Why I’m Crazy About Learning

What kind of University student spends her spare time preparing and presenting financial literacy training?

The nerdy kind.

I know because I was her.

I’ll never forget the day we took our freshly minted financial literacy content to share with a group of women gathered at an unlisted location — a building with no sign on the door.

The reason the location was top secret was that it was a transitional home for women formerly working in the sex trade. These women lived a life most of us only witness in movies.

Yet, there I was standing in front of them because they made the brave decision to leave and restart their life anew in spite of the danger of doing so. Little did they know one of the costs of grabbing hold of their new life would be listening to a naive, barely-over-twenty-something, ramble on about compound interest and the value of monthly budgeting. (Guessing I’m peaking an unprecedented level of nerd in your mind right about now…)

What struck me most about that day wasn’t the eagerness of these women to learn how to take back control of their lives or learning just how much money one can make in the sex trade.

What struck me most was the power of information to shift perspective and change lives.

Compound interest might not be the sexiest topic in the world but understanding it sure packs a punch in terms of the difference it can make to your bank account 5, 10, 20 years from now.

I was so inspired to see how going through a sample budget exercise wasn’t a chore for these women.

Learning how to budget was a doorway into wide-open possibility.

It meant the possibility to work an entry-level job but still feel confident all the bills would be paid and avoid the financial lure of getting sucked back into the sex trade.

It meant earning money in a way that took back control and spending that money exactly how they wanted.

Looking back, I think this was the moment I feel in love with sharing knowledge.

I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers but I do have a knack for organizing what I learn — from my own journey, from listening to the paths others have taken, and absorbing from those with much more experience than myself — into easily digestible steps to get from A to B (after pinpointing what exactly point ‘A’ and point ‘B’ are to start with).

Over the past two years, I’ve been co-creating a new way of approaching marketing for social impact businesses.

It started out with what we call the Captivate StoryBridge — a tool we use to guide impact entrepreneurs through a reflection of what makes up their founder’s story. It is a powerful framework but after taking 20 entrepreneurs through it in 2018, we realized the StoryBridge alone wasn’t enough.

Articulating the founder’s story is only one piece of the bigger puzzle of growing a sustainable impact business.

We asked ourselves, “What separates an impact business that flounders and ultimately flops from one that gains momentum to reach scalable sales and impact?”

The rise of a more interconnected world than ever before has resulted in growing distrust of marketing and sales in general. And for good reason. There are far too many shady tactics at play, especially online. Brands and institutions are breaking promises left, right, and centre, leaving the public to question true motives.

Where does that leave genuinely purpose-driven entrepreneurs and businesses?

How can they best be heard, build trust, and make the bank needed to stay in business and keep creating change?

We pooled our collective experience across digital marketing, content creation, copywriting, and business coaching and realized one very important thing:

Storytelling may be the most authentic and truly human way to grow a community of people who care about what you do — and who may become buyers and advocates — but it’s not the whole equation.

In order to build authentic connections online, you need to become the master storyteller of your business and tell the right stories to the right people at the right time.

Strategic storytelling is more science than art and I can confidently say we now have a pressure-tested framework of how it’s done.

Next week I’ll be sharing the entire Captivate Method framework for digital entrepreneurs who want to break through the noise to get their message heard and build a business that leaves a (helpful) dent in the world.

I hope you’ll join me for this live workshop:

Join live Friday, September 25 @ 1pm EST

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