This interview is the fourth of a five-part series conducted with mentors during Project Literacy Lab. Hear from the VP of Singularity Labs, the Managing Director of Education at IDEO, and the founder of a sustainable e-commerce community of global artisans.

How did you first get people to listen to your voice?

Pascal Finette: Getting people to listen to you, I think, really comes down to having a clear vision and being able to very precisely and persuasively articulate that vision.

Sandy Speicher: I think it’s really hard to get people to listen to you early on. I think that what happens as you’re building something new is people trust in you, but they don’t yet see what you’re talking about. But, they believe you will get it there.

People are pretty happy following a leader who has a compelling story to tell and who knows where they’re going. Tweet This Quote

Eve Blossom: I think in the very beginning when I was starting my company around the issue of prevention of human trafficking, it was quite daunting to have a personal voice around an issue, a big global issue, and getting people inspired in a larger context to do something about this cause.

PF: I fundamentally believe that as long as you have the North Star, as long as you know where you’re going and you have a good reason to go there, and you can communicate that, you’re fine. In my career, at least, people actually are pretty happy following a leader who has a compelling story to tell and who knows where he’s going.

I love this quote from Mark Zuckerberg: “At Facebook, we know exactly what we’re going to do in the next six months, and we know exactly where we’re going to be in 30 years, and everything in between we need to figure out.” You need to know what you’re doing tomorrow, for sure. And you need to know what your North Star is. And everything else you just don’t know.

You need to know what you’re doing tomorrow and what your North Star is. Everything else you just won’t know. Tweet This Quote

SS: We actually designed a whole school system in Peru. We did something we never conceptualized that we could do before. It took all the way for us to get through that work for me to start sharing it with other people to say, “Hey, look at what we just did,” that people were like, wait what? There are people who are very influential, and if you can get them to have the “Wait, what, they did that?” moment, then people start to make the case for you. They start to see it.

There’s no formula to finding your voice. You have to really listen to yourself. Tweet This Quote

EB: I followed the path that most people followed. I got a book deal, I did a TED talk. It was really incredible, and yet I found that it wasn’t my path. I actually stopped speaking around the book and left being on the stage speaking about the cause because it didn’t fit me. So I think you have to really listen to yourself. There’s no formula to finding your voice.

Then, I have to add how difficult it is, as a woman, finding your voice around a cause that people don’t want to hear. That was another thing I had on top of finding my own voice, finding a voice that will really resonate in a way that some people are drawn and inspired. It took a lot of time to figure that out.

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