I started Horn Group when I was 29 years old, with a rolodex, a directory of reporters in the media and one client, PeopleSoft. I knew that I wanted to try and hang out my own shingle, see if I could make a go of it, and wrote a business plan while on vacation. Then a colleague called me and asked me if I could handle their PR, did a ton of research on their market, and pitched my heart out. By the time I got home there was a message on my answering machine (the technology of the day) that I had won the business. So, I was in business!
I think there were less than a handful – maybe 3 that I can think of.
My parents really gave me the confidence and the inspiration to believe in myself and to control my destiny. As German immigrants and entrepreneurs in their own right, they taught me to never give up on my dreams, to be circumspect and take calculated risks, and so I knew that I had to try… I knew that if I failed I could always get s a job working for someone else at another agency.
It is a daily exercise in juggling, multitasking, planning and resilience. I do the best I can, I’m where I need to be when its important, and I cut myself some slack when I just cant be in two places at the same time. It’s all doable, if you have help, if you plan, and you stop feeling guilty.
The climate for women entrepreneurs has changed dramatically for the better. It’s still nowhere near perfect and there’s a long way to go but so much better. More jobs, more acceptance, more equal pay, more support and less noise, less patting on the head, and less bs.
I have had several mentors over the years in different areas, some for financial advice, some for emotional support, encouragement, and some for business strategy. It has been incredibly important to have access to these people.
It’s really critical and I feel that I’m able to do so effectively. Sometimes, its just being able to listen and share an experience. Sometimes, I have an idea or a past experience I can share that can help a woman (or really anyone) get through a tough situation. I make time for it whenever I can.
Absolutely… PR will never go away, it’s constantly evolving and changing. Social just gives us more channels to get the word out for our clients and is embedded in every communications plan we deliver.
Yes – influencers as an audience are usually a part of our communications programs, and therefore influencer marketing is tangential to that.
Best: Never assume anything. Always ask questions and trust your instincts.
Worst: You don’t need to come to this meeting, we’ve got it handled.
The day I started Horn Group and won our first client.
And the day I sold the company.
I think they are proud of their mom. They probably wish I didn’t have to work quite so much, and wasn’t distracted oftentimes, but I think they see that it can be done and that its there for them too if they stay committed and focused.
It will broaden our scope in terms of what we can offer and programs we can pitch on a global scale. It’s a very exciting time for us and they are a world class agency. It’s a great match.
Never give up on your dreams.
You can do it if you really want to.
Don’t forget to say please and thank you.
Its not over till the check clears the bank.
Learn not to take things personally.
Stay in the moment, no matter what is falling around you.
Ask more questions than you think.
It will be hard and might even suck from time to time, but you were made for this and it’s your calling.
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