The Plunge: Kerry Perse

She shares the antidote for "imposter syndrome"

Name: Kerry Perse

Position, Company: Founder, Influence & Inspire Consulting

Previous Titles: My previous roles were all at agencies. I was a Managing Director and Head of Social, OMD, VP of Social Media, Attention and Director of Business Development at Possible among other earlier roles.

How long have you been solo: I have been working for myself for 5 years. Longer than my tenure at any full-time job.

Where you can find me: You can find me on LinkedIn and on my company’s website and Instagram.

Why did you decide to go into business for yourself?

Honestly there were a lot of reasons. While I was working at agencies, I had increasingly strong entrepreneurial aspirations. It felt a lot like a gravitational pull. The traditional agency business model really struggles with relevance and being able to deliver the best solutions for clients because there are often so many conflicting internal corporate priorities. I knew that if I was able to start a business model from scratch, and on my own, that I could find a better way. Then there were also the multiple rounds of layoffs in our industry that impacted so many talented people I knew and respected. When I was laid off from my last role, I knew almost immediately that I never wanted to give that type of control over my career to anyone else again. Working for myself almost became an easy choice because of that mindset. So basically I got a good swift kick in the ass to do something that I was really yearning for anyway.

What do you do and how do you differentiate yourself?

Influence & Inspire Consulting is a strategy and operations consultancy specializing in content, social media and influencer marketing. We are marketing in complex and highly fragmented times. There are more platforms, data signals, content sources, social conversations, sources of influence and methods to measure success than ever before. Navigating this new reality often benefits from a fresh perspective and proven consultative approach. We help you drive real business results from content, social media and influencer marketing. As consultants, our job is to help you make the best media and marketing decisions for your business and provide bespoke operational guidance to ensure successful implementation.

What do you miss about corporate life?

I miss having real-life co-workers that I see everyday. I also miss dressing up for work. I have very pretty shoes that are largely neglected.

What do you love about entrepreneurial/consulting life?

I love having the ability to make all of my own business decisions. I have had the extraordinary privilege of working with some non-profit organizations that share my values as well as have said "no" to opportunities that were not aligned. I am able to do work that I am proud of and partner with people who i know are exceptional. The self-directed nature of being an entrepreneur is the most rewarding for me.

What’s your best piece of advice?

Nobody else will ever be willing to pay you as much as you will pay yourself. If you don't mind the hustle, get after it. Oh, and be nice to people - because they will root for you and want to help you along your entrepreneurial journey.

Give me three takeaways

#1: Building a business if often just putting one foot in front of the other. Don't get overwhelmed by process and extensive planning. Nail your positioning and service offering and then put yourself out there. Learn and evolve.

#2: There is a lot of support out there for entrepreneurs. Find your people, networking groups, advocates and mentors. Being an entrepreneur is not a solo endeavor, it takes a village.

#3: When thinking about how to evolve my business, I am constantly looking for burgeoning trends to design solutions around. Being one step ahead of the establishment is a consultant's super power.

Anything else you want to add?

Banish imposter syndrome. We are all great at something. Go do that thing. By definition, you will never be an imposter because you are an expert.