Karen Lambert is the owner and founder of creative and marketing agency Happy Creative which helps businesses raise their profile, generate leads and attract new customer with a range of marketing activities.
What do you currently do at Happy Creative
I have the rather wonderful title of Chief Happy. Currently, as we’re amid COVID-19, my days are different than normal. And even for someone as positive as me, this is challenging.
I am feeling a great responsibility to lead us through this successfully. Taking care of the wellbeing of my team, the wellbeing of the business and of course my own wellbeing are priority for me at the moment. As we find our way to a new normal, I am taking uncomfortable decisions as well as taking the opportunity to develop a new product and investigate new markets. The crisis has certainly allowed me to think differently, and do things that I may not have done otherwise.
When I am not navigating a global pandemic I am a marketer. Myself and my team, also known as The Happies, help SMEs raise the profile of their business, generate leads and acquire customers.
I love that my role is varied, and is different each day. I could be writing a piece of content one minute, creating a marketing strategy the next and having a 121 with a member of my team the next.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I had a very clear vision of how I wanted Happy Creative to be perceived, how I wanted it to behave, and of how I wanted people to feel when they came into contact with the business. That feeling is happiness.
A happy, motivated team producing their best will deliver results for customers, which generally makes them happy, which in turn is rewarding for the team and makes them happy too. It’s a neat circle.
Creating happiness is a philosophy that’s at the core of all we do and is our constant compass. This is especially crucial when things don’t go to plan (things haven’t always gone to plan!) as it helps us remain focussed and on purpose.
I am really proud of what myself and The Happies have created together.
Who do you admire?
Jacinda Ardern. The New Zealand PM. I am always in awe of how beautifully she handles everything that comes her way. I think her leadership style is courageous, thoughtful, decisive and inclusive. She’s real. She’s someone a lot of people relate to. It’s no surprise to me that she has garnered respect globally by being herself.
She’s authentic and that’s a quality I admire in anyone.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Yes and no. No, because without owning my past, and going through the grim stuff, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
But there’s a large part of me that would like to see how the journey would have panned out without some of the appointments I made that didn’t quite work out. That said, I learnt a lot about myself, and other people, in these times.
I would also have bought a time machine. To be able to travel to the future and back again to correct stuff would have been awesome.
What defines your way of doing business?
Love what you do, with the people you do it with.
For me, people are everything. The relationships you build with colleagues, customers, influencers and supply partners are what makes a business successful in my opinion.
The Happies have a positive energy, a way of thinking about things differently, a way of connecting, and a distinctive resilience. There’s a great, genuine joy in getting the results for our customers.
When you approach life, work, people and projects with a positive attitude, then I think that’s a rather delightful way of doing business.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
I’d give three pieces of advice:
Be clear on, and promote, your benefits – always position your offer in the eyes of a customer. What will the outcome be for the customer as a result of working with you? Better sales? More efficiency? Less downtime? Look younger?
Your time is precious – use it wisely. Don’t work for free just because you are new, and no working silly hours (I do of course speak from experience here)
Surround yourself with good people. Inside and outside of the business. People who inspire you, people who challenge you, people who will hold you accountable and tell you when you’re doing great. I have been a member of Vistage for 10 years and I have found all these qualities in my Chair and in my group of fellow business owners. #priceless