Welcome to The Small Business Show!

Each week Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean discuss topics related to starting, growing and managing your small business. You’ll find real-world advice from ourselves as well as from other business owners. Listen in and learn from our mistakes, share your successes and generally have a good time talking about small businesses.

Listen to the latest episodes of The Small Business Show below and subscribe to keep listening each week.

Connect with us on Twitter @BusinessShowCo and Facebook.com/businessshow.co

You can also leave us a voicemail message or send us a text at 401-472-4249. Ask a question, tell a story or make a comment that we can share on the show!

Building Trust and Using Referrals to Grow Your Small Business – Bjorn Burnett Interview– Small Business Show 176

building trust and referrals for small business

As Small Business owners, building and keeping trust with potential and existing customers is critical to our success. Join us today on the Small Business Show for an interview with Bjorn Burnett, a Small Business owner in the insurance and financial planning field.

Bjorn has transitioned to a 2nd career in the insurance and finance field and shares how he came up with a system to add value to clients to gain referrals and then convert those referrals to future clients.

Listen into the show, then ask questions and comment in the Small Business Support Group. We look forward to seeing you there!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #176 for Wednesday, June 20, 2018
  • 00:00:42 Second (or third!) career
  • 00:01:17 Interview: Bjorn Burnett
  • 00:02:30 Putting out fires… and not the business kind!
  • 00:03:00 What else can I do with my life?
  • 00:05:06 Made my own stupid financial decisions… and then took a class
  • 00:06:12 What does it take to be an advisor?
  • 00:06:37 The reality of not making any money right away
  • 00:08:43  Preparing for the Cash Flow Shift
  • 00:12:00 The Referral Key
    • “Bring us 300 People to Call”
  • 00:13:22 Discipline and Consistency: Be Prepared to Ask for the Referral
  • 00:15:34 Add Value First
  • 00:17:42 Become a therapist – Get used to heavy conversations
  • 00:18:56 How do you build trust?
  • 00:22:10 Consistency in approach across multiple clients
  • 00:23:07 Identify the idea client
  • 00:24:46 Favorite mistake?
  • 00:27:45 Expanding to the non-local solopreneur
  • 00:29:03 SBS Outtro

Finding and Keeping Initiative for Your Small Business – Small Business Show 175

small business initiativeGetting started with your Small Business can be challenging. Finding the initiative to power through obstacles is a critically important step on your path towards Small Business world domination. Join us today to hear our tips on startup initiative as well as steps to keep initiative going when you get in a slump and how to keep the fire of initiative lit with your employees’ and partners.

We have talked about creating your own reality and “tricking” your brain to turn it into a machine that will propel you to success when you’re just getting started, but what about when you hit the inevitable “rut” of running your Small Business? We can help you with that, as well.

And then there’s the people around you, your employees’ and partners that you may have to re-charge their initiative from time to time. Listen in and hear how your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have kept that fire lit over the years.

How about you? Share your experience, your tips and ask questions in the Small Business Support Group. Join 300+ Small Business owners, get and give help and find ways to rekindle that initiative we’re all looking for.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #175 for Wednesday, June 13, 2018
  • 00:02:22 Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know
  • 00:03:42 Shannon’s Get-Started List
    • Pretend there are no barriers
    • Unlimited Resources
  • Don’t let “common sense” to get in your way
  • 00:06:00 Share carefully
    • Share your ideas with Shannon and Dave – feedback@businessshow.co
  • 00:07:53 Getting out of a rut
    • Make a Task List
    • Manage Yourself
  • 00:11:31 Use Calculus every day
  • 00:12:00 When The River of Momentum Dries up
    • Write it down!
  • 00:13:33 Create a success list
  • 00:14:30 Look at your system
  • 00:15:43 The time to talk
  • 00:18:03 Be comfortable being vulnerable
  • 00:19:33 SPONSOR: Simple Contacts – Get $30 off at https://simplecontacts.com/sbs or enter SBS at checkout
  • 00:21:18 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:22:58 Creating initiative in others
  • 00:26:15 Changing/Breaking Habits
  • 00:29:11 Have the freedom to talk freely with your partners
  • 00:31:13 What is your passion project?
    • Fuel sideways thinking
    • Employee success lists
  • 00:34:49 Give people autonomy
  • TextExpander for Controlled Autonomy
  • 00:37:43 SBS 175 Outtro

How to End a Small Business Partnership – Small Business Show 174

ending a small business partnership

What happens if your Small Business partnership fails? What is the best way to handle ending a partnership to avoid a major battle and to keep your focus on the continued success of your company? Join us today on the Small Business Show to hear how Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton have ended partnerships without destroying friendships, finances and entire businesses.

So, you’re a regular listener to the Small Business Show, followed our advice and created your own reality with a thriving business and have started to live a Charmed Life when out nowhere, your business partner begins to lose interest and stops managing their part of the business. Despite your best attempts to fix the problem, you’ve come to the conclusion that ending the partnership is the only way to save your Small Business. How do you proceed?

On this episode of the Small Business Show, we discuss some creative ways to end a partnership while respecting all parties involved.

Listen in and then visit the Small Business Support Group to comment and share your own tips!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #174 for Wednesday, June 6, 2018
  • 00:01:43 “Almost halfway there”
  • 00:04:35 Creating your own reality
  • 00:05:01 “You’re almost finished!”
  • 00:05:36 About our sponsorships, and benchmarks of success
  • 00:07:33 SPONSOR: Simple Contacts – Get $30 off at https://simplecontacts.com/sbs or enter SBS at checkout
  • 00:09:22 SPONSOR: GoDesignerGo.com/SBS – SBS50
  • 00:10:54 end sponsor block
  • 00:10:54 Ending a partnership
  • 00:12:43 Don’t skip the Working Agreement
  • 00:14:03 Approach is everything
  • 00:15:06 Make the business and the end of it real
  • 00:18:25 Side business can suffer lack of attention
  • 00:20:00 Find an internal mediator
  • 00:20:34 Separate personal loyalty from business loyalty
  • 00:23:34 Don’t carry animosity
  • 00:25:15 Work on it together – “Same side of the table”
  • 00:27:30 Before hiring an attorney, talk through an earn out
  • 00:31:28 The value of walking away for $1
  • 00:33:41 Communication is key
  • 00:36:14 SBS 174 Outtro – feedback@businessshow.co

Small Business Systems vs. Goals and Complying with GDPR – Small Business Show 173

small business systems and gdpr compliance




Why are systems more important for your Small Business than goals? Join us today for episode 173 of the Small Business Show to learn more about this awesome technique to accelerate your success.

After the systems discussion, we jump into details of the recently enacted GDPR privacy and data management laws enacted by the EU. Does your Small Business need to worry about the GDPR? You’ll want to listen in to find out if you do and how to comply.

Listen in for all this and more, then join us on the Small Business Support Group to share your thoughts!

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #173 for Wednesday, May 30, 2018
  • 00:01:30 Goals vs. Systems
  • 00:07:12 Breakthroughs come from Systems
  • 00:07:58 Treat the carrot as the byproduct
  • 00:12:00 Your business is not THAT business, it’s YOUR business
  • 00:13:40 Contact Shannon and Dave: feedback@businessshow.co or Small Business Support Group
  • 00:13:52 The GDPR Talk
  • 00:18:38 The burden of GDPR
  • 00:21:02 The eventual poster child
  • 00:26:27 Act in Good Faith, Follow the Instructions
  • 00:28:06 Passwords are insufficient
  • 00:30:00 Protecting Customer Data and Privacy
  • 00:32:53 On the internet, we need speed limits, stop signs, and maybe even speed bumps
  • 00:35:58 SBS 173 Outtro

Essential Tools for Small Business Owners – Small Business Show 172

essential small business toolsWhat essential Small Business Tools can you not live without? Join us today on the Small Business Show to hear from Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton about the hardware, software and more they use to make their businesses run smoothly each day.

Check the show notes below for a list of tools we discuss and join us to hear in detail why we believe these are essential for our success.


Forging Small Business Relationships with Vendors and Suppliers – Small Business Show 171

forging small business vendor relationshipsThe strength of your relationships with vendors and suppliers is critically important for the success of your Small Business. What’s the best method and when is the right time for you to start these relationships? Join us on episode 171 of the Small Business Show to hear our tips about this topic and more!

Listen in and you’ll hear why timing is important and ways to make a human connection with all your vendors. Learn why Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton believe that a good personality fit is important and why you should not be looking for professional help when you really need it (like in an emergency). Taking the time to find the right vendors and support partners for your Small Business can make all the difference.

You’ll also hear how good communication can keep vendor relationships strong, how to leverage one good vendor to find another and the story behind why Shannon’s accountant fired him as a client!

Join us today for the Small Business Show and then share your comments on the Small Business Support Group!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #171 for Wednesday, May 16, 2018
  • 00:01:00 We want you to come on the show: feedback@businessshow.co
  • 00:01:53 Forge Relationships with your Vendors
  • 00:03:11 Get on their radar
    • Use your affinity credit cards
  • 00:07:29 When shipping: Beware the fees!
  • 00:09:58 Find your vendors before you need them
  • 00:12:30 Find the right vendors that fit your business
  • 00:14:00 Create a litmus test
  • 00:17:03 Find a good graphics person
  • 00:17:50 SPONSOR: GoDesignerGo.com/SBS – SBS50
  • 00:20:34 Keep your vendors up-to-date
  • 00:23:15 Shannon Got Fired! (by his accountant)
  • 00:24:43 Using Slack with your clients
  • 00:27:07 Don’t forget the humanity
  • 00:30:10 SBS 171 Outtro

Removing Obstacles to Your Small Business Success – Small Business Show 170

removing obstacles to small business successShould you cut corners to speed up starting a new business? If so, what corners can you safely cut that won’t create problems for you in the future? Join us today on the Small Business Show to get our take on what you should cut and what you should not!

We start this episode off with a rant from Dave about unreconciled accounts and leaving cash on your suppliers books (hint: don’t do this). Shannon discusses his experience with business people that didn’t think refunds should actually be, well refunded, and why the stuff you least enjoy doing (accounting, for example) might be just the stuff you need to pay the most attention to.

Our focus on this show is all about moving things forward. Not letting problems, delays or other peoples obstacles get in the way of your Small Business. Listen in and then join us at the Small Business Support Group to share your thoughts!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #170 for Wednesday, May 9, 2018
  • 00:01:02 Whine: Not catching an unreconciled deposit…. For 2 years!
  • 00:07:30 Managing Refunds
  • 00:09:57 When accounting isn’t your favorite!
    • Brian O’Connell on Small Business Show
  • 00:12:03 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:14:47 Cutting Corners – Taking the Liberty of Convenience
  • 00:20:51 Move things forward!
  • 00:23:25 Waiting for Permission is much worse than Taking the Wrong Action
  • 00:26:39 Our Small Business Support Group on Facebook
  • 00:28:50 aSBS 170 Outtro

The Power of Saying NO – Small Business Show 169

the power of saying no for your small businessLongtime listeners know that we believe that saying Yes more can help your personal brand and your business, but is there a point where saying No becomes more important? We think there is, and that part of your own Success Cycle is knowing when to say No and how it impacts your Small Business.

Join us today as Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton share their experiences using No to manage projects and take on just the tasks that will fuel your own achievement system.

We discuss the differences between saying no in your personal life and in your Small Business and how you can easily fool yourself into thinking you’ve being productive, rather than just filling up your schedule. You’ll also hear about ways to say no to the request, not to the person making it, how to use a “conditional yes” to manage situations and we’ll help you stand strong against prioritizing other people’s emergencies.

Join us today for all this and more on this episode of the Small Business Show. Then, visit the Small Business Support Group to share your thoughts, ask questions and join the conversation.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #169 for Wednesday, May 2, 2018
  • 00:01:49 Shannon and Dave are here for the No Show
  • 00:02:59 The Personal “No”
  • 00:06:43 Managing your system
  • 00:09:24 The “Fill my Schedule” trap
  • 00:12:00 Procrastinating with Productivity
  • 00:14:53 Harvard Business Review: “Say no to the request, not the person”
  • 00:18:15 SPONSOR: GoDesignerGo.com/SBS – Save 50% off the start of your subscription with SBS50
  • 00:22:04 Understanding the “Conditional Yes”
  • 00:25:30 Is someone else going to have to do the work?
  • 00:26:23 Do you have the confidence to say “no”?
  • 00:27:39 Prioritizing Other People’s Emergencies
  • 00:29:41 The Empowered “No”
  • 00:31:01 Sometimes Exceptions become policy
  • 00:35:55 SBS 169 Outtro

Powering Through the Daily Grind of Running Your Small Business – Small Business Show 168

powering through small business problems

Running your Small Business is not always glamorous and full of inspiration. There’s going to be days (weeks, months) that you have to resign yourself to slogging through the muck, solving what may seem like insurmountable problems, all the while keeping yourself and your team motivated to make it through the day. On this episode of the Small Business Show, Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean discuss adversity, sharing their own stories and offering some tips on how to endeavor to persevere.

On a recent episode, we focused on the Charmed Life that can be created by owning one or more Small Businesses. We got called out a bit in the Small Business Support Group from a business owner that was frustrated that we were forgetting about the struggle that many Small Business owners face each day, that living a “Charmed Life” just wasn’t an option for these folks. Based on that feedback, this episode focuses on the struggle, grinding it out each day when you need to and how to power through tough times. All the while, we remind the commenter that they were already creating their own Charmed Life by being able to make their own decisions, to control their own destiny by solving those problems, by battling through the struggle.

Join us today for a special episode of the Small Business Show, then visit the Support Group to take part in the conversation!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #168 for Wednesday, April 25, 2018
  • 00:01:05 Shannon and Dave get called out!
  • 00:02:04 All About that Grind
  • 00:04:31 Parable: The Flat-Panel TV Débâcle
    • Buy everyone’s problems
  • 00:07:41 Tip: Be able to adapt
  • 00:08:21 Scott, on Facebook: “Some of us haven’t gotten there yet!”
  • 00:08:53 Parable: “This will put us out of business.”
  • 00:12:44 When your self-worth is wrapped up in your business’s success
  • 00:13:34 Tip: Bull-headed persistence
    • Endeavor to Persevere
  • 00:18:46 Parable: The sleep-aid story
  • 00:20:14 Tip: Embrace the stress (at an acceptable level)
  • 00:21:10 “Find other people’s Problems” (translates to Dave’s “Take People’s Headaches Away”)
  • 00:22:48 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:26:02 The grind never ends
  • 00:26:31 Do you want to hear Dave and Shannon whine? feedback@businessshow.co
  • 00:28:01 Tip: Accept the definition of insanity
  • 00:28:58 Tip: Try new things and document them
  • 00:29:43 Tip: Force yourself to look at what’s not working
  • 00:31:33 Tip: Accept good fortune, but don’t count on it!
  • 00:33:53 Tip: Keep yourself mentally strong
  • 00:38:14 Tip: Embrace small successes
  • 00:42:17 Tip: Program your moist robot
  • 00:42:54 Tip: Look in the mirror, even when things are going bad
  • 00:44:55 SBS 168 Outtro

Enriching Your Life Beyond Profits With Your Small Business – Small Business Show 167

enrich your life beyond profits with your small businessWhat’s the secret to living a Charmed Life and using your Small Businesses as fuel to create it? Join us today on the Small Business Show to learn how Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have founded a multitude of Small Businesses over their lifetimes to bring them much more than profits.

We’ve mentioned the Charmed Life on our show many times, in fact, it’s usually a sign-off message at the end of each show, encouraging you to “Keep living that Charmed Life!” It’s such an important part of our experience that we thought it was time to dig deep into the details and explain just what we mean with that phrase and how you can join us on this awesome journey.

You’ll learn about creating a Success Cycle that keeps you moving forward, enriching your life along the way, how to create simple Working Agreements that not only keep things clear between prospective business partners, but act as a “test” when you are just at the beginning of a potential partnership. We then jump into a discussion about Freedom vs. Flexibility and why understanding the difference can, well, make all the difference in your perception of just what success is.

Join us today and you’ll also gain some valuable insight on our concept of creating your own reality and why being able to write your own story is a huge part of the Charmed Life experience. During the discussion, we also touch on the financial benefits of your Small Business and why we believe that making money is secondary and that you will ultimately build more wealth with this method.

We wrap up the show with a discussion about “selfishness” and why it’s a positive thing to enrich your own self so you can help others along the way.

You don’t want to miss this episode of the Small Business Show!  Listen in, then come join hundreds of other Small Business owners in the Small Business Support Group.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #167 for Wednesday, April 18, 2018
  • 00:02:31 You’re building a set of stairs
  • 00:03:35 Why do you want to do this?
  • 00:06:09 When setup right, success comes quickly
  • 00:07:26 The nuts and bolts of that Working Agreement
  • 00:09:29 The Success Cycle
  • 00:10:26 Living the Charmed Life
    • Freedom vs. Flexibility
  • 00:11:29 Tell your own story, create your own reality
  • 00:13:11 Time is our most precious commodity
  • 00:14:47 Don’t feel guilty about the charmed life!
  • 00:16:52 Flexible financial picture
  • 00:18:38 90% of my life is tax deductible
  • 00:20:00 Creating your second family
  • 00:21:30 Be selfish about making yourself feel good when helping others
  • 00:22:35 Book a trip for someone else
  • 00:23:52 And then book a trip for yourself
  • 00:25:17 Non-taxable income
  • 00:25:25 Enjoy laughter
    • “We have a great time working very hard”
  • 00:28:00 The money is secondary
  • 00:29:39 SBS 167