MyFavoritePodcast := TWiST;

Posted: December 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Business, General, Podcasts, Technology | No Comments »

During the last year I have started spending more and more of my discretionary time listening to podcasts. There are several that I listen to regularly but I have to say that my favorite podcast is currently TWiST (This Week in Start Ups) hosted by Jason Calacanis. Jason is currently the CEO of human-powered search engine Mahalo.com and has an impressive track record of work in the web industry.

TWiST is a show dedicated to the subject of start-up companies. It focuses primarily on companies connected to the web industry. Jason is a very entertaining host and a tremendous source of knowledge and opinion, both of which he shares enthusiastically.

There are several regular segments on TWiST including “Ask Jason” (a listener call-in segment), “Shark Tank” (a caller pitches their business idea to Jason and a guest and receives feedback), “Guest Interview” (Jason interviews someone prominent from the start-up world) and “The News” (the latest news in tech and start-ups is discussed).

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I get a lot of value from the advice that Jason gives during the “Ask Jason” segment. The subject matter covered by the questions is often centered on real-world issues that most entrepreneurs will face at some point in their career. Jason always finds a way to give answers to the question that tie in a lot of great insight and fundamental advice any entrepreneur can learn from.

The quality of guests that Jason has on the show is always fantastic. The wealth of knowledge shared during the “Guest Interview” segments is extremely valuable. Listening to TWiST every week makes me feel like I get to sit down with two start-up rock stars and pick their brain for a couple hours. The stories shared on the show are also a great source of inspiration.

One thing that makes the show so valuable is the opportunity to listen to how Jason handles producing and promoting the show. There is lot that can be learned from studying the mastery with which Jason communicates, promotes the show, engages the audience, builds community and shapes his own public image. He is clearly an expert at self-promotion, leveraging social media and building his own buzz/momentum. These skills/traits are things that I think every entrepreneur should learn from.

I would strongly recommend TWiST to anyone who has a start-up company. It is well worth your time!


A Great Worship Leader’s Resource

Posted: December 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Faith, General, Music, Podcasts | 1 Comment »

A little over a year ago I was blessed with the opportunity to take over the reigns of a Sunday morning worship ministry called Video Café which is held at Bethany Evangelical Free Church in Onalaska, WI. My primary responsibility as Ministry Director is to plan, organize and direct the weekly Sunday morning worship service. The service consists of around 30 minutes of praise and worship music and a recorded video feed of the sermon from the “main”  service that happens earlier that morning in the primary sanctuary of the church.

My two brothers and I have been involved on the worship teams at Bethany for around a decade and when the opportunity arose to take ownership and leadership of the “contemporary” Video Cafe service at Bethany I jumped at the opportunity.

Every day of leading this ministry has been both a huge blessing and a huge challenge in my life. Learning how to effectively put together a worship service and to lead a worship team has definitely been a great learning experience for me personally.

About 6 months ago, a friend and mentor of mine recommended that I listen to the “All About Worship” podcast. My life as a worship ministry leader has been greatly improved through the education, inspiration and encouragement given by this podcast.

“All About Worship” is podcast for worship leaders and worship team members hosted by worship leaders Ben Abu Saada and Wisdom Moon who currently reside in the state of Kansas. Each month they interview someone of note from the worship leading community and tackle topics ranging from the philosophy and theology of worship leading to the nitty gritty details that are required to make a worship ministry tick. The caliber of guests that they have on the show are top notch. I have found the interviews to be of tremendous value as both a source of education and inspiration. Some of the guests that they have had on the show inlcude Bethany Dillon, Tim Hughes,  Shane Barnard, Tommy Walker,  Kim Walker, Kari Jobe as well as many others. Every single episode has impacted me in some significant way. I have found All About Worship to be a continual source of inspiration, encouragement and practical advice. I would definitely recommend it to anyone involved in a worship ministry and would suggest subscribing to the podcast in iTunes.

You can also check them out at allaboutworship.com or find them on twitter with the handle @allaboutworship.