Meet Suzy Patz – Founder and CEO of Love Out Loud App, Inc, a mobile application that uses the infinite supply of good people do every day to support charities across the country.
After a brain injury a few years ago, she didn’t come out as the same person. She knows what life is about and she’s on a mission to create that. She is partnering with other people who are on the same mission to impact this world.
Suzy believes that all success is achieved in the minds and hearts of people around you. Every day she hopes to inspire those around her and help them reach their highest potential and live their best life possible
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Table of Contents
Let’s learn a little about you and really get to experience what makes us tick – starting at our beginnings. Where did your story begin?
Suzy Patz: For me, it started with cancer 8 years ago. Mine was Triple Negative breast cancer. Highly aggressive, only 3% of the population will get it. It was a year of surgeries, chemo, and radiation. And as sad as it is, I know you all know someone who has had cancer, or a stroke, or heart condition, or maybe you’ve had it yourself? It’s life-threatening, and it makes you reevaluate everything. Here’s the thing…it rocked me, but it wasn’t enough. I knew there was something more I was supposed to be doing with my life, but I didn’t know and couldn’t figure out what. I went back to my normal life. Knowing I was missing something.
Fast forward to 4 years ago. I go out for a run. A kid who is texting and driving hits me with his car. I crack my skull and suffer brain damage. A large hematoma on one side, a small on the other from bounce back. I remember very little about the next week and a half of my life.
Recovery wasn’t easy. I was initially awake for only an hour or so a day, then slowly able to increase it. When I went back to work, I couldn’t walk in a straight line, taste and smell had all but disappeared, and when I pulled up my first email, I realized I couldn’t read. The hardest part for me though was that I was now a different person.
I started to look at things differently. The outpouring of love I received. It was phenomenal, surreal. Flowers, cards, gifts. When I went back to work, the support, conversations, vulnerability… I finally got it. It was all of this. This support, this connection, this love, this community. This was what my life was about. This is what changes lives. I want to bring this kind of love, support, and kindness to everyone. I want them to feel safe and supported and loved by the family around them …because we are all family.
So that is where the idea for this app came from. The ability to remind and encourage people to do good things for each other, to look at each other differently, to create that ripple of kindness…
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Suzy Patz: With brain injury, I don’t know that you ever fully recover. The doctors can’t tell you what’s normal or what you will heal into because they really don’t know. I kept hearing “Everyone is different”. For two and a half years after brain damage, I wasn’t able to sleep. AT ALL. I did everything, meditation, melatonin, hot baths, low lights, chamomile tea, sleep aids, you name it. My brain, although exhausted, didn’t know how to switch into sleep mode. It made it really easy to drive 8 hours in the middle of the night when a friend needed help though! It was two and a half years of caffeinating to be able to work, and crashing on my days off.
I was a zombie. And I thought this was my new normal. I learned how to live with that reality, but I never considered giving up. I saw my weakness and I sought out help to compensate. I KNEW this was something I was supposed to do, so the only question was, “What do I need to do to make it happen?” I enlisted the help of a business coach, since starting my own enterprise was not something I had done before. I reached out to friends who had knowledge in areas I didn’t. I had no fear. None. If people wanted to help me, great. If not, no big deal. Although I found almost everyone wanted to help. So much can be done when you let go of fear and doubt and just do. Life completely opens up. It did for me.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Suzy Patz: I think the most common mistake I see is that they give up. They get to a tough point and think all is lost. Just like life, business is going to have its potholes in the road. You have to figure out a way to ride it out. For me, that’s meant reaching out for help, getting all kinds of uncomfortable and vulnerable, and letting people know the truth of what’s going on. People can’t help if they don’t know.
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience?
Suzy Patz: When you go through multiple challenging times in life, resilience is built. It must be. It has to be in order to keep going. Resilience is the ability to recognize that a situation is going to challenge you, and choosing to stand in the face of it anyway. You know you will get through the other side, so it doesn’t stop you. You actually see it as an opportunity to grow. Sure, it may slow you down at times, but you’re looking for the lesson, what it could teach you. Resilience is critical if you want to run a successful business.
When you think of your company, 5 years from now, what do you see?
Suzy Patz: I love this question. Five years from now, Love Out Loud has created a world of people who are so excited to do good for each other, they seek it out every day. They don’t see others as obstacles to move around, but rather opportunities to do good. The app is a community, a gathering space for people making an impact and connecting with others who see the ability to make a real difference in this world. Love Out Loud is a hub for nonprofit recognition.
As an example, imagine if every mobile app out there had to do its own marketing and try to make a name for itself without having the AppStore as a one-stop-shop, for people to have access to every mobile app in one place, It would be almost impossible for the little guys to gain any ground. This is what small to medium-sized nonprofits are going through! Love Out Loud will be an AppStore for nonprofits. A place where all nonprofits can be found and supported just by the good people are doing. It’s so exciting when you think about it!
What do you consider are your strengths when dealing with staff workers, colleagues, senior management, and customers?
Suzy Patz: Life is all about the relationships we have with one another. To have strength in the world of people, you need to make it about them. They will be the ones who propel you to the next level, put in the hours, represent who you are and your brand to the world! I show love, compassion, and hold them accountable for what they are there to do. When you treat people with kindness, integrity and show them that they are valuable both as a person and as a team member, they absolutely shine. When they shine, so do you.
How important do you think it is for a leader to be mindful of his own brand?
Suzy Patz: This is of astronomical importance. Whether we’re talking about company marketing or how we represent ourselves on social media, knowing the brand makes a huge impact. Imagine you are selling shoes. Not just any shoes, but stylish, expensive, often uncomfortable, high-heeled shoes. If you, as a leader, don’t understand the brand and thus the audience who would be buying these shoes, you will create marketing content, a social presence that brings in an audience that doesn’t support what you are doing.
For example, women in their 80’s will not be rushing to buy! Now, you might generate a lot of leads, have a big audience, but you’ll have a huge database of people that will never buy what you are selling because you weren’t mindful of the brand.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Suzy Patz: I love Brene Brown’s leadership style and hope to create the same culture in my business as we expand. Her company actually teaches the skills necessary to have open, direct conversations, give constructive feedback. The highest levels of the company exemplify the ability for openness and vulnerability. When a company teaches their employees not just the hard skills of programs and processes, but also the soft skills of social engagement, personal and professional accountability, and creates a space for vulnerability, that is a company is going to build incredible leaders, community, and can’t help but thrive.
Do you think entrepreneurship is something that you’re born with or something that you can learn along the way?
Suzy Patz: I think entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learned. I remember hearing an interview on the radio years ago with Will Smith. He was being asked about all of the different roles he has taken on and the success he’s had in each, from musician to TV, to blockbuster movie star, to producer. His response really resonated with me. He said he simply knows if it’s been done, then he knows it’s something he can do…and he’ll put in whatever time he needs to to make that happen.
I’ve learned that’s true. Nothing is impossible. When you decide it’s something you really want to do, you’ll make it happen. There are always skills you need to learn, you may have to put in hard times, struggle, learn from those that have done it best before you, but when it’s something you really want, you find a way.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Suzy Patz for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Suzy Patz or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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