Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what’s your business?
Robert Tuchman: I’m the co-CEO of Amaze Media Labs. We’re a company focused on creating branded podcasts for companies. We have over 70 clients at the moment, including iconic brands like Pfizer, Visa, Facebook, Metlife, Ford, and Estee Lauder, as well as smaller companies. We’ve developed technology that will change the landscape for podcasts that aren’t being discovered and need listeners.
Brett Sklar: Robert and I have built great agencies in the past, and with Amaze we have built an agency that is really becoming a lot more technology oriented. Along with our partner Stephen Master, our Chief Revenue Officer, we feel we have some special tech products that will transform how we develop great podcasts for companies.
What inspired you to create this business?
RT: Brett and I have always been entrepreneurial, and were probably unhireable anywhere else [laughs]. We just saw this incredible opportunity in podcasting. In working with a lot of B2B companies in the past, we realized there was a great need for brands to have quality podcast content and share their own narratives. We’ve worked in the experiential and event business for 25 years and this was a totally new and exciting concept for us.
BS: Our old traditional business was focused on selling experiences around existing sporting events and entertainment events. But this is a different thing — we’re taking a concept and building a series from scratch that didn’t exist before.
RT: Each podcast is like creating a mini television show. With my experience hosting How Success Happens for Entrepreneur, we really know this industry, and quickly hired the right people who were great producers and knew how to do it. That let us focus on using our expertise of creating relationships with these corporations.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you pivot to overcome it?
BS: Rob and I didn’t have the major production knowledge and experience necessary, so we quickly put together a knowledgeable veteran podcast team. It’s been a complete switch from the business we were in for so many years.
RT: There are so many incredible producers out there, and for us, it was important to find people who not only had the technical skills but also fit in with our company culture. Having a great creative team and process in place has allowed us to focus on our strengths like marketing, sales, and relationship building.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs just starting their journeys?
RT: You need to be flexible and be willing to adapt, and you need to be passionate about what you’re embarking on and believe in what you’re doing. There is an extreme amount of work that comes with being an entrepreneur, there are no days off. You need to live and breathe your business. There will be ups and downs, and it all comes down to moving on and bettering the company from what you learned from your mistakes.
BS: Sometimes the original vision of the company doesn’t work out. We pivoted three or four times before we really nailed down our product and really understood what we were selling. It’s about perseverance and persistence, and being fearless. There is no perfect time to launch a business. We launched in COVID. It’s going to be hard no matter what, and the most important thing is creating a team and culture where everyone is rowing in the same direction.
Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
RT: “A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.” I put that on my wall. I really believe that so many people quit right before the magic happens.
BS: I have a little note that just says “one day at a time.” It can be very overwhelming to think too far into the future, so I have to remind myself to stay focused on the now.
What does the word entrepreneur mean to you?
RT: An entrepreneur, most importantly, is someone who’s able to pick themselves off the mat. Because you get beaten down so many times. You have to be tough, able to bounce back and you gotta be a little crazy for sure!
BS: I’d agree with that. You have to be somewhat of a risk-taker and understand that if you pick yourself off the mat time and time again, there’s usually a light at the end of the tunnel.