This month we got to sit down with Australian business woman, Roxy Jacenko. Roxy is the founder and director of Aussie PR firm, Sweaty Betty PR and talent management agency, The Ministry of Talent. She is also co-owner of Pixie's Bows, a business she started with her daughter, and if that wasn't enough she's written three books too.
Anyone who has worked, met or even just emailed Roxy knows she is one savvy business woman. She's forever thinking ahead, forever multi-planning, multi tasking and she likes to get things done - quick. Which is really one of the many reasons she's become Australia's PR Queen.
In four weeks time, on Friday 17 June, Roxy will also be hosting an 'In Conversation' event on PR and digital at the ShangriLa Sydney and we'd love to encourage you to attend. At this event she'll be sharing her insights on using PR to build both personal and business brands and drawing on her own expertise and business experience, having founded Sweaty Betty at the young age of 24 and grown it to become a multimillion dollar empire.
BUY TICKETS HERE
But how did she start her business? What does she think is required to succeed? And how does she juggle it all with being a mother? We sat down with the stylish PR Queen to find out more.
How did you know a career in PR was for you? How did you get started and did you have a plan to get your business off the ground?
While I'd never been the girl who'd always dreamt of a career in PR, once I started in the industry I knew I'd found my niche. I was working as a receptionist for denim brand Diesel, when the opportunity to do the company's PR became available. After just a few months in the position I was not only getting great results, but I was loving every minute of it! Back then and even to this day, it's the rush of excitement when you secure great coverage for a client that made me know that a career in PR was my calling. I started my business at 24 years old, with just a few months of experience. Brave? Perhaps, but I knew that I could do things differently and better and I was willing to put in whatever it took to make the business work. I've never really been one for formal business plans and to-do lists, I just started 'doing' and never looked back. Once you commit yourself 100% to your business, you've got no option but to make it a success, and that's exactly the approach I took.
Is there anything about launching your own business that you wish you could tell your younger self?
With zero experience in running my own business, there were plenty of learning curves when I first started. Even to this day I am always learning and looking for ways to improve and streamline business processes. If I could give my younger self one piece of advice it would be to do your homework on things like accounts, tax - the tedious ins and outs of running a business. It might not be the most exciting element of owning a business, but it's certainly important to get those things right.
What do you think is required for a business to succeed? Are there any personal qualities you think that are a must?
I think for any business to succeed there needs to be focus and commitment. Know what you're offering, why you're doing it and how you're going to make your product/service stand out. Pick your niche and stick with it. I never worry about what competitors are doing, it doesn't achieve anything and takes the focus off my business.
For a business to succeed you also need commitment each and everyday. People sometimes don't realise just how much commitment of time, energy and focus is required to run a successful business. You can't take your foot off the accelerator, in today's business climate it is just far too competitive to be complacent. In terms of personal qualities, I think a business owner needs to be fearless, driven, motivated and relentless. It's not enough to just WANT it, you have to go out and WORK for it every single day, regardless of what others say or if you've had a bad week. I don't believe in luck when it comes to success - make your own luck by refusing to settle for anything but the best for your career, business and life.
What does a typical 'day in the office' look like for you? How many hours do you work a week?
The nature of the PR industry means that there is no such thing as a typical day in the office, which is one of the reasons I love what I do so much! From handing out inflatable doughnuts on Bondi beach to 100's of emails daily, there is literally so much variation in what I do from day to day. A typical day could involve client meetings, site visits to one of our hospitality clients, packing gift bags, generating creative concepts for a product launch - and always more and more emails! LOL. It would be impossible to put a number on the hours I work each week. It's not in my nature to switch off and relax, so I am essentially working all the time. It's no secret though, in order to get to where I am it's taken many years of working seven days a week, often long into the night. But at the end of the day that's my style and what works for me.
Do you have a particular 9-5 style? Are there any go-to pieces you always reach for?
For day to day in the office, I like to stick to the essentials. I love mixing denim with classic neutrals such as white, navy and black with statement shoes and bags. I always have a great blazer on hand too, to take an outfit to the next level if needed. However, I love to mix it up with more feminine pieces with unique prints, floaty dresses and cute skirts. Working in PR and fashion, it's essential to keep up with the latest trends, so I have regular wardrobe cleanouts to make way for new season pieces.
When you're having a crappy day where do you find the motivation?
Running three business (Sweaty Betty PR, The Ministry of Talent and Pixie's Bows) requires my 250% commitment and focus every day. Sure I have crappy days like everyone else, but I have so many responsibilities that finding motivation isn't an option. Running my own businesses is all the motivation I need to know I've just got to take a deep breath, get over it and move on. Every day is different, and sometimes you don't have the motivation but regardless, you've just got to remember it's one bad day not a bad life.
You're also a mum! Do you have any advice for other women who have both a career and are navigating their way through motherhood?
I get asked this question quite a lot and I honestly think it all comes down to the individual. No one is doing everything perfectly, we are all just juggling what responsibilities we have and finding a way to make it work. My advice would be, don't compare yourself to others. We all have a unique situation and every mother is just trying to do the best they can for their family. For some that means staying at home with the children which is wonderful for those that can do it. For me it means setting a great example for my kids and doing my best to juggle what each day brings.
Has motherhood changed the way you view your career/career path?
I actually never imagined that I would become a mum. When I had Pixie I realised that I could make being a mum and owning a business work, and it's just become the norm for our family. It hasn't really changed the way I view my career, but if anything it has made me even more determined to succeed so I can give my kids as many opportunities and experiences as possible and to be a good role model for them.
What's the best business advice you've been given?
Don't dwell on mistakes or your weaknesses, it will only amplify them. Always look at what you're good at and how you can improve - focus on doing and not overthinking.
Finish these sentences...
Describe yourself in three words: Driven, perfectionist, shy.
My fave. fashion brand is: Right now I'm loving Gucci, they have some amazing statement pieces with an incredible cut that's hard to resist.
My go-to handbag at the moment is: While I have a weakness for new season statement bags, I have a collection of Hermes Birkin bags that I adore. They're timeless classics, chic, practical and go with everything.
Tell us, did you know what career path you wanted to pursue from an early age?