|Photo Credit: Creative Commons Barrel of Monkeys Game|
Donny Deutsch of “The Big Idea” interviewed the founder of Zuca luggage, Laura Udall. Her rolling, metal-framed backpack was featured in Time magazine. She was preparing for a radio spot and photo shoot. What are three things I learned from her as her MBA Marketing Intern?
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- Tell your story. Zuca began when Laura’s children were coming home with from school with heavy backpacks and significant back pain. Her engineer husband created a rolling backpack with a metal frame that doubled as a seat and Zuca was born. It’s been popular with ice skaters, business execs, students and pet parents alike.
- Help the next woman. “I want to help the next monkey out of the barrel” said Laura when I asked about her view on life as a business professional. She was open about answering questions about how she created marketing buzz and day to day challenges as a CEO. She rewarded initiative and displayed trust. For instance, when she needed extra hands for a Zuca trade show exhibition she welcomed three women from my MBA cohort who spoke English as a Second Language.
- Keep going. Laura sold her business to one of her investors but is this the end of her inspiring storytelling and track record of solving problems for consumers? No way! She has launched Donte Designs.
- Who does the hearer care about? What is her aim/mission? Where does she want to influence consumers? How does she plan to accomplish that? Why does she believe her cause is timely? Answer all those questions by walking around in her shoes. You’ll end up with a story that resonates and inspires.
- For example, why I am spearheading an educational campaign on kidney health in my SmartyGirlHow2 Blog? To educate my readers so that they will become better informed to make health decisions for themselves as kidney patients and caregivers.
- What’s another reason? My favorite person, Grandma Sivia, has kidney failure and relies on dialysis now. Yet I have optimism for other kidney patients, why? Because Damon Brown, Facebook user, found a kidney donor through social media. Since high school footballer Brysen Daughton is back on the field after a kidney laceration and Nick Cannon is out of the hospital after minor kidney failure.
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What do I do to live out lesson two: help the next woman?
- If a graduate school woman is moving into a larger apartment and doesn’t have kitchen supplies, what can you do? You can offer to be her “thrifting” buddy and go to the second-hand store together for pasta claws, tablecloths and cooking pots.
- If your church friend has a mother who is elderly and living alone, how can you be a friend? You can ask if it would be okay to visit your friend’s mom on an afternoon for tea.
- If your girlfriend lands a new job, what can you do to cheer for her? Text her to remind her that she is awesome and to “go get them” on her first week.
|Photo Credit: Creative Commons Rosa Parks|
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My mentor Laura transitioned gracefully from model to business leader. She had to overcome objections of others and she won the respect of previous naysayers. I’ve seen too many examples of great women, who are kind and sisterly in encouragement, go onto become leaders to stay upset at a setback. For instance, my other mentors participated in the civil rights movement and survived occupation of enemy soldiers. More on that in future posts.