63: Melissa Knaus – Innovation Within Reach

Interview with Melissa Knaus

Melissa Knaus joins us for an Uphill Conversation on making innovation and technology approachable – especially for women and female entrepreneurs.

Melissa Knaus is an entrepreneur, patent expert, and business coach with a passion for helping women create the businesses they dream of leading. When she traded in her full-time office job to start a company and patent her first product, there was a lot she didn’t know. But what she did know was much more powerful – that she needed a massive lifestyle change. Full bio here.

Show Notes

  • How an eye infection launched Melissa into her path toward innovation
  • Meaningful coincidences in discovering + launching new ideas
  • Misconceptions around patents and design requirements
  • Importance of questions + research at the front end of any idea or project
  • Overcoming fear + uncertainty through knowledge
  • Tendency to get overwhelmed by your own thoughts and overthinking
  • Utilize a journal to collect, collate + navigate thoughts
  • Find a mentor who can help you avoid pitfalls
  • Women can be overly competitive, but are incredibly effective when they work together
  • Disparity in number of women holding patents compared to men
  • Just because you can’t do it all at once, doesn’t mean you can’t have it all and go after your dreams
  • There are always trade offs when seeking balance
  • Shifting your perspective from “I have to” to “I get to” can have tremendous positive impact in our lives
  • Love is a remedy
  • Embrace the time that you’re given and live intentionally
  • “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Melissa’s desire to inspire girls to be leaders and innovative, especially in math and science

Connect with Melissa


INTRO AND OUTRO MUSIC (Used by permission):
Dreams Groove (© 2017 Tim Pecoraro)
Straight Drive (© 2017 Tim Pecoraro)
Uphill Conversations is an Uphill Strategies, LLC production
© 2017 Uphill Conversations

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62: Greg Centineo – Living a Life by Design

Interview with Greg Centineo

Greg Centineo joins us for an Uphill Conversation on living life by design and continuously seeking and discovering who are and who you want to be.

Greg Centineo is the man CEOs call upon to turn great ideas into reality through thoughtful team leadership and the ability to attract large numbers of people to a common goal. Greg is a frequent public speaker, including at the University of Miami, and a highly sought after consultant by large ventures – primarily advising C-level executives on leadership and fundraising that leads to company growth. Greg also leads large live streaming events and teaches his leadership secrets at GregCentineo.com.

Show Notes:

  • How Greg has built and designs his own life
  • Self-awareness + having a “no limits” mentality
  • Embracing meaningful coincidences
  • Emotions shouldn’t be defined as positive or negative – when it comes to fear, ask if it’s appropriate or inappropriate
  • How to overcome inappropriate fears to move forward
  • Your mindset is incredibly powerful
  • Righteousness versus wickedness – willingness to fail and try again
  • You are responsible for your own life
  • “If you do nothing, I guarantee you, nothing is going to happen”
  • Failure is the major ingredient to success
  • The way you view events – positively or negatively – defines what your life will ultimately look like
  • Inspire yourself by inspiring others to believe in themselves
  • Be transformational, not transactional, in how you live your life and how you engage others
  • Belong people into believing, then release them to grow
  • Even when you give your best and exceed your goals, a project can still fail
  • When everything seems meaningless, it can be incredibly hard to find meaning again, but first you must embrace the darkness
  • Greg’s optimism to reach and inspire millions

Connect with Greg:


INTRO AND OUTRO MUSIC (Used by permission):
Dreams Groove (© 2017 Tim Pecoraro)
Straight Drive (© 2017 Tim Pecoraro)
Uphill Conversations is an Uphill Strategies, LLC production
© 2017 Uphill Conversations

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12: YP Perspective – Politics + Working Towards Change


William Timmons joins us for an Uphill Conversation on his journey as a prosecutor, entrepreneur, and South Carolina State Senator. At 33 years of age, he is committed to fixing what’s broken in Columbia, SC.

Show Notes:

  • William’s entrepreneurial endeavors: Swamp Rabbit Crossfit + Soul Yoga
  • William’s journey to become a Senator at 32 years old
  • Frustrated by inaction in the Senate, William decided to run for office to try and fix it – “Everything I do in my life, I go all in.”
  • Shocked by the ineffectiveness of the legislation in South Carolina
  • Desire to discuss issues that are most important and relevant – those that affect to peoples’ lives
  • Issues in Washington can impact peoples’ lives – freedom and safety
  • Problem is that the loudest voices are heard and often repeated
  • Need to stop thinking in terms of right and left, but need to think about how we move the country forward
  • Benefits of having a self-funded campaign – ability to do what he thinks is the right thing without conflict of interest
  • Surprising moments in his first year as Senator: how people have forgotten the difference between right and wrong
  • Stay grounded by remembering why you’re doing what you’re doing and that it’s for the right reasons
  • Make better use of your time by creating processes that streamline your life – proximity
  • Remember to slow down and be intentional in how you live your life

Connect with William: 

Guest Bio – William Timmons is a Republican State Senator who works as an attorney and entrepreneur in Greenville. William previously served as a prosecutor in the 13th Circuit Solicitor’s office. He currently owns and operates Swamp Rabbit CrossFit, Soul Yoga, and Timmons & Company. While in the Senate, William focuses his time on economic development, ethics reform, and term limits. Learn more at votetimmons.com. 

INTRO AND OUTRO MUSIC (Used by permission):

© 2017 UCYP Theme written and arranged by Luke Pecoraro all rights reserved.
© 2017 UCYP (Uphill Conversations Young Professionals) (UCYP is an Uphill Strategies, LLC production)
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61: Chris Breen – Selling it all to Build Your Future

Interview with Chris Breen

Chris Breen joins us and shares his journey of self discovery and entrepreneurship. He greatly values continuous learning and realizes the power of investing in oneself.

Chris and his wife Amy have been successful entrepreneurs for 20 years.  They currently operate 2 construction companies, a construction management firm and coach other entrepreneurial couples like themselves. Chris is a Certified Trainer in Training with Wake Up Warrior and has a passion for men to live up to their purposes. They live in upstate South Carolina with their 3 children.

Show Notes: 

  • Being happily “unemployable”
  • Raised with entrepreneurial spirit and encouraged to build something
  • Chris’s journey from a landscaping company at 14 years old to now owning a construction management firm and operating two companies
  • Value of supporting and feeling “called” to mission work
  • Sold first business, their home and almost all of their belongings to travel across country with their three children for five months
  • Discovered that “you can be serving and kingdom-minded within an industry”
  • “Instead out of doing something out of my desire, I felt it was my obedience to my calling”
  • Tendency to move in the direction of what you want to do – what gives you pleasure – rather than following your calling + purpose
  • Stepping away from something can provide incredible perspective on your gifts and purpose
  • Beginning with core values and a clear vision in building a business – being intentional
  • You can’t do it on your own – must surround yourself with great people to free yourself up empower others
  • You must learn to lead yourself before you can lead others
  • Creating space and opportunities to truly connect + be present with your loved ones
  • Importance of investing in yourself – it can be contagious to those around you + ROI is what YOU do with it
  • Chris’s advice for younger generations: “Develop a routine that’s going to put you in a place of power every day.”
  • Coaching provides an opportunity for perspective you can’t gain on your own + challenging you to see things differently


Connect with Chris: 

INTRO AND OUTRO MUSIC (Used by permission):
Dreams Groove (© 2017 Tim Pecoraro)
Straight Drive (© 2017 Tim Pecoraro)
Uphill Conversations is an Uphill Strategies, LLC production
© 2017 Uphill Conversations

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60: Bud Torcom – Authentic Connection in a Digital World

Interview with Bud Torcom

In this episode, we have an Uphill Conversation with young professional, entrepreneur and business owner Bud Torcom on authentic connection, relationships and values in an increasingly automated and digital world.

Bud Torcom is the CEO and co-founder of Mazama Media, a digital marketing agency that offers high-quality social and digital media solutions for businesses. Mazama Media focuses on the individual needs and personalities of clients to create unique and engaging social media content, and the company is part of the prestigious Facebook Small Business Council. In addition, Bud is a member of the Forbes Agency Council, which has recognized him as an industry leader among advertising and media strategy firms.

Show Notes:

  • Creating company policies that match your core values
  • At Mazama Media fun + continuous learning are central
  • Setting stretch goals for your organization – i.e. an anxiety free workplace
  • Benefits + pitfalls of a world increasingly conditioned for instant communication and gratification
  • Social tools like LinkedIn are incredibly powerful for connection + sharing information, but are often abused by those looking to push a product or service
  • Importance of leading by example + learning from mistakes
  • Bud believes leadership is “always looking out for the person on your left and the person on your right”
  • Coinciding need for intentionality in relationships alongside need to embrace our increasingly automated world
  • Multitasking is not truly possible “you don’t have a split screen brain”
  • Generation Y and their use of technology and social media channels
  • How online dating could impact our future generations’ ability to successfully network and interview
  • What would happen if we stopped just showing our best moments on social media – what if we “got real?” Could we help others?
  • Importance of investing in oneself through continuous learning
  • Building a relationship with your local community can be essential to small business success
  • Tips for developing, reinforcing and celebrating your company’s core values

Connect with Bud: 


INTRO AND OUTRO MUSIC (Used by permission):
Dreams Groove (© 2017 Tim Pecoraro)
Straight Drive (© 2017 Tim Pecoraro)
Uphill Conversations is an Uphill Strategies, LLC production
© 2017 Uphill Conversations

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