Igniting Passion & Grounding in Values
On Friday, the first BizBrew launched with a gathering at City of Mud, which is a small art gallery on Hickox Street across from the Tune Up Café, where Proprietor Nancy Nichols provided the perfect space for really connecting. Creative, intimate, and comfortable, the gallery was abuzz Friday morning with inspiring and informative dialogue and community engagement that lingered into the morning, as attendees stayed to chat and share.
We were honored to have Merridith Ingram as our kick-off speaker. A mother of three, as well as a master communicator and communications strategist who has Fortune 500 companies as clients, Merridith shared some of her story of making a quality-of-life decision to leave New York City and move to Santa Fe just over a year ago. The change of lifestyle and change of pace also proved an opportunity to re-invent her company, 66&Co, and revive her work with a sense of values and passion that she been longing for.
By aligning with her deepest held values and taking a stand for them, Merridith shared that she will now turn down clients who's projects do not align with these values. Interestingly, she also discovered in the process that committing to values-based business moves us towards something much bigger than ourselves and much better than just focusing on the next sale. Merridith found that once she and her partners rooted the company in a foundation of clear and committed values, it was much easier to connect with community members and potential clients and moved the conversation beyond just selling products or services.
Now, she is happy and surprised to find herself in the midst of the vibrant innovation ecosystem that is Santa Fe and is providing her PR and communications expertise not only to large multi-national corporations but also to small start-up companies and not-for-profit organizations. She and her husband also launched Silicon 66, a local resource to highlight important tech business events and to showcase innovative businesses and business leaders along Route 66.
Merridith advises that the best way to begin to realign your work to your values is to ask the following questions:
· What change do we want to make in the world?
· What do we deeply value?
· Who do we want to serve?
· Who are we? Who do we want to be? What is our promise?
Merridith also differentiated between brand identity and brand promise. The brand promise is the company’s bigger value proposition, and it is important. As Merridith put it, ‘It is not just what’s in it for me but also what’s in it for my community.” As she noted, “I now focus on what I am giving rather than what I am selling and the messaging becomes much easier. I am looking at where we are all going together with a longer view and this has a positive ripple effect on my business and the business of my clients.’