Interview With Our Director: Growing your Business + Adapting to life in a Pandemic
We want this blog to be a resource for anyone who’s passionate about all things Influencer Marketing but also for entrepreneurs with a mission and vision to bring their business idea to life. So, we sat down with our Agency’s Director, JJ, to learn more about how she got involved with I+AM and her tips on managing a team – especially given the shifts in the workplace since the Pandemic.
How did you get involved with I+AM and how did your role evolve into becoming Director?
I’ve been with I+AM since its first week so I would say my role naturally evolved into what it is today.
You could say that I was born into the PR world because growing up my aunt ran her own fashion/lifestyle PR agency; so from a young age I was helping at events, putting together press kits and media tours… years later – when social media started to kick off, the traditional PR world was being introduced to the digital one – I wanted to branch out and do my own thing. Long story short, I saw a job posting, went to the interview and met Karine (our CEO) and we clicked right away! I started off as a part-time coordinator; worked with Karine to get us to a place where I was full time; and then built myself up to manager and hired two coordinators – and today, I’m the director that leads our various teams and the agency day to day.
Karine and I share a lot of the same values and ethics not only in our professional lives, but also in our personal lives, and I think that’s what gives us an unparalleled trust in one another and why we work so well together. We’ll be celebrating our 6th year anniversary in April 2022!
What are some best practices for directing a team of women?
I love that we’re a team of all women! And a few very cute dogs 😉 However, I wouldn’t say I have a best practice for leading a team of women specifically, but people in general: communication is key!!
Do you have a favorite tip for time management?
I’m probably not the right person to ask this to haha. I honestly just get sh*t done and don’t stop working until I do – and have 100 tabs open while I do it (on my laptop and in my head)! I hate having unfinished things and am guilty of being a bit of a perfectionist… I know, it’s probably not the answer you were looking for! But there you have it.
What’s a book, podcast & resource that you recommend for personal development or business development?
Ok, ok… you caught me, I don’t really read… But have you watched Good Girls? Those women are badasses.
How do you approach setbacks or a new challenge as a Director?
We’re so lucky to have seen the success that we have throughout the years, but like any new business, we did go through some growing pains. Each ‘set back’ we faced we took as an opportunity for us to learn, adjust and continue to grow.
Karine and I often said: we built this from 0 and we can do it again if we need to. And I think that mentality – of not being scared of the worst case scenario – is what has led us to our successes.
For the day-to-day challenges that pop up: I often tell myself that there is a solution to everything.
…And for the ones that pop up in the evening: with a glass of wine.
What does a day in your life look like as a mom working from home? Get specific - it’s all in the details!
Guys, it’s really not that exciting! I wake up at 6am with Mila (my daughter) – recently, I started working out before we drop her off at daycare (I guess now that I told you, I really can’t stop doing it). I get to my office (aka the desk next to my kitchen) around 8:45 am, go through my emails and usually take care of various accounting entries that came in throughout the night, before our operations coordinator takes over that portion of things when she starts for the day.
Throughout the day I ping-pong between liaising with our different talent teams to discuss pitches and leads, talent needs, sales goals, newsletter, blog and social; operations on AR and AP; web developers on our website and platform updates; and work on various internal projects/documents and new business developments. At some point, I do try to take a break away from my screen to eat – thankfully my husband is working from home too and reminds me to do that!
The best part of my day: going to pick up Mila from daycare around 4pm! And then it’s a race to get her fed, bathed and to sleep! After that I usually check in on my emails again and finish a few things I didn’t have a chance to get done before picking her up. Then dinner and relax – and do it all over again the next day!
What tips do you have for other team directors for inspiring motivation and growth while dealing with the uncertainty of the Pandemic and/or inevitable change?
Make sure to get ‘face time’ in with your clients, colleagues, teams, etc – whether it’s a phone call or through video chat; even if it’s just for 15 minutes. I think it’s also important to plan virtual team activities or find some other creative ways to remind your team that you’re still a team even though you’re not physically together. And remember to take a break every once in a while – find a moment for YOU – we don’t get to ‘leave work at the office’ for the time being, so finding that balance is important and definitely necessary.
What are 3 fun facts about you?
1) I was born in Indonesia
2) My sister and I are both born in the same year, but we’re not twins
3) My husband and I met on Tinder. I call it the longest one night stand I’ve had, haha. TMI?
JJ is a woman of many talents and her role is essential to the growth and success of our agency. We hope you enjoyed and appreciated this peek inside her life and mind as much as we did!