publisher Mark Kolke, in conversation with Sheila Nykwist
December 10, 2013
Her career in journalism aside, this day I got to ask the questions. For the past year or so, every two weeks I sit for a couple of hours with Sheila Nykwist – founder, operator and one-woman whirlwind known as New Branch Media. As mentor, I’m not sure I help so very much, but as ment-ee she certainly brightens my day, and she has done some very good video work for me. I’ve become a fan of her work and of her grit. So, I want to give her a well deserved plug:
Breaking the ice with someone you know is easy, but breaking into an interview rather than discussions around pricing, marketing strategy, customer relations and getting from ‘hi’ to a closed sale …. was a change of posture for both of us. As we started the interview – she said, “I like to be the one asking the questions.”
When she left an on-air job at Shaw, she launched New Branch (Nykwist, in Swedish, is new branch) – putting all those skills, background and education to work on her own business was no small challenge. I asked her about that, and about her personal life. “Haven’t met the right guy yet. No man, no kids, no time! Don’t know how I could fit it all in – and I really admire women who do!”
Sheila’s early days in BC – born in PowellRiver, two older brothers, grew up in Nanaimo. Dad, hospitalized with MS, died when she was 12. Mom remarried, and step-dad’s career took the family to Santiago, Chile when she was 15 – and from then, it is a blur of Vancouver, Japan teaching English, Spain teaching English, then Ryerson in Toronto where she earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism, an on-air and behind scenes producing role with Shaw in Lethbridge and Calgary. Then some new-branching out … . You can reach her at:firstname.lastname@example.org
I asked Sheila how she sees the market for video-journalism-advertising services over the next quarter; what’s the marketplace like for the next 90 days?
… fantastic. Always thinking ‘what’s the next job?’. So much advertising is switching from TV to video. Education people about videos. Meetings. Pitching. I’m not as established as others . . .
And over the next 5 years?
…. significant growth in video. People want better quality. Video has become a norm. Everybody has a website – and a phone, but everybody needs ‘good quality video’. It’s all internet, video and mobile content. Even the phone book has an app! The internet is how people find you – video is important because you have to engage people quickly or they move on. Clear succinct messages are inspiring, informational – to connect with viewers. There is a lot more going into it than most people with a cell phone think. Professionally operated equipment is just one piece . . .
What qualities distinguish your preferred colleagues, collaborators and suppliers?
…service. When people go above and beyond. The Camera Store. Flight Centre.
What distinguishes you that causes people choose Sheila and New Branch Media – why are you been selected over your competitors?
… regarding what they want/need. Open communications, they get a prompt response. Fast service . . . even if that means I’m up all night editing.
What do you lose sleep over, what do you worry about?
… OMG! .. I don’t sleep well at all – the speech I’m doing, all the work I have to do, …
Who or what influenced you most – that has made a difference in your life, or that was a major turning point?
… my maternal grandmother encouraged me to follow my dreams – that I could do anything I set my mind to. She was stubborn, like me. Moving to and growing up in Chile, I had to make new friends. My world was so small, I realized how shy I was. I attended an international school – met people from all over, which added to my thirst for travel.
. . . I was too short to be a flight attendant, and my grandmother encouraged me – told me I could do it, telling me, “You’d be a great news broadcaster:” I thought about being a foreign correspondent. I’m fascinated with ‘the news’. I saw myself making documentaries NGO’s. 4 yeas at Ryerson was awesome – loved living in Toronto, vibrant culture and ethnic diversity
Work life balance?
… huh? Juggling. I run 80K ultra marathons, trail running, fitness/gym, the triathalon club, staying fit and healthy while chasing my dreams.
Who is your hero?
… is it bad to say I don’t have one? I’m inspired by the average person I meet, especially when I’m traveling.
What do you read?
…. business books, travel books, inspirational stories, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Are to Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions
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