4 Ways Randi Zuckerberg Stays Hungry for Success

UPDATED: October 12, 2015
PUBLISHED: May 25, 2015

There’s no doubt Randi Zuckerberg wears several hats. The former Facebook marketing exec is founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a boutique marketing firm and production company; New York Times best-selling author; editor in chief of digital lifestyle site Dot Complicated; and mom to two. She’s also a singer and Broadway actress, and coming soon to Oxygen network, an investor on the Shark Tank-style show Time to Quit Your Day Job.

When SUCCESS caught up with Randi, 33, the multitasking executive was immersed in a project that had her commuting from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It seems she often needs to be two places at once.

“There’s no way when you’re doing this you can be all in at work and all in on your family,” says Zuckerberg, who’s working with Fairfield Inn & Suites’ National Amazing Month campaign, recognizing people that help us maintain balance. Zuckerberg says in her case, that person is her husband, tech executive Brent Tworetzsky. “I feel really lucky I have my husband stepping in during this time. He’s Super Dad.”

Zuckerberg’s work-life balance motto? Take the pressure off to do everything well every single day. “If it balances out in the long run, it’s OK if some days I’m really focused on my job and other days I’m really focused on my family.”

So when Zuckerberg returns home to northern California on weekends, she’s all about family: “No distractions.” That’s the premise behind her book, website and weekly XM radio show, Dot Complicated. “Unplugging, just family time,” Zuckerberg says.

Balancing tech and life together in Silicon Valley can be tough, but Zuckerberg thrives on the challenge. When she left her role as Facebook’s marketing director in 2011 to launch her own company, she knew the bar was set high with her famous last name (Facebook CEO and chairman Mark Zuckerberg is her brother.)

“I already hold myself to a high standard, so that just gave me the extra oomph to be a hungry, ambitious entrepreneur on my own,” Zuckerberg says. “I have always considered myself hungry, ambitious and passionate about what I’m doing, so for me it’s a no brainer that I continue to work really, really hard and establish my own brand out there. I feel like I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t always learning something new.”

Zuckerberg strongly believes that there’s not one, “right” way, one strict formula, to get to success. “You don’t just have to be a 19-year-old male dropout of an Ivy League college to be successful … Entrepreneurs come in all different shapes and sizes and appearances and we should celebrate all of them.”

Here are her tips for a little extra oomph while chasing your dreams and establishing your brand, whether that’s as an entrepreneur, a young professional, a freelancer, a creative, or even a Broadway singer…

1. Be open to multiple paths leading to your dreams.

Zuckerberg’s proudest work accomplishment and number one bucket list item? Starring in Rock of Ages on Broadway last spring. “I wish I could have told 18-year-old Randi, who wanted to sing on Broadway, to hang in there, stay ambitious—find another way to get there!”

She says many people may relinquish their dreams early on because they’re “not realistic or don’t make money or life gets in the way,” but accomplishing this lifelong dream made her realize a variety of paths can get you there. “You shouldn’t give up, because a lot of opportunities can come back and find you later on.”

2. Build your social media presence.

She landed that role thanks to social media. Instead of looking for traditional celebrities to perform in their show, the Rock of Ages team searched for someone with a big social following. They started asking around in the community and people said, “We know exactly the woman for you.” (When she worked at Facebook, Zuckerberg performed in Feedbomb, a rock cover band, with fellow employees.)

“I was just sitting in my living room when I got a call to come be on Broadway! Just an amazing moment.” It was “a fantastic testament to social media,” which is why she tells everyone to invest in their social presence. “Yes, you need to get really good at your craft but remember that you are a brand, too.” 

3. Create boundaries. 

While you’re honing your skills and building your brand, set limits with the technology available at our fingertips. “No one is going to set boundaries for you when it comes to tech”—except you.

Zuckerberg tells employees they’ll receive her emails in the middle of the night after her kids go to bed, but it doesn’t mean she expects them to respond. “It’s about respecting your own time and letting your own employees have permission to respect their own time as well.”

4. Learn from other people’s mistakes. 

Zuckerberg has an insatiable appetite to learn. She says “the only way you’re going to be successful is if you admit what you don’t know and you ask for help”—like when she asked colleagues who knew about real estate, for their advice when she opened a studio.

“If someone else has already made that mistake and learned from it, why should you make that mistake again?”

Vicki Salemi is a career expert, columnist, author of Big Career in the Big City, speaker and frequent on-air guest. She resides in New York City and is a huge fan of the Yankees, cardio tap (yes, as in dancing) and cardio tennis.