The Things Joyce Was Known For

Joyce and Sonya

We went to a memorial service in Laguna Beach at the Montage for my dear friend, Joyce Christiano, who passed away two years ago. It was an honor to be able to celebrate her life and legacy with so many people who had been influenced by her friendship.

Joyce was one of those special souls who genuinely lit up a room when she walked in. Her energy was palpable. It was magnetic, attracting everyone to herself, but ironically, it was because of the way she made others shine. She made every individual feel like they were the most interesting person in the world, no matter if they were a young child or grandparent. Her eyes sparkled with curiosity, and her passion drove her to ask questions and learn deeply from others. She made people better because she authentically cared.

At her memorial service, her husband John had wooden signs at each table with words that described her or what she was about: selfless, soulful, transcend, hope, beauty, learn, ineffable. None of the words were a surprise, because we all knew what Joyce was about. She lived them out each day.

What words would people identify with you?

If you had 30 wooden signs to describe you, what would they say? 

I’ve been following Jen Olmstead and Tonic websites for years, and have fallen in love with her #longandweird emails that she began over covid, successfully breaking the rules of email marketing.

In her last email, she talks about how we all have a “Coat of Arms,” the things we love and are known for. These are the things – sometimes mundane, like your favorite brand of coffee, pair of leggings, pet, sports team, food truck, hiking shoes or cocktail, that are a part of your day to day life. (Things like family, mountains, podcasts, natural remedies, Ted Lasso, and inspirational verses or quotes would be on mine!) But they can also be important things, like the causes you invest in, the people you love, or ideas you are trying to share with the world.

Jen’s encouragement to us, especially in business, is to share those things regularly. In your content and social media, you should be repeatedly posting about these things so that people can really get to know WHO you are and what you care about. We live in an age where people want to see the human behind the brand. And humans are complex. We like many things, and that is actually a great thing. It offers you many points of resonance with others to connect genuinely.

Jen says,

I believe that the more we lean into our coat of arms — i.e. share more about the things we’re naturally enthusiastic about — the more magnetic we become.

It’s pretty simple: when you share what you truly care about with people, they feel close to you.

So, again, whether it’s words that identify you, or icons on a coat of arms, think about how you can more intentionally share yourself with others. Then when people hear one of your favorite bands on their playlist, eat at your favorite restaurant, or visit a destination you’ve raved about, they will be reminded of you and what you do.

P.S. Jen shares about Tinx, a content creator she’s obsessed with, and links to Tinx’s Fatal Flaw theory. Jen’s whole post is here, and the 30 second fatal flaw theory is here. Let me know what you think!

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