Mike Dillard on Reinventing Yourself, Thinking Big, and Food Innovation

mike-dillard-selfmademan-powderkeg

Mike Dillard is a serial entrepreneur who is creating a new technology that you’ll be able to put in your house and will supply all of the organic produce that you would want on a monthly basis. And Dillard’s entrepreneurial path prepared him to make a big impact with this audacious new venture.

Mike started first business over a decade ago in an unexpected industry — network marketing. That company turned into a multiple-eight-figure business as Mike mastered the art of internet marketing. He was young and did what a lot of young entrepreneurs do after an early success—he blew a bunch of money.

That’s what prompted Mike to dive into the world of finance and investing. He started a business in that world, and did $3 million in revenue in first 7 days. He did eight figures in the first year, and served over 50,000 customers in the first 3 years.

In this interview, Mike shares some insights and experiences that can help you make an incredible impact in the lives of others. We’ll talk about how he made his first millions in business during his twenties only to lose it all and fall into a depression. Mike’s comeback story is inspiring, but also includes actionable strategies to manage your psychology, leverage your strengths, and seize opportunity.

In 2015, Mike launched a company with the sole purpose to generate the funds to fuel his innovative ag-tech business that aims to completely disrupt the food and agriculture industry with hydroponics.  

That company he started in 2015 is SelfMadeMan, which has become the #1 Self-Help podcast on iTunes. It has an enormous community that brings mentors into your world who can help you build a life of excellence in business, relationships, health, finance, and legacy. He’s interviewed people like Daymond John, Chris Sacca, and Chase Jarvis.

In this interview, Mike shares how he built his platform and how it’s enabled him to bring on business partners like Peter Diamandis, founder of XPRIZE and Singularity University who has teamed up with Dillard on his new ag-tech company.

In this conversation we talk about that new venture, as well as all of the ups and downs that led him to up to this pivotal moment.

Follow Mike (@Mike_Dillard) on twitter and at MikeDillard.com. He’s got an amazing community there, so I suggest joining his email list.

I’m so grateful for Mike’s transparency and humility in sharing the stories in this interview. And I’m so inspired by his mindset and execution that has helped him excel.

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

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This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powder Keg Podcast.

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Mike on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Mike know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Mike on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Kara shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s the importance of  love of learning and discovery in achieving entrepreneurial success.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

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To download the PDF file for the full transcript of this podcast, please use the link below:

Click Here to Download PDF file

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website. 

13 Ways To Maximize Your Daily Productivity

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

As a new founder, what are some strategies for building a structure around my work day that helps me maximize productivity?

1. Seize the First Two Hours of Your Day 

The first two hours of your day are the most critical for productivity according to scientists. It’s the ideal time to set and review your goals for the day, tackle the most challenging thing on your to-do, and take a personal moment to do what matters to you most, like meditating, working out, writing or reading. By seizing and maximizing those first few hours, you can transform your entire day.

– Beth DoaneMain & Rose 

 

2. Schedule Time for Boring Activities 


Take breaks to do boring activities, activities that will allow you to spend some time in thought. To reboot your brain, you have to break old patterns of checking emails, Facebook or ESPN. Instead take time to go for a walk, enjoy a coffee, or other simple activities that give you an opportunity to keep your mind fresh and get clarity on what you are trying to achieve.

– Ryan StonerPhenomenon 

 

3. Use ‘Rapid Planning Method’ 

To maximize productivity, I spend an hour every Sunday working on my schedule for the upcoming week. The process — known as the Rapid Planning Method — is threefold: (1) List all the things I’d like to accomplish, (2) rate each task by level of importance, and (3) schedule the most important tasks. By planning your week ahead of time you will increase your overall productivity and happiness.

– Kristopher JonesLSEO.com 

 

4. Eliminate Distractions 

I sleep with my iPhone in another room so that it can’t disturb me while sleeping. This also keeps me from automatically checking it first thing in the morning. When I’m at work, I set my iPhone to “do not disturb” so that I can focus without interruption in the morning. Mornings are the time when I’m most focused, so I don’t want to be distracted by messages or other alerts.

– Brian David CraneCaller Smart Inc. 

 

5. Try the Kanban Method 

There’s no point in pretending that distractions don’t exist, and it’s even less productive to take away the tools that make things easier, e.g., mobile phone. So I have an app on my phone which uses the Kanban method and helps me remember tasks that need completing, as well as see all the other tasks I’ve completed. I also like to read journals and blogs every morning to gauge my peers’ opinions.

– Cody McLainSupportNinja 

 

6. Put Your Health First 

We all know how much of a negative impact getting sick can have on our productivity. Putting your health first, by sleeping eight or more hours, working out daily, and not eating like a jerk is the most effective way to ensure a successful day. Take care of yourself before you take care of others.

– Ross BeyelerGrowth Spark 

 

7. Realize Some Hard Truths, Then Plan and Execute 

You cannot do everything. You don’t have time to do everything. You don’t need to do everything. You need to be able to step away. If you can accept those truths, then you can plan and stick to your plan. Schedule time to respond to emails. Set a time for accounting. Set a time for critical tasks. Set a time for exercise/family/faith. Write it all down, budget your time; then execute and learn.

– Kevin TelfordSurfWatch Labs 

 

8. Use Time Tracking Tools 

I swear by time tracking tools that record my time on everything I do. I can’t deny what they reveal, and it holds me more accountable to how I structure my day and where I need to make improvements. Time tracking has been the game changer in where I put every minute of my workday, helping me to do more in less time.

– Drew HendricksButtercup 

 

9. Schedule in Little Breaks 

Our minds aren’t built to be on hyperdrive 24/7. When you’re a new founder with a million things to do, this is easy to forget, but eventually a lack of breaks will lead to mistakes and brain burnout. That’s why I make sure to schedule in tiny breaks during my day, whether it’s walking my dog or doing a quick digital detox. The few minutes invested in refreshing are well worth the productivity.

– Elle KaplanLexION Capital 

 

10. Guard Your Time 

It’s easy to let the daily problem take up all of your time each day, but it means you won’t get the things done that will help you grow and build your business. Use a calendar to schedule your day and try to stick to it. This might mean building in some spare time to help others address the issues and challenges that arise each day, but don’t let your calendar be hijacked by it.

– Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now 

 

11. Depend on the Power of the List 

It’s all about completing tasks. The task list is the greatest asset for every business. Each week, we determine the tasks that are most crucial for growth. We assign off those tasks to individuals capable of completing them that week. This builds a structure and requires planning workdays. By having a plan and specific tasks to complete, it maximizes productivity and propels the company forward.

– Enrico Palmerinobotkeeper 

 

12. Block Off Time and Identify Where You Add the Greatest Value 

Set time aside for emails, prospecting, and the stuff that needs to get done to grow your business. As a founder, you need to have an open door and be there for the team, but not at the expense of getting the important tasks accomplished. As you scale the company, identify where you add the most value and focus on that, hiring well so you can remain productive as the company grows.

– Dan GoldenBFO (Be Found Online) 

 

13. Always Be Looking Ahead 

Plan your days ahead and even weeks if you can, filling in time for specific events. Don’t work on the fly because you will never get everything done. While things come up, this planning of certain things can help you visually move things around and see new ways to work, but you must have some general idea and structure in place of what’s to come first.

– Murray NewlandsSighted 

The Magic of Immersion for Startups and VCs with Upfront Ventures Partner Kara Nortman

Kara Nortman is the co-founder of Seedling and partner at Upfront Ventures. In this interview she recounts her evolution as a creative child from an adventurous family, to her role as a partner in the largest and most tenured venture capital fund in Los Angeles.    

Armed with an AB in Politics and an MBA from Stanford, Kara Nortman found herself the only person from business school attending a C++ class when she interned at Microsoft more than a decade ago. Before that, she delved deep into esoteric stuff, sailing across uncharted waters (talk DSL and IP switches) just to make her job as telecoms industry analyst at Morgan Stanley more fulfilling and meaningful.

To Kara, so much lies beyond our comfort zones. For her, true entrepreneurs need to “dig past their limitations” to make the impossible possible. But for this to happen, entrepreneurs must have resilience, self-awareness, and passion for what they do.

You can follow Kara (@KaraNortman) on Twitter and read her thoughtful writing on her blog, Venture Inside.

Join Kara as she walks us through her formative years, from family trips that gave her a broader perspective, to her role as a VC evaluating the business viability of startups. Find out what makes a good pitch, and which traits differentiate successful entrepreneurs from those who won’t make the cut.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Kara’s upbringing influenced her evolution as a top-tier entrepreneur.
  • The important role love of learning and discovery plays in achieving entrepreneurial success.
  • The importance of finding mentors even at the point where you can mentor budding entrepreneurs and leaders yourself.
  • Why being passionate also matters in the art of investing.
  • Which entrepreneurial traits venture capitalists commonly look for.
  • Why entrepreneurs should also conduct due diligence on the particular investors they are pitching to as much as the other way around.
  • The factors making Los Angeles a highly attractive venue for innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth.

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

powderkeg subscribe on itunes

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This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powder Keg Podcast.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

People:

  1. Featured Entrepreneur: Kara Nortman, Upfront Ventures partner, Seedling USA Chairman. Kara Nortman in Venture Inside, @karanortman
  2.  Mentioned Personalities

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Kara on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Kara know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Kara on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Kara shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s the importance of  love of learning and discovery in achieving entrepreneurial success.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

To download the PDF file for the full transcript of this podcast, please use the link below:

Click Here to Download PDF file

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website. 

How to Build Traction, Gain Customers, and Grow with DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg

Businesses grow by getting traction. Without it, a brand will easily lose market share and eventually implode with a whimper.

But how exactly do you gain traction?

Gabriel Weinberg, a millennial entrepreneur who achieved the unthinkable feat of challenging Google at its own game — and surviving — will show you how. Gabriel co-founded the search engine upstart DuckDuckGo in 2008 to provide a Google alternative that doesn’t invade your privacy. The company grew from an informal launch on a community website into a popular search engine option on Firefox and Safari, with more than 3 billion searches processed in 2015 and millions of dollars in revenues.

The Philadelphia-based entrepreneur recounted his experiences in a book entitled Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth.

In this talk, Gabriel will share the story of how he discovered and addressed a specific pain point among search engine users and leveraged the solution as the core offering of his business. But in the digital economy, having a useful product won’t take you very far. So Gabriel will also share how his team iterated DuckDuckGo multiple times to consistently gain traction.

What does it take to keep your business sustainable? You need to have a message that resonates with a niche audience and keeps them in hyper-engaged mode. You also need to send that message through the right channel. That is traction. And you need it all the time.

Whether by attracting additional funding, reeling more profits, or testing the viability of a new product, traction will help you scale your business to the next level.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Gabriel Weinberg initially tested whether there’s a demand for a service like DuckDuckGo even amid the market dominance of colossal search engines like Google and Bing. (4:45)   
  • The concept of “traction” as a buzzword in business, marketing and growth hacking. (6:37)
  • How to apply the “Bullseye Framework” that will enable you to achieve explosive customer growth. (9:56)
  • The step-by-step process of identifying which of the 19 marketing channels will help you gain traction. (10:15)
  • How a small startup expanded into a multi-million dollar company by finding and solving a specific pain point experienced by search engine users. (12:01)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

powderkeg subscribe on itunes

powderkeg-subscribe-stitcher

This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powder Keg Podcast.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

People:

  • Featured Entrepreneur: DuckDuckGo co-founder Gabriel Weinberg, @yegg, Medium Page

Books:

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Gabriel on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Gabriel  know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Gabriel on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Jordan shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s how to apply the “Bullseye Framework” that will enable you to achieve explosive customer growth.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

To download the PDF file for the full transcript of this podcast, please use the link below:

Click Here to Download PDF file

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website. 

Masterclass On Building Influence with Luis Garcia of Ambition Media

Luis Garcia Ambition Media AgentSteven

Achieving success depends on how much you want it. On how motivated you are. On whether it really is your burning ambition to succeed.

Millennial influencer Luis “Ambition” Garcia started building his business while on tour in the war zones of Afghanistan. Using precious breaks from 16-hour army days, he laid the groundwork for a social media empire that now engages millions of followers on Instagram, Periscope, YouTube and other channels. Luis — who grew up in the ghettos of North Philly — created his brand by prioritizing relationships over revenues, by first giving value before asking for anything in return.

In this podcast, you’ll discover the evolution of his entrepreneurial journey from selling crazy balls and pretzels in school to running Ambition Media, a full-service influencer marketing agency that helps brands extend their reach, accelerate growth and achieve targets.  

But this podcast is not only about Luis. It’s more about you and your own ambitions. Your unique challenges. And the best paths to grow own brand and succeed.

How do you go beyond a constrictive environment, navigate roadblocks, and move towards bigger goals? Can you start anything worthwhile without a hoard of cash? Luis certainly did, and so can you.

How do you build a brand that people respect? How do you identify the specific pain points you need to solve in order to gain your audience’s trust? How do you plant seeds of opportunities?

Listen, and you’ll find the surprising, mind-opening answers.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How a 20-year-old kid from a North Philly ghetto went from the warzone in Afghanistan to become one of the most sought after millennial influencers on social media   
  • Step-by-step marketing tips and tricks for Instagram and Periscope
  • How to build value-generating relationships from scratch
  • Tried and tested techniques for building, growing and enhancing your brand
  • Winning principles and best practices on social media
  • How to find a worthy mentor and leverage your learning experience
  • Why blindly following someone or something on social media erodes your brand
  • Why video has become indispensable in articulating your message

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

powderkeg subscribe on itunes

powderkeg-subscribe-stitcher

This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powder Keg Podcast.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

People:

A. Featured Entrepreneur: Luis “Ambition” Garcia, @LawOfAmbition, Ambition Media, lawofambition 

B. Mentioned Personalities:

  1. Chet Holmes, The Ultimate Sales Machine
  2. Steve Mehr, AgentSteven, @AskSteveMehr
  3. Cody Sperber, clever investor, @cleverinvestor
  4. Andy Frisella, andyfrisella
  5. Jason Stone, Millionaire Mentor, jason_stone
  6. Ruben Chavez, Think, Grow, Prosper.
  7. Farokh Sarmad, goodlife, Mr. GoodLife
  8. Gary Vaynerchuk, GaryVaynerchuk.com, @garyvee

Books:

  1. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies, by Chet Holmes

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Luis on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Luis know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Luis on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Luis shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s the importance of  giving value first and then build a relationship later.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

To download the PDF file for the full transcript of this podcast, please use the link below:

Click Here to Download PDF file

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website. 

How to Build Wealth and Invest In Yourself with Jordan Wirsz, CEO at Savant Investments

Jordan Wirsz PowderKeg Podcast Guest

Jordan Wirsz manages more than $100 million of real estate investments through his role as CEO at Savant Investment Partners. But his rise to the top was not a direct path.

Wirsz is a nationally recognized real estate expert who has been recognized by members of the U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, Nevada state government, and has been featured on numerous national television networks including CNBC, NBC, and Fox News.

But today, we go a little off-script and go deep on business philosophy.

Wirsz has been a real estate investor and investment manager in many areas across the United States, which includes commercial and residential assets, development and office projects, and  industrial properties.

Wirsz was awarded the prestigious “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award by the Small Business Administration in 2007.

Wirsz is also a an accomplished author of the books Maverick Millionaire and Become Incredible, both of which are available on Amazon and where books are sold. You can find him on Twitter (@JordanWirsz), at his personal website JordanWirsz.com, and on his company website Savant Investments.

In this episode with Jordan Wirsz you’ll learn:

  • About Jordan’s first business deal (3:40)
  • About Jordan’s first failed investment (5:12)
  • How Jordan opened his company, “Extreme Aviation” (6:31)
  • Attitudes on persevering after failed investments. (8:55)
  • About Jordan’s mentality of responsibility after going through a large failed investment (11:44)
  • Jordan’s thoughts of the risks of leading an expensive lifestyle (15:59)
  • Tips from Jordan for first time entrepreneurs (20:18)
  • How to build relationships with people through the work that you do (24:59)
  • Responding to emails promptly is key to gaining trust from investors (26:30)
  • How to be more organized and increase productivity (27:30)
  • Practice is more important than technology (29:17)
  • Motivation without knowledge can be hurtful (32:05)
  • Why quality is greater than quantity in terms of learning (34:22)
  • Why separating your business time from your leisure time is important (37:17)
  • The importance of “recharging” every now and again. (40:25)
  • Jordan’s published books (45:05)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

powderkeg subscribe on itunes

powderkeg-subscribe-stitcher

This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powder Keg Podcast.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

People:

Bernie Madoff

John Maxwell

Jim Rohn

Books:

Maverick Millionaire, 2007

Become Incredible, 2010

Websites:

Savant Investment Group

Savant Report

Connect with Jordan Wirsz

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Jordan on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Jordan know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Jordan on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Jordan shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s the importance of “recharging” every now and again.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

To download the PDF file for the full transcript of this podcast, please use the link below:

Click Here to Download PDF file

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website. 

The Secret Power of Corporate VC and Startup Philanthropy w/ John Somorjai at Salesforce Ventures

VergeHQ.com

Our guest today is John Somorjai, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and head of Salesforce Ventures.

Salesforce has over 3,000 partners and 150+ companies in their current investment portfolio. They’ve also had 30 plus exits and five IPOs so that’s on top of the 150.

You can look up more about Salesforce, it’s acquisitions, and investments at Salesforce.com. They’re @Salesforce on twitter, but also have various other handles including @SalesforceVC, and @MarketingCloud. But you can find John @jsomorjai, that JSOMORJAI on twitter. He’s wicked smart and definitely worth a follow…

Now, One of the things we didn’t get to discuss in this interview is that Somorjai has his JD from the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley. I think that’s interesting context for how he got to where he is at Salesforce and how he might think in evaluating startup companies for potential investment.

He was a senior director of corporate development at Oracle for almost 5 years before taking on a VP of Business Development role at Ingenio, a high growth company that was eventually acquired by AT&T.

Somrojai then joined forces with Marc Benioff at Salesforce.com, and since 2005, John has led the evaluation, deal execution and integration for all mergers and acquisitions, and investments at Salesforce. His team has helped bring the company into insane growth areas through acquisitions including Demandware, Exact Target, Radian6, Buddy Media, Heroku, the list goes on and on….

I could go on about this guy all day, but I think it’s best if we just dive right in. Here’s John Somorjai EVP at Salesforce and Salesforce Ventures.

This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powder Keg Podcast.

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

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In this episode with John Somorjai, you’ll learn:

  • About John’s career progression and how he got started with Salesforce.
  • How Salesforce investment has helped nurture growth in the ecosystem of enterprise cloud companies.
  • About Salesforce’s expansion into European markets, and how the set themselves apart from other Corporate VCs.
  • About their focus on corporate philanthropy and the 1/1/1 model.
  • Key strategies Corporate VCs for potential investment and maximizing the opportunities they offer.
  • What makes an attractive investment for a Corporate VC.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

People:

Ludovic Ulrich

Chris Baggott

Marc Benioff

Colin Powell

Jeremy Roche

Company Websites:

Salesforce

ExactTarget

Andreessen Horowitz

Battery Ventures

Oracle

DocuSign

FinancialForce

HubSpot

Box

Sciperio

Marketing Cloud

Connect with John Somorjai:

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank John on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let John know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank John on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what John shares in this podcast?

For me, it is his journey to where he is now at Salesforce.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

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To download the PDF file for the full transcripts of this podcast, please use the link below:

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If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website. 

From Hollywood to Hackathons: How Cooper Harris Launched Her Startup and Built Her Business

Cooper Harris Powderkeg Podcast Guest

Our guest today is Cooper Harris, who not only has an impressive background, but has an impressive background in two different fields!

She started her career in New York, where she landed a part in the soap opera, As The World Turns. But she eventually moved to Los Angeles and stepped into the Hollywood scene.

After appearing in several movies and other TV shows, Harris became interested in entrepreneurship and started attending hackathons.

Harris won the AT&T Hackathon in Los Angeles, and then went on the first Innovation and Tech Summit during the Sundance film festival, called Collective. UKTI Innovation Award, alongside Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas.

And in February of 2015, she started a company named Klickly, an impulse buying platform and SaaS (or software as a service) product. It’s built for those of us with very short attention spans. Her technology allows one touch purchases across social streams, and in emails.

You can learn more about her company at Klickly.com, and you can reach her @CooperHarris on twitter.

This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powder Keg Podcast.

In this episode with Cooper Harris you’ll learn:

  • The importance of having good story-telling skills as a tech entrepreneur. (24:22)
  • How to convince people to meet with you. (31:08)
  • Tips for perfecting your pitch. (33.26)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

powderkeg subscribe on itunes

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Learn Storytelling Techniques for Business

Watch the 3-minute video below for one of the best parts of this interview:


Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

People:

Joel McHale

Taylor Swift

Eminem

Companies:

Warby Parker

Bonobos

Mandy’s

Websites:

klickly.com

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Cooper on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Cooper know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Cooper on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Cooper shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s how important to have a good story-telling skills as an entrepreneur.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

To download the PDF file for the full transcripts of this podcast, please use the link below:

Click Here to Download PDF file

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website. 

11 Ways To Improve Your Business Writing

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

What’s one way to improve your business writing?

 

1. Eliminate Unnecessary Words 

Mark KrassnerIt takes time to read every word of an email, and even longer to sift through a wordy, unnecessarily long email. After I finish drafting an email, I scan it to get rid of any words that don’t contribute to what I’m actually trying to say. Using this strategy has helped me send shorter, more concise emails and receive faster responses.

– Mark KrassnerExpectful 

 

2. Make It Active 

Shalyn DeverOne way to improve your business writing is to make it active. I encourage my employees to avoid “to be” verbs, the word “is” and the suffix “-ing” in order to avoid sounding passive. I understand that it’s sometimes easier to use these verbs. However, they can often be made active with small changes or simple rewording.

– Shalyn DeverChatter Buzz 

 

3. Read Your Work Aloud 

Manpreet SinghTalking is the best form of business communication. Unfortunately, no one has time to pick up the phone, especially if you’re trying to sell. So, do the next best thing: Bring your human voice into your business writing. When drafting an email, proposal or other business content, read your writing out loud to make sure it sounds clear, accessible and natural to your ears.

– Manpreet SinghTalkLocal 

 

4. Study the Business Writers You Love 

Adam SteeleIf you have any favorite writers/bloggers in your field that you really respect, studying them is one of the most effective ways to develop a style that’s already compatible with your instincts. Think carefully when you read their work about how they begin and end, what types of words they use, and what kind of attitude they seem to bring to their work. Testing these out in your own work will help.

– Adam SteeleThe Magistrate 

 

5. Make the Reader Feel Like a Genius 

Douglas HutchingsWe write a lot of technical documents and the thing that sets us apart is that we make the reader feel like a genius. This is accomplished by taking the complex and breaking it down into something that a middle school student could follow. Telling someone that you are intelligent is a turn-off. Making someone feel intelligent is a huge turn-on.

– Douglas HutchingsPicasolar 

 

6. Make Your Writing Accessible and Understandable 

Shawn PoratWhenever possible, use everyday language rather than jargon. If you have to use industry jargon, make sure you define it for people who aren’t familiar with it. Don’t assume your readers have vast knowledge of the field. For example, my company helps businesses improve their credit, but I’ve discovered that many business owners need to be educated on the fundamentals.

– Shawn PoratScorely 

 

7. Get Feedback (Even If It’s Harsh) 

Elle KaplanIt’s almost impossible to notice errors and room for improvement in your own work, especially for something as abstract as writing. That’s why I never shy away from feedback, and I always try to avoid sugarcoating when it comes to reviewing business writing. Although it might sting at first, you’ll quickly improve your writing if you consistently practice and seek out criticism.

– Elle KaplanLexION Capital 

 

8. Use an Editing Tool 

Nicole MunozThere are plenty of editing tools available online that can help you strengthen your writing by showing you where it should be changed. ProWritingAid has an online editing tool that’s free to use, and it analyzes your writing to generate 26 reports to show you where improvements can be made. Another key component is to study really good business writing.

– Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now 

 

9. Write Every Day 

Ross BeyelerThere is not a more proven technique for enhancing one’s writing than to write often. Even if the majority of that writing is done in private journals, it’s important to write every day. Not only will it help to build the habit of writing, but it will also expose what topics/styles work well for your voice and focus future writing projects.

– Ross BeyelerGrowth Spark 

 

10. Read 

john ramptonI pick up a lot about style and grammar just by reading books and articles. It has taught me a lot about how to phrase things and how to use certain words to influence others. Reading has also increased my vocabulary, which has enhanced my business writing.

– John RamptonDue Cash 

 

11. Take A Course 

Drew HendricksThere are numerous online courses at local colleges that teach business writing. There are also online tutorials on YouTube and other sites. You may even work with a tutor in an offline or online relationship. All these are good learning experiences for improving your writing.

– Drew HendricksButtercup 

The Innovator’s Guide to Pitching, Startup Funding, and Hiring A Players with MapQuest Co-Founder Chris Heivly

PowderKeg Podcast Guest Chris Heivly

Our guest today is Chris Heivly, who just might be the world’s first actual map geek. I say that because he co-founded one of the first online navigation tools, MapQuest.

Some of you listeners may be too young to remember MapQuest and the wonderful experience of searching your route on your home computer so you could print your directions and take them with you.. But back in the day, MapQuest was like pure magic

This company was Heivly’s first and it blazed the trail for other navigation-powered apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Uber. MapQuest went public in 1999 and was acquired by AOL for $1.1 Billion dollars in the year 2000. That’s billion with a capital B.

That’s a lot of money by any measure, but it was especially enormous when they sold back in the year 2000.

Since his successful exit, Chris Heivly has personally directed over $75 million in investment capital on behalf of large companies including Rand McNally, Accenture, and others.

He recently closed down the Startup Factory, which was the largest seed investment firm in the Southeast. And this conversation with Chris is just before they made their last investment at The Startup Factory (or TSF as we sometimes refer to it in this interview). But they had already made over 30 investments in high-growth startups and we caught Heivly just after a demo day for a group of their portfolio companies, so it was the perfect time to get his insight.

I want to make sure I give a shout out to his book based on his famous TEDx talk, Build The Fort, which you can find on Amazon, Kindle, or Audible. He’s super active on his personal website Heivly.com and on twitter @ChrisHeivly. So give him a shout and tell him I sent you!

In this episode with Chris Heivly you’ll learn:

  • How to perfect your pitch. (7:30)
  • What makes a good elevator pitch. (16:40)
  • How to attract the right people. (30:50)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy!

powderkeg subscribe on itunes

powderkeg-subscribe-stitcher

This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to developertown.com/powderkeg.

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Resources:

Connect with Chris Heivly:

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Chris on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Chris know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Chris on twitter!

COMMENTS?

What stood out most to you about what Chris shares in this podcast?

For me, it was his ability to impart his drive to his team towards that vision.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

To download the PDF file for the full transcript of this podcast, please use the link below:

Click Here to Download PDF file

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg. For more episodes and show notes, check out the Powderkeg Podcast official website.