1. What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
7:30 – wake up to the sound of a barking puppy demanding his breakfast
7:40 – shuffle on some ridiculous outfit and stand outside in freezing temperature to ensure dog performs bathroom duties, 50% failure rate
8:00 – walk down to Starbucks and grab grande bold
8:30 – At the computer writing newsletter, responding to e-mails
From 9:00 to 5:00 the day a Thursday may be spent doing the following:
Liasing with writers to organize stories
Brainstorming while dancing in the kitchen
Doing a frantic photo shoot around the house
Pretending that I work at Teen Vogue with Whitney
Laying out new features, giving creative direction for new sections on site
Looking for humourous and cool videos on You Tube
Getting a catering quote for party
Distributing newsletter to hundreds of people and then having a mild panic attack that I’ve said something offensive
Intending to have lunch, and instead eating scraps and handfuls of cereal
Wiping dog pee off the ground
Responding to e-mails from readers, publicists, PR companies and sponsors
Negotiating advertising rates – to advertise site, and to receive advertisers on site
Wrangling with a broken contact lens for ten minutes
Going mad looking for my house keys
6:00 – 10:00 P.M
Either meeting a writer over wine to chat about column, heading to a launch party or going to a movie / gallery opening to review
10:00 P.M – 1:00 AM
Mildly tipsy, back on line checking e-mails, researching ways to build business
Important facebook catch-up time
Neurotically checking google analytics of site, or scrutinizing how to make things better
Doing up an enormous to-do list for following day
2. What was your first job out of school?
Toronto International Film Festival – Theatres Intern. I packed boxes and made signs, it was wicked.
3. What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
*Creativity – innovative thinking, test daring ideas, open yourself up and go
A: you need a ton of energy, as you are essentially working whether it’s 9AM on a Monday or 2AM on a Saturday
B: If things are tough or discouraging – you have to stay positive and keep pushing.
*Observation – always watch, listen and learn from those around you – understand your co-workers, your affiliate businesses and your audience.
4. What do you love most about your career?
* I wake up in the morning with the objective to produce something fun and make people smile, and I throw myself at this until the day is done.
5. If a woman wanted to get into this business, what are your recommendations of how they should start?
Three recommended starting points:
i. Marketing – do the grunt work in a fast paced marketing company. Choose a company that you like, and go after a job – whether it’s an intern, receptionist – whatever. Get in there, get noticed and prove yourself. Respect is earned – you have to work to receive it.
ii. Writing – start building a portfolio – whether it’s a blog, volunteering at a local paper or do your own thing. Everything starts somewhere.
iii. Events / PR – You aren’t going to meet connections sitting in your living room – get out there, meet people and force yourself to mix with different social groups.
6. Do you have any warnings?
If you own your own business then you have chosen to rely on your own drive, smarts and creativity. Although some may say – ‘you have it easy, if you are out drinking, you can get up late and no one will care’. WRONG – that means you lose time, time=business and business=money; there’s no room for slack. Surprisingly, I’ve found that things like grocery shopping, going to the gym, relaxation and making room for doc appointments has completely disappeared. It becomes a very tricky balance to make space for ‘you time’ or ‘down time’ – this is important, and I haven’t mastered yet.
Also – there will be definitely be days where you question your sanity and think ‘ fuck, what the hell have I done all I want is a constant paycheque’ or ‘this is tough, can I make it?’. These are tough days – and they for sure happen often – but you have to stay optimistic, push on and keep at it.
Thirdly…and I really could keep going – there’s a fine line between networking and getting wasted and embarrassing yourself…I haven’t fully mastered this yet either – but I’m getting there.
7. If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
I’ve always wanted to own a beauty salon. I wouldn’t say I’m even remotely skilled in this area, but I like the idea of wearing a beauty parlour costume, red lipstick and a tilted hat – making women feel beautiful and chatting to new customers all day. (This dream would be most suited if I lived in France in the 1960’s)
I think Emily Haines of Metric has it pretty good, as does FEIST – I’d switch lives with them for a while for sure.
Hmmm – oh yeah, a shrink – for sure I’d love to be a shrink.