The ToddCast Show show

The ToddCast Show

Summary: Join host Todd Murat as he calls random strangers to help bring people together through authentic, old-school-style conversation. The ToddCast Show seeks to explore the human condition and make a positive change in the world. One stranger at a time...This is a call-in show currently. Guests will call a local number in Arizona to be interviewed.Join Todd as he takes one step towards building relationships with others and focusing on the moments, stories, and feelings that connect us all. Nothing is ever scripted, we don't discuss politics, and you'll never know who or what to expect next.NEW EPISODES DROP ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS @ MIDNIGHT PACIFIC, 3AM EST. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

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 Episode 033 The Journey of Alex Fink: From Optical Devices to The Other Web | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:03:43

Alex Fink, a software developer with a background in optical devices, hails from Austin, Texas, but his journey to the city is anything but typical. Born in Eastern Europe, he has crisscrossed the globe in search of a place to call home. Alex recalls how, early in his life, he was forced to flee his homeland due to the ongoing dangers and strife in the area. His parents, along with his older brother, accompanied him on his journey.Memories for Alex, he shares, revolve around useful information, which is why it can be arduous to recall early life experiences. We delve into the idea that early experiences shape our interpretation and reaction to things in later life. Alex has lived in a variety of countries, including the Soviet Union, Israel, Japan, and the USA, and he reflects on his experiences adapting and assimilating to new cultures.As a Russian speaker, he recalls making a conscious effort to maintain his accent to set himself apart from the crowd. He candidly recounts what it was like to live in these different countries, describing the challenges he faced in each one.Todd shares a little of the Old West story of his home in Mayer, Arizona, while Alex reveals that, as a child, he felt people were constrained and lived according to other people's expectations. However, he believed that he could be the best at anything he set his mind to, and he recalls being drawn to early 1900s America as a child.Upon arriving in America in his 20s, he went to live with his brother and discovered a desire to put his talent and energy into things of genuine value. He experienced cognitive dissonance and felt he could do more in his life. His wife was extremely supportive of his entrepreneurial inspirations and pursuits. While Alex enjoys acting on impulses, he uses his logical mind to balance out his ambitions and achieve the desired outcome. Todd shares how his background has naturally and unexpectedly led to the ability to overcome challenges in the future.Alex opines that the world suffers from an overabundance of "click bait" and reminds us that the real problem lies in the users themselves. He imagines a system called The Other Web, which blocks advertising and aggregates many popular online destinations, including search engines, wikis, social platforms, and more. His aim is to provide unbiased results and eliminate "bad" advertising methods. Using AI machine learning, he leverages technology to minimize human labor hours and maximize outcomes. His system runs on open source to allow anyone to review and analyze every aspect of the system.The Other Web allows for unique interactivity with search options, as well as the ability to disable elements that would likely be advertising. The end result is a genuine and accurate resource that removes the content that is "advertising motivated." It seeks to maintain authenticity in the user experience. Alex wraps up with a message to the world: "keep principles in mind, what you put into your brain is similar to what you put into your body." Stop consuming junk and tune out the noise.Todd ends with a valuable life lesson: "we know what we know, we know what we don't know, and we don't know what we don't know." That last one is the most challenging.If you are interested in learning more about Alex Fink and discovering The Other Web, please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 032 Tax Tips With Neal Zimmerman | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:12:47

Neal Zimmerman from Austell, Georgia joins us today to share his 17 years of Professional Tax Preparation experience. He simplifies the complexities of the IRS Tax code, laws, and procedures for W2 and Self Employed or 1099 individuals. We discuss some common issues and areas of focus for many tax filers seeking to smooth out the process of filing their taxes. Neil prepares taxes for individuals and businesses alike and discusses strategy and preparation practices that anyone can apply to their tax filing experience. We cover topics including 1099 Independent Contractors, W2 Employees, Retirement, Expenses, Deductions, and the changes in the standard deduction for 2023 and all the new tax brackets.We discuss the Child Tax Credit changes for 2023 and the impact it will have on filers this year. This effects filers with children under 17. The difference between a credit and deduction is an important factor in filing taxes. Deductions are Federal and reduce overall taxable income. The standard deduction is applied and the remainder is taxable income. Tax credits are a dollar for dollar reduction of your income.Neal explains the importance of hiring a tax professional for certain filers vs. doing it themselves. Depending on the individual's unique tax situation, it may benefit the filer to seek professional advice to maximize the benefits of tax laws in favor of the filer. He shares the difference between CPAs, EAs, and CFPs, as well as the benefits of working with each. We learn that each tax return is the responsibility of the filer, even though the hired tax professional signs their name on the return. Neal cautions against working with a referral at a low cost at the expense of potentially having filing issues. The importance of experience can make the difference between a favorable outcome and an IRS audit. We explore traditional options in retirement and how taxes apply to long term savings and retirement. Also, Neal reveals that the IRS are actually nice people who simply want to do their jobs. They are not out to get anyone and simply want filers to follow current tax laws and procedures. We discuss quarterly payments for self employed individuals and for new business owners, we learn that with a proper strategy an individual can minimize their tax liability at tax time.Finally, we learn about a real life story where Neal was able to help a client back file his taxes to recover $28,000 by simply filing married vs married, filing separately. A previous, less experienced tax expert didn't advise the client properly and ended up costing the client in the refund amount he could have received. We learn that you can file amended returns for the past 3 years. Whether you think you know tax law, unless you are a professional with real life experience - it's more than likely a tax professional will positively impact an individuals overall tax situation.Neal contributes his knowledge and experience in an altruistic manner and simply wants to help people reduce the stress and anxiety at tax filing time. Don't wait till the last minute, the deadline for standard filing is April 18th, 2023. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 031 Tax Tips With Lance Belline CFP, CHFC | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:03:36

Lance Belline CFP, CHFC, and Financial Advisor joins us for the second episode of our 2023 Tax Tips series. He is a financial consultant who seeks to provide financial peace of mind and clarity in how they plan their financial goals. He recalls the divine intervention that led to his journey to this career path.We learn how self employed or 1099 workers can open the door to more tax strategies through deductions and other allowable items. Unlike W2 employees (standard job, tax withholding by the company), self employed individuals can write off or deduct mileage, as well as expenses related to the business activities. Having children of age (10 or older) can perform a jobs function with the self-employed company to enable them to be paid up to $12,950.00 (standard deduction) as an employee. This allow for further deductions and lessening your overall tax liability. Custodial parents typically switch back and fourth with filing the child on their tax returns (in a divorce or separation, living separately).The highest marginal tax rate currently in 2023 is 37% if the person earns more than $539,999 (single) or $647,850 (married). At one point in history, we had tax rates as high as 90% during the 40s-50s due to the Great Depression. Even in the 1980s, it was almost 50%. We are actually in the lowest tax rate environment we have ever been in. Even though we don’t enjoy it, we should be happy the tax rates are as low as they are…even though it doesn’t seem like it. Without the taxes we will be unable to support Government and Society properly, which is why it is important to pay your taxes. When we are making a good income, save and position your wealth so that you can dramatically decrease the impact Uncle Sam has on you at tax time.Tax laws enable many opportunities for reducing tax liability that are perfectly legal, ethical and above boards. The trick is knowing the strategies and how to implement them effectively.We discuss gig workers and the overall gig economy and qualifying deductions and expenses, which are one of the factors in reducing your tax liability. Even older equipment can be utilized through depreciation and can qualify as a deduction. Everything from phones, gas, food and meals, to equipment and office related costs can qualify as a deduction. It is possible to operate at a loss with expenses greater than income, but only during the first year. This is fairly common.Conversely, a W2 employee is someone who has taxes withheld by the company they work for, but people need to remember to choose the proper withholding amount during the hiring process. if a person does not withhold enough, they will owe taxes at the end of the year. Those who withhold the proper amount will likely receive a refund at the end of the year. Bonuses are also taxed, which can be a surprise to some filers. Supplemental wages have a different tax rate, which applies to a bonus earned.Lance created a “Bucket Strategy” that he uses to reduce tax liability and maximize return. He has also authored a book outlining strategies used successfully with real clients over the years. The key to developing wealth is to start early. Compounding wealth is the vehicle. If starting late, save more to make up for lost time.His book “More Wealth, Less Taxes” helps readers learn to invest and save while lessening their tax liability and leveraging strategies available to them. If you want to have more money in retirement, Lance can help you make it happen as long as you are patient.To read the entire show summary, please visit Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 030 2023 Tax Advice With Bob Wheeler CPA | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:48:47

Welcome to a very special tax series - enjoy Free 2023 Tax Advice With Bob Wheeler CPA!Bob Wheeler CPA from West Los Angeles is the first featured tax professional in our special 2023 Tax Series on The ToddCast Show. Born in Oakland, CA. he went to college in Memphis, TN. He pursued accounting in school to increase his GPA and originally wanted to be a lawyer, until he met some lawyers...Over time he decided to start an accounting firm to serve those seeking professional tax support. His firm specializes in entrepreneurs and professional entertainers. On the side, Bob performs stand up comedy and has a special gift for relieving tension surrounding taxes. He single handedly rescued The Comedy Store through applying solid tax strategy to save over $100,000 in back taxes. His gifts are adaptable to a wide variety of tax situations.We discuss the emotions associated with filing taxes and why people stress out about it. Bob remarks that it's about strategy and preparedness ahead of time. His busiest months are November and December in preparation for next April's filing deadline. He reminds us we must simply prepare and file according to the laws of the land to avoid penalties and interest. We have just 3-4 years to back file taxes and Bob suggests not letting it slide, you might have refunds waiting for those years. Claim it before you lose it.Bob shares that you don't have to be great with numbers to benefit from tax strategy. It's important to keep track of expenses, income, and other relative documents and data to be ready to file. This, in addition to setting the money aside from your income (if self employed or 1099) to pay your tax liability. If you are not withholding for taxes, making quarterly estimated tax payments will save you from a larger tax bill at the end of the season. The IRS bases it's estimates on previous years, not the future. The amount you choose to withhold depends on the tax bracket you are currently in or the average of your previous year's steady income.W2 employees must choose the correct withholding amount for both Federal and (where applicable) State taxes. This amount will determine your tax refund or liability amount. Withhold more now and get a bigger refund, withhold less and possibly owe taxes. It's always better to be safe than sorry by withholding a little more. Even if you cannot afford to pay, the IRS will work out a payment plan and you can avoid a 20% penalty for not filing. They currently offer terms over a maximum of a 6 year re-payment period.We discuss how to contribute to retirement and minimize tax liability through 401k, IRA (taxed on withdrawal), Roth (pre-taxed investment) IRA and RITs. Investing in funds vs. individual stocks provide options for financial growth. Bob shares current trends and tips for tax filing in 2023, as well as examples of various tax situations he assists clients with on a daily basis. Bob is a very knowledgeable and capable tax strategist and financial consultant dedicated to helping others.Due to the extended length of this special episode, additional notes are unavailable.If you need help with taxes, you can contact Bob at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 029 Sunshine in the Seattle Freeze | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:10:22

Michelle Preston, a resident of Snohomish, Washington, talks with Todd about her life in the area and her perspective on Seattle. She shares her thoughts on strong communities and the changes she's seen in the city over time. They also talk about her recent concert experience with the band Odesza and her childhood memories. They discuss the Seattle Freeze, which is the difficulty of socializing and dating in the city, and how it can take a long time to figure out who we really are.They talk about the spiritual aspect of dating, the unhealthy aspect of social media and influencers, and the importance of being in touch with ourselves. Michelle shares her own experience with changing her mindset to attract healthier relationships. Todd asks her about the best way for men to approach women in public, and they discuss the importance of women approaching men as well. Lastly, Michelle talks about her "offline movement" which is designed to help single people meet each other through wristbands available on her website. She is also a male empowerment coach and helps men to achieve what they want in life through self-awareness and better decision making.Michelle recalls as a child she wanted to be what her parents wanted her to be, and how she is not the same person today as she envisioned as a young person. Her parents have been married for 45 years and remain together. We talk about childhood memories and how she feels as a parent today in comparison to when she grew up and changes in society. She is grateful and thankful for her life.Michele believes the issue is about people not knowing who they are and what they want in life. It can take a long time to discover who we really are inside and remove expectations learned along the way through others.Todd talks about the spiritual aspect of dating and meeting people, in contrast with the typical matching criteria used in modern dating applications. We talk about the unhealthy aspect of social media and influencers. Michelle shares how we attract people based on what we are thinking and feeling and how we can change this for the better. She shares how her own needy nature attracted needy people and how she changed it to enjoy healthier, more balanced relationships.Michelle shares how people are out of touch with themselves because of comparisons made with unrealistic and often not real images. Todd asks how men can best approach women in public in a comfortable and non-threatening manner. Michelle shares how some people are open to being approached while some are not. The best is a situation with a common interest that does not interrupt, for example in a grocery store.Todd talks about the importance of women approaching men and asks Michelle why women don't approach men more and if the did, what would happen? She shares that energetics is at play and the masculine (giving) and feminine (receiving) energies must be in congruence. Women want to feel special, protected, secure, safe, and adored.The offline movement is Michelle's creation designed to help single people meet each other in a simple, clever new way. This is in the form of wristbands that are currently available on her website. This is her solution to helping others meet without the traditional complications associated with it. The wristbands are designed for both those seeking romance, or just friendship.Michelle is a male empowerment coach and she builds high value men who get what they want through self-awareness and to make better decisions to get what they want in life.To learn more about Michelle Preston, please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 028 Ego and The Being | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:24:33

In today's conversation, Educational Psychologist Alan Carroll discusses the connection between ego and the being. He shares insights on his own journey of self-discovery, including the influence of his parents and military background, and the role of yoga and spirituality in his life. Alan emphasizes the importance of reducing suffering and achieving happiness through mindfulness and meditation practices, which can help us become free from the trap of the ego and tap into our authentic selves. He also shares his thoughts on the power of the "pause" in our speech and how it can help us quell the ego and access the higher self. As an expert in trans-personal conversation, Alan trains speakers to harness the power of sound and silence to transform from amateur to professional speaker. Overall, the discussion highlights the importance of stillness and mindfulness in our lives as a means to tame the ego and access the being.Married for 31 years, he credits his wonderful wife with providing harmony in his life. Alan recalls his first clarity of purpose in life during his teenage years. He studied yoga and spirituality which led to him asking if there is anything more he could be experiencing. He is a seeker of truth and advises we must reduce suffering to achieve happiness.He shares that most of what we experience in our health comes from what we hold in our minds. The thoughts in our head can manifest in our physical bodies, emotions, and thoughts. We discuss differences in society and changes over the decades. His most memorable lesson from his parents are “don't get caught”. Alan talks about his favorite spiritual place in the world: Sedona, Arizona and his upcoming trip to the area for his birthday. We talk about Jerome, Arizona. We discuss how drugs can lower the wall to accessing spiritual consciousness and how that differs from meditation.As an Educational Psychologist, Alan works in the trans-personal conversation of physical (ego) and metaphysical (being). He trains speakers to create the sounds and empty spaces between the sounds to transform from an amateur to professional speaker. We discuss the water experiments and how forgiveness is likely the highest vibrating feeling we can have.Alan teaches meditation and other techniques which enable personal and professional development. He differentiates between automatic speakers and those who shape and carefully convey their thoughts. The “pause” in our speech is a conscious technique to quell the ego and tap into the authentic self. He shares thoughts about “taming the tongue of the ego” and how meditation can benefit anyone.Simply close your eyes and breathe to start the process of meditation and training your mind not to get agitated. Practicing mindfulness is crucial to happiness and is important to practice. It takes time. Find and repeat a mantra or affirmations at a slower pace with space between the thoughts you speak. This helps us become free from the trap of the ego and awaken into our own being. We need more stillness in our life and less agitation. This can be accomplished through practicing meditation and mindfulness.Mindfulness means to be present without labeling. In this space we can experience amazing things.To learn more about Alan Carroll please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 027 Straight Talk With A Gay Man | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:27

We are joined by Vinnie Potestivo (45) from Brooklyn, New York for a fun second interview in today's episode. Today's discussion is about the similarities and differences in the sexuality of a straight man and a gay man. Todd reminisces about his estranged older gay brother and how he looked up to him growing up and misses his sense of humor and uniqueness. While he misses his brother, Todd desires to have a conversation with him and chose Vinnie to be sort of a "blind surrogate" for this experience. Vinnie remarks that the change in societal acceptance has changed dramatically over the decades and the importance of "safe spaces" to meet others of like mind.Todd believes gay people really have their shit together and wonders why. Vinnie explains that as a gay man, he had to adapt and evolve in society to "fit in" and prosper. Vinnie grew up as a Baptist which evolved into a Unitarian and then Lutheran faith. He recalls how as a young person he desired to connect with others in a positive way. This was a mode of survival.Vinnie shares the story of the "Stonewall Riots" in New York and its impact on the gay community in the late 60s. Marsha P Johnson was among the first black trans people who became the face of the gay community. During that time, "free love" was for the straight community more so than the gay community. Vinnie discusses the impact of the AIDS virus on the gay community and how gay marriage impacted the lifestyle of the gay person. We all matter. He shares that gay people "live in their truth" and how he discovered and evolved his.Every word, every syllable, and syntax in communication matters, Vinnie shares. He discovered his voice early on in life but used to hide his sexual identity. He reflects how when he worked at MTV certain programming was restricted until after 10 pm, for example - Michael Jackson, simply due to his race. As he learned to separate himself from his work, Vinnie discovered a healthy balance between his existence and social impact. His desire to expand conversations with others revolves around the concept of communicating in relatable ways with others who may be from different backgrounds and life experiences.Todd reflects on his estranged gay brother's professional life and success in business and life. He always admired this about him and wanted to learn from him, but never had the opportunity to do so. Vinnie discusses how sexuality and gender play a role in society. He recounts working on many popular television shows on MTV and the impact of celebrities on society. Vinnie shares that community comes from culture and culture comes from vocabulary and the power of words in the world.We discuss "Ru Paul's Drag Race" & why neither of us has watched an entire episode. Vinnie shares that the gay community's inclusivity is about connecting with everyone. Hence the LGBTQ+ moniker. He reflects on how he made the choice between being authentic with his sexuality or hiding it in society. His focus on work consumed him and left little room to explore his sexuality. He was a steward to others. He looked for ways to "show up" where he "doesn't show up" and what that meant to him.Vinnie gets flustered. lol We talk about masturbation, intercourse, and differences between straight and gay people's experiences. He reflects that the emotional component was key in his intimate relationships and how fear of AIDS played a role. Vinnie shares insight into trans people, pronouns, and the first amendment. Todd believes we aren't so different, after all.To listen to the other episode featuring Vinnie Click Here. To learn more about Vinnie, please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 026 The Talkative Introvert | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:23:49

We are joined today by Meliza Manalo in Sacramento, California. Born in San Francisco, she recounts her earliest childhood memory of living in a tiny apartment near the beautiful local beaches with her family. She recalls having moved more than 15 times over the years in the Bay area and how she ended up in Sacramento. Through her natural sense of observance, she shares her perception as a child of being an “old soul”.Her parents were together until her father passed. Throughout her life, her parents instilled a sense of purpose in Meliza which inspired her as a young child. As a quiet child, she remembers adults liking her and how she enjoyed talking with adults in her family. She has two sisters and one brother with a large age gap. Her parents and siblings are initially from the Philippines and she has a large family there. We discuss differences in Asian culture, health longevity vs. USA, and her love for her Mother.Currently, as an IT professional she shares her deep passion for her industry and work. She shares how her degrees in college had nothing to do with IT, but ended up landing an internship right out of college in IT that she fell in love with. She shares the importance of hard work in her life and believes that today's young people should work harder to build character.Host of The Talkative Introvert Podcast, Meliza which she created during the pandemic. She shares why she's an introvert and how we can recognize this in early childhood. We discuss environmental influences and whether or not people are born introverts, extroverts, or ambiverts. Her mom is an extreme extrovert. Her father was an extrovert most of his life and became more introverted as an older person. She shares how great it is to be an introvert and what motivates her socially. Todd shares the impetus of his Podcast and jokes about the single life where he lives currently. Meliza recounts the moment she decided to do her Podcast.Todd and Meliza agree that social media is poison to society, but recalls how early AOL, ICQ, and other chat systems were fun back in the day. Todd asks Meliza for motivational advice for introverted people. She shares how introverts and extroverts can work together to learn from one another and how temperament plays a role in life. Todd shares a story from working in New York during the early stages of COVID and the genuine love he experienced among the people there. Many cared more for their neighbors than themselves.Finally, we discuss the importance of personal differences and not labeling someone different as evil. Meliza shares that we must focus to become open-minded and remember that we need indifferent people to challenge our thinking. She shares a humbling compliment about The ToddCast Show and the appreciation of authenticity in communication. Todd thanks Meliza for her kindness and for sharing with our audience. Through genuine conversation and not pushing an agenda, we can learn more from each other with honesty and authenticity.To learn more about Meliza Manalo please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 025 Cancer Surviving Cop | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:34:12

We are joined today by Terry Tucker (age 62) in Denver, Colorado. A former patrol officer, SWAT negotiator and undercover cop, Terry shares his story of danger as a law enforcement officer and his eventual struggle with cancer. Todd and Terry talk about drugs and the greed that drives abuse. Born in Southside of Chicago, he is the oldest of 3 brothers. He started out playing NCAA division one basketball as a person who stands 6 foot 8 inches tall. Professionally, he started out at Wendys corporate and ended up pivoting into law enforcement - despite his father not wanting him to pursue a career in law enforcement. He waited until his passing to pursue this new career. Todd shares his appreciation for law enforcement officers and believes they get a bad rap due to misconceptions in society.Terry shares perspectives as a police officer, his desire to serve and various personal stories. He expresses how traumatizing shooting someone is and the impact it has on a police officer. He shares how this sort of experience impacts the life of the shooter forever. Terry recounts stories from his first calls as a law enforcement officer. Todd shares a couple of stories from his past experiences with marijuana in high school. Terry talks about his progression throughout the ranks of law enforcement and how that evolved into creating a school security consulting company to help protect schools from violent encounters. We talk about Uvalde and why it's become so important for schools to have a plan and resources to protect the lives of it's students and faculty.Terry shares how drugs, alcohol and mental illness cause the need for law enforcement protection. He also shares from his perspective how the media changes the dynamics and facts in various situations. Todd shares a story about his experience with The Landmark Forum and how it taught him to live in true integrity, eliminate filters we see the world through, and how it changed his perspective forever.His battle with cancer started about 10 years ago and talks about surviving amputation and dealing with the challenges of the disease. He talks about the details of his struggle and how Faith in something bigger than himself has helped him. Todd shares details about Royal Rife and The Rife Machine, as well as how he learned about homeopathy and the effectiveness of essential oils. We discuss how the body operates on a frequency response cycle. Todd shares details about The Water Experiment and how our thoughts impact our physical health and dynamics.Terry shares how he wished for death and found strength and life through God. He discusses how he chose to live and face the challenges he had been dealt. He reminds to be careful what you think because it has a lasting impact on life. It's important to make something positive out of negative thoughts. Todd talks about his battle with depression and the dark hole he fought to escape. Terry shares how he went from "glass half empty" to "glass half full" mentality. He states that changing the narrative with positive thoughts and outcomes helps to change your perspective. We must keep hope alive. In his book "Sustainable Excellence - 10 principles to leading your uncommon and extraordinary life", Terry discusses why it's important to discover your unique gifts and purpose in life. His sense of purpose in helping others through his unique experiences led him to write the book. Terry defines success as "piece of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best of what you are capable of becoming". He reminds that people comparing themselves to others can interfere with the ability to understand and achieve success.To Learn More About Terry Tucker, please visit Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 024 Mental Health Doctor | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:06:10

On today's episode, we are joined by Dr. Nghi Dang - an innovative mental health doctor in Fullerton, California. Born in Vietnam, he moved to the USA when he was 6. His parents are still together. We discuss Asian culture and differences with American culture and the importance of family in Asian culture. Nghi shares his beliefs as a Buddhist and the value of letting go of all humanly needs. He shares early memories with family in Vietnam. He is the youngest of his siblings and has 2 brothers and a sister. When he first came to the US, he was surprised by how differently children interacted with teachers than what he was used to in his culture.Nghi recounts how he learned English and went from being the best in class to the worst in class. He struggled with isolation and indifference due to not knowing the language. This led to being in a lot of fights at school and having to relocate. But he dedicated himself to the process and learned the language and cultural norms. Through this process, he adapted and overcame his challenges. He recalls when his parents decided to move to a more Asian community in Orange County.He discovered he wanted to work in healthcare to help others. He graduated medical school in 2012 and recalls the relief of completing his education. Completing his residency was the proudest moment in the process, as well as the most challenging. During his first patient experience, he recalls the regret of losing his first patient (beyond his control).Todd and Nghi talk mental health and how far we have come to treat various ailments. We discuss ADHD, potential causes and how it feels to have this condition (Todd). Todd shares how he was fed caffeine as a baby to mitigate his ADHD symptoms. Nghi shares how to recognize the differences between normal stress and potentially a mental health condition. Todd discusses how he struggled with energy management issues and how he came to discover Lexapro as a helpful medication for him. He found the medication very helpful to reduce anxiety and erroneous stress.Todd asks what its like for a child to struggle with mental illness, and not even knowing it. Nghi wrote a book series to highlight, address, and provide hope for overcoming mental health issues. We discuss how parents can recognize issues from school age on and seek professional help. Todd jokes that mental health is almost like a sport in America, and Nghi discusses how life changes through successful treatment of mental illness. We discuss how right vs wrong is an underlying characteristic of behavior and how adults can struggle with un-diagnosed mental illness.As a mental health doctor, Nghi wrote a book series that addresses children's mental health issues after his nephew committed suicide. He was moved to help educate and open up a dialogue with children and parents about mental health. His nephew struggled with depression which led to an unfortunate hopelessness and eventual termination of his own life. Nghi hopes to raise awareness and prevent this despair in others, especially children. Each of his books deals with relevant issues facing children today that he has learned about through actual patient treatment. We wrap up discussing how his parents feel about his success in life and Nghi shares advice for those struggling with mental health issues. Todd talks about balance in life.To learn more about Dr. Nghi Dang and discover his books, please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 023 Healthy Communication | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:10:23

On today's show, we are joined by Brenden Kumarasamy from Montreal, Canada. We discuss life in Canada today. Todd shares his love of Terrance and Phillip on South Park. His parents immigrated from Sri Lanka in the 90s and he was born in Canada. He has a huge family on both sides all around the world. Todd talks about the differences between his family and other cultures. His father passed away 3 years ago, and he lives with his mother and little sister. He can't remember the last time they argued. Brenden explains how his culture combines effort and resources to help one another.We talk about arranged marriage and how it works. Todd heard that he could meet an Asian woman by playing pai gow in Phoenix. Brendan recalls his first day of preschool as being the first memory that had a huge impact for him. He had a physical disability and didn't speak the native language, which presented challenges that he overcame. He excelled academically and worked hard to get good grades. He was the first in his family to graduate college, his sister will be the second. His family shares expenses and responsibilities related to living in order to help each other. Todd shares his college experience and that he wishes everyone knew that going to school is supposed to teach you to think.Brenden recalls his struggles with poverty and growing up in a dysfunctional household (dad was an alcoholic). He learned what he should and should not be doing with his life. Todd shares a story about his father, who was also an alcoholic and lived a little like Jack Kerouac. Todd asks about Brenden's father, who he stopped talking with until the day he died. He recalls how his father was the biggest blessing in his life, despite the challenges.Throughout his life, Brenden never turned to alcohol or drugs for comfort. He is clean and sober. Todd asks what it's like to be clean and clear, without addiction. He believes in personal choice and responsibility. His belief is that we have a finite time on earth and he does not want to taint his thinking or purpose in life. Todd shares some info about cannabis, cbd, cbg, and cbn. Brenden believes marijuana should be legal.Brenden became an entrepreneur through going to business school, and how “case competition” played a role in the selection process. He saw this as his way out of poverty. At the age of 19, he learned the skills necessary to win and began coaching others in communication. He began a YouTube channel called Master Talk, which continues to be successful today – all from his mother's basement. Despite this, he coaches high level business executives in the art of communication to this day.Through his business partner, Brenden realized he had a gift that was financially rewarding. He learned he could do what he loved and get paid well for doing it. He reflects that time is way more valuable than money. He strives to help people learn to communicate effectively. Todd is reminded that using people's name in communication is very important to respect and connection. Brenden shares that people aren't motivated enough to practice healthy communication. He encourages people to imagine how their lives will change through learning better communication skills. We wrap up by discussing how we can heal our divided world through healthy communication and love.To learn more about Brenden Kumarasamy, please visit: and Master Talk on YouTube Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 022 Beautiful Haiti | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:27:46

On today's episode, Fritznel Octave (49) joins us from Kissimme Florida. A veteran journalist, activist and author, he shares his journey as a Haitian native. Born in Haiti,he moved to the USA 20 years ago. We talk about life and culture in Florida. Todd talks about SCUBA diving in Florida. Fritznel shares his story growing up in Haiti and how the culture differs from other cultures. Community and love is the glue of the Haitian people.He was born in a small village in remote Haiti and describes how neighbors used to watch each other's back and support the community. He describes how this has changed over the years. Both his parents are still alive and together (66 years) and recounts the blessing this is in his life. Family is huge for him – he is the 3rd born of 8 sisters and 4 brothers. He shares his love of family and how it provided loving connections throughout his childhood and life. He maintains contact with all his relatives and cherishes the love they share together.God is first, family second, then work – the three things Fritznel keeps in mind in everything he does. We discuss differences in American and Haitian society. An optimist, he believes there is much more good than bad in the world. He shares how Haiti is viewed and sometimes misunderstood. The beauty of the culture is simplicity and meeting basic needs. It's life quality over quantity, Fritznel explains. Music was a huge part of his childhood memories. His family would pray, sing and dance together, enjoying all sorts of music – just being happy together.Fritznel shares that he has never experienced racism in his life as a person of color. Todd believes this is refreshing and unique. Fritznel shares that racism is a mindset gained over time through perception – and becomes a way of life, if not carefully kept in check. We discuss how racism can be eliminated through education and keeping a balanced mind. We grow and learn through our differences and the presence of God in life. Fritznel shares that he believes that social media and other distractions move us away from old-school values and experiences.We discuss the Haitian Slave Revolution in 1492 and the power of unity among the people who fought and won this important historic battle against forced labor, slavery, and other terrible conditions imposed by the colonists invading the already populated area. The slaves rebelled, organized, and defeated the colonists trying to change their way of life and enslave them. Todd shares that he is a direct ancestor of Napoleon Bonaparte (who invaded Haiti in the revolution). The final battle was waged in 1803 against the Napoleonic French Army and the slaves won their freedom. Fritznel shares how this experience shaped Haitian culture over time.We wrap up talking about cultural differences with smoking, drugs, marijuana, and music. Haiti is a melting pot of different cultures, which contributes to it's rich diversity and cultural experience. Fritznel recently published a book “Haiti: Between Pestilence and Hope” which explores the culture in a real and raw way from his personal experience. Todd talks about his cousin Carolle Jean Murat, who is also an activist for the Haitian people. Haitians believe in community and group support. God is the key.To learn more about Fritznel Octave and discover his book, please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 021 The Media Man | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 57:35

Vinnie Potestivo joins us today from Brooklyn, New York. Has 2 siblings and parents separated during the fifth grade. His family faced issues with addiction. He thought he would end up in theater as a child, but ended up creating his own path to success. We discuss early influences to his career path and changes to television over the years, UFOs, and some popular shows he worked on. Vinnie shares perspective on how television influences differentiated throughout history.Powerful and terrifying...the two words Vinnie uses to describe his ascent to success. He works with celebrities and the general public to create impact through valuable programming. His worth with MTV spans across a plethora of well known shows and popular artists. His grandma introduced him to Frank Sinatra and older music, which influenced his eclectic tastes over the years. He has always enjoyed television more than music, it's about dissecting and analyzing the content and participant decisions.He became the first Talent Assistant for MTV and ended up managing and casting audiences for many popular shows over the years, including Ozzy Osborne, Punk'd, Mandy Moore, Beyonce, Runs House, and many others. He shares how transparency and focusing on the outcome works in the context of his work. We talk about how celebrities are off screen and camera - as real people.Vinnie shares how his sexuality as a gay person played a role in his personal and professional development during the 90s. We discuss story telling vs. story writing. Todd shares Mister Ballen on YouTube (an excellent story teller) and believes gay people are the top of the line in terms of creativity and innovation. He discusses how he had to learn to find friends and compatible people for his path in life – being gay, and the challenges that came along with it. He further shares how he sought acceptance throughout his life. He shares how his parents splitting up forced him to learn how to relate to people in a deeper way.Todd asks why people seem to have a sense of separation between gay and straight lifestyles. Vinnie reflects on biblical references to being gay and how vocabulary has changed over the years. He believes in God and discusses how society views these issues. Vinnie shares how he most enjoys being in the moment and present in his interactions with others.Today, Vinnie is a media advisor / creative economist. He helps people stand out in media and find what makes them successful and plugging that into creative content planning and execution. He offers valuable resources (Creator Hub) on his website to help people find awards and opportunities that help people stand out. He shares why awards are important and how easy they are to earn. Also, that getting a listing on IMDB is a valuable tool in any online marketing strategy.Vinnie shares why being a podcaster today is a solid investment of time and energy. Todd talks about how podcasting reminds him of old time radio and how that exposes human dynamics that people are hungry for. Finally, Vinnie shares that he enjoys working with all types of people and has something to offer most anyone who is seeking to expand their reach and success in pursuing their career path in media. Todd encourages others to start a podcast and explore the potential of their ideas.To learn more about Vinnie Postestivo, please visit: or Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 020 - Embracing Our Differences | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:07:09

Today we are joined by Debra E Blaine (61 years young) in Long Island, New York. Born and raised in Long Island, she moved to San Antonio and then Austin, Texas at age 16. She shares her story from early life and how she found her way to her path in life. As a Jewish person she shares her perspectives being misunderstood and judged by others. We discuss aspects of Jewish life and culture that led to developing her belief systems. She shares how she went from pursuing purpose to practicing medicine. Her faith is key in life, purpose and her connection to the earth.Both her parents and brother have passed away, but Debra recalls how her family influenced her faith. She majored in Hebrew and shares it's importance in her life. We discuss how people should be focused on things we share in common, rather than that which divides us. We talk about friendship and why some are meant to be long or short-term. In addition to medicine, Debra offers coaching to help people find the strength in identity to have healthier lives. We discuss the silent majority in culture over time.Debra reminds that life is not just black and white. More people would benefit from being in the middle and addressing fears that prevent authentic expression. We discuss how people form opinions without even having the information to back up their perspectives. The sheep effect, if you will. Todd shares his Landmark Forum experience and talks about “things we know, things we don't know, and things we don't know we don't know”. We talk about how extremism is created and invades society and that it's the people's responsibility to educate themselves. Debra shares that we should accept one another and learn from our differences.Debra shares how her writing “truth in fiction” helps others learn from our differences. Todd shares how he feels differences make relationship more interesting and fulfilling. Debra reminds that life should be a win-win. Through people's need for community and connection people have become extreme due to choosing “sides” and engaging in conflict, rather than agreement in addressing differences. We discuss helping those in need and how we should all be in agreement to save the planet. Debra shares how her characters explore challenging and engaging topics.Todd shares how his podcast guests have taught him many valuable lessons that are all similar, yet unique. He shares how these lessons remind us to love ourselves and others, and to live in a spiritual way. Debra shares that we should also forgive ourselves in the process of loving. In order to love another, we must love ourselves first. Truth must be maintained in the context of perspective. We talk about how even though we are different, we are all human beings with feelings, lives, and purpose.Debra shares information about her books and what readers can expect reading her material. Her writing style is “truth in fiction”, science fiction”, and “thriller”. Her stories and characters reflect reality and exploring real life topics through the characters. She explores eternal questions in her books in a compelling manner that teaches us how we can change to make a better world together. We wrap up discussing various topics and perspectives from her book series.To learn more about Debra E Blaine or discover her coaching, please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

 Episode 019 From Addiction to Success | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:20

Daniel Blue joins us today, sharing his life and thoughts about living in Las Vegas. He faced an Oxycontin addiction at the early age of 18. Not until his daughter was born at age 19 did he get clean by changing his environment. He moved from St. George Utah to Las Vegas to get clean. Having both parents and siblings growing up, Daniel recalls family life and when his dad left (at age 12) to Mexico. This led to drug abuse and stagnation during high school and a short stint in college.His family encouraged success in Daniel's early life. He remains very close with his siblings. His desire to share his newly born daughter led to him forgiving his father and re-connecting to heal their relationship. Todd asks how to deal with the baggage of having estranged family members. Daniel shares how forgiveness gives us peace and releases the negative energy that we often hold onto. It took him 8 years to process this in his own experience.One Thanksgiving he found himself withdrawing from oxy, his daughter was just 6 months old, and he finally saw the need to change his life. He took action within a week and never looked back. He discusses the challenges of drug addiction as a parent and how he found his way out. Todd and Daniel talk about places they used to live in Southern California. They both miss the ocean.Through changing his environment and staying connected to successful, motivated people, he has found solid ground for his life to flourish. To meet these people, Daniel shares that he goes to networking events and other places where like minded people congregate. We talk about what makes young people want to use drugs and how to avoid it. Daniel shares that life is short and we must cherish it to the fullest. Finding himself in the face of adversity was largely influenced by his daughter. He wanted to be a great dad.He started Quest Education to teach people how to access their money tax free, and leverage retirement account financing in innovative ways. His business teaches how to minimize tax liability and maximize their long term savings. Todd and Daniel talk about retirement, crypto and nfts. Helping others prepare for retirement and manage retirement assets is his life's mission. He reminds us we all have an expiration date in life and to never be afraid to lose.To learn more about Daniel Blue please visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


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