Ken talks to Grace Ma, former consultant and current Porsche influencer, in the episode “From Consulting to Influencer.” The episode traces the constellation of Ma’s rich pursuits as she toggles between her work as Director of Customer Value at Celonis, her robust social media presence as a Porsche influencer on YouTube and Instagram, and being an avid member of several car and driving clubs.
When Ma isn’t elite driving in the arctic circle or uplifting communities in partnership with a NY Giants football player, she is investing in family-and-friends start-ups. In her free time, she travels the world powered by the methodical research approach honed by her consultant experience.
As she catches up with Ken, she also shares some key suggestions for how to make daring and worthwhile moves in your own life. Below are four takeaways to implement if you want to accelerate both your career and your fun.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained is the major highlight here. For Ma, however, most of us overestimate the venture and underestimate the gain. So much of her success comes from her fearless approach to connection. Ken notes that Ma has had the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting people and critical CEOs in her career just by sending that email or messaging on a social network.
Ma’s reminder is that the worst that can happen is that you don’t get a response, but even that is a win: at least now they know who you are. The key here is to make clear how you two can supply value for each other.
Put in the Time
None of Ma’s achievements are forged in a movie montage. Instead, she leans into her many passions and invests her time and energy in each new project. Working hard is accompanied by working as intelligently as possible. Ma’s passions are bolstered by the incredibly thorough research she brings to the table. Life’s too short to not live it and too short to be ignorant about the world.
Her guiding principle is that you must find out what’s out there and you have to spend time learning so that you can maximize what you end up doing.
From sports to cars to investing to world travel, Ma doubles down on her passions. For her, you don’t put your intellectual heft and your due diligence behind things you don’t care about. What propels her forward as she does the work is the fun she has by working in service of interests that fuel her.
Beyond fun, authenticity is about taking care of what you offer others. Something Ma has learned about navigating her influencer role as authentically as possible is by responsibly attending to your brand. Not only do you have to cultivate your brand, but you must filter out poor opportunities and pick only those that apply to you and your offerings. This is how Ma circumvents common pitfalls of influencers who may take on partnerships that don’t serve their brand or their followers.
Find Ways to Give Back
Winning is not enough; you need to share. Ma’s work also is about having a larger impact. She is having fun and living authentically, but she’s also breaking down barriers as a woman of color. Similarly, her move to share her travel knowledge comes from a place of having amassed a great deal of useful information and wanting others to benefit from her experience.
To hear more on Ma’s vibrant life as well as stories from former Management Consultants about their career paths, listen to Beyond Consulting, a weekly podcast hosted by ECA’s CEO, Ken Kanara.
Ani Govjian, Ph.D. is a Project Manager at TalentCompass. She can be reached at [email protected]