“Create a following,” Katie Klumper from Black Glass
Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moment series. We’re giving powerful women in the industry the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.
Meet Katie Klumper, CEO & Founder of Black Glass Consulting. Her company takes a modern approach to consultancy, moving CMOs, teams, and businesses forward. She saw a need for more successful CMOs and realized the impact they can have on the world, so she decided to start her own consultancy.
She dropped by our podcast booth at Advertising Week New York last month for a Pass the Mic interview. In it, she shares the lessons she’s learned in her career as she progressed to becoming the CEO of her own company. Tune in to hear about what experiences led Katie to her success today and what tips she has for rising stars.
Capitalize on the power of your network.
“Yes, I think about words to live by. I would love, especially females, to really capitalize on the power of their network. And when you start to go into the world, you know, you're always interviewing yourself and what can I bring to the table? And it's not about that. It's about what you and your teams, what you and your following, what you and your network can bring to the table—because that's the power that females have. They're such great connectors.
And so, if you think about, kind of, where to apply your time as you're moving up the ranks, make sure that you create a following, that you create those really deep relationships because they will help you. They will support you not just to encourage you, but to actually work for you one day or open a new door for you or be another service provider. And so, really honing in on that power of the network is another skill that you have that's transferable would be something, if I could look back in time, that I would definitely focus more on.” – Katie Klumper
Have the resilience to keep going.
“The word that comes to mind in terms of advice would be resilience. I moved here originally from Vancouver in 2008. A company had moved me here. They wanted me to help grow the business. And who doesn't want to move to New York? It was going really well. And it was 2008, so the holding company pivoted, and it went in a different direction. And so, I had 30 days to find a new job, and I decided to stay. And part of that was the resilience of going to find another job and getting out there and using your network and being really vulnerable.
And it was 48 hours before I was supposed to go back home. I had a final interview, and this wonderful human being named Steve McCall was interviewing me. He's like, ‘I love you. You're really interesting. We want to hire you, but like, not yet. We'll get back to you in a few weeks.’ And I said, ‘You know, this is a little bit of a limited time offer. I've got 48 hours before I'm going to go back home.’ And he's like, ‘Oh, well, that's crazy! Then absolutely, let's get you a job.’ And it changed my entire trajectory.
And there's two kind of lessons in that. One was the resilience to keep on going. Like, I wanted to work here, and I wanted to live here. And so, that was on me, and it was in my power, but also the ability to say, I need help and here's the timeframe that I need help, and this is where you can come support me as a male ally and show up for me. And I was really fortunate that not only did I get that job, but I ended up becoming the president seven years later and running that agency.” – Katie Klumper
See the potential in yourself.
"When I think about what inspires me and what impacted me a lot: my mom. She was the original hustler. She was a single mom, and she had three different businesses. And whatever she could sell, she would sell. It would be Tupperware or candles. And what I learned from that was, you have a lot of power within you to go change how you want to apply your skill set and where you want to show up in the world.
And so, my hope is that everyone sees that potential in themselves at all different levels and all different capacities. And I think the inspiring thing about where we're at in the world today is we're able to do that online. We're able to build new businesses really quickly. We're able to build those solutions and access audiences in ways that we couldn't do before, which is a really cool moment. And so, my hope is everyone gets really inspired, that you don't always have to work for a giant company to have impact. You can go do that today. You can build a side hustle today. And that's really powerful.” – Katie Klumper
Bet on yourself any day of the week.
“I was a partner at Deloitte, which is an incredible company, and I loved my time there. One of the big challenges was when you decide to kind of pick up and leave and go do something on your own. You know, it's very scary. It also was right at the beginning of COVID. But a lot of that is learning, to your point, the self-worth of like, you know, I know I can do this. And if I’m going to bet on anyone, I'm going to bet on myself any day of the week. And being able to kind of carry through that vision and be really narrow minded on, ‘I know there's white space, I know I can do it.’ Just keep focused on what that North Star is. And it can be very scary, and overwhelming, and all those things, but if you're able to just stay the course and believe in yourself and not have all those crazy thoughts that everybody does of, ‘Is it going to work?’ And just keep believing in yourself, you'd be amazed how many people rally behind you.” – Katie Klumper
We’re willing to bet that this powerful advice from Katie has you feeling empowered (we sure are). There are even more power-building words of wisdom waiting on our Pass the Mic page.