Montana Public Radio

Can Do: Essential Business Lessons

  • Hosted by Arnie Sherman

Can Do, MTPR's podcast on business and entrepreneurship hosted by Arnie Sherman is in its fourth season, and we’re expanding. This season will feature the same informative interviews and the lessons Montana business owners and entrepreneurs have to share. But times are changing. There’s a major election in November and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change how business is done.

The main focus this season is on the here & now. How does a business survive in today’s volatile economy? How can you transition your business or start a new one? What can you do to make sure your finances are in order? We’ll be asking these questions to business experts in Montana and around the country.

Listen to Can Do at www.mtpr.org or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes are published every other Monday.

Ways to Connect

Joe Anderson, co-founder of Reflex Protect
courtesy of Joe Anderson

In July 1993, a gunman opened fire at the San Francisco law firm of Pettit & Martin, killing eight people and wounding six more. Several of the casualties were friends and former colleagues of Joe Anderson, who'd worked at the firm. Joe is an entertainment attorney, a fourth-generation Montanan from Shelby, and a serial entrepreneur. After the shooting, an enduring question haunted him: “Is there a reliable way to stop violence without being violent?”

Sportswriter Chad Dundas has covered wrestling and mixed martial arts for ESPN, NBC Sports, the Associated Press, Sporting News, and since 2019, full-time for The Athletic. But like many Montanans, he doesn’t hold down just one job: he’s also an acclaimed novelist and short-story writer, a podcaster, and a wrestling promoter. Today on Can Do, we're asking: how does a solo practitioner hop between multiple gigs while keeping track of businessy details like contracts and taxes?

Dave McEvoy, co-founder and owner of Aerie Backcountry Medicine
courtesy of David McEvoy

What's Dave McEvoy's starting point for Aerie Backcountry Medicine's wilderness first responder training courses? The assumption that, in the backcountry, “no one is coming to help you.” What's the corollary? That an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. “First of all, what you mostly want is to not need help. So wilderness medicine classes are a lot about prevention.” Very basic prevention, it turns out, of blisters, hypothermia and twisted ankles - not to mention the potential hazards that accompany backcountry work and travel.

(L-R) Toby O'Rourke, Walt Muralt, Drake Doepke.
courtesy

Between March 15 and April 10, 2020, more than 64,000 Montanans lost their jobs and filed for unemployment benefits. In mid-April, Can Do host Arnie Sherman caught up with previous guests to learn how government stimulus programs and breathtaking shifts in the business environment are driving their decisions as employers and entrepreneurs. In Part Two of this two-part episode, you'll get an update from three Montana business owners in the fields of trucking, travel and dining. 

(L-R) Courtney and John McKee, Spencer Williams, Michelle Huie.
courtesy

Like business owners everywhere, manufacturers in Montana are getting pitched around by COVID-19's macroeconomic shock waves. In mid-April 2020, Can Do host Arnie Sherman caught up with several previous guests to get updates on how they're coping. Part One of this two-part episode features Montana entrepreneurs who are pivoting to help their communities while keeping their companies afloat.

Gil Stober, Peak Recording Studios

What do Bill Gates and a small county seat in central Montana share? Their respective kudos to the company, Eventgroove. Speaking at a Montana economic summit about technology's ability to connect buyers with sellers around the globe, Gates singled out Eventgroove, name-dropping one notable customer of this Harlowton event-tech firm: Microsoft.

How Sarah Calhoun Is Working To Revive Rural America

Mar 23, 2020
Sarah Calhoun is the founder of a Red Ants Pants apparel company, a foundation and a music festival.
Gil Stober, Peak Recording

A trailblazer is a pioneer, an innovator–someone who blazes new tracks through wild country. If you’re looking for a modern day trailblazer, look no further than Sarah Calhoun.

Born in Connecticut, Sarah was inspired to relocate small-town Montana by author Ivan Doig’s memoir, This House of Sky. After falling in love with the writer and his work, Sarah found herself living in his rural hometown of White Sulphur Springs.

Mike Steinberg
Courtesy

What’s the common thread between wildlife conservation, performing arts and independent cinema? That would be Mike Steinberg, a gifted leader in community non-profit entrepreneurship in Montana. Mike is Executive Director of both the International Wildlife Film Festival and Missoula’s Roxy Theater.

Havre Company Thrives By Building A Better Sports Bra

Feb 21, 2020

Enell Sports Bras is a successful womenswear company based in Havre, a small college town in north-central Montana.

For founder Renelle Braaten, necessity became the mother of invention. As an avid volleyball player, she needed bras designed for active full-figured women and couldn’t find any. So, Renelle took on the challenge of designing one herself. In 1993, with the help of her mother, a skilled seamstress, Renelle designed a patchwork prototype.

Brigitta Miranda-Freer
Courtesy of Brigitta Miranda-Freer

Imagine pulling out a new board game's instructions and discovering that the normally skinny pamphlet runs thousands of pages and spells out the rules of the game from soup to nuts. That's what an international trade agreement looks like: it's comprehensive, it's years in the making, and millions of people's livelihoods depend on it.

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