Kaare Long is the CEO/Agency lead and founder of a Cue Creative Marketing Inc. She is an award-winning Digital Marketing Consultant, Community Engagement Specialist, Writer, and Strategic Team leader.
Leading a highly skilled Marketing and Revenue growth team, Kaare long works with some of the most powerful and innovative entrepreneurial-minded leaders, CEO’s and successfully established businesses in Canada and the US. A creative, and critical thinking visionary who is led by over 20 years of experience using both intuitive leadership skills and business expertise based on extensive training and study in marketing, communications, sales, leadership, writing, public relations, relationship dynamics, human behavior, psychology, philosophy, arts and culture, and health and wellness.
Kaare has provided expert consulting as an Online Marketing Expert for Small Business BC and has served on the Leadership Team for the #1 Networking Organization in North America, eWomenNetwork (Vancouver Chapter) as the online Community engagement leader and was honoured the top international Social Media acknowledgment award for Community Impact and Engagement for 2016. Kaare has appeared on numerous local media platforms such as; CKNW, Global, CBC, Daily Hive, Vancouver Courier, Westender, Burnaby Now, and Huffington Post, as a spokesperson for the popular community initiative #sayhitoastranger that she created and founded.
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Table of Contents
Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what your vision is for its future?
Kaare Long: I lead a ‘hand picked’ and skilled Marketing and Revenue Management (Rev+ Team) that has led global business leaders and their teams to experience over double their yearly revenue target while working with us. This is the expert team that you call in when you have tried everything else and are ready to get down to business, profitable business. a Cue Creative Marketing and Consulting Inc. is an international, award-winning marketing and revenue management agency. Our specialty is in business growth consulting, marketing & sales strategy, and tactical implementation for growth-stage companies who want to increase brand visibility, generate qualified leads, and convert more sales.
You can’t solve revenue problems with marketing alone. Sales are the engine of all organizations, and marketing plays an integral role in increasing confidence in the buying decision. Business growth is the result of a focused strategy that connects the marketing fuel to the sales engine of the organization. Our Company and team are proud to be one of the only Marketing agencies out there that provide a full service, full spectrum – Marketing to Sales service. We focus on Revenue Management for our clients and are committed to supporting those businesses to reach and exceed their financial goals. Our vision is to work with as many CEOs as possible in North America to help them position their companies into an effective, efficient, and successful business model and marketing and sales machine.
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Kaare Long: I was a weird kid. I didn’t think I was strange because it was just me. Introverted, inquisitive, and constantly questioning the behavior of the adults around me. I could see through things to the truth with my observational skills and an exceedingly creative mind. I was labeled ‘too much’ by many people. I was ostracized for speaking out, punished for not complying with rules or the format of public schooling, and considered ‘damaged’ for using my intuition and taking self-responsibility at a really young age.
I started my career aspirations as a performer. It was a natural choice, given my propensity for elaborate creativity bursts and my introverted nature. My mother was once told by a friend of hers while I hid behind her skirts, “She’s so shy, she can’t WAIT to be on stage!” I played the flute, was a singer and starred in two high school musical productions as the lead. I went to acting school in college and was active in the arts community. I led a professional level all women a cappella singing group and started an a capella music vocal festival that was the first of its kind in our country.
At that time, I also became a mom, so my availability for work was limited, and my performing arts career was restricted. My priority was my kids. I found a solution, though – I decided to work for the performing arts community as an administrator and grant writer. I did this for years and was very successful. I brought in millions of dollars of grant funds for multiple organizations and started seeing ‘marketing’ opportunities and ways to get further exposure for the groups I worked with. My talent and skill in this work led to the first incarnation of my business. This is where the ‘a Cue’ in the name of my company comes from; it is literally a call out to my performance days – the ‘cue’ to go on stage.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Kaare Long: I was a ‘welfare mom’ for a small while in my past- I suffered through the stigma, shame, and humility of being entirely dependant on the system to be able to feed my kids and pay the rent. After a separation, and since I had put my career on hold to have my children and take care of them, it was not as easy for me to jump back into the workforce.
Childcare was too expensive, and I had little to no support at home to help care for my kids. I was forced into the reality of the very ‘real’ struggle for women when balancing career and family. This isn’t a ‘rags to riches story because it is all too common for career moms. I felt forced to choose between the welfare of my children and my work. I faced the harsh reality of the distance I would have to travel to get back into the workforce as an entrepreneur who had been away from her business for years. Many things had changed.
My schooling wasn’t relevant anymore; my experience was outdated and had big gaps in its timeline. I was not a ‘catch’ for any potential employer. I had to re-imagine myself and my work and be painfully patient as I built my business up from ground level by myself with little to no resources. It took a long time, but this is where my tenacity and unwillingness to give up paid off. Eventually, I was able to support myself and my family, and since I was my boss, I was still able to be available to my children in their most influential years of growth. I created a WIN out of a seemingly LOST situation.
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Kaare Long: I’ve always believed that an entrepreneur is a special kind of person. You have to be willing to be in a state of ‘unknown’ a lot of the time. You must face challenges with an open mind and innovate and solve problems on the fly. Every day you wake up, you are unemployed. It is always all on you to get those clients coming in your door. You will fail; that is an absolute. However, failure is the best teacher, and the only difference between entrepreneurs who succeed and those who do not is how you choose to respond to those failures. Do you see them as an opportunity, or do you see them as a loss?
You must be willing to pivot and adjust at a moment’s notice, and you also must be able to follow as well as you lead. A good leader understands that their real job is to empower those who work with them on their team and allow them to shine as much as possible. A good leader is not someone who is out for ego gratification. A mighty CEO and Entrepreneur understand that their role is to lead from behind and lift from above. So, ultimately, and entrepreneurs’ goals cannot be focused on self-grandiosity because those kinds of business owners and leaders rarely succeed.
You must have a deep commitment to your vision and be willing to go the distance and hurdle over all of the challenges and not let it stop you, ever.
What is the importance of having a supportive and inclusive culture?
Kaare Long: An influential leader understands that they are only as good as their team and that their team is everything. Influential leaders bring people together; they do not separate, belittle, or pit them against each other. No one wants to work in an environment that is toxic, and as a leader, it is up to you to set the tone every day. You must have acute self-awareness so that you can self-adjust whenever it is needed. Your job is to empower and encourage each team member to be the best version of themselves.
You must have the capacity to listen, understand, support, and align your team. If you do not nurture this inclusive and open culture, you will not generate a positive environment, and your business will reflect this out into the world. Your success relies heavily on how well you can unite your team.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Kaare Long: A leader needs to keep their business and team intact during the Covid period to re-emerge post covid with a strong foundation that has not been weakened by disruption or a change in protocols. An influential leader constantly creates new ways to connect and communicate with the world as innovation and pivot are powerful business flex. In my handbook, disruption of the status quo is a highly effective and creative way to stand out and make a difference. Following patterns always produces the same result. But, if you try something different, you will get a different result. It may work, it may not work, but if you do not experiment, you will never know. Be willing to be brave and bold.
If a 5-year-old asked you to describe your job, what would you tell them?
Kaare Long: If you can imagine that a business owner is an actor on the stage, I help those actors step out from behind the curtains and go directly to the spotlight – the brightest spot on the stage. That place is where the audience is looking, so they will be seen by everyone.
Leaders are usually asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is your most useless talent?
Kaare Long: I can sing. In some scenarios, this is an incredible talent, and I have sung professionally before. But, in the world of leadership, it is a talent that I never call upon unless I’m showing off or sharing personal details about myself that no one will know. No talent is entirely useless as the skills and determination it requires to nurture that talent are the same ones that encourage growth and success. However, the talent itself, singing, is not much help unless it’s time to sing Happy Birthday to someone.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Kaare Long: I have two titles in mind:
- Universal Re-direction – Harnessing the power of rejection.
- (R)Evolution – The rise of Women’s leadership around the world and the crumbling of the patriarchal system.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Kaare Long for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Kaare Long or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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