We had the good fortune of connecting with Marissa Hunter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marissa, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
I think taking risks is a necessary part of our growth process. Taking risks allows me to expand outside my comfort zone to test not only my boundaries but also my strength. Often this gives me the chance to explore new feelings and find new understanding about myself and my environment. Reignites a passion, or confirms that indeed the boundaries I’ve set for myself are actually needed. In a world that is constantly changing it’s important to me that I maximize my potential and show my children it’s okay to bet on yourself. It was Marc Zuckerberg that once said “the biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” I’ve learned that not having a career strategy in itself can make you stagnate, Each year I create a strategy for my career that challenges me and causes me to stretch my wings a bit. The approach is filled with opportunities for me to learn, fail fast, and overcome fears. Taking risks helps to ease away any fears because fear can become a blocker for greatness.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career journey has been more than exciting for me. It hasn’t been easy at all, but exciting nonetheless. I think the proudest I’ve been in my career, was a few years back when I decided to begin being my authentic self in the office place. Making that decision allowed me to let go and really show people what I was made of. I began putting myself out there, networking with intention, saying the things that were on my mind. Realizing I had real ideas and value to bring to the table. Another important moment in my career was realizing how important relationships are business. Many of us do amazing work, but without the right level of exposure and connections, you can often times get overlooked. I began campaigning for myself, making sure that leadership was aware of who I was and my contribution. I began to be intentional about making organic connections with likeminded professionals that would expand the way I looked at business. I began to understand that I am the owner and operator of my own brand and it was up to me to market my talents properly. I believe in bold moves, taking risks, and being authentic. It’s not always comfortable pushing yourself, but sometimes you’ve got to ignore that inner voice that says ‘no, that won’t work.’ I began to think of myself more like an entrepreneur and less like someone’s employee and that really helped to change my mindset. I began to reach out to leaders that didn’t know me and ask them for coffee. The intention was to introduce myself learn more about them and their role,
If you had a friend visiting you from out of town, what are some of things, you’d do to keep them entertained?
This scenario is more realistic than anything. I have a lot of friends from different places. The first thing I can guarantee is we’re going to have a random adventure! I believe the best times and memories are created out of spontaneity. You have to allow yourself to see what happens. My best friend and I have this thing where we set the bar low because randomness is the beauty in which memories are created. There would definitely be a “pre-game” to kick off the festivities, to make sure the right vibe is set through food, beverages, music and any other items that we need to keep us entertained. Nothing maximizes your fun like a playlist! I love meeting new people and you can bet we will meet a bunch of strangers that would make the day more colorful. There will be lots of laughter and real conversation to keep our journey full of excitement. I found that my best adventures happen when you just let go and give yourself permission to exist. You find yourself saying yes to parts of the adventure that you may have not been open to before. And before you know it, you find yourself having the best time of your life with people you truly love. I am always looking to uplift the vibration of the human experience and enjoy moments where I can be my authentic self!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve experienced many failures and successes in life and I’d have to say that having an amazing village of people that have supported me along the way has been the best part of that journey. The people. It has taken a great deal of sacrifice and discipline along the way and I can truly say that my husband and children have been amazing in helping me. They keep me encouraged, cheer me on, and we work as a unit to ensure we all have space to conquer our individual dreams. They help to remind me that, it’s not all about me! There are so many women that have helped to shape me in the woman I am today. My mother, who taught me so much about being resilient, the importance of continuing my education, and being a servant of my community. Her strong personality and authenticity in her delivery have been an energy that I seem to attract from other strong women that have taken on the responsibility of providing mentorship and guidance to me. I’ve prided myself on being surrounded by people that aren’t afraid to tell me the truths that others may hold back on. It truly takes a village of people to help us all be successful and I’m grateful to each and every person in my village. I am surrounded by women with strong personalities and I am drawn to women who speak passionately and use their influence in the right way to make change. Having allies in different places allows me to trust various opinions. For example, one of my mentors is a high-ranking VP and I can remember specific times where she has helped prepare me for difficult conversations that I would be facing. It’s great to have a village of multiple people who help me thrive.
– Derek Higgs – John Nowak