Anne Ahola Ward: Growth Scientist, O’Reilly Author, Futurist & Co-founder/CEO, CircleClick Media

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Admission Statement:  I’m a lady who is obsessed with emerging technology and helping my fellow women succeed in business. Following what interests me has led me to the greatest accomplishments in my career so that’s what I always try to do. Most people would describe me as geeky, funny and possibly fearless. My own Mother describes me as the kindest and the fiercest person she knows.

Bio: Anne Ahola Ward is a Growth Scientist, O’Reilly Author and Futurist. Anne is the co-founder and CEO of CircleClick Media, founded in 2009. Ward has written the latest SEO book for O’Reilly, entitled “The SEO Battlefield: Winning Strategies for Search Marketing Programs.” Before becoming a Growth Scientist, she was a web developer for over 10 years, and through her love of analytics, Anne transitioned into the field of SEO as the field was forming.

Anne was named as one of Entrepreneur’s “27 Top Masters of Marketing and PR” in 2014. In 2015 Anne was invited to become an Influencer for the elite IBM Futurist program, and was later named one of the “Top 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017” by Entrepreneur magazine.

How did you get into the industry?

I was always interested in technology, so becoming a developer made sense. Becoming an SEO expert came from my love of analytics, combining creativity and science.

Any emerging industry trends?

The only constant in SEO is change. The trends right now are focused on user privacy and how to attain that.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

My passion is finding startups on the cutting edge and then helping them soar to new heights.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

I have been approached about writing a second book, I’d like to at some point!

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

I like to stay out there in the tech community and that’s been one of the most critical elements of my success. Learning means growing.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

After ten years it would be hard to name just one moment. The most difficult part of the business is firing. I never enjoy the process of letting people go on my team and luckily that’s been a rarity. Firing one of our clients for sexual harassment was one of the worst moments for me. It’s hard to deal with that level of turmoil in your life and business.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

I like my clients to feel supported, always. The ideal experience is for them to be so happy they recommend us to their colleagues.

How do you motivate others?

I like to help people to identify the blockers that are holding them back professionally and show them a path to their success. 

Career advice to those in your industry?

Don’t apologize for who you are or for having an opinion. Fear holds us back.

What do I do best?

Increase performance.

Assess the problems within any given organization and find the solutions.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Tenacity and fearlessness

What are my aspirations?

To make technology accessible to everyone

My Biggest Success?

Publishing my first book for O’Reilly, that was pretty huge.

My Most Challenging Moment? 

Walking away from a toxic startup that had brought me great success

My Motto?

Take no prisoners

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My husband is my favorite person. Role models would be R. Buckminster Fuller and David Bowie

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Austin, Texas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Chrome Developer Tools

My Current Passions?

I like to write and to help mentor my female colleagues

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: To do my best

Thought of the Day: All is well

Action of the Day: Walking, working, talking

Deed of the Day: Kindness

Tip of the Day: Stay awesome

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

The people

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Eggs benedict

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Sleeping

10:00 AM - Meetings

12:00 PM - Tacos

7:00 PM - Cooking dinner

11:00 PM - Reading a book

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

LaCroix

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Twitter

What should everyone try at least once?

Brutal honesty

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I don’t.

My Pic of the Day:

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