Ep #34 | Focus on the 'Why'

Ep #34 | Focus on the 'Why'

26-year-old Hadyn Hilton is the owner and founder of Java Cats Café, Georgia's first cat café located in the heart of Atlanta. Though Hadyn’s degree and career path were slated for the film industry, it came as no surprise to friends and family when she decided to drop everything and open a business revolving around one of her favorite things: cats! Hadyn, facing many hurdles in order to open her business, enjoys encouraging other entrepreneurs who are starting their journeys as well as giving advice about being a young female business owner in a male dominated society. With adoption numbers doubling the shelter rates, Java Cats has been a huge success for cat adoptions and has an established following all across the US and several countries in the world. Hilton's focus is to give back to the community, which her café does by providing a safe and nurturing environment for cats to live in while awaiting adoption, selling food items that support a nonprofit employing the Atlanta homeless, providing resources for local entrepreneurs and being a positive influence on social media platforms. Since opening, over 200 cats have been successfully adopted into their forever homes.

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Ep #32 | Turning a Personal Challenge Into a Creative Outlet

Ep #32 | Turning a Personal Challenge Into a Creative Outlet

Cara Thomas spent over 10 years inventing award-winning products for Fortune 100 companies. She found that adventure and playfulness led to breakthroughs. In need of that personally, she started Serenflipity as an experiment — and it ended up changing her life. It started with a one-way flight to Mumbai, and 90 challenges written by 90 friends, clients and strangers. Each day she flipped a card, followed its direction and blogged the tale. The results were surprising and serendipitous — and even included getting life-changing advice from Steven Tyler. Cara has launched Serenflipity to encourage that spirit of adventure into everyday life, anywhere in the world.

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Ep #31 | The 15 Meetings Per Week Method

Ep #31 | The 15 Meetings Per Week Method

Jeff Hilimire is Co-Founder and CEO of Dragon Army, an Atlanta-based mobile and innovation company that helps clients navigate today’s connected landscape through the use of new innovations and technology. Prior to that, Jeff founded and sold two additional marketing agencies, Spunlogic and Engauge, within a 10-year span.Jeff has over 19 years of industry experience and serves on the boards of the American Marketing Association (AMA), The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce as well as Central Outreach and Advocacy Center. He is also Co-Founder and Board Chair of 48in48, a nonprofit that builds 48 nonprofit websites within 48 hours in cities across the world. Jeff is alumni to Leadership Atlanta’s graduating class of 2013 and is both an Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 under 40 and Most Admired CEO award recipient.

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Ep #30 | Discovering the Spark of Young Entrepreneurs

Ep #30 | Discovering the Spark of Young Entrepreneurs

Monica is the Executive Director of Break Into Business located in Atlanta, GA. Since 2013 Break Into Business has trained over 500 entrepreneurs aged 9-17 who have launched over 150 profitable businesses, earning thousands of dollars in profit. Prior to Break Into Business, Monica worked with The Boston Consulting Group. Monica has her undergraduate degree in business from Queen’s University, in Canada, and her MBA from Harvard.

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Ep #29 | The Pay It Forward Movement

Ep #29 | The Pay It Forward Movement

Adriana Carrig is the founder and CEO of Little Words Project. She began her company in 2013 after having just graduated with an English Literature degree from The College of New Jersey. During her tenure at TCNJ, Adriana had come up with a version of her brand that she shared with her college sorority. While studying to take the LSAT in preparation for Law School, Adriana came up with the idea to make Little Words Project into a real company. Adriana's vision for the company was to create a kinder world for women wherein collaboration was favored over competition, and its working. The company has doubled year over year since inception and was profitable in its first month of sales. Recently married, Adriana enjoys spending time with her new husband, Bill and they look forward to purchasing their first home together later this month!

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Ep #28 | Tomorrow Isn't Promised

Ep #28 | Tomorrow Isn't Promised

Sixteen years ago, Ethan King was a struggling artist by day, taking out the trash at a strip club by night. The turning point came when he was carjacked at gunpoint, and he escaped with an epiphany to turn his life around. Tapping into his passion for collegiate Greek life, Ethan and his then-girlfriend-now-wife launched stuff4GREEKS.com as a school project, with $700 and no outside funding. They bootstrapped it to become what is now a multi-million dollar eCommerce brand for specialty fraternity and sorority gear. A few years later, they opened Zeus' Closet - a state-of-the-art retail experience in west midtown Atlanta, where you can personalize your clothes through advanced design, screen printing, and embroidery. Ethan manages several other businesses and brands, and is the President-Elect of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Atlanta. He is passionate about running, reading, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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Ep #27 | Be Reactive

Ep #27 | Be Reactive

Kali Rogers is the Founder and Janitor of Blush Online Life Coaching. She and her team of master’s level coaches help females from around the globe get over their quarter-life crisis, grow their self-confidence, get over nasty breakups, and work on bettering their relationships all via video conference for only $79/mo. She is also the author of Conquering Your Quarter Life Crisis: How to Get Your Shit Together in Your 20’s and has been featured on Bustle, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Elite Daily, and Thought Catalog. Kali now resides in Los Angeles, California where she likes to walk around Beverly Hills and wave at the pretty houses, watch reruns of The Office and Parks and Rec (Leslie Knope is her hero), and attempt to make healthy meals in her bruised-up kitchen.

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Ep #26 | Morphing from the Start-Up Side to the Legal Side of Entrepreneurship

Ep #26 | Morphing from the Start-Up Side to the Legal Side of Entrepreneurship

John co-founded SendHub in 2011, a Silicon Valley-based startup that went through Y Combinator (Winter 2012) and raised $10 million from angels and VCs. John served as SendHub’s Chief Operating Officer, managing ops, finances, and legal, all the way through the company’s acquisition. Following SendHub's acquisition, John served as Head of Talent for Tilt until he moved to Raleigh, NC in late 2015. Since moving to Raleigh, John has served as the COO of Lincoln Network (a tech/tech policy nonprofit based in the Bay), launched Fallone SV (a law firm that serves startups) with Katelin Kennedy and earned a Master of Laws degree in Law and Entrepreneurship from Duke Law School.

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Ep #25 | Fashion that Feeds

Ep #25 | Fashion that Feeds

Carmin Black would tell you that growing up, she did not have a normal childhood. With a father who was a pastor and a mother who exemplified everything fashion and design, two very different worlds collided to create the culture that Carmin grew up in. While moving to various places all over the country that included Hawaii and Alaska, Carmin grew up with a sense of culture and a passion for people unlike most! Her dad instilled a passion and responsibility for helping people while her mom exemplified everything fashion and design. These worlds would soon come together with siblings Carmin and Christian to create HALF UNITED.

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Ep #24 | Think Bigger

Ep #24 | Think Bigger

If Alex Palmerton isn't eating, she's probably talking about it. She's spent her entire career in the food industry as an in-house food writer and marketer for restaurants and food brands. In 2016, she founded The 5th Sense — a copywriting and digital marketing agency that helps food businesses find their voice and increase their online traffic while crafting the content people crave. When she's not writing FOR food businesses, she's writing ABOUT them — she's also the food editor of 303 Magazine in Denver. When she's not working, she loves exploring Colorado with her husband Brooks or putting in quality couch time with their English Bulldog named Bacon.

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Ep #23 | Find Your Niche

Ep #23 | Find Your Niche

Mike Doyle started his animation company, drive 80,  in 2011 with a vision that regular equals boring. He's been told throughout the years to tone down down his message but has strayed from this advice because that's not what separates good from great. If you are going to push the boundaries, you need to draw a line in the sand. If everyone likes you then you are doing it wrong. drive 80 strives to work with the risk takers, big thinkers, and those who excite the world with what they create. 

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Ep #22 | Playing the Line Between the Business and the Creative

Ep #22 | Playing the Line Between the Business and the Creative

Craig Johnson is the President and co-founder of Matchstic. A native Atlantan, Craig graduated from Georgia State University and for his entire career he has worked on the business side of a creative industry, starting with managing rock bands and moving on to become the business arm of Matchstic. His vision for the company was to create a place where smart creatives could thrive and produce work that generates real change for business.

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Ep #21 | Why Do You Do What You Do?

Ep #21 | Why Do You Do What You Do?

Akram Ibrahim is a manager on the Customer Success Team for CareerBuilder. He came in when they were building the team up and two years later it has grown to something that would not have seemed likely early on. Akram also works with software start ups in the process of building customer success teams as well as other smaller local businesses, sharing experiences for scaling and best practices gained from working with some large companies in the Atlanta area. When Akram is not working, he coaches CrossFit at CrossFit 404 in Buckhead and tries to spend as much time outside as possible. 

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Ep #20 | Never Give Up

Ep #20 | Never Give Up

Jason Dominy is currently the Director of Social Media and Storytelling for Jekyll Brewing in Alpharetta, Georgia. He’s been in marketing for almost 20 years, creating content and managing social media for brands like Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, McDonald's, UPS, Salesforce, and Chick-fil-A. He was also in the specialty coffee industry for 16 years, taking many leadership and training positions along the way. In his free time, he supports Atlanta organization The Giving Kitchen, who offers grants to those in the food and beverage industry in times of hardship; and global organization, Blood:Water, which helps fund clean water wells and HIV medication and treatment solutions for those affected by HIV in East Africa. He’s married to April for more than 15 years and has two Yorkies, Boone and Cooper.

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Ep #19 | Homeless to Hyper-Growth

Ep #19 | Homeless to Hyper-Growth

Kit Hughes is a typical technology entrepreneur. He dropped out of college to start a company (it failed), spent a period of time homeless (by choice), and became an overnight success (slowly). He co-founded Look Listen with his collaborator in punk bands, Paul Sternberg. Under Kit’s leadership as CEO, Look Listen was recognized as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the US by hitting #408 on the Inc 500 in 2015. Be sure to check out this episode that dives into Kit’s journey from punk rocker to CEO

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Ep #18 | Bringing Laughter to the World

Ep #18 | Bringing Laughter to the World

Marshall Chiles is a stand-up comedy producer and entrepreneur. He started as a stand-up comedian in 2000 and now owns The Laughing Skull Lounge and Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta, GA. His latest venture, Humor Wins, combines his love of comedy and business by producing stand-up comedy competitions where the performers are people that work in a specific industry. Examples are Atlanta's Funniest Lawyer and Atlanta's Funniest Real Estate Agent. His ultimate objective in business is to bring more laughter to the world... especially corporate America.

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Ep #17 | Scale Your Expertise

Ep #17 | Scale Your Expertise

As the founder of  REBEL & REASON, a marketing/innovation consultancy, and training company, Nic Smith provides solutions for established businesses and startups, offers her expertise and knowledge through in-person and online workshops, and is regularly tapped to speak on the emerging tech trends, content marketing, and innovation.  Additionally, Nic is currently the Director of Programming for  SuperNova South, a technology conference based in Atlanta, Georgia and a founding member of Digital Divas, a community organization focused on promoting and mentoring women in digital and technology-based fields. She is also on the Advisory Board for the  Alliance Theatre,  leading producing theatre in the Southeast and recently started a new technology and innovation event series in Georgia called   Silicon Peach.  

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Ep #16 | The Gift of Connections

Ep #16 | The Gift of Connections

Darrah Brustein is a serial entrepreneur and networking guru who's founded Equitable Payments, Network Under 40 and Network Over 40.  She also authored Finance Whiz Kids to teach children financial literacy through fun and engaging illustrated stories. In the simplest of terms, Darrah is a connector. When not working, writing, or volunteering, you’ll most likely find me traveling, hanging with friends, eating dill pickles, reading a non-fiction book, doing acroyoga, and/or taking black and white photos.

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