Around this time a month ago, the Arkansas Fellows at Collective Bias invited other Fellows from across the state to our corporate headquarters in Rogers, AR. Collective Bias, an Inmar Company, was the first company to break into the influencer marketing space.
We were also one of the first host companies to welcome an Arkansas Fellow, and we’ve continued to hire Fellows every year since 2014. Entering into that kind of legacy a year ago gave me a stronger sense of identity as an Arkansas Fellow, and in the last year, I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues and mentors at Collective Bias.
I wanted to share some of that with other Fellows, so we took seats in a conference room and listened to Managers, Directors and a Vice President share their wisdom. One of the speakers was not only a leader within the company, but a former Arkansas Fellow herself–Erin Gilbrech.
Leaders talked about what they saw as the keys to success, both within companies and with individual ventures. Career and life advice was heaped onto our plates in true Southern fashion.
Growth Comes in Small Moments
Erin Gilbrech, a Media Operations Manager, talked about the value of the Fellowship and of the hidden extra time within each day. She told us to take advantage of all the events and experiences the Fellowship has to offer; she still misses those opportunities now. She also reminded us that each spare moment in a day is an opportunity for growth. If at any point you find yourself feeling aimless, take that moment to learn something new.
Data Makes Every Business Better
Brent Snyder, a Director of Analytics at Collective Bias, preached the analytics gospel and walked through just some of the ways we use social and POS data to inform smarter and more effective marketing campaigns at Collective Bias. He also acted as a sounding board for one of the Arkansas Fellows, an analyst at another Arkansas company trying to measure the efficacy of marketing tactics at his own company.
Success Requires a Sales Mentality
Justin Boyd, our Director of Finance, moved beyond the numbers to talk mentality (after brief discussion of cash flow). The son and son-in-law of two entrepreneurs, Justin shared some advice from his family’s experience owning two small businesses. His biggest takeaway: to run a successful business, you have to always be selling.
Dont. Stop. Learning.
Finally, our Vice President of Platform Products shared his side-hustle experience and advised Fellows how to continue developing themselves outside work. Joe Murphy started his own photobooth company when he was planning his wedding and other vendors were too expensive. A few years and dozens of weddings and corporate events later, he sold his successful side-gig to another local entrepreneur for profit.
In his story, he described a guy with a willingness to teach himself something entirely new–photo booths and digital marketing. His advice to us wasn’t too far off from his own experience: take advantage of the free courses companies like Google and Facebook offer, learn something new and show yourself and future employers you aren’t afraid to learn.
That Friday morning, we learned quite a bit. Then, we talked through our lessons and our lives over cheese fries and games at a local beer garden. A few weeks following our bocce ball and business development, we’ve already begun our quests to learn–whether it be through Facebook Blueprint, Google Analytics or CliftonStrengths.
The Arkansas Fellowship is a unique opportunity; I’m thankful to have it. And I’m excited to see the person and professional I become after another year in this program.