Jessica’s Blog

Women Who Work #2: Lilah Higgins

3 Ways to Make Giving Core To Your Brand

How do you start the famed Elevator Speech for your business?

“I help…” right?

I help entrepreneurs build their businesses.
I help moms build schedules for their home.
I help dads meal plan.

I think often we spend so much time figuring out the last half of those sentences, we forget the heart behind them. The key to these things is that we’re here to help.

Generosity in your branding should be one of the core pillars to your business. What do I mean by generosity? I really mean listening and acting on what you hear within your tribe of people.

If you’re deepIy connected with your people, then you can really hone in on and define what you’re offering them to ensure that you’re providing the things they need – free or paid.

You see, listening and acting on what you hear is the best way to be generous to your people, because suddenly you know the best way to help them.

Here are 3 ways to listen to your people and be truly generous in your branding.

LEAN IN Don’t just listen, lean in. Really try to get to the root of your people’s needs and desires. And not just their tangible needs, but the ways in which they need encouragement. Look passed what content they need to the heart of what they’re aching for. This is key to building a space where you can be extremely generous.

TAKE ACTION Once you know what they need, create it! Build resources and prompts and challenges and other ways to help them through their problems while assuring them that you’re cheering for them along the way. This not only shows your generosity, but builds trust between you and your potential clients and customers.

BUILD A LIST OF SOURCES If you find you’re unable to give to your people the resources or services they need, then having a list of references is a great solution. When you have direct recommendations for people, and you’re unable to help them, recommending out other people goes a long way in building trust and showing that you actually care about them getting their needs met. I keep a running list of connections I know who work in specific areas where I specifically don’t, so I recommend them out as I see needs arise that I can’t meet.

A final note: always be on the look for ways that you can give back without decreasing value for your people. This doesn’t mean simply giving away a bunch of stuff for free and devaluing what you have to offer. It means adding value on top of value and listening and honing in on the needs of your tribe in creative and generous ways.



Lilah Higgins is a Brand Designer & Biz Mentor to Artsy Makers living at the foot of Yellowstone National Park. When she’s not chasing around her toddlers or working alongside her techie husband, she is helping talented Makers by providing them with logos, branding, and design consultation. She drinks her coffee iced and enjoys opening her home to people and telling the stories of Makers & Creatives. She’s also the founder of the #waketomake hashtag on Instagram. You can find her at






I am (Being) ———-> More interested in group needs than individual wants

I will (Doing) ———-> Reduce variance and increase uniformity

I Bring (Contribution) ———-> Rules and policies that promote cultural predictability

I need (Requirement) ———-> Standard operating procedures

I love (Value) —————> Repeating things in the exact same way

I Hate (Value) —————> Unnecessary customization

Metaphor/Image ———-> The beauty and efficiency of a consistent golf swing

Barrier Label ———-> Rules trump relationships and results



CONSISTENCY: Treating people similarly promotes fairness

Individualization: Treating people differently promotes fairness.


CONSISTENCY: I like merry-go-rounds

Adaptability: I like roller coasters.


Want to discover your Top Five strengths, then click HERE to take the assessment. If you or someone you know has CONSISTENCY, then comment below!

Whose Voice Are You Listening To?

Five Voices You Shouldn’t Listen To:

  1. The Self-Pity Voice – Tell it to get over yourself and carry on!
  2. The Entitlement Voice – Tell it to work hard and remain humble!
  3. The “Get Even” Voice – Tell it that you will focus on forgiving and rising above!
  4. The “Grass Is Greener” Voice – Tell it to love what and where you are at!
  5. The “I’m Not Good Enough” Voice – Tell it that you are courageous and will take that next step, no matter how small it may be!


What voices are you listening to? Who has had positive or even negative influence in your life that ultimately impacted your actions and/or behavior?

Women Who Work #1: Jennifer Thibodeau

Have you ever thought about your life in decades? Mine would go something like this:

  • 0-10: fun, innocent fun
  • 10-20: typical teenage angst; diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis; college hijinks
  • 20-30: RA remission; first ‘career’ (retail) took me all over the northeast; got married; got divorced
  • 30-40: quit the career and started an admin job; got married again; had a baby boy; met Jesus; lost the job; gained a wonderful job working for an organic bedding retailer (working from home!); said goodbye to my father; said hello to RA once again
  • 40-this past spring: spent a fantastic eight years in work-from-home career as company grew by leaps & bounds; baby boy grew into a teen; marriage thrived; RA worsened, but life was good

Then, BAM – Gut punch.

The wonderful job at the wonderful company went away. In fact, the entire company went away. Bankruptcy. Hindsight is 20/20 and it was easy to see, upon reflection, what had gone wrong. But, still…now what??

I was 48. Suffering from chronic pain that was unpredictable on a daily basis. I went from $50k/year plus commissions down to $295 a week on unemployment. I spent the month of June angry. Really angry. Angry at the owners. Angry at myself. Even a bit angry with God. You know that feeling when you sort of think you’re over something and then it hits you again? In waves so hard, you can hardly breathe? I experienced that for weeks and didn’t know what to do next. I was scared. Anxious. Questioning everything I knew. The future that had once seemed so bright had been ripped out from under me – I was employee #1 and had been promised a piece of the proverbial pie one day. Well, the pie was spoiled. Gone. No pieces to be divvied up.

The company was small and we all pitched in and just figured stuff out. I did the copywriting myself. I wrote many of our blogs. I grew our Facebook page; managed the Yahoo (and then Magento) shopping cart platforms; learning everything as I went, pulling myself up by my bootstraps and just digging in, but so busy that I never really became an expert in anything.

No SEO training. No Google AdWords certification. A simple Excel spreadsheet to track the $30k/month ad budget. No SalesForce. No Hubspot. We barely looked at Google analytics as we were so busy growing to eight brick & mortar locations, alongside the profitable e-commerce site.

What next?

My friend, Trish, immediately said when she heard the news “Well, good. Now we can start our own company – I’ll fund it and you’ll be the brains of the operation.” For weeks I wondered “could we really do it?” I knew a lot about e-commerce and some social media – after all, our Facebook page had 78,000 likes; I maintained an active blog; we had a Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest presence; page one rankings for most of our desired keywords. But could I step out of my comfort zone of being the ‘worker’ to being the owner? I didn’t even know where to start with forming a company. We prayed. We got excited. We went for it. Afraid.

Courage is fear that has said its prayers and decided to go forward anyway. ~Joyce Meyer

And embarked on a new path. A new dream.

Most entrepreneurs start a business because they are moving away from some pain. ~Robert Herjavec (Shark Tank)

We actually started two companies – Backyard Fire Pit Fun and Your Green Loft. Both born from a passion of wanting to sell American-made products only. One geared toward my family’s love of our patio, surrounded by friends and a warm fire pit. The other geared toward what I had known for years – healthy, natural bedding.
There was a lot to learn! From obtaining an EIN number; to registering the name with the state of Maine; forms to be filed with the town; sourcing products; choosing a web site/shopping cart platform; setting up Google Analytics accounts; creating Bing and Google business listings; setting up social media profiles; and more. Honestly, it has been an exhausting past few months. And, let’s not even talk about all the steps and time involved in setting up the actual Shopify store (more on that later)!

And, sales are slow. We’re struggling to bring in money. I’m in constant learning mode – joining entrepreneur-only groups on Facebook; watching endless free training videos from so-called experts; reading Shopify blogs; analyzing and tweaking our marketing efforts; etc. But, at the end of the day, the excitement remains.

I am a CEO. I am a president. I am a woman business owner. Wow. Just wow.

From here, we move forward with faith. We will operate with integrity and honesty. We will endeavor to do all we can to grow our businesses and trust that our needs will be taken care of along the way. The future looks bright and I’m excited once again about what it holds.

This next decade promises to be one of the best yet!



Jennifer Thibodeau resides with her son and husband in the great state of Maine – in the same house she grew up in (and her mom grew up in). She is a lover of wine, Jesus, friends, and family, and is faithfully awaiting the anointing she feels God will bestow on her two businesses. You can say “HELLO” to Jennifer at


(Video Courtesy of Gallup Center YouTube Channel)




I am (Belong) ———-> Verbally Expressive

I will (Doing) ———-> Connect With Others Through Words

I Bring (Contribution) ———-> Attention to MessagesThat Must Be Heard

I need (Requirement) ———-> A Sounding Board, An Audience

I love (Value) —————> Stories And Storytellers

I Hate (Value) —————> Experience Without Expression

Metaphor/Image ———-> Silence Is Not Golden

Barrier Label ———-> Blabbermouth



COMMUNICATION: I think and learn best when I can talk with others.

INTELLECTION: I think and learn best when I can be alone and quiet.


COMMUNICATION: Telling a story that helps others understand my message.

CONTEXT: The re-telling of history helps others remember the past.


Want to discover your Top Five strengths, then click HERE to take the assessment. If you or someone you know has BELIEF, then comment below!


(Video Courtesy of Gallup YouTube Channel)



I am (Being) ———-> Incredibly aware of the borderless and timeless human family

I will (Doing) ———-> Integrate parts into the whole

I Bring (Contribution) ———-> An appreciation of the mystery and wonder of life and all creation

I need (Requirement) ———-> To be apart of something bigger than myself: a family, a team, an organization, a global community, a cosmos

I love (Value) —————> Circles of life and threads of continuity

I Hate (Value) —————> An “us vs. them” mentality

Metaphor/Image ———-> Person as body, mind, and spirit

Barrier Label ———-> Flaky, new-ager, not in touch with reality



CONNECTEDNESS: Accepts Mystery

ANALYTICAL: Proves Truth


CONNECTEDNESS: Aware of the inherent, invisible unity that already exists.

INCLUDER: Aware of the invisible social exclusion that often exists.


Want to discover your Top Five strengths, then click HERE to take the assessment. If you or someone you know has BELIEF, then comment below!