By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
We’ve had our own series for a few years now!
Every week we 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 excited to feature Morgan Santapaola, event marketing manager for ZoomInfo. I literally have no idea how she gets so much done and stays so organized. That includes the Growth Acceleration Summit next month (join me there using HEINZFRIEND to register at 50% off!).
Here in her own words is how she gets stuff done.
Location: Boston, MA
Number of unread emails right now? About 5 – I am very on top of my inbox.
First app checked in the morning? I do not check anything on my phone until I come into work…I don’t open social media or my email. I’ve noticed this works best for me (work/life balance) and my anxiety. I don’t want to start my day with any distractions, negativity, worry or pressure.
First thing you do when you come into work? Say hello to my cube neighbors, put my lunch in the fridge, grab a cup of tea, take my vitamins, update my TODO lists, then…check my schedule and email.
What is your email management strategy? TONS of folders and flagging top priority emails.
Most essential app when traveling? Business – Slack. Personal – Instagram.
How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? Being in a very high stress position of running events, the pressure is always on and in my experience, organization is key to staying calm and focused. With so many moving parts of an event, I prioritize my tasks at hand and try my best to practice the art of not getting upset over things I cannot control. I’m a control freak, so this has been one of the biggest personal growth lessons I have been working on. I go to Yoga, ballet and boxing classes as much as I can too. This helps get the stress out. With any event (planning and during), things do go wrong. It’s important to plan for those. Create a “what if” scenario. It’s so important to remain calm, keep your composure and think fast on your feet. If you’re calm and focused, your team will be too. It’s not hard to lose your cool as an event manager, but freaking out and acting like a maniac in front of your team, speakers, and attendees is not a good look.
What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? I think this is very important. I used to work non-stop and I was totally burnt out. Almost 85 hours per week at one point. I finally got to a point in my life/career where I realized the world won’t end if something doesn’t get done right away. Having that time on the week nights and the weekends to unplug really helps me recharge my batteries. Having a work/life balance doesn’t mean I don’t love what I do or that I am not dedicated, but the work week takes so much out of me, so yoga, dance, cooking and a bottle of wine and some Netflix, my dog and husband is the perfect recharge.
Are there any work rituals critical to your success? I don’t really have “rituals”. I definitely have a routine that I go by and many, many spreadsheets that really helps me focus and get stuff done. I typically do not take a lunch break, but I am working on that.
What apps/software/tools canlt you live without? I admit, I need to get better at using the tools that are available to help me. 6 months ago, I just got into Slack and it has changed my life. For planning events, I live in Bizzabo, ZoomInfo, Outlook Email, and Goggle Spreadsheets.
What’s your workspace like? It’s full of photos and quotes. That stuff inspires me when I need it the most. I’ve got a desk calendar I couldn’t live without, a heater under my desk because I am always freezing and a stand up desk that I rigged together because my doctor warned me of a hunchback.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? I’m slightly impatient. So, waiting for someone to get back to my email on something urgent is a waste of time. I rather pick up the phone and call them to get the answer right away.
What are you currently reading? “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.” I just started it, but so far, mind-blowing.
Last thing you do before leaving work? Ask if anyone needs anything from me. I hate ending the day knowing that my team needs something from me – like email copy they are waiting on, an intro to someone, a contract or proposal, any approval or answer to their question.
Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? My mom, Jodie Laskey. She has really been there for me through thick and thin. The times I am down and feeling discouraged, she always knows what to say. I’d also like to acknowledge my team mates at ZoomInfo. They’re so smart, driven, dedicated and willing to go the extra mile for our event. They inspire me every day and I am so lucky to work among them.
Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? I love my boss, Anna Fisher. I’ve never had a boss as supportive as her. She trusts me and lets me explore my creativity– that’s huge. I’m a perfectionist, so when I am too hard on myself she reels me back in. I also love the speakers I have gotten to meet and work with over the past few years. They are so inspiring and very supportive.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? I’ve received a ton of great advice over the years. A few that have stuck with me – always remain humble, never take anything for granted, don’t take shit from nobody, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Name a guilty pleasure TV show I just ended the last seasons of New Girl and Grace & Frankie. Hysterical and make any bad day better. Right now my current lineup is season two of 13 Reasons Why, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, Law and Order SVU, and Empire.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Anna Fisher.
To nominate someone for this series, click here.