Tag Archives: advice

Advice From A Leader in Marketing

For the money-management project, I sent out some simple questions to a couple of people in jobs I hope to have someday. When I didn’t hear back immediately, I  got a little downtrodden. Finally, this morning I opened up my email and found an email from the CEO of a company I’ve been applying to about once a year since I realized I wanted to be in marketing. I want to share some of his answers with you.

EF:  Your obviously passionate about your company, but you didn’t start your company until 2003. Did you ever have a job that you stayed at for experience/money? Basically, did/does passion fuel all your career choices?

JI: Yes, all jobs lead to building experience (and money) for the future. But don’t work somewhere you don’t like for more than a year. Think about jobs in three year cycles: learning, attaining, maintaining (and then start over or leave).

EF: You’re on the board of the Twin Cities Fine Arts Organization (and even have a gallery to feature artists), did you always want to support fine arts, or did your involvement come organically?

JI: I like art. I think it is an industry that can benefit from marketing and it helps keep me sane during my long days.


EF: Many of the principals at your company are woman. As the only woman (and the youngest by about 10 years) in the marketing department where I work, what are some ways I can be taken seriously?

JI: Be serious to be taken serious. Have facts to share, not just opinions. Avoid breaking character (you’ll be judged by the least favorite moments: silliness at a company picnic, joking on Friday afternoons, etc.) Arrive early, leave late – over dress for the role. (Find ways to break the stress if long days. A quick walk outside, or finding a mentor in senior management – or at a neighboring business.)

If you’re wondering why I haven’t started a new project, no worries. I lost my footing a little bit, so I’m just getting back on track and building momentum. Expect a new project starting Friday.


Featured: Ryan Wilkus

When I was trying to figure out who I knew who epitomized positivity, I thought about the cheerleaders I’ve known, or my life-of-the-party friends, but instead, my long-time friend Ryan Wilkus popped in my head as the obvious choice. Ryan is a man who has always stayed true to his passions (and his friends), plus—to my knowledge—has never frowned. I thought I’d try to figure out what makes him so happy. My guesses were: fresh air (he is currently living in his tent down in Mankato during the weekdays), lots of musical stimulation or large quantities of Svetka.

EF (Me): How do you keep an optimistic attitude?

RW (Ryan Wilkus): It sounds cliché, but I try to not let the little things bother me and look at the big picture. I consider myself allergic to stress and therefore try to take a logical approach to managing the important things in my life and the things “I” can control. I am also just giddy about the cool adventures that are in my future.

EF: What activity makes you most happy?

RW: Currently its rock climbing. I never feel more alive like when I am scaring the crap out of myself. Not to mention, I love being outdoors because everything becomes simpler.

EF: Is there something that you thought would make you happy but it didn’t?

RW: Taking chances and putting your self out there is always prone to failure, but its only a failure if you don’t learn anything from it.

EF:How about something you thought would make you upset but actually put you in a better mood?

RW: I am often times a reserved person(recluse at times) but most of the times I decide to socialize it is more fun than I predicted.

EF:What was the happiest moment of your life?

RW: I don’t really have one happiest moment. I try to live day by day and enjoy all of them. But to be honest, this summer has been the best time of my life……..so far.

EF: Who do you most admire for having a positive attitude?

RW: My biggest influence lately is my friend Lizzy because she lives by the seat of her pants and her heart.

EF:Where do you want to be right now?

RW: In the mountains.

EF: If you were going to the electric chair, what would be your final meal?

RW: My fathers homemade pronto pups and a glass of 1919 root beer.

EF: Who do you admire most in the area of music?

RW: Derek Trucks. He is one of the most amazing guitarists.

EF: In the area of design?

RW: Mother nature, Nikola Tesla, Frank Loyd Wright. Too many cool designers to list.

EF: What’s your dream job?

RW: An audio electronics engineer designing any kind of audio equipment. Or a mountaineering guide…….who knows maybe both.

EF: What would you tell the 12-year-old you?

RW: Don’t stop exploring!

EF: If you could give anyone advice, what would it be?

RW: Live the way that makes you the happiest. Then it will be a life not wasted.