I'm a professional late bloomer and I used to be embarrassed. Not anymore. Once I started sharing that story & connecting the dots of my background, my professional success went into hyperdrive. YOUR story is also key to unlocking success and I'm here to help you unleash that juicy tale.
I'm the founder of a NY-based video storytelling agency and our superpower is we all came from a journalism & film background. Before I backed into entrepreneurship after hitting rock bottom professionally (more on that below!), I spent time at CNN.com, Bloomberg TV and The TODAY Show, where I won a Gracie Award for my video storytelling and was nominated for a show Emmy.
Try new things. take professional risks. Be nice so you have a powerful network that will be your marketers when you're starting out. There is no such thing as failing if you try stuff. Not all of it will work. But so what? Just try to do it better the next time.
Says RIP to the DIY website. It was time. Gets into the Clubhouse audio app in 2021 and hosts a weekly room talking about "media, getting small business press and video storytelling." The room is jammed each week. The lightbulbs go off. "Make Media Moves" kicks off the summer of 2021 teaching small business owners how to tell their stories, show up on video and pitch the press. Her former TODAY show work wife is one of her co-teachers and the other one is a PR expert who she's only met online. The wonders of the Internet. Continues to build out the brand video side of the company. Continues to learn and invest in her own education. Looks back on this timeline and sees how life is full of twists and turns.
Doesn't know a pandemic is coming. Serendipitously invests in her own education the year before learning how to make a digital course in a 90-day Mastermind. Kicks off a "Video Storytelling Bootcamp" in February. Has no idea what she's doing. But it's good. And small business owners learn. She also finds a way to keep making $$ when all brand production halts for a year and a half. She launches 6 more live programs that year, learning, listening to her students & making the curriculum better. Ends the year with a 3rd baby. Realizes he may be the only kid in his classes with older siblings because getting pregnant locked down in a NYC apartment, homeschooling 2 kids and running a business screams "we need to check on the adult in that house."
Is often the only female head of production at pitch meetings. Realizes you're not born an entrepreneur. But it's good to be really good at Google. Works with some huge brands. Works with small brands. Falls in love with the smaller business founders. They have fire & hustle that is addictive. Stops calling herself a freelancer. Steps into the roll of Founder of a company. Business grows every year. Company wouldn't have happened had she not hit that professional rockbottom in 2016.
Reminds herself she's been rejected lots of times in life. And it's all worked out. Picks herself off the (literal) floor and builds her first website. A DIY one that was horrific. Sends out a note on social "announcing" her new video storytelling business. Literally has no clue what she's doing but she feels compelled to help businesses tell better stories because that's what she's good at.
Realizes quickly the dream job was really the nightmare job. Confidence, esteem plummet. Questions everything. Doesn't last 90 days. Feels a bit pathetic asking for her old job back. Lays on her NY apartment floor with a newborn and a toddler feeling very afraid for the future.
Gets thrown into the Storytelling Deep End and swims. Launches a side hustle content website that TODAY.com's parenting section embraces. Gets her first taste of creating something from scratch. Notices how many businesses didn't know how to tell their story when they come to the show. Works a lot with founders and guests helping them see the "most interesting" bits of their story. Becomes fixated and haunted by the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Pitches a story to her boss that would require her to shoot, produce and report in refugee camps on the Greek borders. Wins a Gracie Award. Goes back again for a follow-up story six months later 7-months pregnant. Leaves for maternity leave for her second. Gets recruited to a media startup through Snapchat and the offer is too good to refuse. Leaves her kangaroo pouch of a workplace reluctantly but knows she needs to take a risk.
Gets hired for a video role in the brand side of the company. Not qualified but knows how to shoot video & edit -tech skills that would continue to help her rise quickly in the company. Her boss is an innovator & remains a mentor to this day. Unit folds because he was a bit early on "branded content" & she applies for a producer job at the TODAY Show. She gets it because she can shoot her own video, edit it together and act as a 1-woman storytelling band.
Gets an overnight associate producer job at Bloomberg TV covering the Asian markets. She was not on the business journalism track. But she knows how to Google financial terms. And she needs this job to work or else she's back on a 1-way ticket to Chicago.
Spoiler alert: doesn't happen. Realizes variety show public access TV training isn't in hot-demand after being rejected at all 60 stations she applies too. Still lost. Applies for grad school. Gets into the 1-year journalism program at Northwestern University. *wants to blast email to all the news directors who rejected her, but she is mature and doesn't do that.
Sells books door-to-door all over the country. Hosts public access show called, "Nude Hippo: Your Chicago Show". Worries parents. Watches friends fly through corporate jobs. Wonders what "she did wrong in college."
My husband Olly is a Brit who I met in London and is hardworking as he is domestic. He is my unofficial business partner and is my biggest cheerleader in this crazy entrepreneurship ride. Oh and yes, the accent does make everything better. I have never told him that but now he can read it here. The other three people in the photo is the reason I live out my passion while I have one ole life on this planet. I want my boys to see their mom make a living while being happy, fulfilled and making a difference for other people. These four people are my life. And I video them too much on Instagram so sorry. But really not sorry.