Success Secrets from World Class Entrepreneur, Rick Goldberg
On making it in business
- Surround yourself with an advisory team of smart people who will tell you the hard truths.
- Believe in yourself and trust your gut instincts.
- If you believe you can become the best at something, even if its underwater basket weaving, you’ll find the opportunity and you’ll succeed.
I discovered I was a terrible employee.
I started my company in 1992. I saw an opportunity to reinvent an industry that was already in existence, the creation of demonstrative evidence and exhibits in the area of litigation. So I saw an opening in the market to build a better mousetrap and went for it.
Did you have a business plan or did you just sort of jump in?
I just sort of jumped in. I was a producer at a production company predominantly doing music videos, television commercials, and short corporate films and videos. An attorney asked me if I could do a couple of things in the legal arena, first in video, and then in the graphics design. I said sure, knowing I would need to learn fast
I started bringing some legal business into the company that I was working for. The owner of that company, however, didn’t see a good balance between the production of music videos and legal videos. So, we shook hands, parted company, and I went off and started my own firm.
Rick’s thoughts on achieving success
I was and still am relentless, fearless, and tireless. When someone hired me, even though I have a team of 14 highly creative colleagues working with me; they always get me and my creative input. I was very meticulous, especially early on, about never letting work be seen by clients unless I saw it, tweaked it, and approved it. Essentially, I was the client and the staff knew that when it left the building, the paying client would like it.
If I had to work all night or all weekend, I’d do it. I would never say “no” to any job. If my team didn’t know how to do something in particular software, we would learn on the fly. I realized that if I said no to a piece of business, (based on schedule, money or the skill) that the client would go find someone who could do the work, and I may never see the client again.
I never said no. That’s the foundation of what got me to where I am today.
On specializing in one area:
When I started, I was doing work for ad agencies and record labels. I found those clients were extremely difficult to satisfy. Attorneys on the other hand were very accepting of our creative approach to solving their problems. Only a very small percentage has any interest in doing our type of work. As a result, they are eternally grateful for our relationship.
Specializing in the legal arena made sense at the time. It put me in an environment that I’m very comfortable with. I actually love working with attorneys.
On selling his company:
I sold my company in 2004 to a national firm, and signed a 5 year contract to run my division. I’m 3 and 1/2 years into that contract and am grateful as I work with a very knowledgeable group of men and woman around the country.
Rick’s reflections on the past:
Can’t go back, can I? I would have done it the exact same way. I made tons of mistakes, but those mistakes shook up my life in a very meaningful way and got me here.
The “shake up” woke me up and helped me grow up. As a result, I started living my life consciously. I wouldn’t rewrite the script at all, I think it turned out great.
I’m reading a book right now. It’s called “Leadership and Self-Deception: getting out of the box” by the Arbinger Institute. In it, they talk about living inside the box versus living outside the box. Up until 3 or 4 years ago, I was living inside the box. Now I can clearly say that I’m awake, living life consciously, taking responsibility for my own actions, not blaming other people, and living, as the book says, ‘outside the box.’ I think you would enjoy the book. It’s a good metaphor.
Success tips for people just starting out:
Surround yourself with an advisory team of smart people who will tell you the hard truths. I’d also tell folks to believe in themselves and to trust their gut instincts.
In all walks of life, there is what I call people that comprise the fraternity of discouragement.
They drink from the glass that’s half empty. These people do not want to see you succeed. I say, do it and do it with love and passion. If a person believes they can become the best at something, even if its underwater basket weaving, they’ll find the opportunity and will succeed.
Distinguish between negative forces that are trying to discourage, deflate, and bring you down versus positive forces that wants’ to provide you with insightful feedback.
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