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Steve St. Clair
I'm studying troublemakers to see if there are similarities in how they think, what motivates them, and if they all have ants in their pants.
Sep 9, 2021
Ralf Kaiser Troublemaker at Greenlight Payments
In this podcast, Ralf Kaiser CEO of Integrated Compliance Solutions and their subsidiary Greenlight Payments will provide a different perspective on hemp and cannabis – the business side, especially as regards helping cannabis companies succeed in full compliance with the law. Hemp cultivation for fibre was recorded in China as early as 2800 years ago and was practiced in the Mediterranean countries of Europe early in the Christian era, spreading throughout the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages. The first “businesses” cultivating hemp were in China as early as 2800 years ago. The fibers from the plant were worked into clothing, baskets, rope, paper, and a medicine. The seeds were a food source. Cannabis was criminalized in various countries beginning in the 19th century. The U.S. first restricted the sale of cannabis in 1906 in Washington DC. In 1970, federal law has classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. "To date, a total of 47 states have reformed their cannabis laws, with 36 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam now permitting legal access to cannabis for medical purposes; and 15 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands having adopted laws legalizing cannabis for adult use. Legal cannabis (marijuana) sales are projected to reach $23 billion by 2022." Source
Aug 18, 2021
Greg Kerber Troublemaker at Gnome Serum
Greg Kerber has been a troublemaker pretty much since birth. He started off in the world of finance, solving complex problems. Then, when the Internet started, he was one of the early innovators, building the first block chain on a peer-to-peer network. After that, he helped his family launch a company called Rad Soap, selling all kinds of natural body care products. His ex-wife and two sons run the company. The sons got Greg's DNA for aggressive marketing. The latest highly disruptive adventure is Greg's Gnome Serum – full spectrum hemp extract. Like many companies, their website differentiates the company by talking about the products. Check out my blog post about Gnome Serum and you'll see what I think the real differentiators are. In the podcast, Greg explains the shakeups happening in the hemp industry. Barriers to entry are low, so naturally the market if flooded with products. But Greg is busy differentiating his company and positioning to win.
Aug 17, 2021
Phil Newmoyer Troublemaker at PROVOSO
Software companies have had an easy ride for decades. They come up with good solutions. The companies who subscribe get almost all of the expected benefits. But the Internet turns just about everything into a commodity, and after that it's just a matter of who lowers their prices faster. Phil Newmoyer, CEO of PROVOSO, has a refreshingly different approach. The best way I can sum it up is his very strong EQ. For those companies who haven't heard of EQ, it's Emotional Quotiant. As you look through the PROVOSO website, you’ll agree they've developed an impressive solution. Most tech companies would stop there. What makes Phil and PROVOSO different is their focus on more than the tech side. I advise my listeners to start at PROVOSO.com first and get a sense of how even software companies can differentiate themselves by adopting a more service-oriented approach.
Jun 10, 2021
Scott Ewing Troublemaker at Appalachian Investors Alliance
This paragraph from Appalachian Investors Alliance (AIA) perfectly clarifies how they are bringing hope to the determined ingenious, and gritty entrepreneurs in small towns all over this part of the country. "The Appalachian region is known for tough, blue collar people who for generations have beaten the odds to overcome unforgiving landscapes and harsh conditions using grit, determination, and ingenuity. As it looks to re-invent for the next chapter of the region, Appalachia is collectively harnessing the power of the entrepreneurial mindset to re-imagine the future while paying homage to its rich history." My guest, Scott Ewing, Co-Founder and Principal Business Analyst at Appalachian Investors Alliance, talks through the opportunities and challenges of operating this unique angel investing group. The AIA has applied serious best practices and deep business acumen to the process to give Appalachian innovators an edge up. As you will hear, this one is near and dear to my heart.
Apr 6, 2021
Gwen and Tommy Mitchell Troublemakers at LogHeads Home Center
In this episode you'll meet Tommy and Gwen Mitchell, Founders of LogHeads Home Center and stars on the DIY and GAC networks' show LogHeads for two years. The show had top 3 viewership on these networks, and if you get to know Tommy and Gwen you'll understand why. They're honest, trusting, hard-working, and brilliant at their careers. I think the theme to this episode is perseverance. The team was at the top of their game, with EBITDA in the 7 figures. The TV show was a great marketing vehicle. And then their main wood shop, a huge building, burned down. That didn't stop Tommy and Gwen. They began building back and are now on course with renewed energy, new furniture designs coming out, several huge building opportunities on the horizon, and an aggressive marketing approach that's brand new.
Mar 19, 2021
John Ricci Troublemaker at Danavation
There are certain sectors who are often late to embrace technologies that could make their lives easier and their bank accounts more bloated. Retail is one of them. There are several areas in retail that have needed re-thinking as far back as 40 years. My guest for this podcast has tackled one of the most critical ones. John Ricci of Danavation is re-inventing signage on shelves and throughout stores using the IoT. Danavation Technologies Corp.™ is a leading provider of micro e-paper messaging in North America. Their Digital Smart Labels™ give companies the ability to automate labeling, pricing, product information, and promotions in seconds – and that's just the retail sector. Danavation is moving into many other companies as John explains on the podcast. The industries they can streamline with this technology are wide ranging. John's 25+ years of experience in retail gives him a high-level view of the industry; and it gave me a lot of great quotes. Here's my favorite: “What defines you as a company is not what you brag about. It’s what happens when something goes wrong. Are you able to fix it? Are you willing to fix it? And are you there to support your customer?”
Mar 9, 2021
Pam Gunther Troublemaker at Fit and Fun Playscapes
Pam Gunther of Fit and Fun Playscapes wanted to build a business selling inventive active learning solutions into schools. She didn’t rush the launch of Fit and Fun Playscapes. Instead, she used the time to embed herself into the education world, talking to physical educators, principals, teachers, occupational therapists and health professionals, learning about their struggles and the important multi-faceted connections between physical activity, the brain and learning. 10 years later, Pam credits that scientific approach as a major factor of Fit and Fun’s success. Anyone can produce stencils or stickers and sell them into school systems; and plenty do. However, most of Pam’s competitors don’t build science into their products. Then COVID-19 hit and school buildings were off limits. Being an entrepreneur is tough enough but, as you’ll learn in this podcast, using difficult times to re-focus and execute careful pivots will position you for future success. There are lessons in this podcast for any size business owner.
Jan 13, 2021
Dr. Bill Hudenko Troublemaker at Trusst
In this podcast, I was surprised to learn so much about the mental health industry and those trying to navigate it. Then again, I was learning from someone accustomed to dropping boldly clear statements like this - *The mental healthcare system is broken. Trusst is how we start fixing it. *As you'll learn in the podcast, Dr. Bill Hudenko is CEO of Trusst, a company that's going to greatly improve delivery of mental healthcare. Mental disorders are an overlooked part of the medical sector, in part because they have a long history of being misunderstood. A glaring example - in 2008 (merely 13 years ago) a law was passed because health insurance issuers and group health plans were imposing less favorable benefit limitations on mental health patients than they were on medical/surgical patients. In other words, mental disorders had been "all in your head" for a very long time. That stigma still lingers. One of the major obstacles for those needing care is the difficulty in getting appointments, mostly because there's an alarming shortage of psychiatrists. Between 2003 and 2013 there was a 10% decline in the number of practicing psychiatrists in the U.S. Now, finally some good news: Trusst is here. Learn more about their brilliant solution on this Troublemakers podcast episode featuring Dr. Bill Hudenko.
Dec 14, 2020
Candice Crane Troublemaker at Crane Automotive Resources
Where most people put their job title on their LinkedIn profile, Candice Crane has this - "People Strategist, Transformation Leader, Speaker. " Her focus is on strategic organizational development. She can reduce turnover and engage employees in challenging environments. The retail side of the auto industry is certainly challenging. As you'll hear in the podcast, many of the leaders in dealerships came to the industry straight out of college, or worked their way up from the Sales side. Most were never around best practice in professional business environments. Candice Crane is looking to change her industry from the inside out. While she's doing that, some of the more aware auto retailers are beginning to accept certain changes. Selling process - buying a car can take an entire day. That's not consumer friendly. Technology - the smart dealers realize that parts of the car buying process can happen before they come to a dealership, if they have to come to the dealership at all. Generational changes for employees - Auto Dealers who started their career in the “Go-Go 80s” must adapt to the changing views of work/life balance.
Oct 8, 2020
Dusty Bonner Troublemaker at Trupanion
Meet Dusty Bonner, Senior VP of Distribution and Field Sales at Trupanion, a highly innovative pet insurance company. Trupanion has been shaking up their business sector since 2000. Veterinarians didn't open their practices to sell pet insurance. But they know the value Trupanion can bring to ease their clients’ worries when injuries or illness strike. As Dusty points out, Trupanion is continually looking for ways to help Veterinarians help their clients.
Sep 30, 2020
Amit Chandarana Troublemaker at Roadster
Amit Chandarana is Senior Vice President, Sales & Business Development at Roadster, a company that is transforming the automobile sales experience. Crunchbase says: Roadster is transforming the way that dealerships sell new cars by bringing the end to end car buying process completely online. This is a $1 trillion industry which had yet to be disrupted. Amit says, "We're laser focused on modernizing the auto industry." But Amit's focus, indeed obsession, is on the entire auto industry ecosystem. He and Roadster want everyone involved to have healthy businesses, in part from modernizing to meet the car buyers' expectations. This includes the experience of the younger, web savvy new generation buying cars. Business leaders will enjoy Amit's calm, yet focused approach to the business and his own career.
Aug 16, 2020
Brian White Troublemaker at Herschel Supply
Executives like Brian White, Herschel Supply’s new Senior Vice President of Global Sales, bring a huge amount of experience and energy to the companies they work with. At the same time, the kind of companies who seek out people like Brian give them the freedom to bring their A game. As Brian says, "My job was to represent the brands, but in a lot of ways, they helped to define me. My reputation is really driven by the strong brands that I've worked for." The fashion industry is notoriously fickle, yet Brian has worked for companies who had incredibly strong brands with a real and lasting sense of themselves: * Ride Snowboards * Globe * Hurley Clothing * Nixon Now, he’s joining the hugely successful Herschel Supply based in Vancouver, Canada. Brian said, “It's my perfect scenario - a strong brand widely recognized and positioned for growth. We are already doing amazing things.” Knowing Brian and now getting a good sense of Herschel Supply, I have no doubt they’ll se…
Aug 14, 2020
Bridget Molloy Troublemaker at Bridget's Botanicals
Bridget Molloy is CEO of Bridget's Botanicals. She's selling solutions in a category with standards that range from the highly scientific to the completely fanciful. Since 2014, Bridget has formulated and manufactured over 40 products and developed 30 community classes, 2 courses, and an online course portal. Each health product she launches is formulated based on current scientific research combined with traditional global healing practices and manufactured in small batches in Colorado, from sustainably sourced organic botanicals. In other words, she’s highly credible and very serious. In this podcast, you'll hear the challenges she's overcome, a unique way she came to understand the needs of her audience, and some of her brilliant pivots.
Aug 5, 2020
Lori Jones Troublemaker at VPL
Shipping adds millions of dollars to our nation’s growing healthcare costs every year. In our latest podcast, Lori Jones, Vice President of Sales and the VPL team are shaking up their industry to change that, and their solution is perfect for these COVID-19 times. Hospitals need supplies to do what they do. They order those supplies from vendors. Those vendors add freight charges to get those supplies from their factories and warehouses to the hospitals. But those freight charges often hide substantial profit. "Our software solutions provide choice, transparency, and control to the providers,” Jones said. Lori goes on to say that by using VPL’s software solutions, the providers gain visibility into the movement of products throughout their supply chain network. “We’re capturing millions of data points, enhancing supply chain visibility, while saving them significant dollars.” Learn how VPL saves hospitals significant money on shipping costs.
Aug 2, 2020
Matt Weber Troublemaker at Fit For Work
Matt Weber, Fit For Work’s National Director of Sales, takes us through a rapid-fire story of a company who’s been innovating in their business sector since 1998. This simple statement is sending shock waves through their business sector: “We prevent people from getting injured.” Here's another: "Fit For Work achieves a 50% reduction in injuries and the accompanying costs." If those statement don’t seem earthshaking to you, it’s because you’re not a Safety Manager, Plant Manager, or a CFO. Fit For Work has shaken up their industry by changing the "injury equation," as Matt calls it. The old model is what I call “Break/Fix.” The successful model from Fit For Work is to forecast the next injury before it happens because they go to the source of the injuries - the work place.
Jul 21, 2020
Kirsten Potenza Troublemaker at POUND® Fitness
Kirsten Potenza is Co-Creator and CEO of POUND®, a fitness phenomenon taught by over 25,000 instructors in over 100 countries to hundreds of thousands of participants every week. POUND® is the world's first cardio jam session, inspired by the energizing, infectious, sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums! This from their YouTube page - "Fusing cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and isometric poses all in a 45-minute session, this workout burns 600-900 cal/hour while rocking to your favorite music!" This podcast is packed full of gems for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Here's one of my favorites from Kirsten, “You have to be so incredibly passionate about something that a certain type of blinders go up and nothing can stop you."
Jul 1, 2020
DR. Brian Skow Troublemaker at Avera eCARE
Dr. Skow, Chief Medical Officer of Avera eCARE, and his colleagues are experts in telemedicine. But not the kind of telemedicine that we've heard about recently in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. Rather, these practitioners in all fields of medicine are experts in providing myriad services to critical access hospitals and their patients across the country. Avera eCARE has a full virtual hospital that is staffed 24/7 with physicians and other medical professionals who can collaborate with ease. Avera eCARE makes it easy for those who need the services by removing all of the barriers to connectivity. “Imagine that you’re in a small, critical access hospital; a three-room emergency department. There’s an e-Emergency button on the wall. At the push of the e-CARE button, in about 15 seconds, you’ll see the faces of an emergency medicine physician and a critical care nurse. At that point is when the collaboration starts,” Dr. Skow explains.
Jun 24, 2020
Rob Neuner Troublemaker at Boost Oxygen
Rob Neuner, CEO of Boost Oxygen has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. For entrepreneurs, that's a skill that comes in handy. It certainly helped Rob and his team navigate the many challenges of bringing a new concept to the U.S. market. You think your startup experienced bumps in the road? One of Rob's first ones was the United States Department of Transportation. They didn't like the canister design Boost Oxygen was shipping and shut things down for about 6 months. The key to handling such setbacks is (1) taking a deep breath, (2) a mix of resilience and possibly good old-fashioned stubbornness. Listen in as Rob explains the challenges of selling something in an entirely new category, Boost Oxygen's lucky breaks like meeting Mr. Wonderful, and the importance of believing in yourself.
Jun 18, 2020
Chris Brownbridge Troublemaker at Silver Lining
For Chris Brownridge, the anonymity of the job search process needs to change and he’s working to do just that. Starting simply from a spreadsheet of employee names and qualifications that he shared on LinkedIn, Chis has created a community – Silver Lining – designed to help the recently unemployed know that they’re not alone. Chris pointed out how dehumanizing it can be for those looking for work, or as he puts it, people are forced to “Throw resumes and applications into the abyss,” and never get any kind of response. Rather than furthering that faceless process, Silver Lining is designed to foster connection.
Jun 11, 2020
Jon Montenero Troublemaker at BridgeHealth
Most of us know what to look for generally when selecting a doctor or a pharmacy, but once we get into the more technical aspects of healthcare, like choosing the best physician or hospital for a surgical procedure, we need technical manuals and masters to advise us. That’s what BridgeHealth does. “It’s really about guiding the member to the best possible location and physician for their personal needs,” said Jon Montenero, Vice President of Enterprise Sales.
May 27, 2020
Ken Bombace Troublemaker at Global Threat Solutions
Ken Bombace and Global Threat Solutions are in the protection, investigation, and due diligence industry. The company is 100% veteran owned and 100% on point when it comes to doing even the smallest, seemingly menial parts of their job. I got several great quotes from Ken during this podcast and these two are my favorites: "Perseverance. Never quitting is the number one attribute for any successful entrepreneur.” "No matter how busy we have become, I monitor all communications threads for every protection detail we have going, all the time." The extreme nature of their work provides a great comparison to more mundane industries like marketing. Imagine if we all approached our industries like our lives depended on it.
May 17, 2020
Sean Weisbord Troublemaker at BurnAlong
Steve interviews troublemaker Sean Weisbord, Director of Sales at BurnAlong. Online workout offerings typically don't keep users for long. BurnAlong has identified two key experiences that work in gyms, and built them into a dynamic online health and wellness platform: * An inspiring and relatable instructor - BurnAlong has partnered with 100s of across 45 categories, for unparalleled choice. * Social motivation - members can take classes alone or live online with others they invite. These health and wellness platforms are used by municipalities, universities, hospitals, and companies of all sizes – and they're getting 5X the engagement levels. Once signed up, members can choose from thousands of classes across more than 45 categories taught by hundreds of instructors. People can take classes on their own on demand or invite friends to join them live online.
Apr 23, 2020
Karma Tenzing Nyangmi Troublemaker in Nepal
You think your industry throws difficulties your way? Meet Karma Tenzing. He’s a social entrepreneur up against tremendous odds in Nepal. Three of the world's major religions believe in Karma: Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism. 81% of the population of Nepal practice Hinduism. 9% practice Buddhism. Those who believe in Karma think their past deeds determine their present circumstances and present deeds determine future outcomes. So when things go wrong, like a major earthquake that hit Kathmandu in 2015, there’s no accountability or ownership...no way forward. They just accept it. That's when Karma decided it was time to leave a successful life in New York City and go home to help. This is a story of incredible drive, patience, and kindness.
Apr 22, 2020
Danny Nelms Troublemaker at Work Institute
Danny Nelms, President of the Work Institute, can tell you more about the health of your company just by talking to your people than any spreadsheet or financial report ever will. Danny and his team at the Work Institute believe that the employees of any organization are foundational to its success. Why are companies failing to understand this simple fact? That’s what we asked Danny in our interview as we met to discuss the latest publication from the Work Institute, “EmployeR Engagement: The Fresh and Dissenting Voice on the Employment Relationship.” (click to order) Danny has an interesting take on the employer – employee relationship, even in these troubled times. And he often finds himself telling employers not what they want to hear, but what they NEED to hear.
Mar 26, 2020
James Eves Troublemaker at Eves3
James Eves is the Yoda of graphic arts. I first met him in Richmond Virginia. I knew he was a troublemaker right away. We've been friends and associates ever since. James found his way through the flotsam and jetsam of the sinking marketing industry. He did it thanks to his extremely high standards, his bravado, and his honesty. There are several quotes in this podcast that will inspire any entrepreneur, and especially those who came up in the era of craftsmanship in marketing.
Mar 23, 2020
David Feinberg Troublemaker at PURE Juicer
The cold press juicer category had no serious advancements in the last 50 years. Then David Feinberg began re-thinking everything. His energy and inventiveness resulted in a far superior cold press juicer, healthier juice for his customers, and an amazing journey for David. And he's just getting started.