August 30, 2022

Donna Loughlin

Topic
Nonprofit

 

Donna Loughlin

Look up. Look at the world differently. 

Announcer:

Welcome to Agency for Change, a podcast from KidGlov that brings you the stories of changemakers who are actively working to improve our communities. In every episode, we’ll meet with people who are making a lasting impact in the places we call home.

Kelley Peterson:

A popular method of boosting the sales of new model vehicles for manufacturers to offer a rebate to car dealerships. It works like this, for every rebate eligible car, a dealership sells the manufacturer, pays the dealer a certain amount, which is then passed on the consumer in the form of a discount off the sticker price of the vehicle. You’ve probably heard ads on the radio or on television promising a certain amount off the MSRP. That’s the rebate model that in the seventies, the vice president of car and truck production at General Motors hated this method. He felt that rebates only convinced people to buy cars they’re not interested. In his view, a car should make people’s eyes light up. In search of creating this exciting vehicle experience he left General Motors and founded his own sports car company. He named it after himself, the DeLorean motor company. If that name sounds familiar it’s because while they only ever produced one model, it’s a vehicle that remains popular today.

Kelley Peterson:

Over 40 years after it was first introduced the gullwing, silver tone DeLorean was made famous by the Back to the Future franchise. If the origin story of this time travel icon is interesting to you then you’re in luck. There are so many stories out there just like this one. Tales of innovators who imagined how things could be different and then took a leap of faith.

Kelley Peterson:

Today we’re discussing just that with a podcast host who specializes in bringing these stories to life on her show “Before It Happened.” So stay tuned as we find out more about the woman behind the podcast, how she got her start, and where you can listen. Hi everyone. This is Kelly Peterson, vice president creative director at KidGlov. Welcome to another episode of the Agency for Change podcast. Today, you’ll hear from Donna Loughlin, founder and president of the Loughlin Michaels Group, better known as LMGPR and host of the podcast “Before It Happened,” a show that takes you on a journey with visionaries and the future they imagine. Donna, I’m eager to talk with you today and learn more about the great impact you’re making on the world.

Donna Loughlin:

Thank you for having us. That was quite the eulogy there. I think I’m going to hire you to do my celebration of life at some point.

Kelley Peterson:

My new thing in life too. I can become a voice. I’ve always wanted to be the voice behind a cartoon. It is a life goal of mine. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Donna Loughlin:

I think my life sometimes isn’t an illustrative cartoon. Voices in my head. Sorry.

Kelley Peterson:

For sure. And lots of them always for me. So Donna, for our listeners who haven’t heard of the Loughlin Michaels group or LMGPR, can you talk a bit about what your company does and who you help?

Donna Loughlin:

So my focus is really working with emerging markets in the tech sector. And so the last 20 years launched more than 500 companies, which is quite a few companies to launch. These are companies that are everything from cyber security. And in its infancy before we went from the web 1.0, and then we went to the web 2.0, we had more problems. So, we needed to fix all those problems. Worked with data center, early stages of data center infrastructure, artificial intelligence, deep learning, storage, transportation, robotics, and anything that’s related to zapping all the bad stuff and the COVID era. But for the most part to summarize, we help bring products to life and create the narrative story that then goes to the editorial broadcast and online world. And pretty much anything you put in your home, your car, your pocket, we bring to market.

Kelley Peterson:

Sounds good. It’s a juxtaposition talking about bringing products to life, but it’s all tech, but we use it every day, just like we are right now.

Donna Loughlin:

And it’s interesting the convergence that’s happened with technology. If you think about some of the basic fundamental things, just take our phone as an example. And, I remember the first time my phone had a camera on It and I was a little preoccupied, and this is pre-social media. We weren’t around taking selfies like we are now. But the advancement and the convergence of technologies, you look at your phone, you can order food through apps, you can have things delivered to your home, have Amazon, grocery stores. I even had pet things delivered during a heatwave in California. I got my dogs a little swimming pool, and it was there miraculously in less than an hour.

Donna Loughlin:

All these things that it didn’t just arrive through osmosis, the deep learning and the connect technology that’s in the smart cars and the smartphones and in our vacuuming cleaners and all these places that we use. And we’ll talk about that, because I’m not convinced that all of it we need, but I like to pride myself when working with companies that are bringing things to market that are doing conscious driven things with technology that make our life more amplified and less complex and not more complex.

Kelley Peterson:

So it is just crazy to me that even in my lifetime, I was one of those first bag phone owners. So I had a bag phone that had a cord and a receiver, and I was doing a lot of traveling across the US at that time. And you would have to stop and figure out if there was any cell service and pull this thing that was as big as a suitcase out of your car. So to live through that and then have the technology, as you just mentioned, to have a camera that takes better pictures than most cameras we probably had in our lifetimes too, is amazing. And we, for some reason we feel we cannot live without of it out it, and I agree there’s probably some of those things that we probably could. But 20 years ago, you founded Loughlin Michaels Group. What was the company like in those early days? Did you have your own bag phones and what led to your decision to start your own PR firm?

Donna Loughlin:

No bag phones. A lot of people bags. I had worked with a lot of both. I was news reporter first, and after I dusted off my news reporting notebook, I went into tech world. I was recruited and I worked for publicly traded companies and I worked for a number of private companies and took them through their IPOs during the .com bubble. I wrote my business plan on a napkin and I carried it in my wallet for a few years. And it was almost a little bit of a dare from a friend. And he says, I think you need to do you need to create your own business. You’re so good at this. You need to create your own business and don’t worry about the money because the money will come because you’re so great at it. It does make you a little nervous to bolt out and not have that net.

Donna Loughlin:

One day I was working for a company and a very well-funded company and they called me into the C-suite and they let me know that all they were losing their funding that gave me one of two choices—either do nothing or do something great. And so the do something great was immediate. I took the package. And I was lucky I got a package because others were not getting packages. I was a vice president of communications at that company. I got in my car and thank goodness for smart consoles and hands free. But I called three critical people. I called a former employer, I called a venture capitalist, and I called an editor that I had worked with.

Donna Loughlin:

And in route to the business office that I really didn’t put much thought into this. It was literally take the bull by the horns and just go. I went to the business office to get a business license and I walked in and I looked at this massive handwritten leaderboard that it looked like a garage cell manifesto, to be honest, it wasn’t a very professional board. And it had all the different types of licenses that you could apply for. I look up, okay, I don’t do nails. I don’t do hair. I’m not a mechanic. I didn’t see anything for public relations, which I migrated from reporting to PR and we were in the other service category.

Donna Loughlin:

So I got my license and I didn’t have a name. And so I decided not to do a fictitious name and so used my name and LMGPR happened to be my initials as well. And got my license, drove home. And by the time I got home, those three calls were so important to me because I had three business meetings. And by the end of the week I had four clients. So I didn’t look back. I fly as a pilot, we don’t have a rear view mirror. So I didn’t look in my rear view mirror either I just looked ahead.

Donna Loughlin:

And so I took those four clients and it was me, myself and I on my kitchen table, pre-work-at-home world and started just consulting. I didn’t have handbook rule book or didn’t even know exactly which direction I was going to go. But within the first four months I needed help. So I found a couple of stay-at-home working moms that had small kids that still wanted to keep their skin in the game and brought them on as contractors and eventually employees. And by the first five years I had 10 employees and between the 10 and the 15th, then I amplified that up to about 15. And within the first 10 years, I think we launched 150 clients or 150 new brands and products to market.

Donna Loughlin:

And during COVID, we hit 20 years, which I don’t think anyone noticed including ourselves because we were just like, everyone was in this, this different world, but looking back 500 companies, plus I stopped counting at 500 stopped counting at millions of impressions, not impressions, millions of articles and millions of upon millions of impressions. But the other component that I did at that same onset was I adopted two kids.

Donna Loughlin:

So we go from a world of working and is working professional into keeping. I don’t like the word balance, agile was my word. Then I have two kids coming into my life and I had a new business and I renting the business. Thank goodness for the women that were working for me at the time, because they were so gifted in making it look easy to have toddlers at home. And now all of a sudden I had a two and a half year old and a four year old at home running a business. Like who does that? apparently I did.

Kelley Peterson:

That is an amazing story. And it reminds me of that. It’s a Jerry McGuire story. I just wonder where the bag with the goldfish was when you moved. But it wasn’t goldfish. You took a two-year-old and a four-year-old along on this journey. That’s just amazing. There are also similarities in your background story to KidGlov’s start and that boot strap and-

Donna Loughlin:

$50 is all, that’s all it costs license for 50 bucks. That is the best $50 because at the end of the first year, I turned that $50 into about 200,000. Better than some real estate, right?

Kelley Peterson:

Absolutely. What an investment. There are similarities with KidGlov. We used to be Wineman Communications Group, our founder, Lyn Wineman, it had a name similar to yours too, because that’s what you have. Then being a branding agency, it existed that way for about a year, year and a half, and then became KidGlov at that time.

Kelley Peterson:

So those are great stories and you tell it very well. So Donna, on your podcast “Before It Happened,” it focuses on journeys of innovators and their light bulb moments. And you just told me a very great light bulb moment. But in the days and months before their great ideas were out in the world, what was the light bulb moment for you that made you want to tell these stories and what happened after you had that realization?

Donna Loughlin:

As a former news reporter, I has always been curious about people. I think people are interesting. I’m not an introvert, but I was a very shy child and I had a speech impediment. And I actually decided that I was going to turn that into, that was my challenge, my motivation. My family owned a publishing and printing business. And so I would go out and interview with my uncle and I would study and I’d watch and I’d listen. I realized I could actually in a more of an acting world, I was role playing. I could ask these questions without any speech impediment, because it literally was, I was playing the role of a reporter.

Donna Loughlin:

Over time I built the confidence that wasn’t a challenge anymore. I’ve collected like a crab through my career stories and most amazing people. I have a great portfolio of clients, but I didn’t want to do a podcast that was just featuring my clients. I wanted to do a podcast that was featuring some of these amazing stories and people that I met in my networking and going to conferences and started the process during COVID I was going to write a book. And originally, I was going to take all these stories and I was going to put it into some format of a book. Talk about creating story, your authentic story. Then I realized, I have some authentic stories that I want to bring to life faster. I thought the podcast would be the faster way.

Donna Loughlin:

There are a lot of details and intricacies in creating a podcast, I didn’t realize what a labor of love it would be. But I cherry picked some of the most interesting stories, people that are actually addressing things to do with sustainability, agriculture, the food supply chain, climate change, aerospace, and even COVID and viruses and all the things that can affect us in our everyday life and can affect the ecosystem and the world that we live.

Donna Loughlin:

And so if we look at the word sustainability, as an example, I step back from that and I like to say responsibility, we are responsible as humans to be able to make better and smarter choices. The stories that I’m bringing every week with, “Before It Happened” are these light by moments of people that decided to just like I did, stop what you’re doing, but your finger on the pulse. And like I’m going to make change. These are change for the future that for the next generation will benefit because we must up a lot of things in terms of environment and pollution. And climate change is one thing. That’s all the other stuff that we’ve done along the way that we create that we, mother nature didn’t make that havoc. We created the havoc.

Donna Loughlin:

And so I really excited about why would somebody give up their corporate job at Boeing, as an example, as an aerospace engineer, and decide to make vegan based cheese. That to me is just extreme. That’s an extreme example, but that is one of the stories on my show. And I thought, wow I thought the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the cheese touch moment. And so I was fascinated.

Donna Loughlin:

I interviewed a woman recently who started out as an animal lab tech expert only to find out she didn’t like the way the animals were being treated in the lab and made her advocacy to actually create a non-animal-based food for the food pet industry. So basically, taking animals out of the supply chain of the food, our animals eat. She went to a totally different trajectory within with her career.

Donna Loughlin:

So those are the stories that I’m focused on in bringing to market. I just couldn’t keep them in my pocket the way I kept my business plan. I really wanted to share these stories because I’ve met these interesting people. And it was a lot quicker to bring them in a digital format than it was in a long prose written format.

Kelley Peterson:

That technology, as we spoke about before, just makes it all right at our fingertips, which is great. So you’ve said a lot of reasons, Donna, what makes you uniquely qualified, but do you have more to add to what makes you uniquely qualified to help these individuals communicate their visions of the future?

Donna Loughlin:

Yeah, the discovery process that I’ve created over and over and over is a bit of a template. I like to take people through a bit of a journey of going back in their life. Sometimes we oscillate forward in our careers and we do things. We don’t realize that there was something in our past that was a trigger. The best way I can describe this is you smell a particular aroma or food. For me, it’s lavender, reminds me of my grandmother, and its printer’s ink, which reminds me of being in the early days of publishing and as a kid in that industry.

Donna Loughlin:

So oftentimes in discussions with an entrepreneur, founder, creator, tinker, it’s great product. They want to talk to me about, and they show me in a very inspector gadget type of way of what they’ve created, but I want to know why, why did they decide to create this? What is the problem that they’re solving? How is it going to impact the world? Is it really useful? Is it meaningful? Do we need this?

Donna Loughlin:

And if you think about going into a Best Buy or any big box stores and you stand there and you glaze and you look at the TVs or you look at the appliances, I was looking for a refrigerator recently, and now the appliances are all, it’s super smart with touchscreen and video. I don’t really want to go to my refrigerator and have a conference call. I just want to keep my food cool and crisp. So I think we need to ask those questions and having high performance and secure devices in the home has become the norm. But my job is to challenge the creators and the idea makers of like, is this really what we need?

Donna Loughlin:

Because it’s hard to say no. It’d a lot harder to say no than it is to say yes. So I discriminate very carefully and decide, who am I going to work with in bringing these stories to market. And after 20 years I’ve seen a lot of products and I’ve seen everything from, oh my gosh, a digital pyramid that we’re going to put in Las Vegas, Nevada, that I said no to. To things that are just absolutely amazing and helping save people use lives from managing PTSD or anxiety and things like that. Baby monitoring devices and things that are very important to have in our lives, in our home. So the process is one of discovery. It’s one of curiosity, it’s taking those journalism skills and then bringing it out to the other side saying, well, you think you’re a blue cake, but you’re really not even a cake. You’re actually this trifecta triple layered sundae or whatever, and defining that.

Donna Loughlin:

I’ll give you an example. I worked with the motorcycle helmet company and they brought me a duct tape motorcycle helmet. I had not worked in the transportation space. I’d ridden motorcycles and scooters. So I knew a little bit about helmets. And they presented it to me as a state of the art, augmented reality motorcycle helmet. I thought, wow, that’s really cool. But like, what do I, how is this better than a regular motorcycle helmet? What does it really allow you to do?

Donna Loughlin:

And asking all these questions I discovered the motorcycle, actually, the augmented reality gave you basically eyes in the back of your head. Now that I just simplified a very complex product to the fundamental reason one would use this, which is if you have eyes in the back of your head and you’re a motorcycle, that’s a safety component. So safety and motorcycle doesn’t always often go together. But in this scenario I could actually create a story that would allow me to be able to say this superhero power that you now have the eyes to the back of your head.

Donna Loughlin:

So taking on unraveling all the complexities, I think of it sometimes is a little bit of a junk drawer. Everybody seems to have a junk drawer in their kitchen with all that stuff. I need to go through and I need to decipher what are the importance, what are the key critical things within that drawer? I need to take out plus the founder’s authentic story and put it together in something that’s tangible so that you and I can actually potentially be that person on the other end, that’s buying that product.

Kelley Peterson:

So Donna, there are a couple terms I’ve heard you use when you describe visionaries on your show and they are acorns and unicorns. Can you tell us what these mean and how you use them in the podcast?

Donna Loughlin:

So the magical unicorn, Silicon valley, which is a magical mystical place really started in the heart of what was called the Land of Hearts Delight and Land of Hearts delight was an agriculture belt. So this is where it still is in the heart, in not the Heartland, but the Heartland of California I’m stone’s throw away from Salinas Valley and from Livermore and Napa where we have crops and the wine industry. But instead of continuing to have that as our economy, instead of having walnuts and apricots and almonds and all these things that were standard crops here, we now call products Apple, and we sell them. And they’re not edible. They’re these digital things that we use.

Donna Loughlin:

So unicorns are the companies that have a billion dollar market cap, companies that, and particularly in the tech sector, it was a name of these magical unicorns. If you imagine that magical unicorns running, frolicking around the Land of Hearts Delight, I don’t look for the unicorns. I look for what I call the acorns, these smaller emerging companies and entrepreneurs that are looking to follow and chase their dreams. That means selling their car. I have textbook to someone yesterday, says I’m going to sell my Porsche if it takes me to do this. I’m going to trade in my two dogs and get a cat. I’m going to mortgage my house. I mean, I have over the years have heard every story.

Donna Loughlin:

So the acorns are the smaller younger ideas and entrepreneurs that if we plant the acorn early. Eventually it’s going to turn into a majestic oak. And if you haven’t seen a majestic oak, they’re some of the most beautiful trees. They’re massive. I have two in my property, and they produce more acorns.

Donna Loughlin:

So I think of my business in some ways as that acorn that eventually grew to this majestic Oak, and where the unicorns have to go? They need the shelter under the majestic oaks. So we need both. We need the acorns and the unicorns. But I personally think the acorns are really, to me, that excitement in working. There’s a lot less bureaucracy, a lot less red tape. And when you’re a privately held company and you can do things faster and more nimbly than you can, if you’re working for a unicorn.

 

Kelley Peterson

So after 50 plus episodes, what do you feel like you’ve learned about innovators and inventors? What lessons have you been able to take away?

Donna Loughlin:

I think one of the ones I learned the most is humbleness. These innovators are very humble. They challenge and are taking on massive challenges, but they’re very humble and grateful. And although it might not have monetized quite yet, they’re still on a mission and that mission is not impossible. I have a lot of respect for that.

Donna Loughlin:

The other is that most of the interviews that I’ve conducted, people who are leading with conscious, and the Boomer generation gets criticized and ridiculed for not being as conscious. Gen X is, nobody really seems to think about, but the Millennials come along and they’re very conscious driven and they’re very values driven. The Zoomers are actually said to be a little more like the Boomers, they’re going to be more focused on work, but they’re going to have the consciousness of the Millennials.

Donna Loughlin:

I think that’s really interesting because I have a nice mix within show of these different points of view and different lenses by generations. I think we need to take heart to that because with bringing any product to market, we need to make sure that we understand that we’re not taking our values and our personal lens and bringing a product to market. And so we do need to listen and we need to know our demographics. We need to know, the psychographics are very important when you bring products to market. And so what I’ve noticed like the thread of the being humble and then the thread of being genuine to the cause and knowing exactly who it is that the next generation is going to benefit by conscious minded products and services coming to market.

Donna Loughlin:

And some of these conversations are things I just find people by opening a magazine or looking online and I say, wow, this is really interesting. This is radical. Today I interviewed somebody who is focusing on biodiversity and planetary rejuvenation. I didn’t even think about that to be honest. I was just curious and fascinated, like, what does this really mean? And should I be doing something that I’m not doing?

Donna Loughlin:

So not all my guests actually have a product. Some of them have a philosophy and others are book authors, who’ve, who’ve written very profound books and have a lot of thoughtfulness on how viewpoints and how we should look at things. One of my favorite interviews was with the superhuman by design. I had worked with this young industrial designer, and his book that he wrote during the pandemic was really refreshing because he was looking at the world through a different lens, being home, not doing his normal design work in his career and thought he had superpower.

Donna Loughlin:

The superpower that he had was his ability to design and bring products to market. But if he looked at everything in his life, from his childhood all the way until his commercial, industrial career, designing everything from consumer electronics products to the motorcycle helmet companies, where I met him years ago, how does that apply to your life and how, how do you take your superpower when you’re not very, very powerful during the pandemic when you’re told to stay home? And his book is really a great moniker and wisdom about looking for your own superpower and making sure that you’re adapting it along the way.

Kelley Peterson:

That’s going to make me think about my own. And as well as every brand that we serve at KidGlov.

Donna Loughlin:

I have to send you a copy. I have a box of them.

Kelley Peterson:

I would love that. So you talk a lot about the future on your podcast, Donna, and where you’re going next. So what is it that’s next for you? And for the “Before It Happened” podcast?

Donna Loughlin:

The “Before It Happened” podcast…I’m excited. We were looking at between now and the end of the year, all the guests are coming. We’re going to get into some really interesting topics that push myself in my knowledge. I have a thirst for knowledge. And so I want to make sure that each show, not every show is going to be for everyone. But if you’re going to go through and you’re going to look at the roster of the interviews, you’re going to find something that you’re going to learn from. I’ve had the inventor of the sports bra and like, you just think about it, like you don’t go around thinking “who’s the inventor of the sports bra?” I’ve had electric motorcycle company, Damon Motors shared their journey from looking at the fuel crisis before the one that we currently have. A Ukrainian entrepreneur, who’s building and bringing an electric bike to market in the midst of a war.

Donna Loughlin:

I mean, some of these, the challenges that these people face are big. And so I look at the next lineup just cause it could be bigger and more interesting. I like to think of it as a mini-David Letterman as Our Next Guest Needs No Introduction. I felt these are the acorn leaders of tomorrow. They will be unicorns. And so they might not be household names. Although I’ve had a few, Tyler Florence was on the show and he’s a definitely a household name he’s on our TV and the Food Network. Then the next step is I’m writing a book and the book is going to not be “Before It Happened,” but basically the tools and the wisdom that we can all use in shaping our authentic story. So looking at our discovery process, looking at what’s relevant and what makes this stand out and being unique and the wisdom that we bring to the table, whether you’re bringing a product to market or service, or you’re looking for a career change, or looking for that first job, because you just graduated from college.

Donna Loughlin:

I think the college kids today have it really hard. I watched my own kids. And how do you interview for a job when everyone’s in the Zoom land? How do you develop interactions and the same type of mentoring mentorship that I did when I had fabulous internships and mentors, how do you do that when everything is in a digital virtual world? So there’s a lot of things that I think are challenging. This book hopefully is going to be a little bit of a pocket companion that is going to help businesses as well as individuals be able to chart their daily life better.

Donna Loughlin:

The thing about this story is that it continuously needs to evolve, and it’s not a done once scenario. So when I work with my clients, I look at not just launching a product, I’m looking at what are the trends in the marketplace? What is happening in the marketplace in terms of do we have a chip shortage problem? Do we have a supply chain problem because of COVID? Is there a new player in town or there is a hostile acquisition? I look at all the things that are happening in the market, looking at the competitors in the market, looking at trends that are happening in terms of adoption and cultural aspects of is this a product for North America, or how will this do in Europe and how will this do in Asia or Latin America? All these complexities can change over time. So the story, as well as the people in the company can change the cultural set and the company’s beliefs. All these components play into the success of a company, but they also need to be retreaded, so to speak, in the story development. It can’t be just one story hour. It has to be continuous development of stories.

Kelley Peterson:

I cannot wait to read your book and listen into the upcoming episodes as well as catch up on some of the other podcasts that I haven’t listened to quite yet.

Kelley Peterson:

So Donna, I’m so inspired by motivational quotes. Do you think you could give us a few of your own words to share with our listeners?

Donna Loughlin:

They’re pretty basic. I always tell my kids nothing is impossible, nothing. So that’s my most basic one. The other is look up, look at the world differently. We all tend to walk around with our phones, waist high and looking at the next digital thing or pop star or sports hero stat. There are amazing things that are, look up, look at the galaxy, look at the beautiful star images that we just saw from the James Webb telescope. We wouldn’t have got that if we were looking waist down, right. So look up, see the world differently. Then I think the other is one that I personally believe in manifestation. And that when we get up every morning, we should be grateful for what we have, not for what we don’t have, which is very fundamental wisdom that I grew up with. And so if you take the, anything is possible coupled with be grateful and look up, can you imagine what an amazing day you might have and discovering new things? And to be able to fuel a great, fresh idea.

Donna Loughlin:

And the last thing I think of is don’t be afraid to have conversations. The conversation with the stranger is something that we’re told not to do as a child. Conversation with the stranger can be one of the best things that you can actually cherish. When you ask someone how they are, we typically give a very stoic, I’m fine. But if you ask a person that can say, well, how are you really? Now, depending on what part of the world you are, you might not say that, but typically in north America, you can say that. And people are a little, typically a little surprised, like, this person really is interested, and they want to know something about me.

Donna Loughlin:

I think talk to somebody that’s maybe out of your comfort zone. Talk to a, my kids love talking, my daughter, particularly when she was little, to senior citizens, she liked to talk to the puzzle ladies. And she would do volunteer work in Girl Scouts. And she was so exciting when they would go to the senior home and she would talk to the puzzle ladies. And she said, “mom, they’re the most interesting ladies. They had so much knowledge.” Talk to somebody from a different culture near the grocery store line. Don’t talk on your phone, don’t chat, don’t get your earbuds in, take your earbuds out, unplug your phone and talk, have an interaction with the clerk. You are probably going to make their day. You’re probably going to shock them because they see so many people go into the grocery store. And just continue to have a conscious stream of conversation. Then they get in their car and they continue. I’m thinking, wow, I kind need to clear the airwave sometimes.

Kelley Peterson:

We were just talking in a creative team meeting about inspiration, creative inspiration. And one of the ideas that came up was to take a stimulus dive. And so we had a great conversation about dumpster diving, of course. And what finds we each have. It’s like diving into each other’s junk drawers as you described it. And what was that treasure that you found and why did it have impact whether it was short or long in your life and why do you remember that experience? But I think what that encouragement or that inspiration to spark creativity was in the idea of stimulus diving, taking a stimulus dive is just that, it’s your idea of looking up. It’s your idea of having a conversation with a stranger. Because if you always travel in the same places that you’ve always traveled, you’re not being able to use your mind differently.

Kelley Peterson:

It’s when we’re really young and all of those brain synopsis are developing. And if you don’t develop them in a certain way in early childhood, you just lose it, I think that’s the same in all of our lives. If you don’t stretch to think about someone’s opinion, different opinion as yours or different things like that, you can’t come up with the creative solution or all the inventors and innovators that you speak with, those ideas wouldn’t come about if they didn’t take a certain stimulus dive and then have a passion for what they discovered, I thought I wanted to do that, but no, I changed my trajectory completely in doing what I’m doing.

Kelley Peterson:

So fascinating, great words of wisdom that you’ve shared. So Donna, for our listeners who would like to learn more about you and the LMGPR, where they can tune in to hear “Before It Happened,” where can they go?

Donna Loughlin:

I’m not going to be a stranger. I’m all over. I’m in LinkedIn as Donna Loughlin and that’s L O U G H L I N. Then on Instagram, it’s the “Before It Happened” show and the “Before It Happened” show is on all major platforms, Apple, Spotify, Amazon, and every place that you can find podcasts these days. But if you have a query and you really want to be, have a conversation, you can find me LinkedIn and send me a message more than glad to chat with strangers and maybe make some friends.

Kelley Peterson:

As we wrap up our time together today, what is the most important thing you would like our listeners to remember about the work you’re doing?

Donna Loughlin:

I think the most important thing is that we all have our own authentic story and that we need to nurture it and we need to discover, and we need to think about who we are and how our thumbprint and our DNA, our demographics, where we live, the travels that we’ve done, everything that we have done that brought us to this point in time has made us equally unique. And we need to look and discover, and we need to fuel that as well. And fueling that means conversations with other people, trying different foods, reading books, getting out of comfort zone. I think that’s that thumbprint that we all have is that authentic story. Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it? And it’s that why that is so important, is asking why.

Donna Loughlin:

And my father used to tell me if you want to know that you need to ask the question, he probably regretted it because I would ask so many questions and I would end up at science fairs and universities and all these places. But I think oftentimes we think that we only listen and or respond and not listen. I think listening is so important. And we need to listen and then we respond and think.

Donna Loughlin:

And my last bit of wisdom is I mentioned that briefly before is it’s okay to say no, it’s okay to say no, it’s okay to say I have too much tech stuff. I have too much toxicity or I have too much TV time or too much gaming time and find another outlet in which you can actually fill that up with something great. Whether it be volunteer work or growing a garden or something like that.

Kelley Peterson:

I’m fully believe that the world needs more changemakers like you Donna. Thank you for taking the time to share with us today.

Donna Loughlin:

Absolutely. Thank you so much for letting me join the show. I look forward to listening to more of your episodes as well.

Kelley Peterson:

Thank you so much.

Announcer:

We hope you enjoyed today’s Agency for Change podcast. To hear all our interviews with those who are making a positive change in our communities, or to nominate a changemaker you’d love to hear from, visit KidGlov.com at K-I-D-G-L-O-V.com to get in touch. As always, if you like what you’ve heard today, be sure to rate, review, subscribe, and share. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

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