Photo courtesy of Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group
Lou Taylor is the Founder and CEO of Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group. Tri Star has been providing business management services to musicians, actors, entertainers, and athletes for almost 30 years. Lou Taylor has utilized her strong work ethic, and New York City native hustler mentality, to build Tri Star into a complete business management organization. Tri Star offers broad accounting, tax, Estate and financial services to meet the unique needs of sports professionals, and those in the entertainment industry.
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group has offices in West Hollywood, CA, Nashville and Dickson, TN, and is home to an ever-growing roster of 130+ employees. Taylor herself has made The Hollywood Reporter’s Top Business Manager list in 2014 and has been a featured business manager every year since, including being named Business Manager Icon in 2019. Lou Taylor has also been recognized in the Billboard Magazine Top Business Managers issue from 2016 to 2021.
Lou and Tri Star’s greatest strength is their commitment to providing unique solutions and services. In an industry traditionally dominated by men, Lou Taylor has been a powerful female presence that has made a massive behind the scenes impact some of the industry’s biggest stars.
Where did the idea for Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group come from?
I had a vision to serve artists and athletes in a way that took complicated financial information and present it more simply. I discovered that there was a real need to make finance more understandable, and I found that so many clients preferred not to get into the details, especially due to the volume of transitions. We have worked to create a system of presentations and reporting that provided our clients with confidence, clarity and understanding, no matter their prior knowledge of finance.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I always begin my morning with coffee and some quiet time, followed by a workout. Then a light breakfast, and I begin organizing my day before I get to the office. I’m always in the office by 9:00am, ready to take on whatever the day brings. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I do not allow anyone to schedule meetings or calls for me. I reserve these days to focus on all that I need to get accomplished for my clients, my staff, and the firm. Having this white space allows me to think and focus free from distractions in a place where I can be at my most mentally productive. Only I can schedule on those days and it has been a game changer.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I allow my assistant to schedule call requests and schedule meetings, but only after 1:00 pm. I utilize the mornings for internal meetings with my team, in addition to personal learning and development.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Usually in moments of quiet thought. Throughout the day so many things come up and I think to myself how we can better serve our clients, their families, and our trusted advisors. I break down all of my ideas into smaller components of how to get to the end goal most effectively. Then, I look to see if I have the internal resources to complete them, or if I need to look outside the company to hire additional resources. I am big on project management and building it out.
At Tri Star, we call it “let’s make a pizza”! What comes first, what is added second, and so on. The white space in my schedule allows for that type of planning, and it is a part of how we have created the dynamic leadership environment at Tri Star. We are always committed to creating unique solutions based on a client’s specific needs.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Clients building their own businesses. Its inspiring to see them discover the entrepreneurial spirit they didn’t even know they had. Whether that be an extension to their already established brand or creating something new. Tri Star is redefining what business management means and I love getting to be a part of helping my clients build new businesses.
What advice would you give your younger self?
In the early days I would reinvest almost any profit back into the company. I remember there were many times I would be afraid to spend money on outsourcing resources and would try to do it all myself or push it to a few people internally. Knowing what I do now, I would have done that completely different. I would have hired the resources I needed, spent the money, and not had just a few people carry the extra load.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That people need to be led. I find that very few people thrive without having a leader on the team. I interview people they say I am a “self starter” just show me something and I will get it done, I find that without someone to lead a team people get lost.
I also believe that how you lead makes the difference in performance. If you do not have the right leaders on your team, it is impossible to flourish. Good leaders make the people around them better, they can cast a vision and inspire people daily. Bad leaders can drag down even the best individual performers, and for a business that is just not going to work.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Turn and Turn well. This is Jim Collins 101, you need to get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off. Tri Star is not for everyone and not everyone is right for us, and that is okay.
It is also important in business to not take those disagreements personally. Not every job is the right fit, but that does not mean there aren’t plenty of other opportunities where you can excel.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
This is a business where serving is key. We are serving the clients, the trusted advisors, the client’s families, our co-workers. This is a SERVICE BUSINESS just as much as it is a technical business. That is why the “let’s make a pizza” strategy is so important. Clients have different needs depending on their industry, and unique personal situations. At Tri Star we must adapt to their individual set of circumstances in order to serve them in the best way possible.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I still believe that creating ways for children to consume positive content is untapped.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Well not quite $100 but close, I bought a small rack of arm weights for my bathroom. I get a lot done in there and doing a few extra lifts in the evening is really changing my arms! It is the little things at this age.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
It is an old book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. I also LOVE Harvard Business Review, they are packed with practical ways to build, start, and maintain your business.
What is your favorite quote?
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis
- Work within a routine.
- Don’t undervalue quiet as a tool to succeed.
- I am proud that we have a team that serves.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.