Michele Waldman, Max Your Media, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Michele Waldman

Business Name: Max Your Media, an online media service for businesses

Type of Business: Online Advertising and Marketing

Business Location: New York, New York, United States

Website http://max-your-media.com

Reason for starting
After graduating from Syracuse University with a Textile Design degree and working as a textile designer for two years an opportunity presented itself to work for an Internet startup, in an industry that really peaked my interest at that time. I subsequently went on to work for Citysearch selling online advertising which was pre-Google and the main online directory for local businesses. Eventually I left the local industry and went to work for Doubleclick/Google and then Microsoft selling to major publishers technology and Rich Media. Due to the mergers and acquisitions that hit the Internet industry over the years I found myself getting laid off. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to devote my full time to my longtime dream of building a business to satisfy the growing need of small businesses for online marketing.

How do you define success?
Success is reaching your goals and controlling your own destiny while enjoying what you do. Many years ago I was toying with the idea of starting Max Your Media but it was never the right opportunity. Since I started 2 years ago I have grown the business to allow for having 8 people working for my company. My attention to details (perhaps from my design days) and always putting my clients first has paid off and continues to pay off as I keep adding clients and retaining those already on board.

Biggest Success
Prior to starting Max Your Media I spent most of my spare time on another side passion I have, which is real estate. I was buying apartments, renovating them (again from my design background) and then selling them. I was quite successful with it and my timing couldn’t have been more perfect by selling before the real estate market crashed. I ended up with a nice amount of cash enough to allow me to pursue the dream of starting my own company.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Forbes is estimating the Digital Industry to be over 118 billion in 2013 and my challenge is to grow my company quickly into multiple markets. I am now considering finding the right partner to elevate Max Your Media to be the top Local Agency for small business owners. I developed a plan to expand the business to multiple cities based on the success I have had so far. To that end I am searching for a partner that possesses the skills, passion, and drive that helped me succeed so far.

Who is your most important role model?
My mother has been my biggest role model in my life. She has always motivated me to go after all my dreams big or small. She was a Vice President of a national company when it wasn’t fashionable for women to be in the business world plus raising a family. She left a secure job to start her own business and has been successful ever since. Her advice was “when you are doing a job that you love it never feels like work.” I follow those words today since I love having my own business.