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BGBS 009: Ari Weinzweig | Zingerman’s | Manifesting a Shared Vision of Anarchy, Philosophy, Beliefs, Pastrami, and Social Good

BGBS 009: Ari Weinzweig | Zingerman’s | Manifesting a Shared Vision of Anarchy, Philosophy, Beliefs, Pastrami, and Social Good

BGBS 009: Ari Weinzweig | Zingerman’s | Manifesting a Shared Vision of Anarchy, Philosophy, Beliefs, Pastrami, and Social Good

00:00 / 01:06:46


We all have our own thoughts, beliefs, and problems. But it’s how we handle them that makes a difference in the world. Everyone should be able to pursue the life of their dreams. And, everyone should be treated as an intelligent, creative human being. It’s about having respect for one another. That’s how Ari Weinzweig turned Zingerman’s into a $70-million-dollar, socially conscious business community.

You’ll Learn…

  • As a child, Ari wasn’t thinking about food and business; he was dealing with his parents’ divorce and remarriages
  • Moved from Chicago to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan and study Russian history focused on the anarchists
  • Started as a dishwasher and almost 40 years later is still working with some of the same people who have the same vision and have come to love each other
  • Make choices about partnerships, problems, and positives; communicate constructively to resolve conflict
  • Learning that most of the world does not function through love and understanding, despite what you were told or shown as a child  
  • Beliefs are not genetic, but learned; all of us have beliefs and take action based on them; when you change what you believe, you see things differently
  • Break Beliefs: Acknowledge that an issue exists, identify your belief and where it came from, and decide whether you want to change it or not
  • Studied anarchy because of his fascination with real people’s stories regarding freedom and free thinking – a positive belief in human beings
  • Understand imperfection is normal and natural; minimize problems and outweigh them through positivity
  • People thought he was going to fail when he opened the business, which is true of any meaningful work; such fear and concern has never left him
  • Customers want to feel good and be treated well, so Zingerman’s makes food fun and creates an experience by knowing its strengths and weaknesses
  • Enjoy life, work hard, and share what you have with those who don’t
  • Free Choice: Choosing not to go is different than not being allowed to go


Zingerman’s Community of Business

Books by Ari Weinzweig

Ari Weinzweig’s Articles in The Atlantic

12 laws of building a great company from one of America’s most innovative small-business owners

Ari Weinzweig: The 12 Natural Laws of Business

Zingerman’s Deli

Zing Train

Transformed by Judith and Bob Wright

Jo Labadie

Carne Ross

Gustav Landauer

Monahan’s Seafood Market

Arthur C. Clarke













iTunes Stitcher
BGBS 008: Marc Hyman and Zak Penn | Writing Hollywood Blockbuster Movies by Osmosis

BGBS 008: Marc Hyman and Zak Penn | Writing Hollywood Blockbuster Movies by Osmosis

BGBS 008: Marc Hyman and Zak Penn | Writing Hollywood Blockbuster Movies by Osmosis

00:00 / 01:06:34


Do you like movies? Have you seen Osmosis Jones, The Avengers, Antz, or Ready Player One? Well, today’s guests, Marc Hyman and Zak Penn, are not only well-known Hollywood screenwriters, but friends who have shaped my life and of course my view on story. So, I’m glad you’re listening as we stroll down Memory Lane to share their backstory about stories they write that resonate with millions of people.

You’ll Learn…

  • Becoming writers at a young age and their first breaks in the movie business
  • Write something different or offbeat; if it doesn’t get made, it’s far from a failure, but often the key to a career
  • How Hollywood and movies have changed; now watched on small screens and mostly limited to superheroes, so it’s difficult to be a feature film screenwriter
  • Hunger for Story: People like watching well-told stories
  • Differences between watching a movie in a theater with a community vs. a small screen that offers instant access and intimate setting
  • Most common mistakes made with storytelling include not having a full story; the ending is the most important part
  • Why are there bad movies? It’s hard to make things good due to collaboration
  • Animated movies are usually better than live action movies because of the way they’re made – workshopped
  • Rhythm of a story and storyboarding identifies what works and what doesn’t
  • Backstory is a reflection of story; it may reveal character/story development by making up a character’s actions, motivation, psychological baggage, and flaws
  • Some of the best movies ever made use backstory to keep you on your toes and add complexity to the story and characters
  • Have gratitude, help others and effect them in a positive way, and remind yourself that you have nothing to complain about
  • Failure early in your career can help you to learn what’s good and to look back on it fondly
  • Whenever you make something good, it comes back to you


Osmosis Jones

Dr. Dolittle 2

Meet the Fockers

The Perfect Score

How To Train Your Dragon

Madagascar 3

The Last Action Hero

X-Men 2

X-Men: The Last Stand

The Incredible Hulk

The Avengers



Toy Story

Ready Player One

Rock Star

Out for Justice

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

Big Top Pee-wee

Death Wish

Die Hard

Being John Malkovich

Strictly Ballroom

Get Out

American Sniper

Crazy Rich Asians

Jack Ryan

Clear and Present Danger

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Wonder Wheel



Reign of Fire




Reservoir Dogs

The Hateful Eight

Citizen Kane

The Iron Giant


“Writing something that’s offbeat and doesn’t get made, it’s far from a failure. It’s often the key to a career.”- Zak Penn

“Hunger for Story: People like watching stories. They just like a good story well told.” – Zak Penn

“Backstory is the motivation of character because we live in a world where Hollywood believes that it’s nurture.” – Marc Hyman

“Whenever you make something good, it does come back to you.” – Zak Penn


iTunes Stitcher


BGBS 007: Brian Smith | UGG | Living Joyously As a Tadpole

BGBS 007: Brian Smith | UGG | Living Joyously As a Tadpole

BGBS 007: Brian Smith | UGG | Living Joyously As a Tadpole

00:00 / 00:47:02


What do goosebumps, surfing, Pink Floyd, and sheep have to do with building a billion-dollar brand? Well, for UGG boots, just about everything! You see them everywhere – the beach, mountains, cities – wherever there are chilly feet. The fashionable and functional UGG brand was founded by 70-year-old Brian Smith, who has a youthful spirit and infinite wisdom. Brian’s success in building a brand is a mix of philosophy, mysticism, business acumen, and emotion.

You’ll Learn…

  • Growing up in Australia, Brian was into surfing and sports, not shoes; never thought he was going to be an entrepreneur
  • Brian’s tenacity to never give up on things; he was good at a lot of things, but not the best at anything
  • Power of Song Lyrics: Motivation to get up and do something
  • One time after surfing, Brian put on his sheepskin boots from Australia and realized that they should be the “next big thing” in America
  • You can’t give birth to adults; every new business has to go through stages: Conception, birth, infancy, youth, teenager, and maturity
  • Send the right image to your target audience; make customers want something
  • Quit or Not Quit: Took years to earn just a small salary from the business
  • Overcoming his fear of sales and rejection; realized they weren’t rejecting him
  • Dreams going down the drain that led to blessings; enjoying what you do, not working hard, making lots of money, and having fun
  • The quickest way for a tadpole to become a frog is to live every day happily
  • Goosebumps: A decision that’s in alignment with what you’re supposed to do gives you a spark of spirituality to let you know you’re on the right track
  • Have faith and take action, even if you don’t know where you’re going; don’t give up when desperate
  • Sometimes staying in the game is more important than dominating the game to ultimately be successful


Brian Smith

The Birth of a Brand


Oprah’s Favorite Things

Quotes by Brian Smith:

“One thing that I had when I was a kid that sort of led to why I became what I did, is that tenacity to never give up on things.”

“I was never interested in dropping everything else. I was really good at lots of things, but not the best at any.”

“You can’t give birth to adults.”

“The fear of rejection was really, really very strong with me.”


iTunes Stitcher


BGBS 006: Ryan Evans | Inboard Technology | Stoked! From Kitebro to Electric Vehicle CEO

BGBS 006: Ryan Evans | Inboard Technology | Stoked! From Kitebro to Electric Vehicle CEO

BGBS 006: Ryan Evans | Inboard Technology | Stoked! From Kitebro to Electric Vehicle CEO

00:00 / 00:46:26

Dynamic, charismatic, intelligent, passionate, storyteller, athlete, leader, and futurist are words that describe Ryan Evans of Inboard Technology. It’s a transportation company that strives to have fewer cars on the road and replace them with short-range, electric vehicles. Ryan and his partner, Theo, are two passionate action sports athletes looking to redefine electric vehicles and urban transportation by offering an e-transportation suite of innovative, safe, and fun vehicles.

You’ll Learn…

  • Marc’s first memory of Ryan: Kiteboarding in the middle of the Pamlico Sound where it’s raining and windy; Ryan is screaming, “Yeah… Gutmaaaaan!”
  • As a kid, if Ryan had a robot that broke, he would open it and find the electronics; Theo would open it, figure out how it worked, rebuild it, and make it better
  • Theo was an early influence on Ryan; support from mentors and others made a difference in Ryan’s pursuit
  • Most entrepreneurs don’t realize how complex and challenging something will be; you need to have drive and passion because you can’t fake it
  • How Inbound went from being in a dusty garage to actual office space with carpeting and adding locations in Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles
  • A consistent feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing what he was doing made Ryan realize that he needed to embrace opportunities and risks to grow
  • Inboard’s future involves making its products better, beautiful, safer, and easy to use to empower riders
  • Concept of Freedom: Ryan has always had a thirst for living life to its fullest
  • Create value in this world by improving the lives of the people around you; have a vision to build a community, inspire people, be a leader, and have fun


Inboard Technology


Pure Action Sports Best Kiteboarding

Zero Motorcycles

Toby Corey

Elon Musk Biography


“You just knew he was destined for bigger things.” – Marc Gutman

“Naivete. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.” – Ryan Evans

“I think for a lot of entrepreneurs, you don’t have any idea how complex, how challenging it’s going to be. You’ve got to have that drive and that passion.” – Ryan Evans

“Our goal was…we want to give this freedom to everybody. That was always in our DNA.” – Ryan Evans


iTunes Stitcher


BGBS 005: Matt Kazam | Laughing At Business

BGBS 005: Matt Kazam | Laughing At Business

BGBS 005: Matt Kazam | Laughing At Business

00:00 / 01:01:29


Matt Kazam is a headlining comedian in Las Vegas. With 29 years of experience, he has performed more than 6,000 shows in 42 states and seven countries. Matt founded They Laugh You Win which leverages his experience and the power of humor to provide the highest level of corporate entertainment, innovative and entertaining training programs, and face-to-face marketing content. Matt’s energetic style, witty observations, and unassuming charm are the driving forces behind his unique and hilarious comedy and learning events. Through humor, Matt has taught thousands of people and helped hundreds of companies accomplish their goals. After all, we all like to laugh, even at work, because it feels good.

You’ll Learn…

  • Matt was introduced to comedy while still in the womb; began performing for family and friends at 3 years old and started making money from it at age 6
  • Humor in business – not about your sense of humor, but understanding how to make others laugh; think about your audience first and yourself second
  • Can maintain your core essence and be authentic, even if you tweak your routine for the audience to increase engagement, build trust, and make a connection
  • As a shy, chubby child growing up in New York, Matt could either learn how to fight or learn how to be funny; used comedy as a defense mechanism
  • Create a career in comedy by understanding the science of it; only two reasons why people laugh – commonality and superiority
  • Matt’s Obstacles: Getting fired, his venue being blown up, and overcoming Guillain-Barre Syndrome; find humor in dark moments to make situations better
  • 40 is not the New 20: Matt’s show is not just his story, but “our” story; good comedians look at the world like it’s a funny place, great ones don’t
  • Matt uses comedy to do good; performs at hospitals and other places where people are in need of comic relief
  • They Laugh You Win: Humor is a form of verbal and non-verbal communication; it’s the universal language
  • Being funny can be taught; funny lives inside all of us, and we’re born comedians
  • Three Rings of Stand Up Comedy: Public speaking, performing, and joke writing


Matt Kazam’s Website

They Laugh You Win

Matt Kazam on LinkedIn

Pat Cooper

Chris Rock

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Quotes by Matt Kazam:

“I’ve been using the power of story pretty much my whole life, so I understand why it’s valuable.”

“Something I learned pretty early on is that it didn’t really matter about my sense of humor. It was about me understanding, how could I make them laugh.”

“If you use humor, people are going to be way more empathetic toward your cause.”

“Back then, if you weren’t funny, they cut off your head. Now, if you’re not funny, they give you an HBO special.”


iTunes Stitcher