THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 93: Dorie Clark, Marketing Strategist, Author, Speaker, Professor

Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us all feel a little better. I hope the conversation will be steered toward that reality rather than toward the flawed and dangerous assumption that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.”

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No. 93: Dorie Clark, Marketing Strategist, Author, Speaker, Professor

Age: 36
Where I live:
 New York, NY
Job: Marketing Strategist, Author, Speaker, Professor

Dec. 3, 2014. Boston, MA. Portraits of Dorie Clark. © 2014 Marilyn HumphriesHave you changed jobs or adjusted anything in your career to have more balance?
Around 2010, I made a conscious choice to reposition my business away from being a local marketing consultant in Boston, where I then lived, in order to try to develop a more national/international platform. In many ways, that’s made me busier, with a lot more travel. But I consider it a long-term investment. Even though my client work was lucrative, there’s a cap on how much you can make as a hands-on marketing consultant trading time for dollars. My goal is to create a business in which I’m able to charge a much higher rate overall, because of having greater national visibility, and to develop streams of passive income (such as online courses) that will continue to come in, regardless of what I’m doing in the moment.

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I went to a conference once where I heard Suzy Welch speak, and she had a good line: “You can have it all, just not all at once.” I think it’s unrealistic to max out in every area of your life simultaneously–there’s just not time for everything. But if you’re able to prioritize certain elements of your life during certain periods, you can make everything work over time.

What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
I’m single now, and literally, in the last month, three of my exes have either gotten engaged, gotten married, or are imminently going to get married. I feel like I’m good at prioritizing relationships when I’m in one, but clearly they haven’t stuck…and it’s hard to will myself to “get out there” and meet new people when the process is often frustrating and less gratifying, at least in the moment, than work projects that I know need to be accomplished.

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
I often bring my mom on business trips with me, and that’s been really great. She gets to travel to places she’s never been before (I’ve taken her everywhere from Paris to Kazakhstan), and we get to spend quality time together.

Do you have a favorite time management tool, hack, or other strategy you use that helps you achieve balance?
I use a great paid online scheduling tool called ScheduleOnce to set appointments. It’s awesome because it saves the constant back-and-forth around finding a meeting time that works. You set up the times on your calendar when you’re available, and then people pick from them–it’s simple and I love it. It probably saves me a couple of hours per week of scheduling mishegas.

Also, I always prioritize sleep over everything else. Always. I would rather sleep than socialize, work out, work, or do just about anything else. Sleep enables everything else.

If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
I would read, which is often what I do, anyway. I read at least 1-2 hours per day–it’s how I relax and unwind. I love The New York Times, which I read every day, and The New Yorker, as well as business magazines like Wired, Fast Company, Inc., etc.

What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
The fact that you shouldn’t brush right after meals. Medical wisdom gets overturned all the time, but this one makes me furious, because it was drilled into us as kids and they were totally wrong.

What do you hope to know by the time you’re 60?
I’d like to know 1) how to make seven figures a year, primarily through passive income; and 2) how to have a happy and long-lasting marriage.

What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Cooking. I don’t really like cooking, so living in NYC is amazing! I can get healthy meals every day at less than the cost of producing them myself. My favorites are Chipotle and Dig Inn, which has affordable, locally-sourced, vegetable-heavy meals.

Whose job do you wish you had?
I’d like to be the next president of Smith College.

Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
Corporate attorneys seem disproportionately miserable.

Favorite books?
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Influence by Robert B. Cialdini.

What are you reading right now?
Back issues of The New Yorker, which I got behind on when my new book Stand Out launched.

Biggest vices…
Activity? Cracking my knuckles (maybe a little too much stress in my life?!?).
Food? Ice cream.
Website? Like most narcissistic authors, I check my Amazon rankings.

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
7-8.

What do you read every morning?
The New York Times.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: should probably start meditating. (Everyone says it’s so helpful!)
I wish I: could take a trip to Buenos Aires. (I’m going to make that happen soon!)

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” –Theodore Roosevelt

43592Stand Out CoverAbout Dorie:
Dorie Clark is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the author of Reinventing You (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013) and Stand Out (Portfolio/Penguin, 2015), as well as the e-book Stand Out Networking. A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Entrepreneur. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Inc., and Fortune, Clark is a marketing strategy consultant and speaker for clients including Google, Microsoft, Yale University, Fidelity, and the World Bank.

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Find out more about Dorie:
Free 42-Page Stand Out Self-Assessment Workbook
www.dorieclark.com
TEDx Talk: Finding Your Breakthrough Idea
Twitter: @dorieclark

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? CHECK OUT MY NEW NOVEL THE BALANCE PROJECT!

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