Sheri Fitts Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Sheri Fitts
Sheri Fitts is our guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview is with a Financial industry influencer. Popular social media speaker. Author. A creative force in financial services marketing who every single time aims to make their clients marketing unforgettable.
And who would have thought that this all started when she was just five, selling her very own homemade rose-petal perfume in baby food jars, door-to-door.
ShoeFitts is a consulting organization at heart, a training partner, who translates social media, branding, generational issues, business strategy and marketing into manageable steps for their clients.
But what about the guest, i hear you cry….tell us more about her?
How The Dots Joined Up For Sherri Fitts
Well, she debuted in the financial services industry as an award-winning graphic designer.
The she progressed to participant curriculum design, and advanced to sales and marketing before stepping out on her own as a consultant and speaker.
With more than 25 years of industry experience in her pocket, our guest collaborates with retirement plan advisors, third-party administrators, and financial service organizations to help them leverage marketing tools, social media strategy tactics, and meaningful connections.
And this is a key thing to gain greater and greater success.
Know your market, know their problems and niche down tightly to become the go to expert for that group.
She has received awards and recognition from the Plan Sponsor Council of America, Pension and Investments; National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators; and the International Association of Business Communicators.
So was it simply a case of trying out different roles until she found the one that fits?
And where do people go wrong in their own marketing…making it all about them, or just confusing the message?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Sheri Fitts
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Sheri Fitts such as:
We discuss how social media is such a noise nowadays, and what platforms she has chosen to focus her energy into.
Sheri shares her top three strategies to building meaningful connections on LinkedIn that works for her business.
We chat about buying the best talent you can in your business to make growth and scale more and more achievable.
Sheri reveals how she broke rules of business as a small girl as she didn’t realise that there were rules to follow. She went out and made things happen.
How To Connect With Sheri Fitts
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Sheri Fitts Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:22]
Good morning, everybody. Good morning to all the listeners of Join Up Dots and VA non listeners and if you’re somebody that’s not listening to this podcast, I want to know why it doesn’t make sense but I want to know why. Now the guest on the show today is a lovely lady. I’ve been chatting to her personally beforehand and she’s somebody with a financial industry influencer background, she’s a popular social media speaker offer a creative force in financial services marketing, who every single time aims to make her clients marketing unforgettable. And who would have thought that this all started when she was just five selling her very own homemade rose petal perfume in baby food jars door to door. Now shoot Bates is a company is a consulting organisation at heart, a training partner who translates social media branding, generational issues, business strategy and marketing into manageable steps for their clients. But what about the guest? I hear you cry? Tell us more about her. Well, she deputed in the financial services industry as an award winning graphic designer progress to participant curriculum design and advanced to sales and marketing before stepping out on her own as a consultant and speaker. And with more than 25 years of industry experience in her pocket. She doesn’t look old enough. Our guest collaborates with retirement plan advisors, bird party administrators, financial service organisations to help them Leverage Marketing Tools, social media strategy tactics and meaningful connections. And this is a key thing to gain greater and greater success, know your market know their problems and niche down tightly to become the go to expert of that group. Now she’s received awards and recognition from the plan sponsor Council of America, pension and investments, National Association of government defined contribution administrators and the International Association of Business communicators. So was it simply a case of trying out different roles until she found the one that fits? And where do people go wrong in her own marketing, making it all about them or just confusing the message? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Sheri Fitts. Good morning, Sheri. How are you?
Sheri Fitts [2:34]
Good morning. I am swell. I’m ducky. I’m marvellous. It’s wonderful to be here.
David Ralph [2:40]
Well, it’s wonderful to have you here because it seems like you’ve been hanging around the Join Up Dots world for about 100 years. I’ve seen your name and God knows it seems like about six years ago and you’re finally here. So was it me? Were you frightened of my my overt sexuality? Were you worried about how we would communicate? What kept you away from the show?
Sheri Fitts [3:02]
Probably just the hour. Maybe that’s what it was?
David Ralph [3:06]
No, that’s not the answer. I wanted you to say yeah, you’re too hot for me, David. You are officially the UK sexiest podcaster and I was worried I was worried about fires would start to burn. That was the answer you should come back with.
Sheri Fitts [3:19]
Oh, golly. Okay, want to start over then. David, I was so concerned about my ability to keep up with you.
David Ralph [3:27]
Yeah, you say you say I just edit that in and that will be fine. So you are a marketing consultant is you know, let’s get to the chase. I’ve been seeing quite a lot of people come through to me at Join Up Dots. But say to me, social media is dead. Social media is just noise social media is it’s lost its way. What’s your point of view on that?
Sheri Fitts [3:50]
I you know, interestingly, my husband says the same thing. And, and I think you’re right, it’s noise. However, I think it’s not going away. I think people are starting to be more discerning of the noise. And and I think that any smart organisation, to your point, you said something niche down, you can’t so in the social world, from a marketing perspective, you can’t be everything to everybody. So and if you if you are then you are noise so I think you have to do a little bit of pruning. Maybe that’s what I think it’s not dead. It just needs to be trimmed.
David Ralph [4:36]
And where would you start with the trimming first because I was having a conversation with a guy the other day about Snapchat. And if you’ve listened to multiple episodes of Join Up Dots, you will know that I don’t get Snapchat. I don’t understand it. It just seems to be what’s the point and he was saying to me that the youngsters who liked to have a profile but then get rid of it or move Going onto Snapchat. And the older people are moving on to Facebook because they like to connect with people’s cats and dinners. And there’s a generation in the middle, but don’t know where to turn. Now, I don’t know whether they should go with the old people in Facebook, but young guys in Snapchat, and they’re just kind of lost and turning away from it. Why would you prune?
Sheri Fitts [5:20]
Well, I don’t understand Snapchat either. And honestly, I should, except for that. I, there’s only so many hours in the day, right? There’s only so many hours in the day, if I think about what I do from an intentional perspective for my business and what works best for me. I’m all in on LinkedIn, to your point about Facebook, its cats dinners, and, you know, pictures of the sunrises, right? When I go on walks or whatever I I don’t, I don’t care for Facebook so much. From a business perspective. What I do like is I like Instagram, because there’s no political rants on Instagram, it’s pretty pictures, happy people. So that’s what I do personally, is Instagram mostly. And then professionally, I focus on LinkedIn, and then kind of a side little, you know, gig with Twitter, but Snapchat. I haven’t figured out yet. And, and I don’t know if I need to know I don’t because I don’t think my audience is on Snapchat. No,
David Ralph [6:22]
I don’t think you need to at all. But I, I’m jumping on LinkedIn. I’m all over you on LinkedIn. Because Are you finding that really profitable for your business,
Sheri Fitts [6:33]
it is a business to business environment, it allows me a platform to get more eyes on my content, I can intentionally target people on LinkedIn. And since I’m in financial services, the financial services world in the States as well as in the UK is very regulated. Right, and so many organisations, let our financial services world play on LinkedIn where they wouldn’t let us play on Snapchat. So it’s good for me on LinkedIn, and I’ve been on LinkedIn since 2006. So I’ve got 6000 eyeballs that I can get access to, at the at a single post. So I, I find it very workable for me. And my particular focus in my niche. Okay,
David Ralph [7:26]
so how do you differentiate yourself, Sherry, with the other stuff on LinkedIn, that this kind of look at me Look at me, because it’s quite pitchy, I get a lot of people pitching. So, David, let’s have virtual copies, let’s connect, I’m sure there be some synergy between our businesses. And most of it kind of just turns me off. So how do you differentiate yourself?
Sheri Fitts [7:50]
Synergy? I love that word synergy that should be part of our drinking game today. Absolutely. Yeah. Every time we say synergy, we have to drink soy, soy or any other kind of buzzword, I too am annoyed by some of the stuff that’s going on on LinkedIn, as more people get on LinkedIn, I’m becoming a bit more careful about who I connect with. In fact, yesterday, somebody connected with me. And it’s obvious that they want to try to sell me something. And so I sent them a note back and said, I’ve accepted your invitation to connect, I see that you’re working to try to build your business. I can respect that. But whatever you do, don’t try to sell me something now that you’ve connected with me, that will be a bummer. I mean, I honestly said that in a response to that person. Because that happens to me regularly, as I’m sure as what you’re saying, let’s connect, have synergies have coffee, virtual? Let me take some of your time. Because, obviously, you know, it’s not important, I don’t know, that stuff kind of bothers me, what I try to use it for is a little bit of cyber stalking. If I can. I try to use it for a platform to distribute content. So I have an email list. I distribute content via my email list I put on my website. And I also put on LinkedIn because there are there are people on LinkedIn that I don’t have on my email list yet. And and I and the people that bother me, I unconnect them and or don’t follow them and or don’t accept their request to connect.
David Ralph [9:28]
No, do you? Because obviously, at the end of the day, we’re all out to make money. That’s what business is about. I’m out to make money, you’re out to make money. But is there some ninja tactics that you use on LinkedIn that sort of opens the doors to a meaningful relationship? Where ultimately at the end of the day, come on, show me we’re gonna we’re gonna flog our products and try to make some cash? Yeah,
Sheri Fitts [9:53]
I think that there’s three things that I think about from a LinkedIn perspective. I think that providing valuable content and and connecting with people, and then actually kind of sometimes giving people shout out. So I, so remember my kind of product, what I’m flogging, or whatever right is my speaking. And so for me, the best thing I can do on LinkedIn is to kind of continue to provide content. I don’t look, I don’t advertise it, I don’t sell it the other day, one of my articles that I put the headline was WTF. So what I what I’m working to try to do is to get the people on the other and to read my content, because the more that they read my content, and the more that they know the value that I can provide, but that’s about as far as I go, I’ll tag people on LinkedIn. You know, I think there’s, there’s three things that I need to do in order to grow my business one write content, to kick ass when I’m on stage, and three, pick up the frakkin phone and call people. And so I, you know, I and I use LinkedIn as an avenue to get myself in front of people, and then warm up a lead to be able to call them and say, you know, what’s up.
David Ralph [11:13]
So you’re willing to do the old style, not cold calling, you’ve warmed them up. But I used to work in a city of London in the 80s. And we used to just round people up absolutely cold, to try to sell them products. And it’s kind of old school, there’s, there’s a way of thinking now that people think that they can just create a business, automate it, and they will just make money naturally without that human interaction. But you’re saying, that’s a big strategy for you?
Sheri Fitts [11:42]
Well, for that case, so remember that the people that pick me and want to and want to fly me to Miami, or London or whatever, and then write me a check. They’re there, the choices that they make, to the people that they bring to put on their stage, if they flop, not so good for them. So I understand that it I’m not selling a widget, I’m selling a relationship, I’m selling a commitment. And I think that there has to be more human touch. Now if I you know, I had a online course social selling for financial advisors, I had that. And that didn’t require, in fact, didn’t want it to require I wanted to have one of those automated, you know, money machines. I will say that financial advisors in the United States are quite thrifty or cheap, whichever word you want to use. So they’re used to getting things for free. So my little money machine idea didn’t necessarily play off because I didn’t want to to your point. I didn’t want to do that heavy marketing stuff that happens that I don’t care for. So I just close it up in a little box. And you know, put it in the recycle bin.
David Ralph [13:00]
I love the fact that you have got a personal recycle bins. Yeah, we do. We call them dust bins, dust bins. Yeah. Yeah. And there’s never any dust in them. It’s just rubbish. I don’t know why we call them that. But I different different countries, different way of talking. So we’ve we’ve yourself, I love the fact that you have got that human interaction into it. Because I try and do that a lot myself, I, I close down probably 90% of the avenues that people can get to me. So that the 10% I’m all in. So if I’m doing an online course, which a lot of it is video based. I am literally in the Facebook group, adding personal content, adding personal videos over time, and it blows me away how many people are blown away by the fact that I’m doing that. And when they say I didn’t expect a podcasting course to be like this, I didn’t expect this course to be like this. I think to myself, why not? We’ve all humans, and how are you bridging that gap between selling knowledge and ensuring that your person who’s bought it understands that knowledge? You’ve got to be involved in it? Surely, surely don’t? Yeah.
Sheri Fitts [14:09]
Oh, wow. Exactly. Indeed, I think what you what you what you know, in your gut is is that people learn differently. And that the component of having a human, right, somebody supporting them on the other side, it it makes them more engaged. You have to kind of this we’re all we’re all kind of easily distracted. And if you’re not in there, continuing to say Come back, come back, learn learn, do do it. You’re going to lose people and you’re doing this because you want them to learn so good for you. Yeah, it’s not it’s not just put something up and then think you know, the money will come in.
David Ralph [14:57]
Oh, good for me and good for you show me as well. So Thanks. Let’s play some motivational words. And then we’re going to delve back into that. That little five year old girl who’s knocking on doors to door. Here’s Jim Carrey.
Unknown Speaker [15:09]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love,
David Ralph [15:34]
and I words that you would live by,
Sheri Fitts [15:38]
oh, I actually love that speech so much that I sent the whole thing to somebody to get it transcribed.
David Ralph [15:47]
It’s hugely powerful, isn’t it? Yeah, it is.
Sheri Fitts [15:49]
I think this actually was something that when I decided to leave corporate America, I think that it was, you know, post 2008, we’d already gone through the recession, it was actually 2012 Everything was fine and dandy. And then in then I decided to intentionally leave corporate America to start my own gig. And a lot of people came to me and said, well, Wow, you’re so brave. I’ve always wanted to do that data, data, data. And in the back of my head, I kept thinking to myself, You think your job is safe? It’s not safe, just because it’s a job. It’s not safe. I mean, you’re just as courageous staying where you are, as I am leaving, at least though that now I’ve, I have the reins in my hands. And they’re not in you know, I’m riding this horse. And it’s my horse. Right? I love I love that Jim Carrey speech. I love it.
David Ralph [16:48]
And so would that little five year old girl knocking on door to door selling rose petal perfume? Would she have understood those words as well? Was she a ballsy little girl?
Sheri Fitts [17:00]
You know, I don’t know, if I realised I was until I don’t know maybe about five years ago, when I started my firm and I started looking at my origin stories to try to pull them out to connect with people had to create a different kind of bio bio. And all of a sudden I went holy smokes. I was doing that when I was five. And and I think that that’s the thing that’s most amazing is that I didn’t know that. I wasn’t supposed to do that. Did Oh for like being a paper girl was paper. So Paper Girls didn’t exist. When I was a paper girl. This is when papers were those printed things. And there was newsprint would get on your hands. And somebody would drive, you know, somebody would ride up on a bike and throw it out on your lawn. And you know, sometimes it hit the porch. And sometimes it wouldn’t. Most of most of those, those youngsters that were doing that were boys, I didn’t know that. That that was a constraint at all. I just knew that I didn’t want to be a babysitter. That was boring. And I could make more money as a paper girl. Plus, I got tips.
David Ralph [18:11]
I see I see that on films all the time. And they cycle along and they just throw it into gardens. And then the the poor person in the house has to go and get their own paper. Is that actually how it operates? Because we as kids used to have to put it through letter boxes and get attacked by dogs at the other end who was suddenly ripping out the paper. So you could just cycle along and just throw it
Sheri Fitts [18:36]
I was I was actually quite good at it. I mean, I had a I had a bike I would put it on the back of my bike and then about the dogs this was in the 70s in the in the States when dogs weren’t required to be on leashes or anything. And I had my own pack of dogs that would come with me as I delivered papers. Yeah, and I got pretty good at getting it on to the you know cement part of the you know steps I that was part of my right that was part of my service
David Ralph [19:04]
did that’s not service garden then. Me That’s That’s why America is going downhill
Sheri Fitts [19:15]
Yeah, exactly. You know, it’s funny the other day, I was walking back home and and there was a newspaper like not where it should have been. And so funny. I picked it up, and I threw it onto their front porch.
David Ralph [19:27]
Say you can’t take the paper kill. The woman can Yeah,
Sheri Fitts [19:32]
exactly. You cannot you cannot.
David Ralph [19:34]
So as a five year old when you look back and you were kind of breaking rules. I love the fact that you said you didn’t know that you shouldn’t. Because we all go through that journey in life where we suddenly feel restrained by what other people are expecting of us or restrained by what we think they want, which is the worst thing because we don’t even ask. We just kind of assume that we should be up Writing in that way, how close are you now? To the absolute? Genuine Sherry lives her life? Exactly by her own rules kind of person?
Sheri Fitts [20:10]
I would say I’m about 80%. There. And I think and I will say that these past five years and owning my own company have really allowed me to get closer. I, I still, sometimes wonder if, if, if I should be doing things and then as an example, that that headline, been one of my blog posts, WTF. I had debated saying what the font it was about fonts and design and all whatnot, but But I debated about doing what the font and then I thought to myself, well, that’s surely a chickenshit way to go, because you know, what you really want to say? And so I just decided to go for it. And I’ll say that a couple things. One, it did distress somebody who emailed me back and said, I would never do such a cheap shot and a subject line, I would never hire anyone to market my firm that did that. Take me off your email list. And I thought, well, yay, I made I ruffled a feather, which to me, I think is good. Right. And that particular open rate was 22%. Yeah, that’s a phenomenal open rate for an email. So I think people were curious, they knew I wasn’t gonna say a bad word. But But I regularly asked my, you know, I regularly asked myself a question, am I just, you know, what am I? What am I afraid of? Am I do? Am I doing this? Because I’m worried about what people will think about me, am I, you know, will this have an impact on my business? Bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, I’ll tell you that I feel like the closer I get to being that five year old, the, the, I believe, the more unique I become, and then the more magnetic I become to the right people.
David Ralph [22:09]
I think that’s right, though, surely, that’s what we talk about on Join Up Dots. That’s the whole theme of Join Up Dots. But the best way to build our future is by connecting our past connect to that person, who didn’t care about money, who didn’t care about what other people are doing, you just operated for fun. And my whole business here is operated on fun. If I don’t want to do it, I don’t do it. And I’ve become more successful because of her. And the more I link into my authentic, eight year old, nine year old, six year old self, I can see my business is improving because of it. And it took me a long time to realise that I had flashes, flashes of inspiration, but I still kind of oh, oh, I can’t really go to stupid or do I want to be stupid here, but I can’t really do it. Now. I think now let’s just be stupid and see what happens. And the people out there that love that love it and the people that don’t don’t and it’s a shame, isn’t it that people can’t quite grasp the fact that it’s your life, you should live it exactly as you want. And you’ve already realised what you should be operating like, because you did it when you were little,
Sheri Fitts [23:17]
you know, I stare up at my, above my computer screen. And I have, you know, a variety of different things up here. And one of the things I have is it says everything you want is on the other side of fear. And I you know, I think that I would prefer to have joy motivate me than fear motivate me that I would have fun that I could that playfulness is something that that I love and you know in my life that that and I would prefer to have that be the direction I go instead of kind of cowering or being afraid.
David Ralph [23:58]
We all want that Sheree done we all want to be play white, right? But being
Sheri Fitts [24:02]
in corporate America, you are not rewarded. When you stick out. You are not. And so at times in my career, I would actually like stand up and say to myself, big target big money. In, in my experience in corporate America. There are many, many people who and this is understandable. They have family, they have commitments, they have houses, they have mortgages, they have a whole bunch of things that are tied to their monetary security, and they’re not rewarded when they stand out. And and I think that maybe that’s why I feel so much closer to who I really am is because I I am not concerned about a paycheck, other than the one that I can generate for myself.
David Ralph [24:58]
I love that. I really love that because it is the whole, the whole branding of everything I do, and I really think it should be for everybody else. People like to have fun. People like people that are having fun. We look at the Richard Branson’s, we look at the Elon Musk’s. We look at all these kind of high fliers. And the majority of them are boring themselves every day sitting behind a desk. They’re getting out there. They’re connecting and they’re doing what they want to do. And is providing great value. Look at Gary Vee. Gary Vee. Yeah, okay. He hustles and he does a load of stuff. But I bet he’s, he’s enjoying himself 90% of the time?
Sheri Fitts [25:36]
I would think so. I mean, it looks like it to me. And you know, to me, it looks like he likes to hustle. I mean, I think he’s a he’s a he’s an aggressive, driven individual. And I think hustle is like his middle name. And, and it and I enjoy kind of watching him and I mean, look what he did with his, his father’s company. Holy smokes.
David Ralph [26:06]
Yeah, about I used to talk about hustle muscle a lot on the show Flexi old hustle muscle. And now I kind of think, I don’t know if that’s the right way of doing it by hustling all the time. Are you not doing the sweet spot? Are you not looking at what’s right for you, I tried to do less and less and less by focusing on the right stuff more than what I used to do, which was just hustle, hustle, hustle all the time.
Sheri Fitts [26:31]
You know, a couple years ago, I actually decided to focus on less and less and less and kind of did in the another here. Cheers drinking word we could say as I pivoted. Right, I had a full on creative staff. I had an office, I had employees, I had what I thought was required of a business person and a business owner what I thought I should be doing, because I didn’t have the balls to use your term. I didn’t have the balls to just do exactly what I wanted to do. Which was speak and train. I mean, that’s exactly. Since 2000. I’ve been saying when I grow up, I want to be a speaker and do my own thing. And then when I finally decided to do my own thing I didn’t, I didn’t have enough confidence yet to be able to say this is who I am, this is what I do. I almost had to hide behind my creative services firm. And I pivoted, I blew it all up, and it was hard. And now I just do exact to your point, I do exactly what I want to do. I speak, I train, I consult, but I don’t do I write I don’t do the creative. I don’t do the let me let me build you a brochure thing anymore.
David Ralph [27:49]
And what what’s your favourite out of the three?
Sheri Fitts [27:51]
Speaking, there’s nothing more fun for me than to be in a room of 20 people or 200 people, or 2000 people and work to get them to understand that the best brand they can create is one that’s based upon who they are. I used
David Ralph [28:10]
to do a lot of speaking and I kind of ran away from it. When I started this, it was like, Oh, I did 20 years of standing up in front of people. And I kind of went through a little phase of being itchy feet about getting back into it. But I don’t know if I can be bothered. And the thing that holds me back is the fault of hotel rooms the night before, you know where you have to traipse over to somewhere and stay in a hotel room and, and all that kind of thing. I like my own bed. That’s what I want. I want I want to have snuggle time with the wife. And so that’s the thing that sort of drags me back from it.
Sheri Fitts [28:47]
Yeah. Well, you know, and that’s the thing that’s cool about podcasting, right is because you can still do that you could still teach you could still motivate you can still do the you know the essence of what that is. And then you can still stay home. I love travelling I don’t I don’t mind it. I don’t I can’t stand hotel pillows. I just they they’re made for man who weighed 200 pounds. You’d think that they’d figure that out. When you travel a lot you start to notice there’s the standard business traveller size and it happens to be predominantly you know, male 200 pounds or more and so pills suck, but I figured out a way around that but but I love discovering new places I love I love I don’t mind being by myself. I mean, I like walking around new cities. I like you know taking myself out to dinner at a new place. i i You know i You know i when I’m in New York I walk like nine miles a day when I’m there I don’t you know there’s some places there that that aren’t as romantic and fantastic, but I don’t mind that part because I really, really You love the reward of working with people and facilitating conversations and asking a group of people to kind of create some ideas and then having to, you know, ask them five times to be quiet because they’re so motivated by, you know, the ideas that we’re talking about. Aye. Aye. Aye. Know, I’m okay with the Holiday Inn. If I can get a room full of people excited about something.
David Ralph [30:25]
Yeah, Easter pillows. People always say I miss my bed. And I always say that I don’t miss my bed. I could lay on anything, but it’s the pillow. You’ve got your own pillow and the never feels the same.
Sheri Fitts [30:37]
Actually, exactly. Very strange. Well, besides my cat snores
David Ralph [30:42]
your cat snores you take the cat with, you
Sheri Fitts [30:43]
know, my cat snores at home. So I mean, you know, I get a better night’s sleep sometimes someplace else because the cats Yeah, I’ll tell you what you wouldn’t it not to mention my husband.
David Ralph [30:53]
Yeah, you wouldn’t hit a cat over me. My mom, my wife has started threatening with divorce. I’ve suddenly started snoring for some reason. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I’m fit as a fiddle. But for some reason, I’m getting blamed that bed time, restlessness. It’s not fair, Cherie.
Sheri Fitts [31:12]
Oh, man, well, that five minutes of exercise a week is probably you know, overdoing it for you.
David Ralph [31:17]
That’s right, I’m gonna I’m gonna start drinking and just relax into into abuse. That’s what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna start abusing myself. Now, this is where we’ve been heading. And these are the words that Steve Jobs said back in 2005. And a course, we’re going to hear him again, Steve Jobs.
Unknown Speaker [31:33]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [32:08]
It’s so powerful. Those words, aren’t they?
Sheri Fitts [32:10]
Absolutely, absolutely. You know, every once in a while, when I’m sitting kind of going holy Criminy, what have I done? i To your point, I actually go wait a minute, let me just take a look at what I’ve accomplished. Take a look that I’ve not never really, by would have like, set this out as a goal and had it as a dream and whatever, whatever what I’m able to do during my day, and what I’m able to do, I couldn’t have predicted that. So why get twisted? When I when I know that I’m perfectly capable of doing anything. You know, like, if I look back to your point, if I look back and go, well, wow, that led to that led to that, and all I had to do was just kind of go push myself just a tiny bit beyond being comfortable. And, you know, while Ah, here I sit.
David Ralph [33:18]
It’s pretty cool. It is and it’s it’s those words that have changed my life. In many ways. It led to me creating this show. But it’s led me to having 1000 conversations with people. And reflecting on the fact that I’ve already got what I need going forward. You know, everything has put me to a position but I’ve already got the skills, you’ve just got to find the problem for somebody, solve it in a way that’s congruent with your skills and your passions and your whatever. And I love that fact. But every single person out there listening has got themselves to a point where they’ve already know something they’ve already trained, they’ve already got it, they just need to transition. Now that’s a difficult thing, finding that thing that you can actually transition to, to solve that problem. But they’re already very
Sheri Fitts [34:09]
well and it’s not like, you can’t it’s it you know, it’s not like it’s heart heart surgery. I mean, you know, it is but but it’s it’s not it, there’s no reason why you can’t make a mistake either. If you if if if if you spent your whole spend your whole life working to kind of avoid mistakes, then that’s pretty boring. To me, I have a colleague that I work with, she’s 23 and you know, it’s her first job out of college and she’s very concerned, you know, she doesn’t want to make a mistake and and I have to regularly say, you know, we’re not gonna make intentional mistakes, or certain but It’s totally okay if we do. Because this is the first time anybody’s tried to do this, or this or this or this mean, we’re gonna make mistakes. And, you know, as long as we don’t repeat them, we got to,
David Ralph [35:13]
as the failures been the big wins for you, because I can certainly see that I can see that my business has got so much stronger, because things didn’t work straight away from me.
Sheri Fitts [35:24]
You know, I don’t, I can’t really, I would have to think about that a little bit more to give you an intelligent response. But I think a couple of things, you know, going back to, you know, Steve Jobs, I mean, look, he actually got fired from his own company. me talk about the ultimate, or when I think about, like, even the idea of like working out half the deal about working out is to actually almost get your muscles to fail. That’s kind of what, you know, makes you stronger. I will say, Yes, I I can point to as it relates to kind of some of my speaking stuff that I’ve done. I can point to some places where, in my past, I flopped. And those flops actually allowed me to be able to go Okay, so now, what’s my ritual? What do I do? How can I be more prepared? How can this happen, or this happened, and the other part of it is sometimes I flop it’s not even my fault. It’s like technology. And what I love that when that happens is I flop but I really don’t flop because I like end up still. Finishing, completing providing value, all that kind of stuff. Even you know, when technology flops.
David Ralph [36:47]
I love technology, I hate technology, I don’t really know what I think about technology. But I do notice one thing now, but every time I’ve outsourced it to a quality person, my issues with technology aren’t there anymore. You know, I used to try to do everything myself, I used to try to be creating WordPress sites, and God knows what, and most of them I could do to a certain level. But once I got to that point of going, I’m just gonna pay for this. And I’m not gonna go cheap, I’m gonna go as expensive as I can. The issues have just gone out the window. And ultimately, I’ve made money quicker, which means I then pay back what I’ve had to pay back for them anyway. So it doesn’t cost me anything.
Sheri Fitts [37:29]
I’m there with you. But you know, there are a variety of individuals that one needs in their life, which is one a really kick ass WordPress person. You know, when you’re in business, you we need one of those, I could do it myself. To your point, I could do it myself. But that would take me eight hours. I could do it. But it takes me eight hours, I can pay him it takes him one hour. I’m on with the show. I could continue to do that. I think I have editors. So I write content. But then I have an editor I have somebody else, make sure that my grammar is right. Make sure that my punctuations are correct, because I’m always kind of baffled by the semicolons. But I, you know, I rely on right? Do you have an issue with a semicolon?
David Ralph [38:14]
I haven’t realised I did until now. I think yes, I’m with you there.
Sheri Fitts [38:23]
I think so my goal and so troublesome, but that’s why I have an editor so that I can do the good stuff, right, I can do the stuff that I’m good at, which is write and think and create and, you know, throw spaghetti at the wall and all that other kind of stuff. And then I yeah, I mean, I and I think, you know, when I started my business, the first person that I hired was an executive assistant. And I did that because why am I spending time, you know, farting around with travel, when I could be talking on the phone, selling something. And it was the best money that I spent. And it was scary as a business person, right? You’re like, I got to do everything. Because I’m not making a bunch of money yet. And I’ll pay them it’s less for me and Bob, to your point of hiring the best technology person, I did the same thing as it related to an executive assistant. Because it frees up my time for me to be better at the stuff that I want to do.
David Ralph [39:18]
So before we send you back in time, Sherry on the sermon on the mount is Eamon on the mic, I don’t know why I said that. Um, where is your business heading? Where what are you focused on?
Sheri Fitts [39:30]
So to your point about do I think that social media is dead? So I’m known in the financial services industry, or my little kind of world in the financial services industry as being this like social media maven, and we you know, I think that’s because I was early adopter and pushed us to think about Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn in 2006. And but, but that’s my, the expertise that I have to bring and teach and share is is beyond that. And so I’m really working to You and I have been over the past two years, even the curriculum that I offered, the things that I speak about are well beyond social media. I’m focused on learning and doing and researching a variety of things around client experience.
David Ralph [40:15]
Which in in what in layman’s terms? What does that mean?
Sheri Fitts [40:19]
Well, it means that as an example, you go to a local coffee shop. What does that coffee shop look like? Smell like? Feel like sound like? What? What’s the interaction with the coffee person like? In some cases, like, you know, Starbucks as an example, they engineer that whole experience, they’ve got the right music playing, they’ve got the, you know, they’ve got this warm brown tone, they’re trying to create this hip coffee shop atmosphere. And and the baristas are, are trying to say, what can I get started for you today? They’ve got this experience that they’re working on, I think, in my world of financial services. You know, think about a financial planner, they don’t think at all about what the client experiences, they just want to kind of, you know, get the plan in place and, you know, get the investments rolling. And then that that’s that. But as I think about generational shifts, and millennials coming into their own, millennials have a, a have been raised on experience. They go to festivals, they they get they get whatever they want, they can be whoever they want. I mean they you know, that’s a different generation and I want financial services to catch up. So I’ve been doing a lot of preaching to your sermon point. I’ve been doing a lot of preaching about client experience. I hate Starbucks and emotional connection.
David Ralph [41:48]
I don’t get it. I don’t understand Starbucks a toe you do. Yeah, I don’t see why somebody wants to pay $600 for a coffee. Basically, when when you can go we’ve all got kettles at home, just get some instant coffee. Put it in. That’s job Damn, that’s all you need. You don’t need double whippy latte and language that you don’t understand. They’ve created their own Starbucks language and you’ve got to go in and you go, I just want a medium please. You want a hottie hottie Lottie? No, I don’t know what all Yeah, I just, I just want a medium coffee is too, too clever, isn’t it? Well, okay,
Sheri Fitts [42:27]
so I am an Oregonian. And actually today, even though this will play at a different time, Today is National Oregon day in the States. So Happy National Oregon day. I’m an Oregonian. So the West Coast, in particular is quite the coffee culture, it’s probably because, like how it is in you know, in parts of your world grey a lot. So we need caffeine, as we don’t get any vitamin D. But I since I think I 17 I’ve been drinking coffee. And then probably since I was 18. I’ve been drinking cappuccinos. So as well, you know, I was early adopter even before Starbucks was a Starbucks thing of the coffee culture. And so I don’t go in and get the whoop dee doo stuff either. I don’t understand why anybody would want to start their day with 750 calories full of fat and sugar and think that they’re going to be able to be like aware and awake. Right?
David Ralph [43:21]
I know I
Sheri Fitts [43:22]
I get my I get my one little flat white. See you with flat white is a is a is a term that is not existent in the United States, but is overseas. And now Starbucks finally figured out that we like those.
David Ralph [43:37]
You see, I started at the beginning, Cherie talking about my, my sexuality pulling you in. And I’ve realised now that we’ve got so much connections, we’re a partnership made in heaven. I can sense it.
Sheri Fitts [43:52]
Exactly. What Wait,
David Ralph [43:53]
see, see. That’s how
Sheri Fitts [43:55]
caffeine and coffee you know, instant coffee is only good when you’re camping.
David Ralph [44:00]
Yeah, I agree with you. Absolutely. Well, this is the partner show that we’ve been building up to I could get into a rant with you for the next three hours. I’m sure we could. But of course, we’ve got to do the sermon. And this is the part of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic when we get to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Sherry, what age would you choose and what advice would you give her? Well, we’re going to find out because we’re going to play the theme and when it fades, you’re up this is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [44:36]
here we go with the best bit of the show. Sir man on the mic, man.
Sheri Fitts [44:54]
Think I’ll pick 15 And the reason why I’ll pick 15 is is probably the second high school I went to. So I went to four different high schools, one for every year, which is an interesting thing, to take somebody in their teenage years and stick them in four different high schools in four different states, and ask them to feel like they’re part of the crowd. And I, you know, kind of, kind of about this whole, connecting the dots thing, that whole time was actually really challenging for me, because I didn’t know anybody. I was constantly the new kid. And I spent most of my time in the library. And, you know, I felt like there was something kind of bad about that, that, you know, I, you know, like any teenager, I guess, I wish I would have been popular and, you know, part of the in crowd and all that kind of stuff, but I, but I, if I could just say, you know, one thing to that young woman is it’s okay, not to be part of that. In crowd, it’s okay. Not to be involved in everything, and it’s okay to be by yourself. Yeah, because that, that whole being by myself stuff, and that whole, you know, kind of have to pull myself up by my bootstraps, and go to school every day feeling awkward and alone, and kind of like a geek and all of that kind of stuff. Holy Criminy has that served me that has made me so strong, and yeah, so I guess if I would just like, tell her something, it would be that it’s you are, you are just fine. You’re just fine. You’re doing exactly what you need to do right now. That’s, I think what I would say, I mean,
David Ralph [47:11]
which is great advice. I would say to show you that you do grow up to say, Holy Criminy or something like that, which is the most bizarre statement I’ve ever heard in my life.
Sheri Fitts [47:24]
You know, I But to your point, I’ve never really connected those dots. David, I’ve never connected those dots, which is that those four years awkward crap, feeling Yuck, actually have made me so strong. And and actually made me able to, you know, I don’t know. I mean, just, you know, I know it’s this woowoo. And I could go on and on about it. But to your point, I never really kind of looked at that particular place as dots. But they absolutely were.
David Ralph [47:53]
Brilliant. Brilliant. So Sherry, for the audience who’ve been listening. What’s the best way to connect with you?
Sheri Fitts [48:00]
Okay, so Coolio. Find me at my website, which is Sherry fitz.com. I’m going to spell it for you. SHERIFI Double T s.com. Sheriff, it’s dot com is where you can find me. I’m on Twitter as misfits. So I scored that one early because I am a misfit. It was four years. That’s actually what I’m talking about. But misfit stuff. Mi SS fit TS is where I am. And you can find me on LinkedIn. Jerry fits. I really, by the way, David, thank you for having me today. It’s been it’s been wonderful. And thank you for reminding me of my doubts. I really appreciate it.
David Ralph [48:38]
It’s an absolute delight to have you on and show me thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again when you’ve got even more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths is the best way to build our futures. Sherry, thank you so much. Cool. Chevy Fitz, wasn’t she a delight. So she built a business found her being is increasing that value that she can provide to people by pivoting slightly within that crowded market of social media. As she said, and as I say, your things already fair. That’s what Join Up Dots is all about, you’ve already lived, what you need to do to transition to pepper, you just need to get out of that scared zone. And if you need any help on that jump over to Join Up Dots where they’re helping all the time. We got a new website coming up. It might be there now I don’t know. But certainly you can jump over to the Facebook group and connect with us free coaching dream starters Academy where we’ve got people rocking and rolling in their building businesses left right and centre or two for three to get you going to give you the support you need. And until next time, I’m gonna be here see,
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called The eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life, head over to join up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.