Maury Rogow is the president and CEO of Rip Media Group in Los Angeles, California.
Rip Media: “We learn what makes you special and create marketing videos that inform and entertain viewers, making them eager to work with you. Our weapons of choice are animated and live-action videos.” Learn more: RipMediaGroup.com
He started the business not long after something happened that changed everything for him.
Maury was working for a global company, and he and his colleagues were celebrating because they were getting purchased. It was a big deal and a huge accomplishment for the team.
A new Vice President had been named to lead the team through the purchase process. He walked into the team’s celebration and said, “I have three things to say:
- What you did in the past is great, but I’m here now and under my rule you haven’t done anything.
- If you don’t make your quota and help us with this purchase, I’m going to fire you.
- For those managers who are feeling safe, if you have people under performing, I’m going to fire them and you.”
That was it, and then the Vice President sat down.
Maury took stock and made some choices.
“What I thought was – I’d already been working my butt off to get to this point and I really didn’t want to work for someone who might fire us on a whim.” – Maury
He decided that, for the next six months, instead of hiding from the stern leader he would do the opposite and learn everything he could from the new Vice President.
“They brought him in because he really knew what he was doing and it was the smart way to go – and it turned out that he’s a good guy who had a tough job.” – Maury
The company purchase went through and it was a success. Not long after that, Maury transferred out of that division.
“I thought, ‘I want to start my own company and I want to run it with my own culture. Only Good People – that’s our motto. So that’s kind of where it started for me.”- Maury
[Tweet “He wanted to start his own company and run it with his own culture – Read Maury’s story @RIPmediagroup”]
3 Major Stages of Growing a Small Business
Through his experience starting, establishing and growing a small business, Maury has learned a lot along the way and has framed that learning into three major stages, with this caveat:
“You have to have a dream. You have to be passionate beyond all belief because you are going to put more time into this company than you’ve ever thought possible.”- Maury
- Set realistic and achievable goals. (example: set up 10 pages on your website in the first three months of business)
- Set stretch goals. (example: set up 100 pages on your website in the first three months)
Maury’s Realistic Goal
- Maury’s first goal was to get customer proof (big, known companies to endorse his company).
“It wasn’t about making a bunch of money that first year, it was about building testimonials and references.” – Maury
Maury’s Stretch Goal
- Double in size year to year
“One of the first things I tried that first year (social media consulting), didn’t work… I crashed. Then a client asked me to make a video for them. Then another client asked the same thing…30 videos later and I was thinking, ‘can I make this a business?’”- Maury
“Sell the hole, not the drill”. Focus on solving your customer’s problems, rather than the ‘really cool thing’ you built.” – Maury
Maury decided to pivot his business to focus on video production, eventually finding his sweet spot in high-end storytelling and animations.
- It’s okay. The more you do and the more you stretch yourself, the better you’ll be.
- Don’t go for perfect, go for good enough.
- This is so important.
“Give yourself room to be nice to and friendly to – yourself.” – Maury
“This is a big deal. Not everyone can be Donald Trump saying, ‘You’re fired,’ all the time. You’ll be very lonely and poor if you do that.” – Maury
- Hire people that can learn (from success, and from their mistakes).
“I look out one year, I don’t look out 10 years— I look out shorter term. Then, I think about what I would need to have at that time to be successful. Then I build what would be needed at that time, not just for today. You should use whatever time horizon works for you.” – Maury
“If you don’t have a scalable and repeatable model, you will fail. Everything will be a custom project and you will be a single-person shop forever.” – Maury
- Focus and become an expert in one area.
- Never outsource your core competency or the one thing that makes you special and different.
- …you’re not going to do that anymore.
“At least that’s been my experience.” – Maury
Ready for Stage 2 and 3? Keep reading.
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