Social Capital

Welcome to Social Capital, a weekly podcast where we dive into social relationships and how the investment you put into them establishes trust, reciprocity, and value within your network. Your host, Lori Highby, will connect with top business professionals to dive into their best techniques and stories to share with you!
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Mar 25, 2020

Meet Lori Mendelsohn

Lori Mendelsohn is an intuitive matchmaker whose purpose is to introduce people who were meant to meet each other. Her company is SmartFunnySingle. She has introduced 15 couples who have said "I do."

Lori had a successful 33 year career as a fashion designer in LA and NYC as well as founding, building and selling Wisconsin's largest and highest awarded pet sitting and dog walking business, Wisconsin Pet Care.

Tell our listeners how you got started as a matchmaker?

So I started it when, when I was 19 years old. I had a feeling when I met someone that I knew someone who would be perfect for them. And then I introduced them and long story short, they got married. And then this kept happening over and over and over again until we got to the number 15. I think it's time for me really to look into this and figure out if this is something that I should be doing for a living? So the answer was yes. 

How is networking a part of your business?

I am networking all the time, as a matchmaker, I can't sit in my office and expect people to come to me or knock on my door and say, "Hi, I'm single." So my part of networking is I'm always out meeting people. In fact, I go up to complete strangers, and I will go up to them and ask them if they're single. And if they answer that they are single, I will ask if they'd like to have a cup of coffee with me, I'd like to get to know them, and like to see what it is that they're looking for, and if I can be of help or service to them.

How is it perceived when you just randomly go up to someone and ask them if they're single?

Well, sometimes people think that I'm hitting on them, and I have to preface it by saying it's not for me. Most people are very receptive. You know, at first they're a little put off. But then to me it's a huge compliment that you're going up to someone and saying, you look interesting. It's a compliment. 

Can you share some tips on dating? If you're just starting out from a divorce or a loss?

So the first tip is just to get started. Get yourself out there and don't look at it as the first date that I go on. I'm going to meet the man or woman of my dreams. If we go into it with really unreasonable expectations, we're only setting ourselves up to be disappointed. Now's the time to reinvent yourself and figure out what it is that makes you happy, and what it is that you want and need. So the best advice is to get out there and just kind of jump in the pool. And enjoy yourself.

Can you share with our listeners one of your favorite networking stories or experiences that you've had?

Well, I am lucky enough to be in a really great group of networking individuals called eWomen Milwaukee. And I know that you're also a part of that. And actually, Laurie, my experience is you came up to me, and I'm gonna use this as an example. And you said, you know, Lori, I have a mother. You start to tell me about your lovely mother. We had lunch together, we got to know each other a little bit better. I think that our purpose really was to get to know each other better, rather than for me to find someone for your mother. But as it turned out, that whole magic happened. And I met your mother and and the rest is history.

How do you stay in front of a nurture your network in your community?

I like to reach out and thank people as much as I can. And using that line, "how can I help you" does just that. Someone may not even be thinking about me. But if I reach out to them and say, what can I help you with? They may think, yeah, you know what, Laurie, you may know someone who can help me. 

What advice would you offer business professionals looking to grow their network?

Much like dating you just get out there and do it. I don't always feel like going out. But I forced myself to get out. And I forced myself to go to a meeting and show up. And if I show up in the position of, I'm going to meet someone and hopefully help them. I'm doing something good for the community and for the world.

In your opinion, digital networking or traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?

For me in my business, personally for what I'm looking for, it's meeting someone in person. When I meet someone, I want hear their story, and I want to hear how I can help them. And that's hard to do digitally. It takes a lot more time to be texting back and forth or emailing back and forth or instant messaging back and forth. And you're not really getting a sense of what the person is. 

If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of or differently with regards to your professional career?

I would say to my 20 year old self, that everyone has balloons going around their head saying things, and either you can accept the things that are being said, that you think that people are saying, or you can get past it and say, everybody has an issue. Just keep going.

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you can do it within the sixth degree?

The one person I'd personally like to connect to is Andy Garcia. Although I don't think that he is within the six degrees of separation. I'd like also, Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker, I would like to connect to her. There may be six degrees of separation, but I'd really like to know why she felt that it was so important to be so very mean to people. And a lot of that could have been for the show. But I always try to lead with kindness. And, and she liked to lead with humiliation. And I'd like to know, this being tongue in cheek, how'd that work for you?

What final word of advice would you offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

You just get out and do it and you set some some goals that you actually can achieve. So the goals could be that you're going to have breakfast, lunch, dinner, a drink with at least three people that week, or you're going to send out 10 emails, or you're going to connect with them on LinkedIn, or you're going to find something interesting about them on Facebook and reach out to them. Set a goal for yourself each week that you actually can achieve. And then circle back after you've met with those people a couple of weeks later just saying how you appreciate their time, and you want to reconnect with them and see if there's anything else that you can offer for them at that time.

How to connect with Lori:





Phone: 414-914-1575

Mar 23, 2020

Meet Craig Lemasters

Craig Lemasters is an advisor, entrepreneur, investor, and board member with more than two decades of success in executive leadership positions, now dedicated to helping leaders get unstuck on major growth challenges.

Craig works with global enterprises, focused on identifying knowledge gaps, aligning organizations around core initiatives, and enabling critical decision making. He was previously the CEO of Assurant Solutions, where he led the firm's digital transformation and global expansion.

Help me understand this stuck concept to what is it and why is it so important to networking effectively?

Yeah, so I've used the word stuck for probably the last decade or so when I ran a big company and that's that's sort of my background. Now the last three years with GX GE and building this business model was this idea that, again, in very simple terms, we as leaders get stuck on really hard stuff. And let's just be super candid about it and have the humility to admit it. But we always have to be transforming and moving these enterprises forward. And the further away we get from our core, and in my opinion, the harder it gets, and that's where we tend to get stuck and it's what happened to me at Assurant. So where does the networking come in or my version of networking really, is what I would call this wisdom based learning that would that I bumped into, quite candidly six years ago. 

You caught my attention with the phrase wisdom based learning, can you kind of go a little bit deeper on that?

This whole business model really that we build was around the idea that when we get stuck on hard stops, what it really means is, and my definition of wisdom, again is very simple. It's this unique intersection of knowledge and experience. But it has to be both. And so what I've found over the years that if we get stuck on hard stuff, if somehow we can very intentionally interject that definition of wisdom, so other people that happen to have the knowledge and experience that have just simply gone before us, and done the things that I'm trying to do, and we put that into a highly facilitated format, we can get unstuck very quickly. We were meant to learn, or at least I believe we were meant to learn very quickly if it was in the right format. And so that's what I mean by wisdom based learning is how do we put people around us that have gone before us and have the knowledge and experience on very specific things. And the specificity is super important.

When it comes to asking for an hour of someone's time, that can be very intimidating. From your experience, why would someone want to participate in a one on one conversation?

We work on two formats. One of our formats is sort of our version of executive coaching, which is, we build a learning ecosystem around a leader, which really are individuals that we think have the right wisdom to transfer. That's the one-hour conversation that we facilitate with people. And then we also do advisory board work where we're actually asking individuals to join the advisory board which is a day and a half commitment, three meetings over eight months. And we actually have a waiting list of people that want to do this. People want to help other people. And if we ask them in the right way, at the right time, and then we do the work for them. We don't then ask people to do a bunch of work and we don't ask them to be uncomfortable with their schedule. Then I find people love pouring their wisdom into others.

What inspired you to ultimately embark on this 2.0 career after leaving your public company CEO life?

A lot of my friends and family thought it was kind of nutty, quite frankly, because it was. A few years ago, actually, before I turned 65, that it just really struck me that I've been blessed with good health and same with my wife and we both just kind of wanted to do some other things and just try to help people in different ways. And a big part of it was learning this wisdom based learning methodology. And I just got to the point where I just really wanted to go share it with other leaders. And then quite frankly, I wish somebody had shared it with me when I was in my 30s, 40s or even early 50s. And so that's what I decided to go do is just to go out and tell the story and build a team.

Can you share with our listeners your most successful or favorite networking experience that you've had?

My networking story is that I was actually also one of the guinea pigs early on for our version of executive coaching. So basically, it was, again a network of people where we had these one hour facilitated conversations. So probably my favorite story is I've been struggling trying to take our company into China, and we've actually expanded into Asia, but China had been found very challenging as most do. So the very first connection calls were with people who had wisdom about doing business in China. I talked with a guy named Jim Firestone and I had no idea how this call would go but I had this one hour facilitated call, which was 100%, about him sharing his wisdom on how to do business in China. And the three or four things I was struggling with. And it just changed my thinking probably forever around how we should be learning. So that's probably one of my highlights on my networking.

What advice would you offer that business professionals are really looking to grow their network?

So where I would start is, what is the output we're looking for? So why build your own network? I think it hopefully comes down to two, three, no more than four buckets of things or as I would call wisdom, that you'd really like to have. And whether it's to do your current role better or for the role you aspire to. And then a second thing is be super intentional about how you go find those people. Because again, it's a little bit of a slippery slope, because people will tend to think they have a lot of wisdom across every topic. But the reality is we don't. Third thing I would say is, again, back to reciprocity. This only works if people actually believe that you want to help them learn and grow as well. And again, I'd be super intentional about that. And the last piece is is to really prepare. And again, if you reach out on your own and you find people or create your own networking group or start participating in one, show up prepared and know who the people are and exactly what you're trying to learn from them. And, and then the last thing is have fun with it. I mean, there's nothing more enjoyable than building your own network of people that you can go to and go to repeatedly. 

So if you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of or differently with regards to your professional career?

I wish when I was 28, somebody taught me how to go find, intentionally find, the wisdom I needed to do my job better and to get the next job that I aspire to. I think the second thing and I had some good mentors that actually were pretty insistent with me on this, but there's just never too much and that's this thing called humility.

So do you have any final words or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I would do it very process wise. Be super intentional about it and start with your own learning gaps. Be very honest with yourself, draw a picture, put yourself in the middle and just draw an ecosystem. What are the three or four things that you really need to learn to do your job better, and to get the next job you want? Start with and really understand what you're trying to learn and and be super specific and intentional about the outreach and then have a blast with it.

How to connect with Craig:




Mar 18, 2020

Meet Luke Doubler

Luke Doubler is an innovator in talent sourcing. He has trained 1000s of corporate and agency recruiters to be the best at what they do: source talent to achieve a purpose. After a decade of leading recruiting teams at Target, Cargill, and Schwans, he currently leads, a Wayzata, MN-based search firm. He’s also an active blogger and partner of and,

Why did you leave a solid six figure, corporate America, job and dive into starting your own business?

At the end of the day, it's about fulfilling your purpose. About five years ago, as a nurse, my wife would go in and she became a nurse to help people but she wanted to make a bigger impact and really put her her name onto something greater and she was helping people but she felt she could help them a lot more and she really felt that really the key to great health is is a great lifestyle and ultimately, healthy food to be or your medicine. I was working in corporate America at Target Corporation. Loved the company, loved my team, but I felt I could lead bigger teams and really do what I love which is sourcing talent and teaching people how to be better recruiters. And so thus began Recruiter Central where a team of 12 recruiters who feel difficult to fill jobs that recruiters central we fill difficult jobs. And that's really kind of the impetus for where I got to where I am.

Why do so many people fail to realize what their full potential and purposes?

The first step is often always the hardest and not everybody takes it.  I went to college, have a degree and I realized that a lot of my mentors were the wrong mentors. What I started doing was just reading everybody who was successful. What I mean by success is either they've accomplished something great, they're happy in life, they've built businesses. And when you start to really listen to those people who usually are smarter, more talented than me, certainly, you'll learn a number of things, but there's a lot of common themes amongst their books that you probably maybe miss in college and surrounding yourself with people who are smarter and more talented then certainly me has been my real secret to success in life.

So what's your advice on I'm obtaining true health and wealth?

With my wife's blog, Real Food RN, we always talk about just eat natural, eat healthy. Happiness is something that's different for everybody but to achieve to really fulfill your potential, health really has to be part of it. So dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle and the secret to success is just to get up and rededicate yourself to it every single day. It takes a lot of hard work, and I have so much to learn, but that's what worked with us so far. Rededicate yourself every day and that for us that starts at five o'clock in the morning, you know, hitting the gym, eating healthy, but once you got those things in line, everything else kind of becomes a lot easier. You don't have to worry about being fatigued, you don't have to worry about being sick or tired. You get your diet in place, and you can think clearer, you have a lot more mental stamina. Recall is so much better. For me, it's the only way to live. 

Can you share with our listeners your most successful or favorite networking experience that you've had?

Networking is an ongoing thing. It has to be an ongoing thing. And we have great tools out there like LinkedIn. Always be networking and have that mindset. You never know who's going to be that next key for you. And with tools like LinkedIn, you can easily nurture and constantly provide value to a network. So everybody you meet, get their name, get their title, get their their contact, include them in your network. It's something that needs to be ongoing and constant.

How do you stay in front of or best nurtures relationships?

Ask yourself one thing, what is your brand? What is your brand and when you define what your brand is show up as that leader every day. So for me, I want to be a recruiting innovator, a strategic business leader, and a keynote speaker in the recruiting space. So what do I do? Well, I act like it. So I constantly engage with that type of material. You need to nurture your digital brand. And so I'm always engaging authentically with that type of material and I want to be strategic about it. 

What advice would you offer the business professionals looking to grow their network?

Don't be afraid to fail. Definitely, as a recruiter, I have to reach out to hundreds of people before I get a hire, that's one. When you start you have a business plan in place, but know that it's almost certainly going to change. And most importantly, is listen to what your audience is asking for.

So a lot of what you're talking about seems to be online activities, which I refer to as digital networking. But traditional networking can be extremely powerful as well. Between the two, which one do you find more value in?

Go where the talent community is and place your message there. So for me as a recruiter, I have kind of weaseled my way into some of the biggest recruiting conferences that exist and I talk about recruiting stuff in front of thousands of people. That's a way to definitely get authentic long term relationships is to start with some sort of actual real life connection, but then you nurture it digitally. 

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation. Now who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with, and do you think you could do that within the sixth degree?

Absolutely. With digital tools that exist, and this is what I talk about as a recruiter, as a speaker in the recruiting space is how to find people how to find information. And it's never been easier. And that's why recruiting is such an exciting field to be in right now is because there's more information now than ever, and it continues to grow at an amazing rate. There's so many amazing authors that I'll throw out there. I've been really big in the Donald Miller's stuff. StoryBrand. He has some great stuff in story brand. Seth Godin, Permission Marketing. I've always been a fan of Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. He's been a big inspiration for me.

Have you initiated reaching out to any of those authors?

Yeah, absolutely. Get them in your network. Now find the popular people, find the influencers and connect with them. 

Do you have any kind of word or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

And so I just finished a book by Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success and one quote I want to take from it is, we like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who are born different from us. We don't like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary. I think about the people who I admire and they may have some special talent and gift but regardless, they had to try hard every day to make themselves extraordinary. And it's nearly not a secret how they do it. It's a lot of hard work. It's listening, it's growing, it's learning. And so that would be one of my final things I'd like to share.

How to connect with Luke:



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Mar 16, 2020

Meet Christopher Gerg

Christopher Gerg is the CISO and VP of Cyber Risk Management at Gillware. He is a technical lead with 20+ years of information security experience tackling the challenges of cloud-based hosting, DevOps, managed security services, e-commerce, healthcare, financial, and payment card industries. He has worked in mature information security teams as well as building secure technical environments – all while working with the boardroom to promote executive understanding and support.

Your company does a lot of work with incident response, what is the most common kind of attack that you're seeing right now?

I think probably over 95% of what we're seeing is has to do with ransomware and wire transfer fraud. Wire transfer fraud is more of a human problem than is it is a technical problem and it's really just someone tricking someone else into transferring money where they they shouldn't. A lot of people have in their mind what ransomware is, and I think what a lot of people have in their mind is is wrong, frankly, you don't just get something in your email, double click it and then you have ransomware. Ransomware is the last step and kind of a conventional attack and a conventional hack, where they've been in your environment for four to eight months or longer. And they find where I jokingly say the soft chewy center of your company is and and encrypt that so that you're you're almost forced to pay the ransom or face a huge amount of downtime.

So what advice do you offer to help organizations protect themselves from these types of incidents?

Use multi factor authentication, the little code generator app on your smartphone is a good start. Locking down services that are available to the public internet. Windows remote desktop protocol RDP it's a way to get a remote desktop on a computer and people use that for remote access to their computers from from like trying to work from home. I think the two other things would maybe be make sure everything's up to date with patches. And I think finally, just kind of awareness. I didn't come up with it, but I'm using it a lot more is the human firewall. The people sitting at the desk are a big and important component to your information security program. And so the people sitting at the desk and checking their email and doing your company's business really need to be aware of what to click on what not to click on. 

How would you recommend a smaller organization such as my myself, help to educate the other team members and to make sure that they're not clicking on things they shouldn't?

There's one that's actually local to me called the InfoSec Institute. They do online information security awareness training, and also phishing testing. They charge by the seat, and so it almost doesn't matter if you're a four person shop or a 3000 person shop. You're paying just a fixed amount, it may be, 10s of dollars a month. But that training is kind of a big deal. And the nice thing too is it's not just information security awareness training there's also kind of the certification training too. 

Do you see smaller companies or are these larger corporate entities kind of getting the majority of these attacks?

I think it's pretty democratic and how it goes after things. Everyone has a chance of getting it. They really do just scan for vulnerable services and if they find one they get in. The other aspect of this that kind of blew my mind when I started doing this kind of work is, these are organized, essentially companies, that are doing these criminal activities. They've got help desks, they've got websites, they have email addresses. And so they have different teams in that there's some teams that just scan in an automated way the entire internet looking for vulnerable services, if they find one, they try to exploit it usually again, in an automated way. And if they get one it shows up on a list and then they they pass that list to the next phase, the other team and they try to exploit it and if they can exploit it, they get in. Once they're in, either through email or through a vulnerable service. They then download software so that they have more of a foothold in your environment and then just start exploring. 

Are there pros and cons from having all of your company documentation on the cloud versus keeping it in an internal server?

Well, I think the only risk is one of people take the assumption that someone else is taking care of it. Where they just kind of throw the responsibility for security over the wall to the cloud provider. The reality is that it's someone else's computer in someone else's data center. It's still a computer, whether it's virtual or not, it's still sitting in a rack somewhere. It's still plugged into a network somewhere. And it's still sitting in a building somewhere. And so if you have that in your mind, and you just treat it like you're leasing the machine from a hardware vendor and storing it in a co-location facility your your responsibilities are the same. 

Can you help our listeners kind of remove networking fear by sharing one of your favorite networking stories or experiences that you've had?

If you've got a chance to go out and have coffee with someone, whether they're in your your field or not, go have coffee with them, or if they invite you out to lunch or whatever. You're going to learn something. You're going to make a connection. In fact, the the job I'm in right now came from an acquaintance of mine that I haven't worked with in 20 years. But we've stayed connected and he heard about an opportunity and gave me a call and said they're looking for someone. So it doesn't have to be hard.

How do you stay in front of or best nurture your relationships?

I think it takes some effort. You know, it's kind of the curse of the organized person, if I didn't organize get togethers with my friends, they probably just wouldn't happen. I usually seem to be the one to organize it and it's a little bit of a burden, but I get to see my friends and so it's absolutely worth it. I've had a lot of really good times going to some Madison Chamber of Commerce, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce events. They're well organized and well attended and I meet a lot of really interesting people. And it takes some effort and you need to step away from your desk to do it. But I think I think the benefits outweigh the inconvenience for sure.

What advice would you offer the business professional who's looking to grow their network?

I think the best advice to growing the community is find organizations that do what you do. Find groups of like minded people. Connections you make that are or aren't related to your your specific job will have benefits. You just need to get to know people face to face. But if you can, if you can find a balance there, where it's also related to stuff you do that's gonna help you professionally as well.

Between digital networking and traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?

You need the digital side to keep in touch because that's just how people keep in touch. I don't answer my phone, it has to go to voicemail. So even to that degree, people just don't talk on the phone anymore. So you need to go to these in person things, whether it's a conference or a symposium, or it's a meetup group or a community event. I think it's more important to meet people face to face.

If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of, or differently with regards to your professional career?

But I think I would have better work life balance. I'm getting my private pilot's license right now. It's something I've wanted to since I was a little kid. I would have told myself 20 years ago to take the time and do it then.

So we've all heard of six degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the sixth degree?

I would love to sit down and chat with Bill Gates. He's got a lot of incredible insights. And he's doing what I would hope people with his affluence and influence would do. One of the most incredible charity stories there is. And his ability to influence public opinion is is incredible. I'd love to pick his brain.

Any final word or advice for our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

Don't be afraid to go out there and prioritize it. It is important. Being able to look someone in the eye and talk about what you do and be excited and passionate about it speaks volumes and let's people know how competent you are.

How to with Christopher:




Mar 11, 2020

Meet Froswa' Booker-Drew

I am intrigued by relationships, particularly building networks to address issues in organizations and communities. Because of my extensive background in leadership, nonprofit management, partnership development, training and education, I've been quoted in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Thrive Global, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. As Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas, I lead a department focused on community initiatives and philanthropy.

You've been doing some research so can you can you share with us what your research is about?

When I started my dissertation, I was really thinking about this term called asset based community development, which really is looking at how all communities, no matter how challenged they may be, have these assets. And part of that is social capital, and that relationships are found in every community. And so just going through learning about how social capital has shown up, I wanted to find out how women who were diverse, shared social capital, because there really wasn't a lot of research that looked at how diverse women come together and do that.

How do you identify assets in your community for local business?

Two authors, McKnight and Kretzmann, talk about five areas that  exist in every community that are assets. It is the local economy, looking at businesses, chambers of commerce, it is associations. So those homeowners associations, looking at sororities, fraternities, all of those, and then they talk about institutions as another one. So your hospitals, media, those are institutions. And then lastly, kind of open space. So for local businesses, it's really important to think about in those five categories, where can you find potential partners that can either create visibility. Are there opportunities for corporate social responsibility where you can do some of your giving? And in every community, regardless of how challenged or marginalized it is, there are all these assets that are opportunities for businesses to engage where they can create a client base, but in addition, look at it as a way to give back.

So you've got a book out there, "Rules of Engagement to Making Connections Last." Can you tell us a little bit about that?

That book is really based on my research group with these women. I started learning all these lessons from these ladies, and I think that's the power of social capital is the storytelling. When we're in proximity with people, we can learn so many things. And I noticed the women in the group experience something called "perception transformation." It's when I'm listening to you, what I may have is an idea can change because I'm in a relationship now and I'm going, wow, that happened to you? It may not be my experience, but now I can identify with it. And so I took all of these experiences that I learned from the ladies, including my own and created a workbook that has a number of lessons in it to help people think about the way that they engage.

Could you share with our listeners, one of your favorite networking stories or experiences that you've had?

My former boss taught me this tool that he said when he meets people, he doesn't start off talking about himself. He always asked people tell me your story. And I found that to be so profound, because one thing that we know, many of us like to share about ourselves and talking about ourselves, and it takes away the anxiety of walking in going, here's my business card, who are you?

So how do you stay in front of her best nurture your network and your community?

I am one who likes to immediately when I meet someone within 24 hours, I would send an email and thank them for meeting with me. Or if I got a card, I try to follow up with people. Instead, we can sit down and have lunch, it's become a little bit more complicated now because of the work that I'm in and the number of people that I'm blessed to meet. But I try to make sure that I'm keeping in contact with people, whether that is, making sure that I'm providing valuable information on my Facebook page or LinkedIn. I really use my Facebook page as a tool to provide information and so that is a way that I'm able to still engage my network and people are able to see that you're a resource.

Between digital networking and traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?

I love the face to face and talking to people. I like to be able to see
reactions sometimes Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and all those things are great because it's instant information sharing. But you don't get the opportunity to hear intonation and inflection and all those different things and body language. 

So we've all heard of the six degrees of separation. Who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the six degree?

Oprah Winfrey. I would love to meet Oprah. Yeah, I think it's possible. I have some folks that I know who know some people know her and it's probably not even six degrees. I think we're all so connected. I think it's learning to leverage those networks that we have. And so I'm trying to leverage that now.

Any final word or advice for our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I think it's just getting out there. Get started. Don't allow fear to get in the way of possibly meeting someone that can help transform your life and your business. If you commit to twice a month to having coffee with someone and meeting new people, man, imagine what your network is going to look like at the end of the year because of all the people that they will commit you to.

How to connect with Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew:




Mar 9, 2020

Meet Elzie D. Flenard

Elzie D. Flenard, III is the founder of Enterprise NOW!. Elzie is also the host of the Enterprise NOW! Podcast. Elzie has more than a decade of experience as an engineering professional and entrepreneur. He thrives on thinking outside the box, bringing the best out of entrepreneurs, and driving results. He provokes thought, challenges creativity and inspires persistence. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Carroll University and is an Accredited Small Business Consultant.

What is a good way to communicate brand message?

I think the best way to communicate anything really is the way that's authentic and genuine to who you are and your voice.

What is the best way to get started in podcast?

I think a lot of times people say just get started. I'm gonna advise against that. I'm gonna say do some homework first. I always advise people to get a coach. Get someone who knows the ropes, who's done it before to kind of help you save time and frustration. And really just focus on your why. Why do you want to do a podcast? Are you doing it because it's the big thing? And everybody else is doing it? Or is there a method to it? So know your purpose, get a coach, and then just do it, don't sit on it.

How would an entrepreneur know if podcasting is a good fit for their business or their brand?

Hone into your point of who your audience is and where do they hang out? If that's where your audience is, and that's where you want to reach them and audio is the method that you want to use, then podcasting is probably a good method for that.

Can you share with our listeners your most successful or favorite networking story or experience that you've had?

So I have a guy on my show once and I'm at a networking event and I'm in the room just mingling and introducing myself and I hear this voice from across the room. And then my ears perk up and I recognize that voice and so I poke my head up and I see the person from which this voice is coming from and I'm like, hey, so and so and he sees me, he hears me. He's like, hey, how are you? And we like meet in the middle of a room and there was like this, this reunion of people and yet we have never met before. So that just speaks to the power of podcasting and the ability to build those relationships. And it's really networking.

How do you nurture or stay in front of the community that you're building?

Continuing to network because a lot of times I think people will start strong and then they kind of temper off. Because in my mind, relationships are the whole game. So in terms of follow up that looks like paying attention, being present, actively listening and really embracing and being deliberate and intentional about building those relationships. So I think being authentic, intentional and just deliberate.

What advice would you offer that business professional who's really looking to grow their network?

I always say find the right pond. You just have to make sure you're fishing at the right pond. So find the pond and again, be authentic, be genuine, and do more of the things that work and stop doing the things that don't work.

Digital networking or traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?

I'm going to give the answer of both because, honestly, it is both. For example, this morning I met for coffee with a gentleman that I met on LinkedIn. So glad that that we were able to connect. I'm going to say both and I think you can't really have one without the other. But I tend to lean toward the face to face personal interaction.

If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of or differently with regards to your professional career?

I would tell myself to focus on learning how the business operates, focus on it from the owners perspective. And I would tell myself to focus on the focus and to always pay attention to perspective and how that impacts my current world.

So we've all heard of the six degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you can do it within the six degree?

The person will be Magic Johnson. I don't know if I can do it with the six degrees because I know he's a really busy guy. But I admire his story, where he came from and he turned his passion into his business and he's just an incredibly successful entrepreneur. I've watched him from being a player to some of the ways that he went and got mentors and learned business and then went out and, and adapted it to fit him. He was extremely self aware. He knew, hey, this works for these people. But this works for me. And he's been able to carve out a really good business for himself.

So anything you want to share with our listeners that you're listening to you or find fascinating or that you're reading that's kind of helped you with some of your journey along the way.

The main way that I'm getting business knowledge is through my podcast, interviewing these people. They are fantastically successful and they have these amazing stories. So I learned a lot from them. Right now I'm reading this book called Anti Hustle. The premise of it is, is that you want to work smarter and not harder and just really being intentional and focused on the focus.

Do you have any final words or advice for our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I would say focus on the focus. And I know I keep saying this, but be authentic. Being genuine and really caring about your relationships and nurturing those relationships. I think that is going to take you a long way. So there's no shortcut.

How to connect with Elize:




Mar 2, 2020

Meet Cory Nichols

Cory is the co-CEO of Yes Life Companies and operates Yes Life Financial, a non-traditional financial coaching firm that offers one-on-one advice in a subscription format for just $25/month. Cory is the go-to for just about everything. Retirement planning? Check! Student loan questions? Got it! Building a deck? He’s done that, too. Cory brings an MBA, Fortune 500 experience and small business executive experience with him. 

What should I look for in a financial advisor?

When you're really working with a financial advisor, I always tell people we want to be clear about where compensation comes from. Financial services, one of those odd ones, to me, it's kind of like health care. We don't necessarily know what we pay for. Don't be afraid to ask the question of your advisor. How do you get paid? Where does it come from? Is that in my best interest? I think that's always a great place to start when finding a financial advisor.

What is the best way to ensure that I stick to my budget?

Well, first, get rid of your budget. I know that sounds odd. The issue with budgeting for most people is they only include the big items, housing, car, gas. They never consider the fact that it's always somebody's birthday, or it's a holiday or something is going to break in the car, the house or a medical bill. And so what I encourage people to do is actually look backwards, do an expense tracker and say, hey, look, if I'm going to start fresh today, what do I spend on average, every month. And let me do that by looking at the past three months worth of expenses. I think it helps people have a little bit more of like a personal realization about where they spend too much money.

What should I do to prepare for a possible recession?

So this is one of those ones where in my opinion is less is more. But the reality is, a recession is probably coming. It's not really a matter of if, it's just a matter of when, but that doesn't mean that you need to be doing anything else or anything different. If you've got your emergency fund, you're good there. If you've got your, retirement set up and it's invested appropriately, don't change anything. It's really stay the course.

Can you share with our listeners your most successful or one of your favorite networking experiences that you've had?

I met an individual who owned a business, gave him a tour of my school's campus at the time and it was a relatively casual conversation but ended with here's my card and that was it. We walked our separate ways. I think I saw him like once or twice the rest of the semester. But other than that we didn't really interact at all. And then I graduated from school, went to work and one day, like two years later, I got a phone call from this business owner and he said, I'm looking for somebody to run a branch of my business. I'd like to hire you will you relocate back to Richmond? And that's where I'm from now.

How do you stay in front of or nurture your network in your community?

In the last couple of years, social media has become more prevalent than it used to be. And so as a result, you can do a certain amount of nurturing by just staying top of mind by constantly engaging with them on social. So it might be as simple as a like or comment on some of their posts. And then I made a much more conscious effort to identify strategic people inside my network, and really make an effort to actually spend one hour with them maybe once a quarter.

What advice would you offer business professionals looking to grow their network?

You got to get out there and be authentic and just do it a lot. And so that's hard work. Like I think some people just think networking comes natural to some people but I don't know anybody who networking comes 100% natural to them. They may be good at it, but that doesn't mean it just came naturally. Like it's probably just that they put themselves in a position to do it enough times and eventually they just get better at it. And so like anything there's kind of this art and the science of it.

Digital networking or traditional networking - which do you find more value in? 

I think if you'd asked me like 24 months ago, I probably would have said, traditional in person shaking hands networking. But I have really focused my attention from a business perspective on social media networking and I really think I've like started to see just how powerful it is. And so there's a balance between both but I think if I was forced to put a vote into one category, I think I would say I have to go digital. Because I think the power of it is just going to be astronomical going forward.

If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of, less of, or differently with regards to your professional career?

I would tell myself to take a lot more risk. I was kind of raised to think to go the corporate route, you get your nine to five, make your 401k and make your contributions and 40 years later, you're able to hang it up and enjoy the good life. And I went that route. I went that route for about eight years. After I was terminated from a job, I went down the path of going on the entrepreneurial route and going into finance.

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation. Now, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you can do it in the six degrees?

Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National. That is like the dream place to play. It's the only thing I know to be on my father's bucket list. And so I have it on my list, like I got to get myself and my father to be able to play Augusta National Golf Course. Whatever it takes. So if it's just six degrees, then yes, I would. I should be running for it like tomorrow. Find a way to get get the old man and myself on Augusta National to play around a golf.

Any final word of advice for our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I think the biggest one is just around being authentic. And I say that, knowing that I still struggle to be my authentic self. And I think that changes over time as we evolve and grow as people. But there's a great book that I recently read, which is called Own Your Weird by Jason's Zook, and I think he just does a really good job of demonstrating that when you are your authentic self whether odd or weird that as that is you attract people who find you enjoyable and those are people who are more likely to support you and to recommend you and to do business with you and all those things that you want to have from networking.

How to connect with Cory:




Feb 28, 2020

Meet Nela Dunato

Nela Dunato is a graphic designer and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building brands and digital platforms for service based businesses and non-profit organizations. She’s also the author of the book “The Human Centered Brand”, a practical guide that teaches service based business owners how to create an authentic brand and grow meaningful relationships with their clients.

What does it mean to have a brand?

What it means is that there are people outside of your immediate social circle, people that you never met, but that they've heard about you, about what you do and they have formed some kind of opinion and impression about you. So that means that you have a brand because there there are people who have never met you but you've entered kind of their consciousness and their sphere of influence.

What exactly is the difference between a personal brand and a corporate or business brand?

A personal brand is, as the name says, it's related to the person and it follows you around. No matter where you work, no matter which company you're in, and it's an asset that you can use. Corporate brands are a bit impersonal. Sometimes we forget that there are people behind the brand, although people have made them but they really belong to a group of people or a business entity. 

Do you have any tips that you can share with in regards to leveraging branding when it comes to networking so that people remember you better?

When you're meeting new people come up with a really short and clear and concise introduction. My tip is don't use industry jargon or buzz words. Talk like real people talk. Another tip that I give to people is to wear a signature color, like a detail or a clothing item that is in what I refer to "your color" because I'm sure most people have something that they feel is their color and double down on that.

Can you share with our listeners your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?

My dearest and best client that I still work with, we met when we were teenagers, and we met accidentally on a bus while we were going to school. About 10 years later he started his own business and contacted me and asked if I could create a logo and website for him and six years later we're still working together. Don't discount those relationships that you make on a daily basis because you never know where they may lead.

How do you stay in front of or best nurture your community and your network?

I use a combination of showing up at local events in person to meet new people and to deepen the relationships that I already have with people in my community, and I use social media to keep these people updated on what I'm working on and just staying in touch. So it's a combination of in-person and digital.

What advice would you offer to business professionals that are looking to grow their network?

Go and find something fun to do around other people because networking doesn't have to look like business conferences or meetups or brunches. You can meet new interesting people at a book club, or an organized hiking trip, or cultural events, or anywhere that there are people that kind of like the same things that you like.

If you could go back to your 20-year-old self what would you tell yourself to do more of, less of, or differently with regards to your professional career?

I believe that I would do better if I didn't listen to so much other people's advice at the time and I would prefer not to have second guessed myself and my own decisions because that was a big issue with me in my 20s. 

Are there any books that you're reading or podcasts that you're listening to or anything you want to share with our listeners?

I'm reading the book, No Logo, which is maybe a bit ironic for a branding specialist to read. It's Naomi Klein's critique of basically brands occupation of public spaces that happened in the 80s and the 90s. And I feel that it's important for people in marketing to examine the effect that our work has on society because individually, we're like tiny fishes in a pond. But collectively, we're a very strong force that shapes our society and shape our communities, and the marketing has done a lot of damage for society. So I think it's really important for us to kind of examine this ethical side. 

Any final words or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I'd say, make sure to put in as much goodwill in relationships that you're growing as you can, more than you ask for in return. Don't be that person who sees every interaction as a transaction. Because people will quickly notice that and it creeps them out a bit when they see that someone just sees them as a way to get something out of you. So just go into relationships with your willingness to help and your willingness to do something for them, even if they never do anything for you.

How to connect with Nela:

Download a Free Chapter of Nela's book, "The Human Centered Brand: A Practical Guide to Being Yourself in Business" by going here:




Feb 26, 2020

Meet Britt Bolnick

Britt Bolnick is a successful biz owner and magic maker living a life she loves in Maine. She has traveled a path from financial scarcity to financial independence, building a 6-figure business she loves, as a single mama working less than full-time. 

Britt mentors women who are 100% committed to building thriving businesses that create visibility and wealth without compromising personal life OR sanity- teaching women to use authentic connections to build success, vs. high ad spend.

How do you go about teaching business owners who dislike networking to network comfortably?

So one of the things that I do is really pull back from the word networking to really talk about how networking is just about building relationships and just about forming connections.

What are some of your networking pet peeves?

So my pet peeve is when the focus is taken off of building connections and relationships and more about the hustle. How many cards can hand out or who you can tell about what you're doing.

So what are some of your favorite networking tips?

So one of my favorite things to do is to walk in with a bunch of questions that I want to ask other people. People love talking about themselves. And it becomes a really easy way to start a conversation that isn't just small talk and can kind of pass into real connection faster. 

Can you share your most successful or favorite networking experience that you've had?

The networking that I love are smaller groups that are sort of centered around a conversation. Someone will pose a place where she's stuck or a question she has and we will kind of chime in to help. But it's a great way of networking, because it allows you to really be authentic and be of service, which is one of the best ways to get someone to really remember you and your work.

How do you stay in front of or best nurture your community and your network?

So I do it by doing the things that I love. I really love Facebook for its possibility for connection. I use social media as a way to connect with people. And that's something that I love doing on the day to day but then the other way that I really get in front of people and get visible is in small groups. I might do that by doing an in person workshop or by showing up at the smaller networking events that I really love. 

What advice would you offer to the business professionals looking to grow their network?

So number one is be of service in an authentic way. Think of what your ideal clients needs. And then talk about that by giving tips and tools. Figure out how you can help people to get what they want.

Digital networking or traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?

Digital Marketing is easiest because I'm in front of my computer all day long. But I really use a mix of digital marketing and in person, live events because there's something that happens when you're in a room with people that cannot be replicated by digital marketing. 

If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of/less of or differently with regards to your professional career?

I definitely would have believed in myself a little sooner. It took me a long time to believe in myself, and I think I could have done so much more. 

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation. Now who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with. And do you think you can do it within the sixth degree?

I also started a nonprofit dog rescue about three years ago. And it's really my heart and soul in so many different ways. It would probably be Tia Torres of Pit Bulls and Parolees, or Jon Stewart, who also does a lot with animal rescue. But someone who could really help us with our mission in terms of getting more eyes and funding.

What book are you reading right now?

"Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek. I really love his book but I can't read it without a marker in my hand. Because I really love what he's saying about really connecting to the "why" and letting that be your fuel.

Any final word or advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

I just really encourage people to think of how you can connect to and serve other people. There's not a single person on this planet that you cannot connect with in some way shape or form. So it becomes this kind of magical invitation to find the way to connect with the person in front of you.

How to connect with Britt:



Feb 24, 2020

Meet Chris Yoko

Driven by an indefatigable determination to make the world a better place, Chris is focused on helping people, and the organizations they belong to, pave the road to a more utopian world. He primarily does this by helping these like-minded organizations build and champion themselves using their most powerful asset, their web presence. When Chris isn’t fearlessly leading, you’ll likely find him playing hockey, reading, or playing and exploring with his incredible wife and two daughters.

Can you share with our listeners, one of your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?

Yeah, so my favorite networking experiences I'm actually a part of, I'm just outside of DC and there's a group here called Qadri DC. Sometimes people have a negative connotation with that word networking and they wanted to flip that on the head. So it's a little bit more what can I do for other people and karmically that comes back around. 

How do you stay in front of or nurture these relationships that you've built?

That's something I think all of us struggle with. Having people join us for other events that are going on has been a really good one. It's a great way just to make sure you stay in touch with people even if they can't make it. The the fact that you want to offer to take them as a guest is I think a huge deal.

What advice would you offer the business professional who's looking to grow their network?

Nothing seems to replace just getting out there and doing it. And a lot of people think like, oh, I gotta go to the classic like networking events and stuff like that. But just about every really good opportunity I've had has come from me reaching out to a couple people that I didn't know or barely knew and asking, hey, it looks like you've built something really cool, accomplished something really cool or, whatever the case might be and ask if they would be game for me to buy a drink, catch up and maybe learn a little bit more about how you did that and mostly asking questions and listening. 

Digital networking or traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?

I've certainly found value in both. I've met people, especially, it's a weirder time now, especially social media wise just because it's so ubiquitous and so many people have it. I think it's just a little bit more a matter of now do you have to put in the effort on either, whereas before, you could kind of get away with less effort on digital. And now it's such a crowded, noisy place that you've got to put just as much maybe more effort into digital to break through as you do in person because obviously, a face to face interaction lasts longer than a tweet or a Facebook post does.

If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of or differently with regards to your professional career?

The biggest takeaway I could give myself is just think about what you want to accomplish what that end goal is whether it's a purposeful exit strategy or a non-purposeful exit strategy or here's the objective and work backwards from that because a lot of times it's easy to get into something and then follow whatever path opportunity gives you but if you're not in control that path and you don't know where it leads, you can find yourself some some some weird places as a as you go through your journey.

We've all heard of the 6 degrees of separation...Now, who would be the one person you'd love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

So the one person I think I would love to connect with is I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's writing so I would love to bump into him and I have to feel like there's probably six degrees that would get me connected to him.

Any final word of advice to offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?

Supporting and growing, the network is just carving out time to go do it. The compound interest on relationships is probably greater than just about anything you'll do. But you have to be intentional about it, you've got to carve out the time to do it.

How to connect with Chris:



Twitter: @chrisyoko



Feb 21, 2020

Naresh Vissa is the Founder & CEO of Krish Media & Marketing – a full service e-commerce, technology, development, online, and digital media and marketing agency and solutions provider. He has worked with CNN Radio, Clear Channel Communications, J.P. Morgan Chase, EverBank, The Institute for Energy Research, Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, the American Junior Golf Association, Agora Financial, Agora Publishing, Stansberry Research, and TradeStops. He is the #1 bestselling author of FIFTY SHADES OF MARKETING.

What do you think the future of freelancing and small business is under this economy?

A college graduate they need to really be paying attention to this because the idea of having a job is it's really kind of an older generational idea. And so they should not be thinking, Okay, how do I get a corporate job? How do I get a job? Because those jobs are starting to disappear in the freelance job. It's all about value, or it's all about value creation and skills. Skills are today's currency in the workplace. So it's about building up your skill set so that you can then promote your skills and utilize your skills to help a company's bottom line.

What are examples of these skills?

Well, it can be anything it could be speaking, it could be the old school soft, soft skills. But I think the most important skills are the technology skills. And by technology skills, I mean, the ability to use a computer, a cell phone, a tablet, proficiently and efficiently, knowing how to use all the different applications and software and technologies within these technologies.

You're also very into podcasting, so what drew you into podcasting? And do you have any tips to that novice podcastor?

The point of podcasting is building up a listenership and making money. Helping grow your business or selling your product, that's really the point. There are three revenue drivers. The first revenue driver is advertising which is not the primary revenue driver. The second revenue driver, which is the most important revenue driver, is using the podcast as a lead generator or a loss leader. And then the third revenue drivers premium content. So that's like a paid subscription type of podcasts.

Feb 19, 2020

Lane Kawaoka currently owns 3,500+ units across the US. He lives in Hawaii and recently quit his day job as a Professional Engineer with a MS in Civil Engineering & Construction Management and a BS in Industrial Engineering.

Lane partners with investors who want to build their portfolio, but are too busy to mess with “tenants, toilets, and termites” by curating opportunities in his “Hui Deal Pipeline Club” where his investors have personal access to him and know that Lane is personally putting his money on the line too. The Hui Deal Pipeline Club has acquired over $255 Million dollars of real estate acquired by syndicating over $25 Million Dollars of private equity since 2016.

Lane reverse engineers the wealth building strategies that the rich use to the middle class via the Top-50 Investing Podcast Lane’s mission is to help hard working professionals out of the rat race, one free strategy call at a time.

Can you share with our listeners, your most successful or favorite networking experience that you've had?

My best experience was when I finally actually paid, you know, $25,000 for paid masterminds to get in a realm of qualified people where they were at a point in their business where it wasn't really about them, they didn't really have to worry about putting food on the table to feed their family. So at that point, it was a lot more collaborative, and just being able to collaborate with somebody on the high high level like yourself, and, you know, not in a non competitive manager manner is a great experience, and that's why I continue to go to these masterminds.

As you continue to build your network, how do you nurture these relationships that you've created?

I have my investor club. And I always tell people, we're a bunch of accredited investors and higher paid professionals. I've kind of curated a group through my investors where if your invest fits me, you get access to my network, and we all know your network is your network. 

What advice would you offer that business professional who's looking to grow their network?

I would say filter. Your net worth is a big indicator of where you are. I do know if somebody doesn't have a net worth of at least $50,000 they need to go figure out how to make money for themselves. So I would say for people like other business professionals trying to look for other business professionals higher net worth, but then again, a lot of business professionals, they're stuck in that paradigm of going to work and, you know, for 40-50 years.

Digital networking or traditional networking - which do you find more value in?

For me, it's digital networking. I'm an introvert, so I don't really do well in those type of settings. I can do it if it's like talking about rental real estate, because I get energetic and energized by that type of topic matter.

If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of or differently with regards to your professional career?

You know, for me, I was an engineer, I kind of did things exactly how I should have. I went to work, I just quit my job earlier this year after working for about 10 years, but that day job allowed me to save money and to build my network up to a certain point where I could continue to buy rental properties one by one and then start to get into apartments later.

We've all heard of the six degrees of separation. Now who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the sixth degree?

I never really had anybody that I had on my list. I think people aspire to that too much. And, quite frankly, a lot of these guys they haven't done the tactical things that are applicable today.

Is there any book that you're reading right now or listening to that you want to share with our listeners?

I am reading Gary Vaynerchuk's Crushing It! He's got some examples of people who kind of take in a certain social media platform and what they're doing with it. He says we're on like this pioneering front where the authentic create their own brand. And, you know, this is the time to do it.

How would one really figure out who are the ideal individuals to associate yourself with and where can you find them? Where would you recommend someone find those individuals?

You've got to build relationships to kind of figure that out. You just have to build relationship with a few people like quality over quantity, and kind of stay close to their network. And they're staying close to you too. And hopefully, you can build a big enough web to kind of filter in the right people.

To connect with Lane:


Twitter: SimplePassiveCf


Feb 4, 2020

My goodness, I am blown away by the response and positive feedback I get from all of the listeners and my guests and the value that this podcast is bringing and has been bringing. It's been three years now since I officially launched this podcast which blows my mind. So today I am going to summarize some of the takeaways and value-add components that I've learned just by interviewing close to 200 professionals on the topic of networking.

Jan 8, 2020

About Frank Agin

He is the president of AmSpirit Business Connections, which empowers entrepreneurs and professionals to become more successful via networking. In addition, he works with companies and organizations with their professional relationships. He's also the host of Networking Rx Podcast, which has ideas, insights, and interviews on business networking. Finally, Frank is the author of several books, including Foundational Networking: Building Know, Like and Trust to Create a Lifetime of Extraordinary Success.


What is the best thing that someone can do to jumpstart their network?

“Find someplace to volunteer. It just makes it really easy. Figure out what you're passionate about.”


You indicated that you're interested in the science behind networking. What do you mean?

“There's a science behind it. We're humans, and much of what happens in human interaction is predictable. It's not perfectly predictable, right? Temperature falls below 32 degrees, water freezes. I mean, that's perfectly predictable. But with human interactions, things aren't necessarily predictable, but they become really likely. For example, when you smile at somebody, they will smile back.”


What is one thing that people often overlook in networking?

“They're focused in on what's in it for them. And what you need to remember is that what networking is really about is about helping others and just kind of trusting that it'll come back to you.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“Years ago, I got a referral from somebody in a meeting and said, I've got a referral for you, and in one of our AmSpirit meetings, and I was excited. I've got a referral. I don't know what it is. It's like, you know, it's like that present under the tree Christmas morning. I can hardly wait, and so after the meeting, a guy came up to me and he essentially said, you know, I want you to come speak at my group. And in the moment...”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“It's a discipline. You have to have a very disciplined approach to it. And what I mean by having a disciplined approach is, you know, I will systematically reach out to people in my network and just see how they're doing.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“Certainly get started…I wouldn't get caught up in trying to make it happen overnight. And I tell people, you can have a big, big network, you’re just not going to do it overnight. Focus on one person at a time.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“Traditional is where the value’s at, but you a lot of times can't have one without the other.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“Well, it certainly has to do with networking. My 20-year-old self, I was in college. I played college football. I lived with my teammates, and that was my world. And I look at my daughter who plays college soccer, and she rooms with other women with other sports. And she is much better networked than I am. She interacts with people who don't play sports. I didn't do a lot of that.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“My wife really likes Jon Bon Jovi. I would love to connect with him for her.”


What book are you reading right now?

“The one I'm looking at right now is Lewis Howes’ book, The School of Greatness, which is an awesome book. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg is another great book. The Power of Optimism by a psychologist out of Indianapolis, Tim Shurr…so, I've got a series of books that I'm kind of picking through.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Where it really starts with is a mindset. And the mindset is you have to believe in networking, you have to believe that it works.”

“Life is a networking event. Every moment is a networking event.”


You can get in contact with Frank at:


LinkedIn: Click Here

Jan 6, 2020

About Gary Loop

Serving as a business consultant, executive coach, and life coach, Gary Loop has been transforming businesses and guiding leaders for over six years as President of Loop Group, LLC. For the last 12 years (of his 20+ year business career), he has been repeatedly entering new organizations facing various challenges. With his unique ability to develop deep levels of trust, from CEO to the front line, he rapidly gains a sense of the company landscape to deliver efficient and transformative results.


There are literally hundreds of consultants and executive coaches in the marketplace. What differentiates you from the others?

“I spent 14 years at We Energies, and We Energies at one point about a decade ago was last in the Midwest in customer satisfaction. And so, I had the opportunity, it was through the work of hundreds and thousands of employees to get it done. But to be in the front lines of watching an organization go from last in the Midwest, to one of the best in the country was outstanding.”


What is your core strategy for your consultant/client relationship?

“I'm a big fan of being a historian, rather than me coming in to find out what's going on now in a plan for the future, I spend a great deal of my time finding out what happened in the past. Where have you been? How did you get there? What worked well? What didn't work well?”


What do you believe are the top low-cost tactics organizations can employ that will make an instant impact on their business?

“The people is the big difference. Most of the payroll is people. And it's also in the planning. You know, if we can go through, one thing that I always say is, I'm not a firefighter. I’m a fire preventer. And so, we can go in and work with people that we have there.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“I actually wrote a letter to Jay Leno back about 20 years ago, you know, and pretty much because I wasn't sure if I wanted to go into standup comedy. It was a letter that basically said, Dear Jay, thinking about standup comedy. I have no idea. I'm not even sure if I'm funny. You know, here's the deal. You know, I was commuting to community college, I was living at home with time. And, you know, I'm like, here's our home phone number. And 20 years ago, a phone call came in...”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“Mine is more sense and feel. And it's also based on opportunity. So, when I meet with folks, I want to know what I can do to help them… the other piece I would say is rather than being interesting, be interested.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“It's overcoming that fear. You know, if there's an event that's coming up with a lot of folks and you may not know anybody, it’s just walking in the door. You know, the hardest thing is walking into the door. I call it eating your vegetables. There are things that we don't always enjoy doing. And sometimes we have to eat our vegetables before we get to enjoy the steak.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“it's a mix. We are in five generations, as you know, and everyone has their different flavor and style. And so depending on which industry that I'm in, I will try to mirror where they're at.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“Lots of moisturizer. My wife uses moisturizer, and she looks like she's 20. I look like I'm 90. So that’s number one. And number two is, you know, what's interesting is enjoy the ride.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“I think like a Richard Branson kind of thing comes to mind. So, for me, I believe it's, you know, finding the ways to get in the door to reach out to those folks. I think the biggest hurdle is just not doing anything at all.”


What book are you reading right now?

“I've been reading Give and Take by Adam Grant.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Go back to the give and take philosophy.”


You can get in contact with Gary at:

Email: sends e-mail)

LinkedIn: Click Here

Twitter: Click Here

Dec 30, 2019

About Thembi Bheka

Thembi Bheka is the founder of She Breaks Thru, an agency that trains African women from disadvantaged backgrounds to work as technical virtual assistants. She believes in helping others reignite their passion, gain more clarity, and reconnect with their bigger purpose. She is on a mission to empower 1 million women by 2025.


What triggered you to start your business?

“I had traveled in Zimbabwe and I read an article on the paper about a girl who has committed suicide because she was tired of trading her body just to put food on the table. And that story just triggered a lot of emotions for me. First of all, it triggered my own history of what I went through getting out of my marriage, and it also triggered what I saw other women go through in Zimbabwe and every other woman who I was talking to about how they were stuck in abusive relationships because of money. And I said, I'm going to change this, I have to find a way to change it.”


What is the number 1 thing entrepreneurs can do immediately to scale faster?

“You really have to start working on your zone of genius and stop working on little things…and I'm not saying little as in they don't matter. No, but I mean the things that are not in your zone of excellence.”


How have the connections you have made helped you as you started your business?

“I think networking is the foundation of building a business. That's my opinion. I think just when you really want to build a business, you just have to start networking right away. And I'll just go back to when I first started investing in real estate…”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“I went to this event, my first ever online marketing event about three years ago, four years now, four years ago, and I had never been to that kind of event before. And I was lost. I was like, drowning in lost and I started talking to people in the lobby, who are sitting in Canada drinking beer…”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“I basically communicate with them through my email. I have a weekly blog and I have a podcast as well, where I basically share and talk about things in which kind of stays in touch with those people who I connect with. And they can see those in my email list. But in regards to the closer relationships, I try to stay in touch with people at least once a month, kind of just have, I call it my social day.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“Get off your butt. And by that, I mean just go to events, and it doesn't have to be events that are one thousand kilometers away from where you live. It could be local events. There are a lot of events in every local city.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“For me, it’s traditional. I call myself ancient, even though I'm working in a digital space. I find traditional more effective because you are meeting people in person and one on one.”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“I would have taken more risks…and as much as I believe that I'm a risk-taker, but I always had those internal doubts within me that said, you know, ‘who do you think you are?’”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“I was going to say Oprah...”


What book are you reading right now?

“I listen to a lot of podcasts, but my favorite one is by Ali Brown. It's called Ambition Radio…But in regards to the books, I'm just reading one called Rocket Fuel. I just finished it, actually, and started a new one called Profit Fest.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Just keep in touch because there's nothing as hard, or I find frustrating, as somebody who emails me once every three months because they're selling something.”


You can get in contact with Thembi at:


LinkedIn: Click Here

Twitter: Click Here

Dec 23, 2019

About Gary Kurtz

Gary Kurtz is a sales and marketing professional, father of three, husband to an incredible woman, and a great friend to a lot of great people (not in that order). Gary works each day to be a little bit better in each part of his life and to make life better for those around him. Gary is known for hard work, big laughs, and going all out in everything that he does.


Where do sales and marketing meet?

“The difference between a salesperson and a marketing person is that a salesperson talks to customers and does more traveling. Other than that, they’re kind of meeting in the middle.”


What do you look for when interviewing new employees?

“More so than ever, cultural fit, I think is more important. Are they going to be reliable? Is there integrity? Can they stand up to your company's values and also do the job?”


What are the trends in the B2B purchasing world?

“The biggest trend that we're seeing in in B2B, and probably the same thing with B2C, is that there's a large, very large amount of decisions that are being made prior to anybody picking up a call. You know, people know that as soon as they are clicking on a link on something that they're going to be being followed in the nurturing campaign start.”

“You see an iceberg and there's only, you know, an eighth of it that's showing out of the water, and everything underneath it is where people are making decisions now.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“I met somebody at a trade show, like seven years ago. And like a half a year later…they called me, and they asked for just a small auxiliary product that costs like $300. And like we got to talk in that time. I was kind of saying them a bunch of headaches because their immediate supplier had ran out of something. If you fast forward, you know, five years now, we've done like $3 million with that company. And it all started with a conversation at a trade show.”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“The best thing that you can do for somebody is to reach out and just say hello every once in a while.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“Don't stop. I would say even when you're tired, and there's that event that's happening, go to it. When you're out and you're like, ‘okay, well, maybe I'll call it an early night tonight’, go out and do it.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“It's probably traditional, but when you're digitally networking, I think the best way to do it is to be moving towards traditional networking.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“I would save more, for sure…I would definitely say saving is one of the things that you have to do no matter what, even if you're putting away 3%.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“Shaq is a sales and marketing powerhouse…everything he touches, it turns to gold basically.”


What book are you reading right now?

“I just started reading Rocket Fuel in the EOS stuff. And that would probably be the second thing that I would tell people if you're a young person, is that you just can't stop reading.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Do something that's going to impact not only your life but other people so that they can find out who you are.”


You can get in contact with Gary at:

Email: sends e-mail)

LinkedIn: Click Here

Dec 18, 2019

About Christina Somerville

Christina Somerville is what you’d call a corporate refugee. Last year she decided to walk away from her 20-year sales and marketing career to better utilize her talents for connecting well with people and coaching others to do the same. She launched ConvoConnection - a resource of instruction and encouragement to help people have more genuine and enjoyable social connections. She feels passionate about empowering people to believe in their own social self-worth.

Every week through her blog she shares ideas, tips, and best practices for eliminating social awkwardness and self-doubt to make way for projecting social ease and confidence. Because socializing happens all day long, her topics can be easily applied to both personal and professional interactions.


Why did you decide to leave the corporate world and start ConvoConnection?

“While I was in sales and marketing for 20 years and in my personal life kind of, you know, offline, I would have friends and colleagues come to me and say ‘You know, can you help me with, you know, preparing for this interview?’ or ‘I’ve got to talk to my boss about this topic, what should I say?’ And so that kind of happened very naturally.”


You decided to enter the tech industry AND move to a new city. How did you both launch a new career AND find a new personal network?

“My husband and I, this is back in 2013, we were living in Cincinnati, Ohio at the time and we both were like, you know, I don't think this is our seed like I think we were ready to move on to something else. We had really kind of scraped our way through the recession of 2008. And we're just ready to kind of move on. So, before we decided to move on geographically, both of us kind of made a pact with one another. And we said…”


What one question can you always ask to open up any networking conversation?

“I read an article about Terry Gross from NPR. And she says that she always asked this question at the start of her interviews, and I'm like, this is brilliant. And she says all she has to say is ‘so tell me about yourself.’ And what's so brilliant about that question, in my opinion, and she even acknowledges, is that it puts the onus on the interviewee to share what they want to share.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“One of the best outcomes of my work, it wasn't actually to my benefit. It was to my husband's…when you interact with a whole bunch of people, sooner or later you're going to run into super connectors. And these are people who are usually like recruiters. They just know everybody. There's this other gal who I met who she is like, she's the mayor of Portland. She knows everybody…”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“What's right in front of you takes your attention. And if you don't keep up on it, time passes on and when time passes on the relationship kind of grow stale. And this is both personal and professional. So, what I do is I kind of set appointments for myself.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“Think about just being kind of the outlier and just make the first move. People would really appreciate it, that you go up and introduce yourself.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“It's probably is a hybrid. But yes, I would lean more on in-person networking…it's very efficient to make those initial connections today via LinkedIn or any kind of social media but like, let's go further than that.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Remember that almost everybody wants to connect and you making the first step is it pays dividends and people really do appreciate it so put in a little bit of effort lean in a little bit and you'll be really pleased and surprised about what you find.”


You can get in contact with Christina at:


LinkedIn: Click Here


Check out Christina’s blog post about making friends in a new city! Click here.

Dec 16, 2019

About Brianna Rooney

Brianna Rooney, (AKA the Millionaire Recruiter) is 34 years old, owns Techees, has three houses, a top 100 restaurant, an amazing Chef of a husband and two little kids. Diego Danger (yes that's his real middle name) 5 years old, and a sweet little 2-year-old girl, Lima Ariel.

Her very successful recruiting firm is the star of the show, is a firm that places highly sought-after software professionals with companies in the Bay Area that are high profile, high growth, VC-backed profitable pre-IPO and or public. Brianna takes the matchmaking approach. Hiring is all too similar to dating. If you want to do it right, you have to take the thoughtful road without all the fluff.


How did you get the name, the millionaire recruiter?

“It was by one of my employees, Ben Markowitz, who has been with me now for six, six and a half years. And he goes, ‘Hey, do you understand like how powerful your training is here and how I don't think anyone else does it like this?’…he's like, ‘yeah, I think we should make an e-course.’ So, he goes ‘and we're going to call you the millionaire recruiter ‘cause that’s what you are.’”


What's the best way to work with people that feel threatened by you doing a better job than you do?

“It's a topic about, I think, you know, the emotional intelligence. And it’s something I'm actually currently putting my whole team through, actually eight different workshops on this. And I think that this comes from being really self-aware and also realizing that people's intentions are not bad.”


How do you build relationships without coming off like a salesperson?

“We are more relationship builders. And once you realize that not every head has a dollar sign on it, that we're actually human beings and that, you know, paying it forward is really important. And maybe we're not making money off of this one conversation, but maybe this one conversation is then going to turn these three others because that person enjoyed you and then they'll recommend you. So, if you don't see like the bigger picture, I don't think you can truly be successful.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“one of my most favorite networking things was in person and it was when we went to Women Who Code, it was a meetup group and we actually had a booth and I've never done that before…”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“I'm a really big believer in notes. Actually, I got it from, randomly, my gynecologist. So, you see this person once a year and she keeps amazing notes. So, every time I see her, even though it's been 365 days, she gets out her notes and she starts asking me about things that we talked about last year that I didn't even realize she wrote down.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“People need to realize that people really enjoy talking about themselves and they don't always get the opportunity. So, if you give them the opportunity, they'll jump on it. So, I think if you're going to start reaching out and start having connections and relationships, then you definitely have to give.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“Digital, absolutely. I'm not saying that it's my favorite, but…it's the fastest. You can do it anywhere. People are always on their phones, which is a good and bad thing. I just think it's the way to go.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“I would have put myself out there a long time ago. So…I'm not a giant fan of social media because I think a lot of it can be fake or perceived, you know, a lot better than things actually are. So, I was always like under the radar…”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“I first think of Will Smith, of course. He's, I'd like to think so. You know, what’s funny is he actually does live in my town and I’ve never seen him.”


What book are you reading right now?

“I am actually reading, for the second time, The 100X Leader…and it is the most amazing, powerful book I have ever read.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Always put that smile on your face and just move forward. And know again that the bigger picture is very important.”


You can get in contact with Brianna at:

LinkedIn: Click Here

Email: sends e-mail)


Dec 11, 2019

About Lauren Marsicano, Esq.

Lauren Marsicano, Esq. is the founder of the Networking Maverick community where she helps her clients turn their networks into net worth. Lauren has been recognized as a “Top 40 under 40 Lawyer in the Nation” by the American Bar Association and has been named “2019 Florida Super Lawyer, Rising Star.” She received her law degree from the University of Miami and has studied at Oxford University. For more helpful tips and motivation, join her mailing list at


In the age of social media, do you believe in-person networking is obsolete?

“I have always thought that in-person networking is where the magic happens. I think social media and social media networking should always be a subsidiary of it. It should support it and be kind of a subset of what you're doing. Because I think it's undeniable nowadays. If you don't have an online presence, you don't have social capital, right?”


For the introverts out there, what advice do you have for them on how to network and make connections?

“For introverts, my biggest tips are number one, if you already made the effort to go to an event, just think that you already took that initial step, right? So, your heart is in the right place. Your mindset is in the right place. Maybe you're just failing to plan effectively. So, I did release a Networking Maverick pocket guide that kind of goes through steps and guides you, but I think the biggest things that hold introverts back, is they get overwhelmed.”


What is something people always ask you when starting a new business?

“People kept asking how are you doing this? How are you making money from it? I feel like this is a drain I should just do online networking. I'm wasting time. And I kept saying it's how you plan it out. It's how you're strategizing that is lacking. Do you actually really know your target market? Do you know your target market’s target market? Because your target market is going to events to target their market. So, why not go to those events?”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“I had an event on Monday and it was my first big event in by big event. I mean, more than 100 people, 150 people ended up coming. It was amazing. The turnout, the energy, everything. But it was my first time planning that size event...”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“This is where social media has come in a lot. I think that it really allows you to nurture your audience when you're not able to.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“Well, I definitely think social media presence is great, but you need to be getting out there and doing in-person networking. And I can't stress that enough.”

“My five steps for it are identifying, researching, planning, showing up and follow up. So, if you're not doing those things, you're not making money from it. You're not making connections from it. You're not turning your network into net worth.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“What I neglected because between my 20s and now I've still moved probably six times. And I did not keep in touch with new addresses as much. And, you know, now it's easier you can get emails and, and that sort of thing. But when I was in my 20s, I wasn't keeping track of it as much as I should. And people have moved and I've lost touch with them.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“The person right now that I'm trying to manifest that I'm going to meet in the next year is Marie Forleo.”


What book are you reading right now?

“I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I don't read as much hard books anymore, just so much easier to listen to podcasts or listen to an audiobook. The one I'm listening to right now is called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“You’ve got to get yourself out there, and the more you do it, the more comfortable you're going to get.”


You can get in contact with Lauren at:

Email: sends e-mail)


YouTube: Click Here

Instagram: Click Here

LinkedIn: Click Here

Dec 9, 2019

About Stacey Chillemi

Stacey Chillemi is a popular, recognizable lifestyle reporter, expert, columnist, and health host. Author of The Complete Guide to Natural Healing along with 20 other published books. She is the founder of Stacey has been on numerous lifestyle and health-related TV and radio programs, and is a recognized health and natural remedies expert, with over 20 years in practice as a Health Coach. Stacey has been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, local news, and numerous radio shows.


Why is reducing stress so important, especially around the holidays?

“People don't realize it, but like 60 to 90% of all illnesses are stress-related illnesses. Many people don't realize that a lot of things such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, many things come from stress.”


How do the foods we eat affect our bodies?

“When we eat a lot of foods that aren't natural, that are processed or have a lot of artificial ingredients and chemicals that shouldn't be in foods but are in foods to keep the foods fresher longer or looking to make them look more plumper, those ingredients and those processed foods get in our bodies. And it's very hard for our bodies to break those chemicals or those artificial ingredients or those foods in general down. And when they do break it down, a lot of times you feel sluggish.”


What are some ways to improve our holiday eating habits?

“Know when to listen to your body and to, you know, eat reasonable portion sizes. You know, you could always cheat and have fun and have your cookies and have a little cake here and there, but just don't overdo it.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“I had one time written a book on epilepsy and I taught people how to cope with epilepsy in the book and shared a lot of good tips on how to get on with life. And you know, I shared a lot of my own stories and other people’s stories in it. And a person had walked by one day in Barnes and Nobles and they picked up the book and they…”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“I like to use YouTube and I like to, on my website, I share a lot of articles and I really encourage people to contact me and to ask questions.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“It takes time. I see a lot of people get frustrated. They try to grow their network and they don't see results right away and they get frustrated. It takes time and it also, it takes quality. I tell people it's not quantity. It's quality.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“I think our society is going towards more videos and going more digital. You know, as time goes on, people are looking for a quick answer. People don't like to read as much as they did.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“I probably would have did things a little bit differently where I would have did more public speaking and I would've did more videos.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“One person I think is really great. I think Dr. Axe did a great job. He started out as a chiropractor and he had his mother (whom) had an illness, I believe it was cancer. And he tried to find a healthy way to, you know, a healthy way to help her overcome her cancer.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Be 100% passionate at what you do and always be very supportive to other people and give encouragement and motivation and inspiration.”


You can get in contact with Stacey at:


LinkedIn: Click Here

Dec 4, 2019

About Dave Molenda

After almost 30 years of running his own company and growing it to $10 million in annual sales before selling it, Dave realized his passion was helping companies thrive by overcoming their natural tendencies to retreat, not talk about the hard stuff, and spin their wheels on the wrong things. His company, Positive Polarity, acts as the opposing force against the easy way of doing business—the way it’s always been done—with a positive and encouraging approach.


You wrote an Amazon #1 Best Selling book called Growing on Purpose, what is it about?

“We spent a lot of time on talking about growing a team and then we spent a lot of time talking about improving the customer's experience. There's not a lot of research done that connects the two. So, this book really connects the two.”


How can it help a business get ahead in today's business climate?

“So many people spend time on strengthening their team. They'll have a great team and then they may struggle with how to have a great experience or they may have a team that's not very solid, but they tried desperately to do great customer experience. So, when you’re able to do both, profit automatically happens.”


Let’s talk about engaged employees. How important are they in the workplace today?

“Statistics from Gallup show that one in three people show up every day for work and they have two things on their mind. They want to improve themselves and they want to improve their company. So, I was shocked when I found that out. It's only one in three.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“I do monthly trainings at the Better Business Bureau Milwaukee. And one of the big reasons that I do it is for networking opportunities. And earlier this year, I had somebody in transition in between jobs. Just, you know, and everybody introduces themselves at the beginning. So, you get to know who's all in the room. There's usually 20 to 30 people in the room and a guy said, I'm in transition. This is what I want to do. And oddly enough, the guy sitting next to him needed that exact thing.”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“I think once you define your network, then what I started doing is, I'm looking for ways to connect the dots. I want to make sure that I add value first.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“I tell my clients to find out where your ideal clients are. Again, it's another situation where if you're selling something that is primarily, let's say you're a realtor in the Lake Country area, doing something in Racine or Kenosha probably isn't going to be an effective use of that time.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“It depends again on what your network community looks like. Digital is global… If I had to pick one for me, I like face to face way better than digital because, as a business coach, the sandbox that I play in is local.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“I would tell myself, you know, to be more purposeful. And then I would also, based on those statistics we talked about, definitely set more goals.”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“My focus is trying to find people that I can help. So, I don't even have an answer on the six degrees of separation and maybe this is a blind spot of mine. I'd never thought of it. And even when I was preparing for this, thinking about it, I'm like, I don't even know the answer to that. I'm like, I'm focused on the behavior side for people.”


What book are you reading right now?

“Actually, right now I'm reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I totally don't even know how I got it. I read about a book a quarter. Okay. So, and she's talking about how to be happier and it just seemed like it was like, huh. It was light and not light, but it was lighter. It was not a business book as much as it is a self-help book.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Networking needs to be a win-win. There's two people involved in networking and if it doesn't benefit both people, then I don't think it was successful networking.”


You can get in contact with Dave Molenda at:

Email: sends e-mail)

Phone: 414-322-2358


LinkedIn: Click Here

Nov 27, 2019

About Jacob Carlson & Ian Buchanan

Jacob Carlson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as a Business Management major with an emphasis in Marketing, along with a minor in Sustainable Business. Jacob specializes in customer life cycle marketing focusing on customer retention and brand loyalty for Concentrix as a Program Coordinator, where he is employed full-time. Jacob is also the co-founder of Helium, which is a new start-up in Milwaukee, dedicated to bringing books to readers.

Ian Buchanan learned the necessity of relationship-building to success while part-owner and operator of a budding lawn care business in high school. Now, with his long-time friend and past business partner, Jacob, Ian has launched Helium - a free book delivery service offered in his hometown of Milwaukee. Ian works full-time in a financial consultant role, spending nights and weekends developing Helium, much of his time being spent leveraging connections in an effort to grow the business.


What is Helium?

Ian: “I noticed a big inefficiency within the system. Libraries have, you know, limited books at each library. But this, the Milwaukee County system works together so they share resources and I realized if I wanted a book in my local library, it might not be there, but it might be at a library a few miles away. So, why not take that step out of it, take my travel out of it and have someone do it for me. So that's where the idea came for Helium where we deliver the books for you. We bring them from the library that they're at within the system to your desired location.”


What methods and avenues have you explored while trying to build your network and getting the message out about your company Helium?

Jacob: “Recently, it's just been reaching out to a lot of different media outlets and media mediums. I'm really just following up via email and you know, working connections that we've either had from the past, whether it be through school or even family friends, and really just making sure of, hey, this is our idea, this is helium and selling more or less right now the idea of rather than us.”


How have you, and how are you tackling this? Especially while you're working full time.

Ian: “It's tough. Obviously, you're working from nine to five and you're devoting that time to the job that's generating your income and you have to, and it's the right decision. But you know, it's really taking advantage and leveraging your nights and weekends from our opinion.”


Any advice you can offer on still having somewhat a social life and engaging with family and friends as well?

Jacob: “I think just setting priorities. And again, even just your note about time management is absolutely huge because you know, you're tied down to so many obligations outside of work just in life with hanging out with friends, family affairs, et cetera, let alone running a business on this side.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

Jacob: “I would say look no further than, you know, our mutual friend and actually a family friend of ours, Martha Kerrigan. And they've just been a huge, huge blessing obviously to my family and me in general outside of Helium. But even Helium in general.”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

Ian: “I think we all get inundated, whether it be on LinkedIn, through email with connection requests and you know, pleads for our time and a lot of that. A lot of the time we just let that go by the wayside. We deem it non-important, but for the ones for the main connections that do stick, I think it's important to just go beyond that initial meeting.”

Jacob: “we're reaching out to local podcasters like yourself, we're reaching out to different media outlets and really just carving the time…”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

Jacob: “Just make a point to reach out. I did read a book a few months ago, just, I forget the title of it. The whole purpose of it was to just set aside time each and every day to reach out to people that you think could be valuable to add to your network.”

Ian: “You can essentially create an own your own roadmap from, you know, other people with a certain job title maybe that you're aspiring to have.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

Ian: “I'm definitely more introverted personality-wise…So, I kind of tend to gravitate towards that digital, definitely. Not anything against your traditional networking. For me, it's just a little bit more intimidating.”

Jacob: “With digital networking, in today's day and age, you just have more poles in the water. It's so much easier to get a response and connect with people instead of, you know, maybe just having two or three poles in the water where you know, you're trying to follow up or meet him at a certain obligation or event.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

Ian: “Just do something, because I was just so, I mean, being introverted I was just so passive and I knew, I mean I guess I didn't really know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that a finance or accounting related role was in the future coming out of graduation…”

Jacob: “just taking a step back and applying some type of focus. I think especially, you know, just at the undergraduate level. In my experience, it's so easy to just get bogged down in, you know, just certain capstone classes whether you have a job or not. And one thing I wish I would've done is sticking with the American marketing association at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, something I did my junior year absolutely loved it.”


What book are you reading right now?

Ian: “The book I'm currently reading is called Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. It's kind of an exposé on Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup that was once valued at $9 billion back in 2013, I think it was. And it's gone defunct since and it really just details kind of how everything was a fraud from the get-go.”

Jacob: “I'm reading, and I actually just finished reading, gosh, want to say yesterday, maybe the day before; it's called Untethered Soul: A Journey Beyond Yourself. And it's really just focused on awareness and consciousness and really taking a step back.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

Jacob: “Don't be afraid to take gambles, take risks, bet on yourself.”

Ian: “You're going to deal with a lot of rejection or just no responses, if you reach out to people…just brush it off.”


You can get in contact with Jacob and Ian at:

Jacob’s Email: sends e-mail)

Ian’s Email: sends e-mail)

Jacob’s LinkedIn: Click Here

Ian’s LinkedIn: Click Here

Nov 25, 2019

About Raj Daniels

Since 2001, Raj has been assisting individuals to improve strategy and performance in business and personal lives.

Raj helps executives, entrepreneurs and business owners who are struggling to clarify and prioritize their focus so that they can be more intentional and accomplish their goals.

He’s been referred to as a guide, educator, and mentor by many in the Dallas business community and startup ecosystem.

As of May 2019, Raj has stepped into the role of Director of Strategic Partnerships.


Why do you believe networking is important?

“I grew up in Southeast London and I didn't have a strong support community. And when I look back in my life and see the trajectory and the route I've taken, I look back and think to myself, what would it look like if I had a network and intentional network if I had started out younger?”


What do I think about digital/social media networking?

“I think it's a weak substitute, at best. You know, I know there are a lot of platforms out there and…you know, you can connect with friends, connect with people, but connecting with an inanimate device is, you know, it doesn't connect to your soul.”


How can networking improve society?

“I've made it a practice to lead what I call three new people a week for many, many years now. And I'm agnostic. It doesn't matter what they do, where they're from, demographics, you know, socially. And what I found is that when you sit down with an individual, you realize that you have more in common with them than you don't.


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“I met one of the founders of Nexus PMG at a networking meeting that I have been attending for four years, and I met him, it was about two or three years ago. He was relatively new to the community and I essentially opened up my notebook and my Rolodex to him.


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“That's one area where technology has made life easier. It's so much easier today to pick up the phone, to get on a computer, you know, send a text message…”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“Approach it with a heart of abundance and looking to give. You know, I have a little phrase written on my whiteboard here. It says, "the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit." And what I mean by that is that sometimes you know, you can just tell where people come into a meeting and it's a very transactional meeting and I'm sure there's a time and place for that, but I think when you're truly networking, you're looking to give, you're looking because you care, you're looking because you want to see the other person succeed.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“Traditional, all day long. If it's digital, then LinkedIn only. But I do feel like that's also sorely lacking.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“Difficult question for me because I am, I'm extremely happy where I'm at. You know, I've got a great personal life. I have a great family life. I've got three beautiful daughters that I absolutely adore. So, I would just go back and if I were telling myself one thing, I'll just say it'll be okay. Everything's going to be fine.”


What book are you reading right now?

“Currently on Audible, I'm reading, I think it's called 21 Tips for the 21st Century by Yuval Hariri, the gentleman that wrote Sapiens. On my Kindle, I'm reading Creating Climate Wealth by Jigar Shah.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Nike says it best. Just do it and repeat and rinse and repeat. There is no stopping doing it. And I think if you want to improve your life and the lives of people around you, I think networking is almost a social obligation.”


You can get in contact with Raj at:

Email: sends e-mail)

LinkedIn: Click Here

Nov 20, 2019

About Joey Mure & Russ Morgan

The wall street mindset separates both families, entrepreneurs, and business owners from their money while others use it for their advantage. The secret to freedom is having your money work for you, not someone else when wealth building. Both Russ and Joey work tirelessly to be the hub for financial insight and education for individuals, business owners and investors nationwide. They believe that taking control over your finances will lead to greater prosperity and a more stress-free way of life.


What made you decide to start a podcast?

Joey: “Our podcast came initially out of the thought of we want to have a weekly conversation with our clients.”

Russ: “It was a way to scale that part of our business because we were growing and growing and growing and realized, okay, we can no longer do this belly to belly, one-on-one. We have to do this one to many. And so, we just use the technology of a podcast.”


How has podcasting grown your social network?

Joey: “It's put us in a totally different category that we didn't expect. So, I guess the long story of it is that because we started talking to our clients every single week, we didn't realize that other people were listening in on the conversation. So, we've had people from all across the country calling us up, emailing us messages on Facebook…”

Russ: “We hit a thousand followers on our Facebook page. And for us, because we're not super social in that way because we, you know, I have four kids, Joey has five. We live in an age where, you know, be more on social media, but we don't spend tons of time there. We've had no strategy to try to gain followers or likes. But all of that has been a direct result of our podcasting and it's amazing that people are following to see or hear the latest episodes.”


What are your best practices for building a community within your brand?

Russ: “I would say obviously the podcasting has allowed us to have more engaged conversations with our clients to ask them ‘what are those things that you're really interested in?’ And sometimes when you survey your client base about different things, you get crickets. You know, you don't get a whole lot of feedback. But from our standpoint, because now we do have, as you said, kind of a loyal listenership. You can kind of track it.”

Joey: “They want more kind of engagement that's more than just a step into listening to a podcast. They want to meet other people like themselves. They want to go deeper into the Q and A with our podcast guests.”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

Russ: “A long time ago, Joey and I had had the pleasure of being a part of this group that actually brought this speaker into Birmingham. He wrote a book and it was, it was actually written for real estate agents of all things, which neither Joey nor I were…”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

Joey: “I think for us, that's really where the community comes in. So, once we actually interview somebody on the podcast, they come into the community as an expert who's going to be doing a Q and A with our audience. And then they stay in the community and they are accessible almost as easily as like texting them because our community is on its own app platform.”

Russ: “Nobody likes to be in an environment where they feel like they're all alone. And I think that sometimes when you go to a traditional networking environment, you feel like ‘I'm on an Island’.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

Joey: “I would say take the leap, and for us, what I will say is this, if we really allowed the fear of getting started to stand in the way, it would've been a big flop and we would have never gotten started. But I think nowadays there are so many services out there that all you have to do is go in record good content and hand it off to somebody.”

Russ: “Sometimes the thought of starting your own can be a little overwhelming at first. And one of the best pieces of advice that we were given is to be on other people's podcasts.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

Russ: “I think we use digital networking to create personal networking. And what I mean by that is what we have developed some pretty amazing relationships because of our podcasts, but nothing stops belly to belly. Like when you can sit in a room with somebody and over dinner break bread, like that's where relationships go deep.”

Joey: “It's hard to say this, but I think that digital is just a much more efficient means of accomplishing the same goal. And it's been hard. It's been hard to transition.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

Joey: “Take the plunge…don't be afraid that you don't have anything to talk about. You always have something that you can add as far as value to the world.”

Russ: “The more you start to learn about people, the more you can interact and conversate with them on their level.”


You can get in contact with Joey and Russ at:


Apple Podcast: Click Here

Facebook: Click Here

Joey’s LinkedIn: Click Here

Russ’ LinkedIn: Click Here

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