Legends & Losers - Motivational Business Dialogues, With an Edge

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117: Skinny Pasta: Cooking Up a Category King w/Margot Micallef, Founder of Gabriella’s Kitchen

Modern society has lost its connection to really good food. Why is food at the core of our well-being? How can we turn the tide so we can demand food that is both healthy and tasty? What are the four pillars consumers want in their food? On this episode, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and "one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women," Gabriella’s Kitchen founder Margot Micallef, talks about dominating the category, living wholeheartedly and why good food matters so much.

As people get to know that it’s possible to have food without compromise, they’ll demand more of it from everyone. -Margot Micallef

3 Things We Learned

Entrepreneurs are people who will work 100 hours for themselves but won’t work 40 hours for somebody else

Margot has worked for a wide range of brands and companies, but nothing is more rewarding than working for herself. In fact, she works best when she works for herself.

Food without compromise is possible

When we want healthy and nutritious food, we feel that we have to compromise on taste and cost. It is possible for us to have food that is nutritious, delicious, affordable and convenient.

We’re in a new age of authenticity

It’s becoming harder and harder for people or brands to BS us, because the consumer is just so much more empowered and vocal about what they want now. The most authentic people will stand out because the market honors and respects them.  


Well-being isn’t just about physical health. It’s also about spiritual, emotional and social well-being. Food is weaved in with all of that, and it connects us to other people, our environments and even ourselves. Food is so important to our humanity that it needs to be nutritious, affordable, convenient and delicious. We all deserve food without compromise.

Guest Bio
Margot is the President of Oliver Capital Partners and co-founder of Skinny Pasta, In 2003, Margot co-founded a better-for-you food company with her sister, Gabriella. In 2009, the founders began commercializing their non-traditional pasta, now marketed as skinnypasta™, and confirmed their strategy of developing foods that alleviate symptoms of chronic illness and aging, and aid in health and wellbeing. The company was recently renamed Gabriella’s Kitchen in honour of Margot’s late sister, Gabriella, who remains the inspiration behind the company. Go to https://gkskinnypasta.com/ for more information.


116: How Brotha James went from Top Performing Salesperson to Motivation Musician

Not a lot of people are aware of the conversations they are having in their head. How does inspirational and motivational music help us positively program our brains? How do we change the way we talk to ourselves? What does the word “abracadabra” mean to brotha James? On this episode, the inspirational performer shares his journey to putting himself out there musically, and why he does this work.

When we use words over and over, we literally integrate and start to become those things we say to ourselves often. -brotha James


3 Things We Learned


Abracadabra = with these words I create

Abracadabra is used in magic, but we can also use it to demonstrate the power of words and how capable we are of creating wonderful things with them. Whatever we constantly say to ourselves becomes our inner vocabulary. It tells us that words aren’t just things we say. They can build us up or tear us down.

It’s important to be kinder to ourselves.

Consider some of the things we say to ourselves about ourselves. If anybody was to say what you say, you wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with them. They say a good marriage has a ratio of 3 positive things said to 1, we should also hold this standard or higher when it comes to talking to ourselves.  

The words you hear in the five CDs you listen to the most become your vocabulary.

Music has the power to influence us both negatively and positively, and what you listen to the most can have a huge impact on how you see the world and how you speak. That’s why having something that inspires positive action is so powerful.

There’s something undeniably incredible and magical about music. Its lyrics and messages become the mantras of our lives, and the world needs a lot more of that positivity. When you listen to inspirational music, the only real possibility is that you will feel lifted, motivated and ready to take action. In this world filled with anxiety and depression, the power of music can literally change the world. Having access to good beats and positive, inspirational words can reprogram our minds in a powerful way.


Guest Bio

brotha James is a solo performer who does live looping: layering sounds through the magic of technology to create a full band effect. He isn’t the only performer out there doing this, but he has taken the technique and made it his own. His positive energy is contagious and his enthusiasm for creating, playing and performing helps him engage audiences of all ages. https://www.brothajames.com/


115: LIVE from the South Pole w/Robert Swan & Chris Powell

In 1986, English-born polar explorer Robert Swan completed the longest unaided march to the South Pole. Now he's back as part of the world’s first expedition to rely solely on renewable energy, and the first South Pole expedition covered on 360-degree camera. What are some of the biggest challenges that come with trekking in such rough conditions? What can humanity as a whole learn from their experience? On this mind blowing episode, we check in with Robert Swan and Commvault CMO, Chris Powell, 30 miles from the south pole.


3 Things We Learned

This is a historical and challenging expedition which will advance humanity forward.

The expedition started on November 15, 2017, and it is a 600-mile, eight-week journey on foot. The team’s members are dragging a 100 pound sled, at heights of 10,000 ft to the South Pole. It is the first South Pole expedition that is 100% powered by renewable energy.


Climate change should not be a political issue.

Antarctica is the only place in the world all of us own, and the subject of its shrinkage and destruction is something that should matter to each and every one of us.


Renewable energy matters.

We can learn a lot from the use of renewable energy in such challenging and hostile conditions. If Robert and his crew can survive, use technology and communicate with people in other parts of the world, imagine what we can do with renewable energy in our normal, daily lives. It inspires us to realize how much power we have to make the world better.


There is so much we can learn from this historic expedition and lessons we can apply to our own lives. It has the power to change how we think about energy, and how we are responding to the force of climate change. The efficient use of resources is smart business, and it’s a smart way to take care of things as a whole. We also learn a lot about how we all need each other to conserve the earth, and how technology will be critical in how me move forward and solve problems globally.  


Guest Bio

Robert Swan is an extreme adventure athlete who is the first person to hike to both the north and south pole. He is the founder of 2041.com, an organization dedicated to preserving Antarctica.He is also a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador,a Visiting Professorship of the School of Environment at Leeds University and in 1994 he became Special Envoy to the Director General of UNESCO.Go to 2041.com for more information.

Chris is the CMO of Commvault, a sponsor of this expedition. He’s been a technology executive for over 20 years, with a 15 year run at SAP. He’s an avid athlete, triathlons, running and kayaker.


113: “This Week In Business”

This Week's Topics:

  • IPOs I Don’t Know
  • CES yes yes yes
  • Is Kodak coming back?
  • Samsung on steroids

112: How To Spot Massive Technology Waves w/Brian Ascher, Partner at Venrock Capital

As we make more gains in AI and machine learning, the world is seeing an intelligence layer that will bring a lot of value. What does the future of these innovations look like in relation to our daily lives? What are the new opportunities for startups in this new realm of intelligent enterprise and AI assistance? Which realms are these changes going to touch? On this episode, we are joined by Venrock partner, Brian Ascher, to have a dialogue about surfing, business intelligence and the exciting future.

A lot of people want to be better. It’s a little harder to be different. -Brian Ascher

3 Things We Learned

  • It’s not about work-life balance-- it’s about harmony.
  • The future is software and hardware that solves problems and delivers a valuable experience
  • In the future the opportunity for startups is in data acquisition

In this new realm of intelligent enterprise and AI assistance, deep learning and the enormous data sets that go with it will be able to solve big hairy problems for users. When intelligence is weaved into daily life, it won’t just be about suggesting what to buy, what to listen to or what to watch. It will touch realms like biotech, health and security. The machines of the future will learn your habits, make suggestions, see how you react, and then do more of that for you. It’s going to be a solution to problems that we never could solve, and this is just the beginning. There’s a lot of space for this kind of innovation in every category of our lives.  

Guest Bio
Brian is a Partner based in Venrock’s Palo Alto office. He invests broadly across enterprise and consumer markets and currently serves on the Board of Directors of several companies, including 6Sense, Socrates AI, Luxe, Beckon, SmartBiz Loans, Inrix, Personal Capital and Dynamic Signal. Go to https://www.venrock.com/ for more information.


111 Unlocked: Did Apple Just Blow A Trillion Dollar Category?


Amazon Echo Prices Turn Smart-Speaker Market On Its Ear



Smart speakers are the 'gateway drug' to smart home adoption.



Amazon’s Alexa app hits the top of the App Store for the first time



110: Drinking With Gurus: Marketing PhD James Kelley & Leadership Expert Jon Berghoff

A lot of people use adversity as an opportunity to play victim. How is this linked to the meanings we give to our challenges? What is the true definition of happiness? Why is adversity such an important experience for all human beings? On this episode, we have a dialogue with Dr. James Kelley and Jon Berghoff about fatherhood and learning valuable lessons from our greatest setbacks and tragedies.

Every choice I make now in my life, is a direct reflection of the lessons I want to teach my kids. -Dr. James Kelley


3 Things We Learned

  • Life doesn’t get easier; your skills just get better
  • There’s a difference between joy and happiness
  • Life’s lessons aren’t always instant

A universal aspect of life is that experiencing suffering or happiness is a choice, and we have the power to decide how we see something. We have the power to create our own meanings from the challenges and adversities we meet. The truth is we can find the gift in every adversity, and extract the meaningful lessons that will help us self-actualize. The ability to take something bad and turn it into something good is an important attribute and a powerful key to being happy.


108: Creating A New Category of Extreme Athlete w/Jon Devore, Professional Skydiver & Captain of the Red Bull Air Force

Everyone has looked out the window of a plane and wondered what it would feel like to fly. That’s what makes extreme air sports so captivating. How did the categories of vertical free flying, wing suiting and speed riding emerge? How does it feel to do all those jaw dropping stunts? What is Red Bull’s role in the advancement of extreme sports? On this episode, we are joined by Red Bull air force captain,legendary athlete, and category designer, Jon Devore who talks about the freedom of human flight. 

The more people are educated that it is a sport and not a stunt, the more the sport is going to grow. -Jon Devore

3 Things We Learned

  • Base jumping gives you the visual sensation of flight
  • Point Break Was Instrumental in the Development of Extreme Sport
  • Control Your Animal 

The virality of extreme sports comes from how it takes us out of the normal dimensions of everyday life. It’s important to shift public perception so people stop seeing these athletes as adrenaline junkies with a death wish. The only way to grow the sport is to teach people that these men and women are practitioners of an artistic, beautiful, and disciplined sport. Extreme sport shows us the power of living completely in the moment-- something we all deserve to experience.

Guest Bio

Jon is an extreme athlete and the captain of the Red Bull Air Force. His disciplines include Skydiving, Speedriding and Wingsuit Flying. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_Devore.