within earshot of my poor wife who had no choice but to listen to my frustrated rant.

I’m feeling pretty blue as a result. This despite the fact that at this very moment in my life, I’ve never been happier, I’ve never felt more optimistic, and the growth track with my business remains overwhelmingly positive.

But setbacks and losses still suck. They still hurt. A lot. And it’s easy to fall into a tailspin as a result.

Here is what I am learning: Setbacks are a regular part of life. As much as you don’t want them to happen, they do. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE IN THIS MATTER.

And instead of curling up in the fetal position, or venting through loud vocal obscenities and rage like I do, foolishly, you have to suck it up and move on.

As a new friend of mine says, you have go forward, “Always Forward.”

Business and life is uncomfortable. It just is. If you expect it to be smooth and easy, you’ll be disappointed.

But it is moving forward, picking yourself back up, taking one step forward at a time = THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP GOING.

You know this, even if you are unwilling to admit it.

All the great ones do this. You can too. I can too. And I have to, for people are counting on me.

Life is uncomfortable. And it always will be. You have no choice but to accept that, and take that on as a personal challenge, and embrace it.

The Sun will come up tomorrow, the clock will keep ticking, dust will keep going through the hourglass, and you’ll still be there…

The question is will you be wallowing in it and sucking on your thumb? Or will you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward…Always Forward?

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BUSINESS, LIFESTYLE

Emily Lagasse: Our pets deserve better food

Joined on the show today by Emily Lagasse, the Founder + CEO of Fedwell Pet Foods. Our pets deserve better food, yes. But learn how one entrepreneur built a business from scratch to solve a very common problem….

Discussion guide from my conversation with Emily Lagasse:

1. The inspiration behind starting Fedwell Pet Foods.

2. Challenges with manufacturing and getting the product made, and how she’s dealing with that.

3. She shares her unique distribution model, and how she will scale the business when the time comes. And what you can learn from how she will accomplish that.

4. She walks us through her current product line, but shares where things can go from here: foods for new animals, and adding new proteins, such as crickets. Yes…crickets!

5. How do you build trust with a new market, in a very competitive market, on a very sensitive subject (what people feed their fur babies)…

6. What are the biggest challenges building a business like this? And can you share some key lessons for those trying to do something similar?

7. Any guidance for finding and recruiting manufacturing for any type of product?

8. How do you deal with the strict testing of product, especially when everyone in your market is concerned, from finicky owners to veterinarians?

9. How do you scale a business such as this, without compromising quality and your principles?

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Emily Lagasse

About Emily Lagasse:

Emily is the founder and CEO of Fedwell Pet Foods, a Boston-based company offering the only 100% natural pet food on the market. Fedwell products are based on Emily’s home- cooked recipes that she used to heal her African dog, Fenway, after he got sick upon their return from Peace Corps service in Togo. Every bag of Fedwell contains recognizable ingredients anyone would be proud to serve their whole family.

Emily was the grand prize winner at the 2013 Female Entrepreneurship Challenge, earning over $30K in cash and non-cash prizes. Emily was also a semi-finalist at Babson’s BETA challenge in 2014, and in 2015 Fedwell was named one of Inc Magazine’s coolest college startups. Fedwell concluded a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, with over 200 backers, raising over $20,000. Fedwell is currently carried in specialty pet stores in Massachusetts and is being featured on the PBS show StartUp, which draws 15 million viewers annually. (Episode 308, Wake up and smell the dog food, airs on Boston’s WGBH on November 22nd at 12:30pm.) Emily is a native of Boston, attended Ohio State University for her undergraduate degree in Marketing and Transportation Logistics and is a recent MBA graduate from Babson college. In her spare time Emily plays in a volleyball league, enjoys outdoor activities with her dog, and teaches life skills to youth aging out of the foster care system.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, MARKETING

Pamela Herrmann: Customer’s feelings are fact

Joined on the show today by Pamela Herrmann, the co-founder and Chief Storyteller of CREATE Buzz!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Pamela Herrmann:

1. What is the actual failure rate of small business? And why?

2. “Feelings are fact.”

3. “Devotion to someone…”

4. Do you know the actual cost to acquire a new customer? And do you know the lifetime value of your current customer(s)?

Hint: Most do not…

5. We discuss Pamela’s book, The Customer Manifesto….

6. Pamela explains the THREE MARKET FORCES: Economics, Social, and Technology…

7. Closing the gap between companies AND customers…

Pamela Herrmann

Get Pamela Herrmann’s book right here:

About Pamela Herrmann:

Pamela is a best selling author, host of the daily video series, “The Morning Would Show” and a national keynote speaker on the subject of creating uncommonly awesome connections with your customers, both online and offline.

A short list of her clients include jetBlue, State of Colorado Economic Development, North Caroline Main Street Alliance, New Jersey Main Street Alliance, and Oklahoma Main Streets…

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CONTRIBUTORS, LIFESTYLE

I am not wishing you Happy Birthday on Facebook. Deal with it.

My birthday is coming up soon, and frankly, I am dreading it. Why?

Not because I am getting older (but that sucks too).

It’s because of Facebook and their infernal mother-farking birthday function. It’s ruined birthdays for me, and has taken the fun out of my celebrating the birthdays of people I care about.

For the record, I no longer wish people “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, or any other social network for that matter.

I really don’t want my greeting buried under hundreds of others.

So, if you’ve been offended that I haven’t said anything to you on your BIG day well, sorry, but I am not losing any sleep over it.

Why?

Because most of what I see and hear isn’t genuine, and stems from one simple fact:

From half of my Facebook friends, I hear from them one day per year. And yeah, you guessed it: it’s on my birthday when I get the perfunctory “Happy Birthday [insert name here]!”

And it doesn’t help when you attach one of those motion-GIFS. Frankly, that’s your attempt to make it “more” personal. Despite the fact that I will receive 100s of those on the big day. All they really do is clog up Facebook’s servers.

These particular Facebook friends who pass along greetings once a year NEVER like anything else of mine. They never engage with me on my content. Never comment on stuff I share, whether it is on music, photos of my activities, food I eat, issues of the day, etc.

Now, it’s a VERY FAIR question to ask why am I connected to someone who only contacts me ONCE A YEAR? Yes, #truth. And the subject of another essay for another day. And I bear my share of responsibility in this too.

Frankly, when I observe others on their actual birthday, I am quite saddened when they are spending time ON THEIR ACTUAL BIRTHDAY responding to birthday wishes on Facebook. Do you not have other things to do on this special day? Really? You have to get out a little more friend…

I also hate the standard “Thanks for all the birthday wishes, I am very blessed, and I have the bestest friends” notes that people post, you know, so they don’t have to acknowledge all of these greetings. Probably from people they also only hear from once per year.

So yeah, at the end of the day, I’ve stopped doing it because I don’t want people to think of me the way I think of others who do it to me.

No, on rare occasion, I will send someone a birthday message via Facebook, but I’ll make it a point to personalize it and make it legitimate. Or, I will take advantage of Facebook reminding me, and send them greetings through another, more personal, medium.

And for the record, I am grateful when someone I know and interact with year round sends me a real, human, personal note.

Social media has changed the world. It connects us in ways that most never dreamed possible, and its wonders continue to marvel and hint and what’s still possible down the road.

But the downsides are its automation and lack of a personal touch.

I’ve been binging the AMC series TURN, about George Washington’s spies. Seeing them write meticulous letters on parchment with a quill pen and ink, that correspondence seems so real and genuine…

…verses the automatron scanning today’s list of birthdays on his Facebook page, and BANG-BANG-BANG-Done.

Ok, good. Moving on to the next task…

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AUTHORS, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

Dave Griffin: How running leads to both personal AND professional growth

Joined on the show today by Dave Griffin, founder of Flying Feet Running Programs, and author of a new book called In the Distance: Why We Struggle Through the Demands of Running, and How It Leads Us to Peace.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Dave Griffin:

1. How the focus and drive needed to become a runner can aid and enhance professional motivation. This is more than just about running, it’s about professional development too!

2. How he used the benefits of training and running with others in his leadership of his corporate risk management team – his 4 unique takeaway tips.

3. The statistics that indicate successful leaders are also regular exercise enthusiasts – the psychological truths behind this.

4. How running takes us back to our early childhood years and why it is important to be in touch with that part of ourselves as we mature in business.

5. Of course, we discuss the health (and mental) benefits of running.

6. And for those who are NOT runners, Dave shares some insights on HOW TO START!

Find Dave Griffin’s latest book here:

About Dave Griffin:

Dave Griffin began running in 1976 as a high school freshman. He ran competitively through 1989 with PRs that include a 25:43 5M, a 32:11 10K and a 1:12:24 half marathon. After a 12-year period of casual running when his children were young, he returned to competitive running as a master.

Griffin started the Flying Feet Running Programs in 2004 while his daughter, Katie, was running in high school. The program has since grown to provide year-round coaching and support to runners of all experience and talent levels in the Carroll County, MD area.

Griffin began writing about running and life in 2006, when his bi-weekly column, Dave Griffin on Running, was introduced. In 2010, Dave published his first book, After the Last PR – The Virtues of Living a Runner’s Life.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Steve Gold: Harnessing the power of smart experiments

Joined on the show today by Steve Gold, a leadership consultant and author of a new book called How We Succeed: Making Good Things Happen Through the Power of Smart Experiments. You can learn more about Steve Gold by clicking here.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Steve Gold:

1. “Life is a series of experiments and explorations.”

2. The back story and the research for How We Succeed and the concept of a smart experiment.

3. What exactly does Steve mean by an experiment…

Note: You are doing experiments ALL THE TIME…You just aren’t doing SMART experiments…

4. Why are we doing experiments all the time, every day? Do both individuals AND organizations conduct experiments?

5. What’s the difference between a SMART experiment and a not-so-smart experiment?

6. FINALLY, we discuss how to conduct a SMART EXPERIMENT. And it involves four steps: Design, Decide, De-Risk, and Deliver.

Find Steve’s book here:

About Steve Gold:

Steven K. Gold empowers individuals and organizations using the lessons of entrepreneurial strategy and practice. As Chairman of Gold Global Advisors, he advises clients throughout the United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Steve began his career as an entrepreneur. He started and successfully exited several ventures in the fields of biotechnology, software, mobile mapping and intellectual property. He was then invited to teach entrepreneurship, first as Senior Partner for Entrepreneurship at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and later as Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice at Babson Global.

Steve has taught entrepreneurial strategy and practice to audiences around the world. Steve is the author of Entrepreneur’s Notebook: Practical Advice for Starting a New Business Venture (2006) and How We Succeed: Making Good Things Happen through the Power of Smart Experiments (2016). He’s an expert on the behavioral science of sustainable success who helps leaders and organizations compete most effectively in today’s global environment.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Rick Tiemann: A new approach to developing world class leaders

Joined on the show today by Rick Tiemann, President of The Executive Group, and author of Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Rick Tiemann:

1. Why do the vast majority of leadership programs fail?

2. We discuss how great leadership is related to emotional intelligence.

3. Rick shares his opinions on the standard way we assess leaders (performance reviews, peer-to-peer, assessment reviews). Do they work? Should they even be used?

4. Rick shares a different way to assess leaders!

5. What are the best ways to invest in staff, and why that’s one of the most important tasks an organization can undertake.

6. Training vs. Development

7. We discuss Three Dimensional Leadership and its impact on organizations.

You can find Rick Tiemann’s book here:

About Rick Tiemann:

Rick Tiemann started The Executive Group in 1991 and works with companies in the areas of organizational and business development. His expertise is on developing organizational effectiveness through employee selection and development with a targeted focus on sales and leadership. His experience in mergers and acquisitions including turnarounds and employee integration make him a sought after consultant to organizations preparing for or in the midst of implementing change.

With over 40 years of business experience including having owned three businesses, Rick has worked in both national and international arenas and has held positions of Director of Sales and Marketing, VP of Sales, Asian Business Development Manager, and President of a 75 million dollar company in the fire and security industry.

He brings a unique mix of sales and business expertise along with a deep understanding of personality and performance potential to his practice. Over the past 24 years he has interpreted more than 12,000 16PF assessments.

Rick is also an accomplished Executive and Behavioral Coach and uses his insight into behavior to assist CEO’s, Sales and Operations Managers, and business owners in their professional development.

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BUSINESS, INCUBATOR, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

INCUBATOR 030: Jane Curth: Improve health by combining the power of an activity tracking device with expert evaluation

Joined in studio today by Jane Curth, Founder + CEO, of Healthyou. Healthyou improves users’ health by combining the power of an activity tracking device with expert evaluation. With data analysis, weekly feedback, and personal encouragement, users embark on a lifelong trajectory of healthy living.

Jan Curth

Discussion guide from our conversation with Jane Curth:

1. Healthyou background–including Jane’s background…what lead her to create Healthyou! And how was it started?

2. What does Healthyou do?

3. Importance of a healthy lifestyle. And why you have to set goals…

4. Importance of accountability in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

5. We discuss the technology behind Halthyou. And its integration with FitBit.

6. Who is Healthyou’s target audience?

7. We discuss Healthyou’s ONLINE COURSES, who they are for… Hint: Continuing Education1

8. New initiative of Healthyou — starting a new initiative in education to enhance the work they are already doing. Online courses are being developed that will give pertinent information to clients. Also, online elite courses are being developed that will provide continuing education credits to personal trainers and fitness professionals.

9. We wrap up with THE WELA question of the week: “What is the best piece of financial advice you have ever received for given?”

About Jane Curth:

Jane started Healthyou amidst a life dedicated to educating and encouraging people on the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle. She has been an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified Personal Trainer since 1998. She is also a retired college professor and has served for over 20 years in the field of Health and Kinesiology.

She has presented at over 18 state, regional, and national conferences on various health and fitness topics. She developed many online courses in her career and turned those experiences into her wellness coaching company, Healthyou. She is an active Baby Boomer living a wellness lifestyle and wants to help others in her generation, and younger, to live life to the fullest.

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The Incubator is made possible by the following partners:

MD Burns Nash

Wela Logo_Strategies

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS

Stragility: Excelling at strategic changes

Joined on the show today by the co-authors of Stragility: Excelling at Strategic Changes, Lisa Hillenbrand and Ellen Auster. You can learn more about the book, and Ellen and Lisa, by CLICKING HERE.
stragility

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with the co-authors of Stragility:

1. What “Stragility” is, and why it is critical to achieving organizational change.

2. Change is constant now, right? Do we need to adapt to this new normal?

3. We are talking about change at all organizational levels right?

4. What makes Stragility different from all other change management methodologies?

5. Strategy / Agile / People = The model!

6. How to get a company’s people truly engaged in the transformation, and why this is crucial.

7. Why “locking and loading” and “telling and selling” a change strategy can be fatal mistakes…

8. What it takes to manage the politics that inevitably arise around any change effort…

9. How to avoid “change fatigue” and build change fitness with every change your
organization takes on…

10. Why counterintuitive strategies like “going slow to go fast” and “changing less to achieve more” may be key to winning at change…

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Find Stragility (the book) here!

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About the authors:

Lisa Hillenbrand, who is the founder of Lisa Hillenbrand & Associates, previously served as Global Marketing Director at Procter & Gamble. She specializes in marketing, strategy, and organization change interventions that return brands to growth, and led the team that “re-engineered” Procter & Gamble’s company-wide brand building approach. Hillenbrand has delivered keynotes for the AMA, Marketing Science Institute and Thomas Edison Foundation, and has consulted with and led top rated workshops for Google, Facebook and many others.

Ellen R. Auster has more than 25 years of experience as an academic and consultant specializing in strategic transitions, transformations and turnarounds. Professor of Strategic Management and the Founding Director of the Schulich Centre for Teaching Excellence at the Schulich School of Business, York University, she has published widely in journals including The Academy of Management Review, Management Science, Sloan Management Review, The Journal of Business Ethics, and Human Resource Management. Auster has also been quoted in BusinessWeek, Time, Newsweek, Harvard Business Review, and USA Today, among other leading news sources.

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BUSINESS

Rodd Wagner: How employee motivation impacts productivity and engagement

Joined today in studio by Rodd Wagner, the Vice President of Employee Engagement Strategy with BI Worldwide.

Rodd Wagner

Discussion guide from my conversation with Rodd Wagner:

1. We’re interested to hear about your recent work on studying employee motivation in the United States, how important is happiness at work?

2. Being cool isn’t something employers necessarily aimed for a generation ago, how important is coolness now?

3. How does pay affect happiness?

4. How did you come up with the New Rules of Engagement, and what does it mean?

5. Are you “engageable?”

6. What exactly is engagement? What role does “intensity” play in this?

About Rodd Wagner:

Rodd Wagner is the New York Times bestselling author of Widgets. A contributor to Forbes, he is one of the foremost authorities on employee engagement and collaboration. Wagner’s books, speeches, and thought leadership focus on how human nature affects business strategy. He currently serves as vice president of employee engagement strategy at BI WORLDWIDE.

Wagner is a confidential advisor to senior executives on the best ways to increase their personal effectiveness and their organizations’ performance. His work has taken him to a fiberglass factory in Brazil, a vehicle engineering facility in India, a paper warehouse in Poland, a home improvement store in Wales, a medical device design site in Germany, a pharmaceutical firm in Switzerland, the Pentagon, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, and the attack submarine USS California.

Wagner’s books have been published in 10 languages and his work featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, ABC News, BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, and the Globe and Mail and National Post in Canada, and parodied in Dilbert.

Wagner holds an M.B.A. with honors from the University of Utah Graduate School of Business. He was formerly a principal of Gallup, the research director of the Portland Press Herald and WGME-TV in Maine, a reporter and news editor for The Salt Lake Tribune, and a radio talk show host.

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