‘It’s not really about getting business. It’s more about finding people who can support you throughout your career.’
“I started my own digital marketing agency in Oceanside back in 2013. Social media, web design, SEO were all very new things to me at the time. I was 23 when I started the company. I was super young and I tried networking, but a lot of people didn’t take me seriously.
“I would go to networking events, but I found a lot of the people had their own friends. Whether it was because they just didn’t understand what I did for a living, or because I was young, they just weren’t paying attention.
“I found a group of younger professionals who were starting law firms, real estate agencies and all different businesses. We were all from the same generation and dealing with the challenges of opening a business. That’s why we were able to come together and collaborate to help each other because we were all in the same boat.
I get to hire local people and have them help local business owners.
“It was not just that we did business with each other, but we actually became friends. It was nice to hang out with people who understood that drive, hustle and passion. When that group was dissolving, I didn’t want to lose that connection and invited people to form our own group.
“I started the Unicorn Network in 2016 as a group of millennial entrepreneurs. Currently, we have about 600 members on Long Island and another chapter in Manhattan. Of course, now our lives have shifted. When we were in our 20s, we were starting businesses, and now we’re starting families and getting married. We still talk with each other and connect with people who can relate, understand and support each other professionally.
“COVID caused a slew of new challenges, making it difficult to meet people, plan events and raise money for charities. Now there are even more challenges. Some of us don’t need to network. Our businesses have already taken off, and people are prioritizing other things.
“It’s not really about getting business. It’s more about finding people who can support you throughout your career. I love what I do. I get to hire local people and have them help local business owners. I want to keep the momentum going. I want to keep inspiring people and make sure that any professional challenges or questions someone has about business, that they have a place to receive help.”
Interviewed by Dan Offner