May 16th, 2023
Recession Proof Social Entrepreneurship
With Paul Zelizer, one of the first business coaches to focus on the needs of social entrepreneurs and impact business leaders.
He is the former Director of Social Media for Wisdom 2.0, one of the premier conscious business brands in the world. In 2017, he founded Awarepreneurs – two of the things the company is known for is our popular social entrepreneur podcast and the Awarepreneurs Community, a global network of hundreds of social entrepreneurs who support each other in growing our businesses, increasing our positive impact and enhancing our wellbeing.
Join us for this conversation where we discuss trends in social entrepreneurship, business building and leadership, how to create an impact statement (if you haven’t yet), and the connection between social entrepreneurship and creating a recession-proof business.
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Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:
- Every sector (in business) is seeing radical change.
- “The world is on fire” – business as usual is not a sustainable plan.
- Why having an impact statement helps magnify your brand and also helps recession-proof your business.
- The role of small business in market disruption and change.
- The connection between your core values and your impact statement.
“When you get enough women who get enough capital and start creating successful business … women start funding women, and founders of color start funding other founders of color, and suddenly people aren’t waiting for the people who have been in charge.”-Paul Zelizer
Check out these highlights:
- 09:40 The difference in social entrepeneurship / impact businesses from 16 years ago vs now
- 17:15 How entrepreneurs are creating new opportunities and how a lot of movement has come from market disruption (by innovative, small businesses)
- 25:30 Hear Paul discuss the transformative power of Joy.
- 34:03 Why “business as usual” is no longer going to work.
- 43:28 Hear Paul talk about his own impact statement …
On social media:
How to get in touch with Paul:
Learn more about Paul, by visiting his website here.
Special gift for listeners: Get access to Paul’s Free guide, 4 Questions Every Social Entrepreneur Needs to Know here: https://www.paulzelizer.com/
Imperfect Show Notes
We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below:
GGGB Intro 00:00
Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®…
Paul Zelizer 00:05
Whoa, our world is on fire. No, you can’t do single bottom line business and pretend that’s fine anymore, right? So if anybody’s listening in, they’re like, Ooh, I’m scared. I don’t want to touch that. One of the things I say is like, Well, do you want to have do you want to continue to have clients or customers who are under the age of 40. Because if you do, you might want to pay attention to this because otherwise they’re going to not work for you or leave if they are work for even they’ll stop buying from you. Because in almost every domain, from where we get our energy to what clothes we wear, to what food we eat, every sector is seeing rapid, radical, massive change. And that’s me and my network. So we’re not taking no, like this is the only planet we’ve got right now that our kids are at stake, our grandchildren, like we’re not messing around, like we’re going to disrupt these spaces as fast as possible, so you can try to play it safe. But there’s a really smart people working on this with everything they got. So I’m going to encourage you to say maybe that’s not the safest plan, right?
GGGB Intro 01:14
The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.
Heather Pearce Campbell 01:45
Alrighty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach serving online information entrepreneurs throughout the US and the world. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®. I am so excited about today’s returning guest. Welcome to my friend, Paul Zelizer.
Paul Zelizer 02:08
Thanks so much for having me, Heather. And thanks for hanging in there with hosting a podcast show for as long as you have. I know that takes a lot of work.
Heather Pearce Campbell 02:18
Yes, it does. And I’m trying to think now, off our into it we are right? So I launched this, it would have been oh my gosh, what has been June 2020 right? After COVID hit, so.
Paul Zelizer 02:34
Also, you were a COVID podcast baby.
Heather Pearce Campbell 02:37
Podcast, baby. I had a COVID podcast, baby. Yes. And the funny thing is so that’s over two years here I was thinking like what is it year and a half?
Paul Zelizer 02:46
Now you’re coming up on three?
Heather Pearce Campbell 02:49
That’s so crazy. So yeah, I actually feel really proud about hanging in there because it’s been weekly. Since I started, there were a couple of weeks where even I had so much content I did bi-weekly. Generally, it’s very consistent weekly. And aside from like a week or two, maybe where I was sick and just couldn’t, for whatever reason. But that would have been the earlier days because I pre-recorded so much like I’m just now getting to a place where people are about three months out instead of six months out, right? So when I had the podcast baby, I decided that I did not want this baby to ever stress me out. I wanted it to be a place where I could show up and like really enjoy myself and have fun. And luckily for the most part that has been what it is.
Paul Zelizer 03:39
I’m so glad I love podcasting. It’s awesome. Yeah,
Heather Pearce Campbell 03:42
Well, welcome Paul. For those of you that don’t know Paul. Paul is one of the first business coaches to focus on the needs of social entrepreneurs and impact business leaders. He is the former Director of Social Media for Wisdom 2.0, one of the premier conscious business brands in the world. In 2017, he founded Awarepreneurs – two of the things the company is known for is our popular social entrepreneur podcast and the Awarepreneurs Community. For those listening, pop over and check out Paul’s podcast. He is amazing. And you can find him in a couple different places. But he has a podcast and then he’s also a business coach at his own domain at paulzelizer.com. But Paul, you have absolutely one of my favorite podcasts. And it is because you’re the guy behind the podcast. And I think it’s really rare to find people who walk the talk. So to the letter like if you guys don’t know Paul, I would love for you to hop over and follow him like Paul even watching your journey where I don’t know what the language is you divorced Facebook, right? We’ve been in touch a few years and I got to watch you through that journey and even now, I enjoy your posts so much when you’re like people, I’m on LinkedIn, like you want to have a real conversation, come over and find me on LinkedIn. But like you, I know, it’s really hard for people, I think to do it to the level that you do it. And the other thing that I admire so much about you is like, during this time, that has been pretty hard on a lot of people in my circle. And truthfully, myself included as a parent to littles, you have been one of the few that are like, you know what, life is good. Like you are a shining light of what it means to exemplify. First of all your personal values, but also balance and really like create a life very intentionally that allows you that and I know, that’s not easy to do.
Paul Zelizer 05:47
Heather, I’m an introvert. So like the introvert part of me wants to like go crawl away. I don’t naturally talk about but it’s fine. I’m good. I know what I signed up. One of the things I would say is, you know, I have a kid, as you know, in grad school in Seattle, right, but, you know, my kid is in grad school. I have one child. So I wanted to deep bow to you and to all the parents who are growing businesses and leading businesses and parenting. It’s smoother now I’m 55 years old, my kid you know, I’ve been at this 16 years I have a podcast, that’s one of the longest running in my space. So yes, thank you. And it has not been this well-oiled. Other times in my life, it’s been chaotic and hard. And we were talking about, you know, I had a pretty rough lots of stress period and adrenals fatigue. I don’t know that seven or eight years ago, like, so I just want to be fully transparent. Yes, things are going really, really well right now. And I’m super grateful. But that’s not I’ve been in business. 16 years, that has not even been the majority, I don’t know, it’s only been in the last five or six years that things started to work together. And I put some systems into place and had a podcast that got traction, getting traction that allows me to live the life that you’re talking about. So if somebody’s listening, my life isn’t that great. I’d have full transparency. There’s been a lot of ground gears and a lot of stressful nights. And I could have made it easier earlier on knowing some of the things I know now. But it was not an easy journey to get to a place for my business was sustaining me both revenue wise, and quality lifelines?
Heather Pearce Campbell 07:43
Yeah, well, and I get it. And I always appreciate your honesty. And I really have just had tremendous joy watching you from the sidelines and watching how well you have been doing and how much you enjoy what you do, and your message and your podcasts. It really is a beautiful thing.
Paul Zelizer 08:01
Like it’s pretty fun right now. And I’m super grateful.
Heather Pearce Campbell 08:06
That’s awesome. Well, welcome. I’m so happy to have you back. You know, I feel like there’s at gazillion things that we could talk about today, for folks that are listening, especially if you want to hear about Paul’s early journey, because I know we covered that in the first episode, and I will share the link to that episode in our show notes as well. But today, I would really love and we had chatted, you know, some time ago when we talked about scheduling this, about this intersection of impact based businesses that you know, you work exclusively in the impact based business space conscious entrepreneur space. I know it goes by various labels. And really, you know, like we were just saying now beyond the startup working more and more with the grow up companies and ones that are more established that are actually really making ripples in the tide pool, you know, which has to just be a tremendously exciting thing for you to be a part of, and to watch and support. Can you talk to us a little bit about that work about what those clients are doing differently than other people in the business marketplace?
Paul Zelizer 09:20
Yeah, it’s a great question, Heather. There’s both what the clients are doing and then there’s with the market, the market has shifted radically. I’ve been doing this for 16 years now under various brands, I was just talking to another social impact podcaster earlier today, and we were saying like 16 years ago or even 10 years ago, we didn’t even know how to talk to each other. Is it conscious business? Is it social enterprise? Is it impact business? Is it conscious capitalism, or what is it? Yeah, right. And like which hashtags do we find either whatever like, which conference do we go to? All right. So a lot has changed, and so has sort of the larger culture is recognizing certain things that were more a smaller percentage of people were thinking about or talking about whether that is climate change, or whether that is some of the other. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, there are 17 of them go back 10 years, most people didn’t even know what the SDGs were. And now it’s like very common, even in mainstream business to be talking about the sustainable business, sustainable development goals. So that’s just an example that the market has shifted as has the level of business acumen in the social entrepreneur space. Yeah, about 10-12 years ago, most social entrepreneurs oftentimes, you know, don’t come from a business background, they were like me, I was a do gooder. I came from community mental health and community organizing. And I had a sense that there had to be a way to leverage business for positive impact, but I didn’t know how to do it. I had a lot to learn, right? And nowadays, we have some of the most kick ass business leaders in the world coming into, we see a lot of very, very skilled tech people, for instance, jumping ship for more traditional tech companies in the climate space, because they’re looking around saying the world’s on fire, and I can’t keep working for fill in the blank of whatever big tech company comes to mind. I’m going into climate, even if it means a pay cut, I got to do this, right? And we weren’t seeing that kind of shift in the willingness of people to who had very strong skill sets and lots of experience to say, I mean, they’re going to join a startup or create one. So it’s both the level of business acumen wherever somebody’s formal training as even somebody like me who didn’t have a lot of training, we just have better pathways, incubators, accelerators, training courses, coaches who specialize in this area, all over the world, plus, just the level of conversation in the ecosystem is orders of magnitude, just more skillful, more nuanced, and the market wants it. So there’s more money to be made in these kinds of businesses.
Heather Pearce Campbell 12:34
I have so many questions, even just around that bit that you’ve shared. One, does it give you hope about where we’re headed?
Paul Zelizer 12:43
You know, yes, totally. I just did a podcast that went live on Sunday, and it was all about Victor Frankel’s Man’s Search for Meaning and toxic positivity versus what he called tragic optimism. And he wrote Man’s Search for Meaning in a concentration camp. And he was an incredibly optimistic human who also had to deal with some really, really hard stuff. So yeah, I feel a little bit like that, like, I have a front row seat. Just because of the work I do to some of the hardest things that humans have to deal with. And that a lot of people would prefer to deny or outright explicitly say aren’t happening when we know we have the data that they are. But I also have a front row seat to all of the incredible humans pouring their work energy, their hearts, their souls, their creativity into creating solutions and growing, I’m in scaling on. So I don’t know if we’re gonna go off a cliff or not, we could, but every day I go to work. I work with some of the smartest, most compassionate most like loving human beings doing the most incredible work. So I get up and go to work, not knowing if I don’t think we’re gonna go off a cliff, but we might. And I hope we don’t. And I’m dedicating my life to being part of the people working for change.
Heather Pearce Campbell 14:04
Before that answer, I also wanted to ask, What do you think are the inputs driving the change in the market? I heard you obviously referenced the climate stuff and how I think so many people are experiencing that literally firsthand. Right? It’s virtually impossible for so many of us to deny that that’s happening. I know some people still try. So that seems like something that’s an obvious what else are you seeing that’s driving the change in the market?
Paul Zelizer 14:38
It’s a couple thing, just like going back to climate. I’ll give you an example. I live in New Mexico. We had the worst fire season in recorded history about 112 years last summer. It was horrendous. There were weeks we couldn’t go out on a trail runner. Like it was really hard to go outside because your eyes were burning. Like it was really to not only just our own fires in New Mexico, but all also like other western states, yes, the Rio Grande is drying up for the first time, like ever in the winter, when it’s supposed to be snow melt like you, if you’re paying attention, it’s hard to miss certain things. And I’ve been here since 93. And I remember, it didn’t used to be like this, right? So anyway, there’s that. But also, across the board, we’re just seeing more cultural dialogue. Some of its very polarized. But whether it’s diversity, equity and inclusion issues, or you know, women in the workplace, and we’re seeing this immense exodus of women, business leaders leaving traditional business and starting their own, particularly women of color, and you can say, well, that’s just blood, like, but whatever it is, it’s a trend. Unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime, the level of entrepreneurship for women in color is just jaw dropping, and part of it is because women of color are just really tired of being treated like crap in the business world getting passed over or getting their ideas stolen, sexual harassment, there’s like we’re not. And then we’re seeing other infrastructure come into play. So for instance, I’m interviewing one of the leaders of a crowdfunding platform called seat at the table. And it’s just for brown and black founders. Because traditional VC funding is really not doing well getting money into the hands of either women founders, or brown and black founder. First, and so people are creating rather than just complain about it, people creating new infrastructure, okay, we know that communities of color are starting businesses, at record rates, accessing capital is a huge issue. And the there’s been slight movement before COVID. But it actually got worse, particularly for women founders during COVID. Went down who got it like edged up just over 2%. Now down less than 2%. If I had any hair, I would tear it out. No, I get it. 2%. Right. Yeah. But people are creating infrastructure like seat at the table and many other solutions. Okay, right. You can’t get you don’t see opportunity VCs and a more trusted break, we’ll make our own right. And I just see that spirit of like, there’s hard problems. We’re going to try to help more traditional players in a space, whether it’s government or VCs, and there has been certain movement, but a lot of the movement has come from people creating innovations and disrupting it. When you get enough women who get enough capital and start creating successful business. Women start funding women through a variety of mechanisms and founders of color, start funding other founders of color. And suddenly people aren’t waiting for the people who’ve been in charge. We’re creating new…
Heather Pearce Campbell 18:05
Right. tTe system to change. Yeah, exactly. Now, I remember reading an article, it was fairly late in COVID. About even, you know, Seattle, we have basically a housing crisis, right? Like, people are really being forced to move out of the city. If they’re not the top earners. We’re obviously in a recession now. So I’m personally hoping there’s even though I’m a homeowner that there’s some price adjustment that makes this city more livable, who knows if that will happen? This fact that all of the big tech companies have had to do a bunch of layoffs is an interesting development, because what does that do to open up housing for folks that are of more moderate means, you know, so who knows? Maybe it will rebalance, maybe it won’t. But I read an article that talked about how people of color were, you know, increasingly unable to own any real estate. And it’s just like, gosh, it can be really challenging to see how to have the hope, in light of all of the evidence that we see every day about the system not changing, right? And it’s just unbelievable to me that anybody, I don’t know. And maybe this is really just reflective of what happens when systems and structures are built in a certain way and how challenging it is to reshape those.
Paul Zelizer 19:29
It’s incredibly frustrating how they’re not only are people of color, struggling to be able to enter into homeownership, but the homes and communities where there’s higher levels of people, families of color living, they’re valued less, even if on paper, there’s the same level of you know, the quality of the schools or access to parks, like a middle class, black neighborhood and city mostly black and white middle class, white neighborhood rich have very similar the size of the houses in the yard and all these things, the black neighborhood is quite a bit less, right? So even when you can find your way into one of the biggest levers for creating intergenerational wealth, if you’re a family and still don’t have the same opportunity, don’t get the same left as somebody build that looks like me, right. And, again, I get to do so, working as an advisor with this incredible initiative here in Albuquerque, redeveloping what used to be called the war zone by locals. It’s now called the International District and this incredible black social entrepreneur who is blessed to call a friend is working on a redevelopment fund that includes affordable housing and like to watch our city come together and the leaders with connections to help this initiative get wings it like. So that’s what I mean, there’s like the really hard things. And then it’s not theoretical, like this exact issue. There’s emails going back and forth in my inbox, like today and yesterday, and good things are happening in that area. And that’s like, not far from my house. And these are people I know and love and break bread with. So that’s why I’m very optimistic even amidst these really hard challenges that humans are facing, I feel incredibly blessed to personally know, and do as much as I can in multiple impact areas where there’s big challenges. And because I’ve been doing it for a while, there’s ways I can be helpful that somebody who’s newer, they’re passionate, they have a great idea. But they might not be able to send an email or two and have some significant things that moves the needle. And because I’ve been around for a while, there’s times that I can do that. And that feels really good.
Heather Pearce Campbell 22:07
First of all, I love you reflecting that and the ways that focusing on the work and the impact that you can have is such a lack of a better term such as self, right, in light of the news and everything going on. Like as a mom and somebody who feel the weight of the world, I’ve had to really get clear on like, Okay, I can’t solve all these problems. But there are some problems that I can help solve. And that, like my work, and what I can give has to be enough. That’s been a hard thing to arrive at.
Paul Zelizer 22:42
Yeah. And I think the question is, can we look ourselves, somebody who I trust a lot, that asked me to start doing a practice, and the simple practice was to look in the mirror, and be able to like, see myself interacting with the future generations, I used to do a lot of work on the Pueblos in northern New Mexico and my social worker days. So from that tradition, and also from my own tradition of Judaism, there is this understanding that we have an ethical responsibility not just to think about ourselves, but also to think about the future generations, you know, indigenous communities, Jewish community, we’re not the only one. But those are two examples I’m pretty familiar with because of my work history and my own personal lineage. So like, you look yourself in the mirror, and you’re like, looking into the eyes of the future generations, whether it’s my own kid, or my nephew, or my neighbor’s, you know, grandchild, whoever it is not just my literal, like blood lineage, but all the children can I look them in the eye and say, in this incredibly challenging, beautiful moment that humans find ourselves in, can I look them in the eye and said, This is what I was doing in that time. And I feel good about like it was maybe there I could have done something a little better with some knowledge from the future. But right here right now, me pause, I can look Mike, my kid knows what I do for a living. I literally don’t know how to do more than what I’m currently doing, with all my creativity and conviction and passion and energy and resources. And then I go trail run and spend time on my loved ones. And like I said, if we go off a cliff, I literally am doing everything I know how to do to bring positive change into the world. And then it’s time to go for a run or take a nap or cook a meal or hanging out with a friend like I’m done when I’m done and then tomorrow I’ll pick it back up.
Heather Pearce Campbell 24:55
It’s such a wonderful litmus test that question and you know, I commend you on being able to find that balance, I think it can be really hard for some people to turn that off and say, Okay, now I do get to have time for myself, now I do get to go, just enjoy this thing called life, right. And in the face of everything that we see, sometimes it can just be hard to feel like we are like, or somehow we’re over privileged or whatever, to be able to even get to enjoy it.
Paul Zelizer 25:28
Right? There’s a lot of wisdom, I think, in the transformative power of joy, that conversation has risen more, particularly in communities that have been more squashed down really through it. Like, yes, there’s a lot of work and activism and change making that wants to happen. And like, can we just breathe together and celebrate, we’re alive to you as a Jew, from Poland, my family is originally from 20 minutes outside of Warsaw, if anybody’s ever heard of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, that’s where my family, the fact that I’m a Jew, and I’m alive is a miracle, a freaking miracle. Even today, there are people that wish that people like me would be wiped off from the face of the planet forever. And that voice is growing, right? So for to just acknowledge that to be alive is a miracle and to go out in the mountains with some friends and have a beautiful day out there. That’s part of I don’t know how to sustain these really hard conversations without something that balances that with connection and love and joy. I burned out before and not very helpful, I make massive when I’m burned out.
Heather Pearce Campbell 26:52
For any of us who’ve been through, yes, it’s real. And like, what a beautiful place to be able to be in something that feels more sustainable. And having carved out the rules and boundaries for yourself so that you can feel really good about showing up and doing your work. And you can also feel really good about balancing that with enjoying the other time that you have whether it’s like you said making a meal or going for a run spending time with family. I think that’s what so many people are striving for.
Heather Pearce Campbell 27:25
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Heather Pearce Campbell 29:16
I’d love to hear from you. Because I know before we hit record you were talking about back to the folks in business who were really doing impact well, and how it makes also a dramatic difference in their revenue and their bottom line versus folks and I can’t remember the language you used versus folks who are not quite giving it their all right businesses that are and I was trying to clarify that like do you mean like greenwashing still catering to the public? What is it and I really would love to hear more of your thoughts around that conversation. Because I still think there’s a percentage of people who want to do impact based business and are really afraid of what it means for their revenue for their bottom line, right?
Paul Zelizer 30:05
Totally, Heather, yeah. So like think about it can continue on. So one end of the continuum in this like greenwashing or sustainability or conversation, I like to joke. Some people put green lipstick on a pig and call it a sustainability plan right that there’s that bird like it’s literally like that obvious if you know what you’re looking for know that the pig that’s not you know, I’m looking at you oil companies, right like there’s some really heinous greenwashing and it’s still very active and alive in the marketplace. And then on the other end of the continuum are people who’ve really deeply dived into that their business, yes, it’s about having enough revenue to live well. And it’s to increase that revenue is certainly something they’re open to and maybe excited about, or sometimes need to do. But it’s less of the priority than impact. And whatever that impact area is. And there’s a very wide array of where business leaders or any particular organization land in that continuum. And there’s a lot of fear. And there’s a lot at stake, because like I said, this conversation went from being this like, you know, on the fringe, there’s a couple of people talking about it go back 10 years, there were some you go back 20 years, it was like, a few, but there was mostly like academics or hippies or whatever, you go back 50 years, you know, they’re small, is beautiful, but there’s not a whole lot of folks who is so this has grown tremendously from this fringe conversation landed in the business world disrupting things, we got airlines being fined by the EU $50 million at a time, like the stakes are high. So I just if somebody’s like, where do I fit, and I don’t want to get this wrong. And like I want, I’m also really excited about that there’s a lot of human emotions tied up into this comment. And there’s a lot at stake. So I just want to name that there’s a big continuum, and also just acknowledge that the sort of the ground we’re sitting on has shifted pretty radically, especially quickly, in the past 10 years, we’ve hit some sort of critical mass, and especially as younger folks in the the younger end and the millennials and…
Heather Pearce Campbell 32:37
I was gonna say I wanted I’m so glad that the millennials came into this conversation I was gonna ask you, because I see them as a really unique influence in the marketplace.
Paul Zelizer 32:47
Absolutely. And the younger you go, the more partially because of climate and other issues. They’re like, whoa, our world is on fire. No, you can’t do single bottom line business and pretend that’s fine anymore, right? So if anybody’s listening in, they’re like, Ooh, I’m scared. I don’t want to touch that. One of the things I say is like, Well, do you want to have do you want to continue to have clients or customers who are under the age of 40, because if you do, you might want to pay attention to this, because otherwise, they’re gonna not work for you, or leave if they are work for even though stop buying from you. Because in almost every domain, from where we get our energy, to what clothes we wear, to what food we eat, every sector is seeing rapid, radical, massive change. And that’s me and my network. So like we’re not taking no, like this is the only planet we’ve got right now that our kids are at stake, our grandchildren, like we’re not messing around, like we’re going to disrupt these spaces as fast as possible. So you can try to play it safe. But there’s a really smart people working on this with everything they got. So I’m going to encourage you to say maybe that’s not the safest plan, right? Let’s just, there’s some uncomfortable emotions and scary emotions, and I want to make room for those. But if somebody’s like safety plan is I’m just not going to deal with it, I’m going to do business as usual. I’m just going to tell you it’s not going to work. I don’t know when that point is in your sector that it won’t work. But in every single sector that anybody’s making money in talking ticketing platforms, like looking at you Eventbrite, you know, humanity X is a social impact ticketing platform that came from Australia now is more used than Eventbrite. And they just came to the US and they’re awesome. And I know Josh, and like a frickin ticketing platform, you would think that that’s not a space that could get disrupted and yeah, they’re disrupting it massively. So I think part of it is to like, just acknowledge the change, acknowledge the feelings, and then say, even though it’s scary, even though I don’t know how to navigate this, I still want to and maybe have to, I would say have to go into that terrain if I want to continue to thrive in business.
Heather Pearce Campbell 35:12
Yeah. Well, what does it mean? Like if you’re talking to the folks who, let’s say, are just either in transition or going, You know what, I really want to do this better? I haven’t learned how I don’t know how, where would you have them start?
Paul Zelizer 35:30
Yeah, so one resource that I can offer that’s free on my site, I share a free PDF, that’s called four questions every social entrepreneur needs to know. And I’ll tell him folks what those questions are. I mean, talk about that. But it’s that’s one resource. Then basically, the four questions are why. And that’s most specifically your core values and an impact statement. Your who mentor mind says, when you try to help everybody, you wind up helping nobody, right? So the being more nuanced of who we’re helping and continuing through line, obviously, my who is social entrepreneurs, why? Because I have some core values in the world that I am really passionate about seeing, I think social entrepreneurs can move the needle more quickly than any other force on the planet, because we’re harvesting business, which is the biggest engine on the planet, for our impact goals. So that’s why my Who, the social entrepreneurs, you don’t have to serve social entrepreneurs, but sync up your Who, with your Why, then things really start to get interesting. Then your What, what’s your product or service, I see, so many people try to build the thing, before they have the values or the change they want to see in the earth on, we’re understanding who they want to help and what the nuances of the challenges that they’re facing. So the technical name for it isn’t they don’t have product market fit, have a great product. see so many people I’m thinking of an entrepreneur, I know built this incredible platform, but didn’t really have dialed in who the platform was for and eventually ran out of money. And you know, he had a certain amount of startup money, he ran out and he’s working for somebody else. He’s fine. He’s actually kind of happy. It took a lot of stress off of him. But he didn’t have a clear sense of his why and his who he built an incredible platform with justice, gorgeous user interface and all these features. And no, they barely anybody ever bought it. And he basically, you know, spent his capital building this gorgeous thing that didn’t really sync up with anyone didn’t end product market fit and is now working for somebody else. Not that that’s a crisis. But I think we can avoid it by being smart of answering these questions in order. And then the last question is, how are we going to get that story in the marketplace? You and I both love podcasting, but there’s so many opportunities to get that story in the marketplace, from traditional media, to YouTube channels, to newsletters to social media, we have more opportunity, our grandparents. I mean, you and I have our own radio stations, how there are grandparents that they wanted to build a radio station that was an expensive product for us. It’s a podcast mic and a subscription to a hosting company, right? And we’re in business. We have a lot of opportunities in the how question box.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:32
Yeah. Oh, massive. I think about we had a little something talking about like heritage and family stuff. And so my son, Aiden had to bring some things to school and sometimes it’s a little challenging. Like I look around and think about like other people’s cultural roots and you know, it can be a little hard sometimes as like a pretty white American, you know, like, Huh, what makes my roots interesting? Actually, they overlap down there in the southwest with with your your area. So my great grandfather was one of the original 26 Arizona Rangers I realized not New Mexico, but he thought he’d regularly go into New Mexico. Part of their job was to round up kind of the last of the really bad Western outlaws. Oh, wow. Yeah. And he was a really interesting person. He was a sharp shooter with a gun but he never used his gun like and he was anyways, he could rope he could ride he was really a cowboy through and through, but he wrote a book. And of course, this is typewriter old, like very old school, you know, but it’s thick. I think it’s called line writer. You can actually find it on Amazon. I learned all of this stuff. Yeah, that I did not know about my great grandfather just doing this little project with my son. Anyways, but I remember we’re thinking like, the amount of effort and time it took him to not only get the story down, but get it down in the right way. It takes so much more forethought, even working on a typewriter and like you can see some of his strikethrough and revisions. It’s really interesting, because somebody,
Paul Zelizer 40:18
Why didn’t you just use ChatGPT? I don’t know.
Heather Pearce Campbell 40:21
Oh, my gosh, right. Don’t get me started on ChatGPT. Yeah. But you know, it really like I looked at that as the behemoth effort that it was, and to, like, tell that story. It was not just his story, but the story of the West and of so many others that worked alongside him. And anyways, but yeah, you think about today, oh, my gosh, you can literally like even you look at honor, which both you and I use for our podcasts, like turn on a machine that records and literally just creates the transcript for you. I mean, it’s dramatically different. But yeah, yep, little side route. So for the companies, and I love your walkthrough of the four questions. The one that I want to focus on is how do you write a good impact statement? Because I’m sure people get that piece wrong, right. And you see the difference of what it does for the business, how it relates to their values, how it impacts the actual work that they do. Can you share with us a little bit about the businesses that do that piece? Right? And what about it makes it kind of the right way to do it?
Paul Zelizer 41:30
Or do they, the first suggestion I’d have is to start with your core values, don’t start with an impact statement. But it’s like situate the foundation, when you’re building a house, you don’t come out of the ground until you are strong. And the core values are your foundation. And when you get that landed, I’ve even seen clients start to move into some of the other while they’re iterating on an impact statement and starting there who okay, like, let me talk to some of those folks and get the language down. So just want to like give permission that that is something that oftentimes people, sometimes it just lands, but there’s room to not have it as dialed in where it’s like your core values, not that they don’t change or you get better. But like, if you have no core values, that you’re able to be concise. Folks that I really respect, say three, maybe four maps, you know, you walk into a company and there’s 12 core values on the wall, like nobody remembers that. You look it on the wall, you talk about it at your yearly whatever. And you know, you do an offsite you these are our core values and reviews this high five, and nobody remember, like, I have four of them. I could like I’m not looking at them. We don’t need to go into them. But I could tell you what they are. I use them in conversation every day, right? So don’t you know, like, that’s the place to start and make sure you feel comfortable with them. They’re crisp. And you also know what they mean whether you explicitly articulate what that means for you. For instance, social entrepreneurship is one of my core values. What I mean by it, I’ve thought about what does it mean to me? And how am I articulating that in the marketplace? Yeah, once you have that, then your core value, I’m sorry, your impact statement gets a little easier. For me, it’s as simple as the world that I want to envision that I envisioned for our children. Business is the biggest engine and social entrepreneurship is the fastest way to get there. So to empower 10s of 1000s of new social entrepreneurs, that’s my impact statement, right? It’s like, this is the value. This is the why I’m passionate about it. And just like help, like 10s of 1000s at a time every year, learn about how to get better at it, make more money, hire more people and better harness the energy. Like that’s what I do all day anyways. So it’s not that complicated, right? But I knew that because my court in that document that I was talking about how there are examples, everything from like, how does Harvard Business School Talk about it? How does incubator that works almost entirely with people from marginalized communities. But mostly, for me, my suggestion is, keep it simple. And just make it relatable. You know, like this impact statement? If there are not just me, but if there’s millions and 10s of millions of social entrepreneurs in the world. Here’s the world. Here’s what I think the world looks like. Like it’s very specific. And I see people sometimes get too caught up on Yeah, but I’m supposed to put a number I want to empower X number of social entrepreneurs in the next 10 years. You know, that’s fine, too, but don’t it’s more about can you tell a story that somebody says Well, Paul, really cares about social entrepreneurship. And here’s why it’s the biggest engine on planet Earth. And if we harnessed it for good, then we turn the ship and we don’t go off a cliff and our kids couldn’t live on this planet. If we don’t turn the ship, we go off a cliff. And it’s going to be either how to live here, or it’s going to be impossible for humans to live here. Pretty simple, right? Yeah. For my quarterback.
Heather Pearce Campbell 45:21
Yeah. Well, it’s, you know, it’s awesome. And I speak in statistics all the time, because I speak to small business owners as well. Right. And I think so often small businesses, whether they’re in the startup phase, whether they’re more in the growth phase, but they can still tend to undervalue their role in the marketplace. And it’s like, you guys, small businesses are the marketplace. Like from a numbers perspective, small businesses make up 99.9%. This is in the United States. Over the last 25 years, small businesses have created two out of every three of the jobs added to the marketplace. Small businesses, right, we are the marketplace. And so yeah, I love I mean, I 100% get your like, the way you connect the dots on that small businesses are the biggest engine.
Paul Zelizer 46:17
Question for you. Because when you talk about this, you’re really passionate about it like are, is your impact statement somehow connected to those outcomes that small businesses bring into the world? 100%? I could tell right, I could tell the way your face lit up, right?
Heather Pearce Campbell 46:33
Very similar to yours. And my top three values, I think I have five, but it’s really like, four-ish, because I kind of doubled up on one. But the top three are creativity, innovation, right? Those are very much related. What got us here will not get us there. We have to keep innovating. It’s not even just about like innovating once and calling it good. It’s innovation is the work right? And then inclusivity, right? Serving because the whole reason I built Legal Website Warrior was to make legal stuff accessible to people who do not get support from the traditional legal market. No, you know, yeah, but it’s very much the same thing that small businesses are the way and small businesses can pivot quickly. They can change in a moment in a way that large businesses can’t, they can create, you know, dramatic movement, and really impact individual industries.
Paul Zelizer 47:35
Right, and they tend to listen to the communities that they’re housed in way better than massive, way better.
Heather Pearce Campbell 47:42
Yes. They’re not just like, go away with that problem. They’re like, Oh, let us hear the problem, right? Because they want to be the ones to fix it. They want to be the ones to turn that around.
Paul Zelizer 47:54
Exactly. So again, if somebody’s listening, and like, well, I don’t know how to do an impact statement, like you know, your core, but you could tell them, You’re not looking at them on the wall reading. Well, my verb score valid, right? Like you know them in yourself. So, yeah, could could either one of us polish our impact statement more if we wanted to? Yes. But again, that’s just another live example, you know, your core values, how they’re so assumed, and I could hear as soon as you were saying, oh, yeah, some of your impact. You didn’t tell me your impact statement? I was like, your impact statement is someone do small business, right? You’re like, yeah, right. How did I know that? Because I could hear it in your core values, I could hear it in the way you’re talking about in that, like, just magnifies the brand, right, when we have an impact statement, when you have core values, then we can start, again, dialing in some of these other questions. But everything comes alive in a way that the brands that haven’t done this, they sound flat, even if there are core values on the wall, it feels like transactional, it feels like I’m just going through the motions. I want listeners to light it up, right, your core values, they’re yours, don’t apologize for it, certainly we could like craft the wording and all that. But like, make sure that you really care about it. Make sure when you wake up in the morning, and you’re like, I’m going to work to do this to move this needle that you care about that and you do not think the millennials are going to buy or the Gen Z are going to buy your thing because you told them a store. That’s how you get a fine and that’s how the Marketplace says, Follow. You’re full of crap. We’re not going to buy your consulting, right, but really be just genuine. These are my core values. This is the needle I want to move in terms of impact and then start getting into some of these other things. And the results are radically different both in terms of engagement in the marketplace, revenue, people wanting to work for you, etc, etc.
Heather Pearce Campbell 49:51
I love it so much. So I really want people to come find out more about what you’re up to Paul about your community your podcast? Where do you like for people to find you online?
Paul Zelizer 50:05
So if somebody wants that PDF that we were talking about that’s on my coaching consulting site, which is my name paulzelizer.com. And like the gateway drug to everything I’m involved in how there’s the podcast I’ve been doing it for six years 285 episodes like if you are like what’s Paul up to? If you go listen to that, you’re gonna eventually figure out everything you’re gonna hear about my tremor.
Heather Pearce Campbell 50:30
Well, it’s you know, it’s been really fun because I’ve known you for a few years now to hear about what you’ve done even to grow that and for folks that are listening Paul’s podcast is in the top 1% of the world in you know, his area and it’s just really is phenomenal. You have such beautiful thoughtful mindful guests on you know, you yourself are that way it’s a really unique place to be able to show up and spend time
Paul Zelizer 50:58
Thank you, Heather. I really appreciate it.
Heather Pearce Campbell 50:59
Yeah, absolutely. So we will share the link to your the free guide the four questions every social entrepreneur needs to know and I’m gonna go look at that myself. I don’t think I’ve ever gone in like opted into that and I want to take a look. So I will share that we’re also going to share any well obviously the link to your podcast, the link to your website. Is there a place online that you’d like to spend time if somebody else is social with?
Paul Zelizer 51:30
LinkedIn? I’m on LinkedIn person, I’m on other socials. But I’m not on other social.
Heather Pearce Campbell 51:36
Right. He’s on those other sites. It’s to redirect you.
Paul Zelizer 51:42
Well, if you send me somebody sent me a message on Instagram and they’re like, you never got back to me. I’m like you send me a direct message on Instagram. That’s not it. If you send me a direct message, private message on LinkedIn, you’re gonna get a response. If you send me something honest, I mostly post pictures of trail running in my garden and like hanging out with my kid or you know, my family lighting. And occasionally pocket. Don’t send me a message on Instagram. If you want to do socials. LinkedIn is really the only place I spent quality time for business.
Heather Pearce Campbell 52:12
So good. I love it.
Paul Zelizer 52:14
Consulting gigs that came to me meetings for them all in the mid five figures. They found me on LinkedIn in this week. I have meetings for just from LinkedIn. Right. So I know people are glued to it so stodgy. But I can’t get any business on social media. I don’t know what to tell you.
Heather Pearce Campbell 52:32
Yes. Go on LinkedIn study like, methods.
Paul Zelizer 52:37
Don’t get me started on LinkedIn. But like, if you are a business owner, it is the most robust and largest professional networking opportunity the world has ever seen. The average LinkedIn user makes more money has bigger decision making power, their more acumen, like I fought it for years. And then I was like, why am I fighting this and the results that are happening? The longer I spend there, the more it turns out to be a really good decision to go there whatever it’s worth.
Heather Pearce Campbell 53:09
No, it’s so good. It’s a difference for me between like, Hey, can you answer this question, too? How do I hire you? How do I get a consult with you? Right? It’s like people are just, they’re very…
Paul Zelizer 53:21
We have a five figure budget, and we’re trying to figure out who to spend it with. And will you give us a proposal? And then can we meet about it? Yeah, I’ll give you a proposal. And yes, I’d be happy to meet about it. Like, that’s a really nice conversation. I like that concept. If I did one session with you, do you think we could cover these 27 things? Probably not. Not, too We’ll cover as many as we can, like, very different flavor. And I like that flavor.
Heather Pearce Campbell 53:51
Me too. So final question, and then I’ll let you go. What is one thing that you wish more entrepreneurs and small business owners knew?
Paul Zelizer 54:05
The main thing I think that’s changed for me and why I’m having more fun these days, Heather is to identify who we want to help and to go where they are. Stop trying to get them to come to us and go play in the space like humans are incredibly relational social creatures. We gather around everything from social entrepreneurship to soccer from beard and knitting, right? Humans gathered so once you figure out who your people are, instead of trying to get them to come to you go to them. It’s so much easier. There’s so much less friction, right? And that can be in person it can be being a podcast guest which was one of my favorite marketing strategies for my clients like just go to them and be relational have something to offer and things are going to go so much easier than trying to get people to come to you.
Heather Pearce Campbell 55:01
I love that it sounds so simple when you say it, but yet right so many people, I think find it a challenge. But really beautifully put. Paul, I appreciate you. I’m so grateful to know you. I continue to be grateful all the time for our connection. Thank you so much for joining me again today.
Paul Zelizer 55:18
Thanks so much for having me, Heather. And again, congratulations for holding this community through a podcast for all this time. It’s just I celebrate you, and thank you.
Heather Pearce Campbell 55:29
Thank you. It is exciting. And now I feel embarrassed that I didn’t know my own podcast is almost three years old. I know. So I didn’t really think about that.
Paul Zelizer 55:37
Did you start in 2021? Or 2020? Yeah, so it’s almost like it was like we’re March. Yeah, no, because in 2020, there was a time you couldn’t even buy a podcast, a decent podcast mic anywhere on planet Earth, because there was like, Oh, we’re on lockdown on the StartUp podcast via microphone. So I remember that. I was like, wow, this is why use you had a COVID baby and it was a podcast.
Heather Pearce Campbell 56:08
I’ve never said it that way, but it’s so much better. It’s so much funnier. Oh my gosh. I love that. Thank you, Paul! Such a joy to see you.
Paul Zelizer 56:18
GGGB Outro 56:22
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at www.legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.