Maura Sweeney March 6th 2019


Hi everyone, no questions and answers this week as Rebel was enjoying Mardi Gras and we pre-recorded this episode.

I know you will love it.

Maura Sweeney was a wonderful guest on the March 6th, 2019 show.  She is inspirational in how she helps people change and live an inspired life.

It is not a title that makes a leader, it is people that believe that being human and creative matters and that profit, people and purpose can co-exist.


Ira Bowman February 27th, 2019




Ira Bowman is an amazing man.  As he said on the show, he wants to live his life to the fullest, be a positive influence along the way and help people where he can.

Ira is the founder of #ProjectHelpYouGrow and 9-5 Monday to Friday he helps his clients, in the greater San Francisco area, succeed through large format printing.

Ira can be reached at:




You are saying we need to put work into things?

In today’s episode, I talked about being prepared.  The more prepared you are going into any meeting, with anyone, the more valuable you become.  You become someone who is interesting because you are interested in the person you are meeting with.

Doing the research helps things go better in the beginning?

Absolutely.  If you walk into the meeting, having done your research, you know what questions to ask and to whom. Never assume, even if you have done a lot of research on a person or company, that you know everything.  What doing the research does is allow you to ask intelligent questions to find out if your assumptions are actually correct and help you find out how you can help the person across the table.

How much time do you need to put into this beforehand research?

This really depends on what you have to gain.  If you are going after a million dollar, or multi-million dollar contract, you probably can never do enough research. If you are going in to meet someone for the first time and just doing an initial discovery call, then an hour’s worth of research may suffice.

What things do we need to know about our clients?

This really depends on what your objectives are.  I work with my clients to help them communicate more effectively and provide workshops on personal branding for sales and leadership teams.  It is in my best interest to know as much about the business that I am meeting with.

Would that really be a compliment to be known as a born salesman?

Some people use this as a backhanded compliment.  Telling someone that they are a natural salesperson is an insult that some people use because they have never encountered professional salespeople before.  Sales does not have to have a slimy or negative connotation.

Remember, everything is sold!

Great salespeople are those who can empathize, understand a client’s needs and works with them to achieve their goals.

How can you get hired to sell something you don’t know what it is?

I am a believer that sales is sales and product knowledge (for the most part) is two weeks.  People can learn enough about almost any product to be able to sell it if they are a great salesperson.  If they understand how to develop influence through trust and build relationships, anything can be sold.

What I am getting out of this is we should sell from the buyers’ point of view?

You should always sell from a buyer’s point of view.  People do not care about your problems or the fact that you need to make a sale to feed your kids, they care about their problems and if you can fix them.

What is a digital nomad?

Taylor Grant February 20th 2019

Taylor Grant is a passionate advocate for his clients.  As he says in the interview Bellator is Latin for Warrior and that is exactly what he is. As a Public Adjuster, He works on behalf of commercial and residential owners against insurance companies to make sure that the amount paid out is fair and represent that actual damage done.

Listen on iHeartRadio


How do we keep employees?

We keep employees by not treating them like interchangeable cogs in the system.  If companies took the time to think of employees as their most valuable resource and the best marketers of their brands, there would be a huge shift in employee loyalty.  When employees understand why the company does what it does and how they individually add value and help achieve objectives, they are more willing to work towards those objectives because they feel needed and valued.

Investing in training of staff is the number one thing you can do to differentiate your business and aid in its long term success.

Why do we buy insurance?

We buy insurance because of the unknown, the uncertainty and our desire to protect what we have taken a lifetime to acquire from being taken away from us in an instant.

Take the time to talk to your insurance broker.  If you do not trust them and feel that they care about you and want to help you understand your policy and make sure you are covered properly, go find another.

It is the role of the insurance industry to protect, but also to inform us what we are covered for, what we are not and help us through the process when things go wrong.

Take the time to do it right.

Riz Kermalli February 13th, 2019

Riz Kermalli joins us from Toronto on the February 13th, 2019 show.  We talk about innovation in logistics and how to create a superior customer experience.

Eshipper is the Trivago of the shipping world.

You can find this week’s show on IHEART RADIO HERE!

Audience Questions:

But is it a matter of opinion what people think things look like?

This is referring to a comment that I made about making sure that clients fully understand how something will look before going to print.  It is about having a proper proofing stage where customers are shown, digitally, how something should look when printed.  What I stressed is that it is important to point out any concerns that may happen at this stage to a client, like letters filling in, so that the client can decide if they are okay with this, before it is printed and you have an unhappy client that was not advised before it was too late to fix things.

So you are saying we need to see what works for our business?

Every business needs to determine what works for them.  There is no right or wrong answer, just what is right or wrong for you and it is important to understand that your clients feel the same way.  They have certain things that they want and if you cannot understand what their needs, wants or desires are, it is almost impossible to truly help them.

You are saying don’t wear too many hats in the business?

What I meant is that we are all experts in certain things and not in others. The sooner we can understand what we are good at, what we are not and find partners who can do the work we are not good at, the sooner we can focus on helping our clients.  The money that you will spend in outsourcing will pay dividends many times over because you can now concentrate on your strengths instead.

Bobby Umar February 6th, 2019


Bobby Umar is a five-time TEDx speaker who adds value to audiences worldwide. His passion is to help people understand their personal brand and the value that they bring to others.

We spent the time today talking about how to become a TEDx speaker and what the things are you did not know you did not know.

You can listen to the show on IHEART RADIO HERE.


What business takes you on so many travels?

The three things that I focus on are consulting, workshops and keynote addresses designed to help businesses and individual departments within them, to understand how to create influence through trust.

It is about understanding what you do, why you do it, who you do it for, why those people should care about you and how to communicate all of that to them effectively.

Right now, my focus in on North American clients, but I am available to work with people wherever they need me either live or through Zoom.

Contact me HERE to schedule a free meeting to talk about your needs.

I will be announcing new boot camps over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, please click on the image below and contact me to find out if my new mastermind will fulfill your needs.

Does your focus shift as we go through life?

Your focus should always change as you gain different experiences and move through life. We are a culmination of our experiences, lessons learned and our values. What I valued at twenty is not what I value at nearly fifty and that is okay.

In other words be your own critic?

Always be a critic but in a positive way. Beating yourself down and thinking less of your yourself helps no one. However, evaluating what your strengths are, and what they are not, and fixing what you can, and getting help with what you cannot, makes us all better and allows us to serve our audiences better.

Is “how can I be better” be a question we should ask our selves?

Absolutely.  This is how we all get better at what we do. If we take the time to understand that there might be a better way of doing something or a different way of approaching a problem, we are on a path to change for the better.

Never assume you know everything and that your point of view is correct for everyone. Your beliefs are yours and you need to evaluate them, but if they are things you have wrestled with and still believe, they are yours and they are valid for you.  It does not mean everyone will think the same way, or even agree with you, but that does not make you wrong, it just means you have a different point of view.  Embrace yours, but always be willing to listen to others with an open mind, it is amazing what you might learn.

James Komenda January 30th 2019

James Komenda joins me on the mic on January 30th, 2019.  James is the owner of This Free Space. A co-working space designed for the solopreneur and startup community that wants to get away from their kitchen table, can’t sit in a coffee shop all day long and not ready for the WeWork’s of the world.  He combines community, engagement and lower cost working space utilizing space that is not used normally during office hours.



How can people give both good customer service and customer experience?

You can give your customers both great service and experience by innovating from the customer backward.   By understanding what their needs, wants and desires are and what problems they are having, and then solving them.  Nothing beat asking a customer how you can help them and then drilling down to talk about specifics.

But Walmart is doing well in business. How do they keep going?

Walmart has changed their marketing and brand position over the years. They are now more focused on providing you a one-stop shopping experience at a reasonable price that always being the cheapest price in the market.  Yes, price is a differentiator for them, however, it is not their only differentiator.  They work hard to be able to provide an experience where people want to come shop with them both online and in person.  They want their customers to think of them for a wide variety of items, therefore making them a place to get all your shopping done in one place simply and easily.

What is the best way to face challenges?

Head on! By trying to avoid or ignore issues, they get larger, less manageable and small issues become large quite quickly. Own the issue, talk to the people involved and figure out quickly how you can make things right.  Saying sorry does not mean you are 100% at fault, it just means that you care and that you are willing to work to make things better.

What was that company?


Can you buy into the WeWork franchise?

Here is an answer from Quora. ..  the short answer is NO:-)

So you took the things they said and fixed it?

Yes, James looked at where the stress points were both for the customers he wished to served and the restauranteurs and devised a solution that helped them both be more efficient and productive.  A win-win, which is what everyone is aiming for in business.

Mark LeBusque January 23rd, 2019

Mark LeBusque is the Human Manager.  He believes that only through focusing on happiness first, engagement second and profitability third can companies truly thrive. It is our people who make our brands great and Mark has proven that by focusing on humanity within the workforce, profitability naturally follows.


Questions from the Audience:

What cities are we talking?

This question was in regards to the Branding Bootcamp series that I am wanting to take across North America.  My goal is to bring 6-8 companies together for an intensive weekend where we explore who they are, what they do, who their audience really is, why these people should care about them and how to communicate value effectively.

The first day will be about diving into these questions, the second day is about each organization presenting and feedback being provided.

If you would like to have this weekend for your organization we can do this privately as well.

Please contact me directly to discuss this in detail.


How do you know where your product will work?

The best way to know if your product or service is going to be valuable is to ask people.  I suggest either asking people blindly on the street over a period of time if your product is assumed to have a wide, commercial appeal.  However, if your product or service is niche, I would suggest going to a few companies that are potential clients, with just a prototype or concept, explain to them that you are not selling to them, but instead looking for their opinion as to the viability of your product to solve problems you assume they have. Hopefully, these people will give you an honest opinion about what they like, what they do not like, what challenges they perceive and how valuable your solution may be to solving their problem.

Can everyone add value?

YES.  In my book, Powerful Personal Brands, I talk that everyone is valuable to someone, it is just about understanding to whom and why.  We all have value to give people and we all have problems we can help people solve.  It is up to us to understand what those problems are and communicate how we can effectively help them solve them.

Time management plays a big part.

Time management is a key factor in greater productivity.  It is helping people to understand the difference between being productive and being busy.  Just because we are busy, does not mean that we are solving issues or moving the needle.  Most great leaders block time out of their schedule just to think and read each and every week.  Deep work, not busy work.

The grass is not always greener.

Most of the time, it really is not.  Every company has its good points and bad.  It is realizing how to work best within your company so that others understand your value and help you achieve your goals.  It is about effectively communicating what you want and need in a professional and compelling way.

Why don’t companies think about asking the employees how they think things would work better?

Great companies do.  Great leaders have a pulse on what is actually going on in the day to day operations of the companies they lead and do not rely on watered down reports to tell them what is actually happening.  It is imperative for senior management to talk to people who actually are doing the jobs and find out from them what is working and what is not. Without asking those questions and taking the time to understand, how can decisions be made that affect the direction of the company as a whole?

Adam Greenberg January 16th, 2019

Adam Greenberg shares the mic with me on the January 16th, 2019 show.  Adam is inspiring, not only for the work he does at, but also for the charity work he does to make sure that he can provide an opportunity to those less fortunate.

Have a listen and if you are motivated to, have a look at his charity and see how you can help him help others.

Questions from the audience:

How can we help others do this?

We can help others understand their value by asking a series of simple questions.  What do you do? Why do you do it? Who do you do it for? Why should they care about you?  What makes me different from my competition?

The more we can openly and honestly answer these questions, the closer we are to being able to communicate our true value to those who will listen, understand, and engage.

Do we need to think this way in business?

We absolutely do!  If we do not think about our customers first and foremost, what their issues are and how we can honestly solve them, all we are is another low cost, commodity solution that can be replaced by someone else at any time.

What if we can’t solve the problems of others?

Then they are not your true customers.  If we cannot solve a problem for our customers, then it is outside our area of expertise and that is ok.  We cannot solve every problem for all people. . .  that is unrealistic.  However, if we can point them in the right direction, or better off, introduce them to someone who can solve that particular issue, they will remember this and either refer others to us or come back when you have a problem that you can solve.

What audience do we appeal to and how do we know who they are?

Every single company needs to find this out for themselves.  It is a journey that we take our clients on, asking them hard questions and giving them time to reflect.  It is about taking the time to honestly figure out what your value is, what problems you can solve and then going out to look for people or companies who already have those problems.

Karin Tischler – January 9th, 2019

Karin Tishler from Emily’s Path joins me on the air January 9, 2019, to talk about Returnships and how to bring people who have been out of the workforce, raising a family, for a number of years back into the workforce successfully and productively.

You can contact and look at the work of mentioned in the broadcast

Click on the image below to be taken to IHEART RADIO to listen

The biggest question that came out of this is, does this work.

Does bringing women who have been out of the workforce for a number of years, back to positions of responsibility work?

The answer is when done correctly, YES!

These women are far more motivated to succeed within the positions they are in, work more diligently, are more loyal to companies and better champions of the brand.

The trick is supporting their re-entry in a way that allows them to be successful and integrate fully.

It takes planning, communication, re-training of some technical skills, and support, but these employees will be there much longer and provide a much higher ROI in the long term when the right processes are in place.

Pat West – January 2nd, 2019

It was a pleasure having Pat West of Hedgequote as my guest on the January 2nd, 2019 show.

We talked about how he has developed a concierge service for the insurance industry to help people reach the right agent for their specific needs.

Pat works to make sure that the people he connects you to are knowledgeable about your industry, professional and geographically convenient.  He takes the time to vet all of his agents to make sure that the people he connects you with provide you with the knowledge and experience you need.

Click on the image below to be taken to IHEART Radio and listen to our discussion.

During the show, people asked a series of questions that I thought I would take the time to answer here:

#1   Lots of people talk about all of this brand stuff. Is this all new or was it called something else beforehand?

Branding is nothing new.  It has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Branding is in essence what people think and say about you when you are not in the room. It is what you as a person or you as a business stand for. What you believe and what you are known for.  Your brand tells a story about why people should care about you and why they should want to engage with you.

Now a logo (the image attached to a brand) is just a placeholder. It is a reminder of the brand used for reach and recall. Keeping the logo consistent provides a constant reminder of the brand and what it is about.  Think of the Nike “Swoosh’ or MacDonald’s “Golden Arches”.  Neither the swoosh or the arches are the brand but they remind you that Nike is about striving for excellence and that the arches are about value-based meals served consistently and at a fair price worldwide.

Those are the pillars that those companies stand on and are their brands.

#2 What do they mean when saying vetting?

Vetting is the process of making sure something is what others say it is.  It is verifying that what is being said is true and accurate.

#3  So we need to ask why it cost the price?

Yes, in reference to the interview, you should always ask why something costs what it costs to determine if you are getting fair value for product or services rendered.  People should be able to tell you why something is more expensive and it is up to you to determine if you find that reason valuable enough to pay extra for it.

For instance, when I provide consulting, workshops and keynote addresses, I am never the cheapest.  People can always find someone who will provide services at a lower cost than me.  However, those people probably do not have the years of experience or range of knowledge that I have.  They may deliver a canned presentation that has little to do with the actual needs of your people, while I take the time to interview people ahead of time, understand needs and objectives and then develop custom content that is relevant and gives those receiving it the tools they need to succeed.

It is not about price, it is about value perceived by those consuming the product or service that ultimately matters.  Are you being taken care of and is your problem being solved to your satisfaction?

#4   Does this work just for the insurance industry?

I am not exactly what “this” means in the context of the interview, but most skills and concepts that I discuss with my guests are transferable from industry to industry.  If whoever asked this would like to contact me directly at, I would be happy to discuss it further.

#5  How do you know if you have given people value?

Great question!  I personally know that I have given people value when they either refer me to other people or when they come back as clients over and over again.  A hearty thank you is always a good sign and people clapping at the end of my keynote does not hurt, but to really know that I have added value usually means that I have been referred to someone they know and like.