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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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…”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)
Ian’s Email: email@example.com(link sends e-mail)
Jacob’s LinkedIn: Click Here
Ian’s LinkedIn: Click Here
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.
“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?”
“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.”
“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.
“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.
“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…”
“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.”
“Traditional, all day long. If it's digital, then LinkedIn only. But I do feel like that's also sorely lacking.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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:
LinkedIn: Click Here
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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…”
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’.”
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.”
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.”
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
Brian T Shirley has performed all across the USA, Canada, the Bahamas, and Japan for over 25 years. Brian has also hosted 2 radio shows (The Triangle Comedy Radio Show, The BTS Radio Show) and currently hosts the BTS Entertainment Corner radio segment. This is a call-in segment featured on the "What's the Story?" radio show which originates out of Reno, NV. Brian can be seen in several short films, web series and the upcoming feature film "Mark of the Butterfly" in March 2020.
“it's helped a great deal because now you have outlets where you didn't before. If you make a short film or music video or even the independent music artists out there that doing a LP or a song, you have a chance to get it out there for the public now. And that's the good news and the bad news because, and I've been a victim of myself on this too, sometimes with Independence, you know, you get excited and you do a project and you get it out there and maybe it wasn't completely edited and put together the best. So, it's a double-edged sword.”
“When we were starting the interview today, I couldn't even figure out how to get the audio working. It took me a few minutes. Because I think Zoom, I've done twice now. But you know, you either keep learning or you start declining and that's with anything.”
“It's important to everybody. If you're in any kind of industry that requires, you know, having relationships with people, social media has allowed that to be sped up to a certain point because now you can meet people that you normally wouldn't, you know, in other states or countries or whatever, and you can bond with them somehow or some way online.”
“It's all about building relationships and social media's kind of sped that up a little bit.”
“I'll share my favorite one, which I've actually worked into the stage act, believe it or not. Years ago, through being a radio, internet radio, a BTS radio show I hosted in ACE and we were in the studio. But it's internet radio. And I started putting together, you know, guests for the show, and one of the gentlemen that I reached out to, I forgot how I found these people to be honest; it was Brian Hayden and he is a heart transplant recipient. So, and he'd written a couple of books…”
“It's a learning process that I'm still learning. I don't think anybody, unless they become just an absolute pro, can be 100% perfect. You have to learn what you're posting. You know, what kind of a response it’s getting, you know, you can target your audience.
“I think staying positive no matter what you're doing is a big factor because when you start going into those dark areas, you just draw out so many dark, dark people.”
“I think just staying visible, staying positive and getting content that, you know, people, if they're in this situation, here's what they're going to need. Making sure that's out there, I think is a good way to grow your business.”
“I think both are equally important and if you use both to, you know, play on each other, that's the perfect storm because just like what happened with Brian, you know, I met him online, we networked and then we met each other in person.”
“I would say don't party as much. When I started doing comedy particularly, you know, yeah, I had a little fun, but treat the business side of show business a little more serious…”
“something I've learned through really pursuing this acting thing is you look at where you need to go and start focusing that way, and sometimes it will come about, without you even knowing it. And it takes a year or two sometimes like it did with this, so, immediate success doesn't always happen. But if you continue, I think these things will come back around as long as you stay, you know, you persevere.”
You can get in contact with Brian at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Twitter: Click Here
Molly Dill is the director of gBETA Milwaukee at gener8tor. She joined gener8tor after a nine-year journalism career. Molly most recently served as managing editor of BizTimes Milwaukee, a bi-weekly regional business magazine where she also covered the Milwaukee startups, technology, and financial services beats. Molly previously was a reporter at the Marshfield News-Herald in Marshfield, Wisconsin. An Illinois native, she earned a bachelor's in journalism from Marquette University.
“I had been covering startups for the last two years at BizTimes and I had been at BizTimes about eight years and rose to managing editor there. I felt that I kind of had plateaued and I needed a new challenge in my career and since I was covering startups and I had developed a lot of contacts in the startup world, it was kind of a natural evolution actually as a result of networking.”
“gBETA Milwaukee is a program of gener8tor. So, just to kind of give you an overview of gener8tor, it's a startup accelerator that was started in 2012. Joe Kirgues and Troy Vosseller are two of the co-founders who are still active today…we do take an ownership stake in return for a hundred-thousand-dollar investment and we only accept five startups per program.”
“They can contact me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) as generator with an eight. And we have a website gbetastartups.com. There's different city pages on there. Our fall program began October 24th and that goes through December 13th and then we'll take a little bit of a winter break and begin again in the spring.”
“We're looking for startups that are highly unique and highly scalable, and they must be based in greater Milwaukee for my program. So, it's not so much the main street businesses like a barbershop or a restaurant. It's more really original solutions to problems that others haven't come up with before or that are filling a need or a niche or are uniquely different.”
“my first job was at the Marshfield News-Herald in Marshfield, which is in Marshfield, Wisconsin like you mentioned. And then I wanted to get back to Milwaukee. I went to Marquette and I really loved Milwaukee. I wanted to be here and so I had kept in touch with a mentor from that, from my internship during college. And this mentor, Julie, she kept me in mind…”
“several times per week, I try to meet various contacts for coffee, for drinks, whatever, just to make sure that we're keeping in touch and I know what's going on with them and they know what's going on with me and how we might be able to help each other or work together. So, I think a good networking interaction is a kind of give and take.”
“go to a networking event in your industry that, you know, you'll want to meet people at and then just strike up conversations. It's really hard at first, but the more you go, the more everyone in the room isn't a stranger anymore. And these are some people you've met before and you can just pick up where you left off. So, I would say kind of forcing yourself to get out there and meet new people can help you so much.”
“I like traditional networking. Digital networking, I think can be kind of a companion, but traditional in person, that's way more memorable than someone connecting with you on LinkedIn.”
“I think I was a little hesitant at first to ask for help in building my network and advancing my career. And so, I would just kind of push myself to ask people to connect me to other people.”
“when it comes to founders, I would love to meet the founders of Airbnb because I remember my initial reaction to Airbnb being just completely appalled. Like, why would you go stay in someone's house, particularly if that person is still there, like just in their spare bedroom that you've never met before and how they overcame that challenge.”
“I'm currently reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. So, like we said, I'm relatively new to my role at gener8tor and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the models that they find to be most effective. So, like they have an internal model, but a lot of it is based on The Lean Startup.”
“I would say just be outgoing. Try not to be too shy and just ask for what you need from your network, and you like try to be helpful to your network as well so it's that mutually beneficial relationship.”
You can get in contact with Molly at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Twitter: Click Here
Derrick is the CEO of The Center for Management Terms & Practices, the standards body for general management. Founded in 2018 after a successful pilot with the SBA, it is a for-profit association that trains managers at every level from every sector in size. The Center standardize the terminology of management so departments can communicate. It standardized a kit of one-page tools so people can collaborate efficiently. Information about training and events is at theindex.net.
“Well, my professional world, it's changed quite a bit really; giving up a consulting practice of 25 years, evolved it, evolved it a lot, I think it's fair to say into The Center. And one of the most common problems I saw when I was doing work with people, managers of all organizations at all levels was what I called a dodgeball meeting.”
“We work with people who have general management responsibilities. So, those are people, and we have lots of terminology for this, who connect the dots to see the big picture, who have P and L responsibility, who are on the management track…”
“The value add is really this fundamental point that if people don't really understand the common language of management, it's really not the words. It's really the concepts. That's what words are really.”
“it's not just a way to optimize performance, it's a way to break down, you know, fundamental social barriers too. People love to work. It's important to them. And um, you know, you can't really treat people fairly unless you can understand them clearly.”
“the center has been formally organized for a year and we're starting to develop, and we have developed our core installers and CEO soon, and senior managers from different departments and they've gotten to know each other which is great. So, I gathered them together yesterday to think about ‘how are we going to organize our first chapter’ because we have to build community, personal community, among our membership.”
“we're proud of The Index. If you want to take a little step further, you're going into a meeting and you know, it's about some management topic, you know, market research, workflow process, writing the employee manual, you know, financial accounting, whatever it is. You know, go to The Index and you'll see the General Managers Index.”
“my vision of success is an international conference. People from different regions, different languages, literally different languages, people from across difficult, you know, political and cultural borders sharing ideas about management. It's not just a universal language, it's a universal activity.”
You can get in contact with Derrick at:
Brian Lee, APR, is the president of Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media, as well as a part-time lecturer on social media at Madison Area Technical College. Business Magazine named Brian to its "40 Under 40" list in 2012, and PRSA-Madison named him its 2013 Communicator of the Year. Outside of Revelation, Brian is the editor-in-chief of Madison Startups, an online publication that covers startup news in town, and he runs EatDrinkMadison.com, a Madison, Wisconsin, restaurant and bar guide that is searchable by amenities.
“it has become more important lately, especially with social media speeding up the news cycle that something that you could let sort of hide or fester in the old days gets really exposed very quickly these days.
“reputation management is everything you do basically before an incident occurs, you are [inaudible] doing reputation management to help maintain and protect your brand, shape, perceptions, and provide crisis resiliency. Meanwhile, crisis management or crisis communications is everything that occurs after an incident happens. So, this is your doing crisis management to help restore your rebuild trust and reestablish a reputation.”
“when you have a good reputation, people are more likely to forgive you after an incident because it's out of character and the vice versa is true. Then there's the business case. A Deloitte study shows that when an organization's reputation is damaged, there's a decrease in revenue, customer's brand value and/or stock price. In fact, uh, some number, like 87% of CEOs worldwide said reputation risk is the most important strategic risk their organizations are facing.”
“think about it like a campaign. And with any campaign, it's important to start with your goals. So, in this case, list your business goals first and then come up with corresponding reputation goals.”
“The first thing I tell people in companies is that you need to talk to all your internal audiences first. That might be staff, volunteers, board of directors, et cetera. They need to know what's going on, what the company's doing. It also helps improve morale. And it kills the rumor mill.”
“it's a little old, but people know it, it's United Airlines, and this occurred back in 2017. And just to remind listeners out there is that United Airlines had a flight that was oversold. They needed to put on their own crew members. So, they asked for volunteers. Finally, they had to actually forcibly remove a passenger…”
“I launched the corporate event planning business called the revelation events and I was also just named an entrepreneur in residence at Madison area technical college.”
“Revelation: We primarily work with hospitality clients, realtors, developers, associations, tech, and B2B companies. And although our clients do span the state and the country, our main specialty is helping clients win Madison.”
“one of the things you mentioned in the introductions, I am also the editor in chief of a newspaper here in Madison. We cover all the startups and tech and biotech and so forth going on. It's been interesting because there's been a lot of communities in the Midwest that sort of want to replicate what Madison has in terms of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. So, for example…”
“at some point, I did reach out to that person and I just think of a parallel example that earlier this year I was pursuing another business opportunity for Revelation. I have several mutual connections to help reach out on my behalf, but they didn't have any luck. So finally, I'm like, okay, I just gotta take matters into my own hands. I reached out myself and I did get a meeting of it.”
“in that previous interview, I mentioned I often refer business to someone. I don't expect that quid pro quo. So, one time I was at this networking event and I met one person who was looking to buy a particular service and another person I met at that same networking event who actually provided that service. So, it was getting toward the end of the night and I realized, I bet they're not going to even meet because they're about to leave. So, I made sure to grab both of them and introduced them, and they actually ended up doing business together.”
“I really like using OneNote. I use it to keep notes for all my different businesses and I also keep a set of personal notes. So, I do everything from vacation planning to save recipes, to writing outlines of blog posts on it. And I like being able to access the same notes from any device wherever I am.”
“I would love to write a movie script or at least finish the one I started so many years ago and then shop it around Hollywood. I also wrote a TV pilot script years ago. It didn't get picked up obviously, but I would retool and shop that around too.”
You can get in contact with Brian at:
LinkedIn: Click Here
Deanna Singh, the author of Purposeful Hustle, wants to live in a world where marginalized communities have power. As an expert social entrepreneur, she is obsessed with making the world a better place and she will build or break systems to create positive change. Deanna is described as a trailblazer and dynamic speaker who is at the forefront of social change. She is an accomplished author, educator, business leader, and social justice champion!
“the first half of the book, we really talk about purpose. And the idea there, you know, people throw around these words, but when I talk about purpose, I mean what are you uniquely positioned to do in the world? So, what is it that you can accomplish that really nobody else can?”
“a lot of times, we have these amazing people in our network and we get a meeting with them and we're so excited and then we get to the meeting and it flops, because we haven't taken the time to prepare in advance and really think through what would be the most effective use of their time…”
“my all-time favorite question is what should I have asked that I didn't ask? You know, is there anything that you think I should know that might not be on my radar?”
“one of the things I decided to do was have two o'clock tea on Tuesdays. Now I don't think I ever ended up having any of the meetings happen that way where it was actually Tuesday. Sometimes it was Thursday or Wednesday morning or whether, you know, I think probably less than 5% of them ended up to being Tuesday at two o'clock but the idea was I was going to try and reach out to 52 people, so one a week at least minimally that were not part of my network that I thought would be really good and my network.”
“one of the things that I've been working on is trying to use the tools that already exist out there to really continue to nurture the relationship. And obviously one of the biggest kinds of tools that we have at our disposal now is social media. So, just making sure that I'm posting content that I think is relevant to my network…”
“It really comes down to being strategic. You know, a lot of times I'll have people in, they'll say I'm going to a networking event and I'll say, that's great. Like, who are you hoping to meet? They’re like, I don't know.”
“I will say what I have found to be incredible, and this has really been over the last year and I think I started as sort of a naysayer with this and now have completely changed my tune, is the ability to be able to use, kind of blend the two, right, through video conferencing.”
“One of the things that I would definitely really stress is the ability to collect and keep clean my CRM (customer relationship management system).”
“the one that would be for me super exciting would be Michelle Obama. And I do think that I could probably connect in less than six degrees of separation. But it's one of those things where like where we started this conversation about, well, what would you ask? And you know, what would that mean and what would I be able to bring to the table?”
“When I was in college, I sort of made it like a game, right? Where I would try and find the most intimidating person in the room for whatever reason, whatever room I was in. And then I made it a point to try and go up to that person and just speak to them. And I think that like one of the things that I always tell people is I get it. I understand that you're nervous, but the thing that will help you get over your nerves is practicing, right? And pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.”
You can get in contact with Deanna at:
LinkedIn: Click Here