Work-life balance is a work in progress for Erin Cigich, 38, the CEO of Perform[cb], an outcome-based marketing company headquartered in Sarasota. Seven years ago, when she was eight months pregnant with her second daughter and technically on maternity leave, she helped lead the sale of the company to a private-equity firm.
“That presented some interesting and, um, exciting timing,” she recalls. “My husband, at the same time, had Achilles’ tendon surgery. He can’t walk. Then we’ve got a newborn, and newborns want nothing more than to be walked around the house so they don’t scream. That was a stressful time.”
Cigich remained with Perform[cb] after that sale, and then another a few years later. Her loyalty has been rewarded as the company, which specializes in digital customer acquisition strategies for name brands such as Lending Tree and McAfee, has enjoyed consistent double-digit revenue growth over the past five years.
“I’m happy where I am and I've got lots of opportunities here,” Cigich says. “My role almost completely changes every six months because we're a growing company and we also work in Internet marketing.”
Cigich cites the mentorship of her husband, Rich, as a steadying force that’s been essential to her success in business. They are the first members of their families to attend and graduate from college. They met each other 20 years ago at the University of Florida and have been married for 15 years.
“He and I have had to figure everything out together, you know, being the first ones to go to college, figuring out how we support ourselves, figuring out how we grow our careers and balance that with having a family,” she says. “But the other piece is that I’m an incredibly driven, type-A person and he is very good at helping me take a break, breathe, think about the bigger picture and not get too overwhelmed by things.”
Rich is a bedside nurse on the cardiac floor at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, a position that Cigich says is well-suited for his patient nature and excellent communication skills — qualities that help her quest for work-life balance.
“You’re coming home and sharing how your day was, and I can say, ‘Well, at least nobody died today,’” she says. “He can't say that. So, that puts things in perspective.”