On a daily basis, Amanda Parrish tries to keep in mind one of best business lessons she’s ever learned: “If you always have the same opinions as your manager or boss, one of you isn’t worth the salary.”
As Fawley Bryant Architecture’s director of business and marketing, Parrish works closely with firm leaders Steve Padgett and Stu Henderson. “I learned quickly that I can’t nod yes and agree with them,” she says. “I did used to be, ‘Yes, yes, yes, whatever you say.’ As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized I’m at this table for a reason. I’m going to positively and kindly say what I think. It’s my responsibility to guide them, and I feel lucky that they listen to me.”
Parrish’s responsibilities at the firm, which has offices in Sarasota and Bradenton, run the gamut and include operations in accounting, financial forecasting and administration. She has worked for the firm for three years, and during that time Parrish has learned something every day about her job, the industry or the community. “That’s what makes it interesting,” she says.
The job has also taught her to speak up with clients and ask them to make introductions to other potential clients. The concept of word-of-mouth marketing isn’t new, but Parrish has harnessed it to the firm’s advantage. “Using your current network and having them literally introduce you gives you third-person validation right off the bat,” she says. “It’s OK to ask for help. Our clients are some of our biggest advocates.”
Another key lesson has come on the business development side of her role. It’s important, she says, to chase relationships versus work. Parrish says: “We’ve all found that to be 100% true. If people trust you, if people like you, they’re going to work with you again and again, and they’re going to recommend you again and again.”
ON THE RECORD: Amanda Parrish
City of residence: Bradenton
Employer: Fawley Bryant Architecture
Title: Director, Business and Marketing
Birthplace: Mount Clemens, Michigan
Years on the Gulf Coast: Seven
Marital status/children: Married with two daughters, a 4-year-old and a 19-month-old
Alma mater/degree: Spring Arbor University: advertising and public relations. I'm currently enrolled at Jacksonville University for a master's in organizational leadership.
Where is the best place to network? Network where you're comfortable. There are networking opportunities everywhere you go. When you're in your element, you're more likely to be authentic and connect with people.
What's the best business lesson you've ever learned? 1) Chase the relationship, not the work.
2) If you always have the same opinion as your manager/boss, one of you isn't worth the salary. Be confident both in your voice,and the value/perspective your words offer.
What's your top tip for being productive? Forbes outlines the four D's of effective time management:
If you review your email with those in mind, you're going to be productive.
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? A TV host for a show called,“Everything Fayetteville”
What community group or organization are you most involved with? The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? I don't know! But I think about that a lot.
What's your favorite off-hours activity? I don't feel cool enough for this question. I love being at home with my family. I have a sign in my house that says, "Together is a wonderful place to be." I believe that wholeheartedly. Life is busy, so when we have off-hours, I'm completely engaged with my family.
What's your favorite board game or video game? Is RollerCoaster Tycoon still a thing? I loved that game.
What's the top item on your bucket list? For my husband (Scott) and I to celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary with our daughters and extended family. (9 down, 51 more to go!)
Where is your happy place? Up North Michigan
What's your favorite podcast? When I don't have to listen to Disney songs in the car, I may have a better answer. (Catch me in five years.)
Who/what is your favorite musical artist/band? I love almost all country music.
Who would play you in a movie about your life? Carol Burnett
What was your first album/tape cassette/CD? The first one I remember is Britney Spears, “Baby One More Time.”
What was your first concert? Air Supply
What's one song that will get you out on the dance floor? "Livin' On A Prayer" — Bon Jovi
What's your favorite karaoke song? “Orange Colored Sky” — Natalie Cole
What instrument/role would you play in a band? I'm singing! (And in my dreams, also playing the piano.)
Please describe yourself in three words. Authentic, positive and balanced