My Story

Lessons from the repair bay.

My first job out of college was trudging in and out of Mobil Oil gas stations in central Connecticut. The station owners wore blue Mobil uniforms well suited for frigid convenience marts and blazing hot repair bays. I looked awkward in my suit and heels which were the designated uniform of business at that time. I learned the basics of running a gasoline station – how to stick underground storage tanks to check for leaks, how to create promotions that moved motor oil, how to calculate gross margins in rapidly rising and falling markets, and how to change a car's motor oil in less than 30 minutes.

My weathered dealers were very patient with me as a young, eager-to-learn representative. Those four years were some of the most valuable of my career because I got a front row seat learning how to run a small business, some with annual revenues up to $25 million. I spent more time listening and watching those men with more life experience run their businesses – for better or for worse. Some were experts in car repairs & built a business on honesty and quality craftsmanship. Others were showmen and made sure their stations were impeccably clean, well-stocked and catered to the local trade. One dealer gave up and handed me the keys to his business that he owned for over 20 years. My favorite was a WWII veteran with twinkly-blue eyes & a white, bristly walrus mustache. He treated me – 40 years his junior – with great respect and shared his philosophies with me. He never stopped competing, he never stopped smiling.

My dealers taught me very valuable lessons:

  • pick your corner and own it – assertively make the first move
  • treat people with genuine, friendly respect
  • enjoy the competition – because when you stop competing, you die

Leap forward ten years.

I found myself in the midst of the wild, wild west of the dot.com bubble. I wore my low employee number as a badge of honor, worked very hard, for very long hours, in far away places. Since everything was new I had to think quickly, creatively and with authority. My company's IPO price skyrocketed to $360, then six months later plummeted, along with all the other technology companies. Yet, I still believed in the company's people and ability to deliver value to customers. I was lucky to work with some incredibly bright, energetic people that I call still friends today – and one I call my husband.

Lessons from the dot.com daze:

  • say "yes" to adventures (that are aligned with your values) – you never know where they may take you
  • surround yourself with smart, hard-working friends and colleagues that have integrity and a can-do attitude
  • consciously carve out time for faith, family, friends and interests separate from work – especially when you enjoy your work

Today.

After saying "yes" to several of life's adventures, I have been blessed to be a wife and mother of three in addition to my other roles as daughter, sister and steadfast friend. I've discovered that most answers come from actively listening and applying philosophies learned through life's lessons. I still enjoy professional pursuits, however my time commitments and projects must be aligned with my family values. I've discovered that I am very good at organizing initiatives in a way that brings out the best in people and teams.

With encouragement from family and friends, I decided to launch my own marketing consulting firm. Being an avid reader, especially of classic suspense and mystery stories, I settled on naming my company after one of my favorite stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Mycroft is Sherlock’s older, smarter brother. Both are good at evaluating the myriad of details presenting themselves, sorting through them and using the correct ones to determine a conclusion. Which is perfectly aligned with my approach toward marketing programs.

Let me help you sort through the density of your projects and priorities. We will put together an action plan that helps you focus on what needs to be done, so you too can reach your goals.

Stay Tuned for more from Mycroft Strategies

Launching a new website to help companies find marketing support they need . . . The Omnibus Book of Marketing. OmnibusBOM.com

And another site focused on providing Sourcing and Procurement teams insight into how to support IOT initiatives at their companies. GetIOTSmart.com