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The CPXi Blog

Small Steps to Big Success

This blog piece was written by Taylor Hall, Director of Marketing at CPXi and Co-Founder of CPXi-DAWN.


Early in my career, I learned that I was in control of my own success and took full advantage of any experiences and opportunities that came my way. When I was just starting out, I held the position of Marketing Associate at CPXi and had the privilege of attending AWNY’s (Advertising Women of New York) Women to Watch Luncheon. At this event, I absorbed every valuable insight and through one small achievement, began to discover valuable keys that would help me succeed in my career.

The event was honoring Donna Speciale, then President of Investment and Activation at MediaVest. As the company’s new Marketing Associate, I was tasked with collecting content for our blog and was challenged to get a video interview with the honoree. Being that I had just moved to New York City and had little experience in business networking, I was terrified of this challenge. Towards the end of the event, I gathered what little confidence I had and made my way over to Ms. Speciale. Breaking through the crowd, a nervous, punch-like extension of my arm reached out for a handshake. Ms. Speciale, turned, smiled back and shook my hand. During that exchange, I built up the courage to ask her to be on camera for the content I needed. With the massive crowd of people vying for the same handshake, she accepted my offer without hesitation.

This event was an accomplishment at an early stage in my career because I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. Later on I learned to leverage these kinds of small, insignificant moments as qualifiers that would increase my confidence, expand my strengths in communication and help grow valuable business relationships.

Fast forward five years later, I am holding the role of Director of Marketing and had only recently co-founded CPXi-DAWN. I was researching potential speakers for an upcoming event for the group and came across the video interview that I had done of Donna Speciale. It was indeed a long shot to reach out to the woman I had such a short introduction with over five years ago, but I took the extra effort to tell her this story and point to the old video interview I had done.  The now President of Advertising Sales at Turner, responded to me within minutes, not her assistant or someone from her office, but Donna Speciale herself, and she was completely open to presenting at our upcoming event.

I wanted to share this story to inspire some confidence in those who are just starting out in their careers, as well as those who are looking for unique ways to grow existing relationships.  It’s important to remind yourself that the small stepping stones throughout your career can always be revisited and leveraged to create new opportunities for yourself.

A clip from the CPXi-DAWN interview with Donna Speciale is below. One of the takeaways from the presentation is moving away from the idea of a linear career path.  If you’re so focused on one way of being successful, you can miss out on the opportunities and experiences that will help you get there. My advice to those who are just starting out in your career, don’t be afraid to take on challenges and step out of your comfort zone to get there.