Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jen Girardi, Owner of Alto Marketing + Management, located in Whistler, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Alto Marketing + Management is an agency that provides marketing, production, and athlete management services. We focus on working with brands connected to the outdoor industry and action sports.
Tell us about yourself
I started working in marketing as a snowboard athlete representing brands. Seeing how the marketing teams worked behind the scenes inspired me to work in the field, and I had some great team managers along the way that gave me opportunities to learn. I made the leap to start my business after having a hard time finding the right role. I went through a tough job search experience interviewing with some of my dream brands for dream roles and making it to the final rounds without success. It takes a lot of energy to do three, four, or sometimes five rounds of interviews with presentations and projects without receiving an offer.
I learned from every conversation and embraced this experience as it showed me I was capable and lit a fire in me. I had the skills, experience, education, connections, and drive to do this work. I just needed to create my own seat at the table. Once I made the commitment to running my business full-time, things grew quickly. I am grateful to have the opportunity to do work that I am passionate about and fulfilled by. Every day is different and poses new opportunities and challenges to solve. I am motivated to create opportunities for my clients and see results.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Every time I see my clients succeed is exciting. Still, my biggest accomplishment was helping one of my athletes, Sandy Ward, secure a global ambassador sponsorship and funding for her personal project, Slides on the Mountain, from Arc'teryx. Her passion for chasing her dreams and supporting her community inspires me. I am grateful that we have continued to lock in additional opportunities, and I am so stoked to see her get the recognition and support she deserves.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is the behind-the-scenes aspects of setting up and running the business correctly. Invoicing, accounting, and keeping the books balanced! All very important tasks. I am thankful for a great accounting and bookkeeping team supporting me. I've focused on working with my strengths and outsourcing my weaknesses. This has proven to be a very good decision that has allowed me to scale my business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make a plan before you start.
- Know what your growth plans are and how you are going to achieve your goals.
- Start today. Time continues to move forward with or without us.
Where can people find you and your business?
Instagram (Business): https://www.instagram.com/alto_mgmt/
Instagram (Personal): https://www.instagram.com/mrsjengirardi/
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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