Alex came to the program telling me she “talks about community and friendship and how society needs new ways to approach those relationships.” Admittedly, I stared at her blank for a hot five seconds during our first zoom meeting. She laughed as she said she was used to this because she couldn’t say what she FELT in a way that was easily understood.
Throughout the course of the program Alex would move me (and the whole group) to tears many times as she did all the exercises and left her vulnerability completely on the table for all of us. Her tumultuous childhood and the life journey that led her to where she is today unfolded as the weeks went on.. I found myself sending her links I saw in major news publications and it dawned on me one day, “Wait a minute…this is what YOU DO. You are a trailblazer!”
Alex is a trailblazer and when founders are truly forging a new path, it can be even more challenging to convey messaging and to connect with an audience. Alex’s challenge was connecting the work she does to why we should all care about it . Additionally, her back story was truly Netflix worthy and while that can be a good thing, sometimes it can be daunting. How do you distill your past into a narrative that not only connects to your audience but makes them understand the innovative work you are doing?
Alex not only did that in this program but I have never been more clear on what she is doing in this world and the many many lives she is going to impact.
Alison came to Founder’s Fire a veteran entrepreneur of 20+ years.
Developing a cult-like following for her glass jewelry in a brick-and-mortar shop in a magical island off the coast of Maine, Alison was ready to expand into new opportunities in the form of apprenticeship workshops, mentorship and online offerings.
Like many product founders, she didn’t like to talk about herself because “it was about the jewelry”.
But through this program she discovered that it IS actually a LOT about her and why she has life-long raving fans who come back to this island -accessible by ferry only -year after year to buy her products. Through many iterations, we worked Alison through her story of early childhood rule following to blowing her life up in her mid 30s to pursue the life she really wanted.
Through this process, Alison left with much more than just a founder story for her website, but a deep love and understanding for the woman and entrepreneur she is in this life.
Jaime came to the program pretty fresh from her executive position at Disney but knowing that corporate America was not her path. The leadership skills she developed and cultivated for her own team at Disney made her crave bringing these skills to founders outside the walls of Disney.
She was a self proclaimed “baby entrepreneur” in that she wasn’t in business that long when she started, but her conviction and passion for the new path she was forging was unmatched.
Jaime also suffered a bit of “I don’t get why that is interesting” syndrome about her own story (which is so common by the way!) but as she moved through the program I literally saw a rebirth of herself as a confident new entrepreneur who understood why her story was not only badass, but necessary to tell if she was going to attract the type of clients she was capable of helping.
At the start of the program, Jaime did not show up on her social platforms or speak her perspective publicly. Now I can’t open Instagram without seeing Jaime loud and proud sharing all of her knowledge and insights!
Laura has literally taken every single program I’ve ever offered. Having founders repeatedly come to you for help is the highest form of flattery IMO!
Laura actually falls in that rare category of “UNIQUE BUSINESS IDEA.” Her reimagination of how we donate to charities and give back to society has landed her on Ellen, the TODAY show and many other press outlets…and she did all of this herself.
But she still struggled with the most asked question she received when she wasn’t face-to-face. “Why did you start this business?”. She couldn’t really say how she FELT in her soul and she realized that if she wanted to have the impact she craves for LottoLove (and the impact the world needs from her business), she was going to have to sharpen her own storytelling skills and become more of a face for her brand.
Through Founder’s Fire we iterated MANY times as she said to me, “I had a great childhood. No trauma. Went to a great college. Landed a job out of college. I almost feel bad. That’s boring.” We worked together to uncover how wrong she was. That trauma and dramatic struggle are not the only successful ingredients to a great and compelling story. The connections we made from her past and why she felt called to start this business are the elements of dream founder stories.