“It wasn’t necessarily about the money I made or the money I didn’t make; it was about what I learned from the experience.” @chrisspurvey

“If you bring value to people, then you can be really successful in selling.” @chrisspurvey

“Sales is not something to be feared. It’s bringing value to your consumers, bringing value to customers.” @chrisspurvey

Today we’re going to hop over to the easternmost part of North America where Chris Spurvey spends most of his time, and we’re going to talk about sales.

We’ll be diving into Chris’ story on how he got started, his journey with sales and tips on how today’s entrepreneurs should sell.

A Newfoundland native, Chris has had a long career in the world of sales. As a vice president in a highly profitable business, Chris knows how to make a sale and has learned the key tactics to help convert a fan of your work into a happy customer.

You can get early access to his upcoming book by visiting www.chrisspurvey.com/thetravelingcup


Chris Spurvey

On this Coffee Chat:

  • How Chris went from marketing to sales – going back to his entrepreneurial roots
  • The struggle with society’s preconceived notion of sales.
  • Sales = serving and delivering value
  • What led Chris down this road with sales
  • How Chris started out in a network marketing company
  • The experience of having your first sale
  • How Chris maintains his focus – having a vision and staying true to that vision?
  • Chris’ new podcast, It’s Time To Sell
  • How resetting your life can get rid of many limiting beliefs
  • Chris’ advice for those who want to be a full-time entrepreneur
  • ADVICE: What’s your story? Be authentic and put it out there
  • What is “success”?
  • What people are doing wrong in sales
  • How do you move towards a close?
  • The best sales people are actually more introverted, or ambiverts
  • Chris’ advice for sales people
  • Being confident in the value you provide
  • How to determine product pricing
  • Chris’ advice for millennials – don’t wait until things are perfect


(Psst: Email me a screenshot of you leaving an iTunes review of the podcast and I’ll send you a copy of Michael’s book. Ends June 1st)

P.S. Are you on the mailing list?

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Everyone under the sun talks about goal setting. Like a New Year’s Resolution, these goals barely make it through a few weeks of trial and error.

Why? Well, there’s a few reasons.

1. Accountability.
2. Lack of simplicity.
3. No balance.

Before we dive into these three, just a heads up that we’re talking about SMARTER goals here.

You’ve probably heard the acronym before, but just a refresher. SMARTER goals are specific, measurable, action-based, realistic, time-based. Then, evaluate and re-do.

Here’s an example from a friend of mine:

Scott said he wants to bring in 10,000/month on a consistent basis by December 31st. It’s specific, measurable, and realistic because Scott already has a few freelance clients and pulls in 5k/month, and it’s time-based. By December 31st, he’ll either be making 10k/month or he won’t be. He’ll then be able to evaluate and re-start a new income goal.

Some people like the idea of throwing the realistic factor out the window and 10 times your goals. Why? Because even if you get half way to 10 times your goal, you’ve actually reach your initial goal and multiplied it by five. If that’s for you, then try that.

The only downside of that is you may never feel like you actually achieve a finish line which can feel not so good.

Okay, so the three things.

The keys to the doors that you need open are in other peoples’ pockets. It’s up to you to build the relationships needed to open the doors.
– Michael Roderick

Before graduating from college, Ashley Stahl had a team of mentors to help coach and guide her career. She dreamed big and wanted nothing less than to land her dream job straight out of college. That millennial dream came true when she walked into the U.S. Pentagon for her dream job in foreign affairs.

Long before crossing the commencement stage to get her degree, Ashley did something many millennials don’t know to do. She built up her team of mentors and asked for advice whenever possible.

Instead of waiting to start her career after graduation like many students do, Ashley began her career with one cup of coffee and a conversation to build up her network.

One particular mentor really helped Ashley out. A colonel in the U.S. Armed Forces offered advice to Ashley and introduced her to key people who were able to help Ashley land her dream job.

Ashley left her career in foreign affairs after the puffy white clouds of her dream job dissipated. She began feeling like a cog in a bureaucratic engine, and has continue to rely on mentorship and coaching to break career barriers and rise above plateaus. She’s gone on to start up a successful coaching business, writes for Forbes, and has spoken on stage at TED.

Asking a mentor for help and networking, however, seems to be something many millennials are uncomfortable doing, especially if they come from the struggling working class.

A study by Jessica McCrory Calarco found that whether or not a student asks for help depends on his/her background. Working class students tend to ask for help far less than middle-class students.

This behavior can continue into adulthood when some struggling mid-career professionals ask for help and others shy away from it.

Like Ashley discovered early on in college, one person’s extraordinary success has an iceberg effect: what you see as the tip of success has a mountain of mentors underneath it.

“A lot of people won’t make a change if they feel lukewarm; it’s really when they’re miserable that they step into the unknown and lose that fear.” @Ash_Stahl

“You’re in charge of your life. You get to do whatever you want.” @Ash_Stahl

Today, we’ll fly over to Santa Monica, California to chat with Ashley Stahl, a career coach for Generation Y.

In this coffee chat we will talk about how Ashley got into the career coaching business and the importance of mentorship and networking in establishing your career.

Ashley is a keynote speaker, a writer for Forbes and a Top99Under33 Foreign Policy Leader. She also used to work in the Pentagon – how awesome is that! In short, Ashley is a go-to expert on helping millenials land a dream job or become the entrepreneurial boss for themselves.

On this Coffee Chat:

  • Ashley’s beautiful story on finding purpose.
  • “What made me take the leap…is that I realized I was more scared of what my life would look like if I didn’t take that leap.”
  • The importance of having mentors and how they can affect your life.
  • “Having a mentor was what really translated into all the shifts that I was able to make.”
  • A shoutout to Colonel John Garrett.
  • Building a community.
  • Networking as friendship, connection, an authentic opportunity to enrich your life.
  • What helps Ashley maintain her focus – surrounding herself with people who aren’t threatened by other people’s success.
  • Networking is just as feasible over a cup of coffee as it is over the phone.
  • Career advice: don’t bend to the workforce – make the workforce bend to you.
  • “Whatever makes you light up is what you’re going to do best, and that’s what the workforce needs.”
  • The Dream Job Intensive – online modules about job hunting.
  • How do you know what your dream job is, really? (Truth is, you already know)
  • “At the end of the day, the world only makes way for people who know where they’re headed.”
  • The strategy of clarity and focus and networking from far away.
  • Clarity comes from engagement – not from thought.
  • The best strategy to land a job is not through resumés – it’s through networking.
  • Ashley’s thoughts on college.


(Psst: Email me a screenshot of you leaving an iTunes review of the podcast and I’ll send you a copy of Michael’s book. Ends June 1st)

P.S. Are you on the mailing list?


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“You can only help people as much as you’ve helped yourself. You can only lead somebody as far as you’ve gone yourself.” @LendingMemo

“The money can be in your checking account in 3 or 4 days – it’s amazing!” @LendingMemo

Simon Cunningham joins us on the coffee chat today to talk about Social Responsible Investing through peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and how it helps people get out of debt.

We’ll be talking a lot about how to get the most out of P2P lending and how to be a socially responsible investor.

Simon is the owner of LendingMemo.com and he’s creating an awesome, interesting mission that explains how this is the first time in history that Americans can borrow and lend on a larger scale.

On this Coffee Chat:

  • What influenced Simon to get into peer-to-peer lending
  • How Lending Memo was born
  • Socially responsible investing (SRIs) and the tradeoffs between performance and altruism
  • Which should take priority – the mission or the returns?
  • How not to get into the rabbit-hole of determining the truth behind companies’ corporate social responsibility statements.
  • Simon’s mantra for investing: “Keep it simple.”
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending helps people get out of debt
  • The brilliant idea of fractionalized loans
  • P2P lending is like crowdsourcing a loan
  • How Simon came up with the idea of P2P lending
  • P2P lending gives investors access to a great return
  • How you can receive money from P2P lending in just 3-4 days
  • Simon’s advice: “Don’t put 100% of your assets in ANY single investment.”
  • In general, to have positive returns in P2P lending, you need 200 borrowers to have a balanced, diversified account
  • How to make sure you’re a socially responsible investor
  • Simon’s opinion on B corps (benefit corporations)
  • Simon’s overall opinion on debt – is it OK to be comfortable with it or should you stay out of it as much as possible?


(Psst: Email me a screenshot of you leaving an iTunes review of the podcast and I’ll send you a copy of Michael’s book. Ends June 1st)

P.S. Are you on the mailing list?

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“The passions I have, the things I want to do in my life, I can actually do that and get PAID for it.”

“It doesn’t matter what your job title is, where you live, where you are, because we’re all online.”

Duncan Gough joins us on the chat today to share his really unique story. After his spaceship crashed on his alien planet, he dove into his love for coding and co-founded Somewhere, the visual platform for sharing your work.

We’ll be diving into how Duncan got into coding and Somewhere’s role in the future of work.

Aside from being a founder of Somewhere, Duncan was also a part of The Nethernet, an online game which players passively participated in while browsing web pages.

On this Coffee Chat:

  • How Duncan began to learn how to code
  • How he maintains his focus when the Internet is a distraction
  • His story on making an impact and creating something not just for himself but for others
  • How they gamified Internet browsing with The Nethernet
  • Why it’s sometimes better to collaborate with people
  • The future of work
  • Somewhere being a platform where people can share about their work and what they’re currently doing – a visual CV
  • How Somewhere can give some helpful career advice for those wanting to know which of their interests are worth pursuing, gain real insights on what others are doing and provide some helpful resources to figure out what they want to do
  • Somewhere can find what other people are doing and get inspiration from them.
  • Duncan’s definition of the Impostor Syndrome
  • Finding the thing that you’re interested in and then finding a way to make that work.


(Psst: Email me a screenshot of you leaving an iTunes review of the podcast and I’ll send you a copy of Michael’s book. Ends June 1st)

P.S. Are you on the mailing list?

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The premium coffee scene is growing faster than baristas in Brooklyn can pump out espresso. No longer are customers happy with house blend made from a drip machine. Coffee lovers crave a new single-origin coffee bean extracted with a new brewing method each time — from siphon to the Hario v60.

But, just where do these beans come from and how much of that three dollar cup of coffee actually goes to the farmer who picked the bean? That’s the question I recently set out to try and answer. And this answer starts with a trip to Laos and a guy named Tyson.

The morning sun filters through the humid air as Tyson Adams peels aside his mosquito net, rolls out of his bed and walks downstairs to turn on the hot water and the lights of Jhai Coffeehouse.

He sets up a scale and places some fresh ground coffee beans into his Aeropress to make his morning cup of java: a favorite coffee brewing technique made popular by Tim Ferriss.

After a few sips, tourists begin to wander into Jhai Coffeehouse: the world’s first completely philanthropic coffee roaster and cafe located at the source in Laos.

Tyson first ventured into Laos during a bit of vagabonding after leaving his home in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S: an area where entrepreneurs and full-fledged coffee snobs unite over a fresh brew. He noticed that the coffee farmers in Laos produce high-quality coffee (graded 85+) and yet are paid for low quality commodity-priced coffee.

Tyson looked around. The neighboring area desperately needed water wells, new schools, and, of course, it’s own coffee shop. And the farmers needed a fair share of the coffee sale.

The key to knowing your purpose is to believe you have one. We all have a purpose and sometimes the purpose is to grow. As long as you are growing as a person, you are on the purpose path.

My path to purpose was carved even before I could properly spell purpose as a child when I quit school at the age of 5.

Knowing school wasn’t for me was a affirmation that I needed to pay attention to every single thing I am going to do because it is going to be different. Do you have to be different to become consciously aware of your purpose? No. It’s a great thing that we’re all born different, saves us a lot of time!

Most people are afraid, afraid to speak their minds simply because it’s different to popular opinion.

Not going to school gave me the luxury of experimenting, spending more than eight hours of the day exploring what I’m passionate about or rather, what gets me excited. Of course I wasn’t left off the hook by my parents, so I had to learn grade 10 textbooks without learning anything formally even once. This was one of the defining moments for my purpose; I never quit education and I wasn’t about to start now. Taking this exam and applying to college really made me question what my purpose was in order to determine which course to take up.

Shannon was fifteen years deep in her career. She stayed late, got to work early, and opened up her laptop on the weekends to help get ahead.

Then she received a summons that she was under investigation. Her boss issued the investigation that would eventually lead to Shannon leaving quitting her job. Shannon left her steady job, wrote a best-selling memoir, and became her own boss as an entrepreneur.

An inner city teacher in New York City, Shannon spent hours planning out lessons that would empower students and get them excited for learning. After finishing one particular project, her students were so excited that they suggested the class have a group hug to celebrate their success.

That’s when her boss walked by and felt she may be crossing the line.

Even though Shannon was found to be completely innocent from inappropriately socializing with students, the investigation left a scar so deep that Shannon knew it was time to leave.

She could no longer be comfortable at work.

The investigation caused Shannon to really examine why she was doing what she was doing. She knew she wanted to have a positive impact on students and help them live remarkable lives, but felt she was being held back.

The school system, which she had been frustrated with long before, needs some serious transforming and Shannon knew she could better empower students by pursuing her entrepreneurial dreams outside the classroom.

She went on to write, My Last 40 Days, and created The Transforming Public Education Podcast. She now works as a marketer for progressive schools to help them get their word out.

When you’re committed to plan A you no longer need a plan B.”

Shannon Hernandez joins me on the podcast today to share her story of transforming education. Shannon is a former teacher of 15 years who wrote an expose’ about her trials as a teacher and has gone on to create The Writing Whisperer and the Transforming Public Education Podcast.

She’s an education reform activist who follows the yogic lifestyle, dives into vegetarian and vegan cooking, and often writes for The Huffington Post about the healing power of journaling, and the importance of self-care and self-reflection. 

We dive deep into her story of reinventing herself and the three key decisions she made before taking the leap into entrepreneurship. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.33.03 PM

On this Coffee Chat:

  • Why Shannon left her job as a public school teacher and reinvented herself
  • Smart content marketing
  • Thinking long-term and making decisions short-term
  • What to do when when you have a bad boss
  • Building a freelancing portfolio


(Psst: Email me a screenshot of you leaving an iTunes review of the podcast and I’ll send you a copy of Michael’s book. Ends June 1st)

P.S. Are you on the mailing list

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