Make a vision board — to inspire you to keep going to reach your goals every day you are going to need something in the future to look forward to. This is where a vision board comes in handy, and make sure to look at it for inspiration daily.
As a part of my series about “How the most influential people built empires from nothing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stacy Caprio, founder of Stacy Caprio Inc.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path
Ever since my first unpaid internship to first job, I have worked in online marketing. I started out running paid ads in my internship with a Boston Startup called USpin. That’s how I initially learned and taught myself the Google Adwords platform that is now called Google Ads.
Then I worked for an ecommerce agency doing the paid search marketing for dozens of ecommerce companies, and really learned about the platform and best practices in depth.
From there I left to work at an agency who worked with venture funded companies and focused on paid ad lead generation, where I learned Pinterest and Facebook ads in addition to working on Google ads.
My next job was with a financial company working on paid ads and SEO, and I continued to read blogs and hone my SEO, analytics, and overall marketing skills.
Now I work with companies and my own sites doing similar online marketing, but with a focus on organic traffic and SEO vs the paid ad traffic I started out with.
Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
My first job was lifeguarding at a country club my third summer in college, and I was so unorganized I didn’t show up to work the first two days. My boss fired me via email. That’s when I started my own swimming lesson business which really laid the foundation for all my future work and experience.
It is hard to get hired unless you have experience, so I also worked as an unpaid intern for my last summer in college, where I learned my base online marketing skills, specifically working with Google Adwords.
After graduating, it took me dozens of interviews to land a job because I was so nervous during all the interviews. However, my experience and ability to teach myself skills backed me up until I found a great company wanting to hire me.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
I have always been one to focus relentlessly on my weaknesses and improving what I’m worst at. For example, I will spend hours practicing and focused on my worst skills to improve them until they become my best.
I was a synchronized swimmer in high school and my worst “figure”, which is a short athletic feat in the water, always got me 5/10, when the rest of my figures would get 7/10 on average. I spent hours and weeks focused on practicing only that figure in the pool until it became my best figure with the highest average score of all my figures.
So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?
The grit principal applies to all my life skills and traits, and when I realize I am very weak in an area that would be beneficial to improve in, I focus on improving that area.
One way I practiced my interview skills to improve was auditioning as an actress in Boston after graduating from college, and it toughened me to be able to handle rejection without breaking down as I would before. It also gave me the ability to be completely calm before and during auditions where I would do ridiculous things such as talk in an accent, sing, or pretend to be someone else, which I transitioned into an interviewing skill that helped me land jobs.
So, how are things going today? 🙂
Very well, and in fact, so well that I have hired myself and family and friends ask me to hire them so they can get a share of the payroll and S-Corp dividends.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)
1. Practice everyday — find something you are bad at and practice it for 10–20 minutes each day until you are very good at it. I have done this in many areas of my life including synchronized swimming and interviews.
2. Do 1 thing that scares you everyday — to develop Grit you have to be able to do things that scare you, again and again each day. Try 1 scary thing each day as a way to build up your fear tolerance and grit muscles.
3. Work hard toward your goal every single day — the most important part of Grit is keeping going even when you feel like you’ll never make it or you don’t want to. Keep going and work hard on your goal every single day to develop consistency that will help you get there eventually even when you don’t feel like it.
4. Make a vision board — to inspire you to keep going to reach your goals every day you are going to need something in the future to look forward to. This is where a vision board comes in handy, and make sure to look at it for inspiration daily.
5. Workout every day — Workout every day to keep your body and mind healthy and sharp. The best part about working out is you can push your body to do things you previously thought you could never do, but after doing it realize you can. This helps you learn that you can do things in all areas of your life that you previously doubted were possible.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, I studied abroad in Hong Kong when I was a Junior in college, and there was a family there who knew my parents, and became my Hong Kong family. Every Sunday we would go on a run with their son in the park and go out for breakfast afterward.
They took me exploring, and even cooked a Thanksgiving dinner with actual Turkey, very hard to get in Hong Kong, and escargot for me and a few friends while I was there.
They felt like my home and allowed me to feel safe and happy exploring an unknown city.
To this day I credit their generosity with giving me some of my adventuresome spirit and willingness to take risks and explore the unknown, knowing there are kind people out there and that I will always be taken care of.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I try to give others a chance even when they are nervous or socially awkward since I know I have been in many situations as well. Receiving love from someone who is giving out of pure generosity, love and kindness without expectation of return is one of the best feelings in the world.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’m working to help several people buy and invest in websites which I am hoping will help them learn about assets and develop a positive investment mindset.
What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Give them goals and the freedom to reach them on their own without micromanaging. Additionally, give them an education budget so they can continue to learn and expand the ways they can give back to your company.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would inspire people to become obsessed with investing in assets, not liabilities.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I rarely keep money in cash to this day. If someone were to rob me, I’ll literally have nothing to offer them because my money is tied up in businesses, assets, and my brain.
– Dandan Zhu
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.