This title is satirical, playing off the inundation of articles we see about all the flaws of working with millennials. Rarely though, do we hear the perspective of a millennial in an executive leadership role or a millennial in business.
I have been reflecting on this topic quite a bit as I made the transition in the last year and a half from employee, to small business owner, to entrepreneur. I was inspired to write this blog after meeting with a group of young and successful women at a Lean In circle and a lot of questions arose about taking that plunge. It seems there are a few key factors that differentiated how I saw myself when I became an entrepreneur.
Many people have seen the flipped sales funnel that switches the customer relationship process from primarily sales to primarily marketing. The flipped sales funnel, my version completely removing traditional sales from the equation, can also be applied to social services programming.
This is an intro to my experience with the Petaluma YPN. Please join myself and PYPN April 30th at 6:30pm at Groverman hall at Petaluma Valley Hospital to learn more about Self-Branding and Building Business Relationships. The event includes snacks and beverages - $10 for PYPN/Petaluma Area Chamber members and $15 for Guests
I am not exactly sure what it is, but punctuality has become a lost art. I have spent many a meeting sitting in a room by myself waiting for the rest of the attendees to arrive. I really started thinking about this topic when my clients thanked me for being on time to meetings and engagements. Isn’t showing up on time a basic agreement and REQUIREMENT in business!? This is difficult to say, but tardiness is rampant in the public sector and nonprofit world. Surprised? Did this statement shock and awe? We always joke about being on "government time," but why is that the accepted norm?
Let me start by saying, I am a huge fan of Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In movement. I do agree that there had been a huge drop-off in the women's empowerment movement in the last 5-10 years since its incarnation. However, that is not what I am here to talk about today. Regardless of how you feel about the message of the campaign, one thing is very clear, successful digital marketing made this campaign boom. What started as a Lean In movement turned into an international phenomenon within hours.
Here is a special treat! I loved these shots from a little Sunday drive through West Marin!
"Manager" and "leader" are not mutually exclusive titles. In fact, I often see managers who are not effective leaders in life. While both are important roles in business, cultivation of leaders creates a different dynamic and success to businesses, communities, non-profits/government, etc.
I did not intend to write about this…at all…however I have been faced with this topic over and over again as a business owner and employee. I will cover different thoughts about doing business based on values above and beyond everything else. If there is an incident with a business associate which works against someone’s core values many will say to not let it affect one's “bottom line.” After hearing this several times, I started to wonder, what is my bottom line? It certainly isn’t money (if it was I likely could just turn the other cheek). How could I continue doing business with someone who so intensely offended one of my core values? What message did that send to my other colleagues?
A Diamond In The Rough
I started working at the Marin City Community Services District (MCCSD) a little over a year ago. MCCSD acts as the local government for Marin City and is governed by a five person publicly elected board (www.marincitycsd.org). When I started working in Marin City I quickly learned about the history, the vital statistics, the many organizations present, and started to identify barriers to success for individuals and organizations. It took a while to identify one of the major issues fighting against all the efforts to revitalize Marin City which was, the popular image that had been created for it.
When I use the phrase “Self-Branding” many people give me a confused but intrigued look. Self or personal branding isn’t actually a new idea in marketing, but I feel a dying art especially with the ease of access to information about people. This subject comes up so early in my blog timeline because I truly believe great impact starts with oneself. Everything starts with YOU and the brand you have established. Whether someone is a business owner, employee, student, or unemployed, Self-Branding is essential. The initial impact you have on others will dictate interactions, judgments, and essentially whether someone wants to work with you or not. It is a nice idea that we could all live in a world where people don’t judge us based on our appearances. Decades of social psychological research has looked at to what degree these judgments are nature vs. nurture and the debate continues. What we do know, however; is that people will judge us based on our physical appearance, actions in public, confidence level, communication style, etc.
January celebrates the one year anniversary of the formal branding of my company. I will never forget the day I sat down in a local Wine Bar, La Dolce Vita in my hometown of Petaluma, CA and made it official (this past weekend I had to make a point of sharing this fact with the Wine Bar’s owner). What started as a goal for 2013 paired with a nice Prosseco turned into a monumental endeavor that has propelled me into the digital marketing world. That being said, during the last year I have been searching for my proper place in the marketplace. As I was preparing last week to present to the California Public Health Department and The Office of Health Equity about the importance of marketing in communities, I suddenly realized my niche. I have years of experience working in the public sector and have many theories on how to develop communities via effective marketing and communication. Future blog posts will get into what that means and how I have found it to be a new idea amongst many agencies, but today I’d like to introduce you to my journey to this point.