Tracy Hutton: Hard Work Pays Off

By Allie Hartzog May 13, 2019

Tracy Hutton hasn’t been with N2 long – March marked one year in print! – yet she might just be N2 Publishing’s “Most Interesting Woman.” She’s lived in eight states and 12 cities, never staying in the same spot for too long. And before joining N2, she was enjoying her life and her job, which accommodated her moves and allowed her to visit local businesses, hear their stories, and promote their services to the community. A big change came in 2015, when Tracy’s mom became ill and she needed to move to Tampa, Florida, to be with her. This meant leaving a job she loved and quickly transitioning to an in-office digital marketing position in her new state.

“I hadn’t worked in an office for over 10 years and I stayed [in that position] for two years and felt the walls closing in on me very quickly. I felt micromanaged, pressured, and it was not a good fit,” Tracy recalled.

Because of her previous roles, great work ethic, and knowledge of what it takes to run a business (courtesy of her parents, who were entrepreneurs for more than 40 years), Tracy was ready to break out of those office walls and find her next exciting experience. She calls N2 the perfect merging of everything she wanted in a professional role.

Worth the Wait

“It was really meant to be,” Tracy said of finding her way to N2.

She came across a listing for the AD role on a job board, which led to a thorough and enjoyable talk with Region Director Nicole Geraghty. Tracy could tell from their conversation N2 was the right next step for her. The Area Director role encompassed everything she loved about her previous work, including getting “out” and collaborating with local companies, and as a bonus this time, she would be able to own her own business. But wanting to ensure she had a large client base, Tracy spent six months ramping up her pub.

“I didn’t want to rush through the process,” she said. “Suzie Chafin really helped me focus on having a healthy book. She told me, ‘If you don’t have to [go to print now], it’s going to be a second job once you do, so keep selling as long as you need to,’ and I really appreciated her experience and knowledge during that time.”

Not afraid of a little hard work.

And even without rushing through ramp-up, Tracy had a lot on her plate. In fact, looking back, she admits she may have taken on a little too much. During those six months, she survived a hurricane; bought, completely gutted, and renovated her house mostly by herself; and, to top it off, joined Southeastern Guide Dogs as a “puppy raiser.” Side note: Yes, “puppy raiser” is as amazing of a volunteer opportunity as it sounds – Tracy helped train young pups to become guide dogs for people with vision loss and veterans with disabilities. SEGD provides these guide dogs at no cost.

Working with Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Then, after all that, she went to print in March 2017.

Strong Leads & Relationships

Since Tracy has an above average closing rate – a killer 50 percent – she doesn’t hold too many meetings on a weekly basis. She now focuses on getting out into the community and finding strong leads.

She also uses skills from her digital marketing days to scour the internet and see who would qualify to be promoted in her neighborhood. The way she sees it, it’s really about making the best publication she can – and that means finding top partners and networking every single day.

Along with meeting and getting to know the residents of her community, Tracy loves being able to truly know the local businesses as well. She loves getting to know who they really are and how their business came about – the aspect she enjoys most.

Tracy and her residents enjoying what Florida has to offer.

“Some people make the mistake of talking too much and not listening enough. I’m on the reverse side of that. I’d much rather sit and hear their story and create a relationship,” she said.

How Does She Do It?

Tracy admits she verges on the side of being a workaholic.

“I love what I do. It comes easy to me, and when I’m not working, I get an uneasy feeling. I’m getting better as I get older, but I’m not the type of person to sit around and let the time go by,” she said.  

Part of that could be the result of watching her parents successfully run their own business while she was growing up, giving her the chance to witness a strong work ethic day in and day out. Another part of her dedication and determination is a mindset that comes from competing in bodybuilding and fitness competitions for nearly 10 years.

“For so long, I worked out for two to three hours a day and every single meal was timed and had a certain calorie intake. It was regimen, regimen, regimen,” Tracy said, explaining, “And that’s how I do my job. I know I’ll get up at a certain time, work for so many hours, [attend] so many events. I’m a little bit of a workaholic, but it comes from seeing that hard work my whole life – and I don’t know how to do it any other way.”

The only time she’s spent away from her business in the past year was two weeks for the holidays, which she conceded felt great. Everyone deserves some relaxation, especially someone who go, go, goes as much Tracy.

But if you need tips for raising puppies, bodybuilding, renovating your home, mingling with residents, or building relationships with advertisers, she’s your woman. And a very interesting one at that.

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