CEO, Chief Strategist + Creative Officer
"MAY WHAT I DO FLOW FROM ME LIKE A RIVER, NO FORCING AND NO HOLDING BACK, THE WAY IT IS WITH CHILDREN." - Rainer Maria Rilke
Confession: I don't have any idea what I'm doing.
I have a degree in Modern Languages (French, Spanish and Italian) from McGill University in Montreal. I studied art history, sociology and linguistics. I have never been enrolled in an accredited business class.
I have been told that I'm an accomplished graphic artist and web designer, but the extent of my training in those fields is comprised of three 3-hour classes at the Science Museum of Minnesota, working with CreativeSuite under the weight of deadlines, and a lot of stressful (and late!) nights experimenting my way through Wordpress.
Certainly, marketing came naturally to me, though I didn't see it until I was in my late 20s.
I held a series of positions for growing small businesses and non-profits between 1994 and 2004—moving from "Creative Assistant" to "Director of Marketing" to "Director of Communications and Fundraising." Because I learned about marketing + business in the context of rapidly-growing organizations rather than in a classroom, I'm far from textbook in my approach. I'm not a big believer in "shoulds" or prescribed solutions. I bring flexibility, creativity and resourcefulness to helping clients solve their marketing problems.
When my second son was born, I decided to start my own business, finally attaining the flexibility and autonomy I craved for years.
My particular passion is helping small businesses and entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life, connect the vision they have for their lives with their business strategies, and grow their capacity and impact. My experience in a broad range of fields gives me a unique perspective on how to maximize resources and efforts in order to help my clients achieve their goals, despite budgetary and time constraints.
I encourage clients to start their marketing planning with what comes naturally to them. It's a Strengths-based approach that enables us to focus and clarify, and to discern what will create the most impact with the resources we have available to us.
I never in a million years could have predicted that this shy, anxious, bookish girl from a small town in Canada could harness the guts, develop the skills, curate the resources and take the risks required to launch and run a business.
In other words, if I can do it, anyone can.
I'm grateful to have the opportunity to share this message with others. We can all do and achieve so much more than we imagine, and my life is proof.
It turns out that saying yes to this career has illuminated the path to my most authentic and natural self. I adore my work, my team and my clients, and I continue to be surprised by how much I can contribute through my business and my life.
Oh, and I love cute clothes that have old world touches, especially hats and shoes.
My perspective is that marketing is not a game that has to be learned and played. As Damon Johns (Fubu CEO) said, "The easiest thing to sell is the truth."
I believe that marketing is most successful when you uncover what is real and true and unique about you and simply, clearly find the right way to share this with the world.
In other words, I believe that understanding who you are and what you truly want to achieve will result in more authentic marketing efforts and more powerful business planning.
* THE IDEAL IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD. Perfectionism will prevent you from getting to where you want to go. * Invest in creating a foundation with strong messaging that compellingly communicates how your unique product or service will transform people’s lives. * Put the tools in place to help you distribute that message visually and in writing to the right people. * Back up what you communicate through a top-notch customer experience. * Provide easy ways for happy clients to share your business with their contacts, both online and in person. * Be consistent and dogged. * Plan the work and work the plan.
These are the principles that have led me to where I am today.
READ ABOUT MY TOP 5 STRENGTHS* BELOW
MY TOP FIVE STRENGTHS*
1. Strategic 2. Input 3. Individualization 4. Communication 5. Responsibility
I am a natural strategist, and I intuitively seek the most expedient route from "where we are now" to "where we want to be." I enjoy collecting and sharing information and resources with people who might benefit form this new awareness. I utilize my communication skills and sensitivity to the individual interests of to others to captivate, motivate, and inspire action. I acknowledge and respect the unique contributions of every person who plays a role in the success of a team/organization. I value my relationships, responsibilities, and reputation. My high sense of integrity means that I don't take commitments lightly and always endeavor to contribute my very best.
The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path—your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.
You are inquisitive. You might collect information—words, facts, books, and quotations. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. This information can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh.
Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. You instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. You hear the one of-a-kind stories in each person’s life. Because you are such a keen observer of other people’s strengths, you can draw the best in each person. This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. While some search around for the perfect team “structure” or “process,” you know instinctively that the secret to great teams is casting by individual strengths so that everyone can do a lot of what they do well.
You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information—whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson—to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire them to act.
Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done.
According to the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment.