Laurel Mintz

Episode Description

Being a very driven and cerebral person is not a bad thing. In fact, those are crucial characteristics for a leader. But in order to actually be able to move forward and grow, it’s important to feel our emotions too. Anger, anxiety, fear, sadness, grief... All these things are important and are there to tell us something.

Today I’m really excited to introduce my guest. She’s Laurel Mintz, CEO & Founder of Elevate My Brand, a creative and data-driven marketing agency that brings companies and brands to life. And on this podcast, Laurel tells me all about her business, how COVID has affected it, and what losing the space where their office used to be has meant to her.

From there, we discuss the true meaning behind the word “but”, the issues created by not addressing or not understanding how to manage certain feelings, and the fundamental difference between motivation and inspiration.  And we talk about how all of these will help you elevate both your performance, your life, and so much more.

Are you struggling with any of these issues? Or maybe something else? Let’s talk! If there's a challenge you'd like to talk about on the podcast or privately, please reach out to me at:

kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. This is Kim Ades. I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in-person.

Today, my guest is Laurel Mintz and she is... Did I say your name properly?

Laurel Mintz: [00:00:26]
Yeah. Laurel Mintz. Yep.

Kim Ades: [00:00:28] Laurel Mintz! And she is the President and Founder of a company called Elevate Your Brand.

Laurel, welcome.

Laurel Mintz: [00:00:36]
Thank you so much for having me.

Kim Ades: [00:00:38]
So where are you in the world and what is Elevate Your Brand?

Laurel Mintz: [00:00:41]
It's Elevate My Brand. Elevate Your Brand is our podcast, that we will invite you on. So, we are located in Los Angeles, California, and we've been running this digital and experiential agency for 12 years and over 250 brands later.

Kim Ades: [00:00:58]
Wow. 12 years. And what is digital? We often know what digital means, but what does experiential mean?

Laurel Mintz:
[00:01:05]
So digital is all the online and stuff. Web content, social, advertising, creative, all of that universe. Experiential is the exact opposite piece of that. So it's all the IRL, real life activations, experiences that you would have through a brand. So every way that a brand touches their audience in real life.

So that could be trade shows, conferences. We did a huge national road tour for Paw Patrol, for those of you that have kids. So, everything from intimate networking events to national conferences, with tens of thousands of people.

Kim Ades: [00:01:40]
Okay. Amazing. So, you've been doing this for 12 years and, before COVID, what was lifelike? Like, were you all in one location? Did you have a virtual component? How did you operate?

Laurel Mintz: [00:01:53]
Yeah, we were all hands on deck. We were 15 people in a 3000 square foot office space that we just shut down end of last week, so I'm still getting over that fresh wound. But you know, it's the right thing for my team. They are very productive offsite and you know, I'm lucky to still be around because a lot of agencies have been seriously injured by COVID.

How long has your team been with you? Is this like a well-seasoned oil team? People have been with you for a long time or some of them a little bit newer to the game?
I've got a little of both... In terms of seasoned in terms of their experience in marketing or seasoned in terms of their experience with my agency?

Kim Ades: [00:02:35]
Both.

Laurel Mintz: [00:02:36]
So, I would say because we're a small agency, we typically have about a two to four year life cycle with the people on our team because they kind of use this as a stepping stone to go up into a larger agency, and then they realized larger agencies aren't all they're cracked up to be, and they ended up coming back or starting their own thing.

So most of my team has been with me about two to three years, and they're all seasoned experts in their field. We have what's called a pod model. So, what we found was that clients were really tired of being sold to by someone like me, who was in the C-suite and then being handed off to a junior person who just didn't know anything really about their company or how to execute.

So we turn that model on its head and created this pod model where every single person on our team is an expert within their category. So we wrap the entire team around our clients at any given time, depending on which component we're executing on for that client at that time.

Kim Ades: [00:03:31]
So in other words, if a person needs expertise in a visual or a virtual conference, you have someone specifically for that.

Laurel Mintz: [00:03:38]
Exactly.

Kim Ades: [00:03:39]
Okay. Got it. Okay, good. So tell me, as you know, what we do is we coach leaders and we're specifically looking at how leaders think and how that thinking gets trickled down through organizations, but also perhaps in their personal lives. What is your challenge that you're excited to talk to us about today?

Laurel Mintz: [00:04:00]
Oh my gosh. There's so, so many challenges. Let's see. I can't remember exactly which one I told you about, 'cause there's like a million out of my head...

Kim Ades: [00:04:08]
Doesn't matter. Throw whatever you got at me.

Laurel Mintz: [00:04:10]
What of the a hundred thousand challenges that I have do you want to talk about today? You know, I think the biggest challenge that I'm currently having is separating my ego from the experience of what's currently happening. So, shutting down the office was a really big challenge for me because we built it exactly the way we wanted it. It was perfect and beautiful. And we had like $60,000 in TBI dollars.

So we put in the floor as we wanted and we put in the barn doors and it was this gorgeous space. And you know, it hurts my soul to not be in that space anymore. Even though I know it's the right thing, it's that, you know, that gap I think is like 12 inches between your head and your heart, right? Something like that. So I know in my head that it was the right thing to do, but I'm personally having a hard time getting over that. It's a loss for sure.

Kim Ades: [00:04:59]
It's the loss. So the question is how do you recover from the loss or what's the question? What's the challenge? How do I cope with the loss? How do I be okay with the loss? Like, what's the actual challenge?

Laurel Mintz: [00:05:10]
Yeah. How do I, instead of being cerebral about saying I'm fine, I know that it's fine. Like, knowing versus the feeling. And that's always been my biggest challenge, 'cause I'm a very cerebral person. I've got a JD and an MBA. I'm a barred attorney. I have all the educations. I'm super cerebral, and sometimes I have a hard time connecting the heart piece.

Kim Ades: [00:05:29]
Yeah, I can relate to you on a personal level. I'm very cerebral myself. And what I noticed over the span of my life is that my brain pushes down the emotional piece so that I can just keep going. And it's--

Laurel Mintz: [00:05:44]
You're justifying it.

Kim Ades: [00:05:45]
Well, it's not only justifying. It's a really great... it's a strength in a lot of ways, but it's a survival mechanism, right? It's what allows you to carry on, but that doesn't mean your heart is okay with things. Your heart kind of just goes "I have no choice". You know, what are my options right now?

Laurel Mintz: [00:06:04]
And you haven't mourned that loss. I think that's the biggest thing is like, it's still definitely-- and it's still very fresh. So, I think people always say time heals all wounds, so I'm hoping that a little time will help with that as well. But yeah, it's definitely the thing that's the most fresh for me right now.

Kim Ades: [00:06:19]
So one of the things that I do with my clients is I-- and I'll give you a little bit-- a little more of a layout of how we work with clients, because I think it's very relevant right now in this conversation, is that when we work with clients, we ask them to journal with their coach in an online journal.

And we give them a journaling prompt at the beginning of the week. And then every time they journal, their journal goes back to their coach who then reads in response to the journal and that's happening every day, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And so, in your case, I'm really interested in like the emotional piece, right?

'Cause it's a place. It's just a place, but that place had a lot of meaning for you. And so, you know, if I were to give you some homework assignments, I'd ask you to define what did that place mean to you? What did it mean about you? What did it mean about your business? What did it mean about the place you came to? In other words, your achievements over 12 years. What did it reflect?

And when you think about those answers, and I'm just curious, you can kind of throw out some answers right now. It's, you know, not only mourning a place, it's mourning the meaning that we're really after.

And then what we end up doing is we tie meaning with objects, with tangible items and what we want to do, cerebrally and emotionally, is cut that cord to say "this meaning still exists. So what I'm losing is the physical space. I'm not losing all the meaning that I'm attaching to that physical space". So tell me, what meaning for you did that place have? What did it signify?

Laurel Mintz: [00:08:00]
Yeah. So, that was our second office. The first office was like a quarter of the size and we were starting to expand and we had brought on a new team and we had bigger clients. And so it was certainly showcasing the success and the growth of the agency.

And since I'm the sole founder and CEO, it's tied personally to my own self worth and success, and that's how it feels. But so losing that feels very much like a loss of those things, even though to your point, I know cerebrally that it's not.

Kim Ades: [00:08:32]
Okay. So, this is the thing, right? You defined it so well. Is that this place was the physical evidence of my success and the growth of this company. And so this is the funny thing, is that we're always looking for evidence to support our beliefs. And so right now your beliefs are being challenged a little bit because you're at odds and you can correct me if I'm wrong. Like, I'm speaking on your behalf, please say, "no, Kim you're messed up. You don't have this right".

I suspect--

Laurel Mintz: [00:09:04]
I feel like people very rarely say that to you.

Kim Ades: [00:09:08]
I always offer them the opportunity though. So, here's what's happening is that you're looking around and the evidence you're seeing doesn't support the concept of growth. And then what happens is you're going "well, so am I really growing? Did I really reach that place of success? Without this building, is it actually true?"

And so your foundation is being kind of shifted around and my... not advice, my guidance to you is to say, what evidence can you search for outside of the tangible building that will help you regain your foundation that says, "yes, here's what we've achieved".

And I know some of the clients you've worked with are quite formidable. You know, perhaps you have not only a list of clients, but a list of testimonials. Right? And there are other pieces of evidence I encourage you to search for and memorialize in a way. Make them tangible.

Laurel Mintz: [00:10:17]
I get that. Yeah, I get that. I think maybe it's a female leader thing or maybe it's just my own personality, but I'm always looking for what else instead of being like, "well, I have this and that's great, but what else? Like, what's next?" I call it moving the goalpost, which I'm sure is something you see all the time with leaders of all gender.

But that's my-- another one of my issues that I'm working on is even if I can separate the office from my personal ego, and I know that I have all these great clients and that we've been doing this for 12 years, and even during a pandemic we're still surviving and all that.

I'm still like, "but I haven't done this yet. And I haven't hit that goal. And I still haven't received this award" or whatever that looks like.

Kim Ades:
[00:10:57]
So let me ask you a question. When you say "but I haven't", so you have the word "but" there. "But I haven't done this and I haven't achieved this goal and I haven't received this award".

"But". What does the "but" really mean? So... Okay, so you haven't received this award, so what does that mean about you?

Laurel Mintz: [00:11:18]
I mean, it all comes down to a self worth thing, for sure.

Kim Ades: [00:11:23]
And so, for you, there's like a bit of a pattern that we see. Even though we're just new. We just met each other.

Laurel Mintz:
[00:11:30]
I'm pretty transparent and I've done a lot of work on myself. I've done a lot of work on my business. I've been doing it long enough to know again, no cerebrally, but not necessarily understanding how to connect the two.

Kim Ades: [00:11:41]
Right. And so the pattern is that you look to outside demonstrators of your value. And so the work that really needs to happen is we understand why that might make you feel a bit better temporarily until you're going off on the "what's next", right? Like, it makes you feel good for a short period of time and then you're seeking the next thing.

The question is what's happening inside of you that's causing you to feel the need for that in the first place. And so... I mean, this is a much longer conversation, right?

Laurel Mintz: [00:12:19]
Well, my counterpoint only to that is that it is also the thing that has kept me driving forward. So I find this is also very common with, you know, seasoned entrepreneurs, that fear factor, that driving towards the next goal is-- can be both a success driver and detrimental emotionally. So it has both sides of that coin.

Kim Ades: [00:12:43]
A hundred percent. And what we see is that entrepreneurs, they're wired a bit differently than maybe the average person, right? You know, I'm an entrepreneur and I often-- I make light of it, but I say, "I'm not employable. I can't work for anybody else". I just... I can't say-- I literally cannot work for someone else.

I get into an organization and all I do is notice everything that could be improved and everything they're doing wrong and I feel trapped and like I'm in jail, right? So it's just not... You can relate?

Laurel Mintz: [00:13:17]
Totally.

Kim Ades: [00:13:17]
It's just not something... So entrepreneurs are definitely wired differently and they're driven differently. They're inspired differently. And what I want to really do is make a distinction between what inspires you and what motivates you. And I think a lot of people aren't really clear about the distinction between the two.

So I'll give you an example. I am motivated to let's say, lose weight. Why? Because I am fearful of being unhealthy. I'm fearful of looking bad. I'm fearful of not being able to be mobile when I get older. I'm fearful of one day when I have grandchildren not being able to lift them up and play with them. I'm fearful of losing the ability to walk. You know, so my fear motivates me. But anything that is driven by fear doesn't have a long sustainability.

So I get fearful, I am motivated, I work, I exercise, and then I forget! Right? Then I sit on the couch and I have a glass of wine and I revert until I'm motivated again. And so... and it sounds like it's a very similar pattern. What's the difference?

Inspiration is when we have a vision that really turns us on, that leads us forward with no fear. There's no fear attached to this. Right. There's no like, "Hey, if I don't do this, then this terrible, horrible, awful thing will happen to me".

And so we want to do is we want to move leaders from up place of motivation to inspiration, and really address the things that drive motivation, which are usually fear-based. And if we go a few steps deeper are fueled by a set of beliefs that are fundamentally contradictory to what you want.

Laurel Mintz: [00:15:02]
Wow. Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:15:03]
Right?

Laurel Mintz: [00:15:04]
Nailed it.

Kim Ades: [00:15:05]
So...

Laurel Mintz: [00:15:05]
Fix me, Kim! I'm just kidding.

Kim Ades: [00:15:09]
This is a complicated conversation, right? But we have beliefs that say, "yes, this works for me. This fear-driven achievement works for me". Sure. It works for you on the surface, but is it really working for you when you have a loss and it's messing you up? Right? Or a perceived loss.

So, for me, it's very, very interesting to look at the beliefs that drive our behaviors and see whether or not those beliefs are actually aligned with the goals we have. And so your goal may be, "yes, I want my company to look like this", but you have more goals than that, which is "I want my life to look like this. I want to feel like this. I want to look in the mirror and not have any of that fear or nagging, wonder about what is the next thing. And I'm speaking for you, of course.

Laurel Mintz: [00:16:00]
No, you nailed it. Yeah, I definitely have a... I definitely have a fear-based driver for sure. And it's not sustainable, like you said. You put yourself in these behavioral cycles that are not necessarily healthy.

Kim Ades: [00:16:14]
Right. And it's cool because it makes you achieve. But in terms of living a life that feels good, you feel good, then you feel bad, then you feel good and then you feel bad. And what we want to do, what I want to do is help you feel good more often, right? So not only elevate your performance, but elevate your life and I'm using the word elevate because it's your word.

Laurel Mintz: [00:16:38]
Yeah, definitely.

Kim Ades: [00:16:41]
I hope that at least tweaks some thought on your behalf. I love the conversation. It's rare when we get into that side of things on the coaching side, but that's the side I love.

Laurel Mintz: [00:16:53]
Yeah, the emotional side is the hardest side. I mean the doing and the action pieces. If you're not doing those as an entrepreneur, then maybe you shouldn't be an entrepreneur. Like, if you're not driven to execute and do the things that make you, you know, financially successful and make your clients happy and all those things, then you're probably not in the right business and you should work for someone else.

But it's the underlying emotional pieces that I think most entrepreneurs don't want to talk about because they're trying to put up this space of, you know, strength. And for me, I'm really transparent. I mean, I talk about this stuff with my team, I talk about it with my family and I talk about it on podcasts.

Because I think it's time that we have those really honest and vulnerable conversations. And only in doing that, can we make real change and allow other people to see that it's okay to be... not be, you know, this steel wall of calm, organized, like, you know, to project this air of perfection truly.

Kim Ades: [00:17:44]
I agree with you wholeheartedly. But I will say this, and this is a bit of a guide for people who do struggle and it kind of works like this. Our emotions, especially negative emotions, but our emotions are a GPS, like, they're a guidepost. They tell us whether or not we're pointed in the right direction. And more than anything, when we feel a negative emotion, it's an indicator that it's fueled by a belief that literally clashes with our true desires.

And so when we notice that icky, uncomfortable feeling, we want to spend some time exploring what's the belief that's driving this emotion. And is that belief even true? Because we make it all up, right? We're making it all up. So this is... I mean, I'd love to spend more time with you, but this is a good place to stop for now.

Again, for those of you who are listening, if you have a negative emotion explore what are the beliefs that you have about this situation, the circumstances, this person, anything, what are the beliefs you have that are driving the negative emotion? And then you want to look at those beliefs and say, are these beliefs even true?

Laurel, thank you so much for being on the podcast...

Laurel Mintz: [00:19:04]
Thank you for having me.

Kim Ades: [00:19:05]
...for sharing, for being authentic and transparent. How do people find you if they're interested in your services?

Laurel Mintz: [00:19:10]
They can go to elevatemybrand.com. For anyone that's listening to the podcast, if you mention the podcast when you reach out to us, we are doing a donation of 10% of all proceeds for the month towards a black owned business that we've chosen because this current month is Black History Month. So we will still honor that if you mention Kim and the podcast when you reach out. So, elevatemybrand.com.

There's a great pop up that shares with you a little bit of a difference between marketing and sales, which I think a lot of people are confused about. And yeah. Of course, on all the socials as well.

Kim Ades: [00:19:48]
Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us.

For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you want to talk about on the podcast, please reach out to me.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

And if you have a challenge that you want to talk about, but maybe not so much on the podcast, please still reach out to me.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Laurel, thank you so much. I really appreciate your contribution to this podcast. I think a lot of people will resonate with what you had to say.

Laurel Mintz: [00:20:20]
Thank you. Thank you for your help and guidance. I already feel a little bit better.