2B Bolder Podcast : Career Insights for the Next Generation of Women in Business & Tech

Career Insights from a Successful Female Leader in Consumer Marketing Who Enjoys Helping Others Avoid Critical Business Mistakes.

February 25, 2020 Deena Ghazarian, Managing Partner at TargetPath and founder of Austere Season 1 Episode 8
2B Bolder Podcast : Career Insights for the Next Generation of Women in Business & Tech
Career Insights from a Successful Female Leader in Consumer Marketing Who Enjoys Helping Others Avoid Critical Business Mistakes.
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2B Bolder Podcast : Career Insights for the Next Generation of Women in Business & Tech
Career Insights from a Successful Female Leader in Consumer Marketing Who Enjoys Helping Others Avoid Critical Business Mistakes.
Feb 25, 2020 Season 1 Episode 8
Deena Ghazarian, Managing Partner at TargetPath and founder of Austere

On episode #8 of the 2B Bolder podcast, guest Deena Ghazarian, Managing Partner at TargetPath and founder of Austere, which is a unique technology accessory brand, talks about the importance of mentoring and networking. Deena, a dynamic, global sales executive and award-winning sales leader shares insights on what her roles and responsibilities are within each company. She shares her perspective on the business to consumer space and why it's an ideal time for women to lean in and be an active voice in the business world.

The 2B Bolder Podcast provides you first-hand access to some amazing women. Guests will include women from leading enterprise companies to startups, women execs, to coders, account execs, engineers, doctors, and innovators.

To be inspired visit https://www.2bbolder.com/podcasts

Learn more about Target Path visit https://targetpath.com/

Learn more about Austere visit https://austere.com/

Show Notes Transcript

On episode #8 of the 2B Bolder podcast, guest Deena Ghazarian, Managing Partner at TargetPath and founder of Austere, which is a unique technology accessory brand, talks about the importance of mentoring and networking. Deena, a dynamic, global sales executive and award-winning sales leader shares insights on what her roles and responsibilities are within each company. She shares her perspective on the business to consumer space and why it's an ideal time for women to lean in and be an active voice in the business world.

The 2B Bolder Podcast provides you first-hand access to some amazing women. Guests will include women from leading enterprise companies to startups, women execs, to coders, account execs, engineers, doctors, and innovators.

To be inspired visit https://www.2bbolder.com/podcasts

Learn more about Target Path visit https://targetpath.com/

Learn more about Austere visit https://austere.com/

spk_1:   0:00
Hi there. My name is Mary Kill Olia. Welcome to the to be bolder podcast. Providing career insights for the next generation of women in business in Texas. To be bolder was created out of my love for technology and marketing. My desire to bring together Lifeline is women and my hope to be a great role model in source of inspiration for my two girls and other young women like you, encouraging you guys to show up. But to be bolder and to know that anything you guys dream of, it's totally possible on to be bolder. You're gonna hear inspiring stories of how successful women some I know, some I just want to bring to you guys and they're gonna talk about their careers in business and tech. And they're gonna tell us their stories about their passion, their journey, and they're challenges. And we're gonna learn some of their advice along the way, too. So sit back, relax and enjoy the conversation. Today's gonna be a great show. I had the pleasure of meeting my guest a few months ago through a mutual friend. Dina Kazarian is managing partner, a target path and founder of Austere, which is a unique technology accessory brand. She has a dynamic global sales executive with a 20 year record of achievement and demonstrated success driving multimillion dollar sales growth while providing award winning sales leadership. She is an expert in global consumer electronic sales and channel marketing. She's tenacious and building new businesses and powerful partnerships. And if that wasn't enough, she's an executive board member of the Consumer Technology Association, which produces the annual huge Consumer electronics show called C S Dina. It is so great to have you here today. Thanks for being on the show.

spk_0:   1:37
Thank you. Very happy to be here.

spk_1:   1:38
All right, let's just dive in. So you have a full plate being both the managing partner at Target Path and the founder and CEO austere. Can you tell everyone a little bit about each company and how you are involved with each of them?

spk_0:   1:53
Absolutely. So five years ago, I left working for a manufacturer that had been out for about 15 years and really with all of my background and experience, and I've been very fortunate to be in some very different situations for business, which has made me very well around it and So with that, uh, myself and two other gentlemen decided to kind of kick off a consulting firm business called Target Path. And so I and the two others are managing partners in a business and much like my background, what Target path does is we will take. Brands have created an awesome product, but they're not quite sure what the right path and where to go next with their product in order for it to be successful in the marketplace. So we sit down, we review the antithesis of the product where it came from, what's the point who were returned to solve a problem for cetera? From there, we put together entire strategic plan on how they can execute in retail for the best success. And then we also are very crunchy interests in regards to their financial situation. And how do you best leverage every dollar that you're getting? So Target Path has a team of about 35 people behind us that are awesome. Execute ear's in the field. And so what we do is we actually leverage them in a fractional manner to be able to support these different brands businesses. So we take one of our team member who is maybe 10 20 years of experience. We put them into a situation. They know exactly what to d'oh and how to take the ball of that brand of whatever it is in the action that they're doing. Finance operations, channel marketing Uh, you know, Mark calm. You name it when they go running with it and because they get up to speed so much faster than a regular employee we build out the process would build a procedure. And from there, once we kind of get that execution going, we actually help hire the people that will replace our team at Target Path so the brand continue to grow. So it's actually a very neat process that takes about in most cases. If we do it right, we're there for about a year and 1/2 to 2 years of really taking somebody from Hey, I have this product. What do I do next? All the way through to Hey, now we have you in the field and you're executing. Let's put your team in place and go.

spk_1:   4:11
That sounds amazing. They're probably like your Children you like, you know, after a year and they are, let him go and then you just watching a craze.

spk_0:   4:18
That's right. Exactly. And so what's interesting about that model for target path? And the reason why I explained it in so much detail is when we actually had the opportunity of quite a few retailers coming to us and asking us to create this home. Peter Accessories brand called us here. We knew that in order to get us, you're up and running quickly with profitability in it and really kind of turning a profit in less than a year. We knew that if we use the Target path model, we would be able to do it and do it well. So we have leveraged in the beginning of austere, different pieces of target path to get the business up and running and in turn, every opportunity we have now to hire full time person because the business is working it where it's time for that role to be a full time role. Then, boom. We switched the target pop person out and bring a full time person in, and then it just the business justifies whether that can happen or not, and it's making us very successful and doing it where we literally as I like to say, we get every last squeeze of that percent from that dollar that we're spending on the business, which in most cases startups are not as efficient. And so this really gives them the ability to have an efficient startup to do it quick and fast and run the models. So that's kind of how last year came to be through the efforts of Target back.

spk_1:   5:32
That's exciting. And I follow you a stare on line and it's beautiful product line.

spk_0:   5:41
Thank you.

spk_1:   5:42
What

spk_0:   5:42
we what we did with austere is we were so fortunate. We had a lot of retailers and distributors globally who came to us and said, We really need you to be in this space. We need you to help train and teach the individuals on the sales floor, be able to interact with the consumer in a way where the consumer is educated and not threatened and not saying here, you need to buy this, you need to buy this. But there was no reason why

spk_1:   6:04
placed into

spk_0:   6:05
the actual conversation, So that was the piece of how we kind of got into the conversation. But once we did, I said, Well, I want to do it my way in the sense that most of the brands out there most of it is off the shelf plastic. Um, there's really not a lot of thought to the design behind the technology. And so what we did is we found the best technology we could bring to the table for every product and in turn put design with it to give it the most unbelievable look. But the best functionality you could get and combining those two things that really elevated off here to the next level to give you more than you could possibly expect from the brand. Hence our tagline more than expected.

spk_1:   6:43
So

spk_0:   6:43
it's a lot of fun.

spk_1:   6:44
That's awesome. So walk us through your career path and tell us how you got started in the business. And, you know, I know you've talked a little bit about how you guys started up with Target path, but kind of catch us up to today.

spk_0:   6:57
Yeah, absolutely. So, um, I, uh, was getting ready to graduate. I'll even go back to reading, you know, to graduate from college was literally gonna go to law school. That is where I had my focus. And my father, who was ah, lifelong entrepreneur, literally shot me down and said, Can you do me a favor? Can you just work like you've literally come out of school? All you've done is, you know, study kind of Get through this. Why don't you take a breath and just work and do something to learn more about the business? And so my dad never really gave much direction. He always kind of let us succeed on her own. So the fact that it kind of slowed me down and

spk_1:   7:31
said, Hey,

spk_0:   7:32
I really think you should think about this It was kind of one of those conversations were like, Wow, maybe I should listen. So it was great. My law school gave me the ability to differ, And so I said, Great. If I'm going to do that, I'm going to do what it is that I want That it would kind of excite me, um, and really would have a lot of passion around. So I was very much a fashion type of person. That's what my little secret love is. So I had this awesome opportunity met with the recruiter from what was Bullocks department stores, which was eventually acquired by Macy's in Insurance, Federated. And he sat me down and said, Listen, you're a 21 year old kid out of school. I can guarantee you're gonna manage anywhere between a 15 million and $20 million business in your first year here. I guarantee you're not gonna get that anywhere else. And if you want to go back into school after that or the, you know want to move on to your next job, that's really something that a 21 year old doesn't get. Afford it. And so it was kind of like, Wow, that's meaningful And I agree. And plus, I will get an awesome discount. Get to

spk_1:   8:33
build my wardrobe. I'm in right

spk_0:   8:37
started in the stores, which was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. He put me with a legend in the business on the fashion side of thing. You know, the first female buyer ever in the Orient, the first female store manager ever in the state of California, Um, and she was my mentor and for seven years didn't leave absolutely loved it by the way Love be on the floor, loved interacting with the customer, loved visually, being able to give them an experience that would would excite somebody to buy. And then what was, I guess, ironic about the situation, as I was always an accessory. So literally from Day one, I was always kind of the attachment to something. I was never the lead, which is very true and the threat about everything I've done so far with me in my business career. So it was there for about seven years. I met my husband there, and one of the things we quickly learned was working for the same company was probably not the best move on our part. Ah, he had more seniority than I did buy a couple years. So I said, Great. We had moved to the Bay Area for him and a promotion. It was during the boom of dot coms and I said, Well, I'll just go get a dot com job and I'll probably give us lots of shares and then we'll hit it rich like everybody

spk_1:   9:49
else was doing. And then, you

spk_0:   9:51
know, we'll never have to

spk_1:   9:52
work again. So we went,

spk_0:   9:55
so I found myself a dot com job. It happened to be consumer electronics hardware product called Replay TV, and, um, most people probably don't know replay. But if I mentioned TiVo and the

spk_1:   10:08
whole concept

spk_0:   10:09
of a digital video recorder, that is when that business was getting started. And that's exactly what I walked into. Ah, the gentleman who actually is the CEO of Raku. Anthony would was the CEO of replay. So I got to meet

spk_1:   10:21
a

spk_0:   10:21
lot of legends instantly right in the business and, ah, for one year we had an awesome time. It was when it was during that dot com, when it was super exciting, and sure enough, in less than a year we ran through all of our money. Let everybody go. They felled all, sold off all the assets and I don't know at like 26 years old, seven years old. I was out of a job, never had been in that situation. That was little for geeks. So what have been great is in my role. It replay was an account manager, had a lot of great relationships with a lot of buyers all over the United States, and they said, there's this other company in the Bay Area. She could talk Thio. You probably would be a good fit. There it was. Monster and monster was Ah ah accessories cable company. What's what route its roots were. And so whatever they're ended up starting to work there. And sure enough for about 15 years was there. Ah, at the company went through their very entrepreneurial in its thought process and every single category. There was a category after category we would create. Sometimes that category would be wildly successful, and sometimes that category would die on the vine. But it was an unbelievable training ground to be able to go through and really learn what it is to make something take off. Sometimes the technology was some of the coolest thing you've ever seen or done. Yet the timing wasn't right. So, like I remember when we first started talking about a tile like product, which is that little square chip you can put into your bag and you know where it is

spk_1:   11:50
because you can put

spk_0:   11:51
on your keys, but on your back. So we probably were talking about that concept maybe 2.5 years before it ever launched Nobody wanted it at the time, so we had unbelievable training of focus. We really couldn't get a lot of people to bite fast forward. Three years. You know, boom, You have a business at the $25 million business, like within a couple of years. And it wasn't because the technology wasn't right. It was just the timing for where, where it made sense for the consumer and the consumers need. So those learnings really just put me in such an unbelievable spot that when I left Monster and we went to go kind of Retik target path into gear, those learnings. And we say it all the time. We're just really good. And over the years, we've made a ton of his next. So we really point you in the direction of not making the same mistakes that traditional companies continue to make without some direction.

spk_1:   12:41
Oh, absolutely. Your story there. It's just the foundation of what target path offers. That's amazing, right? That's amazing. Yeah,

spk_0:   12:51
we do these scars on the back. We don't want you to have scars. We have

spk_1:   12:54
plenty

spk_0:   12:55
of stars.

spk_1:   12:55
Let us help you if

spk_0:   12:56
you don't do

spk_1:   12:57
that to years. Oh, Yeah, First are okay. So today, the Consumer Technology Association is North America's leading tech trade association and owner and producer of CS. It's the world's largest, most influential tech event. You know, the year, um, you're an executive board member. What? Congratulations, by the way, I think that's amazing. Thank you. Um, it's

spk_0:   13:22
a lot. It's a lot of work, and it's it's, but it's a fantastic organization.

spk_1:   13:26
Well, I'd love to hear about your role in responsibilities and how this opportunity came about.

spk_0:   13:32
Yeah, So the Consumer Technology Association is a group that is so focused on its members and helping its members succeed. Not only and yes, it puts on CIA artist ratio in the world. That actually gives you the ability to expose yourself in your product, too. I don't know, on average, 180,000 people who attend that show, Um, but more importantly, even behind the scenes, they haven't won almost unbelievable mentoring programs where they put someone who's more senior with a potential start up, give them some direction. As part of that membership, it gives you the ability to get involved in your different category and draft policy and procedure or put together the draft for policy and procedure that ends up going in front of government and get sometimes accepted into everyday life. So, for example, they do a form every year for a policy and procedure. Last forum. If I remember correctly, they were to help setting up What is the drone policy and procedure look like? What is that? Privacy? With the state of California putting down their rules on how we were gonna become so much more diligent in regards to privacy, how do we set up a standard so the rest of the tech world can follow it and meet the needs not only for the business but for government with austere itself? I was very much entangled in this whole trade war by my side the entire way, supportive of me, helping me, teaching me things that I would have never known to be able to put my goods on a list to try to work with the government so I could have an exception, just all of those things where this organization rallies around their members and taking care of them.

spk_1:   15:11
So

spk_0:   15:11
with being a member on the executive board, it is our I think our duty and goal to continue to work with C T H a toe, create new programs, and to create me focus is to make sure that all of those members are a part of it are really being taken care of and helping their business advance to the next level. So that's one piece of it that I would say is pretty spectacular. Ah, the other piece that I think is very unique about P. T. A. Is they will put you in touch with your congressman. They I have sat in my House of Representatives office fighting for the causes that are right for my business. Though they are great. There's a exceptional lobbyists that are part of the C t. A group who obviously are on the hill every day driving those messages for us. They know how important it is to put you as the business owner in front of your representative, to talk about what's important and to move the needle in the right way. So some of those things that they have done single handedly for the business has just been unbelievable. Um, and so the executive board helps give that direction continue to that focus and moving forward, and it's really a humbling but honoring position to be in in our industry. I was lucky. I somebody introduced me to the c t A group. I got involved. It's all volunteer, but I felt right and through that and through my efforts, slowly but surely I've been moving from have individual councils. Um Thio. I was on the board of industry leaders for a while, and then just this last year, they asked me to be on executive board member.

spk_1:   16:39
That's amazing. I had no idea that they offered those levels of support to businesses and critical ones. You know, that can save yourself so much time and trialling error, and especially when it comes to the government. And oh, I can't even imagine not not knowing what you don't know and trying to tackle their attics.

spk_0:   17:01
Correct? I think the other special thing about them two is, um, you know, here's a group of people that I would say Isn't it always on the cutting edge of trying to be different and trying to move the ball forward in ways that most businesses or not, um, so give you good example the committee, the board decided to take some of the funds and put together a $10 million fund that actually supports diverse and inclusive type of LPs that put money towards companies that have that type of diversity leadership in the roles of these, you know, executive. So we got to interview I don't know about 60 70 funds over the last year and so far have placed about $5 million of that 10 million with these funds who were driving that focused. If you do the homework in the research, about 2% of the funny money out there if we're lucky, goes to different companies that that diversity were inclusivity is literally the priority for that company. So the fact that it's so small and the fact that CPS making movement forward to be able to kind of change that narrative pretty impressive from a group

spk_1:   18:11
yeah, that's a musical. Yeah, that's amazing. Congratulations. So your resume obviously, is quite impressive, and I think it's also essential to highlight you have received awards over the years for volunteering and, you know, even guarding that. The CT association is volunteer, but also for your pioneering efforts in consumer electronics industry. Talk about the value that you gain from volunteering and your involvement in the industry organizations. Because, you know, a lot of people come up with excuses like hot. You know, I'm exhausted. I have so much to do. How could I ever volunteer? You know, I can't even go to this networking thing, help it'll the audience understand the values and the priority one should have in taking the time to volunteer to get involved up with key organizations that are meaningful to them that also aligned to their career.

spk_0:   19:08
Yeah. Oh, so many points to this one. I

spk_1:   19:11
would say

spk_0:   19:12
selfishly first, the reason why it is so important to me. And I was very lucky. I

spk_1:   19:18
have some

spk_0:   19:19
of the most unbelievable people who were mentors to me, who volunteered their time to make sure that I went down the right path that I'm such a big believer in. If somebody afford to do that opportunity, it is just a cz much of responsibility to do this thing. So that's kind of number one, and just the value that I get out of it and how it makes me feel is worth everything. So but that's my selfish reason for

spk_1:   19:48
doing

spk_0:   19:48
it. Why? I think it is critical, Um, especially in an industry that tends to be very male dominated is that sometimes if you were in a position where you're fortunate to be able to grow and are given the opportunity to do well and become somebody that others look at for you to be able to break that down and say, Here's exactly what I did It wasn't really even that complicated,

spk_1:   20:14
but

spk_0:   20:15
this was my focus. Here's where I went. I found my passion from there. I surrounded myself with other people with the same passion, and together we kind of created our own little village to build and to do it, you know, that you lose nothing, and that's a narrow. If anything, you bring smarter, more different thoughts to the table that I think are very critical in a business that has changed. So consumer electronics, which was traditional hardware, has shifted into consumer attack. I think the you know that if you look at the demographic of whose purchasing

spk_1:   20:47
consumer

spk_0:   20:48
tech, it actually scales more towards women than it

spk_1:   20:51
does to

spk_0:   20:51
men. And so if you don't have women at the table with the thought process to be ableto address their customer in the needs of the customer.

spk_1:   20:58
You're

spk_0:   20:59
really not going to get the full scope of what could happen to the economy by providing that so in in giving back and really kind of opening, opening up to say much like even what we do. A target Pat. Here's the mistakes that I made. If I could do things differently, here's what I would do differently, you know, learned for me take advantage of that long term. It gives back to the overall business. And when I say business, I don't mean my personal business or their personal business to the industry,

spk_1:   21:25
right.

spk_0:   21:26
And the more that the industry moves forward and the more that the industry is successful, I think we as a consumer benefit. So I know it's a tiny little part to make that whole massive wheel move forward. But I truly do believe that is what happens. And so the more of us that do that, the faster the wheel goes faster, technology moves forward to the betterment of our lives and ourselves and our families, and that's where it just comes down to I don't know how you couldn't

spk_1:   21:53
write.

spk_0:   21:53
It's weird to me. That's that's 23 Networking is unbelievable.

spk_1:   21:58
Some

spk_0:   21:58
of the best opportunities I've had have come from these different interactions where it was strictly done, you know, authentically. And from that somebody you know became became more than just, I think introduction. They went from an acquaintance to a friend, And I've had people take such good care of me because of the fact that hey, you know, you did this. Really? Let me let me introduce you to this person or hate knowing more about you. Let me put you in this situation and those circles, no matter how hard you work and how hard you fight to, kind of get more out of it, you will never be put into that situation If you're not in that situation where you're networking and and moving that forward and those air those some of those situations to your point. It was never part of my job. It was never something that you know. It was in addition, but I just got so much out of it and found that it really put me in a different level for my career.

spk_1:   22:53
That's great. Yeah, I and networking is one of the most essential thing that I think women tend to sometimes not be is proactive because they're, you know, after work. They're involved with the responsibilities of the kids in the home or trying to keep up with, you know, the the current workload. So that is one thing that I try to emphasize in these podcasts is the value and benefits that you can get from networking. So for our listeners out there that may not be sure if they want to get involved in business to consumer or two business business space. What if ice would you give them,

spk_0:   23:32
like in the fact that they want to get involved

spk_1:   23:34
and kind

spk_0:   23:34
of what, your first step?

spk_1:   23:36
Yeah, I mean, so you primarily been in business to consumer, and I think business to business is a little harder of a cell. I don't know if you agree or disagree with that.

spk_0:   23:48
I think it depends so business. So I actually think that I think it might be the opposite. I think business consumers harder because if you don't understand what the customer wants and that end user who is, by the way, putting money down on the table to be able to purchase your product or your service, you literally you're gonna be in a situation where you won't get traction. And without that traction, you don't survive in a business to business environment because it is still kind of business oriented. You get to interact with other people who are much more sympathetic to the fact that you are driving a business because you're working with other business owners. So, um, I actually think it's the opposite. But either way, right, you have to know, what is it that you're trying to solve? So in a business, consumer, environment, business, consumer, environment or business, the business environment, you have to know whatever it is the person that you're interacting with literally would want. And in turn, can you create something that gives them the ability to make their life better

spk_1:   24:46
by

spk_0:   24:46
interacting with it or by purchasing it. If that's if you can get that part done first and really understand, put yourself in the shoes of that end user

spk_1:   24:57
right

spk_0:   24:57
then I think you have a good movement to figure out. Well, what are the next step from one to the

spk_1:   25:02
right, Right? Well, that that's a wonderful perspective. And I appreciate you sharing your view and something that I could always learn from. So as a woman, obviously, we were trying to have this show to expose women and technology. Women in business. Is there more room or opportunities in the B to be space for women or B to C space?

spk_0:   25:25
0 100%

spk_1:   25:26
yes.

spk_0:   25:27
Goes much back to the concept that I was talking about earlier. It, uh, if you're creating a product, the not only is the person who's right now with the purchasing power of female, in some cases it always is the consumer case. Even in a perfect world, if it was 50 50 50% of that, you know, consumers male and 50% of that consumers female, you need tohave. That's somewhat same balance at the table. Who's talking about how do I speak to that person? What is it that we're creating for them? What is it that they're going to need to see? How can we have more value in order to stay relevant versus just being kind of like a one product hit How do you move those things for? Those balances are critical, and if you don't have that thought process at the table, it makes it very hard. So I would say I am seeing more and more. It's very encouraging to me. I'm seeing more and more companies bring that diversity and inclusiveness to the table, and the ones that do tend to have the companies that actually go faster. And what I mean by that is they tend to be more successful faster. They tend to be much more innovative and where it's headed and where it's going to cause it's a good balance. You know, I know everyone's like, you know, yea women.

spk_1:   26:35
But here's

spk_0:   26:37
my thing. If we flip it all the way towards the other side of the pendulum, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're gonna actually not be a successful either.

spk_1:   26:45
It's

spk_0:   26:45
really this balance and bringing that balance to the table. That's really critical to me.

spk_1:   26:50
I completely agree in studies that I've read the value of bringing women, uh, did their voice, their opinions, understanding the customer's understanding, product development. It's essential because it's just an added value that a lot of businesses haven't had because they've had a narrow perspective,

spk_0:   27:07
and I feel bad for sometimes for the businesses. I don't know if it's barely been by choice. Some of the time. There hasn't been the educated field in the you know in that business to be able to take advantage of that, you

spk_1:   27:18
know what I mean? So

spk_0:   27:19
it sometimes it's not even during, like, the business situation. It's even going back further to colleges and universities, high school elementary schools. What are we exposing ourselves to and from that? Do you feel comfortable to be able to give it a shot text? Not easy. You have to know your stuff. I show up into a room and I talked the talk, and I think people look at me sometimes like, how do you know

spk_1:   27:43
that?

spk_0:   27:43
It's like, um, cousins, my job,

spk_1:   27:46
right?

spk_0:   27:47
It's just it's Sometimes it's that perception and you just kind of, you know, work through it and their stuff, and not some of the respect you get to, uh, in the business for

spk_1:   27:54
sure. So you touched on college just for a sec. So the cost of higher education has grown so much over the years and when you're looking at hiring someone out of college or someone for a mid level role, what kind of things matter to you? Do specific schools matter like where they studied? Doesn't matter if they have a master's degree.

spk_0:   28:13
No, not at all. I think there's a couple things you learn in school. I'm a big believer in this because I feel like this is what happened today. I teased all the time I went through high school and I was the best regurgitation

spk_1:   28:26
type of

spk_0:   28:26
person for statistics and fax. You could be on. Then I got to college and I actually had to learn howto think on the minute I got to learn howto think. I think it changed my perspective on everything that I did that made me successful. Now, whether or not that is done at a higher you know, higher ranked college or university, um, I don't you know, to me, it's where if you go to school and you engage, what higher learning it must bring for you to the table. You will actually have that thought process of learning how to think kind of start off a career. So, um, I am a big believer that I also think, interestingly enough, and that they were doing a much major, Very, What's the word I'm looking for? There's a major push around. There are so many jobs out there right now that we can't even fulfill that are really based on what I would call, um, simple execution type of rules. Uh, let me get a good example. We have integrators where there are thousands of jobs out there. I have a gentleman who just became the president of a company. He is looking to put together a huge integrated base where they will literally can go into your home, help you set up any type of cut Elektronik situation that you

spk_1:   29:37
need

spk_0:   29:37
and do it in a way where it's very easy to get that person you know to figure out who's the good match. Come to your home when you needem, etcetera. He can't even fill all the jobs because nobody's out there teaching that vocational type of skill to somebody. And by the way, we've not done a good job. And I think America saying that that's okay. That's okay, job. I think we have gone such the opposite end of go to university, go to

spk_1:   30:00
college,

spk_0:   30:01
get a degree, right that everyone is like,

spk_1:   30:03
Okay,

spk_0:   30:04
I've done that. And now you really

spk_1:   30:05
look at what's going

spk_0:   30:06
on and all these kids who spent money that they may not ever get out of debt.

spk_1:   30:11
I know,

spk_0:   30:12
like, great. I'm here. I follow direction. Now look where I

spk_1:   30:15
am now.

spk_0:   30:16
What do I D'oh!

spk_1:   30:16
Totally agree. And I have one daughter in college than one software in high school. So I mean, this is very on my mind, like, what is the value and what school classes should they be taking to really prepare themselves? You know, and not every kid is meant for, You know, higher ed. Maybe it's a trade school, so I think we really need to take a look. But I mean again, that's kind of a whole different conversation, But it's important. I think the message that I would liketo have people take away from this is is it comes down to not just the you having a masters like if you don't have a masters, don't think it eliminates you from opportunities. If you didn't graduate from a particular college, don't think that that inhibits you from going after a career path because it's more about, I think guts and determination and, you know, life skills and solution skills that help Dr Someone's success.

spk_0:   31:22
100. I don't have a masters,

spk_1:   31:24
right?

spk_0:   31:24
Like I went to school, I got my, uh, you know, bachelor of Arts and Boom started working, and I though I am very grateful the school I went to and I say it all the time to talk truly taught me how to think, which I

spk_1:   31:36
think has

spk_0:   31:36
changed completely. My perspective, Um, I could have gotten that. I believe I could have gotten that anywhere, that I decided to go and get a higher education. But that also doesn't mean they're, you know, just because I've got a net higher education doesn't mean today is like, I would even have the ability to get a job at a school, no matter what I learned. Where again, if you look at it from a vocational standpoint, right now, there's not enough people going through that vocational training to fulfill all the jobs that are needed, which is insane to me right now. Like so how do you restructure to be able to set that up for somebody so they can work right away. They can get those that on hand experience. Maybe they even then go back to school after that. Like I feel like that. I wish someone had taught me or it would have been acceptable toe work before going to school.

spk_1:   32:24
I think I

spk_0:   32:24
would even gotten more out of it because I would have been able to say, Oh, I had this personal experience. You're teaching me this concept, But I've lived

spk_1:   32:32
right,

spk_0:   32:32
And I think once you do that, the way that you attach and learn is just it's 10 times greater. And if you're just reading it out of a textbook,

spk_1:   32:40
I definitely agree. And I love the comment that you made about your dad actually encouraging you to slow down and get some right work experience. I think that is a tremendous gift that he gave you. Yes, I would

spk_0:   32:53
agree with you.

spk_1:   32:54
Okay, so you've touched on the mentors that you've had in your life. So for some of our listeners that are just wanting and hungry for mentors, but not sure of how to go about getting them what advice would you give someone

spk_0:   33:08
So if we want to go back to that networking situation we

spk_1:   33:11
were

spk_0:   33:11
talking about earlier and why that's a critical, I would say half of the people that I've ever been a mentor mentee with have come from those networking situations 100%. Ah, the other half has probably been for people that I've worked for That though they may have been my boss or my bosses, but they still our relationship was very mentor Mentee related. Then it waas, you know, you work for me. Um, because again, I was constantly asking questions. I was costly. How would you do this? How did you come across this situation? Like? Just wanted to be that sponge to observe our absorb everything that they have lived through. And I think every time I put myself in that situation and mind space for the focus on teach me more teach more their relationship with me change to where they were much more open, much more willing to kind of have that mentor conversation versus you work for me, Do your job

spk_1:   34:06
totally makes sense. I mean, I think some people actually are flattered that okay, here's someone that really cares about growing and learning and is inquisitive, and it makes them stop and appreciate the knowledge. You know, the best way to learn is being a teacher, and so I'm sure it adds value to them as well.

spk_0:   34:27
I completely great. I want to help somebody more. The more questions I get asked, the

spk_1:   34:32
more I want to

spk_0:   34:33
help you,

spk_1:   34:33
right?

spk_0:   34:34
It's amazing how that works.

spk_1:   34:37
So when it comes to working, what is the best piece of advice you've ever received? If you could, um,

spk_0:   34:44
yeah, I know there's there's a couple I would say, the one that I think it's with me the most that I learned relatively quickly in my career is hire people smarter. Better? Um, you know, use me to surround yourself with people who are outstanding and are not necessarily you or your skill set. Right? So the more you do that, the more successful you be. I could be one of the coolest things books and or things that we kind of learned and did over the years is there's this book, a little old school now, but it's called Now discover your strength and you know you take a little test and it shows you what your top five strengths are, which is great. But from there, really, the crux of that whole philosophy is great. Now you know your five strength and howto work with them, and you can learn about other strengths and learn how to work with them. But the best teams in the world take those strengths, which is there, about 33 to 35 of them, and you build a team where the strength lives in every individual. So you find, like you know, different people to cover those different strengths. And when you have your teen, every one of those strengths. But the best for business is covered by somebody and what they love to do with their passionate about. You know, the minute you hire a bunch of people like yourself is the minute that you're probably gonna fail because you all will support each other based on that philosophy and won't think about things from the other side of the fence. You won't put yourself in somebody else's shoes you want think outside of the box because it's not built necessarily into your strength.

spk_1:   36:15
So

spk_0:   36:16
that's probably one of the biggest, um, that I've ever gone through the other one, too, is the whole concept of servant leadership versus being the leader. I was kind of put into a leadership role very, very quickly when I went to go work in fashion wherever the 21 year old, managing like the first job I ever had, was in China and Crystal. So everybody who was on the sales floor, it was all over 50 and I was 21. And so who's this 21 year old tongue kid

spk_1:   36:45
is

spk_0:   36:45
gonna tell me what to do, and so it very much taught me how to do more of this. Well, I'm not gonna tell you what to do. Let's figure it out together. How can I help you overcome what it is you already know how to do? Well, I'll kind of get those roadblocks out of the way and that cool kind of servants leadership mentality. Um, I still keep that today I learned more. When I do that, too. I think I get more about what's going on with the business so I can make the right decisions for the business just because the people again, and if you hiring you hire smart was around you. They know what to d'oh.

spk_1:   37:15
You're

spk_0:   37:16
just there to help them remove roadblocks and go as fast as possible.

spk_1:   37:21
That's great. Would have been some of the biggest challenges that you've faced in the in your career.

spk_0:   37:27
I would say the hardest one for me is that, um I had always wanted a family. It was never an option, not toe have a family. And as my career was continuing to grow, and I was continuing to, you know, move higher up, I guess on the ladder we very much struggled to have kids, uh, to the point that I actually had to remove myself from Monster for about a year and 1/2 and not trouble like a crazy person today. Local and really focus on, you know, starting a family. And what was scary to me was Oh, my God. Like what's gonna happen to my career if I do that? Is it just gonna stop? Is it gonna go? Um, I gonna fall off the radar. We're not gonna be important. Like what I've been building for so long. And, you know, you build in your mind like the worst case scenario on and chronically what I did ended up being one of not only did we start a family, which was the number one goal. Um,

spk_1:   38:27
but more importantly, I put

spk_0:   38:29
myself in a different situation where I learned from others where I met other people that again was probably one of the best decisions I made for my career. Um, but it was out of, you know, I would have never that money on the fact that that would have been a good thing, I was definitely afraid that it was gonna ruin everything. So, um, sometimes you just have to kind of go do it, and you will always figure it out. And I think unfortunately, humans are very good at psyching themselves out on why It's a horrible thing to Dio. And so I think, out of everything in my career, and I would say most thing been very fortunate in that good, bad or indifferent, my career has been pretty steady. To me, that was the scariest thing and biggest challenge we've ever faced.

spk_1:   39:15
I mean, it was

spk_0:   39:15
living in my husband's like if you can't change what your focus is, it's either me or your job type of thing, right? Like we talked about it. We wanna have a family if you're that afraid that it's gonna ruin your career than you're not in the right space.

spk_1:   39:29
Second thing,

spk_0:   39:30
to have Children and to be in our relationship. And it was tough. I really

spk_1:   39:33
has a look

spk_0:   39:33
and be like, Okay,

spk_1:   39:34
what

spk_0:   39:35
is it that I really want?

spk_1:   39:36
That is a really fear that many women faced. And I think today we're doing a better job of talking about it, or even scene and recognizing other women like yourself, who had that fear and still has gone on to not only raise a beautiful family but come back and have a very successful career. So you're modeling what in the past maybe didn't exist. So it's wonderful to share these stories to give other people, you know, examples as well as inspiration as well as you know, the permission to have those fears. Yeah, I agree.

spk_0:   40:19
Um, but I also think, too, that if you again surround yourself with the right

spk_1:   40:25
people, surround

spk_0:   40:26
yourself in the right environment. You will always long term, uh, be okay.

spk_1:   40:32
Yeah,

spk_0:   40:32
but sometimes when you're in it, it's very, very hard to see that.

spk_1:   40:35
So what are some essential qualities that you look for when you're hiring someone? So I know their roles specific qualifications. But if you had core qualities in a person, what with those, you

spk_0:   40:46
can always teach somebody to do a certain job. It's the personality. It is the, um, kind of like the spirit, the passion, the excitement. When you're talking somebody, you can tell whether they're a positive person or not, right,

spk_1:   41:04
you

spk_0:   41:04
know, so to me, it's like, ew interview somebody. Do they seem like they are good people on top of the good people? Are they positive? Is the glass kinda, you know, always half full in the sense that sure there's challenges sometime, but you can always solve your problem. You can always focus on getting to the next level. If you if you can find somebody with the right attitude again, you could teach anybody how to do

spk_1:   41:27
a job. Anything yet, Totally go. Yeah. Um, so tech is moving so fast and prevalent in every industry, Really. I mean, I can't think of anyone industry, really, it doesn't touch and, you know, with a I coming on the book Where's tech skills are essential for someone to have. I mean again. I know that, you know, specifics related toe the roles, but overall related to what? Someone's attitude with someone. Skills.

spk_0:   42:03
Well, so here's what's funny, right? You would have thought tact, coding if I want to be. You know, in this business, I need to be an engineer trained person who knows how to code

spk_1:   42:12
right. And

spk_0:   42:13
that's been, I think, a very strong statement for the last 10 15 years. I was literally met with somebody last week that there's now new technology where you don't even

spk_1:   42:22
need

spk_0:   42:22
to know how to code, and you can still build a software platform as an example.

spk_1:   42:28
That's

spk_0:   42:28
how fast it's changing. So again, you're like, well, to be in tech. What is it you know, What is it that you need? What does that look like? I I think it's really more about again. How are you solving somebody's problem? What is it that the you know, consumer needs? Or what is it that a different business needs in order to be able to move themselves forward and be in a good situation and then leveraging tack to help with that. So as a good example will go back to CS and and use that CS because has become the largest platform right now. Four brands that you would never get right. So Delta was the keynote at sea? Yes. In that keynote, the CEO talked about what they're doing with technology in order to make the consumers experience better. And why is it that you want to be loyal to Delta over every other brand and the technology again, they will go find the technology based on what it is the consumer need. So one of the cool things they showed us if they're looking at a panel platform where when I look at the screen, it's just talking to me. But when you're looking at the same screen, it's just talking to you. Yet we're staring at the same screen, and it knows who you are. It

spk_1:   43:38
was

spk_0:   43:38
a personalized experience, and it's you know so again there's a ton of tech that goes behind that to make that happen. Actually, it's almost like it's a magic, to be honest with you. When

spk_1:   43:49
someone tells

spk_0:   43:49
you about that, you're like

spk_1:   43:50
OK, says Magic.

spk_0:   43:51
There's no how does that happen. But again, you can always go find the tech belt is not necessarily a tech company, but they understand the importance of technology in order to be able to move the experience forward. That, to me, is what's critical in the whole scenario. That's kind of number one. Number two. If there is something about the tech industry that that interests you or you think would help move you in the right direction, such as a I as an example, you do all of the research and homework possible to make yourself. I wouldn't necessarily say expert, but to make yourself savvy in that part of the business so you can talk to it, You can network. You can meet other people to bring the right, you know, qualities together in order for you to be able to move your business forward. If that's what you believe, yet you need as part of your model, right? So, um, again, I think it's changing until fast, like you again with this. No coding thing made me laugh. I was trying to just really make my daughter toe like science and math,

spk_1:   44:48
which I think

spk_0:   44:48
she's okay, which is

spk_1:   44:50
great But

spk_0:   44:50
more importantly, if she could go out of school and create something without coating at all, that's gonna give herself the ability to create a nap. Like, Why would you put them through that process? If that's antiquated,

spk_1:   45:02
right?

spk_0:   45:03
Right. And it's just it's amazing how fast it's movie that you kind of have to be in the middle of it to know,

spk_1:   45:09
yes, this fascinating time. So I I think it's thrilling. I think it's just gonna be amazing to see what our Children lives look like. Agreed. What drives you to be successful? What is your Why?

spk_0:   45:24
I would say my number one changed over the earth. Um, but I would say right now my why is provide not only providing for my family but being that force for my daughters to be ableto have a better opportunity than I even did. And, um, just by being a female in a very male dominated industry and changing the narrative on that. So if that is where they wanted to go, it's just that much easier for them. That is the number one thing. Um, for me, that's important. I would say the second thing is, um, very much have come to love. You know, I have this business in this business takes care of families in these other families and giving them that opportunity and and being in a position to do that rewarding I never thought it would be as rewarding as it is is really cool to be able to create something that someone could be a part of. And it not only gives them passion for their career, but it allows them, you know, to be successful for their families.

spk_1:   46:34
That's great. And that really answers my next question like, What do you enjoy most about your job? It sounds like what you provide your business is the opportunity for growth. And so, yeah, helmet

spk_0:   46:48
agreed, Uh, also, uh, the fact that I am so much a believer and mentoring and giving back that way to the fact that if I can take somebody and make them unbelievably successful two, then 100% I have done my job, and it just makes me so happy to watch people grow.

spk_1:   47:07
Uh, I knew you would be perfect for this show. This is awesome. All right, Couple more questions. If you could tell your 2020 year old self. One thing. What would it be? Breathe. Um,

spk_0:   47:20
take on what I mean by breathing. It's really that advice my dad gave me, but at the time, I kind of like whatever. Okay, I'll do it too. I wish I had breathed a little bit more. I thought I had breed more. I would have been a freaked out about creating the family. We're now you kind of look back. You're like, Oh, my God. I can't even believe that was like, such a drama time for me in my career, right? Sometimes breathing, taking time for yourself. But more importantly, the self reflection and it is okay to pause. It is OK to think through what it is you're gonna D'oh! If you were motivated and your passion is correct, you will always find your true

spk_1:   47:58
North 100%. I totally agree. Where do you see yourself in five years?

spk_0:   48:07
Well, um, continuing to grow my business is I I very much a passion for working,

spk_1:   48:15
and

spk_0:   48:15
so I definitely see myself continuing to work. I probably see myself doing even more of a focus is on board advisory boards, you know, regular board leadership in order to move other companies forward as well. Um, and right about five years as well, when my eldest will graduate from high school and hoping that we've done a good job as parents and setting her on her, you know, really, that the start of that huge journey beyond, you know, living with your parents are living at home. So hopefully I can still be her cheerleader right by her side and, you know, pointed in the right direction. But let her go and grow.

spk_1:   48:58
That's awesome. Last question. Do you have any good business or career books or podcast that you love that you might recommend?

spk_0:   49:07
Um, so I do here, I'm gonna, like, lose girl over here and give you some of my favorite books that I have saved. So I mentioned Now discover your strength or strength Finders kind. I think the new version of it, um absolutely love that whole philosophy. And what What? They're behind it, What it stands for. Um, so that's kind of number one. Number two. There was a couple books that I read about, you know, kind of having a seat at the table, and I there's quite a few different books about women and having that seat at the table. And what? That what that means

spk_1:   49:39
and how

spk_0:   49:39
to how to take it, not take advantage of it, but more importantly, how to leverage it for the betterment of the everybody. There's a couple different books out there, and, uh, one of them might have you been been seat at the table. Um, female seat at the table is what I think it was called. I will say from a mentoring standpoint, lean in, and reading that book originally was also pretty meaningful for me. I was part of a Women in Consumer Technology Group, and the lean in book actually

spk_1:   50:06
ended up creating

spk_0:   50:07
a major mentoring program that we built behind it for about 50 women within the organization that once a month got to be part of ah, mentoring program. Because of that book,

spk_1:   50:17
that was a wonderful book. I read that

spk_0:   50:20
it was, and then, um, on the podcast side, you know how I built. This is absolutely one of my

spk_1:   50:25
favorites.

spk_0:   50:26
Just such good storytelling. I absolutely love it. It's good to hear other entrepreneurs who literally, you know, slugged it out. Some of the things they learned and what's important to them. And, you know, maybe even incorporating some of that education into your own kind of business. It's probably my favorite, Uh, and then I have, uh, United States, who is part of that balance and breathing. One of my other favorite podcast selfishly, is common spy celebs, not because it has anything to do with my business at all, but it is a good break in a good hour of laughter. Pop culture, which really kind of sometimes comes back to your business because if you understand what's going on the market and what you know, what is driving a lot of pop culture,

spk_1:   51:05
right? Well, those

spk_0:   51:06
that you can actually bring back into your business for the betterment of your consumer so much as it's my guilty pleasure.

spk_1:   51:12
Every once in a

spk_0:   51:13
while, there's

spk_1:   51:13
some

spk_0:   51:13
great concept that they talk about that. It's like okay, and minimalism is important right now. I can see that from everything that's happening on the runway and what's going on at home that maybe I should be incorporating that into my business so you

spk_1:   51:26
could learn

spk_0:   51:26
from everywhere. But it's definitely my guilty passion for sure.

spk_1:   51:30
Well, thank you. This has been so great having you on the show. I enjoyed it so much. Um, where can someone learn more about you?

spk_0:   51:38
That's a good question. I was, say, Lincoln is probably your best point units. Just Deena Ghazarian. Um, that's troubling. Number one, number two If you go to austere dot com www dot dot com There's a lot of great information not only on the brand through our press and news page, but some different information, I guess about me and some of the stuff we did to start up, which I'm happy to have people learn about. And, you know, if you have a passion for something and want to create a business, I am here to help.

spk_1:   52:09
So I'm

spk_0:   52:10
sharing that knowledge. And helping someone along is absolutely something I again, as I mentioned earlier, very motivating me.

spk_1:   52:18
Thank you so much.

spk_0:   52:20
Thank you. Marry, it was great to speak with you today.

spk_1:   52:26
Thanks for listening to the episode today. It was really fun chatting with my guest. If you like their show, please like it and share it with your friends. If you want to learn what we're up to please go check out our website at to be bolder dot com. That's the number two little be bolder dot com.