199 episodes

Start and grow a meaningful business. Michael Knouse hosts a weekly conversation with visionary entrepreneurs that are pursuing a life of purpose, profit, and adventure. Each episode features in-depth conversations with mission-driven business builders who are in the trenches. Guests share their real-world business advice, insights, and experiences that will propel you to carry out your quest for building a mission-driven business.

The Startup Sessions with Michael Knouse Michael Knouse: Empowering Visionary Entrepreneurs to Create a Life of Meaning Through a Business with Soul

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 44 Ratings

Start and grow a meaningful business. Michael Knouse hosts a weekly conversation with visionary entrepreneurs that are pursuing a life of purpose, profit, and adventure. Each episode features in-depth conversations with mission-driven business builders who are in the trenches. Guests share their real-world business advice, insights, and experiences that will propel you to carry out your quest for building a mission-driven business.

    Episode 199: Are You Living In Your Zone of Genius?

    Episode 199: Are You Living In Your Zone of Genius?

    There was a time in my life when working as a successful software sales executive looked good from the outside but I felt like something was missing. This set me on a journey of discovering more meaningful work – the path that led me to where I am today.

    In this reflective episode, I break down the 5 turning points that brought me to where I am today – happily working in my Zone of Genius.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE:



    * What to ask yourself in order to be great. (6:00)

    * Why did I leave it all behind? (9:00)

    * How coaching changed my life. (10:25)

    * Understanding The Four Zones and where you stand. (13:55)

    * What is the Zone of Genius? (15:25)

    * The “accidental” weekend conference that changed everything. (17:17)

    * Thank God I got laid off! (23:40)

    * The embodiment of my new identity as a coach. (26:40)



    “What could it look like to be getting paid for the innate skills you have? That’s what life is really about.”

    – MICHAEL KNOUSE

    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:



    * The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

    * World Domination Summit

    * How I Made The Leap From Corporate Employee To Full Time Coach

    * How I Started and Built a Rewarding and Profitable Coaching Business



    ABOUT MICHAEL KNOUSE:

    Michael Knouse is a business coach and purpose builder. He helps emerging entrepreneurs build potent, purposeful businesses that allow them to contribute their greatest gifts to humanity.

    After a 14 year career as a software sales executive and 8 years as a coach, Michael blends his unique wisdom, experience and skill to help visionary business builders craft a life and business that feeds their soul.

    When he’s not rooting for the success of his clients, Michael can be found on the trails of the Pacfic Northwest, shredding steeps on powder days, or adventuring with his incredible wife Jill and their two mischievous dogs (Dug and Addiebelle).

     

    “To make the leap into your Zone of Genius requires us to do some deeper soul work.”

    – MICHAEL KNOUSE

    • 33 min
    Episode 198: Will Critical Thinking Make You A Better Entrepreneur?

    Episode 198: Will Critical Thinking Make You A Better Entrepreneur?

    Becki Saltzman, Chief Curiosity Seeker and founder of Applied Curiosity Lab, is on a quest to create as many good thinkers as possible. She is an expert at helping leaders tap into the art and science of curiosity and critical thinking – to capture hidden insights, spot decision traps, and avoid being blindsided by cognitive biases & unexamined assumptions. 

    If you’re curious about how to make wiser decisions in business and life, then this episode will have you leaning in and taking lots of notes. Becky brings her witty and no-nonsense approach to the show and demonstrates how critical thinking can make better decision-makers of us all.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE: 



    * How to use critical thinking to bust assumptions and make wiser decisions. (4:47)

    * How this one little-known technique (asking for disconfirming evidence) can save you from making a dangerous decision. (10:50)

    * Why it’s important to know the downside of what you’re selling. (13:18)

    * Learn how to capture insights that most will miss. (18:10)

    * Why measuring outcomes is NOT the best way to evaluate success. (20:30)

    * Why you don’t have to become a specialist to be a good thinker. (24:07)

    * How good coaching can help you interrogate your ideas and make them even better. (28:51)

    * How disconfirming evidence can play an important role in coaching. (35:24)



    “ONCE YOU KNOW HOW TO THINK, WHAT TO THINK BECOMES AGNOSTIC.”

    – BECKI SALTZMAN

    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:



    * FREE High Stakes Decision Making Readiness Assessment

    * Preview Becki’s courses on the LinkedIn Learning Platform

    * Check out Becki’s weekly show: Good Thinking LIVE

    * Applied Curiosity Lab

    * Connect with Becki on LinkedIn



    ABOUT BECKI SALTZMAN:

    As Chief Curiosity Seeker and founder of Applied Curiosity Lab, Becki Saltzman conducts engaging online and in-person training workshops to help leaders and their teams cultivate a culture of curiosity, inspire ideation, tackle cognitive biases, and upgrade critical thinking for improved judgment and decision-making.

    Becki holds a master’s degree in applied behavioral science and has spent the last two decades studying the science and art of Applied Curiosity and critical thinking. She is an international best selling course creator on the LinkedIn Learning platform as well as the author of Living Curiously: How to Use Curiosity to Be Remarkable and Do Good Stuff, and Arousing the Buy Curious: Real Estate Pillow Talk for Patrons and Professionals. 

     When she’s not traveling to conduct training and workshops, Becki lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband. Becki loves her two glorious sons, exciting travel adventures, speaking to inspired audiences, dancing on crowded dance floors, and sipping brown drinks.

     

    “It is very easy to use the outcome as the single measure of the efficacy of your decision process, but between every decision and outcome is a huge amount of luck.”

    – BECKI SALTZMAN

    • 53 min
    Episode 197: From Broken To Breakthrough

    Episode 197: From Broken To Breakthrough

    Coaching is a unique kind of business and this episode explores how Ben Easter grew his coaching business very quickly by keeping things simple and focusing on fine-tuning his enrollment and sales process.  

    Ben brings an infectious energy to this thing we call “coaching” and I’m so excited to feature his unique story and style. You’ll hear how he went from broken to breakthrough and how he helps badass entrepreneurs shift into the most authentic expressions of themselves.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE: 



    * The difference between a Business Coach and a Business Mindset Coach (1:35)

    * How to recognize misalignment in your business or life and what to do about it (6:51)

    * How golf lessons, Deepak Chopra, and a head injury led Ben to coaching (10:52)

    * Why taking tiny steps is the key to achieving any big goal (20:02)

    * Ben shares his BIG shift about how to “sell” coaching (27:52)

    * The audacity to do work that feels like play! (35:02)

    * How Ben realized 4X ROI in 3 months (44:09)

    * An increase in client conversion rate from 20% to 80% (53:00)

    * Priceless… Ben receives a $5,500 payment WHILE discussing enrollment best practices (1:01:54)



    “THERE’S NO MAGIC INGREDIENT THAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THINGS WORK. YOU JUST NEED TO BE DEDICATED TO MAKING INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS.”

    – BEN EASTER

    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:



    Ben’s website

    Connect with Ben on Instagram

    Tim Ferriss podcast with Derek Sivers



    ABOUT BEN EASTER:

    Ben Easter is a Business Mindset Coach that helps emerging entrepreneurs overcome their mental gremlins and build better businesses. 

    After a decade of deliberate study and practice in the fields of personal development, social dynamics, cognitive neuroscience, and the art of learning (not to mention a lot of painful trial and error), Ben came to realize that he had transformed. And now Ben loves helping other people transform too.

    Ben brings a fresh perspective and a playful approach to his work and in this episode you’re going to hear his unique journey to coaching and how he’s growing his coaching business, serving his clients deeply, and establishing himself as a coach that blends a unique combination of strategic planning, practical examination, and focused, playful curiosity.

     

    “IF YOU REALLY WANT TO TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL, THERE’S NO BETTER WAY THAN HAVING SOMEONE THERE TO SUPPORT YOU. YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT.”

    – BEN EASTER

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Episode 196: When Your Community Becomes Your Strongest Asset

    Episode 196: When Your Community Becomes Your Strongest Asset

    Entrepreneurship is alive and well and Michael Riscica is here to prove it! Michael completely bootstrapped his business from scratch, starting it as a side-hustle while working full time as a licensed architect. Today Michael has the fastest growing coaching community for young architects.

    In this episode, you’ll learn the 4 main elements of Michael’s thriving business, the importance of community, and offering value before asking for money.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE: 



    * Building a strong community through speaking and webinars 8:34

    * Getting scrappy and making money in the early days of entrepreneurship 14:01

    * The value of building your business around one core offer 20:15

    * Using a podcast to strengthen your community 29:15

    * Why Michael is adding business coaching to his model 34:29

    * How adding team members lifted Young Architect to the next level 36:57

    * Bouncing back from COVID-19 and pivoting to a virtual conference 41:15

    * The true ROI of hiring a coach… even when it feels like you can’t afford one 47:18

    * The value of hiring a coach that’s already accomplished what you want to accomplish 50:37



    “I DON’T REALLY ACKNOWLEDGE MY COMPETITORS AS MY COMPETITORS BECAUSE WE HAVE A SHARED VISION AND A SHARED GOAL.”

    – MICHAEL RISCICA

    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:



    Young Architect

    Young Architect Podcast

    ARE Boot Camp

    World Domination Summit

    Michael’s public speaking coach



    ABOUT MICHAEL RISCICA:

    Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, keynote speaker, internationally-recognized blogger, and creator of Young Architect.com, a platform that helps Future Architects succeed in school, work, and exams.

    Michael completely bootstrapped his business from scratch, starting it as a side-hustle while working for the City of Portland. Over time, Michael continued to invest in the growth of his business and grew it to where it is today – the premier mentorship, learning, and coaching community serving the next generation of architects.

     

    “BE WILLING TO BE STRETCHED AND PUSHED OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. BE WILLING TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE AND WORK THROUGH IT AND BE OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITIES.”

    – MICHAEL RISCICA

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Episode 195: How a key pivot supercharged the impact, opportunity, and growth for this mission-driven entrepreneur

    Episode 195: How a key pivot supercharged the impact, opportunity, and growth for this mission-driven entrepreneur

    Patrick Galvin is the master of building strong relationships and cultivating trust, or as I like to call it, building social capital. Patrick is the co-founder of The Galvanizing Group which he founded with his wife in 2002. Since that time, he’s transitioned his business from a speaking company to a learning company. 

    In this episode, you’ll learn how Patrick navigated a substantial pivot that’s given him the ability to deliver more impact while creating more opportunity for growth.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE: 



    * The reality of public speaking in today’s environment

    * Using coaching to deepen the impact of your work

    * How group cohort coaching can complement existing services

    * How to strategically use social media without overwhelm

    * Why our business is surviving (and thriving) during a pandemic

    * The role of coaching in designing a better business

    * Overcoming the fear of investing in a coach



    “IF I DELIVER A GOOD PRODUCT AND A GOOD EXPERIENCE, WHERE WE CAN DELIVER THE MOST VALUE WILL FIGURE ITSELF OUT.”

    – PATRICK GALVIN

    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:



    The Connector’s Way Book

    The Connector’s Way Website

    Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn



    ABOUT PATRICK GALVIN:

    Since 2002, Patrick and The Galvanizing Group have operated on the philosophy that great relationships are the key to personal and professional success. 

    Applying the principles of his best-selling book The Connector’s Way, Patrick offers high-performance companies and teams coaching, training, and online learning programs that deliver a systematic and measurable approach to business relationship building.

    Chief Galvanizer and co-founder Patrick Galvin is an accomplished presenter, TEDx speaker, and the author and creator of The Connector’s Way. He and co-founder Ellen Galvin have over 40 years of combined business management experience that they bring to programs whose clients include diverse companies from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies selling products and services B2B and B2C.

     

    “IF I WAS IN MY MODE OF BEING A SPEAKER ONLY… MY GOOSE WOULD BE COOKED RIGHT NOW!”

    – PATRICK GALVIN

    • 44 min
    Episode 194: How To Turn Adversity Into Opportunity with Rena Meloy and Ryan Kenny

    Episode 194: How To Turn Adversity Into Opportunity with Rena Meloy and Ryan Kenny

    Rena Meloy and Ryan Kenny are the co-founders of Pause Meditation. They are profoundly inspired to help others make space each day to pause. In this episode, we dive into what inspires them, how their business has changed over the past few months, and what it’s been like to navigate changes in their business during a global pandemic.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE: 



    Perfect timing (4:00)

    The power of having a mindfulness practice (8:05)

    How to navigate anxiety and uncertainty (10:34)

    The power of community and connection (14:35)

    How to identify areas of opportunity (18:12)

    Getting out of hustle mode (25:55)

    4x revenue increase from coaching (28:00)

    Investing in a coach (and why it matters) (33:19)



    “MINDFULNESS SEEMS REALLY SIMPLE, BUT IT’S ACTUALLY ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS TO LEARN AND GET THE MOMENTUM GOING.”

    – RYAN KENNY

    MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:



    Learn more about Pause Meditation

    Try a virtual meditation class at Pause 

    Reach Ryan at ryan@pausemeditation.org

    Reach Rena at rena@pausemeditation.org 

    Connect on Instagram

    Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn



    ABOUT RENA MELOY & RYAN KENNY:

    Ryan and Rena serendipitously met in Nicaragua in 2013, where their lives were swept up in joy, disbelief, and the most vibrant love they had ever felt. Sure, the warm beaches, brilliant blue water, and endless sunshine played a role….but beneath all of the laughter and waves was their shared passion for meditation. 

    They had both been practicing meditation for years, and their compasses were set for a lifelong exploration of living with presence and intention. Little did they know this path would guide them to each other and align them in a vocation of teaching meditation within their own community and with communities across the world.

    As business and life partners, Ryan and Rena are continually humbled by the impact meditation has on their lives and the lives of everyone it touches. This is an extremely challenging time, and also a hopeful one. Ryan and Rena find great promise in this new wave of mindful exploration, and they are deeply honored to be part of it.

     

    “THE STATUS QUO HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED AND WE’RE ALL IN THIS UNTETHERED SPACE AND WE GET TO SHAPE IT MOVING FORWARD.”

    – RENA MELOY

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

J. Barshop ,

Awesome show, highly recommend!

Michael and his guests provide some incredibly actionable and compelling content, spotlighting the best practices and insights on how to become a better leader and (more importantly) a better overall person.

Highly recommend listening and subscribing to The Startup Sessions if you want the knowledge AND mindsets to lead with purpose and passion (and reach your overall personal and professional goals as a result)!

CaraF13 ,

Such a Juicy and Compelling Show!

I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Amanda Johnson who spoke about uncovering your story and shining the light on ALL of your business , which makes it compelling and exciting! This show is about trusting your gut, breaking the rules and starting something meaningful. Amanda reminds the listeners the importance to be honest and not so much a pollished storyteller. It was inspiring to hear how Aunt Chris' business came about. Cheers to free flowing conversations that shine light on what your true passion is and how to incorporate it into your business! Shine the light on ALL of you, not just the business side! When you ask: 'What made your business come about? " it gives you permission to talk about the exciting cool parts of your business and how it was formed.

AddisonF ,

Great Weekly Routine

Michaels podcast brings forth great subjects to continuous keep me on track and focused to develop and grow on a weekly basis. His unique guests and authentic messages are a continued enjoyment.

Thanks for all the great content Michael!

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