We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Hartmann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, how do you think about risk?
As an entrepreneur, I believe risk is fundamental in achieving success. I would never be where I’m at if I played it safe! I left corporate America in December 2019 with $3,000 to my name to go full-time in business. I had no idea where exactly my next client was going to come from, but I felt strongly about going all in on my dreams and I trusted that everything would work out in my favor. I didn’t have a backup plan, so it had to work out! Since then, NEAT Marketing has grossed over $500,000 in sales and I have taken countless since leaving corporate America. Not every risk has panned out, but they’ve all been incredible learning opportunities!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started my career in business development (sales) after graduating from undergrad in 2016. I truly had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I was always really persuasive and loved the idea of talking to people all day, so sales made sense at the time! I jumped around from marketing agency to marketing agency in different roles while finishing up my MBA, before landing my dream corporate marketing role in 2018. This role quickly turned into a nightmare when I became a victim of sexual harassment. I remember experiencing tons of anxiety around this time (going into an office with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable will do that to you). I quickly became an advocate for myself, speaking to HR, telling my boss and other coworkers, but it didn’t seem to change my experience. I knew I had to leave, so NEAT Marketing was my out!
I’m a bit unique from other marketers because I understand product, sales and marketing. I’ve worked in all 3 departments in my tenure, which makes me a valuable asset to our clients. I’ve worked with hundreds of brands across a dozen industries. Because of this, I’m able to see the bigger picture with client projects! I also put an innovative spin on client projects, too. No two marketing and pr strategies are ever the same.
I’m most proud of the number of female-owned companies I’ve helped grow: 225 and counting! When you help women make more money, it creates real change.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way is to just keep going. Continue to look where you’re wanting to go, not where you’ve been. It can be really easy to focus on an angry client or a mistake you made, but that won’t get you any closer to your goals!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What a great question! I’m based in Louisville, Kentucky (i.e. the bourbon capital of the world) so I would recommend a distillery tour or two (my personal favorite is Jim Beam because they have a beautiful campus and it’s only a 20-minute drive from the city). For lunch, go to Garage Bar in NULU and spend time shopping in the area after. There are so many cute boutiques! If you want to explore downtown, head to the Omni’s speakeasy and then grab a drink at my favorite rooftop bar, 8up! If you have time, make sure to visit the iconic Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My first business coach, Avery Schrantz, deserves tons of credit! When I went all in on my business in 2020, I needed support and a second pair of eyes on my marketing and sales strategies. Avery provided that and so much more! She’s now a good friend of mine and someone I still run to when I have burning questions. Having a business coach or mentor who has been in your shoes truly makes a world of difference, especially when you’re first getting started!