How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today?
I left a PhD program in atmospheric science in 2012 after I was diagnosed with OCD, depression, and binge eating disorder. It forced me to reevaluate how I approached both life and work. I began experimenting with online entrepreneurship soon after, and I fell in love with the flexibility it provided me as a business owner, while still providing me a large, international platform to create change.
I started and ran multiple businesses, including a freelance science/technical writing/editing service, an ecommerce dropshipping pet supplies store, a podcast for Millennial entrepreneurs, a marketing consultancy, a systems agency, and a strategy and operations firm. In conjunction with my own pursuits, I was dedicated to helping others establish and scale their own creative businesses, so I took on coaching, writing, and speaking as ways to spread my message about the future of work: it’s entrepreneurial, flexible, global, and purposeful.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful leader?
Empathy, flexibility, and vision.
What habits helped make you successful?
A willingness (and stubbornness) to persevere even after I failed, time and again. A focus on my audience and clients instead of myself. And solid, effective to-do lists.
What’s your productivity secret?
When I need a break, I take a break. I work best in spurts, so I don’t force myself into a routine that won’t work for me. Some weeks I’ll work 80 hours, others I’ll work 20. That’s the beauty of this type of entrepreneurship. I also systematize everything that’s possible to automate, and, with an online business, that’s a lot of stuff!
How do you set an example to those on your team?
My team needs to see me taking breaks and vacations so that they feel comfortable doing that. They can work whenever they want to, as long as the work gets done. I also make sure I check in regularly to keep them updated on the state of the business and any upcoming launches, that way they get to watch the business vision come to life. I make sure they know I’m listening to them and giving them the type of work they’re born for; I want them to feel supported and listened to.
Mallie Rydzik, M.S., CEO, Mydzik Media, a former storm chasing tornado scientist turned entrepreneur, consults with small and micro businesses on strategy and operations topics related to the future of work, including personal branding, entre/intrapreneurship, generational issues, remote teams, and systems creation.
Want to see Mallie Rydzik present? Attend The Power Conference on August 25 in North Bethesda Marriott!