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Leading With Empathy

Kerry Guard • Sunday, August 8, 2021 • 46 minutes to listen

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Tara Pawlak

Tara Pawlak is the Head of Marketing of GetAccept in the US market. She is a marketing director with an MBA in Global Marketing. She's a dynamic marketing expert with over 15 years of experience in marketing operations and automation, marketing strategy and demand generation, marketing technology and B2B lead generation.



Hello, I'm Kerry Guard and welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

Did you listen to the previous episode with Frida Arenby? If not, definitely check it out when you get a chance. This whole season is a compilation around how to market to people, individuals and the importance of how we do that, as buyers shift from meeting sales and marketers to tell them how to buy to giving them the autonomy to make their own decisions. So while you don't need to listen to all the episodes in order, it doesn't hurt to make sure you check them all out.

In this episode, I had the absolute pleasure of connecting with Tara Pawlak, she is the Head of Marketing of GetAccept in the US. Yes, if you listened to the previous episode, Tara is part of Frida’s team. Having them both on was a complete accident, and a wonderful one at that. Because Tara and I talk about what it's like being part of the global team, especially when the headquarters are actually in Europe and not in the United States. The other thing that Tara and I lead in with and the whole reason why Tara and I got together is because she has this beautiful outlook on life, and this amazing positivity that just emanates from her. And I felt like what better way given the last 18 months, then to have somebody who can remind us of what positivity feels like as we think about our own leadership, especially now as we enter into this next phase of coming together. And either gathering in person, or being in an office all the time, whatever that might look like for you and your team. And just remembering that even though this year was really hard, the amazing outlook we could have, because of it. And Tara leads with all of that, and it's such a beautiful story she tells, and I'm so excited to share it with you.

A little about Tara, she is the marketing director with an MBA in Global Marketing. She's a dynamic marketing expert with over 15 years of experience in marketing operations and automation, marketing strategy and demand generation, marketing technology and B2B lead generation.

Let's take a listen.


Kerry Guard: Hello, Tara. Thank you for joining me on Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

Tara Pawlak: Hi, Kerry. Thank you so much for having me.

Kerry Guard: I am really looking forward to his conversation. I think it's perfect timing in terms of the change of the seasons. We're having this conversation in April of 2021, and spring’s just come along. And I think this is just gonna be really lovely to share with people as things turn. It's gonna be awesome. Before we get there, why don't you share your story with our listeners in terms of what you do and how you got there?

Tara Pawlak: Sure, thanks. So I'm Tara Pawlak. Currently, I work for GetAccept . I'm Head of Marketing for the US market. And so my brief background is for the last 15 years, I've spent a lot of time at mostly B2B tech companies. And my passion, as of the last couple years, is focusing on digital content, especially demand generation and analytics. The reason for that is I love helping support and grow our team members. So I'm a big believer in trying out the latest marketing, tech and trends in working with our global teams to really bring our products to market and help our customers. So that's a little bit about me.

Kerry Guard: I could dig into so many of those. But I'm gonna hold on, maybe I'll come back to them and they'll fit into our conversation. But I love all the things that you said, especially around the new tech and trying to be on the cutting edge of that. We will come back to that. In terms of your position and what you're doing right now, what's one challenge you're currently facing as a marketer?

Tara Pawlak: That's a great question. I would say, marketers have many challenges. But I would say one challenge is really flipping the kind of messaging To be a little bit more product, and I'm a big fan of like end user benefits, like, really what's in it for them at the end of the day as marketers, we spend so much time and energy and research, like, understanding our product and what it does. And so it's so easy to start just like creating everything from our vantage point, right? Like, because we're in, we're talking to people, we're talking to products, we're talking to sales, we're talking to our teams, and really like the go to market strategy and everything like that. But I think it's really important to take a step back and really be like, , like, how does this tool or product or your offering really impact the day to day life of who you're selling to? And have that come through through the whole funnel of awareness? Not just like, GetAccept this, and this is what our tech does. It's really just like, how does that simplify? From our vantage point, like, how does that simplify the life of every sales team, that's what they should know, from a sales rep to the director to the sales operations, those are kind of like our market there. And so I think that is a challenge. I think it's a constant challenge for marketers, because you want to tell a little bit about ourselves, too, right? But it's making sure the features and the benefits really align with their pain points. And they're their challenges, like every day, it sounds so simple when you say it, but really, really trying to focus and hone in on that, to be more about them. And I think that's where you discover all those little like, golden nuggets of like use cases, that you're like, oh, wow, this customer uses our platform for this, there might be others that do the same thing. And that's why I think our platform is so unique, too, because all different sales organizations can adopt it. And then they can kind of make it the way that it works within their own sales cycle, whether they love video, or they love the live chat feature, or the kind of proposal design. We all know that sales cycles look very different across virtually every business. So

Kerry Guard: Yeah, for you, and when we had our conversation a few weeks ago, Tara, you mentioned that you head up the US office, but it's new for them to be in the US. So for you, it's even thinking about all that messaging with the competitive lens, as well, I imagine adds a whole another layer. Because from my understanding of GetAccept it's simpler. It's much more robust. But in terms of similarities to a DocuSign, where you're going up against these big players who are already here versus in the global market, where in some other countries, it's not as prevalent to be doing virtual signing. So, not only thinking about the messaging from that end user, but also then thinking about how you're different, how you're differentiating from these competitors. So that, would you say that's also another?

Tara Pawlak: I mean, that's another layer of it. There's multiple layers, right. And so we do have a very good presence in the US. For sure. Just because of the way the company got started, and our, like, the initial funding was Y Combinator. Out of Silicon Valley, you have a lot. Yeah, we do have a lot of US customers. It's not that we don't, it's more of like, our focus now is we know, there's so much more opportunity in the US, and trying to figure out the right processes and strategies and messaging. And to your point the competitive landscape in the US looks very different than, say, some of the countries in Europe, just for the categories we're in, like sales engagement, sales enablement digital signature, kind of like that proposal sales tracking. And so I think it's really fun. And interesting, because there's so many similarities, but then there's differences. So that's why it's really fun to be on a global marketing team, to say like, hey, that actually worked for this local market. Does that transfer to this market? Or no? Like, is the language different as the adoption, I guess, I look at it as like the product life cycle where a lot of our features are a little bit further along in the US, for certain verticals and businesses, that they already have a deep understanding. And what we're trying to do is like, elevate and accelerate their businesses from that first conversation with a prospect all the way to a contract. So , e-signature is 100% part of that. But there's so much more that goes into a sales cycle, right?

Kerry Guard: Oh, yeah. No, definitely. You know what I really love about hearing you talk about it is it sounds like you enjoy it as a marketer. You enjoy a good challenge.

Tara Pawlak: Yes, yes. I mean, that is very true. I think one of the aspects of that is I actually like change. And honestly, I haven't been able to pinpoint why I do. I think it's like, growing up, my parents are both very open minded people. And we like to travel and just kind of the way you look at the world. And there, I had a lot of changes just in my personal life, in middle school, in high school and things like that. And I just really learned to not be afraid of it and really adopt it. And I actually can go so extreme that I get almost antsy, like, I need, like, , like, I need a new challenge. Like, I'm almost looking, it's like, I'm looking for it. And I've never really thought that I would do that. But then talking to peers and other leaders as I'm just very interested in something that I might not know a little bit about. And then my brain just goes there being like, okay, like, how does that work? How do I figure that out? Let me research that so it's a little bit of it is kind of built in to just just how I am, I guess.

Kerry Guard: Yeah, and I think that dovetails nicely into actually our topic today round this need for positivity, and how you lead in terms of your leadership style. Quick backstory for our listeners, I found Tara on LinkedIn, because that's where I live. And I just want to go meet people. And that's how I do it. Tara's profile came up in my feed, because somebody who we're connected to liked something that Tara had written in terms, it was very personal, such a sweet note about her children, and then going off to school. And I just, the first thing that caught my eye about the post was one that that you're posting something so personal, on such a business oriented platform, I thought that was awesome, because I screamed out from the mountaintops that this idea of working life not mentioning, it's not a thing. So I loved that. But then on top of it, the messaging was around this, just, it was so positive, and in the way that you were talking about being with your kids for this last year. And how tough that was that you didn't sugarcoat it, but it was this bittersweet thing that happened and your children going back to school, and I was just like, wow, I wish that I could carry that same positivity, I'd like to think that I am somewhat of a positive person, I like to always look on the bright side, or think the glass is half full. But this last year has definitely been very hard to see that on a regular basis where it sounds like you have risen to the occasion, in terms of your, I think that's probably part of you adapting to challenges really well. But I'd love to hear more about how you were able to keep that energy through getting this job and breaking into this market with this new product. And on top of it having your children at home. Where does that strength come from?

Tara Pawlak: So thank you, first of all. To kind of like, set the record straight, though. I am very human. I had days that were very hard for me. Yes, like every parent, and, a lot of just people in the last year 100% there was a lot going on, externally internally, just like the whole thing. So, you know what, I think I just looked at it like, okay, this happened. As I try not to complain too much, but I'm a human and we all do right, that just happens. You kind of get it out but I also I think for me, it was really people. It was a turning point in my mind honestly, like April and May. And I just took a step back and I was just like, I was so like, honestly filled with worry, like, an almost anxiety for everybody on my team. And , there's people that are on my team at my previous company that wouldn't have the same situation as me, like kids at home working their hardest, like, trying to figure this out. There's just so much worry and I said, you know what, if I could do anything in this situation, I can just be there for people. And those people include everybody, including my colleagues, people on my team, anyone at the company. My family, my friends, my husband, who's a first responder. So I'm like, everybody has a really tough situation right now and I just was, like, really important to me to check on people. And it sounds really small, but just like, shoot them a note or tax or call them to just check in, see how they're doing and feeling. And I think that's what actually gave me a lot of strength too, is like turning to really help support and be there for other people. Not that my situation wasn't hard, right, and a lot of other people. So that's really what kept me going. And then there weren't a lot of options, right? But no one's gonna come in and save the day like, no one's like, okay Tara, like your kids are now going to go here and here and do all this, do all these things. And so I had to lower expectations, which, to be honest, is really hard. I still like it, even my kids have been home the last month, and I would still have days that I was so upset, because my son didn't make it to all his like distance learning. And my husband's like, you have to give yourself a break. Like, you're like leading a global team, and you have calls and like webinars and all of this happening, and then you have a five and seven year old at home, like, what challenge put in front of people was too much, to be honest like, so you kind of have to figure out mentally, how am I going to deal with this? Am I gonna do like, the poor me upset every day? Or am I gonna try to be a shining light and be supportive for everybody that's like, in my tribe, professionally, and personally. So that's really where I tried to focus.

Kerry Guard: I love this idea. So it sounds so simple of lowering expectations, which we're all marketers. And the expectations are generally high. In the way that we think, I know that that was a big struggle for me, for my kids, when I was homeschool teaching is different, because my kids are four, they also just turned five. And so the teachers gave everything to us. And they said, here's the learning every day, like there's no Zoom calls, there's no checking in, like, we're just gonna give everything to you as parents, and then you got to send us videos and send us proof that this is happening. And so I had to figure out how to do that in a way. But in terms of lowering expectations, giving yourself a break, like, today, we're gonna sit at the table. We're not leaving the table until we get done what we can. And if I start to lose you, I start to lose you. And where did you start with English today and Math tomorrow? And if we don't get to Math them, we'll flip it tomorrow, we'll do Math first. And then English like, you do, you have to find those breaking points where you just like, let go.

Tara Pawlak: Yes. It's very hard. Like, there were some days where I'm like, okay, we made 50% of his classes. And I had to be okay with that, which is really hard for me. I was like, this, like, straight A student, like, love learning, like, all the way through, like getting my MBA, like, that's just like, I don't know, it's just who I am. So it was hard for me. And the other, more personal thing that I'll share is my son was actually struggling, really struggling. He's in first grade. So he was struggling with reading and math. So I had this extra layer of worry that he was behind. And I'm, I totally respect that the whole world's like, all the kids are behind, but it's different. It's different when you're a mom, and you're watching your kids struggle. Like, you just want your kid, like

Kerry Guard: Get there to afford that, like, I got this.

Tara Pawlak: Like that part was really kind of, like, eating at me too. Because I don't have a degree in early childhood education. Like I don't know how to teach reading. It's hard and it's different when you're a parent to a child. If he wants to learn about marketing, I’m all for it. I could talk to him all day. But, I think that was really hard. And, from a more professional work environment, I just was like growth matters to me personal professional, definitely business objectives for sure. But this is just a time to really focus on people because I really believe that people are what makes a company successful. Those are the people working every single day really hard to achieve your goals and your numbers and develop a new strategy and analyze it. , those don't just happen, magic. , all the hard work of every single person. And so I think that's where I tried to focus if people seemed overwhelmed, or they needed a day off, or just to take a step back, and really just like the level of support and religious being there as a human was where I tried to just focus. Because we all need that.

Kerry Guard: We do. And so in terms of lowering our expectations, I don't want this to sound bad, because I don't think it is at all, I think it's important. And I think in the last year, we all had to sort of whether we know it or not, we had to reset, let's call it, we had to reset our expectations for what was happening. And so from a work standpoint, like I understand, from a, from a kid's standpoint, I certainly had to do the same even for my house. I'm like, the house just isn't cleaned today. And I have to let that go. That's hard. It is what it is. But from a professional standpoint, in terms of resetting expectations, how did that translate for you and your team? I mean, did the goals get reset? Did the expectations of your team get reset? Or was it? Was it the status quo? And you just worked within those guidelines?

Tara Pawlak: That's a good question. So just for like the listeners, too. So I used to work at many brands, and was in charge of marketing, and mostly for wine careers, up until about November of last year, just for context. And then I joined GetAccept at the beginning of 2021, in January. So to be super honest, none of our business goals or objectives really got lowered. From a marketing standpoint. From a larger standpoint, yes, those are redone because that type of business is recruitment advertising, which really did have an impact from what was happening economically and globally, because of the pandemic. But honestly, it was more of a day to day workflow, work process reset, right? Like, we would not try to do everything. I personally think marketers have really shined and excelled in the last year, because every single one of them had to reset, honestly, pivot think like, we had to think about every single message. And it was beyond, I think what was happening with a pandemic, there was a lot, especially in the US market, like, of like, diversity inclusion, like there was just like, a lot happening in the world that started to really affect businesses and our standpoint, our messaging and who we stood for, and I've never looked at a copy and content so closely in my entire life, because you don't want to be tone deaf to what's happening in people's personal lives, right, like, and so really the way I would, quote, lower expectations, or help people and even my own mind, and I'm still not good at it, to be honest, so very high expectations of myself, is really, the way you get things done like, I just gone are the days of like, the nine to five, or whatever it might be, it's like people, they might even break in the middle of the day, they might need to, like, go work out to relieve stress, they might need to go help their kid on Zoom. And that's fine, and I think I would sometimes work late at night to get things done, because that's all I could do, right? I don't like doing that. I don't expect people to do that either by any means, but just being more flexible and open. And my biggest thing is communication and transparency. So if we're not going to hit a deadline, like, let's talk about it, let's think about it in advance. And it's okay, like, we're human, like, let's figure out why we can pull in other people that would maybe typically didn't have to do that in the past? And maybe there's a really good reason like, the volume of our work actually got more intense. And then there's more like pressure and worry, and people put their own expectations on it. And it's like, we can do this. It's business like, let's all I don't want people working so hard, that they are not happy or supported or feel successful in their role, because then to me, it doesn't become worth it.

Kerry Guard: It's interesting, because it's almost like when we get more constraints, we rise above them, almost better than having like this blank slate field to go do with whatever we want.

Tara Pawlak: And it's also like, you can't do everything. You have to have a focus. It's like, this became a focus for a while. It's like being there for our customers in the market and having them understand how to get through this time, it's like, that's our focus. So we can't just continue to have all these different areas and I think setting that expectation internally with people, leaders, other people that need to know. And this is hard. I think a lot of marketers have trouble saying no, I did for years. And I would take a look at our timelines or projects and just be like, this isn't possible unless people are working crazy hours. And that's what I say. Like, that's a no for me, honestly, like, love it, that's a priority, but we're not gonna be able to get to it for like, a month, it'll go in the queue, because these are the other priorities. And then it's more of that agreement. Like, should we switch something? Like, should we focus on something else like, and I think that, I hope anyways, that my team does appreciate that, because I don't like the idea of just piling things on. I also don't think you produce really exceptional work that way, either. When you're multitasking so much. Adding things to your plate, your focus, and the quality of work can go down, for sure.

Kerry Guard: Oh, I totally agree. I like this idea. And I think it's so true, especially when you become a mom, I feel like it becomes just intuitive. But to help them guide your team that way, in terms of priorities, like, I don't have the luxury of nine to five anymore. I have like, the eight to 12, or whatever it is. And then I, a few hours in the afternoon before I gotta go pick the kids up from school before COVID. There was never even as a parent, even before COVID, there was never this direct luxury of nine to five, I mean even finding that out right now as, as my kids enter school, like, we have two weeks of spring break here and how that affects now my schedule, right? So in terms of having that, here's the hours a day, what's the biggest priority that needs to happen? Focusing everything on that, and then anything that comes beyond that, sort of, like nice to have, and then thinking about your whole team in that way.

I read this great article a year ago, two years ago, it was about a woman who was trying to explain what it felt like to live with a debilitating disease that they just had to learn how to live with. There was no cure for it. There was just something they needed to figure out and, and a friend of hers asked, how do you do it? Like, what does it feel like? She was just trying to really understand what a day in her life looked like for this woman. And she went around, they were in a restaurant. She ran around, she grabbed all the spoons from all the tables that were empty, and she held up all the spoons, she said, here's how many spoons you have in a day. Now, every time you take an action, you're going to lose a spoon. So you get up in the morning, what's the first thing you do? And she's like, I got to take a shower. She's like, nope, you have to first get out of bed. And then you have to walk to the shower, and then you have to get dressed. They brush your teeth. That's like five spoons right there. So think about your priorities. Did you really do that shower today? Right? So it's when you get to think about it from that perspective of like, I don't have all the spoons and all of the land. How am I going to get, what has to get done today? How I'm gonna prioritize that.

Tara Pawlak: I love that. It is like simply breaking it down. And I think that represents a lot of working parents in the last year. Because you I would, I'll tell you right now, we would have three Zooms going on in my house. And I was on a call. And both of my kids were, like, logistically, that's a nightmare. Little children, they need help but we will do it like, it's just crazy. Like, I had times where I'd be like, on camera, and I didn't think anything of it. I just did it really. And my team would watch me be dressed like Elsa in the background and like handheld snacks, and I'd still be talking like I'd still be focused and all that. Which is just crazy to think about. It was exhausting. But you get to that level where like you said before, like, even simple things like trying to figure out what's easy and what's important like letting your house go or your laundry go or you have that great new idea for work. But like the time is not right. Like right now my plate is so full that like, knowing when you're going to push yourself over the edge, I think or if you're already there. I think that's a big thing too. I've been in situations where I honestly felt like I was drowning. And I think everybody can relate to that. And the first step is acknowledging that it's not okay and then digging yourself out. How do you dig yourself out of that and not stay there for too long like life owes, things like that. I used to always say to my, like, old boss kind of mentor, like, if I can see the light, I'm okay. If that light is not at the end of the tunnel, we're not okay. And recognizing that and just knowing back in your head, you're in charge, like you're in control. And if you don't feel like that, then that's a red flag too. Because it's your life. It's your career, it's your, your self care, your mental state. And it's like, how do I get in a better spot? What can I do for myself to get there, and it looks very different for everybody. So

Kerry Guard: What about in terms of advocating, I mean, for us, as leaders, and I'm, I'm in sort of a similar boat, as you tire in terms of how I look at my team of just wanting to, like, I call people all the time and ask how I can help and how they're doing and what's going on in a person's life, just like know what's going on. So if I can help, like, I can be there to help, but in terms of people who may not be getting that level of support, or in terms of advocating for themselves, because I feel like on some level, as people who are running around asking all the people who need help, at some point, we have to advocate for ourselves. And for people who might not have that level of support. What does that look like in getting the help you need? When maybe you're not having people turn around and ask you?

Tara Pawlak: That's actually like, a difficult thing to crack. I believe, based on people's personalities, there's a lot of people that don't want to admit it. And I was in that boat for a very long time years ago, everything's fine like, not really like sharing you, it's almost like you don't want to show a sign of weakness. And that's very real for a lot of people. And I think trying to foster relationships is really big. Just one on one, like checking in, and I can, like super business oriented, like, all talk about work and everything, but really trying to let people know that you're there for them. And if they ever need anything, or trying to steer the conversation, which I find incredible for leaders around me that are really good, at like, bringing up random stories in their personal life and things like that, and like changing the tune that people realize, like, it's okay to admit that you're struggling or, or things like that, and I think picking up on social cues, which can be harder remote, for sure, with people are really just starting like, how are they doing asking about anything you might know about them and their personal life. And having them share that on a regular basis gives you like a really good grounding place to start from, I think, to answer your question is being intentional. And not just like, letting it happen but be like, have I checked in with myself, but then with this person, and even, it sounds silly, but like writing it down, if you have like team check ins or you got you do like one on one, or anything like that, to have people share what they did that weekend, or what they're looking forward to, or some personal anecdote. ‘Cuz that, you'll see that once you start doing that, it comes out pretty fast, too.

Kerry Guard: That's really true. I think one on ones are really important. And when people start pushing them, I start raising the flag of like, that's, I understand, we're busy, but that's like, not the thing that should get pushed. It’s so important to have that report on a regular basis. And even to the point where like, my, the leadership team actually just makes random calls just to say hi, and check in on people. I'm just especially remote, you have to go out of your way to do that. You can't just swing by somebody's desk anymore, or see them at the watercooler. Like your point Tara does have to be very intentional in making the effort to do that.

Tara Pawlak: And I think conversations too because , we're in like the slack world and the email world and , like, quick chat but like having a real conversation with someone who picks up the phone.

Tara Pawlak: it's totally different than a one off little message and you kind of go back and forth and then you leave it, like people don't share as much people are quick people are busy.

Kerry Guard: But I can't read them either. I tell ya that inflection in their voice being able to see them if possible. We actually moved over. I got so much, Slack, I got so much. I got people who were not happy. With me, Tara, I gotta tell you, but I think they're on board now. But I moved everybody off of Slack and onto Zoom chat. Because when that happened, Slack hadn't had video integration at the time. I think they do now but before they didn't. And so I was like, no, we need to do more videos. There's a lovely video button in every single channel. And for one on ones, like, we feel like we're going down a rabbit hole, please click that lovely video button and hash it out, it'll go so much faster, you've got to read the room better, you'll be able to build rapport and relationships. Like please, please go to video whenever possible. And it's as they have. It's been amazing.

Tara Pawlak: I totally agree. We had a couple different platforms I would use at my previous job. And the ones that do the same thing, sometimes there's like limits on video too. And like I ran this large global team, when we were all on the call there were over 20 people on it? And I'm like, no, I need everyone to have a video like I want people , like, that's from my human interaction. And it's, to me, vastly different.

Kerry Guard: It’s so important. Oh, my gosh, I love this conversation. Because I generally try to keep my conversations a bit more tactical, and like things you can take away or process or go do this, this and this, and you'll feel better. But I think what's so powerful about this conversation and why I really wouldn't talk to you any initially Tara was that, it's just nice to be reminded that we're not alone. So in all of this chaos that's been this last year, especially as marketers, especially as women, especially as moms, it's just nice to know that we're all doing the best we can and even in that post that you made that was so positive, and it was nice reminded to be able to leave with that positivity, but that it's still hard. And we're all we're all on the boat together. And here's some ways that you've risen above, which I think is just beautiful in terms of resetting expectations, staying connected, being very intentional with your conversations, and going after the priorities, I think is just an amazing reminder with everything that's going on right now. And I think we should all take this with us, even outside of the pandemic, when all of this settles, these are still things that will benefit us in the long run. And so thank you for sharing your story with us. I really appreciate your time.

Tara Pawlak: No, of course, I I enjoyed our conversation and, love it. And I mean, I couldn't agree more with your summary there. And I think it just makes us all more human to admit struggles and how you kind of get through things. And hopefully people can learn from one another. And I think, for me, at the beginning, like you mentioned in the posts, it was because my work and my personal life collided. Like, if I would have never written those posts a year ago, ever but it was like I was doing both for a full year? And I was just like, wow, this is just crazy. Trying to take a step back and be like, look what I accomplished with my kids. Was it perfect? No. Was I perfect? Absolutely not. Did we have tough days? Absolutely. But we got through it. And we did our best. And , at the end of the day, I'm actually grateful for that extra time with my kids. I think I've seen a lot of bad, kind of, certain parents getting a bad rap of like, us being like, Oh, I can't wait for them to go back to school. But one it's not that we love our kids, you want to be with our kids. It's just when you have so many responsibilities colliding at the same time, day after day after day. It's hard. So I'm happy to share anything that I think I've learned or tried to be kind of positive about but also real there were times I was like crying my son was crying like everyone's been there. And so it's, it's quite a challenge.

Kerry Guard: Absolutely. And it's just, it just really appreciates you being so vulnerable in this and sharing your story. Before we go. I do have my three final questions that just lighten the mood a bit and bring it home. Are you ready?

Tara Pawlak: I’m ready.

Kerry Guard: Right. If you, I'm trying to think of the order I want to go and guess what hobbies Have you picked up in the last year, anything new or anything you've been able to go back to or dig into.

Tara Pawlak: You know what, I absolutely love this question. First off because you see so many people talking about all these new hobbies. I think I've less time than before. But I guess something that I like, tried to accelerate, if you will, is, I have one of those peloton bikes, but I have their app. And so I've been a lot more focused on making sure that I'm doing even if it's quick workouts for myself, I've always liked working out and exercising and it helps me like mental stress, it actually brings clarity. And so what I've been trying to do is actually do it in the morning and like to set my day, which I'm a sleeper, I love my sleep. So like for me to get up and like to give up sleep that is honestly crazy. But it really helped me so I was like, I can do like 10 minute yoga, or 15 minute arms, or bike like I can get it in where I always have the mentality of like, you need a block of time like, hour you need this, take it on your lunch break, or do it ask like, and now I I've really, really enjoyed it. And I can tell that it makes just a difference and from my mindset perspective, you get energy from it. So that's definitely I guess what I would say is that exercise and hobbies have been more consistent with it. And intentional. And just like short, just two quick ones. You don't have hours of time anymore.

Kerry Guard: I do 10 minutes of yoga before bed, because that's my winding down, with that consistency.

Second question for you. If you could be back in the office with your team, I know you’ve only worked remote with GetAccept, but just imagine an office and you get to walk around and see your team and go desk to desk, what song would you want to be hearing overhead?

Tara Pawlak: Great question. And I can’t wait for the day that we can all meet-up. That’s a big part of our GetAccept culture, these meetings, team meetings, and things like that in person. I think my answer to this is My House by Flo Rida. It gets like, hype, it’s high energy, and it’s kind of motivating to put your foot on the ground, to say hey, we’re here.

Kerry Guard: I love it. Alright, last question for you. If you could travel anywhere in the world with or without your family, I’ll leave that up to you, where would you go and why?

Tara Pawlak: Oh, that’s a good one. Man, I love to travel, that’s a really tough one for me. We’re fans of trips with the kids and without the kids, so we do both. I would honestly say, I’ve never been to Australia. And I would love to take a long period of time to go travel there and just explore. I think it’s just so unique and different and I just love, all the regions are very different too. I think that’s kind of unique but you need a long period of time to do that, the way that I want to do it, for sure. I’ve been to Europe a lot, I’ve been to South Korea and things like that where I just think. I think it would be interesting for me to just absorb the culture and all the little cities and towns and things like that. And that trip I guess, we would bring the kids. They would enjoy that one.

Kerry Guard: Yes, it would be an amazing experience. I know a friend who actually did that right before the pandemic. She took her just her two kids on her own and they all had the most amazing time. So I would concur that taking the kids would probably be worth it. And what a nice long vacation, sounds like just the thing we all need right now, so yes, to all of that.

Tara Pawlak: , , East Coast and Connecticut so you deserve to go for a long period of time, if you’re gonna fly.

Kerry Guard: Absolutely. Well, Tara, thank you for joining me. I just really appreciate you, thank you.

Tara Pawlak: Thank you so much, this was awesome. I appreciate you.


That was my conversation with Tara. She’s just this beautiful soul, and has a lovely perspective, and so fearless. And what an awesome dose of positivity right? What a great way to end your week if this is a Friday, to kick off your week if this is a Monday, or to give you a little pepping-your-step if this is mid week. What a great episode. Thank you, Tara, for joining me. If you’d like to connect with Tara, you can find her on LinkedIn. The link is in the show notes.

Season 8 is available. The whole season dropped on one go so feel free to keep on going or if you missed the two episodes, be kind and rewind, whichever works for you. If you’re gonna keep going, my next conversation is with Tal Valler, where we dig into the truth about ROI and how to create meaningful connections in order to achieve better results. And he schools me a little bit, which is really fun. I love when people do that. I just love having those tough conversations and being corrected.

Thank you for listening to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders, the podcast that helps brands get found via transparent, measurable, digital marketing. I'm your host, Kerry Guard, and until next time.

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

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