[BIZ TIPS] How to Vet People, Brands & Companies to Work & Collaborate With

July 7, 2020

“the only reason why I’m sharing this is because I want you to start thinking about what you’re willing to lose over taking a stand. Because words of support are great, but what about when it comes time to make sure that your actions match your words?

The idea of implementing a vetting process into your business might not be something you have thought about very much, but now more than ever, I personally feel it is extremely important to align yourself with the brands, clients, corporations, guests, etc that are truly in line with your values, your morales, & where you stand on important world issues.

It may not feel like the greatest working relationship when you know that a company or an individual didn’t take a public stand on something that you are extremely passionate about.

So how do you actually “Vet”?  Well that’s what we’re talking about today! Plus, you’ll also learn:

  • How to really know yourself, and what it is you & your brand stand for.
  • How to speak to your ideal client, and make it very clear how you align with their values
  • Vetting from a variety of different angles; guests, corporations, brand associations and why it is OK to not work with companies that just don’t make you feel good.

Also, don’t forget TONIGHT at 7:30pm EST I am hosting my free podcast masterclass that reveals my brand new 7 Step Framework that I am not sharing anywhere else! Come join us tonight!


Look for references from today’s episodes?  Find them all here:

My 7-Step Framework to launch a successful podcast and exponentially grow your business

Episode 17: Rest for Success and How to Manage Metabolism with Jade Teta

Episode 205: Purpose, Using Pain for Growth & Building Multi-Passionate Online Businesses with Dr. Jade Teta

Episode 211: The Revolution of Launching in a New Normal with Chelsea Wallace (The Launch Copy Coach)

Episode 212: [BIZ TIPS] It’s Never Been So Important to Show Up in a Genuine Way

Episode 210: Black Lives Matter: Sparking a Conversation About Anti-Racism

Episode 128: [BIZ TIPS] Protecting Your Brand & Why Trust is a Must with Your Audience

Episode 114:Attaching Self Worth to Work with Jessica Rodriguez

Are you ready? Get listening right away by clicking the link above, or if you’re more in the mood to read today keep scrolling for the full transcription of today’s episode! Let’s do this!

Hey, welcome back to the Room to Grow podcast. Emily here, and today we’re going to be talking a little bit about how to vet who to work with and who to collaborate with. It occurred to me that I have talked about things like this so many times, about being super careful about who you work with, and researching all that stuff. But I realized that I’ve never really gone into the how of that. So we’re going to get into that today, because there’s also some things that have really changed and shifted this year, even just more recently in the past few months of 2020, that have changed how we need to be vetting people. And I’ve talked about this a lot with my students in my podcasting for impact course, and I think that it’s really important to address some really major things that have shifted much more recently as well. So first up, I just want to let you know that if you’re listening to this in real time, Tuesday, July 7, is when this is airing, and tonight, Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30pm. Eastern, I am holding a podcasting masterclass all about how to launch, grow and sustain your podcast while growing your business exponentially. And I’m also going to be going into, and sharing, and teaching my brand new seven step framework to go with that. And this is going to give you the tools that you need to actually take off with your podcasts, to stop just thinking about it, to stop just having it on a to do list somewhere and never actually doing anything about it. Or if you already have a podcast, this is going to help you to take your podcast to the next level as well. So make sure to go grab your spot. You can jump over to roomtogrowpodcast.com to get all the details or whatever app you’re listening to this on, the link to register is hyperlinked right in the show notes as well. So you can just click there and it will take you into your email and all the details will land in your inbox. So jump over there, it is happening tonight, Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30pm Eastern. 


So let’s talk about this a little bit. So there’s kind of two perspectives to this. Because when we’re thinking about who to vet, and how to vet people, we want to think about not just the people that we are potentially hiring and collaborating with, but also the clients that we’re onboarding as well. So we have to look at this from a few different perspectives. And there’s a reason why vetting is so important, because not everyone is right for you, and that’s a good thing. I’ve talked about that so many times that that’s a really incredible discernment tool. I’ve talked about how important it is to be genuine, and how that in and of itself will weed out some of the people who are not right for you, all of those things. And actually an episode is a few different episodes that I’m going to reference here but in Episode 128, I talked about protecting your brand and why that is so, so important, because we’re in the trust business, especially in the online space, people can be a little bit more distrustful of online businesses because we simply aren’t as tangible. We don’t have that brick and mortar storefront that people can actually walk into and identify physically. So sometimes we have to work even harder to really build up that trust with people, to get them to buy from us, and to help them understand how we can help them, how we can impact them, how we can solve a problem that they’re struggling with. So that requires a lot of trust. And that trust is sacred. Because just like any other relationship, if that trust is broken, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to put it back together. It’s really, really hard. So we have to protect that trust because it’s the entire foundation of everything that you do is that trust, that trust is absolutely crucial. And it takes a lot of time to even build that trust up. You know, when we first come across somebody on the internet, we don’t know who they are, we have no idea who they are. But part of what might build trust is maybe someone that we trust referred them to us, or vice versa, referred us to them. You know, maybe somebody speaking highly of them, all these different things. So we’re going to go into a lot of these things today. But vetting is really important because otherwise, you’re essentially going to be entering into a relationship with somebody, whether it’s with a client or whether it is collaborating with somebody else that you’re going to be working closely with, you’re going to be aligning your brand with. And your brand is you, because you’re a personal brand. There there might be somebody listening to this who has more of a corporation or a business, but most of the people that I talked to you are coaches and stuff like that, and we we are built upon, you know, our entire brands are built upon our word, and you who we are as humans and how we show up. So if that trust is broken, it is so difficult to put that back together. So incredibly difficult. 


And another reason why vetting is so important right now is that with the Black Lives Matter revolution that has been going on, the long overdue revolution, I might add. It has really changed the conversation. And again, I want to be the first to tell us that this conversation should have been shifting and should have been happening a lot sooner. This should not be something that is new to the conversation because the oppression and everything else has been going on for over 400 years. It is embarrassing that it has taken this long to become part of the slightly more mainstream, shall we say, conversation, but that’s the situation that we’re in. So that has become a really important part of the conversation. And what I’ve been talking to my students about is how crucial it is to make sure that that becomes part of what you look at when you’re vetting who to work with. And what do people stand for? And how do people show up? So, I’m going to tell you a story. And I thought about whether or not I wanted to share this publicly, but I think that it really needs to be told. And to be clear, the only reason why I’m sharing this story, it is absolutely not for accolades, I don’t want a pat on the back for this. This is something that I’m sharing because I want you to think about what you’re willing to lose when it comes to vetting people and vetting other brands and vetting other companies that you might work with or collaborate with. So about six weeks ago, I was about to sign a contract, to have a large corporation become an affiliate for my podcast course, Podcasting for Impact. And we had been in discussions for a couple months and about two weeks after the murder of George Floyd they sent me the contracts as they were going to begin selling my my course around now like around mid July of 2020. So before signing, I scoured their website and their various social media feeds, they have many. And there was complete and utter silence about Black Lives Matter or anything related to it. They didn’t mention a single thing not even once. So I withheld my signature from the contract and I emailed them asking where they as a company stood in terms of Black Lives Matter. And the response I got was that they definitely support it and that they will be releasing a statement soon. So I wasn’t signing the contracts until I saw some movement on this. So I waited. And I watched. That was three weeks ago. And the silence has continued to be deafening. George Floyd was murdered six weeks ago at this point. And, as I mentioned, and as we all know, oppression of Black Lives has been going on for more than 400 years. And well, far too many of us, including me, stayed silent for way too long. Those days are over, those days are done. And even if this company released a statement of support tomorrow, it would feel just incredibly performative at this point, unless they somehow coupled it with real, tangible, significant and really genuine action over the longer term. But they have an enormous global network of entrepreneurs in countries all over the world. And it was a very lucrative opportunity, but I will not support those who refuse to stand up for what’s right. And honestly, the only reason why I’m sharing this is because I want you to start thinking about what you’re willing to lose over taking a stand. Because words of support are great, but what about when it comes time to make sure that your actions match your words? And don’t mistake me here because the real work is done offline. Social media is not the be all end all end, there are lots of people that might post something but they don’t actually make any moves other than that, and it’s easy to reshare a post. What’s harder is doing actually active anti-racist work. But when an entire global corporation refuses to post even a single sentence of support for something this important, it tells me that they either actually aren’t supportive at all, or they’re too afraid of what they might lose if they publicly display their stance. And I have multiple friends who are dropping people and companies they have remained silent about this and moving their entire six and seven figure businesses to platforms, services and people that actually support this crucial and systemic human rights issue and taking their money in their business away from those who refuse to speak up, because silence is a response. Silence is a crystal clear response. And you have to stand for something. And what are you willing to lose? 


My friend, Christina has mentioned that before several times, and that phrase has really stuck with me. She and I did an episode together Episode 210, about Black Lives Matter and sparking conversation around anti-racism. And she and I are going to be doing several more episodes, kind of in a similar vein around anti-racism, because we think it’s really important and she and I have talked about that before but what are you willing to lose for this, and not taking a stand on something that important is no longer optional. I signed a pledge with Rachel Rogers, my coach, Rachel Rogers did a town hall. And she put out a small business pledge that you can sign that states how you are going to become an actively anti-racist business. And I directed my own students towards it. We had multiple conversations within the private group about that. And about how this has really shifted things, in some very necessary ways, as well, how to be more diverse and inclusive in everything that we do that you know, not just about hiring, but also about attracting a diverse group of students as well, who we collaborate with, who we work with. This is why this is so important to be very careful about your vetting process, because this has shifted my entire vetting process, and I was already extremely stringent and strict about my vetting process and this is added another really significant layer that reminded me that I don’t want to work with people, clients brands, I don’t want to do collaborations with with companies who are not also interested in diversity and inclusion. That’s not what I’m here for. And that does not align with my values personally or professionally. So these are the kinds of things that you are going to have to be hyper aware of, if those are the types of things that you want to stand for. You have to make sure and make absolutely certain that the people, places, clients things, all the things, not places, that was wrong. The people and companies and brands and all these types of things that you were working with, also share those values, that’s going to be really important because of that trust factor. My friend Chelsea was on the podcast, as well talking about this, the revolution in this new normal of launching as well. And that’s a really, really Important episode to listen to, I strongly recommend that you go check that out that you go check out my friend, Chelsea Wallace. Really, really powerful episode. And if you don’t want to listen to it, the transcription is also available on roomtogrowpodcast.com. So you can go check that out there as well. But I strongly recommend going to check that one out because it’s a really important part of this conversation as well. And we just have to be very aware like some of the questions, for example that I would suggest asking. 


There’s a couple different angles that we can take on this. So first of all, let’s talk about your ideal client. Let’s switch gears for a second. Let’s talk about your ideal client, because this is another form of vetting. And this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with diversity and inclusivity. But on a more macro level, it should if that’s what you’re interested in, but let’s look at a little bit more micro perspective here. So some of the types of questions and when you’re thinking about your ideal client, this is not a one and done thing, you don’t decide who your ideal client is. And then you never address it again, your ideal client is going to change and shift and evolve as you change and shift and evolve and grow as a business owner. So this is something that you’re going to need to be revisiting over and over again. So thinking about who is your ideal client, like some people can find that it’s often a former version of yourself. But that’s certainly not always the case. Like for example, I have a couple really good friends in the online space who are male, but they specialize in female hormone health, and they’re at the top of their industry. They’re just incredible. And I have never met such intelligent people in my life. And that is what they specialize in. They don’t have personal experience in that because they’re male, but that they’ve they’ve done the work and they are incredibly knowledgeable about that. So their ideal client is not a former version of them in that particular case, but I find that a lot of people, a lot of coaches and stuff do tend to want to work with former versions of themselves. For me, that tends to be true, like I tend to want to work with with a former version of myself, because I see so much of myself in my ideal clients, that I know how to best guide them out of where they’re stuck right now, and how to help them get to the next level. And sometimes you’re going to need to talk to people to find out what they need as well and see what feels most in alignment for you. And within your expertise. You know, brainstorm all kinds of things. There’s all kinds of questions that you need to be asking here, when you’re trying to really double down on who your ideal client is. And this is going to take some work and some time as well. This is not going to happen in a split second, you really have to put in the time and effort for this. And again, you’re going to have to revisit this over time. So think about things like what are they afraid of? What are some of the biggest frustrations that your ideal client has? What do they desire the most? What are the objections they would have around buying your services? What are some of their basic demographics? What do they enjoy doing for fun? And from there, what problem do you solve specifically for them?


Some other things to start thinking about when we’re now you know, if we take this more on on a little bit larger level now, so if we move away from ideal clients, and we start thinking about, you know, different people that we would want to be working with, like other coaches in the space, other personal brands, companies, corporations, those types of things. One of the things that I am now asking first is, Are they an ally and or supportive of black lives and people of color? You know, of the gay community as well. LGBTQ+? Have they done the thing that you want? 


So this is an especially important one, if you were looking to hire a coach. How has the coach that you want to work with, have they achieved the thing that you were trying to also achieve? Do your personalities go really well together? What are their values? And how do you figure that out? So this kind of ties in with a lot of what we’re talking about, and some websites or companies or brands will state their values very clearly on their website. But you need to really do your homework. Like take a look at old social media posts, check out podcast episodes, what kinds of things they offer in their online shop, if they have one, how do they respond to comments on social media posts, especially the negative ones. Those are the kinds of things that you want to start looking at. For example, something that I am adding to my website, it might by the time this episode airs, it might not be visible just yet because my website is actually being completely rebuilt from the ground up. But it will be unveiled very soon at the time of this episode airing and I am including a diversity and inclusion statement on my website as well, to make it crystal clear what I stand for. And then anyone can also go to my social media and they’ll see other posts there, they can see some podcast episodes that I’ve done and reference my values within these podcast episodes, too. I want it to be extremely obvious what I stand for, because this is what I stand for personally and professionally. 


When you’re also looking at people or brands, you know, how do they make you feel? Pay attention here. Do they intimidate you? Do they make you uncomfortable? Do they push you to do better? Do they leave you energized or drained? That’s also a really great test just for humans in your life in general. If you have an interaction with someone and you feel drained every single time you interact with them, they’re probably not the right human to have in your life. But if they make you feel energized, and like kind of lit up afterwards on a regular basis, that is something entirely different. Look at some of these people’s clients as well or these companies are their clients happy. Can you ask for references to find out, you know, the kinds of experiences that somebody else has had with them? How do other people speak about them? Okay, this is a big one. Yes, this can absolutely be subjective and everyone has at least a handful of people that might not like them. I talked about this on episode 212. About how it’s never been so important to show up in a genuine way. And everyone will have some haters. So yes, this is subjective 100%. But one potential client I connected with recently. He said that he came to me partly because he couldn’t get over how highly other people spoke with me in the industry, which was just such an enormous compliment. And it I honestly felt like it was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. It just meant like a huge amount to me. But that stuff takes time and developing trust and real relationships with people. Most people don’t say those kinds of things lightly. And I know that for me personally when I say really amazing things about somebody else that I know whether it’s in the online space or in real life or whatever, I only say those things if I really mean it. My friend Jess Rodriguez has been on the podcast, for example, and she is just an incredible, incredible human. I absolutely adore her. And I will tell anyone who asked me about her, how amazing I think she is. Anyone who asked me about Jess, or I will just direct them to her unprompted because I just think that she’s awesome. And I have multiple people in my life, I’m just so fortunate to have so many incredible people in my life. She’s just one example that just popped into my head right now. Because I just adore her and she is fantastic. She’s great at what she does. And I know how happy her clients are. Because everyone is always delighted to work with her because she’s amazing. And she’s been on the podcast. So I’ll reference that episode as well. I can’t remember the number off top my head, but it will all be referenced in the show notes for you. 


When you’re looking at some of these, these people or companies or brands, what about them resonates with you as well. Something that’s important to work to think about here. Are you working with them for the optics? So what I mean by that is, are they kind of the so-called cool kids, or trendy or whatever? Or are you working with them because you actually just really get along super well with them. You have a ton of respect for them, and they meet all of your other criteria. Like just to go back to Jess for a moment. If Jess and I ever decided to collaborate tomorrow, it wouldn’t even be a question. If she dropped basically anything in front of me and said, Hey, want to work with me on this? She wouldn’t even have to get the full sentence out. I’d be like, I’m in. Because she’s awesome. And that’s, that’s the kind of relationship that we’ve developed. And yes, that stuff doesn’t happen overnight. But the more work you put into developing relationships, these are the kinds of things that pay off in the long term. 


And a lot of this, everything that I’m saying today, I feel like bouncing around a lot. But I swear I have like points, all this. A lot of all of this comes down to knowing yourself, your brand and your people very well. Because it’s extremely difficult to determine who will be a good fit for you and your brand and your people, and how to vet those things, if you don’t know what you stand for. If you don’t know what you stand for you sure as hell won’t know where to begin when looking to see if someone else is a good fit for you. And at this point, vetting people has become relatively simple for me over the years, simply because I know what I stand for. I’ve also just gotten a lot better at listening to my intuition, which comes with practice again and time and making a lot of mistakes along the way. There were many times when I didn’t listen to my intuition and I paid for it. But another aspect of this is what do your people need? Like you need to offer them value first and foremost, not simply partner up with someone for no reason at all, like, ultimately, you’re a business owner, and you need to solve a problem someone is experiencing or dealing with. So that’s why when I said that, if somebody just came to me and had an idea, I already know that just comes to the table with so much value, that anything that she presented me with, would have a ton of value associated with it. And I know that my people would get a ton out of it with her, and that, you know, if there was anything I could do to offer her people, I would make sure that I would be giving her people a ton of value as well. So you have to kind of figure this out, because the vetting process is still going to look really unique for everyone. But the most important part of this is knowing yourself. And once you get to that point, and you trust yourself a little bit more and you know what, what It’s going to work best for you, it’s going to work best for your people and really make sure that you’re maintaining that trust. You know, don’t forget to look across. Just from a basic vetting standpoint, don’t don’t forget to look across multiple social media channels as well when you were vetting. So when you’re kind of doing your digging, doing your research, for example, I recently was very quick to judge another business owner based on their lack of response on their Instagram account. And emotions were running high. And I made a mistake. And it turned out that they had a kind of copy and paste type of social media plan in place for that particular platform on Instagram. But they were far more active and much more vocal on Facebook instead. But I didn’t see their Facebook when I made the judgment. So don’t judge somebody based on just one platform either. That was a big mistake that I made. And I learned from that. So that’s something that I want to share with you. Because if we’re more active on one platform, it’s easy to then only look on that particular platform for somebody else, but just because that’s the platform that you are more active on doesn’t mean that that’s true for somebody else either. And I just can’t stress enough. I mean, I’ve talked so many times, and I will continue to talk about how important it is to be so incredibly protective of who you align your brand with. But that has never been more important than it is now. That has never been more important. I cannot stress it enough. 


Another example that I thought of when I was thinking about this episode was collaborative books. So I don’t know if you’ve heard much about this, but this seems to be a bit of a phenomenon in the online space especially. I’ve been asked to be part of these several different times by several different people now. And for me personally, the idea of a collaborative book has never appealed to me for even a second. So basically, a collaborative book is basically a number of different authors who all then co-author one book. So usually then it’s like each author would likely get their own chapter essentially. But the book usually has an overarching theme that everyone’s stories and chapters tie into, and you release it together. So it can be amazing from a lot of different standpoints. You know, there’s multiple people marketing for it, it’s a really great way to get in front of new audiences, all of that, that’s amazing. But it’s not for me for several different reasons. First of all, I’m going to be publishing my own book in the next few years anyway. But even if that wasn’t the case, I’ve always been very weary of who I associate with. And again, on frankly, a personal and professional level. And I don’t want a book published with my name attached to it with my name also then attached to 12 or 14 other people for all time, because a book is permanent, right? Like a book is just going to deliver on you, you can’t, you can’t retract that, like once the book is published, it’s out there. And I don’t want to have a book published with my name attached to 12 or 14 other people, for all eternity that I may not even know before locking arms with them in such a permanent fashion. That’s actually very stressful to me that even the idea of that makes me want to break out in hives. That’s a commitment issue , I don’t know. But I just can’t predict. You know what those people stand for. I may not know them. And in my experience with these types of books, you often don’t necessarily know who the other authors are before. You’ve already essentially signed the contract too, that’s just not for me, I am not bashing collaborative books in any way. I think that there are some really fantastic ones out there. I think that there are some really, really incredible things that can come from them. Please don’t take this as me bashing collaborative books, just for me personally, it is not a great fit. And it was an example that came to mind when I thought about this vetting process, because that’s one of the reasons why I personally would not participate in a collaborative book. Just my two cents. 


I feel like I’ve been so all over the map with this episode, because I just, I’ve had so many thoughts for this one that have been bouncing around my head. But I hope that you’ve kind of gotten the sense from us about why it’s so important to be so particular about vetting people, vetting clients and vetting brands, vetting other companies before you work with them. It has never been more important to do your homework, to do your research, and to get super fucking clear on what you stand for first. You have to get clear on that first and to figure out what you stand for and what you are willing to lose. I turned down a very lucrative opportunity because they did not align with my values and it is not the first time I’ve done that. I’ve done that multiple times. One of the other episodes that I referenced. Let me see here. I think it was Episode 128 about protecting your brand and why trust is a must with your audience. I’ve also had in that particular episode, I also got into a former Good Morning America reporter that reached out to me wanting to publish my story about my partner’s infidelity, nine years of infidelity on her massive, massive platform. And I turned it down. Because I went and looked at the platform and it was so it wasn’t me at all. It was not me. It did not feel like me and couldn’t have shown up as my true self. And been in alignment with my values and who I am as a person and as a brand. in good conscience, I couldn’t do it. So I turned it down. And you have to be willing to make those sacrifices and part of that is not only trusting yourself, but trusting that there is better out there for you. Because there are a lot of carrots that are going to end up being dangled in front of you, and they’re going to look really fucking shiny. They’re, they’re gonna feel like the thing. And you’re gonna be like, Oh, my God, this is it. This is my big break. This is the thing. And I want to assure you that there will be other opportunities, and if something doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right for a reason. So please listen to your intuition. Do your research. Get to know yourself well enough to figure out what you think. stands for and what you’re willing to lose. Because what you were willing to lose now could turn into a really big gain later on. But if you align with someone, or a company, or whatever, that goes completely against your values personally and professionally, that’s going to really hurt not only the trust that you have in yourself, but the trust that the people who are looking to you have in you as well. And that is very difficult to repair. We all know how hard it is to rebuild trust once it’s been broken. So just please be careful about that. And that’s why I felt really strongly about this episode and wanting to really hopefully give you some things to think about when it comes to this whole vetting process. 


So there’s multiple multiple episodes that I have already referenced. There’s more than I have referenced in the show notes, Episode 17 with Dr. Jade Teta and Episode 205. He’s been on the podcast twice, because I just adore him that much. Episode 210 with my friend, Christina, all about Black Lives Matter and anti-racism, Episode 128, protecting your brand. There’s multiple episodes here. They’re all referenced in the show notes for you. If you’re also interested in my course, Podcasting for Impact, it is referenced in the show notes for you as well. That was the course that a company was looking to affiliates and sell for me, or, you know, alongside me, and they, I turned them down, because they would not make a public stand for Black Lives Matter. I’ve thrown a lot at you today, and I feel like my brain has been in hyperdrive for this one, and this has not been my most organized episode. So hopefully, if you’re still around listening to this, I’m very impressed. Thank you. Very grateful for you sticking around for all this. And I just want to remind you as well, that there is also the podcasting masterclass that you can jump onto so it is happening Tuesday, July 7, that is tonight at 7:30pm. Eastern, you’re registering your show notes that it’s your last chance to jump on board. It’s all about how to launch, grow and sustain your podcast while growing your business exponentially. And I’m also going to be sharing a brand new seven step framework in that podcast in his sorry, in that masterclass as well. Okay, I’m starting to trip over my words getting all over the place. I’m gonna go. Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll be back on Thursday! 


Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. I’m so grateful you took the time and it means the absolute world to me. For any references in the episode and all show notes Be sure to jump over to roomtogrowpodcast.com, and if this episode touched your heart if it means so much. If you would take a quick second hit subscribe, write a review and share on social media or with someone who really needs to hear today’s message. It makes such a difference to keep this podcast going so I can continue to Bring you amazing content and absolutely incredible guests. Be sure to tag me on Instagram over @emilygoughcoach so that I can thank you in real time for listening and connect with you. We’re back every Tuesday and Thursday with brand new episodes and I’m looking forward to growing with you!


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