Takeaways From My First Keynote

Hi HIH family! 💞

Daphne here, Founder & Lead at Serotina Media Inc.! A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of speaking with a group of thirty millennials from various divisions within the Sun Life Financial organization. It was an open discussion led by one of my friends, Marianne Arnaudon, Director of Global Marketing at Sun Life. Speaking with this group about Serotina was such a high! This was my first time speaking in front of a crowd about our company and #girlgang, and let me tell you, it felt so damn good!

I had such a positive experience, I thought I'd share my key takeaway and the FAQs from the 90-minute conversation!


"How and why did you start Serotina?"

In short, because my parents told me to. Not even kidding. While studying for the GMAT, I started doing social media work for friends’ and family’s businesses. However, once I wrote the GMAT, I knew I didn't want to start my MBA quite yet but couldn't think of a job I had any interest in applying for. "Why don't you just start a company, DJ?" I can still hear my Mom asking. I incorporated two weeks later, and the rest is history! It’s been less than two years since then, and Serotina is still working with my very first client @SubvGardener! #Proud

"Main sources of inspiration?"

The Serotina team! We have three weekly meetings, one of which is a brainstorming session where we either review an article, video, or other content, or focus on creating new strategies for an existing or prospective client. We’re always getting creative and thinking of new ways to leverage social to get our clients the results they deserve!

Another big source of inspo is Burning Man Festival, in Nevada – it just sparks my creativity! Okay, one more – Instagram! I could spend hours swiping through various feeds appreciating different accounts, their style and how they're curated.

"When did you collect funding?"

We haven't. To date, I have bootstrapped the operation. We are now considering our options to scale at the rate and level we have the capacity too, BUT taking a risk with someone else's money is something I'm not sure I'm ready for, as a leader. Ask me in six months’ time! ;)

"Biggest struggle?"

Saying ‘no’...

"Mentorships: do you have a mentor and how did you meet them?"

I have many mentors, but I don't go about mentorships in the traditional way. I’ve been fortunate to have made connections with many entrepreneurs and business professionals from many several industries, each with their own varied experience. As a result, when I or the company is in a particular enigmatic position, I think about which mentor would have experience in this area – and then I reach out for advice. I consider almost everyone with more or different experience than me a mentor, regardless of their age/position/experience. Due to this, I get to benefit from hearing many different perspectives.

That being said, I do have one mentor whom I speak with weekly. I guess you could say this is a more traditional form of mentorship. She keeps me focused on my long-term goals, and she holds me accountable for my business choices while giving me her take on the situation. She coaches me on pitch decks but also keeps me in touch with who Serotina is. Her name? Christine, and she's awesome!

I'll also note I'm very fortunate to have two entrepreneurial parents who are my go-to for the day-to-day. Regardless, the most important thing I’ve learned about mentors is being comfortable enough with them, to be honest, and ask the hard questions. A mentor, in turn, should challenge your current position – whatever that may be.

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“One thing you’ve learned?”

To trust my gut!

"What does 'Serotina' mean?"

Haha, this is one of my favourite questions. If you're familiar with Burning Man, then you know what I mean when I say my playa name is Black Cherry. As I've mentioned, Burning Man is a big source of inspiration and innovation for me, so I wanted the name of my company to be related to that. Going off of that, the initial obvious name choice was to go with Black Cherry Media. Sadly, a quick Google search notified know that that company name was taken like 5 times over in many different cities. And the domain wasn't available.

So, I went back to the drawing board. I started Googling different types of cherries (black cherries, etc.), but nothing felt right. That is, until my scientific background led me to Googling the phylogenetic name of a black cherry... (FYI, I studied Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University, so this wasn’t a weird thing for me to do). And BOOM! Turns out, ‘black cherry’ is otherwise known as "Prunus serotina", which was how Serotina Media was born! Hence the cherries everywhere! ;)

So there you have it – my takeaways from my very first keynote speech! Not going to lie, I hope another speaking opportunity comes up soon! Comment here or DM me any questions or thoughts – @loveyourselfxx! If you can't already tell, I love chatting about what I do! ;)

Xx D




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