Stacia Nelson 10:26
Yeah. So it was 2015, March of 2015, my daughter was 11 months old. I only had one child at that time. And my husband, Dan had been in communications, and he wasn’t really loving his job. And I loved my job. So I was like, you need to be in a career that you enjoy. And he decided, well, maybe I’ll go back to school, he had just had a major knee injury. And so he was really interested in kind of the nursing, Doctor PA kind of Route in terms of supporting and helping other people getting out behind the desk. So I said, go, go, go do that. And so he quit his job. And he was actually just taking classes to see if he was still good at math and science, because he had been a political science major in college. So it’s been years and years since he’s been in school. And I didn’t really have a big heads up that any layoffs were coming. Target wasn’t I think still is very much like the sweetheart of the Twin Cities, great employer, great culture. And I’d had a great experience. And so I didn’t really see this coming in. I came in just to work one day, and yeah, they laid off. I think it was 17 2000 people in one day, it was like 20% of them. And so yeah, it was big in the news, especially here locally. There was a kind of a lot of hubbub with it, because like the governor didn’t know it was happening, all these people were suddenly displaced and unemployed. Anyways, so I haven’t this 11-month-old baby myself, my husband isn’t working. And I was supposed to be kind of doing one for the team and keeping the corporate job. And then all of a sudden, I didn’t have that. So I was fortunate I had four months severance. So that was great that I had something to go off of. But at that time, I didn’t think I would be able to find a job at my level, like a manager level, which actually wasn’t a very high-up role. I mean, I was not in a big role I was in kind of middle management role at Target. Even lower management role, I would say I would manage teams, but those teams wouldn’t manage teams, if that makes sense. So I needed to find a job. And I knew that I would need some time to do that. And I had just been recruited by another company, actually Starbucks, and I ended up being the finalist and I ended up turning it down because we decided to have a baby and not move away from family. But that even with being recruited, that took me nine months to get to a final offer. So that just gives you an idea of what the economy and the job market looked like at that time. So I knew to proactively look for a job, it was probably going to be closer to nine to 12 months. And with only kind of a four-month runway. I had some friends that reached out to me that I had worked with at Target they had gone, the nice thing about working at a company like Target is the people go on to great companies. Probably some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with. And so I had a few that reached out and said, Hey, I heard about the layoffs. Were you impacted? I said yes. And they said I’m really sorry to hear that. How can I help? We connected? And in the course of those conversations, I learned that they had some communications projects. And they said, would you want to consult on it very similar to some of the work we did before I know you can do it, I’d be happy to give the work to you. And I talked to my husband about it. And I thought I don’t want to do consulting. I had this misnomer about consulting, I thought it was something you do in between jobs or one year at the end of your career, I didn’t realize how rewarding it could be. So I was not going to do it. My husband convinced me to do it, mainly because it would just buy us some time and I could be more picky about the job that I would then end up in. We’re really hoping to stay in the Twin Cities, given our young family and so I needed some extra time. So I took the roles, my first three clients. And now I say this like, I’m so grateful now that I did this, but my first three clients were Nike, American Express and Cargill. So not a bad way to start, right. And I actually loved it. I loved the work. And more importantly, they seemed really happy. And so I was getting this really positive reinforcement kind of re-fell in love with communications. I was learning new things because I was in new companies, but I was applying so much of what I learned in my corporate experience. And yeah, it just kind of took off from there. We ended have, really, I found this niche around, there’s not a lot of people who go from corporate to consulting, a lot of people do the opposite. It’s like, you come out of school and you go into an agency. And then when you’ve really made it, you go into a corporate role. And then you climb the ladder in the corporate world, and you jump into different corporations. And that’s kind of the path. So having not come from an agency, I didn’t really realize that there was this lack of people with corporate experience, who knew how to navigate bureaucracy, who knew how to manage global organization changes, and so many, many, many people that you have to communicate with. It’s not like a pickup game. It’s something that you definitely learn from experience, how to do well.
Jeremy Weisz 15:48
Stacia, that is really an amazing piece of the journey. I’m curious, when the company your friends bring you in. And you’re working with these amazing companies. How do you decide how to charge? Right, you are in a corporate position, you probably don’t have to deal with a lot of that stuff. Sometimes people say, I have impostor syndrome, you know, I’ve never really done this. I’ve done this in this other position. But I’ve never done this on my own. How do I charge? Was there any of those thoughts going through your head as far as, how should I charge for this?
Stacia Nelson 16:27
That’s a great question. I’m glad you asked that, because I think a lot of people actually ask me that when they’re starting out. I actually just talked to a woman yesterday, who’s going to start her own company, and I was explaining how I did it. So I took my corporate salary. And I divided it, I basically was going to divide it by 52 weeks in the year and then 40 hours a week, but I knew I wanted probably three weeks’ vacation, so I divided it by whatever that is to come up with an hourly rate. So let’s just say the hourly rate was $50 an hour if you’re making around 100 grand. So then I knew that was kind of like the very, very base that wasn’t going to give me what I needed. Because I had to pay taxes, I needed to buy benefits, I needed it by benefits, not only for me, but for my husband and my daughter. And so I would take that number and multiply it by two and then multiply it by three. And that’s your range. So somewhere between 100 and 150 was kind of what I was looking at. I think imposter syndrome is such a thing, it’s still a thing for me, I feel very lucky to be in this role. But yeah, when people are telling you, you’re really good at something. Sometimes you just can’t hear it, you can’t really believe it. And I’ve had…
Jeremy Weisz 17:36
Sometimes when people are really good, they take it for granted, because they’re really good at it. And we assume that other people are good, when they may not be at least I could speak for myself, right? So it comes easy to it’s like, there’s that factor?
Stacia Nelson 17:54
I think that’s absolutely right. I have experienced that multiple times now where I’ve come in, and I’ve tried to train someone on what we do. Really smart people, and it’s just amazing how much harder it is than I thought for people to kind of pick it up. So yeah, so hopefully, that gives you the range. I think I started on that kind of lower-range multiplier…
Jeremy Weisz 18:14
They were giving you for a steal that sounds.
Stacia Nelson 18:17
They’re getting me for steal in the beginning, for sure. But that’s part of being new is you kind of you take everything and you do it for cheap. That’s how it starts out. And then as you get more established, you can start to charge more and also get more refined in terms of what you want to be doing and what you say no to.
Jeremy Weisz 18:31
Yeah. And so I want to go to culture for a second. I know culture is really important to you. I mentioned, made best places to work in Minneapolis. And I’m wondering, what did you take from the culture at Target? And then we’ll kind of talk about what you do at Pivot Strategies.
Stacia Nelson 18:50
Oh, I love that question. So the culture at Target that I really liked. There was just this camaraderie, the support for one another, there was this drive for excellence, I feel like I’ve never been so edited in my life, and sometimes that’s hard, right? Edited, I mean, like you write, you write, as a communicator, you write a communications plan, you write, you know, articles, you write things and it just comes back kind of bloody from all the red marks and the black marks from your colleagues. And just to give you an example of this, like, when I took the GRE to go to grad school, and I took the writing exam, I got a perfect score. So like I was a good writer, and I’d already been in two different roles where I had very, very much use my communications background, and had my writing like punched up by great leaders that I worked for. But still when I came to target, I had a lot of editing and so you learn their way. They’re very polished. at Target, I would say. They’re also really mature in terms of process. So I learned for the first time in my career, the importance of structure and process and how that really creates efficiency and consistency, and deliverables.
Jeremy Weisz 20:11
So what did you take with you to Pivot Strategies? And what are some things you do from a culture and retention standpoint?
Stacia Nelson 20:22
So, we have five core values, one of them is better as possible, I definitely think that comes from some of that experience of just that polish to that recognition that there’s always the ability to raise the bar. And do better, especially in internal communications, because the bar is sometimes incredibly low. But I think some of the things that we are some of our values actually came from what I learned at, not only target but other companies I’ve worked for in the past, where it wasn’t a thing, for example, positive mental attitude, it just been really positive, bringing the sunshine, self-care is non-negotiable. That’s a huge thing for us, because we never hear self-care…
Jeremy Weisz 21:10
I was watching the video, by the way, if you’re just listening to audio, if you’re watching the video, you can watch the video as well. We’re looking at pivotstrategies.com page. And we are have the core values up. So keep going.
Stacia Nelson 21:24
Yeah, thank you. So self-care is non-negotiable. It’s something I learned, just corporations just weren’t doing well. And I think this is something that some do better now than before, after COVID, especially, but oftentimes, I hear from people that they’re still not doing it. Well. It’s just this focus on self. And that if you put yourself first, whether it’s working out, getting enough sleep, sitting down, and just eating your meal and focusing on that you really do perform better at work. And so it’s this, this encouragement, and this permission to my team to put yourself first sometimes I feel like we have this rhetoric in our heads that you’ve got to put the company first, always the company first and like family comes second. And then like self comes last. And we really try to turn that on its head. So I will tell my team, I mean, I’ve started team meetings with a meditation when everyone’s kind of frenzied and running late, and we need to just like take a moment to breathe. I’ve told my team stories about me taking a nap in the middle of the day, so that they just feel the permission that they can do that too. Because we all have those moments when we need to do it or I tell them, I block my calendars for self-care time. So it’s just time for me to whether it’s go for a walk through my head, do some yoga or something like that. For me, that’s what self-care looks like. But I think by telling those stories, then other people can start to feel the permission to do that yesterday, actually, in our leadership team meeting, my personal best was that I had gone to target in the middle of the day and just felt the freedom and not didn’t have to worry or care about walking around and picking up a few things in the middle that day. And that’s why I started this company and what I want it to continue to feel like not just for me, but for others.
Jeremy Weisz 21:24
Yeah, I wish I learned that earlier. I’m still practicing it. So it’s hard for me.
Stacia Nelson 23:09
Yeah, right. It’s kind of like yoga, it’s like just because you’ve done it a bunch doesn’t mean that you’re going to be good at it today. It depends on like, the practices and habits you put in place. And then be the change is really, we sell change, right? We work with companies who are going through massive transformations, and we help them through it, we inspire their employees as they’re going through it so that it’s something that they’re looking forward to and excited about versus being pulled along and doing begrudgingly. So we also, as a small company change a lot. So we put people in new roles. We change offices, we just adapt very, very quickly. And that’s just part of our culture. And sometimes people come in and they think they want that. And they’re like, this is too hard. And that’s okay, but that’s one of our core values. And then unapologetically hungry. This doesn’t really come from any corporate experience. This mostly comes from me feeling from for many, many years, I’m ambitious, right, I think I was just born that way. And I’ve been told so many times, like you need to kind of like tone it down a little bit to like, do well in a corporate environment. And for the first time in my life, when I started pivot, I feel like I don’t have to tone it down. In fact, people are like, rah, rah, yeah, go. And then I’ve got teams of people who are here to help me make this happen make these dreams happen of becoming the number one internal communications company in the world. So I want people around me who were excited by that growth. We’re always looking for opportunity and for them for individuals on the team that might look like going and getting their master’s degree or going to get a certificate or being involved in something that helps them better their skills, but we want people who have and share ambition for growth.
Jeremy Weisz 25:04
Yeah, thanks for sharing that. Are there any thing, other things you do as a company that you feel really help with the retention? People have been with you for a long time they like working with you, I think I watched a video from two years, you’re talking about different incidents that happen in Minnesota and the culture and how that affects the culture. So it’s really top of mind for you. What else do you do that’s built into maybe on a weekly basis for retention, or team building or anything like that.
Stacia Nelson 25:39
So we do a variety of things for team building. So we’re virtual, most of the time, we do have an office in Edina and we allow anybody to have a membership to the office if they would like to, and they can have a seat in the office that they would like to, everybody has that opportunity if they want to be in, not that many people want to be and most want to work from home. And so that is part of our culture, right? The flexibility and ability to work from wherever is just a part of our culture. But because we’ve kind of always had that we built different things to keep people engaged throughout that because we don’t want our team to come in and be working on a client. And then they feel like they’re a part of that client’s culture and not part of a Pivot culture. So that’s been one of the challenges that we’ve had to really work on throughout us growing a few things that we do. So first of all, we do a lot of team engagement opportunities. And that can look like I lead self-care workshops that can look like we do team volunteering, we just did one for women’s shelter. For Women’s History Month, we’re going to do a Habitat for Humanity build in a couple of months. So we come together and do things that are hands-on as a team pretty regularly, we just did a unconscious bias training about a month ago. And then we do team meetings where we’re doing team building, and we have the, you know, overview of the business for EOS, we’re totally transparent with our team about what’s happening with the company. So we do a lot of touch points. We also make sure that our teams aren’t overburdened. So our leaders, like our sub leadership team doesn’t have more than eight direct reports, and that they’re able to then engage and work really closely with their team because it can be, these teams get really big, and it’s just hard to keep those points of connection.
Jeremy Weisz 27:30
I love it. I love the team volunteering. It’s like, also, just from a gratitude perspective, just thinking, wow, we’re lucky where we’re at.
Stacia Nelson 27:41
Yeah, I think gratitude is actually it’s not in our core values. But it’s a really core piece of what I would say, is important to me. And I think we express it a lot with our team, because yeah, we are really lucky to be where we are. And I feel really a lot of gratitude for the team and the clients that have gotten us here. And I share that with the team through we do profit sharing, and a lot of giving back to the team to show our gratitude to them, we’re kind of I think, known for we do little gifts and little things for the team to really show that appreciation on a regular basis. And not because it’s lip service. It’s like it’s really how we feel.
Jeremy Weisz 28:24
I love to learn Stacia more about what you do as a company. And with a few examples, I was actually checking out your website, which I’ll pull up here, Pivot people, if they want to find you can go to pivotstrategies.com. But when I go to the work section, I see a couple things here. So I’d love to talk through what you do. It says office 365 communications campaign. Can you talk about that for a second?
Stacia Nelson 28:56
Yeah, I will be happy to so if you think about big companies, our target market is at least 30,000 employees. And then we have companies that are up to 300,000 employees, we work with large companies and as they’re going through a big change, usually in the IT space, sometimes in the HR space, we come in and help them with that engaging only their employees. So we only do internal communications for the companies, with their employees to help their employees through and to have them do their jobs differently so that they know what they need to do. So in this instance, I worked with a large medical device company they had just acquired another very large medical device company so they became quite large, almost 100,000 people and the company that hired me the original company, they were very centralized, right. So all of their IT systems and processes and things that they were using were pretty consistent as they had acquired smaller companies. They brought them into their system, the company they hired or acquired, however, was very decentralized. I mean, they had grown by acquisition. But they hadn’t brought each other onto one type of system or the systems that didn’t have any consistency. So when they acquired this company, people couldn’t communicate with each other, it can work together, they couldn’t get on, today, it would be like teams versus zoom, right. And we all know how to use those things. But at the time, we didn’t, it was a different kind of world that this was in 2017. So they called me because they knew they had to make all these changes and get everybody on this new platform, office 365 was really the heart of it. But there was a lot of other components to it, Windows 10, printing, some security measures that were going to be added into all the technology that they were using. And some of it was also taking some things away that were not safe or not good for the company, because if someone left then information would leave with them. And we needed to keep data in a secure place. So that the company would keep it and retain it. So there were about 10 different measures that they were trying to do. And again, it’s across 100,000 people, and it’s global. So it’s really big. And you’re reaching people that don’t speak the language and all of that, that don’t speak English. They brought me in because they couldn’t figure out how to get a communication out there when they brought me in, they actually had two different communicators in neither one had worked out. And so of course, when they were talking to me, I was like, well, what happened to the other two bodies before me? Because I’m kind of nervous for that.
Jeremy Weisz 31:43
You don’t want to be another person buried in the backyard.
Stacia Nelson 31:45
Right? I’m like, what happened there. And they said, well, they couldn’t get a communication out, was the main thing they couldn’t like, it just kept stalling. And they had a change management person. And this change management person had scoped out kind of all these different categories of people and how they were going to be migrated onto these new systems. So there was already a kind of a plan in terms of the migration, it was just the communication aspect was stalled and kept turning his wheel. And I thought, why isn’t the change management person doing it? So anyways, I came in, and I learned that they had, in this situation, because of the merger and some of the regulatory stuff because of the industry, they had basically a layer that you had to go through, were all communications that were going to, over a certain number of people in the company had to go through approval. And it had to be approved by this group, and the group included like the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Communications Officer, the Chief Legal Officer, the CHRO, the Chief Technology Officer. And so I can’t remember how many there was like eight people on it. And so nobody could get anything through there. Because every time they tried, it failed, or they were too afraid to bring anything through, because they were worried about the people that were on it, we’re gonna be seeing their work directly. So I came in. And once I saw that they had a pretty good plan in place, it just needed a few tweaks. I put together the comprehensive communications plan in terms of how we were going to communicate this out what first needed to go out, and then I sent it through this group. And they had a couple of questions. They had a couple of edits and questions that they wanted to ask me about. And so I made those, and then it was fine. And so we got the communication out in two weeks of me starting. And it had been months before that they had been trying to get something out and hadn’t gone out. So once we got that out, they were like, okay, we found our person that can do this communication stuff and navigate this global bureaucratic environment. Now we can really rock and roll. So what was initially a six-month contract ended up becoming a three-year project. And I ended up bringing a whole team in underneath me. At that time, it was one of those projects where people were like, what is that project? How is that working? So well, we had great internal marketing on it. So we everything on like the digital boards, all over the company does many, many locations, we did a roadshow with the leadership team to talk about the changes that were coming everywhere from Australia to Boston to Colorado. So we really engage the team in a way that they had never done before with IT. And it kind of became one of these things that other people in the organization said, how are they doing that? How is that working so well. And so I started getting phone calls from Medtronic, even from corporate communications saying, how are you doing this? And can we borrow some of these tips from you also, can you come work on this project in that project in this project, so that’s really when the company started to take off.
Jeremy Weisz 34:51
It spreads. There’s a lot of moving pieces with this Stacia. I want to talk about the benefits right? They have 100,000 people, right? So companies, they go, oh, we can just do this internally, one of our 100,000 people can do this, or 10 or 100. Talk about the benefits of bringing in an outside firm like yourself, as opposed to, hey, this company tried to handle it internally, and it didn’t really work.
Stacia Nelson 35:21
Yeah, great question. So first of all, I didn’t at the time have an IT background. Now, I’ve worked with it predominantly for the last seven years. But I think part of the benefit of not having a lot of knowledge around a specific technology or technologies is, you come at it from the end-user perspective, right? You come at it from an employee perspective of, well, why does this actually matter? Like, how am I actually doing my job differently? What do I actually need to know? Versus when you’re really internal, and you kind of get into the jargon, right? There’s also I think, the other advantage I would say is, when you have someone come in from the outside who has done this type of big transformation work in the past, just because you have someone internal, and they might know some people, they don’t necessarily know, the paths and like how to figure out that path quickly. And once you’ve done it a lot, you can start to figure out, I can pretty much figure out within about five days, who are all the people I need to know to go from here to here and get stuff done. And then you go into the relationship-building components. So I don’t know the person you hire a person you have internally, like they might not have executive presence, they might have the ability to figure that out, but not be able to build the trust with the executives, they might be able to build the trust with the executives, but not understand who the right executives are, and waste a lot of time spinning their wheels. So I think it’s just that kind of right combination of corporate experience. And having done similar projects, it doesn’t really matter what field it’s in it, it could be HR, it could be supply chain. But that’s kind of the secret sauce. And that’s why we at Pivot, one of our differentiators is we say we’re bread corporate gone agency. So we only hire people who come from that corporate experience and have done similar projects. I think our average tenure right now is about eight years, on average, that they’ve been in corporate doing this type of work before they come to us.
Jeremy Weisz 37:19
Yeah, and I can also see, when you mentioned this, there’s also a dynamic with some internal goes to the leadership team. They may hold things back, because they’re worried about whatever they’re worried about. So there’s that dynamic as well. So having an outside company I could see is a big advantage. There’s just kind of laying it all out.
Stacia Nelson 37:39
You know what, that’s a great point. I didn’t even think of that. But that is absolutely a great point. Because yeah, if you’re reporting into someone who controls like your pay raise, and you’re climbing the ladder, they’re the one that’s having a lot of say, you don’t want to upset them. And when you’re a consultant, you can come in and just say, say what you need to say,
Jeremy Weisz 38:02
When I think about what you do, who are the ideal companies to work with. And like, for when you talked about this case, I think of big companies that make acquisitions that need to integrate teams and things I don’t know, if like a Salesforce or something like that is good. I pictured them as always acquiring these companies, who else is a good fit to work with?
Stacia Nelson 38:29
So companies that are somewhere between 30,000 employees, or more, I mean, even up to 300,000 employees are really our ideal. Ideally, it’s a company that they have their own corporate communications teams, but they all have their own roles, and they have some big project coming up. And they’re going to need probably two to three people to help navigate this project to make sure it’s successful. That’s really kind of ideal. So fortune 500, as we say a lot, global 1000s would also usually fit in there. But sometimes you have companies on that list that don’t have a lot of employees. And frankly, they probably wouldn’t need us as much as some of these companies that have a ton of employees.
Jeremy Weisz 39:12
So let’s talk geographic for a second because you have a lot of probably clients in Minnesota, and I’m close to you. And near outside of Chicago. What are some companies in Chicago that you’re like, you know, here’s some companies and you’re looking at the cool stuff they’re doing in Chicago and Minnesota?
Stacia Nelson 39:37
Yeah, great question. We do have one big client in Chicago, but we’re definitely looking at what else we can be doing there. So ADM, JLL. Kraft, United Airlines, Advi, SC Johnson. And I’m sure that there’s more but those are a few that we would definitely think would be a great candidate for the type of work that we do.
Jeremy Weisz 40:00
So someone like ADM, you know a better than I do, what is some stuff that you would do with them?
Stacia Nelson 40:10
So if their CIO or someone reporting into their CIO was going through some new technology, even if it’s merging a bunch of ERPs together into one big one would be an opportunity for us to come in and really help with that. Let’s say they wanted to move to S for HANA for SAP, for example, that would be a great opportunity for us to come in, they may already have that plan mapped out the strategy mapped out, maybe it’s with one of the big four consulting companies or they’ve done that internally. But it’s the implementation side where we really are coming in to help them with the end user experience, and helping make sure that their teams can actually do their jobs differently. Another thing could be, we’ve done work with companies that are in agriculture, med device, health care. So another opportunity could be also within HR, let’s say they want to roll out wanted to roll out a new payroll system or a new culture, that would be another thing that we could be very helpful with.
Jeremy Weisz 41:19
Pretty much all the big projects that people are rolling out throughout the year. Sounds like, right. So I have two last questions. Stacia. First of all, thank you. One question I have is just mentors, right on this journey, who’s been really important, whether it’s a colleague or mentor, that’s really been beneficial on this crazy corporate-to-agency journey?
Stacia Nelson 41:47
So I have to go right back to when I left, I was actually a lobbyist. And I went into PR, which was a huge jump. But if I hadn’t made that jump, this wouldn’t be possible. And I had three women who just kind of helped me from behind the scenes, they gave me just enough information. And they gave me their time. And you know, it’s funny, because now upon reflection, I realized these women were probably all like millionaires. And they were just giving me their time. But at the time, of course, I didn’t realize that and so it just increases the gratitude just increases as I learn and realize more in my life. But Karen Hamley, she actually is now just recently retired. So congratulations, Karen. She was most recently at Thrive and Lynn Casey and she also is retired. She was at Padilla Speer Beardsley, and she was the woman CEO. They’re here in Minneapolis. And then Kathy Tunheims, who still runs an amazing organization to Tunheims partners. They do a lot of work and kind of the public policy arena, and public affairs. And she’s just, she’s actually one of those women that you just look up to, because she is focused on providing a great culture. She’s people first. And she’s been that long before her time. And then more recently, Jackie Giveme she is an agency owner who I met in a CEO group. And she’s just been a huge mentor of mine. She’s one of those advisors who advisor slash friend, but she actually sold her company recently. And is on to a new phase. But all of those women have been very influential.
Jeremy Weisz 43:15
That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that. So the last question, you actually brought this up before we hit record, which is, you were talking about Tony Horton, I asked him something weird about him, and that he was a street mime. And that’s actually how he made money. He put his hat on the street, and get food and rent money from being a street mine, and I’m in episode actually made him do it. But for you, you have a special skill. I’ll have you just briefly talk about that. But what’s interesting, a fun fact is you are first-generation college grad and you almost didn’t graduate from high school, because you talked about, oh, I got this perfect score. But that wasn’t always the case for you. So maybe mention your special skill. And then we’ll talk about why you didn’t almost graduate from high school.
Stacia Nelson 44:10
Okay, it sounds good. So my special skill is not as cool as my main. And I didn’t discover it until I had children because of course, I wouldn’t need to. But I’m really good at the claw machines that you find in restaurants and arcades and things, but you get the staffy or the candy or the ball out of I’m really good.
Jeremy Weisz 44:27
You’re a kid’s hero though, for that. So that’s probably better than miming for kids.
Stacia Nelson 44:32
Totally. I remember one time my husband, I were driving up to a friend’s cab and we didn’t have our kids with us. We went into a grocery store and I can just tell looking at the crane machines if they’re going to be easy to like, have this keen sense now for it. And I put five bucks in and I saw a family behind me that had like five kids, or four kids. I think I put five bucks in and I pulled out for lovies and I just turned it on gave each one of these kids and my husband’s like, how did that happen? So anyways, my kids love that. But there are ones that don’t grab, and you have to really avoid those. So you only put the $1 and see if it’s going to be one of those and then don’t even bother, because you’re never going to but there’s a lot.
Jeremy Weisz 45:14
That they don’t grant what do they do then if they don’t.
Stacia Nelson 45:17
If there’s a stuffed animal kind of thing down here, and it goes like this, it doesn’t even like it remotely grab anything, then don’t even bother because either it’s too low. Or it’s some of them are, like mage, then like, never grab anything. Yeah, for sure it’s fixed. So there’s probably 30% that are like that, and but most of them are not. And the trick is, if you look from both the front and then you look from the side, you can really see the angle and try and grab like the head, like neck area, because then you’ll get a little bit of the head a little bit of the body and then it really pulls it up.
Jeremy Weisz 45:53
I love it. My girls will love that. I’m always like don’t put money in that just gonna take it you’re not going to win anything. And they’ll just keep feeding money into that thing. So yeah, this is the best interview I’ve ever done for that fun fact for my daughter so but so you almost didn’t graduate high school.
Stacia Nelson 46:13
Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of a little bit of a comeback story. But yeah, I so I had chronic kind of fatigue and I had mono in high school. So I had missed a lot of school. And I got to the end of graduation and I was kind of a probably a BC student I was not a straight A student. I mean, I got A’s in some classes that I was really into English was one of them that I consistently did well in, but I just wasn’t engaged. And the thing for me is I hated the schedule. I hated someone telling me where I had to be when I had to be there, I had this kind of just monotonous routine that I ended every single day. And I just find it exhausting. So I missed a lot of school. I was like a classic school skipper. In addition to being sick, I would just skip school just because I didn’t like someone telling me where I had to be. I wanted to go be free. And so anyways, my principal of my school at that time. Dave Dahl I don’t want to like throw him under the bus. But hopefully he’s not doing this anymore. I’ve heard from several people that he still does that sometimes. But at Armstrong High School and Plymouth Minnesota, he was my guidance counselor, because they were short on guidance counselors at that time. And so he was supposed to be my college, you know, guidance person. And as I was talking to him, first of all, he said, I came in and said, you know, my mom’s always, you know, talked about me going to college. She didn’t go my dad didn’t go. But I would really like to go and I think that would make her really proud. And he was like, You’re not college material. Don’t even bother. So I walked away from that.
Jeremy Weisz 47:52
Fabulous guidance counselor. Where do we motivate it? They have your core value?
Stacia Nelson 47:56
I know he actually said it to several friends of mine who actually like ended up dropping out of school. Yeah, exactly. Anyways, for me when he said that I was kind of like, well, I’ll show him kind of a thing. But then in addition to that, I had that plus the double whammy of it turns out when I had had mono, I had missed enough classes, I still received a good grade. But I had missed enough classes where I couldn’t be passed out at one of my math classes from my freshman year. And yet they still put me on it was like, I can’t remember algebra or something. And they put me on to geometry and then like precalc and but yet, I hadn’t ever passed algebra because of my number of absences. So then they made me go back in my senior year, I had two weeks before graduation, and they told me I didn’t technically get that credit. I think they just didn’t like me.
Jeremy Weisz 48:44
It’s like Billy Madison, they made you do like third grade again.
Stacia Nelson 48:48
Well, yeah, I had to go back to an alternative school and in two weeks pass out of this algebra class, so that I can so that I could walk and they weren’t gonna let me walk in graduation until I done that. So I was like hustling to do it. But yeah, barely graduated. I only applied to one college. It was Hamlin University in Minnesota. And I wrote them a note, I think I had a pretty bad score on I can’t remember what it is not SATs. ACT Yes, I didn’t have a great score and also didn’t have great grades. So I had to make a pitch to them to let me in. And I told them in this letter, like I’m the you’re the only school I’m applying to and if you don’t take me, I’m not going to college, essentially. And I had toured several colleges, including like the U of M, but there was something about Hamlin when I was on the campus. People looked at me and they like they said my name and I could tell there was just a community there. And that ended up being absolutely the case. Once I was in a place that had community had smaller classes, people that cared. My first year I had a four point out so I and I actually ended up graduating Kumlade so I ended up being a great experience and I graduated early so I was I had the Good student in me. But I think there was two things. One is, when you’re in college, you get to pick your own schedule. And in high school, you’re on someone else’s schedule. And that really like, I feel like I needed to be in like a grown up environment to thrive. And I would actually kind of equate that Jeremy to going from corporate to go into consulting. So in corporate, I had to show up at eight, leave at five do these core things in order to do well, and I didn’t really ever thrive in that environment. And then I went into consulting where I get to build my own schedule, focus on the things that I felt were most important. And then look what happened.
Jeremy Weisz 50:37
I love it. I almost want to track down the guidance counselor and send this to them. I won’t do it. I know a lot of people you know certain things in their childhood or earlier on really fueled them. So maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that he fueled you to be like, I’ll show him or whatever it is. But I just want to thank you, Stacia. And everyone should check out pivotstrategies.com more episodes of the podcast and thanks so much. Thanks, everyone.
Stacia Nelson 51:07
Thank you so much.