The simplest truth has more power than a million dollars.
Kyle Golding is a born entrepreneur who started his first business as a teenager. Over his 30 year career, he has owned and operated businesses in multiple industries. Kyle has positioned, marketed and managed musicians, start-ups, small businesses, corporations and nonprofits to local, national and worldwide success. Along with The Golding Group, Kyle also owns Share Furniture, is in partnership at 1219 Creative Co-Work Space + Art Gallery, Co-Founder and CMO of VORTTX Training and invested in and consulted for numerous start-ups and venture projects. Kyle is quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine about “what it takes to be a creative entrepreneur”.
A dynamic public speaker, Kyle has been the featured presenter for many top marketing, PR and advertising groups such as AMA, PRSA, IABC, Oklahoma Arts Council, Ignite OKC and AFP. He is the featured speaker of the Beers And Branding quarterly series of live business development and marketing events. With a long history of business ownership, marketing and management, Kyle has created a huge amount of success for his client. He also has a tremendous background in non-profit marketing, management and serving on boards and committees. Specialties: Advertising Campaign, Art Direction, Corporate Identity, Graphic Design, Market Analysis, Media Buying, Multimedia Production, Packaging, Product Management and Development, Research, SEO, Strategic Planning, Typography, Website Design
Where did the idea for The Golding Group come from?
I started The Golding Group 6+ years ago when I realized my last “corporate” job was destined to fizzle out the same way every corporate marketing job does. I knew there was a better way to provide strategic, sustainable economic growth for organizations through business process innovation & marketing integration not just traditional paid advertising models. I wanted to use my experience building organizations from the inside out by providing expertise in all phases of operation, specific to each of our client’s needs and not the ego of my boss or a “how we have always done it” mentality. I also wanted to bring a creative process to business development. Too many professionals in this area are lawyers or CPAs who only look at legal and logistical issues. I partnered with other professionals with similar, but different enough, backgrounds to cover a large area of business development between all of us. By working with like-minded entrepreneurs, we create something stronger than any of us could on our own. By utilizing a decidedly different business model, we were automatically disruptive.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There is no typical day. We are constantly working on research, planning, client presentations, potential client pitches, audio/video production, podcast, copy writing, public speaking, product mock-ups, vendor relations, etc….. We do have “regular” duties which includes monitoring and posting our social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, email, websites) as well as some of our clients. We keep on eye and ear on what people are doing online and look for opportunities for collaboration. The only way to be productive is a solid to-do list with deadline but also being flexible enough to go with the flow when a big enough opportunity falls into your lap.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Everything starts with a rough draft or rapid sketch. The more raw the better. Just to get the idea down without losing it. Next is a series of revisions, each one with a new perspective but keeping the overall goal in mind. This goes for huge concepts to the smallest tactics. We make note, we discuss and we allow the process to run itself. This gets the best results. Everything we do for every client is custom and unique to them. We use best practices and past experience as a guide, but what each client, situation or project needs to be successful is the only guiding principle. Sometimes this leads to elaborate, cool, impressive end products like video, events, etc. and some times it’s a simple, no big deal execution that makes the most sense and is most beneficial.
What’s one trend that excites you?
We’re super excited for content marketing and alternative delivery methods. Telling stories, showing the behind-the-scenes process and going much deeper into motivation and the “why” of a business or non-profit os so much more rewarding than creating advertising. Now, with the importance of relationship building though content and less emphasis on hard selling, we get to do more “real” promotion of our clients and less flash-in-the-pan sensationalism for the sake of short term sales. We also find more interesting, less intrusive ways to deliver that content. Gone are the days of producing a print ad, 30 second TV commercial and radio spots. Now, we use passive audio, short for video, social media, infographics, raw video, experiential marketing, etc. to draw attention and not old-schools ads.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m OCD. I need things a certain way, usually based on math (even not odd numbers, etc.). I force myself to look deep at every detail because I will literally crawl out of my own skin if finished work has flaws or if I missed a detail. Even if I’m the only person who catches it. Sometimes a forget about good and on time to obsess about perfection. Lucky for me, this usually happens late at night and I rarely sleep anyways.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Shut up. Just stop talking all the time and listen to people with more experience. Even those with experience in different areas of expertise. When I was younger, I was so set on doing things my own way I messed up a ton stuff. I made things harder than they needed to be just so I could get it my way. That cost me valuable time and plenty of potential I missed out on.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The simplest truth has more power than a million dollars.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I question everything. Even when I know the answer, I still ask “why?”. The process is more important then the end result, so don’t skip out on it. Force yourself to justify every decision you make. It’s not important to change the outcome, but it is important to be able to justify your decision making process.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Differentiation. We set ourselves apart by not being what everyone expects us to be. More creative then traditional business advisors and more structured than ad agencies and PR firms. We don’t have a hard business model or preset profit margin, but create flexibility to operate differently. We will the roles in-betwen the big ideas, but can’t get done without us.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I let a business fail because I listened to the wrong people. I let their doubts and so-called advice on how to be a responsible person cloud my judgement. Advice and input form others is important. The voice of experience is essential to success but it has to be based on facts and standards, not emotions. When I let others tell me it was time to give up, I let something go too soon. I was young, not sure enough of myself and let myself be talked out of my dream. It took a while to see that, and to use it for fuel to never settle or cut corners.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Don’t write a “book”. Create content that would be in your book and use digital channels to distribute it. This can be a series of blog post (chapters) or videos or photographs, or the voice over of animation. Make it a multimedia experience. Then, go back and keep adding more to it so the story can be experience again, but different. Ask other writers, artist, musician, ect. to contribute creative content that reflects your ideas. Collaborate, don’t just tell them what to do. Eventually, you will catch the attention of a large audience.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I upgraded my tripod. I got by for years with a cheap one, and now I see what I was missing. I’m already shooting more stuff in different places thanks to the better equipment.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Evernote. I put everything there fast. I write notes on my phone or iPad. I email myself notes to the app. I record voice notes and send them to the app. Then, I organize so I don’t lose ideas. Everything is there, where I can find it and access from almost anywhere.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Anything by Gary Vaynerchuk or Simon Sinek. Gary V. is a practitioner who really sees the big picture and then breaks it down into tactics you can use. Simon is a lot more cerebral, but gets right to the core of motivation with his Golden Circle theory. If you can harness the best of each, you will be unstoppable.
What is your favorite quote?
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” – Peter F. Drucker.
• There is nothing predictable about being a creative entrepreneur today. Be ready to wear many hats, roll with the punches and always work through the process.
• Write down every idea. Now work on it. Let the process be your focus, not the end result.
• Be different by being yourself. Capitalize on your strengths. Allow the market to come to you.
• Business success starts with your ideas, but the drive to execute is where they manifest. Don’t let anyone talk you out of something your willing to work very, very hard for.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.