Personal Branding for the LGBTQ Professional (business)

Thank you for listening to episode 71 of the podcast. On my last podcast I was able to answer a question from a reader and it was nice to get back to that type of podcast! I decided this week I would get to a few more questions I've received from LinkedIn connections that address reaching LGBT consumers. I also chat briefly about my recent marathon experience and international postage :)

If you have an LGBT-related question please feel free to drop me a line, I'd love to hear it.....and you never know.....your question may be featured on an upcoming podcast!



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Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE: Episode #71

Jenn T Grace: You are listening to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, episode 71.

Intro: Welcome to the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast, where you'll learn how to do business with and market to the LGBT community in an authentic and transparent way. We're talking about an $884 billion lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We'll help you grow your business, gain market share, and impact your bottom line. 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 number 71 of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I am your host, Jenn Grace, and today I am going to be answering a handful of questions that I have received from LinkedIn. In the last episode I'm pretty certain I had mentioned that I had a whole queue of LinkedIn questions that I wanted to answer. However the last episode I ended up only answering one of them, which I ended up titling, 'An Open Letter from a Self-Admitted Homophobe.' So if you have not listened to that podcast yet, I would totally recommend doing so. It's episode number 70 so you can go to And if you prefer to read it rather than listen to it, the transcript for that episode is available as well, so you can certainly do that. But because that episode ended up taking me- or I should say that question ended up taking me an entire episode to respond to, today I want to cover three particular questions that I've received. One is from a gay business owner who is abroad, and there's a lesbian business owner who is in the United States, and then the third one is from a recent college grad looking for advice and tips on what she calls, 'the consulting thing.' So I do want to address all three of those questions, and hopefully I can keep it to a reasonable time frame here. Somehow under an hour, which is usually my goal, however as you all know sometimes that does not happen.

But anyway, so before I talk about those questions and provide some thorough answers, there's a couple of things that I do want to mention before diving into the meat of the episode. And the first of those things is that I wanted to give you a super quick update on my half marathon. I was just looking through old podcast episodes going back to in the mid-thirties for episodes. So going back to mid-2013, and I realized that for a really long time I was giving you regular updates on the progress, and what was going on. But then at some point along the way I have somehow stopped doing so. And it was interesting because I just ran my third half marathon over this last weekend, and I had a handful of people from my Facebook page reach out to me asking for updates because it was a whole debauchery of epic proportions, just like the last time I ran one. But when people were asking me for updates it occurred to me that, oh wow I have not actually mentioned it on the podcast in a while. And some of you who reached out are podcast listeners. So I wanted to just give a super quick update.

Direct download: episode_71_Simple-tactics-for-reaching-LGBT-consumers.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Thanks for joining me for episode #68 of the podcast. My guest today is Michele Wierzgac, who I’m so glad shared her story with me and now you. Michele’s journey is an interesting one; from the volleyball court to the main stage there’s never been a dull moment. She offers amazing insight into how to be authentically successful, as well as some of the best advice she’s ever received. She and I also shared a laugh about how unfamiliar we are with being bored – how many of you feel the same? I would love to hear feedback and/or questions. Drop me a line or comment below! Enjoy the show!

Links mentioned in today’s episode

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.

Would you prefer to read the transcript than listen to the episode? No problem! Read the transcript below.
AUDIO TITLE:  Jenn T Grace – Ep 68
Jenn T. Grace:
Let’s dive right in and tell the audience a little bit about yourself, your story, and essentially what your path looked like that led you to the place that you are today.
Michele Wierzgac:
Well I was born in Chicago, one of six children. My mom had eight brothers and sisters, and my dad had eight brothers. Can you imagine just being the baby of eight older brothers?
Jenn T. Grace:
That is a lot. No thank you.
Michele Wierzgac:
So you can get a sense that I grew up on the south side of Chicago with a big family, Polish Catholic family, and tons of cousins, aunts and uncles. And as a young child I played volleyball, softball and ice hockey with my brothers and friends in the neighborhood. And during this entire time while I was playing sports, my dad always yelled at me, "A woman's place is in the home to cook and clean and raise the kids. Stop playing sports!"

So my mother always said then, "Okay you can go out and play, only after you do the dishes." So I had all these rules and regulations I had to live by these traditional 'social values.' And then my grammar school coach who was my friend's mother discovered that I had a talent for volleyball, and she talked my mother into allowing me to go to practice after dinner. And that's how everything started for me, and I had somebody believing in me- my mom and my volleyball coach.

So in high school I was involved in everything from journalism to band, I played the flute, the piano, I refereed for basketball and played for softball, teaching volleyball clinic. And again, my mom told me to focus, you can't be good at everything, you need to focus on just a few things. So I dropped off journalism and band and everything, and I made room for volleyball and I discovered I had a natural talent again, for volleyball even at the high school level. We went to state, took second in state, I was the captain in All-State, All-American, and my high school coach called me as the season was over and said, "Michelle, you need to sit down, you need to take a look at this. There are eleven scholarship offers sitting her." At that time they contacted the coaches. And I said, "Oh, college?" And she said, "Yeah, college." And she said, "You really need to think about which college you're going to," and I said, "Oh no, my father would never allow me to go to college. There's just no way." She says, "Oh well I need to talk to your mother." My mother and my high school coach conspired. My father said, "There's no way. A woman's place is cook and clean and stay at home and raising babies." And mother said, "Like hell. She's going off to college. I never had an opportunity like this, and she's going." And I think really focusing on one sport really helped me out, and her wisdom really helped me out. So anyway, I chose Illinois State University and my mom and dad asked the question, "Why did you pick that?" And I said, "It's a great teaching school, look how they're rated." I did my homework, that's another thing that I learned to do.

Direct download: episode_68_michele_wierzgac.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:05am EDT