Briefly describe your daily job duties.
Following spending a decade as a marketing manager with Starbucks and later as the director of national marketing for Whole Foods Market, I’m now a self-employed marketing consultant. I work with a variety of clients developing ideas for how the business/organization can better design products and programs to make an impact. Interestingly, I routinely give keynote presentations at marketing conferences.
As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
Talking on the phone continues to be difficult for me. Anytime I have to call someone out of the blue, I feel all the pressure and anxiety that comes with being a person who stutters.
How do you currently disclose your stuttering to co-workers, clients and or customers?
As a conference keynote speaker, I always disclose my stuttering at the start of each presentation. I find that letting people know early on that I stutter helps to endear myself to the audience. I also find people pay more attention to my presentation because I must have something important to say otherwise why would I choose to be so vulnerable on stage.
Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
Stuttering has forced me to be a better written communicator. Added to that is a “perfectionist” streak within me that makes me be very detail-oriented. This helps me when writing emails, proposals, presentations and business books.
What’s your best advice for people in a career striving to achieve greater success?
For people in a career, strive to be the most knowledgeable person in your company about something important. In other words, become a subject matter expert in something. You could be the go-to person for how to use pivot tables in Excel or the person with the most knowledge about a product line your company sells. Co-workers will come to you asking for help and that makes you an indispensable employee who is better positioned for future promotions.