Today we are lucky to share Krista LaRiviere’s story from gShift Labs. gShift Labs was founded in 2009 by Krista LaRiviere and Chris Adams. Their purpose was to bring automation and innovation to the digital marketing tactic of search engine optimization through a software platform powered by big data and predicative analytics. Today, gShift provides insights and intelligence for over 10,000 brands in 22 countries! We congratulate Krista on being a finalist in the Women in Business Awards for Women of the year: Entrepreneur! Today marks International Women’s Day and we are proud to share Krista’s story.

Krista LaRiviere, Co-Owner of gShift Labs.

What got you interested in working in your industry? What was your trajectory to get to where you are today?
I started working in the software and digital marketing industry in 1998, which was when I founded my first digital marketing agency. This was essentially the beginning of the digital marketing time and the average marketer had no idea how to market themselves online. Businesses were just designing their first web sites, there was no such thing as social media and Google was just launching. With my business and economics degrees combined with a post-graduate degree in information technology rolled together with a family history of entrepreneurship, the technology/software and digital marketing industries are simply just natural for me.

Trajectory to get to where I am today… hard work.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career? What has been the most frustrating?
The most rewarding aspect of my career is helping businesses and people move forward. Helping businesses and organizations market themselves better online and helping people advance in their careers and experience. We all have to grow and we all need each other to succeed. I am no different than any of my hundreds of employees over the years. We all need to work together to succeed in our own ways.

The most frustrating… raising capital in Canada.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career?
The biggest challenge I have had to overcome in my career… keeping going when the cards are stacked against me, and people around me stop believing I can continue, but there’s too much on the line to quit. So I don’t.

What advice do you have for other women (or men) who would like to get into a career like yours?
To start a business with an original idea, market it and finance it, you have to love your business even when times get stuff. You have to have your head and heart in the game 100% of the time. Not just business hours. I call it “Head, Heart and Hustle”. If you are going at it part time, don’t start.

What piece of advice, or tip from a mentor, do you think about often that has helped you make decisions about your professional life?
Two things come to mind:
1. Pressure makes diamonds
2. Ordinary things are done by ordinary people exerting ordinary effort. Extraordinary things are done by ordinary people exerting extraordinary effort.

Can you walk me through a typical day?
No. Just joking. I check my email at 2:30 A.M. Then I usually fall back asleep till 6. I have a nine and ten year old so I have to get them out the door for school. I am in the office by 8:30 and push hard till 5:30 when I have to be with my children. I then usually put in 2 to 3 hours’ worth of work again in the evening.

If you could spend a year studying something, what would it be?
Entrepreneurship.

What hobbies or passions outside of work currently occupy your time? Or what project(s) are you currently working on?
I have a children’s book about entrepreneurship that I need to get out of my head. My hobbies and my passions are my children.

What advice would you give your fourteen-year-old self?
You’re right girl, you can do it!