Friday's Featured Entrepreneur - Jen Mueller of Talk Sporty To Me
Each Friday meet a featured entrepreneur, all are trusted colleagues, most I am honored to call friends, the others I just stalked mercilessly until they said YES, and some are even current clients or graduated ones.....but I'll let them decide if they want to share that! You'll learn a thing or two and likely laugh a bit. They are all as candid in real life as they are here!
Describe yourself – I am, America’s Expert Talker, and have turned the comments of “talks too much” from teachers and family members into a career. I serve as the sideline radio reporter for the Seattle Seahawks and am a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast. I founded Talk Sporty to Me in 2009 and am a huge proponent of using sports conversations as a tool in business. I'm the author of two books, a full-time talker, wine lover, whisky drinker and proud owner of a Super Bowl ring.
Describe your business – I deliver kick ass corporate training sessions and keynote presentations that give clients ways to make sports conversations useful in business. It’s not about sports metaphors or analogies, but actual conversation strategies, business building tools and networking tactics. It’s business communication on steroids, or should we just say, from the locker room. Many of the same strategies are covered in the two books I’ve published - Game Time: Learn to Talk Sports in 5 Minutes a Day and Talk Sporty to Me: Thinking Outside the Box Scores. And my weekly newsletter makes you sports savvy by 7am every Monday.
What are the stunning results clients/customers get when they hire and work with you?
My clients think they’re getting a lesson in sports, but what they actual get is confidence, the confidence that they can hold their own in any conversation, which is particularly important for women. After a presentation they realize they not only know enough about sports to talk
sports with colleagues and clients, but they understand how it gives them a foot in the door to really highlight their skills and showcase what they do best. They do get practical conversation strategies that make them more effective communicators, but that’s secondary to the confidence and boldness they possess as a result.
What’s the biggest challenge you ever faced in your business and how did you resolve it?
The biggest challenge is educating potential clients on what I do. I’m the business dedicated to making sports a business communication tool. So proof of concept is something that was challenging. I actually had a man tell me “I think you’re full of shit and just a pretty face who can talk her way into a room and then doesn’t have anything to back it up.” I almost quit
after that, then I got mad and wrote Talk Sporty to Me: Thinking Outside the Box Scores. The book proved I had real, original content that was useful to corporate professionals and it served as revenue stream and gave me publicity.
What’s the one question you wish clients would ask you but they never do?
“What’s the biggest or best lesson learned from inside the locker room?” The content of my business is based on what I’ve learned and developed from 16 years as a sports broadcaster. I get lots of questions asking how hard it is to be in a locker room or how difficult it is to be a woman in a male dominated field, but I wish clients would spin it around and look at the positive side not just for me, but for them. If you think something is hard you’re probably making it harder than it needs to be. Starting finding a silver lining and it gets a lot easier.
Best time saving business tool you use?
Paper. It sounds funny but I have a paper calendar and I write my to-do lists on paper. Every single day. It saves me time because I can get distracted if I’m at my computer seeing emails
come in or I start clicking around on different links and sites and find that I’ve lost 30 minutes of valuable time. Paper minimizes my distractions and makes me more creative when I need to write.
Current book you are reading?
I’m going back and forth between Boys in the Boat and Content Inc. How Entrepreneurs Use Content and Create Radically Successful Business.
What book do you recommend the most to other entrepreneurs?
(Of course I should say my own book Talk Sporty to Me) but I like anything by Malcolm Gladwell Blink, Outliers, The Tipping Point, because it reinforces the belief that one habit or one idea has big implications even if you can’t see the big picture yet.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
“Business is common sense. Think through it and you’ll have the answer.” It came from my brother who has an MBA and when I started my business I was worried that I didn’t have enough knowledge to actually run a business or make business decisions especially since I have degrees in broadcasting journalism and public policy and deal with the perception that sideline reporters are bimbos. I can make business harder than it is, but he’s right.
Website and Social Links
Website – TalkSportytoMe.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jen.mueller.14/
Twitter - @TalkSportytoMe
LinkedIn – Jen Mueller
Debbie Page Whitlock is a business coach and leading authority on cash flow for women entrepreneurs, and writes on all things related to creating sustainable, scalable and potentially salable businesses and other useful bits of business wisdom she’s acquired on her 20 year entrepreneurial odyssey.