LIFT Your Story with Mike Montague Global Head of Content at Sandler Training and Founder of Playful Humans Podcast and Community


“Can You Come Out And Play?” … a line we forget about when we become adults.  Sometimes I think that when we have children, for some of us, it’s an excuse to buy all the toys we wanted ourselves as children because we miss playing too.

To Mike it’s been a passion project for him to help adults rediscover the power of play.  He speaks to the “creative nerdery”, a term he and his cousins came up with which related to being playful.  Thinking back on that reminded him how much fun it was to play.

Mike shares that once he became an adult he started taking himself too seriously and although he realized this two years ago, it ramped up during the pandemic.  Working remotely became harder to have fun. 

Although his career, which was in radio and in advertising, did provide some playful moments, he still felt that he was still losing touch with having fun. 

Mike has done a lot of research over the past year, and interviewed several people who live in the “play for a living” world on his podcast Playful Humans.  He has also done scientific research, interviewing experts around play, creativity and innovation.  He says that those who play more are more attractive because they smile more, are more physically fit, more productive, more successful and have less stress.

Our culture still talks about working and grinding and having to put in the hours to be successful, yet research proves this not to be true. 

So are you ready to come out and play?  Then visit, become part of the community and take the quiz to find out what kind of playful human you are!  And be sure to listen to the Podcast by the same name.

More about Mike’s other world that we didn’t touch on because we were so intrigued by the playfulness!

Mike is also the author of LinkedIn the Sandler Way and an international social selling expert for Sandler Training, the world’s largest sales training organization. He also hosts the very popular How to Succeed podcast with over 450 episodes and over 1.75 Million total downloads!  You can also find Mike at

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LIFT Your Story with Dialogue Doctor Jeff Elkins Writer Editor and Ghostwriter


Jeff runs a service called Dialogue Doctor by night and works for a tech company Simmersion  by day.  Simmersion is a business that simulates difficult conversations for professionals to work with.  Jeff leads the writing team.  He sits down with world experts and as a professional mimick, he produces zoom like videos with Artificial Intelligence which are used to help people simulate difficult conversations.  This is where he began his ghostwriting and novels.  Jeff has 10 novels out, including two series – one mystery and the other urban fantasy.

One of the areas they deal with is Suicide Prevention.  He says when talking to someone who has suicidal ideations, you need to practice the critical conversation.  Jeff says that the skills he hones during the day transfer into his novels.

Jeff said he learned that it was important to network with other authors.  After “taking” from the community, he decided it was time to give back.  He began teaching how to write dialogue to authors.  He has just finished a 20 week master course.  He has a free podcast and newsletter that you can get at   Jeff says dialogue is what engages the characters in the story.  It is how we connect – through conversation.

Jeff worked as a preacher for 15 years before becoming a writer.  He said he learned so much more when he had to teach something then when he sat in a class.  So when he was teaching his master course he said he too was learning.  Dialogue Daisy is one concept he created for the course and it is available on as well.  He says it has to do with going from the roots, to the stem and then to the blossom of a character’s voice, and the components and how to build them as a character.

We discussed words to avoid like the “but” and “actually” both of which are used so often by people without knowledge of the impact they have.  Writing dialogue is about using words strategically.  Jeff gave examples of words from an antagonist to a protagonist, and vice versa, which was really interesting!

Jeff shared with us that he was dyslexic as a child and avoided english at any cost.  As a high achiever, the only class he failed in College was English, and this was discouraging.  However, he persevered and an experience where he was sitting in a Deacon’s meeting changed his life.  At the end he was asked to write everything down from the meeting in a pamphlet.  Jeff wrote a 30 page pamphlet and was told he should write more.  He went online and took a course at and started writing short stories, and hence began his writing career.

When asked if he was now doing something he loves, he said he was “doing something he loves to do, and something that loves him back”.

If you are looking for help with writing, editing or would like to have someone write your book as a ghostwriter, or if you would like to get one of his books, you can reach Jeff at or at

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LIFT Your Story with Candy Leigh Author of Life In Between and Women Empowerment Coach


“Shame and Pain”.  This was telling.  

We learned a lot today about the importance of finding yourself.  Candy shared with us the thoughts that prompted her to drive from Winsconsin to South Carolina, and the realization that her focus was shifted along the way.  Thus was born her book Life In Between.

We just love the stories, and Candy did throw us off when she spoke to a back injury.  What would your guess what that sport was?  We won’t tell.  You have to listen to find out.

Thank you, Candy, for this inspiring chat about your journey that is definitely an asset as you empower women.

Find out more about yourself by going to  

More about Candy:

Meet Candy Leigh, author of Finding Life In Between, and Women’s Empowerment Coach.

Candy holds her Masters in Communications and has over 15 years of professional coaching experience. She is certified in mediation and negotiation, coaching, adult training techniques, and change management.

Those who know her best would say she’s an excellent listener, a big thinker, an adventurer, and a free spirit.

By Human Design, Candy is a 1/3 Reflector, and she enjoys collaborating with others who are learning more about living life according to their purpose.

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LIFT Your Story with Jase Kraft owner of Perfect My Podcast


How did Jase get into Podcasting?  He came upon it by chance.  Great story about his beginnings in Software Sales turned Podcaster.

Jase shares with us his framework which he shares with people struggling at the onset.

Listen and find out about his tips on:

  • Getting the guests
  • When asking the guest – what angle to take
  • About the audience
  • How to approach your guests
  • What to tell your guest about your podcast
  • How to know what to talk about
  • How to follow up

Jase has created a Podcast community where you can find links to get togethers, and an event coming up “Podcasters Growth Summit” which will feature a Top 10 Podcast Host (to be announced), information of which you can acquire by joining his facebook group Podcasters Connection.  

Jase has also started another Podcast “Science Of Sports Recovery”.

Thank you, Jase, for this every insightful episode. 🙂

You can find Jase at, on Facebook at or via email at

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LIFT Your Story with Rob Roseman Former Professional Poker Player Podcaster Author and Dad


Rob is a dad to three childen 8, 6 and 3.  When he left his professional poker playing profession he didn’t know what he was going to do with himself so he decided to start a podcast.  He started interviewing his friends and neighbors about being a dad, and ended up getting some bigger guests like Jessie Itzler and Pat Flynn and decided he was getting so much good advice and tips, he decided to take the quotes and nuggets and put them in a book to share with other dads.  He learned to self publish and now his book Dad The Best I can is now on amazon, and is also the name of his podcast.  He says it’s like therapy to him as well.

He said that Pat Flynn was the one that encouraged and inspired him to do his podcast.  

Asked how he became a Professional Poker Player, Rob explains that he said he always played highschool games and college games with his buddies in college and was a trader in Chicago and worked on the floor, always fast pace, and once he burned out of that career, he was asked to play in Vegas.  He had a big score and at 30 decided why not.   Moved out to Vegas on a whim, met his wife, had his three children and stayed there for 11 years.  He says “it’s a hard way to make an easy living”.  He shares about his experience and what it was like, and how it relates to entrepreneurship and life. 

We spoke about the fact that there really isn’t anything out there to ready you for divorce.  Rob mentioned that Clubhouse has been a great place for support, and so too podcasts regarding divorce and learning from others.  He found it interesting that his 50/50 custody seems to be an anomaly.   Rob also explained that women tend to build relationships easier in the thirties and forties, however it is not as easy for men, yet it is so important to have them and not isolate yourself.

Rob discusses what he calls the “married to divorce gap”.  At this point you have some telling you how you must be happy to be single and free, and others showering you with pity.  It can be confusing.  It’s important for men to look at their egos, and to be able to recognize their weak spots and to deal with what is going on, not suppress it.

You can find Rob’s book Dad The Best I Can on Amazon which includes 52 tips from other dads, and he is on Instagram @dadthebestican.

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LIFT Your Story with Barry Ball Speakerpreneur Leadership Enthusiast Coach and Podcaster


“I haven’t reached my full potential”, says Barry.  We all agree that we never really do.  The secret is to keep striving for that.  As we do, our potential increases all the time.

What a wonderful story Barry shares about his life, his accomplishments, and his period of loss of self after his health resulted in being discharged from the military.

Barry is now helping to coach businesses, and with that, he also inspires veterans to find their purpose.  He encourages them to consider entrepreneurship, stating that the world of entrepreneurship is so different to a “retired” veteran.  The steady income is not there, so the guidance on how to deal with that change is what Barry is there to do.

Barry also volunteers for a non-profit organization that supports low income and homeless veterans.  He states it’s really hard to get the real statistics on how many are homeless, as the numbers can be skewed based on those who may find shelter for even a day at a family member’s residence.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Barry tells of his youth, his need to hustle, his determination, and the one woman who changed his life, and the other woman who supported him all along the way.  A truly inspiring story.

You can find Barry at, on YouTube at Barry Ball Inspires, and on LinkedIn.  Barry has also started his podcast Leadership Library.

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LIFT Your Story with Robby Yates Co-Founder of Follow App and Podcast Host of Where The Fortune Is


Have you ever been at a networking meeting and sitting at a table where the conversation is great, however the potential business is not there?  Did you ever feel that there has to be a better way of knowing who is in that room that may be a great connection for you, or even someone who can introduce you to a potential client?  Robert (Robby) Yates and his partner came up with the perfect solution – the Follow App.  Essentially what it allows you to do is to know who is in the room and you can connect with them in whatever means they feel more comfortable.  It could be via text, or email, or face to face.  Robby says it “essentially helps you network like a Jedi Master”.

There are several other benefits to Robby’s app.   We discussed the anxiety of networking, and for some people it may mean that you end up being a “cling on” to that one face that is familiar.  The Follow App is a non-intrusive way to meet with someone with a pre-introduction to who you are and what you do.  It shortens the time of “working the room” to find the ideal contact.

Robby’s background is diverse.  He is a veteran of the US Coast Guard where he served as a corpsman.  He tells of his reason for changing his path in his career, which is very valid.

With a plan in place for his transition he earned his bachelor’s in Nuclear Medicine from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  He moved back to the Memphis area where he worked in sales with a logistics and insurance company.

Robby aslo serves on the Board of the Saving Lost Kids Restoration Project, supporting the non-profit’s efforts to build the largest, long term care and restoration facility in the U.S. for children who have been recovered from child sex-trafficking.

He thanks his faith in God for where he is today.

You can listen to his Podcast by going to
and for more information about the app visit  Robby is also on LinkedIn @Robert Yates.

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LIFT Your Story with Doc Grayson Professor Author Handwriting Expert Radio Announcer and Magician


What a great time with Dave Grayson, who we endearingly call Doc.  

Doc is one of those people that you just rejoice when he is around.  Kind, grateful, compassionate, empathetic, very smart and engaging.

Doc is dyslexic and discusses his conquering this, and the fact that he has done everything he has has wanted to in life, from teacher, to Principal, to radio announcer in Chicago, to being a magician, and an expert in Handwriting Analysis.

Doc has battled with diabetes the past few years, and although they keep giving him an estimated date of passing, and he accepts this, he said it appears the other side is just not ready for him yet. Two years later he remains with us, blessing us with his wisdom and kindness.

What a great journey.  A gem to have on our Podcast!

You can purchase his books on Amazon and Ebay.

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