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Onward Nation

America's best podcast for learning how today's top business owners Think, Act, & Achieve. Onward Nation is a five-day-a-week podcast hosted by Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. Business owners share the most influential lessons learned throughout their careers, including insights into their daily habits, their most vital priorities that have contributed to their business and personal success, and the most challenging time or situation that could have devastated or even ruined their businesses or careers. Business owners share their "recipes for success" including those systems they wish they had put into practice inside their business when first starting out. Each episode concludes with guests sharing two or three practical and tactical strategies they would recommend to brand new business owners in order to best ensure success in their new business and careers. Onward Nation provides business owners with the strategies and tactical step-by-step "recipe" that will help anyone make their business more systematic, predictable, measurable, and repeatable.
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Nov 13, 2019

Steve Farber is the founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute, an organization devoted to changing the world through the cultivation and development of extreme leaders in business, nonprofits, education, and beyond. Listed on Inc.’s ranking of the Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts in the world, and #1 on Huffington Post’s 12 Business Speakers to See, Farber is a bestselling author, popular keynote speaker, and a seasoned leadership coach and consultant who has worked with a vast array of public and private organizations in virtually every arena.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why Steve named his new book “Love Is Just Damn Good Business: Do What You Love in the Service of People Who Love What You Do”
  • Why it’s important to consider how you show the love you have for your customers or clients in a clear, repeatable way
  • Why there is a common and persistent belief that love has no place in business, and why Steve set out to prove otherwise
  • Steve shares key takeaways and lessons from his book that can directly contribute to a business’s growth and success
  • Steve shares an example of a real company that had high turnover and went through bankruptcy and how they managed to turn things around by creating a great culture
  • What first actionable steps Steve recommends you take to be able to identify and more consistently show your love for your business and customers
  • Why Steve’s strategy is applicable to every kind and size of business in an industry-agnostic way

Resources:

Nov 6, 2019

Greg Alcorn is the founder and CEO of Global Contact Services (GCS) with locations in North Carolina and New York. GCS provides outsourcing, management and consulting in the area of customer service. GCS currently has over 800 employees. He is a regular speaker on the subjects of “soft skills.”

Greg’s a North Carolina resident, graduating from Catawba College and earning his MBA from UNC-Charlotte. In 2010 he was named Catawba’s Alumnus of the year, 2015 Church and College award and the Adrian Shuford Award in 2016.

For five years, he served on the NC State Board of Education. From that experience, Greg started ApSeed Early Childhood Education in 2015. ApSeed provides eReaders to economically disadvantaged children ages 0-4 years old, 6,000, so far. Recently, he received the MLK, Jr. Humanitarian Award for this work. He remains involved in numerous non-profits.

Greg’s book is a result of many relationships across all walks of life. He has worked in a blazing hot brickyard, played on a Cinderella Final Four basketball team for one week, and for decades, he has helped Fortune 500 companies with customer communications. The book of 7 Dumb Things We All Say is a quasi-memoir filled with soft skills of do’s and don’ts.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Greg’s background and career journey led him to become the founder and CEO of Global Contact Services (GCS)
  • How Greg recognized the importance of incorporating frequent soft skills training internally to his associates
  • Why Greg recognized the problem of replying to someone saying “thank you” with “no problem”
  • How to identify when you are using negative or passive language, and how to convert it into positive, active statements
  • How to avoid common language traps, mistakes, and habits that you may not even be conscious of
  • How Greg defines “conversational bullying,” and why it is the antithesis of meaningful dialogue
  • How Greg and his team built and scaled GCS to over a thousand employees, and what key lessons he learned in growing GCS
  • What critical skills Greg feels a business owner should develop to effectively lead their team
  • Why Greg believes strongly in the benefits of having many mentors, and what key lessons Greg has learned from his own mentors

Resources:

Oct 30, 2019

Stephen is the founder and CEO of Predictive ROI, a digital marketing agency, and the host of Onward Nation — a top-rated daily podcast for learning how today’s top business owners think, act and achieve. Onward Nation is listened to in 120 countries around the world.

Stephen is the author of three books, including the #1 bestseller, “Profitable Podcasting,” and his digital marketing insights have been featured in Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, The Washington Post, and Inc. Magazine.

Oct 23, 2019

H. John Oechsle joined Swiftpage (www.act.com) in July 2012 and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer. John came to Swiftpage with an over 30 year track record of building highly profitable and sustainable revenue growth for emerging companies and established global leaders.

Prior to joining Swiftpage, John served as the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Product for DigitalGlobe. During his tenure, he was instrumental in shaping the future of the company and driving revenue growth through the launch of a number of very successful product lines. Prior to DigitalGlobe, John was the Senior Vice President of Technology and Content as well as Chief Information Officer for IHS Inc. Before that he was the Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information Management Worldwide for Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, a Johnson & Johnson company, where he was responsible for all technology and e-business. Earlier in his career, John served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Land America Financial Group, Inc., and Director of Global Information Management for Kellogg Company. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the Tuck Executive Program at the Amos Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.

John is an advocate for technology and education in Colorado and has been an active contributor and served as 2007 Chairman of the Colorado Technology Association (CTA). John supports Open World Learning, an organization that uses the power of technology and peer teaching to develop leadership and ignite a love of learning among children. John also supports Kidstek, an organization dedicated to making technology accessible to youth. John has been recognized several times for his involvement in the industry. In 2006 and in 2009, John was awarded the Technology Executive of the Year, and the Titan of Technology awards by the CTA. John was also awarded the Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community by the CTA in 2011 and the Nancy J. Sauer Philanthropy award in 2016. In 2015, John was appointed to the Business Experiential Learning Commission (BEL) by the Governor of Colorado and continues to serve on that commission today.

While not at Swiftpage, John juggles his time being a husband, father, and grandfather and spends the time he has left playing golf, skiing and boating.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • What transformative projects John and his team at Swiftpage have been working on since his prior appearance on Onward Nation in episode #780
  • Why Swiftpage’s business strategy of “owning the conversion and retention space for the small- and mid-sized business market” is key to their growth
  • Why Swiftpage believes the four digital pillars of growth are presence, traffic, conversion/retention, and optimization tools, and how John defines each pillar
  • How Swiftpage determines whether it would be more effective to build a “component” themselves or acquire it through M&A, and how John defines a component
  • How niching down, keeping a clear focus on the fifteen-seat company and smaller, and serving their customers has helped Swiftpage evolve and grow successfully
  • Why John looks for three distinct qualities and characteristics in the A-players in his team: talent, an insatiable appetite to win, and putting mission before self
  • Why a good leader’s role is to mentor and nurture talent, tell a clear story, bring credibility, and build a talented and effective team
  • What qualities a leader needs to be an effective mentor to other business leaders outside their company
  • Why having the courage to pursue your goals, the passion to push yourself, and the tenacity to keep going are the keys to success

Resources:

Oct 16, 2019

In 2003, Nick was in a snowboarding accident that left him in a coma for over three weeks. The doctors told his parents that he probably wouldn’t walk, talk, or eat on his own again. Less than three months later, he was running out of Franciscan Children’s hospital. Now a Certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer, Nick speaks to groups that benefit from his message of overcoming adversity.

Nick grew up in the real estate industry and got started on his own at an early age. Most notably, he was knocking on pre-foreclosure doors at 16 and 17, doing up to 50 doors a day. This experience helped shape Nick’s real estate career.

Now, Nick specializes in working with lease purchasers to get them into a home and on the path to homeownership. Regardless of a buyer’s credit situation, he looks at their complete financial picture and comes up with a plan to get them into a home.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Nick’s incredible skiing accident and recovery story – from a coma to running out of the hospital
  • The hope and courage that got Nick through his horrible circumstances
  • How Nick draws positive influence from the people around him
  • Daily habits Nick believes have contributed to his success
  • Useful skills for building and scaling businesses
  • Nick’s sources of wisdom and mentorship
  • The advice Nick has for tuning out the noise and taking the first steps toward success

Resources:

Oct 9, 2019

After a devastating divorce and bankruptcy, this single mother of two rebuilt her life through real estate. In the process, Dixie Decker accidentally stumbled upon a unique method for buying and profiting in real estate without using any of her own money or credit: student housing.

In just three years, she mastered the process, building her net worth to over $5,000,000 and $100,000 per month in positive cash flow! Today her cash flow machine runs practically on AUTOPILOT, so she can focus on her family, growing investments, building associations with other women, and helping others succeed.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • The importance of clarity in Dixie’s life and how she’s spreading the message
  • The effects of the people, music, and environment you surround yourself with
  • Giving yourself the credit for your successes; nothing just happens to you from nowhere
  • Finding the right people to capture your authentic voice
  • Dixie’s advice to increase productivity
  • Niching down and why it’s such a significant thing to do for your business
  • Turning your flaws and failures into “badges of honor” through courage

Resources:

Oct 2, 2019

Jesse Cole is the founder of Fans First Entertainment and owner of the Savannah Bananas. His teams have welcomed more than one million fans to their ballparks and have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, and ESPN.

The Bananas have been awarded the Organization of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year, and won the CPL Championship in their first year. Fans First Entertainment has been featured on the INC 5000 lists as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. The Savannah Bananas currently have sold out every game for two straight seasons and have a waiting list in the thousands for tickets.

Jesse is an in-demand speaker and released his first book “Find Your Yellow Tux – How to Be Successful by Standing Out” in January of 2018. The book launched #1 in three categories on Amazon and has been sold in 18 countries. Staying true to his mantra, “Whatever’s normal, do the exact opposite,” Cole launched the book with a World Book Tour at Epcot.

Cole’s greatest mentors are Bill Veeck, P.T. Barnum, and Walt Disney. All three share a wall in his office on custom-made posters that display the words Innovation, Showmanship, and Vision. Cole believes to be successful you need to stand out and be different.

He releases daily videos, blogs, and articles on LinkedIn. He is passionate about creating attention, loving your customers more than your product, and loving your employees more than your customers. Cole is the host of the Business Done Differently Podcast and has been featured on more than 100 podcasts including the Ziglar Show, StoryBrand with Donald Miller and NPR’s Only a Game.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why it takes a while to realize what your best at – and why it’s worth it
  • The origin story of Jesse’s legendary Yellow Tux
  • Where Jesse gets his courage
  • The incredible formation story of the Savannah Bananas
  • How the Savannah Bananas brand has benefited fans and players and why culture is so critical
  • Empowering employees to become leaders and make decisions, especially in tough circumstances
  • How Jesse draws inspiration from people like Walt Disney and P.T. Barnum
  • The future of the Savannah Bananas and how they continue to put fans first

Resources:

Sep 25, 2019

JT McCormick is the President and CEO of Scribe Media, a publishing company that’s created an entirely new way for you to write a book. The company has worked with nearly 1,000 authors and was recently ranked in their category as the #2 best company to work for in Austin and #4 in their category for all of Texas. JT is also the author of “I Got There: How I Overcame Racism, Poverty, and Abuse to Achieve the American Dream.”

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How JT grew his startup from 6 employees to 50 without any outside money
  • Why JT’s company culture has been lauded and celebrated by outside sources and how to build this kind of culture
  • The values and principles of JT’s company and how the employees live those out
  • The three rules JT lives by as a CEO
  • Why 90% of salespeople suck – and how they can be better
  • JT’s personal and professional definitions of success
  • What JT looks for in employees that will make them a great fit in his “tribe”

Resources:

Sep 18, 2019

Stephen is the founder and CEO of Predictive ROI, a digital marketing agency, and the host of Onward Nation — a top-rated daily podcast for learning how today’s top business owners think, act and achieve. Onward Nation is listened to in 120 countries around the world.

Stephen is the author of three books, including the #1 bestseller, “Profitable Podcasting,” and his digital marketing insights have been featured in Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, The Washington Post, and Inc. Magazine.

Sep 11, 2019

After graduating from Clemson University, Scott Fogleman began his career in advertising sales at The Wall Street Journal, followed most recently by a successful sales career with SYNNEX Corporation managing the Google Brand inclusive of Chrome Education.

Scott’s passion for higher education began during his time with Clemson’s Undergraduate Student Government and as a member of President’s Cabinet. At Up&Up, he leads the East Sales Region with a mission to impact change by bringing strong, positive, executable campaigns to his clients and their constituents.

Allison Lanier’s curiosity for the sales process began as a teenager while working in the retail environment. Years later, she graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina, Aiken Campus and quickly realized her excitement for sales had developed into a true passion.

As a Business Development Manager for Up&Up, Allison brings her experience in sales leadership and execution from past employers such as Verizon Wireless and PepsiCo. At Up&Up, she uses her passion for people to create a positive, effective, and rewarding campaign experience for the West Sales Region.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why defining and focusing on a niche is far more important than serving everybody and how doing so can help your agency find the right clients
  • How society is changing the value of education and how that affects messaging to prospective students
  • How asking the tough questions and challenging your clients can uncover the real issues and real solutions
  • What a client’s “authentic self” is, how to discover it and why learning it can improve marketing efforts for the long term
  • What Allison and Scott think are the most relevant skills for business owners to develop and grow their businesses
  • Scott’s best advice for transparency and personal growth for business owners
  • How to cope with hearing “no” and use it to empower you

Resources:

Sep 4, 2019

While trekking through the Himalayas, the Andes and the Alps; while camping in the Arctic Circle and living on a houseboat in Kashmir, India, Bill Cates built and sold two successful publishing companies. For the past 25 years, his mission has been helping professional service companies grow through referrals, introductions, and other relationship marketing strategies. Bill Cates has spoken to over 350,000 professionals worldwide and has trained over 70,000 in his system. You will gain a proven process to enhance client engagement and leverage that engagement into quality introductions that result in new clients.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why Bill believes having satisfied clients isn’t enough to generate more client referrals and how reinforcing your value can grow your client base
  • The importance of creating a strong, precise message to attract more people to your business, rather than casting a wide net
  • What a “right fit client” is, how to spot them and how to attract them to create joy and profit for you and your business
  • The neuroscience of relevance and how to apply its principles to interactions with all kinds of clients
  • How marketing your company in a “compelevant” way keeps clients interested and engaged
  • The most crucial emotional skills required to connect with your new clients and keep them coming back
  • Balancing the use of analysis and emotional connection to cover a variety of clients across industries
  • One of the keys to switching referral growth for your business from incremental to exponential
  • Recognizing what Bill says is one of the biggest obstacles to growing your business

Resources:

Aug 28, 2019

Clate Mask is the CEO and co-founder of Infusionsoft, the leading all-in-one sales, and marketing software built for small businesses and eight-time Inc. 500 or Inc. 5000 winner. Clate was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a Top 100 Small Business Influencer by Small Business Trends, and one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2013 by Goldman Sachs. Clate is a national speaker on entrepreneurship and small business success, and he is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling book, “Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy.”

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why Infusionsoft created their Mars Mission to help guide them through the transition to working with more small businesses through a new, simpler platform
  • Why developing a simpler platform scaled for broader use created new challenges for the company, including splitting their focus and renaming their brand Keap
  • How the company began to split their focus starting in 2017, and how their long-term focus was key to navigating the complexity of their two different offerings
  • Why developing the simpler platform for small businesses has been a part of the Clate’s long term vision for years, and why that matters to the success of the company
  • Why the goal of Keap’s Mars Mission is to simplify growth for 5 million small businesses, and why that specific metric was chosen
  • How Clate’s company is inventing a small business solution from scratch, rather than offering a watered-down enterprise solution like their competitors
  • Why Clate believes that purpose, mission, and values are the keys to growth, and why leaders must clearly communicate those key aspects to their teams
  • What advice Clate has for business owners looking to improve their ability to mentor others
  • Clate shares the brand story of his company and of his personal entrepreneurial journey and the many strains and struggles he faced in his company’s early days

Additional resources:

Aug 21, 2019

Robbie Kellman Baxter has been advising entrepreneurs on business strategy for 20 years. Her clients have included solopreneurs and venture-backed startups as well as industry leaders such as ASICS, Netflix, Electronic Arts, and The Wall Street Journal. She has worked with nearly 100 organizations in over 20 industries on growth initiatives.

A sought-after writer and keynote speaker, Robbie has presented at top universities, associations and corporations, as well as to corporate boards and leadership teams around the world. Robbie has created and starred in 10 video courses in collaboration with LinkedIn Learning on business topics ranging from innovation to customer success and membership.

As the author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction & Build Recurring Revenue, a book that has been named a top 5 Marketing Book of the Year by Inc.com, Robbie coined the popular business term “Membership Economy”. Robbie’s expertise with companies in the emerging Membership Economy extends to include SaaS, media, consumer products and community organizations.

Prior to launching Peninsula Strategies, Robbie was a strategy consultant at Booz-Allen, a New York City Urban Fellow and a Silicon Valley product marketer. Robbie received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated with honors from Harvard College.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • How Robbie found her way into business strategy and consulting work and has spent most of her career in this space
  • Why Robbie believes that narrowing her focus and niching down has actually strengthened her brand and created new opportunities
  • How Robbie worked as a consultant for Netflix very early in their business, and why their subscription model appealed to Robbie
  • Why subscription pricing is appealing to many businesses, and why being customer-focused to justify subscription pricing is key
  • What “subscription fatigue” is, why consumers are learning to game the subscription model system, and why having the right content to fit the model is crucial
  • Why Robbie recommends you clarify what promise you need to make to your customers to make a subscription worthwhile
  • Robbie shares examples of surprising businesses that could benefit from a subscription model
  • Why being clear in knowing who your customer is and what their needs are is the best starting point for determining how you can best serve them
  • Why not every customer is the right customer for you, and why bad customers distract you and can cause you to deviate from your model
  • What important daily habit Robbie has developed that helps her maintain focus on her priorities

Additional resources:

Aug 14, 2019

John Waid has thirty years of sales and sales leadership experience in Fortune 500 companies and twelve years of senior consulting experience in the learning and development field. John earned his MBA in International Business from a top program and is fluent in three languages which has allowed him to work in Europe, North, Central and South America. He started his own firm, C3—Corporate Culture Consulting, to work with leaders and their companies on their cultures.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Why the key to growing a business lies in paying attention to both your people and your business and how John’s parents taught him this lesson early on
  • How Chick-Fil-A has built a powerful employee-focused culture that has helped them become a dominant force in the fast-food market
  • Why “culture” is defined by your employees and behaviors, and how a major cultural turn-around helped Delta Airlines chart a new path of success
  • How a great culture raises employee enthusiasm, which in turn can create brand loyalty and increase profits
  • How a Harvard study revealed that a focus on culture offers 3x more profit per employee, 4x faster growth, and 50% better retention
  • Key lessons from John’s book, Reinventing Ralph: A Little Story For Salespeople About Culture-Driven Selling, about having a noble purpose, a clear vision, and three values
  • Why Southwest Airlines is an excellent example of a company that has developed unique values
  • How clear, strong values can help you more effectively hire and onboard new team members and why it is important to train your team on your values
  • Why company leadership needs to live their culture and values and why employees will emulate leadership

Additional resources:

Aug 7, 2019

Prentice Howe has always believed in underdogs. As Owner and Chief Creative Officer of Door Number 3, a full-service advertising agency based in Austin, Texas, his passion is helping brands embrace their challenger-ability and topple their giants. Prentice has been featured in The New York Times, AdWeek, Inc., and Communication Arts and authored the Amazon best-selling book “The Empowered Challenger Playbook,” which describes his strategies in detail and backs them up with case studies.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why Prentice thinks that betting on yourself is the best thing you can do for your professional career
  • How to adopt Prentice’s growth mindset, what it means for your future, and how to instill that mindset in your employees
  • Prentice’s advice for creating a roadmap and acquiring the tools needed to advance your business and achieve your professional goals
  • Strategies for “challengers” to shift their focus, make sacrifices, and pursue their goals of competing against market leaders
  • The five pertinent personal traits needed to be an empowered challenger
  • Finding your niches to diversify your client base and avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket
  • What Prentice thinks are the most critical skills for “business masters”
  • Why your business should serve YOU and not just your clients
  • The life-changing effects of having a mentor and why success leaves clues

Resources:

Jul 31, 2019

Sharon Spano, Ph.D., helps business leaders transform how they think, adapt, and respond in complex business environments. As a business strategist, author, and Professional Integral Coach, she leads her clients through specific research-based practices that empower them to realign their business strategy with a life of meaning, accelerated performance, and increased profitability.

Sharon is also the author of The Pursuit of Time and Money: Step Into Radical Abundance and Discover the Secret to a Meaningful Prosperous Life.

She is also a scholar-practitioner who enjoys researching and understanding some of the hard stuff of life so you don’t have to. There’s nothing like helping people move through challenges such that they come out more passionate and fulfilled on the other side.

Whether you’re a person in the midst of change, an entrepreneur, or an organizational leader, Sharon would love to help you discover a more meaningful and prosperous life.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How to identify leadership DNA, where it comes from, the benefits, and the drawbacks
  • Why the systemic mapping process allows us to see hidden patterns and subconscious dynamics in a concrete way
  • How to look at systems from a quantum physics perspective
  • How the aforementioned systems transcend generations and affect the unconscious minds of business leaders
  • Why bringing the unconscious to the conscious mind allows leaders to make better decisions with more efficiency and less stress
  • How to recognize hidden loyalties and use them as an agent for positive change
  • What inspires Sharon Spano to bring this methodology to her clients
  • How genetics play a prominent role in who you are as a leader

Resources:

Jul 24, 2019

Adam Honig (HOE-nig) is the founder and CEO of Spiro (SPEAR-oh) Technologies, a CRM company focused on breathing new life into sales technology to help salespeople reach new heights. Adam has worked in the tech industry for over 25 years, building companies that deliver enterprise software and solutions, as well as developing award-winning teams across the globe. Together with Spiros founding team, Adam has developed tech solutions for over 300,000 salespeople in the past 10 years. He's learned invaluable lessons throughout his career, and today he shares his expertise with sales teams across the globe, empowering them to achieve success through targeted relationship-building, proven sales tactics, and inspired technologies.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How the movie “Her” inspired Adam to create Spiro
  • How Spiro helps business owners as it relates to how can help and organizations sales team become more helpful and effective
  • The problem organizations encounter when it comes to having a sales team record all of the data for their leads and the process that leads to the sale
  • Ways that Spiro’s CRM eliminates the gaps in the sales team’s work with data to make them more effective
  • The gaps that Spiro has seen with the sales team’s communication with prospects and how Spiro solves them
  • What Adam believes is the best way that organizations can improve sales
  • The importance of collecting data and seeing how it can be used to elevate the sales team’s performance and achieve goals
  • How collecting all the data within your sales team can help you make better predictions for your business
  • Why it is important to make sure your customer service is a priority in your business and how it can create opportunities down the road
  • The skills a business owner needs to master in order to properly manage a sales team
  • Why the tech industry has been leaning on creating specialized sales teams and how that is helping them grow their business
  • Ways Spiro helps in creating alerts for communicating with leads
  • Why connecting with leads on LinkedIn can be helping when creating and nurturing relationships with leads

Resources:

Jul 17, 2019

Eric Thurston has enabled many of the world’s leading organizations to leverage technology solutions to drive business performance. He is currently as President and CEO of Personify, a market-leading technology platform that helps organizations to better engage their constituents, maximize revenue and optimize operations. In his role at Personify, Eric has led the company through a founder transition, successfully acquired three new technology solutions, executed a major product rewrite and positioned Personify to be sold from its private equity sponsor Rubicon Technology Partners to Pamlico Capital.

As host of the Planet Leadership podcast, Eric meets with leaders, influencers, and movers and shakers in the association and nonprofit market to explore the issues and topics keeping up executives up at night, such as how to drive efficiencies within an organization, leverage technology to be more effective, and stay on top of trends in a rapidly evolving market.

Eric has a wealth of experience in the software industry, serving in leadership roles at Mitratech, P2 Energy Solutions, Oracle and SAP. He lives in Austin and enjoys boating, hiking, and fishing with his family.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Eric Thurston’s journey to owning private equity-owned software companies
  • Why Eric describes himself as a “Transformational CEO”
  • How Eric transformed and grew Personify since 2013 when he became CEO
  • The vital priorities Eric’s leadership team planned and followed in order to grow Personify and why they plan over a five-year time frame
  • How Eric build out his leadership team within Personify
  • Two reasons why the topic of leadership is important to Eric
  • The types of organizations that Personify serves
  • Two ways that business owners can become transformational leaders
  • Inside information about Eric’s new podcast, Plant Leadership and his decision to start a podcast
  • The reason why Eric chose the name ‘Planet Leadership’ for his podcast
  • Eric’s influential lessons that he learned from his mentors and how that lesson helped him become the leader he is today

Resources:

Jul 3, 2019

About Judy Sparks
Judy is the founder, CEO, and President of Smartegies LLC. Founded in 2008, Smartegies is a specialty marketing agency that has helped more than 150 companies across North America build stronger brands, implement effective communications, and develop winning strategies and proposals. Judy has worked in B2B marketing and sales roles exclusively since 1993, specializing in the AEC industry. Judy is a true expert in AEC marketing and has a proven record of success across her 25 years in the field.

About Katie Cash
Katie is an architecture, engineering, and construction marketer with over 15 years of experience serving the AEC industry. Katie is an expert strategist who helps her clients win big projects through creative marketing methods. Katie believes in thinking outside the box and has a gift for tackling challenges by using innovative and unconventional solutions. Today, Katie serves as the Vice President of Smartegies, working alongside Judy to help clients achieve maximum impact in their marketing efforts.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • The struggles that Judy saw in the design and construction industry that led her to start Smartegies
  • Katie’s path to meeting Judy and what attracted her to work with Smartegies
  • The changes that are happening within the design and construction industry and why marketing seems to have become an afterthought
  • How Smartegies creates an impact and educates their clients on ways they can build a brand that will help them build their business
  • How Smartegies defines marketing and sales
  • Why Strategies talks about strategies and how to support their clients’ business goals before getting into a project
  • Why looking at other B2B industries can help innovate your marketing strategy
  • How companies can stand out in the AEC industry with the “Art of the Pitch”
  • The number one prevailing emotion that triggers someone to want to hire a firm
  • The three things that Smartegies believes a presentation should do in order to stand out in a pitch
  • The importance of incorporating emotional storytelling into your pitch
  • Why more agencies/organizations are not implementing the “Art of the Pitch” process
  • The skill that business owners need to master before being good at implementing the “Art of the Pitch” process
  • Why design and construction firms need to be open to the idea of change
  • The importance of recognizing when you need expert’s advice

Resources:

Jun 26, 2019

John Iannarelli retired from the FBI after more than 20 years of service, during which time he was a member of the FBI SWAT Team and participated in the investigations of the Oklahoma City Bombing, the 9/11 attack, the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the Sony hack. Among his many FBI assignments, John previously served in Washington, D.C. as the FBI National Spokesperson and later with the Executive Staff of the FBI's Cyber Division. He was a Cyber Squad Supervisor before becoming the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Phoenix Division, the number two position overseeing all Criminal, Cyber and Counter Intelligence investigations throughout Arizona. During his FBI tenure, John was also the recipient of the FBI Directors Distinguished Service Award, for which he was selected from the ranks of the Bureaus 35,000 employees.

An energetic and entertaining speaker, John is the author of four books, including Why Teens Fail and What to Fix, a parents guide to protecting their children from Internet predators and other dangers, Information Governance Security about how businesses can protect their important information from loss or compromise and How to Spot A Terrorist Before Its Too Late, a guide to help people recognize and prevent terrorism before it can occur. His soon to be released fifth book, Disorderly Conduct, examines the lighter side of law enforcement and the humorous moments during Johns FBI career.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • John’s career as a law enforcement officer and special agent with the FBI
  • Why businesses are more likely to be robbed behind the keyboard than with a gun
  • Simple ways that business owners can prevent being hacked and have money stolen by criminals
  • The biggest scams that hackers are currently using to hack your email and take your money
  • The policies you need to have in place for money transactions
  • Why you need to look into a password manager
  • The importance for you and your team to have basic cybersecurity education
  • What is malware and how it can cause damage
  • How bringing someone in to train your team could be helpful
  • An example of how a Law Firm was hacked and had $1 million taken from them
  • How dangerous thumb drives and free wifi from public restaurants can be for your work’s network
  • What you need to know about Cyber Insurance and an overview of what it can cover
  • The responsibilities you have as a business owner when it comes to cybersecurity

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Jun 19, 2019

Mike Canarelli is the CEO and Co-Founder of Web Talent Marketing and is recognized as one of the top digital marketing agencies in the United States who prides itself on providing unique, scalable long-term solutions for its clients. Mike holds a B.S. from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management where he studied Entrepreneurship and Management Information Systems. After six years as a freelance designer and web developer, he founded Axis Creative Group in 2006 and later merged with Web Talent SEO in late 2010.

Marcus Grimm, Chief Growth Officer at Web Talent Marketing, is dedicated to implementing strategies & tactics that utilize emerging technologies, particularly in sales, content marketing and marketing automation. Marcus’ experience extends across the entire buyer journey, from market research, prospect targeting and awareness, to lead acquisition, qualification, nurturing, presenting and closing. Marcus has extensively studied and utilized the latest in behavioral economics to translate decision theory from the classroom to the boardroom.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why the "project management triangle" or "iron triangle" of speed vs. price vs. quality doesn't exist on Amazon
  • Why Amazon offers the potential for business-to-business organizations, and why business leaders need to research Amazon to take advantage of future opportunities
  • Why businesses see better results the more they spend on Amazon advertising, and why this is similar to grocery and retail store "slotting fees"
  • Why a company losing a sale to Amazon, even if it is for a product the company manufactured, can cost valuable remarketing consumer information
  • Why each business must develop a unique and individual strategy to deal with Amazon based on their business needs
  • Why Mike chose to add the position of "Chief Growth Officer" to the business, how he defines the role, and why he brought Marcus into the position
  • How the work Marcus does in the position of Chief Growth Officer benefits the company, and what support he needs to be able to do his job well
  • Why some customers are the wrong fit for a business, and why part of Marcus's role is to identify those situations
  • How marketing automation works, and why moving at the speed a prospect wants to go is the key to a successful campaign

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Jun 12, 2019

Stephen is the founder and CEO of Predictive ROI, a digital marketing agency, and the host of Onward Nation — a top-rated daily podcast for learning how today’s top business owners think, act and achieve. Onward Nation is listened to in 120 countries around the world.

Stephen is the author of three books, including the #1 bestseller, “Profitable Podcasting,” and his digital marketing insights have been featured in Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, The Washington Post, and Inc. Magazine.

Jun 5, 2019

Our special encore guest today is Kelly Hatfield. Kelly has been in the recruiting and HR field for over 25 years as a successful business owner and entrepreneur. She is the host of the Absolute Advantage Podcast and partner in her most recent venture, Think It. Be It. – a human performance company for high achievers. Kelly’s work with companies in helping them develop their leadership, design recruiting, as well as retention strategies gives her a unique perspective into the hiring experience and leadership from all angles. Now…you may remember Kelly and the wisdom she shared during Episodes 274 and 524 of Onward Nation. And if you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all she shared during her previous interviews…I highly encourage you to add Episodes 274 and 524 to your list of vital priorities.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • What Kelly has been working on since her previous appearances on Onward Nation in episodes 274 and 524
  • How an interview with guest John Mitchell on Kelly’s podcast, Absolute Advantage, introduced Kelly to the “Think It Be It” methodology
  • Why Kelly became a partner in Think It Be It after her own incredible success using the methodology
  • How Think It Be It helps you reframe your thoughts through visualization to create success for yourself
  • How Kelly uses her visualization techniques to lay the foundation of her day, using specific goals and imagery
  • How practice and invoking the Reticular Activating System of your brain can help you see opportunities you didn’t notice before
  • Why it is important as an entrepreneur and team leader to step back and allow your team members to do their work without inserting yourself to “fix the problem”
  • Why Kelly reads her business plan every single day, iterating and making course corrections as necessary
  • How the Think It Be It process starts with twelve minutes a day, one sheet of paper, and having clarity in your intent
  • How to get a copy of a free five-day email course on the Think It Be It methodology and a free ebook

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May 29, 2019

Dr. Deborak K. Ekstrom is the president of Salisbury Plastic Surgery in Massachusetts — a very successful clinic and she’s a highly skilled surgeon and has been honing those skills over decades. But success wasn’t easy. It never is Onward Nation. Even if from the outside, it might seem that way.

It takes hard work — it takes commitment — it takes a drive to get over the obstacles and past the naysayers who are attempting to stand in your way. And it takes mentors who can take us under their wing and share their guidance with us. Dr. Ekstrom had people like that in her path — she listened — and she persevered.

And you will also hear about how she has reached a place in her career and life where she wants to not just give back — but to teach, to share, to be a conduit of educational resources...and so I’m excited for her to walk us through the media company her and her team have created called Deluge Beau.

So, Onward Nation — this will be a conversation around grit, tenacity, smarts, and building for the future that I think you are going to find extremely helpful.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Deborah's early career as a surgeon began, and the challenges she sometimes faced as a female surgeon in a male-dominated time
  • Which valuable skills Deborah had to develop to live an extraordinary life, and how her goal is now to help enable others to live their extraordinary life
  • Why the ability to teach yourself and continue to learn is a critical skill that any successful business leader needs to develop
  • How Deborah began her career without resources and mentors, and why she now works to serve as a teacher and mentor to others and especially women
  • Why Deborah created Deluge Beau, and why creating a magazine was well-suited to her skills and interests
  • Why Deborah and her team named the magazine Deluge Beau, and why she believes that too many people are afraid of abundance
  • What advice Deborah would offer to anyone who struggles to believe that they are deserving of success
  • Why abundance is the natural state of the universe and how someone has to actively take self-destructive steps to avoid abundance
  • What sort of women Deluge Beau is seeking to serve and welcome into their community, and what hopes Deborah has for the magazine

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