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In this ongoing series, we’re sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are fighting the business on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and abbreviated for clarity.)
Who are you and what is your business?
Robert Tuchman: I am the co-CEO of Amaze Media Labs. We are a company focused on creating branded podcasts for companies. We currently have over 70 customers, including well-known brands such as Pfizer, Visa, Facebook, MetLife, Ford and Estee Lauder, as well as smaller companies. We’ve developed technology that will change the landscape of podcasts that are unsearchable 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 getting a lot more technology oriented. I’m the Co-CEO and our Chief Revenue Officer, along with our partner Stephen Master, we think we have some exclusive tech products that will change how we develop great podcasts for companies.
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What inspired you to start this business?
RT: Brett and I have always been entrepreneurial, and were probably unattainable elsewhere [laughs], We saw this incredible opportunity in podcasting. Working with a number of B2B companies in the past, we realized that there is a great need for brands to share quality podcast content and their own sayings. We have worked in the experiential and events business for over 25 years and this was a completely new and exciting concept for us.
BS: Our old traditional business was focused on selling experiences from existing sporting events and entertainment events. But that’s a different thing – we’re taking a concept and building a series from the beginning that didn’t exist before.
RT: Each podcast is like creating a mini television show. How’s Success With Hosting My Experience entrepreneurWe really know the industry, and quickly hired the right people who were great builders and knew how to do it. Let us focus on using our expertise to build relationships with these corporations.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
BS: Rob and I didn’t have the necessary production knowledge and experience, so we quickly put together a knowledgeable experienced podcast team. It has completely changed the business we were in for so many years.
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RT: There are so many incredible manufacturers out there, and for us, it was important to find people who not only had technical skills, but also fit in with our company culture. Having a great creative team and process has allowed us to focus on our strengths like marketing, sales and relationship building.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs starting their journey?
RT: You must be flexible and ready to adapt, and you must be passionate about what you are starting and believe in what you are doing. With being an entrepreneur comes an exorbitant amount of work, there is no day. You need to live and breathe your business. There will be ups and downs, and it all comes down to moving forward and improving the company that you have learned from your mistakes.
BS: Sometimes the company’s core approach doesn’t work. 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 perseverance, and being fearless. There is no right time to start a business. We launched in COVID. No matter what happens, it’s going to be tough, and the most important thing is to build a team and culture where everyone is crying in the same direction.
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Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as a personal inspiration?
RT: “A winner is just a loser who tries one more time.” I put it on my wall. I actually believe that a lot of people give up just before the magic happens.
BS: I have a little note that just says “once a day”. Thinking too far into the future can be overwhelming, so I need to remind myself to focus on the now.
What does the word entrepreneur mean to you?
RT: An entrepreneur, most importantly, is one who is able to get himself off the mat. Because you are beaten many times. You have to be tough, be able to bounce back and you definitely have to go a little crazy!
BS: I agree with this. You have to be somewhat of a risk taker and understand that if you repeatedly lift yourself off the mat, there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel.