Content Marketing, Artificial Intelligence & Bacon
Wendy Lieber is the Co-founder of ContentBacon, a custom content provider that helps companies across various industries increase traffic and brand awareness, and generate leads and customers. Wendy has a degree in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Women In Distress of Broward County and the South Florida chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Before ContentBacon, Wendy was the President of Athena Marketing and the CMO of BC Network Media.
Welcome to The Future Is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen, we feature top entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world, those who bring a global mindset and a unique perspective to their life and business. Now, let’s get started with the show.
David Nilssen 0:23
Hey, David Nilssen here I’m the host of The Future Is Borderless. And the goal of this show was to connect business leaders from around the world who have what I would call a borderless mindset, and bring them on to share ideas, innovations, best practices, things that can be applied to both our personal professional life with the goal of ultimately helping us to thrive in an environment that is just rapidly changing. Now this episode is brought to you by Doxa Talent. Doxa Talent helps businesses to source full-time highly skilled workers from all over the world. And as a result, they can scale faster increase margin and even improved culture. The most common roles that they help fill are virtual assistants, finance professionals, sales and service helpdesk and even software engineers. And to learn more about how Doxa can help you leverage borderless talent, go to doxatalent.com. All right, well, I’m excited for today’s show. Wendy Lieber is the co-founder of ContentBacon, which, as they say, creates kick-ass content to fuel your inbound marketing strategy, generate traffic leads, and ultimately customers. Prior to ContentBacon, she was the president of Athena Marketing and the CMO of BC Network Media. She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in marketing and eventually earned her MBA from NSU. And Wendy is extremely involved are active in her local community where she serves on the Board of Trustees For Women In Distress of Broward County and the South Florida chapter for the Entrepreneurs Organization. And she’s got a passion for helping customers figure out and communicate their why so that it resonates with their target audience. And that’s just one of the many reasons I wanted to invite her on the show. So with that, Wendy, welcome to The Future Is Borderless.
Wendy Lieber 1:59
Thank you, David.
David Nilssen 2:01
It’s good to have you here. I want to start with something. I have a four-year-old daughter who shares a very similar deeply rooted passion for bacon. And so I’m really drawn to your brand. And I’d love to hear like, how did you come up with that name?
Wendy Lieber 2:16
Yeah, it’s a common question. So when we were forming ContentBacon, we were going through a typical branding exercise where you just put a lot of names together to see what kind of clicks what kind of hits, what’s available, and ContentBacon was the winner. And really the reason why bacon is Bacon makes everything better. Bacon is often a condiment for other things you can pretty much pair it with anything. And the result is better. And content is also like that, with the right content, it really can make anything better so that tells like a little bit of a micro-story in the name, which is also the sign of a good brand.
David Nilssen 3:05
Yeah, that’s funny. You’re right, though, I think it can be either a main course and appetizer or a condiments. Yeah, you can use it the same way. Well, I want to just I guess, hear a little bit about the backstory there. You spent most of your professional career obviously, in what I would call Marketing and Communications. Why did you decide to start ContentBacon? What was the problem you were solving or the opportunity that you saw?
Wendy Lieber 3:29
Yeah, the main reason, there are two kind of key things. I was looking to grow and scale a business. I wanted to play like a much bigger game and have a business I could truly run without me and scale. And the company I had, prior to ContentBacon was really more of a boutique, strategic marketing company, we did really cool stuff had great relationships, but it was all about me, you know, my clients hired me. And I kind of couldn’t figure out a way out of that really kind of jazzed me up. But what I was noticing, no matter who I was working with, who I was talking to, they all struggled with content and digital content was becoming more and more important, consistent social media. And companies were really struggling with how to do it and do it well. And so I loved this idea of a subscription-based model and so started kind of playing with that with my previous company and just offering subscription to current clients and it took off and during that time I was I was in a Programme called EO Accelerator, which was all about growing and scaling and I met my business partner in that Programme, who was also kind of looking to do the same thing. I had gone down the partnership route a couple of times before, and not successfully so I was very adverse to starting another partnership with what I currently had, because that was working, but I was like, oh, let’s dabble with this new concept I have, and see if we can make it work and within a year, we were over a million dollars and just that became like, this is it, this is the focus. And since then it’s, it’s been a really great decision.
David Nilssen 5:19
That’s awesome. I can empathize with, or I guess I can relate to the fact that I often hire companies based on an individual. And as that company continues to grow, you want to continue to work with that individual, but that obviously scalable. And so I can see why you decided to make that pivot. I do want to come back and talk about partnerships, because I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve been in partnerships in every business that I’ve ever started, and they’ve all gone very well. But I’ve seen so many of them erode. And so I’d love to dig into that a little bit later. But you said something a minute ago, around target your customer and I’m just curious, like, who is that target customer? Like, who’s ideal for ContentBacon?
Wendy Lieber 5:55
Yeah, I mean, that’s a bob, as we’ve been in business for a while, it’s really an educated customer. It could be b2b, b2c, our niche is really content, not necessarily industry, although we do have like a particular depth of expertise and technology, professional services, health care, cannabis, for whatever reason, but the real target is companies that want to be considered subject matter experts understand the importance of content, or looking at it as a long term game, not like direct response, like, well, let me try this for a month or two and see if it works. So companies that are really looking to use content to educate, entertain, inspire, inform, and are willing to invest in that over a long period of time, because they’re building an asset.
David Nilssen 6:52
Yeah. And when you say content, because that’s pretty broad, right? There’s lots of different types of content, is there a specific kind of area within content that you guys focus on.
Wendy Lieber 7:02
So we have what we refer to is kind of what every company needs to have a strong foundation. And that starts with a great website, a website that’s more than just a brochure, and what I mean by that, it’s a place people can come back to again, and again, for resources for new information, again, to like, be entertained. And so website content, blog article content is a key foundation, because that typically gets updated multiple times a week, multiple times a month, so it keeps you out there in very relevant, fresh way keeps your website up to date, a reason to come back social media content, having an active social media presence, where, again, you’re adding value, you’re sharing information that is solving your target audiences problems, or just making their life better in some way. And then a monthly email communication. It sounds really basic, but you’d be surprised at companies that have databases that they haven’t touched or aren’t consistently touching. And sometimes, million dollars of revenue are in those databases. So having like a very basic, just a monthly newsletter that’s keeping your name out there, again, sharing information. When we talk about content, it’s typically not very sales-oriented content. It’s all about education, improving, solving problems. And so everything I’m talking about all these different channels are vehicles to share that content. So those are kind of the foundational elements. But then above and beyond that, I mean, we do really any type of content to share a company’s story to whoever that audience might be, whether it’s internally or externally, that could be eBooks, email, nurturing campaigns, it could be video content, it could be sales presentations. But what I mentioned at the beginning, the website content, blog content, social media and newsletter are really, like, that’s maybe our bread and butter.
David Nilssen 9:18
Yeah, well, just out of curiosity. And it’s been a long time since I sort of was up to speed on best practices and content marketing. But I remember years ago, part of the reason why you want to constantly refresh the content on your site or add to the content of your site is because it gives you basically the search engines a reason to come back and index you over and over again, which certainly helps with SEO rankings. Is that still the case?
Wendy Lieber 9:39
Absolutely. That’s one of the key reasons is you want it look alive. You want to have a heartbeat, and so having fresh relevant content is so important in order to do that.
David Nilssen 9:53
Yeah, it’s so funny. I can’t tell how many times I go to a website and it just looks like the website died about three years ago, right? And it loses credibility instantly, because it feels like it’s not really trying to have some sort of relationship with the traffic that’s coming its way. So I want to come back to the technical aspects of content, because I think a lot of our listeners would be interested in like some of the evolving trends and how we think about aligning the business to content. But I want to just ask a couple questions about the early stages of ContentBacon. Scaling business isn’t easy. And I’m just curious about what are some of the early challenges that you faced, as you were starting to launch the business and learn about subscription versus agency models? Like, what were some of the things that came to mind for you?
Wendy Lieber 10:36
So I think a couple key things were, number one, me stepping out of the way and not saying yes to things that weren’t really kind of in our lane at that point, because based on my background, I could say yes to almost anything, because I could do it. But what I realized is, the more I did that, I would disrupt my internal team, and they just wouldn’t be successful because I was constantly throwing challenges at them. So early on, it was, like really simplifying what we say yes to and saying no to a lot of things, and really getting clear on our menu. And so that we could have a defined process for every item on the menu, if you will, so it could be done successfully, each and every time. So developing kind of those scalable processes, and then being disciplined enough to stick to them. So that was definitely an early lesson. And then just having the right tools to keep track of everything, because we’re doing 1000s of pieces of content on a weekly, monthly basis. So, investing in the right tools, so that we could, you know, keep track of that and make sure we were honoring our deliverables. And that evolved and continues to evolve that constantly looking at that. And those are some of the big ones.
David Nilssen 12:09
Man, it’s funny, you say saying no, and having discipline, everything that an entrepreneur is great at, right? One of my earliest guests on this podcast with Lex Sisney, who wrote the book Organizational Physics, and he’s really an organizational design expert. But one of the things that he says that I just love the simplicity scales, complexity does not. As you’re talking about that, the thing I kept thinking about is like, as entrepreneurs, we always fight this urge to take on everything to say yes to create more. And actually, sometimes just simplifying things down makes it easier for people that execute and do it without you, which is more scalable.
Wendy Lieber 12:44
Yes, we have an internal saying, the simpler things get, the bigger they grow. And so growth excites me a lot more than complexity. So that kind of keeps me in check.
David Nilssen 12:46
Yeah, I love it. I love that mantra. Tell me a little bit about how you organized your team. Are you guys in an office? Are you remote? Are you all domestic? Global? How do you think about that?
Wendy Lieber 13:07
So we are global, we have been remote and virtuals since before, that was cool. So when the pandemic hit, we were basically unaffected because we’ve been virtual, we went through a period. So initially launching ContentBacon, you know, my partner, and I kind of had this vision, like we wanted this, like, writers room, we had this like Saturday Night Live like concept in our mind, where there this be this room that we could walk in, and all this creativity would just be spewing out of it. And you were based in South Florida. And when we started hiring people, and you start hiring more and more people, what we found is being able to hire people from all over was a major competitive advantages, especially for the type of people we were hiring writers, editors, strategists. So we very quickly determined that being virtual was the way to go. And for a small period of time, we were a hybrid, because we did have some people in our Fort Lauderdale office but quickly realized that that didn’t work. And so, even the people that were local, we had them be virtual, which worked really well and also just gave us a competitive advantage. And then we used to tout that all of our writers were US based, because there was a stigma with a lot of companies that would hire offshore writers and just get kind of crap. And so, we have always been about quality. But in more recent years, again, we find the best talent and we don’t care where they’re at. And so, we’ve recently started finding writers in all parts of the world that are amazing at specific niches and so we are completely borderless and we have team members, you know, all over Mexico, the Philippines, the US, England, Switzerland, you name it.
David Nilssen 15:11
It’s exciting. Yeah, it’s funny. I’ve always been a little bit surprised. But certainly there are some businesses that need some physical proximity to deliver their service, especially in retail, and so on and so forth. But when you have the ability to go outside of that, I’ve always been surprised by the people that choose not to just because it’s the way it’s been done, or because they want to keep it here. We’re turning into such a globally connected world. I think people need to embrace that. But funny, you said something a second ago, I remember, I had a previous business and we had hundreds of people in downtown Seattle all come into an office. And at some point, we decided we become a flexible employer. And that meant hybrid, right? But the challenge is, when we went hybrid, we realized we were creating two classes of employees, those that were there had proximity could have the watercooler talk could have the drive-by conversations and those that didn’t. And it created so much tension and inefficiencies that we eventually decided to go full remote. And now with every business, that I’m a part of 100% remote, we just feel like that’s the sort of the way of the future and it and it breaks down that sort of it opens up, I should say, the possibility for us to acquire talent from anywhere, just like you said, so totally.
Wendy Lieber 16:23
Yeah, we had that same issue where we would have our weekly meetings, and some of us that were in person to be jokes on the side, and the people, like, they had no idea and it just very quickly became just, you could just tell like, it’s this is not going to work.
David Nilssen 16:40
Yeah. Well, let’s talk about startups. So some people launch their businesses, they’re not even 100% certain what their business is, or at least they haven’t confirmed, they’ve got product market fit. So when is the right time, whether they’re working with your firm, or just doing their own sort of content creation? Like, when is the right time to start thinking about getting that engine started?
Wendy Lieber 17:04
Yeah. I mean, I think you have to think about it from the onset, because it’s having a content plan and telling your story is how you’re going to generate awareness for your product or service, how you’re going to generate leads, how you’re going to create revenue, repeat revenue, referrals, it’s so important. And I know, it’s challenging, because there’s so many things, you have to think about when you’re starting a company. But the earlier you begin creating content, the better because it just creates momentum, it’s like when’s the best time to plant a tree? It was 20 years ago, it’s the same thing with your content plan. I mean, we just went through a whole analysis of the year on our marketing and content we created, you know, three, four years ago, you know, gets us leads today. And so the earlier you can begin to create content. The other key thing that I think is often overlooked is, the more you create content for your company, it helps you figure out how to communicate your why your story, it’s not easy. It’s not like, okay, we’re going to create content, go do it. It takes the thinking, and it takes like your company figuring out, what’s your point of view about this, because for content to actually resonate with your target audience, it has to be unique, it has to have a point of view, you have to be willing to talk about things others aren’t in your industry, otherwise, you’re just regurgitating stuff that’s already out there, which has some value, at least, in the beginning, but it’s such a great way to like to figure out so many things in your business, because to actually have to produce something that you’re going to put out there to communicate, it really is a valuable process. And the more you do it, the better you get. And then as a company, because you’re doing it, you now have things that within your company you can share, which kind of get you on the same page. And so it’s really serves a much bigger role than just creating content to get leads like that’s a byproduct. It’s more about well, what is your story? What is your why? Why do you exist? Why should those people care? And that process is invaluable. You can’t have a business if you don’t go through those steps.
David Nilssen 19:33
Yeah, it’s funny. There’s those people out there that I think use the shotgun method of content. It’s just you’re spraying content for the purpose of spraying it right, versus taking out the sniper rifle and saying, no, we’re actually creating this specific content for this specific reason. So how do you help people think about that intersection between what does the business actually need? And what content are we going to produce? And how do you align those?
Wendy Lieber 19:54
Yeah, so we use an approach called the flywheel approach. And it’s basically we look at where you’re at, and where you need the most attention. So if you’re in early stages, it may be that right now you need content to generate awareness because no one knows about you. And so, you need traffic to your website, you need engagement on your social media. And so that’s specific content. And the type of things you might write to someone who’s just learning about you, is very different from the next stage where you’re trying to generate interest, you want people to kind of raise their hand and say, I want to be part of this community, that might mean they opt in to a newsletter, that might mean they opt into a webinar, or listen to a podcast, and there’s different types of content that is for that audience. So, in the firewall goes from there to nurturing those leads to become customers. And then a lot of companies kind of forget about it, then, or they focus mainly on just new leads, new leads, new leads, but marketing to your current customers, making sure they know what you’re doing, they might not be thinking about other services that you offer, when they first become a client or customer. But after they’ve been with you in while it may be the right time, so using content to educate, and keep them top of mind. And then referrals, often internally using content to keep your team aligned, especially in a virtual environment, where you might not have the opportunity to have as many conversations having messages from leadership team, to just keep the company aligned and up to date. So I guess going back to your original question, it’s really just setting your business goals on what do you need to accomplish? And then how are you going to use content to support those goals? Because content, it’s a piece of your overall marketing plan and business plan. It’s not the whole plan. But once you understand exactly where you want to go, content is going to be like the fuel that gets you there.
David Nilssen 22:12
Certainly, amplifies it. Yeah. And I think it’s just important to call out what you clearly articulated is that content is not just about generating prospects, but also about sort of enriching the relationships you have with your customers, and even your team members. So I think it’s a really helpful reminder, you made a comment a minute ago that there’s content that you guys produced four years ago that is still generating clients for you today. I think that is one of the things I’ve personally struggled with is, as a content creator myself is how do you really track the success of these pieces these campaigns? It’s not as easy as it sounds at time. So can you talk to us a little bit about how you think about that, and how you help your clients?
Wendy Lieber 22:53
Yeah, so we really look at three key levers, it’s traffic, leads, and then revenue. And there’s the ability to track those and see if you’re increasing or stagnant, or you maybe you’re not, you’re decreasing, helps determine, okay, well, this is where I need attention. So, for instance, if your website is getting lots of great traffic, but none of its converting, like, if I asked you like, hey, what leads are you getting from your website, either I don’t know, or none, then that could be an area to look at. So being able to track leads on your website is pretty easy, there’s a lot of different ways, Google Analytics, setting up goals, so that you can track using some type of overall system like a HubSpot, there’s plenty of them out there, there’s a way to track so tracking can be pretty, pretty simple. You just have to set it up correctly. And then just reviewing those goals on a consistent basis, like seeing, is traffic going up? Are we getting leads? Are we converting any of those leads and then that has to integrate obviously, with your sales, right? So if we’re generating leads for a company through their website, meaning, people are opting in downloading something indicating that they’re interested but you’ve got no either nurturing process or follow up with sales, then you might be like, yeah, our content strategy is not working. But you really need to kind of look at well, what is the system, how are you then following up? And not every lead is ready for necessarily a sales follow-up call but being able to nurture them and see when they are and follow up is really important and all those things can be done, but you do have to have the right tools. I mean, we’re a HubSpot solution partner, although we’re software agnostic, but tools like that make it really easy to set up the right metrics so that you can look and then just look at them. I mean, again, it amazes me that a lot of times, companies are not looking at their metrics when these tools are some of your most powerful business assets that you have out there. But to really look and see, are they working for us or not? And if they’re not just saying, yeah, this doesn’t work for me, like digging in and figuring out why because, I haven’t met a business yet who can’t benefit from these things.
David Nilssen 25:37
Yeah. Well, it’s the whole what gets measured gets managed, right? And I think if you look at the whole funnel, traffic turns into leads, leads turn into prospects, prospects turn into opportunities, like and you can follow that all the way through and see where you’re effective or ineffective. And I think that’s really right. The tools are not hard. It’s the discipline to go back.
Wendy Lieber 25:58
Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s a lot like, going to the gym. Like, content is very similar, like, you don’t just like go to the gym for a week and like, okay, done, got the body I want got the fitness I want. It’s like, you have to go constantly. And what happens when you stop going, it’s like, you lose those results almost immediately, which is frustrating, because we all want the quick answer, right? We all want the quick fix. And I think a lot of people, that’s what they’re looking for with their marketing. And the secret is there is no quick, easy fix. It’s consistency. It’s doing it over and over again, it’s measuring it adjusting and but being in it for the long haul that gets the results?
David Nilssen 26:41
Yeah, well, I think all of us want the quick fix, right. So to your point, one of the gym, working out for a week, and saying that it doesn’t work is probably not the right solution, either. Let’s talk about some of the changing trends. I mean, here we are sitting in December of 2022. And AI is sort of on the rise, right. And I’ve seen recently a couple of companies that have popped up out of nowhere, which claimed to help you create content using artificial intelligence, like, what is your position on that? Like, how do you see that fitting in the market?
Wendy Lieber 27:12
Yeah, I think it has provided access, and a lot of great tools and removed some barriers for companies that just may not be ready to outsource their content and may not have enough resources internally, it allows you to get some things going, which I think is really great. Will AI produce the type of content that sets you apart, differentiate you, does this things I spoke about earlier, educate, entertain, inspire, inform, it will do them to a certain degree, but it takes something to learn the tools have the right inputs, you still need a human editor, you still need someone who formats it correctly puts the right links in, matches the appropriate photo, which again, there’s AI tools for that. So I think it’s really exciting. But I also think that a lot of the buzz about it is because kind of going back to the quick fix people look at this, like, okay, I don’t need people anymore, all my content, a robot can do it. And that is just not the case. But I do think it’s great because it can help get you started. And so if you’re not blogging today, and you don’t know where to start, well, AI could help you generate some topics help you create some foundational content. And I’m a big believer action begets action. And so once you start seeing that, and it might inspire you to do more, just quick kind of example, I had a friend who just wrote another friend’s dating profile using AI. And, it’s not great, but it’s good. It now puts this person in the game where he was never going to do it. I mean, he had even get a friend to do it, the AI version, but now he’s out there and has the opportunity to date. And so I think it’s kind of similar. It’s like it can start the process. And listen, I think AI will continue to get better and better. And there’ll be different ways to use it. We certainly use it as a tool. We haven’t gotten to the point where it’s replaced any of our writers, but we’re certainly experimenting, because we always want to figure out is there a better, faster, less expensive way to do things that we can then pass on? So I think it’s exciting, but I also it’s not a quick fix. It’s not the magic pill right now.
David Nilssen 29:50
Yeah. Well, I want to ask you one last question around content and I want to talk a little bit about more some of the personal side. You get a chance because of your clients. You see these people that are coming to you saying, hey, I want help with my content strategy, but you get a sort of an interesting perspective, but you get to see what they’ve done historically, like, as you’ve been looking at some of these people coming to you asking for help, do you see like some commonalities in terms of things that they don’t do well, or mistakes that they’re making, that might just help people that are listening to the podcast?
Wendy Lieber 30:19
So I think that the biggest mistake is people aren’t doing it consistently, they may be doing it for one area, on the flywheel, like the leads, but they don’t have any kind of system or tools in place to fuel the rest. A lot of companies do invest in great tools like a HubSpot or Marketo, or Salesforce, but they don’t have the content to fuel it. So they’re like not leveraging their software. So they’re just leaving a lot on the table. But honestly, the biggest mistake or opportunity I see are companies that just don’t nurture their database don’t segment their database, and so aren’t communicating with an audience that they already have that probably wants to hear from them could do more for them, but they’re just not even talking to them, because they’re always kind of focused on new, new, new, I think that’s the biggest opportunity for companies. I’ve issued this challenge before with companies, like, if you couldn’t bring in any new leads for a period of time, and I don’t know what, whether it’s three months, six months, and only had to use the assets you currently have, what opportunities could you create from those? And it’s a lot, I think companies are sitting out there with millions of dollars of revenue in their databases that they’re just not doing anything with.
David Nilssen 31:45
Yeah. So funny. I am curious about you said something a second ago, I just want to make a quick comment that people have these systems. And they’re underutilized, basically, right. And this is not related to content. But I see this so often with entrepreneurs. So I just wanted to throw this in here that I think entrepreneurs need to be careful about what systems they subscribe to. Because so often, they sort of, they’ll over subscribe to an ERP system or marketing automation tool, or CRM, or what have you. And they don’t even have the capacity to use all those bells and whistles. So let’s talk about partners for a second, because you brought this up earlier in the conversation, and it’s something that I’m fascinated by, since it sounds like you’ve had both good partnerships in your lifetime, and others that didn’t work out. So for someone that was thinking about starting a business and leveraging a partnership and doing that, what would like, a few of the sort of words of wisdom that you would give her or things that you would encourage them to consider?
Wendy Lieber 32:40
Yeah, I think really clearly defining expectations. And then ongoingly, revisiting those and being able to have real no BS conversations is super important. So that’s, I think kind of a key one and I think, partnerships that where you complement your strengths and weaknesses. So, if you’re a great visionary, but you’re not great at the, I mean, that’s kind of a common when people say I think even as a great visionary, you have to have some skill, that implementation, but having the ability to, like, lean on a partner for an area where maybe you’re not as strong, but I think the biggest thing is just like ongoing communication, being able to talk about expectations, being able to have tough conversations, if something’s not working, I mean, it’s like relationships, right? It’s like always being able to talk about the elephant in the room. And if you can’t do that, if your partner or partners aren’t great at conversations or being responsible or being accountable, it’s probably not going to work out. But if they are, then, I always say when there’s great communication, anything’s possible. And I think with partnerships, you have to have cooperation. And I think the partnerships that I’ve had that didn’t work out, I take 100% responsibility, because I think I have always had this like magical thinking around partners, where it’s like, oh, someone to brainstorm with at three o’clock in the morning and someone to call, and it’s like, no, like, that’s part of it, but it’s, at the end of the day, I mean, you’re in partnership, because you want to build something, you want to make money, you want to be successful and figuring out what it’s going to take to do that and being very clear, I think is important and I’ve had partnerships that have failed, it’s kind of going into it like with more hope, and blindness versus clarity, and I’ve learned my lessons hopefully.
David Nilssen 34:49
Yeah, no, I would agree with you. Values alignment is so important that communication the crucial conversations, being able to engage in those super important I would also add, I think a lot of us like to hire people or partner with people that are like us. But in a partnership, you actually want someone who brings a little bit different dynamic, otherwise you find yourself tripping on each other trying to do the same things. And so that’s been at least for me, I’ve unintentionally been in partnerships, where thankfully, that was true. Let’s talk about maybe the 5% where have you personally struggled the most as an entrepreneur?
Wendy Lieber 35:28
Yeah, I mean, I think, as a leader, like letting go and trusting my team to execute on the things that they’re responsible for, and just like not feeling like I have to get in and metal and also just allowing the space for mistakes, where they can be safe. So I think I’ve learned along the way, I’ve had to develop myself around that, because I think, having a company prior where, you know, listen, I ate what I killed, it was all up to me, and then as I’ve grown, like having to let that go. I mean, it’s been a wonderful journey, it hasn’t probably always been a pleasant journey for some of my teammates, I also think being vulnerable with them and letting them know where I struggle, and I have a phrase that I will use now when I can kind of feel like I’m on, I’ll say, like, I’m feeling resistance to that. And it’s a great way for me to own where I might not want to give up control, but where I want to, but like, just acknowledge, like, yeah, there’s some resistance there that I need to get over. So I think those are some of the big ones for me. And then I think, really just owning that, how I show up every day, no matter what the environment is so important, and that I have to create the space and the energy, and the vibration for my team to excel and just not to take that lightly. So I really have to be responsible for what I’m creating, and make sure that I’m not carrying something into a meeting into a conversation, and then letting that spiral. And I’ve seen that happen where something’s going on with me and then I can just create a mess in the company, because all of a sudden, my energies just off and I think it’s a really powerful, realization to know that you can shift that at any time, but you have to take 100% responsibility, and then you have to have practices and rituals in place to take care of yourself. And so, you know, every morning, for the most part, I have a pretty rigid practice that I do that, you know, involves meditation and intentions and things so that I know that I can show up the way I need to, for my team to be successful.
David Nilssen 38:00
Yeah, that’s awesome. I think that’s a common journey entrepreneurs go through right when you’re first starting your chief cook and bottle washer, and then eventually you’re the cook, then you move to the executive chef, but it’s a hard transition, right? When everything relies on you at first, to let go of that, especially when you have like a high expectations are a critical lie. That’s tough to do. It’s something I’ve personally struggled with as well. So I can appreciate that. Wendy, we’re coming to the end here, but I want to just, I guess, ask one last question. I found that most entrepreneurs are sort of voracious learners for lack of a better term and I’ve talked about the future being borderless, but I also believe the future is here now and we’re sort of living through this fundamental transformation in the way that we work and we live. How are you adapting learning growing today? What are you doing to sort of invest in yourself?
Wendy Lieber 38:51
Yeah, I mean, I do a lot. I’m a voracious reader of all kinds of things, not just business books. Lately, I’m a voracious watcher of documentaries around greatness. So I’ve been like, watching like Derek Jeter and the captain and Tom Brady Man in the Arena. And like the those kind of documentaries just really inspire me I love things like that, community, you mentioned I’m super involved with entrepreneurs organization so, being around other entrepreneurs who share experiences. I’m naturally curious. And so, just being around others that I can learn from is super, super important to me, and then also just being more confident and trusting myself and my intuition and not always kind of looking for the answers outside of myself but slowing down enough winding my mind enough to kind of sometimes look for them internally and knowing that it’s always there versus just like that being busy all the time. Like I’ve definitely been focusing more on who I’m being versus what I’m doing and that’s been a huge growth for me that’s just giving me I think a lot more fulfillment in all areas of my life.
David Nilssen 40:23
Who I am being versus what I’m doing. I think we’ll leave it there. All right, well, we’ve been talking to Wendy Lieber, the co-founder of ContentBacon. Wendy where can people go to learn more about the work that you do?
Wendy Lieber 40:35
Yeah, so contentbacon.com is our website you can find me all over Wendy@contentbacon, old school windy with a y, I love hearing from people. I love conversations. So please, any of your listeners that just want to reach out, brainstorm, get some feedback. I’m always open and willing.
David Nilssen 40:54
Awesome. All right. Well, thanks for being on the show today.
Wendy Lieber 40:56
Thank you for listening to The Future Is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen. Be sure to click subscribe to future episodes so you can hear from more top entrepreneurs and thought leaders, and we’ll see you again next time