The Ideas Into Action podcast reverse-engineers the careers of accomplished high performers. Each interview explores the tactics, routines, habits, and mindsets which continue to influence their success. We’ll learn how they manage and optimize their time, energy, and attention. Across these dialogues, we’ll discover patterns and ultimately arrive at a formula for succeeding in this time of great change and uncertainty. Whether you’re starting a new project, new career, or new chapter in life, the stories you’ll hear will inspire you to transform your own ideas into action.
Chris Bacchus is Director of Marketing for Canada’s largest paintball retailer, Badlands Inc. By night, he helps to build a growing fitness service, Strength-N-U. And somewhere in between all of that he’s managed to forge a successful YouTube channel where he entertains audiences with comedic chops, professional acting skills, and incredible voice work.
In this episode talked about side hustles, confidence, and going all-in on your dreams. We also talked about making time to be creative, structured downtime, and avoiding online distractions. It was a hilarious and insightful conversation that got me thinking about what I need to do to take this podcast to the next level, among other things.
Sathish Bala is the Founder & CEO of desiFEST Music. He’s a serial entrepreneur and marketing maven with over 20+ years in the game and several successful companies under his belt. Graduating with a degree in computer science the late 90’s, at the cusp of the internet as we know it today, Sathish has a refined understanding of how to succeed online (and offline). He’s an investor in early-stage companies and a mentor at Ryerson’s Science Discover Zone. 13 years ago, Sathish wanted to help Canada’s South Asian community to break down stereotypes, cultural bias, and gender inequalities that held back many young people. That inspired him to create desiFEST, a wildly successful cultural celebration. Since its inception, desiFEST has expanded to from Toronto to Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver.
In this episode (co-hosted by our mutual friend Justin Venturo) we talked about growing up Scarborough, culture clash, and facing obstacles head on. We also talked about morning routines, sleep rituals, and hip-hop.
Daniel Francavilla is the Founder and Creative Director of Now Creative Group, an award-winning full service agency. He leads a team of talented creatives and strategists to provide design, digital, marketing and media services to startups, businesses and nonprofits. He also produces content for their own media properties through the Now Digital Network. The agency’s clients range from fast-growing startups to behemoth corporations (and everything in between). Daniel is also the Founder of ACCESS, a youth-led non-profit organization. Originally founded to help students access education in developing countries, ACCESS has grown to focus on social innovation and youth social entrepreneurship. In 2018, The Brampton Board of Trade recognized Daniel with a prestigious Top 40 Under 40 award.
In this episode we talked about energy optimization, leadership vs. management, and what it's like to be a hometown hero. We also talked about stress, occupational burnout, and how to juggle multiple competing priorities.
Mahfuz Chowdhury is an award-winning Account Manager at Candybox Marketing, a digital marketing agency that has worked with notable brands such as Domino’s Pizza, The Weather Network, So You Think You Dance, Glee, Fox Entertainment, and Advertising Week. He’s also the author of Project Reinvention: The Social Timeline of a Millennial—a book where he open and honestly recollects his journey from self-described abject failure to someone now focused and steadfast on the path to success. And last but not least, he’s the host of the Ride With Me podcast.
In this episode, we talked about lessons from retail, blue collar work ethic, and hitting rock bottom. It was a candid, refreshing, and at times hilarious conversation. We also talked about sleep as a competitive advantage, drawing energy from your outfits, and staying sane on social media.
NOTE: Around the 1:02:00 mark, the quality of the audio drops quite a bit. Unfortunately we had ran into a technical issue on the boards, and as a result had to substitute the corrupted audio with whatever we picked up on camera. Our voices are still audible, but not as crisp as what you experienced in the first half. We're terribly sorry for this issue, and are going to bring Mahfuz back in the studio for a follow-up to this otherwise awesome episode. Thanks for your patience!
Jasmine Williams is an experienced digital marketing professional and the founder of Jasmine Williams Media, a content and social media consultancy based in Toronto, Ontario. Jasmine has helped a wide range of clients and companies refine and elevate their brand with high-quality, impactful content and social media marketing. She is also an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared on Daily Hive, ViewTheVibe and GoDaddy.ca.
In this episode we talked about freelancing, entrepreneurship, representation, and confidence among a whole slew of other topics. This episode is a must-listen if you’re on the fence about starting something.
On January 31st we interrupted our regularly scheduled programming to have an important conversation about depression, anxiety, stress, social media, belief, practice, and so much more. It was a relevant, much-needed dialogue that got me thinking about how to achieve composure in the chaos.
For this special episode, I called in the cavalry...
Keith Diaz works as an Insights Consultant with CIBC’s Live Labs Discovery Team where he focuses on digital strategy and innovation, working to keep the bank in-step with the behaviours and expectations of tomorrow’s customers. He’s also the host of The Modern Monk podcast. Keith’s story and battle with depression is nothing short of fascinating.
Alexandra Paige is a marketer, a writer, and a mental health advocate. She has worked in sales strategy and marketing roles in notable organizations including BlackBerry, PepsiCo Canada, and Communitech. Her adventures have taken her to such places around the world as Peru, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and more.
Astawa Alam is a great exhilarator of one of Canada’s youngest and fastest-growing cities, Brampton. As an Innovation & Technology Coordinator with the city’s Economic Development Office, he’s working tirelessly to raise the burgeoning city’s profile and awareness. And who better to tell its story than a proud, social media savvy digital native? As the Co-Founder & Lead Marketing Consultant of DxM Creative, this young entrepreneur has helped dozens of forward-thinking brands to build their brands.
In this episode we talked about combating stereotypes, investing in communities, building legacies, role models, sleep habits, caffeine regulation, and so much more.
At 25 years old, George Khalife became the Director of Business Development for Sampford Advisors - Canada’s #1 mid-market Tech M&A firm. Prior to this, George was leading the sales efforts for the Toronto Stock Exchange in Toronto/Waterloo & NYC. By day, George works with entrepreneurs. And by night, he becomes one himself—he's the Co-Founder & CEO at BookBack, as well as the host of Let’s Grab Coffee.
In this episode we talked about George's transition from the Middle East to Canada, unpacked some millennial stereotypes, reflected on failure, and exchanged pro-tips about nutrition and proper dieting.
In 2016, I delivered my second TEDx talk, “The Burnout Gamble.” I’m grateful to TEDxUTSC for the opportunity to return to my alma mater as a speaker. It was surreal to stand on the opposite end of an auditorium that I had spent much of my undergraduate life seated in. The experience of producing this talk compelled me to further examine my relationship with stress, and served as a catalyst for the release of a titular book. Stress has been described by the World Health Organization as “The health epidemic of the 21st century.” Through the TEDxUTSC platform, I aimed to inspire audiences to become the most thriving, productive, and motivated versions of themselves; I aimed to help them burn bright, not out.
In 2015, I delivered my first TEDxRyersonU talk. On stage within the breathtaking Design Exchange, I shared my views on why managing millennials and knowledge workers the way that we used to manage traditional factory workers can be disastrous. Speaking through my own experience of being managed (and alternatively as a manager) I made the case that the next generation must be lead instead of managed; they must be given the autonomy to complete their tasks, so that they can grow and reach their full potential. In describing my role as a “manager” I ultimately concluded that my approach to managing is to avoid it altogether.
In years past, I've published these posts on my birthday. This year, there was an overabundance of lessons that didn’t stop (and haven’t stopped) revealing themselves to me. Sorry for the delay! This a snapshot of the wisdom I accumulated in the lead up to 30.