‘Your Stories’ Keri Jaehnig Q & A Interview
Can you share your back story with us, a bit about your childhood?
I consider myself very lucky to have been raised in a household where knowledge and experience were valued. It was my younger sister and I – My mom stayed home with us for most of our growing up years, and my father worked in sales management for big brand companies.
We were encouraged to explore our interests, and were always involved in extra-curricular activities. We traveled during the summers, and went camping quite a bit. Now that I have my own family and live in a different state, I miss the holiday get-togethers with our large extended families.
Were you a determined child or has that developed?
As an oldest child, I think I’m naturally drawn to be an over-achiever. Part of my activities growing up were many consecutive years taking dancing and music lessons. Both of those are very detail oriented – My instructors were famous for saying, “one more time,” until it was perfect. So, I think I was conditioned to produce quality in whatever I was involved in. In that way, I was determined. That is still the case.
That said, I remember being aware of others. When we celebrated birthdays in grade school, I would bring home my treats to share with my sister. And, when we took class field trips, I would let other kids go ahead of me to see or experience that might not have opportunity otherwise. So, I was determined to achieve, yet conscientious to bring others along.
Can you share something about yourself that is not widely known?
Oh, heavens! Okay… For a long time, I wanted to be the first female President Of The United States.
This was inspired by one of my school teachers. I was in the second grade, I believe, and we were being taught about the election process. The entire grade came together to “vote” for President. Before we cast our ballots, teacher tried to help us understand how important our vote was, and would be as we became adults. And then she continued to explain that every natural born US citizen had a chance to become President, and that the first female President would likely be from our generation.
I remember feeling empowered. And I sat there surrounded by my classmates, looked around, and thought, “I’m smart and capable – I could be President. Why not me?” I kept that thought with me until probably my first year in college.
In 2005, I ran for a seat on our local School Board. My husband held a seat on our City Council for 8 years. At this point in my life, I don’t think I’d want the job of POTUS for anything.
How and when did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
Interesting question. I don’t think I calculated it. I was raised to be good at what I do, and to be a productive member of a workplace.
While I was employed I did well regarding performance. Even earned incentives and won awards for some of my work. However, a lot of the time, I did not feel I was “good” at being employed. My tendency is to point out where systems or end goals might be improved, and employers don’t always like that.
While I was in college, I listened to an interview with Tom Monahan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, and identified with a lot of what he had to say.
Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. It takes a very special mind set. I’ve worked long and hard for my business and each success! There are days I wonder if I might head back into the work force. I would hope, with the insights I’ve gained over time, I would be better at it now. At the same time, there is still work to do…
Tell us about your businesses…
Idea Girl Media helps business brands, public figures, and non-profits achieve social media success through marketing campaigns and training. We offer full-service social media marketing campaigns, content creation, social business consulting, and I mentor a group of entrepreneurs via my Insider’s Club. Occasionally, I take a speaking opportunity if I believe in the purpose or cause.
What did you give up to get to where you are today? What did you have to sacrifice?
I gave up a lot of carefree weekends and vacations. As an entrepreneur, I worked parts of days when my family would go out to play.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?
Re-invent myself when my family’s world completely changed in 2008.
What are your goals for 2016 and beyond?
I’ve scheduled the time to take some courses to update and expand my professional skills.
As my website is being updated, we’re working on improving sales funnels and serving clients more deeply to fulfil their needs. We’ll be releasing a line of premium-level services yet in Q2. In short, being more organized in meaningful ways to the business.
Before long, I’d like to be traveling TO more clients to help them on-site and facilitate their operations to be real social businesses.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Settled down with a family taking a career break or juggling both?
My daughter is now almost 23. So, I’m now at a point where I need to balance less, and can focus on real goals with high energy.
In 5 years time, I’d hope to have a larger online marketing agency with multiple employees, a podcast with a respected audience, and a book in the works or even published. It would be great to speak at industry events on average of once per quarter, and have published articles at well-known portals, online & offline.
There’s been talk of a purple social media bus. But in my heart of hearts, I’d like to be traveling the globe to train groups of entrepreneurs in innovative ways that serve their businesses.
I’ve also considered law school and being part of positive influences related to intellectual property.
Can you share 3 #BizTips for Women in Business (that they can take away and implement)
1) Create strong foundations in whatever you do. Build from there. It won’t necessarily mean a quick process at the beginning, but it will most probably mean an endurance for the long-term.
2) Invest in quality coaches and mentors. As an entrepreneur, you need that opportunity to receive insight from an objective point of view. If you research, you will find that your most well-regarded leaders and entrepreneurs invested in their own professional development.
3) Resist the temptation to be on every social network. Try them out if you must, but fish where the fish are — Spend time where your ideal customer hangs out online.
How can people best connect with you online? twitter, website, youtube?
How about website, Twitter and Instagram? My business accounts cater to marketing topics specifically. I do share my personal interests as well as social media interests via my personal accounts.
Website – IdeaGirlMedia.com
Link for my Insider’s Club – Join The Club
You can read more from Keri Jaehnig –
Social Media Success Checklist Getting Your Social House In Order
inside #BizRocks Magazine Issue 37