Welcome to The Journey Talk with Rafa Uccello! Here we talk to young marketing professionals about their career journey, aspirations and inspirations. Get to know more about the people that are shaping the future of our industry.
This week, we got to chat with Erika Sabrina Giuggio, a young entrepreneur and marketer who is creating her own opportunities toward accomplishing her dream of owning a business.
Name: Erika Sabrina Giuggio
Pronouns: She/ her
Education: Bachelor of Commerce – Marketing, CEM
Industry: Digital Marketing
Favourite quote: ” The more you learn, the more you earn” —Warren Buffet
Guilty pleasures: Queen of the South, and reading a book by the ocean
Did you have a career in mind when you started?
Yes, I had a few options I was seriously considering. Just before I started my marketing degree at Humber, I wanted to become an entrepreneur. I come from a family who has always been in business, so I had this influence right at home. In 2017, I filed a patent in the U.S. and Canada called Cosmetic Brush Systems. I used my knowledge, experience and resources on campus throughout my college career to get my start. If that didn’t pan out, my second option was to work in a corporate setting in marketing, specializing in digital and social media.
At what point did you know what career you wanted to be in and what you wanted to achieve?
During my Cosmetic Brush Systems idea, I knew, even at the tender age of 15, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. As I mentioned, my entire family and extended family are in business. I saw how hard they worked, but I also saw the financial freedom it can come with, and living life on your terms. I had the support and connections to try and make it out there, and I knew I could achieve the same—if not better. And by better, I mean, making an environmental impact that slows down the process of climate change.
But then COVID-19 happened, and realizing my dream is, for now, on the back-burner. I mean, who’s putting on make-up when your mask is covering it? I applied for a few marketing positions; I got a job at a travel company downtown. Unfortunately, the Monday following, they called to tell me they’re closing six of their offices, worldwide. I kept applying and getting interviews, but kept receiving job offers that made working at McDonald’s more attractive, in terms of pay. So, I declined. Now even though this might come across as “millennial entitlement”, I knew I wanted mor, and needed more. This was the reason behind my new mindset and attitude, that, “If you can’t find a job, create one”. And I did just that. I started Erika Giuggio Consulting. Initially, my plan was to do this short-term, while at the same time, developing my portfolio. Well, things changed—yet again! It’s now become more like a long-term venture. Perhaps, eventually, I may not even end up in marketing. For the future,I want to scale the business using white labels and to outsource the work. Ideally, I would focus more in the project management section of the company.
Life throws you curve balls: You’ll either sink or swim. We make choices—and they’re ours to make.
What is something that you learned that has impacted you?
“The more you learn, the more you earn,” & F.A.I.L.
Professors repeat this over and over again, but you need to read beyond the textbooks. You need to be learning about what’s happening in the digital sphere, and you need to be doing it every day. I’m glad I took that advice. I would not be where I am today, nor the person I’m striving to be as a professional marketer and entrepreneur. Marketing is all about “Capturing hearts and minds of consumers.” How you market to them today may not be how to market to them tomorrow. The more you learn, the more likely you are going to provide results in an ever-changing environment. More results, bigger $$$. When I hire employees, I tell them from day one, “The more you learn, the more you earn.” Your potential is unlimited when you hustle. When you keep up, you provide more results; when you give more results, you develop a fantastic portfolio to charge more for your work. It’s as simple as that.
In my academic and professional career, I use to beat myself up when I would make mistakes, especially big ones. But I later realized it was okay to make them. Relax. Learn from your mistakes and move on. When you pondering them, you’re just wasting time. F.A.I.L stands for the first attempt in learning. Learn, and keep going.
What is one thing you wish you knew when starting your career in marketing?
I wish I knew what I was in for when I started consulting. Providing a service is 10% harder than a product. With a product, you become obsessed with your audience, learn what they want and sell it to them. With a service, there is a lot more work involved.
What keeps you motivated and inspired in your professional life?
What keeps me motivated and inspired is the fantastic support network around me such as CIMMO, my mentors and my coaches. As an entrepreneur, you need a mentor or a coach. Or both! There are some days you are going to wake up and say, what am I doing? Am I a burnout? Is this crazy? I’ll just go work for someone else. And you need someone to keep you in line and tell you to remember how far you’ve come. Not to quit. Stay the course. What also keeps me motivated is meeting new people—in a professional setting or otherwise. As someone that would go out all the time before COVID-19, the pandemic has adversely impacted how I interact with others.