Upside: The Business Growth Podcast

Welcome to Upside: The Business Growth Podcast, a podcast for entrepreneurs and leaders focused on finding the biggest possible upside in business, and in life. Every week on Thursdays we feature interviews with leading entrepreneurs, leaders, business growth strategists and other experts to help you on your journey to business and personal growth. Upside is hosted by entrepreneur, speaker, and bestselling author Rusty Shelton and sponsored by Advantage|ForbesBooks.

026: Gregory Gray on Equitable Culture and Purposeful Leadership

Gregory Gray is a husband and father of two daughters, as well as a Leadership and Business Coach. He and his family live on a farm in Southern Middle Tennessee, just south of Nashville, where they raise grass fed beef, lamb and goats for their health and fun.

Gregory Gray is a culture and leadership expert with a passion for coaching. As a business leader, with greater than twenty-five years of experience, he developed a deep understanding of people development, process improvement, and profitable solutions. Since 2010 he has specialized in providing mentoring, training, and coaching to leaders and business owners around the world.

He will coach you in finding Freedom from the chaos, overwhelm and conflicting direction, that many business owners experience due to the demands and struggles of everyday business.

His book, Business Owner Freedom, is coming out in the summer of 2018.

Do you like what you hear? Learn more about how you can lead your field.

025: Kathy Longo on Starting a Business that Reflects Professional and Personal Passion

Kathy Longo brings over 25 years of expertise and experience to Flourish Wealth Management. After earning a degree in Financial Planning and Counseling from Purdue University, she began her career at a small firm in Palatine, Illinois where she worked directly with clients while learning to build a viable, client-centric business. She has been quoted as a trusted expert in multiple national and local publications including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Money Magazine amongst others. At the firm level, Flourish Wealth Management was recently recognized by AdvisoryHQ as a top-rated financial advisor in Minnesota for the 3rd year in a row..


Throughout her career, Kathy Longo maintained a desire to start a company of her own, focused on delivering her expertise to a dedicated group of clients. Flourish Wealth Management embodies the fruition of that dream and builds off a strong foundation of insight and experience. Kathy is wholly dedicated to improving the life of each client and finds joy in making complex matters simple and easy to understand. She excels at asking the right questions, uncovering new possibilities and implementing the most advantageous strategies for success. Playing such a pivotal role in her clients’ lives remains an honor and a privilege. Her first book is expected to launch in June 2018 and is titled Flourishing Financially: Values, Transitions, and Big Conversations.


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024: Nola Peacock on Balancing Life as an Entrepreneur and Parent

Nola Peacock, intuitive parenting coach & trainer, is known for helping, educating and supporting parents and their kids, to create strong bonds, improve communication, and bring harmony into their home.  Nola’s passion for helping kids and their families can be traced back to her experience as a pediatric oncology nurse, where she learned the importance of listening and understanding things through a child’s perspective.  With the sharp increase in depression and suicide rates in youth in the last few years, Nola is devoted to teaching kids & their parents strategies to cope with the pressures of growing up in a fast paced world. She is the author of Honouring Our Kids: How to Encourage Growing Hearts and Minds.

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023: Chris McGoff on Creating a Peak Performance Team and Ending Default Culture

Chris McGoff is a business builder, best-selling author, investor, speaker and advisor to business leaders throughout the world.

He has founded, partnered, and invested in several companies in industries ranging from service and product companies to real estate and cloud based solution providers. He sits on boards and participates in venture funding to emerging companies. Over the past 35 years, Chris has helped hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of people thrive in the chaos of the modern business environment.

From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, from high tech start-ups to huge government bureaucracies, from the Miracle Mile in Chicago to the war torn streets of Afghanistan, Chris offers understandable, actionable, and time-tested truths about leadership, organizational culture, and getting complicated things accomplished.  Chris McGoff is the author of The PRIMES: How Any Group Can Solve Any Problem, which has become a desk reference for peak performance leaders. His latest book, Match In The Root Cellar: How You Can Spark A Peak Performance Culture was published by ForbesBooks and became a top Amazon best seller.

He is the founder of The Clearing, Inc., a strategic management consulting firm located in Washington, D.C. The Clearing provides consulting, advising, and training services for leaders committed to driving change and causing transformative outcomes for their organizations.


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022: Dr. Josh Luke on Utilizing LinkedIn and Marketing in Healthcare

Dr. Josh Luke is a healthcare futurist and former hospital CEO whose expertise includes sharing simple tactics on how to make health care more affordable, as well as how to get access to the best doctors and hospitals. Dr. Luke started his career as a jet-setting sports marketer and then, after a career change to healthcare brought on by his grandmother’s disease process, he ascended to become a hospital CEO by age 32. Soon after he penned his first book and became a best-selling author. He now finds solace in sharing his experiences as a caretaker for his mom and being without health insurance for his family for a short time has given him a deeply emotional understanding of the other side of care delivery.

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021: Clint Padgett on Consistent and Successful Project Management

Clint Padgett, an internationally known authority on project management, is President and CEO of Project Success, Inc (PSI) and the author of The Project Success Method.  A member of the Project Management Institute, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Product Development & Management Association, among others, he frequently speaks about project management at conferences and at the Executive Education program in the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he is an adjunct professor.  A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Padgett holds an MBA from Duke University and is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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020: Scott East on Marketing and Shifting from Reactivity to Proactivity

Scott East founded MSIGHTS in 2004 to help marketers make better decisions with better data and reporting. His experience includes global ad / digital agencies, a FORTUNE 20 telecom, and AOL prior to founding MSIGHTS. Scott East understands how to engage marketers having been one his 20+ year career of working with the nation’s most recognized brands like, Sprint, FedEx, Verizon, World Wildlife Fund and AOL. Scott’s new book The Cuttlefish Marketer: The Five Essential Traits of a Modern Marketer focuses on helping marketers transform themselves into modern marketing leaders. He is based in Charlotte, NC.

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019: Corey Kupfer on Authentic Negotiating

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, dealmaker and business consultant with more than 30 years of professional negotiating experience as a successful entrepreneur and attorney. He is the founder and president of Authentic Enterprises, LLC and the Authentic Business Academy. Corey is dedicated to inspiring authenticity in business through speaking, training and consulting on topics such as authentic negotiating, authentic deal-making, building authentic business relationships, and authentic conversations about difference. In his book, Authentic Negotiating: Clarity, Detachment & Equilibrium – The Three Keys to True Negotiating Success & How to Achieve Them, Corey draws on decades of experience effectively negotiating business deals and disputes to reveal the real, internal work it takes to become a truly great negotiator.

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018: Peter Strauss on Business Innovation and Captive Insurance

Peter Strauss is the founder and managing member of The Strauss Law Firm, LLC, located on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He is also the founder and CEO of Hamilton Captive Management, LLC. He has authored several books on captive insurance. His most recent publication is The Business Owner’s Definitive Guide to Captive Insurance Companies published with ForbesBooks. He regularly speaks at public seminars and professional society meetings such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Strauss is a graduate of the New England School of Law, holds an LL.M. in estate planning from the University of Miami, and is currently enrolled at Harvard Business School.

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017: Al Zdenek on Managing Cash Flow at Home and In Your Business

Al Zdenek is an author, speaker and wealth advisor. He is also President and CEO of Traust Sollus Wealth Management. Al is dedicated to empowering people to live the life they want by consistently making the 100% best financial decisions. His book series, Master Your Cash Flow shows readers how to make financial decisions that find additional cash flow in order to build and secure wealth sooner, allowing them to live the lifestyle they desire now and in the future. Al is an expert media contributor for Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business Radio, U.S., World News Report and is an Amazon best-selling author.

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016: Jeff Boss on Building the Right Team and Leading Through Chaos

Jeff Boss is a team coach who works with business teams to accelerate their performance by translating his 13-year Navy SEAL career to business, where leadership, communication, decision-making, and teamwork are just as important. His top military awards include four bronze stars with valor, two purple hearts, two presidential unit citations, and six combat action ribbons. He’s also a speaker at the Harry Walker Agency, author of two books, weekly contributor to Forbes & Entrepreneur, board member of the nonprofit SEAL Future Fund, and host of the weekly Chaos Cast podcast.

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015: Author & Financial Advisor Brian Fricke on How to Use Your Business to Fund Your Ideal Lifestyle

Brian Fricke travels the world surfing with his sons, proving that anyone can experience an Incredible Retirement®, even if you’re still working! At the age of 16, Brian became “man of the house” when his father died unexpectedly. He joined the family real estate business at 18. His path to becoming a Fee-Only® financial advisor–the kind Clark Howard and Tony Robbins recommend–became clear when others sought him out for financial advice after they discovered he had purchased 15 rental properties by the age of 23. Brian has served on the Board of Trustees for the City of Winter Springs pension fund and currently is on the board of trustees for a $750 million foundation. He’s been quoted in the media including The Wall St Journal, Smart Money magazine,, and He’s the author of the popular book, Worry Free Retirement – Do what you want, when you want, where you want.

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014: IT Guru & PhD Dave Hopson on How to Weather Your Business’s Ups and Downs

Dave Hopson, PhD, serves as managing partner of the information technology consultancy at Triumphus. Since 2007, Dave has been providing the leadership and innovation required for companies to achieve a return on investment from major programs, process reengineering, and mergers and acquisitions. Before entering his role at Triumphus, Dave served as team leader for the USMC 3rd Recon, specializing in anti-terrorism, hostage rescue, and special-ops logistical planning, after which he received his BS in political science from Sam Houston State University. Furthering his education, he went on to receive a master of arts in international studies (MAIS) and PhD in international relations/econometrics from Claremont Graduate University―all qualifications that fit aptly in with his passions of economic empowerment, human rights, politics, and science and technology. With his team at Triumphus, Dave is able to bring CIO-level experience to companies to lead programs for consolidation, process amalgamation, and change agents. His latest book Surviving The Business Storm Cycle: How To Weather Your Business’s Ups and Downs was released in October 2016.

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013: Comedian & Accountant Peter Margaritis talks Content Marketing and the Importance of Improvisation

Peter Margaritis is the author of the book, Improv Is No Joke: Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Leadership and in Life. He is also a blogger, speaker, coach, trainer, humorist, and a podcaster. His firm, The Accidental Accountant, teaches accountants and other business leaders on how to apply the seven principles of improvisation to build respect, trust and support with their colleagues and clients.

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012: Sales Expert Alice Heiman Talks Skillset, Mindset and Toolset

Alice Heiman has been helping companies increase sales for more than 20 years. Her innovative sales leadership programs, coupled with her top-down approach to creating long-term change, set up sales leaders and sales-managing business owners to get exceptional and sustainable growth. Over the course of her two decades of teaching others the fine art of selling, she’s earned a host of awards including Saleswoman of the Year, Marketer of the Year, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Blue Ribbon Award. These are just a few of the acknowledgements adorning her office walls. She is also the creator of The BizTalk Blender®, innovative peer-to-peer networking events that connect business people so they can easily build professional business relationships, develop referral sources, and form collaborative partnerships.

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011: Seasoned CEO & Marketer Rick Cesari talks Strategy, Testimonials & Transactional Branding

Rick Cesari is the Founder and CEO of Cesari Media, considered one of the top brand building, response generating agencies in North America. Rick has been a pioneer in the direct response advertising industry since the early ’90s and has used brand response strategies to build many iconic brands such as Juiceman, Sonicare, The George Foreman Grill and OxiClean. Rick has helped companies like GoPro from startup to over a billion dollars in sales, in just a few short years. He is the author of Buy Now and his next book, Transactional Branding is due out soon. Both Rick and his agency, Cesari Media continue to be on the cutting edge of new Brand Response advertising campaigns and are implementing innovative Cross Platform strategies with digital and mobile venues.

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010: Luxury Business Owner Brandon Vallorani on Building a Brand

ForbesBooks Author of The Wolves and the Mandolin, Brandon Vallorani, is a practiced entrepreneur and accomplished CEO, having founded a media conglomerate recognized on Inc. 5000 for five consecutive years. More recently, Brandon has shifted focus to Vallorani Estates, hand-curating luxury products for those who celebrate life’s privileges. Vallorani graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. Beginning his career in the nonprofit sector, he quickly rose through the ranks to become executive vice president in a few short years, simultaneously earning his Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College. He lives in Atlanta, GA., with his wife, seven children and three dogs. In his free time, he enjoys playing in casinos around the world.

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009: Mentalist and Speaker Dave Dee Shares Secrets on Failure, Webinars and Magical Sales Increases

Dave Dee has been helping entrepreneurs sell more of their products and services through webinars and in-person group presentations for the past 15 years. Many know him as the man who will help you “sell more of your products or services in 75 minutes than you do all year.” Dave began as a struggling entertainer, a mentalist to be precise. Once he discovered the power of sales and marketing, his business skyrocketed from 3 shows a month to averaging 25 shows a month. By incorporating techniques he had had been using in his mentalism show, such as cold reading, hypnotic language patterns and ethical mind control, he developed a bullet-proof system for crafting webinars, speeches and online events that create literal buying frenzies. The ROIs he’s achieved are legendary, including a webinar that produced $1.5 million in sales, running on autopilot in two-years. Most recently, an online event he created for a client, sold $420,000 worth of a product in just 4 hours.

Do you like what you hear? Learn more about how you can lead your field.

008: Dr. Shan Hussain talks Health and Well-Being for Entrepreneurs

Dr. Shan Hussain is a General Practitioner working in partnership at a large family practice near his hometown of Nottingham, England. He graduated from Imperial College School of Medicine, London, in 1999. He has worked in the fields of Orthopaedics, General Surgery, Care of the Elderly, Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Pediatric Medicine and Palliative Care. Since completing his postgraduate training in General Practice and joining his partnership, he has developed a keen interest in the promotion of health and well-being. He has authored the bestselling book The Big Prescription. He has studied neuro-linguistic programming, coaching, healing and is currently working towards a PhD in Psychoneurology. He is a passionate believer that the vast majority of illnesses are preventable by taking simple and natural approaches to diet, activity, mindfulness and interactions with our environment. The combined state of our physical, mental and social well-being are by definition the single greatest marker of health. By making positive step-wise changes to our diet, activity levels, emotional well-being and daily interactions we can all not only take greater control of our health, but also have unparalleled levels of energy, well-being and vitality.

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007: 401(k) Coach and Author Charlie Epstein Talks Community Building and Retirement

401kWire has named Charlie Epstein one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Retirement Industry and is one of the Top 300 Most Influential Retirement Plan Advisors in the U.S. Charles D. Epstein has over 35 years of professional experience in the financial services industry. As the principal of Epstein Financial Group, LLC and Epstein Financial Services, a Registered Investment Advisory firm, he provides corporate retirement plan consulting, wealth management and comprehensive financial planning services to business owners, professionals, plan participants, individuals, and families. In 2002, Charlie established The 401k Coach® Program, which offers financial professionals a unique environment for networking, exchanging ideas, and learning to efficiently manage this ever-changing industry through training, skill development, implementing systems and processes necessary to excel in the 401(k) industry. Nationally, over 10,000 financial professionals have participated in Charlie’s 401k Coach Programs. He is author of Paychecks for Life and Save America, Save. His latest venture is a podcast called “Killing Retirement” where he explores how to live life grounded in an abundant mentality.

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006: Bestselling Author Jay Papasan Talks Focus and Decision Making

Jay Papasan is a bestselling author who serves as Vice President and Executive Editor at Keller Williams Realty International, the largest real estate company in the world by agent count. He has co-authored a series of books that have found their way to numerous bestselling lists, including those found on The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The New York Times. His most recent work with Gary Keller on The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results has sold over a million copies worldwide and garnered more than 350 appearances on national bestseller lists, including #1 on The Wall Street Journal’s hardcover business list.

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005: Dr. Richard Senelick Speaks on The Art of Reinvention through Social Media and Content Creation

Richard Senelick M.D. is a physician specializing in both neurology and the subspecialty of neurorehabilitation. He is the Editor in Chief of HealthSouth Press, the publishing arm of one the nation’s largest rehabilitation hospital systems. Dr. Senelick served as the Medical Director of HealthSouth RIOSA in San Antonio, Texas for 30 years. He is a Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Dr. Senelick writes a blog on health care related issues for the Huffington Post and The Atlantic. In addition, Dr. Richard Senelick is the Stroke Community Expert for WebMD, the largest source of online health information. He is a frequently sought after speaker both nationally and internationally. Amongst his many books and publications, he has authored Living with Stroke: A Guide for Patients and Their Families, Living with Brain Injury: A Guide for Patients and Their Families, and The Spinal Cord Injury Handbook.

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004: Leadership Coach Kristi Hedges Talks Leadership, Conflict & Everyday Inspiration

Kristi Hedges is a senior leadership coach with a specialty in executive communications, and the author of the The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others and The Inspiration Code: How the Best Leaders Energize People Every Day. Her workshops and coaching programs have been utilized by CEOs and teams in organizations from the Fortune 10, to the U.S. government to nonprofits. She runs her own coaching practice, The Hedges Company, and is a founding partner in the leadership development firm, Element North. Kristi writes about leadership for Forbes and is regularly featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Entrepreneur, BBC, Chief Learning Officer and CNBC. She’s a teaching faculty member of the Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership.

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003: Content Expert Zach Mercurio Speaks on Purpose & Storytelling

Zach Mercuio empowers purposeful leaders and helps build purposeful organizations that inspire meaningful work. He is an organizational development consultant, transformational speaker, and university instructor who, as a Ph.D. candidate, researches meaningful work and teaches courses on purposeful and organizational leadership. He is the founder of, the popular blog on purposeful leadership and is a regular contributor for The Huffington Post and other international media outlets. Zach Mercurio is the author of the forthcoming book, The Invisible Leader, which focuses on the science and practice of purpose in leadership and organizations. He speaks internationally on purposeful leadership, organizations, and living.

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002: Serial Entrepreneur Harry Max Talks Priorities, Failures & Feedback

Harry Max is an entrepreneur who has worked with global brands in capacities ranging from start-up founder, CEO, VP, board member, advisor, leadership coach, and consultant. An early pioneer in e-commerce and crowd sourcing, he was a co-founder of Virtual Vineyards (the original, where he designed the first secure, online shopping cart; and the founder of Public Mind, the first platform for harnessing the voice-of-the-customer, a precursor to UserVoice and Kickstarter. Today, Harry Max helps companies with rapid growth, product design and development, transformation initiatives, pivots, strategy, and strategic planning, splitting his time between Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas.

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001: Inc 500 Entrepreneur & Speaker Michael Dadashi Talks Business Growth, Recovery & Finding Your Passion

Michael Dadashi is the Founder and CEO of MHD Enterprises and Infinite Recovery. Clean and sober since 2009, Dadashi replaced his old attitudes with a new set of principles that motivated him to extend the same life-saving second chances he had received to others struggling with addiction. He started by employing other recovering addicts at his e-­waste recycling business, MHD Enterprises, which he has owned for more than a decade. Defying just about every possible conventional hiring practice, Michael Dadashi grew the company to a multi-­million-­dollar enterprise, which Inc. magazine named the 28th fastest growing private company in the U.S. in 2012 and the 61st in 2013.

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