I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point at a time that I was in the middle of a huge transition in my life, after getting fired from a job I loved because someone decided that my light was too bright for them. I had just bought a new house in Seattle and was struggling with — “ what am I going to do with my life, am I gonna take this lying down, am I defeated, how could I have let this happen.” I was so distraught I waited two weeks to tell my parents what had happened.
When I turned the page to Chapter Two, The Law of the Few: Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen of The Tipping Point and was mesmerized. I had decided to start my own company, take my career and livelihood into my own hands and knew that I wanted the word Creative in the title for the biz but what else?
The word MAVEN captured me fully the moment I read it; I thought, “I don’t know what that means but its sexiest word I’ve ever seen.” And that was it. And then I read the definition and the chapter; I laughed because being a theatre major and fairly newly turned technology marketer, I continually fought in those early years against my impostor syndrome of feeling like I never knew enough. I’m a combo of the three types of Gladwell’s descriptions and my “why” is to spread joy and connect people. But Maven was it — as much as I enjoy the alliteration of Creative Connector.
The word Maven is Yiddish and means “expert,” (a self-proclaimed one), which suits me and my business perfectly as I found that it didn’t matter what it was, I could market it, produce it, and I did and do know enough.
I have had the luck and grit to forge a career path that I am grateful for — turning my theater production skills and empathetic artist heart into producing thousands of events, campaigns, and experiences for tens of thousands of people and technology businesses around the world. Thank you, Microsoft, SharePoint and Nancy McSharry Jensen. Because of that, I have had the fortune to meet many other majestic humans across all walks of life, businesses, and geographies. I am humbled to call so many of you my friends.
I’m so thankful to the many people that have lifted me up, given me a chance and filled me with encouragement that I want to share the stories and goodness of the people in my life who are passionate, bold, wonderful and their particular brand of Maven. I find inspiration in the digging a little deeper into the lives, actions and passion of people that I admire so I’m bringing those stories to you, as I believe sharing stories is how we connect, find empathy and become the expert of ourselves.
I sit right now in a hotel room in my favorite city in the world, New Orleans on the eve of my favorite holiday, Halloween to a launch my new podcast called Mavens Do It Better. I couldn’t be more excited and hope you enjoy the stories of all of these amazing people that I’ve gotten to know in these 17,271 days I’ve lived on this big beautiful blue spinning sphere. We’ll post new episodes weekly.
I can’t wait to have you on and share your story, hit me up and we’ll do it. I now travel with my podcaster in my bag at all times so I’m ready and waiting for your maven story because all of you have one.
And the social goodness starts today.
Thank you to all of those who have been my guests as I was figuring out equipment and getting these first few in the can. Big thank you to Annelise Sexton who makes everything sound good and look pretty; you are a goddess. And to Jim who supported my starting this business in the first place.
Thank you for listening, reviewing, sharing and subscribing.
If you like this share it with your friends and hold that clap button down — hard.
Written by Head Maven & CEO, Heather Newman, Creative Maven,
Heather is a marketer, writer, playwright, Microsoft MVP and lover of culture and “the why”. She has worked for over 20 years in technology and the arts. Heather lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys traveling the world speaking about Office 365, SharePoint and Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. She is a published playwright, was born and raised in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Drama, Seattle WA and did a semester abroad at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Heather is always looking for an excuse to go to New Orleans, London, Brooklyn and the list of cities she made in her Dad’s Time/Life map when she was 11.
Follow her travels and writing on Twitter & Instagram. Catch Heather on Medium where she is a top writer in Inspiration. Check out her IG Story for #TheCurlerReport, tales of woman on the go who happens to love her hot rollers. Listen to her podcast: Mavens Do It Better on iTunes, Stitcher or website. Full disclosure on LinkedIn. Follow on Instagram and IG Stories for real time happenings.