Today’s Notable Young Professional is Darian Kovacs, who’s specialty lies in creating ideas that get brands thinking outside the box about how they market themselves. We caught up with him to ask about his advice he’d share with other young professionals and what inspired his career path…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I connect people with opportunities and ideas; ideas that get brands thinking outside the box about how they market themselves, and opportunities to spread the word.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Relational marketing is in my DNA. I’ve been starting things and getting people excited about them since I was a kid. Jelly Marketing is like a Technicolor, real-life version of my brain.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Best: watching my team rock out at our HQ in Abbotsford, BC. Everyone has unique gifts they bring to the table, and the result it pretty rad. It’s a fun place.
Challenging: as we grow, we’re engaging and retaining clients more intentionally. Saying, ‘yes’ isn’t always a recipe for success. As an optimist and opportunist, ‘no’ is a powerful addition to my lexicon.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
Checking my e-mail when with friends and family. Not taking time to be quiet and slow down. Missing Sabbath.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing what I’m doing right now. I feel like I’m doing everything I’ve been designed to do and that I can bring my gifts and talents to the right people. Jelly has been growing at a healthy pace and I’m excited to see us continue to deepen our client relationships and continue to bring on the right brands to work with.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Being patient. Waiting for the right thing, not just diving in and making the best of the wrong thing. I’ve surrounded myself with awesome people who think differently, ask tough questions, and balance me out.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Living out the calling one has for their life. Being content and at peace. Money and happiness are both fleeting things. Being content and at peace are deeper and longer lasting.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
When I took the job with Jelly. It’s the culmination of everything I’ve done in my life; all my relationships, experience, and how I’m wired finally have a place. I feel like I’ve prepared my whole life for this opportunity to lead a people-focussed culture while dreaming up and executing creative ideas that help brands and organizations grow!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
1. Find a mentor who will kick your ass. Someone who will remember your humanity when things are successful and remind you of the moon and stars when you’re low.
2. Get messy, make mistakes and have fun. Take initiative to try things and learn from them. Find what you love doing, do it with some fun people, and together keep trying. In other words: keep throwing that spaghetti on the ceiling and see what sticks.
3. Plan now what to do charitably. Don’t wait until you’re making ‘enough’ money to give back. Start small. Start now. Give of what time you can give. Give of what finances you can give. It’s the truth that every little bit helps. It’s amazing: the people you meet, the perspective gained, and the inspiration to become more successful so you can help that charity even more.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Abbotsford just got a rad new pub called Bow & Stern. It reminds me of Gastown out in the Valley. It’s nostalgic of Jelly’s humble beginnings at Blue Door Collective on Water and Cambie (fourth floor above the Water Street Cafe).
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
My wife is amazing. My kids are too. Quality time with them is as good as it gets. Add a good nap and some watercolour painting in there, and I’m set.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
I live in the most amazing place — Fort Langley — and I love exploring my own town! It really is my favourite place to travel right now. We have Breae Island nearby, wineries, so many amazing shops and places to eat. It’s so friendly, and you can walk or bike to everything.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Amazing Grace – John Newton
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Hotel Concierge or a bartender at Pourhouse
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
My wife and I personally support some charities near and dear to our hearts. We’re always open to new ideas and innovative ventures that are doing out-of-the-box work.
Jelly has a donor advised fund with Chimp that allows us to:
a) support our favourite charities (often with matching campaigns)
b) offer employee matching
c) distribute funds to our staff giving them stake in which charitable endeavours Jelly supports
Chimp is amazing technology — made here in Vancouver — that has enabled us to easily (and creatively!) facilitate smart, effective, generous giving.
What to you is notable?
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?