I’m doing this new thing where I do almost everything Jennifer McClure tells me to do.
If you don’t know Jennifer, she’s someone who never gives bad advice. She’s a former HR executive who runs a successful speaking and coaching business. She’s an advisor and leader, but, more importantly, Jennifer is a woman of character and substance. She operates with a high degree of integrity.
So, when Jennifer tells me to do something, I’m not taking that for granted. Short of finding a path to Christianity and buying a few horses, I’m on board for her guidance. And last week offered plenty of opportunities for counseling because we found ourselves in New Orleans, last week, having several of our world-famous talks about life.
The first night was fun. We went to Saint Lawrence and Hotel Monteleone. I practiced mindful listening and tried to give Jennifer the best advice I could offer about work and life. I’m an amateur. Basically, I parroted back all the smart shit that other people say to me.
The second and third nights were dedicated to Laurie-related meltdowns because I’m not at my best. We pre-gamed before going to Brennan’s and MeauxBar and talked about GlitchPath. No easy answers on how to improve a software product, but she suggested that I use more “we’s” instead of “me’s” when I speak and write about the company. I’m not alone. I have an excellent team of people who do good work. We’re all in this together.
Jennifer also challenged me to think more about my writing audience. (That’s you people.) She mentioned StoryBrand as a tool to understand my audience and what I bring to the table, and she honestly believes my blog is part of a total package that can help you solve some of your problems. She also doesn’t want me to abandon coaching for some reason, either.
I listened closely to Jennifer’s advice at SHRM because she knows a ton about internet marketing and how to maximize influence. She also knows how hard it is to turn knowledge into action when it comes to just about everything in life. The only limiting factor in all of this? Your desire to do the work.
So, yeah, I have no desire to do anything. My first impulse is to roll back into bed and cry. I only want to do inner work where I only think about myself and my existential pain. But self-reflection quickly turns into an extension of narcissism if you let it. And since I’m committed to doing almost everything Jennifer McClure tells me to do, I made a list of things to tackle.
First? Exploring my most popular blog posts over the past ten years and trying to understand why people come here in the first place. Who are you, and what do you like to read?
I already knew the answer before I looked.
In aggregate, people like the posts where I’m mean about HR ladies and SHRM. The data is old, but a SHRM article is worth a lot in the marketplace. Then people like self-revelatory posts where I talk about myself and admit my mistakes. (Another aspect of this category is where I offer advice interjected with my life story.) Finally, some of my most-viewed articles are all about my cats. Put a picture of Emma in a post, and people love it.
Work. Life. Cats.
Have we been here before?
It’s great when life advice from Jennifer McClure leads me down a path to what I already know. The next step is all about crystalizing messages and understanding what I have to offer to readers and audiences. I think my personal brand comes down to this: I hate work, and so do you. I learn lessons the hard way, but I learn them quickly. You guys love that. And I have a bunch of cute cats.
“Tech CEO, failed human being, cat mom.”
That’s a helluva Twitter bio. Needs some work. But it’s a fresh start thanks to Jennifer. This is why I love her and you should, too.