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The Thoughtful Entrepreneur

The Thoughtful Entrepreneur

Author: Josh Elledge of

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You’re gonna love this DAILY, commercial-free entrepreneur spotlight show. We feature CEOs and founders of 6-9 figure B2B companies. Agencies, coaches, consultants, and other leaders share not only their success stories - but their advice for business leaders focused on business growth.

You’re going to hear real stories from real people all in 15-25 minutes time - perfect for your commute.

On this podcast, your host, Josh Elledge encourages entrepreneurs to share not only their expertise but their stories and their hearts.

We believe that every person has a unique message which can positively impact the world. Even YOU! If you’d like to be featured on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur, apply here:
1967 Episodes
Elevating Your Brand: The Impact of Hiring a Fractional CMO In a recent episode of "The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show," host Josh Elledge engaged in a compelling conversation with Jessica Shirra, a fractional CMO for seven-figure brands and the founder of Navi, a boutique fractional CMO agency. They explored the unique advantages of hiring a fractional CMO, the specialized services provided by Navi, and the transformative impact these services have on businesses. This blog post distills the key insights from the episode, offering actionable advice and detailed explanations to guide listeners and readers alike.A fractional CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) is a marketing executive who works with companies on a part-time basis, providing high-level strategic guidance without the full-time commitment. This role is particularly beneficial for businesses that need expert marketing leadership but may not have the resources to hire a full-time CMO. Jessica Shirra's agency, Navi, specializes in working with six and seven-figure brands, particularly those with digital products such as membership subscriptions, courses, and e-commerce. Navi's approach emphasizes data-driven decision-making and comprehensive business assessments, ensuring that marketing strategies are tailored to align with the business's goals and resources.One of the significant benefits of hiring a fractional CMO, as shared by Jessica, is the relief it provides to founders and CEOs, allowing them to focus on other critical aspects of their business. Navi's professionalism and elevated standards have been praised by clients, resulting in overall business improvement. Ideal clients for Navi are established businesses with sufficient revenue or funding, an adequate marketing budget, and existing marketing support to implement the strategies developed by the fractional CMO. For businesses looking to elevate their marketing efforts without the commitment of a full-time executive, exploring the services of a fractional CMO like Jessica Shirra from Navi could be a transformative step in their growth journey. About Jessica Shirra:Jess Shirra is a Fractional CMO, and the founder of Fractional CMO School. Her days are spent supporting her 7-figure clients, helping them grow their membership + course businesses. Additionally she mentors other marketers to launch and grow their own Fractional CMO business. With more than 15 years in the field, she's led marketing for both high-growth startups, well-known global names like Lululemon, Pottery Barn, Jenna Kutcher, Strava, and Deloitte to name a few. Jess' philosophy is rooted in customer-first marketing, which she believes makes marketing and sales effortless and cultivates fiercely loyal brand advocates. She upholds that the key to true excellence is focusing on doing fewer things, but executing them exceptionally well.About Navi:Navi is a boutique agency offering Fractional CMO and contract marketing services to high-growth D2C brands on a fractional and project basis. We specialize in marketing for memberships, online education, high-ticket digital offerings, and e-commerce.Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: Mentioned in this Episode:Want to learn more? Check out Navi website at out Navi on LinkedIn at out Jessica Shirra on LinkedIn at’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur and thank
Mastering the Art of Business Exit PlanningIn a recent episode of the UpMyInfluence podcast, host Josh had an enlightening conversation with Len Bruskiewitz, a certified business and executive coach and certified exit planning advisor. Len specializes in helping business owners, particularly those with revenues between $1 million and $10 million, prepare for a successful transition out of their businesses. This blog post delves into the key themes and actionable advice shared during the episode, providing a comprehensive guide for business owners looking to master the art of exit planning.One of the most striking statistics shared by Len is that only about 20 to 25% of businesses that go up for sale actually sell. This low success rate underscores the critical need for meticulous exit planning. Len emphasizes that business owners should start thinking about their exit strategy well in advance—ideally, from day one. Key considerations include having a clear post-exit plan, developing a robust growth strategy, maintaining accurate accounting records, and creating distance from the business to make it more attractive to buyers.Josh and Len also discuss the emotional challenges that many business owners face when planning their exit. For many, their business is a significant part of their identity and purpose. Strategies to address these emotional hurdles include seeking professional guidance, focusing on legacy, and planning for an exciting future post-exit. Len shares examples of both successful and unsuccessful exit plans, highlighting the importance of starting early, improving business operations, and engaging potential successors.About Len Bruskiewitz:As a Business Coach & Certified Exit Planning Advisor, he specializes in assisting business owners generating $1-10M in revenue to plan and execute successful transitions of their companies to family members, third parties, or employees, all according to their specific timelines and terms. In the US, over 3 million of the 6 million companies with 1-19 employees are owned by individuals aged 55 and older, with most lacking any form of transition plan. His services provide them with two primary benefits: a substantial reduction in stress and a noteworthy increase in their company's value.About FocalPoint Coaching:Focal Point Business Coaching is the world’s premier Coaching and business skills training organization.We provide business performance coaching and training to business owners and executives. This is accomplished through one-on-one coaching in an environment of continuous learning, positive support and results-driven accountability. Everything is here: Worldwide BRAND, World class CONTENT, A proven SYSTEM, Innovative use of TECHNOLOGY, Unparalleled SUPPORT and an unmatched TEAM of Business Coaches around the world.We are experts at business growth, showing business leaders how to become more profitable, work less and ultimately, enjoy their lives more.Focal Point Business Coaching is powered by Brian Tracy. We use Brian's business building tools, systems and methodology and we are an extension of Brian's goal to help business owners and executives achieve greater success.Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: Mentioned in this Episode:Want to learn more? Check out Focal Point Business Coaching website at out Focal Point Business Coaching on LinkedIn at out Len Bruskiewitz's website at a...
Transforming and Understanding Lazy Leadership   In a recent episode of "The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show," host Josh engaged in a compelling conversation with Holunga, a distinguished leadership trainer, TEDx speaker, coach, and author. As the principal and executive coach at Chinook Executive Solutions, Julie is dedicated to eradicating lazy leadership and promoting impactful leadership practices. This blog post explores the key themes and actionable insights from their discussion, offering valuable guidance for leaders and organizations aiming for excellence. Lazy leadership, as defined by Julie, refers to a lack of proactive, engaged, and effective leadership. It can manifest in several ways, such as micromanagement, lack of vision, and poor communication. These behaviors can lead to decreased employee morale, reduced productivity, and high turnover rates, as employees feel undervalued and unmotivated. Julie's approach to combating lazy leadership involves fostering self-awareness, developing emotional intelligence, and ensuring clear vision and communication within organizations. Julie’s comprehensive leadership training is tailored to meet the unique needs of each leader and organization. Her methodology emphasizes self-awareness and reflection, developing emotional intelligence, and empowering and delegating tasks effectively. By promoting continuous learning and development, Julie helps leaders stay relevant and effective. Her services include one-on-one coaching, workshops, training programs, and a wealth of online resources. For those seeking to elevate their leadership skills, Julie’s programs offer invaluable support and guidance.   About Julie Holunga:   Julie Holunga is a Leadership Trainer and Executive Coach developing professionals to amplify their influence and impact. She works with Attorneys, CPAs, and Business Leaders, with an expertise in the careers of female professionals. Julie’s clients excelled in their careers with her proven communication strategies, honed their leadership skills, built increased visibility, and heightened confidence. Julie works with highly driven teams to instill the Trusted Voice Paradigm to develop collaborative patterns that deliver value. Through these programs, leaders learn to get out of their own way, develop trusting relationships with key stakeholders, and have a positive impact on the organization's bottom line. Prior to starting her own consulting practice, Julie served as Project Manager for Alumni Career Services at Harvard Business School, where she focused on advancing the careers of female alumni. She worked with F500 companies to retain and advance women into positions of leadership. Julie is one of thirty Global Master Trainers with Emergenetics®, teaching leaders, teams, and global organizations to align their communication for positive impact. Julie gave her first TEDx Talk in 2020: Don't Let Your Words Sabotage Your Career. She is a contributing author to the leadership book for women, On the Rise. Julie earned her BA at Union College and her MBA at Boston College. She spent seven years living and attending school in France, India, and Hong Kong. Julie and her family moved from Boston to Calgary, Canada, and are now settled in the beautiful foothills of Denver.   About Chinook Executive Solutions:     Chinook Executive Solutions is a Denver-based training and coaching firm serving mid-career attorneys, CPAs, and female business leaders. We help ambitious professionals reduce stress, manage their time, lead with confidence, and build their businesses. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:   Links Mentioned in this Episode:     Want to learn more? Check out Julie...
Understanding the Current Challenges in Sustainability   In a recent podcast episode, we had the pleasure of hosting Rajeev Peshawaria, the president and founder of Leadership Energy Consulting and the CEO of Stewardship Asia Center. Rajeev, also the author of "Sustainable Sustainability," shared his profound insights on the need for a paradigm shift in how businesses approach sustainability. This blog post delves into the key themes discussed during the episode, offering actionable advice and detailed explanations to guide our listeners towards embracing steward leadership and achieving sustainable success. Rajeev highlighted significant issues in the current landscape of sustainability, such as the gap between rhetoric and real action, often resulting in greenwashing rather than genuine impact. He also addressed the common misconception that sustainability is a cost or compliance problem, which limits the potential for businesses to see it as an opportunity for innovation and growth. By shifting this perspective, companies can unlock new avenues for creating value while addressing social and environmental challenges. At the heart of Rajeev's message is the concept of steward leadership, which emphasizes the importance of considering the broader impact of business decisions on society and the environment. Rajeev outlined several core principles that define steward leadership, including interdependence, a long-term view, taking ownership, and creative resilience. He shared real-world examples like the Tata Group and Faber-Castell, which have integrated sustainability into their core business models, demonstrating that ethical practices can coexist with commercial success. Rajeev emphasized the need to change the narrative around sustainability, viewing it as an opportunity to innovate and differentiate in the market. By declaring a collective purpose, integrating sustainability into business strategy, fostering a culture of ownership and accountability, and innovating for sustainable solutions, businesses can achieve superior shareholder returns while making a positive impact on society and the environment. For more in-depth discussions and inspiring stories of steward leadership, be sure to tune into Rajeev's podcast, "Sustainable Sustainability."   About Rajeev Peshawaria: He is the CEO of Stewardship Asia Center (SAC) in Singapore and the Founder President of the Leadership Energy Consulting Company based in Seattle, WA. He is also the author of several books including "Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders," "Be the Change," and "Open Source Leadership." With extensive global experience in Leadership Development and Corporate Governance, his focus lies in streamlining business strategy, organizational architecture, and culture. Previously, he served as the CEO of the Asia-based Iclif Leadership & Governance Center, and held roles as the global Chief Learning Officer at Morgan Stanley and The Coca-Cola Company. He has also held senior positions at American Express, HSBC, and Goldman Sachs. He holds an MBA from Webster University in Vienna, Austria, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Bombay, India.   About Stewardship Asia Center: We help business and government leaders, investors, and individuals accelerate leadership action on environmental and social challenges through catalytic knowledge and advisory. We are part of the Temasek Trust ecosystem with a shared purpose of building a better future for every generation. Temasek Trust is the philanthropic arm of Singapore­ based global investor Temasek Holdings. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:   Links...
The Branding Blueprint: Transforming Values into Profitable Businesses In the latest episode of our podcast, Rachel Allen and Solveig Petch, co-founders of Triple Diamond, delve into the intricacies of branding and share their expertise on building legacy brands. Their discussion is a treasure trove of insights for businesses aiming to create a brand that not only stands out in a crowded market but also resonates deeply with their target audience. Here, we break down the key takeaways from their conversation, offering actionable advice and detailed explanations to guide you in your branding journey. Rachel and Solveig emphasize that a brand should be a reflection of the business's core values and beliefs, rather than just a vehicle for profit. This approach ensures that the brand resonates authentically with its audience and stands the test of time. They highlight the importance of creating a unique value proposition that sets your brand apart from the competition and share a compelling case study of a client who successfully transitioned their expertise into a new field with the help of Triple Diamond. This underscores the importance of leveraging your unique strengths to create a brand that stands out. Understanding consumer behavior and building trust with your audience are critical components of a successful brand. Rachel and Solveig stress the importance of market research, creating detailed customer personas, and utilizing behavioral analytics to refine your branding strategy. They also highlight the importance of working with clients who are willing to self-reflect and trust the expertise of branding professionals. By following the insights and actionable tips shared by Rachel and Solveig, you can build a brand that not only stands out in a crowded market but also resonates deeply with your target audience. About Rachel Allen: Rachel Allen is a fast-thinking, deeply nerdy marketer with 15+ years’ broad-ranging experience providing heart-led, data-driven outreach for businesses and nonprofs. About Solveig Petch: Solveig Petch, aka Petchy, is a values-centered, whip-smart brand strategist who’s spent the past 20+ years creating remarkable branding for the quietly rebellious for businesses all over the world. About Triple Diamond: We’ve built brands for some of the biggest (and smallest) businesses on the internet. Now, we’re combining our powers to create the Triple Diamond Brand package, where we take our 3+ decades of combined expertise, our deep commitment to human-first values, and our master craftsmanship to build your bigger picture business brand. If you’re looking for something that goes beyond the typical “7 Days to a Brand You LOVE!”, or some disposable branding you buy off Fiverr, we’re the people you want in your corner. You want to make an impact beyond your bank account. We want to partner with you to make it happen. Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out Triple Diamond's website at Check out Triple Diamond on LinkedIn at Check out Rachel Allen on LinkedIn at Check out Solveig Petch on LinkedIn at Don’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur and thank you for listening. Tune in next time! Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: More from...
Mastering Business Growth and Understanding the Core of Business Alignment In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge interviewed Ali Cudby, the founder and CEO of Alignmint Growth Strategies, to explore actionable strategies for business growth. This blog post highlights the key themes and insights from their conversation, offering a comprehensive guide to scaling your business effectively. Business alignment involves the strategic synchronization of all company aspects to ensure every department and team member works towards the same goals. Ali Cudby emphasizes that alignment is crucial for sustainable growth and long-term success. When a company is aligned, team members understand the overarching vision and goals, leading to cohesive efforts, improved efficiency, and enhanced employee engagement. Achieving business alignment requires clear communication of vision and goals, fostering a culture of collaboration, investing in employee development, leveraging data and analytics, and embracing adaptability and continuous improvement. By implementing these strategies, you can create a cohesive and motivated team well-equipped to drive sustainable growth. For more insights and expert advice, tune into The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show and explore the wealth of knowledge shared by industry leaders like Ali Cudby. About Ali Cudby: Ali Cudby is the CEO of Alignmint Growth Strategies, a company she founded in 2014 as Your Iconic Brand. Ali also wrote the book on customer experience – literally. That’s because Ali is the author of the bestseller, Keep Your Customers. From Fortune 500 to pre-revenue start-ups, Ali has spent 20 years refining her craft. Ali first cut her teeth in the world of customer experience after graduating from Wharton Business School and joining The New York Times Company’s corporate planning group. She also had stints in strategic marketing at the Golf Digest Magazine Group and Animal Planet TV Network before opening her own shop, where she focuses on making a difference for small to mid-sized companies that want the know-how to grow. These days, Ali teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Purdue University and works with clients worldwide. When she’s not working, you’ll probably find her in the pottery studio or valiantly trying to tire out her two dogs. About Alignmint Growth Strategies: Alignmint Growth Strategies helps companies develop customer relationships that drive long-term loyalty. We deliver your process for growth through alignment applying our proven MINT Method. When companies apply the MINT Method, growth doesn’t have to be hard. What can feel like a barrier to reaching your next level simply needs a clear path that aligns your team and inspires your customers. Our process had been adopted successfully by companies around the world, and is the foundation of Founder & CEO Ali Cudby’s #1 bestselling book, “Keep Your Customers.” With Alignmint you get the know-how to grow. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:   Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out Alignmint Growth Strategies website at Check out Alignmint Growth Strategies on LinkedIn at Check out Ali Cudby on LinkedIn at Don’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur and thank you for listening. Tune in next time!   More from UpMyInfluence: We are...
Protecting Your Brand: Essential Intellectual Property Insights for Influencers and Entrepreneurs In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge sat down with Ana Juneja, an intellectual property attorney and the founder of Ana Law®. The discussion provided a wealth of information on the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection for influencers, entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes. This blog post will break down the key points from their conversation, offering actionable advice and detailed insights to help you safeguard your brand and navigate the complex world of IP law. Ana Juneja specializes in intellectual property law, which encompasses patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Patents protect inventions and processes, granting the inventor exclusive rights to use and commercialize their creation for a certain period. Trademarks protect brand names, logos, and slogans that distinguish goods or services in the marketplace. Copyrights protect original works of authorship, such as books, music, and art, giving the creator exclusive rights to use and distribute their work. One of the most critical points Ana emphasized is the importance of trademark protection for influencers and celebrities. Your name and brand are your identity in the marketplace, and without trademark protection, you risk losing control over how your brand is used. Ana stressed the importance of timing when it comes to setting up legal structures and obtaining IP protection. Establish the right legal structure for your business early on, whether it’s an LLC, corporation, or another entity. File for trademark protection as soon as you have a distinctive name or logo to prevent others from using your brand and give you legal standing in case of disputes. If you have an invention or unique process, file for a patent as soon as possible. While copyrights are automatically granted upon creation of a work, registering your copyright can provide additional legal benefits and make it easier to enforce your rights. About Ana Juneja: As an award-winning intellectual property attorney and the founder of Ana Law®, Ana Juneja helps celebrities, athletes, influencers, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and corporations secure and monetize their brands and ideas in the US and abroad. Ana Law® is the first and only law firm that offers flat-fee, 100% guaranteed patent, trademark, and copyright services. Ana has a 100% success rate and often speaks on important topics such as emerging legal issues surrounding security, AI, and social media.  Additionally, Ana has extensive experience with social media intellectual property infringement issues. Ana’s insider connections with premier media agencies allow her to have direct access to key social media platforms, such as Meta (Facebook/Instagram), TikTok, and Twitter. These essential services are an important component of the brand protection strategy for Ana’s celebrity, athlete, & influencer clients. About Ana Law®: Ana Law® is the first and only law firm that offers flat-fee, 100% guaranteed patent, trademark, and copyright services. Ana has a 100% success rate and often speaks on important topics such as emerging legal issues surrounding security, AI, and social media. Across the country and around the globe, business leaders and innovators look to Ana Law as their trusted legal advisor for excellence, innovation, and superior results. As you look for opportunities to expand and grow your business and revenue, Ana Law is here to help every step of the way. We provide actionable legal & business advice to protect your ideas, products, brands, and revenue. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: 
Mastering the Art of Visual Storytelling In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge sat down with Emily Schneider, a visual storyteller and freelance PowerPoint designer, to delve into the intricacies of creating compelling presentations. This blog post will break down the key takeaways from their conversation, offering actionable advice and expert insights to help you elevate your presentation game. Emily emphasizes the importance of well-designed presentations, noting that good design can enhance understanding, engage the audience, and reinforce your message. She offers actionable tips such as using high-quality images, maintaining consistent branding, and utilizing whitespace effectively. Additionally, Emily highlights the role of storytelling in corporate presentations, explaining that a good narrative can create emotional connections, simplify complex ideas, and drive action. She advises starting with a hook, structuring your story clearly, and using real-life examples to make your content more relatable. Emily also shares best practices for creating visually appealing slides, including principles of simplicity, consistency, and visual hierarchy. She recommends using templates, incorporating infographics, and using animations sparingly. For those who prefer a DIY approach, Emily suggests tools like Canva, PowerPoint, and Prezi, and encourages leveraging free resources, practicing regularly, and seeking feedback. However, she also notes that hiring a professional can be beneficial for high-stakes presentations or complex projects.   About Emily Schneider:   Emily Schneider is a visual storyteller specializing in PowerPoint design. Her focus is on enabling business leaders to achieve measurable growth by harnessing the often underestimated power of visual storytelling and presentation design. With a fervor for transforming intricate content into compelling presentations that resonate deeply with audiences, Emily seamlessly blends storytelling with a discerning design sensibility. Her extensive experience has shaped her belief that a well-crafted presentation transcends mere slides and text; it serves as a strategic instrument capable of amplifying impact and driving business success. Emily's expertise lies in intricately weaving narratives into visual aids, crafting narratives that captivate and endure in audience memory. Beyond her role as a designer, she positions herself as a strategic collaborator, partnering closely with businesses to enhance their communication strategies. Together, she endeavors to transform messages into impactful presentations that captivate and inspire intended audiences, guiding them towards informed decisions and empowering storytellers to convey their narratives with confidence. In her podcast appearances, Emily Schneider passionately advocates for the significance of well-designed presentations. She underscores how effectively framing narratives can lead to stronger messages, resulting in increased sales, enhanced relationships, and overall business triumph. Through her insights, listeners gain practical advice on elevating presentations to new heights and forging deeper connections with their audiences. Emily is driven by her passion for storytelling and design, eagerly sharing her expertise to illuminate the transformative potential of design in PowerPoint presentations. She invites discussions on how business leaders can thrive amidst today's competitive landscape by harnessing the magic of storytelling.   Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out Emily Schneider's website at Check out Emily Schneider on LinkedIn at 
Creating a Positive Workplace Culture in the Construction Industry In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge sat down with Chad Prinkey, the founder and CEO of Welbilt Construction Consulting. Chad, who also hosts "The Morning Huddle Construction Show" and authored "Well Built: How the Top 2% of Construction Contractors Create Superior Value, Profits, and Excellence," shared valuable insights on creating a great workplace culture in the construction industry. This blog post delves into their conversation, highlighting how construction companies can foster a positive work environment that translates into superior business performance. Chad Prinkey emphasizes that actively engaged employees are crucial for the success of any construction company. In an industry characterized by high stress, high demand, and low margins, companies that foster a positive workplace culture can achieve a self-perpetuating cycle of happy employees, happy customers, and higher profits. Key takeaways include the importance of employee engagement, creating a positive atmosphere, and understanding that happy employees lead to happy customers, which in turn leads to higher profits. Leaders can implement practical steps such as seeking feedback, demonstrating that they are listening, and considering flexible work schedules. Chad highlights Block, a general contractor in Texas and Louisiana, as a successful example of improved people leadership. Over the past three years, Block has increased employee engagement scores by adding a dedicated HR professional, implementing ongoing training and development programs, updating the benefits plan, and improving communication. Chad also discusses the significant costs associated with employee turnover in the construction industry, particularly for roles like estimating and project management. To mitigate turnover, companies should focus on becoming training organizations that grow their own talent and implement strategies to retain employees, such as offering competitive benefits and creating a positive work environment. About Chad Prinkey: Chad Prinkey is the Founder and CEO of Well Built Construction Consulting, an organization that has carved out a niche in exclusively serving the small to mid-size commercial general contractors, construction managers, specialty contractors, owners, and developers in the building industry.  Prinkey's approach is hands-on, deeply invested in team skill enhancement, devising effective compensation structures, and fortifying communication within construction teams. His strategic vision goes beyond troubleshooting; it's about nurturing a culture where continuous improvement and leadership excellence are the norms in the building industry. Prinkey's expertise lies in strategically refining construction practices, guiding companies through the complexities of the market, and elevating industry standards. He steers organizations toward enduring success and operational distinction through consulting and facilitation. Prinkey's professional trajectory is defined by a strong focus on enhancing the operational aspects of construction companies and project teams. His extensive experience includes delivering keynotes and programs to over 120 construction companies and multiple associations, emphasizing his influence and reach within the industry. Prinkey is also the host of his weekly podcast, The Morning Huddle. Interviewing experts from across the building industry, Prinkey shares insightful and educational messages with listeners looking to impact the industry positively. Well Built distinguishes itself with a...
Ensuring Work Quality and Safety: The Future of Quality Management   In a recent episode of "The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show," host Josh from interviewed Matt Kleiman, co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Digital Systems. The discussion highlighted Cumulus's pivotal role in enhancing work quality and safety in mission-critical industries. This blog post distills the key insights and actionable advice shared during the episode, offering a comprehensive guide for those aiming to improve operational efficiency and safety within their organizations. Cumulus Digital Systems is a quality management system tailored for mission-critical facilities, ensuring tasks are performed correctly and safely. Matt Kleiman, inspired by his energy sector background and the lessons from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, developed Cumulus to proactively prevent such incidents. The system has significantly impacted various industries, including energy, data centers, and semiconductor fabrication, by guiding workers through tasks and validating their work to avoid costly and dangerous incidents. One of the standout benefits of Cumulus is cost avoidance, saving companies millions by preventing incidents before they occur. Additionally, Cumulus enhances safety outcomes by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries, fostering a safer work environment. The company is also committed to raising awareness about the importance of work quality and safety, overcoming resistance to change, and leveraging AI for continuous improvement. For organizations seeking to enhance safety and reliability, exploring Cumulus's resources and tools is a crucial step towards achieving these goals.   About Matthew Kleiman: Matthew Kleiman serves as co-founder & CEO of Cumulus Digital Systems, an award-winning connected worker platform that ensures mission-critical work is done right the first time, every time. With previous experience leading teams at Shell and Draper, Matt leverages his industry knowledge to build positive, lasting impact in the industry.   About Cumulus Digital Systems: Cumulus is a Quality Management System (QMS) that ensures critical construction and maintenance activities are done right the first time, every time. By integrating AI-powered workflows and connected IoT devices, the Cumulus QMS improves the productivity and quality of critical work, such as bolt tightening, welding, and pressure testing. To date, Cumulus has been used to manage over 7,000,0000 work completions across industries such as energy, construction, manufacturing, semiconductors, data centers, transportation, chemicals, renewables, and more. In addition to improving safety and sustainability, our technology also has been proven to reduce costs for quality control and data review by over 60%. Cumulus is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, with additional offices in Houston, Texas, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and serves customers across the globe Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:   Links Mentioned in this Episode:   Want to learn more? Check out Cumulus Digital Systems website at Check out Cumulus Digital Systems LinkedIn at Check out Matthew Kleiman on LinkedIn at Don’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur and thank you for listening. Tune in next time!   More from UpMyInfluence: We are...
Mastering Digital Marketing: Enhancing Engagement and Brand Identity In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge sat down with Manish Dudharejia, the Founder and CEO of E2M Solutions, to discuss the intricacies of digital marketing. This episode is packed with valuable insights and actionable tips for entrepreneurs looking to enhance their digital marketing strategies. Here, we break down the key takeaways from their conversation to help you navigate the digital marketing landscape effectively. Manish emphasizes the importance of **Search Engine Optimization (SEO)**, not just focusing on keywords but also on content quality, user experience, and technical aspects. He advises creating high-quality, relevant content, ensuring a user-friendly website, and paying attention to technical SEO elements like site structure and meta tags. Additionally, leveraging data analytics is crucial for understanding your audience and measuring marketing effectiveness. Manish suggests tracking key metrics, using analytics tools like Google Analytics, and conducting A/B tests to optimize strategies. Content marketing and social media are pivotal in engaging your audience. Manish recommends developing a content calendar, creating diverse content types, and using storytelling to make content relatable. On social media, selecting the right platforms, maintaining a consistent posting schedule, and actively engaging with your audience are essential. Building a strong brand identity is also crucial; this involves developing a unique brand voice, creating a consistent visual identity, and crafting a compelling brand story. Investing in paid advertising can further boost your efforts, with targeted ads and careful budget management to ensure a good return on investment. About Manish Dudharejia: Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in SEO, Content Marketing, and Website Design & Development. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to increase their branding on the internet. About E2M Solutions Inc: E2M is a Full Service White Label Digital Agency. We specialise in providing Website Design & Development, WordPress Development, Shopify Development, WooCommerce Development, eCommerce Stores, Digital Marketing Services (SEO, Local SEO, eCommerce SEO, Content Marketing), and Content Writing Services. Our primary business model is to provide white label services to Digital marketing agencies, Website design and development agencies, Branding and digital agencies. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out E2M Solutions Inc. website at Check out E2M Solutions Inc. on LinkedIn at Check out Manish Dudharejia on LinkedIn at   Don’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur and thank you for listening. Tune in next time!   More from UpMyInfluence: We are actively booking guests for our The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. Schedule HERE. Are you a 6-figure consultant? I’ve got high-level intros for you. Learn more here. What...
The Power of Improv in Enhancing Communication Skills   In a recent episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur podcast, host Josh had an engaging conversation with Ross Kimball, the founder of Show Up Better Today. Ross shared his journey from a hesitant improv student to a communication coach for high performers in various fields. This blog post delves into the main themes of their discussion, offering valuable insights and actionable advice on how improv can significantly improve communication skills. Ross Kimball's journey into improv began with a significant delay. He signed up for an improv class but took two years to attend due to fear and self-doubt. This hesitation is common among many individuals who fear stepping out of their comfort zones. Ross's experience highlights the importance of taking that first step, no matter how daunting it may seem. Ross emphasizes that improv is not about being funny or quick-witted. Instead, it's about being present, responding authentically, and making others look good. This mindset shift can be transformative for high performers who often struggle with overthinking and self-editing. One of the most significant benefits of improv is the ability to quiet the self-editor in our minds. Josh shared his personal experience of how improv helped him relax his analytical brain, allowing him to be more comfortable and spontaneous in various situations. This reduction in self-censorship can lead to more authentic and effective communication. Improv also enhances listening skills, builds confidence, reduces performance pressure, and fosters a supportive communication environment. By incorporating practical improv techniques into daily life, individuals can significantly improve their interactions in both personal and professional settings. For more information on Ross Kimball and his work, visit Show Up Better Today.   About Ross Kimball: Ross is an actor, writer, and comedian who uses his experience in the entertainment industry to motivate and encourage individuals to become dynamic communicators. Ross is passionate about instilling confidence and giving practical tools to those who want to be more undeniable on stage, in a meeting, or at the next mandatory cocktail hour. Ross lives in Los Angeles with his amazing family and two orange trees. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:   Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out Show Up Better Today website at Check out Kevin Roy on LinkedIn at Don’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur and thank you for listening. Tune in next time!   More from UpMyInfluence: We are actively booking guests for our The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. Schedule HERE. Are you a 6-figure consultant? I’ve got high-level intros for you. Learn more here. What is your #1 Lead Generation BLOCKER? Take my free quiz here. Want to learn more about all the podcasts managed by UpMyInfluence? Opt in here.
Unlocking Holistic Revenue Growth: The Visionary Entrepreneur's Path   In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge interviewed Jackson Calame, founder of First Class Business, to explore the nuances of helping visionary entrepreneurs achieve holistic revenue growth and sustainable success. Jackson's methodology is grounded in effective leadership, human connection, and a thorough understanding of business infrastructure. This blog post distills the key insights from their discussion, providing actionable advice and detailed explanations to guide entrepreneurs on their path to success. Jackson Calame compares First Class Business to Alfred, Batman's butler, ensuring that visionary entrepreneurs can concentrate on their strengths without burning out. The company offers a robust support system covering various business operations, including infrastructure and process, vision and culture, leadership and management, marketing and sales, and fulfillment and support operations. Jackson emphasizes the importance of regularly assessing business infrastructure, cultivating a strong organizational culture, and investing in leadership training for sustainable success. Jackson underscores the significance of entrepreneurs focusing on their strengths as visionaries and CEOs. He advocates leveraging resources like webinars and books, such as "The Effective Executive" by Dr. Peter Drucker, to enhance executive effectiveness. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to identify their core competencies, engage in continuous learning, and delegate tasks outside their strengths to capable team members. By doing so, they can maximize their impact and drive their businesses toward holistic growth.   About Jackson Calame: Jackson teaches visionary entrepreneurs how to unlock sustainable revenue growth and expand their legacy by becoming a Power Brand in their market. 96% of businesses fail within the first 10 years. Jackson teaches businesses, not only how to avoid failure, but how to win, by becoming a true leader in their market.  Having worked in, launched, and scaled several successful startups in the b2b industry & SaaS space, servicing thousands of SMBs, Jackson has seen firsthand that even the best operators struggle and often fail. The problem begins with poorly managed growth, due to establishing a weak foundation, which inevitably leads to collapse. Jackson and his teams prepare business owners and executives to bridge their growth gaps. Collectively, we often fill the roles of COO, CMO, or CEO during this transformative process. Your key to success as growth occurs and operations shift, will require that you evolve. Developing an incredible culture, built around a clear vision dedicated to customer satisfaction, must be the focal point of a company's mission in order to ultimately thrive. Most operators think they are prepared for this. The truth is, you aren't. Personal growth will be necessary. Personnel shifts will occur. Cuts will likely be made as accountability begins to expose who your contenders are, and who your pretenders are. It’s not personal, it’s business. And in order for everyone to win, a business can only afford to have leaders who pull their own weight, who add value to the mission, not anchors who will hold you back. If your business is ready for a powerful shift that empowers you to maximize your potential, Jackson and his team members are the key players you need on your team, to make it happen.   About First Class Business:   First Class Business is founded on the principle that we can help you achieve sustainable revenue by partnering with you at a higher...
Embracing the Aliveness Mindset: A Guide to Leading with Passion, Purpose, and Joy In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge conversed with Jack Craven, an executive leadership coach and author of "Aliveness Mindset: Lead and Live with More Passion, Purpose, and Joy." Their discussion explored leadership, emotional intelligence, and living a fulfilling life. This blog post distills key insights from their conversation, offering actionable advice to help you lead with more passion, purpose, and joy. Jack Craven's "Aliveness Mindset" emphasizes living and leading with passion and purpose. It involves reducing reactivity, accessing emotional intelligence, and aligning with true desires. Key themes include reducing reactivity through mindfulness practices, identifying core values by reflecting on peak experiences, and setting intrinsically rewarding goals. Craven also highlights the importance of perseverance, modeling your best self, and taking practical steps to experience more aliveness daily. To experience more aliveness, Jack advises listening to your heart, making heart-centered decisions, and prioritizing activities that make you feel alive. Reframe your perspective on your current role to find meaning, and be open to change if your current path isn't fulfilling. By staying committed to your values, trusting your instincts, and taking small actions daily, you can transform both your personal and professional life, leading with passion, purpose, and joy. About Jack Craven: With a diverse background as a trial lawyer, seasoned CEO, long time member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) mindset author, distinguished executive coach, and C-Suite team facilitator, Jack Craven has spent the last 9 years leading countless CEOs and their C-Suite teams into more fulfilling, authentic lives. In his work over the past decade, Jack continually found what he personally experienced in his long-term CEO role–executives aren’t necessarily satisfied with their lives but feel guilty asking for more because they know they are privileged and blessed. Through his “Living All In” philosophy, he has helped leaders and their companies reach the pinnacle of their potential. He aids leaders in honing their effectiveness and fulfillment by pinpointing drivers, strengths, and blind spots and helps them discover deeper purpose, joy, and happiness in their lives. Jack seamlessly blends his experience with neuroscience-based practices and insights from the Enneagram personality system to facilitate transformative coaching results. Since 2007, Jack has also been an active member and one of only 120 certified facilitators worldwide for the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the world’s leading community for chief executives, giving him a profound understanding of contemporary leadership dynamics. Prior to his work with executive leadership, Jack was the CEO of his family’s business, Craven Closeouts, for nearly two decades. He began his career as a trial lawyer with the Chicago State’s Attorney’s Office and then moved into private practice. To help executives become fully immersed in their aliveness and live their best professional and personal lives, on April 2, 2024, Jack will launch his first book, Aliveness Mindset: Lead and Live with More Passion, Purpose, and Joy, with publisher Forefront Books. Jack received his J.D. from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, and his B.A. in Political Science, Criminal Justice from Indiana University Bloomington. Just as passionate about his personal pursuits, Jack loves keeping. About Aliveness Mindset (Book): In Aliveness Mindset, Jack explains his groundbreaking method to achieve an “Optimal State,” which provides clarity, confidence, growth, and natural concentration. This is honed through implementing “Living All In Tools” and by first grasping an “Aliveness Mindset” and then putting it into
Scaling Your Agency with a Fractional CFO In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge interviewed Michael Wark, a fractional CFO and the founder and CEO of Trimline. Michael specializes in helping agency owners scale their businesses, and during the interview, he shared invaluable insights into the challenges agency owners face, the benefits of hiring a fractional CFO, and actionable advice for those looking to grow their agencies. This blog post will delve into the key themes discussed in the episode, breaking down each tip in detail to provide a comprehensive guide for agency owners. A fractional CFO is a part-time Chief Financial Officer who provides financial expertise and leadership to businesses that may not need or cannot afford a full-time CFO. This role is particularly beneficial for small to mid-sized businesses, including agencies, that are in the growth phase and need strategic financial guidance. Michael Wark suggests that agency owners typically consider hiring a fractional CFO when they have a team of at least 2-3 people and are generating revenue between $500,000 to $5 million. At this stage, businesses are navigating the "valley of death" in their growth curve, where financial missteps can be particularly costly. One of the first areas Michael addresses with his clients is their profit margins. Many agencies struggle with pricing their services correctly, leading to thin margins that can hinder growth. Cash flow is another common challenge for growing agencies, and Michael emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy cash flow to support growth. As agencies grow, it's crucial to focus on building long-term value. Michael advises agency owners to think beyond immediate profits and consider the overall value of their business. By focusing on key areas such as fixing margins, solving cash flow issues, and building enterprise value, a fractional CFO can provide the financial leadership needed to navigate the challenges of growth.   About Michael Wark: Michael Wark is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 19 years of commercial experience. He is the founder of Trimline which helps small agency owners achieve an exit through strategic support and coaching. The coaching is anchored in the numbers but expands quickly beyond that to focus on strategy, and unpacking the key pillars of value that you need to be building alongside improving your numbers. With a deep understanding of best practices for agencies small and large, he guides owners through the growth phase to exit with expertise and care.   About Trimline: Trimline helps business owners acheive an exit through strategic support and coaching. You get an experienced leader on your team at a fraction of the cost and time. Our regular meetings are designed to give you a deeper insight into your numbers, and help you plan for the future. We are here to build real value in your business, and share our insights into best practices from across our extensive industry experience. Our guaranteed confidentiality is a critical outlet for founders. It means you can work through sensitive ideas or problems you can’t share with your existing team. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur:   Links Mentioned in this Episode:   Want to learn more? Check out the Trimline website at Check out Trimline on LinkedIn at Check out Michael Wark on LinkedIn at Don’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful...
Implementing AI in Customer Support In a recent podcast episode, Josh, the host, engaged in an enlightening conversation with Joanne, the CEO of Zingtree. They explored the intricacies of customer support, the role of AI in enhancing customer experiences, and Zingtree's unique approach to ensuring seamless and efficient support for large, complex, and compliant businesses. This blog post breaks down the key insights from their discussion, offering actionable advice and expert recommendations for businesses looking to improve their customer support systems. Joanne emphasized the critical role of customer experience (CX) in business success, noting that poor customer experiences can lead to significant negative impacts such as reduced client retention and lower customer satisfaction. Despite substantial investments in the customer support space, many companies still struggle to provide satisfactory experiences. Joanne highlighted that 85-90% of people report subpar experiences when interacting with customer support lines or chatbots, pointing out that traditional ticket-based systems often lead to prolonged and frustrating processes for customers. Zingtree aims to revolutionize customer support by eliminating the need for tickets, envisioning a future where issues are resolved instantaneously. Joanne shared insights into how AI can be leveraged to provide immediate solutions to customer issues, reducing the need for human intervention and enhancing efficiency. For large, complex enterprises, implementing AI requires a solid foundation, including data cleanliness, workflow optimization, and a phased approach to AI integration. Zingtree's consultative approach ensures they understand the specific goals and pain points of each business, fostering long-term partnerships and providing tailored solutions. About Juan Jaysingh: Juan Jaysingh is President and CEO at Zingtree, leading the company’s mission to transform complex processes into clear actions for businesses around the globe. Since becoming CEO in January 2020, Juan has focused on scaling and expanding Zingtree as a profitable, B2B SaaS organization working with over 700 customers worldwide. Juan’s years of experience in tech entrepreneurship include his time at Universal Tennis, the sports tech startup behind UTR Powered by Oracle. Juan led the GTM strategy and rollout of UTR’s community platform to elite clubs and tennis academies worldwide. Juan also founded ZeeMee, a social media community platform for high school students transitioning to college. Under his leadership, ZeeMee was named to the inaugural CNBC Upstart 25 in 2017. Before ZeeMee, Juan held various technology consulting roles. An accomplished tennis player, Juan immigrated to the United States alone at the age of 14. A chance encounter landed him full tennis scholarships to study and compete at Georgetown Prep and then at American University. Juan says passion and integrity drive his work ethic. As he likes to say, “if it’s too easy, it’s probably not worth it.” Juan and his family reside in Palo Alto, California. About Zingtree: Zingtree is the AI enabled CX automation platform that helps B2C enterprises automate actions, self-service and agent effectiveness. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out Zingtree website at Check out Zingtree on LinkedIn at Check out Zingtree on Facebook at
Mastering Financial Validation: Insights from Chris McCall In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge sat down with Chris McCall, the co-founder and CEO of Valid8 Financial, to delve into the intricacies of financial validation for businesses. This episode is a treasure trove of insights for entrepreneurs looking to solidify their financial strategies and ensure sustainable growth. Here, we break down the key takeaways and actionable advice shared by Chris McCall. Financial validation is a critical process for any business, ensuring that financial data is accurate, reliable, and aligned with the company’s strategic goals. Chris McCall emphasizes the importance of this process in building investor confidence and guiding business decisions. Key components include the accuracy of financial data through regular audits and automated systems, reliability and consistency via standardized reporting and historical data analysis, and alignment with strategic goals through goal-oriented financial planning and performance metrics. Investors need to trust that a company’s financial data is accurate and that the business is on a solid financial footing. Chris McCall shares several strategies to build and maintain this trust, such as transparent communication with regular updates and open dialogue, demonstrating financial health through strong balance sheets and effective cash flow management, and showcasing a proven track record with consistent performance and case studies. By following these strategies, entrepreneurs can build a robust financial foundation that supports sustainable growth and long-term success. About Chris McCall: As CEO and Cofounder, Chris leads VALID8’s vision, strategy, and execution. Prior to cofounding VALID8, Chris led marketing as Chief Marketing Officer for NexGen Storage where he built a world class marketing team around strategic market analysis and product management. Chris started his career as an Electrical Engineer designing systems forBoeing 747’s. Identifying the need to modernize the engineering design data infrastructure, he revamped how system design software could leverage large datasets more effectively. Passionate about extracting value from big data systems, Chris took on several product roles with start-ups acquired by F500 companies HP and SanDisk. About Valid8 Financial: Valid8 Financial has become the global leader in Verified Financial Intelligence (VFI) and is used on the highest profile, most complex bankruptcy, fraud, and cryptocurrency cases in the world, but it all started with a frustrated team of accountants trying to untangle a Ponzi scheme case in 2017. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out Valid8 Financial website at Check out Valid8 Financial on LinkedIn at Check out Chris McCall on LinkedIn at Don’t forget to subscribe to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur and thank you for listening. Tune in next time!   More from UpMyInfluence: We are actively booking guests for our The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. Schedule HERE. Are you a 6-figure consultant? I’ve got high-level intros for you. Learn more here. What is your #1 Lead Generation...
Mastering Business Leadership with Performance Science In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge sat down with Dr. Carla Fowler, the Managing Director of Thaxa Executive Coaching. Dr. Fowler shared her expertise on leveraging performance science to help business leaders achieve their ambitious goals. This blog post delves into the key themes discussed in the episode, offering actionable advice and in-depth insights for business leaders looking to enhance their performance and achieve success. Dr. Carla Fowler emphasizes the importance of applying performance science principles to business leadership. Performance science, which draws from psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, provides evidence-based strategies to optimize performance and achieve goals. One of the core principles Dr. Fowler advocates is the need for brutal focus. In today's fast-paced business environment, leaders often juggle multiple tasks, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. Dr. Fowler suggests identifying core priorities, time blocking, and regular review to maintain focus and ensure that important tasks receive the attention they deserve. Visibility and reputation play a crucial role in attracting opportunities and building a successful business. Dr. Fowler highlights the importance of building a personal brand, leveraging social media, and showcasing success stories. Additionally, she discusses the superpower of scaling sales conversations to build networks and resilience. Effective sales conversations can lead to increased opportunities and a robust network. Strategies include developing a sales script, practicing active listening, and consistent follow-up. Dr. Fowler's coaching process involves longer initial sessions to establish clarity and focus, followed by ongoing support and coaching sessions to help clients practice skills and work towards their goals.   About Carla Fowler, MD PhD: Carla Fowler, MD PhD founded THAXA out of a passion for performance science, where the fields of strategy, productivity, and psychology intersect. Since its inception in 2013, THAXA’s scientific approach to individualized coaching has attracted a devoted client base of dozens of executives at firms ranging from Fortune 500 technology companies to venture-backed startups to innovative nonprofits. Carla’s coaching methods draw upon the multidisciplinary field of performance science to generate the best ideas surrounding strategy, execution, and mindset to assist leaders in their endeavors. Over the past 10 years, she has distilled the key principles of performance into understandable concepts and a method that helps leaders incorporate these ideas into their day-to-day performance, helping them go faster and improving their results. Outside of her coaching, Carla truly enjoys sharing her key performance principles with audiences while engaging in thought-provoking conversations surrounding her passion for performance science. Carla graduated from Brown University magna cum laude, earned her MD and PhD at the University of Washington, and completed her internship in general surgery at Stanford University. About THAXA: THAXA® is a boutique executive coaching firm that leverages the best ideas from performance science to help its clients focus their strategy, execution, and mental state as they pursue ambitious goals. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out THAXA® website at Check out Carla Fowler, MD PhD on LinkedIn at
The Value of Experience in Executive Coaching In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge engaged in a compelling conversation with Gary Cohen, the managing partner and executive coach at CO2 Coaching. The discussion delved into the nuances of executive coaching, particularly for CEOs and company presidents. Gary Cohen shared his wealth of leadership, coaching, and business strategy knowledge, offering listeners practical advice and profound insights. This blog post will distill the key themes and tips from the episode, providing a valuable guide for business leaders and entrepreneurs. Gary Cohen highlighted the significance of practical experience in executive coaching, stressing that coaches who have held similar leadership roles can offer more relevant and actionable advice. He also introduced the CO2 Coaching framework, which focuses on helping clients reclaim their time by delegating or streamlining tasks. Additionally, Gary emphasized the importance of balancing cost reductions with revenue gains to ensure a sustainable business model. These strategies are crucial for effective time management and financial health, enabling leaders to concentrate on strategic initiatives. The conversation also touched on fostering a culture of accountability and learning from failures. Gary discussed the role of leaders in setting clear expectations and holding team members accountable, which drives performance and alignment with organizational goals. He advocated for a blame-free culture that encourages innovation and continuous improvement. Furthermore, Gary underscored the necessity of emotional detachment in business decisions and the power of asking the right questions to engage and empower team members. By exploring coaching opportunities, business leaders can enhance their skills and drive their organizations to success. About Gary Cohen: Gary is famous for asking; he wrote the book on it. He probes his clients with the only kind of questions that can produce change: unexpected ones. From the client’s answers, this dedicated Minneapolis leadership coach offers not just insights but alternative courses of action. “There always are several good roads to Rome,” he says. “The key is to identify the one that best fits both your head and heart.” He focuses on the destination–and not the possible curves in the road–for a simple reason: most obstacles are artificial, and the rest are in our heads. “Clear your head,” he believes, “and the obstacles disappear.” This may explain why Gary’s clients call him “eccentric in exactly the right way.” Gary has yet to meet a client who wants to be ordinary, and he helps them enjoy unusual success by employing unusual approaches. CEO experience: Managing Partner and Co-founder of CO2 Partners, LLC (2004), an Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Firm. Founded ACI in 1989 with $4,000 and two employees, then grew 48 percent compounded annually for 12 years to over 2,200 employees and went public on the NASDAQ. ACI was one of Venture Magazine’s Top 10 Best Performing Businesses and Business Journal’s 25 Fastest Growing Small Public Companies, and Gary was an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Board memberships: All Kinds of Minds, Harvard Alumni Club of Minnesota, IC Systems, Inc., Richfield Bank, ACI, Telecentrics,, Outward Bound National Advisory, HBS Alumni Club of Minnesota (Past President), Minnesota Zoo Foundation among others. Author: Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (McGraw Hill 2009); articles for Business Week, Leader to Leader, and Forbes. Clients: Unilever, Intel, Genentech, MetLife, Thermo-Fisher, and 100-plus entrepreneur-led businesses. strong...
Embracing Innovation, Technology, and Customer-Centric Strategies In a recent episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show, host Josh Elledge, founder of, engaged in a compelling conversation with Dawid Sobieski, the creative force behind Plumcat Studio and Flux Verse. Their discussion explored the intricacies of entrepreneurship, offering listeners a wealth of actionable advice and expert insights. This blog post distills the key takeaways from their dialogue, providing a detailed guide to thoughtful entrepreneurship. Josh and Dawid underscored the importance of authenticity in building a personal brand, emphasizing that your brand should genuinely reflect your values and mission. Consistency across all platforms is crucial for building trust and recognition. They also highlighted the significance of quality over quantity in networking, advocating for meaningful relationships over superficial connections. Offering value to your network without expecting immediate returns fosters goodwill and trust. Actionable tips include defining your core values, auditing your online presence, attending industry events, and engaging actively on social media. Dawid stressed the need for adaptability and innovative thinking in the ever-evolving business landscape. Encouraging creativity within your team can lead to groundbreaking ideas and solutions. Both speakers discussed the effective use of technology to streamline operations and enhance productivity, advising entrepreneurs to stay updated with new tools and platforms. Additionally, understanding your audience and delivering exceptional value are pivotal for a customer-centric approach. Regularly conducting surveys and personalizing services based on customer data can significantly improve your offerings. About Dawid Sobieski: Dawid Sobieski, born in 1990 in Szczecin, Poland, grew up amid the transformative aftermath of communism's collapse. Inspired by his father's entrepreneurial spirit, Dawid pursued a Master's in Law before founding Plumcat during university. Starting with animation tutorials and a small ad project, his passion for creative storytelling blossomed into an international success story. Together with his wife, Dawid navigated early challenges in Barcelona, establishing Plumcat as a pioneer in remote work. Now based in Bansko, Bulgaria, Dawid leads Plumcat's global team, shaping its innovative animation and marketing ventures while indulging in hobbies like surfing and mountain biking. Dawid Sobieski, co-founder of Plumcat, embarked on a journey from Poland's post-communist era to becoming a leader in animation and video marketing. Beginning with a humble animated ad in Szczecin, Dawid's dedication to creative excellence and remote work innovation propelled Plumcat onto the global stage. From Barcelona to Bansko, he and his wife have cultivated a diverse team across continents, delivering cutting-edge solutions to clients worldwide. Beyond business, Dawid finds joy in surfing, mountain biking, and composing music, embodying his lifelong passion for creativity and adventure. About Plumcat Studio: Fully remote design & animation studio that produces original content for international clients from various industries. Apply to be a Guest on The Thoughtful Entrepreneur: Links Mentioned in this Episode: Want to learn more? Check out Plumcat Studio website at Check out Plumcat Studio on LinkedIn at Check out Dawid Sobieski on LinkedIn at
Comments (3)

District 7 Toastmasters

Jennifer was wonderful and friendly when interviewing District Seven Toastmasters for The Thoughtful Entrepreneur. This was the first time I had been on a podcast, and she made me feel very at ease.It was a great way to be able to talk about what Toastmasters is and our Spring Conference. It was a wonderful experience, especially right after going through the Podcast Guest Mini-Mastery Course.

Jun 2nd


Thank you SO much for listening to our show!! 🤓. You are welcome to check out our other UpMyInfluence podcast, Authority Confidential and Josh’s other podcast, The SavingsAngel Show

Feb 25th

Carrie Caulfield Arick

Love this show!

Jun 30th