For so many of us entrepreneurs, we start off on one path and end up going in a totally different direction. Twelve years ago this December, I founded Broadcast Management Group. It simultaneously feels like just yesterday and a hundred years ago. Of course, everyone has their own story about going into business and the journey they took. As I reflect on these last 12 years I thought I’d share mine.
Live TV, business, or real estate?
I was first exposed to live television production at age 15 and I caught the “live” bug almost instantly. The church I attended televised their Sunday services and I volunteered to help in any capacity possible. I also had a pretty lofty goal of getting into international mergers and acquisitions, so I decided to major in business in college with an international focus. My first professional job was working for Transamerica Financial Services. After five years, I found I had built a pretty successful career, but my passion for television production remained. So I continued to accept freelance jobs producing, directing or running camera. And, as if things weren’t interesting enough, I also invested in real estate with a partner and helped some colleagues launch their own businesses.
Putting my passions and skills together brought opportunities.
Through all of this, my passion for TV production stayed with me. But, for some reason, it never occurred to me to combine my passion with my business experience. Lucky for me, this thought had occurred to a colleague of mine, who asked me to help him start a production company. I jumped at the opportunity. For the first time I had the opportunity to combine my creative and technical production passion with my business experience.
When you have a passion and follow it, good things can happen. By the end of our first year in business, we had acquired our largest competitor. There is nothing like a taste of real success to make you want more. From there, I was recruited by a large post-production company in Washington, DC to head up their expansion efforts. Over the course of nearly six years I lead several acquisitions and opened technical facilities in multiple cities throughout the US. While I loved the business side of the work, I found myself craving more action on the production end.
As fate would have it, I soon landed a CEO position with the holding company of an international production company who had recently been acquired. My job was to turn the company around and then take over operations of one of their other production companies. It was tough, but exciting work! And what I really enjoyed was being back in live production, working with broadcasters all over the world.
If you do enough work for others, you’ll find ways to do it better yourself.
That work led to another turnaround assignment, this time for one of the largest production facilities in the country. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I lead the technology upgrade at three locations – New York, Los Angeles and DC. Together, with a talented group of innovators, we built the first tapeless production/post production/transmissions facilities in the country in New York City. We also changed the business model from a post and studio rental facility to a full-service production management and development company.
The goal was to fill up the physical capacity, but we were geographically limited to our three physical locations. Even though we were successful, somehow it started to feel like we were just filling vacancies – like a hotel trying to book rooms. There had to be a better way. We really needed to focus on meeting our client’s needs, not just filling capacity at our studios. So instead of waiting for someone else to do it, I decided to do it myself. This lead to the creation of Broadcast Management Group twelve years ago. It was then that I decided BMG would always have a 100% focus on meeting client needs, wherever on the planet it took us.
As an entrepreneur, I appreciate how important each production is to the business.
What’s great about being an entrepreneur is that you learn virtually every aspect of building and running small and large companies by doing it yourself. From business development, marketing, accounting, strategy and technology to directing and producing, you bring that deep knowledge to every project.
No matter how exciting a project may be, for my clients, it represents part of a greater business goal. That’s why its so important to create and produce content that is organically focused on the business goals and garnering a strong ROI. As part of that, you need to leverage technology to improve the creative process and streamline operations.
Just as important is the team behind any project. Through my own journey, I have learned that building the right team for each project is key to achieving any objective. That’s why I took my time to build a strong and talented team at BMG. Because in the end, its about building long term relationships with our clients, staff and vendors and leveraging our experience to meet our client’s goals and objectives.
Its been a wild ride these last twelve years of entrepreneurship. But the entrepreneur in me lives on. And I’m looking forward to where the next twelve takes us.