Episode 19:

Michael Roderick

All the World's A Stage (for Great Business)

September 9, 2019

In this episode, we look at effective networking, building strong professional relationships, and the power of reflection as entrepreneurs.

Episode in a Nutshell:


Liz welcomes master connector Michael Roderick to the podcast. Michael has had quite the unique path to entrepreneurship. As a former high school English teacher, he transitioned to a role as a Broadway producer where he learned the business aspect of finding investors for shows, before launching Small Pond Enterprises, helping entrepreneurs & small business owners grow through relationship-building. Michael and Liz discuss the importance of leveraging relationships in your life, professionally or otherwise, to enhance your business. Finally, Michael reflects on the biggest challenges he has experienced while building his business.

In detail, we covered:

  • 00:59 – Introducing today’s guest, Michael Roderick
  • 01:47 – Michael’s unique background
  • 02:37 – The transition from English teacher to Broadway producer
  • 05:20 – Asking people for money
  • 08:38 – The negative influence of money
  • 11:08 – Addressing the risks of investing in Broadway shows
  • 14:45 – Different motivations for investing in Broadway shows
  • 21:39 – Networking the right way
  • 23:09 – Treating investors as people
  • 28:06 – The importance of reflection
  • 28:40 – Michael’s current business ventures
  • 31:14 – The three factors of a referable brand
  • 34:24 – The genesis of Michael’s entrepreneurial journey
  • 39:43 – Challenges of building a business
  • 41:00 – The most dangerous number
  • 42:09 – Liz reiterates the importance of reflection and being adaptable
  • 43:04 – The diving board metaphor
  • 44:30 – Cultivating key relationships
  • 48:43 – Michael shares the most difficult aspect of building his business 
  • 52:16 – Michael elaborates on his daily email
  • 53:41 – Michael’s perspective on referral fees
  • 1:00:45 – What Zen Money means to Michael

Sound Bites:

  • “I often say that you limit the things you get in life when you limit other people’s creativity.” (08:01)
  • “Language is used all the time to influence our decisions. So, from a marketing standpoint, when somebody talks about the idea of investing in yourself you have a completely different level of emotional resonance than somebody saying ‘Spend money on this.’” (19:10)
  • “I’m very bullish on the idea of frameworks over formulas.” (26:02)
  • “When I broke it down, I realized that a referable brand has three factors. And it’s easy to remember because it spells the word ‘aim.’ And that’s Accessibility, Influence, and Memory.” (31:15)
  • “If technology changes, if the way that something’s structured changes, if the tool that you’re using to collect money suddenly has a glitch or has a particular issue, you’re going to have a different business in another couple of years.” (40:38)
  • “If you are going to engage in some sort of referral monetary relationship, you want to make sure people know that that relationship exists.” (54:36)
  • “The way I think about it [Zen Money] is this idea of sort of ‘money calm,’ where, when you think about meditation and when you think about being relaxed there’s this dynamic of breathing well and everything is sort of just calm.” (1:00:57)

About Michael

When Michael went from high school teacher to Broadway producer in under two years people started to ask him how he managed it.  Michael began his career as a high school English teacher before producing Off Broadway and then on Broadway. This combination of experience in the arts and entrepreneurship led to Michael starting an arts incubator program to teach more artists about building and growing their own businesses (PLAE). Eventually, he decided to develop a workshop on networking which grew into a full-time consulting practice and that became Small Pond Enterprises.


Michael took a short break to work as the V.P. of Operations and as a Director of Business Development for an NYC Ed. Tech Startup which introduced him to the New York Startup community. Most recently, Michael founded The Connecting Connectors Conference (ConnectorCon).


You can connect with Michael at Small Pond Enterprises or follow him online here: TwitterFacebook, and Linked In.

Join the Zen Money Conversation!

My favorite part of recording a live show every week is the conversation we get to have on social media, with comments posted here, and messages I get from listeners.


This week's question is:


Are you leveraging your network and relationships effectively to grow your business?


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Fun Free Stuff

Check out these resources we discussed in this episode:


Books!: Robert B. Caldini - Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion


#ZenMoneyMap: www.zenmoneymap.com/moneystyle - Learn your Zen Money Financial Archetype and start levering your unique money style to your advantage with quick wins today!

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Hosted by:

Liz Lajoie, Zen Money Strategist & CFO

Liz Lajoie, the “Zen Money CFO”, helps entrepreneurs master their finances and grow thriving businesses that support their passions and advance their big missions.

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