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Community Over Competition

Sarahbeth Ramsey is like no other. She is truly invested in working with clients and partners across industries, and has a genuine interest in their pursuits and practices. A fantastic networker, Sarahbeth can be found just about everywhere! She loves to travel, to make new connections, and to find new ways to make her mark on Baltimore and beyond.

We knew she had to be a part of our month dedicated to community, which is why we are so excited to have had the opportunity to ask her questions about her professional journey to date. Enjoy learning more about Sarahbeth, and read on about how community prompted her to begin her entrepreneurial journey in her latest En Root feature: How a Community Helped Me Start My Business.

Happy reading!

Tell us about a pinnacle point or moment when your engagement with a community had an impact on your personal or professional life.

When I was living in France as an exchange student, we had this class where students from other countries gave their opinion on U.S. Americans. It was the first time I had really heard from outside of the U.S. what people thought of us. It wasn't all good. I was shocked to learn some of what they said, but also thankful. It is always good to get an outsider's perspective, even if it's not to this degree.

How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?

Any travel really broadens our horizons, but this time took the cake. I couldn't believe some of what I had believed, but it gave me a new perspective. I think it's so important to listen to others' perspectives. We all see things so differently. If we open our minds to other ideas, we will understand each other much better. Listening is important. This helps with teamwork and with understanding clients, but also in making and understanding our friends on a personal level. Things are not always what we may think.

At OutGrowth, we are committed to giving access. Talk to us about your take on the importance of building bridges between industries, institutions and communities. How do you think your approach fosters growth and success?

Community over competition, always. I grew up being very competitive. We are often taught to keep our secrets close and not share information. I don't really agree with this mentality. I think that the more we lift each other up, teach and help others grow, the more we are rewarded. Yes, that applies to the same industries. I've had people in marketing and social media help me when I needed it, instead of viewing me as competition and vice versa. If you are genuinely trying to help others, people can tell. If they like what you are doing and want help, they will ask. I never want someone to be "afraid" of me. I want them to ask if they want to learn. Breaking down the barriers of threat and allowing access to assisting each other is so necessary. Competition should really only be with ourselves. Can we be better than we were in the past? How can we help others not to make the same mistakes we did? That's how we build bridges to others.

What are your top three pieces of advice for students and professionals who are looking to find ways to get involved in their communities? How can they approach engagement thoughtfully?

1. Network, Network and Network. No, but seriously. Get out there and meet people. In Baltimore, it's so easy. There are events all of the time (just check FB events or Instagram). It's not just easy in Baltimore, though. Go up to people and just comment on the day or location (wherever you may be). If they don't want to talk, move on to the next. Find a common denominator in your conversation and go with it.

2. Listen. Make sure you are listening to people and observing in the moment. Talking more than listening doesn't often lead to good communication or connections.

3. Remember, if you aren't helping in the community, you won't be as fulfilled. Real fulfillment comes from making a difference, whether it be small or large.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Stop caring so much about what other people think. Having red curly hair really made me stand out when I was younger. I hated it. People always had something to say- good or bad. Growing up in the tanning age wasn't much fun either. I let people make me feel a certain way about myself for years, until I decided- enough. It made my confidence less and less too, so I didn't connect and meet with as many people as I could have. The silver lining is- it made me very strong.

What is your favorite quote?

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." - Mark Twain

Based on your professional experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe can be gained/developed from more fully engaging with one's community?

1. Relatability. You will able to relate and understand people from different walks of life if you really listen and engage with those who are different from you.

2. Communication. Learning from others, listening and actively trying to be a better citizen will help you identify how to better communicate with others. The more you talk to other people and engage, the better you will become.

3. Teamwork. Of course, more understanding means less conflict. Things that once seemed important now become trivial, and we relate on a human level again.

What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2020?

Really growing outside of Baltimore to reach others in different cities!

Sarahbeth Ramsey is the Owner of a Social Media Marketing Boutique called The Boho Marketing Co. She's from Baltimore, and is a recent University of Baltimore MBA grad, who loves to travel frequently and learn more about people and businesses. Almost equal to her love of travel is her love of dogs, particularly her dog, Ella.


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