‘My days are jam-packed, but I wouldn’t have it any other way’: A day in the life of Clarisa Lindenmeyer, chief of staff and chief brand officer at Gig Wage
- Clarisa Lindenmeyer is the chief of staff and chief brand officer at Gig Wage.
- As a mother of three, her days involve juggling family time with back to back meetings, Slack, midday workouts, and the occasional skinny margarita.
In June 2021, Clarisa Lindenmeyer joined Gig Wage, a payroll and payments firm that serves as a financial safety net for gig workers and contractors. Within the space of a few months, she has fully embraced her role as chief of staff and chief brand officer at the company and has become an indispensable part of the Gig Wage team.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Gig Wage is an online platform that enables independent contractors to keep track of the work they perform for different companies, create invoices, and receive payments. It also offers a set of tools for businesses to pay, manage and support independent contractors.
To explore how Clarisa Lindenmeyer ended up in her current role at Gig Wage, let’s back up a few years.
Clarisa began her career as a sales and marketing professional in the health and wellness field, developing marketing and sales strategy for an upscale wellness center. After getting married and completing an MBA from The University of Texas at Dallas, she eventually joined a technology accelerator as the VP of corporate affairs and PR. “I often call that the turning point of my career, because that was when I really got to take my skills and immerse myself in the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem,” said Clarisa. “My mind was just blown by the way those individuals solved problems and the way technologists viewed the world. And so, I caught the bug, so to speak.”
3 years later, Clarisa founded her own consultancy, Proximity to Power, to provide CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and strategies for brand management, growth, and revenue generation. Her clients included tech firms, fintechs (including Gig Wage), healthcare companies, and even the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC.
And yet, Clarisa says she never wanted to be an entrepreneur. Instead of considering herself a visionary, she loves helping other founders build a vision and work towards achieving it. “You know, I’m not naturally a risk-taker. And I think what makes visionary founders so special is that they literally think about going to the moon. They think about doing things differently; about disrupting entire industries,” she said. “What I'm good at is translating that vision, and helping the entire team and company execute against it.”
So, when an opportunity came to help a visionary execute his entrepreneurial vision, Clarisa decided to fully immerse herself in it. Gig Wage was one of her fastest-growing clients, and she had known its founder and CEO, Craig J. Lewis, for several years. This past June, as Gig Wage continued to expand, Clarisa decided to sunset her consultancy and join the firm full-time as its chief of staff and chief brand officer.
As chief of staff, Clarisa’s foremost responsibility is to support the CEO, the executive team and the company with operational and strategic growth. “How do we scale? How do we tackle problems? Growing your company as a founder and CEO is not a straightforward or linear process. Obstacles and problems come at you from every angle,” said Clarisa. “Walking alongside our founder to help think through those things, both internally and externally, is what I do in the chief of staff role.”
As chief brand officer, Clarisa works to build the company’s image and improve how it’s perceived and experienced by its target audience. “Our view on brand is what people say about us when we're not in the room,” she said. “As a company, I often say we're at the intersection of payments, payroll, and banking. My goal is to humanize those three things, and really understand how to make them exciting – how to speak to the pain points, challenges and opportunities that gig workers and business owners have.”
So how does a wife and mother of three juggle family time with being the chief of staff and chief brand officer at a rapidly growing fintech? Here’s how.
A day in my life usually starts with kid mayhem. In fact, I'm listening to my five-year-old scream as we speak. I told her, “Look, mommy has to attend a call,” and our nanny is with her right now. But I knew she was going to get frustrated that I’m not in there with her.
Typically, I wake up at about 6 or 6:30 in the morning, so that I have a moment to myself before the house wakes. My husband also works from home – he’s a therapist and a trainer. And we have a wonderful garage studio where he brings his clients.
The first thing I do to start the day is get on Slack. That's just what we do – we live on Slack in our organization. I check my emails and social media, and read the news. You know, it's very important in our sector to understand what's happening in the world, our position on it, and how it may impact the contractors and businesses we serve.
Other than keeping up with the news, I think one of my biggest roles is being an avid social media consumer. I love following the brands –- big ones, small ones, growing ones –- as well as individual influencers. I also adore magazines. It's just the best R&D that you can get as a chief brand officer.
At 7 am, the nanny arrives, my two older sons Knox and Canon wake up, and as I like to say, the house gets hectic. We have breakfast and then I drive my sons to school. It’s a long commute, but I cherish this time of my day. When you’re a busy working parent, you often get the urge to just rush through the day’s menial tasks. But I try to make the most of those small moments – like being stuck in traffic – where I check in with my sons and we talk and prepare for the day. Oh, and we also listen to a lot of good music.
After dropping off my sons, I usually call Craig, our CEO, just to check in with him. What are the things on his plate? What’s he thinking about? What’s on my agenda that he needs to know? We share all of that with each other religiously, so that both he and I are armed to tackle our day.
After I get back home, I get my five-year-old daughter, Sloan, ready for preschool. Around 9, I typically walk her to school, because it's just in our neighborhood. Once all three kids are at school, I'm finally ready to tackle my workday uninterrupted.
As Gig Wage is growing fast, I probably am wearing more hats than would be typical. And that means, a regular day for me consists of back to back to back meetings – sometimes so many that there's not even time to breathe – but that’s just where we are as an organization.
I kind of have a philosophy that “more is more” – I'm a bona fide multitasker. So on most days, I have meetings going on, emails coming in, Slacks, and everything happening at home, all at the same time. My days are jam-packed, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Health and wellness is a big part of my life. Almost every day, I make an effort to take really long walks and work out in the middle of the day. And we encourage all of our employees to do the same.
We have some major initiatives that we’re currently launching, so in the afternoon, I usually touch base with our marketing team to make sure everything’s on track. And then, sometime between 5 and 6 pm, Craig and I reconnect over a video call to wrap up the day and prepare for the rest of the week. That usually happens over a skinny margarita, because that’s just how I like to end my day.
Gig Wage has always been remote – our people were working remotely even before Covid. And although being remote has both pros and cons, one massive benefit is that it allows us to find talent from literally anywhere in the world. We don't limit ourselves to one geographical region.
We have a strong focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. And that doesn't just mean having a Hispanic person, an Asian person or a Black person. We also want to encourage diversity of worldview and thought process. You know, were you born in a village with 70 people that took care of you, or were you raised in a high rise in New York City? Those differences shape how we tackle problems, how we build products, and how we tell our story. Being remote sets us up to do those things really well. And as the company grows, we feel really proud to have built a progressive, modern, cool, fun startup that allows people to design their life and bring their best selves to work.
We live on a cul-de-sac, and so playing outside in the last hours of daylight is just something we do every day. After dinner, once the kids are asleep, I check my emails and Slack again before going to bed. And then the day starts again.
While I do get some rest on weekends, I like to work on Saturdays and Sundays too – and that's completely my choice. I like to be connected and stay dialed in. That said, with three children between the ages of 5 and 11, weekends are really about them, their sports and their activities.
We are blessed to have a lot of family living very close to us: my parents, my husband's parents, and some of our siblings and their families, too. We spend a ton of time with all of them. We love to hike and camp, just as much as we love to shop and brunch. I think we strike a nice balance between those.
But you know, Covid has changed some things, like the fact that we’re not going to movie theaters as a family right now. I think Covid made us hunker down and really just get creative again about how we spend our time. It’s made us value outdoor experiences a lot more, which makes my husband very happy. So we spend a lot of time outdoors, and around our neighborhood – but it's all about the kids and all about family.