Let me start by telling you why I do what I do. I absolutely love finding ways to help others succeed. I live to see the people around me improve and grow. My job and my passion is helping those I care about win; be they friends, family or clients - let's face it, sometimes they all blend together.
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My journey was not a straight or traditional path. I began my career path with an engineering degree and very technically-focused job. I love solving complex problems and found the material challenging and exciting during college.
In practice, I found that the job lacked the level of human interaction the extrovert in me truly wanted, so I found my outlet working a second job as a personal trainer in my free time. It was there that I truly discovered my passion for helping clients win.
Fast-forward a few years, a second degree and a new baby later, here I am. I have truly found the intersection of what I love: empowering clients, solving complex problems, the opportunity for continuous learning and plenty of excitement.
Why I Love My Job
Did I mention I can't sit still?
I love learning new things and crave a job where things are constantly changing. If someone would pay me to go to college perpetually for the rest of my life, I'd do it. I would study every subject I could get my hands on. The nice thing is that is pretty much exactly what I get to do on a daily basis as an inbound marketing consultant here at IMPACT.
I get to be a student every day - a student of my clients' business.
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Every new client is a new opportunity to learn about a new industry, a new business model and a new problem to solve. I love finding ways to mix tried and true methodologies with creative new approaches to make marketing work for each unique client. And that is more challenging, exciting and engaging than any technical problem I've ever encountered.
So, What Do I Do?
Now that you know the "why," let's talk about the "what." Every marketing strategist should define their job by these basic traits:
Passion: I enjoy every minute of learning about a client's business model. I'm fascinated by industries that I haven't yet studied or worked within. I am passionate about every client's business and spend much of my time truly working to understand what makes the company, the product or service and the customers tick.
The day I stop listening to the unique story each client has to tell is the day I fail at my job. No two businesses are created the same and thus no two strategies will ever be the same.
Communication: The most complex problem I've ever tried to solve is the human problem. Tackling the challenges of communicating with others is far more interesting and exciting than any other problem out there. I strive every day to be a better communicator than I was yesterday and learn something new from the interactions I have with each client.
Accountability: You are only as good as your word. I am accountable for everything I do, and everything I don't do. Every strategist should be prepared to take responsibility for failures as well as successes and be ready to discuss both openly and honestly with clients.
Structure: You'll never know how to get to your final destination if there is no map to guide you. My job as a marketing strategist is to create that map that easy to follow and execute. A solid strategy is the map that guides clients to successful execution.
Agility: While there needs to be structure, every strategy has to have a degree of flexibility. How does the old saying go? "The exception proves the rule." In this case, it is about finding the right balance. A strategy should have enough structure to make it easy to follow but have enough flexibility built in to adjust course and improve over time.
I swear, "work/life balance" is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. Work gets in the way of life, and life gets in the way of work. It's a puzzle, not a balancing act, and it's all about how you make the pieces fit together.
I have never found a better fit than what I have right now. My job allows me to aggressively focus on my career while still being a mom, a wife and a friend.
Nothing paints a picture like a story, so I'll start there...
It's a Wednesday morning, too early for the nanny but not too early for a work call. I'm wearing the baby in the carrier while running a meeting. I've become an expert at strategically muting and un-muting myself when I'm stuck in this situation. Halfway through a 60-minute call, the worst happens: a diaper blow-out.
Any parent will tell you that a diaper blow-out in the carrier can only result in one thing, and it's not pretty.
I sniff the air and immediately know I'm in trouble. I look down to survey the damage and realize the horror of my situation. Both the baby and I are covered in what was once his breakfast and we both get to spend the remaining 30 minutes of the call in that state. Without missing a beat, we finish the call and do what needs to be done... then race to the shower.
While that may not be what anyone would consider ideal, I can't think of a better example of making the puzzle pieces of work and life fit together so well. I get to experience all the best (and worst) parts of motherhood while still growing and focusing on my career.
And I wouldn't trade it for the world.
I would be nothing without the incredible team of people who make executing on a strategy possible. Like I said before, a strategy is simply a road map and without a car and fuel, a map means very little. I have the incredible honor of working with the most talented, fun and interesting group of people I've ever had the privilege of calling colleagues.
I get to spend every day working side by side (even though we are 3,000 miles apart) with a smart, driven and passionate team who love to see clients win as much as I do.