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In these posts and pages, I’ll share with readers and subscribers the learning and experiences that have helped to shape my own marketing skillset over the course of my professional career. And, I’ll occasionally write about topics like leadership, choice and serving others—ideas that apply well beyond work and into all of our personal lives.
But to really understand why this blog exists, it’s worth knowing a little more about how key aspects of my life and background have led me to this point.
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
I come from a family of divorce. This seems to be common these days, and I imagine many of you reading may have had a similar experience. While there are many challenges that come with living and shuffling between your parents’ homes, it also forced me to grow up at a young age.
Living with my two younger siblings, I was quickly put in a position where I had to take on responsibility for my brother and sister in many ways. I had to help them and my parents keep things on track. I think this gave me an affinity for leadership roles, and early on created a desire to help others.
Fast-forward to high school, and this interest in helping others continued to grow. I went to St. Xavier high school in Cincinnati. St. X is known not only as a rigorous college preparatory institution, but as an institution that specifically aims to create “Men for Others”—future community leaders with the desire and motivation to serve others, in particular those who may be less fortunate. Participation in Big Brothers, Canned Food Drive and other similar programs greatly shaped my perspective on personal and community responsibility.
TEACHING AS A PASSION
I grew up playing piano and violin, adding and focusing on drums when I entered high school. After touring the country for a few summers with a drum and bugle corps (think professional marching band – without the pay), I began teaching music at local high schools.
Teaching in the evenings and on weekends was a way to do something creative that I enjoyed, and also helped me provide for myself and work my way through college. But the part I enjoyed most was working with students, helping them learn and paying forward the lessons that others were kind enough to teach me.
Although I earned my first undergraduate degree in marketing and management, I ended up re-entering school for a second undergraduate degree in music education. At the time, I ended up starting my full-time career as a marketing professional in the music industry. It was a way to try to combine my personal and professional interests together. And so my career as a marketer began.
A LIFE OF LEARNING
I believe that learning never stops. There’s always more to learn from your own experiences as well as the experiences of others around you. It’s important to never fall into a trap where you believe you know enough. Each time you enter a room, there is something to learn from the people around you.
Teaching is also a way to learn. The best teacher/student or mentor/mentee relationships involve two-way learning. Simply put, teaching and learning go hand-in-hand. They are inseparable sides of the same coin. Teaching to others is a way to take your own learning to the highest level possible. Teaching can help you become a master at your craft because explaining concepts forces you to break things down. You have to really understand what works, what doesn’t, and why.
Even though I’ve spent the last 15 years working on marketing strategy and innovation, I’ve made it a priority to incorporate both learning and teaching into my work. From Brand Manager training sessions to team-building activities to creating master classes to help develop the teams that I’ve been a part of or led, learning and teaching is ever-present.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
For me, this blog is a chance to combine my personal and professional passions. I get to practice my passion of teaching and helping others. At the same time, the subject matter draws directly from my experience as a marketing professional and strategic consultant.
I hope that you find great value in reading this blog. Let’s unlock your and your team’s full potential.
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Kevin Namaky is CEO at the Gurulocity Brand Management Institute, a marketing education company that trains and consults for notable brand teams including Kimberly-Clark, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Bolthouse Farms and Gorilla Brands. Kevin is a featured instructor for the American Marketing Association, lectures at the IU Kelley School of business, and has been featured in Ad Age, Forbes, Fast Company and the CMO Council. Previously Kevin worked for 20 years in the corporate and agency world growing notable brands. Follow/connect with Kevin on LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.