What I've Learnt: Rakefet Yacoby From, CMO at Mayple

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by Charlie Spargo
Rakefet Yacoby From, Mayple

Rakefet Yacoby From is CMO at Mayple, the service that matches businesses to digital marketing professionals.

The startup aims to provide new growth opportunities for small and medium businesses, providing high-end digital marketing services previously only available to those with big budgets.

It has offices in Israel and London, between which Rakefet splits her time - spending much of her time in Britain to help grow their presence here. Here, Rakefet shares all the things her interesting career has taught her.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

Each evening I list the things I did that day - tasks, meetings, results I had, and trying to see if they were all an important part of my big goal. Afterwards, I list the things I need to do the day after. That helps me focus on achieving my targets.

What's been your luckiest break?

The one that jump-started my career was when I was a Masters degree student. My spouse and I took a one-year break and moved to China.

That year, I changed from a student to a business entrepreneur. I was bored just learning Chinese and my drive for success was high.

I managed to establish a whole import network from scratch for an industry company I knew from before, suggesting myself as a Business Development Manager for another tech company that was just entering the Chinese market, and making connections with tech industry leaders I still have today.

What's your best failure?

When I was in 9th grade, I initiated a strike in my school. It wasn’t about some idealistic values, but rather the delay in installing air-conditioning units in the classrooms. It was winter and we were cold. I ended up with about eight kids out of the around 100 I asked to join, and I got some kind of punishment from the principal.

I understood that day that if I want people to follow me, I need more than a purpose and motivation, but also compelling communication that touches their emotions.

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

When I was still a Bachelor's degree student, my partner and I received an inheritance. It wasn’t huge, but we were able to buy some real estate with it. I found us a piece of land and even though we didn’t have enough money to actually build a house on it, we decided to buy it.

A few years later we built a beautiful house there, which was sold at a higher price than any other in the area. This money allowed us to keep growing our houses. Every time I went in over my head a bit, it took me forward.

How would you describe your work/life balance?

Being a mother and a CMO in a startup means that I’m at 100% capacity. I manage to be as good as I can be in both my roles.

The thing that helps me the best is one hour every two weeks with a personal coach who helps me prioritise and focus on what's most important for me. My old friends are complaining though - they call me “the missing friend.”

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

'Storynomics' by Robert McKee and Thomas Gerace - it made me realise how fundamental stories are to humanity.

I always loved telling stories and felt the power they have on people, and what this book helped me with was making the straightforward link between my love for stories and my career. I recommend it because it can help people to connect with one another like children listening to stories in the past - learning about how we should act, think, talk, and of our future as communities, businesses, leaders.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Be courageous. I was too afraid, in too many situations, to express my opinion on things and to take action, even though I knew I was right. It’s easier said than done, but jumping into the water is always better than staying outside of the pool. I know that now, and even today I have to remind myself that, almost every day.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

I learned from both of my parents a lot about what it means to be fulfilled in work. They're both different from each other - my father was an insurance agent and my mother stayed at home with me until I was eight and then tried out several career paths.

I learned from my father that work is not something you do, but rather part of who you are, and that you always need to be the one that takes action if you want to succeed. From my mother, I learned how to connect with people and be persistent in achieving my goals, even when I fail. Rise up and try again until it works.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

I didn’t finish high school, but finished my Master's degree with honours.

What does success look like to you?

Turning an idea into a reality that other people love being part of.