By David Menzies nj.com
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) During their popular, "The Get" podcast, co-hosts Vix Reitano and Vanessa Checchio shares the ups and downs of running a business. Right now, they are tackling the new reality of entrepreneurship in the face of COVID-19.
You need to subscribe at https://linkin.bio/thegetpodcast to get the link to Vix Reitano’s The Get Podcast, but once you do, the digital brand manager along with co-host Vanessa Checchio, both of Hoboken, offer up interesting perspectives on the plight of modern work-life – and especially trying to get to where you’d like to be with that, in ways that are as constructive for you as the people you work for.
Many people feel they’re professionally supposed to be a brand unto themselves; Reitano and Checchio tackle that dynamic from a perspective that doesn’t act like the world’s not a mess.
COVID-19 hasn’t stopped Reitano and Checchio from their respective gigs (Checchio is a personal fitness trainer) and the ones they do together, though they are swaying with the need to adapt.
“For me, The Get is a concept related to my days as a journalist (Patch, ABC + NBC) where there was always one thing you needed to ‘get’ your story done," said Reitano in an interview via email she and Checchio did earlier this week.
“In entrepreneurship, I believe in storytelling that sells and marketing that matters,” Reitano said. "I am an ethical content creator first and foremost.
The person as a brand mantra, for me, is all about grounding in your personal identity -- independent of job or affiliation -- to truly write your side hustle success story on your terms.”
Checchio pinned down the kind of podcast and message that often come with media that has an entrepreneurial theme.
“I feel like the message behind The Get is so much more than a ‘Do this if you want to do that’ type of podcast,” she said. “It's a real conversation with zero filters about the hardships, strategies, and the many different hats of entrepreneurship.
Before Vix asked me to co-host the show, I was looking for a place to have those messy conversations because I found myself having them with so many other entrepreneurs who were all feeling the same way. It's not all about Instagram filters plus trusting the universe, it's a lot of hard work, resilience, and putting your head down to get s--t done. So when Vix and I were having these conversations with one another, things kind of organically clicked.”
Reitano noted the rarity of people who are able to work one gig anymore. In this landscape, her extensive digital producing background has given her a unique perspective on the nature of social media and marketing influencers – some of whom people look to for guidance more than they do any hard news organization.
“I taught Meredith Vieira to use social media when I was the digital producer for her talk show in 2014,” Reitano said. “I firmly and completely believe that having digital influence – a large, convertible audience – is a responsibility. When it comes to being an influencer, I do think a lot of people assume it is about how you look and how much money you have and, for some activations, that is necessary, but you don’t need money to do good work and to make a good impression on others. I think we’re going to see a lot of influence being transformed right now. Influence is not bad, how people wield their influence can be bad.”
Checchio also sees the way the COVID-19 events, the shutdowns, the self-isolating, has the potential to transform what people are taking their cues from.
“This virus is going to take a huge toll on the world in many different ways, but I also feel like it's going to make people more aware on a collective standpoint,” Checchio said. “Most, if not all, humans are in an uncharted territory from both a life and a business perspective. Resilience and self-preservation are going to be your strongest assets right now, prove to yourself that you can still work hard through all of this, even if that means you have to pivot at times. Hard work isn't going away, it's just shifting to a whole new perspective.”
In six weeks of summer Fridays in 2015, Reitano built a six-figure company. “If I had had two weeks off paid at that time, who knows what I could have done?!” Reitano said.
But of course she realizes there’s a distinctly different dynamic at play here, especially for people who are at the mercy of their employer’s whims.
“OK, so there also wasn't a global pandemic but the point is -- don't let COVID-19 destroy your hope of working for yourself. This is a time to set boundaries, get grounded and figure out what you want for yourself independent of company or affiliation. Companies are going to lay off with abandon, don't feel the need to be loyal now or ever again. There's a loyalty in my mind that comes with contractual obligation and then there's undying loyalty that ends up killing all individual creativity. That is what we will swing back from, in my opinion.”
Both Reitano and Checchio are adapting to new dynamics, but as someone who runs her personal training business out of a local gym in Hoboken, “when Hoboken called for a mandatory shut down of all fitness facilities on Saturday,” Checchio said “she felt like the floor was ripped from underneath me.
“My mind went to some dark, anxious places, but after I took a few days to process, I was able to adapt. I've started working with clients outdoors – and at a safe distance – through virtual 1 on 1 FaceTime sessions, and online programming for the time being. This situation is forcing me to become more adaptive and take better care of myself while making sure my people are being taken care of as well. I'm blown away with how supportive my personal community has been that it continues to motivate me to do better for them. In saying that though, I'm finding one of the biggest struggles for me is keeping up with the boundaries I've created for myself.”
Reitano, a native New Yorker by way of Staten Island, said she’s in the unique position of being someone whose services are in very high-demand while there’s relatively little capital for companies to spend for those services.
“I am running specials on all of my strategic sessions and programs,” Retaino said, “but I am navigating this new world just like everyone else. I am definitely thinking about helping people focus on more practical metrics beyond likes and follows. Follows don't pay the bills, until they do. But that's not a casual conversation. It is a strategic one.”
Learn more about Reitano and Checchio’s virtual seminars at https://withvandv.com/ as well as on Instagram at @vixreitano and (for Checchio) @bachataandbarbells, and the podcast @thegetpodcast. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.