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Meet Trailblazer Veronica Kusmuk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Veronica Kusmuk.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Veronica. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started working in an advertising sales position a little over eight years ago with a local business journal (Pacific Coast Business Times). Prior to starting this position, I actually thought I might go back to school and become a teacher. I was on the fence about my next move when a really good friend informed me of the sales position. Low and behold, it’s been eight years of learning a lot about advertising/marketing and really sinking my teeth into the region and I really love it! Earlier this year, we decided to expand into the podcast realm and started a monthly podcast focused on women-owned businesses on the Central Coast. Our three-person female-led podcast team works hard to make sure we give local women a platform to share their stories and experiences of starting their own businesses. As the host of this podcast, it’s really been amazing getting to sit down and go in-depth with these women and hear about the leaps they have taken as well as the advice they share too our listeners. I’m extremely grateful that I get to be the one to talk to each of them. I’ve been a huge fan of the podcast format for many years and it’s been so fun now getting to be a part of one, especially with a topic I am so passionate about, women-owned businesses.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Hosting and co-producing a podcast is absolutely new territory for me, so it’s been a learning experience. When our team decided to start this, we needed about six months of lead time to get everything ready to begin. There is a lot to think about that hadn’t crossed my mind before we started. Such as: What will the theme be? Podcast name? Podcast logo? Music? How do we get onto streaming platforms? How will we brand this? I think initially since I listen to so many podcasts I thought it was as easy as, you sit down, you record and then you release it. And those are pretty much the steps but there is a lot of back work that goes into it to get there. I am proud of our team, none of us had experience doing anything like this before, but we worked so hard and we kept our mindset on the track of producing something of amazing quality. My advice to anyone venturing into unknown territory is this: First, get clear on your vision. Second, surround yourself with people who believe in what you’re doing and who can help you in the areas that might not be your strongest. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses and then find people who can help you and who you can bounce ideas off of. Sometimes this type of support is not built-in and you will have to go find it and build a team yourself. Take the initiative!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Charting Her Course podcast – what should we know?
I think the thing I am the proudest of when it comes to our podcast is that we care very deeply about providing a platform for women in business to tell their stories. I know that for me, hearing in someone’s own words about why and how they started their business sticks with me because no two stories are the same and yet I can always find something that I can relate to or that resonates with me and I hope the same for our listeners. I’m also very proud that we focus on Central Coast businesses because this is where I live and helping to highlight women in my own community is very important.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Getting out of your comfort zone is hard but the more you do it the more you will learn and the best way to build confidence in anything is to learn as much as you can. The start of your career will oftentimes feel very intimidating but if you can learn to use your fear or self-doubt as tools to help you grow, you will be unstoppable. And if you ever find yourself in a room full of people with positions much higher than you, just know this, you made it to that room too and your voice is as important as anyone else there.

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Image Credit:
All images taken by Vianna Mabanag

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