Joanna Track Talks ‘The Bullet’, Single Motherhood, and Online Dating
We’ve long been following the career of Canadian mom and entrepreneur, Joanna Track. No stranger to building big brands, she brought us Sweetspot and eLUXE, and in 2013, she launched Good Eggs & Co., a marketing consulting firm that shares her passion for brand and culture, as well as digital strategy. Now she’s back in a big way with the launch of The Bullet, a free daily news blast described as ‘a shot’ of daily news.
The Bullet is delivered every weekday morning to your inbox, and it’s one of the first things I check in the morning. It’s the fastest way to get all the biggest news stories of the day…in one shot! The Bullet is conversational, with easy-to-digest language which makes it feel like you’re hearing the top news stories (politics, business, entertainment and lifestyle) from a well-informed, but not annoying, friend.
Joanna sat down with me to chat about her new venture, balancing work and family, being a single mother, and why she hates online dating (Yes, she was once matched with her…brother! Eeek!)
RE: Can you give us the ‘behind the scenes’ look at The Bullet? How do you scour for news you think is relevant for your newsletter?
JT: I’m very fortunate to have Samantha Speisman as my Managing Editor. She’s a Sweetspot alum. She oversees a handful of freelancers, typically four to five at any given time. Each freelancer covers a certain ‘beat, a topic like Business, Politics, Entertainment…some of them cover multiple categories. They start scouring the news in the morning and by mid-afternoon they submit their pitches of which story they think is trending the most. Once approved, they write the copy, then it goes to Sam to review and load into the template. And then, usually by 9 p.m., they are ready for me to review and provide my final edits. During the day, I’m also throwing story ideas at them. We rely heavily on Slack to chat with each other so even though it’s virtual, we’re chatting all day!
RE: What time do you get up to check on what happens overnight in the news? What time do you go to sleep?
JT: That’s a good question! When I started The Bullet I was having much later nights and earlier mornings. Now that we’re in a good rhythm with the team, I do my best to get into bed by 10 pm and lights out before 11 pm. I don’t really need to get up until around 6 am to scan the news, but my brain thinks about it a lot so I have quite a few 4 am wake ups! When I can, I go back to sleep after that.
RE: You’re a single mother, with shared custody of your son, Teddy. Do your work hours change when he’s with you?
JT: The only thing that really changes is my ability to go back to sleep in the morning! LOL!
RE: I think The Bullet is so great for moms who want to be in the know, but who are always rushing. I, for one, am addicted. Why should moms sign up for The Bullet?
JT: We do the searching for you so you don’t have to. We make the stories short and simple to read so you can be up to speed and on with your day, faster than a speeding bullet!
RE: What have you learned about balancing family and work? Do you have The Secret? Please share!
JT: The secret is you can’t have it all at the same time. There are times that family gets sacrificed and others when work does. But what I’ve really learned over my various businesses is that it’s ‘just business.’ I’ve had big successes and big failures and have dealt with the consequences of both. And in both cases, life just keeps on ticking so whether you’re on a high, or a low, just live in the moment. It will not last forever.
RE: For all the single moms out there, what do you find the hardest about being a single mom? What’s the best thing?
JT: The hardest thing is not being able to divide and conquer. There isn’t another set of hands to help. For example, I went on vacation with Teddy and we walked 10 minutes from our hotel room to the beach only to find out he forgot his goggles. I couldn’t leave him there and run back so we have to do those things together. The best thing is that it has forced me to get into the action. What I mean by that is there were a ton of activities that, in the past, I would let Dad do (like get in the pool, make the sand castle.) Getting down and in the dirt with Teddy and doing those things with him has been a gift to me (and him!)
RE: I know this is a funny question, but since you are obviously a trendsetter in the digital world, how do you feel about online dating? Would you change anything about it?
JT: I would say I have a love/hate relationship with it, but I mostly hate it! It’s very fickle. I think people feel a lack of accountability and treat you in ways they never would in the offline world. I wish there was a way to qualify people better so that it was more about quality than quantity. Here’s a funny story: I decided to switch from Tinder and Bumble to Match because I figured that since it requires you to answer more questions, and because you have to pay, that the guys on there would be more sincere. I went through the whole process of setting it up and filling out my profile. It has an algorithm that shares their perfect matches with you each day. On the first day, I got my matches and the first person that popped up was my brother! Ugh. So clearly that didn’t work out for me.
RE: What are your favourite things to do with your son, Teddy?
JT: Going to the movies! We’re both big movie fans. My kid can recite movie quotes like it’s nobody’s business. We go almost every weekend he’s with me. We load up on snacks which is half the fun. If it were up to him, he’d get two orders of nachos!
RE: Do you discuss the news with Teddy?
JT: Because the television is always on in our house, and always on the news, Teddy does have a lot of questions. I try to be as honest as I can, in a way that doesn’t scare a seven-year old. I’ve been so proud of how eager he is to learn. He asks tons of questions, the most common is, ‘Why do you hate Donald Trump?’ Ha.
RE: How do you deal with all the awfulness in the news, especially as a mother? So many mothers I know don’t bother to read the news because it is so depressing.
JT: That has been a very challenging part of the job! When I started The Bullet, I didn’t really take into account how immersing myself in the news would impact my levels of anxiety. But it certainly has. What I’ve done to minimize it for myself, and my readers, is to add more of the ‘light’ stuff to make the bad stuff go down easier. Our fun news, like our Daily WTF, consistently gets the most clicks and shares. For me, the other thing I’ve done is to take a break on the weekend. From Friday afternoon to Sunday, before we start the Monday edition, I don’t turn my television to the news.
RE: Best advice for moms who want to start their own business?
JT: Make sure the numbers work! A good business is only as good as its numbers.
Image of Joanna by Tracey Ho Lung for Love, Emoem.