BABE #48: CHYNNA RATNER,
Director of Social Marketing @ Exclusive Sports Marketing
I am such a big fan of Chynna. Interviewing her has been one of those full-circle moments for me as I've watched her grow into the confident, strong-willed woman she is over the past 10+ years. She was pretty dang humble in this interview, but what she didn't mention is that she was an SEC D1 Volleyball player in college. She works her tail off at everything she does. I admire her passion for standing up for what's right and can't wait to see all that she accomplishes. Thanks for chatting with me, Chynna. You're the best.
Hometown: Born in Ocean Springs, MS, Raised in Bradenton, FL
Current city: Tampa, FL
Alma mater: University of South Florida - GO BULLS!
Degree: B.S. in Public Health
Hustle: Director of Social Marketing and Brand Communications @ Exclusive Sports Marketing, Social Media & Events Coordinator @ CrossFit Gaspar
Babe you admire and why?
My Mom - she's hands-down the biggest hustler I know. She has been my best friend, my rock, my role model, my support system, my everything since day one. She is a single mom, worked her ass off since she was 14, has been in the nursing field for 30+ years, decided to go back to school and just graduated and is now a D.N.P! *Snaps, momma.* She is a relentless giver and caretaker, always helping everyone who needs it, a personal therapist, a fantastic friend, and has the worlds biggest heart. I can only hope I turn out to be as awesome as her! Plus, all my friends like her more than they like me.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend most of my time in my CrossFit gym, but mainly hanging out with my 2 fur-kids: Murph, my 155lb rescue Great Dane and Reilly, my 13 y/o childhood dog. I love to paint, read, and take mini trips when I’m not swamped with work.
Must-have item in your purse?
Go-to coffee order?
Normally a Cold Brew (black - like my soul.) Preferably from a cute place down the road from me called Buttermilk Provisions (which also has homemade baked donuts.... what was the question again?)
Go-to adult beverage?
A very large glass of Chardonnay, please.
What game/reality show would you win?
I'd have a pretty good shot at Survivor, honestly.
Tell us about your hustle:
I am the Director of Social Marketing and Brand Communications for Exclusive Sports Marketing. We essentially coordinate professional athletic events with a focus on beach volleyball tours and marathons, and partner with brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Publix, Gatorade, Under Armour and Spalding. I handle all social marketing and brand communications for the beach volleyball branch (for which we coordinate the largest tour in Florida.) I manage all of our social media accounts, website, sponsor and vendor upkeep, and attending expos to connect with local brands to grow the sport! I am also the Social Media and Events Coordinator for CrossFit Gaspar. I was already an active member of the gym when this job fell into my lap, and I love it. I created and manage their website, I run all of their social media accounts, plan and coordinate all of our CrossFit events, and handle administrative duties. On the side, I also do some freelance marketing for small or non-profit health services, and I nanny! It's a great side-gig that helps me get my dose of kid-time in. (Shoutout to Care.com!)
What does your typical workday look like?
I wake up, check and respond to my three separate email accounts, listen to voicemails and return phone calls, create content for all social media platforms, update my planner, and attend business meetings before heading to my nannying gig! (Of course, I'm never not taking calls or answering emails for all three of my additional jobs.)
How do you stay organized balancing four jobs at once? What has this taught you about your Hustle?
Its not easy. I can't say I don't usually want to nap it all away, but what I've learned in the past 3-4 years is that having a physical planner gives me life, and finding the right planner is key. I like ones with sections where I can doodle, jot down reminders, get inspired by motivational quotes, and reflect on how each month goes. It’s like planner therapy, honestly. My hustle has shown me how much I can actually juggle and handle while trying to take care of myself, my 2 dogs, and have a social life at 22 years old.
What are some common misconceptions about your job(s)?
That they're easy. They are all not completely full-time, and I’m not committed 100% to just one job, so on paper, it seems easier than having a full-time, 40-hour work week. What people don’t realize is that I have 4-8 different bosses! I work under so many different types of people with different management styles, so they all like their work done a certain way. My jobs involve constant availability and communication with 30+ brands and so many moving parts. Thank God for people-skills.
What motivates you to keep an active lifestyle? Any advice for Babes struggling to do the same?
Honestly, it’s hard for me to stay motivated. Just because I’m a former college athlete and work in the sports industry doesn’t mean I go to the gym all the time. It’s all about finding something that you’re passionate about! It could be CrossFit, running, spin class, soccer, or dancing your butt off at the club - whatever it is, you have to have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Start believing in yourself, learn to love your bangin' body, take a chance at something new, and dive in. When you carry yourself with confidence and enjoy yourself, nothing else matters.
Have you personally seen a shift in the Sports & CrossFit world when it comes to gender stereotypes?
Oh my gosh - yes! Women and girls are becoming so much more empowered, strong, and all-around badass. I think there is such a stigma around strong women - that men find us intimidating, or that women with muscle and girls who lift weights aren't the ideal “feminine” image. That’s such crap. I'll admit, in high school I was 120lbs and thought I needed to lose weight, and moving on to college and becoming a college athlete required even more rigorous training. I was 140lbs at the time, and felt like I needed to be skinnier and less muscular to love my body. Since college, I decided to try CrossFit because I needed something that allowed me to be competitive. I started to gain muscle, tone up, and feel healthy! I LOVE that my body sits happily at 142lbs today, and my muscle makes me look and feel strong. Trust me ladies: there are men who do love girls who love fitness, love lifting weights, and love themselves.
If you could be doing anything in the Sports industry right now, what would it be?
I would really love to do get into Sports PR and work with different brands as well as the media. I love public speaking too, so I think it would be the perfect fit!
What is one of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in your work? How’d you overcome it?
As strange as it sounds, watching women criticize themselves. I am in such an interesting part of the job world, and watch girls as young as 10-years-old play in our beach volleyball tournaments where they are surrounded by beautiful, talented, strong women that they aspire to become. I watch them grow up and return each year, and always hear (and see) how critical they are of their bodies. In my CrossFit world, though, there are women ranging from ages 18-40 who are just as critical of themselves. These badass women are so strong. They lift weights like bosses while focusing on all the things they hate about their bodies instead. There is still so much negativity floating around within female athletics. I have a great opportunity to do my part in empowering these girls and women, and reminding them how beautiful they are.
What does success look like to you?
As cliché as it sounds, happiness. I hate having to settle and I refuse to any longer. I don’t want to do something every day that doesn’t make me happy, and doesn't challenge myself or others to grow. I couldn’t imagine just going through the motions every day and not loving what I do.
What are your goals for the future/whats next for you?
My 3-5 year plan is to move to Scottsdale, AZ or California! I’m a huge dog-lover and a big supporter of the environment, so I would love to move somewhere that allows me to thrive in those communities. I would love to have the opportunity to do some public speaking or advocacy for women’s rights as well as animal rights, and my long-term goal is to open up my own CrossFit gym!
Career and/or life advice for other babes?
Know your worth. Never settle for something less than what you want. If you find that someone in your life brings you down in any way and hinders your happiness, don’t hesitate to reconsider the relationship. Life is too short to spend time with people who make things more complicated or confusing. Create your own journey, but remember to be kind to others on their journey, too.
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