LYP 036: How to Turn Your Idea Into a Business with Courtney DeFeo

The Launch Youniversity is a community of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who want to turn their big ideas into reality. Courtney DeFeo is an expert on doing just that. 

As an intrapreneur, Courtney refined her process for bringing ideas to life for a company. As an entrepreneur, Courtney dreams of new ways to grow her business each day.

On today's episode, Courtney is sharing her experience and advice on growing an idea, presenting it to others and turning it into a thriving business.

LYP 035: Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull: Launch Youniversity Book Reviews


We’re starting a new feature on the podcast called Launch Youniveristy Book Reviews, because we believe that Launchers are Learners.

For us to launch our ideas, we need to always be learning, sharpening our skills, and seeking to improve. Because of this, we’re big believers in reading books for personal and professional growth. We know you’re busy, but committing to read one chapter of a book each week can have a lasting impact


Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

Don't Have time to listen to the podcast? We wrote a blog post: Ed Catmull's 10 Lessons on Leadership and Creativity


1. Remove fear of failure.

If you've created a culture on your team where people get in trouble when they fail, you've created a problem. The thing is, if people are terrified of making mistakes, then they'll never take risks. Let them fail, and let them find the solutions. 

2. Create a space for honest feedback

Pixar has a process they call "braintrust meetings." Braintrusts are sessions where the film directors present the latest concept and direction of the movie in process to a trusted group.

It's a space for candor, feedback and discussion about how to make things the best they can be. Ed says: 

"To understand what the Braintrust does, you have to start with a basic truth: People who take on complicated creative projects become lost at some point in the process. It is the nature of things—in order to create, you must internalize and almost become the project, and that near-fusing with the project is an essential part of the emergence. But it is also confusing. All directors become lost somewhere along the way. That creates a problem for those who seek to give helpful feedback. How do you get a director to see a problem that they cannot see? The key is to help directors see that the film is under the microscope—not the filmmaker. You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you'll take offense when they are challenged."

3. Get out of the office

Great ideas don’t always happen in cubicles. Usually, great ideas come from connection. Ed recommends getting out of the office to inspire innovation—to keep us creating instead of copying.

Got a book recommendation for our next review? Let us know!

LYP 034: The Launch Sequence in Action: How Jeff Is Bringing an Idea to Life

We’ve spent a lot of time on the podcast talking about the five steps of The Launch Sequence. But what does it actually look like when it’s being applied to a real launch?

Jeff Henderson is embarking on his next launch, a tool for fathers and sons to connect, called Champion Tribes. In today’s episode, Jeff is sharing how he used the Launch Sequence to move Champion Tribes from idea to reality.

LYP 033: Break Into Business: Monica Lage on Launching Your Passion From The Ground Floor


In this week’s episode, Launch Youniversity is joined by Monica Lage—Founder and Executive Director of Break Into Business. Break into business is a summer camp for entrepreneurs, ages 9-14, who work toward launching their own real small business.

They brainstorm a product idea, perform market research, design a logo, manage a budget, make a website, style an Instagram post, make t-shirts, distribute flyers, film a commercial, and enter the Shark Tank before making their first (real) sale.

Not only does Monica help young launchers, but she's a launcher herself. We're so happy to have her share her wisdom and advice with us today.


Break Into Business website

Break Into Business 2017 Summer Camps

Plywood People

Jeff Shinabrger of Plywood People on Episode 13 + Episode 14


1. It's okay to be risk-adverse (as long as you push yourself to take risks) 

It's easy to look at other successful entrepreneurs and think that they're just wired to take risks and you aren't. But you don't have to be a hardwired risk-taker to be an entrepreneur. Monica describes herself as being risk-adverse at times, but when the right risks seemed smart - she pushed herself through it. 

2. Find people a few steps ahead of you

Monica found a group of peers through Plywood People who provide her with encouragement and advice (and the fact that they've been where she is now is immeasurably helpful). She could spend months researching the right payroll software, or, she can reach out to her trusted network for recommendations. 

3. Keep going back to your raving fans

As a form of market research, Monica frequently reaches out to her network of customers who have continued to support her business. When she's thinking about a new idea or project, she asks for their feedback. Not only does it help her keep a pulse on the customer's needs, but it makes her most loyal customers feel valued. 

Thanks for listening to another episode of the Launch Youniversity Podcast! Let us know how we're doing and what you'd like to hear next by leaving a review on iTunes!


LYP 032: Move From Good to Great: Shane and David Discuss Jim Collins' Legendary Wisdom


In 2001, Jim Collins released a book that is often credited as one of the greatest professional development books of all time, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. Today, David and Shane are discussing the book’s timeless wisdom and pulling out some of the practical ways to implement the strategies from the book in your own professional life.

LYP 031: World-Renowned Vocal Coach Jan Smith on Dreaming Big, Being Honest and Staying Humble

LYP 031: World-Renowned Vocal Coach Jan Smith on Dreaming Big, Being Honest and Staying Humble

In this week’s episode, Launch Youniversity is joined by Jan Smith, a renowned vocal coach for celebrity musicians out of Atlanta, GA. You might have heard of a few: Justin Beiber, Usher and the Band Perry.

Jan is a singer, songwriter, vocal coach, Grammy-nominated music producer, and founder of Jan Smith Studios, Inc. Jan and Jeff discuss humility, success, growing your business beyond yourself, and how honesty impacts client relationships. Jan shared so much wisdom with us and we know you'll get as much out of listening to her as we did. 

LYP 029: What Working for Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey and Dave Ramsey Taught Kevin Jennings About Creating Customer Experiences

LYP 029: What Working for Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey and Dave Ramsey Taught Kevin Jennings About Creating Customer Experiences

Kevin has had the opportunity to work with some of the most well-known personalities on the planet. As you might suspect, Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey and Dave Ramsey are masters at caring for their customers and cultivating a valuable customer experience. Kevin has had a front-row seat to it all and he's joining us today to let us hear his lessons learned. 

LYP 028: Brad Lomenick on Launching Catalyst, Scaling Success and Being the Right Kind of Leader

LYP 028: Brad Lomenick on Launching Catalyst, Scaling Success and Being the Right Kind of Leader

If you've heard of the massively successful conference called Catalyst, then you've probably heard of Brad Lomenick. Brad was on the ground floor of launching the innovative leadership event and today he's sharing the wisdom he gained through his experience there.

In addition to Catalyst, we're talking to Brad about his book H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. We left this conversation with Brad feeling completely inspired, and hope that you'll feel the same.

LYP 027: Channeling Your Passion to Change the Word: Justin Miller of CARE for AIDS

LYP 027: Channeling Your Passion to Change the Word: Justin Miller of CARE for AIDS

At 18 years old, Justin Miller sat in a room listening to Bono talk about the AIDS crisis and knew that he had to be part of the solution. What started as an idea for a documentary has, 10 years later, grown into the incredible and impactful organization that is CARE for AIDS. 

In David's conversation with Justin, they talk about channeling passion, staying focused on your mission, how to scale your business and how to protect your time. 

LYP 026: How to Launch When You Have a Full Time Job: Justin Dean and Van Baird Part 2

LYP 026: How to Launch When You Have a Full Time Job: Justin Dean and Van Baird Part 2

Welcome back to the Launch Youniversity podcast and our second conversation with Van Baird and Justin Dean. Last week, Justin and Van talked to us about finding you niche and getting started. But this week, they're hear to tell us about the how.

Justin and Van launched and run a popular event, That Church Conference, while having full-time jobs and families. From how they manage their time, who helps them, and how they engage with people online... we know you'll leave this conversation with Justin and Van feeling as inspired as we did. 

LYP 025: Find Your Niche And Make It Happen: Van Baird and Justin Dean of That Church Conference

We are so happy to be joined by Van Baird and Justin Dean on today's podcast. Not only are they the creators of a conference, That Church Conference, but they are launchers who also have full time jobs outside of That Church. No matter which industry you're in, Justin and Van's story is a great example of finding your niche, moving fast and embracing empathy. We hope you enjoy today's podcast as much as we did.  

LYP 024: Personal Branding, Inspiration and Other Lessons from SXSW

This past month, David and Shane traveled to one of the biggest conferences in the country, SXSW (South by Southwest). They made the trip to Austin, Texas to stay up-to-date with industry trends, meet fellow creators in the digital space, and find ideas and inspiration to implement in their roles back in Atlanta. 

On today's episode of the Launch Youniversity Podcast, David and Shane are sharing their five key takeaways from the conference. 

LYP 023: Launching Advice You Can Use with Kenny and Elle Campbell

We are so happy to be joined by Kenny and Elle Campbell on today's podcast. Not only are they the creators of the popular site, Stuff You Can Use, but they're a major power couple when it comes to launching ideas and businesses. Kenny and Elle personify what we often say on this podcast: Don't make people want things, make things people want.

Their empathetic and creative minds have led to countless business ideas and side projects and today they're sharing their perspective on launching with us.  

LYP 021: Launchers Are Listeners

If you're a launcher or a leader, you know how important it is to be a good listener. A few years ago, Shane began working with a Listening Coach. Through his time working on his listening skills, he learned that being a good listener is a lot more than just sitting quietly while another person talks. True listening is about helping people self-discover their own solutions. Today's episode with Kevin, Shane and David is one all leaders and aspiring leaders need to hear. Listen to the full episode now. 

LYP 020: Say Yes and Figure Out the Rest: A Conversation with Music Composer Davis Harwell

In this episode, Jeff Henderson goes in-studio with Davis Harwell of Davis Harwell Music. Despite a degree in music performance from Indiana University, Davis is following his long-time passion for music in film by pursuing his dream of composing scores for feature films. Davis is a storyteller at heart who believes in music’s power to emotionally connect people. In 2007, Davis Harwell Music officially launched with a mission “to help stories come alive by composing scores that capture the imagination and inspire the heart.” Tune in to hear his story, the key takeaways, and a bonus treat at the end of the episode.

LYP 019: Launch Lessons with Shani Godwin, CEO of Communiqué

This week, Launch Youniversity is honored to be joined by Shani Godwin, President and CEO of Communiqué USA, Inc, a marketing communications firm based out of Atlanta. After completing her MBA in Marketing, Shani realized that her unique blend of education, professional background and natural talents could help companies find their voice and communicate more effectively with their consumers. So in 2002, Shani left her job in Corporate America and founded Communiqué USA. They started small, but grew organically and quickly, and now, 15 years later, they advise large national brands on everything from global communications strategy to local marketing. Don’t miss some key takeaways from on this week’s episode.

LYP 018: Teen Entrepreneur Jordan Johnson On Putting Passion Into Action

This week, Launch Youniversity is honored to be joined by teen entrepreneur Jordan Johnson, founder and Chief Cookie Creator at Jordan’s Cookies. Jordan started her entrepreneurial journey at just eight years-old, and now, as junior in high school, runs her own business of shipping fresh baked cookies all around the country. Her mission is simple: To make the best cookies on the planet. Jordan is a great reminder to all of us launchers that you don’t have to wait for anyone’s permission to put your passion into action. Don’t miss some key takeaways from our youngest launcher yet on this week’s episode.

LYP 017: Culture, Influencers and Ingenuity: Our Conversation with Sid Mashburn Pt 2

This week, Launch Youniversity is honored to be joined again by Sid Mashburn, accomplished entrepreneur and owner of the #1 men’s independent clothing store in the US. In this episode, Sid talks about experience and business growth, team culture, and positive influencers in his life. If you missed Part One of our conversation, listen now!