Category Archives: Business: General

General business thoughts, and observations

21 amazing self help improvement podcasts to change your 2017

Stop stagnating. Take control of your time, and life you have or that you have untapped. Do something today that challenges your current self. Maybe you are struggling financially. Perhaps you are drowning as a parent. Your career needs a pick-me-up… As a commuter and father of six, my time is limited. I am constantly using PDCA to improve my life value add. To do this – I believe in stretch goals – and have found an easy way to continue my self-evolution (and evaluation) through podcasts. So I have assembled 21 great podcasts that cover finance, creative and boundary breaking thoughts, religion as well as parenting. Our lives are giant Venn diagrams so if you are like me – many of these are (or will be) in your playlist.

A quick breakdown of the selected casts. I have listed them in no specific order, beyond the first few are my staples. Next inside of quotes is a brief and sometimes shortened description straight from iTunes. The title for the podcasts is also a link to the provider website. I have also added a few comments or opinions to the podcasts that I hold close. Lastly, if available, is the average review stars and number of reviews for the show followed by the iTunes link.

1. Unmistakable Creative: “Eliminate the feeling of being stuck in your life, blocked in your creativity, and discover higher levels of meaning and purpose in your life and career. List to deeply personal, insightful, and thought-proving stories from the world’s leading thinkings and doers including best selling authors, artists…entrepreneurs…venture capitalists… psychologists…”

BizDude Feedback: I picked this one up on a whim. I published an article the other day entitled Mastering Your Craft, with material from James Clear. I broke out my thought provoking journal and frantically jotted down notes. This podcast really taps into non-trad thought (some new age some revised old). This one is up there with Simon Sinek, to me anyway.

Avg Review: ***** (727)


2. The Dave Ramsey Show“The Dave Ramsey Show is about real life and how it revolves around money  Dave Ramsey teaches you to manage and budget your money, get out of debt, build wealth, and live in financial peace. Managing  your money properly will reduce stress, improve your marriage, and provide security for you.”

BizDude Feedback: This podcast is a newer one for me. Too much month at the end of my paycheck has led me to re-eval much of my life. While there do offer a wide variety of products – there is also a vast amount of ideas and how-to’s embedded into the heart of this teacher. Dave and other Ramsey personalities are not “pc” and do not tell you what you want – but what you need to hear. Game changer, for me.

Avg Review: ***** (3750)


3. Accidental Creative: “The Accidental Creative podcast shares how to build practical, everyday practices that help you stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, and Louder Than Words) interviews artists, authors, and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at”

Avg Review: **** (229)


4. Ted Talks Daily: “Every weekday, this feed brings you our latest talks in audio format. Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world’s leading thinkers and doers. This collection of talks, given at TED and TEDx conferences around the globe, is also available in video format.”

BizDude Feedback: A wide variety of topics are listed in their archives. It is full of out of the box successful doers that think in ways many of us only wish to be able to. I encourage you to find a topic that you enjoy and queue up a few to get you started. To be honest, I do not listen to every episode but consider this a staple.

Avg Review: ***** (424)


5. 33 Voices: “Moe and Jenna Abdou interview a highly influential roster of founders, venture capitalists, CEO’s, master thinkers, best-selling authors, academic minds, and creatives to deconstruct the hidden insights that only those who are building breakthrough ventures can reveal.”

Avg Review: N/A


6. The EntreLeadership Podcast“Hosted by Ken Coleman, the EntreLeadership Podcast features lively discussions and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in the business, like Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek.” 

Avg Review: ***** (1006)


7. Happiness Podcast“Do you ever wonder what it takes to lead a peaceful, happy life? Are you curious about the specific steps involved in a self-actualized, limitless life? Are you struggling with anxiety or depression? Or are you just plain tired and want some help? We explore all these concerns and more every week on the Happiness Podcast, which is currently one of the top podcasts in both “Heal” and “Self-Help”… Happiness does not happen by chance, but because we take specific actions in our lives to create it.”

Avg Review: ***** (130)


8. Sincerely, X (Ted)“Some stories are too sensitive, painful or potentially damaging to share publically — unless they can be shared anonymously. TED and Audible present SINCERELY X: an original audio series featuring talks from speakers who ideas deserve to be heard, but whose identities must remain hidden. The first season features a compelling program of victims, perpetrators, investigators, activists, empaths and more.”

Avg Review: **** (241)


9. Life Money Hope with Chris Brown“We are faced with decisions every day – decisions about our careers, parenting, relationships, and money. If you’re wondering what the Bible says about any of these issues, you’re in the right place. [Podcast] offers biblical wisdom and practical advice for the life questions you face every day. As a businessman, father, husband, and pastor, Chris has helped people discover what it means to intentionally pursue God’s purpose…”

Avg Review: ***** (395)


10. The Art of Manliness: “The Art of Manliness podcast features discussions on topics and issues important of interest to men.The goal of the podcast is to help men become better men.”

BizDude Feedback: While topics are mainly surrounding a male perspective they are TED quality. Another one that I keep on tap and select several of episodes to add to my playlist. The topics, although, male-centric could easily be filtered and listened to by anyone. It really does not have a male chauvinist perspective but much more of a “guy” in “today’s world.” It sort of reminded me of what a mentor would say to be a fatherly type lecture.

Avg Review: ***** (2102)


11. Mindful Parenting in a Messy World: “The Mindful Parenting in a Messy World podcast with Michelle Gale is for parents who long to be meaningfully connected to themselves and their children, even as the demands and complexities of modern life are accelerated. Our intent is to share a collection of supportive conversations, meditations, and nuggets of practical wisdom to help you embrace the parenting journey as your greatest potential for growth.” 

BizDude Feedback: Parenting seems to be harder in every generation; perhaps from different challenges and the evolution of how we parent. With lots of competition, the parent is learning the ropes and amending the hand-me-down journals of the warriors before them

Avg Review: ***** (12)


12. Redeemer Fellowship“Redeemer Fellowship is not merely a service or a one-stop Sunday shop, but a counter-cultural, missionary community that seeks the glory of God and the good of our neighbors in every sphere of life through the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel.” 

BizDude Feedback: Great Baptist/Christian faith points that dive into the translated lesson as well as hope for the rest of us through an application that is meaningful to “the now.” In addition, you can also check out a couple of the personalities in a spinoff podcast called, Doctrine and Devotion.

Avg Review: N/A


13. Career Tools: “Career Tools is a weekly podcast focused on specific actions you can take to grow and enhance your career, whether you are a manager or not. Career Tools won the Podcast Awards Best Business podcast in 2010 and was nominated every other year it has been eligible. Whether you are interested in jump-starting a stalled career or sharpening your edge, Career Tools is the podcast for you.”

BizDude Feedback: There was also a great podcast entitled, Manager Tools, which was how I started listening to this duo.

Avg Review: ***** (162)


14. This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt: “This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt is a weekly podcast dedicated to intentional leadership. The goal is to help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.”.  —

BizDude Feedback: I also want to point out that I first heard about this gentleman from his book, Living Forward. The book is amazing and creates a solid plan for taking control of your time. Map out what is most important to you and plan according to those goals. The is an amazing supplement.

Avg Review: ***** (2342)


15. Beyond the To-Do List : “Learn how to choose the right projects, tasks, and goals in work and life. Go Beyond the To-Do-List! This show will help you do that with conversations with the people behind productivity. We talk with people on all aspects of productivity, including getting the right work done, getting good work done, and the true end goal of productivity: living a meaningful life…”

Avg. Review: ***** (440)


16. How to Be Awesome At Your Job: “If your job requires substantial thinking and collaboration, this podcast will help you flourish at work. Each week, I grill thought-leaders and results-getters to discover specific, actionable insights that book work performance. These practical nuggets sharpen the universal skillet every professional need.” 

Avg Review: ***** (115)


17. Christy Wright’s Business Boutique: “The Business Boutique is a growing community of women who are making money doing what they love. In each episode, business coach and Ramsey Personality Christy WRite takes a deep dive into topics like marketing, selling, social media, and profits. Episodes include featured interviews with top experts in each of these areas. Christy delivers motivating and thought-provoking messages while sharing stories of women who have found success that will inspire you on your journey.”

Avg Review: ***** (62)


18. The Ken Coleman Show: “Do you feel stuck in your job? Do you dread going to work on Monday mornings? Do you want to do work that matters? … He delivers practical advice to help you discover the role you were born to play and map out a plan to get there. Now [Ken Coleman] is here to help answer your questions about career, passion, and talent so you can maximize your potential.”

Avg. Review: NEW


19. The Millennial Mastermind Podcast: “The number one show for millennials who are looking for inspiration to become the best version of themselves. Each week, I connect with inspiring individuals who share their stories and provide actionable advice on how to build an amazing life, specific to Generation Y. The fastest route to the top of the mountain is found by following those who have already traveled it. I will be the first to admit that I too am a student on this journey, so I invited you to join me on the road to success.”

Avg. Review: ***** (24)


20. The Garyvee Audio Experience: “On this podcast, you’ll find a mix of my #AskGaryVee show episodes, keynote speeches on marketing and business, segments from my DAILYVEE video series, interviews and fireside chats I’ve given, as well as new and current thoughts I record originally for this audio experience!”

Avg Review: ***** (2189)


21. Creatives Podcast: “Welcome… A space to develop and grow your creative potential. Each week we provide inspiration and resources to you, the creative entrepreneur so that you can live out your greatest life story. We’re Jack and Valentina Fussell, creative entrepreneurs just like you, and each week we share insights from our personal journey and the inspiring people we meet along the way.”

Avg. Review: ***** (46)


Please note that the average review was taken from the podcast site at the time of writing this article and was rounded to the nearest star. I couldn’t do half stars. Lame – I know. 😉



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mastering the craft

master your craftJames Clear. Name ring a bell? (If so – you are in the know. Lucky you.) It doesn’t? Check out a podcast that will change your thoughts. It is entitled “Change your identity to Change Your Habits.”  I first started listening to the “Unmistakable Creative “several months go on a casual basis. With their 500+ archive, it makes finding a specific person or topic very easy. You can listen directly on their site or, as I do, listen to the podcast via Apple. That sounded like an advertisement. Back to the point…

In this cast, James explains his journey and what he has found, from both research and personal experience; how to set yourself up for success. Little things. He sets the stage at one point describing experts in the fields – and what it takes for a “genius” to become the SME (subject matter expert). For example, he references research that indicates out of 400 composers each one was in the industry for 10 years before they “made it big.” Before the icing was put on the cake – they had a decade under their belt grinding away at what they love. There are exceptions to every rule. I am sure you could google it and pull up an outlier on the bell curve or one that was way outside of this timeframe. James did note that even many of the exceptions identified in the research were approaching the decade of experience.

WHAT IS THE POINT JOE? ARE YOU SAYING WE SHOULD GRIND FOR 10 YEARS? Not. At. All. I am simply saying that somewhere along the way we have grown impatient donning an entitlement crown where the bigger-better-faster-more comes with minimal effort, a shortcut (such as payout), or constant hopping. By hopping, I mean jobs, likes/dislikes, or whatever… insert your [SKILL] here. James also points out a quote, by Niels Bohr, “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” It may be possible that if you could get the equivalent amount of experiences in a shorter duration than based on the abilities of your field. I do not have any proof of that but I would think it is about the amount of experience vs. the time. To use an analogy, if there was a job that needed to be completed and required 2 people for 4 hours, by adding 4 people the same work could be completed in 2 hours. Make sense? Yet, as I type this I cannot help but wander and wonder.

When I was a child – I liked child things. While I still do like many of the same things as I did my perspective has changed as I have grown older. I hated cottage cheese when I was kid; today I love it in a variety of recipes. The debate, for me, would be what impact time has on a person. It is a chemical or developmental thing? My brain functioning differently at 30+ vs. 10? Or perhaps, it is the exposure of the time element. With more life I have had more chances for diverse interactions. Some of which I may have only been able to have with added age. Maybe combinations…

If your mind is rabbit trailing tangents right now – *fist bump* – I understand. In the same podcast there is another point made along this same subject that solidified my thinking around this subject of time and trail. James references an experiment that a professor performed at some university. The details escape me, and to be honest, I do not thing it matters much. The professor divided the classroom into two groups. The groups, in the same class, learning the same thing(s), had a different requirement for the finished product. Group (1) was assigned the task of making a sculpture. The sculpture would be graded on a variety of criteria but the art would be judged on quality etc. The winner would have the “best” piece. Group (2) was assigned the task of making as many sculptures as possible. Each one should be good but the concept was based on how any pieces could be generated. The students needed to be a sculpture making factory and the winner would be the student who had the most qualified sculptures. What the study concluded was that the best pieces, as measured by the professors predetermined criteria, came from group (2). Each attempt at making a piece refined the students skills and essentially made subsequent pieces “better.”

I could go one this tangent for hours. I will end it with the thought that we need to get out of our shells and do something. Failure will happen and we need to take it and press on – not making the same mistake again. Each time we try – we improve. As we are shaped by experiences and efforts we need to realize that we are making progress. It may not be visible now but we are. So – whatever you are kicking yourself for – or think you are terrible at – pause… breathe… try again. You’ll get there. We all will – if we want it and if we try.

Happy Wednesday.


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Rebranding: A different approach to the same old dude.

business dude blog makeover from lean to fresh blog articles about fun stuffI have toyed with so many blog ideas over the years. I get really intensely into one – for a duration – then fall flat on my face. It is a shame since this is something I have always loved doing. By always I mean a few years. I was not color pictures of my future website when I was in high school.  I enjoy sharing perspectives, maybe right – maybe not, but a different point of view to get some thoughts brewing in that noodle of yours (or mine).

For the last year, I took a break. On – and off – and on. A lot of reasons why. Excuses.

I keep coming back to the same idea: The blog is not what I originally wanted. The blog, which I enjoy the articles that I have conjured up, is not me or the voice that I feel that I have. I tried to focus narrowly on one specific niche, which was lean consulting or six sigma or some combination of business philosophy surrounding that and branching out to empowerment. A lot of the articles that were drafted began with a topic like 5S, pull, push, TPS (Toyota Production System), or other flashy words. I need to change. I have changed many things in my life and it is time to let the writing reflect that.

I have started Dave Ramsey’s guide to a financial makeover. I have started using the BestSelf journal for short interval goal setting. I have switched, or am in the process actually, careers to different focuses in a different industry. It is time that the voice inside follows suit. My goal for this blog is to share thoughts, ideas, that allow a business minded person without regard to what industry, to head down a rabbit trail that may lead to a new thought and change something (hopefully for the better).

What you can expect:

  • frequent posts on something that seems interesting, debatable or revolutionary
    • and by interesting, friend, I liked it – so that counts right? J/K
  • articles for the working class and/or parent seeking self-improvement
  • reviews on products that I have personally tried plan on trying, or believe to be a staple
  • sarcasm. lots. of. sarcasm. (sprinkled with a bit of WTH?)
  • engagement. since most of my thoughts surround team member engagement and empowerment, it is only fitting
  • raw thoughts with some grammar, typos, and imperfections (if editing takes more time than the writing… you get the idea)
    • (PS) I am not going to glaze over obvious errors as there are people that may go into some sort of coma or block me 😉
    • (PSS) *Edit* I did reread this again today – after sleep… there were more errors than I prefer to share. I cleaned it up a bit.

I started to rewrite my screenplay the other day and was so excited to start. I had a long conversation with a former writer for Hollywood that penned several shows that were notable. I loved writing again and while talking to him – I rekindled something inside. Slightly crushed into the group with the reality of never doing anything with the screenplay based on sheer statistics and my “changes…” After being convinced that screenplays were not the way to go I debated on converting the draft to manuscript. 13 pages of detailed notes/outlines later I froze. I have started and stopped so many times. It’s not where I am at. Right now – that is not where my heart is at. I am ready to write, yes, but that’s, not it.

My father-in-law, who is a father to me, got a journal for me which is a very interesting way to goal plan. In addition, I am moving from the Kansas City area to the Madison, WI area and am switching careers to boot. As I diligently plan – do – check and act myself in the goal planning phases of the journal it was apparent to me that I needed to write again. The notes that I was taking and shiny objects that sparkled between my ears called out to me “You need to blog again.” So I started to write a couple articles. More lean. Same old same old. My voice has changed and it was/is obvious. Not to mention if I want to write a manuscript – I need a whole-lotta-practice.

There you have it. If you have read this far – thank you. I will be crafting more articles and be shooting (as a goal in my planner) for M, W and FR. I expect to have some sort of catchy theme for each day such as Freebie Friday. Yeah, that was lame, I know, but you get the idea. I am also working on items that I can give away for the readers. I will have a contest for a website makeover (WordPress theme/logo) redesign as well. It will have a little something for you in it and promotion as I rebrand and relaunch.

Until then –


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Freebie Friday: Microsoft Office Quick Reference Guide

microsoft-office-reference-guideThere are a lot of things out there which are made to sell a product, or service, but many of us overlook because of that. It does not mean that it is not a good product – if we do not purchase more of what the advertisement is selling. I came across a Microsoft reference card set for the Office Suite. I like to think of myself as a competent “Office” user, but was taken back a couple of steps this week. At work, and home, I use Office 2013. Due to a discount from work – I have always used the same setup at both places which allows for a lot of perks (same formatting abilities, knowledge of the program, etc.). This week I upgraded to a Surface Pro, which I might as well exclaim how much I LOVE it. I do… I absolutely do not know why I am laggard and go last of the adoption curves. With the new device I was also upgraded to Microsoft Office 2016. While the program is very similar – there are subtle differences that I was not prepared for thus, slowing down my efficiency as I searched for how to do… this or that. While I was doing some research I came across this freebie which is available to you through TradePub. The short PDF is a quick reference guide to the major office applications. I have downloaded a copy and placed it on here for you to take. It is free. If you like it – I strongly encourage you to go here and sign up for future notifications from this great company.

Microsoft Office Reference

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Thank you. 2016

Take advantage of the day: carpe diem. Very few people wake up hoping to have a bad day or wish that they would be a number in a crowd with no intellectual value. We should do this on a regular basis. It should not take a holiday to bring out appreciation in anyone. The “company” needs to publicly celebrate with the team members. Team members need to express appreciation for peers, manager, and sub-ordinates alike. The work is not performed by itself and it takes a group effort to transform our goods and services from one state to another. Take a moment today to shake hands, notice your teams, and express the gratitude that you have. Take a notepad and hand write a letter expressing thanks – hand written letters are still valued.

Below is a small list of ways that you can thank employees – beyond words (if you so desire).


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Managing a level – UP or DOWN

8c6bd989-14bf-4a3f-9dfd-7871333967c4-1264-00000130e4504535_tmpOrganizations usually have some sort of reporting structure. That can vary based on the size or maybe the model that is being used. Typically an individual contributor reports to a supervisor or manager who then reports to a manager or director (and so on). Much like a pyramid there are more people at the bottom and less as you climb to the top; one director has two manager who each have three reports etc. While I do believe that no one is more important – the responsibilities tend to change with the hierarchy. On the front lines much of the work is hands on with day-to-day in mind. As roles change to manager (etc.) focus shifts from day to week to year; tactical to strategy. One would normally expect this sort of management. Communication passes up and down the ranks and each role performs their piece to allow the plan to come to life. When done right it can be a breeding ground for future managers as well as various other promotions. For the sake of this post, let’s call it “managing up a level.” Inside of this up one level mentality it would be common to see empowerment, stretch goals, grooming opportunities as well as overlapping responsibilities. The work looks like a Venn Diagram; each circle is clear and distinct but shared at points. In this model people are supportive of each other as well as weave a strong braid.

Yet, inside this structure a counter culture can lurk; hard to detect afar but extremely noticeable from the inside. This decay of the system creates a pull downward; or managing “down a level.” Each tier of the organization is not capable or does not complete tasks (for whatever reason). Leads perform non-lead work and supervisors spend the days working inside of fires vs. planning and improving processes. Instead of roles being empowered they tend to request affirmation at every transaction. Often, Peter’s Principle is at work. The great lead does not make a great manager does not make a great director and so on. Every role works one level(+) down to compensate for responsibilities. While doing this each position effectively (or ineffectively) performs subordinate work and ineffectively performing his or her own work. The time and energy that was once spent in grooming, or growing people, is used to micromanage, draw and redraw boundaries. It probably feels more like chaos and striving to keep the ship afloat or train on the track…

If you suspect that you are in a managing downward situation, stop, and reflect. What led to this point and what can you do to change the culture? It did not happen over night so do not expect to flip some switch or change directions midstream with no ripple effect. It is the right thing to do – to step back – and start to empower your team. However, it is not the “norm” depending on how long the culture has been in place and like anything previously set, will take time to change. You can start by setting a plan into place which includes stretch goals and empowering/ownership expectations. The key is that you did notice and are taking action.

Hope the week is treating you well.

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Have a cup of coffee and breathe

Some time ago, I posted an entry which discussed staying in the game. In poker, you may not go all in, on purpose. Sometimes it is about holding and outlasting the balance of the players. I have found myself watching the election results and am in awe about how breaking this is. Breaking in both a good change – and a bad change – depending on which stance you hold. I am not here to discuss that; one good thing about the election day – it is OVER after that day. I want to say – have a cup of coffee, take a breath, gather your thoughts and make a plan based on the cards you have been dealt.

Best wishes,


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