Progress always involves risk – Aoife McAnulty, Rakuten Advertising

This winner gives advice on how to get motivated and the top three skills to secure success in performance marketing.

Aoife McAnulty – PMW 30 Under 30 Winner
Strategic Launch Manager
Rakuten Advertising

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Very early in my career I had a pretty bad experience with a start up and I was let go without warning. I had only recently graduated and did not know how to handle the situation. Fortunately, I have an incredibly supportive dad who gave me excellent advice. He said, “create a vision for yourself, your life, and your career. Bounce back from adversity and create what you want, rebuild and rebrand. Tell yourself it's possible, have patience, and maintain peace with yourself during the process – and don’t let anyone put you off course.” 

This advice helped me to get back on my feet and push myself even harder to get what I wanted. Within one week I had secured another internship and within the month I landed a role at Rakuten. So, my advice to everyone is to be clear what you want and never give up.

How do you get motivated?

Overall, I am lucky that I have always been a highly motivated individual. That being said, I do have days when I feel like I would rather just stay in bed. On these days I motivate myself with gym and music. Exercise has always made me feel much better and on days that I lack motivation, going to the gym in the morning helps me to feel as though I have accomplished something. Music also helps me throughout the day and you will typically find me listening to an early 2000s mix on Spotify. 

I find that it is important to be kind to yourself so on days where you can only give 70%, remember that giving 70% is giving 100%.

What top three skills do you think are essential for a performance marketer?

The three skills that I think are essential for a performance marketer include adaptability, open-mindedness and strategic thinking. Adaptability is imperative to success in this industry as it is constantly changing. Be it shifts in cookie policies, reductions in budget or supply chain issues, being able to welcome change and work with it is a great skill. 

Open-mindedness ties into this trait as it is really important to be open to new ideas and approaches. Don’t be afraid to take risks, after-all “progress always involves risk; you can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.” (Frederick Wilcox). 

Finally, strategic thinking is key. Without strategy it is hard to work towards a defined goal so make sure you are set on a path even if that path diverges down the road.