September 1, 2014

BrandingBlog Radio: Ari Meisel of LessDoing.com

This week I got to spend about a half hour interviewing Ari Meisel. We connected a couple weeks ago when I found his “Less Doing” productivity blog and he asked me to be a guest on his podcast to discuss Shortcut Blogging and how we are making it easier for CEOs to blog.

I was fascinated with his approach to productivity and how it sprang from his battle with Crohn’s disease. His victory over his disease and how he approached the battle is the basis of Ari Meisel’s TEDx talk from May, 2011.

In this podcast, Ari tells his story and shares some of his favorite and most effective productivity tools. He is an advocate of doing away with your To Do List and using systems that simply make your tasks appear at the moment you need to work on them. He is also a big advocate of using virtual assistants to take your focus off of your more mundane tasks. Pretty cool stuff.

All of the links we mentioned can be found on Ari’s site in the description of his Achievement Architecture coaching program.

I really like his approach and enjoyed talking about all of these geeky tools with him.

BrandingBlog Radio: Shawn Phillips of Full Strength

Confession: I never feel more out of my element than when I’m hanging out with athletes.

I met Shawn Phillips a few years ago and have slowly gotten to know him a bit in the last 6 months. I’m one of those “unfit” clueless people who never heard of his brother Bill’s book “Body for Life” back when it was changing the world. I managed to be totally clueless while they grew their EAS supplement company and sold it. I

Yep, that was me, sitting on my ass watching TV while Shawn was changing the shape of the world.

So, why am I interviewing Shawn? Hey, it’s never too late to start paying attention to getting stronger and eating better and growing older with a bit of grace. Is it?

It’s an admittedly awkward interview on my part. It’s half confession, half therapy session.

Shawn’s passion is men’s health in those “middle” years. We’re not young guys any more and we’re not old-timers.

I like his idea of sustainable fitness. I like his Full Strength protein shakes. I like Shawn’s passion for education and his concern for the state of men’s health.

Here’s a chart from his book, Strength For Life, that will help you understand the phases of fitness that he and I discussed. I hope you enjoy the interview.

Soundbites: Fire Fast, Hire Slow

This is age old advice in management circles.

Kinda funny how hard it is to do in practice. And it’s one of those topics where you look at business owners and managers and you think, “They really should take this advice.” I really want to talk about the “fire fast” but I’ll just touch briefly on the hire slow, because there are loads and loads of resources on how to hire people. Just remember that the worst thing you can do is hire the first person through the door that you think could probably learn to do the job. [Read more...]

BrandingBlog Radio: Year-End Tax Advice from Adrian Van Zelfden

I’ve been getting Adrian Van Zelfden’s “Tidbits in Time” emails for several years. He’s a huge history buff and he enjoys a historical almanac to the point that he started sending out a monthly missive to share his celebration of what happened when. He started by sending it to his friends. None of that opt-in stuff, just a “hey, you might enjoy this as much as I do” kind of spirit. And, when you get an email, any email, from the smartest CPA/Lawyer around, what do you do? You open it and read it.

For his friends who also happen to own businesses, he started putting a section at the end “For Business Owners Only.”

The December issue had a 12-page, single-spaced PDF attached to it full of Adrian’s best Year-End advice to business owners. As I skimmed and scanned it, I knew that this was information that would be helpful to a lot of my readers, so I got Adrian to join me for conversation and this podcast is the result.

If you’d simply like to get to know Adrian, you could bail out after 15 minutes or so when we start to get our hands dirty in the numbers.

If you’d like a copy of his checklist, go to Adrian Van Zelfden’s Facebook Page, Tidbits in Time and click on the “Join My List” link in the left column. He’s also given me permission to send it out, so if you join my list you’ll also get a copy. A third option is to go to vanzelfden.com and shoot him an email. You’ll get a good sense of his dry humor if you google the latin phrase in the header of that page.

So…how good is he?

In 30 years of helping clients with taxes and going with them to countless IRS audits, he’s often walked out with the IRS owing his clients money. More importantly, he’s never lost a dime of his client’s money in an audit. That is, his record is perfect. He’s never had a worse outcome than having the IRS say, “Yep, this tax return is just fine. No changes.” Damn. That’s good.

I like doing interviews that get me a bit out of my comfort zone. Finances, taxes, government…you get the idea. For an example, if you haven’t listened to my interview with Pamela Yellen, you missed out on her surefire way to grow your cash without exposing yourself to risk. And now, I hope you enjoy Adrian and that you find his timely advice worthwhile as you seek to keep more of that hard-earned money for yourself while staying out of trouble with the IRS.

BrandingBlog Radio: Veteran’s Day Guest – Joe Perez

Joe Perez makes me proud to be an American. I’ve known Joe for about 6 years. We first met at an event at Wizard Academy. I always knew him as the operator of a landscape architecture company in San Antonio. We’d run into each other now and then, when we were both in Austin. It wasn’t until we attended the Awesome Sauce class this August that I found out about his military adventures and his new company.

Turns out Joe spent the last days of the Cold War chasing Soviet agents across Europe. He was in Berlin when the wall came down. When I mentioned that his resume read like a character in a Tom Clancy novel, he said, “funny you should mention that,” and proceeded to tell the story of how his unit was involved in Clancy’s research for Clear and Present Danger. Wow. [Read more...]