Rebecca Moore, founder of InANutshell Consulting, empowers women founders to monetize their brilliance, and make a meaningful impact. She shares her take on the power of brainstorming, coaches working with coaches and women entrepreneurs reluctance to own the mantle of ‘founder.’ Enjoy our conversation on the Embark podcast here.
LS: Tell me the genesis of InANutshell Consulting. What’s up with the name?
RM: When I founded the company, the idea was that many founders were unclear about how to introduce themselves and their business succinctly. I wanted to help them tell their stories “in a nutshell”. I provided a simple 5-step methodology to pitch their business to potential clients. Eventually I found that my clients needed much more than a pitch. They needed strategic vision, guidance in how to scale their business and how to “own” their new identity as an entrepreneur and founder.
I’ve kept the name because 1) Rebecca Moore Consulting is NOT a memorable name. 2) It’s whimsical, which I like and, 3) to me, the acorn symbolizes the seed of an idea. It’s tiny and inconsequential, but represents enormous potential. Just one tiny acorn can grows into a great oak tree, which is the symbol of wisdom and power. People ignore acorns, but the right acorn in the right soil, with the right light…well it’s a sight to behold. (also, squirrels eat acorns, and most entrepreneurs have squirrel brain, so there’s that too!)
LS: We often use the words ‘founders’ as a descriptor for someone who has started, or found, their own business. Many women bristle at the word ‘founder.’ Why do you think that is? What does it say about how we/women perceive the word, and/or ourselves?
RM: I have always been drawn to the word ‘founder’. Maybe it’s because it conveys the creative side of business. One of my strengths is creativity–both artistic and intellectual. I love to think outside the box and I LOVE the thrill of creating something from nothing (or from a tiny seed). There are many parallels to art, to gardening and to birthing a child. Whether it’s a work of art, a story, a baby, or a business. To me, anyone who creates their own business is worthy of calling themselves a founder. It is remarkable.
The word owner or manager does not have the same impact for me. The word CEO is too corporate. Entrepreneur works, too. But I don’t think that VC-backed entrepreneurs should have a corner on the founder-title market. Founder works for me. And I encourage my clients to call themselves a founder if she has started her own business, large or small. I believe there is power in the word founder and I encourage my clients to “own” that title if it empowers them. It’s ironic that there are millions of founders out there who raise millions of dollars and never generate a penny of revenue before burning out. So who’s to say a small business owner can’t be the founder of her own company. So many of the clients I work with have never accepted a dime of outside funding and have bootstrapped and are successfully generating profits with their wit and wisdom.
LS: Creatives in particular have difficulty looking at their talent/work as a business. How do you help creative founders see themselves differently, and treat what they do as a profession, as well as a passion?
RM: I think perhaps the issue is less about the fact that they are creatives, and more about the fact that their business skills are under-developed. Many creative entrepreneurs I meet are so accustomed to being recognized for their creative talent — this has been their primary focus and comfort level — that they have little knowledge of basic financial management, especially those in the Boomer and GenX realm. In fact, many have never been exposed to or encouraged in the area of money management, operations, or accounting. It’s a foreign language. And because of that, many have an unconscious block against earning money.
I cannot tell you how many creatives I meet that have a mortal fear about promoting themselves, asking for money, and even billing their clients. Many grew up thinking that money is the root of all evil, and that all rich people are greedy and that selling is slimy. But I digress. What all this means is that many creatives unconsciously value their creative side of their brain more than the logical side of their brain. A successful entrepreneur uses both sides of the brain. I help my clients use both sides of their brain, without judgement, and help them overcome these blocks. You cannot have a business without revenues or clients. So I help them become as comfortable selling their offering (service/creation) as they are creating it..
LS: In a 24/7, on-demand world, we are often frantic to be available and responsive to clients or potential leads for fear we’ll miss out, how do you help people deal with this fear? How have you dealt with it in your own life?
RM: Oooh. Good question. You hit a nerve. I actually hired a business operations and accountability coach. She busted my chops and guided me to get my systems and schedule in place. Owning your agenda and schedule is a critical piece of the puzzle. I tell my clients that THEY get to decide when to work and when to play. They get to block out time for client calls and for administrative work. Now I have automated scheduling, email nurture series, client work flow and billing systems, and use apps for content management and social media. She helped me turn my weakness into a strength. Now I share my learnings with my clients.
LS: You love brainstorming. Not everyone is able to lead a group that generates great ideas, lets people be truly heard, and move issues forward. What are keys to successful brainstorming?
RM: The key to successful brainstorming is to create a safe container with guidelines to and then give a prompt so that participants can freely share ideas. The best ideas come from the unconscious mind of intelligent people. So if you can assemble a group of creative entrepreneurs in a space (or zoom room), allow them to forget about their conscious mind and let the ideas flow without judgement or opinion, it’s a truly beautiful experience. The challenge in my brainstorming sessions is that we are limited by time – and sometimes I need to cut people off! It’s a delicate balance because I don’t want to thwart the flow of raw creativity.
Discover more about Rebecca Moore and her vision of empowered women founders at www.inanutshellconsulting.com