Kathy Kohn is a partner and Chief Creative Officer at henderson bas kohn, an award winning advertising agency with a focus on digital, social and mobile. hbk is an agency with over 60 employees and a client list that includes Coca-Cola, Tim Hortons, LG, Mercedes Benz and The Weather Network, to name a few.
Are you a morning person? What time do you get up and moving? What are the first few things (work/business/personal) that you do each morning?
My internal clock is a mess; I’m about 5 hours off of everyone else. I fall asleep at 5 am and get up around 10. The first thing I do is question why breakfast at most restaurants ends at 11. Next, email. People love emailing me in the morning. Know your target. Lastly, I get ready for work. Which I’ve gotten down to 3-minutes. And it shows.
When do you first check your email? And how many emails do you get a day?
10:01 am. Hundreds.
Do you have any tips for dealing with email? (Any techniques or tools you use?)
No. Tips from me would be like a notable metaphor that is politically incorrect to say.
What time do you usually arrive at the office? And what does your typical day look like?
11 am. My calendar looks like a patchwork quilt; which I love. Lots to do and every, single entry is different from the next.
My calendar looks like a patchwork quilt; which I love. Lots to do and every, single entry is different from the next.
What’s the most interesting thing about your job?
Every day is different.
How do you approach productivity? What challenges do you have in this area? How are you overcoming them? Any tips for others?
Have you ever splurged on a really good restaurant, only to be served by an aspiring actor who is there because he or she needs the cash? Productivity is directly correlated to passion, intelligence, dedication, and love for the work and company. If all of those are in place – everything else will take care of itself. Tip: if you’re doing it for the money – it will show. If you’re doing it because you are passionate, intelligent, dedicated and love what you do – it will show.
Do you have a good work-life balance? If no, why? If yes, how do you achieve it? What are you beliefs around this?
I set objectives for myself and I live my life around achieving those objectives. I revisit and update the goals I’ve set, as needed, to get what I want out of life. I don’t believe in dilution, I believe in achievement. Balance screams dilution to me.
Can you share a personal or business challenge that was hard to deal with and how you overcame it and what you learned from it?
The loss of a loved one. It impacted everything in my life. Time has helped to “overcome” it. I’ve learned how precious life is – be precious and appreciate who you have in your life. Because now is all you have. It will end. And you can’t get it back.
What inspires you?
A bit hard to answer given the previous question, and the now seemingly clear departure from the answer above. Oh well. Tomorrow inspires me. In my business you’re only as good as the last piece of work you put out. Tomorrow is the reset button.
Tomorrow inspires me. In my business you’re only as good as the last piece of work you put out. Tomorrow is the reset button.
What is your favourite quote of all time?
“One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings.”
What’s your favourite book (or top 3)?
- Super Sad True Love Story
- Guns, Germs and Steel
- Easy Spanish Phrase Book
In your industry, what is the biggest trend or opportunity you are seeing right now?
Smartphone Apps (trend). LBS (opportunity).
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?