Lori Z., The Adult BrokerIn addition to making things happen for her clients, Lori is a proud single mother raising a 5-year-old daughter. Her energy is boundless. While she’s battled adversity in this industry, she’s built The Adult Broker into a powerful business in almost no time.
If you haven’t seen her work a convention, then you need to stop drinking so much and get out of bed more often. The Adult Broker is a nonstop whirlwind of activity who’s definitely not afraid to have a good time at the end of the day, either. That’s only part of the story. In addition to making things happen for her clients, Lori is a proud single mother raising a 5-year-old daughter. Her energy is boundless. While she’s battled adversity in this industry, she’s built The Adult Broker into a powerful business in almost no time. Lori Z. is an example of how far determination and loving what you do will take you.
What are the challenges of being a woman in this industry?
There aren’t any, at least in my book.
A lot of women would disagree with you.
A challenge can be good or bad. Let me rephrase my answer: The challenges I face in the industry are good ones; ones that drive me. Looking at challenges because I am a woman—I can’t do that. Business is business.
What are the advantages of being a woman in the industry?
This industry is built on the foundation of women, so that is an inherent advantage.
Do you ever use your sexuality to your advantage?
I would disagree.
Why is it that people think women use their sexuality in the industry, but men don’t? Of course, women use their sexuality. It is the foundation of this industry. But, to land a deal? No.
What did you do in your pre-porn days?
I did everything I do now—produce, build, and market businesses. Only I did it for TV and licensing instead of porn.
How did you get into adult?
I worked in licensing for Playboy, but that wasn’t really adult. It really began when Alec Helmy hired me to run XBiz. Eventually, that took over my work schedule, and I let go of my own consulting business and referred my clients to others. Alec opened a new world to me, challenged me, and we flew pretty high together. It was an invaluable experience.
What has been your greatest triumph in the industry?
I would say the creation and launch of XBiz World magazine. I put my heart and soul into it along with some blood, sweat, and tears. A great team we put together built it from the ground up, and I am still very proud of it. I see how much more it has grown and evolved since my tenure there, and I’m very happy to see it grow. It sounds corny, but it was like a child of mine. I can’t help but be a proud mama, even from afar. Second was opening the doors of The Adult Broker. I’ve always worked for others in building their businesses, so I made a business out of building business, if that makes sense. The Adult Broker’s mission is to find new business for everyone that asks. [Other than my core clients], there are dozens of others I do deals with every week. The Adult Broker has thrived since day one—thanks to my advertising supporters, people utilizing the broker aspect, and to my clients, who I work hard for every day. I like to earn my keep, so to speak.
Things ended abruptly with XBiz. What did you learn from that situation?
I learned how far I can push myself. I learned that I am a perfectionist to a point of detriment sometimes. I learned all about the adult business, of course, but I also learned how to pay attention to detail and, most importantly, I learned that I am not always right. Vision and achievement can be part of a team effort. I learned to take and appreciate the good of having certain people in my life and leaving the rest behind.
So what exactly does The Adult Broker do? Are you a consultant or is there more to it than that?
I consider myself more of a strategic adviser than a consultant. I help move companies in directions they want to go based on an assessment of their needs and vision. Within that framework come marketing, branding, and public relations. Companies who hire me get major business development. I do broker deals for many in the industry—traffic, content, partnerships, etc. I love strategy, I love making deals—like fitting pieces of a puzzle together. There are about 30 deals in queue right now, more if you count my clients’ deals. Think of me as an additional resource, the go-to girl, so to speak. No one could ever really define me in life, so it’s kind of hard to put a label on me in business, too. I’m just there if you need me.
Who’s the most difficult client you’ve had to work for?
[Laughs] Are you serious? I plead the Fifth. Seriously, I’ve been so lucky to be retained by great clients, like Jason from PornDollar, MeatCash, CECash, and many more. The main clients I have now, Millennium Marketing, Booble, and PPPcard, are all awesome. The numerous companies I work with in the broker arena are solid as well. Granted, there are a few one-off clients where there were issues on deals, but when that happened I killed the deals, deleted them from my network and ICQ, and found a new partner to do the deal with. The protection of my clients and my relationship with them is No. 1. That’s more important than making a buck on a shady deal.
Do you hold any resentment toward anyone in the industry?
No, I don’t have the time.
We talked about your triumphs. Do you have a greatest failure?
I don’t believe there are failures in life, only experiences and life lessons. If I had to define failure, I’d say it is when I don’t go for something. Then I automatically fail.
How does one work a trade show as effectively as you do?
I have a plan of action going in and run my ass off. Also, my business allows for multiple things and pitches to happen within one conversation, so that’s quite effective. It helps that I like people, love to network, and listen for new opportunities. I can strategize on the fly. Taking notes for follow-up later is key.
What’s your secret to being able to work all day and party all night?
I don’t do it every day, so when the time comes to work and party around the clock, my adrenalin is flowing. That helps. So does Red Bull. I’m a lightweight, so it doesn’t take much of it to keep me going.
Which shows are most valuable?
The AEE show in Vegas, Phoenix Forum, Florida Internext, Costa Rica Bash, at least one Webmaster Access, one Europe show, and one getaway. There are new shows popping up all the time, but I won’t know until I go to some of these, so this list could change by next year.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
I look up to the people that have fallen and come back, the ones who love their families as much as their business, and the ones who stop for a minute and just ask you how life is. Legendary Lars is one of my favorites.
If you were ever on the cover of Forbes, what would you want the headline to read?
“Business Mother of the Year.”
This story first appeared in the September 2006 issue of AVN Online magazine. To subscribe to AVN Online, go to avnmedianetwork.com/subscribe.