Tag Archives: gratitude

Top 5 Founding CEO Episodes of 2015

19-Top5-Pic#1-28DEC2015It’s been a busy year at “From Founder To CEO.” And, we have lots of exciting things in store for you in 2016.

In the meantime, I thought you might find it interesting to take a look back at the TOP 5 MOST DOWNLOADED podcast episodes of 2015 and why I think they were so popular.

#5 – Nathan Pettyjohn, Founder & CEO – Aisle411

003: What to do if your company has CRAZY fast growth?

I recently reconnected with Nathan again. His company continues to grow, fast. And, you get a glimpse of the reasons why in his podcast interview. He is smart, insightful, and has just the right amount of humility and hunger to effectively lead a fast growth company. And, he is a super nice guy.

Many of you LOVE stories of fast growth companies. And, I suspect that is why this episode was and continues to be so popular.


#4 – Chelsea Berler, Founder & CEO – Solamar

001: Chelsea Berler’s Journey from Food Stamps to Founder to CEO

Chelsea is just an incredible person. She was our very first guest and she delivered. Her amazing insights helped so many of you realize that the journey from Founder to CEO is not only worth it, but that you can achieve so much success even before your 30th birthday…just like her.

I know why her podcast episode was so popular. She’s the real deal. She triumphed through hardships, just like many of you. And, her sunny personality continues to be a shining example to so many.


#3 – Brad Feld, Managing Director – Foundry Group

046: Brad Feld on Founding CEO Struggles, Trust, & Delegation

Brad is really a rock star in the startup world. He has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. And, he is also a co-founder of the wildly successful Techstars.

So, when Brad agreed to be a guest on the podcast, I was super excited. Apparently you were excited too because his interview was the third most downloaded podcast episode.

My guess is that Brad’s straight talking, hard hitting, tell-it-like-it-is persona was very helpful to many of you. If you haven’t had a chance to listen, I highly recommend you do so.


#2 – Kim Nelson, Founder & CEO – Daisy Cakes

072: Shark Tank Alum Builds Cake Empire By Taking Care Of Her Team

Shark Tank Alum, Kim Nelson, secured a big investment from Barbara Corcoran and went
on to build a cake empire – over $3 million in cake sales (probably more by now).

Her incredibly optimistic, enthusiastic, southern charm won over hundreds of you when you listened to her interview. She made me smile during the entire time we talked. If you are at one of the many low spots (that we all experience) on your journey from Founder to CEO, just listen to this interview and you’ll be back on top of the world again.


#1 – Jamal Motlagh, CEO & Co-founder – Acustom Apparel

018: How to use New Technology in a Traditional Industry

So, what do you get when you mash up leading edge 3D body scanning technology, custom menswear, superior service, and a 6’3” former water polo playing Harvard MBA grad – well, you get a Founder & CEO named Jamal Motlagh who is looking to change the way men buy clothes.

And, THOUSANDS of you listened to his interview.

I think Jamal was the most popular podcast episode for two reasons. First, he is innovating in an industry that hasn’t changed much. Two, he is a very down-to-earth guy who works hard and isn’t afraid to share his lessons learned.



In summary, I think these five episodes have some common characteristics. Each leader combines realistic appraisals of their businesses with a sunny, optimistic disposition and a humbleness that grounds them to continued hard work and determination…in my opinion, the secret recipe for a successful transition from Founder to CEO.

What do you think?

Why do you think these 5 Founding CEOs were so popular?

Star CEOs: A New Hope

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 6.33.42 PMI said good-bye to my doctor this week.

He has been my primary care physician for 16 years. As he heads toward retirement, he has fewer and fewer days that he’s in the office. So, it was time to find a new doctor. He is an old-time doctor, in the best way.  He knows me, my wife, and children. He has seen me through the flu, an umbilical hernia, and countless ailments that most people get during the course of 16 years. He took good care of me. He’s a good man. I’ll miss him.

Dr. Baker’s transition has made me somewhat reflective as we also head toward the end of the calendar year and transition into another year of excitement, anticipation, and promise.

So, what have I been thinking about? Gratitude! Optimism! Hope!


Over 90 Founding CEOs have shared their personal leadership journey From Founder To CEO with me on the podcast since March of this year. I can’t begin to express the depths of my gratitude.

You all have let me into your lives in a very personal way. And, because you were vulnerable and shared some much of yourselves, many more Founding CEOs have learned and grown because of you. For that I am very grateful…because…that’s why I created this platform and growing community.


Over 30,000 downloads of the “From Founder To CEO” podcast means there are many of you out there hungry to hear the stories of others. Your enthusiastic endorsement for this learning platform makes me very optimistic for the future.

It means we can continue to provide you with the best resources that help you become a better leader and a great CEO. It means we can find new ways to help you grow faster than your startup.


If you watch the news or fire up your computer or phone, you can very easily let the vast rivers of negativity wash over you and never realize the weight that collects on your shoulders and in your mind.

However, over the last nine months I have had the great honor to talk to men and women around the world that have given me intense hope. Hope for a future filled with amazing new leaders who are having a positive impact on the world. Interacting with nearly 100 leading Founding CEOs has made me look toward the future with the type of hope that is transformational.

Kerriann Greenhalgh is reviving old antibiotics.

Jordann Windschauer is helping us eat better.

Caitlin MacGregor is democratizing the hiring process.

Steinar Henskes is saving birds and keeping air travel safe.

Jason Will is disrupting travel for our benefit.

Dr. Alvaro Feito-Boirac is expanding solar energy.

These are just some of the amazing Founding CEOs who are creating profitable companies and changing the world.

They all inspire me. YOU inspire me.

You seize the day, create something out of nothing. You build great teams. You help create better lives for your employees and the world. You bring hope to so many in the world. 

And, there’s a direct connection between your development as a leader, your company’s profit development, your positive impact on your employees, and your ability to change the world.

So…Keep listening to our podcast in 2016 (we have more great guests on the way). Keep growing. Keep learning. Keep leading. The world needs you. The future is bright.

And, if you have a doctor that has helped you along the way, thank him or her.

Thanks Dr. Baker. Thanks for always blessing me with not only health, but hope for the future.

089 — Martha Huntley

Sponsored by: Recruiterbox

Recruiterbox is the easiest, fastest, and most efficient way to receive and manage job applications to your company. Check it out at recruiterbox.com – they have a completely free trial.


Podcast Summary:

I am very excited to share this Thanksgiving Day special episode with all of you around the world. In this episode we have the uplifting and inspiring story of Founding CEO, Martha Huntley, who is on a mission to help people expand the expression of gratitude around the world. This innovation platform is the perfect story to help us all think about expressing appreciation more often. However, it’s not just for Thanksgiving, Martha’s platform continues to expand as users connect and share gratitude 365 days a year. Hear her talk about:

  • Why she is so passionate about her company.
  • How she found her team members.
  • What she learned about sharing her business idea.

Continue reading

Trim or Express Gratitude, Which Do You Do?

14-Gratitude-Picture-22NOV2015I came home one day this autumn to find that almost all the trees in my yard were trimmed. At first I did a double take. I knew something looked different, but I wasn’t quite sure. I walked up to the maple tree near the road and sure enough…it had been trimmed. In fact, it had been trimmed quite nicely.

Trees in my background were similarly shaped.

What’s the catch? Neither I nor anyone in my family hired anyone for this service.

Despite tree trimming taking up a prominent spot on my to-do list, I am ashamed to admit that my reaction was anger. Who did this without my permission? Why would anyone trespass and cut our trees? Why did they cut that tree that way? All of these negative questions began to flood my mind.

I spoke with my neighbor who said she saw a lawn care company truck in our driveway. I called the company she thought she saw. They had no knowledge of our mysterious tree trimming. I fumed some more.

During this time period I was interviewing Founding CEO, Joseph Kopser, for the “From Founder To CEO” podcast.  He was such an inspirational person to speak with. He is a former Army officer like me, so I paid extra special attention to his leadership story.

Joseph’s friend connected us and sent me the below email.

“I know you’ll appreciate that Joseph is a visionary tech founder/CEO, but he’s a leader of people first.  His team would walk through fire for him. I attended a party at RideScout’s HQ a couple of days after they announced they were being acquired by Daimler.  He [Joseph] reached out to two of his very first employees – who were no longer with the company – to let them know that they were going to be getting a big payday. Those former employees flew in for the party, which made it pretty awesome.”

I thought a lot about this email after settling down from the tree trimming incident. It occurred to me that Joseph had demonstrated significant gratitude with his actions, not just his words. He branched out with his gratitude and I had “trimmed” mine.

Suddenly I felt pretty ashamed of my reaction to the tree trimming event. Instead of being grateful for this gift that was even on my to-do list, I responded with anger and investigation.

During this 2015 Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, I resolve to be more grateful.

As CEOs, we have so much to be grateful for. Would your team “walk through fire” for you? Do you express gratitude to the degree Joseph did? This week…well every month…let’s resolve to express our personal gratitude to the people on our team. They help keep our visions alive.

And, to whomever trimmed the trees in my yard, thank you…please send me an invoice. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving.