What do you do for work? Give us a few reasons why you love it.
I’m a senior brand manager at 72andSunny, where I’ve been for nearly three years. To borrow a bit of a cliché, it’s the “hub of the wheel” nature of brand management that continues to be the main reason I love it. I get to be involved in every single aspect of what we do and make, which means constantly getting to learn and grow from so many different people and talents.
Your current company aside, name two other companies that you admire and explain why.
Pintrill is an enamel pins brand based out of Brooklyn that I’ve watched grow over the last year. They started out putting a fresh, culturally-relevant twist on a somewhat old school and analog product, and have since built a platform allowing them to engage in tons of partnerships to add some flare/swag to other brands.
Parkwood Entertainment is Beyoncé’s entertainment company. I’m just consistently so impressed with the content they create around her efforts. The very idea of an album release and concert tour has been completely redefined. There’s so much creativity and artistic collaboration that goes into what they do, and the output is fresh, original, and surprising in the best way.
In your opinion, what is wrong with the corporate world and how would you fix it?
A true embrace of diversity still seems to be lacking in the corporate world. The conversation has quickly and finally started to head in the right direction, but it doesn’t seem enough time or care is being taken to really engage and mentor people of different backgrounds just yet.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in your life?
There are two that come to mind most immediately:
1) You create your own work-life balance (or imbalance). I’ve seen so many colleagues be consumed by driving their careers that they end up in a dark and frustrating place of exhaustion and resentment. And others still that have found the balance between taking things on/being successful and saying no. Work can absolutely be worth a certain degree of strife and frustration, but we need to remember to build a strong ‘inner game’ and that we need to take care of ourselves in order to be our best for everyone else.
2) Fight fear. So much of what makes us unhappy or unfulfilled can be traced back to some kind of fear that you need to get to the root of, so you can recognize its presence and give yourself the opportunity to fight it and take the fearless path forward. Sometimes if something is gnawing away at me, I’ll simply ask myself: What am I so afraid of? Answering this for yourself can lead to a really eye-opening conversation that starts to bring mental/emotional blocks down.
How do you want the world to be different because you lived in it?
I like to think everyone’s doing their honest best and that we’re not here to cheat each other or inflict cruelty on one another. When you approach people in this way sometimes it’s surprising, you can see their demeanor change before your eyes. I like to think I bring a sense of calm and hope that I can inspire a positive, can-do POV on the world and how we should treat one another.
What is your best or worst moment of this week?
I proudly finished reading two novels this last week! Quite a feat considering I can’t even remember the last time I read a book or even a piece of in-depth, lengthy magazine writing. There’s more time on my side given the holiday season, but I hope I’ve gotten myself into a habit. It’s such a mad world of constant realtime distraction and interruption; it’s been comforting to delve into non-screen-based storytelling.