Ep. 8 Sarah
[00:00:00] Corey Quinn: Welcome to the Vertical Go To Market podcast, where you'll discover new opportunities to grow your business. From seven figures to eight, from the world's most successful agency and B2B SaaS executives. I'm your host, Corey Quinn. Today I'm joined by Sarah Durham.
[00:00:19] Welcome, Sarah.
[00:00:21] Sarah Durham: Hey Corey. Thanks for having me.
[00:00:23] Corey Quinn: I'm super excited for our conversation today, and thank you for joining. Could you please introduce yourself for those listeners who may not be familiar with you and your background?
[00:00:32] Sarah Durham: Absolutely. So I am, uh, a native New Yorker, and, uh, in the early nineties, mid nineties, I started a business called Big Duck. You can find Big Duck [email protected] Um, and Big Duck Spoke, uh, focuses on a very particular vertical, which is the nonprofit sector. It's a company that. Branding and communications work for nonprofits, really to help them get their, get their voice [00:01:00] out.
[00:01:00] And I built and ran that business for close to 30 years. I sold it to my employees about a year and a half ago. It's now a worker owned cooperative. And along the way, while I was running Big Duck, I actually acquired a second agency, a digital agency that works with nonprofits and uh, ran that business for several years.
[00:01:20] And sold it to a larger agency, a terrific agency called Four Kitchens that also works with nonprofits.
[00:01:27] And, uh, today I do executive coaching for, um, women and nonprofit leaders, uh, who are trying to articulate their voice and find their own leadership style.
[00:01:38] Corey Quinn: Wonderful. Thank you. So could you take us back about 30 years ago when you were just starting Big Duck? What, what was the origin story there?
[00:01:46] Sarah Durham: Yeah, so the origin story there was, um, that I, I was in my twenties and I was a freelance designer. I had gone to art school and I was doing creative work and one of my [00:02:00] clients was Disney Consumer Products. I was doing freelance work at Disney, and Disney said to me, Hey, we want you to come on staff and move to la uh, move to Burbank.
[00:02:10] And I said, you know, I don't really wanna move to Burbank. Um, how about I start a business and you can be my client and I'll go to Burbank when I need to go to Burbank. So they said, okay. And I started working out of, uh, my, initially my home and then a small office, but I had all this extra time. This wasn't really a full-time gig, so I thought, okay, well if this is gonna be a business, I should, you know, go out and get other clients.
[00:02:34] And I started going out first as a, as a generalist. I would sort of say yes to any opportunity that came along. And about six years into doing this, working a bit for Disney, which that, that project sunsetted over
[00:02:47] a couple years. But working with all kinds of clients across all kinds of industries, I felt like the business was running me.
[00:02:53] I was not running the business. So when I was about 30 years old, I decided it was time to make a [00:03:00] shift, and that was when I made the decision to focus on
[00:03:02] working with the nonprofit sector. And really that was like the catalyst for
[00:03:07] enormous growth in in my company
[00:03:09] over, over several decades. It allowed, it allowed me to hire experts.
[00:03:14] It allowed me to become an expert myself. And, um, sort of every, every
[00:03:20] successful decision I think I made probably cascaded out of that moment.
[00:03:24] Corey Quinn: Wow. So much to unpack there. That's really, really interesting. So when you say you, so you mentioned you were about six, six years in, and you were at a point where the, you felt like the business was running.
[00:03:36] Sarah Durham: Yes.
[00:03:37] Corey Quinn: And you weren't running the business.
[00:03:38] Could you talk more about that? What did, what did that look like?
[00:03:41] Sarah Durham: Yeah, I mean I think this happens to a lot of entrepreneurs and you know, because my background was creative, I was really good. As many, as many people are at doing the work, I was really. You know, I was good with clients. I was, I could design, I could do some copywriting, but I really wasn't thinking a lot [00:04:00] about what it meant to run a business.
[00:04:02] And, um, and I had to, I had to sort of have this, this epiphany that running the business, the business itself was this entity that was kind of different from me or different from the client work and had to. Cared for, fed, nourished, um, in order for me to be cared for, fed and nourished, and that I had to both support the doing of the work and support the business as an entity.
[00:04:30] So, um, so I started really taking business seriously. I started working with consultants. I got a coach. I started, uh, reading a lot of books about business. I thought about getting an mba. I, you know, I decided to really kind of embrace my identity as a, as a business owner and entrepreneur.
[00:04:48] Corey Quinn: why did you choose. The nonprofit sector. What about the nonprofit? Was it an analytical, kind of, you went out and did a quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis, or was [00:05:00] there a, a different type of connection? What, why the nonprofit sector for you specifically
[00:05:04] Sarah Durham: Yeah, I mean at, at the time in the nineties in in New York City and in Washington DC and Boston, you know, which were the sort of markets I could easily access. There were a lot of nonprofits, a lot of nonprofits being founded, and there was really a shift in the fundraising. That these nonprofits were doing where they were, they were professionalizing.
[00:05:25] So, you know, the nonprofit sector really didn't emerge until, um, you know, the middle of, of the, 20th century so that, you know, it wasn't until the fifties, sixties and seventies that nonprofits really. Became a sector, but, but as a sector, it was booming in the nineties and I was getting a lot of work working for nonprofits and I was actually finding that I could charge reasonable rates and do great work for them and be doing work that I believed in.
[00:05:52] And, um, so as I was looking for vertical or thinking about, you know, how to shift the business in a way that would give me [00:06:00] more focus and, and, and determination. That was where my heart was. And I had a number of consultants at this at the time say to me, you'd be bonkers to work with nonprofits. They don't have money.
[00:06:10] You'll never get paid, you'll never, you know, you'll never be able to break the seven figure or the eight figure ceiling. And actually, I found that that wasn't true. That they were so many people thought that that was not a viable sector, that they weren't pursuing it, and it was kind. An open an open market.
[00:06:28] So, um, I chose to pursue it and at the time I thought, well, maybe this will never be a very big business. Maybe I'll never be able to have more than a couple of employees. Maybe I'll never get past, you know, a million or two in revenue. Um, but actually I found pretty quickly the demand for what we did was enormous, and we were able to really be pioneers in that space because of the timing and we grew.
[00:06:53] Um, very rapidly became a, you know, multimillion dollar business pretty quickly. And, [00:07:00] um, were able to do work that was like deeply useful, you know, from a, from a social perspective. And the company still does today.
[00:07:07] Corey Quinn: How did you transition your agency from more of a generalist to a specialist in nonprofit? What was that process like?
[00:07:14] Sarah Durham: Well, and this is something that, you know, n now as an executive coach, I, I work with a lot of small business owners and agency owners, and this is something I talk to them about a lot when they're thinking about repositioning or shifting into a new, a new business. You know, oftentimes when you, when you reposition a business or you focus on something, That doesn't mean you have to stop doing work in other areas.
[00:07:36] It's, it's often really kind of about what you prioritize and how you market. And so initially what I did when I made that decision was I, I rebuilt the website and I started doing communications. And list building that were specifically in the vertical that we were going after. You know, speaking to nonprofits trying to attract and, and engage those non non-profits.
[00:07:56] But if somebody called us up about a project that sounded good, [00:08:00] that wasn't a nonprofit and we needed the work, we'd still do it. So we didn't kind of divorce all of our old clients right away, or say no to other work right away. We just, you know, prioritized the vertical in the marketing. And I would say it probably took maybe two years before that marketing work was enough of a machine that we were re attracting enough nonprofit business that we could start to say no to the other work.
[00:08:28] And, and you know, the flip side of this was also I started hiring people who were experts in nonprofit communications. And that started to mean that. Those people didn't wanna do work in other areas. They wanted to do the work they were hired to do. So you know that that also became a catalyst.
[00:08:46] Corey Quinn: Can we unpack that two year period a little bit for the listeners? Because I think that. Some may either be going through this or be thinking about, okay, I think I want to specialize in a vertical, but I also don't want to, I don't wanna have to burn the [00:09:00] ships and, and, uh, you know, have to deal with the fallout of, of not being a generalist in the meantime.
[00:09:05] what did you do during those two years to build that momentum in, in nonprofit and really build a name for yourself?
[00:09:12] Sarah Durham: Well, I think, I think there were kind of two parallel paths that we pursued at the time and you know, it was a different time cuz this was, you know, this was probably around, uh, Around, you know, the year two thousands. So it was like, you know, different world, no social media, like very, you know, very different, very
[00:09:32] uh, business climate.
[00:09:33] But, um, but one of the paths that we went down was making, making the business. Uh, interesting and appealing to nonprofits externally and making sure that our nonprofit clients knew we were trying to do more of that work. So trying to, you know, use client a as a case study or as a refer to get. Into, you know, new nonprofit, uh, [00:10:00] organizations and kind of build our name, build our reputation, make sure people knew that that was what we were really trying to do.
[00:10:07] The other side of the street was about, um,
[00:10:10] Corey Quinn: um,
[00:10:11] Sarah Durham: maintaining the important client relationships we had, that we needed during the
[00:10:15] transitional period. So at the time, for instance, we had a, we had an ongoing retain. For a magazine, it was like a trade magazine that we designed and it was a, you know, I don't know, monthly or every, every other month.
[00:10:30] And it was a fun project. My team liked doing it, and it was great. The income was great from it, and so we were very careful to maintain that relationship. And to let them know that we were doing some marketing to nonprofits, but that our intention was not to lose them as a client anytime soon. And, uh, you know, to make sure they were comfortable with what we were doing.
[00:10:53] And I actually found, I actually found that was pretty easy, you know, like that, that, um, a lot of the legacy clients we [00:11:00] had in other area, We were doing good work for them, and they were, they were happy to keep working with us. We didn't have to burn the ship down, you know, as, to use your term. Um, we just had to communicate clearly, you know, and be, be intentional about, um, managing relationships, um, which is, you know, just good, good practice in any business.
[00:11:20] I think.
[00:11:21] Corey Quinn: So as you were building momentum in that nonprofit sector, how did that impact your ability to, to grow with non-pro non-profit customers?
[00:11:30] Sarah Durham: I mean, it was, you know, it was phenomenal. It was like enormously catalyzing. First of all, even just the website, like when you're, when you're a generalist business or generalist generalist agency, your website tends to be kind of mushy. You know, lots of different case studies, lots of different things you do, you know, but what's really distinguishing, um, when we started focusing on the nonprofit sector, we were able to really learn about the [00:12:00] sector, write about, you know, blog or send emails or, you know, produce content that was like, Really about communications in the nonprofit sector.
[00:12:09] We were, there wasn't a lot about communications in the sector, so we were able to do some real deep thought leadership work. Really thinking
[00:12:17] through like what are the communications
[00:12:19] problems that nonprofits are facing?
[00:12:21] What are our recommendations for those things? That led to the development of all
[00:12:26] kinds of new services and product.
[00:12:28] That we,
[00:12:29] we, developed over the years and um, and so it kind of just exploded. I think we were able to, basically psychologically make a shift from seeing ourselves as agency people to seeing ourselves as nonprofit people and, and a attract and retain those kinds of staff, give clients work that was really high value and feel like, you know, we were doing, doing good.
[00:12:56] Corey Quinn: Doing good. So it sounds like you mentioned that you got really [00:13:00] familiar with the unique problems of the nonprofit sector. And as a result of that, that re that that helped to guide you and direct you into content and to thought leadership. How did you begin to uncover the problems that the non, the non-profit sector was really challenged with?
[00:13:16] Sarah Durham: Well, I think this is another place where when you make a, when you make a commitment to work in a vertical, or even if you haven't made a commitment, but you've just done a lot of work in a particular sector, you start to notice patterns. You know, you start to see that, you know, oh boy, you know, many of my clients struggle with this thing or.
[00:13:35] Uh, or that thing, you know, for, for nonprofits, one of the things we noticed early on. just to give you an example of
[00:13:43] that, is that, um, there often wasn't a communications function in the nonprofit. There would be a fundraising function. but there was nobody who was actually thinking about how the organization communicated.
[00:13:56] And you know, actually over time we started to see a [00:14:00] shift in that we started to see more and more communications people coming in and, and getting hired. But, you know, so that, so that suggested to us, okay, well if you're trying to. Run an organization that has to communicate with the people it serves, has to raise money, you know, so it's gotta communicate with donors, but you have nobody who's actually in charge of communications.
[00:14:19] How do you do that? How do we help a fundraiser to do that? How do we help a, an executive director to do that? And, you know, even just something simple like that would lead to mountains of content services. Ideas and, and there were lots of those things. You just start to see the patterns and, and it's uh, it's sort of like the, uh, the soil from which all things grow.
[00:14:41] Corey Quinn: that's beautiful. let's let's dive a little bit into how you generated new nonprofit customers. Was it, did you do a lot of outbound cold calling or did you do a lot of networking? Was it inbound content marketing? Like what were the things that were really impactful in your ability to not only spread the [00:15:00] word about your agency, uh, and firm, but also drive new business?
[00:15:04] Sarah Durham: Definitely content marketing and thought leader. Um, and again, I was, I was lucky because I was, uh, you know, right now there are lots of agencies that work with nonprofits. If I were starting an, an agency right now that worked with nonprofits, it would be a much noisier environment. It's much harder, I think, in any, in any business to, um, to be a pioneer because, uh, there's just so much great content out there.
[00:15:27] But, you know, back in the early 2000, Um, we were able to really, uh, leverage email, leverage our blog and, and leverage conferences as, you know, opportunities to, to, to do outreach and share our thought leadership. Um, we definitely got a lot of work through referrals and word of mouth. I've, I've always felt like that's a kind of a, a weak.
[00:15:53] Strategy for marketing that you just, you know, you're, you're building your business on top of a volcano you can't control. [00:16:00] Um, and, and so, um, so while we g we benefited from referral business, I, I felt like it, and still feel like it's very important to build what I call a marketing machine. You know, kind of evergreen marketing that you do all the time.
[00:16:15] And for us, that was definitely thought leadership. I would say probably one of the most important. Pieces of marketing and thought leadership, but also understanding the sector that we did was to deeply invest in attending nonprofit sector events and conferences, both to learn about the sector and hear what
[00:16:35] people were talking about and to speak
[00:16:38] and, you know, be visible in those sectors.
[00:16:40] And so over the years, we established visible presences. At a lot of nonprofit sector conferences and those were, those were also really invaluable. I've, I've never understand why agency people go to agency conferences, you know, I mean, that's fun, but your clients aren't at the agency conference, you [00:17:00] know?
[00:17:00] Corey Quinn: I would completely agree with that. So when you were looking at the sort of the landscape of conferences, there's, you know, dozens if not hundreds of potential conferences that you can go to, how would, how would you make that decision on where to spend your time in en in energy?
[00:17:15] Sarah Durham: I mean, again, it's pattern recognition, right? We, we saw that the people who tended to be hiring us and tended to be our best clients were often people who were fund. And, um, and so, you know, there are a lot of conferences about fundraising. That was, that was one of the places we showed up early on. So it was kind of thinking about like, okay, within the nonprofit, who are the people who are gonna be looking.
[00:17:40] For communications support or help, what are the conferences they're going to? Um, and you know, and then, and then what are the conferences Kind of slicing it down even more over time. We found, we found that there were certain types of nonprofits. That we were a better fit for? Maybe it was about how big they were, [00:18:00] what their mission was about, or what they're trying to communicate.
[00:18:02] So where are those people? What are the conferences that those people go to? And, and over time, you know, there were more and more conferences and we, we actually became more and more selective about, um, where we showed up.
[00:18:14] Corey Quinn: I know you're an author, uh, you have at least two books that I'm aware of that focus in on the, in the domain of communications and in nonprofits specifically, how has being an author impacted your firm's ability to raise awareness and, build a, you know, a more visible brand?
[00:18:32] Sarah Durham: Yeah. You know, when you, when you read about marketing, writing a book is often touted as one of the best things you can do to market a business. And, um, I didn't set out to write my first book, which is called Brand Raising. Um, I didn't set out to write it as a book. I wasn't trying to do it as a marketing thing.
[00:18:53] What I was trying to do, and this was, this was back, I think that book was published in 2010, so this was [00:19:00] probably, or started working on it around 2005 or 2006. I was trying to answer this question for myself. What are the best practices in the branding, the for-profit branding world, that nonprofit.
[00:19:14] Should know about or use, like, you know, first, what are these, what are these guys doing? And then how can we adapt that in a way that is useful for nonprofits? So I was just really interested in that issue and I spent a bunch of time researching it, discussing it with my colleagues at Big Duck. And we.
[00:19:31] Crafted a model called brand raising. And, um, in the design of this model, I started writing about it because I think writing is a really important way to just clarify. Like, what do you really mean when you put, when you put words, words on paper, they, they have a permanence. And so I ended up writing a book before I had a publisher bef, you know, anything like that.
[00:19:53] Um, once the book was done, it, we, it was published by, by a nonprofit division of [00:20:00] Wiley. Um, but it, but more importantly, the book gave us a whole new service model, a whole new way we did our work. So we went from not just being a communications firm that worked with nonprofits, but the people who created the brand raising model, which we could write about and speak about and leverage in marketing.
[00:20:16] Um, that book, interestingly, We had an experience that I think a lot of authors have, which was that nobody called us up within the first couple of years and said, Hey, I read the book, I wanna hire you. But often in the sales process, somewhere down the road, third meeting, fourth meeting, or after the client had hired us, they'd be like, oh yeah, our executive director read the book.
[00:20:37] Or you know, it
[00:20:38] was kind of in the water. There. So
[00:20:40] it was, it was definitely useful, but I wouldn't say that writing a book necessarily opened up a floodgate of, of new work. It just became another distinguishing element. Um, and then my second book, which is called the Nonprofit Communications Engine, it's kind of a similar process.
[00:20:55] It was really written to try to think through. [00:21:00] A particular question or challenge that I was interested in and, and, and then set up, you know, set up a framework and some, some new service areas as a result.
[00:21:09] Corey Quinn: Would you recommend that a, let's say an agency owner or a software business, SaaS business owner who is trying to accelerate growth, that they, would you recommend that they write a book?
[00:21:22] Sarah Durham: I, I think if you'd like to write, writing a book is a great thing to do. I, I really loved the experience of writing both those books and they were definitely a catalyst for growth, but not because you write the book and all of a sudden a million people call you and wanna hire you. It was really, again, that process of like clarifying your thoughts.
[00:21:42] Coming up with new models, designing new frameworks, using the book as sort of, um, the channel through which you figure things out. Um, so yeah, I think it's a great exercise to go through, but I think as you get into it, you'll know whether or not, you know you wanna do it. It's ki it can [00:22:00] be a torturous experience for a lot of people.
[00:22:02] Corey Quinn: experience, uh, being in the middle of this process right now. Sarah, I can
[00:22:07] Sarah Durham: Oh, are you writing a book? Yeah,
[00:22:09] Corey Quinn: of torture. Yes,
[00:22:10] Sarah Durham: yeah. Yeah. Actually, I, you know,
[00:22:13] I often recommend, um, Cal Newport's book Deep Work, um, for people
[00:22:18] who are trying, yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm a big fan of his too, but that book was really helpful for me. I had not read it when I wrote my first book. When I wrote my second book. I
[00:22:28] used some of the practices he talks about in that book, and.
[00:22:31] Much more fun and way less painful. So, uh, yeah.
[00:22:35] Corey Quinn: Yeah, one of his, one of his other books has been really influential in the work that I'm doing now, which, So good they can't ignore you, which is about, which is about, uh, you know, the old story with, uh, Steve Martin, the, the comedian. People would ask him, you know, how did you get to where you are today?
[00:22:52] And he'd say, you know, something to the effect of well, you know, get so good that they can't ignore you. Right. And, and that's, that's [00:23:00] the, the, the major takeaway, which I, which I love.
[00:23:02] Sarah Durham: Yeah, totally. I love that.
[00:23:06] Corey Quinn: You mentioned the term word of mouth. How would you define generally speaking, you know, word of mouth? What does that, what does that term mean?
[00:23:13] Sarah Durham: Well, I think that a lot of people in business, Focus on doing great work and, um, keeping their clients happy, and then count on the fact that that client is going to talk about what they do, recommend, recommend them, or, you know, kind of be a, be a resource for them. Um, and that's how referrals come in. I think that's a piece of word of mouth, but another piece of word of mouth is like you keep showing up in places like.
[00:23:46] You're always there at the conference and somebody else who's at the conference is like, oh yeah, that guy Corey over there. I think he does this. You know, and, and you start to build a little bit of visibility or a little bit of reputation. [00:24:00] Um, you know, but those things really, you know, they really rely on other people to be ambassadors for you and, um, you know, the, the volume.
[00:24:14] Uh, of, uh, messages and marketing and communications that we are all on the receiving end of these days is so vast that, you know, the benefit of that referral, the benefit of that word of mouth, you know, it's, it's kind of a needle in the haystack. Um, so I, I, that's why I say it's not a great, I don't believe it's a great marketing strategy.
[00:24:37] Corey Quinn: How is focusing your business on a vertical market, how does that impact word of mouth, if at all?
[00:24:44] Sarah Durham: Well, I, I definitely think it impacts word of mouth in that people in the same vertical often know each other and speak to each other and watch each other. So, you know, my company's benefited a lot from
[00:24:58] doing good work for
[00:24:59] a client in [00:25:00] a particular area. And then their colleagues or or other nonprofits in the same space that they collaborate with or whatever, would call them up and be like, wow, we saw that.
[00:25:11] You know, your new brand launched. That was awesome. Who'd you do that with? And they'd say, oh, we did it with Big Duck. And then they'd call us. You know? So, so we found that over the years, sometimes if we did work in a new sub-sector of the nonprofit sector, all of a sudden a lot of people in that sub-sector would know who we were, would start calling, would be interested in, in doing work.
[00:25:33] So, you know, that's, that's the, that's the upside.
[00:25:36] Corey Quinn: the upside. Beautiful. Taking a step back, what would you say in general are the positive aspects of focusing a business on a specific vertical market?
[00:25:47] Sarah Durham: I think it, it, it allows you to know who you're talking to and to become an expert and to innovate in ways that are very [00:26:00] hard to do, as you know, as a horizontal. Um, I think you can in a horizontal, but, um, but let's say you create, you know, a product or service without a vertical. Um, you know, your product or service might be awesome, but who are you marketing to?
[00:26:16] How do you talk to them? How do you know it's meeting their. You know, particular needs, you're, you're kind of just like, you know, swimming in the ocean. So you
[00:26:25] certainly can do that. But, um, but the minute you pick a vertical, you have something you can study. You have real people who you can call up and say, what do you think about this?
[00:26:37] Does this make sense? Would you use this? And, um, and things just get, get solid, uh, and, and stop being so murky.
[00:26:48] Corey Quinn: Are there any negatives to focusing your business on a vertical market?
[00:26:52] Sarah Durham: Well, I think a lot of generalist businesses shy away from the eye of doing it because they, they think it will be boring. [00:27:00] Um, so they think, well, if I only work with this one sector, I'm gonna have to say no to other sectors, and I love learning new things. Um, and I mean, my, my answer to that is that actually.
[00:27:15] You keep learning and you keep growing, it's just you go deeper as opposed to being spread thin. Um, so, so definitely I think you have to pick a vertical you care about. Like, if, if you're just picking a market because you think it's got market potential, but you're not, you don't respect that market, you don't, you're not passionate about it, then it's gonna get really boring really fast.
[00:27:39] Um, but, you know, I believe in nonprofits. I think that they are by and large, you know, populated by great people trying to change the world in profound ways. And I wanna know what they're thinking about. You know, I, I care about what they're thinking about and I want to help them. And that sense of connection and, [00:28:00] and belief and passion, um, keeps it interesting.
[00:28:04] Corey Quinn: what would you say to someone who's listening to us or watching us right now and they're thinking about focusing their business on one or a few verticals?
[00:28:12] Sarah Durham: I would say, Give it a shot, you know? Um, I mean, oftentimes I think for, for a lot of businesses, a vertical emerges kind of organically over time. You just, you know, you start to have a few more clients in a particular area, and, and there's a moment where I think you, you might wanna decide if you wanna invest in that.
[00:28:34] Do you, do you. You know, be deliberate about getting more clients in that area. I don't think you have to say no to the other things. it's really a question of where are you gonna spend your, your energy? Where are you gonna focus? How are you going to, uh, prioritize? You know, the opportunities that, you know, the doors that open.
[00:28:56] Um, so yeah, I don't, I, I, I think there is a kind of a [00:29:00] fear that if I pick a vertical somehow, there's no going back. You know, I can never pick another vertical. I can never going go back to being a generalist. I'm not sure where that comes from, but I, I, I don't buy it,
[00:29:13] you know, I don't, I think you can
[00:29:16] Corey Quinn: you. I think there's, there's a, there's a bit of a human pre, pre-built bias about, you know, reducing the scope or, or narrowing. The focus is somehow taking something away when you know, in fact, it's doing quite the opposite.
[00:29:31] Sarah Durham: Yeah. Yeah, I think that's right.
[00:29:33] Corey Quinn: Sarah, I'd love to learn more about your motivation. What motivates.
[00:29:36] Sarah Durham: Well, I love to learn. I mean, I, I think a lot of, a lot of, uh, a lot of entrepreneurs are like this. Like, I, I think it's really, really fun to play with ideas, to learn something new, to kind of take an idea from over here. And see how it can apply over there. You know, what if we, we did this thing, what if we did that thing?
[00:29:58] Um, and I'm also really [00:30:00] motivated to encourage women and, uh, people with non-dominant, uh, identities to step into the step, into the,the circle of light like that. Take the seat at the head of the table. You know, there, there are so many opportunities, I think for different voices to innovate and to bring a perspective that's different to the business world.
[00:30:23] And I, um, I, I continue to be surprised about how, um, how few voices we hear when we talk about business, um, that sound like mine. Um, or sound different from mine or yours. Uh, you know, n p R has this new, uh, tagline. Uh, that I love, which is something like, um, many voices, all ears. And I think that the world becomes much richer and business becomes richer when people bring different perspectives and, um, different lived [00:31:00] experiences and craft a business or craft a vision that is really unique to that.
[00:31:04] To that vision. So, um, so being now, I see myself as a coach, as sort of the pit crew for the next generation of people doing that. And that's that, that really motivates me.
[00:31:14] Corey Quinn: Could you share more about the work you're doing now as a coach?
[00:31:17] Sarah Durham: Yeah, sure. I, I, I work, um, uh, in really three capacities. I do one-on-one coaching for people who are trying to shape their own voices as leaders. A lot of them are women, a lot of them are people of color. A lot of them work in the nonprofit sector or the agency world. Um, I also do leadership team coaching, so that's about helping a leadership team communicate more effectively as a group.
[00:31:41] And then I do group coaching. So I have a, a group of, of, uh, women who lead nonprofits and we do a sort of a cohort based approach. I work with some solopreneurs and I'm about to start a cohort soon for people who wanna exit their business because I love to do work with people, [00:32:00] helping them craft a vision to, to the end, to the exit, and, and navigate a path to get there.
[00:32:06] Corey Quinn: Wonderful. That's wonderful. If folks listening to this want to learn more about the work you're doing and, and reach out, what's a good way for them to contact you?
[00:32:15] Sarah Durham: Yeah, you can, you can contact me through my website and you can see a little bit more about who I am and what I do there. The, the URL is compton durham.com. That's Compton, like Compton, California and Durham, like Durham north carolina.com.
[00:32:28] Corey Quinn: Wonderful. Sarah, thank you so much for spending some time with me and the audience here. This has been just a real treat and I've learned so much, so thank you so much.
[00:32:38] Sarah Durham: It's been fun for me too, Corey. Thanks for having me.
[00:32:40] Corey Quinn: All right folks. That's it for today. I'm Corey Quinn, and I hope you join me again next time for the Vertical Go-To-Market podcast. And if you received value from today's show, I would love a five star rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks and we'll see you soon.