Here is a woman that needs no introduction, Sunny Lenarduzzi! Born a natural for broadcasting, Sunny has always valued the power of connecting to an audience through authentic communication. After reporting at the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, Sunny had an ‘a-ha’ moment and followed her heart into starting a business that serves people who desperately want to live life on their own terms. Sunny has a passion for working with entrepreneurs, personal brands and corporations to help them bring their business online through social media and video marketing.
How did you get your start?
My career has been through several iterations, but it all stemmed from my love of broadcasting and delivering helpful information to an engaged audience. I knew I wanted to be in media from a very young age, and I feel so fortunate that I grew up in the social media revolution. I started in traditional broadcasting as a reporter and a host on television and radio and after reporting at the 2010 Winter Olympics, I felt the need to start my own business…on my own terms. My first venture in the online space was an online magazine and it was a ton of fun and a total learning experience. I actually went door to door in my hometown of Vancouver trying to sell ad space on my blog, which is hilarious to think about now. That online magazine is where my love of the digital space started and in a very organic way it allowed me to start a consultancy where I helped brands and individuals grow their presence online. Today, I coach people all over the world on how to build their brand, create positive influence and increase revenue online. And as a born broadcaster, I’m also a content creator and I love creating weekly tutorials on my YouTube channel.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
When I started my first business, ignorance was bliss. I had no idea what I was doing and truly didn’t have a business model in place. I always tell people my education in the online space has been trial by error! I do think my background in media has been extremely beneficial in the success of growing my business and my community online. Community always comes first and authenticity in delivering my message is always my first priority. Because this is such a fast paced industry, I thrive on learning on the go, and in order to keep up I think you have to have that mentality.
How do you define success as a business owner?
I define success as freedom. I feel most successful when I have the freedom to live my life on my own terms and express myself creatively on a daily basis. I am certainly not a 9-5 type of person, so having variety in my schedule and freedom to travel and connect with people all over the world, is my definition of success.
If you were to design the perfect team of 4 people to help you run this company, what characteristics would those four people have?
I recently brought on my first team member and she is truly a godsend. I am so used to running my business entirely on my own, and it forces you to learn every aspect of your industry and every skill required to run your business. I did that for 6 years. So, to have someone supporting me who enjoys doing the things that don’t come as naturally to me i.e. backend, technical tasks, has been incredible and has allowed me the freedom to focus and grow the parts of my business that I love focusing on. I plan on keeping my team tight moving forward, and for me it’s all about vibe. I think you need to truly like the people you work with, especially if it’s a small team. And I think you need to understand how everyone communicates and learns, what kind of working environment they thrive in, when they’re most productive, etc. and build your working relationship for optimal success, based on those factors. I know that’s a long answer, but I guess the characteristics I care about most are optimistic, compassionate, self starter, passionate, communicative, and generous.
Whom do you seek advice from for your business?
I have been so lucky to have some incredible mentors in my life. There are too many to name here, but I will say that Sue B Zimmerman and her insanely awesome team (Rachel and Morgan) has been very influential in the structure of my business over the last 6 months. I also go to my parents a lot, they’re both extremely entrepreneurial and successful in their own right, so I really value their advice. Mentors are vital to the success of any business, so I’m really lucky to have a solid team to turn to when I need guidance.