Here’s How This Girl Became a CEO Before Her 30s

In this exclusive interview, we talk to Mikee Federizo about her passion for marketing, becoming CEO before hitting 30, and being the bridge between her family’s group of companies.

At just 28 years old, Mikee Federizo is a second-generation entrepreneur and the CEO of her own marketing agency. But that’s not all. In a matter of just 6 months, the company was bringing in six figures of revenue… in dollars!

The business maverick credits her success to having been trained to be an entrepreneur ever since she was three years old. After all, her family owns Cosmotech Philippines, Inc.—one of the top companies in the field of information technology in the country. But while it was expected that she would find herself with a career in technology, her true passion has always been marketing.

However, contrary to what most may think, Mikee did not separate herself from her family’s successful tech business, as she still maintains a role in the company. To date, the multi-hyphenated girl boss pursues her passion for marketing through her agency, while staying rooted in her family and their businesses. Here’s how she does it.

Mikee Federizo, CEO of Purple Ant Media
Young Blood—at the young age of 28, Mikee Federizo is the CEO of Purple Ant Media, a strategic marketing agency that aims to, in their words, “be different, be differentiated, and make a difference.”

Dipping Her Toes into the Family Business

Mikee grew up exposed to her family’s business—from meeting the employees to sitting in her father’s meetings. “I can say I really grew up in the business,” she says. Thus, it was no surprise that she ended up formally joining the company right out of college. 

Doing so, however, made her realize that she had a lot to learn. “I then put a lot of pressure on myself to try and learn everything in a short amount of time, which we know is impossible,” she admits. “It takes years to mature and learn things in business.”

With that, Mikee ended up stepping away from the family business and decided to take up a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. She credits the experience for helping her relieve the pressure of not making mistakes, as well as giving her the knowledge and confidence she needed to start her own business. 

Purple Ant Media

According to Mikee, her love for marketing and branding is what inspired her to open her own marketing agency, Purple Ant Media. She even made sure to put in the work before she started out by studying the craft for 4 years in college and gaining experience in the field for 8 years. 

Through her marketing agency, Mikee seeks to address a prevailing pain point among agencies. “Most agencies I worked with only cared about ‘doing and submitting the project’ and never caring about the outcome later on,” she shares. “That’s where I realized the gap in the market—there was a need for a marketing agency that actually cares about the [return on investment] ROI and making sales. Not instantly, but in the right way.”

That is what sets Purple Ant Media apart from everyone else. “We don’t just offer services—we offer [a] strategy,” she points out. 

“We know how to do a strong industry and market research, and we have our own framework on determining the right strategy of how to get a business from their current level to the next,” the 28-year-old CEO explains. She goes on to add that once they have the right strategy in mind, they make suggestions to their clients on what execution service is needed. 

Mikee, however, acknowledges that not all strategies are foolproof. “When the strategy is not giving the right returns, we pivot,” she says, emphasizing that Purple Ant Media really does care about ROI and sales. 

Starting in the Middle of a Pandemic

Like with any other business, things are not always smooth sailing for Mikee and Purple Ant Media. After all, the company launched in 2021—amid the pandemic—and this came with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. “For us, the main advantage is that all clients were used to doing transactions online,” Mikee explains. “We could close a client, work on the project and deliver results all online.” 

The downside, however, came with having to work remotely from the other members of the team. “I learned that it’s really different when we are together as a team, which is why as soon as the restrictions eased up, we went back to the office and rebuilt our culture and strategies,” she says.

While Mikee doesn’t think that the pandemic shaped how she runs her business, she states that it has actually helped shape her as a person instead. “I learned that slow is good. Being mindful is good. Taking one hour to meditate, pray, and be centered in the morning before I do anything else is good,” Mikee explains.

“Now two years after the lockdown, I still practice the same routines I learned during the pandemic and it has done wonders for me,” she enthuses.

From a time when Purple Ant Media experienced a lot of mishaps in its first few months of operations, the company has grown in leaps and bounds, having used those hardships as its anchor in fixing its processes and how it treats its clients.

In fact, Mikee considers this improvement her biggest business achievement—even more so when she is told by clients that no other marketing agency cares about their businesses the way Purple Ant Media does.

Learnings and Advice from Mikee Federizo

Being a CEO at such a young age is no easy feat, and Mikee admits that she’s had so many failures along the way that she doesn’t know which one she ranks at the top.

Now relieved of the pressure of not making mistakes, she has come to realize that failures aren’t all that scary when you turn them into lessons instead. “I would say that every ‘failure’ made me who I am as a business owner today,” Mikee shares. “I learned to be resilient. I learned to be humble and accept that I’m not a perfect CEO and [that] that’s okay. I learned to trust other people’s skills and experiences.” 

This is why her advice to young entrepreneurs like her is to not be afraid to fail. “Just start—no matter how ‘unready’ you are,” she insists. “Don’t make excuses when you really want something. Don’t listen to what other people say—listen to your gut and your heart.” 

The CEO adds that you have to pray for your plans too and “depend on God—not [just] yourself.” 

Staying Rooted in Family 

Given how she started a business in a different industry, some may think that this decision stemmed from choosing not to work in the family business and forging her own path—away from it all. This is actually far from the truth. 

“I was able to bridge everything together and made Purple Ant Media the marketing arm of all our group of companies,” Mikee proudly shares. “So in a way, our family business owns Purple Ant Media, which made both companies stronger.”

Being rooted in the family has actually influenced what’s next for Purple Ant Media. “As Purple Ant Media has now joined our family’s group of businesses, we intend to be more professionalized and more hands-on with our sister companies, while still growing our team to accommodate more clients,” she explains.

As for herself, she plans on continuing to steer Purple Ant Media to success, while keeping things close to home as she slowly helps her father as his deputy for Cosmotech Philippines, Inc.