Since I was a little girl I have always been unique. I grew up reading poetry and fell in love with Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

These words have become the mantra for how I live my life—always going against the grain. Taking this route isn’t easy, as many people have challenged my decisions along the way, however I know my path has made all the difference.

After graduating from USC, I put my dual communications and Spanish degree to work at a Hispanic Advertising Agency in New York City. Not a typical move for a Jewish girl from the San Fernando Valley, but this seemed like a perfect opportunity and I needed to take it.

From the beginning, tasks were seemingly endless, but my drive and ability to deliver made me stand out and move up the ranks quickly. At the ripe age of twenty-two, I was regularly sent to Kansas City to represent our agency’s digital and direct marketing team. Talking shop with professionals whose tenure had exceeded my lifespan was no easy task. It took quick thinking and charm to win them over, especially after they realized my age, but their positive feedback and genuine respect was invaluable to both the success of the account and my personal growth.

I quickly learned that difficult challenges are the norm in business, but as a professional, it is my responsibility to overcome and thrive.

These early career experiences have helped prepare me to deal with the challenges that I now face as the head of my own agency, especially one that bears my name. As a small business owner, there is pressure to succeed. There is no fall-back plan. There is limited margin for error.

Being on your own requires a strong focus and drive that will continuously advance you towards your next destination. I’ve learned that you have to use your resourcefulness, personal drive, chutzpah, and ganas to succeed.

In both business and life, highs and lows are inevitable. Make sure you relish the good times and take something positive away from the bad experiences. In the end the journey makes all of the difference, so make sure you choose the right path.

How has education affected your career?

Earning my master’s degree at NYU helped prepare me to start and run my own business. Researching and writing my thesis was one of the biggest challenges of my scholastic career. Through that experience I proved to myself that I have the knowledge, tools, and ability to develop a successful business model. Dr. Marjorie Kalter taught me that business is dynamic, and to run a successful company, one must be flexible and able to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace.