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!

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.

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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!!



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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!!
Jun 19, 2017

For nine years, Sequoia Blodgett worked in the entertainment industry as a commercial and video director for many mainstream pop artists.

After being hospitalized, she began to ask herself would she be happy with all she had sequoia blodgett black enterpriseaccomplished if it all should end then. Sequoia began her road to entrepreneurism and so began her journey into Draper U, her  website, 7AM and ultimately her appearance on ABC Family’s ‘Startup U’.

We discuss;

  • Her transformation from video director to entrepreneur
  • Her experience at Draper University and with ABC’s ‘Startup U’
  • Her website 7AM, a marketplace for personal development
  • Best practices in getting your business backed by a venture capitalist. Including what she’s learned from her investor, Tim Draper.
  • Advantages of living in the Bay Area for Tech entrepreneurs
  • And much more…
Jun 11, 2017

Ben Carter, CEO of Manage Your Damn Money, a blog and web series inspired to create fun and have more relatable conversations around money. Ben is also the newly minted author of the book ‘Fictitious Financial Fairytale: A Completely Untrue Story About money management with Ben carterMoney, Friends & Moscow Mules’ which is currently being sold on amazon.

Ben was a fun guest and he answered questions;

  • Is skipping your latte in the morning really necessary while saving?
  • Thoughts on Suze Orman being cool. Here’s a hint…only a little.
  • What amount of debt (if any) is good to carry.
  • How to start saving…even without a job or if you think you don’t have it with a job.
  • Financial books he reads
Jun 5, 2017

Entrepreneurs are vital in today’s economic climate and the driving engine behind prosperity. Understanding how to make a difference beyond their business is even more pertinent to the sustainability of their business and growth of industry. They all go hand and hand. This is why Mark Zuckerberg wants everyone to read this book. Daron Acemoglu, MIT Professor and author of ‘Why Nations Fail’ talks with Priest about the Author Daron Acemoglu, Why Nations Failideas in his book: why some nations fail and others succeed, why some nations grow over time and sustain that growth, while others grow and then stagnate.

We discuss;

  • Why Inclusive economic institutions are important
  • What are we missing to make a greater impact on global poverty?
  • Does where a country is located almost pre-determine the prosperity of a country?
  • Is our current economic climate helping or hurting the countries growth?
  • Thoughts on China’s economic growth and is it sustainable
  • And much more…

Buy the book Today!

May 27, 2017

Andrew Brandt has over 25 years of experience in professional football, both from the management and player representation side.The BUsiness of Sports

Andrew has written about Sports Money for Forbes, Huffington Post and more, while also appearing across all ESPN TV, radio and online platforms. In his time in the football business, Brandt served as an agent, World League GM and a VP with the Green Bay Packers.

Since leaving the Packers in 2008, Andrew has focused on media and teaching. On the media-side, he provided NFL business analysis for ESPN (he's shared openly about being laid off from ESPN) and writes a column for Sports Illustrated at He’s also the Director of the Moorad Center for Sports Law at Villanova University, which is one of only a handful of sports law programs in the United States.

Andrew Brandt with Aaron Rodgers
Andrew Brandt with Aaron Rodgers

On top of that and as I alluded to above in talking about being laid off from ESPN, he’s also a podcaster, focusing on the business of sports in a podcast named, The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt.



May 22, 2017

Oneika, a serial expat and travel junkie who has travelled to 70 countries on 6 continents. She has taught and traveled all over the world. Travel for her just isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.  She writes about all of her fun adventures at Oneika the Traveller and talks travel on the Huffington Post.

We discussed;

  • Some of her favorite places of travel
  • The sites she uses to monitor flight deals (, and
  • The biggest lessons learned on her travels
  • How has race and or gender has affected her travels (spoliler: it hasn’t).
  • And more…
May 13, 2017

Chad Carson who also goes by "Coach" proves that you that you don’t need a large down payment to get started in real estate. You can even learn “how to do one of the more important parts of the rental business on someone else’s dime” if you’re smart about it.

This episode is packed with actionable advice to help get you started with a side hustle in the real estate market, as well as some long-term options to set you on the path to building long-term wealth.

Chad and I discuss; 

  • How to start making money in real estate now. Here's a have to innovate and hustle.
  • Getting into real estate with bad credit or no credibility
  • How to use house hacking to earn rental income and live for free
  • How live-in flips can build your nest egg tax-free
  • How anyone can start master leasing
  • How to become a leasing agent
  • How to start “bird-dogging”for deals
  • and much more...

You can learn more about Chad and his real estate business at, where he writes about using real estate investing to retire early and do what matters.


Here are a few resources from Chad to help you along:

May 7, 2017

Once upon a time, Foundr was just a business magazine with a few hundred readers. But we’ve grown. Now, Foundr is a multi-faceted digital media business spreading the love of entrepreneurship through its podcast, magazine and training platform. And Foundr magazine is now enjoyed by thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs located all around the planet.

Launched by entrepreneur Nathan Chan in 2013 with nothing but a laptop computer and his personal savings which wasn't much, Foundr began dedicated to the mission of helping entrepreneurs build and grow a successful business.

Nathan has put together interviews with literally the world's top entrepreneurs and changemakers, from Virgin Founder Richard Branson, to Seth Godin, to Tim Ferriss, these guys are absolutely crushing it.

And they have over 763 thousand followers on Instagram (download their ebook below on how to build your page) and have been driving tons of traffic through it.

Nathan walks us through his entire mindset and the constant ups and down of building a multi-faceted digital media empire.

Apr 29, 2017

Chris Lema has been building web applications since you could build them (1995). Over the last 12 years he’s used WordPress to build everything from blogs to websites to web applications for folks like his brother, his friends and companies like ABC. A regular blogger and public speaker, he is also the Vice President of Products for Liquid Web.

I had the pleasure of catching up with Chris at the WordCamp 2017 in Raleigh

Chris and I discuss;

  • What’s the difference between a subscription site and membership site.
  • If I have you have an online store already. What are some things you should take into consideration.
  • Plugins that you would consider for wordpress and why?
  • One of the largest mistakes that he sees online store owners making with membership sites
  • Some of the coolest eCommerce sites that you’ve seen incorporate memberships
  • An interesting product that has been recently released in the space in general
Apr 22, 2017

Dan Shapiro a serial entrepreneur is the CEO and cofounder of Glowforge, a startup that’s creating a 3D laser printer which is the biggest 30-day crowdfunded campaign ever!

Dan is also the creator of the highly popular board game Robot Turtles which launched on Kickstarter as the bestselling board game in Kickstarter’s history. Robot Turtles, a game that teaches programming fundamentals to preschoolers and even a little older (my kids love it!) can be purchased now from Target and Amazon.

Dan is also the author of Hot Seat: The Startup CEO Guidebook. You can see a theme here. The guy is busy but he’s been very successful and willing to spend a little time to share some insights.

We discuss;

  • His different ventures, including the laser printer, game and book.
  • How startups are different today then from when he started back in 2005
  • Some advice for those looking to be funded in their business
  • Thoughts on leaving a full-time job for a start-up
  • And more….
Apr 16, 2017

I had a fun and eye opening (or mind opening) discussion with Nir Eyal who blogged often about psychology and marketing which eventually brought him to the path of marrying the two and published a book called: Hooked – How to Build Habit-Forming Products. Hooked is a guide with a very insightful and simple thought system to building habit-forming products. If you’re a marketer, designer, entrepreneur and more, this is for you.

We discuss;

  • What started his interest around the psychology around products.
  • The ‘Habit Zone’ that’s outlined in his book and the four habits in the thought system.
  • The key elements to consider when creating a product.
  • And much more…


Apr 9, 2017

I had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Gina McCauley who is one of the leading voices in this “new media” age. Known for being one of 2007 ESSENCE Most Influential African Americans (with (at the time Senator) Barack Obama and Tyler Perry). She is the publisher of the blog What About Our Daughters and the CEO and organizer of the Social Media, blogging conference , Blogging While Brown.

We Cover;

  • The Genesis of Blogging While Brown
  • Attendees and Speakers
  • The goal of the conference
  • Going beyond diversity in tech
  • And more


Apr 2, 2017

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…!
Mar 26, 2017

Nick is grounded in over a decade of traditional marketing experience, including work with Fortune 100 brands like Staples, Estee Lauder, Pfizer, and Pepsico. Since founding ReviTrage, he has developed into a leader in the Viral and Social Marketing space, and leverages these powerful channels to help his 100+ Internet Top 1000 clients grow their online revenues rapidly. As CEO of ReviTrage, Nick is responsible for generating over $10M+ in revenue each month for his clients via digital/social promotion.

Nick shared his successes in broadening his reach through new products and services—not dependent on Google—such as Reddit. Nick has spent a lot of time in what can appear to be a complex but welcoming community and today shares his insight into being a real part of this ever-growing community.

Mar 19, 2017

I've been in the affiliate marketing space for over 15yrs and have done well both as an affiliate and an affiliate manager. I created sites early on (late 90's) when I just has Amazon banner up and even as recent as November, 2016 I sold a subscription box affiliate website. I've managed small to large multi-million dollar affiliate programs (Buyseasons, Lenovo, etc...), sit on the board of Affiliate Summit the largest affiliate marketing conference. We get emails, calls, FB messages weekly on people starting out and wanting to learn. Some confused by there being so much information out there, I thought I would share what I know. 

I'm starting with an interview I did last year, 2016 on Matt Tran's Engineered Truth Channel. A channel dedicated to giving career advice and I was honored that he had me on to discuss my journey and what I know about the business today. Although this space changes a lot, some things stay the same. I hope there's something you can take from this.

This year my team and I will be doing a video on starting an affiliate site from start to finish and everything in between. I want you to see real-time how it's done. I purchased the domain name to have a live Google hangout (no cost) and document the journey. Would that?

If you have business or affiliate questions, click here, leave a recording and if we use your question live on the podcast, you'll get a FREE shirt! Who doesn't like free...or shirts? You should see my shirt drawer. It's shameful. 


Mar 11, 2017

Quincy is a former teacher and school director who transitioned into a career in tech. He is the creator of Free Code Camp, an open source community of over 500,000 people who learn to code while building projects for nonprofits.

Quincy first became interested in tech while working in China as a school director. During this time, his focus on using technology to increase efficiency led to a career change. Back in California, Quincy began attending meetups and hackathons as often as he could. His networking efforts led him to his first tech job, and eventually to his founding of Free Code Camp.

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