The Tuuti gals traveled 2,662 miles to Boston for the HubSpot INBOUND sales and marketing conference. From Fenway Park to Quincy Market, we explored the city and ate so much lobster. At the conference, we dove into trending topics in marketing, like the future with AI, building passion brands, creating communities and influencer programs, and more.
To top it all off, we ended with a highlight session titled “Lessons on Innovation, Leadership, and Navigating Change” with the actress, producer, and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon. Reese is the founder of the media company Hello Sunshine and the clothing company Draper James. In her keynote, she covered why she decided to launch a media company, the struggles of an entrepreneur, and her keys to success.
Here at Tuuti, we related and were inspired by Reese’s story — and we know we aren’t the only ones! Let’s look at 9 wicked smaht takeaways from Reese Witherspoon’s session at INBOUND:
#1: Move Your Dream Forward
“No one believes in your dream more than you do. Every day, wake up and do something to move your dream forward.” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
This was easily one of the biggest standout statements from Reese. It’s something the Tuuti team has experienced first-hand. Going all-in and starting an all-women owned and led creative communications agency raised some eyebrows. People called us crazy for leaving steady paycheck jobs or rolling the dice on an agency.
But you know what? We knew that we were the only ones who could move our dream forward. We had a vision, and nothing was going to change if we didn’t take that first step, and then the next, and the next.
So each day, we want to live by this advice — wake up and do something to move your dream forward.
#2: Show Up No Matter What
“Your coworker who sits next to you all day, they’re going to have an opinion about you. It’s actually none of your business. It shouldn’t make a difference whether you show up. It shouldn’t dictate your mood … the sooner you release that feeling of other people’s opinions crushing you or holding you down, you’re free.” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
This happens to us all. We worry about what our neighbors, our friends, our coworkers, and even what strangers think about us. It’s easy to get caught up in self-doubt, social anxiety, and imposter syndrome. That’s why we loved what Reese had to say here.
Because yes, you’re going to have critics. You’re going to have setbacks. Not everyone will be a fan of everything you do. And that’s okay! You can’t control what others think of you. But you can control how you respond and what you do next.
When asked what quality in herself she admired the most, Reese talked about how her work ethic has gotten her the farthest in her career. Choosing to show up, no matter what, at home and work, sets you apart from those around you. People will take notice. But more importantly, you will recognize it in yourself and it will empower you.
#3: Be a Radiator
“My grandma used to say, ‘People are either radiators or drains.’ Stick around the radiators and get rid of the drains.” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
This is great advice in business and in life. No one likes being around a person that is constantly negative or a drain on your life. You want to surround yourself with people who uplift, inspire, and energize.
In a professional environment, it can be easy to get caught up in workplace frustrations or feeling lost in the grind. Stress or deadlines can turn you and your coworkers into drains. It’s a spiral effect in the office, until workplace culture takes a major hit, and so does productivity.
Even during times of frustration, remember to take a breath and find more positive and professional ways to respond vs. your first not-so-great gut reaction. Try everyday to be a radiator with your teams, friends, and family. And look to include more radiators in your own life!
#4: Consumers Control the Future
“There’s so much power in the consumer. Remember that’s a powerful tool. Conscious spending and conscious consuming of media is the way of the future.” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
Reese’s message resonates in our world where consumers aren’t just passive buyers anymore — they’re steering the ship. With their wallets and remote controls, they’re charting the course for entire industries. Businesses and content creators need to be in tune with the values and preferences of their audience to stay relevant.
In her example, Reese explained how consumers decide what content they make in Hollywood. Every like, listen, and click determines what content they keep and cut. Reese’s mission in starting Hello Sunshine was to inspire more female-driven content and highlight women in a male-dominated industry. Consumers related to that and it led to the huge success of her company — and also created a space to encourage similar companies to emerge into the marketplace. Talk about inspiring!
This also tells us it’s not just about selling a product or delivering content. It’s about building a meaningful connection with the people who hold the power to shape the future. Now, more than ever, consumers want to feel heard and understood by brands. And brands who fail to make that consumer connection will be left in the dust.
#5: There’s Power in Partnership
“You have to collaborate in order to get particularly bigger goals and higher ideas. Like if you’re taking a business from A to B or B to C, you’re going to need to add on talent. Somebody who fills the gap that you don’t have. So I always found real power in partnership.” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
For companies to experience rapid growth, it often comes down to the people behind the brand. Finding the right people, each bringing their unique strengths to the table, can be the secret sauce for innovation and progress.
Another great point she makes here is how you can’t do it all by yourself. We often hear the phrase “Jack-of-all-trades.” Basically, it means someone who can do a bunch of different skills, but doesn’t specialize in anything. To really succeed in today’s market, it’s better to focus on your talents vs. trying to do it all. Not only will you struggle to keep pace with experts in the different fields, but it leads to burnout real quick. Instead, you can bridge the gap by finding others to collaborate with that compliment and balance out your own skill set.
#6: Professionalism = Kindness and Respect
“Don’t be rude to people you think have a job that’s less than you. It makes me want to cry. Any given day you can be at the top, or at the bottom, and you should treat people exactly the same: with kindness and respect.” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
Reese talked about how as a teenager, she started from the bottom in the film industry and worked her way up. Now in 2023, Forbes listed her as the “richest self-made actress in the world.” She saw incredible career growth, and from that experience, learned the importance of treating everyone with the same kindness and respect. After all, you never know if you’ll be at the top or the bottom on any given day.
This is also great insight for the workplace. Professionalism is showing respect and kindness to coworkers and customers, regardless of any ranking system or hierarchy. At Tuuti, we often joke we like working with companies that “aren’t jerks.” But jokes aside, how a company’s team members interact with others is a great pulse check for that brand’s values and goals.
Brands who lead with this attitude not only stand out to consumers, but also stand out to prospective employees in the job market. You want to work for a company and with individuals who have a culture of kindness and respect, not a title-first company.
#7: Get the Right Community
“The biggest thing you can do in life is curate those people around you. They always say the five people you spend the most time with are going to dictate your mood and your success, so it’s really important if that person is bringing you down, if they are not adding to your life, it’s time to get out.” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
At this point of the session, the Tuuti gals all looked at each other and laughed. Because we are five partners who started the company together and also work together in the daily grind to run an agency. So we know better than anyone how community can bring you up — and how it can tear you down.
Surrounding yourself with the right team and community matters not only for the work you produce, but for team culture and team productivity. It influences your performance, personal relationships, well-being, and more. That’s why it’s so important to be selective when picking partners, friends, and others to surround yourself with. The right community can enable you to do more than you ever could alone.
#8: Embrace Rejection
“No means ‘next opportunity.’” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
We all face rejection. Reese, one of the most successful actresses in the biz, had her fair share. She laughed during her INBOUND session over all the jobs she didn’t get. But she’s also learned as an entrepreneur that “no” often opens the door to something else. It may be a different person, a different angle, or a different project — but there’s always a new way to try.
As agency owners, we especially appreciate this because we do lots of pitches and proposals, and they don’t all pan out. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit. Sometimes the budget isn’t there. But we’ve learned that every “no” ends up opening time for us to focus on new opportunities. We’ve even gotten a few “nos” that turned into referrals.
Moral of the story: don’t quit. Don’t look back at your failures. Learn from them, and push towards the next big thing.
#9: Dream Bigger Than Yourself
“A life that’s in service of helping others is truly the best life you could live. I think about this Ava DuVernay quote a lot. She says, ‘If your dreams only involve you, you aren’t dreaming big enough.’ So every single person in this room has the ability to change a person’s life, and I think you’re going to go out and do it.” —Reese Witherspoon, INBOUND 2023
We loved every single second of Reese’s highlight session, but she ended with this — and it was our absolute favorite. Part of the Tuuti values is “We seek to inspire change and bring people together, one story at a time.”
Profit is of course a huge portion of success for a brand. But the human experience is right beside it. If a brand only ever focuses internally and never touches or elevates other people’s lives, it’s not a brand worth creating. As an agency, we want to think beyond and inspire change. This starts by working with and marketing for those companies and brands that need to be heard. And supporting all those around us, in our personal lives and at Tuuti, to dream bigger.
And yep, we think you will go out and do it too!
Did you attend INBOUND and have a favorite quote from Reese? Message us on social — we’d love to chat!