Welcome, listener to this edition of the Found podcast.
In this episode, I’m recapping the talk I gave at the University of Northern Iowa’s Women In Business Organization’s Young Women in Leadership conference. I’m sharing many memories today but an important one is attending a “What is a business major” workshop as an undecided freshman at UNI. As soon as they said I’d have to take macro- and microeconomics I was like, “Peace out!”
I was so grateful to be asked back. My talk was for young high school women from all over the state to give a small business entrepreneurial voice to their conference. My freshman business-no-thanks self wouldn’t believe where I am today, and that’s okay. It’s okay to change.
- Yes, there is a Spotify playlist.
- Leadership for me has never been big or grand, it was often leading in small ways and listening to that small voice that wondered “What if?”
- All I Want Is You: When the lead on my junior high dance team was injured I had to take the front position with little warning. It wasn’t a big deal, it was just a job that needed to be done.
- “I can lead others by leading myself”
- Yellow: Leadership camp at UNI was such an impactful experience for me. Over the course of a week we learned so much and met so many new friends. There were literal tears when our parents picked up.
- Jeopardy: I was given the coveted role of FFA Sweetheart as a high school senior which came with the “honor” of providing treats for the 100+ members at each of the remaining meetings for the year. My departing speech was unconventional, but all in good fun. Just because something has always been done one way doesn’t mean it has to stay that way forever.
- You Can’t Always Get What You Want: I was devastated to not get the scholarship I needed to attend my first pick college. This song played on the radio at work after I got the hard news.
- Fancy Like Applebees: Laugh all you want, but Applebees was THE hoppin’ place to work in Cedar Falls. I wanted to be a waitress, and I wanted to work at the busiest restaurant in town. Food service taught me SO many people skills. I was able to lead in this position by training others (Which came with a whopping $5 per hour wage AND a free meal!).
- Reading Rainbow: As a new teacher I struggled with students cramming easy books for easy quiz points. I wanted them to love reading for reading sake. I put out a call on this new thing called Instagram and Facebook for classroom books and collected 500 by the end of the semester! This taught me that rallying people around a cause can help achieve growth.
- Mama Says: It’s okay to change. I became a stay at home mom. Yes, I was a passionate educator, but changing my career doesn’t change the passion I put in to that career. “I thought this for a long time but now I learned differently, learned better, and so I’m going to move in that better path.”
- Video Killed the Radio Star:“The story of how I creatively avoided cold call fundraising with my mad video skillz.” But seriously, I was involved in a capital campaign for a childcare center in our community. When the time came for cold call donations I just. could. not. We made a video campaign showing how the current center just wasn’t working and sharing our vision for the future. It was a huge success!
- Bo$$: I started my own business that absolutely could have stayed one-to-one service-based forever. Instead, I used all the lessons from all of my leadership roles before to now lead a team of people. A secret to my success is that I didn’t keep secrets. I offered free weekly trainings to help small businesses understand more about social media marketing.
- “Leadership isn’t just putting yourself up on a pedestal. Turn around, see who’s walking behind you, and give them a hand, so they can do it faster, better, and more efficiently than you did.”
- “The best leaders are not the ones who keep all the secrets to themselves, they’re the ones who help others elevate too.”
- Change(Taylor’s Version): Change starts with the question: How can we do this differently? As I focus on my words of 2023, Profit and Pruning, I’m asking that of myself. You’ll notice some changes coming to the podcast as I prune back to just two episodes per month until August, alternating a solocast with a guest interview. I’ve also let go of pursuing a physical storefront in my hometown after I got honest about my long term goals.