#256 Core Values and How to Position Your Brand to Align with Them

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I want to do something a little different this week…

2020 has been a year of reflection and change for me, and I hope it has been for you, too. 

So I decided to reevaluate and get real about Flourish & Thrive Academy’s core values. It was a necessary exercise for me, and I hope it inspires you to do the same.

Because we are built on the value of community over competition, and standing with your community means you’re always learning, always reflecting, and always innovating.

As I talk about our core values and how we position our brand in alignment with them, I hope you can come to better understand how to identify and align with your own brand’s core values.

Together we can talk the talk and walk the walk.

#256 Core Values and How to Position Your Brand to Align with Them Show notes

“Wow, maybe not everyone gets to start out at the same place in life, you know, they might have different circumstances or different imprints, we all have an opportunity to be able to overcome our challenges and to rise up.”

Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.

Welcome to thrive by design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you are a creative fashion or product based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing and scaling your business so you can spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this. 

Welcome to the thrive by design podcast, Episode 256. Hey, there it is Tracy Matthews. I'm the Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy and I'm here today to talk about an issue that is really important to me. And I know it's important to a lot of people. I really wanted to come on here and talk about core values and how to position your values to align with your brand. And I'm going to be using my own company as an example here. And I realized this conversation is probably hitting home for a lot of jewelry brands right now, in light of everything that's happening in the world. And so I wanted to discuss a little bit about what we've done. 

I've made some updates to our company mission and vision statement, and also made sure I just wanted to check back in with our core values to make sure that we were still aligned with the things that we said we are. And the good news is, is that we've always been an inclusive community that is founded on community and collaboration over competition. That's really the foundation of where we stand. 

However, it's been pointed out to me that in many ways we probably aren't being inclusive enough or representing people that we serve.. So I wanted to take this time to just have a really challenging conference conversation for me because I've always felt like I've, I built this company and founded this company on an equal maybe bit best way to put it as an equal opportunity. And I've spent the last two weeks trying to educate myself on issues that I thought I knew about. But clearly, I didn't know well enough. And I'll leave that conversation for another time. And I'm going to share with you during this episode a way that you can listen to a conversation that I had with a woman named Jocelyn Kopac

It is very to the point and direct so if you are faint of heart, maybe skip it. But if you do want to educate yourself a little bit more on issues around race and inclusivity, for your company in your business, and how you should actually be showing up for your business right now. Based on what you value, then I'd encourage you to watch that you can check it out on our Facebook page. And if you're listening to this, it's on our Facebook business page and if you're listening to this within the month of June 2020, then it will still be high up on the feed. And we'll try to get a link in the show notes directly to that interview. 

And I wanted to bring this up because we were in the middle of doing a survey and an intake and a launch. And we realized this is not really in my nature to just like to pause things that we're doing. But I also wanted to stop for a minute and listen, because I know that that's one of the hardest things to do as a leader and as a business owner. And so one of the things that I was talking to with a member of my team, and she was really urging me that I needed to get out in front of this. 

And normally I'm a very reactive person. And what I mean by that is I'm a 10 on quickstart. I don't think about things too much. I just put it out there but I realized how and my knees were delicate, for lack of a better word, how delicate The situation is, and I wanted to make sure and also get feedback from people to make sure that I was approaching this in the right way so that this message will be received by our audience

So I took an entire week of reflection. In fact, I didn't get much done we decided to put off a launch that we're doing we are so we're gonna it's actually a blessing in disguise because I'm saying that we were launching this new masterclass to talk a little bit more about what's working now in the jewelry industry and what isn't, and we're launching it with this huge survey, we've decided to pivot and we're doing something a little bit different. So what we're doing is actually extending the survey time. And here's the reason why I want to share this with you is that we're curating the 2020 State of the Jewelry Industry Report. 

It is going to be a really comprehensive report of what has been working for the first six months of 2020 because there are a lot of designers out there who thought, in fact many of our students to who decided not to do much during COVID times because they had built their businesses either on how a retail store of their own showing up in for in person events or pop ups or whatever you want to call it. 

There's a lot of different types of retail events, I'll just say retail events where you're working directly with the customer, or the consumer. And they also have really strong wholesale businesses. And so for many of those companies where like, the majority of their revenue came from those in person or wholesale streams, they were almost in a way like chopped off at the knees when it came to income. And they were really worried about what to do. 

And I started observing a big difference in the members of our community that were showing up for their customers and showing up for their brand versus those that were afraid to sell because of a belief system that they have about people getting laid off because we got some interesting comments, you know, at the beginning of COVID like this has been like one of the most humbling years for me because we were getting comments on our ads like you shouldn't be running ads right now. You should be making math. You know myself, I don't know how to make masks. So how is that really serving our community right now because I feel like the best way that I could serve the community is to really lean in, because this is what I've been preparing people for, for the past eight years that we've had Flourish and Thrive. 

So we started sort of studying a survey of our students, and we found that some of them were legitimately doing so well. And they were like blowing their own minds. Like, I don't know why all of a sudden, like, my business is booming so hard. And they were beating their numbers from last year, even though they had shows and events and things that were canceled, like their other sales were just like, skyrocketing. 

And so I wanted to see how this was affecting the bigger community and to see if it was something where the majority of the people who in the jewelry industry were experiencing was it just a fraction of people who thought differently, or to kind of see like, where people are struggling and I'm in a lot of different jewelry groups. I can't say I participate that much because I'm primarily moderating our groups the Jewelry Brand Marketing Hub, our Diamond Insiders, which is our close community for our ongoing mentorship students, and our momentum mastermind formerly SOS community where we work with people at a very high level to help them scale their sales and create stronger direct to consumer revenue streams. And by the way, the Jewelry Brand Marketing Hub is free. 

So if you're not in there, I definitely invite you to join. It is a place for conversation and community. We have conversational topics that we post each week. It's not the same kind of support that we offer in our paid communities because it's just a different type of group. But it's a great way to stay apprised of what's going on in the jewelry industry and to have a conversation with other jewelers and we love it there. And so if you're interested in joining, it's free just you can just find it on Facebook, Jewelry Brand Marketing Hub, and it's welcome to all jewelry industry types and the only thing that we frown upon is you pitching your stuff. 

So if you're going to go and pitch a bunch of jewelry or, or those things that that's not really the right place for you. But if you want to go in and have a community and chat with other jewelers or members of the industry, then we'd love to welcome you in there and invite you in. Anyway, we decided to do this survey, and we were actually only going to release it for a week. And then we're going to have the results of reports by the end of June. So, we are still doing it. So I would love to invite you to fill out this report or fill out the survey so that you can get the report. 

And basically we're going to be unpacking what's working now and what isn't. And the thing that's really amazing to me is that people are really legitimately having record breaking months. And if you want your copy, you can head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com/2020report, you're going to hit a landing page right there and all you have to do is click that red button. And the survey will take about five to seven minutes on average from what we've been hearing from people.

So make sure that you have some time. You should Be clear on what your numbers are for the past six months in previous years. And this is completely anonymous, we would not tie your name to any of the information that you share. However, what we do want to do is to get this as accurate as possible. So we'd really like you to be candid and honest. So even if your business is not doing well tell us that because we want to, we want to be able to uncover because this is what's going to help us help you in our free content in our paid content and everything else that we're doing. 

So if you're interested in participating, the gift to you for participating is that you get the full detailed report. If you don't fill out the survey, then you don't get the report. So head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/2020 report to participate in our findings and to get the report at the end of July. I'm super excited for this. 

 And so I want to come back to the reason why I wanted to do this podcast today. And I also want to invite you the podcast listener As members of our Flourish and Thrive Academy community, in the jewelry and creative product brand industry, to offer us like feedback of what you'd like to hear about, and the reason why I'm saying this is that I always welcome members of our community to share with me ways that they think that we can do better. 

And in light of everything that's been happening with the George Floyd, Floyd murder, and all these protests that have been happening around the world, especially in the United States, I felt like it would be really important to kind of open up a conversation so people can speak candidly with us about how we can do better because one of our core values which I'm going to dive into, momentarily, is to always be learning and educating ourselves so that we can grow and really be the premier education platform in the jewelry industry. 

And I knew that I was on the right track several months ago when one of our students Natalie Williams, posted in our Diamond Insiders group she said something along the lines of like, you know, I really want to thank the flourish and thrive community because what you were talking about in March, about us showing up for our business and all the things that you were doing is what the majority of the coaches are talking about now. And this was like three months after all this COVID stuff happened. And so that let me know that I was on the right track. 

So I was messaging with her briefly. And we were talking a little bit and I was just curious. And so one of the things I don't know if this is really to my benefit, or to my detriment, but I'm, I'm so busy that I really just focus on the people in front of me, the people in our community that are attracted to what we do that we support and doing the work behind the scenes in the business. And because of that, I think this is also probably an opportunity for me. 

I don't really look a lot at our competitors or what other people are doing in particular because number one, like I don't, I want everything that we're doing to be in alignment and integrity with this is like how we can serve people the best. And so that's why we've delivered and launched all these different programs over the years to serve our community where they are, because we really do help people from the startup phase who don't even have a business yet who are trying to get off the ground, to that growth phase where they're, you know, trying to get past their first, you know, annual revenue year of $100,000. And even though that's not everyone's goal, you know, sometimes makers don't have as ambitious goals as like, you know, maybe a more ambitious designer maybe as the best way to put it. 

But we know that there are certain markers of what needs to happen at certain stages of business. And then once you're past that hundred thousand dollar mark, when you're trying to scale to multiple six figures, that's a different set of problems that you're going to have. And then once you get to this multiple six figure marker, you're trying to scale to a million dollars or more, you're going to basically hit a roadblock of another set of problems. And so really what we've been really doing over the last two years out Flourish and Thrive Academy is completely realigning and re configuring our what we call our Ascension model, like how people show up and find us, and then also how we help them continue to succeed through our programs. And with that work, we've been really getting a lot of feedback from our community. 

It's also been quite honestly a little bit of a rocky road because I'm sure we've lost people in the process. Because they felt like we were making all these changes and everything. But I think we all saw as a team, a bigger vision for what we're trying to do. And we wanted to create a core methodology that was going to be timeless and we teach people how to create a timeless brand and saturated market. 

And that's the perfect, you know, way that we can serve people who are just starting out, and I wanted to create something that was timeless for the jewelry industry too. And that's where we weave into our Desire Brand Methodology, which is the methodology that everything at the core of what We do here at Flourish and Thrive Academy is founded on and I've written a book about it. We are working on some edits on the book, I'm hoping that will be released this fall. 

We originally planned to release it last fall. And then we realized that we weren't quite there yet. We needed some work on it. So we postpone the launch of that, and we're going to be releasing it hopefully, by the end of the year. We aren't tied to a specific date because we want it to be the best content possible. And basically what the book is about, it's the high level overarching view of the Desire Brand Effect, as we teach it in our programs. 

And what I mean by that is that in the programs, we go in depth, and we were giving you the step by step of how to do things. In this book, we're just basically explaining the entire concept with some light exercises that you can do on your own to kind of see how you're doing from the standpoint of being able to create desire for your jewelry brands. That means attracting the right customers, continually bringing those people into your vortex and field from that space of taking those customers creating that desire and taking those customers that you've attracted and turning them into paying clients or paying customers, however you want to say that, that second phase is really about sharing desire. 

And that is getting to a place where people start to trust you, they start buying from you. And then eventually they start sharing it with your friends, because we know that repeat customers, and people who refer for us can become and will become our best salespeople and our best marketing people. And then from there, there, what ends up happening is you get to a certain phase, you're doing a lot of things yourself, you might have a small team. But for some reason, you start getting to a place where you're working, working, working, and things don't really shift or move. And so you hit this profit plateau. 

I've seen it happen over and over again, I've been there too. And that's when you need to kind of change the internal structures of your business because typically, we are all our own worst enemy in business because we become the biggest bottleneck. And so at that phase in scaling desire, we really teach you how to remove yourself from your business. In a way that allows you to be working more on your business instead of in it so that you're setting the systems up in place that allow you to grow and scale. 

And so it doesn't matter if you have ambitious goals of being like a multiple six figure or even seven figure designer, multiple, seven figures and beyond. What really matters in this entire philosophy is that you're doing the work and you're getting to a place where you're building the business that actually supports what you want, that is aligned with your mission that's aligned with your vision statement, and also is aligned with your core values. And that's sort of where this podcast is going today because I wanted to share a little bit more about that. 

When I came back online after taking five days off after the murders of George Floyd, I had no idea what was going on in social media. I had no idea what was going on in the coaching community and as a mentor and a coach. I guess technically I'm a coach, because I'm here leading a community of jewelry designers and creative product businesses. 

I got to a place where, you know, is really thinking about you know, what, how do we stand on this? And how do I actually respond to this because I got some criticism. Someone basically called me out and told me I was ignorant AF for not saying anything. And quite frankly, like I was offline, working on my personal development stuff, and also working on other things for the business. And the only way that I can do that, because I get really distracted is to basically turn everything off and be focused on the work that's in front of me. And so then, after that criticism, I was basically caught a little bit off guard because I didn't really know what to do. And I think a lot of people don't know what to do sometimes. 

And so you end up getting frozen in your tracks. And so I got on a coaching call with our students. I fumbled through the call. I'm sure there's mixed reviews from the people that were on the call. Some people thought I did well, some people thought that I needed work. Some people were like, please stop talking now. You know, whatever it is, that's That's all fine. But this is just a lesson to know that like, we're all human. And we do our best to show up in our best selves and in the ever evolving representation of who we're becoming. 

And, you know, that might sound a little weird, and you can take that however you want. But this started a conversation with me just opening the door to anyone who wanted to share who's been in our communities and who's seen what we're what we do to share their experience, because I really wanted to know like, how we, how can we improve and make all of our students supported, whether they're people of color, whether they're coming from diverse and different backgrounds, or whatever, because we have, we really do have a mixed bag and people have asked me over and over again, and we're going to try and do some better statistics, but they're like, you know, I think the assumption is that the jewelry industry is primarily white. And because we serve we do serve a lot of the higher end jewelers in our hiring programs.

Because we had to have a lot of Baker's, I hadn't really seen that experience because we do have a very multicultural audience. But as I was digging a little bit deeper members of the BIPOC community came forward and started offering me some suggestions about how we could do better.

 So, with that being said, I realized, you know, as I'm reflecting, you know, we're taking a look at the coaches that we have that how we're representing, you know, and being inclusive in our community and all those things from a 360 perspective because we are trying to do better so what I would love I'm just gonna This is a shout out to our bigger community on the podcast right now what I would love to know is like if you know a designer who is crushing it or you know, someone, an educator, copywriter, anyone who's crushing it, who works in the ecommerce and digital marketing space, I think the issue is sometimes a lot of coaches there. 

They really work with service based businesses and a lot of designers in this community. You know, we're really trying to recreate Is that like the full community. So if you want to nominate someone to be interviewed on the podcast, or to do a training for us, or to or to provide an introduction, I would love your suggestions because one of the suggestions from the student that I spoke with was that there could be a lot more diversity on the coaching staff. 

And I hadn't even thought about it before. But she's right, there could be a lot more diversity on the coaching staff. So I'm open to conversation, because we are, in particular, looking for coaches in the e-commerce space, Shopify experts, people who want to come in and educate our people and our coach for our students who are in our high level programs. And that's more of a one on one coaching thing. So that's very specific. I'd love to hear from you. 

So if you know anyone, and you'd like to recommend them, I'm asking for help from you to let us know who you would like us to be featuring. So you can tell us in a couple of ways you can actually just find me @flourishand thrive on Instagram. My personal Instagram handle is @Tracy Matthews, NY, I'd love to be friends with you. So if you want to come over there and say hi, that would be awesome. You can also find me at flourish_thrive

And if either of those if you have a suggestion for people that we can interview or feature, because I'm always looking for new people to interview for the podcast anyway, and in our community to come in and train, I would love your suggestions if that is something that you're up for. So that brings us back to core values and aligns with what we're doing because over the past few weeks, the past it's actually been about a week and a half when I'm recording this interview, but it'll be about two and a half weeks. By the time this interview goes live. I've thought twice about what we should be putting on the show. 

In fact, I didn't even release a podcast episode because I didn't really supply the cast episode last week, because I I felt like it wasn't the right time to be here. basically showing up in the schedule that we had planned, I guess is the best way to put it. And so we took a pause because we wanted to listen to our audience and took a moment to just really reflect on how we could do better and to support all members of our community in a way that felt right while also being able to have this conversation about what we value. And so I sent out an email, with our position, basically, on June 2, and there are people who didn't like what I had to say, but it was really just a reinstating of our values and our alignment to support people in the creative industry. 

You know, like, really, I'm here to help anyone who wants to listen to me feel supported and to grow their business because I really do believe that. While maybe not everyone gets to start out at the same place in life, you know, they might have different circumstances or different imprints, we all have an opportunity to be able to overcome our challenges and to rise And so that's always been our message here is to really help people, if they want to change their situation, to be seen, to be heard, to build a business that pays them well, and to feel confident knowing that there is a place for them in this community because we were. 

I had another conversation. I love this designer so much. Her name is Lorraine West. And I got invited by Jennifer ganya. My friend, who I've known about for many, many years, but we officially met at the responsible jewelry conference in Chicago in I think it was in October. And my boyfriend Jason and I had just started dating and it was kind of a secret because he had, you know, for those of you don't know if you haven't heard the story before, Jason was actually working on my team, up until about two weeks before we started dating and it was like our really our first official date. And he lived in New York City from Arizona, and came out to some kind of surprise me and spend the weekend with me. And it was his birthday as well. So we were celebrating that. And I got a last minute text from Jennifer saying like we're hosting this event with New York jewelry week, or do you want to come? It's in Brooklyn and Williamsburg? And I said, Sure, I'd love to stop by and I checked with Jason. He was super cool. He's like, Yeah, let's do it. You know, I, I totally get it. You got to do this, even though it was like we're trying to have a romantic date. Like, he literally came with me to talk to jewelry designers all day. And I'm in there talking to Jennifer and this woman just starts walking towards me and opens her arms. It gives me this huge hug. Her name's Lorraine West. And she's like, it's you. And I was like, and I forget sometimes that people listen to my voice. And so they hear it or they've seen my picture a lot. And so they recognize me and I always forget that because I don't really like to think twice about what I do. I'm just like, honestly here to serve and to help people. And she shared with me that we like how our programs actually helped her and grow her business. And so the primary lead the jewelers that were showing that that particular event were people of color. Lorraine's are very talented designers. She had just gotten some really significant press. And she had a bunch of pictures of me trying on her jewelry. I absolutely love it. She also is launching into fine jewelry, which I was really excited to hear her talk about. And years ago, she'd taken our multiply your profits program. And so she was being interviewed. And as I was kind of walking around, talking with some of the people there, Jason was filming her. And she said something on that. And I'm gonna have Lorraine actually on the show. I've already been messaging her. I'm just trying to figure out a time that works soon. 

One of the things that she said is that, you know, people in our community just don't feel like there's any place for us and that really hit me because I was thinking like, here we are, we got Flourish and Thrive right here like I want to help you and but I get it, I get the spirit. Like I'm a white woman. I'm a white light coach.

I come from California and maybe they feel like you know that I don't have an understanding and you know, I, I can only walk in my own shoes. So I only really have the viewpoint of my life and what the adversity that I've come up against and how I've overcome it. So I was willing to listen, and I was just and she also did give a shout out to flourish and thrive and which I was really grateful for. But I kept thinking about this. And it was, it's been in the back of my mind for about six months or so since that event happened. 

It was in November last year, so maybe eight months ago. And after that, I was like, Lorraine wants to have you on the podcast. And then things got busy because we're doing all this changing with this Ascension model. And I never did follow up with her on the podcast, but I am going to have her on the show. And just more recently, I was reminded of this when I was speaking with my students, I really wanted to just take this moment to reiterate this, like we want to have these conversations in our community. We want to be inclusive, we want to be able to support people where they are and create support in our communities so that people of all walks of life cultures and backgrounds etc. feel like they have the support that they need to basically flourish and thrive. 

I mean, that sounds so cheesy, but that's really the truth. And so this spurred a conversation of me just really taking a look like what our core values are, which is what this whole thing this whole podcast interview is about. And I hope this is the end of everything that I've said has been useful so far. But it's really brought me to this position where I really want to align with what we stand for as a brand. So I've done a little bit of work over the last couple of days to kind of update our company mission and our company vision. And these are aligned with what we were with the messaging before, but I've just tweaked it a little bit, to kind of support the direction that we're going. 

So our company mission, which I just updated, is that we support designers, makers and retailers in the jewelry and creative product industry to build businesses that support their values, desired incomes and lifestyle goals. And this is important to me, I wanted to get really specific because we do help people from all ranges, right, we help people who have like costume jewelry, we also help people who have fine jewelry, we help people who have done my fine lines.

We help people from all different backgrounds, we have students from all around the world. So this is what we stand for. But I think the thing that was really powerful for me, and this slight tweak that we are doing for our company mission is that our company mission, excuse me, is that the support that I want to give is to help empower people to support their vision of what success looks like to them. And I think that's really where our stance kind of takes off. And so, with that I updated our company vision, which is really the direction we're going in this is to create an inclusive community founded in our core values of community and collaboration over competition. 

And we do that by continually evolving our content and programs to support the needs of our customers and mentees at various stages in business. Our desire is to transform business and marketing education in the jewelry industry, and also the creative product industry and create lasting change and impact for the new wave of emerging brands stepping into the spotlight. And the reason why this is important is that there is an old guard in the jewelry industry and one of the reasons why Robin and I started Flourish and thrive Academy so long ago was that this industry was so tight lipped before we kind of came onto the scene. 

And sure there are other educators who are helping other makers or they're specifically focused on one area business or it's just a one one person, you know, and you kind of have to like that the way that person coaches in order to move forward who really I had a bigger vision for this, like I knew that I didn't have all the answers. What I wanted to do was change the face of the jewelry industry and change this tight lipped aspect of it that has this belief if I give you information that's gonna get I'm going to lose my competitive edge or that only it's only a community for the in crowd or a certain segment of the population because that's not what it's about. It's about supporting rising talent. 

As they're coming onto the scene. It's about supporting makers who are maybe coming from an A place of a more hobbyist standpoint, empowering them to actually provide for their families and provide for themselves and create freedom in their lives. Because what I have seen is that the designers in our community who are really thriving right now, during and beating the odds are like basically defined the odds is that they have done the internal work to show up for themselves and overcome the fears and the perceived judgments that they might have by doing things and to show up, and that's really where it starts and the core in the foundation of Everything I believe entrepreneurship is about. And so with that, I want to share with you our core values and how this is aligning with the direction that we're going. 

So our core value that we've always been founded on from the beginning was community over competition or community and collaboration over competition, both of those kind of go interchangeably to us. But to me, this means that we have an inclusive community. And we're here to listen to the members of our community, to support them where they are, this is really, really important. So this is how we move the business forward. And this is also what we're doing behind the scenes as a team.

Our second core value is to always be learning and implementing. And the reason why this is so important is we're an education company. We have a lot of learning to do. We are always trying to learn new business tactics, new new ways to go out there but also from the broader community, our encouragement to you is to always be educating yourself and to always be Learning. Because if you don't this is a company built on education. 

We as as members of this community in this company have to always be educating ourselves as part of our team values is for them to be learning every single month, but to also be supporting you and your ongoing education. Our third core value is a can do attitude. Now, this is really important because the people that I hire to work for me, the coaches that I hired to work for me, the people that I, I hopefully attract in our community. One of the things that I try to teach is problem solving, teamwork, that you show up for yourself and your business for and in a place of being solutions oriented. And you do what it takes to make your goals happen. You don't have excuses. 

And even if you are coming from a place of adversity or challenges wherever they are, you're actually leaning in to ask for help and support because quite honestly, like I can't help Someone who doesn't ask for help. I can't help someone who doesn't show up, I can help someone who doesn't have all the answers, but is asking the questions and showing up and showing that they're basically I guess the best word is like the universe creating an imprint in the universe, to basically say, like, I don't know all the answers, I don't know what to do. I'm coming from whatever my situation is. 

But I'm willing to do the work to show up and defy the odds, whatever the odds are for me, because we all have different kinds of odds, right? I never thought in 2008, that I would have a community like this, that people would actually want to listen to me, and the things that I said, and then I wouldn't have a podcast or any of that I felt like a loser and that I didn't deserve to have a good business at that point in life. But I did the work on myself to change my perspective. And because of that, everything changed for me and so I really try to encourage our community and the members of our team to do the same thing. 

Our fourth core value is that we are service oriented. And this kind of ties into the first one community over competition. But really that everything that we do is that we're coming from a place of service like, quite honestly, there are a lot of ways that I can make money. And this business compared to a lot of the ways that I can make money, this business is not going to be the most profitable ever. For me. This is something that I do out of a labor of love. I would not do it if I didn't care about you, quite frankly. And if you don't believe me ask the people who've been following me for the last eight years because they've seen me cry. 

They've seen me struggle. They've seen me evolve. They've seen me do the internal work, and they know that I show up from a place of service. This is not Yes, this is a for profit business. Yes, I'm an entrepreneur. Yes, I do like money. I do believe that entrepreneurs will change the world, quite frankly. And I also know, believe that we should all be reaching the financial goals that matter to us. And for certain people that might be just making, you know, a couple thousand dollars a month for other people might be making 10s or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. 

So I support you wherever you are. But just know that the reason I'm doing this, the underlying reason that we do everything that we do and the people that I hire in the way we show up in a community is to come from a place of service.

Let's see, this is the fifth core value 1-2-3-4-5 Yes, this is my favorite one. is fun. Now, my number one core value as a human being is fun. And what I realized is that when you can let everyone's voices be heard when you can be playful about things when you can not take things so seriously, that you can really have fun in your business. And there were many years when my business wasn't fun. There are many years when I felt tortured to even show up for anything. And with that, you know, making everything that we do here kind of operate out of a fun playful way. 

To me has allowed us to serve better because we love our people. And we just want to find in general and that allows us to teach and just find innovative ways. I've said fun, about a million times, if you don't know that I like fun, that's what it's all about. 

Alright, so our fifth core value is integrity, like getting this right 1-2-3-4 or six core values integrity, I kind of added an extra one here. And this is really from a position of us doing our best to show up in the best way possible, and to be transparent and growth oriented. And this ties in to the last core value, which is innovation, because we're always raising the bar, innovating our products growing and listening to feedback from our community to help serve you better. 

And the reason why this kind of this two kind of go hand in hand, you know, seven core values is kind of a lot for a company to have, but I do find it really is important that I discuss all of these, because everything that we do, I got written up by a peer of mine, Andrea Hill once she wrote an article where she shouted us out, and she basically said, You know, I wish I had been ahead of the curve a little bit more because all of a sudden this company called Flourish and Thrive Academy came on the scene. And they were doing things that I've been thinking about that I never did for my company soon enough. 

And Andrea is like I respect her. She's such an amazing educator, and you should go check her out. She has a couple of companies where she helps businesses with marketing and strategy. She was the former CEO, I think of Rio Grande at a certain point, she just knows, knows her stuff. And she's a very vocal and active member of ethical metalsmiths, which is where I'm now on the board of advisors for super excited. And if you know Andrea, you know that she has a really loud, outspoken voice in a positive way. And I wanted to mention this because that to me, even though she was kind of like, Ah, you know, whatever. 

Just reminded me that one of the things that I wanted to do is to be ahead of the curve, so that we're teaching you in a way that is ahead of what other people are doing. And when our student, Natalie, you mentioned that, you know, she was so grateful for this community because we were out ahead of the situation, way before everyone else when COVID hit. And we weren't ahead of what just happened these last couple weeks, because of me being offline. And we've done some work to actually change that now. 

But anyway, one of the things that has been really important to me is to be able to be a forefront, for runner or for front in the industry. And so, with that being said, I'm just so grateful. And I want to share with you that I'm just so grateful to have all of you. And I would love for you to if you have feedback for me, like in how we can be better as a company and how we can show up better. I love to hear it. 

And, you know, I think that, you know, I'm really being humble here in asking for feedback. And I'm sure that I will get a lot of criticism from some of you. And that's fine. You know, I'm willing to take it, I'm willing to hear it and listen to it. I just ask that when you do share your feedback with us, that you send it to us in a way that we can actually do something about it. 

So that would come to us by either emailing us over at [email protected], or just finding me or @flourish_thrive on social media on Instagram is usually the best. You can also shoot us a message on Facebook, Facebook Messenger because that goes through our support desk as well. But our Instagram, I'm @TracyMatthewsNY, and Flourish and Thrive is @flourish_thrive

And if you know someone you'd like me to feature on this podcast, if you have any ideas of how we can improve if you're a member of our paid community, in your kind of in, in our programs, I'd love to hear that. If you are a member of our bigger community, and there's something else that you'd like to see, I'd love to hear it. And for anyone who's interested in listening to the story Step to Ally ship training that I did with Jocelyn Kopac, you can head on over to our Facebook page, the full interview is about two and a half hours is available there that you can just find it by going to https://www.facebook.com/FlourishThriveAcademy/

Alright, that's it for me today. I just want to thank you for listening and for allowing me into your earbuds and for just being part of this community. That's all I have to say. Thank you so much and have an awesome day. Cheers to your business. Cheers to your success, and I wish you everything that you've ever desired.

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Community Over Competition

This is, like, the core value of our core values.

I have a long history as a jewelry designer, and in the past I found the industry to be so competitive and tight-lipped. I couldn’t stand it!

This led me to co-found Flourish & Thrive Academy, where we can foster an inclusive community of designers who are always supporting each other, always building each other up, and always challenging the norm.

Always Learning, Always Implementing

As a business owner, you’re always actively seeking to stay on top of sales tactics and industry trends. Value-driven community work is no different!

There is no better way to foster an inclusive, empowered community than to acknowledge the limitations of your own perspective and listen to those around you.

And always back it up with solid action.

Show Up From A Place of Service

I made this company to serve my community.

Yes, it’s a business. But I strive to show up every day coming from a place of service. How can I best meet the needs of my community? How can we, as a company, support and empower the designers in our programs?

When service is truly your #1 priority, everything else falls into place.

Now it’s time to think, what are your core values?

xo, Tracy


Conversation with Jocelyn Kopac: Steps To Ally-ship For You And Your Jewelry Business

Jocelyn Kopac

Lorraine West

Andrea Hill

FREE: The Down & Dirty Difference Between Today’s “Thriving” vs. “Nose-Diving” Jewelry and Creative Product Brands

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