Monica Rossa

Continued learning should be a routine, not an afterthought


Monica is the Founder & CEO of Rossa PR based in Toronto, Canada. She is a seven-time award winning public relations executive with experience in media relations, sponsorships, influencer relations and new business development across North America. She’s a fearless, solution-oriented thinker with an entrepreneurial eye on team collaboration and growth.

She has worked with brands like Moët & Chandon, Conair Canada, ECCO Shoes Canada, Echosec, FOOi, and others across verticals.

Monica earned a Master of Science degree in Public Relations Management & Corporate Communication from New York University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts with an honours specialization in Media, Information, and Technoculture, a Minor in Music, and Certificate in Digital Communication: Social Media and Virtual Worlds from The University of Western Ontario. Also a lover of different cultures and wines, Monica is studying toward the Wine Spirits & Education Trust Level 3 sommelier designation in Wines & Spirits.

Where did the idea for Rossa PR come from?

I grew up with a CEO for a Father, so I think it was truly just a matter of time before I realized that I didn’t want to be a passenger on someone else’s bus, but rather the driver of my own. I’m a lifelong learner and there came a point where I was clear on exactly what I needed to do to get where I wanted to go and Rossa PR was born.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I start my day by checking through my emails to see if anything urgent has popped up while I’m sleeping. Some of my clients are in other time zones, so there can sometimes be a jumpstart or a lag on responses. I then get up and make breakfast and continue with my morning or head to any meetings for the day. I try to load my morning so I can really hunker down in the afternoons on my deliverables. I’ll break up my day with a workout in the early afternoon and then will return to work focused and ready to conquer the world. In the evenings, I am usually out networking at events or socializing through my community groups to keep my ear to the ground.

How do you bring ideas to life?

There are a lot of great ideas out there, but I think there is an epidemic of people executing ideas because they are cool. A cool idea is great, but if it doesn’t align to an overarching strategy or goal, then why are we pursuing it? I spend a lot of time offering strategic counsel to refine these ideas so that they will have a better chance of ROI for my clients. I’m a resourceful lady and I’m famous for saying things like, “I know someone who does that!” Even the strangest request can often be accommodated and that’s one of the most fun parts of the job.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Property Technology or PropTech is an up and coming vertical in Canada. Real Estate is getting a bit of a facelift and it’s interesting to see how technology is changing the day to day.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Scheduling everything in my calendar. I’m super organized and this increases my efficiency tenfold.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Spend less time entertaining and more time listening.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Emerald green is a really underrated colour.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Learn. I’m constantly chasing my curiosity and it has paid dividends when it comes to connecting with people, working in different industries, and also helping me me feel like I am moving forward and accomplishing things. It is amazing how much you can do if you keep a learning routine consistent.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Taking the time to look beyond vendors and clients as such but learning about them as people.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I tried to start my own company once before, but I just wasn’t equipped with enough experience in my industry and knowledge about business development. I called it quits after a couple of months and ate my slice of humble pie. Now, with a few more years of experience behind me and having just built a business for someone else, I’m ready.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

The best way to cultivate a business idea is to look around at what’s broken and fix it.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently returned to Canada from a choir tour in Poland and Ukraine. I brought back Ukrainian chocolate from Lviv and some horseradish vodka. At an event at a private members club, I walked around to each table and offered a bit of each and shared the story of how I learned that Ukrainian chocolate and horseradish vodka were underrated Ukrainian treasures. I walked away a personal connect, 20 new business leads and at least 2 clients.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I’m a classic gal. I love the Google Business Suite.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Talent Advantage by Weiss and MacKay. The book digs into some of the big challenges facing CEO’s and truly tells you what to do in situations instead of just giving you a bunch of theories you might not be able to apply. It’s an easy read as well.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be nice to people on your way up, because you’ll meet them on your way down.” Wilson Mizner

Key Learnings:

  • Make authentic connections with people
  • Continued learning should be a routine, not an afterthought
  • Ideas must always have an overarching objective