Women Inspiring Women: Olivia van Eyk

This month, we’ll be hearing from inspiring women in our network and sharing their stories. We’re passionate about supporting women, especially in their health and wellness journeys. Read on to get top tips for living, working, and playing optimally from women trailblazers.

Profile: Olivia van Eyk

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a marketing and communications professional with over 13 years of experience across a variety of industries, currently operating in the FinTech space. As Head of Marketing at Onlia, one of Canada’s fastest growing digital insurance companies, I lead a team of 10 marketing leads and specialists driving brand growth and sales performance. In my spare time I am a frequent long-distance runner, new puppy owner, working my way through a library of evidence-based marketing literature, and patiently awaiting the return to travel (as my second home is typically an airplane).

What do you consider as your biggest achievement?

Over the past year our internal marketing team participated in a marketing consultancy process with a collection of industry experts and thought-leaders based out of The Netherlands, Sweden, England, and Czech Republic. The findings resulted in a fairly significant pivot to Onlia’s marketing strategy, including: a new brand messaging framework; strong pivot in creative direction and production new brand creative; and, shift in our media plan and subsequent agency relationships.

In tandem, our internal marketing team has grown from one to ten over recent months, scaling our knowledge and expertise in-house and building a unique evidence-based marketing culture. We have strengthened our relationships with direct publishers, including launching a long-term integrated marketing campaign with Canada’s leading national newspaper, Toronto Star – as well as launching a number of lead generation partnerships in industry adjacent categories. Our internal team is working closely with Google, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest and others on honing our digital strategy and testing new beta offerings in-market.

Concurrently, we are scaling our eCRM, SEO and affiliate strategies and defining our data architecture. While not a claim to fame by any means, this process is one of my biggest professional achievements. More than ever I understand the importance of evidence-based strategy, critical thinking, change management, and the collective action that is required to achieve success.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Be confident in yourself and don’t be afraid to take risks. Some of the greatest achievements in your personal and professional life will come as a result of stepping outside your comfort zone, and you will be forever grateful that you took the leap. Try not to be so hard on yourself and stop striving for perfection – failure is your friend, embrace it.

How do you stay productive and be your best self at work?

It sounds cheesy, but I’ve found I’m most productive when my life is well in balance. This means a solid 8 hours of sleep consistently, eating well, exercising, and having a healthy social life outside of work. These factors all contribute to holistic wellbeing, which is reflected in productivity, focus, and energy at work. Having these external outlets also mean you can prioritize work during the day and have the opportunity to shift your mind away from work when needed. I truly believe that good leaders bring their full selves to the table, which means it’s critical that you bring positive energy and perspective to your work environment and inspire others to do the same.

What’s your top mental health tip for when the going gets tough?

My go-to solution for stress is a long-distance run outside to clear my mind and boost my mood. Some of the biggest breakthrough ideas have come to me while on the trail and there’s something therapeutic about working through difficult problems while physically exerting yourself. When facing a stressful challenge in the workplace, running obviously is not an option, so I lean on a few helpful tricks that work to calm nerves or anxiety. Breathing is one of the most immediately impactful exercises you can do to boost energy, calm anxiety, and increase focus. The Wim Hof breathing method is one we’ve begun raising awareness of at Onlia, and I would recommend for any looking to explore breath training. Alternatively, a positive mindset shift can be impactful as well – we are often our own harshest critics and fear failure. It’s important to be kind to yourself, embrace uncertainty, and view challenges as opportunities for growth. Confidence will follow.

What are your top health hacks?

I am prone to sleeplessness when stressed, so regular exercise is crucial. When that fails, melatonin is a healthy option to provoke sleep. I also try to stick to a routine sleep schedule and maintain that through weekends as well. I’m awful at drinking water so am always exploring options to make it more exciting – playing with natural flavours, fruits and chia seeds in my water throughout the week. I think dehydration is one of the most important and often overlooked elements of mental and physical health. Otherwise, balance! It’s ok to eat junk food so long as its balanced. By principal I try not to indulge in too much of anything in life.

How do you ensure your personal and/or family’s financial wellness?

I apply the same rigour to my corporate marketing budgets as I do to my personal finances. My family educated me on the importance of regular investing, dollar cost averaging, and compound interest from a young age. I’ve been fortunate to have a very disciplined approach to my personal finances since I opened my first set of accounts, largely following the 50/30/20 rule. I would highly recommend having a personal finance consultant working with you to understand some of the more complex financial products available, and educate yourself on tax implications and reimbursement opportunities. Lastly, there are a number of excellent resources out there for ongoing learning – one of my favourite resources for women in particular is Ellevest.

What’s your favorite fun activity?

Anything active, outside, and with loved ones.

Who are your female role models and why?

Whitney Wolfe, Founder and CEO of Bumble: Her story is so inspiring and she is a great example of female leadership in the tech space and the positive societal impacts one strong brand can have.

Melanie Perkins, Co-Founder and CEO of Canva: Perkins is one of the youngest female tech CEOs in the world has disrupted the design industry with Canva, which is one of my personal favourite tools.

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand: She is the youngest female head of state, at 37 years old, and is often seen giving speeches with her infant daughter on her lap.

This month, we’re sharing inspiring women’s stories. Who inspires you? Leave their name and social media link in the comments below!

Read more Women Inspiring Women profiles here.

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