What do you think of when you hear the term “personal brand?” Maybe you think of a famous celebrity or a social media influencer. But we all have a personal brand, and it boils down to reputation. What do people think of when they think of you? AJ Vaden is the CEO and Co-Founder of Brand Builders Group and one of the world’s leading experts in personal brand strategy. Over the last 15 years she has helped create, launch and grow several multi-million dollar businesses from start up to 7 and 8 figures in annual revenue. AJ is the Co-Host of The Influential Personal Brand Podcast and was recently named as one of the top 5 personal branding speakers. On this episode, she shares why you need a personal brand, how to build it, and the common mistakes to avoid.
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Former NFL star Warrick Dunn has built a legacy on and off the field. A 3x Pro Bowl selection, Warrick played for 12 seasons with the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Atlanta Falcons. He joined the Falcons ownership group in 2009 after his retirement. But his greatest impact goes far beyond the football field. Warrick started his charity and its signature “Homes for the Holidays” program in honor of his mother, a Baton Rouge police officer who was killed when he was just 18 years old. Warrick raised his five younger siblings and when he became a star in the NFL, made it his mission to provide other families the stability he never had. On this episode, Warrick shares how he channeled his pain into purpose, how he made it as an undersized back in the NFL, and why he decided to meet and ultimately forgive the man convicted of killing his mom.
Is your team on a mission or simply going through the motions? Neil Blumenthal is the co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, a mission-driven brand that has revolutionized the eyewear industry while focusing on social impact. Named “the most innovative company in the world” by Fast Company, Warby Parker provides high quality prescription eyewear at a fraction of the price. For every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need through the Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. Neil was named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum and one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company. In our conversation today, we talk about how a business can scale, be profitable, and do good in the world.
Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva. A Silicon Valley veteran with experience at Apple and Google, Guy was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing their Macintosh computer line. He’s the creator of the Remarkable People podcast and the bestselling author of 13 books. Guy has over 30 years of experience with creating innovative products and services and going to market and is an expert on innovation, entrepreneurship, and marketing. In our conversation today, he shares the lessons he learned working for Steve Jobs at Apple, how to turn your customers into evangelists, and the factors that create influence.
As a college football standout, Chase Rice once dreamed of playing in the NFL. Now he’s selling out those same stadiums as one of the hottest stars in country music. No matter what dream he pursues, Chase separates himself with his relentless drive. After working on the pit crew in NASCAR and competing on Survivor, Chase moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music. He’s penned hits like Cruise, topped the country charts, and opened for Garth Brooks. But his inner journey didn’t always match his external success. On this episode, Chase opens up about his struggle with depression, finding his voice through his music, and never settling.
A retired four-star general, General Stan McChrystal is the former commander of the US and International Forces in Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He’s the founder & CEO of The McChrystal Group and a senior fellow at Yale, where he teaches a popular course on leadership. An expert on leadership and teams, General McChrystal is the author of several books, including his new book, Risk. In this conversation, we talk about the future of leadership, leading through adversity, and building resilient teams.
Ernie Johnson is one of the most recognizable and loved sports personalities on TV. A 3x Sports Emmy Award winner, Ernie hosts the popular postgame show Inside the NBA on TNT. In his book Unscripted, Ernie opens up about life both on and off the screen. On this episode, we talk about the unpredictable moments that make life extraordinary. Ernie shares the life lessons he learned from his battle with cancer, how he’s been able to prioritize both work and family, and the beauty of living life unscripted.
To succeed at work and advance your career, you need someone who will advocate for you. Who will be your champion? Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, believes that a sponsor is the critical relationship in your career. Carla began her career on Wall Street at a time when few of her colleagues were African-American or women. She oversees Morgan Stanley’s multicultural client strategy, helped build the company’s Multicultural Innovation Lab, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council. On this episode, Carla shares what she’s learned about pathways to career success. Discover the difference between mentors and sponsors, how to get a sponsor, and why authenticity is your competitive advantage.
Known for his innovative approach and imaginative managerial tactics, Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon is one of the most successful leaders in baseball. In 16 seasons as a major league manager, he’s been awarded Manager of the Year three times and is third among active managers in wins. Joe led the Tampa Bay Rays to a World Series berth and the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. On this episode, Joe shares the unconventional leadership tactics he embraces—from unique clubhouse visitors to themed road trips to meditation. And we also talk about the community work he is doing through his charitable foundation, Respect 90 and The Hazleton Integration Project.
Kirk Herbstreit is the face of college football, serving as an analyst for College GameDay and Saturday Night Football. In his new memoir, Out of the Pocket, Kirk takes us inside the locker room—to the practice fields, meeting rooms and stadiums. And he also opens up about the personal challenges he overcame. On this episode, we talk about what happens when your dream blows up, taking a chance to pursue your passion, and never compromising what matters most.
Amy Van Dyken is a six-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer and the first American female athlete to win four gold medals in a single Games. In June of 2014, Amy’s life was turned upside down. She severed her spinal cord in an ATV accident, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Instead of being defeated, Amy attacked her rehab with relentless optimism and has become a champion for the disabilities community. In our conversation today, we talk about how to stay positive in the face of adversity, persevere against all odds, and go for it!
Dominique Dawes is a three-time Olympic gymnast who helped Team USA to its first ever gold medal at the Summer Games in Atlanta in 1996. She is the only American gymnast to medal in the team competition at three different Olympic Games and is the first African-American gymnast to win an individual medal. But the success came at a price. Now, Dominique is helping to change the culture inside the sport she loves with the opening of the Dominique Dawes Gymnastics & Ninja Academy. On this episode, we talk about finding your greater purpose and defining success in your own terms.
Confidence. We all want it. We all need it. But how do we build it? Katty Kay is the author of The Confidence Code and The Confidence Code for Girls, and has spent years researching and studying the science of confidence. On this episode, we look at how a lack of confidence—particularly for women in the workplace-- impacts our leadership, success and fulfillment. In our conversation, Katty shares the magic formula for confidence: act more, think less and be authentic.
Meet Alex Guerrero, the man behind Tom Brady’s success. Known as Brady’s body coach, their partnership has spanned 15 years and three Super Bowl titles. In 2013, Alex and Tom co-founded TB12, with the goal of helping people everywhere feel better and perform their best. This episode is all about how to sustain peak performance. Alex shares the keys to developing a winning mindset, recovery techniques, and gives us a unique look inside the mindset of one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones is a New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and speaker. Her TED Talk has been viewed more than 6.6 million times and Oprah named her to the inaugural SuperSoul100 list as someone who “elevates humanity.” Luvvie’s new book, Professional Troublemaker, inspire us all to live life loudly—with courage and conviction. On this episode, she walks us through how to do the things that scare us, embrace our unique superpowers, and use our voice for a greater good.
Jamie Kern Lima went from Denny’s waitress to founder of a multibillion-dollar cosmetics brand. She’s the founder of IT Cosmetics, a company she started in her living room and sold to L’Oreal for $1.2 billion, earning her a place on Forbes “Richest Self-Made Women” list. At least that’s the highlight version of her story. In her new book Believe It!, Jamie gets real on the hustle it took to keep her dream alive and the countless rejections she encountered along the way. In our conversation, we talk about how to overcome self-doubt, trust your intuition, and turn down the volume on your inner critic so that you can achieve your wildest dreams.
No one succeeds alone. That’s the message behind Compass founder and CEO Robert Reffkin’s journey and the title of his new book. Raised by his mother, abandoned by his father and disowned by his maternal grandparents, Robert has always defied the odds. He graduated from Columbia in 2.5 years, earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, and worked at McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, and as a White House Fellow before starting Compass. One of the only Black CEOs in tech, Robert’s mission is to help everyone find their place in the world and realize their full potential. On this episode, we talk about the importance of mentorship, how to build your own network, and the leadership principles that have guided his success.
Ellen Bennett went from a $10/hour line cook to building a multimillion-dollar apron empire by dreaming big. She’s the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, a culinary lifestyle brand that outfits everyone from the home cook to celebrity chefs and makers around the world. In her new book, Dream First, Details Later, Ellen shares her incredible journey. On this episode, discover how to silence your inner critic, turn your ideas into action, and hustle your way to the top.
What leads someone to say “yes” to a request? It might not be what you think. Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent his entire career researching the science of influence. His books, Influence and Pre-suasion, have sold more than 5 million copies and his principles have become a cornerstone for sales and marketing professionals. But the reality is, we can all benefit by understanding the science of influence. On this episode, you’ll learn how to become more persuasive by employing these 7 simple techniques.
She’s been called “The Millennial Oprah” by New York Magazine and “the poet of her generation” by Time Magazine. Cleo Wade is a community builder, artist, and the author of the bestselling books Heart Talk, Where To Begin, and Heart Talk: The Journal. Her new children’s book, What The Road Said, celebrates the journey we are all on and the questions we ask along the way. Cleo’s work speaks to our collective power to create change. On this episode, we talk about how she built a career on her own terms, knowing your value, and the power of mantras.
PS- I’m giving away a special pack of all four of Cleo’s books to one lucky winner on my Instagram. Just follow @mollywfletcher for your chance to win!
Buck Showalter knows how to build a winning team. He’s a three-time American League Manager of the Year and earned a reputation in baseball as a team builder who quickly built contenders. In his 20 seasons in the big leagues, Buck managed the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. His 1,551 career wins rank 24th all-time in MLB history. In our conversation today, we dig into how to build and position your team for success. Buck shares the defining moments in his career, his relationship-based approach to leadership, and how to create a culture rooted in ownership and accountability.
Dansby Swanson is one of baseball’s brightest young stars. A former #1 draft pick, Dansby plays shortstop for his hometown team, the Atlanta Braves. In the shortened 2020 season, he put together the best stats of his career as the Braves fell just short of the World Series. Off the field, he is the founder of the lifestyle brand and movement, AllThingsLoyal, showcasing the culture of Atlanta. On this episode, we dig into the mindset of peak performance and the importance of mental health. Dansby shares the techniques like journaling, therapy and brainspotting that help him strengthen his mental game.
Have you ever tried to build a new habit or break an old one, only to end up frustrated and discouraged? The problem isn’t you; it’s your approach! BJ Fogg, the author of the New York Times bestseller Tiny Habits, is here to show you that habit formation doesn’t have to be hard. BJ shares his breakthrough method that will help you design your habits and make them stick. Whether you want to lose weight, de-stress, or be more productive—you can apply the Tiny Habits framework to your life immediately. Start small and get big results!
Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a multifaceted talent and global star with more than 55 films to her credit. She’s an actor, producer, investor and philanthropist. Now she’s adding author to her credentials with her new memoir, Unfinished. Priyanka made her American TV debut on the hit drama Quantico on ABC, making history as the first Indian-born actor to star as the lead of a TV drama series. She’s been featured on the cover of Time Magazine’s coveted “Time 100” issue and recognized as one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women. On this episode, we talk about embracing your ambition, taking ownership of your career, and the power in choosing to reinvent yourself.
Jay Bilas has been called one of The 10 Most Powerful Voices in Sports Media by The Hollywood Reporter and one of The 25 Most Powerful People in College Sports by Forbes. Both a lawyer and talent for ESPN, Jay brings a unique perspective to the world of sports. A four-year starter on the basketball team at Duke, Jay played professionally overseas before returning to Duke to join the coaching staff and earn his law degree. Since 1995, he’s worked for ESPN covering college basketball, the NBA draft and sports business. In our conversation, we dig into the future of college sports, his book Toughness, and the lessons he learned playing for Coach K.