Uncorking a Story

Karen Rands is the founder and CEO of Kugarand Capital Holdings. She’s also the author of Inside Secrets to Angel Investing.

Having my career in the mid 1990s during the dot com tech boom, I heard the term Angel Investing daily at least four times before lunch. Karen’s new book is geared towards teaching potential angel investors the ins and outs of growing their wealth through what she calls Compassionate Capitalism.

Compassion isn’t something you ever hear alongside capitalism. If capitalism is all about survival of the fittest, there’s no room for what we might think as compassion when going head to head with competition. Karen bridges the divide between the terms by redefining compassion, which she believes is formed from the idea that entrepreneurs have passions for their ideas and build companies around them. Compassion, to her, is the creating of a company that is passionate about the potential to change the world.

In Compassionate Capitalism, we have an environment where money makers enable others to bring innovation to the market and, by doing so, create jobs and wealth for all involved. When investors use their money and talents as compassionate capitalists, it’s Karen’s belief that they will feel an emotional abundance existing alongside the wealth they’ve created.

Karen Rands is giving away an estimated $10,000 worth of her book Inside Secrets to Angel Investing this labor day weekend. Click here to download your free copy between September 1st and 2nd.

Direct download: The_Karen_Rands_Interview_-_9117_9.14_AM.mp3
Category:author -- posted at: 9:28am EDT

Imagine going through basic training for the US Army as you approach the age of 40. It's a pretty hard thing to do at 18, but at 40 - come on it takes a special kind of person to raise his or her hand and say, "Bring it on," but that is just what Captain James P. Carlon of the US Army Reserve did just a few years ago.

If that last name sounds familiar, it should - because it's my last name as well. Jim is my twin brother.  You might be wondering, why interview your twin? Don’t you know everything about him? Well, I’ll tell you why I wanted to talk to Jim and why you should listen – he’s got a great story.

Ever since he was in law school, Jim wanted to join the Jag Corps and become a lawyer for the Army but because he was born with asthma, he could never pass the medical exam. But did he give up on his dream? No, he kept at it and finally got in right before the cutoff age of 40.  

There’s another reason I wanted to talk to Jim, though. We were pretty inseparable growing up. I mean, we are twins – kind of built in best friends. In fact, I crafted a character in the Farrah graham book series after Jim (for those of you who have read either Uncorking a Murder or The Last Homily – Jimmy Doubts is my brother Jim Carlon).

Over the past decade or so we haven’t seen much of each other and I thought it would be a good idea to connect on a Wednesday afternoon on my back porch, roll tape, and see where the conversation takes us. So here it is, my talk with Captain James P. Carlon of the US Army Reserve.

This interview is brought to you by my new novel The Last Homily. A Catholic priest is murdered on the altar at a church in Chatham, MA and it is up to Farrah Graham, the host of the uncorking a murder podcast, to find out who did it and why, before the killer strikes again. You can find it at Amazon.com or wherever books are sold online. 

Direct download: The_Jim_Carlon_Interview_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37am EDT

John Seigel Boettner is a social studies teacher at Santa Barbara Middle School, but he’s not like one I ever had. It’s a special kind of person who can take middle school kids on a cross country bicycle trip across the United States and an even more special person who can do that through the Republic of Rwanda in central eastern Africa (Yes, that Rwanda). You see, John uses cycling and life experiences to teach his students lessons that they will never forget. In short, John is the kind of teacher you remember; the kind of teacher whose memory will hit you first as you think about the person you’ve become and consider how you got to that place. We don’t get many teachers like that in life but when we do, we should celebrate them.

I met john at an industry conference this past January. Now, you may be saying to yourself, Mike, you are not a teacher, what kind of conference could you possibly have met john at? Well, our paths do cross, but it’s not where you might think.

At Santa Barbara Middle School, John helped form an organization called Teen Press. You see, in addition to being an avid cyclist, John is also a film buff and he often uses film as a teaching aid. Years ago, when the Santa Barbara International Film Festival was coming to town, John wanted to give his students a chance to talk to some influential filmmakers. He had his students apply for press credentials and taught them some interviewing skills; but one important lesson he impressed upon his fledgling journalists was to go beyond the questions that Hollywood types get asked all the time; Who are you wearing? What’s your relationship status? What’s it like working with so and so? Instead, he wanted his kids to uncover what these people are like as human beings. And that's why, at one red carpet event, they handed Amy Adams a burrito!

This is where our paths cross. I interview people for a living for both this podcast and for clients who hire me to run marketing studies. The kids of Teen Press interview filmmakers, celebrities, politicians, and business leaders. Al Gore, Will Smith, burrito loving Amy Adams, and Clint Eastwood are just some of the names that the Teen Press of SBMS have interviewed. Someone in an industry association I am part of heard about Teen Press and invited John and some of his former students to teach a bunch of professional moderators (many of whom have spent more time interviewing people than these kids have been alive) – how to uncover humanness in an interview. It left a mark on me, so much so that I think I just created a new word, and I am pleased to share John’s personal story, in more detail, with you.

This interview is brought to you by my book Uncorking a Murder. A retired detective short on time works with podcaster Farrah Graham to right a wrong in this “Serial meets Gone Girl” thriller. Pick up Uncorking a Murder at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, or wherever books are sold online. Available in paperback and eBook editions.

Direct download: John_Boettner_.mp3
Category:Inspiring Stories -- posted at: 10:50am EDT

I’ll admit it, I love a good story where the good guys win and Steve August is a good guy. I know this interview may be a bit “Inside Research” for you, but if you are looking to be inspired by the story of a guy who identified a need, built a technology to meet that need, and then sold his company to someone who saw the value in it then listen up!

Steve is the founder of Revelation, a research technology company he sold to FocusVision – but he wasn’t always in the research business. In fact, before founding Revelation, he was never in the research business at all. He was a singer/songwriter making a living in clay animation, video documentaries, and even web mastering in the early days of the Internet as a commercial medium. Hell, before Revelation, Steve was in museum exhibit development and if that sounds interesting to you, wait to you hear it in Steve’s words!

This episode of Uncorking a Story is brought to you by my book Uncorking a Murder. A detective short on time seeks to right a wrong in this "Serial meets Gone Girl" thriller. Buy it at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, or wherever you buy books online. Available in both print and e-reader editions.

Enjoy the interview.

Direct download: The_Steve_August_Interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36am EDT