The Likeable (Non)trepreneur: A Chat with Likeable Media CEO Carrie Kerpen
Carrie Kerpen is truly likeable. Always has been…always will be.
She’s what we call at sheBOOM call a sheMILLIONAIRE too…she and her husband Dave built multi-million dollar businesses together — Likeable Local and Likeable Media. Carrie has a book coming out in the fall of 2017 called “Work It.” It’s a guide for women navigating their careers successfully throughout all phases of their life. She calls herself a (non)trepreneur because she didn’t really set out to run her own company.
“Success is not always about being at the highest level in your career or making the most money…it’s about defining what success means to you,” says Carrie.
So, what does success mean to her? It means freedom from financial stress and limitations of time. “But the risks of becoming an entrepreneur were very counter-intuitive to me,” she continues. I was raised by two government employees and I was taught ‘pension and security above all else.'” She believed a typical career path was what she was supposed to do. “I wanted to be a good little girl and follow what I was told to do.”
Before Carrie and Dave started their businesses together, she worked in traditional brand marketing jobs, including Radio Disney (where she met Dave). When her first child was very young (and pleaded with her not to leave for work), she decided to venture off into entrepreneurship with her husband. When Dave spun off his own division, Carrie had to make another big decision. She took over as CEO of Likeable Media and has grown the company to 50 employees and over 35 clients. They are one of the largest independent social media firms in the country.
Carrie’s Tips for Female Founders
- Get comfortable with the “s” word (as in selling). If you’re not comfortable being in a sales position, practice by selling. Learn to love the word “no.” Every no gets you closer to a “yes” and will help you hone your sales skills.
- Learn to accept imperfection. As a working mother of three, Carrie is continuously balancing work and home life. She creates “quality time in the car” when she drives her kids to their many appointments and activities. “At some point, you’re going to feel like you’re screwing up somewhere,” she says. “The benefit and the beauty of entrepreneurship is the freedom to choose — not having to ask for permission about work schedule and personal commitments.”
- You need an army behind you. It’s not a village, although everyone needs that too. A village is all about warmth and community. Every entrepreneur needs an army –a team of people that get’s stuff done…people who can activate at a moment’s notice. Carrie has been mentoring her company’s President so that she can move on to the next phase of her entrepreneurial life.
What’s Next for Carrie?
After the book comes out, Carrie will continue her role as CEO of Likeable Media, but will devote more time to speaking and writing. She’s also launching a speaker series with Dave with called “Parenting in the Digital Age,” which is about how to survive and thrive as a family in this super-social (media) world.
I asked Carrie about how and when she makes time for herself. She tries to prioritize eating healthy and working out and takes quiet time on the train. “When I accidentally leave my phone at home I have my most brilliant ideas,” she confesses.
And she kindly took 30 minutes for this interview, to inspire other women! I like her even more after speaking with her!