Leverage The LinkedIn Platform
The Inventive Journey
Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Leverage The LinkedIn PlatformI can't be in a conversation without talking about LinkedIn to the point where anyone thinking they want to be an entrepreneur at some point or even they are now to leverage LinkedIn. It's the one platform for professional business purposes. Leverage the platform is my biggest thing. Sometimes I get clients who wait until they are at the point of frustration where they may have to close their business and it's like no you should have connected with me a long time ago. Making sure they are leveraging the platform and then guarding their time.
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The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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can't be in a conversation without talking about linkedin to the point anyone thinking they want to be an entrepreneur at some point or even they are now to leverage linkedin it's the one platform for professional business purposes leverage the platform is is my biggest thing um sometimes i get clients who wait until they're at the point of frustration where they may have to close their business and it's like no you should have connected with me a long time ago so making sure that they're leveraging the platform and then guarding their time [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devon miller the serial entrepreneur that has built several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder of uh and ceo of miller ip law where he helps startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and if you ever need any help with us just go to strategymeeting.com and we're always here to help now today we have another great guest on the podcast clarence mitchell or clarence no you say no what is the date how did i mispronounce it you put an extra c in there but i'm gonna still like you devin it's clarine all right claire reid and i apologize my mind put the c in there and it was just i'm like then you're like no i'm like oh no i already messed it up everyone not everyone a lot of people just do it by default because i have such an uncommon name but i am a a woman a female and i i after i said it i'm like well the thing i always think of is clarence thomas which is on the supreme court and i'm like that doesn't sound right so clariene mitchell um and now we'll dive into a quick intro and then we'll keep going so clarine is uh took another it was a non-traditional college student was i think you mentioned a mother of three that was on welfare uh went to college change the direction of your family get off welfare and kind of create that negative that future for the family and for the next generation got a communications degree when worked for a non-profit for a period of time was a journalist as a side hustle did a whole bunch of non-profits worked for them for a period of time and then about three years ago decided to kick off your uh your own entrepreneurial journey when you got uh lost your job or unemployed and then you decided to go all in and that's where it brought you to that you're at where you're at today so there's my quick introduction to clarine and welcome on to the podcast thank you so much devin so nice to be here with you so i gave maybe a brief introduction but let's dive into let's take you back in time again and talk a little bit about you know when you're a mother of three kind of on welfare decide to go to college change your trajectory and how that led to where you're at today oh wow that's the story let's see so i'm in the greater milwaukee area and um as you mentioned i was on welfare at the time actually i had two children but during the course of right even a semester before graduating had an another pregnancy so i had to take off from school um but went back and finished my degree but wanting better for my life and the life of my children and a quote from malcolm x really was my pushing point um education is the passport to the future is the quote and knowing that me getting my education me getting not just a certificate or some program but a college degree would help me change the future of myself and my children and so being a single mother of three by the time i graduated from college um i joke sometimes that i chuckle at the fact that during my graduation i was tired like i wasn't bored and dozing because it was boring you know as graduations typically are i was just tired life in the journey that it took for me to get my college degree so it was a happy occasion it was a celebratory grant you know occasion but i was tired and i was ready to move on to the next phase of my life but yeah um education one question on that because it's an interesting and first of all i completely get being tired i was completely different but i was when i was in school for graduate school i had just i had a one kid that was only one years old i had a second child that was on the way i had i was working i was doing two degrees at the same time i was working a 20 hour job and that's when i did my first startup so i'm right there with you being tired i'm tired from just hearing what you said so i was commiserating with him like i get what being tired is and you're like i don't fall asleep in class because i don't find it interesting i'm just tired so right exactly but one question i had is you know i think it was commemorable you know and i like the quote you know education is the path too and i can't remember the future passport to the future so you know what was that trigger maybe going back is you know how did you kind of saying you know your mother three on welfare you're saying hey this is my passport i'm going to change my future what was kind of the trigger how did you make that decision in that dive because you know it's it's not it's you know it does take a lot of effort to get into school especially when you're you know later in life you have kids you have responsibilities so what was getting that triggered and said i'm gonna do this oh wow i don't think it was just one point in my life it was just the the totality of my life prior to that and always wanting better um even prior to um you know history with domestic violence um relationships and being a survivor and always wanting to just get to a better place you know even childhood-wise and just struggles in you know childhood poverty and just other issues wanting better wanting more um and knowing that there was more out there so how to get that and get it from myself and my children and again the degree starting that process um i'm still striving for more every day that happens that hasn't stopped wanting to achieve more but it all began because i actually so i dropped out of high school because i was a teen team pregnant because of teen pregnancy so went back got my ged so general education diploma but that again not being enough it was a starting point i didn't want to just be stuck in fast food or you know low in wage jobs that wouldn't be enough so um got the college degree and then actually recently this past summer was able to complete a program through cornell university and entrepreneurship women's entrepreneurship program and so that pathway from dropout college drop high school dropout to being able to have a cornell certificate that i can have on my wall um maybe one day actual diploma but um it's still i i cherish it just as much as anyone would cherish any kind of college you know credentials and so that journey of just wanting or that that inner desire always of wanting more that i wasn't going to settle that there was more to life than the struggle of being in poverty or just trying to live and you know there's times that has come again but trying to live from paycheck to paycheck or depending on the system not wanting to be a stereotype um or my children especially to be stereotypes and that you know generational kind of process in that way i wanted the generational process to be in a positive way in my children and even do more because of me doing more no i i that's a very commemorable or you know commemor or commemorate you on you know doing that taking that step and i think that you know it's interesting how every different you know the decisions in our life can con to change the trajectory not of our own only of our own lives but of our kids and our you know the people who come along after us so so as you know just said hey i'm going to make this change you go to college you get the certificate which i can see on the back wall which is awesome and you graduate you know you get you come out of college and you got your first job i think you said is a non-for profit in milwaukee is that right actually so yes so wait a minute so there was a diplom there was a the ged then there was a college degree then the certificate so okay um but when i graduated from college i was actually so i'm in the greater milwaukee area and there was a really um renowned journalist um with the daily newspaper who columnist who did a profile on me of me being a single mother of three who graduated from college and got off of welfare that exposure from that article opened doors for me professionally at that time i had already graduated wasn't able to get a job right away so i was doing work through temporary agencies and the supervisor i had for the assignment actually saw the article and came to me in a flurry like how dare i be working in a bank with her when i should be working you know working this tim jobs clerical job when i should be working somewhere else um but she happened to be on the board of the organization that i ended up going because she allowed set up the opportunity for me to interview and get a job so my first job out of college my first real job out of college was for a non-profit and that it wasn't what i went to school for i went to school to become a broadcast journalist that didn't work because again me being a single mother i'm just a need flexibility schedule wise and just not having family support but um went and worked for a non-profit and kind of got on that path of working for non-profits and expanding those positions to include my communication skills so doing public relations related activity for all the jobs that i pretty much had having been going on to work specifically communications wise including being the first communications officer for the health department in my city um so establishing that role and some other communication jobs so um it it's been an interesting journey i'll just say that professionally all all good journeys are interesting so that that's awesome so so you were you know you started out in the nonprofit and i think we also talked a little bit about you did some side hustles you're a journalist for a period of time as you're working journalism yes for about over 20 years print journal is so working with publications locally on the national level having my work my byline because i love to write so print journalism as my side hustle and just as my labor of love because i love to write no and i think that that's that's cool that you gotta i think anybody that works for a non-profit is kind of a fun mission and you get to do that orientation and journalism always just sounds fun so it sounds like a fun journey on that part so now you're doing that you've you know you've done some of the side hustles you've done the non-profits you did a few of them as you move through and i think when we talked about before was around 2016 or that you were going through the journey and you know things slowed down you got laid off or whatnot is that kind of what motivated the next phase of the journey how did that work for you it wasn't even laid off it was deeper than that but i lost a job uh for the first time ever and it really traumatized me to the point again going back to my history of being on welfare and you know the financial struggles to lose a job and to lose a job with no fault of my own and actually the agency shortly after i lost my job they closed because of the instability of the organization um but to lose a job and then to go for almost a year without having employment opportunities where no matter what i was doing wasn't even getting interviews so i was ubering for a while trying to just make do financially doing whatever i could but applying for jobs non-stop not getting interviews not getting any any results so that led me to becoming an entrepreneur to create a job for myself not that i ever had any dreams or aspirations or desires to be an entrepreneur because you know remember devon i've come from the background of having being a single mother on welfare so having a paycheck every two weeks was important to me hey it's still no i don't think you know matter where you're at unless you just reach to the point that you can retire every week every paycheck is always important to me so i'm right there with you but i get what you're saying having a dedic knowing that it wasn't my responsibility it wasn't on me all i had to do was show up every day and do my job then that paycheck would be there every two weeks that was the mindset i was always in never in the mindset of being an entrepreneur and being the one who makes that money happen you know so no i completely you know and the interesting thing is you know i think no matter what your journey is or what phase of life it's oh it's always scary to jump out from doing having that consistent paycheck to going out and doing something it can be more rewarding it can on sometimes be more financially beneficial but it's always that scary first step and that's even like you know when i talk with my wife she's like why you know because i've been an entrepreneur i've just always had that drive and wanted to do my own business she's like why can't just be happy just go and work it for someone else just make a paycheck you know that's much easier and you don't have to worry about employees and hiring and firing and all the things that you complained to me about and i'm like but i love being an entrepreneur video and so it's it's i completely get where you're coming from it's that mixed bag because i i tell my husband it's like the hardest i've ever worked but the most fulfilling being an entrepreneur the most satisfying the longer i've worked longer hours i it's just it takes so much more especially you know building and trying to grow my business but it's the most satisfying ever you know where i have i can see the impact of my efforts more so no and i agree and the joke always goes you know the best thing about being an entrepreneur is you get to choose which 80 hours you work a week so and they never end but okay exactly so so you so you're going through this and you you know you've got you got laid off or you got fired or whatever you want to call it but here's now you've applied you've taken the time you know it frustrated so how did you then kind of arrive at saying okay i'm going to be an entrepreneur i'm going to do my own thing and this is what i'm going to do kind of how did you finally make come to that decision and get that going yeah i like how you included the word finally because it took a while for me to figure it out um i had the job loss in july of 26th no i'm sorry in october of 2016. so the fall of 2016 i have the job loss i didn't start my business until the july of 2017 so almost a year um again i was ubering that wasn't enough money and actually was costing me more money um than actually that i could really benefit from um but it was just not having any other options really it was this one day my husband actually shared a quote with me and so i'm big on quotes and inspiration and affirmations and all of that he shared this quote with me by a g gaston and is find a need and feel it successful businesses are found on the needs of people of the people so for whatever reason when he said that quote it just clicked you know it's like i looked at him and i'm like we're starting a business can i are you okay with me do i have your permission are you on board like and i remember just that whole process of even going through and the paperwork and just really plotting it out not having a clue though what i was going to do exactly or fully even where i'm at now and where i'm at with my business now i never envisioned back then but it was like okay i have to do something what can i do to get some money going and one of the things so i was in the job seeker mode so i was going and applying i'm going to job networker groups job seeker networking groups and people in those networking groups were seeing what i was doing on linkedin like leveraging the platform using because i was using them platform more because i needed a job but people were seeing what i was doing in those groups and so after the groups we would meet for coffee so that i could show them what to do how to do what i was doing and it just finally got to the point like wait a minute hmm why am i not getting paid for this like i need to i need to get more than coffee or tea or whatever afterwards because they would do it and go on and get jobs and do well and all of that and i'm sitting still like i got my coffee well i'm a tea drinker but it is like i need to get paid for that so i started my business based on that and just more broader pr because that's my background communications um and then zoned in on linkedin coaching and training because there's such a void in that and so many people just don't know how to leverage the platform so that was it no i think that that's awesome that's and that's that's interesting how you know where your journey ends up of hey you start chatting with people who start coaching them or giving them advice and then you're saying well wait a minute first of all you've got enough people to keep asking me and second of all i'm spending enough time why not turn it into a business i think that's awesome so now as you started the business you got into it and you're growing it how has it been has it been all up in is it been up and down all up all down how's you know how's that journey been for you now that you've kind of decided this is the the next part of your journey rollercoaster is what i say and i don't even like roller coasters and i don't know the amusement parks but it's been the up and down up and you know i started my business like because i was broke like shoestring penny budget really um if that and just on grit really is what i started my business on without even having business knowledge and skill and expertise and understanding you know i just started doing so it's been a roller coaster going up and down and just trying to learn as i go along and you know every time i earn you know money or you make money i'm putting it in the business to grow it to get to the next level but it's it's been a journey but i again i love it it's like interesting so kobe hit and it just okay so february of 2020 my most successful active like the business it was like yes this is what i've been working for this is what i've been trying to get the business to where i had bookings throughout the month trainings i had i published a book so i had book events throughout the the month as well and then covey hit and everything stopped like literally like it was the first time i had bookings scheduled out in advance as well and all of them you know the flood of emails of cancellations and all of that and so you know that roller coaster things were so high then and then go plummet it down and then i had to just reinvent and then move things forward in in a different way but it's been a continual growth process learning process no and the way it and i use always used to use the roller coaster example as well and then i had somebody that explained to me and i thought it was a really good analogy it's like they were like it's not really roller coaster it's more like going all there to the theme park he's like you get it you get in the parking lot and you're all excited to go in and you get your ticket and you're all excited and you go on the phone a couple roller coasters and you kind of get sick so you have to take a break and then you go eat a whole bunch of corn dogs and then you go on the bumper cars and get banged all around but it's kind of fun and exciting and then you go and you take a break and you spend some time and you're sitting on the bench and looking around and then you go do it all again and it's like you know i'm like that's problem that's actually a pretty good analogy so that's the one i always steal okay all right i understand i'm not an amusement park person so um that didn't dawn on me but i understand it all right well now you'll have to go next time if you ever go to disneyland or the next time you do to go to do go to an amusement park then you'll that will come to mind so then you so now you take you know you pivoted you've had to deal with covid so now you look and say what's you know the next 6 12 months where do you think things are headed or kind of what's or what's the plan for the as you continue to move on your journey oh wow so continue to grow like linkedin training um i don't see the need going away ever and think you know um because again people have a different perspective about linkedin and a part of even why i do what i do and the approach that i have is from my experience when i was a job seeker i didn't so i say if i had been using linkedin consistently before i lost my job i would have gotten a job i believe relatively quick but because i hadn't i went on and started using the platform because i needed a job but prior to that i was absent i was like waldo you know that character that book character that you know nobody could find me because i wasn't using the platform so nobody knew about me nobody cared about me nobody you know i'm on it kind of new if i was using it consistently people would have known i wouldn't be an entrepreneur today probably because i probably would have gotten another job and would have just continued on the track track i was um so i see the continued growth of my business based on linkedin continuing to grow especially with the pandemic we're in this virtual force virtual reality now for everyone um but yet people don't know how to show up and have their executive presence so that they shine and that they can generate results versus just having a profile and then not knowing how to strategically use the platform so i see my business growing um i mean the the process of creating some online courses so on demand courses in addition to what i do with my virtual coaching and my virtual training in person but the on demand courses is what's next for me and my business tcm communications um but who knows i i say i get the joy of being one of the joys of being an entrepreneur i get these ideals in the middle of the night which drive my husband crazy or when i'm doing random things and then i can just run with them you know there's no limits to them because i'm an i i'm the boss of me right so i'm right there and i i certainly resonate because the the because i have a few people on marketing team and they're always like you know where you get all your ideas is when you go out in your morning runs and you listen to your podcast you always come in and tell us all your new ideas that you want to implement that's what i do it's like it's there's a lot of truth to it so it makes it makes it fun wherever you get your ideas but always be able to go and say hey i'm the boss now i get to implement them right and so there's no restrictions on that so i never know where what the future holds because the possibilities have yet not been developed for me that that stroke of genius or that that great ideal is still to be developed for me or still to to come so um who knows i never thought i'd be doing what i do now you know even six months ago so who knows what the future holds i i just this is what i want to do the rest of my life this is what i'm committed to so i'm i'm open for the possibilities that's awesome well we could i'm sure a chat all day and we would we'd have a great time but then people would start to drop off the podcast so we'll start to wrap it up but you know so i always end the podcast with two questions so we'll jump to those now so the first question first question i always ask is so along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what did you learn from it oh my there's been a lot of bad decisions i've made but one of the the worst that i truly learned from and is early on i had an opportunity to do an event um a presentation for a very great client and i underestimated the event where i really didn't think it through on the front end to understand who the audience was and how i should um facilitate that event and so much to the point and i'm publicly saying this during my presentation during my event people gotta walk out in frustration um so me not even reading the audience during the event and pivoting as i needed to to respond to them to keep them engaged um but i dusted myself off and i learned from that immediately um and now it's i'm the opposite i give more than expected versus less than what was expected you know um absolutely hey no that's a great lesson to learn i think it's one that you know whenever you get caught off guard or whenever something doesn't go right rather than just crumple you say now what can i do to make sure that i avoid this and i'm better the next time so that's a great attitude and certainly a good lesson to learn so now we jump to the second question which is if you're to talk to someone that's just getting into a startup or a small business what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them okay so i don't know if this is okay for me to say and then i can move it to something else as long as it doesn't have any swear words so my kids can walk or listen to the show dude you're good of course not but i can't be in the conversation without talking about linkedin to the point anyone thinking they want to be an entrepreneur at some point or even they are now to leverage linkedin it's the one platform for professional business purposes leverage the platform is is my biggest thing um sometimes i get clients who wait until they're at the point of frustration where they may have to close their business and it's like no you should have connected with me a long time ago so making sure that they're leveraging the platform and then guarding their time so making sure that they're not operating like they used to before they became an entrepreneur and you know answering the phone whenever it calls um or going out and hanging out or whatever it is you have to guard your time in your mental space and focus zone in it took me a while to get to that point but i'm too extreme now and people know like i'm all about my business that's it hey and i'm right there with you i think both of those i'm a i'm a linkedin disciple i think it's a great platform it's often underutilized but it's also a great place to generate business to make connections to network everything and so and i also like the guarding your time i think that that's one time even as an entrepreneur a lot of times you have so many demands on your time that you have to be judicious about what you spend your time on because there's you're never going to have enough hours in the day to get everything done so you have to make sure that you prioritize so both great pieces of advice people and as people want to now reach out to you they want to have your or have your assistance on linkedin pick your brain be a client they want to work for you they want to invest in you they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to connect with you really that's a question linkedin of course they they all have to do send me a connection invite and personalize it so actually devin if they send me a personalized connection invite and say that they heard this um podcast episode i will send them a freebie so i will send them a tip um sheet in reference to how they can leverage linkedin um if they mention this podcast but all right even better now they now they have even more motivation to reach out to you leslie well perfect well i appreciate you coming on the podcast it's been fun now for all of you listeners um if you want if you have your own journey to tell we'd love to have you on so if you want to apply to be on the podcast just go to inventivejourneyguest.com and apply to beyond if you're a listener also make sure to click subscribe so you get notifications as all the new awesome episodes come out and last but not least if you ever need help with patents and trademarks reach out to us at millerip law by going to strategymeeting.com and we're here to help thank you again it's been fun it's been a pleasure and i appreciate you coming on the podcast thank you so much hey if you enjoyed this episode of the inventive journey make sure to go and check out startups magazine they're an awesome magazine and podcast centered over in the uk and if the magazine is a digital and print magazine where they focus on tech startups and entrepreneurs and they also have a focus on female founders and women in tech so if you want to check out their magazine neither digital or print it's startups magazine startups with an s magazine dot co dot uk and you can also look up their podcast which is called the serial entrepreneur so go check them out they're awesome and definitely if you like this episode you'll 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