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From The Diary Of

Amanda Quinn

About Amanda Quinn

Owner of The Now Group, Inc, Advertising Agency in the Chicago Area. "Be Smarter Than the Competition".

Amanda, Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? Some fun facts and anecdotes from your life.

I love to travel and experience new things. Making memories with my family is very important to me. In my spare time, I like to go to museums, take Pilates classes, laugh with friends, volunteer for programs that help children, and play cards/board games with my family.

Where are you from originally? What are some of your favorite memories as a child?

I am from the Chicagoland area originally and still live in the area today. I went away for my undergrad, but missed my family and the food too much to stay away after graduation. I grew up with one sister who is a large part of my favorite memories as a child. We loved to play outside with the neighborhood kids and to go swimming. My parents were very supportive. I guess if I had to really think about it, some of my absolute favorite memories involve water -  the beach where we would play in the waves and the lake where we would fish for bluegill and trout.

Would you like to share one of your memorable pictures?

Climbing a mountain in Ireland during a family ancestry trip we took in May.

How do you maintain the balance between your professional and personal life?

To be very honest, I consider many of my clients to be friends. I interact with so many good people for whom I work hard every day to help their businesses succeed. Managing time is the most important element in a successful work/life balance. Looking people in the eye is actually an important element to maintaining balance; it lets someone know he/she has your full attention. Being present in each moment for people is more efficient than one may think.

Who or what inspires you?

My co-workers, clients, and bosses have all inspired me in different ways. One of the best bosses I have ever had was when I was about 6 years in professionally, simply expected a lot from me. He helped me when I needed it, and then got out of my way. That always inspired me to hire good, smart, reliable people who could learn from me and I from them. When I was teaching at a college in the city, my students greatly inspired me. I grew by teaching others. I used to tell my students in my management courses to inspire/motivate each employee differently. Each person is uniquely motivated. As a manager, it's your responsibility to find out how.

Can you briefly share your professional journey?

Right out of college, I started out working for an advertising agency in Burr Ridge.  I moved on to Comcast helping to sell television ads on cable television. While I was there, digital advertising started becoming a product to be sold and we had to figure out how to best sell that and how to market it. I was promoted a few times and ended up working as their Senior Market Research Analyst, working with market data on a daily basis while creating marketing materials and analyzing Nielsen ratings. I was recruited by Weigel Broadcasting (WCIU, WWME, etc.) 6 years in and started working there as their Corporate Research Manager. I created nationwide marketing materials for affiliates all over the country as well as competitive pieces that analyzed the efficacy of various forms of media within the Chicago DMA. Shortly thereafter, I was recruited by Restaurant.com and started there in Aug 2011 as their Senior Marketing Manager. It was at Restaurant.com where I learned about Google Adwords and email marketing. When I was laid off from Restaurant.com during the economic downturn, I decided to start my own advertising agency. That was over 8 years ago and I have been growing my agency ever since. We are a full service agency that offers: television ads, digital advertising, Google Ads administration, web reputation and social media management, radio ads, print ads, direct mail campaigns, website design and SEO, and market research consultations. We've been successful and I have been very happy with the results. 

Did your career turn out just the way you wanted it to?

It actually did!  My goal was to one day own an advertising agency. I even wrote my college application essay on that topic. Every career choice I made was with that in mind. Eye on the prize. :) 

What impact has your educational background had on your professional activities?

My undergrad is in business - majored in advertising. My graduate degree is also in business with an emphasis in marketing. I hear many say that they don't use in their careers what they learned in college. I disagree - I use that knowledge every day. I tried to get the most I could from those courses because I knew the value. Education is an incredible gift. 

Can you share some of the interesting projects you are working on these days?

Google Ad strategies change on a daily basis. What worked one day, may not work the next. Administration of Google Ads is an ongoing, evolving project for me. Honestly, reconciling my Quickbooks for 2019 has been on my plate this week (as it is January). Keeping up with new trends as well as new media offerings is an ongoing project as well. 

What advice would you give newbie entrepreneurs about being successful?

Don't underestimate yourself and your ability to learn new things. You never know where you will end up excelling. Also, make sure you have the time and energy to devote to it because you will need it.  

In the Information Age, millennial's tend to be interested in leadership roles. Do you have any advice for millennial professionals starting their careers?

Learn the most you can from every job you have. Volunteer for the projects no one else wants to do - you will learn the most from these projects. Always be in a little over your head, that way you are always growing and evolving your skill set. 

What is your favorite book and can you explain what you like about it?

I like books that make me laugh. I don't like anything too heavy before bed. One of the funniest books I ever read was, "Sh*t My Dad Says" by Justin Halpern. I enjoy art history books as well. 

What do you think about Executives Diary?

We can all learn so much from each other. Something I really miss that I probably won't get back are the student conversations during my MBA courses. About half the time the professor would speak and about half the time, the professionals/students would speak as a classroom and learn from each other. No one was looking at their watch because we were there for 3 hours anyway and no one was worried about being judged within their own company. This is a great platform for professionals to learn from other professionals.