Some call it chutzpah (her mother), while others call it "stubborn mule-ishness" (her business partner). Whatever it is, Missy Ward's got it. Her tenacity and dedication have helped Affiliate Summit's brand grow over the past eight years. Affiliate Summit Inc., which started out as a single one-day event focused on the affiliate marketing space, has expanded to include a magazine, podcast network and dozens of events held nationwide. Ward and the company's co-founder, Shawn Collins, are pleased with the tremendous growth, and look forward to the new Affiliate Summit Central in Austin next May. Ward attributes most of her brand's success to its customers: "We\u2019ve listened to what they\u2019ve had to say and have tried our best to provide them with the experience they are looking for.\u00a0 In return many of them have become our brand ambassadors and have helped our company grow for eight consecutive years." Loving What She Does Ward takes the statement "love what you do" to heart. In fact, she first heard this from her father, and has been living it ever since: "I breathe what I do for a living and because of that, nothing I do feels like work, even when I do it for 12 to 15 hours a day." And as for that deal with the Devil? Ward jokes that she and Collins made a deal years ago so that they get 14 extra hours a week. She does, however, make the most of her time, since she works from home and saves the time she would otherwise spend commuting. She's even had time to write a new book, All About the Cookies, a "business book cleverly disguised as a cookbook," proceeds from which go to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Missy Ward was recognized as a Small Business Influencer Champion for 2011. Read more of our Small Business Influencer Champion interviews.