Kristin Marquet has been a publicist and business owner for more than 14 years. As the owner and creative director of the boutique PR firm, Marquet Media, LLC, she oversees the daily operations of the business while managing a small team and executing client campaigns. Throughout her career as a publicist, Kristin has developed partnerships with leading brands and entrepreneurs such as well-known divorce coach, Jen Lawrence; celebrity chef, Melissa Eboli; psychotherapist and entrepreneur, Angela Ficken; and many more. She and her clients have been featured in Inc.com, Forbes.com, Fortune.com, FastCompany.com, BusinessInsider.com, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur.com, and so many more. In 2017, she started the emerging media company, FemFounder.co, which is the complete entrepreneurial resource for women-owned businesses. She will be launching the FemFounder.co podcast later this year.
With an academic background and advanced studies in data science, business, finance, and public relations, Kristin has attended Boston University, New York University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Now, she is a master’s candidate studying computer science, astronautics, and aerospace engineering with the goal of pursuing a career or launching a startup in the spaceflight industry. Kristin is also a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council as well as recently joined Fast Company’s Executive Panel.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. What is your professional background? How did you end up with this career?
Thank you for having me.
I’ve been a business owner since 2005 but started off as a freelance copywriter for the legal industry. Prior to starting my first business (a PR firm), I served as a marketing and PR manager for an international law firm, followed by working in consulting for three years in the construction management industry.
But then, I had been laid off during the Financial Crisis in 2010. This led me to turn my freelancing business into a full-time venture—a PR and digital marketing firm in New York City. I grew the firm to 30 clients in fewer than six months.
Alongside the PR firm, I run an emerging media company, FemFounder.co, a resource that helps female entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses. FemFounder.co started off as a blog hobby in 2017, but over the last five years, I’ve turned it into a full-service media company where we sell sponsorships, courses, and digital products. The brand is positioned to grow another 20 percent this year. It’s an exciting time!
How did you begin your remote work journey? Where do you see yourself in the next year? What tips do you have for others who are working remotely?
Interestingly enough, I’d been working remotely most days of the week since 2013 (and my then team worked remotely). I had an office in midtown Manhattan where I would go in once or twice a week but decided to close it permanently in late 2019 because the pandemic caused all office buildings to shut down. I will continue working remotely for the foreseeable future. I really enjoy it—no wasting time commuting or paying exorbitant midtown rents.
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How to Work Remotely Effectively?
My best tips for anyone who works remotely are to:
- Your schedule: Set a schedule every day so you get into a daily routine. This will help you stay structured and on task throughout the day.
- Your mindset: Complete your most important work when you’re most alert. (For example, I’m most alert from 6:30am to 9am so I strive to complete my most important tasks then.)
- Your stress levels: Turn off your phone or leave it in another room after 6pm so you’re not tempted to work in the evenings or weekends. Be sure to take lunch breaks away from your desk as well.
- Your home office: Ensure you have a dedicated workspace in your home or apartment with a door to prevent distractions. Eliminating distractions will help you stay focused throughout the day.
- Your self-confidence: Get dressed every morning as if you are going to an office. This will help you get into the daily working mindset.
- Your sanity: Set boundaries. Let your family know when you will not be available so they will respect your time.
Doing these six things can help you focus on your work and enable you to complete everything on your to-do list.
What is your self-care routine and how do you find time to integrate it into your daily life?
My self-care routine is simple, and I schedule into my day as I would schedule a work meeting or a doctor’s appointment. Here are the elements of my self-care routine.
I work out every morning for an hour to 90 minutes as I am up in the 5am hour (even on the weekends and holidays). This helps me get into the positive mindset and think clearly throughout the day.
I also don’t eat after 6pm so I allow my dinner time for digestion, as well as strive to sleep seven or more hours every night to feel refreshed in the morning. And most importantly, I don’t work after 7pm to ensure I have time to decompress and destress in the evening. This also helps me to be present in the moment at home with my family.
Putting yourself first is important to your overall wellness. Given this, what are your best holistic wellness tips?
Holistic wellness is critical to feeling good and performing well at work, especially for entrepreneurs. Working out, eating well, and spending time with my husband are critical to my overall wellness. These are my favorite things to do every day.
My advice for other entrepreneurs when it comes to holistic wellness is:
- Find a hobby: To find out what you enjoy, find a hobby, and make time for it no matter how busy you are. Paying attention to yourself will help prevent burnout. When you put yourself last, it’s a recipe for disaster as stress and anxiety will probably take over your life. Then no one will be happy.
- Cooking and meal prep: Try to cook at home so you can control what you’re eating. While ordering takeout is often the most convenient thing to do after a long day at work, you often won’t know how meals are prepared and the excess sodium, fat, and calories you’re consuming.
- Exercise and your mental health: Get outside and exercise as often as possible. Exercising is one of the best ways to improve your physical health, fitness, and overall mental health.
What was the toughest challenge you faced during your career?
I’ve had many challenges throughout the last 14 years as a small business owner, but my biggest challenge was trying to niche down when I started my first business. In the early days of my first startup, I served more than four industries as a publicist--from law to fashion to finance to tech--and it was difficult to achieve any goals for both my business and my clients.
So, after a year of working with clients in various industries, I learned how important it is to niche down and only work with clients within a specific industry or two. Now, most of the work I do is in fashion, wellness, and lifestyle, so there’s a lot of overlap between the work I do. Overall, niching down has been one of the best actions I could have taken for my business.
How did you get through that period? What advice for people dealing with similar difficulties?
There’s no doubt about it—getting through those times were tough. Yet, I made it through that difficult time by figuring out what my strengths were as an entrepreneur and agency were and only focused on those strengths. And I hired help where I was, and the agency was weak. For example, I was not an expert in social advertising or list building, so I hired experts in those areas. This helped scale to profitability very quickly—more specifically within six months.
My Best Advice For Navigating Challenges And Difficulties In Business:
So, my best advice is:
- Your strengths and weaknesses: To focus on your strengths and outsource where you are weak so you can grow effectively. Trying to do everything yourself will not work because you will burn out. I’ve been there and it’s not fun. If you don’t have the resources to outsource certain tasks, there are plenty of other ways to work out such agreements.
- Planning for the future and implementing: Take action whenever you see an issue or problem arising to mitigate further damage down the line. For example, if you see a team member not completing their work on time or their work is subpar, speak to them to find out why and take appropriate action.
- Invest in the business: Invest in the right resource, talent, and tools as your business grows to ensure you are prepared for that growth.
- Clear and concise communication: Be clear in all of your communication with your team, customers, and stakeholders. This will ensure the recipient understands the message you’re trying to communicate.
- Your support network: Build a support network of other entrepreneurs to lean on when you have questions, you’re going through a rough time, or you just want camaraderie. Having a support network will also enable you to build relationships with potential mentors, customers, or become a mentee.
- Pesky administrative tasks: Work on those small administrative tasks that have fallen by the wayside. If your website needs to be updated or rebranded, do it. If you need to pivot, then put together a strategy that will help you navigate the pivot seamlessly. If you need to ramp up your social media strategy, outsource the strategy, designs, and scheduling.
Mental health and feeling good are crucial to maximizing performance. How do you prioritize your mental health?
Without strong mental health, you won’t be able to do anything. I schedule in hobbies and do what I enjoy such as running because this helps me keep a positive mindset and attitude day after day. Running also gives me the energy to get through the day. If I don’t run one morning, then I feel slow and lethargic throughout the day which negatively impacts my work performance.
Before the pandemic hit, you may have worked in an office or corporate setting, but what do you foresee happening now? How do you see companies allowing employees to work post-pandemic?
Prior to the pandemic, I only worked in an office a day or two every week and the rest of the time at home.
But I have the perfect example. My husband is a partner in a law firm in New York City and prior to the pandemic, he was in the office five days a week. But with improvements in technology efficiency, he’s been working from home for the last two years. More people will follow suit and be working remotely most days of the week.
Allowing employees to work remotely post-pandemic will also help reduce corporate overhead because large office space will no longer be needed. There are many benefits to both organizations and employees to working remotely.
If you could have lunch with one person in the world, who would it be and why?
This is a great question—I would have to say Elon Musk because I would like to pick his brain on the newest deep space technology SpaceX is developing.
As someone who aspires to be an astronautical engineer or start a company in the spaceflight industry, I would love to hear his insight on the latest space discoveries, newest technology, and more.
If you could start a movement, what would it be and why?
I have no idea—maybe something involving encouraging more women to become business owners because women business owners are the foundation of the economy or encouraging more women to get involved in STEM careers and start STEM businesses. I would have to think about this more thoroughly.
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Thank you for the opportunity.
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