Shaliza Somani – Founder of One Star Media

Listen more, talk less.

Shaliza Somani has a passion for strategizing, planning, and executing solutions that help to influence success to businesses of all sizes from around the globe. She brings over 15 years of experience to her clients with expertise in e-commerce and online marketing. Throughout her career, she has played a crucial role in various aspects of business development and corporate planning for companies. Shaliza works hard to establish growth opportunities, build customer relationships, and manage her marketing and sales teams.

To Shaliza Somani, nothing is more important than people. She gets excited at the prospect of meeting new clients, as well as conversing with her current clients. She is also adamant about networking with other industry professionals, making sure to plan out time for it in her busy schedule.

As the founder of One Star Media, Inc., a digital marketing and e-commerce consulting firm, Shaliza Somani leads a team of people she considers both her colleagues and friends. Through her leadership, Shaliza and her team work closely with e-commerce merchants, as well as payment processing companies, in order to improve their viability within their industries. Her goal with One Star Media is to help businesses customize their products and services in order to best serve their clientele base.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Shaliza Somani is a health advocate who strives to live the healthiest life possible through exercise and healthy eating habits. Her favorite activities include weight training, tennis, running, and spending time outdoors as much as possible. Shaliza’s fervor for this kind of lifestyle started during her first pregnancy.

Shaliza Somani is also a sommelier who is deeply invested in exploring the deep and nuanced science of complementing food with wine. Recently, Shaliza Somani introduced her passion for wine to School Toronto , a restaurant that she invested in with her husband. School focuses on artisanal takes on classic dishes and is widely considered one of the city’s best brunch spots.

Where did the idea for One Star Media come from?

I worked for a digital marketing company for 3 years and during that time I had headhunters and other organizations contacting me daily to see if they could hire/contract my services. This was in 2006, so there weren’t many digital marketing companies around and email marketing was something a lot of companies didn’t know how to set up or monetize. I decided to start One Star Media and offer a full slew of services from sales and account management to online marketing and advertising. My first client was a payment processing startup that ended up contracting me exclusively for some time. I was hired to build out a sales division, a customer service team and run their business development.

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

It starts with rushing my son out the door and grabbing an Americano on the way to work. I lay out everything that needs to happen that day both for work and personally with my family and prioritize what needs to be handled. My day is filled with calls and meetings with clients and my staff so I usually pack a lunch and work through it. I leave the office between 4:00-5:00pm every day and always make time for some physical activity – it keeps me sane.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I’m super analytical so I have to write down everything, map it out, and do a ton of research before I bring an idea to life. I love talking to other people about ideas and getting different perspectives and collaborating.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I’ve spent the last year focused on mobile marketing. I love how more and more content continues to be consumed via mobile phones and how businesses have adapted to this trend by customizing apps and user experiences.

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

I never shoot down an idea from another person. I feel like listening to others, hearing criticism on my own ideas, and addressing concerns or new ideas is important to keep yourself learning all the time.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Listen more, talk less. It’s not about what you know or sounding good. Soak up as much as you can from people around you – even people you think are not worth listening to always have something to offer.

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

When I hire people, I don’t hire them based on their experience or their education. I feel like you can train anyone to do any job. I think that if a person is motivated they can do any job.

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

Network. Never stop networking. I learn so much about business in general just by talking to other people who love business as much as I do.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

I never throw away an opportunity. Even if a potential client comes to me and I can’t help them, I find them someone to help with what they need. This is all part of the networking as I have noticed these companies always come back to me for something else down the road.

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

I love the beauty industry and have always wanted to create a site for hair stylists and colourists that maps them out by location and filters them by styles and celebrity looks. I feel like women are always looking for new stylists and there is no real way to find them unless it’s a personal referral.

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

Brunch with my friends! Why? Life would suck without friends, food, and cocktails.

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

Evernote. I used to have the sharpest memory – I mean it was almost perfect – then I had my son and my brain went to mush. Now that I am older, I have to write everything down. I love having notes to go back to and refresh my memory on ideas or conversations and you can organize them in different notebooks and sync them to all your devices and search by keywords and add pictures.

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

Built To Last” by Jim Collins – a classic business book that every entrepreneur should read. The book is filled with a ton of research on top businesses that both continue to grow and prosper and ones that started strong but focused on just profits and fizzled out. This book is about creating more than a business, it’s about creating a community your employees love being a part of and providing value to customers so your service becomes an integral part of their lives. By focusing on providing services people can’t live without, you intern secure the longevity of your business.

What is your favorite quote?

I don’t have one. I do like a lot of funny business sayings like: “Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.”

Key Learnings

  • Listen more, talk less.
  • I never shoot down an idea from another person. I feel like listening to others, hearing criticism on my own ideas, and addressing concerns or new ideas is important to keep yourself learning all the time.
  • Soak up as much as you can from people around you – even people you think are not worth listening to always have something to offer.


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