MF 155 : Cleve Mesidor on Moving Forward with Your Ideal Customer’s Story
Updated: Jun 17, 2022
Cleve Mesidor is a communication and political strategist and a former Obama appointee. Today, Cleve shares how understanding story, both yours and your clients, can move you forward.
Cleve's new book
Successes at a glance:
Served in President Obama’s Administration:
Director of Public Affairs at the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
Former Communications Advisor for the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York.
Entrepreneur, Story and Branding Consultant, Blockchain Advocate.
Early on in Cleve’s career, she learned that storytelling is “catalytic and transformative.” Cleve was inspired by President Obama, who she cites as a masterful and gifted storyteller, with an unmatched ability to communicate grand ideas and make them accessible to each individual in a crowded room. This revelation had a great influence on Cleve’s post-public service career path and is the reason she became an entrepreneur. This reflection led her to write her next chapter thru her love of storytelling and branding.
Cleve’s big why:
Cleve’s big why is storytelling. As she shares on this episode, story has the power to empower, invigorate, and excite the imagination. Story is the basis for action. Following an extraordinary career in politics, Cleve is now a brand strategist. Her goal is simple: help business leaders and CEOs identify their message and deliver it to their ideal customers. Since our interview, Cleve has also become an evangelist for blockchain technology. Cleve’s love of story is embodied by her own amazing story of moving forward. Through it, she shares this incredible revelation from her long successful career: people don’t invest in products, ideas or candidates. They invest in the stories of the people that speak to them and inspires them to take action which can translate into a vote or dollar spend.
Biggest challenge today:
Cleve is very frank. Her biggest challenge in achieving her goals is herself. Specifically, Cleve has to balance projects that are for building her business (eg launching a podcast, writing a manuscript) with those of her clients.
Moving forward past that challenge:
Cleve’s way to move forward is to get invested in the story of her clients. When Cleve is passionate about the story behind her clients and they are equally so, then the choice is easy for her to invest her time and energy into helping them succeed. Cleve shares that the key is picking clients who are invested in serving or better understanding their own customers.
How do you separate your story from your clients or customers:
Name your customer and write out his or her story with full details (age, location, occupation, etc.).
Inspirational source for moving forward:
The movie Creed: in particular, the scene where Rocky tells Adonis Creed to look in the mirror and reveals that the person looking back is your biggest opponent.
If You Meet the Buddha on the Road Kill Him! by Sheldon B. Kopp: Cleve learned the lesson that you have what you already have and are wired with what you need to succeed.
How is Cleve moving forward today:
Cleve is going to tell her clients to have a plan for 2019 even though we just started 2018! Always think about the next steps, the next goals, the next year.
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Who is Cleve in five years?:
Cleve will be in a committed relationship as 2018 is a year of prioritizing her personal life. Cleve’s manuscript that she’s working on now will be a published book with Harper Collins. Finally, future Cleve will be living on the West Coast in Palo Alto or San Jose where the innovation is.
“You are your own Buddha. You know everything you need to transform, to change so the journey we’re on is to really accept the fact that we have everything that we need … No matter how old you are, there’s plenty of time. So whatever is the next chapter that you want to write make sure you’re the author of it and you have plenty of time to do it so start today!”