How I got here: Karbo Communications CEO Julie Karbo finds success by going beyond expectation

Julie Karbo shares why she prioritizes focusing on the present.

Julie Karbo, CEO and founder of Karbo Communications, has always strived to go the extra mile, a commitment instilled in her by her mother. This dedication has brought her success both professionally and personally.

The tech industry veteran has over 35 years of experience, specializing in strategic marketing and communications since the inception of high-tech marketing. Karbo has guided startups to billion-dollar brands, leading them to increased sales and market dominance. She’s Known for her strategic acumen and passion for technology’s societal impact.

The moment I’m proudest of in my entire career is when I:

Luckily, I’ve had a career with many shining moments, but one moment that stands out is sitting in the audience at client Equinix’s tenth anniversary celebration. In his presentation, the founder, Jay Adelson, called me and our team out for helping to take them from a stealth startup to a multi-billion dollar public company. It brought tears to my eyes and gave me and the team a sense of pride in the ten years of hard work that was invested. Seeing those efforts come to fruition and positively affect the lives of so many people was incredibly gratifying.

One thing that worries me about the future of my profession is:

I’m most concerned about the current economic squeeze and the effect it’s having on the media. Financial pressures have taxed media organizations and the resulting mass layoffs have meant fewer reporters covering more. This has and will continue to result in fewer platforms for earned coverage. On the positive side, we’ve created opportunities elsewhere in areas such as paid content and digital marketing. 

A tool or a piece of software I cannot live without is:

Google. I have an almost insatiable drive for information and it’s my go-to whether I’m looking for market data, intelligence about a potential partner, or inspiration for a creative idea.

I’m inspired by:

People in tech who are innovative and exercise leadership with respect and kindness.

My professional motto/mantra is:

Always take that extra step. You can be successful by going beyond what’s expected of you. This was a lesson that came from my mother. She was a single mom raising three young children juggling a full-time job while she carried a full college class load at night. She never felt sorry for herself or made excuses for not getting something done. She taught me that most people will just do what’s required, but if you put in the extra effort to go beyond what most do, you’ll be successful. It’s something I’ve applied in both my professional and personal lives and it’s made a huge difference. 

When I’m feeling overwhelmed at work, I:

Remember that most of the things we worry about will never occur. I refocus on getting the most done right now. Taking a short walk around the building or the block can also be a great way to reset.

Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/ reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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