In this entrepreneur podcast, Michael Dermer interviews Adam Sandow, who has built a small empire by bringing affluence, beauty and innovation together as few others have.  With properties like Fred Siegel, publications Luxe Interiors + Design, Worth and Interior Design and BeautyDNA. TestTube and Material ConneXion, Adam has redefined creativity. Described as someone who “can take empty magic and put it into a box.,” Adam discusses his path as an entrepreneur and how his ability to think differently has led to success where many others have fallen short. Adam shares his views on:

  • what it takes to be an entrepreneur
  • how his decisions to fund with his only dollars can often be a lonely endeavor
  • his unique ability to think differently about beauty and affluence
  • his loneliest day and happiest day.

In addition to Fred Siegel and his media properties, Adam represents designers including Philippe Starck, Paola Navone and Kravitz Design, whose principal is singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz, through his creative management agency, Culture + Commerce. Adam brings a unique perspective to everything he touches.

“Thinking differently is not even “a” strategy it is “the “strategy. If you are an entrepreneur or a giant corporation and you are not really focused on innovation and thinking differently, you are going to be roadkill so fast.”

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Quotes of Note

  • Adam Sandow on seeing the struggle from his parents: “I would see the struggle firsthand. Because they had a small business and there were peaks and valleys. I would see the struggle constantly. But it never scared me because they had their destiny in their own hands.”
  • Adam Sandow on starting and competing: “Today, it is easier to start something or do something. It is way harder to make it successful. For every great idea there are 50 people chasing it. It is so competitive.
  • Adam Sandow on a true entrepreneur: “A true entrepreneur is when you don’t crack and you don’t fall apart. I know in the recession it was really tough – we were in media – and employees want to feel like they are working for a fearless leader and you have to be fearless.”
  • Adam Sandow on being in the struggle: “You have to have nerves of steel. Those are times when the rubber meets the road and you really need to come through. And it’s hard. Sting says, grace under pressure. That’s being an entrepreneur.”
  • Adam Sandow on if he was starting today: “If I was starting over tomorrow from scratch I would focus on one area and go deep. And when you mastered the area you’re focused on you expand out from there.
  • Adam Sandow on being an entrepreneur: “I never wanted to be in a position where someone was guiding my destiny or by having to report to someone.”
  • Adam Sandow about thinking differently: “It’s been hard wired in my head since I was a kid to think differently. The edge that I’ve always felt like I have had is equal left brain right brain. Really applying different creative thinking but applying it to business.”
  • Adam Sandow on when he is happiest: “Having the right brain and left brain in unison. When I am building and creating and growing and tying it back to metrics numbers financials and making it work as a financial model.”
  • Adam Sandow on motivation: “Going back in your 30s to your parent’s house was not what you wanted to do. Failure was not an option and that was a great motivator.”
  • Adam Sandow on the happiest day and loneliest day: “I don’t think of it that way. I am always looking at the next thing we are going to do. The only analogy is like a long distance swimmer. Sometimes you look up and say “look how far we have come” and others times you pop up and say we haven’t gotten very far.”

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About The Lonely Entrepreneur

The Lonely Entrepreneur Podcast series – called Perspectives – help entrepreneurs with the one issue we all face – the struggle – by changing our perspective on the business and personal issues we all face. We share parts of The Lonely Entrepreneur methodology, crazy stories from our journey and interviews with well-known entrepreneurs about how they have succeeded in the face of their own struggles. Passion and grit is not enough – and it is our goal at The Lonely Entrepreneur to provide perspectives to help each of us become better entrepreneurs each day. We believe that the difference between success and failure is your perspective. We hope to help the community of startups, entrepreneurs, small business, venture capital, angels, investors, incubators, accelerators and universities unlock the entrepreneurial spirit.

TAGS: struggle, entrepreneur. startup, lonely, investor, stress, succeed, business, learn, venture, angel, perspective, innovation, solopreneur, success, failure, management, funding, growth, passion, grit, learn, lean, Luxe Interiors + Design, Worth Magazine, Interior Design Culture + Commerce, designers,  Philippe Starck, Paola Navone, Kravitz Design, Lenny Kravitz, sting