Today her social calendar may be full, but the Guest of a Guest founder, Rachelle Hruska MacPherson says it wasn’t always easy. She opens up about the challenges of starting a digital media company before the iPhone was even invented.

The moment I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur…

Watching my dad leave his incredibly secure and well paying job to start his own company when I was child.

The most important lesson I learned over the past year…

It’s okay to not have the answers.

My best advice for entrepreneurs…

Never try to be something you’re not. Always, always do your best to find good people and keep them engaged.

Success means to me…

Knowing that I am doing my very best (as a CEO, a mother, daughter, sister, wife, etc.), and staying an engaged and curious being.

I celebrate my team’s accomplishments…

I think I’m good about monetarily rewarding my staff when they have done something that has pushed our ball forward, because let’s face it, money talks. I’m also known to have house dinners with my team! And, what I find to be the most powerful is shouting out my praise to the entire office when someone has done something amazing!

Business challenges that I faced early on…

In 2007 when we started Guest of a Guest, it felt like no one understood what we were trying to do. People did not understand digital media like today, and social media didn’t exist yet (the iPhone wasn’t even invented!). It was really hard to gain access to events, no one wanted to work with us or even speak with us in interviews.

How I overcame these challenges…

It seems humiliating now, but I basically begged and pleaded my way in. I found other contributors to help. Then, as the years went on, things started changing. But it wasn’t over night, and it wasn’t just one win. There were many wins along the way.

Tools I use to monitor accomplishments and challenges…

This may sound maudlin, but I basically just use my intuition. I think it’s a more powerful tool than most of the algorithms I’ve met along the way, though I’m sure my CTO would disagree.

The aspect of my work that gives me the most happiness…

Connecting with creatives in every field.

The keys to success in my business…

Authenticity, knowing your audience, and being brave enough to challenge the status quo.