—“Best Advice” is a recurring column on The Message, in which industry veterans Jack Neary and Kevin Spreekmeester—and some of their colleagues—dispense practical advice for people who are just entering the industry.—
This week Best Advice talks with Amber Mac, a writer, podcaster, entrepreneur and digital maverick whose understanding of disruptive technologies helps companies anticipate lightning-quick changes as they come. An insatiable media adopter, Mac is currently host of the top-rated podcast The AI Effect, now in its second season. She is a regular business host and expert for Fast Company, Shopify, CNN, Bloomberg TV, CBS, BNN, The Marilyn Denis Show, and SiriusXM Radio.
On overcoming early hurdles
“I was impatient early on in my career. I got bored easily, hated repeating tasks, and jumped from gig to gig. Today, this is just how many young professionals operate. The gig economy is today’s reality. While I didn’t overcome this impatience as an employee, after five years working for other people, I started my own business. I haven’t been bored since. As an entrepreneur, there is a long runway for success. You get to determine if you want to slam on the brakes or soar.
On her most valuable lesson learned
“Early in my career, I worked closely with business coach Tony Robbins. I learned a lot from working with him and attending his seminars. The one thing that I’ve also held close to me is his advice to let go of the unrealistic blueprint you built for your life. When I was growing up, girls were taught to “marry well.” There were very few inspirational female business leaders. That has changed, but we still have a long way to go. What hasn’t changed is that many young professionals who are struggling to figure out what they want to do often have a blueprint of what is supposed to happen. I don’t know from one day to the next what I am going to be doing, but I know I am working harder than most of my peers and it’s paying off both financially and personally.
On entering today’s digital world
“If you’re new to the digital/social communications world, I recommend you spend 10% of your time planning and 90% of your time executing. In today’s fast-paced world, there is no need to spend months on complicated strategic documents. You need to understand your audience, your platforms and your tools. Once you have these three things in place, start creating (and testing) content. Obsess about your analytics and keep doing more of what is working. If you think you can be successful in the digital/social world by posting just a few times a week, you might as well go back to 2009. In 2019, quality still matters, but quantity keeps you top-of-mind.
On working with one’s parents
When I started my career, I leaned the most on my parents. They have always been my biggest cheerleaders—the first people I call when anything good happens. Although I’m sure both of them would like to spend more time on the Florida beach during their retirement years, they are actively working in our business at AmberMac Media. Although working with family isn’t for everyone, I love knowing that we are building a business that is supporting all of us. Plus, I’m a bit like Switzerland: although family dynamics can get difficult, I remain a neutral voice if there are conflicts, and I work hard to keep things diplomatic.
On recovering from early missteps
“Like many young professionals, early in my career I took on too much—more than I could mentally and physically handle. Since I always want to add more to my plate, I did this while I was pregnant with my son and during his toddler years. What I’ve learned since then is that I can take on a lot, but only if I am taking care of myself. Five years ago, I made a few significant changes in my life. I started eating better, working out four or five days a week, getting eight hours of sleep, and pushing toxic people away. Needless to say, it has done wonders for me and our business. Since AmberMac Media first incorporated five years ago, our revenue has increased five times.
On embracing change
“I think people need to understand that you need to embrace relentless adaptation. You have to be able to build a solid foundation, but change when change is warranted.
Amber’s golden rule
“My best advice, in short, is that patience, determination, and creativity are the keys for success in social media today. Plus, take care of yourself and nurture good relationships.”