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Empathy in Business

My biggest takeaway from this Forbes article about empathy in business is not a new idea: “people may not remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.” I’ve always loved this quote, and it’s why I love this article. I wholeheartedly believe it. As the writer points out, “Great leadership…

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Would you drink your french fries?

Would you drink your French fries if you could? I’m not talking about pureed fries in a blender. I mean an actual cocktail made with… wait for it… Arby’s Curly Fry-Flavored Vodka. Arby’s partnered with Minneapolis’ Tattersall Distilling to create a pair of flavored vodkas inspired by curly fries and crinkle fries, even making the…

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The Dream

We hadn’t spoken in forever. But the message on my machine, asking me to call back, felt urgent, maybe even a little exciting. It was 2011, and I needed some excitement. My company, BrandAlive, was two years old, and still lingering in that uncomfortable space between my newfound success as a business owner and the…

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How Refresh-ing!

I was really impressed with an email newsletter I received from Sara Delaney, global activist, and social entrepreneur, who founded Sarilla, a carbonated tea made with organic, Fair Trade Rwandan tea leaves. In her email, she says, “Before we were known as Sarilla, we were Silverback on Tap™ and before we had products sold in…

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Is Your Brand Alive?

If you know me, you might say I’m a bit obsessed with brands. Not only do I find them fascinating, but I study them for a living. And, of course, I am a brand! If you own your own business, you are a brand, too. One thing that never gets old for me is the…

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When You Feel Stuck (And Don’t Know What To Do)

You can never be sure what the road looks like 5 miles ahead, even if you’ve driven it a million times before. Until you’re in that car, you will have no idea if it’s straight the whole way, or full of winding turns and gnarly switchbacks. There could be a gaping pothole or a deer…

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Do you expect your career to take a linear path?

Do you expect your career to take a linear path? What if the perceived failures or rejections we get along our journey are what actually define us and make us stronger? What if a real career is just a challenge in disguise? When I left the Navy to attend business school at UNC Chapel Hill,…

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Happy Graduation, Ellie!

I’m the lucky father of twin daughters, Ellie and Maddi, and this month, Ellie will graduate from my alma mater, the United States Naval Academy. After she does, Ellie along with her classmates, will swear an oath to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic and be commissioned as an Ensign…

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ALS Awareness Month

May is ALS Awareness Month, and it’s a time of year – and a cause – that hits really close to home. I lost my brother Jim to ALS in January of 2021. It was such a painful thing to watch someone I loved so much slowly lose his battle with life. Watching him decline…

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Your Brand Is Your Promise

According to a post on Signalfire, the creator economy is the fastest-growing type of small business, with more than 50 million people around the world considering themselves digital creators. They point to a survey that revealed more American kids want to be a YouTube star (29%) than an astronaut (11%) when they grow up. Yikes….


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