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David Siteman Garland On The Story Of The Rise To The Top, Landing Sponsorships, and The Future

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by David Garland in David's Blog, Interviews & Guests

Today On The Rise To The Top: The #1 Show For Mediapreneurs: Hijacked! Carol Roth hijacks The Rise To The Top today and drills me (David Siteman Garland) on The Rise To The Top, landing sponsorships (one of the biggest questions that comes up over and over), and much more including “What’s next?”

I use RISE partner Wistia for video hosting because they rock. Check ’em out.

Audio Only Player:

Click here to download the audio file.

More About RISE and David:

Because Carol hijacked the show, she gets major props. Make sure to check her out at and on Twitter @caroljsroth.

David Siteman GarlandIn case you wanted some fun facts about me, here you go:

1. I’m the creator of The Rise To The Top, which is the #1 Web Show & Resource For Mediapreneurs and features conversations with web show hosts/bloggers/podcasters/other mediapreneurs, tips, tricks, advice, inspiration, resources and much more.

2. In 2008, at the age of 24, I took all of my Bar Mitzvah money I’d saved up and started a television show in St. Louis, Missouri on ABC with literally zero experience writing, producing or hosting a television show. The Rise To The Top TV show focused on entrepreneurship and aired for 36 episodes.

3. To date, I’ve interviewed well over 300 diverse, awesome people (which honestly, should be considered more “conversations” as opposed to interviews). Some of my favorites include The Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger, two-time New York Times Best Selling Author Tim Ferriss, and former WWE wrestler (and legend) The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase.

4. In 2010, Wiley Publishing approached me to write a book about the marketing knowledge that I’d picked up while growing my show from 0-200,000 despite spending (pretty much) $0 on marketing. My book Smarter, Faster, Cheaper came out holiday time in 2010.

5. I live in exotic St. Louis, Missouri where I was born and raised. I’m a huge Blues, Cardinals and Rams fan and love being so close to my family (family first!). My wife, Marcie, is also a St. Louis native and is the love of my life and soulmate.

6. I’m extremely passionate about fitness, nutrition and health. I recently went through a massive fitness transformation where I took on a challenge to get into fitness model shape in 90 days.

7. I went to college at Washington University in St. Louis and majored in (brace yourself) Women’s Studies. Yes, that was my actual major and it was a blast.

8. My first “job” I was supposed to have out of college in the hockey industry was eliminated before it even started as the place I was going to work at became a parking lot two weeks before I moved out to California. Ended up being the biggest blessing-in-disguise ever.

9. From 2006-2008 I played Professional Inline Hockey (yes, hockey on wheels) and ran the league in the Midwest which included St. Louis, Chicago and Cincinnati. It was one HECK of a learning experience and led to me somehow hosting a radio show on one of the top sports stations in St. Louis (again, no experience).

10. In 2009 to promote a unique event we were putting on, I dressed in women’s shorts and a spandex shirt to play the character “Ron Ballsiak – Professional Ball Kid Coach.” The video still haunts some people and was probably a felony in most states.

This Episode Of The Rise To The Top Is Exclusively Sponsored By GoToMeeting:

GoToMeetingI gotta tell you, this is pretty cool because now GoToMeeting by Citrix has HDFaces. What does that mean? It means you can SEE everyone else in the meeting. I was playing around with it last week and it is unbelievable quality. It really makes the meetings so much more personal, engaging and effective. Why? Well for one reason, body language. Another? So freakin’ easy to use. Internet connection, webcam and you are off to the races. Now, you should definitely check it out and I’ve worked out a special present for you so you can check it out free for 30 days. Cool? All you have to do is go to, click the “try it free button”, and use the promo code “RISE”.

Bandwidth and Hosting Sponsored By Shopify:

ShopifyShopify makes opening an online story easy. So if you’ve ever wanted to open an online store, now’s the time. Here’s why: The Shopify Build Your Business Contest has over $500,000 in money and prizes. Grand Prize winners will meet and talk with (three former RISE guests!) Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk, plus much more. Also, by entering the promo code “RISE” when you set up your store, you will get two months free (SWEET!).

Subscribe To The Rise To The Top Updates:

You can join the 200,000+ The Rise To The Top enthusiasts by becoming a subscriber absolutely free.


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Fun Facts, News, and Notes:

A few more random fun facts:

  • My interests are always changing, but I’m a family guy (not the TV show) and husband first and a junkie for passion and excitement. I’m also a not-so-secret fan of wrestling (WWE for example).
  • I’m lucky to be raised by two of the greatest parents in the history of the world. Not that I’m biased or anything…
  • Some of my (eclectic) favorite movies include anything by Christopher Guest (especially A Mighty Wind and Best In Show), Animal House, Scarface and Rudy.
  • Some of my favorite TV shows include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Shark Tank, The Apprentice, Modern Family, Reno 911 and Seinfeld.
  • My mom had a live chimp at my Bar Mitzvah when I was 13.
  • I’m obsessed with anything really freakin’ funny. Example: Aziz Ansari.

Show the world you are fluff-free with an official fluff-free t-shirt!

Have you nabbed a copy of my book Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business? You can grab the first chapter for free right here, and you can buy it on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.

  1. Kudos to you David for being so open. I’ve been listening for a while and enjoying the show. I’ve learnt a lot about entrepreneurship listening to podcasts like this, and have started my own podcast that is somewhat similar.

    It was great to hear how you came into this, and the changes you’ve gone through along your journey. I don’t have much to say, but I just wanted to encourage you by letting you know that you’re making a difference.

    All the best!

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Leslie – Thanks so much for the kind note. Words like that keep me going and that is awesome. I’m here to support mediapreneurs!

  2. Loved it David!  Fun seeing you take the hot seat with Carol! 😉

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Thanks Amy. Carol drilled me. That sounds bad. You know what I mean.

  3. Srinivas Rao says:

    Hey David,

    Looking forward to our chat next week. It’s always fun to be interviewed when you’re the guy who does all the interviews. Also, if you need a tip on how to deal with the coffee spill I have one for you that will allow you to get a new computer without spending a fortune. 

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      LOL – The good news is all that needed to be replaced was the trackpad!

  4. Gregg says:

    David, you are the man! You make me laugh and I think you have great balance between self promotion and sharing great content. As always, keep up the good fight and I look forward to your content. I know it is not easy.

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Thanks, Gregg. Really appreciate the kind words!

  5. Gregg says:

    Quick question…you mentioned Andrew Warner. Why didn’t you talk money and financials? (sorry if I missed these details) Andrew is great on this topic.

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      G – Ya, we didn’t get too much into it. I’m not a massive fan of talking financials as much as Andrew (but I certainly appreciate his approach). I can tell you this year The Rise To The Top has revenues between 250-400k.

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