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.

AUTHORS, BUSINESS, HUMANITY, LEADERSHIP

Col. Lee Ellis: Are you an honorable businessperson?

Joined in studio today by Col. Lee Ellis (USAF Retired), founder and president of Leadership Freedom LLC, and author of Engage With Honor: Building A Culture of Courageous Accountability.

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Lee Ellis:

Lee Ellis1. Why becoming an honorable leader requires character, courage, and commitment.

2. What business leaders can learn from his experience as a POW, and translate that into industry-oriented success.

3. Leading with honor even in difficult circumstances.

4. The Leadership Behavior DNA Discovery Process, which reveals a leader’s strengths and struggles in order to develop authentic leadership.

5. Engaging with courage, commitment, and caring concern VS. motivation by fear, intimidation, and self-preservation.

6. The most important piece of advice for members of the younger generation who aspire to become strong leaders.

7. The 7 steps to become the best leader that you can be.

Find Lee Ellis’ book here:

About Lee Ellis:

Lee Ellis is Founder and President of Leadership Freedom® LLC and FreedomStar Media®. He is an award-winning author, leadership consultant, and expert presenter in the areas of leadership, teambuilding, and human performance. His past clients include Fortune 500 senior executives and CLevel leaders in telecommunications, healthcare, military, and other business sectors. Some of his media appearances include interviews on networks such as CNN, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN, ABC World News, Fox News Channel, plus hundreds of engagements in various industry sectors throughout the world.

Early in his career, Lee served as an Air Force fighter pilot flying fifty-three combat missions over North Vietnam. In 1967, he was shot down and held as a POW for more than five years in Hanoi and surrounding camps. For his wartime service, he was awarded two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Valor device, the Purple Heart, and POW Medal. Lee resumed his Air Force career, serving in leadership roles of increasing responsibility including command of a flying squadron and leadership development organizations before retiring as a colonel.

Lee has a BA in History and a MS in Counseling and Human Development. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the Air War College. He has authored or co-authored four books on leadership and career development. Lee’s latest book entitled Leading with Honor®: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton has received multiple awards since its release including Winner in the 2012 International Book Awards in the Business and Management Category, and selection on the 2013 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List.

Lee and his wife Mary reside in the Atlanta GA area and have four grown children and six grandchildren.

Lee Ellis

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BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

The Intrepid Guide To Maximizing Trade Shows

I spend a lot of time hanging out at various trade shows, national association gatherings, annual sales meetings, and user conferences. Blows my mind how poorly most organizations handle gigs like this, wasting SO MUCH opportunity (and money).

After observing for all these years, here are a few thoughts on maximizing trade shows:

1. Go to your next show with a plan. If you plan to play it by ear and go with the flow, you will almost certainly fail.

2. Too many organizations go to trade shows with a goal of walking away with 2,000 new leads. When in fact, they should try to walk away with 50 to 100 REAL leads. (Note: This is from the context of the B2B leads 99% of my clients are seeking, not B2C…)

3. Your real success at a trade show depends on the work you do months before the trade show begins.

4. Scanning badges to collect thousands of email addresses is NOT how you collect “leads” at a trade show.

5. Scanning badges to collect thousands of email addresses is NOT even a good way to build your mailing list (if your true goal is to drive business growth).

6. FREE BEER may get a few people into your exhibit. But it sure won’t build viable leads.

7. The only thing you are accomplishing by giving away candy is the spread of diabetes.

8. Most likely, all of the major industry thought leaders and influencers are under the same roof as you. You are fool not to seek them out and learn something.

9. Do you really think you’re going to grow your business by giving away GoPro cameras and iPads through raffle drawings?

10. Meaningful face-time is everything. Collecting brochures and reading displays is nothing.

11. Why do teams at trade show exhibits all have to wear the same damn logo-wear golf shirts? Can’t we be individuals? Aren’t we individuals? I know we are a team, but do we have to look like some army marching in lock-step?

12. If you have to tackle me in the aisle to get my attention, you are doing things wrong.

13. If you look at attending a trade show as a way to escape the office, you should be fired. Immediately. And with malice.

14. Your organization probably paid $800 to rent that sofa for three days. And all you are doing is sitting on it to check your iPhone?

15. Do you need a 40X40 space when a 10X10 will do?

16. If you have to exhibit at the industry trade show to be seen as viable in your market, there is something terribly wrong with your market.

17. You really should be thinking about approaching your trade show experience as a full-on campaign, one that lives before, during, and after the exhibition itself.

18. I’m still amazed at the poor follow-up post-show. Most prospects are NOT ever contacted again following the show. Why did you even bother attending the exhibition in the first place???

19. Do you actually have a plan with all those business cards you just collected? For what it’s worth, I always makes simple notes on the business cards I collect…as I get them. Because I will NEVER remember post-show.

20. I am amazed at the special events that so many organizations host at trade shows, and I’ve attended some that had to cost half a million. In my modern view of business, simply “outspending” the competition isn’t going to work anymore.

21. So many people standing around waiting for something to happen. And with all those prospects walking around the hall. Why are you even there?

22. Tchotchke giveaways: the biggest waste of time and money in the history of trade shows. Although great for giving the kid a gift, especially when you forgot to get them a real gift and the airport gift shop just won’t cut it.

23. I’ve never understood why an organization exhibited dozens and dozens of products and demos, when only two or three products really moved the needle at the show. Why not focus on the small handful of products that the market really cares about? Why spend thousands transporting products most people don’t care about?

24. It always frustrates me when someone says “the trade show didn’t go well for us.” Really? If you are saying this, you didn’t plan well, missed the prospects walking right under your noses, and you didn’t take advantage of all the educating and learning. Shame on you.

25. Why are your displays so complex and full of copy? Do you really think most people are going to stop and spend ten minutes readying all of that stuff?

26. Why are you not incorporating a more mobile-friendly presence for you and your organization? Trade show attendees are getting younger and younger…

27. And if you complain about the conference, trade show, and exhibition, host your own damn event then.

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Video: Here is what I am usually doing at trade shows!

And yes, in case you are wondering, here are some ways we help our clients with maximizing their trade show investment…

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BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

Shawn Herring: Using the freelance economy to bridge a growing skills gap

Joined in studio today by Shawn Herring, the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Torchlite Marketing:

Torchlite is a SaaS marketplace that connects businesses to digital marketing experts. While other tech platforms exist to help companies find freelance talent, Torchlite is the first platform that allows companies to manage, collaborate with and evaluate that talent. It’s a single application that provides businesses with visibility into freelance campaigns across all digital channels – online, email, mobile, advertising and social media.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Shawn Herring:

1. The “marketing playbook.”

2. Using the freelance economy to bridge a growing skills gap.

3. The race to create tech with the newest bells & whistles has resulted in a shortage of employees who possess skill sets specialized enough to actually utilize the latest advances in their field.

4. What is the Torchlite concept / How does it work?

5. What was involved in putting together the platform and the experts?

6. What is the business model?

7. How are you reaching potential customers?

8. What is the plan for the next year or so?

About Shawn Herring:

Shawn HerringA dynamic and enthusiastic leader, Shawn built and managed the global demand generation team at ExactTarget. His team helped increase return on investment across all marketing channels and was instrumental in ExactTarget becoming one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the world before being acquired by Salesforce.com.

Shawn holds an MBA from Indiana University and has previously been in marketing roles at Harlan Laboratories and Roche Diagnostics.

In 2015, Shawn co-founded Torchlite Marketing, a SaaS Marketplace that connects businesses to digital marketing experts who develop, manage and execute campaigns through a collaboration platform.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, HR, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Nicole Smartt: Real-Life Advice for Getting Ahead at Work

Joined in studio today by Nicole Smartt, the Co-owner and VP of Star Staffing, and the author of From Receptionist to Boss: Real-Life Advice for Getting Ahead at Work. Learn more about Nicole here!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Nicole Smartt:

Nicole Smartt1. Finding passion in your job is your key to success.

2. From receptionist to the boss: We talk about Nicole’s story. “I wanted to be the best receptionist I could be.” Why that mattered…

3. EVERYTHING is a learning experience. “Work experience can trump traditional education.”

4. Know your strengths. But how do you do this?

5. Focus, importance of “NO.”

6. “Be transparent with your vision.” Let your engagement/happiness show! Nicole shares a positive outcome of doing just this.

7. It is easier to find the perfect attitude than the perfect job.

8. Trusting in your gut intuition!

You can find Nicole Smartt’s book here:

About Nicole Smartt:

Nicole started her career fresh out of high school at a local staffing firm, where she worked as a receptionist. In a very short time, she worked her way up to business services manager where she oversaw the clerical placement division.

When the owners decided to sell, they offered Nicole a chance to buy it outright. They said her determination, drive, and commitment (along with many other factors) made her ideal to inherit the hard-won business they built. Nicole declined, concerned she was too young and inexperienced to rise to the task. The company sold to a larger staffing firm, and Nicole began her career in sales.

After two years in a sales position, Nicole left to start her own firm. During that time, Star Staffing approached Nicole to join their team. Within fourteen months of working at Star Staffing, Nicole became an owner. She now sits as vice president and co-owner. In less than six years, Nicole helped to increase sales by 1,800 percent and profit by 2,500 percent, taking her company to be one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America by Inc. Magazine.

Nicole Smartt

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, MARKETING, PERSONAL GROWTH, SALES

Geoff Blades: 5 Business and Life Lessons from Trump

In studio today by Geoff Blades, who joined us to discuss his book The Trump Presidential Playbook: A Wizard’s Path to the White House.

Geoff Blades teaches people to win. A former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and investor at the Carlyle Group, he is an author and advisor to senior Wall Street executives, CEOs and other leaders on all topics related to winning and getting what they want in their businesses, careers, and lives. You can learn more about Geoff here!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Geoff Blades:

Geoff Blades1. Business and life (and campaigns) are all about transformational leaps.

2. Business, life, and politics is a game. Why don’t people understand this? You have play. Most don’t.

3. Trump understands this is about influence.

4. FIVE KEY LESSONS FROM TRUMP:
A. Stay on point.
B. Be more skilled.
C. Powerful messaging.
D. Be yourself.
E. Play the part.

5. Geoff explains how to apply the lessons above. And yes, he explains how you can both be yourself AND play the part!

6. What are the specific skills Trump used to win the GOP nomination?

7. Can Trump win it all? It’s a new game with old rules.

Find Geoff Blades’ book here!

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

Paul Downs: Surviving your own small business

Joined in studio by Paul Downs, small business owner, New York Times columnist, and author of Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business. Learn more about Paul and the book here!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Paul Downs:

Paul Downs1. Paul describes his business as one that has neither failed nor thrived, which is the reality for more than 25 million small businesses in America.

2. Describes three ways to fail.

3. FINDING NEW BUSINESS: A big challenge to most small business owners; how to see when also running the business; how to balance between selling and doing the actual work that you sell.

4. EMPLOYEE MANAGEMENT: Hiring, firing, and supervising; how decisions you make impact your team, not just you.

5. ACCOUNTING: The importance of sharing the numbers with the entire team, and the impact that can have on how people function in the organization.

6. WORK-LIFE BALANCE: Is this for real? Why you need to focus on things OTHER than your business, and what your true goal should be.

7. Running a small business is hard. And you are not alone.

8. You don’t have to run a billion-dollar business to be considered a success.

You can find Paul Downs’ book here:

About Paul Downs:

Since 1986, Paul Downs has been the owner of a small custom furniture business, now specializing in premium conference tables. His company has neither failed nor thrived, a narrative that is the reality for more than twenty-five million small business owners in America. Many business books tell aspirational stories of a few successful, famous, and wealthy people, glossing over their career arcs without exposing the realities of being a boss. In BOSS LIFE: Surviving My Own Small Business, now out in paperback, Downs explores the real issues facing small business owners today, like online advertising and a global customer base.
 
For years, Downs contributed to the New York Times “You’re the Boss” column, sharing his experiences as a small business owner and manager in posts that focused on topics like navigating the healthcare exchange or firing a veteran employee. Loyal readers of his column were vocal and supportive and the comments sections became their own forums on small business issues, guided by Downs’s knowledge and candor.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

Karen Leland: Build your brand by design rather than by default

Joined in studio by Karen Leland, the CEO of Sterling Marketing Group, and the author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build, and Accelerate Your Brand.

Karen Leland1. Why is a personal brand so critical today,

2. How does a CEO’s brand differ from the business brand?

3. Does everyone need a brand?

4. What are the biggest mistakes people make in building their personal brand?

5. What are the most important things to do in building a personal brand?

6. The seven brand enhancers, brand mapping process.

7. Strategy vs. tactics, when it comes to building your brand.

8. Becoming a thought leader, leveraging content.

9. How to ACCELERATE your brand!

Find Karen Leland’s book here:

About Karen Leland:

Karen is CEO of Sterling Marketing Group, a branding and marketing strategy & implementation firm helping CEO’s, businesses and teams develop stronger personal and business brands. Clients include AT&T, American Express, Marriott Hotels, Apple Computer, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

She is the best-selling author of 9 books and writes regularly for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. Her most recent book is The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand.

She has spoken for Harvard, Stanford, YPO, the AMA and been interviewed on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC and Oprah.

Karen Leland

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

Hal Barr: The Art and Science of Sales

Joined in studio by Hal Barr, speaker, consultant, coach, and author of the new book, The First Billions’ The Toughest. Learn more about Hal here!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Hal Barr:

Hal Barr1. The importance of moving through the sales process systematically.

2. Learning to relate to people better.

3. The art of sales.

4. The science of sales.

5. Applying the 80/20 (Pareto) Principle to your sales and business processes (and frankly, everything else in your life)…

6. Hal explains how all his art and science lessons can be applies across the board from sales, to marketing, to life…

7. Relating to people requires learning to truly listen to people. And in so doing you will learn to define people as thinkers, tellers, talkers, and taskers. Once you know this, you can relate and collaborate with these folks in a truly meaningful way.

Find Hal Barr’s book here:

From Amazon:Sales is possibly the hardest profession in the world because professionals are tainted by those that don’t do it right. This book is your guide to how to improve your skills to be the professional that others will admire and emulate. The methods discussed in this book have been tested and worked for literally thousands of sales people throughout the US and beyond.

-Learn to Speak the way people are willing to listen
-Understand who your clients are that truly deserve your time and attention
-Streamline your business and become more successful with less stress

Hal Barr has over 30 years in sales during which he developed and authored a proven sales process that increases sales, revenues and client retention. The process is based on the Pareto Principle which is almost considered a law of nature.

A little about Hal Barr:

Nationally recognized thought leader on business development. Hal presented the 80/20 Principles over 180 times a year for the past 5 years to Fortune 100 companies. Hal’s sales strategies have helped thousands of independent business people in the US grow top line revenue from 25% to 125%.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Jackie Dryden: Get your head out of your bottom line!

Joined in studio today by Jackie Dryden, the Chief Purpose Architect with Savage Brands, and the author of a new book called Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line: And Build Your Brand on Purpose!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Jackie Dryden:

1. To build a brand and a culture base on a true purpose, verses simply focusing on profits, this process normally takes three to five years.

2. Why is now the time to have a new type of conversation with business leaders about building brands on purpose?

3. Truth: Companies who lead with purpose are actually more profitable than those who focus solely on profits.

4. What can a company stand to gain from building a culture of purpose?

5. Most companies have a mission, a vision, and values. Why are these not enough? And what’s the difference?

6. How millennials and boomers are driving real change in corporate America.

7. Jackie’s three-step process: FOCUS, FILTER, FUSE!

Find Jackie Dryden’s book here:

About Jackie Dryden:

Jackie DrydenJackie is no stranger to blazing trails. She broke ground when she led one of the few woman-owned advertising firms in the male-dominated industry. She did it again when she published her unique parenting book, Just Me: What Your Child Wants You to Know About Parenting, and traveled the nation to speak about it on television and radio shows, to newspapers and magazines, and before professional and educational organizations.

Now, she’s blazing a new trail: leading a purpose revolution in corporate America. Her new business book, Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line, guides visionary leaders to reconnect with their true strengths through the power of purpose. The book will be released in early 2016, and already, she is shaking up C-suites as she asks today’s leaders to uncover and communicate the true reasons their companies exists—not just to make money.

With a passion for helping others discover “why” and “what for,” Jackie leads individuals and companies to understand how to better share what sets them apart.

Jackie speaks to companies, schools and organizations across the country about business strategy, personal purpose and women’s issues. She shares her wit and wisdom with groups as small as 30 to auditoriums of several thousand.

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AUTHORS, HUMANITY, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

Ryan Holiday: Ego is the Enemy

Joined in studio by best-selling author Ryan Holiday, who joined me to discuss his latest book, Ego Is The Enemy.

Notes and discussion guide from my conversation with Ryan Holiday:

Ryan HolidayWe love to blame others for our problems. Is this the wrong attitude?

Definition: An unhealthy belief in our own importance. Arrogance. Self-centered ambition.

We discuss Ryan’s own personal battles and how they impacted the writing of this book.

I don’t think most of us have a good sense of self. This is that part of the problem.

Our ego damns us at almost every turn (early career moves, success, failure).

We create our own obstacles most of the time.

What do we do wrong to enable this to happen.

The key is conquering your ego. But how…

A learned skill? Are some people just not able to pull this off?

Most people won’t be willing to take responsibility for there life and actions.

The new book pairs with “The Obstacle is The Way.”

Ambition, achievement, and adversity all play a role.

This is still influenced by stoicism.

The goal is “to think less of yourself?”

We are fooling ourselves if we think we aren’t an egomaniac.

Believing in your greatness kills creativity.

Ryan Holiday

Want an explanation for the photo above? See below:
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About Ryan Holiday:

Ryan is a strategist and writer. He dropped out of college at nineteen to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, and later served as the director of marketing for American Apparel. His company, Brass Check, has advised clients like Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as many prominent bestselling authors.

Holiday has written four previous books, most recently The Obstacle Is the Way, which has been translated into seventeen languages and has a cult following among NFL coaches, world-class athletes, TV personalities, political leaders, and others around the world. He lives on a small ranch outside Austin, Texas.

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