Mon, 27 June 2016
#87 - How Lindsay Felderman Turned a Pile of Words Into an Inspirational Book [Podcast]
Jenn T Grace: You are listening to the Personal Branding for the LGBTQ Professional Podcast, episode 87.
Well hello and welcome to episode number 87 of the podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and today I have a special interview for you. As you know for the last probably three months or so at this point, and for probably the next three months to come, I have had nonstop interviews. And I'm so excited to be back on the interview kick, and today I have Lindsay Felderman on, and she is the proud new author of the book, 'Walking through Walls. Finding the Courage to be Your True Self,' and I cannot be more excited to have Lindsay on because she shares her journey of writing and publishing her very first book.
Her book talks about the coming out process, and a lot of really kind of amazing things in terms of just getting outside of your comfort zone, and really kind of pushing yourself to realize that you have a story to tell, and your story is important, and your story can impact the world. So it's super exciting to have Lindsay on, and even more so because she is one of the first graduates- or one of seven people who graduated from my spring session of the Purpose Driven Author's Academy, and she's the first of those seven to produce her book through the program. So I could not be any more excited as my second group of authors recently started on June 7th. So I'm in the summer session right now with seven new amazing authors.
So it's really kind of cool to have Lindsay on who talks about her experience of writing the book, a little bit about her experience of publishing the book, and kind of the things that have been a little more of a pain versus things that were a little bit easier. So yeah, it's just- it was a really good conversation, and the moral of everything in what we talked about is it's really kind of about finding the courage to just be yourself, whether you are part of the LGBT community or not. So her book is already available on Amazon, which is super exciting, so you can go to Amazon and type in Lindsay Felderman or type in Walking Through Walls, and either way you should find Lindsay's book, and you can purchase it, and I've already read it so I'm excited for you to get your hands on it as well.
So that is what I have for an introduction. I don't want to take up any more time, but I do want to let you know that if you want to see the transcript for today's show, if you want to have access to the links that Lindsay and I talk about, if you want a direct link to the Amazon page where you can find her book, you can go to www.JennTGrace.com/87 and that is for episode number 87. So enough of my blabbering on, let's just dive right into the interview with Lindsay.
So yeah if you just want to start off by giving the listeners a quick kind of background of yourself, and then we'll get into all the good things about your book.
Lindsay Felderman: Okay, I don't even know where to start with a background I guess. Yeah I'm Lindsay, I'm in my late twenties, I am gay and I wanted to write a book about my coming out story because I struggled with my identity for a long time, and I wanted to kind of just share that with the world and show them that it's okay to struggle. But at the end of the day you really should trust your gut and believe in yourself. Yeah.
Jenn T Grace: So how long would you say you had been thinking about writing a book? Because I know when we first talked which was like six or eight months ago at this point when you were first thinking about this, that we were talking about how it feels like there's a lot of books out there for this topic, but in the way that you were thinking about it, it just didn't feel like anything was landing for what you were feeling. So how long has that been on your mind?
Lindsay Felderman: I probably first started thinking about writing a book probably a little bit after college. When I graduated from college which was in 2006, so I guess like ten years ago- oh now that was high school, college was six years ago. Yeah okay so 2010 I graduated from college, and I don't know, soon after that. I'd been thinking about it, and then a few times I would actually go to like write it on my computer, and start writing, and I always for some reason just had this like inclination that what I had to say didn't really matter, and always ended up just like shutting my computer down and was like, 'Forget this, I don't know why I'm even thinking about doing that.' And then it wasn't until I guess last year, I went to this- I guess you could call it a seminar with Seth- I always mess up his last name.
Jenn T Grace: Godin?
Lindsay Felderman: Yes. My old boss called him 'Gahdin,' so then like it's in my head as 'Gahdin' but I know it's Godin, so every time I go to say it I like stutter. Anyway I went to a seminar with him, and it was called 'The Ruckusmaker's Seminar,' and basically it was just this whole thing where you were just bringing like a project, an idea that you wanted to make better, and like everybody kind of had the same theme of like making the world a little bit of a better place. So my old job actually sent me to it, which was kind of funny because I didn't really use it for that, which was probably- he doesn't need to know that. I mean I did, I did think about work, but I really was there like personally. People would ask me, "What do you want to do if you're unhappy at your job?" And I was like, "I don't know. I really want to help LGBTQ youth. I don't really know how to do that." At that point- had I started volunteering for GLSEN? Yeah I think I had already started volunteering for GLSEN, so I was doing that. But other than that I was really unsure what I wanted to do. So I just kind of talked to people all weekend about that, how I wasn't really super happy in my corporate marketing job, but I wanted to find something that I felt like I was helping people. And then Seth wrote a book called, 'Your Turn,' and it's just kind of basically just a bunch of passages just talking about all sorts of things about life, and I kind of was sitting there looking at the book on like a break, and I turned it to a page and there was a quote at the bottom and it said, 'The most important book you'll ever read in your life is the one you write yourself.' And I kind of just was like, 'You know what? I've been wanting to do that forever. I really need to stop messing around with it.' So we had to like break up into groups, and I was in with a couple of my friends, and I just was like, "I want to write a book." And they both were like, "Yes, you should, oh my gosh," and I had never really said it out loud or told anybody that I had wanted to, so that was like a really big moment for me when I realized like, 'Yeah I'm going to do this.' And then I actually went up to Seth to thank him for the seminar, and I told him, "I'm going to write a book." And he's like an accomplished author, he's written like twenty books, and I was so nervous to say it, and he just like looked me in the eye and he said, "Yes you will."
Jenn T Grace: That's awesome.
Lindsay Felderman: I don't know, from there that's when I was like, 'I've got to this. It's something that I really just need to do.'
Jenn T Grace: That's awesome. Not everyone can say that Seth Godin said it right to their face that, "Yes you will." That's pretty impressive.
Lindsay Felderman: It was cool, yeah.
Jenn T Grace: So that's awesome. So in terms of like getting past that place of turning the computer off because you're like, 'I can't do this,' and being completely afraid; how did you get from that hump to actually starting to put words on paper? Because I know that when we finally connected, which wasn't until December, you had already had so much of it finished. So that's like a big kind of emotional and some kind of like mental roadblock type of hurdle that you had to get over. Do you have any specific ways that you feel like you got through that?
Lindsay Felderman: I think a lot of it had to do with the confidence in myself that when I had first thought about writing it, I was only like 21 or 22, and you've read the book so you've seen I went through a lot after that. And I think I was finally in a place now to actually believe that what I was saying would matter, and that I kind of know what I'm talking about when- because I'd been through so many things versus just kind of writing about life. And I kind of got more of a vision too of what I wanted to do. When I first would go to write it I kind of just was like writing my thoughts on the world, and kind of how I felt, and I don't really think there was real purpose to it, and so just like over the years realizing my- focusing more on my vision, and then like going to Seth's thing was really like the catalyst because I said it out loud for the first time, I think that was a really huge thing, and I had some validation from my peers saying, "Yes you need to do that," and that was a really huge thing as well. So then at first in order to like kind of start, I started actually writing my blog which I've been horrible at doing this year because I've been focusing on the book, but writing a blog was super helpful too, just kind of like writing in chunks and having people respond to that. And then I just took my computer and started like writing, it kind of was like word vomit, it was literally just write down everything that you can think of that happened in your life, and why that's relevant, or why that would help somebody else. But I'm not going to lie, it was hard. Like every time I would go to do it, it was super emotional for me. I had to be in a spot where I could actually focus on it, and like really just focus on that. And I actually wrote a lot- because I travelled a lot for work, a lot of it I wrote on like planes because it was like easy to be able to just kind of like shut everything down, and there was nobody there to bother me, and I kind of just could like zone in. But I never felt like I could just go in for like twenty minute spurts and just kind of write, because I would- it just kind of lost the emotional feel for me, and it was too much. But it just was really just telling myself, 'Okay you've got to go do this,' and other people asking me about it. "How's your book going?" Or "What are you doing and what are you thinking about?" And I was kind of like, 'Oh yeah I've got to do that.' And I set a date for myself, I think that was helpful, so I told myself by my 27th birthday which was October 22nd, that I would have my rough draft finished. So when we talked in December, that is what I had done. I had just my rough draft and then I kind of didn't know what to do with it. And I had some peers from this thing that I met at Seth's, that I tried to kind of reach out and was like, "What do you think I should do?" But everybody's kind of going at a thousand miles per hour, so they didn't- we kind of talked through it, but it just got stagnant. But yeah I think the validation of just hearing, "Yes, you should do that," and having the confidence in myself that it matters, and saying it out loud. Saying something out loud and telling yourself you're going to do it is- you think that it kind of sounds silly, but when you actually say it or like write it down, it like changes your perception of what that actually means.
Jenn T Grace: And how many people do you think you told? Obviously you told the people in that room that were there that day, but did you announce it on any social media that this is something you were going to do? Was it only close friends and family? Like to what degree did you put yourself out there to tell people- or declare this to the world that you were doing this?
Lindsay Felderman: Right. I guess so initially it was just the people that I met that weekend, I came home and obviously told Sam. I was super emotional when I came home and told Sam. She like realized because I was just not happy in my other job, and she was like super happy to see that I was having something that I was really passionate to start working on. But then I didn't announce it on social media right away. I did tell like close friends and family kind of just like over that next month or so that that's what I was planning on doing. But in my blog a few times, I started to mention it. I didn't kind of just say, 'Hey I'm writing a book, this is what I'm doing.' I would say, 'I'm going to be working on a project,' or something along those lines that that's what I was doing. But I pretty much told anybody I saw in person that I was doing it. So it wasn't like I was hiding it per say, but I didn't really know- at that point in my early stages I didn't have the whole concept down yet, so I didn't- I don't think I actually fully announced it until after I started your class online, because then I was asking people for help. So that's I think the first time that I was kind of like, "Hey, I'm writing this book, I want your story, I want you to be involved." And that's kind of I think the first time I did it. I guess it was like January or February.
Jenn T Grace: So now in looking at your story, part of- again we briefly touched on this, was the fact that you felt like there weren't enough coming out stories that kind of resonated with you, and I know that when you and I connected, I completely agreed with that because I'm like, "You know what, my coming out story isn't tragic, but it's certainly not fun or great." I don't think anybody's is. So have you found some kind of niche- or I don't even know if niche is the right phrase, but do you feel like what you've put together is really going to help that person who may not have the worst possible coming out story? To just kind of hear from you, and then also that process of reaching out to other people to say, "Hey can you share some of your thoughts?" Can you kind of describe what that process was like in terms of just reaching out to other people to add to what you were already writing? Because I can imagine that can be kind of a pain in the ass in some regards, but also adding good value to the end reader, which would be an LGBTQ youth.
Lindsay Felderman: Yeah. So it was kind of a pain in the ass, and I actually got kind of the same almost reaction that I felt before even writing the book. A bunch of people said to me, "I could give you my story but there's really nothing to it, or it's not exciting, or there's nothing really that I can say." And I would explain to them it's like no, any coming out story is like a struggle. Like I have a very good friend of mine, her parents aren't really accepting of it, they don't really know that she's with her current girlfriend. They do know but they don't, it's kind of one of those things they just don't talk about. And she kept telling me, "I could give you my story but it's really not that much." And it's like, no that kind of thing matters. The fact that you struggled with your parents, like there's plenty of people struggling with their parents. Yeah like were you kicked out, or were you harmed, or were you severely bullied? Maybe not, but I think the family struggle is probably one of the biggest struggles that isn't talked about. The ones that are just, 'Here's my family and we struggle every day. And yeah we still have a relationship, but it isn't the really, really dramatic stories that we do hear about. I think the majority of us go through that as- you mentioned when I listened to the recording you gave me after you read my book, and you said something about your parents have to grieve the loss of what they thought, and I think that it's like really important, and I think a lot of parents like take a really long time to do that because you spend a lot of time thinking about who you are, and what you want, and when you finally take the step to say, "Hey, yeah I'm gay, or I'm this, or I'm that," or whatever to the outside world, it's like this relieving feeling for you, and it's so exciting, and it's new and it's fresh, and you finally feel like, 'Yes I'm showing myself to the world,' and you weren't showing that part of yourself to the rest of the world, so all of a sudden they feel like you're this new different person, where you feel that this is who you've been the whole time, you just weren't sharing that. And I think that more people really have those types of stories but aren't talking about it because they think that, 'I wasn't beat up, or I wasn't this, or I wasn't that,' and so it doesn't really matter, but every single- I think out of all my friends I have one friend that I can think of, that her parents were like excited when she came out. And it was like this weird thing, it was like a coo, "Oh yay, you're gay, that's so cool!" But like everybody else that I know has had some struggle, something going on where their parents were just not accepting, or they didn't want to hear it, or they just told them they didn't know what they were talking about. And I think especially for me, coming out so young and being told you don't know what you're talking about, was really hard for me. It really- like that's why I really started to question myself and have a lot of self-doubt because the people that raised me, and told me, "Hey you don't know what you're talking about, you're fifteen, you have no idea." It's like wait a minute, how do you know how I feel inside? Like this is not something that we're talking about, like I'm saying I'm dumb or something and you know that I'm smarter than that. It's like I'm telling you I'm attracted to females, I romantically want to be involved with females, and you're telling me that you know me so there's just no way that that's possible. That at that age did a lot of- I don't want to say damage, but almost damage to me in my confidence, in my feelings, and like I had a lot of doubt for a long time about who I was because I really trusted my parents, and I didn't expect that. And I think that a lot of people have that same type of thing, where I wish I had a book like this one, where I could have read and been like, 'Oh my gosh, you were doubting yourself too? Oh my gosh, you thought your parents knew everything and that was like earth shattering to you?' I think that would have been everything for me, and I started to realize that too when I started volunteering for GLSEN and I was speaking to some of the youth, and just in passing just explaining to them some of the things about myself, and why I was there, and just like little bursts of story and they would be like, "Oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing. I feel so much better about X, Y, and Z. Or why my parents are being annoying, or not accepting." And that's why I was really like, I've got to write this. There's more people out there that I think need to hear it's okay to like have all this self-doubt, and it's okay to like have people not accept you, and it's okay to continue trying to figure out yourself, and not listening to the people that are just not willing to even understand what's going on. So that was a really long-winded answer.
Jenn T Grace: No that was such a perfect, beautifully articulated answer. And for anyone who might be listening who doesn't know what GLSEN is, can you just kind of give a thirty second of what GLSEN does?
Lindsay Felderman: Sure, so they are the Gay and Lesbian Straight Education Network, and they basically are the ones that started GSAs in school, so Gay Straight Alliances, and have done a lot of work over the years in really just helping gay youth feel comfortable, and have resources and outlets for them in schools in order to be themselves. And I actually didn't even know about GLSEN until later because of Sam, she worked for Teach for America and then met through GLSEN. But that's over there. They basically started the GSAs in schools, they spent a lot of time with LGBTQ youth, and making sure that they feel confident in themselves, or even as something as serious as the trans bathroom issues that are going on, they work on- I don't exactly know how they do it, but they work to try to get legislation changed. For me it was just volunteering, you worked with youth in the schools, and we'd have meetings, and just kind of talk about like all sorts of issues surrounding the LGBTQ youth, or being queer in high school.
Jenn T Grace: Perfect. And so for those listening who keep hearing you reference Sam, that is indeed your fiancé, so we want to make sure people know that.
Lindsay Felderman: Oh yes, that is my fiancé.
Jenn T Grace: Yes. So if we're talking about just kind of how you started to volunteer with GLSEN, and really started to interact with other young LGBTQ people, did- I guess if you could turn back time and you had an opportunity to have recognized that they were a resource to you, do you think to some degree- because I feel fortunate that I've actually read your entire book before it's published, and I obviously now have a really good handle on your story, but the fact that you had a- that you came out twice. And I wonder how many people have had that type of experience. And have you had- have you talked to others through GLSEN or any of the other work that you're doing and found that that has happened to other people as well?
Lindsay Felderman: I have obviously talked about it. I don't think I've met anyone specifically that has done it the way that I have. I think the more stories that I've heard is somebody comes out as gay, and then they later realize they're actually trans. So I think for our generation, especially for me when I was in high school, it was like you were gay or straight, there wasn't all these other letters. There wasn't all these other identities, or these things that you could associate with or feel that you were. So it was like if you don't feel straight then you're gay. And I think so for a lot of people in my generation they kind of would come out, 'Okay I'm obviously gay,' and then as these letters have been progressing, and all these identities and people really saying hey, it isn't just black and white like that, there's a lot more going on. And as people started to associate with other identities, I think that's kind of the- I would say double coming out story. But I have not heard of anybody that came out in high school, decided to pretend they were completely straight, and then come back out again. It was definitely an interesting one. I felt so dumb when I was 21. I was like, 'Seriously? You were fifteen, you knew exactly what you wanted, and then like you have to do this all over again.' It was stressful to say the least.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah, I can feel the stress and the angst in your writing, and so hopefully- well we haven't even said the name of the book, so I would love for people to know the name of the book, and then I feel like we have a good synopsis of what it's about, but maybe give a synopsis as well so that way people who are listening to this can actually go read your story, and really kind of get this- it's not like an opposing view at all, but I feel like your take on it is very unique, and I think for anyone who might be saying- and mind you my audience is mostly LGBT people listening, so it's not like we're talking to a completely unknown audience. But I feel like a lot of people nowadays are saying, 'Well why do we have to talk about this? Why does this matter? It's 2016, we have marriage equality, this, that and the other,' and to me it's a very short-sighted type of view on things. So I feel like you're kind of shedding some light on things that people are absolutely going through right now, like in present day. But yeah can you just say the name of the book, and just a brief kind of description of what it entails.
Lindsay Felderman: Sure so the name of my book is 'Walking through Walls: Finding the Courage to be Your True Self.' I can't believe I just tripped over that. And it is just a- the whole background of the book is my coming out story, which as we said I came out twice, and then what I did is I took stories of others that represent all the LGBTQ letters, and intertwined them into my book. Just asked them a bunch of questions, and they responded to them about pretty much anything that has to do with coming out. And I totally get what you're saying about it's 2016, and why do we need to talk about it, and let's just everybody kind of be equal, but the issue is we're not, and I think that we can't brush all of that under the rug. And even though we have a lot of milestones, and I will honestly say that I did not think that I would be able to get married when I came out in high school. Like I remember- I think it was Massachusetts passed something and I was like, 'Wow that's crazy,' and I never thought that like that was going to be able to be a thing. You know, like it would be like, 'Hey I'm actually getting married in 2017 and I'm literally getting married, not just having the ceremony to say that I'm married,' and that kind of thing. And I think as much progress as we're making, there's still so many issues that need to be talked about, and I think if we just kind of pretend that they're not there, that- I don't know, I just think they need to be talked about, and I think they need to be validated, and in order to truly be equal with everybody and be accepted, we need to have everybody actually be accepted, which is just not the case. I mean you can turn on the news for five minutes any day, or go on Facebook, and there's just so much hate, and so much ignorance. And even people that are my age, I'm like shocked the ignorance when it comes to like the LGBT community, and the misconceptions, and thinking that people are just- somebody who they're just not. And it's like I think it's just- the fight has been fighting, and people have been fighting, and we've won a bunch of battles, but I still think there's a huge war that we're still up against. And for everybody in the community, and specifically with trans people right now, I mean just the bathroom laws. Like that's just ridiculous. Like the things that I hear people say to me about those like, 'Oh well they can do something in the bathroom. I don't want them with my child.' It's like are you serious? Like any guy can walk in the bathroom and like hurt your little girl if they want to, or little boy. Like it has nothing to do with your identity, how you identify who you are. Like no, they're just shitty people, like stop. And I think that kind of thing just needs to be talked about, because the amount of ignorance I think is really the biggest battle that we need to fight. I mean I literally wrote an article yesterday too, about a boy who identifies as a girl, out in Alaska so she was competing in a track event, and I guess like demolished all the other girls. And somebody wrote an article like, 'See world, you made your bed, now you need to lie in it. You can't complain that this girl decimated the other girls when she was born a male.' And it's just like seriously? You just don't understand. And so I think this type of thing does need to be talked about. We can't just pretend that we're equal and say, 'Hey we're equal.'
Jenn T Grace: Yeah, I cannot agree more. Have you seen the thing on- the Save Sarah that's a Go Fund Me campaign that's happening right now? And I feel fortunate that this episode is going to air within like a week of us recording it versus a lot of times I have like months delay. But the seventeen year old gay girl in- I think she's in Austin, Texas, who was sent away to a Christian boarding facility that's one of those pray the gay away type of places, and she's basically trapped, and her family is doing nothing so she has a cousin who's trying to kind of help her get through it, and they're raising money for her legal fees. And it's like, okay it is June 8th as we're recording this, it will be out next week, but this is happening on June 8th in 2016, that we have children who are being forced into places that are already deemed not helpful by many, many governing medical bodies, saying that this does not help and it actually causes more harm than good. So it just kind of continues to prove that books like yours, and books like anybody who want to write about LGBT and about coming out, or anything like this, it just kind of continues to prove that there's such a need for it because this stuff is not going away, and it's not going away as fast as we would like it to.
Lindsay Felderman: And that kind of thing blows my mind. I didn't get sent to like a Christian camp, but just the same kind of mindset. 'You're not gay, you're not gay, what are you talking about?' It's just ridiculous to me. I mean one of the people that contributed to my book I met through my blog, I followed their blog, they followed mine and I posted that I wanted to write this and they submitted their story, and they're in their fifties, they're bisexual, they're married to a man, and she writes about how in her fifties she still realizes she thought that that would just go away, and it doesn't go away. Like I know for a fact that if I'd ended up marrying the guy that I'd been dating in college, or some other guy, like I would still be feeling the way that I felt when I was fifteen right now, and into the rest of my life. It just doesn't go away, and you can't pretend that it's just going to go away. I think that's probably the biggest thing too for me, is I want people to see like hey I tried to be somebody that I didn't want to be. I gave it more of an effort than I think that I probably should have. But I spent four years with a guy that- I loved him, I really did, that's the thing. He is still very angry with me, but I truly did love him, and we were best friends, but I wasn't romantically in love with him. I wasn't sexually attracted to him, and I could have stayed miserable, and stayed with him, and it would have been really bad for both us because we wouldn't have had the life that we should be living because I was hiding behind this wall of me, and I was a miserable human being. Like so miserable, I was very angry, I would get like little things that would happen, I would flip out, and it was just not me, but it was because I was holding so much angst in all the time, and nobody knew about it. It wasn't like only a few people knew, and I was talking to them on the side or whatever, and they helped me get through it. It's like I literally cut out every person in my life that knew that I was gay when I graduated from high school, slowly throughout my freshman year in college. It wasn't like a one and done, it was like I went to college, I didn't tell anybody there that I was gay or that I had been dating girls in high school, because they met me and I was dating my current boyfriend who I call Max in the book. I keep going to say his name and I don't want to do that to him. So anyway, there was no reason for me to talk about it, and then I just kind of let it be, and interestingly enough where I went to college there were people there that I went to high school with but they didn't really talk about it. I think one person that I wasn't friends with of course, because that's always what happens, the people that don't know you out you to other people, told one of my college friends, and it happened to be one of my Christian God-loving college friends, and she almost- she freaked out and I said to her, "I don't know what she's talking about. I'm with Max," and she was like, "I know, I told her she was crazy." In my head I'm like, 'No she's not, I did date girls all throughout high school, and they all knew it.' And so I started to just kind of get rid of it, and I didn't even talk about it like, "Oh yeah I dated girls." It was like, "No that never happened." Like I literally was like I took the delete button and pretended that whole part of my life just didn't exist. And so that pain and that struggle of thinking all the time like that didn't exist- and for my mom, and my boyfriend, it was a very hot topic for both of them because when he started dating me, everyone was like, "Why are you dating the lesbian? She's gay, what are you doing?" So he would get really angry, and even when I told him that I was gay, he freaked out and was like, "No you're not." Because we were best friends prior to us dating, and my mom, same thing. So it was just this hot button that I just never spoke about to anybody, and I didn't see anybody that knew it, and I moved down to Florida and so just nobody knew. And so it was like okay, I just literally went as far back into the closet as I possibly could, and it was just not good, and it didn't go away, and I didn't feel- I still felt that same way that I did when I was fifteen years old, and I think that- I don't even know what response I was responding to, but I want people to understand that it's like not going to go away. If you're feeling a certain way, you need to trust yourself because nobody is going to understand how you're feeling, and you don't want to be that miserable person. Like you could be something so much better. Where I couldn't bring anything to the world- I had nothing to offer because I was just so miserable, so caught up in hiding myself, so caught up in self-loathing. Gosh the self-hate that I had towards myself was bad, and anything gay that came up; stories, or people, it was just I had to- I couldn't take it. Like I said, I stopped talking to everybody, all my friends that knew. It was hard, I don't know why I did that to myself. And I don't want anyone else to do that to themselves which is why I wrote the book.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah, it's such a perfect way of phrasing why you did what you did. So tell us how you came up with the title, because it's an interesting take on the typical coming out type of book. So 'Walking through Walls,' how- what sparked that?
Lindsay Felderman: So initially actually, this weekend that I had with Seth Godin, right? Godin? I'm going to say it right. I'm just going to call him Seth. Anyway so that weekend literally was like the biggest catalyst for me. But everybody that was there kind of got like a nametag with a little catchphrase about themselves, so there was eighty or so people there, and each person had this little catchphrase and mine was I walk through walls. And I can't remember other people's to give a good example, but everybody- was something about what they were doing. So my friend works with Lululemon and something hers was about like I help- something with yoga, and every person's thing made sense for them. And for me I think they gave it to me because I worked at a software company, and so I'm not sure if they weren't sure what I did, and so it was kind of like firewalls or whatever.
Jenn T Grace: Oh yeah.
Lindsay Felderman: But I'm in marketing so I had nothing to do with the IT thing. So I felt very much a fraud when I was there that weekend because I really didn't know what I was doing there, I didn't really know how I could help my business- my old job there, and I had this thing where I walk through walls. And everyone is doing these amazing things helping children, and creating these like amazing businesses, they all give back to like communities, and I was just like blown away by the amount of people that were there and the work that they were doing, and I just felt very much like I don't belong here. But the whole thing is I walk through walls, and I started- as the weekend went on and I was talking to more people, and kind of telling them what I really wanted to do, they all kind of felt like the walk through walls tagline actually fit me because they were like, "You walk through kind of like these barriers, or you walk through these different ideas of who you are, and what you want to do." So I really actually started to resonate with that towards the end of the weekend, where at the beginning of the weekend I felt very like, 'Oh crap, what does this thing on my nametag? What am I going to talk about? I don't know what to do.' And by the end of it I was like, okay I really like the idea of I walk through walls because a wall is a very permanent fixture, a barrier to wherever you want to go. If there's a wall you can't walk through it, right? You have to find some sort of a door. But what I like about it, and what I ended up kind of playing it into is the whole idea of when you're queer or part of this community is you have to come out of the closet, and it's very cliché, it's like okay everyone's coming out, right? But for me I feel like I spent so much time building walls around myself to hide who I truly was, that at the end of the day I had to break down these walls. I had to actually almost physically walk through these walls that I'd built around myself of how I thought of myself, and I think that that is truly what it is. It's not about opening a door, opening a door is really easy. It's really easy to walk up to a door, hey somebody built this door and it's opening, and you can just walk through it. Where I think the majority of us, and I don't want to speak for everybody in the community, but it's much harder than that. It's not easy to come out, and a lot of times some people have to come out all the time. Like you have to constantly kind of just tell people- when you meet somebody, you like name drop that you have a fiancé that's a girl, or your wife, or whoever. And walking through walls to me spoke much more strongly about what I had to do, just breaking down those barriers that I'd built, took so many years building, to just say, 'Okay this is going to be who I am. I'm choosing to build these walls, and I'm going to do this, and how I'm going to live my life.' And then I realized these walls are trapping who I am, and I need to break them down, and walking through them is the only way that I'm going to be able to be truly happy.
Jenn T Grace: I like it.
Lindsay Felderman: Yeah, that's kind of it.
Jenn T Grace: So what do you think in terms of- so if somebody's listening to this, and they're thinking, 'Wow I feel like I can resonate with her because I totally have sat at my desk and started to write, and then said no I have nothing to write.' Or kind of that stop and start. For somebody listening, what do you think that one piece of wisdom might be to push them out of their comfort zone, and have them just actually say, 'You know what? I am doing this.' Do you have any words of wisdom on that?
Lindsay Felderman: Yeah I think first probably it would be good to just write in short bursts, and not about anything in particular. Like when I first started to like really write, I just would write almost like word vomit, just like what I was feeling, what I was doing that day. Almost like journals, but not. It's just writing, like you just need to get in the habit of writing and like letting your emotions and your thoughts, putting them down on paper. And then I was blogging, and I would share what I was writing for people, and you've just got to do it really. It's like one of those things where it's like, 'What's the great trick?' And like the great trick is just sitting down and writing. Like it's just taking that time and saying- and it doesn't need to be like you're sharing it with the world, but getting in the habit of writing and kind of just like doing what- figuring out what your writing style is too. I think for me the biggest thing too, I always was told I was a bad writer, so I really struggled throughout high school and college, in like English classes they were just like, "Yeah you don't really have great writing skills." And even in my work, my jobs, I had bosses tell me- my last job, he told me multiple times that I didn't know how to write, and it really like shattered my confidence. Like seriously? What are you talking about? And I worked really hard at kind of just like fixing it in business and whatever, but for me it was like you know what? I'm not listening to how you want me to write anymore, I'm going to write the way that I want to write, and I'm going to put it out there, and if people resonate with it, then okay, and they started to. So- but I just think the biggest thing is one, you have to believe in yourself, you really just have to believe that what you are going to say matters. And two you've just got to start writing. You literally just have to- whatever it is. I don't care if you write, 'Hi my name is Lindsay' five times on a piece of paper. Like you just need to understand that it's okay that you can actually do that. You have to have- starting to actually write, and believing that you can do it is like the two biggest things that you have to do. Because I still look at the proof that I have of my book, like when I get the actual book I don't even know what I'm going to do, but like looking at that- there are so many words in it. I still can't believe like I wrote all those words, but you just have to continue to like every day, wake up, 'Alright what am I going to write today?' And it doesn't have to be every day, it wasn't every day for me, but just doing it. Like Seth actually that weekend, he talked about- I can't remember what the name of the author was, but he said he woke up every morning at 6:00 AM, and he wrote from 6:00 until like- I don't know, 12:00 or 1:00 PM every day, and he wrote hundreds of books because he sat down and he did it every day. And that's the kind of thing- if you want to become something, you have to work at it, and you have to sit down, and you have to do it. And that's the biggest thing. And then finding somebody that supports you, I think too. So as soon as I started telling people, like really my fiancé Sam, she was like, "Wow that's amazing that you want to do that." I think she kind of didn't believe me that I was going to do it. Not so much that she didn't think I could, but she was just like, "That's a big thing to do." But having her support, and just like the support of my family saying, "Yeah you need to do that," I think- and I talk about that in the book too. Like as your coming out story- like just finding somebody that's supportive in your life is super important regardless. Whether it's you're writing a book, whether it's you want to become an astronaut or scientist, or whatever you want to do, you just need to find people that support your dreams and are positive. Because if you bring people into your life that don't believe that you can do what you know you can do, they're just going to bring you down, and there's no point in having those types of people in your life. So it's find somebody that's supportive, sit down and write, and just do whatever- you do whatever you want to do. There's just so many things you can do in this world, and you have to follow your dreams, and you can do it is what I would say.
Jenn T Grace: I love it.
Lindsay Felderman: Anybody can do it.
Jenn T Grace: So speaking of anyone can do it, I totally agree. I think anyone if they focus and they sit down to do it, they totally can. So after the writing part, where do you feel like it was the second most challenging? Because obviously the writing- like you can't pussyfoot around that, there's just- it is what it is. But where were those other types of roadblocks, or perceived roadblocks where you were like, 'What the hell is going on here?' Did you have those moments where you were just kind of stressed out because of certain logistical things? Or what did that look like?
Lindsay Felderman: So the logistical things- I guess initially they did. So basically I wrote my book, and then it sat in a Word document, I didn't know what to do. And I can't even begin to describe to you how I think like the universe works, but because I volunteer for- because I met Sam, because she worked for Teach for America, because I then found out about GLSEN, volunteered for GLSEN, because I chose to go to one like random Wednesday night at a business thing, walked by your booth, and I didn't have time to stop because I was leaving, I saw Jenn T. Grace, Professional Lesbian, looked it up on my way home and was like, 'Wow this lady is pretty cool.' Started following you on like social media, responded to you- whatever, got on your email list, and then like two months later got an email from you saying, 'Do you want to tell your story in 2016?' It's like, 'Wait what? Yes, yes I do. I literally wanted to pick up the phone right now, call you and be like, 'I absolutely want to tell my story. Like how did you know? Did you just send this to me?' It was so crazy. But so the biggest thing definitely is the writing, that sucks, but then the logistical thing was scary because I didn't know what I could do. I didn't know anybody in publishing, I didn't know do I just send my book to all these specific publishers? I had friends saying, 'Okay look up LGBTQ publishers, and reach out to them.' And that just all seemed really daunting and scary and I was like, 'I don't really know what to do with this.' And then meeting you, and your class really helped with all that, like I could self-publish through Amazon, great that takes all that away, I don't care what anyone else has to say. No that was fine, but then I think the editing part of the book, and going back and just having to re-read what you wrote is like really, really hard. Especially when it's something like the book that I wrote, where it's emotional and every time I read what I wrote about whatever chapter it is, like it brings me back into that moment of that pure raw emotion, and it's hard to kind of put yourself back in those moments I think sometimes, because it was really emotional. So I think just- I think I remember saying in your class one time I said, "I haven't read it in a while," because it took so much out of me to read it, and to have to go back, and figure out does this make sense? And then I had to go back and do like kind of the so what's at the end of the book- or end of each chapter because I kind of realized I just kind of moved on and I didn't really explain like why that was important. So just all that part is just- I feel like once you do it you feel really accomplished that you wrote it, you put all these words on paper, but you're only really halfway there. Like there's so much other things that go into it, and you want to just be like, 'This is a book, put it on the shelf, this is a book,' but you have to do so much more to get it to be- like I'm literally 99% of the way there. I literally just have to fix some formatting and the way that I fixed the quotes, and make it so it fits so that Amazon will say that my file looks good, and then I'm good. And it's just like I have to do it, but it's just getting there. Picking all the little details, and understanding, and yeah.
Jenn T Grace: And you have a cover now, right? So I believe I saw your cover. Because when I saw the proof it was just plain white, which was like mysterious.
Lindsay Felderman: Oh that's a piece of my cover actually, that's not even the whole thing.
Jenn T Grace: Beautiful.
Lindsay Felderman: The one that you saw on Instagram- or Facebook?
Jenn T Grace: Yeah.
Lindsay Felderman: Yeah it's a piece of it.
Jenn T Grace: I like it. So when- so somebody listening to this, when should they expect your book to be available for purchase? They will be listening to this as of Thursday, June 16th this will be live.
Lindsay Felderman: I am hoping that it will be published- I don't- once you hit the big- I should just ask you. When you hit the big publish button, like what's the waiting period on Amazon? Is it just like- do they need to like approve it? Or is it just like, 'Hey you're good.'
Jenn T Grace: It's within like 24 hours that it's available for other people to buy.
Lindsay Felderman: So yeah, I'm hoping either today or tomorrow I fix those little formatting issues, and then like I'm hitting publish.
Jenn T Grace: Nice.
Lindsay Felderman: So we're pretty much there. I would say by the time this podcast airs, you'll be able to buy it on Amazon.
Jenn T Grace: Good, good. Now there is- you're having to be held to it because now there are thousands of people listening and may want to purchase, which I totally think they should. This was fantastic. I so appreciate you jumping on, and sharing your process, and hopefully inspiring some other people to share their stories too. If somebody wants to contact you directly, what is your- either your blog website, or where you are on social media? How would you prefer people to get in touch with you?
Lindsay Felderman: Honestly I'll give out all my- I guess ways of contact because I know everybody is kind of different in the way they want to contact. So if you want to go to my website it's just www.LindsayFelderman.com, and there's like a form on there that you can submit and it goes directly to my email. My Instagram is LFelderman so you can find me there, I'm not private so you can follow me, or send me a message, or whatever you want to do. And then my Twitter, which I'm not going to lie I don't really use all that often, is LFelderman22. So those are probably the easiest ways to get in contact with me, all of them are hooked up with my email so I'll get it- and it's email that I actually check, so I'll see whatever you send.
Jenn T Grace: Or go to Amazon and type in either your name or Walking through Walls, and your book should come up and be available for purchase. And of course if people do buy the book, I certainly want to know. So if anyone listening to this, if you buy it, please let me know about it so that way we can make sure Lindsay knows it came through here. And then of course leave a review. I feel like reviews are always important, even if you only have a couple, it's really helpful to have some reviews because I have no doubt that your story will help change lives, which is kind of the end goal that we're both going for, which is just so amazing and so awesome. So thank you again for your time, I really appreciate it.
Lindsay Felderman: Thank you Jenn, I really appreciate it more than you know.
Thu, 9 June 2016
#86 - Insider PR Tips with Communications Expert, Jonathan Lovitz [Podcast]
Jenn T Grace: You are listening to the Personal Branding for the LGBTQ Professional Podcast, episode 86.
Introduction: Welcome to the Personal Branding for the LGBTQ Professional Podcast; the podcast dedicated to helping LGBTQ professionals and business owners grow their business and careers through the power of leveraging their LGBTQ identities in their personal brand. You'll learn how to market your products and services both broadly, and within the LGBTQ community. You'll hear from incredible guests who are leveraging the power of their identity for good, as well as those who haven't yet started, and everyone in between. And now your host. She teaches straight people how to market to gay people, and gay people how to market themselves. Your professional lesbian, Jenn - with two N's - T Grace.
Jenn T Grace: Well hello and welcome to episode 86 of the podcast. I am your host, Jenn (with two N's) T. Grace, and today I have another interview for you. So fortunately in the last episode, episode 85, we had a phenomenal interview with Jacob Tobia who taught us about all things genderqueer, nonbinary, non gender conforming, all kinds of just great information. So that was an awesome interview, but today I have an equally as awesome interview with Jonathan Lovitz who is the VP of External Affairs for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. If you are a long time listener of this podcast you will know that there's certainly a theme with having a lot of folks from the NGLCC on this show. Today's interview is just fantastic because Jonathan's background is in communications and he has a ton of knowledge around personal branding. So for those of you who are listening to try to figure out how to improve, or start, or amplify your personal brand, the content that we talk about in this episode is just straight up tactical, as well as just really informative to be honest. So I'm so excited to bring today's interview with Jonathan Lovitz, and he has a lot of different ways to get in touch with him, but if you go to www.JonathanDLovitz.com, that's his personal page. And yeah I'm so excited about this interview so if you have any questions for me as a result of listening to this episode, or if you have any for him feel free to hit us up on pretty much any of the social media outlets. If you are interested in hearing more about what we talked, or looking for the links from today's episode, if you go to www.JennTGrace.com/86 for episode 86, that will give you a page with the transcript of the interview, as well as links mentioned in today's show. So without further ado, please enjoy this interview with Jonathan Lovitz.
So let's start off with having you just tell the audience and the listeners a little bit about yourself, and your background, and how you became to be doing what you're doing right now.
Jonathan Lovitz: Sure, well hi Jenn, and to all your listeners. I'm thrilled to be here. I'm a big fan of your work, and of your podcast, and the incredible energy you put out in the community, and really exciting to be here with you.
Jenn T Grace: Thank you.
Jonathan Lovitz: So I'm Jonathan Lovitz and my official title is Vice President of External Affairs of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, which is based in Washington, but I live in New York City where I'm also the Director of our NGLCC NY affiliate because I'm a masochist. This organization is fantastic as you know, we reach every corner of the country and work with every conceivable type of LGBT and allied business, and I've known them for years. I now- actually next week celebrating one year with the organization after being a friend of NGLCC for at least the last five. My career got started in New York in a sort of bizarre twist. In my undergraduate I did what all the cool gay kids were doing and I majored in musical theatre, and also because I was a big nerd I got a dual degree in communications focusing on politics. And I'm also one of those really rare people that managed to get the job and feeder first. I graduated college and immediately booked a Broadway show that went on tour, and I went around the country for two years, and then settled in New York, and did some more theatre here, and eventually some TV work. And during that time I got picked up by LOGO, you might remember is an MTV network, it's for the LGBT community, and once upon a time it had gay news on Sundays, and I used to help anchor and do some reporting on the gay news, and then some other man on the street interview programs about LGBT issues, and that sort of thrust me into being a sort of professional homosexual in a really positive way. I would asked to come be a spokesperson at a fundraiser for great people like GLAAD, and Human Rights Campaign, and the Trevor Project, and what started off as a one month contract became a three month contract, then a nine month contract, and before I knew it, I was doing far more LGBT community engagement policy work than I was performing, and yet I never would have been able to do any of it if I hadn't been a performer first. The amount of times they threw me up in front of a teleprompter in front of a thousand people and said, "Go, raise us some money," I never would have been able to do it had I not been trained as a performer for almost a decade. And then they found out, "Oh you've also got this background in policy, and you love to write, and you want to talk about these issues to a much broader policy based audience," that's how things really get to flip into this full time professional work in advocacy, and communications, and awareness raising for LGBT issues, particularly around economics. I found it really fascinating when I would attend some of these conferences out on the street, and the NGLCC conference which I went to originally as a guest because at the time, LOGO I was hosting a dinner, and doing a live auction, sort of using the public persona to get my foot in the door. And I was really floored by the work that LGBT businesses and all the corporations were doing around the world to create equity for a community that was doing just fine building equality for themselves, and I thought that that notion was really powerful. So I was really, really thrilled when the first time I was asked to join StartOut, another LGBT organization that helps bring funding, and advice, and mentorship to brand new LGBT companies. I started off as their Communications Director, and shortly thereafter became their interim Executive Director and helped run the ship for a while. And that set me up well with all the skills that I needed to quickly learn about management, and organizational structure, and policy work that set me up well when the NGLCC came to me and said, "We'd like to build a position for you." They'd never really had a VP of External Affairs, and I think what I love most about my job is something that would probably kill most other people, that there are really no bullets underneath my title. It's a really big net that includes everything from public policy, to PR and communications, to affiliate affairs, and to engagement with the community of doing great public work like this, talking to you and your listeners about all the great ways to get involved in the community both personally and professionally. So it has been a wonderful, incredible, organic, and sometimes mind blown journey that's gotten me to where I am today, and I still can't believe I'm here this young, and it's incredible, I love every second of it. I'm really excited for everything that seems to be coming up next.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah, and it's so awesome to be so young in so many ways, and to have made such a mark already because you still have your entire career ahead of you. So I feel like that's so exciting just to see what is on the horizon, especially given our political landscape these days, and all the things that are changing so rapidly, and sometimes for the positive, other times not so much, as we're experiencing right now, but I think that it seriously feels like the sky's the limit. I don't know if that's your impression these days.
Jonathan Lovitz: It certainly does, and I'm actually floored, and it seems like every month something is happening where I'll speak to my mother and I'll just drop in, "Oh by the way I'm going to this meeting with so-and-so." "Wait, do you realize what you just said? You're my son that used to sing and dance, and now you're going to meetings at the White House, and making plans at the UN?" I don't entirely understand how it's all happening, but it is very much a powerful gesture and point of pride in my life that I've ended up here. I look at what I've gotten to do, and all the things that seem to be coming when people are asked to be a public servant. The work chose me, I never really sought out this career path, but when the opportunities came to speak for the community, and get involved, and raise awareness for all these issues, and still fulfill everything that I had always wanted to do about being in the public eye for things that I care about; it's really incredible that these opportunities have come my way. I'm so thankful for them, and now I'm really fortunate to be in the position to help others grow their own opportunities, and that's even more special.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah it's interesting that you say that the work chose you. I find that that seems to be the case for a lot of people, myself included, where I remember when I first got involved which was back in 2006 - 2007, I didn't even know what a chamber of commerce was at that time. So and then fast forward, we all know the history. It's just insane sometimes when you're like, 'Okay I would never have predicted that this is where my life would end up,' but you know that you're there for a reason, and sometimes you have to shake yourself at the fact that, 'Oh yeah I have been in the White House.' Like it's not something that everybody gets to experience, and yet you're there on a pretty regular basis.
Jonathan Lovitz: Absolutely. And a great Mark Twain quote; there are two days that stand out in your life, the day you're born and the day you realize why. And it's nice to know that it doesn't have to just be limited to one day of realization. I feel like every day helps us understand why, and a lot of it is the people, getting to know you, Jenn, and the people I get to know through this incredible network reminds me every day that we're all doing something bigger than ourselves, and that's really powerful, and it's something very exciting to know that everything we do has an impact on others, even when we don't realize it.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah, absolutely. And so the podcast here is around personal branding, and I truly feel like you've done such an awesome job at personal branding from just kind of a big picture level, whether you were intentionally doing that or not. But we just saw each other in- I want to say it was the end of March, I don't even know, in Boston. And we- if you remember when we were sitting around I think having dinner, and you had said- you made some statement about pitching to the media, and just basically writing what you want to be written. Can you talk about that a little bit? Because I feel like that is such- and I don't know why, that was not my plan to discuss with you today, but it just popped in my head. Because when you said it I was like, that is so genius, why don't more people do that? Could you just kind of share a little bit about that conversation we were having and then maybe give some tips for folks who are just kind of starting out on this journey?
Jonathan Lovitz: Sure. It's all about authenticity, right? It's all about knowing who you are, what you bring to the table, and what you want your legacy- whether it's a message, or whether it's your personal statement, or whatever it may be, what you want that to be, and giving people no excuses and no choice but to take that at its worth. So I think step one is really understanding who you are, what you stand for, what you care about, and what you want to do with your voice. And you don't have to be a celebrity to realize you have a voice that matters. I think that's one of the great things about something like Twitter; it's the great equalizer. A tweet from me, and a tweet from the White House, and a tweet from a Kardashian all show up with the same- the same time and the same place on your feed, it's what you choose to resonate with and amplify that helps decide whether or not that message continues out in the world. So when you and I were having that conversation about just putting out there exactly what you want, I think we were talking a little bit about press strategy and I think it's all related to knowing your voice and the value of your voice. If you're a business owner, you're a representative of an organization, you're either pitching the press, or pitching the PR company, and you want them to know what you care about. Leave as little wiggle room for interpretation as possible, give them what I always call show in a box. Which is the story, here's the headline, here's the quote I'd love you to use, here's the photo to go with it, here's the link to the video, here's all the citations of the research that go with it. I'm trying to make your life- the reporter, the PR company, whatever it may be, as easy as possible because I want you to return the favor sometime if I'm in a jam and I really need the help. It's all about relationships, and it's all about helping each other out. But reporters are busy. They're getting pitched hundreds of stories a day, and maybe only half of one percent are worth anything. And I can tell you from all the blind pitching in the world that you can do, it's the reporter that you've gotten to know by taking them out to coffee and talking to them as a human being, getting to know what matters to them as a person, that will help you when it comes time to extending sort of your personal brand to them, and saying, "I want to work with you as a partner, and help tell an important story. And sure there's a benefit to my employer, or the movement I'm working for, or whatever it may be, but it's about people helping people and telling a good story."
Jenn T Grace: I feel like that applies to sales even.
Jonathan Lovitz: Oh absolutely.
Jenn T Grace: Just it's really- and I feel like it's becoming more and more obvious, at least in 2016, that is really is human to human interaction. One person to one person.
Jonathan Lovitz: You couldn't be more right. I mean think when you're working with someone who's calling you on a sales call. They have an objective, and you in your own business, you have an objective to close that deal and meet that benchmark. You could provide all the fact sheets, and all the ROI in the world, but until you really hit a chord with someone on a truly personal level, you'll never really close that deal because it will just be transactional versus a human interaction. And if you want that sale to come back year after year, you want that relationship to continue growing, you have to have a validation that's based on human interaction, that's based on empathy, and sharing and understanding. And it may just be business development, but it's about how you as people are going to grow your respective sides of that business together.
Jenn T Grace: So would you say that maybe for yourself, you have any type of- I don't know, weeding out mechanism or some way for you to understand that when you're building a relationship, whether it's with a prospective chamber member, or whether it's with a prospective reporter; do you have a way to- for lack of a better phrase, sniff out who would be the person that you should be focusing on building that relationship with? Because I think that a lot of people could spend each and every single day building relationships with the wrong people, and you want to make sure that there's a dual win to that scenario where both parties are getting something from it.
Jonathan Lovitz: You know I'm a huge political nerd, so if any chance I can quote the West Wing, I will do it. And there's a great line in an episode about exactly this question. 'I need information but I'm getting the run around from all the secretaries, the agencies.' I said yeah, secretaries have agendas, policy wants to have information, and I look at that in the same way with a sales funnel or anything else. If you're dealing with a most senior person, they're accountable for a certain deliverable and a certain report. But they're not as active in the growth department and the actual interaction with other people, as likely a rowing account executive, or someone who's responsible for the day-to-day operation, because it's their job to make that person look good and that's when they help their own career. So the more we can be building relationships with people one or two rungs down the ladder to help bolster the goals and ideas of the person at the top, that's how we really build those in roads with someone who's going to be there and help us out for a long time. It's helping that junior assistant shine by helping to bring in some phenomenal new business that ultimately helps you, but helps them look like they're bringing so much value to the company. You've now got a friend for life on the inside, and that's entirely a human interaction. You've identified what it is you can do to make each other's lives better, both personally and in business. So do your research, it's incumbent upon you, do a little Googling, who's the Internet machine? Pull up the LinkedIn and find the connections of the senior people you want to be working with, and then look at their orbit, look at their Zeitgeist, odds are you're going to find someone, one or two steps removed who you share another mutual friend with, or a common interest, or a group you're both in, and use that as your point of entry. I get calls all the time from reporters saying, "We've got to get to Tim Cook, we want to talk to Tim Cook, he's the top gay CEO in the world, you've got to be able to know him." I said, "You know contrary to popular belief the gays don't all meet once a week for coffee and a handshake, we don't actually have a secret club." I guess that's what the NGLCC tries to be.
Jenn T Grace: Yes.
Jonathan Lovitz: What I do say is work your way up, talk to the people who have influence and pull, and get into the conversation not because you need something, but because this conversation means something to you, and that's how you have leverage to make an ask when the time is right.
Jenn T Grace: It's about building internal champions. I find that the most successful client projects I work on, especially within corporations, it's always the person that's a couple of rungs down from maybe the VP who's signing off on the check. But your ultimate goal is to make that contact of yours look amazing. And the more you make them look amazing, the higher chance that that business is going to continue coming to you. Obviously if you're doing the job well to begin with, but understanding that that's an assumption that you're doing the job well. As long as you're making sure that your contact on the inside who put their neck on the line to say, 'Hey this person knows what they're doing, and they're going to do a good job,' then there's no way- at least in my opinion, that that could fail. It seems completely fool proof.
Jonathan Lovitz: I think you're absolutely right. Looking at it from with my press hat on, which it's been a bulk of my day, there's a great website that a lot of us use to find out what reporters are looking for, what stories are they trying to find a lead on, and how can I help. It's called HARO, Help A Reporter Out. And I taught that to my team in DC, and I said, "As you're reading the paper, you're looking at the blog, and you're seeing a reporter talking about a really awesome issue, and even if it's not quite a fit for us, it's a fit for someone we know, and when we do a solid for somebody, that gets remembered. And we want to help the community out. There's no prize in being the most selfish in your industry. There is a big prize for being the most collaborative.
Jenn T Grace: Absolutely. So going back to that particular tool- so that's definitely a tool that I've used myself, and helped clients of mine use. What would you say to somebody listening who's never heard of it for starters, what is it, www.HARO.com? It's really simple, right?
Jonathan Lovitz: Yeah.
Jenn T Grace: Okay so if somebody has no idea, they've never heard of this before, what would you say maybe a top one or top two tips might be for making that actually a usable or a viable tool for somebody who really just is just getting started?
Jonathan Lovitz: Sure. Think of it as an eavesdropping tool. I know this may be a strange way to think of it, but think about sitting on the bus or the subway, or sitting at a restaurant and you overhear a conversation, and you know it's killing you that you could answer the question that you just heard someone at the next booth ask. 'Oh my God, I know the person that they're looking for, but I know an expert that could help them out,' and it's just killing you that you can't help. Well here's an opportunity to do that. You go to HARO, or you go to MuckRack or some of the other great places where you can connect with reporters, and they say, 'I'm looking for a personal branding expert to help me reach minority communities.' Sure I could do that. You know who could really do that is Jenn Grace. And now I recommended a friend, and they see not only am I willing to help this reporter out, I'm willing to help out colleagues of mine. And that matters, and that's something that resonates with people.
Jenn T Grace: So using that example, how narrow niche do you feel somebody should try to define their brand around- their personal brand? So if we're thinking about all of the things- because I feel like there are more opportunities for me personally to take advantage of than I have time in the day. Like there's just so much opportunity these days. And I know that that's the case probably for even yourself because there are so many things that you hands down could completely and beautifully articulate some response or answer to, but it may not be directly in alignment with what you're doing. You might say, "You know what? Let me throw that to Jenn, or let me throw that to Sam, or let me throw that to somebody else." How have you been able to kind of I guess define the lane in which you like to travel in, and where those opportunities make sense to help a colleague out, so that way it does end up coming back at some point.
Jonathan Lovitz: That's a great question. I think it's a matter again knowing exactly what you bring to the table, and doing your due diligence to know also what you can't bring, and what you can outsource to others. I mean it's the whole point of a supply chain, right? Is I may not be able to do it, but I know someone who can, and we can work together and build a team, and collaborate, and/or just pass off a great lead in the expectation that that's going to pay it forward the next time around. And that really starts with identifying your skillset, and in some cases being super explicit about it either on your website, or your capabilities deck, or whatever it may be and saying, "I do X, Y, Z." And you don't want to say that you are the next iteration- like Judy Garland said, "I don't need to be the second rate imitation of myself, there already is one." It's too early in the morning for a Judy Garland reference, I'm sorry, but it happens. But you don't need to say you're the Uber of community service, or I'm the seamless web of PR, whatever the comparative may be. Say, "I am the next thing. I am here to provide a unique service that you can only get from me, and if I can't do it I am connected to this massive network of-" and then list out all of the organizations you're a part of, or all the certifications you have, all of the awards you've won and say, "If I can't do it, trust me I'm a phone call away from someone who can and will get the job done."
Jenn T Grace: You know what actually? An interesting thing happened to me a little bit along these lines. A couple of months ago, it was back actually in January so it was longer than I thought, I was on a sales call with a Fortune company that I won't mention their name, but we were talking about their Employee Resource Group, and how they just need to help figure out how to make their Employee Resource Group members better kind of sales advocates within the community- so within the LGBT community specifically. And she had reached out to me and I was like, "You know, I don't feel that I'm the qualified person to be having this conversation with. Employee Resource Groups are not my bailiwick but I know a couple of companies that would be perfectly suited to do this for you, but as the conversation kept going on, we were talking about exactly what they were looking for, and it ended up being exactly what I do, but I just have not specifically done it for an Employee Resource Group, but I've done it for a corporation, for a nonprofit, whatever it happens to be. But it was interesting that I started off that conversation saying, "You know what? This is totally not my thing, let me refer you to someone," and then I ended up getting the business anyway, and I think it really had to do with being very clear on what I was good at, and what I really thought my strength was, and it ended up being that it was in alignment anyway. But I feel like if I had gone into it being like, "Oh yeah I'm totally the expert on this particular subject," that I probably wouldn't have gotten the business. It was a really interesting kind of dynamic of what you were a little bit of just talking about.
Jonathan Lovitz: I mean that's a great example and there's opportunity everywhere, right? And it may not be apparent in that first interaction, and that's what's the beauty of getting to know someone on a personal level first is all about. If you're constantly looking at someone with the 'what can you do for me' goggle, you'll never actually get to know them as a human being, and you'll never know what they care about, and what their broader network is, and what it is that make them tick. And then you've lost a huge opportunity to find layers of opportunity within. So start with the people, and then build the business on top of it.
Jenn T Grace: Absolutely. Are you familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk to any degree?
Jonathan Lovitz: No but I want you to educate me.
Jenn T Grace: So he has a very confronting style I will call it, like he's just really brash, he's loud, he's in your face, straight up what you would imagine a New Yorker to be stereotyped as.
Jonathan Lovitz: Hey.
Jenn T Grace: You're so rough. And he has a huge online following and has for years, like millions and millions of people. And he has a book that he wrote, I think it's a couple of years old now, called 'Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.' And his whole philosophy is you have to give, give, give, and then ask, and then keep on giving. So there has to be a far more likelihood of you giving before you're asking. Because if you just go into any scenario and you just start asking for the business, and you haven't built the relationship, people are going to be completely turned off or ignore you. But if you've been giving, and giving, and giving, when the right time to make that ask comes along they're going to be far more likely to want to do business with you because you've given them so much so far.
Jonathan Lovitz: Right, absolutely right. And again, it's not that you're giving for that guaranteed return. It's that you're giving because that's in your nature and you want people to recognize that about you.
Jenn T Grace: Yes and if you are coming off as like 'I'm only giving because I'm going to ask you for something in three days,' then I think anyone would see right through that.
Jonathan Lovitz: We sure hope so.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah, right? Okay you were talking about strengths a little bit ago. And for some reason Sally Hogshead popped in my mind in terms of really understanding your strengths. And I've been a Sally fan since 2011, and I only remember that because it's when one of her books came out, and having her at the NGLCC conference last year was legit like one of the highlights of my year because she was so amazing in person, on the stage, in the breakout, and then one-on-one. From a personal branding standpoint, I personally think that she’s truly amazing in terms of the framework that she provides to help people understand where their strengths naturally lie. What has your experience been, since I know you were at the conference obviously, what was your experience with that kind of new framework to really just understand what your brand as a person means and feels like?
Jonathan Lovitz: For anyone who hasn't taken it, I highly recommend they go to her website and take the personality matrix test that she has, because it's really eye opening. And if you can, if you're a part of a team, I recommend doing it as a group. We recently did it at the NGLCC office and we now know who has what traits, and some were really shocking. There were a lot of people who possess these stealth characteristics that make them a great program manager, or even a great leader, and are sometimes so unspoken but it's nice to see it articulated in this really visual way, in a color coded way, that helps you understand where everyone fits. For me personally I was really impressed by the real clarity of the questions. It was not a super broad Myers Briggs conversation. It was really about what makes you tick, and what qualities about you make you a strong human being, whether it's for your persona life or your professional life. And the elements about who I was, as a leaders, as someone who likes to take charge, as someone who likes to be- they cleared me out, "You're a talker, you like to be the public face of what you're doing." It was nice because it's also backed up with an understanding of why; it doesn't just drop the bomb and say 'this is who you are.' It says 'because you got these five strengths behind you, that will help you succeed.' And it also outlines some of the pitfalls which is also I think a sign of a great leader and a great business person, is knowing where your shortcomings are and what you can do to actively work around them. I know I can sometimes miss the woods for the trees when I'm really down in a project I'm working on. I'm so mired in the details I forget this can be a little rough around the edges, the big picture is what matters here. And it's nice to be able to be reminded of that. And a trait of mine, and I should most importantly surround myself with great people who are my opposite so that they catch those mistakes, or that they help me execute correctly. I recently had been given some great help and some staff at the NGLCC to work on some projects, and we worked in completely opposite fashions, and it has made us stronger and more effective than we've ever been because we challenge each other. You're your own best yes man, no one needs another one. I can look in the mirror and tell myself what a great job I'm doing, I need the product to speak for it, and I need my relationships to reveal that. So as much as it's about discovering your own brand and your own skillset, allowing yourself to be self-aware enough of what you need to get the job done, the people you need to surround yourself with is just as or more so important.
Jenn T Grace: Do you remember what your archetype was?
Jonathan Lovitz: I knew you were going to ask. If you give me one second I can pull that up and tell you. Because I think it's such a great thing for everyone to know. Let's see, I do have that here.
Jenn T Grace: I think the key is looking as she calls it the Double Trouble. So when your characteristics are doubled up on each other where you're actually acting at your worst. So something that should be making you your best, when you go to an extreme, it just makes it harder for people around you to either work with you, or take your direction, or operate. I feel like that was a really kind of eye-opening thing. Because when I was looking at mine, mine is the Maestro which is power and prestige, and it's kind of the ringleader in a lot of ways of like organizing things, and to me it's all about getting shit done. So it doesn't matter how, I will get it done. And I can see now how overbearing that could be to people on my team when they don't necessarily know what place I'm operating from. So it's a matter of being really cognisant of where your strength can actually become something that's hurtful to you.
Jonathan Lovitz: I love that. So mine was the Avant Garde, and it's the person who likes to work quickly and come up with solutions, and be a leader, and if I don't like how the game is played, turn the table over and start a new game, that kind of thing. And I really do love that, but again one of my favorite parts was how it helped me identify what the opposites of that highest and best value may be, which are if I'm not perpetually challenged, I'm going to get bored and I'm going to want to walk away from a project. So being sure that everything I'm doing is new, and innovative, and that certainly served me well, and it's helped me develop unexpectedly I think in my career an entrepreneurial spirit that I didn't know I had. If you had told me ten years ago when I was first starting out as fortunately a solid working actor in New York in Broadway and television that that foundation I was laying, by building a social media platform, and building my own website, and all of those things that I thought were just helping me get a few more roles; that laid a foundation for the rest of my career because now I've converted everyone who ever knew me as a performer into someone who can help me amplify my policy work, and the LGBT stances that we take, and everything begets everything else. And so as it relates to your personal brand, making sure it's positive and flexible, it's all about you and what you want to put out there. And I think it's important for everyone to remember, and I try to teach this when I speak at a lot of universities and I try to remind young people these days you are what you tweet, far more than it used to be when it was your academic record, and your body of work. Now it's how the Internet sees you because people are going to Google you before they meet you, and you want that digital trail of breadcrumbs to lead to something positive that you're proud of, and it's never too late to course correct. So if you want to make that pivot and change your personal brand to be an expert on a certain subject, or a champion for a cause, start right now and get moving, and get help. There are lots of people who know how to do this and you can be that change you want to be.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah and you have to start putting out content that reflects that, and I recently read- it was on LinkedIn and it was some ridiculous number like four out of five hiring managers, the first thing they do is Google your name or go to Facebook and look up your name. And if your profile picture is you with a beer can, chances are you're not getting the job. So it's that severe that I don't think people recognize it, and I actually was looking to hire somebody a couple of months ago, and a colleague of mine said, "My daughter is 22, she's graduating college, what you're working on I think would be in alignment with what she's interested in," and I go to her social media page and everything is her smoking pot with bongs. And it's like I'm not going to be a prude and say, "That's wrong, you can't do that," but for crying out loud, like your social image has to be more professional than that. You really can't be putting that out there, and once you put it out there, even though you think it's deleted or gone, it's still floating somewhere in the interwebs which is dangerous, especially when people are looking for- either looking for a job or just looking to grow their brand and grow their following of people.
Jonathan Lovitz: I think that's absolutely right. And making yourself approachable for the things that you care about also matters. It's one thing to just drop the bomb and walk away. It's another thing to say, "I want to have a conversation." So if you're using Twitter, for example, to grow your brand, and you want to start a conversation, be prepared for there to be all sides of that conversation, and be prepared to have a- if you want people to reach you, use a Google voice number so it's anonymous. Or start a Google Hangout where you can keep yourself at an aesthetic distance. But be approachable and don't just throw a bunch of words out either and hope that it sticks. You've got to be able to back it up with passion, conviction, data when you've got it, whatever it may be, because that's also how you validate your brand. The world needs one more YouTube sensation flash in the pan like it needs a hole in the head. But what it does need is someone who's using their voice along with their fame to do something really great.
Jenn T Grace: Absolutely, and I think it's important to be paying attention to sometimes maybe the more subtle cues of where your direction should be headed, because you might start off your personal brand and have- think that you have a really clear idea of what people are looking for, but once you start talking with the people you realize that, 'Oh wow, what I thought they were looking for isn't actually what they're looking for, they're actually looking for this,' and be able to make those short pivots, and not marry yourself to that original concept, of being open to different ideas and different directions.
Jonathan Lovitz: Absolutely, and don't let others define your brand for you. It's your brand for a reason, and I certainly remember this well from back in my acting days. Something I don't miss is being told, "You're too this, you're too that," you're at the whim of every director and every casting person saying, "Grow your hair out, be thinner, work out more, do whatever it takes to be the next up and coming star and you're going to take over for this guy when he gets too old." I don't want to take over for him, I want to have my own path, I want to do my own thing, I don't need to replace anybody else, I want to just be Jonathan Lovitz out there. And finally I was able to find that by ironically enough just being myself. It's when I was given that opportunity to be on camera, and do the news, and interview celebrities and such as myself, and speak in my own voice, and talk about my own issues the way I cared about them, that's when I finally began to shine in the way that I didn't know I was destined to.
Jenn T Grace: Yes I feel like that is probably the biggest piece of advice is to just be yourself, because when you're trying to fit the mold of what someone else is expecting of you, I feel like that's where you kind of go off the rails. And I can think back to probably 2011 maybe, and this was when I was actually running the Connecticut LGBT Chamber. For some reason I feel like I completely lost my way, and I felt like I had to be what was expected of me to be, and I completely went away from who I was. And if I look at pictures of me from 2010 and 2011, it shows how far from my original core I really was, and then in 2012 I just kind of had this epiphany one day of like, 'Screw this. I cannot continue to try to be something that I naturally don't feel like I am.' And then all throughout 2012 and 2013 I went on this whole weight loss kick, I got healthier again, and I completely re-changed everything that I was doing to just be very much in alignment with me because it's so much easier to just be you than try to be somebody that you're not.
Jonathan Lovitz: I could not agree more; the best advice we could put out there in the world for people.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah and especially with personal branding. So one of Sally's quotes, I'm trying to think- it's something of not trying to be others, just be more of who you are. So don't- I'm going to totally butcher it, it's like one of her best quotes. But yeah just be more of who you already are naturally rather than trying to add these characteristics or traits that are very unnatural to you.
Jonathan Lovitz: I think that's absolutely right. And when you are most in tune with yourself, you're an instrument that's been primed, and ready, and destined for the spotlight. And that's when your message takes off. When you get given that microphone metaphorically or literally, and you're speaking from a place of groundedness and authenticity, that's when your message takes hold. That's definitely something Sally Hogshead before- it's messages that fail to fascinate become irrelevant, and I think that's right because what's fascinating about someone is their authenticity, not the facade.
Jenn T Grace: Totally. And I feel like you are probably a living example of this as I feel like I am too. Is that I really pride myself on being the same Jenn. So whether you catch me when we're having dinner with a couple of people, whether it's at a conference, or whether we're having a one-on-one conversation or a conversation that thousands of people are listening to, I feel like I really pride myself on always being that same person, so there's never that jarring disconnect. And I feel like you are always the same person regardless of what interaction I have with you, and I would imagine that probably carries out through other people as well.
Jonathan Lovitz: Well I really appreciate that, and I'll be the first to admit it wasn't always that way, and that was a major life lesson and journey for me was figuring out that's who I'm supposed to be, is myself all the time. And I definitely see this among a lot of young people, and people starting out in their careers, is trying too hard to please everybody by pivoting. That when you're in the office you're trying to please the boss, so you've got one persona versus who you are with your friends, or who you are with your family versus who you might be when you're networking with your eye on the next job, and that doesn't work.
Jenn T Grace: It's exhausting.
Jonathan Lovitz: It's just too exhausting, and for anyone who's ever been through the coming out experience in their professional life, they know about when you can bring your best self to your work by being who you are. Your work has never been better, in fact your whole life gets better because that lead vest comes off. So do yourself the favor and take off a couple extra layers of lead vest and just carry yourself around.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah just being the same person. I just had an introduction from a colleague to a Fortune company, and it was a CMO and it's not typically a recommendation that I'd prefer written an email, but the introduction was, 'You need to meet Jenn, she's whip smart and she gets shit done.' Like that was exactly the line. And I'm like okay, this was to the CMO of a really large company, I'm not sure that that would be the natural way I would like to be introduced, but it actually is who I am, and when I had that first initial call with this particular company, it set the tone so beautifully because I- and I really even with sales calls and high people in larger companies, I'm still genuinely the same person, but it really kind of was very freeing to be like, 'You know what? This is how I was introduced, they still wanted a call with me, so I can really just kind of be who I am,' and it was just such a natural flowing conversation because of that. Even though I wouldn't necessarily want that to be the way I'm referred frequently, but it worked out so beautifully. So I think that it really kind of comes down to that authenticity, and for me having the moniker of the Professional Lesbian, that immediately weeds out people that would not even want to give me the time of day. And to me that's a great thing because I don't have to waste my time or someone else's for them to see if they even want to build a relationship with me.
Jonathan Lovitz: Oh I think you're so, so right. We don't have time anymore to have to chip away and figure out what's behind the facade. Leading with yourself is the easiest way to make sure people get what they pay for, literally and figuratively. And I can't tell you the number of times in my career I thought I've gotten to know someone under a totally false pretense, and when the mask came off and I was so disappointed with the person that was really underneath, I wish I had known that from the beginning.
Jenn T Grace: Yeah.
Jonathan Lovitz: Because it's wasted a lot of time and energy and frustration, and I came out on the other side more aware of what I don't want in my life, which is potentially a great lesson, but again speaks to the value of your own brand and self-awareness. Be aware of what you're putting out in the world because that's what people are buying. And in a world where we all look to our Yelp reviews before we buy anything, word of mouth is your living Yelp review, and we want it to be a good one for you.
Jenn T Grace: Absolutely. So I feel like we're getting already to almost 45 minutes, we've already been talking that long, and I feel like we could be talking for days because there's so much information to be had, and we both have communications degrees which is why I think it's kind of morphed into what we're talking about. But I want to ask you what is the best piece of advice that you've been given? And not even necessarily related to branding or anything like that, but just kind of in business or in life. What is it and who gave it to you?
Jonathan Lovitz: Well you'll indulge me I'll have to say it's two.
Jenn T Grace: Okay.
Jonathan Lovitz: Because in my personal life it came from my parents when I was a teenager and really struggling with who I was personally, what I cared about versus what was expected of me as a teenage boy in the suburbs, and all the things that I was into when I was far more interested in being involved in theatre and school than I was sports and friends and all of that. And all my- and after all the time talking to school counselors, and all the stress of all of that in your teenage years; sitting down and having a good cry with my parents and them saying, "Yeah but do you like you? Good. Stick with that and that's all that matters."
Jenn T Grace: That's beautiful.
Jonathan Lovitz: And that has served me well in my personal life ever since. It's just thinking, 'If I'm unhappy with something, all I have to do is change it. I could sit here and rock back and forth and worry about it, or I could make it better.'
Jenn T Grace: Yeah.
Jonathan Lovitz: So that certainly served me in my personal life, and then in my professional life which I am so grateful as I said at the beginning of all this, very bizarrely and organically led me to such incredible experiences, it's all been because I never let a door that was closed dissuade me from a path. And anytime that there was a door, I have been told by so many friends, and colleagues and mentors, 'Build your own,' and that has always served me well. Between the idea of never letting a lack of an opportunity mean that there isn't one, just should inspire you to come up with a creative solution, and that usually leads you to lesson number two which is it's usually better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
Jenn T Grace: That's my favorite quote.
Jonathan Lovitz: Yeah, get it done, wow people, and someone will help you get out of any kind if icky situation that arises with it. But it's better to have done it. Another great Sally Hogshead quote was something to the effect of the world was never changed by people who just kind of cared.
Jenn T Grace: So true, especially in this work, right?
Jonathan Lovitz: Yeah, exactly. And whether it's your personal business, or community service, or whatever it may be, care with all you have because you're only going to get one shot to make a difference.
Jenn T Grace: I love that. I love that. I feel like we should end on that because it's so beautifully articulated. But before we actually end, how do people find you? So tell us all the different ways in which they can get a little bit of loving from you.
Jonathan Lovitz: Well if they ever want to know about our professional work, and the great things we're doing to make the world a better place for LGBT people to live, and work, and thrive, get involved in www.NGLCC.org. But for me personally I have a website, www.JonathanDLovitz.com. It's a little bit under construction right now, so anyone out there with some great web skills, do feel free to get in touch. But there's my links to all my social media are there, I'm really active on Twitter, it's my favorite. @JDLovitz. I will always write back and get in touch with people if they use the email link on my website. There's no such thing as a relationship without value, so I hope to hear from everybody listening. I hope to always be a good friend and connection with you, Jenn, I think your work and energy you put out into the world is so inspiring and we need a lot more of you out there, but I'm pretty glad that there's just one Jenn Grace.
Jenn T Grace: Thank you, I appreciate that. We should just start cloning ourselves and just have a little army. Wouldn't that be great?
Jonathan Lovitz: Absolutely. I don't know the world needs another one of me, I think I'm- certainly my partner wouldn't want more.
Jenn T Grace: I would say the same thing about my wife. Yeah I don't think she wants another one of me either.
Jonathan Lovitz: Yeah.
Jenn T Grace: They get the best of us, don't they?
Jonathan Lovitz: They sure do, even at the worst.
Jenn T Grace: For real. Alright this has been great, thank you so much for being a guest, I really appreciate it.
Jonathan Lovitz: It was a real pleasure and an honor, and I hope to do it again. Thanks for all you do.
Jenn T Grace: Thank you for listening to today's podcast. If there are any links from today's show that you are interested in finding, save yourself a step and head on over to www.JennTGrace.com/thepodcast. And there you will find a backlog of all of the past podcast episodes including transcripts, links to articles, reviews, books, you name it. It is all there on the website for your convenience. Additionally if you would like to get in touch with me for any reason, you can head on over to the website and click the contact form, send me a message, you can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all at JennTGrace. And as always I really appreciate you as a listener, and I highly encourage you to reach out to me whenever you can. Have a great one, and I will talk to you in the next episode.
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