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

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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BUSINESS, MARKETING

Geoff Wilson: Startup thinking for corporate enterprises

Joined on the show today by Geoff Wilson, the president and CEO of 352 Inc.

About 352 Inc: Their passion is turning great ideas into compelling websites, apps and software. They build dedicated teams around every client to get you to market quickly, so that they can learn, iterate and grow your audience.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Geoff Wilson:

1. Corporate Innovation: 352’s approach to digital product development via agile methodologies.

2. Lean Startup mentality: prototype to successful product.

3. “Barely manage to lead…”

4. We discuss The Enterprise Entrepreneurship Series at Tech Square Labs for corporate innovators.

5. We discuss “Traction Marketing,” aka lean principles applied to marketing.

6. Geoff shares a few SCRUM/UX best practices.

7. We discuss the upcoming 352inc annual Hackathon, which will take place around August/September of 2016.

Geoff Wilson

About Geoff Wilson:

President and Founder of 352 Inc., Geoff Wilson is a tech entrepreneur, investor and mentor who found his passion for business at an early age. After starting a successful computer store in high school, Geoff began building websites in his college fraternity house room and 352 Inc. was born. 17 years later, his digital product development agency has grown to more than 85 employees with offices in Atlanta, Tampa and Gainesville, FL. 

As 352 grew, Geoff began to focus on the powerful impact of lean and agile methodologies. Geoff implemented these principles into 352 by reorganizing the agency into cross-functional teams and turning managers into servant leaders. Free to focus on a single project at a time, his teams’ quality of work, productivity and morale dramatically increased. Good client relationships became great ones, and 352 began down a path of unprecedented growth. Geoff calls his management philosophy “Barely Manage to Lead” and speaks at conferences about how this approach can improve any type of business.

Geoff and his wife, Kim Wilson, also have built and sold a highly successful digital product, SocialNewsDesk. SocialNewsDesk is an online social media management platform for newsrooms, and is currently being used by 85% of the television newsrooms in the United States to manage their social presence. SocialNewsDesk was acquired in 2014 by a Fortune 500 company, Graham Holdings.

Geoff’s success lead him to be named one of America’s Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs by INC Magazine, and the University of Florida Warrington College of Business’ Entrepreneur of the Year.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS

Cam Barber: What’s Your Message?

Author Cam Barber joins me to discuss his new book, What’s Your Message?

Cam Barber

Discussion guide from my conversation with Cam Barber:

1. A lot of people offer advice on public speaking, what sets your book apart?

2. Many people have a real fear of speaking in public. What advice do you have for overcoming anxiety?

3. A big part of your book explains “chunking” your ideas to create an effective presentation? What is “chunking” and how does it work?

4. You debunk a lot of public speaking myths in the book. What are some of the more common myths?

5. You say in the book that for CEOs and leaders of any business that messaging is branding. What are some of the key factors leaders need to keep in mind when they are communicating with their customers, employees, or anyone who impacts their organization?

Find Cam Barber’s book here:

About Cam Barber:

Cam is a speaker, speaking coach and speechwriter.

His background as a radio executive helped him understand how to get inside the mind of an audience and trigger message recall.
He developed the Vivid Method for Public Speaking as a response to the mechanical acting skills being taught for business presentations and media settings. The first version was built on natural style and message transfer – hence the nickname ‘message man’. Delighted participants also found that this simple, practical focus reduced public speaking anxiety.

Clients now rave about the ability to relax under pressure, the power of Vivid Messages and the simple approach that generates twice the impact using half the effort. Cam Barber has helped craft presentations for dozens of Top 100 companies and coached speakers, CEOs and other presenters to make their message more powerful.

When he’s not speaking, coaching or writing, Cam consults on message management.

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CONTRIBUTORS, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

You don’t need to get up at 4AM each morning to be a success

Every day, I read some article that, if true, someone far more awesome than me has already done the following by 6AM:

photo-1428954376791-d9ae785dfb2d1. They were wide awake, showered, dressed, and at their desk by 4AM…losing a half pound of weight in the process.
2. By 5AM, they had already written 2,000 words.
3. By 520AM, they had meditated for 20 minutes and achieved near enlightenment.
4. And by 6AM, with all the kids awake, bathed, and lunch boxes packed, they had also done yoga for an additional 20 minutes. Namaste my friend!

Let me boldly and proudly declare, that by 6AM, I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. But, according to the internet, I am the only person on the entire planet still sleeping at this time in the morning.

Other essays I’ve read, some of these even more amazing people have also run a 5K (or more), prepared food from scratch (that they harvested from the back yard garden), have read the entire Wall Street Journal by 617AM, and have even done a little work to lower the Earth’s core temperature by .05 degrees.

These are truly amazing people. And all doing overtly sustainable activities before the Sun even rises.

By 617AM, I have probably read one or two articles on the Red Sox. And by then I have a 5 year old Golden Retriever standing on my chest giving me the vulture look. I will usually pretend to go back to sleep to fake her out, but Shiloh usually doinks me in the eye with the cold tip of her wet dog nose to tell me I am full of it.

Around 625AM, I will have stolen a look at my lovely wife, who is forcing her eyes closed so that I am made to believe she isn’t awake yet. For she doesn’t really want to talk to me until 10AM at the earliest. Trust me, she’s awake.

Seriously, I am amazed at the amount of people who have rewritten the U.S. Constitution by sunup. Who are all of these people? Why are they so perfect? How is it that with all of these amazing people, we still have cancer, and why are geopolitical affairs still such a mess?

Are these people for real? Are they even real?

Despite my obvious failings in the wee hours of the morning, I am still happy. I am still running a growing and successful business, I have a wife that loves me (after 10AM), and I have two happy, healthy dogs.

And oh, I haven’t even told you the really bad news yet: The first two things I do in the morning:

1. Check Facebook.
2. Read my email.

Yes, since you started reading this essay, there have been about 300 new articles published condemning humans for checking email and social media before midday.

And yes, despite the fact that I DO NOT get up at 4AM each morning AND check email and Facebook whilst still in bed, here is a list of the things I happen to still accomplish:

1. I read a book a week.
2. I run at least a 5K three to four times a week.
3. I walk my dogs round Chicago the non-running days of the week.
4. I run a business.
5. I conduct a dozen radio interviews for my business.
6. I explore my city (which translates to: I eat a lot).

I do all these things when I can, and when I want to. I check email as often as I want to. I check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram whenever I want to.

Look, I am not condemning people who have a set morning routine. I admire them for getting up early and achieving things.

It just doesn’t work for me.

For me, every day is different. My interview schedule varies each day. Some days I am on the road. Some days Stephanie and I have plans. Some days are running days. I just simply cannot follow a strict routine day in and day out.

But you do have to find out what works for you. And stick to it. Or at least know WHAT you have to do, and be disciplined to get it done over the course of the day.

Just don’t judge me when I don’t rise at 4AM. We are all different, and we are all wired in different ways. I am glad to hear you’ve figured out what works for you, and appreciate you sharing it with us. It may very well inspire someone to try something new.

Live life on your terms. Don’t be guilted into following a process that isn’t right for you, just to please some superhero that probably isn’t real…

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PERSONAL GROWTH

Todd Schnick’s 2015-2017 Reading List

A list of the books I’ve completed from 2015-2017 (most recent on top):

What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn) by Seth Godin.

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger. If you have any interest in America’s space program, this is a wonderful book about one of our most important and significant missions.

The Innovation Book by Max Mckeown.

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers.

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney.

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield.

The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene. An intense read, and what I believe is the modern guide book for those in business and politics. A 21st Century version of The Prince.

Open Up and Say AAAH: Discover…Who You Are Now Shape…Who You Are Becoming Create…What You Want to Experience by Erica Peitler.

Open by Andre Agassi. If you are a sports fan, you don’t want to miss this book. If you are a tennis fan, you’ll be over the Moon and will wonder why you waited this long to read this memoir.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F_ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. I can only recommend this book to….pretty much everyone on the planet. As the author would tell you, you are giving too many fucks about too many (insignificant) things…

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. I thought I knew the story of Nike, but I didn’t. This book is amazing. Rarely have I been more inspired. They always say a book might just possibly change a life. It might have just happened to me…

Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher.

Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry Lodge. A friend recommended this to me, not because I needed it (but I did), but because she wanted me to interview the authors. The best book I’ve read on how to slow (and almost stop) aging, and live a productive happy life well into your senior years.

The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. If you see life as full of roadblocks, you desperately need this book.

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. My all-time favorite book. I lost my old beaten up copy from high school in the move, so I bought a new copy from a cool, local independent bookstore in the Chicago Loop.

Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold.

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. My favorite business book, which I try to read at least once per year.

I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter. I interviewed this Pulitzer Prize winning writer a while back. I do enjoy his Swagger novels.

What Would Keith Richards Do? by Jessica Pallington West. If you don’t like all the usual writers of philosophy, you might look to Keef as your new source of how to survive and live life. What a fascinating read. A gift from my friend Bill Wooditch.

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. I try to read this book once per year. My all-time favorite read on being more creative. It’s a must read. In the book, he shares this simple manifesto: Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

The Prince by Nicollo Machiavelli. The classic read on achieving and holding power, and one I haven’t read since my early days in politics. “It’s better to be feared, than loved.”

A Stranger To Myself by Willy Peter Reese. A German soldier shares his journal of life from the Eastern front of WWII. This is a horrifying account of war, and for me, an eye-opening understanding of a part of the war I knew very little about…Hitler’s invasion into Russia. A gift from my friend, Bill Wooditch.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More + Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier.

The Sun + The Moon + And The Rolling Stones by Rich Cohen.

Leading With GRIT by Laurie Sudbrink. And Laurie and I did a complete audio series around GRIT, which you can find here!

Washington’s Spymaster, the Revolutionary War memoirs of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge.

Thumbs Up: 5 Steps To Create the Life of Your Dreams by Joey Reiman.

Always Forward by William Wooditch. A great read to help kickstart your sales…and life. And Bill and I have recorded a new series that will launch late May 2016. Get a preview here – Be A Game Changer!

One+One Equals Three by Dave Trott. If you are in marketing, you need to read EVERY book by Dave as soon as possible. Will change your thinking instantly.

Life by Keith Richards. If you dig music, the sixties, and the history of rock n’ roll, this is a can’t miss. One of my favorite books of all-time.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

And the Good News Is: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side by Dana Perino.

Not Taught: What It Takes to be Successful in the 21st Century that Nobody’s Teaching You by Jim Keenan.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man by Jerry Weintraub. My second favorite book from this year. If you have any interest in the entertainment industry, you’ll totally dig this book.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

Think Round: How To Own The Future By Focusing 100% Of Your Company On Customers & Consumers 100% Of The Time by Martha Pease. Click here to listen to my interview with the author!

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons by Tim Kreider.

Letters from a Stoic (Hardcover Classics) by Seneca.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk. My conversation with Gary, where he teases the idea of this very book…

Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman (Classic Reprint) by Robert R. Updegraff. Or, click here for the free PDF download!

The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood by Jeff Cohen. You may know the author as Chunk from The Goonies, but now is a high-powered dealmaker in Hollywood, and this book is his process. Fantastic. And CLICK HERE to listen to my recent interview with him.

Thumbs Up!: Five Steps to Create the Life of Your Dreams by Joey Reiman. This book is in my 2015 Top Five. CLICK HERE to check out my recent interview with the author!

Just Add Water by Michael Baldwin. If you do a lot of speaking and presentations, this book is a MUST READ. Here is an interview of mine with the author.

The Sales and Marketing Nexus: A Quick Hit Guide On How to Grow Your Business and Increase Revenue by Travis Kennedy.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. The best book I’ve read in 2015.

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod.

The Effective Executive (Harperbusiness Essentials) by Peter Drucker. Here are some my lessons learned from Drucker’s book.

Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans by Peter Shankman. Check out my recent interview with Peter on the release of this book!

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield.

Prolific: The Art & Science of Collecting, Creating and Communicating Your Ideas by Scott Ginsberg.

Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield.

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon.

The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger Novels) by Stephen Hunter. If you have any historical interest in the JFK assassination, you’ll be intrigued by this book. Here is a link to an interview I did with Stephen Hunter, the author.

The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer. We ALL need to read this. Because we all need to slow down and sit still…

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz. A great read for those of us in leadership roles with our organizations. This book will serve me well when I have to deal with tough situations. Worth the read!

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy. A classic. Dated, sure, but still full of valuable lessons.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel. If you have launched or plan to start your own organization, this is a necessary read.

Introverts in Business: Being Quietly Successful by Alen Mayer. Enjoy my interview with Alen on this book!

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. If you enjoyed the film 300, you should probably read this book.

Advertising with Balls by David Bonner. This book used to be available as a free download, but I can no longer find the website. Email me if you want me to send you the PDF.

Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha: A Real World Guide to an Unreal Life: Build More Muscle. Burn More Fat. Have More Sex by John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein.

The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield. This is yet another book that I read annually. It is my favorite book of Pressfield’s.

V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone by Seth Godin and Hugh MacLeod. A short fun read. Sort of a Dr. Seuss book for adults!

Civil War Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) by Ambrose Bierce. As recommended by Ryan Holiday. One of the most unique Civil War books I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot…

Poke the Box by Seth Godin. Yet another annual read. I didn’t interview Seth about this book, but about V is for Vulnerable. Enjoy.

The Flinch by Julien Smith. Another one of those books I read every year. Here is my interview with Julien from 2011 on this mind-blowing book.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. One of those books I read every year. My interview with Austin on this book.

The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James + Claudia Altucher. This book started slow for me, but I am really glad I read it. It finished strong.

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau. Here is a recent interview I did with Chris on this book. This is my favorite of his three books.

Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program by David Meerman Scott.