[Ep#315] The Importance of Continuously Reinventing and Innovating with Kelli Richards

The Importance of Continuously Reinventing and Innovating with Kelli Richards

We all have short-term and long-term visions for our careers and industries. However, we don't always end up acting on these ideas for different reasons. Perhaps we're afraid of the risks, or we don't want to innovate  and step outside our comfort zone. But if we’re constantly hesitating, nothing will ever change. You have to be proactive and adopt a fresh perspective. That way, you can continuously evolve and be ready to face challenges that head your way.

In this episode, Annemarie Cross speaks with Kelli Richards to explain why you need to innovate and reinvent within your personal life and business. She highlights how visionaries pave the way for industry trends and how we should navigate them. Kelli also delves into finding success as a woman in male-dominated industries. Then, she speaks about how working with a trusted advisor can help you accelerate your vision.

If you want to learn how to innovate and reinvent yourself continuously, then this episode is for you.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Learn the importance of long-term trusted relationships in business success.
  2. Find out how you could benefit from a trusted advisor.
  3. Discover why you should continuously innovate and reinvent yourself.




Episode Highlights

[03:39] Looking Back at Kelli’s Career

  • Kelli often sees how dots connect before other people do. In the first 25 years of her career, she wondered when the world would catch up with her visions.
  • Everything she envisioned in the music and entertainment field has happened, but not at the time frame she expected.
  • Since the age of 8, Kelli has always been ahead of her time.
  • Even when she was little, she knew what she wanted to do: be a record producer.
  • Despite her efforts, she could not break into that scene. To this day, it remains a lockout profession for women. So, Kelli pivoted and innovated.

[07:00] Being a Woman in a Male-Dominated Business Environment

  • Women are either a minority or not allowed to be in a male-dominated profession at all.
  • Today, there’s only 3% of women in the record producing industry. When Kelli was younger, there were none at all.
  • Working in the convergence of two male-dominated industries, music and tech, taught Kelli that if she ignores the issues in them, they don’t come up as often.
  • Other than her first experience, she never experienced closed doors because of her gender. Kelli's work speaks for itself.
  • In addition, she developed long-term trusted relationships that vouched for her work.

[09:46] Establishing Connections and Relationships

  • Kelli has always been a driven connector throughout her career.
  • She meets all the people she needs to meet and establishes relationships with them. Then, she follows up and builds these connections over time.
  • Because of the pandemic, more people are leaning on online platforms to create social connections.
  • But for Kelli, there is no replacement for getting to know someone in person.

[11:56] Steps in Building Trusted Relationships

  • Show up with the mindset that you belong in the room no matter what your title is.
  • Share your talents and expertise.
  • Show the merits of your work.
  • Foster your relationships by doing favours, creating connections, and following up with people.

[14:11] How to Identify Your Strengths

  • Ask for feedback. It can be in the form of peer and supervisor-evaluated assessments.
  • Also, take assessments and diagnostic evaluations to learn more about yourself.
  • Lastly, tap into mentors and advisors. They can show you how the world sees you and help you progress.

[15:26] The Definition of a Trusted Advisor

  • Kelli defines a trusted advisor as a thought partner and confidant.
  • Most high-level achievers can't trust anyone because of their level of financial success.
  • As an advisor, Kelli comes up with creative ideas, new possibilities, and fresh angles.
  • She provides her clients with connections and creates opportunities for them to accelerate their goals.
  • ‘Yes’ people surround many high-level achievers. They need to get out of their inner circle and bring in someone with fresh ideas and perspectives.

[18:55] Finding the Right Trusted Advisor

  • The best advisors cater to a particular niche audience. In Kelli's case, she works primarily with high-achievers in the entertainment and music space who also innovate.
  • Finding the right advisor for you starts with a referral. Ask around your network if they know someone who could help you.
  • You can also look into contacting the thought leaders in your profession.
  • Whoever you choose, they should be someone who will resonate with you and vice versa.
  • Someone can’t be a trusted advisor if they don’t have integrity. Do your due diligence on the person you plan to work with.

[23:10] How a Trusted Advisor Helps You Discover Your Capabilities

  • One of the roles of a trusted advisor is to help you get a sense of who you are.
  • We all need to feel heard, validated, and seen — even by just one person.

[23:51] Why We Need to Continuously Innovate and Reinvent

  • People go on detours in their journey; it’s a part of life.
  • We have to be willing to go with the twists and turns we don’t foresee.
  • Like Dorothy, as you can go down the Yellow Brick Road, you’ll have people show up to help you.
  • Reinventing yourself either happens consciously or unconsciously.
  • Post-pandemic, people are waking up to opportunities to reinvent themselves and innovate their way of life.

[27:32] Experiencing Failure in Your Journey

  • ‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘no’ forever; it just means ‘next one’.
  • You can go back to a person who rejected you at a different time with a new idea. Their response might become more favourable later on.
  • Failure is part of the journey. It’s a compass metric.
  • Keep picking yourself up — evolve, innovate, and move forward. The worst thing you can do is give up and wind up in the ditch.

[30:05] Reinventing and Relaunching Ideas from the Past

  • Kelli started hosting her podcast back in 2010. People didn’t have a positive reaction initially.
  • Many businesses became defunct because they refused to innovate. Tune in to the full episode to learn about real examples of Darwinism in business!
  • You need to have a big enough vision to rise above existing models. Then, allow the word to catch up to that vision.
  • Good ideas sometimes have to wait for their time when there’s market traction and receptivity.
  • To innovate successfully, you need to combine creative vision and conviction of where the trends are heading.

[33:28] Recognising and Acting on Trends

  • Some people can intuitively connect dots and see trends. It's a matter of taking the risk to put them together and present a new idea.
  • There are many good ideas around evolving distribution channels in the entertainment space. However, individuals in those spaces refuse to innovate to protect the status quo.
  • Part of taking risks is accepting that you will either win or lose.

[36:14] How Visionaries Pave the Way for Trends

  • Visionaries often get painted as people on the fringe. However, they're the people paving the way for things to evolve in the right direction.
  • The driver of a trend needs to either be the decision-maker or the decision influencer.
  • Working with an advisor can help reframe opportunities that come with trends.
  • It’s critical to translate visions into the language the receiver is familiar with. Otherwise, there will be a disconnect.

10 Powerful Quotes

‘I show up as a peer to the people I work with, whatever gender they are, and I do my best work, and the work speaks for itself, and the relationships are created, and they speak on my behalf.’

‘The best advisors cater to a certain niche audience because we can't serve everyone, nor should we attempt to.’

‘People often don't see the brilliance and the opportunities and capabilities in themselves. Often, others see it in them first.’

‘We need to be heard, validated, seen, known — by someone, even just one person. It's so powerful.’

‘People have detours in their journey, and it's okay. It's part of life. It's an evolution.’

‘What we might label as failure actually wasn't. It's just feedback.’

‘“No” isn't the cause to dissolve and be crushed by, it just means “next one”.’

‘It's like Darwinism. Either these companies and individuals evolve or they're going to die and be taken over by the next wave.’

‘Good ideas sometimes have to wait for their time when there's market traction and receptivity.’

‘It takes the vision, the creative vision about the possibility, plus your conviction that knows that's where the trends are headed.’

About Kelli

Kelli Richards is the President and CEO of The All Access Group, a forefront digital music and entertainment consultancy. Kelli has worked with the likes of Steve Jobs and Todd Rundgren. She led Apple's music initiative for ten years and helped birth the digital music and entertainment scene.

Her expertise makes Kelli a sought-after consultant in the digital distribution field of branded entertainment content. She is a forward-thinking leader who facilitates strategic alliances and connections between Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Madison Ave. Kelli is also a certified coach, acclaimed events and awards producer, and a published author.

If you wish to connect with Kelli, you may reach out to her on her website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Enjoy This Podcast?

We’ll all experience detours in this journey we call life. These are opportunities for us to reinvent ourselves and evolve.

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