First, tell us a little about yourself: Name, Title, Company, How you got there. We want to know your story.
I'm Miranda Anderson and I'm a Business Director at Mirum in Minneapolis. My path here was one of a few twists and turns. I started at a small PR agency in Kansas City, Mo. After a short stint in PR, I went in-house for four years, went back to agency-side at a small brand and campaign agency in Green Bay, Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!). I worked my way up there, through three promotions in four years, and ended up running the agency's largest account.
What is your favorite aspect of "agency life" and how has it evolved over your career?
I love the collaborative spirit of agency life. In so many other businesses, people move up by taking credit for others' work, or by scraping and clawing, working 80 hours a week and singing their own praise. In my career, I've enjoyed working in places where we respect and value one another's experience and expertise. We collaborate, and work together, and expect one another to own our individual and collaborative decisions.
What do you do to maintain your passion and your drive?
I don't get up in the morning because I love my work. I LIKE my work, but I love my family. I get up in the morning because the best way to teach my daughter the values of compassion, responsibility, and doing work you value with people who value you, is to come to work every morning.
More practically, I work really hard on balance. I make working out important. I prioritize spending time with my family in the evenings. Younger in my career, I went out with clients and friends all the time. It was fun, but the return on investment just isn't there for me anymore to do that all the time. Instead, I'll do that once every other week, once a week at most, and emphasize family time the rest of the weeknights. They (my husband and daughter) remind me why I do what I do.
What is your personal definition of what makes a "MPLS MadWoman"?
What defines a MPLS MadWoman, to me, is a unique combination of being committed to doing great work, combined with confidence in your abilities, and compassion for others.
How do you strive to embody what it is to be a MPLS MadWoman, in both your professional and personal life as a wife and mother?
Right now, I'm reading Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In." She speaks passionately about ambition — how among women, it's been a dirty word. It's so funny that the idea of "having it all" had to mean excelling in everything.
It's true, being a working mother, who's also dedicated to her marriage, is tough. I couldn’t do even those three things well without the support of my incredible husband.
What I strive to do in my career is be equal parts aspirational about what kind of job I'd like to hold, creative in how I get from now to my future goals, and gracious to others.
In my personal life, I take things as they come, and don't stress the small stuff. I have more Pinterest fails than Pinterest successes. I'm not on Instagram (and yes, there's a hashtag for that). I get a pedicure twice a year now, instead of once a month. Things have to give a little, but I choose what matters to me, and I invest there. And I select what can give, and I adjust there as well.
How do you think being a working parent has affected your career and parenting style?
Being a working parent has made me much more generous — knowing that you can't be selfish to be a great parent, I think just comes with the territory. It's also made me more empathetic toward others. I understand other parents who have to juggle sick kids and daycare drop-offs, in addition to the rigorous schedule of their everyday work life.
It's also made me a more elegant time manager, and unafraid to punt the agenda, should the current one not work. I have a toddler who sometimes refuses to put on pants in the morning. So we eat our oatmeal or bagel first and then put on pants. You learn to see the humor in the things your child does or says, instead of getting frustrated, and then you become even more creative at solving the situation. So if a client needs to shift direction, or the meeting agenda goes down the drain because something more important dominates the conversation, I can easily roll with the punches.
What advice would you give to those just starting off in their careers at an agency?
To those just starting out, I'd say never be afraid to re-invent yourself. I've gotten to where I am today, partially because a few talented people recognized a spirit of persistence in me, and invited me to do great work. But the rest of my success, I attribute to a constant state of learning and changing. This industry shifts so quickly, as do the fickle consumers who drive that change. The only way to keep up is to be constantly ready to shift, change, or do over. And never be afraid of failure. Each mistake is an opportunity to self-evaluate, learn and do better.
MadWoman of the month is a monthly series of interviews highlighting an amazing woman each month in our community, voted for by the community, and published on the Egotist. We’re thrilled to shine a light on inspirational women. Nominate the next MadWoman of the Month on twitter.