In this podcast we speak with top performers and hear the uncut no-fluff version of their journey to the top. We learn what their superpower is, as well as their kryptonite. The goal of this podcast is to help aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders to get inspired and tap into their superpowers.
As entrepreneurs and businesspeople we search for answers, How to be successful? How to overcome challenges? How to build the right strategy? The right marketing plan? How did others accomplish what they did? We sometimes forget to look inside and ask ourselves the core questions such as Why am I doing what I’m doing ? What advantage can help me do better than anybody else? What’s special about how I do things ?
We believe there’s no such thing as overnight success, that success, although an agile term, requires being aware of your strengths and weaknesses. We believe that every person has a skill (or set of skills), a superpower. A unique capability that once acknowledged makes anything possible.
Episode 29 - Massimo Chieruzzi (AdEspresso)
In this episode we speak with Massimo Chieruzzi GM and co-founder at AdEspresso which is a tool for SMBs to manage, analyze and optimize Facebook Ads and which was acquired by Hootsuite in 2017.
He’s a multi-hyphen dude. He’s been a radio speaker, journalist, developer, marketer, entrepreneur and angel investor.
At 14 years old he was the youngest Italian guy indicted in cyber crime for running a pirate BBS and making countless intercontinental calls with his modem to avoid paying the bills through boxing.
He later founded Creative Web, the leading web development agency in Italy and biggest provider in Europe for eBay and other companies.
He founded AdEspresso after getting fed up with Facebook ad scaling and optimizing solutions. In the early days of AdEspresso Massimo helped scale the blog from 0 to 700,000 visits per month and build a profitable business with just inbound marketing and 0 people on sales, making AdEspresso the most used Facebook Ads product worldwide.
– Bending rules and the concept of “subjective justice” as a possible entrepreneurial necessity
– The importance of mitigating risk and never relying on one customer/traffic source/product/etc.
– Massimo’s two cents on how to handle the uncertainty created by Covid-19
– The power in being aware of your weaknesses
– Striking a balance between avoidance out of fear vs self-awareness about what you should and shouldn’t spend time doing
– And much more
We hope you enjoy your listen!
Episode 28 - Neal Schaffer (Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer, Keynote Speaker, Author)
In this episode we speak with Neal Schaffer, a recognized leader and university educator who helps businesses maximize their social media presence through his:
– Social media agency
– Strategy consulting
– Keynote speaking and
– Award-winning books
He’s been named a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer two years in a row.
His portfolio includes:
– Fortune 50 enterprises
– Grammy award-winning musicians
– and leading brands
He’s a man of the world with a deep connection to his internal compass, pursuing his hobbies and professions with passion and vigour.
He studied Chinese in University. In his senior year he switched to Japanese and started working in a Japanese semiconductor manufacturer in Kyoto, marking the “official” kickstart of his exceptional career. He started out in accounting and finance but after two years, he found more interest in sales and marketing and transitioned into a role in the company’s overseas sales department.
He was certain there’s strong business potential for the company in China, so he paved his way into leading the launch of the company operations in China. He didn’t sit around and wait for anyone to choose him – he charged forward and made it happen.
The next step in his journey was joining a Canadian startup to launch their Asian operations, helping to grow their Asian market share dramatically.
After 9 years in Japan he returned to the US. Returning wasn’t an easy ride and he came to the realisation that he needed to reinvent himself and to build something of his own – something that nobody could take away from him.
And another thing clicked – since he had returned to the US he had been gaining a lot of experience and understanding of Linkedin and the business potential it bears.
These notions kickstarted his current solopreneur chapter – he wrote a book, which led to speaking deals, which led to him opening his current consulting business.
In many ways his experiences in the Far East equipped him with a special skill set that brings a deep and unique dimension to his doing.
– The Deming Cycle – PDCA (Plan–Do–Check–Action) and how it influenced the way he approaches processes and strategies
– Navigating cultural differences
– Sales – the power of patience, listening, adding value and turning down prospects that aren’t a good fit
– Influencer marketing – inciting word of mouth
– The challenges of being a solopreneur
– The significance of building personal brand
– The tremendous importance of personal relationships
– Pivoting as an ongoing reality
– And more!
This is a super-important listen to anyone looking to calibrate their doing and to be in sync with their gut, their interests and their abilities. We hope you enjoy it!
Episode 27 - Eric Siu (Single Grain)
In this episode we speak with the fantastic Eric Siu, CEO of digital marketing agency Single Grain.
Single Grain has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, Uber and Salesforce to help them acquire more customers.
He also hosts two podcasts: Marketing School with Neil Patel and Growth Everywhere, an entrepreneurial podcast where he dissects growth levers that help businesses scale.
Eric is a gamer and from early on in life he seeked a life that would feel like a game. This is so important because when we’re enjoying what we do at such levels, it’s almost impossible to not make progress, grow our skill set and reach high levels of performance.
We cover a lot of ground including:
– The importance of building an audience
– What he looks for in a mentor
– Why culture and core values matter
– How he ended up joining Single Grain and eventually becoming the sole owner for only 2 USD
– The concept of redeploying capital
– How he navigates challenging relationships
– The significance of keeping a positive mindset
– Persistence as a drive for success
– And much more!
Eric will be publishing a book next year. In the meantime be sure to checkout levelingup.com/giveaway for a giveaway of an assortment of Eric’s favorite books to help people grow!
We hope you enjoy your listen!
Episode 26 - Eugene Levin (SEMrush)
In this episode we speak with Eugene Levin, the Chief Strategy Officer at SEMrush, a software solutions company that offers online visibility and marketing analytics data to over 5,000,000 registered users.
He’s super analytical and pragmatic, making very calculated and aware choices but at the same time super-intuitive and follows his heart. His career path is quite extraordinary.
• His unique journey from being an engineer in Russia to becoming a successful investor (and partner in several VCs), then founder of several startups to now a c-level employee at SEMrush.
• His investment philosophy.
• When things go right, what bears more profit potential - being an investor or a startup founder?
• His decision making process with respect to his career
• What makes a good team
• And much more
Anyone considering their next step or curious about the world of investing can find inspiration in this episode.
We hope you enjoy your listen!
Episode 25 - Tal Zvi Nethanel (SHOWFIELDS)
In this episode we speak with Tal Zvi Nethanel, CEO and Co-founder of SHOWFIELDS, the pioneering next-generation brick-and-mortar retail store that was recently listed as one of the Top Young Israeli Startups in New York by Forbes Israel.
Tal is a serial entrepreneur and innovator at heart, he’s co-founded several accomplished businesses, including Bluestone Group - which Live Nation (the entertainment conglomerate managing legends such as Madonna, Shakira and Bon Jovi) acquired a majority stake in, and MyCheck - which was acquired by Shiji Group.
He’s never worked for anyone. He founded his first company when he was 21. That company pivoted several times, eventually becoming one of the largest production companies in Israel. His second startup also pivoted more than once, teaching him valuable business lessons as his journey progressed.
In retrospect he can connect the dots and attribute many of the skills he’s acquired in the production landscape, from his business-focussed decision making process to his ability nowadays to bring to life his current ambitious startup of creating “the most interesting store in the world”.
– His entrepreneurship philosophy which combines creativeness with practicality. “When you look at the nature of starting a business, a business is a way to monetize from a product and a product is an answer to a question, a solution to a problem”.
– Pivoting - Tal always makes sure the path he’s going down is one that answers a real life need. He looks for areas where he can add value. He’s mission-oriented and doesn’t become “pot-committed” to a predetermined business model - he’s not afraid to change directions as much as reality calls for. “It’s about constantly trying to feel where you drive more value and not necessarily a situation of the sky falling and needing to find a solution”.
– Growth and the importance of pushing beyond our comfort zones, both for people and for businesses
– Much more
Tal is passionate about making the impossible possible. He’s devoted to constant transformation and growth. That spirit is contagious. Listen to him and go do your thing. It is possible.
Episode 24 - Gal Leibovich (Visit.org)
In this episode, we speak with Gal Leibovich, Co-Founder and COO of visit.org, an employee-driven corporate social responsibility platform.
Visit.org’s mission is to help companies do good through their platform. Employees can “shop” the platform and choose a cause they’d like to help by volunteering, or contributing money to (directly or by taking part in an activity where the profits are donated).
Gal’s background is corporate. He joined visit.org because he wanted to make an impact. He wasn’t aware it was possible to be in the tech scene and combine it with contributing to society. Once he found out that’s possible he looked for a startup where he could do that. “For me having a job where you get paid but you’re also doing a lot of good and you change the face of doing good and the community around you is amazing and something you can’t say no to”.
– The movement towards doing good amongst companies and millennials
– What it’s like to work in a scaling, driven mission startup
– The importance of messaging in the non-profit landscape
– Gal’s personal motivations and drives
– And much more
This episode made us self-reflect on how we can do more things that are bigger than ourselves and contribute to society. We hope it’ll move you to action as well.
Enjoy your listen!
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