Dec 9, 2015

Creating and controlling your personal brand with Hajj Flemings

Hajj Flemings is . . .

Hajj is the founder of Brand Camp University the largest personal branding conference in the Midwest.  He has expanded his personal branding conference to New York and Boston.  He is also the author of “The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking Who You Are Through Personal Brand Management” which was selected as one of Fast Company Magazine 2008 Readers Choice Business Books of the year.

"Being an entrepreneur means being an animal.  I have to get up everyday and kill what I eat"

He has been featured on WDIV 4 (NBC),  Fox 2 News,, and travels nationally speaking as a brand strategist enabling personal and business brands to remain relevant.  His clients include Walt Disney, Ford Motor Company, Skechers Footwear, U.S. Department of Defense (Telecom Division).  He has spoken at Iowa State University, Davidson College, University of Michigan and numerous colleges and universities around the nation on personal branding, social media and career development.

"Perfect is the enemy of done"

Hajj is also a columnist who writes about technology, social media and branding for small business.

Click to learn more about Hajj at his website

Nov 5, 2015

Being a Young Leader within an Organization with Matt Beaudry

Matt Beaudry begins his tenure at the University of Michigan-Dearborn as the Director of Athletics after having spent the past seven years at the Big Ten Conference, Tulane University, Michigan State University and Okemos High School.  He most recently served in administration at the Big Ten Conference with oversight and management of several Olympic sports. His role represented all 14 member institutions of the Big Ten Conference ranging from regular season and postseason administration, budgetary, competition and governance management, and community outreach and service.

While at Tulane University, Beaudry was a member of the External Affairs division primarily responsible for capital campaigns and scholarship programs for all 16 Tulane sports. His role with various fundraising initiatives, especially the annual fund program, helped Tulane set record-breaking results each year. He also assisted with a $70 million "Home Field Advantage" campaign for a new on-campus football stadium. In addition, Beaudry managed sport booster clubs, team fundraising initiatives, and department-wide financing for the athletic department. 

Prior to joining the Tulane staff, Beaudry worked in the sales & marketing and athletic department for Michigan State University and Okemos High School, where he developed external relations initiatives in an effort to increase exposure and support for programs in addition to academic and student-athlete welfare monitoring, general operations and policy implementation and enforcement. He assisted with corporate sponsorships accounting for approximately $4 million to the athletic department operating budget on an annual basis. Beaudry's impact in the community through his coaching duties, volunteerism, and event and scholarship programs have made a profound impact across the country.   

A native of Marysville, MI., Beaudry graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in business and marketing, and a Master of Science in Athletic Administration. Beaudry officially begins on October 13, 2014.  

Oct 29, 2015

“Make an Impact, Leave an Impact’ with Anthony Ianni

Anthony Ianni, of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, is one of the most sought after anti-bullying motivational speakers in the region.

 At the age of 4 Anthony was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which is on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). Doctors and specialists told Anthony’s parents that he would barely graduate from high school, would never graduate from college, would never have a shot at being an athlete and would likely live in a group institution with other Autistic kids for his adult life. His family was devastated but pledged they would help Anthony be successful no matter what.

 “Make an impact, leave an impact”

 And he is. Despite bullies, adversity and numerous personal challenges Anthony worked hard and never gave up. Not only did he earn his Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in Sociology he is the first known athlete with autism to play Big 10 basketball.  Anthony played for legendary coach Tom Izzo while at MSU. He won two Big Ten Championships, a Big Ten Tournament Title, was the recipient of the 2011 Tim Bograkos Walk On Award and the 2012 Unsung Player Award, and was also a member of the 2010 Final Four team.

Anthony has pledged his life and career to help those who face similar challenges. He has been invited to tell his story and share his message across the country and has inspired countless individuals to “LYD”- Live Your Dreams. And it’s only just begun…. He’s only 25!

 “At the end of the day we don’t dream our lives…..we live them”

Oct 22, 2015

Be Phenomenal or Be Forgotten with Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas is a force.
He has a rare ability to connect with people and deliver a message that is equal parts powerful and personal.  He has made a living by setting ridiculous goals for himself and his company and working toward those goals with a laser like focus and intensity. 
“Patience & consistency turn into success”
We had a great conversation all about the role coaches have played in his life and how he recruits and coaches the people who work for him.  We get into how he has stayed himself despite his raise in notoriety and fame.  As well as how he creates balance within his life and what his normal morning routine looks like.
We had a great conversation and it could’ve lasted for a lot longer.  It was awesome getting to spend 30 minutes with ET and hopefully you get as much out of the conversation as I did.
Topics covered:
Goal Setting
Role of coaches
Morning routines
Work/life balance
“Stop being in a hurry to get to the end”

Jun 18, 2015

Managing People and Developing Leaders Through Music with John T Madden

Any who has stepped foot inside Spartan Stadium on a football Saturday knows what the Spartan Marching Band is all about.  What most people don't know is the amount of work and intensity that is committed to not only learning the music but also life.


John T Madden has spent the last 26 years on the campus of Michigan State University.  His experiences with the Spartan Marching band has put him on the field and courtside for some of the biggest sporting events in the world. 


"Traditions are great, good traditions are better"


More importantly he has had a first hand look into the ever changing social culture of a college campus. We talk about the different traditions associated with the marching band and also how he deals with hazing within his team.


Johnis in charge of a 300 person team of both men and women and has continued to develop ways of teaching them not only about music and performing but also about how to be good people.


We had great conversation where John shares how they set up their organization chart and how the band is very similar to how most businesses are set up.    John shares how the band views themselves very similar to how the basketball/football teams view themselves.


I could've talked with John for a couple hours about how they create arrangements and teach 300 people to work in unison.  He has a great outlook on leadership and development and I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with him. 


"Teach people how to think, that's the goal at all levels"


Topics covered in this episode:


Developing leaders


Managing people


Music Credit: Link by IllegalCarrot Click Here and the Spartan Marching Band State FanFare 2007


Jun 4, 2015

Playing the Game of Failure with Jake Boss Jr.

There are very few things in life where you can fail 7 out of 10 times and still be considered a success.


Baseball just happens to be one of them and Jake Boss Jr has spent his life in what he calls the game of failures.  I got a chance to sit down with him and talk about what he's looking for when he's evaluating potential recruits.  As well as dig into how he personal works through failure and what he does to help his team get through failures.


We also spend some time talking about goal setting and how Jake used smaller five year goals to build a road map to his ultimate goal of becoming a head coach at a major university like Michigan State.  Coach Boss will tell you that this is his dream position and it's something that has been made even better by the fact that he gets to share it with his family.  Especially his dad Jake Boss Sr. who has served as a volunteer coach at MSU after a hall of fame coaching career himself.


Topics covered in this episode:

  • What do you look for when evaluating players?
  • Are parents mudding up the process?
  • Was this your ultimate goal?
  • How did you handle failure and how do you teach your team to handle failure?

May 27, 2015

Creating abundance and fulfillment through work/life integration


What if someone could tell you exactly how to create abundance and fulfillment?

What if you could go into every day at work and know that you are 100% committed to bringing your strengths to the team and not just focused on what you can take away from your day?


What if you could great integration between your daily responsibilities at work and personal life without feeling like you have to subtract things to make it work?

Today’s guest on The Sixth Option Podcast shares some great insight into how to integrate your work and life so you feel rewarded.

Tracy Brower is an awesome woman, she gained a better understanding of how work and life need to integrate when she decided to go back to school.  With a career, family and school to handle she took the time to evaluate her own life and get a grasp on her NO so she could better integrate her goals into her own life.

“The world we experience is the world we expect to experience.  It’s about perspective”

Tracy Brower is a work environment sociologist, author, wife, mother of two, and Director of Human Dynamics + Work for Herman Miller. She studies how humans affect their work-life and how it affects them back. Getting her PhD, MM, and MCR degrees has given her lots of opportunities to learn how much there is to learn. Her blog, Fruition, focuses on workLIFEstories and all things abundant. Her book, Bring Work to Life by Bringing Life to Work: A Guide for Leaders and Organizations provides new perspectives on work-life balance and how to create abundance and fulfillment in work and life.

Listen up; take assessment of whether or not your work/life is where you want it.

 Some questions I ask:

  • How did you start researching work/life balance?

  • Are there generational/gender differences with work/life balance?

  • What role does leadership play in creating an environment of work/life integration?

  • Have we created our own imbalance with technology?

“If you want to go fast go alone.  If you want to go far go together”

 – African Proverb

Music - HEADFONE Exclusive

May 21, 2015

No 1. way to make an immediate impact for your team

The idea of finding a gap was one that was initially taught to me by Coach Izzo’s college coach Stephen Kirk.  He pulled aside follow one of our practices and explained to me how he saw that our team was missing someone who would do the dirty work.  Our team needed someone who would commit to playing defense, rebounding and grabbing every loose ball that hit the floor.

He told me:

You don’t have to be a superstar in order to make a big impact”

That stuck with me and truly shaped how I viewed my role within the program.  The more I plugged that gap, the more I played in games.  I was lucky that I had someone with an outside perspective that pulled me aside and gave me such good advice; I wasn’t able to see that opportunity while I was in it. 

There are 3 things that can help you focus in on where opportunities may be and how you can create your impact on your team.

  1. Look for the gaps that you can use your skill set to plug
  2. Seek an outside perspective
  3. Fully commit to the decision and attack it

May 13, 2015

Reshaping the idea of time with Todd Duckett

I’ve been extremely lucky that I get the chance to sit down and talk to people like Todd Duckett.  He’s always offered a great insight into the idea of living authentically and with a focus on a purpose.

Todd opens up about his ideas about time and removing clutter from your mind, body and soul.

I love having this conversation on the podcast because Todd and I have had similar talks in private and I’m excited that I get to share his perspective with everyone.

Get ready to open your mind up on how you can perceive time and passion in your life

“When you walk through a forest you pick you a stick, my staff is my walking stick and my forest is life.”

Topics in this episode<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />









Living Authentic

Finding Purpose 

May 8, 2015

Developing Your Authentic and Purposeful Self

Travis Thomas is a speaker, performance coach and improv comedian who has taken his abilities on the stage and transitioned them into the world of sports and business.  He’s spent the past decade working with athletic teams and companies on how to develop a purpose and authentic mindset.

I had to have Travis on The Sixth Option Podcast to come and talk about his Live Yes And approach and how that can be used to become a better listener, teammate and leader.


Some of the questions on this episode

What does it mean to have a Yes and mindset?

What mechanisms have you used for fear?

How has meditation helped in your life?

What does it mean to live an authentic and purposeful life?   

Connect with Travis

Music  Beautiful Life (C3EYOND Remix) by Armin Van Buuren Feat. Cindy Alma 

Download on iTunes 

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