Stephanie Geyer had worked in higher education all her career when she was unexpectedly made redundant and left unsure what to do next. Instead of seeing this as a setback she saw it as an opportunity and started her own consultancy firm helping colleges and universities with their strategic marketing and branding.
Website: Stephanie Geyer
Email: Stephanie Geyer
LinkedIn: Stephanie Geyer
Stephanie Geyer is a revolutionary higher education marketing thought leader, supporting EdTech and campus-based clients in the US, Canada, and beyond. She is a visionary creative and strategic executive who scales services, builds new brands, inspires teams, and supports goal attainment. For more than 30 years, Stephanie has served hundreds of colleges and universities (and several companies that support this market) through strategic and tactical consulting services in support of enrollment and fundraising objectives.
Her current areas of focus include reshaping higher education marketing operations and studying the opportunities that social proof strategies can bring to campus through student recruitment and vendor engagement. A social media enthusiast, she is active on LinkedIn and finding her way into the Clubhouse community.
Stephanie lives in Colorado with her husband and three children, a horse, a dog, and several chickens. A nature enthusiast, she’s never happier than when she’s on her bike, riding a horse, or wandering around looking at birds.
What you’ll learn in this episode
- [1:14] The ways Stephanie helps education providers improve their marketing and brand development.
- [2:47] How Stephanie found herself working with educational institutions.
- [3:54] How Stephanie ended up being made redundant from her previous job.
- [6:04] What it felt like to be made redundant.
- [7:35] What a DISC assessment is and how Stephanie decided what she wanted to do next.
- [10:45] How Stephanie thought about buying a franchise.
- [14:20] Why Stephanie decided to stay working in higher education.
- [16:13] How Stephanie got the courage to contact others to ask for help.
- [18:30] The impact calls with old colleagues had on Stephanie.
- [20:38] The fears Stephanie had to overcome in order to start her own consultancy.
- [22:29] The most surprising parts of starting your own consultancy firm.
- [25:03] Where Stephanie sees her business going in the future.
- [28:46] What Stephanie does when she starts to second-guess herself.
- [31:34] How Stephanie has built her network of connections in the higher education sector.
- [35:04] The resources that have most helped Stephanie in becoming a business owner.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase. This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.
To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.
Episode 96: Finding opportunity through redundancy - with Stephanie Geyer
Jeremy Cline 0:00
Losing your job, being laid off, being made redundant. All sounds pretty scary. And I'm guessing most people want to avoid it. But what about if it presents an opportunity? How can losing your job actually be a positive thing for you? That's what we talk about in this episode. I'm Jeremy Cline and this is Change Work Life.
Jeremy Cline 0:32
Hello, and welcome to Change Work Life where we're all about beating Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. It's fair to say most people would be afraid to lose their job. And unfortunately, it's something which has happened to a lot of people in the past year or so, as a result of the pandemic. But what about seeing redundancy as an opportunity? That's what this week's guest did. Stephanie Geyer is the founder of Insight through which she helps higher education providers with their marketing, branding and product development. Stephanie, welcome to the podcast.
Stephanie Geyer 1:01
Thank you, Jeremy, I'm so pleased to be here.
Jeremy Cline 1:04
Can you start off by telling us a bit more about what you do? So, what do you do with education providers in their marketing, branding and product development?
Stephanie Geyer 1:12
Oh, delighted to, thank you. I help colleges, universities and companies that support higher ed, specifically around marketing. And so, if I'm working with a campus partner, as I am with one right now, on their organisation structure for marketing, so just taking a look at the roles and functions that folks play on a particular team, and how they line up with the current needs and future needs of the institution. So, thinking about organisational leadership and management and those kinds of things. Sometimes, I dig in and help with positioning and brand development. Higher ed and brand is a little challenging at times, because colleges and universities in the larger construct often have a brand, a logo, a tagline. And then, the entities that exist within them may have sub brands. And so, sometimes we need to do a little bit of negotiation and sorting that out. My experience in digital marketing and web development in particular has also put me in a position to provide support to team members that come in and work with me on projects, on things like Google Analytics setup, content strategy, user interface design, and user experience testing. So, does this website work? Answering those kinds of questions. Really a lot of opportunity for customization and all over the place, but they're the main categories.
Jeremy Cline 2:45
Now, how did you get into this area?
Stephanie Geyer 2:47
Well, about 30 years ago, I was laid off from an ad agency job and found my way into higher education, and so, started with a small private institution in Pennsylvania, where I grew up and was charged with pivoting a public relations operation into a marketing operation. And so, that was a wonderful experience. I adored my time on campus when I was enrolled in my undergrad programme. And so, the opportunity to work in higher education, and for this institution in particular, was just a delight and so much fun. And I was there for six years, it was a great experience, met my husband through my work. He was a photojournalist for one of the newspapers in town. And so, the rest is history, as they say.
Jeremy Cline 3:41
Let's fast forward to the end of your last role. So, the role from which you got made redundant. Describe to me the lead into it. Was this something that came completely out of the blue? Or was the writing on the wall?
Stephanie Geyer 3:55
You know, I've had a year to think back on it. And I don't dwell on it a lot, but I think perhaps, had I lifted my head up from all of the work that I was focused on, to understand the political landscape a little bit more, I might have seen it coming. And I know that I was feeling that I should be brave and make a move, but I wasn't really ready or I didn't think I was ready for it. And so, I think those factors, I just kind of had my head down. The role that I was inhabiting had me managing 45 creatives and a whole bunch of freelancers and managing a growing book of business for the company that is very important for them and was for me. And so, I thought the best work I could do would be to keep my head down and take care of my team and move things forward as quickly as possible. But what I left on the table was building and sustaining connections with more of the senior staff within the company. And I think that was to my detriment. I think that I didn't give them a chance to know me, to see the value that I added to the company. And lesson learned, I also am so grateful for the opportunities that I've had this past year. So, I really don't regret much. I'm as happy as I've ever been in my work life now. And I think if it weren't for that occasion, that departure, not positive that I could say that, but Jeremy, I'm giddy. I'm giddy about what's in front of me, what I have in my lap right now, it's just so good and fun. And maybe I hadn't felt that way in a while. So, it's good to be in this place.
Jeremy Cline 5:46
The time when you found out you were going to be made redundant, how did you feel then? Because you said that possibly you were thinking you should have been making some moves, so did this come as a feeling of relief, of opportunity, or was it more a case of, 'Oh, my goodness, I'm going to lose my job, what am I going to do now'?
Stephanie Geyer 6:05
Definitely takes a while to work into a place of feeling like this is an opportunity. I was angry and hurt at first, and stomping around and making my family alarmed and miserable and annoyed, I'm sure. This was also at the very beginning of the pandemic. And so, we were all home all the time. And I have three daughters, two of whom are still at home with us, and my husband works in the school district. And so, he was also negotiating how to be a paraeducator for special ed kids at home on a computer. And so, we were all kind of in a state of chaos. And I just had to keep it together and keep moving forward. But I felt a lot of mourning for a company that I had invested a whole bunch of time in, and that I still loved dearly. And I'm still so proud to have had the time I did with those folks. But I helped build that company. And it is changed, it's very different, you know, five or six M&A's and all the things that happen. Yeah, so I took a brief detour into the world of franchise ownership, I thought, 'Well, maybe it's time for me to step away from higher ed, and off I go.' And so, a franchise broker got a hold of me and we worked through, I think a really lovely process. Actually, he did a DiSC assessment, and very nice man.
Jeremy Cline 7:32
Sorry, a DiSC assessment?
Stephanie Geyer 7:34
DiSC. Yeah, DiSC is, oh, one of those like Myers-Briggs, but determining your strength, and please don't ask me to say what DiSC stands for. But it's an acronym. Very Google-able, you would find it, but just kind of gives you an assessment of where you are, and what you're really good at, and what, you know, in terms of communication and demeanour, and things like that. So, he came back to me with three different franchise opportunities that would be appropriate for my business experience, my personal interests, and you know, what was available in my local region. And one of them was a blind or window treatment franchise, and it wasn't my favourite one on the list, but it seemed like the one that was the most accessible, and it seemed like the farthest from higher ed. And so, I was having, I thought, a very grown-up conversation with my husband like, 'Oh, hey, look at this cool opportunity. And here are the revenue possibilities, and you can still work from home.' And my husband is a man of few words. But when he speaks, he really takes his time and he gets it right. And he got it right. And it was the moment where I thought, 'Oh, I just need to get over this and get back in the saddle.' He said, 'Look, first of all, there's a pandemic, do you really think we need to be going into strangers' homes and installing window treatments? And do you really think I want to be your blind installer? No! And why did we spend 22 years, 23 years of you on the road, 35 weeks a year, to have you throw that all away? What are you doing?' And that was it. And I thought, 'You know what? I really do love and value, and I feel so proud to be a part of education, writ large, but higher ed in particular', and eventually stopped stomping around and I started to talk to people that knew me in the business. And it turned everything around. I had 45 conversations in probably about 21 days. So, I was talking to a lot of people every day. And I wasn't calling people asking for a job. I was calling people to say, 'Hey, we know each other in this context.' Some of them are dear, dear friends, and others are folks that I would see at a conference once a year. I really had a very diverse list, but I talked to them. And I just said, 'Hey, here's my situation. And I'm not asking you for anything other than a reflection. What do you think? What do you see in me? And what are your ideas for me about where I should go and what I should do next?' And it was hard, and it was scary. And it was humbling, and it was delightful. And it really set me back on my feet, chin up, looking forward and finding a ton, a ton of opportunity. And I haven't looked back.
Jeremy Cline 10:38
I'd like to go back into a few of the things that you've been talking about. First of all, where did the idea come for looking at franchises? Where did that stem from?
Stephanie Geyer 10:45
You know, I think the miracle and mystery of the internet, I may have in the presence of a mobile device had a conversation with a neighbour or a friend talking about my situation and just melting off like, 'Oh, I'm just going to go start a franchise or something.' And so, it came to me, somebody showed up on my LinkedIn feed and engaged that way. So, I think that that could take us down an interesting road into privacy and all the ways that technology intrudes on and/or supports our lives. But I've thought about that, too. Like how did this guy show up in front of me? But in the moment, I was so like, 'Oh, here's the path. Let's go down that road.' And I didn't overthink it too much. But I have thought about it. And that's the only thing I can come up with. I certainly didn't go out searching. I didn't know to even think about franchises. It just appeared in front of me. So, strange.
Jeremy Cline 11:42
So, was it just the possibility of the opportunity? Was it this, I heard you had an idea that you did want to have your own business and that franchise seemed like a good opportunity to doing it? I mean, sort of, you know, in retrospect, why did you pursue it? I mean, you mentioned doing this assessment, you mentioned working with the franchise broker, you've got pretty far advanced, you must have thought about it fairly seriously.
Stephanie Geyer 12:05
I did, once it kind of broke through the fog and had my attention, I did think about it. And I have an idea for a business that may be franchisable at some point, I don't know. It has to do with my love of art and craft and of community and kind of in my not work life, one of the things that I love to do is to sit around my kitchen table with girlfriends and kids milling about, now they're all teenagers, so they don't want a thing to do with us, but sitting around with the girlfriends and some wine and cheese and making things together. And that kind of duality of conversation that's happening while we're all working on a project, sometimes pristine project, not always. And wanting to foster that from more people and wanting to create that kind of space in my community for all kinds of people that maybe don't have the luxury of space and materials or teaching, learning how to use tools and different techniques, and wanting to bring that kind of maker ethos into a business. It's really as far as I've gone with it. But yes,
Jeremy Cline 13:19
That's interesting. That's a conversation for another time if you end up deciding to pursue that. But I'd like to fast forward to that conversation with your husband, where he was asking what have you spent this past 20 odd years with 35 weeks on the road for. And this is an interesting debate about, when making a career change, whether you do something which is kind of related to what you've always been doing, and particularly, if you've been doing something for a long time, whether it's kind of like a waste to give up all that experience, if you've been working in an area for a long time. And I'm just wondering, I mean, was this about that kind of fear of giving up something when you'd had all this experience? Or was it really that, having gone through these conversations about franchises and everything, that you realised your heart really was with the higher education, and it wasn't just a fear of letting go of the experience, but it was a genuine passion for that area?
Stephanie Geyer 14:23
It was definitely the latter, and I think there was also some processing that I needed to do to stop taking this decision personally, and to recognise that it really had to do nothing with me, that I was a casualty of larger circumstances, it was a business decision. And I have in the past had to make similar business decisions, but I'm sure other people have felt as deeply and profoundly as I did. And I think it's human nature. You feel a little bit of rejection, you feel a little unsteady on your feet when these things happen. But I think through, you know, my husband saying, 'What are you doing?', and through then those conversations that I have with those people, I really kind of came back to understanding that there's a place for me in higher ed, and that I'm valued, and that people are interested in what I have to say and were collaborating with me to say something new, and that I don't want to try and rebuild that necessarily in a completely different industry, that I don't want to walk away from it, that I'm not a quitter, and I'm kind of obstinate. So, after a while, I thought, 'No, they aren't making me feel like I'm shoved out the door. I'm still here, there's room for me in higher ed, and I'm going to make my own place.' And that's been great.
Jeremy Cline 15:53
Tell me about these conversations, these 45 conversations in 21 days. I mean, what inspired you to phone up all these people and have conversations and ask them about what you should do next? I mean, that's quite a scary thing to do, it's potentially making yourself quite vulnerable. What gave you the idea to do this?
Stephanie Geyer 16:13
You know, just naturally, folks that had left the company previously, or are just in my real inner circle and knew what was going on, were calling me, and it was lovely, and it was so heart-warming to have folks reach out and say, 'Oh, my gosh, I heard the news, or I saw your message, and let's talk about it.' And that kind of built me up. And after each one with those near friends and folks that I've known and loved for so long in this business, it kind of made me feel a little bit more brave to reach out. And I also felt like it was a measure of taking control and managing and directing and doing something. I'm pretty kinetic. As we're talking here, and maybe you're glad that we're not on camera now, I am pacing around in my office because that's what I do. And if I were home and the garden were a little bit further along, I'd be pacing around in my backyard with the chickens, weeding and plucking tomatoes and doing things. So, sitting and just thinking about what I might do next was not enough. And so, making some work and making a job for myself where I was the job, and doing this discovery research, felt like the movement that I needed, it felt like the right direction, the right thing to do, and got me to, not just one, but two, maybe even three jobs, and was really, really rewarding. Not every conversation that I had left me skipping down the street. Some of them were disappointing. And some of them were hard. But most of them were very affirming, and gave me new ideas. I love ideas, I love to research, I like to chew on things and percolate. And I still have the notebooks from all of those calls. And I was scribbling furiously as people were talking to me saying, 'Oh my gosh, did you know about this thing? And how about if you look into this?'
Jeremy Cline 18:21
So, was it these conversations that led you to decide that you were going to start your own business rather than try and get a similar job with another organisation?
Stephanie Geyer 18:30
It absolutely was. Yeah, people were, especially in the earlier calls when I was still kind of like, 'I don't know if I'm staying or going, what do you think?' They were like, 'Oh, my gosh, you cannot leave, we need you.' And that was humbling and delightful. And then, from there kind of transitioned into well, if I stay, what do you think I could do, like where is there a need? And then, one of the things that I did was to connect with the Small Business Development Centre, here in Boulder County in Colorado where I live. And I need to look him back up. There's this wonderful man named Chuck Hunker, who is a consultant for the SBDC. And he's a lifelong businessman in Boulder, just down the road from me. And he knew nothing about higher ed. And I knew nothing about his line of business that he managed for so long. But we just hit it off and I told him what I was up to. And he normally does like, every two weeks, he'll meet with clients for free. SBDC is a great place to start when you're thinking about a new business here in the States. It's just a wonderful collection of free or low-cost resources to learn things about taxes, taxation and setting up all the financial stuff and legal stuff that you need to do. But beyond that, Chuck was interested in my story. And so, he insisted on meeting with me more than the prescribed amount for the SBDC planning. And we talked a lot about why I felt like I had something to say and where it would work. And he was so encouraging. And I've come back to an idea that he was really pushing, which was that I needed to write a book. And so, I'm not sure that book is the form, but I have started writing again, and I thank him for that. I've just done two very modest blog posts on my website. And I loved it. And I have reconnected with writing and something that I like to do. So, kind of happy about that too.
Jeremy Cline 20:32
What fears did you have to overcome before making the decision to start your own consultancy?
Stephanie Geyer 20:38
Well, money for sure is the kind of always obvious and easy answer, but as kind of the main breadwinner for our family, I have a lot of concern and pressure and understanding of our finances. And even with some resources coming from my departure, I knew that I had a relatively short window in which I could dig around and say, 'I don't really have a job.' I've come full circle on that now, too, and just completed a three-week period of saying, 'I don't really have a job', and recognising that I'm doing that a year later with so much more joy and hope, still maybe a little bit of trepidation and concern, but not that kind of wake you up at two in the morning and think, 'Oh my gosh, we're going to have to sell the horse. And maybe, we're just going to be a one-car family.' And you know, how much worse can it get? And then, none of those things were really in likelihood. And I recognised I'm saying horse and people are saying, 'Oh god, she's really rich.' I'm not. But when you are in a position where you're not standing on firm ground, everything comes into view, and you overthink everything, and you worry about everything, or at least I do. So, money was a big worry. But I also recognised some things about myself, and that I am kinetic, I do need projects, I need multiple projects, I don't sit still really well for a long period of time. I've also recognised that I do need to sit still for some period of time, and that making myself do that can be really restorative and keep me on track.
Jeremy Cline 22:23
So, you've been doing this for a year now. What surprised you the most about the past year as a consultant?
Stephanie Geyer 22:30
Two things. One, that every time I go to intentionally work on my business, meaning things like my website and developing a blog, I am easily distracted by new opportunities and projects that I just want to jump into. I think, even though I have a really big new project right in front of me, that's just starting today, that I do need to carve out time to continue to develop and sustain my brand, my website, how I am reaching out to folks that might want to have me as a subcontractor or who might want to be a subcontractor for me and projects that I'm able to sell for myself. And the other really profound and amazing and scary and delightful experience that I've had, is that I have so much to learn, and that I'm still capable of learning, and that I am an innately curious person, and I love to experiment. And the work that I've found in this past year provided me with all kinds of experiences in those categories. And that was really great. I left my previous role as a Vice President. But sometimes when you climb through an organisation, same one for a long period of time, you get a little insulated. And you know, there's a lot of navel-gazing in terms of what you know how to do, what you're doing and what's successful and why. But going into EdTech, which is the two companies that I worked with immediately after my departure, I had some stuff to learn. And some of it came easily and just needed to look at it and say, 'Oh, yeah, I got that.' And others were really hard. And some things that I'm still not really into, that are a part of being a marketer, and others that I could double down on and helped me shape and recognise who I am in this space and what I bring and what kinds of roles I want to inhabit, versus what kinds of roles I can inhabit that maybe I'm not always the very best person.
Jeremy Cline 24:43
You mentioned subcontractors as a possibility, people you might work with. Now, you've been doing it a year, have you given thought to what the shape of your business might look like over the next few years? So, whether you want to expand beyond being just a solopreneur and whether you want to develop a team or whether you do just want to keep it as, effectively, just you?
Stephanie Geyer 25:03
I have. And what I'm coming to terms with is that I don't necessarily need to make a hard and fast designation about what Insight Stephanie Geyer is. At its core, it's always going to be me, I'm not going to develop some kind of big agency that is in competition with some of the other players and in my channel and market. What I'm going to do is find opportunities, whether they are me in the lead or me as a sub, that use what I know how to do, what I'm curious about, and what people that want to work with me feel about that. And the business aspect of the circumstances is not really the most important thing. Perhaps I will always be at my core a solopreneur. And maybe, at some point, there will be times when I have a team underneath me again, like I used to. But perhaps not. And I'm really kind of enjoying this space of not having to say well, it's always this. Now, there's a challenge in marketing, is when you're doing something that is not defined in the current context or conventional approaches that are taken, but I think with the circumstances we've experienced in the past year, working remotely, having more fluidity and openness, to just looking at the work to be done and figuring out how to do it with vendors coming in and out, or partners or team members coming in and out, I think that there's going to be a little bit more openness for my kind of shenanigans, at least I hope so. But we'll see, you know, at the same time, the opportunity to live indoors, again, it's what I call it, like going back, going back, going to work for a single entity and making that, you know, an all-consuming kind of thing, those opportunities keep passing in front of me. And wow, they're really appealing for a lot of reasons, like health insurance, but also being a part of a community and really digging into a thing, an entity, a campus maybe or a company. I don't know if I'm ready for an all-in kind of thing. And the experience that I'm walking into now with a new campus-based interim role brings me great joy because I had, at one point, been a part of a single campus, and I loved it. I loved having friends who were brilliant faculty doing amazing things, I loved the cultural stuff, you know, being able to walk through the art gallery on my lunch hour or go to a percussion ensemble event in the evening. All of those things that happen in a campus space are just great. But that has been redefined for us now too. And the fact that the campus that I'm going to be working with in an interim capacity is 14 hours away from my house, and that I won't physically be on campus more than once a month or so, it's still different. So, my answer is, it's swirly and I'm okay with swirly. I'm just looking for the next smaller opportunity to say yes or no, and moving on from there.
Jeremy Cline 28:22
Brilliant. I really loved the approach actually, rather than me deciding no, this is what I'm going to do, just kind of assessing opportunities as they come in, thinking, 'Okay, so maybe I'll do this role effectively as kind of like a freelancer role, but for the next six months, and then after that, see where things take me out.' I think there's a lot to be said for just trying out these things and seeing where it takes you.
Stephanie Geyer 28:41
One of the most profound experiences that I've had that has really, I think it has changed my mindset about life, is that when I get nervous or anxious, or when I make a choice, and then I'm second-guessing myself, if I just sit still, hard for me, but sit still, take a breath, maybe look at something else for a minute, and just say, 'Okay, it's going to be alright, something else will come.' It always does. It always does. And it happened from the beginning, a year ago, in one of my 45 conversations, I called this guy, runs an EdTech company, and I was telling him my story, and he was kind of anxious and impatient, he didn't want to hear all the things he wanted to say, 'Look, I know you, you're going to be fine. And listen, I'd really rather talk about some work that I'd like for you to do for me right now.' Which knocked me back on my hip. Well, sure. Okay, we can talk about that. And so, that was the very first work that I did underneath my own label. And it was a small delightful project, lasted about six weeks, and it was wrapping up and I was starting to be like, 'Oh, this thing, this thing is wrapping up.' I don't know that there's anything else behind it with this particular company, starting to have those feelings of self-doubt and concern and worry again, thank you money. And then, the phone rang again. And it was a dear friend and former partner and collaborator who needed an interim CMO. And holy crow, that was big, it was really big. And of course, I said yes and jumped in and then, had to go say, 'Hmm, I wonder what it means to be a CMO, EdTech company at this level.' And wow, what an education, what a delightful, amazing experience. But again, as I was leaving that company with a new brand, and having achieved objectives of building a new team for that company, and handing it off to their, hopefully forever, CMO the person for whom that job was really right for the long term, and having that feeling, come back and saying, 'Okay, all right, well, what am I going to do? What's next?' And taking a breath, and answering the phone and hearing someone on the other end say, 'Are you done with that stuff over there? Because I've been waiting for you to be ready to talk to me about some work.' And it happened, not once, but twice, three or four times. And so, now, I'm in a really awesome position of having to micromanage my time, because I have a lot of opportunity. And I'm so grateful.
Jeremy Cline 31:18
What do you think has put yourself in that position where you do have a lot of phone ringing off the hook for opportunities? Is it just the way that you have worked with people over the years and built connections with them that they have just naturally turned to you?
Stephanie Geyer 31:32
I hope so. I hope so. I think higher ed is a small community. And I think the work that I did in my previous company put me literally on stage, year after year, and on college campuses, in boardrooms and conference rooms, talking with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people working in this space. So, those circumstances, I was able to make a lot of connections. I have stepped up my game with LinkedIn. And I think that has increased my visibility a lot. I'm trying to put content out that gives people value and reminds them that I'm around, and that I'm doing things. And most recently, just in the past month, I have jumped in with both feet to Clubhouse. Do you know about Clubhouse? Are you there?
Jeremy Cline 32:19
I'm aware of Clubhouse. At the time we record, Clubhouse is only available for iOS users. And I'm on team Android. So, I'm told that Clubhouse is going to be available for Android before too long. So, I'm kind of waiting for that to happen before I jump in.
Stephanie Geyer 32:32
Good. And I will love to be connected with you there and hope that we find rooms in which we can have additional conversations, because I love talking to you, Jeremy, you're just so brilliant, and your questions are great. So, Clubhouse, I've been finding myself there, I've joined a few tribes. And I just this morning decided to anchor a room that I developed a few weeks ago within the Future X Tribe, which is a group that just completed an amazing accomplishment of doing a three-day conference on all things education, not just higher ed, but really K through grey, somebody was saying, and the Future X Tribe and the leaders of that were really the masterminds behind this conference. It was called Educ8, E-D-U-C, and then the numeral eight. And so, this was just being finalised and in planning as I jumped into Clubhouse. I was able to participate as a moderator and jumped in and out of a lot of rooms across this past weekend, and really am fired up about being a part of an international community of people who want to talk to each other in respectful and curious ways about how we can make education better for everyone, all around. I found myself listening to a group of folks from Africa. And I was talking with my daughter about it this weekend, about how the focus of the group was ways to improve educational access to anyone on the continent of Africa. And that's a really complicated, complicated bit of geography and opportunity varies wildly from country to country. But the core of the conversation, what it had driven to, was not about online or in person or kind of some of the things that we're talking about here in the States. It was about banking. It was about banking. Because solving for access to safe places to put your money was a barrier to education and that just blew me away. And again, it's humbling, for all the things that we take for granted, that we have access to, that are not barriers for people to achieve education.
Jeremy Cline 34:45
Stephanie, this has been an absolutely fascinating conversation. Before you go, can I ask you whether there are any particular resources, books, quotes, anything which you found has particularly helped you, I guess especially, as you've gone from being employee to business owner?
Stephanie Geyer 35:01
Well, yes. I guess I've previewed it a little bit in that I'm a huge fan of Clubhouse. And I do hope that they expand, so that more people can come. I've reached out to a lot of my folks, many of the original 45 of my friends and supporters, and pulled them into my Clubhouse group. It's called Higher Ed Marketing Community Chat. And it's on the calendar and is now open to all of Clubhouse. So, if you're looking for that, the next one is on Tuesday at noon, I think. And then Friday, at the end of the week. I would love to have you there. I have recognised that one of my secret career goals is to be a talk show host. And this is kind of like that. It's kind of like hosting a talk show. It's managing the room. And it's having some ideas about where the conversation will go, but being a good facilitator and allowing for serendipity, and then also, I'm redirecting people who don't remember to put themselves on mute when they're going to the loo. So, there's that too, but you didn't expect that to get out. There it is.
Jeremy Cline 36:14
And aside from on Clubhouse, where can people find you if they want to get in touch?
Stephanie Geyer 36:17
Thank you, stephaniegeyer.com is a great place, you'll find a couple of early blog posts and links to find me on LinkedIn. My phone number's there, my email's there, pretty out there. So, I would love to engage in conversation. And especially, it's with someone who is standing where I stood a year ago and thinking, 'Is this going to be okay?' I love to tell people my story and to say, 'Yes, not only is it going to be okay, but it's going to be great. And you can make it great.' And so, the chance to do that is always welcome.
Jeremy Cline 36:53
Okay, I will put all of those links in the show notes. Stephanie, as I said, this has been a really, really interesting conversation. Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast.
Stephanie Geyer 37:03
My pleasure, Jeremy, thank you for doing this work. It's important and good. And the episodes that I've listened to have given me inspiration and bolstered me in those moments when I thought, 'Hmm, what's next?' So, thank you for this.
Jeremy Cline 37:19
Thank you. That's very kind of you to say.
Jeremy Cline 37:21
Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview with Stephanie Geyer. I've got a couple of reflections on that conversation. One is Stephanie's description of how she had these 45 conversations in 21 days. And that really informed her as to what her next step should be. It echoes what so many of my previous guests have said about talking to other people about yourself. When you have conversations with others about your own personal situation, then they can provide insights about you, which you just wouldn't have figured out by yourself. The second thing I absolutely loved was this attitude of, 'It's going to be alright, something will come up.' it's very easy to catastrophize, to just think about the worst-case scenarios and think that they are inevitably going to pass, and letting those fears basically prevent you from doing something. There is a heck of a lot to be said for Stephanie's attitude that, okay, things might go wrong, but maybe they won't, and we can probably deal with it if they do. And you know what? Something will probably come up. I think it's a great outlook.
Jeremy Cline 38:23
As always, there's resource links, a transcript and full show notes at changeworklife.com/96 for Episode 96. And I've not asked this for a couple of weeks, but I would absolutely love it if you would leave a review for the podcast on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from. Reviews really help other people find the show. And it's going to be useful for other people. If any of this has been useful for you, well, guess what? There's going to be some nuggets in the conversation I had with Stephanie or the conversations I've had before or conversations I have coming up that are going to be useful for people you know. So, if you've got a minute, just to leave a review on Apple podcasts, I would be unbelievably grateful. Last week's episode was the first about the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on people's careers. Well, next week, we've got the second episode all about that. It's a really interesting story. Definitely worth listening to. So, subscribe to the show if you haven't already, and I can't wait to see you then. Cheers. Bye.
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