It’s another Women in Media profile and today’s subject is the lovely CEO of The Right.Fit and Wink Models, Taryn Williams.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Keeping a million balls in the air at one time can be challenging. It requires a lot of attention to detail, and an ability to be incredibly decisive and pivot quickly. I don’t have the luxury of spending days agonising over decisions – as such I have to be very decisive and luckily have a pretty good instinct for quick decision making.
It is important to me that in all my roles that we are always measuring and testing and using that information to make informed choices to move forward.
One of the biggest challenges is running two companies. My companies are very different and at different stages of their corporate lives in such they require different styles of nurturing and engagement from me, theright.fit is a high growth tech start up and Wink Models is an established agency.
But working with both in different capacities is a truly rewarding challenge and I do love a challenge!
What’s the hardest brief you’ve ever received or hardest job to execute?
Well I do always joke that over the 15 years I have been in the industry, I have seen just about everything, and received some of the wackiest briefs ever! We’ve had requests for models to pose with live poisonous snakes, dive off rooftops into backyard swimming pools, or skydive for an insurance TV commercial! !
In cases like this it is all about managing the expectations of the client and working with them to deliver a outcome that meets their vision. But of course it is really important to me to protect and support the people that work for me, especially from venomous snakebites!
What has been your favourite job in media and why?
Having always had my own companies or been self employed, it’s hard to answer, but my favourite part of the media industry is the diversity of each day, and the incredible people you get to work with.
I think media attracts some of the most creative, driven, accomplished people, being around that energy and intelligence is one of the things I love the most about my job.
What’s your proudest professional moment?
Making the Smart Company Hot 30 under 30 list in 2012 was pretty incredible. Being nominated for the B&T 30 under 30, and Female Entrepreneur of the Year last year would be on the highlights reel too!
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
I’m obsessed with the Good Weekend Quiz, and judge my upcoming week on the basis of the outcome. If I fail the Good Weekend Quiz, I’m convinced that I will therefore have a terrible week!
One thing no one knows about you?
That I can fly an aeroplane! I learned to fly at 15, so I could fly a plane before I could even drive a car.
What are advertising/marketing’s biggest challenges or threats?
Creating solutions to manage big data, given the complexity and volume of that data, and using this to connect with consumers in the most relevant way I think is a big challenge.
Also the ability to stay nimble, adapt to new technology and be able to pivot quickly, removing some of the layers of bureaucracy is also another challenge.
What do you think are the most exciting things in the marketing and creative world at the moment?
I’m pretty obsessed with VR and AI at the moment. I’m intrigued to see how agencies and brands embrace this powerful new technology to engage with consumers.
Hardest lesson you’ve had to learn (in or out of workforce)?
The hardest lesson I’ve probably had to learn, which applies to both work and my personal life, is to be OK with vulnerability. Learning how to lead from a position of vulnerability, was a really really hard lesson for me.
Brene Brown’s TEDx talk on vulnerability was a huge turning point for me.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee – long black with cold milk thanks.
Cats or dogs?
Neither – I’m not a pets person!
Ordering room service and in room movies every time I travel for work. Nothing better than a fluffy white robe, spag bolognese, and a Liam Neeson movie!
What’s your favourite TV programme?
The West Wing. Incredible characters and dialogue. I wish the banter my friends and I have was that witty and intelligent in real life!
What turns you on, emotionally, creatively, spirituality?
People who couple their drive with compassion. Making generosity part of your growth strategy – personally and professionally. That’s a huge turn on for me.
What turns you off?
What profession would you not like to do?
Anything that involved cooking! I’m a terrible cook. My favourite thing to make for dinner is reservations.
Have you ever felt like giving up?
Of course. I think we all have those moments where the mountain seems insurmountable. It’s important when it all feels to much to surround yourself with a great tribe who get you through those moments.
It’s never as bad as it seems, and it’s difficult, because its meant to be. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it right?
What are the pearls of wisdom you know now, that you wish you knew when they were younger?
The two best pearls of wisdom where told to me by mentors and are things remind myself all the time.
They are “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” and “Don’t waste time re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”.