WIA Profile: Lori Z.

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.

How did you get into this? What in your background prepared you for what you're doing now?

I was in marketing and television for many years.

I was in marketing and television for many years. I wanted more challenge and I saw an ad for a marketing and sales person, but in adult. I was up for it and submitted my resume and was called for an interview. It was a 90-minute fully packed interview were I walked out of it thinking, "Either I just got the job or I way over spoke my opinions and shot myself in the foot." A couple days later, I got the call with the job offer — and of course negotiation — and about two weeks later I arrived at the XBIZ offices and began working on building the XBIZ brand and XBIZ World magazine. I never looked back. I hope the results of that decision are seen today.

What changes have affected your work since you started it?

I believe the effect of how you are perceived in the business but also how you perceive yourself. I was naïve enough and business-driven enough that it didn't matter what "brand of shoes" I was marketing, I just knew I wanted to be the best and accomplish. I think the biggest point was accepting how my life outside the industry may be affected. So it was how I chose to handle that, strategically, was the best answer, and still is. But it is a byproduct of others' limited thinking. So making the best of both worlds without sacrificing one for the other is the ultimate positive affect. Since I started many years ago, the effect within the industry is with each market shift you have to make sure it is an affect vs. an effect, if that makes sense. It is how you choose to handle the fallout or 2257 or regulations or even today's cross sale, tube, or other situations. It has an effect on you, but does it affect you? It affects when you can't work with or around something. The effect can be a positive depending on what you choose.

What is the biggest challenge in matching people who offer services with people who need them?

The biggest challenge these days is the history. Many people and companies have "history" with each other and may not be apt to do something new together. But the history may not be relevant today, it's just what they know. So it is working people through "what happened" vs. "what can be" through a mediator kind of position. If "what can be" offers more than the history, then we have something good. Sometimes talking through it produces great new results. Sometimes it's a wash. But the challenge is getting out of an old way of thinking and into the new and that is where the money is. The other biggest challenge, or, shall I say, a pet peeve of mine, is the challenge of making someone see the money on the table that is sitting there and they are not picking it up. That is what gets me the most. It's something so obvious but maybe to me because of where I sit. It's the forest through the trees situations. But then I say to myself there must be something behind why they haven't seen it and picked it up. That is when you break down the why, and work on changing the excuses or reasoning to fit present day opportunity.

What do you see as the challenges to online adult enterprises as the economy tends to decline and discretionary spending slows?

I see reactive decision making, knee-jerk type of reactions. But I have also seen the long-term vision of a few based on what the choices they are making. In this market at this time, it is how you choose to strategically move your business forward: if that means branching out that creates a value other than monetary but ultimately brings you to the bank, then that is what you need to do.

Is there a motto or inspirational phrase you live by?

Pay forward.