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Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

Where Style Meets Expertise: Cristofoli Keeling, Inc.

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. was founded around the idea that style inspires all. A majority woman-owned marketing communications firm established in 1999, Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. was created when founder, Ann Keeling, paired her seasoned design background with a high level of strategic communications experience. For today’s agile business environment, being comfortable with innovation is a prerequisite. Never shying away from exploring new ways to optimize client marketing investments, Cristofoli Keeling, Inc. embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, while leveraging the expertise and professionalism of an established organization.

After years of working in design management for international brand design firm LPK, Ann Keeling was asked to add the management of marketing communications for the firm to her client service role.  She observed that the public relations agencies would consistently position experienced professionals in the pitch process, but after winning the business, the execution would be handled by those less experienced who lacked industry understanding.

After seeing this reality become an unfortunate pattern, Keeling recognized an opportunity in the market to do things better. Vowing to provide clients with not only innovative thinking, but a seasoned understanding of their industry and challenges, Keeling founded the firm and stepped into the role that she continues to maintain today.

As founder and President of Cristofoli Keeling, Inc., clients have described Keeling by saying, “She strikes just the right balance between no-nonsense professionalism and setting a relaxed tone in the work-place.” An advocate for both clients and colleagues alike, Keeling has expanded her marketing communications empire, without ever neglecting her original goal – to provide every client with expert guidance and strategic execution.

Offering clients expertise without ever sacrificing style, Keeling lives by the adage, “Do It Right…Do It Big…Do It with Style.”

Born or Built Entrepreneur

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Eye color, height, and even taste can be accredited to your genetic makeup, but what about entrepreneurial prospects? Physical attributes are one thing, but can your genes really predetermine leadership abilities, career or success? It is the age-old question, nature versus nurture.

Researchers suggest that entrepreneurs are born, not made, based on instinctive qualities and personality traits tied to your genetic disposition. Generally, entrepreneurial characteristics such as passion and perseverance are demonstrated from a very early age rather than attributes learned later in life. “You can teach someone to play the piano, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be a concert pianist,” says Greg Davies, head of behavioral and quantitative finance at Barclays Bank.

Despite the genetic theory, researchers have yet to identify an actual entrepreneurial gene. Therefore, learned behavior and education may have more to do with one’s success as an entrepreneur. “I’ve been teaching for 20 years, and in my experience people can definitely discover their passion for entrepreneurship in the classroom,” says Julian E. Lange, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Harvard University. Individuals with the desire to become an entrepreneur may not inheritably possess traditional traits associated with an entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean that these traits can’t be learned through hard work and practice.

Odds are your ability to become a successful entrepreneur is a combination of both nature and nurture. You can have the genetic makeup of an entrepreneur, but without dedication and the right work ethic, you may not be able to build and retain a successful business. In the words of professional baseball player, Roger Clemens, “Anything is possible if you have the mindset, the will and desire to do it and put the time in.”


Ann Keeling says:

In my experience, most entrepreneurs are born to lead, to create successful businesses. There are innate qualities that entrepreneurs possess that, in my opinion, can’t be learned – like common sense, strategic use of intuition, a natural sense about people and good decision-making. Those who have been most successful in business have a “fire in the belly” about whatever it is they do, and that can’t be learned or taught.

One cup of uncomfortable please!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

In order to achieve the success you want, it doesn’t matter how hardworking you are or how smart, it’s how willing you are to think and act outside your comfort zone. Individuals like Steve Jobs, former Apple CEO and cofounder, and Evan Spiegel, creator of Snapchat, pioneered new advances in technology by deserting their comfort zones confident that their ideas were worth the risk.

One entrepreneur, who challenged herself to leave her comfort zone, is actress Jessica Alba. In 2008 Alba was inspired by the birth of her first child, Honor, as well as her own history of childhood illnesses to create Honest, a brand of natural baby products. Alba’s leap from actress to entrepreneur was not an easy one. In a recent interview with Forbes Magazine, Alba discusses how it took some time for her to feel comfortable identifying as an entrepreneur rather than an actress.

Jessica also mentions that it wasn’t an easy road to becoming the entrepreneur of a successful company. In the first five weeks, the company shipped it’s signature diapers and baby wipes to customers without charging any credit cards – realizing a significant loss of revenue. Jessica also had to deal with a constant battle of people’s misconceptions. “People just saw me as this girl in a bikini in movies kicking butt,” she said.

After three and a half years of condescending nods and ‘good lucks,’ The Honest Company went from zero revenue to $10 million in annual revenue in 2012, to an estimated $250 million in 2015.

To grow and evolve, we must be willing to stop playing it safe. If you are constantly doing the same things day in and day out, you will receive the same results. Now some may say, the results are good so why would I change? But who wants to settle for good when the results can be great.

In our ever changing and competitive world, there is little to no security in remaining in your comfort zone. Being willing to part with familiarity and accept the discomfort that comes outside your comfort zone is key for a life full of meaning, passion and purpose.


Ann Keeling says:

Believe in yourself, always and in all ways. Confidence grows from healthy self esteem. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and people who are smarter than you – these are the people who can help inspire you and help provide support you may need to bring a good idea to life.

Knowing How and When to Summon the Power of Passion

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

In the U.S., we believe that with enough grit, determination and, most of all, passion, our wildest dreams can become a reality.

According to a study by Inc. and the National Business Incubator Association, 80% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Why do businesses with all the right ingredients ‘ talented people, brilliant ideas and genuine passion ‘ crash and burn?