Tell Compelling Stories // Part 3: The Founder’s Story // Workshop 3

This is the final workshop for the Tell Compelling Stories series. It is part 3: The Founder’s Story.

Here’s the workbook to go along with the workshop so you can join along with us.

The Founder’s story PDF Workbook

Listen to the workshop

Watch the other workshops in the series

Part 1: Episode link is:

Part 2:

Transcript of the Workshop

[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody, this is episode 465. This is the last of the founder story in Jackson’s showing himself just a little bit down there. Um, the dog. Oh, now Mike here. What, what mom? He’s really chunky, little monkey. Um, um, but today we’re joined, uh, by two of my friends. And well, maybe one [00:00:30] more. Alright. Hey, Mora.

[00:00:33] Well you’re muted. Hi. But we’re, we’re all over. We got Denmark to, to North Carolina, to California. So I’m gonna let you guys introduce yourselves and then if anybody else comes in later, we’ll we’ll just do, we’ll just let them go. And I’m gonna put in the chat, the, um, if you haven’t, it’s not a big deal ’cause I can just read it to you.

[00:00:57] But this is the PDF for [00:01:00] the thing today. So let’s see if I can, uh, if you didn’t get to download it already, it doesn’t really matter. Just have a piece of paper. You want a piece of paper. If you’re doing this from the recording, just have a piece of paper or you can download the link. It’ll be the top link in, in the whatever, in the more section.

[00:01:23] All right. So, um. Um, Janine, I’m gonna get you to start. You’re gonna say who you are, where you 

[00:01:28] Jeannine Curtis: are, and what [00:01:30] you do. Okay. I’m Janine Curtis. I’m in Huntington Beach, California. And, um, I do acrylic paintings, but it’s more mixed media and just, uh, I’d really like to do real intuitive things. They’re not realistic and, um, 

[00:01:52] diane: you like unexpected 

[00:01:54] Jeannine Curtis: combinations?

[00:01:55] Yeah, I like surprises. 

[00:01:56] Maura McDonald: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:01:57] Jeannine Curtis: I like to just try stuff and have the [00:02:00] nerve to try stuff, which Diane is such a good, uh, instigator of that. Well, 

[00:02:07] diane: you’re trying new things now too, and I, I’m glad that you’re willing to do it. Alright, Adam, how about you? Who you are, where you are and what, what you do? Alright.

[00:02:18] Adam Hansel: I’m Adam. Um, I live in Denmark. I’m originally from Iowa, from Dubuque, Iowa. Oh. Um, moved here when I was 26. I am almost 49 now, so I’ve [00:02:30] been here a while. Um, I’m a designer by trade, uh, but I started off as a fine artist and I keep a hold of that. So I still do fine art, but I do a lot of graphic design and illustration work and that’s kind of it.

[00:02:43] I do whatever’s been fun where I’ve been lucky enough within my career to be able to kind of pick and choose 

[00:02:49] diane: What was your, and just jump out. What was your fine art? Was it printmaking? 

[00:02:54] Adam Hansel: No, it was drawing. 

[00:02:56] diane: Oh, drawing. Oh, cool. Well, Maura wasn’t a [00:03:00] traditional, uh, she started out in another way too, but I’m not gonna ruin it.

[00:03:04] So, Maura, how about unmute if you haven’t, you’re ready? 

[00:03:07] Maura McDonald: Yes. 

[00:03:07] diane: So who you are, where you are and what you do. So 

[00:03:10] Maura McDonald: I’m Maura McDonald and I live in Cary, North Carolina. I’ve been a visual designer for like 28 years. Yeah. 

[00:03:18] diane: But you started I like 

[00:03:19] Maura McDonald: to paint for myself. Yeah. 

[00:03:21] diane: But you started in industrial design. 

[00:03:24] Maura McDonald: Yeah, well, I got my under degree in graphic and then went back and got my master’s in industrial design because [00:03:30] when I was in graphic design, they didn’t have computers yet or anything, so everything was still just like letter set and photocopies and getting in the dark room and mixing photos together, you know, which I thought that’s what it was.

[00:03:42] You know, you didn’t know anything better. And then when I went to graduate school, that’s when like Photoshop came out and I realized I liked doing my presentations better than being in the shop, basically. But I went to get my master’s in industrial design because I’d grown up with my grandfather in the summers [00:04:00] and he owned a bunch of cabins in the Poconos and I used to help him build furniture.

[00:04:03] So that’s what I used to get into my graduate program, 

[00:04:06] diane: which that is a great part of a founder story of even just the creative part. And we’re gonna talk about that a little. Oh, my 

[00:04:14] Maura McDonald: grandmother was creative. My, my parents weren’t, but my grandparents were very creative. It skipped a generation and knitted and, yeah.

[00:04:21] diane: That’s cool. So I don’t know if you guys are at all. Um, so the found, if you, if you’ve followed this or know [00:04:30] this, a lot of it is coming from this book, stories that Stick, um, by Kendra Hall. But there’s a lot of stuff that just that I’ve woven in and a lot of questions that I have or things that I struggle with that she doesn’t really talk about.

[00:04:45] Um, and also I always use Donald Miller as well, but does any d So for me, the founder story or for what she teaches, it’s kind of like why the company began or why you started in this, um, in this [00:05:00] vein. I, and I think like more of your story of making cabinets with your grandfather or making furniture with your grandfather, but then you did design so that that’s where you kind of had the creative.

[00:05:12] Um, yeah. So my, where 

[00:05:12] Maura McDonald: my, my switch to design went with was because when I was a senior in co high school, my mother played tennis with somebody that was at a big PR agency in New York and she got me an internship there. So that’s how I really kind of found out about design. Design. Yeah. [00:05:30] Rather than more like crafting and, you know Right.

[00:05:32] That kind of 

[00:05:33] diane: thing. Right, right. Instead of it being so fine art led maybe, or, or furniture design. ’cause that would’ve been more in the Yeah. ‘

[00:05:40] Maura McDonald: cause my mother was also did bookkeeping for like, a bunch of really cool furniture stores in New York City. And so I’d whenever she’d be like, going to the cool store in Soho, I’d be like, can I go?

[00:05:50] You know, I’d be like 15 years old. Yeah. So I’ve always loved it. And I mean, I was the girl with, you know, three brothers and, you know, so I got all the girly stuff and that, [00:06:00] and that included a lot of like, art classes and 

[00:06:02] diane: Yeah. 

[00:06:03] Maura McDonald: Things. 

[00:06:04] diane: But when you’re going, like, you’re going, if you’re currently going and you’re either at a conference or networking, I know, um, uh, Janine gets to go to Italy, she’ll be meeting lots of people and some people may ask, uh, when you’re at these things like, well, oh, you know, what do you do?

[00:06:22] Or How did you get started? Or maybe it’s a new client meeting, or it’s somebody like that. They’re trying to figure [00:06:30] out why, right. Why did you get into this? And for most of our lives we just jump into how we can solve and we tell one of the other kinds of stories that the, the other two workshops have covered.

[00:06:43] Um, but this one tends to be, um. We think about, did you know that the Airbnb guys were both designers? Did y’all know that? 

[00:06:52] Maura McDonald: Yeah, I did know that. Yeah. 

[00:06:53] diane: So they were both, uh, graphic designers and they were living in San Francisco and they couldn’t really pay their rent. [00:07:00] And there was a, I guess the how conference or something was gonna be in San Francisco.

[00:07:04] And they were like, well, why don’t, and all the hotels were booked. So they had this idea that they could buy some air mattresses and just put some people up, other designers could stay, and then they’d be able to, um, you know, rent out and, and pay their rent. And that’s what happened. And, but it was, it is weird ’cause it was total strangers [00:07:30] and they didn’t have bed and breakfast, they just had beds, air beds for them to sleep on, you know?

[00:07:36] Right. But it is, 

[00:07:38] Maura McDonald: that’s where the name 

[00:07:38] diane: came 

[00:07:39] Maura McDonald: from 

[00:07:39] diane: Air. It is. It is. It’s exactly. And they did have breakfast. They would buy the cheap Cheerios, like, you know, in the, they wouldn’t say they’d have a old Cheerios box and they’d fill it with, um, the O Tasty OS or something so that the people coming, they would think they had Cheerios, but it [00:08:00] wasn’t quite, um, Timothy Good to see you.

[00:08:02] I’m not sure we’ve quite got you on, but sometimes we have a weird connection. A little bit. But I’m glad you’re here. Um, so. Sometimes for me, the founder story is, is difficult because it’s asking, well, what’s interesting about your story? And Maura, I can see there’s lots of interesting things about yours, but I don’t know if my story’s that interesting.

[00:08:25] So, oh, 

[00:08:25] Maura McDonald: everyone’s story is different. That’s all e 

[00:08:27] diane: Exactly. And, and we’re gonna, we’re [00:08:30] absolutely gonna talk about that, but sometimes we need other people to be like, you might think that’s, uh, not interesting, but, oh, I 

[00:08:37] Maura McDonald: did, I spent my summers up in Pennsylvania 10 weeks every summer until I was 16 and I wanted to go to camp, you know, I just wanted to go to a camp.

[00:08:46] I didn’t wanna spend it at my grandparents’ place, you know, so there’s always a greener pasture. Oh yeah. 

[00:08:52] diane: For sure. For sure. So I’m gonna, um, so if everybody has something to write with, I’m gonna jump [00:09:00] into, um, the deck. I’m gonna do a little bit, and then we’ll pop back out just to kind of set the stage so that we can start answering some of these, um, these things.

[00:09:10] Again, the reason we tell these stories is we’re trying to close the gap in a, in a connection with either a, a client or um, a customer. It helps them to trust us. It helps them to connect with us in a, in a different way. This is in general, this is what she [00:09:30] talks about in the book, is when to use your founder story.

[00:09:33] And obviously for people who are not just solopreneurs like us. Um. There might be somebody else underneath us that’s telling, that’s telling our story, but right now it’s, it’s just us, I think, in all of our cases. But, um, when to use it is the top two that we’re gonna really talk about is maybe when you’re launching something or when you’re trying to differentiate in a crowded, noisy market that [00:10:00] happens all the time.

[00:10:00] And then the other two are attracting top talent. So you’re trying to hire new people and you want the best people, or if you’re trying to in secure investors, so you’re going to something and you need, um, you need, you know, you’re in round B level of funding or something. So that is not something I know about and I am not trying to hire anybody.

[00:10:24] So three and four are just mentioned, but again, [00:10:30] those are times when they’re trying to do it. So for me, this of the value story and just of all the kinds of compelling stories we can tell the founder story oftentimes can be a hard one for other founders. Um, but it is definitely the one that many founders str struggle with the most and.

[00:10:52] The idea is, and these are why it’s hard for me, I just made a list and I’ve made a longer list than this, but this is, these are also things that [00:11:00] I’ve heard. And if you have any additions to this, I would love to know. And maybe it’s not hard for y’all. Uh, I hope it’s not. Um, but it can be hard for me. Um, so that it’s now it’s focused on the founder.

[00:11:12] A lot of times people are like, well, that’s, it’s kind of, it’s, you know, let’s focus on the customer. Well, that’s a customer story or that’s a value story. Um, it’s also to, for me, it can be awkward for me to be the one highlighting myself when I normally [00:11:30] highlight others are as, um, creative. Sometimes we are creating more in the background and then we have our thing that we’re selling or our thing that we’re doing for someone else, and that’s the thing that’s highlight highlighted.

[00:11:43] Um, not necessarily we’re happy behind the computer, happy behind the canvas. Um, we’re not necessarily, um, trying to be out in the center stage. Um, I also think for me, I think, well, there’s a lot of other people doing, [00:12:00] um, web design. They’re doing amazing. Why would somebody, you know, I’d have enough people, uh, customers coming in, but if I was trying to, um, go out there and sell the way I do it or get more customers, um, why are they choosing.

[00:12:20] Me, you know, maybe I don’t know, everything or something. And then, um, the fact that I’m not for everyone. Did any, did any of y’all have any [00:12:30] additional, uh, why it might be hard to tell this founder story? I 

[00:12:35] Jeannine Curtis: think for me it, it feels like bragging. Yeah. And I don’t like to hear people brag, so I think they don’t like to hear me brag.

[00:12:46] diane: Right. But in that founder story that I told you about Airbnb, where I’m telling there, was there anything I was bragging? 

[00:12:54] Maura McDonald: No. 

[00:12:55] diane: Mm-Hmm. If, if really it was like telling I was [00:13:00] shedding light that they didn’t have enough money, they were buying cheap Cheerios and putting them in the ta, you know, the tass in the Cheerios box.

[00:13:08] And, um, is that, is that part of the brag? I don’t know. I don’t think so. Right. I, yeah, I don’t, I don’t think it, so maybe I agree. I totally, um, that’s where I feel like the number two is for me, it’s the bragging I was told, told to be humble and 

[00:13:26] Maura McDonald: Right. To be modest and, yeah. Right. 

[00:13:28] diane: But I don’t think [00:13:30] that it helps tell that story for the Airbnb.

[00:13:33] It totally makes sense of how they got started. And to hear that, um, it, it just helps. It helps me to understand, but it doesn’t feel like they were bragging, I mean, bragging that they didn’t have enough money. I don’t know. You know, like, um, you’re not bragging that, that you went to all these different camps and got to do all No.

[00:13:54] You’re saying, Hey, I stayed with my grandparents in the summer and this is what I [00:14:00] was doing. Right, right. And 

[00:14:01] Maura McDonald: as adult, I really appreciate it, but as a child I didn’t at all. 

[00:14:05] diane: Right. Yeah. Right. But I’m not really sure that’s even something to, that you would be bragging about, right? No. Like it’s just what it, it 

[00:14:12] Maura McDonald: wasn’t the cool thing to do.

[00:14:13] Right, right. When I was a kid. Yeah. And how 

[00:14:16] Jeannine Curtis: do we change that? Um, how we perceive it. Like the other day I had a session with Diane and you were asking me some of these questions and even as I was [00:14:30] answering, I was thinking, I am talking too much about myself. I am, I mean, it was just this continual like, feeling guilty about it or like, I, I don’t know.

[00:14:45] I didn’t like it, but, so there must be some change. Self-talk or something. 

[00:14:52] diane: How so? But if, or practice. And there is, there is definitely some, uh, I think when you’re connecting with someone else, [00:15:00] do you feel like they’re just talking about themselves or do you feel like they’re shedding light into something and now you’re able to connect with them?

[00:15:10] Jeannine Curtis: Well, sometimes I do think it’s bragging. Mm-Hmm. Sometimes. Yeah. Sometimes if I’m not even aware of that and I’m interested, then it is just that they’re letting me know them. 

[00:15:23] diane: So then think about it like that. So we’re gonna absolutely not necessarily be bragging. We’re, we’re [00:15:30] really trying to make connections.

[00:15:31] And I think one thing is that you’re not always sharing the beautiful things. You’re sharing some of the yucky things as well. 

[00:15:39] Maura McDonald: And that’s hard to do sometimes. It’s 

[00:15:41] diane: super, super hard. Adam, do you have any additions or any of these that resonate with you? 

[00:15:48] Adam Hansel: But I think you just kind of said it. I mean, there are parts of my story that feel tragic and sometimes it’s just hard to talk about.

[00:15:55] Yeah. And there are other times when I know that I’ve been extremely privileged [00:16:00] and so then talking about my tragedy, tragedy feels false. 

[00:16:04] Maura McDonald: Hmm. 

[00:16:05] Adam Hansel: So, you know, ’cause I mean, I am privileged to, it’s just awful. But I think that that’s some of this kind of, you know, where we feel like we’re bragging and all of these other things when we look back at ourselves and just say, okay, I’ve had it easier than I think.

[00:16:21] Maura McDonald: Yeah. 

[00:16:22] Adam Hansel: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:16:23] diane: Well, and I think that, that it does play into the role of, I’m not gonna be for everybody. Everybody’s not [00:16:30] gonna be relating, but when you share what, yes, you were privileged and maybe the hardship as well. Comes out of that, and it maybe wasn’t as hard as somebody else had it, but somebody needs to hear your story because your story’s gonna help them move forward because they connected more to you.

[00:16:49] They were, they had some similar things like you had. So I think that there’s something to that. I actually, I feel like every, even if you’re just [00:17:00] helping, you know, one other person, it’s worth it to me. Um, all right. Let’s see if I can keep going. So, um, the first thing we’re gonna do is, is we’re gonna, I want you on your piece of paper.

[00:17:12] We’re only gonna take five minutes to do this. I’m gonna time it. Um, and if it’s, it, maybe, maybe it’s three minutes, but, um, what holds you back from telling your story? And I just want you to number each. So like, if you were saying, okay, I feel like I’m bragging, [00:17:30] I feel number two is blah, blah, blah. And you could go longer in those if you want, but, so I’m gonna do three minutes and then we’re gonna play devil’s advocate in just a second.

[00:17:39] So I’m gonna give you three minutes. If you’re watching, you just have to sit in the silence. I’m gonna do it too.[00:18:00] 

[00:18:01] Three minutes, 30 seconds is what we’re doing.[00:18:30] [00:19:00] [00:19:30] [00:20:00] [00:20:30] 

[00:20:47] 30 seconds.[00:21:00] 

[00:21:17] Okay. What did you get? 

[00:21:22] Jeannine Curtis: Janine? You wanna go first? Okay, so I put, people will resent having to hear about me. [00:21:30] Self-absorbed. I thought what Adam said about the privilege was interesting. Like, if I, um, try to bring out the struggles, it’ll sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself and I might go off on a tangent, like something unrelated.

[00:21:54] So the people pleasing and being judged, that really worries me. 

[00:21:59] Maura McDonald: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:21:59] Jeannine Curtis: [00:22:00] Thinking does it relate to people? Feels like a performance and it makes me anxious just ’cause I feel like, you know, it’s you’re being judged. 

[00:22:11] diane: Yeah. 

[00:22:12] Maura McDonald: Are, yeah. 

[00:22:13] diane: Yeah. Absolutely. Those are awesome. Okay. Um, Adam or Mora, 

[00:22:20] Maura McDonald: I’ll go, um, I wrote, you know, but I always say no one cares.

[00:22:24] I wrote that too. That was my number, number three. Um, I also feel like [00:22:30] it’s not the whole story, you know? Mm-Hmm. It’s just a part of my story, so it it, and I feel like people think it’s your whole story, you know, it’s not, and, um, yeah, there, ’cause I have a lot of guilt about things in my life, you know, so it, it, there’s that shame I guess, you know, kind of feeling.

[00:22:46] And, um, you know, a lot of times it’s just that for social, a lot of times, like when I was doing my illustrations, it was like, you know, I was giving myself an hour. Like, really? Was I gonna create something great in an hour? No. You know what I mean? So then it’s like you’re really not putting [00:23:00] out your best work.

[00:23:01] You know what I mean? And I didn’t get, I don’t get a lot of likes ’cause I’m not a big promoter of myself, you know? Yeah. Because it’s hard. But I do say on the flip side of it, I’ve learned so much about myself from doing it, so it’s worth it for sure. 

[00:23:18] diane: All right, Adam, 

[00:23:21] Adam Hansel: I think these guys copied my homework, but Okay.

[00:23:24] Um, I think we’re gonna say the same thing. Uh, I feel like I’m bragging. I think that was a good place to start it from. Um, I feel like [00:23:30] I’ve not accomplished enough. I tell my story and it’s like, other people have bigger stories than mine, so why is mine so important? Um, I feel like other people’s can tell their story better than I can tell mine.

[00:23:41] They’re more exciting, they’re more interesting. I’d rather hear it from somebody else than hear my own. Um, I don’t feel necessarily feel successful. That kind of is the same one, the, the second one, and I get lost in storytelling. I, I end up talking about myself and end up on a tangent someplace else, talking about something that happened 10 years ago [00:24:00] while trying to tell somebody a simple story.

[00:24:02] I just lose track. And don’t really lose track because, you know, like, like, like Maura said, it’s, it’s a big story, right? I mean, it’s 30 years of my life doing this. 

[00:24:11] Maura McDonald: That’s right. So, 

[00:24:12] Adam Hansel: um, and then I’d rather not talk about myself because if I don’t tell people about myself, they don’t have anything to criticize.

[00:24:19] diane: Yeah. The judgment is real with other people. Yeah. I totally, I really, here’s, I’m gonna just read what I wrote too. I said I feel like [00:24:30] I’m bragging. I really like that I said I feel like I’m self-involved, that no one cares the who does she think she is? Like, that’s like what I think about the mean girls in high school, that they’ll be like, who does she think she, you know, gosh, put your, you know, whatever.

[00:24:48] And then I said, just because I’m uncomfortable. Um, I also think, well, what if I tell them wrong? What if I tell them, or, um, give them [00:25:00] advice and it’s wrong? Like, that holds me back sometimes. I also sometimes am like, well, I’m not ready. Um, when will you be ready, Diane? And then, um, my way of doing it might not be the same as someone else.

[00:25:15] And then it’s that judgment like, oh, you, but that’s 

[00:25:18] Maura McDonald: what they’re, you know, hiring you to do your way, you know? That’s right. 

[00:25:21] diane: That’s right. And I feel like there’s some things that I’m confident in that I can be like, I can tell you how to do this. I could talk about it, but I’m not [00:25:30] sure. I don’t enjoy it. So, for me, the founder story, is it, I don’t wanna talk about myself, but what happens is that the thing that I want to grow doesn’t grow.

[00:25:41] ’cause it’s not getting any sunlight. I’ve, I have this thing where I’m, um, did you know that you can cut, like romaine lettuce? We buy romaine lettuce mostly. I like other kinds, but John really just likes Romaine. So we get the romaine lettuce, the head, and so it still has, you [00:26:00] know, it’s not just individual leaves and you can cut off the bottom.

[00:26:04] We don’t eat the stuff right at the end. We don’t eat all the way to the nub. You can cut off the bottom and then peel some and then cut, cut off a little bit of that bottom edge and you can stick that in water and it’ll make a new plant. Did you know that? Oh 

[00:26:17] Maura McDonald: no, I didn’t know 

[00:26:18] diane: that. You don’t really have to buy too many pieces of Romaine because you can just grow your own, right?

[00:26:24] Well, you, if you get a pack of them at the grocery store, there’s three in a pack. I don’t know how it is in Denmark, but I know how it is [00:26:30] in Iowa. So, so, but you, but really, so we leave them in, I use the tide, you know the thing, you pull off the plastic thing that you put your tide in and then you pour it into your laundry.

[00:26:45] I mean, maybe all of y’all are doing the little pods now, but I still use the liquid. We just use those little cups and I stick ’em and they’re clear. I stick ’em in the windowsill and I have all these romaine lettuces going and all they need is sunlight and water. [00:27:00] And I’m like, what could I grow? You’ve gotta try it.

[00:27:03] What could I grow with? Just sunlight and water, but how am I not. Um, like even with the podcast, how am I not sharing? Somebody asked me, well, how many people did you tell about your podcast at Creative South? I was like, maybe two. Like, I just don’t, I just don’t do it. It’s just, and I think part of it is I need to get over myself because I think it can help other people.

[00:27:29] But [00:27:30] this is where it’s not necessarily about me. Maybe I need to tell a value story or I need to do something. But the reason why I started the podcast was because I got rejected from my alma mater. They didn’t even give me an interview, didn’t give even, give me a online interview. Nothing. Like, I was not even good enough to even get a letter.

[00:27:51] You’re, we’ve already filled the position. Like, I had to call them and ask them. 

[00:27:55] Maura McDonald: Wow. 

[00:27:55] diane: And, and to me, that is a super shameful, but what I [00:28:00] did was, I said, you know what? I’m not gonna be in my own bubble anymore. I’m going to, um, I’m gonna get better. I’m not gonna be bitter. I love my alma mater, I love my professors, but I’m gonna get better.

[00:28:12] I’m gonna be somebody who they’re proud of. And so, but if I’m not willing to tell people or to promote or to do whatever, even if it is just an hour, that you could do that in an hour, but then that you recognize I’ve done a hundred days or 300 days of this, [00:28:30] now I need to spend more time. What can I do with more time?

[00:28:33] You know? And I, I, I think it’s. When it’s something uncomfortable, just like running, I know, Maura, you’re a runner. When you started running, you’re like 

[00:28:44] Maura McDonald: started walking, right, 

[00:28:45] diane: right, right. But it wasn’t like you went and you, you’re just going, or you’re only gonna do it for a week and then maybe you’ll be able to run, you know, 15 miles.

[00:28:55] No, you know, you’re gonna have to build up to this. And I think we have to practice our [00:29:00] stories. It doesn’t need to be a script, but it can have like, so that we don’t go off on a tangent, which is totally what I do all the time, Adam. ’cause I know you’ve watched the show enough to know, but like in that the, if you have sort of a framework of what your story is, what the good part, what the, the ugly, yucky part is, but that the ugly, yucky part is the part that connects people.

[00:29:25] Um, you can understand maybe that I didn’t get a job that I wanted [00:29:30] and that I felt ashamed, but I also wanted to get better and I didn’t want, um, I knew that I could be better, so I decided to change how I was learning and I started to really focus on getting better as a designer and learning those things.

[00:29:46] So, um, all right. So we’re gonna flip it. So this one, I’ll give you a whole five minutes. So what you’re gonna do is why we numbered those and maybe we’ll talk about one or two of them before, before we get [00:30:00] started, um, is there a number that you can think of? That you could tell me what it says that you could flip it.

[00:30:09] Um, like what I mean is you’re gonna flip that excuse like the, um, I’m not ready. Let’s say, could you help me flip that? Like how would you 

[00:30:22] Maura McDonald: frame it? Uh, 

[00:30:23] diane: yeah, how would you tell me? Like, so you would say, if I said, oh, Maura, I just don’t feel like I’m [00:30:30] ready. What would you tell me? 

[00:30:32] Maura McDonald: I’m like, are you kidding me?

[00:30:33] You do so much in the creative community, 

[00:30:36] diane: but, but then you are proving it to me and you’re reminding me of things. ’cause you know me, you’ve known me the longest. Right. I mean, we’ve known each other a long time. Yeah. Um, but sometimes created out 

[00:30:49] Maura McDonald: really. Yeah. 

[00:30:49] diane: Yeah. Absolutely. So, so you would say, Hey Diane, really, can you tell me how long you’ve been doing this?

[00:30:58] What would make you feel ready? [00:31:00] Right. Like, well, um, you know, maybe that, that’s just the imposter syndrome that I’m heading up. Maybe I’m ready. I’m not ready to be the guru. Right. When will you be ready? Exactly. And that’s another flip. We’re never ready. We’re, we’ll never feel ready. Did you feel ready to be a mom?

[00:31:21] Maura McDonald: No, I hadn’t, didn’t know what it was. Well, I mean, I wanted to be a mom since I was a little girl and I was gonna do it different than my mom. You know, I was a very adamant kid like that. [00:31:30] But, um, so I mean, I was ready in that sense, but I didn’t know what I was doing. Yeah. I didn’t have, I was a third child.

[00:31:36] I didn’t have like babies, right. My brother is 13 months younger than me. I don’t, you know, like we were both babies, 

[00:31:43] diane: but you, you figured it out. And I, but I feel like some people are like, well, I’ll, oh yeah, it’s 

[00:31:48] Maura McDonald: right. But I, but I, right. It’s, that’s something I feel like as a person, if, if, if you want children, you’ll figure it out.

[00:31:55] You know what I mean? 

[00:31:56] diane: But that’s the same way with us, with our businesses. If or [00:32:00] fine art, if we’re trying to, whatever it is that it is, if we really want it, we will figure it out. But if we don’t ever tell anybody about, I mean, this isn’t necessarily self promotion. You don’t 

[00:32:11] Maura McDonald: ask, you don’t get, you don’t ever get a Yes.

[00:32:13] Right. Yeah. 

[00:32:14] diane: And you’ve gotta get a lot of nos before you get For sure. It’ll be a no if you never ask. Right, 

[00:32:20] Maura McDonald: right. So it’s a no before you ask. So. 

[00:32:22] diane: Exactly. So it doesn’t hurt to ask. So is there another, is Maura, do you have one on your list that you’re like, I do not know how I’m gonna [00:32:30] flip this? 

[00:32:31] Maura McDonald: I’m, I’m thinking more of a personal thing, but like, I used to my, I have a terrible father.

[00:32:36] I mean, he wasn’t a terrible man, like, mean or anything, but he just was absent, you know? Hmm. And then he died when he was 55. So it’s like, I kind of was like, oh, good now you can’t hurt me anymore. You know, like, this is a man that never told me he loved me. Hmm. So I, I carried that with me for a long time and I had to flip that.

[00:32:53] And I, and when I flipped it, I realized like, oh my God, I had a great grandfather and that’s who I spent more [00:33:00] time with than anybody. I. And then I realized, you know, my kid, my children don’t have grandfathers, they’ve not known grandfather. Mm-Hmm. They’ve had grandmothers, but they haven’t known grandfathers.

[00:33:11] And I thought, but they have a great dad. And that’s how I kind of flipped it in my head now, like reframed it. Totally. Like you get one or the other, you don’t get both, you know? 

[00:33:20] diane: Yeah. That’s a great way to flip it. I love that. But sometimes you do have to think, oh, nope. It’s not that I had a bad dad, it’s that I had an [00:33:30] awesome grandfather.

[00:33:31] Maura McDonald: Right, right. 

[00:33:32] diane: Exactly. Yep. Adam, do you have anything on your list that you’re like, mm, I’m gonna flip this? 

[00:33:39] Maura McDonald: Hmm. 

[00:33:40] Adam Hansel: N no, I, I think most of ’em I’ve already attacked myself on. I mean, all those, the, the kind of negative talk I, you know, I sit in front of a mirror and kind of talk to myself and just say, you know, that’s not true.

[00:33:53] Maura McDonald: Okay, good. And you 

[00:33:54] Adam Hansel: know, number two was like, you know, I feel like I’ve not accomplished enough and then I just sit back and I list the things that I’ve done. 

[00:33:59] Maura McDonald: [00:34:00] Mm-Hmm. 

[00:34:00] Adam Hansel: And I say, okay. But I mean, that is relatively amazing. And I know that when I tell others, I get that feedback from them and it’s like, okay, but I don’t feel that way.

[00:34:10] I hear what you’re saying. But for some reason it doesn’t resonate inside of me enough for me to believe it, but I know it’s true because I know that I’ve worked really, really, really hard to do the things that I’ve done and to learn the things that I’ve learned and take the steps that I’ve taken. Um, but are 

[00:34:29] Maura McDonald: you [00:34:30] where you want to be?

[00:34:31] Know what I like. I don’t wanna be, you know, VP of design. That’s never been a goal of mine. You know what I mean? So I, I always say like, you, you’re either a maker, you know, like, what I wanna do, I wanna make things, or you’re more of like a, a manager, you know, like, so, I mean, you have to, I think when you come to terms with that, it makes you not feel so bad.

[00:34:53] You know what I mean? 

[00:34:56] Adam Hansel: I don’t know. I, I think I’ve kind of reborn myself [00:35:00] a dozen times now already in this life. It’s like, okay, that was really interesting. I did it. Now let me go to the next thing. And yeah, 

[00:35:10] diane: I don’t know. Maybe you’re a reinventor. Yeah. Maybe you could help people reinvent themselves or be okay with, um, figuring out, but if that’s something that you, or people who are pivoting, you know what I mean?

[00:35:25] Because you’ve been able, I, anyway, that sounds like a really good, [00:35:30] the rest of the story. 

[00:35:31] Maura McDonald: Yeah. I’m sorry. I started mentoring and it’s been amazing for my self-esteem. I’ll tell you what, because I enjoy doing it. It’s very easy for me to talk about, and I get these reviews of people telling me how great I am, that I, of things that I never thought I was good at.

[00:35:48] Mm. So it’s like, you get, and I, I find in my career, I don’t get a lot of feedback. In corporate world. They don’t give a lot of feedback. It’s just like, make that edit, you [00:36:00] know? So that’s where I feel like I’ve gained the most about who I am as a designer is from what other people have told me. Yeah. 

[00:36:11] diane: Yeah.

[00:36:13] Janine, did you have anything on your list that you think is gonna be hard to refl? 

[00:36:20] Jeannine Curtis: Well, the people pleasing, you know, I put that, but I thought, well, what’s wrong with people pleasing? I’m kind, I, I I, people like to be [00:36:30] pleased. Mm-Hmm. Unless I’m just like really down on myself about it. I mean, we’re meant to serve in a way.

[00:36:43] Do I want everybody not to be pleased with what I’m doing? No. But also this makes me anxious. And I put, I hate that feeling, but I remember somebody telling me that’s excitement. Mm-Hmm. So gay [00:37:00] Hendricks, remember, this isn’t just a negative thing that I’ve got a conquer. It’s energy. It’s Mm-Hmm. 

[00:37:07] diane: Excitement.

[00:37:09] Gay Hendricks says that in our body, excitement and, um, the anxiety or, or fear, um, yeah. That ner it’s like, I always think about the first time I rode a roller rollercoaster. Do y’all remember the first time you rode a rollercoaster? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I was like. [00:37:30] Probably 14 or 15 because I finally was tall enough to get on the freaking ride because I’m really short.

[00:37:37] So I go and I am like, Ooh, it was the Scream machine in Atlanta. And I was pretty nervous. I mean, because then you’re like, oh my God, am I tall enough? Really? I don’t wanna scoot, you know, scoot through the thing and be up, end up in the, in the air way. Right? But I thought it would be, I, I think about in [00:38:00] what I end up doing and why I don’t tell my founder story or don’t tell, I don’t self-promote, is I just keep having someone else go in line in front of me.

[00:38:10] The anxiety is actually getting worse ’cause it’s building. Um, and I’m just letting other people go ahead of me. But Gay Hendrix talks about that, the, in, um, the big leap, I think, um, I’ve read three of his books, but he talks about, it’s the excitement and fear I think are the same, uh, [00:38:30] uh, same feeling in your body.

[00:38:33] But one, you breathe through your breathing and one you hold your breath, you hold your breath when you are in fear or anxiety. God, I do that a lot. So it’s really important. Literally just breathe and say, no, I’m excited. So I like the things that Adam was saying. He is like, I’m in the mirror telling myself, Nope, you are.

[00:38:54] You have done this, this, this, and this, and you’ve done this, this, this is a lot. [00:39:00] This is accomplishment. I want to do more. I want to, and that’s good. But I have done a lot already. Right? 

[00:39:07] Maura McDonald: Yeah. Like I have to tell myself, I’ve been hired by big companies, like, you know, like the IBM wouldn’t have not hired me if I was a terrible designer.

[00:39:16] And you worked for them for tons of years. Yeah. So it’s like, yeah, you have to. And ’cause I, I, I mean, going through menopause has been hard with the self, you know, bad talk. And I’ve had to tell myself logically I know it’s not true, [00:39:30] you know? Right, 

[00:39:31] diane: right. I think that’s important. Well, so, and I’m, I’m kind of with you on the, I haven’t, um, I think that we’re told not to people plea like that.

[00:39:41] That’s not, but I also am like, well, I think we’re supposed to serve people. So, I’m with you, Janine, a little bit. I ha I have a whole, I have a sheet of paper over there I was writing on earlier. It was about people pleasing. And so maybe I’ll do a, a whole talk on that later in the summer or something, but it’s on my desk.[00:40:00] 

[00:40:00] So in for right now, maybe this one can just be another three minute. Um, so what I want you to do is kind of like what Adam was saying he was having to do in the mirror. And if you’ve already done this, maybe pick, I said maybe just pick, uh, one or two. Um, but again, why we numbered them was you can start with whatever number you want.

[00:40:20] What I would love for you to do is pick the one, pick one that’s easy, and do that one. Write out what the flip is and pick another one that is not hard, [00:40:30] is not easy, and try to write out what the flip is for that. Um, so if, uh, a lot of us had the bragging kind of down, if we were gonna flip that, let’s just do this one together, what would we, how would you, if I said, uh, if Maura said, well, I feel like, excuse me, I’m bragging.

[00:40:52] What would you say to Maura? How else would we know that about you? How else do we know that [00:41:00] you are awesome at patterns? Or how else do we know that you create these artworks for show homes? Or how else do we know? How else do I know what you’re good at so that I can hire you to do these things? How else do I know that you’re a mentor?

[00:41:18] I wouldn’t know 

[00:41:21] Maura McDonald: exactly. Yeah, if I hadn’t never said anything. Yeah. 

[00:41:25] Jeannine Curtis: Like if we, I’m always looking for a handyman, so if we, [00:41:30] if I thought I’m going to interview three people and decide which one’s best, if they come over and say, you know, I’m really not that 

[00:41:38] Maura McDonald: great 

[00:41:41] Jeannine Curtis: and I don’t really wanna do this that much, and dah, if they were down clean everything, but if one brought their portfolio and showed their best work, it’s like, it would give me important information about them.

[00:41:58] That’s so true. [00:42:00] 

[00:42:00] diane: Absolutely. How would you flip it, Adam? 

[00:42:05] Adam Hansel: I think it’s kind of been said. I mean, you know, there are certain truths or truths, right? Mm-Hmm. I mean, solving a math equation is not bragging. Yeah. You know, one, yeah. One plus one is two. Uh, I didn’t brag by saying that. Um, I don’t think so. One plus one is three.

[00:42:20] Maybe I am bragging by saying that, you know, I know math so well that one plus one is three. So 

[00:42:26] Maura McDonald: no, if you became like 

[00:42:27] diane: a really 

[00:42:27] Maura McDonald: hard one, I’d be very impressed. [00:42:30] 

[00:42:30] diane: But, but like even, um, Maura, you. We’re talking about being a mentor and how that’s really changed how you look at yourself, but you are just doing, you’re just looking at people and helping them on the, that journey.

[00:42:47] You didn’t even think it was a thing. 

[00:42:49] Maura McDonald: I didn’t see myself as a teacher ever. Right. You know, I’ve always, like, I don’t have the patience for that. I, I, and I just never had like a calling for that at [00:43:00] all, you know? And so like the mentorship thing happened right when the pandemic happened and I wanted to get comfortable on camera because, and you did in the tech world, people don’t get on camera.

[00:43:11] And so I was like, this would help me if I did something regularly, you know, like twice a week or something that would help me be to get comfortable with it. And it has. It totally did. Yeah. 

[00:43:23] diane: Yeah. I love that. Okay. Do you wanna do this for a minute then? Do you wanna just [00:43:30] try? How about a minute and a half?

[00:43:31] Maura McDonald: Okay. 

[00:43:32] diane: Okay. A minute and a half. Pick two. A hard one and an easy one. Not an hour and a half. That would be a really long session. Okay. Go.[00:44:00] [00:44:30] 

[00:44:49] 10 seconds.[00:45:00] 

[00:45:00] Adam, you’re gonna go first this time, so you can’t say They said all my things. They said all of my things. 

[00:45:07] Adam Hansel: So, uh, so I had one that I said that I feel like, uh, other people’s, other people can tell their stories better than mine. That they’re more, that their stories are more interesting. And the thing that I wrote on this is that no one’s story is like mine.

[00:45:22] Maura McDonald: Yeah. 

[00:45:22] Adam Hansel: Nobody will tell exactly the same story as the one I’m gonna tell. The probability of that is almost [00:45:30] none. Maybe there’s a doppelganger out there that I haven’t met yet, but I hope not for his or her own sake. That, um, and then the other one about feeling like people will come back criticizing me when I tell the story.

[00:45:45] The odds of that are so low of getting a critical response to a story. And even if I do, how much would that really hurt me? And could I take that criticism as real as something to learn from? Would there [00:46:00] be that opportunity of doing that where I would never get that opportunity if I don’t tell people?

[00:46:04] Yeah. 

[00:46:06] diane: Those are so good, Adam. Yeah. Alright, Janine, you tell us before you have to go do the, do this one. Do. 

[00:46:13] Jeannine Curtis: Okay. I did that thing about, um, I might go off on a tangent. 

[00:46:18] Maura McDonald: Mm-Hmm. And 

[00:46:19] Jeannine Curtis: then so my flip, I went off on a tangent. It’s like, oh, okay. The tangents are the details. 

[00:46:28] Maura McDonald: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:46:28] Jeannine Curtis: And so [00:46:30] like, just to give a general story, like, okay, here’s my name, kind of like our opening thing.

[00:46:37] Here’s my name, here’s where I live, here’s the kind of painting I do. Okay. That’s okay at first. But it’s like, it’s those tangents that really, that’s when I know for me, that’s when I’m really listening to what somebody’s saying. That’s the [00:47:00] real interest. So I guess it’s like permission to go off on a tangent.

[00:47:05] It’s 

[00:47:05] diane: like the spices that you add to the meal, if you don’t add any spices, it’s gonna be really bland and you’re spicy 

[00:47:17] Jeannine Curtis: and they’re not usually the, uh, premeditated, right. Like, oh, that just happened. I don’t even know what, you know, what took me off on that. So it’s a more natural [00:47:30] from the gut. Yeah. 

[00:47:32] diane: Which is what you’re interested in painting anyway.

[00:47:35] It is that intuitive part. Yeah. 

[00:47:37] Jeannine Curtis: Yeah. 

[00:47:38] diane: Okay. Maura, how about you? 

[00:47:41] Maura McDonald: I kind of went with like, you know, you’re just not good enough, you know, or you don’t give it enough time, because I get myself on that a lot and um, and I kind of went back with like, flipped it with like, well just start reflecting more, you know, like, and start to journal more and connect more.

[00:47:58] Just kind of [00:48:00] don’t be so private, you know? 

[00:48:04] diane: Yeah, yeah. ’cause if you were mentoring someone and they were like, well, I don’t wanna show you my work, I’m just gonna tell you about it. You’re like, I can’t, I can’t Exactly. I can’t give you any, I can’t help. 

[00:48:17] Maura McDonald: I’ve learned they’re doing mentorship that I’m not good at building websites.

[00:48:21] It’s not my forte, but I’m very good at critiquing their portfolio websites. ’cause I’ve seen so many of them, you know, between being at Red [00:48:30] Hat where we, we hire production designers and we’d get thousands of people for it, and I’d have to review thousands of portfolios. So it’s like, I, I know what to look for though.

[00:48:39] I can’t do it myself. Yeah, 

[00:48:41] diane: yeah, for sure. I wrote being uncomfortable and I flipped it and said, I feel like I’m Adam in the mirror. I really like that. I, I have a, I have a whole bunch of post-Its on my mirror. My husband’s like, oh my gosh. Are you even able to see around all those post-Its, um, being [00:49:00] uncomfortable is not something to avoid.

[00:49:02] It means you’re living and you’re trying. And then when I said I might tell them wrong. Well, if I tell, I, I know it’s not might, I’m, I’m sure I will tell somebody wrong, something wrong, it just happens. Things change so much. Um, then I’ll look it up. I’ll fix it. Um, or say, Hey, I’m human and I make mistakes too.

[00:49:25] I’m not a, you know, a robot and I think it’s okay. Like, I need to [00:49:30] give myself permission for it to be okay. Okay, so here, here is, so we played devil’s advocate. All right, so how many I want you to answer just in general really quickly. This’ll be your one plus one is three. Adam, um, how many teachers have you had in your life, do you think?

[00:49:52] Maura McDonald: Hmm, 

[00:49:55] diane: 75. 75. Okay. I think, I mean a lot. [00:50:00] I’ve had a lot. Anybody have another number? I say 

[00:50:03] Maura McDonald: a hundred. I mean, between not just teachers that taught me in school, but like even just mentors that I’ve had. 

[00:50:08] diane: That’s right. They’re a teacher, right? 

[00:50:10] Maura McDonald: Yeah. 

[00:50:11] diane: Okay. Okay. So, um, that was number three on our sheet. You can write a number down.

[00:50:16] Um, how, now I want you to think about a specific area. Number four says, how many people have you learned. From specifically in one area. So I, I said like, landscape painting, do [00:50:30] you go to only one teacher and you, or do you learn from many? Or, I said like, typography. Do you learn from one book? Because I even think a book is a teacher.

[00:50:39] Um, I mean, it’s usually one person or a team of people. Um, did you learn from one book or one teacher, or did you learn from many? So, pick a subject and list as many people you remember learning from. And it, it can be a subject that you’re trying to learn now or that you’re, you’ve [00:51:00] already feel like you’ve learned a lot in.

[00:51:02] So go write that down. Um, I’m gonna do just a minute and a half again. Uh, we might, it might be a minute.

[00:51:14] Do you know what topic you’re gonna do? Mm-Hmm. You, you could do pattern, um, design more at, okay.[00:51:30] [00:52:00] 

[00:52:13] Okay, Janine, I’m gonna go with you first. What did, what topic did you choose? Functional art. Okay. How many people just count the number of people? How many people did you, 

[00:52:25] Jeannine Curtis: so probably I haven’t, maybe five people. [00:52:30] Okay. 

[00:52:31] diane: Okay. 

[00:52:31] Jeannine Curtis: Yeah. 

[00:52:32] diane: All right. Um, Adam, how about you? 

[00:52:36] Adam Hansel: I have kind of two different ones on this. So if I think about drawing, it’s quite limited.

[00:52:41] I mean, I’ve always been quite focused that fine art was something that I was in self-discovery with. 

[00:52:47] Maura McDonald: Mm-Hmm. 

[00:52:48] Adam Hansel: Learning how other people did their thing wasn’t ever so much of my interest. Um, even technically it hasn’t ever really been in my interest. So that’s been extremely limited. Uh, but then if I think about like [00:53:00] logo design, I think it’s almost infinite be, I mean, ’cause just looking out on the infinite web that there is and learning from every identity that I’ve looked at and read about why people did what they did and so on and so on.

[00:53:16] I think it’s quite a different experience. 

[00:53:19] diane: Uh, so I like that about the two different sides of that, the experimental. But have you, in, um, drawing, do you think you’ve only since it’s self ex, [00:53:30] do you feel like you’ve only used one medium? 

[00:53:33] Adam Hansel: Almost? 

[00:53:34] diane: Yeah. Okay. 

[00:53:35] Adam Hansel: I mean, I had very, a very limited palette when it comes to drawing.

[00:53:39] diane: Okay, cool. It’s either been 

[00:53:39] Adam Hansel: charcoal or pencil or pastels. Okay, cool. So yes. 

[00:53:45] diane: All right. Maura, how about you? 

[00:53:46] Maura McDonald: All right, so I’m gonna use pattern design. Okay. And, um, I’ve, I had never been a pattern designer and I was getting into a lot ’cause of Diane I think. And um, I signed up for a bunch of like four different [00:54:00] like pattern design making classes that were like, try this free, you know, and from that I kind of just.

[00:54:07] Um, went, found who I resonated with most, you know, who I liked their style the most, and, and signed up for one of their courses. And then, um, it really talked about how much looser that type of work is than what I’ve been doing. And so like, I was like, all right, how do I get loose? And I, that’s when I started painting again.

[00:54:26] ’cause I used to paint a long time ago. And, and so I started [00:54:30] painting and I realized how much looser I am with painting. ’cause you have to be. And that’s helped me with my pattern making. ’cause I can loosely paint like a pattern of something and then all of a sudden I’m like, oh, that’s a great idea to bring into the computer and create a pattern.

[00:54:46] diane: I love that. So one thing I love that you said, Maura, was I, I learned from a lot of people and then I found, okay, it’s been awesome to have heard. Um, that was [00:55:00] you, you said? Um, I found a lot of people and then I found who I resonated the most with. So if you’re so in, um, say you’re trying to do pattern design and you’re trying to sell, license your work to someone else, and Adam’s making logos and he’s trying to find clients, everybody’s not gonna come to Adam and everybody’s not gonna come to you, Maura, but they’re going to find that [00:55:30] the certain people are gonna be able to find.

[00:55:33] Um, you because of how you resonate, and if you don’t ever tell your story, then how can they resonate with you? Yeah. I find 

[00:55:41] Maura McDonald: a lot of my career, everything’s been a connection of some sort. Hmm. Like, it’s not just random me sending out like a resume on a job portal, you know what I mean? Like, it’s always been, there’s always been some kind of connection whether I created that connection or it’s something outside of me created that connection.

[00:55:58] diane: Yeah. [00:56:00] Yeah. Okay. So, um, the number five on the sheet was, how many different ways can you explain what you do? So if you’re, if you think about the, um, I feel like though, Adam, as you’ve pivoted and you’ve done lots of reinvention, um, as for Maura, you’ve also done reinvention as well. So where, whichever part of you that [00:56:30] you are trying to work in currently, how many different ways could you explain?

[00:56:37] So I always use the example of you’re standing in the fix it, you know, line at the fix it place. You know, like we have low’s. I don’t know what have over there. Uh. In Denmark, but like, you know, a home improvement store where there’s lumber and screws and paint and whatever. Right, right. Yeah. And it’s just, it’s just a [00:57:00] rando person.

[00:57:01] You have no idea what they do and, but you start a conversation. But then there’s other people who you met at some, maybe it was at a business networking event or it was at, um, something else that was more in line business wise. So you have a little bit more, but when you’re just saying, here’s what I do, because you’re trying to just make a connection in kind of a [00:57:30] general way with somebody who’s at the home improvement store, but maybe you’re doing more, um, specific when you’re with other creatives or more specific in how you work when you’re with other people.

[00:57:49] So, um, like in a network business networking or something. So the, the story she tells in this is how that, um, Brian Chesky, who is [00:58:00] one of the founders of Airbnb, he. What he failed. I really don’t know how the guy kept going to be honest. Like, no one had heard of this. Everyone thought this was a terrible idea.

[00:58:12] He is like, you’re gonna bring people in your homes. Oh, that’s not safe. You know, like, it does seem crazy. Yeah, it does. But it is worldwide. But he didn’t give up because he saw pe it, it solved a problem for other people. Right. They wanted to go to [00:58:30] this conference. They needed a pla, all they needed was a safe place to, to stay.

[00:58:36] And he did that and he gave them fake Cheerio or whatever. Right. Um, but he, he proved that it was, that people would do this. And maybe it was a younger audience, you know? And now it’s not just a younger audience, it’s everybody. But, 

[00:58:55] Maura McDonald: well, like in Europe, they have hostels. I did that. I traveled for three months in Europe after [00:59:00] college, and we stayed in hostels, which are similar in a sense, you know?

[00:59:04] diane: Yeah. ’cause you’re sharing a room with other people 

[00:59:06] Maura McDonald: you don’t know, right. That you don’t know. Yeah. Or, or sleeping on a train with a bunch of people 

[00:59:10] diane: you don’t know. Yeah. Right. But I, but I think that it wasn’t, it was like, our homes are very private and people could take things or people would take advantage.

[00:59:22] And not that that doesn’t ever happen. I’m sure. And you’re not 

[00:59:25] Maura McDonald: there. Right, 

[00:59:26] diane: right, right. But, um, [00:59:30] I think sometimes. And they say, um, in the book, they talk about one of his, one of the investors, they said the first time they heard his story, they thought he was crazy and he heard that over and over. So is there’s that also like I’m not giving up even though I, it’s crazy.

[00:59:49] That means I’m not explaining it in a way that they’re understanding. And that’s why I think it’s important to be able to use other kind of analogies or other situations to explain [01:00:00] what you do. So maybe we don’t have enough time to do that today, but I do think that that is important. But the other thing is just don’t give up.

[01:00:09] Um Right. 

[01:00:10] Maura McDonald: Which I think some people can are better at that, you know what I mean? Of not giving up. 

[01:00:16] diane: But he proved that he, that people would come and stay in stranger’s house ’cause he did it. 

[01:00:23] Maura McDonald: Yeah. 

[01:00:23] diane: Right. So as soon as they heard the story, most people were, were able to be [01:00:30] flipped. 

[01:00:30] Adam Hansel: Um, but it’s a very empathetic sensibility.

[01:00:33] Mm-Hmm. You know, that idea of inviting somebody into your home, because I think most of us wish that would happen to us, that if we were out and lost and had no place to stay, that somebody would say, Hey, come, you know, here’s a bed. Just come and stay. And I think that often we, we disguise that empathy and we tend to call it negativity.

[01:00:54] Mm-Hmm. Especially in a business sensibility. Oh, that’s extremely naive to believe that people, you could just open your home to people. [01:01:00] I think that maybe we shouldn’t do that. 

[01:01:03] Maura McDonald: Yeah. Because 

[01:01:03] Adam Hansel: we need a bit more negativity. 

[01:01:06] Maura McDonald: Mm-Hmm. And empathy. Right. Little more passion. Yeah. 

[01:01:11] diane: And Donald Miller talks about, so in StoryBrand there’s like an empathy statement and an authority statement.

[01:01:18] And the empathy statement is like, Hey, I understand because I’m also a, I’m also a blank. Like you. Right. Maybe it’s an entrepreneur, maybe you’re a dad. Maybe it’s a, a, you’re [01:01:30] a business owner, you’re a truck driver. I don’t know what people are. You know that there, but it, you are this person that has also overcome something.

[01:01:42] I get it. I’m there. I’ve done it. I’ve done 

[01:01:45] Maura McDonald: harder things. Yeah. Right, 

[01:01:46] diane: right. I’ve done it too. But I always think, like when I’m trying to sell a website, not that I don’t ever feel like I’m like, got my briefcase going to sell a website. You know, I don’t feel like that I’m 

[01:01:58] Maura McDonald: a writer. Right. I’m just 

[01:01:59] diane: [01:02:00] telling, like, it doesn’t matter to me if they don’t go with me.

[01:02:02] More than likely someone will build them a website. But I’m gonna tell them what I, what I’m gonna do to help them and, ’cause I just know there’ll be something else. You know, someone else. And 

[01:02:18] Maura McDonald: another door opens. Exactly. 

[01:02:20] diane: Exactly. So I do think it’s important to be able to explain what you do, and they don’t, she doesn’t talk about that in the book, but can you imagine how many [01:02:30] times he had to explain, I mean, they went years and no investors and they were just trying to do this, and they went in tons of personal that him and his design brand partner, I don’t know the other guy’s name.

[01:02:43] Um, but I said start with two different personas. Are there any that, I mean, have you had to explain what you do of that specific thing? Like, I think about, okay, if we’re just talking about web design, that is where [01:03:00] I would say I focus most of my, um, energy and it’s where I make probably the most money. Um, and I really enjoy doing it.

[01:03:08] But I mean, I also like to do the patterns, but if I’m talking to people about webs, they don’t care about my patterns really. You know? Right. So if I’m doing that, I was talking to John yesterday, my husband, he said, well, are you gonna say you, you built my website. I was the first person you built a website for.

[01:03:25] And I was like, oh gosh. You know, I do not wanna, I mean that [01:03:30] it’s, it is still up. It is H Oh wow. Basic all with tables. I built it in 2005. I mean, it’s a long lot of years, but that’s the beauty of not having to update all plugins or anything. ’cause it was all CSS and HTML. 

[01:03:45] Maura McDonald: Right? It was all that. But he’s 

[01:03:47] diane: like, I’m the reason you did it.

[01:03:49] I was like, I did not wanna do web design. That’s true. Actually, I did not because it was not fun and it was, don’t like it. 

[01:03:56] Maura McDonald: I feel like I don’t have control. Like that’s my problem with it. 

[01:03:59] diane: So to [01:04:00] me, there’s a ton, because I’ve went through all the, the, the good parts and bad parts of web design. It’s like, it’s fun for me because it’s solving problems and it’s, it’s bigger than just, I mean, my husband is not an ideal client, you know, he’s like, I want 8,000 photos on my web.

[01:04:19] And I’m like, you can’t have 8,000 photos. You have to nip it down. And he’s like, no. And I’m like, that’s why we’re not redesigning your site. ’cause you won’t ever nip it down buddy. [01:04:30] 

[01:04:30] Maura McDonald: Reign it in. 

[01:04:32] diane: Yeah. So we just keep the HTML side. Yes. Um, but can you think of any, can you think of a situation where you’re.

[01:04:43] Maura McDonald: I can say like, but for me, I, when I’m keep thinking when you’re saying this, is that, like, if I have to dis, a lot of people ask me what’s the difference between a graphic designer and a visual designer? I’m like, nothing really. Nothing. It’s just one company uses that term and another company uses the other.

[01:04:56] You know, like people think there’s a difference. And I’m like, there’s not, [01:05:00] I’ve been called both, you know? And so I always say, and really as a, as a visual designer, we’re communicating copy, we are giving visuals to copy. Yep. That’s the basics of it. You know, we’re, people learn through pictures better than words.

[01:05:16] And so we’re assisting that copy with imagery for people to understand. 

[01:05:21] diane: Yeah, I love that. But you might tell that differently to someone 

[01:05:28] Maura McDonald: at lows. Well, I can tell my mother that, and she [01:05:30] will never understand it. Right? She, no, I, seriously, she’s known me my whole life. She’s 81 years old. She will, she I part of it, she doesn’t care.

[01:05:39] I, and I understand that she’s very un apathetic person, but there’s also this thing of like, you’ve been seeing me do this and what, what Don’t you read magazines, you’ve seen ads in magazines. That’s what I used. That’s where I started. You know, like I just don’t get it with her. Like, I understand you.

[01:05:56] Maybe you don’t understand what I do at IBM, but I’ve worked at other more [01:06:00] commercial type companies where you can understand that. Mm-Hmm. And she just, and she just won’t. Like, and I, so I did, I reigned it into like a, she just does not care to understand it. 

[01:06:10] diane: So, and those are not really, um, when someone’s really trying to be your customer, they’re, so they say that the founder story really closes the gap and it can humanize the, um, it can humanize the business for [01:06:30] you, sell you closing the gap gap for getting a client and you think, well, why do they care?

[01:06:37] But maybe somebody does care that I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years and that I started way back in HTM HTML and CS designer. Yes. Right. So, um, but has it changed wholly oli? Has it changed? And I have, I have loved it and hated it and I didn’t want to do it to be honest. Adam, what about you? Do you have anything that [01:07:00] you, um, like two types?

[01:07:03] I think of like if I was doing web for just web, if that was what I’m focusing on doing the founder story about web, I would might say, um, I work with artists and then I also work with interior designers or real estate photographers. Those are three, maybe different. People, but one thing that connects them all is they have to have beautiful photography.

[01:07:29] If you [01:07:30] don’t have beautiful photography, I kind of don’t wanna work with you because I love awesome photography. You know? What would it be for you? 

[01:07:41] Adam Hansel: Well, I mean, it, it can be a little different when I do like B2C work, you know, you know, business to customer work. I’m always, I always place myself as being cyrano, you know, that’s my position.

[01:07:51] My position is to create a love match between my customer and their client. 

[01:07:55] Maura McDonald: Mm-Hmm. 

[01:07:56] Adam Hansel: And that’s my job. My job is to be the middleman, to be the glue, to be that thing that [01:08:00] binds them to explain to the customer why this client is so good and so on back and forth. Right? Mm-Hmm. Create the best marriages that I, that I possibly can.

[01:08:11] Um, and for B2B work, it’s different, right. Because it’s often internalized. So it’s, my job then is to be the best listener. You know, what can I learn? Tell me your story. Let me learn who you are so that I can 

[01:08:25] Maura McDonald: Yeah. 

[01:08:25] Adam Hansel: Express that back to you as a mere, in the best way possible. [01:08:30] 

[01:08:30] Maura McDonald: Hmm. 

[01:08:30] Adam Hansel: So, but the Cyrano one is by far my favorite.

[01:08:33] Maura McDonald: I love that 

[01:08:34] Adam Hansel: because Cyrano Cyrano Decia Rock is a fantastic story that, right. A lot of people tend to know anymore, especially the younger generation, they don’t know the story. But that’s always how I felt. You know, that that big nosed ugly guy who knows how to tell Wonderful. Wonderful poems and sonnets.

[01:08:52] Mm-Hmm. But himself doesn’t get the love of his life. Right. That’s my position is to be that weird little, 

[01:08:57] Maura McDonald: okay. 

[01:08:57] diane: Yeah. 

[01:08:58] Adam Hansel: Mystic guy in the middle. 

[01:08:59] diane: [01:09:00] But that is, that’s a great role of a designer. It’s that it’s not about you, it’s about them. And you’re making it. I love that. But also in the bus, the B2B, you’re, um, you’re reflecting on them so that they can communicate with the people internally or they can communicate to another company of, of, maybe it’s not a love match, but it’s like, I am gonna be the best, best friend for your, I’m gonna help.[01:09:30] 

[01:09:30] It’s like I’m steps. I you’re gonna get further if you take my steps instead of somebody else’s steps or, yeah. I like that. It’s a great analogy. Yeah. Thank It’s awesome. I love it. Now you just, but that, if a lot of people don’t know that story now it’s your job to repeat that story. Right. I love that. I absolutely love it.

[01:09:55] Okay, so I know we’re almost out of time. Okay. [01:10:00] Well you have the sheet. Um, what if you don’t feel like, and I don’t know if either one of you feel like this, but I’ve heard people say this. What if you don’t feel like you have a story to tell or there may be parts. Um, of your story that you don’t want to share.

[01:10:16] So I thought about like a boat, um, and I didn’t get a, to get a picture, but I did a drawing on my piece of paper, a boat, and then there’s a boat in the water, a boat on a trailer. I don’t really know if I [01:10:30] have confidence on a boat, on a trailer. I actually don’t know if there’s a hole in the boat, but you put a boat on some water, it’s floating, you know?

[01:10:39] Yeah, 

[01:10:39] Maura McDonald: yeah. 

[01:10:39] diane: So there’s some trust there, but I don’t have to see everything that’s underneath. 

[01:10:44] Maura McDonald: Right. So I, I 

[01:10:45] diane: don’t know if we have to share everything, but some of those, um, dings that we can see in the boat help us to know you’ve weathered a storm. Maybe it’s a sailboat in some of this. Got through it. Yeah.

[01:10:59] [01:11:00] Yeah. You’ve had to retape you’ve had to adjust. So all these pivots, Adam, like, I just wanna know about the pivots, to be honest. Ma, same thing with you. You’ve had pivots and you’ve like, come through with amazing sails from on your ship because those storms have made you stronger. Um, did you know all these, every 

[01:11:23] Maura McDonald: experience makes you stronger, is how I view it.

[01:11:25] And so it’s just get, as you know, and like, they even say in, in the culture in the [01:11:30] us, like it’s changing from material things to experiences, you know? Yeah. And, and I think that’s gonna make people a lot more cultured and more, you know, just more. More richer, more interesting. Yes. 

[01:11:44] diane: Yeah. Richer as a person of, from the experiences.

[01:11:47] Did you know that if you have a plant, um, I know this works with tomatoes and marigolds for sure. I don’t know about other plants, so don’t take my advice on other gardening things, but if you have a plant, let’s say a marigold or a [01:12:00] tomato, did you know, do you know how best to make this plant stronger if it is just first coming out of the ground?

[01:12:07] Do either of, you know, 

[01:12:08] Maura McDonald: with, um, a, a stick and tie to it? No. 

[01:12:11] diane: No. Um, but that, that, uh, could be, I’ve done that with plants. So Adam, do you wanna guess? I have no idea. Did you know if you cut, so say there’s, um, you know, there’s like a leaf at the top or a flower at the top or something, and then [01:12:30] there’s two good leaves.

[01:12:31] Maybe there’s more leaves. If you go to, um, you, you wanna leave the good leaves, but you cut the bud off, you cut the top of the plant. Now we’re talking about a small plant. You cut it off. Now this is like painful, but I don’t wanna cut the, you know, the top of the tomato walk. Yeah. 

[01:12:52] Maura McDonald: Ilaw. 

[01:12:53] diane: But this is before it flowers, you’ll actually make the plant stronger and it will go [01:13:00] wider instead of just growing tall and leggy and yeah, that’s like 

[01:13:04] Maura McDonald: true with your bushes, your hedges and stuff too.

[01:13:06] Yeah. 

[01:13:07] diane: So you want it to get, you want to cut it so it gets wide and strong. Thicker. Yeah. And I’m like, oh, because you don’t want the tomato plant just falling over because you have to have the stick or a cage around it or something. Um, but if you feel like you don’t wanna share all the [01:13:30] parts, um, but maybe there’s a part of the struggle that you could share.

[01:13:34] ’cause it, uh, gives the empathy, but it also, um, helps them to know that you’ve weathered, weathered the storm. So here is a question. How long have you been selling X and why? I said selling. I was like, should I use that? These are all from my head. None of these are in the book. Um, but, uh, a service or a product.

[01:13:56] So how long have you been selling? What [01:14:00] would patterns or what, um, Adam logos or what, like if you had a specific thing I could say for websites since 2005. Um. That is an authority, but it’s also e it’s even if it’s just a year. You’ve, I mean, Maura, when did you, when did you sell those paintings or those, uh, illustrations to the people in, for the show homes, like, oh, the 

[01:14:29] Maura McDonald: staging, [01:14:30] um, companies.

[01:14:30] So, yeah, I guess that’s about, started about two years ago. But I really wanted to c you know, create, like an e-commerce store. I thought that’d be so cool. And I was unable to do it in like six months. I was just, I could not figure out, and I did a lot of work and just couldn’t figure it out. So then one day, one day I just went into like, all right, well, how else can I do this?

[01:14:48] And I thought, who else buys this? And then I knew that a girl that I grew up with, that I was friends with on Facebook, she would talk about how she works for a staging company. So just, I made that connection and it was funny. It was [01:15:00] like, I, I contacted her and she had just left North Carolina and moved back to, well, she’s from, I knew her from New York, but she moved to New Jersey to start up another agency there.

[01:15:09] But she put me in contact with the agency here. And then when, when, when this all happened, then my, another friend of mine’s sister owned an agency in Florida and said that it just, it just, you know, went on. But you had to 

[01:15:24] diane: share it. You had to tell them what you were doing. And because it, you had to [01:15:30] make the connection for your, but it might not be 20 years ago, it might just be two years.

[01:15:36] Right. But you’ve been drawing for more. So Adam, what would it be for you? Like, what would you say? How, how long have you been selling? ’cause you’ve been making money. Making whatever, selling X as I’ve 

[01:15:51] Adam Hansel: been, I’ve been selling identities for 30 years. 

[01:15:54] diane: Okay. 30 years. Okay. Perfect. Um, all [01:16:00] right, so then this is just, it was very 

[01:16:02] Adam Hansel: interesting what, what Maura said there.

[01:16:03] What, what she was talking about, especially when you talked about the clipping the top of a plant because just having an e-commerce store was going extremely thin. Right? It was just growing up. Mm-Hmm. That’s all it was. Mm-Hmm. Clipping the top of it and focusing something and finding an audience, you know, on that was maybe smaller.

[01:16:25] I wasn’t ready for it, is what I learned. 

[01:16:27] Maura McDonald: Yeah. Yeah. Because through doing that [01:16:30] staging work, I learned about more about printing things on large scales like that and, and how you do that. And it gave me the confidence to then figure out how to do my e-commerce store. Right. 

[01:16:41] Adam Hansel: But it’s very interesting ’cause sometimes we do just need a clip away.

[01:16:44] Right. Those, those, sometimes 

[01:16:45] Maura McDonald: it’s like you’re on this path and you just need to veer off a little and, and then you’ll come back and get back and you don’t wanna 

[01:16:50] diane: clip it because you’re like, no, I see the tomato, I see the flour. I don’t want to clip. But to make the the business [01:17:00] stronger, there has to be some sort of cutting.

[01:17:04] Hmm. Yeah. Could be something that. I can’t wait to hear what you decide to cut or focus on. Right. Um, so some of the other reasons that I think we have, I’m just gonna read these ’cause I don’t, um, I don’t wanna take you forever. I’m gonna see what else I have in my deck. I’m gonna go through this really fast.

[01:17:28] We already did the [01:17:30] teachers, um, now explain it again, but differently. We already did that. Um, so these are the four things that she talks about how the founder story can reveal. So humanize your business for your customers. Um, it helps how, helps show how you’ve overcome adversity, especially like for investors or something shows your level of commitment to the client.

[01:17:53] Um, so you’re weaving in parts of the story that have these things. So how, where was their, [01:18:00] um, I have a friend who works for a nonprofit and they’re trying to find, um, a design team or a advertising agency to work with. And one of her questions was, well, how, what has been a tough client and how did you get through that?

[01:18:19] I actually feel like if we had that as part of our story that may, you know, people wouldn’t have to ask that question or maybe people don’t even know to ask that question. But the [01:18:30] adversity thing is kind of interesting. Um, your level of commitment, how much you don’t give up, you keep going, you keep trying.

[01:18:38] Um, or you’re like, Hey, I’m gonna abandon this ’cause this is not, this isn’t working. I’ve tried, now I’m going to veer off and see what I can go, that’s the clipping and, and going wider or getting stronger. And then if you are Evo emotionally invested, is, uh, what part of your story can you [01:19:00] share that tells them that you’re emotionally invested?

[01:19:03] Um, there, I’ve heard lots of things from both of you that I would say, oh, that’s, that’s an emotional investment that you, you made. Um, and I, even, even the thing about, um, the love, the love connection, that is that like, I am trying to have your customers fall in love with your company. That’s my job, right?

[01:19:28] I, that’s a [01:19:30] emotional connection. We do only have a chance to make a great first impression once, um, and then what if you don’t have a great story? Um, and then this is kind of recapping what we’ve done in the past, so I’m just gonna plop through this really quick. So, uh. Donald Miller calls it a character transformation.

[01:19:49] I can’t remember what she calls it, but she says, A story has three parts, normal explosion and new normal. Here was what it was before. Here’s what happened once they hired [01:20:00] you, and then here’s what happened. Here’s how their life or their business transformed after that. So we’re always thinking about, now we’re thinking about these things.

[01:20:11] How did you overcome adversity? Or maybe parts of these things. Plus, we’re adding the new normal explosion in new normal. And then she always talks about these four things. You don’t have to have ’em in all stories, but the more you have, the better. And I adjusted ’em a little bit here because for the [01:20:30] founder story, the identifiable character is you For a customer story, it’s a customer.

[01:20:36] Um, but this time it’s actually going to be you, Adam. It’s going to be you, Maura, um, it’s gonna be me. Um, the specific detail, she talks about how it needs to be. If you, this is like the, say you’re at a conference, well, then you’re gonna talk, you’re gonna, you’re gonna reframe your story to be about the people who you’re speaking to or the [01:21:00] people who are attending the conference.

[01:21:01] It’s at a networking event where it’s a whole bunch of other business owners. It might be more entrepreneurial if you’re in line at Lowe’s. It may be something. It’s, again, audience specific you’re gonna need. That’s why going through. Other kind of personas of who, how you would explain what you do, um, and your founder story, it may be a little bit.

[01:21:22] So, and then authentic emotion and then a significant moment, which are the same things she’s said before. So that [01:21:30] was the end of the deck. So now I can tell you what the rest of the parts are without feeling like I forgot anything. So I have to go to my notes though. So I went, I made up, I don’t know how many questions, but I felt like some people I know just from talking to a lot of people, they’re like, ah, my story’s not that interesting.

[01:21:49] Or, um, I do think it is, I think you need to tell it to more people to find where those rich little nuggets are. But, um, maybe you start with how long you’ve been selling 30 [01:22:00] years branding, right? Um, how, how do you reinvest your profit into your business to ensure that your current in your field, like what other kinds of, do you take classes or read books or do workshops?

[01:22:15] I think that’s a, a way to trust people, right? Or how much time do you spend doing research on, on those things or working on, um, your patterns. And I think, you know, [01:22:30] this may be short or it may not be, but that’s another way that people will feel. Like, oh, you’re committed. Um, how has your business, these are all on the sheet.

[01:22:40] So, uh, how has your business evolved or changed since you started? And then how So Adam, I can’t wait to hear all the ways that yours has changed and evolved, and even for people who maybe they’re still doing the same thing, but maybe your style [01:23:00] has changed. Like, I don’t draw the same that I did when I, um, started.

[01:23:06] I think style changes might be kind of interesting. I’m just gonna read these. If you hear one, just interrupt me to either one of those sound like something that you didn’t think about adding in to your story 

[01:23:21] Maura McDonald: anyway. Just, yeah. I, I leave a lot of stuff outta my story. Yeah. So I, I mean, 

[01:23:27] diane: I, I think that if we have, [01:23:30] I’m gonna, okay, so did your business have a birthplace or a birth moment?

[01:23:34] Maybe you created it because you wanted to solve a problem or there was a situation and you’re like, I’m never gonna own a company like this. I’m never gonna do this at work. I’m going to do it different or something. Um, or whatever. Maybe you were solving a non-environmental issue issue, not like green, but you know what I mean.

[01:23:56] Um, why are you worth betting on or [01:24:00] investing in. Because they are investing in you. You’re a 

[01:24:02] Maura McDonald: learner. Yeah. Yeah. I, I generally learn, I’ll, I’ll always give the example of how, like six years ago at IBM, they sent out an email saying you can get UX certified with Nielsen Group. And I thought, really? For free, you know?

[01:24:14] Yeah. So I did it and I got UX certified thinking they, like, this is the new thing, you know, they were getting paid better than visual designers here in the us And so I was interested in it and I did, I did the course and I learned a lot about it, but I learned it’s not what I wanna do, [01:24:30] you know? Yeah. So I wanna be a US designer.

[01:24:32] Yeah. And, but with it, unsurprisingly what happened, which I never would’ve thought I became a manager because of it. So, because I was one of the first ones finished with the course and I talked, told everybody I got you certified and talked about how I didn’t wanna be one and, but how I learned a lot about the processes and I could incorporate that in my work.

[01:24:52] And I became a manager of that because on the team, I’m on IBM services, they were like, we wanna hire to get two UI two UIX [01:25:00] designers on this team and where you’re going to do the hiring. So I got bumped up in my, into a manager pay because of it. And all I really do for them is make sure they’re on brand.

[01:25:09] You know, it’s not like I’m really managing them in that way, you know? Well, you, you 

[01:25:14] diane: had to find, you had to make sure that you were finding people who knew what to do, what UX UI was. 

[01:25:20] Maura McDonald: Right. I guess. And 

[01:25:21] diane: then, but they do need to stay on brand because you do know. The brand may be better than we as visual 

[01:25:27] Maura McDonald: designers at IBM, they really put on you that you are a [01:25:30] brand ambassador.

[01:25:31] Right. And, and, and it’s true. Like, I, I don’t share IBM work because it’s not all mine. Right. I’m grabbing from places and putting other people’s stuff in things and, you know, like, it’s just not all me, you know? Yeah. So I feel like it’s fair to share that as it’s mine, you know? This is my work, you know, it’s not work.

[01:25:50] Right. Well, and a lot to corporate. When I go to an event and I have things up, I’ll take pictures of that and share it, you know? Yeah. But yeah, just to show [01:26:00] design work that I do at work, I wouldn’t, I, I don’t think it’s fair to share. 

[01:26:04] diane: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think it gets harder when you have other people underneath you, unless you’re tagging them in it, and this is what we made.

[01:26:12] Right. 

[01:26:13] Maura McDonald: But, but, but the fact that we have a dam, you know, or we can, we can, we have Getty accounts, you know, like we have a lot of resources that we use. I mean, there’s, I was on this huge project about five years ago, just doing expressive icons for Cloud and Watson, and [01:26:30] it was just a such a cool project to be on because you were part of a team of 30 designers from around the world.

[01:26:36] And just to be on a project where you were, you know, having to adhere to a strict, strict guideline, but be very creative with it. That, that was a really changing moment for me when I did that. And that was because at IBM we, when we have, um, things that have a lot of statistics in it, we have to send it to legal ourselves.

[01:26:54] We don’t have object managers. You know, we use Trello boards. And so I was dealing [01:27:00] with this girl Lisa, up in New York for, you know, a lot of infographics I was doing Mm-Hmm. And she, um, becau one day on the phone with her, I just said to her, I’d love to be on one of those huge projects that you guys pull everybody in for.

[01:27:12] If I hadn’t said that, she never would’ve even asked me to be on that project. You know what I mean? Absolutely. If you 

[01:27:19] diane: don’t say what you want to do. So say Adam’s, like, do I wanna do something else besides logos or I 

[01:27:25] Maura McDonald: wanna 

[01:27:26] diane: animate logos? It, it wasn’t 

[01:27:27] Maura McDonald: like I thought about telling you that. I just kind of said it [01:27:30] one day, you know?

[01:27:31] diane: Mm-Hmm. Yeah. But if we don’t ever, if we don’t ever, and I have 

[01:27:36] Maura McDonald: to back at it and I’m one of the biggest projects I’m proud of there, 

[01:27:40] diane: but even the ux ui, like you did it, you said, Hey, I’ll do this, and then you realized I don’t wanna do it. Right. But then it got you further of doing other things. 

[01:27:50] Maura McDonald: Yeah, exactly.

[01:27:50] Yeah. Yeah. You don’t know what, what things will bring to you. Well, I’m a big believer in we’re not guaranteed tomorrow and you don’t know [01:28:00] what’s gonna happen. And I believe that when you make action, reaction happens. 

[01:28:04] diane: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You have to, um, you have to be willing to be in the sunshine and put yourself in some water to have some growth, I think.

[01:28:14] Maura McDonald: Right. 

[01:28:15] diane: But if you’re in the dark and you’re never gonna share your, your story, I’m introvert. 

[01:28:18] Maura McDonald: I, I mean, I am an introverted person and I’ve always been, and, and I’ve always, and I, when I talk with mentors, I talk about how I have to get over myself half the time. It’s me that I’m getting over, [01:28:30] you know, like, and I mean, 

[01:28:32] diane: I’m an extrovert, but I have to get over myself too, to be able to share the story I think about with Adam.

[01:28:39] And I know for 

[01:28:39] Maura McDonald: me, it’s being comfortable. That’s what that’s had. If, if I’m comfortable doing something, I, I, I’m not nervous. I don’t, you know, get anxious about it. And that’s why I try to do things that’ll be outside my comfort zone to make me comfortable with it. Yeah. 

[01:28:55] diane: Yeah. Absolutely. I 

[01:28:57] Maura McDonald: know it works.

[01:28:58] Yeah. For me. Yeah. [01:29:00] 

[01:29:00] diane: I love that. Um, so the other questions that are on the sheet really are just other things that might help you tell, you might not have all those things, but it’s like, um, how much time and money have you invested back in your business? Um, is that something you have a budget for then that might connect you with somebody else?

[01:29:22] It’s always trying to bridge that gap, that customer gap for you, of why should they hire you as opposed to somebody [01:29:30] else? And. She talks about going back in time. So I’m just gonna go over this last part. These are just my notes, my sheets of paper. So, um, you can differentiate because a lot of people are like, oh, we have great blankety blank and it’s the same thing everybody else is saying.

[01:29:45] So maybe you could tell a story about you as a kid and how you were drawing or how, why you like to use just pastels or charcoal or pencil only. Like why the limited medium has helped you [01:30:00] be a better illustrator or better artist, um, for you. More of why, you know, you’re thinking about spaces and your, the all the things.

[01:30:11] Right. Figuring 

[01:30:12] Maura McDonald: out what I love is, was a big part of it, you know? Um, and knowing that, you know, what I really love is the color and the composition, you know? Yeah. I’m not really trying to solve a problem, 

[01:30:23] diane: but it, it does solve a problem because it’s bringing joy to someone. Right. Right. That, and 

[01:30:28] Maura McDonald: I do agree with that.

[01:30:29] It does bring [01:30:30] joy to, to boring copy. Yep. 

[01:30:32] diane: Or, or room if it fits your art, you know, if it’s right. So they said she has like four. Yeah. Like 

[01:30:41] Maura McDonald: I wanna create art for people’s home ’cause I want them to have conversations about it. Right? Yeah. 

[01:30:46] diane: Yeah. So she says, go way back. So she talks about this financial advisor and her, she always liked to play with her money and her mom’s like, no, honey, you cannot, money is dirty.

[01:30:58] So she went out in the [01:31:00] backyard, got a bucket and some dawn and she started cleaning her money. And so she tells the story to new clients that is part of her founder story. She’s like, I understand that laundering money is not usually considered a good thing. But I’ve been laundering, I’ve been cleaning money since I was a kid because I loved doing that.

[01:31:23] And I thought, you know, ma, we don’t all have a kid story of when we started. I have a good 

[01:31:28] Maura McDonald: one. Yeah, good one. Okay. [01:31:30] So yeah, like when I was around in sophomore year of high school, I used to draw redraw album covers basically. Mm-Hmm. Like how I would thought they would look. And my older brother, who was four years older than me, um, showed them to friends of his, like, I, I didn’t ask him to, oh my gosh.

[01:31:49] He was just proud and then started selling them to them. Oh my gosh, that’s awesome. Oh yeah, he was, he was my oldest brother Michael, who’s passed [01:32:00] away, but he was a salesman. He was, you know, the, the oldest son, the, you know, it’s hard to be humble guy, you know, and, um, and, and I always think that that’s kind of gave me a lot of confidence that.

[01:32:12] I’m doing that, you know. Well, 

[01:32:13] diane: and, and that you knew that there was a place for something like this, right. Adam, do you have a kid story?

[01:32:22] Adam Hansel: No, not so much that I can think of. Not in that way. I mean, my, my kid story is quite different. I mean, I grew up [01:32:30] in a, in a construction family. We built houses and restaurants and condominiums and everything else. That was kind of the expectation. Um, my dad would tell me that they call them starving artists for a reason.

[01:32:43] Right. And so I pushed back against that as much as I could constantly. Um, I wasn’t interested in building, although later on in my career I was building restaurants and coffee shops and doing things like that. Um, so I ended up, my dad ended up kind [01:33:00] of shaking his head saying, yeah, I knew someday. So, but it was good to make him proud on that, on that part of it, that I could take my creative abilities and apply them to the building process, which is very much a creative, creative process.

[01:33:14] Anyway, I just never saw it like that as a kid. Right, right. And the pushback from my dad kind of kept me from ever seeing that, from recognizing building as a form of design. 

[01:33:25] diane: Oh, totally. 

[01:33:26] Adam Hansel: And it is architecture. Right. And the stuff you can do with it is amazing. [01:33:30] So, and getting your hands dirty and, you know, making something appear from nothing.

[01:33:35] Maura McDonald: Right. And 

[01:33:35] Adam Hansel: watching people. Be changed as they enter it and leave. 

[01:33:41] Maura McDonald: Yeah. Right. 

[01:33:42] Adam Hansel: That’s the amazing thing to do, right? It’s like how people are of their homes. 

[01:33:45] Maura McDonald: Yeah. 

[01:33:46] Adam Hansel: Yes, yes. Right? Yeah. ’cause that’s what we hope we can do as creatives. Is that 

[01:33:50] Maura McDonald: right? 

[01:33:50] Adam Hansel: When somebody passes by stuff that we’ve done that for even just a moment.

[01:33:55] They are, they are different. Right. They see something in themselves or they see [01:34:00] something in the work that reminds them of something about themselves. Mm-Hmm. That we have changed them or it makes them think, or it changes their mind about the way the world, the way they believe the world is. All of those things that we can do as creatives.

[01:34:13] Um, though it’s wonderful, but, you know, so I left home and went to school and I was lucky, um, that I got a scholarship to university. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gone, we didn’t have the money to do it. But, you know, as part of [01:34:30] that tragedy story I had, when I was 18, I was in an accident and had brain surgery.

[01:34:36] Maura McDonald: Wow. 

[01:34:37] Adam Hansel: And even though I had always done artwork, I wasn’t doing artwork on my final semester of high school. But my two art teachers from high school entered my work into a scholarship, um, competition, and I got the scholarship. 

[01:34:52] Maura McDonald: Nice. 

[01:34:53] Adam Hansel: So I was lucky. And it ended up that I did work afterwards. Yay, good enough.

[01:34:58] Um, but nobody was [01:35:00] quite sure if I was going to, and either was I, I didn’t know I was going to university on an art scholarship and had no idea if I wanted to draw anymore. Oh, wow. But I did. So, you know, I was lucky there. And then I left the United States at 25 and came to a country where I didn’t even know what graphic designers were called.

[01:35:19] So, and we lived in, yeah, we lived in Copenhagen at the time, and I walked around the city and I’m like, what can I do? I don’t know. What am I gonna do with my life? I don’t really know. [01:35:30] And so, like, I would walk past shops that had really cool merchandise, but really terrible branding. And I mean, like, do a double take where you walk past something and go, wait a second.

[01:35:40] Did I just see something? And I turn around and look in the window and go, wow, this place is really cool. And I’d go home and I’d redesign all their stuff, like hand paint signs and redo their logos and the way that I thought they should be expressed. And then I would go back in and walk in the door and stick my foot in the door and say, Hey, I walked past your place a week ago.

[01:35:58] And I mean, literally walked past [01:36:00] it. I walked right past it. But when I saw what you did, I was so amazed by it that I made this. Now I understand. There’s, you know, there’s no obligation here. If you like it, let’s have a conversation. If you don’t, then I’ll just leave. That’s okay. Right? I didn’t lose anything.

[01:36:16] The work is already done. I’ve, I’ve already made it. I got experience by doing that. I grew as a creative by making it, and it was a 50 50 hit. Wow. 50% of the time I’d walk away with a job. The other 50%, somebody was pissed because their dog [01:36:30] designed it, or it was their wife’s logo, you know, whatever. Right.

[01:36:33] And it’s like 

[01:36:34] Maura McDonald: they 

[01:36:35] Adam Hansel: were, yeah. 

[01:36:36] Maura McDonald: So attached. Yeah. And 

[01:36:37] Adam Hansel: it was good because, I mean, in Denmark it’s only three steps to Kevin Bacon. There’s no seven steps here. It’s such a small country. And my name got around really quick that I was this young guy who was very ambitious and wanted to work, and loved to work.

[01:36:52] And maybe I was cheap because I was right. I was so, I wanted to do the work more that I wanted the money. Um, and I didn’t want the [01:37:00] money to limit the, my ability to do the work I wanted to do. Which is awful as a business, right. To like not talk about money. And I’m, and I’m still, but you 

[01:37:10] diane: learn. You, you learned about that a little later maybe?

[01:37:14] Adam Hansel: No, not 

[01:37:14] diane: really. Maybe not yet. 

[01:37:16] Adam Hansel: No. I’ve 

[01:37:16] diane: never learned. No. So, yeah. That’s a awesome story. I guess so at, it’s an awesome story. Yeah. You’ve 

[01:37:25] Maura McDonald: mentioned that before. Yeah. 

[01:37:26] diane: That is an awesome founder story. [01:37:30] Ha. Yeah. That’s a 

[01:37:31] Maura McDonald: go-getter. Yeah. I couldn’t have done that. Yeah. 

[01:37:34] diane: At 25 in a country, were you able to at least speak English to these people or were, 

[01:37:41] Adam Hansel: we were.

[01:37:42] I was lucky enough that we were in Copenhagen and there were a lot of people that wanted to improve their English, so they would actually. They would rather I spoke English to them than Danish. So, and it, and I was just in the country at the right time. I mean, the early two thousands, Copenhagen was a, Copenhagen was a very different [01:38:00] city than what it is now.

[01:38:01] We no longer live there. We left after our kids were born. Um, but yeah, I was lucky as heck and very unlucky, right. There was that other end of it that it’s not, it’s not until five years ago that I had my first corporate job. Otherwise I’ve spent, you know, the 25 years of my career working for myself. And so when I talk to people who have had these big careers, who have worked all these different places, and I go, oh yeah, okay.

[01:38:28] Have you ever heard ever heard of [01:38:30] this company or this musician? I made their stuff, you know? Oh, wow. Okay. So, yeah. 

[01:38:36] Maura McDonald: Yeah. ’cause I’ve always worked companies. Yeah. I, I, I, I mean, yeah. I don’t, I’ve done freelance work while I’ve worked at companies, but I always feel like with that company I have that backing.

[01:38:47] Mm-Hmm. You know, and where when I freelance, I feel like it’s all on me. Mm-Hmm. You know, like, I, it’s, it’s, it’s about me, you know? And, and I, and I don’t like things to be about me. Yeah. [01:39:00] 

[01:39:00] diane: Well, it can, it can be a lot of pressure when you have to solve it all, or you have to find somebody else to help you to solve something.

[01:39:08] Right. It’s 

[01:39:08] Maura McDonald: just me. Yeah. 

[01:39:10] diane: But the more you do it, the more confident you get. You’re like, I can figure it out. You know, I mean now there’s YouTube. I 

[01:39:17] Maura McDonald: answered a, a LinkedIn ad when the pandemic first happened of somebody I’d gone to school with and he just put out like Blue Cross Blue Shield and I was like, oh, that’s my insurance company.

[01:39:25] They’re doing a reward program. I remember 

[01:39:27] diane: when you did that. Yes. And I 

[01:39:28] Maura McDonald: was kind of like, oh, I can’t wait. [01:39:30] I’m a customer. I can’t wait to see what the reward, I love reward programs, you know, and then he’s messaging me saying more. I, I, yeah. I hadn’t talked to the guy in 20 years and he’s like, Moura, um, he goes, do you do print work?

[01:39:41] ’cause he’d gone to school with me, so he knew I did. And um, and, and he wanted to know if I still did it. ’cause a lot of kids don’t wanna do it. And so I’m like the print person at IBM too. And, and basically I, you know, he’s like, I need somebody to do the print campaign for this. And so I worked with him on that [01:40:00] campaign.

[01:40:00] Like I interviewed with his boss and got the job and, um, yeah. And I’ve now still do freelance work for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Yeah. That’s awesome. 

[01:40:11] diane: So I’m gonna go through the last two. And that was not 

[01:40:13] Maura McDonald: from like, like, get me a job. I know. I wasn’t even thinking that. Yeah, I know that, that’s why I tell my mentees, just converse with people, you know, just, just put the stupid little witty thing you want out there.

[01:40:25] You know, like, it doesn’t have to be this intellectual, you know, answer to everything. [01:40:30] 

[01:40:30] diane: No, I think you need to connect with people and I think the connection is what, um. 

[01:40:36] Maura McDonald: I, I, and I don’t what I haven’t told about that story. So when I, when his boss, I looked her up on LinkedIn and I saw that she, um, liked glass blowing.

[01:40:44] And I had just watched a show on Netflix about glass blowing. And so when I did the Zoom, you know, interview with her, I, I just kind of alluded to little bit, you know what I mean? Because I know I connected with her just from that Mm-Hmm. You know what I mean? [01:41:00] 

[01:41:00] diane: Yeah. There’s some it that you’re, she’s not gonna ask you to blow glass.

[01:41:03] You doesn’t know that I even know that it’s, yeah. It’s just, it’s just that you’re, you’re connecting with people on Right. Another level. And so then they feel like you’re their people and you understand them. 

[01:41:15] Maura McDonald: Right? 

[01:41:17] diane: Yeah. 

[01:41:17] Maura McDonald: So it’s, it is, it’s about those relationships. 

[01:41:20] diane: Yeah. It totally is. So the other two ways.

[01:41:24] So from a kid I think is a good one. Go way back if you can. The cleaning the money. I Thought’s a great [01:41:30] story. That’s a great one. Um, maybe there’s a, there has to be a better way, a better way, um, kind of as Adam’s story. Like, uh, there’s a better way to sell this blank. Or there’s a better way. There’s a better 

[01:41:42] Maura McDonald: sign.

[01:41:42] Yeah. Like, 

[01:41:43] diane: yeah. Or like, uh, where people are walking past this, um, and she says, like, paint the picture about those people who they were, um, uh, I like the fact that in Adam, that you, you were in a new [01:42:00] country, you’re out there, you’re, um, what do I have to lose? I. I am just trying to find people who need what I can do and I wanna, I want to help them.

[01:42:13] And so, and I love that it was 50 50, some people were pissed and some people were like, oh my goodness, that’s awesome. But it is, word of mouth is the best type of, um, and then says, uh, how did events unfold? Who were the people around? Like how [01:42:30] long? He said a detail by saying a about a week later. Even that small amount tells you a lot about how long it took Adam to do what he did.

[01:42:39] So, small details. She talks about having specific moments or details. Um, and then, um, include if there were any parts that were hindsight. In hindsight now, I think, right? He said I wasn’t very good with money, you know, or asking for maybe what it was worth. Um, but I think some of [01:43:00] that’s that a lot of times we’re not taught that in school and then we don’t really know what to charge or what something is worth.

[01:43:07] Sometimes you have to just work with. People on a more, 

[01:43:11] Maura McDonald: I, I tend to notice that I always think it’s lower than what people are willing to pay. 

[01:43:15] diane: Well, and we are thinking about how we would buy things and we’re like, I would never spend, right? And I like to 

[01:43:20] Maura McDonald: buy, 

[01:43:21] diane: I have a target $10,000 on something. Right?

[01:43:25] Well, especially also in construction, you know, you’re trying to find what can we [01:43:30] do? How can we build this? Um, so it’s strong, but that it’s not, we don’t, you know, we might not need to use the oak wood, we need to use pine or what else can we use? Um, and then the blood, this is number three. So number one is go back to, as a kid, obviously you don’t have to have all these in all of them, but there has to be a better way.

[01:43:51] I thought that was a good way to look at it. And then number three is look for the blood, sweat, and tears. And she tells a story about this one, [01:44:00] um, lady, a Utah mom who has made these moccasins and she’s selling these moccasins. And she was on Shark Tank, which, do you know what Shark Tank is? Yeah, I do.

[01:44:10] Okay. So I think they call it Dragons Den in the uk. Um. But it’s like you’re going and you’re trying to get investors and you know, there’s nothing really that amazing about the moccasins to be honest. 

[01:44:24] Maura McDonald: Right. A while what was 

[01:44:27] diane: really cool was that she, to get the [01:44:30] money to be able to make the materials or get the, buy the materials she needed to make the moccasins.

[01:44:36] She would take glass out of aluminum frames all summer in the heat and that’s what she did. Lot of blood. And because she said that part of her story, what she was willing to give up. That 

[01:44:49] Maura McDonald: sounds, I know that’s how you did it. Yeah, well 

[01:44:52] diane: it’s not, that was how she did it to make money because the aluminum was worth money.

[01:44:58] So then she would take it to [01:45:00] scrap and then she would have money to be able to go and buy her leather or whatever material she was making. So that was just how she did it. But when the sharks heard that, they were like, we’re in. Wow. She’s committed. Right? She’s blood, sweat, and tears went totally something not in her industry.

[01:45:19] She’s literally punching glass out of metal frames to be able to take the aluminum to recycling or wherever to be able to get the money out. And [01:45:30] maybe there’s a blood, sweat and tears in yours. I know Dave Ramsey, who’s a money guy. Over here has books, has a podcast, has web shows, has a whole bunch of people, a whole bunch of, uh, le uh, courses as well.

[01:45:46] Um, but it’s, uh, they said the other product you’re selling is yourself. And so with that woman, she was selling herself for sure. Um, and Dave Ramsey talks about just do whatever it [01:46:00] takes. You get a second job, you deliver pizzas after your full-time job so that you’re making enough money to get outta debt.

[01:46:06] That’s what, what Dave Ramsey says. Um, so some founders confuse the founder story with, um, there she gives four pitfalls. But I’m just gonna tell y’all too, this is the very end, um, that don’t confuse the. It the founder story with the value story of what the value is of the logo or what [01:46:30] the value is. It’s actually about you, Adam.

[01:46:33] It’s about you, Maura. It’s about, it’s, that’s, it’s about you and your commitment to your business and your craft and your commitment to what you do for a client. You know that you were the go-getter, that you took the ux ui course there, you went out and it didn’t matter. You just walked around and you were 

[01:46:53] Maura McDonald: people, you’re very dependable.

[01:46:55] Yeah. 

[01:46:56] diane: But maybe there, that’s one thing. There aren’t as many [01:47:00] dependable people as there are. And then sometimes in, maybe this is where you are in some of the things of what we are, because we are one body, but we have all these things going and we’re, we have all these different stories. And Adam, you talked about like you’re veering off, um, but your story, this is pitfall number two, is that you’re tired of telling it, so I’m gonna change it up.

[01:47:23] So they, she used this example. Have you ever gone to see, uh, a play or a [01:47:30] musical or something at the whatever, have you ever seen, how about a movie? Do you ever watch the same movie or read the same book? I have a certain movie that I watch all the time. 

[01:47:42] Maura McDonald: I, I tend, tend to not like to do that. 

[01:47:44] diane: Okay. But have, have you ever gone to see a play?

[01:47:48] Yes. Okay. What if those actors. During the play, they were like, you know what, I’m not gonna do it the way it was written. I’m gonna do my own thing. No, I didn’t come to see [01:48:00] you do it your way. I came to see the way it was written. Right. I wanna see it. The Hamilton, the way it was written, I don’t wanna see it.

[01:48:09] I wanna see the sound of music, the way the sound of music was written. I don’t want it your version today. Um, or like a band like mean girls. 

[01:48:18] Maura McDonald: They do to New Mean Girls. Yeah. A lot of people don’t wanna watch it ’cause they love the original. Right. But 

[01:48:24] diane: it, um, in, in that your story is, it’s [01:48:30] important that you tell it the same that you explain.

[01:48:34] There are certain parts where you can adjust, like for audience to make the connection, but don’t leave something out because like if Adam did not leave, uh, weave in the part of his dad being a builder because now he is building, he’s maybe not with all of his hands, everything, he’s building something in another way.

[01:48:55] Although you probably had to do some other environmental graphics maybe, [01:49:00] and it made it a benefit that you had that background, but you were able, um, you were able to walk around and talk to people because you knew what you had experienced and what was stopping. Maybe them from, uh, having more customers or.

[01:49:20] Maura McDonald: Yeah. I tell mentees a lot of times, like, when you can go and bring your design to, to present it, whatever, give the proof to somebody, [01:49:30] give it a little context to it. Yeah. You know, don’t just send it like, here’s the proof, let me know if you’re at it. You know, like, yeah. ’cause I’ve learned that when you do that, you get so much pushback.

[01:49:41] Like, it’s like, did you try this? Did you try that? Did you, you know, and I’m like, so don’t do that. Like, just tell them like, I tried to do, I tried this and I really think this worked better. And like, just give a little story to it. You know? Like, yeah. Just submit stuff. Right. 

[01:49:54] diane: Because I used to 

[01:49:54] Maura McDonald: do that. 

[01:49:56] diane: I, we’ve all done that because we thought that was the okay.

[01:49:59] Way to [01:50:00] do it. Right, right. Anyway, um, thank you guys for doing this with me. Yeah. I wasn’t 

[01:50:06] Maura McDonald: expecting to be on camera, but Yeah. 

[01:50:09] diane: Well, I’m glad, I’m glad, um, that you were both here and I’m glad that Jeanine came. 

[01:50:15] Maura McDonald: I’m glad I was too. Mm-Hmm. 

[01:50:16] diane: Hopefully. I mean, we didn’t, you, maybe we’ll have to do another segment where you’re actually telling your story, but hopefully now you have some pieces to build and then you can start editing it [01:50:30] down and you try it out.

[01:50:31] But then once you get it, don’t really keep it, keep it the same. I, Adam, you’re really close to being done. I think. I mean, it was, it’s a, I would wanna work with you if you’ve been doing that for that many years. Yeah. That was 

[01:50:43] Maura McDonald: very impressive. You going around to businesses being like, yeah, this is how I would envision it.

[01:50:48] Yeah. I think that’s very impressive. 

[01:50:50] Adam Hansel: But it’s just, but I mean, now it’s kind of tough. You know, I burnt out in 2016. Um, I didn’t work for a year and then I’ve had a job since. So I quit my [01:51:00] job, uh, in June of last year, um, to, to start doing some more fine artwork. But I’ve been freelancing for the company that I quit at.

[01:51:10] Everything. Sounds 

[01:51:11] diane: like Maura, 

[01:51:12] Adam Hansel: I’m still kind of doing the same work. Um, but I’m kind of in this little position where it’s like, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s maybe time for a shift again. Like what’s the next thing and what should it be? And is that story even relevant anymore? Is all of that stuff that I did and went through, [01:51:30] does it make a difference or is it time to kind of turn that table over?

[01:51:35] Right. Well, and that’s when some of that tragedy talk comes in. It’s like, because there did come tragedy in 2016 exactly. Like everything just collapsed on itself. And I don’t feel like I can tell that story without talking about that. And I mean, seven years later I’m still not over it ’cause I haven’t gotten rid of that baggage.

[01:51:54] ’cause it’s part of the story, but I don’t know. So, 

[01:51:58] diane: because you don’t wanna [01:52:00] tell that part, like it’s under the water or it’s not, 

[01:52:06] Adam Hansel: it, it almost feels like a hindrance. ’cause I, I do rely on the income that I can get from doing the work that I’m good at and I’ve done for a long time. Um, I. To kind of say that I don’t wanna do it anymore.

[01:52:20] I think 

[01:52:20] Maura McDonald: Yeah, I agree with that. Yeah. 

[01:52:22] Adam Hansel: Kind of locks locked me into that position of, right, what am I selling people? Right? Am I selling them my best by saying, Hey, I burnt out [01:52:30] eight years ago and I don’t know that I can deliver what I’m, they don’t 

[01:52:33] diane: wanna hear it. They don’t, no, they don’t 

[01:52:34] Adam Hansel: wanna hear it. 

[01:52:34] diane: But, but are your new clients, are those people even if you’re selling artwork, or are those, those people aren’t even, um, they would care about the burnout.

[01:52:47] They would care that you’ve done all this. It’s not the same audience. So you would be, I would care that 

[01:52:52] Maura McDonald: you got over the burnout is what I would care about. 

[01:52:56] diane: I don’t know that I have though. 

[01:52:58] Adam Hansel: It’s hard. 

[01:52:58] Maura McDonald: Well get over it and then you [01:53:00] cannot. 

[01:53:00] Adam Hansel: I know I should. Yes. I, 

[01:53:02] diane: but, but I think that’s too, you’re right. You can’t tell the burnout story to the people who you’re still serving’s gonna make you 

[01:53:09] Maura McDonald: tell me, she told her boss that she was burnt out.

[01:53:11] I’m like, what did you expect to get from that? Like, I would never go to a boss and be like, I’m burnt out. I I just don’t, can’t do this anymore. You know, like, you don’t do that to, to someone that can fire you 

[01:53:23] diane: and you, you don’t do that to a client that will go somewhere else. Right. So, but you’re telling the story [01:53:30] to the people who you want to be the new client.

[01:53:34] And that’s, that’s at least, okay, so that’s what I 

[01:53:36] Maura McDonald: wanna hear. Okay. You, you had a burnout and how, and this is how you overcame that burnout and how your, 

[01:53:40] diane: and you pivoted and you started, right? 

[01:53:42] Maura McDonald: You pivoted, right? 

[01:53:43] diane: You started selling your artwork or creating, I don’t know exactly what you wanna do, but we’re gonna have our, uh, coffee talk and we’ll, we’ll do it then.

[01:53:52] I’m gonna send you a link, Adam, so you can click on and get, find a time that works for you. But, [01:54:00] but like, that’s what I think you’re not telling that burnout story to, uh, these people that are this at where the stuff that you don’t really wanna do anymore, but it’s still paying the bills. You’re gonna start telling this story to the new people.

[01:54:15] If those people hear it, it’s different. They’re not interested in your fine art. They’re actually probably gonna tune out. ’cause they don’t need, you know, leggings with patterns, you know? Yeah. Like, they’re just like, oh, that’s not for [01:54:30] me. Oh, yeah. Like, people at IBM could 

[01:54:31] Maura McDonald: care less if I did patterns. Right.

[01:54:33] diane: Right, right. They’re really, it’s not, they don’t even know you’re going to be talking about, I, you know, you’re, I don’t talk about it, but don’t. Right. And so it’s about the conversations, but if you’re on social media and you’re talking about your art, they will tune out because that’s not what they’re interested.

[01:54:50] You may have some crossover, but I actually feel like they’re two separate things. It, it’s like students who will say, I’m gonna put my ceramics on my [01:55:00] design portfolio website. I was like, no. You’re not, that’s stupid. That’s like, yeah, 

[01:55:05] Maura McDonald: I see girls in, um, that I view portfolios and they have like, you know, photography on there.

[01:55:10] I’m like, do you wanna be a photographer? Right. Like, why are you putting your photography? I’m like, I tell them like, create a tab that says like playground or something. And that’s where you put stuff. 

[01:55:20] diane: Yeah. Your side projects. Yeah. Yeah. But, but if they’re really trying to sell their art, then sell your art.

[01:55:27] It’s a different audience than the audience [01:55:30] for the trying to get a job or trying to get design clients. 

[01:55:36] Maura McDonald: Right. 

[01:55:37] diane: Anyway. Well, Adam, it’s super late and it looks like your lights that are in your door that are reflecting your door are like a monster back there. Do you see it? 

[01:55:47] Maura McDonald: I see 

[01:55:47] diane: it, 

[01:55:48] Adam Hansel: but it’s 10, it’s 10:30 PM here, so.

[01:55:51] Oh, wow. 

[01:55:51] diane: Well, thank you guys for giving me two hours instead of an hour and a half. 

[01:55:55] Maura McDonald: I know. It’s been, yeah, it’s four 30. I just said it. Yeah. But I, [01:56:00] it’s been fun and I really, it has, it’s been interesting. Yeah. It’s, I always feel like whenever you have a conversation, you learn a little bit about yourself a little bit, you know?

[01:56:11] diane: Absolutely. And I think sometimes we just have to have, be reflective, have conversations with ourselves. Like you were talking about Maura in the very beginning. Like, I need to reflect more on what is working or not working. I write things 

[01:56:25] Maura McDonald: down when I journal it, it’s, it’s. It helps me [01:56:30] understand it, it helps me remember it.

[01:56:32] You know what I mean? Mm-Hmm. 

[01:56:35] diane: Absolutely. And I’m not a 

[01:56:35] Maura McDonald: writer. I, I mean, I am not a good writer. 

[01:56:39] diane: Well, you don’t have to be a good writer. That’s the way I 

[01:56:40] Maura McDonald: practiced. Yeah. You’re, 

[01:56:42] diane: you’re, you’re communicating to yourself and you’re helping. The more you journal, the better you’ll get. 

[01:56:47] Maura McDonald: Exactly. 

[01:56:47] diane: Yep. All right. Well, that’s it.

[01:56:50] That is the founder story. I had seven pages of handwritten notes. 

[01:56:56] Maura McDonald: Wow. So I have one page. Well, 

[01:56:59] diane: well, [01:57:00] these are my notes for, these are the ones that I had done. So maybe fill out your sheets that’re three pages, um, that maybe it’ll help you. But I’d love to see you both or anybody else that’s listening after.

[01:57:14] I’d love to see what you come up with. Even if it’s a verbal, you can write it out. You could send me a, a video of it. Any of that. That’s, I just think we, again, I’m big on practicing. The more you practice, the better it gets. We don’t want it to be like, like [01:57:30] a script. I did this, this, that, you know, we don’t want it to be like that.

[01:57:34] But I do think it’s important that we practice and we figure out what’s really resonating and how to, so that we don’t veer off. ’cause I think it’s important that you keep that same, um, you tell the same story. 

[01:57:46] Maura McDonald: That’s a good point. ’cause that’s not something I feel like I’m, I’ve done. Yeah. 

[01:57:49] diane: I don’t think I’ve done either.

[01:57:51] I mean, I, I am not good at that. I need to practice. Telling. ’cause I go off in long tangents, so I need to work, work on that. [01:58:00] Adam’s like, yes you do. 

[01:58:02] Adam Hansel: Oh, I I do too. I’m saying, yes, I do. 

[01:58:06] diane: It’s okay. I know I do. And, but I can work on that. I know I can work on that. But I’m glad that I finally got to see your face, Adam, so it’s really, really great.

[01:58:14] And ma, it’s always good to see you. Thank you so much. And I’m glad that you didn’t, like, can you imagine if it was in 2020, you would’ve been like, I’m outta here. I’m not doing this. 

[01:58:23] Maura McDonald: Oh, I, I wouldn’t have even like, attempted it. And then, and even today, I wasn’t, like I said, I wasn’t planning on getting on camera, but [01:58:30] apparently I, I was trying to fix things because I’ve been, have, I used, we used other things for like work and stuff.

[01:58:35] And so I was like, my camera wasn’t working one time, then the voice wasn’t working another time. So I kind of just like opened everything up. And so when I opened up Zoom, I zoom, I could tell it was gonna be video. And I was like, how do I turn this all out all? Well, I’m glad I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t have time to figure it out.

[01:58:52] And so then I was like, you know what? Who cares? Yeah. A great story. That’s great. My first reaction is, no, no, no. [01:59:00] You know, and then I just, it’s like, okay, you know, but you did 

[01:59:03] diane: great and hopefully we learned something. Exactly. I appreciate y’all showing up today. So it made you made my day, so thank you. I’m proud of 

[01:59:12] Maura McDonald: myself.

[01:59:12] Yeah. That I didn’t bail out, you know? 

[01:59:15] diane: Yeah. And Adam, what time do you normally go to bed? 

[01:59:19] Adam Hansel: Uh uh, whenever. 

[01:59:21] diane: I would’ve already been in bed for an hour and a half if I was Adam. I, 

[01:59:26] Adam Hansel: I started working at six this morning, so it’s about time to 

[01:59:28] diane: Yeah, you gotta go. [01:59:30] Anyway, Adam, thank you so much for giving us so much of your late night.

[01:59:33] Yes. Thank 

[01:59:34] Adam Hansel: you for letting me. So, and it was wonderful meeting you. Thank you, both of you, and hearing your stories. So 

[01:59:41] diane: thank you. And now I can’t wait to get the arms story of that on the wall back there. Uh oh. Yeah. And those posters behind you look really cool also. 

[01:59:54] Adam Hansel: Thank you. 

[01:59:55] diane: Okay. All right. Can’t wait.

[01:59:56] I’m gonna send you that link on Facebook since that’s how me and you [02:00:00] message each other. Oh, 

[02:00:00] Maura McDonald: happy birthday. 

[02:00:01] diane: Oh, thanks. I, you haven’t 

[02:00:03] Maura McDonald: mentioned it. I just remembered I sent it on Facebook this morning. Well, 

[02:00:06] diane: thank you. I, that’s why it made my day so I didn’t have to spend it alone. So I really appreciate you guys doing the summer birthday.

[02:00:14] I got to 

[02:00:14] Maura McDonald: spend a little hour with you on your birthday. 

[02:00:16] diane: Me too. All right. I will see you guys next week and take care everybody have a great, have a great week. 

[02:00:24] Maura McDonald: We will. Thanks. [02:00:30] Bye.

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