Working in the field of public relations, sharing others’ stories is her passion, but today we are flipping the script and she’s sharing her own. Meet Kristen Novak, the powerhouse behind WILD PR. No stranger to the game of entrepreneurship, this week’s #WomenOfAce is creating a career on her own terms — keep reading for some inspiration on how you can do the same.
ACE: What are you up to? (Your current hustle )
Kristen: I am the founder of WILD Public Relations – a small public relations company focused primarily on travel, hospitality, outdoors and lifestyle clients. We are just a team of two for now, but it is the best job I have ever had. And coming this August, my new hustle will be balancing being a small business owner with being a new mom — it will be the best adventure yet!
ACE: Why is this important to you? (Where did this passion come from?)
Kristen: PR was a natural evolution for me. I worked in various roles throughout my career that included communications and event elements. These skillsets lent themselves perfectly to PR. I also come from a family of entrepreneurs so I’ve always known doing my own thing was inevitable one day and now I could never go back. The freedom I have is something I am profoundly grateful for.
ACE: What was your dream job growing up? How do you think this has influenced who you are today?
Kristen: I was in awe of the film industry growing up. I wanted to be a producer for a very long time, but after working in the industry in Vancouver one Summer after University, I realized the lifestyle wasn’t what I was looking for. That was an important learning for me early in my career. I believe strongly in working incredibly hard, but also making time for the things outside of work that are important to you. Travelling every year is a must, getting out into nature regularly is a must, and with my role, I can easily weave that into my life.
ACE: If you could describe yourself in only three words, what would they be?
Kristen: Adventurous. Kind. Empathetic.
ACE: Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
Kristen: I really look up to my parents – both as business owners and as people. My mom runs a popular travel blog www.hikebiketravel.com and inspires people daily to get outside and do something different, and my Dad has run a very successful business for 30+ years (that my Mom has also been involved extensively with). Both are mentors for me in business and I have always wanted to emulate their success – both financially and in the lifestyle they have created for themselves.
ACE: What does the term “Boss Babe” mean to you?
Kristen: This is such a funny term. I guess for me it means being the master of your own destiny. I don’t think you have to run your own business to be a boss babe. I just think it means doing your best and levelling up in whatever capacity that is.
ACE: How do you empower other women?
Kristen: I think one of the biggest ways I empower other women is by listening. I think we are always so quick to talk over others and insert our own opinions, but I believe in giving people the space to say what they need and simply be an ear for them.
ACE: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another woman?
Kristen: One piece of advice that really resonates with me is from a conference that I attended years ago. Brené Brown was speaking on how scary it can be when we expose our ideas to the world. It sets us up for an influx of criticism. But she talked about how so many are scared to even try because of what others will think. As she says, it’s not the critic who counts, it’s the person who is daring to take a chance. Ignore the naysayers and TRY. And with that she also talked about how there is only a very small group of people in the world whose opinions matter to her. She pays attention to those and ignores the rest. That has stuck with me.
ACE: Can you share the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a failure?
Kristen: 100% the biggest thing I have learned is not to react or respond when you are in an emotional state. This is important both in business and in our personal lives. You can never take back how you made someone feel. Take the time to cool down and respond when you are feeling level-headed.
ACE: When you are feeling overwhelmed, what do you do to find peace?
Kristen: The mountains are my happy place and where I find I can de-stress almost instantaneously. It’s not unusual for me to pack up my dog on a weekday and get outside for a fresh air and nature fix. And on the weekends, I’ll bring the hubs along too.
ACE: What legacy do you hope to be remembered for?
Kristen: Giving back and being kind. We just recently launched a scholarship program to provide pro-bono services for charities and small businesses that can’t afford PR. We believe that strong businesses and thriving non-profits are the key to economic and community success. So, every year now we are opening up applications to support projects that could use the PR boost to further their cause/organization.
ACE: Where can we find out more about you so we can continue to support you?
Kristen: You can check out our website at www.wildpr.ca. We are really trying to keep it updated with case studies and information as we continue to evolve and grow.