It seems not a day goes by when Roxy Jacenko is not appearing in some media outlet or another – there’s a definite fascination with her that far transcends one typically associated with people in her industry.
Since doing a couple of interviews with Roxy for Husskie, I’ve been fascinated to watch the commentary it receives. But one thing that is unanimously agreed upon is that she is one hellova business woman.
With Roxy speaking at the ENJO Business Opportunity seminars in Sydney and Melbourne next week*, we thought now was the perfect time to chat to her about all things business – from her top tips for someone wanting to launch their own business to how she manages to stay ahead of the competition.
What do you think it is about yourself that has made Sweaty Betty PR and Ministry of Talent such a success?
I would put it down to the fact that we are willing to push the boundaries in terms of approach and not stick with what the norm is. There is of course risk when you attempt to break the boundaries, but with that comes great success.
Do you love what you do?
There are days I wonder why on earth I chose PR as it’s a really hard slog, whilst it looks champagne and canapés – I don’t remember the last event I attended for work where I even ate one!! As with any job, there are pluses and minuses – I love my team and that’s what makes me love my work!
What is the driving force behind your desire to be a successful business woman?
I have always been very focused on if you do something do it with 200% dedication and energy. When I started my business, I had a burning desire to show my parents that I could make something of myself even though I had such dismal school results!
You are the champion of working hard but also juggling family time. Is it hard to be a business owner while also having a ‘life’ outside of work?
I am now managing three companies – Sweaty Betty PR, The Ministry of Talent and my daughter’s hair accessories company Pixies Bows. I have always been a worker – having started working afternoons after school at McDonalds when I was 14. Social life isn’t a big thing for me – I am happy working, and when I am not working, it’s time with my family. That’s the perfect life for me!
What has been your career highlight to date?
Seeing my business and team continually grow and evolve, and finishing off our state of the art premises in the building I bought a few years ago.
Do you feel that with so many boutique PR companies launching, there is now more competition in the space than ever before?
I don’t really look at it as competition. I think as long as you keep your focus and do things differently and with an edge, it’s not competition – it just makes PR services even more relevant.
It’s also really interesting how many open and how many close as quick as they open – people don’t often realise what it takes to run a business, manage staff and clients, and do the actual work!
What measures do you take to stay ahead of the competition?
I never look sideways at what others are doing – I look beyond. And by that, I mean globally. I don’t want to replicate, I want to create!
Is there anything you would change about your career path? And if so, what?
No, it’s served me incredibly well. I have an amazing team who are as close as family. We work with the best clients and brands, and to top it off, I have had the opportunity to invest in property and Birkins as a result. HA HA!
You have faced more than your fair share of criticism throughout your career. How have you learnt to deal with the haters?
Don’t sweat it, like the book – I have got ‘the art of not giving a f*ck’ down pat!
With so much media focus on your life and marriage etc – does this attention help business or hamper it?
There are times when it can cause you issues, but then at the same time, I don’t buy into it. The clients I work with are professional organisations who aren’t the least bit interested in meddling in hearsay gossip… which more often than not, it is!
You launched Ministry of Talent right at a time where influencer management was becoming a ‘thing’. Do you think it’s quick moves like this that has helped put your companies into a strong position?
We were one of the first to launch into influencer management, and people soon cottoned on and followed suit, as expected. I think you need to be on the front foot with every move you make in business or you will get left behind. I saw the opportunity and jumped at it when people didn’t even know what influencers were! You need to always be looking at how to give clients what they want before they know they even need it.
Does having a PR agency and an influencer agency work hand-in-hand?
We share the same office building but work very separately as two companies, I don’t like to blur the lines. I think what it does is ensure we understand the opportunity that exists in the space, and if the clients want to explore digital marketing, we have the expertise and the talent bank to provide it.
You’re about to join up with ENJO to host a series of business workshops. Can you tell me a bit about this?
I’m really excited to be the ambassador for the ENJO Business Opportunity as I’ll be able to educate other women, especially mums, about how they can also have their own business that’s actually flexible to the hours they want to work. ENJO provides all the tools and training, but they can juggle the business around their schedule. Some people are full-time ENJOpreneurs and can earn upwards of $200,000 per year! It’s really vital that I juggle work, the kids and family time effectively, and it’s important to me that other women know they can too – plus I love sharing my tips!
What would be your five top tips for someone wanting to launch their own business?
- Have a strong accounts team in place and understand the back end of the business – without this the business can fail as soon as it starts
- Know that you will work harder than ever when it’s your own as you are answerable at the end of the day
- Reference check your team pre hiring. Just because they present well and look good on paper, doesn’t mean they are a team player and can do the job!
- Take on brands that you are actually passionate about and interested in. There is no point taking on a client simply for the remuneration opportunity – if you don’t get it or like it, it’s awfully hard to PR it with enthusiasm
- Reward your team and be good to them as without a good team and a happy working environment, it’s very hard to kick goals!
And for those already running their own business?
Keep looking for the next opportunity and way of doing things – the moment you become stagnant is the moment you get forgotten about. Push the boundaries and don’t take what seems to be the safe and easy route.
*Roxy will be speaking at the ENJO Business Opportunity seminar at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney on September 5 and at Crown Towers in Melbourne on September 7.