Marketing

Go Where You're Loved...You Will Do Your Best Work

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Hello #BossTribe, it’s been awhile, but we’ve been undergoing some major changes here at The B is for Boss. We are working on bringing more digital content to our platform this year, along with some other IRL networking opportunities both locally in NYC and internationally.

(spoiler alert: check back at 3pm CST today when we unlock our destination and sign ups for our 2019 Summer Retreat.)

In addition to revamping the site, I’ve also done some major rework and revamps in my personal and professional life. Which leads me back to my first big announcement….*drum roll please*

Last month, I left my job and went back to my previous one. Yup, that’s right. I “boomeranged” and it was the best decision I could have made.

I am now co-leading the Digital Sports Group at Taylor PR.

I wanted to let a month pass, before screaming it from the rooftops, but I know now thirty days in, that without a doubt I made the best decision. This past month, I’ve been happier than I have been in over a year. If you recall I wrote a post about how leaving your dream job is never easy. And boy, was that an understatement. Without getting into all the dirty details, in short: I made a mistake. A huge one. I left a job I loved for what I perceived was a better opportunity. However, I didn’t take the time to ensure my values were aligned with the new team I would be joining. I soon realized that I didn’t connect with my manager or my team and they didn’t care enough about me or my career growth in a way that suited my needs. Additionally their culture wasn’t progressive and as a minority woman in the Sports industry, I realized quickly that there were glass ceilings not even my best six inch heels could shatter.

Because we spend the majority of our days at work, it’s important to keep in mind that if a workplace is toxic, it will most definitely trickle into your personal life. Unfortunately for me, not only did it trickle into my personal life, it affected my health and it also trickled into my business. It was very hard to run a career platform, while being so unhappy in my own career and that bothered me. I felt like I was letting so many women down when I couldn’t show up as my best self, because my own job was so draining. But through this experience, I learned a valuable lesson:

“Go where you are loved and you’ll do your best work.”

No job is perfect. There’s always going to be challenges. Whether it is office gossip, politics or competition. However, if at the core you feel loved and the environment is positive, you will do your best work.

I recently read a Marie Claire feature of Lupita Nyong’o, and she put it this way:

“You must always go where you’re loved, because I deeply believe in the principle that the perceiver affects the perceived. So if the person’s perceiving you with love, you’re more likely to do a better job.”

She then goes on to say: “Have you ever experienced this thing where you feel you’re with someone who thinks you’re stupid, and then you start to do really stupid things? Or someone who thinks you’re clumsy, and then all of a sudden you become clumsy?”

You’re probably shaking your head like yes, I know exactly what she’s talking about.

Well, it’s true. When you’re in toxic environments, you can’t show up as your best self. Whether it’s your career, a relationship, or friendship, if the person on the receiving end or in this case the perceiver doesn’t care about you or respect you, it will in turn affect how you show up. Why dim your light for a job or people who don’t deserve your shine anyways?

Be around people who value what is valuable about you.

Be around people who support you.

Be around people that love you.

I could have ran from one bad job to the next, but I decided to go back to a place where I was loved. No matter what people may have thought about my decision. In fact, I know there were several people who had something to say about my decision (many of which are probably reading and screenshotting this now).

However, at the end of the day, I made the decision that was best for my mental and physical health and my happiness.

Don’t run away from a job or opportunity, just to end up in another situation you’ll want to run away from months later. Run towards something.

I did.

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BOSS 101: Interview with Alicia West

In honor of Women's History Month,  we're continuing #BOSS101 interviews. Life happened and I didn't post last Wednesday but wanted to make sure I ended off the month on a strong note! I'm honored to finish off this powerful month with Alicia West #JustAceIt, who I first came into contact with at a conference in 2016. However, while we only briefly connected at the conference, her candid IG stories, her ability to speak things into existence and land bomb influencer deals (hey Jordan!) is what made me realize she's def a BOSS in her own right and has an amazing story that I wanted to be sure and highlight. My goal of these #BOSS101 interviews is to give more visibility to everyday women, just like you who are making their dreams come true. It's not luck or by chance, these women work hard!  I'm so honored that Alicia took the time to catch up wand share some boss tips and behind the scenes info on how she's making a name for herself in the entertainment industry, one day at a time.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I am the digital editor for the Detroit market at Radio One. I write, produce, and shoot content for three different radio stations websites and social media. I am also an on-air talent. I host different segments for the websites as well as for my own and interview artists and other celebrities. Pretty much if it’s digital, I do it!

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What inspired you to work in Entertainment?

Ever since I can remember I wanted to work in entertainment. I was always into pop culture, pretended like I was on TV, wrote songs, sang (although I can’t hit a note if my life depended on it) and a bunch of crazy stuff I’ll refrain from mentioning. When it came time in high school to pick your potential careers, I wrote down that I wanted to be a video jock for Much Music, which is pretty much the Canadian version of MTV. I saw talent like Tyra Banks hosting ANTM, LaLa Anthony on TRL, Angie Martinez on HOT 97, Ryan Seacrest hosting American Idol and his syndicated radio shows and wanted to be just like them!

You moved from to Toronto to the U.S., tell us about that journey.

The journey has been hectic and is still crazy to this day! Since I was in middle school, I’ve been researching and planning on how I can move to the U.S. Originally the plan was to go to high school/university on a basketball scholarship but that didn’t work out as planned. After graduating in 2012 from my Radio post-grad program in Toronto, I decided to move to D.C. for an internship at WPGC. I stayed out there for 4 months before I realized I had to go back to Toronto. I didn’t have enough experience to get the work visa I needed to stay in the U.S. Then again, in 2016, after losing my job the previous year, I decided to chase after my dreams and auditioned for a program called the WEEN Academy which was held in New York City. I ended up getting into the program which meant I had to move to NYC for 4 weeks..I decided to stay until I got a job in America (which I totally did!). From there I moved to Detroit, where I have been for just over a year.

What is the craziest thing you've ever done to get a lunch/calendar meeting with someone?

I haven’t done anything crazy to secure a meeting but I do remember the first time I reached out to someone for coffee. Her name is Pauleanna Reid, a super dope writer, motivational speaker, mentor, business owner, etc. Anyways, I ended up being 15 minutes late. She wasn’t pleased and was straight up with me on why it wasn’t a good look especially as a first impression. I don’t think I was ever late for a meeting again.

How important is networking and relationships when it comes to your career?

Networking is EVERYTHING! I needed to build my network particularly in the U.S. in order to get the work permit I needed. A lot of people are scared to take chances on just anyone especially when it comes to industries like this. I feel as if you are able to really hone in on your industry relationships, they will be able to help open the doors. That doesn’t mean you will be automatically get the job, you still have to do the WORK to get those opportunities, but it makes the process of finding jobs and securing the interviews a little bit easier when you have great relationships. Now that I think of it, I’ve gotten all my jobs through references. Most hiring managers look within a company, and ask their network before hiring from external job boards.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women out there that are looking to start a career in radio/entertainment?

Be willing to work! It’s true when they say women have to work 2x hard than a man and black women have to work 2x harder than that. This is such a male dominant industry, so the respect isn’t always there. If you do your work, show your passion and don’t put up with anything, you will be able to gain the respect you need to flourish.

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What challenges do you face as a woman in your field? Specifically, what challenges do you face as a woman of color?

I have seen men be hired over women. I have seen people go to the men for answers before the females (who are actually in charge of the men). Luckily I have yet to face a challenge that was blatantly because I am a biracial female. I work for an African-American company that is owned by a woman. That is pretty empowering and allows me to feel as if I can’t be stopped.

I do feel as if the opportunities aren’t always present but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it. Over the past year we have seen plenty of women of color taking charge, and owning the space. And I believe every female needs to be unapologetic and have faith that they can do whatever they want.

You also have a brand of your own, tell us more about that.

I started justaceit.co because I needed to motivate myself to chase after my dreams. I was stuck working a regular job at an advertising agency. It was okay but it wasn't what I wanted. I knew that I wanted to work in media, so I started the blog to remind myself that whatever goals I have (whether fitness, travel, career) to always go out and just ace it. Since then it has become more than just a blog, it’s a lifestyle, a mantra. I focus on spreading positivity to women of color who are unapologetically badass through different digital mediums. On YouTube, I do videos of my experiences, and tips on how to get into the industry. Interview WOC who work in entertainment/media for my #justaceit podcast (available on iTunes), and I just started this thing called ACE-ism, where I share 30 seconds (ish) of inspiration on Instagram. I have a lot more in the works for 2018. It’s been a learning lessons trying to manage a full-time job and working on my own brand.

When trying to build your brand and expand your outreach, what components do you find most valuable?

Authenticity. If it’s fake it won’t stick. Do something you are truly passionate about. When you do, people will be more drawn to you. And, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You really can’t become successful without stepping out of your comfort zone. Go meet people, explore your interests, put yourself in uncomfortable situations….that’s when you’ll figure out what your brand truly is.

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What inspires you?

When I see other people living their life to their fullest potential and doing great things. It honestly inspires me to step up my game. I love a person that knows how to hustle.

What Quote do you live by?

I love quotes...so much that I have my own quote book. Every time I find a quote that resonates with me, I write it down in it. One quote that’s really been on my mind lately is “Make yourself at home but don’t get comfortable.” It’s from the TV show Being Mary Jane when she moved from Atlanta to NYC. It resonated with me because I just moved to Detroit at the time of the episode airing. I now have it on a sticky note by my bedroom door so I can read it every morning. I use it as a reminder that it is okay to make a city my home, but to not let it make me complacent. It’s easy to settle when things are going okay….I don’t ever want to settle again.

How do you redefine the B Word/What’s your Boss Word?

#justaceit…..whatever you want to do is possible. Often we give ourselves a grocery list of reasons why we can’t achieve our wildest dreams. In reality, all we have to do is go out and #justaceit.

Do you have any parting words, advice, or tips, to help a millennial woman aspiring to build her brand, her career, and/or a side hustle?

I lost my job in Nov. 2015 and didn’t work for a full year. I didn’t do it because I wasn’t employable. I did it because I was tired of settling and being average. I knew my passions lived elsewhere and I was ready to sacrifice my savings, playtime and whatever other luxury I could have done if I was employed. I knew that it was what I needed to do in order to focus myself on my goals. I made a promise that I wasn’t going to go back to work until I got a job in radio, and I did just that. Anything is literally possible. Your dreams are possible. You have to go out and #justaceit.

 

BOSS 101: Interview with Ingrid Quiroz

Ingrid, is someone I have in my Boss Tribe, and can always count on her to serve up some gems. She’s in PR and went to UT like me, but our paths didn’t cross on campus. We actually met after I graduated at conference in Houston. She was a junior at the time, but between her elevator pitch and follow-through, we have continued to keep in touch over the years. I left Houston a few months after we met and moved to New York. Since this was a goal she also shared, she would check-in from time to time as she progressed through college and upon graduation, she started to make cross country moves of her own. Since we met she has been a long distance support system and someone I know I can also check-in with for random questions/requests and get gut checks on things because we work in the same PR world with similar dreams and ambitions.

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Tell us a little about yourself…

I like to say I was born in Dallas and raised in my home. I am daughter of Mexican immigrants who didn’t attend grade school, but made sure their 4 daughters graduated university. My family is fairly big so my entire life I was surrounded by strong women. I didn’t recognize it until I was in college away from my family, but they say that you start to appreciate people when they aren’t around anymore.

Balancing college and working at the largest Spanish broadcast TV network was hard for me and I wanted to quit plenty of times, but my sisters kept giving me wake up calls so I didn’t. After graduation, I began working in multicultural media planning in San Francisco for less than seven months. Then moved to New York, where I went back to multicultural PR and it was amazing. Family called, so I decided to move back to Dallas for health reasons which helped me learn a big lesson in life.

You define your success. Ever since I was little, I always felt the pressure to succeed. So, when I had to make the decision about moving back to Dallas I was scared about what people would say. “Oh, Ingrid is back in Dallas she couldn’t make it in San Francisco nor New York.” I had to realize that the because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Then once I was settled in Dallas, I began working at the same PR firm just on a different track and with general market. I missed multicultural work and wanted a job that I could spend time with my family more often. Then I started working at APC Collective as an account manager and loving it. I couldn’t think of anywhere else to work, seriously.

What inspired you to work in PR?

I wouldn’t use the word “inspired”, but more so “led” me. Honestly, it was frustration and fear. I loved math so I entered my freshman year at UT Austin on that career track and was miserable. I felt like the world was going to end! I mentioned to my entire family except my oldest sister that I was thinking of dropping out because school wasn’t for me. However, you know like every Latino household we love our chisme (gossip). My oldest sister found out and called me asking if it was true. I told her yes and that I’m not smart and successful enough like everyone around me thought I was. She then told me that if I felt like that I should quit. At that moment, I realized that I was giving up and didn’t like the feeling. So I walked my butt into the career center and took a personality test which led me to the PR route and haven’t looked back since.

After graduation you moved to San Francisco, then you moved to New York City and now you reside in Dallas. Tell us more about that...

It took a lot of me to make the move to San Francisco. I didn’t know anybody and wasn’t too familiar with the city except for what I could Google. The only thing that was motivating me to make the move was getting to work with a top media company that housed multicultural clients. It was a great opportunity and made me value a lot: my family, home, food, people, friends and driving. I slept in a room with two other girls and paid almost a grand for rent/bills, 6 months into the move I was paying off loans and other bills. I was sometimes left with $50 in my bank account for emergencies after I bought my essentials. I learned about sacrifice and prioritizing.

A couple of months in I learned that I loved PR too much and that’s when the whole “be careful what you wish for” kicked in for me. A friend in New York emailed me asking if I was interested in working with the multicultural team at one of top PR firms in the nation on incredible accounts. Plus, New York was my dream city so I moved. This time I had a great support system waiting for me in the BIG APPLE. It was everything I could ask for and it honestly made me toughen up. Not everyone in this world has good intentions, you can only control yourself.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done to get a lunch/calendar meeting with someone?

I don’t have a “crazy” experience. My sisters and I are the first ones to enter the corporate world, so I couldn’t call any family friends for connections. Every meeting that I have ever had prior to graduating college was through social media DMs/Messages, LinkedIn Stalking & Connections, attending local conferences (how I met Sade), constantly emailing until I get a meeting…the list goes on.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women  that are looking to begin a career in PR?

Always trust your gut, no matter what. This is advice for every facet in life: careers, relationships, friendships, etc. If you make the wrong decision, it will help you grow. Then, you mourn about it but not for too long. I give myself a timeline for sadness or disappointment. Those emotions shouldn’t dwell so shake it off and keep moving forward.

What challenges do you face as a woman in your field? Specifically, what challenges do you face as a Hispanic woman?

After New York, I became really tough. I wouldn’t say mean, but definitely not willing to put up with anything less than I deserve including speaking my mind when I sense something is wrong. I think as a woman, I might come off as too strong at times. However, I’ve learned that it’s not my tone/voice that I should worry about, because I always have the right intentions. Also, I would say I constantly struggle with selling myself short on what I truly deserve. I’m working on that right now as I launched, Soy Texas. I’m still trying to figure it out so I’ll have to share my learnings in 5 years. I’ll be a different person. They say 30’s are your best years, because you care less about what people think. I’m excited, I care too much.

You also have a blog of your own, tell us more about that.

I actually had my blog since freshman year of college, but was never consistent. I started up again this year more consistently, and this past Monday I launched a movement that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s called Soy Texas, a movement and online platform made to showcase Latino voices in Texas, events relevant to our community and much more. I’m doing something for our Latino community and you don’t understand how excited I am. I want us to come together, be prepared with the information that is needed and enjoy our culture.

What inspires you?

The fact that my parents have never stopped working a day in their life. Most don’t know, but my sisters and I sold snow cones at a flea market to pay off their college loans and my used car (instead of a quince). Working at our little business taught me a lot: customer service, sales, budgeting, working for your money and activated my entrepreneurial spirit.

What Quote do you live by?

My dad was teaching me how to get on the highway and I was so nervous. I told him that I couldn’t do it. He told me “you are healthy, you know English & Spanish and you speak English & Spanish…you can do anything”. Since then, when I find myself complaining I go back to that moment. It reminds me that I should never feel incapable to accomplish my goals.

How do you redefine the B Word/What’s your Boss Word?

IMPACT. I make sure that everything I do has a positive impact, if it doesn’t I usually don’t do it. I think we are all in this world for a reason or reasons. My reasons are to connect people, motivate others and help my family.

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BOSS 101: Interview with Becky Murdy

I've known Becky Murdy for over six years. When we first met, we were working on the same Community Partnership team for Google+ Sports. She was working out of their Boston office, while I was working out of a remote office in Houston, Texas. We worked at the same company for a year, before finally meeting in person. Fast forward another year, and she left Google to work for Octagon, where she recruited me to come work for her full-time about six months later. We have had the opportunity to plan activations for AllState's NCAA Sponsorship, ESPN and the Special Olympics, Mastercard & Gwen Stefani, and create social media campaigns for a group of 20+ exhilarating Action Sport Athletes for Sony. While we no longer work at the same company and our careers have taken us to opposite coasts, we still keep in touch and reunite when work or life brings us together -- i.e., Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

For readers who don't know you, tell us a little about yourself…

To start, I'm an East Coast girl living in a West Coast dream. I am currently the Vice President of an incredible sports start-up in San Francisco and living my best life. I recently moved out to SF from Connecticut where I also worked in sports at Octagon, before that I was with Google in Boston and even before that I was with the Olympics (USA Volleyball) out of Colorado. I'm originally from Bangor, Maine (Julie the Cat Gaffney) and went to Penn State. I have a kick ass sister who is still in Boston, a boy friend who is an NFL agent, lovely parents and the greatest french bulldog of all time, Phoenix.

What inspired you to work in sports?

When I was about 10 years old my father brought me to a Patriots game for my birthday. There was one woman on the sidelines and I was curious as to what she was doing down there. I asked my dad what she did he ran down to ask her for me. She worked PR for the Patriots and I thought..hey if I can't take an actual down on the field, I can at least be around it. I've been training myself to work in sports ever since. One other note about sports is that I have seen a game do incredible things for people in times of need. Whether its a natural disaster or just a bad day, sports has connected people to happiness and hop for a long time. I will never ever get over that feeling.

After graduation you moved to Denver, however since then you have moved to Boston, Connecticut, and now you reside in San Francisco. What are your thoughts on location having to do with opportunity?

Since the beginning I told myself I would move anywhere for a job opportunity. I highly recommend just allowing jobs in the beginning to take you across the country and even for some, across the world. It's very important that when you can be mobile that you are, because later in life that isn't as easy.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done to get a lunch/calendar with someone?

True story... I once emailed a guy from the NFL for information about a volunteer opportunity at an upcoming Super Bowl. I knew it was difficult to get and of course it was volunteer so there was no money but I felt I had to do anything I could to get a meeting with this guy face to face. I asked if he would grab coffee with me for 15 minutes. He countered with a meeting in the NFL offices and I accepted saying I wasn't far from their location. A few days later I took a 9 hour train ride to NYC. I also got accepted into the volunteer opportunity.

How important is networking and relationships when it comes to your career?

At the end of the day it is the only thing that matters. I always say that your vibe attracts your tribe. So if you have a positive giving vibe, and open yourself up to meet a bunch of people, you will always be surrounded by top-notch people. I've never ever gotten a job without someone personally referring me. I give my network 100% credit for where I am and where I have been lucky enough to be.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women out there that are looking to start a career in sports?

To educate themselves on all  opportunities within sports. There are so many amazing  jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, etc. in sports that will help pave your career path. I thought a side line reporter was the only job available for a female in sports and I was VERY bad at it so I didn't know if I'd make it in sports. Then a few bad ass mentors of mine introduced me to so many other departments, properties, job titles so that I could expand my search and really see where I fit within the arena.

What challenges do you face as a woman in your field?

Luckily there have not been too many that have held me back but I think being a woman in sports allows for less access to certain jobs and also makes you have to be on your game at all times. As a woman, I have never played a sport that I have worked for, so my knowledge around a table of men who have all played the sport is obviously less than them. I had to make sure that in every day conversation my sports trivia knowledge was high and my current events knowledge was also exceptional.

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 How do you deal with being in a male dominated industry?

I have had an incredible career path that has been surrounded by very powerful women and men. I've worked for women that celebrate women and men that acknowledge and embrace smart and fearless women. I think as women in a male-dominated industry, one of the greatest things you can do is that when you get to the top you send that elevator back down to get the next woman to rise.

Your boyfriend also works in sports, in fact you both met while working for the same company. How do you balance love and career?

 We balance it quite well actually because we love what we do and we are both finding ourselves in our career at the same time. He is an NFL agent so that allows me to learn about the athlete side of the business as I'm not as in touch with that and he can learn from me how the marketing side of the business works. We both respect each other's side of the business and use each other in a lot of the deals that we do. Luckily neither of us have ever needed a break from sports... yet.

What’s your "B" Word? And how do you redefine it?

BOLD - being a boss is being bold. Be bold about your decisions and if those bold decisions are made through passion then you will find yourself becoming a boss very quickly. For any woman who is aspiring to build her brand and/or her career, my piece of advice for you is to find a good group of women that support you and that love to see you succeed. If you don't have any of those people... call one of us. We happily will root you on!