We had the good fortune of connecting with Nadya Rousseau and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nadya, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I was growing up, I never would have thought that I would end up as an entrepreneur. In fact, I originally came to Los Angeles to be in the entertainment industry, like so many others. For about six years that is what I did: I worked as an actor and model while also juggling a part-time job to pay the bills in between booking gigs. I eventually became tired of the grind and smoke and mirrors that permeates this industry and pivoted instead to my first love of writing. It was when two of my interviewees for a piece I wrote (I think it was for a health magazine) asked for help with their Twitter accounts. Both older, they had no idea how to set up their profiles let alone how to reach their target customers. Not thinking much of it, I did exactly that. A few weeks later both were having success. This experience led to me diving into social media marketing, and picking up freelance clients. Fast forward to today and I am now heading up a global full service marketing agency that has served over 300 customers and clients. Our key USP? We believe purpose and profit are not mutually exclusive and always aim to support our clients to do more than grow a successful business but consider how they can make a difference in the world in the process.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My life journey has been anything but a straight arrow. It has been a rollercoaster and I have had some extremely low points. Since a very young age, however, I have had a sense of determination and a gut feeling that I was meant to achieve something big— not just for myself but for others. I grew up in a small town and went to high school in a town of just 2,000 people—I knew I had to get out. So I packed my bags at 18 to move to Los Angeles with $600 to my name saved from my Dunkin Donuts job. Unfortunately that first go at total independence failed, and I ended up homeless for two weeks before getting back on a train to Maryland. I and my girlfriend then worked two jobs for nine months to save money to get back to L.A. This next time I arrived with a three year talent contract in tow and a part-time job lined up. I worked in the industry for six years and got many yes’s but many more no’s. It is grueling; everyone who’s moved to Los Angeles to pursue entertainment knows this. So I pivoted to writing, and even more importantly I pivoted to a career path that gave me a purpose. And that purpose was in eventually helping people achieve their business goals and create a positive impact. Today I am the founder/CEO of purpose-forward marketing agency Alter New Media. We support innovative startups, individuals, and brands with achieving their business goals while also making a difference in the world. Since 2018, we’ve supported over 300 companies from all over the world. I went from a team of one (yours truly) to a team of ten people. I am proud of the diversity that makes up the Alter New Media team: we have talent from here in the States, the Philippines, and Nigeria. Alter New Media is entirely bootstrapped, with no investors or support— and yet we grew to become a multiple six figure business. I want to remind people that with hard work, determination and a PURPOSE— you can achieve big things. And I’m just getting started.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I currently live between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, for Los Angeles there is so much to do but it is a city with a lot of sprawl so you have to time your activities out properly. I suggest creating multiple itineraries: One for the West Side, one for the East Side, one for the Southbay, and one for Hollywood/the Valley. As a fan of great literature and entertainment I would love if people would check out a historical landmark that is often forgotten: Beyond Baroque Literary Center in Venice. It is right near the Venice Canals so if you want to start with the Canals and end up at a poetry reading at the Center, that is a fantastic date night. Even better if you can end at C&O Trattoria for Italian food and a walk on the boardwalk. I love Urth Cafe — especially the one in Downtown Los Angeles because it is spacious. Of course we are in the middle of a pandemic so activities have to be amended. With that in mind, going to less populous areas like Redondo Beach or Manhattan Beach for a walk or going for a stroll down Sunset Boulevard or Santa Monica Boulevard in Weho or north of Rodeo in Beverly Hills on Palm Ave (to see the palm trees) is also great.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Absolutely. I have to shoutout my co-founder and wife, Lauren Jones, whose innovation, support, and creativity have made Alter New Media into what it is today. If it weren’t for her I am 100% sure that we would not be on the path of growth and success that we are on.
Lauren Jones (image 1)