Paper Napkin Wisdom - Podcast And Blog For Entrepreneurs, Leaders And Difference-makers



I've asked 1000s of the worlds top Entrepreneurs, Leaders, and Difference-Makers to share with me their most important pearl of wisdom on a simple paper napkin. Then I ask them to have a conversation about why they shared that Paper Napkin Wisdom with me and what it meant to them and for them in their life.Visit for full show notes and archives.Learn their exceptional Stories of Drive, Impact, Balance and Leadership shared by CEOs, founders, authors, speakers, mentors, and teachers. They share successes and failures alike, paying forward their learning experiences to all of us.


  • EP 172: Live an Extraordinary Life, So That Others Will – John DiJulius (founder, entrepreneur, author)

    27/06/2018 Duración: 47min

    Best-selling author, world renowned customer service expert, founder of the DiJulius Group, business success – John DiJulius III has tapped into something special. On this podcast, John discusses applying his methodology beyond business, and why his life purpose is to “live an extraordinary life, so that others will.” Stating your purpose isn’t enough. You have to deliver what you say and what you declare happen. “We all have seeds of potential,” John asserts, “and the seeds of potential that we don’t grow to their fullest potential...cheats all the people that are dependent on us.” Many people just say that they want to live an extraordinary life, but they don’t do the things that can get them there. John reveals why he tells his employees, “I don’t want your best…,” while sharing inspirational tips and perspectives. “When each of us chose to be...a leader, we gave up the right to make excuses.” Their best is not needed. The only thing that is needed from an individual is to make a difference. For John, his

  • LBS 6: Great Leaders Set High Expectations - Mandy Burage

    20/06/2018 Duración: 32min

    “Great leaders set high expectations for their teams, but even higher expectations for themselves,” says Mandy Burage, Director of Operations at Petra Coach. She explains that through the course of her childhood and early career, she encountered many personal and professional disappointments stemming from the fact that she set very high expectations for herself, while others did not set the same expectations for themselves, and as a result, team successes were adversely impacted. Later, Mandy realized that when leaders, especially entrepreneurs, set high expectations for the team, and even higher goals for themselves, it leads to success. “When recruiting and hiring, I look for team players who possess motivation and high expectations,” says Mandy. “However, they also must be self-starters who follow through on tasks without needing to be ‘managed’ constantly. If a team member can’t fulfill their role independently, it slows the progress of every team member and hinders overall success.” Mandy also notes that

  • TA 30: Catch Yourself

    16/06/2018 Duración: 03min

    How are you doing on your goals for the year? Your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you even remember what they were? So many times we’re hard on ourselves for the early misses. We say we’re going to eat low or no carbs, three weeks in we’ve eaten some delicious pastry, fries, or even cake and abandon ship. We say we’re going to work out every morning, wake up earlier, go to sleep earlier, read more, watch less TV, connect more … whatever. Whatever it is, it’s important enough to declare and make a goal around, but behavior change is harder than that. It can take HUNDREDS of days to break a habit that you’ve had for many years. So here’s an idea – celebrate NOTICING that you’ve repeated the habit you want to change. Smile and give yourself a pat on the back for noticing that you’re repeating it and change then. Don’t beat yourself up … don’t get down on yourself. Celebrate catching yourself doing something you wanted to change and change it.  Sometimes you have to celebrate getting it wrong so that you can create t

  • EP 171: The Future Is Female – Carey Anne Nadeau (entrepreneur, founder)

    13/06/2018 Duración: 34min

    The goal of Carey Anne Nadeau, founder of Open Data Nation, is to “bring expertise in open data and data science to bear on the most pressing urban issues.” What compelled her to start the company was that she “wanted something to exist that just didn’t exist.” She was frustrated, dissatisfied, and complaining. The industry tended to be a “boys’ club,” and she experienced this firsthand when she was getting paid significantly less than a male peer. “The structures that already existed were not supportive to my growth,” she says. When told by a friend she should just “do it herself” she found the inspiration to start her own business. She chose to focus on using data science for societal benefit – to improve health and safety in cities – and become a female role model. At one point, her entire company was female. This did not occur intentionally, but because it was mostly women who were motivated to do data statistics for the betterment of our society. Hence the title, “the future is female.” Carey Anne sees “

  • TA 29: Kindness is a Rare Leadership Skill

    09/06/2018 Duración: 04min

    A client is calling and they want a discount because something went wrong. An employee is missing on targets and results are slipping, they need to be realigned. The bank just called and a supplier took payment of a delivery early via automated transfer and there’s a cash crunch. As a leader things come at us from all directions all the time – but how do we cope? Well, usually we need a little help to resolve all of these … sometimes from the other party. We can’t get their help with a closed fist – with a fight. Sure, sometimes we can beat them into submission. We can convince the customer that no – no discount that’s the way it is. We can levy consequences on our employees and hold them accountable, force them to do better. We can scream at the bank, or the supplier. Or … we can do the uncommon thing and be kind. Being kind opens the door to handling challenges from a position of opportunity, with an open hand … also allows people around you to help. Leverage is all about getting people to help you – especi

  • EP 170: Mistakes: The Learning Process - Damion Lupo (entrepreneur, founder, author)

    06/06/2018 Duración: 33min

    On this episode of Paper Napkin Wisdom, entrepreneur and author Damion Lupo makes his case for the gift of errors, “Mistakes are the universe gifting us wisdom, wrapped up inside the struggles in life.”  Damion further explains that throughout our lives, we make mistakes, and as we do, we are taught that mistakes are bad. As a result, we revere people, who we believe, do not err or who are perfect at what they do. In truth, perfection is a farce, a fabrication of society. To understand the depth of knowledge, and succeed in any endeavor, mistakes must be made and overcome. “If you want to succeed, don’t make mistakes, and don’t challenge authority; go with what you’re told to do.” Damion notes that this philosophy teaches people to become robots and puppets. Those who truly succeed are the ones think for themselves, who make mistakes, and who are willing to venture into the dark and learn from that void. From the corporate and entrepreneur point of view, Damion further discusses that people don’t always ackno

  • TA 28: Bring the Right Protection

    02/06/2018 Duración: 03min

    Life and leadership is a contact sport. You need to make contact with people every day as a leader and in life. There’s no avoiding it. So how do you build protection for the energy vampires that surround us? They are every where now. More and more. In the sea of all of that – remember that you need to bring protection with you. But where do you get it? How does that start? It’s starts when you wake up in the morning. Remember your bedroom is a no-cellphone zone. No electronics and blinky shiny lights to move you to the danger zone. Start by thinking great thoughts – better yet, write them down. But start somewhere … and thinking about the great day that could be is a good step in the right direction. Then, think about your intention for the day. Who do you want to … need to … show up as today? What can you give to the people around you via energy and intent? Set that mindset up with visualization, repetition. Think, write, and FEEL gratitude in the morning – let yourself feel the momentum that will create. U

  • EP 169: Generative Relationship-Building for Entrepreneurs - Peter Mellen (entrepreneur)

    30/05/2018 Duración: 42min

    The Johari window was created by two psychologists in the mid-1950s as a tool for personal, group, and relationship development. Peter Mellen uses the Johari window as the framework for discussing how individuals and groups act, and how communication and relationships can grow. There are four sections to the Johari window: Arena or Open: This is information we know about ourselves that’s also known to others. Façade or Hidden: This is information known to us that we do not share with others. Blind: This is information we don’t know about ourselves but others do. Unknown, or what Peter calls Generative Space: What neither we nor others know about ourselves. Peter says it is important to expand Arena in order to achieve successful relationships. The more we get to know about the other person, the stronger our relationship would become. These relationships could lead to successful results in groups. As Peter says, “As we grow Arena, we build trust stronger and more transparent relationships.” In the Façade are

  • TA 27: Build a Well

    26/05/2018 Duración: 03min

    This has nothing to do with an ACTUAL well. It has to do with the structure and support systems we need as leaders, as entrepreneurs. It’s such a roller-coaster of ups and downs out there that we need support to help keep us a little more level and a little more in the zone to be in flow … to capture the momentum around us. The challenge is that we tend not to do that when things are good – we’re so focused on the ride up that we forget about creating layers of support and structure for the way down. What does that look like? It looks like truly transparent relationships that are nurtured with peers, people who are doing what you want to be doing in life and business. This transparency needs to happen in a rhythm, one that gets quicker when you need it (like a heartbeat). But is also there when you don’t (also like a heartbeat). Focus on building meaningful relationships with people you aspire to be like, and show up with transparency – show up with challenges, opportunities, and problems that you haven’t fig

  • EP 168: Stop Waiting for It to Get Easier - Jim Palmer (author, entrepreneur)

    23/05/2018 Duración: 32min

    Small business marketing expert and entrepreneur Jim Palmer’s fifth book is entitled, “Stop waiting for it to get easier, create your dream business now!” The sentence explains itself. “There is no perfect time,” Jim says as he recounts his own experience: broke and heavily in debt, on unemployment for 15 months, suffering from a serious health issue. Jim started in a very low place, and he knows you should not wait for the time to be perfect to start your dream business. “It’s bigger than yourself,” Jim says about the importance of creating your business. If you have an idea and the resources, you should go for what you believe you can do. Now. He makes the analogy of sand in the hourglass. Time is running out, so stop waiting and act! Jim realizes that people are hungry for success, but you really can’t make your business successful immediately. It’s a time-consuming process, “like a pearl or stained glass, it doesn’t happen instantly,” he says. Everyone starts small and eventually they can reach their drea

  • TA 26: Have More Pillow Talk

    19/05/2018 Duración: 03min

    It’s so important to build transparency in the life of the entrepreneur, leader, and difference maker. Too often we don’t hold space for our most important relationships, the ones with our spouses, life partner, and families. We need to save space for them, and us, to share our dreams, our challenges, our hopes. Structure time in the evening to debrief on the day, and more importantly to brief on the day before you start. This is not an opportunity to vent, this is an opportunity to share a vision for the day. At the end of the day, it gives you an opportunity to share what you’ve learned, what you won, and what you’re grateful for. Think of it as a night time huddle with your most important partner – the one you wake with and end with each night. Give each-other a safe and soft place to land after another busy day and support each other to remember and restate your family, personal, and even business dreams. There is nothing more intimate than those moments of peace before and after falling asleep. If you ha

  • LBS 5: There’s no job description for COO – Adam Trautenberg

    16/05/2018 Duración: 29min

    Being second in command is tricky terrain to navigate; just ask Adventure Links COO Adam Trautenberg.  Co-host, Miranda Barrett joins Govindh Jayaraman to get the inside scoop on how this COO takes charge of a demanding job that’s constantly in flux. “The role is defined by the relationship with the CEO,” explains Adam. That relationship isn’t something that simply grew overnight. For him, “it was an organic experience…it built over time.” Trust is the most essential result of that developmental period. The two key components of their symbiosis involve him understanding his CEO’s vision, and, “her having the trust in me that I’ll get there.” With trust, comes candor: “Mistakes are open and discussed.”  For Adam and his CEO, it’s about finding solutions, not pointing fingers. “She’s not going to scream and yell, or fire me, or threaten to fire me…It’s a really honest and open communication line.” However, that doesn’t protect him from political pitfalls.  COOs often find themselves, for better or for worse, as

  • TA 25: Create (Several) No Cell Phone Zones

    12/05/2018 Duración: 03min

    As leaders we discuss holding space for our team. We all recognize that we need to give them time and space to succeed, for their mindset.  How clear are you, as a leader, however, that you too need time and space? Former Paper Napkin Wisdom guest and Big Data Expert John Johnson says that we are bombarded by more than 30 tractor-trailer loads of information each day. With all that noise (and most of it bad news) we need to hold space for ourselves and for our loved ones. The people we share our homes with … Cell phones in our hands when we are talking to each other send the very clear message that the person in front of us is less important than whatever could be going on in the digital world around us. Protect the time and space for yourself and make your bedroom a no-cell phone zone. Yes, this might mean that you need to get a $7 alarm clock. So go get one. You can extend this policy to work. No cell phones in meetings – or in boardrooms. Or you can go even further and make your home a no-cell phone zone.

  • EP #167: Think Big, Start Small - Andrew Davis (marketer, entrepreneur)

    09/05/2018 Duración: 35min

    The title says it all: Think Big, Start Small. This is the philosophy behind many accomplishments and dreams that individuals and entrepreneurs bring to fruition. Every big endeavor requires a step-by-step process of achievement. Innovative ideas are the big picture, each step turns that idea into reality is the small. Thinking big keeps eyes focused on the prize. Small achievements along the way are their own mini-prizes. Andrew Davis shares his big dream story in today’s interview. From the time he was a child, Andrew wanted to work for the Jim Henson Company, with their famous characters, the Muppets. He began by doing magic tricks; he worked his way up to performing little puppet shows. Andrew dedicated three years to skills practice, and wrote thirty-six job query letters to the Jim Henson Company, letters he sent every month. He finally received notice. With no contacts and no formal idea how to achieve his dream, Andrew managed to land an interview. This is a real example of how to think big and start

  • TA 24: The Structure of Transparency

    05/05/2018 Duración: 04min

    Are you looking for uncommon results in your company? Or maybe just for yourself? There’s a structure to build the uncommon results you crave for yourself and your team and it starts with transparency. I’m not just talking about 2% or 5% growth from year to year. I’m talking about double digit year-over-year growth. Even triple digit growth! This comes from taking your SMART2 goals to another level by combining Process and Volunteered Accountability. What does that mean? It means having your Team opt into sharing progress on Priorities openly with others on a regular schedule. On top of that, they have to agree on how far someone can go with no progress and no problems. If there is no progress and no problems over a prolonged period of time, that should be a problem! Take your growth to the next level by implementing The Structure of Transparency and earn yourself some Uncommon Results!   I want to help you. Please go to and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret

  • EP #166: Manage Your Boss, Staff, and Peers by Spending Time with Your Customers - Chris McGoff (Chairman, Founder)

    02/05/2018 Duración: 36min

    Being a good manager and effective leader is not just about making decisions on your own, but about understanding how much decision-making depends on the customer’s behavior. In this podcast, we talk with Chris McGoff, founder and chairman of The Clearing, who has been helping big brands and the federal government drive change and find success for 30 years. Chris provides a simple visualization of how managers divide their time: customers to the east, peers to the west, boss to the north, and staff and employees to the south. “Spending your time in each of the four places is not equal. Some places are much more important than the others,” Chris tells us. As a typical manager, we are taught to keep focus on all the aspects, which isn’t wrong, but some areas need more focus than others. What Chris focuses on is the importance of customers. When you spend time with your peers, boss and staff, without first and foremost spending time getting to understand your customers, you aren’t generating much power, Chris sa

  • TA 23: The X Org Chart

    28/04/2018 Duración: 04min

    Ever wonder how there are some small teams that just get it done time and time again? They are tight and nothing comes through the cracks in their communication, organization, service, or delivery? How do they do it? I call this the X Org Chart – or the Exponential Org Chart. It’s the way that teams (small and large) can create more dynamic and important communication, collaboration and accountability. It starts with the leader creating a strong sense of focus, aligning the team with it in a structure that promotes communication and collaboration, and finally momentum. You need to create action for The X Org Chart to come to life. Organizations that operate here, in this form, beat large competitors who are 10 or even 100 times their size because they have each-other’s backs. I want to help you. Please go to and sign up, we’ll send you the e-book that contains the secret structure that will build more scalable, even exponential results than you had thought possible. You have so much

  • EP #165: Do and Believe That Which Moves You Toward Your Goals - Tom Bilyeu (Entrepreneur, Founder)

    25/04/2018 Duración: 34min

    Tom Bilyeu, the co-founder of Quest Nutrition and life-long entrepreneur, chooses to focus on “everything being in my control.” While most people would agree in principle, they don’t often put it into true practice. Once you start working on the things that you believe in, it will not only be a motivating process, but will bring promising results. Much like the movie The Matrix, Tom’s philosophy is that “everything around us is a construct,” so by believing that everything is under our control, the choices we make towards the things we want to and can do become much more powerful and effective. Conversely, creating a web of lies in front of your eyes by not doing what you believe in leads to ineffective results. Tom also explains the usefulness of knowing when you are wrong and being open to other’s point of views. Even though it is good to have strong beliefs, sometimes what you are doing might not be as right as you think it is. Knowing that you might, at times, be wrong about certain things allows you to o

  • TA 22: Trust 2.0 – Do you have it?

    21/04/2018 Duración: 04min

    It’s vitally important for leaders to feel like that they can trust their teams. Trust them to complete their tasks, to be strong for the team, complete tasks well, execute on the priorities we have set individually and collectively. If we do this well, we are delegating tasks to them and they are getting them done. If that is going REALLY well – the team has a sense of ownership and they feel empowered. There’s another level to this though that is even more important, and that is Trust 2.0.  This sort of trust involves our team feeling like we won’t change how we feel about them, even if they get it wrong. In fact, we should wonder the opposite. We should be highly suspicious of the people on our teams that effortlessly get all their stuff done without any questions, or issues. In growing organizations we are always doing things for the first time – new things, that’s the hallmark of growth. So if we’re doing new things and not facing any, we’re either lying or hiding, or not trying hard enough. Leaders need

  • LBS 4: Change the World Without Being a Smug Twat - Marlou Hermsen

    18/04/2018 Duración: 29min

    In this week’s Leading Behind the Scenes, Marlou Hermsen makes the case (without laughing) that those who wish for a better world should seek to, “CHANGE the world without being a smug twat.” If the statement makes you smile, and does not offend, it means you’re probably on the right track, because, as Marlou further explains, smugness, besides being a deterrent to team collaboration, is also a creative block. Collaboration is key to success, but when individuals are smug twats, they stifle new ideas and thwart joint ventures. According to Marlou, there are people who work for worthy causes to personally benefit — via the acquisition of money or notoriety. These types of gains can lead to smugness. Instead of seeking profit, she says, find a purpose. But, how can one not be smug when they have been successful? Easy. Reflect. Celebrate the small steps, but don’t lose sight of the big picture. Avoid superficiality. If one remembers that work is never done, the impetus to be smug will diminish. Despite wanting t

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