The Launching Point with Mike O'Toole

The Launching Point is a one-day a week interview-based podcast designed to uncover the transformative nature of launching into entrepreneurship through the telling of successful entrepreneurs' before and after stories of what it’s really like launching into the world of entrepreneurship. Each episode features a different entrepreneur weaving a narrative of who they were as a person before making the life-changing decision to launch into entrepreneurship, what obstacles they had to overcome to reach their launching point, and ends by hearing about who they are today and them providing actionable advice.
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The Launching Point with Mike O'Toole


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Dec 21, 2015

Kim Kaupe, the co-founder of ZinePak, was a naturally curious, outgoing, and gregarious child that had no intentions of becoming an entrepreneur.  She met her co-founder right as she was becoming disillusioned with corporate life and they began to innovate in the physical products space as CD sales were declining rapidly.  Today, she is more confident than ever as her company is experiencing strong and consistent growth.

Dec 14, 2015

Brian Clark, the founder of Copyblogger and Rainmaker Digital, was in law school when he already started thinking of an exit strategy.  After spending a few years as a lawyer, the emergence of the Internet sparked his curiosity and he began spotting opportunities for making money.  He quit being a lawyer and pursued entrepreneurship full-time.  Today, he has started nine businesses with eight of them being successful while learning to become well rounded in all aspects of his life.

Dec 7, 2015

Lindsay White, the owner and designer of Lot801, got a 9-to-5 job right out of college and worked her way up in the company.  After her boss told her that he was going to retire soon and would like to pass the business down to a few employees including her, she ultimately came to terms with the fact that she hated what she was doing.  When she was looking for non-gender specific items for her daughter and couldn't find any, the light bulb went on.  A year and a half later and she has been able to quit her job and pursue what she loves full-time.

Nov 30, 2015

Swami Tirtha, owner of The Hip Guru's Guide, started as a regular guy from the suburbs, but when he was a freshman in college, both of his parents were killed in a car accident.  He discovered meditation as a way to help move forward and it ended up being the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey.  Today is is a speaker, educator, monk, shaman, and energy healer.

Nov 23, 2015

Jason Treu, an author and business and executive coach, was in law school when he observed that most lawyers were not happy with their career choice.  He decided to pivot and pursue the life that he loved, but was faced with the death of his father and a girlfriend that tried to commit suicide.  In the midst of these obstacles, he persevered and grew a business that today allows him to be authentic and generous and help VPs get unstuck and find their purpose.

Nov 16, 2015

Peter Merit, the owner of Custom Business Planning and Solutions, worked in the corporate world for decades, traveling all over the world and constantly on the road.  After an unreasonable travel request was made right around Thanksgiving, his wife told him to quit.  So he did and he's never looked back.

Nov 9, 2015

Lea Pica, an analytics, data visualizations, and presentations consultant, always found herself as an unconventional round peg trying to fit herself in a square corporate hole.  After having her first child and returning to the corporate world, she couldn't ignore the feeling that time spent away from her family should be towards something meaningful.  She started presenting on data visualizations and it was an instant hit even if a bit controversial.  Things began to progress from there and today she continues to present and train companies and individuals.  Listen to Lea's podcast, The Present Beyond Measure Podcast, at

Nov 2, 2015

Joshua Dorkin, creator of, started his entrepreneurial journey in college when he built an online directory for colleges and universities around the world.  Later, he became a real estate investor and, when he couldn't find information online to help solve his problems, he started his own website to share what he was learning and benefit others.  Today, has grown to be an authority in the real estate investing space.

Oct 26, 2015

Agie Sundaram, the co-founder of Span Enterprises, spent 11 years as a cruise ship photographer before starting his own photography business.  After having an epiphany at a photography conference and seeing his future should he stay on this path, he put everything on the line to grow a software business.  Today, his company offers a variety of tax related web-based software.

Oct 19, 2015

Yoram Baltinester is the founder of Decisive Action Workshops.  Born and raised in Israel, he chose to go down the corporate IT path before he was laid off in 2001.  Seizing an opportunity to start an IT consulting business with a coworker that had also been laid off, Yoram build it into a profitable business and sold it several years later to focus on his passion.  Today he is a personal development coach and is living his dream.

Oct 12, 2015

In honor of ADHD awareness month, Eric Tivers, the owner of Tivers Clinical Specialties, shares his journey of launching into entrepreneurship despite being diagnosed with ADD in college.  He was able to overcome that as an obstacle and launch a successful business helping those with ADHD and with high-functioning Autism.

Oct 7, 2015

Jacob Cramer, the founder of Love for the Elderly, was only 13 years old when he came up with an idea to send letters to the residents of nursing homes after volunteering in a nursing home.  Today, he has grown it into a global organization that has delivered over 10,000 letters to nursing homes all over the country and he's only 15.

Oct 5, 2015

Sahara Wright, CEO of The CEO Effect, graduated from law school and went to work in family law.  After she discovered she hated it, she tried to look for a job in business law.  But after not being able to land a job in that area, she decided to make her own way and started her own law firm.  Today, she helps small business owners think more strategically about their businesses.

Sep 28, 2015

Rueben Wood is a celebrity journalist, media icon, and chef.  He graduated from high school and got a taste of the music industry, but through a series of events brought on by bad management, he found himself homeless on the streets of Atlanta.  He had a vision to start a media magazine for independent artists and launched the idea with no money in his pocket.  Today, only four years later, he is fully supporting himself through his business ventures.

Sep 21, 2015

Jan Spence, a professional speaker, sales trainer, one-on-one coach for small businesses, and business consultant, got her first taste of entrepreneurship when she was just 15, but it was after her husband had been laid off for the second time in two years from his "secure" job that they decided it was time to take the risk and make the move fully into owning their own business.

Sep 14, 2015

Dre Baldwin, an athlete, entrepreneur, author, publisher, speaker, and marketing and branding expert, played basketball for a division III school, but had a goal of playing professionally.  He became an accidental entrepreneur after posting a tryout video on YouTube and people started commenting and asking him questions.  Today, he has over 4000 videos posted and a strong fanbase that he has been successful monetizing.

Sep 9, 2015

Maura Sweeny, an author, podcaster, international speaker, and Huffington Post contributor, was brought up to be an attorney in New Jersey, but realized that she was on a trajectory for a career path that she had no passion for.  It wasn't until she was 50 that she had the courage and confidence to step out on her own and be who she was always meant to be.

Sep 7, 2015

In this bonus episode, I talk about how well the podcast is doing in terms of listens, how things will change now that New & Noteworthy has ended, how I am and how I plan to monetize, and my reasons for shifting from three episodes per week to one.

Sep 4, 2015

Dean Roberts, author of I'll Fix My Head Before I'm Dead and a serial entrepreneur, was kicked out of school at 16 and went into the Navy.  After a short corporate career, he went into the family business, began to find his way, and turned it into the largest doll house manufacturer in the world.

Sep 2, 2015

Kelly Mccauley, the owner of Solo Smarts, was a broke, single mother doing desktop publishing for her church office.  Her need to make extra money and pay her bills was the beginning of what turned into a successful business around meeting the needs of solopreneurs.

Aug 31, 2015

Chris Burns, owner of Burn It Up business coaching, graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering, but it wasn't his passion.  He got caught up in the party scene and eventually ended up getting arrested and spending the night in a jail cell.  It was at that low moment that he realized he needed to be using his gifts and talents to help better the world and change the path he was on.  Today he is the owner of a successful and growing coaching business and is filled with gratitude and possibility.

Aug 28, 2015

Janelle and Rob Alex, Relationship and Intimacy Experts, both started at a young age down the entrepreneurial path.  After getting married, they bought a business that all they owned was tied to. The recession hit and they lost everything including their home.  They clawed their way back and took all they learned in their marriage and today have found success in the relationship and intimacy arena.

Aug 26, 2015

Allen Vaysberg, owner of Amiveris Entreprises, Inc, started his career in IT to go after the money, but quickly realized his passion was in marketing and working with people.  He founded an IT company that collapsed after 9/11 and left him in $300K in personal debt.  He picked himself up and started a second business that was very successful, but he still hadn't found his calling.  Today he has launched a business that is very much in line with who he is as a person.

Aug 24, 2015

Nicole K. Lundy is a money making brand strategist and lifestyle entrepreneur who worked on Wall Street before being put on disability for anxiety and depression.  She decided to make a change and launch into business for herself instead of keep going down that path.

Aug 21, 2015

Vance Morris, the founder and CEO of Deliver Service Now Institute, started a franchise after getting laid off for a second time.  But just two weeks after signing the paperwork, his wife nearly died.  They decided to go forward and today, his business is very successful and he has taken all that he has learned and spawned a second business.

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