What is your elevator pitch when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”
I get hired by record companies, distributors, managers and artists to get songs played on the radio.
Describe the path that led you to this career.
At Emerson College, I spent four years working at both of the school’s radio stations. Upon graduation, I did what everybody thinks they SHOULD do – find a career in your field of study. For me, that was Advertising and soon after graduation, I found myself in Los Angeles working for the big ad agency I had interned for previously. I worked in the Traffic department making sure the right commercials were airing at the right time and quickly grew bored of the job. I fell back on my passion for radio and music, and spent the next year and a half interviewing and meeting with anyone who would take the time. Eventually, I got an offer from A&M Records to become an assistant in their promotion department. Even though I had been promoted at the ad agency to a full-time copywriter, I jumped ship and changed industries. I worked at A&M for a couple of years but saw the layoff writing on the walls and put the feelers out to the industry for a new position. I was soon hired by an independent label in New York City and moved across the country. Like so many other label folks, eventually I was downsized. Eventually I was hired on to partner up with an independent promotion company that I used to hire out. Four years later, I left that company for another, and two years after that I hung out my shingle on my own.
What are the elements of a successful workplace?
Well, I work from home full time so my perspective is a bit skewed compared to some others. For me, it’s having a space to work that doesn’t double as anything else. I know so many folks who work from home who work off of a laptop in their living room. I don’t know how they do it. In my house, I have an office. It’s not a playroom, a place to hang out or anything else. From spending so many years in larger companies, though, I still have the kneejerk instinct to shut my office door when I get into a private conversation, even if I’m the only person in the house.
What is the one piece of technology you cannot live without?
My iPhone. I never had a Blackberry, so I didn’t have mobile access to email until just a handful of years ago. I never thought it was a problem since I spend most of my time tethered to my desk, but I’ve been able to break that chain more and more because of my phone.
What are you reading?
Anything I can find on photography. I purposely found a hobby that took me out of my house.
If you could, what advice would you give your 20-something self?
When I started my business, a good friend told me to come up with a mission statement that I can base decisions on. I couldn’t come up with one but I did develop a set of three rules. The key rule is “Make tomorrow’s money, not today’s.” I’d rather turn down multiple projects that I didn’t think I could succeed with from a potential client before taking on the first one that I know I can do well with. If you fail on a project that you take on just for the money, it’ll be the last check you’ll ever receive from that client. If you wait until you find the right one, you’ve got a client for life. Also, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” That’s always good advice.
If you could do anything and know you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
Probably become a professional photographer.
At Double Forte’s San Francisco office, the conference rooms are named Rock and Roll, Motown, Hip Hop, Mambo, Jazz and Disco. Which name best describes you and why?
Rock and Roll. My speakers go to 11.
What’s in your Netflix queue?
Basically every big movie from the last year that my wife and I just never found the time to get out and see.