The final broadcast of my radio show was this month, closing out 10 years of hosting a podcast on wsRadio called Build Your Business and then the Wealth Building Hour. Over this time, I’ve had the joy and honor to speak with many wonderful and prominent guests. Permit me to reminisce about some of the highlights, and then share with you what I’ve learned.
Stroll down memory lane
For more than five years my show ran weekly; the remainder of the time on air I had a monthly show. I’ve had guests from all industries offering information and advice on marketing, taxes, legal matters, finance, technology, exporting, and more. Some standouts include:
- Business owners. Long-time friend, and final guest, Jim Blasingame, who owns the Small Business Advocate, and hosts Small Business Radio, a daily show that’s been running for more than 20 years; Anita Campbell, of SmallBizTrends; Gail Goodman, who founded Constant Contact; Peter Justen, who founded many businesses, including FivePlus; Ami Kassar, founder of Multifunding; Fran Maier, who founded TRUSTe; Ramon Ray, publisher of SmartHustle Magazine and founder of other businesses; and Joel Libava, Franchise Selection Specialists, Inc. and some-time substitute host of my show.
- Government officials. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who is now chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, addressed the problems of red tape hampering businesses and the need for tax federal changes. Other Congressional people: Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) who was the ranking member of the House Small Business Committee, and appeared multiple times; Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK), who went on to start Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations (a project of NFIB); and Karen Mills, the SBA Administrator during the Bush Administration. We also had guests from the IRS and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Business experts. So many experts, so little space, but…Tim Berry, who is THE business plan expert, has been a guest numerous times, as has his daughter, Sabrina Parsons, who is now CEO of Palo Alto Software; Cindy Bates, Microsoft’s VP SMB, was a frequent guest; Ken Gronbach, futurist and demographer.
- Business associations. Karen Kerrigan, CEO of Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, was a frequent guest, as well as SBE economist Ray Keating. NFIB was also represented by then-health care advisor Bob Graboyes and Director of Public Policy Kevin Kuhlman. Ken Yancey, CEO of SCORE, shared his organization’s developments over the years. Tim Sullivan, formerly with the SBA Office of Advocacy and the Bipartisan Policy Center, but more recently represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the VP, Small Business Policy. Kristie Arslan, appeared as both the CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), and previously as the president of the National Speakers Association. Nell Merlino, CEO of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence. Chad Moutray is the chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers
- One of my favorite authors, who made a number of appearances, is attorney Andrew Sherman (Road Rules; Crisis of Disengagement; Harvesting Intangible Assets); a special guest was Michael Gerber (E-Myth Revisited); Ken Blanchard (The New One-Minute Manager), an icon, was great to talk with; and Norm Brodsky (The Knack) who co-authors Inc. Magazine’s column Street Smarts.
- Some of my more famous guests included Steve Forbes, who made a repeat appearance; Wayne Rogers, best known for his starring role in M.A.S.H., who was a highly successful entrepreneur (e.g., an investor in Kleinfeld, the bridal dress company featured on Say Yes to the Dress, founder of two banks); and two-time guest, football legend Fran Tarkenton, who owns various small businesses.
Apologies to the many fabulous guests who I haven’t listed here; I am grateful to you for sharing your insight and fellowship.
What I’ve learned from hosting Build Your Business Radio
First and foremost I learned how hard it is to host a radio show. There’s a lot of preparation involved, and a skill to keeping the conversation on track and within the time constraints of hard breaks.
I’ve also heard many unique stories from guests about their challenges and experiences, some of the lessons from which I’ve been able to incorporate into my business life. One of my early guests was a small business owner who survived Hurricane Katrina; he was forced to move to Houston but returned to New Orleans to start over. When the next hurricane hit, he shrink-wrapped his equipment to protect it from water damage. Lesson learned; I did the same when hurricanes came to my area.
I’ve learned that technology isn’t as reliable as we’d like. Regrettably, glitches in computers, telephones, and the Internet plagued a number of my shows.
Perhaps the most important thing I learned from my guests is that it’s a small world when it comes to the small business community. We’re in it together and face many challenges, but we’re all trying to do good and achieve success. Again, thank you to my producer Gloria Luzier, my guests, and my listeners.