This week's guest:
April Adams Pertuis, LightBeamers
April Adams Pertuis is a Visibility and Media specialist. She is in the business of storytelling. Her philosophy is "everyone has a story" and she’s fascinated with getting to the Core of what that story is.
April’s career spans more than 30 years as a journalist, producer, writer, and positive encour- ager. April is a an award-winning video journalist who has worked for CBS Television, HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, and numerous private industries where she has interviewed thou- sands of people and crafted their story as a result.
Today, April works with people and brands to help them tell their story in a more authentic way so they can reach more customers, attract new clients, grow their audience, and ultimately tap into their true power.
One of her favorite components of storytelling is piecing the puzzle together to craft a com- pelling, emotional and meaningful story that touches others. No matter what the business is, what the product is, what the service is — the heart of people is always what matters!
April’s passion created the LIGHTbeamers Community to give women a private and safe space to have open & honest conversations about life, business, personal growth, and spirituality.
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April Adams Pertuis shares how becoming Queen Bee in her business and defining that role made a huge shift in her growth Click To Tweet
We hear all the time about how important our story is. Ever feel like you don't know where to start? This episode of the podcast is for you! Click To Tweet
Not sure how to determine which part of your story is worth sharing? Check out this episode of the podcast as April Adams Pertuis shares insights, drawing on her 30+ years of experience. Click To Tweet
Find out how April Adams Pertuis' 3-step Story Formula will help you unlock the mystery of your own story & discover key elements worrth sharing with others. Click To Tweet
Say it loud, say it proud. There is so much power in your story.
It's time for the Becoming a Profitable CEO podcast, and it's all about providing you with the tools to succeed on this ever-evolving business-building journey. My mission is to make sure you know you are not alone, that it is possible and that you, yes you can do this. You matter. The world is a better place for having you in it and your voice is needed.
I'm Teresa Cleveland, and I believe that we can all make a difference and that having a successful online business is one of the best ways to do that. Let's get to it.
Hey, welcome, welcome. I am so happy you joined us today. As I was getting ready for today's episode, I couldn't help but think about stories over time, those that really stood out and some that didn't stand out maybe in the moment. But over time they would come back to me and how they've affected my life. And it's that way for all of us. We have those stories that helped us heal, gave us hope, that confirmed us and what we were thinking or feeling at some point in time. They provided us with validation and sometimes even a little self-righteous indignation. They brought us humor and touched our lives in so many different ways.
I think back to family get-togethers over the years and the stories that get retold and retold year after year after year. And I realize what we're doing is passing those stories of wisdom, of humor and even the cautionary stories that help us avoid some of the pitfalls in life as we grow. In our communities and school and the workforce in our relationships, it's stories that bond us together AND repels us sometimes. And that's OK, too.
I'm so happy to have April Adams Pertuis with us today. She's a visibility and media specialist. She's in the business of storytelling. Her philosophy is that everyone has a story and she's fascinated with getting to the core of what that story is. April's career spans more than 30 years as a journalist, producer, writer and positive encourager. She's an award-winning video journalist who has worked for CBS Television, HDTV, DIY Network, Food Network and numerous private industries where she has interviewed thousands of people and crafted their story as a result.
Thankfully for us, today April works with people and brands to help them tell their story in a more authentic way so they can reach more customers, attract new clients, grow their audience and ultimately tap into their true power. One of her favorite components of storytelling is piecing the puzzle together to craft a compelling, emotional and meaningful story that touches others. No matter what the business is, what the product is, what the service is, the heart of people is always what matters.
April's passion has created the Light Beamers community. It's a free community to give women a private and safe space, to have open and honest conversations about life, business, personal growth and spirituality.
Let's listen in to a recent conversation she and I had.
April, thank you so much for being here. I have been looking forward to talking with you and hearing and sharing you some of your story with our listeners.
Thank you, Teresa. I'm excited to be here with you.
So let's talk about, as we always start off these episodes, let's talk about something that shifted in your business that will help someone else coming up this road behind us. You know, I always like to have people ahead of me and people behind me so we can all help each other along, right?
Yeah, definitely. I think that one of the biggest shifts that I made in my business that actually did something positive for my business was when I decided to start outsourcing. I don't know if other guests have said that, but when I look back at the big needle movers in my own business, it was doing things sometimes before I felt ready and doing things before I felt like I could afford to do it right. Like outsourcing. You have to pay people to do something that you're used to doing.
And when I finally just did that, I finally let go of trying to control everything and do everything and wear every single hat in my business closet, if you will. Then everything really does start to change. And this is something that I'm continuing to even build out as as we speak right now. I'm continuing to add team members. I'm continuing to add people. I can outsource certain tasks to, I didn't just stop with hiring one assistant.
I'm continuing to grow that out. But even just hiring that first person, hiring someone to start doing some things in my business that didn't have to be 40 hours a week. Right? It could just be a few hours a week to start to relieve that pressure valve from myself. That is truly when things started to change for me and I started to honestly make more money that offset the expenses and the investment because I was freed up to actually play in my lane. To work in my zone of genius and to not be doing all those other things that I was doing. That was like such a drag one for me.
That has been hands down the biggest shift that I have made and that I would encourage someone who is, as you said behind me, that hasn't quite done that yet. I would encourage them to do it as fast as they can.
Thank you for sharing that. Our friend, Jen Lehner was actually on back in December. I don't even remember which date now. Maybe the 21st. I think it was the 21st of December. She was talking about that. We talked about that shift in her business and I've long said that there's a reason that businesses, companies have employees, because one person cannot do it all and do it well.
No. And that's the CEO mindset, right. Look, I do not know a single CEO of a company that is the only person in the company like it just doesn't exist. You don't get to be a CEO when you're a party of one.
Because in the CEO mindset, as we grow into that mindset, we do start to think differently about our business. And that, I think, is such a great point, because as we do that, it's like, OK, where is my time best spent? I kind of know the ropes here now and I'm either head down missing opportunities because I'm not in my own lane. But it's a scary proposition.
We hire someone. It's like, OK, I'm going to hire somebody. How did you work through that? Because we hear a lot of people talk about that. Yes. Make a list of the things you don't like or make a list of the things that you want, the way you want your business to run and hire people to do these things. But how did you really prepare for that? How did you step out there to actually do it? Because there's so many things that come up.
Well, I did it first by hiring a few people here and there and making some mistakes. Right? I did it the wrong way the first couple of times. And I think this is really important because I think as business owners and entrepreneurs and I don't know, especially women, we're so scared to not be perfect. And I would just say not being perfect is sometimes the thing you need to do and you need to learn from that lesson.
I hired a couple of people. I outsourced a couple of different times before I got it right. And I noticed in those times, I evaluated what didn't go well. Where did I not communicate my best? Where was I not being clear about my expectations? I usually try to point the finger at me because that was something I could actually change. I couldn't really point the finger at other people and expect it to change. I had to really look and see where could I improve as a business owner, as a leader, as a boss, if you will.
And so I had to make a couple of mistakes and then I perfected the process of hiring and I have to go back to our friend Jen Lehner and give her a shout out right back, because she is someone that that teaches this. And I learned this from her about how to hire your perfect VA, your virtual assistant. And I actually went through her process to learn it. And I even saw even more opportunities where I could improve that system, that process, and really implemented that.
And as a result, that's how I've been able to replicate and now add people with ease to my team. I have a system in place and I know I'm speaking your language around systems, operating procedures and all of that, which I've learned a lot of that from you as well. But I have that in place now. And so adding a new team member or someone else that comes in and does a task for me and my business, they get put into that system.
So it's very clear what my expectations are up front because I have a system that is really easy for them to live in. Right? It doesn't make it hard and it doesn't give them a lot of wiggle room. It's just this is what it is. And so I have I have gotten better as I've gone along. I had to give myself permission to make a few mistakes and be willing to learn from those mistakes and not let those mistakes define me and just know that I get to do better next time.
And I think at the end of the day, that sort of lesson could apply to all areas of our business and in our life, not just outsourcing and hiring people, absolutely stepping into who we are.
How do we how do we know that we like things? Because we try it or we don't like it. I hate black licorice. How do I know? I tried it., it was pretty gross.
I love that in this space, more and more, I'm seeing people come into it and step into it and talking about this. Jen Lehner's program that she has to help. We had Tasha Booth on a couple of weeks ago and she has Happily Hiring. And I love that there are different people with different programs because it's just like anything else. Is it a good fit? Is that going to work for me? And it's nice to have these people out here speaking up and showing up who as who they are.
So then we can say, yes, please, or, you know, that's just not for me. That's OK. I'm going to try something else.
But the mistakes, that's how we learn it. The first time I made pork chops, I was 18. 17?. That was a long time ago.
But I didn't know. I learned so much cooking from my grandmother and my mom. But I don't know why I never paid attention to pork chops. I thought they made their own grease or whatever, like hamburgers. And I just put them in the skillet and oh my gosh! You could, like, they would just shatter they were so dry, so horrible.
So you know what? We had pizza that night and-
You learned how to make pork chops.
I make killer pork chops now. So I think sometimes, like you said, as women, we just put so much pressure on ourselves.
We have to be perfect or we do it out the first time and it's like, oh, I suck at this. And I've not talked with very many people who their first hire was the best experience unless they first took, did a program to learn how to do that.
Did you find, I know this is pretty common, too, that we become so overwhelmed with all the things that are going on that that first hire can just be a knee jerk reaction. Where it's just like, please, just the first person you talk to. It's like, oh, my God, that sounds great. Yes. Yes. You said the right things. Please come in here and help me. And then it's just kind of
My biggest mistake with my first hire was letting that person run the show. Like I just was like, hey, you just do whatever you think I need and I'll be happy. Right? And that was so the wrong thing to do, because then I was letting her come and call the shots and I was letting her set the time and I was letting her set the deadlines. And that was just so not the right way.
And that was the biggest shift that I made, is that when I started doing it right, I had clear expectations. I called the shots. I was in control because it's my business and I had to get clear first on what did I really need and what were the tasks that I needed to offload. I call this now my queen bee roles. I have identified in my business the things that only April can do and only April should do that.
It's not going to make a difference. I can't move the needle otherwise I have to do these things. And so these are the tasks that have to be at the top of my list. And this is where I need to stay. I need to stay as much as possible in my queen bee roles. And then I have other bees in the colony that get to come in and also help do the work. But I'm really clear on what mine are.
And so then it became easier to identify the other tasks too. And to be really clear about how that fits in to the whole ecosystem of my business, so that took some time to figure out. It was, like I said, trial and error. Doing it wrong will teach you how to do it right sometimes as per your pork chop example. Right? And so just giving yourself permission to do something instead of just staying in the weeds. So, staying in the weeds and staying stuck and staying frozen and staying broke is not a good answer.
Absolutely. I love that analogy of the colony and the queen bee. So thank you for sharing that. I hope people can really see that and see how powerful it is. I have talked before too, that letting somebody come in and run the show. Because there are so many people in the online space who are good at what they do, they're good at that thing. But the whole business side of it is just like a whole new world.
And you have to understand the structure of it all, but you don't have to end up doing it all. But I see that a lot. I talked with someone who said, oh, you know, (we were talking about their email marketing program). And I said, so what are you using? And she said, Oh, well, I was using it was either Ontraport or Convertkit, she said. But now we're using MailChimp.
And I said, oh, how did that come to be? My VA said that it was the best. And I don't want to give all VAs a bad rap. That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just saying that's why it's so important for you as the business owner, we still have to drive the bus. We still have to understand some of these things. And what I shared was, you know, it's probably best for your VA because that's what she knows.
That's what she knew, yeah.
But the business owner, like, we don't know what we don't know. And so, of course, you reach out and you have that person and you trust them. And because they've been in this world for X amount of time and it's like, well, of course they're going to know.
I love that you started with, backed up and started with "What are the things that only I can do?"
Mm hmm, yeah.
With what you're doing in your business now, I know you're all about stories. You, I think in September, started your podcast. Share about the podcast.
Yeah, I started the podcast just in the end of fall the fall of 2020 and it's called The Inside Story podcast. And I am, my business, LightBeamers is all about storytelling and helping women tell and share their story, get their story out into the world, understand the value their story offers to the world. A lot of women shrink away from sharing their story. A lot of women let their story have power over them. And so a lot of my business is really uncovering a lot of that and helping them actually articulate who they are, share their message.
This definitely relates to businesses. Business owners, I believe, should be sharing part of their story as part of that, as how they share their business. And a lot of business owners missed the mark on that. So I really try to to help both business people, as well as just women in general who need to really learn how to communicate who they are and the experiences that they've had in life so that they can can connect with other people, whether that be for your business or not, really learn how to incorporate storytelling into how they do that.
And so the next level of that is also getting visible. Right? I have a long-standing career and background in video marketing, so I know a lot about getting people's message seen and heard through the vehicle of video. And a lot of that has translated into social media these days. And so really just understanding the mechanics of visibility and being very strategic with your storytelling so that you can get in front of the right audiences, learning how to connect with an audience, all of those things is the wheelhouse that I play in.
And when I decided to do a podcast, I knew that there were some additional things that I wanted to talk about. I wanted to go deeper on to some of those topics that I didn't feel like just my normal channels of email and social media really allowed me to do. And I felt like long-form content, like podcasting would really allow me the time and the space to go a little bit deeper on some of these topics, as well as continue to elevate and shine a light on women who are sharing their story and have very powerful stories to share with others.
And so my podcast is a mix of me sharing my stories, doing some teaching around storytelling, and also featuring other women and their stories on the podcast. So that's been fun to create a whole new product to share with my audience. It's been a really great experiment for me because my career has always been about interviewing other people. Focusing on other people's stories, helping them pull those stories out, put them together and put them in a nice, neat bow, right?
That's kind of what I've done my whole career. And so I haven't always given myself the microphone, you know? To where I can say, oh, I'm going to actually do this for me. I'm going to extricate some of my own stories also to share with my audience. And it's been a really challenging experiment, but it's been a good experiment because I knew it was time. I needed to do that. I needed to do that just even for myself.
I even said, I think on the very first episode, I don't know where this is going, but I know I need to do this. And I'm doing this podcast as much for you as I'm doing it for me. So it's been fun. It's it's kind of been one of those platforms where there's not a lot of rules and it just you get to make it what you want. And I have enjoyed that very much.
It is such a great platform. I look at the number of shows that are out there and the wide range. Phyllis, she was on my third episode and we talked about that. And then she came over to the Facebook group and we talked over there and she shared, I'm still shocked, I just share this with someone yesterday. In this whole big wide world, there are only about 70,000 women podcasting.
That's CRAZY. And she compared that, she had numbers for the number of Facebook groups there are and websites and stuff like that. But when it comes to podcasting, for some reason, it's you know, we think, oh, well, there's already a show about that or whatever it is. But nobody's saying like, yeah, I'm not going to put up a website, there's too many websites out there.
It's just another way to communicate with people. So I'm so happy that you stepped out there and you're doing it. Sharing your story, because we do, we get so busy doing it with others that we don't, whatever our specialty is, we don't always end up doing it for ourselves.
I think probably one of the questions and this is what you do, so you'll be able to let me know. But it seems to me like one of the things that probably comes up is probably a couple of things. As I was thinking about this leading up to this episode, the first thing I thought was, oh, which part of my story do I tell? Because it's like, oh, is that too dark or is that too much? Or how does that even apply to this?
And then the other thing that I thought was a lot of people probably think, you know what, it's been kind of a quiet life and I've done what I've done. And we're so close to our own stuff. We don't understand the things that we've overcome that could be inspiring or would be inspiring to others just to give that encouragement of 'you know what, you're not alone. That's the whole thing behind this podcast and especially with our guest interviews, is that, like, you're not alone, whatever you're facing, somebody out here has been facing that, too. And so be encouraged.
I know you have your story formula and will your guide for that. And we'll share the links for that in the show notes. But are those the two most common or is it something else?
Yeah, you definitely nailed on two of the main ones. I mean, there's a whole camp of people that come to me like, I know I have a story, but I have no idea what pieces of it I should actually share or how I should put it together, because storytelling and sharing your story is not, I say this a lot and when I say this it usually resonates with people.
It's not about just sharing your life in chronological order. Like you don't share your story like, well in 1971 I was born in Texas and I have two siblings and I grew up with parents that worked in this industry. And then I went to college and I got my degree in journalism and then after that... Right? Like you get me, that is terrible storytelling. Nobody cares. It reads like a resume.
That's not a story, that's reporting.
Yeah exactly. But I think a lot of people think that that's what they have to do. And that's when they think about their story. They're like, what? What do I tell? Because I have this whole life that I've lived.
So I think the first thing about identifying the story is number one know who your audience is. Who are you talking to? Who's the audience? So, for example, the story that I might tell for my business is going to be different than the story that I need to tell at a cocktail party, introducing me to a bunch of new people that just moved to town like a newcomer's cocktail party or a story that I might tell at church.
If I've been asked to speak at church, my church story is going to be a little bit different than my business story because the audience is different. And so I need to first know who my audience. And what's the message for that audience that I'm trying to convey, right? And so that's the first thing.
And then from there, we pull out the key components of your story. You referenced the Story Formula. And this is a free guide that I have on my website so you guys can go and get it for free and download it. And it's like a worksheet. It will kind of walk you through this.
I think the storytelling that really connects with people is when we take people on a journey and so we take them on a transformational journey. So we have all been through things in our life that are transformations, they big and small. Some of them are big, some of them are really small, but they still are transformative in some way.
And these are the really interesting stories to tell, not the chronological stories, but the transformation stories. And so when you look at your own transformation, I like to describe it as a mountain. You're going to go up and over a mountain.
So at the beginning of that mountain is what I call the before. And this is really just the historical context. Again, knowing the audience and knowing the message you want to share with them, you have to know that first.
Then where does that story begin? Like, what do you need to tell them about your standing at the bottom of the mountain? And you have yet to climb up and over that mountain to figure out this piece. What is that historical context for you and what was that piece of your story? So, before I became a great storyteller or before I learned all of these things, where was I not knowing what I didn't know? Where was I feeling stuck?
Kind of like just even what I shared with you about my business and some of the biggest lessons that I've learned about outsourcing. That transformation came through the actual act of outsourcing and figuring out where was I before I was wearing all the hats. I was hustling my face off. I was, you know, trying to do it all, trying to control everything and not moving the needle in my business because I wasn't staying in my queen bee role.
So that would be an example of telling people where was the struggle. And it's important to note of that because your audience typically is going to identify with that piece of your story because they are also struggling. They have also been through a similar journey where they are. They don't have it all figured out, which is exactly why they're listening to your story, because they're hoping that you will give them some sort of insight as to how this works and how they could do it.
So that's kind of the piece of standing at the bottom of the mountain before you start climbing. And then when you start climbing, it's like, OK, I'm going to try and figure this out, right? So me starting to climb my mountain would have been like making those first couple of hires. Right? Hiring people and not quite getting it right, but still learning things along the way. And then as you get up the mountain, when you finally get on top of your mountain, this is when the transformation is taking place.
So the bottom of the mountain is the before the top of the mountain is the transformation because the transformation is occurring, because you now are seeing things differently. You're now starting to understand how some things work or something big happens in your life. And it totally shifts your perspective, because when you get to the top of the mountain, what are you looking at? You finally get to see the beautiful view that's up there. You are looking at something different and it's beautiful and it's inspiring and it's awesome. Right?
So in your own story, you want to look for that transformation that exists in this piece of the story that you're going to share. And then when you go down the mountain, after you come off that mountain top, it's like you're running down that mountain because you cannot wait to get back down the mountain to go tell the people what you saw, what you experienced, what you now know to be true. What the lessons are that you've learned.
This is kind of me sharing my running down the mountain moment by sharing that piece of my business story with you that was like, I would tell anyone to start outsourcing sooner rather than later. Right? Because it will allow you to stay in your Queen Bee roles and it will allow you to start to have impact and move the needle in your business.
So that's just a very small example of just a quick little story that I shared even on the podcast that relates to how you tell a great story. Now, you can take that and apply that to your big story, your overarching story. You can apply it to micro stories that you share on social media that you may be right emails to your clients and share a little storytelling.
But the reason why you want to examine and find some stories to share with your audience is because stories connect. You know, we resonate with stories. We can understand stories. We comprehend them. They connect, we remember them. And we usually feel some sort of emotion, like we can feel what that feels like relating to that person as they're sharing their story instead of just data and numbers and statistics. Right? We'd rather hear stories. And so that is why it's so important to share storytelling in your business or in your life. Because it's going to allow you to connect more with people. And businesses need to be connecting with their people, right?
So that's the story formula and that's just kind of a quick answer to 'where do I start? How do I pull out pieces of my story?' Obviously, I go much deeper into that in the work that I do and even in the guide that you can download for free.
And then as you said, the other piece that people struggle with is thinking, oh, it's not important. I don't need to go share that. I can just stay over here in my little corner of the world and I'll just keep that story to myself, it's not important. And the exact opposite of that is true. There's a reason why podcasts are popular. It's because we're on there sharing stories with each other so that we can learn and we can glean wisdom from others who have been there, done that, got the t-shirt. That's really what our story does. It shows other people that, like you said, they're not alone, that it can be a source of inspiration, it can be a guide.
And this is exactly why I named my business Light Beamers, because when we share our stories, we shine a light for others. We kind of illuminate the way. And that to me is how I see storytelling. If we share our story, we will shine a light for other people, but we will also shine a light for ourselves, because I think it's important that we honor and recognize that our story does have value and worth and that we it's OK to share it.
It's not being egotistical or narcissistic or braggadocious. It's none of those things. It's just about honoring the journey that you've been on and giving that story away to others so that they can maybe make their journey a little bit easier. So I would say those are definitely the top two. There's many other things that we could dive into, but those are definitely some of the more popular ones that I hear.
And I think it's wonderful because it's so easy to think that, 'oh, well, you know, yeah, I did that.' And we're so close to it. We just do that. 'What else would I have done? And doesn't everyone do that?' Right?
So, I'm 60 now and I will say that, probably around, I don't know, maybe I'm a slow learner, but it was probably in my 40's that I started seeing patterns. That as I would go through something, within a few months I would meet someone else that that could help. And so that's what I think now. It helps me like when I'm going through it, like, OK, all right, somebody else is going to need this. Let's gather all the stuff so that we can share it. Because I think it's just human nature.
I love your analogy about going up the mountain and running down the mountain to tell people because we are so excited about it.
And I think it's human nature that if we see a big hole in the ground, you know, we're turning around telling people like, wait, wait, wait, don't go that way. You're going to fall in. We're helpers at our core for the most part. So I love that.
And then after people download the guide and they've got that, then you've got your Visibility Accelerator. And that's kind of the next step then to working with you.
Yes, there's a couple of things, actually. In addition to the free guide, the Story Formula, I run an amazing community on Facebook called The Light Beamers Community. And that's another kind of free space that people can come in to and start to learn some of the things that I teach around storytelling and around visibility as well. So starting to incorporate some video and things like that and see the way you communicate with other people. And so there's quite a few story prompts and things that we do in that community that people could come in and be in community with other people kind of doing the same thing.
So that would be another invite that I would make to your audience if storytelling and getting comfortable with your story and learning more about your story and then learning how to get visible with that story is something that you feel like you need. That would be a really great place to land.
And then my membership, the Visibility Accelerator would be kind of like that next step where you could come and then really get some coaching, get some training that I offer inside that monthly membership.
And we do a monthly coaching call. We have member benefits that if you're a member of that community, you get some extra perks inside the Light Beamers community in terms of being able to go live and share your message a little bit more often than others. Getting to share some of the things that you have going on in your business, something that you might be promoting at the time. And then you also get ongoing training and support. I do a quarterly challenge in there every quarter.
We do a new challenge as a group kind of thing where people might be stuck or they need to get to the next level. And so, for example, one of our next challenges will be just on email. Making our emails more intentional and purposeful. In a powerful way, consistently with our email friends, right? And so we're doing a whole challenge on email. We've done challenges in the past on Instagram stories. We've done challenges on live streaming in general. We've done challenges on content creation and creating a system that our content can live in.
And then we have guest experts who also come in that I bring in specifically that touch on things that I don't touch on. You've been a guest expert in that group, teaching on systems and operations and things like that. That was so, so helpful for that audience. I'm not the guru on that. And that's just something that you really do very well.
And so I bring in people who also teach in those different fields that are going to be relevant to helping people move the needle in their own business. We do a monthly coaching call as well. And then in the library, I have recorded a year's worth of stories. And so if you're ever stuck going, 'I don't know what to share my story on today' or 'how can I share a story that's relevant to my audience?'
I have three hundred and sixty five days of ideas for you that are in the library that you get your hands on in that membership. And it's a huge resource. And I have some recorded videos that go weekly with those so that you can get a little sense of like how do I use that story? What was the strategy behind it? How can I use the story to get more engagement on my social media? I teach on those things inside that group.
So, yeah, that's another great place to land. After you come into the Light Beamers community and might decide that you want a little bit more help, that would be a great place to come.
I really like in your Light Beamers community that you have the prompts and so people get to start where they are. Right? That you've got different entry points for people. There are so many people in the online space that are introverts and it's just difficult. So for those women who are listening, don't feel like if you go over to the Light Beamers community, you're just going to be like thrown to the wolves or anything like that. You just ease in. And I like that you sometimes have the pictures that it's 'what does this remind you of just go from here. I think it's a nice, gentle way for people to be able to ease into that.
And then the different levels that you have. Being able to come over and share about standard operating procedures and all of that with you was such an honor. And there are thoughtful people in your group and I love community. It is so important to me. And I like that you're very involved also, because as we all know, a group is no more than its leader and you are there and you are involved and you are very engaged with your audience, which I find is not always the case.
Yeah, I am. This is something I pride myself on. And I clearly do have a team behind me now that's helping me with a lot of tasks. But I will tell you, my team does not engage on my behalf. I am in there. It is me, it is me paying attention. They help me in case I missed something like, 'hey, April, somebody commented or posted something and you haven't commented.' They definitely help me in that regard. But it is me.
I care deeply about people. I think this is what has driven my work for as long as I've been around. I have a journalism background. I was a journalist for a long time. I moved into video marketing, telling people stories. I don't think you get to be a storyteller if you don't really care about people and I care about people. I am really, genuinely interested in people and I really love getting to know new people.
So when people start coming into my community, new people start showing up and they do a story prompt. They take action and they post a story. I read it, I read it, and I give them feedback or I give them kudos and I just give them some love because I know what it takes to put yourself out there and to share a story for the first time. That maybe you've never done an exercise like this before.
And I'm not doing that just to kind of like check a box and say, OK, I'm here. I'm doing it because I really am interested. I've learned so much about my community by paying attention to what they post and what they share and the things that they're talking about. And then we can go and then have sideline conversations. I mean, I honestly say I have built a very successful business from community. I have built it. I have this community long before I had a business doing it, you know what I'm saying? Like, I was offline doing my business and then I was just running community on Facebook.
And I did that for two years before I actually started bringing actually what I do for a living into that community. But I was really more concerned about connecting with people first before I was worried about trying to sell them something. And I think if anything, if anybody could take anything from me, it's do that, go pour into your people and build the relationships with them. And then from that, business will unfold.
But too many people try to do the opposite. They try to go make it transactional. First, let's meet a new person and get into their dms and sell you my product and get you into my membership. You know, like, no. It doesn't work that way. Like you have to build a relationship first. And if you're not willing to do that with your audience, it's going to be an uphill battle to really grow and scale to be a 6 and 7 figure business. It's doable, though, when you really start to care about your people.
And so it's something that I take very seriously. I'm thankful that I work in the world of storytelling because I think storytelling helps me build community pretty fast because people are sharing stories in my community. It just is a natural community builder and stories can do that for you and your business. It will help you build community as well, because your people are going to connect to the story and then they'll start sharing story. And then that's how you're going to start building those relationships.
That is so true. And the storytelling, sharing your story, that's what makes you attractive.
And I don't want anybody listening to think, oh, my gosh, I have to do this for two years now. That's how April chose to do it.
No. You should do it simultaneously. I just took a little while, but that's OK.
And that was your journey. And that's what's so incredible in this space. And in 2021, it's even more so. We're able to build what we want. We get to create what we want and the experiences that we want, even desire, not just for ourselves, but the people who then will be attracted to that.
So absolutely, we will put the link to the community and I'm encouraging everyone to go check it out. If you don't like it, you can always leave. But I have a feeling you're going to really like it because you do connect with other people and their stories.
Isn't that really, though, how we make friends and all of that is because either their story resonates with us or repels, which is okay.
Which reminds me before we jump over, but sometimes I've heard people talk about that. 'Well, I don't want to say the wrong thing or share the wrong thing because that's going to turn people off. So either hide part of who we are or we feel like and again, I think this comes from thinking transactionally, but we will think, 'oh, well, if I share this, then that's going to turn off these people and they're not going to want to do business with me.' But that's a good thing, too, because.
Yeah. We're not made to be for all people.
And I think the more that you can be authentic and real and honest and open and truthful with your audience, instead of trying to keep some things hidden and undercover and sort of like put a veil on. What I say to people all the time? You know what? Audiences are pretty smart and we can smell a fake a mile away and we can tell when someone is not quite being as truthful or living authentically or being authentic with us, that they're kind of keeping some things under wraps.
We can sense it. We're very smart. Our audiences are in the collective right. We can tell. And so you're not fooling anybody when you do that. And so it's really good to just show up as who you are. Like, I am not for everybody. There have been plenty of people that have gotten in my community and gone right back out, and that's OK. They're going to go find the person that they need. And it wasn't me.
And I wish them well and I wish them luck. And I send them off with love. But it doesn't define and it doesn't mean anything less about me. It just means I have to keep talking so that I can find the right people that want to be in my community and that want to learn from me and that want to be in a relationship with me, because that's what I'm looking for.
And so it's kind of like dating. You find the person that you eventually want to be with or you find the group of friends that you want to be with and hang out with them. It's very similar to that in our businesses and in our online presence. And I will just say, my life and my business has been so enriched because of the internet and because of social media. And people think I'm crazy when I say something like that. But it is the truth because I have gotten to meet, albeit some of it is all virtual right now, but I have gotten to meet and get to know some of the most amazing human beings that live in places like Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden. I mean, you name it, I am meeting people from all across the world.
I can remember early on when I did start bringing some offerings to the table and into my online space around some storytelling work that I could do with people. One of my very first clients was a woman from Sweden. And I'm thinking, wow, that would have never happened if I had just continued to build my business offline only because I could only build it with people that I was literally, physically getting in touch with. And so meeting someone from Sweden virtually, and then having that connect and then go do business together. And ultimately, she hired me to help her, then that was such a blessing.
Not only that I could help her, but then I got to learn more about her culture, learn what life was like in Sweden. I personally have never been to Sweden. So it was just like I was immediately enriched by that experience. And I've had multiple experiences like that now. And so I just think about all the people that I have met on the internet, if you will, that do feel like friends and I have not really ever met them in person.
We will one day, but many of them I have not met yet. And I don't feel like they're any less of a friend, and I will say that because I had been building community and because I had been meeting some of these people virtually, it did eventually lead me to create something that allowed us to meet in person.
So a couple of years ago, I started an event called the Storytelling Symposium. And a big part of the reason why I wanted to do that is because I wanted to have an event where our community could come together and meet each other. That is not just me, but they're meeting each other in my community too, right? Like they're getting to know one another, not just me. And so providing an event that people could come to was just such a cool experience that we do get to finally meet in person for those that get to come to those events with us. And it's really, really special. And it's way beyond the transaction. It is because we've built relationships with each other.
That is incredible. And of course, you'll share about that in the Light Beamers community when those are coming up.
Yes, always. Absolutely.
Well, April, thank you so much for sharing that. I love what you said. And I just want to reiterate this. I'm a female, so I don't know if it's just us or maybe guys have it and we just don't know. They don't talk about it. But I love what you said about if people come into your world and right back out, that that says nothing about you, that does not have anything to do with you.
I just want everybody to hear that. If you have those situations, it's really a blessing when you go into situations and it's so clear beause you're going to as you grow as a CEO in your business or into that CEO role, that you're going to see those as opportunities and blessings. Because then it's like, OK, I'm not for them and they're not for me, and that's OK. And then it's like, OK, so where then can I focus my time and attention to reach the people that are a good fit? So thank you so much for sharing that, because I think that we definitely don't take that into account at times.
Yeah, I agree.
All right, that sound means we're moving into our mixed bag of questions.
We're moving into that special time of the podcast.
Yes. Let's start with this has been one that I decided not too long ago. I really want to ask everyone. Have you ever worked with a coach?
Yes, I have absolutely worked with a coach. And honestly, I could probably have answered that as part of my answer to your original question. What were some of the big shifts that I had in my business? Hiring a coach was definitely another one of those. And I have had a coach consistently now for two years. I've had the same coach for about that time. And just this year or just recently in the last couple of months, I have hired an additional coach.
So I have two coaches and it's been amazing. One is part of a mastermind that I'm in. And another one is more of a personal one to one relationship. And having coaching has been so transformational for me, not only as a business owner, but just as a person. That helps me examine and see areas that I need to work on in my life and in my business and areas where I need support, areas where I definitely don't have all the answers. And it's just been, it feels like such a gift to have someone in my corner that's really working for the same common goal that I want.
And so I am all for and in favor of coaching, whatever it may be in your life, like it could be your fitness goals, your health and wellness. It could be your spiritual goals. It could be your relationship goals. It can be your business goals, all of that. I think there's a space for coaching in all of it.
Absolutely. Parenting. You know, my kids range in age from 8 - 42. Well, things have changed a lot, so just reaching out and having that person that you could talk to and say, "all right, is this normal in 2021, is this what we do now? Because I didn't have to deal with that back then."
So any area where we just need that expert to help us like examine like you said, I think it's so incredible. So we find growth in those situations, no matter what area it's in.
All right. Next question. Besides the bottom line, what is the most important number to you in your business?
I love this question. The bottom line is a very important one because that's a good CEO who knows their bottom line. But, I would say the level of impact to me, it's more important almost even than my bottom line. To know that I'm making an impact. And so the number of women that I have in my community, the number of women that come through my programs, the number of women that I get to meet at some of the events, whether they're my events or events that I attend. Just, you know, the the level of relationships that I have, the number of relationships that I have as a result of this work. That to me, all signifies impact because people come back and say, "oh, thank you" or "you helped me do this" or "oh, I didn't know that before, I needed that piece from you."
Or they listen to the podcast and they send me an email saying "that was a really great episode. Thank you so much for recording it." Fill up my cup with that all day long. That keeps me going. And it's something that, I don't know if I can measure it in terms of a quantifiable number like your bottom line, but it is just the level of impact. And getting to know that I'm making an impact is very important to me.
It makes me feel useful. It makes me feel like I have figured out how to take what I'm really, really good at and what I love doing and have it be useful. So that feels good.
You know, it's interesting because I've seen that as I've started asking that question, it's not always a quantifiable number. It's not always that tangible thing, which is great, because that says to me, again, that's part of the CEO growth when it's not just about numbers. Again, bottom line, very important and being profitable, very, very important. But it's that deeper level of connecting the work with what you do with the actual humans that you do it for or with. So thank you for sharing that.
Our would you rather question - Would you rather spend a day at the beach in the woods, or in a luxury environment where you're waited on hand and foot?
Oh, gosh, that's such a good one. I think that our favorite family thing to do would be my answer would be in the mountains. Right? Like in the woods. We love the mountains. We used to live in the mountains. So I feel very connected to the mountains. I do love to go on vacation at the beach. I don't have a desire to live at the beach or to have a second home at the beach or anything like that. But I do enjoy a good beach vacation and I'm not going to lie. A tTrip to the spa is always pretty high on my list. I mean, hey, who doesn't want to be treated like we deserve to be treated? And having those experiences are fun and having the luxury experiences are part of the rewards of working so hard and building our businesses. And so having that is also up there.
I don't know that I'm answering your question. Can I pick all three, Teresa? Can I have it all, please?
Sure, we'll just do three weeks a year where you go to one of each.
If I had to answer, because I still have kids at home and I know, like, our favorite thing to do would probably be the mountains. But again, the beach has its place and a good luxury trip is always I'm always up for that.
All right. Two more to go. We have from a previous guest, they wanted me to ask, 'What is a book that you read that has made an impact on your life, business, anything that was really impactful for you?"
These book questions. I'm a voracious reader, so picking one is a bit hard. But I'm going to go with the most recent book that I would say that I've read that has just stuck with me and that would be Untamed by Glennon Doyle. That book really shattered some things about how we as women are viewed and perform in our culture. And I believe that it's a very important book for women to read. And it was something that, definitely I felt when I read it, was someone was finally saying things that I had been feeling but I didn't know how to articulate. And so that book for that reason had a big impact on me.
Nice. I love those kind of books or conversations. And that's, I think with the community and everything else. I want to have conversations. I don't like all the superficial stuff. And just to have somebody speak out and say that things are going on inside and it's like, yes, yes, that's what I'm talking about. I didn't know how to say that. So Untamed. Glennon Doyle.
Absolutely. One of those books that, you know, if it resonates with you, you'll be saying, yes, yes, yes. Thank you for saying that. And that was definitely my experience. It's a phenomenal book, in my opinion.
Wonderful. Last but certainly not least, what is a question that you would like for me to ask a future guest?
Well, because I'm all about storytelling and I believe we need to be sharing our stories as much as we can. I would love for you to ask a future guest "How has sharing their story in any way or shape or form that they've been able to do that, how has it left a positive impact on them?"
Love it! All right. We've got that down.
I love doing this. I love being able to connect with other phenomenal business women and having you all share your stories. It encourages me and inspires me and blesses me. Just being a part of the conversation. And I know the feedback I've gotten from my audience is that they are loving it, too. So thank you so much for being here, April. I appreciate you and how you show up and how you're beaming your light into the world.
Thank you, Teresa. Thank you so much. And thanks for having me. It was an honor.
Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Becoming a Profitable CEO. I'll be back next week. But in the meantime, let's continue the conversation head on over to our Facebook Community at ThePurposefulCEO.com/Facebook, and share your take on today's episode.
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Mentioned in this Episode
- April's 3-step Story Formula to help you unlock the mystery of your own story and discover the key elements of your story worth sharing with others. www.lightbeamers.com/StoryFormula
- The Visibility Accelerator
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