Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in advertising services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gail Robertson, Founder of GailNow, located in Windsor, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Everyone has a unique story. As a Curiosity Influencer and Marketing Strategist, my mission is to help deliver those stories to the world. In particular, I help many in manufacturing show up online and in person at events and trade shows - where incorporating video can help build the know-like-trust factor. Take it from me, a recovering journalist; some stories - potentially even yours - can change the world. My show on YouTube is Curious Minds with GailNow, where I share ideas without prejudice, opinions without criticism, and the philosophy and reasoning behind my most energizing mantra: "Sign Up, Suit Up and SHOW Up." My customers are mostly in manufacturing, but I have helped other leaders also find better ways to tell and share their stories for the greatest impact and for the best ROI.
Tell us about yourself
As Chief Curiosity Officer for GailNow, I credit my start with a belief in changing the world through the power of story. I call myself a "recovering" journalist because I use those skills to ask questions, do original research, and encourage people to tell and share their stories. My childhood wasn't perfect, but thankfully I was curious enough later in life to see that adversity helps you grow and you can also use your story to help others - and to showcase strengths and explore opportunities. Today, people positively take note of my charisma, my energy, and my take-charge approach to life. I also have developed a wonderful network of friends, peers, and acquaintances. It all stems from that one trait that has now become my superpower: Curiosity.
My first career was in journalism. I spent over a decade working at newspapers: The Toronto Star, The St. Catharines Standard, The Hamilton Spectator, and The Windsor Star. I then delved into a few different careers: Bed and Breakfast proprietor, fundraiser, advertising and promotions manager in the fields of insurance and technology - and now, an entrepreneur with my own company GailNow, for which I've given myself the title of CCO - Chief Curiosity Officer. My current goal is to return to my roots as a "recovering journalist" and help people who struggle to have their voices heard and their stories told to get it out there. My strength is in public relations and storytelling. As a curiosity seeker, I also want to uncover stories that may not fall within the mainstream narrative.
Tackling tough, controversial topics and issues sidestepped by the mainstream press is part of that quest. When I attended journalism school, I was taught to question authority, ask hard questions, and get to the crux of the story in the most objective way possible. And my forum to do so is my new YouTube show: Curious Minds with GailNow. I intend to share stories that will hopefully encourage a more open-minded, unbiased, and tolerant approach to our world, something I feel is strongly lacking in today's judgmental times. So every day, I am motivated by curiosity to help change the world for the better.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been helping many in manufacturing Sign Up. Suit Up and #SHOWup. This three-step mantra is now embraced by clients, and it led me to celebrate people on ShowUp with GailNow - which is now transforming into the #CuriousMinds show. Our minds are powerful. A Growth Mindset can indeed help make a better world. I am now making positive changes in the manufacturing world because I am showing the connection between curiosity and innovation. Curiosity is also a powerful tool for change.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is finding time to do the work that needs to get done to run a business and the time needed to explore, reflect, and just have fun. I am blessed to be finding that balance, and it finding the right people to collaborate with can also bring much joy. Likely, time management as part of an overall process is the hardest part of entrepreneurship.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ask for help. Look for people with common values to brainstorm with, to collaborate with, and to toss around ideas with. Learn about them first, and don't ask them for things you can find through a search or reading their online profile and content.
- Contract out work you don't need to do - or that saps your energy.
Hire people to clean your house- do your bookkeeping- and manage your calendar or whatever are things that don't energize you. Decide where your energy is best spent and focus on that.
- Invest time in telling and sharing your story. Find a social media platform you enjoy using and tell and share your story. People want to do business with people they Know - Like - and Trust. So let the world know who you are. "One-to-many" communication vs. only "one-to-one" has great potential. I have met amazing people because of virtual and real-life networking! The magic happens when you connect both.
Where can people find you and your business?
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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