Lori Farley Hosts Afton Brazzoni
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[00:00:00] Lori Farley: All right, welcome everybody. Thank you Al, my name is Lori Farley, and I'm joined today by Afton Brazzoni, a founder of Scribe National. Now Afton partners with B2B tech marketers to create high quality content that drives demand and growth.
She has had the pleasure of working with nearly 50 clients worldwide in her two and a half years as founder of Scribe National, the majority of whom are repeat customers, including unicorns like Wealthsimple and others who are among Canada's fastest growing companies, such as TouchBistro Afton brings 12 years of experience to her mission to deliver her clients impeccable content that drives their companies forward, their search rankings higher, and qualified leads to their virtual doorsteps.
As a former reporter, her journalistic approach means her client's content is original expert level and on brand when she's not working Afton spending time with her husband, hiking with her dogs, where they live in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies or honing her oil painting skills. Welcome Afton. How are you?
[00:00:57] Afton Brazzoni: Thank you so much for having me Lori, I'm doing well. Thanks. How are you?
[00:01:02] Lori Farley: I'm really good. It's a nice chilly weather here in Calgary here in January of 2021, a brand new year. Have you made any new year's resolutions this year?
[00:01:11] Afton Brazzoni: I haven't really made any resolutions, but one thing I was actually speaking about with a friend recently is just the idea of.
Taking things a little less seriously having a bit more fun. you know, during this very cold weather, it is a little difficult to stick to that and to find the fun in it. But certainly I think that's the attitude I want to go into the year with.
[00:01:31] Lori Farley: Amazing. I love that. So, we haven't met. This is our second time meeting in terms of preparation for during this interview, but maybe you can tell me and everybody else, that's listening a little bit about yourself. Like where did you come from? How did you get to where you are today?
Yeah, I'd be happy to chat about that. So in terms of, I'll talk about it both, you know, from a career path perspective, as well as actually from a geography perspective, I'm originally from Canada east coast.
So I'm from Halifax. I've been in Alberta for about 10 years. And I think you might've mentioned this in the introduction, but my background is in journalism. And so. You know, ever since I was a child, I've really always been captivated by storytelling. And, and I knew I wanted to do that, and I knew I wanted to do that through the written word.
And so that has really remained consistent throughout my life and throughout my career. But, you know, as, as it is with most of us, I'd say it's taken some twists and turns along the way. And so I ended up. Um, coming out to Alberta in back in 2013, I had lived here previously during the summers, but I had come out and I started working with Banff Center.
And so for those who don't know, that's an arts institution in the Canadian Rockies. It's a wonderful place. Lots of amazing things. They've got a lot going on there really from arts, like written. Science things like, mathematics, tons of different stuff going on there and leadership, lots of good stuff, but I was working there on the marketing team and that was one of several places, you know, over the past.
Well, it was between that time. And, 2019 was, was right before I started my business, but I had always kind of been an employee, working within organizations, never planned on being an entrepreneur. You know, it wasn't something that I knew I wanted to do, but over time I felt like I really wanted to spend more time writing.
And so I had always kind of been freelancing throughout my career in marketing and communications. And as that kind of evolved more and more in the fall of 2019, I decided to start Scribe National. And I decided to really, you know, create a company that would enable other companies to tell their stories through the written word, because that's what I was passionate about.
So at that time I was doing that. Part-time, you know, I was working at Banff Center and then of course, as we all know, the world really just turned upside down in March of 2020. And so at that time I was one of about 75% of the organization that was laid off and I thought, okay, well, this is the moment.
It's like Scribe had been getting pretty busy. it had been getting to the point where I was going to have to make that decision anyway. And so, yeah, so here I am now. And, and I mean, we've been doing this full-time ever since, so I think that's kind of just, I guess, a 101 on my journey into entrepreneurship and how it wasn't exactly intentional, but you know, it turned out great at the end.
I love that story because that's actually, now that I was hearing you tell that story that's happened to me in 2009, when the market crashed for the energy sector. In 2008, I was in recruiting in the energy sector. And, I was just loathing, I wanted to quit, but I had, they had sent me to some course that I want to go.
And I had promised to stay for three years in payment of that. And I was like, oh, why did I promise that. And then one day they came into my office and said, yeah, we have to let you go. And I got a year severance and I thought, oh, well, like what should I do? And I started one of my first businesses. I would not have had the courage to do that if I didn't have that year safety net and the push out the door, just wouldn't happen ,I don't think.
[00:04:58] Afton Brazzoni: Absolutely. Yeah. I totally agree. I don't think, you know, I was, I was kind of teetering on the edge of the decision, but I think sometimes it's like in those moments where. The decision was almost made for us. And then, you know, we're kind of propelled onto the next path. certainly a lot of entrepreneurial journeys have started that way.
[00:05:16] Lori Farley: I love that. So being a woman, who's a founder, how have you sort of seen some trends that are happening or if it has some things that have happened to you or so some advice that you've been given or some advice that you could give, is there something that you could talk about is as you know, As women entrepreneurs, we don't like to talk about ourselves as women entrepreneurs.
We want to be entrepreneurs, but there is a category of women who are struggling to get their foot into the door or to be able to participate in this portion of the economy. What are your thoughts on that?
[00:05:42] Afton Brazzoni: Yeah, I absolutely. So I actually really feel passionate about this topic and, you know, one thing I will say not to get like too theoretical, but my perspective on feminism really is that.
We can be like, I completely get the whole idea behind saying that yes, we're entrepreneurs. We're not, we don't have to qualify it by saying we're women. But I also think that if we want to do that, I think that that's completely valid. So I think for anybody who's listening, like wherever you sit on that side of the argument, I support that and I actually completely see both sides of that.
And so I think some of the things that do come along with. really recognizing that yes, we are. We are women. Entrepreneurs is like recognizing the fact that, you know, the barriers that have been faced with funding and especially like female tech founders. And venture capital and investment, and the numbers show that that's something that women really don't receive on anywhere near the same level that, that men do receive it.
I just think kind of like having an awareness around those things and then trying to further conversations and sort of find like-minded allies, I guess you could say. So like for example, one organization that I'm involved with, well, there, there, there are a couple so I'll name a few things like here in Alberta, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs is absolutely fantastic and I've been involved with their community for over a year now.
[00:07:03] Afton Brazzoni: And so, you know, they are really focused on education and really focused on just access, like helping business owners kind of understand the digital economy and really getting their businesses up and up to speed with those things that a lot of us don't have access to funding to really train ourselves in or, or to grow in that way.
you know, I'm also involved with the Canadian Women's Chamber of Commerce. They do a lot of great advocacy work at the federal level. And then I'd say as well that in BC, there's the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. And so I think it's, it's just sort of stepping out there and, and I think as an entrepreneur, regardless of gender, it can be quite isolating.
[00:07:43] Afton Brazzoni: And so I think for anybody like getting out there and really trying to take advantage of the resources that are available to you while also. You know, continuing to push for more because it's absolutely needed. I, I, so I think it's kind of a balance of both of those things. but. Yeah, I, I love the whole, the whole topic of, you know, women's entrepreneurship and, certainly like tons of great people in the community doing amazing things to further that.
[00:08:09] Lori Farley: Ya, and I think we just had to be cognizant of the fact of, of, the power of words. And if feminism was a, is a word that's been sort of taken away. And, bastardized in some ways by, you know, haters as an example. And I think we just need to remember as a community, especially the tech community, that feminism really just means diversity and inclusion and equality.
So, that's where I come from, that's my kind of feminism. I'm not kind of a radical feminist.
[00:08:33] Afton Brazzoni: I completely, and we agree with you. Yeah, it's really just about, like you said, it's, it's just an equal playing field really. It's, it's certainly not about, you know, I think men are absolutely allies and, and we work with tons of clients ,of all genders. And I think that, you know, the more we can just kind of get together and try to put our heads together on some of these issues as opposed to coming at them separately is great.
[00:08:53] Lori Farley: Agreed, agreed, thank you. So I'm wondering a little bit about like, sort of what you do in your business. How does it work? What's setting you apart and how is it that you're reaching these unicorns and, you know, 500 level companies?
[00:09:05] Afton Brazzoni: Yeah, absolutely. I think, really just like our core value as a business is excellence. And so of course, you know, with that, like no one is perfect and we're not going to be perfect every moment of the day, but I think we really do strive both in the service that we provide the actual quality of the writing and the storytelling as well as in our client delivery.
And so. I think that's been one of the things really that has helped with the success, but I'll kind of talk a little bit more practically about what we do. So we are a content writing studio for B2B companies and primarily B2B technology companies. And so. We kind of, we can come in at two different stages really, so sometimes we work with companies that are a little bit earlier on in their journey. And so at that stage, they're often trying to figure out things like their brand messaging. They're trying to figure out, you know, how to set themselves apart in the marketplace and how to speak, who to speak to, how to speak to them and how to really have those messages resonate and translate into business for them.
And so at that point, you know, we're often working with people and things like their messaging or their content strategies. The other way that we work with clients and this would be for, you know, the more established companies is when really they've got a strategy in place. They have a robust marketing function within their organization, but they simply don't have enough hours in the day to tell their story and to get it all done.
And so in that case, we'll come in and we'll work with, it's usually their content marketing manager or a marketing director or something like that, and really help them execute on their strategy. And tell the stories that they need to tell through content marketing. And so that's kind of the, the practical, how, of what we do.
But I think , and this goes for any entrepreneur, really, like always striving to improve the business and listening to our client's needs, and listening to our markets needs and actually like getting out there and talking to them about the things that they're struggling with.
I think those have been some of the things that have enabled our company to be successful and to grow over the past few years.
[00:11:05] Lori Farley: So, what does a, so what does a content strategy look like from your perspective in terms of the types of clients that you're working with or connecting with are interested in working with?
[00:11:15] Afton Brazzoni: Yeah, that's a great question. I would say, like, I'll kind of speak about it. I know in the Rainforest community, there are a lot of tech, founders and tech companies involved in the community. So I'll speak about it from that perspective. And I think. You know, we always want to be conscious of the fact that like in business, there are just never enough hours in the day.
And especially with a smaller company, you know, if you're a startup being strategic, the advantage that that can really give you. Is giving you a roadmap and, and kind of helping you reclaim some of your time back. Because a lot of the time when people are looking at marketing initiatives, we want to try a whole bunch of different things.
it can become very time-consuming and sometimes unproductive if it's not done in a strategic way. And so that's why we want to come in and, and create a content strategy. That's going to look at. Okay. What are your goals for the content? So, you know, if you have a SAS product, for example, and you want to drive a certain amount of users for that product, get a certain amount of recurring revenue.
[00:12:15] Afton Brazzoni: What do you need to be doing? Like, how do you need to be out there in the marketplace? What marketing, excuse me, marketing channels. Do you need to be on, what messages do you need to be sharing and who do you need to be sharing them with? And the content strategy. We'll look at that from the perspective of tactics that are often used in B2B tech, which would be things like: customer stories that showcase the results of your products and services. it could be things like white papers that really, put your thought leadership out there and, and help people get to know your brand that way by sharing those perspectives or something like, building up your organic search traffic by having, a blogging strategy in place.
So those are some of the main tactics that we would put into a content strategy. And again, and of course it's always going to depend on the company. Like those are, those are three examples, but it's, it's going to become more nuanced than that. But the idea really is to give you that roadmap from which you can execute your marketing so that you don't have to be doing things from scratch.
And so that you don't have to be, you know, banging your head against the wall and asking. Well, why isn't this working or, you know, just, just throwing all the darts at the dartboard, so to speak.
[00:13:21] Lori Farley: Yeah. Or even know if it's working, I work a lot with startups in the earliest stages and get them up to the stages where they are going into other accelerators and incubators for the most part.
And I'm wondering these are strategies that are needed in businesses, right from the very beginning, in some senses, in many senses. And so what are some of the ways that entrepreneurs can be getting prepared or ready so that they're doing things in a way that once they're in a, the place where they can hire you, what would that look like, if anything?
[00:13:49] Afton Brazzoni: Yeah, I think really at the startup stage, like one of the biggest things is just really the positioning of the brand itself and like getting clear what we always love to see when we start working with someone is a company that has already thought about particularly what its values are. Like. I think when someone can come in knowing their mission, their vision and their values. That's really all we need them to have for us to kind of go ahead and start developing a brand personality for them and a brand voice and a brand story. Like they don't need to come with those things. But I think as a founder, if you can. Just be really clear on your mission, your vision and your values.
I think that's going to set you up so well for the, decision-making not only in marketing, but you know, other decisions that you're going to make in your company as well in the future. So I'd say like those three things would be an excellent foundation and it's not to say that they can't change or that they need to always be the same forever, but like making values-based decisions is, is just such a powerful thing.
[00:14:56] Lori Farley: I agree, coming from the social impact perspective as my audience listeners know, that's the space, that's the most important and those that, those core values, those core pillars that lead you to stay true to your passion and not be led astray by advice or funders that are actually counter to what you're actually trying to do and paying attention to those and checking in on those and making sure they haven't changed over time because our values do change over time and making, making sure that we do that generative work.
That's the work we do early on helping businesses to set those foundations to so that they can move into,finding their true customers, not all customers, you know, you know, we, when people do their pitches and they talk about the 70 million people that are going to buy their product, well, we help people find out that people that are going to actually buy their products due to value alignment and those types of things. I'm assuming that that's what you're doing as well?
[00:15:46] Afton Brazzoni: Yes. I think like when you said that, what came to mind for me is in our line of work, it's like asking them about their target audience. And then when someone says. Well, our target audience is everyone. And you have to like, and of course we want things to appeal to everyone, but I think actually then we kind of, as an entrepreneur, like you go through this phase where you realize.
It's actually the more specific it can be, the more successful it will probably be. So it's yeah, I totally understand where you're coming from with that.
[00:16:15] Lori Farley: So do you have any clients that, get in the way of the, of themselves and you when you're trying to do the work, they are, they don't maybe understand the process or they have their own ideas and like, what is it that entrepreneurs might be shooting themselves in the foot in this space?
[00:16:29] Afton Brazzoni: That is a juicy one and yes, it does happen. So while I will also take care to be discreet, like yes, that can certainly happen. I mean, we're, we're actually quite lucky at Scribe. Like we've had amazing clients. I have definitely worked in environments in the past as a marketer within companies where.
my internal clients, like the other departments in the company, it, it was a very kind of difficult relationship to try to make marketing goals happen. And so I think that, like, what I would say to business owners is that it is tough. And I am saying this from experience because like, when it's your business, you're so close to it.
it can be difficult, but I think the outside perspectives can be really valuable if you can kind of just have a little bit of that give and take. And if you are making an investment in an expert, whether it's a marketing person or like an external finance person or whatever it is, you know, if you're making that investment, I do think it's not like you have to follow every single piece of advice they give you.
[00:17:33] Afton Brazzoni: But I think if you're going to make the investment. maybe being okay with being a little bit uncomfortable and, and, and trusting, right. You have to, and that's where, like, it is important to find a partner that you trust so that when they do give you a piece of advice that you're unsure about, if you trust in their abilities, and if you trust in their, level of commitment to your success, then at least, even if you're unsure, you can know that there's a good reason for sort of taking a stab at it or at least giving it a try because yeah, if you don't do that, you do get in your own way. Right. And then you don't really get anything out of the experience.
[00:18:07] Lori Farley: Yeah, I'm, I'm struggling through that a little bit myself, so that's going to be a good, that's good advice for me struggling having one of our I'm involved in a number of startups and projects, and we have one founder that's particularly has some blinders on, so it's hard to market when there's, when the perspective is kind of old-fashioned.
[00:18:25] Afton Brazzoni: Yes, ya. And I think, like that definitely comes up in all industries. but yeah, it's a tough one, but I think like good things can come out of trying to push outside of that comfort zone.
[00:18:36] Lori Farley: What are some of the things that you have like that you're really excited and proud of that you've done in your career or even in your business right now?
[00:18:42] Afton Brazzoni: Yes. I think this is a great time of year to actually reflect on those things. So I think, you know, something I'm, I'm really proud of is our. Our ability to have exceeded our revenue goal by quite a bit last year, and still at the same time, maintaining a reasonable work schedule for myself, because I think it's like it's putting those, those numbers and things like that in context, because the first year in my business.
We also did quite well, but I worked quite a bit more. And obviously when someone is starting a business, that that's going to be part of it and that's part of the deal. But I think being able to achieve financial goals in the business while also having like that personal side where, you know, you, you, you do feel like, yes, I actually got to experience the summer.
Whereas the first summer in my business, I was in my office the whole time. so that's something I'm really proud of. And then the other thing I'd say is. You know, as you mentioned in the intro, like most of our customers are repeat customers and I think, well, in any industry, but I think in this is relevant for tech as well, there's a lot of focus that can be placed on customer acquisition. And obviously it's important, you know, we always need to be gaining new customers and growing and things like that, but I've, I've just been so happy to look back and see that a lot of our customers are. Buying from us multiple times.
And, you know, we're delivering on the promise that we said we were going to deliver on and they're happy with that service. And that has become a long-term relationship. And the same would go for the writers who are involved with my team. Like they've been involved since the beginning. And so. I think, you know, those are, those are some things that I'm really incredibly pleased with.
[00:20:19] Lori Farley: So, one of the, the sort of the tenants of the Rainforest in Calgary and Alberta in general is sort of this sort of pay it forward mentality. Are there things that you have that you can offer into the ecosystem in terms of advice or support or some other things do you have some things that you have at the ready?
[00:20:36] Afton Brazzoni: Yes, I definitely do so on our website, we do have some free, learning and training resources. And then what I'd also love to do is just really extend a special offer to listeners. So typically I would offer anyone a free 30 minute consultation, but within the Rainforest community, I really do want to be mindful of putting something forward.
That's a little more substantial than that. So if there's anyone who's listed. Like let's have a longer conversation, you know, we can do kind of like a 60 to 90 minute marketing, deep dive. I am really happy to offer that, you know, completely complimentary and to the community. And just talk to you about what stage your tech company's at, you know, whether you're literally, whether it's at the ideation stage or whether you've already got a ton of customers like let's chat.
I think that. I think actually one of the things during this pandemic, not that we need to be reminded that we're in a pandemic, but I'm like, I'm hesitant to even bring it up. But, but one of the things that has actually been really nice is just the ability to have, to have built so many more connections with people online?
[00:21:42] Afton Brazzoni: And like in, in this community, for example, and many others, like all over the world, really. So please do like, take me up on it. I, I mean that, please get in touch and we'll have a conversation about it because I think having someone, even though I'm in marketing, it's like, when I want to think about the marketing for Scribe.
I, I want to bounce ideas off of somebody else. And so I think for anyone, whether how, however adept you are at marketing, like to have someone else to speak about it with is always helpful.
[00:22:08] Lori Farley: Right, and you're on the Rainforest Slack channel. So easy to, for people to contact you.
[00:22:13] Afton Brazzoni: Yup, I am on there, yup, that's right. Yeah. And then scribenational.ca is our website.
So if someone does want to go on there, there are, there is a learning section where you can grab a free guide, a free content checklist calendar. And then I've also got a free training on brand messaging on there too. And then like, our contact page, you can get in touch with me there. Or like you said, through the Slack, on the Rainforest channel.
[00:22:35] Lori Farley: What are some of the things that you might have as an ask to the ecosystem. Are you needing things from other people in the community?
[00:22:41] Afton Brazzoni: I think my ask would really just be like, I've been interested in connecting with more tech companies in Calgary, and I think it's just such an exciting moment for the industry in Calgary. And so I'd say like, if there is anyone, you know, that is interested in content marketing and having their company's story told, you know, in looking at their marketing in new ways, maybe kind of just talking to someone about it, like we're here.
I would say really just getting the word out. It would be my ask, you know, I've, I've really built Scribe National on, largely on word of mouth, like largely on previous clients and referrals. And I think it's still a super powerful strategy, even though we have all the digital tools at our disposal and I'm, you know, we do use them and I'm not opposed, but I just think word of mouth.
Like it has worked well for my business. So that's what I would ask is just, if anybody knows anyone that that might be a good fit for us to have a conversation.
[00:23:36] Lori Farley: Agreed word of mouth, I actually never learned how to market properly. So when I started my latest couple of companies, I didn't know how to market because all of my business from 2005 til now was based on word of mouth.
If I said, oh, I'm, I'm stopping doing something. I'm having some free time. And as if you know any customers, I would, I would be overwhelmed with customers. So learning how to market for me. Done very backwards. I don't have a concept, but I never went through the grind of doing it all this time.
[00:24:03] Afton Brazzoni: Yeah. Well it's so, glossed over sometimes because we do have all of these, you know, really high tech, fancy strategies that we can use and that.
There is certainly a place for it. Absolutely. But I think especially this year, like I've been hearing so much about this being the year of organic marketing and this being the year of relationship building. And I think, especially with some of the changes that have happened with Facebook advertising and really.
People also just wanting actual human connection. Like, I wouldn't be surprised at all if, if we all saw a really big resurgence in those grassroots types of marketing for 2022.
[00:24:40] Lori Farley: So what might some of those trends be then you think?
[00:24:43] Afton Brazzoni: Well, one of the things that I've already heard a lot about is this concept of dark social, or like private online communities where.
You know, you can't run an advertising campaign inside the community. You need to really go in there and actually have conversations like the Rainforest Slack channel would be a great example of it. Like you've got to put in the time and you've got to build real relationships with people, you know? And it's another reason why LinkedIn, I think, is, is having such a moment right now and seeing such success because the algorithm on LinkedIn is such that.
Your content can actually get seen. You don't have to put a bunch of money behind it for someone to see a post. And the people who are on LinkedIn are actually engaging with the content. And so I feel like a lot of people have abandoned other social platforms in favor of going over to LinkedIn, to market, whether it's their personal brand as an entrepreneur, whether it's their company.
Just anywhere where you can actually have like a genuine connection. I just think that those types of marketing are, are certainly coming to the forefront. I don't know enough to know what's going to happen with events. I I'm sure they'll continue to be hybrid. I hope that some in person events will be able to happen.
But yeah. I just think that that sort of personalized marketing, that connection based marketing,
[00:26:01] Lori Farley: what are some of the, what are some of the reasons that you, got connected into Rainforest?
[00:26:05] Afton Brazzoni: Yeah, so I've, like I said, I think that it's a really exciting time to kind of be connected with the tech community in Calgary.
And one of the other things I would say is that I liked the idea of how. You know, you bring something to the community and, and you can also make an ask of the community. And I think that when people especially are in a startup stage and I really still consider my business, like we've only, we've had our two year anniversary, but like we're still quite new.
I just think that, that, that those kinds of opportunities and having the space to do that is extremely, extremely valuable. And I just loved that. It's not only implied, but like it's right there on your website that like, these are the guiding principles of this community. And I think, if I can kind of put a branding spin on that for a moment as a, as a tip to people listening.
People connect with your brand when they understand what you're about and when they understand what your values are. And so I think that's something that rainforest has done really well is like putting it right out there. You know, this is what we're about. so that was one of the things for me that, that attracted me to it.
[00:27:11] Lori Farley: Me too. I joined Rainforest because it was. a living group of people embodying my values and principles, which there's not very many groups out there unless you're in totally the social impact space and we need impact and visibility. And so having a more tech space, thinking about the ideals of, of, of living and connecting with people and, sharing and, and diversity, those types of things.
Building the trust and the culture are things that I live and breathe every day. And I'd never felt in the tech community before that. And I'm a groupie and again, a geek, I hang out with a lot of tech people and a lot of tech companies and a lot of tech organizations, but I'm always a sort of an outsider.
Like, why are you here? You're, you're a social impact person. You're an artist. You're all these other things that we're not. And I'm saying. That's good. That's good for you. It's good for me, that sort of Mixing, melding of people who maybe in some people's minds shouldn't come together, but when they do what amazing things can happen, the synergy is the ideas, the innovation.
[00:28:12] Afton Brazzoni: I completely agree with that. And it's, you know, it just the fact that like my experience, I mean, when I started connecting with Rainforest and even though it's like, I'm not a tech founder, but I have felt completely welcomed. I mean, even for example, like to come on to this podcast and to speak to the audience, like there, it doesn't feel like you're not one of us.
And so I think that everything you just said, like, it's really, it's really true. Like we, we really feel that as, like as, from an outside perspective, looking at the community, I can really tell that.
[00:28:42] Lori Farley: I think our audience, particularly with the historical members, we'll be glad to hear that. Some of the questions that I ask everybody is.
What advice would you give to your teenage self to get to where you are today or looking back at where you are today from your teenage self?
[00:28:58] Afton Brazzoni: Oh my gosh. I probably have like a laundry list of pieces of advice that I would give her. I think if I had to give I'll just give, she needs a lot of advice. Let me just say that, but I will give just one and I guess it would just be that, kind of what I talked about before, about how like, I never thought I was going to be an entrepreneur.
And I think, being okay with things, not being linear, like I've always been a very organized person. I like to, you know, be in control of the outcomes. I like to see the path I like to know what's happening. But I think that if I, at that time, at that age, I was like fully set on being an international news correspondent.
Like I was, I, that was what I was going to do, but I think I would just say. That actually sometimes the unknown and sometimes. Following that path where we're not, we don't, we see the one step in front of us, but we don't see the whole path and that that's okay. Like that is completely fine, and that's actually very exciting.
[00:29:56] Lori Farley: I love that, it just reminded me that I consider myself an inventor now, and I never did, but I did through my whole youth because I was just making things all the time because we needed something. But my advice to people out there is to just look around yourself because what we're doing normally naturally ourselves.
Other people can't do and they don't want to do, and they will pay you to do that was a big revelation for me when I started my business in 2009. It's just understanding that. The uniqueness that we all have in ourselves that we can bring into entrepreneurship is really an amazing capacity. And it's what people need and want. And as part of the community culture that we try to create as entrepreneurs,
[00:30:36] Afton Brazzoni: that's so true. And I think one thing and like, kind of going back to our conversation before about women entrepreneurs specifically, and again, not to generalize, cause I know that not every woman feels this way, but what I will, one thing that I, that I will say is like the whole thought of well,
well, who am I to do it? And it's like, well, no, actually, who are you not to do it? And I think what you've just said about you do have gifts. you do have like, there, there are tons of things that people are not skilled at that someone else is, or, you know, one thing or the other. And I think those are how some of them not only great companies, but also.
Like I am having more fun in my career now than I ever had. And if I hadn't started my own business, I would have missed out on that.
[00:31:17] Lori Farley: Amazing. And you're a role model, an amazing role model, very connected, very interesting, very knowledgeable, and someone who's willing to support the community and, and receive from the community receiving sometimes hard.
I know. I'm hard at asking for help. For some reason I'm not good at it. I'm sure there's other people out there that are in that way, but Rainforest is a pretty safe place to do that. So, I, I'm encouraging all of our, all of our listeners to practice that. Afton, is there anything that I didn't ask you that you thought, oh, I wish I would have been able to say that. What are some of the things that you want to talk about?
[00:31:49] Afton Brazzoni: Really? I think we've covered a lot of good stuff. Like I think I wanted to just sort of. Of course, let people know, you know, how I can help them, which, which we've certainly covered. obviously highlighting the great things about this community, which, which we've totally covered.
I think if anyone ever, like I'm a dog lover, I also love hiking. If anyone ever wants to talk about those kinds of things, feel free to get in touch. you know, and. I think for people to like to continue exploring their creativity right. Is, is really just, I think what it's all about. I think that entrepreneurial spirit and creativity really go hand in hand. So. No, I think, I think we've had a great convo for sure.
[00:32:28] Lori Farley: I agree as well. And thank you for joining us today. thank you for this chance to get to know you. And most of the people I've interviewed in the past are people that I've known for a long time. So I really enjoyed what we had a chance to talk about, and I think our listeners will as well.
And I just want to thank the, thank our hundreds of listeners that are out there. Make sure you come back next week for our next episode of the Leaders, Innovators, and Big Ideas podcast. Back to you, Al.