Content Marketing Magic for Business Growth with Brian Clark of Copyblogger

Your audience is the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you have no one to sell to. However, too many entrepreneurs build a product before they bother to build an audience, let alone consider whether their audience would actually want to buy their product.

Brian Clark built all of his businesses by creating an audience first, and he’s become a true master at growing audiences by delivering outstanding content. After founding Copyblogger in 2006 and turning it into the “content marketing bible” it is today, Clark started Rainmaker Digital to serve as the parent company for all of his related online businesses. He’s even begun branching out into podcasting with his insanely popular shows Rainmaker.fm and Unemployable.

Clark attributes much of his success to the power of listening to his audience’s desires and building products to satisfy those desires. In our interview, he opens up about how he began his content marketing empire, how he continues to evolve it today, and why building an audience should be your number one priority. He even has some insightful things to say about the surprising benefits of being “unemployable.”

I’m so grateful Clark took the time to share his story and his wisdom with the Powderkeg community. For more actionable advice and outstanding content from Clark and his team, I highly recommend tuning into the Rainmaker.fm and Unemployable podcasts. You can also connect with Clark on Twitter @brianclark. Enjoy the show!

In this episode with Jeff Leventhal, you’ll learn:

  • The unexpected benefits of being “unemployable” (8:33)
  • Why you need to build an audience before doing anything else (14:52))
  • How big “level-up” moments can change your career (18:47)
  • Tips for building a business with agile development principles (24:05)
  • The importance of creating robust processes (32:11)
  • Why you can’t let new technology distract you from the fundamentals (36:56)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this conversation with Brian Clark!

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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 Powderkeg Podcast.

Brian Clark Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

[ctt template=”5″ link=”7pfFj” via=”no” ]“You don’t have to be a funded startup to buy into the agile processes the Valley is in love with, because they just make sense.” — Brian Clark[/ctt]

[ctt template=”1″ link=”7hUR4″ via=”no” ]“It can be tempting to make the quick buck, but I was never going to do that, and I think that’s why we’ve never had a product fail. It’s always about the audience first.” — Brian Clark[/ctt]

[ctt template=”5″ link=”9d35D” via=”no” ]“Don’t claim that it’s great. Show that it’s great.” — Brian Clark[/ctt]

[ctt template=”1″ link=”l27ma” via=”no” ]“Email is the transactional channel. You’ve got to build that email list.” — Brian Clark[/ctt]

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Rainmaker Digital

ExactTarget

Salesforce

McKinsey & Company

Software and Apps:

Basecamp

Periscope

Websites:

Copyblogger

WordPress

StudioPress

Podcasts:

Unemployable

Rainmaker.fm

Books and Magazines:

Fast Company

Trust Agents

The Impact Equation

Permission Marketing

Spark

The Lean Entrepreneur

Content Inc.

People:

Chris Brogan

Julien Smith

Tony Clark

Seth Godin

Joe Pulizzi

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Brian on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Brian on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s why you need to build an audience before doing anything else.

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)

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. 

Startup Strategies from a 5-Exit Founder and NYC Venture Partner

Knowledge comes with experience, and Jeff Leventhal has 25 years of experience in the tech startup world, including leading five companies from idea to exit and investing in many others. It’s an understatement to say he’s learned a few things on his entrepreneurial journey.

Leventhal’s great professional passion has been using technology to facilitate the delivery of professional services. His current iteration on solving this problem is WorkRails, a SaaS solution that helps other software companies sell and deliver their products. He’s also a Partner at BOLDstart Ventures, a “first check” investor for enterprise software founders.

Leventhal is great at telling engaging stories, and he transfers much of his wisdom through personal anecdotes. He shares some of his best tales in our interview, providing insights on acting in harmony with your internal wiring, socializing your business ideas and evaluating feedback, and building a team that will impress investors.

My thanks go out to Leventhal for letting me pick his brain and giving me with a few good laughs during our conversation. Check out Leventhal’s LinkedIn page to learn more about his long and impressive career, and have fun listening to this episode of Powderkeg: Igniting Startups.

In this episode with Jeff Leventhal, you’ll learn:

  • Why big career decisions often come down to your personal “wiring” (5:07)
  • A cheap, easy way to perform market research (11:12)
  • The six “value creation moments” of a startup (14:38)
  • How to win over VCs with the strength of your team (21:52)
  • High-level tips for socializing your ideas and receiving criticism (27:34)
  • Why New York City is a natural environment for entrepreneurs to flourish (33:44)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this conversation with Jeff Leventhal!

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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 Powderkeg Podcast.

Jeff Leventhal Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

“Closing doors may force you to leverage skills inside you that you didn’t even know you had.” — Jeff Leventhal

“When you’re doing a startup, nobody wants to hear from you. Be prepared for people to tell you your idea sucks.” — Jeff Leventhal

“I look at my business plan as a work of art. The same way a musician looks at a song, or an artist looks at a canvas, my business plan is my canvas, and there’s vulnerability when you show it to somebody.” — Jeff Leventhal

“Entrepreneurship is not a career choice. It chooses you. It chose me, and I’ve done it, and it’s hard.” — Jeff Leventhal

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Information Builders

Amazon

Hewlett-Packard

VC Firms:

BOLDstart Ventures

Work-Bench

Coworking Spaces:

WeWork

Software and Apps:

WorkRails

Universities:

Cornell University

Stanford University

Trade Shows:

PC Expo

People:

Jonathan Lehr

Jeff Bezos

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Jeff on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Jeff on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s why big career decisions often come down to your personal “wiring”.

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)

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. 

Powerful CEO Habits for Getting the Most Out of Networking Events

Meeting the right people at the right time can catapult your business to the next level. But it’s difficult to make connections that go deeper than a LinkedIn invite, and it’s far too easy to play it safe at networking events, which makes forging authentic relationships that much harder.

David Olk is the co-founder of ShopKeep, a point-of-sale software company that he grew from the two original cofounders to nearly 300 people. ShopKeep is growing into one of the country’s largest B2B SaaS companies and Olk sourced and closed on the first $100m of outside capital while growing the the business while building the team and forging the strategic partnerships that got the company to scale. He now sits on the board of ShopKeep and works with the talented executive team as the business matures. That’s freed up David to start another company, Voray, a platform that facilitates small-group networking dinners.

A Voray event is hosted by a key influencer in an industry who invites a select group of their close friends and colleagues to help create new connections between them. The intimate, curated nature of Voray events fosters meaningful and long-lasting business relationships between people who share common goals and have actually spoken in person.

Olk has become a master connector over the course of his career and genuinely loves to help people build relationships. In our interview, he shares many of his secrets for meaningful networking and effective business building, including the most surefire ways early-stage businesses can find traction and how to work with four different types of people you’ll find in your network.

I’m very grateful that Olk agreed to come on the show and teach the community how to create more valuable business relationships—a topic I’m personally passionate about. Enjoy the episode, and follow Olk on Twitter or through his personal blog for more insights into the mind of a networking expert.

In this episode with David Olk, you’ll learn:

  • How connections can change your career path for the better 
  • Keys to finding success with an early-stage business
  • The importance of checking your ego and emotions
  • The four types of people in your network and how to interact with them
  • How and why to say “no” sometimes

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this conversation with David Olk!

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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 Powderkeg Podcast.

David Olk Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

“It’s inspiring to be a part of something. I really enjoy creating things, building things, especially if they help other people.” — David Olk

“Success for an early-stage business really depends on your ability to play the game well while listening to what people are saying in the stands.” — David Olk

“As an entrepreneur, part of your job is taking the emotion out of the room and working strategically with other people.” — David Olk

“People respect you if you learn how to say ‘no’ properly.” — David Olk

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Voray

IAC

Home Shopping Network

CalPERS

PwC

Goldman Sachs

Gerson Learning Group

Bloomberg

Private Equity Firms:

Warburg Pincus

Apollo Global Management

VC Firms:

Betaworks

Upfront Ventures

Software and Apps:

ShopKeep

Websites:

Ticketmaster

LendingTree

Interval International

Kickstarter

Citysearch

Gifts

Mahalo

Smart Host

WayUp

Universities:

Yale University

Tulane University

Books:

Essentialism

Courses:

Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad Course

People:

Steve Blank

Perry Chen

Fred Wilson

Andy Weissman

Jason Richelson

Kara Nortman

Jason Rapp

Barry Diller

Victor Kaufman

Mark Gerson

Jack Welch

Evan Hammer

Michael Roderick

Ryan Levy

Michael Lazerow

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank David on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank David on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s how connections can change your career path for the better.

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)

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. 

Proven Business Leadership Habits from the CEO of SendGrid

It takes guts, grit, and an uncommon dose of wisdom to lead a business team. Sameer Dholakia has all three qualities, plus two decades of leadership experience in enterprise software.

Dholakia is the CEO of SendGrid, one of the world’s premier email delivery services. SendGrid serves 50,000 customers and delivers 1.3 billion emails each day—more than double Twitter’s daily Tweet volume. In addition to its classic transactional email API, SendGrid more recently rolled out an email marketing product that has already been adopted by 5,000 users.

Dholakia is an experienced tech executive with a love of history and a passion for building strong teams and big businesses in the enterprise software industry. In our interview, he shares his most effective leadership habits, including the importance of humility, how to foster an outstanding company culture, and strategies for turning around a dire financial situation.

I’m so grateful Dholakia took the time to share so much of his knowledge and experience with the Powderkeg community, and I admire his resolve to always keep improving himself and his company. Connect with him on Twitter @spdholakia to share your appreciation, and enjoy the show.

In this episode with Sameer Dholakia, you’ll learn:

  • How you can begin using email marketing tools for your startup (13:40)
  • Strategies for launching a new product within your existing brand (21:27)
  • The only mistake in business you can’t recover from (33:26)
  • Why you should be a humble leader (36:30)
  • How to dig yourself out of a bad financial situation (42:48)
  • The two biggest challenges SaaS companies face (47:08)
  • How to create an exceptional company culture (53:54).

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this conversation with Sameer Dholakia!

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.

Sameer Dholakia Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

“It’s a lot easier to look back at history to help you predict the future than look into a crystal ball and try to guess.” — Sameer Dholakia

“Keeping your eye on your acquisition costs, sales and marketing spend relative to your profitability, and not burning a ton of cash in that process, is just good business.” — Sameer Dholakia

“There’s a deep humility that I find in reading the bios of the greatest leaders, because they all recognize it wasn’t just them.” — Sameer Dholakia

“The most important thing that you can do is figure out how to get the most leverage and impact from the precious hours and minutes that you’re working.” — Sameer Dholakia

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

SendGrid

WeWork

Digital Marketing Association

McCormack & Dodge

Oracle Financial Services

Anaplan

Adaptive Insights

ADP

Reynolds & Reynolds

PeopleSoft

Workday

Salesforce

Siebel

ExactTarget

Responsys

Marketo

HubSpot

IBM

Silverpop

Adobe

Trilogy

Citrix

Startup Accelerators:

Techstars

Software and Apps:

Pandora

Spotify

PayPal

Stripe

Books:

Shoe Dog

People:

Dave Duffield

Marc Benioff

Joe Liemandt

Phil Knight

Mark Templeton

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Sameer on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Sameer on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s how you can begin using email marketing tools for your startup.

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. 

Inside Innovation, Negotiation, and Virality with Emerson Spartz of Dose

Emerson Spartz has hunted down and capitalized on patterns in business since he was 12 years old.

Fast-forward 18 years, and Spartz is the CEO of Dose, a digital media company that reaches 200 million Millennials every month with content designed to provide fresh ideas, knowledge and perspectives. Spartz is also one of the world’s leading experts on virality, having extensively studied its patterns and used what he learned to build his media company that was onced composed of more than 30 unique websites.

In our interview, Spartz lets me in on his secrets for effectively learning new information, his best strategies for negotiating deals, the power of doing “comfort zone challenges,” and of course, how virality really works. He’s an extremely well-read guy who’s practically bursting at the seams with knowledge, and I’m grateful that he’s more than willing to share some of his insights.

Head over to Spartz’s personal website to connect with him and learn more about his journey, and please enjoy the interview to learn about virality and the power of patterns in business.

In this episode with Emerson Spartz, you’ll learn:

  • The secret to making any business project a success (8:15)
  • How you can learn to be successful by studying the lives of successful people (13:00)
  • Strategies you can use to get better at learning (19:57)
  • The two best tactics for becoming a better negotiator (25:55)
  • Why doing “comfort zone challenges” will make you a better businessperson (27:14)
  • The art and science behind virality (33:36)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this conversation with Emerson Spartz!

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 Powderkeg Podcast.

Emerson Spartz Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

“It turns out, if you work on any passion project for eight hours a day over an extended period of years, it will probably, eventually, not suck.” — Emerson Spartz

“If you understand people, and why people do what they do, then you understand half of everything else.” — Emerson Spartz

“I believe learning how to learn is literally the most important skill that you could possibly develop.” — Emerson Spartz

“Most people think of virality as something that just comes from scratch, but it rarely ever comes from scratch. Almost everything that you see that’s viral has already been on the internet before.” — Emerson Spartz

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies:

Websites:

GivesMeHope

Books:

People:

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Emerson on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Emerson on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s how you can learn to be successful by studying the lives of successful people.

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 Clear Your Mind, Calm Your Nerves, and Pivot Like a Pro with Jenny Blake

“Pivoting” might seem like a dirty word in business, but Jenny Blake has learned to embrace it. Not only that, but she’s built her career around it, becoming a business strategist, keynote speaker, and author who teaches others the positive value of pivoting.

Blake is the author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, and the creator of the Pivot Method, which distills all the wisdom she’s gained throughout her career to teach you how to change your business direction without falling on your face.

Blake learned the virtues of pivoting by doing it many times throughout her career. After spending two years at a technology startup in Palo Alto, she landed a job at Google as a product trainer for AdWords. She stayed there for five years, training more than 1,000 employees and building her public speaking and career coaching skills, before she pivoted once more and set out to become a solopreneur.

She now speaks and holds workshops on the Pivot Method around the world, at companies like Intuit and Pimco, universities like Yale and MIT, and conferences like TEDxCMU and the World Domination Summit. She also runs the Pivot Podcast, which started as a passion project while she was writing Pivot and has grown into a forum for world-renowned authors and businesspeople to share their advice on how to seize opportunities and pivot like pros.

Jenny has so many great stories and insights to share in our interview, from the health benefits of practicing yoga to why reading will make you a better person. She also talks about how to get over your fears of public speaking, how meditation will make you a better entrepreneur, and how you can use the Pivot Method to succeed in business and improve your personal life.

To learn more or connect with Jenny, visit the Pivot Method website or her personal website. You can also check out Momentum, her private community for solopreneurs and side-hustlers, or consider signing up for Pivot Coaching if you’re looking for some help to make your own pivot a success.

In this episode with Jenny Blake, you’ll learn:

  • How to use your job as training for entrepreneurship (12:45)
  • How to conquer a fear of public speaking (15:34)
  • Why meditation will make you a better entrepreneur  (23:30)
  • How to use the Pivot Method to improve your personal life (36:18)
  • How to make successful pivots in business and life (39:56)
  • How to succeed in your career by embracing pivots (44:06)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this interview with Jenny Blake.

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.

Jenny Blake Quotes from This Episode of Powderkeg:

“Success, to me, is enjoying every day. If I’m running my own business and I’m miserable…what’s the point? It’s very important to me to, on a day-to-day basis, take care of my mind, my body, my spirit, my business. They’re all equally important.” — Jenny Blake

“When it comes to our careers…pivoting is often a product of success—that you’ve outgrown some previous direction or previous idea, or career incarnation, and you’re ready for something new.” —Jenny Blake

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Google

The School of Life

Universities:

University of California, Berkeley

Websites:

The Pivot Method

Books and Magazines:

Pivot

Wired

Life After College

Confessions of a Public Speaker

How to Be Bored

Seat of the Soul

Conferences:

World Domination Summit

TEDxCMU

TEDxBushwick

Software and Apps:

Google AdWords

Universal Breathing — Pranayama

Podcasts:

Pivot Podcast

People:

Kevin Kelly

Martha Beck

Chris Ducker

Joseph Campbell

Byron Katie

Gary Zukav

Oprah Winfrey

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Jenny on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Jenny on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s how to successfully pivot in business and life.

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 Startup Grind Bootstrapped from Zero to One Million with Derek Andersen

Derek Andersen was a bit of a world traveller growing up, as his family split their time between several countries in Europe and their home in Tampa, Florida. He kept traveling as an adult, jetting all around the globe to build startup communities and connect with entrepreneurs, wherever they were.

These communities are part of Startup Grind, an organization that nurtures startup ecosystems through events, media and partnerships with organizations like Google for Entrepreneurs. Andersen founded Startup Grind in 2010 with one location in Silicon Valley. Today, it’s active in nearly 100 countries around the world, including over 200 cities.

Over the years, Startup Grind has helped millions of entrepreneurs find mentorship, connect to partners and hires, pursue funding, and reach new users. Although Andersen is now settled in Redwood City, CA, it’s pretty obvious that his influence reaches far beyond the borders of California.

In our interview, Derek talked with me about the beginnings of Startup Grind, how he gets the most out of every interaction at a conference, and why VC funding isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. He’s met a ton of famous businesspeople over the years, and he also opened up about his favorite interviews and the fact that even tech giants are people, too.

Startup Grind has a ton of exciting stuff going on these days, including the rollout of their new event-hosting software (discussed in detail in this episode) and their 2017 Global Conference later this month. The conference includes an exhibition of 125 startups, and you can visit StartupGrind.com/startup if you want to apply to showcase your company!

Derek is a friendly, welcoming guy who’s happy to help you with your entrepreneurial journey if he can. You can find him on Twitter @derekjandersen, or you can shoot an email to derek@startupgrind.com if you’d like to get in touch.

In this episode with Derek Andersen, you’ll learn:

  • How to work with people at big companies (7:20)
  • What’s going on in Silicon Valley right now (14:20)
  • How Startup Grind got started (18:30)
  • Why the best startups usually begin as side projects (20:00)
  • That big names in tech are people like you and me (21:30)
  • How to get the most out of a conference or event (26:30)
  • Why he got into the events industry (27:25)
  • Why you might NOT want to accept VC funding (29:35)
  • All about Startup Grind’s new event-hosting software (34:30)
  • What to expect at Startup Grind’s upcoming global conference (41:45)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this interview with Derek Andersen.

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Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Companies and Organizations:

Edge Media Studios

Electronic Arts

IBM

Palm, Inc.

Atlassian

Uber

Qualtrics

SendGrid

ExactTarget

Salesforce

NBC Nightly News

Sun Microsystems

Oracle

Zynga

Startup Organizations, Tech Conferences and VC Firms

Startup Grind

Rise of the Rest

Techstars

500 Startups

This Week In Startups

Kleiner Perkins

TechCrunch

Web Summit

Collision

Recode

Y Combinator

People:

Tim Ferriss

Steve Case

Jason Calacanis

Naval Ravikant

Vinod Khosla

Eric Schmidt

Kevin Hartz

Ben Horowitz

Dave McClure

Michael Seibel

Websites:

LinkedIn

Dropbox

Medium

AngelList

Eventbrite

Evite

Meetup

PayPal

MailChimp

WhatsApp

Waze

DraftKings

Stripe

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.

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Derek on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Derek on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s how to work with people at big companies.

You? Leave a comment below.

WANT MORE?

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

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
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To download the PDF file for the full transcript 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. 

Paul Singh on Growing Startups and Investing Outside of Silicon Valley

Paul Singh is embracing the changing nature of the venture capital—or _VC_—game.

Formerly a partner at 500 Startups, an international VC seed fund and startup accelerator, Singh noticed that high-growth tech companies were starting to pop up all across the U.S. If he wanted to invest in the very best startups in the country, then waiting for founders to fly out to Silicon Valley and come to him wasn’t the best method anymore.

Singh decided he had to go to them.

He founded Results Junkies with his wife and started road-tripping across the country in a pickup truck and custom Airstream trailer, hosting events for entrepreneurs, meeting investors and visiting incubators and coworking spaces.

Last year, he stopped in 42 cities and met with 20,000 entrepreneurs and 1,200 early stage startups, seeking out the very best talent to invest in. And he’s doing it even bigger this year.

I’m so grateful Paul took some time to chat with me about the lessons he learned working in his hometown of Ashburn, Virginia as well as San Francisco, the role he believes venture capitalists should play in improving cities and towns across the nation, and what drives him to keep achieving better things (it’s fear!).

He also has insightful advice for anyone looking to build a company or create a startup community outside of the big coastal cities. The good news for Midwestern entrepreneurs (like me) is that technology really is a great equalizer.

Keep an eye on the Results Junkies blog for more of Paul’s thoughts on starting up outside the Valley and to follow the progress of his traveling VC firm. If you want to get in touch, you can find him on Twitter @paulsingh and on Facebook.

In this episode with Paul Singh, you’ll learn:

  • No matter what your line of work is, you’re always selling yourself 
  • Why fear drives him
  • His plans for Results Junkies in 2017 
  • How technology gives you freedom to do what you want 
  • How company building and community building are related 
  • Ways to spread a business idea outside of the Valley 

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this interview with Paul Singh.

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:

AOL

Steve Case

Ted Leonsis

George Mason University

Results Junkies

Gary Vaynerchuk

Ramit Sethi

PBworks (formerly PBwiki)

Product Hunt

MailChimp

Sweetwater Sound

1,000 True Fans

Connect with Paul Singh:

LinkedIn

Twitter

Facebook

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Paul on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Paul on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s his advice to anyone looking to build a company or create a startup community outside of the big coastal cities.

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 Customer Service and Loving Your Haters with Jay Baer of Convince & Convert

Jay Baer is a social media expert, consultant, thought leader, keynote speaker, podcaster and NY Times bestselling author of five books. He’s the most retweeted person in the world among digital marketers, which makes him practically a celebrity in that industry.

Baer is best known for founding Convince & Convert, a conversion rate optimization (or CRO) blog turned consulting firm focusing on social media marketing and customer service. He and his team work with some of the best brands in the world, including Adidas, Allstate, Cisco, Oracle, and even the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the C&C blog continues to be ranked among the very best content marketing blogs on the web, and their Social Pros podcast has been named one of the best podcasts for entrepreneurs in 2017.

Last year, Baer published his fifth book, Hug Your Haters. It’s all about how critical it is to listen to feedback from your customers—especially the ones who hate you. This is the first modern book on customer service, and it’s essential reading for anyone who cares about their business.

Jay sat down with me at the Convince & Convert headquarters in Bloomington, IN to talk about his journey as an entrepreneur, the importance of networking, how to tackle customer service in the age of Yelp reviews, and why you need to love your most vocal critics. I even walked away with a sweet pair of “I Love Haters” socks!

If you’d like to see what Jay is up to these days, jump over to his personal website, jaybaer.com, or follow him on Twitter @jaybaer.

In this episode with Jay Baer, you’ll learn:

  • How to handle dishonest customers (6:45 in unedited version)
  • Why you need to network (20:45 in unedited version)
  • How to approach customer service in the digital age (32:40 in unedited version)
  • The importance of loving your haters (36:30 in unedited version)

These show notes were originally posted on Powderkeg

Please enjoy this interview with Jay Baer.

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.

Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Jay on Twitter!

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

Click here to say hi and thank Jay on twitter!

COMMENTS?

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

For me, it’s the importance of loving your haters and his approach on customer service.

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. 

13 Ways To Calm Down And Nail Your Presentation

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 calm your nerves before a pitch or presentation?

1. Prepare for the First and Last Minutes of Your Presentation 

Knowing exactly what to say in the beginning and end of your presentation will help build confidence. This also makes it easier to get started and build some momentum throughout the presentation. Take time to practice and perfect the first and last few minute of your presentation for less panic and stronger impact.

– Diego OrjuelaCables & Sensors 

 

2. Put Everything in Perspective 

Everything is temporary. Before I go into a pitch or a presentation, I like to think about just how big our lives are and yet also how small our lives are in this world. When I start thinking about the bigger things in life, a presentation or a pitch seems relatively minor and small. In the end, it is really just a moment of your life. No matter how it turns out, you’ll be okay.

– Mark DaoustQuiet Light Brokerage, Inc. 

 

3. Think About All the ‘No’s’ You’ve Already Overcome 

If you’re making an important pitch or presentation, you’ve already hit milestones and achieved some level of success. Now think back to all the times you’ve been slowed in your journey and all the roadblocks you’ve overcome. If hearing the word “no” is the worst that could happen, and this hasn’t stopped you before, it can’t hurt you now.

– Jacob ChapmanGelt Venture Capital 

 

4. Engage the Audience 

Pitching or presenting to friends is much easier than to strangers. Before you ever get on stage or in the front of the room, make it a point to befriend at least a few people in the room. Just a few minutes of small talk around shared interests can completely calm the nerves and allow you to focus on giving them a great presentation experience. Everyone else will be along for the ride.

– Douglas HutchingsPicasolar 

 

5. Take a Walk Around the Block 

There’s no better way to calm your nerves and hit the reset button than by getting some fresh air. Prior to a big presentation, I’ve most likely been inside going through my notes for hours on end, so taking a step back and having that change of scenery enables me to clear my mind and refocus. A quick walk around the block is just enough to help me calm down and get my head in the game.

– Jared BrownHubstaff Talent 

 

6. Do 30 Seconds of High Intensity Exercise 

Jumping on a trampoline (see Tony Robbins), doing air squats, push ups, jumping jacks for 30 to 60 seconds before a critical presentation, phone call, or pitch works wonders for me. It ramps up my intensity, focuses my mind, and clears out the cobwebs. It also puts me in that positive “I-can-take-on-the-world” state of mind.

– Jeremy BrandtWeBuyHouses.com 

 

7. Change Breathing Patterns 

We often underestimate the profound and beneficial effects of changing our breathing patterns. When we’re feeling tense or nervous, focusing on our breath for a short time and changing the cadence to longer, slower, more intentional in-and-out breaths can really trigger a calming effect on your mind and body.

– Darrah BrusteinNetwork Under 40 

 

8. Remember 80% of Success is Showing Up 

It’s easy to convince yourself that you need to be pitch-perfect each and every time. The truth? Sometimes good enough is good enough. I worry less about perfection and more about making sure I seize the right opportunities.

– Richard KershawWhoIsHostingThis.com 

 

9. Record Yourself 

I record my practice sessions and watch them to see what I look like and how confident I appear. This practice and visual display help me see what my audience would see so I can make improvements. The better I think I look and present, the calmer I feel.

– Zach BinderRanklab 

 

10. Know Your Pitch Really Well 

Make sure you know your pitch or presentation really well – upside down and inside out. Practice giving your pitch to a few individuals beforehand and get their feedback on how to make it better and stronger. Finally, you should feel passionate about your message. If you’re really passionate about it, that passion will help override your nervousness and anxiety.

– Duran InciOptimum7 

 

11. Meditate 

Meditation is a tool that I have used for years to help me gain clarity and focus. Spending a few minutes before a high-stakes meeting meditating helps me feel more calm and collected, allowing me to better deliver my message.

– Mark KrassnerExpectful 

 

12. Make a Cheat Sheet 

I find it extremely helpful to make a simple and easy-to-read cheat sheet with main talking points before a pitch. This gives me an opportunity to condense the presentation into several key points that I can review leading up to the presentation. By concentrating on these key points, I can ensure that if all else fails, I am still well-versed in my talking points in the face of nerves.

– Justin LefkovitchMirrored Media 

 

13. Anticipate Questions and Over Prepare 

Before a presentation, I make sure I run through the slide deck and know exactly what I am going to say on every single slide. I also write out all of the questions I think people will ask and write down exactly how I will answer them. By over preparing, I am being respectful of my time and theirs, and setting us up for success and closing the deal.

– Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now