In a world where people are famous for doing nothing, we’re here to discover the seemingly ordinary people who take giant leaps to do something extraordinary.

Moving Forward features individuals from all different backgrounds and walks of life with the goal of inspiring you to discovery the extraordinary in yourself.  Everyone from 6 and 7-figure entrepreneurs to actors, musicians, filmmakers; everyone has a story about how they moved beyond the ordinary and excelled to become extraordinary.  Get ready, it’s time to start moving forward!

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[Note: links to books and other media are provided thru our partnership with Amazon for which Be Moving Forward receives a small commission from sales.  If you find a book or media resource that you like, purchasing thru those links does not cost you anything extra and is greatly appreciated.  If you prefer, you are of course welcome to purchase the non-affiliate versions directly from Amazon.]

© Ba-Li Solutions, LLC, 2016. All rights reserved.

MF 152 : Will Mitchell Shares Why This is the Last Episode You Need to Move Forward!

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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Will Mitchell is the creator and Chief Bro of Startup Bros, a platform providing content and information for those seeking to break out of the 9-5 and make a new start as entrepreneurs. Today, Will shares what it takes to leave the 9-5 and make a go of it as an online entrepreneur.

Successes at a glance:

  • Serial entrepreneur since age 12
  • Creator and Chief Bro at Startup Bros
    • Launched 6 multi-million dollar businesses selling both physical and digital products

Will’s story:

  • Will started his first online business at 12-years old! Will was like a kid in a candy store but instead looking at shiny things to buy, he was looking to sell. Will dove headfirst into the world of e-commerce and soon discovered that he could source products from China on platforms like Alibaba. At first, Will’s market were kids at school; connecting them with products that were in demand. Will later got into counterfeit goods (which neither I nor Will endorse or recommend to any Moving Forward listeners!), selling knockoffs of brand name purses and other items. While the counterfeit business got shut down after a year, Will had his proof of concept that e-commerce works and is a viable business pathway. As Will explains, he was so young at the time that he didn’t have the reputation or street credibility to sell door-to-door to local businesses. Thus, e-commerce allowed him to get skin in the game as an entrepreneur without his age being an issue. Will shares that e-commerce is a great equalizer as a starting point for a business. You can get started without a reputation, without much experience, no matter how old or young you are. Will’s next venture was selling airsoft rifles which netted him $200k by age 16. By age 21, Will and several of his friends purchased their first e-commerce company and for the next several years, things really blew up. However, Will eventually found himself in the exact spot he wanted to avoid. All his life, Will determined not to have a traditional corporate job but his success with e-commerce led him right to that spot. With scale, success, and now investors, Will was morphing into a corporate executive. Even though he was making a lot of money and reached a pinnacle of success that many would dream of, Will was unhappy. He felt confined and suffocated. As a way to escape and get back to his entrepreneurial roots, Will started the Startup Bros blog, documenting his journey as an entrepreneur; sharing many of his secrets to success, and lessons from his failures. Unexpectedly, the blog blew up which led him to his big why.

Will’s big why:

  • Will’s big why is to constantly “move forward” and never stop. From an early age, Will knew that the last thing he wanted to do was work for someone else or go to college. At 12, Will started his lifelong quest of not getting a job or going to school and yet, still be successful. So where did this mindset come from? Will attributes part of this to his parents who were entrepreneurs and had him when they were 17-years old. For a while, Will’s parents lived on public aid, eventually starting their first business at age 21. By the time Will was 7, his parents sold that company and so Will was exposed to a completely different way to live your life than most grow up witnessing. Ironically, Will’s parents discouraged him from entrepreneurship, wanting him to go to school and pursue a more traditional career path. Will cautions though, it’s not all dollars and roses and it’s not for the faint of heart. For every successful business, Will counts 30-40 failed ones. He shares that he “burned the boats” so to speak by making himself the most unemployable person possible by dropping out of schooI. In doing so, he made a choice that removed a choice. The only path left to him was to succeed as an entrepreneur. Moving Forward listeners, you’ve heard it from Will and so many others, this is not an easy path to take. It requires determination, hard work, and a thick skin from the naysayers that will try to derail you along the way. Will has all of these qualities and continually makes moving forward his daily goal. With Startup Bros, he is sharing his knowledge and expertise to inspire the next wave of entrepreneurs.

Biggest challenge today:

  • The main problem that Will is dealing with today is exposure and continuing to grow the reader base. Will has created a really strong brand that is “holding the torch” and leading the way. The mission of Startup Bros is to destroy the paradigm of school -> job. Not an easy task but the message is resonating with a lot of followers. Will also faces the challenge of limited time. As his business grows, there aren’t any more hours in the day than when he started.

Moving forward past that challenge:

  • It’s all about hustle. Will is putting himself out there with podcast interviews, guest contributor opportunities, and more. In this day and age, it’s all about being your own PR department to get the word out on your message. The formula Will shares is simple: don’t go out there simply to promote yourself or your business. Instead, make adding value your number one goal. To address the time issue, Will outsources to very talented team members who can help keep the machine running.

Knowledge bursts:

  • Inspirational source for moving forward:
    • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – Will embraces this as a template for any new project. Your goal is to either fail as quickly as possible or get to your MVP (minimal viable product).
  • Getting started with selling digital or physical products as a side hustle:
    • Know your style and what makes your heart sing. Generally speaking, those under the age of 30 may resonate more with digital products. Those over the age of 30 may feel more comfortable with physical products. You can have success with either so make sure you choose something that you can fun with because it’s a lot of work and a grind.
  • Favorite business tool of choice:
    • Google calendar: free up your brain space and hard code tasks and goals by living by your calendar.
    • Hijack your brain chemistry to be productive: Will places a video light behind and above his monitor that shines a super bright light into his face which keeps him super awake and alert.
  • How is Will moving forward today:
    • Getting on this podcast! Afterward, Will be sitting with his Director of Content Marketing to continue building out systems and expand the platform to systematize getting guest contributors.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Who is Will in five years?:

  • Will plans to take Startup Bros to the level that people like Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk are at. Will isn’t simply motivated by money. He wants to change the narrative about careers and choices. To do so, he will have to achieve the massive scale and reach that influencers like the ones named above have achieved. Will predicts that in 5-years, startup and entrepreneurial experience will matter more than academic credentials.

Parting wisdom:

  • “After listening to this, if you are inspired, if you are primed and ready to take action, you should stop listening to podcasts, don’t go to my website, don’t go to the next podcast. If you are inspired right now, you have to capitalize on that. Inspiration is a fleeting feeling and when you’re inspired, it feels like you’re going to be inspired forever but it will go away and there’s going to be points in your entrepreneurial career where there are 6-12 months that you’re just not feeling it. So when you have that inspiration, you need to stop learning and start doing. I always think of this consumption vs production hat.  We’re all consumers … but to be a successful owner, you have to be a producer … so make sure after a session like this, or whenever you feel inspired, you have the courage to take action, just stop learning and start doing, and if you’re inspired, I think that’s the next step to take right now.”

Connect with Will:

 

MF 151 : Scott Beebe on Liberating Small Businesses From Chaos to Move Forward

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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Scott Beebe is an entrepreneur and small business consultant. Today, Scott will share how small business owners can liberate themselves from chaos to grow and move forward.

Successes at a glance:

Scott’s story:

  • Scott describes his life as a “fragmented blueprint,” filled with lots of transitions. Scott spent a lot of his youth moving around the country as his Dad got new jobs and promotions. He eventually ended up in South Carolina, where he lives today. Scott graduated from school and enrolled in a seminary to study theology. He had a clear passion for his faith and for business but he didn’t know where to take his career. Scott ended up working for Pfizer and eventually found himself in a conflict between the spiritual and the business world. Scott decided to follow his spiritual calling and left Pfizer to go work for a church in Texas. Eventually, Scott went back to Pfizer for a time and left again to help a friend launch a church in 2013, where he worked as an international administrator in Nigeria. Then, on February 27th, 2017, Scott walked into the main office in Texas as the international administrator and left with no job. The board had experienced a meltdown with a number of its members resigning, resulting in Scott’s position disappearing with them. Scott decided to take stock of his life. He hired a coach and went back over his fragmented blueprint to try to figure out his next move and his big why. Scott discovered his superpower: the ability to see pitfalls and opportunities in businesses that others, including the owners, miss. Scott spent time with small business owners, launching a podcast to document their struggles and pain points. As he shares on this episode, many small businesses are in crisis without a plan or a vision of where they need or want to go. At the time, Scott wasn’t sure what the business would be or exactly what it would do, but he knew he had an underlying passion for vision, mission, values, and putting systems in place. Scott soon discovered that a lot of businesses lacked that. That’s when it became clear that his big why was to become a small business coach and to launch My Business on Purpose.

Scott’s big why:

  • Scott’s favorite day is Monday. Why is his favorite the day the one most dread? Because Scott wakes up every day with a clear, single goal in mind: liberate small businesses from chaos.

Biggest challenge today:

  • The courage to grow. Scott describes himself as an “engineer in front of a desk” who loves to build systems and processes. But when it comes to marketing automation, Scott struggles with this aspect of the business.

Moving forward past that challenge:

  • Scott describes his current state as a “holding pattern” but still in constant contact with the “radio towers.” As Scott shares, his business’ biggest asset is it “narrow brilliance.” By embracing Facebook Live and podcasting, Scott has dug his heels into two narrow but very viable niches and is casting his “fishing pole” there to connect with the clients who will most benefit from his services. Scott is also using podcasts to answer his clients’ biggest questions, turning it into a just-in-time audio platform to solve their biggest pain points.

Knowledge bursts:

  • A valuable tip for that small business owner to do more and grow:
    • After speaking with a number of small business owners, Scott identifies the number one problem holding most small businesses back: they have no idea where they’re going. So Scott’s advice is to start by writing down your vision. Citing Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited: if “you don’t write it down, you don’t own it.”
  • Favorite business tool of choice:
    • Google Drive: a filing cabinet and art studio in one!
    • BossJock Studio App: when Scott comes out of a client meeting, he can hop in his car and do a podcast right on his phone to deliver real-time content that can help his ideal listener base (small business owners).
  • How is Scott moving forward today:
    • 12 Week Year by Brian Moran: every 13 weeks, pull out the 12-week template and set, review, update 3 goals for that 13 week period. Break down each goal into steps and have each team member build his or her own steps to match the business’ goals and to hold one another accountable.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Who is Scott in five years?:

  • In five years, Scott and his wife, Ashley, will be approaching 25 years of marriage. Two of their three children will be in college and one will be a senior in high school. Scott has a family vision and mission statement: “be a light through adventure, creativity and time around the table.” Monday will still be Scott’s favorite day of the week, working with small businesses and freeing them from chaos. Scott won’t be working less since he loves what he does but will be working with more flexibility so he can maximize the family time and fulfill the family vision / mission.

Parting wisdom:

  • Joe Callaway says in his book, Magentic, ‘vision without implementation is hallucination.’ That’s really it. You can sit like a piece of gum and chew on that and that quote itself will provide flavor for a long period of time.”

Connect with Scott:

 

MF 150 : Sandy Grigsby on Unleashing Your Magical Superpower to Move Forward

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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Sandy Grigsby (Sandy in Focus) is an entrepreneur and photographer whose work has been featured in today’s top magazines and publications. Today, Sandy will share how you can unleash your inner magic to move forward.

Successes at a glance:

  • Founder, BrioFive
  • Sandy in Focus
  • Entrepreneur, Photographer, Specializing in Brand Empowerment:
    • Work has been featured in today’s top publications including Buzzfeed, People Magazine, California Style Magazine, and more.
  • Author,

Celebrate episode 150 of Moving Forward:

Sandy’s story:

  • Sandy does everything! She is a serial entrepreneur at heart, having launched a highly successful portrait business where she not only brings out the best in her clients but empowers them with confidence to create their brand. She is also the author of two books: a cookbook, and a children’s book.

Sandy’s big why:

  • Sandy started out as a highly sought-after photographer and graphic designer. Unfortunately, Sandy faced sexual assault, harassment, discrimination and abject humiliation working for someone else. The price of putting up with this was her confidence and self-worth. Unlike many of Moving Forward’s guests who found entrepreneurship, Sandy was forced into it. Facing the constant harassment and the deaf ears that told her to look the other way, Sandy had enough. She decided it was time to take a stand. It wasn’t easy. At one point, Sandy was nearly broke with $37.16 in her bank account. Sandy found strength and the inspiration to move forward thru her parents’ guidance and support. Her late father was a shining example of strength, compassion, and what can be accomplished when you put your mind to it. Sandy’s mother was equally encouraging, taking her on a much-needed vacation to reboot and reassess her life. Although this was a very dark period in her life, Sandy found her big why – to empower herself and others. She took the opportunity and risk of entrepreneurship head-on; planting a seed that has flourished and is continuing to grow today.

Biggest challenge today:

  • Sandy’s biggest challenge today is convincing women of their own self-worth.

Moving forward past that challenge:

  • Sandy has a magical skill: she is able to see and point out the most positive attribute, that one thing they are the best at. This is a power she uses to bring out the best in her clients during sessions so their portraits show them at their absolute best. Sandy also pays it forward: when someone hires Sandy for a portrait, she is able to gift a session to someone in need thru organizations like Dress for Success and Big Brothers / Big Sisters.

Knowledge bursts:

  • Inspirational source for moving forward:
  • Favorite business tool of choice:
  • How is Sandy moving forward today:
    • “I choose to hang out with the people who are at my level or higher.”

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Who is Sandy in five years?:

  • A very powerful keynote speaker at university panels who speaks on the topic of women empowerment. Someone who will change the world by helping others. Sandy will also be a go-to expert on relationships, owning your feminity, and photography. Last but not least, Sandy will run a non-profit helping women build confidence so they can find jobs, live better, and move forward.

Parting wisdom:

  • “I believe that we all have something powerful, and beautiful, and magical within us. You just have to have the confidence to let it out. Don’t be afraid. Everything you’ve always done has managed to work out even if it isn’t a good thing … Everything happens, there’s a purpose for everything and if you look at it like that, it always works out in everything in your life.”

Connect with Sandy:

Moving Forward with a new portrait in 2018:

  • “I love Sandy’s work. She is truly magical. As a former actor turned podcaster, public speaker, and entrepreneur, I’ve worked with a lot of photographers over the years – all very good. But it wasn’t until I met Sandy that I truly understood the power of the portrait. Sandy isn’t a photographer. She’s a lot more. She’s a brand empowerment specialist which is a fancy way of saying she brings out the best of you that’s on the inside to the forefront. If you are looking to make the best first impression possible, click on my photo below and make an appointment with Sandy.” -John Lim (Executive Producer, Host of Moving Forward)

MF 149 : Reshaping Conflict to Move Forward, with Karen Valencic

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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Karen Valencic is a communication and conflict resolution specialist. Today, Karen will share how you can reshape conflict as an opportunity to move forward.

Successes at a glance:

Karen’s story:

  • Karen started her life as the middle daughter of two brothers and their Dad. From a young age, Karen had an innate curiosity about how things work. This led to Karen studying mechanical engineering in school; becoming one of the first female engineers at Delco Remy (now Remy International) in Pendleton, Indiana. While grateful for her education and early career, Karen missed out on learning communication and conflict resolution skills. Specifically, Karen struggled with how to get her ideas heard and how to deal with people who don’t agree with you. Things were so bad that when Karen would get to speak in front of a crowd, she would start to shake.

The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:

  • Karen’s husband at the time had a dental practice. While attending a dental conference, Karen met one of her future mentors, Thomas Crum, an Aikido practitioner and conflict resolution specialist, who wrote the book, ‘The Magic of Conflict.’ Karen began studying Aikido and conflict resolution under Tom. She shares that the content was so influential to her that she decided to make a sharp career pivot. Karen left her engineering career behind and started Spiral Impact.

A moment that started out as a conflict that turned into an opportunity to move forward:

  • When Karen began her new business, she was very clear on her purpose. However, the people closest to her had “zero support” for what she was doing. Karen’s decision to leave behind a very successful engineering career to become a conflict resolution coach baffled many. What kept Karen moving forward was the personal clarity she had for her direction, her vision, and her purpose. Karen shares how her training in Aikido instilled in her the mindset of moving thru a difficult situation or obstacle without giving yourself away – engage and exchange while maintaining your center.

Knowledge bursts:

  • Karen’s philosophy for conflict resolution:
    • Karen’s study of the Aikido martial art has greatly influenced her philosophy for conflict resolution. Embrace your opponent’s position as well as your own. Leverage that position, as opposed to applying blunt force, to meet and resolve that conflict. Learn how to move within.
    • Remember, “conflict is where all innovation begins” – it’s necessary for moving forward. If you don’t have any conflict in your life, you’re not pushing the edges enough to make any forward momentum.
  • Karen’s biggest tip to be better communicators and see conflicts as opportunities in 2018:
    • Start by looking at what is conflict: the root of the word means to strike together.
    • Next, recognize when do you have a conflict, what reactions do you have. Does your temperature rise, does your heart beat faster? Your mind and body have early warning systems in place for recognizing pending conflict.
    • Spiral: move into the problem. Karen uses this analogy (an exercise she has her students do). Push your fist against someone else’s fist. In that state of conflict, you’re at an impasse. If one person opens his or her fist into a palm, this creates a new situation by shifting the orientation and power dynamic without using brute force.
  • Understanding the four quadrants of confliction resolution:
    • Knowledge: know yourself and your triggers.
    • Focused energy: be calm, deliberate.
    • Support: from people, programs, books.
    • Intention: rather than focus on what someone did (the act), look into the intent of the person and ask what is it you want that the other person has and can give.
  • How Karen recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
    • Work on staying centered by connecting with people. Stay in the space of curiosity and delight in deciding the next project or priority for her business.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:

  • “Listen to that voice inside of me rather than all of the noise around me.” This is advice that Karen has come back to throughout her career. Finally, remember that no one knows your business or dreams as well as you do.

Parting wisdom (in a few words):

  • “Keep moving and bend your knees.”

Connect with Karen:

MF 148.5 : ‘Chilly the Snowman,’ with Special Guest Angela Ferrari (Host of ‘Story Spectacular’)

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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On this special holiday bonus episode, John Lim and children’s book author, storyteller, Angela Ferrari (www.storyspectacular.com), present ‘Chilly the Snowman.’ This episode is appropriate for listeners of all ages.

Credits:

  • Written by: Angela Ferrari
  • Story by: Angela Ferrari
  • Narrator: Angela Ferrari
  • Kid: Angela Ferrari
  • Chilly the Snowman: John Lim

Be sure to check out the original version of this episode at www.storyspectacular.com. Special thanks to Angela and the Story Spectacular podcast for granting us permission to remix and broadcast this episode.

MF 148 : Samantha Alvarez on Moving Forward as a Digital Nomad

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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Samantha Alvarez is a digital nomad, author and sales coach. Today, Samantha will share the gift of moving forward with a holistic and relationship-approach to sales.

Successes at a glance:

  • Digital nomad, sales coach and business relationship coach
  • Registered Nurse
  • Speaks multiple langauges

Samantha’s story:

  • Samantha grew up in Wisconsin and got her first taste of travel at age 12 when her 7th-grade Spanish club went to Mexico. This ignited a lifelong spark to learn about different cultures and languages. Samantha ended up majoring in Spanish in college and chose nursing as her first career, seeing it as a way for her to travel. Finding herself unable to pay for nursing school, Samantha dropped out and took a job in IT as she had earned three bachelors degrees by then. After a stint in medical school in Cuba, Sam returned to the US to finally become a nurse practitioner, where she practiced for 5 years in Tuscon, AZ.

Setback failure or time when things fell apart:

  • Sam loved her career as a nurse practitioner. But after 5 years, she was burned out. She couldn’t get out of bed in the morning and her career consumed her life. Sam was making 6-figures and she was very respected with people deferring to her stature and judgment. However, she didn’t like who she was becoming – someone who had no time to enjoy her life and was driven purely by ego. Sam saved up her money and knew she needed to leave. Her goal was to reconnect with her humility. Not knowing what was next or what her plan would be, Sam quit her job and moved to Japan. As a polyglot, her only goal at the time was to learn Japanese.

The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:

  • Sam spent 6 months in Japan and loved every minute of it. She learned the language and got immersed in the culture. However, the time was nearing when she would have to go back to the US. Only, Sam didn’t want to go back to her old life. This was not simply an extended vacation – Sam discovered a lifestyle she wanted to continue maintaining. After doing extensive research, she decided to become a digital nomad. However, as Sam reveals, it’s not always the sexy lifestyle you see on social media of sitting on a beach with a laptop while money rolls into your bank account. The reality is often a hot and sticky beach while you’re staring at your laptop for 5 hours, trying to get a WiFi signal as no money is coming in. The reality is that being a digital nomad is a lot of work – sometimes 10 hour days for 6-7 days a week. To make this lifestyle a reality, Sam works for many different companies online, doing everything from sales to coaching to freelance work; arranging her workflow so that she does not have to be in one location. This gives her the freedom to travel and make her “office” be anywhere she can get connected. Sam was in Lisbon, Portugal during our conversation at a shared workspace and getting ready to leave for Bangkok.

Knowledge bursts:

  • Sam’s advice for getting comfortable with sales and pricing your value:
    • Ignore everyone else and know this: when you are selling a service, the first sale is *not* to any potential client. The first sale is to yourself as a coach or entrepreneur. If you don’t buy into your value, no one else will. So that is your starting point.
  • Favorite app/website/resource or productivity hack:
  • How Sam recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
    • The number one thing is meditation. Sam starts her morning with guided meditation and during this time, her phone is in airplane mode.
    • The second thing is to spend time in nature or outdoors to go for a walk.
    • Third, be genuinely aware of your needs: listen to your inner voice and honor it.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:

  • When it comes to big scary decisions you can do your research and due diligence but at some point, you have to decide to just do it. In the end, it’s much scarier to make that decision than to actually execute it. Once you make that decision, “do it and let it be done.”

Parting wisdom (in a few words):

  • “Live your heart on fire.”

Connect with Sam:

MF 147 : Alex Charfen on Moving Forward with the Entrepreneurial Personality Type (EPT)

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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Alex Charfen is an entrepreneur and host of the Momentum for the Entrepreneurial Personality Type podcast. Today, Alex will share the four-step test to determine your EPT so you can move forward.

Successes at a glance:

Alex’s story:

  • Alex has always been a little different. He was the unique kid that was described as “and … Alex.” From an early age, Alex felt isolated and alone. Rather than leaning into school, teachers, or classmates, Alex started reading a lot of books. Alex had one goal: to figure out where his place was in this world.

Setback failure or time when things fell apart:

  • Alex had a tough time growing up. He always felt alone, isolated, the odd man (or kid) out. Things got so bad he developed a stutter. This on top of feeling self-conscious, speaking with an accent, when his family immigrated to the US from Mexico. Alex was seen as a “troublemaker” and a “disciplinary problem. He was misjudged and misdiagnosed as developmentally challenged, dyslexic, autistic, and even labeled “retarded” by some of his teachers. While the world around him judged him unfit, that didn’t stop him from his quest to find out who he was and where he belonged. He wanted to find his big why; something that he couldn’t find in school or his teachers or other kids.

The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:

  • At age 8 or 9, Alex went to a garage sale with his family. The family didn’t have a lot of money and were looking to buy only basic necessities. Alex spotted a collection of self-help tapes that included Tony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and more. This was material that was worth several hundred dollars that the seller was selling for $100. Alex begged his Mom to buy them but their garage sale budget was $10. After 25 minutes of nagging his Mom, the guy got up with the box, walked over to Alex and handed it to him, saying “kid, you need these more than anyone else I’ve ever met.” Alex took them home and started listening, immersing himself even more into self-help materials. Alex then moved on to self-help books but found after reading 10 of them that they started contradicting one another. Alex decided to pivot and study successful people. He read biographies and everything he could get his hands on; trying to figure out what made them tick. Alex then made his first major breakthrough. He discovered that the more he studied success, the more he found people who looked just like him – people who were judged as odd, antisocial, misfits, or even dangerous. Alex worked with his Dad at flea markets on the weekends; getting an early start on the entrepreneurial road. From there, Alex found his calling in business, commerce, and exchanging goods and services for value. In his 20s, Alex became a Fortune 500 consultant, working with some of the most successful people in the world. Today, Alex is a successful entrepreneur, coach, author and podcaster. Moreover, he is someone who embraces his uniqueness as a source of success.

Alex’s Entrepreneurial Personality Type [EFT] test:

  • Caretakers: the people who like the act of taking care of others. While many automatically assume or are inclined to think they belong here, Alex quickly disqualifies many, especially entrepreneurs, from actually being caretakers with this question:
    • Do you enjoy changing bedpans? A caretaker is hard-wired to take care of someone and will answer yes. Caretakers are needed in this world and society. However, many will answer no, thus disqualifying them from the caretaker category. If your answer is no, move on to the next category.
  • Communicators: these are the people who like to communicate and specifically, to carry on oral tradition. Many will assume they are communicators. But Alex quickly disqualifies many, including those who are speakers and podcasters with this question:
    • Do you enjoy small talk? A true communicator will relish the opportunity for any form or size of communication, whether it is about politics or the weather. Communicators, like caretakers, are needed in this world and society. However, many will answer no, thus disqualifying them from the communicator category. If your answer is no, move on to the next category.
  • Coordinators: people who love fine print, contracts, committees, and meetings. These are people who thrive on organization and planning for its own sake and not because it leads towards any particular result. Coordinators are necessary for society and to keep the machine running. But Alex quickly disqualifies many, especially entrepreneurs, from this category with this one question:
    • How many committees have you voluntarily put yourself on (meaning you truly wanted to be on it and not bc it made you look good in the eyes of someone else)? If your answer is few or zero, move on to the next category.
  • Evolutionary Hunters: the only “non-C” category. These are the people who don’t fit into any of the above. These individuals have to be hunting, moving forward. They get restless very easily and are often misunderstood or misdiagnosed as problematic. They don’t fit in with most people. Their ultimate goal is to find a better way to do things and to make a better path for themselves and those around them. Alex qualifies EH’s with this one question:
    • Are you thinking in the present or for tomorrow? If the former, you fall into one of the C-categories.
    • If the later, you are part of the small percentage of the population that goes into the future, sees what might be, comes back to the present and acts on it. Moreover, you expose yourself willingly to the risks and vulnerability that come with making that vision a reality. We live in the future as opposed to today.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Advice to past self while making a big decision:

  • “The amount of people whose opinion actually matters is actually a fraction of what you think it is.” So seek out the people who you respect, make you feel like you’re moving forward, and ignore everyone else.

Parting wisdom (in a few words):

  • “It’s all about momentum and don’t forget that as long as people like you and I are moving forward, that’s when we look gifted and create insane outcomes in the world and that’s when we are at our absolute best!”

Connect with Alex:

MF 146 : Michael Dennin on Moving Forward with Science, Superheroes, Media, and Education

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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Michael Dennin is an author, speaker, and professor of physics and astronomy at UC Irvine. He has been featured on Ancient Aliens for The History Channel and several documentaries, including Star Wars Tech. Today, Michael will share how asking a question can open the doors to possibilities you never imagined.

Successes at a glance:

Michael’s story:

  • Michael describes his recent adventures as “taking advantage of opportunities I never expected in life.” Like many of today’s most popular comic book superheroes, Michael has a day job – an alter ego. For 20 years, Michael has been a professor of physics and astronomy. He started his career following a classic school-to-professorship trajectory. For Michael, who grew up in a household of teachers and professors, education is one of the most aspects of his life and career. Things took a sharp turn when several years ago, some students asked Michael to give a presentation on the science of Superman. The idea was to combine academia and fun by sprinkling in some pop culture. Michael was intrigued and did the presentation. Unexpectedly, this created a whole new iteration for the subjects he loved teaching. Michael started doing seminars on the science of superheroes. This caught the attention of the OC Registrar that did a feature story on it and then like a good superhero story, his notoriety grew. The LA Times picked up the story and this caught the attention of some filmmakers who were in the process of creating a documentary called ‘The Science of Superman.; They contacted Michael and soon, Michael was invited to be a featured guest and panelist on numerous media outlets. For Michael, this was a big risk at the time as he wasn’t sure he wanted the exposure but he took a chance. That chance paid off as opportunities he never imagined came to fruition. Michael calls this his “unusual science outreach” phase. Michael has since been featured in numerous documentaries and television programs, including ‘Ancient Aliens’ for The History Channel and ‘Star Wars Tech.’ All of this led to Michael writing his first book; something he notes that “physicists don’t do!” Moreover, Michael’s media exposure helped him take his academic career to the next level by becoming the Dean of Undergraduate Education and Vice Provost of the University for Teaching and Learning at UC Irvine.

Michael’s “aha” moment:

  • When Michael was first approached to talk about the physics of superheroes, he never imagined this would become a niche for him. But Michael soon realized that using superheroes as parables for teaching makes science safe, fun, and all the more intriguing to students. One of Michael’s case studies was the classic Superman film starring Christopher Reeve. Michael had his class look at the film thru a scientific lense; analyzing everything from the scene to when Superman flies around the Earth, causing it to rotate in the opposite direction and reverse time, to Superman catching Lois Lane as she falls off a skyscraper. In doing so, Michael has inspired his students to apply what they learn in the classroom to the movies and characters they love. Moreover, this experience led Michael to rethink how teachers and educational institutions present science. Today, Michael is the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, a new department that is taking a critical look at how subjects like science and math are taught. Michael’s mission is simple and timely: to prepare students for a post-graduate world where careers, jobs, and technology change at a rapid pace.

Writing a Book:

  • As Michael’s story illustrates, you have to be open and persistent to find opportunities. Michael’s media experience led him to write his first book, blending two topics that are of great interest to him: science and religion. As Michael made more media appearances, he started to think about giving talks and getting paid for it. While a regular practice for entrepreneurs and thought leaders, this is not very common for scholars and academicians. Michael started by asking a question: how do I get out there and give those talks. Michael didn’t just ask himself this but started asking everyone he could think of, including the owner of the dance studio where his kid happened to take lessons! Unbeknownst to Michael, this was the perfect person to ask this question to but not in the way he initially intended. The dance instructor connected Michael to the owner of a ghostwriting company for CEOs and business leaders. First, the owner met with Michael. During their meeting, he advised him to write his first book to build the notoriety he needed to become a speaker. Second, he helped Michael identify his niche: superheroes, science, and religion. Third, he advised him to get a ghostwriter to speed up the writing process. While the owner of this company was out of Michael’s price range, he helped Michael find a ghostwriter that was a good fit.

The process of writing a book with a ghostwriter:

  • What is ghostwriting?
    • In Michael’s words “an even better text to voice translation than a computer.”
  • Start:
    • One hour interview with the ghostwriter.
    • One hour roughly equals one chapter.
    • The ghostwriter writes the chapter.
    • You review and edit the chapter heavily.
  • Continue:
    • The workflow continues with each chapter each week.
    • By chapter 3-4, the ghostwriter should have a good handle on your writing style, making the process that much easier. The content should be in your voice.
  • Niche:
    • Michael shares that a good ghostwriter will be able to identify where you, as a writer, fit into the large world of books and published authors.
    • Your ghostwriter can also be a test audience. If the concepts you’re writing about make sense to him or her, they will make sense to your target readers.
  • Time:
    • The process for a 10-chapter book was about 6 months for Michael, moving at about a chapter a week.

Knowledge bursts:

  • Resource or cultural experience that inspired Michael to move forward:
    • The musical version of Les Miserables: Michael finds the stories of the people so inspiring, especially with respect to the choices we make in life.
  • Favorite app/website/resource or productivity hack:
    • Microsoft OneNote: A virtual notebook that Michael finds indispensable for organizing the many notes from all of the meetings he has to attend.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Advice to past self while making a big decision:

  • The biggest piece of advice Michael would give his past self is to let go of the fear of making mistakes. This is hard when you’re in academia and you’re accustomed to the mindset of always achieving and avoiding errors. But Michael takes to heart from his most recent experiences, that taking ownership of the mistakes you make and learning from them can be the most valuable way to move forward. And finally, if it’s not working, you can always change and try something else!

Parting wisdom (in a few words):

  • “Embrace mistakes and learn.”

Connect with Michael:

MF 145 : Mastering the Craft of Creativity to Move Forward, with Bob Stromberg

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify.

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Bob Stromberg is a comedian, speaker, storyteller and host of the wide-eyed creative podcast. Today, Bob will share how to craft your creativity using his system of G.I.T. (grab-interrogate-transform) so you can move forward.

Successes at a glance:

Bob’s story:

  • The word that Bob uses to describe his story is “surprise.” Bob has been doing “what he’s been doing” for 40 years, starting after college. From an early age, Bob had a desire to perform and write. He knew that the year after college was the best time to experiment with his career and so, he decided to give himself a 3-year window to see if he could make a go of it. To his surprise, the 3-year “trial period,” became a 40-year+ vocation and calling. So what does Bob do? His repertoire and toolkit includes standup comedy, storytelling, public speaking, presentations, and writing. While Bob’s core mission, telling and teaching others the art of story, hasn’t changed, the way he markets himself has. When he started, Bob’s biggest advertisement was a business card and trifold brochure. As times changed, Bob evolved his marketing to include the latest in technology in media, including books, CDs and DVDs. Today, he hosts a podcast and has created an online course thru which he can reach his ideal customers all over the world.

Setback failure or time when things fell apart:

  • Bob has been thru 3-4 setbacks throughout his career. One he shares happened 25 years ago. Bob had been doing solo work and was burning out. He was no longer finding joy or fun in what he was doing, being on the road and hustling 24-7. As Bob put it, he was getting “tired of me.”

The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:

  • Just as Bob had enough of himself, an opportunity arose to try something new. While sitting at breakfast with his friends, also working in comedy, one of them tossed out the idea of writing a play. Keep in mind, none of them had ever written a play before. Bob was skeptical. Given how busy they all were, he wasn’t sure they could pull it off unless there was a motivator, a good reason to do it. The motivator was one of Bob’s friends getting the play booked 30 days out! The friends wrote the play and it opened, on time, to an audience of 600-700 people. Keep in mind, they had never written a play before. But you wouldn’t have known that by the critical and audience response it received. Eventually, it caught the attention of a director who wanted Bob and his co-writers to develop it into a full two-act play. The following year, the play had a 6-week run in Minneapolis. That led to another 6-week run in San Diego and the momentum continued to grow to 76 cities, including the West End of London and Dublin, Ireland. The play, ‘Triple Espresso: A Highly Caffeinated Comedy’ ended up running for 13 years in Minneapolis and 11 years in San Diego! During this time, Bob got his second wind and continued his solo work, while the play continued to grow and captivate audiences. Bob was also encouraged by a director to write a solo show and out of that conversation came ‘That Wonder Boy,’ which in 2015 won three awards (best one-man show, best director, and audience favorite) at the United Solo Festival in New York City. These experiences helped Bob crystalize his big why – unleashing the creativity in others. Two words that Bob shares on creativity and how it works: “gift” and “craft.” Specifically, the revelation that we have something innate inside of us that longs to experience and generate creativity – that’s the gift. However, as we get older, that gift is programmed out of us in school and society. To get back to it, creativity has to be nurtured – that’s where the craft comes in. A truly momentous pivot that helped Bob discover a new avenue for his talents but also helped him realign, re-evaluate, and reset his mind so he could move forward.

Knowledge bursts:

  • Fundamentals of creativity (G.I.T.):
    • Grab: whatever grabs you emotionally
    • Interrogate: look at the why
    • Transform: the idea into a tangible piece of art
  • Resource or cultural experience that inspired Bob to move forward:
  • Favorite app/website/resource or productivity hack:
    • The notes app on the iPhone: take it out of your mind and put in a note to clear up creative space.
    • Siri reminder: great for creating reminders on the go.
    • Practice: make one thing better each day – Bob learned this while fixing his house.
  • How Bob recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
    • Sleep: Bob hits roadblocks when exhausted so getting a full night of sleep is important.
    • Nutrition: eat well to stay healthy in your body and mind.
    • G.I.T.: practice it and you’ll always have a plate of ideas that you want to pursue and you won’t hit those walls as often.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:

  • Bob would go back to 1977 and tell his past self: “do not worry and don’t project into the future.” Neither does you any good and neither is reality. Just keep working and do the best you can and the rest will work itself out.

Parting wisdom (in a few words):

  • “Breathe, relax, enjoy, listen, and wonder.”

Connect with Bob:

MF 144 : Rohan Kale on Moving Forward with Business Storytelling and Animation

Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.  Moving Forward is also available on iTunesStitcher Radio, Google PlayiHeartRadio, and Spotify.

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Rohan Kale is an entrepreneur and storyteller, who helps businesses boost their brand thru animation. Today, Rohan will share how you can tell a better story for your company or business.

Successes at a glance:

  • Entrepreneur, storyteller, helping businesses grow their brand awareness thru animation at rkale.

Rohan’s story:

  • Rohan started out as an engineer in India. Despite having a great education and working for a prominent IT company, Rohan wasn’t happy. At age 19, Rohan started exploring other ways to make a “quick buck.” This restlessness took Rohan into the dangerous world of gambling.

Setback failure or time when things fell apart:

  • Within 6 months of entering the “rabbit hole” of gambling, Rohan was broke. He had drained his savings and felt his mental health spiraling downward. At his lowest point, Rohan had to borrow money from his parents to pay off his gambling debt. Rohan felt deeply ashamed and his parents could see he was not in a good place. Fortunately, his parents were very supportive. They helped him with his situation and encouraged him to find something different that would fulfill him.

The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:

  • Rohan decided to reset his life. At his core, Rohan loves to travel and explore different parts of the world. Going back to his job was not an option. With his parents’ support, Rohan decided to explore his options. Rohan ended up taking a job in Germany with Daimler in sales and marketing. Rohan got his MBA and paid off his debts. Getting out of debt allowed him to consider his life from a big picture perspective. He was back to having a job but he still wasn’t happy. The corporate life just wasn’t for him and he couldn’t imagine himself doing this for the next five years, much less until retirement. Rohan came to this startling and scary conclusion: “you are not a person made for a job.” Rohan was lost again. Rohan took a step back and asked himself “what do you like?” Coincidentally, he happened to be watching an episode of the old cartoon series “Captain Planet” which sparked a lot of happy memories from his childhood. Then, as the nostalgic waves cascaded over him, he realized he loved “stupid cartoons!” Rohan decided to explore this further. He did some market research and discovered that video and animation were exploding in popularity. This led Rohan to take his leap by asking himself a simple question: “what if I could start something alongside with my job and give myself a chance.” Rohan studied internet marketing and online entrepreneurship. From there, he started brushing up on graphic design and animation. Eventually, Rohan decided to hire someone who was an expert in animation. He grew this side hustle and within 6 months, he was able to generate enough revenue so that he could quit his job and go fulltime into helping businesses create animated promos.

Knowledge bursts:

  • One great tip for telling your brand or business’ story:
    • Research your target audience, identify their pain points, and tell the story of how your solution answers those pain points.
  • Resource or cultural experience that inspired Rohan to move forward:
    • Captain Planet: revisiting this cartoon series from his childhood sparked the inspiration for Rohan to explore animation. From there, Rohan started to explore how he could use his skills in sales and marketing to help businesses grow.
    • The Pursuit of Happyness: while watching Captain Planet clips on YouTube, he came across a clip from this movie which inspired him to take account of his situation and never let anything, even the worst of times, hold him back from pursuing his big why.
    • The Subtle of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson: Rohan’s takeaway is don’t give a f*ck about what others think, just focus on you.
  • How Rohan recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
    • Shut off everything and go for a walk. Rohan also loves to travel.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:

  • Don’t do things because other people expect you to and don’t try to make everyone happy. Do them because you want to and figure out what makes you happy. Make sure whatever you do, you focus and give it your all.

Parting wisdom (in a few words):

  • “Implementation always triumphs planning.”

Connect with Rohan: