231: Show up for your community - with Lucretia Anderson
Meet Lucretia Anderson
Lucretia Marie Anderson is the founder of Joyful Muse Coaching, a social entrepreneur, educator, and writer. They have been using their background as a theatre artist, mindfulness coach, and team building workshop facilitator to bring creativity, compassion, authenticity, and self-awareness to the forefront of work, school, and home environments. Look out for their contribution as an author to Raising the Global Mindset: Empowering Children to Be World Changers (2020)
What led you to begin your coaching business?
My business or my foundation is actually in theatre and the performing arts and I began my career as a theatre arts administrator in Washington DC. I just always enjoyed being a part of something that was you know, meant to uplift the human species. So I got into teaching and working, in particular with middle school girls, an all girls middle school here in Richmond, Virginia. I was responsible for helping to evolve a character and leadership curriculum for the girls. And while I was doing that, I was working on my own personal development, I became a little bit of a self-help junkie. I realized that this was something that I really wanted to pass on to adults. I wanted to pass on to educators and other caretakers of children in particular And then particularly women, because there really isn't a need for this idea of transformational thinking and self-empowerment. And so I began this business.
What do you feel attracts people to your message?
I feel that we are at a pivotal time right now where we are all kind of searching for something that's going to bring us out of the bogginess of life. The way that I connect with people is through putting a focus on and the lens on that vulnerability and allowing myself to show up as a leader in that way and just showing my authentic self. I think there’s real connection to that and I think that when you are sharing your story and the highlights and the lowlights of what's happening in your life, and that you can still be successful, regardless of all of that is thrown at you there's real value in showing that.
Can you share with our listeners one of the most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?
So I was taking this class and I happened to mention that I really want to continue to separate myself out from the pack as far as like writing about mindfulness and writing about vulnerability. And as I mentioned that, I was introduced to someone who knew someone else who was in that class and they were starting up a blog in Richmond. And so a fellow blogger from that particular cohort of bloggers who are all contributing to that blog, asked me to join them in writing a book. And so as we are building our community around that book and sharing tools and guidance with the other collaborators there, I was just sharing some information with one of those collaborators on Instagram, actually, and she liked one of my posts. And I in turn started being followed by someone else who was following her and then that person saw what I had to offer as far as my knowledge and asked me to, in turn, be on one of his podcasts about mindfulness. And it took a few years to develop that particular chain of events of networking events, but I think it does just go to show how showing up in community, whatever that community is, and sharing about what it is that you do, what it is that you're passionate about, or what your interests are, you never know where that road can lead.
How do you stay in front of and nurture these relationships?
I think it's important to engage with people and show interest in them just as a fellow human being. I think it's really important for people to understand that as you're sharing what it is that you do that you are also just sharing that human connection. So whether that's commenting on someone's post, and I'm talking about social networking, online, in particular, using social media, showing interest and kind of commenting on posts, cheerleading and recognizing the work that they're doing. And when we're able to, again, whenever possible, showing up to events, whether that's online or in person. I think you have to be selective about what it is that you, where you want to share your energy and where you want to be a presence.
What advice would you give the business professional who's looking to grow their network?
You certainly can't do it in a silo. I hear of so many people who are trying to grow their network, but they're not doing it in a way that is coming from their personal interest. It's typically from a business standpoint just kind of looking out for other people who are interested in that particular service or that particular commodity. But I think that one of the ways that I've grown my network has been interest based. But I find that showing where your interests are in business and showing what your personal interests are, is a way to really, truly grow your network. Because like I said, before, people are getting to know you as a human being, then they're going to want to do business with you as well and find out what it is that you are doing or what you have to offer them as well.
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
I think primarily, I wasn't bold enough, or focused enough at that time to really understand what it was that I truly wanted to do. I certainly didn't recognize that there was a way for me to do what it is that I coach people to do now, which is to go grow inwardly. To have a really firm and good understanding of myself and the power that I have to really intuitively understand like the connections that I wanted to make with people and to grow my career in that way. I feel like there was a little bit of wasted time there. I mean, there are other parts of me that knows it's all a part of the journey. You know, one step kind of leads to the next and I feel like, because I didn't have that wisdom there, I had to actually go through some things to understand what exactly it was that I wanted to do with my career and my professional life.
We've all heard of the six degrees of separation, who would be one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you could do it within the sixth degree?
So I think my first thought when I hear this is Oprah. I'm gonna go slightly, slightly, slightly different path and say, Michelle Obama, I think I actually could connect with her fairly rapidly for some degrees of separation. She's one of those people that is just incredibly smart, but also very authentic in the way that she shows up and just shares who she is. I have a friend who is a CEO of their own diversity and inclusion firm. And they often work with a lot of politicians and celebrities. And I think more than likely they know someone in their network who has access to Michelle Obama. And so I feel like that's a path that I could take.
I'm always curious as to what my guests are reading or listening to and podcasts or audiobooks, anything you want to share with us?
One of them right now, and I actually do highly recommend it, is “The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person.” It's a workbook that helps to clarify what the world just kind of looks and feels like for HSP’s for highly sensitive people. And when I when I opened the book and just kind of started reading more about you know what that term means and how these people perceive the world I realized, wow, okay, that's me.
Any final word or advice for our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
I think being your authentic self is going to be the most important thing and showing people who you truly are. The work that I do around vulnerability, I think, the mark of a true leader, or someone that you kind of want to be able to connect with is are they are they wearing a mask? Or are they showing you who they truly are? My advice for growing your network is reaching out to people especially during this time, introducing yourself or reintroducing yourself, for people who don't know who you are. And pull back the curtain a little bit to reveal your authentic selves.