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In this ongoing series, we share advice, tips, and insights from real entrepreneurs who battle daily business struggles. (The answers have been edited and summarized for clarity.)
Who are you and what is your company?
Robert Tuchman: I am the co-CEO of Amaze Media Labs. We are a company focused on creating branded podcasts for businesses. We currently have more than 70 clients, including iconic 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 for podcasts that go undiscovered and need listeners.
Brett Sklar: Robert and I have built great desks in the past, and with Amaze, we’ve built an agency that is really much more technology-oriented. Together with our partner Stephen Master, our Chief Revenue Officer, we feel we have some special technical products that will change the way we develop great podcasts for businesses.
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What inspired you to start this company?
RT: Brett and I have always been enterprising and probably had nowhere else to hire [laughs]. We just saw this incredible opportunity in podcasting. Working with many B2B companies in the past, we realized that there was a great need for brands to have quality podcast content and share their own stories. We have been working in the experience and events industry for 25 years and this was a totally new and exciting concept for us.
BS: Our old traditional business was focused on selling experiences around existing sporting and entertainment events. But this is something else: we take a concept and build a series from scratch that didn’t exist before.
RT: Any podcast is like making a mini TV show. With my experience hosting How Success Happens for toptecheasy.com, we really know this industry and quickly hired the right people who were great producers and knew how to do it. This allowed us to focus on using our expertise to build relationships with these companies.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you make the switch to overcome it?
BS: Rob and I didn’t have the extensive production knowledge and experience needed, so we quickly put together an expertly experienced podcast team. It’s been a complete switch from the business we’ve been doing for so many years.
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RT: There are so many great producers and for us it was important to find people who not only had the technical skills, but also fit into our company culture. A great creative team and a great process have allowed us to focus on our strengths such as marketing, sales and relationship building.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs just starting their journey?
RT: You must be flexible and willing to adapt, and you must be passionate about what you are getting into and believe in what you are doing. There is an extreme amount of work involved in being an toptecheasy.com, there are no days off. You have to live and breathe your business. There will be ups and downs, and it all comes down to moving on and improving the business of what you’ve learned from your mistakes.
BS: Sometimes the original vision of the company does not come true. We turned three or four times before we really nailed our product and really understood what we were selling. It’s about perseverance and perseverance, and being fearless. There is no perfect time to start a business. We launched in COVID. Either way, it’s going to be tough, and the most important thing is to create a team and a culture where everyone is rowing in the same direction.
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Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as a personal motivation?
RT: “A winner is just a loser who has tried again.” I put it on my wall. I truly believe that so many people stop right before the magic happens.
BS: I have a note that only says “one day at a time.” It can be very overwhelming to think too far into the future, so I have to remind myself to stay focused on the now.
What does the word toptecheasy.com mean to you?
RT: An toptecheasy.com is above all someone who can pick himself off the mat. Because you get beat up so often. You have to be tough, be able to bounce back and you definitely have to be a little crazy!
BS: I would agree. You have to be a bit of a risk taker and understand that if you take yourself off the mat again and again, there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel.