I had the pleasure to interview Lindsey Myers. Lindsey founded Concrete Blonde Consulting in November 2016 to pursue her passion for building reputations and revenues through business development marketing strategies. The company has since been named one of the “Top 15 PR Agencies in New York” by The Manifest and one of the “Top 10 Best PR Agencies” by Web Surf Media. Myers provides profit and growth solutions and thrives as a consultant. A communications expert and entrepreneur, she has over twelve-years of experience serving various industries including consumer products and services, tech, lifestyle, hospitality and nonprofit companies in NYC and the Hamptons luxury market. And in 2018, Insights Success magazine named her one of the “30 Most Innovative CEOs” of the year.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always loved writing and in college was looking for a career path that would incorporate that and discovered PR. I spent a summer interning at a PR firm in the Hamptons and fell in love!
I guess you could also say media runs in my blood — my grandfather founded a media holding company and my uncle spent most of his career in the TV industry.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I don’t think I could pick just one — there have been so many ups and downs. Since I started the company there’s been tears and never ending laughter. Struggles and magic moments and extreme growth beyond what I ever could have imagined.
I do remember going to an event that Female Founder’s Fund hosted and hearing Whitney Tingle, the founder of Sakara Life, speak about starting her company. She said once she was super successful people would always ask her if being an entrepreneur was hard. I was expecting her to give some shrugged off “no it’s that bad” type answer and instead she said, “Fuck yeah it’s hard! I wanna quit all the time, I wanted to quit like yesterday!” And I’ve never been so relieved in my life. It was a wonderful feeling to know I wasn’t alone. And also that sometimes it’s OK if you’re frustrated with your kids and are thinking about putting them up for adoption and moving to Hawaii.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I had a lot of PR experience when I started, but didn’t have any experience negotiating contracts and I was really clueless. So, a lot of the mistakes I made involved falling into “traps” of common questions. I just always gave a straight-up honest answer and people were usually really taken aback by it.
I’ve learned some “diplomacy” since then, I know what the “right” answers are and what people want to hear … but, I’m still my overly honest (sometimes to a comical point) self! I guess what I learned was that it’s good to know what the “social norms” are in an industry and to “follow the rules” — but to do it in your own authentic way and be yourself. I believe most of my clients hire me because they like my comically blunt honesty. I mean who couldn’t use a little more laughter in their day?
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We spend a lot of time really getting to know our clients on the upfront. To hear their story. To ask questions. To really pull out what’s in their soul that they don’t know how to articulate. And we put it into words that not only express their thoughts, but also reflects their values. We aren’t just “good writers” — we’re overly empathetic people who are skilled at creating an environment for entrepreneurs to open up and really share the essence of their dreams.
It’s a lot of work for us in the beginning and something other firms wouldn’t bother (or wouldn’t know how) to do, but I find it alters the entire course of the campaign. This step is what allows us to not only bring their vision to life, but to broadcast their authenticity to the audience.
It’s not something you can share in a specific story — we do it for every client. And it’s not so much the process, it’s about being able to transmit not only words, but feelings. I’ve always loved telling stories and the best part of my job is when a business owner (or CEO) sees what they couldn’t say come to life on a page — that’s where the magic is that’s what’s moving. That’s my way to sprinkle a little pixie dust on a business.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
This is our busy season for taking on new clients and we have so many exciting projects in the works!! I don’t want to play favorites though (that’s like picking a favorite child — we just don’t do that!). I will say that a lot of our clients practice conscious capitalism and have sustainable business plans and it feels really good to help people helping people.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Learn how to negotiate and build strong boundaries. Women tend to be natural nurturers and I believe a lot of us struggle to remember to put ourselves ahead of our clients/customers sometimes. Taking care of yourself is necessary and learning to focus on and prioritize that is a muscle you need to build.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Make sure the people you promote into management positions have management skills. All too often there are employees that are excellent salesman and CEOs want to keep in the company — so they promote them. Only they promote them into positions where they are then responsible for managing other people. A good sales person does not have the same skill set as a good manager.
I believe this is one of the BIGGEST problems in corporate America. And whether companies realize it or not it’s costing them astronomical amounts of money. Bad managers lead to one of the costliest expenses for a company — employee turnover.
We need to completely change corporate structure so that salespeople are still climbing up the ladder and receiving promotions, but those positions aren’t responsible for managing other people. Managers don’t need to sell. They need to know how to nurture people for growth, how to get the best out of talented people and how to promote teamwork (and put out fires from office drama). They are the glue that holds a company together and the oil in the machine. Choose them wisely.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are SO many people who helped me get to where I am today that every time someone asks me I pick a different person lol.
This week I had a lot of gratitude for my first grade teacher at Fort Island Elementary School — Kathleen Welsh. She was “that teacher” — you know the one I mean — we’ve all had one. I was a slow reader as a child and she was the first person to inspire me (and believe in me and my dream) to become a writer. Everyone is always quick to say how underpaid and underappreciated public school teachers are and she is living example.
(So THANK YOU for asking this question so I could give her a shout out and show my appreciation!!!)
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
There are a million small things, but I’m currently working on funding to found a two separate non-profits one aimed at helping female athletes and the other victims of domestic violence — so stay tuned to find out how you can help too!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
I’ve only got one, but it’s a BIG one! You can never be “too nice”. There were too many people to count who told me I was too nice to be successful. That I had to be someone else in order to build a company and unfortunately there was a stretch of time (somewhere in the middle) where I started to believe them. And it made me kind of bitter and a bit of an angerball … and no one wants to work with that person!
People like working with people they like — there’s no such thing as too nice or too kind.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I don’t have a big idea, but rather a little one. If everyone could just be a little kinder to the people they encounter every day I believe it would make a big difference. Smile at that stranger you pass on the street. When that elderly woman at the grocery store drops her umbrella, pick it up for her. When someone does something small that brightens someone’s day, even if just for a moment, that person is little bit happier … and a little bit kinder to the next person they cross paths with that day. Also, these types of actions build connection, making you feel like part of a community and allow you to give back, making you feel good about yourself.
If everyone was just a little bit more attentive to the strangers who share the streets around them and a little bit kinder, the world would be a better place. We’d have more inner joy, more empathy and stronger communities. You don’t need to make any grand gestures, but be just a little tiny bit kinder.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
If you understood my love of quotes you’d understand what a loaded question this is lol. I’ll give you my friend Angie’s favorite one (cause I say it lot to her) — “everything you want is on the other side of fear”. When I started my company I had to do A LOT of things I’d never done before. Like several, every day, all day … for several years. And you’re gonna be scared to try, then scared to fail and then scared to pick yourself up (because inevitably, you will fail … a lot more than you would like lol). You just gotta keep walking and calming putting one foot in front of the other and stay dedicated. And given enough time … you’ll reach your destination.
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
YES!! Oprah, Shonda Rhimes, Martha Stewart and Aaron Sorkin. These women are titans who inspire me every day and I’d love to learn as much as possible from them (and try to make them laugh … I love making people laugh!). Aaron Sorkin is my all-time favorite writer … and among (many) other things, I wanna find out if he actually knows how to tie a bow tie.
It’s a big table, right?