THE BLOG

Amy Jo Martin: Your Hustle Is Your Differentiating Factor

06/03/2015 12:36 pm ET | Updated Jun 03, 2016

This is part of the #CareerAdvice series - featuring successful professionals who share their advice to people who would want to take their career to the next level.

In today's Career Advice series, I've had the great opportunity to interview the New York Times best selling Author and Founder of Digital Royalty -- Amy Jo Martin.

She began her career in account management at an advertising firm. Then in In 2006, she went to work for the NBA's Phoenix Suns and became the Director of Digital Media and Research where she pioneered in helping the NBA teams integrate social media and spearheaded the first ever NBA Tweet Up with Shaquille O'Neal.

Unlike most people, Amy didn't really plan on having a digital agency. With the deep motivation to set and design her own life, the world has aligned to help her find intersection between her passions and the people to make those happen.

Tell us a bit about how you started and highlights of your career

In 2001, I began my career in account management at an advertising agency. In 2006, I went to work for the NBA's Phoenix Suns and became the Director of Digital Media and Research. In 2009, I founded Digital Royalty.

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Amy Jo Martin, Founder of Digital Royalty

I honestly didn't set out to build an agency, my main motivation was to design my own day. I thought I'd consult. As the business began to grow quickly I organically added more people, one person at a time. I strongly believe that where passion, purpose and skill collide, happiness resides. I'm fortunate to have found that intersection.

I recently started in investing in other female entrepreneurs.

If you could advise your 20-year-old self today, what would you tell her?

The people you choose to do business with and the people you decide not to do business with will be important decisions you make. There's a big difference between true business partnerships and vendors.

Alignment is key for longevity. Transactions are short lived.

What has been the most valuable advice you've ever gotten when you were faced with challenges in your career?

  • Be where your feet are.
  • Just because you can do it all, doesn't mean you should. Realize what you're uniquely qualified to do and delegate or outsource the rest as soon as you can.
  • Your team is everything. Spend a great deal of time making sure the right people are on the bus in the right seats.
  • Beware of shiny object syndrome. More companies fail from lack of focus vs. lack of business.

What would you advise those who are looking to take their careers to the next level?
Your hustle factor is often your differentiating factor. Work Hard.

  • Don't forget the importance of your personal brand. Your personality, confidence and the way you conduct yourself define your brand. Keep striving to improve.
  • Don't be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. It takes more time and energy to think differently, test new ideas, try to sell them to everyone involved and stand your ground against the non-believers. Swimming in the sea of sameness appears to be safer and easier than dipping your toes in unchartered choppy waters.
  • Anytime we innovate, adversity follows. With adversity comes tension and people tend to avoid conflict. In reality, tension equals growth. You're much more likely to drown in the sea of sameness than get eaten by a shark while navigating through new waters.

Learn more from Amy by connecting with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Enjoyed this? Watch out for the next #CareerAdvice series, or let me know who else needs to be featured next! Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.