Today’s Notable Young Professional is Toronto-based social media maven Michelle Pinchev, who runs her own boutique agency as well as one of the city’s most exciting social media events. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her work and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I run a boutique social media and content marketing agency called Pinch Social. I’m also the Executive Director of SMWi Toronto (independent Social Media Week).
What was the inspiration for your career route?
Social media, to me, has always been about finding effective ways reach people. I’ve naturally always gravitated towards it.
Career wise, I left a good corporate job to start my own business because I strongly believe in doing what you love and following your passion. Now, as an agency, we get to support other passionate startups and initiatives through the power of social media.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
I would have to say that organizing and hosting Social Media Week in Toronto this year has been a life-changing and career-changing experience. The lessons I’ve learned, the connections I’ve made, the people that have rallied around us for this – I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. And I know this is just the beginning.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Hopefully Social Media Week will still be going strong in Toronto and I’ll still be involved in some way. I think Pinch Social will continue to grown and thrive – we’re doing some pretty incredible work here. I’d love to continue to get more involved in community-building around things I’m passionate about: Culture, arts, history and improving urban life in Toronto.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t dwell on your so-called “weaknesses.” Nobody is good at everything. Find what ignites you and focus on that. Seek opportunities to shine, but also push yourself outside your comfort zone. It’s a balance.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I’m actively involved in several not-for-profits such as Jane’s Walk and Open Roof, an indie film and music festival. My husband and I also support the Toronto Humane Society as donors and proud parents to a rescue dog, Bubbles. More recently we’ve started supporting the Under Gardiner project which is a very exciting game-changer for the city.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Like many entrepreneurs, taking on too much and feeling overwhelmed. I try to manage that by setting boundaries and also setting up support systems so I can get through periods that seem insurmountable.
What does the word notable mean to you?
To me, the word “notable” refers to something that we should be paying attention to. There are so many things competing for our attention these days; it takes a lot for anything or anyone to be “of note.”
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
My tastes are constantly changing, but I will often speak of my love for late nights at Rol San in Chinatown. I also love a good pub, especially if it has a great dog-friendly patio. Bar Wellington is definitely one of my regular go-to spots.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Right now, other than Gmail, my most-visited website is my SMWi Toronto (social media week) homepage! The most-played song at the moment is Drake’s One Dance.
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I’m still really enjoying what DJ Khaled is doing on Snapchat. It’s still such a new forum, and he’s a prime example of how to leverage its story-telling and brand-building capabilities.
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I’ve travelled and backpacked all over Europe – it’s hard to pick just one place. But I really loved Switzerland. I’m heading to Vancouver soon for the first time and I’m so looking forward to hiking in Whistler. More than anything right now, I’d like to explore more of my own country. We have so much here.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
My family and friends – not seeing them enough. All the stuff we sacrifice on account of being an entrepreneur and a workaholic!
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Whisky. And ice cream.
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 could return all the heels I’ve ever bought and was never able to walk in. I think from now on I’m going to invest in a running shoe collection.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise?
Success means a good night’s sleep. No tossing and turning worrying about “what if,” but just being at peace with yourself and everything.