I had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Nicholson is a former TV reporter and anchor who has worked in markets from New York City to Miami. She is still telling stories, but instead of doing it for a newscast, she’s doing it to help businesses grow. With her business, Media Maven, and her podcast, Become a Media Maven, she helps entrepreneurs reach thousands, even millions, of their ideal customers or clients in minutes instead of months through the power of media without spending big bucks on advertising.

You can still see her in front of the camera as a host on Lifetime TV, in national commercials, and read her work online in Huff Post, Thrive Global, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company. Christina also has a local lifestyle and family blog, Christina All Day. She lives in South Florida with her husband and two young children.

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I worked as a TV reporter and anchor for more than 10 years. While I was working in that position, I received pitches from business owners and publicists on a daily business. Most of them were terrible. It was very obvious the person send the long, boring press releases never worked in the media or spent time in a newsroom.

When I wanted a job with a more flexible schedule, I decided to do that job, but approach PR with my TV background and use that media experience to get clients coverage.

I also use my side hustle as a lifestyle blogger to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the new media world as well.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

I think the coolest thing was standing in front of 1,200 people are delivering a TEDx talk in Boca Raton in October of 2018. My topic was very timely — fake news.

I shared some insight into how the media works and why fake news is actually not as common as you think, but when fake news does make its rounds, it’s because of the consumer — not the creator.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I don’t know if I’d call my mistakes funny. Some are stupid and some are silly. You don’t know what you don’t know, but after you made a mistake, you learn what not to do… and there is no better way to learn.

How did you scale your business to profitability? How long did it take? Please share the steps you took.

Because I’m a service based business, I did not need start up capital. For the first three years, I put money back into my business — whether that be in software, building my team, or investing in business coaching. For that reason, my business has always been profitable and continues to be.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I love working with small business owners who at the early stages in their business and think they are not yet deserving of media coverage. This is a big myth. I’ve helped people not making a dime in their side hustle earn big time national media exposure. That’s the best feeling!

Based on your personal experience, what advice would you give to young people considering a career in PR?

Get in the industry… like the media side. It’s so different when you’ve worked on both sides and will only make you better at your job.

You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?

Stop trying to collect business cards. Instead, find one or two people to really connect with who work with the same people you work with. Don’t network to get business directly. Network to get referrals.

Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?

Smart Passive Income podcast by Pat Flynn is one I’ve listened to even before I started my business. Today, I an in a mastermind headed by Pat Flynn and the learning and growth continues!

Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The media industry isn’t so black and white like it used to be. There is a lot of gray area with more and more pay to play models, opinion platforms, contributors, etc. For this reason, people should stop to recognize what they’re reading, watching, or listening to. Is it an ad? Is it from a journalist?

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.

  1. Do one thing at a time to grow. When you do a little bit in a lot of places, you end up getting nothing.
  2. Invest in a business coach who is niched in one specific expertise to help you take your business to the next level step by step.
  3. Learn sales. You’re not in business if you’re not making sales, so become a great sales person.
  4. Take me time. If you don’t enjoy down time, you will burn out and lose interest.
  5. Set a specific monetary goal. When you know exactly what it is, you will know exactly what you need to do to get there and what you’re working for.

Originally published at medium.com