Welcome to my new interview series featuring some of the brightest and most hard-working women I know. My goal for this series is to collect stories from women in all levels of their career. The hope is that their journey and their advice will trigger something in you, and help you take the jump you need to achieve your personal level of success. Whether they are freelancers, founders of their own business, corporate employees, or students, this #LadiesWhoHustle series will showcase their unique talents and help you unveil yours.
Alice Ann Elam is a lady who has experienced it all! She started her career working for a cable network in Los Angeles, California, in marketing and sales. After working in that field for over six years, she had an "Eat, Pray, Love" moment and decided to quit her job, backpack through Europe, and then move close to her home in Raleigh, North Carolina to be near her family.
After taking that sabbatical and moving, she started to pursue her growing passion for digital marketing and advertising. She has been working in that field for over three years now, honing her skills as a marketing strategist. In addition to her paying gig, she has also created a passion project called Oak City Society, a women's networking and empowerment group.
Read on to learn more about her passions and her daily accomplishments.
Alice Ann Elam
Marketing Strategist and founder of Oak City Society, a women's networking and empowerment organization.
What was your dream job at 10 years old?
I wanted to be a singer, songwriter, actor, and dancer. At 15, I took the more realistic version of that and wanted to work in the business side of the entertainment industry - which I did!
Tell us about your average day.
Mornings consist of a slow wake up with puppy snuggles, tea, and a book. Then up, dressed, and work on my side hustle for an hour before my "real job" starts. Work my paying gig from 9-5. Then home to eat dinner, a little TV, and maybe take a relaxing bath before an early bedtime.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
The owner of my own online marketing and women empowerment company. (I loved writing this down. It's been in my head, but typing it out gave me butterflies.)
What has been your biggest career struggle so far?
So cliche, but TIME! By the time I get home from my paying gig, I'm exhausted. So, I used daylight savings gaining an hour to work on my side hustle for an hour before work.
And what has been your biggest career win so far?
I think probably getting my first job out of college. I am from a small town in North Carolina and I moved to Los Angeles at 22. I wanted to work in the entertainment industry in marketing and sales. I took every opportunity that came my way and worked hard to prove myself. I landed a Coordinator (Assistant) in the Sales and Marketing Department at a big time cable television network! I knew in that moment this small town country girl had made it big time.
What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
Early in your career, say yes to everything you can. You need me to stay late to work on a project? Yes, I'll do that. You need me to clean the toilets? Sure, where's the cleaning supplies? Eventually they will start asking you to sit in on important meetings and giving you the best projects because they know you will deliver.
What about the worst piece of advice you've received?
You can't (insert whatever I wanted to do here). I've heard this time and time again. "You can't play basketball, you started too late and not tall enough". Watch me... and I made the team in high school. "You can't move out to Los Angeles and work in the entertainment industry. They will eat you alive". Watch me... and I worked in the industry for over six years and no one ever ate me alive. Actually just the opposite. I worked with amazing people. Anyone that actually told me I couldn't, fuelled me to work even harder to prove them wrong. So maybe it was actually good advice since it pushed me!
Who motivates you the most?
Rachel Hollis and Sara Blakely. Their hustle is real and not taking no for an answer.
When do you feel the most confident?
When I've had the prep time to really work through something. I'm a procrastinator by nature, so when I make the time to really dig into something and be really prepared, I feel like I could kill that presentation or project. Then I go in like a boss and nail whatever I was working on. Also, some power posing and some good pump up music helps too.
Currently coveting: A large omelet and hash browns (I haven't eaten breakfast yet).
Favourite way to sweat: Hiking!
Favourite book: I feel like whatever I'm reading now is always my favourite in that moment. So mine is "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis, which is currently on my nightstand.
Morning bird or night owl? Morning! I joke I turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Reality is lately it's more like 9:30.
Favourite city: There are too many to just pick one. Prague, Berlin, Raleigh, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam, and Denver are my tops for different reasons.
Get in touch with Alice!
Facebook: Alice Ann Elam
LinkedIn: Alice Ann Elam
Know anyone that would be great to feature in the #LadiesWhoHustle series? Connect with me on Instagram to nominate them - or yourself!