Imperfect Marketing

Episode 40: Becoming Iconic with Jen

September 29, 2022 Kendra Corman Episode 40
Imperfect Marketing
Episode 40: Becoming Iconic with Jen
Show Notes Transcript

Peaceful confidence.

Doesn't that sound amazing?!

Well—I believe it is. If you believe in yourself and know your gifts, people take notice. When you accept yourself, you exude peaceful confidence, which is just one of the MANY things Jen and I discussed during this Imperfect Marketing episode.

We also discussed our desire to serve others—if you've been around for a minute, you already know that's why I started my company! I strive to serve others and add value to my clients every day.

Speaking with Jen was amazing! I especially respect her vulnerability in sharing her experience with being forced to rebuild her social media and starting from scratch. For those who don't know, Jen lost access to ALL her social accounts—along with the connections and community she spent years building.

We forget how much each new person who follows us means in the beginning, and Jen's experience of getting knocked back to square one was heartbreaking but powerful. In her words, she was a "phoenix rising in modern-day."

If you're just starting this crazy marketing journey, remember this: you cannot compare your beginning to somebody else's middle.

Click here to access the transcript and follow along!

Resources:

Be sure to check Jen out at Becoming Iconic

You can find Jen's podcast, Becoming Iconic, wherever you listen to podcasts OR click here

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Kendra Corman:

Hello and welcome back to another episode of Imperfect Marketing! 

I am super excited to welcome Jen to the show today. She's the founder and CEO of Becoming Iconic. She uses her expertise as a leadership expert and mentor to help online entrepreneurs grow profitable and aligned businesses that are rooted in integrity and purpose, which I love. 

She also has one of the top business and lifestyle podcasts Becoming Iconic. It's now at over a hundred thousand downloads, which is fantastic! 

I'm super excited to hear what she has to say, and want to welcome her and jump in right away. So, Jen, it's my understanding that, and I don't disagree with you, so I wanna kick off with that, that you believe traditional marketing is no longer relevant and "Soul Led Sales" are the only way forward. 

Tell me a little bit more about that.

Jen Szpigiel:

So, in traditional marketing, it's a bit of a hunter mentality. So what can we do to provoke someone and get them? And what I believe is we've moved into more like a fisherman mentality of how can we put something out there that appeals to our community and be patient in their own process to make a great decision for themselves. 

So a hunter will like hide behind a tree and wait to pounce and get. A fisherman, sits in the boat and patiently waits for that mutual conversation. That mutual, "Yes." 

And that, I firmly believe will lead into longevity in a business, not these fast, quick sales, not manipulation, not having to sell to pain points, but instead empowering people to say a right yes or no to themselves.

Kendra Corman:

That's very interesting! I really like that, that we're fishermen, not hunters. So people ask me all the time if I like sales, and I say no, but I also don't believe that I sell because of what you said. 

So my, perspective is I add value. And so people either want that value or they don't, and that's an okay decision for them to make. 

So let's talk a little bit about your community and how you view it. I'm a big fan of community. I think everything is moving towards community because people want to be more connected.

Jen Szpigiel:

Right? Right. We do. And it's, actually the most natural thing we could do for one another is be in community and share and receive. And especially as women, uh, you know, I never wanna neglect the men in the world love you, but as women, we're really starting to heal our sisterhood wounds. We're really starting to empower one another. 

So I believe we're more ready for community than we've ever been, but I really look at my community as heartbeats. 

So people will often pick up on that and say, "Oh my gosh, you talk about everybody and call them a heartbeat." 

And I said, "Well, absolutely." 

Because they made a choice to come into the community. They made a choice to follow on Instagram. They've made a choice to join one of my programs. And to me that is something very sacred and something I'm extremely grateful for.

I lost my social media in February and tens of thousands of followers and thousands and thousands of posts and memories. And it was actually heartbreaking. It was quite traumatic actually. 

And I realized in that moment how much we lean on community as something that is to hold us, and we rely on our followings as an indicator for success or lack thereof. And when that was ripped away, I did recognize how I was leaning on that. And comfortable within that. 

And to rebuild a community has been one of the most beautiful parts of Becoming Iconic because it brings you back to gratitude and realizing one, like, one comment, one person who chose to follow. It's something to be grateful for. 

And we're so fixated on having tens of thousands, although as though that's what's gonna matter. It's who you are with one so that you can be entrusted with many.

Kendra Corman:

Yeah, it's really about, you know, speaking to the people you wanna reach. And I think, you know, I'm a huge fan of community. I love it when we help each other out and provide each other with help and assistance. I think that that's extremely important for all of us to do. 

And where, where do people connect with you and your community? What do you define as your community?

Jen Szpigiel:

Hmm. That's a great question. So where they connect with me, I believe one of my gifts in this world and, my lifetime is witnessing people and seeing people. So I feel the sincerity that comes through me is felt. 

And I believe people feel seen and feel my presence when they're with me. My community is pretty vast. It's all over the world at this point, and I'm so eternally grateful for that. I am someone who loves travel. I'm someone who loves culture. I'm someone that loves diversity. I'm someone who loves different opinions. I'm someone who loves to learn and be a little uncomfortable in situations. And so I feel like my community has been built upon those values. 

And someone just asked me actually this morning, they said, "What is your ideal client?" 

And I said, "Oh, goodness gracious. I have to be honest with you."

I do not believe in this whole ideal client that is a marketing term that is used in specific areas for specific companies. But the online space, we've really kind of grasped this concept and, and almost ruined it a little bit. It's like non-marketers being marketers. 

I said, I don't really tell someone who belongs and who doesn't. I actually feel like what happens in my community, there's this emotional archetype. And what I tend to attract are specifically women. 

I really have a heart for women who are compassionate, who are vulnerable, who are hungry to live the most exquisite life, who desire to serve through their businesses. That's the commonality within my community. It is not an age, it is not a race. It is not a business type. It is not where they shop. It is more about where their heart leads them. And that is treasured to me, I cherish it.

Kendra Corman:

Yeah, I definitely agree that, you know, again, the more that you understand about the people that you want to be part of that community, cause you know, if there's people that are just out for money, they're not gonna be a fit for your community. So it's just a different way of describing and targeting, which I like. 

Okay, so let's talk about rebuilding your community. How did you go about doing that? Cause that clearly was not an easy thing!

Jen Szpigiel:

No, no, it wasn't. It was a story of Phoenix Rising in modern day. So when I lost my social media, one could only imagine. I mean, it's all these followers that were, I connected with so many of them and I went into fear. 

I thought, what's gonna happen? Is my business gonna fall apart? Will I ever find them again? 

And I was in a very deep scarcity mindset for probably about 48 hours. I Iost faith in humanity. I thought, who even does this? Who goes into somebody's social media with the ch—my pictures of my children and all of my heart and soul poured in and take it? 

I was angry and I remember I was laying in bed and I thought to myself, "What if this is one of the stories of Becoming Iconic?" Because the whole reason I named the business Becoming Iconic was, first of all, the word "iconic" kept popping up for me.

And I didn't, I didn't really love it. I was resisting it. I thought, well, I don't understand why this word has been given to me. I don't, I've never said it. Um, it's not something that's a part of who I am and who am I to say iconic. 

And then it married itself with the word becoming. And when those two hit with each other, I all of a sudden got it. The light bulb went off where it was like, "Oh wait, Becoming Iconic could mean becoming the most incredible mom."

If that is your life's purpose. And that's how you become iconic is within your own home. I celebrate that. 

It could mean business, it could mean as a daughter, it could mean as a speaker, whatever that means for everybody. So it's very inclusive. 

And I thought to myself, what if this gets to be a real life example for a lot of people who walked in on chapter 12 of Jen and haven't watched me for 16 years build to where I was and who do I wanna wanna be and how do I wanna lead?

And this is an opportunity for me to walk the talk. And so I literally pulled up my socks and I thought the choice is to curl up, or the choice is to stand up. And I stood up and I just started again. And I started with a lot of prayer and trust and intention. And it has continually grown. 
Which is another really cool thing. 

I must mention is a lot of people say, "Oh, it's so hard to grow on Instagram." 

Oh, the algorithm, all the things, all these excuses we've created for ourselves to play small, to blame and point fingers and justify. I'm here to tell you I am building from ZERO. 

Yes, I had an email list, but I am building my social from zero and I have dozens of people come in daily. Why? Not because I figured out the algorithm, not because I'm more special than you, but because my intention behind everything I do is so pure and potent. And I believe people are feeling it.

Kendra Corman:

That's great. I love it. That is definitely not an easy thing to do. And I think a lot of people understand that. 

The other thing that I really like that of what you're talking about is when you think about, I have to do this to myself all the time, you can cannot, you cannot compare your beginning to somebody else's middle.

Jen Szpigiel:

Right.

Kendra Corman:

And I think we have a tendency to do that a lot. You wanna be a TikTok star. It's like, well no, your beginning and the person that you're comparing yourself to was, has been doing this for years. They started when it was Musical.ly or whatever that happens to be. And I think that that's really important to realize.

Jen Szpigiel:

Mm-hmm.

Kendra Corman:

And I think your story is very powerful because of that. And because we have a tendency to compare our beginning to somebody else's middle—

Jen Szpigiel:

Mm-hmm.

Kendra Corman:

—that we should be further along, that we should be doing more. And I think it's just a really, a really strong story. So thank you for sharing that cause I think it's great.

Jen Szpigiel:

Thank you.

Kendra Corman:

So let's talk about Soul Led Sales. Cause you, you believe that that's gonna create waitlists and lifelong clients and customers who are shining bright.

Jen Szpigiel:

Mm-hmm.

Kendra Corman:

I believe are the words that you use.

Jen Szpigiel:

Yeah.

Kendra Corman:

So talk to me a little bit more about Soul Led Sales, how that drives you, how that drives your clients, and what it really means to you.

Jen Szpigiel:

So Soul Led Sales to me is not the only way, but I would be audacious enough to say The Way. And what that means is you look at people for who they are and we stop selling to their pain points. I'm really exhausted of rubbing salt in the wound of the woman or man who is already laying awake, worried about finances, who is already putting on their clothes and feeling like, "Oh my goodness, I I don't feel good in my own skin." 

Who already is feeling like they're failing because clients are not lining up. Why would we, as a human being, point that out, shine a light on that so that they say a yes to us. 

Talk about self-centered, self-motivated selling. It's hurtful. It disempowers. You have people come into your world, whatever you're selling with the feeling like you can fix them. Nobody is broken.

Nobody needs to be fixed. And what I believe is everybody desires to be empowered. So what if we sold to people through empowerment and vision?

So here's what it could be like in your life, or imagine if or what if and letting them get out of the hole that they're in. I mean, I can relate. I know what it feels like to put on a pair of jeans.

And especially after the last two years, I said all the time, my sweatpants lied to me. I mean, I <laugh> I put on jeans. I know what it feels like to, to realize and, and feel self-conscious. So why would you as a health coach or someone in the wellness space point that out to me to have me say yes instead, What could you, how could you serve me? How could I feel better? How could I be more self-accepting?

And when we start to lead our sales that way, what we have are people coming into our world saying yes, with so much conviction for themselves that, we don't have codependent relationships. We don't have people being disappointed because they thought we would fix them. 

We have people coming in and going, "Wow, I have something to offer this partnership", whether it's a product or service and they have something to offer me. And that mutual respect, that mutual yes does lead into lifelong clients. And I am living proof of that. 

My clients have been with me for YEARS. And that's not because they need me, that's because I empower them and we continue to grow together. And that is such a beautiful feeling in business. It is such a gorgeous way to move in your business and people want to be a part of it.

Kendra Corman:

Yeah, I definitely love, you know, my clients, I've probably, you know, I mean I've grown a ton in my consulting business over time and I love the fact that most of my clients have been with me since the beginning.

Jen Szpigiel:

Beautiful.

Kendra Corman:

You know, if they've moved on, they're still in contact with me. You know, even if they've, you know, grown their marketing department or whatever it happens to be they're still with me. 

And that is because I add value and I, I serve them and I believe in service. A lot of the, the, um, clients that I work with are nonprofits.

Jen Szpigiel:

Mm-hmm.

Kendra Corman:

You know, they don't have a ton of funds. Could I charge more? And you know, nickel and dime them like most agencies do? 

Yes. 

But that doesn't help them. That's not gonna help them grow. And they're not gonna be able to do that. And that's why—yeah, no, I live to serve. And I think that that is, that is just a great way to look at things.

Jen Szpigiel:

I just wanna say one thing cause I really want the listeners to pick up on what you just said. So you said something really important that I am really surprised is not the norm. And you said even when they graduate, so you know, we've come to completion, the relationship, they feel fulfilled. They're ready to spread their wings, which is first of all, congratulations that you have people that can do that and do do that. 

But you said "I even continue to have relationship with them." 

And that to me gives me chills it is so important for people to notice and to pay attention to, because we are in this like really weird culture of canceling people. So taking it personally, when somebody actually had the result, you promised them. So you promised them that they would have this excellent, you know, marketing plan and department and it would just create these great results within the business.

And they get that and they say, "Thank you Kendra." 

Like you've changed the business and they graduate. And how many people then get like, "what you're leaving?" 

Well that's the whole point. That's the whole point! And how you treat somebody on the other side of that relationship matters. I can't tell you how many people say to me, "Oh my gosh Jen, you still are involved with me and I don't even work with you anymore." 

I mean, isn't—that surprised me? But most people don't, Most people just cut that tie, cut that relationship and it's next, next, next, next. And it's unfortunate because it's missed opportunity. A lot of times people circle back, or come back, or at least there's a relationship that where they feel cared for and served. 

Like the words you said. I just really wanted people to hear what you said, cuz that's a really important and valid point in marketing, sales, and business.

Kendra Corman:

Thank you! 

Yeah, no, and I agree. I mean, I have clients that I haven't worked with in three, four years. They have no problem sending me an email or calling me. 

But I also have clients who, um, one of my clients was just recently ending a relationship with someone that they were working with. And like my clients, they want the design files, they want, you know, "hey, you know, we need to transfer the Google ownership and you're still on it" or whatever. 

They have those needs. And I'm like, "Sure, no problem. We'll take care of that." 

I'm like, we oh, you need that to get it up? "Sure, no problem. Here you go." 

They paid me for it. They own it. Yeah. Like I don't understand the not giving that. 

"Well no, I created it." 

"Yeah, but we paid you for it."

So technically we own it. But you know, again, it's small businesses and nonprofits. Um, really not understanding what they should be entitled to and what they should be asking for and what they should be able to get. Because they don't do it on as regular basis as, you know, as I deal with it. 

I mean, there's large organizations. Um, I had one client that's a part of a humongous organization. They're just a little piece of it. And it was $150 anytime they wanted to change one of their flyers, that was the charge. 

And any change, I'm not saying full update or anything like that, I'm saying minimum charge $150 for an update to a flyer. And then the other thing that they had was they had no ownership of any of the creative. 

I'm like, but didn't I just pay you for that? Like, how this is not okay.

And you know, when the, when they grow, with the results that they get, the idea behind it is that they're gonna be able to hire somebody on to be able to do it because now they need to do more because they're growing. And I love that! I love that! 

When my clients are ready to hire somebody on full-time and just need me in a consultative capacity, you know, or no capacity at all. Just, you know, "Hey Kendra, let's get together cuz we had fun and we're friends."

 So I'm okay with all that. Like that, that's my goal when they're done with me, it's like, "yay!" 

That means I did my job.

Jen Szpigiel:

Yeah. And you bring something up that's so important. You have really great points is the ownership. So I recently, even as an entrepreneur, I'd hired a brand manager and she had created all of my graphics. That's just not my zone of genius whatsoever. And when we decided to move apart and, and graduate from each other, I lost it all.

She said, "I did it, it's my work." And then I even realized she was advertising her business on my website at the very bottom, I hadn't noticed, um, "created by." And I thought, wow, wow, <laugh> integrity, ethics, caring for people, wanting to serve people. 

Why is this like, it felt like a lost piece of, of value from humanity. And I know I'm broad brushing, but I think we really need to start talking about these things more. Hence, like even in my new magazine, I've added a section called the entrepreneur etiquette because I just wonder how many of us have slipped out of etiquette and like saying thank you.

And even saying, no thank you, no people not responding to an email. Like, when did we get here and when did this become okay? And, and is it in fact, okay, I mean this is such a great conversation for people because it's like a mere moment reflection point of how can we be better in the way we treat people and see people and interact with people. 

And thank you for leading that. Thank you for being somebody who has that strong ethic because we need more of you, we need more of that. And that will shift the paradigm for the rest of the people. It, I think it's just a matter of time at this point before people have a rude awakening to realize there's, the expectation is different now than it has been. We've gotten sloppy in certain ways, uh, the online space allowed that. That's okay. 

But I believe right now it's time to tidy up, tidy up ourselves, tidy up how we interact and care for people so that we can actually have longevity in our businesses. And it's not this like really quick flash in the pan.

Kendra Corman:

I love that. I love, thank you for that. Um, because I do think that leaning with ethics and integrity is key to any business and that, and that's core to your business, right? And that's core to what you share with people.

Jen Szpigiel:

Yeah. Integrity and integrity. It's important to define that because I, I don't know if a lot of people really understand integrity or think they're integral, but is it a performative persona? This is another great conversation we could have. 

Like integrity for me is my personal truth. What is true to me? And acting upon that truth. Now the hope is that truth is rooted in love and rooted in care and rooted in compassion. The good news is at the seed, the center, the core of each and every one of us. That's, that is who we are. Uh, so when we root into that and we lead through that, that's when everything starts to really flow. 

That's when success both from your behalf and anybody you're working with starts to expand because everything's coming through this truth, this this lens of love. What we have is performative personas and we believe in performative personas.

We're being integral. So performative personas, the root of that is people pleasing. So rather than do things that are correct for you and that fit your values, you're doing a dance to make sure people are happy with you. Well eventually that's exhausting. It's tiring. It starts to disconnect. It starts to contradict because it's not who you truly are. 

And eventually we have to have these reflection points. Eventually we have to say, what if I were enough? What if everything I have to offer is enough? What if I can change the world by simply being me? 

And that's, that's what I love to teach in leadership because when we remove the performance and we root into who we really are and we're really comfortable in that, that's when I believe everybody gets to come in in a way that feels good for them. And these, these expansive, beautiful, pivotal moments in business and life start to happen because it's coming from that pure place.

Kendra Corman:

That's very insightful. I love, I love what you're talking about with that. But, and speaking of that and talking about leadership and talking about that new paradigm of leadership that you see, um, you know, not just this persona, but I believe you call it "radical personal responsibility"—

Jen Szpigiel:

Yeah.

Kendra Corman:

—Right. So tell me more about that. Tell me more about this radical personal responsibility. Cause I think it feeds into what we're talking about here.

Jen Szpigiel:

It really does. And so thanks for bringing that up. Well, leadership to me, oftentimes we look outside of ourselves for leadership. We look outside of ourselves for validation. We look outside of ourselves for answers. I believe we have all of that within. 

Sure there's gonna be people, mentors, leaders in our lives, people like you, Kendra, people like myself who can help pull that out. But radical personal responsibility to me is this movement into ourselves and realizing that the validation that comes from within the trust that we can have in ourselves to make the right correct decisions, the trust we have in our ability and our capacity. 

All of a sudden you have what I call personal leadership and you're leading yourself versus being led all the time or, depending on being led all the time. And when you have personal leadership, personal responsibility, you take ownership of the things you need to take ownership of, even if it's uncomfortable.

And we'd rather not, but we do because we start to realize that doesn't define us. Instead it's a lesson we get to now teach because we've just walked through that. We also get to own our success and celebrate gratitude is celebration in action. So we start to be grateful and celebrate and own our personal power, own our gifts. 

And all of a sudden now we have this like whole person versus this diluted version that walks through life often. And that I describe also as peaceful confidence. So my clients know this well cause I talk about it. Well it's such a vision for me. It's like I have this image in my head and peaceful confidence, how I define that, as someone rooted in radical responsibility, who's leading themselves. But they walk in a room and their presence speaks for itself. So they don't walk in the room and say, I'm here.

I've got all these big ideas. It's not this needing to be validated again, needing to prove. And it's not also the person that sits at the back of the room to make sure everybody else has the good seats. I'll just sit back here because I'm in Martyrism and you know, I'll just, I'll be quiet and I won't share my ideas in case I take over the conversation. It's not that cuz that's, that's not <laugh>, that's not personal power. 

They walk in the room and they take a seat and lean back in their seat. And everybody gravitates, is magnetized towards them, by JUST their presence. And why? Because they believe in themselves. They trust in themselves. They take responsibility for themselves. 

They know their gifts, they also know their gaps and weaknesses. They're okay with that. They realize it's not progress—or, perfection. It's progression in life. And that is the type of person I desire to emulate. And that's the type of person within my clients I desire to help them unfold and unravel into. And I believe that's the way to move through life. Everything starts clicking.

Kendra Corman:

I have a little story to share about that. So I was a long, long time ago, um, I worked at Chrysler and they sent me through this women's leadership thing and it was like an eight or nine month program or maybe something along those lines. 

And we got 360 degree reviews. So we had to evaluate ourselves. Our boss had to evaluate us. Our coworkers had to evaluate us and you had to cover your whole life. So we actually, even people outside of work got to evaluate you. 

And it was, I mean, there were women crying when they were reading their results. Um, but it was so insightful for me. And what was insightful for me was, I was brand new in a position I was, other people were passed over who were at a higher level than me so that I could get into this job because I had this excitement and the person that had hired me really wanted someone with excitement and passion and who was hungry and saw his vision.

And so he picked me and I was not confident that anybody else felt that I belonged there and that I belonged in that position. And so I was always trying to prove to everybody else that I belonged there. And I didn't realize that that was a problem until it came down to this 360 degree review evaluation. And it was all about this self-awareness. 

And they had this pyramid that, on the bottom there was three or four things on the bottom that were core to holding up everything else. And you know, I even like at like Maslow's hierarchy of needs. If you don't have food then you can't get to like other levels of, of happiness. And confidence was part of the base of this pyramid. 

And one of the things on it was, um, I had, if you had even one point of difference between how you felt in confidence and everybody else felt in confidence, then you were missing that part of the pyramid and nothing else is going to fall into line.

So needless to say, there was a difference in confidence because people thought I was overstepping and they thought that I thought that they couldn't do their job. And so I was thinking, I was proving myself to them and they felt like I was, you know, going off on my own. And that I was so confident and I didn't feel as confident and that disconnect, I looked at it and I looked at the review and everything like that and it was very eye opening and it was life changing for me. 

That disconnect made all the difference in everything I do. And when I, when I fixed that disconnect and was like, you know what? I need to be who I am. If they need help, they'll let me know. 

I need to stay in my lane and do my stuff and do what I'm good at because I was hired for this job for a reason. I owned that, and that changed everything. And sometimes I fall into it again and here and there. 

But I think, I think you are spot on with that peaceful confidence you believe in yourself—doesn't mean you're perfect. You know, progress is better than perfection. I say that all the time too, but it really, it's the core of leadership. I mean, it is the base, it is the foundation that's holding everything up. I just think that's amazing. 

So how do you, how do you help people see that and understand that? Because again, that revelation was enormous for me.

Jen Szpigiel:

Thanks for that story. That's, a really beautiful story of radical personal responsibility looking in the mirror because we're either blaming, justifying or building our lives and our careers, our businesses, our relationships that goes across the board. So you said proving and I've just had this download I would say about two weeks ago where what if we took the word proving and realized it's not about proving, it's about being the proof.

So here's how that's different. Proving is putting ourselves out there in that way where we are constantly wanting to show our value, our expertise, and it has an energy, it has a sound. People feel it where you know, your team probably thought, oh my goodness, I know this and you know, it was done out of great intention. 

So you know, we do the best we can with what we know. But what if we again, go back into that personal responsibility and realize what if I just get to be the proof that by doing the best I can, you know, constantly honing my skills, being on this evolution wheel, uh, diving into healing, diving into all those areas of life most people are willing to do. 

And that's what I take responsibility for. I get to be the evidence and the proof of what is possible in leadership, in career, in your relationships, in your health, in all things.

There's no exception to that rule, but what it is again is coming back to our confidence back into knowing we are enough, as is, you were born worthy worth is not earned. It's a birthright. And so when we come back to that, then all of a sudden now the ownership goes back onto us and we get to really spread our wings. We get to really see our capacity and what we're capable of. And that to me is exciting living. That's what gets me up in the morning. 

If I was dependent on somebody else for my success or to make me feel that way—it's like a loop that I don't think we ever can get off of unless we choose to get off it and say, I'm gonna actually disrupt that pattern and behavior and I'm just gonna try, I'm gonna practice. 

I'm gonna do things a little differently and make some better intentions. And through that practice you get better and better and better at responsibility. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it.

Kendra Corman:

And that person you described of the one that's living as proof and not proving, that's the person people are drawn to.

Jen Szpigiel:

Absolutely.

Kendra Corman:

When you come in in a room and you're like, "Hello, here I am!" People don't wanna be around that.

Jen Szpigiel:

No. And doesn't that, maybe like it's that person's not confident, you know, the ones that are even online or they're in the meeting room and they always are the first to speak and the loudest and people think, oh, he or she's so confident I don't see it that way. 

I'm like, um, I don't know. Is that true? Because if we're confident, we don't always need to be the center of attention. We don't always need to have the idea. 

Sometimes being confident is backing somebody else up and their idea and expanding on it and going, "Wow, that's incredible and what if we did this?" I think that in leadership is priceless.

Kendra Corman:

And I think, you know, again, one of the things that you talked about with that responsibility, taking responsibility when you mess up, that's confidence.

Jen Szpigiel:

Yeah.

Kendra Corman:

Saying, "I'm sorry, you know what, that was my fault."

I recently did something wrong. Um, or I didn't check somebody else's work. And I said to everybody, I'm like, you know what, that was my fault. I didn't check the history to see what day this type of event fell on in the past.

And yeah, you know what, we need to write that down and make sure that that doesn't happen again. But that was my, that was my fault because I approved the date that I was given and I didn't think about it. And I owned up to that and everybody else was like, "Oh, you're not going to blame anybody?"

No, it's 100% my fault. I had final approval on the date <laugh>, Therefore, it's my fault.

Jen Szpigiel:

Yeah. And that builds trust. So by doing that, they are also, here's the interesting tie in the bridge. You build confidence in yourself cuz you're like, I own that. It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. 

I'm sure there were stories in your mind of like, "Oh my gosh, what's, you know, are they gonna not trust me anymore?" 

Like we all have that, that's human experience, but you stepped through that, that now I'm taking a responsibility. But the bridge now is they know you're gonna take responsibility, they trust you, you owned it. And it's like, oh my gosh, "Kendra, she made this mistake."

It's no longer about the mistake, it's about how you handled it. That's what they start talking about. So the mistake almost dissolves itself and now it's replaced with this deeper trust in who you are and the way they can count on you. And I think that's to be applauded. That's leadership.

Kendra Corman:

Yeah. Next week. Um, so I teach part-time for Rochester University, which is a local university and next week we are actually going to compare how two different companies handled crises in the company. One took responsibility, one kept passing the buck and well they passed the buck then they said there really wasn't a problem. They didn't know what anybody was talking about. 

Like, I mean it was just, nobody took responsibility for anything. And yeah, it's, their reputation has suffered immensely for it. And the company that took responsibility, people don't even talk about the incident anymore.

Jen Szpigiel:

Isn't that amazing?

Kendra Corman:

They've moved on. Yeah.

Jen Szpigiel:

It's like a, it's just poof. It literally dissolves it when it stays and when people continue to talk about it for years and years is when someone didn't take responsibility, wanted to point. So that is that blaming, there's that justifying and those two things do not build anything in our lives. 

Nothing, nothing good can come from that. Um, it's this, this going back to confidence, I think that's like the theme of this podcast, you know, is going back to the confidence of knowing that this one thing will not ruin and tarnish your reputation and those relationships. As a matter of fact, you can deepen them, and be a great example. 

Be the proof of what you can do in something like this. And maybe you actually change somebody's life because in the future they remember how you handled it and they do things differently.

Kendra Corman:

Yeah, no I think that that's, that's so insightful. So, a lot of people are going to most likely find a lot of value in what you're sharing and see because again, I live to serve and I hope that the people listening to my podcast also like to serve because that is a big theme of the stuff that I cover. 

And they want to be soul led sale selling and they are confident and they wanna be that proof. They want that peaceful confidence. People that are looking for more of that are develop more of that are self-aware enough to know that they really need to develop more of that. 

How do they work with you or how do they learn from you more?

Jen Szpigiel:

Well thank you for that, that opportunity. And I welcome anybody into my world, whether it is just to be a part of a community that is very heart centered or potentially have a working relationship. 

I offer a lot of things in my company that are supportive to people and allow them to get to know me on a deeper level. And I really do believe that's, that's what sparks something going forward. 

So the podcast Becoming Iconic, it's on all platforms. That's my love language. 

I also have a magazine. So my magazine think of it, of like, Forbes Meets Vogue and it is for business people. So people in careers in business, a lot of entrepreneurship as well. I know you work with a lot of companies, but I actually see after the last few years, there's a lot of things now that we can tie together versus being differentiators and then also lifestyle.

How to build a lifestyle that matches what we are doing here in the first place. So, you know, rather than just build a career, what if we actually got to build a career and feel good? 

So the magazine is available on the website becomingiconic.co—So it's dot co and then any sort of way of working together is on the website. There's lots of opportunity. I do things very differently. You'll see that. 

And of course I love social media. I'm one of those people that will advocate for it. I just think it's a beautiful place for creation. So I'm on Instagram and it's Becoming Iconic.

Kendra Corman:

That's great, Thank you. And we'll have all of these links in the show notes as usual. So please be sure to check those out because I truly believe that Jen has so, so much to offer. 

Now there's two questions that I ask every guest on my podcast since about like the fifth episode. Um, one of 'em all the episodes. But um, the first one is this, this is called Imperfect marketing. And so I truly believe that marketing is not a perfect science. If it was, I wouldn't have a job. 

My question for you is, what is the biggest lesson that you've learned along the way about marketing? I know we've talked a lot about a ton of different things, but what's the biggest lesson learned that you've had?

Jen Szpigiel:

So the biggest lesson in marketing is, is more recent than not. In comparison in watching other people succeed. It's very easy to be seduced into wanting to reproduce or at least with your own version, you're hopefully never plagiarizing cuz that's a whole other conversation. But we can feel like their way is the way. 

And so what ends up happening is we do things not according to what's true to our essence and our story and our branding, but more about what we're seeing out there. So I learned to stop watching all of my peers and start looking at people even outside of my zone. So influencers, fashion, foodies, because they all add an element to your marketings. Maybe there's like a creative spark you never would've thought of if you just stayed in your industry. 

So that would be one of my greatest marketing lessons recently is diversity in what you're consuming and also always knowing, again, it's like this message that we keep coming up to is like, you are enough. You, the best marketing you can do is what comes through your essence and really showcasing who you are and how you are different versus trying to be the same.

Kendra Corman:

All right. I'm definitely gonna have to put a, a link to a Marketing Profs podcast that was recent. That was how, uh, Different is Better Than Better. So it's actually a pretty cool thing cuz that'll relate totally to what you're talking about too. And I think it, it really is about being different and standing out. 

And I was, um, I had a meeting with my business coach not too long ago and she was sharing with me, she's like, "Yes, I benchmark people. They don't do anything related to what I do because I don't wanna be blinded by what other people are doing in my space."

Jen Szpigiel:

Yeah.

Kendra Corman:

Because it'll get into my head and somehow it's gonna come out—

Jen Szpigiel:

Mm-hmm.

Kendra Corman:

—and I don't want that to happen.

Jen Szpigiel:

Beautiful. That's really good advice, <laugh>.

Kendra Corman:

So I think that that's, I think that's fantastic. So thank you for sharing that. 

And then the last question that I have for you is, if you had a superpower, what would you choose and why?

Jen Szpigiel:

Oh, man, Being invisible comes up, but I know that the root of that is not pure <laugh>. So I'm gonna just talk about this for a second because invisible would be like, I could hear what people are saying and go in the rooms and nada, da da da. Oh, I don't like how that even sounds when I say that out loud. So that was what first came up.

But the root of that wouldn't be correct if I had a superpower, it would be expanding time, space, longevity so that people actually got to realize that it's not just 24 hours in a day, but it is a combination of a lot of beautiful moments. And I'd love to expand all of that.

I don't know how, what that super power would be called, but I would create it <laugh> and I would make it so that people got to really understand this and have this experience. And life could be longer, richer. There's less of a race and a chase and more of this like sinking into that I would love to create.

Kendra Corman:

That is beautiful, beautiful. Cause it is about moments, it's about being present. I mean, even when it comes to social, I know you're a fan of social media and one of the best piece of advice that I got was I don't actually have to post live from an event or where I'm at. 

I can take some pictures and take them offline and then post them later because that way I can be present where I'm at because that presence is key. If you're always thinking about what's next, you're just not there. And that, that race for time, I think is what, what pushes us to do that next piece.

All right. This was an unbelievable conversation. I value everything that you shared so much and believe in so much of what you shared because I do believe—I started my company to make a difference for small businesses and nonprofits.

And I truly believe in what I do in, and that that has led to my success and clearly what you believe and what you do, and are well intentioned with everything too. And that has led to your success. 

Thank you. 

And I love how, and as painful as it was for you, I love how you started over with social media. That was an unbelievable story because again, I think it helps us reset and understand that even if we're in the beginning, we can still get where we wanna go.

Jen Szpigiel:

Amen.

Kendra Corman:

So that is just, that is just beautiful and thank you. So thank you so much Jen, and thank you everybody for tuning in to another episode of Imperfect Marketing. I look forward to seeing you again next week for another new episode.