Every day in business, I wear two hats (metaphorically of course). The first hat is in the agency world as the Chief Marketing Officer at Rockfish. The second hat is in the start-up investor world, both as the co-founder of The Brandery and as a partner in Vine St Ventures. While these two professions have more differences than similarities, I know I am better at both jobs because of the other.
On the agency side, each day is spent uncovering the marketing and business pain points of our clients. These pain points create opportunities which start up companies can capitalize on by providing the solution. As an investor, I often have one of the first opportunities to evaluate the start-ups that are looking to provide that solution. Well before they hit the pages of Mashable or the New York Times, many of these start-ups are pitching investors. In the investment world, venture firms often talk about “proprietary deal flow” where they get a first look at investment opportunities. In much the same way, being involved directly in the start-up investment space gives Rockfish proprietary deal flow to bring digital innovation to our clients.
Being a practitioner in the world of marketing helps me be a subject matter expert when it comes to brand marketing. In turn, I become more valuable as an investor because of the subject matter expertise I can bring to start-ups. And ultimately, the value comes full circle as I can better help the digital innovation strategy of my clients to identify opportunities.
Wearing two hats in your professional life definitely requires double the work. But at the same time, the return you get for both jobs clearly proves the old saying of “one plus one equals three.”