Nancy A. Shenker was aptly named for Nancy Drew and Nancy Sinatra – as she embodies both through her curiosity, sleuthing powers, fearlessness, and fondness of go-go boots. Nancy resonates with us as a fellow Wild Web Woman because she embodies lots of qualities that many of us strive for. Nancy has taken the digital marketing world “on” through her self-made company, theONswitch, an integrated marketing company that includes digital and conventional strategy. Prior to digital marketing, Nancy had risen to the C-suite (AKA high-ranking executive, such as CEO, CFO, or COO) of major brands in traditional marketing. In addition to theONswitch, she has started other websites (sheBOOM.com) and has her own blog. She writes a regular column for Thrive Global, has authored books, and is active on all her personal social media channels! Whew! Nancy is a busy woman and we’re so glad that she was able to sit down for a few moments for an interview with us.
Meet Nancy A. Shenker!
What inspired you to launch a web-based business? After reaching the C-suite in major companies I wanted to help businesses without being smothered by bureaucracy and stale thinking. I’m able to pivot and contribute more as an independent. And, of course, my earning potential is unlimited.
What do you love most about having your own business? Diversity of projects and clients; working with a wide range of people; ability to set my own schedule.
What is most challenging about running a business? It’s a roller coaster ride. Sometimes are great and others suck.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments? Scaling two small businesses to the point where they were able to sell; getting major media exposure for people and brands; winning a Killer Content Award (2020); raising two daughters while working full-time.
What are some professional risks you’ve taken that led to positive outcomes? Starting my own business was the biggest. Moving to Arizona with no friends or clients.
Where’s your favorite place to get work done? In the sun. After all, I’m in Scottsdale.
Name three web tools you can’t live without.
Do you have any professional role models? If so, who? Barbara Corcoran. She’s tough but kind. I also owe much of my career to my former supervisor from Citibank and the client who introduced me to content strategy for SaaS companies.
Are you part of any mastermind or networking groups? If so, which ones? CIRKEL and a wide range of other local and national groups. I’m not a “joiner” but I try to go to a live or Zoom event at least once a week.
What does your typical day look like? No such thing as typical. But I start every day with a to-do list and don’t stop until I check all the boxes. I always try to squeeze in a little self-care.
How do you unplug from work? Exercise, mindless TV series, live music, travel (when we’re not quarantined), baking, knitting, hanging out with friends.
What tips for maintaining work/life balance would you give to other businesswomen? Make time for self-care EVERY day. Stop apologizing.
What’s something you do every day to take care of yourself? At least 20 minutes of exercise; quiet time in the AM with chocolate-flavored coffee; journaling.
What is a quote you live by? “A cowgirl gets up early in the morning…decides what she wants to do…and does it.” It’s from a postcard sent to me by my 94-year old mom.
What investments have most helped your business grow? Hiring the right talent. Marketing my own brand. Hiring professionals rather than being a DIYer.
Business-wise, where do you see yourself in 10 years? More of the same! Establishing myself as a futurist and tech-humanist. More of my income from speaking and writing.
What advice would you give your younger self? Lighten-up. Ask for help when you need it. Stay close with (and make time for) people who have your back — professionally and personally.
What is the number one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to run a web-based business? Fasten your seatbelt. There’s a lot of competition out there and you really need to have a plan and differentiate yourself in order to scale. Offer products…not just services.