Build Your Utopia






January 2015
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Today's show touches upon how piercings, tattoos, and mohawks at work can help you achieve your Utopias.

With all his hard work and commitment, Ben, who has tattoos and a mohawk, was able to get a promotion at work!

Josh is excited for all the business objectives that he's working on right now, although he's a bit tired and overwhelmed.

The show is going great and in today's episodes, we share with Utopians who is coming up on the show. We have some great names, like:

  • Rachel Martin
  • Jason Snell
  • John Lee Dumas and Kate Erickson
  • Ray Higdon
  • And many others!

We also talk about this past Tuesday's awesome episode with Morgan Paar, a phenomenal photographer and film director that has traveled the world. He also happens to be Ben's cousin.

If you haven't listened to this past week's episode with Morgan, check it out here!

To wrap up today's show, Josh and Ben discuss Morgan's 3 recommendations for Utopians and how they feel about them. Quick recap of what they are:

  • Do what you love
  • Be careful of distractions
  • Be confident and take chances

Thanks again to Morgan Paar for being on the show this past Tuesday. (especially since we didn't need to guilt him into it since he's Ben's cousin)

If you are interested in reaching out to him and discussing potential film projects with him, shoot him an email at, and feel free to check out some of his work at Vimeo here.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 029_Tattoos_and_Mohawks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Today on Build Your Utopia, we have an exciting guest, someone who has traveled the world, produced film projects on several continents, and is just a remarkable human being, Morgan Paar.

Morgan is a film director, still photographer, and teacher of film making. He has also published over 200 articles and columns in technology, pop culture, and travel.

Morgan has 2 degrees in film and started his professional path into owning and running a film production company in 1986 after first experimenting with film equipment.

Morgan lived in Taiwan for 2-3 years, came back to the states for Grad School to be able to teach, lived in the bay area for 12 years, completed film projects, music videos, and film work for the film industry during this time.

Shortly after he traveled abroad, and as he traveled he realized he wanted to experience the world. It was during this experience that Morgan discovered one of his passions that he wanted to focus on for his path into entrepreneurship, travel.

Morgan and his girlfriend now run Nomadic Frames. The company focuses on international film projects so he can combine his two passions of traveling with film.

His Utopia of building Nomadic Frames has allowed him to visit Africa a staggering 8 times, Greece, England, Taiwan, and other countries.

Of note, out of all his travels, Palo Hwan of the Philippines has been his favorite place so far where he biked through the breathtaking countryside.

Another factor that has drove him to build his current Utopia has been staying away from "the 9-5", since he hates cubicles, is happiest when he’s implementing his own ideas, and likes to work irregular hours.

Currently Morgan is contemplating a move to either the Vietnam or Amsterdam because NYC is very competitive to find film or teaching work. For example, others that want to teach in NYC have Academy Awards, which he doesn’t.

To accomplish this goal of moving to another country, he’s working on marrying someone that is a UK citizen… (really, listen to the show)

His top catalysts for building his current Utopia was his mom who said to go to college and don't have a kid until you are ready and his Uncle Lou who made it a rule for him to find a job, any job, in the film industry for paying for his Grad school.

Altogether, friends, family, and his girlfriend, have all helped him in some way attain his current Utopia.

This shows the power of relationships.

Morgan loves his work so his idea of not working is “working” by staying up on industry trends, camping, hiking, and futbol aka soccer.

He’s the Secretary of Arsenal’s (Arsenal is a soccer team) supporters group in NYC.

A massive value bomb that we discussed with Morgan was his tip for Utopians: focus on passion.

Utopian Quote of the Show

"Always strive to provide value without expecting anything in return. "- Josh Marsden and Morgan Paar

During the show, Josh mentioned the quote above which was born out of one of Morgan's stories.

His stories theme was to not think about yourself. Don’t think about what you are getting out of it. Think "what are you bringing?"

Morgan's 3 tips for Utopians were:

  • Do what you love
  • Be careful of distractions
  • Be confident and take chances

Another off the record takeaway he shared with us and Utopians that the biggest mistake he made in his education was that he did not participate in internships while he was in college.

Instead he focused on partying and girls. (like many of you, including Ben and Josh)

Out of his undergrad, he graduated with honors, and barely knew he has a passion to make participating in film his life's purpose. Then when he went to grad school and finished his Masters of Fine Arts in Film, he graduated with the mentality “who wants me?” expecting opportunities to come his way.

He came to the realization that he should have networked more and potentially spent time in an internship. Not making industry connections are his biggest regret.

Finally, on a closing note, get out of your comfort zone and practice outlets in moderation. Both are valuable tips that only added to the wealth of value in this episode.

Thanks again to Morgan for being on the show. If you are interested in reaching out to him and discussing potential film projects (he is one of the hidden gems in the film industry), shoot him an email at and check out some of his work on Vimeo.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 028_Interview_with_Morgan_Paar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

We have a great show for you today about riding the Gravy Train to Utopia Town!

You will understand what we are getting at by the end of these show notes.

To start off the show, Ben and Josh discuss their current Utopias.

Ben just got a promotion to a senior level at his company! Yay Ben!

He anticipates his coworkers won't be too thrilled since some have been there much longer than him but that just shows that hard work and exceeding expectations pays off.

His promotion will be officially announced next week at his company's "Town Hall" meeting. With this, he received a pay grade that gets him one step closer to his overall Utopia.

Ben's wife went back to school so that means that Ben now has more freedom! Just kidding.. Ben loves his wife very much.

Josh has had a very busy life lately. Between providing impactful service to companies and becoming a charter member of the Digital Marketer Certified Partner program, Josh feels very fortunate he is being bombarded with a wealth of opportunities. His Utopia currently consists of continuing to provide the services that his team provides to clients while also expanding on, what he now calls, the Accelerate brand.

He is currently in the midst of launching the CVO Acceleration brand. CVO stands for Customer Value Optimization. (You can learn more about it here.) This new brand is going to offer a much more intensive, intimate, and extensive level of service so he can help companies that are successful but are still missing opportunities in the online space.

As far as the show, downloads have increased consistently every month so far, and we have received a wealth of positive reviews. Just this past week, Josh and Ben also planned some exciting improvements and developments for the podcast and business for 2015.For one, Josh and Ben improved on the questionnaire that serves as the basis of the discussions with guests.

This reflects on one of the overall takeaways up this point that the show has provided: the value of planning!

Planning is huge and everyone should be doing it throughout the year to make 2015 the best year ever!

Josh even took a tip from Graham English on our show about planning tasks daily! He now uses one of his smaller whiteboards to plan out his tasks on a daily basis.

In this show, Josh and Ben also spend time reflecting on this past week with Joe Fairless, who was a fantastic and inspirational guest that gives back in many different ways.

This also led to Ben and Josh mentioning why Joe stays in NY, because of his flag football team. Josh says it is because Joe is from Texas. Ben, who knows very little about football, doesn't understand.

Josh believes Texas produces more collegiate football players than any other state. Ben, who knows nothing about football, would not take Josh up on this bet. Which actually led to Ben bringing up how Josh owes Ben pizza and a pitcher of beer from a previous bet in Episode 15: Is there more coffee in tea vs. coffee?

Joe left a wealth of value bombs in this past week's episode.

Joe believes that everyone should be a "Sampler of Experiences." Josh and Ben couldn't agree more and reinforces Joe's recommendation to use Groupon to be able to do this.

Utopian Quotes of the Show

"You only have a limited time on Earth so maximize it!" -Josh Marsden, Build Your Utopia 

Joe also recommended to Utopians that people know what they are good at and go all in.

Ben and Josh discuss how some people possess limited beliefs about what they are good at and that everyone should build themselves up to believe in themselves. Everyone has something of value to offer the world. Believe in what you are good at and follow through with it.

Finally, Joe also recommended to Utopians that they realize how they are benefiting others. This caused Ben and Josh to reflect on the show and how the show provides value to Utopians.

This is what Josh and Ben hope Utopians get out of the show:

  • Inspiration from our valued guests
  • Relatability to us, our guests, and the challenges that everyone faces with work-life balance
  • Tips on how to overcome that work-life balance challenge
  • To be thankful for everything in your life
  • To set goals, daily, weekly, yearly, and more

To wrap the show, Ben says that Utopians should join us on the Gravy Train to Utopia Town, be inspired, and keep working towards your Utopia!

(This is the same Ben that cringes at the term "value bombs" and he comes up with this?!)

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 027_Join_us_on_the_Gravy_Train_to_Utopia_Town.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Today on Build Your Utopia, we have another high-achieving guest, Joe Fairless.

Joe, is fearless just as much as he is Fairless, is a graduate of Texas Tech and is actually from Texas as well. However, he lives in NYC, where he moved so he can be around the best in his craft and develop himself to be the best he can be.

Joe focuses on personal growth and contribution to the world as his purpose. Currently he is able to pour his heart and efforts into helping kids with entrepreneurship and personal development. In addition, he also donates a large chunk of what he makes to philanthropic causes!

He is able to do this because his Real Estate company has given him enough freedom in his life to be able to have time to make his mark on the world.

Utopian Quotes of the Show

“The secret to living is giving” –Joe Fairless on Build Your Utopia 

"The scariest place to be in life is complacent" –Joe Fairless on Build Your Utopia 

"You’ll be as happy as you decide to be" -Abe Lincoln

Tony Robbins’ book Awakening the Giant serves as a source of inspiration that led him down his current path. He also recommends The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

He attributes staying organized with planning as a routine that has helped him achieve the level of success that he’s achieved up to this point. Specifically, he recommended the Whiteboard Wall Sticker from Amazon as a cheap calendar that can be used for this.

Another awesome characteristic about Joe is that he’s a “sample of experiences” as he puts it. He has even done standup comedy (which he admits he was nervous about) in NYC at the Gotham Comedy Club.

To keep a semblance of a work-life balance, which is a challenge of most entrepreneurs, he spends time playing flag football, softball, dating, working out, reading books, and as mentioned as before, helping kids.

Finally, to wrap up, as we ask every guest on Build Your Utopia, we asked Joe what are the top 3 lessons that Utopians can take away. Here’s what he came up with:

  • Be a sampler of experiences (Groupon is a great opportunity)
  • Know what you are really good at and go all in
  • Know how you are benefiting others

Special thanks to Joe Fairless for being on Build Your Utopia! You can also find him here and follow his podcast, which is filled with value bombs consistently on real estate investing. Check it out!

 As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 026_Interview_with_Joe_Fairless.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

In today's show of Build Your Utopia, we do as we usually do every Friday and review this past week's excellent content from our honored guests.

This past week, we had Graham English. Graham was dropping Value Bombs left and right throughout the episode. If you haven't listened to it, you need to by going here.

To start the episode we dove into the last 3 reviews that we've received for Build Your Utopia on iTunes. (If you haven't left us a review, please go here to do so)

Special thanks to RiaWindcaller, The Entrepreneurs Library, and Mother Jen on iTunes for the fantastic 5-star reviews! Thank you!

We then transitioned to speak about how Josh closed out 2014 with his business ICE Accelerate Marketing Automation Services. Josh had the best month of business ever in December 2014 and was able to bring in 12 brand new clients within the last few days of the year.

Josh also shared on Build Your Utopia how he went on two back-to-back trips.

The first trip was mostly a vacation where Josh was fulfilling his work-life balance need by snowboarding in Breckenridge and Vail, Colorado.

The second trip was back to business in Austin, TX where Josh became a charter member of the Digital Marketer Certified Partner Program.

This was an eye-opening and beneficial experience for Josh. You'll have to listen to this episode to hear a bit about what he learned from the experts at Digital Marketer.

Ben and Josh, reflecting back on this past Tuesday's excellent show with Graham, then discussed the 80/20 rule which was mentioned by Graham.

For those of you that haven't heard of the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, you can find out more about it at Forbes here.

Josh is currently reading a fantastic book called 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall. Have an interest in making more money and having more time for yourself? I bet you do. Whether you are working in a corporate position or are an entrepreneur, you need to read this book.

Next on Josh's list is Tony Robbins new book, Money: Master the Game.

Finally to close out this Friday's episode, we also discuss the 5 (+1 BONUS) Value Bombs that Graham drops on this past Tuesday's episode.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 025_Do_you_have_8020_in_your_life.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Today we were fortunate enough to have Graham English.

Graham has been a musician since the age of 14 and has performed with Fear The Monk, Field Trip and many others. He is also the author the Logic Pro X For Dummies, business and marketing consultant, and entrepreneur. He helps music producers and songwriters become more creative and productive at what they do so they can produce higher quality content FASTER.

Tip from Graham: If you have an interest in writing a book, put accountability measures in place using a simple spreadsheet and reward yourself for little wins along the way.

When we asked Graham about his Utopia, he gave us a very deep response that included statements like...

  • Don’t ignore your dreams
  • Don’t work too much
  • Speak your truth
  • Don’t think that working hard is a badge of honor
  • Friendships
  • Be happy

Graham's Utopia is simple but also always evolving.

He is also working towards a Utopia of working less, building a team, the latter being his next big step.

Just like most entrepreneurs, Graham does struggle with work-life balance but when he does establish balance, he does so by making music, exercising, weight lifting, and enjoying culture.

Finally to wrap up our guest spot with Graham, he dropped not 3, but 5 value bombs! These are what he considers the 5 fundamentals of business.

  • Identify struggles/needs of your avatar (the term that Ben loves); You can do this by running surveys, checking amazon reviews on products that you know your market is interested in, or by using Facebook Insights, for example.
  • Build a "machine" that ascends people using targeted email campaigns
  • Master just one lead source before moving on to the next
  • Put systems in place for your accounting, customer service, bookkeeping, and protect yourself legally
  • Strategically manage the growth of your business with clear objectives, operating principles, and accountability

Bonus Value Bomb: Find mentors that can lift you up and show you where to go

Thank you again to Graham English for being a guest on Build Your Utopia!  You can reach Graham by going directly to his website here.

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 024_Interview_with_Graham_English.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

In today's episode about Sales Lessons... kidding...

Actually, we have a great episode for you today. Just like what we do every Friday, today we talked about this past week's impactful episode with Jamaica Winship. (If you haven't listened to it, go do it now)

Jamaica was kind enough to record a 2nd time with us after the first time had too many errors in the recording, potentially due to Skype.

Jamaica dropped a wealth of value bombs in Tuesday's show. Speaking of value bombs, Ben loves the term, along with avatar and ABCs - Always Be Conquering.

Actually, that's a lie.. he cringes every single time those terms are used.

Going back to Jamaica, to us, what made her such a remarkable guest was the fact that she truly embodied her business's purpose. Plus, she does research, tests, and more to make sure that the products that she sells are products that are aligned with her companies purpose.

In fact, she shared with us that she recently found out something about one of her products that led her to feel that it was not right of her to sell it on her website so she took it off, even though it was a great selling product!

Jamaica also shared with us in this past week's episode how she has a goal of potentially starting up a storefront to complement her online store. Ben and I go into great detail to break down what we feel are going to be some of the challenges if Jamaica were to ever go in this direction.

One recurring theme that many of our guests have discussed on Build Your Utopia has been having a solid morning routine. This was brought up in today's episode.

Ben, in particular, talked about how the guests of Build Your Utopia have inspired him to improve his morning routine. We discuss this in today's episode.

Finally, Ben puts Josh on the spot in this episode and brings up one activity that Jamaica mentioned that she participates in that helps her have a strong work-life balance: salsa dancing.

Jamaica actually met her boyfriend salsa dancing, so the activity has produced two benefits.

Ben recommended to Josh during the episode that he should potentially take salsa lessons for which Josh immediately said, "NO." There's a reason for it. Josh took one salsa class a few years ago with his ex-girlfriend that didn't work out. The salsa classes were also a gift to his ex-girlfriend and Josh quit after just one class! Terrible! (Josh still feels bad about it to this day)

Finally, Ben and Josh also break down Jamaica's 3 value bombs from this past Tuesday's episode that every Utopian needs to take heed in, if you are in entrepreneurship.

As a recap, the 3 Value Bombs were:

  • Join a mastermind group
  • Get help FAST
  • Talk to people doing something similar to what you are doing but different

These were all great tips that Ben and Josh talk about in great lengths to wrap up today's episode.

Thanks again to Jamaica for being on the show this week! Utopians, be sure to head over to The Healthy Corner Store!

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 023_Should_I_take_Salsa_Lessons_to_find_a_date.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Today's exciting guest on Build Your Utopia is none other than Jamaica Winship of The Healthy Corner Store.

Jamaica is an MBA graduate from USC, lives in San Diego, and found out as a young girl that she was an entrepreneur. She dove into entrepreneurship as a kid selling custom printed cards.

Like many of you, she went to college right after high school and then immediately worked in a corporate position. During this time, she realized that all she was doing was making her bosses rich by working for someone else so she quit.

Before starting her successful online store, she went into real estate, then into several random online businesses, then she finally arrived at her current Utopia, starting up The Healthy Corner Store while also pursuing her MBA.

Jamaica's passion for providing a purpose-driven store, has led her to curating the best of the best products on her store. She ONLY stocks products that she truly believes in, has researched, potentially tried, and will even cut products if she finds that they become poor fits. She cares <em>that much</em> for her audience.

During the show, she told us that her Utopia that she is growing her business to a point where it's on autopilot and she doesn't have to worry. Currently she's focused on building her business through expanding staff, the use of Infusionsoft, and getting media attention.

Like many of you, she consistently encounters the challenge of regulating her work-life balance. As an entrepreneur, there are many occasions where work days go much, much longer than anticipated.

She credits her dog and creating a schedule for the week on Sunday nights as the two factors that help her break away from working hard and building her next Utopia.

Looking back, she wishes that she would have dove into her passion to help others through The Healthy Corner Store sooner.

Her 3 value bombs for Utopians were:

  • Join a mastermind group, it’s helped her out tremendously, they have changed her business through insights and accountability from others
  • Get help FAST, you can’t do it all on your. Examples: web design, fulfillment, marketing, low level tasks
  • Talk to people doing something similar to what you are doing but different. Example: she collaborates with a colleague who sells groceries through an e-comm store. It's helped her get ideas for improving customer service, customer satisfaction, and her supply chain.

Utopian Quote of the Show

"Set goals, work backwards, find what needs to happen first. Getting Done is better than perfect."

Finally, she highly recommends the book Good To Great to all for identifying what Utopia they should be working towards. This book was instrumental for her to identify what her passion was, whether there was an opportunity to create a living from it, and whether she can be the best in the world at it (which she is working towards).

Thanks for checking out this awesome episode with Jamaica and be sure to head over to The Healthy Corner Store to shop for some of her awesome, health-conscious products!

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 022_Interview_with_Jamaica_Winship.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This is our first official show of 2015!

We did have a bonus show yesterday... Check it out here if you haven't.

This week we published a great episode with Jason Surfrapp, an entrepreneur, speaker, a just all-around awesome dude. What's great about him is how zany his ideas seem but really they are innovative and "out of the box", all credit to Jason and his uncanny ability to identify unique ideas.

Creating unique ideas is just one thing. We can all do that. What makes him such an awesome guy is how he is able to come up with such unique ideas and take them into action.

I Wear Your Shirt was a success only because of Jason, not just because of the idea behind it.

His hard work, determination, and effort drove the business to a wild success.

If you haven't heard this past Tuesday's show, you must! Learn more about his business selling “talking, walking billboards”.

Here were some of the topics that we discussed in today's episode inspired by this week's guest:

1. No one retires from a job that they love

There are so many men and women that are working in jobs during their senior years that are jobs that they have no passion in. That doesn't mean it has to be you or anyone else.

Josh's dad is a prime example of this. Josh's dad is an accomplished retired Army Veteran that retired at the top rank of Command Sargeant Major. Currently as he waits for his pension to kick in, Josh's dad is working hard as a field technician in his 50s to make a living.

You can hear more about Josh's story in the episode.

2. Most people follow the same path

Ben in particular has been inspired by all the guests that have been successful in creating their own paths. Utopians, you can create your own path as well.

3. College really sucked the entrepreneur out of me

Ben and Josh talk about how many colleges today do not focus enough on encouraging entrepreneurial activity and instead prepare young adults for life in corporate cultures.

This is unfortunate because forging an entreprenurial path can be achieved by anyone.

Josh and Ben even go as far back as talking about how grade school could incorporate some entrpreneurial lessons as well so young adults have "out of the box" mindsets when they make the big decisions they will make in their young adults lives on what professions they will hone in on.

Utopian Quote of the Show

If you put in part time effort you get part time results - Jason Surfrapp

This quote was from this past week's episode with Jason but it was such a powerful quote, that it is today's Utopian Quote of the Show too.

Another topic discussed in today's episode was taking a "social media detox".

This means cutting social media out of your life completely for a set amount of time. When Jason did this, he came up with a myriad of business ideas! It could be powerful for you too.

Ben would have no problem taking a "social media detox". Josh on the other hand spends a lot of time on Facebook in particular participating in business groups that have given him and his business a ton of value. This is discussed in great detail in today's show.

Finally, Josh and Ben discuss each of Jason's rapid-fire tips for Utopians:

1. Take a step back and look at your life’s foundation

The way Josh and Ben see this tip is to be humble, thankful, and appreciate the little things in life.

2. Understand that you are going to make mistakes and screw things up

Forgive yourself when you make mistakes (which is going to happen) and take action instead of letting fears hold you back. Obstacles, like fears, are often just illusions. Keep this in mind, Utopians!

3. Be willing to do something different

Think out of the box like Jason to achieve your professional goals in corporate cultures or in entrepreneurship.

If you are striving for a promotion, go make suggestions, be innovative, take up responsibilities that are extra duties, stand out and BE DIFFERENT.

If you are an entreprenuer, differentiate yourself from your competition by incorporating "out of the box" marketing or just by taking an idea and turning it into action, which that alone is being different than the majority of people out there that have ideas that go nowhere.

Check out this show and please leave your comments below!

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: 021_Make_Mistakes_and_do_Something_Different.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

During today's BONUS episode, we discussed how to go into 2015 with strong goals and our recommendations for revisiting your goals throughout 2015 so you conquer your resolutions and achieve more goals in a year then you have ever had!

ABC "Always be conquering!"

Utopians, Ben committed to something very important in 2015.

Ben committing to quitting smoking.

This is going to be challenging for Ben since he's been smoking since 16. Let's all hold him accountable and keep sending positive reinforcement his way, sound good?

Josh had some tips in this episode for Ben to help him conquer his goal of quitting smoking, mostly revolving around fitness. These are some great tips from Josh that you may find valuable as well.

Happy 2015 Utopians! Go out there and have an ABC mentality of "Always be Conquering!"

Happy New Years!

As always, a special thank you to The Strand for our intro and outro music!

Direct download: Bonus_002_New_Years_Day_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST