The Bold Faced Blog™

September 15, 2015

Where Talent Matters…a Bold Faced Blog Series … Meet Todd Shikora

Posted 3 years 158 days ago by Gretchen Hirsch

Ashton212 is proud of our consultant team because they have such varied backgrounds and skills to bring to client engagements. Today we catch up with Todd [TS] Shikora, from the Bay Area. TS began his career in Pittsburgh, worked in agencies and on the client side in Chicago, and arrived in California in 2014.


How did you come to be an Ashton212 Associate?

I saw a job posting on the website for a cool copywriting gig in financial services. So I applied and they hired me. My contact for the engagement was Mary Ann Munro, and she is awesome.


As a freelance senior copywriter, you have a very extensive client list. How did you build your business?

I began in Pittsburgh, where I learned B2B and B2C communications, strategy, branding, promotions, long copy and a ton more. Plus it was the infancy of the Web, so I got to play in that space too. When I began, portfolios were filled with print campaigns. It’s crazy how much the business has changed—in a good way. I’ve been a generalist my whole career, and I love to learn new industries and to write in different brand voices, whether slice-of-life language for tourism and travel brands, professional-speak for corporate clients, or a tug-at-the-heartstrings voice for a cause I believe in.


What are your favorite types of clients?

Honestly I like all kinds of projects—especially the cause-related work. It’s satisfying to do something truly meaningful that makes a contribution to the greater good.


What do you do if you get stuck for an idea?

I try to quiet my mind to allow for ideas to spontaneously flow in.


Is this the work you planned to do all your life, or did you train for another career?

I spent ten years in the restaurant business as a server, front-of-the-house trainer, and shift supervisor. In that time I learned a lot about all kinds of human beings. And while I’ve long had the copywriting talent, I really pride myself on my soft skills—thanks to my time working in restaurants.


What was the biggest lesson you took away from that experience?

Not to take things personally, to heart. I began to ask myself how I could respond with kindness rather than react, no matter what type of situation I am in. I don’t have to separate myself into Business TS and Regular TS. I try to be the same all the time, with integrity and compassion for everyone. It fits in with my embracing of Zen Buddhist philosophy.


When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

Being outside, which is one of the reasons I moved here. I love to hike, camp, and meditate, particularly in Yosemite National Park, Point Lobos, and anywhere there are redwoods. I also enjoy biking, swimming, watching pro sports, traveling… lots of things. I thrive by being in nature as much as possible; after all we’re all organisms that are connected to the earth.


Do you have a special quotation that inspires you?

I do. It’s on my website. It’s from Jim Carrey’s recent commencement address: “The effect you have on others is the greatest currency there is.”

Tags: consultants contractors copywriter Todd Shikora TS Where Talent Matters writers

Categories: categoryConsulting categoryWhere Talent Matters

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