Deb Gaut

Deb Gaut is a leadership + success coach, facilitator, and podcaster. Her passion is helping creatives, innovators, and difference makers craft bold visions and strategies, overcome obstacles and challenges, and move confidently toward the future.

From Rock ‘N’ Roll to YouTube with Bob Baker

Bob Baker is that rarest of creatives. He’s an accomplished musician, singer/songwriter, author, improv performer, and YouTube content creator, and he’s been successful in each of these arenas. In this delightfully inspiring and engaging interview, Bob reflects on a lifetime of experiences. You’ll learn how he got started in his music and writing careers, and how he has leveraged multiple creative passions to generate unique business and career opportunities. You’ll also hear how a difficult period in his life led Bob (and life partner Pooki Lee) to becoming the successful YouTube content creators they are today—with more than 302K subscribers and 1 million views per month. You’ll love Bob’s charming sense of humor, his marvelous stories, and the wonderful wisdom and success secrets he so generously shares.

If you’re looking for a perfect way to rev up your mojo, then on your mark, get set, hit <Play>.

The Backstory

It’s amazing how a particular place and moment in time can forever alter the course of our lives and careers. Such was the case that rainy, blustery day in 2017, when I first walked into a collaborative working space in Saint Louis, MO, called Medici MediaSpace. There I met so many amazing people, including a particularly talented guy by the name of Bob Baker. Not only is Bob the classic triple threat—a talented musician, writer, and performer, he’s also a genuinely nice guy. With a mission to positively impact the lives of others, he has reached literally millions of people through his music, books, improv comedy, teaching, and coaching, and along with Pooki, their audio affirmations and guided meditations on YouTube.

The question wasn’t if, but when we could schedule Bob as our guest on the podcast. And what more perfect way to wrap Season 2 than with a special, extended play (EP) interview?

The Interview

To say you’re in for a treat is truly an understatement. In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about Bob’s remarkable journey and most memorable accomplishments; the story behind his and Pooki’s successful YouTube channel; and the many ways that “balance” is foundational in his life and career—from balancing (and nurturing) the left and right hemispheres of his brain to striking the right balance between “flying by the seat of his pants” and “planning everything out” to balancing what he loves to do with how people and the marketplace are responding to what he’s doing.

You’re going to hear about one of the greatest challenges Bob faced in his career and how his search for a solution slowly evolved into his becoming a YouTube sensation. You’re going to love hearing about the strengths he has leveraged throughout his creative life; his sage advice about the power of mindset and measuring “success”; and the value of embracing cutting-edge technologies to share your talents and message. And you’re going to thoroughly enjoy learning about the person with whom Bob would most love to spend a day stranded on a deserted island, and why he would love to shapeshift into the body and mind of a….

Fun Facts

  • Bob’s mission: “To inspire and empower people through audio affirmations, guided meditations, books, podcasts, music, art, coaching, and improv comedy”
  • Has taught and performed improv since 1985 and written a book on musical improv with Laura Hall from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
  • Author of 16 books, including the highly acclaimed Guerilla Music Marketing Handbook, which appeared in the major motion picture, “School of Rock,” with Jack Black
  • Appeared on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “Marketplace” and has been interviewed or featured in numerous publications, including VIBE Magazine, E! Online, Huffington Post,, and
  • Has written, recorded, and performed several albums’ worth of original music over the decades
  • Loves life with his girlfriend, Pooki, and his daughter, Rae

Cool Links

Bob and Pooki’s Wildly Successful YouTube Channel

Where Bob Calls Home on the Web

Bob’s Music Marketing Website, The Buzz Factor

Quotes by Bob Baker

“I think as creative people, we initially are drawn to do that thing for personal satisfaction; you know—it’s like scratch the creative itch and that sense of accomplishment. But over time when you realize how what you do impacts the lives of other people in a meaningful way, then you start enjoying that aspect of its as much, if not more.”

“I think that’s a really good way to approach things:  How’s your energy? How’s your excitement and your love for doing that thing? But then there’s also how’s the marketplace or how are people responding to it…? When those two things are in alignment, that’s a really good thing to pursue.”

“In the same way that many musicians are influenced by their well known idols, you end up being influenced by [others]. And maybe initially you’re mimicking them, but then after a while, you find your own voice through it, and you’re the combination of all these different things you’ve been influenced by, and you make it your own.”

“The world doesn’t owe you a living simply because you have a passion for something. That’s important…. Money might follow. Passion is a really big part of it. Do the thing that you want to do because you’re excited about it, not because you think it’s a big pay day. Know where there’s overlap between your passion for it and a need or want in the world that people are willing to pay for.”

“Focus on the what. Focus on your why. And don’t get stuck in the how.”


Leaping Tall Buildings with Linda Smith

In this deeply personal interview, I talk with Linda Smith, an exceptionally talented leadership coach and learning consultant, and the founder of Jetstream Coaching and Consulting. We dive into her interesting journey in the world of coaching, the incredible obstacles she has faced along the way, and the power of friendship and community to help us overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. We also delve into the quiet ways she celebrates successes, the love of international travel that fuels her, and her sage advice for anyone who wishes to follow a passion or dream.

Simply click on the play button above and enjoy the conversation!

The Backstory

I first met Linda Smith in 2018 during the first of three, 3-day coach training sessions in Dallas offered by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She was sitting in an adjacent row of seats—looking perfectly peaceful and serene. Given that I was feeling nervous and ever-so-slightly nauseated, her countenance seemed remarkable. (Truth be told, I was more than a little envious.) Throughout our amazing, year-long training program, Linda and I had the chance to coach one another. And we’ve never stopped! Until this day, Linda is one of two excellent coaches to whom I turn whenever I’m making big decisions or working through challenges of my own.

Three words I would use to describe Linda are (exceptionally) bright, insightful, and creative. She has a knack for getting to the heart of a matter quickly and, with a few thought-provoking questions, helping you to see your situation from a completely different perspective. She also happens to be a gifted photographer, avid art lover, and world traveler. As an extraordinary difference maker in the lives of her clients, I knew she would be perfect for the show.

The Interview

This inspiring interview is packed with insight and wisdom gleaned from a life and career that spans four plus decades in academia, corporate America, and private business. You’ll hear about the latest leg of Linda’s professional journey; the two biggest obstacles she has faced, including a terrifying cancer diagnosis; and what she dreams of accomplishing in the next five years.

Two of my favorite parts of the interview are when she talks about the guilty pleasure that fuels her and the person in the world with whom she would most love to share a day-long bus tour in Wales. And you don’t want to miss her excellent advice for anyone who wishes to follow a passion or dream. She’s truly one of a kind.

Fun Facts

  • Official graduate of a “Fear of Flying” class offered by American Airlines years ago, which opened up the world of international travel for her
  • Big fan of Olive + Mabel, two sweet, funny Labrador retrievers and companions of sports commentator Andrew Cotter
  • Card-carrying “Pentaholic,” the passionate fan base behind Pentatonix, the wildly talented, 5-person a cappella group
  • Has seen every Star Trek episode ever made and knows way too much about alien cultures
  • Has traveled to India, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, Amsterdam, Paris, and the UK (the latter of which she’s visited 16 times)
  • Launched her passion as an amateur photographer with a tiny Olympus camera and a move to England
  • Mom to a lovely, black cat named China

 Cool Links

Pentatonix – Linda’s Favorite Pop Music Group

Olive and Mabel’s Delightful YouTube Channel

Linda’s Heart: Animals + ASPCA

Linda’s Passion: Social Justice + ALCP

Quotes by Linda Smith

“My coaching is designed to help people clarify their goals, identify the obstacles, find strategies through those obstacles, and shatter those obstacles to the results they want.”

“Conflict when done in a healthy way really creates a healthy tension—[and] the results [will] be better because of it.”

“The energy that it takes to go for a goal has to come from the inside. It has to be a passion and not an “I should, I will.”

“What I help [people] do is the unpredictable so that they can actually get to the end result that they want to have.”

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