Outlier On Air | Interviewing Founders, Disruptors, & Mavens
184: Amber Reyngoudt- Doing the Unexpected

"People will tell you you can't do it, but if you want it enough and work hard enough, you can be successful and have what you want." - Amber Reyngoudt

About: Amber Reyngoudt- Co-Founder of Skull Ninja, and former iOS Engineer at Milk

Overview: Amber is a Software Engineer with years of experience in the coding field. Over the past four years, she has taken on her own venture of building iPhone apps with her co-founder at Skull Ninja, and shares with us what it's been like traveling the entrepreneurial road.

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Highlights:

Background: Amber attended school at University of Florida, and majored in Computer Science. Although she hadn't planned on becoming a software engineer, Amber's grandmother really encouraged her to go into Computer Science, and as a Junior in college was interning as a coder. When she graduated school, she worked as an application developer for Intel for about four years. She then moved to LA and eventually began working for a consulting firm. Once she left consulting, Amber attempted to start her own company but soon ran out of money and decided to go back to the mainstream work space. In 2005, MySpace was the hot new social media company so Amber decided to apply and started working as a developer there. She ended up becoming a manger and worked there until 2010. At that point, things started dying down with MySpace and Amber was no longer feeling challenged or fulfilled in her position so she slowly left MySpace to develop apps for iPhones on her own. From there, Skull Ninja was born.

Working at Milk: After leaving MySpace, Amber and her co-founder moved to San Francisco and began working on apps. Amber was fortunate to meet Kevin Rose 4 months after moving there and he asked Amber and her co-founder to come work at his new-found company, Milk. For the next year, Amber and her co-founder worked as the iOS Engineers for Milk, which helped build credibility for the two of them. Milk was eventually bought out by Google in 2011, so Amber and her co-founder were back to focusing on their company, Skull Ninja.

Skull Ninja: Amber and her co-founder are doing a mix of consulting and building apps. Recently, they did some webwork for AirB&B, intro for About.me, created another app for North Technologies, they also created an iPhone, and iPad app for a home hair-color company, etc. In 2012, they created their own platform for shopping in a variety of ways, and soft launched an iPhone app called Hit or Miss that focuses on women's fashion, and discovering fashion. Essentially, they publish a daily trend and the consumers select that trend as a hit or miss, and then they tailor what they want to see according to the feedback. So far the app has been well received.

Challenges: For Skull Ninja, bootstrapping was difficult along with balancing their schedules and time. It's been easy to take on too much, and not even work on their own projects to help the company. For the past few years, it's only been Amber and Dave and they were not able to really scale the company until they bring on employees.

Woman in Tech: One thing Amber points out is that she's had to spend some time proving herself, but is becoming less of a problem since she has built credibility. She does feel that because she is a female founder, it can work to her advantage and make her stand out from the crowd. Amber shares that she's happy there are more women in tech, and in different areas, they bring a lot to the tech world. Overall, Amber has had a good experience and feels very fortunate.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: It may seem scary and unattainable, but if you're driven, passionate, and willing to work really hard- almost to the point of crazy- you can be successful and have what you want.

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Connect With Amber:

Website | @AmberRayn | Soundcloud

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Category:Business -- posted at: 1:00am MST

183: Suzannah Scully - Coaching With a Purpose

"Your purpose is when your natural talents, skills, and interests all align." - Suzannah Scully

About: Suzannah Scully- Executive Coach

Overview: Once a part of the corporate world, Suzannah has taken her experience to start her own practice as an Executive Coach and help large corporations and entrepreneurs. Suzannah provides us with some great insight on how we can improve ourselves and our companies.

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Highlights:

Background: (From her website) "Suzannah Scully is a coach, speaker and blogger with a corporate background working for organizations such as Gap, Inc., Williams-Sonoma, Inc and The Wine Group. Her mission is to give leaders the space and tools to break through barriers and reach their potential. She has given presentations for Stanford University (see presentation here), Haas Business School of Berkeley and Vanderbilt University as well as other local bay area companies on the topics of leadership development, effective communication and personal branding. Suzannah received a B.A. from UCLA in Sociology and has received her C.P.C.C. from The Coaches Training Institute. She is married with two children and a dog and lives in Marin County, CA. When not working or with her family, you can usually find her at yoga, in a library or at the movies."

How it all Started: It was during a business trip to France, that she had her "ah-ha" moment, realizing she wasn't fully happy with her career. At that moment, she decided to leave the traditional work path and began training to become a business coach. Suzannah has now run her own practice for 10 years and will soon be starting her own podcast as well.

Role of an Executive Coach: Suzannah is an executive coach who works with entrepreneurs and corporations by providing them with the tools to access new parts of themselves while taking their career and lives to the next level. Her clients include: high profile individuals, large organizations such as Apple, Sony, Eventbrite, and Slalom Consulting as well as Bay Area startups. She usually works with her clients for 6 months, meeting with them twice monthly. The majority of her clients are in the Bay area, but she is more than willing to work with clients all over the country.

What Sets Suzannah Apart: Suzannah has a strong corporate background- she understands how to navigate a big corporate company. By working with well-known companies, like Apple, her clients can trust that she is experienced at what she does.  Suzannah really focuses on helping clients excel in the background aspect of the company- how to get people on your side, how to network effectively, how to build a team, etc. Suzannah has found that brilliant minds can be impatient, they want everyone to be at the same pace and it can be easy for them to lose the art of listening. Suzannah addresses this issue by teaching the 3 levels of listening, not asking just yes/no questions, and teaching them to really understand the 'why' of what someone may be sharing.

Measuring Success: At the beginning of each meeting with her clients, Suzannah will analyze what success looks like to them. That is what she then works toward with her clients. She ensures they are accomplishing what they have set out to do by creating milestones. Suzannah is there to push her clients to do what they have hired her for while being supportive along the way.

Purpose vs. Passion: Suzannah shares that you can be passionate about something but that t it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be your purpose. Your passions are the things you enjoy doing in your free time. Your purpose is when your natural talents, skills, and interests all align. When you know what your purpose is, you will enjoy what you do, and knowing your purpose will help you determine what you can be successful in. It may not always work out, but it's always worth a shot.

Importance of Personal Branding: Everybody has a personal brand, and it needs to be managed. Suzannah shares 3 steps on how to create an effective brand. 1: Define your aspirations. 2: Determine your unique value proposition. 3: Communicate your brand.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: The best way to reach out to mentors, or venture capitalists, is to make sure you are giving as well as taking. Find ways to help that other person and give back to them. Always look for opportunities to serve, and it will come back to you. What moves you may not move someone else, but that doesn't make it wrong. Trust yourself, listen to yourself, and follow that wisdom.

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Connect With Suzannah:

Website | @SuzannahScully | Facebook | Podcast

Book Recommendations:

1) Give and Take

2) Essentialism

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Direct download: Suzannah.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:44pm MST

182: Daniel Faggella - Using Email to Grow Your Business

"It's better to have a surplus of ideas and be forced to go with the really great ones...than to have a limited number of them and pick the one you think is best." - Daniel Faggella

About: Daniel Faggella- Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Jiu Jitsu Champion, and Founder of CLV Boost

Overview: During this exciting interview, we learn valuable lessons from Daniel on how to create effective email marketing campaigns. Dan has a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology degree from UPenn, owns 2 companies-TechEmergence LLC, and startup marketing with CLVboost, is the author of “Explorations into the Philosophy of Transhumanism: A Lens to the Future Through the Thinkers of the Past”, is a frequent public speaker, and holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

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Highlights:

Background: Dan has a passion for martial arts and was heavily involved in Jiu Jitsu. When his local martial arts gym closed down, he opened his own martial arts gym, something he had never planned on doing. He always thought he would only compete but not be involved in the entrepreneurial world. With this endeavor, Dan learned a lot about sales and marketing and launched himself into his entrepreneurial journey.  With a small market, Dan needed automated sequences to categorize potential clients and to maximize their sales. From there, he started CLV Boost- working with software and start up companies to implement email marketing strategies and campaigns.

Growing Your Email List: If you want to get more people onto your list, Dan says to start learning more about pay per click. Dan helps clients focus on conversion rates on their page (figuring out the percentage of people that convert to your site and the percentage of people who become leads). The next thing he'll do is build a regimen that's reasonable for your company and work on partnering with people that can help drive business to your site.

Email Campaigns: Dan wants entrepreneurs to know that social media is not nearly as effective as email marketing. If you want to make money for your business, it is crucial that you have an email marketing campaign. Dan's personal list for martial arts is about 27,000 people. With the help of his email campaigns, he made approximately $66k last month.

Continual Education: Dan knows the value of education and even though he has successful businesses, understands the need for continual help and coaching. In the last 30 months, Dan has spent a little over $100,000 on education: coaching, school, books, etc.

Advice for Entrepreneurs:  Make sure you know what you want the individuals on your email list to do with that first step in the buyer's journey (call, get a quote, set up an apt, etc). Once you have an answer to that, you will know what your emails need to do next. Then determine what the major benefit is for your customers. Know how you can solve whatever their problems may be. Frame your subject lines and your content around that benefit. You have to make sure that you are closing your audience within 3-7 days, because after that, you lose half of your market. When you are sending potential customers educational material, make sure there is a link, case study, free e-book, something that will lead them to other options. Let them find a way to pay you if they're hungry.

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Connect With Daniel:

Website | CLVBoost @DanFaggella | LinkedIn

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Direct download: Daniel.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:03am MST

181: Sinead Mac Manus - Providing an Alternative Education System

"Where you start in life doesn't mean it's where you will end up." Sinead Mac Manus

About: Sinead Mac Manus- Founder and CEO of Fluency

Overview: Sinead is a talented and motivated entrepreneur striving to make a difference in the world through her company, Fluency. She shares the importance of starting a company not just to make money, but to help build brighter future. Throughout this interview, Sinead tells us more about what Fluency does and how it works.

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Highlights:

About Sinead: Sinead is originally from Ireland and has her degree in Geography and History of Arts and a Masters in Town Planning. She worked for 5 years in town planning, but did not enjoy it at all. She left that part of her work life, and decided to start teaching in the creative arts. After attending the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Sinead founded her digital wellbeing company 8fold in 2010 and launched the Digital Academy, training low income women with digital skills, in 2011. This is where Sinead met her co-founder of Fluency, Ian.

What is Fluency: Their vision is to be a global social business that gives access to life-changing work opportunities to people in need. They provide an alternative education system for students focused on vocational skills and just-in-time learning. They believe that people learn best by doing real work and they seek to link learning with real world experiences and opportunities. They especially help young women who do not have work opportunities in the UK and countries all around the world. Anyone who has access to a computer, phone, or internet will be able to have access to Fluency and can be helped to obtain the work they need.

How it Works: Fluency's goal is to provide students with skills to help them standout from the crowd and have something to demonstrate when they apply for other positions. Their courses are only 4 weeks long. Some of the courses offered are in: SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing. Right now, their courses are free, anyone around the world can sign up for free and learn amazing skills that will help them obtain great jobs. Fluency is still unsure if they will ever monetize these courses because they want to provide as much access to knowledge as they can.

Revenue: Fluency generates revenue from the employers that hire their students. 

Biggest Challenges: Supply and demand. 

Success Rate: Fluency has about 20-30 people through a program each month, and have a high success rate in helping these students find actual jobs.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: "It's easy to get caught up in the tech start-up world, but think about how you can use your amazing skills to really make a difference in the world, rather than thinking about how you can just make a quick buck." says Sinead. "If you do that, you will have a greater return in your life. Making a difference and having purpose is the future of the work world."

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Connect With Sinead:

Website |@sineadmacmanus | Google+  | About.me

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Category:Business -- posted at: 11:53pm MST

180: Nadine Bongaerts - Breaking Down Barriers in the Science World

"Innovators see a problem that's directly related to their personal environment, and they want to do something about it. It touches them so deeply, so personally, that their motivation is so big to create something that overcomes that problem, that they'll do anything to make it work." Nadine Bongaerts

About: Nadine Bongaerts- Co-Founder of Biotecture and Global Community Director for Hello Tomorrow

Overview: Nadine is a unique, accomplished young woman with a desire to help change the world. She shares what it's like working in the science and technology field as a woman, and more about the companies she has and is currently involved in.

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Highlights:

Background: Nadine is originally from the Netherlands and received her Degree in Life Science & Technology from TU Delft. She has an entrepreneurial background and has also been the curious type. Because of this personality, she is always on the hunt to learn more, and be involved in new developments, especially in the life science realm.

About Biotecture: Nadine started this company in 2011- it was a spin off from an international science competition she competed in called, iGem. This company represents the shaping of education and communication in life sciences.
Nadine and her partner, work with clients and partners to create awareness of the developments that happen within the life sciences. By developing and applying interactive and effective communication and education tools, they are able to build a bridge between science, politics, art, and society.

Revenue for Biotecture: Biotecture is a for-profit company. They want to be independent of subsidies and have more control.

What is Hello Tomorrow: From their site: "Hello Tomorrow is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 by Xavier Duportet and Arnaud De La Tour. It aims at creating bridges between scientists, investors and entrepreneurs in all major technological fields. In 2014, we organized the first edition of the Hello Tomorrow Challenge, a global competition of tech-startups in Europe and the First Day of Tomorrow Conference, which gathered more than 1,500 participants at “La Cité des Sciences” in Paris on April 2014." Hello Tomorrow is essentially a physical and virtual platform for local and global innovation.

The Hello Tomorrow Challenge: This is a global challenge that Hello Tomorrow hosts for startups from all over the world in six different major fields of technology. If you'd like to learn more about this challenge, visit their page HERE.

Goals to Expand: They'd love to expand their hubs in big cities all over the US. Specifically, to invite people to get on board with Hello Tomorrow to showcase capabilities there. The more people that are apart of Hello Tomorrow, the more diversity they will have within their company.

Female in the Workplace: Nadine feels that being a young beautiful woman in the tech world gives her a fun advantage. Although, she may be wrongly judged at first, she enjoys proving people otherwise with her natural talent and skills.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Follow your passion. Although it may sound cliche, you have to put a lot of effort into what you're doing and keep on believing. Once you persist, you will achieve the results you desire in the end.

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Connect With Nadine:

Website | @NadineBongaerts | Google+ | LinkedIn

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Category:Business -- posted at: 12:17am MST

179: Michael O'Neal - THE Solopreneur

"I've got a lot of tools. None of them cut corners." Michael O'Neal

About: Michael O'Neal- Founder of The Solopreneur Hour

Overview: Michael is a self-taught entrepreneur who has a passion for network marketing, branding, life-coaching, and internet marketing. He shares with us tips for how to start a successful company, and what you shouldn't do as well. Learn more about how he started his podcast, The Solopreneur Hour, and how he helps fellow entrepreneurs through his show.

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Highlights:

Background: Michael started out in the field as a web designer after receiving his communications degree from Temple University. He worked in that field for 15 years, even starting a company called Whirled Media. From there, he worked a few odd  jobs but became unemployed in 2005 which was when he started his entrepreneurial journey. In 2007, Michael sadly lost both his parents and in 2009, he traveled to Europe as a way to mourn and heal. Following his return, Michael spent the next four years in network marketing, internet marketing, and life coaching. In 2013, he officially started his own podcast called The Solopreneur Hour – Job Security for the Unemployable.

The Solopreneur Hour Podcast: An audio podcast where Michael co-hosts with solopreneurs from all over the world including people with backgrounds in: network marketing, internet marketing, music, fitness, acting, comedy, and more. Michael's objective with his podcast is to take his audience through the journey of his co-host then give them actionable steps to help them with their ventures and inspire them to act. The Solopreneur Hour also shares practical steps and tools including books, smartphone apps, websites, training courses, strategies and stories that will support entrepreneurs every step of the way.

Revenue: Michael does have people pay to advertise on his show but he also offers a mastermind group- Sololab- that listeners can subscribe to.

What Entrepreneurs Can do to Get Started: Michael refers to this article he recently shared on his podcast: HERE. To summarize the article, Michael shares that you have to have good gear, nail your brand, make real connections with people, be patient, study your craft, push through adversity, go to conferences and know your competition, study others who are successful at what you want to do, promote tirelessly, and finally, be thankful and show your gratitude. Michael also feels that it is crucial to get a coach; someone who can support you and help you as you venture out into the entrepreneurial world.

The Worst Thing an Entrepreneur Can Do: Be too impulsive with their business idea before testing the waters and doing it blindly. That's where having a coach involved can be very helpful.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Let branding be your fallback. People will know more about who you are if you nail the brand. If you are introverted, focus on building a successful, well-known brand, and getting to know people; making those connections will come after.

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Connect With Michael:

Website | Facebook | @SoloHour | SoloLab

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Category:Business -- posted at: 9:38am MST

178: Andreia Almeida- Loving Your Audience

"Always remember you only get what you give – so give it all." - Andreia Almeida

About: Andreia Almeida- Founder and CEO of We Love Social

Overview: Andreia is a long-time freelancer turned entrepreneur. She shares with details about her social media company, and the challenges that she faces to help companies understand the need to connect and establish trust with their potential clients.

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Highlights:

Background: Andreia received her Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations and later went on to specialize in Customer Relationship Management, and Social Media marketing. She has always been an active person with a strong interest in constantly helping companies, and helping those companies establish deeper relationships with their audience. Andreia is currently living and working in Lisbon after moving there 2 years ago to start her company, We Love Social.

What is We Love Social: We Love Social is an e-PR agency that is all about engagement and providing clients with a fully integrated strategy on PR and Social Media. Their main goal is innovating how brands use social media to connect with their public in the digital world. They provide services such as: consultancy and training-offering specific training plans for companies, according to their needs, and help increase their position against competitors. We Love Social encourages companies to actually talk and get to know their public, but above all to listen to what their potential customers need.

How it All Started: Andreia shares that when she hit her 30's, she realized she wasn't exactly where she wanted to be. So, she started thinking- "what should I do with my life that actually makes me happy?" Andreia knew that she had a passion for social media and by that time was already at TEDxLisbon in charge of Social Media. So she decided to get a talented team together to get started on her own Social Media company. She was able to receive some good advice from two successful entrepreneurs that enlightened her with their insights and expertise.

Setbacks: For Andreia, the entrepreneur life is still fairly new to her, and hasn't experienced a major setback yet, but she does think her main failure in life was not taking the entrepreneurial step earlier. She finds herself more accomplished than ever now – and being on a startup co-working space, she gets the same reaction from other colleagues every day. Andreia states that as an entrepreneur you learn to face failure as a learning experience, and the lessons you take from it make it worth the trial. You may not have the security of a 9-5 job, but you reach the end of the day feeling accomplished.

Biggest Challenge: Something Andreia has learned while freelancing for many years and now as a recent entrepreneur, is that while most people in the world of business have accepted the significance of a digital presence, many still do not understand its terms. In order to survive and succeed online, businesses need to relate to their audiences, and build trust with them.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Andreia shares how important it is for entrepreneurs to connect with their audience, to know their business and customers, and to establish deep connections with them. Always remember you only get what you give – so give it your all.

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Connect With Andreia:

Website | Facebook

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Category:Business -- posted at: 11:54pm MST

177: Joe Jacobi - From Olympic Gold Medalist to Entrepreneur

"Change is a matter of practicing small habits everyday." - Joe Jacobi

About: Joe Jacobi: Olympic Gold Medalist (Canoe Slalom), 10x U.S. National Champion, Consultant, and former CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak

Overview: Joe is an Olympic athlete with years of experience in canoeing/kayaking. He shares his experience of getting to the Olympics, and his entrepreneurial journey since. 

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Highlights:

Background: Joe started canoeing as an 8 year old boy in Washington D.C., specifically in the Potomac River. When he was 13, Joe unintentionally became involved with a talented white-water canoeing group where he excelled for the next 10 years. Joe went on to win an Olympic Gold medal in 1992 with many of those teammates from that original group. In 2004 Joe competed again at the Olympics (placing 8th). He discusses how much he changed over the 12 years as an athlete and what it was like competing the second time around being in his 30's, with a wife, and a 3 year-old at home.

Joe's Entrepreneurial Journey: Joe was the CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak from 2009-2014, and although it was a big leap of faith, he decided to step down to pursue other entrepreneurial dreams like writing, speaking, and consulting. Currently, every Sunday, Joe writes a newsletter where he shares his thoughts with others, offers encouraging words, tips on improving performance, and other meaningful topics through many experiences. With this newsletter, Joe shares that he is exploring his vulnerabilities writing each week, and has found that people are drawn to that and his email list continues to grow.

Shifting to the Entrepreneurial World: Joe explains that his wife has always been an entrepreneur and is very successful at it. When he decided to make the shift to focus on his entrepreneurial aspirations, he was worried about what his wife and daughter would think, but shares how they were more than happy to support him with his new endeavors. He feels that with this new journey, he has had more time to focus on being a dad, working smarter each day, and really focus on what he wants to do for the future. His life now has space and room to grow and incubate new ideas.

Consulting: Joe works more with the corporate and executive space in the performance and strategy world. He focuses on starting with his clients' health and giving them the capacity that they need to perform successfully in whatever form of work they do. Joe feels that good health is crucial to cultivating a better environment, which in turn will allow smoother-running systems.  Joe wants his clients to be able to continue on a positive path once he leaves.

Work-Life Balance: Joe starts his day on a positive note- he wakes up early, exercises daily, and practices constant gratitude. 

Take Away: Overall, Joe teaches us that we should always strive to have balance in our life and make our personal health a priority. As we do so, all other aspects of our life will flow smoother. He has also teaches us that gratitude is an important part of life and that we should be grateful more often. 

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Connect With Joe:

Website | Google+ | @JoeJacobi

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Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00am MST

176: David Bradford - How to Network Your Way to the Top

"True networking is where you are more interested in what the other person is getting out of the relationship than what you get." - David Bradford

About: David Bradford - Executive Chairman of HireVue, Author of Up Your Game: 6 Timeless Principles for Networking Your Way to the Top

Overview: David is an experienced entrepreneur who has mastered networking by simply giving before he recieves. He shares the 6 principles for networking your way to the top, which can be found in his book. He also shares his experience working with Infusion.io, Steve Wozniak, and HireVue.

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David Bradford | Ever Gonzalez

 

Highlights:

What is HireVue: It is the largest digital interviewing platform in the world. In order to find great candidates for the job, HireVue helps large companies simplify the interviewing process- find better talent faster, and save money for the company. HireVue aims to eliminate the bad interviews through online interviews, sort of like a Skype on steroids, that involves an entire rating system, recording system, and other methodologies that employers can create.

Biggest Challenge: Once HireVue had the right people on board, it was important/challenging for them to find the right companies to get onboard. When they were able to obtain large corporations as clients, it helped well-known entities feel confident in using HireVue as well.

End Game for HireVue: HireVue believes that they are the next greatest online HR company. They are trying to gather and bring back greater personality to the entire interview process. Nothing is more important to a company or CEO than finding amazing talent.

Working with Steve Wozniak: David was able to work with Steve when David was chairman of a company called Infusion.io. When asked how he was able to get Steve to work with him, David shares, "True networking is where you are more interested in what the other person is getting out of the relationship than what you get." He states that with that attitude, at some point the law of reciprocity is going to help you out. And with Steve, David simply implemented the idea of true networking. (To learn more about this story, check out David's Book)

Up Your Game: 6 Timeless Principles for Networking Your Way to the Top: David has been blessed by relationships in his life and has constantly strived to surround himself with inspiring people. He started this book in an effort to help others learn how to network effectively. In May of 2014 he launched the book, and has had great success with it since. However, David is more happy with the personal feedback that he has had with his book and how many people he's been able to help. Some of the principles include: 1- Start your network by giving with no thought of getting, 2- show up, 3- follow up, 4- link up by connecting with people and forming meaningful relationships and organizing those contacts, 5- stand up, by being a person of integrity and character, and 6- scale up, by working hard at forming, building, and nurturing your network.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: You simply have to be interested in other people- ask basic questions and get to know them. As you begin asking others those questions, people will naturally begin to ask questions about you and as the conversation moves forward, people will begin to build trust with you. It's vital for you to build strong relationships with others as you network, and as you do so, you will become successful.

Connect With Ezra:

Website | Facebook | @DavidBradford | Google+

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Direct download: David_Bradford.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:50pm MST

175: Christopher Prujisen- Education on a Global Scale

"[When starting a company] don't just look at your local state or country...there are bounteous opportunities outside the U.S. and Europe." - Christopher Prujisen

About: Christopher Prujisen Co-Founder of Sterio.me

Overview: Christopher is a driven, entrepreneur who is constantly reaching outside of his comfort zone to help on a global scale. Throughout this interview, he explains more about his company, Sterio.me, a company that he co-founded in 2013 and what he plans to do to help students all over the world.

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Highlights:

Christopher's Background: Up until the age of 17, Christopher lived in the Netherlands where he attended public school, then attended Oxford University for about 2 years where he studied Philosophy and Economics. In his first year of college, Christopher went to China and taught English and was fascinated by the amount of learning and homework the students were given. He later returned to the UK and organized a very big entrepreneurship competition, and went on to become the President of the Oxford Entrepreneurs organization. Eventually, through different experiences, Christopher left Oxford to become an entrepreneur and started Sterio.me.

What is Sterio.me: (From their site) "Sterio.me is a technology that saves teachers time by automating the homework process from preparation, distribution and marking to administration, and improves access to relevant out of classroom learning reinforcement materials for learners. Sterio.me offers full reading, writing, listening and speaking pedagogy and is accessible via basic phone, and no internet is required."

How it Started: In 2013, Christopher and part of his team at the time went on StartupBus in Africa where they traveled for 5 days with other entrepreneurs (half African entrepreneurs, the other half Entrepreneurs all over the world) and through these 5 days they saw the need to develop technology driven solutions that would allow students that don't have access to out-of-school resources to continue to learn and complete homework assignments at home. It's been a long process to create the right model for the company, and by coming to Chile they have been able to find the right help to get them to where they are now.

Biggest Challenge for Sterio.me: Money is always a challenge, but through Christopher's experience he has learned that having a team is the most important factor to buoy each other up. So, finding the right engineers, project managers, local market expertise's, etc, is crucial to the success of their company.

Funding: Sterio.me started out bootstrapping, and then they were able to receive a grant from Chile. With the grant, there are some spending restrictions (you can't just outsource the way you want it to), but in general it's been very helpful for the company and for the local economy in Chile.

Future for Sterio.me: Starting next year, they will finish up the Android app for Sterio.me and really focus on driving it towards private schools in Chile, as well as certain wealthier markets in Africa. And then on the GSM solution side, they'd like to launch it in Madagascar. Overall, they really want to help the homework issue on a global scale, and possibly start some other side companies down the road to help.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Decide what your goals are and what type of business you'd like to start. Determine what you're passionate about. When starting a company, don't limit yourself to your country, look internationally and possibly do a fellowship to see what's out there and what's needed. It's also a great idea to consider small markets, like Christopher has done in Chile.

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Connect With Christopher:

Website | @Steriome | Facebook | 

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Direct download: Christopher_P.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:24pm MST

174: Andrew Mueller - The Art of Being an Entrepreneur

"We really want to focus on artists that are living and working in New York City because we want to help them out...They [the artists] want to focus on their work, they don't want to focus on selling their work." Andrew Mueller

About: Andrew Mueller - Co-Founder of Mueller + Jacobs

Overview: Through their love for creativity and art, Andrew and his business partner started a company as Fine Art Advisors. During this interview, we learn more about Andrew's background and how quickly the company has grown since they started in October 2014. Andrew also shares some unique advice for entrepreneurs around the world.

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Highlights:

What is Mueller + Jacobs: [From their website] "Through our fine art acquisition consultancy, Mueller and Jacobs positions clients as industry leaders, promotes client branding, allows them to make authoritative investments and to become part of a contemporary art dialogue. Their clients range from start-up companies, established corporations, to private collectors."

Background: Mueller + Jacobs launched in October of 2014, even though Andrew did not want to officially launch until March, they immediately began making sales, and Andrew is extremely busy working with clients. Currently, Andrew is working another full time job, while running this company. He received his Bachelors Degree in Art History from Penn State. In 2002 Andrew moved to New York and became an Admissions Director at an MFA program for about 13 years. From there, he worked as a consultant for higher education- and has since left that to pursue advising.

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Challenges: Artists can be very particular about their work, and who their work is featured next to, and that has proven to be a difficult challenge for Andrew as he works with these artists and advising for his clients. Another challenge Andrew wasn't anticipating was the money aspect- branding is expensive and he has found it hard to cut costs to have the funds needed to run the company. Andrew also notes that his social life has become almost non-existent because of the work it takes to make his company run smoothly.

Future: Andrew would like to keep the company size the way it is for at least the next three years. And he plans to jump ship from his 9-5 job in April. He's been saving what funds he can to put towards the branding of his company- which he feels is very important for the success of his company.

Mr. Brainwash

Revenue: Although, they have only been in business for a few months, their revenue is already around $50,000. Andrew believes that once they are working the company full time, the potential is massive. Their goal for the end of this year is be around $300-$400k profit.

Style/Aesthetic: Mueller + Jacobs has a wide array of styles, but they'd really like to focus on finding artists locally in New York City to help boost their businesses.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Don't be afraid to ask for favors. Andrew has found that by asking his friends and family for favors, he's been connected to some great contacts who have helped get him where he is today.

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Connect With Andrew:

Website | @MuellerJacobs

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Direct download: Andrew_Mueller.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:53am MST

173: Spencer Handley - Building Crystal Clear Audio Tools

"Don't give up, tenacity is huge, it's the whole thing." - Spencer Handley

About: Spencer Handley- Founder of PodClear

Overview: Spencer is a passionate entrepreneur who is out to help Podcasters achieve the greatest results with each of their interviews. He shares his background and what experiences and desires have led him to where he is today.

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Click to Tweet: Ep 173: Spencer Handley - Building Crystal Clear Audi Tools

Highlights:

Spencer's Background: Spencer is from Colorado originally, lived in LA- went to UCLA where he studied Chinese- actually lived in China for a year and ran a small little language acquisition tool business where he manufactured Chinese tools. He was also a musician (received an Associates in Music Composition) so he worked as a Jazz Musician/DJ in a night club. When he came back from China he went to Draper University, which is a school for entrepreneurs, and at the end of that program he pitched his business plan to venture capitalists and ended up winning the competition. From there, Spencer ran an enterprise software company for manufacturing for a year- had pretty good traction with it, but ended up folding the company because it wasn't what Spencer really wanted to do with his life. After that, he became heavily involved in consulting and is also planning on sticking with PodClear for as long as possible- it's more up his alley of work.

What is PodClear: A software application for desktop (both Mac and PC) that allows podcast interviewers to interview guests with crystal clear audio quality. It records locally on both people's machines, and you are able to have unlimited guests. After the calls are complete, the audio files are synced to PodClear's servers, processed, and as a result you get uncompressed audio for your podcasts.

How it Came About: Spencer is not a podcaster by trade, but is an avid podcast listener. The idea was evolved because Spencer and his team were listening to podcasts and found many of these podcasts were hard to hear. Spencer and his team were determined to create a way where the podcasts were recorded on both ends, and recorded crystal clear. It took about six weeks for Spencer and his team to create the software application.

How it Works: You simply invite someone to be on the show, start a PodClear session, add your interviewee/s into the session, and then it will send them a 4-step process to follow and then are quickly added into the recorded session.

Goals: Right now, Podclear has about 1,100 users. For Spencer, this is more of a passion product and not necessarily motived by money. The intention is to have this business to support them, and to be wherever they want (location independent) and let them interact with people the way they want to. Spencer does not work on PodClear full time, he is also an independent consultant. The more they can work on PodClear, the better the product they'll be able to have. They'd like to start working on it full time in April of this year.

Biggest Challenge: Finding personal balance- working full time as a consultant and working on PodClear on the side has proven to be a hard task. Spencer shares that it can be really easy to get burned out and lose balance with life, but he also realizes that it's all part of starting a company.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Just keep experimenting until you find what works for you. Build a solid skill set that is marketable, something that has a high hour-to-cost ratio to help you bootstrap if necessary. Premeditate about what you want to do, choose what you love, and do what will work best for you.

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Connect With Spencer:

Website @PodclearTweets | 

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Direct download: Spencer.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 4:45pm MST

172: Jared Loftus- Prep for Success

"You can't wait for perfect...you have to put something out there, and then get a response." Jared Loftus

About: Jared Loftus- COO of Mastery Prep and CEO of College District

Overview: Jared started his entrepreneurial journey 10 years ago as a college student selling t-shirts from his backpack at football games. He shares more about where that journey has led him and what he does with Mastery Prep- an ACT prep program for schools all over the nation.

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Highlights:

About Mastery Prep: Mastery Prep is an ACT Mastery program that is a support structure for principals and district administrators that helps them provide best-in-class ACT preparation to the students who need it most. They go in and train teachers and students on the most important information they'll need to know to take the ACT and SAT. Mastery Prep also has an online component with work books that students can use to study at their own pace. Currently, they have about 50-60 tutors with the program, but are continuing to grow rapidly and are preparing to launch in other states.

How it Works: Since they're a new company, their sales team will go out to the schools and pitch what Mastery Prep can do for them. Mastery Prep can create a custom program for each of the schools/districts/states. Right now they are in about 6-8 states. Patrick shares that they are much more confident in the success of their program when they can control what's implemented into each workbook/program. They have seen a huge increase in Juniors' test results and are very happy with the direction of their success.

Jared's Role at Mastery Prep: As the COO there, he handles more of the business aspect of the company. He makes sure that they have the structure, employees, and delivery that they need to make sure the company runs smoothly.

Biggest Challenge: For Mastery Prep, the toughest challenge is managing such massive growth. It's growing so rapidly it can be tough to keep on top of building the team and having the right people on board in the right places. They spend a lot of their time working on this problem. Although sales aren't necessarily easy, it's the easiest aspect of their company right now.

About College District: This company was Jared's first real entrepreneurial experience. In college, he was running for student body office and needed to raise funds. He started selling t-shirts out of his backpack at football games and other college events and next thing he knew, it had turned into a little company. Through demand, Jared eventually opened a retail store next to the college campus where he could sell his t-shirts. About 6 years later, Jared sold the actual store location in 2010 and went fully online. College District also uses a crowdsource to let fans tell the company what kind of t-shirts they want.

Revenue for College District: At their peak, College District generated close to 1M, but it varies now according to the football season and success of their local schools in Louisiana.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: You have to know what your motives are- what you are doing and why you are doing it. You can't wait for perfect, you have to put something out there and then get a response. At some point, you have to make it happen. You have to decide you're going to do it, and then just do it.

Subscribe to the Outlier Newsletter: Click Here

Connect With Jared:

Website | @JaredLoftus | LinkedIn | Instagram | AboutMe

If you enjoy Outlier On Air, please Subscribe & Review on iTunes or Stitcher

Direct download: Jared_Loftus.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 10:28pm MST

171: Patrick Lor - Empowering Visual Storytellers

"[As an entrepreneur] being humble...allows you to forgive other people's mistakes and admit your own." - Patrick Lor

About: Patrick Lor - Co-founder & CEO of Dissolve

Overview: Patrick is a determined entrepreneur in Canada who shares his experiences of working in the tech. His current company, Dissolve, sells high quality stock video clips, and although he is up against some big competitors he has proven to be successful and works extremely hard towards his goals.

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Highlights:

About Dissolve: Dissolve is a company that sells high quality stock video clips and has been around for about a year and half. They look for people that have a great artistic eye, buy their video clips, and use them for web-based advertising work, corporate training videos, editorial and documentary settings, along with interactive web sites, video games and mobile applications. These clips are typically about 10-30 seconds long. Currently, they have 550,000 clips and are looking to grow that well over a million clips this year.

Getting the Word Out: Dissolve has dedicated a lot of money to marketing. Their core marketing methodology is to use video marketing. They create their own videos with their clips and push them out on YouTube, social media, etc. Those videos are then re-tweeted and written about because they tell compelling stories. All of the videos they create for marketing are done in house. Another thing they have done is put out direct mail to potential customers (a 2 booklet set) that advertises better footage, and better stories.

Employees: Dissolve's goal is to obtain 5-6 more employees this year, some on sight and some to work remotely. They allow flexibility where employee's can work from home and take time off.

Biggest Challenge for Dissolve: Patrick shares that obtaining resources is their biggest challenge. He feels they could use a little more of everything, but to get there they need more resources. Dissolve's goal is to double their product, and quadruple the size of their customer base.

Patrick's Entrepreneurial Background: Patrick started a company, iStock, around 2000 and eventually sold the company to Getty Images. This experience has helped him start and run Dissolve.

Goals: Patrick understands that it takes a village to accomplish what they need to accomplish, so they are going to continue to focus on getting the best creative content, and provide that to the world.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Be lucky. Don't be so obsessed with being perfect, but work really hard and focus on the right things. Work with people that are amazing and trustworthy and won't fold under pressure. The first six months of any company is incredibly tough. Stay humble, it will allow you to forgive others for their mistakes and to forgive yourself.

Connect With Patrick:

Website | Facebook | @PatrickLor | LinkedIn | AboutMe

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Sponsors:

Direct download: Patrick_Lor.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:04am MST

170: Robert Sofia - Strategy, Tactics, and Guidance

"I don't let my business run me, I run my business."

"If you have the determination to start and run your own business, then you can have the determination to run it the way you want to run it."- Robert Sofia

About: Robert Sofia- Co-Founder of Platinum Advisory Strategies

Overview: Robert shares details about his company, Platinum Advisory Strategies- and offers helpful advice for those thinking about breaking into the entrepreneurial world.

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Highlights:

Background: Robert is a long-time public speaker, and hard worker who skipped undergraduate school and worked his way up in the business world where he eventually settled into the marketing/branding scene. In his twenties, he worked for Ford Motor Company where he actually developed a program for them to help build brand loyalty. It was promoted heavily at the Ford dealership where he was working, and then Ford adopted that for their entire company. The experience he gained at Ford leveraged him for more opportunities throughout the years up until he decided to start his own companies.

About Platinum Advisory Strategies: Platinum is a company that helps small businesses market like larger companies. Platinum Advisory Strategies takes all of their efforts and focuses on one niche market, and then they strive to understand the industry, the audience, and the people they're working for to merge that into the right branding message. They offer a unique program where they only work with a select group of advisors that fit their profile and that do not work directly with their competition. These advisors actually pay a monthly fee to Platinum to be their marketing partner. As a client at Platinum Advisory Strategies, you are given a consultant specifically assigned to your account and that consultant becomes your guide, your coach, who builds a personal plan for you. They assess what you're weaknesses and strengths are and build an action plan. Then, they help you along the way and answer any questions you may have. Behind that consultant you have an entire team who works on the back end of things like your website, videos, social media, etc.

Biggest Challenge: Helping potential clients seeing that they need the help and it's worth the price.

Key For Growth and Success: Platinum Advisory Strategies started in 2009. Robert shares that the key that has helped grow was hiring the right team. Robert has many roles he has to juggle and it's very important that he has the perfect team he can trust to help manage things- especially while he is traveling.

Speaking Schedule: Robert could be gone every week if he wanted to, but he chooses only to travel 1-2 times a month. He limits himself to the engagements he wants to do to keep the work-life balance.

Goals: Over the last 3 years, their company has grown over 1,700 percent in revenue. They have continued to cut costs and grow profit successfully. Because the business is growing quickly, they are always looking for more employees. Robert's goal is to make the company better tomorrow than it was today. For the company, he prefers to take his goals daily, weekly, and monthly- in small increments- to make sure that things that need to be done are not overlooked by the long term goals. For Robert, he wants to live the life that he desires- he's not particularly motivated by the desire to have more things or money. He wants to help his company and his employees. Robert's drive is to have balance in life, he's not concerned about what the world sees as wealthy.

Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur: First off, being an entrepreneur requires commitment. You have to understand that it's not going to come easy right away- there is a lot of work involved. If you give up too easily, you will not be successful. Have a modest recognition of your own limitations. If you are going to build anything where you'll have employees, you need have good leadership ability. It's also important that you have good business sense. Family support, or support in general is another great tool that will help you do well in whatever you do.

Take Away: Robert reminds us not to buy into the hype of entrepreneurship. Understand that you might fail, and make sure you're comfortable with that. You won't always succeed. If you can, try to leverage your existing relationships or career into a business opportunity.

Connect With Robert:

Website | @robertsofia | LinkedIn | AboutMe

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Direct download: Robert_Sofia_.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:20am MST

169: Ben Martinez - Passion Before Product

"Find people who are passionate. Those are the kind of people who are going to help you scale and grow your company." Ben Martinez

About: Ben Martinez- VP of HR at HireVue

Overview: Ben Martinez is an entrepreneur at heart who left the comfort of a big company job to become the VP of HR at a growing company- HireVue. He walks us through what the product is like and how it can change a companies' hiring process. He also gives entrepreneurs great advice on what to look for when hiring to help their company become successful.

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Highlights:

HireVue: HireVue is a SaaS software company- primarily in the HR space that has been in business now for 10 years. They offer videos for accelerating a team for large and small companies. They then use those videos for hiring, training, etc.. They also gather and use data from these videos to predict the type of people you are going to hire (sort of like a Pandora for hiring).

HireVue's Product: They primarily focus on larger companies, (Current clients include: Nike, Chipotle, Walmart, Amazon, JP Morgan Chase) although they do help small companies as well. Their video product is specifically designed for training and recruiting. They take the guesswork out of hiring by allowing you to screen potential hires, engage with them via email, social media, etc, connect with them through real time video conferencing, and offer them opportunities to showcase their skills through online work samples. (If you'd like a full detail of what their product does- check out their website at www.hirevue.com)

Selling the Product: Ben shares that it's an easy sale once you get the appointment and can show the demo, getting there is the tough part because people tend to be afraid of the product. They tend to think it's similar to FaceTime, or Skype- but once you can dive into the product and share the pain points with the future client, they are able to see how this product is going to dramatically help their hiring process.

Biggest Challenge: Overcoming the BDC problem (Big Dumb Company as Ben puts it). He explains that there is always the challenge to implement new ways to do things without pushback to continue to improve and grow the company.

Advice for Entrepreneurs in Hiring: Ben would advise anyone who is hiring to first take a step back, find passionate people and get them sold on your product/idea. Those are the kind of people who are going to help you scale and grow your company. Ben always says, "passion before product."Ben also advises if you have an employee who isn't fitting into the role that you need them to, terminate them. Always remember the old saying, "Slow to hire, quick to fire." When firing, seek advice from another leader in the company if you are unsure about what you should do. Especially, if you are an entrepreneur, or a one man band. Make sure to have a witness in any conversation you have with future employment for legal reasons.

Take Away: Have the courage and take the leap into what you're passionate about. Really be in tune with yourself and your desires. You tend to be your own worst enemy, just go and do what you want to. Make sure when you are ready to hire, hire those that are passionate and onboard with your ideas.

Connect With Ben:

Website | @BenMartinezj | Podcast | Blog

If you enjoy Outlier On Air, please Subscribe & Review on iTunes or Stitcher

 

Direct download: Ben_Martinez.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:10pm MST

168: Cibelle Burger- Helping Entrepreneurs Find Their Uniqueness

"[As an entrepreneur] I am flexible with my time because I own my own time." Cibelle Burger

About: Cibelle Burger- Founder of Inchworm Digital

Overview: Cibelle, born in Brazil, came to America in her teens. She originally started a business with her husband in 2010. She became heavily involved on the PR side, which then led her to start her own PR company called Inchworm Digital. Cibelle shares with us what it is about her company that helps her stand out from the rest, and what she advises entrepreneurs to do to be successful.

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Highlights:

Background: Inchworm is a spin off from a company that Cibelle founded with her husband back in 2010, Septor Media (a film and media production company). With that company, she did a lot of PR and marketing for the company and for bands, people, arts, and culture. In addition to all of that, she founded a blog called- Indie Pop Nation- where she covers Indie pop and technology. All of this opened a path for her in PR- which is why she decided to start Inchworm. It is based in California, but the company is also open to Brazil where Cibelle is originally from.

How Inchworm Works: Cibelle is their as a company to help the unique features of her clients products stand out, and where she can place that particular product to get people to start talking about it and noticing it. She is there to offer her clients with new and unused advice. However, she's not trying to change things dramatically, just making the unique features of their company be presented the way it needs to be. For the most part, her clients are entrepreneurs and understand that's what she's trying to do and don't push back too much with how she works with their company.

How Inchworm is Unique: Cibelle really focuses on helping others create unique stories to share with their audience- and using angles that are not commonly used.

Woman in the Workforce: Although, being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be intimidating, Cibelle feels that she has just as much power and influence as a man in PR. Since she is used to working with the opposite sex, she has learned how to navigate her way through to shine through and be successful.

Struggles in PR Business: Cibelle says she feels like the hardest part about working in PR is cutting through the noise of all the other companies out there. Traditional media as we know it is being transformed- they're all moving to the digital world, and with that comes a great push for generating content. The challenge for PR professionals in general is to generate good stories online.

Balancing Work-Life: As an entrepreneur, especially in PR, it tends to be an around the clock business. But, on the plus side, Cibelle does have the ability to dictate her own time because she owns her own time.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: You should never be discouraged, no matter how many times you fail. If you have a product that you think will change the way we do things, and that you feel fills a very important need- work on perfecting it, defining it, and refining it because eventually you'll get there. Have a plan, and stick to it. It also helps to get your vision on paper- figure out the who, where, how, and how much.

Connect With Cibelle:

Website | @inchwormDigital | Google+ | Instagram

If you enjoy Outlier On Air, please Subscribe & Review on iTunes or Stitcher

Sponsors:

Direct download: Cibelle_Burger.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:27am MST

167: Mike Sheffield - Living Life on Purpose

"If you're feeling comfortable, you're not pushing yourself hard enough." Mike Sheffield

About: Mike Sheffield- Founder of Claim Greatness

Overview: Mike Sheffield is a young entrepreneur with a passion for helping others achieve their goals and dreams. He shares his 6 step program he created to help anyone and everyone accomplish their goals.

Resolutions are Temporary

Highlights:

Background: Mike shares what it was like growing up in an entrepreneurial family and what changes he made early in his life to have the confidence to reach out to others, be surrounded by great people, and encourage them to be their best self.

Claim Greatness: Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, and being apart of many startups, Mike has always wanted to have an opportunity to take all of the things he's learned through that entrepreneurial journey and put it into a product to help others succeed and claim greatness. It's an online program (a self-based course with 6 modules) where you'll buy the product and have exclusive access to the members area. Each module is a protected video- a powerpoint presentation and supplementary PDF document that walks you through each of these steps. He breaks his company down into 6 parts, first step is knowing the "why" behind their goals. They also have a private mastermind group on Facebook where you'll get to work with Mike, and others involved in the group to help motivate each other and create a network.

Assessing Clients: Part of Claim Greatness, Mike will assess each client using MindMaps to help each person see what they like about themselves, and what they'd like to change. And also see where they are at in their life to get an understanding of where they want to be.

Communication: Mike reaches out to each client personally, invites them to get involved on the Facebook page, and contacts them frequently to help them achieve their goals.

Resources to Attain Your Goals: Mike shares the tools that he uses to help himself succeed. Currently, Mike uses a newer application called- CoachMe- it's an application where you can set your goals and can share these goals socially so others can help encourage you to make these goals happen. Another resource Mike uses frequently are TedTalks.

Definition for Success: Live life on purpose, with passion, and find fulfillment. Success is a journey, and it's not just a point you arrive at. Success is setting goals, and obtaining them, as well as creating the life you want to have. Mike doesn't want life to kick him around, he wants to dictate the kind of life he wants to have. He shares that you are the master of your domain, and if you want to be someone and something, no one has the right to tell you otherwise. Learn by doing- learn what you need to do to accomplish your dreams.

Take Away: Live life on purpose- do not let others dictate your life. Do not react, but be proactive about attaining your dreams.

Connect With Mike:

Website | @_MikeSheffield | Website/Outlier

If you enjoy Outlier On Air, please Subscribe & Review on iTunes or Stitcher

Sponsors:

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Direct download: Mike_Sheffield.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:24pm MST

166: Mark Evans - Sharing Your Story

"Be as true to yourself to be as successful as possible." Mark Evans

About: Mark Evans- Founder of ME Consulting

Overview: Mark is a long-time tech journalist who dove into the entrepreneurial world unexpectedly in the early 2000's. He shares how he started his consulting company, and what you can do as a company to set yourself apart and boost your companies' success.

Highlights:

Background: By training, Mark is a technology journalist. He spent 20 years working for some of the biggest journalist companies in Canada. During the dot com boom, he started working for some startup companies, and eventually decided to start his own company. Despite the fact that Mark had a great job, a mortgage, and a daughter, he caught the startup bug and was determined to do his own thing.

What is ME Consulting: Mark helps startups tell better stories. He's a hands-on and engaged collaborator who provides startup entrepreneurs with strategic insight and tactical execution to accelerate their marketing activities. Mark helps those startups with telling the world what they do in a great way, showing the value of their products (what’s in it for me, the customer?), identifying target audiences, and helping each company be clear about how they're unique.

Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs: Mark has found that the most important thing when it comes to marketing is having a great product. A product that actually fits a need.

Storytelling for Startups: (This book will be launching April 2015) This is a guidebook for startups written by Mark Evans. It starts out by explaining the history of storytelling and the value of it. It also takes the reader through the types of stories you need to share with your audience, and then how and where to share that story. This book also provides startups with tools and ideas on how to achieve the best story for their company.

Biggest Challenge as a Consultant: It's hard to get people to understand what you do and the value you provide as a consultant. Making people see that what you do is real so what Mark has done is create documents that explain exactly what he does and how he does it. Mark shares that another tough aspect is that he's on all the time meaning he is constantly trying to be available for his clients and it can be difficult to turn things off.

Time with Clients: On average, Mark works with a company for about 3 months at which point the company who has applied his tools can now manage things on their own. During that 3 months, Mark will work with each company for about 2 full days a week. He also tries to make himself available outside of normal hours to answer any questions or concerns his clients may have. Mark takes about 2-3 clients on at a time, anything more than that is too much simply because each client has a very intense and time-consuming relationship.

Long-Term Goal: Mark is not trying to build an agency. He'd like to stay independent and work with other independents. He would like to use the book as a platform, possibly get into selling e-books. His ultimate goal is to create ways to have recurring revenue.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Being an entrepreneur is a journey, enjoy the ride and be the master of your own destiny. There is risk involved, but there is also lots of opportunity and you never know where that opportunity is going to lead you. For a lot of young entrepreneurs, the reality is you have about 45 years to work- the world is your oyster.

Connect with Mark:

Website | @MarkEvans | Google+ | Facebook

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Sponsors:

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Direct download: Mark_Evans.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:04am MST

165: Kay Walten- The Adventurous Entrepreneur

"I wanted to encourage people to try something new, step out of the box, get a passport, do something different with their life, and have a unique experience." Kay Walten

About: Kay Walten- Co-Founder of LocoGringo

Overview: Kay is an adventure-driven entrepreneur who started her company unexpectedly after taking up a passion for cave diving in the Riviera Maya with her husband. She shares with us her entrepreneurial experiences in Mexico and her passion for travel and adventure.

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Highlights:

LocoGringo: LocoGringo started in 1996 by Kay and her husband renting villas and accommodations for adventure seeking travelers. Their connections started in the cave diving industry, a passion that inspired their move to the Riviera Maya in the early 90s. LocoGringo creates better vacations in the Riviera MayaCosta Maya, and Yucatan by researching, organizing, and sharing vacation and travel information online in order to give travelers a unique vacation and valuable experiences.

Team: 7 full time employees, with occasional part time employees and freelancers.

Schedule: Contrary to popular belief, Kay doesn't always have her toes in the sand. She is constantly working to help make sure travelers have a great vacation. She works six days a week, and often loses sleep thinking of ways to solve problems they encounter.

Safety: Kay says that if you're coming to enjoy yourself on the beach, and you're not looking for trouble, then you have no need to worry about your safety while staying in Mexico.

Challenges: The biggest challenge Kay and LogoGringo experienced was the economic struggles of 2009.

Marketing: LocoGringo relies on social media and eBooks which helps them generate leads, and also differentiates them from their competitors.

LocoGringo Numbers: They average 2,500-3,000 reservations a year. Because of their newly renovated website, they hope their revenue increases by 35% in 2015.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: One of the lessons Kay has learned is to make sure that you know your limitations. She admits that she is not good with a checkbook- so she doesn't do the accounting. Build a strong team that will complement your skill set.

Connect with Kay:

Website |@LocoGringoCom

If you enjoy Outlier On Air, please Subscribe & Review on iTunes or Stitcher

Sponsors:

Blogging: The Master Class with Chris Brogan is a 12 Week program dedicated to helping you improve your writing, create better content, find the time to get it all done, and more.

Direct download: Kay_Walton.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:43am MST

164: Dan Lawrence - Telling Your Brand's Story

"The quicker you fail, the sooner you will reach success." Dan Lawrence

About: Dan Lawrence- Co-Founder and CEO of Hoodoko

Overview: Dan Lawrence is from India and is currently residing in Toronto, Canada and is the co-founder of Hoodoko. Dan shares with us his background, and what it's been like starting this company and where they plan to take it.

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Highlights:

Hoodoko: Is an online application for individuals to build their personal brand, tell their story the right way, and sell themselves according to their availability. Essentially, what Hoodoko provides is extremely simple tools for absolutely anyone who is producing professional services be able to build their brand and connect them with consumers. Hoodoko is open to a wide range of entrepreneurs, and is not limited to any specific genre of work.

Process: It takes about 30-50 seconds to sign up and use Hoodoko. Right now, it is completely free service.

Dan's Background: Dan is originally from India, where he studied business and got into advertising which then got him into graphic design. Dan works on the website design and business, while Hans (his co-founder) works on the development of the site. Both are working on Hoodoko as a side gig, while maintaining other full-time jobs. Dan is now living in Canada and has been residing there for a little over four years.

End Game: They would like to have as many service providers on Hoodoko as possible. There is an extremely large growth of service providers online, and Hoodoko would love to be the go-to site for that.

Biggest Challenge for Hoodoko: Initially, they were unsure of who their target market was, which was an element that held them back.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: The quicker your fail, the sooner you will reach success. Don't be hesitant to build a prototype first to find your market fit; it will be much easier to know which direction you should be heading towards.

Connect with Elisa:

Website |@hoodoko

If you enjoy Outlier On Air, please Subscribe & Review on iTunes or Stitcher

Sponsors:

Blogging: The Master Class with Chris Brogan is a 12 Week program dedicated to helping you improve your writing, create better content, find the time to get it all done, and more.

Direct download: Dan_Lawrence.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:31pm MST

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