Successful Life Podcast

Sarah Ghirardo: The Power of Perseverance and Determination

May 05, 2023 Corey Berrier
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Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the Successful Life Podcast. I'm your host, Corey Berrier, and I'm going to try to pronounce Sarah's name correctly. Sarah Ghirardo. Pretty close. Ghirardo. Ghirardo. Darn it. Every time. Yeah. Very close. Close enough, I guess. How's it going, Sarah? "It's great. How's it going with you?" Good.

So right before this, we were talking about what's been at the forefront of my world for the last six months and a lot of your world as well. That is, artificial intelligence, how it affects people in the trades, whether they're using it or not using it. Let's just open this up and talk about the importance of this and how it's really not the devil.

"Yeah. Yeah. And I think there's always fear in the new, right? And as a marketer, it's always at the top of my mind, like, how do I change consumer behavior? Because that's what marketing and advertising are all about. It's about how we change that. And with generative AI, I think the fear lies in people losing their jobs.

I think the fear is in automation and AI taking over and being out of control. Well, not everything is in our control. So I think we have to remove the fear and understand the evolution, the revolution that's actually happening at this exact moment, and seize the opportunities because there's just no reason not to, basically. Like, why not? The only reason I could give you is that we do know a lot of people who are doing, let's just say, one to two, or even two to five million in business. And it's hard to run a business at two to five million, especially if you're growing from two to five or even five to 10 million.

And just continuing to grow, but I think a lot of people I've talked to are simply too busy. They don't have time to learn something new, and I don't think they have the patience. I also don't believe that they truly understand that if they don't get on top of this right now, they're going to be out of luck before long.

"Yeah, well, you know, it's not that the trades are slow to adopt innovation, as I mentioned before. It's because we have a lot of processes and documents, and we tend to over-document and over-process, which is great. I believe in systems and processes because they work, but those systems and processes can be created faster.

And that's the opportunity. It's about how to create that CSR script, that marketing campaign, and then the memo that goes out, the email, the direct mail, all of that faster. And while it might not be perfect because the content isn't perfect, it is something that we don't have to put a lot of time into, and time is money. And so I think it's really important to realize that in our businesses, we always want to become more automated and efficient because otherwise, we're just working in a rut. That's right, a hundred percent. By the way, we should probably have you introduce yourself. I completely forgot about that.

Totally fine. I'm Sarah Gerardo, Senior Marketing Operations Manager at Service Titan and Director of Lady Titans, a free women's empowerment group. I have been in the trades for about eight years, and before that, I ran a call center for 177 retail alcohol stores. So, yeah, I did.

"Most definitely. And I sold rare whiskey. How about that? So, you had 176 people in the call center. Is that what you mean?" No, I had 177 stores, which means I had to work with the managers of those stores. And then there were the people in the stores because customer service extends to all levels. So, yeah. Wow, I did not know that.

How about that? So, I also don't know much about Lady Titans. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? "Yeah, so Lady Titans started about three years ago with three women in the trades, just looking for a community for women to grow together, learn together, build relationships, and network.

And it just took off from there. We have over 1,600 members, and over 200 of them are female business owners. We have CSRs, dispatchers, marketers, and all sorts of allies in the trades. It's just a really great group, and I'm super excited to be a part of it and honored. My purpose in life is people. So, my passion is people. And however, they can be heard, known, and seen; that is what I do. I just want to help them. "I love that. And yeah, people are what make the world go round. Some people can annoy me, don't get me wrong, but at the end of the day, it's people that matter. I don't know what I'm trying to say.

I just got a bit off track, but essentially, when you can help somebody, and you see the light in their eyes, it's incredibly rewarding. Especially when you're talking about women in the trades. Maybe there are other resources out there for them, but I don't know of any. And I would argue that they probably do quite well in business. I know Cassie and Leslie, for example; I'm not sure if they're part of this group as well.

"Maybe they are. They're part of Women in Pipe and Plumbing and Women in HVAC. There are lots of women's groups out there that we help support, and they are a force to be reckoned with. They're wonderful people. So, it's just exciting to see women taking a stand, not because we didn't have a voice, but because we now get to showcase our voice and teach people how to run businesses since we run businesses too.

So, it's just an exciting time to really see the progression from where we came from to where we are today. I would imagine that if men have a choice between calling a woman or a man to their house to fix their plumbing or HVAC, whatever it is, my guess is women do quite well in that case, right?

"Yeah. And who usually calls in from the house? It's the woman. That's right. And they're calling in because they're like, 'Oh, something's wrong, and we have to get it fixed,' because our job is sometimes to be a fixer. And so that's what you really have to understand in marketing in general. You're not marketing to yourself; you're marketing to the person who's calling in, which is more than likely, well over 50% of the time, a female. "A hundred percent. That makes total sense. Yeah. So, let's shift back for a second.

How do you see AI changing things in the trades? How do you see it making things better?" Yeah, you know what? I've been using AI for many years because I always wanted to make my job more efficient. I wanted to close more tabs that I have open and be more productive in my output.

And so, I think that if the trades really embrace this, they'll understand that they don't have to work harder; they can work smarter and be intelligent and intentional about what they're doing while also considering the risks and liabilities. There are always compliance issues to keep up with, and I understand that which is why I think there's also that fear. It's like maybe you're always a day behind when it comes to AI because there's something else happening. But it's an opportunity to seize, in my opinion, and to monetize.

"Totally. So, do you feel like, you know, I think people talk about robots replacing everyone? I think we're a ways away from robots in the field taking over. I could be completely wrong, but I'm pretty sure we're not going to have mechanical robots going into people's houses anytime soon.

And so, just to clarify, there's nothing to be scared about with AI. When you say you've been using AI, can we assume Jasper would be an example of that? "Yes, I've used Writer; I've used Jasper. A lot of the tools already have AI built in. I've always wanted to make my job more efficient and productive and not have to sit there with 50 tabs open to produce one campaign or one idea, or one script. I just think that anything to make my life easier is worth it."

Many people we work with have ADHD, and it makes sense to use AI to help harness that. Sometimes, communication can be challenging, whether it's leaving out details or skipping over something. By using AI to input thoughts and receive clear output, everyone's life becomes easier.

Does that make sense? "It does make sense. It's about addressing ADHD and mental health in general and figuring out how we can make our brains less focused on work and more on living life. So it's essential to find ways to turn off our overactive minds and maintain our mental health. Communication is crucial, and sometimes our intended message isn't conveyed properly. Using AI as a tool can help improve communication by providing clearer outputs based on the input we give it.

For business owners in the trades, clear communication can make a significant difference in the team's overall performance. Technicians and owners alike may struggle with similar communication challenges, so using AI to ensure that everyone understands each other can greatly improve the team's cohesiveness.

It's important to remember that not everyone communicates in the same way. People have different preferences for absorbing information, whether it's visual, auditory, or otherwise. In some cases, AI-generated visuals, like PowerPoint presentations or even physical materials, might be necessary to ensure that everyone on the team fully understands the message being conveyed. As you mentioned, using generative AI can help create various materials and resources that align with your vision and values, which is essential for effective communication. When an opportunity arises, it's important to go back to your vision and values to identify where improvements can be made in processes and systems to enhance communication.

AI tools can also be helpful for breaking down complex concepts and making them easier to understand. By reverse engineering the information and asking the AI to explain it simply, it becomes more accessible and easier to digest.

However, it's crucial to remember that not all content found on the internet, even from Google, is accurate or reliable. As you learn and research, it's essential to critically assess the information you receive, validate it, and continue learning from multiple sources. This approach ensures that you're always testing your knowledge and understanding rather than relying on potentially inaccurate information.

Your friend Brie's insight about content not being perfect resonates strongly, as it emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and the understanding that the information we encounter may not always be the whole truth, especially when it comes from sources like Google.Google indeed has its own AI, and with the rise of competition from other search engines like Bing, both companies must strive to provide helpful and accurate content to their users. Generative AI offers the potential to create relevant, to-the-point, and SEO-optimized content, which benefits both search engines and users.

As for the adoption of AI among female entrepreneurs and tradespeople, it's essential to recognize that everyone should be on board with this technology. While the majority of users in some chat GPT social media groups may be men, there are women in the trades who are actively promoting and teaching about AI, such as Brianna, yourself, and Amanda Trulio of Grasshopper.

These women are working to raise awareness about the benefits of AI and how it can improve various aspects of business and communication. By discussing and presenting AI technology at events like the marketing summit in Austin, they are helping to drive adoption and promote the value of AI across different industries and demographics.

It's true that AI-generated content is not perfect, but it does provide a starting point for users to edit and make the content their own. The adoption of AI technology doesn't necessarily depend on gender; rather, it's about individuals being willing to try new tools and see the potential benefits.

You're right that not everyone is a marketer or keeps up with the latest developments in AI or search engines like Google and Bing. Education plays a crucial role in promoting the adoption of AI technology. Once people are informed about how AI can make their jobs easier and improve their workflows, they may be more inclined to embrace it and give it a try.

It's essential to continue educating people about the potential benefits and applications of AI across various industries and demographics. This way, more individuals and businesses can take advantage of the technology to streamline their processes, enhance their communication, and ultimately achieve better results.

Prompts are essentially the input you provide to an AI language model like ChatGPT. They serve as the starting point or a guide for the AI to understand the context and generate the desired output. Prompts can be in the form of questions, statements, or even a combination of both. When you provide a prompt, the AI language model processes your input and tries to create a relevant, coherent response based on the context.

The way you phrase your prompts can significantly influence the AI-generated output. Since everyone has a unique thought process and manner of expressing themselves, the prompts provided to the AI can vary greatly. This diversity in input results in a wide range of outputs, depending on the user's preferences and needs.

Creating effective prompts can be both an art and a science. It requires understanding how AI language models work and finding the right balance between being clear, and concise and providing enough context to obtain the desired output. As users become more familiar with AI technology and its capabilities, they can learn to craft better prompts and harness the full potential of AI-generated content.

Indeed, using keywords like "create" or providing clear instructions in your prompt can significantly improve the AI-generated output. The key to getting the desired response from an AI language model is to be specific, concise and focused on the goal you want to achieve.

It's important to remember that AI-generated content might not be perfect on the first try. In such cases, refining your prompt or adjusting the instructions can lead to better results. Experimenting with different phrasings or providing additional context can help the AI understand your requirements better, ultimately generating content that aligns with your expectations.

So, a valuable takeaway from this conversation is to start your prompts with clear instructions, such as "create," and then follow with human language to describe your desired outcome. Don't hesitate to revise and refine your prompts if the initial output doesn't meet your expectations. With practice and experience, you'll learn to craft more effective prompts and make the most of AI-generated content to enhance your business automation and efficiency.

Absolutely, when using AI-generated content, it is crucial to be cautious about the information you provide, especially sensitive business information. While AI can be a powerful tool in creating content and helping with various tasks, it's essential to maintain privacy and security.

When crafting prompts, starting with action can indeed help in getting the desired output. For instance, using words like "create," "educate," or "write" can set the stage for the AI to understand the task you want it to accomplish. Moreover, don't hesitate to include ambitious goals or specific details in your prompts, as this will enable the AI to generate content tailored to your needs.

As you mentioned, AI can even help with tasks like creating business plans or setting growth targets. While the generated content might not be perfect or entirely accurate, it can provide a starting point for further refinement and adjustments. Ultimately, using AI-generated content can streamline various aspects of business planning and content creation as long as you use it responsibly and with a clear understanding of its limitations. Yes, platforms like PromptBase offer a wide range of prompts created by other users, which can be an excellent starting point for those who may not be comfortable with creating their own prompts or simply want to see what's available. With numerous options to choose from, it's easy to find a prompt that suits your specific needs.

As you mentioned, you can either create your own prompts or purchase existing ones at affordable prices. This allows users to benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of others who have already explored various applications of AI-generated content. Keep in mind that prompts will continue to evolve as users discover better ways to communicate their needs to the AI, resulting in more refined outputs over time.

Overall, whether you're creating your own prompts or exploring what's available on platforms like PromptBase, the key is to experiment and continuously learn from the results. This will help you harness the full potential of AI-generated content and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing landscape. It seems like you're referring to the integration of AI-powered tools with other platforms, such as Notion and Twitter. There are indeed solutions that can help you automate tasks or generate content using AI, like GPT-based models, and then save that information to platforms like Notion. These integrations can streamline your workflow and make the content generation and organization much more efficient.

Using AI-powered tools like AutoGPT or similar applications, you can quickly generate ideas, drafts, or full content pieces based on a single input, such as a Twitter post. By combining these technologies with other platforms, you can harness the power of AI to enhance your content creation process and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape.

As you mentioned, there are numerous communities and individuals who are eager to share their knowledge and experiences with these tools, which can be invaluable for anyone looking to explore the potential of AI-generated content. By learning from others and experimenting with various applications, you can discover new ways to improve your work and save time in the process. Yes, it sounds like you recently organized a summit where Dan was one of the speakers. These events can be a great opportunity to bring together industry experts, enthusiasts, and professionals to discuss various topics, share their experiences, and learn from one another. In the context of AI and GPT, summits can help spread awareness about the latest developments, applications, and potential use cases.

By organizing and participating in such events, you can stay updated on the latest trends and innovations, as well as connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for AI and its applications. This not only helps you expand your knowledge but also allows you to build a network of professionals who can provide support, advice, and insights as you continue to explore the world of AI-powered solutions.

If you'd like to discuss any specific aspect of the summit or learn more about how AI was addressed during the event, please feel free to share more details.

It's great to hear about the marketing for the trade summits you've been organizing with Service Titan. The goal of these events is to help as many people as possible within your industry by providing valuable information, knowledge, and resources to scale their businesses. You started in Texas and have since expanded to other locations like Tampa and Austin.

By keeping the events small and intimate, you're able to create an environment where attendees can engage, ask questions, and take meaningful action based on the insights they gain from industry experts. Charging for the summit ensures that participants are committed to attending and learning from the sessions.

Your dedication to serving the trades and your industry is commendable, and it's fantastic that you've managed to bring together some of the best marketers in the trade to share their expertise. These events not only help attendees improve their marketing strategies but also foster a strong sense of community and support within the industry.

It's essential to recognize the impact of effective marketing on a business's bottom line and to continually improve and adapt marketing efforts to optimize conversion rates. By organizing these summits and sharing knowledge, you're helping countless businesses take their marketing efforts to the next level and grow within the industry. Keep up the excellent work, and best of luck with your upcoming events!

It's clear that you're passionate about providing valuable experiences for attendees at these trade summits. Charging for the events helps ensure that participants are committed to learning and implementing the strategies and insights shared by industry experts. As you've mentioned, many other events charge significantly more, yet people may still not take action after attending them.

The approach you've taken with these summits is focused on a workshop-oriented experience, where attendees are encouraged to engage, ask hard questions, and learn alongside their peers and experts. This collaborative environment promotes active learning and increases the likelihood that participants will take meaningful action after the event.

The impressive roster of industry professionals you've mentioned, such as Wizard of Ads, Ryan Redding, Brianna Skiffington, Crystal Williams, Eric Thomas, and others, speaks volumes about the quality and value of these summits. It's inspiring to see so many talented individuals coming together to support your mission and help the trades grow.

By organizing these events and fostering a strong sense of community, you're not only providing valuable knowledge and resources but also creating an environment where attendees can learn from one another and help each other succeed. Keep up the great work, and best of luck with your upcoming events in Austin, Salt Lake, and Glendale!

It's fantastic to see such a high level of interest in your trade summits, with limited seating for just 40 attendees. This intimate setting allows for one-on-one interactions and personalized attention from industry experts, which is a rare and valuable opportunity for participants.

The upcoming summits have the following dates:

  1. Utah: July 20th-21st
  2. Glendale: December 7th-8th

It's worth noting that the Austin event is already sold out and will take place on May 11th and 12th.

These events provide an incredible chance for attendees to learn from and engage with skilled marketers and professionals in the trades, all of whom are dedicated to helping others grow and succeed. By organizing these summits and keeping them small and focused, you are creating a unique and impactful experience that has the potential to transform businesses and lives.

Thank you for the kind words! It's been a pleasure having this conversation with you. For anyone looking to connect with Sarah Ghirardo, you can find her on LinkedIn and Facebook by searching for her name. We'll also make sure her name is spelled correctly in the notes.

Sarah, thank you for sharing your insights and experiences with us today. We hope you have a great day as well!