A Fort Worth business leader and volunteer lives her own lessons for success.
On top of founding and running a consulting firm, Susan Nix finds time to engage in the community in a variety of ways.
Most recently, Nix worked with a team to bring the College Football National Championship trophy to Fort Worth. The trophy was displayed in Sundance Square on Nov. 12 during its inaugural tour across the U.S.
Nix has also acted as the Chairman of Interactive Marketing for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club, chaired events for the American Heart Association, served on the Cotton Bowl board, worked on events for Cancer Cares, American Red Cross, Easter Seals North Texas and, among other things, volunteered for more than 10 years at the ESPN Armed Forces Bowl..
“She’s always helping people with her connections,” said George Appleby, Nix’s brother and former vice-president of the Bluebonnet Place Neighborhood Association in the 109. “I used to try to compete to outdo her, but I’ve since given up, and now I’m along for the ride.”
Nix's hard work has not gone unnoticed.
“Susan is a woman who knows how to make things happen,” wrote Lisa Albert, Senior Communications Manager at Justin Brands, Inc. in a glowing recommendation on Nix’s LinkedIn profile. “She is extremely talented and well-connected in this community. Her ability to think outside the box drives results and causes people to look at things in a different way.”
Nix, who was named a “great woman of Texas” by the Fort Worth Business Press in 2008, gives the following tips for successfully navigating the world today,
“Life is about relationships.”
Nix recommends volunteering to get involved and start building a network. She said many of her opportunities have come from relationships and connections.
“You don’t need to know the CEO of the company to be successful” she said. “Today’s world is about getting past the gatekeeper.”
“It is crucial to know your strengths.”
Nix’s ability to take charge is a personal strength she developed as the oldest sibling to three younger brothers. She said it is important to learn and exercise one’s strong points.
“If you write your strengths on your mind, you will begin to do them naturally,” she said.
“It is important to know what is fascinating about yourself,” Nix said. “Having this skill will keep people coming back because they are interested in who you are and what you have to offer.”
“Never show up to a meeting empty handed.”
Nix said it is important to always be prepared when meeting someone new. She suggests taking a personal business card as well as a small trinket.
“A cupcake in a box, a candle or a couple fresh flowers will show someone that you were thinking of them,” she said.
“Thank you notes are crucial.”
Nix said it is essential to follow up with a hand-written thank you note after a meeting..
“Do research to learn the people around you.”
“It’s powerful to really know the people around you,” Nix said. “Sending flowers for your bosses’ wife’s birthday or ordering coffee for a staff meeting shows that you’re invested.”
“Don’t pigeonhole yourself into a role.”
Nix said a title should not define your work.
“There are always ways to help the community,” she said. “If you portray yourself as someone who leads and connects, opportunities will come to you.”
“Be a little aggressive.”
Nix said she can be a little bossy, but it helps her to get things done.
“Have a credible brand.”
Nix said people are their own brand and should always be thinking professionally.
“It’s all about the brand that people see when they Google you,” she said. “It’s impressive to have your own URL, but you shouldn’t have kittens on your page.”
“Don’t be afraid, always be kind, and pull up your big girl pants.”
These are the best pieces of advice Nix said she received from women she looked up to while in her 20s. She said all the tips are still relevant today, but we don’t live in a world where courage and kindness are always practiced.