The Standout Experience

John Walsh

The Standout Experience will inspire and help you to go beyond the norm and Standout in your career and in life. Each week, we bring you incredible Standout people and world-class experts who share their best ideas, top strategies, and ready-to-use tactics that will help you reach your potential and accelerate your success. The Standout Experience, which is based on the best-selling book with the same title, is hosted by John Walsh, former Disney and Madison Square Garden senior executive turned entrepreneur.

Subscribe now and join us each week for the key insights that will separate you from the rest and help you live a life beyond limits.

All Episodes

Some people seek out leadership. Others find themselves in it. Christine McHugh is one of those individuals who walked the walk right into the top of her industry. Her journey has had ups and downs, but her consistent character and valuing of people paved the way for her success. Christine grew up in a single-parent household. Surrounded by civil servants, it is easy to see how her deeply rooted sense of service and empathy formed. While attending a community college, she interviewed for a position as a barista at Starbucks. After a 30-year career with the company, she rounded out her time with Starbucks in an executive position, literally going from barista to the boardroom; not to mention everything in between. She is currently an entrepreneur, executive coach, author, and runner, just to name a few of the hats she wears. We often explore what makes individuals stand out. What separates them from their peers and causes them to rise? While a role may require specific skill sets, there are a few things that transcend position. Curiosity is foundational. You have to ask questions, so you can understand and discover how to move forward. Taking responsibility for yourself and building your tool belt is key. A leader goes out of their way to learn the ins and outs of how things work and what makes them do well. In the service industry, technology may have changed, but one thing has not. No matter your position, being service-oriented in every arena of life will cause you to stand out among the crowd. The human connection is what truly makes the difference. People build loyalty to a company or brand because of how they are treated.  It is not enough to be fast and efficient. Caring for the person in front of you and welcoming them, and meeting their individual need is what makes companies stand out. Being transactional is not enough. Leaders create culture. That culture is built on what they value, not just what they say. If a leader values empathy, curiosity, and relationship building, their culture will foster these values. A culture that deems these values as important will take them beyond the walls of the company. They will interact with others from this point of value, from coworkers to vendors. Never stop learning. Never stop valuing people. When you care about your people, your organization, and your culture, your vision will take care of itself. Lead with self-awareness, walk in your strength and surround yourself with individuals who can fill in the gaps. Know what you value and lead from that place of strength. If you can take anything away from Christine and apply it immediately, it is this: If you work with a team, go right now and thank them. Thank them for what they do and how they do it. Value them and help build a culture that is founded on value. Rise. Shine. Impact. Be curious, take responsibility, and value others. Resources From Barista to Boardroom: Lessons about Life and Leadership from a Career in Coffee by Christine C. McHugh Connect with Christine LinkedIn: Website: Website: Instagram: (running) Instagram: (consulting) Blog: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Jun 28

50 min 57 sec

Many people will have a leadership title at some point in their careers. But what sets managers apart from true, standout leaders? Mark Rucker, former Global VP of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, is here to share his years of wisdom and how you can not just glean it, but apply it. Mark Rucker is the CEO of The Golden Company, a speaker, and author. In addition to being a former Global VP for Disney, he is also a former SVP for Great Wolf Resorts. Over his 32 year career at Disney, Mark worked in over 15 different roles, spanning from an industrial engineer in parks and resorts to systems, transportation, corporate, and eventually Global Walt Disney. Leadership is a journey, and leaders aren’t born, they're made, over time and through lessons learned. There is no one specific situation that makes you a leader. There are, however, pivotal moments that set your course. Document those key moments and lessons through a journal or a drop file. This allows you to build a solid foundation along the way for your leadership. The best way to grow your understanding is to seek it out. Reach out to friends you admire and respected colleagues and ask to grab coffee with them. Don’t be shy about talking to people about things they are experts in. Taking the first step and seeking out wisdom will allow you to gain nuggets over time from others' experiences. And if there is one thing you want as a leader, it is wisdom. There is a difference between wisdom gleaned and wisdom applied. It isn’t enough to ask and take notes. Standouts take it a step further. They figure out how to apply what they learn to their lives and put it into action. The biggest lesson you can learn as a leader is that you are not an island. Whether you face a small problem or have a large endeavor, you don't have to do it alone. Those you lead are no different. Whatever stage you are at, you need to have a team around you. Not only mentors. You need a full team – at work and in life. Everyone is completely different, and how we treat each other should be different, unique, and special. If you want to be a standout leader, you have to have a leadership adoption mindset. Get to know those who you work alongside. Give them care and love and the benefit of the doubt. Make it your goal to help them grow. The greatest joy of a leader is seeing someone you have led move up and flourish. As you grow others, you must also grow yourself. Lead yourself well, and you will lead others well. Treat yourself as the first person you have to lead, develop and grow. If you can take anything away from Mark and apply it immediately, it is this: You need a board of directors for your life and career. If you take one nugget, it is to start setting up coffee chats and searching for your board of directors. Rise. Shine. Impact. Learn from others and give back. Resources Over Coffee with the Mouse: Life and Leadership Wisdom from 32 Years at Disney and Beyond by Mark Rucker (Preorder) Connect with Mark LinkedIn: Website: Facebook: Connect with John: Instagram:  LinkedIn:  Twitter: 

Jun 21

1 hr 9 min

We’ve all faced the question of following a passion or a paycheck. What does a Standout follow? Does it have to be either/or? It is a fine line to walk and can be littered with potholes along the way, including mental health struggles. Stress and pressure have the potential to either refine us or break us. Dr. Alexander Bacher is here to help us understand the difference between being a human being and a human doing. Dr. Bacher is a former Wall Street Investment Banker who decided to pass on what was recommended, even on an offer from the CIA. He is a Clinical Phycologist, specializing in drugs and addiction, and has traveled to over 103 countries. He received his BA in Phycology from Georgetown before pursuing his grad studies at Pepperdine University. He is also an author, speaker, and performance and wellness coach with the goal to be a transformational change maker. It is not easy to break free of the mindset that judges success by money and possessions. Studies have shown there is a negligible increase in happiness when individuals make more than 70K, regardless of the amount. While you are discovering what you want to do, take the time to try new things. Success isn’t just what you make and have, but your ability to be authentically you. Who we are authentically is different than who we are as a result of our social, religious, and relational programming. Connecting with our inner guidance system and discovering what is best for us makes a huge difference in true success. Another potential battlefield is that of mental health. It is one of the most important and often overlooks aspects of our lives. The average individual is chasing after the “dream” of success based on money, prestige, and things; it opens the door to social comparison. It can lead to the assumption that we are less worthy of love and value if we don’t have x, y, or z. We need to focus on instilling the correct values in our core; like compassion, cooperation, community, and self-care. Self-care is paramount to leading. It is simply the intentional investment in things that are meaningful and restorative to yourself. Care for yourself first, and you can care for others. What we fill ourselves with and the inputs we receive from are important. It’s not just what we eat, but what we mentally consume. Don’t let consumer-driven agendas play on your fears and problems. Focus on what is healthy and helpful. Does it motivate you or does it paralyze you? We need community, not isolation. We have to reduce the stigma of mental health and break free of the individual culture that keeps us from the social support and community we desperately need. As individuals, you know who you are. Be true to who you are and take care of who you are. This knowing, coupled with a meaningful pursuit and managing your time effectively, and focusing on what is truly important, will help you overcome stress and mental health issues. If you can take anything away from Dr. Bacher and apply it immediately, it is this: Start being more present. Slow down. Be by yourself and reflect. Do meditation and connect with your inner guidance system. Rise. Shine. Impact. Take care of yourself so you can care for others. Resources Being Human: Reclaiming our True Power and Potential by Dr. Alexander Bacher The Morning Brew The Skimm Connect with Dr. Bacher Website: Website: Instagram: Connect with John: Instagram:  LinkedIn:  Twitter: 

Jun 14

1 hr 8 min

As Standouts, it is normal to question what makes a champion. How can I achieve that level? Do I need more skills? More opportunity? Just more dumb luck? Seth Pepper, a high-performance mental coach, is giving us a crash course in how to build mental strength and confidence to help launch a stand-out performance in life. Seth began his journey to greatness as a kid. At 14, he decided he wanted to be an Olympic swimmer. Seth went from training with 8-year-olds at a YMCA in Oregon to a national champion. It was the study of the power of the conscious and subconscious mind that was his edge, and now he trains athletes, execs, and influential leaders on how they can take what makes them unique and combine it with their audience's need to make a lasting impact in the world. Everyone has a dream. Often, it can seem far away or unattainable. By making your future accessible and normalizing your success in your mind, you have the ability to open doors and create access to your goal. When you view adversity as an opportunity and failure as data to help you make educated changes, you will be unstoppable. Too often, we look to the right or left and compare ourselves with those we admire. We see their success as the finish line, and that creates a gap that feels untraversable. When we knock the pedestal out from under them in our minds and see them as real people, their status becomes attainable. Rather than focusing on the variables outside of your control, focus on what is within your reach. What are the things you can control? Don’t get caught up in other people's stories. Stay neutral. It will allow you to be strategic and keep you from getting caught up with things outside of your reach. Clarity comes with time. Have a general direction and follow what calls to you and go after it. When you have a purpose, it makes pain bearable. There is never a clear path to success. But as you find your way around and through opposition and stay the course, you will arrive at the success you plan. If you can take anything away from Seth and apply it immediately, it is this: Spend a little time, each day, by yourself. Get present in your body through quiet time or meditation. Journal. Have a conversation with yourself and allow yourself to get out of your head and be present. Rise. Shine. Impact. Find your station, find your tribe. Connect with Seth Website: Linkedin: Instagram: Connect with John: Instagram:  LinkedIn:  Twitter: 

Jun 7

1 hr 2 min

Still, on the topic of currency, we are taking a slightly different direction into the world of social capital. What is that, you might ask? Rika Nakazawa is sharing all about it and why it is important to your future. Rika understands how much life is a string of chance coming together to form a glorious story. Born to a German mother and a Japanese father, Rika grew up in the middle of inborn multicultural diversity. After growing up in Japan, Rika moved to the US to become a Princeton Tiger. She has worked for many large international corporations, including Sony and American Express. She is an author, speaker, CEO, and founder of Board Seat Meet Inc. Over the years, just as tech has transitioned from the waterfall methodology to agile, the mindsets of individuals when it comes to their professional future has also evolved. We no longer see work as a linear start to finish culminating in a gold watch at retirement. We now iterate our carriers, learning and growing in short sprints, working to become the best iteration of ourselves. We aren’t looking to put a corvette out as our first iteration. We are ok going from skateboard to bike to beater car to high octane efficiency. With this focus on learning and improving, more doors are opening to those in underrepresented groups. No matter the group we belong to, we all have a default station hardwired in us. Our job is to learn what we can uniquely tune into and find others on the same frequency. We discover this by being exposed to others and their experiences. Our ability to sympathize or empathize with someone else has the potential to connect us, both personally and professionally. As we uncover our story and the tribe we are best able to share it with, we find that our arc, our journey, can inspire those around us and pave the way for others. As a leader, you are expanding your connections and your influence, understanding the importance of social capital can help pave the road for your journey and those who will follow after you. The professional relationships that you reinforce socially allow you to grow a network of advocates and those you can advocate for. In the digital age, new avenues for cultivating social capital are springing up. To stand out, you have to know what makes you different and what you have to offer in any setting, personally or professionally. When you have the opportunity to be heard, take it. Self-expression is key. It doesn’t have to be perfect – each opportunity is a new chance to iterate and become who you are going to be. If you can take anything away from Rika and apply it immediately, it is this: Practice is important. Think of a person who has been an idol in your life, maybe a leader or an author. Find them on LinkedIn and request to connect. Be specific in why you want to connect and how you are already connected to them. Practice reaching out to stand out. Rise. Shine. Impact. Find your station, find your tribe. Resources Board Seat Meet Dear Chairwomam,: Letters from Today’s Trailblazing Women Board Leaders to the Fearless Directors of Tomorrow By Rika Nakazawa Connect with Rika Linkedin: Email: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

May 31

1 hr 9 min

We are talking about money again. In the last episode, we took a look at our relationship with money. Today, Brook Tomasetti is helping us take a strategic look at how we handle the money we have.  Brooke grew up in a typical middle-class family, with a dual-income family. Her parents provided well for Brooke and her sisters, but they also instilled a strong work ethic. Brooke started investing by 18 and worked her way through college, finishing with minimal debt. In addition to her “normal” job, Brook also works in her passion, helping you get organized with your money. People are often trying to live out the values of others, rather than discovering and building a life around what is truly important to them. How you spend your life and your time is 100% your responsibility. When you know what is important to you, it is easier to keep yourself focused on those things.  When it comes to managing money, there are six steps that every individual needs to know and embrace. Take control. Understand you are in control of what you do with your time and your money. Know your values. You will spend your money and your time on what you value. Take some time to discover what you value. Journal. Dream of your ideal life and write that down. Get specific.  Discover your purpose. Don’t feel pressured to put yourself in a box. Purpose helps to eliminate the noise so you can focus on what matters. Adjust your money mindset. Recognize “wealth” for what it is and make the connection between finances and freedom. Being Rich is simply being able to spend your time on what matters to you with the people that matter to you. Get real with your numbers and make a plan. Don’t just hope and pray – know where you are and where you want to go. Have the discipline to walk it out. Make the trade-off and the necessary sacrifices to accomplish what matters to you. If you take these six steps, utilize a budget, and pay yourself first, you can experience a full and satisfying life.  If you can take anything away from Brooke and apply it immediately, it is this: Sometimes you just have to try things. Don’t be afraid to explore, especially as you are finding your values. Rise. Shine. Impact. Relax and follow your value. Resources Free Expense Tracker Work with Brook Connect with Brooke Website: Instagram: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

May 24

55 min 34 sec

There is a topic that no one can escape. Money. Whether you are an employee, an entrepreneur, or are independently wealthy, we all have thoughts and mindsets surrounding money. Sarah McCrum joins us to unpack the difference between our mindset and our relationship with money. Sarah grew up in Great Britain, in a culture that avoided talking about money, no matter the cost. After finding traditional studies void of the answers she sought, Sarah trained in energy under two different masters, exploring the interconnecting vibrations that connect us all. In that study, she found herself channeling money and learning what it truly is. That led to a deeper understanding of the nature of our relationship with money. Sarah now lives in Australia and is putting her own energy into the world, helping others come to a place of peace with money. Sarah’s book, Love Money, Money Loves You is literally a book from money to you. It explores the true purpose of money and how our energy intertwines with our lives. Money is about value; how we use it is a reflection of how we invest our most valuable assets. Our time. Our energy. Our money. As we better understand our relationship with money, we can then tap into the infinite possibility that it is, rather than view it as a limited, transactional resource. Those who have a good relationship with money appreciate what they are doing; they are present with where they are and are not striving for more. They recognize that spending money is reallocating value and do not view it intrinsically as a loss. They understand that releasing money in one area is bringing value to themselves in another form; by making room for more money to come in. Those who have a bad relationship with money operate in a state of discomfort, as they strive for the next thing and feel a constant pressure to prove and assert themselves. No matter how much they earn, they have no confidence in where they are, fearing the potential loss just on the horizon. You don’t shift your money mindset by doing what you are doing now – that is only going to get you what you already have. View money as an opportunity for more rather than a lack of enough. Money is not a linear resource. Putting money out is not taking away, but opening you to receive more. It isn’t in and out but attracting and creating space for more. The daily transactions may be linear, but overall, it is dynamic and not scarcity. If you can take anything away from Sarah and apply it immediately, it is this: Relax about money. It’s ok. Just relax. Rise. Shine. Impact. Relax and follow your value. Resources Money Score Card Love Money Money Loves You by Sarah McCrum Connect with Sarah Website: Linkedin: Facebook: Instagram: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

May 17

55 min 1 sec

We have been talking about resilience lately, and now we are taking it to the next step: How to go from a breaking point to a full life. Claudia Taboada is here to share some of her expertise in the practice of self-care and how it really can make a difference during tough times. Claudia Taboada is an author, motivational speaker, burnout prevention and stress resilience expert, and women’s empowerment coach. She is also an entrepreneur, digital course creator, and the founder of the brand ''Unstoppable You Wellness'' with the mission to empower burned out and overwhelmed women, including busy professional moms and caregivers, reclaim their health, rediscover their spark and become UNSTOPPABLE. Claudia will soon be launching the “Unstoppable You Wellness Academy'' in order to offer digital courses, online live training as well as a variety of digital products to help busy women make self-care a non-negotiable priority in their lives. Claudia's most precious role is being a mom to her two boys - Nico and Alex. Nico is severely autistic and for close to 9 years, Claudia was his full-time caregiver. In 2003, Claudia learned firsthand how a temporary pivot can set an entirely new life course. After her son was diagnosed with Autism, Claudia took what was meant to be a short-term sabbatical to focus on his care. Two years turned into 18, and in the course of providing the care he needed, Claudia lost herself. It was not an epiphany that led to life change but making a small commitment to walk her dog every day that evolved into running marathons over the world.  It is not a life-altering event, but the little changes that create a difference in our lives. By having a goal or a plan, even a small one, we can set micro-goals every day, which give us micro accomplishments and keep us going. To be successful, you have to know your why.  There are six non-negotiables when it comes to self-care. Move your Body. Mindfulness. Mindset. Focus. Growth Mindset. Positive Mindset. Self-Love. Being intentional in these six areas allows you to reconnect with yourself and helps you to focus on the things that will add to your life, not take from it. Some specific practices that help with these areas are journaling, connection, and passion. Every second in life counts. Do not waste your precious time regretting the past or worrying about the future. Just keep moving where you are.  If you can take anything away from Claudia and apply it immediately, it is this: For the next seven days, write down 1-6 on a page in your journal. Intentionally chose one thing in each of the following areas: Move your Body. Mindfulness. Mindset. Focus. Growth Mindset. Positive Mindset. Self-Love. Set your micro goals and see the micro accomplishments add up in a big way.  Rise. Shine. Impact. Do what you can to help those around you by being your best you. Resources Burnout to Unstoppable: An Autism Mom’s Memoir About Prioritizing Self-Care, Become Stress Resilient and Unleashing Her Inner Badass by Claudia Taboada Top 5 Wellness Tips Connect with Claudia Website: Linkedin: Private Facebook Group: Facebook Business Page: Instagram: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

May 10

57 min 4 sec

Grief and trauma are not things we choose, but they are things we have to walk through during our life. Some may seem greater or more impactful, but as Payton Lynch shares with us, grief isn’t discriminant and, regardless of the magnitude, we experience it in similar ways. All grief is valid.  Payton Lynch is an amazing young lady who is currently traversing a few parallel paths. She works for Disney Cruise Lines as a Sr. Product Manager for the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. Payton also serves as a Traditions Assistant. While working for Disney has always been her passion and goal, she discovered that it is possible to be multi-passionate and pursue those things in tandem.  Life is full of learning. Some learning is done in a classroom, while some is done on the job. It is this experiential learning in the field that will help you identify what you want to do. Or in some cases, what you don’t want to do. It is our job to be open to the things that are out there. Sometimes, this requires a pivot; that is ok. People continue to reinvent themselves every day. Every path is an opportunity to fill up your toolbox and find ways that those tools translate in the future. In addition to her work with Disney, Payton is preparing to experience the culmination of her passion project. Her book, Rise from the Ashes: Stories of Trauma, Resilience, and Growth from the Children of 9/11 releases this August. It documents the stories of family survivors of those lost in the September 11th, 2001 tragedy. This is a topic close to home, as this journey started with her husband, who lost his father on September 11th at the age of 13.  Beyond simply sharing stories, she shares themes of grief and the healing that emerges from these narratives. The importance of family and a solid support system. It is critical to have people in our corner who can advocate and help us get the help we need. Another key is actively practicing an attitude of gratitude and choosing to focus on the things you are grateful for, no matter how small. It is also important to assess where you are and how you feel and be ok with it at that moment. What is one thing you can see, taste, smell, or feel? Learning to focus and be present and feel in the moment is paramount to healing. If you can take anything away from Payton and apply it immediately, it is this: If you are in the middle of a challenging time or feel like you are in hell right now, keep going Take baby steps. Get out of bed. Make your bed. Acknowledge birds are chirping. Just keep going and don’t stop. Rise. Shine. Impact. Practice gratitude and be present with where you are right now. Resources Rise from the Ashes: Stories of Trauma, Resilience and Growth from the Children of 9/11 by Payton Lynch Connect with Payton Instagram: Linkedin: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

May 3

55 min 24 sec

Sometimes you meet someone and, there is a connection based on the lessons life has taught you. Ken Cheadle and I are discussing a few of those lessons, namely grief and adversity. How we engage these in our lives can make or break us. Ken Cheadle is no stranger to adversity or grief. Growing up in the urban core of Kansas City, MO, Ken grew up with many things against him. At the age of 14, he forged his birth certificate to get a job at McDonald's. After the unexpected passing of his father, Ken found himself the man of the household and felt the weight of providing for his mother and three sisters. Unable to process the grief and circumstances life was throwing at him, he found himself in and out of prison until he enlisted in the military and began to have his mindset of what was available to him challenged.  Your belief systems will keep you trapped in cycles and prevent you from breaking out and experiencing growth. Once you can break free of those limiting beliefs, you will be surprised at what you are capable of.  Whether dealing with adversity or grief, it is important to recognize and acknowledge your feelings. Embrace and explore them; don’t deny them. Figure out where you are so you can find your way past them. Our experiences have the potential to shape and grow us into something beautiful.  When it comes to processing grief, it can be easy to seek to self-medicate with substances or spending or whatever numbs the pain. But you have to ask yourself this – would those I mourn want me to spend my life copping in this way? Take time, grieve and get back to being you. Prepare now and make wise choices such as a life insurance policy and a will. Help give those who will mourn and grieve you the space to do so. There are two certainties in life. Hard and easy. Do what is hard now and make it easier for yourself in the future, or do what is easy now and endure the hardship down the road. You can't avoid the hard, but you do get to chose if you are proactive or reactive to it.  If you can take anything away from Ken and apply it immediately, it is this: Go look in the mirror and acknowledge yourself. Acknowledge the value you bring to the world and those around you. It’s not about being big-headed; it's talking stock in yourself.   Rise. Shine. Impact. Acknowledge and value yourself. Resources Millennial Takeover: A Clear Roadmap to Identifying Your Purpose, Enhancing your Skills and Building a Satisfying Career and Life by Kenneth Cheadle The Adverse Effect Podcast Connect with Ken Website: Twitter: YouTube: Instagram: Linkedin: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter -     

Apr 26

59 min 43 sec

This conversation with Dr. John Demartini is one of the most impactful I have had in my life. I hope it will be life-changing for you as well. Dr. Demartini shares his tremendous story of adversity, fulfillment, and empowering others to stand out in their own, authentic way. From homelessness and panhandling his way from Texas to Hawaii to surf, Dr. Demartini has seen a lot. His journey from being forced to wear a dunce cap in first grade and being told he would never read to being a teacher, speaker, and avid reader – is humbling and mind-blowing. At the core of Dr. Demartini’s message is the importance of identifying your values and living a life aligned with them. Every moment of our lives is dictated by some known or unknown values. The values we are internally driven by are those we hold most dear. Those things that take outward motivators are things we probably don’t truly value at our core. You find your congruency and core essence of who you are by living spontaneously and intrinsically what you value most.  There is an innate desire in each of us to make a difference. We can only truly fulfill that desire when we are authentically ourselves. When we spend time putting others and their opinions on a pedestal or in a pit, we lose our ability to be who we truly are. You can either be a victim of history or a master of destiny. You must decide. Dr. Demartini shares his keys to defining your values through a series of questions. And how he defines values is mind-blowing.  If you can take anything away from Dr. Demartini and apply it immediately, it is this: don’t compare yourself to others. Compare your daily actions to what you value most, so you can give yourself permission. Permission to shine, not shrink. Permission to radiate, not gravitate. Permission to make a difference standing out instead of being stuck fitting in. Rise. Shine. Impact. Live your values and love your life. Resources Determine Your Values Connect with Dr. John Demartini Website: Facebook: YouTube: Instagram: Linkedin: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Apr 19

56 min 49 sec

On the Standout Experience, we like to have entrepreneurs and movers, and shakers. We also love to feature individuals who are standing out in their communities and are making a difference. Charles Curtis Thomas and Shawn Kim fit that description perfectly. Charles and Shawn have traveled a similar path on their journey. Both understand the challenges unique to being immigrants/children of immigrants. Both have walked the walk being a Person of Color (POC) in American during one of the most racially charged seasons in modern history. Rather than giving up or becoming bitter, they are making a difference. They have channeled their experience, their past, and their challenges into an amazing non-profit: PRAIS. Both seniors at the University of Pennsylvania, Charles and Shawn are on a mission to make sure that individuals are aware of the conversations that need to take place and that those conversations are happening.  PRAIS stands for Promoting Racial Awareness in Schools. The mission: educate, evaluate and equip schools to tackle the topics necessary to progress in areas of diversity and inclusion. By being a voice for the voiceless and providing practical, specialized game plans, they hope to inform and empower students and schools alike to open necessary lines in communication and advancement.  By sharing their journey, their faith, and their hard-earned lessons, Charles and Shawn are opening doors for those around them. They have turned their past struggles and their present gratitude into motivating factors. Understanding that every journey is unique and using your own experiences to empathize with those around you will help you to respect your fellow man. If, as a society, we can respect and value those around us, the world will be a better place. If you can take anything away from Charles and Shawn and apply it immediately, it is this: Examine your surroundings, your networks, and the conversations that you are having. Are the necessary conversations about diversity and inclusion coming up? How can you open the conversation? Also, take time to reflect and use your own experience to empathize with those around you. Love those who have dealt poorly with you. Forgive and respect one another, regardless of background.   Rise. Shine. Impact. Be grateful and respect all... Resources Mother Teresa’s “Anyway” Poem Connect with Charles and Shawn Facebook: YouTube: Email: Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Apr 12

46 min 53 sec

Not many guests can claim having been to over 40 countries, but this is just one of the things you should know about Pankaj Shah. He is a foodie, a music junkie, and a people connecter. Today, Pankaj shares his best practices for determining your life’s work and leaving the mark you desire to make. Pankaj is making an impact by founding, a social media networking platform designed to connect people based on who they are, not just what they do. By highlighting personal details and finding common threads, Sparrows allows users to stand out amidst a crowd of college alumni or employment history. Connections made on commonality and not competition or competencies surround individuals with inspiring networks that provide inspiration and energy. Determining your “life’s work” takes time. You may not be there now, but when you look to add to the world around you rather than take, you are on the right path. When you walk into a room, do you have the mindset that asks “What can I do for you” rather than “What can you do for me?” There is no shame in transitioning to align your life and the projects you connect with. When you are in your “life’s work”, there is no such thing as work/life balance. It all intertwines; everything is fluid, life flowing from one area into another. Building meaningful relationships is key. Don’t be afraid to be the least successful person in the room. Spend time getting inspired by your network. It is a scientific fact that you are limited physiologically, physically, and emotionally when it comes to the relationships you can meaningfully maintain. Be intentional and cultivate fruitful connections, not just a large quantity. If you can take anything away from Pankaj and apply it immediately, it is this: Focus on being kind and empathetic. You never know the journey someone else is going through.  Rise. Shine. Impact. Connect, don’t compete. Connect with Pankaj Website – Sparrows - LinkedIn - Email - Connect with John Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Apr 5

39 min 11 sec

In a world that is rapidly changing, you must have a clear direction. You also must have the ability to pivot while remaining true to yourself. Success isn’t just making money. It is a holistic resonance of your personal and business life aligning with what you are at your core. Michael and Kathryn Redman are the dynamic duo equipping entrepreneurs and business leaders to achieve this success. Michael and Kathryn Redman have been in the marketing and advertising business for over 18 years. They have multiple endeavors ending in 7 figure successes, even when others were tanking. Their insight is something every potential entrepreneur needs to hear. When you are creating and growing your dream, you have to remember that everything the customer sees is part of your “marketing”. Being true to your core vision and caring for people, in a genuine way, set you apart from the crowd. How you can pivot in those areas while maintaining your anchor determines your longevity. It can be tempting in a rapidly changing business environment to be distracted by the newest shiny thing. By knowing what drives you, you will be able to adapt in ways that make sense for you without spreading yourself too thin just to be an early adapter. Being successful can’t just be about the dollar signs. There is a happy medium between making money and not being crushed under the weight of growth. Determine what matters and set up boundaries to project those lines in every area of your life. To be successful in business, you need to understand the fundamentals, have a holistic perspective, focus on people-to-people interactions, and have the ability to see into the future and lead yourself so you can lead others there. Life is all about the seasons of discovery, building, and determining what it is that you MUST do. If you can take anything away from Michael and Kathryn and apply it immediately, it is this: Genuinely care for your customers. Period. Have a clear picture of what you believe and who you are and then hold the line. Find the resonance of doing you doing what you do and treat people well. Rise. Shine. Impact. Prioritize and prosper. Resources Connect with Michael and Kathryn Website – Twitter - Facebook - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Mar 29

53 min 41 sec

One of the main goals of The Standout Experience is equipping young people to stand out in the work-place. It is a priority to give you practical steps and advice from individuals who are doing just that. This conversation with Jennifer Hill is not a simple step by step to making yourself stand out. It is the compendium: mind, body, and soul.  Jennifer Hill is an entrepreneur, talk show host, author, professional recruiter, and career coach. Not only does she have the background to speak into this arena, but she is also living proof that following your heart and trusting your intuition opens doors and leads you into positions that are for your highest and best good. It is easy to focus on how to answer questions in an interview. Or how to complete a resume. We can treat tactics as the make or break factors when applying for a job. However, there is a step that Stand-outs take before stepping into an interview or making the decision to accept or decline a job that sets them apart. They tap into the power found in trusting yourself and pausing to create space to ask if it is what you need.  By surrendering and opening ourselves to the guiding forces in our lives we align ourselves with our greatest good. We tap into our calling. We need to check the tactical boxes. But even more than that, we need to bring the energy and the heart. Prepare yourself. Get into the right mental state before stepping foot into an interview. This will help you bring the right energy. That energy is what will set you apart when all of the tactical pieces have been factored in. How do you bring the right energy? Practice your power pose, set the intention of who you want to be, affirm yourself, and align yourself with a statement of intent and daily declaration. Even if you don’t feel like you deserve it, receive it. Honor yourself first, remain in a state of receiving and savor life. If you can take anything away from Jen and apply it immediately, it is this: Bring the energy, even in virtual settings. Send energy through your eyes; look into the eye of the camera like you are looking into the eyes of the person on the other side. Listen deeply. See the words as you say them and as they are said to you, almost like your own subtitles. Be present and be amazed at what happens. Rise. Shine. Impact. Be present and powerful... Resources Stop Hoping…Start Hunting!: A Job Seeker’s Guide to Finding Their Job by Jennifer K. Hill Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill Get Yourself The Job Radio Show Connect with Jen Website - Twitter - Instagram - Facebook - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Mar 22

50 min 27 sec

Alienor Salmon and I are exploring what it means to chase after your dream, and there is probably no one more qualified than Alienor to share their journey. She literally wrote the book on it. Alienor is a French Britt who dreamed of dance and working for the UN. Not only did she beat her goal of working for the United Nations by 30, but she was also already preparing to leave for her next grand adventure: dancing her way across Latin America.  The American dream is often boiled down to what your title and how much do you make. By achieving some preconceived level, people expect they will find happiness. Did you know there is a science to happiness? As Alienor explains, 24 character traits are needed at one time or another to experience happiness. Kindness, love of learning, appreciation of beauty, honesty, optimism, and humor are just a few character keys to unlocking true happiness. While sharing a glimpse of her journey with us, Alienor drives home the truth of being truly happy. We all have dreams, and those dreams deserve fulfillment. It takes courage and planning to give up everything you know to pursue what is in your heart. Take away the boundaries of time and money, and the possibilities are endless, not impossible. Standing out can be summed up by identifying your dream and pursuing it in a way that only you can. Stand-outs don’t ignore obstacles; they identify and overcome them.  If you can take anything away from Alienor and apply it immediately, it is this: Anything is possible as long as you take the first step – in dancing and in life. Find your rhythm and step into your destiny. Rise. Shine. Impact. Define your success, don’t let it define you. Resources Finding Rhythm: An International Dance  Journey by Alienor Salmon VIA Character Strengths Survey Connect with Alienor Website – Instagram - Facebook - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Mar 15

52 min 31 sec

With the onset of Covid, every industry found it necessary to pivot; none more so than the event and conferencing space. Chris Cherian, college senior and founder of Gatherly, took the challenge as an opportunity. Chris joins me to share his experience and advice for anyone looking to Stand Out in a customer-based industry. Chris is currently a Senior at Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania. As an entrepreneur, his wiring led to asking questions – what is a problem that needs to be solved? What is an obstacle others need help overcoming? Asking these kinds of questions positioned Chris to be ready when the world went on lockdown. Making a personal pivot to back burner a physical product in favor of tackling an issue many didn’t know they were about to face: how to keep humanity in virtual environments. Chris saw a solution and Gathely was born. As Stand Outs, you can take a page out of Chris’s book. While others crumble under stress and uncertainty, find a solution. Look to your potential customers and the road map will be clear. Perfection is the enemy. Don’t be afraid to iterate. If you are launching without a need for improvement, you have waited too long to launch.  In an increasingly digital age, there are a few things you can do to stand out in a virtual environment. Set the stage. Make sure you have good lighting and a presentable space. Go into every virtual conversation looking for how you can help. Listen to the pain points and take the opportunity to go beyond the transactional. Start from a place of humanity and connect in that space. If you can take anything away from Chris and apply it immediately, it is this: Don’t be afraid to start. Get feedback and iterate. Make sure your iteration is based on the customer. Focus on their problem and pain points and your roadmap will write itself. Rise. Shine. Impact. Make changes as you go. Resources Connect with Chris Website - Twitter - Instagram - LinkedIn - E-mail – Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Mar 8

49 min 18 sec

What if I told you that the only thing keeping you from reaching your potential is asking a question? Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Dwyer Hansen are here to empower us to ask the questions that will unlock your ultimate destiny.  Mark and Crystal are authors, speakers, and thought leaders in the realm of spiritual development. Most commonly known for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Mark and Crystal understand how a challenging journey is just the starting gate for the race we all run. Their newest book, Ask! The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny is an outline to unlocking your potential and overcoming the roadblocks in your way. The secret: Asking questions. Of yourself. Of others. And of God. As children, we are born wired to ask questions about anything and everything – without shame or apology. Somewhere along the way, we stop feeling free to understand our reality with the resonance of our curiosity. Instead, we let circumstances tell us what life “is” all about. When we are willing to be curious, inquisitive, and unafraid, the questions in our hearts become the key to unlocking our destiny. Every day, ask yourself these questions: Where am I right now? Where do I want to be? What specific actions do I need to take to get there? Take time every day to spend time in mediation and prayer. Don’t look at limits. Imagine your desired end of the ninth degree of your wildest dreams. Ask yourself the tough questions: Are you doing the best you can? Or are you taking the easy way out?  On the path to destiny, there will be roadblocks. Whether it is a feeling of unworthiness, naivety, or doubt, excesses will come. Fear and pattern paralysis will seek to disconnect you from the end goal. Getting real with yourself and identifying where you are and what is standing in your way is the only way to move forward. Take adversity and turn it into an advantage…by asking. If you have the right thinking, ask the right questions, take the right actions, you will get the right results. If you can take anything away from Mark and Crystal and apply it immediately, it is this: Understand no mechanism has the ability to reveal what is hidden from you than asking. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you ask for; so why not ask for the biggest, best, and most extravagant?  Ask the Question. Then…Rise. Shine. Impact. Resources Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny (Hardcopy) – by Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Dwyer Hansen Ask!: The Bridge from Your Dreams to Your Destiny (Audio) – by Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Dwyer Hansen The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy The Power of Moments (Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact) by Chip Heath Ask The Book Club Connect with Mark Victor Hansen Website - Twitter - Instagram - LinkedIn - Youtube - Facebook - Connect with Crystal Dwyer Hansen Website - Twitter - Instagram - LinkedIn - Youtube - Facebook - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Mar 1

58 min 33 sec

As we close out the old year and embark on the new, Jody Maberry joins me to process all that 2020 was and where I see The Standout Movement going in 2021. Jody is a friend, mentor, and partner. In his past lives, Jody has been a park ranger, a Disney executive, a speaker, and so much more. Having Jody interview me today brings clarity and encouragement as I take inventory and plan for the future. 2020 was an awkward year, to say the least. Personally, Covid-19 was a catalyst for transition and starting the journey of taking The Standout Movement from idea to reality. I learned that launching a book is no joke and that being an entrepreneur is correctly compared to riding a rollercoaster. There are highs and lows. It is always hard work, and to succeed, you have to get clear about what you are trying to do. On a personal note, 2020 reinforced the importance of relationships and clarity. We all fall into four buckets where 2020 is concerned. We either spiraled down, hung on, grew, or lead. Moving into 2021, we have to understand where we are, know where we want to go, make a plan and get the help we need to get there. After that, we put one foot in front of the other and walk out the journey every single day. Going into 2021, we at the Standout Movement gained clarity, and we’ve made changes and prioritized accordingly. We know that we are a people company; we are intentional about empowering others to stand out. There are no specific traits required to be a stand-out. You stand out simply by being you and being willing to step up and break away from the herd.                                              If you can take anything away from Jody and my conversation and apply it immediately, it is this: get clarity around what it is you want to do or how you want to stand out. Set your priorities accordingly. Then make it a goal, every day, to take action toward those priorities.  Rise. Shine. Impact. Breakaway from the herd and stand out.

Feb 22

46 min 27 sec

Hayley Hobson, health, wellness, and life coach, joins me to help unpack the loaded question ‘how do I follow my dream and find the balance to get everything done?’ Hayley Hobson is no stranger to chasing after a dream. A former lawyer, yoga and pilates instructor, and now entrepreneur, speaker, and author, Hayley has learned how to navigate life through the seas of others' expectations and your desires and dreams. Standing out is often tied to what you do, but it is not just about your output. You stand out by being the person only you can be. It takes vision and passion to look beyond what others desire for you and to forge your path. We are inundated by ideas and opportunities. Learning how to sift through all of the noise to uncover what is worth your investment takes discipline and self-awareness. The danger of blazing your own trail is burn out. Balance is hard to come by, but by being intentional to build your schedule around the cornerstones of your life, you will find a way to get it all done. Calendar management and surrounding yourself with strategic support are the fulcrum a balanced life hinges on. Don’t be satisfied with settling. Don’t be afraid to embrace what makes you you. People want to see that you are human. Whether it is art or entrepreneurship, find an outlet for creativity and seize the opportunities it affords you. While we live in uncertain times, as leaders, we must lean in and see how we can express ourselves in a way that adds value to our world.  If you can take anything away from Hayley and apply it immediately, it is this: You be you. See how you can express yourself and where and what you can create that others need. Download my Biz Hacks e-book (linked in the resources) and start dreaming. Rise. Shine. Impact. Leave a mark only you can make. Resources Hayley’s free Biz Hacks E-book: Interested in working with Hayley:  Connect with Hayley Website – Podcast – The Whole You Podcast Blog – The Whole You Blog Instagram - Facebook - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Feb 8

37 min 46 sec

Zack Braun is with me, and we are exploring what it takes to stand out in a place like Apple and as an entrepreneur.  Zack is a Georgia Tech grad, soon to be MBA, and Forbes 30 under 30 (did you know there is an application for that?). A National Science Foundation STTR Grant winner and founder and CEO of Firehud, Zack knows all about standing out in industries where you are surrounded by the best of the best. To stand out in highly competitive arenas; it is not enough to just be selected or be the best in your small pond. It takes initiative. It takes commitment. It takes seeking out ways to improve, learn and set yourself up to have differentiators among your peers. It isn’t enough to work the most hours – you have to show up, work hard and kill everything you do. As young people, it is not enough to pick a job and live life. It is about finding a problem that you are passionate about solving and then doing just that. While discovering your path, make sure you are exploring your interests and diversifying the things you learn. Surround yourself with a good group of strong and trusted friends that will challenge you and push you.  Dare to pursue and explore opportunities. Go after the things you know are essential to your future. As you interview for internships or approach clients, remember that they are all human, just like you. You don’t need to be nervous. Once you find the path you want to walk, don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. As a leader or an entrepreneur, you have the responsibility to set the culture within your organization. Lead by example. Don’t micromanage. Make wise hiring choices – hire smart people and give them the freedom to manage themselves. If you can take anything away from Zack and apply it immediately, it is this: Try new things, utilize the technology around you, like YouTube, and expand your skill sets. Also, Firehud is always looking to hire great people. Email your resume. Let’s see if it is a good fit. Rise. Shine. Impact. Invest in learning something new. Resources To apply for a position with Firehud, please email your resume to National Science Foundation STTR Program - Khan Academy - The Focus Project: The Not So Simple Art of Doing Less by Erik Qualman Connect with Zack Website – Email – LinkedIn: Facebook - Twitter – Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Feb 1

43 min 44 sec

Kehkashan Basu and I are tackling the topic of global sustainability and how empathy and following your path plays a huge part. At only 20, Kehkashan has already made an impact on a global level. By day a third-year student at the University of Toronto, Kehkashan spends her “free time” running Green Hope Foundation. Green Hope is a global foundation empowering children, youth, and marginalized communities in sustainable development. As if that weren’t enough, she is also a recipient of the 2016 Children’s Peace Prize, one of Canada’s top 20 women of influence, and on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. As young standouts, it is imperative that empathy and passion act as the compass as we identify our path. While our passion and enthusiasm may be inherent, they must also be cultivated and nurtured, and fostered by the choices we make. You want to make a difference. The first step is understanding that you can’t leave it up to chance or other people. Be the change in the world you want to see. Don’t be discouraged if the problem or challenge in front of you seems daunting. Find the simple solution and work on scaling it over time. Start small. Ask yourself “what can I do today?” Then step up to do it and take your small part in moving the world forward. When your love for your work is greater than your fear, you can accomplish anything. As human beings, we are all global citizens, and cultivating empathy and awareness, stepping outside of our comfort zones will open doors for change.  You don’t have to have all of the answers now. You don’t have to decide on one specific path. Follow the compass of your passion in the direction that most aligns with what fuels you and you will find your path. If you can take anything away from Kehkashan and apply it immediately, it is this: Start local, start small. Whatever is most applicable to your local environment, no matter how small – find it and start doing it.  Rise. Shine. Impact. Make your difference in the world today.

Jan 4

57 min 34 sec

Joe Lau joins me, and we are going deep on four topics that regularly challenge entrepreneurs: struggle, balance, priorities, and focus.   Joe is a serial entrepreneur with six companies under his belt, three of which have sold for millions. A speaker, quality of life coach, and devoted family man, Joe is no stranger to the tightrope entrepreneurs walk with their multifaceted lives. As an entrepreneur, “failure” will come. Most of us will come to the point that we wonder if we suck and what we can do about it. But business doesn’t have to be a win or lose situation. You win, or you learn. The sooner you get feedback, the quicker you learn, and as long as you see “failure” as learning, you won’t fail. There are three things an entrepreneur needs: A love of problem-solving, a passion for learning, and a support system. Some of these skills are born, and some are learned; each piece is imperative for entrepreneurial success and avoiding burnout. There is no such thing as work/life balance. There is, however, work-life integration. You have to prioritize what is important...and when. Aim for a harmonic lifestyle and learn to identify the three stages in entrepreneurship/life.   Be intentional. Prioritize. Joe’s A.P.P prioritization is simple: Align your priorities by attitude, productivity, and people. Run things through the W.W.W. lens. Ask yourself who, what and when? Quality of life is about enjoying every day. Allocate some time each day for happiness – that doesn’t cost money. Stay focused. You will stand out because you know who you are and what you stand for. Focus on what you truly believe is the right thing and do it, even if you don’t feel like it or if no one else is doing it.  If you can take anything away from Joe and apply it immediately, it is this: Take the assessment. Standing out is knowing your value and maximizing your strength, and delegating your weaknesses. Also, take a look at your day, prioritize and eliminate distractions so you can focus. Do it today; do it now. Rise. Shine. Impact. Know yourself, know your value.  Resources Personality Assessment Gift – Connect with Joe Website – Facebook - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter -   

Dec 2020

56 min 28 sec

Ananya Jain is with me, and we are digging into what it means to be happy and successful.  Jain was born in India, moved to the US at 18 for college, and is currently a senior at Georgia Tech. At 21, Jain is the founder of Full Circle LLC, a company dedicated to sustainable solutions, especially in the mental health industry. She is making a global impact and garnered recognition with many prestigious awards, including the Genius Award, the President's Award at Georgia Tech, and the rare Diana Award. Her TedTalk How Creative Thinking Saved My Life is mind-blowing, as is the humility with which she discusses her ability to have an impact on the world around her. Influence can be viewed as something reserved for the aged and wise. But standing out is not dependent on a completed story. We all have something to offer, and it is impossible to stand out if you are waiting for your narrative to be fully formed. You are living your story right now. Your influence is a living thing as well; growing as you grow, and it can open the door for others. In a complicated world, one of the best things you, or anyone for that matter, can do, is define what success looks like for you, as an individual. Life is difficult and full of mistakes and heartbreak. Without knowing what your success looks like, you will never find your path to happiness.  The ability to look forward to what you can do will help you gain momentum. Recognizing who in your life is contributing to that momentum and who is slowing you down is paramount to success. Have boundaries, know them, and don’t be afraid to cut ties with those who cross them. Perspective can be hard to come by, especially when it is clouded by different energies and efforts. Invest your energy wisely and make sure you are investing in those who are traveling the same road as you. Lastly, don’t let success be about what you do. Go where happiness takes you. Explore where you are, meet different people, and try new things, and then you can make the choice. When you are surrounded by the right people, those who will keep you humble and lift your dreams, you will have the freedom to explore and make the mistakes necessary to find out what your thing is. You don’t need to know what it is right now; you need the stability to discover it.  We are all a work in progress. Stand up for yourself, define your boundaries, be intentional about who you surround yourself with, and then find the job that fits into the life you have created for yourself.  In parting, Jain has a thought for you: I love you and trust you to do what is best for yourself. Don’t wait for it to be the last message - say this to those around you every day. Rise. Shine. Impact. Define success and find your happy.  Resources TedTalk – How Creative Thinking Saved My Life  Connect with Jain Website - Linkedin - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Dec 2020

56 min 41 sec

Today is a big day. Kathy Caprino, renowned author, speaker, career, and leadership coach and Sr. Forbes contributor is with me today. Kathy and I have a lot in common when it comes to our innate desire to empower others to be their best self and show up that way every day. That is what we are unpacking today – how to be the most powerful you. I love to discuss shining, but as Kathy accurately points out, before we can shine, we have to break free of the opposite mindset. The opposite of shining is suppression or depression. From a young age, we are taught to suppress. We are raised to be fearful. Whether or not it is well-intended, this crippling mindset will leave our light dimmed and our impact impotent, all out of fear of being embarrassed or losing face. You aren’t born with confidence. You gain it by doing the things you don’t think you can do. As you live and learn and push beyond your perceived boundaries, your confidence grows. Often, your natural talents – those things you have always been, are the foundation for what will allow you to be fulfilled and add value to other people.  You won’t get it on the first try. You have to press beyond the fear of making a mistake sot that you can recognize what makes you happy and adds the most value to others. When you can turn your mess into a message, you will find healing from limiting beliefs and find your center. You can choose who you want to be in the world. Anchor yourself to the core truth you hold dear and know that, while what you do may change, who you are remains true. It sounds simple enough – believe and do better. It takes bravery to step into who you truly are. It takes courage to look openly at what isn’t working and be accountable to change it. You have the power to act as an agent of change in your own life and be the author of your own story. Find something every day that restores you and put it on your calendar. Invest in restoration. You are no good to anyone bound by stress. In parting, Kathy has a challenge for you: Right now, for the next ten minutes, take a self-assessment. Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe you are important? And that the world needs you? Now believe it more and ask yourself the following question: “If I truly believe I am important and the world needs me, what will I try next?”. Don’t stop until you believe in yourself more than you did when you started. After that, take my power gap survey (listed in the resources below) and start taking practical steps toward living the true you.  Rise. Shine. Impact. Honor who you want to be.. Resources Time to Shine Video The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss by Kathy Caprino  Connect with Kathy Website - Twitter - Instagram - Linkedin - Youtube - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Dec 2020

1 hr 5 min

Eric Qualman, also known as Equalman, is with me today. Eric is a top 50 influence, best-selling author and some might say, most likable author in the world. He is a motivational speaker, often referred to as the digital Dale Carnage. Today, we discuss how embracing discomfort and happening to your day before it happens to you will help you to stand out and leave the impact you desire.  It is easy to look at others and think they have something you don’t have. The secret that successful people know is that we are all living our version of the same story, or the same movie as Eric likes to say. Challenges and adversity are a guarantee, and your perception will make or break you. Remember things happen for you, not to you. How you respond to challenges and less than ideal circumstances may just be what causes you to stand out.  It is ok if you don’t know the exact next step. That first job will come, that connection will be made, but they won’t be what makes you. Be persistent everyday and patient in the long run. Have a firm destination in mind, but go with the flow while you are on the path. There will be challenges and hurdles – but they make you stronger even as they keep others out.  On the practical side, utilize social media and digital tools. Remember that digital leadership is less to do with technology and more to do with relationships. Stand out by posting forward and inverting the selfie mindset.  As we close out, Eric gives us the inside scoop on his new book, The Focus Project. By developing the habit of focus, you will finally be able to step beyond the busy and tackle the big things that will move the needle in your life.  In parting, Eric has a challenge for you: Every night, before you go to bed, write down one thing that will make something in your day easier or unnecessary. When you wake up, during your first hour of the day, focus on doing that one thing and watch the habit of focus develop and help you to stand out. Rise. Shine. Impact. Your discomfort may be someone else’s inspiration. Connect with Eric Website - Twitter - Instagram - Linkedin - Youtube - Socialnomics -   Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Nov 2020

42 min 46 sec

Joy McAdams joins me today, sharing not just her story, but her life-changing approach to adversity and how this approach will make you stand out. As a mom of 5, marketing and business strategist and consultant, drug pricer, creator, connector, and influencer, Joy knows what it is like to have a life so full it looks like it might burst at the seam. A full life does not have to equal overwhelm, especially when you focus on holistic success. Holistic Success is what it sounds like: success in all facets of life. At its core, it starts with self-acceptance. Simply put, embracing what you were handed, and proactively determining what you are going to do with it. All circumstances are there for your growth. You can’t help the cards dealt you – but you are the only one who can determine what you are going to do with them. Pursuing strength, embracing the struggle, and being authentically you is what sets you apart. Identify and grow in areas of strength. It is just as important to identify and improve areas of weakness. Be openminded. Learn to invite feedback and be disciplined to grow through challenges. One of the best tools at your fingertips is investing in your physical health. Not only does it keep you healthy and fit, but it is also a metaphor for life. Understanding how to start, how to keep moving, even through pain, and how to discipline yourself mentally are skills you learn through physical activity that will set you apart in your day to day life – regardless of the setting. When you can push yourself into the uncomfortable, and step out beyond where everyone else is content to be – you will stand out. In parting, Joy has a challenge for you: If you want to be a step beyond average and be a high performer, determine one high performing action you can take today, write it down and do it. Do this every day and, over time, each high performing action will grow you into the high performing individual you were born to be.  Rise. Shine. Impact. Make the world better than you found it. Connect with Joy Linkedin - Instagram -   Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter -    Quote “You are 100% responsible for your life…the choices are all yours. You either decide what to do, what not to do or when something happens to you, how you respond.”

Nov 2020

1 hr 4 min

Kristel Bauer, wellness expert, keynote speaker, consultant, and podcaster joins me today to share her journey. We also discuss the importance of wellness and self-care and how that will help you to show up as your best you. Kristel’s journey in wellness began after a season as a PAC. After her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, Kristel began the journey of pursuing and understanding a holistic approach to health and wellness. This eventually led her to become a fellow in an Integrated Medicine Fellowship. Understanding the connection between mind, body, and spirit is often an underrated practice. Your belief can influence how your body responds to it. In the same way, what you take in makes a difference in your mind and thoughts. We harness this by developing a strong relationship with ourselves. Whether it is being intentional with a morning routine, practicing mindfulness, or ensuring we give our body the nutrition it needs, we have to make self care a priority. How we go about wellness will be different for each person – we are all different. What works for one won’t work for another. It is about developing a relationship with yourself and connecting with what helps you feel hopeful. This is true within a team dynamic as well. Creating an atmosphere of mindfulness and health will allow a team to operate at optimal levels. In parting, Kristel has some invaluable advice: Develop and have a healthy relationship with yourself. Set a calendar in your phone for a five-minute break – whether for a breathing exercise or a walk. Get a solid morning routine down. Ask yourself how you can do one thing differently tomorrow morning to set yourself up for success. Lastly, do at least one thing you love every day. If you don’t know what you love, start experimenting and find something you enjoy. Make yourself a priority and find one thing that sparks joy every day. Rise. Shine. Impact. Your wellness creates life for others.  Connect with Kristel Linkedin - Instagram - Website - Podcast – Live Greatly Courses - Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Nov 2020

1 hr 2 min

On this episode, I am talking with Kerri MacPhearson, Caitlin Busscher, Jill Hughes, and Debby Dane Browne – renowned Walt Disney World Ambassadors. Together, their experience covers four decades and over 50 years of Disney experience. Through the decades, some lessons are consistent in the role of a Disney World Ambassador. Those lessons also apply to anyone looking to Standout. Whether it was standing out as the first ambassador on the books or persevering past rejection and finding herself in the process, these ladies know that knowing who you are and playing to the strength found in authenticity is the first step to setting yourself apart. At the heart of being an ambassador or standing out – authenticity and enthusiasm are the cornerstone and cannot be faked. In your journey to standing out, you have to be better prepared than everyone else. Excel at what you do and know more than those around you. Just like in life, it is not a pin that makes you an ambassador. You must embody the role you are looking to fill long before the title is given to you. Show up, be positive, be on brand, and be compassionate. When you are already doing the job before it is official, it will be an extension of who you are when it happens. Standing out is not about being perfect. It is about knowing and being intentional about who you are, who is around you, and what success is for you. These unique identifiers will help you set and stay on your course. Grow where you are planted and show up every day as the best version of yourself that you can bring.  Rise. Shine. Impact. Be the positivity you want to see in the world.   Connect with Kerri Linkedin - Connect with Caitlin Linkedin -   Connect with Jill Linkedin -   Connect with Debby Instagram -   Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Nov 2020

1 hr

This episode, I am joined by Lee Cockerell and Dan Cockerell, former Disney executives and current leaders in the entrepreneurial space. Both Lee and Dan have grown from humble beginnings into some of the most noteworthy leaders of their generations. Born in Oklahoma, Lee went from a waiter with no degree to being recruited by Disney to launch the food and beverage division of Disney Paris. Similarly, Dan, after graduating with a political science degree grew from a parking lot attendant into overseeing the largest theme park in the world. They are now both pioneering their own ventures and experiencing major success. These guys know what it takes to Standout and today, they are sharing their wisdom and experience with you. We all learn through experience, exposure and education. A true leader will make the most out of every experience. Know who you are and what you want to be known for and find those people who live those values and study them. There is power in saying yes and approaching simple tasks with an amazing attitude. When aptitude is equal, attitude will be the determining factor people look for. When you boil it down, Standing out is about being trustworthy. Decide how you want to be perceived, and then make sure you do those things. You will stand out in your consistency, attitude and follow through. If there is a gap in how you want to be seen and how others see you, then you aren’t all the way there. You can’t be everything to everyone. Decide what you want to do well and then learn it – be the best there is at it. Don’t settle for simply being a high performer. Be the person who lifts others to that level as well.   Rise. Shine. Impact. Your yes has power. Connect with Lee Website – Cockerell Acacdemy - Podcast - Connect with Dan Website – Website – Podcast -   Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Nov 2020

55 min 8 sec

In part three of our three-part introduction series, Steve Corbin, my step-father joins me to share some of the lessons he has learned from his years in the music industry and as an entrepreneur.  Born in Germany into a military family, Steve spent his young life moving around. After starting in a record store during a not so impressive college experience, Steve worked hard, applied himself, and eventually worked his way through the roles and ranks of the music industry to become Sr. VP of Sales, Council, and Culture at Warner Music. He is also the CEO of Lupo Entertainment, a consulting firm that works with up and coming artists. Everyone walks a different path, but the greatest Standouts, in any industry, have a few things in common. They can learn and go beyond the boundary of their position. Whether it is an artist like P-Diddy who has a work ethic determined to outwork everyone else in the room or like Steve himself, committed to understanding every aspect that touches his role, however remote, a true standout isn’t tethered by the boundaries of a title. Working hard, learning everything you can, and teaching others along the way are the cornerstones a Standout life is built on. Find your path, explore, and cast a wide net in the industry you are interested in, and learn everything you can. It is what will set you apart. Work smart, work hard, and be strategic about how you pursue growth. Seek to understand and to make those around you successful. Always do a little more than is expected of you. Be humble, be confident, and never stop asking questions. In parting, Steve has some invaluable advice: Focus on what is important now. You take the lessons you learn from others – incorporate them or do them differently. Empower people to make decisions and understand that you can give advice, and they may not take it right away, but it may have an impact down the road. Never stop learning and always take it one step further than you have to.    Rise. Shine. Impact. Your extra makes the difference.   Connect with Steve Linkedin - Website:    Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Oct 2020

1 hr 9 min

In part two of our three-part introduction series, Lindsay Reynolds, a Penn State grad, former Disney intern, communications guru and now StandoutX’s Director of Engagement joins me and shares her journey. In her journey from being the first college graduate in her family to facilitating some of the largest Disney conferences, Lindsay has learned a thing or two about being a Standout. Today, we examine some of these lessons, including putting in the hard work on the front end and how that prepares you to be tapped on the shoulder later on. We cover the importance of understanding your value and purpose as a person and how that is more important than what you do. We discuss the different kinds of jobs you will encounter and how to know the difference. Lastly, one of the biggest lessons we cover is that standing out requires sacrifice; you have to show up ready every day.   In parting, Lindsay has some invaluable advice: Know your own personal mission and purpose. Network so you can make a difference in someone else’s life. It’s not about who you know, but who knows you. Lastly, don’t be afraid to fail. Be confident in your ability to fail. Standing Out is not a destination; it is a journey.  Rise. Shine. Impact. You have a legacy to leave. Connect with Lindsay Linkedin -   Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Oct 2020

51 min 36 sec

Welcome to the first episode of The Standout Experience Podcast. My name is John Walsh, and today we are laying the foundation for your stand out experience. It is my goal to help students and young professionals show up in life equipped and ready. To make sure we start on the right foot, I’m going to take you through my story and the six phases we all journey through on our way to success. I hope that by sharing my story with you, you will realize that there is nothing “special” that separates us from success. I went from being a homeless teenager without direction to a Disney Executive to a best-selling author and entrepreneur. It wasn’t overnight, but it was intentional. Each journey to a life of impact is unique, but the tools that will get you there are universal.  This podcast is one tool in your toolbelt. The Standout Experience is about resources, community, accountability and empowering you to take what you receive and do something with it that impacts the world. I hope that carefully curated content (interviews, books, resources) will give you what you need to be who you were born to be.  This is the first step on our journey together.  Rise. Shine. Impact. The world needs you. Resources: The Standout Experience by John Walsh   Connect with John: Instagram -  LinkedIn -  Twitter - 

Oct 2020

1 hr