How Investing in Relationships Can Help You Grow Your Business
Hey friends! I hope your Thursday is going well!
I had a chance to be on a recent interview with Marisa Cali (@allthesocial) from the Bicoastal Panda (@bicoastalpanda) podcast
I thought you might like to see the full text from the interview questions. Check it out below.
What’s your genius zone?
I am an introvert, an incredibly deep thinker, an articulate writer, and – when I put my mind to it – able to focus so well to produce amazing work
Do you recall the time you got your first “win” that made you realize you were doing the right thing? Tell me about that time.
I dont know about first but my latest win is: I will soon be teaching a soft skills course in collaboration with a friend I made through Twitter chats. This person (I’m not allowed to reveal name yet) has been in the people business for decades. It is an incredible honor and privilege to work together in this area.
Describe one struggle you have had as an adult and how did you learn from that experience?
My biggest struggle is having an addictive nature. Years ago I had an issue with drug and alcohol dependency. This lead me down a dark road where I even considered suicide. I eventually got the right help and went to a 28 day in patient rehab program. I ultimately learned that I could not run away from who I was and that I needed to have a spiritual center in my life. 12 years sober now but I have to remain aware and be careful with things like social media, video games and even food.
Why do you feel it’s important to tell your story?
I have an incredible journey to share. I am starting to be more comfortable sharing it with others. The reason I share it is so people can see there is hope, healing, and redemption. There is a chance to turn things around. There are people around who can identify with the specific struggles. I also hope I can help people avoid some pain and learn from my own mistakes.
What’s the most intriguing thing about your business?
I am here to serve people. Some businesses may say that but not all live that out. Everything I do is to make others (people and organizations) better. Even if this causes me some short term pain. I like to invest in relationships and looking at things from a long term perspective. My hope is to leave behind a legacy for my children and grandchildren. The other intriguing thing about my business is that I use it as a leverage point to help kids in need (specifically foster and adopted kids). My wife and I fostered and adopted triplets. They were 5 1/2 when they first came to us. We fostered for a year and then adopted. Now they are almost 9. There is such a huge need to serve these kids. My long term plan is to open centers of healing where these kids can find long term housing, health care, and education. My aim is to have one of these open by 2030
Why did you choose to go into the field you’re in? Was it a life-long dream? Tell me more.
It’s interesting. I think the field chose me. I never dreamed of being in the leadership, marketing, and social media space. As a kid, I did have some dreams of being in business for myself though. I’ve had a long strange trip. After high school, I worked in a mom and pop bakery and went to school at a local community college for 3 years. Then I decided to join the US Air Force as a Russian linguist. I did that for 7 years. Then I got out to pursue one of those cushy, high paying government contracting jobs in the DC/Baltimore. That didn’t quite work out but I went back to school and got a Bachelors and Masters thanks to the post 9/11 GI Bill. Then I worked for a major paint manufacturer managing their retail stores. When I left that to pursue entrepreneurship, I simply knew that leadership was a key part of who I was and what I had done for nearly 20 years. It only became really apparent to me in the last year or so that social media marketing was where I needed to be as I engaged in connecting with people and building relationships. It’s a fun space to be in and I think that are some truly remarkable people doing phenomenal work.
What three words characterize you as a business owner and why?
Humility, empathy, and service. The humility part comes in every day. I strive to be better each day. I strive to learn every day. I consider myself a teacher in many ways but there are so many things I can learn about as well. Through empathy I have learned how to care about people, how to care about what they care about and how to treat them. Not to say I dont make mistakes but I strive for excellence here (and in every facet of my business). Last, I truly believe I am here to serve others. It doesn’t matter to me if they become better than me. I hope for their success and I am a cheerleader. I dont live in fear of competition. I simply help people.
If money and job title were not a factor, where would you live and why?
I could do this business anywhere. I am completely content to do it from here in the greater Atlanta area. I love what I do as a dadpreneur. My wife loves where she works. But it would be fun to live down in the US Virgin Islands. My wife and I had our honeymoon to St Thomas and absolutely love it there.
What’s one nugget of advice you would share with others?
Expect the unexpected and be prepared to pivot as an entrepreneur
What do you want to be known for – personally, professionally, etc?
I want to be known as a person who loved people and served them well.
What obstacles are in the way of you achieving success? Are there any you want to share?
I am probably my own biggest obstacle. I am not exactly the most organized person and I am not the most technically proficient at technology. But the good thing is that there are lots of other people who love to do this stuff. I can hire them to do it so I can focus on doing what brings the most value – thinking, writing, connecting with people and teaching.
What do you wish someone would ask you?
Where do I find joy and purpose? Personally, my spiritual side is integral to who I am and what I do. So I find joy and purpose connecting to God through music, meditation, prayer, nature and through other people.
When do you feel most alive?
I feel most alive when I am sitting quietly in front of my computer and typing away my thoughts. I can do this for hours a day.
If you could get paid to do anything outside of what you do now, what would that be? Give me an example.
I think my future will include opportunities to be paid for speaking and writing books. Something totally unrelated to that – it would be incredible to be paid to create a video game. I am partial to old school Japanese role playing games from the 90s. I would love to make something like that. I even bought some software to help with that. But I havent made a lot of time to delve deeply into it.
What are the methods you use to share your story?
The most frequent way is for me to simply write about it. I have an article I wrote for a leadership magazine and then shared on Medium
I want to expand a bit more into using video and audio to get my story out there. There is no story quite like it.
Do you feel an attachment to others when you share your story? Why or why not?
I don’t think everyone will be able to identify with my story. Not everyone has to battle the demon of addiction but I think my story illustrates having to struggle and overcome and find purpose in life. So I think I connect with people on that and they connect with me.
What are 3 questions you want to be sure to answer about your story?
What led my wife and I to foster care and adoption?
How do I continue to grow as a husband, father, leader, business owner, and friend?
Where do I see myself in the next decade of my life?
I hope you enjoyed this deeper look into my story! Thanks so much for reading!
I’ve been helping leaders become better marketers for over 21 years and would love to help you take the next step in your spiritual leadership journey.