We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Tate and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, what role has risk played in your life or career?
If you don’t take risks, you lose the ability to challenge yourself and improve your life. It’s all about balancing the risk with a plan. I took a 100 percent risk in loss of income and stability when I launched my digital marketing agency Crackerjack Scribe more than nine years ago. As a mother of three, I had the responsibility of supporting my family, yet I needed to take control of my life and how I wanted to live it, with more freedom. I wanted the freedom to work from home and from wherever I was around the world. Most importantly, to spend more time with family. So I left my job as editor and associate publisher of The Malibu Times and Malibu Times Magazine. The job was gratifying in many ways—I love the process of putting a publication together from start to finish, and reporting and writing. However, my former boss was old school and believes that if you’re not in the office, in your seat in front of the computer, you’re not working. I left my job without a solid plan, which I don’t advise if you don’t have a financial or family backup. It was scary at first. But I dived in, and with the help of a friend, came up with a plan to start my business. I combined my skills in journalism and then-developing knowledge of social media marketing to launch Crackerjack Scribe, a full-service digital marketing agency. It seemed like a huge risk at the time, but it turned out to be well worth the effort. I continued working full-time while being able to be with family and overall improve my quality of life. Because I have been working remotely for many years, I was more easily able to navigate this new way of life that the pandemic has forced on all of us. I am thankful for being able to continue to operate my business and if necessary, I’ll take additional risks to adjust. But first, I’ll make a plan.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Crackerjack Scribe offers growth marketing services to individuals, companies, and corporations. We use social media, content creation, blogging, email marketing, SEO, and Website design and optimization to generate brand presence and traffic for our clients. To address challenges and find solutions for our customers that will create a vital brand presence for them is extremely satisfying. When our customers grow and succeed, we have done our job. Taking risks, as I did when I started my business, and working hard is key to the success of Crackerjack Scribe. In the beginning, it was not easy. The challenges I faced as a a new business owner was to create a presence for CJS and to convince potential customers that my agency was the right choice to help them. Thankfully, my background as a journalist, editor, and associate publisher of a newspaper and magazine gave me credibility. Also, some of my first customers came from businesses in the Malibu area—they knew and trusted me. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned while growing my business is that there is always more to learn. The business I”m in constantly changes and evolves. It’s important to stay on top of new tools and platforms that come to the market, and new ways of working. This ability to adapt is especially important during this global pandemic we are all experiencing. I personally work with my clients to make sure I understand their needs and goals. Whether I hand off a project to a team member or not, I always check in to make sure everything is operating as it should.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Santa Monica Mountains cannot be missed during a trip to the Los Angeles area. There are many beautiful and varied hiking trails through the mountains, whether you’re a novice hiker or like a challenge. My favorite hiking spot is up Stunt Canyon Road. There are some trails that go up high among some amazing rock formations that make it seem like you’re in another world. You also get a great view of the Valley, and if you go to the top, you can see the Palisades, Santa Monica, the ocean. In the San Fernando Valley, I love to hang out at EMC Seafood & Raw Bar at The Village. Fresh oysters and a brew, what more could you want? For shopping and more dining I love Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. That city is also great for nighttime, there’s salsa dancing on the promenade Sunday nights. On Monday’s live bands and salsa dancing take place at the West End.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I give a huge shoutout to my friend Richard Goodman. Rich is a highly intelligent, kind person. He helped me realize my potential and gave me ideas and shared resources with me to help launch my business. Although he was new to politics, Richard ran for city council in 2011 with grassroots support and came in second to the incumbent, Tony Cardenas. His innovative ideas and solutions helped him surpass two candidates who had run in previous elections.