Too Sexy

Wendy Niad, 31

Niad hasn't always been free to express her sexiness. Indeed, for five years, she slaved as an agent in the largest literary and talent agency in the world: a "big boys' club," requiring "cut-throat" masculinity. "I wore suits every day . . . I acted like a man!" she recalls.

But this all changed three years ago, when she founded Niad Management, a homebased literary and talent management firm in Sherman Oaks, California. She admits it was a scary move, but luckily, her commissions tripled the first year and increased tenfold last year.

What's the reason for her exponential success? Would you believe, in part, her newly reclaimed femininity? That's right-her clients noticed the change immediately.

According to Niad, since a corporate agency's focus is more on making money than the actual clients, her friendliness simply fits managerial work better. Although her intellectual prowess is still required, she now utilizes her warm personality as well. For example, her capacity for nurturing others-she's quick to note this personal side of her job, describing it as "holding hands, making [my clients] feel not as alone in the world." Niad's compassion also shines when she takes her dog Roscoe to a local hospital to serve in the Volunteer Pet Therapy program.

Great characters refuse to be repressed. With Niad's gutsy escape from the corporate mold, notes her lucky fiancé, "Wendi is truly an example of a sexy entrepreneur."


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This article was originally published in the October 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Too Sexy.

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