Keep Everything in Perspective – Reimagining Hustle with Andrea Pass

Links from the show:

My big takeaway:

Keep everything in perspective.

Andrea Pass is a PR wizard. Prior to opening her own firm, Andrea worked in major PR firms on both coasts. 

In this episode, Andrea and I chat about answering client calls on vacation, what it’s like having older children as an entrepreneur, and the importance of perspective. 

Show Notes:

Roxanne Merket: Podcasting from my closet in Northern Japan. This is Reimagining Hustle, a podcast for entrepreneurial parents, creating a life where business and parenthood live peacefully in the same space. I’m your host Roxanne market, a mom of two micro-business coach and serial entrepreneur on a journey to prove that it is possible to do what you love without sacrificing all your precious time. 

Let’s do this. Welcome back to Reimagining Hustle. I am so excited for my guest today. I have Andrea Pass with me, Andrea. Thanks so much for being with me.

Andrea Pass: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so glad to be here 

Roxanne Merket: This is so fun. We actually were able to connect a couple of weeks ago and we chatted about am. Andrea is a PR person. Then we’ll get into all of it. But we were talking about having some of her clients come on as guests of the podcast. And after our conversation, I was like, wait a second. We got to have you on.

This is going to be really fun. So Andrea, I’m so excited for our conversation today. This is going to be super fun. 

Andrea Pass: I’m looking forward to it. You’re going to challenge me. 

Roxanne Merket: I’ll do my best. Andrea, will you just like, give us the whole thing? Tell us your story, what it is that you do and your journey to get there.

Andrea Pass: I am a traditional public relations person. I pitch and place and pitch and place and pitch and place. I get my clients in the headlines. I get them covered in magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, blogs, online newsletter podcasts, video casts. Any opportunity to get

press from my clients. I’m your PI in PR I’m a private investigator looking for the next public relations opportunity.

So PR is my thing and I, I love what I do. So what do they say if you love what you do, you haven’t worked a day in your life. 

Roxanne Merket: Exactly.

Andrea Pass: So I’ve been at this for a long time. I don’t want to give my age away, but a long time. And I was always. I was the PR person. I was the publicity chair of every committee back in high school and college.

And who knew you could take something that you always love doing and turn it into a career. 

Roxanne Merket: Right? It’s in your blood. You’ve done it forever.

Andrea Pass: Exactly. And it’s so funny because I didn’t major in public relations in college. I majored in radio TV, film. 

Roxanne Merket: no kidding.

Andrea Pass: I was going to be a broadcaster and I graduated college, went straight to CBS in New York City because I was going to be the next Dan Rather. So I’m dating myself there and, um, and there was a freeze in the broadcast area.

So I ended up working for woman’s day magazine, doing advertising trafficking and layout until the freeze lifted. And I started doing PR for the CBS radio division. And. And I actually had a chance to be one of Dan Rather’s assistants . He had like 12 and I got called back for the second interview and said, I don’t want to be an assistant.

It’s it wasn’t for me. I.

love PR. And I said, you know what? I’m going to stick with public relations. And saw myself move from the CBS radio division to public relations firms over the years until I hung my own shingle out three years ago, informed Andrea Pass public relations. So it’s been a great ride. 

Roxanne Merket: Oh, my goodness. I, what experiences right? To get you there. At what point did you know you were going? I love how you said you hung your own shingle out, right? At what point was that? The dream did you say? I don’t want to work for anybody else. I want to work for me.

Andrea Pass: It’s very interesting because I had that feeling, Um,

a few jobs ago. And I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved my clients. I was traveling all over the country. We were at conventions and doing TV shoots and, and conferences and this and that. And I loved it, but I had a bully of a boss and that’s putting it mildly. And so I kept saying, all right, I should go out on my own, but I realized I really needed a step.

First. I needed to go to another firm first to kind of get over the trauma of horrible situation. The clients were great. The co-workers were great. The work I did was phenomenal. So it wasn’t any of that. It, it was the person whose name was on the door. And then I went to another firm based in LA and I was on the east coast in New Jersey, worked remotely, and I was there for a few years.

Wonderful group of people. However, they didn’t get the job done. When I was working at, I had press interest and I would tell an account executive, okay, find out from the client. Can they do the interview Tuesday or Thursday at three? And my colleagues would drop the ball and I lose interviews. And I said, this isn’t how I do business.

And so a door was shutting, which was the perfect opportunity for me to open my door. And it’s been a wonderful experience ever since, because I get the job done. If I tell a client I’m going to do something. I do it and I don’t have to wait for someone else and find out they didn’t do their end of the bargain.

So I love working on my own because I no longer complain. 

Roxanne Merket: That’s the best explanation of entrepreneurship. I think I’ve ever heard that’s been

Andrea Pass: I can’t complain about someone else because you can’t control anyone else. And there are many people who don’t take a responsibility seriously because it’s not their career. It’s their job. And so they don’t look at it that way. They, they punch a clock. They’re busy taking a coffee break there. They’re reading social media personally, when I’m on social media, I’m checking out social media related to the press.

Who’s looking for things, what my clients are doing. Who’s saying, what about what. It’s a very different state of mind when it’s your business, you’re the entrepreneur you’re hustling and you want to make it as. 

Roxanne Merket: Oh, yeah. Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. Now, Andrea, you are also a mom and we’ve talked, your kids are not in your home anymore, so they’re grown up, but you’re in this fun phase of life where you’re not a grandma, still a mom. Yes. Am I, did I get that right?

Andrea Pass: My kids are the most important thing in my whole world. I think my husband would agree. Um, our, our son is in sales and digital platforms and SEO and all these techno things that I have no understanding about, but he’s doing phenomenally well. And, uh, our daughter and her husband lived just a few miles away and she’s in talent acquisition for a healthcare communications company.

And they just got a little Yorkie. So I have fallen madly in love with this dog 

Roxanne Merket: Yes.

Andrea Pass: and they come over every weekend for dinner and bring the dog. So I’m, I’m a happy camper. So, so I I’m a mom and, and was working for someone else during the time that they were in school. So I was juggling those business trips with their schedules and making sure.

There was a car or a ride to get to sports teams and the musical and play practice and, you know, religious school and all the different things that they were going to. So, so I remember those days and they were always supportive of me as I continue to be supportive of them. 

Roxanne Merket: Oh, yes. See, this is so fun because a lot of the moms that I talk to are moms of young kids. And as soon as you and I connected, I thought we’ve got to, like, I’ve got to get you in. I’ve got to uncover your story a little bit more because I think that you have this. This experience that a lot of my listeners, a lot of my guests were on this journey.

I mean, even me, right. My kids are still little. And so it’s, it’s nice to see you speaking about your career and your business with such excitement and such passion, but also talking about your kids with so much love and so much joy that for me, that’s kind of this like light of the tunnel, which is a terrible way to say that, but truly, and so I want to know, what does success look like to you now, has that changed over time?

And, and are you kind of, you know, how, how has that shifted a little bit?

[00:08:25] What does success look like?

Andrea Pass: It’s very interesting because I, I measure success by happiness. And I think that years ago I was measuring it by a title or a salary. And I think that there comes a point and certainly the pandemic has shifted our thinking Right

It Totally shifts, how we’re looking at perceiving everything in our lives. And I look at everything that I do and the clients I’ve worked with over the years, and most importantly, the relationships that I’ve made with people over the years, and that’s how I measure success.

And so I’m busy with clients now through Andrea Pass public relations, but. I’m also, I started a networking group called our virtual lunch club. And so that meets once a month. And I bring in interesting speakers and we have these virtual networking, which I love. I sit on the statewide board of the New Jersey association of women.

Business owners really love that. I volunteer at my religious organization, my religious house of worship. I get involved in a few political things. So I do now success is being able to do what you want and be happy doing it. And I look at it so differently because I have no plans of retiring for a long, long, long, long, long, long time.

And even then I could see myself having a client or two into those older, older years. So I think that. Success, you have to judge it for you individually and not what some cookie cutter version of what success is because you’re wearing a certain designer clothes and carrying a fancy bag to go to your corporate meeting where you’re sitting in first class flying here and there.

But that, that, isn’t what I find being success. I think success is in the eyes of the beholder. 

Roxanne Merket: Absolutely. I completely agree. And that’s one reason. This is one of my favorite questions to ask is because we get such a variety of definitions of success. So thank you for sharing yours with us, Andrea. 

Andrea Pass: A little 

Roxanne Merket: Yeah. Tell me, tell me.

Andrea Pass: the other day. And he said to me, um, you know, who is the richest person? Okay. Who’s the richest person. And I said, well, I feel rich. I have my, my, my husband and my kids, my family, my friends. I’ve got a roof over my head. I have internet. I could watch, I feel rich and he wasn’t addressing it that way.

He says the richest people are the people in the cemetery that never took their ideas to fruition. And I said, wow, what an interesting way. I prefer my way to look at it. 

Roxanne Merket: Yeah, that’s such an interesting definition. 

Andrea Pass: Right. But I get his way. I certainly get his way, but to me, it’s I don’t need to have a fancy car or go to a fancy restaurant. I’d rather be with my family or friends sitting in the backyard, gabbing. 

Roxanne Merket: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s so I appreciate you sharing that with us. I mean, just like we’re talking about, right. There’s so many different perspectives of success. One of the things that I really encourage my clients and my listeners as well is to really figure out what is your own definition of success. So I love that.

That’s for you. I mean, I just, I would love to come and sit in your backyard and gab with you. I think we’d have a blast. That’d be so fun.

Andrea Pass: I’ll make the coffee or I’ll get the bottle of wine, 

Roxanne Merket: Yes, I’m here for I’m here for it. Andrew, how has being a parent during this journey changed you personally? So we’ve talked about kind of what it’s done for your kids and for your business, but what about for you as, as a human being, how has being a parent changed you?

[00:12:33] How has being a parent changed you?

Andrea Pass: For me being a parent is the most important thing. And no matter how old my kids are, I worry about. when my kids call and if they call in the middle of the day, I take that call because I don’t know what’s up. And if they need me at that moment for something, and sometimes it’s all I had a break, I thought I’d say hello.

You know, and other times like, well, I have to do this, this and this. What do you think? And they might want my opinion on something. So I think being a parent for me, gosh, the minute you have your child and you hold your child in your arms, you didn’t realize you had all this love. And there is nothing you can’t go back from that moment and to be able to share your lives with your children.

Uh, if there’s nothing that’s more important. And I can’t think of any time that I don’t worry about, about my children. I mean, my son went to a hockey game last night. It was one of the first times they were letting people back in the arena at a very small amount. And he’s a, he’s a big New Jersey devils hockey fan.

And so he sent me a picture from the arena, but it’s like, okay, he’s busy there. And he thought, you know, My parents really love to see this. 

Roxanne Merket: Yes.

Andrea Pass: I think that being a parent changes you in your business because you can share things with other parents and you can share situations and stories. And I think that because our world has changed, there was even more acceptance.

The fact that we have another life outside of business, and everyone’s interested in hearing about other lives and sharing things. And, and I love when someone shares a story about their children with me, so. I think being a parent far exceeds any career, any, any job, any success financially or otherwise? 

Roxanne Merket: Oh, yes, yes, yes. Yes. I love that your kids are still sending you pictures and calling and asking for help. That’s so fun. That’s so fun.

Andrea Pass: The other day her and her husband. So my daughter got married during the pandemic and she did not have her big fancy reception because it was supposed to be March 22nd, 2020. 

Roxanne Merket: Oh, when the whole world shut down.

Andrea Pass: So we had the wedding spontaneously in the backyard with two hours of planning. It looked beautiful. We had flowers and, um, we had people there and we had a bottle of champagne and, and it, it was, it was spontaneous.

So, so her and her husband, I guess a few weeks ago, they were having a discussion with the financial planner. She calls me after what she says, we set up a 529 and I’m thinking, this is. We made sure. As soon as 529s came out, we wanted to save for their college education. And here it is, she’s barely married, not even a year yet.

They were, they learned from us and they were smart enough to say we’re going to put money away so that we can help our children when that time comes for college. So I was so proud that that mattered enough to her, that we did it for her, That she and her husband wanted to do it for their kids.

Roxanne Merket: That just speaks worlds to you as a mother to right? That she did that, that she had that example from you, but also that she was so excited to share that with you. I, I just think that speaks so much to your relationship and to you as a person as well. What a fun and what a gift that they’ve already given to, you know, future generations that, that aren’t even on the radar right now.

That’s so much fun.

Andrea Pass: And it’s just so funny because you know, my husband, he’s the numbers guy and, you know, in public relations on the creative gal, which is why we’re married over 33 years, because we, so you don’t want to necessarily be married to someone who has the exact same interests as you. And so, you know, I give him the credit for the 529.

I did all that research and putting them in. In that direction. And I think that together, we’re, we’re very fortunate that we’ve been together for all of these years, but to be able to teach your kids about what matters 

Roxanne Merket: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah.

Andrea Pass: that’s, uh, that’s just part of life. And I, and I think that’s just part of any spirit, you know, not necessarily entrepreneurial, but any good parenting spirit. 

Roxanne Merket: Absolutely. Oh, absolutely. Andrea. I want to ask you about guilt. Uh, you know, like I said, a lot of the moms that I talked to have brand new babies. And we talk a lot about the mom guilt. Your kids are older. And so I want to ask this as a two-part question. If you don’t mind, I want to know if you did experience guilt around being a mother and working while your kids were growing up.

And do you ever experience, if you did, do you ever still experience guilt? And if you didn’t, do you ever experienced, like, is that why, you know, is there, was there guilt and is there guilt, I guess is really what I’m asking.

[00:17:17] Is there guilt?

Andrea Pass: Yeah, definitely. Yes. At any parent who doesn’t at some point feel guilt. They’re not telling you the truth. Because that’s the thing in, in parenthood, there is guilt and certainly in business. And, you know, I certainly felt that guilt on times when I was at my daughter’s college orientation and I missed the whole thing in the hallway, trying to deal with a client situation or other times we’d be having dinner and I’d have to leave and go outside of the restaurant to deal with the client’s situation or, you know, being on a vacation.

And I’d had to be on the phone, dealing with a client situation. So there were many times that I felt extremely guilty and I was torn because I felt if I didn’t deal with work, my boss was going to fire me, which of course was not the case. I was not going to be fired, but he instilled this fear that you were fired and that wasn’t the situation.

But I learned from that and I think that the guilt. Uh, and, and missing things due to work. I think that if I could do it over, I would do it differently. And I would say, is this urgent to the person on the phone? If this is not urgent, can I call you back in a few hours? Or can this wait until I’m back from my vacation or event or what have you.

And so I would have changed. I would change my mindset if that was now. And, and do it differently. I think that guilt just comes from being a woman. Who’s had children, just comes or being a daughter. and I’m very fortunate. My mom and dad live around the block. Dad’s 88 Mom’s almost 83.

They’re really good at making me feel guilty. They call during the day. I see it’s them. I immediately, you know, tell whoever I’m talking to. I just have to see if everything’s okay, because there were times. It hasn’t been and I running, so I stopped everything for my parents. And, uh, I was on a call the other day and it was about 6:30 at night.

And my mother called to say hello? I said, I can’t talk. Is everything all right, I’m on a business call. You’re on a business call now. Why are you on a business called are fine. Call me back. Okay. Yeah. Call her back then. Hourly. Why were you on a business call at 6:30? That’s when the call took place. So She’s still good about guilting me

Roxanne Merket: She’s still momming you.

Andrea Pass: and it’s okay.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t have it any other way. So I think guilt comes with the territory.

Roxanne Merket: I appreciate your perspective too, though, of how you would have done things a little bit different, you know, that’s that for me, gives me confidence. You know, I have a little snippet in the bottom of my email, my email reply that says, you know, if you would tell my kids, this is urgent, then you can text me.

And when I first put that in, I thought, is this. Is this okay? You know, is this, there was that like panic within me, but I’m seeing more and more moms do that. You know, I’ll, I’ll send an email to somebody and I’ll get an automatic reply back. Hey, you know, I’m a mom. And so I checked my email only a couple of times a week and you’ll, you can expect to hear from me then.

And, and it’s, it’s. I love seeing this acceptance of that change. And I really wonder how much the pandemic has played into that. I feel like it’s sort of normalized things, but I mean, clearly like women have been dealing with this for a long time. And so now it’s nice to see like just these little glimpses of change.

It’s exciting to me.

Andrea Pass: I’ll tend to agree with you on that, that the pandemic has a lot to do with that because of the fact. People are at home, their kids are learning remotely. The dog is barking. The cat is going by this, a delivery at the door. The, you know, my favorite is, is when the lawn service arrives and I’m on an important call. And the next thing you know, you hear the lawn mowers go right outside my window, no escape.

And I, sorry, the lawn is getting mowed. So I think that, that the acceptance of reality. Is a positive acceptance and a positive change. I think that once we’re through this hump and I’m hoping it’s a hump that we were, we get through and we’re going to see that life is different and things are appreciated.

In fact, my husband’s company gave them extra days off around the holidays because no one’s taking vacation time and they realize the importance you need to take time off. And so they said, no, we’re closing the office down. You are not to work on these days because, and he’s working. He works for an international company and people aren’t taking vacation and people are putting in more hours than ever before that, that you need to be real.

And if you need to take care of your kids, you take care of your kids. If there’s a problem with school and they need help with their homework, you help them with your homework. And that business quote will wait and you have to change it. Change it. Be here. 

Roxanne Merket: Yeah, just humanize that. Oh yes. That’s so much. And I want to ask you about this idea of hustle. So the name of this podcast is Reimagined Hustle and I. Th- the reason that I named it, this is I started my business before I had kids and I love hustle culture. Right? Like I loved the go, go, go the constant doing stuff.

It felt so good to me. And then I had kids and my whole world stopped and I had to change things. Right. I had to slow things down and I’ve been on this quest to re-imagine hustle since then. And so I want to know how do you reimagine this concept of hustle?

[00:23:08] Reimagined Hustle

Andrea Pass: Wow. That’s a really great question. And I think that hustle is different things to different people. And for me, it’s keeping my business alive, constantly having clients networking and working to get new clients in public relations. So many people don’t understand public relations. And I think that’s a challenge to explain and make them understand why they need it.

Because any business owner needs public relations. Whether you have a small business, a product, a book, a service, you’re a wellness coach or a beauty person, or whatever you might be doing. Everything could benefit from public relations. So I think that I’m always hustling because part of hustle is education and I’m out there trying to educate people while I’m hustling.

But I’m also recognizing in the hustle that I need time for me. And I had someone reach out to me last night. It was about 8:30 at night. And, um, it, my husband and I decided to start a new Netflix series. And I wrote back, I said, it’s 8:30. Could we talk tomorrow? Like, it wasn’t urgent that we had to talk at 8:30 at night while I finally put my feet up to watch a TV show.

So I think part of hustle?

is understanding when you need the downtime too. So I think that, that my re-imagine of hustle. Is continued success for Andrea Pass public relations and continued happiness for Andrea. 

Pass 

Roxanne Merket: Ah, yes, I can get behind this definition. I appreciate that re-imagined version of hustle. Thank you, Andrea. Will you give us a pep talk for other parents who are on this entrepreneur journey, whatever stage they may be in. Could you give us a little pep talk.

[00:24:55] Pep Talk

Andrea Pass: Well, I think the most important thing on any entrepreneurial journey is put everything in perspective. It’s not all getting done today. And I know that everyone is into these three-year plans in five-year plans and ten-year plans to be honest, no disrespect to.

any business coaches or planners out there, but you can write the plan and tomorrow it’ll change.

And so have your goals set, make your goals realistic and accept when you have to zig and zag I’ve been saying Zig and zag before pivoting became popular. So I’m not into the word pivot I’m into Zig and zag. But I think for parents who are on an entrepreneurial journey, don’t miss the school play. You don’t have to go to the school bake sale, send in some baked goods.

Uh, you don’t need to physically be there to sell the little brownies and cupcakes when all that starts happening again in life. But send something in, but decide what’s important, but don’t miss the assembly. Don’t miss every single soccer game. You don’t have to go to a hundred percent of the soccer games or baseball games or whatever t-ball that your child is playing, but make sure you’re at some of them.

And there are times that you say, you know what? I can’t take that meeting at that time. Can we make the meeting at this time? So my advice is, make sure you have the life work balance. I don’t want to say work life work doesn’t come. First. Life comes first because in the end I had gone to a lecture years ago by Mitch Albom, who wrote Tuesdays with Morrie and the seven people you meet in heaven.

And it was a horrible day at the office. Absolutely horrible. And we were leaving the next morning to, uh, drive to Maryland to a friend’s daughter’s wedding. And I had to work the whole weekend. At the wedding in between the wedding, it was just horrendous, but Mitch Albom said, and it stuck with me to this day, at the end of your life.

And I’m paraphrasing, of course, no, one’s going to remember that you saved the company a million dollars. You had a great sale, or you snagged a great client for your business. At the end of the day, the end of your time, people are going to say, I’m going to miss that person. That was a really great person.

And that stuck with me. And I’m not, you know, I’m not one of these sappy individuals, but that stuck with me because at the end, that’s all that’s going to matter is that you were loved and you loved others. And that someone had a good feeling and discussion, you know, I really like Roxanne. She’s great. Or I really like Andrea.

She’s great. And I think that parents should recognize that. Put it in perspective. And if you need to take a breath and step away to think it through before you agree to doing a certain task for a client or take on another responsibility in your business, my pep talk is make time for the things that matter the most. 

Roxanne Merket: Andrea. Thank you. I have goosebumps as you just shared all of that with us. Thank you so much, my goodness. And thank you for all of the wisdom that you’ve shared with us today. We need more of you. So tell us, where can we find you online? And we will link everything in the show notes, but tell us where, where can we find you?

Andrea Pass: Well, I certainly would love to connect with any of your listeners, especially if you think public relations is for you. So I would like to offer your listeners a free half-hour consultation. So that we can talk about their businesses and the benefits of public relations and to see in your marketing budget, can you fit public relations in and really why you should, so please visit me at andreapasspr.com. And you can email andrea@andreapasspr.com. I’m on LinkedIn. I’m on Facebook, Andrea Pass public relations. I’m on Insta. I’m on Twitter. I’m all over the place. But most importantly, go to my website and you can email me and let’s schedule a time to talk about public relations and how it grows your brand, grows your reputation, and drive sales. 

Roxanne Merket: Awesome. Thank you. And what a generous offer as well. Thank you. And we will make sure that we link everything in the show notes, Andrea, it has been just an absolute treat to spend this time with you today. Thank you so much.

Andrea Pass: thank you. Roxanne for having me. I mean, you got me thinking you really got me thinking

Roxanne Merket: I did my job then.

Andrea Pass: and it was a pleasure being your guest. 

Roxanne Merket: Thank you.

Thanks for listening to Reimagining Hustle with Roxanne Merket. If you like the show and want more, check out reimagininghustle.com and please leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll be back next week with another episode. See you soon.