What I Learned in 2016

What I Learned in 2016

  2016 brought a lot of learning and a lot of joy. My biggest lesson of 2016 was figuring out how to serve myself first in order to serve everyone else sustainably. People had always warned me about “burning out” but I had never hit my limit. Creating the 2nd Annual Women Grow Leadership Summit in Denver for over 1,200 women was my greatest accomplishment. It was also what broke me. Although I could have blamed external challenges for breaking me. I realized that all my external challenges were reflections of my own inner struggles. So I went about investing everything I had into working on myself. Yoga, meditation, books, dance, music, purpose-driven leadership, cannabis, psychedelics and the School of Womanly Arts were my practices. We found a new CEO to take over my role at Women Grow on July 1st and I focused on myself full-time. Leaving the CEO role at Women Grow was the hardest transition I’ve ever made. The unexpectedly tough part of aligning your personal and professional purpose is allowing them to separate when needed. It took me almost three months just to stop thinking of myself and my role as one. I ran away to play in Spain, speak in Berlin, camp at Burning Man, and work Symbiosis. I traveled 26 weeks of 2016. I learned a lot. I learned how to love myself unconditionally. I learned how to stop using food to solve problems that food doesn’t solve (and lost 30 pounds). I learned how to stop caring about what people who don’t care about me think. I learned how to put myself first every day. I learned how to process dark emotions and...
How You Can Create a Cannabis Industry We Can All Be Proud Of

How You Can Create a Cannabis Industry We Can All Be Proud Of

Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, reminded us that before cannabis was an industry, “we were a social movement, and we still are a social movement.” The legalized states are leading the way for what general use cannabis will look like after prohibition ends. Aaron reminded nearly a thousand attendees how the steps they take now will be the foundation of a Cannabis industry that we can all be proud of. 1. Be A Good Neighbor Reach out to your neighborhood–from local businesses to local citizens. When the federal government shut down Oaksterdamn, the NCIA got neighborhood businesses to hang green flags in solidarity. It’s a lot easier to move forward with neighborhood organizations on your side. 2. Be Professional Everything from answering the phone to paying your bills on time affects your own business and the cannabis industry as a whole. Don’t use marketing that you wouldn’t want your mother to see. Create a professional industry that shows the country what they’ve been missing. 3. Engage Politically Find out who your elected representatives are and get on their email list. Attend their events and give money to their campaigns to support your cause. Be present and make phone calls so that they hear from the Cannabis industry a lot more than they do now. Make it easy for your customers to engage their officials as well. Reward customers that call their elected representatives or send emails. Make it easy for customers to engage while they wait. Harborside Health Center has a robust Patient Activist Center that rewards customers with product for participating. 4. Join a Trade Organization If you...
Providing Effective Long-Term Customer Support for WordPress Users

Providing Effective Long-Term Customer Support for WordPress Users

Supporting your community of users isn’t the sexiest topic this week at WordPress Camp NYC, but providing great support can make or break your business. Mason James supports WordPress plugin users at WPMU Dev and runs WP Valet supporting individual WordPress sites. He manages supporting tens of thousands of users with a seven person support team. Support is the MOST Important Issue for Web Services! The code you’ve created is a commodity. It’s the quality of your support that will keep your clients coming back (and paying you). Why Provide Support? If you don’t care about your users and your community, call someone who does to support your clients. Long-term customers and community equals long-term revenue. Publicly available forums and FAQs are extremely valuable content to convince search engines and new users to visit you (and then sign up). Creating a Community Welcome new members when they arrive. Send a welcome email. Send a friend request. Show them ways they can get more involved. Send a group request right away. Answer any questions in a timely fashion. Ask for frequent, regular feedback from your community. (Polls, customers surveys, contact form, social media.) Respond immediately and honestly when there is a problem. Be transparent and give a human apology. Creating Better Support Materials Use a variety of media types, some folks like videos while others like step-by-steps. Nobody likes reading big blocks of text, break it up with screen shots. The Best Tools for Great Community Support Support Forum Tools: bbPress and BuddyPress are the best free WordPress support forums. ZenDesk and GetSatisfaction are great paid options with ticketing systems. Buy common support topic content. For WordPress...