What I’m Focusing on Next

March 20, 2024

Podcast Episode 57: What I’m Focusing On Next

I know you’ve heard that saying: “Be careful what you wish for, it just might come true.”

Well, that’s a little bit of what’s going on here in my world. So, I wanted to get on here and just share some thoughts that may be resonant for you in this season of moving from winter to spring. There’s a whole lot of messaging thrown at us in January about new years, getting into action, picking your resolution, what’s your word of the year, and I don’t know about you but January is prime hibernation month. It’s the deepest part of winter. Yes, I live in Southern California but still. Today is the first day of Spring and I am feeling things all around me getting ready to blossom. 

Over the last, oh gosh I don’t know, chunk of time, there have been a few things I’ve been really wanting, and wishing for, and making happen in the background.

Highlights from the podcast episode: 

From a professional business standpoint, I’ve been creating an arm of my business for B2B organizations, or mid to large nonprofits and mission-driven companies like B Corps, social impact consulting firms, to come in and make a deep impact by training up their staff, their board, supporting their leader with not just LinkedIn but all types of thought leadership efforts. And what’s kind of funny, which came up for me a few weeks ago when I spoke at Jess Campbell’s Make it Happen conference, alongside Kamilah Martin on a panel of the Mistakes that Made Us, I was reflecting back on how this was kind of the plan since day 1. 

But as I delved into my research around how to build a business, I ended up learning a lot more about B2C strategies like lead magnets, webinars with a follow-up funnel, creating group coaching programs, stuff like that. In hindsight, I’ve realized I ended up using  B2C strategies while at least initially, intending to reach a B2B market.

And like I said at that event, it’s not a ‘mistake’ I’m ever gonna beat myself up about and it’s not even a bad thing, because I ended up finding amazing clients and community members anyway, who were generally coaches, consultants, and service providers. And that has been awesome. And also, individuals grow. Two of my current, incredible retainer thought leadership clients were individuals I did a VIP Day with and it naturally grew into a larger ongoing effort as their teams and brands grew – we all just evolved together. It reminds me kind of what Mariah Coz talks about in terms of the Champagne Client, and the Champagne Client Continuum. I had her here on the Campfire Circle podcast at some point talking about that and if you haven’t listened to that episode, I definitely recommend it. 

But anyway, some of the things I have been making happen in the background over the last six months or so is really learning how to navigate the B2B marketplace as a consultant and prospect, lead a sales conversation, ask deeper questions to get at the heart of the problem an organization is facing and why that matters to them, and creating bespoke proposals for situations where there are multiple decision makers involved and the scope of work is quite customized and long term. And you know what, that’s actually been so much fun and really speaks to my own sensibilities. I mean, I used to be a major gifts fundraisers for gosh sake, I already had the skill set but I kind of just forgot.  

But also, it’s not a mistake because all of that experience was necessary. I would not be able to support these larger, complex organizations with this work if I hadn’t gone through and gotten really, really good at bringing people through this framework or transformation over 3 years. It’s all good. We talk about B2B, B2C, ABCDEFG, but no matter what at the end of the day you’re always working with PEOPLE. While the nuances are different, the outcome is the same – influence, recognition, and greater change-making capacity. 

So what I am noticing this Spring, it’s 2024, it’s an election year. Super Tuesday just happened. Larger mission driven organizations that have a stake in this election – whether they work on reproductive justice or immigration or equity or gosh so many things. Any company, organization, or leader that works on something relevant to this year’s news cycles are hopefully understanding that publishing their perspective and sharing their insights on these timely issues will further position them as go-to voices in their sector and open them up to opportunities to build that trusted brand. 

I would say that I’ve been known as a LinkedIn specific guide for social impact leaders and I’m grateful to have built that reputation. Because LinkedIn is a big part of my own story as a nonprofit leader and honestly, it has been an important way that I’ve also built up my confidence in showing up, sharing my  perspective and stories, and just like moving towards self-actualization. So I’m not going to stop doing that work but I have also really enjoyed dipping my toe or in many cases cannonballing into the water of other types of thought leadership efforts for my larger organizational clients. Things like ghostwriting status-quo shifting pieces for industry publications, strategizing the comms around community building pieces that emerge from building up a strong thought leadership brand, doing specific outbound outreach on LinkedIn for some campaigns, and trainings for leadership teams and boards of directors so organizations can activate their people into ambassadors for their mission. It is really exciting and fun. 

Also, we just finished the February LinkedIn Content Sprint. I love that container so much. My inner critic or whatever, when I first came up with the idea, was a little spicy and was like, “Why are people gonna pay to write their own content, when they can just pay someone to write it for them?”  And I was like, I don’t know and maybe they won’t, but I’m going to try it and see what happens. And now that we’ve done three cohorts, what I’m realizing is that what’s actually happening is that people are not just learning but getting into the practice of becoming stronger communicators and more visible changemakers. They’re building the muscle of publishing their perspective, even when it is scary or uncomfortable. It’s not just about having some LinkedIn content, it’s about creating the conditions to play big and nurture their audience into a community. I can’t do that for you, if I’m writing your content. And not everybody needs it. But enough people do – because showing up on LinkedIn is scary. But it’s easier when we do it together. And, ok this is a weird thing to say to follow up to that, but all that being said, because I am Spring pivoting and becoming more of a boutique thought leadership agency for larger social impact organizations, I’m going to be retiring the LinkedIn Content Sprint after the next cohort in June 2024. So, if you’re one of the just like, lovely and delightful people who have expressly reached out to say, the Sprint’s on my vision board, I want to do it at some point – June is that point. June is that time, and that final time, so I’m gonna drop the link to the Waitlist in the show notes. 

OK, what else is happening. On the personal front, I’m moving into a home. My husband and I have been looking for a home for two years and we finally found that one. I shared the story, which is really a pretty cool story in my email newsletter a few weeks ago because again, this theme of authenticity, and showing up as we are, and sharing our story to build connection – that theme is always coming up in my life. Because how you do one thing is how you do everything. So long story short what happened there is What happened is, we did the tour with the homeowners who’d lived in that home for 30 years. We got along, shared some stories, vibed with each other. Turns out that our offer wasn’t the highest one, because an institutional investor had offered way more than we could but the couple, the seller, wanted us to have it anyway! Because they had made a lifetime of memories there and wanted us to have that same experience. 

And I know that’s just bonkers and maybe bamboozling, especially if you’ve been in this housing market for a while, but truthfully, deep down, that’s humanity. Humans at their core are values-driven over money-driven, and stories help us connect at the level of those values. That’s why I’m such an advocate for storytelling as impact-driven business owners.  

And so I’m actually moving TOMORROW, and that’s part of why I wanted to get on here and just drop some thoughts, because I don’t know the next time my Yeti Mic will actually be plugged in!

And what else? Speaking of Spring, I’m going to Japan for cherry blossom season; I think this will complete my goal of visiting Japan during all 4 seasons. Went to Hokkaido last year in the winter, and Kyoto and Osaka in the fall of 2019, and this time we’re going to Tokyo and Okinawa. So actually the day this episode comes out, I’m flying over there. 

Oh and I’m turning 37. Yes, Pisces season is coming in hot. 

So ALLS THAT TO SAY – there is a lot of magic going on over here. A lot of things I have been really wishing for have come true and I did not necessarily want them to all happen in the course of like, March, but that’s what’s up and I’m blessed AF while living through a lot of individual and communal change. My amazing clientfriend Dr. Keecha Harris talks about how gardens are full of conflict. She speaks to this from the context of racial equity transformation but I think it can be used for all kinds of change, and the blossoming that comes in Spring.  She talks about how when you plant a seed, it’s disruptive. The soil is broken apart and everything gets pushed around as the bud grows. It’s uncomfortable, but then what do you get? A flower, a plant, some fruit. 

And, so I wanted to let you know I’ll be taking a little break from the Campfire Circle podcast to tend to that magic for a bit, maybe a month or two or so. 

But in the meantime, I would really, really, really – that’s three really’s – love to hear from you on what you’d like for me to cover when I get back! This is the Campfire Circle podcast, and my vision has always been to speak to a new type of visible leadership that’s different from the old, stuffy, traditional boardroom table. One where there are enough seats for everybody, one that’s really rooted in community, and one that is a place where we feel comfortable sharing our stories.  The scary stories, the happy stories – all the lived experience that helps guide the social impact work we do through our businesses today. 

So, what do you want to hear? What do you want to know? What are you curious about when it comes to thought leadership and building influence and recognition to improve your change making capacity?

Reach out directly on LinkedIn or just shoot me an email.  And, if you want to stay in touch in the meantime, the best way is to join my email newsletter, the Firestarter, which goes out on Wednesday afternoons. 

All of those links are in the show notes. I can’t wait to hear from you. 

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