Have a Growth Mindset About Everything with Jill Gwaltney
FROM A CONVERSATION WITH JILL GWALTNEY ON THE REINVENT YOURSELF PODCAST
What do you do after you work in your family printing business for twenty years and you make it successful enough to sell? You realize you are “losing [your]self” and you need to reinvent. Because you “love solving customer problems,” you start a digital ad agency named Rauxa. (Never mind that you have zero experience in advertising.) And you fill it with 70% women (in a sector that is known for male dominance and is rife with #MeToo issues and complaints). “Being a woman is an advantage for building relationships and trust,” founder Jill Gwaltney tells Lesley. “That’s an important part of the business.” Gwaltney says she lives by the mantra her mentor father gave her: “Don’t work with a**holes.”
1. Figure Out What the Customer Needs
Business is about relationships. It’s understanding what people need and how to help them. So, yes there’s the business part of it, but there’s also, ‘how do we help them in their lives?’ Like, we had a new client who was moving to another city, and so we were sending all the hot tips, like ‘where’s the local target, and where’s the best place to get your groceries or to shop?’ It’s those little added touches to set you apart, which gets back to the whole empathy, and female approach.
2. Don’t Work with Assholes
They’ll make you feel so bad about yourself, and then you won’t do as well with your good clients. So, we love the people we work with and we think it’s important. And if you don’t like them, they probably don’t like you that much either, so it’s probably not worth your time.
3. Start Little
Reinvention sounds hard because it sounds big. But just start with one little change, and maybe it’s a change around your own personal health, or maybe it’s a change around your household, like getting your husband to do more. Often I see women trapped between still having kids at home, aging parents, and still being responsible for everything in the home. So don’t get overwhelmed. When I started the agency, we were just four people, and we did something simple that I knew well and that people needed.
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