May22, 2017

Episode 93 | How An Appetite for Risk Helped MeUndies Ship More than 3 Million Pairs of Underwear, with MeUndies CEO Bryan Lalezarian

By |May, 22, 2017|Categories: FEATURED, Podcasts|

Sometimes being the company that VCs just don’t “get” can actually work to your advantage. Take MeUndies, the wildly successful direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand on a mission to produce the world’s most comfortable and sustainable underwear. After a seed round in 2011, they found that convincing investors to pour money into their subscription-based underwear business was more challenging than they anticipated. Compared to some of their startup peers, they often felt a little underfunded. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Being largely bootstrapped taught them an important lesson that they would have never learned any other way - the importance of taking calculated risks. When you’re underfunded, you have to be savvy enough to see an opportunity when it arises, nimble enough to mobilize and take advantage of it, and brave enough to actually pull the trigger.
May15, 2017

Episode 92 | How Grit Helped Kimberly Fowler Pioneer the Hybrid Fitness Category, with YAS Founder and CEO Kimberly Fowler

By |May, 15, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

There’s no one out there who embodies the idea of “enjoying the journey” quite like today’s guest, YAS founder and CEO Kimberly Fowler. YAS stands for Yoga And Spinning, and is a pioneering hybrid fitness concept that combines yoga for athletes with the high-intensity cardio of spin. And quite a journey it’s been. Before she launched YAS, Kimberly had already lived everywhere from LA to New Jersey to Monaco, been an attorney, a corporate executive, and a professional endurance athlete. Kimberly’s story is one of incredible grit, creativity, and constant reinvention. In this conversation, she takes us through several pivotal moments in her life, major forks in the road that forced her to pause and ask “now what do I do with my life?”
May01, 2017

Episode 91 | How Rafe Furst Bounced Back from Full Tilt Poker’s Public Implosion, with Crowdfunder co-founder Rafe Furst

By |May, 01, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

He also has the track record to back it up. Since beginning his career in Silicon Valley in the 90s, Rafe has founded, invested in and advised dozens of startups, including Pickem Sports, Full Tilt Poker, and Crowdfunder. To date, his companies have generated over $1 billion in revenue and $450 Million in liquidity to stakeholders. He also has the distinction of being the only Awesome Office guest to win a bracelet at the World Series of Poker. But Rafe’s success hasn’t come without challenges, and his entrepreneurial path has taken him to a few dark places.
Apr24, 2017

Episode 90 | Does This Business Hold the Key to Solving LA’s Homeless Crisis? w/ The Giving Keys’ Brit Gilmore

By |Apr, 24, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

The Giving Keys has put up some impressive numbers under president Brit Gilmore’s watch: 70+ employees. 1400 retail stores around the globe that sell their products. Half a million keys sold to date. But there’s another, even more impressive number. 100 - that’s the percentage of the company’s production team that is staffed by people who are currently transitioning out of homelessness. This week, co-host Sean Spear sat down with Brit Gilmore, the president of The Giving Keys a “pay it forward company” that makes necklaces from keys engraved with inspirational messages. Besides making beautiful hand-crafted jewelry, the company also works with local nonprofits to hire individuals who were recently homeless.
Apr17, 2017

Episode 89 | Ever Wonder What It’s Like To Be on Shark Tank? Rareform’s Aric Avedissian Can Tell You

By |Apr, 17, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

By all accounts, LA’s Rareform was doing pretty well. They had a unique product that was clearly resonating with Millennial consumers - one of a kind bags and accessories made from repurposed vinyl billboards. Then a little thing called “Shark Tank” happened.
Apr11, 2017

Episode 88 | How Los York Became One of the Top Content Agencies in America By Creating “Holy Shit” Moments, with Founder Seth Epstein

By |Apr, 11, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

If you ask Seth Epstein what his company, Los York, does, he could tell you that that they create "culture defining content" for top brands like Samsung, Motorola, and JBL. He could tell you that they're the creative agency of record for the Jordan brand and work with athletes like Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. He might even tell you that they’ve been called Nike’s “advertising swat team” by Inc. magazine, and landed at #8 on the coveted Inc. 5000 list. But he’ll probably tell you that they’re in the business of “Holy shit.”
Apr03, 2017

Episode 87 | The Future of Workplace Culture, with Rising Realty founder and president Chris Rising

By |Apr, 03, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

There's no doubt about it - big changes are coming. New technologies like artificial intelligence and automation will fundamentally alter the way we work. But what will that look like, and how should companies adapt? This week on the show co-host Sean Spear interviews Chris Rising, the Founder and President of Rising Realty. Chris is a 19-year veteran of the real estate business, and someone who’s always been ahead of the curve in terms of building spaces that support how the most innovative companies work.
Mar28, 2017

Episode 86 | Why A Great Team Beats a Great Idea Every Time, Part 2 with Cross Campus CEO Ronen Olshansky

By |Mar, 28, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

Is it better to choose a company with a great idea but with a team of B-level players, or one stacked with A-level talent but an average idea? It’s a question that early-stage investors have debated for decades, but for this week’s guest there's no question about it - a great team executing a mediocre idea beats a great idea with mediocre execution, every time. That’s according to Ronen Olshansky, the visionary CEO behind Cross Campus, a Los Angeles based on-demand workspace and business event venue that provides peak office experiences to a community of creative professionals.
Mar19, 2017

Episode 85 | Why Everything You Think You Know about Culture is Wrong, with Invite Manager CEO Tony Knopp

By |Mar, 19, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

When you hear the word “company culture,” what comes to mind? If you picture a whimsical work environment filled with highly social Millennial co-workers, cruising around on hoverboards and gathering around the company’s kegerator on Friday (or Tuesday) afternoons, you’re not alone. According to this week’s Awesome Office guest, you’re also completely wrong. In this episode, co-host Sean Spear talks to longtime friend and mentor Tony Knopp, the CEO and co-founder of InviteManager. Together with his co-founders, Tony has built the leading entertainment enterprise SaaS company, so he knows a thing or two about building high-performing teams.
Mar14, 2017

Episode 84 | Introducing Contributing Host Sean Spear of Hughes Marino

By |Mar, 14, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

Today we’re fired up to introduce our brand new contributing host, Sean Spear of Hughes Marino. Sean is one of my absolute favorite people. He’s someone who, like me, is fascinated with the intersection of personal performance, workspaces, and workplace culture, and how these things can make for better businesses and enhance all of our lives. He’s also someone with an endless curiosity and knack for stories, and he’ll be a perfect addition to the AO crew.
Mar04, 2017

Episode 83 | How This Finnish Nomad Found his Calling Dealing ‘Shrooms, with Four Sigmatic Founder Tero Isokauppila

By |Mar, 04, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

Tero Isokauppila radiates an undeniable energy. As soon as you meet him, you can tell he’s got an insatiable curiosity about the world around him. This 13th generation family farmer has lived in eight different countries, served in the Finnish military, and is currently making plans to fly to the edge of space in a Russian fighter jet. But his true passion is dealing ‘shrooms. Tero is the founder of Four Sigmatic, a company whose mission is to make medicinal mushrooms - some of the world’s most researched superfoods - more accessible to everyone. They do this through their best selling mushroom coffee, mushroom elixirs, mushroom cocoas, and other fungi-based products.
Feb18, 2017

Episode 81 | From the Back of an Ambulance to the Top of His Industry – How Simon Cohen Transformed Henco with Happiness

By |Feb, 18, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

Simon Cohen’s doctors thought it was a heart attack. Back in 2006, the self-professed workaholic was on a business trip in China on behalf of Henco, the global logistics company he founded in Mexico at the age of 24. But not everything was going well. Simon could barely eat, and only slept a few hours at a time. He spent his days meeting with his partners in Hong Kong, and stayed up all night working with the team back in Mexico. On the last day of the trip, he felt a jolt of pain in his chest - so powerful that it knocked him off his chair at dinner. The next thing he knew, the 32 year old former Olympic-level swimmer found himself in the back of an ambulance racing to the hospital. In this interview, Simon tells us about his remarkable turnaround, and how this experience inspired him to make happiness the centerpiece of his life and business.
Feb12, 2017

Episode 80 | How Hippeas Landed In 18,000 Stores by Telling the Right Story, with Hippeas CEO Livio Bisterzo

By |Feb, 12, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

In the CPG space, most entrepreneurs, start with a product. They might stumble upon some product innovation, and see their job as merely to figure out how to sell it. Things like brand and story are usually afterthoughts. Livio Bisterzo tried something different. What if, he wondered, instead of starting with a product, you started with a brand proposition? What if you first built a story that your audience believed in? A big, powerful story, one that resonated with consumers, retailers - anyone who came across it? Something more akin to a tribe or a movement? What would happen? Big things, it turns out.
Feb04, 2017

Top 9 Tips to Create a More Loving, Giving, & Profitable Company | #SPKup Episode 11

By |Feb, 04, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

Seeing as February is the time of year most closely associated with love, we're shifting gears this month to focus on love, compassion, and empathy in the workplace. For many, love in the workplace is still a bit of a taboo subject. It wasn't long ago that the office was a strictly unemotional place. Heavy emotions just weren't discussed, let alone celebrated or rewarded. But times have changed. More and leaders have realized that a loving and giving culture doesn't just make for an enjoyable work life, but for a more profitable business as well.
Jan29, 2017

Top Lessons on Leadership from Harvard | #SPKup Episode 10

By |Jan, 29, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

Each year, 190 CEOs from 40 different countries gather at Harvard Business School for an intense week of learning, teaching, and sharing. It's a truly special program organized by the Young President's Organization that brings together some of the best and brightest leaders around the globe. Among them, AO's own Sean Kelly. Sean's back this episode to give us his top learnings from another immersive week at HBS. And like year's past, the week was full of breakthroughs and surprises. One of those surprises - the telltale signs when it's time for an employee to move on.
Jan21, 2017

Episode 77 | How to Unlock the Hidden Power of Office Subcultures

By |Jan, 21, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

This week we explore a phenomenon that few leaders understand, and even fewer take full advantage of, despite the powerful effects in can have on your company. We're talking about the office subculture. Sure, a lot of leaders are starting to come around on the idea of company culture. But what about subcultures? How do they work, and how might they have a place in your business? What do we mean by subculture? We mean a distinct team or department culture within an already well-defined company culture. We wanted to know how these smaller cultures develop, why they might be necessary in your organization, and how to go about shaping and defining them. To help us find out, I spoke to Chelsie Lee, the VP of Customer Success and Experience at SnackNation.
Jan13, 2017

The Top 3 New Beliefs to Experience a Better & More Fulfilling Life | #SPKup Episode 9

By |Jan, 13, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

For a lot us, the beginning of a New Year is all about change. Our sights are set on changing our diet, changing our habits, changing our careers - changing our lives. But as we explore in this week’s episode none of this change is possible unless we first change our beliefs. Hold your beliefs constant and your life is guaranteed to stay the same. Change your beliefs and… real magic can start to happen.
Jan07, 2017

The Top 8 Ways to Transform Your Company in the New Year (Without Spending A Dime) | #SPKup Episode 8

By |Jan, 07, 2017|Categories: Podcasts|

The New Year isn’t just a chance to hit the reset button on our individual goals, it’s also a great opportunity to start a new path for your company and its culture. At SnackNation and Awesome Office Inc., we’ve started 2017 in a brand new 21,000 square foot space, and it’s reenergized the entire company after a fast-paced year that saw growth in every aspect of the business. But you don’t have to switch offices to give your culture - and your business - a transformative boost. There are things that you can do right now that won’t cost you a dime.
Dec30, 2016

Episode 74 | How to Harness Sexual Energy in the Workplace – Pt. 2 with author Diana Chapman

By |Dec, 30, 2016|Categories: Podcasts|

Most leaders shy away from it. It makes people uncomfortable, and the mere mention of it can inspire off color jokes, or send grown men and women into fits of nervous laughter. We’re talking about sex, of course. In the workplace. Well, not sex exactly, but sexual energy. As author, coach, and expert Diana Chapman discusses in part two of this illuminating interview, to deny the existence of sexual energy in the workplace is to deprive your business of one of its most creative forces. To be clear, we’re not talking about sex itself. In this context, sexual energy has more to do with creativity and an affinity for or attraction to ideas.
Dec22, 2016

Episode 73 | How to End Your Stress Addiction, Pt. 1 with author Diana Chapman

By |Dec, 22, 2016|Categories: Podcasts|

It's no secret that we’re huge fans of the book The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. Not only have we have offered a cursory breakdown of this awesome book in earlier episodes, but the entire leadership team at SnackNation HQ is currently going through it to become better in 2017. So you’ll understand our excitement when we found out that we landed one of the book’s co-authors, Diana Chapman. Diana has been a trusted advisor to over 700 organizational leaders and many of their teams. Clients from Genentech to Yahoo! value her clarity, compassion, ferocity and playfulness, and she’s a well-respected facilitator for the Young Presidents Organization. In this episode, Diana revisits some of the topics from our initial exploration of conscious leadership, but gives a much deeper understanding of both how to do it, and why it’s so important, both to our businesses and our lives. Diana also sheds new light on the subject of stress, and explains how many of us are actually addicted to the adrenaline that comes along with it. It's why so many of us consider ourselves "always on," and wear the term "workaholic" like a badge of honor. Ultimately, Diana teaches us that all this stress is damaging our health and limiting our teams' ability to succeed.