Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

How do you get a job in the sports industry? Find out from Brad Olecki of Trenches Sports


– On this episode of C Level, I speak with Brad Olecki, CEO and founder of TRENCHES Sports &
Entertainment Consulting. (upbeat music) So Brad, so welcome, so tell me– – Great to be here. – Yeah, thank you for coming out. So tell me a little bit
about like your background and, you know, just how you got started. – You know, I’ve played
sports my whole life and I went into college thinking that I was gonna go in and
kinda follow my dad’s footsteps of being the sales guy in the industrial sales industry, right. Selling toilet paper and napkins and those kind of things–
– Is that what he did? – I mean that’s what I did
working in his warehouses, you know, prior to high
school and middle school and what not.
– Right – So, I went in knowing
I wanted to be in sales, I didn’t know a whole lot
about the sports industry. Went to college to play football, got into marketing, fell in love with kinda the brand aspect of things. And then as I was coming out of college I still didn’t know what avenue to take to get into sports. So, I was interviewing with, you know, big companies, like 3M
and those types of places. – For sales? For sales jobs?
– Yeah, for sales. General sales jobs, selling,
I mean boring stuff. You know, janitory and sanitation products and that kinda stuff. Real, wonderful–
– It’s like what do you do? I sell toilet paper. – Look, you make a lot
more money doing that than probably what I did starting off. And a good example of
that is I got offered this job by 3M to, you
know, make $48,000 a year and a company car and I could go to one of these four cities they offered. And instead of doing that,
I took this internship with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and worked for a pretty
great group of guys there that taught me a tremendous
amount about the business. So I started as a glorified intern, with the Chick-fil-A
Peach Bowl here in town. And then you know, from there, just got more into the
brand sponsorship side, had a couple mentors that
helped me along the way that got me into working for
a group that Paul Allen owned, called Action Sports Media. They had a cable channel
up in the Pacific Northwest and they were putting in video boards in university football and
basketball stadiums and arenas prior to athletic directors wanting to buy the biggest and the best. I don’t know if you can remember, back then that everybody had one and athletic directors didn’t wanna put the expense together, so
– Right. – They would install
them and we maintained the rights for the signage
and the video content. So I started in the fulfillment
side of the business, learned a tremendous amount from a mentor of mine named Bill Hodge. And then we, you know, learned
how to sell this stuff, learned how to sell,
you know, sponsorships. And from there went into
another great company with College Sports and ISP Sports, which is now Learfield IMG College after a couple of mergers. Worked in the pro side for a few years with the Hawks and Thrashers. Miss the Thrashers, live
hockey is incredible. And then left there and I went to the College Football Hall of Fame. So there’s kind of this journey of working on incredible properties that gave me the chance
to do what I do now, which I love with Trenches. – It’s cool to see ’cause
you were in football, you played ball. And now, ’cause you
understand the sports world, and then also the
selling aspect of it too, it’s very similar to
kinda like my story is because I sold Yellow Pages advertising back in the day, right. But I always worked in
the entertainment business and because of that sales experience and then when I stepped foot
in the entertainment business, I was able, you know,
I do the sponsorships for movies and TV shows product placement, stuff like that. So it’s funny our
stories are kinda similar where it sounds like, you know, you were in the sports field, you understand that and
then you learned how to sell and then you’re now
connecting brands to sports. – Right, and it’s so rare that your personal passion and your
profession get to intersect. And the College Football
Hall of Fame was that for me. I accredit most of my
professional and personal success to what I learned on the football field, and what I learned through my players and my coaches, my teammates. I mean, it’s incredible
when you go into a place like Morehead, Kentucky, which is in the middle of Appalachia, and you have people from all across the East Coast and the Southeast, and the Midwest coming in,
different walks of life, right. And then the coaches that I learned from and the different things
that I learned there allowed me to truly
enjoy this appreciation for what that game meant to me, what it meant to my family. And when you bring that together with what the College
Football Hall of Fame was, their mission was to preserve, protect and promote the game and to show that it is a sport that truly teaches life lessons, not just banging heads. So when I got to be able to go to brands, and tell that story and share the mission of what we were building in Atlanta, it was a natural fit and my
passion obviously came out. They were able to appreciate
and understand exactly what we were trying to accomplish. And I think they got
excited about it as well. And of course, their brands who are deeply invested in college
athletics, they get it, particular the passion that
lies around college football. And now I get to do the same thing, actually, with Trenches with a lot of the different properties that we represent and some high school
stuff that we’re doing and just having that
easy transition between what I’m so passionate about, what I believe is such an
important part of our fabric. And to take that to a brand that makes the sales part of it easy. – Yeah, ’cause you get it. And, you know, you’ve
become, this thought leader in your field to where, you know, you understand the sports, so
you’re able to speak to that, and then you understand the advertising and connecting the two, it’s cool. It’s funny, like in sales, you know, people ask me, “What do you sell in?” And it’s like, well,
I’ve never sold anything. I just make a couple of recommendations from my experience and people buy from me. You know, and I think when
you understand both sides, you’re connecting the
sponsor or the advertiser to the medium which is in
your case is the sports arena. – Right, I mean, we try
to sell solutions, right? I don’t wanna be transactional. How can we create a comprehensive platform that brands can utilize
that have multiple tentacles that they’re able to utilize as either an amplifying aspect to a bigger platform that they have, or to create smaller platforms that, again, will impact their consumers, that will allow them to
talk to their consumers in a meaningful way. If I go in and just
try to hammer one thing that may or may not fit for them without truly understanding
their brand objectives and their mission and what’s
worked for them in the past, well, one, you know, they’re not gonna respect us moving forward, and two, I’m not gonna make
the quote unquote, sale. You know, if I go in and
start to learn first, I got a much better chance of success. They may not buy right now, but we may have something down the road that makes sense for them. And that’s what, again, with Trenches, we try to create this
aggregation of multiple assets that can work for brands
on multiple levels. So that at some point, whether
it’s one of our clients that we have a retainer with that works with us on a daily basis, or other associations that we have, we can take the brand to them so we can, solve for what would work for them. – Yeah, and I think the
solution based selling, it’s just, you know, asking questions. I think a lotta times, you know, when people are starting out and they’re starting their own company, and they’re just trying to sell, it’s like, they’re just
trying to sell a product because they wanna make revenue. And it’s like, that’s backwards. Find out what your customer needs. Like ask the questions, you know. The biggest thing that I see in like, in sales meetings and sales calls, and sometimes like, you know, I’ll go out with our
sales reps and I’ll hear, you know, what they’re saying is, they’re speaking too much. You know, like, ask a
question, and then listen. And then listen to what
the client’s looking for. And then when you’re actively listening to what the client’s looking for, you then can build that
product that suits their needs, ’cause it’s always them first. – Right, it’s the old sentiment of you have two ears and
one mouth for a reason. I actually used that last night with our Cub Scout, Packo. I said, “Guys, look, you
got two ears and one mouth. “Let’s listen, let’s
learn more than we talk.” And I think that applies
perfectly in sales. If you jump right into
what I can do for you, and what great assets we have, you haven’t learned what
their objectives are. You haven’t identified has something they’ve tried in the
past been similar to this that failed miserably. And on top of it, it doesn’t give you the opportunity to pivot once they throw out other objections. You know, one of the, I
think, the most talented things a salesman can have is the ability to accomplish or to
address those objections and to pivot their value
proposition accordingly so that they’re able to have
that continued dialogue. You know, it’s hard to
just not jump in there right away with the 30 minutes you get and go ba ba ba ba ba ba. – Exactly.
– You know, you gotta listen first. You gotta understand
what they’re looking for. – Yeah, and I think, and what I always say is like you’re trying to find, ’cause the biggest emotion
is pain points, right? So the customer’s trying to
solve a pain point, right. That, you know, their
current marketing plan is not delivering or they’ve never done a current marketing plan and they know they’re behind on the eight ball. And asking those questions and finding those pain points and then having your product fit those pain points and then explaining the reasons why, instead of just product dumping, you know. Like, you have to kinda bring it back to this is how this is gonna solve, you know, your marketing issues currently, what has happened to
you in the past before. – Right, and figure out, you know, what is it that we can do to evolve the partnership over time. If we try this, let’s be able to again, to adjust in midstream and move forward to strengthen that partnership. And I think in an environment
where brand executives have so many choices and now digital is this incredible platform
that we used to say nobody gets fired for buying TV or ESPN. Well, now nobody gets fired
for the digital space. So it’s comfortable and it’s easy. I mean, there’s a lotta talent that goes into finding the right play. But with sponsorship, it’s about finding the right thing that helps amplify their existing programs and messaging. And then adjusting as you go through. You know, if you just come in and set the asset package at
one thing and let it go, it’s not gonna work for anybody. And you’ve gotta make
sure that, obviously, the reason we call our company Trenches is ’cause we wanna be the
offensive lineman, right. We want the brand executive
to be the quarterback that gets all the publicity. Because they look good. Because they made the right decision. – And that’s, I love that. ‘Cause that was gonna
be my next question is, you know, the meaning behind Trenches and the fact that you were in, you know, you’re a lineman yourself, right? – What gave it away? – Well, I read your bio. But, you know, that like, kinda giving all the glory to the brand manager, that’s really cool, I appreciate that. – You know, it’s something that a good friend of mine sat down and I was trying to figure out what the heck we were
gonna call this thing. And you try to find something
that is true to you, right? That you can truly get behind. And I struggled with it. And I talked to a lot of people. And they started talking to me about kinda this mentality that I tried to live with, which is, again, just getting
in the mud in the muck, doing the work, trying to
be a multi talented player to be able to play different
positions, as a metaphor, and then be able to say, you know, look, you can count on me. And I think the offensive
lineman mentality is a great one. So, as we started talking
and playing off of that, you know, Trenches came
to light, and obviously, the fact that one, we’re
gonna do the dirty work, right, we wanna be in the
trenches for your brand, for your property. And then it allows us on both sides, ’cause we do have two clients. So we have properties that we represent and then we have the brands
that we sell them to, that we connect them with. We wanna make both of them look good. We don’t need to be in the limelight at the end of the day. So, again, as long as
there’s no holding penalties, we can, you know, we can
do what we need to do and get everything across the goal line, to use way too many
college football metaphors. – No, it’s great. So explain some of your pro, like what’s your process? Like in going about connecting a brand to a certain property. – So for us it’s about
finding unique properties. And we’ve got some pretty great, pretty great property partners that we love working with, that range from the NFL and the MLS, all the way down to kind
of iconic family properties in the Harlem Globetrotters
and high school sports. So what we wanna find is a, you know, is a property that has good people, that has the desire to
connect with good brands and to create, again, that solutions oriented value proposition, and then to be able to focus on, you know, how can we align them with brands that are looking for, whether it be that amplifying
platform that, you know, the more solutions,
regional in some cases, and it’s important that we don’t try to take the gold watches and the gold chains to every brand. So we need to have a diverse set of assets that we can take to different brands. Because if I call on AT&T, whose platform is college football, and try to pitch them something else, I’m not gonna get a great response. It shows that I’m not paying attention to what AT&T has done. Of course, they have many other platforms, but you get the point. So if we can find a
property that is unique, that has a strong value proposition that is looking at doing
things a little different and not just wanting to be transactional, that allows us to be very comfortable, very passionate when we go to the market. So those properties are key. And we wanna aggregate them
in kind of two verticals. One are the annualized
sponsorship platforms that we can say, you
know, you can be a partner of the Chicago Fire’s jersey patch deal. You can be a sponsor of
the Carolina Panthers and build an incredible experience inside Bank of America Stadium, right. We can create an incredible
youth based initiative with the Harlem Globetrotters. And then we have naming rights, which is a great asset for us as well, which is a very unique asset in that it’s not a fit for every single brand. And we work in college
athletics primarily with, you know, Upstate football,
West Virginia basketball, Ole Miss basketball,
Washington State football, and a great asset and
kind of a municipality but also a university
focus with Lakefront Arena down in New Orleans, in the
University of New Orleans. So finding brands and
running those searches for those properties
and finding the brands that make sense is really a challenge. ‘Cause there’s not too
many things harder to do than to sell naming rights. Because again, you have
to find the right fit. And it’s not just about
the marketing assets. So, you know, I think
the long winded answer is finding the right property
that we can, again, go to a brand and be comfortable saying, we know we can create something for you here that works. – And it’s funny ’cause
we experienced that. You know, in our agency too is like, ’cause we have brands that are looking for a specific genre of movie or specific genre of TV show and what that market is for that movie or that television show is very important for us to identify, all
right, what’s the brand? Where are they trying to reach? Like, who are they trying to reach? And then let’s find that property, right. Let’s find that movie or TV show, that series or whatever,
to connect that brand, to make sure that it maximizes the value, if they’re doing any type of, you know, advertising product placement,
you know, marketing. Yeah, I mean, we preach
authenticity, right. It doesn’t make sense if you try to ram a square peg in a round hole. You’ve gotta find a way
for it to be authentic. The College Football Hall of Fame, that was kind of our key platform. It was like who’s invested
in college football? Who calls Atlanta or Georgia home? And then, you know, how do we make an authentic connection
so it doesn’t interfere with the guest experience
or the fan experience, but adds value to that experience? And I think that’s so important. You go into some places and some things will look out of line. That partnership doesn’t make a tremendous amount of sense there. And some will surprise you, right. And then others you look at and go, “Wow, that’s a really great natural fit. “That has enhanced my time here, “my experience and I know “that everyone else is enjoying it.” Yeah, that’s important. – So, in your journey, how many years have you been in business? – Going on 20. Well, Trenches, four.
– Okay. – But I’ve been doing
this for about 20 years. – Yeah, so what were some of like, what were some of the hurdles? What were some of the ups and the downs? What were some of the things that, if you could share it, it would be cool? – Yeah, no, I mean, I didn’t
realize how hard this was. I’d never really had an
entrepreneurial itch. And then as I was coming through the College Football Hall of Fame project, I realized that, hey, I
gotta figure out what’s next. I’m not built to run a museum. We had a great team there, incredible people that
made that thing what it is, and now it’s in good hands. But, as I talked to a couple mentors and a couple other peers, it was like, look, you’ve got this niche, you have properties like the
College Football Hall of Fame, and this mentality, which
we just talked about, that you could apply to
help other properties. So, jumping in, that made sense. I kinda took that leap. And luckily, the, who I call my CFO, my wife was very supportive of that. She works in sports too,
she was very supportive of the leap. And so I got into it, and then you gotta find
your first client, right. I luckily have a great business partner who took a small risk
on me and got me going. And is still a great
part of Trenches today. And, you know, you find
the first property, and the first property was not one that is the most sellable. But they took a risk on
me, I took a risk on them, and it got us going. And then from there, you
get some great assets, you rely on a lot of good friends. And then you hope to build to a point where the word of mouth and the reputation starts driving referrals. So you’re not constantly in
business development mode, and sales mode. And I think the biggest challenge that I found through this whole
thing is bandwidth, right. Bandwidth and personnel. Finding the right people
to be on your team. And properly scheduling
and managing your bandwidth so that you can service every client, especially on the property side. I mean, they have high
expectations, right. So managing this with those expectations, managing the pipeline, if you will, and making sure that your team is all rowing in the same direction. So I love the sales aspect of it, but I hate the administrative stuff. I mean, that’s the hard part, right? – Yeah, right, right.
– Because it takes away from what you think is the ultimate goal. But you have to be fine
tuned in all aspects of your business in
order to run efficiently. It’s like you can’t have, you know, an engine that’s not running properly, the car’s not gonna work
the way that it should. We’ve gotta make sure that we’re all, again, rowing in the same direction. – In the transition to
sales to becoming, you know, business owner, entrepreneur, right, CEO, there’s so many other levels, you know, for when you’re just selling for yourself, it’s like all right, I got a quota hit, I’ma blow my quote out of the water, and that’s it, I go
home at night, I sleep. It’s not the way, like when you start, you know, your own business because now you’re looking into, okay, let me get these sales coming in, I’ve got money, you know,
coming into the company, now I gotta hire a sales rep, or now I gotta hire support, right. So talent, you know,
that’s the biggest thing. You know, a lot of entrepreneurs, they put this framework in
place for their business, then they’ve gotta let that go. And I think that’s challenging
for some entrepreneurs and some business owners
is that, you know, eventually, you know, you’ve built this thing over the years,
but in order to scale, you’ve gotta entrust
that with somebody else. And building a strong team, I think, is really, you know, really important. – You know, it’s so hard. You’re exactly right,
because you do have to have that level of trust. You have to have the right
people that you can trust. And you have to have those people. I mean, I think if you were
to boil it down, really, what was the hardest part
for me, being a team guy, being solo for a while was
like, you kind of look around… Who am I supposed to high five? Who am I supposed to brainstorm with? How can I pull this thread by myself? I need other people to thrive
off of and to pull from. And having a team allows
you to do that, right. And having a team that is, you know, multi generational as well. Younger and older team members that you can sit around a table and start to brainstorm on what may
make sense for this property, what brand would make sense. How do we take that idea and
start to, you know, unravel it? But just, you know, my wife got tired of listening to me talk
about work, probably, at home for the first year
and a half as I was on my own. And then you start to build this team. And then of course, the whole
thing changes to your point. You gotta have that trust. You gotta make sure that they’re, again, they’re pulling on the oars the right way. – Yeah, and I think what
you mentioned too like, the multi generational
team too is important, especially in the industry that we’re in, you know, with advertising and
technology always changing, and where the audience is. That’s the biggest thing too is, you know, you’ve gotta always have your innovators and your people that are,
you know, bringing new ideas and are always, you know, with the team, you know, the way we structured is like, I like having everybody’s input, you know. Because you’re getting, you know, different walks of life,
different experiences. And when you come together as a team, you’re able to create a
more effective campaign. If it’s just somebody at the top saying, “No, this is the way it’s gonna be.” And then that’s it. You know, and I think having
that collaborative field, especially in the industry
that we’re in, is important. You know, because the brand’s getting the best bank for the buck that way, because they’ve got a lot
of brains working on it, as opposed to just one decision maker. – Yeah, and I think,
you know, to your point, if there was one formula
that worked in sales, it would be easy and everybody could do it and they didn’t and sales people. And you know, there is no magic formula to get somebody to respond, and particularly in the brand space where they have a million
different opportunities that they’re looking at and getting hit up a hundred times a day
with other opportunities. So, Anne on our team, you know, she’s a recent graduate from
Clemson and is phenomenal. But we’ll sit there and talk about okay, who is the person
that we’re trying to reach? What demographic do they fall in? And do we take your approach, as a young up and coming
sports, you know, person who are, you know, sports
executive who wants to learn? Or do we take my old approach of like, hey, of CEO experience guy, here you go? And I don’t know if
there’s a right answer, one way or the other,
and it really depends. And we’ve had great success with a myriad of ways that you can reach people and I think there’s a little bit of luck that needs to get in there too. And, you know, the more velocity, and the more outreach that you have, the more you’re going to get lucky and the more you’re gonna figure out which of those assets will work for you, which of the, I’m sorry, which of those approaches
will work for you. – Right, so where do you see
the future of the company? Where are you headed? What’s on the horizon? – Yeah, you know, I think
the big thing for us, again, naming rights in the college space is really starting to kind of hit that crust and really take off. You’ve seen some big deals, you’ve seen some unique
deals in that space, so something we’re very excited about. I think high school sports for us is something that I’m very excited about. We have created a platform
called Friday Night Rights, which is kind of a one
stop shop for brands that are looking to create scale in the high school space. You know, unlike sports, high school, is you know,
they don’t have fans, they have participants. Whether you’re a student athlete, you are a consumer, you
are also an influencer for your parents’ dollars. Your parents are participants. They’re not just fans. That parent can be a Georgia Bulldog fan. But if they’re Harrison
Hoya, that takes precedent. ‘Cause your kid is playing,
your kid is engaged. So I think that level of engagement with high school families
is a great place for brands. But there hasn’t been too
many solutions for brands to take advantage of and to truly scale, you know, the 19,500 schools. And here in Atlanta, we’ve got, you know, the National Federation of
High School Sports Network, which is incredible,
the PlayOn! Sports guys, we’ve got Huddle guys. I mean, there’s a lot of great High School folks here in town that we’re looking to continue to align with. And, you know, I’m a big believer in collaboration in the space. So, you know, for us, it’s also looking at how do we scale our business to create more bandwidth. And that’s really a
priority for me right now. Bringing in another sales executive. That’s actually, I’m in the midst of that from an administrative
standpoint right now. We had a great seller that left and took another opportunity,
which is fantastic. We’re excited for him. But finding another
person and figuring out what path do we take, is
exactly where I am today, trying to determine getting the
right person, the right fit, that ultimately allows us to
be successful while on a clock. – Right, right. And that’s the thing too. I mean, you know, we’re in
an economy as of right now, you know, it’s a really good job market. So what I’m hearing a lot of, you know, CEOs and entrepreneurs say is that, you know, good
talent’s really hard to find and finding that right person. So, it’s almost like you’ve got to always have your ear, you
know, to the marketplace and kinda know what type
of talent’s out there, so when that opportunity, like
when you do have an opening, you have like your go to list, you know. And I think that’s
important to like, you know, identifying who you wanna
bring onto your team, you know. And getting them in early
and then starting to coach them on, you know, company culture and, you know, experience,
especially if you want to expand. You know, I think that’s gonna be really important in the future. – When you try to find that, especially as an entrepreneur, you gotta find the right mix
of do I bring somebody in that is very experienced that can move the needle and pay them? Or do I try to find that person who I know is gonna be hungry? I was having a conversation the other day with somebody who said
if you find that person who’s got five plus, you know, five ish years of experience, and, you know, is not gonna cost you an arm and a leg and is hungry, call me ’cause I think
we’re all looking for him. – Right. – And that’s the point. I mean, that we are right in
trying to find that right fit. And particularly with a small
group like us, culture is key. You can’t have butting heads, you can’t have people who
don’t work well together. Because we are literally
in the trenches every day trying to figure out, you know, how do we solve for our property partners? And how do we get in front of more brands? Because that has become
more and more challenging, as you know, more and more challenging every day to get responses, because people’s workload
is just completely, you know, they’re buried. – Right, and you know, and I think that the whole culture
thing with employees, like having, you know, I always say that, you know, we’re a family, you know. We’re family here. And that, you know, loving mentality and, you know, it trickles
down to the clients too. The clients feel that. Because, you know, you’ve
got some of these companies to where, you know, you
ask the the employee, you know, how they’re
doing and they’re like, “I’m doing great today,” you know. It’s like, how are you doing? You know, and it’s like,
it just trickles down to the guest’s experience to
see us in the hotel industry, I think, you know, one of the, not sure if it was the
High End or the Hilton or one of these hotel
facility, the Marriott or something like that, right. To where they’re training their employees, you know, and it’s got such a good culture that everyone from like
the maintenance guy, you know, has got a smile on his face. And when clients come,
you know, so it’s like it, I think building a good strong
culture inside a company, you know, and empowering your employees, you know, it’s gonna trickle
down to your clients. And it’s gonna make it a lot easier to retain clients and find new ones. – Yeah, I mean, that was my pleasure, you know, mentality of Chick-fil-A, – Chick-fil-A. – Is something that
really resonated with me because they are obviously
the founding partner, Chick-fil-A with their
involvement with the bowl, and now the Chick-fil-A
College Football Hall of Fame, that hall of fame doesn’t stand without Chick-fil-A’s involvement. And even the way we trained
our frontline fan ambassadors was through that Chick-fil-A
second mile service, you know, and the Disney
mentality, the Disney culture, I mean, you want your
people to understand that everybody may have something going on that you don’t know about. But if you smile– Did you see the video? Did you see their their corporate video? They have,
– Chick-fil-A? – Chick-fil-A’s video. Chick-fil-A has this corporate video where it’s showing their
customers coming in and… – And the little things pop up– – Yeah, of what they’re
going through in their life. – It’s incredible.
– And same thing, and it goes right down to everybody. Like you have no idea what
they’re walking in from. They might have just got
fired from their job. And this is like, a meal
that they’re gonna have, you know, and then they’re gonna go home and have to tell their husband or wife that they just lost her job. You know, you never know what
people are walking through. And I think when you can look at, you know, look at your
customers through that lens, or look at even just in
humans, individuals and say, you know what, I don’t know what this person’s going through. So I’m just gonna treat them, you know, kind with empathy and care and love, you know, even though they’re being rude to me today or whatever. I don’t know and I have to respect that. And maybe, just maybe I
can brighten up their life, – To be able to handle
what you’re dealing with on a daily basis and to understand what they’re dealing with and to, you know, be able to engage
together to work through it and to get the job done. And that’s why I’m, again,
a big fan of teamwork. ‘Cause the more people that come together, the more you start to thrive
and pull from each other, and that excitement will build and bubble. You know, one of the great follows, if you’re not already on
LinkedIn is Dan Cathy? – Yeah, oh yeah, yeah. – Dan is, yeah, he’s phenomenal. Every day he’ll post something that makes me go, “Wow, that’s why I loved “working with that organization. “That’s why they are what they are “and why people appreciate what they do.” And, you know, their CMO, their
former CMO, Steve Robinson, was phenomenal in the College
Football Hall of Fame asset. And they brought that, too, every day. So you walk in there, you
know the type of experience that you’re going to have, and you can release a little bit, you can break away from some of the crap that you’re dealing with
to enjoy that moment. And I think that’s what sports
and music provides, right? I mean, the music space
in Georgia is thriving, because people are
constantly working together to evolve and we’re working
with some exciting things to get those people to
continue to come together to do some cool stuff in the music space. So it’s not just sports for
us as well, which is exciting. – Yeah, so, you know,
a lot of people that, you know, follow the content, you know, they’re entrepreneurs and they’re business
owners that are looking to go into business for themselves. What’s some advice that
you’d wanna give somebody that wants to either start
their own agency or, you know? – I think, one, talk to the people that you’re closest with and the people that you trust to figure
out what your niche is. I had a mentor of mine, Rick Jones, who owns another agency, and is one of the best sellers in our space. He said, the riches are in the niches, you know, and I believe that. I think you gotta find the right avenue and then don’t… make sure your stakes are
so tight in the ground that you can’t pick ’em up
and move them a little bit, ’cause you’ll learn and evolve. The evolution of your
business or your agency will change within the first 60 days and the first six years, and probably a hundred
times between an after. So being flexible and nimble. Listen to those people around you that are gonna try to help you, but make up your own mind
and your own decision. And, you know, I think
it’s, it is hard work. It takes a little bit of grit, you know. Because there’s no safety net, and– – Nope, when you’re at the
top, the buck stops with you. – Well, it does. And, you know, I mean, there’s no, I’m paying my own
expenses to go someplace. And I gotta decide right
now is that the right time and financial expense for me to jump on a plane and go somewhere because it’s gonna cost
me a thousand bucks. Am I gonna hire this person? Are they gonna be able to
produce for this business so that I’m not, you know, robbing myself to pay someone to do a job that they may not be doing that well? I think it’s just, it’s finding
those types of decisions and finding people that you
can trust in is important and don’t be afraid of the hard work. You know, I don’t think
we have enough grit nowadays in people. You know, scraping and
clawing to get it done. – We don’t realize how much it takes. It takes a lot, you know.
– It does. And you gotta get lucky and you gotta have a great network. But you have to have this–
– Foundation support. Yeah, the self awareness of the types of things that you need to do and that nobody’s in business
to make you successful. That’s your job.
– That’s your job. – Right? So if your job is to
make yourself successful, what am I gonna do to continue to lift those up around me so that we can work
together and be successful? – And, you know, the thing is, and I try to instill that in, you know, in our employees as well, is that like, everything I do, everything
that I do is affecting you guys. I want you to think of that too. So holding yourself accountable. So showing up early, leaving late. Like you’re doing these
things, not only just for you, you know, but for the others around you. Like staying, you know,
making sure the job gets done. It’s not just about you, you know. The company feeds other
families and babies, you know. Like people have kids, stuff like that. Start thinking that way. When you start thinking
of the family mentality and you take the focus off of yourself and you focus on somebody else, “How can I How can I
make their day better? “How can I take that off their plate?” You know, that’s what’s
gonna get you far in life. And straight down to
the head of the company, the CEO, the founder, you need to have that type of mentality if you wanna have a culture to where, you know, people enjoy, like
genuinely enjoy coming to work. It’s not a job, it’s a
genuinely enjoy coming to work. ‘Cause they enjoy hanging out with the people that they’re with. – Yeah, and I don’t, you
know, we’re in a group of, I don’t care if you’re in the office from nine to five every day, I want you just working and being engaged and thinking about it. Not to interfere with your
family, your personal life, but figure out how can the
two work well together? So that if something hits you, you make a note so we can
talk about it in the morning. If you have a job that you need to do, well, you may need to
sit down after dinner and put a couple hours of work in. I mean, some of my best work is done after the kids are in bed and I can catch up on emails and catch up on some administrative stuff that I hadn’t been able to do during the day. So there’s no clock.
– Nope. – That you punch. – Definitely no clock for a CEO. – And we want that mentality
for our entire team. Because, you know, again, this is fun. You could be selling toilet paper. – Right, exactly.
– Like I was going down that road. But I mean, you’re working in sports. You know, the people
who say, “I love sports, “I wanna work in sports,”
have the wrong approach because that hard work and the fact that your vision of sports changes drastically when you work from with inside. But not too many people get to do and talk about the stuff that we get to talk about every day. You know, sports and music is something that people strive to
be in because they think it’s exciting and it is if
you do it the right way, and you put yourself
in the right position, and you continue to have that, you know, that hard work that gets you there. – Yeah, awesome. Hey, Brad I really
appreciate you coming out. – Yeah, thank you.
– Thanks, brother. – Absolutely. Thank you so much. – Hey, guys, thanks for
tuning into the episode. If you guys enjoyed it, show some love, give me a thumbs up and subscribe. Also, make sure you check out our exclusive C Level group on Facebook.

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