Aimee Ellingsen is the CEO of CAKE Websites. Aimee is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Aimee provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of CAKE Websites. Aimee Ellingsen joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Aimee join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Aimee, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to answer our questions about leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. Aimee, please tell us about CAKE Websites. What is the elevator pitch?
Astute, client-tailored marketing. Truly, we obsess over our clients’ goals. We get to know what exactly they are about and work continually to unite them with their very best customers. That creates a very stable client base for them as well as strong growth, and in turn they are able to do more work with CAKE. Many of our clients have been with us over 10 years—some over 20 years—which is quite remarkable in the marketing industry.
2. What is the one thing that makes CAKE Websites great?
We’re agnostic when it comes to marketing tactics, fiercely committed to our clients success versus any specific marketing approach. Our one rule is quality. We won’t use a tactic to get a short-term result if it would later be regrettable.
3. Please tell us what is the key to being a great entrepreneur?
Dedication is as important as vision and creativity because dedication is what helps you last. Great, lasting entrepreneurs build a strong foundation. Pay attention to your metrics, treat your employees well, pay your bills on time, and set aside money proportionate to the known peaks and valleys of income in your business.
4. What is the best advice can you give to a young entrepreneur just starting out with a new venture?
Be open to what comes. It’s easy to miss opportunities if you have a set agenda for yourself or ideas about what you should be. Luck, in large part, comes to those who are open-minded and observant.
5. What is the one thing that you, as a person, want to be known for?
Being open-minded. I know I have some set opinions, but I constantly try to stretch myself and open my mind further. It’s a joy embracing all the quirkiness and differences that exist in our world.
6. When building a business, what is the one most important thing to keep in mind at all times?
CAKE was built without outside capital, something that was only possible by retaining clients and growing with word-of-mouth referrals. Basically, love your customers and make sure they love you. Business is, in the end, all about connections. It also helps to have awareness of your weaknesses as they evolve over time and hire or work to improve those weak points.
7. When hiring employees, what is the one most important thing you look for?
They should ask smart questions in the interview, and express an in-depth interest in the nitty-gritty of the work. The other key thing we look for is a sincere wish to collaborate and do good work together with others.
8. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning?
To see what wonders the world is going to show me today. There is beauty everywhere, from the weed growing in a crack in the sidewalk, to the more obviously majestic things we think of as wonderful.
9. What is the one thing that makes a great company?
Service to others; to your customers and to your staff.
10. What is the one thing that makes a great leader?
Stepping back and observing. Trust in your team’s sincerity and be open to their ideas. Some people think leading means putting their own ideas first, but listening first is best. Otherwise you miss out on the germs of new ideas from others. I used to be more nervous and controlling of staff and am ever-evolving towards greater trust, which has made our company stronger. Collaboration is more important than one’s own personal idea of perfection. (That’s just ego getting in the way of team success.)
Aimee Ellingsen, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course CAKE Websites, nothing but the best.