Monday, October 17, 2011

Jenee Chizick: "Where's Your Real Love, What's Your Passion?"

Jenee Chizick worked in the media for ten years before launching Motivos magazine.

She met with numerous business people and learned from numerous magazine publishers before venturing on her own.

"You have to find your own path," she said, "but learn from other people."

She recognized that the Latino population was/ is growing in the United States and that there are few Latinos in newsrooms. She did focus groups and surveys. She read books about starting a small business.

Ultimately, she saw an opportunity.

She created a bilingual magazine for young people who otherwise have no voice in their communities.

"Motivos is for kids who don't know what they want or can do," Chizick said.

She started it locally as she has a base of workers, advertisers and readers here. It is now delivered to 24 states and Puerto Rico. And she covered her costs from the very beginning.

The magazine relies upon advertising for the bulk of their revenue but there are secrets she wouldn't share. She did reveal that she sells the magazines in bulk to some schools who then distribute the mags to their students. They also run some sponsored articles, positive stories that are paid for by advertisers (and labeled as such).

When she set up her business plan, she asked herself, "Who wants to reach the audience I'm reaching?"

She generates a lot of revenue from universities who use Motivos as a recruiting tool.

Her writers are her readers, so there is a community that is built, and they are engaged.

The magazine has an altruistic mission of helping young Latinos find a path in life but the magazine is a for profit operation. Chizick seems to think she can balance those two ideals.

"Where's your real love," she asked. "What's your passion? Just do it."

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