The Crazy Ride of An Entrepreneur

Nov 6, 2017

For so many of us entrepreneurs, we start off on one path and end up going in a totally different direction.

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For so many of us entrepreneurs, we start off on one path and end up going in a totally different direction. Twelve years ago this December, I founded Broadcast Management Group. It simultaneously feels like just yesterday and a hundred years ago. Of course, everyone has their own story about going into business and the journey they took. As I reflect on these last 12 years I thought I’d share mine.

Live TV, business, or real estate?

I was first exposed to live television production at age 15 and I caught the “live” bug almost instantly. The church I attended televised their Sunday services and I volunteered to help in any capacity possible. I also had a pretty lofty goal of getting into international mergers and acquisitions, so I decided to major in business in college with an international focus. My first professional job was working for Transamerica Financial Services. After five years, I found I had built a pretty successful career, but my passion for television production remaind. So I continued to accept freelance jobs producing, directing or running camera. And, as if things weren’t interesting enough, I also invested in real estate with a partner and helped some colleagues launch their own businesses.

Putting my passions and skills together brought opportunities.

Through all of this, my passion for TV production stayed with me. But, for some reason, it never occurred to me to combine my passion with my business experience. Lucky for me, this thought had occurred to a colleague of mine, who asked me to help him start a production company. I jumped at the opportunity. For the first time I had the opportunity to combine my creative and technical production passion with my business experience.

broadcast consulting, production staffing, event production company, event production, live event production, video production, production companies, production services, live production, video productions, video production companies, live video production companies, video streamingWhen you have a passion and follow it, good things can happen. By the end of our first year in business, we had acquired our largest competitor. There is nothing like a taste of real success to make you want more. From there, I was recruited by a large post-production company in Washington, DC to head up their expansion efforts. Over the course of nearly six years I lead several acquisitions and opened technical facilities in multiple cities throughout the US. While I loved the business side of the work, I found myself craving more action on the production end.

As fate would have it, I soon landed a CEO position with the holding company of an international production company who had recently been acquired. My job was to turn the company around and then take over operations of one of their other production companies. It was tough, but exciting work! And what I really enjoyed was being back in live production, working with broadcasters all over the world.

If you do enough work for others, you’ll find ways to do it better yourself.

That work led to another turnaround assignment, this time for one of the largest production facilities in the country. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I lead the technology upgrade at three locations – New York, Los Angeles and DC. Together, with a talented group of innovators, we built the first tapeless production/post production/transmissions facilities in the country in New York City. We also changed the business model from a post and studio rental facility to a full-service production management and development company. The goal was to fill up the physical capacity, but we were geographically limited to our three physical locations. Even though we were successful, somehow it started to feel like we were just filling vacancies – like a hotel trying to book rooms. There had to be a better way. We really needed to focus on meeting our client’s needs, not just filling capacity at our studios. So instead of waiting for someone else to do it, I decided to do it myself. This lead to the creation of Broadcast Management Group twelve years ago. It was then that I decided BMG would always have a 100% focus on meeting client needs, wherever on the planet it took us.

As an entrepreneur, I appreciate how important each production is to the business.

What’s great about being an entrepreneur is that you learn virtually every aspect of building and running small and large companies by doing it yourself. From business development, marketing, accounting, strategy and technology to directing and producing, you bring that deep knowledge to every project.

No matter broadcast consulting, production staffing, event production company, event production, live event production, video production, production companies, production services, live production, video productions, video production companies, live video production companies, video streaminghow exciting a project may be, for my clients, it represents part of a greater business goal. That’s why its so important to create and produce content that is organically focused on the business goals and garnering a strong ROI. As part of that, you need to leverage technology to improve the creative process and streamline operations.

Just as important is the team behind any project. Through my own journey, I have learned that building the right team for each project is key to achieving any objective. That’s why I took my time to build a strong and talented team at BMG. Because in the end, its about building long term relationships with our clients, staff and vendors and leveraging our experience to meet our client’s goals and objectives.

Its been a wild ride these last twelve years. But the entrepreneur in me lives on. And I’m looking forward to where the next twelve takes us.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd: I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working! Thanks again for the work earlier this month. Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • K. Lona Lymen Reply
    2014-01-31 17:54:25

    You are spot-on that voters don't believe that Obama can accomplish any of his plans. I vote in every election, but I am disgusted with all the arguing and last minute actions that band-aid a problem for a few months, and then break out into new arguments. The comparison to the Superbowl was interesting because, like politics it is a great American sport. But, instead of Peyton Manning giving a State-of-the Union, the President's address should get better commercials!

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!