Jennifer is the owner and founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Company. The speed-hiker set a new overall thru-hike record on the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail by completing it in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. It was the quickest recorded completion of the iconic East Coast trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. Davis began her journey from Mount Katahdin in Maine, the trail’s northern terminus and ended at Springer Mountain, Georgia on July 31, 2011. To break the record, Davis hiked an average of almost 50 miles a day, camping along the trail
Founded in 2008, Blue Ridge Hiking Co. is committed to getting people outdoors on their own terms. By providing custom trips and individualized itineraries, they create trips for a backpacking novices or groups seeking a challenge.
Jen’s adventures have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. She has appeared on national television shows such as CNN Headline News, Fox and Friends, the CBS Early Show and the 700 Club. Jennifer has been named Blue Ridge Outdoors Person of the Year and a National Geographic Adventurer of the year. Her Appalachian Trail record was voted Ultrarunning Magazine’s Female Performance of 2011.
Jenn’s Challenge; Go outside and spend 20 minutes alone in nature.
Sophia is the CEO and co-founder of Trusst Lingerie, a company that has reengineered the bra for larger-busted women. She left her job as a product manager in August of 2014 to co-found her company and enter the AlphaLab Gear accelerator in Pittsburgh.
Sophia comes on the show and discusses launching her first product, running a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $80k with just a $25k goal, and building her team.
Trusst’s first product launched in October 2015 and will be delivered in the spring. Check it out!
Sophia’s Challenge; Track your fitness for 100 days. 100 day challenges will help you build new effective habits.
Today feature article
Want to learn about the photography business? What about a creative foundation aimed at empowering women and sharing impactful stories? Meet John Craig.
John has been a photographer for over 25 years and has photographed everything from weddings and portraits, to landscape photography and corporate gigs. John likes to keep tons of side projects going to keep the machine oiled and as such has an incredible "Pittsburgh at Night" collection that has been on display in several gallery shows throughout the 'Burgh. Also pretty savvy with the film side of a camera, John has a pretty impressive portfolio of films for local events, small business commercials, special interest projects and random awesome people (like his wife).
John started The Beauty Within Foundation with his wife Elizabeth. The foundation’s mission is to inspire and empower women to not only recognize their outer beauty through photography, but also their beauty within through storytelling. The project aims to reach women that have survived, achieved or triumphed over difficult circumstances that challenged their self-confidence, their sense of self or their power and are utilizing those experiences to inspire and empower other individuals or communities.
Their site is a collection of these stories and photos that can be viewed, shared and used as a resource of strength and inspiration with the hope that women from all around the world will read these stories, see these photos and realize, no matter what they are going through, they are not alone.
John’s Challenge; Go on a walk and take 5 pictures of things that go unnoticed
Connect with John
Beauty Within Foundation
Scott Wolovich started New Sun Rising to help incubate social enterprises and artists in the greater Pittsburgh area. The organization’s mission is to empower creative projects in the Pittsburgh region through fiscal sponsorship, mentoring, and community building.
New Sun Rising ignites, launches, and grows impact throughout the social innovation ecosystem. Their programs operate at the intersection of people + place + innovation. They also help non-profits and for profits build, test, and implement plans that funders love.
We discussed non-profits v. for-profit organizations, courting investors and much more.
Scott’s Challenge; Carry a notebook to get ideas out of your head and into the world.
The Do Something Principle - Mark Manson
“Ah, so you run a lifestyle business?” - Happy Startup School
Social Enterprise: An Idea Whose Time Has Come - British Council
Connect with Scott
Alan shared an hour of his time to explain how he was able to retire at 35 and lays out the principles by which he lived.
Alan’s three core principles
Alan discusses the merits of going back to school to get a graduate degree. He also explains why living in a low-cost city like Pittsburgh was a boon and how he lost more than 100 lbs after he retired.
Alan’s Challenge; Keep a journal of all your expenses for one week and reflect on necessary vs. discretionary purchases. By investing savings in securities generating an average of 10%/year (i.e. total stock market funds), in 20 years, each dollar saved could turn into $7. If you’d rather have the $7, automate your savings.
Connect with Alan
ark is a partner at a public relations and advertising agency based in Pittsburgh. He helps clients achieve results in a multitude of difficult environments. In episode 30, he talks about running a boutique advertising and public affairs firm that specializes in political campaigns and issue advocacy.
His company was named to on of Inc.’s 1000 fastest growing companies in the country by helping candidates, causes, and corporations achieve their goals through television, radio, print, digital, grassroots, and earned media.
On Advertising by David Ogilvy
Confessions of an Ad Man by David Ogilvy
The Real Mad Men: The Renegades of Madison Avenue and the Golden Age of Advertising by Andrew Cracknell
Mark’s Challenge; Take someone that you haven’t seen in awhile out to lunch.
Connect with Mark