Can Do: Essential Business Lessons

Arnie Sherman

Can Do, MTPR's podcast on business and entrepreneurship hosted by Arnie Sherman is in its fifth season. This season will feature the same informative interviews and the lessons Montana business owners and entrepreneurs have to share. But times are changing. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change how business is done. The main focus this season is on the here & now. How does a business survive in today’s volatile economy? How can you transition your business or start a new one? What can you do to make sure your finances are in order? We’ll be asking these questions to business experts in Montana and around the country. Listen to Can Do at or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes are published every other Monday.

All Episodes

This week on Can Do, we hear from John Roy Price, author and former senior domestic policy advisor to Nixon.

Nov 22

32 min 54 sec

This week on Can Do, we go behind the scenes of rural health care in the West. 60 million Americans and approximately 44% of Montanans live in areas with less access to health care, resulting in a myriad of chronic health issues. The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected rural areas, exacerbating problems that were already difficult to solve.To better understand these challenges, we speak with Angelina Salazar, CEO of the Western Healthcare Alliance and Chris Hopkins, CEO of Montana Health Network.

Nov 8

39 min 37 sec

This week, we talk to Eric Stern about his experiences working in law, state government, and venture capital. Eric will offer his perspective on how Montana has changed in the last two decades, and share some insights into his father’s NBA legacy. Learn more now.

Oct 25

43 min 27 sec

This week on Can Do, we talk with global business woman and celebrity chef Maria Loi, who has a deep love for Mediterranean cooking and a desire to spread the healthy and hearty food that she grew up with.

Oct 11

34 min 30 sec

The world of retail is constantly changing, and savvy business people learn to evolve with it. The pandemic introduced a whole new set of rules into an already dynamic landscape. When change and chaos are the new normal, how can retailers continue to anticipate the needs of the consumer?

Sep 27

36 min 37 sec

Daily unpredictability confronts many of the 60 million Americans employed in the gig economy. When, where, and which job should they work on any given day of the week? How much money are they earning across multiple gigs? Information and data is sparse for workers — and not being able to count on a predictable pay rate makes it nearly impossible to plan out professional life. It turns out there’s an app for that.

Sep 1

39 min 6 sec

Can Do's fourth season unfolded in real time as business owners grappled with the impacts of the pandemic on their personal and professional lives. Some looked to innovate while others doubled down on what had made them successful in the first place. Whichever strategy they used, the wild swings and challenges of the past year forced every entrepreneur to reevaluate how they do business.

Jun 29

54 min 32 sec

The economic downturn from COVID-19 has pummeled main street businesses, but the Payroll Protection Program loans of the Cares Act have saved hundreds of thousands of them. On April 3, 2020, the first day of the first round of PPP loans, the number one lender in the country was, surprisingly, Montana’s Stockman Bank.

May 24

34 min

Over the past five years, Montana has seen exponential growth in venture capital investment. From 2015 to 2020, the state attracted over $500 million in early-stage funding. In the previous 20 years, that figure had been just $144 million.

May 10

39 min 35 sec

For more than a year, all types of territorial borders have been shut down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. International trade and commerce have been throttled, and industry experts predict that business travel will never return to pre-pandemic levels. Global business has long been reliant on building personal relationships; relationships that now must be cultivated and maintained digitally.

Apr 26

39 min 33 sec

Ben Morris discovered the utility of three-wheeled cargo trikes, or pedicabs, during a stint in San Diego. After finishing his business degree at Northeastern University in 2005, he secured a small loan, bought five pedicabs, and launched Coaster Cycles. Soon, Ben had expanded beyond Boston to other cities, and he'd begun to incorporate outdoor advertising into his bike fleet.

Apr 13

36 min 53 sec

The ninth of 11 children, Megan Harrington grew up understanding the value of competition and how to tell a great story. In the third grade, Megan wrote a poem that included the prophetic line: “When I grow up, I want to be a Lady Griz basketball player at the University of Montana.”

Mar 29

33 min 19 sec

Montana isn't all cattle herds and fields of waving grain. This sprawling state is also full of food deserts — places without many affordable, healthy food options. The lack of access to healthy food for residents of many of the state's Indian reservations contributes to some horrible demographic statistics. The life expectancy for Native American women is 62, a full 20 years less than for non-Native women. For Montana's Native American men, it's 56. One 27-year-old woman of Blackfeet and Cherokee heritage is on a mission to improve Native people's lives through healthy diet and a return of indigenous food systems.

Mar 15

36 min 56 sec

The agriculture landscape has changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Concerns about food security, health and safety measures, and product availability have continued to evolve. A dramatic shift to online purchasing has challenged the traditional standard of consumers personally selecting products.

Mar 1

53 min 21 sec

While LifeScore COO Chris Walch is based in Bozeman, Montana, LifeScore is a fully remote company that produces its music at the iconic Abbey Roads Studio in London. LifeScore creates unique, real-time, and interactive music experiences with their adaptive AI music platforms. They start with world-class composers and musicians composing and performing sound that is organized as composable building blocks. Their proprietary technology then weaves these materials into music that suits a purpose, helping the listener have a completely unique experience.

Feb 15

35 min 23 sec

The outdoor recreation economy is the second largest sector of Montana’s economy, generating $7.1B in annual consumer spending. 71,000 Montanans are employed in the sector, making its performance essential to the state’s full economic recovery.

Feb 1

35 min 13 sec

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our country and vaccine relief is slow in coming, sound advice is as good as gold. Montana businesses experienced an exhausting 2020, and the new year promises to be just as unpredictable. Joining me today are two guests experiencing the economic impact from two very different perspectives.

Jan 19

36 min 55 sec

The American restaurant industry is in freefall. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 110,000 restaurants have closed nationwide. That’s one out of every six, and there are likely more to come. Those restaurants that remain open are struggling with financial sustainability, as they face an industry-wide loss of $240 billion in sales for 2020. Listen now on Can Do as we will explore this subject with two industry pros in two very different positions.

Jan 4

36 min 48 sec

According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, more than 100,000 American businesses that have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will never reopen. What about the millions of family-run companies? Is their plight as sobering? The situation is less clear for this sector, which accounts for more than 57 percent of the US GNP.

Dec 2020

40 min 3 sec

Most of what we know about communicating is wrong, says Tim Pollard, author, speaker and Founder/CEO of Oratium. In his books, “The Compelling Communicator” and “Mastering the Moment,” He outlines how the brain communicates information. More importantly, he details how to successfully design and execute communication in ways that people will understand.

Dec 2020

56 min 51 sec