How to achieve your “Why”, featuring International bodybuilder Kassie Alnwick

Kassie Alnwick is a certified personal trainer, nutritional advisor and empowerment speaker, with more than 28 years in the fitness industry. She’s had a highly successful career as a top international bodybuilder, finishing as the top U.S. competitor at the Arnold Classic in 2015. A self-described “Hockey mom”, Kassie has been running her business called “Produce with a Pro” for the past ten years. Kassie trains not only athletes, but anyone looking to improve their health, wealth and well-being to create a LIFE ON FIRE!

Kassie offers an online coaching program, virtual one-on-one personal training, contest stage presentation, and a workshop entitled “LIFE ON FIRE”, a three-part workshop focused on how to think, move and fuel. For more information, you can visit her website at

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NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly: How The Right Stuff led him to a Year in Space

Captain Scott Kelly

Captain Scott Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, is a veteran of four space flights. He commanded three expeditions to the International Space Station and he spent 520 days living in space, including 340 consecutive days, the single longest space mission of an American Astronaut. He’s recently released his memoir entitled “Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.” In this episode Scott discusses  his amazing experience and his inspiration for achieving goals that are quite literally out of this world.

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To learn more about Scott’s book Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery, and his incredible experiences visit his website at

NASA Astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave: Success starts with Curiosity

Story Musgrave

Dr. Story Musgrave is an American physician and a retired NASA astronaut. He has seven graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature, and psychology. Story was a part-time trauma surgeon during his 30-year astronaut career. He flew on six space flights, performing the first shuttle space walk on Challenger’s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified Department of Defense missions, was the lead space walker on the Hubble telescope repair, and on his last flight, he operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

Story was the only astronaut to fly on all five space shuttles: Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour and Columbia.

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Story offers several of his books, as well as his DVDs and CDs on his website, including his book, “Story, The Way of Water”, which I highly recommend. He also shares his incredible photography from a T-38, as well as Australia from space. To learn more, visit his website at

Active Shooter Response in the Workplace featuring Former Navy SEAL Jesse Barnett

As a Navy Seal, Jesse was part of the first unit deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. He’s learned combat tactics in South American jungles, mountainous European terrains, and Middle Eastern deserts. After his retirement as a Navy Seal, Jesse went on to serve as a diplomatic security contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan until 2014.

Nowadays, he trains businesses, schools, and churches on how to respond to an active shooter crisis. His company, Poseidon Experience, also offers firearms training using simulation technology, allowing individuals to focus on safety and accuracy. In this episode Jesse discusses how businesses and employees can prepare themselves in the event of an active shooter in the workplace.

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To learn more about Jesse’s services, you can visit his company’s website at

Mixing business & fitness? How to take your health and fitness goals to the office and on the road, featuring Kimberly Donovan

Kimberly Donovan runs a YouTube channel where she offers tips on exercising, eating right, and achieving goals in both business and at home. She also shares her experiences on Instagram @fight.thegoodfight. In this episode Kimberly discusses some of her tips for how to keep in shape when work and our daily life get a bit overwhelming.

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To learn more about “Fighting The Good Fight” as well as for free workouts and healthy recipes, be sure to visit Kim on her YouTube channel and Instagram @fight.thegoodfight.

A Conversation on Success in Life & Business featuring Award-Winning Entrepreneur April Yvette

April Yvette is an award-winning entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, author, trainer and innovator. She has been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, Fox News, NBC’s Daytime, the Los Angeles Times and much more. April’s YouTube channel has nearly one million viewers. In this episode April shares her story and offers tips on how to get unstuck and reach your goals in business and in life.

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To learn more or to download a copy of April’s eBook, “A 20-Year Relentless Climb To Success Reveals Seven Lifechanging Truths”, visit


How to use Instagram for Business, featuring Greg Cross, CEO of CCM

Greg Cross is the Founder and CEO and CCM, a marketing agency based in Greenfield, Indiana, located just outside of Indianapolis. Since 2007, CCM has been serving businesses and non-profits by offering web design, branding, marketing, social media management, and SEO services.

Greg is also the owner of Selfie Mouse, another company he founded in 2016 which offers personalized photo props. In this episode Greg discusses how to use Instagram for small businesses.

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To learn more, visit or

Avoid Software Delays with Rapid Application Development

Is your software development project facing constant setbacks? Rapid Application Development may be what you need to get your project back on track.

We’re going to discuss problems that you may have experienced with your development teams, and how a methodology called Rapid Application Development may be just the right ingredient to jumpstart your projects or get your project back on track. We’ll cover three main topics:

  • Common Failures with other methodologies
  • Benefits of Rapid Application Development (RAD)
  • How to get started with RAD

Common Failures with SDLC Methodologies

You’ve probably heard of Waterfall, the classic methodology that dominated in the 70s and 80s. The typical method here was to gather all business requirements up front, then develop the project. It had the advantage of having a detailed design up front, but the disadvantage was that it took months if not years to deliver the product. Furthermore, when the product was finally completed it was delivered to the client who hadn’t seen virtually anything up to that point, so sometimes there was a disconnect between the initial design and the final release.

Software development faced a crisis in the early 1990s as demand increased exponentially for software for enterprises. Waterfall just didn’t move fast enough for businesses, so new methodologies were developed to shorten the Software Development Life Cycle. In fact, Agile and methodologies such as Rapid Application Development (RAD), Paired Programming and Extreme Programming have their roots in the 90s. Most of these work by doing smaller iterations of a project released over a period of weeks.

Flash forward to recent years and Agile or Scrum are currently some of the most popular buzzwords for software development. Agile is not necessarily a methodology, framework or process. It’s more of an umbrella that covers a range of these. Scrum is a subset of Agile, and is a widely used lightweight process framework, requiring development cycles called Sprints. Unfortunately for some, the methods they adopt for Agile may or may not work as desired.

I’ve seen firsthand teams that just don’t deliver, even though they seem to be following well thought out processes.  From my experience, these seem to due to constant distractions and/or the inability to estimate correctly due to unknowns.

Constant Distractions

One common scenario has team members starting their typical work day sometime between 8 and 9am, followed by a stand-up meeting at 10, lunch around noon, followed by meetings in the afternoon for planning or investigation. Now while this may sound like a pretty full workday to some, I’d like to look at it from the point of view of a developer. Now, all developers are not alike, but from the way I am and what I’ve seen in my colleagues, some of the best work and productivity is when we have a solid 3 to 4-hour block to code. If we have meetings every couple of hours, or distractions through instant messages or others interrupting me to ask questions, then our productivity suffers.

Inability to Estimate Accurately

Teams are typically asked to estimate tasks for each Sprint, placing some items in ranges, such as 2-4 hours for this task, 8-12 hours for this task, and so on. Typical estimates are based on how much time it should take to create something based on something similar previously developed. The problem is that this ignores true innovation. Sometimes we’re asking developers to do something that has never been done before and trying to force an estimate in advance. That’s like saying to Thomas Edison—invent this new gizmo, but before you do tell us how long it will take.

Introducing Rapid Application Development

As I said earlier, RAD is not new. The RAD model is based on prototyping and developing in increments with no specific planning involved. While that may sound crazy to some, for the right project, RAD is a powerful, extremely fast method for delivering working solutions. But it isn’t right for all projects.  RAD works best for projects that can be either modularized or prototyped. It also requires highly skilled team members. So it might be great for startups or smaller projects, but not necessarily good for the enterprise, unless you’re pulling out a smaller piece of a project.

Benefits of RAD

  • RAD is much faster development than other methodologies. But how fast? I’ve developed fully-functioning sections or prototypes created in hours rather than days/weeks. Recently, for example, my client and I developed an adhoc report system from scratch in three days. And those weren’t full days; just blocks of 3-4 hours spread out over the 3-day period. 15 hours total for a new reporting system from scratch.
  • RAD also encourages customer feedback and can accommodate changing requirements along the way, allowing for rapid completion of screens that meet both business needs and user needs.
  • As an added bonus, there’s less intensive testing required since testing is more in-depth during development.

How to get started with RAD

RAD starts with getting the right people – but it must be the right mix! It’s dependent on technically strong team members for identifying business requirements, and extremely well-skilled developers who can handle all aspects of coding requirements.

For Example: Business owner with technical expertise is paired with a senior developer. Between the two of them, they can identify every detail of what the business and user sides need and they have the skills to develop it from requirements to database to code to deployment.

A typical work setting consists of 3-4 hour sessions, possibly twice per day but not 5 days/week otherwise there’s a risk of burnout. The goal is to keep productivity high and intense, squeezing out more in less time. But you can’t squeeze too much or else you’ll defeat the goal.

The focus is on a modular application: Objectives are in smaller increments, such as a Report section, Client Management section, etc.; with user screens and admin screens.

My Typical RAD Session:

  1. Session starts with a whiteboard to visualize goal from both the database side to user screens.
  2. Next steps starts at the database, where tables and scripts are created based on business requirements
  3. Next coding begins as screen(s) are created, tested and completed.

Rapid Application Development is an alternative to speed up your software development life cycle. While it’s not for everyone, it may be just the right tool you need to get your project back on track or prototype something new in half the time of typical methodologies. If you’d like to experience RAD first-hand, or would like help getting your team up to speed, reach out to me and I’ll be glad to help.

Protect your files from ransomware with automatic backups

Are your files protected in the event of a hard drive crash or ransomware attack? Online backup services can help.

In this episode we’ll look at how to set up automatic backups for your computers, at home and in the workplace. We’ll cover three main areas:

  • Why you need automatic backups
  • Automatic backup services
  • How to setup automatic backups

Why you need “Automatic” backups

First and foremost, backups are important and critical. A backup service saved me a whole lot of frustration a couple of years ago one day as I realized my hard drive was crashing. By the end of the day I was able to replace my hard drive and restore all of my files from the backup service. What could have been a very bad experience and a huge waste of time turned out to be a good learning lesson and proof that the backup system I had in place worked. I’d like to help you avoid frustration as well. That’s why you need to setup an automatic backup service right away.

The operative word here is “Automatic”. Obviously, backups are important so that if something happens where you can’t access your computer, such as a virus or hard-drive crash, you need to be able to restore your files. But you can’t simply backup your computer manually every once and awhile by say, offloading them to a flash drive—you need to have a process in place that backs up your files automatically all the time. Backup should occur around the clock, especially whenever you add or modify files. This isn’t limited to photos and documents, but should also apply to emails as well.

It’s also important to save your backups to the right place. What do I mean? Well, say you connect your computer to an external hard drive for backups. But then a flood or fire happens that destroys both—then your backups are gone forever. Or let’s say you backup your files over your network to another drive, but then a ransomware or other virus corrupts all the files on your network. Everything’s lost. In another case, what if you backup files on a flash drive, but then lose it or it gets stolen? Then all your files could be viewed unless you took an extra step to password-protect them. There is a better way.

There are backup services that store your files offsite on another system outside of your network. Equally important, your files are encrypted as they are backed up to keep them private and secure. Let’s talk about some of the services available.

Automatic backup services

There are several services available that automatically backup files online for both personal and business use. These include: Carbonite, Mozy, Acronis and CrashPlan, to name a few. All of these services typically charge by the amount of storage you need and the number of computers which you need to backup.

Free Storage

Now some of these services offer free storage, which could be a very economical solution for your home or small business. These include iDrive, with up to 5Gb of free storage for an unlimited number of computers, to MozyHome, which allows up to 2 GB of free storage for up to three computers. Other services that offer free storage include SpiderOak One and OpenDrive.

Consider storage limits

However, note that whatever files you need to backup will increase over time, so it’s important to see what the storage limits are for the backup service you select. IDrive, for example, has a storage limit of 2 TB, while MozyHome caps storage at 50 GB. Services such as Backblaze, Carbonite and Crashplan offer unlimited storage.

Version History

Another important aspect to consider is something called “versioning”. Do you want just the latest version of a particular document backed up, or do you want a history of different versions? Sometimes it’s quite helpful to be able to go back a few weeks or more to an earlier version of a file, especially if a file was accidentally deleted or overwritten due to user error. Most backup services offer versions going back at least 30 days, with others offering a complete unlimited history. Obviously the further you want to go back for your files means you need higher storage limits, so consider that when you’re selecting a backup service.


Pricing obviously depends on which service you select, but can be very affordable. For example, CrashPlan for small business is currently just $10 per computer for unlimited storage—well worth it to keep your business protected. The free storage services such as iDrive and Mozyhome are great for your personal computers if you don’t need many files protected. Still others offer significant savings if you sign up for an annual plan, such as iDrive with plans currently about $75 per year for unlimited users and unlimited computers.

How to set up automatic backups

Once you select a service, setting up your automatic backups is pretty straightforward. This typically involves installing software on your computers which you want to backup. The software will walk you through configuring what to backup and when for your computer. Note that the first backup of all of your files can take several days. That’s not anything to worry about; it just takes so long since it runs in the background encrypting and uploading your files, but allows you to still use your computer without noticing all the work going on in the background. After the initial backup is done typically you won’t even notice the ongoing backup service from that point forward.

To ease your mind, you can usually view all of the files that are backed up, and can restore one or more as needed.

Note as an added service, some of the backup companies offer you the choice of restoring backups by downloading your files or getting the files overnighted to you on disk. That’s something you should consider, since, depending on how large your backup is it could take several hours or even days to download and restore all of your files. But either way, you’ll have complete access to getting your files back should the need arise. That means your business keeps going or your personal files are preserved, a great win-win in any case.

So take the time now to make sure you have an online backup service in place for your home or your business. It’s well worth the effort to keep your important files secure and make sure you can access them when you need to.

The Apple iPhone revolution, from the original iPhone through SlowPhoneGate & SmartPhone Rehab

“A breakthrough Internet communications device…an iPod, a phone—are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device; and we’re calling it iPhone.” – Steve Jobs

Apple’s iPhone has come a long way since the original release in 2007, revolutionizing an industry, changing our culture and even stirring up the recent controversies of “Slow Phone Gate” and “Smart Phone rehab”. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with them, fortunately more love than hate even now. Let me give you a little background about my history with Apple.

Apples woos a Microsoft guy

I’m a Microsoft programmer, so I’m not exactly your typical Apple fan. If you go back about 10 years ago, you may remember the infamous TV commercials with Justin Long staring as the cool, laidback “I’m a Mac” character and John Hodgman as the stuffy, conservative “I’m a PC” character. It was perfect timing for Apple. Just a few months after the series started, they launched the very first iPhone. On the other hand, Microsoft launched their disastrous Vista operating system, just three weeks later. This definitely put Apple in a better light, and everyone, especially Microsoft programmers like me took notice. I remember wondering what the heck Microsoft was attempting to do with Vista. Then I saw an iPhone. The interface was simply amazing and very intuitive. I went to an Apple Store and experienced about the best customer service I’d ever seen. I was on board! I walked out smiling with my shiny new iPhone and immediately put it to use for my business.

I remember just a few weeks later I was at a NASA conference at Kennedy Space Center. While I was speaking to a Program Manager, I got out my iPhone to add a meeting with her to my calendar. The manager called out to her colleagues, “Hey come check out the iPhone.” In a matter of seconds I was surrounded by a circle of NASA employees, each one of them practically salivating over this cool device in my hands. I still remember one of them saying, “I’ve been wanting to see this!” That was pretty amazing to me.

Flash forward just a couple years later and it seemed that iPhones were everywhere, including kids. Those who didn’t have an iPhone had similar looking smartphones from competitors. The iPhone truly revolutionized the industry for sure. But is it for the better?

Let’s talk about #SlowPhoneGate

Last fall when Apple announced it was coming out with the iPhone 8, 8s and X, I was just as happy as can be with my iPhone 6S. And so was my wife with her iPhone 5. But then iOS 11 was released on September 19, 2017. I updated my phone immediately, while my wife did not. Right away I started to notice that my phone was slower, along with bugs and screen crashes. Fortunately just a week later Apple release iOS 11.0.1, which I installed again quickly to hopefully resolve my issues. Well, the bugs weren’t fixed and new ones were introduced, then I installed the next update, 11.0.2, just a week later. Then 11.0.3 a week after that. In all, Apple released nine updates in four months since iOS 11. But my frustration met it’s limit in mid-December when my screen kept freezing while I was trying to communicate to a client. I had had it! What drove me crazy was that my wife’s iPhone 5 was fine; she had never updated the operating system. So I caved and upgraded to a new iPhone. The very next day Apple announced that they had been slowing down older iPhones in an attempt to preserve battery life—after they had basically been caught in the act.

Now don’t get me wrong; Apple does seem to produce quality products. But now when I see the annoying red button warning that an update is available, I hesitate a bit, but not for long since I definitely want to make sure my phone has the latest security updates. I just am concerned about the control Apple has over the product, and wonder down the road if I’ll have yet another update that will slow down my device until it becomes nearly unusable. There’s a lot of trust that’s been lost. That makes the innovation harder to appreciate.

Smartphone Rehab?

Recently Apple investors sent a letter to Tim Cook, urging him to issue a health warning for children using iPhones. The investors want Apple to give parents greater control to limit their kid’s time spent on devices.

According to research conducted by Professor Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University, the amount of smartphone usage by U.S. teens is related to the risk factor for suicide. It turns out that the more a teenager uses their phone the risk factor increases up to 71% for those who spend five hours or more on their phone each day. Those who spend three hours a day or more are 35% more likely than those who spend less than one hour. There are children as young as 13 years old who are being treated for what’s called “digital technology addiction”. There’s even a “Smartphone rehab” facility in Seattle.

Sadly, I’m not surprised. We’ve all seen funny cartoons coming across social media making fun of how kids these days seem to spend more time indoors on their phone than outside or talking—actually talking to others. I know I’ve seen this in person at large family/friend gatherings where so many are on their phones instead of interacting with each other. Someday soon I’ll probably be the type of guy who has everyone put their phones in a basket when they walk in the door..but I’m the first one who’ll have to learn to leave my own phone alone.

Even Steve Jobs strictly limited his children’s use of technology. He did it with parenting, not software controls. But maybe that’s what we need to stay on top of this. I’m sure there are many out there, including me, who don’t realize just how much kids are using their phones. Aside from cyberbullying, sexting and loneliness, we all need to make sure that the next generation isn’t suffering at what we had labeled innovation.

No I’m not blaming Apple for increasing the suicide rate for U.S. teenagers. The truth is that they’ve definitely revolutionized our way of life, making it easier and quicker to communicate with our colleagues and our loved ones. It’s just a new direction that we all need to understand, then make course corrections to make sure it does in fact end up for the better.

Personally I’ve been extremely happy with the convenience and thrills Apple products have given me over the last decade. While I’m not happy with the #SlowPhoneGate and how that was handled, I am excited to be a part of this revolution, for both my business and my family. And coming from the Microsoft life, I can say that the innovation of Apple has inspired me to be a better programmer by making my applications as intuitive and user-friendly as they can be.

What do you think? Are you onboard with Apple or is it hard to move past having your phone slowed down without your knowledge? If you’re a parent, do you limit or are you going to limit how much time your kids use technology in the home?