Joanna Track has boldly lived a few lifetimes on the internet, a space that’s notoriously hard to navigate. An MBA and math brainiac with a seasoned marketing IQ, she left her career in the advertising business and jumped full-throttle into the highs of start-up life. Her last major venture saw her fronting Canada’s first luxury fashion online shop, eLUXE, around the same time Net-a-Porter was gathering the kind of steam that would eventually billow into its current day success. Before that, she was the founder of Sweetspot.ca, a newsletter that rhymed off any given day’s stylish finds and headlines in Canada. Only two years after she launched it, Rogers Media made its first investment into her much loved digital imprint and by 2010, the corporation took complete ownership.
Today, Joanna’s got something new up her sleeve, The Bullet, a daily newsletter that runs down the top news of the day which she personally curates with a team of editors and writers (she’s even up by 5:30am to make sure her headlines are still on point before sending it out to her thousands of subscribers). It’s for moms like herself (and like us) who lack the time (or the emotional stamina, quite frankly, especially with what we’re subject to lately) to scroll all their feeds or be CNN junkies. “After I had my son, the news became so overwhelming and depressing to consume but I knew I couldn’t put my head in the sand. I also knew I couldn’t be the only mom feeling this way,” she says.
What really has us in awe is that she hasn’t let her previous ventures, which have since closed down, keep her from making another mark on the digital landscape. The major difference is that this time around, she’s redefining her journey of entrepreneurship as a single parent. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to take your business, whether it’s scaling up or down, too personally. At the end of the day it’s just an idea, and if it doesn’t work, there’s always another one around the corner.”
How Joanna Reinvented Her Digital Career
Step 1. Recognize when change needs to happen. “eLUXE required a huge capital investment and I was spending most of my time raising money. By the end, the venture was struggling and I was caught up in so many things that I wasn’t interested in such as warehousing, shipping and returns, as well as managing a large group of investors and a lot of politics. I had to walk away to save my sanity and my health, rediscover what I’m best at and to be with my son.”
Step 2. Hug it out with yourself. “Since I was 13 years old, I’ve always had a job. For the first time in my life after leaving eLUXE, I had four months off and I quite liked it! I took a yoga retreat in Tulum to clear my head and figure out what was going to happen next because I do like to keep busy. Soon after I launched Good Egg & Co., a consulting agency with my sister-in-law, and it allowed me to go back to my strengths — branding, marketing and strategy.”
Step 3. Embrace when your heart wants more. “I consulted for three years and I still do, but I started feeling like I needed something more. I was helping other brands and people find their voice and I felt like an over-qualified water girl watching from the sidelines; I missed the action of building my own brand and making content and that’s when I started thinking about The Bullet.”
Step 4. Let motherhood shape your investment. “When I launched Sweetspot, I put all my savings and RRSP into it and worked around the clock. I was single and in my early 30s so it was easier to take that kind of risk. Today, my role as a mom comes first and I’m not willing to sacrifice that kind of time and money. I’m more focused on the ROI and analyze every dollar I spend. I also know I can’t do everything the way I used to. That would be too stressful. Now I assess: Should I do this or should I hire someone? Most of all, I don’t have the same emotional attachment because I’ve realized that my business is important to me, but it's not my everything.”
Step 5. Keep on moving. “I’m naturally an introvert with extrovert qualities. I can be in front of a boardroom but I still struggle with getting out there, which comes naturally to many people. Every week I make a to-do list which includes people I need to reach out to. I try to make 2 or 3 connections and I love quotes and mantras to get me going. I’ll tape one to my desk with a saying that’s motivating and simple like “get shit done” or “make it happen.
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Read on: Click here to see how one mom's desire to lean out, gives her the focus she needs to run a successful business, and family of four.