By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including  Anthony IannarinoDave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.

Periodically moving forward we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions.  You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.

This week I’m thrilled to feature Ashleigh Davis, senior marketing manager for demand generation and operations for Trend Micro.  A 2016 Demand Marketing Game Changer Honoree, Ashleigh has honed her B2B skills at companies including Trend Micro, Rackspace, Mayhar Design, Sony BMG and more.

She’s the recipient of numerous awards including Marketo Enterprise Marketer of the Year in 2015.  Ashleigh, suffice it to say, gets stuff done.  Here in her own words is how she does it.

Location: The suburbs of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Current computers: Macbook Pro and iMac

Current mobile devices: iPhone 5S and an iPad mini

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? There are a few apps that are my BFFs across my work and personal life:

  • Day-to-day Operations: Marketo, Salesforce, Outlook
  • Communication & Collaboration: Slack, Skype, Zoom
  • Leisure: Spotify, SoundHound
  • Miscellaneous/for fun: Joss & Main, One Kings Lane — both for my home décor shopping habits

What’s your workspace like? It’s a whole bunch of random. I think I got started on the crazy tchotchke trend when I worked at Rackspace (if you’ve ever been to any Rackspace office, you get it.) So I have random buttons and stickers from vendors (which is weird since I’m not a swag collector), trinkets from the various countries I’ve visited while at Trend Micro, and a ridiculous collection of Dr. Who Funko Pop vinyl dolls. The craziness is wrapped up with pretty prints of scripture verses and pictures of my fur-babies and family. It’s just a blend of a lot of crazy that makes me smile. The beauty of it all is that I can turn and look at anything on my desk, and tell you the story behind that item. It’s all there for a purpose. I guess you could call my desk purposefully cluttered, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your life is made up of beautifully interwoven stories, so embrace them! ashleigh davis pic 1 ashleigh davis pic 2

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack? Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can’t be a hero of it all. Pick your battles wisely, friends.

What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? Diving into the itty-bitty details? Not sure if that’s really a good thing, but I can quickly dive into things and reverse engineer data sync issues and analyze why something may not have worked the way it should (i.e. Data syncs between systems). I get super psyched about these type of things. This is also my nemesis, though, because it’s easy to get caught up in the details. I’m also a pro at Nintendo Wii bowling (please tell me that’s still a thing!?) and at the board game “Battle of the Sexes” because I know a lot of the “guy” trivia.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? My inbox and a good ‘ole sheet of paper. Gosh how old school am I? I know there are a ton of life organizing tools (and books) out there, but I’m the poster child for failing all of them. Keeping a clean inbox is the best way I know how to manage my life…along with my calendar in Outlook. I have a lot of folders and subfolders for emails I need to keep handy and reference later…but if an email is in my inbox, there’s something to be done. As soon as it’s done, I victoriously hit the delete button. For big projects during the week, I block off time on my calendar to devote to completing those tasks. If my calendar was deleted, I would most definitely go into a full-blown panic attack.

What do you listen to while at work? I love Spotify. If I’m having a rough day, I have an amazing 90s grunge playlist I’ve created; It’s my go-to, happy music—filled with teenage angst, Doc Martens, and flannel shirts. There are also a lot of great public playlists, too—one of my favorites is called “Have a Great Day!” Not only is the name uplifting, but it’s a ridiculous mix of music that has no business ever being on the same playlist together—from OutKast to AC/DC, 4 Non Blondes, and Aretha Franklin. Seriously, it’s fantastic.

What are you currently reading? I went through a phase for a very long time where I had 4 or 5 books going on at the same time. Sadly, I am currently in a phase where I read very little. Despite my best intentions to get back into reading, I usually just need a glass of wine and a relaxing night “show-slamming” a TV series on Netflix. I did try to finish all five Game of Thrones books before season 6 started, but only made it to book 4 (which I’m currently slowly reading.) Many people told me Audio books are the way to go, but I can’t focus on the audio while driving.

What’s your sleep routine like? I’m not naturally a peppy person. I wish I was, and I’ve tried. But my family will tell you that I’m actually quite grumpy. Let me put it this way: you do not want to be around me if I have not slept. My husband calls me an old lady because I’m typically ready for bed before 10pm. I suspect this will change drastically when we have children, but I am currently enjoying my selfish need for sleep. And everyone around me should be very, very thankful.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Adopt a pet! Seriously, a dog or cat will change your life for the better. From a career advice perspective, it’s been less about one or two tidbits of advice, and more about a collection of lessons. I’ve been so very blessed to work with tremendous marketers, leaders, and people. By watching, listening, and modeling the way they approach leadership, I like to think I’ve become more thoughtful, more humble, and more impactful in my career. So, I’d like to turn that experience around and give some advice: find someone you admire and watch them. Listen and observe. I’m so thankful to have picked up so many habits from people that have no idea how much I cherish the time I spent with them. I am constantly learning techniques from people around me. I think it’s critical to always be learning and always be striving to become the best “you” possible. I read somewhere that you should thoughtfully select 3-5 descriptive words that you would like your personal brand to embody. Next, you should do a blind survey and see how people describe you. The results may be crushing, but they can also be extremely beneficial for course-correction. As I’ve contemplated my own “descriptive words,” I have continued to watch and monitor those around me—do they exemplify what I want to be? If yes, I watch closely and try to learn from them. There are so many tremendous people around each of us—it’s time we take notice!

Anything else you want to add? Have fun and be yourself—within reason! Hah. We are in such a tremendous time when it comes to marketing, technology, and leadership. There is no “rule” to who you should be or how you should grow your career. I’ve already said this, but I am so very blessed and thankful for the tremendous colleagues and acquaintances from which I’ve had the fortune to learn. When I was just getting started in my career, there was a group of bloggers in San Antonio, Texas with the mantra: Learn, Share, Grow! It’s seriously that simple, y’all. Learn from others in order to be the best version of you that this glorious planet is blessed to embrace. Share the tremendous things you’ve learned from people who had an “ah-ha” moment much, much smarter than that you have yet to experience. And grow from the compassionate, intelligent, and witty minds that bless your day-to-day activities. That’s it! It’s both a tiny and grand endeavor to live on this planet, and we owe it to everyone around us to be awesome every single day—whether you’re feeling it or not. Hence my reason for needing lots of sleep.

Fill in the Blank: I¹d love to see BLANK answer these questions. I’d love to see anyone who’s ever doubted their talent or been afraid to share their voice answer these questions. You’ll surprise yourself, dear Padawan. Cheers!