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I’m a fan of Nicole Crimaldi.  There.  I’ve said it.  We connected on Twitter a while back when I realized we were on the same Metra Train in from the Western Suburbs of Chicago.  We were both tweeting away, and I recognized her home town right away.  Later on, I guest blogged a post for her, and during our exchange, she really encouraged me to start blogging.  I knew I needed to get to blogging.  Heck, I had started and stopped and started and stopped a few dozen times, on 5 or 6 different domain names.  It took Nicole kicking me in the pants to really get me going.  For that I’ll always owe her a debt of gratitude!

Anyway, I think Nicole is a rock-star in the making.  She has passion, drive, energy and a proper mind-set to go a long way in life (as you’ll learn from our interview).  I look forward to following her career as it weaves its way forward.  If you’d like to check out a little bit of Nicole beyond our interview, here’s a video of Nicole presenting at Pittsburgh Podcamp 5 a few months back.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Nicole Crimaldi.  I’m the founder of MsCareerGirl.com, I work in finance by day and I’m launching my second site Chidogoan.com in early 2011.  MsCareerGirl.com is a site written by and for ambitious young professional women.  Chidogoan connects Chicago dog owners with local dog-friendly businesses (think Groupon meets Yelp with a bit of Craigslist for the Chicago dog lover).  I’m usually working, reading on my kindle, hanging out with my yellow lab Giada or drinking coffee.

Where can we find you online?

When and how did you get involved in Twitter?

I started tweeting about 2 years ago.  I went to a Ladies Who Launch conference and Twitter was a huge topic there.   It took me 6 months after that conference to get my own Twitter account.  Now I’m hooked and Twitter has been a HUGE networking and growth tool for me.

What is your discipline or profession?

My degree is in Finance and I minored in Entrepreneurship, which is my passion.  I’ve also studied Internet Marketing through the University of San Francisco.

How did you get into that area of expertise?

My entrepreneurial ventures started with the “birth” of MsCareerGirl 2 years ago. Blogging sparked my interest in social media, online marketing and internet businesses.  I’ve read, tested and studied new media extensively in the past few years to the point that I’d say my expertise doesn’t lie in my college degree as much as it does in online marketing.

What was the best job you’ve ever had (and why)?

Working for my parents while they were starting third company.  It was amazing to see processes and customers built from the ground up.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?  Who gave it to you?

Narrowing it down to one piece of advice is really tough.  Overall, the principles expressed in the books “The Secret,” “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “The Millionaire Mind” shape my business decisions and lifestyle choices.

What one piece of advice would you like to pass on to the next gen that does what you do?

Nix Networking, Start Socializing! Talk to people every day no matter where you are.  Ask people what they do and what makes them tick.  Go to coffee with people you talk to online and consistently build relationships. In order to have something to talk about with all these people, read as much as you can!

If not for your current position, what job would you most like to perform?

I’d love to work for a growing start up in Chicago as a liason between management, sales and product development to drive the business forward.  I’d like to implement PR and guerilla marketing programs, dive into offline community development, test internet marketing strategies and make sure the business model stayed on a path towards long-term growth.

Whom do you consider your “on-line hero” and why?

I love Ramit Sethi.  So real and so right.  Ramit says things we need to hear in a way that’s funny but difficult to read at the same time.  He’s taken a simple topic and turned it into a multi-channel and multi-milion dollar business all before the age of 30.  He is a very intelligent and well-read man who I admire.

How did you come to live in the Chicago area?

I’m grew up in the western suburbs (St. Charles) and knew I wanted to live in Chicago and ever since I was little. Lately I have days that I laugh out loud because I’m truly living the life I always imagined I would.

What’s your favorite thing(s) about living in the Chicago area?

I love the convenience, the lake, the non-stop entertainment, the food!, the variety of neighborhoods and cultural diversity, the big business presence, the people and the opportunities.

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Sean McGinnis

Director, Digital Marketing at Sears Parts Direct
Sean McGinnis is Director, Digital Marketing at Sears Parts Direct. He is also a (digital strategist, blogger, consultant ) and public speaker. You can find Sean on