S P R I NG 2016
DEFINE YOUR CAUSE AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS NOW
WITH MALLIKA CHOPRA ANNE MANDLER SHOWS YOU HOW TO
Design Your Life
Spring 2016 8. HOW TO LIVE WITH INTENT with MALLIKA CHOPRA
14. LIFE IS GOOD AND HEROES OF OPTIMISM with JOHN JACOBS 22. ILLUMINATE YOUR MESSAGE NANCY DUARTE and ANNE MANDLER DISCUSS how
JOHN JACOBS 26. WOMEN AND ECOSYSTEMS with MARLENE WILLIAMSON
Powerful AND PASSIONATE” MARLENE WILLIAMSON 2
FOCUS EVOLVE ILLUMINATE
30. MOVING WOMEN FORWARD, MATERNITY & PATERNITY POLICY AND ADVICE FOR MILLENIALS with JENNY DEARBORN 34. EXPLORE THE DIGITAL LANDSCAPE AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS NOW with SUSIE ROMANS
SUSIE ROMANS 42. FACING FORWARD: THE FUTURE OF BEAUTY with ROBERT CHARD
annemagazine.com | ANNE
Anne Mandler Founder and Editor in Chief
Starr Oldorff Deputy Editor
Colleen Conger Web
Shari Miller Design Director
This Issue: Contributors:
Robert Chard Mallika Chopra Jenny Dearborn Nancy Duarte John Jacobs Anne Mandler Susie Romans Marlene Williamson
ANNE MANDLER INC. Seattle, Washington 98199 annemagazine.com ©ANNE MANDLER INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Friends, On behalf of ANNE Magazine I’m thrilled to welcome you to our Spring 2016 issue. Just as there is tremendous growth in our capacity to evolve, there is also confusion and unrest in the world at this moment. However even amidst recent tragedies, I continue to know that love really is the answer. The answer to what we do and why we should respond in the best way possible. In the repeated string we’ve heard of ‘love is love is love is love is love is love,’ from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s emotional sonnet at the Tony’s, people need to know that they are indeed cared for, cherished, and held tightly. I urge you to go beyond the feeling of love and express it. Love is always the answer and so too, is our ability to show appreciation. Appreciation can be other than the words I love you. It can be encouraging something you see as right. If you are growing a relationship – be that with a partner, a neighbor, within a company, within your family. When you notice even the smallest of goodness, acknowledge it. Appreciation always moves us ahead. Why? When you are on the giving end you are giving something positive. When you are on the receiving end, you feel more of that, ‘oh wow’ you really want me to teach the team that? Or, you really want me to teach our kids that? Or, you really trust me to partner with our client?
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Say something based on love and kindness and watch your relationships transform. In the spirit of appreciation, I’d like to give a special thanks to those who contributed to this issue. Thank you to Marlene Williamson and the Watermark Conference Team, San Jose, for creating a venue of inspiration that highlighted beautifully, the intent of this issue. Thank you for being here. Whatever your history, your goals, your personal journey, I know you’ll gain insights and make connections from our community of leaders.
Anne Enjoy our Spring issue!
Anne Mandler CEO, Anne Mandler, Inc. & The Conscious Living Collective
Let’s Socialize #annemagazine #designyourlife #annemandlerinc TWEET US: @AnneMandler
www.annemandler.com and www.annemagazine.com
JOIN OUR AMAZING CIRCLE OF WE’D LOVE TO CONNECT. INLUMINARIES ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ SPIRED BY THIS ISSUE? SHOW annemandlerpublicfigure/ WHAT INSPIRED YOU! WE’D LOVE TO SHARE YOUR WE WANT TO SEE ALL OF SUCCESS! YOUR FAVORITE IMAGES AND #annemagazine IDEAS. SHARE WITH US ON INSTAGRAM AND WE MIGHT RE- SIGN UP TO FIND OUT WAYS GRAM YOU! #annemagazine TO GIVE TO THOSE WHO NEED IT MOST: https://www.facebook. TEAM UP WITH OUR LUMIcom/consciouslivingco NARY CIRCLE. WE BRING YOU annemagazine.com | ANNE
LETTER FROM THE Driver’s Ed for the Heart and an All-Hands for the Soul Recently, my son tells me he wants to drive. I remember that feeling. It’s so exciting to be in control and in motion at the same time. He’s ten, by the way. So those still pudgy hands will wait a few more years to give the steering wheel a go. The feeling of freedom. Is there anything like it? How incredible is it to discover your own personal freedom and be going where you want to go? Even if you don’t know exactly where that is. There is a road and a means and a path and you get to pick yours! Every single day you choose. You can get in and drive with joyful ambition. You can have a car full of friends, but you are the one driving your own beautiful life.
YOU CAN HAVE A CAR FULL OF FRIENDS BUT
ARE THE ONE DRIVING YOUR OWN
For me, these feelings of total freedom are more intentional than before. I think of a post from my virtual mentor, writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, drumming up these images and my meaningful recent conversation with Mallika Chopra. Putting my friend, Fear, in the backseat and allowing my other dear friends to join in the front of the car—even drive for a while, intentionally. The concept reminds me of the Pixar/Disney movie, Inside Out. If we have an emotional control
center, who is steering anyway? Although it may not always seem like it, it’s you my friend. It really is you. I think of the control center of your thinking brain kind of like the break room in the classic office or like a last minute Google Hangout. It’s a place where general ideas and feelings can all kick-it by the water cooler. All those emotions, thoughts, and feelings, they can join forces to play foosball or talk about what you’re plans are for the weekend. Afterall, they collectively work for the Company of YOU.
THEY COLLECTIVELY WORK FOR THE COMPANY OF
You There is natural and important diversity at the Company of YOU. These thoughts and emotions are all are inherently different and they are all shooting the breeze in one place. Their level of influence? Well, that is up to you to manage. Just remember that your eclectic inner gang works for you, and they are all there for a reason. Yet, you are ultimately the CEO and Head of Mission Control. In this issue, I’m so excited for the momentum of now. You have a tremendous amount of wisdom to share. We have some excellent food for thought. From doing business with a cause to the future of the workplace to living a life with intent. So, let your internal break room settle. Have an All-Hands meeting. Invite Joy, Passion, Freedom, to a Lunch and Learn on the topic of What Are You Most Wanting to Create in Your Life Right Now? Fear, Disgust, Doubt, Sadness, they are all invited.
Just keep in mind that these players can also create mediocre analyst reviews. They are not always able to capture the full value of the stock of YOU. You’ll need to remind them where you are going. And when you’re done with the meeting, give Joy, Love, Passion, Freedom, a turn at the wheel. Acknowledge everyone else and firmly seat belt those you don’t need in the backseat. They will all meet in the break room another day. That’s what I bring you in this issue. The support to start your own cause, ideas to propel you forward, resources you can actually use, and the community to remind you, you are not alone in your story. This is your own quest to create your life, do work that matters, or create a means to build your business with intention. Join me and our Luminary Community. We’re right here with you, cheering you on, turning up the music and at every bump in the road, reminding you the importance of your own incredible spirit. Grab the wheel and put your foot on the gas. Your Dreams Matter.
To Your Joy & Success,
annemagazine.com | ANNE
How to Live with Intent ANNE MANDLER TALKS
ONE ON ONE
WITH MALLIKA CHOPRA
ANNE: Welcome everyone this morning to annemagazine.com. I have a special guest I’d love to introduce today. Mallika Chopra is joining me, and I just want to say a huge heartfelt thank you for joining us this morning, Mallika.
social, and global wellness. Her intent is to harness the power of social media to connect people from around the world to improve their own lives, their communities, and the planet. That’s a lot of good, Mallika.
MALLIKA: Thank you. I’m thrilled to join you.
MALLIKA: Thank you. It’s so nice.
ANNE: You and I have been attempting to connect. We were both at a really lovely conference a few days ago, the Watermark Conference in San Jose, Silicon Valley. I’ll introduce you from your bio from that event. Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, speaker, and published author. Her most recent book, Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy was published in April 2015. Chopra is the founder of intent.com a website and app focused on personal,
ANNE: The other thing I’d like to thank you for, and something I have some specific questions on, is your book, Living with Intent. I had the pleasure to be able to grab it hot off the press when it was released and I have to say it really had an impact on me because I felt like you were my sister in balancing life as I was reading through it. From finding balance from running a company to balancing a family with kids and being part of the community, I just felt like you hit all of that spot-on, the chal-
annemagazine.com | ANNE
lenges and also remedies and things that we can do, so I’d love to start out with Living with Intent. How did this book come about and what have you learned since writing it?
to me, what happiness means to me, and are there simple tools because you know I can’t make huge, dramatic life changes but simple tools that can just help me lead a better life.
MALLIKA: Thank you. You know that’s actually probably the feedback I get most from fellow entrepreneurs and women in general is the relatability of the book. So you know I have two kids, two amazing girls. They’re 14 and almost 12 and I have my startup company, and I always feel like I’m balancing the home, family, friend balance with what I’m doing at work, and a few years ago I found myself literally speaking to an audience about wellness and meditation. That’s what I talk about, and I found that as I was speaking to the audience, in the back of my head I was having a parallel conversation in which I was thinking, “Oh, I just had that chocolate chip cookie and double macchiato just to get a sugar rush before this talk.
ANNE: That’s beautiful. I love the reference to actually taking action during a presentation because that takes a lot to be able to do that.
I HAD GROWN UP WITH INCREDIBLE TOOLS LIKE
Meditation BUT I REALIZED I WASN’T INCORPORATING THOSE IN MY LIFE
I have to go pick up the dry cleaning and get the dog food and turn in my daughter’s permission slip.” And I realized that I was always rushing, feeling overstretched, at the end of the day exhausted but not even knowing what I had accomplished all day. So in that particular moment I actually asked the audience I was speaking to to meditate so that I could kind of deal with my own drama, and as I stood on stage and my audience’s eyes were closed, I really thought about my life. You know how I had grown up, my father is the wellknown author Deepak Chopra, so I’d grown up with incredible tools like meditation and just understanding more about the mind-body connection, but I really realized that I wasn’t incorporating those in my life. I also wasn’t living what I say a life of intention, and so my journey began in that moment actually where I decided you know what, I’m going to really explore what this means to me, what balance means
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MALLIKA: Well, I think again, it’s easy because I could get everyone else to meditate and have time to think. ANNE: That’s great, on the spot. I know near the beginning of the book you describe a very moving scene and you referenced your father, who I know through teachings and seeing him speak, and you know it was really interesting I think he has also told this story with Oprah Live on his tour, but it’s so moving to read it. Your parents were having issues when you were young, and there’s a scene where your parents were arguing. It was very heated. Your mother was packing a bag and you realized that she was getting ready to leave and your brother realized, and so he made this extreme statement and he ran to lay down behind the wheels of the car, and he did that, in an effort to say mom do not drive away. This is so hard to imagine of course from the way that we know your father, that he didn’t meditate his entire life and that your family experienced those kinds of challenges. How did your story evolve after that, and what does your meditation practice mean to you beginning from this point as a child because not everybody has the experience of growing up knowing what meditation is? MALLIKA: Absolutely. So you know, I think part of the reason I or my father have chosen just to share that personal aspect of our family life is that you know I think it’s important that everyone realizes that we all have messy journeys, and that’s the subtitle of my book, My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy, because we’re all figuring it out, and we do find different roles at different times in our life that help us kind of transition or ask ourselves questions and figure out what needs to be done to get through a next phase. So in my family, like families all over the world, we’ve had our struggles as well as those moments that bring us closer together. So the scene that you describe obviously of the child sticks in your mind, but what I do remember after that is my father discovering meditation, making some really drastic changes in his life, which actually came quite naturally. He was someone who
drank and smoked and was pretty stressed out, but when he discovered meditation, there was a pretty dramatic shift just in terms of his own lifestyle, but then more importantly for me in our family’s kind of relationship and so my dad was around more. My parents were getting along better. It was just a happier time in our family. So I really appreciate the benefits that came from that practice. I learned how to meditate when I was nine and I’m forty four now, so it’s been over thirty five years, but you know, I’m an irregular meditator. I’ve gone through years where I meditated regularly, years where I don’t meditate at all, other times when I’m kind of doing it kind of not. You know as a mom with a busy business right now, you know I try to find 15 to 20 minutes once a day to meditate these days. My big piece of advice for people is one, never get stressed that you’re not meditating or you’re not do ing something. You know that goes against the grain of what we’re trying to do here. Just kind of relax and then find different tools. You know it’s never too late. Find different tools in your life that can help bring you silence and connect to a place where you can ask yourself questions. I’m a big believer in asking yourself questions, things like who am I and what
do I want, how can serve, what am I grateful for, and I think when we combine moments of silence with questions, we start to tap into our intuition. We start to hear our intentions to live a happier, healthier, more connected, and more purposeful life. ANNE: Beautiful. I know that for me I didn’t start meditating until I was much older, but I so agree. In the beginning I actually started meditation because I was diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue, and as a new mom with an infant and a toddler, the western way was to prescribe drugs or to go to high level psychotherapy with drugs, things like that, and it wasn’t until I really discovered meditation that I had relief in a way that I don’t think I could have found in any other space. So I really appreciate that. I can resonate with the ‘don’t stress out about not meditating’ because also you do go through phases of your life where you know what’s good to do - but you may not be able to be right there, so it’s meeting yourself where you are. MALLIKA: Absolutely, and I think again that’s when we kind of decided on the subtitle My Somewhat Messy Journey. We wrote that because it is messy you know. Sometimes we’re kind of on the path or have things figured out and then the next thing we know we’re confused again or feeling out of balance, and
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so it’s about kind of reassessing and continuing on the journey no matter where we are on the path.
WHO AM I? WHAT DO I WANT? HOW CAN I .
ANNE: Absolutely. I know that in your book and within the audiences that you speak to you talk about microintents, and you give examples, everything from your girls, leaving loved ones after a visit abroad. You also give an example of this potential investor in intent.com backing out of supporting the company after months of conversations, and I can so resonate with those types of examples because they’re two extremes, but you decided to clearly state your intent on intent.com and put it out there, especially when you were on these calls with the other investors. ‘My intent is to be centered in the midst of chaos’, and I thought that that was really a beautiful way to prepare yourself and extend that intention to others that you were about to speak with. Can you talk a little bit about what happened that day and if those microintents were beneficial for you? MALLIKA: Sure. You know I’ve had the website intent.com for many years now, over five, six years, and we just have an open-ended question there. What’s your intent? And people from around the world are sharing their intentions for personal, social, global, and spiritual well-being. One of the things I have learned in that process is that that question can be very overwhelming for people. It feels like this life statement that you have to make, and so the idea of microintents really came out of a friend of mine suggesting you know maybe to begin just think about today. Just think about what your desires, what your intentions are just for today or just for the next hour, and so that was really the idea behind what now we’re calling microintents, which is just think about what you want to achieve in the day. The example you gave with my investors was definitely a day where I knew starting first thing in the morning that this was going to be a really stressful and chaotic day, and by setting that intent of remaining anchored in the midst of chaos, I found that I had kind of planted a seed for the day and whenever
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things did get crazy or overwhelming or stressed I could go back to that intent, remind myself take a deep breath and then continue. So I do find that the process of just setting intents daily can really help one, just get through moments but it also over time helps us to think about our larger intents as well. ANNE: Absolutely. We talked a little bit before about you know the fact that you’re balancing a lot like anyone else is but you have a family and a business and you know what it’s like as a mother to be pulled from mother role to company owner to wife. How has living with intent changed the way that you manage those roles or has it? MALLIKA: You know it has because I think what the process helped me do is ask myself on a regular basis one, those questions I had mentioned before. Who am I? What do I want? How can I serve? What am I grateful for? And I think it’s helped me get more clarity in terms of both my kind of priorities and also acceptance of where I am at this stage in my life without kind of like all the guilt and the drama that goes with that, and it’s also just kind of made me feel more empowered in the choices that I’m making. I think at different times in our life we have the time, the energy, the resources to do different things, and when we are able to (from an empowered place) make choices not sacrifices, but then I think we lead a much more fulfilling life. So for me, the process of writing this book really helped me kind of think through those and clarify them and just embrace the choices that I’m making right now in a way that has given me so much more fulfillment. ANNE: Yes, I think what is an extension of what you just talked about is the fact that you speak about things like consciously nurturing ourselves. What is nurture? Do you have any suggestions for how to consciously nurture ourselves? MALLIKA: Yes, I think as women often we’re so busy taking care of everyone else, our children, our parents, our communities, and people at work that we really forget to take care of ourselves. While logically we say oh yeah we need to, the reality is we never have time, and so again, I think it can be simple, small steps that have big impact. One, I believe that finding a practice like meditation or yoga, and I’m the first person who used to say oh, I don’t have time for that, but when I found that I made time for that, actually everything else in my life fit and did better. Second, I felt like often I never
had time to keep in touch with people or I was too stressed to do things and yet I could spend forever on Facebook just surfing and looking at other peoples lives, and so I began just being conscious of where we’re spending our time. Also, there’s an exercise I have in the book called the balance wheel that I created with my dad, and when I was doing that, I realized that when it came to professional life and family and some things like that I was quite balanced and doing okay, but I had forgotten how to have fun or wasn’t having intellectual stimulation and things like that, so I did small things. I started a book club with my friends, which kind of combined reading novels again instead of surfing the net all the time but doing it in a social way with my friends and kind of having the excuse to get together and just enjoy ourselves and have fun. So I think there’s small things that we can do, but honestly these can have a huge impact on our general happiness. ANNE: I know towards the end of the book you referenced a couple of these, but you have a cheat sheet at the back of the book and it goes through kind of a process. Do you think that people actually have to go through that process in order to live with their intent? Is it a hard and fast process is what I’d like to ask you, or can you skip around?
I THINK WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT WAYS WE FIND
Balance AND HAPPINESS
MALLIKA: No, absolutely not. I think we all have different ways that we find balance and happiness. This was the process that I went through. So I did it around the acronym INTENT for intent. I is for incubate, which is finding moments of silence, whether it’s through meditation or walks on the beach but quiet time where we can really reconnect with ourselves and think about those questions. What do I want? How can I serve? Who am I? And what am I grateful for? N is for notice, which is noticing our internal dialogue. I realized that my internal dialogue was full of phrases like, I’m tired, I’m overwhelmed, I’m ex-
hausted, and if I’m telling myself that all day long, that is actually what I was feeling. So noticing and shifting my internal dialogue, noticing the messages my body was sending me in terms of like my sugar and caffeine addiction and noticing the people, places, and circumstances that are around all the time, but we’re so busy and focused on our own drama that we don’t even notice. T is for trust, which is trusting our intuition, trusting when we ask ourselves what do I want, what do I really want. Trusting that those answers are okay and are empowering and trusting that other people in the universe are there to support us. E is for express, which is expressing our intent, saying what we want, taking ownership of it, and really planting that seed to say this is important to me and I’m committed to it. N is for nurture, which we talked about earlier, which is nurturing ourselves but also nurturing relationships. When we state our intent, what’s amazing is we find that others start to support us. They join us on our journey. They celebrate with us and it’s very empowering and thrilling to go through that process, and we’ve seen that on intent.com as well. Then the final T is for take action. So I do believe very strongly that there is a time for taking action, for having smart goals, but when we’ve done kind of all this other work, then taking action becomes much easier because we’re really committed to it. So that really was my process and kind of what I came up with in all my multiple conversations with teachers and experts in the book, but I always would love to get more feedback from people and hear other peoples stories because we really learn from each other. ANNE: Absolutely, I know it’s an acronym but I love that they all flow so well and they just seem like yes this is exactly what you need to be able to create at least a starting pointing. MALLIKA: Well, I can assure you it may sound easy but that was years of thinking about it honestly. From what made sense and from a lot research, but I do know from my father and other great writers that acronyms often help. ANNE: They help with our memory so much and we can remember them easily.
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MALLIKA: Yes. ANNE: There’s an afterward, Mallika in the book on page 234 that I would love to read a part of and just get your 2 cents on. It’s from your father Deepak, and he says, “If you live intentionally, the day surely comes with addictions to sensation, power, and security start to lose their foothold. Addictions got replaced by attachments. Attachment gives way to preference, and preference is followed by choice and subtle intention and letting go. The highest state, to use a phrase of the great Indian philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti, is “choiceless awareness in which the right response to every situation comes to you as it happens.” This is the state that wisdom traditions call total freedom and all freedom traditions aspire to it, and this is my wish for Mallika, for my grandchildren, and for all of you who read this book.” That is so beautiful and I think to me that kind of sounds like the ultimate that we can all aspire to. I don’t know if I’ll personally get there in this life, but I think it’s so beautiful in the end really telling us what happens when intention is purposeful. It almost becomes like, he says it’s followed by choice and subtle intention of letting go. Do you feel like all of us can reach a part of this? MALLIKA: One hundred percent, and you know I think there’s another phrase in the Upanishads which is one of the great Indian texts, and it says, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intent. As is your intent, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed, and as is your deed, so is your destiny,” and I think that’s kind of what we’re doing with intention. We’re starting from that place of deepest desire, what our deepest desire is, and from there, everything starts to kind of unfold. In essence, we all can do that. We can all think about what our deepest desires are and how we can incorporate those into our everyday life. ANNE: I have two last things for you. I have watched some of the fabulous videos that you have on The Chopra Well, and you take two individuals kind of through a journey, and for me it looks a lot like this almost effortless therapy on one end, but they’re doing a lot of internal work. I remember parts of it actually made me cry. It’s so moving because both of them are very different people but they’re going through largely similar types of inner work, and I remember there is one video where, you’ll have to remind me what it’s called, but you’re basically taken
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into a pool and led into an intense but also very light therapy work. You do this with these two individuals through lots of different situations. Did those folks in the end, for people who haven’t watched those, did they really come away with some magnificent transformation from some of those experiences? MALLIKA: Yeah, so you’re referring to a show we did called Thirty Days of Intent, which we produced and featured on our YouTube channel, The Chopra Well, and for that show we basically took two individuals who were kind of at a turning point in their life and they were young, which is also interesting because many people when they’re older go through a lot of self-discovery. One was just leaving [a career as] a professional soccer player, and the other guy was a YouTube star who basically was on the cusp of the next phase of success, and what we did is we took them through this journey of thirty days of different therapies and exercises and self-exploration, one of which is what you had described. It was pretty remarkable to watch the transformation and just clarity of thought that came through this exercise. So I encourage people to look it up. It is on The Chopra Well, and we link to it from intent.com as well, and hopefully again, the end exercise is that it helps you think about things that you can do in your life, and both of them, yes indeed, had some real transformation. It is interesting, I was recently in touch with Natalie, the girl in the show, and she recently became a mother and you know has kind of shifted a lot of what she’s doing professionally, and she was telling me recently that some of the insights that came from that show, like she had like the immediate insights but it’s maybe 2 or 3 years later now and she’s still kind of you know having the effects of those. So again that’s the journey of self-exploration it’s a lifelong journey and sometimes just like with meditation when you’re doing it in the moment you don’t realize the benefits, but these benefits do build up and overtime really do help us in our lives. ANNE: Yes they do, and I just want to add after watching those I think anyone can benefit from doing that kind of inner transformational work, whether or not meditation feels like the first thing to do is individual. I recommend and teach meditation as well, and I know that people are at different points in their lives. As you pointed out, and I think that again working to meet yourself where you are and picking one or two things and going from there is so much
more beneficial than trying to do it all. You know it was an intense journey that you brought them through on the show, and they obviously signed up for that and I could completely see myself wanting to do something like that after watching Natalie with the horses and you know therapies like that. However we’re about out of time, so Mallika, I want to thank you so much for the work that you’re doing out in the world. How can we help share and spread the word about intent and where can we find more information about your work? MALLIKA: Thank you so much for the support. I so appreciate it and love chatting with people. I’m on all social media. I love to kind of be on social media, so I’m on Facebook and Instagram. These days my daughter is having me try Snapchat, which I really haven’t figured out yet, but I love to connect with people on especially Facebook and mostly on Twitter, I can be reached there. I would love to invite people to explore intent.com and share their intents or sometimes people aren’t comfortable doing that but just come and see what others are posting because often people get inspiration or connection just
through reading. We see that a lot, and then I also, whenever, I always love feedback on my book. It’s always so nice to hear other people’s journeys and kind of share stories. So again, whenever people share on any of the social media, I really love to see that. ANNE: Beautiful. Well again, thank you so much and I look forward to connecting again soon. MALLIKA: Great. Thank you so much.
...WORKING TO MEET YOURSELF WHERE YOU
BIO Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, public speaker and published author. Her most recent book, Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy, was published in April 2015. Mallika is the founder of Intent.com, a website and app focused on personal, social and global wellness. Her intent is to harness the power of social media to connect people from around the world to improve their own lives, their communities and the planet.
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ANNE MANDLER AND CCO, JOHN JACOBS TALK:
Life is Good and
HEROES of Optimism
ANNE: So, welcome everyone to ANNE Magazine, annemagazine.com. I’m thrilled and honored to have my new cohort, John Jacobs with me, he is the Chief Creative Officer, oh, Optimist. I almost had it, Optimist of…
and your brother and the enterprise. JOHN: Yeah, The Enterprise. ANNE: Yes, do you want to talk for a minute for people who aren’t familiar?
JOHN JACOBS: You nailed it… ANNE: Of Life is Good, I’m correcting myself, and he’s joining me here at the Watermark Conference in San Jose, CA, to talk to us about Life is Good and you made a pretty clear performance/speech. I see where you did some Frisbee. John threw some Frisbees to the crowd and I was pretty jealous that I was sitting in a backstage room and I couldn’t try to catch one. But, we’re going to talk about Life Is Good and we know some about your story, John, how you got started with the T-shirts. You
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JOHN: Sure, we (John and his co-founder and brother, Bert Jacobs) were looking for a way to combine art and business, we were just getting out of college ourselves and we saw t-shirts as an accessible way to blend the two, so we got out on the streets of Boston, where we’re from, and I would say we were wildly unsuccessful for many years, but we also bought a van which Anne referenced, called The Enterprise. We told each other we would boldly go where no
Photo credit Getty Images for Watermark Conference
annemagazine.com | ANNE 17
T-shirt company had gone before. And I’d say we did that but that doesn’t mean that we sold many shirts, but we went up and down the East Coast, door-todoor in college dorms selling t-shirts and the real important part of it, seriously, was how much we learned, even when we were rejected. Like, why people didn’t like the message or the graphic or the price or anything and we just kept taking notes and that was five years of sleeping in the van and living on basically peanut butter and jelly. We had a good time, but it was discouraging at times and there was a lot of doubt about whether this could be, actually, sustainable living. Meanwhile, in short, – there was a conversation that came up a lot about how negative the news had become and we wondered if we could create a rallying cry for optimists that lead to one drawing which our friends, when we got back to Boston responded to very positively and they encouraged us to put it on a shirt and we sold our first Life is Good shirt 23 years ago. And that one shirt, that one phrase, just changed our lives.
AND THAT ONE SHIRT,
that one phrase CHANGED OUR
LIVES ANNE: What’s incredible now is thinking a few years back. Or even 10 years back. I would see the shirts and I would see products and smile every time I walked past them because that is just the most optimal slogan/philosophy/tagline I’d ever heard. But now you’re in airports. You guys are everywhere. What is your scope? Can you talk a little bit about growth and how you’ve grown?
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JOHN: Sure, very grassroots at first. A lot of Mom and Pop stores. We learned about having sales reps and all of this by talking to people, and trial and error. Then we learned about teaming up with some larger retailers and creating our website. None of this is rocket science rather it was just learning as we go. We don’t have a formal background in business. Bert studied Communications (that’s my brother). He’s the CEO and I’m the Chief Creative Optimist. I studied Art and English, so we made a good combo and we had a lot of trial and error but really it was the power of the message that carried us through all our mistakes. People just want to rally around something positive even in the worst times. ANNE: Do you think it would be different if it wasn’t all in the family? Do you think that you could have a different business partner? JOHN: Definitely, and the cool thing and the really positive thing about being in business with someone that you know that well is that you don’t beat around the bush, you’re just very direct with each other. And we grew up in bunk beds. We fight, like all brothers – we still do. But it’s usually over minor details. We share the long-term vision and that’s the important thing. Whether you’re related or friends or not, if you’re in business together you want to be synced up on the long-term picture. Then, everything else is just sort of like playing a sport – what offense are you going to run, what play are you going to run? That’s the easy, fun part – even if you have squabbles over it. Yet if you’re not aligned on the longterm game you’re going to end up having really big clashes so we challenge each other all the time and we respect each other’s abilities but that unity on the mission to spread the power of optimism – that’s really the foundation for everything we do. ANNE: That’s great. I’m sure you’ve been asked before and I haven’t heard it and others will want to know too. I’m a complete optimist myself and I think that’s a great way to live if that’s in you. I even think that the world can use a little nudging in the way that you guys do it. But, is there something like ‘Life is Bad’? Do you guys ever have a bad day at work? You think of Life is Good – you guys are always happy. JOHN: No, I think all humans have to practice optimism or you should. We recommend practicing gratitude. None of us live it 24/7. I and everyone we work with has moments of frustration. You get into petty stuff, you know. All sorts of negative things.
FOR US, GRATITUDE IS REALLY CENTRAL TO THAT AND I MENTIONED IN THE TALK TODAY THAT THE PHRASE “Get To”, THAT WE LEARN FROM OUR CUSTOMERS BUT IT’S REALLY – YOU CAN TAKE SOMETHING TO WORK AS ‘I HAVE TO GO TO A MEETING’ OR ‘I Get To GO TO A MEETING BECAUSE I HAVE A JOB’. ‘I HAVE TO’ GO GROCERY SHOPPING OR ‘I Get To GO GROCERY SHOPPING’ I’VE GOT LEGS THAT WILL CARRY ME, YOU KNOW, I LIVE IN A LAND OF ABUNDANCE WHERE THIS FOOD IS AVAILABLE. I’VE GOT MY HEALTH.
gratitude is really central... You know, it’s a matter of how you respond and how quickly you can shift to some foundation that gets you on the right path. For us, gratitude is really central to that and I mentioned in the talk today that the phrase “Get To”, that we learn from our customers but it’s really – you can take something to work as ‘I HAVE TO go to a meeting’ or ‘I GET TO’ go to a meeting because I have a job’. ‘I HAVE TO’ go grocery shopping or ‘I GET TO go grocery shopping’ I’ve got legs that will carry me, you know, I live in a land of abundance where this food is available. I’ve got my health. And we’ve heard this and learned this from people who have been through the worst adversity – cancer, losing loved ones and they come back to that foundation of being able to recognize the simple things that they are thankful for every day. Every breath of air – I don’t want to sound corny but it’s very real to us. Especially when you hear from people who have basically been through hell and know that they’re lucky just to have a friend, to have a sandwich, to be able to walk. I mean, that’s when you recalibrate and say ‘Ok, I’m not going to bitch about some little silly detail of my day.’ ANNE: Yes. Yes.
JOHN: Or the traffic, or the weather, you know? ANNE: Indeed. It seems like you have also done a fair amount within your company, not just organically but with a mission to help people. You’ve done a fair amount of giving back as an organization. So, I’d like to ask you about something that you’ve done there recently. Then tell me about what you expect in terms of the next five years of Life Is Good. An inspiring note – something to wrap up for people who are not here at the conference today who really want to experience a little bit of inspiration. JOHN: Well, we think kids are the ultimate optimists. Especially young, healthy kids who view the world as wide open. They want to engage and explore. They’re curious and unfortunately some kids have things that happen to them that are not their fault. For example, any form of trauma, poverty, violence, illness that makes it really hard to live. Instead, they’re in fear every day and that’s how we created the Life is Good Kids Foundation. It’s a lot to get into right now, but it’s working with child care providers who are in the trenches every day to help them to maintain their sense of joy, optimism, enthusiasm, so that they can give that to the kids every day. And we’re
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now positively impacting about 120,000 kids a day through the Kids Foundation and it’s a big reason why we exist and it’s just another way to spread the power of optimism. And then, your last question. We see on the horizon a lot of new vehicles. T-shirts have been our thing and then we expanded to different kinds of apparel. We see a lot more education, specific classes on optimism. Training corporations. Movies. More publications. We put out a few books around our values and our response has been great – people are hungry to find happiness, really and to enjoy the ride and to find meaning in their lives. So we try to combine all those things into every initiative and those things like film and education. There are just other domains
in which we’ve just dabbled and we – they’re a big part of our future. ANNE: Well, thank you so much John. This is exactly why we’re talking today and if anyone wants to reach out, it’s lifeisgood.com. JOHN: Lifeisgood.com is the place and that’s also where there’s a lot of positive content starting to bring in stories, heroes of optimism. They’re very uplifting to share with friends, so I encourage you to come visit us. ANNE: Excellent. Thanks so much. Life is Good. JOHN: Thank you, Anne.
BIO JOHN JACOBS is co-founder and chief creative optimist of The Life is Good Company, which spreads the power of optimism through inspiring art, a passionate community, and groundbreaking nonprofit work. Jacobs and his brother Bert launched their business with $78 in their pockets, selling t-shirts in the streets of Boston. Today, Life is Good is a $100 million positive lifestyle brand sold by thousands of retailers across the U.S. and Canada. Jacobs wrote and illustrated his first poorly spelled book at the age of five. He’s been writing and drawing ever since, graduating from the University of Massachusetts with dual degrees in English and Art. He began designing and selling T-shirts with his brother Bert during his senior year. After five years traveling in their van together, the brothers officially launched Life is Good. When he is not creating inspiring content, Jacobs enjoys outdoor adventures with his family, awkward dancing and diving into the water to catch things. To inspire others to choose optimism and grow the good in their lives, Bert and Jacobs wrote “Life is Good: The Book/How to Live with Purpose and Enjoy the Ride,” published by National Geographic in September 2015. Jacobs has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities for entrepreneurship, business innovation and philanthropy. He and Life is Good have been featured on “CNNMoney,” CNBC’s “Business Nation,” ABC News’ “Nightline,” NBC’s “The Today Show” and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine and Men’s Health magazine, among others. Jacobs and his brother Bert are the youngest of six siblings from Needham, MA. They credit their mother as the first powerful optimist in their lives, and the inspiration for Life is Good. @lifeisgood
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Discover Optimism: CLICK HERE FOR YOUR
PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY TO FIND
REALLY AND TO ENJOY THE RIDE AND FIND MEANING IN THEIR LIVES annemagazine.com | ANNE 21
ANNE MANDLER AND NANCY DUARTE ON
NNE: HI’m super excited today to be talking with Nancy Duarte of Duarte, Inc. Nancy, welcome. NANCY: Thanks for having me. ANNE: Thanks for being here. Our agency also helps entrepreneurs and businesses create messaging. What I’d love to chat with you about today is about your message and story, as well as your new book. I’ll take a moment to introduce you here. Nancy Duarte is a communication expert who’s been featured in several publications including Fortune, Forbes, and Fast Company. Her firm, Duarte, Inc., has created thousands of presentations for the world’s top institutions including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, and the World Bank as well as TED. She’s also the author of Resonate, Slide:ology, The HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, and the co-author of Illuminate, Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols. Nancy, this is so awesome! NANCY: Thank you! ANNE: Thank you for writing this book. I really
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feel like you are the person to write it; you and [your co-author] Patti Sanchez is wonderful too. It was really needed, and it was time I think. You give some examples in the book with both companies that you’ve worked for and other companies that just have it, and have been successful telling their story and lighting that story. You talk about big brands from companies like Rackspace to Starbucks and leaders such as Steve Jobs and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For people who don’t have the book in their hands yet, can you given an example as to why some of these cases or one in particular, is particularly illuminating their cause? NANCY: What we try to do is identify leaders who have driven a movement. For years people would call and say, “Hey I need my next talk”, and then about three years ago they’re saying, ‘this is bigger than a talk’. We’re trying to drive a movement, and a movement is when a leader needs to move people en masse. Whether it’s three people or a million people you’re trying to move people somewhere. It took a long time for us to find people that had actually done that at scale, where you could attribute it to the way
the leader communicated. It was a blast to put together.
BUT ALSO DOING IT FROM A PLACE OF
AND REALLY UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE
The examples in the book are anything from, [you mentioned] Rackspace, of which you would think a CEO of a great and energetic company wanting to move into a new building wouldn’t be that big of a movement or transformation or even an initiative, and yet when he picked a dilapidated mall in a relatively dangerous part of town, he was faced with a revolt on his hands. Nobody wanted to do it. How he communicated and navigated through that and ultimately did wind up moving into the mall is actually very, very interesting.
We picked anything from moving into a building to the turnaround of Starbucks to how Steve Jobs migrated the developers from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS 10. So it’s really about moving from and moving to, which is a lot about the body of work but also doing it from a place of empathy and really understanding your audience and understanding what this new future that you’re trying to get them to. What’s the impact on them of the ask that you’re making of them? There are models in there for empathy. One of my favorite things is that we’re starting to get feedback now because people have had time to finish read-
annemagazine.com | ANNE 23
ing it. We’re getting feedback such as Wow, I feel like scales fell off my eyes because I’ve never seen things from this perspective before. This is the perspective of the very people that they’re trying to move, and so it’s been fun. I appreciate your enthusiasm for the book. We enjoyed writing it. ANNE: It’s great because I feel like your message applies whether you’re a huge corporation or you’re a company trying to shift perspective, and whether that’s product or internally as well as a tiny startup or an individual entrepreneur. I feel like it has that breadth to it and it can be applied across. Do you feel like that way? NANCY: Yes, that’s how we feel. When we were putting it together, we struggled with what to call these people you’re trying to move that’s a neutral term. We didn’t want to say “teams” because they might not be on your team. They might be your patients in a hospital. It’s not your team. That makes it sound like it’s internal organizational change. It could be your consumers. It could be your family. It could be anybody, and that’s why we chose the term, ultimately, your “travelers”.
It could be your customer. It could be a sales call. One of the interesting things to me is how quickly people will self-select out and say, “Well, I’m not a leader”. You know, you do lead. Everybody leads or has the opportunity to lead, and we felt like “travelers” sounds more like, Frodo going along on a journey and a trip; so that’s why we picked that. ANNE: Absolutely, because I think that everybody is. I mean that’s ultimately what we’re doing these days. NANCY: We’re all travelers in this life, right? ANNE: Yes, we really are. I love hearing about that. Before we go, do you have a complimentary resource that you would like to share with our audience? NANCY: Thanks. Yes. We have a visual executive summary of the book up online at duarte.com/illuminate. I also connect to everyone who connects to me. I’m @nancyduarte on Twitter and we also have @duarte, which is the corporate account.
Who are the ones that are going to be going on this journey with you? It could be anybody. I’m thrilled you picked that up because I know the editor at the publisher kept saying, We’ll call it “employees”, call it ‘employees’. This is not what this is. It’s anybody.
BIO Nancy Duarte is a communication expert who has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Huffington Post, LA Times and on CNN. She is the CEO of Duarte, Inc., and her firm is the global leader behind some of the most influential presentations in business and culture, and has created more than a quarter of a million presentations. Nancy has spoken at numerous conferences including TEDx, South by Southwest, Inbound, and World Domination Summit. She speaks at business schools and lectures at Stanford University several times a year. She is the author of three award-winning books: Slide:ology, Resonate, the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, and co-author of Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols.
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Leaders use a combination of communication methods to inform and inspire the people they are guiding throughout the five stages of transformation. By understanding where your audience is in their journey, you can diagnose which type of communication will be most useful: speeches, stories, ceremonies, symbols. Sometimes, leaders use motivating communication to pull the audience toward a goal. At other times, leaders need to use warning communication to push them away from an undesirable reality.
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click for RESO URCE
ACCESS TO THE TORCHBEARERâ€™S TOOLKIT! annemagazine.com | ANNE 25
Anne Mand ler Talks Women and Ecosystems with Watermark CEO
ANNE MANDLER: So everyone on here this is Anne from Anne Magazine, annemagazine.com. With me is the lovely Marlene Williamson. Thank you for joining me today.
woes of building her own business. She formulated the organization. It was known as the Forum For Women Entrepreneurs and then it became the Forum For Women Entrepreneurs and Executives and it is now known as Watermark.
MARLENE WILLIAMSON: My pleasure, Anne. ANNE: Marlene is the CEO of Watermark, and she has held a number of technology C-level roles and lots of other roles. I’m going to name a couple but I’m not going to go over your lengthy bio because you’re very busy. MARLENE: It would take too long. ANNE: You’re so impressive. So you were at Alfresco, BigMachines, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (sold to Western Digital), and then prior to that, you were a VP of global marketing at Ericsson, VP at Symantec, IBM, Polycom, and Acer. You were at Apple prior to that and I know there is more, but I’m going to stop there. So Marlene, what aConference! Thank you so much for giving women a place to share and to voice. I would love to talk to you for just a couple of minutes about Watermark and about the mission of Watermark for people who couldn’t make it to this event. What is the mission? You talked about it the mission not changing. MARLENE: Absolutely. About 22 years ago Watermark was formed in the Bay Area by a wonderful entrepreneur who is with us here today, Denise Brosseau (Watermark), who could not find any other female entrepreneurs that she could share her joys and her
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The mission for the past 22 years has never wavered. It has always been to increase the number of women in leadership positions by helping them, supporting them, building a community and helping them develop leadership skills and networking opportunities whether they’re an entrepreneur looking to grow their business, looking for business development, looking to raise money, whether they work in corporate environment looking for that next promotion and building their visibility and their ecosystem that and is our sole focus. Right now we produce more than 50 events during the course of the calendar year based in the Bay area. ANNE: That’s incredible. That’s a lot of events. MARLENE: It is. It is. We do an entrepreneur event. We do an innovation conference. We do leadership conferences. We bring in speakers, and we actually go into companies and deliver gender diversity workshops as well, to teach leaders both men and women how the male brain operates differently than the female brain, how they negotiate differently, they mentor differently—we’re just different people. We also teach how women can adapt their approach and leaders can create environments where women are supported and can be themselves. ANNE: I think after listening to that, we should do a whole episode just on the differences in the brain.
Photo courtesy of Paige Johnson
annemagazine.com | ANNE 27
MARLENE: Yes, absolutely. I’m in a book club like many people are and one month my book club read the two books. One’s called The Female Brain and one’s called The Male Brain. They were great books, and you learn so much about how we’re different.
our speakers this morning were talking about what happens when you start to implement changes like Watermark is setting the tone for—the results are incredible. MARLENE: Yes, yes.
ANNE: Yes we are, and we can work together. MARLENE: Absolutely. ANNE: Talk to me about Watermark and about the changes or what you’re bringing to the table as CEO since you’ve been here. Are things different since you’ve been here? MARLENE: Well, I just stand on the shoulders of the amazing women who have led Watermark before me, and I’m carrying the torch for the next one. We have all grown and developed the organization. When I stepped into the role more than a year ago, even though Watermark is a nonprofit, I feel very, very strongly that it’s important that we pay it forward, that we fill the pipeline for the next generation and that we support the next generation.
I FEEL VERY, VERY STRONGLY THAT IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE
Pay It Forward As a mother myself of millennial daughters, one of whom is with us here at the conference today, I feel that I want to do whatever we can as the Watermark community to pay it forward. We raise money for girls’ leadership programs. We also have a Watermark scholarship program, where we were able to bring in a lot of junior high and high school girls to the conference today to give them exposure and knowledge. We also are very proud that on our board of directors we have a UC Davis MBA student on our board to give her exposure to board activities. So these are the things that we’re trying to do to fill the pipeline and help our next generation. ANNE: That’s amazing. Hopefully we’ll have more companies following the lead of what you’re doing because I think it just needs to be out into the ether a little while it sinks down into companies. Some of
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ANNE: It’s my daughter’s sixth birthday today and hearing you talk about your millennial daughter, there’s not another place I would want to bring my daughter. She’s young yet, but one day I think just to have that this experience at a conference as something normal that we’d do together. MARLENE: Maybe one day we won’t need conferences for women. Who knows? ANNE: Who knows? Something to aspire to. MARLENE: Absolutely. ANNE: Marlene, for those people who come here looking for answers to questions in terms of career or leadership, how can they find more leadership roles models and mentors in their organization, do you advice for them? What sort of resource can they take away from this conference? MARLENE: There are so many people who look at networking or mentoring or building their ecosystem when they feel they need it. When there’s a gun to their head. When they’ve lost their job, they hate their boss. They got divorced. They have to go back to work. Whatever the circumstances are. My advice is to incorporate building your ecosystem from a personal as well as a professional perspective as part of your ongoing DNA. We all know that Dr. Oz tells us that we should workout every day. My attitude is that an organization like Watermark should be part of your 24-hour fitness DNA. It shouldn’t be when you think you need it. You should be prepared for when adversity happens. Good things will happen when you’re not looking for it. Because of your ecosystems, opportunities will come to you because people know you. They like you. They want you and they say, I have this opportunity and I’d love for you to join my team. Be proactive is my advice. ANNE: That’s great advice. I know that we’re limited on time, so is there a way for people to connect with you to find out more about Watermark and how it can impact their organization and their
IT’S EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY
MARLENE: Yes, you certainly can go to our website, which is wearewatermark.org. We are a nonprofit and you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and we would love to have you attend one of our fifty events a year and have you join the Watermark community. It’s extremely, extremely supportive, welcoming, and nurturing for people’s lives—not only professional lives but personal lives as well. ANNE: I love how you’re an ambassador at every level so you are leading, and you asked me if I was a member.
Supportive, Welcoming and Nurturing
MARLENE: Thank you, Anne. ANNE: It was such a pleasure.
FOR PEOPLE’S LIVES NOT ONLY PROFESSIONAL LIVES BUT PERSONAL LIVES AS WELL
BIO Marlene Williamson is the Chief Executive Officer of Watermark. Previously Marlene was Chief Marketing Officer of a number of technology companies including Alfresco, BigMachines (sold to Oracle) and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (sold to Western Digital). Prior to joining Hitachi, Marlene was Vice President of Global Marketing at Ericsson. She has held Vice President of Marketing roles at Symantec, IBM, Polycom and Acer. Earlier in her career, she led Global Consumer Marketing at Apple. She has been named Marketer of the Year by the American Marketing Association, Partner of the Year by Yahoo, Innovator of the Year by Google, Outstanding Female Executive in Silicon Valley by the YWCA, a Woman of Influence in Silicon Valley by the San Jose Business Journal and a 2013 Woman Who Has Made Her Mark by Watermark. She is a former board member of Watermark, the CMO Council and the Association for Corporate Growth. She holds an MBA from DePaul University and is a frequent international speaker on high tech marketing issues.
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Photo courtesy of Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Watermark.
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SUPERLEADER JENNY DEARBORN ON MOVING WOMEN FORWARD
Jenny Dearborn On Her Role, Maternity and Paternity Policy and Advice for Millenials
NNE MANDLER: Hi Everyone, I’m here with Jenny Dearborn and Jenny is a speaker here at the Watermark Conference for Women in Silicon Valley. She is a senior vice president and chief learning officer at SAP, accountable to drive measurable business impact by designing, aligning, and ensuring execution of SAP’s overall learning activities for the company’s 75,500 employees globally. This is her fourth company in the Chief Learning Officer role. Jenny, thank you so much for joining us today. JENNY DEARBORN: Absolutely, my pleasure. ANNE: Will you give a brief description of what your title entails and what a Chief Learning Officer does? JENNY: Yes, absolutely. So I am responsible for all employees globally their training, education, readiness, everything that they need to know to be able to be the most effective in their jobs from onboarding, professional development, management and leadership, compliance, diversity, all of the sales learning, and technical learning. Everything that employees need to know to be awesome at work. It is my team’s job to teach them that.
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ANNE: That’s incredible. So above and beyond the traditional HR role and is what you are doing evolving in the industry. What your role has traditionally had some HR overlap. How are you trail blazing this role and this department? Not every company has an officer with your title and role. JENNY: Most companies have someone who leads training, education readiness. You’re right, most companies don’t have a Chief Learning Officer. They have somebody who runs and leads training. So really the difference between my role and someone who is pulling together training classes, I’m really a partner to the business to help them design and drive their strategic workforce plan. If we look at a corporation today and they have employees with certain skills, abilities, competencies, etc. You have so many employees in these geographies, and you are trying to achieve XYZ business results today. Then you say what is our ten-year plan?
WHAT ARE THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES OF OUR CORPORATION TEN YEARS FROM NOW? WHAT ARE THE
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Competencies, Behaviors, etc. THAT WE NEED OF THAT FUTURE STATE WORKFORCE? What are the goals and objectives and strategies of our corporation ten years from now? What are the knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies, and behaviors, etc. that we need of that future state workforce? Then my team’s job is to build that strategic workforce plan to get that to get the corporation from current state so that we have the humans
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to achieve that future state strategy and vision, and then learning and enablement is really that execution piece of that strategic workforce plan. So now that we know in the future that we are going to need so many humans with these skills, in these geographies, driving XYZ business results, we can put together a learning plan to put help transform the current workforce into the future state workforce. ANNE: That is business critical information, and it sounds like that is the way more companies will move in terms of your title and role. JENNY: More companies will move that way and it also becomes more challenging. This is my fourth company as a Chief Learning Officer, and I would say that this was easier to do ten years ago or five years ago. The nature of business is changing so fast and the nature of the education, and the learning, and the readiness that employees need six months from now, a year from now is so dynamic it’s becoming very difficult to predict and see around the corners to get employees ready for that future state but that is really the nature of my responsibilities. ANNE: Wonderful. You care about some other critical issues. You were recently published two days ago in USA Today regarding maternity and paternity leave. Talk to me about that article and give me some highlights. JENNY: Absolutely, so what I love about my job is that I have the freedom to pursue these passion projects. I’m very connected with women here in Silicon Valley and just through my social networks, found out that the utilization of maternity leave and paternity leave is a significant problem in Silicon Valley, and so I did some research and published this article. What I found was that companies, a couple dozen SV tech companies have come out and said, we have these amazing newly revised maternity and paternity leave policies, which is great. Yet, if you take a closer look, there is a disparity between policy and practice. People might not necessarily be encouraged to take full advantage of these policies. The corporate culture does not support women to be able to fully utilize the benefits that are on paper. I see that as a pretty significant disconnect and a real disadvantage for women. The article was really about bringing some light to this issue and encouraging corporations to be transparent with their
utilization metrics. I think that that is the most fair thing that we can do to working parents is to really let them know what is at stake in their corporations. ANNE: This conference has a breadth of women. In fact, we have the youngest generation of women that we’ve ever had at this conference because we created the opportunity to bring in some really young women. You’ve led at a high level for a long time, and I’d love to know if there is one suggestion that you’d like to give women starting out, who are building their careers and who are trying to find their passion in their work and connect at a high level. JENNY: Yes, absolutely, I’d go back to the data of the demographics of this generation; 50% of the global workforce will be millennial by 2020 and 75% of the global workforce will be millennial by 2025 so we see a significant retirement cliff of baby boomers coming up. I’m a GenXer so GenXers will start to fade as well, but don’t underestimate for millennials the power that you have in just the sheer numbers in critical mass that you have for your generation. Don’t take no for an answer. You have the ability to
change the path of history. You can bend the future to create the world that you want. Just by the sheer numbers of people. So if somebody says, that’s not the way we do it here, or you need to act differently, or you need to know your place, or that’s really not what women do. Bullshit, because you can now set the new future. You can now say that perspective is the past and we have a critical mass of women now that says, this is the new normal. This is the way the current state is going to go moving forward. Status quo is what ‘I’ decide. Get together and decide what you want and make it happen. ANNE: And make that change. Thank you so much, Jenny. I appreciate you being here. J:ENNY: Absolutely, my pleasure.
YOU CAN BEND THE FUTURE
THE WORLD YOU WANT
BIO Jenny is a speaker at the Watermark Conference for Women in Silicon Valley. She is a senior vice president and chief learning officer at SAP, accountable to drive measurable business impact by designing, aligning, and ensuring execution of SAP’s overall learning activities for the company’s 75,500 employees globally. This is her fourth company in the Chief Learning Officer role.
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Explore the Digital Landscape ANNE MANDLER AND SUSIE ROMANS
Show You How
NNE: Alright, I am really excited because I have a special guest here today with me, Susie Romans. Susie and I have chatted before, and she is so lovely that I wanted to do a part two. Let me just give you a little bit of background on Susie. Susie Romans helps women who have a powerful expertise, skill, talent, or story to create freedom with an online business model that allows you to work less and earn more. As an online business coach, she has assisted hundreds of clients in the creation and growth of their online brand, and with a personal blog that has received 5.3 million web visitors with no advertising, she is an expert in marketing and online based business models. Susie is redefining what is possible at work and as a stay at home mom and CEO of a thriving business. Susie, I just want to welcome you and thank you again for being here today.
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SUSIE: Thank you for having me. I love doing these. I love video, so this is fun. ANNE: That’s great, me too. Well, I think one of the main things that I Iove to have you on for is just your directness but also the way that you explain business to entrepreneurs and the range of people who are in the audience. We have people who are starting at just above the early stage of forming an entrepreneurial businesses and people who are a little bit more advanced. From that perspective, I ask you what you’re excited about in the world of business right now, and what’s your favorite topic to talk about? SUSIE: Yeah, good question. I love to see how the online business kind of landscape is evolving, and what I’m seeing is people who are coming online
who have some sort of expertise or skill set, talent, or even story, a message to share, something they’ve gone through can really and are really exploding. So people that I’ve seen, kind of been watching from two to three years ago that are just exploding. I think you really have to own what you have and get clear on the angle that you want to brand yourself. There’s a lot of noise and there’s also a lot of room for people who know exactly what they do. I’m going to keep repeating that, but whether it’s an expertise or a skill set, talent, or even a story, I really do believe....[being able to say exactly what you do is important]. You know, we think about people like Brendon Burchard who really started with just a story. It was not life changing but more of near death experience is what I’m saying, with his car accident and that’s how he started. So we all as online entrepreneurs have to plant our feet and set a foundation on something and know that it may change and evolve, and we look at great leaders like Oprah and Brendon and these huge brands. They certainly didn’t hang their hat on that one thing, but they started with some specific story or expertise and then grew it from there. So I love seeing everyone’s business really exploding, and I love when I come across entrepreneurs that really know their thing. You know, they have clarity on what it is that they’ve branded themselves to be, so that’s really lighting me up. ANNE: Yes. I had the opportunity to talk with Brendon Burchard briefly about two weeks ago, and I think one thing that’s really refreshing about him and what he does, is one, he sticks with the story that is his actual true, simplest, ‘essence of Brendon’ and then two, he takes you through the path of where he has been and then where he is going. You mentioned Oprah in the same sentence and recently those two (Oprah and Brendon) have worked together to form beneficial relationships at this point. Like you said, it’s really obvious that if you’re true to your brand from the beginning and you’re speaking authentically, so much brilliance can come through. I think it’s a faster path to not only having and creating that audience, and being able to take your audience through your evolution. SUSIE: Yeah, absolutely, and I know we talked before we went live here on the call about this huge movement of online learning, and I actually spoke to somebody who was a part of Brendon Burchard’s marketing team when he was doing that ‘O’ Course with Oprah. Yeah, so it was cool to hear it from the side of his marketing team guy and also just seeing,
I mean, ads coming up now where Christina Aguilera is teaching online classes. I mean this is huge. It’s like a green light. This is the time if you have something, a story, expertise, talent, whatever you have and you’re powerful and passionate and you know that it’s something that’s really good that’s needs to be out there, it’s time to like package that up, you know what I mean. This online learning landscape is exploding and I love that anyone from a mom sitting at home on her computer to Oprah are doing these courses and selling them.
THIS IS THE TIME IF YOU HAVE A STORY, EXPERTISE, TALENT, WHATEVER YOU HAVE AND YOU’RE
powerful and passionate
AND YOU KNOW THAT IT’S SOMETHING THAT’S REALLY GOOD THAT NEEDS TO BE OUT THERE... ANNE: Absolutely, yes, I agree. I think the other thing that we touched on earlier is this magic that really comes through. It’s a combination of your story and what needs to be told. I think one thing that people can be challenged with at different levels depending on where you are as an entrepreneur is how to best synthesize that and promote it in a way that is authentic and is still doing for you what you need it to do in terms of making money as a business owner. So Susie, is that something that you’re interested in talking about? I know that my audience has a set of particular challenges and those are not far from your audience’s challenges. I think one really big challenge is feeling like there’s so much information out there. So how do I really concentrate on one thing that is going to maximize or push me to the next level?
annemagazine.com | ANNE 35
SUSIE: Yeah, well I think that there are two things that come to mind. The first one is that they have been done before -- the thing that you want to teach or the thing you’re passionate about, the story that you want to tell may have been told or done by other people. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that someone else has done it, right? The thing to remember is that it’s never been done by you, so you’re coming at it with a different background, and different life experiences. You are your own person, so nobody else has done it your way because you’re unique. Right and we all are. There was this talk that I think it was by Elizabeth Gilbert... ANNE: I was just going to bring her up when you said that. We’re on the same wavelength... SUSIE: ...Where this inspiration is coming from. I heard her say the same thing. It’s not been done by you, right? So that’s one major thing and you have to really believe in yourself too and be able to stand on that foundation that I am unique enough and I am talented enough to put this out there and really have certainty in that because if you don’t, you’re not going to go all the way. I do believe that there has to be a certain level of determination and certainty within yourself that you’re going to drive this all the way. The other thing that comes to mind is that it’s never been done by you. You may have to come back to it. ANNE: Well, there are a couple of things you’re particularly adept at speaking about. One is in the marketing realm and taking the online world in a kind of step-by-step way that’s palatable for people. I think that’s one challenge in terms of thinking, about the audience, and you know, I’ve been there. I know friends who have been there. There’s just a lot going on socially right now. Do you have a piece of advice or something that you would like to remind people of about taking those baby steps in the direction of where technology and entrepreneurship are going? SUSIE: Sure. I mean you definitely need to be clear on what you want to create and through what method you want to create it. In the simplest terms, how do you want to make money and how do you want to sell your thing? It could be a $97 audio program, something that’s simple that’s MP3s with maybe some PDFs and workbooks, which is an information product, right. You could be running a live group program that’s $5,000 a person and you’d bring on ten clients. They’re very different and there are so many different business models out there, which is really exciting and it can be confusing, too.
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So I think you really need to focus -- laser focus on the one that you want to actually do, and then the other thing that comes to mind is to know your ICAs, your ideal customer avatars, client avatars. Know that it’s okay to have multiples. It’s something that gosh I was so for like a long time like harping on this and just kind of oh I don’t have clarity. I don’t have clarity. I have to hire another coach and another coach, and the truth is that I just had to be okay with the fact that I have multiple [ICAs] that I can help millennials who are 22 years old and want to get started online and have this freedom-based business, but I need to get really clear on who they are, what they want, and how I’m going to talk to them in a way that weeds out the people who are going to waste my time. Those who are not really that dedicated or don’t have that determination or certainty that I was talking about. So have your ICAs. I was just saying millennials and mothers. I have clients, this bracket of more experienced people who built a career around something. Maybe they’re in their 40s or 50s, and they’re kind of nervous about the online landscape because they’re not techie. They’re not online people, so they look to other generations that are getting this software and how to build online courses and just clicking. So there’s all these different kind of ICAs, and I finally just allowed myself to embrace that and get really clear on the hooks and the messaging and positioning. How am I going to attract these different ICAs and diversify all my offerings? We’re living in an era where the online learning is huge like we just talked about, so embrace it and have fun with it and enjoy the creative process, and there’s been so many things that I’ve upgraded from just doing screen share tutorial style things to now hiring video teams to come in my home office and they’ll record and do the whole production so all I have to do is show up, be the expert and talk, and then we can package this whole thing up and sell it. That’s when I say like have fun with it. When it used to feel stressful it was because I had to do it all. I had to create the PowerPoint and do the screen record and teach and then export the file and edit the whole thing and upload it. It was so much and so overwhelming. It’s like how can you make it fun. You know what’s fun, looking glamorous, having video people come in and you just get to sit there and do your thing, be the expert, teach or tell your story and what not. ANNE: I get what you’re talking about in a very clear
way. In terms of technology that goes along with who you’re trying to serve and how you’re trying to serve. It’s really not just you being diverse in who you’re reaching as millennial or Gen X, or working mom, but in message and I think this is what I’m hearing from you. It’s that you can also have really clear multiple service pieces. That yes, you teach one thing and you might also be brilliant at teaching something else. There are ways to connect and make your business truly unique to you. I think you can serve more people and provide more value in that way. SUSIE: Yes, and I think what you have to have in mind when you’re doing multiple service offerings is, one obvious thing is the price points, but also the customer journey. When people first come to your brand, where are they and what position or circumstance are they in that they want to fix, and that they want a solution to. This versus when someone has already been aware of your brand and they’ve bought your entry-level product what’s next and how can you serve them on this whole journey? Because building a business -- it’s the same with weight loss or relationships, I mean it’s all a journey. We evolve as people where we are right now. It’s going to be different from five years in all areas of our life. Think about that and the customer journey. Something that I’ve recently done with one of my entry-level products, my $97 level, is the cheapest kind of thing, the entry-level it’s about the money mindset. It’s an unstoppable mindset, and I think that that’s so fitting at the beginning part of the customer journey because I won’t teach you how to create and sell an e-course or an online product if you don’t mentally believe that you can do it and be successful, put yourself out there and all, right. So it’s very fitting to be at the beginning of the journey and then people kind of grow with me and can buy my more expensive or higher end programs. ANNE: We’re really talking about organic growth and I think that’s crucial at the speed at which we’re moving as well. Not only is technology changing but the way that business is changing is so fast. I really believe in a lot in research and tell me what you think of this Susie -- I don’t believe that you necessarily have to have the product and completely research from back to front and back again and wait and do another beta and do it again. I think sometimes what holds people up and even puts people at bay from taking the plunge and jumping into business in the first place, is not giving themselves the room and the freedom to be able to test while they’re going. I
think testing is super important. I think it’s crucial to building a business and understanding your product and understanding your customers, but I do think that we need to be able to research and test and give ourselves a break as we grow. SUSIE: Right, right. ANNE: Is that something that resonates with you? I feel like sometimes people hesitate to get started because of that process. Do you know what I’m saying? SUSIE: I know what you’re saying, and I have a couple of thoughts on that, too. I think it’s the research part I consider to be like listening, almost like eavesdropping on people who have a problem and look in groups in Facebook forums or groups or they’re all these blogs where people are commenting and talking about their problems and issues and circumstances that they’re in that they want to get out of whatever that may be. It can span over all different industries. So that listening part is huge. If research sounds daunting, think about it more of like I’m just going to go listen and read and see what people are saying and talking about, and then when you say testing, I believe the first that you can do is throw out a freebie. Imagine just creating a free video or a free webinar or a free PDF on that topic that you’re considering of creating, like an offering around it, and then like you’re saying, test it out. Are you actually getting opt-ins? Are people signing up for it? Because if they’re not even signing up for the free thing, what are the chances that they’re going to buy your course about it, right? Absolutely listen, put together some sort of freebie. If you want to be simple, a one page PDF. If you want to really put in time and attention, make it like a three-part video series, but put it out there for free and see what interest you get. That’s a great way to gauge whether or not you should begin to put the whole e-course or the larger thing together. ANNE: Right. I think also if you do get to the point where you’ve tested and you’ve tried and you got feedback and then you launch that beautiful thing out into the world and it doesn’t go exactly as planned, you can always take it back and modify it and put it back out there. I think that’s the beauty of where we’re at right now as well. SUSIE: Oh yeah, tweaking. That’s like my favorite word. It’s always about tweaking. It’s always about changing and evolving and maybe I’m just an optimist, but in my brain it’s like it’s not failing, it just needs a little tweaking, like what can we change or
annemagazine.com | ANNE 37
shift, and gosh it’s happened to me where I’ve had, I don’t know that I would say full out launches but sending out an email or maybe a whole week’s worth of emails and I didn’t get a sale, so I’m like alright, I’m not taking this off the market. I’m just going to hire a copywriter and a Facebook ads person, and so I bring in experts and advisors to look at this thing and tell me where the disconnect is. It’s either messaging or it’s you just don’t have enough traffic. So I figure that out and gauge what is it I need to edit. The copy, the positioning, the branding, or I ask if there is visually something off where it just doesn’t look like a premium program but yet it’s a premium price tag. Or again, it could just be the volume of traffic. It’s just not high enough, you know.
OH YEAH, TWEAKING. THAT’S LIKE MY FAVORITE WORD. IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT CHANGING AND EVOLVING AND MAYBE I’M JUST AN OPTIMIST, BUT IN MY BRAIN IT’S
ANNE: Yes. SUSIE: This shows up with clients where they feel like something is failing, and I say well, how many hits have you had to this sale’s page? How many people have actually landed? It’s like fifty, seventy. I’m thinking, give me a break. We haven’t even given this thing a proper shot. There just hasn’t been enough visibility and traffic. I love that concept that it’s about the tweaking the editing. It’s not that it’s going to fail unless you legitimately have something that’s really niche, and I laugh and I say something like a cookbook for ex-NFL players or something. It’s really random. Okay, well who’s going to buy that, right? Unless it’s that one thing. ANNE: There’s niche and then there’s niche.
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SUSIE: Right, right, and I think to that point, I mean I don’t know if your viewers have already defined exactly what their industry is, but I really do believe that there’s kind of three big ones and you can probably make money in different areas, but in my opinion the three massive ones are business and making money, health/weight loss and nutrition wellness, all that falls under that, stress management, all of that does fall under that, and then there’s relationships and love. It’s like the three massive industries, and if you are in some piece of that, even maybe if that was the pie, those three pies, you know you could have a tiny little sliver in that and still be really successful. I just wanted to throw that out there. ANNE: That’s great. I appreciate that. Is there something else? I think that we touched on what you’re really excited about right now in business. I know you’ve been traveling, and I’ve been traveling. There’s some really great people out there right now to listen to and to go see live, so it’s a two-part question. You can answer however you’d like. What is a good live event for you or how would you define that for someone who’s asking where should I go? I really want to go and get some inspiration. Then the other piece to that is the impact. How can it impact your business by going out and making those connections live? SUSIE: Sure, yeah, so you’re just catching me on the day back from New York City. I just flew back yesterday, and I was at a live event that Selena Soo had put on, and she’s a networking and PR expert, and it was kind of a mid-range in terms of how many people, probably two to three hundred people, however it was a really amazing group of high-level people. I believe in networking and that live events are massively important. Not only just to ignite momentum and inspiration in us but also to connect with people who are really going places who are just on fire, and that was a big part of my decision was to be sideby-side mingling with and hanging out with some of the top leaders. I got to spend a lot of time with Kimra Luna who just came out of a 1.2 million dollar launch. We got to hang out, and I was able talk with her one-on-one about her family and how all of it works. Who’s watching the kids while she’s in launch mode and all that good stuff all the way down to Ramit Sethi and Derek Halpern. I mean these amazing, huge names in our industry. To be in the same room as them, to be having lunch shoulder-to-shoulder with these guys, it’s just hugely amazing. I would say definitely, I signed up the VIP access -- which I think is a no-brainer because when you go VIP you’re
able (like I was saying) to have dinner, have lunch, be at the cocktail parties, be able to really create relationships there and make the most out of it. There’s kind of two parts to how these events happen. There are definitely the ones that are more open to the public. I mean Brendon’s probably have thousands of people where you’re probably not going to be able to hang out with him, but it’s also that you’re more of a general attendee or what not, or if there’s that many people, I kind of expect that I’m not really going to be able to mingle with some of the speakers. However, when you choose to sign up for smaller events, a hundred to two hundred people or less, you can plan to create some real friendships and mastermind partners. So definitely invest, go VIP when you can because it’s about the caliber of people you get to connect with. If you’re at an event where the ticket was $5,000 a person, the people who are there have really pretty successful businesses. I’m sure to some extent, if they’re able to afford a ticket like that, keep that in mind. It’s worth it, I believe, to mingle with, to create those relationships, and to be a part of that tribe and that group. And to create those relationships how else would you ever do that? Because if you’re just going to send an email to introduce yourself, well guess what? Those people are probably getting two hundred emails a day. Yeah, so I think both really. It’s the small things, as small as a ten person mastermind to the two people events all the way down to these massive events with Tony Robbins and Brendon Bruchard. I think all of it’s worth it, and especially being online entrepreneurs we can get really lonely sitting here behind our computers. You can start to feel a little stale or kind of out of ideas. Why am I not in flow? Get out of your office. Get out of your environment. Change it up. Shake it up. Do something crazy. I’m the risk-taker type. So I like spending a lot of money investing in my business. There are things that I do on a regular basis but they always produce an ROI in either the relationship that I built or the concepts and ideas that I learned. There’s always a great benefit and a great return. ANNE: That’s wonderful to hear and I love that you went to Selena’s event, and I think that what she’s been creating over the last couple of years just continues to grow exponentially, which is really powerful. I also like what you said about going and being with people one-on-one. There’s just nothing else that can match that. I mean it’s wonderful to be able to have even a conversation like this, but there’s so much to disengaging from your everyday to be able to go and meet people in a different environment.
SUSIE: Absolutely. I mean we’re not meant to be islands. We’re literally not meant to build our businesses alone, and when you think of anyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Steve Jobs, like all the greats, did any of them build a business alone? No. You’re crazy if you think they did. They had friends. They had advisors. They had mentors. They had investors. I mean, they were surrounded by smart people. You need to get surrounded by smart people. That would be like major advice to everyone. Get surrounded and get close with other people who are making massive change -- and it’s not just about the dollar signs. It’s about the amount of people they’re reaching, the difference that they’re making, the stories that they’re telling. All of that is so amazing. I really do feel giddy and excited when I think about this generation that we live in. It’s like, who else got to do this? You know, like parents, grandparents, no one else had this opportunity to reach a million people because we have an Internet connection. That’s amazing. If that doesn’t wake you up in the morning and make you like jump out of bed, I don’t know what does.
IF THAT DOESN’T WAKE YOU UP IN THE MORNING AND MAKE YOU JUMP OUT OF BED, I DON’T KNOW WHAT DOES. ANNE: I agree. Well Susie, we are about ready to wrap here, but before we do I just wanted to ask you if there is something you’d like to give back, something that the audience can have for listening and being a part of our conversation and just an appreciation of everyone being here together? SUSIE: I do. I do. I have a gift to give, and this stems from a conversation that I had with one of my coaches, and it was this moment where I told her that I’d basically work about 4 or 5 hours a day, and she stopped in her tracks and said, “Hold on a second. You’re telling me you’re working like twenty hours a week,,” and I said, “Yeah, I have two kids. I mean, it’s impossible to work more than that because when they get home from preschool, I’m mommy, you know it’s mommy time and it’s hanging out with
annemagazine.com | ANNE 39
them, playing with them. They want my attention.” So she said, “You need to share that and you need to help other women, especially moms to learn how to do that.” So I have this free webinar replay that all your listeners are welcome to have, and it’s where I talk about how I’ve built my business to multiple six figures in just twenty hours a week and that’s not like get rich quick. I mean that’s legitimately me working premium prices and leveraging my skill set through online products and programs to get to the point where I’m making multiple six figures with just a few hours a day. The URL is susieromans.com/sixfigures.
enjoying life and being able to build this business while feeling at peace and at ease and fulfilled. ANNE: Absolutely, and it’s just a reminder the links to Susie’s page, is it susieromans.com? SUSIE: Yes. It’s Susie. ANNE: Then also being able to share and pass on to friends your link as well as annemandler.com and of course you can reach the magazine at annemagazine.com. SUSIE: Beautiful.
ANNE: Perfect. Yeah, I think you’re wonderful. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you and how you continue to grow and flourish, and it’s really obvious in the way you speak and how passionate you are about what you’re doing. I think you’re a perfect fit for this next issue and we’re excited to have you. SUSIE: Amazing and thank you for connecting and making this happen and for leading your amazing tribe and for all the work that you do and for putting this together. I checked out your fall issue and it’s beautiful, so I’m super excited to promote this one and get the word out there because that’s what we’re all about. It’s not just the dollar signs. Like I said, it’s
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ANNE: Thanks everyone and take care. SUSIE: Thank you so much. Thanks for making this happen. I’ll talk to you soon.
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BIO Susie Romans helps women who have a powerful expertise, skill, talent, or story to create freedom with an online business model that allows for working less and earning more. As an online business coach she has assisted hundreds of clients in the creation and growth of their online brand. With a personal blog that has reached 5.3 Million web visitors (with no advertising) she is an expert in marketing and online based business models. Susie is redefining what’s possible as a work at home mom and CEO of a thriving business. She graduated with a Bachelor degree from Northern Illinois University in Media Communication at the age of 20 before she could legally have a beer. Then she held corporate management roles by the age of 23 balancing two kids and a successful business all by the age of 26. Quickly turning her experience over the last seven years in sales, digital marketing and lead generation into a profitable business she has helped women and small businesses owners across the globe bring in over one million in revenue. Learn more at SusieRomans.com and SweetFreedomAcademy.com
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ANNE TALKS ABOUT THE
Future of Beauty
WITH CELEBRITY STYLIST & GURU, ROBERT CHARD 42 S P R I N G 2 0 1 6
YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT
YOU WANT TO
NNE: I have the lovely pleasure of having my dear friend and wonderful celebrity beauty guru and hairstylist, Robert Chard with me today. Robert is awesome, and I really want to share his work with you. He has a lot of great things to say about beauty, worklife, and about taking something into your own hands and going with it. So today, we’re going to talk a little bit about his background and what he loves. So welcome, welcome, welcome. ROBERT: Thank you; excited to be here. ANNE: I’m going to talk a little bit about where you’ve been. So you were originally from Ballard, which is in Seattle, for those of you not familiar with Seattle. In 2008, you started your venture out into the world, and you really decided that you didn’t want to do the 9to 5 thing. ROBERT: No. ANNE:: You knew from the beginning. ROBERT: Yeah. ANNE: You knew that you didn’t want to go to a four-year school. ROBERT: Correct. ANNE: And that you always loved the beauty industry. So you did a little couch surfing. ROBERT: And did what I had to do to... ANNE: To get... ROBERT: ...where I wanted to be. ANNE: You found your way into school. Talk with me about what that journey was like for you, just getting started. What is it like to get started in the
annemagazine.com | ANNE 43
beauty industry? ROBERT: Well, I realized very early on that the image of the beauty industry in your head is very different than what you experience. You think big lights and celebrity hair and glamour and a little different than that. You have to figure out where you want to end up. Do you want to do celebrity hair? Do you want to work at like a local salon? You know, kind of fit where you fit in. ANNE:: Yeah. ROBERT: It’s hard because you don’t really know. You don’t know anything about the industry, and you have to start from the bottom. For a lot of people, that’s not fun. It wasn’t fun for me.
YOU’RE TESTING A LOT OF THINGS OUT AND YOU
work out THE KINKS
ROBERT: Oh yeah, well, I just kept doing it. It took a few months into beauty school to kind of understand my way of seeing it, and literally overnight it clicked. I had a lot of fun and then I graduated. ANNE: This is awesome. So the next step for anyone who’s working in the industry, especially doing it on their own as a stylist is getting clients, keeping clients, and growing your client list. Tell me about that experience. How does it work from the beginning, and compare it to where you are now? Do you have a regular clientele now? ROBERT: I do. ANNE: Okay, awesome. Tell us about the process. ROBERT: Well, first you have to figure out where you want to be. Do you want the fancy corporate salon? Do you want something a little more local? Your first salon is kind of a shot in the dark. You’re not really sure which way to go. I took the first job I could get because I had to. It was a small chain locally. The first year you don’t really know what you’re doing. You’re testing a lot of things out, and you work out the kinks. ANNE: Yes.
ANNE: Yeah, I think it’s so good. I don’t want you to sugarcoat any of it because I want people to understand in any job kind of what it takes to find it. I think it’s lucky of you that you started out with something that you love. Not everybody gets to do that. A lot of people really struggle to even get to find that love in the first couple of years in what they’re doing. ROBERT: I didn’t love it at first. ANNE: Okay, tell me about that. You hated it after you started?
ROBERT: But whether you make the decision to leave or decisions get made for you to leave, you end up where you’re supposed to. You know, getting clients, and they tell you right up front, it’s the hardest part, getting people in your chair. Some people do a lot of free services like get your first haircut free. Everyone takes a different approach. I started doing hair right before the big social media boom, so no one told me this is how to advertise yourself. This is how to use Facebook. This is how to use Instagram for your benefit. I had to wing it. ANNE:: Yeah.
ROBERT: Well, I knew I loved the idea of the beauty industry, and in beauty school that’s when you learn the technical stuff...
ROBERT: That’s what ended up paying off for me now is figuring out how to use social media to my advantage.
ANNE:: Right. ROBERT: ...how to actually do hair, and I sucked. It was not a natural thing for me at first, and I cried. Oh, oh yeah. ANNE: Okay, but you did it anyway.
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ANNE: That’s awesome. I think that’s big in almost any industry, especially industries where it’s customer service. You’re helping people and you need to attract but then you also need to have people help you socially broadcast your message. Do you think social media is really effective for this industry? It’s a must, right?
ROBERT: It’s unreal. Everything is online, and I think it’s impacting a lot of smaller salons that haven’t taken the plunge yet into social media because most people are very visual. They see pictures and then want what they see. So a client is going to look at your salon online. They’re going to want to see pictures of what you can do, and if they like it, you’ve instantly gotten their trust. If they don’t have those pictures, either they’re not going to come to you in the first place or you still don’t have their trust yet. ANNE: That’s true, and we were talking a little bit before we started about, for instance, someone will come see you for the very first time, and they’ll have these amazing expectations because of the social media that we absolutely love and adore. She’ll come in and want, you know you’ll have someone who’s... ROBERT: Saw her hair and these trending styles that may or may not be doable. ANNE: All the formerly trending mermaid hair is definitely out, do not do that. No, I’m kidding. Do whatever you want do, but he’ll tell you what is new. However, if you come in and you’re the total opposite of what you’re looking for, it’s difficult to translate. Tell me about what that’s like for you. Someone new comes in, and they want something that they’ve scheduled an hour for or two hours for. It takes how long maybe? ROBERT: Some of these hair colors right now can take six hours if done correctly, but the first thing you have to do is gauge expectations. I’ve had to turn a lot of people away initially to rebook for more time because you know, silver hair is beautiful but it’s a lot of work. It’s a long process to get there.
ANNE: Yes, and you might be able to make it work for that photo shoot or for that moment but then there’s the expectation of what it’s going to be like after you leave. ROBERT: Well, on Pinterest and Instagram you see the finished result. No one sees the process it took to get there or what it looks like a few days later. All those, you know, the pastel hair colors they fade. The silver hair, it fades, and so people can end up spending a lot of money to get this Pinterest picture. I have to tell them this is what you’re getting into, and it’s tricky. ANNE: Yes, it’s a learning process for everybody. ROBERT: Myself included. ANNE: The next question that I want to ask you is about the industry itself. First, if you’re a new person, you really love the beauty industry, and you think it’s for you, what kind of advice do you offer for someone who’s just getting started to know before they enter? What does it take to be successful in this industry? ROBERT: I feel like it takes a few things. Specifically you can’t be sensitive. I’m a very sensitive person naturally, so this was something I had to evolve into. You know, people are going to tell you things you don’t want to hear. Sometimes it’s the client. Sometimes it’s your boss, and you have to take it, absorb it, and move on. ANNE: You can’t hold on to it. ROBERT: No. and you know, in the industry where it’s all based on your client list and your relationships
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with those clients and sometimes people move, sometimes you build long relationships with the client and then you never see them again. That kind of stuff, you know; you can get easily hurt by it. You have to build a skin. ANNE: I think that’s so applicable to any servicebased industry right now. I think that those are pretty core life lessons. It’s not the easiest, especially if you’re a sensitive person, but pretty much if you’re selling a product or service of any kind, you have to be able to know what you’re doing. Then, be somewhat bulletproof. Let it slide off. Don’t take it personally and move on is good cross-industry advice. ROBERT: I mean, I think the only other thing is people want to help in general, so when you first start out your career, you have to say, “Oh, you know tell your friends.” Now, it’s more, you know, “Tag me in a post or take a picture of your hair, and send it to me later.” And hashtag, hashtag, hashtag. ANNE: Right. ROBERT: But people want to do this. You just have to ask for it, and I mean you have to do it. It’s the only way it works. ANNE: It’s the only way it works. We’re lucky to have it too. I think about before Instagram, life before social posts, like before Twitter, and Pinterest. It is also extremely important to this industry. People spend a lot of time there, and people advertise. I think it’s a benefit. ROBERT: Oh, it totally is. There are things like Yelp, which is a huge platform for the industry. ANNE: Yes. It’s the equivalent of a makeit or b reak it testimonial. ROBERT: Yes. It’s scary because you’re career is in the hands of whoever. It can be someone who’s angry for some reason or it can be a thousand happy people. People put a lot of faith into platforms like that where they can look up how many happy people you’ve had and see pictures. That’s easily what’s built my clientele right now. ANNE: That’s true. You do have good Yelp reviews. I’ve checked you out.
ROBERT: It’s great, but it’s like I said, it’s also a very scary thing because it’s not permanent. ANNE: No, but what is in this life? Maybe another question before we finish up is about the industry itself. Where do you think this industry is headed? That’s a really big question. And do you have any thoughts about where beauty is headed beyond some of what we’re talking about? ROBERT: Well, I think it ties in to everything you’ve talked about. I think the standard for the beauty industry is increasing and increasing and increasing because everything is connected to social media. People want good services and I think social media is forcing stylists everywhere to really step it up. I think it’s only going to increase, so hopefully it just gets stronger. ANNE: Do you have any thoughts on where beauty itself is going? ROBERT: It’s hard to say because a lot of times that kind of stuff is in the hands of backstage people and we all just kind of follow along with whatever trend happens, but I just hope it’s a good place. ANNE: Me too. Me too. I think one cool thing that’s been happening is the beauty and holistic health industries have changed and merged a little bit together. ROBERT: Oh yes. ANNE: I think because of that, thank goodness, it’s not all just like a cover and skin deep beauty. We’re also trying a little bit more maybe to integrate health and your skin being healthy and beautiful. ROBERT: People are just more conscious of what they’re putting in and on their bodies; the hair care as well. ANNE: Yes. ROBERT: You know, a lot of hair companies have kind of been forced to drop the sulfates for instance, the waxes. A lot of companies stopped testing on animals because it reflected on them badly, and I think it’s great. ANNE: I think so too. Well, one last question because
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I know we’re about out of time. Is there something you’d like to share with the folks today, a little gift or something?
ANNE: Hey, thanks so much for being here today. ROBERT: Thank you.
ROBERT: Yes. I’d love to give away a customized hair tutorial to be used by July 15. ANNE: 2016?
ANNE: It was such a pleasure to have you and the beauty industry is just better that you’re in it. Thank you my friend.
ROBERT: Thank you very much.
ANNE: How would that look for somebody? How would you do it? ROBERT: Well, everyone has something that they’ve wanted to learn, so basically you send me a request, and I can Skype or whichever platform is easiest. ANNE: Perfect. I think I’ll go ahead and let everybody know now, so if you’re interested in doing this with Robert, you can go ahead and send an email to email@example.com. Just send a little note about how to reach you and you guys can coordinate.
WE’RE TRYING TO
BIO Robert Chard is a celebrity hair stylist, and beauty guru, born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Upon graduation from high school, he was given an ultimatum – college or a 9-5 minimum wage job. The idea of a four-year school left him realizing his long-love of the beauty industry. He couch-surfed his way through beauty school until he secured his first job and was able to be self-sufficient. Robert cut and styled his way through three salons before pursuing his goal to find his niche following. After dedicating the next years to finding a salon and community that matched his style and values, he’s now resident at McLaughlin Hair Design, Seattle, where’s he’s grown a high-end clientele.
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Published on Jun 23, 2016