Make a Different Sound Jenn T. Grace, Olga Fernandez, Jennifer Brown
[00:00:00] Jenn: [00:00:00] Good morning, Jennifer Brown.
[00:00:04] Jennifer B: [00:00:04] How are you? Morning? Genty grace. I am good. How are you?
[00:00:09] Jenn: [00:00:09] You know, it’s just not just another day in our COVID summer, if you will,
[00:00:13] Jennifer B: [00:00:13] if you will. Late August. Yes, indeed. It’s speeding along towards winter and all that. All the uncertainty of that. That’s fun to consider.
[00:00:24] Jenn: [00:00:24] Yeah. It’ll be interesting to see how our videos progressed.
[00:00:26] Cause I was going back as I was sending oldest some links to say like, Hey, here’s some things that we’ve done. You can totally see our mental health progression from now. It’s been like the ups and downs, but I feel like we’re just being truthful and accurate for, for everyone else to, to, uh, Perhaps, but
[00:00:45] Olga: [00:00:45] definitely
[00:00:46] Jennifer B: [00:00:46] that’s that we are living in this age of, of truth telling and transparency and vulnerability, which
[00:00:53] Olga: [00:00:53] we talk about
[00:00:53] Jennifer B: [00:00:53] a lot.
[00:00:54] Um, and being real with each other, which I think, I think is so good. Yeah. Like it’s such [00:01:00] a, a leap forward for all of us to bring our full selves or more of ourselves to things that are happening. And frankly it’s, cause we can’t hide a lot. Um, Any more strangely, even though we’re sort of virtually distanced from each other, there is this certain level of honesty too, that I think is being generated.
[00:01:18] That I, I think it’s actually paradoxically bringing us closer to each other and building more empathy. So, um,
[00:01:27] Jenn: [00:01:27] yeah, I just, I don’t want to lose that. I’ve been saying that since the start and I still feel really strong about it and I know, and it’s like it’s giving people opportunities to be on. Video that maybe they wouldn’t necessarily have had opportunities for, or there’s so many more people producing contents, you’re grabbing different people outside of your, your, I was going to say native now.
[00:01:46] That’s not really what I mean, but like, you know, the people that, you know, and you’re like, yes, let me grab this person and talk to this person. Like now it’s like widening, um, the opportunities for everybody, which I think is really
[00:01:55] Olga: [00:01:55] awesome. So
[00:01:57] Jennifer B: [00:01:57] a grid, my network has like exploded. It’s [00:02:00] true that any access to people to like people say yes, now I’m so much more easily.
[00:02:05] There’s no planning time that you need as much as we used to have to. I have for physical events or every, uh, sort of, you know, deliverable for our businesses. We’re all business owners. So, so it’s like we can be, we actually can or productive in a way. Um, and. And our output is different. And I would say more, um, in some ways we have to be careful of burnout and all those other things that come along with that.
[00:02:29] Of course.
[00:02:30] Jenn: [00:02:30] Yeah. I already go up and down that, that home earlier this year and I’m back in like a plateau, which is I’m, I’m
[00:02:38] Jennifer B: [00:02:38] glad, I’m glad to hear that. We don’t want to lose you
[00:02:42] Jenn: [00:02:42] the slump.
[00:02:43] Olga: [00:02:43] But
[00:02:43] Jenn: [00:02:43] I am really happy today with our guest older Fernandez, who is a dear friend of mine. We’re both local here, Connecticut.
[00:02:52] And, and although, when I was telling Jen about it was like, Oh, that is one of the most brilliant people that I know. And I [00:03:00] genuinely mean that as much as you’re going to cringe the thought of me saying that. I know, I know. Yeah. So you you’re, you’re just a, such a good. I was going to say a good branding person, but it’s not just.
[00:03:12] Branding like you are you surface in that sphere. So if somebody wanted to put you in a bucket, they could put you in a multitude of different buckets. But when we were, before we started recording, we were talking about just this whole concept of making a different sound. Within your business, which also pivots into your, your recent rebrand of your company called the sheep don’t bark, which I think that’s a brilliant name for name for a company.
[00:03:40] So can you, why don’t you, even wherever you feel from, but just tell us a little bit about the, the origin of sheep don’t bark, like where, like, how did that even come to be? Because I feel like that’s such an easy thing for people to get.
[00:03:54] Olga: [00:03:54] Thank you. Um, yeah, it was fun. Um, well, years, years ago I [00:04:00] started, um, a business and it was called the idea factory.
[00:04:04] Um, and the idea factory is still around. Um, but you know, I. It was many years ago, actually, it was ironic how, like, sometimes the things we say at one point in our life, and then we sort of forget, and then it comes back around again and there it is. Right. And so we were having a meeting internally at the idea factory about a client and I was just really frustrated.
[00:04:29] I’m trying to, you know, get. Get through to them and, you know, wanting the best for them. And we were doing this big marketing campaign and, you know, it was like, Oh, you know, wanting to bring out. Those are the specialties of the client or whatever, but I just remember feeling a lot of consternation cause I really can’t.
[00:04:47] And you know, I just, I really know things to, like, I always have this like ideal in my head of like what could be for the clients and, you know, trying to get everything perfect all the time, which is ridiculous. But, you know, I learned excellence is better than [00:05:00] perfection. Um, and it was in a moment of frustration.
[00:05:03] I’m like, well, geez. You know, like we just, you know, like, Like, like, you know, she don’t borrow, it’s always the barking dog that gets the attention and we need to just make them the barking dog, you know, and we all like laughed and it was a sound bite that I like wrote down on a piece of paper fast forward.
[00:05:23] I’m going to say maybe 12 years. Then we reached a point where we could know we couldn’t own. Like the idea factory has a unique URL. You know, now the advent of so much, you know, in the web. And so we were trying to come up with a different name and we spent like six months, like going through all these ridiculous versions of all these different names.
[00:05:45] And I was like, wait a minute. Like, It was true, then it’s true. Now it’s going to be true forever. She that’s, it it’s always the barking dog tagline is make a different style and let’s just do this. And that was it. I think it [00:06:00] was really as simple as that. It’s not a sexy story, but it just came from like the truth.
[00:06:05] And that’s really what our whole platform is. Um, at chief don’t bark, it’s working with clients. We have a very deliberate, intentional process that we take clients through. It’s not, you know, it’s not tedious. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s great. But it’s very, it’s very, self-revealing it starts with like little surveys and then it’s a lot of just, you know, collective communal conversations.
[00:06:31] For them to really discover what truly sets them apart in the marketplace and allows them to then see themselves differently, understand what their unique purpose and w is and what that unique spot in the marketplace is that they can claim and they can very quickly. And we use a lot of data sources to pinpoint where the opportunity spaces are for them.
[00:06:57] We factor all that in and [00:07:00] very quickly once they know again and what truly sets them apart, where their sweet spot is, who their ideal customer is. And then we’re factoring that into their content and their stories though. Um, and their stories, making a different sound that can very quickly improved, dramatically improve their, their ranking.
[00:07:19] And, you know, from there it all starts to come together. Um, and that’s really what excites me because I’ve always been. I have this uncanny thing that I can do. Do I know it sounds all. Woo woo. But it’s true. I can just look at any person when I’m interacting with him or her and, you know, just having conversation or walk into an organization.
[00:07:43] Um, and I just see, like, there’s a, there’s always like there’s, there’s what you see. And then there’s what the, what it really is and what it really can be. And I can, I guess I just have a really trained eye and ear at this point in time, I can see it and, and, [00:08:00] and I love that. Cause then I’m like, Oh, wait a minute.
[00:08:03] And then when I get my client on board or my prospect moves them into a client, Situation where they’re onboard and I get them excited about that. And then they trust us to go through the process to actually see that manifest actually here, there are different sounds and watch their different stories, evolve and emerge.
[00:08:23] Like that self satisfaction. I mean, it’s so much satisfaction there because you know, they’re encouraged, their confidence goes up, their excitement goes up. Talk about unifying. Like all their employees, reenergizing, the culture, everything. I mean, I know it sounds like Nirvana, but maybe from a new business development, it can be for some clients, it can be the shot in the arm.
[00:08:46] And that’s really what we. Are up to, and, and we’re looking for clients who want to get to the next level, want to take it a little bit higher, wanted tune the knobs a little differently so that [00:09:00] they can maybe get more of what they really, really want in the world. Hmm.
[00:09:04] Jenn: [00:09:04] I love all of that. And I don’t know this for certain, but I’m going to go out on a limb and just say from your kind of, I don’t want to say a sales perspective cause it’s not like you’re definitely not a transactional.
[00:09:17] None of us are transactional people when it comes to sales. But do you really take that very consultative approach when you’re just doing that initial call? With a potential with a potential client where they just kind of ramble out, like here’s the different things that I’m struggling with. And then you’re able to kind of see with perfect clarity into exactly what they need.
[00:09:37] And then do you like really just kind of. Give that information that’s coming to you in the moment when you’re doing that type of process. Cause I know some people like they’ll know the, all the things to say, but then they hold back because they want that they want to lure that person in and to work with them.
[00:09:52] And I don’t, that’s not my, my approach, but I, I’m just curious if that’s kind of how you approach it when you’re talking to somebody who could be a client,
[00:10:00] [00:09:59] Olga: [00:09:59] um, Well, you know, it’s funny. Cause, um, internally for years, we’ve kind of, um, some of my colleagues and associates and partners, we’ve always sort of had like, you know, the family discussion.
[00:10:12] Why are you gonna tell on him everything? I can’t hope it, I believe in developing relationship. I can tell you that there was no way I would have been able to stay in business for as long as I’ve been without. Really and truly liking my clients and developing great relationships. I truly like people I’m truly genuinely interested in them, interested in their stories, rarely interested in their challenges.
[00:10:40] Because I, I feel badly if somebody is really working in artists and trying really hard and some things that the gears are clicking. I want to hear about that. I want to know about that. Uh, you know, I mean, in my personal life, which I do bring to my business, but I’m sort of a nightmare. One, one rescue person.
[00:10:57] I mean, I am even a state [00:11:00] licensed EMT because that is like in my DNA is the kind of comes to somebody’s rescue. And I’m not saying I rescue businesses, but what I’m saying is I want to hear it all. And so yeah, like when we’re in a conversation, that’s what I’m ferreting out. I want to know what’s, you know, like what’s making things great now.
[00:11:19] In a first conversation, you know, I’ll say like, you know, what’s fabulous today. What’s, you know, what’s gorgeous in your life. What’s really showing up. That’s wonderful. And what’s exciting you the most right now. And like, then when they start talking about it, you know, I’ll even ask them, you know, What would you, you know, are there other areas you’d really like to be?
[00:11:38] Are there any challenges, things that, you know, a little roadblocks, and then I take really full attention of that. I just had a call a week and a half ago with, uh, who I hope will become a client of a fabulous, fabulous company, one of the partners. So I really respect, and he just talked a lot about some of their challenges.
[00:11:56] And I like literally wrote down on a piece of paper, ran [00:12:00] everything he said, and we talked about it. And I started already giving him some ideas and you know what, it wasn’t just for bait. To try to lure him in if it does. Great. And I’m talking with him later today and I’m hopeful that the conversational, a little dance, but even if it just gives them a glimmer of an idea so that he can move forward and improve.
[00:12:21] That’s great too. I’m really just here to like help companies get to that next level and really discover what again, truly makes them unique and special and, and move forward into that future. Yeah, it really can be that simple. So no answer long answer to your question. I don’t hold back. I believe in having truthful conversations right out of the gate, because you know what, that’s the basis of the relationship.
[00:12:47] And that’s what I do is build relationships. Yeah. I
[00:12:50] Jenn: [00:12:50] assumed such, which is why I asked Jen you’re this you’re the same way in terms of your approach. And so am I, and I think it just, I don’t know, I feel like there’s a lot of benefit to doing
[00:12:59] Olga: [00:12:59] it that way. [00:13:00] You know, we’re all people, we’re all in this together.
[00:13:03] It’s like, let’s just talk about it. Right? Like, just talk about it. Like, it’s just a conversation and like, wow, what we can, the places we can go, right? There’s a dr. Seuss book here somewhere, but the places we can go and conversation are amazing.
[00:13:20] Jennifer B: [00:13:20] I love, you know, being a consultant. I’ll never forget. And I’m curious.
[00:13:25] When you realized that moment that you had could get your expertise utilized. Cause I think that’s a really big threshold for people. Um, and they asked me about it all the time. People I mentor, like what was that moment that you kind of realize that you’re a problem solver and that you belong at that table and that you have.
[00:13:42] You have something of value that doesn’t exist on paper or whatever. Like it’s something you made up. Yeah. It’s your process. It’s your relation building. It’s the way you listen. It’s the way you, you know, pull things out of people and kind of reshape it, hate them and give them back, you know, it’s but it’s all okay.
[00:13:59] Kind of [00:14:00] vaporware in a way. And yet we’ll pay a lot of money. For expertise. I mean, it’s honestly, it’s a product it, but it’s this intangible thing. And I think, um, I know I always refer people to a book. One of my favorite books is called flawless consulting by Peter block. I don’t know if either one of you is read it, but it was the first time I remember reading a book that gave me permission.
[00:14:22] To get my expertise utilized to sit in that room with a blank piece of paper and say, I’m enough right now that I have enough. Um, yeah, it is this intangible piece that somebody is going to pay me for what I think and what I’m guiding them to do. And, you know, I think that’s a really big threshold for business owners to sort of step into that.
[00:14:42] And then of course we step into someday if we want to be an author and a thought leader, And get comfortable being called somebody who’s an expert, right. Even though we all on this call are really humble. And I’m sure that like, we sort of bristle at the expert word because it’s a constant learning [00:15:00] process and it’s not something that’s a destination that you’ve arrived at.
[00:15:03] But, um, I’m curious, all got like, what was that I’m thinking about aspiring consultants, who and business owners. Who sell ideas. Right. And then we have a lot of, so, so taking us back to when you first realize I belong here, I can help people will pay me for this. It’s real like, and this, and I’m onto something and I’m going to yeah.
[00:15:25] You know, I’m going to travel road and commit.
[00:15:27] Olga: [00:15:27] Yeah. Wow. That’s really interesting. It was funny as you were talking, I flashed back and I guess it is the answer to the question that you’re asking, which is a great question by the way
[00:15:40] Jennifer B: [00:15:40] that a lot.
[00:15:43] Olga: [00:15:43] I remember when I first started in this business, um, of marketing and, um, Anyway there.
[00:15:51] Okay. So when I first officially started in this business, I was working for a boutique, a design firm, small [00:16:00] agency. And, um, in those days people carried portfolios and we would go into, you know, prospective clients and we would pitch, and we would pitch by showing portfolios of, you know, past campaigns.
[00:16:14] And there were big boards and everything. And. The portfolio that I was supposed to carry around, probably weighed about 25% of my body weight. It was this big, hard cause our boards were beautiful. The work was amazing from this agency. Um, but the, the portfolio was really, it was hard case. It was really big.
[00:16:37] It was like, it was like the size of like three bass guitar cases. All in one. Yeah. And sometimes it was like a hassle even getting in and out of elevators. It was crazy. And after about three months, I’m like, screw that, man. I can’t love that thing around didn’t even fit in my Toyota. So I’m like, I’m not bringing the portfolio.
[00:16:57] I’m not, here’s what I’m going to bring. [00:17:00] I’m just going to bring this with a piece of paper inside. And this more importantly, I’m going to bring this and. Because I couldn’t lift the portfolio. I would just go into meetings and I would just sit there and I would say, so tell me, you know, tell me what you want to achieve and tell me why you should achieve it.
[00:17:24] Like what’s magic about your company. Tell me the magic. It didn’t know what else to say. I had no vocabulary and they would tell me all this stuff. And because I’m an only child raised with all my, all my family was so much older, so I never really had a voice at the table. I would just sit there and listen.
[00:17:42] I was really good at listening and taking notes and I did this for a while and I got orders and I got clients. And then I remember one day, one of my clients brought me into a meeting on a project and we were all sitting around this big conference room and, um, you know, doing my note, picking and stuff [00:18:00] and.
[00:18:00] Somebody said something. And I had an idea because I did that thing where I could see, right. And I swear to God, they were talking and I had the idea and I just took it breath. And I didn’t realize that it was audible, but I just want like, and like the whole room stopped and my client said, okay, for speak.
[00:18:17] She has an idea. Wow. And I was like, Oh, and so I did. And I said it and everyone listened and it was the start of like the spark for this campaign. And I was like, okay. Hot doggies. I think I can actually do this and get paid. I love that the moment. And you know, and it was, it was great. And of course that, you know, you don’t have, I mean, there were other times where you struggle, you know, in meetings as I did get your point across and everything, but that was a really great moment for me and that it was transformative.
[00:18:55] And I try to, you know, I still do all the same stuff. You know, I don’t carry a [00:19:00] portfolio. I take really great notes. I listen and I care
[00:19:04] Jennifer B: [00:19:04] pretty much sums it up. Right. I mean, that’s, I think that’s why our customers come to the three of us is that to feel heard and acknowledged, but also to kind of. You know, crawl around in our brain a little bit, you know, and say like, well, how would you solve this problem?
[00:19:20] Or what are you seeing that we’re not seeing, you know, when you’re so close to it, um, it’s hard to step apart. And we also, we have the benefit of each of us seeing across so many different, um, authors in your case, gen brands and companies in your case, Olga, for me as well. So when I walk in the room, I have all of that as well to sort of say, well, here’s.
[00:19:42] Here’s where I saw this work or here’s, you know, it’s that sort of institutional knowledge too, that, um, you know, that’s when I, when I mentor people too, I say like the more exposure you have to how this was done in different places, that’s your currency really? Because it’s the synthesis, [00:20:00] it’s the patterns that you notice when you, when you look at so much data and it’s your analysis of those patterns, that is the valuable thing.
[00:20:08] And then it’s the innovation. That we’re able to do in the moment. Probably too. I’m a lot like that too. Olga where like that moment really, sometimes I wish I can write, I write down everything they say, but I’m also like, somebody needs to take notes about what I’m saying. Cause it’s all coming out of my mouth and I’m not going to read it
[00:20:26] Olga: [00:20:26] exactly.
[00:20:27] Sometimes when we do internal meetings, we used to record it because right. You’re just in flow talking, you know, but like something you’re saying is really important that I want to say too, is that. You know, we’re all about making a different sound. We’re all about helping, helping clients realize what their, you know, true differentiation really is.
[00:20:49] And it’s always there. Sometimes they just, you know, they’re just busy doing it, right. They’re not realizing that they’re being it. And so it’s like shining the mirror up to, so they recognize they’re being ness. That they’re [00:21:00] are being different and then capitalizing on that. But I really believe like every single company has.
[00:21:07] A point of differentiation, every company can transform something about their business or how they speak to their market so that they do make a different sound. And it really doesn’t matter if they are in a commodity business, they can, they can differentiate themselves even in a commodity business or in a, in a slow or low economy.
[00:21:29] It doesn’t matter. Again, it just, if you, you know, if you have something of value, To say, and if you say it in a compelling way, people will listen. And if your product or service does deliver that unique value and potentially solve someone’s problem. In a unique way, but truly solves their problem. People will buy the solution.
[00:21:56] So that’s what I tried. You know, a lot of clients that go [00:22:00] well. Yeah. All that branding stuff is fine for big companies, but we don’t have like the budgets like Nike or all the great brands. Well, you don’t always have to have those enormous budgets. Just need to like dig down a little deeper, right. And be bold.
[00:22:17] Jenn: [00:22:17] I love all of what you’re saying. And I also think that, and I know we’re already kind of at the top of our time, but, um, the other other piece I think is just kind of around generosity
[00:22:26] Jennifer B: [00:22:26] and
[00:22:27] Jenn: [00:22:27] generosity of with your knowledge. And I know that that’s often a word that. It’s attributed to my approach in general, but older.
[00:22:34] I know
[00:22:35] Olga: [00:22:35] that you come from that place of
[00:22:36] Jenn: [00:22:36] generosity too. And I’ve just remember when I was debating between two book covers and we were at dinner and I showed her and it was like, without hesitation, it was like within milliseconds, it’s like, it’s this one and you need to do this, this and this to make it perfect.
[00:22:51] And it was like done and done. I’m like, all right, you’re the, you’re the visual. I like, I would, I literally didn’t ask another person after that conversation. I was like, that’s the
[00:22:59] Olga: [00:22:59] one [00:23:00] that I went with. It. Yeah.
[00:23:01] Jenn: [00:23:01] And so, you know, like it’s just kind of nice to have people in your life that kind of operate that way, whether you’re formally doing business with somebody, or if it’s just a friend or if it’s a friend of a friend or someone who network with whatever, wherever the configuration might be.
[00:23:13] It’s just nice to have people who are generous with the stuff that they know that can help you from going down some path that may not be the right path for you to have gone down.
[00:23:23] Olga: [00:23:23] And all
[00:23:25] Jenn: [00:23:25] three of them, how to do that. Well, in my opinion,
[00:23:27] Olga: [00:23:27] Yeah, I see you. I see your potential. I know what it should be. And that’s, you know, And that’s what, that’s, what happened that night.
[00:23:35] I remembered that moment and the restaurant, it was like, Oh, not that one. Yeah. This one, it was like, you know, and that’s how it happens with clients. And, and, and that’s, you know, I love, I love that. That’s what, that’s, what keeps me vibrant is, is having the opportunity to see people and to have them see it.
[00:23:55] And then when it all comes together, It’s open. It’s amazing.
[00:24:00] [00:24:00] Jenn: [00:24:00] This has been such an awesome conversation.
[00:24:04] Olga: [00:24:04] Thank you all God, let’s do it again sometime.
[00:24:07] Jenn: [00:24:07] Absolutely. And I’m happy that we carved out the time for this. Um, Jen, I believe you and I are taking next week off. And then we are back from the last week of August through the end of September that we already have scheduled.
[00:24:18] So that’s getting ahead of ourselves, which is great,
[00:24:23] Olga: [00:24:23] which is good.
[00:24:24] Jenn: [00:24:24] Yeah. So older before we actually wrap up, can you tell people how to get in touch
[00:24:27] Olga: [00:24:27] with you? Sure they can. Uh, they can go to our website, which is sheep. Don’t bark.com. No posture, just cheek don’t bark.com. Send me an email at Olga at chief don’t bark.com and, uh, I will always respond.
[00:24:44] Jenn: [00:24:44] I love it. Generosity. Yes. Yes. Thank you so much. It was awesome talking to you.
[00:24:51] Olga: [00:24:51] Thank you for your generosity to have me on your show, to bring man so beautifully. Um, is things always make me a little nervous, but you guys [00:25:00] definitely set me at ease. I feel very calm and, uh, you two