192 episodes

Start and grow a meaningful business by doing work you love. Michael Knouse hosts a weekly conversation with visionary entrepreneurs that are pursuing a life of purpose, freedom and adventure. Each episode features in-depth stories of purpose-driven thought leaders who are making waves in their industries and having a big impact on the world. Guests share their real-world advice, insights and experiences that will propel you to carry out your quest for building a visionary business.

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

    • Entrepreneurship

Start and grow a meaningful business by doing work you love. Michael Knouse hosts a weekly conversation with visionary entrepreneurs that are pursuing a life of purpose, freedom and adventure. Each episode features in-depth stories of purpose-driven thought leaders who are making waves in their industries and having a big impact on the world. Guests share their real-world advice, insights and experiences that will propel you to carry out your quest for building a visionary business.

    Episode 192: How To Enjoy Sales, Even If You Think You Hate Selling, with Liston Witherill

    Episode 192: How To Enjoy Sales, Even If You Think You Hate Selling, with Liston Witherill

    “One of the ways you can build trust and credibility in the sales process is to show empathy.”







    In this episode, Liston Witherill and I are discussing one of the least understood and maybe most important qualities for having a thriving service business. We’re going to discuss scaling beyond referrals and why selling should be an ethical and a win-win situation for all parties, 100% of the time.







    How can you serve, not sell, and grow your business into a thriving and profitable venture? In this episode you’ll find out how.







    Highlights of This Episode:







    * Why conversations and relationships are the keys to growing a thriving service business (6:20)* Most people don’t set out to become a master salesperson (10:08)* Two scenarios that show why being comfortable with sales is important (15:12)* Why do people choose to buy from you?  (22:00)* Why empathy is the key to selling (25:47)* Why you need confidence around your selling process (30:00)* Liston breaks down his proven sales process (34:54)* Do you want to make a change? Here’s your first step (40:38)















    “There are a lot of misconceptions about what sales should be and what you need to do, and how to think about it.”







    – Liston Witherill















    Insights from Liston:







    What’s a must-read for impact entrepreneurs?







    * Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely







    What’s the single-most important trait for entrepreneurs?







    * You must be dedicated to constantly learning and evolving.







    What are you better at than anyone else?







    * Making hip-hop beats. I’m better than any other sales trainer at that.







    What idea or belief do very few people agree with you about?







    * That sales is an act of compassion and empathy.







    What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?







    * There’s a book by Steven Pressfield called Nobody Wants To Read Your S**t, and the essential advice is that it’s not about you, it’s about the people you’re serving; make it interesting and compelling for them, and that is the place you need to start in all business.







    Do you have any ‘asks’ or requests of the audience?







    * If you get something out of Michael’s podcast, out of this episode, tell someone else about it, because Michael is putting a lot of time into this; he’s really trying to bring great guests to you, so if you’re getting something out of this podcast, tell someone about it!







    Mentioned in This Episode:







    * Free resources to help you grow* Apply for a Conversation about Sales Consulting Bootcamp* Check out Liston’s a rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label=" (opens in a new tab)" href="https://liston.

    • 57 min
    Episode 191: Finding the Joy In Your Journey with Mikki Trowbridge

    Episode 191: Finding the Joy In Your Journey with Mikki Trowbridge

    “When you build something you love being a part of, then you find other people love being a part of it too.”







    What if you could combine your passions and share them with others in a way that puts a smile on their face every day? My guest for this episode is Mikki Trowbridge, the founder of Yoga + Beer and Cofounder of Beer Yogis, and we’re jamming on how she grew a business by marrying two of her favorite passions: beer and yoga.







    Highlights of This Episode:







    * Creating a unique, and interconnected impact (3:46)* Why it’s important to be open to new opportunities (5:50)* How to overcome self-doubt (12:30)* Finding support along the way (18:29)* The genesis of Yoga + Beer (26:45)* How to grow a sprouting business (38:06)* The hard decision of letting go (47:06)* How to get unstuck (49:21)















    “I never, in a million years, would have thought that my most successful venture would be something that sort of just…happened. It’s constantly a good reminder to plant the seeds and do the work, but to also give space to let things happen, because that’s so often, I think, where the magic is.”







             















    Insights from Mikki:







    What’s a must-read for impact entrepreneurs?







    * Anything by Malcolm Gladwell







    What’s the single-most important trait for entrepreneurs?







    * The ability to trust their intuition.







    What are you better at than anyone else?







    * Showing up when things get really tough.







    What idea or belief do very few people agree with you about?







    * The best thing you can do for yourself is nothing at all.







    What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?







    * “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” – Maya Angelou







    Do you have any ‘asks’ or requests of the audience?







    * Do something for yourself that makes you feel good!







    Mentioned in This Episode:







    * Learn more about Yoga + Beer in the Northwest and across the country.* Learn more about Mikki and her yoga. * Check out Balance & Brews. * Connect with Mikki on Instagram or Facebook.







    About Mikki Trowbridge:







    A little bit about Mikki: Wife, daughter, sister. Christian. Type A to the core (working on letting go sometimes). Oregon-lover.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 190: Stop Selling and Grow Your Business with Farnoosh Brock

    Episode 190: Stop Selling and Grow Your Business with Farnoosh Brock

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 189: Cultivating Community by Empowering Others with Tara McMullin

    Episode 189: Cultivating Community by Empowering Others with Tara McMullin

    “Entrepreneurs get into business because they are problem solvers.” 

    How many of us wish we had a community of entrepreneurs to grow with and learn from? In this episode I’m talking with Tara McMullin, CEO of CoCommercial. Tara is a community-based business advocate and is on a mission to turn today’s small business owners into tomorrow’s economic powerhouses. She’ll share her recent experience of retiring a business model that made over $1M in order to shift to a community-based business model.

    Highlights of This Episode:



    * Becoming an advocate for small business owners (2:40)

    * Pivot! Pivot! Pivot! (11:18)

    * Thriving in community (21:49)

    * Creating a culture of self-empowerment (28:00)

    * Enamored with authority (34:32)

    * Shifting to a community-based business model (41:14)

    * The personal benefits of building a community model (48:26)

    * Bouncing back from being out of whack (52:45)





    “It was either throw in the towel or go all-in with this idea!”

    – Tara McMullin





    Insights from Tara:

    What’s a must-read for impact entrepreneurs?



    * The Art of Community



    What’s the single-most important trait for entrepreneurs?



    * Resilience



    What are you better at than anyone else?



    * Trend spotting



    What idea or belief do very few people agree with you about?



    * When it comes to our businesses, we cede our power to other people way too often.



    What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?



    * Talk to real people.



    Do you have any ‘asks’ or requests of the audience?



    * DM me on Instagram. Seriously!



    Mentioned in This Episode:



    * Learn more about CoCommercial

    * Listen to the What Works Podcast

    * Check out Tara’s article Dismantling Systems of Oppression in Business: 5 Commitments For Working Together

    * DM Tara on Instagram



    About Tara McMullin:

    Tara McMullin is on a mission to turn today’s small business owners into tomorrow’s economic powerhouses. She’s the founder of CoCommercial, a platform for helping small business owners work together to overcome daily challenges, solve big problems, and achieve even bigger goals. She’s also the host of What Works, a podcast that takes you behind the scenes of successful small businesses and shows you what’s working in marketing, operations, time management, product development, and more. Entrepreneur named it one of 24 top women-hosted podcasts for business owners.

     

    “Yes, it was messy and very weird and was very stressful, and also, I was so happy to be doing it. I felt so aligned and in touch with what we were doing on a day-to-day basis that I didn’t care how messy it was.”

    – Tara McMullin

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Episode 188: The Thought Leader Dilemma with Jason Van Orden

    Episode 188: The Thought Leader Dilemma with Jason Van Orden

    “You didn’t do anything wrong just because you end up feeling stuck!” 

    Do you want to be a thought leader?  I’m talking with Jason Van Orden to get his ninja level expertise on the subject of thought leadership.  He’ll also share what to do when you outgrow your business model, how to get beyond the hustle, and the difference between business leader activities and thought leader activities.

    Highlights of This Episode:



    * What is a thought leader entrepreneur? (3:00)

    * Stuck?  How did you get there? (6:10)

    * Drifting away from authenticity  (12:11)

    * The thought leader dilemma (14:22)

    * Barriers to becoming a thought leader (23:09)

    * The niche of you (26:48)

    * Getting into the thought leader mindset (36:18)

    * 3 steps to gain a new perspective (40:14)





    “The value that [thought leaders] want to create and the unmet need that they want to fulfill…is driven by something inside of them and is likely also driven by who they are…and their experiences.”

    – Jason Van Orden





    Insights from Jason:

    What’s a must-read for impact entrepreneurs?



    * Louder Than Words by Todd Henry



    What’s the single-most important trait for entrepreneurs?



    * Empathy



    What are you better at than anyone else?



    * Seeing the big picture, developing strategies and organizing the necessary frameworks.



    What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?



    * Discover your unique ability and un-layer it and infuse it throughout your business and all the work that you do.



    Do you have any ‘asks’ or requests of the audience?



    * If any of this resonated with you or ruffled your feathers, I would love to hear from you!



    Mentioned in This Episode:



    * JasonVanOrden.com

    * Connect directly with Jason via email

    * Follow Jason on Facebook

    * Connect with Jason on LinkedIn



    About Jason Van Orden:

    Jason helps thought leaders to reach a larger audience with their ideas, create new income streams from their expertise, and build business models that align with their values and goals. As a consultant, trainer, and strategist, he draws from more than fourteen years of researching top Internet influencers and experimenting with his own personal experience. His experience includes creating multiple successful brands, launching over 60 online courses, teaching more than 10,000 entrepreneurs, generating 6 million dollars in online course sales, and 8 million downloads of his podcast. His mission is to help visionaries with impactful ideas to connect with the people they serve best and the problems they can most uniquely solve.

     

    “Your unique genius is your greatest opportunity to impact the world and create value for the world and have fulfillment for yourself.”

    – Jason Van Orden

    • 55 min
    Episode 187: How To Make A Great Living While Making A Difference with Douglas Bertram

    Episode 187: How To Make A Great Living While Making A Difference with Douglas Bertram

    “How do I scale what I know and not just what I do?” 

    Today’s guest is Douglas Bertram, CEO and owner of Structural Elements®, an orthopedic wellness clinic that provides the highest standard of care using his proprietary treatment approach. He has been practicing orthopedic wellness for over 20 years and has scaled his clinical success and proprietary framework into a franchise concept.

    Listen in to learn how Douglas turned his life’s calling into a successful, scalable, and impact-driven business.

    Highlights of This Episode:



    * Finding the right path (1:53)

    * Scaling a business around what you know vs what you do (4:35)

    * Why you need a framework to scale up your business (8:00)

    * How Douglas developed his proprietary framework (12:45)

    * Why routine is important (15:39)

    * How to deal with growing pains (24:30)

    * Why helping people and having success are not mutually exclusive (26:35)

    * Franchising IS about local business (36:20)



    Insights from Douglas:

    What’s a must-read for impact entrepreneurs?



    * Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior



    What’s the single-most important trait for entrepreneurs?



    * Endurance



    Who’s the most interesting person you’ve ever met?



    * Harvey Lewis Ultra Runner



    What are you better at than anyone else?



    * Finding subtle imbalances in the body that others can’t see.



    What idea or belief do very few people agree with you about?



    * Franchising is the best path for scaling Structural Elements and increasing our impact.



    What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?



    * Don’t rush it. Be patient, take your time and do things correctly.



    Do you have any ‘asks’ or requests of the audience?



    * If you know anyone who could use our help, please share us with them. Or, if you think our franchise is an interesting business concept, request more information.



    Mentioned in This Episode:



    * Learn more about Structural Elements

    * Check out their franchise opportunity

    * Send Douglas an email

    * Follow on Facebook

    * Connect on Twitter

    * Follow on Instagram



    About Douglas Bertram:

    Douglas Bertram, CEO and owner of Structural Elements® has been treating orthopedic conditions for over twenty years. He has turned his clinical success and proprietary framework into a franchise concept. Now offering Structural Elements® Orthopedic Wellness Clinics as franchise opportunities, they have four locations and aggressive expansion plans for 2018. Effective treatment, a results driven process, and a simple business model are Doug’s recipe for success.

Customer Reviews

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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