Like most entrepreneurs, I have failed more times than I have succeeded and every single time I have failed I have thought back to how I could have done things differently. 9 times out of 10, it was because I didn't trust my gut instinct.
Trusting in yourself and your intuition is important, but if you are anything like me, you second guess what you think you should do and find reasons as to why you should do something a different way. It's not too indifferent from taking a risk. We are all reluctant to take risks but sometimes there is this thing inside us that tells us that we must do it - even though there a thousand reasons why we shouldn't.
#24yrold put on my ipad a television series last week so that I could watch it on a plane trip from Atlanta to Australia. The show, Suits, has two lead characters, Harvey and Mike. Their interaction is very similar to mine with #24yrold. We laugh all day long, poke fun and mock each other and weirdly, she knows what I am going to say even before I have said it.
Our story goes back a couple of years ago when #24yrold did an internship in our Sydney office. I met her a couple of times and she stood out due to her enthusiasm to do any task that I asked of her - all with a big, wide smile on her face.
When Marketing Eye expanded to the US, I first hired an Australian and soon realized that although the person was fantastic, the fact she was Australian wasn't working in our favor. I then sought to hire someone that was American, that would embrace our brand and champion it in the Atlanta market. I interviewed about 20 people and although many came with impressive credentials, there was always something missing. They just were not our brand. Something about their personalities didn't quite mix.
I won't pretend that I am the easiest boss. I am a typical entrepreneur - full of ideas, doing 10 things at once and I never seem to have enough hours in the day. People that struggle with their jobs frustrate the heck out of me and I have a short attention span. All things that I am not proud of, but know are true to my personality.
Where my strengths lie is in my art. I have been in marketing for over 20 years and never a day goes by when I don't think about it. I cannot go into a shop without thinking about the customer experience, or see a billboard as I drive on the highway, without considering its effectiveness. Every piece of mail is evaluated on whether I am "experiencing the brand" or not and I don't read a story in a magazine without considering whether it was placed by a publicist or just good journalism.
Recently, I was awarded by a ranking system at #2 in the Top US Marketers To Follow on Twitter (and have since sunk to #7 which I am equally happy with I might add). This has not come by accident, but due to my obsession with sharing great marketing ideas, entrepreneurial stories and inspiration to my 38,000+ followers. This is just part of how much I love marketing and how much it absorbs my life.
One day in the recruitment process I made two calls. One to "Hollywood", a stunning young girl from the US who worked closely with me for about a year in Sydney, who was impressive, full of personality and very talented. The other was to #24yrold. I asked her what she was doing and how she was going. I didn't really know why I was calling, but I did offer her a job by the end of the conversation. She flatly turned me down. Moving from New York to Atlanta was not an option for a happening #24yrold who loved to party, socialize with friends and dine at the best restaurants. I might add that the "buzz" and lure of New York City was more than she could resist.
I am not a persistent person. I do take no for an answer and I am not a fan of any type of rejection. This is definitely a personality type that is not fitting for an entrepreneur and if I could overcome it - I would. But something was different here. I wanted #24yrold to work for me. I needed her support and I believed in her as my right hand man (sic woman). I also wanted someone that I was familiar with, given that I was in a different country still finding my way. After quite a few calls, eventually #24yrold gave in with the help of my new found sales skills on the benefits of living in Atlanta.
I followed my gut. She wasn't the most experienced candidate, nor was it ideal to have someone so young (even though when I hired her, I had no idea of her age). Something told me that this was the right decision to make and it was. It was singularly the best decision I have made in the US. She is dynamic, smart, passionate and a game changer. #24yrold is a wild one but gosh, her work and her ability to take ownership over every single thing that she does is admirable. #24yrold treats the business like its hers and does everything in her power to support me and the clients we service.
On top of that, she makes me laugh so hard that I cry - every single day. Doesn't get much better!
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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