The Personal Brand Kickstarter is a one-month group program created to help you build an authentic, values-based personal brand and hone in on exactly what makes you and your expertise unique.
"Tell me about yourself"
The age-old question. If you're like me, your first thought might be, "Ugh, who am I today?" or maybe, "Well, where do I start?"
You are a complex, multi-dimensional person and that's a huge part of what makes you special. You are more than a title.
At the same time, in a world where we're bombarded by information - from an overflowing inbox to approximately 5,000 advertisements a day - it can really help people get to know you by clarifying your story.
Personal branding is about doing the groundwork to build your reputation... not creating a BS persona that doesn't reflect who you are.
You likely have many identities - as a son or daughter, as a mother or father, as a professional, as a friend. Maybe you were the class clown, band nerd, track star, or the valedictorian.
In your professional life you may have built a reputation for yourself or... your identity might be closely tied to your company.
Building a values-based personal brand means:
- Taking the time to understand who you really are, who you want to be, and what you want to be known for
- Feeling more confident when you know it's time to give your quick elevator pitch
- Understanding how to create a compelling story that bridges the many different facets of your life
A values-based personal brand will make you more memorable to the right people and you'll feel confident that you're telling a clear story both in-person and online.
You will also become empowered to share your whole self, while still setting boundaries around what you want to share publically versus anything you may want to keep private.
This program is your opportunity to know yourself better, so you can truly show the world what makes you, well, you.
Show up like a pro
Now, more than ever, it's important to put your best foot forward online. The Personal Brand Kickstarter was created to help you understand what makes you authentically "you" and learn the steps to building a consistent personal brand online.
Whether you're an entrepreneur that wants to build your business or an innovator that wants to build your reputation in your field, it's worthwhile to ensure you're carving a niche for yourself and your unique voice.
This program will help you:
What to expect
Strategy & Support
Giving you a safe space to get strategic advice and support is of the utmost importance to us.
We designed the 6-month FYSO accelerator to give you the support to:
- Build & grow a business that will align with your life goals
- Give you the accountability you need to gain traction
- Take time to deeply understand the customers you serve (or want to serve)
- Explore what makes your company unique
- Develop a marketing strategy with clear messaging
- Discover how to use purpose as a strategic advantage
- Connect with a cohort of entrepreneurs at a similar stage
We will assign you to a learning circle of 4-6 non-competing businesses and all participants will be required to sign an NDA. You'll also get to know the cohort of all of the businesses participating during the 6 months we'll be spending together.
Curious about the content we teach?
Click here to sign-up to receive our free 101-page FYSO founders guide, which gives you a detailed breakdown of how to build & grow a kicka** purpose-driven business. Even if FYSO isn't the right fit for you right now, this guide was created to be a standalone valuable tool for founders.
A clear, strategic plan on how to connect with your customers and build a thriving organization
New entrepreneurial besties you can lean on
Feeling like a bada** because you're one step closer to having your sh*t figured out!
How it Works
We'll be kicking-off the accelerator program with a 1-month virtual Bootcamp. During this month you'll do a deep dive into making sure you're asking the right questions while also getting to know your cohort and the FYSO community in a meaningful way. Throughout the next 5-months, we'll have virtual check-ins for accountability and support.
Since the beginning, the FYSO accelerator has primarily been virtual to make it accessible for participants with full-time jobs, as well as to make the program available for people around the world.
The next 5-months
After the Bootcamp, every Monday evening you'll meet either with your learning circle or as a cohort for group coaching with Christina at 7:30 pm EST.
We'll continue to teach you strategies and share insights that will empower you to build a thriving organization. This includes having access to short, 20-30 minute trainings on branding, storytelling, e-mail marketing, social media marketing, prototyping, and negotiations.
These virtual gatherings will give you the opportunity to learn and grow together. The group coaching sessions will be recorded, so you can watch them later if you aren't able to attend.
Throughout the program you'll have access to your cohort's slack channel along with a virtual library of helpful resources gathered throughout previous cohorts of FYSO.
The Nitty Gritty Details
We have some fantastic speakers for you to learn from over the course of the program, including:
Meghan French Dunbar
Co-Founder, Conscious Company Media
Meghan French Dunbar is the Co-founder and former CEO of Conscious Company Media, the nation’s leading media company dedicated to purpose-driven businesses and social enterprises. The company’s flagship product — Conscious Company Magazine — was the first nationally distributed print publication in the U.S. to focus exclusively on sustainable and conscious business practices.
Meghan is also the Founder of World-Changing Women, a national event series for female purpose-driven business leaders, as well as being the creator and host of the World-changing Women’s podcast, which tells the stories of female business leaders and founders making a positive impact on the world. She lives in Boulder with her wonderful husband, Scott, their new son, Jack, and their beloved rescue mutt, Chloe.
CEO & Founder, Makhers Studio, LLC
Wanona Satcher is CEO/Founder of Mākhers Studio, LLC a for-profit social enterprise design-build firm, and ReJuve a nonprofit dedicated to developing what she calls "prosilient communities.” Over the course of her career she’s served as an urban designer with a focus on equitable housing policy, landscape architect designer, city planner, economic developer, art curator and theater producer.
In 2019 Wanona won two Auburn Alumni awards (Diversity & Inclusion; Sustainability). In 2018 she was chosen to participate in the LAUNCH Founder University in Silicon Valley for minority and women-owned businesses. She’s has been featured in GOOD Magazine and the Huffington Post. Wanona is the first African American to receive a Master of Landscape Architecture degree as well as dual Masters degrees in community planning and landscape architecture from Auburn University. Her husband Kevin Hamak, a South Dakota native, is a landscape architectural designer, urban farmer and ‘jack-of-all-trades.’
Director of Product Management, Abrigo
Brendan is an expert in launching new SaaS (software as a service) products. He has led the creation of numerous banking applications and led multiple product teams. He is an expert in customer interviews as well as the entrepreneurial process.
It's also worth noting that he's a former Startup Weekend: Makers Edition Winner where in one weekend he led a team of entrepreneurs in the creation of a functioning wireless leash for children.
We’re excited to have him return to teach the next FYSO cohort about how to effectively interview customers for better market search!
Founder & CEO, Bev
Alix Peabody, CEO and Founder of Bev, the mission-driven beverage company based in Venice, CA. At the age of 24, Alix began experiencing reproductive health issues, causing various surgeries and ultimately was faced with the decision to freeze her eggs. To pay off her medical bills, Alix started throwing ticketed pool parties in Sonoma, CA, bringing together an eclectic and electric group of San Francisco millennials. The parties quickly became known for their inclusivity, energy, and female-centric audience, leading Alix to the idea of recreating this female-owned social space on a larger scale. Ultimately, she realized that there was very little out there that spoke to and about women in a positive, authentic way. As a result, Bev was born – the female-first beverage brand on a mission to #BreakTheGlass.
Creating a voice for women where there had never really been one was and is Alix’s driving force. Alix cashed out her 401K, bought 300 gallons of rosé, and launched her first product: Bev, a crisp, dry, and a lil’ fizzy California rosé with 0g of sugar. Bev has already amassed a cult-like following and is unique because it represents much more than canned wine; It’s a movement, rooted in the concepts of empowering underserved communities and redefining the traditional adult beverage industry from the inside out.
Sunny Su, IDSA, is an internationally-acclaimed designer, executive, and founder of Paradigm, an HKSTP 100 company.
His formidable integration of design, innovation, & strategy has helped numerous global brands (e.g. Coke, LG, Bosch) & startups (e.g. MorningBrew, Neurun, Nohbo—featured on Forbes, BizInsider, TODAYShow, SharkTank) to fundraise, develop, & launch transformative new product, brand, & digital experiences.
Follow him @Solestio on social, connect on LinkedIn, & ask him anything!
Founder & CEO, Uncompany
Maari is an ad-agency art director turned freelancer turned entrepreneur. After leaving the full-time agency space she set-out into freelance only to discover a void between the quickly growing talent pool of freelance consultants and clients looking to connect with this resource.
Uncompany was born to fill that need. In 2015 Uncompany was started to be the operating system for freelance. With her team, she is building a system for marketing teams, agencies, and brands to connect with high-caliber freelance talent, build project-based teams, and develop a custom freelance bench with simplicity and transparency in mind. Her model includes flexibility for those looking for staffing alternatives to traditional agencies but still with a desire to do great work.
Uncompany offers freelancers an alternative to two unsavory choices they often find themselves limited to–grinding, full-time work, or poorly paying freelance platforms–enabling them to get paid their worth, work with great clients, and do amazing work. For its clients, Uncompany offers an avenue for getting top-level creative work, when they need it, without job postings and phone calls.
Jamie Ousterout founded Stabilimenta, an operational strategy consulting firm, in July 2018 to help growing professional services organizations establish and optimize their processes so that they can more effectively serve their clients and engage their employees. She thrives on developing relationships with her clients and working alongside them to achieve even more growth and success for their organization.
Jamie has spent more than a decade in creative, marketing, and digital companies, serving local, regional, and international clients. While predominantly working in client service and project management roles, she always has had a keen focus on operations. Jamie has worked with clients across various industries, including healthcare, pharmaceutical, financial, technology, and non-profit.
She graduated from Cornell University in 2009 with a bachelor of arts in English and history, and is an advocate for liberal arts education because it taught her how to read critically, think deeply, and communicate clearly. Though a very proud Colorado native, Jamie has lived in the South since 2009 and considers Raleigh home. See her LinkedIn profile for more details.
For the first month of the six-month program we'll be meeting on Monday & Wednesday evenings from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EST.
Here are the topics we'll be covering:
- Monday, June 1st: Exploring your Personal Goals
- Wednesday, June 3rd: Determining your purpose
- Monday, June 8th: Creating a sustainable profit
- Wednesday, June 10th: Positioning your organization
- Monday, June 15th: Understanding Perception & how to know your customer
- Wednesday, June 17th: Using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas as tools
- Monday, June 22nd: Goal Setting Strategies
- Wednesday, June 24th: Reviewing lessons learned & Group coaching
This content will give you the foundational information you need to build a thriving organization.
Get Started Today
As part of our mission to make a positive impact, 5% of profits from the FYSO Accelerator will be going to support The Helius Foundation, which provides free business coaching for necessity-driven entrepreneurs.
Frequently Asked Questions
The FYSO Accelerator was created for mission-driven entrepreneurs that want to accelerate their progress. Typically FYSO participants have been in business for less than 5 years.
They come to FYSO with an entrepreneurial idea that they want to bring to life or they are wanting to take their organization to the next level by either reinventing their business model or launching a new product or service.
FYSO might be right for you if:
- You take your work seriously, but not yourself. You're ready to figure your sh*t out in an ego-free environment
- You recognize that you shouldn't try to build an organization 100% on your own and that by investing in getting support and the right insight, you substantially increase the likelihood of meeting your goals and tackling them more quickly.
- You are ready to carve out time to work 'on' the business and not just 'in' the business.
- You are tired of second-guessing yourself on whether the strategy you have chosen makes sense.
- You want to get an outside perspective to help you make key decisions.
- You want to be held accountable to sticking with a plan.
- You recognize that it's important to hone in on your ideal customer and develop a business model that truly serves their needs.
- You also recognize that you need to design your business in a way that aligns with your life goals.
FYSO starts by asking the question: what type of life do you want?
From there, we then dig deep into how to develop a for-profit or non-profit business that matches your vision for your life.
As part of this program, you'll learn the importance of having a strong "why" and we'll explore how having purpose can give you a competitive advantage.
"Mission-driven" means that you're not just building your business to simply make a profit, but that you believe that your business should also help build your community in some way.
You get to define what this means to you. All that we ask is that you build a business in a way that moves the needle in the right direction.
It could mean that your mission is to provide great jobs that truly take care of employees and pay a living wage, that you are committed to supporting local businesses in how you operate, or that you donate a percentage of your profits to a non-profit that aligns with your mission.
You might even consider exploring a 'social enterprise' business model by taking this free B impact assessment.
If you have any questions about this, reach out & let's talk about it!
To live our mission as a social enterprise, we offer a "pay-what-you-can/when-you-can" model for this program. The suggested investment is $1495 and we are happy to work with you to set up whatever monthly installment payment would work best for your finances.
You'll receive more than 30 hours of group coaching and strategic content in addition to more than 16 hours of peer-to-peer support offered over the 6-months. You'll also receive unlimited access to our network of entrepreneurs and small business owners on our private slack channel that you can lean on throughout your journey as a business leader.
We have seen better success from entrepreneurs that are able to invest. This is a rigorous 6-month program and we want participants to be committed. However, we do not want your current financial situation to prevent you from participating in the program and receiving strategic support that will set you up for success.
FYSO was created to help you find your support network and ensure you're asking the right strategic questions.
While traditional programs are focused on access to connections & to financial resources, our program is focused on making an investment in your own success.
This is an opportunity to invest in the development of a strategic plan for your organization and finding a community of people you can trust.
We've had multiple participants share that FYSO has been an invaluable experience. Based on the experience of past participants, FYSO may help you:
- Save months or even years of your time and potentially thousands of dollars on investing in a strategy that isn't going to work
- Pivot to a more profitable business model or identifying a more profitable potential customer
- Save time by having access to other entrepreneurs for insight and perspective
- Feel less stressed as you build and grow a business that's truly going to match your life goals
- Have the confidence that you're moving forward with the right strategic plan
If you want to build and grow your own business and you feel seeking investment is a natural next step for your company, you'll leave the FYSO accelerator program with a strategic plan that will help you attract the investment money needed to help your business thrive.
If you want to build and grow your own business from the ground up, FYSO is the perfect program to empower you to get the strategic support you need while leveraging the powerful accelerator model to help you build a bada** business.
Yes! We've had many FYSO participants weigh the benefits of pursuing a for-profit versus a non-profit model for their social enterprise and still found the program to be a valuable resource.
FYSO is an especially great fit if you're considering building a non-profit that you would like to have some form of "earned income," i.e. a strategy for making money outside of grants and donations.
Regardless, at the end of the day, we care most about supporting you in building an organization that will (1) best solve the problem you're setting out to solve and (2) that will be sustainable for you and your life goals.
During the accelerator program, we're happy to help you explore whether the work you are doing or want to do would make more sense being supported by a non-profit model.
If you sign-up and change your mind and decide now isn't the right time for you to participate in the FYSO accelerator... or you show up for the FYSO kick-off and, after our first evening together, you realize "this isn't for you," you'll get a full refund for the program.
We are so grateful to our sponsors for helping to make this work possible - from providing free legal support to FYSO participants to giving us a space to meet & collaborate - thank you! If you're interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.