Mike Gable has been running Construction Junction since 1999. The nonprofit collects and sells salvageable building materials around the Pittsburgh area. This environmental recycling mission has been growing consistently year by year and Mike deserves much of the credit.
He works with contractors around the area, spreading his organization’s mission. He has applied business principles to a nonprofit, focusing on revenue, marketing and profits, instead of being reliant on donations and grants.
Mike’s Challenge; Be on the lookout for building materials that can be reused in projects around your city.
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Aaron T. Walker, a businessman and life coach, inspires through his leadership, mentorship, and consistent pursuit of excellence. 35 years of entrepreneurship and marriage have given Aaron an opportunity to broaden his perspective by examining his experiences and growing from them.
For 19 years and counting, Aaron has taken classes from and has been coached personally by his friend, financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Spiritual mentors David Landrith and Bob Warren have impacted his spiritual life beyond measure. Two other disciplined mastermind groups, 48 Days led by friend Dan Miller and The Torch have played a role in his understanding of how to live a significant, successful life.
Years ago, it only took a few years as a partner with David Patton Construction LLC for Aaron to help take the business from doing one to two projects per year to a multi-million dollar company, voted number one builder for three consecutive years by Nashville’s House & Home & Garden Magazine's People's Choice Awards. He sold his retail business to Cash America USA, a Fortune 500 company. In addition to being the owner of eight lucrative businesses, Aaron participates in civic endeavors.
Aaron’s Challenge; Call people randomly without asking for anything.
Aaron’s Book Recommendations
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
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Jim, Executive Director of Pittsburgh’s AlphaLab accelerator program, provides mentorship, education and network-building for technology startups. His accelerator helps companies rapidly iterate through early stages of product and customer development.
Launched in 2008, AlphaLab is ranked #6 among accelerators in the US and a charter member of the Global Accelerator Network, where Jim currently serves on the Advisory Board. AlphaLab alumni companies include The Resumator, No Wait, Black Locus (acquired by Home Depot), Shoefitr and SolePower.
Jim guides companies by leveraging his experience and network gained from working closely with over eighty companies in the Innovation Works and AlphaLab portfolios and from his prior management experience in Silicon Valley. In the Bay Area, Jim built and managed software businesses at Hewlett-Packard, Agile Software (acquired by Oracle), and Instill Corporation (acquired by iTradeNetwork Inc). As a management consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton, Jim advised executive management of Fortune 500 companies on marketing, strategy, and organizational issues.
Jim holds a BA and MA in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
Jim’s Challenge; Go out of your way to explore viewpoints opposite of the ones you hold.
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Eric Brown co-founded ImpactGames to influence society and promote change through interactive media. Toward this end, ImpactGames developed PeaceMaker, a video game simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to promote dialogue and understanding. Unlike most serious games, PeaceMaker aims to bridge the gap between education and entertainment while reaching a mass market. PeaceMaker has been sold in over 60 countries, been featured in media outlets around the world, and has won several international awards.
Eric was listed among "100 Social Entrepreneurs Changing the World" in Newsweek Japan. He holds a Masters of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University and received a BFA in Painting with focused studies in education and computer graphics from Washington University in St. Louis.
Recently, Eric has been working with different groups around Pittsburgh to help bring products to market including Walkingthumbs’ product Blabcake. He has also helped found a non-profit called The Additive Project that has created 3D printing curriculum that is being used by Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and the Carnegie Library Labs group among others.
Eric’s Challenge; Make an effort to keep in contact with former colleagues and mentors that you admire and nurture those relationships.
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Hitting my Kickstarter goal in 3 days was exhilarating! I want to teach you exactly how I did it and what I learned along the way!
Two Associated Posts
Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter Diamandis
Aaron’s Challenge; Spend 30 minutes away from your phone and think about something that you really want. This can be something that you haven’t told anyone because it may seem a little ridiculous. Acknowledge it, and put together a rough draft of a plan for how you would make it happen.
People to Thank
Art & Denise Chau
Greeno, who has helped me edit a few episodes of the podcast
Dan O'Connor, the very first backer
Jimmy Leppert, UpCall Ultimate
James Park, Los Angeles Aviators
Ryan, CB Insights
Dave & Portie Watson
Nathan D Hessington VI
A special thank you to my family members who supported me;
Aunt Cheryl & Uncle Denny - You guys rock. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Holly - You’re the best!
Mom & Dad - Thank you for always believing in me.
Ashley - I couldn’t have done any of this without you.
Morgan came on the podcast to talk cognitive biases, personal finance, and writing. He took an interesting path to his current career and uses that to his advantage when teaching through his writing.
He is a two-time winner of the Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and was selected by the Columbia Journalism Review for the Best Business Writing 2012 anthology. In 2013 he was a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award and Scripps Howard Award. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California.
Morgan’s Challenge; Go out and read things that you know you are going to disagree with to round out your view of the world.
Morgan’s Book Recommendations
The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham
Confessions of a Street Addict by Jim Cramer
Connect with Morgan
Apart from his family, and new technologies, Ultimate Frisbee is Patrick's biggest passion. He has been very involved in the World Flying Disc Federation, personally launched the Portuguese Beach Ultimate tournament (Bar do Peixe), and an international organization that focuses on promoting Beach Ultimate, called BULA (Beach Ultimate Lovers Association).
In 2004 Patrick and BULA organized the first World Championships Beach Ultimate in Figueira de Foz, Portugal. With 450 participants from 22 countries it turned out to be a serious success, and he has continued to put the event on for over a decade.
The 2nd World Championships in Brazil in December 2007 and the 3rd in 2011 in Italy were also organized by BULA, Patrick, and local players. Just last year, he led efforts to produce the 2015 World Championships in Dubai.
Patrick played on the Portuguese national team through 2014, as well as with national champions LUC, and in Paganello top international all-star team: SeXXXpensive. He has also the Chairman of the WFDF Spirit of the Game Committee and served as president of the Portuguese flying disc federation through 2014.
At the heart of the new economy Patrick turned into a highly effective marketer and 'evangelic' salesman. One company he co-founded, ChemConnect, has been covered in several case-studies and an article in the Wall Street Journal "Top Online Chemical Exchange Is Unlikely Success Story".
Patrick’s Challenge; Find a way to be more efficient with your professional time so that you can spend more time with your friends and family.
Connect with Patrick