What motivated you to join 8Bend?
When I first met 8Bend's founder, the agency was in its initial stages. At the time, I was experiencing a career pivot into marketing and had been networking and trying to learn all I could about the industry. I was impressed with his approach to marketing, which is based on the StoryBrand methodology, and his goal to help small businesses flourish. What's more, I could tell that my skills and qualifications were uniquely suited to help build a business. With his leadership, I saw the potential to make a big impact on the growth of the business, and my own professional development as well.
In what ways have you grown since joining 8Bend?
The innovations, or the new strategies that come from each respective place of our business, have kept me learning and pushing myself since I started at 8Bend. I have had the opportunity to grow so much just because of the relationship that the leadership and I have. With my co-workers, there's so much empowerment and it's pretty agile so my role has gone from business operations specialist to project manager, to campaign manager, to now the Director of Client Services. I've gotten to see so many aspects of the business and it's because the mindset of our leader is that there's a lot of trust in the skillset and qualifications, but also an emphasis on mindset. I have been able to go where the needs of the business need tending to and make an impact there.
How do you know you're making an impact with the work that you do?
I think that I'm personally making an impact by helping to make the work of my colleagues better, more fulfilling, and easier. From the way I've been empowered to speak up about an obstacle or opportunity that we're facing, and then our team collaborates on how that can be made better. This empowerment gives each person the opportunity to lead in different ways. One area that I contributed recently was implementing a customer resource so that when I'm working with customers, we stay in clear communication and they can see their results coming together; they can see their marketing strategy come together and feel like they have a partner. I know I'm making an impact because I am removing the uncertainty of what's going on behind the scenes. It's one of the ways we partner with our customers and it's super fulfilling to me.
How does 8Bend create a space for employees to feel like they belong?
We all work remotely and for a lot of folks that could be a huge adjustment and it also creates dynamics that probably most of us are not used to. I think at this point in most of our careers, we're used to going into an office building and being able to chitchat. We have to be very intentional about our community and our sense of belonging. We are very intentional about connecting every single day, face-to-face over video chats and building up a lot of connections so that we can minimize communication breakdowns. That makes our team feel very cohesive. That's one of our team's key characteristics - we're excellent communicators. We're also quick to highlight what others are working on because it's easy to think "oh, I'm just going my job" but it's nice to have a reminder of all that we're accomplishing every day. It's not just business as usual, but it's an environment where we build each other up. I feel empowered. I feel celebrated. It's a very positive environment that we're cultivating.
How has 8Bend supported you in maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
My team is very supportive. We very much honor the time commitments, especially for family and life outside of work, and we strive to make work fulfilling. There's no regimented time that you're necessarily at your desk. We're all on the same team, very committed, and put in our best work so that when it's time for family, it's time for family. Not only do we celebrate that, but we're always pulling for each other and celebrating each other, we take time for family but we also take time to connect about our interests outside of work and celebrate each other's passions and hobbies. Just knowing that everyone is doing quality work and that you can count on your teammates to get great work done in the agreed-upon time has helped me strike that balance. I don't have to take work home with me and I can be present with my kids. When there's that level of trust, there's no worrying about work during the "off" hours.
What makes you proud to represent 8Bend?
What makes me proud to represent 8Bend is that we're all unified on a very clear vision. We seek out and hire top-quality people first. Of course, we look for outstanding skillsets and qualifications, but we have a team that adheres to a very clear mission. Each person embodies that mission and uses it as a guiding light throughout the day. It's what makes us so empowered and accountable and I'm proud that, as a member of 8Bend, I'm helping our customers break the cycle of frustration from bad marketing. What we do is help companies develop inspirational brand messaging, create powerful sales and marketing plans, and then we execute based on those plans. 8Bend is committed to the success of our customers and our company and each of us has an "I can do even better" mindset.
How do you feel like you've grown since joining 8Bend?
I feel like I have grown the most professionally in marketing knowledge and skills and what it means to have a good marketing partner, strategy, and team. I went from a career in sales and team management, heavily reliant on communication and connecting with others, to a career in marketing that uses those same skills in a different way. I've grown in my confidence and skill as a marketing partner in service to our customers.
What advice would you give to emerging professionals seeking their first opportunities?
My advice is to seek out content in the areas that you want to grow. My career really started to take off and shape up the way I wanted it to when I surrounded myself with people who may be in the roles that I aspired to be in one day. So, network! And take in all the content you can from books and podcasts. Develop your craft every single day - make small deposits to invest in yourself every single day. You can learn leadership skills even if you don't have specific experience in that area. Growing your knowledge base, exploring concepts, and being a forward-thinker, will ultimately help you be seen as a leader and an expert.
How do you define success for yourself?
Oh, boy. Success for me is making a positive impact in the areas that are most important. For me, success looks like helping our customers grow their small businesses. I have a huge heart for small businesses, so being a member of a small business and helping others grow is a measure of success. I also have the space to be fully present with my family and still have space to continue to grow professionally within my role. On a daily basis, I have the space to continue to learn and develop my craft and be called to my purpose all while knowing I'm making a positive impact on everyone around me.