[quote style=”boxed”]I bring my ideas to life on paper, to begin with. I write down everything. While I’m doing that, I can see exactly how the project will progress.[/quote]
Robin Jay is an award-winning author and filmmaker, speaker, and publisher. She is not just “The Queen of the Business Lunch™,” but is a Business Relationship Expert who shares the nuts-and-bolts of building profitable business relationships.
Robin’s award-winning book, “The Art of the Business Lunch ~ Building Relationships Between 12 and 2” (Career Press) is in 12 languages worldwide. She is also a contributor to “Chicken Soup for the Wine Lover’s Soul.” Robin has been featured internationally on MSNBC-TV, Newsweek Magazine, CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, The London Financial Times, Forbes.com and other well-recognized media outlets.
In 2006, she founded the Las Vegas Convention Speakers Bureau. As president, she not only runs the bureau and coaches speakers to success, Robin also published “The Power of the Platform,” a series of anthologies that feature messages from today’s top motivational speakers, including Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, and Les Brown.
In 2011, Robin wrote, produced, and starred in “The KEEPER of the KEYS” – the first FUNNY personal development movie, starring Jack Canfield, John Gray, and Marci Shimoff. The movie won the Las Vegas International Film Festival Award for Best Independent Film and The INDIE Fest award for Best Documentary.
Robin is currently in development on her next film, “The Secrets of the Keys,” which will star Brian Tracy, Academy Award nominated actress Mariel Hemingway, Dannion Brinkley – author of “Saved by the Light,” “The Secret’s Law of Attraction expert John Assaraf, and special guest don Miguel Ruiz – author of “The Four Agreements.”
What are you working on right now?
I am currently in development on my second funny self-help film, “The Secrets of the Keys.”
Where did the idea for producing the first fun self-help films come from?
As president of the Las Vegas Convention Speakers Bureau, I feel I should be up on everything in the field of Personal Development. Ever since the success of the self-help blockbuster hit “The Secret,” various producers have tried to capture that wave of popularity, but the films that I’ve seen have been nearly impossible to watch; they are little more than endless streams of talking heads, reciting trite sound bites we’ve all heard before. I wanted to raise the bar by writing and producing a motivational and inspiring film that would also be entertaining and empowering. The best way to do that, in my opinion, is by making it fun. Plus, I wanted to avoid those trite sound bites! By having the experts share their deeply personal stories of transformation, the lessons become real and are, therefore, more inspiring.
How do you make money?
I funded my first film using the same business model I used when I published a series of anthologies. Because I own a speakers bureau, I am in touch with some of the biggest names in the speaking/self-help industry. I secure a few internationally recognized speakers to lend value to the project, then I offer the opportunity to other, lesser-known speakers and experts. I have them pre-purchase their inventory. With the films, I have a similar business model, only now I ask the experts to pre-purchase their supply of DVDs. I am also working with a business manager to raise investment capital so that I will have a more significant budget, which will enable me to market the films on a larger scale and bring in even more talent throughout the production.
I also earn money on the back end, selling the movies once they are completed. I have worked non-stop to promote them. While I set out to make my first film an elegant marketing piece for the experts, I ended up creating a wonderful, engaging movie that inspires everyone who sees it. Of course, now that I’ve raised the bar, I consider myself an authentic filmmaker and I am extremely excited to make the next film even better. These films are not just a marketing piece, but are award-winning films. I’ve even been able to secure distribution deals, which is practically unheard of for the other films of this genre.
What does your typical day look like?
It’s LONG! I start around 7:30AM and work at my desk and on the phone until midnight most days. I stop to eat (occasionally) or take my dog for a walk. I’m doing the work of many people and because I’m on a very tight budget, I’m not in the position to hire a staff. This means that I do it all – from social media and blogging to recruiting experts to writing the screenplay and planning every aspect of the film. I will be happy when I have all of the experts lined up for the next film and we can begin scheduling the actual production.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring my ideas to life on paper, to begin with. I write down everything. While I’m doing that, I can see exactly how the project will progress.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I want to believe that we are becoming a more enlightened society. While many people resist self-growth initially, at some point in their lives they come to realize that what they are doing is not working as they’d hoped. By being able to bring amazing messages of deeply personal transformation to them in an engaging film, I am able to share with them the inspiration they are seeking at this point in their lives.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
When I was 16, I was a waitress. I learned I did NOT want to do that for the rest of my life!
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would find a mentor as soon as I changed careers. I was an Advertising Account Executive for nearly 20 years. I resigned to write my first book. I was naïve, so I did everything as best I could and I made a lot of expensive mistakes. I did not know that mentors existed. That is why I love mentoring others today, helping them to avoid the pitfalls that are actually easy to avoid when you know what to look for!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Hire a mentor. Why do we ALL need to make the same mistakes over and over again? Whenever I begin something new, I get help from someone who has already done whatever it is I want to do.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There are no failures … only learning experiences. “Good judgment comes from bad experience and good experience comes from bad judgment.” Being an entrepreneur is a lot like steering a boat – waves take you off course a bit, and your job is to steer the boat back on course. Nothing I’ve experienced has been “Black & White.” One example I can think of is that I sold my first book to a publisher. I was over-the-moon excited to have sold my first work. It has since been sold in 12 languages. Was it a mistake? Not really, although now I wish I had self-published it instead.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Rent a Housesitter. Especially for those who have just moved into a new home or who are handling renovations – this service would offer intelligent people who could “babysit” your home waiting for cable and other installations, handymen, service providers, landscapers, plumbers, etc. People would let these service providers in and keep an eye on the place – and be able to oversee whatever the project is, so YOU can go to work and not lose business by having to be home to handle everything.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would change our corrupt political system. I can’t imagine how to do that – but it needs to be done; it’s horribly broken. I think most people are genuinely good; they want to work hard and contribute to society and help each other. But, once politicians figured out they could live off the backs of the people forever, democracy was dead in its tracks. I’m sure our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves. Lobbyists and influencers make all the rules. Average people can become corrupt, selfish, and greedy. If we could ever fix the system, we would be able to modify taxes (I’d love to see a flat rate tax implemented) and institute honest and reasonable and affordable health care. The aspect I like most about being a personal development thought leader is that I am in the position to empower “enlightened seekers.” I may only help a few people at a time, instead of an entire civilization, but I like knowing I’m a positive influence in the world.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I’m actually shy. Unfortunately, that is a luxury I can’t afford – so I fight it and operate as a more outgoing person. This is not to be confused with being a Type A personality, which I am. When I’m with friends, I’m comfortable anywhere doing just about anything. But when I’m alone, it can be hard for me to approach people and start a conversation.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
1. I love WordPress. Before WP, I found having to go through a web master to make even the smallest changes on a page was maddening. I am happy being able to log in and modify aspects of my sites and blog.
2. I would not be able to write nearly as fast without autocorrect. In fact, I think if we all had to go back to typewriters, we’d be sunk!
3. My cell phone. I have the WORLD at my fingertips. There is no reason for anyone to EVER be bored again!
4. I HAVE to add a fourth favorite: broadband. As someone who remembers dial-up, waiting … waiting … waiting for pages to load, I absolutely love being able to tell someone I’m talking to on the phone or Skype to look at what I’m looking at right now or to check out a URL. It’s incredible and is the best thing to ever happen to technology. Improving the speed with which we can communicate is mind-boggling.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Can I recommend a film, instead? ☺ My movie, “The Keeper of the Keys” is changing lives. It empowers people and encourages them in a time when we all need to know that we are worthwhile. If I have to recommend a book, I think “The Magic” from Rhonda Byrne is fabulous. It reminds us to be grateful for every aspect of our lives.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
I like to follow people who still compose their own tweets; Daymond John,Tiffany Shlain, Carly Alyssa Thorne.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Saturday night. I had my two BFFs over for dinner. After dinner, a great song came on so I showed them “my move.” They each got up and gave it a shot. It’s been captured on video! Not sure if I’ll share it yet. It felt so good to move around and laugh.
Who is your hero?
I admire most those people who have made it through a very hard time – like losing their business, the loss of a loved one, or other tragedy – and come out grateful for their experience and for all they still have. Those people who face each day as the gift it is inspire me to embrace my days as a gift, as well.
What is your formula for success?
A recipe that combines the following: A great attitude, discipline, tenacity, perseverance, a sense of humor, a great support group of friends, meditation, exercise, and balance.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Still engaged in my passion of empowering others – but being able to rest on my laurels a bit. These next 10 years really have to count. I want to enjoy greater success at getting my films out into the world and finally be able to take more time for myself, golfing at least one day a week, hopefully sharing more time with some special people and dear friends.
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Robin Jay on Twitter: @thekeymovie
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.