Every Day, Getting Better

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Travis Shumake - The fastest LGBTQ+ motorsports driver on the planet and on our pod

Every Day, Getting Better Podcast - Episode 10

Travis Shumake - The fastest LGBTQ+ motorsports driver on the planet and on our pod


Travis Shumake is the first openly gay driver in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.  Travis joins us to talk about his pivot from fundraiser to funny car driver.  We talk about resilience, legacy and building a team.  

Website: travisshumake.com

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tshumake/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/travieshu/

NHRA Schedule: https://travisshumake.com/schedule-nhra/

Episode 9 - Self Care with Najwa Zebian

Every Day, Getting Better Podcast - Episode 9
Self Care with Najwa Zebian

Najwa Zebian is the author of Welcome Home, A Guide for Building a Home for Your Soul.  This is Najwa's fourth book, and while her others primarily focused on her poetry, this novel is in the self care genera, as Najwa uses the tales of her past to layout the blue prints for one to build a "home" inside themselves where they can be safe and self reliant.  

Purchase Najwa's book:  Welcome Home

Website: https://najwazebian.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/najwazebian

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/najwazebian

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/najwazebian1

You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/najwazebian

TikTok:  https://www.tiktok.com/@najwazebian

Happy, Not Perfect with Poppy Jamie

Poppy is a proven entrepreneur, author and a rising star in the mental health and mindfulness space.  Today, Poppy joins me to explore the pages of her book, "Happy, Not Perfect" as we discuss her history with anxiety, her love of research and her method, known as The Flex for achieving a more balanced approach to your mental wellbeing.

Gratitude with Gina Hamadey

Every Day, Getting Better Podcast - Season 2, Episode 1
Gratitude with Gina Hamadey


Gratitude with Gina Hamadey - Gina is the author of the book, "I want to thank you".  Gina and Ryan talk about the book and explore ways that we all can show more gratitude in our daily lives.  


Purchase Gina’s book:  I Want to Thank You by Gina Hamadey  


Visit Gina’s website and subscribe to her newsletter:  https://www.ginahamadey.com/

How to Write a Good Gratitude Letter - by Gina Hamadey, published in the New York Times

Crisis Leadership with Rob Papandrea

Every Day, Getting Better, Episode 6

Ryan is joined by Rob Papandrea as the two of them discuss Crisis Leadership.

About Rob Papandrea: Rob works as a senior manager for digital transformation at a Fortune 100 company.  Rob leads a global team of over 80 people.

Rob and Ryan met in college, all be it briefly.  Currently, we both have families with Rob’s being slightly younger than mine.  We currently live on opposite ends of the country and in two very different industries. But they both are in leadership development for our companies and community. 


  • Covid-19 current local conditions
  • One word check-in activity, and why that's important in today's landscape
  • Vulnerability during a time of isolation
  • Building trust during a crisis
  • Does leadership in a crisis feel better
  • Control out of concern
  • Observations of other leaders during crisis
  • Core Values clarification
  • Long term changes as a result of Covid-19
  • Leadership when the leader has no control
  • Character and crisis



Host: Ryan Wakefield

Guest: Rob Papandrea  -  Follow Rob on twitter @runwithrob

Download or subscribe to this show at https://pod.everydaygettingbetter.com

Want to get better?  Visit us at https://everydaygettingbetter.com

The Builders Project - Rusty Hagenbuch

Every Day, Getting Better Podcast - The Builders Project


Every Day, Getting Better, Episode 5, The Builders Project continues and today Ryan sits down with Rusty Hagenbuch.  


Rusty was named in Episode 3 as the Builder of Jesse Trout.  Today, we explore why Jesse chose Rusty.  We also get to learn about Rusty as a coach, parent, and boss.  Finally, at the end, we get to find out who built Rusty.


  • The Hagenbuch family name (it really is bad ass)
  • Rusty’s reaction to being named as Jesse Trout’s builder
    • Tough love
    • Making the choice to give up on someone
  • Coaching youth sports
    • Potential, failure, and perfection
  • Riding home with an athlete as a parent
    • Making mistakes and athletics
    • 24-hour rule
  • Corporate Culture at Charger IT
    • Coaching approach at work
    • The Charger IT brand
    • Denver Broncos (Rusty’s team!)
  • Who built Rusty?
    • Early success in life 
    • Will Brown

Learn more about Rusty and his brand at https://www.chargerit.com/ and https://www.chargeraccess.com/

Host: Ryan Wakefield

Guest: Rusty Hagenbuch

Download or subscribe to this show at https://pod.everydaygettingbetter.com

Want to get better?  Visit us at https://everydaygettingbetter.com

Premier Lacrosse League Coach Andy Towers

Every Day, Getting Better, Episode 4, Ryan sits down with Coach Andy Towers from the Premier Lacrosse League and Head Coach of the Chaos Lacrosse Club


Coach Towers shares his lockerroom philosophy and his transition from coaching collegiate lacrosse to professional lacrosse. 

This conversation visits a few different topics, starting with the early success of the Premier Lacrosse League,  finding happiness in your profession, transitioning to professional athletics, leadership, and mentorship, and finally, who helped to build Coach Towers.

Today's topic discussed with Andy Towers:


  • Early days of Premier Lacrosse League

    • What was it like to be asked to be a professional coach?
    • What were you doing the day before you became a professional coach?
    • Did you get to choose which of the new clubs you got to coach?
    • Format of the Premier Lacrosse League vs traditional professional sports
    • Professional athletes and coaching doing youth clinics during the season
      • Need and Responsibility
    • PLL All-Star Game coaching opportunity, bittersweet vs embrace the opportunity
      • PLL all-star game vs traditional all-star games
  • Happiness in the workplace and the transition from collegiate athletics to professional athletics
  • Selection of assistant coaches for Chaos Lacrosse club and core values of the coaching staff
    • Important that when coaching professionals, having professionals on his staff that have walked in the footsteps of current players
  • Does the Chaos Lacrosse club have core values as a team?
    • Being genuine in handling interactions
    • Having a shared vision
    • Honesty, work ethic, mental toughness, team-first attitude
    • Decision focused and effort related
  • Leaders in the lockerroom of the Chaos Lacrosse Club
  • Non-negotiables for entering into a mentor / mentee relationship
    • Parenting
    • Heart and soul vs talent
    • Controlling effort, focus, toughness, decision related
    • Excuses and lack of mental toughness limiting success
    • Physical limitations
    • Defining success by desired results
    • Reaching potential as a measure of success
    • Making them better as a group, then they are as a group of individuals
  • Being the best version of ourselves - who mentored Coach Towers
    • High School lax coach, Coach Howard Benedict

      • Never allowing anyone to feel like they were successful without reaching their potential
      • Everyone was treated differently
    • High School basketball coach, Don Usher
      • As a group helped us exceed expectations
      • Not letting others, dictate to you what you can be
    • College Coach and Chrome Lacrosse Club Coach, Dom Starsia
      • Challenge my competitive spirit and commitment to the program
      • Less scheme based and more intangible based
    • Former Yale Lacrosse Coach, Mike Waldvogel
      • Make you verbally defend everything that came out of your mouth
      • Making me think about what I was saying to the players on the field
    • Bates Lacrosse Coach, Pete Lasagna
      • Allowed you to get creative
      • Connections with your player's fuels trust, and trust fuels sacrifice
    • Growing up in a competitive environment
  • We all build each other up and help each other
  • Editors note:  In the closing, I clearly wish the wrong team “best of luck” and Coach Towers calls me on it.  We have a fun laughing exchange, and my initial thought is that I am going to cut that segment out of the pod.  Instead, in the spirit of openly making mistakes and failing - I chose to leave it in. I hope you enjoy the laugh as much as we did.


Host: Ryan Wakefield

Guests: Andy Towers


Download or subscribe to this show at https://pod.everydaygettingbetter.com

Want to get better?  Visit us at https://everydaygettingbetter.com

Jesse Trout on Authentic Masculinity and Life Coaching

The Builders Project, Episode 3, Ryan sits down with Jesse Trout from Mindful Life Coaching.  

Jesse is the first branch of The Builders Project and we hope to explore his tree in future episodes.

This conversation visits a few different topics, starting with accountability, transitioning to life coaching, Authentic Masculinity, and finally, who helped to build Jesse.

Today's topic discussed with Jesse Trout:

  • Goals and transparency

    • Authenticity
    • Accountability and daily routines
  • Life Coaching overview
    • Curiosity
    • Who is life coaching for?
    • Coaching philosophy of holding people to be “Naturally creative, resourceful and whole”
      • Inward vs outward perspectives
      • Creativity
      • Social influencers and the root of The Builders Project
      • Inadequacies
    • Jesse’s transition into coaching (challenges and rewards)
      • The four-year process of becoming a life coach
      • Being the expert is limiting
        • Setting aside the ego
      • The ratio of listening vs direct input
        • Self-control
  • Authentic Masculinity
    • Traits to develop in young children (boys)
    • Cultivate and grow curiosity, wonder, and appreciation
    • Feelings
      • How to experience feelings
      • How to verbalize feelings
      • Counteract default anger
      • Parental influences and emotions
    • Adults learning Authentic Masculinity
    • Toxic Masculinity
    • Be awesome and love each other - borrowed from http://jimbot.blog/
    • Introducing the concept of Authentic Masculinity to high school boys
      • Creating an atmosphere of belonging and vulnerability
      • Frustration with failure and feelings
      • Not getting stuck
  • Who Built Jesse Trout
    • “A man fell down seven times, but he got up eight” vs “Who picked you up when you fell”
    • Failure
    • Our next builder - Rusty Hagenbuck
      • Tough love
      • Escaping accountability and self-pity
      • Timely mentors
      • Gratitude
  • How to contact Jesse Trout and Mindful Life Coaching

Host: Ryan Wakefield

Guests: Jesse Trout

Learn more about Jesse and Mindful Life Coaching:


Download or subscribe to this show at https://pod.everydaygettingbetter.com

Want to get better?  Visit us at https://everydaygettingbetter.com


The Builders Project Introduction

We were built.  

None of us have done it alone.  No matter how fortunate or tragic your upbringing was, somewhere, someone along your path helped you.  

We are not self-made people, I believe that is a fictionalized concept that doesn’t really exist.  Sure, some of us displayed more grit than others, but at some point, someone was there to make us better, to help build us.  

Welcome to Every Day, Getting Better, and Builders Project, a podcast journey where I explore the builders from everyday walks of life who coached us, taught us, guided us, mentored us...those who built us.  

I am your host, Ryan Wakefield and I want to tell the builders stories of the teachers in small-town Montana, the coaches in Tennessee, the salesmen in Oregon, the real influencers in our lives who saw us as the best versions of ourselves, perhaps that version that we could not yet see...and then, helped us to see that same version.  

This podcast will be an adventure, starting with one guest, digging in and breaking down what made them a real influencer.  But more importantly, finding out how they have invested their time and talents to help others achieve their potential.

Every episode will be connected as at the end of each I will ask our guests the same question, “Who built you?”

Because have you ever stopped, even just for a few minutes to think about how your builder was connected to their builder, and so on?  Someone had to build them too.

Their answer, whoever it is, will then be the next guest on our show.  Or at least I hope they will be. I cannot predict the desire of the next builder in the tree, but I sure am going to try to continue the chain of builders as far as it will take me.

When the trail runs dry, a guest does not desire to be recorded or maybe has had their time on Earth expired - well then, I start again.

This time with another builder, with another tree - and the chase to discover the common links between our builders will continue.  

It is my hope that you will join me, and follow the journey.  Even better, I ask that you participate. Share with me the story of someone who built you, and just maybe, we’ll explore your story and the builders project will become about you and your tree of builders.


Jocko Willink and Leif Babin talk The Dichotomy of Leadership

Ryan sits down with Jocko Willink and Leif Babin the authors of the best selling book Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink, and Leif Babin and has the pleasure to visit with them about their new book; The Dichotomy of Leadership.  The conversation about their new book visits a few different topics, ranging from coaching, athletics, hazing, and of course, extreme ownership.  Pick up a copy of The Dichotomy of Leadership at your local bookstore, or use this link.

Today's questions for our guests:

  • Did either of you play any athletics in high school?
  • What early lessons did you learn from your coaches or teachers?
  • What are your best practices for coaches trying to build a high performing team?
  • What is it about the message of Extreme Ownership that has resonated so well?
  • How do you view the pivot that your careers have taken post-military life?
  • What about the new book (Dichotomy of Leadership) excites you the most?
  • How would you handle situations where people are engaging in situations that are counter to your organization's ideals?
  • What do you say to undergraduates who feel that trials are necessary to prepare a group?
  • How does a 9-year-old get over his fear of riding his bike?


Host: Ryan Wakefield

Guests: Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Download or subscribe to this show at https://pod.everydaygettingbetter.com

Want to get better?  Visit us at https://everydaygettingbetter.com

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