When you ask Marilyn Crawford what she does, she may tell you her “experience is extensive and diverse.” While it may sound like she’s evading the question, she really isn’t. The CEO of POP PRIMETIME Omnimedia, does it all from from strategic marketing, business development, brand launches to search engine optimization public relations and events management to speaking engagements. Having worked with clients like Obama, Clinton, Bush, the Riverfestival, World Cup Soccer and Diddy, Mayweather and Canelo post-fight parties, the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based media mogul has planned and organized a number of activities and events.
Here, you can read more about Marilyn Crawford.
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
Life, living, money and love for what I chose to do in life. Drive is organic, you either have it or you don’t.
Drive means you do whatever you have to do to succeed.
I chose to be an entrepreneur because I like a challenge and there are no limitations on what you can do, how much you can make and when you do it. I feel there is no project that I cannot succeed at or do an outstanding job. And being an entrepreneur, if I don’t show, I don’t eat and my family and our lifestyles suffer. I love what I do, so the choice to show is easy. Matter of fact, I get depressed when my hands are too idle.
How did you determine your career path?
By accident. My original degrees were in psychology, education, journalism, and human growth and development. When I came out I started teaching and within three months, knew that was not for me. Then I started to counsel the (tween) students and the bonds grew so strong that they would spend weekends at my home. It was like a private boarding and finishing school for a while. When it grew to over 15-20 every weekend, I had to make a change. My students were from very wealthy homes and loved the nurturing they received as well as the strict discipline I imposed. Then their parents asked me to do birthday parties, anniversaries, that led to special occasions, huge company events, advertising, and so on. And eventually, I was doing event management, marketing, public relations, business development, advertising, and branding. So the path to creating my own company was laid and offers came fast and furious from corporations and high net worth individuals.
What other industries connect to your career choice?
Technology, social networking, advertising, and more. Technically, all industries connect to my career choice, because all can use my services to increase sales, visibility and consumer engagement.
Describe the skill sets that are essential for future business leaders and innovators.
Technology, social networking, combined with marketing and advertising, Negotiations and Finance.
Define innovative methods you apply to your business and life.
Interactive and integrated mobile technology, entertainment and music engagement in multiple aspects of the clients business plans. Plus cross pollination of Affinity groups and my executive team. That way you get more productivity, team work and greater access and knowledge.
How do you set goals and evaluate your success?
I set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and multiple year goals. I determine the goals by what projects are low hanging fruit and what are longer term in fruition. I categorize the goals so they are; personal family, personal friend, professional, and financial. However, I do not include any romantic goals, such as marriage.
It is my hope that one that will be organic.
I evaluate my success if I achieve the goal set. It is not always money, it might simply be meeting a new person, getting my ideas across to a decision maker, bringing a certain person into the fold. It all depends on the clarity of the process to reach the deliverable.
Who do you consider your peers in your field? Who is setting a great example?
My peers are Judy Smith, “Scandal”; Len Burnett, Uptown magazine; Jocelyn Allen, General Motors; Rose Flenorl, FedEx. A few great examples of people I admire are Steve Wynn, Sig Rogich, Lady Kate Middleton, Gayle King, Ivanka Trump, Faye Ferguson (Burrell co-CEO); Pam El, Nationwide. Now if we went iconic, it would be Nelson Mandela, first lady Michelle Obama and the obvious, Oprah.
What information and increased skill methods do you use?
You have to use your skill set to develop and build relationships, and that gains you access. Relationships and access grant you information. Information is definitely power. It is important to know where to go for resources and how to strategize to optimize those resources, maintain them and further develop them.
Name your favorite role models for success in three industries.
Television: Barbara Walters, Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg, Andy Cohen, and Wendy Williams
Film: Tyler Perry, Brad Pitt, Paul Haggis, Bill Conlin
Spirits: P. Diddy (Ciroc), Bethenny Frankel, (Skinny Girl)
Even though we select role models, most role models have a circle of people that they deal with. For instance, if you notice on some shows, the same guest take turns coming on when they have new projects. It is nothing wrong with this, if they also gave non-circle folks a chance.
On another note, we as black people usually only have one black woman at a time who is the golden child. It would be nice to have hundreds of black role models to choose from. I absolutely love Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, but where are the next 30 Oprahs and Tylers that we can name? There are the Rachel Rays, Dr. Phils, Nate Burkess, but where are the next generation of them that are minority? I still say there is skillful talent out here that can definitely carry their own show, if given the chance.
Names three books that changed how you saw life that you would recommend to others?
Death Be Not Proud
The Tipping Point
The Human Face of Big Data
Describe why lifelong learning is important to you.
You grow as a person and human being when you learn every day. I have several degrees and over 20 years of global exposure, but every day I learn something whether it is from the homeless man trying to ask me for a donation, or the tennis player, who changes her strategy in the middle of a match. It is just as important as taking a breath of fresh air, you cannot sustain life without knowledge and every breath gives you more energy and stamina. It prepares you for the long journey ahead and the circle of life.
Describe the voice of success that you hear in your head.
That is a very easy question. Parent Tapes. My parents and aunts have passed, but the lessons they taught me still linger in my mind. So it would be my mother, Lillian; father, Timothy; Aunt Madelyn; and Aunt Ann. My mother and father for basic life rules, charitable mindset, professionalism, class and doing the right thing. My Aunt Madelyn and Aunt Ann for class, elegance and luxury.
There is not a day in my life that my parent tapes and strong family tapes do not play. Saying to me do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and success will take care of itself. Yes, I have been royally screwed on occasions by folks I gave opportunities and tried to help, but karma is swift and strong. So my voice of success quotes the first black billionaire, Reginald F. Lewis, “Just keep going.”
Community success based on what you do in the community means what to you?
Simply giving back, and that doesn’t mean it has to be in a crowd setting or formally. Just do what you can when you can.
I use to freeze bottles of water and take it to the homeless in Las Vegas living under the bridge in the middle of a hot sunny 109 temperature day. I also would make as many as 500 sandwiches and took sandwiches and socks to homeless men during the winter months. Yes, I have always served on mega foundation boards, from Dress for Success to the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, and make as many as 500 sandwiches and took sandwiches and socks to homeless men during the winter months. Yes, I have always served on mega foundation boards, from Dress for Success to the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, and raised a lot of money for causes, but it is nothing like that anonymous giving when there is no audience. The satisfaction in that is immeasurable.
What role does technology play in your daily life?
Having convenient and direct communication with decision makers and doers every day. It also provides me with innovative and creative ways to assist my clients in their endeavors.
The new logistics of business is nothing if not innovative. Cutting-edge technologies and creative services are driving continuous improvement and innovation to meet evolving business practices and demand. Technological innovation has long enabled global operations and cost-efficiencies for mega-size businesses, but today’s innovative logistics technologies and services bring the same global opportunities for all size businesses, for excellence and execution – market expansion and the rapid movement of goods and information and end-to-end visibility. I create, coordinate, implement and integrate this into every clients business plan.
What software and technology apps have made the biggest difference in your life?
Apple, IPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Txtunes. In the future it will be Perfect Syense, ELFL.com, Funn online, Spoiledonline.
What music and cultural events help define your self-identity?
Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Grammy and pre-Oscar Week, World Music Awards, New York Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week are my top events that help define my self identity. [And there’s] the upcoming Global Motorcity Festival.
Define your personal culture.
Eclectic, what ever moves you at the moment and is required for your happiness and satisfaction. My state is varied from meditation to mediation, from fantasy to fabulousity, from luxury to lazy days, my personal culture covers the gamut.
What are your favorite vacation spots.
St. Tropez, Dubai, St. Barths, Ibiza, Portofino and Zurich.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Delete evil people, evil thoughts, evil acts, and evil illnesses. Just press delete.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My trusting nature. Naivety when it comes to trusting people to do what they say they can do and are going do, in a timely fashion. I would like to unplug them and reboot, give them a chance to keep their word, not procrastinate and just be like Nike and “Do it.”
My patience. Be more patient and let things just happen. Stop over planning and preparing. Do not try to force things when they are going to slow or guide them, just relax and let it happen in its own due time.
And finally, create a stress-free mindset … Sail on.