About the Episode:
Heather Cox educates us today on what it truly means to Certify your company and what benefits it brings. Learn what defines a disability in terms of certification, and why it is so beneficial to brand your company with it.
About the Guest:
Heather Cox is the world’s foremost authority on diversity certification, an area many businesses overlook and, as a result, cost themselves thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in potential revenue each year. Heather is a business executive, seminar director, renowned public speaker, and marketing professional whose tireless advocacy for diversity helps make the business world more closely resemble the real world. She co-founded Certify My Company based on her own frustrating experience completing the Women’s Business Enterprise certification process, something that opened her eyes to the challenges facing small, diverse businesses. Expert guidance is critical and highly sought after in this space, thus leading to the launch of Heather’s enterprise.
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Before we go in here and dive in, share this episode out with three people today. I ask this all the time because we don’t promote, we don’t advertise, we don’t take sponsors, the only way we grow is with your help so please join the army. Fight for us in helping move people from point A to point B in their lives and leveling them up. Today is a special day because I talked with my guest, a little bit ago. She’s a former circus performer, who is an awesome acro gymnast, tightrope walker and juggler but even better fast forward to the presence. After spending a decade being pregnant. She’s the co-founder and president of My Company. We’re going to go into some diversity talk today around that which is really exciting Heather Cox, welcome.
Thank you so much you should note though I didn’t do it after I was pregnant I did it while I was pregnant while you’re topping out those babies.
What’s up, power woman, yeah. Wait, the circus while you were pregnant?
No, the circus was back when I was young and limber between like 6 and 18. The college student studying abroad got married and got pregnant and that’s when you start building the business when you’re starting a family at the same time, right?
That’s what I did. That’s what everybody does right? Twins are born, sure let’s uproot my entire life.
Do you have twins?
I do, yeah, they’re fourteen now.
I have twins!
Nice! Fraternal or identical?
Oh nice. I loved learning about that too because mine are fraternal the boy and girl but then, you know, these whole myths that exist around a they skip a generation all that other stupid stuff because it’s stupid stuff, and I found out because the the doc that delivered them delivered like 200 sets of multiples before he got to mine. So Impressive totally, and he was explaining you know identical twins are really like he would call it an act of God.
It’s totally flipped right for sure.
I know which is really cool I mean it’s like they’re like literal two blessings there, and then it’s, then it’s the fraternal ones are a it’s not a syndrome but that’s technically what it’s called, I think, but it’s called hyper oscillation.
Yeah, releasing more eggs than normal.
Right, exactly. Yeah, and that’s what happened with my twins, and, you know, then of course it’s a lot easier for the dude because he’s shooting up like 10 million sperm I mean you only need two to have that happen.
Yeah, my husband was really proud of himself
He was really proud like, “I’m sorry. The twins have nothing to do with you.” Yeah, that’s a letdown to the male ego but anyways. Yes, that’s awesome. So how old are your twins?
In the thick of it right now, yeah. All boys.
Interesting, so you have five kids who are all boys.
No, the oldest my first and my third are girls are two and then my one more, which ended up being twins, were twin boys.
Oh interesting, you know, everyone always asked me questions around twins like “How’d you do it with twins?” I’m like you know what, here’s the reality, they were my first, and I, you just do you know because you don’t know any better and then I say what I cannot imagine, is somebody who has had kids already singles and then multiples just decided to show up. Yeah, how did that go for you because you’re used to liking one at a time and then it’s like, well hey there’s two.
So, you know, I think I’ve actually always said it must be easier for me because I had experience with other babies and I’m also not a super panic mom by the time you have for your like Matt, they all lived, we’re good. So I didn’t stress like nursing didn’t work with them so we didn’t like you know I was just, I kind of just rolled with the punches and I went with it I do remember I actually was sending emails from the hospital, and one of my corporate clients emailed me and I was like, “Hey, can I email you back on Monday I just had twins this morning.? and she’s like, “What, what, what are you emailing me?” Like, I’m just laying here.
The hard part’s done at this point. I might need a day or two to recover but you know what, I’ll be back on Friday, good gravy. Oh my goodness, I love it. Twins where your, final, your last became two which is really awesome and you know that there’s nothing like that experience and we’re supposed to talk about other, you know, really important things like versity and all this fun stuff. We could segue into one of my favorite diversions and I’m sure this is like nothing exactly at all what you do, you do you watch the office.
I’ve watched the American one. Yes, okay. You talk about it a lot. That’s really funny.
I know because I’ve watched it for a long time I haven’t watched it in a long time though, but I remember there was Diversity Episode for in one of the very early episodes and it was just like, anti everything that you would hear corporate teach it is, it was hilarious some of these things I can’t remember some of the lines right it’s been a long time since I watch it, but my twins because they’re twins and they’re 14 Now it has been reinvigorated in my lives because they are getting into The Office now and shows like Friends and Parks and Recreation.
They’re back in like Target has t-shirts about it again.
Yeah, the HBO special I know and then everything is just coming full circle, but that’s because of last year, I mean what do people do when they got locked up, they had babies or had babies got divorce, but either of those groups watch a lot of Netflix or Disney+.
I didn’t do either of the two, by the way.
That’s awesome, but maybe Netflix, I don’t know though
Netflix Navy right. Yeah, but you know we were actually so busy last year, though, I will say the one little sparkly shiny sequin thing that came out in 2020, was that people realize the amazing benefit, and power of diversity in business, that’s like the one thing as much as 2020 stunk and like we’re still like I have a bunch of conferences next month in November that I’m like, itching for I’m packing already was like using pack like the day before, I’m like, I’m packing that I like so excited to be back out there. Yeah, again, but don’t live with me all the time
Oh my gosh. Yeah, no kidding. So you haven’t traveled at all in the past year and a half then?
I have a friend in Northern California and visit her like a couple my mom’s in LA, so like we did. No business travel at all, because most of our conferences have a lot of the Fortune 1000 attend for business and sales whatever and they are on travel restriction. Oh, for sure, they couldn’t go. So the entrepreneurs are like, “We’ll go.”
Oh yeah, well go. I stayed 150 nights at a hotel last year, you know.
Oh yeah, we were like “Can’t keep us down.”
Yeah, you got that right, I feel you there when you said you visit your mom in LA that was like one of the worst for the lockdowns and everything to goodness.
We couldn’t see her for a while. She’s gonna kill me. Yeah, we couldn’t see her for a while and so the second because we’re like, not vaccinated she got back we all were able to get together, promise I live with five petri dishes, So you know if the second anything happens, like, or I was like is it COVID, is it allergies? Right you like freak out and so it was a little hard but now everything’s fairly back to normal,
That’s intriguing too and maybe we can unpack this too and have a real talk around this too because I’m sure you know diversity topics can come up when it comes to the pandemic and vaccines. Oh yeah, it’s probably pretty interesting the perspective you can bring to that, you know, and coming from the camp of both groups I think I feel now because I tend to look for truth in a lot of things, you know, really everything you know I’m not so yeah I’m not so caring about people’s opinions, It’s like let me do my research and actually find out what’s going on here.
This is the first time I’ve talked about this on the show but it’s perfect for this topic too. I am vaccinated and also when you’re talking about having 150 nights in the hotel last year, you know I thought last year at some point I had caught COVID as well, and because it was two days that I felt like I had a perpetual asthma attack, you know which kind of came out of nowhere and I had asthma when I was a kid I remember that like oh this hasn’t been in like 20 years. Yeah, this is different, and then it was gone after like three days, then I was vaccinated in March this year because I do international travel. You know I have some business in Canada specifically and then at a live event that I went to with 3500 people in Florida, just about. Yeah, just about a month ago right and I am vaccinated. I brought home a lovely souvenir of COVID
Oh no, but you didn’t get that sick right, like you didn’t die.
I didn’t at all, no, what I had felt from this and this is what I want to dive into like the diversity talk and how this plays into the vaccines and all that too because there’s there’s at risk groups, you know, but there’s even racial at risk groups that are trying to pop up and I’m yeah it’s it’s interesting. That’s when I came back. No, I was really really down for maybe like two to three days-ish, I had a fever for 12 hours, you know, but then after that you know the the lingering feelings probably lasted about a week or so after that so probably total about 10 days but the days where I couldn’t really move and it felt like just a flu, you know, I’m not even saying a bad flu, it just felt like flu to where I needed to sleep, you know, and I’m thinking, well, the vaccine for me didn’t really do anything, you know, and they say it lessens. in and all this other stuff I’m like, it just
It just means that you don’t die, that’s the whole point you don’t die, which to me is like a massive perk.
Yeah, I’m not gonna tell anybody to get poked, you know, but it’s everyone’s personal decision I’ve made. Like I said I did and I have no issues talking about it I had my reasons to do it you know I also believe in full natural immunity on some things do but here’s where I look at this from to and I’m sure this, this gets into because now we’ve seen United Airlines fire a bunch of people over, over this right and, but now what diversity issues are they going to face because I’m sure not all of these people and this is an interesting conversation so let’s just have real talk, right, I’m sure not all the people that they fired were white,
Maybe not you know actually I don’t know but I will tell you the diversity you’re talking about is the DEI right the diversity, inside your company that’s your employees, which is an enormous part like everybody understands why you have to have diversity in your workforce. Everybody understands why you have diversity in your clientele and your customer base, but what we do what I work on is the supply chain, which is totally a different part of the diversity world.
People really forget about that part of it but I agree. I’m sure there’s going to be all the whole once this whole thing wraps up. We are going to see so much and I’m sure all the attorneys are like this. Like, waiting to see what’s going down. Yeah,
This is why I’m comparing this because I understand what you do with diversity with the supply chain and the comparison to because what’s it going to look like coming up now this is why I’m prefacing it with all the other stuff. What’s going to have, what’s going to happen now because, because the the vaccines will we start to see, you know, in diversity in the supply chain, from what you can see, have you started to see some trends here to really say hey we’re only going to do business and put other companies in our supply chain that are vaccinated, that have a vaccine mandate.
That’s interesting, we haven’t seen that yet. I do know that some of the conferences coming up are you have to be vaccinated, to go to conferences which kind of in essence says, I only want to network and marketing, and have these sales meetings with people who are vaccinated, but they haven’t put it in like an RFP at this point me like any other request for proposals that have come out haven’t been like first question, are you vaccinated, if no stop filling out the form
That’s what I was curious about because this is your field of expertise and coming out of the event a month ago you know and then understanding the supply chain issues that we’ve had over the past year and a half to and that is why I’m sure your business boomed last year, see this is full circle with the pandemic. Yeah, right on. I mean even all the way, you know upwards the big tech like Apple, you know they got screwed from what I saw because of the supply chain. You know, for the new iPhone was almost delayed, the new MacBook that’s coming out is delayed because of screen shortages, you know, but then of course we have the microchip. God yeah it’s like what;s this microchip, you know, it’s like, aren’t there a thousand of them?
Thanks for allowing me my rant there and it all ties together because that’s what I’m seeing, but then I started to think, you know, because the pandemic and the issues that people have had in their supply chains, but now companies are having vaccine mandates you know we’ve got something coming from OSHA, you know that that’s coming down too because of the President’s executive order, and how is this going to affect supply chain diversity at this point, you know, from what you see. You’re saying there’s not something on the app on the RFP at this point.
Well I will tell you what it has done so we all saw the toilet paper crisis 2020 And we’ve all seen like you know, the chip crisis that we’re going through now right, what’s a bit, what do they all have in common its supply chain issues, so for years, all these procurement teams Their goal was to have as few suppliers as they possibly could, they’re always like, shrinking the supply chain right we’re shrinking, shrinking they want to just a few suppliers, and that was not great for the supplier diversity world because a good chunk of the diverse suppliers out there are in the small business category under $30 million in revenue, not all of them, but a good chunk of them and so if you need a supplier that can handle nationwide, that really does shrink the population of diverse suppliers that can handle those opportunities.
However, now that we’ve gone through these, these toilet paper crises and these other crises that we’re going through, they’re now realizing that was not a smart business move, they’re now realizing we need to have more suppliers available and maybe more on a regional basis because if they can’t get it from California to Florida, they can probably get from California to Nevada. So if we have diverse suppliers the smaller businesses like 30 million and under can handle that type of business opportunity.
So it has been a really great opportunity on top of that, there was all the, you know, racial unrest of the last 2020 months that we went through, it’s also really made a lot of these big companies say we got to step it up like if, you know, we have to really, I mean there’s, there’s tons of business metrics and statistics that show that working with diverse suppliers makes the company more money, which bottom line is, that’s why companies do it. Oh yeah, no doubt they’re not hearts of gold, okay let’s be real. Yeah, just because it makes them money,
It’s not to support and this, you’re picking up where I’m going to because it’s not to support a vaccine mandate or go against the vaccine mandate forget it’s not to support racial diversification when you’re putting. It’s to make sure that your profit can stay intact. That’s exactly what it is exactly yeah.
Your side benefits right like the economic impact of it is huge and it makes a lot of good sense so they can use that for their PR and all the good parts to feel good but yeah, we all like to feel but the bottom line is it’s about the bottom line.
Always. Bottom line, I love how your business has taken off because mine did to last year I mean tremendously with our IPO coming up now in cybersecurity because that’s a huge, that’s another huge thing right now you know I was just signing a form right before I jumped on the show with you literally right before this was like okay, this has to be notarized to go to the SEC now, you know, so there’s like, just things that thing after thing after thing, but this all came out of last year, you know, and even with what we’re looking at you know I tried to diversify exactly where we came from and this happened at the beginning of the year for us because we’re a little different in that we will put a cycle a rhythm around an entire office hardware refresh with my service provider company, because it’ll be every three years and it’s made to keep their technology predictable and reliable, you know, and I saw this the same type of scenario come up years ago, there was a flood in a hard drive factory in Taiwan and this is like 2014 and, you know, having gone through that before this affected because every single computer has hard drives that goes into it all networking equipment has some sort of storage. It was horrible. It was horrible and I was thinking and I’m like, Why do all the hard drives in the world come from this one place in Taiwan.
Because it’s the same place where the chips come from!
Right on. Exactly. But then going into things last year it was like March and April like okay here’s what we need to do because all these are on rental programs for three years I’m like take everybody that’s up for renewal in the next 18 months, and we need to bring them all forward right now we are going to buy them out of the remaining part of the contract because this is what’s right for our clients because I bet you and this was March right when things hit last year I’m like because of what I had seen before with the frickin Taiwanese flood in the hard drive factory and understanding supply chain, at least in a minute bid on like, there’s going to be an issue three months from now and we’re not going to and that’s exactly what happened.
Not everybody thought like that so that was very good forward thinking for you.
Oh yeah and that was one of the ways I was able to quadruple my revenue last year was literally doing the right thing for my client base, you know, and then also just accelerating that revenue forward as well and then being cool. Well now we can do new things we have money to invest in like going public and stuff so this is cool. It is exactly, but I’ve seen these in my industry and obviously a lot of industries that come across the board so where do people go wrong in this I know you talked about you know trying to shrink through the supply chain in order to increase profits, that’s what they thought they realize it was bad idea now. You know what, what should people do going forward?
Well people meaning entrepreneurs or people meaning procurement teams of large corporations, which people?
It’s probably both because I’m sure that they Yeah and that’s your right because they definitely two different areas but you know the the entrepreneurs, you know, the event that I was at a little bit ago had to do with online in E commerce right and there’s a lot of things that you can do you can go out there and you can spin up a site real quick and you can sell widgets or whatever else it’s awesome and there’s people that are making millions of dollars doing that, but I thought about them like how these people fare last year, you know when you know that yeah also Alibaba, or aliexpress or whatever, you know, that was my thoughts, you know, but then coming to large companies and even with my acquisitions I’m looking at them, ask them like how’d you guys fare last year with supply chain, like you know what we had to go to Amazon for a lot of things because the major distributors the fortune 100 and fortune 50 distributors that I work with to have just been out of everything. Yeah, but which ones
Let’s start with the entrepreneurs because we love entrepreneurs, they’re all a little bit nuts though which is why we love them so much. That’s like who we work with all day long are the entrepreneurs. So, you know one thing that they could do is first of all, if you’re eligible, if you are I’m just going to give you the quick, the quick little 101 of supplier diversity. So, the one on one is if your company is owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women, and ethnic minority members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, or a sub with a disability or people with disability, then get certified. What does that do, why is that important? If we’re going to make all these proclamations and all these announcements and just this statistics and metrics about how important diversity is, you have better measure, because you can’t measure, without counting right you can’t measure it you can’t count, so we have to have the certification to prove who these people are.
So if you’re eligible for it’s one of those categories, get certified, first and foremost, okay that’s what a certified company does all day long, because we understand that, you know in business, sadly, people will sometimes tell you whatever they want to tell you, whenever you want to hear. So this way it’s a third party saying okay, we’ve vetted them, yes, there’s the stories we’ve all heard saying we hate them, people who lie and get away with it. It happens. Okay fine, but for the most part, third parties have vetted your company and said yes, this person is who they say they are this company is who they say they are they truly are owned operated and controlled by someone or people of a diverse demographic, and then you can then when you have that status, then you start marketing the hell out of it and on top of it, you make sure you are also supporting other diverse businesses, not just enough to be like, I’m a diverse business buy for me, your wine can be diverse your whiskey can be diverse your office paper can be diverse your legal services can be diverse. There is nothing that you buy that you cannot buy from a diverse supplier.
I love that and I like wine and whiskey too.
The best whiskey out there is in Boston, it’s called Boston Harbor distillery. What, this woman on whiskey is created by the founder, one of the founders of Sam Adams. It is delicious. Rhonda is a whiskey genius.
Do you know Rhonda personally?
I do. She’s a friend of mine.
Oh my goodness.
Ok, let’s go out and see her.
I have a reason to go to Boston before it gets cold. I live in Nevada. I don’t do cold.
Yeah. I live in Chicago and I try not to be during these months. Yeah summer’s cool, I love summer and spring but I mean, around this time of year too it’s searching, yeah, maybe I need to go somewhere else.
Yeah, when I fly I strategically stay away from like the northern part of like when it gets to that, no offense.
No offense taken.
So then on the corporate side, you know, we just said there’s plenty of statistics that say why it is so important to work with diverse suppliers and why it’s good for your shareholders and your bottom line. Like, if you, if you show these numbers to your CEO, she or he is not going to be like, oh well we don’t want to make more money like our or our shareholders that want to make more money of course they’re gonna want to do it. So you just have to make sure that you have the C suite down saying yes it’s important to us, yes you should do it, and have a full time position that supports and finds these qualified capable diverse suppliers, now I know what you’re thinking because this is what comes up all the time. Hate to break it to you but you are a white male, and you’re married to a woman. I mean assume you’re not part of the LGBTQ+ community, I didn’t see that you were a veteran anywhere, you might have a disability because one in five US adults do. I don’t know, we can get offline if you want to examine that 100%.
We can have that conversation, it’s my favorite conversation. Because you know what it is. It’s the most under known demographic, because it’s not just Can you not see here or walk it’s everything from, you know, Crohn’s disease to HIV to thyroid conditions to sleep apnea to arthritis, anything that requires an outside force to manage if you sleep apnea and you don’t sleep with your C pap machine. You are useless The next day. that makes a disability if you can’t run your business without managing your issue, it’s an ADHD, anxiety, all these things are so my company is actually certified as both a woman owned and disability owned business, and so we leverage the hell out of both of those certifications and so, I mean I had this one guy and he said, he’s gonna tell many people but I am a recovering alcoholic, and I’m like, “Okay, well, you can totally get certified that is a disability.” “So are you telling me my alcoholism is gonna do something good for me?” This other guy was like, “Well I’m HIV positive.” Like, “That’s great!” He’s like, “Is it, Heather?”
Yeah, no kidding. What in the world? I think I have a mental issue, you know, I mean this is what happens.
One in five US adults have a disability according to the ADA,
I digress. Anyways, so yeah, so you work with these companies be involved in the diversity of organizations, and make sure you start counting and measured and share your wins because it’s, you know, especially now, right, like I think I mean, the easiest example is retail, we all get retail like we’re all shoppers right I guarantee you’re a shopper too I can tell it’s by looking at Yeah, so I’m saying the easiest example is retail so about six years ago Walmart did a study of, you know, a little company Walmart that’s like, every little guy. Yeah, so they know that women control about five, maybe I think it’s $6 trillion in consumer spending in the US, and they make 83 to 85% of all consumer decisions.
Well it’s true with consumer purchases and so they wonder how to get more that money in their pocket so they asked, they asked their customers like, and then one of the questions was, do their female customers. If you went in to buy shampoo and I’m paraphrasing, so if you Google it and you don’t think these exact words, I’m paraphrasing, and they said if you went in to buy shampoo and one was easily identifiable as women owned and one wasn’t. Would you be more likely to purchase the one that was easily identifiable as women-owned. So, you tell me what percentage of female consumers said they’d be more likely to buy a product if they can easily identify it as woman-owned.
Now I’m sure it’s high. Yeah, but I would also wonder what the ones that said know what the reasoning behind that would be so what’s the stat?
Yeah it’s high I’m sure so I like to think of the inverse side, why would the one out of 10 not want to do that?
So you know, I’ll tell you that usually when I first heard that question I was like, “I wouldn’t do that, I’m smart. I’m sophisticated, I don’t go with the flow.” Right, yeah, I was, and then I was sitting in the audience at a conference, and this, this woman named Allison, who runs CLR cleaning. It’s women-owned, and she took it over from her uncle and her father, it was kind of failing, and she took it over, turn it around change up some of the concoctions the recipes or whatever you want to call them, and she remarketed it change the packaging a little bit, and she was saying just talking about this and she said, our new tagline cookies we get rid of Yuck, and at the time I only had three children.
So I was thinking, well I have a lot of yuck in my house and I was like, and then I caught myself thinking, I bet I could use it cuz she has to because she uses that she’s not going to tell me to use a product another Mom’s not gonna tell me to use a product that’s not safe around her kids so I probably I’m like, oh my goodness, that’s exactly, there it is what it is right so my, my, my gut kind of tells me about that 3% or that 10% That says no, it’s like that one dentist who doesn’t say, to try to enter whatever is that they were kind of going with that same thought that I originally had right like “I’m smart, I’m sophisticated I’m savvy I wouldn’t do that.”
“I don’t go with the crowd.”
Then it’s like, “Wait, I do actually.” In case you think that was a fluke so pre pandemic 70% of all wine purchases in the US are made by women. Now I think it’s like 83% Actually, the pandemic did a number on.
How do you compare that to whiskey though there’s the question.
Well there’s actually a whole women in whiskey which we, you know I’m talking about gonna come back, we’re gonna talk booth, women and booze for an entire hour.
I’m in for that. Yeah, good. Can you fly here in person and we can do some taste tests. Please, that would be amazing.
Not in the winter though, you come to Las Vegas.
Okay, I’ll be there in two weeks. Oh my god. Seriously will be there, too.
So they asked the wine intelligence magazine to ask the female wine buyers, would you be more likely to buy it and sure enough 90% said yes. So, it’s just that first of all women trust women. Yeah, even though we might be like, “Oh I don’t like that skirt on her.” We trust women, we trust their opinion. Right.
You’re killing me, that just like, like stopped me in my tracks there, you know, I don’t like your shirt but you know what I’m gonna buy all of her shit.
She has a really good style. Where does she shop? I’m going there.
Oh my gosh. Awesome.
Trust me, I’m telling you, like, it makes perfect sense and when you buy from these divers that we’ve all seen the meme. When you buy from a woman owned business you’ve got you know by CEO second house you buy a little girl dance lessons, you buy a bunch of little girls dance lessons because that’s who we hire like the people that I hire, probably wouldn’t work for traditional company because I have all kinds of lifestyle benefits, I can’t pay the most I just cannot write I can’t compete with these large companies, yeah, yeah, but I have the most amazing lifestyle benefits, yeah these are a lot of people who just wouldn’t work for traditional company because it didn’t work for them. Some of them are moms who were like, Look, I need to be at this time for my kids, my great cool work around it. Not just by my kids’ dance lessons or by their kids’ dance lessons.
Yeah. Right on, right on. I love that too because as the owner yourself you know that’s a weight that I don’t feel that most are really it’s a responsibility that we choose to take on is that a lot of people that will work for us would never truly understand cardio because it’s like when most will come to work and this is the entrepreneur side too and this comes back to diversity and supply chain imagine the responsibility that the entrepreneurs have to bear that weight on their shoulders, in order to make sure that they still have products coming in in the midst of a pandemic, so they can continue to sell those products so that their people get paid so that their people’s families can be fed.
That is one of the reasons why diverse suppliers outperform these other companies, time and time again 99% of time actually is a statistic out there by the Hackett group because they have that sense of responsibility. Yeah, right. If Joe Schmo who sells for XYZ large company messes up, they’re like, oh, sorry, they’re like pass the buck pass the buck. You better believe who gets the phone call if there’s an issue in my company, it’s me, when I get the phone call, so I hold that weight on my shoulders, that are diverse businesses are small businesses, they wear the weight on their shoulder and that’s why they outperform over and over again because they’re like oh no that’s my reputation now on the line.
Yeah, yeah, that’s like once a month, multiple times a month, it’s like my back’s up against the wall here, what am I gonna do, how can I make sure that everybody that works for me gets paid so that their families can be fed
Awesome. Cool. Circus performer.
It’s like, “What you do is cool and all but let’s get back to earlier.’
But you know I mean I always go back to like “hey, my first job was, McDonalds.” right, my first actual two jobs. Yeah, and there was so much that I learned that I was able to take from that to see now I’m getting all sentimental, I mean I’ll go back and be like, “Hey it was only a job.” I remember because I was getting paid when I started. When I started when I was 15 I had to get a work permit so I could work under the age of 16 my salary was $4.25 an hour. Yeah, I know because…
I know kids these days would do that, I’m telling you.
Yes, no, I mean whatever minimum wage 15 bucks but when you were under age like that, they did not have to abide by minimum wage and that’s still the case you know if you want to get a job when you’re 14 or 15 you get a work permit, they don’t have to abide by minimum wage is a lower, like, it’s like a lower minimum minimum wage.
My kids don’t do that but my oldest is 13 and we put her to work all the time.
Yeah, and it was, but the, the thing that I learned from them was about processes and systems, you know, and how you could go from one McDonalds and have a crappy burger and have the same exact crappy burger same tastes the same crappy way at another McDonald’s, it was consistent. You knew what to expect when you got there because everything was the same. So, you know, and you could take that route but still I do want to hear about the circus, you know what what was, what was that like if you had some life lessons. Awesome, let’s hear him. If not, it was just a fun experience. Let’s hear that too.
Well first of all, so when we moved to California in Redlands, California, which is where I grew up hey I’m an empire for anybody out there it’s an empire, the 909 people, you know, my parents took us to the circus, I was like four or five whatever my sister was two years younger and I was like, first of all, there was shock sequins and makeup, everywhere I was like, “Do you see those costumes?” That’s all I saw was costumes and sequins and people flipping through the air and I was mesmerized right, so my dad who’s a super square, super mathematical brain. I’m like, “Dad, I’m gonna do that circus.” he’s like, “you’re not going to be in a circus. Doing the circus.” So next year they signed me up and it was like an after school thing right was really originally started by a gentleman named Roy COBOL, who was looking for a way to get wayward boys off the street and just teach them, like tumbling and whatever is to give it to do after school, and, and because the end of Empire was now it’s like, I just call Redlands the Beverly Hills, the 909 but definitely the whole area was definitely more economically depressed than the rest of California was, where a lot of California was and so that’s how it started and then it just kind of grew and grew and grew and then they had all these youth, it’s it was a youth circus and so the kids participated, and I did it all the way till I was 18 years old.
One summer I traveled around New England with a service called Circus Mircus, which was also like there were seven of us who were chosen to go to this exchange program although nobody came to us on a solid exchange program. Couldn’t exchange anything. So we did it but I did you like well tighter up but I’ll tell you one of the things I talk about all the time is that when I was little I did this thing called swinging baseball swinging wise was different apparatus, same skill you swing you stick your hand in a loop, you did different tracks and you put your foot in the loop you lean back into different tracks. It was probably like six feet off the ground, in my mind it was about 36 feet off the ground. Yeah, I was little and I don’t like heights, to this day I’m not a nice person so every practice I’d get up there and I would cry every single practice I would just cry. I was scared I didn’t want to do it. I’m gonna follow like, you’re not gonna cry. So, then the trials came in, now this is back in the day not to date myself but this is back in the day when like, if you didn’t do it, you actually got cut. Oh yeah, like you can’t do it, you’re not gonna, you’re not gonna do it you’re out here.
The participation trophy crowd.
So, my mom was like they call my mom, they’re like, you know, we can’t let her do this, this act, she’s not gonna do it, so my mom was like, are you gonna do it or are you gonna get cut.. Well, I got there, so I did it, I just I like sucked it up and did it and I kind of feel like that’s how I do a lot of things now I just suck it up and get it right, sometimes you know I mean like, and also, I was always the bottom of the pyramid, I was always like, you know, very strong and so I was always at the bottom of the pyramid. My sister was the top which sometimes we got in a fight wasn’t so great for her. But like if I didn’t show up, there was no pyramid. I’m the bottom of a three high. I don’t show up, it’s only too high, it’s impressive. So like me, I like the importance of showing up for people, the importance of being part of something that’s bigger than you. Was it a huge life lesson that you can’t get from like, you know some of these other sports that are just you.
That’s awesome. Yeah, I was just looking at your Instagram handle to Heather Cogeco NBC, is that accurate.
No, that is a different Heather. It’s Certifymyco.
My co gotcha cool I was looking at them like I don’t know I don’t know about that but
One time and some guy was like hypoxic the real Heather Cox I’m like the real Heather Cox Yeah.
That’s awesome. So it’s certified my co that’s your Instagram handle Okay. Very cool. Like did you do a stint at NBC and like I don’t think it’s that Heather Cox.
Maybe I should do it.
I could see you as an anchor. It’s good work.
I like the view. I feel like I’m more of a view person that could work like one of those but I’m just waiting for them. I feel like I have really good opinions about things.
Yeah. I feel that way too, you know, a little secret about media you kind of have to force your way in there if you didn’t, it’s like that unless you, because I do a lot of global media too and this is something maybe for people listening I don’t talk about how I do it too much, you know, but I had a media coach and he taught me how to pitch producers myself to get on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox and they were able to add some producer ties and all that but then once you start to build them momentum, you know, because a lot of it has to do with the easiest way to get on TV is to have a book, straight up, because a lot of the lifestyle shows, you know, not necessarily the view but lifestyle shows on the local network affiliates will bring authors on all the time and yeah it’s it’s so interesting and that’s how I started TV three, almost four years ago now, but now because I did the local and regional media.
Now I get calls because I stepped into I’m doing big things, and now I get phone calls because I have a publicist who actually called me, he wasn’t even my publicist like I need somebody to talk about this stuff so then game, Bloomberg News max you know other amazing things that are just happening right now but you still have to start, just like we’re talking about with McDonalds and the circus. Yeah, it starts out where exactly you still have to start somewhere and I posted the other day too on Instagram you can go look this up right now, you know, whenever it was October, something or other, you know, or September 30 Somewhere around there, but my very first TV appearance ever. And I looked at that and oh Lord, it’s rough to watch you know because I taught, I was talking about this when like there was this, this method that I was, you know, because the other day I was on Fox five in Washington DC, the biggest Fox affiliate in the nation talking about all the Facebook outages and all of those things you know because now I crisis of 2021 Exactly. Now I get the calls, I’d never been on Fox five DC before but they’re like who’s this guy Rick Jordan and now they call me because of everything else that I’ve done and built the momentum and started small, you know, in order to play the big room you have to play the smaller Of course, yeah, that’s it.
I always love looking back at like the first speaking gig you did or whatever. Oh my god yes and I tell clients all the time when we do our diversity mastermind program I would say, if I get it from one of my mentors and I was like if you’re not embarrassed by the first thing you put out you waited too long to put it out.
I’m gonna show you because we’re on video. There’s a technique that I’m going to show you that I use right now, see you see me naturally smiling and pretty much everything that I do, right, that was something that I had to learn.
Yes, and I would do it speaking from stage but then I found out that that skill set wouldn’t, would not transition over into TV. Yeah, it was the thing, the craziest thing maybe because I had to memorize a segment I don’t know what it was but, you know, So then the the coach taught you this thing called a smile reset so if you couldn’t remember to smile while you were talking like I am right now, you would have this you know this doll face and then do whatever and then you’d be like, “Hey, I’m making a really big point right now.” If you’re just listening to this, go watch it on YouTube because that’s the smile reset, as he would call it, you know, it was I was watching this video like I look like a creep.
This is my point. Yes. Like the Chandler smile right, from Friends./
We’ve come full circle in this episode. Now,
The reason I jumped in, in the beginning, when you were like, talking about Dei, because no one knows what I do, they do not get it, it’s totally foreign to most people. So I always tell Chandler I’m like no one ever knew and Chandler did, and was like, “I’m like Chandler, no one really knows what I do.”
He’s a transponder. I know.
I know too, but that was the whole show no one knew.
Oh my goodness. Heather, you’ve been so much fun today. Thank you for coming on. Thank you for talking about both kinds of diversity and for diving into this @certifymyco is where you can find Heather and Instagram and certifymycompany.com Yes, thank you.
You are welcome. Thank you.