Relationships are everything – the more relationships you have, the better they will serve you.
Michael Luisi launched his newest business endeavor less than twelve months ago. He has made his career as an entertainment producer and executive, with a focus on movies, television, short-form content, and podcasts. He is currently in production on several projects that are scheduled to be released in 2020.
Michael Luisi was born and raised in New York City, before eventually making the move to California. Luisi is a graduate of New York University, where he completed his undergraduate degree in film/television production, before earning his law degree. Michael Luisi is currently an adjunct film professor at USC and New York University, and is on the film advisory boards at Chapman University and CSUN.
Michael Luisi has held executive positions at The Walt Disney Company, and Miramax Films. He is credited with producing more than forty film and television productions to date in his career.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I was always interested in movies and I really enjoyed telling a story through this medium. I always knew that I wanted to pursue this industry as my career and it has been great!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually have three meetings per day, with one of those meetings usually held over lunch. The rest of my day is spent conducting phone calls, reading scripts, developing material, and talking with potential financiers for upcoming projects. It is all part of the process of taking an idea and seeing it through development, production and release.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ideas are everywhere – every minute of the day I am looking at material through the lens of “is there an interesting story to be told?” It is just a matter of finding those ideas that motivate you. Once you are inspired, you need to determine what you must do to bring these ideas to fruition.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think that the most interesting trend for anyone in the entertainment business is the ongoing migration of audiences that traditionally watched the cable networks to streaming platforms. It is a fascinating transition to watch unfold, and the entertainment business is currently in the throes of it.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit that helps me be more productive as an entrepreneur is that I am proactive. I have always been a big believer that you can overcome almost anything if you’ve got the determination to do so. Instead of waiting for things to happen, you make them happen. If you always take an active role to achieve your goals, and approach tasks with persistence, you are more likely to find and achieve success.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to get out, travel, and see the world while you have the opportunity to do so. The older you get, the harder and harder it gets to do so.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You have to put blinders on and tune out all the negativity around you. Just go with your gut. Don’t listen to others who tell you that your gut is wrong. Knowing instinctively that you should do something, but not having the courage to pursue it is far worse than trying and failing. Being right is important, but being wrong for the right reason is also an imperative to achieving success.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am a believer in the idea that there is no such thing as a bad meeting. I will sit down with anyone working in the industry. I find that keeping an open mind is important, and many meetings where I went in a bit skeptical end up being the ones that prove to be the most lucrative and beneficial. I would strongly suggest building your network of relationships, because in this business, relationships are everything. The more meaningful relationships you have, the better they will serve you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
There are certain types of projects and budgets that I am most comfortable working on. It doesn’t mean that I won’t go outside these boundaries, but I generally stay within my lane. I built my reputation on being able to produce certain types of projects a certain way, and that strategy has always served me well.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I face failure every single day. You have to be willing to fail in order to succeed. People should not be afraid of making mistakes, they should be afraid of not learning from their mistakes.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Right now, there is a lot of money in the app business. There is practically an app for everything. This is a great money making opportunity!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I am a huge music fan. I went on iTunes and spend a hundred dollars on all my favorite classic rock songs. It was hands down the best hundred bucks I have recently spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
IMDBPro and I use it every day. Great intel for the entertainment industry.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Truth About Parallel Lines by Jill Block. It’s just a great read and will make a great TV show or movie.
What is your favorite quote?
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious” – Albert Einstein
• Being right is important, but being wrong for the right reason is still ok.
• Relationships are everything – the more relationships you have, the better they will serve you.
• You have to be willing to fail in order to succeed.
• Don’t let fear get in the way of pursuing your passion.
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.