Jessica Smith enjoys more than a decade of marketing strategy, business development, and social media experience. She’s worked with big brands, start-ups, and media titans to craft their digital marketing strategy, identify impactful influencers, develop active and engaged communities, and generate conversations both online and off.
She recently launched her own venture – smith&moxie…an accessible digital marketing and social media solution.
A super user and first adopter, Jessica has been using Twitter and Facebook since 2007. She started connecting with people online in the late 1980’s when she started using Prodigy and in college in the mid-90’s she was learning and sharing with other college students on Greekpages.com. A graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, Jessica started her career at Sapient Corporation.
Jessica has been a speaker, moderator and panelist at several conferences including PRSA International Conference, Vocus Users Conference, M2Moms, Blogher, Blissdom, Type-A Mom Conference, and Blogalicious Weekend.
Listed on Hub Spot’s list of “100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter”, she was also named one of the Top 25 Most Influential and Powerful Women in Social Media in Immediate Influence Blog in Fall 2009, named one of the Nielsen Online’s Power Mom 50, #7 on Babble’s Top 50 Twitter Moms 2010, one of the 25 Women Who Rock Social Media by TopRankBlog in 2010 and #67 on BigMoneyWeb.com’s 200 Most Fearless Women Online and in Social Media in 2011.
Over the years, how have you learned to balance career and motherhood?
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say that I’ve achieved balance. But I have realized that lack of work life balance is more often than not self-inflicted. I’ve also tried harder in recent years to treat others’ work life balance as I’d ideally like to see mine treated: respecting their boundaries, understanding that we might not always be “synchronizing our watches”, and that the word “urgent” can mean many different things to many different people.
Is there one particular parenting lesson you’ve learned about raising kids?
I’ve learned that no matter what…if you think about it, we’re all trying to do the best we can to provide the best for our kids. I’m also quickly learning the lesson that as my son gets older he’s inheriting a lot of my behaviors. This makes me more conscious of the example I’m setting and the result is being kinder to myself, showing compassion to others more, and learning from mistakes and moving on – not getting stuck in a moment.
Oh boy. I’m always looking for additional artillery for stress. I’ve been working out 2-4 times a week for the past month or so and it’s made a huge impact. I always knew that would be the case if I actually got moving. I schedule exercise time into my calendar now. Also, don’t underestimate the power of surrounding yourself with good girlfriends. The kind you can see in person. Having a strong network of digital friends can help get through rough times, but there’s something about having that powerful energy that comes from being in the same room with friends who care about you that really makes the difference.
Tools or products you can’t live without?
My Kindle. Vitamin Water Zero. This Mary Kay chunky lip pencil my friend Susannah gave me that looks orange to the naked eye but goes on the perfect coral color (she gave it to me because no one would buy it and now if I hear it’s going to be discontinued I’ll stock up!) and my Kate Spade bag. And let’s face it, I couldn’t live without my MacBook Pro.
Do you have an inspirational quote, motto or philosophy you can share with us?
Yes…”Sometimes You’re the Windshield, Sometimes You’re the Bug”…my mom used to play the song by Dire Straits a lot when I was growing up and well, the lyrics stuck.
And “Onward and Upward.” This was on a plaque in my Great Aunt Mare-Mare’s house, I lived with her when I first graduated from college and had moved to Boston to look for a job.
Both come in handy. Every. Day.
Favorite resources, books, or website?
- Need to find your center career-wise? Read Daniel Pink.
- Can’t keep off your iPad while you watch TV? At least check-in using Into Now
- Want to get lost in a romantic novel? Try PO Box Love by Paola Calvetti or The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
I’ve been following your journey for quite some time now and I am so excited about your new direction! Fill us in?
I recently reached another crossroads in my career and decided to go on my own about a month ago. I am extremely grateful that in the past 30 days I’ve grown my business, smith&moxie, to a full roster of clients and have launched a side passion project, AwesomeAllies.com. I couldn’t have achieved that without the amazing support of my family, the incredible clients I’m working with, or the powerful inner circle of women I call girlfriends.
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