Spotlight: Emily Marko

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Propelle Entrepreneurial Spotlight

We've never met anyone quite like Emily Marko. One look at her website, and you'll understand why.

Her creativity is inspiring, as is her knack for turning words into something bigger, more organized, more cohesive, and, simply put, more awesome. And don't even get us started on her kind, generous, and thoughtful nature.

We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have.

Who knows, you may even get to chat with her at a Networking Happy Hour or two.

Emily Marko

Name: Emily Marko Job title: Visual Problem Solver Website: emilymarko.com Facebook: fb.com/VisualProblemSolver Blog: emilymarko.wordpress.com Pinterest: pinterest.com/ecmarko/

Introduce yourself as if you were speaking from the cockpit.  Good morning! This is your friendly Visual Problem Solver checking in for the next flight to productivity. Feeling a bit stuck or confused? Well let me pull out my handy dandy map - mind map that is - to help direct you out of the turbulence and into smooth sailing.

When did you earn your wings? January 2012. It was one of those awesome situations where nothing seemed to be going right and yet everything was going just as it was meant to. (I can only say that now looking back at it.) The universe literally pushed me into my new space as an entrepreneur and I cannot imagine being more content in any other space.

If you could name a nail polish color after yourself of your business, what would it be? Growing Green.

I feel like I am constantly growing because I am always learning more about myself, the world and life in general. My business is geared towards organizations and individuals who need/want to learn more (about themselves, the world or just life in general) so they can get 'unstuck' and grow.

And green is one of my favorite colors. It is calming and yet energizing. As I look around my office I see a green phone case, a green wall, a green suitcase, a green paper punch, a green marker, a green post-it...you get the picture.

Also the nail polish would be green - non-toxic and organic.

Not all flights are smooth. Tell us about how you handle turbulence in your business and life. The very first thing I do is go to a Jazzercise class. I need my brain and body ready to think. Then I put pen to paper – normally in the form of a mind map. I need to be able to think clearly and our brain’s short-term memory can only hold so much. I don’t want to lose the thoughts bouncing around in my mind so I literally need to SEE what is going on so I can identify issues and determine solutions. I am constantly organizing, planning and finding patterns in my mind. It really is amazing how using colors, words and images can help me (and others) move away from indecision and into action.

Who is the wind beneath your wings? I have to say I feel very lucky to have so many supportive people in my life. My husband who is always there with a listening ear – I literally ask him to just listen as I talk through situations and doodle solutions. He does it as he nods his head and giggles at my weird process.

My sister who is seriously my best friend and somehow she completely gets what I am trying to say even before I say it.

My parents who have never interjected with what I ‘should’ do, but show so much love and belief in me.

And my children – I work towards my passions because of them. They push me, they pull me and I have learned SO much from both of them.

What's your advice to other women as they navigate the business world? 1 – Be self-aware. I believe you must truly be aware of WHO you are – your strengths, weaknesses, passions, pet peeves. It is an ongoing process, but the more you know how you work the more effective you are at making your business work to help others.

2 – Be respectful of your time. This is a tough one for me. We only get so much time so use it wisely. Sure there are some projects you need to work into the wee hours of the morning, but it should be few and far between. Set a schedule that works for YOU and allow for some flexibility. Fill your time with what matters to you and it will fuel you when you need it most.

3 – Value yourself & your work. It is gosh-darn-hard being an entrepreneur – especially when things are moving sooooo slow. DO NOT sell yourself or your work short out of desperation. Determine fees that work for you and stick with it. Take clients that match your mission and passions. Be accepting of your imperfect self and take complements from others seriously.