Hi Taylor, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hey! 👋 I'm Taylor! I'm a total people-person. My favorite word is "sonder", which is the realization that every random passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own. I love it so much that I named my Etsy business "Sonder Connections" back in college and sent every customer the definition so they felt connected to my wider community of customers.I love learning about people's lives, building meaningful connections, and creating memorable moments.
Shared experiences are totally my jam. Hence why I love board games so much. Azul is a recent favorite.
I just moved to New York City, so very excited to explore all the neighborhoods, figure out my favorite coffeeshops and bookstores, and attend events with other entrepreneurial-focused humans.
I spent the last year traveling the East Coast of the United States. Acadia National Park was one of my favorite spots.
Can you tell us what you do as Head of Community at Groove for those who are unfamiliar?
I'm building community at the intersection of connection and productivity as Head of Community at Groove. We're on a mission to help remote workers/creatives/freelancers/and entrepreneurs feel less lonely and more productive while working solo. We're looking for beta testers right now, if you want to check out our app visit: https://grooveapp.io/
We're a super small team right now, made up of two co-founders, a few full-time employees and several freelancers. It's really special how much this team values community being at the heart of what we're building.
Every day looks different. I get the opportunity to wear a lot of different hats, which I love. I'm testing new things, building relationships, brainstorming on community member flow and communication, gathering community insights and feedback, etc.
How did you decide to pursue your role in community?
The short answer is I love bringing people together and creating powerful experiences that make them smile. I always have. And, I've never been one to settle for the traditional way of doing things.
At Penn State, I studied advertising, entrepreneurship, and disability studies. I graduated with 7 internships, 4 other jobs, led 6 student organizations, was the senior class representative, and had my own Etsy business. I like doing things (it's how I learn best) and I love being a part of a lot of different circles of people.
My junior year, I attended a powerful workshop that helped me name "my ground truth", what some call a personal brand statement. This exercise helped me name the change I really want to make in the world and create a compass for how to do so.
After graduation, I joined best-selling author, Seth Godin, at Akimbo and altMBA as Director of Digital Marketing on a small team of five. Together we built powerful online learning experiences to help people make the change they seek to in the world. My favorite project was building The Emerging Leaders Program, an online workshop for college-aged students looking to learn the real skills needed in the working world. It was built out of a desire to create the community I wish I had as a college student.
Fast forward two years, I found out what the team at Groove was building and lit up...it was so in line with the challenges I wanted to solve in the world...AND, it was bringing people together who, like me, didn't follow a traditional career path. I joined the team in June 2021. You can check out more on my journey to Groove here.
What programs & tools do you use everyday for work? What do you like/dislike about these programs?
• Groove (of course) ... I'm always coworking with other people on Groove throughout the day. It helps keep me accountable and happier (I just love the short few minutes of connection before we hop into our 50-minute work sprint). Last week, I worked alongside Groovers in Australia, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, LA, and Israel. How cool is that?!
• Notion for strategic planning, brainstorms, content calendars, notes, etc.- Figma for app design.
• Slack for communication. It's really important to create rituals in Slack with a remote team and clarity around what each channel is for.
• Mural for team brainstorms.
• Whatsapp to send audio notes to the team. (Looking forward to the day Yac and Slack create a better integration).
• MailChimp for newsletters.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
Gain clarity on who you are at your core. Like I said, naming why I do what I do and who I am at the core was a profound experience that has helped me make decisions and has led to so many incredible opportunities. It's rare for someone to articulate that in a powerful way, and tell a story while they do. If you do, you'll stand out.
What are some must-have resources (books, tools, podcasts, etc.) you would recommend for your industry?
• Building Brand Communities by Carrie Melissa Jones and Charles Vogl is an incredible book to use for inspiration as you build a community.
• The CMX and Community Club Slack groups have also been extremely helpful. Happy to share an invite with you, just reach out.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
1. Embraces the unknown
2. Thinks outside of the box
3. Listens deeply. 👂
Most satisfying & difficult thing about your job?
• Satisfying? Hearing from community members how Groove is making a positive difference in their lives.
• Difficult? Not being able to implement all of the incredible, generous ideas our community members share.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
Don't listen to the people telling you to slow down. There will be so many more people in your life "who get it" soon. Also, make more time to be alone and rest. Even just for 5 minutes. Believe it or not, one day you'll love reading.
Best advice you've received/heard?
When you meet someone for the first time, try all the tricks you can to make sure you remember their name and story. I try to think, "Do I know anyone famous with this name?" Which, of course, doesn't work for many. But it's an easy go-to trick for starters. And, then, as soon as you have the chance after connecting, write down the question you want to ask that person the next time you see them. Details matter. Relationships are built off of details.