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009: The Long Game Podcast: Building Communities, Teams and Companies through Marketing with Sabel Harris

Sabel Harris Building Communities, Teams and Campaigns Through Marketing

Sabel Harris and Omniscient Digital Co-Founder David Ly Khim met through their co-marketing efforts while she was at Contactually, and during David’s time at Hubspot. Sabel has held various roles as Director of Marketing at tech start-ups and she’s built communities, teams and companies. 

She was recently elected and currently serves as her district’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for District 1B12 in Washington, D.C. Outside of her public office work, she is the Director of Marketing of Demand Generation at EVERFI, an education technology company. 

In this episode, Sabel and David talk about balancing two full-time jobs, transitioning between careers, and the skills she’s developed as a Marketer. She gives great insight into what she’s learned in campaigning, and how to apply them in the tech-realm. We hope you enjoy this conversation. 

Connect with Sabel on her website at, Twitter, or Linkedin

The Long Game is hosted by Alex Birkett and David Ly Khim who co-founded Omniscient Digital to help companies ranging from early-state to scale-ups with growth strategy, SEO, and content marketing. Allie Decker, Head of Content, joins the conversation as well.

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[00:00:00] David: Hello? Hello, this is David Ly Khim, and you’re listening to the long game podcast today. We’re talking to Sabel Harris. Sabel and I met through co-marketing efforts during her time at contextually and my time at HubSpot, since then, she has moved into various roles as director of marketing at tech startups and has built communities, teams, and companies.
[00:00:23] She currently serves as a director of demand generation at ever fi. And recently added another full-time job serving as advisory neighborhood commissioner for district one B12 in Washington, DC, or hyper-local, um, politics role serving the community. This conversation covers a wide range of topics, including therapy.
[00:00:46] What it’s been like balancing two full-time jobs, how she thought about each transition between jobs. And her long-term goal for creating impact using her skills. She’s the built as a marketer for [00:01:00] myself, with a background in tech, as a product manager and marketer, it seems we might sometimes fall into this narrow view of career development as staying in tech and moving up the career ladder Sable has found a way to use her marketing skills from tech.
[00:01:13] And improve the lives of others and has shown that tech isn’t the only industry to use the particular set of skills that we have now without further ado. Here’s my conversation with Sable.
[00:01:37] stable. It’s good to get to chat with you again. We chatted. Uh, about a week ago and now we get to have about an hour and a half together. It sounds like you’ve had a crazy week. Um, and I gotta ask him with the pandemic going on and it seems to be getting better. It’s been about a year now. You seem like you have a ton going on.
[00:01:58] What have you been doing to [00:02:00] take care of your mental health and take care of yourself?
[00:02:04] Sabel: [00:02:04] Yeah, well, it’s definitely taken a toll and actually it was something I was talking about with, uh, my therapist, uh, this morning. Um, so I’m, I feel really privileged and fortunate that. Um, I do, I’m able to go to therapy and I do go to therapy.
[00:02:25] So I actually, um, go to therapy at least once a week. Um, and sometimes it’s twice a week. So I also do something, um, kind of interesting that I think a lot of people don’t know about or don’t talk about, um, is that I go to group therapy. Um, which means I meet with kind of the same, um, individuals, uh, every week.
[00:02:50] Um, and for me it has been, um, a really life-changing experience. Um, and it’s helped me develop a lot of kind of interpersonal [00:03:00] communication skills. Um, and really it’s allowed me to kind of take a step back and think about my own emotions and how, um, those are at play in my everyday life and how I work through certain emotions and conversations.
[00:03:17] Um, so it has been very life-changing it has also been really life-changing to do therapy, uh, during a pandemic. Um, so everything is virtual. Um, it’s there a screen? I have to also be honest. It is not my favorite thing to do. Um, I really enjoy meeting people in person, but, um, Something that it’s helped me is to verbalize my emotions, to say how I’m feeling.
[00:03:47] Um, and because we can’t pick up those physical cues, um, anymore, but, um, that is one form of self care. And I realized a lot of people, um, May [00:04:00] not have that opportunity. It may be really hard to access a therapy, whether through insurance it’s too expensive, it is very expensive. Um, it’s hard to find the right person.
[00:04:13] Um, so I’ve also been just. Trying to, uh, be easy on myself. I, uh, read a tweet. Uh, it was this week, um, that someone was talking about, they talked with their therapist and they were having a really hard time and they felt that they were, uh, starting to experience, um, depression again. And, um, That there they were saying, you know, I have to do all these chores.
[00:04:41] I have to, you know, I have to rinse my dishes before I put them in the dishwasher. And the therapist said, you know, there’s no rules, especially now. Why don’t you try running the dishwasher twice? Um, so I’m trying [00:05:00] to keep that in mind and go a little easy on myself and think of, you know, the pandemic is not permanent.
[00:05:07] You know, and it may go on, um, a little bit longer than we all want, but trying to think of those moments where, you know, what. There’s no, you know, there’s a precedent for this. Like there’s, it doesn’t need to be this harsh, like perfection or critical standard. I can run the dishwasher twice or, you know, I can, um, indulge in something or I can take a break or, you know, that that is not.
[00:05:40] Important and urgent right now I can put that on the back burner just for a little bit. So those are kind of the things and it’s certainly, I think my self care is a work in progress every single day. Yeah.
[00:05:53] David: [00:05:53] I I’m glad you brought that up. I recently started going to a therapist as well, and I also had a call this morning, which [00:06:00] I’d say was one of the more challenging calls that I had, but.
[00:06:04] For me personally, it took a bit of time, a couple of years for me to actually decide to go to therapy. I’m wondering, what was your journey there? How did you come to decide that that was what you, the path you wants to take to, to take care of yourself?
[00:06:20] Sabel: [00:06:20] Yeah, I, um, I started therapy when I was 14 years old.
[00:06:26] Um, my parents, um, and myself, we were all going through a divorce at the time. Um, and. I, that was almost, it was in voluntary. My mom, essentially, it was like, you know, this is pretty traumatic. You’re going to go to therapy and you’re gonna kind of figure this out. Um, and so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
[00:06:51] I mean, I think a lot of 14 year olds don’t really know, um, we aren’t, we aren’t taught, uh, mental health in schools. [00:07:00] Um, So that was also life changing for me. And when I went off to college is when I, when I stopped therapy. Um, and I didn’t pick up therapy again until about three years ago, when I had felt that I was.
[00:07:18] Burned out that I, you know, was struggling with communication with my loved ones. Um, I didn’t understand. I just felt like I was hitting a wall. Um, and I knew it was going to be hard to find a therapist. Um, and I just looked on kind of psychology today. I tried to find one that fit with my insurance. Plan, um, didn’t, didn’t lock out on that front.
[00:07:47] Um, but you know, the, I would say the third therapist that reached back out to me that says, you know, they were accepting patients is the one I’m going to today. And I, [00:08:00] you know, it has been again, uh, just. A lot of work. Um, it’s not easy. It’s not, I think people think, Oh, this is just a session where you vent and you talk about, you know, things that are going on in your life and not, you know, you’ll like, feel better about it after, or, Oh, they’re just going to prescribe to you things and.
[00:08:23] It’s fun. It’s not a venting session because it’s almost like when I do talk, I figure out kind of the homework that I need to do after. And the things that I have to continuously work on and to my therapist, uh, is not a psychiatrist and cannot prescribe a medication. Um, But it, it has been, I feel just like very fortunate because I found a great therapist.
[00:08:50] And, um, I feel when I look back from three years ago, when I started seeing my therapist, I then to, to die, [00:09:00] I’m like, wow, this is, I think if I was dealing with the pandemic right now and not going to therapy, it would be 10 times as hard.
[00:09:10] David: [00:09:10] Yeah. Yeah, I can relate. And thanks a lot for sharing that, that background there, it’s a, I’m glad that you decided to do that.
[00:09:19] I’m the type that tends to be in my head a lot. And having someone talk. Do a lot of these things and help me figure out the hard questions that are not asking is really helpful. Um, I think it actually falls really in line with this idea of the longterm. You know, if we’re ideally, hopefully we’re on this world for a couple more decades, and if we’re here for that long, you know, we should be taking care of our mental health.
[00:09:43] Each day that we forget to do that kind of compounds over time. And, you know, especially during this time with the pandemic pandemic and everything, um, I also had some trouble finding a therapist, um, I guess better help. I’m not sure if you heard that, but I’ve referred a couple of folks through that.
[00:09:59] It’s [00:10:00] a little bit expensive, but helps with the matchmaking process, not scrolling through psychology today for hours on end. Um, so, uh, I’d love to tie that. A little bit to kind of your career. I imagine therapy kind of benefits a lot of aspects of your life, and you seem quite career driven. You you’ve had a career in marketing.
[00:10:21] You recently made a move into local politics. Can you tell, tell us about that arc and how that made sense and maybe how therapy has helped you with those different transitions?
[00:10:31] Sabel: [00:10:31] Yeah, they’re happy. Um, I did also, um, start therapy when I was, um, in the midst of a career kind of transition, not so much. I was transitioning from, you know, marketing to, you know, something else.
[00:10:45] It was more so on. You know, the type of company that I was working at, the kind of industry and really trying to figure out, okay, do I want to work for technology, [00:11:00] startups? Um, kind of anymore. And, um, so I started, um, My career in marketing. I did not know I wanted to work in marketing. Um, I, you know, I feel like I just dove right in, stumbled into it, stumbled into the pool.
[00:11:19] And then somehow got right into the deep end with marketing. Um, I started my career at a startup called TrackMaven. Um, And I was employee number two, three, and, uh, I was hired as a marketing manager, uh, which really meant I was doing everything under the sun, um, that also included marketing, uh, because there were only five of us, um, at the time.
[00:11:49] David: [00:11:49] So number three, that’s straight out of college and the correct
[00:11:52] Sabel: [00:11:52] straight out of college. What did you study in college? Uh, I studied, uh, history and economics, which [00:12:00] is there, there are some threads and marketing for that, but, um, I originally also thought I wanted to go to law school, which is why I majored in history and econ.
[00:12:11] And then when I had, um, You know, some internships and social media in just kind of in fashion writing, which is also a little different from what I’m doing today. Um, I thought, Oh, this might be an interesting mix for marketing because at the time too, A lot of people were going to law school. Not very many people were getting jobs after they graduated law school.
[00:12:38] Um, and I didn’t want to be, um, I didn’t want to take on more student loan debt than I already had. Um, so I, and the funny thing about, um, The job market at the time too. It wasn’t terrible. But, um, it was certainly not at its [00:13:00] best. Um, in 2012 and my mom at the time told me, she said, it’s going to take you six months to find a job.
[00:13:08] Um, and of course me being. The oldest and stubborn and set in my ways I told her no, I’m kind of find a job before then. Um, and she called it to the day. I think I graduated on May 22nd. Um, and then, uh, I didn’t get my job. I didn’t sign or get my job offer until November 22nd. So when, uh, with the phrases like mom, always, his mom is always right.
[00:13:40] It’s uh, it’s certainly she was right in this instance.
[00:13:46] David: [00:13:46] Why did you feel like you would be able to move faster? Was that something that’s just part of your personality to get it done quick? Or like, or were you just trying to prove her wrong?
[00:14:00] [00:14:00] Sabel: [00:14:00] Probably a little bit of both. Um, my personality is very much, uh, like getting the job done.
[00:14:07] I, you know, really enjoy, I think before probably now it’s a little different, I enjoyed moving very fast. Learning a lot, which is how I found myself kind of in the startup sector. And, um, you know, that’s how I landed. That tracked me then it was through, um, you know, I tried to interview at one startup and then, um, Then the person who I was interviewing with actually, and she’s one of my best friends.
[00:14:38] Now, she recommended me to the CEO of tracking me then, um, his name is Allen Gannett. Um, and then kind of the rest is history and I jumped right in and, um, worked there for almost two years, built the marketing from the ground up. Um, But [00:15:00] was feeling really burnt out after I did that, I think I learned a ton and got a lot of incredible experience.
[00:15:08] It’s really where the foundation of my marketing career was built. Um, I also had the fortunate, um, Opportunity to market to marketers. Uh, so it was very meta, very special
[00:15:24] David: [00:15:24] job. Yeah. Yeah. When I was at HubSpot, we joked about that, of where marketers, who are marketing to other marketers on how to use marketing software.
[00:15:36] Um, this. Personality trait of moving fast, getting it done. And, you know, looking through your bio, you’ve moved through many companies over the last couple of years, but you said you’re, you might, your approach to things might have changed. Can you tell us a little bit more about how that has changed and kind of your approach now?
[00:15:58] Sabel: [00:15:58] Yeah, I think, [00:16:00] um, in my twenties, I, um, Was very set on moving very fast. You know, I, I still am very ambitious and I think it’s a great quality that I have. Um, but I, you know, was determined to move up the career kind of ladder. I, you know, had a goal that I wanted to lead a team that, you know, I really enjoy kind of building that marketing, but I wanted to do it.
[00:16:29] Um, you know, at a larger ish scale. Um, so I think. You know, I, I don’t think it was a detriment to my career, but I think, you know, as I had some more years under my belt and learning kind of what I want, where I do like to work, the things that I like to work on, I’m finding that. I can slow down a bit, you know, there’s not a, there’s not a rush to get to, you know, the CMO role.
[00:16:57] Um, you know, I would love that. [00:17:00] Uh, maybe I don’t know, my path is I have a few different paths now, but, um, I think, you know, now I’m learning, you know, after being at, uh, where I am now ever five for, um, A little over a year. I think it’s like a year and some change, maybe a year and a half. It’s kind of crazy to think about, um, I’m finding that I enjoy being on a little bit of a larger company that has a little bit more experience there.
[00:17:30] Certainly some pain points. Um, but you know, it’s, it’s allowed me to slow down. It’s allowed me to look at what do I, what do I love about marketing? What are certain industries or things that I think that I can draw some, um, You know, parallels to that. I really enjoy as well. Um, so that’s where I’ve kind of found.
[00:17:55] Okay. You know, I’ve gone through these transitions. I’ve had the [00:18:00] great startup experience where I’ve been employee number three, or I’ve been employee like 16. And, you know, I’ve had the experience of, you know, climbing up to, you know, director level or even senior director. And you know, now I’ve found, you know, I think the title is important.
[00:18:18] Um, but it is what’s underneath too. And how can I shape that to what I want now?
[00:18:26] David: [00:18:26] Yeah. You, you mentioned asking yourself what it is you enjoy about marketing. What, what do you enjoy about marketing?
[00:18:35] Sabel: [00:18:35] I really love the people aspect. So, which is a little bit on kind of the sales side. So I love hearing about, you know, people, what makes, what drives them forward, what their headaches are, what, you know, um, They’re finding really interesting about the product and, you know, I love being able to then convey that [00:19:00] back through content, through the web, through social media and really building out kind of that community.
[00:19:07] Um, you know, and there’s different facets underneath of that with paid ads and you know, how do we, you know, try to convert these individuals, but it always goes back to kind of that. Those relationships and that part of marketing with kind of those connections and how do I do that? Kind of digitally through content or ads or what?
[00:19:29] So it’s still on the general slow generalist level, but I, um, I love, I love that part. I am very much a people person. Um, so that, that really gets me energized, um, about marketing. Yeah.
[00:19:46] David: [00:19:46] Yeah. I, I’m seeing a lot of dots here to connect to where you’re currently at and I’m kind of set it, setting us up to chat about your current, uh, jobs, plural, you earlier, you mentioned, you’re trying to figure out if.
[00:20:00] [00:20:00] You want to stay in tech and do marketing and tech? What spurred that, that question. And how are you thinking about that now?
[00:20:09] Sabel: [00:20:09] Yeah, I think it’s one, it feels, it feels the side of, I love working autonomously. I’d love. Um, like working on cutting edge things. I do love the fast paced nature. I love also taking old things and making them into kind of new or polishing them up and, you know, figuring out kind of that problem.
[00:20:35] And I think, you know, on, and I’ve worked traditionally on kind of the software as a service side. Um, I just, I really like the space. I like just how fast it goes, but on the opposite side, It can be a pretty toxic culture. Um, so I have oftentimes then the only woman in the room, especially early [00:21:00] on, um, I distinctly remember going to some local investor event and I wore a bright pink sweater, not on purpose.
[00:21:10] I just really liked the color pink and I stuck out like a sore thumb and it. It felt a little, um, alarming and, you know, I didn’t, when I think my parents and my mom especially kind of was telling me that I would face these like barriers or that I would this glass ceiling. And I was a little, I think, in denial that I am like, no, that’s okay.
[00:21:37] It’s not going to exist. And I like crashed right into it. I didn’t break through, it was like a bird flying into a window. Like that’s how I felt when I started in kind of the startup world. Um, and it’s, it’s certainly taken a toll on me at that. I think where I’m at now. Um, ever fight is different. Um, but you know, being the [00:22:00] only woman in the room or being the only kind of minority in the room, it, it feels inferior and it feels, um, it feels toxic, especially when there’s other things at play.
[00:22:14] You know, I don’t know how many times I’ve been interrupted. I don’t know how many times I’ve been mansplained to. Um, and it. It gets very texting. Um, and you know, I certainly know that I’m this author careers die. That’s it’s everywhere. Um, but in, in this sector where so many things are cutting edge, you kind of have a different level of expectations, hoping that, you know, this is a new, um, kind of frontier and yet we’re still stuck in kind of the old.
[00:22:53] Old boys club. Corporate room.
[00:22:56] David: [00:22:56] Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for [00:23:00] touching on that. I know myself being a minority and having a lot of friends who are people of color. Um, it’s, it’s a common story that we’ve all shared. And I think we, each coping would cope with it a different way. I’ve been asked, like, do you feel like as.
[00:23:18] Uh, Southeast Asia and Brown man, if you’ve been overlooked for some things and the straight up answer is, I don’t know, like maybe yeah, you can’t, you can’t really, for sure. Say it’s people are going to deny it, but some you’re going to feel that, um, yeah, I’m wondering, you know, you start off in tech, you were there for, for many years and it, it looks like you’ve moved out to a different space.
[00:23:43] What, what are you seeing? Um, in.
[00:23:50] Sabel: [00:23:50] Yeah, I think, well, so ever, I, I don’t know if you’re, um, kind of referring to ever fire still kind of in the tech space, but I would say it’s different in [00:24:00] that, you know, it’s, it’s the biggest company I’ve ever worked at. So there are over 500 employees. Uh, I don’t know everyone’s name, everyone doesn’t know my name.
[00:24:10] Uh, we’re all now in a pandemic, we’re all working remotely in different areas, but there’s a better support system. So I am a part of our professionals of color affinity group. Um, so that is, that has been very supportive and that has been very, um, Helpful to me where I don’t feel lonely, where I don’t feel like, you know, I’m making this up or I’ve, you know, and I’ve developed a closer relationship, um, to our SVP of diversity, equity and inclusion.
[00:24:45] And that’s been so helpful to me. Um, and I, I genuinely feel the, um, That it’s not just well intentioned. I think a [00:25:00] lot of individuals that ever fight are really trying to make a positive impact, um, and ever find does straddle kind of the tech space too, because, uh, it’s an education technology company. So there’s components where it is the offline world, where we have a school team reaching out to teachers to school districts.
[00:25:22] Um, and then we have our kind of other side where I’m at is we’re trying to reach out to sponsors to sponsor critical education, like mental health, uh, for these schools. Um, so it’s, it’s been a nice bridge because the other side that I’m in now is then kind of the public sector with local politics. Um, and that side.
[00:25:47] It’s almost the tech world prepared me for this side where some things that I’m finding and people are like, Oh, like you’ll get used to it. And I’m just thinking to myself, uh, I’ve [00:26:00] been there. This is not the first time for me. Um,
[00:26:04] David: [00:26:04] I think that’s a, that’s sort of a good segue then to, to start asking, you know, tell us about.
[00:26:10] How a background marketing ended up in, well, you moving into some local politics, your experience there, and it seems like there’s common threads between your work at ever fight and your decision to move into local politics.
[00:26:25] Sabel: [00:26:25] Yeah, I, um, so I’ve always loved politics. I, um, I don’t hear it that often stayed in tune with it.
[00:26:35] I have, um, I just, I love, um, kind of consuming the news, kind of trying to understand what’s happening and I never really know. Knew how to make, um, the transition. Um, and I also knew at the same time too, if okay. If I go from working at this fast speed startup, and then I go work for kind of the DC government, I am going [00:27:00] to experience extremely different worlds.
[00:27:04] Maybe not so much on the, um, kind of interpersonal communication, but I’m going to experience a difference in the pace. And I don’t know if I’m ready for that. Um, And I didn’t know at the time too, where, you know, look at different job descriptions or I see, you know, a political agency or even a lobbying firm have different, uh, you know, roles that I could potentially fell.
[00:27:31] And I didn’t understand how do I translate. My marketing tech experience over to this role, when they’re looking for someone who has worked in government affairs or has worked in kind of public policy. Um, so I, I just, I didn’t know, and I kind of stumbled into this new role. Um, about two years ago, um, I had met our, um, [00:28:00] Uh, current.
[00:28:01] So the role that I’m in, um, I, I was elected to be, um, our neighborhoods advisory neighborhood commissioner. Um, and I can give a background on what all of that means. Okay. So, um, and do you see, um, we have eight different wards. Um, so we’re unfortunately not a state. This is my plug. Uh, anyone listening, uh, please contact your local representative and let them know that you would like DC to become a state.
[00:28:36] Um, that’s my plug I’ll end it right there, but, um, Do you see as broken down into eight wards and then each ward is broken down into what’s called an advisory neighborhood commission. So I live in ward one, um, and ward one has I believe four [00:29:00] advisory neighborhood commissions. Now each of those commissions commissions, um, are then broken down into single member districts.
[00:29:10] So each single member district, um, represents around two to 3000 people and then a advisory neighborhood commissioner, which is kind of the representative is elected to represent those two to 3000 people. So hyper-local hyper-local so I am, um, advisory neighborhood commissioner for single member district one, B 12.
[00:29:40] Um, so our commission, um, is actually one of the largest and DC. So typically each commission has around six or seven commissioners. Ours has 12. Um, so it’s fairly large. I also [00:30:00] represent a very, um, active, diverse, uh, part of DC. So I represent, um, is the 14th and U neighborhood. Um, it was formally called and I hope one day we can, uh, reinstate the name, uh, black Broadway.
[00:30:18] Um, it’s filled with a ton of jazz history, um, a ton of also history of, you know, Different protest. Um, but it’s a amazing area. There’s a ton happening. Um, and I do represent probably around 3000 people and that might change, um, probably the next one. Term, uh, we might, uh, be affected by the redistricting that is happening from the census.
[00:30:50] Um, but for now I, um, still represent a good chunk of people and, um, it’s. [00:31:00] Is, uh, awesome. So far, I’m in also my, um, I was sworn in on January 2nd. So I have officially been in office for about a month and three days.
[00:31:13] David: [00:31:13] How’s that feel to say out loud?
[00:31:16] Sabel: [00:31:16] Um, I don’t know, it feels good. Um, it feels like it’s been longer, um, with everything that is happening in my district.
[00:31:28] So, and last night I was just elected to be the co-chair of our zoning preservation and development committee, which handles a lot of, um, private, residential kind of zoning. Um, Things, uh, whether that’s permits or what, um, but it feels. It feels like it’s been a long time, but it hasn’t. Um, so I mean, in my neighborhood, we have, you know, a, um, [00:32:00] kind of mid-size development happening.
[00:32:02] That’s going to require a lot of work. Um, and that’s right across the street. Then we have a huge development happening. That’s also right across the street. Um, it’s called it’s, um, the Reeb center, which is a big kind of municipal building in DC. Um, but it’s very under utilized right now. Um, there are plans for the NAACP to relocate their headquarters there.
[00:32:28] Um, But yeah, that will be huge. And that will take a lot of time. Um, and then I have, um, our, our, um, kind of energy or gas company called Pepco. They are working on a huge project in my district called our capital grid project, which affects all of DC. Um, and then of course I have, you know, other issues that come up, whether it’s trash, Dumpster fires it’s um, [00:33:00] you know, also the pandemic, you know, I have a large, um, senior apartment building in my district and I’m currently trying to make sure that they know.
[00:33:11] When they can sign up to get the vaccine and to get those appointments. So there is a lot going on and that’s why I feel like it hasn’t really been a month. It’s been a lot longer, which is probably very close to how I felt working at a startup. Right.
[00:33:27] David: [00:33:27] And those are all like, those are all things you’re not going to just.
[00:33:31] Get it done over a single day or a week, it’s going to take months or maybe even years. It sounds like for some of those projects to come to fruition and the story I’m kind of seeing is you were in marketing, you, it seems like you kind of wanted to move into politics, but wasn’t sure how, like in an official.
[00:33:50] I’m salaried manner. And here you found another pathway which may be in a long-term. You might want to do something more involved, uh, in [00:34:00] politics. Um, so it, it sounds like you’re, you’re thinking about this in terms of the long term, instead of just what you’re doing now. And the question that comes up for me is what are the parallels you’re seeing between marketing and politics?
[00:34:14] I feel like as marketers, we tend to think, Oh, I can just do marketing for this company, but it sounds like you’re able to apply that to a completely different industry.
[00:34:23] Sabel: [00:34:23] Yeah. And, um, I think, you know, that’s where I was going. Um, a little bit, um, before I broke down kind of advisory neighborhood commissions of, I always forget that it’s not, um, when I say it one, I don’t ever want to bore someone, but two people are like, what?
[00:34:43] I have no idea what that is. I’m one of
[00:34:45] David: [00:34:45] those people,
[00:34:48] Sabel: [00:34:48] it’s, it’s a hyper-local and I believe, uh, It’s hyper-local to DC. Um, but you know, when two years ago I had met our current [00:35:00] kind of advisory neighborhood commissioner. Um, his name is Dan Winston. Um, I, I think he’s great. And he, um, we started talking and I didn’t know at the time that this role existed, I always had kind of frustrations of.
[00:35:18] Who do I talk to? Who do I call? Like, I don’t understand, like, who represents me? It feels like no one represents me because DC isn’t a state. Um, so I had met him at, outside our local farmer’s market and he was telling me about kind of what he wanted to do as commissioner. And he also told me about his background.
[00:35:37] So he, um,
[00:35:39] David: [00:35:39] we at the farmer’s market and just bumped into this person, or was there like an event where you were there to meet.
[00:35:46] Sabel: [00:35:46] No. Um, I, so he was standing, um, and so thinking of the roles of the farmer’s market, they’re very strict and they don’t allow anyone to campaign in the farmer’s market. So [00:36:00] this was outside and we were just walking home after we bought some things.
[00:36:04] And, uh, Dan was outside campaigning, letting people know, um, that he was running for this. And, um, he was telling me about his background and, uh, cause I asked him to, because you know, even though he was running uncontested, I, um, or unopposed, I, I still wanted to know, put it to kind of make him a little bit.
[00:36:29] Um, so I asked, I just kind of asked about his background and he told me he, um, Uh, working at spin the, um, kind of bike and scooter company. And he told me a little bit about the prior companies he worked at, which were more kind of in the tech startup scene, which then really piqued my interest. And I thought, wow, that’s so interesting.
[00:36:52] He is able to like translate this over. And you know, the other thing that I should note for advisory neighborhood commissioners, so it’s still work at [00:37:00] ever five. Um, but. Uh, as the commissioner, it’s unpaid. Um, so it’s public service and its truest form. Um, so I, uh, I do kind of have two full-time jobs, but one is, uh, on a bar it’s volunteer it’s on a voluntary basis, but, um, So after talking with him, I thought, you know, great.
[00:37:25] Like I think, you know, he would be a good representative I’ve I can’t really vote for anyone else. Like, let me, let me vote for Dan. Um, and you know, let me earmark this, maybe, uh, maybe this is something that I could get involved with. Um, Later on. So fast forward to June of 2020, um, I was thinking to myself because, you know, I saw construction happening across the street.
[00:37:53] I knew about kind of the Reed center redevelopment. Um, and I thought, [00:38:00] wait, you know, I’ve gotten a couple of Dan’s newsletters, but. Is this, is this role coming up to be like elected again? Like, is he running again? Let me, let me dive in and see what’s going on. And I found out that, uh, he wasn’t running again.
[00:38:16] So I thought, yeah, it was like, okay, I I’m, maybe I’m going to try this out. And I, you know, looked over the process, looked over, you know, what I needed to do. And I would say, so there is a formal process, you know, you have to pull like petition papers. I had to get signatures, uh, for people to get on the ballot.
[00:38:39] Um, and I think the limit this year, it was. You had to get, um, I think 10 and I did get 24, cause I wanted to meet one, wanted to be about overachiever, but also wanted to make sure that like, there was no disputes on if these were signatures from [00:39:00] people in my district and that they were registered to vote.
[00:39:04] Um, So, and then the other thing at the time. So what I wanted to mention about, um, a and C races, they typically go uncontested. So, you know, you, you usually have one person running or, um, you sometimes have no one running and then someone needs to step in and say, okay, I’m running as a write-in candidate.
[00:39:26] Um, and I very much thought I’m like, this is how it’s going to go dance, not running again. And I’m going to be the only one running cool. Like I’m still going to try to, um, you know, reach out to people, try to connect with people, let them know that I’m going to be their commissioner. I was probably completely just like.
[00:39:46] A little delusional thinking that no one else is going to run because when a neighbor that I saw in the park one day asked me if, um, I knew of anyone else running. I said, no, no one [00:40:00] else is running. Um, and I jinxed myself because I looked online that day and I saw that three other people had pooled, petition papers to run.
[00:40:10] So I was looking at a very competitive race. Um, not only just in my district, but across DC, because like I said, these races go uncontested. So
[00:40:24] David: [00:40:24] at this point, I’m wondering what the stabled, the marketer. Decide to do
[00:40:31] Sabel: [00:40:31] well, the, um, ultra competitive marker was very much like, okay, I’m not backing down, making sure that I get over 10 signatures to make sure there’s no.
[00:40:44] Disputes, uh, because people can protest to make sure. And to validate that your signatures are right. Um, I started to do some competitive intelligence, tried to look up my, uh, opponents, um, [00:41:00] And then I said, okay, what, what can I do? What do I need to do with my brand? And this, this was one of my gripes about, um, politics kind of in general is when I look at a lot of these emails and I look at websites.
[00:41:17] They’re stuck in kind of the early two thousands. Um, and I’m like, why we, we live, we live in 2021. We can, we can have like great websites. We can have great user experiences. We can have great brands, um, and it can look nice. Um, and. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Granted, you know, there’s absolutely some privilege that I have and being able to do that.
[00:41:46] Um, but I decided, okay, I.
[00:41:53] I just didn’t have color to design my logo and I want them to be in DC. So I want it to be a local, [00:42:00] um, kind of graphic designer. Um, I was put in touch with someone when I, uh, posted on LinkedIn. Here’s another marketing thing I posted asking for any referrals on LinkedIn. Um, Yeah. And I connected with a local student from, um, that goes to school here in DC.
[00:42:19] And he designed my logo and, you know, I, he gave me a brand book on the colors that I should use the font that I should use. This is very much, I’m like, thinking back, I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is like, This is a marketer clearly was on this campaign. Um, and, uh, but it was, it was just important to me to have those elements because one, I knew being in a pandemic, I couldn’t, um, You know, go knocking on doors.
[00:42:52] So I knew that there would be a huge element of people coming to my website. You know, I wanted to make it easy to [00:43:00] read. I wanted to make it eye catching too, because they knew my race was competitive. So I was thinking, how do I stand out? And then how do I kind of build, you know, that community? How do I, you know, have great kind of materials and, you know, people see, you know, I had, you know, my campaign poster with my face on it.
[00:43:21] Although I did make a, you know, my fiance and I made a bet of when, when will someone draw something I’ll probably face, but no one actually did that. Um, so that was nice. Um, But it just, I was very thankful to have my marketing kind of expertise, especially on kind of the brand marketing side, um, to have kind of those aspects.
[00:43:45] And I, I truly think it helped, um, kind of carry me over the top. Um, So, and then, you know, we can get into the campaign aspect of even, I think that that probably touched on [00:44:00] my like marketing and sales, maybe my demand gen side, when a campaign,
[00:44:06] David: [00:44:06] I think what might be interesting. You mentioned this the last time we talked was how.
[00:44:11] A lot of the skills you’ve developed as a marketer actually applies when you’re in office of like, learning about what your audiences is interested in, all that. Can you, can you talk a little bit more about how those skills have translated over while you’re in office?
[00:44:26] Sabel: [00:44:26] Yeah, and I think, you know, when I, when I think about our current commission and I even think about the people who were running, um, None of them were marketers or are marketers.
[00:44:41] Um, so I, I’m kind of an outlier in this and I had, um, you know, at the farmer’s market, the same farmer’s market, um, when I decided to cancel it and I ran. Yeah, it does. It always does. Um, when I was out campaigning, I had met someone who was actually running for [00:45:00] council member. Um, completely different, um, role.
[00:45:05] Um, and I met, um, I bet the person who was running and then I met kind of one of their supporters. Then they asked me, Oh, so do you, are you an attorney or like, are you a teacher? Like, do you, do you work in education? And I’m like, yeah. I mean, I, I work in education, but I, um, I’m a marketer. And he, he completely, he just looked stumped.
[00:45:31] He didn’t know what to say. He, all he said was, wow, that’s a, that’s a really interesting, um, Transition. I I’ve never met, um, a marketer.
[00:45:50] You tried to sell me something now. Like, um, so which kind of got me a little, uh, irritated because I’m like, what do you mean? Like, [00:46:00] there, there are tie-ins to this, but it helped, it helped get me thinking exactly about, Oh wait, you know, at first glance, You don’t see those connection points, but then when you start thinking of, you know, back to, you know, what I said about, you know, building those connections and building that community and understanding kind of my audience that has that’s exactly kind of what politics is.
[00:46:27] So I needed to go and look at, okay, let me look at my neighborhood. Where, you know, where did they hang out? This is me probably like doing persona research. Like where do they hang out? Like, are they on Twitter? Are they on Facebook? Are they on Instagram? Like how do I reach them? How do I reach them during a pandemic?
[00:46:49] Like, do I send them direct mail? Which I did not do well, I take that back. Um, but I really tried to figure that out to figure out, okay, how do I make [00:47:00] those connection points? Are there any community leaders that I need to reach out to? You know, how do I, um, try to get to know, you know, an influencer in, in the deal, which the, you know, one of the influencers.
[00:47:14] Or there were two, you know, so I got two endorsements and that was me trying to figure out this, I guess, influencer or buying center and, you know, our current commissioner at the time, Dan, he did endorse me. And then there’s a local publication called greater, greater Washington, which they, um, send out a, um, questionnaire for, um, Candidates who are running for ANC to fill out.
[00:47:42] And then they endorse, uh, from that questionnaire, which I was endorsed by greater, greater Washington. Um, so that was awesome. But then, you know, I looked at other ways of like, who could my potential constituents. How do I get to know them? And so, as I mentioned, there’s a [00:48:00] large senior apartment building, um, in my district.
[00:48:03] And which means there’s a lot of people who are, um, at high risk of, you know, getting COVID. And so I couldn’t go in there. I couldn’t, you know, go knock on doors. I couldn’t, um, you know, try to, you know, meet with them. So I thought, okay, they’re not on Twitter, they’re not on LinkedIn. Um, maybe they might be on Facebook, but you know, I can’t, I’m not going to be able to serve them ads.
[00:48:34] It’s such like a hyper-local, um, rate. So what can I do? Oh, I have access to a whole. Voter registration kind of list of people who are registered to vote in my district. You know, what’s the address of that building. Let me filter this list and I am going to hand write cards to all of them. [00:49:00] So I ended up handwriting.
[00:49:04] About 250 card. Um, and we’ll like to point out that I did not use the same message for all of them. And I did hand write them. Um,
[00:49:17] David: [00:49:17] you didn’t use one or the, the online, uh, services like handwritten or postal or something to type them out? No,
[00:49:25] Sabel: [00:49:25] I mean, that’s, that’s the other thing is, is that, so I, you know, I.
[00:49:30] Did accept donations, um, from kind of friends and family, but people can only donate up to $25. Um, and I, I didn’t want to kind of rely on that. Um, which so running, running for office is really expensive and it’s. It’s not easy and it’s very much the case of you. You have to be in a certain position to be able to run, um, and you can certainly get donations and things.
[00:49:59] And [00:50:00] we can, I mean, this is probably a completely separate topic about kind of campaigns and campaign finance, but, um, You know, I, I just, the big part of my campaign was I wanted to connect with people in my community. I wanted to get to know them and show that I cared. So it was important to me to hand write these cards one by one, I would sit where I’m sitting right now.
[00:50:24] And, you know, I had my postcards over here and, you know, the print, the local print shop that I used, um, actually put all of the addresses on there for me, which was nice. Uh, because I’m like, Ooh. Yeah, that’ll probably be easier if they do that. Um, and I have, I still have some stamps left over. I bought a bunch of tents, um, and I mailed them out.
[00:50:48] And I, I don’t know if everybody got the cards, the postcards, but I did get a few people email me, um, saying that they got the card [00:51:00] because my website was on it. I did put, I tried to put my email address. I also put, uh, this was like, this was very much me as a marketer. I like had my call to action and I told them like, exactly what to do.
[00:51:13] I said, I am. Sir on the pallet, make sure you turn your mail invalid over because I’m in the back. And I’m third on the list, like vote for me.
[00:51:26] David: [00:51:26] So the, the thing I’m wondering now is you. I mean, most of this conversation has been about like what it’s been like being in an office we’ve barely gotten to touch on your actual day job at advertising.
[00:51:39] Yeah. You’re essentially working two full-time jobs. What’s what’s this, what’s the mission you’re working toward. I’m kind of seeing some common threads and the things that you seem to care about and want to accomplish, but curious to hear from you, what what’s driving you, what’s that mission you’re working toward.
[00:51:57] Sabel: [00:51:57] Yeah. So I, [00:52:00] um, before I, I started at ever fire was out another kind of career transition point. Um, I had just finished up working at an agency kind of figured out too, that I don’t know if agency world is like, what I want to do. I like, you know, having that brand loyalty of this is this is who I work for.
[00:52:21] And I interviewed at several different places. I interviewed at a, um, You know, I interviewed at a university for a marketing role, which would be very different from the other, you know, the other fast saves jobs. I, uh, you know, interviewed at a, another startup where I would have been, I think employee number five.
[00:52:42] And then I, um, you know, I got recruited on LinkedIn, uh, by Edify and I had known about every ever fight, um, through working kind of in DC tech. And, you know, once I started kind of interviewing there, I really got. [00:53:00] Attached to the vision and mission. And, you know, ever Phi is an education technology company where we provide education on critical skills and really fill that missing layer in education.
[00:53:16] Um, and we can go into that more. And, you know, when I saw that, that they were connecting companies who are experts in this space to schools, it just. It got me so excited and it still gets me so excited every day, because I think back to my own education where, you know, I wasn’t taught, you know, financial literacy, I wasn’t taught, you know, anything on mental health.
[00:53:41] It was in Todd, anything on kind of sustainability or diversity, equity and inclusion. And I think. I think I would have been a much more well-rounded person if I had these things, but, you know, it gets me excited for, you know, I have a little sister who was 12 years [00:54:00] old that, you know, she has the potential to take these courses.
[00:54:04] And when I saw that, I’m like, this is great. This is what I want to be a part of. Like, I feel this way. Sense of purpose. Like I am here to make an impact. I’m still working in marketing, still have to generate leads, but I have like, I’m behind this mission and it’s not to say that the companies that I was at before didn’t have that, but it was hard, you know, as marketing to marketers, it was nice.
[00:54:28] It was great. Or I was marketing to like YouTube creators and that was fun. Um, but there, there wasn’t that, you know, Like overall societal impact that I was looking for. And, you know, working as, you know, working this other full-time job as commissioner, it has that same purpose, you know, I, um, It gets me really excited every day to like wake up and, you know, DC, the DC government uses outlook and I hate [00:55:00] Microsoft outlook.
[00:55:01] It’s terrible. Um, but I get excited to check my outlook, email and granted. I have gotten some emails where I’m dealing with, you know, graffiti on walls or dealing with trash. And you know, this morning I did get an email about, you know, some. Um, trash trucks being too loud. Um, and the constituent did like went out and measured the noise decibel levels, like really tried to like work through the process.
[00:55:34] Um, but that, that makes me feel like, okay, I can, I can help. I can, you know, it’s very, hyper-local, it’s dealing with trash a lot. It’s dealing with three, one, one, but at least I. I have this like purpose. I’m here to represent my neighborhood. I’m here to represent my constituents and to provide something better and you know, the other, the [00:56:00] other big component, you know, and I, I didn’t, um, I didn’t get to work on this and I really admire the committee, the former commissioners who did get to work on this, but so right in our commission and about four or five blocks up from me.
[00:56:15] There’s this new building. Um, it’s short-term family housing, uh, for families, and then also more permanent housing for senior women. And the building is beautiful. When you walk by it, you think it’s a luxury condo building. And when I first saw it, I was like, Oh, great. Another luxury condo building. Like, we don’t need that because people need affordable housing.
[00:56:41] And then finding out that it was. That it’s a short-term family housing, like building and that it’s providing just a home to people who don’t have that right now. It. It makes me feel so energized and makes me feel like, [00:57:00] wow, I can help with this. I can help with, you know, making sure that new developments have a component of affordable housing.
[00:57:09] I can make sure that the Reeve center redevelopment, doesn’t just sit there now and that it has a purpose and it has a place where people can go to and yeah. So that makes me really excited, even though my day to day is filled with, um, trash complaints. Um, I had that purpose of, I can impact my neighborhood.
[00:57:33] I can, you know, help change the things that need to be changed.
[00:57:39] David: [00:57:39] Yeah. It that’s what I’m it’s it sounds like what you’re saying is. Because you’re able to think about the longterm impact that you can have the day-to-day, you know, dealing with trash and all that. That’s fine. Like you can work through that and it’s all those things, but it’s the bigger challenges and problems that you’re trying to solve in a longterm.
[00:57:58] And I appreciate there’s [00:58:00] someone like you thinking about those things. Uh, in, I imagine, so you’re at ever Phi as a director of dimension and you’re a commissioner to jobs that seem like there’s quite a lot of responsibility, things to think about decisions to make. How do you make time to, to think and do some work and think through some of these candidly big challenges?
[00:58:26] Sabel: [00:58:26] Um, it is still a work in progress. Um, I haven’t, I haven’t figured it out, um, because this is. This is probably one of the first times in my life where I have so much going on, I will say too. Um, the other thing that I’ve, um, not because I don’t want to, um, the other thing that I’ve been, I guess, procrastinating on, um, is I I’m also, I’m engaged at, you know, I will have to play adding
[00:58:58] David: [00:58:58] another thing into, into the [00:59:00] world.
[00:59:00] Yeah.
[00:59:02] Sabel: [00:59:02] But, uh, and I’m, I’m very excited about that. Uh, you know, a big, thank you. I’m sure my fiance is smirking at it, but, uh, I am excited to, you know, get married. Um, but I don’t know. I don’t know, um, how I, you know, make time, I think, you know, right now, um, I’m going to have that’s on my to-do list because they’re, like I mentioned, there’s so many big projects coming up and I almost need like a strategy session of, you know, I need to sit down, I need to think about this.
[00:59:43] Um, but I think, you know, I don’t know. I’m really excited about it. I’m excited and I’m like, you know what? I, I need to take a step back then I need to do that. And I need what I need to do. I think what helps me is when I sit down, I closed my [01:00:00] computer. And I get out my notebook. I have a separate notebook for, you know, forever fine.
[01:00:06] I have separate notebook for my IAMC work and, you know, one writing out everything that kind of needs to be done and then thinking through, okay, how do I, how do I work through this? And then the exciting part, which I love is who do I get to talk to about this? Sometimes they jump ahead a little bit, which I now talking through it, I jumped ahead because there’s a huge project coming up and I’m like, Oh, let me text my neighbor and I’m going to reach out and we’re going to get coffee and we’re going to talk about this.
[01:00:40] And I’m thinking, I’m like, you know, it’s not just him. That’s going to be impacted. I probably need to talk with others and I need, I need to take a step back. Think that’s ultimately what I do to be more mindful is okay. Stable pause, take a step back. Yeah,
[01:00:59] David: [01:00:59] I think it will be [01:01:00] comforting for a lot of folks listening to this, that someone with your.
[01:01:05] With so much on your plate. Doesn’t exactly have everything figured out. Um, I think that’s something a lot of us learn as we go through our careers is no one really has anything figured out. We’re all figuring it out together. Um, so thanks for being vulnerable with that.
[01:01:20] Sabel: [01:01:20] Well, it makes life easier when you just admit that you don’t have it figured out when you say, I don’t know.
[01:01:27] Um, and yeah, I think the thing that I figured out is that I don’t have it figured out.
[01:01:34] David: [01:01:34] And that’s okay. It’s okay. So I had a couple questions, just, uh, fast paced questions to close out this call, if, if you’re up for it. So, first one, um, the, these are just questions we’d like to ask guests on, uh, on the show is if you could have dinner with one person dead, one person alive, who would they be?
[01:02:01] [01:02:00] Sabel: [01:02:01] Um, One person maybe. So
[01:02:10] this is a hard question because, um, I think the one, one person dead, I would want to just talk to and have dinner with. And two, um, I’m tearing up, um, is my, my grandfather, um, I am, uh, the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family. I, um, the age gap between my cousins is pretty big. I think this the second oldest, um, you know, grandchild is a cousin on my dad’s side.
[01:02:49] Um, Who is, Oh gosh, 20, 24. I’m trying to figure out the age. Um, and so that’s, it that’s about [01:03:00] seven years or so. Um, and you know, the reason why I’d want to have dinner with him is because I want him to be proud of me and I want to kind of give an update and, um, A lot of, you know, when I think back to, you know, my, my childhood with him and he passed away when I was 16, um, from colon cancer and I, um, You know, he, he told me some things that definitely made me upset.
[01:03:38] Um, you know, he’s like, you should go and you should, um, go into the military. So then you don’t have to pay for school and, you know, thinking back on it now, I think he was just trying to look out for me because also I’m thinking of my student loans and I’m like, Oh gosh, you know, probably should have done that.
[01:03:55] Um, But, um, I just, I want to give him an update and he, [01:04:00] he was into politics. He was, you know, even though my dad said the family, uh, they, um, you know, live in Waynesboro, Virginia, which is Western Virginia. Uh, he was bright blue Democrat. And, um, even though my, uh, as commissioner, I am, uh, it’s non-partisan, um, I am, I am a Democrat.
[01:04:22] Um, but I. I just would want to update him and tell him about, you know, my life and where I’m at and you know, how he’s influenced me and, you know, give him a chance to, um, be proud of me, but I know he is, but you know, just would want him to see where I’m at. No.
[01:04:47] David: [01:04:47] Yeah, I I’m willing to bet he would be very proud of you. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing that. That’s we can talk about that. Um, some more if you’d [01:05:00] want. Um, but I appreciate you being open to sharing that.
[01:05:05] Sabel: [01:05:05] Yeah, thank you. I think, um, just, it goes back into kind of my, my culture and, you know, I’m, I’m Vietnamese that, you know, it’s been instilled in me at a very young age to kind of respect like your elders and, you know, and you know, I’ve talked about this probably in therapy.
[01:05:22] Yes. You know, how, how some of, some of those traits can be a little toxic, not re not respecting elders, but you know, trying to please, and, you know, have someone be proud of you. Um, I think can be toxic, but I think it’s also just a part of who I am. Um, but I, I think he would be proud. Um, and. You know, I, I do envision him, you know, looking, looking down and, you know, being happy for me.
[01:05:53] Um, but uh, the one person alive, um, [01:06:00] I, I would love, like, I probably wouldn’t be able to talk, um, I would love to, and I’m going to cheat a little bit because I would love to have dinner with president Obama and Michelle Obama. First lady, Michelle Obama. I, I think I. Like I would just probably stare at them and just burst into tears, happy tears.
[01:06:29] Um, my, so my mom’s partner, um, works for the secret service and he was able to get us into an event, um, that president Obama was speaking at and we were kind of in the front row and we knew because they, they stayed. Yes. We were in the front row in the same
[01:06:51] David: [01:06:51] areas,
[01:06:52] Sabel: [01:06:52] same air. Um, and, uh, he, we knew that he would come [01:07:00] around and we could shake his hand.
[01:07:03] And I was, I was, I was ready. I was so ready. And when he came around, I was, I was also thinking of like, what do I, what do I say? Like, do I have time to say anything? And I knew I wouldn’t have like, pretty much any time. And I went in, I shook his hand and I just had a smile on my face. Like probably the.
[01:07:24] Bigger smile. And then just tears running down my eyes, just like I didn’t, I, I didn’t say anything because I was so overjoyed to meet him and, you know, to meet just this amazing leader and, you know, there were, you know, in politics and just overall there’s, you know, things I’m sure in his, you know, um, Presidency that people disagree with that, you know, there’s a lot of, and there’s things that I’ve disagreed with.
[01:07:59] I think [01:08:00] though, just meeting him as a, you know, seeing a multi, multi racial person in office and, you know, just from his leadership has ideas and also me as a marketer, I’m like, you ran like the first. Like digital political campaign, like your, your work was amazing. Your team did such an incredible job.
[01:08:24] And, you know, I just would love to talk with them both about kind of their careers, their background. I would just want to be their friend. Like, I just, just want to be, I guess, like a creepy fraud, just staring at them, smiling. That’s what dinner would be. They’d be like, all right, this is awkward. Like.
[01:08:46] David: [01:08:46] Yeah, I, it’s funny as whenever I asked you sort of questions, I asked myself the same question in my head.
[01:08:51] I’m like how and how I would answer this. And I had those two folks in my head as well. Um, and now they’re, I mean, their career has been amazing. They’re now [01:09:00] creating Netflix specials and publishing books. I mean, They do.
[01:09:04] Sabel: [01:09:04] Yeah. I mean, you know, there’s several politicians who I would still like love. Like I would love to have dinner with Hillary Clinton.
[01:09:12] I would love to have dinner with vice president Harris, not to be mixed up with my last name. Um, one of, one of my colleagues told me, um, that he was like, you should have the campaign slogan. Why vote for one Harris when you can vote for two, I’m like, that’s great. I should, I should have that as my campaign slogan.
[01:09:36] Um, but, and then I would love, you know, I’d love to have dinner with AOC. I, I mean, I think we would be friends
[01:09:45] David: [01:09:45] closer now to do.
[01:09:47] Sabel: [01:09:47] I think we, we could be friends. I I’m thinking I’m like, Hmm. You know, if I were to run for something else, like. Maybe, yeah, her and I would be friends one
[01:09:57] David: [01:09:57] day. So your mission is actually just to [01:10:00] become besties with AOC.
[01:10:03] Sabel: [01:10:03] Exactly. Exactly. That’s that’s, that’s my new, uh, like campaign promise is I will become best friends with AOC. I don’t know. I might eat those words one day, but
[01:10:16] David: [01:10:16] so my next question is, um, it might, might be. A similar answer to what you just shared, but who do you admire professionally and why?
[01:10:25] Sabel: [01:10:25] Yeah. Um, you know, I think there, I was, I always think about this because there are, you know, there are marketing influencers that, you know, I read every day that I admire and, you know, I look at their careers of, okay, is that, you know, Is that a path that I potentially want to follow.
[01:10:47] Um, but I think, you know, right now for me, who I do really admire professionally is AOC. You know, I look at her background, she didn’t have a [01:11:00] background in politics, you know, and I, I, I as well do not have a background in politics. And she, um, you know, I really admire that she. Talks about her background as a bartender and shows how there are clear.
[01:11:19] She has clear experience in working with people, talking with people, getting to know people. She is. Sad. She’s like, I’m very proud of my experience as a bartender because it has given me communication skills, being able to relate to people, being able to pick up and listen to what is going on. And I really admire that.
[01:11:42] I admire one her confidence to be like, this is who I am. This is my background. And, you know, Take it or leave it like the end. This is what I was elected on. And she’s, you know, I think that is incredible. And I think that says a lot about a person and I [01:12:00] appreciate how she’s, she’s not ashamed of it. And she had no reason to be, um, And so I’m like, you know what, I, I have that too, you know, I’m, I, you know, was not a bartender, but I’m, I’m a marketer.
[01:12:13] I, you know, I understand how to build audiences. I understand how to reach out to audiences and you know, this is a big facet of being a politician. Um, so that that’s who I admire professionally right now. Um, and you know, she’s also, she’s a marketer too. Like she knows social media. I believe she just gave like a, kind of a workshop with other Democrats in the house on how to use social media.
[01:12:44] So, wow. She did. She did. I got it. I’ll see if I find the article or if I find the tweet, it’s probably at a tweet. I’ll send it to you. But she did. And I’m like, Oh, shit times
[01:12:56] David: [01:12:56] are changing where they’re talking about how to use Twitter. Yeah. [01:13:00] Like specifically for politics, just, just last night, my grandma was like, we have a smart TV and she was asking me how to open up YouTube.
[01:13:07] And I was like, how do you know the word YouTube? She’s like this old Cambodian lady I’m like, uh, times are changing. Huh? That’s really cool. I, I can understand why you respect her and her. Her story is incredible how she’s gotten to where she is.
[01:13:24] Sabel: [01:13:24] Um, Uh, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, like you can not, she has.
[01:13:34] One just like such a short time, because she was just elected in 2018. So it’s not like, you know, it’s been, she’s had decades of this under her belt, but she commands the attention. She stands her ground. She has, you know, great policies. She, and she’s not ashamed of her background and her beliefs. And I think that is so.
[01:14:00] [01:14:00] Powerful. Even if you know, you’re a Republican or Democrat or an independent, it is incredibly powerful.
[01:14:10] David: [01:14:10] And you, you mentioned earlier, you know, there’s these marketers and influencers, you follow and all that. And you wonder if that’s a career path, but in general, you know, whether it’s for marketing or getting better job or getting better in office, what blogs or podcasts or people are you falling right now to learn from.
[01:14:28] Sabel: [01:14:28] Yeah. Well, my, my charter, um, account is it has changed a little bit more to the local side. So there’s this little, um, It’s like joke, but it’s not really a joke. It’s like a and C Twitter, which there are all these commissioners and it can be kind of like an echo chamber because I’m thinking I’m like, what constituent is following this?
[01:14:49] This is like, we’re just all talking with each other. Um, so right now, like on the influencer side, it’s certainly some commissioners who I think are just doing an incredible [01:15:00] job and doing the work. Yeah. And reaching out to people and, you know, making, you know, the hard decisions like, you know, the only benefit that, um, commissioners get is we do get a city official parking paths, um, and.
[01:15:19] Part you can, you can park anywhere. Um, and you know, you, you can’t park in front of a fire hydrant. You can’t, you know, there’s nothing, there are kind of some limitations to it, but you can park and, you know, meet her zones and not have to pay the meter. You can park in other places. And, you know, there have been some city officials, including commissioners who have taken advantage of it and had some bad behavior with it.
[01:15:43] Um, But there has been a group of commissioners who have come out and said, don’t send me my parking pass. Like we, we are, uh, we are giving up our parking passes to as a sign of protest to show that [01:16:00] DC is not equitable when it comes to transportation. So when we look at, you know, Uh, our fellow neighbors who live in ward seven and eight, they don’t have access to the Metro, you know, buses, you know, aren’t as frequent as they are in, you know, the other wards.
[01:16:20] Um, you know, Uber’s, and Lyft’s are also not as, you know, accessible there or it’s too expensive. Um, and you know, I did sign that letter. Um, I, you know, um, We actually did just get a car and, you know, I make the joke that, you know, our AMC Twitter might skewer me over it because they there’s a lot of commissioners who are against cars.
[01:16:46] We got it for personal reasons and, you know, um, but. I, I really admire kind of those influencer commissioners who kind of have led the charge on that. [01:17:00] So I’m following them, um, in terms of like blogs and podcast. Um, I, you know, this is, this is probably one of my guilty pleasures. I don’t, so I don’t follow a lot of, I follow a lot of marketers on, uh, LinkedIn, you know, you’ve got.
[01:17:19] You’ve got what’s the Dave care heart, um, that, you know, my colleagues love. And I started following him because. All of the marketers that ever fi like his content. So it would be automatically shown to me. Um, one of my former colleagues, um, her name’s Katie Mitchell, she has grown her LinkedIn following like overnight, not overnight, it’s been like over several months, but she went from, you know, I think like a thousand connections to over.
[01:17:47] She probably has like over 30,000 now. Um, so I do follow kind of what she says. And I just generally on the marketing side, like to just talk with [01:18:00] my peers, then follow my peers on, you know, um, what they’re doing and kind of what they’re saying and what they’re talking about. Um, but my guilty pleasure on like the blog and podcast side is kind of like, I listened to a podcast.
[01:18:16] All the time called the Sporkful, which is a food podcast. It’s great. It doesn’t, you know, it fills more of my self care side instead of like my actual like marketing side. Um, and then I do love like, After working for our company, target like marketing to YouTube creators. I love like there’s a big pool of YouTube creators that I follow and watch, you know, there’s this one man who, um, I do consider a friend, um, His name is well, his YouTube creator name is belief and fatherhood.
[01:18:52] He does an incredible job at producing his own music. You know, the, uh, editing [01:19:00] work that animation that’d be creates is phenomenal. And he does it all himself. He does, I think, had some help here and there. Um, but you know, when you look to be YouTube creators, they’re their own kind of production. Movie studio as like one person.
[01:19:17] And I think really highly of these creators, because I I’ve seen how hard kind of the work is. Um, but you know, and then there’s others. There’s one, you know, there’s this one 19 year old that I follow. And, you know, I, I know that her videos come out on Fridays and Sundays, so I’m like really excited for the weekend.
[01:19:39] Her name’s Mia Maples. She, I also saw, she went from like, I think like 400,000 subscribers to over a million to now like almost close to 4 million and these like. This is journey of just, you know, their content that they’re creating. And then kind of, they [01:20:00] find like this like viral moment, and then they like their growth explodes and, you know, she was reviewing wish, um, products.
[01:20:09] I’ve never bought anything from wish, but here I am just like, So is like, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s all of these just like sometimes random products and they can be anywhere from like free. Then you just have to pay shipping to like thousands of dollars. You just go on like wish. I think it’s and then it’s hard to describe.
[01:20:36] It’s like Amazon. But worse. So there’s no quality control on some of these products.
[01:20:45] David: [01:20:45] Okay. Yeah. I’ll take a look after this, but yeah,
[01:20:49] Sabel: [01:20:49] that’s, that’s what I’m following. And that’s kind of like, that’s my indulgence are these YouTube creators, these influencers that’s like, I, it’s just [01:21:00] fun for me to consume it.
[01:21:01] And then to also almost be like this. Like self, self, um, human anthropologist of like looking at, you know, their growth path and like what they’re doing marketing wise. And, you know, I don’t have any, I mean, I, in my head I’m like, ah, they could like tag this video or like, you know, they could do this or that.
[01:21:23] And you know, what do I know? I’m not a creator, but I just, I enjoy it. Definitely, um, something, you know, if you were to ask me again, what my self-care is, that’s another side of it.
[01:21:37] David: [01:21:37] I love it. I think usually when folks think of podcasts as like, Oh, listening to NPR or Ted talks or the daily and all that.
[01:21:47] And
[01:21:48] Sabel: [01:21:48] I did, I, I do listen to NPR every morning. So we tell, um, you know, our Amazon like echo and I’m trying to like say it softly. So it doesn’t [01:22:00] make pickup. Um, to play, you know, NPR and, you know, I do those normal things. I do the normal, not normal, but like I’m not that high brow. Like I absolutely kind of indulge on these like YouTube things and it, you know, um, I do.
[01:22:18] I’ve watched Tik TOK videos, but I wouldn’t, I refuse, I will not be performing in my own Ted talk, but I think it’s okay. I think it’s okay to say you have these indulgences and, you know, um, I think people who don’t talk about that are not living life to the fullest. Yeah. I
[01:22:40] David: [01:22:40] mean, for me, my form of self care was to stop listening to NPR, the indicator to daily because when all of this pandemic stuff hit, that’s all they were talking about.
[01:22:49] And I’m like, I’m living this already. I don’t need to hear the stats every single day about these things. And I just started watching more Netflix shows. I just watched Narcos Mexico. [01:23:00] And it’s about drugs, but I’m like here as a marketer and business person, like, wow, these are fascinating businesses. Like how did they get these deals and watching Mr.
[01:23:08] Robot and stuff?
[01:23:09] Sabel: [01:23:09] Just definitely, that’s probably better quality than like I watch, like you mean, I definitely indulge in like Bravo shows. And I look up and I do me as a here, again, me as this anthropologist or even marketer, I’m like, Ooh, let me go look at their Instagram. Like, how many followers do they have?
[01:23:28] Like, who are you to judge of this? Like you have no followers. Like why are you trying to judge them? So I think, I mean, I love it and it’s my form of, okay, I’m going to decompress. I know I can, you know, Watch Emily and Paris or real Housewives of Dallas or real Housewives of Potomac. And, you know, sometimes it gets a little intense, but other times I’m like, huh.
[01:23:56] Okay, cool. I can break away from the news.
[01:24:00] [01:23:59] David: [01:23:59] I’m happy to hear that between your two full-time jobs, you make time to indulge yourself and take care of yourself. If I’m
[01:24:07] Sabel: [01:24:07] so I’m thinking, I’m thinking right now, what I just was talking about Brava, I’m like, Ooh, I have a show to watch. I watch real Housewives of Dallas this week.
[01:24:16] So I get to watch that after this. Well,
[01:24:20] David: [01:24:20] I know, I know it’s getting late where you are and I, one last question is where can listeners find you on the internet?
[01:24:26] Sabel: [01:24:26] Sure. Well, as a marketer, you can find me anywhere. Um, I I’m on Twitter, so it’s just my name at Siebel Harris, um, or LinkedIn, which is also stable Harris.
[01:24:40] I’m hoping one day someone will let me have at Sable, um, that might not be here, but I do have a close tie now to my last name, Harris. Um, So on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on Instagram, all of my accounts are at stable Harris.
[01:25:00] [01:25:00] David: [01:25:00] Well say, well, it was great getting to hear about what you’re working on, what you’re passionate about.
[01:25:03] It’s really clear that you care a lot about the folks that you’re serving, and they’re very lucky to have someone like you working for them. Thanks for making time to chat. And hopefully you can chat again soon.
[01:25:13] Sabel: [01:25:13] Yeah. Thank you so much, David.

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David Khim

David is co-founder and CEO of Omniscient Digital. He previously served as head of growth at and Fishtown Analytics, and before that was growth product manager at HubSpot where he worked on new user acquisition initiatives to scale the product-led go-to-market.