How Positivity Helps You Achieve Bigger Dreams

Brittany Driscoll

with Brittany Driscoll

CEO and Co-founder of Squeeze

How Positivity Helps You Achieve Bigger Dreams

How Positivity Helps You Achieve Bigger Dreams 400 400 33Voices

Squeeze CEO and Co-founder Brittany Driscoll and Jenna kick off discussing how her childhood experiences rising to be captain of her high school basketball team and volunteering shaped her grit, sense of belief, and compassion for others. We then dive into what her dad describes as her “coulda been a contender” mentality and how the courage to try new things and fail enabled her to design her early career to work on projects her agency wasn’t equipped for, affording her opportunities to lead ones with the likes of Mattel, Hot Wheels, and X Games. Most importantly, Brittany emphasizes the importance of living outwardly versus inwardly and how faith, empathy, gratitude, and kindness can drastically change our lives.

Highlights from the Transcript

  • On becoming captain of her high school basketball team: “I may not have been the star player but I believed that I could contribute to the team. I worked hard, I showed up consistently and I never gave up. That was a pivotal lesson in going for something that you want and figuring it out as you go along. It was also a really humbling experience for me. I went from being at the top of my game as a swimmer to having to start all over and catch up to where everyone else was. Even though there were times of frustration or embarrassment, I decided that I was’t going to let the fear of what everyone else thought of me, like my classmates watching me miss wide open lay-ups, get in the way of trying something new, improving, and finding fulfillment in it. My role was just as pivotal as our point-guard because I learned the power of encouragement and building a team up. Even when I didn’t understand all of the plays and rules my freshman year, I was the one who cheered the loudest for my teammates. I encouraged everyone when my coach had us do one more drill at practice when we thought we were done. I loved the essence and spirit of a team and the idea that the only way we can reach our goal is together. No one else really did that but they appreciated it…I have taken a lot of the learnings from my basketball experience into my career: A willingness to try, keep going and not give up. Even if you think you’re good at one thing and you figure out it’s not right for you or you aren’t as good as you thought, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still play a pivotal role.”
  • On oneness: “I remember that moment so vividly. It almost brings me to tears even now. I recognized that I was sitting in the comfort of my living room, watching Saturday morning cartoons and there was a child across the world who was starving and hurting. It felt so unjust to me. The circumstances weren’t this innocent child’s choice just like mine weren’t either. I felt like I did have a choice to use the position I was in to help. Even though it was a very small gesture, sponsoring a child that was less fortunate than I was, it felt like the right thing to do…I recently read about an organization Love One, that helps underprivileged children and communities around the world. They changed their name from 147 Million Orphans to Love One. It’s so brilliant because 147 million of anything is a daunting number. Where do you even start with that? But, can you love one? Can you give and care for one in some capacity? The answer, of course, is yes. We can all do that. I felt that as a nine year old and have carried it with me to this day: We can all make an impact on each other. It starts with small gestures and actions.”
  • On empathy: “Deep down we all crave connection, recognition, and value. Everyone has a story and life experiences that shape them in different ways. I try to understand what that story and experiences are because if I can put myself in your shoes it provides a lens and a perspective to connect in a sincere way. It really requires you to see people as humans. It’s helped me a lot with challenging personalities over the years because instead of getting frustrated with why someone may be difficult, if I get to know them a little bit more and see them beyond whatever role they are playing, you can empathize with why they are approaching something in a certain way. Appreciate people for who they are and where they are coming from because that shapes the reasons they respond and act the way they do.”
  • On maintaining perspective: “It can be so easy to be consumed looking inward and focusing on ourselves, which we are all guilty of, especially with social media. Growing up, I witnessed the hardship of addiction and homelessness at a really young age, circumstances that are beyond people’s control and the reality of getting old without family around. I used to go play bingo with older women who didn’t have family near them. I don’t know how to describe the impact of that other than those experiences just stick with you. It’s a constant reminder of what really matters. I am just as guilty as the next person for wanting more and thinking selfishly but there is always a little voice in the back of my head which is that perspective of: When you think life is really hard or you want more, your life isn’t nearly as hard as anyone else’s and you don’t really need more. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you have the perspective that you are truly fortunate by having life’s basic necessities taken care of.”
  • On making an individual impact: “When I was 10, my dad came home late one night because he saw a homeless mom with her three kids on Pacific Coast Highway and drove them to a rescue mission in downtown. I remember thinking and still look back on that experience teaching me: When you see people who need help, you help. It’s just what you do…It’s all about the small part we can all play by looking, thinking, and acting outward versus just inward.”
  • On small acts of kindness: “One of our values is: Little things are big things. As people, its the small things that make you feel good and can change the course of your day. If we all thought like that more often the world would be a better place.”
  • On her can-do mentality: “Mattel was across the street from one of my first jobs. I was working on direct mail pieces for brands that I wasn’t personally passionate about. Barbie’s brand campaign at the time was Unapologetic, which I loved, so I started doing some digging about how we could work with them. They were looking for an agency to launch their first global promotion. While we didn’t have those internal capabilities, we had a sister agency that did so I brought it up to the leadership team and they were all about it. A few of us rallied and worked day and night on that pitch for weeks and ended up winning the account. It was definitely one of those moments in my life that reinforced: If you want something, you have to go for it. Even if it didn’t turn out how it did, I would have been happy that we tried. There is so much value in the learnings you have along the journey not just in the outcome.”
  • On taking the first step to pursue your goal: “You can do anything you put your mind to. If there is a will there is a way. Anyone who is great at something did it for the first time and didn’t know what they were doing in that moment. With that mentality, if you’re brave enough to go for it you will figure it out. Familiarity crushes fear. When you do something, it becomes less scary and more attainable.”
  • On the life-changing impact of mentorship: “My mentor, Anne Marie Neil pulled up a chair for me at the table. She brought me into the big strategy meetings and into tough conversations with clients. She was constantly challenging the purpose and impact of what we were doing at our agency…She was so intentional and thoughtful about everything she did…To learn and watch someone like that consistently – who I felt like always had my back and believed in everything I was doing and that I could do things I didn’t know I could – was so impactful. She not only took chances on me and supported things I wanted to do she also let me fail…I learned from those opportunities. She coached me through them but she didn’t stunt my growth. She didn’t close doors during those times she just encouraged me to keep going and championed me in a way that I will forever be indebted to her for. She was also very vulnerable with me. I got to see her as a human. We got to know each other as people and she was just as open with me as I was with her, which I felt like a new experience because most of the time your boss has their guard up. It made me that much more motivated to do well and emulate what I saw her doing. I honestly don’t think that I would be where I am in my career if it wasn’t for her. I know a lot of people who encounter her feel that way too.”
  • On momentum: “Another one of my mentors, Michael Landau my business partner, always encouraged me with the insight: Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. I wish more people realized that because I think so many greater things could manifest if people recognized that things don’t have to be perfect. The forward momentum and the ability to keep moving is so much more impactful than getting things right every single time. I wish we all knew that because things would be a lot less daunting.”
  • On choosing to be grateful in every circumstance: “Gratitude is so powerful. I truly believe that having a thankful perspective and a grateful heart can drastically change your life. Studies have shown that you literally cannot be angry and grateful at the same time. It’s impossible for your brain to process both emotions. If given the choice, for me, it’s personally a lot easier and more beneficial to choose gratitude. When I landed the job at Drybar and my husband was diagnosed with cancer it was definitely a bittersweet moment. I think both of us, and having gone through a cancer diagnosis earlier in my life, decided to have a mind over matter outlook. There wasn’t a doubt in either of our minds that we’d get through it. I definitely had moments of guilt during that time because I moved down to Irvine to work at Drybar’s headquarters and my husband was living in Westlake with my parents going through chemotherapy and radiation but he constantly encouraged me that it was the right decision and we were going to be fine. I give him so much credit during that time because he was just so phenomenal. It was his positive outlook on life that gave me encouragement and strength. Thankfully, it did work out. It doesn’t in a lot of people’s situations. It can be incredibly overwhelming at times. We just decided that even if the outcome was different we were going to choose to be positive and grateful and hope for the best.”
  • On building a “love brand:” “We built Drybar to be a love brand. Whenever you mention Drybar, people say that they love it. It taught me the power of a great brand, a great experience, and the opportunity to disrupt an outdated way of doing things. That’s what I’m really hoping to bring to Squeeze…A brand that people feel is personable and connects with them in ways beyond the service.”
  • On faith: “In its simplest form, what my faith gives me is peace of mind; Knowing that a God much bigger and more powerful than you and anyone else in the world is looking out for you, constantly cheering you on and watching your back. There’s a lot of comfort that comes from that. I’m not sure how I would experience that if I didn’t have my faith.”