The Pathways to Success with Julian Placino

Julian Placino is a professional recruiter, speaker, and entrepreneur. On the Pathways to Success Podcast, he conducts in-depth interviews with world-class performers to discover their mindsets, tactics, and behaviors. He has interviewed CEOs, New York Times bestselling authors, TEDx speakers, celebrity athletes, company founders, leading entrepreneurs, and prolific thought leaders.
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The Pathways to Success with Julian Placino




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Jun 13, 2016

Zack Hooper is the Co-founder and Principal of NPC Commercial Roofing, one of the fastest-growing new roofing companies in Texas. Zack considers himself a perpetual student and master of sales, and credits a significant amount of his ability to sell to his experience as a stand-up comedian.

Starting stand-up as a college student in 2009, Zack learned a great deal about how to connect with people in the best way he knew how; by making them laugh! When he decided not to pursue his intended path into professional comedy, Zack bounced around different jobs, lost and unsure about what direction to take before ultimately deciding to start his own business with his brother. On top of running their company, Zack is taking his story and lessons learned to universities and churches, talking to students about understanding the sales process and applying it to their own search for employment. 

On this episode, Zack shares his experiences in Stand-up comedy and how it has helped his professional career. 


Jun 6, 2016

Jason Croft is the Producer and Host of Startup Dallas, a Youtube Channel and Podcast where he interviews successful entrepreneurs from the Dallas area. 

He is also on the verge of launching his own show, The Jason Croft Show. Jason is a true media veteran with 22 years of experience specializing in video production. 

On this episode, Jason gives us some amazing insights into his media experience, interview techniques and much more! 

Startup Dallas:


May 30, 2016

Joshua Hall is a Usability Expert who has worked in a variety of industries including gaming, travel, e-commerce, healthcare, retail, food & restaurant.

Highlights of Joshua’s Career: 

  • Certified Usability Analyst with Human Factors International.
  • His testing experience includes mobile, tablet, web, command line, kiosk as well as gaming applications 
  • Led the usability testing effort for Sabre Airline Solutions, which is used by 200 + global airlines
  • Credited in the Borderland 2 end credits, which is one of the best selling games of 2012, with over 12 million copies to date
  • He’s worked with other amazing brands including Coca-Cola, Chik-Fil-A, Mary Kay, ABC, NBC and American Airlines
  • He’s speaker and organizer in the Dallas UXPA community
  • Today, he leads all usability efforts for Bottle Rocket Studios, and award winning mobile development firm that has produced some of the highest quality mobile apps in the world.

On this episode we discuss:

  • What usability is
  • Benefits of usability
  • How usability can enhance your business 
  • Usability ROI
  • How to do low cost scrappy usability
  • Best practices of usability and much more! 
May 23, 2016

Brock Hardman is a Survivalist who has built a substantial firewall for himself and his family in case of any major financial, political or even natural disaster. 

Some have even referred to him as a, “Doomsday Prepper.” His interest in overall preparedness and survival techniques began in 2011 after watching a financial documentary that completely changed his way of thinking. Since then, he’s learned Krav Maga, a form of self defense first developed by the Israeli army in the 1940’s, implemented numerous financial safeguards and has acquired a number very interesting survival assets including an above ground tornado shelter, 1.5 years worth of food supply and various firearms for self defense. 

On this episode, Brock shares why and how he has prepared for various types of emergencies. 



May 16, 2016

Ryan is a solo freelance developer consistently making over a quarter of a million dollars per year from consulting work, while having the freedom to pick and choose the clients that he works with. Using the lessons from his own consulting business, he teaches other freelancers and consultants how to build sustainable six-figure businesses of their own. In 2015, he launched LetsMakeApps, a lead generation service for freelance designers and developers. 

Listeners to this podcast episode can receive a discount code for LetsMakeApps and other bonuses by going to

Unlike other consultants or developers, he’s both an experienced product manager as well as an active developer so he can ensure a strategy that furthers a company's goals while being technically feasible at the same time. 

Ryan has worked with amazing companies such as Nike, Fannie Mae, Bayer, VMWare and dozens of startups on their mobile strategy and execution across dozens of apps and millions of active users. 

He is also the author of the guide titled, “My First Million Dollars from Freelance” with many more posts in the works. 

On this episode, he shares his secrets to running a successful freelance business. 


May 9, 2016

Laura Lamons is a lifelong athlete and sponsored runner by RunOn! Although she's competed in soccer, tennis, cycling, basketball, volleyball and softball she began to hone in on running during college at the University of North Texas.

She became a sponsored runner in 2014 so you can find her running competitively in DFW almost every other weekend. In just a few years she has completed over 50 races! She’s run every distance from 5k to marathon and is always looking for the next challenge. Always pushing herself to the next level she’s even completed her first duathlon! 

In addition to her impressive credentials as an athlete she’s also built a successful career in e-commerce and mobile project management. 

Laura is an incredible athlete, an accomplished project management professional and an inspiring human being. 

On this episode she shares her amazing journey of becoming a sponsored runner and provides personal insights into her training, nutrition, recovery and mindset. 

May 2, 2016

Mark Sinatra is CEO of Staff One HR. Before joining Staff One HR, Mark co-founded Gordian Capital, a private investment company that focuses on making long-term investments in lower middle market companies. He has worked in the private equity, investment banking, consulting, and business process outsourcing industries. He came to Staff One HR with some impressive roles under his belt at companies that include Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Andersen, RR Donnelley and also The Parthenon Group.

Mark is actively involved in the PEO industry as a Board Director of both ESAC and NAPEO.  When he’s not working, Mark is helping in the community. He is a Board Advisor to The Kikulu Foundation, a Board Director for First3years, a partner with Social Venture Partners – Dallas, and a volunteer with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. Mark also is a member of Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) - Lone Star Chapter.

He is an MBA graduate of the Wharton School of Business, and holds a BA in Economics from Fordham University.  Mark earned the SHRM-CP Certification in August 2015.

On this episode he shares his unique journey into entrepreneurship through acquisition. 

Apr 25, 2016

Bob McDaniel is certified Spartan SGX Coach & Spartan Obstacle Specialist. He started Spartan racing in May of 2012. Since then, he’s completed 4 Spartan Trifectas which are 3 separate Spartan races, of varying distances completed over the course of 1 year. 

Bob has accomplished 12 first place finishes in his age group from 2013 - 2015. In this episode, Bob shares his best advice on training, nutrition and mindset. 

At 67 years of age, Bob is one of the most inspirational people I have met! 

Apr 18, 2016

Brandon Jenkins is a talented musician who was first inspired by rap music at the age of 12 years old. Since then, his life long dream was to become a professional musician. 

While most kids his age were busy playing video games or hanging out with their friends, he was honing his craft by writing song verses and turning them into raps. 

Determined to make his dream a reality, using pure grit, determination and hustle, he released his first album at the age of 16 which sold 2,000 copies statewide and launched him into local stardom. 

At 17 years old, his successes in multiple hip hop contest gave him the chance to perform with artists such as the Yin Yang Twins, Mims, Big Sean, Three Six Mafia, MC Breed and Paul Wall. 

After his high school graduation, he focused full time on his music career. 2011 became his biggest year when he released the single With you Tonight featuring Drew32 & Astray produced by Donny Boy. This song would head to regional radio markets and sat on the playlists for more than 13 weeks. In the midst of much success and becoming increasingly closer to achieve his dream in the music industry,the death of a close friend forced him to re-think life and wonder about his own existence. 

He went on a 2 year spiritual hiatus and uprooted himself from Michigan to Dallas where he began working at the Boys & Girls Club and volunteering at a local church with the youth. After a few months in Texas, he began getting opportunities to speak at prisons, churches and youth groups about how God turned his life around. 

Now in 2016, he’s on the verge of relaunching his career with a new mission and purpose behind his music. 

Apr 11, 2016

Anthony Victorio is a software engineer lead currently working at Facebook. In this episode he shares his insights on how he got the job at Facebook as well as what it's like to work for the social media giant. As a bonus, he gives us some insights into his approaches to problem solving. 

Anthony is one of my oldest, closest and most loyal friends. He has influenced me a great deal throughout my life and I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren't for my connection to him. 

Apr 4, 2016

Mike Leduc is a very accomplished software engineering leader with over 20 years of experience. He was former the Vice President of Software Engineering for Bottle Rocket Studios, a mobile app development company that has produced some of the highest quality mobile apps in the world. At Bottle Rocket, he managed the software engineering group which consisted of iOS, android, sever, web and quality assurance professionals. In addition to providing strategic and tactical leadership, he has hired, trained and mentored some of best software engineering talent in the market. 

He has an uncanny ability to recognize engineering talent then groom them to becoming world class software engineers. Several of his proteges have gone off to work for companies like Apple, Twitter, Amazon and many other amazing companies. Although a significant portion of his career has been spent in leadership roles, he is certainly not afraid to get his hands dirty in code. Quoting from his linked in page, “I am, and will, always be, an engineer at heart. Scratch me and I bleed code.” 

Mike is a brilliant software engineering leader and an incredible coach and mentor. In this episode, he gives great career advice for computer science students and entry level programmers looking to build a career in software development. 

Mar 28, 2016

Ian Parkinson is a technology professional and former Marine Sergeant. Today, he is the Quality Assurance Manager for the AWE Division of Bottle Rocket Studios, one of the premier mobile development firms in the world. As a recruiter, I've encountered many of our veterans who are struggling to find work and translating their military experience to a private sector job. On episode 05 of the Pathways to Success, former Marine Sergeant, Ian Parkinson shares how he conducted his job search after his active duty and ultimately built successful career in technology. Please share this episode with any of our veterans who are struggling to find employment. 


Mar 21, 2016

Billie Placino, my amazing sister, is a personal trainer and single mother of two. 

She wasn’t always in great shape. As a matter of fact, she was severely overweight as a result of her two pregnancies. This is her inspiring story of how she was able to lose 56 pounds, 30% body fat and went from a size 16 to a size 2. 

Billie is an active personal trainer for Anytime Fitness at the Rowlett and Firewheel locations in Texas. 

To connect with Billie Placino, follow her on Instagram at @BilliePlacino

 Billie's before and after pic

Mar 14, 2016

J.R. Atkins is a Professional Speaker, Author and Consultant. 

In his first book, Success Simplified, with Dr. Stephan Covey, Dr. Tony Alessandra and Patricia Fripp J.R wrote about how organizations can use social media to communicate with perspective customers, current clients and employees. His most recent book, Roadmap to Success, with Deepak Chopra and Ken Blanchard J.R. writes about mobile app development for individuals, small companies and large enterprises. 

As a speaker, he’s noted for “taking the mystery out of technology” and speaking in terms that “even a CEO can understand.” J.R. has been speaking publicly since 1994.You can learn more about J.R. at



Mar 5, 2016

Alex Craig is the founder of, a website where you can ship a potato through the mail with a personalized message on it.

As ridiculous as this business sounds, he consistently made up to $10,000 per month sending potatoes through the mail!

This crazy venture landed him a feature on the Steve Harvey show!

Alex also landed several media mentions on WFAA, CNBC and


Mar 5, 2016

Make Your Life Sweeter® founder Yasmeen Tadia has transformed standard-issue, carnival cotton candy and popcorn into gourmet indulgences with her signature line of sweet sensations, including Fluffpop® Gourmet Mini Cotton Candy, Hotpoppin® Gourmet Popcorn, The Mini Mason™, and her recent creation: Sugaire™ Organic Cotton Candy 

Her story of risking it all by leaving her corporate job to start her own business is truly inspiring! 

You can learn more about Yasmeen Tadia at

Mar 5, 2016

This episode introduces Julian Placino and states the mission behind the Pathways to Success Podcast. 

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