The Marketplace: Online Business | Marketing | Finance| Lifestyle

The Marketplace is a weekly podcast posted every Sunday and hosted by Priest Willis, Sr. The podcast is created with you in mind and talks with a variety of industries such as education, business, sports, comedy, entrepreneurship and more!
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Now displaying: 2016

The Marketplace is a weekly podcast posted every Sunday and hosted by Priest Willis, Sr. The podcast is created with you in mind and talks with a variety of industry leaders in business, education, music, sports, comedy, entrepreneurship and more!

Dec 25, 2016

Jesse is the FIRST lawyer we’ve had on the show to try and help answer questions for you on why having a lawyer is important, how to best use that lawyer when starting your business and more.  In 2006, he graduated magna cum laude with bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Eastern University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jesse earned his law degree in 2009 from the Wake Forest University School of Law.

Jesse has been working with the Law firm Forrest Firm here in Raleigh-Durham which is my personal firm and why I thought it would be good to have him on and speak with you. Jesse and his firm are well grounded in the startup space and have a developing partnership with American underground a google supported co-working space that you’ve heard me talk about in the past. His areas of focus are Specific start-up counseling, seed, venture capital, and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, and the negotiation and structuring of a wide range of contracts and transactions. Jesse and I cover;

  • His role at Forest Firms
  • How you find the right lawyer?
  • Some massive missteps you’ve seen others take in business?

Other Business Law Related Questions:

  • The two most important legal steps you should take when starting your business.
  • Why you can't afford to cut corners with your privacy policy or terms and conditions.
  • What to do when someone copies your content online.
  • Pros and cons for common ways to structure your business.
  • What you should know about starting your business in a different state.
  • Tips for trademarking your brand and copyrighting your content.
Dec 4, 2016

Eric Bandholz couldn't grow facial hair at his corporate bank job. So he took the next logical step: He quit and built a business around his beard. Eric is husband, father, entrepreneur, YouTuber, world traveler, and designer. Founder of beardbrand.

Eric is what he called “An urban beardsman” His vision is fostering a community for the bearded lifestyle that gives men the tools to wear a beard in any environment. Since launching an e-commerce site in January of 2013, Beardbrand has grown from zero to over $120k per month built primarily on branding. Eric has appeared on national
television show Shark Tank, been viewed nearly 4 million times on YouTube, and featured in Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Details, Business Insider, Fast Company and Forbes.

An entrepreneurial individual with 10 years experience in marketing, sales, and design, Eric is building lasting business relationships that result in fruitful partnerships which has been their key to success.

Nov 21, 2016

Dan is the owner of Evolving SEO, a boutique SEO company located Massachusetts. Dan’s been heavily involved with SEO after starting in helping his father establish his business onlne. Dan who went to college and graduated with a degree in music switched gears after doing side work in music, started his own business and this is where the journey and evolution begins.

Dan and I discuss; 

  • His love or music and his hustle beginning out of financial desperation but evolved into a real love for SEO.
  • Useless College degrees and why critical thinking and creativity should be the focus.
  • Believing everything you hear or read, how it shaped the election and the big sites getting rid of 'Fakenews'. 
  • What evolving SEO is and my need to keep calling evolving CEO (geez!).
  • Approaching SEO as a beginner
  • Being strategic on what content to delete from your blog and why. 
  • Google Correlate, what it does and a hidden trick.
  • Domains we’ve purchased. My latest is We’re willing to part with some if interested.
  • Filtering through big sites content to get topic ideas. MAJOR KEY major key
Oct 9, 2016

Awarded as an iTunes Best of 2014 podcast, The $100 MBA Show is a new kind of business podcast where you simply get better at business with our daily 10 minute business lessons for the real world. These no fluff, 10-minute episodes are packed with only the pure business building training you want.

Omar Zenhom, co-founder of Webinar Ninja. Omar and his partner and wife Nicole used their years of education experience to develop software and training resources for webinars. Omar also hosts the $100 MBA show, a top-ranked podcast with over 50,000 downloads per day.

In this episode, Omar and I discuss;

  • His start in teaching High School in Dubai
  • Webinar Ninja and it's benefits
  • How to create a buzz for your podcast
  • Ignoring the competition
  • Thoughts on having a college degree
  • Thoughts on "internet stardom"
  • and much more!
Sep 18, 2016

Damon Brown believes technology can bring us closer together and, after talking with him, you probably will, too.

Damon's recently acquired Apple Top 10 app Cuddlr (now known as Spoonr) a location-based social-meeting app just for cuddling landed him on the cover of the Wall Street Journal and kickstarted the platonic connection industry.

Damon is also the author of 13 books including his highly acclaimed TED Book Our Virtual Shadow: Why We Are Obsessed with Documenting Our Lives Online" foreshadowed the modern analog living movement. He's also been a speaker at TED, Al Jazeera America and other outlets. Damon shares entrepreneurial insights in his daily Inc. Magazine online column, Sane Success, and regularly contributes to Playboy, Entrepreneur and Slate.

Damon and I cover;

  • How he's created so many side-hustles while remaining present with his family?
  • Why he and co-founders chose to bootstrap Cuddlr vs. working with a Venture capitalist
  • His passion for tech and intimacy
  • Key books he's written as an author?
  • His books Bite Sized Entrepreneur and the most recent, Productive Bite—Sized Entreprenuer. 
  • What inspires him today and much more!
Aug 21, 2016

The equation is simple. Soul + swag x New Orleans = Dee-1. He has created his own lane in Hip-Hop by making music that motivates anyone on a mission to win the game of life. He is the voice of those underdogs who grind with a purpose.

Dee-1 is Real, Righteous, and definitely Relevant. I enjoyed talking with the LSU about his viral hit “Sallie Mae Back” which you hear in the opening of the podcast and he  discusses quitting his job as a middle school teacher to rapping full time which has since taken off!

Dee-1 also known as David talks about the man you see on stage is the same man he is off of it and you have to respect how pure that is. He also talks about turning down a record deal provided by Cash Money/Young Money Records because his message was so different (he does not curse in his music). 

Dee-1 and I also cover...

  • His upcoming Tour, The SlingShot David Tour
  • His life growing up in New Orleans
  • How he handles money and still driving his 98 Honda even after signing to a major deal.
  • Faith
  • How he handles the pressure of the music business mentally and spiritually?
  • And Much more...


Aug 14, 2016

I had the absolute pleasure to speak with Isa Watson, CEO of Envested. a social network giving platform created so that you can do your part to transform your community.

Isa started her career as a chemist for the metabolic diseases group at Pfizer before pivoting over to the world of business. After getting her MBA, Isa worked as VP of Strategy and Business Development at JPMorgan Chase and then creating Envested in 2015 to merge her business experience with her charitable side.  

  • In this interview, Isa and I cover;
  • Going from a Scientist to banking and ultimately creating an app
  • Thoughts on if a college education matters
  • Envested and what it means
  • The Milenial generation’s impact on giving and the misconseptions on their generosity.
  • A typical working day for Isa. To save the suspense…there is no typical day.
  • And much more!
Jul 17, 2016

Paul Jarrett Co-Founded Bulu, Inc. also known by the subscription box name Bulu Box and Bulu Marketplace in 2012. Paul was running in a marathon with his wife and as the volunteers were handing out sample products for them to use along the run, they later realized that there was an opportunity and a market for sending out health products and vitamins to others in a more curated process and collect essential data along the way.

Paul’s work experience spans the country. From NYC to San Francisco, he has launched million dollar brands such as Neebo and executed multi-facted campaigns for Lowe's and Nike so he understood what it meant to take this subscription box idea to market and quickly began to see success. It also helped that he was Vice President and Board Member of Complete Nutrition which also provided a little insight into the space. He built the Marketing Department, trained dozens of franchises and positioned Complete Nutrition and its products for success in a saturated market.

I enjoyed my conversation with Paul and I hope you do as well and helps you along your journey. In this episode we cover;

  • From going to school for journalism to becoming the CEO of an online business
  • How Bulu Box works
  • How businesses like his is changing the way we shop
  • How hard is it for a subscription box company to be backed by VCs (venture capitalist)
  • What have been great marketing and business strategies
  • Ideas from Birch Box
  • And Much More!
Jul 10, 2016

Matt Tran started off as a Mechanical Engineer after graduating from college with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and was unhappy because of the long, boring days and was ultimately fired from all 3 jobs. He walked away from engineering to focus on his YouTube channel full-time against the wishes of many and has grown and amazing following and amassed millions of views in total over time.

I’m a fan of Matt’s channel because of his honest conversations with guests about college, careers and beyond. He talks with real professionals (like myself) who have gone through the fire of sorts and willing to share their thoughts in that field of workforce.

  • Matt and I cover his personal journey and what he’s looking to in the future. We discuss;
  • Matt quitting a career in engineering to focus on Youtube and what it’s meant.
  • The goal and focus of Engineered Truth (Youtube) channel.
  • His book on ‘New Grad Job Hacks: The Complete Guide to Getting a Job After You Finish College’ (on Amazon)
  • The goal to do freelance work, Learn coding at coding boot camps and sites like com
  • The false hopes of internet stardom and why we both believe Tai Lopez is a scam.
  • And much more!
Jun 19, 2016

I had a chance to sit down with long time digital marketing veteran, Ian Fernando. I've been in the affiliate marketing space for almost 10yrs and Ian has been in it longer then me but we finally got a chance to meet face to face at Affiliate Summit East in NYC. We talked briefly about outsourcing and I thought he was a cool guy then.

Ian was a college drop out at the age of 20, Ian has pulled himself out from a life of struggle. He talks about how he worked multiple jobs to help support him but also applied some hustle on the side. He mastered driving high volumes of traffic using mainly Google Adwords then progressed to his own digital products and today finds himself building with a team in the Philippines .

Ian and I discussed;

  • His start in affiliate marketing
  • How he's evolved as an entrepreneur to a boss (managing a team in the Philippines)
  • The decision to talk openly about needing a financial planner.
  • How he's involved in outsourcing and working in the Philippines
  • Battling back from depression and learning a lesson in humility
  • Current focus and much more!


Jun 11, 2016

Nick is an entrepreneur, author with several books on Amazon and lead Hustler, a growing community and resource for aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs.

Nick worked full-time for a giant corporation, but spent his nights and weekends working on a comparison shopping website which eventually led him to stitching together other side projects ultimately launching out on his own and finding success.

Nick starting getting more questions on how he created his side businesses and that’s where Side Hustle Nation was born. Side Hustle Nation is a growing community of aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs, where he also hosts the top-rated Side Hustle Show podcast.

Nick and I discuss;

  • Why it was important to start his own business
  • How he made the transition from his side hustle to doing it full-time
  • What are some top niches others could look at starting now
  • Sites and apps to use to help you be a more effective side hustler
  • And much more!…
May 21, 2016

Miko Branch, co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s, started the company in the early 2000's alongside her late sister, Titi Branch.

Miko and Titi Branch didn't have to go far to get their business chops. Their father and Miss Jessie, their paternal grandmother who the business was named after, gave them the push they needed to forge the road ahead. Miko, a 70's, hip-hop baby like myself and the environment that holds in NYC, help to visualize, shape and launch their entrepreneurial spirit in addition to their family.

At one point, Miko says she wanted to go into fashion, but decided to go another route. On the day that she graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, she enrolled in beauty school. This is where we pick up her story.

Miko and I discuss;

Apr 17, 2016

People always want to know what the silver bullet is for getting rich online. Frankly, it’s a lot of hard work and hustle.  Jeremy Schoemaker– also known as Shoemoney has been willing to change his life with health improvements and more focus to gain in his lane.

Jeremy began his career as an appliance salesman, all-the-while, creating his own side hustles…sometimes while at the gig. Jeremy started playing around online and created an extremely popular ringtones company (who remembers those) eventually leading to the widely known photo with a Google AdSense check in the amount of 132K taken back in the early AdSense days.

I interviewed Jeremy in this transparent, fun-filled, explicit discussion to get down to business on what it really means to make serious money and his thought process behind it.

In this session we covered a lot of ground including;

  • The motivation and decision to turn his life around and take his health back.
  • How he’s evolved from an affiliate marketer to running and selling businesses (recently sold PAR for a report $12 Million).
  • How he feels about affiliate marketing today
  • How he breaks away from business to focus on family
  • And trust me…SO MUCH MORE!
Apr 9, 2016

Jalem Getz is now President of Wantable Inc. but he hasn't always been at the top.  I sit down to talk with Jalem who I consider a friend and talk about his Journey from dropping out of college where he was studying to become an engineer to creating his first retail business which would eventually evolve from a Kiosk to an estimated $400 Million online business known as BuySeasons which housed the Brands of, Celebrate Express, Evite to his current business and position.

Jalem and I discuss;

  • Leaving college and going after his dreams
  • growing up with an entrepreneur's mindset
  • Wantable and how we've evolved as shoppers
  • Typical day as President of Wantable
  • Most challenging part of starting the business
  • His legacy and more!....
Apr 3, 2016

Michael Smith and I continue our discussion on Faith, life, business and more. Michael T. Smith is Founder and Former Pastor of The Church of Jacksonville, an amazing husband, father, storyteller, leader, mentor, counselor, philosopher, and more.

In this part we cover;

    • Knowing who you are
    • Thoughts on Capitalism
    • Politics and how division goes against our ability to connect.
    • Thoughts on how he wants to be remembered...his legacy
    • and more...

Click here to Listen to Part 1

Mar 27, 2016

I am so excited to be able to share an interview with a true leader, and introduce you to a very special friend who I’m so blessed to know more and more about. Michael T. Smith is an amazing husband, father, storyteller, leader, mentor, counselor, philosopher, and so much more…and not in that order. Make sure you have your notebook handy, because you’ll want to take notes and really chew on what’s shared here today. This is Part 1 of our 2-part discussion.

In this part we cover;

  • A personal game plan of activating a calling
  • Going through a transition
  • Thoughts on influencing the culture around you.
  • Showing up in the moment
  • Life Ethics

Useful Links:

TEDx Talks
Black Murder is Normal
Racial progression in our generation

Personal Blog

Mar 12, 2016

Joel Comm is an entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, public speaker and an all around funny and cool guy. How do I know. We;ll…did I mention he created the app iFart? Yeah..he’s done that too. I consider him to be a friend and he’s serious about his business and causes. Although he does tons on interviews and gets a chance to get in front of people his mission has really been making it about YOU. What I mean by that is he’s
a leading authority on social media such as Facebook and Twitter (where he’s written
several books
) and has helped big name companies market their brands online.

I really enjoyed talking to Joel. He’s a fun guy to listen to and someone that I think has his finger on the pulse on what’s ahead in the digital marketing world. Recently, he’s been putting out fun, insightful stories on Snapchat and having lots of Blab and Facebook live conversations. The kicker is…he believes video is just taking off and I agree!

In this interview, Joel and I discuss;

  • His entrepreneurial journey
  • What he does for ongoing learning
  • How he “unplugs”
  • and much more….
Feb 28, 2016

J.R. Tolver isn't what's considered to be the standard ex-"jock" or the statistics that tend to go with them. A new study says that 16 percent of NFL players will go broke within 12 years of retirement. The findings are markedly different from a 2009 study that put the number at 78 percent just two years after retirement. 

Regardless what the percentage is, some people don't plan to fail...they fail to plan. In some respect they're not just talking about money in terms of being "broke". This also includes in spirit. 

J.R.'s spirit and drive remains strong and he attributes that to the way he was raised and the example set by his father. So by the time his playing days in the NFL were over, he knew what he had to do next. He earned both his Bachelors and Masters...with that and the connections he made during his playing days, he set a plan in motion. You have to respect the grind!

In this interview J.R. and I cover his journey;

Feb 22, 2016

The Affiliate Mission team spent over a year in American Underground, a startup (co-working) hub in Raleigh-Durham and our experience was awesome and one I would recommend to any new business looking to connect and build with other entrepreneurs.

American Underground is setting trends to become the most diverse startup hub around and that effort is led by Chief Strategist and all around good guy, Adam Klein. Companies like Google has seen something special in this hub and sponsored them in their efforts. CNBC even visited AU late last year to cover how it’s sparking a business revival in what once known as ‘Black Wall Street.

Adam and I sat down and discussed;

  • Why co-working space is important for a startup business
  • What Silicon Valley is missing with diversity in the startup community
  • How to get involved with a local incubator
  • Business resurgence in NC
  • And more….
Jan 31, 2016

Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five books including his most recent, Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work and Never Get Stuck.

For 18 years he’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples, and the Dave Ramsey Team. Most recently he’s spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges, companies and churches. Featured regularly on national media, Jon has been seen on CNN, Fox News, Good Day LA and several other key outlets.

  • Jon and I had a great discussion and I really enjoyed his transparency. We discuss;
  • His books Quitter, Start and Do Over!
  • Being afraid to succeed
  • How an entrepreneur can get over what I call “comparisonitis
  • Is there really such a thing as work/life balance?
  • And much more…!
Jan 24, 2016

Syed Balkhi is the Founder of WPBeginner, a WordPress resource site that helps beginners for FREE. He's also launched List25, that offers curated lists of information on a different subjects.  Syed also serves as a writer for The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur, where he has authored several articles.We discuss;

  • We deep dive into his products, and Optin Monster. Which is meant to get you started and or see how easy it is to launch.
  • The downside to being a serial entrepreneur
  • Biggest lessons learned on his entrepreneurial journey
  • Some of his business failures and what it's meant to move forward.
  • Tools (outside of his) that he thinks are game changers
  • and much more!.....
Jan 10, 2016

Joel says Startup Dad Headquarters where we are exploring the intersection between Fatherhood, Entrepreneurship and Life and he’s on that road himself. His goal was to be engaged with his family and pursue his dream of starting a business.

After nearly 14 years as a successful manager at Intel, Joel decided it was time to stop working on someone else’s dream and start working on his own. He pursued those dreams and launched Startup Dad HQ, a business interview show and podcast which has added business coaching and other community components this year.

We discuss;

  • His time at Intel and what point he decided to pursue his own dreams
  • The missions of Startup Dad HQ
  • The challenge of transitioning from a “hobby” to an actual business.
  • Steps to take for ongoing learning
  • Legacy
  • and much more!….