sexiness of the small — the small campaign , the small product test . Test and learn , and look for those patterns until you feel that you have enough data points before you go all in on the investment or all in on your time . I learned that the hard way because it worked out , but it took me a lot longer and it was a lot more expensive !
Pulse : You have pointed to a moment early in your career when you left your job after being passed over for a promotion as the starting point for your current path . What did you learn from that experience ? ERIN KING : When I made that big jump from having a corporate job to starting my own company , I called the company Jump Digital Media because I just leapt off the cliff . They say entrepreneurs are people that jump out of the plane and build the parachute on the way down — that ’ s an awful idea ! If I could go back and talk to my 25-year-old self , I ’ d say , “ Hey , maybe start a side hustle slowly and test your business model and build it up over time .” Not everything has to be this dramatic moment of ripping off the band-aid and going all in . It took me two more rounds of companies before I had a profitable business .
What I really learned from that big jump was the beauty of “ test-and-learn ,” the beauty of small concepts . Try one product , not the whole line . Try one social media strategy , don ’ t revamp the entire thing across six platforms . Ask , “ Is this provable ? Is this profitable ? Is this a positive impact for me , my team , my customers ?” Yes , we have to think big , but when it comes to how we execute , make sure to honor the
P : One of your Knowledge Builder Sessions at Conference is subtitled “ How to Lead with Audacity .” Have the last couple of years had an impact on our willingness to set “ audacious ” goals ? K : In the last few years , everything got really small : Our physical spaces got small , our ability to plan got small , our expectations got small , the information that we used to make decisions got small . It ’ s almost like life became so ordinary that a lot of us forgot that we desire an extraordinary life , that we actually seek big hopes and big dreams . I think what ’ s happened is that it ’ s very hard to survive and dream at the same time , and we ’ ve been in survival mode for so long that we ’ ve forgotten that we desire big dreams and that we have big goals . It made us start to challenge our decision-making capabilities with even the most basic everyday tasks , let alone big decisions around business and strategy and products and customer experience .
The reason I chose the word “ audacious ”— the word is a little controversial — is because I know from my experience running my different companies that almost every time I went and did something when everyone was stamping it and retweeting it and saying , “ Good job ,” it ended up being kind of a “ meh ” outcome . So , I feel like the more pushback I get , [ it ] tends to be an indicator to me that I ’ m on the right track . The truth is sometimes , [ if you ’ re ] doing something truly brave , truly new , not everyone is going to say , “ Go girl ,” they ’ re going to say , “ No , girl !” How you process that feedback and how you choose to have unapologetic ambition and chase down what you know is [ right ] for you is the big differentiator between those who just talk about it and those that actually live it .
“… it ’ s very hard to survive and dream at the same time ,
and we ’ ve been in survival mode for so long that we ’ ve forgotten that we desire big dreams and that we have big goals .”
MAY / JUNE 2022 • PULSE 17