In this episode I'm talking all things community with career counselor, Markell Morris (she/her). Before 2020, Markell's work took place almost entirely in person meaning she's had to figure out how to take and make those connections online.
I'm so sorry about the audio on this, I hope you're able to get something out of the episode despite the audio issues. There is also a captioned video on YouTube if you prefer to watch without the sound!
Known for empowering her clients from a place of possibility and abundance, Markell has spent her award-winning career motivating and guiding people in search of direction and advancement. An expert in the career management process, Markell offers her clients strategies that will help them create satisfying careers, including job search action planning, personal brand development, professional network development, and leadership development.
In addition to her work with Futures in Motion, Inc., Markell is an associate faculty member at Santa Monica College General Counseling and Transfer Services and an adjunct career counselor at Cypress College Career Planning Center in California. She serves as immediate past- president and Finance Co-Chair of the California Career Development Association; as a volunteer grief group facilitator at New Hope Grief Support Community in Long Beach, California; and on the Board of Directors for the Hope for Widows Foundation.
She received her master’s degree in Counseling from the University of San Diego, and her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara (Go Gauchos!).
Markell’s ultimate desire is for her clients to pursue and achieve their career goals so they can live their best life.
You can learn more about how Markell helps career changers discover meaningful career paths at her website http://www.futures-in-motion.com.
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- [Hawke] Hello and welcome to Social Media for Humans. The podcast that empowers you to do social differently. Your host, Alexis Bushnell, and our guest discuss their experience of social media as business owners, users, and ultimately humans, with insights and advice to help you find an effective and ethical strategy that works for you. Grab yourself a drink and join the conversation. - Hello, hello, I am here with the lovely Markell. So do introduce yourself, tell us who you are, what you do. - Hi, good morning. Well, it's morning for me here (chuckling). I'm Markell, she, her and hers, and I'm the owner of Futures In Motion, which is a career management company based in Long Beach, California. And I help professionals align their career goals with the reality of the lifestyle that they wanna have. - Which is really powerful work, because I think a lot of people, especially initially people get into work and they just get into it, they get into a job, and I am finding the more time I sort of spend in the like entrepreneurial community, the more people I meet who are like, yeah, now I just wanna do something that I really love and that fits in with my life rather than I fit my life around my job, which is nice. - Oh yeah. - Yeah. - I find that too and that's been true for me throughout the course of my career. I've kind of been led by my lifestyle and then fitting work around my lifestyle. But sometimes there's reality of you have to get a job because of circumstances. And what I do is really I have a phrase, activate hope. And what I like to do is help my clients develop a sense of hope and confidence that they can have that alignment between the lifestyle that they wanna have with the realities of their lifestyle, but also their career passions and interests. And so I help them to find creative ways to bring those together. - Yeah, again I think it is so important because it's difficult, I don't know about when you were in school. When I was in school, (chuckling) the focus was more on like, what are you good at? But it was never really about what do you enjoy doing? It was just like, yeah, you do this, you're good at these things, so you can be these things for work. - Oh yeah (chuckling). - It's not the best way to make a decision about what you're going to spend most of your life doing, okay. (Alexis and Markell laughing) - Well, it's only one piece, and that is very common. It's very common for people to find out, oh I'm really good at this, maybe it's the sciences, math, or maybe writing, whatever it may be. And other people then discover that you're also really good with that. (chuckling) And then they give you an internship or they give you a job, doing what you're really good at. And the other parts of you have never been explored or expressed. - Oh yeah. - And so people build a lifestyle based on what they're really good at. And then they come to this place in their career and wait, is there more for me? Because what's important to you when you're just starting out in your career and then 10 years later is gonna shift a little bit, or maybe for some people quite a lot. There are things that happen in life that are unexpected. There are natural stages that we go through in life in our development, but then there are other things that happen outside of our control that really cause us to really think about how we're using our time, the impact that we wanna make, and how we wanna experience life and our career as a part of that and get to 10, 15, 20 years into your career. And you've never thought about it before. And you're like, oh my gosh, what do I do? And that's where I come in. (Alexis and Markell laughing) - It must be really rewarding to do that, to see people find the thing they're really passionate about and that they enjoy and to find that hope as well that they can create a life with work that they really enjoy. - It really is, I mean, it's a really powerful feeling to be a part of that process for people. And not just because it's my profession, but because of my own personal experiences. As you know I went through some really challenging life circumstances becoming a young widow and then facing a brain tumour and having to navigate my life and career through that season of my life. And coming to my own that own place of, I have been doing fine with my career, but then when those big things happen to you, (chuckling) you really want the rest of your life to have an impact. You're like, I don't wanna-- - Yeah. - Waste time. I only wanna do things that bring me joy. And so I had that sort of awakening myself and how to go through a whole process of reestablishing my identity, reestablishing my professional life, reestablishing my work life, my livelihood, my finances, everything. And I know what it feels like to be in that place where you didn't expect to be and be faced with those big questions, those big existential questions. Who am I now and how do I want this to be? How do I want to use this to make an impact? And so I know what it's like for me personally and then to be able to use my experiences to help other people to answer those questions for themselves and to instil that sense of hope and possibility and confidence that they can do it is awesome. That is everything. - Yeah, yeah, and I know a lot of what you do is through community and like how you have got to that point to be able to help others as well has been all a lot through community and the power of community. So I know 'cause I've spoken to you before, (chuckling) that you are really passionate about being involved in communities, which I think from a social media perspective is something I talk about all the time. It's about building communities around what you do and involving yourself in communities, but you were very involved in in-person events and speaking things and all that kind of thing. So you've kind of learned now to shift online which has been challenging for some people. (Alexis and Markell chuckling) So how has it been for you making that shift from in-person to digital? - Well, yes, you're right. Community's always been really important to me. I was kind of brought up that way to be involved with the community. And I was very involved in my professional community. Personally, my interests, my faith-based community, my music community. And when I became widowed, the widow community. And a lot of our events were in-person. We drive or fly somewhere, in fact just before 2020 in 2019, I had the opportunity to fly to Toronto Canada, to present at an event. And that was really exciting. And so I was looking forward to doing more of that in 2020, (Alexis and Markell laughing) and then we know how that goes. And even my teaching was all in-person. I had done some online classes, but the majority of my work was in-person. And so then we're faced with the situation where we want to continue connecting and engaging but we have only the computer to do it. And so I actually just continue doing some of the similar types of things that I was doing before that. I mean, I kinda replicated my in-person experience online. So I leaned into the communities I was already a part of. I leaned into my professional community online and a lot of those people are on LinkedIn. And so people that I already knew on LinkedIn and then that led to expanding my community to more people. And then we took it to coffee chats and that kind of thing. On Twitter, I started getting involved with the Twitter chats. And that really helped build community in a different way online. And I connected with people in my profession, in the widowed community, other music lovers, I love travelling to people in countries that I was interested in and it became just fully even to connect and you connect with just five people and then all of a sudden you have 25 people and then it just needs to expand and grow. And it just kinda takes on a life of its own. So that's the way that I did it. And I share resources, I get resources and I get encouragement from other people. Sometimes it's just a laugh. And I just really tried my best to replicate my in-person experience online and then it just became really easy for me. - I think that is the best way to do it as well is to combine those two and to not think of online and of social media as this entirely separate thing. If you just come at it with the same attitude as you would if you were going into a pub, I don't think you have pubs over there, but (chuckling)-- - Yes we do (chuckling). We call them bars. (Alexis and Markell laughing) - Yeah, if you can come at it with that same attitude of I just wanna chat with people, I wanna get to know people. And that is what makes the difference when you're on social media is actually connecting with people on a personal level, not on numbers, not on I want my reach to be this much. Actually getting to know individual people and being involved with them because that is how people come to know you and to trust you and how you build a reputation, which is really what people, if you're running a business are aiming for, you need that trust and that reputation. And I think that's something you've done really well online. And it's interesting you said about Twitter chats 'cause Twitter is something actually I haven't discussed on the podcast before. So yeah, Twitter is really, really good, especially because of Twitter chats and they are something that I enjoy and find really useful. So which ones have you been the most involved in that you've found really, really good? - The one I've been involved with the longest is GoalChat And interestingly the person who invited me to participate in GoalChat we had met online on Twitter probably like 10 years ago. And I went off Twitter for a long time. For many years, I went off Twitter. You know how it is you start and you stop, you start and you stop. So I had stopped and I went away and then I came back, and as soon as I came back, she was like, "Hey, you're back." (laughing) And she invited me to participate in GoalChat and I'm like I didn't know really what it was, but I was like, okay, I'll try it out. And it's been a couple of years and it's every Sunday and I participate in the chat and we just check in with our goals. There's usually some theme, but we just check in with our goals and it's been a really great community. And many of those people I've connected with on other platforms and also been guests on their live chat and then that's helped me actually meet more people. So that's one, and then I participate in a JobHuntChat, and that's where job seekers as well as recruiters, career coaches, job search coaches. So we're there to help it work for job seekers and they're there to ask questions. So that's one that-- - Yeah. - I participate on. And then one that I recently started participating on is BeRelentless. And the host of that is actually a Canadian and brings us together just to encourage one another with mindfulness and mental wellbeing. So I participate in that one during the week when I'm able to on my schedule. Those are the ones. The thing with Twitter chats is there are thousands of them. You don't have to do all of them because (chuckling)-- - Yeah. - You could be on Twitter chats all day, every day. (Alexis and Markell laughing) - Oh yeah (indistinct). - I think this is one of the ways that people get overwhelmed with online engagement or even in-person engagement. You don't have to do everything, pick a couple of things to do and do really well in those, engage in those communities. And that'll naturally pay the dividends, it'll yield results for you, and it'll be enlightening experience as opposed to doing a whole bunch of them and you can't keep up. - Yeah, yeah, there is a huge danger to spreading yourself too thin definitely. And it is something, I think, especially early on a lot of people make the mistake of doing is I have to be on every network, I have to be in every Twitter chat. I have to do every interview that I'm offered. I have to do everything. And you can't give enough of yourself for it to make a difference if you are doing absolutely everything. It is so much, and it's a pick like one Twitter chat that you participate in every week, or one network that you commit to and you're like I'm gonna grow this network and that's it. And then because once you've got established in that area, it becomes easier to then move into other areas because that starts to run itself. It becomes like a natural part of your life. So you don't feel like you're spending the same amount of time or energy in doing it. So then you do have the time and energy to do other things which is something I think people need to bear in mind especially early on is that you need to focus on something, but just one thing. - Yeah. - One thing is right? (Alexis and Markell laughing) - Yeah and I think it's part of the journey of discovering what your balance is. So I think coming into it with a focus is important. So when I sort of re-emerged on Twitter, my goal was to expand my community of widowed connections. So I wanted to connect with more people, especially young widows. And so I got into that community and I met some really awesome people and started with that. And then that naturally expanded into other communities that were aligned professionally. And over time, there's just overlap now. And so it's just a part of my experience. Now, I don't really have to think about it because I laid the foundation of consistent, connecting and engaging with people. And it just kind of the process works, right? I say, focus on the process and focus on the people and everything will work itself out. And so it's a really good pace now with my engagement on Twitter. I don't say it completely runs itself 'cause I'm definitely involved in it, but it's not as much work as it was two years ago (laughing). Go like what do I say? - Yeah. - How do I say it? All that stuff is... (chuckling). - Yeah, and as you're saying, when you're starting out you are still figuring out how you wanna present yourself and who you wanna be and where you wanna be and all these things, isn't it? So, yeah, it is definitely part of the process, but it is so easy to just totally overwhelm yourself. - Mmmmhmmmm. - So I like sort of picking one area where you're already in that community in some capacity and just taking that online and being like, well, I'm gonna get involved in this community. And it doesn't have to be directly related to your business either. And this is something I think people run into a lot especially when they start growing a business and they're doing it online is this idea that absolutely every connection they make has to be somehow related to growing their business. But actually it's okay to chat with people 'cause you have stuff in common, like that's okay. - Yeah. - You can just make friends who aren't interested in buying your stuff (chuckling). - Well, what ends up happening is, and you know this principle in marketing and in anything really is know, like and trust, right? And so I can share, this is funny. I like to talk about this because this is a big interest of mine about Duran Duran. (chuckling) And so that's a big interest of mine and I've connected with people all over the world over the years with Duran Duran. And we just did it because of the love of the music. And it's interesting how in through that interest it naturally gravitated and other people naturally gravitated to me who we were in similar industries and we were in similar professions. So I connected with other teachers, with other counsellors, with HR professionals (chuckling). And we have this similar interest of the music, but we also have other personal characteristics that are in common. And so we kind of naturally gravitated towards one another. So I mean that's the way the law of attraction works, right? (chuckling) - Yeah, yeah, and I think, especially when it's big communities because I think the other thing is, when you're online and you involve yourself in a community that is basically a global community unless it's for your local area clearly. But if it's a topic based or interest based community that you're getting involved in that is global. So there are going to be people who are similar to you in a tonne of other ways just because there are so many people in that group. And it is incredible to me always when I sort of, because for clients I have to find like communities that are relevant to them, and it never ceases to amaze me how many different huge communities there are on different platforms for entirely different things. And so like there is so much out there. And just because I think you don't see, because if you look at Twitter, or Instagram, or any of the big networks, people have this image of who uses that network and what goes on on that network. But if you get onto it and you actually start looking around and finding people, there are so many totally different people who you would never see in the headlines when that platform is in the news. You won't see them because they just happily go about their day, chatting to each other, getting on with their lives. (Alexis and Markell laughing) So yeah, I think it is so powerful to actually pick a network that you like and just go and find your people on it. Find people who have stuff in common with you, even if it's music, you are not doing anything with music and your business. Because it's a natural way to connect as well. It doesn't feel forced or awkward because you already have the knowledge and the passion and you know you're talking to other people who get it. So it definitely makes it easier. And I know you said, before we started recording you mentioned you're an introvert. I am also an introvert. And networking is definitely like, I have kind of the opposite problem because I've always done networking online, whereas you have gone from in-person to online. And so I have this sort of vision of offline networking as like just mortifying. (Alexis and Markell laughing) As an introvert. - Yeah. - But it's weird because I have kind of distanced that myself of like, oh yeah, online networking is fabulous, 'cause it's just like in-person networking. But then I'm like, oh no, but offline networking, don't wanna do that, it's terrifying. (Alexis and Markell chuckling) - I would say I've developed some comfort with it. I mean, it's not that comfortable for me. I would definitely prefer not to do it, (chuckling) but I think I took, early in my career, I realised that it was a part of what I was gonna need to do. And especially when I was establishing a business, relationships are the most important thing to anything, to any opportunity that you want in life, whether it's career related or personal related. So you have to be able to connect and engage with people. And I thought, I'm kind of practical I was like, well, if I have to do it, I wanna make it as fun as possible. So I just figured out ways to make it enjoyable for me. And part of that was as a counsellor I have natural curiosity. So I'm curious about people, and my undergrad degree was in sociology. So I'm curious about people and their communities. And so I used that natural curiosity to lead my conversations and to lead my engagement with people. And we all love to talk about ourselves and we like to talk about our interests. We like to share that with other people. And so I just kind of start there. And then from there I learned basic things. People like to talk about their travel, people like to talk about their kids, (chuckling) people like to talk about their hobbies. And if you can just engage people on those three topics right there, the conversation leads itself. The other part of it is, if you wanna have interesting conversations and you wanna be engaging, you have to also be interesting (laughing). - Yes (laughing). - So get a hobby, go travel, go read a book (laughing). - Yeah, that is true. And I think those are two very key points that people do miss. I think when they're thinking about especially like networking online is A, just being actually interested in other people and not going into it with a view to what can I get out of it, but going into it with a view of who am I gonna meet today? What am I gonna learn today? And also, yeah, actually having things outside of work yourself to talk about. Yeah, 'cause it is, like you said, it's a connection thing. It's connecting human to human. It's not business to business. Even if you are a B2B business, you're still speaking to other humans. Nobody is on the phone, phoning the business. (Markell laughing) They wanna speak to an actual person. - Right. - So yeah, connecting to that sort of humanity, the human side of it is so important. And I think that's another reason that I think the community side of marketing, if you like, is so important because it puts a human spin on marketing which can be very not human (laughing). So there it is. - Yeah. - But if you're coming at it from an I wanna build and support a community, it's a very, very different marketing experience. So you've also been involved in communities not just for growing your business. - Right. - So how has it been different for you? Has it been different for you at all to engage in communities for your business versus just for you personally? - Well, they're kinda integrated, and you said something just a moment ago that I think is important too for people to recognise, which was building, right? So if you're building a community, or if you're building a business, you're building a house, you're building something, it takes time for the pieces to come together. So there's the foundation and then the foundation and then there's the structural pieces until it becomes fully formed. And then there's ongoing maintenance. So if you think about your relationships and community building that same way, you have to play the long game. And you don't know, as you're a business owner you don't know where your opportunities are gonna come. You don't know, I mean, have you ever gotten, like somebody reached out to you and you're like, oh, how did you find me? And they tell you, like really? (chuckling), like so much far off connection. And they're like, well people are paying attention all in the galaxy. (Markell and Alexis laughing) But I think that we have to also take the long view. So to your point, every encounter is a transaction, but it's really a part of the foundation of something that's going to have an effect maybe a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, you really just don't know. And the opportunity may be for you to refer someone else. And so I think if you really focus on the building of the relationship, building of the connection and building of your consistent habits, then you're going to create this whole sort of system of attracting opportunities. And this is gonna be easier. So if you think about it as everything is riding on this transaction, you're gonna be stressed out and you're not gonna do it. But if you take the attitude of, I'm just gonna interact with people, I'm gonna have fun, I'm gonna engage, I'm gonna meet some new people and maybe something will come out of it at some point. Of course, the caveat is you wanna have a focus on your goals. Your gonna be focusing your mind on your goals. And you do these kinds of things consistently, the opportunities are going to come up. So, yeah, so I have that as just a general mindset, but I do that with people that I already know that we have something in common with and enjoy. So I'm a UC Santa Barbara alumni, Gauchos. I love that connection. I'm involved with like the widows communities, like I mentioned to you before. My faith based community. So I have a regular group of people that I interact with through church and we meet once a week, and I attend services. Duran Duran is like my band (laughing), but I like other music too but Duran Duran is my thing. And I'm also a New England Patriots fan. So I like football and I enjoy travel, and I actually try to combine all of those things together. So it's not like I'm doing all of these individual activities, but I can integrate them all. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. And actually I wanna pick up on something you said which was that sometimes the opportunity is that you can recommend somebody else, because I like to think of it as like flow because it's not always about you, you know like (Markell and Alexis chuckling) it's okay to make connections where the thing that is passed around between you is that they ask you for recommendations, or you are able to support them in some way, and it doesn't mean that they buy from you. It doesn't mean that they are a key part of your community. And something I've said quite a few times recently is actually, you need to value the people in your community who aren't the most active people in your community as well, because it's really easy to prioritise the people who are always commenting, who are always sharing your stuff, who are always like right at the front cheering you on. But the people at the back who are like quietly liking your posts and you know that maybe every now and again they send it to somebody because it's actually really relevant to that person, or maybe they don't really engage with you that much on social media, but they follow you when they see your stuff and then they mention you at the office to somebody. (Markell chuckling) It is so important to be as invested in the outer circle of your community, if you like, as it is the inner circle because there is stuff that is flowing through all of it and all of it has a place and all of it is important. And it can be really easy, especially like, as much as I appreciate Facebook's Top Fans feature, it is also a problem because of this, because it is so pushes this, you have to be, like the most important people are the people that were always there. They comment on every post, and like, no, we appreciate everybody, you're all fabulous, thank you. (chuckling) It's-- - Yeah. - It annoys me, that sort of attitude, but yeah, it really is important to think of it as building like you say, and as integrating your whole self, I guess. - Yeah. - Especially I think if you're a service-based business and you are sort of the face of business, if you can integrate all the parts of yourself, so that you are just you basically (chuckling). I think it makes it a lot easier for creating content and just being out there because you're not thinking, oh, do I need to put this out? What tone of voice do I need to use? This kind of thing. But also it helps people connect again, just to you on a human level as a whole person. And I think that also opens the door for them to share a little bit about themselves, because actually I remember you said in my Facebook group a couple of weeks ago I think, that you'd posted quite a vulnerable post and you'd had a really, really great response to it. - Yes. Well-- - How was, carry on. - So kind of to what you're saying is, I've had my business for a long time. So I have people who've been on my mailing list for over 10 years. And these are not people who are probably ever gonna hire me as their coach, but they make referrals. They send my newsletters to other people and they make referrals. So you're right, you don't really know. And also having an integrated and cohesive message across all the platforms that you're using. So being in-person, so when someone encounters me in-person and then they go to my website, they should have same feel. When someone goes on my website and then they meet me in-person they should have the same experience. If someone reads my newsletter or one of my articles, you get the point. And so I'm widowed and I'm on the journey of healing and living life post loss. And it is a journey, I mean, there's different levels to that and comfort levels. Actually, it's been several years now but it's been recently that actually I had a conversation, a chat with someone I met on Twitter and we were talking and I felt comfortable with this person and they encouraged me in a way that was different from what other people did. A lot of people encouraged me like, oh you should write a book and it was almost like in this voyeuristic kinda way like put all your guts out there and vulnerability because you're just intrigued. But this was like for the purpose of helping other people like your story is going to help other people heal and rebuild their lives. And I hadn't been really talking about it in my professional life. I had to sort of compartmentalise it. If you had met me on Twitter you knew, if you knew me in real life you knew, if you're my Facebook friend you knew. I mean, but if you're on my LinkedIn, you did not know (chuckling). (Alexis chuckling) And so I started talking a little bit more about it over the last year, and then for Women's Day on March 8th, which actually is my husband's birthday, so I hadn't planned it at all, but I started getting tagged in all of these posts, shout out to the women, shout out to the women, and I thought, wait, okay, we're all just a group of women. And I said, I'm a woman, but I'm also a young widow. And I said, you know what I'm gonna give a shout out to widowed women. And so I texted my assistant, I'm like, hey, can you do a graphic for me real quick? And I just wrote what came to my heart. And then I put it on LinkedIn. And it was a risk for me. And then I put it on Twitter as well. I put it on all the platforms, but LinkedIn was the one. And it was a good supportive feeling or experience that I had. People commented and liked and shared. And they connected me with other people. And so it was really, I don't know, I stepped outside my comfort zone professionally and still that only will open up more opportunities. - Yeah. - To help service-based business. - Yeah, I think it is so difficult, I think to know because you do have to give something of yourself to be able to make those connections. And it is so difficult to know what you want to be public and how much you are comfortable being public. And I think like you say what you are comfortable with can change. - Yes, for sure. - It is always better to err on the side of caution and privacy, because you can always share more but it's very difficult to share less. (Markell and Alexis laughing) But you do, allowing people in a little bit and showing a little bit of vulnerability, or your own story and things like that, is so powerful for that connection. And to have people see more of who you are. And it's something that it comes up a lot as like, but it's not professional. It's not professional for me to talk about my grief. It's not professional for me to talk about this health problem that I'm dealing with. It's not professional for me to share my difficulties in this area or that area, but obviously depending on your business, but especially if you are like a service-based business allowing people to see that allows them to connect with you. It allows them to go, wow, you're a real human. And the other people who are going through similar stuff, it tends to be them who are then in your DMs, they're sending you messages, they're leaving comments and they're like I am so seen by this. I feel like I am allowed to experience this thing, that I am allowed to have been through this. - Well, I think, I mean, each person has to, like you said decide for themselves what that looks like for them. And showing up in one season may look different to showing up in another season and is it professional, I mean, that's also a personal and business question for me. It was the way I approach my work is informed by my experiences (chuckling). So if it was something that was separate and apart and I mean, I would say that that's true for everybody because the experience that we have affect our behaviours and our mindset, and that's it. So, I don't know that you have to show yourself in the foetal position as you're raw in whatever experience you're having, but the feedback that I've been getting since I've been a little bit more transparent is that it's a context. Now people understand, so they might, why you're always so positive? You're always so encouraging and I love your quotes and things of that nature. Well, that didn't just come to me, those were anchors in my experience when I was devastated from my losses and overwhelmed from grief and having to rebuild from a brain tumour. I mean, I needed all the hope and encouragement I could find. And so I mentioned my faith based community. So my Bible verses and quotes and affirmations were the things that got me through moment to moment then day by day, then week by week. So I'm not just like throwing this out there because I read a Tony Robbins book, these are real things that I did (chuckling) in my life. And so it helps people to understand where it's coming from. And then so often when I'm working with clients, or doing my presentations people wanna connect with me and they wanna work with me 'cause they're like, you get it. You're not just throwing stuff out there, but you are speaking from experience. And so for me, I started listening to that and I thought, hey, why hold it to myself if I can help other people. I help one person then they go help another person, then they go help another person, then they go help another person. But I wasn't like this two years ago, you know what I mean? So it's a journey. - Yeah. - As I've healed, as I've gotten farther along in that process, it become a little bit easier for me. And I didn't just throw it out there all at once. It was baby steps. - Yeah, yeah, and I think you're right. And you don't have to be, like you say, you don't have to put out the raw side of it unless you specifically want to. But I do think it is, how you choose to share it when you choose to share it and specifically what you choose to share is so individual. I do think some of it comes down to as well. It helps you to niche down in certain areas as well, because I think when you start connecting with those people who have similar experiences, or you find that a lot of people are saying similar things to you like, oh, I found you because of this, I resonate with your stuff because of this, you start to think, all right, the reason I talk a lot about that, or the reason I do it this way is because of this experience, or this thing that I'm dealing with, or whatever. And so that can then become the way that you've reached down. And you start to then open up about that one specific area, but yeah making the decision and like how much to share is such a difficult decision. It is so complicated and it is so individual, but yeah I think it is helpful. And I do think, I mean, even when it comes to simple things like introductory posts, something I really love especially on Instagram, because you can give a little bit of yourself but it doesn't need to be, I went through this horrific trauma. It can be I prefer coffee over tea. - (chuckling) Yeah. - People love that stuff. Because everybody has an opinion about that (chuckling). - Yeah (chuckling), yeah, you're right. It doesn't have to be some personal trauma that you experienced. It could be as something as, I posted are you a night owl, or early bird, or something? And, oh, I'm a night owl, or oh, no I can't (chuckling) function this way. - Yeah. - And you keep this whole conversation going with people, or an interesting post that I did the other day was about how to manage emails and people were like, "Oh no I clear out my inbox every day," others like, "I have 10,000 unread messages." (chuckling) and it's just like fun things. It doesn't have to be like a big deep thing because we have so many, we're complex individuals, and there are so many layers to who we are, and you can start off with just basic things that are mutual and really benign and get your feet wet. And then as you're more comfortable, you can talk about other thing. As you want to, and again, and you're right about the niching down. I had in my mind, I am my clients, I work with people from my own experiences, but I do tune in to what resonates with people. And interestingly, the people that I thought I was gonna be working with are completely different from the people I attracted. - (chuckling) Yeah. - (chuckling) Like you do this whole like avatar and persona and everything, and they embody the characteristics, the mindset, but there were some demographics that were totally different and I'm like, hey, whatever, we worked together and it's been really kind of great because there's a language really of the people that you wanna be in community with. So when you start speaking the language other people who understand the language are gonna be drawn to you. I had an interesting experience several years ago, I was talking with a client and the person was asking me a lot of questions, trying to figure out a process, asking a lot of questions. And I was just kind of patiently answering the questions and the person pause, and they says to me, "Wow, you must have gone through a lot in your life "because you have a lot of patience." (Markell and Alexis laughing) And so I didn't have to actually say anything. It was just the way that I interacted with the person they tuned in that there was something more there. - Yeah, yeah. I think that is nice, and I think what you say about language as well is so important because that does make a huge difference. And I always say that you need to speak as you, because you are your business, but yes using the language that the people you actually want to work with use is so key because you need to meet them where they are and they need to be able to understand what you're saying. And like, I mean, it's like for me, I work a lot with people who have mental health issues or some kind of neurodivergence, whether it's diagnosed or not. And they're trying to sort of work around that. And so I kind of talk in therapy speak at this point. I really do, and I think that is part of how that's happened is because it relates with everybody else who's been through loads of therapy. And I think it does happen kind of naturally. And it's interesting that you found that your sort of ideal client avatar was similar, but also dramatically different in other ways. And it is nice to be able to shift that because some people do get hung up on like this is who I wanna work with and everybody else, no. And like your ideal client is allowed to change. It's okay for you to, yeah, I do think it's important to have something to aim at, especially initially, but then you can-- - Yeah. - Change it as you get feedback and as you start working with people and they tell you things about why they came to you, you can change that. It's not sort of a one and done set in stone, that's it, this is who I'm working with, it's an evolving thing. - And the interesting thing is, I mean the attitudes and personal characteristics, and some of maybe the circumstances that they've been through were in that design, but where I was gonna find them was different from where I'm actually finding them. (Markell laughing) So they're similar in terms of the characteristics, they embody that. 'Cause I wasn't talking to widow Wendy, I was talking with someone who experienced unexpected loss of trauma, who experienced a job loss, who is trying to find their way forward, and they're feeling king of scared and confused and that kind of thing. And so speaking to that person, not the name, but the characteristics, because one of, especially in grief and in anything really we're more than just our name, right? So we're more than just the label. And that Instagram post that I posted a couple of weeks ago, that one resonated really well, but we're more than just the label that someone puts on us, or that we put on ourselves. We are complex people and we embody all these characteristics and mindsets and attitudes. And so that's what I like to speak to, 'cause that's how I feel too. - Yeah, that brings us beautifully full circle because it does come back to just being genuinely interested in people and connecting on that human level, doesn't it? - Yes. - So thank you very much for joining me, would you like to tell us, where can people find you? - Well, you can find me on the common platforms, (chuckling) right? So my company is called Futures In Motion and I'm Markell Morris. If you do a search for that, you can find me, but my website is www.futures-in-motion.com. My Twitter handle is @FuturesInMotion. Instagram it's @FuturesInMotion. You can find me on LinkedIn. And those are the easiest places to find me. You can connect with Alexis and I'm connected with her on all the platforms. You can find me there too (laughing). - And I will put all the links in the show notes as well. So people can go straight there and find you (chuckling). - Yeah, and I would love to connect with anyone who's interested in connecting with me and getting to know one another and building our community. - Well, it's been so lovely to talk to you, thank you very much for being here. - Thank you for inviting me (chuckling). - [Hawke] If you want more regular reminders to find your own way to use social media, follow Alexis on your social platform of choice. All the links will be in the show notes. Until next time be a human.