SHOCEO® Reading for Success: Ten (10) Minutes.
For this edition of the She’s Her Own CEO® Guest Interview, we are excited to introduce to you the CEO and Founder of Philly Power Media, Wendy Saltzman.
Wendy is a three-time Emmy Award Winning Investigative Journalist. She spent more than two decades working on-camera in television news. Most recently, she was the Investigative Reporter at Philadelphia’s powerhouse station, 6abc, where she was recruited to start up their Investigative team in 2012.
Wendy launched her own media conglomerate to coach high-level corporate management, business owners, and individuals to prepare them for on- and off-camera interviews and public speaking opportunities. In addition, she is using her expertise as a story teller to help individuals brand themselves and their corporations. Wendy is an entrepreneur who is changing the face of business cards by creating video business cards and unique advertorial content for her clients to help get them noticed. Her services include coaching, video production, crafting strategic branded content, and social media marketing aimed at generating buzz to grow new and existing brands.
Kathryn Brooks, She’s Her Own CEO®: Hi Wendy, thanks for speaking with us today. Tell us your favorite example of how you Lead, Provide, and Create in your professional and/or personal world!
Wendy Saltzman, Philly Power Media: I love to help people. My business focuses on helping others grow their business and reach more clients with video marketing. I love the creativity my job allows and the process of writing and producing beautiful videos.
What sets me apart is I am constantly reading, researching and learning to make sure I am improving. Whether it is changing our process, or scaling up my business, I don’t get complacent thinking what we do is good enough. I am very curious by nature and I have a hunger for knowledge. I always want to evolve with new technology and find ways to be better and more efficient. I watch what competitors are doing and research companies who are successful to see what I could be doing differently. I coach clients on social media marketing as well, so I spend hours learning the latest algorithms and tactics both my company and my clients can use to get the best ROI. I learn news ways to shoot videos, new editing techniques, camera settings. Anything I don’t know, I set out to learn so I can make our product and my company the best.
When it comes to leading, I encourage that same curiosity in those I mentor. I want them to explore their own creativity and problem-solving abilities. Growing a company requires delegating responsibilities. I give my employees a lot of responsibility and opportunities to expand their skill sets with various complex projects.
Kathryn Brooks, She’s Her Own CEO®: Being the CEO of your world can take many forms (for example, volunteering in your community, holding a formal corporate position, engaging in creative pursuits, or being a reliable mom/sister/daughter). In your opinion, what is the best way to achieve success and to become the boss of your world?
Wendy Saltzman, Philly Power Media: Believe in yourself! Men are taught confidence growing up. Many women, on the other hand, are raised to be humble, not boast about our accomplishments, and be nurturers of other people. So it’s no wonder why fewer women start companies than men. You must wake up every day thinking, “I’m amazing. I’ve got this. I CAN do it.” Look at everything you have done successfully and survived. Don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are crazy, or that you don’t have what it takes. You decide what you can and cannot accomplish. And that starts with what you think about yourself. If you are confident, it shows. If you doubt yourself, how can anyone else believe in you?
I remember when I started my company I wanted to set up an 401k and hand over a chunk of other investment money to a male financial advisor who did work with my husband. Instead of graciously taking the cash I was planning to give him he questioned, “Why did you leave your job? What are you going to do for clients? Do you have any leads and any idea how you are going to make money?” All the while he was telling me he could get me my money back in a matter of days, “should I need it.” He was basically preparing for me to fail. Needless to say, I didn’t invest with him.
Decades before that when I decided I wanted to be on TV, a neighbor who worked for a high-profile network anchor said to me, “With that voice no one is going to hire you to be on TV.” That insult stuck with me for years. But I didn’t listen. If I had, I would have stayed behind the camera envying people who “made it” on TV. A good friend’s mother scolded me for the decision too. She thought I was “stupid” for leaving a high paying network job where I was producer for the Evening News to move to Waco Texas to be on-camera at a local TV station. Those hurtful responses made me question my dreams. But my dream was bigger than the insults.
Never let anyone else determine your success or your road map. You have to believe in yourself even when other people tell you you’re crazy.
Kathryn Brooks, She’s Her Own CEO®: I regularly discuss how to make the entrepreneurial leap on She’s Her Own CEO®. Any additional words of wisdom you can share with motivated, aspirational readers?
Wendy Saltzman, Philly Power Media: I’m a risk-taker. At 16 years old I went off to college at the University of Chicago. Teachers and other people told me, “You can’t do that!” I did it anyway. I don’t think my parents were thrilled at the idea either, but they didn’t hold me back. When I graduated from college before I could even legally drink or rent an apartment, I moved around the country as a journalist, each time picking up and starting over in a new city. I was used to getting outside of what was comfortable and I was willing to do whatever I needed to build my career. When I left TV to start my own company, I had little else besides determination and my personal motivation to succeed.
I believe in taking large leaps of faith to accomplish your dreams. No one grows by staying in the safety zone, repeating the same actions, and avoiding failure. You have to think big scary thoughts and then do things that terrify you to truly grow. Maybe you think your idea is foolish, but try it anyway. If you fail, it’s a chance to learn what worked, and tweak what didn’t. And that could be the idea that launches your business into a 7- or 8-figure income. You will never know unless you try it.
It’s hard for many of us to stretch beyond what is comfortable, or known. But when was the last time you heard a success story that didn’t include someone taking a big risk before they made it big? Anytime you struggle on your way to the top, imagine one day telling your story to a crowd of other people who are in awe of all that you have accomplished. What does that story sound like? Is it, “Everything just fell into my lap?” Or more likely, “I busted my tail and ate ramen noodles for 10 months straight to make sure the electricity stayed on?” I think back to the months and months I had to drive home 6 hours back and forth to my parents when I was working my first on air job, just to get groceries (which they paid for) and do my laundry. It wasn’t fun at the time, but it sure is funny looking back. And I have fond memories of “struggling” with all my co-workers back then, when a big night out was one margarita at a local Mexican restaurant and eating all the free chips and salsa we could get for “dinner!”
What people who succeed have that others don’t is tenacity and the drive not to give up even when faced with doubt and discomfort. Never give up. Change your tactics, and tweak your process if it isn’t working. But your failure or success is up to you.
Kathryn Brooks, She’s Her Own CEO®: Thank you, Wendy, for sharing your career story and insights with She’s Her Own CEO®.
Learn more about Wendy via her YouTube brand intro video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAkof2WNN-w
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