Focus On Yourself

with Colleen Shenk

Introduce yourself! Who are you? 
I’m a 25-year-old woman living in Baltimore, MD with my lovely husband and french bulldog, Leonardo (Nardo for short). By day I’m a brand director and designer, by night a wine loving, instagram addicted lifestyle blogger. I love sharing business-related and fashion advice with my followers via my blog. I want to help empower women to go further in the workforce and excel within their career path on their own terms.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To not compare your today to someone’s tomorrow. You never know how hard someone has worked to get where they are. Career-envy can be real and crushing. Focus on yourself and stay in your own lane and you will go so much further.

Have you always had confidence in yourself?
Definitely not! It’s something I am still constantly working on and can be difficult especially when it comes to business. It’s hard to not take things personally when you put a lot of work and effort into a project and it doesn’t go the way you expect. It can knock your confidence down. I try to keep in the back of my mind all of my “wins” so that I can reflect back on why I am where I am and how I am successful and good at what I do.

What do you love most about yourself?
I love my determination. If I want to do something, I’ll do it. It may not be that second but I love being able to prove others wrong and push myself to my limits.

What motivates you most?
Myself, I love being able to compare where I’m at now to where I was a year ago, two years, etc. I’m motivated to see how far I can go and what I am truly capable of.

How do you manage your work-life balance?
I would love to give the “secret” to work-life balance, but I think it’s really about balance in general. Some days you’ll spend majority of your time focused on work and not have as much time for family/social life. Other days, you’ll be able to focus more on your family and put work on the back-burner. I think it’s a lot about overall time management and making sure you don’t wear yourself too thin.

What is your favorite meal?
Nachos! I’ve been on a crazy nacho kick for like the last year. Anytime a restaurant has nachos you can bet I’m ordering them. 

Do you have a mentor? If so, what did they teach you?
I think my dad is my mentor. He’s extremely successful in his career and has always taught me the importance of working hard from a young age. To this day I still am always going to him for career advice when it comes to different situations I face. I trust his judgement so much and hope to be as successful in my field one day as he is in his.

What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
I’m such a home-body! While parties and events can be fun, nine times out of ten I’d much rather be on my couch. I have a tough time meeting new people. I might not show it but it’s definitely a struggle that I’ve been working on for a few years now.

Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
Not at all! I’m still trying to figure it out haha. When I was really young I wanted to be a marine biologist, then I wanted to be a photographer and then graphic designer. Now I have moved into a heavy marketing role which I am enjoying a lot. But things evolve in the industry and we are always evolving as people. So will I always stay in a marketing role? Maybe not! But for now it’s what I am loving and could see myself doing for a long time.

Who is your biggest role model? Why?
I love Sheryl Sandberg. I read her book Lean In and I felt like my life had changed. I realized how much I did want to succeed as a business woman. It helped me to negotiate my position, move further in my company and have a different outlook on my career. It is my top-recommended book. I think she is an incredible woman with so much wisdom.

colleen shenk

Colleen Shenk is a brand director, designer and lifestyle blogger

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