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Get some great inspirational ideas from Lisa on this episode. Lisa talks about making a choice being a working mom vs. staying home with her kids. Lisa has developed award-winning marketing programs to strategically planning activities for two (two and under!) boys, Lisa Zwikl is a strategist at heart. As SmartAcre’s Chief Strategy Officer, Lisa empowers teams to listen to clients, understand goals, and bring campaigns to life, using the right mix of data and passion to drive decisions.




Lisa Zwikl, CSO SmartAcre, Inc. | LinkedIn
From developing award-winning marketing programs to strategically planning activities for two (two and under!) boys, Lisa Zwikl is a strategist at heart. As SmartAcre’s Chief Strategy Officer, Lisa empowers teams to listen to clients, understand goals, and bring campaigns to life, using the right mix of data and passion to drive decisions. Lisa has worked with clients from the Department of Defense to SaaS start-ups to drive recognition, results, and revenue. Lisa holds an Advertising & PR degree from Penn State University.


Dave (00:00):
Welcome to another episode of the agency balance podcast. Today, I am joined with Lisa Zwikl chief strategy officer and my partner at SmartAcre. Welcome to the podcast, Lisa.

Lisa (00:12):
Thanks for having me, Dave. I’m so excited to be here.

Dave (00:15):
Well, I am, I am super stoked that you’re here too, because not only are you here, you’re also my first guest ever on the agency balance.

Lisa (00:23):
I wasn’t gonna tell people this, but this is also my first ever podcast.

Dave (00:26):
Oh, well, well I’m glad it’s the first for, for many. So let all of our listeners out there, just give ’em a sense of who is Lisa’s wile and just talk a little bit about your background.

Lisa (00:39):
Yeah, sure. So where to begin. there’s so many things that I could share and we’ll get into some of that today, but one of the things I’m most excited to talk about is my role at SmartAcre. Uh, my, my life being an executive in an agency, but also my, my personal life. You know, I’m, I’m a mom. I have two little boys that happen quite quickly. Uh, two under two live in that life for a while there I have an awesome husband, Kent, who I’m sure I’ll talk about as we get into our conversation because he’s my rock, uh, very important person in my life. And I’ve been doing marketing for a long time. Now I’ve been in my professional career for about almost 10 years. I started doing marketing in an agency. I was a PR professional. So that’s what I graduated from college in advertising and PR I always avoided marketing in college because there were a lot of math related courses you had to take and I’ve always loved journalism and telling a story.

Lisa (01:47):
And that’s really translated into my career as a demand gen marketer now, uh, content and telling a story is really one of the things I love to do most for my clients. And so another, uh, aspect of my career is I was living in the Washington DC area for a while. That’s where I really grew my, my roots. And I remember actually sitting in the Pentagon and thinking about what I wanted to do next in my role and in my career. And it was always digital. It was always what I wanted to be doing because you can measure everything. You can see results, you can feel the impact and communicate that to everyone that you’re working with, the brands that you’re working with, the clients that you’re working with. And I remember I got a call from you, Dave Snyder, after I submitted my resume to SmartAcre. And I am so excited that we’re working together still. I remember leaving my interview with you telling Kent I’m gonna work there. I am going to work there. And he looked at me like, well, what happens if you don’t get the job? And that was never in my mind. I was like, I’m going to work there. I’ve this is incredible. I can’t believe there’s agency like this in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. And here we are.

Dave (03:04):
That’s great. yeah. So you go from the Pentagon, which is obviously, you know, that’s, I’ve never been there. I, I can’t, I can only think what it, what it is, um, to, you know, you know, it’s working in an agency setting, um, and that you talk about all the, the positive things, but there has to be some negatives and, and I don’t want you to share anything. That’s going to get you in trouble or anyone in trouble. Cuz we talk about the Pentagon and this is already getting flagged , but you know, share maybe one or two things from your, from your marketing journey. Cuz when we, when we have a platform like this, we can talk about stories that didn’t go too well. And we, and the agency balance is all about finding balance and finding things that didn’t go so great. Maybe think about some of the things in your journey that didn’t go so great. Um, that allowed you to make a change.

Lisa (03:58):
Yeah, I’m there’s a lot. I mean we all learn from those bumps in the road along the way. I know for me personally, what brought me back to agency life is just the pace. You know, some people thrive in an environment where they can take their time and move a little bit slower. But for me, I love the pace of agency life and it really was what, when I started my career in the agency setting and then I went into more of government consulting. I, I miss the pace of agency life and it’s what I hope we can talk about a little bit more today is how to really find that balance when you’re moving really, really fast and being challenged to juggle and think on your toes and have multiple priorities going on at once. It’s one of the things I love about agency life, but it translates to life in general. You know, it’s, there are times where you have a little bit more, is he going, uh, in your day to day? And then there are other times where things just come at you fast.

Dave (04:59):
Yeah. yeah. So that’s, I’m glad you brought that up because it absolutely those, those who are an agency life who are listening to this podcast, totally get that. Um, on my previous episode I talked about one of the key things to not get overwhelmed is prioritization and prioritizing what you work on, including your time thinking about prioritizing the things that make you happy on a daily basis. Mm-hmm , that’s how I found balance. So talk about some of the things as you’re entering in this kind of new chapter, being an executive, being a power mom of two little boys. Talk about how you’re still finding your balance.

Lisa (05:40):
Yeah. I mean it’s a constant, it’s a constant journey and I’m, I love being able to have the role of being a working mom now, because I think a working parent in general, it’s, it’s easier to talk about how to, how to balance that or why you need to take time off or why you need to step away people get it right. I mean, if you’re a parent, you understand it. If you’re not a parent, you, you kind of understand that there’s, you know, a human that’s relying on you. So I am gonna talk about that a lot today, but I want your listeners to understand that it’s easier for me now to recognize balance now that I’m in that. And there’s something that’s so relatable to talk about, but there are other aspects in my career where I needed balance where it wasn’t so easy to talk about.

Lisa (06:33):
So if people are listening today and they’re feeling like, well, yeah, Dave’s a, a father first and Lisa is talking about being a working mom. I think no matter where you’re at in your career, where you’re at in your life, there are reasons why you need balance. And some of them might not be so easy to talk about or ask for, feel like you can give yourself permission for that. For example, you know, uh, you know this Dave, because you were there to help support me through it. But Ken and I had a really hard time starting a family. And there was a lot of times that I had to step away or randomly tell you I’m gonna not be at work this morning and maybe not be okay, sharing the details. And that’s happening for people in so many different ways, whether they’re taking care of a family member who need support or maybe they’re taking care of their own mental health and they don’t wanna talk about it.

Lisa (07:28):
So as we talk about balance, I’m glad I have this platform to now say I’m a working mom and this is how I was able to find my balance, but it really is a personal journey. And the thing that being a mom has given me is I can so easily give myself permission because I have no choice. I can’t tell my kids. I, sorry, I can’t end my day at five o’clock cuz I have no choice. Um, so to me, that’s one thing that I’ve really learned on my journey is that you have to be able to give yourself permission and know that no matter where you are or why you need to step away or give yourself that grace it’s really important to do it.

Dave (08:08):
Yeah. And then I assume it’s, you’re immediately feeling guilty.

Lisa (08:13):
Oh yeah.

Dave (08:14):

Lisa (08:15):
Yeah. Mom, guilt is a real thing.

Dave (08:17):
Yeah. Mom and dad guilt and wherever you are, whether you’re mom or dad or if you’re a caretaker or you have nieces and nephews, you always feel guilty because you feel like you’re not invest. You’re not doing that for you. You’re doing, you immediately wanna be doing, helping somebody else. Right.

Lisa (08:33):
So yeah. And that’s, I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. Uh, we traveled together recently. We took the SmartAcre team to Philadelphia. We had a training event and it was the first time that I was away by myself from both kids. And part of me was so excited. I was so excited my uh, eight month old, he does not sleep through the night. So being in a hotel room with a big bed, I was so excited. And then 24 hours in, I was missing my family like crazy. And I came home and I was talking to my dad and he was asking me how, how training was. And I was telling him the highs. And then I told him, you know, I, I feel so guilty for feeling good about being away and then, you know, missing everyone while I was gone.

Lisa (09:22):
And I’ve always mentally kind of had this feeling of being a working mom of I’m making a choice and being a working mom is this selfish choice. I’m choosing a career over, staying home with my kids. And he said something that resonated with me so much where I realized it goes back to that story that we tell ourselves and the permission that we give ourselves, because I love work so much that I was thinking of it as the selfish choice. But he said to me, you really have to try to not think about being at work as spending time away from your family, because really what you’re doing is you’re giving to them. You’re providing for them setting an example for my little boys that come into my office and ask to work. They asked to sit next to me. We turn on midyear and we record little videos, which are so hilarious off to send them to the team at some point, but that’s such a, a cool thing. And as soon as he said that in that switch went off in my brain, I realized, wow, I need to stop telling myself that this is the selfish choice. When in reality I’m giving so much of my time, my effort, because it’s important for my kids to see that. And also if it fills me, so it makes me a better mom and it provides for my family.

Dave (10:41):
Yeah. Last episode I talked about, I, I, I dropped a stat, which was in 1960. It was a long time ago.

Lisa (10:49):

Dave (10:50):
Different styles. Although I think they’re coming back in 1960, only 20% of females worked like period. And now I think the stat was 80% of, of household providers. Uh, male or FEMA are, are, are providing for their family and the workforce. So I mean that, that has just really shifted. And I think that’s pretty cool that, that they’re able to see that they’re gonna remember that. They’re absolutely. I, I mean, I kind of have some glimpses that I I’m wheeling it back when I was a kid to remember when my mom was working and I can remember her doing those things. So, and my mom’s awesome too. So um, so they’re gonna, they’re gonna remember that. Absolutely. So it’s, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s those selfless things and, and you are working for your family. Mm-hmm, talk about the difference between prioritizing and juggling.

Lisa (11:45):
Well, I love juggling some people, most people probably wouldn’t say that, but I know you said we could curse.

Dave (11:52):
We C we can curse,

Lisa (11:54):
But I feel like a badass when I recognize all the things that I juggle on a daily basis, it just makes me feel powerful. And I think I could look at it one way as, oh my gosh, I have all these balls up in the air and what am I gonna do? What if something drops? What if, what if, you know, I messed something up, but what I try to think about is, and I did not come up with this. Someone else said it somewhere and it just has stuck with me. So maybe someone listening will be able to tell me who said this so I can give credit where credit is due, but it’s this whole thought of a glass ball. And some, some days maybe I have two, uh, I can keep everything up in the air, but I always have to have my eye on the glass ball.

Lisa (12:39):
So if something else drops, as long as it’s not the glass one, it’s okay. It’s really okay. I’m probably gonna mess something up. I’m probably gonna drop a ball somewhere along the lines, but that glass one is the most important. I can give you some actual examples of this because you know, even just this week, I’ve had this come up on, uh, I think it was Tuesday, my littlest, he had a bad allergy attack. So I knew I had to take him to the doctor was planned into my day. I ended up having to move up the appointment because he was my glass ball that day. He had hives all over his body. I needed to, to make sure he was okay. And by doing that, it allowed me to, you know, keep everything else rolling. I over communicated, I let everyone on the team know what was going on and was realistic with myself.

Lisa (13:21):
And with them of this, isn’t my glass ball for the day. I’m gonna get what everything else done that I possibly can, but that was my priority. Then the next day I knew I had to get a proposal done for a client. There were a bunch of things on my to-do list, but that was the most important one. So when I had that quiet time, that’s my great heads down, working time. I made sure that I got that done first and foremost. So then everything else felt like icing on the cake felt like gravy. You know, I was still getting things done, but I wasn’t over planning my day. And I wasn’t setting unrealistic expectations for myself because that’s something I have really had to work on is rightsizing my expectations to meet my reality of my life, which is different than it was a couple years ago. And it had to give myself permission to do that.

Dave (14:12):
That’s great. I think, I think, uh, hopefully, uh, our listeners are taking a lot from that. I, I am, um, you’re right. As, as you kind of progress in your life and your career, you, you, you figure out those things, but you know, hopefully, uh, everyone listening can, can take something away there. And I like that the glass ball, I’m gonna remember that. I think inadvertently, I have, I do the same thing. I always have that one thing where like, oh, I gotta do that because I work off the list of three. I always think of the three things that I want to accomplish in today because I’m the same thing. Like, I feel like I’m in power when I do those three things. Mm-hmm I feel accomplished as humans. We all want to feel a sense of accomplishment that we’ve checked off those to dos and moved something forward, um, progress, not perfection. Right. Um, but great. Yeah. That’s and then I think the other thing is like, um, you know, like waiting for things to happen, right? Yes. Like, like you’re just when you’re doing those setting those priorities or you’re, you’re expecting like, talk about that a little bit, like, you know, about stop waiting for things that to happen or to, to become something.

Lisa (15:19):
Yeah. It’s, it’s tough because I think no matter where you are in, in your life or your situation, you always, there’s always the, what if situation or when this happens, when I have a little more time in my schedule, or when I come back from my vacation or when that big project is done, then I’ll start waking up early and going to the gym or whatever it may be. I was doing a lot of waiting for the stars to align at the beginning of this year. I just kept telling myself once, once Charlie, my baby, once he sleeps through the night, I’ll do this. Or once we have this new SmartAcre team member in place, I’ll be able to do this. And then I realized I was just kind of making excuses for myself. and yes, you know, situations can be challenging and make it a little bit harder for you to get to that point. But progress is really, really important. And as soon as I changed that thought in my brain of, instead of waiting, I’m just gonna start doing and it might not be perfect and it might be hard, but it just feels really satisfying. And as soon as I started to, to do that, things started to change almost immediately. And it’s just, it’s wild. I think that there’s, there’s so much to be set about just moving toward your goals and doing whatever you can to get there, as opposed to just waiting for the stars to align.

Dave (16:49):
Yeah. I wanna circle back on something you said there previously to, to waiting for things that happened and you said it is communication. I think it’s really important to, to talk, like if you have, you know, a spouse, a significant other that you can talk to both, especially when we’re working from home, mm-hmm, , you know, that’s to talk about what’s going on. Um, or back when you said, you know, like, oh, I’m not gonna be in the office this morning because I gotta go do a doctor appointment. I think communication is really important. Um, and not to, to be afraid of, of communicating. So, I mean, any thoughts on like, just things that you’ve found and maybe it’s as simple as just open and honest communication, not being afraid.

Lisa (17:34):
I think that that’s really important, but I also think in terms of communication, you know, we talk a lot about team dynamics and helping your team understand your work styles and your preferences. And that’s all really, really important. But one of the things that I try to keep in mind and I try to bring this up with other team members when they’re going through a tough situation where they’re having a bad week or they’re beating themselves up and just saying, oh man, I’m not, not doing the best thing for the team this week. Try to remind them to talk to themselves as if they were talking reverse the roles. Right? Tell, tell me what you tell yourself, what you would tell me in this situation. Right? So if I’m coming to you, Dave, and I’m like, oh man, I had such a bad week, I’m doing a crap job. I really I’m letting myself. And then, and then team down to really be able to internally say to myself what you’d be telling me and have be kind and have a kind conversation with yourself. I think that that’s really important because it is sometimes hard to have those conversations with your team and be honest and say, I just, I need to, I need a little bit of grace today because of X, Y, and Z, but you also need to give yourself that permission to give yourself that grace . Does that make

Dave (18:52):
Sense? Oh yeah. It makes total sense. And, and the caring aspect. Absolutely. You know, that’s what I live by is always be caring and, um, no matter what it is, like I had it, I had, um, an example of, of, of something like that, where, you know, I, I like sports cards. You’re looking around and I, I, I collect sports cards.

Lisa (19:10):
Oh yeah. They’re everywhere.

Dave (19:12):
. And um, this one guy was like, you know, I wanted to buy this card off and he’s like, you know what? You can just have it. I’m like, no, no, no, no, I’ll pay, I’ll pay you for it. And he’s like, not, I’ll tell you what you take the card, but the next time somebody needs something, the next time somebody needs a five bucks or needs help without thought do that. And I’m like, absolutely, I’ll totally pay this forward. Um, and it was cool. So we were just communicating that way. We were talking about communication. We’re just, you know, communicating and just, you know, caring it’s like that, that, that took me by surprise. Anything like that. Come up recently for you where like some, someone took you by surprise with just being open in their communications.

Lisa (19:58):
Oh yeah. Often, uh, it really resonates when a team member comes to me and tells me something that I, I feel, I feel really honored when someone will share a little information of what’s going on in their world. And, you know, I think in, in some ways people might feel like, oh, I don’t wanna talk to my manager or my boss about something. They might perceive it as a weakness, or they might think less of me. But in reality, every time someone tells me what’s going on in, in their world, it really just makes me feel so honored that they would feel comfortable having that conversation. And knowing that they’re telling me because they trust me to have, have their backs. So yeah, I think those moments of vulnerability when people share things like that or ask you to do something kind for someone else, it just sparks this wave of, of momentum that can sometimes go the opposite way too.

Lisa (21:02):
You know, if you just in agency life, I feel like this happens often where things start to ebb and flow and you get into those really, really busy seasons. And then all of a sudden you’re like, oh, why is everyone so grumpy? what’s going on. And then you have a moment where you can come together or you launch a really great project and you just, all of a sudden feel the momentum start to shift the other way. And then you get to ride that tidal wave of just positive energy. And it makes such a big difference.

Dave (21:30):
Yeah. The key thing there is, is don’t be afraid to celebrate those wins.

Lisa (21:36):

Dave (21:37):
Right. Because I think so many times we’re focused on improvement in getting better and focused on negativity. Oh, well, this didn’t go right. The next time something good happens. Take a moment and celebrate that. Mm-hmm, celebrate that with your, your friends, your, your, your peers take that moment because especially cause we’re talking about agency life, but whatever line of business you’re in, they might not, it might be thankless, right?

Lisa (22:04):
Yes. . Yeah. You’ve personally taught me to develop a thick skin when it comes to client management, cuz you know, you work really hard for your clients. You dedicate so much time and energy to them. And it’s important in that agency setting to start to define those, those boundaries, start to recognize the things that you can control and impact and put a lot of passion into. But also those things that you just kind of have to wonder maybe what what’s going on in their world, you know, and what can you, what can you change? What can you impact? What can you move forward? And what are those things you need to let roll off your back a little bit.

Dave (22:41):
Yeah. I, I, I’ve been really working on that this year as one of the things is like, you don’t know, don’t assume, right. That someone else’s day is going the way that you think it’s going, you don’t know what’s happening. You don’t know what happened because that person cut you off, you know, driving to, to the office or wherever. Um, you don’t know what’s happening with them personally. Especially like if you’re on, on a call or something, maybe you know, that you could tell like something’s off, but you don’t know what’s going on. So yeah. So just be, you know, empathetic and, and care for them is, is, is really key there. Celebrate the small wins, um, and, and do it often. Um, because I think that’s, that’s really important, you know, I think do, do you use any sort of like, um, like journal or, uh, book like that you write things down to like praise yourself or be thankful for like on a daily basis that you can share with anybody or any reminders that you, that you have to kind of like put a sticky on it or that you, you remind yourself or is it just interwoven in your daily basis?

Lisa (23:50):
I, I think it’s just interwoven at this point, but when I was younger in my career, I did, I had a folder in my mailbox that I just kept track of any time that there was positive feedback from a client or from a peer. And if I was just having a moment where I was beating myself up or getting in my head, I would just scan through some compliments, some things that went really well, uh, because as a recovering type a, uh, there’s a lot of ways that you really just try to make yourself better all the time, all the time, and that can be, can be daunting. So taking feedback, listening to it, working on the things that you can improve all for, that’s important to advancing your in your career, but also remembering those things that you did really well. Because if you focus on doing those things even better, it’s going to be so much more energizing than trying to fix all the things that one maybe might not be in your control to begin with. And two just might not ever really be strengths for you. And that’s that’s okay. Can leverage other people on your team to build you up in areas that you’re not the strongest in.

Dave (24:56):
So also on the like kind of maybe circling back on, like on the personal front, you know, becoming a parent into the workforce and recognizing that you have to do some things for yourself. Mm-hmm can you share anything like places that I need to go travel? Or what else do you do for fun?

Lisa (25:14):
Yeah, I, I love to be outside. Uh, we’re going to the Adirondacks next week. Actually. I’m very excited. It is my happy P place. Upstate New York, big mountains, actually, both my boys, their middle names are after high peaks in Adirondack mountains. So very near and dear to our hearts. And it’s just, it really puts things in perspective for me, because I feel like, you know, there are these daily, weekly challenges that we overcome. And in my mind, I, I think of them as, as mountains, I’m climbing up them, I’m working towards something and it’s really important. You’re talking about celebrating even the small things of when you get to the, the top, you have to pause, you have to look around, you have to take it all in and hiking being outside. It always gives me that perspective that I need to just remember what I thought was hard last week. Probably isn’t gonna seem so hard a month from now. and I did it and I overcame it and I can just pause and relish in the, oh yeah, we made it, we did it.

Dave (26:20):
Have you ever gotten like halfway or quarter of the way or like 10 feet in you’re like I can’t do this.

Lisa (26:27):
Oh yeah. Well, Ken in typical Kent fashion start, we, we started climbing all the, uh, 46 high peaks with the hardest one Mount Marcy, which is the highest, the hardest. It was a 15 mile hike and most people do it overnight. They stop in camp. We just did it in one day. So probably the whole time I was saying we couldn’t do it. Uh, but we did, we did it. And then there was another experience where we were, it was pouring down rain. It was, I think it was may. So it’s their wet season. There there’s always, uh, higher, higher streams that turn into rivers that you can’t cross. And we were determined to do two high peaks that day. We tried so hard to do it. And we got to this point where it was, it was an, we could not cross this. What was a gushing stream of water? We probably would’ve been washed away and we had to turn around and it was, it was sad to do that, but we were laughing the whole way back because we were soaked and tired and we didn’t accomplish anything.

Dave (27:35):
Do you get like a, do you get like a punch card or like, um, something that you like cross off or check your list when you’re doing these and then did you ever like for those ones, you just go me, I tried

Lisa (27:46):
You can get patches. Oh, when you accomplish them. So yeah, we didn’t get patches for, for that day it’s okay, though. It was a good memory

Dave (27:57):
yeah, it makes it, it makes it for a much better story. And like you said earlier, you are a badass that, that is, that is pretty badass for both of you for, for starting out. And I like that because you, you, you set out to do something and you’re like, we’re gonna work on the hard we’re gonna do the hardest first cuz again, then it can only get, you know, better and easier. And I, I kind of the same way when like whenever I’m approaching something like a project, I’m like, I, I like try to tackle the hardest thing first, you know, get, get the big ones out of the way. So that that’s pretty fun. So what El, what else? I mean like, are you like way into that? Like your gear up and like you have like a special bottle for hiking and all these different

Lisa (28:35):
Like, oh yeah. We’re way into it. I mean, we’ve done it in negative 20 degree weather and have been on the top of a mountain peak. I rookie mistake, I’ve been into a granola bar. Didn’t realize it was frozen solid so yeah, it’s, we’re starting to get back into it now because we had to take a little break with the two babies, but uh, when we’re there next week we have backpacks for the, both of them. We’re gonna strap ’em on our backs. We’re probably not gonna do a high peak, but we are going to do some hiking and start to get back into it. And then our tenure anniversary’s coming up in October and I know Kent is probably already picking out which mountains we’re going to climb together.

Dave (29:17):
well, that’s, that’s super cool. So in addition to like, you know, hiking, um, finding an outlet, just kind of, you know, talk a little bit about that. Like what, what, what can you share for others that are, that are kind of maybe struggling with, you know, day to day and, and zoom being on zoom call after zoom call, like any suggestions you can give for finding an outlet that you can share with someone.

Lisa (29:43):
Yeah. I think you really have to get to know yourself and be honest with yourself and start to tap into those moments where you feel like you’re not feeling energized anymore. And just ask yourself, what do you need? What do you need? And my needs for myself have changed since your sense, my life has changed. And right now I find that sometimes I just need to be alone. I need quiet time. I need that time where I can let my internal dialogue talk to talk to myself and listen to my thoughts and just be able to reflect sometimes that’s, you know, 30 minutes on the treadmill. Sometimes I just need to be the one to pick up William at daycare. So I can be alone in the car for 15 minutes. And just being honest with whoever you need, to be honest to, with what you need, whether that’s your, your coworkers, your manager, your significant other, the people that you’re living with.

Lisa (30:40):
Just not being afraid to say, Hey, I, I need to take whatever it is, whether it’s exercising or a healthy meal or time alone, good night’s sleep. Really challenge yourself of what do I need right now? And am I starting to feel like I’m not being efficient or not being productive? And if that’s the case, why is it? Cause it’s probably something you just need to be real with yourself of what that is. And I’ve realized this year that if I, if I don’t do that, or if I let that go on too long, I’m not gonna have a choice because probably gonna get sick mm-hmm or I’m probably gonna be staring at my computer screen, wondering why I can’t write this email. why it’s taking me so long. So you really have to be honest with yourself when it comes to that. Because if you feel like taking a break is going to set you back, it’s not, it’s going to propel you forward. Even if you’re taking a couple days off, cuz otherwise you’re just your body or your brain are going to do it for you.

Dave (31:37):
Yeah. Like routines, if you’re, if you’re, if you’re not working breaks into your routine, you’re not gonna have ’em in your routine. Yeah. So it’s, you have to be really purposeful, purposeful for that. Awesome. We’re both agency owners, um, been at this for, for quite some time and um, you know, we’re, we’re really focused on marketing and technology and you know, I think hopefully, you know, finding balance, um, through your day to day is, is something that you, with some of these words we can help, you know, help others. But you know, maybe let’s talk a little bit about, um, you know, just working in that setting. Some of the things that, that we found both from a technology side and a marketing side, anything that comes to mind,

Lisa (32:17):
Well, marketing and technology, it’s always changing. There’s always something to learn. There’s always something to experiment with. There’s always something to read. And I think that can be challenging, especially for, uh, junior people in their careers of just when to turn it off or when to take a break or when to want to carve that time into their day and give themselves permission to learn and grow. And I think that that’s really, really important. And as agency owners, as, as we talk about balance, it might seem easier for us to do in, in our roles. But I think the challenging part for us and something that I’m super passionate about is how do we make sure our team gives themself the permission that they need to find that balance? Because it’s hard. You can come up with the best policies you can give unlimited PTO, all these great things that we strive to do, but unless our smarters and anyone in their career can find that balance for themselves, no company can give that to them. So I think it’s really, really important for if, if you feel like you’re struggling or if you feel like you’re stuck, or if you feel like you’re, you have to work a bajillion hours a week to be successful, to, to talk about that and to have conversations with your managers or find a mentor to really help you start to work on finding balance, cuz it’s going to set you up for success in the long run.

Dave (33:51):
Yeah. I’m glad you brought that up because I always say like do the things that you love every single day and that goes for the work that you’re doing. And I think so many of us, if we get up and we’re doing the things that we don’t like to do, we’re gonna procrastinate. We’re not gonna do ’em. We’re not gonna, we’re not gonna just, we’re just gonna ignore it. Mm-hmm so I think, you know, if you’re in a role, I think my advice would be like, if you’re thinking about it, you’re inner role and you’re listening to this and you’re being like, oh, I really like doing that. But I don’t like doing that. Like we’ll just be go back to communication, like be talk to your manager and be like, Hey, listen, I’m really struggling with this. How can I get better at this?

Dave (34:24):
You know? So it might be like, you know, specific piece of technology, like you mentioned vineyard earlier. That’s something that we use, it drives great, you know, video content, one to one communication, but it’s like, I’m nervous on video. I don’t know what to do with my hands and like all these crazy things. Right. Um, and I think, you know, just communicating that, but I, I think the other thing is, is if, if you see an opportunity, um, don’t be afraid to have that conversation. I think that’s what you’re saying, right. Is like have that conversation with your manager and be like, you know what? I know this isn’t part of my job. Mm-hmm, this isn’t part of my role, but this interests me and it would be great if I had the opportunity to explore this technology or certification or what vacation or whatever.

Lisa (35:08):
Right. Yeah. Yeah. You can’t wait going back to what we were talking about earlier, you can’t wait for the stars to align and I’m, I never did that in my career. If there was something that I was passionate about or if I wanted to do, I did it, even if it required me putting in extra time, but it was time that felt good for me. And I was excited by it and it helped me to propel forward and to remain really passionate about everything that I’m doing. And that does really help you find balance because then it doesn’t feel like work. You’re doing things that are exciting and fun.

Dave (35:43):
Yeah. I that’s that’s, that’s just, it is like, I think one of the coolest things, when you talked about like how you got started or one of the things that you liked about agency life, is it, it it’s fast paced. And one of the reasons that I like it is because you get to work for so many different clients and different challenges and you know, one moment you’re working on doing something with robotics to, you know, health tech to, um, you know, financial services. So you get to really, you’re, you’re getting up and you’re working on all those different companies in a given day, but that also can be really challenging because it could be hard to focus. Mm-hmm and I think that’s, that’s the other challenge, challenging thing is as you’re coming up in your career, you’re, you’re trying to figure out, well, what am I really good at? And what do I like doing and how do I get better at those one areas and, and get more focus because when you’re first starting out, you’re doing everything, you’re trying every different thing. And you’re probably not that good at most of them.

Lisa (36:39):
Right. Yeah. Yeah. And to your point about really having a lot of clients that you’re dealing with is the story. I always told myself as a younger account manager was, oh my gosh, this client is waiting for me to respond to this email. And I told ’em I was going to get this to them by tomorrow. I have to get it to them by tomorrow and all that pressure. But then I started to realize I’m putting love this pressure on myself. like my client is not sitting around checking their watch to make sure I’m doing something on time, by really exercising that art of managing expectations and communicating and understanding what your clients have going on as well. What their day is like when they need to report in something to their manager, you will get things done on the right time and be able to find that balance and not stress yourself out unnecessarily.

Dave (37:28):
Yeah. I just thought of something, when you said about being open and honest with your client early on, when as I got into kind of project management, I lied to a client. I was like, , you know what? It really did. I, I remember this, so I won’t give the details of what type of client it was. Um, but it , it was in the feminine hygiene. Oh

Lisa (37:52):

Dave (37:53):
and I lied to him. I’m like, yeah, the website’s almost done, you know? Well, we’re gonna have it live while, have it ready for your review on Monday? And it wasn’t anywhere close to being done because like I wasn’t paying attention and I, I just, I wasn’t, I just, I totally messed up. So guess what happened that weekend? I had to work on that website all weekend to get it, to get it done because I lied and, and because I didn’t, I didn’t want them to call me out. Yeah. And I didn’t want to get in trouble. So like, after that, I really was like, you know what? Life happens, things happen, you know, what’s the worst that whether what’s the worst that’s gonna happen, they’re gonna be mad, pissed. You’re gonna get fired. Like it’s that’s right.

Lisa (38:38):
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, it’s so important. We were talking about being honest and open with your team, but it is, it there’s power in doing that for clients too. I’ve recently been telling clients, especially if we’re working together, uh, or our relationship is newer. I let them know. I, I don’t work late because I like working late. I work late because I take breaks throughout my day. So if you seem me to respond to an email at nine o’clock at night, it’s because my kids are in bed and I spend time with them throughout the day. And just helping give everyone perspective into your world, what the workforce has changed. Mm-hmm, , it’s so different now. And I think people respect that, but it’s also important to establish some boundaries. So, you know, clients don’t get into the habit of emailing you at 10 o’clock, 10 o’clock at night, expecting your response, but letting them know. Yeah. This is kind of how I manage my day. So just, just a heads up

Dave (39:32):
yeah. I’ll, I’ll do the same thing. I’ll, I’ll respond to things, but actually I don’t send him, I save him as my draft. And then the next morning when I get up really early, I fire him off because I also don’t want them to be like, well, this guy is responding later. Cause I used to have a boss. He would expect a response when he emailed that midnight. Oh, I’d be like, um, the one thing that I value is sleep and that’s what I was doing when you emailed me, like, why didn’t you respond at one o’clock because like, most people I was I’m sleeping.

Lisa (40:01):
I really hope you responded with that.

Dave (40:03):
No, I, no, I responded the next day. And then he replied, well, why didn’t so you replied to wide. So, um, excellent. Lisa, thanks so much for joining us on the agency balance podcast. If someone wants to follow you, can they do that? How would they do that?

Lisa (40:18):
Of course. Yeah. Uh, LinkedIn is where I am most active. So if I’m on LinkedIn, Lisa whi runs with pickle, uh, L Z w I K L.

Dave (40:29):
Awesome. Thanks so much.

Lisa (40:31):
Yeah. Thank you so much for having me, Dave, your podcast is awesome. I can’t wait to continuing to listen because throughout my career you have taught me so much about finding balance and I am excited for the world to get to learn more from you. Thank you.