Women in Business interview: Olivia Martin
Olivia Martin, founder of social media agency, Whit Communications
- Which three women inspire you the most?
It’s difficult to pinpoint three women who inspire me the ‘most’, but one woman who has inspired me subconsciously since starting my own business was a manager I had when I was working in my previous agency job down in London. She taught me how to deal with situations in business with both grace, class and most importantly, patience. Her management skills were inspiring, and the way she led her team was admirable. Now, when I make decisions in business, particularly when having difficult conversations with clients or members of staff, I often wonder how she would have handled them and input her strategies. I always looked up to her and hoped one day I could lead a team the way she did.
- Which woman would you most like to meet?
A woman in business I’d really like to meet would be Sara Blakely – founder of SPANX. She had no background in design, no experience in manufacturing… and she wrote the patent for her product herself. She had an amazing idea and seized every opportunity she had, and even pitched her product in the bathroom. She is a woman who believed in her product and did everything it took to make it a success – that’s super inspiring to me. She did not give up.
- What can be done to encourage women in their careers?
To encourage women in their careers, I’d say as long as you’re doing something you enjoy and you’re passionate about, you’ll naturally feel more driven to exceed. Your energy is contagious, and people can tell from a mile away whether you love your job or not.
- What’s your best piece of advice to other women starting a business?
My first piece of advice to other women starting a business would be – write a business plan. Set yourself goals and targets for where you’d like to be at each annual milestone. Secondly, always remember that if it were easy, everybody would do it. So stick to it and keep going. Some days will be more challenging than others, but overall the rewards are worth it. Finally, know your worth. Don’t let people take advantage of you and always stand up for yourself. People will respect you far more.
- Is there anything women should stop doing to further their careers?
A great way to further your career is by welcoming constructive criticism. It can be a tough pill to swallow sometimes, but if a client/customer has feedback, grab it by the hands and work on your strategies to improve your service. It’s important not to take offense as all feedback is good, and the way you react to it could make or break your business.