page title icon 065: Blake Morgan: I wasn’t a trust fund baby

Blake Morgan Show Notes

Blake Morgan moved to New York City as a young southern Californian girl. While many of her roommates had family nearby, Blake found herself with no support system and found herself needing to make her way. Listen to Blake tell her story of how getting over that hump affected her career and life.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience adviser that has worked with Intel, Verizon Wireless, Verizon, Newmark Knight Frank Retail, One Medical, Misfit Wearables (Shine), Pega Systems, Clarabridge, Zendesk, Sparkcentral and more. She’s highly involved with SOCAP where she serves as the VP of Marketing for the North West chapter.

She loves “customer experience” because as humans we are feeling, sensing beings. Our most vivid memories are powerful experiences. Today brands understand that creating a knock-your-socks-off digital experience is the way to the customer’s heart.

Outside of work she volunteers with Hop-a-long Animal rescue managing their Twitter account–helping dogs get fostered and adopted in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In a past life she lived in NYC for five years–then met her now husband at a CRM conference and moved to the bay area in under two weeks. Good thing it worked out! Today she loves calling the bay area home.

Other fun “Blake” facts, she once ran a marathon in San Francisco. She takes Russian Language classes so she can understand her husband’s family.
Blake enjoys hanging out with her husband and Yorkie, Athena in Oakland, CA.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @blakemichellem to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Companies are only willing to build relationships when it’s cost effective.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet

“They’re lying saying they want to improve the customer experience but not willing to walk the walk.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“I want to do business with brands that treat me like they really care.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“You don’t want people working for your company that don’t have it in their blood.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“You don’t want people that have customer facing roles that don’t have it in their blood.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“You want people who are really proud to represent the brand.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“There’s a lot of benefit to taking a breath and thinking what’s the best way to respond.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Learning to listen can mean the difference between a great day and ruining a relationship.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Working at a big company, people don’t really know who you are outside the company.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Even if you do work for an employer, it’s so important for people to have a brand.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Feel comfortable in your own skin because that’s really attractive.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“Being a good listener is so important and so under appreciated.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

“When you listen you really hear for that golden ticket.” -Blake Morgan Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Blake Morgan moved to New York City as a young southern Californian girl. While many of her roommates had family nearby, Blake found herself with no support system and found herself needing to make her way. Listen to Blake tell her story of how getting over that hump affected her career and life.

Advice for others

It’s so important for people to have a brand. It’s really important to have your own personal brand.

Holding her back from being an even better leader


Best Leadership Advice Received

Be yourself. If you’re trying to be someone else it’s really obvious.

Secret to Success

Longevity in the business.

Best tools that helps in business or Life

Being a good listener. Listening is everything.

Recommended Reading

Thick Face, Black Heart: The Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business and Life

Contacting Blake





54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

065: Blake Morgan: I wasn’t a trust fund baby


Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.


Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynote don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your tennis take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee engagement, customer engagement and customer centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event. Go to to learn more. 


Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion you want to make sure that you go to iTunes and download and subscribe The Fast Leader Show if you haven’t already because the guest on the show that we have today, her quick wit and get to the point style is sure to help you cut through the clutter in your world. Blake Morgan graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz and with a focus in Journalism and on a whim moved to New York City, and now Blake is a Customer Experience advisor that has worked with Intel, Verizon Wireless, Verizon, Newmark Knight Frank Retail, One Medical, Misfit Wearables, Pega Systems, Clarabridge Spark Central and more. She’s with highly involved SOCAP where she serves as the VP of Marketing for the North West chapter.


Blake loves customer experience because as humans we are feeling, sensing, beings our most vivid memories are powerful experiences. Today brands understand that creating a ‘knock your socks off’ digital experiences is the way to the customer’s heart. Outside of work she volunteers with hop-along animal rescue managing their Titter account and helping dogs get fostered and adopted in the San Francisco Bay Area. In a past life when she lived in New York City she did it for five years and that’s where she met her husband at a CRM conference and moved to the Bay Area in under two weeks— good thing it worked out.  Today loves—both her husband in calling the Bay Area home. Blake Morgan are you ready to help us get over the hump?


Blake Morgan:    Hey, Jim. Good morning, I’m ready. 


Jim Rembach:    Alright, thanks. I’m glad you’re here with us today. I’ve given our listeners a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?


Blake Morgan:    My current passion I would say is dogs. Because last night I actually have someone drop off a little puppy, to my house that needs a home, and I just couldn’t say no. She’s the cutest, five pound New Yorky mix, with this devilish little eyebrows and so I just got dog crawling all over my house right now and I would say that’s my passion. 


Jim Rembach:    It’s definitely my kids passion too, they keep asking me to have one. We were chatting earlier before we got started here today and I was mentioning how my neighbor has adopted for long time for many years and it’s definitely something—it takes a lot of effort that that he takes a lot of effort it’s not simple. I’ve even seen situations where people going through a very stringent screening process to actually be one of the adopters and foster parents, but it’s so valued. When you start thinking about that passion and where it comes from, why dogs?


Blake Morgan:    Well, dogs actually were once wolves. And they figure it out that if they could cozy up to humans, back in the caveman days that human would feed them, they would provide protection and comfort to humans and humans would feed them and it was a nice kind of symbiotic relationship. Thanks how actually how dogs evolve from wolves, so now they’ve somehow become cuter. I think they figure it out if they were cuter they would get better food and better homes. There’s a long history of dogs and humans being friends and I’ve just always loved dogs. We had dogs when I was a kid, just wonderful, they’re very calming and just such a nice break from the hassle, buzzle of the day to just come home and see this wagging tail so happy to see you no matter what. 


Jim Rembach:    Listening to you talk, I started also thinking about some of the work that you do talking about customer experience, customer engagement, and that whole evolution piece and the need to connect, I started seeing really a correlation on how you started talking about that evolution. While it’s maybe not politically correct to talk about humans as animals or in that way but do you see some connections there with regards to how we actually do what you just said?


Blake Morgan:    We are actually animals, Jim, so it’s okay, I think it’s correct to say that we are. There are leaders, the interesting things you can pull out from that, I mean people have always travelled in communities and the best they contribute to society in the way that they can, and it’s all about survival. And while we do have the Internet today, we have links in the Facebook—really it’s still about survival, it looks very, very different than it did say, 5000 years ago.


Jim Rembach:    It’s a good point. I could still say that we’re always looking for that inspiration and some of the joy that absolutely pets can bring us including our human relationship. One of the things that we focus in on the Fast Leader show is leadership quotes or just quotes, I should say, that could give us that kind of inspiration and connection and really tap that emotion. Is there a quote or two that stands out for you that you can share with us?


Blake Morgan:    There’s a recent on I’ve been kind of fixated on from Warren Buffet and what he says is that: “Trust is a very expensive gift do not expect it from people who are cheap.” And the reason I like this quote about being “cheap” is because I believe it has a lot to do with brands today and where they are mis-stepping with customer experience and their efforts to build relationships with customers. We all have experiences with people on our lives that they don’t really like to spend money, they’re risk averse, they don’t like to pay their half of lunch maybe, they don’t like to go out they’re just scared, but how does that relate to a brand. For example I was recently on a flight to Melbourne with United airlines and United Airlines has recently announced that they are now serving a better coffee. They basically had a string of announcements about a customer experience initiative one of which was the coffee.


I’m a huge coffee fan I love coffee, the flight from Melbourne to the US or vice versa is 14-16 hours, it’s grueling, so I knew about this announcements from United and I went to the stewardess and I said, “Hi, can I have some of this Elli coffee I hear of?” And she just looks at me and said, ”Oh, sorry we’re using the rest of the old stuff until we get the new stuff in because….you know of course it’s more cost effective. And for me this has sent a message of—you know the airlines and other companies are only willing to really build relationships with their customers when it’s convenient or cost effective for them. And in a way it’s like lying in a way they’re kind of lying like saying, “Oh, we want to improve customer experience” but really they’re not willing to ‘walk the walk’. And so, for me I want to surround myself with not only people who are spiritually wealthy and have this air of wealth, not literally I’m not talking about money I’m talking about generosity and kindness, same with the brands that I do business with. I want to do business with friends that treat me like they really care about building relationship with me and they’re willing to spare an expense, not like with United Airlines who tell you anything to save a dollar at the expense of the relationship. 


Jim Rembach:    I think you bring up something that’s even more than a marketing campaign like you were saying. I had the opportunity to interview John Wolski from Zappos and he was talking about how human centric can be something to do, you actually have to pull up within your DNA. 


Blake Morgan:    Yeah, I love it. And Zappos’s absolutely gets it there the first. Tony Hsieh is the genius, he’s super bold. The things he’s willing to do are just wonderful without really have care for the industry. Everyone is like looking at him, people are writing all kinds of rumors and gossips with the holacracy right now where Zappos remove managers from their system, basically, he still moving forward showing the world what can be, what is possible. And I think that’s wonderful for Zappos, I’m really happy for them. 


Jim Rembach:     I was just reading something talking about their holacracy change that certain percentage of employee took the buyout because it’s one of the things that Zappos does which is to me I think is totally unique and weeds out the ones that don’t want that connection that you are referring to earlier. And the piece is talking about how people left but that isn’t necessarily something that is a bad thing.


Blake Morgan:     I totally agree, Jim. You don’t want people working for your company who don’t have in their blood especially when like Zappos where your living in Las Vegas the people who worked there it just a day job, they have a community there they’re always doing happy hours together like weekend, party, parades, running events, it’s really a way of life, so Tony only wants people who are really committed. You really don’t want especially people in customer service or customer facing roles that don’t have it in their blood. You want people who are really proud to represent the brand and love what they do and feel like, “Yeah, this is where I’m supposed to be.”


Jim Rembach:     That community has some power, why the dogs travel in packs?  Why do they connect with humans? Humans have that high integrity in the things that you were talking about, want to bond together as well. Hello, we all need to definitely ground ourselves. I know for me, I had situations where I’ve had to get over that hump. Where I was…especially in college talking about the Fraternity and the rushes and things like, that is that, I’m going to be a GDI which is a something-something independent, I’m going to be anti-fraternity. And for me, knowing where I am now like this hindsight, I’m like that was just a bad mindset, it was. I’ve limited myself some opportunities to grow network at an early age that I just avoided. I wish I could turn back—but I can’t. So, I know that was a hump, right? I didn’t get over. I didn’t realize it was a hump at that time. But there’s a lot to learnings in there throughout our lives. Can you think about a time where you’ve had to get over the hump where it helped you with your learning? Can you share that with us?


Blake Morgan:    I would say my experience moving to New York as a young person. A lot of the kids that go to New York are from the tri-c area, I was from Southern California, right? In the tri-c area you’ve got a lot of old family names, you’ve got a lot of old money, so I always have roommates whose parents would bring them furniture and food and take them shopping, and I was everything myself because I didn’t have family around. I wasn’t  a trust fund baby, I have a job and a lot of my friends and I were living paycheck to paycheck, which was fun, we didn’t feel bad about it because we we’re all struggling we are all trying to make it work in New York. I think that experience of just really learning to hassle and work hard, I’m not sure I would have learned that had I not had that experience of living in New York city at such a young age. 


Jim Rembach:    Being able to make that move and just go there without those connections, you and I had talked about boldness and that was some the things that is of interest to you and it is for me as well. And we also talked about it sometime boldness didn’t serve us well and that happens and so finding that middle ground is really an important piece. Have you done something or kind of ground yourself in a way so that you find that middle ground a little bit better?


Blake Morgan:    I would say that meditation has been very helpful for me and just learning to slow down because I do like to respond quickly to things. I make calculations in my brain very quickly and decide things, but you know what, sometimes there’s a lot of beauty and benefit to just kind of taking a breath and thinking, okay, what is the best way to respond? And the beauty of meditation, even just 10 minutes a day is it really slows your brain down and allows you to be calm, to be focused, and in a business environment that’s everything. Just learning to kind of be quiet and listen for even 30 seconds can mean a difference between you having a great day at work or kind of ruining a relationship with someone I work, so, I would say meditation has been really key. I do a lot of other things just throughout the day, make sure I’m fresh like going to walk with my dog and exercise and taking good care of myself. You know see a lot of people in business who don’t how to take care of themselves, they don’t set up their lives so they get enough sleep, they don’t eat well and things that hinders their work. You can tell when you meet people and you them really, really umpth up like they’ve just been on social media way too long. Like scheduling tweets, and you’re like, okay—you obviously need to have some on our time, that on our own time is really important when you meet people face to face, or you’re interacting with them and they can tell if this person seems crazy, or this person seems calm and rooted. 


Jim Rembach:    That’s a very good point. You mentioned something earlier for me that I’ve had it, kind of check myself on and that is, coffee. While I’m not somebody who necessarily looks for the unique brands and stuff, I’m good with just a regular roast type deal, but it’s when I have more than I should have that kind of causes me to have problems with that whole stopping and thinking before it comes out, so I got to watch that. I know you got a lot of things going on, the animal rescue piece, the SOCAP, the writing for Forbes, doing your own podcast, of course your hobby, all those things and fitness—when you start thinking all those things, what are some your goals?


Blake Morgan:    My goal right now is to build my brand. I have been working for other people mostly for 10 years. I did my own consulting thing for about two years before I went to work in Intel but when you’re working in a big company people don’t really know who you are outside of the company so I been trying to build my brand. Even if you do work for an employer I think it’s so important for people to have a brand because, especially in the Bay area a lot of this jobs are short term and even if you are working for someone else it’s really important that you have your own personal brand. So, right now for me I just want people to know who I am. And so part of that is just being a content—like every week publishing YouTube videos, podcast, articles, engaging online, and it matters I get emails from people who’ve read a certain article even just one article that resonated with them can turn into a job project. So that’s basically what I’m focusing on, building my company. 


Jim Rembach:   And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick work from our sponsor. 


Leaders in organizations with high emotional intelligence make more money and perform than those with lower EQ. So get over the hump now by leveraging the 54 emotional intelligence competencies and your human centric leadership and organization development. Download the complete lists for free at  


Here we go Fast Leader listeners it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay Blake, the Hump day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Blake Morgan, are you ready to hoedown? 


Blake Morgan:    Sure. 


Jim Rembach:    Alright.  What do you think is holding you back from being even better leader today?


Blake Morgan:    Wow! Scalability. I’m just one person so when you’re working for yourself you’re doing everything yourself, so scalability is task.


Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?


Blake Morgan:    Be yourself. If you’re trying to be someone else it’s really odious. Being yourself someone will appreciate who you are and what you stand for, so don’t ever try to be fake and feel comfortable on your own skin because that’s attractive. 


Jim Rembach:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?


Blake Morgan:    I would say just longevity in the business. I’ve been in this business for a while now people know who I am and I think just falling in love with one thing and learning everything there is to know, for me that’s actually been customer service. Since about 2008 and now people know who I am and it’s wonderfully, built a relationships that really last. 


Jim Rembach:    What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?


Blake Morgan:    Being a listener is so important and so unappreciated. Listening is everything. When you listen you really hear for that and I’ve golden ticket and people appreciate you more because people don’t listen. 


Jim Rembach:    What would one book from,  any genre, that you’d recommend to our listeners?


Blake Morgan:    I would say a book called Thick Face, Black Heart, especially for women in business. It’s just a great overall person development book and a book about business as well especially for young women who needs to learn how to kind of be tough enough and have thick skin.


Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from our show today by going to Morgan. Okay Blake this is my last Hump day Hoedown question, Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one, what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?


Blake Morgan:    Oh, confidence. You know in your 30’s especially as a lady, you have certain confidence you cannot have when you’re 25. And I just wish I could bring my younger self a little more confidence and everything would be a little better but you can’t do that that’s life. 


Jim Rembach:    Blake, it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you? 


Blake Morgan:    Absolutely. Feel free to visit my website at or Twitter, I’m Blake Michelle M. and would love to hear from you.


Jim Rembach:    Blake Morgan thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. 


Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the so we can help you move onward and upward faster.






1 thought on “065: Blake Morgan: I wasn’t a trust fund baby”

  1. Hey Jim, really enjoyed your interview style- had a great time being on the show. Thanks again! -Blake Morgan

Comments are closed.