Andrew Och, also known as the First Ladies Man, is both an award winning television and multimedia producer and a documentarian with over 20 years of experience. He is the author of "Unusual for Their Time: On the Road with America's First Ladies."
Andrew traveled to every home and historic site of every First Lady - Martha Washington to Michelle Obama - for the C-SPAN series, "First Ladies: Influence and Image" to document the lives and tell the stories of this remarkable sorority of women. He is a well-known public speaker and commentator on America's First Ladies.
Andrew is also a visible commentator on Fox News & Radio, ABC News, News Channel 8, SKY News, NTN, Alhurra, Sirius XM Radio, NPR, The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner, Newsmax, and Breitbart.
In this interview with Startup Savant, Andrew shares what his company Giant Squid Creations is about and what the First Ladies Man is capable of doing. He also shares why it is important to think outside the box and not be afraid of drawing the line between extraordinary and impossible. After you're done absorbing Andrew's insight, be sure to follow him on Twitter!
His advice to entrepreneurs starting a business in the United States:
Treat everyone with respect, avoid burning bridges at all costs and have a plan A, B, C, D, E, F, G...
Can you tell me a little bit about your company? What else do you do as an entrepreneur?
Giant Squid Creations is a multimedia production company that works in every existing and developing form of communication and production. We develop, write, and produce a project from beginning to end. We also consult, manage and supplement any and all parts of a production to suit the specific needs of clients and their projects.
I am also an author and public speaker known as the 'First Ladies Man'. I created the whole FLM concept, speaking program and all that surrounds the FLM business.
What does your company do that makes it better than the rest? How did you find your competitive edge?
I am a creative outside of the box thinker that isn’t afraid to color outside the lines of what is considered “normal” or industry standard. GSC pushes the limits of production, and bends over backwards to adapt and change with the needs of each project.
I have built my success by never saying “no.” If I don’t know the answer, chances are I know who does, or I will figure it out. I am a company of one. I like it that way, and function with the help of a long list of subcontractors.
Did you have a hard time starting your business? How did you handle time and resources constraints?
It was not hard. It takes courage and hard work. This may sound cavalier, but…I work around the clock until the project is done. No task is too great or too small. I complete the job to the best of my ability by any means necessary.
What does a typical day look like for you? Is there something you make a point to do each day?
I keep a lot of calendars, and I am always double – if not triple - checking myself. I keep post-it notes up on the wall in my office and on my desk and working surfaces. When the task is done, I crumple the post-it up and throw it away.
I make lists and cross things off as I do them. I keep a remarkably clean inbox in my email and text messages. Every message is dealt with in some form of another immediately.
What is the biggest business mistake that taught you a powerful lesson? Would you mind sharing how it changed your business?
Taking a client that I knew had a reputation for being difficult in ways that I knew I couldn’t control or get past. I got over confident, in thinking that I could conquer the obvious issues. Sometimes you have to know when to say “pass” or “no” instead of shooting off your own foot.
If you hold on too tightly to a tarnished object, it will drag you under and destroy you. The particular client I am thinking of set me back 6 months on another more promising and profitable project. I am more careful now.
For keeping your business finances under control, do you have an accountant, accounting software, or both?
No. None of that. Accounting and HR are not my strongest suites.
When times get tough, what would you say motivates you to keep going? To not hit the snooze button and to keep fighting for your goals.
I thrive on doing what many people think are impossible tasks. I get up to prove to myself I am right, and I can do anything I set my mind to.
I strongly believe in reading. Do you have a book that you highly recommended Startup Savant readers and I grab a copy of?
I do not. I blaze my own trails, without burning bridges. Sometimes to my own detriment. There are often easier paths that have already been created and traveled that would get me from point A to point B quicker and easier, but where’s the fun in that.
What are the top 3 pieces of advice that you would give someone starting a business in Nevada? What do they need to know from the beginning?
I don’t know Nevada, but these rules apply to business anywhere, I feel:
- Treat everyone with respect, you never know who they know or when you will need them
- Avoid burning bridges at all costs
- There is always another way to do something. Have a plan A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I,