Olivia Meena is the Co-Founder of Sydney-based creative PR agency, Candid Communications. Olivia has over 10 years of experience in the industry with a breadth of knowledge spanning across technology, consumer, FMCG and corporate relations.
Candid Comms was founded on an ethos of doing great work and having a laugh along the way. Functioning as an extension of your business, we see ourselves as a part of your team. We combine experience, intellect, and a pinch of audacity to build smart, creative campaigns specifically for consumer lifestyle brands.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Olivia Meena: My name is Olivia Meena and I’m a Co-Founder of boutique Australian creative communications agency Candid Communications
Can you tell our readers in what ways you are disrupting your industry?
Olivia Meena: At Candid we try and do things differently. We pride ourselves on transparency for our clients and telling the truth about feedback or challenges to workshop solutions. The ‘truth’ in the PR industry isn’t exactly a staple.
Did you become a disruptor by choice or by necessity? Tell us more about the journey.
Olivia Meena: After working in other people’s agencies for many years, the gap in the market became apparent to us. When we went out on our own, it was at the height of the pandemic in Australia. We knew people had had enough of washy language and run-arounds. People were craving directness and for someone to give it to them straight. They didn’t have the time or money to waste.
Now for the main focus of this interview: Many readers may wonder what are the biggest challenges women entrepreneurs must overcome to be successful?
Olivia Meena: Our industry is interesting as it seems to have shelf life for women. PR is so fast paced and really a young person’s game. Keeping up with all the changes to the media landscape, the latest influencers, and social trends etc.
We see many women in their thirties have children and take a sidestep from the industry, and there’s always another 10 young guns fresh out of university, eager to take their place. For us, the biggest challenge as women entrepreneur within the PR industry is having that family life balance whilst maintaining a thriving and creative agency. This needs to start being bred into the culture, flexible working hours and embracing technology advancements of remote working are at the heart of our Candid Commandments.
How did these lessons shaped the way you conduct business today?
Olivia Meena: A lesson we can impart is that the corporate ladder is a myth. It’s designed like an ikea store, there to keeps you in your job, terrified you won’t be able to make it on your own. You get to a place where if I could just work hard ill be rewarded and get to “the next level”. The next level isn’t real. There’s another level after that and so on and so forth. Or the rug is pulled from under you and the business makes you redundant, suddenly that ladder has disappeared overnight.
My father always said to me, whatever you’re worth to the business, you’re worth three times to yourself.
What advice you wished you had received when you started, that you’d like to share now with aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Olivia Meena: We believe you can have it all, but you can’t be greedy. It’s not fair to your home life or your work life. You don’t need to have the biggest agency in town to prove you are successful. Stop looking left and right and keep making your own mark
Out of all of your proudest moments as an entrepreneur, is there a particular one that stands out the most?
Olivia Meena: Matching and exceeding our initial have from our previous place of employment within the first month of opening our doors was that wow moment. That moment of ok, we can really do this. We don’t need the infrastructure of someone else’s business to ‘feel safe’. Only you can control your future and give yourself job security.
What do you plan on tackling during the 2022 year? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Olivia Meena: We plan to pay further attention to our operations, how we can streamline efficiencies internally and grow our team to be the best they can be. Investing in tools and practical training.
I’m sure our readers will be very thankful for the insights you have shared. What is the best book you’ve gone through lately and please share some take away lessons from it.
Olivia Meena: My most recent read is Let My People Go Surfing, the story of Yvon Chouinard and his philosophy of why he set up the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. The story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life-a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, I do have one more question for you. When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?
Olivia Meena: Honestly, almost every day we do something for the first time. Right now we’re upskilling ourselves on our Super and workshopping solutions with our accountant to ensure we’re supporting our future selves.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Olivia Meena 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 Olivia Meena or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin
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