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Coping Through COVID – Interview Series 08 (The Light at the end of the tunnel)

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Coping Through COVID – Interview Series 08 (The Light at the end of the tunnel)

We saved the best for last we talk with Sarah Salimi a digital marketing guru on the importance of your personal brand, as an employee as we shift into a new world of the working professional after Quarantine.

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Jai  Alrighty. Welcome to The Holistic Life Podcast. I had to make sure I said it right. I think the last time I introduced it I said something completely different. So The Holistic Life Podcast and our coping through COVID spotlight interview series.

Jenny  I’m Jenny.

Jai  Okay, I was gonna get there.

Jenny I’m excited.

Jai   I clearly, as usual. I’m Jai. But I got the title right this time. Sweet heart.

Jenny  I think we’re so excited to see

Jai  clearly, guys, we’ve had an amazing seven weeks. Has it been seven? Does this make eight?

Jenny  Yes, this makes eight. I’ve 

Jai  we’ve had fitness people we’ve had mental health people, we’ve had

Jenny  professional organizers and spiritual,

Jai  We’ve had the gambit. So I think this would be one of those things that you can go back and apply any of the information to and no matter how long this lasts, you can apply everything that was spoken about in these past couple of weeks. But this is our last coping through COVID show. And we definitely wanted to end on what I think is going to be a bank….

 

Jai I guess we just wait, you guys can see that she’s cracking up over. Our last guest is basically to sum up what Sarah is and what Sarah does. She’s everything digital. She’s a marketer. She’s had 15 years experience in the industry. And the coolest thing I think about Sarah is on our LinkedIn profile is she loves helping people. And people say that but after sitting and talking with her this past weekend, I really believe that she’s definitely a Down to Earth person. And from what I spoke with about Jess, Sarah is definitely one of those people who wants to help. So please welcome to the show, Sarah. I forgot how to pronounce your last name, Sarah. I’m sorry.

 

Sarah  02:11

Salimi, it’s okay.

 

Jai  “Salimi” is welcome to the show.

 

Sarah  Thank you, happy to be here.

 

Jai  Awesome. Now, guys, this might be a little different. Because we’re just gonna kind of go from the cut. Whoa, I guess that’s not really different, which is gonna, we’re gonna go for the coverage. I want to talk about how people can, I don’t want to say rebrand. But we’re in a situation where people have lost jobs, people may have to start new careers and the importance of your brand, your personal brand, as a person and how you want to step out and market yourself and just the digital opportunities that are out. And just from your experience, because I think you said you’ve worked from home before all this happened. So you’ve had your experience with working from home. And just like the opportunities because yes, despite all the doom and gloom, the fear that’s out there. There’s so many positives that’s going to come from this, in my opinion. And I think this is now the time to take advantage of stuff like that. So let the girl speak. Yeah. Okay. Sarah.

 

Sarah  thank you. Yeah, there’s a lot of ways that we can kind of approach that. But I think one of the most important things when it comes to working from home and working from behind a screen, is really making sure that your digital appearance is what you want it to be. So whether that’s your LinkedIn profile, or your Facebook profile, or whatever that is, I mean, a lot of it is social media, how you’re presenting yourself out there, you want to make sure that it’s on brand, right, once you figure out what that is. So if you’re looking for a job, you probably want to be fairly buttoned up and kind of exude the things that you’re about the things that you bring to the table. If it’s more from a personal level, Facebook tends to be a little bit more on the personal side, you know, that you’re just you’re being genuine and your true self. And I think that those really merge, and they can merge in the professional space. You know, like my LinkedIn profile, I have all the career stuff where I went to school and whatnot. But I really wanted to put things in there that matter to me. So I put in my volunteer work, I make sure that my bio has a little bit about what I’ve done on the career side, but also how it kind of ties together in life. So you want to make sure that it has a good mix and give someone a feel for who you are and what you’re about. And not just I went to school here and this is the job I’m looking for. Because right now with the screens and not really being able to interact face to face. We have to give a little bit more, right so it’s okay to be a lot more vulnerable. put yourself out there. There’s a woman that I follow on LinkedIn. I’ve been following them for a few years. I don’t even know how we became connected. And she and I actually connected over the phone a few days ago, because I saw one of her videos online. And it was so authentic. And just very, I don’t know, it hit a nerve with me. There’s an entrepreneur, and she’s really struggling. And she’s having to pivot her career, as many of us are right now. And she put that out there on LinkedIn, and she did LinkedIn live, and it was more of a Hey, this is where I’m at right now. This is where I’d like to take my company. And she just, I don’t know, I felt like she needed support. And all I did was I responded to her. And I was like, hey, you’re doing a great job. You’re so real. You’re really engaging. Like, I love what you’re doing, keep it up, and she messaged me, and she’s like, that made me cry. Like your post made me cry. She’s like, I don’t know why. I’m like, it’s because people aren’t engaging, people aren’t real. Everyone has like, I’m not everyone. But a lot of people just give canned answers like, or hit the like button, like, take that extra step and be real with somebody.

Jenny  Yes, it means so much. Because sometimes, you know that people are listening. But sometimes it just feels like you’re speaking to the air, right? And so I think, for me, sometimes I don’t reach out because I’m like, oh, they’re busy. Who am I to respond to me, you know, they already know they’re awesome, or whatever, like things that come into my head. And really, I think regardless of what level someone is at, they always will appreciate positive feedback. Hey, I’d love to learn this from you, or just exactly what you shared with that one person in your network? Because it does, I could totally relate right, you’re gonna put something big out there on a platform that traditionally doesn’t really support as much of that, like the personal side of things on LinkedIn, you’re kind of teetering to do that. So I mean, very much so that’s exactly why she cried.  I’m not in her mind. But if it were my mind, I’m like, Why? Because she was like, I’m gonna take a chance, I will share this, oh, my God, it was well received,

Sarah  Believe me, those are the most engaging posts. I mean, I’ll actually read them when someone’s just pulling bullet points from like a white paper or something like that to make themselves sound smart. I’m probably not going to read that whole thing. I mean, relate it to real life, make it valuable. And I think that when you’re doing that, from a personal brand standpoint, comment on things that matter to you, give people props for doing a good job, or talk about how you’re trying to help or whatever it is, you know, like, in any field, you can tie those together.

Jai  I think that’s a big thing, too, because we’re working on a big project. And we had to pivot because we were launching right before right when the pandemic was happening. And our particular product was for business travelers. And then it was like, Oh, shit, nobody’s traveling, or they got like, shut down. So we had to pivot. And it’s like, we’ve done all this work, all this writing and all this scripting and whatever. And it’s kind of like, to the point where we have to redo that, but we want to do it from an authentic place not come across this, like, Oh, this is what you need right now and more of like, okay, life is crazy right now. It is what it is.

Sarah  And you don’t want it to be, especially in this type of environment. You know, if you’re trying to offer a product or service, you don’t want it to be overly salesy, right, like, people aren’t trying to buy stuff right now. They want to engage with things that really help them or comfort them. And sometimes it’s just putting a message out there like, hey, we’ll be here when you need us type deal. Like Jeep did an awesome ad. That was all about just staying indoors. I mean, it’s for Jeep, it’s for a car, but it was all tied together really, really nicely.

Jenny  And like, hey, go into your garage.  Yeah, if you’re not Jeep. Yeah, it’s like, it just makes you like, remember the brand, but it was cool. It was cool. It was funny. They did a piece with Bill Murray, like recreating Groundhog Day, they did a Super Bowl ad that had that in there. And then when all this stuff happened with the pandemic and whatnot, like they played off of that, and it was super cool, super memorable. Like, obviously, no one’s gonna go by, like, test drive a bunch of cars right now. But it was just like, hey, like, that’s top of mind. That’s cool. It gives you a taste of the brand and like, oh, and insincere. I’m here with you to type a message, because that’s what we keep hearing. Yay, all these brands are here to support me. No, I don’t believe that. Like, that’s just not how you sell something. That’s not how you come across as authentic. make light of the situation or just try to be engaged with your audience. I mean, that’s one of the biggest things to know who you’re talking to. If you don’t know how you’re talking to you, you’ll never be able to speak to them.

Jai  That is so true. That is so true. And I think for me, like that’s challenging sometimes because you want to help everybody, but you can’t help everybody. Like your product or whatever you’re doing is not for it. Everybody, so you, you kind of have to niche down to that specific person. And that can be challenging because you have to be in that person’s shoes. You have to kind of live your life like, Okay, this person gets up at six, what do they do now, trying to put yourself into that position. But once you do that, you can speak to that person, or indirectly, like, whatever you’re doing whatever you’re putting out there in a way that speaks to that person. You don’t have people just popping up, you’re like, Hey, you don’t know me. But you know me. I don’t know how you know me, but we know each other.

Sarah  Yeah, I mean, once you know, like, how to engage with your audience. It’s like, where do you engage with them, like you have to know your people. And if you don’t know your people, you have to learn your people. And right now is like a good time for people to kind of reset, because you don’t want to make a lot of assumptions without having a good pulse on your audience. So I mean, it should be like a two way conversation, whether that’s like market research, or just putting a message out there like, Hey, what do you want me to do? Like, what’s interesting? What are you guys doing? That type of thing? I mean, obviously, I’m speaking very generally, because I don’t know what everybody’s doing right now, from a business standpoint, or whatever. But it makes it easier to craft that message. And that image, if you understand

Jenny  What if we kind of like to break it down then into different segments? Right? So if we start small, because we already talked about Jeep, we talked big, so I could see someone being like, Oh, yeah, that’s what Jeep did good for them. Right? Like, I get it. I mean, you could still learn from the giants. But what if I’ve never had a business? And I’m starting to think about other streams of revenue, and maybe I’m starting a business or I’m getting into network marketing, or something that’s low cost, or something that I’m just going to maybe do as a little side hustle. In the meantime.

Sarah: Yeah, the gig market is huge. Right now. It’s like, how do you stand out in a sea of people? And you’re just starting off? I mean, again, it goes down to personal brand, how you’re presenting yourself? How are you showing true value? I think that’s what a lot of people tend to miss is they start putting their list of services out there, and they expect their customer to self-serve. But if you’re not saying how you’re helping, or what you’re capable of, you can’t expect them to automatically come to you with a problem to solve. So it’s what you’re putting out in that space. And especially from the gig kind of side of things, you’re doing a lot more now, that’s digital. So whether it’s opening up like an Etsy store, and you’re selling your craft online versus you know, going to a farmers market, or what have you, you’re gonna have to pivot. So like you want to take the things that are great about what you do or what you want to be doing. And try to emulate that in the digital space. So whether that’s utilizing graphics or your messaging and how you’re, like interacting with people. For my sister’s baby shower, I was online, because I mentioned that sale. Just to tie this together, I was looking at little party favors and different things for her shower. And there was this one brand, and they were just selling like little jars of creams, and one smelled like bananas. But the jars of creams are called monkey farts. And I thought that was so cute. It wasn’t anything special. But the artwork, and the way that the description was written like, Oh, it’s a banana essence and whatnot. Like, I just thought that was so funny. And I thought that because you know, my sister’s really likeable, she has a good sense of humor. And she had little monkeys as part of the theme for the shower. I was like, This is awesome. This is so on brand. And I mean, you know, that’s not a Jeep. But right. It’s like a little thing that this store owner was able to put out there. That was really cool to me. Now, that might not be super cool to you, or other people. But I mean, it’s just knowing who you’re going after and how you’re trying to reach them.

Jenny  Well, I’m bringing it in because I think I come from the corporate america world like myself, even though I always like to push the boundaries. And I didn’t want to be the girl in the black suit. I’d rather wear an orange suit. I can still be professional, but still, I came from a very like, dude. I mean, I can’t think of the words I can think of, you know, like a very strict environment, rigid and strict. So you know, I think about those things. And like, I know that as Jai and I have been building 2JHolla, sometimes I would bring that rigidity into our brand and our brand is not the original brand. We’re a very fun brand. And so Jay has been helping me because he’s like, like no, we’re dear sir. I would like to let you know. Thank you very much sincerely. And there’s a place for that but our business isn’t there like ours is like mahalo. What up how’s it going? 

Jai  Alright, alright, alright! 

Sarah  Comfortable with being loose and like letting go. 

Jenny  Yeah, cause then it’s, like you said, speaking to your client. So those are the types of people if someone wants rigidity, they’re going to run from the 2jholla brand because it’s going to be too loose for them. And that’s okay. 

Sarah  100% I came from the other side of that. So when I was working in California, I was working with luxury fashion brands that were very California cool and then I moved to Houston, Texas, and I was working heavily with some food brands, what not. But the majority were oil and gas and industrial. I have to relearn my lingo, I have to relearn how to write, everything had to shift, like my own personal brand had to shift because of who was going to be receiving it. You know, all of that. I mean, I’m sitting here talking to you guys, and like a T-shirt and shorts and like, everything’s real chill, perfect. But earlier today, I was on a work call. And I was in my little button up shirt, right, still wearing the shorts on bottom because it couldn’t see. But it was more what was expected. And I worked for a tech company, like that’s not even necessary. But because I’m one of the few females in the room, I have to make sure I can make myself buttoned up and professional and onpoint. But I can still have jokes and whatever, here and there and present my own brand a little bit differently, but within reason. So again, gauging that audience and really knowing how far you can push it without going like crazy. Like, I’m not gonna show up to the office with pink hair, like ever. It’s not gonna happen.

Jenny I did that at the end of my career, like, I dyed my hair to leave my one job. And I was kind of nervous because I was like, I don’t really know how they’re going to take this. And the head of HR was like, Oh, my God, I loved your hair. It was like mermaid hair. I was like, Oh, my God, I wasn’t expecting you. Okay, so then the next place I went, the first day I was there, I had purple hair. And everybody boos, like, Yeah, but it was a super entrepreneurial, super, like cool company. I’m like, Oh, this is awesome. This is where I should be my whole life.

Sarah: Well, and sometimes that’s how you find your tribe too, right? Because you don’t want to change yourself and be inauthentic. Like you want to present like the real you out there, too, right? 

Jai  I remember when we first started working on a copy from one of our sales pages, and we were hanging out with somebody we met at a conference. And I forget her title. But anyway, we hung out for like two or three hours, she was like, Oh, my God, you guys are great, or whatever. And I was like, hey, check out the sales page. And she’s like, this is not you. She was like, this is totally different from who you guys are, what the hell is this? Like? No, no, scrap it and start from the beginning. So it’s like, super, super important. Not only knowing your audience, but like finding your voice, too, because that’s a big thing.

Sarah  100%. And I think now, because we are not necessarily in the offices or engaging with people one on one, you have to think about how you’re speaking more so and people are doing a lot more digital communication, too. And the hardest part about it, right? Is that you don’t necessarily get to see the other side of that. So reading those messages, like you have to internalize it and really think about how this can be perceived? Like does this come off as however I’m trying to make it sound? There’s a lot to be said about that. Because there’s that two way communication that happens when you can read your audience and you adjust and you filter back and forth. But if you’re just voice, you have to make sure that there’s inflections there that make sense, right? Or if you’re just doing visuals, such as infographics and whatnot like, is this on brand, does this come across the way I want it to come across? Can it be misconstrued or something else. So you have to think about those things like it’s a really weird time to be doing any type of marketing. And budgets are getting cut, you got to get a little bit more crafty. Like I started off, I plan it off my whole year. So right now I work for a tech company. And we just launched a logistics platform. Well, that was supposed to happen at ceraweek, which is a huge thing that happens here in Houston. Let me backtrack, it doesn’t always happen in Houston. It’s a huge energy trade show. And there’s a track that focuses on innovation. So we were selected by plug and play, we were going to be putting it out there as a keynote and have all this publicity and whatever. And ceraweek is one of the first things cancelled when COVID happened, because people were flying in from all over the world. And so I had my entire marketing strategy, based off of this one launch at this one event. And I had to redo everything and figure out like, how are we going to put up this product without being insensitive without making it all about us? I mean, it’s not. And does anybody care right now, like, the company still needs to put it out there? Like how do we do it? So I mean, with everything, also, budgets were a little bit different. That was a pro bono thing that was going to give us a huge platform. And then I had nothing and no money. Like, okay, how are we going to do this? So I wrote some press releases and started really heavily marketing, on social media, a lot of our audience on LinkedIn started connecting with those people. You know, there’s different ways to grow a market, in a downturn, or in whatever the heck we’re at, right? 

Jai  Whatever this is

Sarah  Whatever this is, 

Jenny  It’ll be a hit name someday later, we’ll probably have a special name in the marketing books.

Sarah  Well, everybody seems to think that they have the answer, right? And I’m not saying I have the answer, like I had to figure it out as I was going to, like nothing that we’ve done before is really going to lend itself to this, like it’s not a cookie cutter model. I do know with a lot of clients in the past, like I would In this scenario, potentially be putting a lot more towards SEO and ad buys and things of that nature, putting a lot more presence online. But again, it varies from situation a situation and what you’re trying to get 

Jenny  Product to product, brand to brand, because there’s some products in the coaching world that are skyrocketing, that are doing very well right now, because it just

Sarah  Went up 80%. And they just stopped marketing altogether, because they couldn’t handle the load. Like, that’s insane. Yeah, it varies.

Jai  Interesting, because you said you have to be creative in situations like this. And it’s definitely interesting to me how certain people react in certain situations. It’s kind of like that analogy of the shoe companies since two guys went to Africa. And one guy is like, Oh, my God, it will never survive here. Nobody wears shoes. And other guys like, oh, we’re about to kill it. Because nobody wears shoes here. Perspective is a lot of it, right? Yeah. And it’s like I’m thinking about the salon people in the barbers and stuff like that. And then people are like, well, we can’t do anything because we’re closed. I think Jen said one of the hairdresser’s she used to go to she started creating a quarantine

Jenny  Quarantine kit, which basically has like some touch up for your hair, dry shampoo, some moisturizer so that it doesn’t dry out, like just things that people would need if they’re not getting a regular haircut that can help them to last longer. 

Sarah: Yeah, that’s total value, right? Like that’s a support to your customer. That’s a reminder that you’re around, and that you’ll be there when it’s over without sending that stupid message. Well, I’m here for you. Like, it makes sense, right? And I know my hairdresser does the same thing. Like, luckily, I don’t color my hair yet. I don’t know if I will. But he sent out a message to all his customers like, Hey, I’m sorry, I’m having to cancel these things. And reschedule and I will have touch ups. I have all your own personal things blended. Like, let me know we can do porch pickup, like whatever you want to do. And that was super awesome. Because I know a lot of people were just kind of going insane. 

Jai  My hands touched up. 

Jenny  Okay, how do I know and like, 

Sarah  I don’t want you to cut my hair. But it’s getting to a point where well, I can deal with this anymore. He’s like, my head is hot.

Jenny  I just saw pictures of a friend of ours, let his eight year old cut his hair and actually turned out pretty good. So I got confidence in you. 

Sarah  Hey, that’s the whole campaign right there. Like what do your at home pets look like? 

Jai  It’s just like, Oh my gosh, there’s like so much room to do. Like the sky’s the limit right now.

 Sarah  Yeah. I mean, just gotta get creative, right? 

Jai  If your perspective is on point,

Jenny  Right! If your perspective is like, Oh, my God, I can’t do anything and you’re stuck. And you’re, you’re in a totally different area, it’s not gonna work. 

Sarah  Well, if there are gyms that are surviving right now. And it’s because they’re doing at home workouts. And they’re like, there’s a yoga studio here in Houston that is 100%, based off of donations, like regularly, right. And then they started taking it online. I don’t work for them, like I’m not affiliated in any way, shape, or form, but they have a steady client base that is still doing the yoga, and then mowing, like, as much as they can here and there. So I mean, you do what you can with what you got. And you have to get more creative with it. And sometimes it works. And sometimes it flops, and then you just try again, right?

 Jenny  That’s marketing.

 Sarah  It’s all we got right now, right?

 Jenny  Because that’s marketing. That’s what you do. Jai and I’ve been trying to do the business thing on and off for many, many years, right? And us coming together is like the perfect magic and the perfect amount of momentum. But I will tell you that becoming an entrepreneur, they don’t always tell you that you have to try different things, right? Because especially when it’s your own content, it’s your own brand, like I have felt this, you get so married to the title or the way that it is or the way that it’s marketed. And if it doesn’t work, you’re like, ah, I spent all that time on it. Why is it not working?

 Sarah  You don’t like me? You take it personally or? Yeah, I mean, you have to try a bunch of stuff, situations like this really do foster innovation, and great things can come out of it. I mean, diamonds are built on being under pressure, right? So I mean, that’s basically what we’re gonna see. I think, for me being in the tech space, there’s a number of colleagues and companies that I’ve seen that have really stepped up and pivoted in ways that we wouldn’t have imagined a few weeks ago, because they were able to think quickly try things out and just see where it took them and it’s pretty awesome. 

Jenny  So speaking of pivoting, I’d like to pivot this conversation, because before we were talking about artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence, and where they intersect. And this is something that you’ve been looking into. So I really want to hear a little bit about this.

Sarah  It’s just something that I’m super interested in. Because artificial intelligence is something that ‘s kind of like a buzzword right now. Or buzzwords, I should say, people are interested in it. It’s like, oh, are robots going to take over the world? And how does that look? And really, it’s a progression, right? Like tomorrow, you’re not gonna have what’s your name from the Jetsons? Rosie? Yes, thank you. So you’re not gonna have Rosie, like, bringing your breakfast tomorrow, that’s probably not very likely. But as it stands, right now, we have machines in our house. I mean, a lot of us have Amazon, Alexa.

Jenny  Careful now, they’re gonna to start listening. We do that, yeah. 

Sarah  And a lot of things that we’re doing are learning and understanding better than they did a few years ago. It’s a slow and steady process. But when it comes to artificial intelligence, and digitization of the world and whatnot, right now, we’re kind of at a Crux, where we have to decide how much of it we want to allow into our lives and how we’re going to let it affect us. And that’s where the EQ comes in, like the AI, the emotional intelligence. So emotional intelligence, right is how we’re responding and interacting. And I think a lot of what’s happening, or has been happening, has been built around people not interacting and understanding how to communicate. So I’ve seen it, I’ve read about it, people are becoming less empathetic. So they’ll see something on a screen on Facebook, or whatever someone posts a video and cyberbullying will take place, people will make fun. And they don’t always think about the person on the other side of that, because it doesn’t seem real. And so there’s a lot of things happening in the digital world that are super, super awesome. But I think it comes to a point where we have to make sure that we are still human, and human centric, and technology can drive that emotional intelligence can drive artificial intelligence. And people can make these things amazing, but it’s people first. And I think that if we lose sight of that, you know will become one to lemmings that have no human interaction and connection, because connection is when you actually can respond and reciprocate and have empathy for somebody else. And so I think that’s super, super important. And especially right now, in this environment, we can’t forget that, yes, we’re all stuck at home, or the majority of us are stuck at home. And the ones that aren’t stuck at home, they’re on the frontlines, they’re doing crazy things. And we have to really be mindful of their experience. I didn’t want to go on like a crazy rant with it. But I think that you have to make sure that as we are incorporating more digital and more technology, that we are still authentic and true to ourselves. And where my message comes from quite heavily is, I work in digital, I work heavily in tech, and I’m always looking at the new things that are coming out. But I want to make sure that it’s of true value to people, I want to make sure that what I’m touching doesn’t go against my ethics. There are instances where people can capture data and whatnot and use it and resell it. I mean, Facebook just had a little bit of an issue with that. And that’s like a huge company that has a ton of private information. So I mean, it’s like, okay, just having your eyes open and making sure that you’re paying attention to what’s going on and trying to be true to you. 

Jai  Technology isn’t going anywhere, if anything, it’s moving even faster. And I think that’s one of the things that people are afraid of, like, Oh my god, the robot AI robot, it’s coming to life and oh my god, it’s like, Okay, calm down. There’s always two sides of the coin. Like you can go for a living. Or you can, like you said, you can get the things that align, you can be mindful of how you choose to use the technology and don’t just use it mindlessly, like personal opinion, guys, don’t kill me. I don’t think a child should have an iPad all the freakin time. The iPad should not be the child’s babysitter 

Sarah  Agreed, then I have a child. My child is three. And like being in this environment right now. It’s like so tempting sometimes should 

Jenny  Be so easy here, go over there and go play has

Sarah  But no, I don’t want that to be the reality. I know that we’re up against a wall right now. And yes, you probably looked at it more than she should. I tried to put on Khan Academy kids. So she’s doing learning activities on the iPad instead of watching junk YouTube videos or whatever. But at the same time, it’s like I don’t want her perception and her human interaction to be driven by a screen. I want it to be her interacting with her dad and with me and with our extended family and playing with little friends and whatever that is not just staring blindly.

 Jai  I think that’s a super important point too. And thank you Jennyy for bringing this back up. Cause I totally forgot we talked about that. But super very important point with the way that things are shifting with remote learning that remote working, digital stuff is probably going to start moving even faster than it did before, if that’s even possible, but remembering that human connection that AI, as you said, going into that, because it’s super, super, super important. My mom’s an educator, and she’s like, it’s crazy to me, that these kids these days don’t have any social skills, because all they’re doing is they’re on their phones, or they’re doing this, that the third and they can’t have a conversation, because they’re in the same room with their best friend texting each other. That’s like,

 Sarah  It’s scary. It really is. I was actually reading this book by an amazing scientist, a scientist in artificial intelligence. It’s called girl decoded. And her whole journey is about emotional intelligence and the intersection with artificial intelligence and working with autistic children and how they have issues generally speaking, processing interactions, because they won’t look people in the eye or, or whatever that is, is a spectrum. And not everybody’s the same. But how to use technology to better the lives of those people. Rather than hold them back. And awesome book, I recommend it to anybody, but just bring it back full circle, we have to be mindful and how we’re using the tech and extract from it what we see as a value then the other side of that,

 Jenny  And hopefully, Jai will allow this story. So Jai actually is a perfect example of tech helping enhance his life because he was born with a visual impairment. And so he had multiple surgeries as a kid. And, and I’m really simplifying the conversation because it’s more than just these couple of words. But we have found and we’ve talked about this a lot how Tech has made his life so much easier in so many ways being visually impaired. For example, logging into a restaurant with the menu, right, and you can take a picture with your phone, and you can blow up your phone on the screen and see the menu at the size you need. So you don’t need the menu to have a certain amount of magnification. You can use the tech to service you or with lights or with whatever, there’s so many different ways.

Jai  Comic books. I love reading comic books. So now with iPads and tablets, you can do like before, I would have to like panels. Stuff is really small, double click on the screen, and it’s just zooming up on this one thing, and I can scroll through. And it’s like enjoying something I used to love that used to be a pain for whatever reason, but like bringing that back, I think I’ve read like, I don’t know, like 30 comic books within the last week.

Sarah  Yeah, that’s so awesome. I mean, there’s so many cases like that, like, one of my passions is around diversity and inclusion, whether that is from a physical standpoint, or mental, or different minority groups or sexes, or whatever that is. I actually led a conference, I put together a conference for AMA here in Houston was our largest one for marketing edge and went crazy. Yes, but it’s a diversity, inclusion and tech focus, because of me. But

Jai  You were speaking on the importance of analog.

Sarah  Wright? But our keynote speaker was a kid named Alexander Knoll. And as a young child, this boy saw someone struggling with disability, someone in a wheelchair that couldn’t open the door at a hotel, or go into a restaurant. I don’t remember the exact story. But he, as a non disabled person, was able to see that there was a need to make things better for this individual. And as a child, he’s like, how can I do this? So flash forward? I don’t know how many years it’s been since he was eight or nine at the time. And now he’s a 12. I mean, I don’t know his exact age. But he created the ability app. And his app helps gather information from people all over the world about certain places, whether that’s a restaurant and was it handicap accessible for wheelchairs? Or was the menu provided with a certain point font? Or is their website accessible for the visually impaired, like there’s so many different aspects of it that are just so cool. And I’m super passionate about it. And I’m glad you brought it up. Because I mean, there is a space for technology to really help people and level the playing field, whether that’s from an HR standpoint and using tech to make sure that everybody gets a chance to be put up for a position where you get rid of that human bias.

Jenny  Here’s mine this is not

Jai Gonna finish as soon as we get off.

Jenny  So we’ve talked about a lot, Sarah, we’ve covered a lot of different things and I mean, we could probably spend hours chatting with you, and learning and diving deeper. But if there was one thing that you could share with people to help inspire them, as it relates to marketing, personal brand, etc, What would you share?

 Sarah  Quite a bit authenticity, and empathy, if you can be who you are, and really connect and put yourself out there to do so. I think you’d be really surprised to see how people respond. It’s not only good for you, it’s good for them. It’s good for the world. So why not? Right?

Jai  Everybody gets a chance. Right?

Jenny  I love that. Yeah, that’s perfect. And so if anybody wants to find you, and continue to learn more, where can they find you? or How can they connect? Well, I am on LinkedIn. My Profile is visible to everybody but not open to many connections anymore. If you follow me, I promise I’ll take a look and send a connection invite 

Jai  Believe me, guys, Sarah is definitely somebody you want to be connected with, with the information she shares. I love just like you said, genuine, authentic people and people who want to help. So if you’re seriously looking for that, and you’re not a jerk, for lack of a better word yourself, definitely follow Sarah on LinkedIn. I was gonna use another way, but we’ll remember the jerk. Jerk Jerk.

Jenny  Throw that in there. 

Jai  Now we’re gonna have to play the song after we’re done recording. 

Jenny  Yeah, totally. It’s been an absolute honor Sara, we’ve enjoyed this time. So glad you’ve been able to be a part of this series. Thank you is awesome to talk to you guys. Can’t wait to see what happens with everybody. Follow you all. 

Jai  We’re definitely gonna be picking your brain on some stuff if you don’t want…

 Sarah  100% Fine. Let’s do it. Let’s keep in contact.

Jenny  Good thing you said that we got you on recording.

Sarah   Yes, it’s totally fine.

Jenny  Alright guys, until the next episode, mahalo.

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Season: BeginningsEpisode 15