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What I’ve Learned as CEO of a Marketing Agency

As a former newspaper guy, I had a lot to learn about the advertising industry when I bought Smith Kroeger at the beginning of 2019. While I’m used to the responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with positions like CEO, publisher and president, I was excited about diving into a more creative world and finding opportunities to integrate my business expertise. 

Here are a few things I’ve learned since becoming president and CEO of Smith Kroeger.

  • Follow your gut. If your instinct is telling you something, it’s likely for a reason. If something within your organization isn’t working, don’t be afraid to take a new path. You can’t have a fear of making tough choices. Plus it will likely turn out to be well worth it and better for your business in the long run.
  • The ad industry can be demanding. We do the best work possible for our clients – and my teams are consistently going above and beyond here at SK. There is a huge diversity in the work we do, so being the experts in digital media, lead generation, web development, print production, video production, sales strategy and more across a number of verticals is a demanding task we take head-on every day. However, that’s what makes this business exciting. Having a team that enjoys problem-solving and is fulfilled personally and professionally doing great work for our clients are what keeps our momentum strong.
  • When it comes to avoiding burnout, I make sure my teams know that there is never shame in asking for help or advice. It’s okay to find a balance that works for you. Whenever possible, I try to remind them to keep that balance in mind, even though “work-life balance” can be more of a juggle than a balance, especially lately. If that means taking an afternoon off to visit family or a long weekend for a “staycation,” go for it. Our unlimited vacation policy makes all of those things possible – and it’s there to provide that opportunity for rest.

My professional goal has always been to challenge the status quo. When you take the time to look at things from a different perspective, you might be surprised by what you find. 

Read the first installment in this series about how to cultivate leadership during turbulent times and sign up for our newsletter for marketing tips and industry insights.