The Jon Schultz Podcast: The Myth of Overnight Success
By Jon Schultz
The Jon Schultz Podcast: The Myth of Overnight SuccessMay 23, 2023
The Fortitude to Keep Moving Forward: The Story of Bob Knakal's Career in Real Estate
Life is filled with twists and turns that can sometimes surprise you and lead you into a life-defining career. Bob Knakal has been a force to be reckoned with in real estate. He has been selling investment properties in New York since 1984 and has been personally responsible for the sale of over 2,000 buildings and counting, giving him the title of highest total ever for a single broker in New York. But did you know that real estate was a job he stumbled upon?
Growing up in a small town in New Jersey, Bob was always an athlete at heart. He played baseball through little league until college and always dreamt of becoming a baseball player for the Yankees or a hockey player for the Rangers. Little did he know, his love for sports and scorecards honed his love and skill for statistics.
Dreaming of then becoming the next Gordon Gekko while he was at Wharton, he made use of his summer breaks to look for a job in banking, dropping off his resume in all banks he saw. This was a time before the internet, so when he saw Coldwell Banker, thinking it was a bank, he sent them his resume, got the job, and continued working for them as a summer intern and loved it.
On his third summer as an intern, he got his broker’s license in New Jersey and started as an assistant to an industrial broker named Tom Mallaney and got real first-hand experience in showing industrial spaces to tenants. After he graduated from Wharton, he moved to New York and continued working with Coldwell Banker where he then met Paul Massey.
In 1988, Bob and Paul formed Massey Knakal and found themselves in the midst of the savings and loan crisis in 1990. With no deals, no contracts and not having enough to get by, the fortitude to keep moving forward made them take credit cards from several banks to help them stay afloat before acquiring a loan from Paul’s step-father, Jack Holler, which then helped the company from sinking. Between 1988 and 2014, Massey Knakal closed over 6,000 transactions with a total value of $23 billion.
Bob always felt that the intent of starting a business was to create something valuable to sell one day, and so in 2014, Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal where Bob acted as chairman of New York investment sales and ranked as the top sales broker for several years. In 2018, Bob joined JLL and is currently serving as the Senior Managing Director and Head of New York Private Group.
Ready to be inspired by an industry titan? Join me for this latest episode, where I chat with Bob Knakal about his career-defining moments and how he navigated the challenges along the way. Tune in now!
Salim Ramji: From Small Town Roots to Global Finance
Salim Ramji has had an impressive career in the finance industry, with more than twenty years of experience. He is widely respected as a leader in the investment management world and is known for his expertise in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index investments. At the young age of nine, Salim dreamt of becoming part of a professional sports team - specifically, to become a hockey goalie. Despite his enthusiasm for his dream, he later learned he was never going to be able to go to the next level with the sport, and so when his hockey coach pointed out that his favorite professional hockey goalie, Ken Dryden, was also a lawyer, that inspired him to have a backup plan. Born to immigrant parents who were not able to graduate high school, the importance of education was always a dream they instilled in him from a very young age, and living through the recession, he always aimed at succeeding academically as a means to gain financial stability. Soon after graduating law school, he wanted to work at the World Bank, but lacking field experience, he ended up working in the field of microfinance and doing fieldwork in the north of Pakistan, which inspired his interest in economic development. He worked as a corporate lawyer for banks, then became an asset manager and senior partner at McKinsey & Company for over a decade before joining Blackrock. Salim Ramji served as the Global Head of Corporate Strategy at BlackRock before becoming the Global Head of iShares and Index Investments. He is currently overseeing $5.6 trillion for the company. Tune in on this episode as we talk about the events in Salim’s life that made him who he is today, the need for reinvention, disruptive technology, and why he recommends we seek out people who disagree with us.
Brian Ansell: See the big picture on both sides and find the common ground
Growing up in a family of attorneys that debated over the dinner table, Brian Ansell became accustomed to speaking up to be heard. His interest in law stemmed from a desire to help others and the realization that he had witnessed this firsthand through his family, particularly his father and uncles, as well as other attorneys in his family's social circle.
As a child, he had a shy personality, but as he grew older, he challenged himself to overcome his apprehension about being in public and commanding a room. With hard work and perseverance, he graduated law school and became president of the Monmouth County Bar Association, a position held by his father and grandfather as well, all while working and eventually taking over the firm his grandfather founded in 1929.
Preserving the legacy of a multi-generational family firm has its peaks and valleys; Join me as we hear Brian Ansell’s take on his path to succession and the difficulties and triumphs that come with managing a family company and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Perseverance Personified: Playing the Part with Rudy Ruettiger
Growing up, many of us found inspiration in the 1993 film "Rudy" and its portrayal of unwavering perseverance. However, the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, the man who served as the film's inspiration, is even more motivating. Rudy's struggles in making the movie, from getting his story out to seeing the film through to completion, are far more inspiring than the finished product.
Rudy grew up in a large family and idolized his hardworking father, who worked three jobs to support his family of fourteen children. Seeing the sense of pride and hope his father felt each time Notre Dame won a football game, Rudy set his sights on one day playing for the team himself.
Despite facing many obstacles, Rudy remained persistent in pursuing his dreams. He applied to Notre Dame multiple times before finally being accepted, and even after that, he faced eight years of setbacks and rejections in his attempts to get his story out to the world. However, his "nothing-to-lose-attitude" and unwavering determination kept him going.
Rudy's resilience and positive outlook are a testament to the power of hard work and determination. Tune in on this conversation and let it become a reminder that no matter how daunting the challenge, we should never give up on our dreams. Through Rudy's example, we can learn to embrace setbacks and turn them into opportunities to grow and persevere.
Insights on Innovation from Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Kathi Vidal
Show notes:US Patent and Trademark Office: https://www.uspto.gov/ Director's Blog: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/directors-blog-latest-uspto-leadership LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathividal/
Not every seven-year-old reads case law, but Kathi Vidal, Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, did that on library visits. But her love for science pushed her toward an engineering career. However, her passion for digging deep into subjects and learning new things eventually turned her towards the law profession, where her hands-on scientific background became an asset as an Intellectual Property lawyer.
Kathi's drive to continually learn and a willingness to push the boundaries have accelerated her career. Experiencing impediments, she didn't know existed helped shape her leadership style. As you'll hear, Kathi is a committed champion of creating equity and access for all innovators, and she's using her platform to bring that to everyone.
This episode discusses Kathi's engineering experience, becoming a lawyer, owning feedback, and realizing her potential. If you want to geek out on some intellectual property law talk or learn more about what it takes to be a leader in today's world, this conversation is for you.
Ken Traub On Transforming Chaos Into a Thriving Business
Show Notes:Connect with Ken Traub on LinkedIn Ken Traub on Twitter
We end up in things that we're good at but not necessarily what our plan was for the future. That reflects the journey of Ken Traub, whose aptitude for tackling challenging concepts initially had his family pointing him into a medical career. Instead, his roundabout path led to business and entrepreneurship.
Today he's the founder of Delta Value Group, but getting there hasn't been a breeze. Microsoft crushing his Voiceover IP startup is just the start of the chaos Ken has experienced. From uncovering fraud at a 200-year-old company dedicated to preventing that very thing to righting the ship and winning back trust, he's not one to shy away from the storm.
In this episode, Ken and I talk candidly about learning from your mistakes. Hear what he considers to be one of his most significant strategic blunders and also what guides him through rough waters. If you are someone who likes righting the ship and driving more value, you'll find a kindred spirit in Ken.
Dr. Darshan Shah: How Your Health Is Part of Your Success
Show Notes:Dr. Darshan Shah Website Dr. Darshan Shah LinkedIn
People are living longer lives–shouldn’t those be healthy years? If this is your goal, then you need to follow Darshan Shah, MD, and CEO of Next Health. Darshan’s experience is similar to many of ours: the young workaholic found himself overweight and suffering from chronic conditions like hypertension and pre-diabetes. He realized he needed to change his lifestyle now if he wanted to experience his children’s milestones.
What makes Darshan different is he was an accomplished surgeon when he had his epiphany. His firsthand insight into how the medical system works and what we can do to change led to Next Health, a medical center flipping the script on health care by helping people optimize their health before they’re sick. Using the latest technologies and research, you can gain individualized insights on your health.
Tune in for an insightful conversation about Darshan’s journey to wellness and how he’s using his passion to help others live longer lives to the fullest.
Matt Higgins: Give Yourself No Other Choice
When Matt Higgins, Author of "Burn the Boats," was a kid in Queens, you were likely to find him hawking flowers on a street corner or scraping gum off restaurant tables. Today Matt Higgins is co-founder of RSE Ventures, a prominent entrepreneur, investor, and business executive known as a CBS Shark Tank guest. Hear how having limited choices and making bold moves set the board for his success.
What Matt remembers about his childhood in Queens is the government cheese, food stamps, and a rodent-chewed mattress. But he also had an example of resilience, as his Mother pursued her GED and got into Queens College. Unfortunately, she had health problems that necessitated Matt caring for her rather than enjoying being a teen. His desire to escape poverty led to an epiphany. He became a college student at 16, aspiring to change his family's path.
Over the years, Matt found himself in situations with limited options, but he refused to be boxed in. Never one to let circumstances dictate the end, he controlled his destiny by making himself invaluable. Matt became Press Secretary for the New York Mayor's office, the youngest ever at 26, followed by the COO of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which oversaw rebuilding the World Trade Center. From there, he moved on to several high-profile executive positions, including executive positions with the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets NFL teams.
As Matt says, only you have the full context of your life. The only thing you need to believe is your infinite capacity to figure it out. Tune into this conversation for endless insights on overcoming imposter syndrome, leveraging your skills, and why limiting choice is a good thing.
Aaron Boone: Commit to the Process, Not the Results
Baseball is in Aaron Boone's blood. The New York Yankees Manager is a third-generation Major League Baseball (MLB) athlete. As a kid, he remembers rubbing elbows with Hall-of-Famers and All-Stars and wandering the stadiums his Dad played in. He was never pushed into chasing his grandfather or Dad's path, but baseball had his number. In our chat, Aaron shares insights from his decades-long career in and around professional baseball.
Aaron worked his way through college baseball and minor leagues before being called up as a major league player. But it wasn't all smooth sailing. Early on, he bounced back and forth before he landed full-time on the roster.
Operating at this high level required more than talent and physicality. Aaron discusses the mental and emotional growth essential to longevity in professional baseball. Hitting his rock bottom propelled him to have some of the best years of his career as a player. He learned how changing what you focus on can significantly impact what you achieve.
Now Aaron has made the leap to manager. Hear how Aaron maintains his perspective while managing the high-stress stakes of an iconic MLB team. For him, it's all about the process; take action, and the results will come. Entrepreneurs can learn from his focus on developing a strong culture that can withstand adversity.
Uri Levine On Why You Must Fall in Love With the Problem
The world has no shortage of problems. Luckily it has people like Uri Levine, creator of Waze and Moovit, serial entrepreneur, and author, who fall in love with problems and solving them. As a testament to his passion for challenges, "Fall in Love with the Problem, Not the Solution" is the title of his new book.
This podcast tracks Uri's journey from a kid who thought he'd be an engineer because he wanted to build things to a globally successful CEO. Uri doesn't fear not succeeding, thanks to his Dad, who never stigmatized failure for trying out an idea. Uri's inherent curiosity drove him to evolve from software engineer to product manager to entrepreneur, tackling Israel's traffic congestion. But it hasn't always been smooth sailing. Hear firsthand how they believed Google's AI navigation announcement was the death knell for Waze, but the competition spurred investment in the company a month away from running out of cash.
Uri urges aspiring entrepreneurs to not give up because the journey will be hard. He mentioned the many iterations created by Waze trying to solve customers' problems. He encourages entrepreneurs to make decisions with conviction, including the hard ones like firing the wrong fit. When you fail, fail fast; this gives you time to try another approach or strategize something new.
He digs into why entrepreneurs should begin by focusing on a problem, calling it the North Star. Without it, you'll take a longer route and possibly get off-course in your decision-making. Keep asking "who has this problem?" Speak with potential customers and hear their version of the problem so you can work towards finding solutions for them.
The wisdom from Uri Levine shared throughout the podcast affirms that it takes courage, conviction, and many other essential traits to become a successful startup entrepreneur or CEO. Tune in to hear his approach first hand.
Lisa Picard On Making Every Step In Your Journey Worth It
Lisa Picard, Partner, Sway Ventures, learned early in life to stop pleasing others and pursue what tugs at her strings: how to influence change. Every act has been an intentional step in exploring how we design a built world that enhances how people work and live.
Lisa felt deeply connected to the outside environment from a young age. She recalls being fascinated with the minute details of cities, like sidewalk widths and the position of a candy store. This interest in cities was something her Mom encouraged her to explore, leading her to study urban design and later real estate at MIT.
She takes us through her journey of losing her parents at a young age, chasing career challenges, and key growth moments. Listen to Lisa's take on the dot-com bubble burst and how experiencing difficult moments like a "great undoing" shapes your outlook.
Lisa believes by finding our edges, we can learn about ourselves and see how far we can go. It's why she changed careers and roles; the challenge of change is essential for growth. She acknowledges that cultivating a solid ground to stand on gives the confidence to tackle those scary steps without fear. As Lisa says, we're often incentivized to keep doing the same thing; yet embracing the potential to grow through challenges can result in rewards beyond measure.
Our discussion includes a deep dive into various aspects of real estate, such as changes in office space design and the support versus surveillance perspectives in the push to get back to the office. We share interests in technology and talk about how AI will revolutionize different systems and optimize decision-making.
Jeremy Utley: Don't Let Traditional Thinking Hold You Back
Jeremy Utley’s journey to authorship began when he discovered something that was equally rigorous but much more enjoyable than finance consulting. The Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric That Matters Co-Author and Adjunct Professor at the renowned Stanford d.school shares how he learned to stop chasing “being the best” and instead pursue his passions.
Growing up, Jeremy dabbled in various activities: soccer, acting, music, books, and poetry. Despite what we’d consider more creative pursuits, the traditional notion that work was not created for fun that placed him on a finance career track. Jeremy excelled at his classes, but found he disliked each one more than the next.
Still, the idea of excellence–being the best versus doing what was best for him–stayed rooted in his system until a summer job in India. Time and again, he found himself enthralled with the problems the company’s designers were talking about. They pegged Jeremy as an MBA misfit stuck in the wrong career and introduced him to Stanford’s d.school, where creative thinking is unlocked to solve problems.
Life is full of unexpected turns. Jeremy’s decision to listen to that little whisper, to explore the d.school, launched him down another path that revealed work can be fun. That epiphany gave Jeremy permission to explore what it means to be creative and ways to create a real-world impact.
Tune in for a journey through how we can acknowledge our instincts and trust our creativity. We discuss how there’s no shortage of problems in the world today, but taking the time to explore all ideas could potentially unlock true innovation.
Cydni Tetro: How Pushing Boundaries Opened Doors to Becoming a Tech CEO
When Cydni Tetro was a kid, she wrote she wanted to be President of the United States. Now the CEO of Brandless, she changed her mind, instead nurturing a skill for building things. Her drive to understand the why and when things happen unlocked her potential, but the road hasn’t been smooth sailing. Hear Cydni share insights from the bumps on the road, why sacrifices are actually positive, and how she’s helping people today through Brandless and the Women in Tech Council.
Cydni’s natural gift for computation was aided by early mentors who saw how she could benefit the emerging technology industry. She didn’t want to be a programmer and wasn’t really sure what her aspirations were. Still, Cydni knew acquiring these technical skills would open doors she couldn’t predict. Turns out, learning the why and when things happen has absolutely helped her in every position she’s held.
This highly technical skill set enabled Cydni to push her boundaries, like writing the first directory of a billion objects, becoming Head of Product Management, or focusing on growing a company as with Brandless. Not everything’s been an outright success, like innovating a peer-to-peer filing sharing before the market was ready. Cydni shares how such times are defining moments and opportunities for growth.
Her insatiable appetite to take on new disciplines and continually learn has enabled her to evolve with Silicon Slopes. While others in tech may have moved to Silicon Valley, Cydni candidly shares that making priorities means intentional sacrifices to uphold what you value. Learn how those choices can be equally empowering.
Cydni speaks about how our time is valuable. Everything we do has an opportunity cost, and it’s up to us to decide how to make the most of that opportunity. She also feels a deep-rooted responsibility when given the opportunity to help other people explore theirs. It’s one of the core values of the companies she builds or works for and one of the reasons she co-founded the Women in Tech Council.
This insightful conversation explores how showing resilience and having faith in yourself, and your own capabilities can unlock doors. Listen to learn from Cydni Tetro how handling failure can guide you to a successful future.
Patti Grabel: The Recipe Is In You
Few have the opportunity to "live" a story, but artist, writer, and producer Patti Grabel is doing just that. Producers liked her script about a middle-aged woman who moved to New York after divorce and rediscovered her passion for art but felt it lacked conviction. In her light bulb moment, Patti realized she'd drafted the story she was afraid to live. Once she embraced the script as her playbook, Patti found her authentic identity as the Spoon Lady. She continues to positively transform lives by pursuing her passions.
A magical childhood nurtured Patti's creative spirit. As the daughter of summer camp owners, she had an art hut with endless supplies constantly available. The creatives around her constantly brainstormed ways outdo the prior year’s fun. She remembers wearing costumes, color wars, and creating snow in summer.
Her grandmother was equally an important influence in her life. Patti learned the value of nurturing personal connections through helping her collect and bake challah bread pudding each weekend. From her grandmother she learned how a spoon is an extension of the soul.
When Patti decided to opt back into the workforce, the drive to connect with others drove her towards creative writing. Her script writing teacher at NYU recognized her innate talent, but felt her work needed conviction and encouraged her to find it. Over time, Patti wrote 30-40 unscripted programs inspired by life experiences. One was picked up as a pilot. Each pitch increased her confidence and knowledge that she could do this.
Patti spent four years collaborating on a screenplay about a woman moving to New York and finding her freedom after marriage. When it didn't get picked up, Patti adapted it into a film. An agent liked the story but again brought up how it needed conviction and believability. Well, Patti believed in her character. The epiphany struck that this script was her story. It was time to stop writing it and start living it. Patti began like her main character, picking up spoons and creating art.
A gallery owner saw the conviction in her work and believed in Patti’s story. Since her first one-night show, New York and London galleries have featured her work. Bloomingdale's has collaborated with her three times. Patti has used sales of her work to support numerous charities. Patti's book In Love With Spoons releases in 2023 with proceeds to benefit Feeding America.
Rick Rieder: How Consistency Shaped One of the World's Most Successful Traders
Few would consider Rick Rieder, Managing Director at BlackRock, “motivationally challenged,” but the sport-loving kid didn’t find direction until his college placed him on academic probation. He decided to stop floating through life. Committing to his studies and finding a path started the ball rolling towards a career that would see Rick become manager of $2.4 trillion in assets. Tune in as Rick discusses growing his career, how listening to others paid off, and his approach to investing.
Part of Rick’s epiphany realized his skills with numbers would be an asset for a business career. At Emory University’s business school, he found finance motivated him. He dove into the career path, starting as a bank analyst and continuing his studies at the Wharton School of Business. Rick excelled at financial strategy, but a program instructor suggested Rick’s love of sports and personal dynamism lent itself to a career in trading.
That suggestion changed Rick’s life as he dove into trading. He credits his success to having excellent mentors who shaped his philosophy and helped dig him out of early mistakes. Rick shares stories from influential moments in his career that taught him the importance of consistency. He shares his view on what traits make a successful trader and advisor. We also touch on Rick’s passion for changing lives through access to quality education.
Listen for a deep dive into the financial industry. Like Rick, you can make decisions that move you towards a career and life that motivates you.
Marc Lore Is Back And He's Building Something New
Entrepreneurs are like farmers, but instead of growing food, they grow ideas into businesses. Wonder CEO Marc Lore loves watching things grow and has a knack for it. He founded Jet.com, which sold to Walmart for $3 billion, and Quidsi.com, which sold to Amazon for $550 million. Learn more about the person behind these successes in today's episode.
Marc Lore's grandmother pitched he should be a doctor or a lawyer, but Marc insisted he wanted to be a farmer. The working-class kid wasn't the best academic student, but his struggles to make acceptable grades gave him something better: resilience. Marc developed what he calls a small memory card, where he keeps the learning and deletes the failure, enabling him to move forward.
Besides farming, seventh-grade Marc developed an interest in stocks, going so far as to journal about stock options. That's why he initially went into banking, but he was disappointed when his first job placed him in the back office faxing trade confirmations. Marc kept moving forward, transitioning into a career in the emerging Financial Risk Management field. He had his first entrepreneurial experience when he founded the industry's professional board and certification exam.
Mark's next entrepreneurial ventures were all risks, but he always leaned into whatever it took to nurture the business and provide value. We discuss being motivated by money versus being motivated by the mission. For example, you'd expect to feel joy at the life-changing $550 million sale of Quidsi, the parent company of Diapers.com, but Marc describes a profound loss. Hear why selling Jet.com was different and the importance of the motivation-driven entrepreneurship.
With his latest venture, Wonder.com, Marc grows another mission-motivated business. Discover how Wonder.com is addressing the challenges the food industry presents while striving to provide value for others.
Peter Phillips: How a Side Hustle Earned a $10M Investment
Several years ago, you’d find Peter Phillips driving excavators around a construction site. Today he’s one of the masterminds behind the fast-growing Chip City Cookies, a cookie bakery with14 stores and counting. Tune in to learn how this co-founder went from real estate developer to bakery entrepreneur, landing a $10 million investment from Enlightened Hospitality.
Peter Phillips jumped right out of high school and into real estate. Some people turn to art for creativity, but Peter found building a project from the ground up his type of creative process. He dove all in, starting as a broker. Peter learned the project management ropes by helping with his father’s real estate development business. He wasn’t afraid to lean in and get dirty, so he became a subcontractor and learned to drive heavy equipment.
Throughout his career, he kept in touch with his high school buddy, Teddy Gailas, who worked in the food and hospitality industry. They occasionally talked about opening a side hustle together. A brainstorming session inside a small store recently available in Astoria, Queens, hit on the idea for a cookie business.
Focusing on nostalgic flavors and quality ingredients, the first store quickly had lines around the block and gained early press attention. Like many food industry businesses, the pandemic tested their business model and strategy, but Chip City Cookies endured. Their survival proved their model worked and inspired the duo to see how far Chip City could grow.
In our chat, Peter talks about how doubling down on quality and adhering to their culture have sustained and grown their business. Even as other investors showed interest, not compromising their core values paid off as they found the right investor in Shake Shack entrepreneur Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality brand.
Keith Banks: People Will Do Amazing Things If You Believe In Them
While growing up in New Jersey, Keith Banks knew he wanted to do something big. He just wasn't sure what that would be. Four decades later, Banks is the Vice-Chair & Chief Investment Officer, Pension and Benefits Plan for Bank of America. In today's episode, he reflects on how his working-class roots laid the foundation for success, lessons learned, and the various milestones achieved along the way.
Keith Banks knew as a first-generation college student that hard work was the answer to achieving something big. Between summers working construction and sanitation jobs, he put his nose to the grindstone studying and networking. Banks feels not having connections benefited him because he was willing to take risks and make those cold calls.
All his work building relationships and networking paid off as he achieved various milestones. Along the way to attending an Ivy League graduate school and making his first $100k, he leaned into his goals. This helped Banks avoid the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality, along with an investment in relationships in people, not titles and fancy office space. Every role he took on he found fulfilling and focused on its purpose. Banks believes in leaving behind things better than when he received them. Listen, and gain from Banks' advice for growing a sustainable career that leaves you feeling fulfilled.
Willy Walker: No Business is Made or Lost Overnight
Willy Walker, CEO, Walker & Dunlop, had no zero intention of joining the company his grandfather started in 1937. His journey to piloting the family legacy began in Latin America, where Willy worked in corporate finance, started an airline, and other industries. What remained constant was his passion for entrepreneurship and building successful teams. In this episode, Willy shares the insights gained from working around the globe and transforming his family’s successful business into a publicly traded company now servicing $120 billion in loans.
Growing up in Washington, DC, Willy thought he’d end up in politics, even though his father and grandfather ran a successful investment banking company. Instead, the college graduate accepted an invitation from the US Ambassador to Paraguay to work abroad. What was supposed to be six months turned into 13 years across Latin America and later Europe.
Latin America presented a chance to do things he couldn’t have in the US, such as starting an airline. Being the minority in the room was a humbling experience that imparted valuable lessons about team culture and entrepreneurship. Along the way, Willy’s passion for working with people and leading them to success transcended cultures.
A confluence of events combined with his years of entrepreneurship abroad helped Willy see enormous potential in Walker & Dunlop. He returned home ready to invest his efforts into building the family company. The beginning was baby steps, but the business took off as the brand built momentum and reinforced its culture. Under Walker’s leadership, the small regional family company servicing $2.8 billion in loans transformed into a publicly traded business serving $120 billion.
Tune in to hear Walker’s insights on why leadership is a privilege. We discuss why building a cohesive group of people is important to long-term success and the three steps that helped propel Walker & Dunlop forward.
Julia Boorstin Samuelson: Each open door will lead to the next
Julia Boorstin Samuelson doesn't believe in happenstance. She knows firsthand how accepting one opportunity can open the door to the next. Being open to new ideas and saying yes is how her career evolved from Fortune Magazine writer to on-air CNBC Senior Correspondent for Media and Technology.
As a girl, Julia imagined herself growing up to be a professional ballerina. Her performance experience prepared her to be cool and calm years later when CNN invited the recent college graduate to speak on-camera about an article she wrote for Fortune. Her poise impressed the producers, who asked her back again and again. Over time, she developed a regular segment. Six years later, it turned into a full-time job offer.
Julia continued leaning into her instincts to explore opportunities and shed light on important stories. Her early coverage of Facebook and witnessing its disruptive power inspired her to pitch the Disruptor 50 list. She leaned into exploring the diversity and gender gap, leading to a franchise called Close the Gap. A conversation with an innovative female CEO led to a lightbulb moment, galvanizing her to bring together her interests to write her book, When Women Lead.
Tune in to learn how all her projects were opportunities that arose after years of leaning in, listening, and seizing the moment.
David Bryan: There’s No Substitute for Passion, Energy, and Hard Work
As a kid, keyboardist David Bryan wanted to be either a rock star or a doctor. He was a pre-med student with a 4.0 GPA when his friend and high school bandmate Jon called with good news. Atlantic Records wanted to sign Bon Jovi. David figured, why not give it a try? Forty years later, the founding member has achieved the rock star dream, having toured the world, sold hundreds of records, and been inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.
David started at the piano at seven years old. The young David practiced hours every day and took lessons from a Juilliard professor. His passion and talent for music were clear, but the road to rock stardom wasn’t easy. Bon Jovi’s first album, released in 1984, sold only half-a-million records, and the second sold only 800,000. To get their name out there, the band toured relentlessly. David estimates he spent a total of six months at home over six years.
On the band’s last chance, Bon Jovi leaned into its roots as a live rock band. The resulting third album catapulted the rock group to stardom. Now with the band’s 40th anniversary next year, David reflects on how not being afraid to fail allowed him to take the chance to make a career out of his passion.
In addition to Bon Jovi, David was a songwriter for the Tony-award-winning Broadway musical Memphis. He and collaborator Joe DiPietro’s second project, Diana, a musical inspired by Princess Diana, is streaming on Netflix. David discusses the process behind writing and releasing a Broadway show and the challenges of being in the entertainment industry during a pandemic.
Bob Garrett: Always stay focused on the mission
Bob Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey, oversees a comprehensive network with 17 hospitals and 36,000 team members. His 30-plus-year career includes significant challenges, such as a merger of equals with Hackensack and Meridian, the Affordable Care Act, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Today ranked as the top CEO transforming healthcare in America by CEO Forum Group, Bob shares how he found his way to healthcare administration.
As a kid growing up in New York, Bob describes himself as a slow starter. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, but an internship with a family friend changed his trajectory. The three months spent at Mercy Hospital opened his eyes to how hospitals operate and how they positively impact lives. Bob saw through a career in healthcare administration that he could make a difference.
In the years since Bob has never lost sight of the mission: to transform healthcare and be a positive leader of change. He started running the emergency department at Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey. By 2009, Bob was CEO and faced monumental change when the Affordable Care Act passed. Through each pivot and challenge, he has always focused on increasing the quality of care for New Jersey residents.
Listen firsthand as Bob details how Hackensack Meridian has grown, the response to the pandemic, and how he stays balanced through it all.
Dan Rowe: How to reframe your definition of success
Dan Rowe, CEO, Fransmart, has helped restaurant brands you know and love transform from Mom-and-Pop diners to national franchises. Dan shares how he evolved, reframed what success meant, and found his true purpose in helping others achieve wealth. Today, Dan embraces his achievements, but in the beginning, he struggled with imposter syndrome. How could a college dropout and dishwasher like himself possibly be making $500k in his 20s?
Dan started working in technology but hated computing and software. He moved into medical management and hated it even more. So he went back to being a cook and a dishwasher because he loved being a part of the restaurant industry and feeding people. He learned from these early careers how to start and run a business. Dan welcomed the chance when a friend pitched the idea to buy and grow a local bagel business.
The first franchise led to the second venture, Qdoba. Now three decades in, Dan has found his calling in helping elevate restaurant brands through franchising. During the show, he discusses lessons learned, like realizing he was using vanity metrics to measure results and the importance of authenticity in branding. He shares his epiphany about finding his true calling and purpose and how leaning into helping others magnifies success.
Pam Liebman: Never Operate Out of a Sense of Fear
Pam Liebman, CEO of Corcoran Group, had an early interest in real estate that ignited a decades-long career. From the beginning, she took the bull by the horns, jumped into figuring out high-stakes real estate, and forged her path. Discover how Pam rose from brand-new real estate agent to CEO of a company achieving $23 billion in sales annually and still growing.
When Barbara Corcoran interviewed Pam Liebman, she predicted Pam wouldn't last long there, not in the real estate industry. It’s something the two have laughed about many years later. A young Pam quickly established herself as the top broker in a growing company. Within a year, she took on a manager role. Since then, she has handled multiple acquisitions, started what is now Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, and overseen the franchising and expansion of Corcoran Group.
If you’re interested in learning how Corcoran grew into the industry leader it is today, gain insights by listening to Pam Liebman and her mindset. Pam talks about some early deals and her lessons learned from being unafraid to ask questions and break the rules. She gets candid about her top mistakes and reveals some real estate advice she gives to managers and brokers.
Mike Tannenbaum: All It Takes is One Yes
Have you ever wondered what it takes to work in the NFL? Mike Tannenbaum, the founder of The 33rd Team and NFL Front Office Insider for ESPN pulls back the curtain to reveal how he landed his dream job as the former General Manager of the New York Jets. Once you get your foot in the door, keep proving your value, and no one will kick you out.
Mike was always the kid with a passion for sports. He sorted mail by day and spooned nacho cheese for the Pittsburgh Mets at night–for free. Even when he attended Tulane University Law School, he thought about sports and continued interning with teams. Mike saw an opportunity when the rule changed to free agency; he wanted to show how teams and coaches could leverage the salary cap.
He sent 60 letters with his book to NFL coaches and GMs; all it took was 59 rejection letters and one yes.
For Mike, it always comes down to creating value. When you focus on acquiring skills that add value for all, that’s when you stand out. Thanks to his hard work and skill development, he finally got his chance to become General Manager of the New York Jets. At the time, he was the youngest GM in the NFL. Mike reflects on his time with the Jets and his picks for best and worst decisions as a GM.
Today, Mike seeks to bring value to others through his new career as a professor at Columbia University and as the NFL Front Office Insider for ESPN. He is passionate about using what he has learned in his career to helping other aspiring sports professionals. Hear about The 33rd Team and how it is elevating others with the same love he has for sports.
Yanni Hufnagel: Why a Basketball Coach Quit to Become an Beverage Entrepreneur
Yanni Hufnagel, Founder of Lemon Perfect, is on a mission to help make America healthier. Learn why the former collegiate basketball coach decided to shift his passion for building teams from the courts into the beverage industry. Listen to how he evolved from a cut basketball player into a collegiate coach and now CEO of a fast-growing business.
Yanni remembers as a kid playing under the covers at night, building starting lineups with figurines. He wanted nothing more than to be a basketball player, but being the last guy cut from the basketball team sent him in another direction. Soon he was voicing games and working on the operations side of the court.
Hear how a chance conversation turned into an opportunity to be a manager for Cornell’s basketball team. Before he knew it, Yanni was interning for the New Jersey Nets, learning from industry greats, serving as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma, and then coaching at programs like Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Cal-Berkeley.
He was coaching in Nevada when he had the idea for Lemon Perfect. Drinking lemon water had become part of his wellness routine, but Yanni figured there had to be a better and healthier way to create flavored lemon water. He gave up coaching to pursue the idea.
Through the ups and downs of launching into the competitive beverage industry, Yanni has always been all-in on delivering the best product at a reasonable price point with the best team of people intending to make America healthier. Gain insights into Yanni’s approach to building a business and a successful team.
Frank Sorrentino: Have the Courage to Do What Others Won't
Today Frank Sorrentino frequents board rooms as ConnectOne Bank's CEO, but three decades ago, you would find him on a construction site laying brick. A fourth-generation Italian-American and mason, Frank is proud of his roots. His hands-on experience brings a unique perspective that continues to shape his approach as a financial industry executive.
In this podcast, Frank talks about watching his grandfather's pride in his tools and work. Those values were carried through the generations to him. He started early in the family business as a mason, but he was more fascinated with the operations side of the work. Frank liked the idea of bringing his expertise together with contractors and capital to deliver a product and make a profit. He was around 20 years old when he walked into a bank for his first construction loan.
Over time, Frank leveraged his relationships and acquired more knowledge about all facets of the construction industry. His construction business opened the door to the insurance industry. He discusses how his love for understanding and refining processes improved that business.
It was also through construction that he learned about the banking industry. His lightbulb moment was his experience dealing with different banks, several mergers, and the firsthand impact of poor customer service. Frank knew that he could bring exceptional customer service to fill a gap in the market, leading to the foundation of what is today ConnectOne bank.
Since starting the bank, Frank has weathered several storms, including the great recession of 2008, initiating an IPO when no one else was, several mergers, and taking a pay cut to become CEO. As you'll hear from Frank, every risky move took a blend of courage and commitment to the values he learned as a kid laying brick.
David Rubenstein on Building a Business and Giving Back
David Rubenstein, the co-founder of the Carlyle Group and author of his newest book “How to Invest”, is one of the world's most accomplished individuals. But the root of who he is starts with his humble upbringing as the only child of two blue-collar parents in Baltimore. His aspirations were not to become wealthy but to work hard and make something of himself. Listen to David's invaluable lessons learned on his journey from aspiring lawyer to founding a financial firm with billions under management to finding joy in philanthropy.
As a child, David's parents gave him unconditional support. They believed in the American dream–that you can work hard and make something of yourself. While he never saw himself as a brilliant scholar, David did have a curious mind that he nurtured with lots of reading. That background set the stage for his success as he navigated through law school and landed an advisory position in the White House.
David shares some challenges he faced early on and how failures shaped decision-making. When President Carter lost the election, David found himself out of a job and floundering as a lawyer. Hear how he bucked conventions to start a leveraged buyout company in Washington, DC. Along the way, David rethought his definition of success and leaned into the joy of giving to others.
Finally, entrepreneurs and investors will appreciate his insights for success. David breaks down four essential traits with examples from his latest book due out this September.
David Meltzer: First Came the Hustle and Then the Humility
David Meltzer, co-founder of Sports 1 Marketing, was essentially handed the world, only to lose it all. The Variety Sports Humanitarian of Year wasn’t always a humble person; he learned from the school of hard knocks how chasing the wrong goals can impact every aspect of your life.
David’s first career goal started with good intentions: to make enough money to buy his mom a house and car. As one of five kids, he saw how his single mom struggled and stressed over money. He became money-driven as a young man because he wanted to take that stress away from her.
Some people think David is an overnight success, as he had made millions by the time he was 24. The truth is much different. David explains the myth behind overnight success and the compounding impact of effort. Those efforts can be good or bad, as David learned firsthand. Hear how the negative behaviors built up in David’s life.
After a succession of epiphanies, including losing his mom’s house, David realized he had to redirect his efforts and start to serve others, show gratitude, and be happy in the present. David details how he approaches each day and the mindset he uses to walk the walk. No longer chasing money, his life’s mission is to empower over a billion people to be happy.
Joel Neeb: "Embracing the mindset 'I get to' has made all the difference"
Becoming a fighter pilot is a career many young kids dream of doing, but only a select few achieve. Joel "Thor" Neeb did earn his place flying some of the world's fastest aircraft, but that's not his true legacy. His world perspective shifted when he was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare type of stage 4 cancer. From 18 months to live to thriving a decade later, Joel's new mission is to inspire others to push their boundaries and chase their dreams.
Joel's path started as a kid enthralled by "Top Gun." At the Air Force Academy, he underwent mental, physical, and emotional challenges to become an elite pilot. Joel talks about the destination meaning something and how the journey prepares you for that destination.
In a way, the toughness and mental preparation helped ready him for battling cancer. As someone still crushing it in the gym, and a dad of two young kids, hearing he needed massive surgery and maybe had a year to live was shattering. Going through it with his sick toddler was even more mental. But Joel brought the same deliberateness and perseverance to his cancer battle. Sitting in the chemo room with other patients changed his trajectory. It was here he nurtured a positive mental attitude and realized what he truly valued in his life.
As it became clear to Joel he was going to survive; he made it his new mission to pursue meaningful moments as hard as he could. Today he lives by his 3G's: growth, giving, and gratitude. Whether it's competing in American Ninja Warrior, authoring his book, or excelling as a VP at software company VMware, Joel continues to push his limits, give to others, and treat each day as a gift.
Steve Schirripa: Take A Chance on Yourself
Actor Steve Schirripa, known for his role in the HBO drama The Sopranos, grew up during the 1960s in a Brooklyn community. He had no theater aspirations when he attended Brooklyn College or when he moved to Las Vegas, where his first job was delivering pizzas. In fact, he didn’t start thinking about an acting career until he was in his 40s. Tune in for the fascinating journey from growing up on welfare to being a successful actor now on CBS’ Blue Bloods.
Steve’s story showcases how opportunities flow from one to the next. The pizza delivery guy couldn’t have imagined that one day he’d be meeting celebrities, first as a nightclub bouncer, then as a hotel executive running Las Vegas showrooms for performers and comedians.
The shift into acting started because a comedian pal invited him to LA to say a few lines in a show. Now in his 40s, Steve kept at it because he found the experience fun, but he didn’t have the epiphany that he enjoyed acting and wanted to pursue it until he had a small part in a movie.
Encouraged by his wife to take a chance, Steve leaped to try something that made him happy. He never expected to be cast in an award-winning show so early in his new career. Nor did Steve anticipate the number of times he had to front his own way. You’ll hear how hustling and working hard at the things he loved helped Steve open doors and shape his career.
Henry Schuck: Be Better Today Than Your Yesterday
Not everyone likes moving goal posts, but for Henry Schuck, CEO of ZoomInfo, it’s how he operates. He believes there is more potential than what he has previously accomplished; as Henry achieves a benchmark, he moves the goal post. This mindset is how ZoomInfo grew from his dorm room into a multi-billion dollar company employing around 3,000 people.
Henry’s career started as a door-to-door newspaper salesperson in middle school. It was here he learned how to handle objections and overcome obstacles. As he grew older and attended college, other careers expanded his skillset. Henry learned how to run a company as a nightclub promoter, worked in hospitality, and honed B2B sales with a company launched in the early SaaS market.
He intended to become a hotel manager, but his time at MGM Grand showed him it wasn’t a lifestyle he wanted. Henry pivoted to law school. Henry was doing well, but a friend approached him with a business idea he couldn’t say no to. Discover.org, now Zoominfo, was built during his first year in law school. He graduated right into running a company with 12 employees. We walk through how Henry operates and how honesty influences his award-winning company’s culture.
Today Henry helms the company he built, now publicly traded and worth in the billions. Tune in to learn from Henry’s mindset and how he stays inspired as the company continues growing.
Dede Griesbauer: An Unconventional Path From Equity Trader to Pro Athlete
Not many people become professional athletes, and even fewer do it in their 30s, an age when most athletes begin considering retiring. Dede Griesbauer did exactly that, pivoting from a successful financial career on Wall Street to become a world-record-holding athlete and a three-time Ironman winner.
Dede has always been a sporty kid but never saw herself as a standout athlete. She had to walk onto Stanford’s swim team after being turned down but won multiple NCAA honors over her D1 collegiate swim career. While Dede participated in Olympic Trials, she never made the team. She turned her attention to earning an MBA at Wharton and starting a career as an equity trader. In between, she did her first Ironman as a bucket-list adventure, with no idea what the future held.
She is attracted to what she calls “shiny objects,” or achievements where you wonder, “can I do that?” Dede was inspired to do another Ironman a few years into her financial career. She qualified for the world championship as an amateur. The qualification started her down a path that saw her quit her lucrative career and turn pro at age 34.
Dede shares what has propelled her to keep going, even after injuries, aging challenges, and near-career-ending crashes. Her passion for the sport is evident, but so is the need to chase what motivates her and helps her be her authentic self.
David Barse: 30 Years, 3 Market Crashes, and One Academy Award-Winning Movie
If you have any concerns about our current financial markets, you need to hear from David Barse, CEO and Founder of XOUT Capital. With over 30 years of experience in the markets, including 25 years as a CEO for a firm with $31 billion assets under management, David has experienced two significant financial crashes firsthand, making the current his third. His advice will help you weather the days ahead.
David started as an attorney before the 1987 market crash, clerking first in bankruptcy court, followed by representing creditors in organizations. In positioning himself to assist the distressed security market, he was introduced to Marty Whitman, a broker-dealer. Together they launched Third Avenue Management, which David grew to have $31 billion in assets under management. That is until the 2008 crash wiped out around ⅔ of the assets.
He learned profound lessons from these two experiences and their aftermaths, such as the value of your reputation and the need for patience. David shares the three insights from his time as CEO of Third Avenue that helped him form XOUT Capital. Those insights can help your investment decisions in these markets.
David is also the executive producer of the Academy Award-winning documentary Summer of Soul. He shares why he waited 30 years for the right opportunity to back a film, why he chose that particular story, and how COVID-19 enabled them to add to the project. David was proud of the documentary's story and that it won recognition, but the moment was tarnished when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock immediately before their award presentation. He talks about repercussions and the need for perspective.
Remember Jones: Your Path Is Created By You
Remember Jones is a label-defying music artist who embraces risk. It did take some time to foster the confidence he needed to become a recording artist and performer. Remember shares his journey from cabaret performer to three albums and leading a band in this podcast.
Growing up in an environment surrounded by music lovers, Remember started performing at 12 years old. He was naturally drawn to a musical career, with a deep appreciation for Motown, and 50s and 60s-era music. He kept performing, learning the music business by being out there and taking risks, first as a 16-year cabaret performer in NYC and later as a frontman for 20-piece bands.
Remember shares the challenges of music as a business, from being responsible for other people’s livelihoods to building a loyal fan base to staying authentic to yourself and your vision. We discuss how every show is like launching a start-up business. Learn about some of the show concepts he’s created and his riskiest move.
Hear about the light bulb moment that transformed his life and led him to lose 200 lbs in a year. That life change helped prove to himself that he could do anything, which set him on today's path. He realized we carve out our path in music and in life. His career has been sustained by holding on to what he loves, which is the energy between the audience and performers.
Bob Burg: How Desire and Belief Fuel Success
You may know Bob Burg as the author of the popular Go-Giver series, but in this podcast, you'll get to know the man behind the best-selling series. He struggled right out of college to find his footing. The ups and downs plus experience teaching himself the ropes of selling inspired what would become a phenomenal speaking career and the Go-Giver books.
When it comes to selling, giving, and influencing, Bob's definitions might surprise you. Bob breaks down for us why systems are vital to achieving success. These systems are fueled by his three-step formula and two key ingredients: desire and belief. You must know what you want to achieve and believe it will bring immense value to others.
Hear about the process and motivation behind writing his best-selling series. After 24 rejections, persistence and listening were key in landing the right publisher for the Go-Giver series.
Bob wraps with some advice for younger generations embarking on their career and selling journeys. We need to remember people do business with other people, not technologies. The human touch and understanding of our motivations will only be more important moving forward.
Howard Lindzon: Be A Wartime CEO
Howard Lindzon, Co-Founder of StockTwits, is perpetually curious and, in some ways, fearless. In this episode, Howard takes us from his early stockbroker days to his most recent projects. Take his countless lessons learned to inform your investing and entrepreneurship goals.
Howard's career began during the savings and loan crisis in the 1990s. A cold call led to one of his first successes, investing in The Grip, a product in the QVC Hall of Fame. Howard experienced the tech boom and crash in the late '90s and 2000s. Here he learned the value of patience.
He always kept looking for the next wave of brokerage and retail trading. That came in Twitter and YouTube. Hear how Howard leveraged YouTube to create his parody of CNBC, which was bought by CBS six months after he started. Learn about the formation of StockTwits and why being a tech Neanderthal helped him out.
Howard wraps up with advice on being successful at investing. It's like learning Chinese--there's a specific language, and it takes time to become fluent. Entrepreneurs will benefit from hearing his take on private markets and valuation. Learn to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and become a ruthless recruiter to build scalable and profitable ventures.
Ray Leonard Jr: Be Defined By Your Actions
Ray Leonard, Jr., is the son of one of boxing's legends, Sugar Ray Leonard, but he knew boxing wasn't for him. Ray set out to make his impact, starting with redefining what success meant to him. It's a definition he's re-written several times in his career as he found his path to living his authentic self. Today he is a CEO and motivational speaker.
What motivates Ray is his need to leave a positive mark on the world. As someone who speaks and lives from the heart, he wants to leave the world a better place. That's part of the reason why he got into motivational speaking. Sharing his story of overcoming destructive behavior has resonated with others. Hear firsthand about the passion project he's currently launching that relates to connecting others with impactful stories.
Amber Allen: Curiosity at the Core of Everything
Amber Allen, CEO, and Founder of Double A Labs, never stayed inside of the box during her career from humble roots in east Texas to becoming a leader in Web 3.0. Always looking for that next adventure she kept an open mind, learning along the way, Amber takes us on her journey from her time at Disney, Warner, and the rise of E-Sports with Riot Games.
Amber’s passion for creating experiences and tools that promote human connection shines as she tells her story of how she founded Double A Labs. Today it is a global leader in creating digital worlds and has developed a proprietary online virtual platform to connect, learn, and play.
Brett Yormark: Believe in the vision and achieve your mission
Brett Yormark, COO, Roc Nation, knew he couldn’t spend a life stuck working in a boring job, so he doubled down on his passion for sports. He had a vision for his career and built what he calls his personal progression ladder, a series of steps that took Brett from ticket sales to CEO of the Brooklyn Nets. Hear firsthand how Brett managed his career with his end goal in mind.
He gets candid about his challenges as CEO, like moving the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn and the attempt to bring the Long Islanders to Barclays Center. He breaks down what went right with these highly publicized moves and what he learned along the way.
As COO of Roc Nation, Brett shifted from working with a sports organization and facilities to directly working with the talent inside them. Learn what’s the same and what’s new with his new role. Discover how Roc Nation surmounted pandemic issues to keep delivering exceptional experiences for all.
Esther Choi: Being an Entrepreneur Changes Your Brain
Esther Choi has always been an ambitious person. From selling bulk candy to friends in middle school to reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” in high school, the entrepreneurial spirit has always been present. But it’s never enough simply to have a business. Esther’s competitive spirit drives her to be the best.
Hear the evolution of Esther’s career. Her mindset is work shouldn’t feel like work. That’s not to say she doesn’t work hard. There were days she’d wake up at 6 and go to bed after midnight. The determination carried over when she opened her first restaurant at 28.
Moving from chef to entrepreneur rocked her world. She didn’t expect to have to change her thinking. Esther gets candid about the new challenges of running and growing a business, being a television personality, and experimenting with ideas. She talks about how the pandemic brought about a time of calm that enabled her to tap into her entrepreneurial spirit and be more experimental.
She wraps up about her latest ventures and growing with Cook Unity.
Susan Sly: Pivots Are Part of Your Journey
Susan Sly started as an entrepreneur at age 11 and hasn’t looked back. Today she is a tech entrepreneur, author, and investor, but her road to AI CEO has been full of twists and turns. One of her first jobs out of college was at a men’s maximum-security prison. Susan has never been afraid to pivot. She owned a health club, was a pro-triathlete, had a radio show, was a sales manager, and a digital marketing entrepreneur. Listen to her journey from prison guard and fitness instructor to tech CEO.
Hint CEO Kara Goldin On Embracing Risk and Opportunity
Kara Goldin, CEO, and founder of Hint, may be known as the inventor of healthy, flavored water, but her roots are in the tech industry. She helped grow many ventures, starting with the early days of CNN to an Apple-spinoff marketing firm called 2Market to AOL. While Kara never thought of herself as an entrepreneur, working for entrepreneurs helped her see that it was exciting and kind of fun. She liked how these leaders never thought, "that's impossible." As you'll learn in the podcast, that mindset helped her overcome obstacles.
Kara knew she was a creator and a builder, but after years in the tech world, she wasn't sure what came next. During some time away, Kara decided to make some lifestyle changes to improve her health. Her curiosity about ingredients in diet soda led her down the path to creating Hint.
Discover why Kara Goldin is not afraid of failure. To her, every "no" is an opportunity to learn something. Every seemingly unsurmountable problem has an upside. She shared a story of Starbucks halting Hint sales when she had a full warehouse made and waiting. How did she overcome the setback? Listen to find out.
Hugh Weber: You Need To Fail To Figure Out
Hugh Weber, President at Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment, didn't envision himself someday running professional sports teams, but he did set out to have an impact. He was always interested in running teams and motivating people to achieve complex objectives.
If you're tackling big challenges, naturally, you will experience failures. Hugh instead thinks of blunders as honing your craft and finding your authentic self.
In the chat, he shares some failed moments from his early days running teams at a food industry startup. Hugh literally weathered the storm of Hurricane Katrina to help bring the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) back stronger and more successful. He draws some parallels between how the organization had to adapt to that challenge to the pandemic we are all experiencing.
After rebuilding the team and making it successful, Hugh was fired. Learn why being let go was a great experience and how it led him to HBSE. Hear some failures from handling the COVID crisis in a business where gathering people together is core to what they do.
Randy Garn: From Worm-Seller to NYT Best-Seller
If you are a business owner, executive, or aspiring to towards those goals, Randy Garn will help get you there. He’s driven to help grow companies and people. A serial entrepreneur, Randy is a partner at High-Performance Institute and an operating partner at Tamarack Capital. He’s an NYT bestselling author and a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine on leadership and growth potential.
We explore Randy’s background and how growing a mindset to innovate and ideate has buoyed him through his personal challenges. He opens up about how his mistakes with a merger created a learning and growth opportunity. Those skills Randy acquired during that time still apply to what he does today. Tune in for the most significant lesson he gained from the experience.
Randy dishes on the challenges behind writing his book Prosper and what lessons he included in the update. Learn about his process for getting the habit of being happy. Each day he has five immovable things to do. He wraps up with why having a strong home life carries over to success in other areas.
How Scott O’Neill Rose Above Obstacles to Become a Better Leader
Many people think success in sports is about being talented to be the best at something. Scott O’Neill, former CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment and author of Be “Where Your Feet Are”, prefers to see sport as a vehicle for change. Growing up, he was a super-competitive multi-sport kid who harnessed his passion and ambition to land a job with a professional NBA team at 22. It was hands-on learning in a time before the Internet. In our chat, Scott describes failing every day. As someone who doesn’t like being incompetent, he gained invaluable lessons from this time in his life that carried with him through his career. Scott is an open book on what’s gone wrong. Hear how this competitive person learned from his experiences to keep upskilling his career and become a better leader.
Stratis Morfogen: Serving Failure on a Silver Platter
Welcome to the ultra-competitive restaurant world of New York City. It’s hard to innovate in a city that seems to have everything, but that’s never deterred entrepreneur Stratis Morfogen. Raised in a restaurant family, he showed an early passion for the business. So his Dad set him to mopping the floors and washing the dishes. He didn’t get it back then, but that time getting his hands dirty in the restaurant was an invaluable experience. Tune in for early lessons from his Dad and his first forays into the restaurant industry. Stratis is candid about one of his most personal and published failures, the relationship with Phillipe Chow. He get real about his lowest point as a restaurateur and what he calls his personal hell. Starting over at age 44 isn’t easy, but Stratis found his way. Today, Brooklyn Chop House and Brooklyn Dumpling Shops are huge successes, and Stratis wouldn’t change a thing about how he got there.
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Brandon Steiner: Respect Your Past to Move Forward
You gotta have guts to be an entrepreneur, and guest Brandon Steiner has plenty of them! Known as the guy who sold Yankee Stadium, founder of CollectibleXchange, Brandon is the epitome of the rags to riches story. As a poor kid with a learning disability hustling in Brooklyn, Brandon learned his first lesson about business from failing a paper route challenges. That lesson has been core to overcome the obstacles that came next, like the hurdles faced while selling Yankee Stadium to a hostile takeover of a brand he spent 33 years building. Discover how Brandon’s “upsets” made room for something new.
Subscribe now to Jon Schultz Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to give us a review and rate the podcast, your feedback helps us make the podcast better.
The Jon Schultz Podcast: The Myth to Overnight Success - Trailer
The Jon Schultz Podcast unpacks the lessons from industry leaders who refused to quit. Success is a tightrope. Everyone who’s reached the top of their game has wobbled on the way up. Those losses propelled them to the bigger and better places they are today. In a curious way, it’s the upsets that lay the foundation for winning. Our guests dig into their stories; we talk about the challenges they’ve overcome, what they learned, and how they kept ongoing.