Jon and Bryan speak with marketing and engagement consultant Toni Semanskee on her discovery of her superpowers and how she’s using them to build her consulting business.
In this episode, Jon and I speak to marketing and engagement consultant Toni Semanskee about her journey to entrepreneurship and finding her superpowers.
Toni has an amazing story. A successful fitness teacher, she went back to university the same year her daughter entered, and eventually went on to get a graduate degree and teach business and marketing at her alma mater. She’s now started her own consulting company and has developed herself into what Jon calls an “engagement ninja.”
Every step of the way Toni has kept learning, identified and refined her superpowers and focused her work around them. Her instagram feed @consultingbytoni is packed with useful information and she will launch her Badass Business Builders Societe in September. And she’s just getting started.
We talk with Toni about her transition from fitness teacher to marketing professor, and her new consulting career:
Early Life and Career
– Toni grew up bouncing between locations, attending as many as eight schools in one year before finally settling down for her final two years of high school
– How having a success in cheerleading expanded her belief in what she was able to do generally
– The role her stepmother played in cultivating Toni’s desire to be educated
– Why she never felt good enough to because she didn’t have her bachelor’s degree, despite constantly taking courses, earning 23 certifications in various fields, and teaching fitness classes at the university level
– How she eventually went back to Central Washington University the same year her daughter entered the school!
– How her success at university challenged her to Go Be More and to dedicate herself to bigger issues like workplace diversity and organizational development
Toni’s Transition to Teaching and Consulting
– Toni’s experience with age discrimination and her inability to get a job after obtaining her Master’s degree
– How she came to appreciate the freedom she had teaching and decided to stay in that profession
– How her small side projects helping friends made her realize she was good at consulting and providing key advice to people
– The idea of creating opportunities versus achieving specific goals
– Toni’s definition and approach to networking, and why she’s rarely focused on selling to people in her network
– What Jon loves about Toni’s approach to business
– The difference between knowing and teaching something and actually doing it
– How she discovered her superpower is taking complex concepts and breaking them down into actionable, understandable steps, with a demonstration of how to do it with a mind map
– The importance of coaches, mentors, advisors and consultants, and the inspiration she received from a professor to venture out and do consulting
Toni’s Recent Career Transition
– The struggles she encountered doing work she didn’t enjoy, and the realization that her expertise is primarily in engagement (she is an engagement ninja!)
– How she decided on Instagram to be her platform, how she took a course to get up to speed, and how it still took her six months to really get her feet firmly planted
– How a follower from Lagos, Nigeria convinced her to join a support group for women that inspired her to just go try things and fail, which she then shared with her audience and slowly grew her audience
– Why she can’t with integrity hold information back from her audience, and why her fears that people would steal it or devalue it didn’t come about
– The pivot she is making to support academic and professional businesses with their social media engagement, yet building tiers to support entrepreneurs with group coaching and individuals/businesses with personalized consulting services
– The three areas every business needs to be engaging: with competitors, potential partners, and potential customers, and what goes into truly engaging in a client’s voice
– And, as always, what the words Go Be More mean to her
If you liked this episode, check out our interviews with Kristina Audencial and Kara Goucher.
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Recorded August 5, 2020.
Kat Coroy (Instagram course) – website, instagram
Consulting by Toni – website
Toni’s Badass Business Builder Societé (enrollment opens in September) – website
Hustle and Flowchart podcast – website
Toni Semanskee – @consultingbytoni
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