Tell Your Own Story with Olivia Christian
Lara Schmoisman 00:05
This is Coffee N.5. I’m your host, Lara Schmoisman. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Coffee N.5. And I had my coffee Friday, I just made it. And when I was thinking, Oh, and I see our guests already on Livia, I can introduce her in a minute that she has her coffee too. So chin Tina for that. And I will thinking as far as doing my coffee, my fancy coffee, without one milk. And I would think it about personalities. And when you talk about someone, you can tell them the you want to pay, I want to tell you about my friend, and you can then give them the short version, or the long version of the story, or how you know them how you meet. But sometimes also, we need to introduce ourselves to the wall. When you get in a job or career, you want the position. You want to speak. And I’m right, man, there’s so many things that you need to introduce yourself. And, again, we can do the short version. or we can do the long, never ending version, because how do you choose how to tell about yourself? And I mean, we are so many things. I’m a mother, I’m a podcaster. And I’m an agency owner. So I believe that I don’t need to tell everything about myself. For every situation, you need to choose what it’s like picking and choosing right, Olivia and welcome. Thank you for joining us. We have Olivia Christian, and she is a coach, non coach. Are we gonna talk about that later, because she says she coaches but she doesn’t see herself as a coach. So first of all, what do you see?
Olivia Christian 01:55
Thank you so much for inviting me on the show. And Jen, Jen to you. To all of our guests that are tuning in. I appreciate you joining the live on Yeah, well, I you know, I was mentioning that I don’t think of myself as a coach. Although like in my sessions and my personal brand story workshop sessions, the workshop itself is called Own your story. And I coach in real time, we want people to do is learn the methodology of crafting a concise and compelling personal brand story. They get it in the workshop, but then they’ve got to do homework on they’re getting to understand themselves their journey. Sometimes those vulnerable parts, those challenges and choices you’ve made along the way. And if they want to get in touch with me and you know, share more details and help me I’m sorry, we help them kind of further beyond the workshop. And yeah, I do some coaching. But I always try to put it in an individual’s hands. This will work if you work it, and I’m here to serve you. But yeah,
Lara Schmoisman 02:53
I have so many people now that I have a podcast, I have so many people that they want to be guests at the podcast, and sometimes they are approaching me and not telling me anything about themselves? or Why should I bring them to the podcast? or Why should I why they’re a good fit for my podcast and what they can give the audience. So tell us a little bit about how to work out is how to choose what part of who we are with, we transmit and translate to others.
Olivia Christian 03:25
I’ll get on with your example somebody who wants to be on your podcast. First of all, if you’re reaching out to someone to be a guest, I would make sure that you’ve done some homework to find out what the show was about. Maybe even pull out a couple of tips or highlights that really spoke to you and mention that in your introduction email. So the person who’s reading it gets an understanding of whether or not you’ve really done your homework. But again, when you have Washington say again, let me introduce this concept of being focused on who your audience is and what you want them to achieve that story you tell, as you mentioned, you’ve got a lot of things going on your business owner, your podcast host you’re a mom, not everybody needs to know all of that. It’s it’s really unique. focusing in on what you want your audience to achieve, to hire you to follow you on social to make recommendations on your behalf to be your mentor.
Lara Schmoisman 04:13
The thing is, if I say everything in I try to explain everything in a short paragraph for a short time, I’m gonna have like multiple personalities. It’s gonna sound like crazy
Olivia Christian 04:25
personalities, it just multiple facets as to who you are. But when you are you have a limited time. People have a limited amount of energy to focus in on someone else when they’ve got their own stuff going on family, friends, businesses and what have you. So when you tell your story, if you want them to walk away with an action item with to do something, tell them what it is you want them to do and what elements about who you are influenced that ask. So it’s connected so they don’t if you’re wanting somebody listen to your podcast, you don’t need to go on about being a mom and making dinner and making lunch. doing laundry, that doesn’t inform me about your podcast at all. Instead, tell me, that podcast part of your life. If again, you’re trying to get me to be a guest, or you want me to listen. So it’s not about having multiple personalities, it’s really just focusing in on who you’re talking to what you want to achieve and telling a story with that in mind.
Lara Schmoisman 05:19
Okay, so how long an introduction should be or how long that consists, personality, Introduction should be,
Olivia Christian 05:29
well, that can also fluctuate depending on where you are, if you’re in an elevator, you might have 30 seconds, if you’re in an interview, and they say, Tell me about yourself. Again, your goal is to get hired, right? So you answer that question with details and stories, accomplishments that relate to the job that you want to get. And you may have three minutes to make that statement. But no matter who you’re talking to, it’s again, always important to know what you’re trying to achieve and give them enough information that they want to ask a follow up question, as opposed to feeling overwhelmed by all and then I did this and that I could reel it in a bit and focus in on the most important details that are pertinent to that audience member, or that you know, audience of 150 people, no matter what it is, if it’s one per room,
Lara Schmoisman 06:14
I say something consistent when either we take and make an interview on either podcast, or when we’re interviewing someone for the position, people have a hard time going to the point and answering one question. Sometimes they mostly when they say about themselves, like because you’re not asking what to pursue, you’re asking something that is subjective. So do you recommend to people to see that question or see the point of view of the whoever you’re talking to?
Olivia Christian 06:47
I don’t think you have to choose one over the other? Yes, there’s probably as we already kind of went through, there’s a lot of things that make up an individual a lot of things that they’re interested in expertise and maybe different fields. But if someone is asking you a question, it is important to answer the question being asked. And even if you your responses, actually, there’s a lot of different ways I can answer this question. Let me pick this one. You can say something like that, again, focusing on what you’re trying to achieve, which is one answering the question, but also, what is the point of the conversation. And if you’re in different scenarios, or different things, as I mentioned, maybe you’re looking for funding, you’re looking for followers, you’re looking to get hired. So all of those types of things. those goals are different. So you’re able to be reflective of what you’re trying to achieve and the conversation.
Lara Schmoisman 07:34
Yeah, you work with a lot of entrepreneurs or not, you also just launch your book that entrepreneurs advice for entrepreneurial life, right? Congrats on that, by the way. So what’s your experience working with an entrepreneurs because I have my experiences from the marketing side, but I want to know what it felt like, what makes an entrepreneur first?
Olivia Christian 07:59
Well, I’m going to say two things. One, I would say I work with entrepreneurs and individuals who work in different professions, internally, with large corporate, it’s about 5050, I do a lot of work with clients within like Google or Twitter or visa. And then I also do a lot of work with individuals who are in lots of different industries, they’ve got a restaurant a cupcake place, they do coaching on their own. They have clothing lines, and doorway lines, the common issue that I think anyone has, or all of the experts, all of the the folks are just getting into the professional field, you know, again, if you’re a seasoned professional, or you just graduating college, all of us need to be able to communicate who we are what we do, and a concise, compelling way. It doesn’t matter if you’re a manager or director or if you’re just a member on the team. Or if you’re working solo on a as an entrepreneur creating a product or service. People connect to the human side of us. I’m from Silicon Valley, the thing that we hear all the time in tech is people don’t invest in ideas, they invest in people. So we put yourself in that position where people get you on that human level, the sales part, the pitching part, the product stuff comes afterwards. So again, it doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur or if you’re a seasoned professional within a corporation or a nonprofit organization. I’ve worked with a lot of nonprofits as well, communicating the humanity, the passion, the purpose of what you do, and how it’s attached to the job that you have, or the business that you’ve created is an important tool that never goes away, and then evolves and changes as you do professionally. And personally, in marketing. I
Lara Schmoisman 09:36
call that core values. And I always attach with what Simon Sinek says people don’t buy what you’re selling. They buy why you selling and in this case, it’s exactly the same is about attaching to the beliefs of the person.
Olivia Christian 09:53
Yeah, now of course after you’ve got them hooked emotionally, your product or service needs to step up and be working The investment. But most of the selling really comes from, again, the personal relationship, that connection, the story that you tell the why you do what you do what you’re trying to achieve through your product or service for your customers and clients. And then that’s where you can build long lasting relationships.
Lara Schmoisman 10:17
Absolutely. So talking about a lot of our listeners are entrepreneurs, also our business owners, and many of them also career oriented people. And I believe it’s so important, the networking and what how we connect with others, and how we interact with others. And building strong relationships are based on honesty, and not without expectations. And a lot of people have that hard time with that first approach. And I have no issues I go, Hey, I’m Laurie, I’m the CEO of the Dow, I do this or that I have no problems. But that’s me. And a lot of people have problems with that small talk. And that small talk is what it can lead into creating big relationships or even deals or partnerships. So how, what kind of advice you can give people that they starting to create, they don’t know how to start that communication, that introduction, because I believe I mean, and Don, you can tell me if I’m wrong, but this is my experience, every time that I pitch someone, and I was told, am I wrong a lot. But when I someone comes to me a new client, I tell them who I am and why I’m here, and how they got first to get to meet me first to see feel comfortable with me. And then when they feel comfortable with me, then I can give them my offering. Because I understand where they come in from. And a lot of people tell me, no, the sales approach is asking you about them first, and say why they will feel comfortable talking about themselves if they don’t know who I am.
Olivia Christian 12:04
Well, first of all, I don’t ever tell people what they’re doing is wrong. If it works for you keep doing it. It doesn’t matter what other people tell you, if you’re you found success, you found connections, you found clients that connect to your approach, keep doing what you’re doing. And for me, it can go either way, like in my workshop itself, the own your story workshop, I start by telling my story as an example. And to talk about my journey in a way that’s real, that’s authentic, that’s a little emotional. Sometimes Sometimes it’s funny. But it’s like if you want someone to root to be open to you to share the honesty of where they are, where they’re trying to be, you have to show up and do that first. It’s as if you’re giving them permission to do that when you do it first. So that’s what I do I so I think we’re similar. But beyond my workshop itself. You know, in my other world, I’m a sports journalist. So I asked a lot of questions. And I asked a lot of questions of people. And I find that people like to talk about themselves. So if you also the opposite of starting with yourself is creating an opportunity for them to share details. Ask them, you know, not things like what’s your favorite drink? If that’s not helpful with you understanding them? But like, what made you How did you find me? Who referred you to me?
Lara Schmoisman 13:18
Wow, no, of course, like that. Although things are being in my case, I took that out of the way we had that little warm up conversation, but I feel like why some will give you their business if you don’t already. Put your your authority over there.
Olivia Christian 13:35
Yeah, well, like I said, if you’re doing something and it’s working for you, I am not going to talk you out of that. So do what works. That’s what I think everyone should do is if if you have found success in one way or another, it’s the you that people are attracted to. So I would never talk someone out of their approach. But I’m just saying, as an example, you can do either or I don’t think there’s a right answer. It’s just
Lara Schmoisman 13:58
Well, I love that you just brought up something in the attraction point, because that’s something that you can work on yourself, also to make yourself your story to be more compelling, and to be more attractive. In that case,
Olivia Christian 14:16
I don’t wait, I think about it, as you know, somebody who might be hesitant to share details because they’re shy, or they don’t think it’s relevant, or they just have a hard time. You know, I encourage them to spend some time writing it out. And, you know, tell us a little bit like write it to yourself, and sometimes in life, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re so busy, you’re doing 100 different things. And so when you take time to write out the things that you’ve accomplished, again, some challenges and choices you’ve made along the way, you’re kind of reminding yourself that Yeah, I’ve accomplished some things. I’m kind of a big deal to myself. I like what I’m doing or you reminding yourself of what your real goals are. Have you gotten off track? Are you doing the things that you’re really passionate about? Do you still care about this business in that way? But you did when you started. But when you spend some time kind of doing the work internally, and I say, externally, by writing it out, you can get more comfortable with sharing aspects of your journey. But when it’s all in your head, it can feel like too much. And so you say nothing. But when you get it out, it’s less dramatic, sometimes less traumatic, than you’ve made it out to be. So first steps is doing the internal work. And I say writing out because, again, just thinking about it, you can talk yourself into thinking, well, that’s not important, nobody’s going to get that that’s not helpful. But when you write it out, it’s doing something for you internally, it’s something that you can refer to, in the future, look back at those notes. And it’s something that I think helps build confidence once you’ve gotten it out, or maybe even recorded into your phone and listen to yourself, say it back out loud. Those little hurdles, I think can help get people closer and closer to being comfortable kind of sharing those uncomfortable details sometimes
Lara Schmoisman 15:56
what other strategies or homework, you can get people to feel more comfortable themselves and telling their compelling and concise story.
Olivia Christian 16:07
Well, first of all, I’d say go to my website and sign up for shop.
Lara Schmoisman 16:10
Olivia Christian 16:11
and let me walk you through the methodology. I think, again, by beginning with doing some internal work, and writing that stuff out. You know, years ago on National Public Radio here in the States, NPR, I heard a story about how college students weren’t retaining information in colleges as well as past generations, because they were typing their notes instead of writing their notes. And when you write letters that create words and sentences, details and memories are brought up. And you can remember that stuff. And sometimes getting comfortable with your story is just repetition. So it’s not a one and done, which I referred to earlier. You know, if you come into my workshop, I guide you through this stuff, but there’s homework. So set some expectations that are reasonable, knowing that it’s not going to be one session sitting on your couch, or one workshop that you go to or one speaker that you hear. That’s going to open up the heavens, and you’re going to be perfectly ready to share the story. It is work, if it’s something you want to achieve in life in anything it’s going to be worth and it will be worth it. In the end.
Lara Schmoisman 17:11
Yeah, on my my question is, how do you get more comfortable besides repetition?
Olivia Christian 17:18
Well, for me, it’s saying it out loud, um, the workshop that I’ve been hosting on your story, I’ve been doing it for seven years yourself. And I was first just doing it with clients of mine. And then I was invited to do it at a conference that was specifically for professional women from lots of different industries all over the they came to San Francisco. And so that was my first challenge was alright, these ladies have no relationship to each other they don’t. Again, I was working with my clients before, so interns and board members, so they all knew each other. But here I had to bring together a room of women who had different experience had different goals. And so I had to challenge myself to step up. And I think you get practice, you get more confident as you put yourself in uncomfortable positions and make yourself perform, you will get better at standing in front of a room of 100 or one person if you’ve done it before. And you can’t do it before if you haven’t done it yet. So getting out and into the world and creating opportunities for yourself to gain skills to gain opportunities to share your story. That’s the only way you’re gonna get comfortable living in your head, not writing it out, not saying it out loud, you’re not gonna get anywhere with it, it’s not going to get better, you’re not going to get more comfortable. So you have to take
Lara Schmoisman 18:36
the risk. Absolutely. Like I always ask my guests at the end of each podcast, I want you to give three tips. The most important besides taking your workshop, which I think is the most important step in order to gain this comfort about telling your story and, and storytelling, but what are they the three tips that you can give someone about telling their story?
Olivia Christian 19:00
I always start with the audience. Who are you talking to? And what do they need to know about you in order to do the thing you want them to do? focusing your story on who you’re talking to one or two closely related audience members helps you focus what your answer is, what your story is, what you’re trying to achieve. When you’re trying to tell a story of everything you’ve ever done in your life. For everybody who could potentially be a customer or client and the entire world you’re really talking to no one, they don’t get to know you. So focus your story in on your audience knowing that you likely have multiple audiences. If you’re an entrepreneur, you might have investors, a board a team and clients for different types of audiences. But they don’t all need to hear the same thing. They likely need to have some common story but they likely need a different call to action. You’re asking different things of them and buy them So know that it’s okay to have different stories based on who your audiences. The other thing. The other tip I encourage people to do is to like I said earlier, write out the story. Think through the journey. itself, remind yourself of what you’re trying to achieve. What are some highlights that are again connected to the audience that you’re talking to, I make really good guacamole. But that is not necessary for me to share with you today, if I’m not trying to get you to eat or buy my guacamole right
Lara Schmoisman 20:15
now, now I want to try You’re welcome only if you’re making.
Olivia Christian 20:19
It’s not that great want to cook, but I’m pretty proud of my boy. But we are thinking of some of your accomplishments. Again, zero win on those, those accomplishments that makes sense for your audience to hear about and to know. But think through what those things are those highlights and think about them in a bullet point form. You don’t have to go on and on about that accomplishment. But just think of that highlight, I served this many customers, we raised this much money, this is how much we’ve grown over the last five years. And when you kind of think about it in bullet point form, when you’re getting the details out there. But you’re also leaving time and space for your audience member to ask a follow up question, as I mentioned, like, leave some space for someone to ask you more details and to dive in to more details as opposed to overwhelming them with the information. And lastly, I’d say I find it’s something I hear commonly is about the word Yeah. Commonly is or something I hear often is I don’t have a story to tell, or my story. isn’t that important. It’s not that
Lara Schmoisman 21:19
Oh, that that’s something I heard.
Olivia Christian 21:22
Yeah, people say to me all the time. And the story that I shared my workshop isn’t a very dramatic story. But it’s how you tell a story. Absolutely. That is what people will remember, they’ll remember how they feel the details you bring out. So instead of thinking about telling a personal brand story in a way where you’re giving your LinkedIn profile, I worked here, then I worked here, this is my job title, I live here, all of us have that. But it’s the you how you felt the emotional journey, you went on how it felt to create your own business, what you’re, again, trying to achieve for your clients. The emotional stuff helps us have insight into who you are as a person. So creating that story, you’ve got a LinkedIn profile for a reason, go ahead and keep it that way. But when you have an opportunity to communicate directly to someone, it’s an opportunity for you to incorporate the emotional impact that life and your profession has had on you and again, what you want. For others, it was my tip,
Lara Schmoisman 22:15
and those amazing tips. Thank you so much. I was so looking for have some questions here in Facebook. But I guess, you said all and you’re because we have a lot of people watching right now. And I think the information is terrific. I would have liked to have heart. So I love to have you here. And thank you so much for all this information. Olivia.
Olivia Christian 22:42
Thank you, I appreciate the conversation.
Lara Schmoisman 22:44
Okay, and for everyone else, I will see you next week if your lover podcasts or lover tapes, go to our notes and get Olivia’s information to get in her website, social media and all the things but also, if you love the podcast give us the five stars because we need that so all the more people can get access to all these amazing people and individuals that we have a Coffee N.5, so see you soon. Bye. Hi. Thank you for joining us. If you like the show, remember to leave a review. I will really appreciate it. If you want to know more about marketing and and myself follow me on Instagram. My handle is Lara Schmoisman was so good to have you here today. See you next time. catch you on the flip side. Ciao ciao.