As our Head of Marketing Consulting, Sasha is a familiar face to many of our clients. Having been part of the Twinlife Team for over 2 years and having previously worked with Sonja, we share some insight into WHO Sasha really is.
What is the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
“Interesting” is in the eye of the beholder but “biker chick” is probably not something you would glean from a casual glance through my CV. Nevertheless, my preferred mode of transport is definitely of the two-wheeled variety. I’ve toured the Scottish Highlands and D-Day beaches of Normandy on the back of a BMW R1200 GS Adventure, cycled from Vienna to Budapest and my wedding carriage was a white 250cc Italian Vespa.
There is something very freeing about riding a bike (as H.G Wells put it, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race”) and I’ve always found a certain camaraderie through riding as well, whether it’s a nod or wave from the rider pulled up beside you at the lights or how the sight of fully loaded panniers can prompt a conversation with random strangers about where you’ve come from and what adventure lies ahead. It’s always an adventure, not just a journey! These days tend to see more pedal power, often with kiddie cargo, and less freewheeling about town on the motorbike but it all goes in cycles (sorry, couldn’t resist!).
What do you love most about working at Twinlife Marketing?
I absolutely love that our business stands for connectedness: with ourselves, with each other and with the world around us at large. It’s a privilege, not to mention hugely satisfying, to be able to work with the passionate and purpose-driven business owners, founders and managers we have as clients – as well as with their teams.
For me, Twinlife then really lives up to its name as alongside our clients I get to work closely with our own team of talented Twinlife marketers – who in addition to being consummate marketing professionals are also terrific fun. Not a day goes by when I don’t learn something new either from a client or someone in the team, and this sharing of knowledge, ideas and skills helps us all to flourish.
Lastly, this idea of “connectedness” obviously manifests in relationships, but it’s also about the way that we work. In her book “The Wife Drought”, Annabel Crabb commented that “the obligation that evolves for working mothers, in particular, is a very precise one; the feeling that one ought to work as if one did not have children, while raising one’s children as if one did not have a job. To do any less feels like failing at both”.
When Sonja founded Twinlife Marketing she set out to work in a different way – to work remotely while still being able to forge close working relationships, to work independently while still being part of a team and to balance off the demands of family with those of work and career without these moving parts being in constant competition. Eight years on, Twinlife Marketing welcomes clients and consultants alike on the concept of connectedness. I was no different and it is still what I love most about working here.
What was the last really great book you read? Why?
I’m a bookworm who usually has a couple of books on the go at any time. Most recently I’ve been eyeball-deep in How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazllish – the reasons for which should be self-evident! It’s full of specific and practical ideas relevant to real life situations. Also an excellent reminder that the principles of good communication transcend age. Fiction-wise I’ve just reread one of my all-time favourites The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It is just such a beautiful – and beautifully written – novel and perfectly suited for curling up with on a dark winter’s night with book in one hand and steaming mug of hot chocolate in the other.
What is your philosophy towards your work?
I’m with Steve Johnson when he said “chance favours the connected mind”. An individual may wield immense influence and effect change but in my work (and life) I’m a firm believer in collaboration. I think working collaboratively helps fulfil our innate human need to feel connected and have a voice that’s heard, and that collaboration offers the means by which we can generate ideas but then take those ideas and make them more innovative, more creative, translate them from thought into action, make them more robust – and more likely to succeed.
What does a typical day involve?
Variety is the spice of life, but if I had to pick a “typical” day it would start around 6.30am or a little earlier with the aim of a few precious minutes to get myself ready to greet the day and a head start on the get-ready-for-school chaos about to ensue.
I’ll usually check email, social media and news sites as well. I lived in London for 10 years and still have strong ties there so morning and evening are the key crossover periods when timezones allow for a quick chat and catch-up with friends there. After dropping the kids off, the work day could be anything and everything including client meetings, writing strategy, developing a campaign, drafting a brief, running a Discovery session, speaking with consultants or reviewing work and reports.
If my morning is meeting-free then after school drop-off I like to plug into a podcast or music and go for a walk, picking up an all-important coffee en route. I find this helps me shift my energy and mindset from home to work before sitting down at my desk and it also tends to be the time when my best creative ideas drift up to the surface or the answer to a problem might present itself. Anything percolating away in the back of my mind gets a bit of a shake up and I have the head space to come at things from a different perspective. Quite often this be most valuable and productive 30 minutes of my day!
The day usually goes by with blinding speed before it’s back to school again for pick up, mum duty and the occasional pathetic attempt at domestic goddess. Depending on what’s going on I’ll sometimes work a bit more after the kids have gone to bed.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
To be honest, I’m not sure I have any of that these days! Something I have really learned since becoming a parent is that time is precious, that timing is important and there are windows of opportunity time-wise. I’ve become more considered in how I spend my time and more aware of what’s important to me and this is where to invest my time: in my family, in being connected to my community and environment and continuing to grow both personally and professionally. Probably on a bicycle!
What has been one of your biggest learnings?
That you can’t pour from an empty cup. As a modern society plugged in, competitive and in pursuit of big data or large-scale digital transformation we’re always in a rush and there’s no going small. I think the adrenalin rush of the speed we tend to live and work at can be addictive and it’s easy to miss the signs when we start running on empty. I am so guilty of this so often, not helped by the fact that I work better under pressure of an ambitious goal or deadline. We often hear these stories from the hardworking, dedicated and seemingly tireless business owners and entrepreneurs in our orbit too. What’s interesting though is that the universe seems to have a way of arranging things to throw things into sharp relief at a much-needed moment, and it either helps you take a step back or fills your cup back up.
One last freebie: there’s a lot of noise about digital marketing vs “traditional” (offline) and digital transformation but in truth the fundamentals of marketing and effective communication haven’t really changed. It’s the tools and channels at our disposal as marketers that have, and still are, changing rapidly. A well-thought through marketing strategy aligned with your business goals and with your customer at its heart is the key to directing your marketing effort well and seeing results, while the tactics should be adaptable and responsive to changing market conditions.
Tags: Head of Marketing Consulting, Inspirational marketing, Leadership Team, Sasha Reid, Twinlife Marketing Staff