Habits: Ronn Torossian, CEO and founder, 5W Public Relations

My mother taught me that the only limits in life are those you set for yourself.

Morning ritual
I usually wake up at 5am and spend 15 minutes checking up on my email and the news. I then work out until 7am, have breakfast with my kids, and walk to work by 8am.

Required reading
I read The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Post every day.

First PR job
I worked for the Likud Party in Israel, where I first discovered what it was like to be in the eye of the media storm 24/7.

Best career advice you've ever received
My mother taught me that the only limits in life are those you set for yourself.  

Favorite city to travel to on business

Chicago. It's a beautiful city full of good people. It's also a great place for PR business.

Proudest career achievement
Being placed on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing American companies in 2007 and 2008 and being chosen as a semifinalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year.

Most regrettable career moment
Nothing I'll admit to. Every single day I make mistakes.

Most distinct aspect of your office
I'm a voracious reader and have a number of bookshelves in my office where I stock books that I enjoy giving away to people – marketing books, business books, and even religion books. Of course, the most meaningful items are the framed photos of my children.

Person to call in a crisis
When I need immediate advice, I call my best friend, who is also a self-made entrepreneur. As my rabbi taught me, when seeking an adviser, the most important questions to ask are: “Do you like them? Do you respect them? Do they really care about you?” If the answer to those questions is “yes,” then take their counsel and advice seriously.

My mother is my mentor. She taught me the value of hard work without taking shortcuts, the importance of believing in myself, and the will to never stop aspiring to be better, wiser, and to do more. She taught me more than anyone ever could.
Ideal job, if not in PR
If I couldn't work in PR, I'd want to be in politics, making a difference in the civic world, or a rabbi, making a difference in the spiritual world.

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