Abbie is a trainer, speaker, corporate executive and business owner. Founder of the non profit Kyndly and owner of a retail franchise that focuses on hiring and mentoring young people, she is focused on impacting people, creating community and building a kinder world. She brings together all her passions in these two ventures and is most excited about the concept of owning a brick and mortar business in 2019. She believes people are looking for a human connection in the companies they do business with.
Abbie has held a variety of roles in the corporate world. Her most rewarding “role” however is when she can set aside the bottom line and help mentor and develop a fellow person into the best version of themselves. She believes that when we invest in our employees as people first, the customer experience and the bottom line will follow.
As former head of sales operations and training for a multi-billion-dollar public company and VP of People and Culture for a successful startup tech company, Abbie draws from her experiences to help others focus on cultivating joy and finding the light they give from within themselves, each and every day. As a Joy Coach and Keynote speaker, she brings her quick-witted humor, personal challenges and relentless positivity to every interaction, workshop and engagement.
Where did the idea for Kyndly come from?
It was one of those, if you can’t find it out there, do it yourself kind of moments! I had been blessed to participate in some pretty amazing events focusing on joy and mindfulness, but they were expensive and targeted a very specific demographic. I also have lived my life by a philosophy that I feel has gotten me through jobs, a climb up the corporate ladder against all odds, parenting, divorce, and my friends always ask me how I am able to forgive, forget and move on so easily. I wanted to create a place for everyone to access content and support that will allow them to build their own joy and kindness muscles and get through a typical day of stress without losing their mind. Most importantly, I wanted to help kids. I see Kyndly as a way to make a very small dent in a better future. If we can teach these skill sets to young people now, perhaps when they take over corporate America and the political arena, they’ll approach it and each other very differently. This is also why buying into a Franchise like Jeremiah’s made so much sense to me. While Kyndly is an “internet based” nonprofit – Jeremiah’s is a brick and mortar business that connects directly with our community and allows us to provide the best first job a kid will ever have! Mentoring them, teaching them customer service and how to engage with each other when challenges arise along with customers is something I’m extremely passionate about.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts around 5:30am with the largest of my 4 four legged kids waking me up! I don’t even need an alarm anymore! From there, I head to the office and compartmentalize my day between my consulting, Kyndly and starting up Jeremiah’s. I make sure to give dedicated time to each one rather than attempting to multitask as much as possible. There are always daily affirmations in my day, connection with my husband and my two grown children. Every. Single. Day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Collaboration! I surround myself with a network of amazing people. If I am spending too much time on an idea without it going anywhere, I reach out to the network and allow them to roll it around, build it up or tear it apart! Then I use that network the best I can, involving them and bringing them together to make it the best it can be!
What’s one trend that excites you?
Brands with purpose. I hope it’s a trend that intends to stay around, but I love that companies are coming to the table with a message or a purpose and that consumers are starting to demand this of who they spend their money with. Whether the company is using it as a marketing tactic or it’s a true value, the end result still makes the world a better place.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Reading. I read a lot, practically every day. Not only is this time to step out of my business and decompress, but I learn something constantly that I can implement. Some of my best ideas came while reading, it allows my mind to begin to focus and get clearer.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Listen to your heart first, then your gut.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Abundance mentality. Trying to undercut the other guy or not be willing to engage and share with your competition out of fear of losing some business is short sided and it will take you longer to grow. There’s enough out there for all of us and we should be working together to impact our industry or consumers.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Ask for help. If you are an entrepreneur, you were probably born with the do it yourself gene. It’s your idea, your company, your money and asking for help may feel like a weakness. It’s a strength!
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Old school boots on the ground marketing. I carry cards, stickers and bracelets everywhere I go. I talk to people, give things away, leave them in places. We’ve been so focused on digital and social media the last several years that I think we’ve forgotten about face to face interaction.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I struggled early on because I was trying to be everything to everyone. I launched without a clear picture of what our organization was and who we were really targeting. I reached out and asked for help, attended an incredible female entrepreneur business retreat, Brand Camp, and got clarity. I came back and reinvented our message and our target market and we started picking up pace fast!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Create a Joy Accountability App! A place where you can log your moments you maybe don’t handle things well and those you do and get help staying accountable to changing your habits. Kind of like exercise tracking, but for acts of kindness!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I got my birth announcement framed…..I know, that sounds a little narcissistic. My parents did something pretty unique and awesome though, it’s a representation of them, how proud they were, their sense of humor. Now it hangs next to my bed and I see it every morning when I wake up. I think of them, where I come from and the journey I’m still on.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Quip. It’s a great web based product that allows me to do multiple types of checklists, documents, journal writing, etc…. it’s a collaboration tool that I can add people on too and track comments and notes. It’s great for working with vendors and giving them access to content and keeping track of the back and forth and approvals on a project. I can access it on my phone, tablet and computer.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Chief Joy Officer by Richard Sheridan. You can create a successful workplace, large profit margins and happy employees through joy and leading with kindness and compassion.
What is your favorite quote?
“In spite of everything, I still believe people are good at heart” -Anne Frank
- Abundance Mentality – Go at it feeling like there’s enough for everyone and find your market share.
- Ask for help – find a network of people and don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
- Focus on your purpose – why did you get in to this in the first place? Stay true to that and you can’t go wrong.
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Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.