Episode 348 features Laura Gassner Otting, an Author, Catalyst, and Coach and through Limitless Possibility, Laura collaborates with change agents, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders, and donors to push past the doubt and indecision that consign great ideas to limbo.
Laura Gassner Otting helps people get “unstuck” — and achieve extraordinary results.
Through Limitless Possibility, Laura collaborates with change agents, entrepreneurs, investors, leaders, and donors to push past the doubt and indecision that consign great ideas to limbo. She delivers strategic thinking, well-honed wisdom, and a catalytic perspective informed by decades of navigating change across the start-up, nonprofit, political, and philanthropic landscapes.
Laura’s 25-year resume is defined by her entrepreneurial edge. She served as a Presidential Appointee in Bill Clinton’s White House, helping shape AmeriCorps; left a leadership role at a respected nonprofit search firm, Isaacson, Miller, to expand the startup ExecSearches.com; and founded and ran the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group, which partnered with the full gamut of mission-driven nonprofit executives, from start-up dreamers to scaling social entrepreneurs to global philanthropists. She is the author of Mission-Driven, a book for those moving from profit to purpose, and most recently the author of Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life, which debuted at #2 on the Washington Post bestseller list, right behind Michelle Obama, and which Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts chose as one of her Favorite Books of 2019.
Through her own commitment to give back, Laura has helped build a local Montessori school, co-founded a women’s philanthropic initiative, advised a start-up national women’s PAC, grew a citizen-leadership development program, and completed three charity-inspired marathons—projects emblematic of her passions and values. She’s turned on by the audacity of The Big Idea and that larger-than-life goal you just can’t seem to shake. She’s an instigator, a motivator, and a provocateur, and she’s never met a revolution she didn’t like.
Ben is the Founder of ChroniFI, passionate about personal finance and reallocating human capital to its highest and best use. He built a system to solve his own problem and figure out when he could move on from trading derivatives to building his own company. He is now using that same system to help others make decisions that are better aligned with their goals and values by understanding their money in terms of time.
ChroniFI helps people simplify their finances by understanding their finances in terms of time. With that simplicity in hand, users are empowered to confidently make better decisions that actually align with their values and goals. People have real and personal questions, like “Do I have enough?” “When will I have enough?,” or “Can I afford to do the work that I love?” ChroniFI helps a user understand these answers within the context of his or her own life, and then zero in on the behaviors that can help that person make progress toward that ideal life while enjoying every step along the way.
Ben’s oldest daughter (then 2 years old, now 6 years old) told Ben her favorite thing to do was to walk on the grass. ChroniFI grew out of Ben’s quest to give her some grass on which to walk.
Technically, this project started when I was 24. Only I didn’t know it then. What I did know was that I was at a crossroads.
I was sitting at my desk in Boston, thinking about my longtime dream: take a break from corporate America and play the professional squash tour. I wanted someone to tell me when to go, but no one was gonna say, “Mike, it’s now July 1, time to go chase your dream, remember?” I could feel it slipping away.
Before letting that fear totally take over, I realized I couldn’t be the first and only person to be in this position. So I boiled it down to a simple question: should I stay the course in something comfortable, or take a risk to chase my passion? This seemed like a simple enough question. I wondered what others had done.
So I asked. I tracked down anyone who left something safe, whatever that was: a job in consulting or social work, in teaching or engineering. Through these conversations, I began collecting stories, with the common thread being that each person left something comfortable to pursue a passion. I stumbled into people from all over: ex-bankers, electricians, scientists, journalists–people from all walks of life who left the safe inertia of their own circumstances to try and do what they really wanted to be doing.
So I boiled it down to a simple question: should I stay the course in something comfortable, or take a risk to chase my passion?
After a while, it became clear that this was interesting stuff. I was compelled to share. I began passing these stories along to friends and family, bus passengers and bartenders—others who were at their own crossroads. The stories caught on. They were helpful and inspiring. I thought of a better way to get them out.
So that is what I am doing now. This project is about jumping. Sharing the amazing stories and ideas of those who have jumped into the unknown. Without them, I wouldn’t have been encouraged to jump. These stories enriched my life and I hope they enrich yours too.
Sarah Panus is a brand storytelling strategist, podcast host of Marketing With Empathy®, and owner of Kindred Speak® consulting.
Pulling from 20 years of experience helping billion-dollar brands drive leading ROI through editorial brand storytelling, she helps content marketers & brands more confidently navigate the world of brand storytelling. Previous clients include Sleep Number, Christos Bridal, Nestle Waters, Starbucks, PetSafe, and the American Heart Association. Sarah works with clients by either doing the work for them through her agency services; OR, coaching them to think like Editorial Directors in one of her online courses. Visit www.kindredspeak.com to learn more.
I was 29 when I realized that if I kept driving a Walmart distribution center forklift for another year, I was gonna blow my brains out. It was May 5, 2014. I stole an extra bathroom break (risking — gasp! — a disciplinary write-up) and tapped out a note on my phone. That wasn’t the first time I’d had to kick my own ass. (And it definitely wasn’t the last.)
Since that day, I’ve:
Bought & flipped random estate-sale crap on eBay
Dropshipped pellet grills & accessories
Eliminated $40,000+ of personal debt
Rebuilt (and sold) an online 3D printer store from the ground up
Exited an adult coloring book business via Amazon FBA
Sold tiny house products
Become a partner in a high-tech standing desk business
Created more courses & podcasts than I can count
More recently, I founded a pet health company and exited a business that I helped take from $1 to $11M in annual revenue within just 2.5 years.
Take that, forklift.
Now I help driven eCommerce entrepreneurs as they get to the next level of their business — whatever that looks like
Look, I’m not the first person to say this — but if you have a good idea, you treat people well, and you’re willing, to be honest with yourself and your customers, then you can build something massively successful.
I also believe that virtually all businesses can scale. So there’s no limit on the size of the impact you can make.
People used to save their histories in books, memoirs, or photo albums; but we have failed to find comparable ways to preserve stories and share them with ease in our digital world. At best, memories are scattered across social media — if they’re recorded at all. Indeed, fewer people today are posting to the sites they once trusted with their memories. There just isn’t an effective platform for creating, storing and passing on first-person accounts in multiple media formats.
Enter Clint Davis: An entrepreneur with a passion for storytelling and preserving the past. As the CEO and Founder of Capsll App, Clint empowers others to save their histories and pass on their legacies.
Clint’s love for the stories that make each individual unique stems from his own remarkable life experiences and his 17-year career in radio and television broadcasting on four continents. Now, with Capsll App, Clint is encouraging others to preserve their special memories. With Capsll App, users can gather their once-scattered memories into digital time capsules that can be shared privately with full user control, or on an optional public feed to inspire others. Capsll App also provides users with coached storytelling, drawn from Clint’s broadcasting expertise. Unlike many platforms, Capsll captures no user data, has zero advertising, and allows users complete ownership of their content.
A cancer survivor who lost two siblings at a young age, Clint has always had a keen awareness of the importance of remembering the past, while also making the most of the present moment. He was born in South Africa, and witnessed the transition from the Apartheid system to democracy before moving to Dubai, and then, to Gold Coast Australia. Along the way, he embraced adventure — including skydiving and playing with lions — worked as a high-performance driving instructor, became a DJ at a top radio station, earned a theology degree, appeared on reality TV, and ran a podcast. A decades-long dream of living in the USA was realized when Clint won the green card lottery at a 0.73% chance. He and his wife moved to Los Angeles, and eventually settled in Austin, Texas.
In Clint’s words, “Always remember, there is a plan and a purpose for your life. You are valuable, and your story matters!” For more information, please visit https://www.capsll.app/.
In November 2014, Jerremy Alexander Newsome launched Real Life Trading, a company designed to make trading accessible to everyone. This starting point has allowed him to assist and enrich tens of thousands of lives while also growing the company organically to a seven-figure business. Jerremy started his love for business and growth at the age of seven, after watching the movie Forrest Gump with his family. Do you remember the scene, where Forrest said, “Lt Dan invested in some fruit company and now we don’t have to worry about money anymore?”
Growing up dirt poor, the thought of never having to worry about money seemed appealing. He asked his father to explain investing and his father taught him about Apple Computers. He begged him to invest. Finally, his father agreed to match his deposit, dollar for dollar. He saved $1,500 picking blackberries and selling them door to door. They bought $3,000 worth of AAPL shares back in 1995. To date, they would be worth $14,000,000
New Jersey-born living in New York City! I graduated from Vanderbilt University and worked as a prop trader until realizing I loved learning about the companies I was trading more than actually trading them. I am also an avid collector.
After graduating with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Andrew went straight into…. you guessed it….not mechanical engineering.
Instead, he joined a nonprofit org where he learned a ton about frugality, leadership, trust, and what it means to be a team player. He’d then go on to join startups in RDU before going back to school for technology commercialization. While in school, he tried and failed to launch 3 different products but leveraged his experience to break into the competitive field of Product Management in Big Tech. Now Andrew shares his experiences with aspiring product managers on Linkedin about how to build side products to break into the same.
On the weekends, you’ll catch Andrew at the park with his dog and daughter, at the with his wife, or at the NC State football tailgate.
Dustin Brady writes funny, action-packed books for kids who think they hate reading. Although he regularly gets locked out of his own accounts for forgetting passwords, Dustin still remembers the Super Mario Bros. 3 Game Genie code for infinite lives. It’s SLXPLOVS. Dustin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife, kids, and a small dog named Nugget. His Trapped in a Video Game series has sold over one million copies.
Inevitably, the holidays will come here soon and distractions upon distractions will once again give us the excuse to “just relax” until the new year.
But, we’ve fallen into that trap far too often. We know that once the new year hits we’ll face more challenges that continue to push us away from what we really want to be doing.
So Start now. Start to put a plan together today and start acting on it.
Use November to be Morevember (corny, yes) but if it helps then let’s use it.
What have you wanted to start in 2021 that you haven’t yet?
Reading a certain book
A home project
A business idea
Use this time before the holidays get ramped up to start. Block just 30 minutes this week to plan out how you are going to work on this through the holidays or tackle this project when it gets “busy”. What do the next few weeks look like until the New Year?
Every Weds morning you wake up 30 minutes earlier to put time toward it.
Each day you block 10 minutes off at lunch to focus on the project
Get a friend to join and have an accountability partner to go get coffee once a week to focus on it.
Figure out something. It doesn’t matter.
Thanksgiving will be here in a matter of days (or has already passed depending on when you read this) and then once December hits we can forget about it. We kick the can down the road another month. January is here before we know it.
New Years’ resolution time! We make these resolutions that never stick.
They don’t stick because we haven’t built the habit and routine into our day.
Start that process now and when January rolls around we’ll already have momentum because we’ve put a plan in place.
I’m almost certain this year’s New Years’ resolution will stick.
This year will be different because you are different.
You’ve made a commitment to change.
Not because of some arbitrary date change on a calendar but you’ve changed your mindset to start putting time into what you want and what you think is important.
Episode 183 features Jim Kukral, Founder of LifeApoc.com. As an almost fifty-year-old successful businessman, husband, and father of two, Jim realized that he needed to spend his remaining days on this planet helping people figure out how to live a life of significance, impact, and purpose.
For 25-years Jim Kukral has been writing books (10), keynote speaking (150+), and building successful lifestyle businesses as a marketing entrepreneur. But the pandemic and a near-death diagnosis of colon cancer changed everything for Jim in 2020, so he threw away all his past success to start something completely different, a new brand called Life Apocalypse. As an almost fifty-year-old successful businessman, husband, and father of two, Jim realized that he needed to spend his remaining days on this planet helping people figure out how to live a life of significance, impact, and purpose.
Similar to yesterday, the earth made a full rotation. We didn’t feel it but we know it happened. We are back to the same spot where we started.
But are we?
The sun may be hanging in the sky but it’s in a slightly different position. Incremental but different. The weather is too. And so is that tree you might be looking up at.
It’s all changed. But it’s so small we don’t even see it.
Warren Buffet once said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a seed a long time ago”.
That’s how growth looks. It’s small, almost microscopic, that we don’t realize it’s happening at the moment. But it’s happening to us and around us.
The book we’re reading might inspire us to start something new and magical which leads us to become happier.
The garden we wanted to start might soon become a banquet of nourishment for a local shelter.
The person we mentored might go on to create something important that impacts the world positively.
Our actions today can create a better world tomorrow for ourselves and the others around us.
We must be willing to plant the seed and keep watering it every day. We may not be able to see it grow quickly but we know the work we are doing is generous and necessary and will produce fruitful results, one way or another.
We don’t always know what those results will be but we’ll never have the chance to find out if we don’t start today.
Eliot Popkin is an award-winning singer-songwriter, a business and personal development coach, and the author of Circle: Letters to My Younger Self. In addition to his own songs, he has written music for film, television, commercials, and other artists. However, despite this success, life hasn’t always been easy for Eliot. As a survivor of child abuse, he had to overcome a great deal and rediscover himself several times in order to become the man he is today.
Now, Eliot is channeling the wisdom he has gained into his memoir, Circle. Eliot takes readers on a journey from his boyhood as an abused, unhappy, frightened child to adulthood, where he learned to recognize, honor, and trust all the gifts life has bestowed on him. A beautiful memoir that inspires readers on their journey of self-discovery, growth, and forgiveness, Circle is for everyone who has a dream, anyone who ever felt too afraid to step out on faith and execute a passion in life, and anyone who was too reserved to share their gifts with the world.
Blocking out the noise and going to do what we feel compelled to do sounds easier said than done at times. We often hear the opinions of others and let that in some way give us a false start and second guess the endeavors or ideas we want to go tackle.
Think about all the times people told us “You can’t do that” and then we proved them right. In those moments, trusting what we believe is best for us might have been the better decision.
How come we took their thoughts as gospel and neglected our own?
You rarely see this with kids and I think we should all strive to be like nine-year-olds again where we listen to what other people are telling us we should do and then we go do the thing we want to do instead.
We are going to gain some valuable lessons and experiences anyways, they might as well be on our own terms.
Starting anything can be intense and overwhelming. We’ve been great at other things and are comfortable in those environments now. It’d make sense to keep doing those things.
It’s sort of weird being the novice and having no clue what most of anything means. But that’s where the growing happens!
In times like these, it often helps to pull from your past experiences and remember how you started before. To be great at anything there had to be moments when you weren’t.
When we learned to ride a bike, it was the act of getting the helmet on that was the first big feeling, not riding down a hill at top speed with no hands.
When we learned to swim, it was just getting into a new body of water that felt different, it wasn’t doing cannonballs off the deep-end diving board.
We psych ourselves out from starting because of the fear of the unknown but generally the unknowns we truly fear are way down the road. If we started small, incremental, and took baby steps we’d develop knowledge as we moved along and the fear would subside as we built confidence.
We shouldn’t try to bite off more than we can chew at the beginning. A little movement in the right direction can go a long way to finding something that challenges us, inspires us, and fills us with happiness. That’s the whole point of starting in the first place.
Episode 171 features Chris Michael Harris (CMH), the founder of StartupU, an interactive, online learning platform that teaches entrepreneurs how to take an idea or an existing business and turn it into a highly successful + profitable company.
Chris Michael Harris (CMH) is the founder of StartupU, an interactive, online learning platform that teaches entrepreneurs how to take an idea or an existing business and turn it into a highly successful + profitable company.
Having founded, bootstrapped, and scaled multiple startups to 7+ Figures in his mid-to-late twenties, Chris excels in taking concepts from the idea stage to traction and growth in extremely rapid succession.
Chris is the Entrepreneur in Residence for Silicon Valley-based Accelerator Program, Founder Institute
Chris is also the host of Entrepreneur Hour, a podcast that has trended as high as Top 5 worldwide on iTunes under Business, Health, and Education.
The show has featured many mainstream guests such as Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, Guy Kawasaki, Dr Josh Axe, Marie Forleo, in addition to over 40+ NYT’s Best Selling Authors and Thought Leaders in their respective space.
Episode 168 features Mike Petrakis, a former D1 runner, entrepreneur, and the Co-Founder, and CEO of Bach. He previously bootstrapped e-commerce businesses in NYC. That scrappy entrepreneurial spirit led him to start BACH, the world’s leading platform to plan and book a bachelor/bachelorette party.
Mike Petrakis is a former D1 runner, entrepreneur, and the Co-Founder, and CEO of Bach. He previously bootstrapped e-commerce businesses in NYC. That scrappy entrepreneurial spirit led him to start BACH, the world’s leading platform to plan and book a bachelor/bachelorette party.