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David Domzalski, @FinancialBin: Please provide a brief background of your experiences prior to your current position.
@PattieSimone, WomenCentric LLC: I have customer service, national business development, specialty PR, textile and specialty product production, writing and marketing communications experience. In 1988, opened my first upscale, handcrafted-in-America concept retail store. I started giving marketing, networking and communications workshops in 2005, and began writing as a journalist in 2003 – where I covered features, events, bridal, business, designers and restaurant profiles. I’ve interviewed CEO’s and celebs, including: Seth Godin, Billie Jean King, Dennis Crowley, CEO of foursquare, Nicole Miller, B Smith, David Tutera, David Meerman Scott, Carol and Mary Higgins Clark and Joan Lunden. I started WomenCentric as a speaking group of 5 women and that has evolved into a global online directory for professional women, including entrepreneurs, experts, academics, executives, job seekers and emerging leaders. I started vlogging last May and the first person I interviewed (using a cheap non-HD camera) was Rachel Ray!
PS: What I love about what I do – which includes seeking my first round of investors ( I’m looking to raise 1.5 million) – is that it includes an array of tasks that I love to do – like creative writing, selling, consulting, art direction, filming and using social media for real time news gathering as well as to real time communications with our clients and growing member base.
The best thing I LOVE about my work – it allows me windows of unlimited creativity and flexibility to test new platforms, programs, etc. – and to engage with and get advice from like-minded peers.
DD: Why did you choose this field in particular?
PS: I was initially unhappy with my job in NYC and wanted to spend more time with my kids – so in a very real way – my family responsibilities was the initial propulsion; then discovering I really enjoyed copywriting, selling and marketing lead me to pursue work in communications, branding and new media.
DD: What challenges have you faced in the tech industry?
PS: I’m not a geek, so I’ve has some steep learning curves – and have had trouble vetting/finding the right web development people. This is partly due to operating on a bootstrap budget. I’ve encountered difficulties getting in front of some male-run Pitch programs, but I basically feel I’ll be able to find the right technical people and engineers once my funding is in place.
DD: Who mentored you along the way?
PS: I’ve had a few wonderful mentors: Hal Greenberg who taught me how vital great customer service is, Claire Insalata Poulus, a successful corporate exec turned non-profit founder whose passion and diligence to business principals have guided me, Debi Pittman Wilkey, a former TV producer turned newspaper editor who gave me my first reporting gig, Amanda Steinberg and Noha Waibsnaider, 2 fabulous women entrepreneurs who have advised me about a variety of startup and funding issues – as well as many other gracious, smart and seasoned business people.
DD: What books would you suggest for other women in the field to read?
PS: Anything by:
Marcia Yudkin – an academic who is a wizard at promotion,
Seth Godin and Bob Bly, 2 guys who are wired completely differently, both are geniuses when it comes to how to think creatively and communicate with strength
Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos.com’s Delivering Happiness rocks!
DD: What advice can you offer to women are executives, business owners, or entrepreneurs in the tech field? Where should someone starting out go to school or get their first job?
PS: Don’t be afraid to fail, and keep at what you’re doing if you really enjoy it. Seek out mentors and don’t avoid your competitors – the new landscape of business includes building relationships with a variety of people.
I don’t have any advice re schooling – cause my path was quite circuitous. I would recommend going to conferences, making a point to listen to, read about and meet as many thought leaders as you can, this is how I’m always learning and pushing my own personal boundaries. As far as jobs, look into working for companies you truly feel passionate about, cause it’s miserable to work where you don’t get or could care less about what’s going on.
Anna Domzalski is a staff writer for the Financial Bin. Anna will soon begin her role as Dean of Financial Bin University and will conduct online budgeting classes beginning in February 2012. She can be reached via email at Anna@FinancialBin.com.
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