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A space for women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their influence while staying true to their values.

welcome to the
Bright Voices in Business Podcast WITH CHLOE DECHOW

Get ready to build your business on your terms

Join your host Chloe Dechow as she interviews industry thought leaders, shares her expertise as a thought leadership strategist and consultant, and pushes you toward sharing your opinion on a global scale. 





In a world that often prioritizes titles and accolades, often the most impactful connections come from simply being human.

In today’s episode, Dawn Mullarney and I explored the power of creating authentic connections and the strategic art of partnership. Dawn, who has transformed from a shy girl to a networking and strategic partnerships expert, opened up about the secrets to forging real relationships and how to use your network to boost your business and establish yourself as a thought leader.

During our chat, we confronted the hurdles of networking and celebrated the beauty of being in the company of those who elevate us. Join our conversation to hear more about:

  • Dawn’s story of transformation from being a self proclaimed “shy girl” to a networking and strategic partnerships expert
  • The importance of building authentic relationships and strategic partnerships in business
  • Actionable steps you can take to leverage your network for business growth
  • How to build strong relationships with a human-first approach
  • Advice for aligning business activities, networking events, and speaking opportunities with your core values

Remember, connection is about showing up as your best self and serving others. So keep sharing your unique stories and nurturing your businesses with passion. 


FREE GUIDE: Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority

Simon Sinek’s class: The Art of Presenting


West Haven Website: www.westhavencoaching.com

West Haven Instagram: @westhavencoaching

Chloe Dechow LinkedIn: @chloedechow


Website: www.uniqueconnector.com

LinkedIn: @dawnmullarney

Instagram: @uniqueconnector

Podcast: Determined to Succeed

The Dames: www.thedames.co


Dawn Mullarney (00:00:00) – Don’t let society make you think it’s not good enough, or it’s not daring enough, or you know it’s not the right stage. Do the things that fill your cup up because you never know what can come back to you. You never know what kind of opportunities can come out of the different situations. 

Chloe Dechow (00:00:23) – Hi, I’m Chloe Dechow and with more than a decade of experience working with thought leaders, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of conviction combined with purpose driven entrepreneurship. This podcast shows you how to authentically bring together leadership, equity, and marketing to build your authority so that you can grow your impact and scale your business. This is a space for elevating women’s voices and redefining what it means to be a thought leader. Together, we’ll unlock the potential of our bright voices and create a ripple effect of change that resonates far beyond the realms of business. This is the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Now let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to the Bright Voices in Business podcast. I’m really excited to introduce you to Dawn Mullarney, who.

Dawn Mullarney (00:01:14) – Is.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:15) – An expert on all things strategic partnership and networking. She is a founder of Unique Connector and the host of the Determined to Succeed podcast. Dawn regularly hosts local and virtual events that build mutually beneficial relationships. Thanks so much for joining me, Dawn.

Dawn Mullarney (00:01:33) – Thanks so much for having me. This is super fun.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:36) – Yeah, I’m so excited because I think you have a unique point of view on building really strong relationships. And I know from personal experience, like sometimes like going to networking events or doing things can feel kind of like crunchy or that like you kind of like walk in and feel like you have an agenda or that’s like the thing that you’re kind of you feel like you’re like projecting out into the world, even though that’s not what you want. And so I think that what you bring to the table is really this beautiful, authentic approach to building relationships. And I’m all about authenticity on this podcast and in the work that I do. And I also know that relationships are a huge part of thought leadership, because at the core of that leadership is humans and at the core of connection and building relationships as humans.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:22) – And so really excited to have you on, to have a really open conversation about how we can build relationships in a way that supports and collaborates, rather than coming across and authentically. So thanks for coming on.

Dawn Mullarney (00:02:35) – Well, thanks for having me. And this is fun to be on the other side of the podcast, you know, and to get interviewed. But yes, networking and relationships is really what I’m all about.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:45) – Yeah, absolutely. So can we talk a little bit about why you’re all about this? And what about networking and strategic partnerships is exciting for you?

Dawn Mullarney (00:02:55) – Yeah. So I guess to give a little bit of background. So back in the day when I was younger, I was super shy. So one that wouldn’t talk, wouldn’t socialize, my sister would talk for me. I always kind of was just that shy child that was not about interacting. And then when I grew up, I kind of learned more about myself, learned more, you know, in the business world of things that you got to connect.

Dawn Mullarney (00:03:19) – And I think for a lot of us, sales was always such a negative word. And so I always avoided anything and everything that dealt with sales just because of how society made me think about it. And so the older I got, I realized sales was really about building connection and building relationships. And there was something that kind of just really changed it for me. And I think it was me showing up as me, but then also having a great leader that embraced it and showed me how to build relationships, how to grow in my network, but then grow in my knowledge. And so that’s where it kind of really triggered for me of just realizing how fun it was to build relationships and to show up and just really be kind hearted, caring and show empathy for other people, but also be really curious and ask questions. And that’s really what kind of helped drive this. And, you know, it’s kind of funny when I reflect back of just all the events I went to and all the things, and I still get those moments sometimes walking into a filled room with people and cringing.

Dawn Mullarney (00:04:26) – But I just realized how important it is to grow in a business. But also how to grow as a human is through relationships.

Chloe Dechow (00:04:34) – Awesome. Well, it sounds like from your experience with this leader, they were really helping you honor who you were while also helping kind of grow and expand you into somebody who is a networker in a relationship builder. I love that they encourage that in you versus trying to force you to, you know, become somebody you weren’t. Yeah, I think because they did that, you are able to kind of lead with authenticity in your approach because you’re just being yourself in these conversations. So really cool. Can you talk about the importance of networking and like doing it more? Because we can go to events, right. And we can like network and meet people or hide at events of which I may have been guilty of in the past. But what is it about being kind of strategic and intentional that is really like the important part of all of this. Can you speak to that? Yeah.

Dawn Mullarney (00:05:26) – Well, I think, you know, just to reflect, time is really precious. You know, we only have so much time in our life, time and energy in our day. And so I really love helping people understand how to be really strategic. You know, going to these big events might be uncomfortable for you, but it also might be a great opportunity for you to be seen, to be heard, to really find those great relationships that you’re really looking for. And so one thing that I kind of love doing, and I kind of do it behind the scenes with people that are uncomfortable when it comes to networking, is to really find what’s going to boost the energy for you to walk into that room, to walk in authentically, to be vulnerable, to be yourself and to be really proud that you’re there. And so I really love helping people figure out what’s the strategy behind it, what’s the intention? Why are we taking this time to go there? What’s going to be, you know, really a success in our eyes of why we’re taking this time to go.

Dawn Mullarney (00:06:22) – And so I love kind of giving people strategic ways of, you know, planning before the event. What do you need to do to boost yourself up? Is there things you need to practice in the car or questions you need to ask out loud? And so you’re ready to go in the room? You know, is there a little things that you could set up for yourself to be proud and to celebrate at the end? You know, is it making one new relationship? Is it going up to somebody that’s sitting by themselves and is trying to hide? You know, everybody gets uncomfortable. And so I think when it comes to networking, we all have to figure out what works best for us personally, but then also to changing what success looks like and really understanding for that person and for that time that they’re going, what would be a great use of their time, and what is really the point of why they’re going, you know, is it for a relationship or is it to be seen and taken photos and to show you’re getting active in the community? You know, I love it when people are thinking really strategic because yes, our time is really precious.

Dawn Mullarney (00:07:24) – And so I really love that because I used to waste a lot of time going to every event possible. Probably. I don’t want to say waste, but I mean, I was at every event and I missed a lot, just my home life, even through all of that.

Chloe Dechow (00:07:37) – Yeah, it sounds like being very intentional with your time and your energy and even like finances, right? Because event like, not all events are free. So I know when I’ve worked with companies in the past, there’s been some clients I’ve worked with and the sheer amount of like volume of conferences and events and trade shows that they go to is crazy. And I think about the time investment and the energy investment of their team, as well as a financial investment, and really helping people kind of hone in on what is going to move the needle for them the most based on probably their goals. Right, like personal or business goals. So how do you help somebody kind of narrow in on what is going to be the most impactful event or opportunity for them?

Dawn Mullarney (00:08:21) – Yeah, well, like you just said, a lot of companies, you know, they think, hey, I’m going to sponsor this event.

Dawn Mullarney (00:08:26) – Okay. Cool. What is it? Part of the sponsor package, you know, as an example is, okay, you’re going to be on the billboard. Oh, there’s going to be a couple things. Flyers on the tables. You’re going to be in some social media posts. Cool. That’s great. But how are you going into that event? How are you really going to capitalize on that sponsorship? Are you walking around the room? Are you thinking all the people that are there and and saying, hey, I’m a sponsor of the event, are you teaching or training your employees to really show up as themselves, but also on brand for their company? You know, what are you even doing afterwards? Are you assessing how did that go? What value did we get out of that? You know, it’s more than just getting a bunch of business cards or just putting your logo up on the screen. It’s all about what was the purpose behind it? Did we get, you know, traction? Did we make intention and, and train our employees to go out and be visible for us and leaders in the community? You know, it’s the whole picture of things.

Dawn Mullarney (00:09:27) – And so that’s where I always love helping businesses really think strategic about it. Because yes, you can keep throwing money at stuff and putting your logo up on the wall, but are you really capitalizing on that energy in that time and that event? You know, and I think it’s another thing, too, of just what culture are you trying to create in your business? Are you embracing your employees and teaching them and embracing their personality and helping them for the future, no matter where they’re at? My brain’s kind of going all over the place on things, but I just think, you know, sometimes businesses are really not thinking about it. They’re just like checking the box and thinking, okay, we did that. Cool. We’re going to get business, or we’re going to have our team stick around longer with us because we sponsor this event. There’s so much more behind the scenes that I think businesses really need to think about.

Chloe Dechow (00:10:16) – Yeah, it sounds like really kind of honoring their culture and their values.

Chloe Dechow (00:10:20) – These events should be kind of an extension of that piece of their business.

Dawn Mullarney (00:10:26) – It could be or, you know, it could be philanthropic to show and to demonstrate and to actually have the employees engage and, and have the opportunity to give back or to learn more about a certain industry or meet different people. You know, I think that’s the part for companies that they don’t always capitalize on or really help get the team involved and really make an impact of, no matter if it is philanthropic or not, of like an impact of that time. While they did spend that money because they could just be wasting a lot of money, energy and to their team could just be leaving and not fully utilizing all the resources while they’re at that company.

Chloe Dechow (00:11:05) – Yeah, because I have a PR background. What I also am thinking about is like, these events are really moments in time, and having these moments in time from a PR standpoint, is what creates some level of urgency around the story for the news media or, you know, the relationship building.

Chloe Dechow (00:11:24) – And so really, you know, yes, there’s networking outside of events, but events are really kind of this like moment in time where you can capture that opportunity. So again, like being really intentional about this, being an extension of your goals and your culture and growing your team to be very smart about maximizing that moment in time that once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Dawn Mullarney (00:11:48) – Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:11:49) – So when you think about networking and strategic partnerships, I’m curious what role that play is in building credibility, especially as kind of like a thought leader or somebody who’s, you know, building their authority in their industry. Like, what role does that really play in establishing credibility for them?

Dawn Mullarney (00:12:05) – You know, it’s people work with people they trust and like. And so it’s really important to build a reputation around that, because if you have that reputation, then people are going to refer you. They’re going to think of you, they’re going to be top of mind. They’re going to want to engage with you. They’re going to want to be at the event you’re at, you know, or participate in the things that you’re participating in.

Dawn Mullarney (00:12:30) – And so I think it really goes back to the intentions and really building trust and really finding those right partners that you could call in a moment when you’re in a need or when you’re needing that certain resource or that certain conversation at times, you know, we all have moments in life that throw curveballs at us. And so it’s kind of building that strategic partners that can really embrace you but also uplift you in certain moments of disaster or challenge or hurdles, but also two moments to celebrate in business to and the success of things.

Chloe Dechow (00:13:04) – Yeah, celebration is key. I’m learning that for myself in entrepreneurship is like, you have to celebrate your own wins and like get kind of this network that like our champions for you, because entrepreneurship is very different than the workplace when it comes to wins. And so you kind of have to be your own advocate in that nature. Yeah, I love having kind of a group of people, not just. For the challenges, but also for the wins and the celebrations as well.

Dawn Mullarney (00:13:30) – Yeah. And, you know, I think it helps build the momentum and incorporate, you know, it’s just keep going, keep going. You know, it’s never stopping. I felt like it was never really a huge celebration, maybe a celebration in, you know, race or title or something. You know, it was always very distinct kind of celebration time where in entrepreneurship, the little things, all the things are milestones. And there were celebrating. And too, when you’re on your own, sometimes it’s finding those people that can be your inner circle to really celebrate and keep you going, but also be that resource when you need help too.

Chloe Dechow (00:14:04) – Yeah, absolutely. So since building these relationships helps with your credibility and your thought leadership, and it’s really rooted in trust, can you talk about how you can kind of establish and grow that trust, like how do you set up your relationships to be these trusted champions and resources for you? Like, how can somebody go about making sure that they’re going in with their best foot forward?

Dawn Mullarney (00:14:27) – Yeah, well, I kind of always like to give an example of so when I was in my career learning and growing and building relationships, I maybe didn’t have the exact title that some people would have to take people out for, let’s say, lunch or coffee or business development stuff.

Dawn Mullarney (00:14:46) – And so one thing was attorneys was where we got a lot of our business from. Attorneys have, you know, the accreditation. They’ve gone to the law school. They got all these things. And, you know, for me, I always felt like, oh, what do I have to bring to the table? And so my great leader and boss would say, be, you show up as you. It doesn’t matter what your title is, just show up and be the kind hearted person that you are. And so that was one trigger for me. I just really remember is showing up to those meetings because some of them were kind of confused because I didn’t have like the certain trust officer title yet, and I just was one on one with them and asking them questions and learning about them and their business and understanding what motivated them to be a lawyer. And those were things that, just as I reflect on it, was building trust. It was building trust. They were getting to meet me as a person.

Dawn Mullarney (00:15:44) – They were getting to hear about my own experiences. We were sharing stories back and forth and kind of just learning about each other’s journey. And it didn’t matter what title, it didn’t matter where I was on the ladder. It was just showing up as a human. And that was the part for me where I kind of love telling that story is to just reflect of no matter what, just be human and build trust, build relationships. It’s kind of back to the basics of building things. You know, it’s like, how did you get that job? Or how did you meet your soulmate? You know, you have to build a relationship. So get back to the basics. What are things that are going to be something for someone to really understand you or to know your kind and trustworthy? You know what are little gestures you could be doing? You know, even simple things of handwriting notes or sending them messages of checking in on you today. How are you? We’re all human, so I think that’s the part for me where I love to kind of go back to that just because, as that example I was telling you, I felt like I had to be at such a high level and talk at a certain language in order for them to relate to me, but really it was just basics.

Dawn Mullarney (00:16:48) – Be a human asked nice questions and care about people.

Chloe Dechow (00:16:52) – Yeah, I love that because it’s so easy to let kind of imposter syndrome get in the way. When you are connecting with people who have different experiences than you, like, maybe they have more degrees or they went to Harvard or whatever it might be, or they’ve done like this certain thing. It’s so easy to get caught up in imposter syndrome and let that prevent you from like having the conversation or showing up as your best self. And it sounds like you really just like, leaned into genuine curiosity and asking questions and kind of showing up more as a human to human interaction and like putting the titles and the experiences and all the other things aside to remember, like, that person is still a human at the end of the day, too. And so if I can just be curious about them and their business and what they’re doing and what they’re up to, there’s always a commonality. Yeah, right. Like there’s always something that you can, like, bond over or support each other on or whatever.

Chloe Dechow (00:17:46) – And I love that example of not letting the imposter syndrome get in the way, because it’s so easy to fall victim to that. Yeah, for.

Dawn Mullarney (00:17:53) – Sure. And I think sometimes we overthink like, oh, we got to meet all these new people sometimes to, you know, to like really hone in on stuff. It’s like, who do you already know and who do they already know, and who are you already connected to that you don’t even realize sometimes. And I think that’s the part to where it’s like nurture relationships and you never know where they can come from, you know, or what could come out of that. And it’s just kind of the world is your oyster. But relationships really deep down, are the thing that are going to help keep the momentum going. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:23) – Can we talk a little bit about like how to use your current network to grow your thought leadership, grow your business? Like what could people be? They might be losing sight of these people that they already have in their orbit.

Chloe Dechow (00:18:35) – Right. And so what could they be doing to kind of reignite or utilize that network? They already have? Yeah.

Dawn Mullarney (00:18:42) – Well, I love that. That’s what the thing a lot of people always come to me and they’re like, give me the networking advice. What do I need to do and where should I be? And I think that’s the one thing where I always kind of like to go back to, you don’t have to be everywhere. You don’t need to go to all these places. Who do you already know? And I think that’s the part, you know, thankfully, with all the technology and all the resources we have these days, is utilize the resources, use like LinkedIn as an example. Who do you know already that’s already in your network? Who could you be reaching out to? Who could you be checking in on? Could you be engaging with them with their posts? I think that’s a whole nother topic. You know, where we get in our head of, oh my gosh, is this going to bring engagement or people going to like this? Oh, what are they going to think of me? And it’s like we’re all going through these things in our head sometimes to even just post on social media.

Dawn Mullarney (00:19:32) – So be kind hearted. And when you see a post, engage with them, say something about it that, wow, what you learned from it, or wow, I’m so proud of you that you spoke up today. We need more of that. You know, the little things that you could be doing. And so honestly, reaching out to people send. Emails, sending LinkedIn messages, engaging in their posts. One thing that I do. LinkedIn is a powerful tool that we all should be utilizing, especially for free. I host LinkedIn local events here in Madison with two other women, and it’s to help people build connection behind the profiles. You know, it’s more than just a profile or to engaging with people. It is getting to meet them behind the scenes. And so, you know, to add on that too, is maybe you know somebody, but you really don’t know him that well. It’s so easy these days to do a quick virtual chat with them or hey, I’m going to be in the area this day.

Dawn Mullarney (00:20:32) – Do you want to meet for coffee? It’s a little kind gestures that can go a really long way, but also to it’s showing that you’re caring and so look through who you already know instead of always focusing on who you don’t know. Because there’s so many hidden gems that we have in our network. And I always like to say like spider webs. They’re probably webbed into other people that you could get to know easier, quicker, faster, or get you to the person that you’re trying to meet. And so that’s where I always love to say, go back to who do you already know? And then rebuild that relationship and nurture it and see what opportunities there are. Maybe you could be a resource for them. Maybe they’re looking for somebody else and be the connector to of them and introduce them to other people.

Chloe Dechow (00:21:16) – I love that I think it’s so easy to lose sight of the relationships we can nurture right in front of our eyes. I even see this in the social media space where people have already garnered like a I don’t even think you have to have a large following, right? Like you could have a small following.

Chloe Dechow (00:21:31) – And people are always like striving for more followers or more of this or more of that. And it’s like you already have people who are engaging and liking and like subscribing to what you do. Like how can you nurture those people to support you? Support them, support your business? We don’t have to always be searching for more and more and more. So I love that. Speaking of like utilizing your network, I know there is kind of the ability to like work with your network to get referrals or like get connections with people. And you know, from my marketing experience, like people trust their peers the most. And so you are going to have more success networking through somebody you already know and have a mutual connection with. Then like somebody completely blind who has like no idea who you are, right? Like there’s just a level of like trust that’s already built when you’re connected through somebody. And so I’m curious because I know, like, even for me, sometimes like that can feel kind of icky to like ask for like a referral or ask for like an introduction, like, how can somebody approach that in a way that feels like really good and authentic to them, but is also like not preventing them from making the ask, right? Because I also have a firm belief like you don’t get what you don’t ask for, like people don’t read minds.

Chloe Dechow (00:22:46) – So how can somebody kind of get over that, like icky feeling of asking for a connection?

Dawn Mullarney (00:22:52) – Yeah, well, I think that’s the thing. We’re all human, and I think we all have our moments, too. You know, where I need to even be clearer on my ask. But I think one thing that I want to really for sure, say is always give, give, give, give because you never know when it can go back or when it’s going to circle back. And so I think that’s the part two of maybe you, you’re really bold today. And you are going to ask of a very like this is uncomfortable for me, but hey, I’m looking for XYZ people to connect with, or I’m trying to find a community that could really help flourish my business. You can be honest and say you’re uncomfortable asking it, but then also see how can you give. Also, relationships aren’t a one way streak. It’s about giving and taking. And you know, it all comes back.

Dawn Mullarney (00:23:36) – And that’s the part for me where I have been kind of even hiding from some of my network because I want to make sure I can give and can be a resource, and I want to show up as my best self. And so I think that’s the part two is, no, we’re all human. We’re going to have moments where we go into slumps or we go into highs, but deep down, relationships are what’s going to keep circling us. People are going to be around us. Connections are important for us, like we said earlier, to celebrating the moments, but also getting over those hurdles and so give, but also to be honest and say when things are uncomfortable or be honest and say, man, I’m getting really challenged right now and I really need this resource because of this, you know, be honest and talk about why you’re asking for an ask and then see how you can give to. Maybe there’s a simple thing or a gesture that you can do that can go really long way for somebody else that is in need to.

Chloe Dechow (00:24:33) – I love that reminder of making sure to ask how you can support you, because I do think it helps. It doesn’t feel like you’re just like taking, taking, taking, which can feel icky, but being able to say like, hey, how can I help support you? And what I’ve done that like, I’ve actually been surprised by how little of an ask I get in return. Like, it feels like such a big ask to us when we ask for something like an introduction or like information or recommendation of some kind, but for like the person receiving it, it’s really not a huge ask. And so when I will say like, hey, how can I help you? Like usually it’s like, hey, like, can you just kind of keep me in mind if you meet this kind of person, right? Or can you share a post of mine so it gets more engagement? Like it’s usually not a huge ask in return either. So I think there is something about like, we can make it up in our head that it’s this huge thing, and really it’s not as much energy or time than we can make it out to be.

Dawn Mullarney (00:25:29) – and I think that little gesture can go a long way, and you might be top of mind even more for them. And also to to even go opposite of that is recognize what relationships are maybe draining your energy or aren’t really right for you. You know, is it somebody that is always asking all the time for something, you know? Be mindful of those things and be mindful of how it makes. So you feel and then reassess yourself too. Am I coming across this way? Is someone else maybe interpreting me this way? So I think that’s the thing too. Or it’s always a learning opportunity for us, you know, of how we can get better or be a better human all the time, too.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:06) – Yeah. I think that question, how does this make you feel is so powerful? And it kind of reminds us of surrounding ourselves with people who really energize us and are life giving versus life taking. And I know not all relationships we can control how that person is, and there are certain people we have to have in our life, whether or not we find that their energy giving.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:29) – But there is a especially in entrepreneurship, there is a lot of autonomy around, like who you surround yourself with. And so love kind of be reminded of, like, how is this making me feel like when I walk away from this conversation like this, this person make me feel uplifted and like inspired and motivated or seen, or do I really just kind of feel like drained or taken advantage of or, you know, whatever it might be and being smart and intentional and strategic about that part as well.

Dawn Mullarney (00:26:58) – Yeah. And I think to the reminder of like have that abundance mindset, there’s more than enough business. And to if someone feels kind of giving you that vibe that they just want to compete against you. And if you’re not in that mode, you know, don’t like, I think that’s the part to where it’s like, we need to stop competing and start helping each other and just think, you know, the world’s our oyster. But also how can we give to other people even if we do something similar? Cool.

Dawn Mullarney (00:27:24) – You don’t do it the way I do it, so vice versa. Someone may be a better fit for you than for me. And so I think that’s the part two is to remind everybody is you can be in a room too, with a bunch of competitors, but you can learn from each other and grow together too. So that’s one thing that, yeah, being a past in the banking world, there was a ton of bankers out there. But you have to be your unique self and you can learn from each other big time and grow together.

Chloe Dechow (00:27:49) – Yeah, I love that too. In reality, like people who compete with you are actually good referral partners for you and your business and vice versa, because if they are being very specific with who they’re serving and how they serve them and the values that they offer, like not everyone’s going to be the right fit for them. And, you know, if you’re doing things a little bit differently, then that person might resonate with your work more and vice versa.

Chloe Dechow (00:28:14) – So I love that. I also want to kind of think about like thought leadership through the lens of like speaking, right? Because you do a lot of event work. You have people come and speak. How can somebody kind of think about using events and their network for finding the right speaking engagements or the right places to use their voice in a space?

Dawn Mullarney (00:28:32) – Yeah. Well, one, as I said earlier, the shy girl now uses her voice all the time with podcasts and events and all these things. Who would have ever thought? You know, I think the one part about speaking is look for opportunities that you are going to meet new people, but also get new perspective as well as you never know who could be really inspired by your voice or the ripple effect that you can have. So that’s the one thing is, I use my voice more to help bring knowledge, but also experience, but also make people feel comfortable and so find spaces that really align with you, or spaces where you can learn and grow, you know? Is there an opportunity for you to talk in front of a group that could really benefit from it? And so like as an example for me is I’ve been speaking a lot lately at colleges because networking is something that we don’t always talk about and we don’t always think about.

Dawn Mullarney (00:29:29) – And and so I’m like, let’s inspire the younger youth or even those that are going back to college that are older. There’s nuggets that they can always learn from you. And so it’s a simple way for me to help inspire and to teach and educate through my voice. You know, I think that’s the other part two is find ways of how you can make the ripple effect. Maybe it’s not voice, maybe it’s you’re all about writing. Cool. Write your heart out. You know, talk about your experience. Be authentic, showcase the things because you never know who is also a reader that wants to take it in from reading. And so that’s where I just always try and find different things, because we all are going to show up in different ways, and we’re all going to learn in certain ways. And so, you know, if there’s something on your chest and they’re looking for a speaker and it keeps showing up, do it. I think those are the things to when you’re nervous or fear and excitement.

Dawn Mullarney (00:30:25) – Those are the same feelings. And so sometimes you got to push past the fears because someone could really be inspired. Or you can make some change for somebody else that you weren’t expecting. But that’s kind of where I just think of more and more. And when I get nervous or when my shy girl kind of kicks in, sometimes I’m like, no use that voice, show up, be you. And that’s kind of what I’ve been. You tend to focus on things.

Chloe Dechow (00:30:52) – I love that I can’t remember if I’ve shared already on this podcast, or if it was a different interview that I did, but Simon Sinek has like a class where he talks about the art of presenting, and I remember one of the things he said was like showing up in service of others makes it a lot easier to manage your fear and actually like, be there and be present with people. And so I love that you’re showing up to serve in this way with college students. It reminds me of another woman entrepreneur who’s a coach, and she’s been actually going to her local library and doing talks there because she serves career moms.

Chloe Dechow (00:31:28) – And so we’re like, moms go to the library with their kids, right? So like, it doesn’t need to be like this grand stage or this like huge event. It could be like your local library or your local college or whatever, where you’re, like showing up in service of people in a way where you can talk about what’s important to you, but also be in service and like benefit other people. So I love that idea of going to the college and showing up in that way, too.

Dawn Mullarney (00:31:54) – And you never know what it could come out of it. You know, I think of even too during the pandemic, TEDx talk kept coming in my brain, and it was even on my vision board. And I’m like, I don’t know why, but, you know, the stage wasn’t maybe right then and maybe isn’t right now, you know, for that kind of a speaking. But I realized actually, recently when I reflected on all the speaking places that I’ve done and I’m like, Holy cow, I guess I have done a lot of speaking engagements, you know, and I think that’s the part to where it’s just don’t let society make you think it’s not good enough or it’s not daring enough or, you know, it’s not the right stage, you know, do the things that fill your cup up because two, you never know what can come back to you.

Dawn Mullarney (00:32:35) – And that’s where I love. Yeah, I’m meeting new people. And you never know what kind of opportunities can come out of the different situations and speaking.

Chloe Dechow (00:32:43) – Yeah. And even especially if you have a fear of public speaking like starting small can help you kind of grow that or stretch that muscle until you can get to like the bigger stages and the Ted talks of the world, so to speak. Even like with in public relations, starting locally usually is a really great strategy because you can build those relationships locally with the journalists and the community, and then being able to kind of grow from there versus like hitting up the New York Times, like the first time you ever try to pitch someone like, and no one’s ever heard of you. And like, if you do land, which is very rare, but if you did land an interview, just being like, completely scared out of your wits because it’s the first time you’ve ever done this, it’s just easier to start small and kind of build from there.

Chloe Dechow (00:33:29) – And it’s just more, I think, a lot more authentic to, yeah, to serve where you already are before you try to do the Ted talk or the New York Times kind of approach, for sure. So love.

Dawn Mullarney (00:33:41) – That. Well, I think even just what you were just saying there is, you know, we all start somewhere. And I think we always think like, oh my gosh, I’m so far behind then this person or this or that, you know, we can tell our, you know, our had so many stories, but deep down it’s we got to take a step. Maybe it’s a little step. Maybe it’s a big step. But you know, that’s the one thing is we got to take action and we got to try things. And then we had to assess it. And I know even for myself, I need a better assess some things. Sometimes the corporate way was move, move, move, keep going up the ladder. Keep going. Go go go.

Dawn Mullarney (00:34:16) – And stopping and celebrating wasn’t too common, but then also too assessing things, you know, take some steps. How does that make you feel? Ooh okay, try it again or do something else. Rinse and repeat it. I think for some reason too, we always think we gotta do something new. You know, think of things that you’ve done in the past that are similar, but maybe a little bit different, you know, how can you reassess and navigate it a little bit differently? So that’s the one thing I kind of love to tell people when it comes to even networking is you probably have done a few crazy different things, or you’ve tried some different things at some events, but maybe it wasn’t really pivotal or really remarkable, you know, try it again. I think that’s the thing to where it’s just show up, give and see what opportunities can come your way. But the only way to do that is by taking action and to take the steps that are right for you, you know, and I think that’s the thing too, is there is no exact playbook out there of how you got to do everything, or how you got a network or how you got to be that person.

Dawn Mullarney (00:35:17) – You know, we are all our different and we’re all human, and so do the steps that are right for you.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:23) – Yes. I couldn’t agree more. It feels like the way to be successful is just prescribed on all of us, and it’s really important that we kind of take a step back and figure out like what actually feels true for us and the way that we want to approach things and what honors like our core values and who we are as a human first and foremost. And then use that as your guiding post for the business activities or events or whatever it might be that you pursue.

Dawn Mullarney (00:35:50) – Yeah, well, it’s kind of to like with seasons, we have seasons of change and it’s okay to if you’re in a certain season and the next season, you’re going to make some other moves or changes. I think that’s the thing too, is to not think that this is permanent and forever. You can adjust things or do things on the way or the journey and adjust.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:10) – Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:11) – That whole all or nothing mentality to gotta go all the way or I’m not doing it at all. Right. And then those seasons of life can impact what we feel we’re going to go all in or do nothing on. And so just incremental and like flexibility and knowing that you’re going to evolve and so will other things around you. And so you can kind of pivot and change as you need to.

Dawn Mullarney (00:36:34) – Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:35) – Where if someone wants to learn more about you and what you do, Dawn, where can they find you?

Dawn Mullarney (00:36:40) – Well, thanks for asking. So www.uniqueconnector.com is my website. Or follow me on LinkedIn. I’m really active on LinkedIn. I also have Instagram. I also lead the Dames, which is a women’s organization. So I also lead that I have the LinkedIn local events. We do some virtually and in person. So yeah, come check out my event or connect one on one. But I’m all about meeting new people and seeing how I can really help others, you know, grow in their business or strategically in their professional or personal career.

Dawn Mullarney (00:37:15) – So yeah, lots.

Chloe Dechow (00:37:17) – Of different ways to connect with Dawn. And if you’re in the Madison area, I highly recommend going to one of Dawn’s events there. Wonderful. And because Dawn has such an authentic approach, she attracts more and more women and men for some of the events. But I know you have a lot of women focused events that just are also very genuine as well, so I think you magnetize those people towards you. I’ll be sure to include contact information for Dawn, as well as links to the dames and some of the local events. And so if you’re interested in connecting with Dawn further, you can absolutely do that through the show notes. Thank you so much, Dawn, for coming on and just talking about this human first approach, which I think we can very often lose sight of in business. But connection at the end of the day, is all about showing up as your best self and serving other people and and building those relationships. So thank you so much for coming on and just talking about how to do that in an authentic way.

Dawn Mullarney (00:38:12) – Well, thank you so much and I’m so thankful we met. And yeah, I’m excited to see you continue to flourish. But I appreciate you very much for having me on the show.

Chloe Dechow (00:38:26) – Thank you for joining me today. If you enjoyed this episode, invite your entrepreneur friends to tune in. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram at West Haven Coaching. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode and continue the conversation with you there. And before you go, be sure to download my free guide. Five steps to building your authentic authority, which will walk you through how to grow your thought leadership in a way that’s true to who you are and what you stand for. You can find the guide at www.westhavencoaching.com/steps or follow the link in the show notes. Thanks again for tuning in. Together we are changing the faces and voices of thought leadership. Until next time, keep leading with authenticity and impact.

How Authentic Networking Can Transform Your Business with Dawn Mullarney

May 30, 2024

Authentic relationships Strategic partnerships Networking Thought leadership Trust Relationship-building Business success Existing networks Nurturing relationships Public speaking Core values


Business, Marketing

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