What’s it like when you’re the CMO of the New York Stock Exchange and you get bit by the entrepreneurial bug? My guest today is Marisa Ricciardi who was Vice President at Goldman Sachs and then became the CMO of the New York Stock Exchange. She then made the leap to business owner and founded her own company.

She first served as a virtual CMO for several major financial-focused brands and quickly identified a niche. She then founded the Ricciardi Group where she helps early-stage CEOs allocate venture capital, assists CMOs navigating the marketing landscape, and provides clients with a clear path for turning business strategy into action.

Marisa was named “Marketing Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2017 at the Markets Choice Awards for Women in Finance, and was cited as one of Inc.’s “10 Leading Ladies Changing Business as Usual” in April 2018. On this episode, she shares insights into her business and making the transition from employee to founder.  

Show Notes

  • [03:18] Being the CMO of the New York Stock Exchange was amazing. They had several different businesses, so from a marketing aspect, they had to get into the mind of several different personas.
  • [03:49] There’s also a huge sense of national pride working for an exchange.
  • [04:45] Part of her role at the exchange was to engage and market the startup community. While meeting with entrepreneurs, Marissa got to feel the entrepreneurial spirit.
  • [06:05] It was magical to work with companies like Twitter, Yelp, and Pandora.
  • [07:07] Marketing is an intersection of sales and risk-taking.
  • [08:00] A lot of team members that used to work with Marisa have since joined her company.
  • [08:56] She has a small boutique company, but adds freelancers to give the business diversity.
  • [10:10] When you have different people in a room, you will have different outcomes. Marisa likes the idea of adding in different people based on the problems she is trying to solve.
  • [11:02] They also treat clients like partners and try to get the best results for them as possible. It’s like being part of a big collaborative kitchen.
  • [12:49] The biggest challenge is always prioritizing whether it’s in the corporate world or your own company. There is added pressure, knowing that you are responsible for other people’s livelihoods.
  • [15:24] When an employee doesn’t work out, it’s important to know why.
  • [17:12] Leadership skills include knowing your own personality and your appetite for risk and reward. For women, having a family plays into the decision making process.
  • [19:41] Marisa is driven and results oriented. To run a business you have to have a heart and skin for volatility.
  • [24:17] Some of the things that motivate Marisa today include her family, her team, and her mortgage. She wants to be successful and contribute to her family.
  • [25:11] Motivation is different than passion. Showing up and seeing results is what drives her.
  • [26:08] The two qualities that Marisa looks for most in team members and herself is independence and integrity and being accountable.
  • [29:19] Clients won’t trust you if you’re not being accountable and if you’re not delivering results.
  • [30:44] Trust is earned and it is about delivering and seeing results. It’s a combination of earned and showing results.
  • [34:17] Making the choice between showing up and being present. Marisa practices radical presence whether she is at home or at work.
  • [35:59] It’s not easy to compartmentalize, but it is something that has to be contumaciously worked at.
  • [39:30] Running a business is hard. Being a woman and a mother running a business is more difficult, because there are so many demands on your time. Prioritize the things that are important.  

Links and Resources:

marisa
The Ricciardi Group

@TheRicciardiG on Twitter

The Ricciardi Group on LinkedIn