Welcome to another Women in Tech series. I’m sure you’ve all had a yahoo time during the holidays, but it’s now time to get back to work and continue our journey of meeting some truly creative women.
Working online for the past twenty years has given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people – men and women alike. Eventually I’ll have the pleasure of meeting some of these people, I know. But ultimately, I also know I won’t get the opportunity to meet all of them. Therefore, the beauty of doing this Women in Tech Series is that it’s given me the opportunity to find out what makes them tick, professionally.
When it was time to pick these women, I was looking for a few things, women who are respected in online communities, women who I know from my social footprint and lastly, women that have something of value to offer.
What some of you may notice is the questions in this series are all the same. I did this deliberately, not because I’m lazy. But I created these questions with 3 goals in mind: to empower women globally, to share valuable lessons we all learn throughout our day and most importantly, the ability to live and experience the successes and failures of being a leader. I didn’t want to ask questions about which I was curious, but rather, questions that addressed specific topics on leadership roles. Besides, I knew that asking a variety of women the same question would inevitably give me an eclectic melange of beauty…this was a good recipe.
Let me add – these are not canned questions, they do have a purpose. I gathered these questions throughout the years from curious parties. I researched leadership roles that spoke of accomplishments. And I wanted to give these women the opportunity to share their intimate experiences that I find fascinating and empowering.
Anise Smith is one of those women. I’ve watched her for a few years on Twitter, Facebook and yes, I engaged with her posts because she was sharing unique insights on Mobile. I’ve been curious about Mobile technology and soon found that her vast knowledge about the present state and future were spot on (may I add, better than a lot of gurus I was following and reading). I fell in love with her curiosity, her sense of humor and her brain.
What’s refreshing about Anise is that she speaks her mind, no matter what the topic. She adores her son and truly loves what she’s doing. Her beauty resonates in her images, the way she interacts with people and the way she disagrees with people. As you’ll read, she’s determined to see the good in people, even when most of us would give up. She’s recently received her Masters Degree in Internet Marketing and loves teaching her fortunate students about working online. You can find more about her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter or contact her directly on her site.
1. What are some of your “rules” for effective leaders?
A truly effective leader is one that not only can lead their team, but one that can dive into the trenches with their team. So, if one wants to BE an effective leader, they can’t be afraid to dive in and get a little dirt on their hands, literally and figuratively speaking.
2. Are you doing what you love and getting better at it? How? What skills allowed you to start?
Funny that you would ask, I was recently having this discussion with a friend. I am currently juggling two industries [as a Digital Marketing Consultant and as a College Marketing/Social Media Instructor] and I love both.
I returned to school five years ago to get my master’s in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University. I returned in July of 2009, and at the time, social media was just about to take off. By the time I graduated in 2010 we were experiencing a full-blown digital revolution. This is what led me down the path that I am currently enjoying.
When I decided to return to school, the goal was to teach adult students, because as an adult student myself, I realized how life-altering education was for me and I wanted to provide other adults with the same experience. So, in 2014, I got the opportunity to take everything I’d learned in the Digital Marketing industry to the classroom to teach marketing and social media at Antonelli College Online.
I also work in the digital marketing industry as a consultant and that offers the same degree of pleasure that I get from teaching, but in a different way. This work provides the opportunity for me to bring hands-on experience to my students. This is especially important since this industry is changing on an almost daily basis. It is very important that I provide my students with experiences and education that will prepare them for this industry after they graduate.
3. How do you empower your team?
When I am consulting, I work with outside vendors quite a bit, because I am a team of one. But sometimes, empowering oneself can be harder than empowering a team. I remain positive, surround myself with positive people and embrace my love for life. That is what empowers me and if I had a team, I would utilize the same strategy for them.
4. What will you do today that will matter one year from now?
I will be a good person and excellent professor, both of which will not only matter to me, but to everyone that is in my presence.
5. Delegating is not an easy task… what do you delegate?
I mostly delegate things that I cannot do myself or something that I feel can be done better and or in a timelier manner by someone else.
6. How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?
I work with a lot of outside creative partners, since my organization consists of me and me. ☺ The best way to encourage creative thinking is to surround yourself with people that do great work and trust your instincts enough to allow them to do what they do best.
7. Where do the great ideas come from in your organization?
Great ideas come from people that remain up to speed on what’s happening in the digital, SEO and technology industries in general. This is especially important, since so much has changed in these industries in the past five years or so.
8. You have two equally-qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?
I think that qualifications are great but how a person will fit into an organization must play a huge role in hiring practices.
9. Your number one advice to someone in a new leadership position?
One thing that a person in a new leadership position shouldn’t forget is how horrible it is to have a terrible leader, so they should try to be the leader that they always wanted to have.
10. If you could have lunch with 3 great women in history alive or dead, who would they be and what would you eat?
Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. We would eat something decadent, delicious and preferably Italian.
11. Are you doing what you love, would you do things differently to get there?
I am absolutely doing what I love and I think the process which I used to get here was the path that I needed to take. Everything in life that leads you to a destination happens in a way in which it was supposed to happen.
12. Your favorite story about a success or a failure you have learned from. Could be a stalker, could be a failed client… we want to know about your process.
I have had many hurdles to jump, so many obstacles but ALL of them led me to the life that I am currently leading. Therefore, I really don’t think of things as failures. One of the things that I learned from the path that I’ve traveled is that NO matter how hard the path, no matter the obstacle, if it doesn’t kill you, you’ve conquered it!
13. You are well known in your niche, how are you helping other women (if you are) and giving it forward.
I am helping at the education level by teaching marketing and social media at the college level. This prepares future marketers for what is currently happening in the world of marketing.
14. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I absolutely LOVE Key West, Florida and would love to live there, but I cannot swim and I have a serious water phobia.
15. How can we, as women, make the world a better place?
I think we need more women in powerful political positions across the world if we want to enact real change on a global level for the greater good of all people.