For the last decade, Brenden Durell has worked where his heart takes him – Bali, Hawaii, Australia, Ghana, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Uganda, Peru, and the Amazon jungle. A laptop, a phone, and a signal are all he needs to fulfill his calling.
Brenden discovered Marco Polo years ago as a way to stay close to family and friends during his travels.
“It kept me in the space of feeling the intimate connection with my loved ones. And I asked myself, ‘How come I don’t use this with my clients?’”
Today, in reflecting on his journey as a coach and creative entrepreneur, Brenden has come to see Marco Polo as the glue that helps him bond with clients, and clients with each other.
Why video chat? Meeting people wherever they are
Brenden coaches individually and leads group workshops, seminars, and retreats. Because his clients, like himself, live all over the world, much of their work together is virtual.
Adding Marco Polo to his communication toolkit let Brenden and his clients connect face-to-face without the need to be live.
“In cultivating a community, one of my standards is going past the resistance and fear of actually letting somebody see all of you,” he says.
Brenden used to use voice chat for group conversations and saw some resistance when he made the switch to Marco Polo. He understood. It’s harder to hide on video, and that can feel vulnerable.
“If clients are hesitant, I’ll even use that fear as a learning tool, a teaching moment, to ask what’s coming up for them.”
Marco Polo allows people to feel safe in sharing what’s actually on their mind and their heart, and to speak it.
Marco Polo – a trusted place to take up space
If Marco Polo helps Brenden build intimacy with individual clients, it’s vital for building community in his groups. When every member feels free to share, receive feedback, and support others, that’s where he believes real growth happens.
“I get a lot of people who come into my space say that they feel like a burden, they feel like they shouldn’t take up a lot of space,” he says. “Marco Polo allows people to feel safe in sharing what’s actually on their mind and their heart, and to speak it.”
Dropping gems: Brenden’s mentoring pro tips
#1: Set clear parameters from the outset. Brenden models a standard for engaging deeply while honoring everyone’s time. One-on-one, he tells clients that he’s there for them and that his standard response window is 24-to-48 hours. He also lets group members know that they shouldn’t feel obligated to watch and respond to every Polo. Pressure and overwhelm are exactly what his programs aren’t about.
#2: If you use Marco Polo Plus, gift Plus Passes. “I love to hear shares, but if I can save a few seconds of my life with 2x, I’m going to do that,” Brenden says. He always offers his clients Plus Passes so they can enjoy the same experience.
#3: Use Polos to market your business. Once a week, Brenden reviews the Polos from each of his groups then sends a Polo addressing high-level themes. “Sometimes I’ll re-watch my Polo and realize I’ve dropped some gems that people need to hear. So I’ll save the Polo, edit it, and create an Instagram reel. It’s an amazing tool to market your business, to maximize your time.”