webinar marketing

Milana Leshinsky – Telesummits aren’t dead! How Great Webinar Marketing Can Make a Huge Impact for Your Small Business! (AoL 118)

Webinars, telesummits, and virtual summits. They used to be a staple in digital marketing.

In recent years, however, they’ve become rarer to see.


Because for the most part, people have used them primarily as a way to build their email list. They used it primarily as part of their funnel.

While this is a function that webinars can serve, we shouldn’t overestimate their power to connect us with thought leaders in our various industries.

Today’s guest, Milana Leshinsky, is on a mission to help people see the power that telesummits (aka virtual summits) can provide for a small business.

On top of finding out how she got to be such a huge advocate of these mediums, we find out how they’ve played a role in her own business. She also talks about the mindset you should have when building your own virtual summit.



  • How was it that Milana first came to the US? 9:12
  • What made her change her focus of study in school from music to something completely different? 11:32
  • Why did she quit her IT job in 2002 as a mom of two? What did it get her in a relatively short amount of time? 13:25
  • How has digital marketing changed during her career? 17:10
  • Why should someone do a telesummit and what makes a good one? 19:53
  • In what ways has she been able to get back into her artistic roots? 39:00
  • What’s Milana looking forward to working on? 45:04
  • Who have been influencers in Milana’s life? 47:40
  • What are three books that she tells others about? 49:13
  • What’s something Milana has been good to saying no to? 51:37
  • What is her least favorite social custom? 52:43
  • How can someone find their own personal freedom? 54:26

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.




Virtual Summits & Telesummits

Fastest Path to Go To Expert

Future of Video Marketing with Michelle Kopper

Jeremy and Milana on Sales in Coaching

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


social innovation

Solving Community Problems through Social Innovation with Harrison Painter (AoL 117)

Having a business is one thing, but starting one that’s on a mission to make an impact in your community is something else. Especially one that focuses on creating Massive Positive Social Impact.

What does that mean exactly?

Well imagine if your sole focus of your business is to amplify purpose driven entrepreneurs, creators, and nonprofit founders in your community. This is what Amplify Indy and it’s creator, Harrison Painter is all about.

By working with Collaborate 317, Harrison has helped start an awesome community through the Amplify Hope Program.

In this interview with Harrison, you’ll learn what it’s all about and what sparked this vision.

It’s our hope that you’ll want to make Massive Positive Social Impact in your area and join us in the Junto on Facebook.


  • How did Harrison originally get into marketing and event promotion? 7:19
  • How did he realize that it was time to leave the traditional job world and strike out on his own? 13:22
  • What made him move to LA with his business? What’s the difference between there and the midwest? 21:00
  • How did Amplify get off the ground? 33:34
  • What are some secrets to launching and marketing an event? 44:07
  • What’s the Amplify Hope Program all about? 47:36
  • What else is Harrison looking forward to in 2018? 55:43
  • What are three favorite movies or documentaries? 1:04:13
  • One gift he likes giving others? 1:06:21
  • What’s a topic people should be talking about hardly anyone is? 1:07:57
  • What was something Harrison believed when he was 30 and now believes was inaccurate? 1:13:46
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:15:27

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.




Harrison reveals the Amplify Hope Challenge:

Dr. Pingnan Shi shares with us the Amplify Youth Program:

Thomas “TAG” Griffin shares with us Hearts in Hand Homeless Outreach

Thank You, Sam Ash from HIH: Homeless Outreach

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


relationship building

Making Winning Connections: Relationship Building Tips for Life and Business

As the Junto is starting to grow, I realize that there’s going to be more and more opportunities for people to connect with others who are seemingly going the same direction as they are.

To make sure they are, here’s a few notes from a recent John Maxwell course called the Mentor’s Guide to Relationships. I hope you can use the information presented here to make sure that a pursuing a certain relationship is worth your time.

At the very least, I want to help you realize if you’re in a one way relationship. One that you might be putting way too much energy in yourself and not getting anything back from it.

So let’s start off by looking at the four different levels of relationships.


Four Levels of Relationships

Surface Relationships

Now, when you’re on social media (or anywhere else for that matter) and you’re just meeting someone – you’re engaging in the most basic and common form of a relationship. A surface relationship is one where there’s really no strong commitment from either person and it’s a very passive interaction.

An example of a surface level relationship is just randomly adding a “friend” on Facebook and they in turn accepting that request. You might have just added them to your friends list because they have a lot of mutual friends – even though you don’t really know who they are.

Acquaintances would be part of this this level.

Just remember, all real friends start off as strangers at one point. So, just give it some time if you want things to grow…


Structured Relationships

The next level of a relationship is what’s called the structured relationship. These relationships are with people who meet at certain times. This can mean daily, weekly, or monthly.

Generally speaking this type of routine based engagement is centered around some sort of interest or activity such as an Meetup. In the online business world, it might mean a mastermind group. Or in the typical offline world, it can mean a group of students.

Outside of that group, there’s not much meaning for those people to interact – so they don’t.


Secure Relationships

The next level of relationships are those that when members of a structured relationships start appreciating the bond.

At this level, trust begins to form as the need to spend more time together grows. Most of the time, these folks will have no problems sharing with each other. And there’s a bit of a comfort zone feeling with these folks.

When you were going to school, these were the study friends. Perhaps they were the friends  that you hung out with before games. Or maybe they were your fellow band friends who you’d play euchre with each day. But the main thing was that these folks started relying on you as you relied on them.

In business, this might be someone that you decide to joint venture with on a particular project such as a course or new podcast.


Solid Relationships

Next up, we have the highest of all relationships – the solid relationship. At this level, not only do full trust and confidentiality exist, but there is a need to give back to the other party if they’ve helped you in some way.

Of course, this is the basis for a long term relationship.

If we were to think of the school analogy, your close friends were (or are still) examples of this! While, in the business world, you’d start new businesses with these folks.


Avoid High Maintenance Relationships

When I first started dating Maria I had a very strong feeling of “normality” when we were together. She felt like someone that I had known for a long time.

Society suggests – especially TV – that a normal romantic relationship is something that has a lot of maintenance to it. Drama and fighting is to be expected – not calmly discussing the issues at hand.

The truth is that this shouldn’t be the case in ANY relationship you want to make long term – including romantic relationships!

So how do you know if you’re in a high maintenance relationship?

In his book, High Maintenance Relationships, author Les Parrott talks about 12 different types of people who it would be hard to get along with – especially over a significant amount of time.

  • Critic – constantly complains and gives unwanted advice.
  • Martyr – forever the victim and wracked with self-pity.
  • Wet Blanket – pessimistic and automatically negative.
  • Steam Roller – blindly insensitive to others.
  • Gossip – spreads rumors and leaks secrets.
  • Control Freak – unable to let go and let be.
  • Backstabber – irrepressibly two-faced.
  • Cold Shoulder – disengages and avoids contact.
  • Green Eyed Monster – seethes with envy.
  • Volcano – builds steam and is ready to erupt.
  • Sponge – constantly in need but gives nothing back.
  • Competitor – keeps track of tit for tat.


Are you with one of these types of individuals? If so, you might want to move on.

If you wouldn’t be in romantic relationships with someone with one or several of these particular traits, why would you want to be in business with them… or visa versa?

Going from Surface to Solid Relationships

In the past week, I’ve relearned how awkward people can be when it comes to developing real relationships. Whether it’s simple friendships, jv partnerships, or going after a life partner… the goal is to not be a weirdo.

Believe me, I learnt the hard way!

So how do you go from adding a friend on Facebook to making them a good friend, business partner, or building something that could be even more?

Here’s 5 traits of a solid relationship.


Mutual Enjoyment

Here’s the truth. Spend time with people who enjoy your presence. If you feel that you’re having to pry and overly try with the relationship, it’s probably not a good foundation and you should move on.

Don’t be an irritant!



What’s the best way to make sure you’re not an irritant?

Be respectful of the other person.

Forget the golden rule of treating people how you’d want to be treated. Instead, treat people like they would like to be treated.

What’s that mean?

Learn how they want to be interpreted. Find out their story. Be curious and let them be the storyteller. Find out where they went to school and for what. If they didn’t go to school, find out what they’ve learned “the hard way”.

If you’re unclear as to how to read a certain topic with them – don’t feel like you have to assume something – this usually works out negatively if you do. No question is dumb. Just say “I’m not sure how to ask this but…” if you’re completely unsure how to ask something.

Have a problem with them? Let them know. Likewise, if they feel like they have a problem with you, they should come to you about it.

Make a point to get to know someone, but not for manipulative purposes. If they tell you something that’s a secret, don’t tell anyone. If they are hesitant in a certain area, learn how to help bring out the best in them through their own permission.


Mutual Shared Experiences

There’s a reason why military veterans get along as well as they do even if they didn’t know each other prior to them first getting together.

What’s the reason?

They have shared similar experiences.

From day 1, they’re taught to trust each other to be part of a larger organism. When you count on someone to do a certain action which allows you to do your job, then you’re going to care about that other person more. Cause if they get taken out, then you won’t be able to do what you need to do properly.

Sports players are the same way.

When talking about developing a winning football team, Vince Lombardi said, “The difference between mediocrity and greatness is the feeling these guys have for each other.”

It makes sense. If the line doesn’t do their job and block, then the ball handlers can’t do their jobs. The result is that the ball doesn’t go anywhere.



For the above teams to win, that caring feeling needs to be mutual between teammates – whether on a battlefield with bullets… or on the gridiron.

Right here is how you can tell if a relationship is worth your time to develop. If you feel like everything is running smoothly, then everything is fine.

However, if you feel that the other person is getting a better deal, bring it up with them. If they don’t acknowledge it, then it might be time to move onto another relationship.

If you feel like you’re getting a better deal, then it’s your job to make sure that they’re being evenly compensated.



Trust comes over time and is the result of the previous 4 traits humming along just fine. Don’t forget that intentions don’t really matter when it comes to other people.

It’s all about actions.

When your actions match your words, that’s how you build trust.

Just make sure that those actions are positive and truly helpful to the other party!


Action Steps

As you might have realize, relationships are something that I take seriously. There was a time when I wasn’t super great at them – so I made it a point to go out of my way to learn about them. If you want to learn more about building great relationships, I’d check out the book by John Maxwell and Les Parrott 25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks

As you probably know, I’m a big fan of John’s and he has ton’s on this topic!

Basics of The Junto- An Online and In Person Mega Mastermind Group

Well, guys, it’s official! The new Facebook group is up and going! I present to you… 

mastermind group


I’m really excited to bring you guys’ this joint effort.

It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile but I just didn’t have the pieces in place to be able to get it done.

Now I do.

And by pushing the podcast to a every two week effort seems like it’s going to really pay off. I feel that I’m going to be much more productive in my own business as well as being able to help you awesome folks out a bit more.

Since last week, I’ve received a few questions about what the group itself. I wanted to take a little bit of time to answer some of those questions.

So this post is all for you prospective members.

What the Junto is all about – including what it is and what it isn’t.

What is this version of the Junto?

Basic Rules:

I’ve had some questions about how closely I’m going to be following Ben Franklin’s Junto. Well, for one, this group is going to be open to anyone – they just need to meet certain criteria including:

  • Been on Facebook for more than a year.
  • Answers the questions to get in the group.
  • Doesn’t post random offers or troll when they’re in.


The Junto is a branding channel, first and foremost. In my book, branding is all about making people aware that you exist. Marketing is letting people know you have something to offer. (And since we’re on the subject, sales is about making a transaction. Don’t get the three confused.)

Just to make it absolutely clear – marketing is usually not permitted (unless given permission to do so). But you’re totally allowed to offer people value as much as you want.

You can express that value in written, audio, or video form. Totally up to you. Just don’t drop offers.


What’s with All the Logos?

So here’s the awesome thing, guys. I’m not the only “star” of this group. I am simply the moderator and the pot stirrer. As I’ve done in the past with New Inceptions, Junto has various contributors itself – all with their own focuses in helping people in the offline community.

  • Coffe – Help people understand about finances and getting them out of debt.
  • Amplify – Make great events around the city.
  • Collaborate 317 – A place for people to come together for an event, a class, or simply to engage with other like minded individuals.
  • Ascension – A means for patriots AND veterans to get training so that they can climb up in their career – whether in the traditional 9 to 5 world OR as an entrepreneur.


All four of these companies are looking to expand their reach outside of Indianapolis. They want to empower others around the world and possibly do what they’re already doing.

Being part of this group will allow them to do that.

If your town doesn’t have one of these groups and you think it might be a great addition to your community, I’m sure the founders would love to help you put a chapter in your area!


Are we Going to Use the Junto’s Original Questions?

Yes and no. We are going to use them. It’s my goal to post at least a tip and a question as often as possible. Hopefully daily as I’m always learning and need to write some of this stuff down.

As you might have seen, the original questions ARE pretty antiquated. So I’ll need to update them a bit to post in the group.

For example, question 13 goes like this: Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up, whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?”

Today, we’d simply ask, “Do you know of any cool newbie entrepreneurs who need an extra boost that we could highlight and/or encourage?”

I think a lot of these questions are those that many groups don’t ask enough. So be on the lookout for these!


If someone wants to Promote Something, how can they do that?

By going through the proper channels! Lol.

But no, seriously. If you’re contributing regularly to the group and want to promote something, there’s a way to do that. It’s called hop on LIVE with one of us and we’ll highlight who you are and what you’re about. Just as in the podcast, in that conversation you’ll get the opportunity to mention anything you’re excited about and that’d be a good time for YOU to promote your wares.


Action Steps:

So this post is fairly short for a reason. I want you to hop in there and start introducing yourself! Answer the onboarding questions so we can make sure you get connected to the right people.

We’re all in this together, so if you want to know one of the mods a bit better – let me know. I’ll be more than happy to connect you!

Have any other questions? Let me know here or on Facebook.

remembering 9 11

Remembering 9/11: Refocusing on the More Important Things

It’s September 12th again. The day after 9/11. How are you feeling? What’s on the top of your mind? Business plans? Getting out of your day job on time? Lots of things going on, I’m sure.

Let’s slow down a little bit. Let me ask you a question.

Did you have the chance to watch any of the memorial services for 9/11 yesterday? Why or why not?

I did – and here’s what I got to share with you.


Remembering 9/11

Since the World One Trade Center has been finished, I’ve noticed that every year they read the names of the victims of 9/11. They might have been doing it longer than that, but I didn’t realize it because I was too busy. With college and then with work after I graduated.

Why did I watch? I didn’t lose anyone in the tower. Heck, I don’t know if I knew anyone that was affected by it at the time it happened.

So why did I watch? I guess the simple answer is that I wanted to remember. Remember where I was and what was going through our minds at the time.


When I was growing up, before that point, I didn’t know what it was like to be witness of a life changing event.

My mom had always been able to tell me very vividly about her whereabouts for the assassination of JFK. Similarly, she could remember where she was for other “world shattering” events including the Challenger explosion, when she heard of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, and others.

While I’m sure everyone here in the United States can remember where they were at in their lives at that point (if they were alive), I know that not everyone gets the chance to reflect on that day. As mentioned, I didn’t for several years.


Remembering 9/12

For most folks, 9/11 isn’t a holiday. Nor is it a celebration. However, I believe that it needs to be remembered and reflected on annually. Not because of the event itself. But what happened the day after.

Just as Texans and the rest of America drove to aid the victims of recent hurricane Harley and the upcoming storm Irma this past week, so did people on 9/12. Local fire and police departments as well as everyday people from all corners of the country went to go help as much as they could.

The acts of 9/11 made us come together and act as one.


In 2009, Glenn Beck created the 9/12 Project to reflect upon those selfless actions and who we were at that point in history. Because it seemed that we had too easily forgotten those times.

It being Glenn and the polarizing person he was at the time (he has since apologized for his actions during that time), I don’t think he was able to reach those that needed to hear the message.

And, as you can tell from this video, it’s hard to tell if he won any new friends with those that did hear about it.

While I feel that his heart was in the right place, I think the 9/12 Project missed the mark for most people.


The Grocery Store Method of Reasoning

However, he did manage to get my attention. My mom followed him quite a bit – however, I tended to focus more on business type stuff at the time.

Upon hearing this message, though, I did start thinking it was necessary to become more involved in my community. I think it was due to this that I eventually became a member of the Freemasons.

However, not everything he said applied to me, and I think this is where a lot of people have hang-ups in today’s world.

Just because someone says something which doesn’t agree with you, it doesn’t mean that other things that they’re talking about are false or that they’re completely unagreeable.

In fact, most people have more things in common than we don’t have – regardless of where they are in life.

Just as if you were getting groceries, it’s your job to NOT take everything you see at face value. Just because something sounds good, doesn’t mean you should include it in your thought process.

On that same note, simply because something might not agree with you, it doesn’t mean it’s not true or good for you (just like broccoli!).

It’s up to us to see the context of where the message is coming from. And what’s great is that the more Truth we know, the easier it is for us to make a decision based on the context AND message.


Finding Truth in the 9/12 Project – Refocusing on the Important Things

So let’s look real quick on what Glenn said about the 9/12 Project. First, he has 9 key principles that we should follow if we were to be a part of the project. Knowing that he’s a pretty spiritual (and religious) dude, I wasn’t surprised to find references to God.

If we take that into context and actually see what he’s saying AND not take it personal (One of the Four Agreements), what can we pull from his message? What the heck is he really saying?

Let’s take a look.


America is good.

Yeah, I’d say so. I mean, again, after seeing us come together for the victims of recent hurricanes – I think we’re good. Now, the government, on the other hand… that’s another story, but I think Americans are good as a people.


I believe in God and He is the center of my life.

So here’s my take on religion – it’s not for everybody. Most people that it’s not for – they say that religious types don’t practice what they preach. I don’t personally know BAD Christians. Do they exist? Sure. But there’s bad versions of every group out there.

I think this is where most stereotypes come from. But, because they exist doesn’t necessarily make them “normal”.

So let’s talk straight normal person to normal person here.

Perhaps Glenn could have said “I have a core set of principles and I act on those principles on a consistent basis. My life is based on those principles.” to make it a little more all inclusive.

In that frame, I think many of us would agree that we have core principles which we use to define our lives.


I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

Yes, of course. Lying to yourself and others ultimately only screws things up. Truth is pure. While some people might get upset at it, that doesn’t mean it’s any less-true.

Big word of advice – start seeking the Truth. Listen to all sides of the story and make up your own mind – not what one particular media source tells you to think.


The Family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

This is another of those points that could have worded a bit better. Instead, it could have read “My spouse and I care for and are responsible for the actions, values, and beliefs of our family. Not the government.”

This I agree with because I don’t think it’s the government’s job to make things “fair”. I’ve never seen the government build up any one group. I’ve only seen them tear down others when one group is crying the loudest. That’s the opposite of being fair in my book.


If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

Yes. Totally with that.


I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

Totally true. There’s also no guarantee that starting points are the same. And what’s ironic, is that I’ve seen more people go from broke to being wealthy, than I’ve seen middle class becoming wealthy. Gary V is a great example – so are a ton of online business folks – AND people I’ve had on the podcast.


I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

Yes – totally agree with this. See above. But I think it’s also our own responsibility to know when to be charitable. That’s not something that society teaches. In fact, I’d say that it teaches the opposite most of the time. Every day people are inundated with the idea that it’s them vs the World. It indirectly promotes the scarcity mindset – not an abundant one.


It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

Agree. That’s the whole point of protection of free speech and ability to bear arms. While that allows for some very hate filled rhetoric, it also allows for well intentioned speech at the same time. The reason that we can bear arms is that if Washington ever becomes so removed from the people that it’s us against them (or some other apocalyptic situation), then we have the permission of the founders to have our own militias. If you don’t support Americans keeping firearms, then it comes across that you 100% believe the government is never going to turn on you. Which moves onto…


The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

Yes, 100%. Even when it comes to taxes and other “governmental” stuff. We technically should have the power to determine what we’re being taxed. However, Washington thinks they’re better than us, so therefore, they vote things into place that shouldn’t have happened if they were doing their job in the first place.


12 Values of the 9/12 Project

Honestly, all the values that he put in the list are those that Lewis Howes, Tony Robbins, or someone similar (I can get you a long list if you really want one!) would have said helped them get to where they are today – especially if they’re God fearing folks.

So, I’ve made it a point to make sure that I have these values as much as possible. However, there might have been a little bit of tweak on some for better wording.


The 12 Values


After looking at these values, do you believe that anyone who has achieved greatness in their life doesn’t practice them regularly? I mean, when I think of Lewis Howe’s show and the people he’s talked to – all of these words come to mind.


Action Steps

After seeing these principles and values of the 9/12 project, I hope you can understand why I feel I need to respect those that we lost on 9/11. We should also appreciate how we came together to deal with it all. Personally, I feel if I can reconnect to those feelings, it helps keep me anchored to who I see myself as.


Also, it’s especially touching to see some of the kids of these folks read off the victim’s names. Lots of these folks (some near my age) have made their lives better as a contribution to their lost parent, family member, or friend.


I can only think that our true friends and family would want the best for us. And because of that, I think it’s on our shoulders to live up to some certain standards in life. If not those of the 9/12 Project, then something else.

I just think the 9/12 Project is a good place to start. A lot of people can relate to it – even if they don’t care too much for its creator.

What are some key principles and values that you have? Let me know below.

business partnership

A Quick Guide to Forming a Productive Business Partnership

Last week, I got the great news that AMS was finally a licensing company.

The news officially went live on the net via this post on Endurance Sportswire.

We’re licensing our Viking Dash series to a company in California known as Spectrum Sports Management. They are known for doing fun and unique runs. Viking seems like a great match for them!

That said, as a board, we didn’t jump to this decision quickly. We had a list we used to make sure we found exactly who we needed to help further this brand.

Because partnering is no easy task. It needs to be treated with care in who you’re choosing – you have to be particular with whom you’re bringing on or negotiating a contract – such as a license – with.

So in today’s post, we’ll be looking at some of the things you should consider in partnering with others in a new business venture.


Matching Values

One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that when people are building romantic relationships, many people do so with someone they don’t share values with. I know for me, I had a list of 100 some traits and qualities I was looking for when I met and started dating Maria.

She hit on a good number of them. In retrospect, I’m pretty happy I made that list. Thanks LTD for the giving me the idea! 😉

The same thing should be done when looking for a partner in building a business. You need to have a list of qualities that you believe are important in someone who’s essentially going to be another spouse of yours in many ways. Your business is the baby in this situation.

So just like if you were dating, you need to be asking certain questions to find out if you align. However, I wouldn’t go doing it in an office – that just has interview written all over it.

No, instead I’d opt for something informal where you’re just getting to know each other. For me and Maria, we had tons of coffee “dates” where we would just chat and find out more about each other.

Same thing can be done when starting a business.


Ideas for Questions:

“Date” questions for a potential co-founder should get to not only find out about their character, but also their business savvy.

Here’s a few examples that I’d ask when seeing if someone lines up with your believes:

  • What do you want out of a business?
  • What do you like about this particular idea?
  • Where you see this business going?
  • Where do you see your role in 2, 3, or 5 years?
  • How do you find good employees when you’re ready for that step?
  • What are you expectations of an employee?
  • What are you expectations of me?
  • Is there anything that I should know about your family that might cause periodic issues with your ability to help with the business?
  • How do you feel about the business contributing to nonprofit or political causes?


Complementary Skills and Personality

When I was searching for my wife, I knew that I wanted someone that was intelligent but I also knew that this person had to have a complementary skill set.

I know there’s just some things that I have no interest in doing or am simply not good at. I was talking to Albert about this in a recent Ascension Council meeting and mentioned that there are some things that Maria does 100x better than me – or cares about things that I don’t:

  • Making the bed everyday
  • Laundry
  • Tidying up

Albert and I both prefer organized chaos – but that’s because we’re both idea guys. Our wives seem to be more of the executor types.

In a business situation, you need to be looking for this at all different levels – but it’s especially true at the cofounder level.

As John Maxwell says, “Take advantage of your strengths, and hire for your weaknesses”. Well in this case, you’re not hiring – you’re partnering! It’s going to be even more important here.

  • So if you’re broke, you need someone that has money.
  • Are you good at creating? Then you’re going to need a marketer.
  • If you’re good at design, then perhaps your partner needs to be good at writing code.
  • Are you a strong Dominant (D) personality? Then you’re going to need someone who’s supportive. Or if you’re a the Calculative (C) type, you’ll need someone who’s Imaginary (I).

Of course there’s examples out there where having two or more founders have similar skills, it’s not often the case. The more well rounded the leadership is, the better this thing is going to have!


Start with the End in Mind

Earlier I wanted you to make sure you asked questions that were pertaining to the future of the business. The reason for this is that if you do end up doing well with the business, then there might come a time where you’re thinking of an Exit Strategy.

The Exit Strategy needs to be in stone at the beginning. The business you and your partner(s) are building – are you going to hold onto it as a lifestyle building business? Or are you going to build it and sell the right of the business if a bidder comes along with a ton of money?

Or, perhaps another case is that you need money to keep the thing going – you consider starting to sell stocks vs “keeping it in the family”. Are either of you the type that wants the opposite of what the other wants?

This is stuff you want to consider.


Background Check

When Maria and I were dating, she asked me a ton of background check questions. Did I have kids? Was I a convict? Did I have chicken pox? Well… maybe not that last one – but you get the idea!

Anyway, you want to do the same for your future business partner as well.

Find out the answers to these questions:

  • Does the candidate move from project to project without getting anything done?
  • Have they ever owned a business themselves or ever been part of a successful one?
  • Have they ever had financial issues?
  • Do other people get a bad vibe from them?


Just remember that no one is perfect and sometimes troubled pasts make a person that much more committed to what they’re doing now with their life. Sometimes people actually learn from their mistakes. If they have had a spotted background, see what they’ve learned from it.


Take Them for a Test Drive!

Well, not literally, of course. But if you’ve never worked with this person before now, you need to see what they’re like with other projects.

In the dating world, you can continue to date. I know for Maria and I we just felt like we were long lost friends. Really, the only thing we ever have quarrels about are our dogkids and whether or not they were sleeping on the bed recently or not. I imagine that in the future, when we do conflict, it’ll probably be about the kids!

In business, you want to have this trial time as well – even if it’s with friends you’ve had forever.

Start a working relationship and see how things go in smaller projects. Find out if they’re as committed as you’d like. Are they flaky about time? Do they even have the same vision as you? Maybe they’re just too naive about certain things that might drive you crazy?

These issues can mount up over time and you should know about them first before you build something on a larger scale with them!

When you believe it’s time to move to the next level, make sure you get a founders’ partnership agreement. It should include things like:


  • The contribution and obligations to the company of each party
  • How long a party must be with the company to vest in percentages of their promised ownership
  • Whether partners can be fired or bought out and under what conditions
  • What voting percentages are required to validate any of these actions
  • Any other issues unique to the business


If a partner is reluctant to put something as big as this agreement in writing, then there’s a big red flag there.

I mean, it’s like going without a prenuptial agreement in a marriage after you already have a fortune. It just doesn’t make sense!


A Special Note About Friends as Business Partners:

One of the original people involved in AMS was recently in a lawsuit with us. Needless to say, he’s no longer considered a friend after what he did and wasting the time of all parties involved.

The thing is – you can’t predict what’s going to happen down the line.

So here’s a few tips with this.

You need to realize that if you do decide to get in business with friends, that things can potentially go south and the friendship will more than likely go that way too.

Don’t ever go into business with family or friends just because they’re family or friends. Again, make sure you take time to test them out first. Just because you know someone as a friend, doesn’t mean you know them as a business person.

If a friend screws up bad once and promises that they’ll correct their ways, you can give them a second chance – you still like them as a friend. A great way to make sure it doesn’t happen again is to draft a secondary “social” contract with them saying what they’ll do to make up for how they screwed up. Another part of that new contract needs to mention what will happen if they do screw up again. Let them help make it so they believe it’s fair punishment as well.


Action Steps:

If in the future you find yourself negotiating partnerships, make sure you give it some deep thought. A business is a baby and if it has multiple parents, it needs them to work together and not fight about little things all the time or one getting the short end of the stick.

When you have great partnerships from the beginning, anything is possible. However, that said, if you have to carry dead weight – then it’s going to be twice as hard.

Have you had a partnership that worked extremely well or fell apart? Have any questions or comments about this post?

Let me know below!


starting a podcast

Starting a Podcast Case Study: How I Went from Interviewing Friends to Well Known Creators in 50 Sessions

When starting a podcast, many first time podcasters might be thinking somewhere in the back of their minds, “Who am I to start a show? There are so many other people out there who do this better than I do”.

And my response would be something like, “Sure, there are people who make great shows. Chances are your show isn’t going to be as great as theirs from the get go.”

And then I continue…

“However, if you get started, stay the course, and have good guests on, you’ll get there quicker than you might expect.”

At some point in every entrepreneur’s career, there comes times of doubt, delay, and division. But there are ways of tackling those head on.

If you’re serious about making a great show, one thing that will definitely help boost your popularity is having recognized people on your show as guests.

Today I’m going to share with you how I went from interviewing friends to interviewing recognized experts in their field that will give you credibility as you build your show.


How I Used the New Craft Practitioner Approach to Get Well Known Guests

As you can see below, I have an upward climb in listenership since I started the show in September of 2015.

Here’s a current snapshot of my show’s growth over its existence. I’m proud to say that there is some pretty normal growth there.

Podcast Growth (May 2017)

Growth of Angles of Lattitude Podcast as of May 2017

There have been 4 guests that have been on that have had the most attraction: Ashley Zahabian, Drew Badger, Cam Adair, and Dane Maxwell. All four of those episodes continue to perform well.

Also, from those interviews, I’ve been able to land interviews with other guests, and even have testimonials from those guests.

cam adair


ashley zahabian

Both of these have been vital in helping my podcast and brand grow.

But – here’s the thing.

You can do the same thing for your show… even if you don’t know these people yet.


Four Steps to Get Great Guests

There are four options a New Craft Practitioner can use to get great guests on their podcast.

  1. Start with what you Have
  2. Add Value & Add-a-Friend
  3. Ask a Friend for an Introduction
  4. Just Be Friendly

The reason I call this approach the New Craft Practitioner Approach is because these are options that anyone who is starting a new craft can utilize. They’re just poking around and seeing what opens up their new path.

In this case, your new craft is podcasting. And, as a practitioner, while you’re not an expert, you’re highly engaged in learning the craft and experimenting to see what works best for you.

Start with what You Have

At the beginning, you just have to take action. Some call it taking dumb action.

Just get started.

But if you want an idea of what you could do, find a podcast (or better yet, a couple) you want to emulate and use it as a framework. What do they do for the actual conversation part of the show, what kind of artwork does it have (if any) and what kind of guests does it have?

You’ll need to create your own versions of those things.

Do you want to have co-hosts?

I did. (But I soon had to change how many due to scheduling headaches.) For me, I knew I had to start with doing sessions with people I already knew. I knew both Jon Ridge and Brian from all my years in school. And Trin was one of the first people I met in Fizzle when I started my new journey of building New Inceptions.

If you do start with a team, this might be the kind of group that you start with as well. Like friends from high school, don’t be upset if they eventually go their different ways.

Life happens to all of us and it’s just part of growing.


Add Value to New Friends:

Just like I went different ways with the people I went to high school with, I knew that for me to grow my show, I had to continue to meet more and more people.

Easiest way to do that? Hop on Facebook and start adding friends.

There’s a good way to do that and a not so great way. The not so great way is just adding random people by clicking “add friend”. I can’t tell you how many people who have sent me a friend request without sending at least a message introducing themselves. Don’t be That Guy.

Instead, make your mission one where you “add value”.

Now, I know this phrase is used around on the net pretty regularly and with very little substance.

So let’s try and define it.

Well, to me, adding value basically means helping people out with their questions and problems through Facebook groups (1 – 999 members) and mega groups (1000+).

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the groups that I like to visit.

I can add value to the folks in all of these groups – just by answering questions where I can.

And that’s also why I’m focused on just 6 – because if you have many more, you’re going to be stuck answering questions all day as opposed to what you should be doing in building your business.

After a few engagements back and forth, it’s totally fine to add people as friends on Facebook.

I mean, there’s a reason why there’s a limit of 5000 friends!!

Eventually, with that new friend – ask them if they want to be on the show. You’d be surprised how easy it is to approach people this way.

I used this method to land Cam and Drew on the show.


Ask a Friend for an Intro

If one of these friends you have is friends with someone you’d like to have on a show, see if they can make an introduction.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, this is how I landed the interview with Dane. Daniel and I were just discussing life and had a little bit of one on one with him and it just came to me to have Daniel ask.

He did and voila – we booked a date to do Dane’s first interview as a musician.

However, that said, don’t go “making friends” with people just so you can use them to connect with “higher” people. Not only will that person feel like you used them, but you might be eliminating any further connections you might get with them.

Through Cam, I’ve landed about 4 different interviews. One of which was Ginger, who later became a co-host of the show.


Just Be Friendly

Another way to invite folks on the show from Facebook is to simply send them a cold message and see if they’d be interested in coming on.

This worked for me when I invited Ashley on the show. Here’s the messages I sent her:

ashley zahabian chat

Sometimes you just have to reach out!

Something to note is that I had to follow up with that initial email a couple of times. Actually took about a month to get her booked and on the show after all was said and done. I had to ask her what her email was to make sure it was going through. Even after that, I had to keep nudging her assistant.

So be patient and don’t be afraid to communicate.


Action Steps:

You can see how the snowball just starts to roll.

I hope you can see yourself using this approach as you’re beginning.

Yes, it takes hard work and especially TIME to create something great.

But with this approach you now have a method to start lining up those future guests ahead of time. Also using this approach, while slower than using guest finding services, is a foolproof way of building your following as well as your credibility. You’re not buying fake credibility here. You’re actually making it yourself from scratch!

Remember, this approach can be used in building other entrepreneurial skills. Just remember to start with what you got

If you’d like to tap into my ever growing network, I’d love to have you part of it.

Join us at the AoL Networking Group on Facebook here and introduce yourself to the group!



As of this post, Ashley is officially a TEDx speaker.

Check it out her presentation below and don’t forget to check out her AoL interview!