University of New York at Geneseo, B.A. Communications
Entrepreneurs often bide their time at a larger organization, building skillsets and contacts until they’re ready to take a leap out on their own. But for Lissy L’Amoreaux, the reverse process turned out to be a winning combination.
Lissy ran her own digital business for seven years, helping her to finely tune her communication chops while exposing her to key people and competitive agencies in the field. And Ignition, an agency in LA Lissy had always admired, was a resource for inspiration in her own line of work. So when the timing was right, Lissy reached out to a contact there and promptly became the agency’s new digital managing director. Major win.
Find out how Lissy balances the pull of numerous people, needs and creative directions (quick hint: lists for days) and why she still insists people “work to live” and not the other way around.
Research dreams and their unknowns before writing them off.
What does a day in the life of Lissy look like?
My days are split up between attending meetings, answering a million emails and having planning and problem solving sessions with my teams. My department is broken up into three buckets — creative, production and technology — all of which report to me and our executive creative director. I have a director level management team in each division, so I meet with them daily to make sure they have the resources they need to get the projects currently in-house complete, we vet the new business coming in appropriately and we ensure that each team is happy and getting the right mentorship for growth.
Typically, each day I'm fielding calls for new business coming directly from cold calls or from current clients like Netflix, Fox Networks, Disney and AMC. We also do a lot of cross-divisional work within the agency, so I manage those requests and assign the right teams based on the project ask and type. And when I’m not figuring out how to grow and build the business and teams, I’m handling the financial management of the division. All job budgets and costs associated with them are managed and approved by yours truly.
Overall, I'm pulled in a lot of directions, since the business is ever-evolving and changing based on client demands. There really isn't a specific formula for a daily routine!
With so many moving parts to keep track of, how do you organize your day?
Lists, lists and more lists! I’m a little obsessive about it, but it’s the only way to put structure and prioritization around copious emails and everything else I need to get done. Things pop up constantly during the course of a day and I have to do a lot of shifting. I could start with five things on the list over coffee in the morning and that could change to 20 things by lunch. By the time the day ends, I’ve either gotten halfway through it or it’s a completely new list.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I like to be creative and part of a team that makes cool stuff, but I also like working with people and problem solving. Managing the department combines both. Working with others, building teams and being proud of the outcome are all things that I really like about my job and are things that suit my personality.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Maintaining profitability, always wanting more and pondering what’s next in life. I often spend time into the wee hours of the night reading books like, Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
It can be a struggle at times, but I make it my philosophy that I work to live and not the other way around. It helps being married to someone in the business as well, because we both understand the demands of the industry. There are rarely any bad feelings or resentment when we have to cancel personal plans due to work.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
Every time I think that I’ve made it, I get in my groove, start learning about new challenges and then I realize that there is something else for me to do! As long as there is something for me to learn, or a new challenge to conquer, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel I “made it” in that sense.
What are some of the rules you live by?
I have a list for that, too!
1 / Lead by example.
2 / Always be honest and true to yourself.
3 / Trust your gut instinct; if something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.
4 / Always get enough sleep.
5 / Make time for life outside of work.
6 / Do what makes you happy, and don’t be afraid to take risks
7 / Don’t be afraid of change.
8 / Always keep an open mind.
9 / Work to live. Don’t live to work.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
It’s really important to not take things personally. Creative agencies are filled with all sorts of egos and difficult personalities, so I often have to adapt my communication and management styles to accommodate this. In the end, not everyone is going to do things exactly like me, so I have to be super flexible and sometimes, even a bit of a mind reader! It’s important to keep an open mind, stay neutral and lead by example.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
I have a few pieces of advice. First, don’t worry about what people think and don’t be scared of something you don’t know. Research dreams and their unknowns before writing them off. I didn’t have the best resources about careers in creative fields growing up, but that wasn’t an excuse not to pursue that line of work.