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In a world that seems to favor top performers, we often overlook the mindset and the methods of everyday entrepreneurs—the underdogs and the misfits who have no particular advantage in life—yet somehow manage to succeed.

Author-and-entrepreneur Gary Schoeniger has traveled the world interviewing entrepreneurs and exploring the research to expose the hidden logic that exposes opportunities, optimizes engagement, and unleashes human potential. Whether you want to start a business, engage your team, or reinvent your career, this podcast will show you how an entrepreneurial mindset can empower ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.

Gary Schoeniger is an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of entrepreneurial mindset education. As the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) founder and CEO, Gary’s work has influenced a broad audience – from aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to academic and organizational leaders worldwide. These include the Kauffman Foundation, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, Tecnolólogico de Monterrey, the European Commission, and the U.S. State Department.

Gary, along with Pulitzer nominee Clifton Taulbert, is the co-author of Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur, an international bestseller described as “required reading for humanity.” He also led the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs’ development. The Kauffman Foundation has recognized the Ice House Programs as “redefining entrepreneurship education in classrooms and communities around the world.”

In this podcast, Gary explores the entrepreneurial mindset as a cognitive framework essential for individuals and organizations to adapt and thrive in today’s rapidly changing world.

Are you an unlikely entrepreneur with a story to tell? Do you know someone who is? We’d love to hear from you!

Fill out the form on our Share Your Story page to connect with us.

Episode Blogs

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In this episode, Gary is joined by serial entrepreneur and public speaker Sirena Moore-Thomas. In the conversation, Sirena and Gary unpack her early life and how her experiences shaped her trajectory. As a single teenage mother of twins, raised in public housing, with no college degree, Sirena is the epitome of an unlikely entrepreneur. Her accomplishments—not the least of which is co-founding a million-dollar cleaning business with a few hundred dollars in her spare time—have garnered
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  As a Palestinian refugee growing up in Kuwait, Faris Alami was a straight-A student on his way to university and a stable career. And then life intervened when the Iraqi invasion turned his world upside down. Fresh out of high school, in the midst of a war zone, Faris found himself in charge of a local grocery store, a precarious experience that he barely escaped with his life. Yet, it was an experience that
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  Going to prison is a serious, at some points depressing, form of solitary confinement. It is commonly seen as a depressing community, and released inmates are usually discriminated against, if not entirely rejected by society. But in reality, prison time can provide the needed reinvention one truly needs. In this episode, new entrepreneur William Snoddy joins us to discuss his life leading up to and including his entrepreneurial journey. After going to prison several
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    In this episode, Yiannis Nikolopoulos joins us to discuss how he became an entrepreneur. He is the Co-founder of Clio Muse Tours, an Athens-based company that offers self-guided audio tours and virtual tours for museums across Europe. Yiannis describes how curiosity and humility enabled him and his partners to find the right product-market fit before going all in. And they pulled it off in the midst of the worst recession in modern Greek
    Entrepreneur John Kendale joined us for an engaging conversation about his journey to become the inventor and owner of Toppy Toddler bibs. Listen in to hear about how John began his entrepreneurial journey with one simple idea, solving a problem any parent might face, a messy baby eating a meal. — Listen to the podcast here: Or, download and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts! iTunes Spotify Stitcher iHeart Radio Read the transcript
    Ryann Halo joins us to talk about her entrepreneurial journey. Hear her dig into surviving tragedy and trauma, overcoming it all to become a successful business owner of two award-winning salons. — Listen to the podcast here: Or, download and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts! iTunes Spotify Stitcher iHeart Radio Read the transcript below. Ryann Halo: How A High School Dropout Became A Successful Entrepreneur I’m speaking with Ryann DiBenedetto. What
    Middle school teacher Elias Ruiz joined the podcast to talk about his journey from garage inventor to a successful business owner. Starting in his garage with a piece of plywood and empty 2-liter bottles, Elias has gone on to invent the Feather-Raft, a lightweight raft perfectly suited for a variety of outdoor water sports. The patented design was an iterative process to craft, and Elias shares an array of hurdles he had to
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  Veteran and long-time entrepreneur Patrick L. Hughes Sr. joined us to discuss his life, the various businesses he has started, and his thoughts about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Throughout the conversation, Patrick shares his entrepreneurial roots growing up as the child of a sharecropper, his various companies and side hustles, all the way to his successful government consulting firm, Hughes Group LLC. Hughes is the winner of the National Minority
    Many people want to start their own businesses but end up hesitating because of a lack of funds. But a lot of entrepreneurs have proven that starting a self-funded business is still possible even without much capital. Our host Gary Schoeniger is joined by Melissa Weed, founder of Pittsburg, Kansas-based cleaning business Honey Does LLC.   During their conversation, Gary and Melissa unpacked her journey towards being an entrepreneur, her relationship with education