Paige Arnof-Fenn has proven herself as a force in the marketing industry. Before founding Mavens & Moguls, she has had extensive experience working with major brands. She was the former Vice President of Marketing at Zipcar (now Avis); VP of marketing at Inc.com; and SVP of marketing at Launch Media, an internet startup that ended up selling to Yahoo.
With Mavens & Moguls, Paige Arnof-Fenn proves her love for building brands. The company comprises a team of battle-tested Chief Marketing Officers and experienced marketing professionals that help businesses put together the right stories for the right audiences. Mavens & Moguls has worked with both early-stage startups and Fortune 500 companies.
If you’re a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur, or business executive who needs some marketing advice or unique ideas, you’ll need the services of Mavens & Moguls. Paige Arnof-Fenn and her team will show you brilliance and passion. If you want to raise capital, launch a new product/service, grow or revitalize an established brand, come up with media strategies, and fill in critical gaps in your marketing team, then you’ve come to the right place.
Paige Arnof-Fenn’s team at Mavens & Moguls comes from different world metropolises. According to the company website, you can find Mavens & Moguls in major cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, New Orleans, Washington, DC, among others. You can even find them in Europe, Canada, and Asia. If you’re an overseas company, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Many Mavens & Moguls are multilingual. They speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. No need to worry about expanding your market or strategizing across cultures.
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Paige Arnof-Fenn: Our name really sets us apart it think For my company when I started the firm I jokingly referred to the women as the Marketing Mavens & the guys as the Marketing Moguls & for short I called them Mavens & Moguls as a working name but never expected it would stick. I did research over e-mail with prospective clients, referrers, media, etc & tested ~100 names. Mavens & Moguls was one choice on the list & to my great delight & surprise it came out as a clear winner. It has helped us be memorable and stand out from the pack. Because I have a hyphenated last name half the battle is for clients to be able to find you when they need your help. I have had clients tell me they could not remember anything other than my first name & one word of my company so they googled Paige & Mavens and we popped right up. I was at an event one day and a venture capitalist started waving in my direction and shouted “hi Maven!” across the crowd, everyone looked my way and we ended up getting introduced to a portfolio company that hired us! Names contribute to your brand and in our case I think it has been a major plus. Maven is Yiddish for expert and a Mogul is someone of rank, power or distinction in a specified area. I like the alliteration and I think it sets us apart from other consulting firms. It shows a little personality & attitude and implies we do not take ourselves too seriously. Would you rather hire “Strategic Marketing Solutions” or Mavens & Moguls? We are the “not your father’s Oldsmobile” of marketing firms. If nothing else our name is a great conversation starter and getting into a conversation is all it takes to open a door.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Paige Arnof-Fenn: Like most small business owners and entrepreneurs there are never enough hours in the day to fit everything in so when something has to give it is usually time I have allocated for myself to exercise or just relax. A mentor once told me and I have come to appreciate and realize is that to stay sane and be successful “me time” is not a luxury or pampering, it is maintenance! The mentor shared that respecting my time on the calendar and taking myself as seriously as I take my most important clients is the least I can do for self care because if I am not at my peak performance I am not going to be useful to anyone else either, specifically I have encouraged my team to:
Give yourself permission to say no. Whether it means sleeping in (no to an alarm clock), meditating, taking a walk, or just turning off my phone and computer (no I will respond later on my own schedule), simple acts of letting myself relax and enjoy the moment are the very best gifts I can give myself. You can fill a calendar to stay busy but what matters most is having impact on people’s lives and that has nothing to do with volume of activity, it is about touching people in meaningful ways which may mean being less busy not more.
Disconnect from technology periodically and focus on cultivating human, face to face relationships (when not social distancing). Even meeting for virtual coffee or drinks can accomplish so much more than e-mail exchanges, social media posts, etc. and it is a great way to get to know people better, their interests, hobbies, and dreams. I have found that building relationships is what drives my business and technology supports them once they are solidified. Technology helps advance the conversation but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time. I used get out of the office 3–5 days a week for networking/meals which was a great way to stay connected, shake up my routine and get going before the virus hit.
Taking breaks with exercise — I do something active every day to stay healthy and break up my day.
Practice gratitude — I am so grateful I can work productively in my home office now with no commute.
As an entrepreneur it is easy to get overwhelmed. Staying healthy for me is about finding ways to unwind and relax as part of my day. It is about balance. I am a big fan of Tai Chi, but I also do Qigong, massage, acupuncture, knitting, reading, hanging out with friends, and watching TV to de-stress. I started learning Tai Chi >15 years ago and have gotten progressively addicted over the years. I now know the choreography of 2 different forms and I absolutely love it. It is a way to both relax and focus. I even guest teach when the regular backup cannot be there. I have met great people, it has helped my balance, improved my bone density and helped calm my mind. I just love it. I even wrote an article on it for Entrepreneur magazine a few years ago.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Paige Arnof-Fenn: I have been so fortunate to have great mentors, champions and role models throughout my career including former bosses, my father, senior women in organizations where I worked but the person who has always encouraged and supported me as an entrepreneur and has my back every day is my husband. He started a company too so understands the journey of an entrepreneur and has been my sanity check and thinking partner every step of the way. He is both a cheerleader and butt kicker depending on the situation and I trust his judgment and advice because I know he always has my best interests in mind. I am very fortunate to have him in my corner.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Delegating effectively is a challenge for many leaders. Let’s put first things first. Can you help articulate to our readers a few reasons why delegating is such an important skill for a leader or a business owner to develop?
Paige Arnof-Fenn: To be able to scale and grow leaders have to get comfortable delegating. I know because for the first 5 years of my business I was scared to go on vacation for fear all my hard work would unravel. Then my in-laws, father, mom and stepdad all started to get sick and I wanted to be there for them. They all lived thousands of miles away so I had to become comfortable delegating for my business to grow.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you help articulate a few of the reasons why delegating is such a challenge for so many people?
Paige Arnof-Fenn: I think it comes down to trust and confidence. It is natural and more comfortable to be in control and delegating by definition means letting someone else take the reins and knowing they will ptobably handle things differently than you and choose an alternative path. Delegating requires you to trust that your team is well trained and be confident in their ability to rise to the occasion.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your opinion, what pivots need to be made, either in perspective or in work habits, to help alleviate some of the challenges you mentioned?
Paige Arnof-Fenn: It comes down to seeing so much opportunity that you want to hire great people who are smart, have a growth mindset and share your core values. With the right vision, strategy and team in place scaling is exciting and fun, you know they have the chops to do the heavy lifting and you trust them to make the right decisions or ask for help when they need it. You can trust them to have the best interest of the organization in their hearts and minds. “A” team players like to work with other stars so delegating helps you scale quickly and learn a lot with every new opportunity. Otherwise a bottleneck will form and the best people will become frustrated and move on to where they can contribute more. Hire the best people and give them the tools and responsibility to flourish. When they become the champions and ambassadors for your brand, growth will follow. That is how to build a successful business.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
Paige Arnof-Fenn: Thanks so much it’s been my pleasure!