This week's Quest for New Inspiration is answered by Lauren Kennedy, Founder of Coastal Consulting. We discuss her journey of starting her own business during the pandemic and not allowing limitations to determine her goals. If you are looking into starting your own business, this is the perfect episode to get you started.
Lauren Kennedy is the founder of Coastal Consulting, a people-first marketing automation agency focused on HubSpot and Salesforce.
Lauren is an innovative leader, not only in the service her team provides but also in the delivery and ecosystem surrounding it. She embodies the people-first approach and takes every opportunity to grow, nurture, and develop those around her.
Lauren is a mission-driven woman on a trajectory to change the way business is done, both for employees and customers. Underneath all of that, a leader worth following.
Lauren has created an agency environment that focuses on the person behind the solution, both for the team and the client.
Brene Brown : Braving Wilderness https://www.amazon.com/s?k=the+wilderness+brene+brown&adgrpid=1345802804132766&hvadid=84112747394449&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocint=49861&hvlocphy=55053&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvtargid=kwd-84113038405541%3Aloc-190&hydadcr=15526_10463663&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_5r9e0abpk_e
Episode 6 - A Heavenly 99 : https://open.spotify.com/episode/5lRdmr85pUNgL1TYPh8pCL?si=5d5c881ef1c04639
Free Guy: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6264654/
Glennon Doyle- Untamed: https://www.amazon.com/Untamed-Glennon-Doyle-Melton/dp/1984801252
Hello. And welcome to another episode of the quest for new inspiration. My name is katie maschler and before I get started with this week's episode, I just want to take a second. And ask my audience what they want from this podcast. And that would be you. So, if you have anybody in your life who is a big inspiration or somebody that you would recommend or love to hear from send me a DM or. A email to new inspiration email@example.com. I would love to hear it from you guys.
Lauren Kennedy: so, hi, I'm Lauren Kennedy. I am the founder and chief marketing nerd at coastal consulting. I live in Wilmington, North Carolina, and have recently started my company in March of this year. We are a marketing automation firm that supports clients in Salesforce and HubSpot. We, are. Really just making a difference in the agency space.
So I started coastal consulting cause I've worked with agencies in the past to [00:01:00] accomplish different marketing tasks from creating emails, branding all the way to automation and what I do now. And I've very much found like disconnect between what you need as a client and what agencies are providing.
And that there's a culture of knowledge hoarding for agencies where. they essentially will build something for you and then keep the documentation as to how they did it and essentially build a dependency between you and them. So you need to keep coming back and using their services. And what we do differently is we build people for solutions.
So we focus on what clients need, what their skill level is, what their comfortability is. And we make sure that we're building systems and solutions that fit their needs and their comfortability. So they don't need us forever. And so we really focus on client enablement and I. I guess have found myself here after a few years working in marketing and marketing automation, and I'm really have been enjoying my journey.
Oh my gosh.
Kt Maschler: I love that so much. I, as someone who is also in the marketing world, I definitely [00:02:00] understand that, you know, dependency upon whatever agency you're working with, they have all your like documentations. And if you don't have whatever program they made to like edit it. well, what do I do? I have to remake all this.
Great. Um, but now that is amazing. And so what kind of, you know, got you started in marketing, what kind of led that path? Like, you know, did you start like right out of college and like what made you choose.
Lauren Kennedy: So I went to university of Tennessee and majored in psychology. And then I went to university of Tennessee Chattanooga and got my master's in business administration with a focus on marketing.
So my approach to marketing is very much from a psychology basis of understanding people and how we make decisions. And. Behavior. And so whenever I looked at psychology, I didn't really want to be a therapist. I didn't want to go into the traditional like psychology career path, but I really wanted to connect with people.
And I really love data. I love making [00:03:00] data-driven decisions. I like right and wrong. So I've found marketing automation, which is a really great blend of understanding people and connecting with them and using data to do so. So I found myself in this career through a little bit of a non-traditional path.
I started right out of college and legit. So I worked for a trucking company as a dispatch manager and just got my foot into the career world. And from there, I started working in marketing for a different logistics company. That was a global third party logistics provider and worked doing trade show management.
And that was a really fun job of getting to travel across the U S and go to different trade shows and essentially host parties. And it was just super fun. But I found that the part of that job that fueled me the most was doing email communications. So before a trade show, after a trade show, I would be sending emails to the attendees to get them to attend an event or learn about our thought leadership offering at the show or something like that.
And I found that that was what I was enjoying the most. So I started freelancing and marketing automation to create email [00:04:00] campaigns or help set up HubSpot, or do all sorts of tasks for different people to help learn more in my free time. And. From there. I leveraged that into a career, actually doing marketing automation and revenue operations and marketing operations for organizations.
And that has grown into running my own business because as I've worked in different job roles, I've found that my personal values. Align with a company cultures that I've been working in. And I find it really challenging to not work in a people first environment. So I decided to create my own environment where I can do what I love and make sure that I'm always putting people at the heart of what.
Kt Maschler: That is amazing. I love that.
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Kt Maschler: The world was very negative, especially in the business world. How did you like kind of move forward and get through all that?
Lauren Kennedy: So I decided to start my business on March 1st and started it on March 2nd. So I did not have a very long time of thinking over the decision or anything like that. I had a really negative interaction with my previous manager and, decided that I needed to leave that environment and that I didn't really want to go into just another [00:07:00] job.
And so I decided to start freelancing full time. And as I spoke to more clients and began to grow my client base, it was clear that I needed more time. And now I have three full-time employees and a part-time interns. We're also hiring again soon. So I have just grown into being a business owner and as I've done that, I've essentially just made the next right decision.
And as far as inspiration, I was inspired by my. Inability to exist in that environment and my unwillingness to find another one. So I, uh, was inspired by myself and my own values. And as I've gone through it, if there's any ever any time that I'm lacking motivation, I essentially go back to my wife. And my why is to create a people first learning culture, where I can continue to learn as much as I want to.
I can empower others to have a job that they enjoy and like a career that they enjoy, like going to, and like experiencing. And then I also can help. And their careers by earning them the next promotion by actually teaching them how to use their system and [00:08:00] like setting them up for success in their career path, by helping teach them, not just do stuff for them.
And that that's really my motivation. And if I'm lacking, I'll look through our reviews. Like I like to review, like look through all of our reviews and we have a slack channel. That's essentially positive things. Clients say either in meetings or other messages, they send us that we throw in there. And so.
I really liked to see that what I'm doing makes a difference. And when I'm lacking inspiration or like feeling down, I'll look through that thread and get inspired.
Kt Maschler: That is such a good idea. I love that so much. It's kind of in high school, one of my teachers did like, words of kindness and you'd like fill each other's buckets.
So you would have like a little folder and you could send them anonymously to people in your class that I love words of affirmation. So much. Okay. Um, do you have any like, I guess entrepreneurs or business women who inspire you, that kind of, you look towards.[00:09:00]
Lauren Kennedy: The, the biggest inspiration in my life actually comes from my family. Um, if you want to look at public figures, I'm a big fan of Bernie brown. I love everything she's written and like listened to her podcast. And I just think she's a really awesome woman. but my she's great, um, braving the wilderness is amazing for any woman in their early twenties.
I highly recommend reading that book, As far as like inspiration personally, I look at my mom and my grandfather. Both of them have played a really strong role in shaping who I am today, my career goals. And also my intention on being people. First, I found out after my grandfather passed that there are so many people in his life that he just positively influenced.
And he, he worked as a leader at the world bank and had a very like high up career, but he wasn't really remembered by that for his peers. He was remembered by. Helping people out when they were in a tough time or helping them push to their next promotion or like go through their career or help their family.
And it was really impressive to me to see that the legacy you leave behind is not what you do, but [00:10:00] it's how you treat others. And so I use that as my, like, I guess north star as I'm going through different situations and deciding if I'm comfortable or not, or if I'm making the right decision, I just look at, am I treating people right?
This is how I want to be remembered. And that just sticks with me. That
Kt Maschler: is so beautiful. I love that so much. My grandfather was, if you haven't listened to episode six, it is his 99th birthday special. He also worked at a bank. So that, that was, I was like shocked. I was like, wait, what? That is amazing. I love that so much.
Okay. Um, so the last couple of questions do you have any like fun, favorite, inspirational movies that you go to when you're feeling down just like makes you happy?
Lauren Kennedy: So Mo Lee, there's a new movie that came out, um, it's called free city or free guy one or the other has Ryan Reynolds. And recently that's been my go-to. I actually am very childlike in my movie [00:11:00] preferences. Like if I'm feeling down, I watched Disney movies like, oh, gee Disney. Um, and animated films. I am a big fan of frozen as childish as that sounds, but that's my go-to if I'm feeling down and just like, want to smile as I watch something that's like super simple and like happy ending, wraps it up nicely.
as far as adult movies, I usually don't go to movies for inspiration. I go to movies to like free time. So I usually watch romcoms because it. Like lightened me whenever I need inspiration from some sort of like additional content. I usually, um, reread braving the wilderness. or I look at untamed by Glennon Doyle.
That's another one. I recommend all women in their early twenties, untamed, Glennon, Doyle. Those are the two things that I'll go to for inspiration movies or just free myself. I have not
Kt Maschler: read untamed. I will put that on my list. Um, do you have any last piece of it? For, as I mentioned earlier, we're not much of an age difference, but you know, someone just first [00:12:00] starting out in their career or like, thinking about making that step and like creating their own business and all of that.
Lauren Kennedy: My biggest takeaway and like the next step for women at any age, I, I have three younger sisters, so I say this quite a bit, but my biggest piece of advice is to not allow the limitations of, in place on you to hold you back. It's really important to like interrogate reality and look at what you've been told.
What's actually true. What you believe in make sure that it's actually valid. A lot of times they talked about people with anxiety, like looking around and validating what's going on and you should do that in all aspects of your life. So when you look at, why am I not being promoted? Why have I not made this next step?
Why am I not earning what I want to make sure you're looking at the full picture and not just what you've been told for a long time? I was told that I. Like was not fitting into the right place or not fitting into the box that was created for me. And actually I'm just a leader that was demanding a better culture.
And I was meant to be doing that for others and not fitting into a cog in the [00:13:00] system role. and it's just important to trust your gut and make sure that you're listening to what you want, what you should be getting, what you deserve and not just what someone has decided you should fit into. Like do, and also people make starting a business down much harder than it is it.
I'm not saying that from an egotistical place, it's definitely has its challenges. It's not this insurmountable thing that people have made it to be. If you want to start your own business, it's okay to freelance on the side. You can make a profile on Upwork and start small and just do little projects until you build a client base that can cover your current income, which is you make a lot more as a contractor that an employee, um, and then take the leap.
It's if it fails, all you have to do is get another job. So don't let people's.
Kt Maschler: I love that at mice. That is perfect. Where can anyone find you connect if anyone is looking for a job in the future? Maybe.
Lauren Kennedy: Yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active there. I also am on [00:14:00] Twitter at CMN, coastal, and you can find us firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to learn more about our culture or what we do for people.
Kt Maschler: Perfect. Thank you so much for your time today. That was amazing. Thanks for having me. And that is it for this week's episode. Thank you guys so much for tuning in it truly does mean the world to me. If you guys want to show your support, please rate, subscribe and review. It really does help small podcasts like me.
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