Uganda, Liz I, DAN discussed on The Accidental Creative
Dan and Liz is the author of a new book called beginners. Pluck build your life of purpose and impact now. She's also the founder of Saco designs is going to be NIA. Fun Conversation Lives. Welcome to the podcast thank you. I'm so excited to be here so I'm excited on multiple fronts first of all we got to meet in person we both spoke focused global leadership summit about a month ago as we're recording this and I just gotTa tell you Liz I was blown away by your talk absolutely absolutely blown away first of all just by your vulnerability and sharing your story and you know sometimes when people get on big stages like that they feel like they have to position themselves doesn't make themselves look like really cool and like you right out of the gate. You're like I'm just going to blow all that out of the water and just tell you the worst moments of my life which is so oh great in encouraging so I'm thrilled to dive into this book but before we jump into the book could you tell us a little bit about you about Saco designs signs and kind of your background yeah so as mentioned my name is Liz work in Bohannon and I am the CO founder and CEO of a socially really conscious fashion brand called Saco design so I moved to Uganda almost a decade ago as a recent college without a plan Dan a job but I did have this journalism degree and this desire one to build relationships and community. I I all through college had said I was really passionate about issues that was facing women and girls living in extreme poverty and conflict in post conflict zones but had this kind of come to Jesus moment where I realized even though I was intellectually really interested in that. I actually didn't have a single friend. That was a girl that grew up in that context and that made me super uncomfortable. I was like okay. If you're going to keep you know being quote unquote passionate about this thing your life needs to reflect it a little bit more unique a community and you need relationships relationships and you need friendships that are reflective of that and so. I moved to Uganda quit my first corporate job as you can imagine my parents were super excited about that and move to Uganda without got a job but I had this journalism degree that I had just earned android just traveled the country asking questions and following leads and building relationships and long story a long I that an incredible group of young women who were in between high school and university had just graduated from a pretty academically rigorous selective high school program but they couldn't afford to continue onto college in Uganda. There's a nine month gap between high school and college and so all of a sudden this kind of big. Meta issue of women girls living in extreme poverty became really focused like twenty five women who could go to college and become leaders in in their community but we need to figure out a way to bridge this gap and so I started a charity and then for a variety of reasons shut it down and became really convinced that we needed to you create sustainable dignified marketplace solutions for some of the world's most interesting problems in the night started a chicken farm and that failed old and then I designed a pair of strappy funky sandals and kind of figure out how we could make them and cobbled together a very rudimentary supply chain and in manufacturing system and basically promised three young women in Uganda if they made these handles for the next nine months that they would go to college the next fall and came back home to the US and it started selling sandals. Even though I had zero interest in business or fashion and ten years later that's still what we're doing. We've got a staff of about over sixty full time employees and Uganda we've create opportunity for over one hundred thirty six young women to continue onto university through our work study program in Uganda and now we have scholarship ship partners in Ethiopia and we work with fairtrade artisans all across the globe and then the products are all sold actually here in the US through a network of primarily female social entrepreneurs lures who are selling the product sharing the SACO story and earning an income for themselves and building their own social businesses and that is what we're up to okay all right on episode two of my no. I'm kidding. That was amazing. Though is incredible incredible so I WANNA I WANNA go back to those early moments of your your journey. I mean basically your story is a story of I tried this. It didn't work so I tried this but there was something driving that in the beginning and the title I love this book is beginners pluck first of all. I love that title Word Pluck. We don't use the word enough. I'm like a secret mission with this his book to do a lot of things but one of them the secret part is like I just WanNa Bring Clark back into modern lexicon if you look at it but if you look at Google so you can see like trends over time and it'd be funny if pluck all of a sudden spiked in twenty nine thousand something God i looked it up before the book got out into the Universe and took a screen shot of like here's where PLC is today just with the wild hope and dream that like a year or two from now I can visibly on Google see a spike in workbook. That's awesome all right so let's talk about because we hear about beginner's luck rate and you talk about pluck. Let's talk about that. We're what does the word pluck mean. Dow Well. We all know the verb black right so pluck your eyebrows plucked chicken pluck a Guitar Guitar but the Noun Pluck means spirited and determined courage I love but it also sounds like what it means right when you say that someone's like plucky lucky. There's like a vibrancy a boldness to the word that I just love but the play on the play on words is actually there's multiple things that go into it one is that my journey of coaching and teaching primarily other women but entrepreneurs to to grow and scale their businesses says something that I noticed specifically that women do and I will say that the book is not written just for four women and actually really passionate about that and really believe that more men need reading books. I really enjoyed it by the way just as I mean. It felt so relevant to me. It did not feel like you're writing just to women so a lot of men in assigning line at that we're like. I'm buying this book for my wife or my daughter into every one of them. I looked them in the is one of my great. I hope she loves it. You should read it before you give it to her. It just because it's written by a woman doesn't mean it's four women exclusively but that being said I noticed in a lot of coaching entrepreneurs specifically women did do this thing we would invite women who were crazy successful in their business just killing the game with sales with building their teams and invite them to a call or speak on stage in a lot of times they would start out with this thing where they would say you know. I think I really just got lucky and women tend to do that. They tend to attribute their success to external factors. Were actually men are more likely to attribute their success to internal like I got it because I'm awesome and so from the beginning of our business. We have this rule when anybody nobody teaches. It's like you cannot use the word luck I don't want. It's not attributed to let because I'm I'm seeing what you're doing and that my friend is pluck like you're putting yourself out there. You're iterating failing. You're getting back up there. You're setting huge goals and then you're figuring out how to make them into these digestible. Achievable Chunks like that is pluck so a saying at our company has become who who needs luck when you've got pluck and really valuing this idea of pluck over overlook the next thing is that the concept of beginners pluck is because the whole concept of the book is really reframing how we think about being being a beginner how we think about the stages of learning. I know in my own career I have just wasted so much time and energy bemoaning that I'm a beginner. I don't have the right connections. I don't have the right degree. I don't have the right experience of how am I going to be successful and I. I had this moment several years ago where my entire world rolled kind of upside down and I realized Oh my gosh the reason that you've actually had the success that you had wasn't despite the fact that you were a beginner dinner in all of these areas. It was actually because you were and really saying like Oh my gosh this is like it felt like this magic like discovery and and then wanting to get really intentional honestly I for myself going through and saying what were the things that I did in the early days as a beginner just naturally because that's what beginners naturally do that now that I'm ten years into running this company you know that now has investors and we've got employees on four continents and all of these things that ice is. I've stopped doing that. I think are actually harming me and my ability to lead and be creative and take risks and so the book is really about going through and I've have developed fourteen of those principles that these are the things that I think beginners naturally do better than experts so if you're a beginner congratulations you you just have to know that like you've got this magic sauce and kind of own it and be intentional about it. If you're an expert or if you you're on the road to becoming an expert that's great to but here's how to intentionally channel that inner beginner and can get back to being a really curious question asking iterative creative leader that I really believe is going to help you become more effective in the long haul channel your inner beginner. It's agreed freeze to all all of these. All you speak in bumper stickers. I love that so i WanNa talk about just a couple of chapters that actually the first handful of them 'cause you said there are several but the first thing that really struck out to me is the chapter called own your average and what does that mean. It's not listened. That's not advice right that we hear FBI. We tell people here. You're so special you so unique. There's you know there's never been anyone like you. You're and you're saying no your your average. You are right and it's not exactly what people wanna hear but it's so experience to me yeah. This was by far probably my favorite and absolutely the most intellectually challenging chapter two right because here I am trying to write this book inspires and creates freedom and gets people to create but in order to do. I felt like I could not authentically do that. Without laying some groundwork work and the groundwork is the exact opposite of what everyone else is saying that like to your point. You're so special and the reason it felt felt so important for me to deal with this right off. The Bat and to kind of say like first principle is going to be hard to swallow. You're probably average is because I have seen seen firsthand in myself and then with thousands of people that I've been coaching to run their own businesses. How this narrative of like yours so so special. You're smarter than you think you are in your you know stronger you know is actually affecting people and here's what I've I've seen todd. It either affects people in one of two ways one. They believe the narrative. They're like Homo. Okay I'm special. I'm a little bit above average and I'm and I'm smart and I'm kind of inherently good at everything that I try and I've got this like inherent talent and when people believe that I don't believe it actually empowers them. It actually creates it's a sense of fear in anxiety and people to leave their above average and believe that they're special that we have been told man. You're so good at everything that you try the actually start to act out of fear and anxiety because they're like okay. I'm seen as special. I'm seeing is above average seen as talented and smart. I don't WanNa do anything anything that is going to cause me to lose that identity or 'cause anybody to question this inherent identity that I have so they start only saying yes to stuff that they know they'll succeed seat at that they'll excel in they start playing it really safe and ultimately the demise of being a creative of an innovator of being a leader is that you start playing it safe and becoming a lot lot more concerned with protecting your ego and your image than you do about what you're creating out in the world so that's if you believe the narrative if we're doing our job and telling people are special. They believe that's what's happening on the other side. There are people that just frankly don't believe won't ever believe it. They're like I don't that doesn't resonate with me. I'm not I don't think I'm super smart have hidden talent above average or super gifted and what it does is it makes those people go and it seems like being special is really really important. It seems like like I need to believe that I'm special before I can go out and do something really really special. I'm never really going to believe that in so I guess I'm just GONNA I'm. I'm left behind. I'm UN UN special below average person who's GonNa live in special below average life. in in special must be this requisite that being extraordinary must be a requisite to living an extraordinary life and so at the plate that you're spewing this narrative and people believing ed or kind of screwed and people that don't believe it or kind of screwed. We gotta go like well..