i033 Ram Castillo – From Underdog to Expert Design Mentor


Today’s episode is a little different than our typical interviews. Ram Castillo, an expert design mentor from Australia, takes us along as he recounts his journey shares with us the winding journey that took him from an extreme “underdog” life to a strong career in design and business.

It’s a story that has a few different twists and turns, all of which helped to point Ram in the right direction.

And I like that, because running a business isn’t always straightforward and easy. Sometimes you just have to make the best decisions based on the options in front of you, trusting that it will bring you to where you want to go.

Because, as Ram shared, he had to let go of the pre-established beliefs he had on his future. He had to learn how to dive into his talents and dream big.

It’s definitely something that we can all relate to!

More About Ram

Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker and Author of the internationally acclaimed book ‘How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed’.

He’s based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog GiantThinkers.com which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, AIGA.org and Apple. Plus, CreativeLive; the world’s largest live streaming education website, personally invited Ram to deliver two classes in San Francisco. He delivered those classes after his three-month, 22 city, USA speaking tour over November 2014 to January 2015 and engaged with over 10,000 people.

With 12 years experience working for globally renowned agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, DDB and McCann Worldgroup on clients including Audi, McDonald’s, Qantas, Coca-Cola, Google and The Louis Vuitton Group, he’s able to give back to the industry which has given him avalanches in return.

Ram is regarded as a world leading career expert for emerging designers. The infectious mix of his hyper-practical thinking, relevant approaches and enormous drive has seen students transition from education to working in the real world at a rapid rate.

i032 Astrid Mueller – From Insurance To World Class Design Brand Matters

design branding with Astrid Mueller

In this episode, we get to hear from Astrid Mueller, a lovely and enthusiastic lady who’s armed with different tools and tips for the fashion industry and beyond. I love her passion and her excitement!

In this interview, Astrid shares how she decided to challenge herself and make her childhood dreams come true. Of course, that didn’t just happen overnight. From working for other people to starting her first company, Astrid learned first-hand about the importance of branding and purpose when it comes to running a business.

It took a little bit of time and some hard work, but after her re-design and re-launch, Astrid began to experience the success that comes with focusing on and attracting her ideal customers.

What she shares about branding and focusing on a very narrow niche market is so spot-on, especially when you’re just starting your business. If you don’t start narrow, it’s really hard to get known for something.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do – and be sure to listen closely to take in the 3 Power Tips that Astrid shares!

More About Astrid Mueller

Astrid Mueller is a talented visual brand strategist whose signature feminine style has captured the interest and appreciation of fashion mainstays from Swarovski to Diesel, as well as bridal hubs like The Knot and You and Your Wedding London.

Her fashion-inspired illustrations have been published by the likes of Random House, Scholastic and Reader’s Digest, graced the cover of the Professional Association for Design’s (AIGA) journal, and featured by numerous women’s fashion publications and wedding blogs, including Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and Style and the Bride.

Through her own branding studio, Astrid helps female entrepreneurs in the fashion industry and beyond to have a unique and memorable brand and grow business through compelling, tailored design. Drawing from her own experiences as designer and creative entrepreneur (she started her first company in Switzerland in 2005, and has designed for and launched numerous brands ever since, including her unique Lucite jewelry line possibility, one of the emerging accessory brands at Phoenix Fashionweek 2014) Astrid has a special passion to help other women business owners and solopreneurs succeed.

World traveler and a romantic at heart, Swiss-born Astrid followed her dream to live and work in the USA, where she studied at Parsons in New York, then moved to Kodiak Island, Alaska (for love, of course!). From this remote but gorgeous island, she inspires and empowers women business owners worldwide through her savvy in branding, entrepreneurship and design.

i031 Lara McCulloch – Drop The Conditioning and Listen To Your Soul

If you’re ready to stop listening so much to how other people view success, and ready to start pursuing the things that you need to live a fulfilled life, you’ll love this interview by Lara McCulloch.

career fulfillment

Lara McCulloch shares a wealth of counterintuitive wisdom in this episode of Off The Charts. If you’ve done the 30 Day List Building Challenge and have been focusing a lot on the technical aspects of running an online business, the wisdom Lara shares is definitely going to be hugely refreshing to hear.

Off The Charts Business Podcast

In this interview, Lara shares the impetus behind her total career shift, from employee to entrepreneur.

Although she’d been spent 15 years climbing the ladder and establishing a super-successful career (and had a great, high-paying job), when Lara stopped and looked at her core – at her soul – she realized that she was extremely unhappy and unfulfilled.

Not only does she talk about the way she decided to re-envision her own success, but she also talks about the ways that creating the right business model was integral to bringing everything together. And that’s where the sweet spot of career fulfillment really lies for the entrepreneur.

More About Lara McCulloch

Lara McCulloch is a renowned, results-driven marketing expert with over 20 years as a Brand Consultant for multinationals like Cadbury-Adams, Unilever and Shell, Lara brings ‘Big Brand Thinking’ to small business. Her consulting firm is focused on building growth, reputation and evangelism for companies around the world.

She’s been touted as a pioneering force in the marketing revolution, founding one of the world’s first twitter communities. She’s travelled throughout the world as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, changing the way that companies think about their brands.

The culmination of Lara’s passion and experience has heralded leadership posts on numerous industry Advisory Boards, a monthly column for an international magazine and recognition with three National Awards for dedication, spirit and leadership as well as the esteem of Industry Innovator. She has graduated from Ivy Business School’s prestigious Executive Program, but it’s the title of Mom that brings her the most pride.

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