Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is LG Electronics global trainer and influencer marketing pro Ash Molaei, who we caught up with to find out about the inspiration behind his work and what advice he would share with other young professionals…
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I manage the relationship between content creators and brands. Together, we create integrated social campaigns. I’m also a global trainer for LG Electronics.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
Like many millennials, I’m looking for the freedom to work for myself. While I truly enjoy the work I do with LG, I’ve also been incredibly lucky in that I have very talented content creators around me. Together, we’ve always discussed their value to brands – and how they could turn their incredible talents into a viable business.
After spending several years on the agency and brand side, I saw a void in this ever evolving influencer space. I launched www.theCOMMUNITY.TO to help bridge that gap.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Today, on September 8th, I will hold a talk at Brainstation Toronto on the business of influencer marketing. I’m very excited to share my insights with influencers, agencies, and brands from Toronto.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
5 years: Further expanding theCOMMUNITY.TO’s footprint into the United States.
10 years: Leveraging theCOMMUNITY.TO’s reach to create regional hubs for influencers and content creators around the world.
20 years: Sipping margaritas on a beach.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t be afraid to take chances early on. The more established you become within a particular field, the harder it’ll be to break free. If there’s something you want to do – do it. Worst case, it’ll be a learning opportunity.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
My girlfriend Tara (@taraleighrose) and I sponsor a young girl named Janna-Marie and her family from the Philippines through Unbound. We chose Unbound because they help create localized programs and work with families to develop micro businesses in impoverished countries.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Working in an evolving field like influencer marketing, I face many of the same challenges that agencies faced when social media was first introduced into the marketing mix. The daily challenge is proving to brands and agencies that influencer marketing isn’t a ‘fad’ and can be a powerful means to engage their audiences and customers.
What does the word notable mean to you?
I believe that in order to be notable, you must be willing to take risks. I think someone who’s notable has taken many of the chances others won’t and succeeded.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
I try to explore as many places in the city as I can, but a current favourite would be my friend’s restaurant, Otto’s Doner in Kensington. Nothing beats pedestrian Sundays capped off with a Doner and ice cold cider.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
I love visiting Uncrate because I can stay updated on the latest tech, fashion and all things cool.
Most played song on my phone is Kanye’s 30 hours.
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I’m going to have to say @Mr.Jobeezy, who happens to be one of my clients. He’s a super talented photographer and a very down to earth guy.
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I make regular trips to South Korea as part of my work with LG Electronics. I love the city for its incredible fashion, food and sites. The duality of traditional Korean culture and new-age influences is a sight to behold.
I also love visiting NYC. I was just down there with a group of theCOMMUNITY.TO bloggers checking out a new hotel called the William Vale in Brooklyn and was so impressed by the revitalization of the neighbourhood.
For my next trip, I’ll be visiting Brazil in November and I’m very excited to explore the country and submerse myself in the culture.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
I’ve been working multiple jobs consistently for at least a decade. There have been many times when my friends have gone out to party while I’ve stayed at home to work. Sometimes, I worry that when I look back in 10 years, I’ll wish that I had spent more of that time being spontaneous.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I wish I spent less money on gear (shoes, clothes, watches, etc.) and more on experiences.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
I think success is about balance and not letting fear hold you back. I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I’d spent more time with friends and family. I also try to unplug whenever possible; being able to do this while still accomplishing my professional goals is success.