On the Schmooze

Welcome to On the Schmooze, a weekly podcast that features interviews with talented professionals who have achieved success in their field or industry. I ask probing questions to get them to share untold stories about their leadership journey and how they built and sustained their professional network. Put insights from me and my guests into action this week and you’ll benefit from for years to come. Podcast inspired by Dorie Clark, Guy Raz, Pat Flynn, Jonny Nastor, Dale Carnegie.
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On the Schmooze








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May 16, 2023

Today’s guest is a marketing maven leveraging technology to create stable, recurring revenue streams.

She’s an accomplished serial entrepreneur with six- and seven-figure businesses. She co-founded Video Rock Starz and the Stark Raving Entrepreneurs, helping thought leaders monetize their messages.

She co-authored the McGraw-Hill book, “Klout Matters: How to Engage Your Audience, Boost Your Digital Influence, and Raise Your Klout Score (2013)” and has contributed numerous articles to Speaker Magazine, The TowneLaker Magazine, and other publications on the topics of marketing, technology, and influence. 

She is a long-time member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the CEO of TEDxDupreePark, and the creator and host of TEDxDupreeParkTV.

She’s also been named a Top Marketing Thought Leader over 50 by Brand Quarterly and as a Who’s Who Among Women in eCommerce by WE Magazine.

Please join me in welcoming Gina Carr.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is painting a picture of the future and inviting people to go with you.”

  • Becoming a leader back in fourth grade and seeing the faith people had in her to represent them well.

  • The things she learned while participating in 4-H.

  • How she made her way to Harvard Business School via Georgia Tech.

  • How she was introduced to entrepreneurship and business ownership while working at a consulting firm.

  • How she started a note taking service while in college.

  • Her experience working at Cushman an Wakefield after leaving school and then buying a Century 21 franchise.

  • When she decided that she no longer had the desire to work for other people.

  • How she created a Real Estate magazine to advertise their listings and ended up franchising that concept to other companies.

  • How she turned her desire to connect her community helped her grow her network and her business.

  • How she grew her speaking business.

  • What’s on the horizon for she with all of the new technology coming out like ChatGPT and Web-3.

  • How her free workshops help her nurture and sustain her network.

  • What she’s looking forward to in the year ahead.




Books mentioned in this episode:


Other Resources


Subscribing (or following) and leaving a rating and review wherever you are listening helps this podcast be discovered. 


Who is Robbie Samuels? 

🟧 I'm an event design consultant and executive Zoom producer, with a passion for creating engaging and unforgettable experiences. With two decades of experience in the meetings and events industry, I have honed my skills in designing and executing events that leave a lasting impression.

🟧 I have published three books to share my expertise. Collectively they have received over 600 Amazon reviews and reached #1 Best Seller in 29 paid categories in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia.

"Break Out of Boredom: Low-Tech Solutions for Highly Engaging Zoom Events" has received widespread acclaim. I am thrilled to help presenters and facilitators bring energy and excitement to their virtual events, and I am constantly seeking new ways to innovate and improve.

The book and bonus content are at Launch Price - $2.99 ebook (reg. $9.99) thru 3/31. The paperback is also available.

🟧 I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others, and I regularly speak at industry events and offer consulting services to help organizations and speakers achieve success in their own virtual or in-person events. If you're looking for creative solutions and expert guidance for your next event, I would be honored to work with you. Let's make your event one to remember!

► Do you have a podcast or host live interviews? I am looking for opportunities to share my business success story and strategies.

I've been featured in NPR, Forbes, Fast Company, HBR, Lifehacker, and Inc. as a networking expert and expert in virtual event design.

► In 2020, I reinvented my business from zero to a thriving six figures in eight months. My second book, "Small List, Big Results: Launch a Successful Offer No Matter the Size of Your Email List," answers the question, "Robbie, how did you do that?"

More importantly, this international bestseller shows how YOU can do it too. Get your copy and The Big Results Toolkit bonus content at

► My first book, "Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences," bonus content:

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Affiliate Links: Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links above are “affiliate links”. This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products and services I use personally and believe will add value to my listeners. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”






May 9, 2023

Today’s guest is on a mission to create opportunities and connections for others.

She is the Founder and CEO of Weaving Influence, a full-service marketing agency specializing in digital and integrated marketing services and public relations for authors, business leaders, coaches, trainers, speakers, and thought leaders.

Her firm has provided a wide range of services to help clients launch nearly 200 books, enabling authors to build their brands, acquire more business customers, and increase book sales.

She is the author of “Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause.” The book takes an in-depth look at what it takes to achieve the greatest possible influence, provides valuable advice for targeting key audiences, offers a variety of practical steps for cutting through the noise, shares best practices for cultivating community, and reveals practical strategies for growing an online presence.

She is also the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast, where she shares actionable advice to help authors achieve their goals to reach more readers and enhance their brand.

Please join me in welcoming Becky Robinson. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is choosing to make a difference in the lives of others.”
  • Becky’s beginnings from being a “big, nerd kid” to being a leader today helping people convene.
  • Why she wanted to be a pediatrician.
  • Discovering what she wanted to be when she grew up at age 40.
  • How she chose to start writing after evaluating if she could make a career from it.
  • Her time working for a leadership consultant and helping them launch their books. More and more people kept coming up to her to ask her to help them launch their books.
  • How Jessie Lynn Stoner changed her career through an introduction to Whitney Johnson.
  • The importance of her uncalculated decision to show up and connect without an agenda or trying to sell something.
  • The importance of thinking about marketing your book as one is writing it.
  • Getting comfortable with talking about your book.
  • How to prioritize and execute a strong launch.
  • The most important metric during a book launch … JOY.
  • How she schedules and plans to get Amazon reviews.
  • What she has planned for the year ahead.

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

May 2, 2023

Today’s guest is healing workplaces through play and positive psychology.

He believes fully embracing your nerdy genius gives you the power to make a difference and change lives. We already have many of the answers we seek, and by simply unleashing our inner child, we can find our purpose and, in turn, help to create a better world.

He helps teams build psychological safety and assist individuals in addressing their most significant challenges by embracing a play-oriented approach to work. 

He was selected by BambooHR & Engagedly as one of the Top 100 HR Influencers and has been featured in the NY Times, Mashable, Upworthy, Huffpost, Shondaland, & Wired. He has worked with Google, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, the NFL, Amazon, and Facebook, helping their staff infuse more play into their daily lives.

As he says, “Work sucks, but it doesn't have to.”

Please join me in welcoming Jeff Harry. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • His thoughts on leadership: “The leader is the person everyone gravitates towards. They are the person you want to follow. Almost always, this is not the person with the leadership title.”
  • Why he found trying to be cool exhausting and turned his life towards games and how that connected to his life today.
  • Feeling unseen in the 7th and 8th grades.
  • Starting a leftist magazine while in college at Tufts University.
  • Creating mischief to inspire belonging.
  • Being fully present was how he connected with others.
  • His experience attending a party where he felt the loneliest he ever felt in his life even though he was in the space of acceptance.
  • How he ended up working for a toy company in New York.
  • Why he wants to heal the hardest situations through play, including how to heal your inner critic.
  • How he tried to unionize the flagship Toys R Us store in Manhattan.
  • How he found potential through a Craigslist ad job.
  • Why his bowtie reminds him not to take things seriously.
  • How he picked the different curriculums collaboratively. “We would listen to everyone’s opinion.”
  • His time spending five years travelling with Lego.
  • How he started his TikTok during the pandemic and that led to him experimenting with pitching himself to podcasts.
  • How he started getting paid for speaking gigs.
  • How he nurtures and sustains the outer levels of his network.

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Apr 25, 2023

Today’s guest supports visionary entrepreneurs looking to make the world better than they found it. 

She’s a first-generation American and first-born daughter who has been solving problems her entire life. She’s a fixer and can fill many different roles in your business and creates a safe space for her clients to be seen and heard as they are. 

She founded Pey Pey the VA, a virtual assistant company, which provides transition support and visibility strategies for those ready to break generational cycles, build wealth, and live the life they’ve always wanted (but didn’t know was an option).

She’s also been my virtual assistant since February 2020 and has had a front-row seat in the rollercoaster of my business over the last three years. I can’t imagine my business without her.

Please join me in welcoming Peya Robbins. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is creating through the chaos. The moment you step into your day, and something is going wrong, it’s what you create at that moment that determines the kind of leader you are.”
  • “If you’re a first-born daughter, you’re in charge of people.”
  • Peya’s experience growing up as a first-generation American and the responsibility of helping her mom raise her siblings.
  • Her dreams of being an immigration lawyer as a kid being inspired by helping her family fill out documents as a young kid.
  • Being the mastermind and the person that knows how to get things done and not wanting to be perceived by the world.
  • Working so hard to get good grades to get into University because that was the life plan, and then realizing it was not for her.
  • The alternate plan after deciding that University was not for her after two years of living at school.
  • Creating an alternate plan and getting different retail jobs stumbling on business card design as a side hustle. That side hustle grew to become the full-time plan.
  • The gig opened her eyes to see the world in a new way and the possibilities that were available to her.
  • How finding out, she was pregnant changed her business operation to a free-for-all of learning new things and trying out new offers and a flurry of sales.
  • Her motivation for helping others and why her love language (for giving love) is acts of service.
  • Why she works with visionary entrepreneurs and why they hold such a special place in her heart.
  • Her experience of being my virtual assistant and her take on the inner workings of my business, including how my third book came to be.
  • How she practices networking, and why people shouldn’t live in secret.
  • Her big dream for the next year!

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Apr 18, 2023

Today’s guest helps organizations and individuals get from where they are to where they want to go. She engages employees, develops leaders, and helps people find meaning on a daily basis—a concept she calls “breadcrumb legacy.”

She is a speaker, teacher, and coach. After a 30-year career as a college professor of business management and leadership, she built her own business to share what she’s learned.

She is the host of the podcast "Becoming a Sage," which interviews thought leaders about life and work wisdom, and writes a column for Training Magazine called "Leading Edge." She is the author of six books, her latest book is “Breadcrumb Legacy: How Great Leaders Live a Life Worth Remembering.” 

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Jann Freed. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Her thoughts on leadership: “A leader is someone in the position to influence the lives of others, positive or negative - this includes parents, teachers, pastors.”
  • Jann’s small-town roots while growing up in a tiny town in northern Iowa.
  • Growing up with a heavy influence on her education from her parents, along with the friendly “threat” from her dad to prioritize finishing college before getting married.
  • Her rebel streak and love for social justice. She was married in 1982 and kept her maiden name, surprising no one that knew her.
  • Jann found her path by getting her degree, “falling into” banking, and realizing it wasn’t the right fit for her.
  • “I enjoy teaching because I’m passionate about learning.”
  • Why she decided to go back to school and get her doctorate.
  • Trying to understand promotions that didn’t pay more money but provided tenure - another moment where her justice streak was at the forefront of her career.
  • When she started thinking about leaving the role or moving on to bigger things, her sons were almost at university age, but she had an itch to create a different path.
  • Her struggles with marketing and figuring out where she should be spending her time.
  • Landing her TEDx talk through Marie Incontrera.
  • The impact of meeting Dorie Clark.
  • How she networks and stays connected with the different layers of her network, including 30 years of past students.

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Apr 11, 2023

Today’s guest is all about REAL-ationship building.

He has created a unique twist to networking that transforms how and why professionals meet one another. After years of successfully growing his business through networking, he and his wife, Carol, founded Zero to 100™, an inclusive networking movement that operates on a global scale.

Focused on fostering a sense of belonging and gratitude and rooted in developing genuine and authentic connections in business and in life, the movement includes books, networking events, and a proprietary digital platform.

He has been recognized by the business community locally and abroad through numerous publications and awards, most recently Marquis Who's Who in America. He made history in 2021, becoming the first African American in St Charles, Missouri's 250-year history, to receive the Key to the City for his accomplishments and contributions to the well-being and success of the business community.

Please join me in welcoming Joseph Luckett.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is the ability to gain followers. It is the ability to speak and do something and having those two things working congruently.”
  • The impact “The Purpose Driven Life” had on him and how he influenced his family.
  • “If you have no purpose, then what do you have?” The importance of knowing your purpose.
  • Realizing that he needed to direct his energy and passion through the context of having to take Ritalin as a kid.
  • Why he questioned the path he was on in school.
  • How being adopted and being raised in a two-parent home really changed how he looked at the world.
  • His love of video games and how they influenced his life.
  • The opportunity he was given to go to California to teach breakdancing, only leaving that behind to go back home and help his mother.
  • Developing an interest in business networking and realizing that the rooms he was walking into didn’t have people that looked like him.
  • Understanding business networking even when running a coffee sales business and having customers seek networking advice.
  • His refreshing outlook on coaching vs. consulting.
  • The origin story of starting his current business with his wife.
  • Why he values building a B.I.G. business - Belonging, Inclusive, Gratitude.
  • How he has made an impact through the pandemic and race issues in the past years.
  • What led him to write his book in the middle of the pandemic.
  • How he nurtures and sustains his networks through double dates and gym invitations.

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Apr 4, 2023

Today’s guest wants to journey to success without compromise. She is an ambitious woman with big goals and the unrelenting grit that has turned them into reality. 

She is a two-time Inc 500 winner, 18 times 2 Comma Club winner, and a retired $100M entrepreneur. She has had to fight through the male-dominated business world and gain an education in finance and business. 

She has experienced the highest highs of entrepreneurship and the most dangerous lows, including the stress and anxiety resulting from the destructive hustle culture. She learned the hard way that every decision can change the path of her life and business and that success at the cost of her health and well-being is not true success. 

After hitting rock bottom, she discovered a better way to build businesses that prioritize the well-being and impact of women. Through her company, Financially Fearless Women, she now helps others to build a life and business that surpasses their dreams without sacrificing their health and well-being. 

Please join me in welcoming Jocelynn Harward. 

  • In this episode, we discuss:
    her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is responsibility.
  • Having someone say, ‘I will follow you, I choose you as my leader,’ is such a gift.”
  • Her childhood nickname, “Bossy Jocey,” - clearly a leader from the very beginning.
  • Learning about seniority when she became editor-in-chief of the newspaper and yearbook early in high school. This later turned into a journalism scholarship in college.
  • Her favorite part of being a leader - a team.
  • Her first business is selling performance car parts online and leveraging her knowledge of Photoshop and HTML to sell those parts.
  • Her first business went under because they tried to take on too much, including two completely different business models. She recovered by going back to designing websites and selling decals on eBay.
  • Discovering how her customer’s minds worked and how she could sell more products based on their buying habits.
  • How she got into global supply chain management and loved what she was doing.
  • How she became a nine-figure business owner. YES! 9!!
  • How hoverboards changed everything.
  • How the pandemic affected everything, starting with her suppliers in China in 2019.
  • Taking her responsibility seriously and ensuring people could maintain their employment, their income, and the basics (like toilet paper).
  • The unhealthy habits that she developed to cope and how everything fell apart.

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Mar 28, 2023

Today’s guest is a dynamic leader and social justice advocate.

She is a highly sought-after social justice thought partner recognized for her passion, activism, and unapologetic talk around anti-racist community building and healing. 

With a diverse background spanning industries like college administration, media, public relations, government service, television/radio production, and entrepreneurship, her work has touched countless lives - locally, nationally, and internationally in Ghana and South Africa specifically.

Melannie is the Creator and Executive Producer of both The People's Gathering: A Revolution of Consciousness Conference and The People's Golf Gathering: Out of Bounds Conversations About Race - both professional development learning experiences that focus participants on anti-racist skill building.

In 2018, she was awarded the Greater Tacoma Peace Prize for her lifetime achievements in racial reconciliation. Her documentary about her trip to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, "Peace Queen," won a 2021 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Northwest Emmy®.

Please join me in welcoming Peace Queen-Melannie Denise Cunningham.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “When I think about leadership, I think about followers. Who wants to follow me? I am thinking about creating possibilities to inspire people to follow me.”
  • Her experiences with leadership while in high school with community building and crossing cultures.
  • Why she’s having a blast “making stuff up” as she goes along.
  • How she came to be a founding member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc.
  • How she started the first indoor celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s life in Tacoma (and now it’s still the most prominent indoor celebration of its kind).
  • Different ways to maximize the use of every single day.
  • How we can all center ourselves and our actions around joy.
  • Her initial goal of being a pediatrician, and when she decided that was not for her, and switching her major to General Studies.
  • Her experience of heading down to the unemployment office and getting hired at General Electric’s marketing department (and getting fired from that job for being a few minutes late a few times).
  • How she negotiated herself into being laid off in 1997. She didn’t know what path she needed to take, but she knew she was not on it.
  • How she helped open the first McDonald’s in South Africa (and the second and third)!
  • The awakening and how she stays focused and determined on anti-racist work.
  • How she repurposed the boxes on the US Census form to gather people and start healing through race and knowledge.
  • The difference between offering a “safe space” vs. a “supportive space.”
  • How working with me as their Zoom Producer has added a relational component to The People’s Gathering.
  • How she nurtures and sustains her network.
  • Her chile farm in Ghana!!

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Mar 21, 2023

Today’s guest is an expert in developing relationships for strategic success. 

He is the world's leading authority in maximizing customer loyalty through radical generosity. While becoming the #1 performer out of 1.5 million sales reps for one of the world's most recognizable brands, he developed a system of using generosity to gain access to elite clients and generate thousands of referrals. He and his firm, Giftology, now help automate this process for individuals and organizations like UBS, Keller Williams, the Chicago Cubs, and Caesars Palace.

He is the author of “Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention” and has been featured in Fox News, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., and New York Times. 

Please join me in welcoming John Ruhlin. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership starts with self-leadership. Leadership is creating the future for others.”
  • His goals of wanting to go to medical school and taking a sharp left into sales with Cutco Cutlery.
  • When he found his ability to influence others using sales.
  • His “typical” upbringing as a farm kid and how he achieved good grades in school.
  • His uncommon skill of being able to ask for help.
  • How he joined a country club in his early 20 “through the back door” and how that helped increase his Cutco sales.
  • The importance of leaning in and being open to new opportunities.
  • Why you should surround yourself with people that are not afraid to fail.
  • Why the things that were the most painful in his life were the most important to him.
  • How he started closing 9 out of 10 sales, and each sale provided him with 10-12 leads.
  • How he wowed CEOs and why he spent six months getting “punched in the face” to get there.
  • The importance of gifting the right gift, and how he got people to remember his name without using it.
  • How he nurtures and sustains his network.

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Mar 14, 2023

Today’s guest is passionate about helping coaches, authors, and speakers leverage their expertise. She uses simplicity as a growth strategy.

She is the creator of Coaching Genie, a coaching platform that allows coaches to deliver programs and scale their businesses with simplicity. She is the author of two books, “Coaching Millions” and “Simplicity Entrepreneurship.” 

Please join me in welcoming Milana Leshinsky. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership before meant being on stage and people listening to me, respecting me, and recognizing me as the authority.” As an introvert, she couldn’t picture herself as a leader.
  • How she discovered a new definition of leadership– she could lead through ideas. She could inspire others by sharing her ideas (channeled through Seth Godin).
  • Finding her confidence as a kid through music.
  • Growing up under the threat of Communism, finding music as her outlet, and shining through that confidence.
  • Her dream of becoming a music teacher, instead of working in a factory, was the only option she could see growing up in the Soviet Union.
  • Becoming the first web designer in her city and being featured in her local newspaper.
  • Having her computer programming goals dashed by a colleague and received his advice that she would make a great manager away from computers.
  • Her pivot into coaching and how she could leverage her internet and computer skills to create a large coaching community.
  • Her credit on Wikipedia for coining the term “telesummit”. Yes. Seriously. Check that out here.
  • Why she created Coaching Genie and the impact she wanted it to have in the world.
  • Deciding how to market her software to the people that could really use it– her “perfect fit customer.”
  • Her best advice for introverts– “If you don’t like going to events, create your own.”

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Mar 7, 2023

Today’s guest dreams of a world where email marketing is fun and everybody wins.

She teaches email marketing skills to online businesses, digital course creators, and freelance service providers. She came up in her career writing copy for popular programs in the online marketing space. She very soon created her own programs teaching business owners how to write story-powered emails and sell using the principles of persuasion.

For the last three years, she has been slowly dismantling her 7-figure boss-babe empire and unlearning the systems of influence and indoctrination taught her as a new business owner. She is keenly aware of how the use of Cialdini's principles of persuasion can cause harm, especially in the coaching industry. She has now dedicated her work to undoing that harm and teaching sales strategies that leave space for conversation and critical thinking.

Please join me in welcoming Tarzan Kay. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Her experience leading a mastermind and realizing she was not a leader. “I thought that I had a right to be leading these people. It was privilege.”
  • When she learned writing was going to be her future, so she went to music school, then law school.
  • The importance of really wanting something as the base momentum to achieving it.
  • Why she left school while on a trip to visit her sister in Australia.
  • The origin story of her business as a copywriter.
  • Her strategy about taking courses and enrolling in programs.
  • The importance of her early hire of her virtual assistant.
  • Why she talks to her virtual assistant before making a spending decision.
  • The concept of persuasion being weaponized as an online business owner.
  • Her laying off all her employees and only keeping her virtual assistant.
  • How she nurtures and sustains her network.

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Feb 28, 2023

Today’s guest is a writer and speaker committed to fighting for social justice. He has written over one hundred essays and articles about racism, mass incarceration, politics, gender, tech, and business. 

His latest book, “Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American drug culture” explores why drugs are so entrenched in America’s society.

He is a three-time TEDx speaker, his first talk, “How I overcame my fear of stuttering,” has been viewed over 320,000 times. His work has been featured in Salon, Black Enterprise, Harvard Business Review, and Al Jazeera.

Please join me in welcoming LeRon L. Barton. 

In this episode, we discuss the following:
His thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is being able to inspire, being able to listen, and being able to usher people towards a positive direction. It’s being a model for people.”
When he knew he was a leader.
The people who influenced him at a very young age.
His early dreams of being a stuntman, an astronaut, a race car driver, and a writer.
Who inspires him in his career, mainly ballet dancers and race car drivers, and why that connection makes sense to him. “I am not envious of writers because I can do what they can do.”
His journey into IT because his mom was worried about his future if he pursued writing.
Studs Terkel has had an incredible impact on his life and how he shows up as a writer.
His connection to Cheryl Crow and how his early journey could be described by her song “Every Day is a Winding Road.”
His dream of wanting to do a TED talk.
How delivering a TEDx led him to hire a coach and the effect of that decision.
How he nurtures and sustains his network. “Relationships need to be nurtured.”

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Feb 21, 2023

Today’s guest is a people sculptor.

Bringing an innovative, straightforward approach, she pushes individuals to leave their “Subject Matter Expert” mindset behind and become relationship-oriented leaders that drive their organizations into the future. With a keen talent for anticipating and responding, she helps her clients create actionable plans that mitigate risks and open new avenues of opportunity.

She has worked in operational risk management as a health & safety advisor and in financial risk management at a derivatives trading desk. Today, she centers her career around transformational risk management, where she partners with clients to develop leadership resilience and design foresight strategies for deployment.

Please join me in welcoming Ebony Smith. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “A leader is a person who knows the next best move.”
  • The difference between being the leader in the hierarchy and being the subject matter expert.
  • The importance of respecting the people in the industry, predominantly your team, and how that can change the working experience.
  • How spending the summers at her grandmother’s developed her leadership at a young age. Her grandmother had a rule that you were responsible for yourself and the kid directly younger than you.
  • Her mother gave her independence over her grades and education when she was eight years old, which made her a planner.
  • How she ran experiments with young children to get them interested in science.
  • Your clients and colleagues will always tell you something you can’t see about yourself.
  • The very apparent impact of her mother in her life.
  • Her first coaching client was while she was still in coaching school.
  • Why the concept of reciprocity is essential to her. “When you give, give, give when you have an ask, they will joyfully help you.”
  • How she nurtures and sustains the outer levels of your network as an introvert.
  • What she’s looking forward to in the year ahead.

Listen, subscribe, and read show notes at

Feb 6, 2023

Today’s guest is known as the LinkedIn Whisperer.

An experienced sales trainer, she has extensive knowledge of traditional sales techniques and has adapted them for LinkedIn. As CEO of Social Sales Link, she guides professionals to establish themselves as a thought leader with a subject matter expert brand. She helps them find and engage their target market by leveraging clients and networking partners for warm introductions to qualified buyers.

She is the co-host of the Making Sales Social podcast and author of “The LinkedIn Sales Playbook: A Tactical Guide to Social Selling.”

Please join me in welcoming Brynne Tillman.

In this episode, we discuss the following:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is leading a group of people from a business perspective, a family perspective, etc.”
  • She selected to go into training because she didn’t want to be a leader.
  • All of the things she wanted to be when she grew up. “Who wouldn’t want to be a dolphin trainer?”
  • Why she enjoys running her business by allowing someone else to run it for her.
  • When she officially became a salesperson.
  • Her desire to be valuable and helps others rather than make sales.
  • The difference between actual social selling and ‘connect and spam’ selling.
  • Her start in banking and how that led to launching a training company.
  • How one can feel entrepreneurial while working in sales.
  • How she landed a contract with Aramark by using a shared connection on LinkedIn, by leveraging the same tool she wanted to teach them. That led to being introduced to someone at Comcast, who also became a client.
  • Her definition of social selling.
  • QUICK TIP! 85% of your LinkedIn connections are weak ties.
  • How she nurtures and sustains her network, including the weaker ties and connections.
  • What she’s looking forward to in the year ahead.

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Feb 2, 2023

Today’s guest believes you can achieve anything you want in life with the right strategy.

He went from being a person who was afraid of public speaking to becoming a certified Google Trainer and training 10,000 business owners. He is the CEO of Ajax Union, a company he started in January 2008 and grew to number 178 on the INC 500. Currently, his focus is supporting B2B companies with marketing funnels, sales enablement, and lead generation.

He is the author of 6 books, including “High Energy Networking: Get anything you want in life while building meaningful relationships that last a lifetime.”

Please join me in welcoming Joe Apfelbaum.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is about taking responsibility. What you do, what you say, and how you behave matters.”
  • How he learned the balance of leading through coaching and action and listening to others and leading himself.
  • His most recent endeavor of becoming a poet.
  • His six little side hustles in his twenties were based on his curiosity and being obsessed with learning more and more things.
  • Not being able to go to college due to being part of a big family.
  • His love of building businesses and supporting other people. “The secret to living is giving, not waking and taking.”
  • His transparency through all his “side hustles” and businesses.
  • His first product which brought him recurring revenue and how that changed his life.
  • Why the equivalent of the original version of SEO is LinkedIn.
  • How he became a Google trainer and the journey to learn how to bust through his limited beliefs and understanding how his brain worked. This led to Joe developing himself.
  • The bad advice he received from a life insurance guy to spray and pray his business card at an NYC bar during a networking event.
  • How he nurtures and sustains his massive network.
  • What he’s looking forward to in 2023.

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Jan 27, 2023

Today’s guest is a sought-after speaker and writer. She works with people and organizations that want to lead with authenticity to create happier, more effective teams.

Described as the confidence fairy godmother we all need, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies and professional associations from across North America. She has shared her insights in over 150 articles in publications including Huffington Post, Forbes, and Harpers Bazaar.

Her book “You Got This: The Ultimate Negotiation Guide for Professional Women” provides a fresh and instantly applicable toolkit for anyone ready to develop their authentic voice in negotiation.

Please join me in welcoming Lelia Gowland.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is about authenticity and getting increasingly clear about who I am and how I want to show up in the world.”
  • How talking about really difficult things in her life is not something to be ashamed of but the universal human experience.
  • “You never misbehaved.” We learn about what Lelia was like when she was a kid from the source, her loving parents.
  • How she learned to quiet the people-pleasing voices in her head.
  • The three factors that help her define the alignment of her strengths and figure out how she wants to live her life.
  • Her being a strong, curious kid AND also being aware of what people wanted from her.
  • All of the things she wanted to be when she grew up and the song she created to help her remember. YES! She sings it on the show.
  • How she achieved all of her life goals while wanting to “be a doctor during snack time.”
  • “I only cry once a day, I think I’m doing great.” The justification she gave her college boyfriend to describe how she was thriving in college.
  • How the New Leaders Council affected her life and life trajectory.
  • Her first speech in Florida and how successful it was even with a huge tech glitch.
  • How she made space to grow and serve the people she is called to serve.
  • How she came out to her newsletter community with the fear that she would lose her community.
  • How her business evolved when she came out.
  • How she nurtures and sustains her network. 
  • What she’s looking forward to in the next year.

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Jan 24, 2023

Today’s guest can help you network your way to more friends, more adventures, and way more success. She knows two key things–the people you meet will change your life and networking is how you meet those people.

She is a motivating, high-energy speaker, teaching the importance of networking, and why you are your best business development tool. 

She is the author of “This Sh!t Works: A No-Nonsense Guide to Networking Your Way to More Friends, More Adventures, and More Success”, a book dedicated to making networking easy, accessible, and fun, as well as the host of This Sh!t Works a podcast dedicated to all things business development.

Please join me in welcoming Julie Brown. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is up to each person to define. Anyone can be a leader. It’s not a title or years of experience. You can be a leader every day by influencing others, empowering others, and taking risks.”
  • Her dream job of being in GLOW - Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
  • Her desire to be seen, heard, and respected.
  • Her college experience was wanting to be a lawyer, she got a degree in science with a minor in business.
  • How the world led her to architecture and business development.
  • How she met her classically trained architect husband, I promise it’s not what you think!
  • When she decided to be in charge of her employment after losing a job and an impending pandemic.
  • How she discovered the parts of entrepreneurship that she enjoyed.
  • The ability for a business to change. “Just because you’re doing this now doesn’t mean you have to keep doing this forever. Your business can change.”
  • How she found the National Speakers Association.
  • The challenges she faced trying to speak on stages.
  • Why she invested in a videographer to record her initial speeches to learn from them.
  • Why she encourages others to make mistakes, “That’s how you learn from them.”
  • How she nurtures her network.

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Jan 16, 2023

Today’s guest is living proof that one can pursue one’s passion in life, and do so while making a profit.

He’s worked with some of the top companies and entrepreneurs on the planet such as Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington, Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Kim Walsh Philips, Ryan Levesque, Michael Hyatt, Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Lewis Howes, Brian Tracy, Jeff Walker, and more.

He’s here to help you on your quest to turn your passion and message into a profitable and growing business. He’s been through the startup phase multiple times in the past two decades and has built a following from scratch. Today, he lives out his passion for helping others find their purpose, passion, message, and path to profitability.

He’s the host of The Affiliate Guy Podcast, your source for affiliate marketing news, tips, and strategies to take your online business to the next level.

Please join me in welcoming Matt McWilliams. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership isn’t easy. It’s being one step ahead of your audience and understanding that you don’t need to be 2 miles ahead.”
  • His belief that leadership has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your avatar, ideal client.
  • Why he considers himself an “acting extrovert” and how he recharges after social interactions.
  • How his social life changed when he began living with his mom, then his dad.
  • His realization while visiting Dolly Parton’s house at 12 years old.
  • His dreams of playing professional sports as a career.
  • The love of his first job at 22, working with his dad, and how that developed his love of networking.
  • How he discovered network marketing and realized its impact after a $7,000 sales day while watching TV.
  • When he decided that he could teach what he had learned about marketing and networking.
  • His experience running for public office and what he learned about people.
  • How he ran his first affiliate program when there was nothing in the world that existed about affiliate marketing.
  • How he became a recognized expert in affiliate marketing.
  • What he’s looking forward to in the year ahead.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Jan 10, 2023

Today’s guest helps launch new companies, create new brands, and refresh existing identities by bringing strategic expertise to design and marketing.

Her studio, Agency Bel, helps companies launch and grow by creating their identities, from strategy to logos, websites, and social media.

She is known for coining the concept of Conscious Branding, helping her clients succeed by focusing on being responsive and responsible to their customers and communities. She has worked with both Fortune 50 companies and startups.

She served 10 years on the Boston Board of Directors of AIGA, a professional design organization. And currently serves as the executive officer of the board for the New Art Center and as the marketing chair for a national health advocacy organization.

Please join me in welcoming Laura Sauter.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is really plugging in. It’s wanting to be at the source of the action. It’s a connection between playing (engaging) and moving things forward.
  • Why she feels comfortable being part of the group that moves things along.
  • The influence her mom had on her upbringing as a single mom and head of household.
  • How she landed a prestigious internship right out of high school and how it prepared her for new opportunities across the world.
  • How she wasn’t discouraged by the stack of “no, thank you’s” she received very early in her career.
  • The importance of doing internships in different places and how learning and experiencing different areas and cultures can be so enriching.
  • How her 6th grade English teacher opened her eyes to advertising.
  • Finding her “home” in advertising in high school and making commercials.
  • Her first job working with Town & Country in an advertising world that had only just begun to transition to computers when she had graduated college.
  • The roots of her entrepreneurship journey.
  • How she found her first clients through the people she already knew in Boston.
  • Why she has chosen to focus on clients who are from health and home.
  • How she nurtures and sustains the outer layers of her network.
  • Why she feels that professional and personal development are so important.
  • Her nimbleness moving through the world.
  • What she’s looking forward to.

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Jan 3, 2023

Today’s guest believes that healing, awareness, empathy, and engagement are critical in today’s increasingly connected, yet polarized world. Her work aims to support deeper connections and mutual understanding among different groups, toward a more equitable society.

She is a diversity, equity, and inclusion specialist, coach, and international keynote speaker. She has worked with organizations across all sectors on DEI, intercultural communication, supplier diversity, and employee engagement. Her expertise has been featured in media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR, and the Washington Post.

Her latest book “The Power of Employee Resource Groups: How People Create Authentic Change” shares how to build ERGs to empower underrepresented employees and positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within organizations and society.

Please join me in welcoming Farzana Nayani. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is finding yourself and knowing who you are and using that to reach people.”
    the importance of being a model of leadership to those around you.
  • how sports played a large role in her leadership journey and how that experience even helped her get comfortable around other genders.
  • her path from grad school to becoming an entrepreneur.
  • the traumatizing moment as a mom that catapulted her decision to be an entrepreneur.
  • the impact of all that she is on her business.
  • why she considers herself as a cross-pollinator with her clients and the benefit of being industry agnostic.
  • the impact that the murder of George Floyd had on her business and how it inspired her to write “Raising Multiracial Children.”
  • the importance of strategic volunteering.
  • how she builds connections and maintains that to grow her network by speaking pro-bono or at a lower rate.
  • how she nurtures the outer levels of her network.
  • what she’s looking forward to in the year ahead.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Dec 10, 2022

Today’s guest works with organizations to design relationship marketing strategies that are measurable and implementable.

He is a technology trends expert who uses his passion for technology, sense of history, and business strategies to help organizations use remote video and streaming technologies to build marketing that achieves business goals. He is a communicator who shares his knowledge as a speaker, virtual presenter, interviewer, author, and coach.

Since 1983 he has been a marketing and communication advisor. He earned his Certified Speaking Professional designation and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. He also received the National Speakers Association's highest award, The Cavett—given to only one recipient per year.

Please join me in welcoming Terry Brock.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is bringing out the best in the people around you. It’s inspiring them to be the best that they are willing to be.”
  • when he learned to focus on other people’s goals and how he could play a role in their achievement of those goals.
  • his inquisitive nature and how that serves him now, even though it may have annoyed his parents in his childhood.
  • the many things he wanted to be when he grew up.
  • what prompted him to get his MBA while he was working in a radio station.
  • how he navigates technological advances and where he thinks the speaking industry will be very soon.
  • how he secured a computer lab before he had a computer and taught himself how to use spreadsheets and later leveraging them to work with real estate professionals.
  • the years he spent being mistaken as a CPA.
  • his early speaking engagements and how that fueled his desire to be an entrepreneur.
  • how he joined the NSA and what sparked him to immediately volunteer to make the organization better.
  • how he started Stark Raving Entrepreneurs.
  • the three words he uses to make decisions.
  • how he shifted his audience and transitioned to entrepreneurship.
  • his tools to nurture his network.
  • Terry’s Costco approach to marketing.
  • What he’s looking forward to in the year ahead.

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Nov 23, 2022

Today’s guest knows that no one ever wishes they'd spent more time at the office or pines for work that didn’t inspire them.

Her specialty is making sales fun as she helps women heal their relationship with money. She has spoken at women's conferences all over the world and has helped hundreds of women start and grow businesses they LOVE.

She spent 15 years navigating the male-dominated world of tech. Along the way, she worked at Lifetime Television's New Media department, worked hand-in-hand with Marianne Williamson on her community site and digital offering—The Miracle Matrix—and worked at IAC where she managed a P&L worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

She’s the voice behind the Game On Girlfriend Podcast, and she's known for her weekly "Sarah Uncut" TV show on YouTube and LIVE "Coffee With Coach" streaming video conversations on Monday mornings.

Please join me in welcoming Sarah Walton.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is anything that inspires action.”
  • growing up Mormon in Utah and how that shaped her upbringing, and how she broke the mold of possibility.
  • her being the first girl student body president in middle school.
  • how she went from Utah to attending UCLA and living in NYC.
  • how volunteering to build houses and tutor differently-abled children in France opened her eyes to diversity and possibility in her life.
  • her first job in a bank and how she was offered the opportunity to build websites that later turned into a really strong technological skill on top of her English degree from college.
  • how she was ‘coaching’ people on how to have great relationships with their colleagues before she knew what coaching was.
  • showing her boss how to fire her so that she could become an entrepreneur.
  • starting her business while seven months pregnant and in the middle of a recession.
  • how she predominantly works with women although she has coached a few men.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer levels of her network.
  • what she’s looking forward to in the following year.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Nov 23, 2022

Today’s guest believes inclusion is more than a moral obligation; it's a competitive advantage. Her presentations on “blameless” inclusion spark not just inspiration but action as well.

Her firm has extensive experience and a proven reputation for driving better business

outcomes through innovative and inclusive strategic planning. They bring deep expertise in improving profitability and innovation, boosting team and organizational performance, and optimizing inclusion strategies.

She is the author of “The 7 Simple Habits of Inclusive Leaders” and has been featured in publications such as Forbes Magazine, Smart Meetings, and The Meeting Professional.

Please join me in welcoming Melissa Majors.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is motivating others. Leaders are people who use their influence and power to help other people thrive.”
  • Her predisposition to taking on leadership roles throughout her education.
  • Her experience growing up as the youngest of nine children.
  • The realization (right on the show) that her speaking career really began as the salutatorian in high school.
  • Her desire, from a young age, to understand how people behave.
  • The transformative moment when she learned that her dad did not know how to read and how that sparked her love of inclusive education.
  • How she was recruited to join the Nationwide Insurance family before starting her own family.
  • Why she feels so free and grateful to share her gifts with others.
  • How the pandemic helped her rethink and repackage herself and the opportunities she found along the way.
  • The importance of really understanding human needs in the context of business.
  • How she nurtures and sustains her business.

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Nov 13, 2022

Today’s guest believes being human is your competitive advantage.

He is a renowned business strategist, global keynote speaker, executive trainer and coach, investor, and Forbes contributor. As President and co-owner of PureMatter, a Silicon Valley global marketing agency and CEO of H2H Companies, he sparked the Human-to-Human H2H global movement that aims to humanize business through simpler communication, empathy, and celebrate our imperfections.

He’s the two-time best-selling author of “There Is No B2B or B2c: It's Human to Human #H2h” and “Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy.”

Forbes calls him a “Zen Master to Digital Marketers” and his TED Talk featured a TED first allowing mobile devices during the event to illustrate his belief that even a small inspirational share holds the power to change the world for the better.

Please join me in welcoming Bryan Kramer.

In this episode we discuss:

  • His thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is helping someone else grow. It’s not about yourself, it’s about others. If you’re not growing someone else, you’re not a leader. Full stop.”
  • The influence his parents had on him, including encouraging him to put himself out there whether it was running for office through high school or becoming an eagle scout.
  • How he mingled between all the cliques in high school as an ambivert. “I was able to hang out with everyone. I found it really neat to bring people together.”
  • Why he doesn’t believe in popular vs. unpopular, people are either connected or not connected.
  • Why he wants to surround himself with people who mean something to him, are good, and light him up.
  • His experience being a firefighter and the class that turned him towards communications instead of the medical field.
  • How an F on a jazz test changed the trajectory of his entire life. “Who knew an F on a paper was going to lead me down this road?”
  • His out of college experience of building websites and computer programming and how that led to Bryan building his own agency.
  • How he met his partner in both life and business.
  • Why he believes marketing changes every 2-3 years.
  • Why companies loved the creativity of personalized results and Bryan’s “Human 2 Human concept.”
  • Why he maintains so many subscriptions to many different things.
  • Why he loves Flipboard and how it helps him see the world the way he wants to see it.
  • How a conversation with his 12-year-old son completely rocked his world and prompted him to close his agency.
  • How he nurtures and sustains the outer levels of his network.
  • What he’s looking forward to in the year ahead.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Nov 12, 2022

Today’s guest is a champion for women in sales.

She has spent her career helping Fortune 500, midsize, and SaaS-based companies grow repeatable revenue, hire better, and improve sales culture to one that is inclusive and healthy. She helps fix sales team issues as a master connector.

She is the founder of three brands created to improve B2B sales culture - Score More Sales, Women Sales Pros, and the She Sells Summit. She is the author of “She Sells: Attract, Promote, and Retain Great Women in B2B Sales” and host of the Conversations with Women in Sales podcast.

Please join me in welcoming Lori Richardson.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is paving the trail. It’s knowing who you are and what you stand for even when you’re uncomfortable with the title.”
  • Lori’s initial goals of wanting to be a teacher and her very early entrepreneurial endeavors like having a lemonade stand and selling girl scout cookies.
  • her experience teaching two-year-olds and having to pivot to technology sales in order to support her family.
  • the skills she learned from watching her grandmother sell clothes to people at a young age and how that coupled with her sales experience in selling cookies.
  • the experience of joining a company as the first woman in field sales and being passed over multiple times for promotions.
  • turning her former employer into her first client after she was forced out due to downsizing.
  • her first company ‘Smile and Dial Revenue Generation Services” and why she changed the name to ‘Score More Sales.’
  • how she widened the scope of her mission and reach with the murder of George Floyd and the pandemic.
  • the importance and her passion for people not only talking about inclusion and equity but taking action to be more inclusive and equitable.
  • how Lori stays in touch with her network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

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