#FIGT15 CONCURRENT SESSION
Led by Trisha Carter and Rachel YatesReported by Taylor Murray
Edited by Dounia Bertuccelli. With thanks to the sponsorship of Summertime Publishing and the Parfitt Pascoe Writing Residency.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is bitterest.” – Confucius.
Successful business partners Rachel Yates and Trisha Carter based their 2015 Families in Global Transition (FIGT) session on three factors: reflection, imitation, and experience. Engaging a brimming audience from expat entrepreneurs to seasoned business owners, Rachel and Trisha explained how to create innovative services, sell your expertise, and effectively reach target customers in an ever-changing world. By sharing their own experiences and strategies, they introduced a wide range of flexible marketing ideas appropriate for reaching today’s continually transitioning market.
Trisha became an expat when her family moved to China for her husband’s career. She experienced cultural challenges for the first time and became fascinated by the way culture shapes the workplace. After relocating to Sydney, Australia, she began to work extensively with families and multi-cultural team members and managers, increasing their ability to adapt, work effectively, and thrive across a range of diverse situations. As an expat, organizational psychologist, and certified cultural intelligence (CQ) facilitator, she is also co-author of Finding Home Abroad: A Guided Journal for Adapting to Life Overseas. She is the founder of CICollective, a website providing online resources and support for a successful global life.
Rachel also moved overseas as a ‘trailing spouse’ or ‘accompanying partner’, relocating to Kenya for her husband’s career. Prior to expat life, she was a registered nurse in the UK. She and her husband have lived abroad for over a decade, travelling through three continents, eight homes, and five locations. Rachel is a writer, speaker, and founder of the Expat Life Line. Co-author of the Expat Journals series, she combines her personal and professional experience to design systems and resources for relocating individuals and families, blending tools, training, and long-term planning strategies to build a secure international life.
Part One: Reflection and Strategy
The foundation of a successful business is a strategy. And the foundation of a strategy must be self-reflection and self-evaluation. “I came to expat life at 30,” began Rachel with a wry smile. “I thought I was going for a year, and I spent the first six months crying because I felt like there was no support. But then I started blogging.” Through blogging, Rachel discovered a community of expats with similar needs. “I’ve been blogging for four years,” she continued. “I’m still an expat. I began to think about how to support myself and earn my own money. I didn’t want to be a dependent spouse, and I needed to find some way to allow my voice to find itself. I began self-reflecting.”
Discovering Your Passions
To begin self-reflection, Rachel and Trisha firmly believe you must first ask yourself three questions:
· Who am I? “You need to become very clear with who you are before you can discover what you want to do,” Trisha said. In order to do so, you must think back on your own story. Examine how your past experiences have prepared you to help others. Pinpoint the things that fascinate you in order to align them with your skills and training.
· What do I want to do? Only after answering the question ‘who am I?’ can you begin to discern your desired job. Determine your passion and distinguish the best way to market your skills. “When I moved to China,” Trisha recalled, “I felt like I ‘lost’ my skills. But my expat experience helped me discover what I really wanted to do.”
· Who do I want to serve? Finally, determine who you want to serve and how you want to be perceived. Decide whether you are selling business to business or business to consumer. “Figuring out your niche is very important,” Rachel added. “I might be reaching an enormous amount of people, but my message might be muddy and unclear. Don’t try to please everybody, finding your niche later.” Using a diagram of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Trisha and Rachel asked their audience to correlate companies and job positions with each category. They called the diagram the Global Mobility Flow of Care. Rachel explained how this process gives you a clear, visual picture of your fit in the current market, the needs your services meet, how the Global Mobility industry works for you, and who you want to be aligned with. “Knowing who sits around you is a vital thing you can do to enhance your business,” reminded Trisha.
Doing Your Best Work
Rachel prompted her audience to discover what might stop them from accomplishing their best work. “What are your monsters?” Trisha questioned. She explained how our inner monsters ‘come out’ when we step into who we want to be or what we want to do.
Rachel shared a poignant childhood memory that created reluctance to pricing and receiving money. Although she had figured out who she was, her niche, and what service she wanted to offer, she was hindered by this single event. “What is limiting you?” She asked her audience. “It’s important to build a sustainable voice.”
Part Two: Bringing Reflection to Reality
After explaining how to self-reflect in order to create a foundational strategy for your business, Rachel and Trisha provided practical tips for creating copy, writing proposals and pitches, and networking.
Rachel addressed the ‘three C’s’ for creating copy that sells:
· Clarity – “Be clear on your message,” she stressed. “A lot of people are not clear on what they are doing or who they are.” Rachel suggested carefully reviewing your material. “Is it easy for people to buy your service and understand how much it costs?”
· Consistency – “Trisha sells her services on many different levels,” Rachel said, “but she is always consistent on who she is and what she sells.” Although your language may differ depending on who you are talking to, what you are offering does not.
· Connections – “Remember, we buy from people who we know, like, and trust,” Rachel reminded. She emphasized building relationships on these three factors.
Proposals and Pitch
Rachel and Trisha highlighted the importance of well-written and concise proposals and pitches. In order to write a successful proposal, Trisha recommended including six features:
Lastly, Trisha described two methods of networking:
· Networking in person – In order to broaden your face-to-face networking circles, she recommended joining the expat community Internations. “Ask people to tell you about events so you can network. Tell people what you do. Remember, where depends on who.” She suggested attending several expat events to find your business partners. Describe your services and ask what they need. Get to know them better. “It’s a numbers game,” Trisha said. “The more people you talk to the more opportunities you have.”
· Networking online – Trisha emphasized the positive effects of social media on your business. She recommended regularly networking online through Wordpress, Linkedin, Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook.
Trisha and Rachel recognize the difficulties and uncertainties that emerge when starting your own business and creating services that sell. In order to be successful, they highlighted the importance of remembering your priorities and never forgetting your own goals. “Honor your voice. Honor your family. Honor what you do.”
For further information on CICollective visit www.cicollective.com
For further information on the Expat Life Line visit www.theexpatlifeline.com
For further information on the Expat Journal series visit www.expatjournals.com
Join Internations at www.internations.org
Finding Home Abroad: A Guided Journal for Adapting to Life Overseas, Trisha Carter and Rachel Yates, Summertime Publishing, 2014