I came across this fantastic post on LinkedIn from Ari Emanuel. If you don’t know Ari Emanuel, he is the basis for the fictional TV character Ari Gold from Entourage. It’s worth a read and worth putting into practice:
The Six Lessons I Live By - Ari Emanuel Co-CEO at WME
1. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and move out of their way.
If you feel like you know everything, you’re wrong. I know what I don’t know and then I find partners who can teach me. A perfect example is my partnership with Patrick Whitesell, my co-CEO at WME. While we take on different roles at the company and focus on different things, we share the same goals and at the end of the day, we’re working toward the same end. That’s been the key to our success.
2. The only constant in business is change. Get comfortable with it.
When I started in the business, there were four broadcast networks and 19 cable networks. Now there are five broadcast networks, 117 cable networks, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBOGo, iTunes, Amazon Prime, VOD – the list goes on and on. Next year there will be more distribution platforms, and in ten years the landscape will have shifted another 180 degrees. The business is changing quickly, and the only way to succeed is to change with it. I always tell my colleagues, there is no such thing as a traditional talent agent anymore. It’s about pushing beyond that 10% commission and finding opportunity where it didn’t exist before.
3. Fail often, fail quickly.
Nobody fucks up like I do, but you’ll never succeed unless you take risks. Big ones. In 2009, we took Endeavor, a company that was doing incredibly well, and merged it with the oldest talent agency in the world. From a cultural and organizational standpoint, it was a big risk. People had their doubts. But we had a vision and a lot of help from very smart people (see #1.) Three years later, our business is stronger, our bench is deeper and smarter, and our deal-making is more innovative. It’s a better company – period. You have to lead by example if you want to promote a culture where risk-taking is rewarded.
4. Your schedule makes you dumber.
Force yourself outside of your daily schedule. Be curious and take time to learn about worlds outside of the one you live in. Watch the news, read the paper, educate yourself. Don’t be afraid to call people you don’t know, start a conversation, and ask for things you need. At the very least, you’ll be more interesting. At the most, you’ll take your business in new and bigger directions.
5. You only get one shot – make it count.
I learned this the painful way. After being hit by a car and lying face-down in the middle of Wilshire Boulevard, I was confronted with a whole lot more than my mortality. Take advantage of each day that’s given to you and do something to move the needle on your business, even if it’s just an inch. You’ve heard it before, but life is not a dress rehearsal. Don’t waste your time (or mine.)
6. Good ideas rule all.
In the end, it’s all about creative ideas and content – it’s the lifeblood of our business. I’m fortunate enough to work with the writers, directors, musicians and actors who are defining culture with their voices. It’s why I come to work in the morning. In 100 years, when the world looks different, and we communicate in new ways, and we have more devices and platforms and distribution methods, I believe great artistry will still matter most.
Looking good is easy enough. Buy a fancy shirt and throw on a clean pair of pants, and you’re pretty much halfway there. But looking dapper is an art that requires thought and personality. Over the years, a few men have stood out for their polished looks. What is it that makes their look so timelessly appealing - and what can we learn from them?
Cary Grant (1904 – 1986) defines “clean cut.” With hair parted neatly to the side to complement his angular features, he is the sort of man who would look debonair in sweats - a rare feat indeed. Grant had a formula, and he stuck with it. Pressed shirts were paired with monochromatic suit jackets: it was simple, yet effective. He didn’t follow trends, because he didn’t need to. His look was timeless; and transcended location and surroundings. Grant’s name even possesses a clipped and tidy air (a studied choice, as he was born Archibald Alexander Leach and legally changed his name). Thinking of a new vogue haircut or eccentric new fashion statement? That’s bush league. Real style is timeless, clean, and transcendent. Just ask Cary.
Frank Sinatra (1915 - 1998) once sang that “you’ve either got or you haven’t got style, and if you have it, you stand out a mile.” That was more than a lyric for Sinatra, who was notorious for always being well dressed in fine and expensive suits. His taste was timeless, favoring tailored suits paired with conservative silk ties or bowties and fedoras. A stickler for the details, Sinatra cared about things like cufflinks and sleeve-lenghts, and where trousers should fall on the shoe line. Undeniably suave, Sinatra left an image of a gentleman that gave a damn about putting his best foot forward, dazzling the crowds with his vocals and his style. Sinatra’s lasting style legacy: Stay conservative, and invest in a good tailor.
A poet and writer with a devil-may-care attitude, Jack Kerouac’s (1922-1969) personality was contagious. His cavalier approach to life was also reflected in his clothes. He bottled up the “car ride with the windows down” look and infused it into his style. Kerouac was the Beat Generation, and his ensembles showed it. His flannel shirts fit in with the mountains of Washington with the same ease that they did in Brooklyn’s coffee shops. And Kerouac’s bomber jacket was a staple that only looked better with age - its distressed quality was tangible proof of his untamed lifestyle. Kerouac created the art of cool, and it’s a statement that isn’t going anywhere.
Frank Sinatra once said that Ray Charles (1930 – 2004) was “the only genius in show business.” His music and his clothes showed it. He was always hovering between a polished look and a relaxed one. His shirts were impossibly elegant - but they were always buttoned down to give off the allusion that he had just worked up a sweat (and let’s be honest… he probably had). Donning his signature black sunglasses, Charles looked dramatic with just a touch of mystery. He toed the line of slapdash style, but he never crossed it. Every poised suit had just a touch of dishevelment to it that said, “I don’t give a damn.” For the man who wants to look good without being predictable, channel Ray.
Take the cues of yesterday’s finest gentlemen, you can craft a distinctive style that will make a timeless statement. Looking good is a man’s game. Looking dapper is a gentleman’s style. Dress with thought, tip your hat to the greats of yesterday, and walk dapperly ever after.
About the Author:
Jake Kaufman lives in Columbus, Ohio and writes on behalf of Bosca.
Founded in 1911, Bosca is the dream of a young Italian immigrant named Hugo. Surviving wars and a Great Depression, Bosca continues to create luxurious leather goods that introduce the passion of Italian design to the demands of American functionality. Find out more about Bosca by visiting their website @ bosca.com.
The first day of the year provides us an opportunity to reflect on the previous year, as well as a chance to decide what we want for ourselves in the next 365 days. If you log on to twitter, tumblr, or any other social media site today, you will be bombarded with talk of resolutions, change, and improvements for the coming year – and we would be remiss if we didn’t throw our hat into the ring as well. So here is an introduction to 2013, from your friends at AG.
Why do I even need a resolution?
We’re willing to bet that 2012 wasn’t a complete failure on your part – and that some really good things happened. Don’t let this media frenzy of resolutions make you think you need to reinvent yourself completely – pick a couple of areas you’d like to improve upon, and knock them out of the park. If you’re feeling complacent, challenge yourself; if you’re dying for change, prioritize the most important needs in the new year.
I want to win the US Open.
That’s great kid, good luck, we’re right here behind you. Goals, by nature, are difficult to attain – that’s what makes reaching them so awesome. That’s also what will cause so many men to fall short in 2013, but not us, and not you. We know you’re smart enough to make your goals process-oriented, which is why you’ll get that promotion over Joe from accounts, and why you won’t stop at losing 20 pounds.
In 2013, focus on the process, the everyday habit of excellence – in whatever field you choose – and your “resolutions” will soon be in your rear-view mirror. This process-oriented approach will do two things; first, it will focus your daily activities and create a binary (yes or no) answer to your approach. Take losing weight as the example: If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, that’s great, but how will you accomplish it? Instead make your process: 30 minutes of cardio every day. This creates an attainable and clear “goal” to accomplish. Nothing feels better than having accomplished your goal for the day before you even get to work. Second, this approach will be habit-forming. Instead of stopping at your goal of 20 pounds, you have a process to follow: 30 minutes of cardio per day. Follow that for an entire year, and you will reap many different rewards.
Just like fat people get fat one bite at a time, and Jack Nicklaus became great one range ball at a time, your goals will be accomplished one day at a time. Make sure that you win each individual day, and you’ll be amazed at what you will accomplish.
Happy New Year from The American Gentleman. Let us know what your processes will be in 2013 @theamericangent on twitter or in the comments below
Dear the American Gentleman,