And So She Goes
And So She Goes

Episode 38 · 10 months ago

38. Heather Pink, Co-Founder & CEO, PinkDear LLC


If you call her a dreamer, then you also have to call her a doer. Heather Pink is someone that most of us would put in the "she has it all" category. And she did. Until she didn't. She worked her way through the sports industry as a reporter, producer, director, social media manager and more. From small stations, all the way to the NFL Network. She's worked with NFL players and on-camera talent to have a hand in multiple shows you've seen on TV. Yet, there was a void. What if she went out on her own and started her own company? Well, that's what she is currently discovering.

Conversations with real women who makesports happen, this is, and so she goes. Here's your host, Amanda, Borgeous, Hello and welcome in my guests thisweek has such an infectious energy that honestly had me so pumped up and readyto accomplish anything I wantted do. I know it sounds dramatic, but she justhas such an awesome story that speaks to this world. We live in of seeingsomeone live a life and work a job that seems like a dream to everyone else,but really that person has something else and something more in mind. I justlove her authenticity and her willingness to just go for it anyway.Heather pink has worked in sports since college and she's found success in somany different ways. So, let's get to it here is my conversation withcofounder and CEO of pink deer, Heather, pink, hello, Heather. How are you good? Howare you thanks for gving be Ond? Of course I'm great. Thank you so much forcoming on. I'm really excited to talk to you. I know that you are extremely busy. Wewere just catching up before we hit record and there's a ton going on, so Iwant to jump right in hether I like to sort of start from the beginning, do alittle bit of a rewind. If you will okay, where did you grow up, and howdid you fall in love with sports? Then we're going way, rewind Hereikno, I'mthe oldest of two. I have a little sister and I guess I grew up in theMidwest suurbs of Chicago and I think in the Chicago Land Midwesternarea. You always grew up with this sense of sport and loved football. Hadthis sort of admiration towards it. It was something that I was always drawnto. I played sports myself. I think growing up not being able to playfootball. I think maybe even like getting even more watching it on TV, and I mean the long story of this is Iactually like fell in love with how Eddie George ran and played, and I wentto the University of Illinois eventually, but growing up at the time.The only thing I could watch was Ohio state because that's the only thingthey had on you know: Illinois wasn't that good at football you know Havstate you had Michigan and I was able to watch a hysman trophy winter sort ofyou know, kind of in your backyard and Sert of him help kind of Catabale, mylove of football eithermore. So Not Oy, my a bears fan, but I'm also a titansspan to which is very abnormal, but some of those little things that growand snowball that you know they end up sticking with you yeah well, and at least you have Ohiostate the day we are recording. This is the day of the national, the CollegeFootball National Championship. So we don't know who wins at the moment ofthis recording, but obviously Ohio state has been at powerhouse in collegefootball for years and years and years. So, oh Wai, are you a Michigan Fan oran Ohio State Fan I gess Somebod D. I do not like Ohio state and I think, but you know it's just like you got tarespect game. I mean you know anybody that is just a flawless player like hewas back in the day. Hou couldn't help, but but like it and love it of course.So what did you study in college? Did you pursue sports? So I got to collegeand Switche my major, probably on average I think I switched my threetimes that was probably the average. When I was going to college, I went Ninand eventually got my degree in broadcast journalism and it reallywasn't until my sophomore year, I at the University of Illinois and a friendof a friend says: Hey, I put your name in for this sports casting thing, I'mnot sure. If you're going to like it you're the only female that I know thatactually know sports, like can actually talk about sports. So I put your namein okay. You know, I don't think anything of it and then I get a calland then eventually I'm doing this thing- that's called. I think it'sstill called to this day. Btn student new productions where, in the big tennetwork schools, all students are able to be a part of broadcast of a percentage of the game, so usuallysome of the smaller games with smaller market teams, you're able to be thedirector the camera operator in the talent, and I came on as a sophomore asthe talent and in my first my first semester I was one of four girls andthen in my second semester doing it I ended up being the only girl and afterthat first semester I was like man. I could really work in sports like Icould really make a career out of this.

I didn't think I could, because it was always just so noveltyto me growing up that it was just something that you watch and then youcontinued to pursue on your opportunities right, like you did onCammar work for a while. I did you know. I guess one thing that people don'tknow about me is: I struggle a lot growing up with my speech. I had areally bad stutter, so I always knew that on camera would never be an actualopportunity for me, but then the only reason why I ended up doing itwas because I was kind of sick at the time which was two thousand eight twothousand Niine tthousand and ten. I was kind of sick of seeing thesefemale broadcasters. That kind of just didn't really know sports and we've had this change culture sincethen, and I think it was people like of my mindset that you could tell when asports caster knows their stuff. You can tell from that, and I sort ofwanted to empower myself and empower the people around them that you shouldknow what you're talking about on camera and that it shows so and, as Iwas going through my school and stuff, I sort of made a very pivotal decisionto become as well versed in front of the camera, as I was behind the camera,because I always felt like the best tool in any toolbox is sort of theSwiss army knife. That knows how to do everything and that sort of- and Irealized I think I was in maybe my junor year- if not maybe mysenior year, I we took a TD class at Illinois t's one of the requirements inorder for broadcast journalism, and the thing I was the best hat was actuallyproducing. I was a very good sports caster. Yes, because I had thepersonality. I could talk to the players, but really the thing that Ijust shined the most in was producing and usually in college. If you're inbroadcast journalism, I mean I was pretvy to the people in my class beinglike. I want to be the next sport center anchor and I'm like. I don'tknow that I have my like. You know dreams set that high. I just want to beable to work in sports or be LE TO DO somen than I'm really making adifference in, and I know that I'm making a difference and that sort ofwhy, when I went to the NFL I applayed off a whim and I applied as a producer-editor role. You know noon camera and I got it and I think I got it because Ihad such amazing producing experience going into it yeah. I actually was going to ask aboutthat how you were able to set yourself up for a role that, if you looked atyour resume, was different than what you had done in the past, and I thinkyou said it it's just being that Swiss army knife just learning as much as youcan, so you can be an asset to really any team yeah and Lo Gete me wrong. Like I was.I was very fortunate to be able to get the role I mean I didn't know a singleperson. You know a lot of times, people ask me it is about who you know, but alot of times. The WHO you know will help you get in the door, but if youhave a SPEC small language like a crappy resume, it's not going to get you very far. Youknow I didn't know a single person at the NFL and then when I got there, Irealized that the experience I had because after mysecond semester of doing btan student, you being on camera, I purposely madeit an effort to you know: Try Game at Camera, try game at directing, try gameit producing. You know, doing more, challenging opportunities to reallyunderstand each aspect of the broadcast. So when I was at the NFL, I realizedthat that experience I had was was unmatched and it was the reason why Icatapulted into really being one of the first true female line producers at theNFL network. I mean I was twenty three and producing NFL Fanis live by anifolnetwork, and I have every bit of my college education and my collegeinternships and bt student you to think for that. That's so cool! I love thatstory, and really it's very refreshing to hear someone like you talk about howyou wanted to do everything because a lot of people go into it being like.Well, I just want to be on TV. I don't care what a producer do. Idon'CRE WRAH!They just want to be on TV and and there'se, so many great people. Thereare a lot of people that are really good at TV and that's amazing, but Ithink the people that are best at what they do have done more than one thinglike you, which is amazing, and you appreciate everyone around you moreknowing what they go through on a daily basis, because you were once in theirshoes totally. I think it was tough to you know when you go in as a broadcastjournalism student, my professors and I say: Oh, Iwant to work in sports. I want to work at NFL or a team or Blah Blah Blahthey're like well you're, going to have... go to small market USA, an thebottom macket and do this and that I'm like what? What rules is there like? What rule book am I notseeing that says it? We can't just go from pointate POINTB. I don'tunderstand, and one of my one of my best friends who was in my asority. She ended up alsobeing in my major. We both said. I said I want to work at the NFL or I want towork in. You know, at a professional level, in sports and my best one of mybest friends, My name is nicky. She said I'm going to work at TMZ and a fewyears after we graduate. We were both doing just that. I was producing forthe NFL network and she was working and being on tmz sports here in Los Angeles.So I think there's there's these sort of things that youknow these archac professors have said, and I think now we're at this timewhere some of these professors are retiring and you're, going to get themultimedia professors or the ones that actually will sort of provide expertisein the youth like and Brethew Harris who introduced us.She has fantastic because she truly has an understanding of what it takes now.You know it does take a little bit of that old school grit, but just knowingthat the possibilities are just endless like you can go from point a to pointb.If you really do work hard and you really refine your skills yeah, I thinkwe're around the same age, and it was the same for me when I was in college.I studied media communications and then I minored and sport management andeveryone was telling me you have to get an internship at a local news station,because you know you might not even get to start in sports. You might start innews and Tim Buck two and then work your way up and move to seventeendifferent small cities to just you know, get good at what you're doing beforeyou can make it big, and you know I did have to move around a little bit. Butit's definitely like you said it's not as archaic s. Some people an make itout to be so. That being said, tell me about your role with NFL networkbecause it seems like you were able to do so. Many amazing things I got to sayI don't know exactly where to start other than I had the opportunity of a lifetime, and Iknew I wasn't going to let that slip away from me. Like I said I I just Sai, let me start with my firstyear. I was at the bottom of the totem pole. I was working in the digitaldepartment at the NFL and it was at the kind of start of the digital type ofage and being on twitter or being on. Facebook, then was very taboo and you couldn't do that, but mydepartment was also actually in charge of a lot of digital productions andthat sort of where I leaned towards- and I tried to work my butt off to getin those productions and by my third year. That's when I wasactually producing. I gained a full time spot because I moved out toCalifornia with only a seven month contract in my back pocket. So I earneda full time spot at that time and then I was producing NFL fantasy, live onand if film network and and all the digital platforms that t et was on, andthen I saw an opportunity in social media, there was no one actually incharge or really running our fantasy social media handles, and I asked myboss if I could run it and they said sure, and then after I asked that it came tosuper bowl time, and not only did we have digital obligation shows, but alsothere was an opportunity to do some experimental social media stuff,integrating social media into broadcasting into sort of the broadcastnetwork, and they sort of bequeathed me with that, because I was the only onethat showed some interest and I was a young one. Hey're like you, must knowthe most you're, the youngest right, like you, wats, to know. What's goingon like like it's type casting right, but you know neither here nor there.But I was fortunate enough to work with mynow business partner. But at t time he was like my associate producer for myshow that also understood the value of social media and understood, and itwanted to take the adventure of crt sort of managing a brand and managing abrand underneath the NFL and helping influencers and we sort of started ourjourney there and we showcased what we could do in ourfirst year. We had this idea, read hatfl, combine and we're workingwith Mollycarum, who is now at ESPN, and I said to my boss. I said you know,I know we're just doing social media, but what? If we interviewed just oneplayer a day, I know it's a hassle to get the players from combine up towhere our desk was. But you know what, if, at the end of the day, we just pickone player that we feel like t would be awesome to interview based on theirsocial media. Okay sounds good so that day or thatweek, I I can't remember one or two of...

...them, but one of the people that weinterviewed with Talo Luan. Another one was Brett Hunley me till the one I sayas probably the biggest name, but it was interviews like that that they werelike well. That was the funniest moment from the whole combine like one of thetwo funny smones of the whole combine, and then it was those pivotal littlethings that ended up making a big difference in my role, sor of ow pushing the boundaries ofpushing the limits within social media. So I was able to acquire more jobresponsibilities around social media and then just to kind of give you a howthings happened like the following year, mullicarm left she went over to espnand I was very honored to get to work with calling wolf and so, instead ofour little makeshift social media desk. Being on the second floor of theconcourse that next year, with calling Wult, we were actually on the field onthe ground on the appsite side of the forty, and they said pick any playerthat you want to interview and that you know so. We got to interveade theChristian mccaffrees and all these different people because of theirsocial media. You know, because we were able to do the research and in thewealth of information that you can find it took so much hard work, but it's those little things thathelped to refine my career, and I saw so much success within socialmedia. I did have to make a decision to initially stop producing TV or to gomore into social media, and that was the direction that I went in and then,even though I went in that direction, I was still tasked to run social media handles manage a team,and then I was also actually line. Producing shows that were social onlyshows so our livestreaming twitter show facebook show things like that becausethey felt like I was the only one that really understood the platform and howeverything should or shouldn't be. I mean I was blessed to have thisopportunities, but I think at a certain point in time I saw sort of where thisceiling was so you know, through that health process, IND Granni, ihtmanagement changes and all these things where you know there were previousmanagers where the ceiling was clear right. The ceiling was truly. What Iwanted it to be, and then you know as you're as you're at a place for alonger at a job you either can see the dark spots for what they are and also sort of see where your ceilingis kapted. You know, and some leadership wasn'twanted to take certain risks that they should have taken when I was there,because you know I'll give you the example that I beggedyears years ago, to have an instagram account for the NFLfantasy brand and initially the person I paged to laughed in my face: tolylaughed yeah and now and literally a couplemonths after I left they got one where they could have had one for years. You know so little things like that that helpedmake the decision to leave that much easier. Sorry that was the longestwinded answer of all time. Probably No. I love it and you mentioned so manythings that I would love to follow up on. For the sake of time, I'll onlyfollow up on aoes. The one thing that I will say to you is I'm glad that you took that no and turned it into something amazingwhich obviously we will talk about. I had a similar situation where Iactually pitched this show to my last employer and they said no and then,when I got laid off, I was like well I'm doing this on my own then, and hisbeen amanting. So just because you get to know doesn't mean it's a no you! Youknow you had to find a way to make it work. If you really believe in that,I'm sorry that happened, though, because it is discouraging, but I'mglad that you still were able to find success there and do amazing things andeverything you did there, catapulted you into your position now and what youdo now. So that being said, I want to hear the story of how you went out andstarted your own social media, consulting company. It's been a coupleyears right, you started in two thousand and nineteen. Yes, we wentpublic in two thousand n nineteen, but let me tell you starting: a companydoesn't happen overnight. ITTS no way know it was something hat. When somepeople come to me, they see how you do it. I always Li o. You want the shortversion or you want the long vorsion, because I mean that's kind of how it is whall. I like to say that it happenedovernight, of course, but it came, it cruly came from a place to be perfectlyhonest with you. It came from a place where I was extremely depressed. I wasat the NFL, you know, I met my quote, unquote, Dream job andI'm miserable I'm doing the same things.

I'm trying to uppitch theseopportunities that I in my heart knew these are really cool opportunities and the leadership specifically didn't want to see it that way, becauseI they didn't want to go against the grain. They didn't want to see it as anopportunity. They just want to see this more work, and I also it took a lot inme to find out what my word was and then, when I did, I haven't looked backsince I approached my business partner whohad left and he's over at Fox and or he went over toFox excuse me, and I said I had this idea and I know it sounds crazy and hesaid I'm interested, you know, and we did eighteen months worth of researchlike research and prep and planning and and going down every checking everylist in every avenue. Okay, this is the nameer thinking is it. You know. Thisis just an example all right. Here's the name that we're thinking we combinetheir last names, so you know we did think of Dar, pink and also pink deer.Okay, what does it mean if, if my last name is first and Yourl or your lastname is first right? Does deer pink sound like something conservative likean old letter to grandma? We thought about those types of things, becauseyou have to think about those things right, not only that we're lookingthrough trademarks and how to start a business and all that type of and all those types ofthings it took such an extensive research process. But before we evengot to that point like I was severely depressed and I applied for jobs, I wasinterviewing for jobs and then I would go to interview and I'm like man, I know way more than the personI'm we've been interviewing and I am not that is like not my mo as a person likeI'm a very much a humble bragger, I'm not like a you know. That's not my like.That's not who I am, but I do understand I did understand and that'syou know, learning you're worth of okay and applied for a social strategistrole would go interview with them. I'm like man, I forst sure, no more thanthis guy like hands down, and I have no idea why I'm interview with this person-because I should be this person's boss and- and that is the toughest thing toswallow- was because I, my title at the NFL wasprestigious, but it didn't translate, and you know one of the best things that you know ifanybody's Listeng to this and actually wants advice about what really helpedkind of get me from there to there like one. I did things that made me happy. Iwent and traveled and kind of you know filled up that bucket, but I justnetworked. I talked to people. I figured out what it was that I neededin a job. Did I did I need a title, or did I need a job that helped me becreative? Did I want to be a leader? Did I want to problem solve like I wasfinding? I was trying to fill my job description to things. I really wasgood at and interested in. I love efficiency and I love being creativeand I love teamwork and those were the things I was trying to look for at ajob and then every I got to a point o like every third person was was like. I would ask them for cleer adviceor network a and they would say well what are you whan? Do you think aboutdoing your own thing? I'm, like Oh freeleg, like sure, sounds good andthey'e like no, like you know like your own thing, and ittook a long time for me to accept that and that you know then of course do Ido it alone to would have but ha business partner. What do I do you knowand that's when I reached out to my trusty business parter because he'slike a brother to me w that's how we treated each other atNFL. It was like a brother that I was able to acquire later in life, and I'mso thankful for that, and I asked him what to do and that's kind of one ofthe things that came out of it. I won't go into any more of thosedetails, but sometimes you kind of have to hit this rock bottom in order toreally rebuild and find this new ceiling. That is really like infinite.You know yeah. I just I can't help but think how a lot of us have feltsuffocated by a job, whether it's like Super Super Corporate America or youknow a smaller scale and even if some of us have thought about going out onour own, it's really scary, like it's not just like easy decision to be like.Oh, I probably won't make money for a few years, but like whatever I'm justgoing to try like it, takes a lot of guts to be like look, I've done all theresearch, I know what I'm doing, I'm going for it and no one can stop meI'll say it was one of the scariest moments of my life, but I realized that I was talking to my parents a workright before I quit and you know my mom asked if I wasscared- and I said yeah, but I know in... heart this is the right thing to do.My heart and my gut are seeing the exact same thing, and you can't ignorethat and you know yes, I did not make a lot of money. My first year, my firstcouple months, our first year, that's just the reality of it, but one of the biggest things that I keptgoing because when I first moved to La like, I was broker than a joke. Like Iwould budget, I would but I had this like UCLA notebook and I budgeted everypaycheck every every tank of gas every grocery store trip. I went and Ihonestly for the first couple months I much money and I had enough money for a case of rolling rock bear at the endof the month and my dad being the gracious dope personat. He is, he wouldwire me a hundred bucks a month and he said you have to go out and hang outwith people. You cannot just budget your life away, and I took that when Idecided to quit. I sort of said to myself. I cannot worry about where thenext check is coming from, because that is such a dangerous like slippery slope,and you know, in order for you to really sort of be successful as anentrepreneur or even just doing your own thing like you have to reallycreate these really healthy habits for yourself like mentally healthy, whetherit's keeping yourself busy or you know like, like I told you before, wepressed record like we weren't we weren't as busy when Ifirst quit, and so I created my own podcast and that kept me busy and itkept other people like seeing that, like. Oh, she made the right decisionlike she's ot here talking about this and this and his podcast that the invlwouldt let her do like no way. You know, and you have to kind of take wins andyou have to keep keep walking on them. But you know, I think, the mentalityand the K, the mental aspect of going out on your own, like I was threw upright before I press my press send on my two weeks notice, butI knew it was the right thing to do. No matter what and that's what's importantas cheese. Yes, it sounds. You've got to follow your gut. You've got to trustyour heart and I always like to say I would rather jump and fail, then alwaysthink for the rest of my life. What? If what if I had tried that Yep and it'snot an easy thing to do? Obviously, but I don't know I would all I wouldalways rather try. So that being said start your company. How do you get yourfirst client and you don't have to you know, go with any. You don't have togive away any names or any specific details, but I feel like that. Firstclient is like that's: That's a big one right. It is and I'm still fori. We areunfortunately, no longer working with our very first client, but I still talkto her every week. Almost I'll say this. When you start somethinglike your own business, you have to know exactly what it is. It took us a long time to kind ofrefine who we were. What did we want to do? What were people would ask me? Whatkind of clients do you want? I'm like we're consulting agency. We can really talk to anybody. We can help anybody,you know, and that was something that we pride ourseltes in, but we had to it,took us so long to really kind of stamp the elevator pitch stamp the sentencethat we knew who we were and honestly, when you figure that out to answer your question: We've gottenevery single client from referrals. We have not done a a lick of advertisingoutside of posting organic contentant social media in my social media, butthat's how we got our clients is we sort of we continued to network? Wetalked, we said, Hey, I'm thinking about doing this, like what do youthink you know in approaching people in a way? That's not salesman like andreally getting their opinion, because we have a strong network of peoplearound us, I'm so blessed, and so we are so thankful for everybody that hashelped get us here. Whether it was a little project here or you know, one ofour very first clients that we got in like the fourth or fifth month of usbeing of me quitting it's still our client today. You know-and we take pride in that- that we are loyal people and we do like understand how people growon social media, but we did it all through like getting people's trust,trusting in us in our ability and just being able to network. You know- and Ithink, when you're able to network and driveyourself to do that like in the pandemic. One of my goals was to talkto somebody new every single week, either typt somebody new...

...or reconnect with somebody else everysingle week and like those little things they help they make a hugedifference in the end you may it may be like Oh this is. This is like. I have 'talked to this person in like six months like a year like I don't know ifit's going to be well, but you know as long as you're coming from a like agenuine place. I know sometimes it's hard. I don'tknow where you're at in the world, but physically, I would come home frombeing in Los Angels and college friend. Other people would be like. Oh, how isit being in La like? Is everyone like super fake or, and I'm like? Well, the only peoplethat are fake was how you ask that question. You know. I truly found thatmy network of people ont here out here were genuine. It is hard to find- andwe pride ourselves in it because it is hard and it's easy to fall into some ofthe fakeness and some of the not as genuine people that live in thiscity, but we pride ourselves in that and it's hard to find. I agree, Icompletely agree you can find a group of people, whoever you are no matterwhat city or state or country that you're in and I'm so glad that youfound your people, because that that really makes a difference personally,an and professionally as well. You mentionedthe pandemic, and I don't like talking about this. However, during this metepandenic, like I mean you don't like talking about the last to lit wet eleven Monh, I don't know, I don't evenremember how long it's been a blur. I know right, I will say everyone had topivot in some way during two thousand and twenty, whether it was personallyprofessionally, both all of the above. What was your pivot, like? Who that's agreat question? You know. Okay, I swear this is this. This doesnot come off as Braggy, but we pivoted. We didn't really Pivit that much weactually just kind of stayed cool. We did get to adopt some really amazing new services that that we were able toprovide based on those pivots. But you know we had some some clients that were smaller and they couldn't pay. Butwe grew our business to a point that I couldn't have even dreamed of. We'vewe've already passed our goals that we had for year three during the pandemic, and wehave the pandemic to think people actuallyrealized. I need experts at social media like I'm, not wasting my timeanymore with some Excese, my language, Jamo Social MediaManager, that straight out of college. I don't know whether or not theyactually know stuff but they're, just I'm just hiring them and like we wereable to capitalize on people actually assessing their finances, assessingtheir situation because they were home because they were forced to becausefinances got tight and because they were like. You know what I'm ready to get serious about this orI need to cut these other people out, because I need real professionals totell me what to do and that mentality is how we grew and we just kind ofstayed cool stayed calm. A lot of our clients are monthly month and month.People like not moth like how much like we have them for a period of time wheresome agencies they do take on projects right they project for three months orproject for six weeks, but I mean we have probably now threeclients that we've had almost since the beginning. We've had a bunch of clientscome on during COVID, and we've had projects that you know that may answer your pipotquestion where they say. I really want your advice and I really want your help,but I don't have enough money to pay you for four to five months right. So,okay, let's find a way for us to help and that was sort of the only pivot awe were able to make because really people need to know. You know there's alot of different kinds of people that come to us and sometimes when we firststarted our business, it was I'm starting a brand. I don't know howto start or I have this brand, but it's not standing out, and I don't know Idon't know what I'm doing right or wrong right generally. That's actually kind of theonly two buckets that we actually only feel, but those are kind of the big conceptualtwo buckets. But then from like an actual client standpoint. You know we have thepeople that actually just want to know what they're doing and what they'redoing wrong. They want the brand direction and then they can do it bythemselves and then there are other people that we have influencers on ourclient list. We have corporate clients where we actually help either organizetheir social meede department or we're actually mentoring in creatingefficiencies and workflows, because that's where we kind of came from, wecame from the NFL working and creating... media brands, creating socialmedia influencers in creating efficiencies creating workflows inorder to find success. So we've kind of taken all those and kind of translatedit into a business and I'm so sorry that was not the full pivot answer thatwas way more than what you ask for. So I apologize don't ever apologize forgiving more that. What I ask for I'm just so happy that you were able tocelebrate so many wins this year. I feel like a lot of people are notashamed of their wins in two thousand and twenty, but like it feels verybraggy, because the year was so awful for so many of us yeah in differentways. I do feel like that. Yeah Gess, yeah and I've had a lot of don't get mewrong. I've fod a lot of personal stuff t aI've had to go through to that, has really been trying, and it's been I'm very thankful to havethat amazing network WHO's. Able to lift me up and I've always been abeliever that you know you kind of have your personal life like your love lifeand your work life you know, and then you have other things and if one or twoof those things are really out of sink, if one of those things I I think it'sokay, it's manageable, but when you have two or three of those things,that's kind of out of sink you. It can be catastrophic, and I'm thankful forme that only one of those things was affected, but I know tha the pandemic. It is hard it's hard to just celebratethat hey. I only had this one, this one thing affected in my life, where otherpeople has been the opposite: they've had every single thing been rocked, butat the same time people deserve to hear the good fromthis situation. I know you don't want to talk about it, but the news is always about the negative,and sometimes you really have to come from that genuine place to understand,like hey, I', an Wele to find the light from two thousand and twenty I'm okay.With that and I'm continuing to build off that yeah- and it's also inspiringto know that even if your life is crumbling- and you hear a story likeyours- and you can look to that for inspiration and be like- oh well, ifshe can have all of those wins, then all right. I can pick myself back upand try to make something happen for myself. So don't ever feel bad forcelebrating your winds, no matter what the year around all of us looks like. Ihave sort of a loaded question for you heather, but because you beg loading uppen around sports for so long you've also been in social media. I have blended the two throughout mycareer as well in certain rules that I've had. In your opinion, how hassocial media changed the sports landscape as a whole for the better forthe better Al? That is a loded question. I was like all this questions, good,this cuistions good. Oh there's a loded power o that, but there's a lot of badstuff. We could talk about and I don't want to talk about the bad stuff,because there's a lot of good, whether it's a player raising a ton of moneyfor charity just because he posted a Gazilian instagram stories, whetherit's I don't know, I can't even think ofspecific story right now. No, no! I let me give you an example that maybe can help feed into the sortof realm that I'm going in my very close friends, and I we haveDisney movie night every other week, Lov that sometimes we watch old moviesyeah. I know it's fun when we first started. It was like joking, like okay,well, O grab a grab a beer and grab a drink and watch this. You know all voteon the crappiest, animated sequel ever right and we were doing it in a jokingway and sort of when people would pop up on screen like Oh, who is that? What were they in right? And I thinkthat that wealth of knowledge and theopportunity is something that's super unique to write. Now I think it's amazing that you can be abears fan like I am. Okay, not an amazing bears fan like I actually like,don't like MTR Biskey and there's all lot more, I'm not the best bear shamp.But it's amazing that excuse me, you can be a fan of a team and you can like be the second team defensive back and alittle kid at home. Or you know, a teenager at home can look on instagramand find out what he's like yeah and have his dconnection to people thatthey never thought, and I think I mean we've talked to even players to at that.There's such a missedopportunity for players to showcase who they are because people are Oh man who made thatdope tackle or like who did that touchdown dance, you know is it and because they are going to look,they are going to search, and I think that being able to find these likedeeprooted niche connections is something that I find that is going tostand out and that's why dude you ended up getting so big is because, oh mygosh, he actually is interesting. The field you know and a lot of them areinteresting. It test me every year for...

Combi me and my team would literallysearch every twitter, instagram facebook, whatever post for the pasttwo and a half to three years for every single combi participant, so we wouldknow who loves jipotle versus who plays fortnight and we find those nuggets, and I thinkthat those types of things I love outside of that it's kind of justinformation, overload totally there's a lot of bad stuff. We can we could talkabout, but I share that sentimente. It really does help fans get to knowplayers on a deeper level. I've covered pretty much every sport and any timeI'm interviewing an athlete. I could ask them about a win or a loss, or youknow a certain play or whatever, and you know they just give me a whateverresponse s soon. As I mentioned like Oh, I saw this picture of your dog onInstagram. Tell me about him or Hert. They just light up and, like you, getthe best response ever like soon as you mention something personal and it'ssomething that they can share with your audience and theirs. It just makes sucha big difference and I think everyone, even professional athletes, who youthink might not want to connect with their fans they do and you're. Seeingthat happen right now, which is definitely a positive, which is why Ijust wanted to focus on the positive Er's, a lot of bad stuff on socialmedia. To don't don't get me wrong. IUL Trust me some people when I tellthem like. Oh, you know what it's the Ho. What do you do? I'M LIK! Oh, I haveread compa like. Oh, my God. That's so great. What do you do? I'm like? Oh, Ido Social Mak in somthing like Oh, I hate social media. It's like you, don'tyou're not taking a shot at me. You know like like it's all good. Iunderstand the demons. I understand the negativity and it's my job to focus onthe positivity about it and to just steer people in the direction that theyshould. Because that's you know, people only want to folks on the bad. Like Isaid, Ai will not watch any local news. I have trouble watching the news,because there's so much focus on bad, but also you know it's tough, becauseyou can't just focus on fluff the whole other time. You got a burial,you got to be real totally so yeah. I don't know where I was goingwith that one initially, but that's okay. So where do you find yourinspiration, then you've got to find positive inspiration. Somehow, Oh man,that I was not ready for that question. I mean you watch Disney movies. Thosecan be inspiring. Do you have okay? Let me phrase it thisway when working in social media you've got to be creative because your clientsare coming to you for help, you've got to help them be creative. How do youspart creativity with you and your business partners? You guys have afunny like you like, run arround the neighborhood. Do you I don't know likewhat do you do? How do you find inspiration? How do you get creative?This is going to sound real nerdy, but with anything we are talking to one of our clientsand last week, and they mentioned somethingabout metrixs and like Oh, you guys, probably find it annoying and likeseventy percent were within the fifty to seventy percent of my job is metricsrelated, it's N, it's! It is part science. So the way that we find inspiration istruly by diving head into whatever project we're looking for or whateverwe're doing so, for example, health, coach, right, okay, what kindof health coach is it right? Is it a do? They focus on nutrition? Let's look atother nutrition content. I think that we find inspiration, sort of nichele- that's not a real word,but it's now yeah. We don't necessarly like there are things that genericallydo find inspiritual I actually like. If I had to pick like a specific person, Ilove. What Will Smith and Jason Dirillo are doing on tick tolk, but withoutside of that also, I do because I look at those twopeople a lot because they rereal Yo know they have a lot of money to hireeditors and do this and do that and often times I look at their stuff Li e.How can we do that? Like Inverseley? How can we do that with less peopleless money and but I think for the most card, we dofind inspiration, sort of niturally. You know I will say this too. I know not because of this, but I do know abunch of people that run the bears, media and social media and a lot of theteams. Actually they actually, we find a lot ofinspiration from sports teams and we often use that that knowledge within any sort of anylike client that we have, regardless of if they're in books or publishing or nutrition, like I'm just saying,because they often are finding new ways... reinvent the wheel of engagement,and I do love that all right, we're going to stay on the inspiration train.For this last question, and I think this one will be easier for you: canyou name either one or multiple women in sports who inspire you there's toomany to name? I know right. I know I got to say just to like give them a shout out. Myfirst female that I got to work with in in media was was molikcarum and then,when she left I, and as I grew, I was able to work with more females andsocial media in or in NFL network, and because I was the kind of the onlyfemale producer at the time there was very few other females. There wasreally no other females in my role. They were all sort of upcoming. I wasable to gain such a connection to those people like Ambrer theoharrs and likecalling wolf. If you had to ask me how she got to where she is, you don'thave to, because I've worked with her so much and she deserves every ounce ofwhat she has. She is incredibly inspiring to work with. She would cometo the NFL combine days or our meetings prior to with a bind or just as big asmine, doing that research in the homework- and I found her incriblyinspiring Aaron Cascarelli. I had the opportunity to work with her and markis took on a twitter streaming show and I absolutely loved sort of havinginsetious personalities that were just so positive around me and we're able tokind of see tough situations in such a positive joking light, and it reallytaught me a lot. I've been so blessed to get to workwith so many amazing female people like a dity, Kinkowalla andTiffany Blackman. I've had yeah all of them to me are inspiring. Ithink that any female at that is that has gotten to that level. You can'thelp but admire, because there's only few and far between it and now thatcompetition is just tougher euper than before. You know there are some excuse,my language, I'm notht say, but there are some people that slip through thecrack. I'm not going to name any names, but there are some people that I ambaffled where they are and how I and then, when I hear about how they gotwhere they are, it sort of takes you back to those reasons why you know these peopleshouldn't be hiring people, but there are still so many amazing women and thereally like they continued to be it likeAmazer, I got the Opportoni to meet Erran nders once when I was working TNFmy last year and I was blown away but- and I had the opportunity recentlyto work with Alila Force, who people would ask me who's your favorite Solreporter. I'm like I, you know, there's this one girl, my name is Alila Force,and then I got to work with her on a project in Covid and I said to her,like I've only heard stories about you, but holy crap working with you actuallylike was exactly what people told me was that you were amazing. So I hope that answers your question.No, it does, and I love hearing that because, as someone who's worked insports proadcasting, I know each and everyone of those names, and I don'treally know any of them personally exceparatabe one and it's just sorefreshing to hear, like you said, obviously some people slip at thecracks and and then there are these genuine human beings that aresuccessful and they deserve it. And it's important to highlight people likethat. So thank you for sharing those names and not to make you bless oranything. But you are also an inspration to then and women and POWRthing. I think honestly, just being able to see someone who on the outside,they looked like they had it all and they gave it up because there wassomething else on their heart and on their mind and and pursued thatwholeheartedly and you've seen so many wins, which is amazing and it's evenmore exciting to think what you can accomplish in two thousand and twentyone so heather. Thank you so much for your time and good luck to youabsolutely. I thank you for the kind words and thank you for having me ontruly great time. We're gonna have to have me on for around two. Somehow, isn't she awesome it's so funny. I gointo these interviews knowing or at least assuming, that the person thatI'm speaking with is going to be awesome, but I never really fullyunderstand just how inspiring and encouraging my guest can be andheathers words speak to so many of you who maybe you're not happy in your joband you do want to go out on your own, but you just don't know if you should,or maybe you already did, make the jump, but you need help figuring out how tomake it work or maybe you're, just you know totally happy with where you arebut just hearing about someone else...

...making this huge life change to makethemselves happy and chase their dream inspires you so wherever you're at in your journeyjust be proud of it, and I'm saying that to myself as well, just be proudof it. Thank you so much heather for sharing your story with us. If you wantto follow along with Heather and her company, they are pink deer onInstagram and you can follow along with this show at, and so she goes podthanks for listening.

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