Tyler is an out sexually fluid entrepreneur who grew up with his mother being a stylist for crossdressers. The business started in their living room over 25 years ago when his mother started helping predominately heterosexual Men fulfill their desire to dress as a female. Being a bit of a high fashionista herself she helped the men pull together outfits and accessories that suited them. A few years ago mom retired. Tyler not only remained in the business he has transformed it into a fashion house and rebranded it as enFemme. In the cross-dressing and trans community when one dresses as a female it is commonly called enFemme so the name is a strong connection with its customers. enFemme caters to the unique needs of the cross-dressing and male to female transgender community to be a leader in clothing designed to fit a biologically male body dimensions while feminizing in appearance. Further enFemme has designed the industry’s widest line of body-shaping undergarments that conceal the male private parts comfortably and provide breast augmentation.
Tyler relies heavily on customer feedback to develop and hone his product lineup. EnFemme’s customers are an integral part of the full process. Valuing the community, enFemme has an extensive online resource center where site visitors can read stories on inspiration and encouragement through learning from others who share their perspectives and experiences.
Tyler is very passionate about his business and his customers. He feels great satisfaction that he and his company has a role in helping people feel confident in being their authentic self. For many it is who they identify as while for others it is fulfilling a fantasy. All are welcomed and appreciated at enFemme.
We were wanting to provide images of the enFemme products within the video but experienced a video editing bug. So visit enFemme’s website to view their full range of offerings at https://enfemmestyle.com/
Join me and Tyler on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Wendy started her career as a ballerina dancer. She moved to New York City to pursue that dream. Like most, she had to work a day job to make ends meet. After getting tired of waiting tables she started a job with a telemarketing firm where she received training and mentoring. She found that she enjoyed the job and was quite good. After some time she ventured on her own founding her own direct telemarketing company. Working with many companies in diverse industries she and her team honed their approach and found commonalities that could be leveraged.
This insight sparked the idea to take her company further launching a sales training division which is the bulk of her business today, Cold Calling Results, a sales training consultancy. In sales training, Wendy works predominantly with small and midsized companies to hone how they effectively communicate their value proposition to prospective clients typically over a 6-month in-depth hands-on approach. So often sales agents and business owners torpedo their own efforts unknowingly by not positioning their product or service effectively. Wendy provides several examples in our conversation.
Every entrepreneur has to have sales. It is the lifeblood of the company. No one is a born sales guru. Like everything, being great in sales is a skill you can learn. Wendy believes it is crucial to have a sales foundation before hiring a sales representative so that the basic expectations, tools, methods, and processes are present to get the most from every lead. All too often salespeople will blame other things for the reason they aren’t closing business when in fact the reason is a lack of clear effective communication from the sales rep to the prospect. Wendy’s training addresses this in a holistic manner. Get the most out of your sales team.
Not quite ready for one-on-one training? Wendy has written the following books: The Business Owners Guide to Setting More Appointments When Your Prospects are Completly Freaking Out
The Sales Winner’s Handbook: Essential Scripts and Strategies to Skyrocket Sales Performance Word-for-word scripts you need to reach highly-qualified prospects, book more appointments, follow-up, and close more sales with less stress. Use this OutBüro link for your discount: https://wendyweiss.isrefer.com/go/SWHPDF/OutBuro/
Get your free copy of “The Cold Calling Survival Guide – Start Setting Appointments in the Next 24 Hours” by signing up to receive sales tips from Wendy at https://coldcallingresults.com/
Reading is great, but you may find that you will benefit from coaching. Wendy and her team can work with you and your unique business to perfect your sales skills. Check out her site to explore the options she provides for sales coaching and support. https://coldcallingresults.com/
Join me and Wendy on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
November 28, 2020
(updated November 28, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with entrepreneur Jeff Hammerberg. Jeff is the founder of www.GayRealEstate.com. https://www.gayrealestate.com/
To connect with Jeff find him on OutBüro here. https://outburo.com/profile/gayrealtor/
Jeff started out serving in the US Navy for 4 years in the San Diego, California area. After his military service, he relocated to Denver, Colorado to begin a career in commercial real estate. After several years in commercial real estate, Jeff made the jump to residential real estate starting off with ReMax.
In mid-1993 Jeff was struck how after a couple walked in seeking help in buying a new home was the but of homophobic jokes, after they left the office for being a gay male couple, Jeff felt there had to be a way to better serve the LGBTQ community with respect and trust. In the early day, pre-internet, Jeff work tirelessly to build a “Rolodex” of LGBTQ (and community allies) Real Estate agents. He placed ads in LGBTQ publications to attract both real estate agents and persons seeking to buy or sell their homes. Jeff would connect the sellers/buyers with realtors from his ever-growing list.
Once the internet came along Jeff immediately jumped on the opportunity and had a few versions along the way to build what is now GayRealEstate.com where LGBTQ realtors may register for free and home buyers/sellers may seek out those LGBTQ and friendly realtors 24/7 365 days a year. Due to many reasons, Jeff actually has around 200% more realtors in his database than are listed on the site as he explains in our conversation. So, if you don’t find an LGBTQ realtor on the site, please send a message via the site’s contact form. A super-duper feature is the realtor ratings. Customers are encouraged to leave ratings after their home sale or purchase which helps the realtor as well as you make an informed decision on who to contract with. Using GayRealEstate.com is completely free for home buyers and home sellers to use. GayRealEstate.com is the leading source of real estate and gayborhood information specific to the LGBTQ community.
This is an essential service for the LGBTQ community. Jeff, via GayRealEstate.com, supports 21 US national LGBTQ non-profits on a monthly basis and additionally sponsors events by those organizations too. When you use GayRealEtate.com you are therefore also supporting those organizations. It is good to know that a portion of the commission money your home sale or home purchase provides goes to support excellent LGBTQ community non-profits.
Jeff also has a great podcast titled “The Dominating Edge: The Law of Attraction” Search for it on your favorite podcast app. It is on Spotify here. https://open.spotify.com/show/4DuuXfh3SDHctUMPfUeEYZJ
oin me and Jeff on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
November 19, 2020
(updated November 19, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Out gay professional and entrepreneur Stan Kimer. Stan shares how he not only held several professional roles within IBM over his 31-year career there but how he moved between several departments such as operations, sales, product development, marketing, and Human Resources (Diversity & Inclusion).
He has always thrived while constantly learning and challenging himself. When assigned to a cross-departmental project he would take it upon himself to learn as much as possible about the functions and strategies of the other departments in a truly collaborative manner. He not only learned by doing this he also built great relationships which often lead those other departments offering him an opportunity to join their department. What a great way to learn new skills create a new career path all while remaining in the same company. This approach could be used in large organizations to keep your career fresh and do what you enjoy.
Stan came out as a gay man at work in 1991 when IBM began to offer domestic partner benefits. At that time Stan was the most senior IBM employee to be openly out as a gay person at IBM. Due to that, he was invited to participate in executive-level meetings regarding diversity and inclusion. In the Stan-way, this involvement led him to join the IBM global Diversity and Inclusion department. IBM was also an early adopter of providing employees who identify as transgender health coverage to meet their unique health needs which started in 2002. The IBM D&I role ignited Stans’s passion. Ever since it has been his focus. After retiring from IBM, Stan was far from sitting back sipping margaritas. He took a year of reflection and planning then launched his own diversity and inclusion consulting business to help other companies and organizations be their best. Additionally, Stan is the VP of Training for the US National Diversity Council. In that role, he is responsible for training delivery as well as training material development.
As if all that post “retired” work was enough at age 59 Stan started to learn to figure skate. In Stan-style he competes in the adult figure skating competition circuit and knows many Olympic figure skaters. Stan believes life just keeps getting better.
To connect with Stan find him on OutBüro here. https://outburo.com/profile/stankimer/
Check Stan’s figure asking video out here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUDxiFUWhZl9G2Vr-vvoF_Q
Join me and Stan on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
October 7, 2020
(updated December 10, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Tom Christ, an out gay entrepreneur in the home, business, and personal security space.
He has represented ADT as an Authorized Provider for many years. He and his life/business partner have also been active large event marketers and leverage lessons learned there to bring innovative marketing to the home security industry. He is a leader in the space for the LGBTQ community. In our conversation, we discussed how many current features of ADT service can benefit LGBTQ community members. We also chatted about a side hustle opportunity (US only, US-wide) where you can register as a referral partner and earn money for yourself or an organization like a community non-profit.
Connect with Tom on OutBüro. https://www.outburo.com/profile/tomchrist/
Join Tom on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://www.outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
October 5, 2020
(updated December 10, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Franchise Connect Pro owners Craig and Sue Derene are LGBTQ community allies helping LGBTQ entrepreneurs considering franchises as a business opportunity.
Franchises are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community welcoming. They want diversity in the owners. Craig and Sue explained that as franchise consultants, they are very much like a home real estate agent. There are over 4000 franchise companies to choose from. To consider all as an individual would be near impossible. They work through a proven model of getting to know about your desire, likes, goals, and funding. In addition, there are many other things to consider. Franchise Connect Pro and the network they are affiliated with have taken over 4000 down to around 500 fully vetted they are confident in representing.
That is still a large number and has great options in all industries. An interesting fact is that on average 70% of business owners end up finalizing in a different industry then what they started out thinking they were interested through the guidance of Franchise Connect Pro.
A Franchise is an award process meaning the franchise must agree too. They must see the applicant as a good fit for their business. Both parties must want to move forward. Similar to the realtor, the cost of working with Franchise Connect Pro is paid by the franchising company. For you the business owner, it is free. However, just like a good realtor Craig and Sue know the qualifying questions to ask early on to know their time and expertise is being spent wisely. Just like a realtor isn’t going to waste their time or yours showing $3,000,000 homes when you are financially approved for $300,000.
Working with a franchise consultant like Franchise Connect Pro helps everyone. As the prospective business owner, you are well prepared, have had more options than you could have sorted through on your own, and is packaged for the right franchise option to enhance your chance of getting it awarded to you. For the Franchise company, they know you have been vetted and likely going to be a good match. It saves them time and effort.
Craig a very active member of OutBüro contributing often. Connect with Craig here https://www.outburo.com/profile/craig_derene/
Join Craig, Sue, and Dennison OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://www.outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
September 16, 2020
(updated December 8, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Victoria Villasenor.
Be prepared to laugh and perhaps tear up a little too. Victoria Villasenor is an out lesbian entrepreneur, award-winning author, editor, author’s coach, community service leader, and simply a wonderful soul. We had such a great conversation.
As she states, “Do well, to do good. I love words. I love molding them, playing with them, learning about them. I love helping other people use them. I love to read and I’m a fan of pretty much every genre out there. Through my work with Global Wordsmiths and Global Words Press, I get to spend all my time doing things with words, which makes me a very happy editor.”
Global Wordsmiths is a community interest company, meaning a big part of what they do is community-based. This is important to Victoria and evident in our chat. There are so many people who feel unheard and unseen, and finding ways to give them a platform to be heard is seen is vital. To date, they have done fourteen books with organizations like Nottingham Hospice, AGE UK, Trans4me, and the Southwell Workhouse all in where the youth or elderly re dived validation, guidance, and support in sharing their stories. Victoria has an MA in English composition and literature. She has written and published six novels under a pen name, as well as lots of short stories. She teaches workshops for various organizations and lead writing retreats in other countries.
01:15 Brief introduction and overview of Global Wordsmith’s a book editing and author advising company. They also run a community non-profit side that works with community organizations.
05:00 Victoria discusses why authors seek their help and their process 06:00 Victoria is also an award-winning author herself
07:00 We chat about, talkers, ideas, and dreamers versus action and doing.
09:20 Part of taking action is surrounding yourself with others who have common interests, goals, who you can learn from, with and support one another
9:50 Some think, “I can read, so I can write”, but that’s not true. It is a craft and skill that must be developed and honed.
12:00 Working with a professional editor helps hone your product to be the best it can be when released into the world
Join Victoria on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, a.lies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://www.outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
His innovative approach is very different than most in that the bulk of his professional service fees are not the typical hourly or project-based. Rather he partners with his clients to share the risk and reward. On a client, by client basis, he structures a relationship where he earns a percentage of his client’s new growth. In this way, if his marketing is not successful his client owes nothing. If it is successful, he earns a percent of the new revenue. It is an innovative approach. Most marketing agencies pitch ideas and the client then pays for the implementation of those and hope it works. In this model, Louis’s firm is highly engaged and equally sharing the fisk and reward. His approach is not for all clients. He likes to have clients with little or very underperforming marketing and a fairly straight forward business model. He also keeps an eye on trends for emerging fields to work with businesses who are early adopters to ride a wave together. He has had to turn away prospective customers who were not a good fit. In some cases, he has offered business advice on how those prospects might adapt their business to be a better fit. Some direct cost fees get invoiced so that Louis is not financially losing any money.
3:00 Partnering with Clients pay for success in a shared return on investment (ROI) manner – Skin in the game, share in the potential up-side, putting money where their mouth is – earn a percentage based on the success of marketing campaign, cut of increase in profit margin
8:00 Does not bill/charge client if traction/results are not realized, they revisit, improve and retool
8:30 Builds trust and mutual learning teamwork. Clients then still engage for work that is paid such as brochures.
9:30 Unique agreements per client with the ability to earn more with fewer clients.
11:00 Choosing clients wisely with the potential to grow and room for improvement
12:00 For prospective clients that aren’t a good fit Loius provides advice to improve to be a future fit
12:30 Louis seeks a business that has a market potential to take-off based on many factors
20:00 This could be a business game-changer if you have financial difficulty right now, this may not be the best model unless you cover your bare base and do a blended approach of partial billing and partial upturn profit-sharing
23:00 Small clients are ideal sue to dealing with the owner. Keep things simple, straight forward, and measurable with short spurts of 2-4 weeks to assess, measure, improve, repeat.
28:00 Not click tracking. Revenue tracking.
29:00 Train client staff – partner, educate, empower, and all thrive while building trust.
36:20 Don’t allow a client to abuse your time. Ensure the client understands your time has value and has a billing rate. Don’t waste it or bill.
Could Your Business Try Pay for Performance?
In today’s world crisis how you adapt can define new opportunities or potentially going out of business. If you offer professional services, would you consider a pay for performance? FOR Louis this approach has meant he has been able to cherry-pick clients to work with, have fewer clients while earning above average for his work. He is focused on quality that drives results.
To connect with Louis find him on OutBüro here. https://www.outburo.com/profile/louiswalters/
Join me and Louis on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
David Clive Price is an out LGBT entrepreneur mental wellbeing life coach, author and so much more. David has traveled the globe and lived in several countries which have given him a keen perspective on multiculturalism and leadership styles within different cultural contexts. David like so many, particularly persons in the LGBT community, struggled with coming to terms with family and society messaging of norms versus his authentic self. Despite outward signs of success, he like many struggled with internally owning his own narrative and views which lead to depression and anxiety. Over time David learned to reframe the past messages or programs that led to the substance abuse overcome. Through his books and personal mental wellbeing, David has transformed his life into supporting others on their own journey of working through addictions, depression, anxiety, and other issues that hold you back from living a full, thriving authentic and healthy life.
23:00 You cannot change the past yet you can choose how you react and respond. You control yourself.
26:00 You cannot change others, you may, however, set boundaries and enforce them 30:00 Habits create triggers and emotions have brain chemical associations that you become addicted to. Even the feeling of anger, victimization, and all other have a chemical reaction in the brain that you become addicted to. You can learn to reduce and eliminate those addictions and replace them with healthy habits and feelings.
36:00 Having a wellness life coach can help you in your process
David is well known for his clarity of analysis and approach, drawing on his experience and passion for people and cultures all over the world. He brings a strong comparative mindset to the challenges of his clients, enabling them to overcome their doubts and fears and to discover their true inner selves. Combining ancient healing practices such as the Korean art of nunchi (gauging other people’s feelings) with a holistic approach to self-leadership, David developed the Hidden Demons Method™: Discover Your Superpower. With this method he helps clients look within themselves and discover their true inner voice, overcoming their Hidden Demons of anxiety, addiction, and fear of failure. He then sets them on a course to higher performance, fulfillment, and authenticity. This superpower framework has been adopted by individuals, teams, and institutions all over the world and can be applied in any business or start-up. David is a living example of his principle of Daring to Dream. He coaches, teaches mental, and spiritual healing, speaks, motivates, and lives his global mission of helping others to discover their true selves.
Now more than ever we need a guide on how to survive not only with our mental and emotional health intact, but also strengthened, full of resourcefulness and agility, ready to combat our Hidden Demons. Chaos strikes and suddenly we realize we are more fragile than we thought — more exposed, unsafe, less in control. It is easy to invoke resilience. However, resilience is in short supply for many people who cannot quite understand what has hit them, either financially or in the loss of their usual bonds and customs. We need guides on how we can survive not only with our mental and emotional wellbeing intact, but also strengthened, full of resourcefulness and agility.
Now more than ever we need a guide on how to survive not only with our mental and emotional health intact, but also strengthened, full of resourcefulness and agility, ready to combat our Hidden Demons.
Throughout this course and its six modules, David shows that the path to rediscovering your life and purpose starts with tiny steps. It begins with getting yourself up off the floor (almost literally in his case). It continues in the days and weeks ahead as you seek to discover what your inner voices are telling you about your Hidden Demons, about your past, about social conventions, about your true talents – and whether you are really listening. More often than not, it’s two steps forward and one step back. Nothing can be achieved in a day, but everyone has a path to their true self and calling. It won’t come from social media. It won’t come from following movements and demagogues. It can come from the simplest of journeys, even imaginatively – to a college campus, to a forest for a walk, to the seaside, or to an unfamiliar city. But first of all you have to get to the starting point. That for many people is the most difficult step.
Learn the Six Life Strategies that David has developed to keep the mindset, habits and perspective needed to stay centered, focused, healthy, and strong throughout this and future crises.
David’s own life has not always been easy, and he has experienced constant challenges along the way, both as a gay man and as a relapsing alcoholic. However, he transparently shares in every section of his book and course what his “Hidden Demons” were ⎯ and as you follow along, you will discover that the Hidden Demons method™ is not only about fear, addictions and bringing hope and comfort in the darkness. It is so much more; it is a flashlight we all need on our journey to awaken our true greatness.
About David Clive Price, Ph.D.
Born in South London to Welsh parents, David graduated from Cambridge University with a Ph.D. in Renaissance History, won a British Academy fellowship to lecture at Bologna University, and wrote his first books — including his first novel — when living as a farmer-translator in Tuscany. He then moved to Japan and Hong Kong to study Asian cultures while taking up his first professional position at the Economist Intelligence Unit. This was followed by five years as the chief speechwriter for Asia for the HSBC Group during the return of Hong Kong to China. In parallel with his professional career, he continued to develop a passion for the people, religions and cultures of the world, which was reflected in a series of travel books including a study of Buddhism and spiritual beliefs in Asian daily life.
His successful track record in high-level communications for global CEOs, senior leaders, and politicians, which he carried forward in his coaching and writing consultancy on leaving HSBC, gave him a special insight into the challenges of high performance and behavioral change. These insights now inform his work with people of many different backgrounds as they seek to move forward and overcome the stress, burnout, and anxiety they are facing in their personal and professional lives. Speaking English, French, German, Italian and Cantonese, and having lived and worked in numerous countries, Dr. David Clive Price’s multicultural experience informs all his executive coaching, as well as his bestselling books Bamboo Strong with Foreword by Dr.Marshall Goldsmith, and the upcoming Hidden Demons: How to Overcome Fear, Anxiety, and Addiction in Uncertain Times.
Conversation Auto Transcript
The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.
Unknown Speaker 0:02 321
Unknown Speaker 0:05 Hello, this is Dennis Velco with OutBüro your website for LGBT professional and entrepreneurial endeavors. You are listening to this week’s episode of our new podcast again where we bring you interesting, lively, and sometimes hopefully entertaining conversations with LGBT entrepreneurs and professionals as well as community leaders spanning the globe. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are watching this on YouTube, take a few moments and subscribe right now hit that subscribe button as well as the bell that will ensure that you are notified as soon as new episodes come available. Also, you’re able to subscribe. Follow us on in places such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify I Heart Radio and about 10 other podcasts so that you can listen to out your voices on the go at the gym, in your car on your way to work doing house chores line on the beaches, so much more tuned in with every episode to out your voices. And today we are very happy to have David Clive Price. He is an author, a mental health specialist, and an all-around guru on building change and leadership into your life. Thank you so much for joining us today. David. Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here Dennis. Wonderful, wonderful and you are hailing from across the pond as from the UK, correct?
Unknown Speaker 1:46 Yes. From Blighty, as they called it, during the war they called it Blighty, so old Blighty
Unknown Speaker 1:56 the United Kingdom Yes,
Unknown Speaker 1:58 wonderful land. For our viewers and listeners, what area of the UK Are you coming from?
Unknown Speaker 2:03 I’m coming from speaking from London. Oh,
Unknown Speaker 2:07 yes. Wonderful and gorgeous city. So, David, why don’t we kind of jump in to you giving us a bit of your background, which is very rich and diverse. And of course we strive for data an hour, I know you could probably speak for six or more hours with as much as going on, and you’re interesting books. But let’s give a little overview as to your background. And then we’ll lead into kind of a chronological step up from back then through your current projects.
Unknown Speaker 2:43 Sounds great, well, that’d be playing it straight in and say that I help entrepreneurs and LGBTQ professionals to overcome mental health challenges, such as fear, anxiety and addiction, so that they can face their Hidden demons and create a more fulfilled life and abundant business. So I’m the author of bamboo strong cultural intelligence secrets to succeed in the new global economy. and, more recently, the age of pluralism, global intelligence for emerging leaders. Okay, so
Unknown Speaker 3:23 just a little bit. Tell us just a little bit about the the bamboo strong. That’s an interesting title.
Unknown Speaker 3:31 Yeah, well, as the title suggests, it’s to do with, with bending in the wind, if you like, metaphorically, strong, but also resisted, strong, but flexible and agile. And that is the central thesis of the book really, which is based on my own travels and experiences around the world, and particularly in Asia Pacific, but also you In the States and Europe, in South America, with different countries and cultures and backgrounds dealing with people of difference of our differences, in other words,
Unknown Speaker 4:13 and the book
Unknown Speaker 4:16 has as its framework, what’s called the cultural intelligence or CQ model, a four part model to help you relate with, make relationships with, negotiate with, understand the differences of and create emotional intelligence for dealing with people of many backgrounds and cultures, races, generations and creeds. So the book goes on the journey through through my own life experiences by using this CPU model.
Unknown Speaker 4:54 Okay, well that certainly, and all the times but especially in today’s since times here in the United States with racial tensions and so forth. I’m sure that your book would be bamboo strong would be an excellent read for for anyone, but particularly those in whatever leadership positions you might find yourself and whether that’s leadership in an organization via an employer or even a community nonprofit sounds like a really good read, especially now in today’s time.
Unknown Speaker 5:30 Yes, we’re dealing with a great deal of tension around diversity and inclusion. We have maybe a lot of celebration of diversity, as we’ve had this month for gay pride, of course, but not so much necessarily of for inclusion. That’s both in society at large and in companies and corporations, etc. So there is a great The more education needed on the diversity and inclusion front, which this book tends to help with. And the follow up book which is called the age of pluralism, global intelligence for emerging leaders. So, those are in the back the younger generations to again with its own framework for dealing with differences personal, cultural, generational. So that is the background to my sorry, say, multi multiracial multicultural work and at the same time that the kind of qualities and capabilities are required for but working together well with people have many different backgrounds are similar to Those that we need in mental health challenges, which are also. So current and particularly now with the global pandemic, increasingly currents and increasing pandemic of mental health issues of all kinds. So,
Unknown Speaker 7:23 agility, looking within
Unknown Speaker 7:28 discovering inner resources, empathy, emotional intelligence, these are the kind of leadership issues and personal issues that that my books and my frameworks address.
Unknown Speaker 7:44 Okay, and just for audience, I can’t believe we didn’t escape. You’re also if I’m not mistaken. Psychologists
Unknown Speaker 7:52 know, I’m also qualified practitioner, as a psychologist. Now I’m a I’m a PhD. I saw the doctor
Unknown Speaker 7:59 guide Yeah, sorry, my mistake without I don’t have my glasses on to look at my notes.
Unknown Speaker 8:08 Okay, but definitely, definitely interesting topics and what is your PhD in?
Unknown Speaker 8:16 It’s in Renaissance history actually. Wow. So I took a great interest in history at college and at school indeed and then Cambridge I studied the Renaissance and actually Renaissance music and and then disappear from courts and country houses of idioms. Initially sauce. That’s what kicked off my interest and then I had a fellowship on the British Academy to go over to Italy.
Unknown Speaker 8:52 And
Unknown Speaker 8:53 I studied the northern Italian Renaissance courts. Wow for one, two years. At
Unknown Speaker 9:02 a beautiful period, but I would not want to live in that era. Just, you know, being being obviously also a gay person assuming that I grew up in a gay person then as well. But what’s what’s interesting though, is you know, from your your PhD in history looking at that, you know, and your, your travels in and around you, you live in so many places around the world, in in Asia and Africa, us and so forth. And, you know, being able to take a look at a historical and a cultural perspective because I firmly believe that for leaders and for you as an individual to really look forward, you also have to be able to look in the past and it’s not dwell on the past, but he is acknowledge the past right? So just like if you’re wanting to make changes in your own life, changes in your behaviors, you have to be able to acknowledge the past because if you just ignore it, and you have no no reference for it, when it comes to your own personal issues, then you’re less likely to successfully overcome it because you haven’t dealt with it properly. Yes, and when it comes to a business practice, being able to fully lead and drive new products and services, you know, like new product developments, one of the other guests. Two weeks ago, we talked about how, how important it is to be able to understand for example, the adoption of technologies, new products and services, and to to understand how your new product or service might be adopted today, you know, we might, it might not take us today. 10 years to a gap, for example, as it did from black and white television to colored television. And of course now, we all have basically one sitting here. You know, whatever I grew up, we had the big black huge console with the built in huge fingers. I mean, it was a piece of furniture, right? Yeah. Yeah. And and here we are, and same, you know, with you as well, you know, back back then that television, you had one TV per household, it was a coveted item. Everyone sat around it. Well, now everyone just walks around basically TV on their phone. And and so, you know, that that but being able to look at the past and say, you know, how did cultures or how did individuals consumers or or businesses adapt to this is that is a very strong point in Understanding how you can move forward when there are some gaps. But it definitely relates to your mental. Yes. mental challenges and mental mental opportunities. Yeah, looking,
Unknown Speaker 12:15 looking into your past Yes. or looking into analyzing the stories that you tell yourself. That’s one of the lead strategies in hidden demons, which is, you know, we have, some of them are conscious stories, but many of them are unconscious stories they may lay hidden within us that we’re not entirely aware of, and they may in some curious way still dictate our behavior and perhaps our mental health challenges as well. And so being able to analyze the stories or look within yourself for the stories, I think these are big and that relates more generally on the on the widest Scale to being able to look at our history to be able to look at the history of other cultures and have other people put to putting things in context. And to have more than one perspective in mind at the same time is Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 13:18 so that, you know, I heard I heard some other people perhaps this is try to explain as I understand it, and perhaps it’s explaining exactly what you said in a slightly different way. But I’d love to hear from you if it’s if it’s this similar kind of concept. And through some of the the work that I’ve done, I’ve heard it called, they termed it as your programming, right, having a track seven green, conscious and unconscious memory as programming. And so, you know, for example, if you grew up with a parent who from an early He gave you the signals that you were not worthy you are not going to amount to anything via verbal and or just through their actions through not paying attention to you through not helping you with your schoolwork. And then well, you know, I knew you weren’t going to do well in that. So why bother? Those are approved that’s laying down programming within the brain that says, I’m not worth spending time with. I’m not good at anything. And, and so it can affect how then you see the world view and interpret and interact with the world today.
Unknown Speaker 14:44 Yeah, and of course,
Unknown Speaker 14:46 and so
Unknown Speaker 14:49 there’s ways so does your book in modern demons goes into ways to kind of rewrite those stories or rewrite those programs and you
Unknown Speaker 15:00 goes very much into how we can use those stories to move forward. And of course, for LGBTQ people, often the coming out story is the biggest story of all. And you know, all the what to say the the influx of emotions and secrecy and shame, perhaps that goes before coming out, especially to your family. And these can have reverberations throughout your life unless you’re aware of them. And of course, we can address these demons by becoming aware of them and that means looking at them. sounds simple, but it’s not so simple in reality, Ray’s story stories.
Unknown Speaker 15:56 Yeah. Well because you know, it is such a struggle that is partly due to the underlying reasoning why so many years study after study shows that some of the some of these studies I have written about some of them, I’ve just not gotten around to but they’re out there. So do Google them folks, is you know, study after study shows that LGBT you persons suffer from higher levels or more frequent levels of anxiety, depression, more a higher attempts of suicide. There’s just there’s lots of studies in and around the LGBTQ mental
Unknown Speaker 16:38 mental health. Yeah, and that
Unknown Speaker 16:40 and that I think goes a lot into you know, the rejections the bat because of religion, different religions around the world, who, you know, preach and or whatever they call it. I mean, I know I don’t misprint mistake for other religions and cultures. But you know, I grew up in a very fundamentalist right wing environment myself. To this day. My own father is extremely right wing I can’t even say the word community without him beginning his, quote scripture. So and and I know what that is what part of that is done for me and I’m not going to get into the whole story. I’ve been told I could write books about my youth and teenage years, not off centered around me but it all centered around religion and how it was used in a very negative way. And so so I really get that’s one thing why this really stuck out to me because I personally know how those stories you know, sometimes you’ll find or antidote to flee that LGBT people work, you know, x men You know, x times harder, x times more, it’s like we’re always trying to prove ourselves. So yes,
Unknown Speaker 18:07 exactly. And
Unknown Speaker 18:08 I think is trying to overcome those stories overcome those programming. But then there’s also a string of self destruction. also kind of going into those programs or stories as you call them. And it’s like, well, if I’m not worthy, why bother? Why shouldn’t I just drink myself into a stupor every night? No one cares, right? I mean, that’s what does the programming that gets put into your mind if I’m not worthy enough for my own family from my own parents love and my own father’s acceptance in my own mother’s acceptance, or my own siblings acceptance then then why should I even exist, so who cares I’ll just go out and party every night and have fun because I’m not going to live anyways. Because you know, all those negative kind of stories come in and can lead to a life and Like style of kind of nonchalant, nonchalant pneus yet, yet, what’s interesting is the dualism, I work Work, Work work, you know, I, when I say I, you know, putting this in framework of the listener is, you know, you work, work, work, work work to try to prove yourself, but then also have these destructive behaviors kind of happening simultaneously. So, if I could do a chunk about those,
Unknown Speaker 19:27 yeah, I mean, I maybe had a less less than tolerant family and mother and father. But there probably was something there that particularly for my father that was always kind of in the background, even when I came out and he more or less accepted it and my mother more or less accepted it, etc, etc. But there’s just one little example is the school play. I was playing Hamlet course as a little achiever to at school. So I had to be, you know, handwritten Could school play and as kind of honor that last night and the parents came along and I was quite pleased with myself, I thought it went well. And I went up to the balcony later to see them and expected them to say, David, that was terrific. You know, we really enjoyed it. I know how they got peak, they more or less got up and said, I think it’s time now to go to the car. And I realized that that I didn’t realize then but later on thinking about it, it’s because they thought that confirm certain tendencies. This is before I came out to be fair, you know, confirm certain tendencies. And it’s, you know, it’s, you’re always achieving a lot of people a lot of LGBTQ people continue to achieve achieve achieve throughout their lives and always have a slight sense of they’re not quite good enough, which is what I explore in the book as well. But however much you do, whatever success you have, there’s something not quite right. And I have clients in my local LGBT few Leaders Program now who do talk about this kind of underlying our knees but needing to refine that purpose. And and listening to those stories. As I said earlier, that’s one of the techniques that we use to go deeper down. And then living in the present too. That’s another big strategy that we’re always projecting. unease or dissatisfaction onto the future or will it will it? Will it realize my fears that I had when I was a child or when I was a adolescent boy, young man will the next 10 year will the next five When will something go wrong? Even when we’ve got you know everything going for us will something go wrong?
Unknown Speaker 22:08 Which is
Unknown Speaker 22:12 things that we have to deal with and come out on the other side off.
Unknown Speaker 22:18 Personally I struggled with alcoholism, depression, anxiety, and not constantly I achieved in between, you know, I was speechwriter for one for one of the world’s largest banks. I wrote several travel books about different countries around the world a show etc.
Unknown Speaker 22:42 And I you know, I then
Unknown Speaker 22:46 always rebounding to alcohol
Unknown Speaker 22:50 even though I found my life’s true love, you know, we call so you know, there’s always a sort of underlying, eventually I got through it. And now I’m a reasonably successful entrepreneur life coach, but you know, you have to go through certain phases unfortunately as a gay man or at least be aware of them as an LGBTQ person or at least be aware of them because they are there to trip you up and that’s why the book is called hidden demons how to overcome fear and anxiety and addiction to thrive in uncertain times. Okay,
Unknown Speaker 23:29 well in and this you know, for for those listening is and watching is it’s this is about dealing with your your past and helping to frame that and put perspective around it. You can’t change your past, but you can change the way you view it. That’s your choice. Okay, you can’t, you can’t change what people have said to you and done to you. However, what you can Choose is how you react and respond to that. Because you have, it’s you who control you. Right? Yeah. If someone makes you angry, No, they didn’t. You made yourself angry. You chose to take that reaction and take that response. If someone disrespected, you know, you chose to take it that way. It’s all in your own choices right here has nothing to do with the other person. They’re going on. They’re going about their lives. If you know if you happen to be like me, and even as of two Christmases ago, I mean, it was chaotic. You know, I my father was asking about me moving further south, which was to Fort Lauderdale. Oh, well, why are you moving Being down there. And you know, I’ve learned throughout the years to avoid key words that would set him into his religious tirades. And finally, but he has learned keep pressing Dennis with question and question and question and question until I hear the question or until I hear the the the trigger and then I get to go off and I can justify it and I can be my religious asshole. So, well. Do you know what that particular Christmas was? I stopped reacting. I simply put my finger is from his nose and I said stop. You stop. I’m a 15 year old man and I will not tolerate it any longer. It’s your choice. You will not you will not get the upset, but I will not tolerate it. We chose to say that we are going to respect each other. And that means if you ask me a question you have to be adult enough to leave Listen to the answer. And so that was a big step for me. Yeah. And you know, I’ve always have been the person who pushed and asked questions and questions and yeah, we’ve always as I like to say we’ve always had great pleasantry conversations pleasantries, just talking about the little niceties, gardening, housework and so forth, but when it comes to, and his job and all of that, but really not about life, you know, and, and that’s unfortunate, but you know, you can’t change other people. You have to be able to take your life and control you. Right. Sometimes you have to put boundaries on other people, because they they purposely try to poke and prod, which is what he did for years. Yeah. Kind of childish. But
Unknown Speaker 26:56 so
Unknown Speaker 26:58 but you’re right you control you I think that’s very right. Yeah. You control you
Unknown Speaker 27:05 laterally. Yes. Yes. You You control you,
Unknown Speaker 27:08 you are not controlled by the outside forces, whatever they are external forces you control you. Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 27:18 Yeah. And so when when you then utilize books like these, and all of them sound like incredible worthy reads is you’re then able to put those into perspective and put your own history to perspective and say, Alright, and you know, the past is the past you can’t change it. You can’t change the way you reacted and responded based on those triggers that were very ingrained that programming that was very ingrained. But what you can do is you can change the way you react, you know, it’s just like, just like stopping drink, or for pay out. I will share something have you guys here? Okay, so if you’ve even just listened to these, you know, about three years ago, I had a divorce and a 17 year relationship Well, me being me, because I’ve had a two, a NINE and a 17 year relationship. So I’ve been in relationships like 98% of mine and not always good. I would stay in them for all kinds of reasons. convenience. Just, I would stay in bad relationships. But, so just three and a half months after being out of the will, three and a half months of being on my own living on my own. What does dentists do? Next? prep basically next guy that comes along, man, within a month, we’re living together. I mean, this is as my friends like to say. That is yours, that is u haul packing. lesbians. You know, as soon as you start dating someone, you’re like, boom, boom, boom, you know, you’re picking out the chick next trying to patterns. like omg. Well, this this fella smokes cigarettes. I’ve never smoked cigarettes in my life. outside of here, there’s, you know, one or two, you know, kind of a thing now and then like once a year kind of thing. And this guy smokes, regularly, constantly, almost every day says he’s going to stop. But, you know, as we started to go out, he would, you know, pass me a cigarette, and say, Okay, and then another and then another. Then as I started to stay at his house, he began to leave two or three a day for me. Then it became five or six, then it became half a pack. Within within about three month period, I went from not smoking basically my entire life to smoke today, and it took me almost two years. And finally, one day, I just had to say, Stop. What the f are you doing? Hmm. And and to be honest, it’s turned off other guys that I was interested in. Yeah. And it’s like, if for nothing else I need to stop because of that, right. But it was that little bit of, I guess a little bit of social programming that happened in a very short time period. So when you now is
Unknown Speaker 30:29 a habit,
Unknown Speaker 30:31 yes. which create triggers. And this also when you’re a child, and when you’re a young person and you’re growing up, also the experiences that you have have chemical triggers. Yes. And those Exactly. And those become you become addicted to those chemical triggers in the brain.
Unknown Speaker 30:54 Yes, but you can and unlearn them. Yes. It’s a big thing. But that’s what the book talks about a lot. Just like fear, anxiety, depression, they are kind of addiction. They’re definitely a habit. And just like those habits can can be unlearned. They can be you can learn new habits that take that place, not immediately. Not, you know, I got, I got a box, the one out of the box, kind of a quick solution to that. Not immediately, but one step at a time. In my case, one day at a time, I was throwing myself off my bedroom, balcony at high up in Hong Kong until the airport expressway I was about to
Unknown Speaker 31:48 you know, and but somehow I came back from that thinking of my my loved one, I mean my other half
Unknown Speaker 31:58 but the habits Gone to this extent that I was that I was on the anti suicide. The habit also was taking one step back, taking two step back, thinking of Simon three steps back, getting to the sofa, holding on to the sofa clutching x, then finding the phone, then finding the Samaritan number from directory inquiries, then getting that then them talking to me. Then by eight o’clock in the morning, this was like four in the in the morning by eight o’clock in the morning, I knew I could get down in the elevator down to the lobby, and then call up a friend and then go over to a friend’s house for two days. But the steps back from those black holes in our lives are so important, and everything can be replaced with a new habit. Yes, new and new habits of sobriety. For example,
Unknown Speaker 33:00 of absence of fear of not projecting
Unknown Speaker 33:07 nervousness or anxiety onto the future, with living one day at a time, etc, etc. So, and happiness
Unknown Speaker 33:17 and this new habits taking time is is, you know getting Where’s kind of going would be the that temporary smoking thing because it’s just like I learned that that new habit over about a two month period it took about two months also for me to once I finally made the decision, it took about that same amount of time to end. And, you know, those long held ingrained beliefs. As David was saying, you know, they just don’t go away immediately because they are long held ingrained. Yeah, stories slash programs and they take a conscious effort To adjust. And so so you offer Well, a mental well being life coaching. Yes. And so do you then help your clients make these adjustments?
Unknown Speaker 34:16 Yes, that’s part of the programs Very much so. And not all LGBTQ clients but I do have a special program for LGBTQ professionals. But yeah, I help them with the these kinds of issues. It was a six, six module six parts program really to overcome your hidden demons to lead a more fulfilled and abundant life, the most satisfying with free of unease and curious unease that we LGBTQ people have until he’s, in my case well into my second adulthood or boyhood, or whatever I’m in at the moment. Right?
Unknown Speaker 35:11 Well, and you know, it’s no disrespect to, you know, any mental health care practitioner, you know, out out there. But you know, when it comes to authenticity, knowing that someone has gone through something in my personal opinion, makes them more relatable
Unknown Speaker 35:33 and more
Unknown Speaker 35:36 you know, again, no, no disrespect and maybe maybe someone in the comments will say, No, that’s absolutely not right. You don’t have to have been a you know, addicted to drugs or alcohol in order to be effective counselor. No, no, I you know, I guess not. But I had several people in my my my life who have gone through rehabilitation from both. And the the over arching or the commonality in the several people that I know. They, again, no please don’t hate on me whatever and comments and all of that, but there, they had a better success. And they opened up more when they knew that the that their counselor had gone through something that they like, was it always the exact same thing? You know, like one was addicted to methamphetamines, unfortunately, which is very rampant in the LGBT community, especially the gaming community. And but the person his counselor was an a, you know, a recovered alcoholic, that made him just feel more like Oh, you’ve you’ve gone through something you’ve overcome something so therefore you get me. And it was, maybe it was just from this one person that a friend has done for you. She was a total like Christine person hadn’t, you know, perfect life perfect. Everything had hadn’t had anything. And, and I don’t know if maybe she conveyed to too much of that to my friend, but it was just they were not he was not opening up to her. And I think it’s because he felt like she was just had couldn’t relate, you know, like clinically, you know, one thing is to be clinically textbook. The other thing is to have life experiences and wisdom. Does that make sense? And I’m open to people having comments and so forth. If you do, folks, just whatever platform you’re on, put comments down below what your thoughts are on that. What are your thoughts on that game?
Unknown Speaker 37:54 Well, I think as a coach in general, as a life coach Pat’s particular You need to trust you need to build that relationship of trust. And sometimes it’s more difficult if you’re only working together on a high powered professional level or as the achieving coach and the you know yet to achieve. Coaching is something to do with trust and particularly in these areas of mental health. But that is really, really important. relatable. I think a lot of coaches try to be relatable and the coaching relationship is based on on being relatable and integrity. But sometimes it’s the trust factor is missing the full trust and being, as you say, able to to relate to someone who been there and done that in many ways and has a lot of experiences to tell. which gives me You know, I’m, I’m privileged to do this work and but, and honored to, to help people because I’ve also been incredibly lucky to have so many experiences all over the world to have a rich and diverse background, I’m very lucky if I’m able to say that now beforehand, if when I was drinking, I probably there was another one, or I did not flatter my back in my Tokyo flat for the 12th time, you know, Night after night, waking up at six in the morning in your own body, etc. You know, and and that’s after writing a couple of books, and that’s after being well respected. I wrote my first novel setting in New York again, otherwise it happens called Alphabet City. I’ve had a little bit of success that the gay writer on white wrote a great review of it and endorsed it, etc. But then I went back to Italy and then things began to fall to pieces again and then I’m back on the old vino from I had a little farm in Italy. After I finished my fellowship together my first partner we bought a little farm, but two or three, four years there, I wrote my first books and and was a wine and olive farmer which I loved. But also titling the wine. You know, as a wind farmer, you’re allowed to triple A wine at five in the morning, right with a garlic bread and tomato. So while you’re doing your vines, so yeah,
June 23, 2020
(updated December 6, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Steve Yacovelli: Developing LGBT Leaders with The Gay Leadership Dude.
As an out, LGBT entrepreneur business owner Steve Yacovelli has dealt with many facets of growing and sustaining a business. Focusing on what he is passionate about he drives education and growth for individuals and organizations in an authoritative yet approachable way. Leveraging his 25+ years of experience as a leadership, change management, and diversity and inclusion consultant to cultivating our collective leadership awesomeness. His book, “Pride Leadership,” is one of the first to focus on developing leadership talent specifically for the LGBTQ+ Community and its Allies. It’s time to channel those qualities into being a more effective and consciously inclusive leader within the workplace and beyond.
He realized that there was no focus on specifically developing LGBTQ+ Leaders within the corporate world beyond some a patchwork of effort and not necessarily a cohesive focus or movement.
So, “The Gay Leadership Dude” was born. It’s his way to give back to the LGBTQ+ Community: to start a movement to grow LGBTQ+ Leaders to be even more effective, in a consistent, thoughtful, and mindful manner. He is especially focused on those up-and-coming Leaders within the broader movement for equality and fairness for all LGBTQ+ people and well beyond.
Pride Leadership: Strategies for the LGBTQ+ Leader to be the King or Queen of their Jungle
Critically-acclaimed and award-winning book for LGBTQ+ Leaders and Allies to help expand their leadership skills to better explore what’s working and reflect on what could be improved upon. “Pride Leadership” provides the strategies and tools to build a network of leadership support. It’s the start of an “LGBTQ+ Leadership Movement” to cultivate and grow leadership competencies.
The L.I.O.N.S. Program – A Leaders Immersive Opportunity to Nurture Strength
A 6-month learning experience that leverages online learning tools along with face-to-face virtual classroom sessions and self-paced learning. The program takes Leaders on a deep- dive into 6 related areas of competency ✦ Having Authenticity ✦ Leadership Courage ✦ Leveraging Empathy ✦ Effective Communication ✦ Building Relationships ✦ Shaping Culture
Over the course of the 6-month program, participants have the opportunity to explore each topic in a way that deepens their understanding and application of the leadership skills, apply the skill, and hone its effectiveness in their workplace. www.PrideLeadership.com
We Help Humans Succeed
TopDog Learning Group provides guidance and solutions in leadership & organizational development, change management, diversity and inclusion consulting, and workplace learning strategies.
To connect with Steve find him on OutBüro here. https://outburo.com/profile/syacovelli/
Join me and Steve on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/
The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.
Unknown Speaker 0:01 Hello, this is Dennis Velco with OutBüro that is your LGBT community online where you belong and your voice matters. Welcome to the OutBüro Voices series where we are interviewing and I guess when I say we that’s a royal sense, right? Because I’m an entrepreneur of one. So, huh, it’s me whenever I’m interviewing LGBT entrepreneurs, professionals and community leaders, and thank you so much for tuning in. We are you might be viewing this on the OutBüro website or on YouTube. If you are on YouTube, please take a moment right now and hit that subscribe button, as well as hit the bell that bell is going to ensure that when we are producing there I go again, when I we, geez, I can’t you know, it’s all about perception is reality when you’re in business, it’s grow, grow, grow. So I’ll continue Whenever we produce additional and new content, it’s going to ensure that it gets you alerted of it so that you come back because I’m trying to produce as much of these as possible to get the visibility out for our LGBT community, so that our young folks and everyone out there can have great mentors to look to when they’re considering their business. And one of those is Steven. Steven is the leadership dude. And welcome to the show. Thank you, Dennis. It’s great to be here. Awesome. Thank you so much for being here. And I get deep. I knew for a fact because we’ve chatted before that I didn’t have to do one of these for you because I knew Stephens already gonna have his little corner of his office all set up and branded, so wonderful. Thank you. So, Steven, tell us a little bit about yourself. And maybe just a little brief overview of your background.
Unknown Speaker 2:08 Sure. I’m accent doctor see doc LA, owner and principal top dog learning group, also known as the gay leadership dude. at top dog, we focus on learning and development, leadership, change management and diversity consulting. And that kind of leads to what I’ve been doing pretty much my whole career has been in something in the shape of leadership and diversity and inclusion. So whether that has been internal to the Walt Disney Company, I was an IBM er for a while. I was a professor for like a hot minute, as in the full time academia realm, but really started my own business about 12 years ago full time and that’s really the the space that I’ve been playing in ever since.
Unknown Speaker 2:46 Okay, well, awesome. I’ve been a little all over the board and you’re in Orlando, Florida. So there is the Disney reasoning. Correct. Huge employer. Central Florida. Yes.
Unknown Speaker 3:02 The largest private employer in Central Florida. And it might even be the state Actually, I would think so.
Unknown Speaker 3:11 Yeah. So did your leadership kind of
Unknown Speaker 3:18 did you do HR and leadership in Disney? Was that one of your functions there?
Unknown Speaker 3:24 Yeah, I actually it’s kind of funny story. I worked at Disney twice. So after undergrad I grew up in the Philadelphia area. I went to a small state school in Pennsylvania, and studied public relations and speech communications. And so my dream was to be a PR person at Disney. So after undergrad I packed up my little Ford Escort I think I had at the time and just drove right down. I 95 to Orlando without a job. And I got one I worked in the central reservations office, which were the kids at home. That’s pre internet. It’s actually pre windows. We were a DOS based kind of thing and I actually had a job Yeah, I remember I had a job on the 407 w Disney line, which was the main place to get any sort of information about your family fun time at Walt Disney World and everything. And these are true calls, we would get me and 499 other folks sitting in a call center. And people would call from the park because it was payphones pre pre cell phone. And they’d be like, Where’s the nearest bathroom? And you actually had a load database, you could say, oh, you’re at this, this phone, turn to your left and you’ll see a door and like we had to direct them that way because people are you kind of lose their mind without holiday. Or and I swear, this is a real story to a question we get the people will call up and say What time’s the three o’clock parade. And you know, and we no lie, and we had our we type in data and we get the official official script. And the official script was always 245. So one you did make the person feel kind of silly, and then second actually got them in line or in their spot earlier so that they could kind of do the park so I did that for like three months was a horrible experience for me. Just wasn’t a very good fit, but I ended up coming back to Disney several years later at a more professional capacity I was a leadership and organizational consultant for Disney Cruise Line so I worked short side in the in the Orlando office the celebration office but I would travel on the at the time the two ships quite often so it was a kind of a sweet gig. It’s a sweet gig I gotta
Unknown Speaker 5:21 say. Good and you know getting as you mentioned right out of college you know, one getting that job at Disney, I mean nowadays that’s it well, with COVID it’s really hard. But will for a long time one of my aunts worked in HR at nice, the Disney and you know, not an easy place to get on board. Yeah. And you know, so many people from the area you know, looking for, you know, the jobs they’re one little tidbit one little thing we have in common I too. worked at a call center for a while. It was 1991. And my ex of my 20s and I, we met in the military in Germany. He was still in, we knew each other from you know, going out in Frankfurt, and in Germany, and we were both in the military when we first met. And then I got out of the military and helped form the very first technology calling center for fifth quarter military, so it was where all the US military from from Frankfurt and South Germany would call in when their printers were broken. Whatever, but that was just three of us. That actually man that that call center, it was when we returned back to where he lived in Columbus, Ohio. And for those that don’t know, Columbus, Ohio is quite the fashion capital. So with Lane Bryant, Abercrombie, Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, all of that headquartered there, and he and I actually work to the call center at Victoria’s Secret. know at that time I was 22 or 23 years old, taking phone calls from ladies and men helping them place their Victoria’s Secret catalog orders and helping, you know, taking the talking them into the new bra that was
Unknown Speaker 7:37 Yeah, that was pretty interesting. So,
Unknown Speaker 7:40 you know, I lived in Columbus as well.
Unknown Speaker 7:42 Oh, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 7:44 Yeah, I went to Ohio State from my master’s degree.
Unknown Speaker 7:47 Oh, wonderful. I went to I state as well.
Unknown Speaker 7:54 I wasn’t in this. I got to tell people. I wasn’t into the football.
Unknown Speaker 8:00 But but but you know it’s it is a boy columbus ohio and their their football I mean it is it is truly a see that yeah if you’ve never experienced that kind of just almost power that that the the football culture in columbus ohio has it is some
Unknown Speaker 8:24 even the gay guy even the gay guys have tailgating party
Unknown Speaker 8:29 parties we go to if we didn’t have tickets we go to the local gay bar and Union Station and you know watch the game there
Unknown Speaker 8:37 absolutely absolutely. So cool beans So tell us a little bit more about the the leadership dude I know you and I have talked about your your book a little bit but help our viewers and listeners get a good sense.
Unknown Speaker 8:57 Yeah, so I’m about Two years ago, I was at my first mg LCC conference, the National Gay Lesbian Chamber conference, fantastic group. And I was kind of sorting my business cards before a session and there was a woman next to me doing something very similar. And we just struck up a conversation and she’s like, what do you do? I’m like, oh, in consulting, blah, blah, blah. And I said, How about you? She’s like, well, I’m a publisher. I say, you know what, there’s a book in my head that needs to come out, you know, I’ve written you know, I published my dissertation and which I think my my mom is the one who bought that, but that’s fine. And then I did an ebook called overcoming poopy elearning, which was self published in my doctorates in instructional technology and distance education. And I had mixed mixed positive and negative vibes for doing this self publishing thing. It was it wasn’t a great experience for me. But I’m talking to Jen grace, publisher preppers price. And I’m like, you know what, let’s chat. And so flash forward. My book price leadership came out, which I happen to always keep on the desk. Um, and so it was it was a really great explain And I was going to write kind of a generic leadership book. And the more when I first started down the path in organizing some of my thoughts and, and I was doing a lot of advocacy work in the LGBTQ community, with our peeps, and I’m kind of starting to observe some of the leaders around doing, you know, different volunteer organizations and things. And then my inner Carrie Bradshaw kicked in, like, I couldn’t help but wonder, and I couldn’t help but wonder, you know, I’m watching these awesome queer leaders do their thing. And I’m wondering, is there something about our shared collective experience that does make us a little bit more reticent for the leadership competencies that I’ve seen really work out in in the general field as a leadership consultant, and that’s kind of what I write about in private leadership. And so I found what I thought were the top six you always have my swag, a little mousepad but these are the the top six competencies I talked about pride leadership, Authenticity, courage, empathy, communication, relationships, and then shaping culture. And that’s the the framework of the book. But it’s through the lens of being a member of our community.
Unknown Speaker 11:04 Okay. And so,
Unknown Speaker 11:10 you know, again, as we’ve talked in the past, but you know, for our listeners this, this is a, you also have an accompany workbook.
Unknown Speaker 11:20 I do Where’s it? It’s right here. You’re right. So so the idea behind the books and the fancy book workbook, which is also out there, but the whole goal of the book wasn’t the book. I mean, if there’s anyone here watching or listening, you know, authors aren’t typically unless you’re like Oprah caliber out there to make a gob of money. You’re there to kind of get your story out. And my story is really to help start an LGBTQ pollution movement and focus our collective energy in that arena. And so my endgame has always been a training experience. You know, as an educator, that’s kind of what I do as a company, but I really wanted to create that. So a couple steps back was the book. Then the workbook came And now we have an eight week online leadership program that’s really starting to take off. You know, oddly enough, it was in the midst pre global pandemic, but it’s always online. It was always modular approach. And so now we’re getting folks are like, hey, I want to use this time to develop myself. And so that’s where where the end game was, which I’m so excited for.
Unknown Speaker 12:19 Awesome. Yes. So I’m kind of just thinking, you know, out loud here is so, so looking at leadership that’s really from a very open perspective, correct? No, it’s so so this is could be for anyone. Someone in college looking to a to learn leadership skills, someone in their career, who’s looking to get to that next level in their career, or maybe even someone who’s, who’s a volunteer. Yeah. And looking to hone your leadership skills as it relates to perhaps serving in their local community.
Unknown Speaker 13:06 Exactly. One of the things I do in the very beginning of leadership is I define what is a leader. And to me a leader is anyone who has influenced within the workplace, that could be that entry level person who’s kind of influencing the people around you, that could be all the way up to the C suite. and everyone in between I, I’ve worked with clients who define leader as leader of people. And I think that’s kind of shenanigans, because you have that indirect influence over folks if you don’t have that direct. And that’s actually even a more tricky leadership position to be in, because you don’t have the formal authority. So you have to leverage different skills and tools in order to help folks move in the direction with which you’re trying to get them to move. And so I think it’s, I think it’s silly when I have I tried to dissuade some clients to say no, let’s let’s think about this a little bit more broadly. And just like you said, Dennis, it could be a whole bunch of folks really want to focus on being better within their leadership skills.
Unknown Speaker 13:57 Yeah, it’s, I find You know, when it you know, when you’re looking at leadership, when you’re looking at business, when you’re looking at your relationships, when you’re looking at almost every facet of your life, you’re always, always and you’re typically in a position of attempting to influence that might even just be Friday night and outside of the COVID era, trying to influence your significant other on where you’re going to go to eat that night. Yep, yep. Okay. So, and within, you know, and so there’s lots of different examples even within a friend, Friendship Circle. So, you know, a leadership skills are definitely not only for the work environment number one, and definitely not only for once you have achieve a quote unquote leadership title that now you have people report to you, it’s like, well, you definitely need the assistance then. But, but really, it’s to your point in self development and just saying, you know, as striving to be a better person, and that, again, could be in real in your own personal relationships. It could be in your work, and when and again, I’ll get back to, you know, community service, working with, you know, local nonprofits of any sort. So it’s, it’s very pertinent to, you know, all kind of a good portion of your life if you recognize it, and I think that’s the key point is being open to recognizing it because so many people kind of go through the motions of their days in there. weeks and not even realize that they are marketing themselves and they are positioning themselves effectively or poorly as a leader.
Unknown Speaker 16:12 Yeah, one of the things I talked about quite early on in the book is no, and this is part of the the lions program is the name of the eight week program, which stands for leaders immersive opportunity to nurture strengths, because, you know, former Disney, I had to have some cute, cute little acronym, you know, that goes with the branding lion. Right? But, but in the AV program, as well as in the workbook in the book, one of the very first things that we talked about is, is what’s called what I call drone perspective, which is having that self awareness, you kind of like you imagine, you get your drone, this drone zooms up. And it’s kind of looking at the situation that you’re in, in the moment. You know, in LA Times, this is referred to as like mindfulness, mindful meditation, that kind of stuff. But being able to get out of your own head is the concept. And that takes a lot of skill and have that self awareness to say, ooh, you know what, I maybe am Not super good at this XYZ competency or the situation and having that that thoughtfulness to do something about it. And that’s, that’s, to me one of the biggest leadership opportunities is to be humble enough to know where I’m really awesome but we’re not so awesome and do something about it to get more awesome in that respect.
Unknown Speaker 17:23 Absolutely. And when a and you know, in the entrepreneur space where that comes in is no no your strengths, know your weaknesses and as soon as possible as soon as income allows, hire other people to do the jobs that that you frickin suck at. Doing. Absolutely. But, but yeah, so in the
Unknown Speaker 17:55 so in the space, definitely
Unknown Speaker 17:59 taking Taking that moment and kind of realizing that, you know, sometimes we have, we’re forced into situations and or being a bootstrap startup where we have to do everything. And, you know, it’s something that I always strive to do personally is, you know, I, I have a vision for where I want to go. And you know, I’ve had technical issues I’ve had so many different things go on, just within out, you’re alone. But one of my, one of my traits and what I’m trying to bring to the table to the community is my own personal development. And that is every single day, I learned something. Excellent. And whether that’s listening to podcasts on entrepreneurial ism, I absolutely adore Jay Abraham. is an absolutely eloquent, masterful individual. If you don’t know that that person, folks out there, look him up just an amazing person, not LGBT.
Unknown Speaker 19:16 We still like some straight friends. I’m sorry. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 19:18 And you’re probably occasionally going to have to Google some words to use. I mean, I like to use some, you know, fun vocabulary, you know, here and there. But, Holy moly, occasionally, he just dropped some words. It’s like, even if you’re like, what?
Unknown Speaker 19:36 Just mean?
Unknown Speaker 19:38 Very, very neat. So, but it’s also like right now doing these, doing these, you know, that’s been on my radar. I’m a product manager. I used to be a software product manager. And so I I’m what’s called a scrum master.
Unknown Speaker 19:56 I just learned what that meant, like one of my participants in the lions program is a programmer and she was sharing a story about her Scrum Master. I’m like, why is that and so I just learned that last week.
Unknown Speaker 20:08 Okay, it’s a it could sound highs I’m a scrum and the scrum master. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 20:16 Well I for those that that aren’t aware of google it but
Unknown Speaker 20:23 you know to me it’s you manage to a lot of post it notes and journal I have a huge amount of documents and on my wall for set for quite a while had been you know, content, user content, community content and so forth. And you know, whether that has been doing interviews like this, but a technical issues and being overwhelmed and finally got over that so that employee ORS can sign up. So employees out there you may go to our bureau at o ut duro.com. Be an anonymous leader and reach your current or recent past employer but part of the the getting back to you know kind of doing this was all right you know I had some some things I had to get over it just like you know your hope everyone’s career right you whatever those hurdles are in your career and in your job and so forth but but it’s part of being a good leader is about being persistent and consistent and and striving for becoming better. And so you know, like right now doing these, you know, YouTube videos, it’s every day. I there are certain people now that I pay attention to and I’m seeing the results and now Now granted how does that relate is like When you it’s about self education, and about, you know, taking responsibility for yourself in educating yourself and then what you do with that. So kind of walk us through in that self education for your book and your workbook. Maybe some of the highlights of that. You brought up the cue card, which I love. Oh, there’s no
Unknown Speaker 22:25 it’s actually my it’s a mousepad. Like I’ve a sweatshop. Look. I’ve got mugs. Hey, so if
Unknown Speaker 22:32 you leave that with your customers or your clients,
Unknown Speaker 22:37 graduates, graduates of
Unknown Speaker 22:38 the program, graduates god, yes. So. So what kind of what kind of folks now? Have you seen or, you know, what have you seen people use? Use your tools, use your information, and kind of get out of it and take away from it and you know, has there been Any kind of success stories that you’re able to share? And sorry, because I asked up on the slides.
Unknown Speaker 23:06 Oh, that’s great. That’s great. So one of my participants, and she’s, she’s still in the program, but she actually was an early adopter of the concept. So she’s with a large pharmaceutical company, and she’s actually an ally, but she’s within, in the LGBT employee resource group, an ally in that, but really wanted to develop her own skills. She’s, I think, a project manager for the company. And so, you know, I’ll use my thing, you know, she’s, she’s thinking about what, what, out of these six competencies, she really wants to focus her energy first. So one of the one of the tools, of course, is is self analysis, like, you know, where, where am I at when it comes to these particular competencies or skills. And so for her, she said, You know what, I’m going to focus on the communication part. So that’s kind of the fourth module down there, little green green strip. And so when she said communication, and she’s like, specifically, it’s providing feedback. And so one of the things I talked about in the book, you know, there’s a simple model, there’s a lot of models out there for feedback. There’s one I’ve used in the leadership programs that I’ve taught, and it has pretty easy success. It’s called ECC. You know, you share with people the example the effect, and then either what you want to change or continue, which is where the C come in. So, you know, Dennis, when you lead our interdepartmental meeting the other day, there’s the example. You You missed one of the agenda items, and therefore, we now have to loop back with the other department and kind of get some stuff. So that’s the effect. So it next time, can you make sure that you get all the items on that or that agenda so that we kind of don’t have to do double work? That’s the change. Or hey, Dennis, when you lead the meeting the other day with with the whole interdepartmental. Folks, you did such a great job you got through the agenda real fast. We attendance left people ask some great questions. So that’s the effect so can keep up the good work. That was really great. So there’s the continue to be good behavior. simple model when I’ve taught for a while there’s other ones out there, and she’s like that one alone. really helped me relate to my team just to kind of organize the feedback and thoughts. And then I talked about the example of providing feedback, it should be balanced. You know, you don’t want to work with some organizations where someone comes up to you and says, Hey, I have feedback. And I was like, What is it, you know, because feedback is a bad word. And so feedback, feedback should be a neutral or a good word, if it’s being utilized in a balanced sort of way in your organizational culture, whether that be you or your clients or big group. So that’s a kind of one example. Another one that one of the participants. So in the in the program, you get three, one on one executive coaching sessions, kind of at the beginning, middle, and then two months after that you kind of leave the program, and during one of the conversations the other week, or for fairly early on, you know, we go through the authenticity chapter fairly early. And and the one of the activities in that is to look at your own personal value system. And some folks have done that in their careers, some have not. So there’s a quick activity in the workbook to actually Find out what are your personal top five values? And one of my participants said, You know, I never did that before, I never really thought about what are the things that are so important to me that I value. And then you put that lens through, what are you doing at work. So if you’re in a job that never touches your personal values, you’re gonna have a problem at some point. Or if all the work that you’re doing doesn’t feed those values in some way, shape, or form, that’s going to feel icky. And it’s you stop and have a conversation with yourself and kind of get in that drone and take a look around. And he said, you know, thank you for that, because it just made me put things a little bit more perspective on where I want to go both in my current job, but also outside of of my job and make sure that those values are being, you know, using Steve’s term fed. And that was another good example of some of the tips that that people are actually applying stuff that I’ve had, like, yeah, it’s working. So that’s kind of exciting to see.
Unknown Speaker 26:54 Oh, Barry Barry. And so um, so you say that Meeting originally about the book was, if I’m not mistaken about two years ago,
Unknown Speaker 27:08 correct? Yeah. Um, so this this, this August will have been two years. So, after that meeting I got about a month later, I started kind of formulating the book. And I knew I wanted it to come out pun intended. As a gay leadership book. I wanted it to come out June in pride month of 2019. But to make that deadline, I had to have a final man or a first draft manuscript to my publisher by like, New Year’s Day of 2019. And so I said, from basically Labor Day, until Christmas, just doing nothing but writing obviously trying to make a living with clients and things like that, but you’re really trying to kind of get through organizing my thoughts, you know, figuring it out, you know, initially I whittled it down to six, I had 29, or something like that competencies that I was trying to figure out where the white ones and then My thinking partner slash sister, Wes, come in who does similar work to me. And so that was kind of that that process and then you go through all the iterations, the editing. And that took us until, until the very end of April, to kind of get through all those drafts. And my book is 356 pages. So it’s a bit of a lot, much bigger than I expected, I kind of was targeting 200. So yay, for both Steve. But you get through that process. And of course, it’s the things like, you know, picking the the cover and writing the back and getting the testimonials inside and all that other stuff that you never really think about. You just say, I got to write, but no, there’s all the other stuff that goes along with it. And then, of course, the marketing piece of it. And so it was, it was a really fascinating experience. It was I will say, Dennis, that writing the book was easier than marketing the book. That’s the biggest challenge of and you know, just because you think I’m going to write it and then you put on Amazon and Yay, everyone’s gonna love it and you got to tell people it’s there and so I That’s always a continuous opportunity. And then I knew the audio book had to happen. So actually, I just lost the audiobook like two weeks ago. Yeah, so so that’s, that’s out there as well. And I put put the link under my name, you can actually get a free book. We’re doing a free plus shipping during this COVID time. So there’s a top dog click for slash free ship. And you’ll you’ll get to a website and you just have to pay for shipping and handling. So there’s that but the audio book was really, really weird into that experience. I don’t know if you’ve ever, ever thought about like, how does someone make an audiobook and I’d never thought about it, you know, just kind of grabbed him on on Audible, whatever. Right? But so I, I was working with another producer. So my publisher doesn’t do audiobooks, but she has a referral. So I went to this woman, and she’s like, Okay, the first question who’s reading it? I’m like, I don’t know who is reading my book. Well, that’s up to you. We talked through that and she’s like, you can do it. All you can do it all professional, you do hybrid. And then the more I thought about it, I’m like, Okay, I have a whole chapter on authenticity. So if I’m not going to be the one reading it that’s kind of not very authentic of me. It’s, I figured, okay, it’s gonna be me. Well, in the age of COVID-19, internet traffic is crazy high, of course, because everyone’s at home. Right? Well, I got on the very first call. So it was myself and this, this audio producer, and and basically, we log into this super secret software that he has, and we just do the recording there. Well, the internet traffic was so high that and audio files are very sensitive, I guess, to traffic and things they can drop. So so we kept dropping words. And we tried it a couple times. I’m sitting literally under my router. And he’s like, I don’t know what to tell you, Steve. You know, you might have to just do this on your own and I have some experience doing like radio voiceovers and stuff back in college, you know, W ix q news at my millersville University. And so I set up by computer and then we’re like, okay, where’s the quietest place in my house? Of course it’s it’s in our our walking closet in the bedroom. So I’m literally reading my gay leadership book in the closet during COVID-19 for 65 plus hours and that’s kind of the story of coming out of the closet again, just to kind of make my audiobook happen.
Unknown Speaker 31:18 Yeah, yeah, yes. Yeah, it’s it’s not it’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve actually gone through professional voiceover training myself. Nice. And yeah, if you if you search me on SoundCloud, I’ve done a few commercials and some different things. And yes, I can go into kind of that voice.
Unknown Speaker 31:48 Sound.
Unknown Speaker 31:50 And,
Unknown Speaker 31:52 as I as I told family members, because I’ve had people that since I was very young, I’ve had people go Oh, my gosh, your voices, you know And I feel I use that now and I definitely use it when I’m on the phone. Yeah, because yes, when you are voice overing when you are reading a book like that, it’s very important to pay attention to the Annunciation. The pauses, your plural motives, which and your
Unknown Speaker 32:27 T’s, your keys and your
Unknown Speaker 32:30 office.
Unknown Speaker 32:31 It’s, it’s very technical. And, you know, yeah, people don’t always think about that. And then yes, your, the quality of your sound is and crazily, you know, the closet and the end are folks out there and you know, the reason is is because the your blank walls, and so for sound bounces off of that, and so you need a lot of software. Or you need a treated space say that your, your, your, your,
Unknown Speaker 33:06 your good mic which I’m not using I’m using
Unknown Speaker 33:10 a good mic will pick up that and you’ll get reverb
Unknown Speaker 33:15 is very,
Unknown Speaker 33:16 very funny though. It was funny though, because when we’re
Unknown Speaker 33:21 in there and we’re doing the test for the with the audio guy, so you can say okay, yeah, you’re good to go. He’s like, there’s just something you know, because obviously there’s no clothes on the ceiling. So I took my dog’s dog bed and kind of looped it over my head and he’s like, that’s perfect. It’s just I have a picture of it. I just look ridiculous with the food or the all the clothes everywhere a dog bed over my head, my microphone and I’m like, yeah, and of course there’s no air conditioning in the closet. So and it’s Florida. It’s just like, oh my god.
Unknown Speaker 33:53 But it worked. It worked.
Unknown Speaker 33:54 You’re a hot mess in the CLI was a hot mess in the closet.
Unknown Speaker 34:00 You know, you really should put a photo of that up on your website
Unknown Speaker 34:04 or write a blog about it. I did.
Unknown Speaker 34:07 Yeah, I did do a social media post, but I probably need to revive that again. It’s
Unknown Speaker 34:12 Yeah. to, to funny. Funny. So, very neat, very neat. So just, you know, how are you so let’s get kind of on the business side of things. You know, you’re, well, thanks for coming on, did you This is partly marketing, your, your, your book and your, your coaching sessions. So how, as a business owner, you know, you did touch on that that’s, you know, as an author, as a coach, you’re, you are a business. And so talk about maybe for just a few moments, some of the opportunities, the challenges, opportunities and ways in which you have kind of overcome that getting the word out because you Every business, you know, is always is has that on their mind? How do they get the word out about their, their business? And so give us a little bit of insight about some of the opportunities and things that you’ve been doing?
Unknown Speaker 35:15 Yes. So COVID-19 has really hit a blow to so many of us entrepreneurs and small business owners. For me, one of the main revenue streams was stand up training at clients, well, that’s not happening anymore. And so in in, in March, we launched so we I’ve three big fortune 500 that we do all of their leadership training, and I say we because it’s actually not the Royal we actually have consultants who
Unknown Speaker 35:41 work for me as
Unknown Speaker 35:43 I do some of it, but I had them do most of that kind of stuff. So I can do more the business development and product development. And so all three clients came back and said, Nope, we’re not doing anything anymore. So I lost a massive six figures of revenue coming in. So it’s like rats. What We do now. And I have a fairly upbeat glass kind of full glass full half full kind of guy. And so it’s like, Okay, so what do we do next? And, you know, I knew the lions program was was just starting. So I’m like, okay, there’s that we can focus some energy there. And then, you know, a new deal. And the audiobook was another product. So I’m like, Okay, well, I’ll focus my energy there. But I’m lucky enough to have a an infrastructure to pivot and do virtual things. You know, we’re doing zoom. Right now, I’ve been using zoom for three years for online trainings from a distance learning thing from executive coaching session. So that wasn’t hard for me. A couple years ago, I created a webinar on how to do webinars for a client, and I dusted that off. And I’ve been doing that kind of for, for folks. And just really trying to to leverage the technology that I’m comfortable with and see how I can take that. So I’m actually seeing working with some folks because they’re not comfortable in this space, and this isn’t going to go away. So They’re like, Steve, can you help me like think about what’s behind me and the lighting and and how I use this medium? Like I would have done it in a face to face? Of course, that’s one things we do. So I’ve been seeing that and how am I getting the word out there. It’s social media. It’s growing my email list, which I’m not very good at, I’ll be the first to acknowledge in skills skill, the book came out, I never had to market I mean, top dog was always word of mouth, I get a couple clients, and they tell two friends and they tell two friends and you know, etc, etc. And that was great. But once I knew the book was coming out, now, I’m not going up to B, I’m going B to C. And so now I’m going right to the consumer and to do that I need to market and so that’s, you know, been the social media thing, growing my email list. And then really just just trying to partner with folks to get the word out for different things I have for the lines program. I have an affiliate marketing program that’s slowly kind of getting out there where you know, I give some money back to somebody who refers a new new participant. And then and then also doing things like this A lot of podcasts, I’ve been doing a lot of free webinars in the age of code, because you know, Intel, people get totally saturated. I have 25 years plus of content on my hard drive that I can dust off and kind of share. And some of that is things that are like I used to teach, or I do teach a class on being resilient in times of change. Well, this is a very appropriate time for that. So I dusted that off. And I’ve been doing that as a webinar and, and I actually have been selling them as virtual keynotes. for clients wanting to do those. I have one tomorrow for a group in London. And so they’re there, end of day, my beginning of and they are going through a lot of changes, like so many folks, I’m like, hey, let me talk walk you through the three strategies to help you be more resilient times of change, like perfect. So those types of things are pretty cool. I did a virtual keynote yesterday for another pharmaceutical company for their pride group, because they wanted the gay leadership dude to talk pride things because all their pride stuff went away from what it was. And they’re like, well, let’s do virtual stuff. And so that’s been kind of nice to still engage, especially with our community. is in during pride month but but while we’re all social distancing as well.
Unknown Speaker 39:06 Okay, well awesome. That sounds like you have turned it into pivoted and continuing to be active and busy so that’s awesome. Yeah, well cool well jeez it’s been great catching up with you and so much appreciate you taking time out of your sounds like very busy week, which is a good thing. And we’ll make sure that we have all the show notes and links to the leadership dude. Here on the show on the on the episode page, which again you all of you will find act out bureau.com that is O ut buro.com. You will click up on the top it says podcast might be changing that the episodes we’ll see but at some point because of the The videos now, but also, all of these shows get turned into podcasts. And you’re able to find out Bureau and outro Voices Podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, and a total currently have 13 podcast apps and growing. So make sure that you subscribe to our bureau on whichever platform that you desire most. And coming up here on the screen in just a moment. Be sure to click the subscribe to be notified again of when new shows come up and hit that bell to ensure that you are notified. Thank you so much for tuning in. This is Dennis belko without euro and Steve the leadership, dude, hot dog consulting. Thank you so much. Thanks, Dennis. And thanks for all that you