Welcome to my fourth post in my new series called “Coffee Chat.” This series is focused on inspirational women who love their jobs and want to inspire other women to find their passions and transform their lives. Today’s coffee chat features Lisa Peterson, who is the marketing guru behind Moxified Consulting Inc. Keep reading to hear all about Lisa’s life both personally and in the marketing industry.
1. Where do you live and what is one random fact about you to break the ice with our readers?
I live in beautiful Carlsbad, CA with my husband and 21 month old daughter.
2. What is the first thing you like to do before you start your day?
I have my own coffee chat every morning with my best friend. She lives in Arizona and our daily morning chats over a cup of coffee (with almond milk please!) is my favorite way to kick off the day. We share the struggles and triumphs of being ambitious, working moms, vent, laugh and build each other up for the day ahead.
3. What inspired you to choose your career path in Marketing? Is there a childhood memory that made you decide?
I didn’t decide that I wanted to go into marketing until college. I started as a psychology major and keyed in on Industrial Psychology, which led me to marketing. There are so many stereotypes and misconceptions when it comes to marketing…that it’s all just pretty pictures and fancy parties, but it truly is a blend of art and science. What captures a person’s attention? What makes someone a lifelong customer? Why can some brands charge a premium for their products? As a marketer, we’re constantly asking ourselves these questions (and a whole lot more), and the answer is never the same from segment-to-segment, product-to-product. There are best practices you can lean on, data that can guide your decision-making, but there’s still an art to it – a sort of je ne sais quoi that I love.
When I look back at my childhood, I was always fascinated by magazine ads, how products were positioned and the way certain ads made you feel. I guess I just didn’t realize then how that interest could translate into a career.
4. What was your very first step to get you where you are today in your career?
Being clear on what I wanted. Early in my career, I had a few jobs that were not directly in marketing, but I knew they were on the path to get me there. In 2008, I made the jump from community affairs to pure marketing. I had just launched my company’s charitable foundation and I had an agreement with leadership that once I got the foundation up and running, that I wanted to move into marketing. I had their complete support and while I couldn’t have done it without having a successful track record behind me, I couldn’t have made the jump if I wasn’t confident about the direction I wanted to go.
So many times since I’ve had people early in their careers ask for help getting to the next level, and as a mentor or supervisor, it’s really hard to help someone get to where they want to be if they don’t even know where that is. Being clear about what you want and getting people bought in is key.
5. What is one challenge you had to overcome in order to reach happiness with your career?
When I had my daughter, I made the decision to strike out on my own and start consulting. It was a huge adjustment for me on top of being a first-time mom, and there were days where I thought (and sometimes still do) it would be easier to go back in-house, work a steady job and have a team under me. And then, of course, I had to combat all the self-doubt and fear that I couldn’t make it on my own, but over a year later, I’m constantly busy and have seem to found my groove.
For right now, this is where I want to be and having the fancy title, a big team or posh office just isn’t as important as it once was. Maybe I’ll find my way back there, but today, it’s all about staying busy, finding work that interests me and carving out more time for myself, my family and life outside of work. Plus, I’ve come to love my jeans and t-shirt kind of life instead of blazers and high heels!
6. What are three habits you would recommend to someone pursing their dream career in marketing? What would make them stand out?
- Learn the business. There are so many levers Marketers can pull and understanding how they affect top line growth vs. bottom line growth and all the measures upstream, downstream and in between is very important. If you want to elevate your marketing game and be a leader, you can’t make decisions without understanding the trade-offs and implications to your business.
- Get to know the customer. I already said that what I love about marketing is how it’s a blend of art and science, but a close second is getting to know the customer. Demographics and data is great, but if you can, nothing beats immersing yourself in the lives of your customers and seeing how they use (or don’t) your product or service.
- Try different things. Marketing is a vast profession and there are so many niches. For those just starting out, be open to trying different roles within marketing. Having a fuller picture of how roles connect and have to work together is so helpful and will serve you well whether you’re in a big company or a start-up.
7. How would you describe your support network? Who’s in it?
I am so blessed to have an amazing support network of friends, family and colleagues. From my daily coffee chats with my BFF to the author of this blog, Kalani McClain, I am so lucky to have strong, ambitious girlfriends all around me. Becoming a mom has only added to the complexities, challenges and joy of navigating this crazy thing called life and I’ve met some awesome, like-minded moms who I can count on.
My husband is my #1 champion and super supportive of my ambitions and work. He doesn’t bat an eye when I need to go out of town last minute for a client or need him to get my daughter to daycare everyday one week because I’m slammed.
8. What’s one skill you’re currently working, that will help you further your career?
Sales and business development. Since I have my own business, selling myself has become even more important. Now, I have to think about a sales funnel, prospecting and finding new clients. It’s a totally different set-up than being inside a company, and I have to push myself sometimes to get out there and sell!
9. To balance out your work life, what’s your fitness and health regime?
Being a busy, working mom means that I don’t always have as much time for myself when it comes to health and fitness. I have come to rely more and more on outsourcing! During really busy weeks, I have healthy meals and snacks brought in for me and my husband. And I have a personal trainer 2x week and a couple exercise classes that I just block off on my calendar and that keeps me accountable.
Almost every Saturday, we go to the Farmer’s Market. I am able to stock up on delicious local foods and I love the sense of community. It’s a good way to start off the weekend and get prepped for the busy week to come.
10. What is one book that helped you on your career journey that you would recommend?
Without a doubt, I would say it’s Getting to 50/50 by Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober. It’s all about how to balance being a mom, wife and having a successful, hard-charging career. I read it years before I became a mom, but the message stuck with me. It’s a book men and women, regardless of marital or family status, should read because it explores why more women aren’t in the C-suite, at the highest levels of our government and often ‘drop out’ of the workforce when they have kids. And it all comes back to changing society’s perception of gender roles, work/life balance and getting to 50/50.
It’s inspired me to pursue my dreams, without apology or guilt. And to make sure my husband is equally committed to my success as he is to his own. Now, lucky for me I married the greatest guy in the whole world, but being clear on what I want for career and what I need from him has certainly helped us both!