Unpolished MBA

Unpolished MBA

Entrepreneurs are sometimes called "unpolished" because they are scrappy and unconventional when starting a business. On this podcast, we speak with entrepreneurs and innovators. Some went to Business School and have a formal MBA degree while others don't. Did it make a difference? They share the answer to that as well as other pieces of wisdom. To listen to all episodes or apply to become a guest, go to www.unpolishedmba.com read less
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Episodes

Episode 105 - Burnout Breakthrough with Brian Lee Shields
Feb 9 2024
Episode 105 - Burnout Breakthrough with Brian Lee Shields
In the episode we welcome Brian Lee Shields, an acquisition entrepreneur and advisor with a remarkable journey through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Brian shared his firsthand experiences with burnout, the pivotal moments of his career, and his dedicated efforts to help others navigate the stresses of business leadership.Some Topics Discussed Include:Brian Lee Shields' Background - How his experiences at Morehouse College and in the competitive world of investment banking shaped his approach to business and personal development.The Path to Burnout - Brian discusses the signs of burnout he encountered during his entrepreneurial journey, the impact on his personal and professional life, and the crucial decision to take a sabbatical for recovery.Recovery and Reflection - Insights into Brian's year-long journey of healing, including the strategies he used to rebuild his mental and physical health.Supporting Others - The creation of a retreat for black men in leadership roles to address burnout before it becomes debilitating, highlighting the importance of community, vulnerability, and self-care.Advice for Entrepreneurs - Brian offers practical advice for business leaders on recognizing burnout, prioritizing wellness, and implementing routines that support long-term success and well-being.Key Moments:00:02:30 - Brian's background and journey into entrepreneurship.00:15:45 - The turning point: Recognizing burnout and taking action.00:28:00 - Insights into the Half Time Retreat and its mission.00:40:25 - Practical advice for entrepreneurs on balancing work and wellness.00:55:40 - The importance of community, mentorship, and setting boundaries.Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com Follow Brian Lee ShieldsLinkedIn: Brian Lee ShieldsInstagram: @brianleeshieldsBrian Lee Shields' Website: www.brianleeshields.comHalf Time Retreat Information: Brian's websiteSelf Made Dad Podcast: Link to PodcastFollow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 103 - Accounting and SMB Acquisitions with ETA Entrepreneur Yvette Owo
Jan 13 2024
Episode 103 - Accounting and SMB Acquisitions with ETA Entrepreneur Yvette Owo
In this insightful episode, Yvette Owo--an expert in accounting, finance, and business acquisitions--shares her extensive knowledge and experience in business acquisitions, emphasizing the importance of financial due diligence, understanding working capital, and the nuances of deal structuring. She also discusses the value of maintaining good relationships with sellers and lenders, and the critical role of a comprehensive approach to accounting and finance in successful business acquisitions.Some Topics Discussed Include:The Importance of Financial Due Diligence: Yvette highlights the non-negotiable need for thorough financial due diligence in acquisitions.Understanding Working Capital: She explains the significance of working capital in deal structuring and how it can impact the final stages of a deal.Building Relationships: Yvette emphasizes the importance of building and maintaining positive relationships with bankers and sellers throughout the acquisition process.Comprehensive Accounting Services: The discussion includes the range of services offered by YOLO Accounting, from bookkeeping to complex financial analysis, and their impact on business success.AND MORE!Follow Yvette OwoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yvetteowo/On Twitter: https://twitter.com/yvetteowoCompany: YOLO Accounting https://www.yoloaccounting.com/Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com Follow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/
Episode 101 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Navigating the Hiring Landscape w/ Jane McCracken
Dec 31 2023
Episode 101 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Navigating the Hiring Landscape w/ Jane McCracken
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionIn this episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Jane McCracken, a serial entrepreneur and an expert in the recruitment industry. Jane brings a wealth of knowledge about the current job market, offering invaluable insights for both job seekers and employers.Some Topics Discussed Include:Adapting to New Communication Styles:Embracing open-mindedness and adapting to how different generations communicate.Corps Team's Mission and Services:An overview of Corps Team's role in the staffing and recruitment industry, catering to startups and Fortune 500 companies.The Evolution of MomCore to Corps Team:The company's journey and expansion from focusing on helping women re-enter the workforce to serving a broader clientele.Current Hiring Trends and Challenges:Insights into the robust yet nuanced job market, companies' right-sizing strategies, and opportunities amidst layoffs.Focus on Soft Skills and Behavioral Interviews:The shift towards evaluating candidates based on soft skills and behavioral aspects during the hiring process.Utilizing AI and YouTube for Interview Preparation:Tips on using tools like ChatGPT and YouTube to prepare for interviews and improve responses.Job Application Strategies:Advice on being patient, thorough, and leveraging networks to enhance job application success.Engaging Corps Team for Talent AcquisitionFollow Jane McCrackenLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jane-karwoski-mccracken-821227/Company: Corps Team https://www.corpsteam.com/Follow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 099 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Demand Gen Mastery w/Tory Kindlick
Dec 27 2023
Episode 099 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Demand Gen Mastery w/Tory Kindlick
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionThis episode features a conversation with Tory Kindlick, a seasoned expert in demand generation. Some Topics Discussed Include:Career Transitions and Recharging:Tory shares his experiences and insights on taking breaks between jobs, emphasizing the importance of recharging and spending time with family.Networking and LinkedIn Engagement:The role of networking in career transitions and how being active on LinkedIn can open doors to new opportunities.Demand Generation Strategies:Tory delves into modern demand generation strategies, focusing on education and the creation of demand rather than just capturing it.Building Demand Gen Teams:Essential roles in a demand gen team and Tory's perspective as an architect within such teams.Sales and Marketing Alignment:Tips for bridging the gap between sales and marketing teams to improve collaboration and overall company success.AI's Impact on Demand Gen:How AI tools like ChatGPT can augment the demand generation process without fully automating it.Advice for Career Transitioners:Tory's tips for professionals navigating career changes, including setting weekly goals and leveraging LinkedIn for networking.Follow Tory KindlickLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/torykindlick/Recommended Book: Storybrand (here it is on Amazon!)Fav Tech Tool: Trello Follow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 098 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Journey Beyond Entrepreneurship w/Jibril Sulaiman
Dec 20 2023
Episode 098 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Journey Beyond Entrepreneurship w/Jibril Sulaiman
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionThis episode features a conversation with Jibril Sulaiman where he shares his diverse career journey, from entrepreneurship to now pursuing traditional employment opportunities in project management, and the lessons learned along the way.Some Topics Discussed Include:The Recruitment Maze:Jibril's experience with Amazon's recruitment system and how it unexpectedly hindered his job prospects.Transitioning from Entrepreneurship to Traditional Employment:The biases and challenges faced when shifting from an entrepreneurial role to a full-time job.Jibril's encounter with a resume coach and her perspective on his hireability due to his entrepreneurial background.Career Evolution:His diverse entrepreneurial endeavors, including tech startups and small businesses.His insights into leveraging skills gained from entrepreneurship in other professional roles.The Power of Continuous Learning:Jibril’s approach to acquiring new skills and certifications to enhance his career prospects, including in project management.The Role of AI Project Management:Views on the emerging role of AI in project management, the workplace, and its potential to supplement job roles.Advice for Aspiring Professionals:Jibril's guidance for individuals looking to navigate their career paths with agility and openness to new experiences.Follow Jibril SulaimanLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jibrilsulaiman/Personal Website: https://JibrilSulaiman.comBook Recommendation: The E-Myth Revisited (here on Amazon!)Follow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 097 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD -The Art of Partnership with Amanda Nielsen
Dec 19 2023
Episode 097 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD -The Art of Partnership with Amanda Nielsen
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionThis episode features a conversation with Amanda Nielsen, a partnerships professional with a rich background in marketing, partnerships, and channel sales, she shares her journey and insights into building successful partnership programs.Some Topics Discussed Include: A Career in Partnerships:Amanda's experience in managing technology partners and her journey to scaling the partner program at Formstack.Insights into the startup-like environment within a mature company.Building a Successful Partner Program:The importance of creating a partner-friendly program.Amanda's approach to ensuring bi-directional and beneficial relationships with partners.Challenges in Partnership Dynamics:Common pitfalls in partnerships and strategies to ensure mutual benefits.The distinction between partnerships and affiliate relationships.Future of Partnerships and AI Integration:Amanda's perspective on the evolving role of partnerships in business strategies and the potential impact of AI technologies.Personal Branding and Career Transition:How Amanda's personal brand has positively influenced her career.The role of personal interests and hobbies in enhancing professional relationships.THOT Leader Labs:Amanda shares about her e-commerce store, Thought Leader Labs, highlighting her creativity and humor in business.Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com Follow Amanda NielsenLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/verydemanda/E-commerce store for THOT Leader Labs: http://thotleaderlabs.comFollow her on Twitter: @verydemandaFollow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 096 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Pixels to Prototypes with Robert Johnson
Dec 7 2023
Episode 096 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Pixels to Prototypes with Robert Johnson
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionThis episode features a conversation with Robert Johnson, a seasoned professional in user experience (UX) design. We delve into his multifaceted career journey, exploring the intersections of multimedia, photography, and UX design.Some Topics Discussed Include:Career Transition and Exploration:Robert discusses his initial career as a photographer and his evolution into UX design, driven by market changes and personal interests.Insights into adapting to and embracing different roles in the ever-evolving tech landscape.An overview of Robert's experiences designing multimedia curriculum and his role as a multimedia journalist and how he maintains his passion for photography alongside his professional career.UX Design in Different Industries:A deep dive into Robert's experiences as a UX Architect at State Farm and his work on enterprise systems in FinTech.The Future of UX Design:Robert's perspective on how AI and digital transformation are shaping the future of UX design.Advice for Aspiring UX Designers:Valuable tips for those transitioning into UX/UI design and product design fields.Follow Robert JohnsonLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertjohnson/Portfolio Website: robertjohnsonux.comFollow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 095 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Humanizing Technology with Melanie L. Flores
Dec 5 2023
Episode 095 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Humanizing Technology with Melanie L. Flores
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionThis episode features a conversation with Melanie L. Flores, a degreed engineer with a knack for humanizing tech, making it relatable and human-centric for all to use and benefit from.Her self-described identity is: An engineer's mind, A teacher's heart, and A gardener's hands.Some Topics Discussed Include:Experience in Tech Startups:Melanie reflects on her time in tech startups, discussing the dynamic nature of roles and the challenge of finding product-market fit. She also expressed enjoying the variety and creative opportunities provided by startup environments and shared her interest in transitioning to different tech verticals like med-tech and senior-tech, driven by a desire to impact everyday lives.Personal Connection to Senior Tech:Melanie shared her personal motivations for being drawn to senior tech, including making technology more accessible and beneficial to older adults.Professional Transition Advice:Melanie offers advice to others in career transitions, emphasizing the importance of actively engaging and demonstrating expertise on platforms like LinkedIn.Favorite book: "Range" by David Epstein (Here it is on Amazon!) Her indispensable tech tool: SpotifyBecome an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com Follow Melanie L. FloresLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melanie-flores/Follow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 094 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Career Comeback Strategies w/Brenda Mariah
Nov 30 2023
Episode 094 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Career Comeback Strategies w/Brenda Mariah
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionThis episode features a conversation with Brenda Mariah who is renowned for her career advice and is the founder of Push Career Management.Key Discussion Points:Addressing Termination in Interviews:Brenda discusses the difference between being laid off and fired and how to address termination in job interviews.She emphasizes the importance of taking ownership of past mistakes and framing them positively for future opportunities.Creating a Narrative for Interviews:The discussion highlights the necessity of preparing and scripting how to discuss difficult career moments, like a termination, during interviews.Long-Term Career Roadmapping:Brenda talks about the importance of having a long-term career plan to avoid random job-hopping.She advises on identifying career goals, understanding the development cycle, and preparing for future roles.Immediate Steps for Recently Laid-Off Individuals:Advice on immediate actions for those recently laid off, including defining desired roles and matching skills to market demands.Modern Resume Tips:Brenda shares insights on creating a modern resume, including focusing on professional summaries instead of objectives, highlighting hard skills, and limiting work history to the last 15 years.Job Titles and Market Relevance:Tips on updating job titles on resumes to reflect current market language and understanding.Outplacement Services Explained:Brenda explains outplacement services provided by employers to laid-off employees, covering their scope and importance.AND MORE!Follow Brenda MariahLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachbrendamariah/Company: Push Career Management https://pushcareermanagement.comFollow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 093: Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Seizing The Reins w/Cameo Doran
Nov 21 2023
Episode 093: Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Seizing The Reins w/Cameo Doran
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionThis episode features Cameo Doran, a former VP who has successfully navigated a career transition into entrepreneurship.Cameo's Journey:Layoff Experience: Cameo discusses her layoff experience after being part of an executive team, reflecting on the personal impact and her initial reactions.Launching Cameo Labs: She shares her journey post-layoff, which led to the launch of her consultancy, Cameo Labs.Key Discussion Points:Emotional Impact of Layoff: Cameo talks about the personal toll of a layoff, even when it’s not performance-related.Transition to Entrepreneurship: She reflects on her desire to start her own consultancy, which was put on hold during her VP role, and how the layoff became a catalyst for this transition. Her new company, Cameo Labs, helps tech companies and startups in developing and managing their products effectively.Challenges of Job Search vs. Entrepreneurship: The discussion covers the uncertainties and challenges of both job searching and entrepreneurship.Taking Control: Cameo emphasizes the empowerment she feels in choosing her clients and projects, a stark contrast to her corporate experience.Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: She gives practical advice for those considering a leap into entrepreneurship, focusing on starting small and leveraging LinkedIn for building expertise.Rapid Fire Answers:Favorite Book: Atomic Habits (here it is on Amazon!)Tech Tool(s) You Can't Live Without: Canva AND LinkedInFollow Special Guest Cameo DoranLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cameodoran/Company: Cameo Labs - http://cameolabs.com/Follow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 092 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Mastering LinkedIn: Insights from Gregg Burkhalter, "The LinkedIn Guy"
Nov 21 2023
Episode 092 - Special Holiday 2023 Series: Unpolished GOLD - Mastering LinkedIn: Insights from Gregg Burkhalter, "The LinkedIn Guy"
Holiday Series 2023 - Unpolished MBA Gold: Mining For Talent In TransitionThis episode features a conversation with Gregg Burkhalter, widely recognized as "The LinkedIn Guy." He shares his journey from a career in music and broadcasting to becoming a key influencer on LinkedIn, known for his personal branding and professional networking skills.Early Career and Transition: Gregg talks about his early start in radio broadcasting at 16 and later working in music distribution, which was his dream job. However, after the company's bankruptcy and changes in the music industry due to streaming services, he transitioned to a new career.Becoming "The LinkedIn Guy": Initially resistant to social media, Gregg was encouraged by a friend to join LinkedIn. After a year of use, he was invited by a large chamber of commerce in Atlanta to conduct a LinkedIn workshop. This sparked his idea to build a business around LinkedIn training and personal branding.Insights on LinkedIn and Personal Branding: Gregg emphasizes the importance of relationships in career and business success. He discusses the significance of a well-curated LinkedIn profile, the impact of digital presence, and the strategy of being digitally active. He also touches on the concept of a "LinkedIn Golden Goose," referring to highly connected individuals who can significantly boost one's networking capabilities.Advice on LinkedIn Content and Engagement: He suggests focusing on building a professional community on LinkedIn before posting content. Gregg also advises on the types of content to post, emphasizing the value of content curation and supporting others' posts.Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com Follow Special Guest, Gregg Burkhalter, "The LinkedIn Guy"LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/greggburkhalter/Gregg Burkhalter is a recognized authority on Personal Branding and LinkedIn. He has helped countless professionals around the world define and grow their Personal Brand using LinkedIn.Gregg spent the first part of his professional career behind the microphone at radio stations in Savannah, Jacksonville, Charleston, and Atlanta. Following his radio years, Gregg worked in national music marketing and distribution.Today, Gregg is known by many as “The LinkedIn Guy”. He provides Personal Branding Coaching and LinkedIn Training via one-on-one and group training sessions, corporate and college presentations, and webinars.Follow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com
Episode 090: Small But Mighty: Unpacking SMB Ad Strategies w/Stephanie Smith
Oct 2 2023
Episode 090: Small But Mighty: Unpacking SMB Ad Strategies w/Stephanie Smith
Stephanie Smith, the owner of Social by Steph and founder of Simmy, shares her journey from being an engineering major at Georgia Tech to becoming an entrepreneur specializing in paid social media ads. Stephanie gained early experience in Facebook ads while working at a startup that was one of Facebook's first data partners. Some Topics Discussed Include:Budget Constraints: Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often have smaller budgets compared to large corporations, limiting their advertising scope. Despite smaller budgets, SMBs can still employ best practices from larger companies to make the most of what they have.Budget Realism: A budget of $500 a month for advertising is considered unrealistic and ineffective, especially for e-commerce brands. For a million-dollar e-commerce brand, a daily ad spend of $40 to $50 is recommended, sustained over three to six months for effective testing and learning.Learning Curve: Small budgets don't allow businesses to gather enough data to make informed decisions. Stephanie likens this to a Netflix algorithm that can't learn your preferences if you only watch one movie a month.Cost of Inefficiency: Running ads incorrectly can be 4000% more costly than if you know what you're doing.B2B Strategy: For B2B companies, the focus should be on sharing thought leadership content rather than direct lead generation.Creative Responsibility: Most small businesses don’t realize this BUT they—as Clients--are expected to provide the creative elements like images, videos, and copy, while the ad specialist focuses on running and optimizing the campaign.Analytics and Optimization: The real skill comes in understanding the data, spotting trends, and optimizing the campaign accordingly.Stephanie has developed a new tool called "Simmy" to allow businesses to manage simulated ad campaigns, enabling them to learn best practices without risking real money.AND MORE!Small But Mighty: We’re Unpacking SMB Ad Strategies during this episode with Stephanie!Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com Follow Stephanie SmithLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieasmith1/Companies: Social By Steph https://socialbysteph.com/ ...and Simmy—COMING SOON!You can also reach Stephanie heythere@socialbysteph.comFollow Monique MillsLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moniquemills/Bio Website: https://moniquemills.biz/TPM Focus - Revenue-Focused Strategy for Startups and SMBs: https://tpmfocus.com/ Become an Unpolished MBA Guest: https://unpolishedmba.com