Occupation: Co-Founder, Wildcat Echo, a studio taming brands and their marketing
Favorite Productivity Tool: Hubspot CRM / Sales
Most Recommended App: Headspace. Meditation and Mindfulness app with amazing branding. Let’s be real, we all need pockets of time doing absolutely nothing with our brains throughout the day.
Last Thing You Read: Retargeting Ads that Earned a 3,879 Percent ROI
Tell us about your journey? I started my career as a degree holding fine artist turned freelance photographer in the downturn economy. I worked my way up through the corporate and commercial ranks, eventually shooting Harley clothing catalogs and producing content design full time for massive dotcoms, (MLB, Target, Wal-mart, etc). I transitioned to a Creative Director position for a company whose sole purpose was to be recognized and purchased. They eventually sold to a VC Fund in Silicon Valley, in part due to my growth marketing work. After, I opened my own business. I’ve been there ever since.
Currently I own Wildcat Echo, which has afforded me a lot of crazy awards, triumphs, and recognition, (from having a book published to being named one of “Georgia’s Most Inspiring Women.”)
Although I’ve accumulated enough career fodder to fuel 10 resumes, I’m not much different than I was in art school. I still make art. I still exhibit wherever they’ll take my work. I still dress primarily like I have $4 in my bank account. And, much to the chagrin of others, I still enjoy a PBR tallboy now and again.
What's your favorite part of your day? Marketing. There’s something about setting KPIs and plotting target audiences that fully feeds the accomplishment junkie living inside of me.
When do you feel most successful? Gaining a new client and/or mentoring a student. I love raising others up.
When someone works with my studio I know they’re going to be truly taken care of. No one else nurtures their tribe quite like we do. When I mentor, I give as much thoughtful advice as I can. I want to see people rise above adversity and really accomplish.
What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained? My overall strategy is to reduce burn-out before it happens. I don’t work by hours, I work by accomplishing goals. Once I achieve my daily goals, I finish working. Sometimes I work 10 hours. Sometimes I work 2 and take off the rest of the day. It’s about balance and understanding what works for you personally.
The rest of the time I’m in old fashioned quad roller skates. Twirling around a rink on tiny glitter-pink wheels is surprisingly really relaxing.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? Sales. Sales have been a huge tripwire for me in the past. It’s better to say “NO” to a bad sale than suffer through an extremely unprofitable project. I’m fine now, but boy have I wasted a lot of time on sales.
How do you optimize your day? I plot all my tasks for the week and each day has a specific feel to it. All my meetings are on one day, all my marketing on the other, etc. I use Asana, Hubspot, and Calendly to keep my life together each day.
Optimizing time means not giving away precious energy to activities, (and people), that don’t deserve it. Know the value of your time and others will respect it. Be OK saying “no.” That’s half the battle won.
Who is the person/people who allowed you to imagine more? I know it’s cheesy to point out your spouse as inspiration. I’m doing it any way. Jared gave me the push I needed to step into this role. I was terrified of owning a business! I married him to keep him around and permanently help me think outside the box. I also deeply love him, so that’s been a huge bonus too, (haha).
What does imagining more mean to you and your story? I love the “imagine more” concept. For me it’s the slow realization that there’s no right way to do anything. We can all adopt smart tactics and systems to promote our individual ways of doing things.
You don’t have to be “perfect” to anyone but yourself. It’s about being courageous enough to march to the beat of your own drum.
If you could do more of one thing every day what would it be? Less fruitless busy work. I’m slowly working my way toward zero menial busy work. I’d love to be more productive every day. Slowly getting there!