Look for the things that make you happy and make sure to put more of that into your everyday life — the more positive you keep yourself, the happier you will be.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Evan Rutchik, CRO, Ogury.
Evan Rutchik is Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Ogury. He has managed award winning media campaigns since 2007, previously holding senior roles at digital media leaders on both the technology and agency side of the business. Evan resides on the board of the IAB Mobile Center of Excellence and he often moderates and speaks on panels across the world as an expert thought leader in mobile marketing, first-party data, and consumer privacy.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I’ve been in the technology industry for 11+ years managing award-winning media campaigns on the tech and agency side and graduated with an MBA from NYU. While working in the technology industry I knew I wanted to build out my career in adtech and had seen many advertising technologies that already existed in the industry. When I thought about where I wanted to focus my career, I had an interest in connecting consumers and brands in terms of data collection. At that time, there was a huge disconnect between those two. I felt that brands and app publishers needed to understand the value of mobile, and they weren’t capitalizing on that to create trusted value.
In came Ogury in 2016; I was given the opportunity to reinvent the way brands, publishers and consumers interact. I was the first US hire with Ogury and am responsible for opening Ogury’s US market and establishing its reputation and organization, while also leading the company to achieve over $100 million in revenue in under 3 years.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
“Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win,” written by Jocko Willink made a huge impact on me because first and foremost Thomas Pasquet, Ogury CEO, recommended that I read it. He was someone who overcame many adversities to lead a successful business, so I knew it probably had some pretty great life lessons. It didn’t disappoint; I came away with a deeper understanding of the mindset it takes to lead a team to victory and also learned how to strategically develop high-performing and successful teams.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
Here are 5 reasons we should be hopeful during this “Corona Crisis”:
- An opportunity for honesty. This is a time where you can really show who you are as a leader to your team and to yourself. Honesty plays a huge role in this. This pandemic is wreaking havoc upon our economy and each industry feeling the pressures. I make sure that I’m talking to my team everyday so they know that we are in this together and that we remain realistic on what is possible to achieve.
- Communicate. Communicate with your team with your family and most importantly make sure that you’re listening to your own gut. The good news is no one has been in this type of market or position before so it’s up to us to react to it as we are all in it together.
- Give back. I am a huge proponent of giving back at this time, if it’s writing letters to nursing homes, donating masks, or even cheering on your local healthcare workers from your balcony, every act of kindness matters and we will all get out of this together.
- A chance to work hard. Often, I’ve been hearing that people don’t feel “motivated” or feel like they “can’t keep their spirits up” during the monotony of working from home. To combat that I say, take a day off if you need to, avoid burnout. Take an hour to meditate or run to keep yourself healthy. Now more than ever we should all be taking care of ourselves and our loved ones. Work hard not just at your job but also at keeping your mindset in a healthy place.
- Light in a time of adversity. Keep your eyes on that ray of light. I know that we’ve been going through some very difficult times and many families have been impacted. It’s almost impossible to know where this will all go, but, we can remain hopeful for the future because we will come out of this and while the world may be different, we will adapt and come out stronger for it. It’s an opportunity for each individual to build resilience and never give up the positivity that gets you through the day to day.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Here are five steps we can all take to help support those around us who may feel anxious:
- Check-in. I always say listening is the best way to really understand what someone is going through. That’s why when I see that the people I care about (coworkers, family, friends) have any feelings of doubt, I listen to them.
- Genuine support. I want the people I see every day in my life to know I genuinely care about them. I support them and I make it known that I am present and available for them, whatever pressures they may be under. No one is ever alone; we will tackle anything as a team.
- Validation. Anxiety comes from environmental factors — the pandemic we are currently in is a major reason for people’s heightened anxiety at this time. It’s a valid place that many are anxious in this time and as someone who is supportive of a friend, family member, coworker, or whomever, it’s up to us to say “you’re right to feel that way, I hear you.” Being present and open is important.
- We are all human. We’ve all been in a place of stress or anxiety and in some way, shape or form can relate to someone’s anxiety. It shows us that we are all only human and we should be open to hearing someone else’s struggles to help them through it.
- Enjoy every day. Look for the things that make you happy and make sure to put more of that into your everyday life — the more positive you keep yourself, the happier you will be.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
I always say talk about it, find your closest friends or family members that you can have a deep and productive discussion on anything that may be stressing you out. Even reconnect with old friends, maybe you are in need of some nostalgia or it may be that you need someone to lean on for a bit and that is OK.
I also really like to take a few minutes out of my day to meditate — it helps remind me that everything will happen as it’s supposed to, and it gives me a few moments to really focus on myself. Meditation gets my mind on track to acknowledge what I need to accomplish for the rest of the day. Sometimes I sit and meditate or other times I take my meditation with me to my workout. For me, running has been an amazing outlet and I’ve often taken my thoughts to the road.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” Bill Belichick
I grew up a Patriots fan and have always been enamored by the way that organization has built championship level teams year after year with a mindset of team first (will see how they do without TB12!).
On a more personal note, I consider my wife my ultimate teammate and partner in life. We aim to build a family based on teamwork and both being present day to day. Now, we aren’t driving or building a performance driven organization to win championships, but we hold each other accountable to our life responsibilities (the kids), to each other, and also our individual selves. Neither of us are above the team, and when we (mostly this is me!) act in a way that is, we make sure to remind each other what is important, the team.
In my life and in business, I’ve always seen the greatest reward comes when you communicate effectively, hold yourself and your partner/friends/business associates to the highest standard, and build each other up constructively. This is the way to win, and do so with humility.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would say look at the most effective ways to improve the world and act on it; there is a social movement called “effective altruism” that follows this exact idea. It’s a way for people to shift their mindsets and become passionate about doing good in the world — they factor their lives in some sense to give back to the world, whatever that may be.
I truly adopt this mindset and am very passionate about giving back to my community. I dedicate a good chunk of my time to raise awareness and money for causes close to me so this hits close to home. For example, I host a bi-annual charity event where those participating in the event have the opportunity to nominate a charity of their choice for donations. I also participate in the annual TEAL Walk, dedicated to educating the public/raising money for ovarian cancer.
What is the best way for our readers to follow you online?
The best ways to follow me are through:
- Twitter: @evan_rutchik
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/evanrutchik.
- To read some of the articles I have authored you can follow my AW360 series: https://www.advertisingweek360.com/author/evanrutchik
- You can read more from me and other colleagues on the Ogury blog: ogury.com/blog
To learn more about Ogury you can visit our site: https://ogury.com and follow our Twitter @WeAreOgury.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!