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PopCast Weekly


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22 Episodes
This week we talk to Danica Lafaire. Danica owns and operates Dkay Franchises and is a franchise consultant. Did you know such a thing existed? I didn't and found it very interesting. Franchising is a great way to get started in your own business by following a proven system for success. Now, when I think about franchises my mind goes to Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and big companies like that. Danica represents over 600 different franchises of all shapes and sizes. Her goal is to help you find the one that fits you and your skill set best. Listen in as we find out how Danica got involved in the industry and how she can help you. You can reach her at Danica and by going to her website and taking the free assessment.Quote - Smart is something you become, not something you are.Question - Entrepreneurship can be a tough road. In the difficult moments, how do you stay focused on moving forward and making progress?
Melissa and Matt Biggins are the owners and operators of a new small business  called Embee, LLC. Melissa is a practicing massage therapist with a hunger to learn and implement new modalities. These include, cranio sacral therapy, healing with crystals, she is also a certified yoga instructor. Matt is more behind the scenes and offers technical and marketing strategies for the business. Together, Melissa and Matt offer a holistic approach to healing for groups and individuals. Listen in as we find out what bought them to this place in their lives and the roles each plays in the business. You can find Embee on FB at and on their  website at - One who cannot laugh, cannot meditate. Laughter is a certain exuberance of your energy. Meditation is the ultimate exuberance of your energy without physical action.Question - What is something you have loved doing but have set it to the side and, what is stopping you from doing it again?
We sit with Steve and talk about his life in law enforcement and how that experience shaped his enabling of a culture of caring and family at A+D Tree.  Despite some tragic events he talked about how he in his own life and the life of the company they just kept going. Favorite line of the podcast is when they lost all their equipment in a fire and his partner  and nephew Eric stated, I'm not gonna give up that easy. Listen in to hear how they made their way thru that tragic event. You can contact A+D Tree at their website and their FB page.Quote - The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago The second best time is now.Question - The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business. Agree???
Mary Ellen and I where blown away by the length and breath of what this organization does for the community and how they accomplish it. Their core mission is meeting the evolving healthcare needs of our changing community. Boy do they do that and more! From their Caring in Action Program to their medical, dental and behavioral health programs along with telehealth and eldercare. This is a jewel in our community! Listen in as Jen and Pam tell the story of how it all got started and what they are doing to keep it going. You can reach Pam at 860-822-4146 and Jen at 860-822-4143. Their website is of the Day - If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up.Question - What would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?
We talk to Susan Swain and Dave Smith about how the tragic loss of Susan's husband and Dave's partner affected their business, partnership, and lives. Their story of how they rose out of that to form a company that not only does home contracting but also real estate. Susan and Dave tell us about how they each have strengths and weaknesses and how they learned to define their roles within the company. They also tell us about hiring a business coach to look at their business and help them define who their ideal client is. Way to go Michelle Jacobik!! Lot's of great business tips in this one folks. Don't miss it!! You can reach Dependable on Facebook and at and at You can call them at 860-447-3447Quote of the week- People don't care how much you know until the know how much you care. Theodore RooseveltQuestion of the week - How many times should you have to show an employee how to do a task before you realize you may not have trained them properly.
Mary Ellen and Dan talk to the 3rd generation owner of Byrnes Agency, Jay Byrnes and Commercial Lines Manager Erica Williams, otherwise known as The Voice! Jay tells the story of how the company began, how he got involved and how he carries on the legacy of his Grandfather and Father. Erica's story of how she got into the insurance business at the age of 19  and her personal development is a testament to her confidence and positive attitude. Byrnes Agency believes in giving back and can be seen in the community as a company who does so willingly. Byrnes Agency can be reached at 860-886-5498 and at and Byrnes Agency on FB and Instagram.Quote - It it doesn't open it's not your door!Question - What's one thing you wish you had known when you started your career?
Mary Ellen and Dan talk to Ellis about his life in politics, his life in the car business, his family legacy and real estate development in Florida.  The story of how he first got involved in politics and where it took him is like something out of a movie. He tells us all about his Dad getting in to the car business and how and why that happened. His recent move to Florida has him delving in  real estate and building spec houses while simultaneously running Thrifty Car Sales in Franklin with the help of his amazing staff. Ellis can be reached at 617-319-7447.Ellis's Quote - The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing but, in rising every time we fall.Accidental Quote - The world does not care!Question - What do you expect from your team members and how will those expectations change over time and is this written in a company handbook?
Mary Ellen and Dan take an hour with Steve to discuss his love of music, how he came to understand the process of buying something at wholesale and selling for a  profit. He is a multi-dimensional guy who loves his family, plays and sings in a band, has a You Tube channel about the process of building his house and is an avid Red Sox fan. Steve has built his Agway business to being a staple in the Norwich, CT area and is one of the few people we know  who truly understands and lives his belief that you should work on your business and not in it. The name of his band is Woodsmoke and includes his friend Jeff and wife Jen. His quick wit and encyclopedia-like knowledge of all things Red Sox make him a great guy to sit and talk to. John Prine, who recently died, has been a big influence on his life and Steve likes to play and write his own songs. You can find his You Tube channel by searching White Pine Woods. There is a scholarship fund set up in Steve's mothers name called Doris Muller Memorial Scholarship. It is for eligible high school seniors looking to pursue their education in music. You can donate at Agway in Norwich and on the Norwich Agway website. Steve's recommended reading:E-Myth RevisitedThe Millionaire Next DoorSteve's Quote is from a John Prine song: That's the way the world goes around, you're up one day the next you're down. It's a half inch of water and you think you're going to drown.Steve's mothers quote - Never wish your life away.Dan's question - Have you ever snuck in to a public pool at midnight to go swimming a hot summer night? Don't miss Steve's version!!!
Mary Ellen and Dan sit down with their long time friend Jody Sheeley. Together we go through his journey from broken home to successful business ownership. In between their where many challenges but, nothing stopped him  from moving forward. Jody did not let a shattered heel from a work accident 8 weeks before retirement, or being hit by a car and shattering both knees stop him from living the life he wanted. He has always had the best in mind for anyone he comes across. The story of creating 2nd Chance Gym once and then re-creating it as the latest chapter of his life is one to be remembered. If you own a business or not this story will motivate and hopefully keep you moving forward.Double QQuote - Jody - There's always been a silver lining in everything that has happened or happens in life. Whether good or unfortunate.Question - How in a big or small way can you help somebody in some way today.
Dan and Mary Ellen talk with  Seth Goldberg. Seth is the President of Raymour&Flanigan. Dan's other boss! Seth carries with him the legacy of how to treat your customers and associates and what it means to provide a first class experience to every guest. He talks about the history of the company and how the eCommerce side of the business has affected the company. Seth is a graduate of Yale University where he played lacrosse for the school. His life is a busy one with 4 boys under the age of 7! It was a pleasure to spend time with  him and see a side of the president of the company you work for that you would normally not get to see. A true gentleman. Mary Ellen can't stop talking about our time together.Seth's 1st Quote - The only limitations that you have, you've put on yourself.Seth's 2nd Quote - Have the wisdom to know what to honor and preserve from the past and have the courage to boldly reinvent the future. Kevin Johnson CEO, StarbucksMary Ellen's Quote -  A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of allQuestion - What Changes will you carry over in life after Covid-19?Please check out Seth's friend Scott's  web page 
In this episode pop and Monique talk to Fred Welk of Community Economic Development Fund. Fred is a business advisor and the Director of Business Education and Communications. Fred has 30 years experience in specialty retailing and franchise development and operated his own business for 23 years. We explore financing a business and the best and many different ways of getting that accomplished. Fred also talks about the Jump Start My Business Program that CEDF is promoting  with the help of Citizens Bank. You can reach Fred at and for more information about CEDF you can go to their website cedf.comDouble QQuote - Great things don't come from comfort zones.Question - What is the most ordered flavor at Pop's Premium Ice Cream?
In this episode Pop, Monique, Tim and Kim share their thoughts on 8 ways to a better you.  We all have some life experience that has shaped us in one way or another. The interesting thing we found out in this episode is that despite the diversity in our backgrounds we thought about these 8 things in similar ways. Tim is the owner of Seaport Real Estate Services and holds a degree in Real Estate and Urban Economics from UCONN. He is one of two people in the state that hold that distinction. Tim believes that happiness is the product of time well spent helping others achieve their goals. You can reach Tim at The website is Casey is a Real Estate Advisor on the Seaport team and has held positions at ECAR, the Young Professionals Network and currently is the CO-Chair of the Commercial Committee. Kim possesses the tenacity, negotiation skills and resources to get any deal closed. You can reach her at
In this episode Ed takes us through how he transitioned from a back injury to getting his accounting degree and starting his CPA firm. It's a story of hard work, determination and a will to provide for his family. Ed explains why he believes you should always use a local professional and why giving back to the community is so important to him. Ed is the man!! If you are looking for a great CPA who can guide you and help you with your business you can contact him at 860-892-1040  or at QQuote - Play by the rules but be ferocious - Phil KnightQuestion - What is your favorite play in baseball?Ed recommends these two books - E Myth Revisited  by Michael Gerber and What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
This week we chat with Michelle Jacobik about Mindset, Balance and Motivation for entrepreneurs. Michelle is a Business Profitability Strategist and Success Coach and the author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller: Prosperity After Divorce: Take Charge of  Your Finances & Create The Life You REALLY Want with Lifestyle Redesign Planning. Thru her Envision and Thrive platform on Facebook Michelle has helped many entrepreneurs to realize their potential and be more profitable.  She is a contributing writer for Thrive Global and has been referred to as an inspiring fierce leader and an incredibly powerful coach with the skill to deliver what is most needed with precision. If you feel like you need help with your business Michelle is a true professional and can help your business Thrive! As Michelle likes to say, Fail Forward!!!Yon can contact Michelle here:Website: www.MichelleJacobik.comLinkedIn: QQuote - You did not wake up today to be mediocre!Question - How many times a day are we actually grateful for who we are and what we have?
In this episode we provide info regarding your Human Resources questions. Dana Dowdell owner/operator of Boss Consulting gives us a ton of info to keep us all on track. We talk about sexual harassment training, the Paid Family Leave Act and how it impacts your business. Also, dana gives us a three prong test for dealing with possible DOL issues. Boss Consulting HR can provide Day to Day HR at 4 different levels to meet you where you are at.  Here is a link from Dana regarding the latest legislation on Family Leave:
In this weeks episode we talk to Laura Stetler from Women's Business Development Council WBDC is a non-profit whose mission is to help women entrepreneurs achieve economic equity, financial skills and sustainable business practices. This is a great resource and you can reach Laura at and You can call her at 860-574-9246. Also here is a link to their Bluestream Initiative, Double Q:Quote - Believe in yourself so strongly that the world can't help but believe in you too!Question - Have you used garbage cans to hold a parking space after you have shoveled the snow from it? Or anything like that? Let us know on our Social Pages! We want to hear from you.
In this episode Mary Ellen and Dan talk to Dino from Exterior Solutions. Dino tells us what it means to him to not only do the best work he can for his customers but also what it means to him to give back to the local and national community. One of Dino's side hustles is making custom Cornhole Boards. You can find them at can be reached at and at thekernel@kernelscornhole.comThis weeks Double Q:Quote - Every job is a portrait of the individual who performed it, autograph every one with excellence.Question - What are your favorite childhood memories of getting a sweet treat? Dan talks about his with Apollo Cake!
Ernie Marvin from Obelisk Consulting Services takes us through the ins and outs of a business plan. Why it's important and how to put it together. This is an invaluable tool for anyone starting or trying to grow a business!
In this weeks episode Mary Ellen and Dan chat with Judith Lamson Rockwell. Judith is an SBDC with seCTer, Southeastern Ct Economic Region. They are a non-profit whose goal is to lead economic growth in the region. If you are starting a business or need direction in growing a business this is a great resource .Listen in to learn how you can take advantage of this amazing program.  Make sure to listen to the Double Q. Pop obviously has no idea how many letters are in the alphabet.
In this episode Monique and Pop sit with Justin Burrows the owner of LaStella Pizzeria and talk about his journey from delivery to ownership and all the people who mentored him and guided him to be the kind of boss and owner he is today including Uncle Lefty!
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