Show cover of The Grit Files

The Grit Files

The Grit Files is a podcast about entrepreneurs who dig deep with heart and grit to transform their passions into businesses. It's not always easy. Sometimes, it's really tough and not all "bros with Lambos." We talk about why we do what we do and how we are each working hard to make the world a better place with whatever inventions and ideas we bring to the market. This podcast is fun, sassy, and REAL - no nonsense! We say it like it is.


The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Jennifer Moscato CEO One-Third Stories
Jennifer Moscato is the President of One-Third Stories, an innovative language-learning solution designed for children and the adults who are teaching them. In a clever "sneak attack," the stories begin in one language but slowly morph into another language so that people learn words and their context in a natural way. This improves learning and retention, plus it's fun! Jennifer was joined by her husband, Darren Moscato, who plays a supporting role with the operations of the business. "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." They share some of the lessons learned (the hard way) as entrepreneurs. And they talk about the "drill and kill" method at schools - which isn't working. *APOLOGIES for the suboptimal audio quality of our guests' microphone - we did our best to improve their sound.
22:28 2/4/24
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Franca Borgia
Franca Borgia is a visionary, artist, and author. As a polyglot, she is hyper-aware of cultural sensitivies and the power of nuance: words have impact. She uses her artistry to create intricate, conceptual installations that are featured in several hotels and museums around the world. Her home - and her heart - is in Venice. This podcast was a special treat as we recorded it live as she strolled through Venice's famous landmarks and inserted quips about the city's rich history as we talked about mind-blowing ideas. For example, her monthly book series, could potentially go on for decades because she is unbound by spatial or contextual limitations. Her new book, "The Metabolism of the Mind," challenges conventional thinking about how fueling our bodies needs to go beyond the basic necessities of food and water. It is - and we are all - forms of energy that connect with each other to spark new forms. This is a fascinating discussion. I urge you all to open your minds and listen to Franca's incredible insights. You can find her on Instagram @r.a.r.a._international and on the web ... 
59:24 12/6/23
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Denise Drinkwalter
Denise Drinkwalter is one of those laid back, "take it as it comes," type of person that you can instantly relate with. Her Canadian roots and career in education as a teacher and principal offer immediate connection points and the confidence that she is going to help you get there - wherever it is that you are going. She is a life coach focused on middle-aged women transitioning from one life phase to the next, like rediscovering themselves, empty nesting, leaving a spouse, or finding a new one. Denise helps her clients reconnect with who they are and what they want out of life. Her philosophy is to do something daily that is, "for you, by you, or because of you." This mantra puts self-care into the spotlight and reminds all of us that taking the time to refuel is not only a good thing to do, it's essential. Find her at 
22:07 11/12/23
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Danielle Perlin-Good
Danielle Perlin-Good has deep experience in digital marketing and ghostwriting. She takes her clients on a journey of personal discovery and healing as the "Soul-Aligned Ghostwriter." Danielle exudes cautious optimism and a time-proven process that takes her clients step-by-step through getting their book idea out of their heads on onto the digital shelves of amazon. For many, this can be a daunting process but she makes it simple and helps every aspiring author get their story out! 
18:27 8/5/23
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Dr. Brenda Boston
Dr. Brenda Boston is the President of the Dr. Marie Barney Boston Foundation which was founded by her late mother. It offers more than a scholarship to help students attend college, it also teaches accountability, responsibility, and giving back to the community. To date, since the foundation launched in 2015, they have helped 35 students with tuition in their respective pursuits of higher education. This nonprofit Foundation operates nationwide and is poised to continue enabling students to achieve more through the support of the community.
25:40 7/9/23
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Jennifer Holmes
Jennifer Holmes founded Joyous Journeys - all because she was interested in "voluntourism" and "eco-tourism" but couldn't find the services that she needed to play her offshore vacations. She, like so many others, enjoys taking vacations but also wants to give back while she's holidaying. Whether it is for a day, a few days, or even the focus of the whole trip, Jennifer plans exciting excursions that enable people to do anything and everything from research with baby whale sharks to irrigation projects that help people access clean drinking water. Ecotourism is growing: globally, it's a $174 billion industry. The Grit Files dug into why Jennifer does what she does and what we can all learn from it.
22:01 7/1/23
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Annie Mork
Annie Mork is the founder of Jobs For Therapists, which is a job board made for theraplists including SLPs, PTs, OTs, and Psychs. She is helping connect recruiters and job seekers in the therapy world in a more meaningful way. Her training is in speech therapty where she now has a telehealth practice supporting children with speech challenges, many of whom are on the Spectrum with Autism. Annie offers some great tips on how to engage with your child - and that doesn't mean banning electronics from playtime.
21:05 5/13/23
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Brilly Semenova
Meet Brilly Semenova - a disability self-advocate who does not take 'no' for an answer. She has the tenacity, spunk, and knowledge of an entire team of advocates. As a child, she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and now has difficulty with daily living. But that hasn't stopped her from pursuing her Master's in Organizational Leadership and Nonprofit Management. Brilly is determined to change the narrative for the disabled, and she'll do it single-handedly if she has to. Good thing that she doesn't have to go it alone.
12:54 3/31/23
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Enrique Morgan
Accolade Wines is innovating everything from its bottles to its technology and production processes. Like bubbles? They have a new Prosecco ... and there are so many new ideas that will pop later this year. Enrique Morgan, managing director of the Americas, shares his gritty tales of beginning his wine journey selling to California gas stations to taking the helm of one of the largest wine companies in the world with a portfolio that is lauded worldwide.
29:50 3/31/23
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Colin Darretta
Colin Darretta is a "reformed investment banker," serial entrepreneur, investor, and a journalist for Forbes, Inc, TechCrunch, plus other major media. He is the CEO and co-founder of Innovation Department, which spurs the brands of the future. Colin also co-founded FINN, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. He lamented all the virtue signaling out there where "hustle culture" is a straight path to burnout for entrepreneurs who should be seeking health, wellness, and balance - in addition to moving their startups forward. 
24:03 10/16/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Christine Spang
Christine Spang, founder & CTO of Nylas, has evolved over the last decade growing her software company which is essentially like "the plumbing for the internet" connecting code. She talks about how the highs are super high and the lows are super low but that foundation at MIT prepared her for the mental fortitude that she was going to need to lead her team on this journey. "Leadership is work and you have to work at leadership," is a lesson that she learned along the way.  Along the way, she's discovered the power of yoga and rock climbing to challenge her mind as well as calm it.
35:19 9/25/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Christina Richards
Christina Richards is the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of Virtana - a software company specializing in cloud services. She took the road less traveled. Indeed, Christina calls it the "dark side" where she took a deep dive into engineering then evolved into marketing. With her role today, she has the opportunity to influence rising professionals in STEM and has a message (or two) for aspiring techies and marketers which can be distilled down to, "You don't know where life will take you - keep learning." She shares how mistakes can be fuel for better things ahead. Tune in for some words of wisdom!
19:17 9/12/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Dr. Deborah Jonas
Dr. Deborah Jonas is the director of SRI's Center for Education Research & Innovation. Yes, she has access to astronauts and researchers of the highest caliber in the world - but she focuses her efforts on community learning. Deborah shared her thoughts on how we can better support students to "fail productively" and essentially to fail forward so that our next generation of leaders learn how to learn by working through problems versus being given the answers. She had some insights into how colleges are challenged by the breadth of the diversity and needs of the students they need to support today - and she surprised me with her shoe choice!
23:46 9/3/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Jeanelle Ditto
What a breath of fresh air! It's so easy to feel intimidated, especially when it comes to things like interior design, "Will my home meet your standard?" But Jeanelle Ditto, founder of Blush Interior Designs, is one of the most fun, accessible, down-to-Earth, and overall joyous people that you'll ever meet. No judgment! She offers listeners great advice on how ups & downs are part of an entrepreneur's journey and encourages everyone to STICK WITH IT. Jeanelle also shared some interior design tips that we can all benefit from.
23:34 8/21/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Lorrie Thomas Ross
Lorrie Thomas Ross is a breath of fresh air. She's The Marketing Therapist(R) and founder of Wild Web Women and Web Marketing Therapy. She understands the value of relationships and follows the mantra, "to lead with love." Her best advice for other female founders out there is to, "Always do what you do best and let others do the rest."
25:08 8/14/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest John Glowacki
John Glowacki, CEO of Combat Control Foundation, shares some deeply personal insights on life, loss, and leadership. He served our country in the role of combat control - for those unfamiliar with the role, it's like air traffic control but in a military application. Next year, a move feature a fallen combat control veteran will be released starring Jake Gyllenhaal and it will put this important but not well known military function and rising foundation on the map!
32:42 6/30/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears - live from Collision
For something a little different, Loralyn Mears recorded this podcast live from Collision Conference in Toronto. She highlighted some of the key insights around the downward trend of venture capital investment and spotlighted some key innovations. WebSummit does an incredible job organizing this event and, as usual, they were spectacular and made the media, sponsors, startups, and attendees all feel like royalty. 
18:40 6/23/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Chris Beck
Chris Beck is the VP of the Family Law division of Soberlink. Their mobile sobriety technology helps document sobriety in real-time to ensure that a child is being co-parented by a sober guardian. Think of it like a breatholyzer on demand, all to keep children safe. This is especially important when parents are divorcing and fighting for custody of their child when one, or both parents, have alcohol usage disorder. Soberlink also provides treatment services with access to professional counselors. Chris has been passionate about fostering children impacted by addiction. He works on treatment solutions to enable the future reunification of the biological parent with their child. And he's also adopted several children in need who have been affected by addiction.
21:06 6/21/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Josh York
Josh York, founder of GYMGUYZ, the global leader in personal fitness. He's elevated in-home training to a new level. But he had a rocky start and he openly shares how he's tapped into his unstoppable mindset, honed through fitness, to make the magic happen. Josh will challenge you to stop making excuses - and to just get it done. "Easy never pays well - you've got to do the work."
26:01 6/13/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Lucas Stoltze
Meet Lucas Stoltze of ExitLag - the company behind-the-scenes of hundreds of games in countries around the world. They make your game connections faster so that you can communicate with other players sooner - maybe even before the bad guy sneaks up on your game buddy so that can avoid a takedown. Gaming can actually help improve soft skills like communication. Who knew?!
26:30 6/6/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Nick Grewal
Nick Grewal, serial entrepreneur and investor, is on a mision to make electronic vehicles more efficient and sustainable. He shared a key tip for entrepreneurs, "Don't put your success in someone else's hands. Be prepared to do it yourself." He highlighted how you need to know who you are as a company - and who you're not, and that mistakes are par for the course. Every company has problems - how you solve them defines your success. Nick discusses his current venture, ePropelled, changing the motors on everything from 2- and 3-wheelers to drones.
31:49 5/31/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Ahsan Rizvi
Meet Ahsan Rizvi, founder & CEO of Kiddom, who is transforming digital education to bolster the success of the next crop of learners. He's got a lot of wisdom to share about managing startup fires and digging in to gut through those infamously tough and gritty, early days of entrepreneurship. He'd know - he built Kiddom from the bathroom of a studio apartment.
29:10 5/22/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Michael Norring
Learn. Teach. Serve. That's a powerful motto and corporate culture that GCSIT's CEO, Michael Norring, has instilled in the workplace. It's more than a motto - people stand behind it - and employees are proud of the culture that they're helping create. Michael joins our show and shares some insights around digital transformation and how to lead an organization for growth. Here's the TL;DR - build awesome teams!
26:05 5/18/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Michael Peres
Michael (Mikey) shares some details about his "unusual" background and gives us a glimpse into how he, as a serial entrepreneur and software engineer, frames new ideas. As a neurodivergent, he has an insatiable appetite for learning new things and offers a fresh approach on how to combine the new ideas he learns - and that's what makes him an incredible ideator and entrepeneur.
34:46 5/15/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Bryan Fried
Bryan Fried is the founder and CEO of Pangea Global Technologies. They're been around for more than two decades, but they've never stopped innovating. They're taking LED lighting to the next level embedding private broadband internet access and enabling the commercial scale of crops - indoors - to address the global supply chain and hunger challenges. So, how many lightbulbs does it take to change the world? Tune in!
18:01 5/14/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Michael Esposito
Meet Michael Esposito - a family man on a mission to be better and to do more. His inspiration, dedication to self-improvement, and commitment to his customers of DenTen insurance isn't something that you see much of these days. Tune in to get inspired. 
29:45 5/13/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guests Alex & Daniel
Meet the co-founders of Branch Energy: Alex Ince-Cushman and Daniel MacDonald. They're making it easy for consumers to be smart about their energy consumption. They're growing quickly and offfered great advice for founders enduring "slogging through the minutia." They said, "Entropy of the world wants companies to come apart," and they offer advice how to manage it.
24:50 5/9/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Teresa Heath-Wareing
Teresa Heath-Wareing found her calling to inspire others when they get "stuck." She faced her personal challenges head-on and emerged stronger than before. Today, she's a TEDx speaker, coach, entrepreneur and best-selling author. Anything is possible!
29:02 5/2/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Genecia Alluora
This is a MUST-listen episode. Genecia Alluora, founder of Soul Rich Woman, will inspire and motivate you. At the brink of death, on the ledge of a 10-story building, she changed her life. Her mother pulled her back from the edge and said, "Turn your mess into your message." And she's never looked back.
21:27 4/25/22
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Yulia Mamonova
Yuliia Mamonov is the Head of Content for, an innovative platform connecting clients to software developers on demand. Here's something you may not know - Lemon is based in Ukraine. Hear a first-hand account about some of the struggles trying to navigate the Russian war of aggression - and please do whatever you can to support Lemon and their staff.
27:46 4/17/22