356 | Picking Up The Pieces When Things Fall Apart (with Sarah Santacroce)

Wow, what a difference a year makes.

Sarah Santacroce launched her first book, The Gentle Marketing Revolution in February 2021. It was during ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ week when we last spoke.

Two weeks after that conversation Sarah received an email, followed by a cease and desist letter from a lawyer representing a client who had just registered the trademark, ‘Gentle Marketing’. They demanded Sarah immediately stop using the term on her website and in her book.

This was devastating for Sarah and the business she had worked so hard to create.

Picking Up The Pieces When Your World is Shattered

After her invitation to connect and find a way to make things work were rejected Sarah made a decision. She wasn’t going to pour her energy into fighting. She wanted to surrender from a position of inner strength and creativity.

She now has a new business name (Humane Marketing) and has already redesigned much of what she had previously built.

The term gentle marketing represents something that doesn’t change. The words are not the thing. While the container has transformed, the content hasn’t…the values, vision, and approach stays the same. And Sarah has truly lived out her commitment to those things throughout this year.

I wanted to get Sarah back on the podcast to talk about her journey because I know it’s been really tough. There’s been a long dark night of the soul, and as we’ve been exploring recently on the podcast, a lot of noise from beyond her control.

I’ve been inspired by the way Sarah has gone about picking up the pieces. And while there’s still a long way to go, her story so far already has a lot to feel hopeful and encouraged by. She’s living out the values she has talked about through her gentle marketing work over the years. Proving that she is ready to walk the talk.

Against The Grain

The instinct might be to react to a situation like this. To fight. To do something and force it. Sarah recognised the cost of such a move. It can lead us away from where we need to be, and leave us with more work down the line.

I hope you find inspiration in Sarah’s story too. As we move into another new year it feels like a good moment to think about the kind of world we want to be part of creating. To acknowledge that things outside of our control might happen to hit us for six. To slow down and surrender to the dark night of the soul. And remind ourselves that we get to choose how to respond to these things in accordance with the vision and deep core values we carry with us.

In our conversation we talk about:

  • Why looking at work emails in the evening can be a bad idea
  • The non-humane or gentle systems we have to engage with…and why we don’t need to act in accordance with their normal mode of operating
  • How to gently hold space for your values when the rubber hits the road and life is turned upside down
  • Why we still believe in values of open source, sharing, and collaborating (even if it means other people will take from us)
  • How to recognise a dark night of the soul when you’re unable to see anything silver or shiny in the lining
  • The power of connection when you only see what you don’t have – other people can help you see what you’ve already built
  • How the most effective and creative “doing” always comes from a place of acceptance and being
  • How things can transform rapidly when we first slow down, settle, and make peace with our position
  • The choice we can make about the type of energy we want to invest in our response to negative situations
  • Plus a load of other things…

Check out Sarah’s new website here: https://humane.marketing/

And her books, Selling Like We’re Human and Marketing Like We’re Human (Formally The Gentle Marketing Revolution).

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