Month: May 2015

Hugh Stephens – Australian digital/tech pioneer & ScheduGram founder.

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ScheduGram founder & digital/tech pioneer, Hugh Stephens, drops by Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

ScheduGram founder & digital/tech pioneer, Hugh Stephens, drops by Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #25 – Hugh Stephens (ScheduGram founder & digital/tech pioneer). 

Today’s podcast is for the digital, social media and tech geeks out there, particularly those of you who work in social media or who have start-ups that you’re looking to take out to the global market.

Hugh Stephens is the founder and creator of ScheduGram, one of many digital prospects under his Dialogue Group business umbrella.

ScheduGram is a digital tool that many of us who work in the social media industry with FMCGs, travel industry businesses, in the media, fashion brands, bloggers and more, utilize to schedule bulk images for brand monthly content calendars on Instagram, at the key times of day/week when fans and consumers are online and interacting. A massive time-saver as a business and a way that an “always on” business can have content going live at all times of the day, week and on weekends without having to post manually.

This podcast is a little different from others that I’ve recorded thus far, as one of the things I’d love to see more of from the Australia government is support for the proliferation of up & coming digital/tech innovators & pioneers, so I’m keen to support and celebrate those who are tenacious and brave enough to give it a go. Hugh Stephens is one of those.

Today we discuss the challenges of setting up business in the United States as an alien, self-development and different styles of learning – reading vs hands-on experience, building a start-up from scratch in Australia to a business with global customers across multiple languages in North America, South America and Europe and just how damn hard it is to find quality content that’s worth connecting with on the internet these days.

Hugh grew-up in Sydney, lived in Denver Colorado as a child and like many of us treading our own paths, actually started out studying medicine then stepped sideways into a career that he knew that he was made for, that could be his passion.

His advice to you? “Read, read broadly and read often”

Enjoy!

Free Download:Hugh Stephens (ScheduGram founder & digital/tech pioneer) on ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’.

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is weekly podcast where we interview inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Follow Hugh Stephens and ScheduGram on Twitter and get ScheduGram for your social media business or blog here: schedugr.am

Hit us up on social media:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Steele Saunders – stand-up comedy, the life lessons of Yoda & building a career in podcasting.

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Podcaster & stand-up comedian Steele Saunders drops by our castle in the sky.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #24 – Steele Saunders (stand-up comedian & podcaster – ‘I Love Green Guide Letters’, ‘Steele Wars’).  

“I just think that podcasting was invented for me.” Said every passionate podcaster ever. 
 
Aussie podcaster & stand-up comedian Steele Saunders’ words ring true for me too. In this current age where we’re all over-stimulated by multiple social platforms, short attention spans and white noise, podcasting is a place where like-minded people from across the globe can gather to create or consume content meaningful to them (some of us do both) and feel a sense of belonging.
 
If you’re a die-hard podcast fan or have ever wanted to create your own podcast, then today’s chat of EPIC proportions with Steele is the interview for you, as we bond over maturing but never growing up, life lessons through Yoda, how many years I’ve had single bed Star Wars sheets, Seinfeld, Comic Con & taking the first steps into the North American comedy and podcast scene, life, love, self-indulgence and much much more.
 
Strap yourselves in, this one’s a doozy!
 

Click here for magic in your ears 🙂    

Free Download: Steele Saunders (Aussie stand-up comedian & podcaster) on ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is weekly podcast where we interview inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Follow Steele Saunders on Twitter and download his podcasts here – I Love Green Guide Letters and Steele Wars.

Hit us up on social media here:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

YGAP CEO & social entrepreneur Elliot Costello – Driving Innovation through Social Change.

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Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #23 – Elliot Costello.

Annnnd I am flying!!!! Just walked out of Feast of Merit in Richmond (Australia) and having one of those moments where it all makes sense… I’ve just punched out a podcast with Australian social entrepreneur, ygap co-founder & CEO, Elliot Costello… wow.. that is the whole reason I do what I do with the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast.

I came across ygap a 3-4 years  when one of my friends introduced me to a gentleman by the name of Alby Tomassi, one of ygap’s founding members, who was looking to bring social media into his business and Hot & Delicious Group ending up driving the social media for a wonderful Melbourne pizzeria and Italian restaurant in St Kilda with the most delicious wood-fire pizzas called The Banff.

I had a wonderful time running The Banff’s social (you can read an article I wrote about it & see a few photos I shot on Broadsheet) and even though I haven’t seen Alby for a while, when I started this podcast I knew I wanted to reach out to him and tell the story of ygap.

Now, for those of you who haven’t heard of ygap before, ygap are an incubator for social change. They are a not-for-profit enterprise focused on locally driven development and their vision is to empower communities disadvantaged by poverty to be self-sustainable – believing that the best ways to answer poverty is by backing and supporting the local people. The ygap program finds and enables impact entrepreneurs in developing countries like Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda and India, then provides them with accelerator training, connects them with a range of networks and financially supports them to grow and scale the individual’s initiative. It’s all about finding those early stage entrepreneurs -people with big dreams lacking resource, then working with them to bring their concepts to life and empowering them take those ideas to scale. Such a wonderful approach!

The social enterprise initiatives that fund the ygap program and that they pride themselves on, are innovative projects like the 5 cent campaign, Feast of Merit and The Polished Man.

5 cent campaign is a campaign that runs across the month of May – Did you know there are currently $150m in 5coins in Australia that in many real life situations are effectively a useless denomination of currency – parking machines won’t accept them, vending machines won’t accept them, our public transport system ticketing machines won’t accept them… so ygap have been working to put 5 cent coins to good use. Every May they work with a range of partners and ygap ambassadors to raise awareness and encourage Australians to collect their 5 cent coins to help make an impact through social change. So far ygap and the Australian population have collected $7.9m in 5 cent pieces in a few short years, which is mind-blowing and the best part about the campaign [at least until 5 cent pieces become obsolete and we have to switch to a 10 cent campaign (my words not El’s) ] is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving, because every year the coins are set free into circulation again allowing us to begin again every year.

Apart from 5 cent campaign, Elliot and I chat about Feast of Merit, ygap’s restaurant and cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a wholly owned subsidiary of ygap that invests every single dollar  of profit back into social enterprise. We recorded today’s interview upstairs in ygap’s offices and so I had to walk through the Feast of Merit before and after the interviews and wow! What a scene! I’ve put some photos up on the blog as you can see and what a fantastic spot! The decor, menu and vibe are just sublime! Definitely heading back over the next few weeks and by the time I left at 6pm, Feast of Merit was already chockablock with the Thursday dinner crowd.

Now by the time this podcast is live, I believe we’re also going to be the first to announce (if the last few days have gone according to plan for Elliot Costello) the launch of Social Hub, a community driven project created by ygap where not-for-profits and social entrepreneurs can gather, work and utilise the benefits of Social Market Place, a physical space where social entrepreneurs can trial their products on a short-term and rotating basis in Melbourne. One of the toughest things when starting a small business is pulling together funds to survive and being able to surround yourself with people who are in the same path, but a few steps ahead who can provide support, advise and inspiration to keep pushing, so this is a wonderful initiative and in fact, the first of it’s type in Melbourne.

So what started as a volunteer-based organization 7 years ago, ygap has grown from Elliot as it’s first employee 2 years ago to over 40 employees today, so because of it’s scale now, ygap not only drives amazing projects around the world and is a rich source of inspiration as a catalyst for social change globally, but provides young Australians with jobs and guess what… there are more Australian initiatives brewing. So multi-faceted!

And if you want real stories, we also chat about one of their success stories, Lebo, an inspiring lady in north western South Africa who wanted to start a shelter for abused women in a province where 70% of women, yes 70% of women experience domestic violence. As a result of ygap’s spark accelerator program and her own drive and determination, Lebo now works with over 12,000 women in her province with a range of social enterprise businesses. All by empowering someone with a burning desire for change. Just wonderful!

Anyway, let’s jump into the podcast… some fascinating stories and inspiring insight into a young Australian Elliot Costello who has made it his life’s work to make a positive impact on the lives of others and inspire us all to want to be more, to do more…

Enjoy!

Click here for magic in your ears 🙂    

Free Download: Elliot Costello (social entrepreneur & co-founder Ygap) on ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is weekly podcast where we interview inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

For more on ygap, 5 cent campaign, Feast of Merit and Polished Man head to:

 

Hit us up on social media here:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Steve Vallas – ex-taxi driving lawyer, Businessman, inspiration & digital entrepreneur.

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The Honey Bar's Steve Vallas drops by Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.
The Honey Bar’s Steve Vallas drops by Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #22 – Steve Vallas.

Ex-taxi driving lawyer, businessman & digital entrepreneur, Steve Vallas and I became friends via Twitter.
 
Now my favourite social media platforms at this point in time in 2015 are Instagram and Twitter. Instagram because I’m a photographer and because I don’t really spend much time on content creation tools at work these days, it’s a lovely creative outlet for me and somewhere I can display my artwork. Twitter on the other hand is something different entirely. Out of all the social media tools at my disposal I find Twitter to be the most social.. sure you’re can broadcast through the channel like Facebook or Instagram (and I do), but what I love about Twitter isone-on-one connection it creates between individuals, people, businesses and organizations – me and my friends, me and people I’ve not met or even me and organisations/businesses/bands/artists that I’m keen to reach out to for various reasons like getting them on the podcast, catching up after a gig or even for customer service reasons. 
 
And customer service is actually how Steve Vallas and I met. The first time we sparked up a conversation was via his biz Twitter account @thehoneybar, when I was looking for a place in Melbourne to take our agency peeps out for Friday night drinks. I dropped The Honey Bar a line via Twitter because for me, if a business like @TheHoneyBar or Melbourne transport company @YarraTrams is easy to contact via the internet for quick & easy communications that don’t require a lot of conversation or detail then that’s the preferred method for me. The Honey Bar’s Twitter account is a glowing example of how businesses and brand can utilise social media channels for wonderful customer service and personality at the same time.
Seriously, after the podcast is done go check it out and say g’day.. and it’s a wonderful little bar in South Melbourne too. Tell him Dan sent you 🙂
 
Anyway, soon after our original Twitter chat, I found out that the man was behind the Twitter account was quite involved in the digital and social space and we finally caught up at a Social Media Club Melbourne event a few months back when Nike and 7-Eleven Australia each had their social media manager present to a packed house of social media geeks like myself, who are there for networking and the next generation of community managers who are there to learn and be inspired. Come along next time if you’re keen?
 
So what I can say about Steve Vallas is that he is a man of action. Wait until you hear this podcast… it’s almost like we’re old friends and to use a turn of phrase I’ve heard on Jay Mohr’s Mohr Stories podcasts, we’re new old friends. Sometimes you get in a room with someone you barely know and it just clicks into gear. Steve and I had barely spent 5 minutes chatting in person previously and this podcast sounds like we’ve known each other for years. That’s the power of kindred spirits and surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, no matter what path you’re on.
 
I switch-up the questions and banter a little bit today, as Steve is in fact a regular listener of the podcast and knows a lot of the questions so we had to keep him on his toes 😀 Surprise!
 
We spend a good hour and a half chatting about the challenges Steve’s experienced over the past x number of years with the passing of his sister, his experiences of how differently people treat you as a taxi driver versus being a high-powered litigator, owning your own bar only to have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal battles before you even start and then open doors when the GFC hits… all the struggles of a true entrepreneur and what’s kept him honest this whole time is unwavering persistence and the ability to keep perspective even in the toughest of times.
 
If you think you’ve got a killer idea, an inkling of talent and harbour some serious ambitions for success and happiness then this podcast episode is for you.
 
Enjoy!

Click here for magic in your ears 🙂    

Free Download: Steve Vallas (ex-taxi driving lawyer, businessman, inspiration & digital entrepreneur) on ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is weekly podcast where we interview inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Follow @TheHoneyBar and Steve Vallas on Twitter and let him know what you thought of the podcast.

Hit us up on social media here:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Bec Laughton – Little lion lungs & top secret global music deal.

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Bec Laughton drops by Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet... BOOM!
Bec Laughton drops by Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet… BOOM!

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #21 – Bec Laughton. 

Little bit pumped for today’s podcast as I’m catching up with one of the most lovely, energising and positive humans I know, Australian indie soul songstress, Bec Laughton.

Now I met Bec about 2 years ago at the world’s largest music conference at SXSW in Austin, Texas and first came across her live tunes when I was shooting photos and providing social media for a series of international music showcases called The Aussie BBQ for Sounds Australia at the conference. For those of you who are musicians with a burning desire for success, Sounds Australia are an Australian organization tasked by the Australian and Federal governments to export Australian music to global markets.

Anyway, when Bec hit the stage at the first official event I was attending and I heard her voice for the first time I was like… WOW! Who the fuck is that? This little pocket rocket’s got some pipes!!! Think old school funk, r&b, soul.. think Eryka Badu think Lauren Hill.. seriously check this shit out…

I kept bumping into Bec at showcases all over Austin and we became buddies on that tour, staying in touch and I was just chuffed to have her chillin’ like a villain on a beanbag at my castle in the sky recently, chatting about her life so far and the next steps in her exciting career.

In today’s podcast we chit chat about her time in New York working with Grammy Award-winning producer Michael League and Snarky Puppy, going off the grid for 6 months as part of massive global management deal that she’s recently signed (currently living in an undisclosed international location recording a brand new album with some of the music industry’s top peeps.. VERY exciting!), being a female drummer with the most amazing voice (my words not hers), writing music for yourself from the heart and the balance of living in the moment whilst maintaining the tireless tenacity for the future. 

And when you hear her this little lion open up her lungs and sing for the very first time you’ll be like.. what the fuck… where did that come from? Ah-mazing! And maaaaan, does she just have the most magical smile that lights up a room.

Seriously.. once you’ve had a listen to this podcast come check out her jams that I’ve loaded up onto the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet blog…

p.s. Hello Bumface! 😀 :p Ha ha ha…

Click here for magic in your ears 🙂    

Free Download: Bec Laughton (indie soul singer/songwriter) on ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is weekly podcast where we interview inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

For more on Bec Laughton, her jams & to follow her on social media head to beclaughton.com

Hit us up on social media here:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.

 

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.