Bennet Schwartz is a business leader who has never shied away from setting himself a challenge. Schwartz began his life and career in the city of Austin, Texas, before setting out on a long career as a creative director. The creative arts have always been of interest to Bennet Schwartz as he embarks on the latest chapter of his life in Sydney, Australia.
The life of Schwartz began in Texas, where he attended high school and began to lean towards a career in the arts. In the early part of his career, Schwartz achieved success before turning his attention to a new role as a creative director. The Texan creative feels his career has moved to new levels of success because of his desire to expand his work into other parts of the world.
2020 saw a move by the artist to challenge himself to start a new life in Australia after a lifetime spent working in the U.S. The creative director explained he felt he was stagnating in the U.S. and wanted to challenge himself to continue his good work in a new country, with different challenges on personal and business levels. The challenge of moving his life and career to Sydney, Australia required Schwartz to design new studio space for his business.
Outside his business career, Schwartz is a competitive cyclist who has traveled the world competing in some of the most dangerous races. The need to compete at a high level runs through every aspect of the life of Schwartz, with his career moving forward because of a will to win.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I was interested in art as a high school and college student, with my studies focusing on graphic design. After college, I had the chance to work at a large company, but I felt working for myself was for me. I always wanted the responsibility of being the boss of my own company, which working as a freelancer allows me to do.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have always believed that working in an area you are passionate about is its own motivation. One of the pieces of advice I remember was given to me by my father, who said early risers are making money before others get out of bed. I wake up early in the morning and spend twenty minutes meditating to clear my head of any distractions. By six-thirty in the morning, I am on my bicycle getting some exercise to start the day in the right way. After a shower, I eat a light breakfast and start my workday. I like to spend the early part of the day working on existing projects so I am not concerned about new projects clients may have contacted me about. I don’t eat lunch very often unless I have a meeting and spend most of the afternoon answering client messages and in meetings. There is no set time to end my workday, but I like to be in bed by 11 each night.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My work is organic and grows from ideas I have on my bicycle or while I’m meditating. I’m old-fashioned in my work because I use pencil and paper to start the design process.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Although I love working on pencil and paper, I see the movement of most creative areas to digital. I try to keep my private life off social media, but the possibilities offered by Instagram for business are exciting. The use of video and photography to get a message across to clients and customers. Since moving to Australia, I have found more work from social media posts than any other form of marketing.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Meditating and exercising each morning. By stepping away from my work for a couple of hours each day, I feel I return to work refreshed as an entrepreneur. It is easy to become so wrapped up in your work you do not see how jaded you have become. Before I took the time each day to step back from work, I thought of nothing else, but I have learned the importance of downtime.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be in such a rush to reach the top. I made mistakes, but I try to learn from them every time. Mistakes are how one grows. There are lessons to be learned from every choice we make.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Hard work and respect are the most important aspects of being an entrepreneur. Hard work is the trait I have noted in every successful person I have met along my business journey or read about in books. Respecting others is another sign that you are on the road to success because you need everybody on your side if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Get out of bed early. There are days when I am tempted to stay in bed and start work late but I fight that urge every time. Setting productive habits for yourself is not only good for business but also for your own well-being.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I was discussing business with a client yesterday and our conversation turned to people. Instead of discussing profit and loss, we discussed how we treated people and the respect we wanted to earn for our companies. I think the way a business leader treats people reflects the direction their company will take in the future.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I turned down a major project that would have pushed my business into a higher earning bracket. I don’t allow myself to dwell on the mistakes I have made because I know I will make more mistakes. Every entrepreneur makes mistakes and has to work harder to achieve more success.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
As a dedicated cyclist, I’d like to create an app that details the best rides in any part of the world. The number of cyclists is growing all the time so the market is out there for cycling-themed apps.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I’ve spent a lot of money moving to Australia, but buying a book by Damian Hughes was a great buy. I had listened to “The High Performance” podcast and bought “The Barcelona Way” by Professor Hughes based on his role on the show. I have learned a lot about team building in the modern era for less than $100.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Like I said earlier, I think Instagram is a great platform for creative people to reach clients.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recently read “The Barcelona Way” by Professor Damian Hughes. It was a great book about creating a team in business and living within a defined DNA running through every level of a company.
What is your favorite quote?
The soccer coach, Jose Mourinho once said, “Fear is not a word in my football dictionary.” I try to live a life that is not defined by fear or regret.
• Bennet Schwartz believes respect is key to achieving entrepreneurial success
• A life lived in fear cannot be successful
• The digital age is changing the way Schwartz meets new clients
• Schwartz wants to build a successful company based on his hard work
• The entrepreneur meditates and exercises to clear his head before starting his workday
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.