Courtney is the founder + CEO of Chimera Collective, a newly launched lifestyle public relations agency in Toronto. With an MA in poetry from the University of Chicago, Courtney has more than 10 years of experience, leading marketing + communications campaigns for global luxury + lifestyle brands. Read on to learn more about how some of her best ideas come while horseback riding, how thinking on her toes has proven to be invaluable in the PR industry + learning how to reframe her mindset has allowed her to tackle challenges in a new way!
What is your superpower, and how do you use it?
I like to think that my superpower is agility, which to me means the ability to think on my toes and anticipate situations before they happen, so that I can react in real time. I put my superpower to use daily, working in the field of PR, where the landscape is changing every day and you have to stay ahead of journalists’ crazy deadlines!
What is your driving force, why do you do what you do?
My goal is to create one of the top lifestyle public relation agencies in North America. I’m driven by the excitement that comes with working for great clients. There’s nothing better than getting a great brief and having an opportunity to help a brand shine. I founded Chimera Collective with the passion to help brands connect with their audiences in exciting and unexpected ways.
How do you measure the impact of your work?
There are a number of ways to benchmark success in the PR industry. For example, we can look at audience reach and qualitative and quantitative coverage to track a story or campaign. However, I believe it’s important to go beyond the traditional sense of what defines success. For example, are people talking about your work? Have you infiltrated the zeitgeist of your target communities (and beyond)? It’s important to keep an open mind and to challenge the rules of measurement, as a lot of the conventional metrics, in my opinion, are out-dated.
How do you believe your work connects you to others?
It’s all about connections! My work environment centers around the connections I have built with others. From clients, to media, to the audience, it is important to build real and sustainable relationships; it’s as simple as being kind, adding value and being proactive. I am also lucky to work in a field where I’m constantly communicating and connecting with different kinds of people on a daily basis, so it’s easy to meet new people and create new connections.
Why do you think it is important to fail?
It’s the only way to really learn a lesson. By failing, you learn what works and what doesn’t. Failures are the hardest moments but they set you up for future success.
How do you use your body + movement to optimize your thinking?
Staying active and fit is important for my physical and mental health. I’m a big advocate for setting aside a few hours a week to workout, whether it be a Pilates class or even just a quick walk. It can totally change your mindset. The best escape for me is when I get a few spare hours to head outside of the city and go horse-back riding, which is a true luxury – some of my craziest ideas come while I’m out cantering in a field!
How do you use your space to enhance your performance + creativity?
I’ve just moved my team into a new office at the East Room in Riverdale, which has brought about a whole lot of creativity and inspiration. We chose a bright and open concept space because it’s the perfect place to brainstorm and collaborate.
What do you do when you need to MINDSHIFT?
When I need to MINDSHIFT, I take a step back from the process so that I don’t get overwhelmed or “stuck” on a challenge. I’ve learned that when I’m tired or unfocused, it’s better to just take a break and start again the next day.
What has working with a MINDSHIFT NINJA taught you? How do you think differently?
Working with MINDSHIFT NINJA has taught me that processes matter when it comes to creativity! Thanks to the time I’ve spent with Ayla and Yashar, I’m learning how to influence and improve my mindset and perform better as a result.
Connect with Courtney:
At MINDSHIFT NINJA we are in the business of helping people do better by thinking better, and one of the best ways to do that is to showcase people doing great things. If you are a MINDSHIFT NINJA (or know someone who is), let us know!