Allison Lew Show Transcript

Bart: [00:00:00] Hey builders, you probably know that networking is important. We all know it, but we’ve never really focused on how networking can help you build your company to stay. Today, we’re going to do exactly that with the help of Allison Lew. Allison’s the founder of Braid, which aims to help women attain economic independence.

[00:00:18] She also cofounded the Sego awards, which is coming up on its third annual awards gala honoring outstanding Utah female founders and CEOs. We’re excited to have her talk with us about her story and share tips for networking. Allison, thanks so much for joining us today. 

[00:00:34] Allison: [00:00:34] Yeah, I’m so excited to be here. I love the podcast.

[00:00:38] Big fan. 

[00:00:39] Bart: [00:00:39] Thank you very much. I wanted to talk about a lot of things, but, uh, and I’m excited to have you here. Most people probably don’t know this, but you wear a lot of different hats. Um, you work at blip as the head of people and culture, but you also. Run bread. And that’s what we’re here to talk about a lot today, as well as the Sego awards.

[00:00:57] And one of the reasons it made sense to us to bring you on to blip is we knew all that you were doing out in the marketplace. We knew all of the people that you were impacting, all the people you knew. And we were like, you know, this is the kind of culture we want to have it blip. This is the kind of person we would love to run people and culture at blip.

[00:01:16] So I want to talk about a lot of that, but before we get into it. Let’s just get into your background a little bit. Can you tell us what you studied and what you wanted to be in college? 

[00:01:26] Allison: [00:01:26] Oh, that’s a great question. I changed my major about five times. I think that it took me an extra year to graduate undergrad, but I ended up studying comparative literature and then I minored in psychology.

[00:01:41] I was. I always loved reading. I loved making connections between people and concepts. And so comparative literature made a lot of sense for me as an undergrad. And then right after I graduated, I w I started an MPA, a master of public administration, also at BYU and got into government. So that was kind of an interesting turn of events for me.

[00:02:07] Bart: [00:02:07] Okay. So comparative literature is an awesome major, and you know, it’s my undergrad major as well. Um, we both kind of went that route and then we switched and we got into business and other things, but a fantastic undergrad major for a lot of things. It makes you think analytically, it makes you explore the world.

[00:02:27] And the. The culture, you know, that you can find in literature as well as, you know, think through the differences between cultures and literatures in those cultures as well as different mediums. Right? Most people don’t think of comparative literature as something that you know, actually looks at. For example, the difference between literature and film or a different 

[00:02:47] Allison: [00:02:47] mediums.

[00:02:48] One of my favorite classes, 

[00:02:49] Bart: [00:02:49] same here, say, ma’am. Okay. Tell me how did that translate into work in government? Like when you did your MPA and you were, you were thinking about government and what you’re going to do afterward. Like did you feel like you were able to use the skills and the kind of background that you had in, in comparative literature, or was it completely different?

[00:03:10] Allison: [00:03:10] I would say that my background and comparative literature actually has helped me more professionally than my MPA. But the MPA got me into doors because I had that designation on my resume. I was able to, you know, have an in at an internship that only accepted MPA students. And then from that internship, there was a role that was created, not exactly.

[00:03:37] Leave for me, but almost a perfect fit for me that I, uh, was kind of a shoe in for, uh, after my internship.

[00:03:43] Bart: [00:03:43] Yeah. That’s awesome. In government, did you feel like it was a people centric kind of affair? 

[00:03:50] Allison: [00:03:50] I think cumulatively, yes. Uh, so my role specifically. At the city was to work closely with entrepreneurs and people in tech.

[00:04:03] Bart: [00:04:03] Best role ever 

[00:04:06] Allison: [00:04:06] is carved a very, a very unique path for me. Jumping from humanities to government and now into entrepreneurship and tech. I don’t know if I would have accessed tech and entrepreneurship. If me, you know, even if I was working at a different city or at a different level of government. So I, I’m, I’m really grateful for the experiences that I’ve had, like in government, even though ultimately, like I grew out of my role there.

[00:04:32] But the reason why I wanted to work in government was because of people. I love building communities. I love bringing people together. I love helping people. And. Being able to do that for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs and people in tech. That was something that I really enjoyed, like especially seeing, you know, some of these people who, who may be the underdog or starting something small, grow their businesses into something really big and successful, like while being really scrappy, like I really admire that.

[00:05:01] Bart: [00:05:01] Absolutely. Um, okay. So you were in government, you were in basically helping startups, helping tech thrive within a specific region. Right. Why did you decide to go somewhere else? Like when did you realize, Hey, this, this is, there’s something else? 

[00:05:18] Allison: [00:05:18] Well, you know, I think the teams always change. People leave, people get promoted.

[00:05:25] And I think that there was, there’s kind of this moment when I didn’t, I didn’t. Feel like I could grow in the environment that I was in, and I love growing and learning. Like I, even though it, it can be really draining to be stretched and pushed to your limit. I love that. And if I’m not in that place, I feel kind of sad to be honest.

[00:05:49] Like I hate feeling stagnant and I think that I was reaching a place in my professional development, uh, at the city. I was there for almost four years. Which especially in this generation is kind of a long time for someone my age to stay in a role. So I think that like always seeking more knowledge, being curious about what I can learn from other people, like that pushed me to try something new.

[00:06:16] Bart: [00:06:16] And what was that something though? 

[00:06:17] Allison: [00:06:17] So it was braid. I started to Bray it as a city program as a part of my role there. And when I. Left. I wanted to try running braid full time, and it wasn’t hard to convince the city to, to let me take braid and other brands that I created as programs there because there are very few women who work in analyst’s role.

[00:06:44]Uh, so, um, I was able to negotiate, you know, ownership of those brands and to push, you know, some of them into businesses. 

[00:06:52] Bart: [00:06:52] And they saw the advantage of it continuing to grow, whether they ran it or not. 

[00:06:57] Allison: [00:06:57] Yeah, and I think that I had a really great relationship with my managers and their managers at the city that built that passive trust that I would do something really good with it, better than than anybody that.

[00:07:12] We’re still on staff there. Could do. 

[00:07:14] Bart: [00:07:14] Gotcha. So tell us more about braid. What is it? Um, how did you build it? What’s the purpose? All that kind of stuff. 

[00:07:21] Allison: [00:07:21] Yeah, so I founded braid because I wanted to see more programming. In Utah, designed with women in mind. I was going to a lot of mainstream tech and entrepreneurship events and just not seeing very many women, and I wanted to know where they were and why they weren’t taking advantage of these awesome resources, like the networking and just the thought leaders that they could have access to.

[00:07:46] And it kind of, uh, came down to, Oh. Like this program is not designed with women in mind. The kinds of businesses that women typically tend to start like, especially in Utah, they’re not tech focused. They’re not SAS. They’re often product service like lifestyle based. And if there isn’t. You know, programming for those kinds of businesses, it doesn’t make sense for them to take time out of their often very packed days because most of the women, especially in our community, are primary caregivers for their children.

[00:08:17] It really has to be very compelling to them to carve out time to find childcare, to, you know, get to events and connect with people in person. 

[00:08:25] Bart: [00:08:25] Right. So was part of the focus, did I just understand from that, that are you trying to help. Women think more broadly in terms of what they could do. 

[00:08:34] Allison: [00:08:34] I think that’s definitely something that happens.

[00:08:37] I don’t know if from the outset that was an explicit aim. So our main broad, big vision goal is to help women attain economic independence because you tie ranks really low in the nation for what women earn. Even though Utah has access to quite a bit of wealth, it’s just not balanced between. Genders here in the state, and it’s something that I’ve seen in our community anecdotally is, is when women have access to economic independence there, they’re able to create really good lives, not just for themselves, but for their children.

[00:09:15] I’m like, I’ve unfortunately seen quite a bit of abuse, and it’s a lot easier for those women to leave, even though it’s not. 100% easy ever to get out of a difficult relationship, but it’s much easier when women are connected to people professionally, uh, or when they have something on their resume, even if it wasn’t a traditional nine to five job where they were working in some capacity building.

[00:09:40] Business skills, building a marketable skillset, like it’s much easier for those women to leave abusive situations. 

[00:09:47] Bart: [00:09:47] Yeah, that’s a good point. And even if there’s no situation like that where you have to leave, I actually think that everyone on this earth should feel. Like they can create economic value, like they can go out and create value in our economy right now.

[00:10:03] Kids included, obviously not like in a way that they’re being exploited, but I think that it is good for the soul to feel like I can go out and create value that people will pay for. What do you think about that? 

[00:10:16] Allison: [00:10:16] I love that, and I have seen that transformation happen for some of the members of the braid community where they might be a stay at home mom, uh, or they just, you know, haven’t been as professionally connected as.

[00:10:31]Um, maybe they could be. And seeing how relationships and seeing how other women like them are being successful. How that starts to change the way they can. They think about what’s possible, especially like economically and professionally. Cause I think that there’s so much power in knowing people in building relationships.

[00:10:51] Cause I think that those. Relationships really changed, like not just the way you think, but also the way you live. Uh, something that Susan Madsen over at UVU has talked about before is that when women become economically powerful or independent, the initiatives that they tend to support our healthcare.

[00:11:11] Education, and, and I think that it’s kind of telling when you see what our, um, you know, elected officials tend to put money behind it, kind of, it’s connected to who they are. Yeah. And because we don’t have very many women at all in office, like we have this kind of, you know, lack of balance in, in what our lives are like because policy and economic environments, they shape everybody’s experience every day.

[00:11:41] Bart: [00:11:41] Yeah. So has, has it been hard to start braid and keep it going or has it been super easy? 

[00:11:49] Allison: [00:11:49] That’s a great question. I think that. Building. Anything that really has meaningful impact for people is difficult. 

[00:12:00] Bart: [00:12:00] I could probably tell it was tongue in cheek. I know. I 

[00:12:05] Allison: [00:12:05] was like, that’s a leading question. I think that, well, there’s definitely been different seasons of braids, so when we first started, we were fully funded by the city and we were running.

[00:12:16] Workshops and networking meetups, workshops based on skills that women could take and immediately apply to their business and level up essentially. Like we’re, we definitely love inspirational content, but I think what we want to focus on is expanding the toolkit that will help women, you know, take their careers or their brands, their businesses to the next level, and also connecting them to people who can do that for them as well.

[00:12:44] No, no matter if it’s a mentor, a client, just a friend of peer who can help them brainstorm ideas, whether it’s, you know, how do I manage this difficult situation at the office or how do I, how do I negotiate a raise? How do I navigate this space between being a primary caregiver and then also providing for my family financially?

[00:13:05] There’s so much power in community. Like. One of our kind of founding beliefs at braid is that there’s so much economic power in, in relationships. 

[00:13:15] Bart: [00:13:15] Yeah. So are you focused mostly on bringing in and helping people who already have jobs who already owned businesses or both them and people who maybe aspire to, or maybe even who just don’t know, you know, but are interested in what’s going on?

[00:13:34] And. Like, how do, I guess, how do you target the right audience for the services you’re providing, the workshops, the skills, training, et cetera? 

[00:13:42] Allison: [00:13:42] Yeah, that’s a great question. I think initially we were thinking that we would target women entrepreneurs, women who are already running their own businesses, because that was, that was the gap that I was seeing and I wanted to fill a need for, but now our audience has.

[00:14:01] Kind of shifted in a way. It’s just anybody who wants to be connected to our community. Okay. And it doesn’t matter if you’re just in idea phase a, it doesn’t matter if you’ve built like a multimillion dollar business. People love to tap into our community to ask for feedback on ideas, to post jobs that are open at their companies, to look for web developers, accountants, or just advice.

[00:14:27] In general. That’s, that’s something that’s been really cool, like watching our community grow, is that we don’t do a ton of structured connecting. Uh, we just bring, generally just bring people together into the same space, either physically or online in our face. But group, and then they help each other.

[00:14:45] Like there’s so much potential at any one individual to help another person advance economically. But if you don’t make those connections, you never see that help happen or, or sometimes you never see that growth either. 

[00:14:58] Bart: [00:14:58] Do you. See a need generally at bread to like, not just bring people together, but to invite those connections to invite the, that advice or questions, et cetera.

[00:15:10] Or do people just do it naturally? 

[00:15:12] Allison: [00:15:12] We definitely do invite people to connect, but most of the people who attend our events. Even if they’re normally quite shy or introverted, they’re very excited about getting to know the people in our community. And I’m actually an introvert, so that’s something that I’ve experienced is even though I am, I am more of a quiet person when I’m around the break community, I feel really comfortable because everybody who’s there is looking not just to get ahead themselves, but looking for ways that they can help other people.

[00:15:46] And. And they’re, why I keep on doing this is cause I, I love that that’s who they are. And, and supporting that in any way I can is something that I want to continue to do because they’re already great people, you know, and just getting them connected, um, helps them tap into their unique talents, abilities, interests, and really start going places.

[00:16:09] Bart: [00:16:09] Tell us of the significance of the name braid. 

[00:16:12] Allison: [00:16:12] I love this idea of collaboration. There’s so much good that can come out of collaboration. And I wanted to think of something that really symbolized many pieces coming together. And originally I had brainstormed a ton of names and none of them were quite right.

[00:16:34] And I, uh, I had a friend come visit me at my office. And I was kind of going through some of the names that I had thought of. Anne and I was telling her that one of the problems with the front runner name that I was looking at it was that it wasn’t a very feminine at all. And so she started rolling through a few things, and then one of those names was braid, and I said, stop.

[00:16:55] That’s it. That’s the one. And kind of spinning out of that, that’s the story that we tell is. We’ve picked the name braid because one stand by itself is easy to bend and break, but when you weave many together, they become strong and that’s 100% what our community has illustrated is that they are so much more effective, powerful, even happier when they’re connected to other people.

[00:17:22] Like I think that is really difficult if you’re not working in a traditional nine to five setting or if you’re not in school full time to make connections. And to, um, not be siloed. I think it’s, it’s really easy as a woman in Utah to be siloed, but that being a silo, it hurts you economically. 

[00:17:38] Bart: [00:17:38] Yeah. Help us understand.

[00:17:40] You have braid and you also have the Sago awards. Why aren’t they the braid awards? What was the inception of Sago awards and how is that different than what you’re doing at bread? 

[00:17:50] Allison: [00:17:50] So the Sago words. They were born from an invitation to collaborate with convoy, which is a like a networking group for entrepreneurs through travel.

[00:18:04] And that’s actually how I met Brent. Our CEO is on a convoy trip, but convoy has always been interested in supporting women entrepreneurs and finding ways that Braden convoy could connect. And so when you’re. Thinking about some ways that we could really build a meaningful partnership. This idea of recognizing women entrepreneurs and women CEOs kind of develop there.

[00:18:29] And in another brainstorm session we were thinking about like, what will our brand be like? I mean, I guess this is also telling of my literary background is that I think about symbols and connections. So the Sago really is the Utah state flower. Yeah. And it also only thrives in desert conditions, so it grows when it has limited resources, and that’s really, really similar to what it’s like to be a female CEO or a founder in Utah, especially.

[00:19:01] Bart: [00:19:01] This is the . Third year that you’re coming. This is 

[00:19:04] Allison: [00:19:04] our third year, which is wild. I can’t believe it’s the time has passed like that. Um, but we, we really want to tell the stories of successful women entrepreneurs because even though you tar ranks really low for what women earn last year, you taught women owned businesses generated 19 point $5 billion in revenue.

[00:19:24] And they’re smashing the statistics and heart of why we started braid and wanted to continue to build our community. There is that like entrepreneurship and owning your own business can be a great way to start building economic wealth because you’re in control of your schedule. Like you can design. A workplace where you can thrive as a woman and where other women can thrive as well.

[00:19:51] I think that, especially for me, like having a lot of experience working in spaces that were designed with men in mind and kind of meeting up with some. Obstacles in moving forward professionally. Like I, I, it makes so much sense. Like why a woman who runs her own business would do so well, 

[00:20:10] Bart: [00:20:10] right. 

[00:20:11] Allison: [00:20:11] Designed for her.

[00:20:12] Bart: [00:20:12] Yeah. She built it around what she was doing and needing and trying to do. And so, you know, my wife and how she runs her own business, and I mean, it’s just so great for her. Um, and for me, quite honestly, like it helps support our family. And I have really been interested to kind of compare how she feels about time and how she feels about her interests and hobbies and everything compared to some of the other people that we know who haven’t yet built their own business or haven’t yet found something.

[00:20:47] And maybe they’ve just, they’ve stayed home and I don’t. Just as definitely the wrong word to use. You know about staying home with kids. Dave stayed home with kids and they’ve created a ton of value through that. But maybe there comes a time when kids go to school or kids graduate from home, you know, like they’re going off to college and things like that, and they’re like, okay, now how do I create value?

[00:21:08] How do I find purpose beyond raising. Children as my sole focus. The reason I think it’s powerful and valuable for everyone to feel like they have a purpose to feel like they can create value is because I just know that that is where true happiness comes from. It’s not from just hobbies. It’s not from just having fun all the time.

[00:21:31] It’s actually creating value beyond those things. So I went on that long trip tirade because I love what you do with braid. I love the focus. My mom worked when I was young, you know, she got a PhD and she worked, but she also stayed home and watched after us while we weren’t at school. And then my wife is now working and, and staying home with our children.

[00:21:53] But we have. People come in like a nanny and everyone needs to choose the right balance for themselves, but I do strongly believe in what you’re doing in empowering people to find that balance that makes sense for them. 

[00:22:05] Allison: [00:22:05] Yes. I 100% agree. I don’t necessarily think that any one configuration for working and caregiving, I don’t.

[00:22:16] Necessarily believe that there’s any one configuration that works for everybody. But I do really feel strongly about empowering women with options. Like if you want to work full time, if you want to build your own business, let’s make it so you can tap into resources or people or toolkits who can support that.

[00:22:36] But when you don’t have the support, or if you don’t know anyone who has done it, it’s, it’s much more difficult. 

[00:22:41] Bart: [00:22:41] Yeah, absolutely. So this is a single words. Coming up on the third year, is it growing? 

[00:22:47] Allison: [00:22:47] It is growing. So our first year we only had 200 nominations and then last year we had 500 and this year we’re coming up on 1000 so we’re really excited about that because there is over 84,000 women owned businesses in Utah, and each year we honor about 50 and each year we get to meet.

[00:23:07] New women who are running awesome businesses that we’d never heard of before. Like I just met, um, one of our finalists who was a student finalists last year, and she’s building a wearable device that can track ovulation. Like instead of just. Timing, counting days. It tells you you are obviating now. And I am just floored that she built that while she was in school and also that she’s building it in Utah.

[00:23:34] Like I love stories like that and seeing just the innovation and the scrappiness because women in our community, they can do so much with so little. It’s, it seriously blows my mind. 

[00:23:46] Bart: [00:23:46] Yeah. The stories are endless about people taking, you know, a very small amount of initial capital or maybe none. Getting some, and then building that into something.

[00:23:56] I’m using social media 

[00:23:59] Allison: [00:23:59] and just learning like, I think that the ability to learn. Is one of the best gifts or even skills that you can have, because when you’re always open to learning new things, you can adapt. It doesn’t matter what happens, like you can always build something from scratch because you can always learn.

[00:24:17] Bart: [00:24:17] Yeah. So one of the things that I was a little worried about myself when you came on to blip was that braid might fall by the wayside. How have you built braid and the Sago awards to stay when you have, like we’ve talked about multiple hats, you’ve got a lot of things that you’re doing at blip. You’ve got red.

[00:24:36] And I know that sometimes, you know, it’s a busy life. 

[00:24:40] Allison: [00:24:40] It does get busy, and every Saturday and Sunday actually like between the two days, I take maybe like five to six hours, like five to six hours worth of nap because I’m so tired at that point. But I think that, you know, going back to relationships. B, economic power.

[00:24:58] Like I have a great co-founder at braid. I have an amazing community who is so supportive of everything we do. And at Sago, I have an amazing co-founding team and we have an army of really talented interns. And even though I’m not able to. Be everywhere all the time and I can’t do everything for everyone.

[00:25:20] I think identifying like what it is that people want and need the most is what’s helped me continue to do multiple things at once. Because something that I’ve realized about braid is that it doesn’t always matter if we’re doing a ton of events or delivering a lot of content for our community. Most important to them is knowing that we’re here and that whenever they need us.

[00:25:44] But they can tap into this community that’s eager to help them. 

[00:25:47] Bart: [00:25:47] Can you speak a little bit to the networking part? You know, we introduced this episode saying, Hey, we haven’t talked a ton about networking and, and Alison is someone who knows a bit about that. To some extent, we’re all dependent on a network, and I’d love to hear advice.

[00:26:04] For business builders is they think about, you know, growing a business that they haven’t yet started or they’re continuing to grow the business they’ve already started and maybe have been doing for a number of years. How can networking be something that they benefit from and help other people with? 

[00:26:21] Allison: [00:26:21] So sometimes I hate using the word networking.

[00:26:24] Bart: [00:26:24] I know it seems like kind of. 

[00:26:26] Allison: [00:26:26] Yeah. And you know, sometimes superficial. I like to think of it more as. Relationship building. It’s all about not just building yourself, but also building up other people. Like something that I try to do. Wrapping up any conversation or even emails, I’ll ask what I can do to help, or if there’s anything, you know from our conversation that they wanted to get that they didn’t have.

[00:26:53] You know, sometimes people don’t have anything for you. No, I’m good. But sometimes they’ll, they’ll think of something that I like uniquely can help them with and then I’m happy to do. And I think that just asking the question, like how can I help you? And being very genuine about it. Like I think it can be really obvious when somebody is just trying to harvest you.

[00:27:18] Then it feels really gross. And that’s not the kind of person I want to be or appear to be. And so I think something that has helped me is not just asking if I can help someone else, but also being very grateful for any amount of time someone chooses to spend with me, whether it’s a phone call or a meeting up for a lunch or even an email exchange.

[00:27:41] Like I always try to be grateful for people’s time and that I think has been really powerful because it’s the kind of person I want to be. But it also has opened up even more communication and more channels for trust building between me and other people. 

[00:27:57] Bart: [00:27:57] Yeah, I really liked that. And the idea that you’re focused on relationships, I think goes a little beyond the, you know, quote unquote networking that we sometimes think about, like networking sounds like you’re just trying to connect, but not necessarily build a relationship.

[00:28:15] Right. So I like that. You know, you think about it as relationships. I do think that you basically described in what my mind is like a difference between being transactional and being like authentic and real, 

[00:28:29] Allison: [00:28:29] which is one of our blip values. Relationships over transactions. 

[00:28:34] Bart: [00:28:34] Yeah. And, and the, the transaction piece, like we all have to get transactions done.

[00:28:39] We have to do things, we have to interface with people. 

[00:28:42] Allison: [00:28:42] We don’t have to do it at the expense of other people. 

[00:28:45] Bart: [00:28:45] Exactly. And I think people, sometimes you can go too far one way or the other. For example, you know someone, you know that someone. Has, you know, access to information that you really need for your business, but you don’t want to go to them cause you haven’t like kept up with them.

[00:29:03] You haven’t created value for them recently that you can think of, et cetera. I actually think you should go to them anyway. Don’t do it in a transactional way. Go to them and say, Hey, you’re really good at this. This is what I need for my business. I was wondering if you had any advice because. I think it’s easy to feel the opposite.

[00:29:23] Like you just don’t want to be on that side of receiving. You only want to give, it’s easy to feel that way. And then on the opposite side, it’s like, well, there’s some people who only want to receive and they never want to get right. But if you come from a true, authentic place and you’re like, like for example, and this is a personal example, but my wife’s dad, my father in law.

[00:29:45] One of the ways that he built a relationship with me or in the early days was reaching out to me about things that I had some sort of expertise in and just like getting some thoughts, getting some information about something. And, you know, I thought it was interesting that he was just like reaching out and asking me these questions.

[00:30:04] And I was like, you know what? He’s investing in our relationship here. I recognize that because I’m sure he had other people in his network, other people that he knew that would know these things, but he was like looking for a way to expert. Exactly. And that actually felt good. Right? And, and all of us want.

[00:30:24] You know, we can be overwhelmed if we’re such an expert in a place where everyone’s reaching out to us, but everyone wants to both give and receive. And I think it’s important to kind of find that right balance. What do you think about that? 

[00:30:35] Allison: [00:30:35] I definitely agree. I think it can be really hard sometimes, especially when I see these two competing values and not just my own life, but also in just like our social ecosystem of.

[00:30:47] Being so giving that you aren’t even a person anymore. And then also being so focused on self care, you have no room for other people in your life. 

[00:30:58] Bart: [00:30:58] And Ellison, 

[00:31:01] Allison: [00:31:01] I do my best, but I, I think that like either extreme can be really harmful, not just to yourself, but also to the people around you. I think that something that has helped me.

[00:31:13] Continue to do multiple things like the Sago, wards, braid and blip at the same time is evaluating no. Is there balance in this relationship? Is there balance in this environment? And if there isn’t, is how likely is it that that balance will, we’ll come back soon and if the answer is not for a very long time, I would, I tried to get out of those.

[00:31:37]Uh, because like, I want to make impact as much impact as I can in every role that I’m in. And I think that if I’m just, you’re kind of like drained or totally dry, then I can’t, I can’t do that for the people who maybe are looking for that impact the 

[00:31:55] Bart: [00:31:55] most. Yeah. Interesting. It is a balance, you know, and, and sometimes you give and you don’t expect anything in return, and that’s fine too.

[00:32:03] But. There can be unhealthy situations that develop from that too. 

[00:32:08] Allison: [00:32:08] Definitely. And I think that, I don’t know if there’s any one measure that you can use universally there to determine whether something is essentially worth your time or not. I think that asking that question intermittently can be very helpful.

[00:32:26] Bart: [00:32:26] Yeah. And you see a lot of people who are, you know, very influential, very well known, et cetera. They kind of create processes or systems or, you know, they, they automate some of it through content or through, um, a filtering mechanism to find the people who really are deserving or work for the type of influence that they may be able to have for them.

[00:32:48] Allison: [00:32:48] Or. Or excited about passing it forward. 

[00:32:50] Bart: [00:32:50] Yeah, exactly. So two more questions for you. One, if you had to give one piece of advice to business builders around what we’ve been describing, how would you kind of summarize it? And then the second is just tell us where Brayden and Sago wards are going from here.

[00:33:06] Allison: [00:33:06] Okay. So one piece of advice. But I have found very helpful in networking is the worst thing that somebody can say to you is no. When you’re thinking about making an ask and you might be nervous about it, I think that you should definitely do your homework to make sure that you’re putting together something that makes sense for both you and the other party, but also just know that if you make a mistake or if you overstep, it’s not the end of the world.

[00:33:34] Like you can always apologize. You can always recover. And I think that’s something that has been really awesome about being connected to the entrepreneurship community here, is that I’ve been able to, to be more curious and just ask questions that have opened the door for so many cool opportunities.

[00:33:54] And people don’t always say yes to me, but I’ve developed this, I guess. Resilience in a way. And um, inability to, to ask. 

[00:34:03] Bart: [00:34:03] I think that’s important for everything in business building. Don’t be afraid. 

[00:34:08] Allison: [00:34:08] Yeah. 

[00:34:09] Bart: [00:34:09] You better have some resilience. 

[00:34:10] Allison: [00:34:10] Yeah. And I think that I have, like the people who I’ve seen be most successful in my community are the people who are resilient.

[00:34:19] They’re not the ones who are perfect. Everything. The ones who are willing to try. But then after they try and fail, they learn. Uh, and it can be really, really hard for people who don’t know how to learn or maybe don’t want to. 

[00:34:31] Bart: [00:34:31] Yeah. Good point. And what’s next for braid and Sago? 

[00:34:34] Allison: [00:34:34] So, braid this week just launched our first e-course.

[00:34:38] Bart: [00:34:38] Oh, exciting. 

[00:34:39] Allison: [00:34:39] I know it’s scary to do something new because we’ve mostly focused on in-person meetups and workshops, but something that we’ve realized is that there’s so many women who are connected to us or not able to make it out to our in person events. Um, or may not have access to our amazing group of mentors and just, they’re just opening up access to that through eCourses is something that we’re excited about and we’re trying, uh, we don’t know if it’s what people want, but it’s a test.

[00:35:07] Yeah. We will see. And for the Sago awards, we are, you know, our gala this year is on May 8th up at Sundance. I would love to just gather more and more nominations. We’re always wanting to tell even more stories than before because when women become more visible, like it helps other women to see them, um, to see their success.

[00:35:30] And, and also it helps. Our community become more balanced in a way because something that we saw from year one that has shifted a bit now to year three is that in year one, a lot of the people in our networks who we asked for nominations of female founders and CEOs, they didn’t know women. We realized that they, they were just not connected to women professionally.

[00:35:52] And that’s something that’s shifting now. And we’ve seen people get connected with investors and just really cool opportunities because . Because of becoming more visible, because a lot of the women in our community are really focused on just killing it and their business, and they’re not as worried about, you know, the publicity and circulating like maybe other entrepreneurs might be.

[00:36:15] Bart: [00:36:15] That’s fantastic. I really love what you’re doing with both, and I love that. You have continued to grow them and I think that they’re built to stay. That’s fantastic. 

[00:36:25] Allison: [00:36:25] Que we do our best and it’s not easy. Definitely not easy. Every time I see somebody get a job or build an amazing website with a recommendation from somebody from our community or, um, they tell me like, they got a bunch of new clients, you know, anything like that, like that like breaks my heart about like, I don’t know.

[00:36:46] Care as much about myself being visible or being this like face of braid or Seiko. It’s when I see the successes and knowing that like I hope that happened and this made a real difference in this person’s life. Like that’s, that’s the good stuff. 

[00:37:01] Bart: [00:37:01] That’s a good feeling for sure. Well, thanks for joining us house and builders.

[00:37:05] You can also learn more about braid and Sega awards

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