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Marketing Exceptional Women Out West SXSW

'Giving up is not an option': Exceptional Women of the World featuring Tricia Clarke-Stone, Narrative


By Doug Zanger | Americas Editor

June 30, 2017 | 4 min read

Tricia Clarke-Stone’s professional yin and yang have made her a true success. The yin? Failure — but it's not a bad thing, actually. That her yang is being a rainmaker evens out the CEO of Narrative’s story and puts it on a course for continued greatness.

Tricia Clarke-Stone, co-founder and CEO of Narrative

Tricia Clarke-Stone, co-founder and CEO of Narrative

Failure is something that is oft-discussed, especially as it relates to entrepreneurs — but what is telling is that failure engenders growth and self-awareness. True, from the business end, learning from failure is indisputable. But learning about one’s self is a positive, unintended consequence, especially for Clarke-Stone.

Being a rainmaker, a superpower that Clarke-Stone possesses, also has another side. Sure, it can be about building business, but in her mind, it’s also very much about pressing things forward as much as possible, especially in uncharted territories — the white space where great things can happen and “firsts” can thrive, something she realized in her early time with the legendary Russell Simmons, who she now calls a partner at her creative, entertainment and technology agency, Narrative.

In fact, when people told her that she couldn’t start a brand agency and an innovation lab at the same time (she was told she needed to pick one) she said simply, “why can’t I do that?” For four years now, the silos have been broken down and her successful businesses continue to thrive.

Clarke-Stone, who earlier in her career saw great success in her time at Emmis Communications, is relentless, in every great way — including in her pursuit of making an impact and redefining the status quo. From a practical perspective, her passion for continuing to develop cultural intelligence (something she learned with Simmons as well) and syncing it with data to put it in overdrive is admirable. Giving up is also not an option for her — and having unconditional love creates support for the drive forward.

If she weren’t in her current role, she firmly believes that she would find great success in finding and empowering talent — which makes sense considering that Simmons empowered her to take pop culture online media company Global Grind to the next level. That commitment to excellence resulted in Simmons becoming her partner in Narrative — and it is clear that empowerment is a two-way street, with each providing the other with the ability and confidence to learn from each other at every turn.

Recorded at SXSW

Exceptional Women of the World is a podcast that highlights and celebrates the great achievements, lives and POV of amazing women throughout the world of advertising, marketing, digital, tech and creativity. Started as Exceptional Women Out West, you can listen to previous episodes here. If you would like to nominate exceptional women to be part of the show, please complete this form:

Marketing Exceptional Women Out West SXSW

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