Sara Leisinger: Welcome back to Sara(h) Squared. This is Sara Leisinger and …
Sarah Banowetz: Sarah Banowetz.
Sara Leisinger: And today we have the Kendra Aarhus joining us.
[Announcer] Welcome to Sarah Squared, the podcast for all things marketing, business growth, branding, and social media. Sara Leisinger is the owner of Who’s Lance Digital Media, serving start-ups and solopreneurs. And Sarah Banowetz owns Banowetz Marketing, a full-service agency located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Together, they make up Sarah Squared, dedicated to the inspiration, motivation, and education of growing companies.
Sarah Banowetz: Hi, Kendra.
Kendra Aarhus: Hello. Hello, hello.
Sara Leisinger: Thanks for coming on the podcast today.
Kendra Aarhus: Thank you.
Sara Leisinger: Okay, so I’ve had far too much coffee this morning. Just to tell you. Like, we’re actually podcasting in the morning, and I have way more coffee in the morning than in the afternoon. So …
Kendra Aarhus: Neat.
Sara Leisinger: Yeah, just tolerate it. You’ll love it.
Kendra Aarhus: I’m excited.
Sara Leisinger: All right. Cool. So, Kendra has decided to join us here at Banowetz studios.
Sarah Banowetz: That’s not really the name.
Sara Leisinger: No. It’s actually Banowetz Marketing but I’m just trying to be fancy. To talk with us about her upcoming conference. So, like, before we get into the conference itself, can we talk about the You series of conferences that you’ve been putting on?
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah. Um-
Sarah Banowetz: Well, before we get into that, can we talk about who Kendra is and all that.
Sara Leisinger: No. Nope. Straight into conversation.
Sarah Banowetz: Who is Kendra.
Sara Leisinger: I’m just kidding.
Kendra Aarhus: Everybody already knows. And if you don’t, then you should pretend like you do.
Sara Leisinger: Yep, just smile and nod.
Kendra Aarhus: Nod, that’s right. No, so, my name is Kendra Aarhus, Aarhus like Paris, everybody always asks me how to say it, and on the surface I’m a make-up artist but I do a lot of leadership work and I guess that’s kind of where this You series came into to tackle two birds with one stone here.
It came about very accidentally. Because I’m in network marketing, direct sales, I go to a lot of conferences and the conferences are amazing. You put all these people in a room together, they’re working on the same kind of goals and community happens and all these awesome things happen, and then it fires up your business and you go home, and what I noticed was actually … Here’s the actual story of how it really started, was, on my way home from a conference, I think this would have been in 2017, I’m at the conference and people are taking a lot of pictures. They’re like thanking me for all the help that I have done.
So, they’re taking all these pictures and thanking me for their help, or thanking me for my help with their businesses, and when I got home, my husband made a really hilarious comment. He goes, “Oh, what are you going to do now without your entourage,” because there wasn’t all these people, like wanting to thank me for my leadership. And it really got me thinking that I’m giving so much to people and my company all over the country and not helping out my own backyard, and not giving the same things to people in my own community.
It kind of sparked a little fire to want to give back to my community. I attended an event with Empower Her, which is another networking group in Ecuador and I was really inspired by what they were doing and kind of went from there working with Rena [Jensen 00:03:13] who was on your podcast recently, and she really pushed me and helped me tremendously with getting this series off the ground, coming up with concepts, connecting with people that could make it happen, and, so she’s still a huge part of the You series.
So it started off with a conference in March of last year called Authentically You and we talked a lot about networking and then in October, Confidently You. So this conference is called Intentionally You and this one is really about intention and putting … I think there’s a difference between intention and desire, and I think we mingle those two words a lot, and desire is a wish and intention is a wish with a plan. So, I want-
Sara Leisinger: That’s really good.
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah, I want people, I mean, we could go into a lot of inspirational talks to make that happen. So, this time, I have a series of five speakers and we always do some kind of an art project. I think art is empowering and a lot of times business owners, women business owners, don’t take time to get creative, and-
Sara Leisinger: It’s true.
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah. They want to hide from that, so it’s really empowering and it builds up some confidence. So, yeah, there’s that in a nutshell, anyway.
Sara Leisinger: Okay, cool. So you said that you’re going to be going over five topics. Would you mind just kind of briefly hitting on some of the topics that you … not all of them, but some of them that you might cover?
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah. So, we’re going to talk about finance, which is really disgusting word to a lot of business owners, it’s hard to talk about money, but really planning and letting your business make you financially secure and getting intentional with that. Sarah Leisinger here is going to talk about social media and being intentional about-
Sara Leisinger: Imagine that.
Kendra Aarhus: … about social media. You know, it’s pretty … I think a lot of women business owners are like a fish in a barrel flopping around and trying to figure out what to do with social media and trying to find “a strategy,” that a lot of times that strategy is just to try and try again. Take a look at what’s worked and what hasn’t. So I’m really excited about you talking about that with them.
I have somebody coming to talk about vulnerability, which is really scary. Jess [Denton 00:05:35] is going to talk about vulnerability, and the power of vulnerability in your business and how it can actually help you grow.
Erica [Oloff 00:05:45] is going to talk about communication. She’s kind of a genius about communicating and teaching some skills with communication at [crosstalk 00:05:52]. Yeah, she’s just really good at that. So I’m really excited about that.
Everybody that’s coming to speak, and Rena’s talking about … I’ve almost forgotten about Serena, she’s talking about resilience, resilience in business, and keeping that grit going even when it sucks.
But, you know, I think the thing is all the women that are coming to speak are business owners, they’re all people that have influenced me in my business and my life, and helped me with success, so I think that’s really, really important to just surround yourself with people that can help you with resources.
Sara Leisinger: Absolutely. And I completely agree with you, like the amount of influence that you’ve had on the Way I Move in my business, has been substantial since [crosstalk 00:06:38], so …
Kendra Aarhus: Very cool.
Sarah Banowetz: Can you give an example, Sara, to-
Sara Leisinger: Gosh. Kind of caught me out on that question. I was just going …
Kendra Aarhus: You’ve learned to become very direct with your communication, and probably anger people on the way.
Sara Leisinger: Oh, yeah. I piss everybody off. I’m not … I just tell people, you know, not everybody can handle this type of spice. I get it. I get it. You’ll pull your panties out of a bunch later.
Sarah Banowetz: And you will.
Sara Leisinger: I mean well. I really do. In terms of just being a bit more targeted and narrow, which I feel like we’ve kind of bounced off of each other with that, but-
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah. Absolutely. There’s a lot of back and forth that’s gone on between us.
Sara Leisinger: Yeah. Well, and because refining your brand has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve gotten to do in my career this far.
Sarah Banowetz: I get emotions that one.
Sara Leisinger: I get emotional when I talk about marketing too. Refining your brand, honestly, has been one of the coolest things that I’ve gotten the chance to do. But also considering the person on the other side of the screen and considering your audience and your voice and how to communicate with them in a way that resonates, it’s been something really special, but it’s also been something that it crosses … Everything blends together. I guess sort of my hands guys, I’m hitting things again. But it permeates into my social life, my mom life. Even something as simple as when I’m with my boys, just being present and being there.
Sometimes I can’t really explain in words how the two connects, but I just know that I had to have this focused effort in this one area, so having to focus effort in other areas are just kind of, for lack of better term, I’d say permeates. I was going to say pervasive, but it permeates every area so it’s really cool.
Kendra Aarhus: Thank you. I really think understanding your impact on others is important. Really standing tall in your impact and taking some ownership that you can impact people really positively and help them that ripple effect that you said it goes into your personal life and your business life, into your relationships with … I mean, relationships are relationships. It doesn’t matter if they’re with your kids or with the … People are people, and learning how to affect them positively is important to me.
Sara Leisinger: Perfect. I think intentionally you as … I’ve never gotten the chance to attend any of the other conferences, because in the span of time it’s actually been relatively short, that short amount of time we’ve actually known each other. But, I have heard rave reviews.
Kendra Aarhus: That’s very cool.
Sara Leisinger: Women love these conferences. So, I think your impact is definitely being felt in this Iowa community.
Sarah Banowetz: Kendra, who would get the most out of this conference? Who should be thinking about coming?
Kendra Aarhus: This conference is really targeted for small business owners and solopreneurs, really more than anything. So, whether you’re in direct sales or you have a brick and mortar or you’re on your own in business or you’re just starting and resources, you have more time than money. More energy than money a lot of times, this is really for them. For women like that, mostly women, of course, we wouldn’t turn a man down at at all.
Sarah Banowetz: Oh, it was going to be my next question.
Kendra Aarhus: But he’s going to have to stand tall in that.
Sara Leisinger: Right. Usually it deters men because everything is a pink.
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah. It’s very pink and glittery. But, it’s really people that are looking for community. That are looking for a community of people to help build them up. I mean, that’s what these conferences that I’ve been to with my company have provided for me and what I’ve watched happen to women that have attended this event. It’s really not just about what you learn there, which learning stuff is fantastic. But you meet your besties in business. You meet other people that are building businesses, that are maybe having success or struggling and looking for answers, and I’ve got to watch that happen now in the last year of these little parts of communities of women helping each other within the business realm. That’s really positive. It’s really hard to make friends as adults.
So you get stuck in a room for a day and you get forced to make some friends and meet some people that are probably going through what you are … good, bad, ugly, everything in-between.
Sarah Banowetz: That sounds awesome. That’s exciting. To order tickets … This conference is coming up end of next week?
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah. It’s on a Thursday. It’s Thursday, March 28th, you can go to youconferences.com to get more information or you can do a search on Facebook for Intentionally You, and it will come up. You can check me out on Facebook, and you’ll see links to it most days. You can-
Sara Leisinger: Kendra, how do you spell your last name, for everyone who was trying to find you?
Kendra Aarhus: It’s Aarhus. Which is hard to say.
Sara Leisinger: We’ll drop a link in the description of the podcast, so you guys can see it and you guys can connect with Kendra.
Kendra Aarhus: Absolutely. If you have questions let me know. We do have a discount code.
Sarah Banowetz: I was just going to mention that.
Sara Leisinger: Yeah. If you want to get a discount on your ticket use my code. It’s Sara. I made the discount code very easy. The speakers don’t know this, but it’s a contest to see who gets more people to sign up with their discount code.
Sarah Banowetz: I feel like I knew. I signed up with your code Sara.
Sara Leisinger: Shut up. Yay, I’m winning. I have to check-
Sarah Banowetz: I ordered 2000 tickets. I hope you’re ready Kendra?
Kendra Aarhus: I am ready. I think we might need a bigger space.
Sarah Banowetz: Yeah.
Kendra Aarhus: We did actually double the space that we can take people this year.
Sara Leisinger: So Intentionally You is in the local Cedar Rapids area but you’re invited if you want to make the trip. Just go ahead and click the links in the description of the podcast and you can have all the location information that you want, as well as the ability to purchase a ticket with my code. Purchase it with my code. I want to win.
Sarah Banowetz: That’s a $25 discount, right?
Sara Leisinger: Yes it is.
Kendra Aarhus: One of the things I like to tell people is this is completely a not for profit, it’s like not an official non profit but I’m not making any profit. The big picture is connecting people together, and the ripple effect of the connection of meeting people and connecting with community has such a bigger pay off out than the monetary gain of a small conference on one day.
Sarah Banowetz: Doing this can be very lonely, and it’s really nice to have people who understand what you’re going through as a business owner.
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah, it’s hard. It’s also hard to get your name out. We all know word of mouth is the strongest form of advertisement.
Sara Leisinger: Absolutely, agree.
Kendra Aarhus: So, this gets you in front of 75 other people. Hopefully, let’s keep that number up.
Sara Leisinger: S-A-R-A.
Kendra Aarhus: … that are also in business, and probably need your services. You know, I guess the other part of the equation of who these services are best for are people that are already in business but also people that work with small business owners. So, if you have a business that’s probably like your business, Sara, that works with other business owners, both of you, I guess, then it’s really great. You can actually connect with people that probably don’t even know about your services or that think that they can afford them or things like that.
Sarah Banowetz: I completely agree. That’s one thing that I think Sara and I are both working on. Is trying to connect the freelancer and solopreneur community with the business community in the Cedar Rapids area, because there’s a divide, and both can help each other out.
Kendra Aarhus: It takes a village-
Sarah Banowetz: Yes it does.
Sara Leisinger: We need each other.
Sarah Banowetz: Yeah, we do. Being in the Midwest, we’re not on the East coast or the West coast, we’re kind of behind the times on some of these stuff-
Sara Leisinger: About 10 years.
Sarah Banowetz: Yeah. So, let’s all work together to-
Sara Leisinger: Takes a whole village. Thank you so much Kendra-
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah, thank you so much for inviting me. That was really awesome of you guys, I really appreciate it. This is a great way to get the word out and this is really fancy podcasting that’s happening.
Sara Leisinger: Yeah. It’s all thanks to Sarah Banowetz. Because I didn’t know microphone from a cellphone when I got on the phone.
Sarah Banowetz: Well, it was actually thanks to my client, Johnny [Coaching 00:15:04], and they let us use the podcasting equipment for everything else.
Sara Leisinger: Boom. Thank you Johnny.
Kendra Aarhus: Yeah. It’s awesome.
Sara Leisinger: Again, we will link in the podcast description, a way to connect with Kendra. Also, where you can purchase your ticket, and the location of Intentionally You. Thank you for joining us on Sara(h) Squared today.
Sarah Banowetz: Thanks for coming Kendra.
Kendra Aarhus: Thank you.
Sarah Banowetz: Thanks to all of our listeners.
Sara Leisinger: Sara out.