EP 17. Sherri Schwartz, Head of Marketing at OvationCXM.

In this Key Moments Episode, Sherri Schwartz, head of marketing at OvationCXM, shares her journey from starting in sales to becoming a marketing leader. She discusses the challenges she faced in a male-dominated industry and how she overcame self-doubt. Sherri also reflects on a defining moment from a dance audition and the importance of embracing failure and being kinder to oneself.

In this conversation, Sherri Schwartz discusses the importance of recognizing toxic work environments and the impact they can have on individuals. She shares her own experience of feeling stuck in a toxic environment and the defining moment that led her to stand up for herself.

Check out the episode below.


Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

In this episode, head of marketing at OvationCXM Sherri Schwartz talks about her path from sales to becoming a marketing leader . She talks about the difficulties she encountered in a field dominated by men and how she overcame self-doubt. Thinking back to a pivotal event during a dancing audition, Sherri emphasises the need of accepting failure and practicing self-compassion. She discusses her favourite books that have affected her and emphasises how important it is for sales and marketing to work together for business success. Sherri says she learned the importance of leaving settings that don't support her personal well-being from Alexandra Roddy.

Sherri discusses the significance of recognising and avoiding hazardous work settings. She describes her own experience of being stuck in such a predicament, as well as the decisive event that gave her the courage to stand up for herself. Sherri emphasises the importance of finding a healthy work environment and provides guidance on how to ask the correct questions during interviews to analyse business culture. She highlights the value of gratitude and recognition in encouraging and retaining staff. Sherri describes her experience in establishing a successful redesign while balancing a great profession with family obligations, stressing the significance of team trust and collaboration.

Overall, Sherri's insights provide valuable lessons on personal and professional growth. She encourages overcoming self-doubt, embracing failure, and being kinder to oneself. Recognizing toxic environments and prioritizing well-being are crucial, as is the alignment of sales and marketing. Sherri's story emphasizes standing up for oneself, valuing team contributions, and creating a culture of appreciation. By taking risks, embracing change, and continuously learning, individuals and organizations can achieve significant growth and success.


  • Overcoming self-doubt and embracing failure are crucial for personal and professional growth.
  • Sales and marketing alignment is essential for success in business.
  • Being kinder to oneself and learning to walk away from things that don't align with personal well-being are important for mental and physical health.
  • Defining moments and challenges shape who we become and can lead to unexpected opportunities. Recognize the signs of a toxic work environment and prioritize your well-being.
  • Don't feel trapped in a toxic environment due to responsibilities; take steps to find a healthier work environment.
  • Stand up for yourself and don't tolerate toxic behavior or disrespect.
  • When interviewing for a new job, ask tough questions to assess company culture and ensure a healthy work environment.
  • Appreciate and value your team, and create a safe space for them to challenge ideas and contribute.
  • Strive for a healthy work-life balance and prioritize your family and personal well-being.
  • Trust and empower your team, and recognize their contributions to the organization's success.
  • Celebrate accomplishments and milestones, and create a culture of appreciation and recognition.
  • Take risks and embrace change, such as rebranding, to achieve growth and success.
  • Continuously learn and iterate, and be open to new ideas and perspectives.


00:00 Introduction and Background

00:33 Starting in Sales

05:32 Overcoming Self-Doubt

07:44 Lessons from Dance Audition

08:14 Success in Sales

09:11 Importance of Sales and Marketing Alignment

12:00 Embracing Failure and Being Kinder to Yourself

19:50 Favorite Books: Fiction and Non-Fiction

23:42 Influential Person: Alexandra Roddy

26:12 Learning to Walk Away

26:30 Recognizing Toxic Environments

27:08 Feeling Stuck in Toxic Environments

28:15 Standing Up for Yourself

29:26 Finding a Healthy Work Environment

31:35 Asking the Right Questions in Interviews

32:37 The Importance of Appreciation and Recognition

35:30 Creating a Healthy Work-Life Balance

39:18 Valuing and Trusting Your Team

40:05 Balancing Career and Family

46:49 Accomplishing a Successful Rebrand




I was not going to feel that way again, so I just couldn't.

I just continue to apply myself?

I studied, I I learned about the equipment.

I learned about the government procurement process.

And I was determined like you aren't going to fail yourself again because you got in your own way.


Sherry Schwartz, welcome to the show.

Hi, thanks for having me.

So we literally had another chat like a couple of weeks ago or even a couple of days ago and I was going to say it feel, it feels like it was just so recent because you were walking me through your story and like literally right before we hit record, I was like I just have one ask, can you share with people your story because it is pretty diverse like you started off, you started off in sales, right?


I did, but that was never the intent.

So I grew up in a very a very small rural town in southeastern Virginia.

And I knew I wanted to leave and go to a bigger city.

And I loved broadcast journalism.


So I went to George Mason University up in the Fairfax, VA, area, had a wonderful time, was a broadcast journalism major.

But then I graduated in the financial crisis.

One of the first of the financial crisis is in the 2000 so.


And I was competing for jobs with people that were trying to provide for their families and they had been let go and they were taking entry level jobs, right, to try to just find something.

And I had I was a journalism major, I was a marketing minor, I'd had internships with NBC studios and internships with Octagon on the top sports marketing firm.


So I had just this plethora of things.

And I remember applying to and set a goal from September to December because I graduated A semester early.

I remember setting a goal.

I'm going to apply a 20 jobs a week.

Like I'm going to graduate and immediately have a job and I got only two interviews places and I'm thinking I have a 4.0 GB.


I have all of these things and I was a director of philanthropy for my sorority and I work two-part time jobs in college.

Like I had everything to show.

I'm a hard.

Worker right.

Yeah, it it was it was such a challenging time.

So, but what I ended up doing is to your point, my first job was in sales and I kind of thought to myself, I.


I just real quick, was it was that your choice or were you like you know what I'll just take whatever at this stage.

I yes.

So I thought, well, here's how I thought about it.

I go, well, I'm a marketing miner.

Sales is kind of marketing business is marketing business too sometimes.


And I was like, you know I have to pay for my student loans in six months and I need to start making money.

And so I always had originally looked at it as like this short stomping ground and I go, OK, I'll work a little bit and then go find something else that I want to be able to do.


And so and then I'm what I walked into, I never realized would be a great learning point and changing point in my career.

I walk into this sales role and I was selling to the military, so my customers were West Coast Navy and West Coast Navy divers and Navy EOD.


So I'm selling things like underwater mine detectors and boots and body armor and you name it.

And I'm going, whoa, okay.

This is a lot to learn.

And I had to learn things about government contracts to make it easier for these, you know, the military, to get what they needed for their missions, for their training, and the easiest, fastest way possible.


But it was nailed up.

Completely aligned with journalism, right?

You know, it was completely aligned.

I wanted to be the next Katie Couric and here I am selling boots, body armor and underwater robots and.

Everything's going according to plan.

Love it, everything.

You know, it's what to circa 2007, 2008.


I'm just, I'm just swimming along and and so.

But I walked into a world that taught me so much and that exposed me to so much that I wasn't quite prepared for.

I had never been quite exposed to such a male dominated industry and I've gotten to work with some of the most fantastic people in it.


But I walked on base and was catcalled, and I've walked into a mechanic shop before and a senior chief kind of looks down at me and goes, well, hello, young lady.

And and I'm going.

Well, hello.

And I'm.

I'm going, Hey, what do you need?


What tools do you need for your mission?

And he's kind of giving me the sideways look like you helping me with tools.

Do you even know what a Phillips and a Flathead screwdriver are?

And the difference?

You know it just.

And you were like yes I do as a matter of fact and I can show you how to procure them.


That's exactly what I said.

And so and he ended up being someone that was recurringly buying in the future because he was like OK, she can hold her on.

I kind of had to learn how to space that being a 2122 year old woman selling to the military 7 selling this male dominated industry and I wasn't going to be catcalled or be made to feel less than because I was a woman.


And so I kind of I just made it my goal.

You will know the government contracts like the back of your hand.

You will know and you will procure and work with these vendors to develop good relationships so that you can make sure when you're selling services, you know that you can get that best price and the best delivery for these, for these gentlemen and and women in the military.


And Sherry, just to build on that like that that kind of like mind over matter moment, is that just how you're wired?

Like you're a type a person that's how you're wired or was it a struggle and you were like, you know what, you know what like like you had to go through like it was tough but then you you figured it out kind of thing.


So backing up way a little bit more into There was one moment in my life where I had to learn you're going to sink or swim.

And I grew up, I danced for 15 years growing up and I loved dance.

I loved tap, ballet, jazz.


But I grew up in a small town and I would do talent competitions and I would win.

And I I thought I was this great.

I was just a thirst like one of the best dancers.

And but it was.

It was.

I was a small town girl and I wanted to audition for the dance team at George Mason University.


And I walked in and I just saw this ocean of talent.

And I remembered it was the first time being exposed to that and I got in my head and I bombed the audition.

I didn't make the team.


And I and I, at that moment in my life as a 18 year old girl, was going.

I started questioning everything about myself or my ability.

Can I do it?

But I remember thinking to myself, how could you get in your head?


How could you second guess your ability?

And at that moment I said I was never going to do that to myself again.

I was never going to be able to.

I was never going to walk into a room and feel like I couldn't do it simply because I was surrounded by so many incredible people and things that I'd never been exposed to before.


And I think that kind of reshaped who I was walking into a male dominated industry and sales and being a 2122 year old girl fresh out of college, I reaped of entry level.

I reaped of first time in sales.

But I was not going yeah I I was not going to feel that way again.


So I just, I just continue to apply myself.

I studied, I I learned about the equipment.

I learned about the government procurement process and I was determined like you aren't going to fail yourself again because you got in your own way and you're going to prove to them that you can do it and you can hold your own in a room so that you never feel that way again.


And I ended up working there for over 4 years, never in my life on day one that I think I would be there for four years.

And I was the top producing sales Rep in the Navy vertical for four years running.

And it was the one of the best decisions I ever made in hindsight, which has led me I believe fully, has really led me to where I am today running a marketing organization.


Because I also know, I know what it's like to have great marketing support as a sales Rep And I know what it's like to not always have the best marketing support or feel like you're hurt as a sales Rep And so I always left when I pivoted away from sales after four years and went into marketing and communications.


I determined at that point that whatever I did in marketing, I was always going to make sure that bridge between sales and marketing was locked tight and that we as a marketing team to the sales organization, they're in the field.



As a as opposed to seeing them as like our adversaries right where it's which is like a very typical unfortunately in classical way of looking at it where it's like marketing versus sales.

Marketing thinks, you know, sales is, is, is is is not like like they're they're complaining too much about like the quality of leads and sales thinks that marketing sits around and just.


You know creates arts and crafts like all day long and it's like it's always like this dynamic and it's such a it's such a cliche thing and and I'm glad that like there's a lot of you know change makers if I can call it that like yourself or I kind of like taking a stand on it and saying you know what?


Like this is one way things can go but this is not the only way and there's so many different ways this can play out for for the better.

But just sorry, I I just want to go back like a couple of minutes ago to to what you're talking about with the.

With with the dance audition, I can relate to that except you.


I think you had a happy ending.

I did it with with with my experience.

So when I was in in school I I play guitar, right.

But at the time I I really wasn't that good.

But I decided to audition for the talent or actually there was no audition they they had.


It was like it was easy to get it.

Like you just sign up and you're you're on stage kind of thing.

And so I went into the talent show and my my thing was I'm going to play the, the the guitar solo from Smoke on the Water, which was very, I mean it's it's a moderate solo.


At the time it was really, really difficult.

But that's just my brain.

How my brain is wired.

I would not take the easy thing.

I would not take the medium thing.

I would take the the hard thing and like have the whole world watch me fail that that's that's the punchline.

I don't even, I'm not even good at it.


So it's like why?

Why are you going after the hard thing?

And I remember messing up the solo like in the second-half, like the part where it gets particularly technical.

I of course messed that up.

And there was just like silence after I finished for like 3-4 seconds, which felt like 3-4 years naturally.


And people just like started clapping and it was like slow claps.

But then it kind of like increased and it was, it was like an encouraging thing.

And my parents were there, and I remember, and I knew exactly what it meant, like I, or at least the way my my negative brain at the time perceived that this like.

They're clapping for me because they feel bad for me and and you know cuz like I should have mentioned the guy right before me was this like freaking like piano virtuoso kid and he played show fans like whatever Symphony and he and like he absolutely did an incredible performance on like me and like riding back in the car with my parents they're like hey like why are you upset?


And I was like cuz cuz it was it wasn't great and I don't know why you guys were clapping for me.

I don't think I deserve that and.

I think ever since that's the end of the story, basically like there was no positive turn out to it.

I if there was one thing it was that I just wanted.


I just needed to be kinder to myself because I realized that even if you feel like you quote UN quote, don't deserve it.

Well, what what's beating yourself up going to achieve, You know what I mean?

Like like what's that going to achieve?

Well, and I think too you did the hard thing.


You may have not been the Rockstar Standing ovation.

But be proud of the fact that I chose the hard thing and I got to finish that hard thing.

And I think those slow claps were.

I think it wasn't Ohh, OK great, you know, poor thing.


It was more wow, he did the hard thing and and that you could have chosen the easy route, the easy key.

But it's even harder and even more impressive when you do choose the hard thing.

Yeah, yeah.

And I mean it's.

I'm beginning to think I'm beginning to think whether it was even slow collapse or if or if it was just a regular applause And I just because of my my former yeah my former negative mind just sought as oh that's slow collapse that's you know they weren't impressed or something But yeah I think this the story that you tell yourself similar to what you did is really really important about like when you go through something and and it doesn't go the way that you planned you alchemize that and you decide you know what.


I'm glad this happened because this is the last freaking time that you know X, Y that's Ying it's I stood there and I had this pit and it's so funny.

I think back now.

It's been quite a long time but I think back now and I I can almost still feel the pit that I felt then.


When I really think about those moments in that audition and I don't ever want to feel that again and and it it's not.

I didn't walk away from it going you will always be the very best of the best of the best.

It was you.


It wasn't that.

It was you're not going to allow yourself to feel that way again.

It's okay to fail, but you're not going to get in your head if you're not the one that's chosen.

And if you don't win the award or if you're not the top producing, it won't be because you got in your head or lack of effort.


And it's funny because I have two sons, nine and six years old, and it's one of the stories and those that I continually tell them in their sports that in their school it is OK not to be the best of the best is OK if you don't make the team.


It is OK if you get the B instead of the A or the C instead of the B.

Although hey, you will try your very best to get those A's and B's but it's you won't do it because you get in your own way and you won't, you won't fail because you got in your own head like you have the absolute abilities.


I want you to show up and be your personal best and be absolutely proud of the personal best.

And I do believe it will all come out and that you will have successful, great, fun, defining moments in your life with that mindset of like, I will earn it and I will try and that's all I ever want for my sons too is just I don't want you to walk into a room and have that pit in your stomach and feel like you got in your own way and you got in your own head.


There will be defining moments.

And I mean if you, if you if you wanted scientific proof, not not that not that you need it, well it's not really scientific proof, but it's it's business proof anyway that I've read from a guy called coach Dan Sullivan.


Who runs the Strategic coast by coach?

He's not just a guy.

He's like an amazing guy.

And one of his principles is like 80% is better than 100%.

Or basically to seek an 80% result.

Because you can argue that, like, getting to 80% is a lot more straightforward than trying to figure out and crack that final 20%.


And that's what cripples a lot of folks, AKA like perfection, right?

And so he says like, hey, well, perfection is not a is, is is.

Is is a fallacy.

It's a myth.

Like you're you're always going to be striving towards perfection, never really reaching it, so on and so forth.

And so he's saying to basically like structure our goals in like 80% increments, where you you do your your the 1st 80% and then from that remaining 20 you try and get 80% of that and so on and so on.


And so not to get too nerdy with it, but like you'll probably end up with like 99 point something, but never quite like the 100%.

And this is something that I've even like with my own team, like I've tried to, I've tried to like voice it a lot where it's like, hey, let's just let's achieve an 80% result and then and then figure out the 20% later, knowing that we already have 80% in the bag.



And look, listen, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm getting excited.

I'm losing track of time.

I want to get to the to to the main part of it, which is, which are of course the key moments.

So what is 1.


I think that dance audition actually, and this is a little bit more of the personal side of of a failure that that was.


I think it can be defined as a failure and one of probably the biggest learnings because everything and through all of the decisions that I've made personally in my life, all and also all of the key moments where I fought really hard and work to try to, you know, prove myself or prove my worth or move along and do the great things, do the big things, do the hard things.


It's always come from, I think that defining moment as this 18 year old girl of a little fish in a big pond that got in her own head.

And so that I would actually say was probably one of my biggest failure and learning points along the way.

That's really defined who I've been.


Yeah, yeah.

And I can.

I I definitely perceive it as a learning and as you said, Sherry, like it's all about how you perceive it in that story that you tell.

And if you are creative enough like it is it, it is a muscle that you build, isn't it?

Like I think with time you get better at explaining situations.


And this is one of the because I'm really big into like mental health and I I love learning, like reading and learning about it and the one the one thing that we always have.

As as Doctor Victor Frankel had said to wrote the book Man Search for meeting, he basically says that like between the stimulus and the response is a gap and then that gap exists your freedom.


So in plain English, like pretty much, you know, when a thing happens, there's like a couple of seconds or or or or a space of time where you can pause and decide.

It's kind of like responding to an e-mail, like you decide how are you going to respond to that as opposed to, oh, milk spilled there for.


Must be bad.

Well, it's like, no.

Well, maybe it's time for me to.

I've been meaning to clean the kitchen.

Anyway, you know what I mean.

Yeah, yeah, no, I absolutely think so.

I think that you are given throughout the course of your life those moments where you're at the crossroad and do you turn right or do you turn left and that right or left are completely different meanings and endings and that take you along your path.


And we all experience a variety of them.

And it's how you respond to it.

And that decision that leads to the cause and effect and the next decision and then the next decision and then the next.

It's just one that's always stood out because it's really shaped the fighter in me, but then also the mother in me as I look to educate and support and be there for my sons.


So nonfiction, Alright, so fiction wise, I have one that stood out that I I will go to and I will read and reread all the time.

It's called The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

It is the most heartwarming fiction that I have ever read.

I'm a dog lover.


Oh, is that the the about the dog?

Yeah, I saw the movie of it.


So you have to read the book before and then then you can the the movie's fantastic, the book.

Leaves a very special place in my heart because I had a lab for 13 years that sometimes after reading that book, like you ball like a baby and you're just going, oh, I really, I want that to be true.


I want that to be true.

And I would, I would have loved to have been in his head and it was fantastically written, nonfiction wise, though a business wise, marketing outrageously by John Spolstra.

That one stood out.

It's a little bit older, but it stood out early in my marketing career because it's sports related.


And I love sports.

I love sports.

But so I enjoyed the read as it was talking about several different NBA basketball teams.

But it's only all about when you how do you, how do you market in a crowd?


And you have to sometimes push the boundaries and market outrageously as the book's title is, and some of it seems a little outdated.

And maybe hasn't aged well into 2023, but the but it can be applied to today.

And it really stands out as just something that's really kind of helped me as I really thought through.


How do we market this creatively?

How do we do this different than somebody else?

How do we break through the noise to create standout messaging?

Have you read Purple Cow by Seth Godin?

I have, and it's a really great book too.

Would you?


Would you?

Because that's the one I've read as well.

I'm taking a note of.

Is it called outrageous marketing?

Marketing outrageously, sorry.

Marketing outrageously.

How would you like?

Is it kind of like in that same realm would you say?


It is, It is.

It is.

Another one that I actually like too is called the Challenger Customer.

So it's by the same group that writes the Challenger sale.

And I think that's got a really, really good marketing spend to it as well as you're thinking about your buyers and your customers and how do you really get to know them.


Yeah, yeah.

I mean, you've touched on a couple of great books there.

So let's go back to that, to the first of all, this is supposed to be one book, but I'm sorry, I think.

Call me a rule breaker.

We've we've had quite a few rule Breakers on the show lately because I'm I'm unable to to Yeah.


I mean there's just so many cool things so many interesting things to talk to talk about specifically in the book segment.

But just to relate to that Sherry, like I have a lab as well.

He's two years old at the moment.

Black lab.

And I remember watching that movie and I like just a note.

I like movies and books.


I I know for a fact that like books are just so much better than than movies and for for the most part just because they engage you and like they you know tap into like your imagination and so on and and so having said that like I think I would probably pick that book up as well.


I'm starting to get more into like fiction books as opposed to like nonfiction because I'm I'm like a hardcore nonfiction guy.

But I think this book could be could be great be great to check out.

It is, it is, and it will always be I.

It's very hard to top for me just because of the impact that our lab had on us before he passed.


And it's just Oh my gosh, it is such a wonderful butt.



I can imagine.

I can imagine.

So we were we were talking about dogs.

Who is one person?

Yes, so I there is one.


And she actually has come into my life a little bit later.

About 2 1/2 years ago I got introduced to a woman.

Her name is Alexandra Roddy and she at the time was my Chief Marketing Officer when I was the Director of Marketing for a Fintech organization.


And to say now Fast forward, she is a dear friend.

She is probably my biggest cheerleader and mentor and I have learned from her so, so much.

You know, I was in an interesting position there where I was experiencing some a little bit more of the male dominated cultural differences that was quite unique and I.


She has been someone that I have, I really learned, leaned on during that period to make the right decisions for me.

But she is also an avid family woman who really kind of helped me feel like I could climb a career ladder and be the mom that I wanted to be for my sons.


It's like you can have both.

And I think as a woman, sometimes we are put in weird in situations unfortunately, where you it's harder to climb the ladder or you feel like you can climb.

But are you giving up the mom that you want to be to your family?


Or how do I make sure in when many executive teams feature mostly men, how do I make sure that I can?

Challenge that glass ceiling and how do I make sure that I'm taken seriously and that I can be both and do both.


And so I've learned so much from her and I'd, you know, we are both working in completely different areas now and but yet we had lunch just two months ago when she flew to the area and happy happened to be in Memphis, TN visiting then someone else and she called.

She said let's do lunch, let's catch up.


And if she's just one of those people that you can just pick up the phone and really be able to learn so much from?

As a woman who has broken those glass sealants and and done some incredible things in her career.

And what's what's 1?

What's one thing you've learned from her if not from anyone?


Like from her?

Specifically, the one thing, one thing you've learned from her.

That it's OK to walk away from things that seem to be the things that you really want in your career to do for yourself.


And I and I say that mental health wise, physical health wise, it's like it's okay to walk away so that you can focus on you because you can't be the best version of you when you put yourself in a toxic environment and you don't recognize what it's impacting and doing for you.


And to I'm going to ask you a question that even I don't know the answer to.

But what what would you say to someone who's listening to us who who who feels like like emotionally they want to do that, but they just feel like they don't have a choice because of the responsibilities.


They are just they.

They perceive themselves to be stuck at the moment where they are.

Yeah, I think it's a really hard one.

I think I remember feeling stuck.

I remember feeling like, well, I can't leave.

I have to food on the table.


You know, my husband can't.

We just can't be.

He can't be just the sole provider of the family I have to contribute to.

And I don't want to just up and quit.

And then what am I doing?

I remember being in that situation, but I also remember feeling like it felt like the weight of the world to go into work.


And it felt like I couldn't be my best self.

And it felt like I was, I was told, in a situation one time in a meeting.

With a variety of people in the room, you're stupid.

You don't know what you're talking about.


And I had never experienced that before.

And I remember Alex telling me you don't have to take that.

You don't have to take that.

And I just it was a defining moment where I sat back and I said what is my worth?


What is my word?

We can't sit there and spend 20 plus years in a culturally toxic environment and we have to.

And and you shouldn't be told that whether you're a man or a woman or whatever your affiliation on binary, you name it, you you should not be told.


You're stupid.

You don't know what you're talking about.

Like that's that's it.

And so I decided at that point that I was going to start looking.

And so I knew, you know what, I don't want to be here today, but I also just can't walk away financially right now.


So that's when I started looking.

And whether it took me one month, two months, three months, four months, six months, I was going to make the concentrated effort to find the place that I needed to be, but it also meant to make sure.


You take the lessons, learn and ask the right questions in the next interview process.

Sometimes it's very hard to sift out culture in an interview, so you have to really ask the tough questions and spend the time, you know, don't look at it as, oh gosh, they're making me interview with like five or six people.


Go Thank goodness they're making me interview with five or six people.

Because use that to gather and ask all of these people the same questions to really determine what their responses are, to really see how they feel about their work environment.


Yeah, I love that.


I had.

I had no idea.

Like, that's that's just insane.

And I think like with so yeah, thoughts are racing right now.

But yeah, one one thing that comes to mind is for folks who are in a similar situation, I'm reminded by the book Give and Take by Adam Grant, which I've which I've mentioned before on the show.


He talks about the concept totally unrelated by the way.

He talks about the concept of burnout and how sometimes the best cure to burnout is to keep on to keep on giving, basically.

So not just giving in your work, but even after hours finding something else that you can give to.


And I I was a bit shocked when I when I read that that the solution to burnout is to just keep working harder.

But he said that the reason why burnout is experienced is because you don't necessarily feel fulfilled or you feel like you're giving, but you're not necessarily getting anything back, or at least how I've understood it.


And I think he gave the example.

I agree with you because I think that people will work hard when they feel appreciated and when they feel heard and.

Where we're at now, where I'm at with evasion, CXMI mean we had to, and it's one of my biggest accomplishments.


I feel like I was the first marketer and I had to hire a team and rebrand the entire organization in three months.

And it was all during the summer when everybody wants to take vacation.

But I was like, I can't take vacation.

I've got to do this and one could say you can easily experience burnout.


When you're trying to overwork and overdo and it seems like you're climbing Mount Everest but you got to go climb it really really quickly and but at the same time the appreciation this organization showed for those efforts and the celebration and it's it was like it was it felt worth it it felt worth it to feel like you were burning the candle at both ends and working all of these hours and and it felt worth it to the team because that hired.



And I do believe people's people leave bad leaders.

They don't always necessarily leave a really good company.

It unless it's the bad leaders, right?

Like they will work hard for you if you stay, feel heard and valued and appreciated, and when they don't and you have not been the leader that they've needed and you have allowed toxicity.


They will walk away from the highest paying job that they've even had because the leader failed them and then the company failed them because sometimes it's the opposite is true.

Where like have you ever seen that before?

Where like a company's overall maybe like not a company you're working, but like just you've heard of a company where things are generally not not great but in IT.


But there is this unit.

Yeah, exactly.


It's it's like they have their their little nuke or their their little thing going on and they're following the leader and as far as they're concerned if that leaders going they're gone with him.

Oh, absolutely, absolutely.


Because it's going all right.

If they left, what's going on right?

And and I also look at it as we spend more time working than we do at home.

And it's just the nature of the beast.

We have 5 work days.

We have two weekends.


And you know, we're working 8-9 hour days sometimes, if not longer, depending on your industry and what you got going on.

And it's why does it have to feel unhealthy?

And it doesn't have to mean everything's got to be perfect, right?


Like I will go work for a wonderful leader.

Even if the company doesn't offer free snacks or a gym or, you know, all of those wonderful things, I don't need all of that.

What I really want so you don't need the bean bags.


I do not need the bean bags.

The fortunate thing is, is I've worked Remote now for several years, so I've got a bean bag chair in my son's room I can pull out if I need to, and I've got endless supplies of some coffee from Amazon, subscribe and delivery.

I'm good.

No, but I don't, I don't, I don't need that.


Like I would choose to go work for company really because of the leaders because I would, number one, I want to learn from them.

But also I want to know that like, hey, I'm going to work really, really hard for you and but I want to make sure that you trust me and the decisions that I make or in the work that I do and that we're going to go do good things together.


It's not the leaders.

The the leaders will not be successful without empowering their teams to go and do and be successful.

And I will never try to take credit for the success of our marketing organization.

It is the people that I get to work with every day.


They have made this.

They have made this successful.

I I have just given them the ability to go and do and be great and I think if more organizations.

Surround themselves that way.


I don't think you would find as much churn where people just say enough's enough.

I can't do this anymore.

I'm burnt out like you're working me to the ground.

But for what?

And are you listening to me?

No, I mean yeah, it's going back to something important you said earlier even around like the five working day thing.


I we actually just had a guest on and they managed to negotiate a four day work week at like several companies that they've worked at where he basically said hey, well I'm, I'm really excited about this opportunity.

But here here's my ask basically and I thought and he kind of coordinate coordinates it with his partner where he does the I think the Fridays so that he can spend a week a long weekend with his kids and then his wife does the Mondays.


So long weekend but like from the other side.

And I like, I think people can check out the episode.

Like, I was asking like, how did you do that?

Because like, I think that we're, we're going into a world now where you know if, if like you should no longer put up with any BS that you don't want to put up with.


And you have options.

And you have the opportunity to be in a place where you're surrounded by people who believe what you believe.

Not just in the interview where when you ask them, hey, how's the culture?

And they say the culture is great or they point at a poster that like one of the one of their, like, you know, culture value like poster posters or whatever, but that you can actually see that through, like see that in in your conversations with them.


And obviously, like, beyond the interview as well, like, I think it's not too farfetched for people like this is this is no longer like a dream, like this is obviously a reality, right?

Yeah, and here's the thing.

As a leader, value your people.

And value the work that they do.


Now that does not mean give everybody a participation trophy.

That's not what I'm saying.

And you may not in your organization have a variety of incentives right now.

I mean, the economy is uncertain.

You know, you may not have a lot of business or incentive options to like give people verbal recognition goes such a long way.


And just value your people.

You hired them.

Value them and listen to them and and if you hired them, then trust in the work that they did because you decided to bring them on based on their abilities.


So don't try to control it all.

Don't try to micromanage it all.

It you cannot, you have to have a melting pot of ideas.

It can't be just your idea.

As the leader, allow them to have a safe space to challenge it in a healthy way.

So if you say, hey, I want this done this way and they say, well, hey, what about X?


Ask them to follow up questions.

All right.

Now what do you think it'll do?

How would you approach it?

And you will find that not all the time, the leaders got all the greatest ideas.

We don't all know all the things, right?

And and the idea is, is that you're you're never going to be able to know all of the things.


So hire the people.

Trust the people that you hired.

Hire them for the experience that they bring.

Hire very different people that way.

It's not the same cookie cutter person multiplied, you know, so that everybody can bring a different idea and a different voice.


And that is how great actions and great projects and greatness is achieved as a team and appreciate them for the work that they do.


We're all so busy and we we spend so much time at work and not enough time with our families and you know the United States is hardest working longest working countries.


You know others are taking siestas and nice holiday and we don't get to do that all the time.

But you know, just appreciate and you don't have to appreciate it by giving out a participation trophy or book them with a bunch of incentives like if you can do that want, you know.


Incentivize them or give them something that's great, you know, that's wonderful.

But not all companies can do that right now.

Yeah, but just give them, make them feel appreciated, and they'll run through a brick wall for you.



Maybe not a literal brick raw, not a literal 1.

Not a literal one though, yeah?

I said you're a brick wall.

They absolutely would.

So we're talking.

We've unpacked a lot with regards to like, teamwork and like what?

What, what greatness looks like over there.


Let's go back to you.

What is like individually?

What is one decision for you?

So I think this actually goes back to one of the things that I talked about where I was taught that you can be the mom or the parent that you want to be and and have a healthy career.


And I made a decision.

In a role to leave when I really loved everything about it.

But I was traveling a lot and I was missing a lot at home.


And I also saw a correlation where my sons weren't thriving when I was at home.

Not because my husband's not a wonderful dad, let me tell you, he's the best of the best.

But they wanted their mom and I wasn't there.


And again, I I really appreciated the company.

I got a lot from it.

I loved the team that I had.

But I made the decision, yeah, I made a decision to walk away from all of that so that I could be more present with my family and be able to have the career and be able to not miss the tiny moments.


Because our littles are only little, so long and I don't have that many years, although they're still really little.

But like, you're going to blink and they're going to be 18 and then I'm going to pack myself in their suitcase and I'm going to go with them to college.

I've already told my husband, like, we're going to retire early.

I'm going to get a camper, and we're just going to go travel in between both colleges or wherever the boys end up, because that's what I want to do.


And and so I did.

I made the decision so that I could be still have a career and still be there for my boys.

And and by I think I think that comes with like a Speaking of like mindsets and stuff like that it's this is almost like an abundance mindset versus like a scarcity mindset where it's like hey if I lose this job or if I if I walk away from this job that's the job.


There's no other, you know, I I won't be able to get a a similar or or or even better opportunity or more relevant opportunity and so.

Sometimes it could be really like it's funny like with like I'm I'm X HubSpot my my my cofounders X Google and it's public knowledge that with a lot of these companies you're you're and companies in general like you're just part of this like bubble where with the the bubble of like benefits the bubble of like comfort the the bubble of like.


Endless career growth.

Hypothetically, it's like it's so comfortable here.

It's it's why would you want to leave Disneyland, you know.

And so even though I think some of these like larger holster child companies tend to be associated more with that kind of like bubble thing, I would argue that like anyone who spent any considerable time in any company may may feel like a bubble forming where it's like, yeah, but why would why do I want to rock the boat?


It's so much easier to just stay.

Maybe I'll just, maybe it'll just pass or something.

So I.

I think it takes a certain level of of bravery and courage to well, I just remember I was told one time in my life and it's just a little sad but you know picture, but it's something that's always resonated.


It was like when you when it is your time and you were on your deathbed.

You will not be surrounded by all of your employees and your boss and you are going to be surrounded by your family.

And it has always My family is my core.


I don't live to work, I work to live.

I will work very hard for my organization.

I will help the organization when.

But I also believe the balance is necessary.


And I've made decisions in my careers, in my life, for my family and for my children, because I believe that I can be both.

And I believe that I am an actual.

I am a healthier version of me to provide for work because I have that balance.


But on the flip side of that, I know that my sons are growing up and seeing that their parents are working hard and but also that they're having fun along the way and that they're not being the tiny moments.

Because those tiny moments are fleeting and it's only a matter of time for for my I embarrass my kids even with a hug in public.


And so I am going to continue to hug them right now, and I will continue to be the loudest cheerleader on their sidelines to the point where now my 9 year old is like stop can hear you.

But I'm going to do it because when the time comes for them to enter the real world, I want them to know what hard work looks like.


I want them to know what balance can look like.

And I want them to be able to celebrate both and be the best versions of them.

And I want them to want success for them in whatever means that is.

But I want them to have seen their parents be able to achieve what we wanted to achieve and have both.



And I mean, I don't know if you thought about thought that far yet, but I mean it's like actions speak so much louder than the words.

And so for them, you're you're almost sounding like a an amazing example of like what they want to do with their kids as well, right?


Well, don't they always say there's like a saying out there that says men marry their mothers?

And so now I'm like, you know, there there's like a saying out there.

And so now I'm thinking, I'm thinking light years ahead and I'm going OK, if my daughter-in-law happens to be a little like me, that's OK.


I'm OK with that.


So I mean my.

That is the grand plan.

You finally revealed that.

I mean, look, that is the grandest of the no, I'm kidding.

And if my son's ever listened to this, what, 20 years down the road, they'd be like my mother is the most embarrassing thing on this planet.


But 123.

I could almost guess what you're going to say for the next one, because you've already shared so many, but what is 1 accomplishment and maybe 1 accomplishment?

That didn't mean that much to to others, or wasn't like the flashiest thing, but for you it was just it.


Like it just hit different.


Well, honestly, there's so many different ones.

I'm actually going to keep this one a little less of the personal, a little bit more business wise.

And I actually think that what I've what my team and I have accomplished in the last in the first three months of joining Ovation CXM last May to launch of the brand three months later is probably one of the most recent accomplishments.


Usually you hire a team and you have to bake in, training them and getting them up and running.

And but there wasn't that because I was still learning the organization too.

It was like I joined in two months, late 2 weeks later, actually.

I started making my hires and then the team started coming on and then it was going to look, we're going to a press release in September on this rebrand.


So we got to change the company name, do all the brand colors and design the new value proposition, You name it, let's go.

And so I hired and none of us knew really what that organization did.

So we had to fast learn, fast interview current customers, interview prospects, interview members of the team to learn all of their different opinions of what the organization did.


To then identify, all right, these were the commonalities and these were the stark differences.

And who do we want to be based on this knowledge now?

How do we want to name ourselves, brand ourselves?

Let's go, Let's redo this website and everything.

It was the hardest work and none of us knew we didn't have this large company knowledge, so we learned along the way.


But what we actually did is the team that I hired, we immediately trusted each other because of who I brought in were people that knew what they were doing, had done it in the past in some capacity.

So it was like, we may not know everything about this organization.

We're going to learn it together.


But I trust that you're the best writer.

I trust that you're the best product marketer.

I trust that you're the best creative.

And I think they they feel that as well.

And so when they feel that that responsibility in a good way, it's like, hey, like they're counting on me.

I'm going to go out to my best.


Like we didn't take the vacations that summer and last summer because we just had to get it done and we sprinted and we worked over and but my goodness, it felt so good to launch the organization.

It so felt so good to hear the response in the market and it felt even better to feel the appreciation that we still actually feel today a little over a year since some of us are started doing.


We've all been just celebrating our one year anniversaries and you would leaders today keep saying, gosh, man that was like one of the best rebrands and I'm just going thank you, thank you.

Because number one, it recognized going back to what we talked about, like burnouts, one thing, but like people will work hard for you when they feel heard and appreciated and valued and get them the runway to succeed.


And that's a prime example of what the organization did for us.

It's crazy because usually rebrands are like, like to my French, but they're like a train wreck.

It's like, Oh my God, you know?

And then there's arguments too, internally a lot of times.

And this was the second time I've done a rebrand for an organization.


But man, this one went swimming light and it was a testament to the leadership team and their value of hiring me as a leader to be the first marketer to build this team and build this brand.

But it was one of the best accomplishments and and that was most recent.


That just leaves a smile on my face because we still talk about it a year plus later of man, that was fun.

It was a lot of work, but it was so much fun and just to feel that appreciation still that's that's been a really fun, really fun part and it's let me know too that I've made the a wonderful decision being here and I think the best is yet to come.


Yeah, and I mean it, it's amazing because like I, I know you're big on sports, right?

And there's there's so many like small bit cliche, but like kind of like the you're you're reminding me of like the The Last Dance documentary.


About the Chicago Bulls.


And I mean just like, yeah, like how at one point in time everything was just perfect, right.

People in the right seats.

And yeah, I think, yeah, I, I, I wish for you many dances to come in the future and that this is not the last dance.


But yeah, that that is awesome.

If anything, this just shows you like hey like holy shit like look what we were able to accomplish and show just such a small, such a small.

Time frame.

Imagine what we can actually accomplish like a year from now.

So I think the best.

Well, exactly, exactly right.


It's like if you can climb Everest that quickly, right then and there and listen, it wasn't perfect.

There are certainly things that we would look back in retrospect and go okay.

We should have done this, should have done that, should have done this.

We did it.

And then all we've been able to do since then is iterate and and do tweaks.


Marketing is Evergreen.

You don't ever produce anything and it just stays and it stays for years.

Like that's how you become outdated really quickly.

So we've taken the time that like we did the launch and now we iterate and now we get better and we change and we learn along the way and we change the messaging based on what we're hearing in the marketplace and we're applying.


It does, right, exactly.

But we got it done.

And so that's been one that's really kind of stuck out that has been reset.

Love it?


We can keep on talking for for ages, as you can probably tell.


Like, personally, professionally, I really enjoyed this episode.

I haven't.

And yeah, like, I like, I I think we like I learned so much about you and just about about being like being a professional or being a being a professional in general.


Like, I think I've learned a lot myself.

From this episode.

So thank you so much for just sharing all that with us.

Well, I appreciate it and you so for having.

Me, of course.

And like me, I am certain that there are folks who are listening who are like, Oh yeah, Kareem, well, you want to end the episode?


Well, I have more questions for Sherry.

And so where can people find you?

And is there anything that you want to give to the community at all as as eration or as as yourself?



So thank you.

I you can find me on LinkedIn again.


It's Sherry Schwartz.


And I am always happy to meet.


I'm not only sports obsessed, but coffee obsessed.


So I'll always grab a virtual coffee with you if you would like.

I like meeting people in the community.

I like sharing.

I like learning.

I like mentorship.

However, I can help talk through a big idea.

Happy to do it.

That sounds fun.

Let's throw spaghetti on a wall and see if it sticks.


Always happy to be able to do that.

Yeah, if you want to learn a little bit more about the organization or the rebrand work, because maybe you have found yourself and in that situation, getting ready to enter into a rebrand.

Happy to give my thoughts.

Lessons learned.


Let's just keep the conversation going.

I'm an open butt.


Well, Sherry, thank you so much and we'll see you soon.

Thank you.

Similar posts

Join our newsletter

Stay in touch with all things content repurposing.