8 Things I Learned from Growing Bolder’s Marc Middleton

When Maria Diestro, Online Services and Communications Manager for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (and fabulous former co-worker) let me know about the Central Florida Bloggers’ Conference, I couldn’t have been more excited to attend. 

Coming away with pages and pages of notes, here are just a few things I learned from the morning’s keynote speaker, Growing Bolder‘s Marc Middleton:


  1. Always look for leverage and leverage what you have. Leverage your friends, but give more than you ask.  I recently sat down for a “just to catch up” lunch with friend Kristin Weissman, who created Studio K this past year.  (We met when her former company was a sponsor of an event in which I was, well, in charge of seeking sponsors.)  She’s insanely invigorating and a breath of fresh air, because she’s not only incredibly successful, but she’s not afraid to tell you where she’s looking for help.  The best part?  I was able to help her, because I just so happened to know players she’s looking to reach.  I didn’t want anything in return, and it just turned out that way.  But now, she’s asked point blank, HOW CAN I HELP YOU?  How incredibly cool is that?
  2. Learn to do everything yourself.  As a small business owner, I serve as the mail collector, the accounting department, the IT department, the new business department, the creative department and the waste management department.  I’m now the web producer, the cleaning staff… you get the drift.  I’m learning that there’s a whole lot you can learn through Google.
  3. Provided it’s a thoughtful leap of faith, the more leaps you take, the less scared you’ll be.  The universe will catch you.  It’s true.  I left my steady job with a few prospects.  Those prospects turned into contracts, and the networking time (and hard work) is paying off.  So is the leap of faith that it would all work out.
  4. Don’t spend a dollar you don’t have to (which ties in to…) Repurpose, and simplify whenever possible. I use both sides of a sheet of paper.  I asked around (read: raided my mother’s house) to decorate the office.  I have built my site on WordPress and use Mint for budgeting right now.  I’ve found out about these things from talking with others.
  5. Have a mission statement, and a clear and understandable elevator speech.  The Leone Company’s tagline: Marketing.  Fundraising.  Community Relations.  Life.
  6. Nimble wins.  Your competitors can’t turn on a dime, but you can.  Use that!  A true advantage to being a small company here.
  7. When you decide to do something, you defeat the option not to.  Like, say, leaving your steady job, and going out on your own, perhaps?  Or taking on that new client that’s far more impressive than you ever thought you could land?  Yup, like that.
  8. Your product is hope.  For my clients, it’s hope for new dollars, stronger messaging, new partnerships … or just a little more time for their families while I do their work.

5 thoughts on “8 Things I Learned from Growing Bolder’s Marc Middleton

  1. paxgirl says:

    Wow, this is powerful. I’m not a small biz owner; I’m a teacher and a single parent and found some great life lessons in that post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Maria Diestro says:

    Love the post Mara! Marc Middleton had some great tips. Glad we got to spend some time together too 🙂

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