Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

Episode 82: There is No Secret to Success | Sushant Misra, Host of Trep Talks

Sushant Misra explains there is no big secret to success in this episode of The Defining Success PodcastSushant Misra is the owner of Trep Talks, and he and I are in a mastermind together. He actually interviewed me on his show about six months ago. He’s a really bright guy, has a great advice. One thing that he brought up, which I have found to be true with the interviews I’ve done with people for The Defining Success Podcast, is that there is no big secret to success. It’s a great episode, I hope you all enjoy!

Sushant Misra is the host of Trep Talks, a web-based interview show where he interviews some of the most successful digital entrepreneurs on the internet. These entrepreneurs share their stories as well as a few “secrets” – i.e. mindsets, strategies and tactics that worked really well for them in starting and growing their own online businesses. He is also the owner of yogamatstore.com.

Zeb’s Take – There is No Secret to Success

It was a lot of fun for me talking with Sushant. He and I have a conversation every week and talk about our businesses and talk about ways to improve our businesses. It’s always been a good learning experience for me and everyone else that comes and participates in that mastermind group that we’re involved in. He gave so much practical advice, and a lot of great philosophical stuff too. One of the things he said that he learned from doing his Trep Talks show, the video show on his podcast, is that there is no big secret to success.

I think when I started the Defining Success Podcast I was kind of looking for that too. I think a lot of people when they think about using social media or using the internet they think it’s kind of like a gold mine maybe, or that you just jump in and you can make money off of it. But that is absolutely not the case. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment. So maybe the secret to success is that you need to work hard, you need to be committed, you need to persevere, you need to have all those different tools in place.

I remember being approached by a friend of mine. He had, it was called, The Leather Traveller, he would sell leather goods online. I guess it was a franchise or something. He put up a website to sell his leather goods. He thought, “I’m just going to put this website up there, I’m going to sell other people’s goods, and I’m going to make money. It’s that easy.”

What he came to realize was that he had to find out how to drive traffic to his website, had to make sure his website functioned properly, he had to make sure visitors to the website can find what they want and purchase the leather goods. He just didn’t have that level of commitment and interest to go in there and dive in there and make it happen. He kept telling me about all these dreams he had to use the internet to make money, but he would never do the hard work that was necessary to do that. (If he’s listening, I apologize for bringing that up. I know he’s really active and excited about the work he’s doing now.) I will say that from all the people I’ve interviewed on The Defining Success Podcast is that there is no secret to success. The secret to success is that hard work, perseverance, getting that stuff done, and doing it in a smart efficient way.

Such a great time talking with Sushant today, a lot of great advice in the interview. Adam, Scott, Jolene, Herby, Sushant: thank you all for being a part of that mastermind group.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Sushant Misra and Trep Talks

Trep Talks. Learn. Start. Grow.Go to TrepTalks.com
Trep is short for the word Entrepreneur. It’s a great place for people that are interested in learning about online marketing or online entrepreneurship. Sushant is taking this project in a new direction. He’s working to create a lot of great educational content with really successful people teaching you directly.


  • “Entrepreneurship is a process.”
  • “You have to find an idea that is at the intersection of the skills that you have, your own interests and passions, and something that can be monetized. If you have an idea that matches those three criteria, you have an idea that you have a good shot at pursuing.”
  • “Every person has something from their own experiences, from their own knowledge, that they can share with the world.”
  • “I really try to learn from every single guest. In the hopes that by coming from that place of curiosity, I will be able to create content that will be helpful to other people as well.”
  • “One of the big things that I’ve learned is that there is no big secret.”
  • “As an entrepreneur, if you have a small vision or a mediocre vision, you’re going to spend the same amount of time and effort in trying to get that off the ground as you are going to do with a big vision. It’s much better to try to achieve something bigger.”
  • “What really matters is choosing the right idea, the idea that is right for you, and just executing properly and consistently over the long term.”
  • “Business is really about people. You have to be comfortable talking to people, networking with people, and helping people.”
  • “People are very friendly, people are helpful. If you ask them for a meeting or some help, a lot of times they say yes.”
  • “You have to become comfortable making mistakes, learning from them, and not get discouraged from making mistakes. Once you can do that it really helps you take your entrepreneurial journey to the next level. At that point you really start learning at a rapid pace. You’re not getting discouraged by mistakes and you consider that as part of the process.”

sushant-quote1      sushant-quote2

More from the Interview

Sushant had Zeb on his show, Trep Talks, about 6 months ago. He was the first to turn the tables on Zeb and make him an interviewee on a podcast. Zeb had a great experience on Trep Talks and is excited to now have Sushant on The Defining Success Podcast. Zeb and Sushant are part of the same mastermind group.

In 2010, Sushant finished his master’s degree in Health Administration mainly because his parents wanted him to be a doctor, but he wanted to learn about business. He had realized that he was very entrepreneurial. After graduation he had the decision to take the safe life, get a typical 9-to-5 type job, or to really pursue his passion. He took a leap of faith.

“Entrepreneurship involves a lot of uncertainty.”

He didn’t know much about online marketing or online entrepreneurship, but from the little he did know and from his experiences visiting wesites, he knew the internet would continue to grow. He taught himself and created his own online ecommerce store called yogamatstore.com where he sold yoga products. He did that for a few years, but he wanted his own products and lacked the investment to be able to do that. He had to go back in the industry and work for some bigger ecommerce businesses and gain more experience.

Then he found a product that did not require a lot of upfront investment, he started Trep Talks. On Trep Talks he interviews a lot of knowledgeable people in the online world and put out those interviews. Now Sushant is at a point where he wants to take that project and make it something bigger.

Entrepreneurship is a process.

Sushant says there are two kinds of people who become entrepreneurs. One kind is an accidental entrepreneurship, these are people who have worked in the corporate world for 15 – 30 years, they have an acquired set of skills, they know a lot about a certain industry. Now with all that skill and knowledge about an industry they identify an opportunity and start a business. Often they have some capital investment, partners, and things like that.

The other kind of entrepreneur, which Sushant falls into, is someone who has an entrepreneurial personality. It’s innate to them. “For me, entrepreneurship is a process. I realize that it’s something that you do, you learn through the process, then you start something again.”

YogaMatStore is a learning process for Sushant about entrepreneurship, about his own personality, about the online world. He has taken that experience and brought it with him and to new level with Trep Talks.

He hopes to create something that is useful and valuable for people in the world, and that creates a better life for people around the world.

To feed his entrepreneurial personality he says you have to find a sweet spot, “My definition of a sweet spot is you have to find an idea that is at the intersection of the skills that you have, your own interests and passions, and something that can be monetized. If you have an idea that matches those three criteria, I think, you have an idea that you have a good shot at pursuing.”

Entrepreneurship is so difficult that if you are not truly interested or passionate about it, it’s not really something that everyone should pursue.

He says, I realized that I had a passion in learning about the online world. I started approaching people, I approached you, I really started talking to people about how the online world works. I started putting videos on the website just thinking that there are other people out there just like me who want to learn more about online marketing, online entrepreneurship, how to start a business, how to find clients online, and I received a great response from people on different social media sites and people emailing me with great feedback.

It was really a project for me to learn more about online marketing because I was really passionate about it. But, it seemed that it’s something that other people are also interested in learning about. I want to take it and turn it into a big business and really take this idea and take it further.

Fun Fact: Sushant had never used Facebook before 2013.
He realized that he should remedy that, so he created a set of interviews where he interviewed a lot of great Facebook marketing experts. He dug deep and asked them questions from the perspective of a beginner trying to learn how to leverage Facebook marketing, how to leverage Facebook advertising, to find your clients online, to really generate revenue for your business.

Sushant has interviewed 60 to 65 people for Trep Talks. He says it’s already been a great journey. He is appreciative especially of the people who gave him their time and knowledge in the very beginning and who believed in him.

He says one of his best interviews was the one with Zeb, but there are several good ones.

“Every person has something from their own experiences, from their own knowledge, that they can share with the world.”

One of his first interviews was with Tim Ferriss, a very well known online marketer, and it was done in person, an experience Sushant will never forget. Another one was with a blogger named Michelle Shaeffer, she was one of those first people who believed in him. She introduced him to a lot of other people that he was able to interview on Trep Talks.

“I always come from a place of curiosity and learning. I really try to learn from every single guest. In the hopes that by coming from that place of curiosity, I would be able to create content that will be helpful to other people as well.”

“One of the big things that I’ve learned is that there is no big secret.”

“I had this secret hope that they would share something, you know this secret formula, that made them successful, or that made them wealthy. And what I realized was there wasn’t really a big secret, a lot of it was really just perseverance and hard work and having a big vision.”

“As an entrepreneur, if you have a small vision or a mediocre vision, you’re going to spend the same amount of time and effort in trying to get that off the ground as you are going to do with a big vision. It’s much better to try to achieve something bigger rather than smaller.”

He says there is no shortage of ideas or talent. “What really matters is choosing the right idea, the idea that is right for you, and just executing properly and consistently over the long term.”

Advice: Find a big vision. Start. Learn. Refine your idea. After that it’s just about pure perseverance and just not giving up.

He says, 6 or 7 months ago when he started this project, networking and meeting new people was a big challenge for him. One of his mentors pushed him to start networking when he had to go back to working at a bigger business. Sushant had an a-ha moment. Business is really about people. You have to be comfortable talking to people, networking with people, and helping people.

“I could have never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined that I would met so many wonderful people and have this opportunity to learn from them. It has been a wild ride. For me, it’s really something out of a dream.”

“People are very friendly, people are helpful. If you ask them for a meeting or some help, a lot of times they say yes.”

“You have to become comfortable making mistakes, learning from them, and not get discouraged from making mistakes. Once you can do that it really helps you take your entrepreneurial journey to the next level. At that point you really start learning at a rapid pace. You’re not getting discouraged by mistakes and you consider that as part of the process.”

Sushant was doing Trep Talks as a full time job. At one point he wasn’t getting the revenue he needed, his savings was running out and it took him to a dark place. He clearly remembers thinking, in this dark place, this is where I should start looking for opportunities. A couple weeks later he ran across a funding opportunity from the government in Ontario, Canada. They help new and young business owners with funding and training and things like that. He applied for that opportunity, it took some time, but he finally was very fortunate to receive that and now is able to pursue his dream and take his idea to the next level. He had to stop and tell himself, “this is a dark place, I really need to look for an opportunity” and he found it.

Sushant has been in Canada for about a decade, before that he lived in India. He says he was raised in a very safe environment. He was very comfortable, he never wanted to take a risk. He cared too much about what everyone else thought about him. When he went to Canada, he kinda took that as an opportunity to try a lot of new different things, because he thought, “who cares, no one here knows me.” He wonders what if he would have felt that way sooner at a younger age.


Episode 78: Start a Small Scale Business to Test Your Idea | Ben Alexander, Founder of Balloon Distractions

Ben Alexander founder of Balloon DistractionsBen Alexander is the owner of Balloon Distractions, who appeared on an episode of the Shark Tank. He didn’t get a deal with any of the Sharks, but he gained a lot of experience through the process. He talks with us about his experience on the Shark Tank as well as with his business. His advice to start with a small scale business is something that resonates with me.

Ben Alexander started Balloon Distractions in the Fall of 2003, starting an adventure that continues to this day. Balloon Distractions has been a blessing in his life, and the lives of all those who have learned a new skill, income, confidence and poise.


Zeb’s Take – Start with a Small Scale Business

It was great talking to Ben today about his business, how he’s been able to grow it and get these balloons out there; get kids excited, helping out restaurants and helping get people extra income as well. He started his business on a small scale.

The thing I want to expand on is that many people when they start a business they take out a loan, or try to find investors, or take out a second mortgage, or something similar to invest all that money into an idea. All because people tell them it’s a great idea. Then when they take it to market, they don’t get the response (in terms of sales) that they’re looking for.

What you could do with a business is start on a small scale, a small scale business. If you have a product, a service or an idea or something you want to try, do it on as small a scale as possible. See if you can get sales from it, because sales is the most important thing for any business. You really need to go out and seek those sales first to know if you have a business or not.

On Shark Tank the always about sales. How many sales do you have? Some of the people who go on the show haven’t even pushed the sales side of things for their business and then they don’t really know if their business is profitable or not. It doesn’t matter what people say, it matters what people buy in business.

Keep that in mind. If you have an idea, you don’t need a grandiose business launch. Find an inexpensive way to put it out there and try to sell it with your small scale business. Sometimes you don’t even need to have the product to sell it, you can get people to buy into the idea of the product. If you can get people to put money down based on an idea then you know you are onto something. Nowadays there are crowdfunding sites (like Kickstarter and Indiegogo) that you can get people to buy your product before it’s even out there on the market. That’s an excellent way to test and see if people are legitimately  interested in the product or not.

Contact Ben Alexander at Balloon Distractions

If you are interested in growing a region contact Ben, (813) 391-3895


  • “It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it.”
  • “I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘Hey, I want to start something.’”
  • “That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”
  • “No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”
  • “I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”
  • “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”
  • “To play it safe is also to play it boring.”
  • “Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Start with a small scale business to test your business idea.More From the Interview

As a college student Ben took a semester to teach English in Taiwan where he met his wife. When he returned to school he was studying Economics and working as a waiter at a restaurant. At this restaurant they had a guy come in once in a while doing balloons, he serviced a few restaurants. Ben was getting tired of serving, he asked the balloon guy to teach him in return for payment. Ben joined his team and his first week doing balloons he made $800 in tips just from balloons. Ben thought, “wow, there’s something to this.”

When he graduated he got away from doing the ballooning, but he kept it in mind. He got married, had kids, got a job at a fortune 500 insurance company. In the summer of 03 he moved to Tampa Bay, he had a sales job that he hated and that wasn’t paying enough to cover his bills. He noticed there were a ton of restaurants, so he went out and started working at a couple doing ballooning. Then he went to the nearby college and recruited some students. We were in 30 markets by the time we were on The Shark Tank. He was in Episode 514 of The Shark Tank.

Ben lost his sales job when he was fired, but that day he went out and got 4 restaurants, a chain, to work with. He took that as a sign. I remember coming home and talking to a neighbor of mine who owned his own contracting business. He said, “You know you can always get a sales job. Why don’t you go out there and try to do this thing on your own. See if you can support yourself with your balloon business.” To this day Ben remembers that advice.

Ben says, If you’re doing 100% commision sales, you’re kinda already in business for yourself. You just maybe don’t have the structure behind you. I had experience in 100% commision sales, but I had never been a full on independent business owner or entrepreneur.

“It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it. The last 10 years of my life, I’ve had the freedom to do a lot of things that I couldn’t to do if I had a normal 9-to-5 job.

“There’s definitely more risk in running your own business, but if you structure it right and you don’t go into crazy debt, it could be a nice lifestyle.”

Shark Tank
Shark Tank put them on a national stage. There are 200 markets in the United States, Ben is trying to get regional leaders and build a crew for each of the top 150 markets. They have regional leaders that work 15 hours a week, and we have people that are full time.

“I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘hey, I want to start something.’”

“Everything that you’re ever going to see that’s not natural started as an idea.”

“That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”

Ben suggests that if you’re an entrepreneur and you watch Shark Tank. If you have an idea try something on a real small scale. Don’t mortgage your house just to try something. If it’s profitable on a small scale you can grow it bigger and bigger and it tends to be profitable as you get larger.

To get on the show Shark Tank, Ben applied online, months later they asked him to create a audition video. He says, “I made it real wacky and crazy kind of like a Billy Mays Infomercial type of thing. I think they liked that.”

He says, to get on Shark Tank you can be an awesome person with an awesome business, but if it’s something people have seen before, like a fishing boat charter, or house cleaning… they want something different. When you tune in you have no idea what crazy off-the-wall creative wacky businesses you’re going to see.

The show suggested he do his sales pitch and then they drop balloons on him. They filmed in the morning, he didn’t know if it would go smoothly, he had no sleep the night before and he was heavily caffeinated. “I’m normally really hyper and energetic already, so to kick it up a notch, it just makes me look like totally nuts.”

“I think my pitch was not organized enough and I didn’t have a solid enough expansion plan.”

Balloon Distractions
“No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”

Ben still goes out and does gigs. He said “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”

What Ben wants to do is create a machine that, for example, is able to target St. Louis and in 90 days have a team up and running. He wants to do that without spending thousands of dollars in advertising to find those people.

Ben has several people that used to do balloons at restaurants for them that come back and become regional leaders.

“I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”

“To play it safe is also to play it boring.”

Shark Tank boosted his business but it didn’t double it or do anything crazy.

There are 3 skill sets that are needed to run a business:

  • You need to be able to do it
  • You need to be able to sell it
  • You need to be able to manage the money

Ben says he should have, on day one, had someone come in and make sure the money was managed correctly.
He suggests: get a good accountant, get your quickbooks, and never get behind on taxes.

“Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Tim Robbins said it’s action, you have to take action, you can’t sit around and just plan s*** all day. You have to take action. A lot of people have these complicated business plans and they want to get a giant loan and all this other stuff. If you want to start a business, you need to take action up front.

You may have a great idea and people are like, “Wow, that’s a great idea!” And then you go out there and no one is willing to pay you a dime for it… maybe it’s not that great of an idea.

If you have an idea try it. Don’t try it for the next 30 years, but go present it to a hundred different people and just gauge the interest. If no one has any interest then take it back to the drawing board, improve it or change it. Even better, take your idea out there and ask, how can we make it better; you’d be amazed people will give you lots of information.

What do you think of Ben’s interview?


Episode 75: What Makes a Social Business | Michael Peshkam, Founder and CEO of Xincus

Michael Peshkam is the founder and CEO of Xincus. Xincus Michael Peshkam, founder of Xincus, a social business platform.gives businesses an opportunity to collaborate and communicate with each other on his platform and creates the opportunity to leverage social media. Michael talks about businesses and social media, noting that there is a difference between a business that uses social media and a business that is a social business.

Xincus is the first-of-its-kind online Social Marketplace for Business that makes the power of mass collaboration available to everyone by bringing together Experts, Businesses, and Enterprises to engage each other and create new business value and opportunities that they could not develop independently.

Zeb’s Take

Michael is extremely smart and knowledgeable. I really liked the correlations he made between the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and the implications of the power structure that is involved with each century and I agree with the direction he sees things going.

One of the things he brought up, that I want to touch on, is that there are businesses today that are using social media, and they think that’s being social, but it’s not. You need to incorporate social media into your business to create a social business. For example, The Tutoring Solution. I originally got started on Facebook and I wasn’t getting a lot of engagement. I racked my brain and came up with the idea to offer a scholarship. We call it the Share Your Passion Scholarship. To enter we ask students to write an essay to explain what they are passionate about, why they are passionate about it, and how they can use their passion to help others. Then we vote and choose the winner. We give the people on our Facebook the opportunity to vote and help us pick their favorite, and we encourage each of the students to get their friends on facebook to vote. We wouldn’t have started that scholarship if we weren’t thinking of ways to interact with our potential clients. Since then we’ve leveraged that scholarship into so many different areas. We have counselors at different schools recommending us, it makes more people aware of us, helps us get the word out, and then (most importantly) we’re just doing a really good cool service for kids that are passionate and excited.

Just doing social media in and of itself is not enough. In order to leverage social media and the potential of it, you need to make your business a social busienss where you are incorporating social media into the structure of your business. Michael had some great examples with Threadless, Sirius, and Nike to explain to become a true social business.

Find Out More About Xincus

Visit www.Xincus.com.

Xincus, The platform for Social Business


  • “Once I am in a conversation with someone I am happiest when somebody takes away something from what I have said and also when I take away something from what the other person has said.”
  • “Right person, right know-how, right time and it can be a real game changer.”
  • Goal: “To help small/medium sized businesses to grow and thrive better, faster, cheaper and smarter.”
  • “It’s an opportunity to create an entrepreneurial society.”
  • “Having vision and idea is one thing, but having commitment and determination is quite another.”
  • “People want to contribute and be a part of something.”


More from the Interview

Michael graduated in Europe, lived most of his life in Europe. Got a PHD studying aerospace and software engineering aka, rocket science. He worked in the UK for a fortune ten company. He has been fortunate enough to travel the world twice. In 1996 he hopped the pond and came over to the US where he became senior business IT executive and most recently an entrepreneur. He’s also been an associate professor teaching at university.

He’s worked in technology, education, business and now he’s an entrepreneur launching Xincus.

He says, Xincus is the next generation of social media known as social business. The migration from social networking to social media and now to social business. Essentially social business, in a nut shell, is creating business advantage through social technologies. You take the social media (your likes, friends, followers and so on) throw them in an environment which is specifically designed for your business and leverage the tools and technologies to create business advantage for you, whatever that business advantage may be. We’ve designed a platform to allow small and medium sized businesses to have internal collaboration just like bigger corporations and, in addition, it also has a marketplace where they can have better integration with their partners, customers and crowd. For SMBs to do what the larger organizations can do, plus they now have a marketplace like Ebay or Amazon. You can also integrate with other business owners to bring together: collaborate, create new knowledge, new know-how, new products & services and innovate things that would be better, faster and cheaper than if you were to do it on your own.Xincus, Social Business Platform

Social Business Examples

Threadless wanted to make T-shirts. Rather than go and design the shirts themselves, they created their own internal social business platform and invited designers to come and suggest designs. They managed to bring in the crowd, give them the opportunity to design, at the same time have the crowd select their favorite designs, then Threadless goes ahead and prints and sells T-shirts with the chosen designs. They created an integration of social media tools to bring the crowd into their own social business platform to create a business advantage.

Sirius Satellite Radio is one of the first examples of a social business. One of their channels, the least popular, was brainstorming how they could get more listeners. The executive suggested allowing customers come in and program their own playlists. After a while that channel became the most popular.

Traditionally Cimex would have brought in various consultants to over 200 locations around the world, complete a study, and go on to develop their alternative energy for their plants. But through use of social technologies internally, this time they linked their engineers into communities, sort of pilot social networks, and were able to accomplish the same thing within 6 weeks rather than 2 years.

On Entreprenureship

Many people have ideas, many people have visions, but they start half way through and they just give it up. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted.


You can think along two different lines: social media or social business. Social media, all the channels and tools available are fantastic and excellent for promotion, communication, advertising, and reaching out to the masses. But liking is not leading. Just because a business is on Facebook or LinkedIn does not make them a social business. You need to transform those likes and followers into leads where you can leverage them; give them something in return to help you accomplish more. Business owners these days have the entire world open to them.

Pondering Success

If they were asked to define success:
Mother Teresa, perhaps she would say, “I don’t want to see a single hungry child in the world.”
Albert Einstein‘s idea of success might be “I want to have one simple equation that would define the entire universe, the galaxies, the planetary rotations and so forth.”

To find out more about Michael Peshkam and Xincus, visit Xincus.com.



Episode 36: Help Young Adults Build a Financial Foundation | Larry M. Jacobson Author of Growing Success

Larry M. Jacobson, author of Growing Success, helps young adults build a financial foundation.  He is an author, educator, motivator and public speaker.  He’s helping young adults figure out life and establish a financial future for themselves.  Developing financial awareness is a critical skill in today’s society, and is a subject that is rarely discussed in school.  Larry and I both feel that we need to educate young people on how to manage their money and how to do it effectively to help young people prepare for their futures.

Helping Young Adults Build a Financial Foundation.  Larry M. Jacobson on the Defining Success Podcast

Larry M. Jacobson

Larry M. Jacobson helps young and emerging adults follow their goals to make decisions that positively impact their overall financial and personal success. He’s a professional speaker, a contributing author for the international best-selling Ready, Aim, Captivate and recently wrote his first book, Growing Success:  A Young Adult’s Guide to Achieving Personal and Financial Success.

For 22 years Larry M. Jacobson was a music executive for one of the largest record companies since he graduated from Indiana University with a Masters in music.  A year ago Larry left the music industry and is now devoting his life to educating young people and helping young adults build a financial foundation.

In 1993, Larry was in his apartment and decided to write an email to the then president Bill Clinton with the four things he wished he was taught during his time in school that he thought should be a part of everyone’s education.  These four items were sex education, personal finance, personal development and time management.

With all of these ideas, Larry began writing a book in order to help young adults make better decisions because they will have the tools and resources to do so.

Larry is very passionate about personal finance.  Experts say there are societal problems with finances, but not many are doing anything about it.  Larry is trying to get students to understand their relationship with money.  Money is like a gas pedal where you want to stay within your speed limit.

Larry M. Jacobson on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Larry M. Jacobson

He is teaching young adults that money should not be used to show off, but it should be used to get the things you really want.

Schools should be teaching skills that students will be using in their real lives.  Critical life skills like how to balance a checkbook, typing and entrepreneurship are not being taught in today’s schools and our students are left unprepared when they get into the real world.

You could sit one hundred people down in a room to define what success is and you will get one hundred different answers.  It could be making a lot of money, having a great job, being in a relationship, or being the president of the United States.

The one common denominator that will not let people become successful is fear.  Most people don’t reach their goals because they don’t possess the tools and resources from an early age or they can’t get out of their own comfort zone.  They are afraid to be honest with themselves that they have a problem.

When kids are young, they always ask the same question over and over again . . . Why?  When kids get older, they end up asking how.  How can they get that job, how can they get those skills.

The biggest mistake young people go through is denying their strengths.  Most people go to their negatives.  To be successful people think you have to be the next Meryl Streep or Brad Pitt, because they envision that as successful.  But if you love acting then you don’t have to be the most famous actor or actress.  If you love what you do an you’re able to do it, you’re a success.

When Larry was younger, he told his friends, “I want to be a millionaire by the time I’m 30.” As he approached 30 years old he wasn’t on his way to becoming a millionaire and what he realized was that he needed to have a goal or a plan to achieve his goals.  He needed action steps.

When Larry left his job a year ago he wanted to see if he could change his life 180 degrees in 365 days, which he called Operation 365.  The main question that he asked of himself was, “How is that life working for you?”  It was the moment where he realized what was working and what wasn’t.  He wasn’t very happy and he decided he was going to move to Bloomington, Indiana and he started reaching out to people.  You need to do things by reaching out and asking for help.  Larry started reaching out to a lot of people who could get him where he wanted and where he wanted to go.

Larry was able to go back and do some of the things he loved doing the most.  He married the love of his life in May.  He would create action steps, and then would measure his goals to see if he was being successful.  Most people would stay in their comfort zone than do something scary and change.  It’s important to reach out to people you know and trust.

Nobody initially loves going to the gym and once you see the results it becomes easier to do it.

About his book, Larry wanted to figure out how he could become more successful at his job in the music industry.  He knew he needed to get in better shape, he needed to develop stronger relationships and he needed to learn more about how to manage his finances and in 2010, he attended an online training academy.  For the last 10 years, Larry’s been doing a lot of reading and got his PHD in organizational leadership.  He wanted a book that he could write that people wanted at his age.  At the end of each chapter, there are assignments that will help students manage their lives.

A lot of people do things that are not in line with their goals.  He wants to get kids to start thinking about their finances and he knows many young people are not prepared.

Writing a book forced Larry to look at himself and realize that there were decisions to make in his own life and he realized that there were many things that he was doing wrong.

Larry M. Jacobson Helping Young Adults Build a Financial Foundation

Larry M. Jacobson

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Why are so many people in economic and financial turmoil?
  • How is that life working out for you?
  • What do you think is important for young people to know about money?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Larry M. Jacobson – “As a dynamic speaker who understands what it takes to reach this particular audience, Larry generously shares several of his personal life lessons and principles that he has painstakingly learned through his own personal successes and failures in his career, relationships and in business to inspire today’s young adults to achieve the success they desire and enable them to pursue all of their life goals and dreams from an early age and beyond.”
  • Build a Great Financial Foundation for Your Child – One of the first blog articles I ever wrote for The Tutoring Solution.
  • Educate Your Children About Money – One of the first blog articles I ever wrote.

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is getting to do what you love every single day, being supported by friends and people who love you.”
  • “I wish I had had the ability and maturity enough to start planning.”
  • “The reason why people don’t succeed is because they try to take short cuts.”
  • “Do something every day that will get you closer to your goal.”
  • “The people that are successful are not smarter than most, they have taken the initiative to do what they love.”
  • “The people that tend to be successful have a plan and then implement action steps immediately.”
  • “Education appreciates and things depreciate.”
  • “Every time you open up a newspaper, they are always slamming these young people.”
  • “Money is like a gas pedal . . . where you want to stay within the speed limit and live within your means.”
  • “By having more money and saving, it has an opportunity to get them where they want faster.”

Special Requests:

Follow us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WelbornSocialMedia and follow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/dsuccesspodcast.


Episode 28: The Power of Purpose | Think Entrepreneurship Podcast Host Pete Sveen

Teaser: Pete’s goal is to help inspire more and more people become entrepreneurs. He’s spent most of his life as an entrepreneur and is helping others develop a purpose and a passion for entrepreneurship. Recap: Pete Sveen is the host of the Think Entrepreneurship Podcast, a show that interviews successful entrepreneurs and shares their journeys and experiences with you. His guests have included Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, NFL great, Fran Tarkenton and many other motivated and well-known entrepreneurs.

Pete Sveen

Pete Sveen

Pete studied entrepreneurship at the University of Nebraska and while he was in college he started a car detailing business and he learned that he wanted to be his own boss.  He loved the fact that he could get into something that he could be passionate about. His first business was his car detailing business and then he got into the printing business, which he still owns today.  He then got into e-commerce and he started making signs called SignsoftheMountain.com.

He started the Think Entrepreneurship website back in 2010.  He’s also been involved in real estate investing. The entrepreneurship focus in colleges is growing and he started taking an Intro to Entrepreneurship class.  He learned how to write business plans and learn how to start a business. He got practice working on his business plans and entered a contest and got some money to help him start his business in college.  He also did some consulting for businesses with some things that the businesses he did some projects for.

Pete learned a variety of things from the entrepreneurship program at the University of Nebraska, but the greatest thing it offered was networking because he was able to meet investors and find mentors that helped him in the beginning stages of his business. Pete has learned so much in his entrepreneurial journey.  Every day Pete learns how to do new things for his business, but that’s what makes things exciting.

Think Entrepreneurship

Think Entrepreneurship

Pete came up with the name for Think Entrepreneurship for his friends and he was trying to get people to connect his local friends where they could bounce things off of each other.  In 2010, Pete got more active with the website.  He really understood early on that he began to develop some great connections and the first person that he interviewed ordered 2,000 t-shirts from his printing business.

Pete thinks that podcasting is really blowing up right now.  He visited the NMX Conference and they talked about the importance of podcasting.  Pat Flynn said there is 4.5 million blogs and only 250,000 podcasts our there which means it’s a great medium and a great opportunity for people looking to spread their message.

The biggest mistake Pete has made was trying to do everything on his own.  He didn’t outsource anything and he wishes he had outsourced things sooner.  He reaches out to local college students and tries to hire out as soon as you can so you can focus on the more strategic parts of your business. One of the most interesting interviews Pete had was interviewing Fran Tarkenton . . . and Pete’s been a Vikings fan since he was born and it was a great experience for Pete to interview him.  He had a wealth of information and he was inspiring to hear from.  Fran is now doing a lot of investing in start-ups and is working with around 25 companies and he’s currently working with Office Depot to help mentor entrepreneurs from around the United States.

Pete gets guests for his podcasts by reaching out to people who he would like to try and get to.  He sends emails and calls entrepreneurs in order to get guests for his podcast.

Pete says one thing that strikes him about entrepreneurs is how willing they are to give back. Pete does a lot of affiliate marketing which is referring a lot of businesses and companies that you believe in and sending them to their websites.  He is also gathering sponsors for his podcast which are sponsoring episodes.

Pete Sveen

Pete Sveen

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Do you have a clearly defined purpose?
  • What do you think about entrepreneurship?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Think Entrepreneurship – “We created this website to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow their business. We are extremely passionate about helping, inspiring, advising, and motivating other entrepreneurs.”
  • SignsoftheMountains.com – “Thank you for visiting SignsoftheMountains.com. Signs of the Mountains is based in Bozeman, Montana. We produce unique metal signs that serve to recreate memories you’ve had out in the mountains. We create signs about skiing, hiking trails, mountain elevation, gps coordinates, hunting, fly fishing and so on. We also create motivational signs to help inspire outdoor enthusiasts and others. In addition to our standard signs, we are able to personalize signs to make them even more special for our customers.”
  • University of Nebraska – “The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chartered in 1869, is an educational institution of international stature. UNL is listed by the Carnegie Foundation within the “Research Universities (very high research activity)” category. UNL is a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.”
  • Kevin Harrington – “Kevin Harrington, chairman and founder of TVGoods, Inc. and chairman of As Seen On TV, Inc., is widely acknowledged as a pioneer and principal architect of the infomercial industry.”
  • Fran Tarkenton – “Fran is a hands-on entrepreneur. His companies are the result of his ideas and his direct day-to-day involvement. He funds the start-ups, develops the business plans and executes the strategies to build thriving businesses. Fran launched 20 companies over the last 25 years, the largest one reaching revenues of $142 million. He was a founding board member of Coca-Cola Enterprises. He also served on the Board of Directors of Sterling Software, Blimpie International and Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.”
  • Pat Flynn Smart Passive Income – “With this blog, I want to be as transparent as possible with everything I do online. My businesses, my strategies and my income – it’s all out there for you to see. I’m not trying to show off my success – that’s definitely not my purpose.  If you’re already doing business online, I hope that my experiences – both my wins and my failures – can help you reach your goals.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is finding something that you’re passionate about and you want to work on every single day.”
  • “Success is finding something you’re passionate in that can bring in a good income to do the things you want with your family.”
  • “My big goal is to reach out and inspire as many people out there about entrepreneurship.”
  • “My goal is to help inspire as many people as possible.”
  • “I have to be helping somebody in order to stay passionate about it.”
  • About Entrepreneurs: “One thing that I’ve really noticed is their willingness to help other entrepreneurs.”
  • “Every day I’m learning.”

Special Requests: If you need help finding your passion or have questions about how we can help you develop yours, send me an email at Zeb@WelbornMedia.com, visit and comment on our blog www.DefiningSuccessPodcast.com or visit and comment on the Defining Success Podcast Facebook page.


Episode 19: The Importance of Learning from Your Mistakes | Brian Roberts from In-Store Radio

Brian Roberts, aka “The Voice,” is the announcer for the Defining Success Podcast, but he also manages his own business, In-Store Radio which are custom radio stations for retail locations. As an entrepreneur, Brian knows the value of learning from your mistakes and shares with us why making mistakes are some of the most important things you can do.

Brian Roberts - Learning From Your Mistakes

Brian Roberts

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!Recap:


Brian Roberts is the owner of In-Store Radio, which creates a customized radio station for retail and corporate locations.  He also happens to be the voice you hear at the beginning of every podcast for the Defining Success Podcast.

Brian ran Goodwill Industries in Central Florida and at 33 Brian decided to come out to L.A. to become a rock star.  His dreams as a rock star weren’t really working out and he knew that he wasn’t going to be able to keep his dreams and his family.  Someone told Brian he had a great voice and suggested he be a voice actor.

The idea to run In-Store Radio came when he visited Walmart and Walgreen’s and listened to their customized radio station.  He then began to think of the opportunity that he could create a customized radio station for smaller businesses and thus In-Store Radio began.

His association with Goodwill Industries got his business started and being somewhat of a computer geek, Brian was able to create a usable system for small businesses to have their own customized radio station inside their business locations.  His love of computers, Goodwill and entrepreneurship helped him build the foundation for his business.

Brian was then able to set up a live radio stream into their business and as long as the location has access to the Internet they can get access to their customized radio station.  Brian is trying to get into 1,000 locations by the end of the year.

A great success story Brian likes to share is that every year they had an event which never seemed to get a lot of visitors.  The first year that they had Brian create a short advertisement and for the first year ever they sold out their tickets and the next year they increased ticket sales by 300% selling out again.  For Goodwill Industries, Brian was able to encourage shoppers to donate and encouraged those who donated to become shoppers.

When talking about learning from your mistakes . . . Early on in his career, Brian offered a deal to a friend of his that was unsustainable.  Once Brian realized he couldn’t deliver on the deal he offered his friend he told him he couldn’t do it and they re-negotiated.  Brian felt awful, but he learned a valuable lesson that mistakes are acceptable and as long as you learn from your mistakes and move on that you can never fail.  Learning from your mistakes is an important skill to have as an entrepreneur and business owner.

Brian has two children and Brian thinks it’s interesting that when his kids were younger they would constantly make mistakes and they were encouraged to do so, but that as they got older he became less willing to encourage his children when they made a mistake.

Brian’s mom was a teacher and he had a complex early on about asking teachers questions.  And for his entire ninth grade year he was lost in Algebra and sometime during his junior year he finally raised his hand and said that he was completely lost and asked for help.  The teacher helped him understand the material and afterwards many of his friends came to him saying they were having the same problems.  It taught Brian a lesson that it was ok to ask questions because if you had a question, it was likely others had the same question as well.

Being an entrepreneur taught Brian that he can do pretty much anything he can put his mind to.  It taught Brian that all along he had a unique gift that he could offer the world.  Once he learned that he could make money as an entrepreneur it became very freeing.

Brian believes that he has certain talents and has developed particular skills.  His singing ability has helped him become a successful voice actor.  He was able to find the emotional connection in his writing just like he did when he was a singer.  The computer has been invaluable to Brian’s success in business as well.

Procrastination and over-thinking got Brian in a lot of trouble early on in his business.  The way Brian describes the way business should be done is “Ready, Fire, Aim.”  Meaning that as an entrepreneur, it’s important to take action first and then analyze your results.

In-Store Radio - Learning From Your Mistakes

In-Store Radio

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What mistakes have you made?
  • What is the importance of learning from your mistakes?
  • Do you think “Ready, Fire, Aim” is a good strategy to use for entrepreneurs?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • In-Store Radio – Brian’s mission is to spread the “Good News” of not only Goodwill, but of ALL businesses throughout America and abroad through In-Store Radio.  That mission will put a custom-designed and professionally-produced radio show into every retail store and waiting room around the globe.
  • Voice123.com/BrianRoberts – Brian’s voice is varied and strong. He has the ability to do all types of work from the “Classic Announcer” to “Young punk” and anywhere in between!
  • Goodwill Industries – “Goodwill® works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.”
  • Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce – “The Chino Valley Chamber offers a wide variety of opportunities for members to market their businesses, a strong legislative action committee, and a commitment to the continuing education of a diverse workforce. For additional information, check out our convenient links to city websites, selected businesses and current projects.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is being happy . . . Nothing matters unless you’re happy.”
  • “I really love helping people accomplish things they didn’t know they could accomplish.”
  • “I was perfectly content being an employee and letting someone else tell me what I was worth until the fire was lit.”
  • “I’m completely unemployable . . . because there is no possible way I can survive working for someone else.”
  • “There are a lot of people who are bound up by their fear of looking silly that they pay this horrible price.”
  • “The more mistakes you make the more money you make.”
  • “What business owners do better than the people that don’t own businesses is make mistakes and are ok with making mistakes.”
  • “The reason entrepreneurs succeed where other people don’t succeed is because they understand that as long as they didn’t quit, they didn’t fail.”

Special Requests:


Episode 10: The Business Breakthrough | Entrepreneur On Fire Host John Lee Dumas

Fire Nation ignites seven days a week in John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire podcast.  He has interviewed some of the most successful entrepreneurs and shares the takeaways from his podcast with us.

If people are telling you something is impossible, or you’ll never be able to do it . . . take that as a sign that that is something you should do.

John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas


John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of Entrepreneur on Fire, a business podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs 7 days a week. Entrepreneur on Fire is a top ranked business podcast generating over 150,000 unique downloads a month in over 140 countries. His lineup includes Barbara Corcoran, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki and hundreds more. All the magic happens at EOFire.com so be sure to check them out.

John went to college in Providence, RI on a ROTC scholarship.  He spent 8 years in the U.S. Army as an officer with a 13 month tour of duty in Iraq.  He tried corporate finance, residential real estate, commercial real estate, tech start ups.  In June 2012 he started his passion of sharing the journey of other entrepreneur’s with the world where he interviews some of the most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs.

John Lee Dumas

John Lee Dumas

American spend so much time commuting to and from work which is where John Lee Dumas had his AHA Moment for Entrepreneur on Fire.  In 2009, he discovered podcasts and became hooked because he could find the content he was looking for and the content had zero commercials.  He started listening to Wall Street Journal and found another unique podcasts to listen to.  At some point, he ran out of content and realized that there wasn’t a podcaster who was posting a show once every day and he’s been posting it every single day since September 20, 2012.

Entrepreneur on Fire follows a format for his podcasts and John wanted to hear about the journey of successful entrepreneurs.  Every episode starts with a success quote and how they apply that quote to their life.  Then he discusses obstacles and failures they’ve had in the past and how they’ve overcome those obstacles.  Then covering the AHA moment that turned them into successful entrepreneurs.  Then they talk about their current business and what’s exciting them now and their plans for the future and then they have a lightning round which usually consists of five questions that pull out great information and resources for the listeners.  The podcasts typically last 25 to 35 minutes.

John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 200 entrepreneurs and one of John Lee Dumas’s favorite interviews was with Barbara Corcoran who is on ABC’s Shark Tank.  Hearing her story about how she was living in New York as a waitress and never thinking she was going to be more than that and how she had her AHA moment which led her to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneur’s in America.

The process began for Entrepreneur on Fire in June 2012.  He quit his job and went all in deciding to start his podcast.  He went down to a conference called BlogWorld in New York City where he met Pat Flynn, Derek Halpern, and Adam Baker who were willing to be some of the first guests for his show.  He planned appropriately and had 40 guests lined up and ready to go by the time he launched his podcast in September, 2012.

Consistency has been one of John’s greatest attributes which have helped him build his following.  “Fire Nation” has been a group of loyal listeners who have come to expect and appreciate the daily posting of podcasts by John Lee Dumas.  As a result of his planning and consistency, he’s getting 175,000 downloads in over 140 countries every single month.  Just six months after the idea of Entrepreneur on Fire John was asked to speak at BlogWorld as an expert in podcasting.

John says the most important thing you can do is to have a high level of quality.  John has always tried to produce the highest quality of show that he can possibly do.  And every episode he creates he produces higher and higher levels of podcasts.  So when people come across his podcast they know that the podcast is high quality and that he is someone who is working hard to bring an exceptional experience to them.

When he’s talking about podcasting one example of how he strives to be the best is having high quality audio and the actual content has to be high quality.  The guests and the topics have to be valuable to the people who will be listening to the podcasts.

One thing John points out in his interview is the existence of his “Avatar” or the target market for his podcast for John, his “Avatar” is 25 to 45 year old “Wannabepreneur” and they haven’t done it yet, or maybe they just started it.  His goal is to help entrepreneurs by motivating them and giving them motivational boosts along the way.  If you have a clearly identifiable target market it’s much easier to reach them.  Asking for feedback from that group is also a great way to enhance your podcast to make it better.

Entrepreneur’s are very transparent and love sharing their stories about how they’ve overcome mistakes.  At the beginning John was very nervous to reach out to entrepreneurs and he learned that it was okay to reach out to people.  His big takeaway was that people in the online world are very friendly, welcoming and willing to help.

If you’re interested in podcasting, John Lee Dumas highly recommends buying Podcast Launch by John Lee Dumas.  It goes through every step of the procees, it comes with 15 video tutorials, it’s $5 and it’s something John wish he had when he started podcasting.  He wanted to come out with a book that was completely transparent about his process and he wants to further the brand of Entrepreneur on Fire by giving away great content and helping others.  Right now, it’s the #1 podcast book on Amazon.

One of John’s greatest success stories came from a captain in the Marines who didn’t know he had a story to tell, but because of the podcast he had his own AHA moment who came out with his own podcast called A Dose of Leadership where he interviewed some incredible leaders all over the world.  His name is Richard Rierson and he’s interviewed some successful leaders and is having his own impact and he started all because of Entrepreneur on Fire.

From Day 1, John always wanted to turn Entrepreneur on Fire into a business.  And set out to become just a podcaster and now that he’s getting close to 175,000 downloads a month he’s getting sponsors who are providing a significant revenue for Entrepreneur on Fire. Once you have a big enough audience people start to take notice.  Audible.com, Legal Zoom and SquareSpace.com are currently sponsoring Entrepreneur on Fire.  But, John is also able to add books, products and services which have helped create a great income stream.

John’s determination has been his greatest asset.  Many people told John that doing one podcast a day was not doable and he had tons of people who were telling him that he couldn’t and shouldn’t do it.   John was determined, passionate and was able to take over his niche of providing daily content for “Fire Nation.”

Entrepreneur on Fire

Entrepreneur on Fire

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Have you had an AHA moment?  What was it?
  • Has anyone told you something you wanted to do was impossible?  How did you respond?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Entrepreneur on Fire – “John Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of EntrepreneurOnFire, a daily podcast that interviews todays most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs.  EntrepreneurOnFire tells the journey of the spotlighted guest, sharing their early failures, AHA moments, and insight into what is working for them now and why.  Every show ends with a 5-question “Lightning Round” that pulls priceless nuggets of information from these incredibly successful Entrepreneurs.  Subscribe to iTunes via http://bit.ly/RX3yMa and Prepare to Ignite!”
  • Podcast Launch – “Have you ever considered creating your very own podcast? Podcast Launch will take you through the entire process, from step one to step done. This book comes with 15 video tutorials where the author, John Lee Dumas, will walk you through the more technical aspects of podcasting. These tutorials will make your podcast experience enjoyable and stress free.”
  • Barbara Corcoran – “Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three.  It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country when she took a $1000 loan to start The Corcoran Group.  She parlayed that loan into a five-billion-dollar real estate business which she sold in 2001 for $66 million.”
  • Seth Godin – “Seth Godin has written fourteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.”
  • Tim Ferriss – “Tim has been featured by more than 100 media outlets–including The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, CNN, and CBS–and has been a popular guest lecturer at Princeton University since 2003, where he presents entrepreneurship as a tool for world change and ideal lifestyle design.”
  • Gary Vaynerchuk – “Meet Gary Vaynerchuk, a 36 year old New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author who is also a self-trained wine and social media expert. From a young age, it was clear that Gary was a businessman. At 8-years-old he was operating seven lemonade stands in his neighborhood and by 10 he had moved onto selling baseball cards at local malls. In high school while working at his family owned liquor store, Gary started reading The Wine Spectator and wine books, and realized collecting wine offered an allure similar to his previous hobby of collecting baseball cards. With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary spent every weekend of his college years at his parents’ wine store. Recognizing the importance of e-commerce in 1997, Gary launched Winelibrary.com and helped grow his family business significantly from $3 million to $45 million by 2005.”
  • Guy Kawasaki – “Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki is the author of ten books including Enchantment, Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.”
  • Audible.com – “We’re here to establish literate listening as a core tool for anyone seeking to be more productive, better informed, or more thoughtfully entertained.”
  • Legal Zoom – “Every year, Americans spend millions of dollars on routine legal needs, from incorporations and trademarks to last wills. Others put off creating essential legal documents because of the inconvenience and high fees. As attorneys, we knew there had to be an easier, more affordable way to take care of common legal matters.”
  • SquareSpace.com – “Whether you need simple pages, sophisticated galleries, a professional blog, or want to sell online, it all comes standard with your Squarespace website.”
  • A Dose of Leadership – “Hosted by Richard Rierson, the Dose of Leadership Podcast is the ultimate resource of inspiring & educational interviews with relevant and motivating leaders; real-life leadership & influence experts who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of the truth,  common sense, & courageous leadership.”
  • BlogWorld – “The BlogWorld/New Media Expo Blog is a prolific new media industry news and information site that offers a diverse array of content – covering social media for business, blog, podcast and video content creation, distribution, and monetization, the latest social networking tool, tech and trends –– and also covering topics in all vertical niche areas of blogging (tech, business, parenting, sports, real estate, military, politics, etc).”
  • Pat Flynn – “I’m Pat. I’m a 30 year old dude from Southern California who makes a living on the internet. I consider myself the luckiest person on Earth.”
  • Derek Halpern – “I show people how to turn web traffic into leads and sales. And if they’re not getting any traffic, I show them how to get that, too.”
  • Adam Baker – “At Man Vs. Debt, we hope that by sharing a transparent and honest account of our own journeys to remove barriers – primarily our debt and excess clutter – we can empower and inspire others who find themselves on similar paths.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is the gradual realization of a worthy goal.”
  • “When you hear people talking strongly against an idea, that means it’s a great idea.”
  • “Once you have an audience in place, the sky is truly the limit.”
  • “The mission of Entrepreneur on Fire is to inspire millions.”
  • “If you want to make millions, you need to inspire millions.”
  • “The online world is a very friendly place.  We are in this huge marketplace where helping people is only going to help ourselves.”
  • “Help spread the word and get more people motivated and passionate about following their dreams.”
  • “She definitely flirted with me quite a bit throughout the interview so I definitely enjoyed that.”