Weaving Life and Business Together with Becky Beckman
Joe Mills: What are the unique experiences that drive business leaders to keep growing, and how can the lessons learn from those stories, enable others to do the same? I’m Joe Mills,
Reid Morris: and I’m Reid Morris,
Joe Mills: and together we’re investigating who it takes and the tools to use to build companies and culture.
Reid Morris: Then we’re sharing those stories with you.
Joe Mills: This is 1,000 Stories, an original show from Element Three.
Reid Morris: Okay, Joe, so next guest coming on the show, Becky Beckman. Right? Somebody who we know well. Element Three has worked with her team, but could you give me a little more context as to, you know, where your heads are going into the conversation with Becky?
Joe Mills: Yeah, I think what’s very interesting to me with Becky is that Becky was your classic, high-achieving, high-striving individual, and she took a conscious step backwards from a title standpoint.
Um, and I extrapolate that out to be probably a pay standpoint, probably. Seniority opportunity standpoint. Um, and so I’m just interested because I don’t think you lose that I am an achiever mindset, but how did she get the permission? Like what was the trigger that allowed her to say it’s okay to do this?
Mm-hmm. , because I know that it wasn’t for lack of other opportunity. I, I already know that. So given that context, I’d just love to hear her perspective on what her career trajectory has been and how does she think about it and. That’s the conversation I’m really interested in..
Reid Morris: Yeah It’s interesting because I think, you know, she is somebody who also brings some family balanced context to the equation, right.
We know from our conversation with John that was really important, and it’ll be interesting to hear from her what exactly that looks like in her decision making process. Yeah. Uh, and, and that as well as just another different industry, right? I mean, the insurance world, the brokerage world. That is, uh, something that we haven’t really gone into yet.
So what does leadership for her mean in, in that context compared to the other people that we’ve spoken to that are
Joe Mills: like, you know, very consulting in nature. Yeah. Her role is not in that sense. So it’ll be interesting to hear a different business model. Mm-hmm. , um, and this actually pops in my head as you talk about it, consulting world.
The self development is almost, is almost professional development and that the better you become about awareness of yourself and how you show up, like directly impacts your work. Yeah. Mm-hmm. and it, I believe it does regardless of the industry, but I’m interested to hear how somebody who doesn’t live in such a world of, I have to be better cuz I am the product.
Mm-hmm. , um, just how that relates to her as well. Yeah. It should be a good
Reid Morris: conversation. Yeah.
Joe Mills: You have an interesting background. I’d be curious, just, I don’t know a ton. Did you grow up in Indiana? Like all that sort of stuff, but maybe you could just sort of intro for the people, um, what you do, what Gibson does, and where you spend your days right
Becky Beckman: now. Sure. So, no, you, you started off by asking did I grow up in Indiana?
I’m from Toledo, Ohio, so not too far away. Midwest, my brother went to Bowling Green. Okay, sure. Yeah. When you live in Toledo, Ohio, you go to the University of Toledo or you go to bowling. Great. So I, which one did you land then? I actually went to neither, I went and played softball up at a small private school in, uh, Michigan.
Cool. Um, Adrian College. So when you were 18 years old, or, I don’t know where you guys were at in life, but softball was life, right?
Joe Mills: Oh, my, my wife played in college. I played soccer in college, so I
Becky Beckman: totally know what you mean. Yeah. So I went to college based on where I was gonna play softball before I picked where I was gonna go to school.
So, uh, for an actual education. But yeah, so I spent most of my time in southeast Michigan. And then, um, when I graduated it. 2008 and it was the recession and I was just looking for any job anywhere. So all over the Midwest. Um, my then boyfriend, now husband was in like southwest Michigan, Nile’s, south Bend area.
Sure. So I was kind of looking that way, looking Chicago back in Ohio. And I landed in South Bend, Indiana about 15 years ago.
Joe Mills: Cause I also went through the, I will go to school where I can play at and was fortunate enough to have some options inside of that. But it, it does start to sort of narrow what you’re gonna.
Thinking about that and then thinking about post-grad, where you’re like, okay, I was choosing where I wanted to play at. Now I’m sort of at the mercy of a really down economy, the worst one that we’ve seen since like 1930. What was that like? The difference in just four quick years to be like, I’m choosing to go do a thing that I love to now, like I am happy to take what I can get.
Was that weird? Yeah,
Becky Beckman: it was weird. So luckily though, when I got to Adrian, uh, they had a really good broadcast arts program in public relations. So I got in, I, it was a liberal arts college. So we started through the communications program, started down the public relations path and communications, radio broadcasting, um, all of those fun things.
And so after I graduated, I then went on to Wayne State University in their radio broadcasting and television program. So in my head then, at that point, I. Ooh, I figured this out right. Um, I was either gonna do something artsy, they had a big art school, you were gonna be a teacher, or you were gonna do something in the communications world.
Marketing communications. Um, and that fit in pretty nicely with where I felt like my talents lined up. So I figured that out pretty early in college and then kind of embraced it. And then, uh, after college though, like you said, I luckily got a job with Channel four in Detroit fairly quickly out of school and realized that’s not what I wanted to do, but it was a job, so I just kind of hung onto it for a little bit, did what I could with that.
Joe Mills: you that it was not what you wanted
Becky Beckman: to do? I think. Deep down in my gut. And then maybe also being a 21 year old, waking up at two 30 in the morning every morning to go into the office, right? And just the grind of it. Um, I was always a grinder, always, but it just never felt right in my gut that like, am I really gonna do this?
For the rest of my, like, I’m gonna, this is it, is this what I’m jumping into? I wanna go into television broadcasting and I’m gonna give it my all. And it just didn’t feel right to me. I didn’t, um, appreciate it the way I thought I was going to. So I stuck it out for eight months, a year while I was trying to look, like I said, in this 2008, 2009 economy.
And I just said, you know, that pr, the communications, I like working with people, I love events and I just got real lucky to land at a non-profit. , which allowed me to wear all those hats really early in my career.
Joe Mills: Yeah. It’s interesting just to stay on the broadcasting piece for a second. My, my brother was a hockey broadcaster for a decade.
I can somewhat through him sympathize with the, just the schedule that goes with that. One thing I observed from that schedule is like, you’re almost always working when people are relaxing or playing, which can also be mentally challenging. But I’m just curious outside of the, I gotta wake up early. What was it that you.
Was missing in what you expected it to be and what the reality of it
Becky Beckman: was. I think when you graduate college, right? You have this expectation in your head, like hard work. You gotta put in the hard work. I was willing to do that. I was always of that mindset. Um, and it’s so funny, even just that doesn’t really seem like that long ago the world was very, um, dominated by people that just, it just seemed like you were never gonna be able to be appreci.
like, I would go into work every day and at that level you’re, you know, you’re filming, you’re recording, you’re editing, you’re doing all of the things behind the scenes and. Felt like it was so repetitive, no one was paying attention to it. It just felt like a grind that was gonna continue to go on and go unnoticed.
And I was more of a person that wanted to have some sort of satisfaction out of what I was doing. Like I wanted it to go somewhere. I wanted it to mean something. I wanted to feel like I was climbing or moving towards something, and it just felt really stagnant. Mm. Um, I would go in every day at two 30.
I’d do the grind, I’d do the thing, uh, when I got off work, I would sleep, you know, and then do it all over again. And like you said, it, it became mentally exhausting to never feel like you were going anywhere with it or like it was going to go
Joe Mills: somewhere. I read this study that said people would prefer to wait eight minutes for a bus that they knew was coming in eight minutes versus two minutes for one that they didn’t know was coming.
Interesting. Because our brains hate not knowing the, the future. And so, Aren’t mapped out. Where am I going? Why am I putting in this work? Was the hustle culture really prevalent when you came outta school?
Becky Beckman: Yeah, I think so. For sure. That’s how I was raised. That’s where, you know, I feel like the Midwest definitely.
Yeah. Um, is the hustle culture as well. I was in Detroit at the time as well, and Detroit
Joe Mills: in 2008 would’ve been hard.
Becky Beckman: It was, it, it really was, the economy was so down, the overall feeling of happiness was down in the, in general, especially in Detroit. Um, I think that every one of my friends were struggling to figure out what they wanted to do.
You just spent all this money, it just, it was a. It was a very defeating time. Mm-hmm. , um, to wanna start this career and do all of these things that you thought and the expectations in your head, and to get back to what you were saying, the plan. That’s my personality. Mm-hmm. , I have a plan, right? This is what’s gonna happen.
This is where I’m gonna try to go. I would say I’m okay to, to veer to pivot off the plan here or there. Um, but I had a plan and what I was doing there was not, not meeting those expectations of where I thought it was going to go. Yeah. Um, and in a downtime and, um, just the energy was bad. I just needed a change.
I just needed to get up, I needed to move outta there. I needed to try something different that was gonna fill my cup a little bit more.
Joe Mills: So then you started to bridge into it. Um, you found a nonprofit, which is interesting. Um, and I, I, when I hear you say like, I wanted to see an impact, I wanted to see that things mattered.
I, I feel like nonprofits fit that build for well. So it’s not a super surprising turn, but Right. Um, how did it happen? Like, how’d you land there? What was
Becky Beckman: the choice like? Yeah, that’s interesting thought because, um, at that point in my career, I guess I probably didn’t even know what like a non-profit was.
Right? Like, I mean, I know I volunteered in high school. I did what I was supposed to do. I volunteered in. But I don’t know that I actually really knew what a nonprofit did or was, or how they helped communities. Like the bigger picture of
Joe Mills: what that was. Well, I think when it’s, when you’re young too, you hear nonprofit and you hear no money.
Yeah. Which, which is not the thing. Like it is a, it is a business that runs on a different model. Right. So, um, So, yeah, you didn’t really know what, what it was, but you landed in one. Yeah,
Becky Beckman: so I started interviewing, um, all over the place, wherever I could take an interview. And, um, surprisingly, I land an interview at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana.
It was quite the place to be, uh, during Notre Dame home football weekends. And we did a lot of educational stuff with students and athletes that would come and travel through so, Interviewed at the college Football Hall of Fame, got the job, and um, started my work. Being in a nonprofit, you wore a lot of hats early.
So I was doing a little sales, I was doing some event planning, I was doing some educational stuff. We would have tours, just all kinds of things. You just wore all the hats and you learned everything. Um, and that was the start to where I feel like my career has gone then and just, it’s a different kind of non-profit.
Right. But museums are non-profits and I learned. How we could be a good community partner and we were able to offer a lot of events for the community and that really drew me in and kept me in the South End community. I don’t think I would’ve gotten to know everyone in that area and been so entrenched in everything happening in South End if I didn’t start my career there.
Joe Mills: There’s an interesting like dichotomy. You talked about your personality as very much having a plan from the outside. When I view and when I hear from people who work inside non-profits, a lot of times it feels like chaos. Was, did you experience that?
Becky Beckman: Absolutely. Organized chaos and um, I’ve been in two different non-profits before where I’m at now.
Mm-hmm. and, um, you usually have a staff of under 10 people. Yeah. Right. I mean, unless you’re working with some of these national non-profits. Sure. And you’re wearing five to 10 different hats there. Every day is different. But you know what, that really filled my cup. I love Interesting. I being. All over the place.
I like staying busy. I’m, I’m a pretty organized person in my head, so if you’re gonna have me doing a tour in the morning and then I’m on the, doing an interview in the afternoon, and then I’m having a meeting in the evening, like, great, I’ll plan all three of those for you and get it all organized
Joe Mills: so it doesn’t have to be a plan that’s like, The essentialism plan of like one direction.
This needs to be something that you like. Did you appreciate having like, control over it or like what was it that fit the planning function there?
Becky Beckman: Yeah, that’s probably a really good thought that I’ve never actually dug into before. I might wanna think through that a little bit more, but the control thing probably has that,
Joe Mills: that sounds like negative.
Like I think we hear the word controlling in our, in our like terminology in the connotation of it is like negative. I don’t mean it that way at all. I, I just mean like, it’s interesting if I were to think of somebody who wanted direction and. I wouldn’t pick the chaos. Yeah. Of a nonprofit. It sounds like it fulfilled
Becky Beckman: you while you were there.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think the word control, I actually take that more of, yeah. I like to step up. I like to be in leadership roles. I like to prove that I can do something good and that gave me an opportunity to do that at a really young age. You know, I’m a 22 year old, 23 year old, move into South Bend, Indiana.
I didn’t know anyone, um, besides my now husband that moved there as well, and I started. and I just was like, I’m gonna do this and I’m gonna meet people and I’m gonna lead this and I’m gonna do this the best I can. And the things that were getting thrown at me were also kind of cool, right? Mm-hmm. , it was the College Football Hall of Fame.
Yeah. So I was getting to meet some of these professional football players that were now being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Really wonderful college players that are doing amazing things in their careers. Um, It just was a really great opportunity for a young 20 year old Yeah. To get And you learned really quickly how to mature Yeah.
And how to talk to people, um, at a totally different level than what’s ever been in front of you.
Joe Mills: I, I can relate a little bit. When, when I started here, I was fortunate enough to be hired and immediately start working for Tiffany. And then for about 12 months, I just followed Tiffany around and sat in meetings with CEOs and.
Got exposed to just what their brains do. And, um, getting to experience that was, I didn’t, I almost didn’t notice it at the time, but like, it wasn’t normal to be exposed to executive level thinking at, at 23 years old. Um, did you notice it at the time it
Becky Beckman: was happening? Yeah, I actually was, I was actually really blessed though.
Um, luckily I have always been the type of person that was a good listen. And then I would go just be a doer then. Right? I’ve been blessed in my three careers that I’ve had to have really wonderful CEOs that run the organization. And we’ve always had conversations about listening first. Cuz I’m a big talker, right?
And I like to talk and I learned very quickly and very early not to talk over people and to listen to what they’re saying and then actually let that digest before I answer. Um, I learned that the hard way a couple times, right? I mean, as we all do in, in lessons. But, um, listening became really important to me.
So I started listening to the conversations that were happening around me, how people were moving and shaking in the right places, how the community was growing, how business worked in general. Yeah, it, it really opened up my eyes early to all of those
Joe Mills: things. So you’re in the, you’re in the non-profit space.
You’re meeting cool people, you’re learning a ton. What triggered the next move? The
Becky Beckman: CEO of a company in South Bend. Uh, it was Carbon’s, gold and Malted, really wonderful company. Largest manufacturer of pancake and waffle flour in the country. Um, the random things. Random things, I’m telling you the random things that I have been, uh, exposed to.
Yeah. In little South Bend, Indiana, right? Yeah. So Carbons was headquartered, uh uh, in Buchanan, Michigan, right over the border from South Bend and opened an office in South Bend, and I happened to be on a trip out in Phoenix. With the CEO and he asked me if I would come work for him. Um, and the organization, they were on a really big growth pattern and they wanted someone to oversee their marketing department.
He had some big ideas, as most visionaries do. He wanted to start a food truck, he wanted to do all of these things, and I’m like, okay, I’m doing it. Like I think my philosophy was always. You give me a thing to do and I’m gonna do it the best. It’s very athlete of you. Yes. Yep. Do you think that there’s a lot of that that comes into play and, and he was a coach, a former softball coach, and just, we had a lot of things that we saw eye to eye on, and he just saw that I was a grinder and I was gonna do this.
So at 26 or. 27, somewhere around there I moved over and became the Vice President of Marketing for Carbons. That is quite a title
Joe Mills: at 26,
Becky Beckman: 27. It was. It was a lot of imposter syndrome, I think back then. Now I know we use that word a lot more now, 10 years later into my career. Yeah. I didn’t know what that was then.
Joe Mills: How’d it manifest? Like when you, and you didn’t know what it was? So it’s a lot. I think it’s harder to be comfortable with something that you can’t put your finger on. Yeah.
Becky Beckman: We didn’t talk about that at that time. Like no one talked about imposter syndrome. I just went in there and played the part. I pretended a lot and I’d come home and I’m.
Oh my gosh. Like I need to go into this meeting tomorrow looking like I know what I’m talking about. And I would literally go to the Kohl’s at eight o’clock at night and buy like a suit outfit that looked like I was more professional because I wanted everyone to take me seriously. Right? Mm-hmm. . Cause I’m the new girl on this leadership team that he saw something in me and we grew that department and we started the first food truck in Chicago and we grew the brand, we grew the retail brand.
Ultimately the company sold to a private equity firm and, and made a lot of people very happy, let’s say that. Um, and I learned a lot about that as well, . So, um, I was thrown into a lot of things at a really young age that I just went for. I was like, okay, yeah, you want me to do this, I’m gonna do it. And I did.
Joe Mills: There’s something about your like repeated ability to like dive into a thing. I mean, honestly, the fact that, you know, 10 months at the first spot when you probably knew early on that it was. A thing that you were super into, um, is an interesting, like repeated thing. It’s like, I’m just gonna dive in, do it, I’m gonna dive it into it, I’m gonna dive in.
Do it, did it feel the same or did you feel yourself like changing in the way that you went about engaging in work in these different locations? Yeah,
Becky Beckman: I think that’s an interesting question because I think I started to mature really quickly, right? Like I started to change my pattern. Well, if I’m gonna dive in and I’m gonna do this, I wanna be all in and I want it to be something that’s I’m gonna feel satisfied with and I’m going to.
So I just, I kept putting myself in situations that felt like I was gonna fill my cup, right? Like, who wouldn’t have fun? Starting the first, literally the first food truck in Chicago. And I didn’t know what that, of any of, any of any first one really, because think about this. Now 2000. Wait, I gotta, I gotta get, yeah.
Ish. Something like that. And we were just starting to get licenses in Chicago to be able to have food trucks. And we literally have pictures of us being the first one in the city of Chicago with our truck out there. But like, no one knew what that meant. I had to like hire a chef. We had to find like a space in Chicago.
I don’t even, yeah, a commercial kitchen. And then you put it on, yeah. Commercial kitchen so we could cook the food in the morning. Well, cause now
Joe Mills: people sell trucks.
Becky Beckman: Kid it out a hundred percent. And I live in that country right up there. So we actually literally went to Elkhart and said to someone, I need you to put a kitchen and a truck for.
And I had no idea what I was doing. Like literally no idea what I was doing. California, we went out to, flew out to California to see a couple of um, you know, examples of this, like Bryan la taco trucks, things like that. Yes. They had all of the things out there. Right. Especially cuz the weather’s way better.
I mean, we maybe got to have the food truck out for like four months. And I think what that project taught me was, look, this is a vision that the CEO has and my one job right now. To protect the brand and grow the brand. That was one side of the job. The other job was to get it done. Mm-hmm. like see his vision come to life and if I can’t get it done, I’m gonna figure out how I’m gonna get it done.
Yeah. Whether that was hiring whoever I needed to hire. I was lucky enough to be able to have the funds to be able to do those things. Hire the chef, get the kitchen, do the things cuz he just wanted it to happen. Mm-hmm. , and I don’t even know, during that time I just thought about this, that I hardly had any conversations with him.
It was when it’s done and it’s ready, you let me know. Interesting. And we did dit and it took a while though.
Joe Mills: Did he give clarity? Like the why behind the food
Becky Beckman: truck, the brand growing the brand, just like a
Joe Mills: presence, awareness
Becky Beckman: sort of play. That was the whole behind it was brand awareness. And so that also I think triggered my future thought of marketing and my relationship marketing.
I feel like brand awareness, that’s really what I go for every day, even now in my career, is always remembering how I’m gonna protect the brand and how I’m going to grow the. In the best way possible.
Joe Mills: It’s interesting. Did you go Gibson after this? After this role?
Becky Beckman: No, I had one other stint back at a nonprofit when we sold, yeah, when we sold carbons to the private equity.
Um, I was six months pregnant. Okay. And said, I don’t know, I don’t know what to do right now. Like, I felt like I was in a weird place in my career, so I technically took a step. Um, if you were talking about all the titles and all the things Sure. And the money and all that, I, I took a little bit of a step back and went another nonprofit in South Bend that I had been on the board of while I was.
Okay. So this is a
Joe Mills: point I wanna talk, I wanna talk through what, like, almost gave you permission to take the step back. What was it that like, cuz for me it’s like somebody needed to give me permission to not keep going forward. Technic. I’m curious if you felt that at all. Yeah.
Becky Beckman: I very, very vividly remember walking out to the shop at Carbons cuz we, it was manufacturing, right?
Huge manufacturing shop out back of the offices and I was on a phone interview because we knew, like I was involved with leadership, so I knew everything that was happening. I knew that I needed to get into my next step. I wasn’t moving to Philadelphia where they were moving. The headquarters wasn’t doing those things.
I was six months pregnant. I was. Because I’m six months pregnant and I’m like, I have no idea what this means. I’m no longer probably, maybe I’ll be a vice president. Where else am I gonna be vice president at itself? Like, I don’t know, like, like you said, I had worked so hard to climb the ladder at such a young age, receiving accolades, doing these things, like all the stuff that like fills you up, right?
And then I’m like, oh, I guess it was being six months pregnant. And like that needed to be my priority. I. To continue to work, I had to continue to work. Um, so I
Joe Mills: Was that like I had to like financially or was it like I needed it?
Becky Beckman: Yes, I think both. Yeah, I think there was somewhere both, but financially it made, I needed to continue to work and, um, I was on the board of the foundation that I went to afterwards, the Kelly Cares Foundation, and she called me and said, Come over and help us, come help us grow the brand.
Uh, the foundation was just a year too old and help us grow the brand. Um, it’ll be okay. You’ll have flexibility. You’ll be able to have the baby, you’ll be able to work when you wanna work. And she was that voice. She was my CEO at the College Football Hall of Fame. Oh, okay. And she had now moved over to the Kelly Cares Foundation because the Hall of Fame had moved to mm-hmm.
Atlanta. Lots of transitions happening. Yeah. In a pretty quick amount of time in my life over 10 years. And um, she was that soothing voice that was like, it’s okay. It’s gonna be okay. You’re gonna be fine. You don’t have to maybe do this forever. You’re gonna be able to pick your career back up. Like, this is still gonna be great for you.
Joe Mills: Did, did it feel like somebody who was ahead of you Yes. Telling you it is, this is actually okay. Yes.
Becky Beckman: Yes, I would say so. Uh, Lisa was always that voice for me. She’s about 10 years older than me. Um, so still very accomplished in her career at a young age, and I always looked up to. Admired her and my, my CEO at Carbons as well.
He was like, it’s okay. You’re good. You’re gonna be okay. Like this isn’t like, cuz you said when you grow, like I was growing on this path, I was growing and then all of a sudden it like comes to a halt. Like you said, you felt I felt very defeated. Yes. Like I was doing something wrong. Like I did something somehow in my life to like put.
Like, stop on my career. Um, so I just had to rework that story in my head and tell myself it was gonna be okay. And, um, I did that, I did that and I continued to grow. I continued to build my network around the country, actually, because the Kelly Cares Foundation, um, was Coach Brian Kelly’s foundation. Okay.
Yeah. So I, so then now I’m back into this. of athletes. Athletes and traveling and all of these really cool experiences that I was like, I get to have again. Yeah. Like, this is amazing. So who wouldn’t wanna do that? Right. That was a very amazing time to be able to have that put on my plate and also take a step back and, and start my family.
Joe Mills: it’s interesting you’ve used the phrase, who wouldn’t a couple of times, like, who wouldn’t wanna start the first food truck? Who wouldn’t wanna travel around, have these experiences? I think you do a really nice job. You find it and like celebrate it, is what it feels like to me, where it’s like, even if this wasn’t my, like, original plan, one thing that looks like developed across time for you was the ability to be like, oh, oh, but look at how great it is.
Yeah. Oh, oh. And, and not in like this. There’s like that, the optimist way of like, oh, it’s gonna be great, but this is like an authentic like, oh wow. Like look at this opportunity I stumbled into. Yeah. If I’m just
Becky Beckman: open to it. I think that that’s very true. And I don’t know if it’s the way I was raised. I haven’t, I guess I can’t put my finger on it, but I, um, am very fortunate, I feel like, to have all the opportunities that have been given to me.
Um, and I work really hard for those, and so I. Have been so blessed to be around some wonderful people. I know so many people that I’ve come across in my career that have had not great work experiences, or not great mentors or bosses, and who am I that I’ve gotten to have four now, like no bad situations.
I mean, maybe the television station for a couple months, but that was like so early in my career it was still a learning experience. But I’ve been so blessed to have these people that have believed in me and saw something in me and then allowed me to have that confidence in myself. Like, I can do this.
Sure, great. And then I just embrace it and enjoy it and find the joy in it. Because I had a lot of mornings where I would wake up and um, my chef and I would drive to Chicago. It was three o’clock in the morning from South Bend and we. Grind it out. Right. That was tough. You just love these 3:00 AM I know.
I don’t know why that came full circle. That was rough for a while. And then we learned our lesson and got things organized a little bit more and figured it out, but there were some really hard warnings. Um, and I just rolled with the punches because ultimately it was so satisfying to, like, once you did it and you saw that the, the final product was there.
I think that’s ultimately what it’s all about. Even in my current. Working towards what that finished product could be and building the reputation and the brand, and just evangelizing how much you appreciate your teams and the people you’re around. I mean, that’s really what it’s about for me. And that fills my cup
Joe Mills: now.
Yeah. Well, I’m interested, you mentioned, so you started your family as you were moving to Kelly Cares, six months pregnant, so mm-hmm. , um, and now you have three. Yes. And you mentioned the priority shift of being six months pregnant, being part of what gave you that permiss. How many of your kids did you end up having while you were at Kelly?
Two. Two. Okay. Have you felt the same amount of like priority shift with each kid or has it stayed like, oh, I have my first and now this is like a huge, massive priority for me. Do you see priorities as like linear?
Becky Beckman: I did for a really long time, I think, and especially when I was 29. I had my first when I was 30.
So, um, yes, I feel like there was a priority shift, but I’m not unique. I know that when it comes to being a working mom, but where I have always known that when I had all three of my babies that, I mean, I was back to work because I wanted to be back to work. I was a better mom. I still am a better mom because I travel.
And I get to take them to do different experiences and I have a broader mindset. I have an open mind. I’m not there every day. I’m a better mom for that and I knew that going into it. So my priorities of having a family and wanting to be a mom and be a working mom, were always kind of set up. Like I always had that as part of my plan.
If we go back to the plan, like I knew that was gonna happen, work was always a priority for me. It still. . And so I’ve had to figure out how to shift my priorities to make sure that my girls are taken care of while also making sure that I’m fulfilled. Mm-hmm. . And I think I’ve done a really nice walking that tight rope.
Yeah. Um, but it’s tough and it’s harder every day, um, as they get older. Well, it’s
Joe Mills: so interesting you said I’m a better mom because I get to be away. Can you just break that out for me? I
Becky Beckman: feel like the appreciation for all of the little things, uh, comes on 10 times over. So an example, if I’m home all week, say we’re on vacation, or I take a week off with the girls, or it’s summer vacation and I’m there every single day, you find yourself getting more stressed out.
But, and I also have three girls under seven, right? So there’s a, it’s loud in my house, right? So much I cannot imagine. Yeah. So much screaming, so much like girly stuff, right? So it starts to get to you when you’re not used to that. So when I have that break and I have that adult interaction, and I have the ability to use my mind and, and to use my gifts and talents, Every day and then come home.
I’m much more, um, focused on them. I’m much more prepared to sit and talk to them. I’m much more relaxed. I’m way more attentive, and I’m a much better parent because I’ve had that opportunity to get out and use my gifts, my talents, my brain in different ways throughout
Joe Mills: the day. In your brain, do you like separate work in life?
Becky Beckman: I don’t. Okay. And I wonder if that’s just my career path. I think I have to interweave ’em. My days change so much that you know, my morning, I’m getting the girls to school, then I’m going to work and then I might leave for a little while and I, because I have something at school cuz I have a very flexible schedule and I can do that.
Um, and then I have an event at night and it’s maybe an adult event, maybe it’s not, maybe it’s a community event. So I run home, I pick up the girls, they’re coming to volunteer with me. So I very much entrenched them in all of the things that are happening. Yeah. Do you travel with
Joe Mills: them? You mentioned. You get to like, yes, I
Becky Beckman: would say yes.
So I think I was thinking more back when they were little, but even that
Joe Mills: is really interesting to me. Yeah. So you brought ‘
Becky Beckman: em with you on. Oh yeah, they would come to Chicago, they would come to work things, they would come to all my Kelly Cares events that I had, um, as, as much as I can bring them. Um, we have an event this afternoon back in South Bend that the girls are gonna come to.
Um, so I try to do that so they understand what I’m doing every day. Um, which I think has actually been super helpful. Obviously they don’t travel with me to like conferences and things like that,
Joe Mills: but lugging them around the conventional center. All right, get
Becky Beckman: in the seat, be quiet. Oh gosh. I can’t even imagine.
Um, but yeah, I try to keep them involved as much as I can and I’m really blessed now at Gibson that being in charge of all of our corporate. Philanthropy, which just makes sense. Yeah, it does. Um, and my passion that the girls get to see that, yeah. They come and volunteer with me. They are, um, very much involved on the different, um, non-profits that I’m involved with in South Bend.
Joe Mills: I’m really just like appreciative of this, of the line we’re falling into is talking about that integration of work and family. Cause I think one of the pieces that has been a mental block for me as I think about having a family is like I find myself sane or instead of. And like you’ve used the word and many times I’m working and I’m a mom and, and like bringing that in.
And Tiffany talks a lot about this idea of a life of and being her sort of perspective on the world. And so it’s interesting to hear you talk about weaving them together and how. You bring work in life together and it almost sounds to me like your work and your, your life share a lot of the same like intentionality
Becky Beckman: around them.
I would say yes. And I do think I go to work to, to get that break, that adult time, right? That adult interaction, getting to use my mind and just think through a problem solve from a bigger picture standpoint, which I’m glad to not have the girls there during that time. Right. I don’t know that I would be as happy, confident, successful in my career if I didn’t figure out a way to keep my husband and my girls as a part of that.
Yeah. Um, and that’s, you know, that’s been a real evolution over the last seven years. Um, cuz my oldest is seven. So how do we figure out how are we gonna make this work? Because you have a busy schedule. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, I’m going all the time. So number one, you have to have a husband at home. Can pick up the slack for that and that is going to, um, embrace it.
Yeah. And love it and be all over that. So I’m very blessed to have that. And he makes sure that the girls are where they need to go when I am traveling. And then when I come home this afternoon, he’ll be there with all three of ’em to meet me at my event that I have to volunteer at tonight. So, We’ve just worked through that mm-hmm.
and have figured out a, the best way that we could all be involved and, and I feel like we, I shouldn’t talk for him, but like, we really enjoy it. Mm-hmm. , I feel like we’re pretty happy. We’re pretty adjusted. Like it, it’s been fitting into place now. The
Joe Mills: way it sounds is that it’s busy, but not
Becky Beckman: exhausting.
Yeah. Yeah. I, I mean, we all have our times. I joking, I jokingly said to Isaiah this morning, Said, so since August 15th, I haven’t been home, so like for two and a half months I said, but I don’t have one event in November. Yay. Like, let’s look forward to this. Um, but it’s been, it’s been good. We’ve figured it out.
We’ve done it. I’ve had an amazing couple months at work. We’ve done so many things. We’re continuing to grow. I mean, that’s, The goal, right? So I’ve left all of those things over the last two months feeling really good about where we’re at. So I think that helps because then I come home with a positive attitude.
I’m not coming home with the attitude of I’m so exhausted. Works horrible. I shouldn’t do it. Like I don’t, I don’t feel like that, truthfully. Yeah. So I think that I can bring home the positive attitude. It keeps the energy high at home as well, and then we just do the next day. Well, and it’s
Joe Mills: almost like a circular effect, right?
The energy’s high at home, so everybody’s good. You get filled up by that energy mm-hmm. , and you go back to work and you bring the same energy. So then instead of walking into the room and like being the like, Suck the energy out because I’m like, oh, I’m so tired. I’m so busy. I’m hustling like all these things.
It’s like, no, I’ve intentionally built this and it fills me and therefore I can do it all. Yeah. And it doesn’t feel like I’m trying to like, I’m sure there are times where it feels like that. Sure. Fair. On the large part, it doesn’t feel like I’m trying to do it all. Yeah. This is the life that I designed
Becky Beckman: to do.
Yeah. And I truthfully feel that way. I feel like I have built this position that I’m currently in. Intentionally filled my plate to the top every single day and I’m, I love it. I love every bit of it. I love the chaos. And you talked about chaos earlier. So a girl with a plan, that’s me. But then I have to plan through the chaos all day long, and that for sure has, has definitely filled my cup.
I like the chaos. Okay.
Joe Mills: Back to this idea of plan and. , it sounds like you have figured out the things that you have control over really well, and then you just accept everything that you don’t, and you just sort of flow with the obstacles really well instead of like fighting against them. It’s like, yeah, this is the reality.
How do I need to like, Move around it. What’s the next thing? Is that true? Yes. Like you have your own thing, but then you let things come in and just accept it. That feels
Becky Beckman: very true. I think the control side of me definitely is there. I, I don’t know that I’d be in the position I was and if I didn’t have somewhat control over all of the chaos that’s happening.
Joe Mills: But you also don’t like, you don’t fight the fact that you want the control. Mm-hmm. .
Becky Beckman: Cause it’s at all to, it is real. And um, and it actually makes me think, which is funny, I just thought about this, that Danielle with Element Three, when I worked with her on a project about three years ago when we were rebranding at Gibson, it was, we had these charts and we had these Excel spreadsheets and we’re like the most organized people on the face of the earth.
And like all the leaderships like, Ooh, look at your charts. You guys are so organized. And I’m like, behind the scenes it’s chaos, right? So like the charts look pretty, everything looks pretty on the surface, but. Thrive off the chaos behind the scenes. Everyone else doesn’t need to know the chaos is going on.
I mean, that’s the event planner in me, that’s the communications, that’s all of that kind of stuff happening behind the scenes. But on the outside, it’s gonna look pretty, it’s gonna be tied up. It’s gonna be a very, very clean final product. I, it’s interesting. I know we’re talking about chaos and all of that, but the end result feels very calm.
Mm-hmm. and very put together. Most of the
Joe Mills: time. Yeah. Well, does your house feel like that too? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That doesn’t surprise me. Yeah. Just the, the one of, I think one of your amazing gifts that I’m just learning about today is just the ability to live inside of chaos, create order from it. I think sometimes when we, when we react to chaos with a chaos perspective, we generate more of it.
Yeah. And generate more of it for those around. Because perception becomes real. Like, oh, I’m so busy. Yeah. People feel very busy.
Becky Beckman: Yeah. I like to think that one of my gifts is to bring that calm to the room because I don’t like to bring more chaos to people. Right? Like I’m dealing with all of your stuff behind the scenes.
I don’t need to bring more to you, but I typically do. Don’t stress out about that stuff. Like I think I’m stressing out for everyone else so much that by the time it gets to be me, I’m just kind of rolling with the punches.
Joe Mills: Is there anything you’ve done to create that sort of awareness? That’s actually where I wanna go.
The overlapping of like company purpose and, and your own purpose. You mentioned me, we were talking about coming on the show, you’re like, I don’t think a lot of people will go to college and like, I’m gonna do marketing for an insurance broker. It just doesn’t, like, it’s not the first thing that comes to your mind.
How do you see, and how’d you find that overlap as a leader coming into the business versus somebody who built.
Becky Beckman: When I was recruited to Gibson, I don’t even, I’m sad to say I don’t even know if I knew what an insurance broker was, so I, uh, learned about what that meant to be an insurance broker, right? And I’m like, okay, so what kind of marketing do you want me to do for your company?
Like, cuz I’ve been. In my career, such a relationship marketer, event planning, very much building the brand, getting our name out there, kind of p e type stuff. And so that was really it. Like let’s build our brand. We wanna grow, we’re growing, we want everyone to know our story. And um, I said, well, the first thing we need to do is rebrand.
That’s where we started. And so that was the opportunity that in my initial interviews, I could say, And they’re like, oh yeah, yeah, we, we do. And they just trusted me. Before I was even hired, I felt the trust, like I felt that that was the right culture. I felt that the values aligned with where I was at, the flexibility because of having a family.
Now, I was also pregnant with my third when I moved over to Gibson. It’s just apparently you’re just ready to change, I guess. I guess that’s what happens, right? Um, just timing’s everything and it was very much so how are we gonna align values and I. From the interview, they trusted me right off the bat, and I just felt the give or take right away.
Joe Mills: Have you gone through setting your own personal, like values and purpose? Have you, have you done like formal exercises for that? Sure. Like
Becky Beckman: finding your why? Yeah. I mean like kind of
Joe Mills: exercises. I’m, I’m just curious if that’s been meaningful for you or not.
Becky Beckman: I would say yes. Okay. I think thinking through the process of why you make the decisions that you make in your.
And understanding even some of like where you fall on the Colby or where you fall in all of the different leadership styles. I always find them fascinating and they always make sense to me. Um, but. Truthfully, it all comes back to does your team trust you? Do you trust your team? Do the relationships make sense?
Do the values make sense? Are we all on the same page? Because I can sell anything and I can make the brand, I can evangelize the brand if I trust all of you. And that’s, I learned that very quickly at at Gibson. We were able to rebrand and relaunch and we’re, we’re on a really, uh, quick growth, uh, trajectory right now, and it’s, it’s been fun and I don’t look at it as necessarily insurance marketing anymore.
I’m just building relationships with people and if they need some help, we have people on our team that can help ’em if they don’t need help with their insurance benefits or their. Personal liability insurance right now. Great. Cool. But we just made a friend and so that’s where my mindset has shifted a little bit more into even more relationship building and digging into more of these professional relationships with other organizations and other businesses, cuz now we’re business to business.
Right. Um, and so that’s been a little mind shift, but I still feel like I dig into, um, building the brand and relationship marketing. It all goes back to that in my
Joe Mills: head. One of the things. I love learning from you today and hearing from you is just this idea of like, you can be a very hard charger without charging over people.
Like you can be very intentional. You can have a lot of direction with where you’re going without having to be the, like, raging bull who comes in is like, get out of the way. I’m, I’m going where I’m going. It sounds like you’ve done a, a really nice job of embracing the situation you are in, like accepting the now and then finding.
all the opportunities that exist inside of those. Yeah. And you do a really fantastic job of like, here’s where I’m at, where’s the opportunity? Yeah.
Becky Beckman: I really do try to, um, I guess let’s make friends, right? Like I love everyone I work with. I really do. And I go into work every day kind of excited to see everyone and to build those relationships.
And I think that I. And the one that’s gonna text you and say, happy Birthday, I’m gonna be the one that’s gonna send that email. I’m gonna be the one that’s overly communicating with you. Some people appreciate that. Some people don’t. I don’t really care. That’s just who I am. Yeah. But I think that has allowed me to deepen my relationships.
I also think that’s the reason, like I, I mentioned before, all 40 of our sales people feel like they can text me, call me at all hours of the day and night because they have that trust. Mm-hmm. , and that’s been really important to me. I want them to know that I’m here for them. I work at the company to serve.
I protect the outside brand, but I also serve them. And um, I’m just really transparent with people. Maybe that comes with age too. Yeah. You just learn that. It just makes more sense to just tell the story like it is from the beginning and be honest with people instead of trying to figure it all out on your own.
Cause we’re all in it. Together. Right? Yeah. We’re all in it for the same intention. Well, Becky,
Joe Mills: this was awesome. Love the conversation. Thanks so much for coming on.
Becky Beckman: Yeah, thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
Reid Morris: All right, Joe, so we’ve had Becky on the show, really enjoyable conversation, you know, great personality. Yeah. What were some of the things that you really took away from that
Joe Mills: with her? One thing that was really interesting with Becky, How she defined each individual role as like a different career.
Mm-hmm. , it was almost like she looked at her life as seasons, which was really fun just to hear about. But more than anything, what I appreciated about the conversation with Becky was she embraces the environment in which she finds herself. Mm-hmm. . And it’s not this like, what’s the silver lining, happiness, optimism, crap.
It’s like every situation is inherently good and I will find. It was like, it’s a really important and interesting sort of shift in perspective, especially when you think about going from, I’m a VP of marketing, company gets acquired. I’m not moving across the country to keep my role, so I’m going to take a demotion and go do something different.
But then to find all the, the joy in that and find the benefit in that and define all the things that allowed her to do and even let her into another, as she would say, like into my next career. Was just an interesting like perspective shift and
Reid Morris: she’s made all of those transitions at really inconvenient times in her personal, personal life.
Yeah. It’s like I’m going to have a kid and get a new job.
Joe Mills: Yeah. It’s a lot of shifting. And I said to her that there’s a lot of times that I’ve caught myself really only in the area of, of kids having like an or. I can do this or that I can do this or that it can be this or that. Instead of looking at it, she’s like, no, I’m going to be a great mom and I’m going to have a career that fulfills me and I’m gonna do it more than once.
Um, it was just interesting to hear her perspective on that.
Reid Morris: And, and that’s interesting because if we look back at a number of the individuals that we’ve talked to on the show so far, There’s a lot of that. People who are able to do both. Yeah. Right. And there have been even very explicit conversations around that with individuals like John and Tiffany, right.
That, that think a lot about how do you have all of these different areas of your life and be good in all of them as well. Yeah. So yeah, it was just interesting to have somebody who has done a really good job of like the intentionality she spoke about with both her at home life and her at work life.
And I know that she sees those as fluid, like many of the people that we talk to. But was really interesting.
Joe Mills: Yeah, and, and her ability to blend them intentionally, but to also create boundaries intentionally. I was just impressed by her ability to manage the chaos is sort of the thing we came back to. We talked a lot about the chaos and being directed through it and, and also this idea of.
She has a dominant controlling personality and um, that sometimes comes off as a negative, but her ability to just control what I can control, what can I control inside of this, and what should I control inside of this, and just be fine in that, like, just flowing with it instead of trying to overpower everything.
Reid Morris: And I think something that goes along with that is, This idea that she’s somebody who shows up super well. Right. But she spoke to this idea that you oftentimes present while there’s like chaos behind the scenes, but you don’t need to bring everybody into that chaos. Yeah. That’s something that I resonate with and I’m sure lots of people do, and I think it’s interesting to hear that because for some people who are purely on the receiving end of that experience, they just see all these people who are very polished, who have it all together and maybe don’t think about the chaos that’s actually behind the scenes.
That’s sort of. Constructed and put together in the right way so that the people who really need just a clear, concise output or discussion or whatever that is, that’s what they receive.
Joe Mills: Yeah, and it’s interesting to layer that over the conversation we have with Chip and we asked him the question of the tension between showing up as authentically you and the way people need you to show up.
Mm-hmm. , and I think she builds on that in a tactical way. People don’t need her to show up, like, my life is chaotic, and look at all the stuff going on. They need her to show up and like, here’s where we’re at in the plan. Here’s what we’re working on. Here’s what’s left to do. Structured, communicative, understandable.
But it doesn’t need to be presented in a way that is, and therefore I’m perfect. Yep. Mm-hmm. , I think that’s the like give and take of that environment. Yeah, it was, it was really awesome to hear. Yeah. Yep. 1,000 Stories is brought to you by Element Three with production by Share Your Genius. This show is part of our company mission to foster growth in people and business so they can change the world.
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