A List of Great Podcasts

I’ve always tried to make better use of the commuting time I spend in my car.  What started as listening to books or instructional and motivational speeches on cassette tape has now morphed into listening in to podcasts.

Here’s a list of some of my current favorites (can find them all on iTunes):

  • Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series - a classic where amazing people come to share in a class at Stanford.
  • Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas – love the ‘standard’ format so you get different answers to the same questions as well as the range of folks John has on and its quick/high level of energy nature.
  • Ask Altucher - James Altucher’s daily question/answer podcast. Starting to throw in a part 2 that is great too.
  • The James Altucher Show – Jame’s longer form weekly podcast interview series.  Great!
  • The My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast - great stories about the beginnings of online businesses, inspiring to hear about different people ‘starting.’
  • The #AskGaryVee Show – Gary Vaynerchuk just started a daily question/answer show, always love Gary’s stuff and this has a great range of digital info. and business insight in general.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show – a little on the longer form side but Tim always comes at things from an interesting perspective.  Plus, just hearing Tim reminds me to think/do his other teachings.
  • Mad Marketing by Marcus Sheridan – the Sales Lion is one of my favorite ‘newer’ finds in that he has absolutely amazing digital / business related content yet isn’t one of the more ‘brand names’ in the field so it is even more real.
  • Accidental Creative – always great stuff about creativity, digital, etc..
  • Bigger Pockets Podcast – all about real estate investing.  I thought I knew about real estate and this is inspiring me in completely new ways in regards to real estate investing.

Those are the latest ones that are top of mind. If you listen to any of them, let’s discuss.  What are your favorite podcasts?

Matt Kane

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10 Years Ago Today…

Ten years ago today I made my last revision on a life goals list that I had been developing for four years.

The only reason I realized this phenomenon was that a couple days ago I was randomly exploring the hard drive of an old computer and found my old “goals” folder then looked at the last revised date of my life goals list.

Going through a list of my life goals from ten years ago was interesting to say the least.  Immediate emotions of pride as I realized how long I have been doing things like formal goal setting were quickly replaced by laughing and slight embarrassment as I looked at the types of things that were on the list.

Taking count of things that had been completed, things still in progress and even things that I have absolutely no desire to have on a goals list anymore reminded me more and more of what I had been thinking ten years ago.

Comparing that list to my more current lists (40 under 40 – more info. to come) gave me a chance to analyze the progression of what is and what I think will be important to me in the future.

This ten year old time capsule flooded me with thoughts, inspiration, emotions and energy like few things could.  It also reminded me to document current thoughts and goals even more diligently so I could again have that feeling in ten more years.

The most important things I made note of from my ten year old list were the things I believe would not have happened had I not written them down ten years ago.  Making it even more important to write more things down today.

What will you write down?

Matt Kane

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Developing Great Teams With Small Investments

Recently I was at a meeting where they brought in various teams from around our Company to showcase the work that they were performing.

Unexpectedly, I recognized someone, who I hadn’t worked with or seen in 13 years, running one of the booths.

We immediately fell back into an old level of comfort with each other, hugged hello and started laughing while talking about past stories, what we’re doing currently and what’s happened over the last few years.

After processing that encounter for a while I found myself wondering why is it that I seemed to have a better and more authentic connection with a person I hadn’t seen in 13 years and only worked with for a shorter time compared to many others I have worked with for longer periods of time or more recently.

There are lots of factors that play into what makes groups work together well and build connections, but looking at the traditional factors didn’t seem to uncover the answer. There had to be more. I really wanted to be able to find the answer so I could try and use that to continue to build great relationships with the teams I work on and people I work with.

That’s when I realized the difference between the strong bonds that had been formed over 13 years ago versus some of the more tenuous bonds today.

When we were working together years ago, there had been many more offsite and not-directly-work-related interactions. Our teams and colleagues would spend more time doing things out of the office together and we had more support for little things like team lunches and offsite dinners.

Great relationships build great teams and great teams accomplish great things easier.

Since that’s the case, why is it that when budget cuts come around some of the first things to go are those very things, like off sites and team meals, that can help build great teams?

The next time you hear about a startup or some other smaller company having happy hours or buying everyone lunch realize that it’s not only a nice perk, it’s a strategic investment in accomplishing great things. The next time someone asks you for budget for what may seem like fun vs. work related activities, realize it will pay off much more in terms of the work.

Matt Kane

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Breaking The Product Expectation Barrier

Until Roger Bannister ran his four minute mile, no one thought it could be done.

Until Bunch O Balloons figured out how to fill and tie 100 water balloons in one minute, no one thought it could be done.

The first time I watched the video on the Bunch O Balloons Kickstarter page, my jaw dropped. It immediately created that feeling within my body that I had to have that product right away.  Until seeing that video, I didn’t realize I had a major water balloon filling problem.  Sure, I knew it took long to fill them up, but I never realized there could be a much better of a way to fill water balloons.

As evidenced by the success of the Kickstarter campaign, lots of people now have a water balloon filling up speed problem and need it solved.

After calming down from my initial excitement though, I got excited again.  Not only is the Bunch O Balloons product great, it’s a whole new expectation and reality.  Just like Roger Bannister’s sub four minute mile went on to inspire other runners to do the same, this is the breaking of a product expectation barrier that will inspire hundreds of new (and probably copycats) approaches. The future products in this category will never be the same.

How did Bunch O Balloons break break the barrier: inspiration from an outsider.

The creator, Josh Malone, of Bunch O Balloons was not someone who worked in the industry or spent time in the pre-existing process of water balloon accessory manufacturing.  Instead, it was a fresh approach and not being bound by current conditions.  Also, it was a big problem the creator had, so put his focus (and family) to work to solve it.

What barriers can you break for your next product introduction or problem you’re having?

Matt Kane

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The Real Healthcare Test For Companies

There’s a lot of debate going on right now about the changing healthcare industry and its impact to organizations large and small.  Instead of going deep into the overall ramifications, here’s an easier method for evaluating healthcare costs based on a stat I heard recently.

The stat: Toyota pays $250 per car sold for the healthcare benefits of its employees, GM pays $1,500.

Now, besides making me think I’ll get a better deal to buy a Toyota, it was interesting to me that the entire healthcare revolution was being boiled down into these two stats. Whether or not $250 vs. $1500 is about which number is right, it was the first time I heard a company break down the costs on a per product basis.  I’ve seen countless companies talk about how much it costs per person, but not per person / per product.

Looking at costs in new ways could open your group up to new ways to improve them. Tying every cost at a company to what the company makes might make an interesting mindset shift too.

Matt Kane

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How To Test If Something Is Worth Your Time

I have an easy barometer for knowing just how excited I am to attend my next meeting or event.  Anytime I’m on my way or thinking about going somewhere I just use the traffic as a guide for whether or not I’m really excited for where I’m going.

Have you ever seen the traffic on the roads to the beach during the summertime?  Obviously, people love going to the beach because if they didn’t they wouldn’t spend all that time stuck behind other cars.  Mandatory obligations aside, compare that to driving towards your next mundane meeting and realizing you’re about to sit in an extra hour of traffic.  Do you turn around right away?  Do you eagerly find alternate routes and call ahead to make sure it’s known you’ll be there.

If you’re not willing to endure an extra hour in traffic, what about an extra 15 minutes?  Seems like an easy way to gauge whether or not you should be having that meeting or going to that event at all.

Matt Kane

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The Power Of Your Previous Work

Have you ever loved a book or an author so much that you anxiously awaited her or his next work?  When that new book came out, did you ever start reading it and come to realize a bit of the way in that it might not be as good as the previous work?

As I’ve found myself in this situation a few times, I noticed that in most cases I would continue reading anyway, expecting that it would get better. The power of the author’s previous work and the respect I had gained for the author from that experience was enough to make me keep going and trust that it would be worth it.

As I’ve come to acknowledge it, I realize this phenomenon shows up in more places that I expected. Whether it’s books, people, companies, restaurants, and just about anything else, the power of previous work definitely influences my desire to interact.

Matt Kane

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