Samir Becic: Founder & ReSYNC® Method Creator


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How did you get into the industry? I’ve been in sports my whole life, but became very serious when I came from Europe to America and started working for Bally’s, the largest fitness corporation in the world. Because no one believed I could become the number 1 trainer in the country, I used it as motivation to propel my career.

Career Advice? Have true compassion for your clients and their best interest at heart, always! This will not only lead to career success but also personal fulfillment.

Scott Harris: Building Construction Group Founder


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How did you get into the industry? When I was young, I grew up in a financially impoverished family. I recall church members delivering meals to our door, so my sisters and I could stay fed. I realized then that success was my only option, and the alternative was failure. My ‘happy place’ was playing with my only Lego set, and I recall, as a child, noticing how adults were generally unhappy with their jobs. At the time, I thought “What if I can stay a kid and become the top Lego builder in the world?’ Will that become my success story and get me out of here? Doing something I love? I made a promise that day, too never give up on my dream. My dream expanded into becoming an architect, a builder, a designer and a business owner building life-size Lego sets.

Career Advice?
If you’re considering becoming a builder, you have to completely immerse yourself on every level. When you’re sitting in a restaurant, take note of how the light fixtures are hung and question if it could have been done better? When you’re on a construction project, take note of how the teams are organizing the projects, and do you respect it, or can it be improved upon? When you’re in a home, take note of not just what you see, but how do the people engage in the house, what kind of odors do you sense that may be related to poor construction technics, and what does the temperature feel like as you walk from room to room? While most of what you do in the industry will be guided by those around you, a level of sensitivity to your work is what makes the difference between “good” and “great.” Consider a concerto pianist competing against a brilliant computer playing the identical notes. The concerto pianist will win hands down, because of their “sensitivity” to their craft. Immerse your self into your craft, remove “good” from your professional vocabulary and become sensitive to a level beyond your competitor and the rest becomes easy. And, if you’re ready to begin your career and take the journey, please contact us directly and we can help guide you!

Kean Graham: MonetizeMore Founder & CEO


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How did you get into the industry? I originally fell in love with the online industry when working for a large online classified network. The job was an immense learning experience but once the recession hit, the company decided to lay off the marketing department. I lost the best job I ever had but I was determined to turn the bad into something great.

Five days later, I’m on a plane to South America to go on a life changing trip. Four months into my backpacking trip I was on a four-day trek through the incredible Inca trail towards Machu Picchu. By the end of it, I was sitting on top of Huayna Picchu reflecting on my experiences throughout my trip. I have had the most fulfilling time of my life and it finally clicked: I will work and travel when I want, where I want. I have to start a digital business to enable this autonomous lifestyle. Seven months later I started the digital business called MonetizeMore and I signed my old employer as my first client. They were still in tough financial times when I signed them. I convinced them by charging a percentage of the increased ad revenues so I would charge nothing if I didn’t increase their ad revenues. It took a little under a month to close them and that was our first success story. We made them additional millions and pioneered the business model which we use for websites around the world.

Career Advice? I have learned an incredible amount during my 7.5 years of running MonetizeMore. If I were to sum up the most useful advice I could give anyone who would like to advance their career, I would give them the below advice: 1.    Ask Why: People who are not satisfied with ‘how’ or ‘what’ tend to be rising stars in their companies. They have a yearning to know ‘why’ and need to have a deeper understanding which tend to frustrate the underachievers. 2.    Deny the Status Quo: People that question and get frustrated by the status quo tend to take this as fire to make a difference via their own initiative. They tend to hate the answer, “Because that’s the way it is.” 3.    Do More: Most people are content with doing the minimum. The future leaders want to make a difference. They tend to be involved in extra-curricular activities, take interest in side projects and some even start a business at an early age.

Ben Dankiw: NAV43 Founder


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How did you get into the industry? The digital world was growing extremely fast and was fascinating to me. I turned out to be great at it. I attended a Lead Generation seminar and thought it was awesome how you could tie together marketing and analytics.

Career Advice? Be open-minded when it comes to your career. There are entire industries out there that exist that you won’t hear about through school. Don’t wait for anything, make it happen! If you don’t, nobody else will.  “When an opportunity comes up, if you’re prepared, you can grab it and own it.” Jamie Foxx – Put yourself in those situations to succeed.

Christian Hassing: Mandarin Oriental, Singapore General Manager


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How did you get into the industry? Prior to my final year in high school, a friend of mine who worked as a bellboy during the summer holidays, managed to convince me to join him at the hotel. The experience of working in the glamorous industry of a luxury hotel and interacting with senior business leaders and international leisure guests became a very enjoyable and enticing experience. Since the attraction of my summer job experience lingered with me, I ended up choosing the hotel industry after completing high school, rather than pursuing an earlier aspiration of becoming an electrical engineer. Looking back on a very rewarding career which has taken me around the world, the extensive experience and acquired knowledge of working amongst multiracial cultures throughout three continents has certainly been very stimulating.

Career Advice? Be true to your passion, maintain your discipline and the highest commitment to achieve your goals.

Masoud Motamedi: LocationSmart President & Founder


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How did you get into the industry?

When I was in middle school, I took a technology-focused class that taught wiring and it sparked my interest in learning about electronics. I became hooked pretty quickly. Whether it was building a simple circuit to turn a light on and off, or finding a way to fine tune the reception of our TV with rabbit ear antennas, I wanted to learn it all. This interest led me down a path toward becoming an electrical engineer. My involvement in the wireless location industry started more than 30 years ago when I was working for a company called GeoStar. It was a position determination company before GPS was developed and it used two satellites to locate a handheld device or transmitter. GeoStar’s founder was inspired to create this technology after losing a few friends in a private plane crash that occurred while attempting to land on a runway during a foggy night. The founder’s goal was to be able to safely land a plane using precise navigation information based on the technology his company created.

Career Advice? Do what you love but do not get completely consumed by it. Try to remain flexible as change is inevitable. Also, do your best to stay connected to those you meet as you never know where people will end up.

Jennipher Walters: Fit Bottomed World CEO & Founder, Author, "The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet" & Editor-in-Chief at Fit Bottomed Girls, Fit Bottomed Mamas and Fit Bottomed Zen


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How did you get into the industry? I started teaching group exercise in 2000 after falling IN LOVE with taking classes at the University of Missouri Rec Center. It was so fun and high energy that I just had to be an instructor. After teaching for a few months, I decided to get even more education and became certified as a personal trainer. That’s really when my love for fitness started – but it wasn’t until 2007, before I got married that a lot of my own personal body image issues really came up and I learned more about body positivity, intuitive eating and mindful living. In 2008, I looked around at the magazines on the shelf and the sites on the internet for women’s health and saw a huge need for a message that wasn’t just “lose 10 pounds and get a perfect life.” I started in 2008 to get a more powerful and meaningful message to women that they are more than the number on the scale and that the first step of being healthy is loving yourself.

Career Advice? Be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for your worth. Also? Fake it ‘til you make it – or at least fake it until you can learn it and make it. You’ve got this.C

Mary Calderon: Kuoda Travel Founder & President


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How did you get into the Industry? When I was eight years old, I used to accompany my mom to her souvenir shop in the main plaza. It was fun for me: I could meet people, learn about different cultures, make new friends. When time came to choose a career to study, I naturally looked to tourism at the national university in Cusco. One of my first jobs after university was as a trainee at what´s now Belmond Hotels. I learned a lot about customer service, and I was lucky enough that my bosses were from hotels around the world. They were direct, with high expectations. Working for them, I rediscovered how much I liked daily interaction with clients, like in the souvenir shop. After five years, I joined a luxury travel company, where we specialized in luxury travel experiences around the world. In 2003, I decided I wanted to do something smaller and more specialized on my own, and I started Kuoda. Since then, we have developed a passion for providing the ultimate travel experience for each and every guest we have the opportunity to serve.

Career Advice? Love what you do! Otherwise, learn how to love what you do. I feel so blessed that, from the very beginning, working in this industry was a pleasure for me. There is so much to learn every day! Also, build a strong network of highly qualified individuals, and try to be surrounded by the best in your industry—you will always learn something, and you will always teach something.

Ryan Novak: Chocolate Pizza Company Founder


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How did you get into the industry? Chocolate has been in my blood from a very young age. As a toddler, the Chocolate Pizza Company store was across the street from my house and my mom would take me over in a stroller. They tell me I was very good at reaching up and finding the sample tray while the women talked. At the age of 15, I got my first job at the company washing dishes and mopping floors. I loved working there and learned everything I could about the business. My enthusiasm was rewarded by the founder who mentored me in how to work with chocolate. It was just a small-town chocolate shop when she retired in 2010 but I knew it could be much more so I offered to buy it and she agreed. I was 21 years-old.

Career Advice? Aspiration demands perspiration – you should work for what you want. Young entrepreneurs should not be afraid that their dreams are too big but rather that they are too small. Big dreams come with big challenges that keep you up at night. Don’t fear the work, fear being stagnant. If you are not living, breathing and sweating the pursuit of your dream, then you are not reaching far enough. If your goals are coming too easily, then your expectations are failing you. Thomas Paine once said, “What we attain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”

Michael Philippe: Keli Network & Jellysmack Founder


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Biggest Success? Our biggest success thus far has been reaching 2 billion monthly videos views in just over a year. On the way to reaching the milestone, The Keli Network’s monthly network views doubled each month since the start of 2017. It was simply amazing to see our hard work speak for itself through the metrics and for The Keli Network to gain traction and recognition in the industry.

Most Challenging Moment? Leaving my home in France to move to the United States was difficult, as any move to a new country is. However, as they say, every challenge is an opportunity and the move was instrumental in starting and growing The Keli Network.

Motto? Move fast and be patient.

Athena Perrakis: Sage Goddess Founder & CEO


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How did you get into the industry? Ironically, I never thought I was getting into the industry. My life has been this long process of following my heart’s desires and my soul’s deepest calling, which was to work with crystals and essential oils as a means of healing and supporting our planet. I have studied metaphysics since I was 14. So the past 30 years have been a fertile learning and breeding ground for my own evolution and exploration. I did what I loved, and it landed me here.

Career Advice? Most importantly, you have to authentically love what you do. I work so hard – 7 days a week, sometimes into the wee hours – and I have 2 kids, a husband, friends, aging parents, and health challenges I have had to overcome. If I didn’t love Sage Goddess, passionately and insanely, there’s no way I could maintain my work schedule or survive the pressures on me. Do something new, and love it hard.

Pelle Nilsson: BRF Founder & CEO


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How do you motivate others? I like to let people get the space to build confidence. Listen a lot and try to make them make the right decision through conversation and not finger pointing. For creativity, you need to let people know it’s okay to fail and that we all do that. We have to fail to learn and advance, and to come up with the next big idea. Being an international business, you also have to understand different cultures and adapt to them. Motivating people in the U.S compared to Germany is very different.

Career advice to those in your industry? You have to show that you really want something and you have to go for it. When you see the opportunity, take it and never look back. If you want to work with something that you’re really passionate about, it doesn’t feel like a job and that’s when you know you’re on the right path.

As a director and producer you have to always be curious. It’s hard and almost impossible to follow all trends, but if you’re passionate and curious, it will come naturally. Continuously try to find new ways of storytelling, learn about new technologies, distributions and platforms. This diversity will not only elevate your portfolio, but also create opportunities for you to thrive. 

Eric Yaverbaum: Ericho Communications Founder & CEO, best selling author & national television pundit


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Career Advice? Put on a thick skin. Nobody is going to hold your hand, and nobody is going to be nice to you. Earn it. Every single solitary day.. Keep going. That actually works. And stop taking everything so personally. I take an approach to teambuilding that’s basically this: if I’m not the dumbest one in the room, I’m in the wrong room. I hire people who can elevate me, instead of people I can feel better than. That’s how you learn, and I love how smart my staff is. Every single one of them is smarter than me, and that’s by design. That generates real value; if everyone agrees, nothing happens. But if smart people disagree, the challenge leads to better solutions. I call it intellectual fiction; I want to rub intellects together and see the magic happen. Lastly, don’t shy away from trouble. Run right to the eye of the storm; that’s where you need to be.

Phillip B. Goldfine: Hollywood Media Bridge Founder


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How did you get into the industry? I was always in love with the idea of entertainment from a very early age. I remember watching television and just loving it. What 5-year-old kid doesn’t? Throughout high school and college—even though I was involved in other academia—the entertainment business remained a draw (as it still does today). My story is much like many others. I interned for various companies and worked my way up the ladder.

Industry Challenges: I think the challenge is going to be finding quality projects for the new streaming services and the VR technology that’s emerging. Five years from now, there will be an entirely new landscape in the entertainment space.