Updated: Sep 27, 2021
Paula Goodman is a Customer Service expert, Writer, Keynote Speaker, Poet and Business Influencer. She describes herself as a deep thinker, lover of thoughts, and a lifelong writer. Paula as a way of inspiring her audience with poetic words, so much so, that she has now been dubbed the “Word Jedi Poetess”. She is a strong advocate for “Dignity in Humanity”
Hello Paula . Thank you for participating in this Q&A session. We would like to start by exploring your origin story. Please give us an overview of your background and career journey to date?
Paula: I am a proud Canadian, the first of four girls born to immigrants to Canada. Like many families settling into a new county, childhood memories are filled with the struggles, wonders, simple pleasures and dreams about what life could be like. Life was not always easy and we experienced many of the economic and social hardships of new Canadians. We also shared the joy and anticipation of a better life. It was this sense of wonder and dreams that sparked my early interest in writing.
For me, writing was always a safe place for me to express, escape, ponder and dream. From as early as I can remember, I was always drawn to writing. It was a gift that came naturally. I was a highly sensitive person attracted to words and journaled various thoughts with flow and rhythm.
Throughout my work life, I was always drawn to understanding the true "human story" in any situation. My personal mantra was to "make it your business to know what a human is"
What key challenges have you faced in your career and entrepreneurial journey? Additionally how have you navigated these?
Paula: Some key challenges I have faced in my career was trying to find that all important balance between work and home life. I have always held family as a priority and yet felt my career was not supporting me. Trying to juggle the demands of work, divorced life, single parenthood, busy academic, and after school sports activities was overwhelming. The reality is that I was slowly losing my sense of self under the weight of doing what I thought I had to do.
Furthermore, I was enduring a toxic work environment with an unsupportive leader that made me question my value. That was the spark that led to my entrepreneurial journey.
My journey started with standing up for my rights as a human being, and to honour and encourage my value as well as that of others.
I took a hard look at what it was that I am most passionate about, and where I believed I could offer most value. Post corporate life, I discovered LinkedIn was more than just a place to display a resume or to job search. It offered an excellent platform to inspire and spark conversations, and make meaningful connections.
Without any formal training regarding social media algorithms, I decided my best approach was to simply start sharing. I threw myself into writing and posting on a daily basis. I made it a point to engage, and I mean truly engage, respond, listen to, collaborate and thank any and all who took the time to read and react to the content I was posting.
To me, in order for anything to be considered professional, it had to rooted in integrity. The pandemic was something I saw not so much as a challenge but as a time where my duty was to help others by connecting with them through social media.
In overcoming any challenge faced, I believe it is vitally important to be authentic, genuine and fair, to yourself first. Once you start believing in yourself, that’s all that matters. It’s also important to be focused and persistent in order to overcome the inevitable doubts that will be thrown your way.
Has your entrepreneurial journey been influenced by any current or past business leaders?
Paula: I guess this is where I should be answering that I was influenced by somebody famous like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey or a famous poet. And while I have been influenced by a number of great business leaders, I really do attribute the success I have experienced in my journey to some of the everyday heroes I have come across in the LinkedIn community. People who have inspired, encouraged, counselled and cheered me on along the way. They know who they are, because I let them know personally.
One person that stands out as a key influencer is Dennis Pitocco, Founder, publisher and Editor in-chief of Biz Catalyst 360, a global digital and social media empire that brings together writers and creatives dedicated to doing good, and to "reimagine and rediscover humanity at its very best".
What’s the origin story and value proposition of your company “Omathome”?
Paula: I started Omathome initially as a means of promoting a healthy lifestyle of wellness via yoga/meditation, for the mind, body and soul. Later, I realized that beyond the physical, people were seeking mental fitness as well. I knew how I had often found so much inspiration and solace in writing. What I did not know was that my words could help others. Could it be that my value proposition was in starting to share what had always been a private writing endeavour? Would people want that? Would they care?
I came to realize that there was a need for thought provoking and inspirational poetry, and that I had something to offer in that space. With that, Omathome moved from its originally conceived focus on physical well being to one more focused on supporting mental and spiritual health, through soulful poetry and inspirational writing.
What originally attracted you to the Influencer Industry and why?
Paula: Honestly, I have never viewed myself as part of an "Influencer Industry". Influence is not something I sought out to build, harness or to monetize. I only set out to help others and to connect. I continue to be humbled by, and grateful for the organic and heartfelt interactions with others. I am also thankful for the incredible opportunities that have opened up to me. I do appreciate that I have been able to impact others but still don't easily wear the label "Influencer".
How did you build a following of 161k on LinkedIn?
Paula: When I started out, my goal was not to build followers but to deliver messages organically and consistently. I set a personal goal to post every day from September 2019 to the end of the year. I followed through on this goal and at the end of four months, I found that I had amassed 30,000 followers and have been on a tremendous path of growth ever since.
More importantly, I found that people really appreciated the raw honesty in the writing and the ability to comment without facing judgment. My aim was to give freely, and not ask for anything in return (sales, followers, tag requests etc.). It became apparent that people appreciated my work. Through referrals, networking, collaboration, sharing and friendships across LinkedIn, my work started to gather recognition and followers grew rapidly.
The LinkedIn community began to bestow their own monikers of appreciation calling me the Word Jedi Poetess, and referring to the Golden Word Guns. During this time of rapid growth, my aim was to stay authentic, consistent and to focus on quality. The number of followers, likes etc. was a happy by-product of doing things the right way for the right reasons.
How would you describe the content you create on LinkedIn?
Paula: I describe my content as messages for the soul and thought-provoking inspirations. The power of poetry allows for a written piece to deliver many messages to any readers. I do try to give voice to the voiceless. I focus on themes near and dear to me, like love, mental health, embracing dignity, humanity, and the nature of the universe.
What process do you go through to ensure that the content you post is ethically considerate?
All my writing is rooted in promoting inclusiveness, empowerment, dignity and a safe, non-judgmental place for expression.
My writing asks questions and provokes thoughts of overall morality, equality, justice and the value of every Human “Worth” Being.
As such, the process is a very natural one, be true to who you are and open to others, and ethical considerations naturally flow from there.
Before concluding this interview, what advice do you have for entrepreneurs and business leaders, on how to create engaging content on LinkedIn?
Paula: My number one rule is “make it your business to now what a human is”. Business success is most often the by-product of doing right by people.
Put people before profit. Knowing your product is one thing, serving others is the first thing.
Never insult your audience or force your opinion on them. Don’t preach, pitch or beg for followers. Let your quality speak for itself.
When you are a company, make people feel like they are in good company. When they feel welcome, they want to stay. Apply this to your social media presence, and people will follow when they feel genuinely welcome and in good company.
Thank you Paula for participating in this Q&A session, and we wish you all the best.
Paula: Thank you
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