I’d listen to my gut more.
Angela Leavitt is the founder of Mojo Marketing, a full-service marketing agency that has served more than 150 tech companies.. With 15 years of experience in sales and marketing, Leavitt creates targeted and effective marketing strategies for companies of all sizes in the B2B tech space, especially the telecom, IT, and cloud industries. Known as an accomplished public speaker, Leavitt has been a regular presenter at ITExpo, COMPTEL, Channel Partners, and Cloud Partners conferences, as well as numerous corporate meetings and events. She is a champion for small business, and a consistent supporter of women in business and technology through organizing and participating in Women in the Channel industry events. Leavitt is credited with co-organizing Ignite San Diego — a bi-annual event that fosters innovation and ideas — and reviving the event’s role in the local community. She was a top three finalist for the Tempe Chamber’s Business Woman of the Year Award in 2009, and was named to the San Diego Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO list in 2016 and 2017.
Where did the idea for Mojo Marketing come from?
The idea for Mojo first came when I was the head of marketing for a Telecom company. I had worked with several marketing agencies during my time there and had some frustrations with those experiences. I thought to myself, “hey, I think I can do this better.” Around that same time, I started getting requests for freelance work, so I decided to leave my job with the intention of freelancing. Here we are seven years later as a full-service agency focused on the tech space.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day is constantly busy. It’s almost always back-to-back with meetings and phone calls. My system for staying productive is a combo of to-do lists and my calendar. My team is also great about keeping me on track with deadlines. I’m lucky that I’m usually able to stay focused for the whole day, and when I need a boost I grab a chai latte.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I like to share my ideas with my team to get their input and buy-in. From there we create a plan to divide and conquer.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The incorporation of AI into platforms and business decision making is fascinating to me. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how our world evolves to tap into its potential.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’ve set up my Gmail so that I can quickly assess each email, assign it a symbol (star, arrow, etc.) and then auto-sort by symbol. I use the star for my to-do list, arrow for follow-up, etc. This process has saved me hundreds of hours and I always know which emails I need to take action on that day.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I wouldn’t categorize any of my jobs as bad because they all taught me different skills that allowed me to be where I am today. That said, there was one place I worked where the management was unethical with its contracts and had a habit of moving accounts around to avoid paying higher commissions. When it finally affected me personally, I put in my notice the next day without having anything lined up. I just couldn’t work there anymore.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I’d listen to my gut more. I made some decisions in the early years that weren’t great, and they resulted in stunted growth and lots of needless stress. Looking back, I know there was a reason I felt uneasy about those decisions.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I’ve set up bi-weekly check-in meetings with each of my employees. This helps me answer any questions they may have, review their progress toward their goals, and get to know them a little better. I think doing a yearly or quarterly review is so outdated. I enjoy giving and receiving feedback in more real-time, and my team appreciates it too.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
I’ve become heavily involved in the speaking circuit of my targeted industries’ events and conferences. This has helped to “put me on the map” and become known as a go-to source for tech marketing. Speaking also generates leads, creates buzz on social media, and gives you video content to share. If the thought of speaking at a conference terrifies you, join Toastmasters yesterday!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
About four years ago, I brought on three fairly large clients at the same time when I was low on staff. This was a big mistake because we weren’t able to deliver the quality work that we had come to expect of ourselves, so we lost those clients over time. That was a very costly but important lesson to learn. I have a much better sense now of what we can do well while still hitting our growth goals.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A sunscreen that isn’t sticky or oily AND that smells good. If any of you invent this, please let me know!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I just bought a ticket to see Green Day when they come to San Diego. They have been one of my favorite bands since I was a teenager and I’ve never seen them live. I’m very excited!!
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
So many! I’ll share my top three picks. Basecamp for project management, Slack for team collaboration, and Hatchbuck for CRM / marketing automation. All three are easy to use, powerful tools.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The E-Myth Series by Michael Gerber is a must read for all entrepreneurs. It was life changing in how I ran my business.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
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