The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 11 months ago

Ep 120: Motherhood, Startups, and Marketing w/ Leigh Chesley

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 120: Motherhood, Startups, and Marketing w/ Leigh Chesley

Part of the "Is This A Good Time?" series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Pavilion podcast. I am your host, Brandon Barton you're listening to. Is this a good time, the Shore? I asked Pavilion members some really great questions. They have answers. It's a lot of fun. Especially today. We really shows Tuesdays and Thursdays and if you had subscribed, I promised to deliver your new episodes every single week today. Our guest is lee Cheslea. She is amazing human being. We talked a lot about motherhood marketing and startups and just work like balance stuff, really great stuff. This episode was brought to buy drift. More than 50,000 businesses use drift to grow revenue and increased customer lifetime value faster drift, helps their customers online sales and marketing on a single platform to deliver a unified customer experience. Where people are free to have a conversation with the business at any time on their terms, learn more at drift dot com. Alright, let's do this episode 55 double nickel. Is this a good time? Alright, I'm so happy to have lee Chesley with us. She's the VP...

...of marketing at Longbow advantage out of the northern Atlanta area. So great to have you on the pod. Thanks. Yeah, I appreciate you having me. It's great to be here. Great. Well look, I'll meet no fellow. We just jump right in with the questions, tell us about your current role and then the path you took to get here. Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned, I'm currently VP of marketing at Longwood Advantage. We help distribution teams continuously improve with unified real time visibility into warehouse operations through our revis platform. We also provide expert in the end supply chain technology implementations and consulting. So yeah, so it's a lot and supply chain is definitely, definitely hot right now. So we've had a really exciting last couple of years getting to help folks who really need it. And in terms of my path here, I have for the most apartment in the start up, high growth to be tex ass world, Yeah, there's a big, big sector of that here...

...in Atlanta. So um have been involved in that and I've let and grown marketing teams and those organizations and then I made a brief stop at Manhattan Associates, which is much larger organization where my team owned pipeline marketing across all of the products, which led me into the supply chain world. So kind of, I like the way that I'm getting to use my supply chain knowledge along with my startup experience and the role that I'm in right now and you're leaving out my favorite part of your career, which is perhaps the earlier days you were in restaurants, you were you were in restaurants just like me, so, and then you also worked for NPR and I imagine that was for the hospitality side of things, is that right? I did actually, So when I was in college I was managing restaurants and bartending, kind of putting myself through school that way. And then, yep, and then thankfully that led me to the opportunity in cr because they said, well you you've been in the industry that our customers are in, so I had an opportunity to go there which...

...really got me into the VTB Tech space. So you're right, it's a really important, important step that I left out there. No, it's not. I mean, I just, I just bring it up because I'm a restaurant person, I run a restaurant tech company and we love our friends at NCR So it's it's very cool and they're one of the companies whose kind of a mainstay of the Atlanta area. When it comes to be, to be, you know, they've been around for forever obviously, so very cool. So, look, I mean in order to get where you are today, through all these roles, I'm sure there were strokes of luck as well as tons of hard work, love a story from either side of that. Whether luck or hard work just go into either one or both. Yeah, I've probably got both. Well, I'll start with hard work. So hard work I think is something that you can't overlook. I was actually, when I graduated from college, I was an unmarried mom, my son was two when I graduated and so for me, I knew that hard work wasn't optional,...

...so it was something that I just saw as the most certain path to security and success for my family. Um, and so, you know, I would be remiss, not to say I've had had a fantastic support team that helped me finish school and you know, definitely always encouraged me to go for my dreams and take the next hard job and work my butt off and those sorts of things. And you know, even now, you know, my husband's my biggest cheerleader, but I think that you can't, I don't know that hard work is a point in time type thing. I think it's something that is a mindset that needs to continuously build. And I will even say to for the, for the women listening or for the parents listening. I mean, I think it's important that your kids see you work hard. Yeah, I I totally agree with this. I mean, people listen to pop and I have two kids and their young and I don't sleep a lot. But um, I just have to ask you because as a single mom, as a woman, you're, you know, let's say you're just entering the workforce, you...

...must have faced so much crap. Like I see what the women in my life who have Children and go through short maternity leaves and then, you know, hard times and like your your life changes in a way that a lot of companies don't adjust for and maybe today we're starting to get towards that, especially in the world of startup culture. But like anything come to mind is these like challenges that people say, oh, well you need to travel this day or that day or something like, well I can't, you know, like I don't have coverage for that with my child, you know? Right. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, so I took six weeks off with my youngest who's now almost 15, so things have definitely changed a good bit. I was fortunate to take about four months off with my my youngest who's almost three, so I definitely think that's been changing. I think for me the travel wasn't as hard and maybe it was just my situation where I could, I could figure out, you know, you can kind of send the kids to stay with grandma or whatever, you know, like you...

...sure that out, it was the, we need you to be in from 7 to 6 kind of thing or 7 to 7 in the start up world where it's like the expectation was just day to day and day in and day out that you were available. And so that was hard. I think the what we're seeing shift and especially coming out of the pandemic is it's accepted now that your lives are intertwined. I think work life balance is, that's not even probably the right word. It's just I have calls now where and I try to encourage books on my team, my kids are around, they'll come say hi, we get them on the call. And I think from my perspective, having kind of been through some of those harder situation, I mean I had a man tell me one time that I needed a wife to help help me take care of my kids. So having been through some of those situations, I try to set the example that you should bring your whole self to work and we're all better as a team if we understand everything that folks have going on in their lives. So I do...

...see the shift and I'm trying to help lead that ship to any like little tidbit of advice that you might offer to any young women coming up course struggling with, let's say or just any advice to the idea of how do you maintain home life as well as have your career? Is there anything that you might want to, you know, share as an expert? Clearly an expert in this that is generous, but I appreciate it. Um, one find the right company, find the right leader. Don't feel like any opportunity is the last opportunity opportunity you'll get to do something. So wait till you get a good fit and go for that. And then to, I mean, I think the notion that you have balanced or that you're doing it all or that you're doing everything well is sometimes overstated. You know, I think all of us are just doing the best that we can hopefully, and so sharing with people that hey, I'm especially this last year, a year ago I had women in my network who we would get on calls and just say...

I am really struggling with figuring out how to manage a pandemic and kids and work. And let's talk about that. And I think opening up those conversations is really helpful even if it's just having a network. So, you know, you're not alone. Yeah, Yeah. I love that. That's great. Um, I mean I, I, well, my opinion doesn't matter here. I just, I just want to, I want to support families and I wanna and I want to continue to do that in my career and support the choices that understand at least the tough choices that women have to make. That oftentimes men don't. And it's different, it's just different and it needs different management and different approaches and frankly more generosity towards women than it does towards men that are, you know, uh, going through their career. Okay. I said my piece, this isn't about me. It's about you all right. Any any any quick strokes of luck that you might...

...want to dive into. Sure, yeah, I will say that I did not used to necessarily believe in luck. I felt that, you know, some luck exists. But I read the book great by choice recently, which most folks probably listening have read. Not I recommend it. It's an easy read. But what I learned from reading that book is what's important about luck is luck exists. There is some luck that's going to exist, right? There are things that are out of your control, but it's about what you do with that luck and the mindset and the approach that you take to that. So you could have something great happened and you can squander it or, you know, you could have something that's super unlucky and maybe you're just down about it and you don't take advantage of something that can come out of it. So I think for me the most recently in my career, the recruiter that reached out to me actually about longer advantage reached out and I shut him down. I mean he reached out and said, hey, I got this opportunity, I think you'd be a great fit and I shut him down and he came back around to me and said, no, I really think you want to take this phone call and I think...

...about that moment all the time because I could not be in a better role for me, my skill set, my passions than I am right now and had he not come back to me then I wouldn't be here. And so I think that that's just super lucky that the right person reached out who wasn't afraid of rejection I guess. So yeah, that was definitely an example of some good luck that came my way. Good good salesperson. Let's find out who that recruiter is. Well look, you know, I'm sure along the way you picked up some good tactics, share one with us that people can kind of use in their everyday work. Yeah, so I think a couple of things regardless of the tactic because I think in marketing or sales, whatever it could be, you know, you could be using linkedin or email or trade shows or whatever it is, but I think there's a couple of things that apply regardless of the tactic. One is um don't be afraid to go with your gut.

So if you don't have the data behind something, if you're, especially in startup or growth growth stage company, you're not going to always have the data and and feel comfortable with that and feel comfortable saying I don't have data but based on best practices are based on what I know or my gut is telling me that this is the right thing to do. But then once you have the data right, so go forward with with your gut and lean into it, but get the data out of it or once you have the data listen to the data and I think that it's easy to have to have those two things conflict where as a marketer you you quote know that there's a tactic that works better than others. But then you run a campaign and you look at the data and it tells you something very different and so be willing to say I was wrong or wow, things change. This didn't work for this did work. And so I think regardless of the tactic marrying those two things and having confidence in those two things, it's just super important. Love it, love it. Alright, anybody you're hiring for any positions.

So I am not hiring in the marketing organization right now. We actually are, we grew about four x last year, so we're studying out right now, but I will say that supply chains on fire, we're really now we've grown the sales or the marketing or we're looking to grow the sales. Or now you might mean you might mean actually on fire with no chips and no cars and no lumber and no, not that maybe maybe you can't solve all these things, but we would love to. So yeah, if there's sales folks out there, the supply chain background let me know. We are definitely looking to fill some rolls great. And then anybody you want to give shoutouts to either up and comers or you know, folks that you follow the content, all that other stuff. So my recent find and the Pavilion community knows both of these guys really well, but josh brown braun who does a lot of sales training. His content is just phenomenal. If you are...

...in a Bt role or sales role, I've recently gone down the rabbit hole with his content and can't recommend it enough on the marketing side, Kyle Lacy. I think he does a phenomenal job with branding and I lean into his content because I traditionally a more probably have a revenue mind. And so if you're looking to balance yourself out, look at what he's done with less only it's, it's super interesting. Kyle holds the trophy for the most shout outs in this sector of the podcast. I guess I have to have him on at some point and we'll, and we'll see who he shouts. That's interesting. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So both of those guys and then from an up and comer perspective, there were some folks that I worked with in Manhattan that were just phenomenal and one of those, one of those people, I would say her name is Michelle Jacoby and she goes by MJ folks listening may know her well. I would definitely um, count her as one of the up and coming folks in the Atlanta market as well. Love that,...

...love that. And finally most and I'm so happy that you're a restaurant person. So I know this is gonna be a great answer. I get all the great answers, but I know some are better than others. Where should I eat? So next time you're in Atlanta hit up bill tongue bar, it's south african so you get like jerky and then just legitimate south african recipes and amazing cocktails. Huh? Where is it? There's one in the Perimeter area and one in Alpharetta. Mm I love it. I will go there. Hopefully you can join me. Uh you know when we get back to traveling, which will be pretty soon. I hope by the time this this goes, we're all traveling. So so come on down, we'll hang out. Love it lee. Well look so great to have you on, awesome to hear your very inspiring story and I'm psyched to come and join in and have a drink of you in Atlanta. Great, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. Thank you. That is our...

...show. Thank you so much for listening. Really appreciate it. If you love the show, send it to some friends, parents, sisters, brothers, kids rate and review. Hit. Subscribe all those things anything you want. A reminder. This episode was brought to you by drift, the new way businesses by from businesses. You can learn more and get the conversation started at drift dot com. I had fun today. Hope you did too. Now go crush your numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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