As with many entrepreneurs, Dominick Miserandino gave the corporate world a try, in his case doing operations support for Wall Street traders.
Though he was advancing up the ladder, he says, "I didn't like what I was doing," and was getting more of a kick out of the side venture he had started, TheCelebrityCafe.com entertainment site.
After Sept. 11, 2001, "I didn't want to commute any more," says Miserandino, 38, so he turned his attention full time to the site, which now features five publications, including those providing celebrity news and sports and travel stories. Two more publications are on the drawing board for the coming year, the executive editor and publisher says.
Miserandino, who is based in Oceanside, is also author of two humor books, including, "How to Survive Your First Year of Marriage by Traveling." He's recently been elected to serve as president of the Press Club of Long Island, a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
How are you faring in this economy?
"The biggest challenge for me always is the economy" and its effect on advertising. "My entire business is based on advertising." In the months following the U.S. debt debate, he says he's noticed "a wait-and-see" kind of reluctance on the part of advertisers. So even as the business continues to grow, "it's requiring a little more hustle." Also, "we're surviving the bad economy by being as efficient as possible."
What kind of efficiencies?
"I've tried to set the business up so we can work from anywhere. The costs are lower. All the work documents are up on the cloud. I set it up so people who work for me can do anything from any computer."
From monitoring Google Analytics, "in the past few months, I've noticed that our readership has gone up in terms of mobile devices. That mobile phone use has doubled."
Is there an author who influenced you?
"My dad gave me the Dale Carnegie books, and I grew up reading them and listening to the audiotapes. I must have read 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' 100 times." The message of recognizing each person's differences can be especially important "in a virtual world where you don't see people face-to-face."
What do you look for in a job candidate?
"I do look for that old-fashioned work mentality," people who go above and beyond the minimum job requirements.
"I own a condo in Quebec City, Canada, and I work there sometimes and nobody knows. They have no clue I am in a different country."
What do you do to unwind?
"I play the piano and guitar -- the blues and Bach fugues. Talk about two divergent natures."
Name. Dominick A. Miserandino, executive editor and publisher.
Company. TheCelebrityCafe.com, an online entertainment magazine, Oceanside.
What it does. “Our mantra has been to cover the entire entertainment space but without slander, nastiness . . just providing straight news.”
Staff. Eight full-time, and some 70 writers and contributors
Annual revenue. More than $400,000