Marielle is the founder and force behind Legair Consults, a company that helps small to medium-sized business owners increase their visibility to ultimately drive growth. This involves developing strategies to raise awareness among stakeholders such as media, influencers and customers.
Describe your current job responsibilities.
As a global public relations consultant my day-to-day responsibilities are focused around providing strategic PR counsel to my clients. My days are busy, but fun and varied. A typical day can include anything from drafting PR proposals; researching trends; content creation; pitching stories to attending networking events.
What were the key decision points that were important in deciding your career path?
I’m intellectually curious and knew from a young age that I wanted to work in a dynamic, fast-paced profession. I love to write and have an interest in trends and current affairs, so public relations seemed like a natural choice.
I spent over 10 years honing my expertise at global firms before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship this year. My last corporate role was at a global consulting firm, where I transferred from the London office to the global office in New York in late 2012. My time in New York has been a life changing, as well as a character building experience!
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I love that as a business owner, I get full control over the work I take on and the ideas I pitch to clients. Often in large, overly corporate environments the creativity gets watered down.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work? What strategies have you developed for tackling that challenge?
I’ve had to get much better at time management, limiting distractions so that I can laser focus on the most important projects. I use a handy app called Self Control, which blocks access to the internet during the day. Also, I read somewhere that the most successful people don’t use to-do-lists, instead they plan out their time down to each minute of the day. It may sound a little intense but the more aware I am of my time, the more I get done.
What has been the most defining moment in your career to date?
There’s been several highlights, particularly since moving to New York. It’s such a fast-paced city with lots of amazing opportunities to seize. Key defining moments include: speaking at Yale University’s Women in Leadership conference; getting my Green Card under the Extraordinary Ability category and starting my PR consultancy earlier this year. I’ve just signed my first global client, a business advisory firm, so I’m very excited about that. I’m also a contributor for The Huffington Post, which is proving a great platform to share my PR expertise.
Best piece of career advice you have ever received? And who was it from?
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much,” by Jim Rohn.
This quote reminds me of the importance of being proactive in our careers (and life!) and to never expect anything from anyone. I’m a huge fan of Jim Rohn’s work and often listen to his lectures on YouTube throughout the day while I work.
Away from your work role what are your passions?
I love walking around New York getting lost. There’s always something new to discover, be it a cool Speak Easy bar, a place for brunch or an art exhibit.
What are the 3 (professional or personal) books/websites/ or resources that you would recommend to others?
Tricky to pick only 3, since I love books! But I’d say the key books/websites I often refer back to include:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It reinforces the need to follow our dreams. The quote“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” is a favourite of mine.
- 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. A great book on navigating tricky situations and difficult people.
- I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuck, a NY- based entrepreneur. His no BS New York attitude always spurs me into action.
What do you know now, that you wish you had known as you started your career?
To always ask for what you want. No matter what. Whether it’s negotiating more money when offered a job or speaking up against something unjust; it’s important to speak your truth.
Do you have any advice for women entering your industry?
Study the industry and stay abreast of trends. Be prepared to work very hard. People seem to have a perception that PR is glamorous but that’s a myth – in my opinion. Find people in the industry doing what you want to do, they don’t necessarily have to mentor you but success leaves clues so it’s a good way to identify the best ways to succeed.
If you weren’t in this role what would be your alternative career?
A chef! I’m a foodie and would happily spend my days cooking and hosting dinners for friends at my apartment if I had the time.
Connect with Marielle:
Huffington Post column: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/marielle-545
www.mariellelegair.com (Visit Marielle’s website to download her personal branding tips).