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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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 31, 2017

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;

Dec 25, 2017

Our guest is Robert “Brix” Glover, 🍕Ex-Fat Boy, 🎥YouTuber, owner and founder of Brix Fitness. Four years ago he made some critical changes that not only transformed his body, but his entire life and the lives of those he has trained…including myself.

Tipping the scale at 346 pounds with high blood pressure and being borderline diabetic didn’t persuade Robert to change his lifestyle. Neither did his inability to walk a flight of stairs without feeling faint. In his defense, he had ventured out on many weight-loss journeys before but first, second and third attempts failed. His addiction to unhealthy foods was always his downfall and he had become the ultimate yo-yo dieter.

It wasn’t until January 2013 when a close friend who was the same age as he, died of health problems associated with being severely overweight. And soon after, Robert made the decision to adopt a healthy lifestyle, forgoing all lose-weight-quick schemes. In his new love affair with perfect health, Robert was moved to create Brix Fitness, which relies on principals based on a realistic approach to health and fitness.


Meetup with @brixfitness in Raleigh. #inspired #health

A post shared by Priest Willis, Sr. (@pwillissr) on Jun 24, 2017 at 11:23am PDT


Dec 18, 2017

Kristen Hadeed imagines a world in which all organizations have cultures that empower people to keep climbing toward the best version of themselves every day. As the young leader of Student Maid, a successful cleaning company that hires students, Kristen has fostered a unique perspective on leadership, organizational culture and engaging the next generation.

In October 2017, she published her first book, "Permission To Screw Up," in which she tells the stories of her biggest mistakes in leadership. She hopes to inspire other leaders to share their "perfectly imperfect" stories of success to empower people with the knowledge that even if they screw up, they can still make it. Kristen and Student Maid have been featured in news outlets including PBS, FOX, Inc., TIME and Forbes. Her first TED Talk has received more than two million hits on YouTube.


Coinbase is a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency.

Other Links:
What One CEO Did When 45 of Her Employees Quit (INC)

Dec 9, 2017

For the first 24 years of his life, Chris Rickerson’s future looked dim. He grew up in poverty, with a drug-addicted mother and drug demons of his own. Facing dire consequences, he turned his life around and, in 2013, started Elite Staffing Solutions, a Wichita, Kansas-based staffing companythat lifts up people who are struggling as he once did.


We talk about;

  • Growing up in a home with a drug addicted mother
  • Chris’s own battles with substance abuse
  • How his faith helped him turn his life around
  • Why his firm doesn’t hesitate to hire those with similar backgrounds to Chris’s
  • The keys to Elite Staffing Solutions rapid growth
  • Mentors
  • People over profit
  • Advice to other entrepreneurs


TubeBuddy’s channel management browser plugin helps content creators, brands, and networks save time and grow their brands directly from within YouTube.

Other Links:
This $3 Million Company Hires People Who Need a Second Chance. Because Its Founder Needed Help Once, Too. (INC article)

Dec 2, 2017

Susie Moore entrepreneur, writer and life coach based in New York City. A former sales leader for a Fortune 500 company, she inspires and educates people to live the lives they imagined by tuning in to their authentic power and unlocking the confidence to get what they really, really want.

Beyond her high vibe personality, she’s also a force to be reckoned with as a life coach and business woman. In this interview, you’ll learn more about how Susie manages to be positive and joyful ALL the time, how she’s taken so many risks in her life with grace, how to be more confident, and how to create a profitable side hustle that allows you to live out your purpose.

Thrive Themes Blazingly fast WordPress templates and plugins, built to get more traffic, more subscribers, more clients and more customers for you.

Other Links:

Having A Side Hustle Allowed Susie Moore To Walk Away From A $500K Job (Forbes article)

What If It Does Work Out?: How a Side Hustle Can Change Your Life (book)

How to turn your hobby into a sustainable side hustle (MarketWatch Article)

Nov 28, 2017

In 2007, Rhett resigned from his lucrative consulting career to co-start a toy company called Wild Creations. Less than two years later, the economic downturn left him exhausted and nearly bankrupt. Rhett was not only forced to analyze his company, but himself to see what needed to change. The results of this were that he figured out how to do the right things right and Wild Creations was named one of INC 500’s fastest growing companies 2 years in a row and has gone on to win over 40 national awards.

He is the author of the Amazon best-seller, One Million Frogs, a regular contributor to INC, Success Magazine, and Business Insider… and has a new book being released in the next week called, The Entrepreneur’s Book of Actions.


Namecheap is a domain name registrar and web hosting company.

Other reads: Amazon #1 Best-Seller One Million Frogs: Lessons About Entrepreneurship Learned The Hard Way

Nov 19, 2017
MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell had a dream about the perfect pillow. Now he’s a millionaire.
mypillow bogo offer

Inventor and CEO Mike Lindell of Chaska demonstrates pillow making at his new factory in Shakopee.
Photo/Craig Lassig

Mike started his own business in his garage, working hard and not sleeping well, so he set out to design a pillow that would help him sleep. After two years he finally came up with the patented fill, ensuring MyPillow® that would be breathable and washer and dryer safe. Mike heard a lot of “no’s” in those early years, but never gave up on his passion to share his pillow with the world and to this day Mike has more than 1200 employees, and his company is estimated at taking  in $100 million a year.

Tune in to hear his story and find out some of the growing pains Mike experienced along the way. In this interview Mike will also share his ups and downs of being an entrepreneur and offer lessons and advice to other entrepreneurs who are just starting their own company or going through struggles today.


TubeBuddy’s channel management browser plugin helps content creators, brands, and networks save time and grow their brands directly from within YouTube.

Mike’s Story and Business Journey – Timeline

The Preposterous Success Story of America’s Pillow King – Bloomberg Story

Nov 12, 2017

Patrick J. McGinnis is a venture capitalist and private equity investor who founded Dirigo Advisors, after a decade on Wall Street, to provide strategic advice to investors, entrepreneurs, and fast growing businesses. In this capacity, he has worked in a range of settings, from building startups from the ground up in Silicon Valley to acting as an expert consultant to the World Bank in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

In Patrick's latest book The 10% Entrepreneur, he shows you how, by investing just 10% of your time and resources, you can become an entrepreneur without losing a steady paycheck.

As a 10% Entrepreneur himself, he has built a diverse portfolio of investments outside of his day job. This portfolio encompasses fast growing new ventures in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, including ipsy, the world’s largest online beauty community; Bluesmart, the inventor of the world’s first smart, connected carry-on suitcase; and Afiniti, a big data company that is reinventing the call center industry. He has also been a partner in several real estate investments.

  • What does it mean to be a 10% entrepreneur?
  • How do you begin the transition towards becoming a 10% entrepreneur?
  • How not to let the complacency trap get you?
  • Why failure sucks and what you can do about it?
  • The criteria for evaluating investment opportunities?
  • Is entrepreneurship over-hyped?

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Oct 29, 2017

A highly successful entrepreneur, Matt DeCoursey launched his first company in a spare bedroom of his Indianapolis home in 2009. Using nothing but an AmEx card with an $8000 limit, he built companies that generated millions of dollars in revenue.

Matt is also the founder and CEO of GigaBook, a cloud based appointment-booking platform, which has the ability to provide utility to millions of small and medium sized businesses. He now lives in Kansas City with his wife and two children.

In this discussion, Matt and I cover:

Oct 8, 2017

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
Oct 1, 2017

Ian Balina is a cryptocurrency investor, serial entrepreneur, author, and film maker. He was a full-time employee at IBM until the day of our interview  to focus on Amazon FBA and his cryptocurrency investments.ian balina balina sales

Ian authored The Complete Freelancer Guide, a book that encourages others how to start a freelancing business. He founded Fusion Video Producers, a video production company that’s worked with Nancy Pelosi and NFL star Pierre Garcon. He is known for his ability to “hack the system” and create multiple streams of income through investing in cryptocurrencies, turning hobbies into freelance businesses, short-term real estate rentals and creating private label brands that sell items on Amazon.

He is the founder of Peer Hustle, a mobile on-demand freelance jobs marketplace, as well as a tech evangelist for IBM’s North American Open Source and Hybrid Cloud business. Ian holds a Masters in Computer Engineering from The George Washington University and spoke alongside Michelle Obama during his graduation.


TubeBuddy’s channel management browser plugin helps content creators, brands, and networks save time and grow their brands directly from within YouTube.

Extra Links:

Why Bitcoin, Etherium and Cryptocurrencies (free ebook)

Investing In Bitcoin: A Wise Choice? (NPR)

Ian Balina's "MoneyBall" spreadsheet (Patron access)

Sep 25, 2017

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;


Sep 18, 2017

Nick is an entrepreneur, author with several books on Amazon and lead Hustler at, 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!...
Sep 10, 2017

Tyler Merrick, founder and CEO of  Project 7 started 10yrs ago after learning about social entrepreneurship through a friend. He soon discovered, however, that social entrepreneurship works only when people want to buy the product you’re selling. After restart of the brand and  reformulated products, Project 7’s sales now exceed $10 million, and its gums and gummy bears are distributed at Target, Meijer, SuperValu, Starbucks and elsewhere. The company donates a minimum of 10% of its profits to seven areas of focus, including tree-planting, clean water and anti-bullying program.

Sep 3, 2017

Luisa Zhou is a serial entrepreneur and online educator who teaches people how to leave their day job and start their own six-figure plus business working for themselves. She’s helped hundreds of students, including health and business coaches, designers, copywriters, and consultants, and shown them how to launch businesses that generate anywhere from 10K to 100K in a matter of months. She has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Success magazine, and more.Luisa Zhou YouTube

In this episode , Luisa tells us how (and why) she generated $106k in sales in four months in business — while maintaining a full-time job that was 50+ hours a week. We also learn about Luisa; How she launched her coaching program? Does the fact that coaching is so huge (billion dollar industry) but unregulated cause concern and her approach and much more!


Namecheap is a domain name registrar and web hosting company.

Extra Links:

Luisa's Employee to Entrepreneur Coaching program
How This 28-Year-Old Started A Side Hustle Which Now Makes Over $1M A Year (Nagina's Article for Forbes)

Aug 28, 2017

Paul Downs started making custom furniture in 1986, shortly after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in engineering. Downs has only one line on his résumé but has a wide variety of skills gained in thirty years of running his business. His clients range from individuals and small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, all branches of the military, and foreign governments. Downs lives with his wife and three sons outside of Philadelphia.Paul Downs YouTube

In addition to running the business, Paul is a prolific writer. If you felt like your business was about to shut down, could you imagine reaching out to the New York Times with an offer to share the experience with thousands of people? Paul Downs thought it would make for a good story and he wrote for the for 4-years before writing a “year in the life of my business” book: Boss Life.

You’ve never read a business book like Boss Life. The book quickly joined our list of “must reads” for all current and potential business owners. The work is the most honest and transparent business book that we have ever read and we encourage all of you to read it. If you felt like your business was about to shut down, could you imagine reaching out to the New York Times with an offer to share the experience with thousands of people? Paul Downs thought it would make for a good story and he wrote for the for 4-years before writing a “year in the life of my business” book: Boss Life.



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Extra Links:

Paul Downs Forbes articles

Aug 20, 2017

As a longtime film and TV producer, Cheryl Miller Houser has become used to the fact that each production becomes its own business enterprise and creating her own company Creative Breed made it a natural investment to follow 6 (8 total including partners) young entrepreneurs in Detroit trying to find their footing in the documentary that I found on Netflix called 'Generation StartUp'.

Generation Startup takes us to the front lines of entrepreneurship in America, capturing these entreprenuer's stories. This film that Cheryl and Co-Directed with Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade celebrates risk-taking, urban revitalization, and diversity while delivering a vital call-to-action—with entrepreneurship at a record low, the country’s economic future is at stake.startup generation

Cheryl also tells her story of stepping out and creating her own company  which was designed to create emotionally engaging content that inspires people to think, feel and take action like this. The goal is to share masterful story-telling across all media/multi-platforms.

Thrive Themes Blazingly fast WordPress templates and plugins, built to get more traffic, more subscribers, more clients and more customers for you.

Additional Links

Venture for America

Women Rising


Detroit Is Beckoning to Tech Entrepreneurs

Aug 13, 2017

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 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!
Aug 6, 2017

Author of ‘Your One Word’ The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life That Matter

Evan Carmichael is an entrepreneur who started doing what he loves at the early age of 19. At 22, he was a VC helping companies to raise $500,000 to $15 million. He soon found that he had a true passion for helping others, and used that drive to help others. Evan has a website called where he works hand in hand with entrepreneurs to help them accomplish their hopes and dreams. He stated that is goal is to help 1 billion entrepreneurs in his life. The only thing stronger than his friendly personality is his drive to help others meet the success that he achieved.

Evan and I discuss;

  • What it means to have "One Word"
  • Understanding his idea of hustle and passion
  • Almost quitting as an entrepreneur
  • Facing depression
  • How he works on modeling himself after entrepreneurs
  • Why A.P. Giannini , founder of Bank of America is the entrepreneur he appreciates most
  • and much more!!



Namecheap is a domain name registrar and web hosting company.

Extra Links:

The Big Why And The Little Why With Evan Carmichael (Forbes)

Your One Word- Evan's Book

My appearance on the Evan Carmichael LIVE Show

Jul 30, 2017

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul ~ Dieter Uchtdorf

That fully embodies Roberto Blake."Create something awesome today." Roberto Blake is the CEO and Creative Director of Create Awesome Media, LLC., where he develops and produces digital content and online media properties. Currently he is the host of a popular Creative Education Channel on YouTube, "Always Be Creating". Roberto also host and co-produces the "Create Something Awesome Today Podcast"

Roberto Blake uses this tagline at the beginning of every video he creates, edits, and uploads on YouTube. He has a real passion for creative entrepreneurship and empowering others, and the community he's built around his creative philosophy is a reflection of his commitment to his following.roberto blake youtube awesome

This is one of the longer podcasts that I've recorded (1hr 10min) but it's well worth listening to someone with the discipline to put out finely crafted, unique content and frankly speaking directly to the heart of an entrepreneur.

Roberto and I discuss;

  • How Roberto got his start in design and focus on being a "creative"
  • How others can start in YouTube today and why it's not saturated?
  • What’s the future YouTube
  • The next social media "thing" people and businesses should turn their attention to
  • Tips for a budding vlogger to develop a strong relationship with followers?
  • How to engage with followers in all three (Twitter / Instagram / YouTube) channels and platform he uses the most?
  • The YouTubers and Bloggers that inspired him when he started and today
  • and much more!


TubeBuddy's channel management browser plugin helps content creators, brands, and networks save time and grow their brands directly from within YouTube.

Jul 23, 2017

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. Adam Klein of American UndergroundCompanies 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….

Useful links:

American Underground
Is a Different Kind of Silicon Valley Possible? By The Atlantic


Jul 15, 2017

What can the super wealthy teach us about having a secure financial future?

The Thin Green Line: The Money Secrets of the Super Wealthy by Paul Sullivan. “Wealth Matters” columnist for The New York Times reveals the decisions, behaviors, and worldviews that lead to true wealth. For the better part of the past decade, Paul has written about and lived among some of the wealthiest people in America. He has learned how they save, spend, and invest their money; how they work and rest; how they use their wealth to give their children educational advantages, but not strip them of motivation. He has also seen how they make horrendous mistakes.

Firsthand, Paul knows why some people, even “rich” people, never find true wealth, and why other people, even those who have far less, are far better off financially. His book shows how others can make better financial decisions—and come to terms with what money means to them. It lays out how to avoid the pitfalls around saving, spending, and giving money away and think differently about wealth to lead a more secure and less stressful life. An essential complement to all of the financial advice available, this “timely…smart” (Publishers Weekly) guide is a welcome antidote to the idea that wealth is a number on a bank statement.

Paul and I discuss;

  • The thin green and the distinction between being rich and wealthy
  • Why it was important for readers to understand the difference?
  • The meeting he talks about in the beginning of his book with Tiger 21 members.
  • How the wealthy use debt strategically
  • The misconception on how the wealthy view taxes
  • The wealthy’s spending philosophy
  • How the wealthy teach financial literacy to their kids
  • and much more!

Business Insider article on money secrets of the wealthy

Jul 9, 2017

Doug Sandler, top ranked Amazon author of Nice Guys Finish First, and co-host of the Nice Guys on Business podcast.  This was a great conversation and a really good (Nice) guy to talk with…honestly!

We covered;

  • How we should have genuine relationships in such a technology connected world?
  • How we should inspire clients and not sell to them?
  • Choosing not to be a part of a dog eat dog world
  • How Zappos is getting it right
  • And more…!


To learn more about Doug, check out his site at and on Twitter @DJDoug.

Jul 3, 2017

The saying is “It takes a village to raise a child” and you add one inspiring woman and a bus and your create a legacy. You might be familiar with Estella Pyfrom because she was recognized last year as a CNN Hero, featured on Oprah behind her Brilliant Bus initiative, which really is quite brilliant.

Ms.Pyfrom, is not new to this. She’s a graduate of Florida A&M and a retired teacher from Florida’s Palm Beach County School District. She  didn’t have any training in tech but she realized students in her district had seen a digital divide and she wanted to make a difference for them….and so the journey begins.

We discuss;

  • Her Personal Journey
  • How the Brilliant Bus Started
  • Her passion for education
  • Her personal thoughts on the “digital divide”
  • What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your entrepreneurial journey?
  • How you can help
  • And much more…
Jun 24, 2017

I had a great conversation with Ambrose Cooke who is the Co-founder of Fanbytes. Fanbytes helps brands to collaborate with influencers on Snapchat through their video ad network. It’s a new advertising offering for a new generation of online stars and personalities.

Ambrose and Co-founder Timothy Armoo are two online savvy friends who decided to put their set up their own business which has seen great growth. Backed by some of UK and US's top investors and working with the biggest global brands have given this London established company a chance to lead this new model of advertising with brands such as Nickelodeon, GoPro, Adidas and more.

Ambrose and his team have been featured in great articles by Huffington Post, Guardian, Forbes and more. If your business is looking for influencers or you want to know how to become one, this is the podcast for you.

Ambrose and I cover;

  • What is Fanbytes
  • Understanding that before going into influencer marketing, it’s imperative to understand what an influencer is.
  • Celebrities are at the top of the pyramid of influence while ambassadors are at the bottom. The middle is composed of social influencers and micro influencers.
  • You have to match the kind of brands influencers would realistically use. You have to have the right brand and influencer work together.
  • Influencers have an authentic meaningful relationship with followers because of the content they create.
  • A huge following doesn’t necessarily mean an influencer is good for your brand.
  • Ambrose thoughts around building a business and team
  • And much more!!
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