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, INCUBATOR

Howard Love: Embracing failure and rocketing through the Start-Up J Curve

Joined today on the show by Howard Love, lifelong entrepreneur, angel investor, and author of a new book called The Start-Up J Curve: Six Steps to Entrepreneurial Success.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Howard Love:

1. “Your original idea is an hypothesis.”

2. We discuss the six phases of the J-Curve:
Create
Release
Morph
Model
Scaling
Harvest

3. What is the most important phase? [Hint: Morph, and why…]

4. Why do we get so spooked and freaked out by failure, setbacks, and mistakes? And how do we learn to actually embrace failure?

5. “Whether you want to admit it or not, most startups unfold in a very predictable pattern (the J-Curve). You have no excuses.”

6. “The most common path…”

7. Why did we need another book on start-ups? What compelled you to write the Start-up J Curve?

Find Howard Love’s book here:

About Howard Love:

Howard is a life-long entrepreneur who has founded, co-founded, funded and managed startups for over 30 years. He has founded or co-founded over 15 businesses and invested in over 50 startups.

Love was born in Detroit in 1960, and attended Phillips Exeter Academy (1974-1978) and Colgate University (1978-1983). He completed his first Ironman competition at the age of 51 in Lake Placid, NY. His first book The J Curve for Start-Ups will be published by Greenleaf Book Group in the fall of 2016. Love resides in Silicon Valley, CA.

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LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

Sara Robinson Chambless: How to live mindfully, and why!

Sara Robinson Chambless is an inspired self-realization teacher whose writing, speaking, and wellness practice empower individuals to lead rich and satisfying lives free from worry, stress, and fear.

1. Learning from Thoreau that we do not need to lead “lives of quiet desperation”, feeling stuck on a treadmill, but rather can find what we are “supposed” to be doing and move to an authentic life;

2. Happiness is not something to be pursued in its own right, but is something that emerges when we make life choices that put us on the right path;

3. The key to all of this is living mindfully. And Sara not only gives us some general tips on mindfulness, but spends time making it practical and real in a business context.

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This episode was originally published on A New Business Mindset!

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Ron Wallace: Leadership Lessons the UPS Way

Joined on the show today by Ron Wallace, former delivery driver and retired president of UPS International, and author of the new book, Leadership Lessons From a UPS Driver: Delivering a Culture of We, not Me. You can learn more about Ron Wallace and his book by clicking here!

Discussion guide from my conversation with Ron Wallace:

1. There are a lot of leadership books, so why did we need one teaching lessons about the UPS way?

2. Working at UPS gave him a PHD in teamwork and accountability…

3. “A view from the front lines…” What any true leader needs.

4. A focus on people, NOT business plans.

5. CLICK HERE to learn your Leadership IQ! What is Leadership IQ, and why do you need to know YOUR score?

6. Isn’t everyone a leader? Even if you are just leading YOURSELF?

7. Understanding that the process of working on your leadership skills NEVER ends.

8. A successful organization needs its own unique business culture. We all understand this. But HOW do you actually build one? And how do you improve it?

Ron Wallace

About Ron Wallace:

Ron Wallace knows something about hard work and leadership. Over a career of four decades, he went from a UPS driver to the president of UPS International, where he was responsible for the operations of UPS in more than 200 countries and led more than 60,000 employees.

Now, in his new book, Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver: Delivering a Culture of We, Not Me, he is pulling back the curtain on UPS’s company culture of “we, not me,” and the principles written by the original UPS founders that have guided the success of the company for the past century.

The book describes how UPS inspired generations of motivated employees, and teaches leaders at any level how to build strong, unified teams and successfully weather the inevitable storms that come with running an organization. This straightforward, simple style of leadership provides a blueprint for individuals or companies to build on their past successes, sharpen their leadership skills and successfully adapt to future challenges.

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Find Ron Wallace’s book here:

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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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