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Capitalist Sage: Life-changing Leadership with Betsy Corley Pickren

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In this episode of Capitalist Sage, Karl and Rico sit down with Betsy Corley Pickren, an executive leadership coach. They talk about the importance of investing in leadership, no matter the size or shape of the business, and how to develop structures that promote leadership development in all employees in the business. Betsy shares that developing leadership skills can come in many different forms, whether through one on one coaching, meeting with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs, or finding someone to hold you accountable.

Resources mentioned

Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Leadership in Turbulent Times, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

Kennesaw State University, Executive Education

Betsy Corley Pickren
Phone: 770-263-7736
Email: betsy@betsypickren.com.
Website: www.betsypickren.com

Christ Church Players
Phone: 770-447-1166
Website: www.ccnorcross.org

Transcript of the podcast:

Karl [00:00 ]: Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors, and my cohost is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets Digital Marketing and the publisher of the Peachtree Corners Magazine. Hey Rico!

Rico [00:17 ]: Hey Karl.

Karl [00:18 ]: How you doing today?

Rico [00:19 ]: Good. It’s been a great day so far.

Karl [00:20 ]: Oh, fabulous. I know we’ve got a lot of exciting stuff to talk about today, but why don’t we start with our sponsors for today’s podcast?

Rico [00:28 ]: Sure. Our biggest sponsor – our new sponsor actually – is GMC primary care Specialty Centers. They just opened a few weeks ago. They’re an offshoot of Guinnett Medical Center, and it’s a great facility. I toured the facility along with a bunch of other people during their grand opening. Let me tell you, they have imaging center right there and can do all sorts of new things that you normally would have to send out to other facilities for. And it’s brand new. And it used to be the – for those of you who know Peachtree Corners – it used to be the old Apolitos restaurant. You would never know. Absolutely gutted out – it’s beautiful.

Karl [01:04 ]: Right at the intersection of 141 and Peachtree Corners Circle.

Rico [01:09 ]: Just at the QT store. Almost next door to let’s say – Planet Smoothie. Where I go get my smoothie.

Karl [01:19 ]: Oh, fabulous. I’m glad to have them here. How about some of our other sponsors?

Rico [01:23 ]: Sure. So Prototype Prime, which is now under Curiosity Lab Peachtree Corners. It’s a sponsor to a lot of podcasts there. And they’re going to be – well, Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners is a big thing right now because of autonomous vehicles, the 1.7 mile track that we have and the local stuff that we do in there. And they’re gonna be an off-site demo. A demo off-site from the Smart City Atlanta Expo that’s happening in the city of Atlanta. And this is an offshoot – the first North American expo of the sort. It’s based out of Barcelona, and it’s gonna be a neat thing. It’s going to be anything you think that with Smart City, and bring it to people.

Karl [02:04 ]: Internet of things, how they use data, help enhance quality of life, how cities are becoming smarter. It’s gonna be a showcase of all those companies and technologies.

Rico [02:17 ]: Absolutely. And that’s happening September 11, 12 and 13th. You can find out more by going to our website at LivinginPeachtreeCorners.com. You’ll see a place where you can go right to that and get information and buy tickets to it if you want. So they’re one sponsor. Atlanta Tech Park – we’re doing our podcast here. So this is a great facility – they let us do this twice a month, and along with other things. And well those are the three main – we are Peachtree Corners Magazine and media sponsor for the Smart City Expo Atlanta, so.

Karl [02:48 ]: Oh, fabulous, fabulous. Well, lots of things going on, but today I want to talk to our guest – Betsy Corley Pickren, who is the president and leader of Woodfire Leadership. And she specializes in help developing and training leaders. Offering executive coaching services, training, but today, we want to talk a little about how it impacts investing in leadership can impact small business owners in the business community here in Peachtree Corners and beyond. So first, I want to maybe start this – Betsy can you introduce yourself?

Betsy [03:26 ]: Hi! I am Betsy Corley Pickren as you said, and I have had my own business for, hmm, twenty years? A good long time. And I really have a passion about leadership because leadership – leaders have so much impact on people who are around them. And they can make people’s lives hell or heaven. And so, I’d like to have a little more heaven.

Karl [03:57 ]: Oh, that’s fabulous. So I’m curious, what got you interested in focusing on this and building a business around creating and building leaders? 

Betsy [04:06 ]: That’s a really good question. I – I’ll talk more about my dad later, but he – I saw him as a leader. And I kind of always got put into leadership positions, whether I wanted to or not. And then I was lucky enough to begin working with a company that really set the bar on leadership development. And just fell in love. So – 

Karl [04:40 ]: Wow, fabulous. So when you see folks – I know that I talk to a lot of business leaders. And when they’re talking about their business, I’m surprised in all the things they invest in. They’ll spend in marketing, they’ll spend in inventory, they’ll spend in technology. But when I ask them how much they spend in investing in themselves and the leaders in the company, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they don’t spend as much time and money resources in that. Why do you think that is, and what are some of the things that can help be better business leaders if they were to make those investments?

Betsy [05:16 ]: Why, what a great question. Why don’t they? So, Dee Hock, who was the leader of Visa for a number of years, said that leaders need to spend at least 40% of their time on themselves. And I think maybe not enough leaders have read that or heard that. And sometimes, leaders are there to – because of the power. And that’s not what it’s about. I mean I really believe that leaders exist to magnify their own strengths, the strengths of those around them, and the strengths of the enterprise they serve for a common goal. And so, it’s – there’s a why. There’s a why behind why you’re a leader. And we were talking earlier about Simon Sinek. And he wrote the book, “Start with Why”, and I actually want to read a quote from him. He says, “Imagine a world when the vast majority of us wake up inspired, feel safe at work, and return home fulfilled at the end of the day, feeling as though we are contributing towards something greater than ourselves.” How does that sound?

Rico [06:37 ]: That sounds great to me.

Betsy [06:39 ]: Me too, me too.

Rico [06:41 ]: You want to feel like you’re contributing to society, to family, to a common good.

Betsy [06:49 ]: Yea. Not just a cog in the wheel that nobody pays attention to.

Karl [06:53 ]: When you think about organization businesses in general, how many times have you gone to a place of service – it could be a restaurant, it could be anything. And the folks there don’t feel like they’re terribly engaged. And they seem like they just got in there, they’re forced there. But then you counter that when you go somewhere with a great experience. They’re excited to see you. They welcome you. They’re asking you. They’re engaged. It makes a huge difference where you choose to spend your money and time and invest in business. But how is that culture created? What role does a leader have in creating that culture?

Betsy [07:26 ]: Well, the leader really – being a leader isn’t about charisma. Being a leader is about having values that you know about yourself, having a vision. Not only what you want to do, but how you want to go about it. What are your values, and what do you want other people to do in terms of those values. I worked for a company, and this was a training and development company that got me super hooked on leadership, and we had some great salespeople, we had some great, you know, production people, and they would get called out as much for their behavior toward other people as anybody else would for, say, not performing up to standard. And so – the leader just needs to have those things. A vision, a personal leadership philosophy that keeps them focused and moving in the right direction. And it’s about – a leader is somebody that somebody chooses to follow. And if people don’t choose to follow you, then you can call yourself a leader all day long – you’re not one.

Karl [08:48 ]: It’s interesting if you think about how you peel that back – I know a lot of big companies spend time investing in leadership for their management. But I think of a small company – and there’s maybe 12 employees. There’s a shift manager and and a couple of other folks in there. They bring in people and they don’t have those kind of resources to maybe invest in like a big company. What are specific things can a local business owner do with his crew of ten people to help them develop leadership there as well?

Betsy [09:25]: What can – well, we’ll just go back for a minute. I said I wanted to talk about my dad a little bit more. And he owned a tractor dealership, and he was great. I mean – that’s where I thought – I learned I thought sales and service was one word. Because it was corely sales and service. And he was great at that. My mother was the bookkeeper or CFO, so to speak. Well, you’ve got to know what people are good at doing. And bring out those strengths. If my father had been the bookkeeper, the business might have lasted for forty days instead of forty years. Because one time, I know he traded some tractor parts for a dog for me. And how you put that on the spreadsheet – I don’t know. So the first thing is to know the talents that you’ve got. And then, also, there are a lot of other small business people out there who can fill in so you’ve got contract CFOs, you’ve got leadership development people like me, coaches like me, you’ve got just a number of other people who can be kind of extended family that you bring in to make sure that everything you do has got a really good person doing it. 

Karl [10:53 ]: So I wanted to pinpoint on – you’ve already said to Rico, like, are leaders born? Or are they made? I’m curious where you stand on that, and for folks – somebody that thinks, you know what I’m not a leader, I can’t be a leader, or I’m not a leader. What would you say to folks who feel they don’t have that talent?

Betsy [11:14 ]: Hmm. Well, I happen to believe that leadership happens at every level. If you’re a dad, if you’re a mom, if you’re a janitor, if you’re anybody can be an example to other people. And that is what one of the aspects of leadership. So, everybody is a leader in some way, shape or form. And some of us are probably born with more of a wish to lead. But just look at all the situations where people who’ve never wanted to have leadership, and a crisis happens, and they are right up there. And everybody’s following them.

Rico [12:00 ]: That’s funny. I’m reading “Leadership in the Time of Turbulence”. Great book, good presidents. Started with Teddy, Lincoln – Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and Johnson. All of them, different points of their lives they were not leaders. But there were parts of their lives when they had to become leaders. Obviously, those four presidents had challenges – from the Civil War to World War 2, and the struggles during the 60s, right? But I think you’re right in a way that everyone has a certain amount of leadership. It just depends where they apply it. And what they can apply it to. And I think the biggest thing is also persistence.

Betsy [12:42 ]: It is. We can all do – certainly have to have certain physical attributes, you have to have certain mental attributes. But if we really want to do something, we can. And yet it’s so much better if we do what we are kind of wired to do. And that’s one of the things that I tell my clients. It’s – I look for leaders who aspire to be good, great leaders as part of their career. That it’s not leadership just to move up, it’s not leadership for power, it can be leadership for influence. But it’s about, “I want to create other leaders. I want to really make a difference.”

Karl [13:33 ]: I always found people have these amazing different talents. It could be a sport, some people are sprinters, some people can run and they can go so fast. Through training, through coaching, through feedback and through practice, they can maximize. You and I will never be Michael Phelps, but imagine someone with his talents and dedication applying that over year over year. Remember they talked about the 10,000 hours of Malcolm Gladwell in practice. Are there things people can do to maximize their leadership? If you were to break it down to a few simple things that they could focus on to practice leadership? Any advice on where they can start?

Betsy [14:18 ]: Well, it all starts with awareness. There’s no way to change anything without awareness. And there are lots of ways to get there. You can ask people for feedback, you can take assessments – I have assessments out the wazoo that I help connect people with. And the – there’s a behavior shift model. And once you have the awareness, then it’s about deciding – okay. I want to do something about that. I want to get better at these things I’m really good at. And I want to get either better at the things I’m not so good at, or find somebody else to do them for me. And so I began to focus myself. And then, it is about repetition and – in coaching we call them structures. And I was coaching somebody yesterday, and he’s going to put something on his calendar every time he has a meeting to remind himself how he wants to be – be seen. How he wants to be in that meeting. And so, it really helps to have a coach, I have to say. Because you’ve got somebody to walk along with you. And I see myself as a coach as, like, a GPS. So Karl – you might say, you know, I want to go to New York. I say, okay, set me to New York, but on the way, you look over at Charleston and say, that’s kind of interesting. So we stop. But my job is to remind you that you want to go to New York. You can change your destination at any time. But that – it’s knowing where you’re going, being aware, making a choice, practicing getting feedback. It’s just like riding a bike, I guess.

Rico [16:19 ]: Yeah, it’s funny. You can have leadership, but if you don’t have goals, then what’s the point? So you’re setting the goals, you’re focused on the goal, and you need to get there. And you’re helping them keep on the track, not hitting the guardrails and not getting off that road.

Betsy [16:37 ]: Yeah, unless we stop and smell the roses along the way.

Rico [16:42 ]: And that’s always good anyway because you want to reenergize, right?

Betsy [16:45 ]: I know. Exactly.

Karl [16:47 ]: I remember years ago, I knew some folks that went to West Point, and West Point – some of the military academies pride themselves on developing leadership. But he described the model of how they develop leaders there. So, I don’t know if you’ve heard it before, but freshmen come in, and they’ve got a name for them, plebs or something. But they’re fully 100% dependent. they don’t know what to do, they don’t know how to put on their clothes, they don’t know how to make their beds, they don’t know what to do. And their job is to learn how to follow and listen to the older students so that, that listening – they have to perfect or master following before they can move up the leadership ladder. The second they become sophomores, they’re now independent. So they’re not – they don’t need to be told what to do for anything, but they need to become self-sufficient and learn how to lead themselves, develop themselves. When they get to their junior year, they emphasize leading. The juniors have to teach the freshmen how to do the structures. So now they’re getting their first taste of leading others and directing others and teach. And guess what happens in their senior year? What do you think happens in their senior year? Now they’re looking broader vision – they’re setting the direction, the strategy, the vision. They’re sort of – I said, they’re doing this in high schools, and then colleges, to help develop in a structured way. So when you said that part about structure somewhat, it’s interesting how folks like military academies – the military – have built this kind of structure. But I see folks can apply that into a small business. Someone starts in that first six months, they’re plebs. You teach them how to do everything, you teach them how to run the register, how to make every dish, how to do every – all the basic tasks. You help them learn how to learn from others. Maybe the next 6 months, the next year, they’re independent. And you’re getting a lot of value. Now they’re trained. That’s that part where you’re – I don’t want to train somebody. Now they’re actually productive. But then, giving them a path where you invest in them, you get them into training, you get them into other things so they can learn how to lead the next new person. And when they get far enough, they might be general manager – and for the business owner, this could be the hardest part. They could be part of that kitchen cabinet and circle that helps you figure out how to beat the competition, how to expand, how to make the business even more valuable if they build that structure in. But you don’t need 100 people to do that. You could do that with 10 people, the same type of structure.

Betsy [19:19 ]: Yeah, and what happens often is that, later, when they get to become a senior – and there’s something called 4 stages of contribution that follows that. But what happens often in the business world is, when a person gets to that third and fourth rung on that ladder, they get uncomfortable because they don’t know how to do that. Like, they know how to set the table and bus the table. They know how to do that and they’re comfortable. So they go back and work in the business, not on the business, and then wonder what happened to their business.

Rico [19:59 ]: And that’s where a coach probably comes in. Be able to analyze what they’re doing and really talk – is a life coach and business coach the same?

Betsy [20:07 ]: Uh, yeah. I’m a – I – when I started out, I called myself a life and leadership coach. And I think that’s probably still what I am, although it sounds better to say I’m an executive leadership coach. You know, it sounds – but – everything somebody does is about their life. You can’t say, okay so now you’re going to be a business person, and now you’re gonna be a regular person. I mean, you’re all the same person.

Rico [20:39 ]: It’s in the same philosophy of how you treat your family – your friends. It’s supposed to be almost the same way you treat your business.

Betsy [20:46 ]: I believe in congruity and authenticity. There are people who say, “Well I’m not like that at home.” And I think, “Well? Hmm. So who are you as a human being?” You know? So I think – certainly, our behaviors are somewhat different. I mean, I get that. But our philosophy of life and leadership and who we are – it’s a lifelong learning thing. But I don’t know how to split.

Rico [21:19 ]: Yeah, I can’t see how you can divorce them from each other. I mean, if you feel someone’s authentic and you trust what they’re doing in the company, you gain their respect. And that owner, that boss needs to discipline for some reason, that’s also a form of respect, right? Yeah. I don’t see how you can divorce the two. I mean, you have to be able to be who you are, and people will follow that. No one wants to follow a leader where they know, “He’s not doing the same thing. Or why is she probably doing – “

Karl [21:50 ]: Yeah. People can detect that immediately. It’s not consistent. And they see it as being fake and then you lose – you lose that. So, you know, when you – when we talk to business leaders and saw them and say, they made the decision they want to become better leaders. What are some of the things they can do to get started on that journey?

Betsy [22:10 ]: Hire a coach. You can always read a book, but knowledge is only awareness. There are some people who can say – okay, now I’m gonna work. They have that much will and, you know, self-control and all that. I’m not one of those people. I mean, I have a coach. And have for many years. And I was part of – you may have heard – Vistage. I was part of that for a while, where I’m with other people who are helping keep me on track. So I’m no different from anybody else. 

Karl [22:47 ]: I – you know, I’ve established relationships that go back 30 plus years. People that will call and check in if I’m making important decisions in my career. So I’ll get feedback and learning and even there’s some that we’ll get together in a group and talk through different leadership. But also I think – just going out there. There are classes you can take and things you can go to that have – tell me a little about Mastermind Groups and what role they can serve business leaders.

Betsy [23:24 ]: Sure. Could I just comment on what you said first? That – yes. Training – I teach at Kennesaw State, I teach coaching skills for leaders, which by the way is a critical – a key piece for leaders now. Now I forgot what I was going to say. Okay. That’s not a good thing. Oh I know why – cause this is how you and I met, really. If you’re going to do some sort of training, make sure that you have some sort of follow-up. You have groups of people who get together after the training and talk about what we’ve done and hold each other accountable, because otherwise, it’s just like reading a book. You’re going to finish it, you’re going to close it, and it’s – so, make sure, if you’re learning, that you build in application for that learning in some sort of way. So I’m sorry – I got you off track. What was your other?

Karl [24:31 ]: No, no no. That’s absolutely key. If folks take classes in leadership and think they can go for two days and they walk out and go, it’s not gonna stick. I think, just like the athletes do, it’s about the practice. It’s about the application. And I always think of the coach for the lead athlete – there’s no way to lead an athlete without a coach. Mike Tyson had a coach, Mohammad Ali had a coach – they were great at what they were doing, but someone had to provide them with feedback. “Hey, you know what, you said you wanted to do this, or your time was six minutes, and so I’m giving you that feedback because you wanted to get the five and a half minutes.” And we drill and we train and we adapt and we learn as part of that collective. But I know people who say, “I don’t have time for that.”

Rico [25:21 ]: Accountability, right? So I know a lot of people who say they want to exercise, they want to do a mile run, they want to do their thing, but some of them, if they can afford to, really it’s not that expensive, you get a personal trainer who will show up three days a week. You know they’re coming at 8 o’clock. You know you have to get up and go do that.

Karl [25:41 ]: I fully endorse. That accountability and what those folks will do for people. But we started talking about – business owners is a lonely world. They’re at the top of their business, and they’re leading their business and often it can be really lonely. How do they get that level of accountability? They’re a leader.

Betsy [26:03 ]: Well, you mentioned earlier Masterminds, before I got you to backtrack. Group coaching, or mastermind groups, are fabulous. I mean, Henry Ford was in one, Think and Grow Rich, the follow that Napoleon Hill wrote about. Those – he interviewed these mega-billionaires, and they just did it on their own. They got to know each other, they would meet on a Saturday, and they would talk about their goals, and they would get advice from each other. And they kind of became their own personal board of directors. And so when you have a mastermind or group, they’re people with similar in some ways, but not competitors, and they are invested in each other’s success as much as they are in their own success. And they learn from each other. And they give to each other. It’s a give and take. Gotta be able to accept from others, positive feedback.

Rico [27:23 ]: Opportunities for improvement.

Betsy [27:28 ]: Opportunities for development feedback. And ideas. You don’t need to do the ideas, you do need to listen to them. And I just think that, the other thing that that does for a small business owner is, it makes them take the time. I don’t think small business owners have the time not to do something like that. I mean, I look at myself – I can get very distracted by this, that and the other. And if I didn’t have somebody to say, “Well I thought you wanted to focus on this.” Then, I – you know, there’s so much in life to be excited about and interested in. But if w’ere gonna go someplace, we have to kind of, go there. And so, I love that kind of idea. 

Karl [28:21 ]: That’s fabulous. To create that environment here where folks can come together and do that. I know next week, I’m heading out to Charlotte for a day to meet with the mastermind group for us. There are other people who do the same thing that I do from the Southeast, and we all meet together and talk about things that are common and we’ll learn from each other. And we do that about once a quarter to get together and figure out ways to serve our clients better, how to become better, challenge ourselves. But we have people that are walking the walk that we’re walking in different ways. The best people to keep you accountable are folks that really know what you’re doing every day and can relate that. 

Betsy [29:03 ]: That’s like the coaching circle that I’m a part of. We coach each other so that we always have a coach. And we rotate. And then we bring in other coaches. I’ve been a coach for almost 20 years. So I can say, you know, I’m really good. Well – yes and it’s easy to slip. And it’s easy to get stale. So we get feedback from other coaches on our coaching. And I think that really helps keep me at the top of our game.

Karl [29:40 ]: That’s fabulous. Well, I’ll tell you – when it comes to leadership, it’s always something we can talk to – talk about forever because it’s an important topic, and we definitely want to continue this dialogue. But, I wanted to at least ask, what do you have going on? What do you have going on in the next weeks and months that might be of interest to folks?

Betsy [30:03 ]: Okay. Well in addition to managing my one on one executive coaching business with larger companies, I’m also teaching a course in applied managerial coaching at – through Kennesaw State University Executive Education. And you can go online there and find out about it. And I believe this one’s going to be held in Sandy Springs. You don’t have to go all the way to Kennesaw for that. So that’s one thing. I’m really – we were talking about Masterminds, and I’m really excited about two that I’m starting this fall. One is for brand new, baby business owners. And to start out right. And to really be able to get the excitement about the business but also the direction with another group of people. And then also one for people who’ve been in business a little bit longer and maybe have more employees. And so that will start in this fall. It’s six months, at the end of that we’ll decide if we want to keep going or what we want to do with it. And in addition to that, they all get this wonderful back room kind of information about marketing and all the stuff that you have to do to keep your business moving and growing. And it’s fabulous. So that’s just and added attraction.

Karl [31:43 ]: So that’s starting out this fall?

Betsy [31:45 ]: It is.

Rico [31:47 ]: Did you want to give a link to a website? We’ll put this in the notes – in the podcast show notes. But if you want to – I think if you go on LinkedIn and search for Betsy Corvey, we’ll find you. Is there another website – somewhere else, or a phone number we can reach you at?

Betsy [32:05 ]: My office number is 770-263-7736. And my email is betsy@betsypickren.com. Keep it as simple as possible.

Karl [32:20 ]: Excellent. And is there another – you’ve got one of those for baby entrepreneurs. Do you have another group that’s forming as well?

Betsy [32:29 ]: Yeah. One is for new business owners and one is for people who’ve been in business for longer.

Karl [32:34 ]: Perfect, perfect, perfect.

Betsy [32:36 ]: I do have one other thing. Do we have time? This is just personal. So I dabble in acting a little bit, and I’ll be playing Ms. Murble on the radio show called “On the Air” by Christ Church Players. This Saturday at 7 pm – that’s August 24th. And it’s a hoot. 

Karl [32:59 ]: Oh, fabulous. Where is the church located?

Betsy [33:01 ]: It’s on 400 Holcomb Bridge Rd. in Norcross. And you may still be able to buy tickets for $10 a piece by calling the office, Beth Holland, at 770-447-1166.

Karl [33:20 ]: Fabulous.

Betsy [33:21 ]: Or ordering from the website, which is www.CCNorcross.org. And we have such a good time putting this on, and you’ll see the Andrew sisters, and you’ll see – you’ll see the ladies from the Beauty Barn. 

Karl [33:39 ]: Fabulous. Well it’s something to do for this weekend for folks that want to check out a cool play and community theatre and small theater here locally. I want to thank you very much for being a guest today and sharing some of your insights about leadership. I know it’s something that I emphasize to business owners to – not to focus on the marketing and so on. But when I go in there and I get a sense of the culture, when they talk about the value of a business, for instance – that matters. We want to buy well trained leaders, they retain people, they help with retention and so on. And that’s really important for folks to focus on. I want to thank Atlanta Tech Park for hosting the Capitalist Sage podcast. It’s a great place to check out here in Peachtree Corners. Atlanta Tech Park – if you’re starting a business, this environment allows you to access other people. So if you want to get feedback, it brings together a lot of different business leaders, so just in the hallways you’ll bump into other people. And that’s fabulous. So, Rico, what about you? Any other events coming up?

Rico [34:50 ]: Well, we’re going to a fundraiser tonight for the Peachtree Business Corners Association. They’re doing the Castaway, raising money for three different –

Karl [34:58 ]: At Prototype Prime, which is just down the road here. That’s tonight. 5:30 tonight.

Rico [35:04 ]: I’ve been doing silent auction. People keep trying to beat me out there on top of these five projects. But I’ve been doing a bit of that right now, just trying to help out a good cause I think. Because they’re raising money for Duke and for Norcross Proper ministries, and – 

Karl [35:27 ]: That’s right, those three.

Rico [35:30 ]: You know, if you want to reach out to me for what I do sometimes, we have creative services for a group of newspapers and publisher of Peachtree Corners Magazine. I do social media marketing content, videography – just finished some product videos recently, working on website graphics now for a management firm. So you can visit MightyRockets.com or find Rico Figliolini, if you can spell that out, on LinkedIn and just let me know that you’ve heard this and I’ll accept a connection. Because otherwise – 

Karl [36:05 ]: Fabulous. And I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors. We help consult with business owners, and we’re just trying to help maximize the value of their business, become better business leaders out there, and when they’re ready to do something else, we can help them with that too. So, I can be reached at KBarham@tworld.com. Or you can go to www.tworld.com/atlantapeachtree. If you want to become a business owner or business leader, lots of opportunities available to you there. Give us a call, and we’d be glad to help you out with that. But thank you very much, Betsy, for joining us today.

Betsy [36:40 ]: And thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it. It was a very stimulating conversation.

Karl [36:44 ]: Fabulous. We’ve got more coming up in the weeks to come, so stay tuned to the Capitalist Sage.

Rico [36:50 ]: And find more stuff on LivinginPeachtreeCorners.com

Karl [36:54 ]: And we’d like to thank our director, Kinsey.

Rico [36:59 ]: Kinsey Figliolini.

Karl [37:02 ]: For doing a fabulous job in helping us with podcast every week. Thank you. Alright, thank you everyone, and have a great day.

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Business

Capitalist Sage: Beth B. Moore, Bridging the Artist and Business [Podcast]

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Beth B. Moore

When it comes to the entertainment industry, there’s still a lot of trade secrets. Beth B. Moore is here to explain some of the trickiest and most useful laws within the entertainment industry. In this episode of the Capitalist Sage, we join Rico, Karl, and Beth as they discuss entertainment law, emerging trends, the film and music industry, Georgia legislation and more.

Resources:
https://www.vividip.com Facebook: Beth B. Moore, Entertainment Lawyer

Social Media: @bethbmoore
https://www.instagram.com/bethbmoore/
https://twitter.com/bethbmoore/

“I really find interesting the intersection of business, art, and law. And so where I am in my career allows me to explore that unique intersection. You know at some point in my adult life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I realized that you know aside from friends and family some of the most important things to me in my life was music and art.”

Beth b. moore

Podcast Transcript

Karl: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Capitalist Sage podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with TransWorld Business Advisors. And my co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets Digital Marketing and the publisher of the Peachtree Corners Magazine Hey, Rico, how are you doing today?

Rico: [00:00:54] Hey Karl, I’m good, thanks.

Karl: [00:00:56] Ah today is Halloween. So we have a lot of trick-or-treaters going out tonight. Hopefully if the rain cooperates, why don’t we introduce some of our sponsors today?

Rico: [00:01:07] Sure, a scary Halloween day we’re going to be, there’s actually. The scary thing going on for some startups because they’re going to have an opportunity to do a three-minute pitch. Five startups on November 14th its going to be part of the North Atlanta Tech showcase.

Karl: [00:01:23] That’s right.

Rico: [00:01:24] And that’s here at Atlanta Tech Park. That’s sponsoring us. This is the podcast room from that location. A partnership Gwinnett is putting this on and there’s going to be five, actually, nine startups doing a three-minute pitch to others, to investors and other people within the industry. And that’s going to be scary for them because they got three minutes. It’s worse than the Shark Tank at least, at least in Shark Tank you had like, I don’t know 15-20 minutes. Here it’s only three minutes to make that pitch. So, but Atlanta Tech Park is the place they’re doing it. This is a phenomenal here in Peachtree  Corners. It’s a great place along the track of the autonomous vehicle.

Karl: [00:02:01] Right here in curiosity lab right here in Peachtree Corners Atlanta tech park being a home for entrepreneurs. Tech, tech startup companies so it’ll be great to see those come in. And if you’re interested check out the website you could, you could register come visit that day and see some of the future entrepreneurs of right here in Gwinnett County. At the Showcase.

Rico: [00:02:24] PartnershipGwinnett.com or AtlantaTechPark.com will take you there. 

Karl: [00:02:28] So we’re glad to have Atlanta Tech Park as our home for for the podcast and we’re especially glad today to have a fabulous guest. Bethany Moore. She’s in a an attorney that specializes in entertainment law and intellectual properties. And today we wanted to talk to those folks out there that have lots of creative talents and their endeavors takes them into both entertainment and artistry and look at the business side of those types of careers and businesses. I know we speak a lot about the the talent that people have. But they may not realize that they are also a business and we figured, let’s chat about that some and Beth was more than gracious to come and spend some time and talk to us about that. Hi Beth how’re you doing today? 

Beth: [00:03:15] Hi. I’m doing great. Thank you for having me out on this fun and festive Halloween Day. 

Karl: [00:03:20] Absolutely fabulous that. To get to explore a, you know on Halloween. There’s a lot of artistry that goes around this holiday season typically, but I’d like to start off by, you know, I’m curious how you got into this particular area and field of law when you got started.

Beth: [00:03:40] Sure. Well, you know, I consider myself an entertainment attorney and that does include, you know clients who work in the music industry, film, television, book publishing, theater. Really anything and everything involving the creative arts. I like to tell people I get to have the most fun a lawyer is allowed to have. You know, and it is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work and there are serious legal considerations when it comes to working in the entertainment industry. I really find interesting the intersection of business, art, and law. And so where I, where I am in my career allows me to explore that unique intersection. You know at some point in my adult life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I realized that you know aside from friends and family some of the most important things to me in my life was music and art. You know, there’s, there’s really a historical reason for the significance of music and art if you look back on the development of humankind, you know these things, you know, we developed along with music and art. You take a trip to Europe. What do you do? You go to the art museums you take in the local culture, the music, the architecture. So, you know, this has been a common thread throughout the entire life cycle of humankind and it’s something that I take very seriously and it just means a whole lot to me as a person.

Karl: [00:05:05] I always wonder when we think about that some people may not realize. That they’re in this creative art. I mean, I think it’s obvious musicians and it’s obvious maybe people that are in theater or actors and so on. When you talk to clients and folks that are in it, what are some of the other fields that people may not realize falls into these creative arts that where the electrical property and so on becomes really important?

Beth: [00:05:34] The beautiful thing is that art is everywhere. It’s everywhere. You can take any business that may be operating, you know with a logo and a trademark, you know, that’s you know, a common thread among all businesses regardless of what type of Industry you’re in starts with the copyright involved in the you know, any kind of unique image being used as a logo. And then there’s always you know the application to obtain a federally recognized trademark. That’s also part of what I do. And I can really do that for any business. But I specifically focus on those services for clients in the entertainment industry. You know art is you know is a consideration in an industry as large as advertising. You know, I’ve had to work with a lot of advertising companies to make sure that the artwork they want to use or the music that they may, you know that they may use in their television commercials that all of those are cleared and legally cleared to use. So considerations of intellectual property are everywhere and it’s certainly especially in the entertainment industry. 

Karl: [00:06:40] If you think of it from the side of the artist that’s producing that. What are things where you’ve seen people they may call you after the fact where they make mistakes or things they didn’t know as they’re producing and creating art and starting to share? What are some of the things that you the mistakes people make along the way?

Beth: [00:06:57] How much time you got? So, you know the music industry it, which is really my true specialty even within the umbrella of the entertainment industry. You know music is one of those things where it’s it feels good, you know, I mean, it’s a creative outlet for a lot of people. You know, they may not be thinking about making a career out of it. You know, everybody has to start somewhere and usually means starting out. As a hobby. You know, you pick up a guitar or you find a keyboard at the Goodwill and you know, you start making music that’s a beautiful thing. You know, I hope that all children and even adults get a chance to explore, you know, their inner musician. I think what naturally happens is for a certain group of people that that hobby progresses into a profession. They’re like hey, I’m actually pretty good at this and people like what I’m making, you know, maybe I can spend all of my waking hours making music and you know earn some money from it and make a living doing it. So I find that that transition can be really challenging for a lot of Music Makers. You know, primarily because if you’re, if all you’re doing is making music then chances are you may not have a big enough budget to hire an attorney, but by entering into this space without proper understanding of legal underpinnings of it and without having a legal advocates tell you what your rights are people end up, you know giving away their music for free. You know in a way that does not advance their career. They end up getting taken advantage of you know, by people who know just enough to be dangerous and to cut you out of the equation. 

Rico: [00:08:35] Let me ask you, what are two or three things that the musician should know right off the bat that they should do to help protect themselves? If they wrote a piece and they’re playing it but they’re not disseminating a jet. Short of YouTube Instagram putting out the music, what two or three things should they be doing to make sure it’s protected and someone else can’t use it?

Beth: [00:09:00] So there’s a couple of things that come to mind, you know first is having a firm understanding of the legal term copyright, you know, this is a term that a lot of people throw around thinking they know what it means and most people don’t. You know, one of the most important things to understand about copyright is that you know, if you are creating an original work of art and it’s tangible, in other words it exists in some way shape or form on this Earth other than just in your human mind, then you own a copyright to that work the moment it’s created. You do not have to file a federal copyright, certainly a good idea to, but you have rights in and to your work the moment you birth it into the world.

Rico: [00:09:40] So if I wrote a song and I put it out there on Instagram or Facebook, that’s tangible, right?

Beth: [00:09:46] Yeah. 

Rico: [00:09:46] I mean, that’s a recording. That’s right out there. 

Beth: [00:09:48] That digital file on your computer or more perhaps on your phone is a tangible embodiment of your work, right? And you have rights to that just as you know, everybody else has rights to their work. So be careful whose work you try to pass off as your own because those whoever created that work has rights to it. So that’s maybe the second mistake that people make is they see rampant copyright infringement happening out there in the world which gives a lot of people the false impression that it’s okay when it is not. You can get yourself into a lot of hot water, you know, if you try to sample somebody else’s work and if you misappropriate somebody’s work, you know, if you think I’ll just slide in this sample real quick and nobody will notice because it’s under five seconds. That’s not how the law works. 

Rico: [00:10:34] Because cover bands work. Those cover bands are out there playing other people’s music, I mean.

Beth: [00:10:40] There is a precise answer to that which is that the people who wrote the songs that the cover band, you know is covering have granted a license to what are called The Performing rights organizations, which then turn around and Grant a license to the restaurants and venues. Of course, the restaurants and venues have to pay for that license but once they have it they’re allowed to play any song that they want. 

Karl: [00:11:03] Let me if I can just understand and clear, a business owner and they are playing music in the background of whatever that store is. Do they have to either they have to pay for the right to play the song in their place of Commerce no matter what type? If it’s a doctor’s office playing the elevator music is that all covered? 

Beth: [00:11:27] Yes, absolutely. Now, I have counseled business owners including restaurant owners about this where you know, they just want to play the radio in the background or they’ve you know, they have a Spotify account and they wonder why can’t I just play this? Well, it’s because the people who wrote those songs own the copyright of those songs and what those business owners are effectively doing is using somebody elses copyright to sell coffee or to sell golf club, right? And if you’re going to do that, you should you know, you should have to pay the person that’s helping you create this commercial atmosphere that draws in customers and they do. 

Rico: [00:12:01] That’s funny because I’m, as she’s saying that I’m thinking starbucks and I’m thinking of those little  music cards they used to have at one point with musicians on there of that they would be playing. And I think they, that was sort of a give and take a little bit on their part to be able to play music in the background of some of the bands that they were promoting and Starbucks music in house. Then I thought about the Jukebox. Real time, you know, slide the quarter in this. After that went away, I think that’s when royalty would really like going.

Karl: [00:12:29] So in Rico’s initial example, he creates a piece of music and he puts it on YouTube and if I were to find it in a business and start playing the music on YouTube is the, should he do something to make sure that his rights are protected. 1 and 2, he may be able to be compensated. What should he do? 

Beth: [00:12:53] Yes. So as a songwriter Rico, what I would advise you to do is to join one of the

Performing rights organizations and in the United States, we have three. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. When you do that as a songwriter, you know in some ways, you know that helps to, you know, memorialize or put the public on notice that you are the author of that song. You are the creator, the owner. You know and so you can look up right now anybody out there listening can go to one of those three websites and look up their favorite song and find out who the actual writers are. You might be surprised, right? Because the person that you think wrote the song might not be the person who actually did.  And so, that’s what you would do as a songwriter you would affiliate with one of those three organizations and in turn those organizations will represent you. When a restaurant owner comes to them wanting to play music. So the organization let’s say you joined ASCAP. ASCAP will issue a license, right? A license is just a fancy word for granting someone permission. ASCAP will license the right to the restaurant owner to be able to play any song in the ASCAP catalog that they want and your song will be listed in the ASCAP catalog.

Rico: [00:14:10] So you’d just pay one royalty or monthly fee or whatever it is. You can play any song within that set up. 

Beth: [00:14:16] Exactly. Yes. It’s usually an annual fee. Yes, and the restaurant owner would do well to seek out licenses from all three organizations because chances are any song you want to play is going to be represented by one of those three. 

Rico: [00:14:28] I guess muzak came out at some point to avoid all that right? Because it’s regular, it’s like a synthesized music has nothing to do with any copyright at all. 

Beth: [00:14:40] It actually ties in perfectly with what I’m talking about because what Muzak did if I understand correctly is they had their licensing fees built in with the PRO fees right, so it was kind of a digital service that delivered the recordings but also included the permissions for the underlying compositions. 

Rico: [00:15:01] Okay, so it’s all in one place and that’s why you could use Muzak anywhere. 

Beth: [00:15:05] Yeah, and you know, it’s Spotify and Pandora,I believe, have commercial subscriptions now for places of business. So you can get licenses for everything all in one place.

Rico: [00:15:16] So when you play Apple music, you pay an apple fee every month for my Apple music. I can play any song, download any song within the Apple Library. That’s, which seems to be almost every song in the world. But so I’m not paying anything more than that monthly fee, right? 

Beth: [00:15:33] Well you’re talking about personal consumption.

Rico: [00:15:35] Yes. 

Beth: [00:15:36] So that’s different. Very, very different from commercial consumption. 

Karl: [00:15:40] So if you’re a business owner, you may have a personal Spotify, Apple music, Amazon account that allows you to play all the music. But when you bring that into your business, and you’re using it within your business, you’d have to get this additional license to do that. 

Beth: [00:15:59] Correct. It’s called a public performance license not to be confused with live performance. It has nothing to do with live performance. Public performance means that somebody’s music, specifically somebody’s composition, is being performed in a public space. A place of public accommodation. Which commercial places are, right? You know Starbucks is open to the public. Target is open to the public. Airports are open to the public. All of those places that want to play music in a public space, has to obtain a public performance license. 

Rico: [00:16:32] Content sent to the plant.

Karl: [00:16:34] So with all that would Rico get paid then, from that the group that he’s a member of, that he’s paying some fees to.

Rico: [00:16:42] The bottom line.

Karl: [00:16:43] The bottom, he would then get paid for some percentage. How’s that done? 

Beth: [00:16:49] Yes. So there’s two royalties, you know, depending on the situation. One royalty may be available for the recording artist. So that might be the person, you know, whose voice you actually hear, you know whose guitar riffs you were actually hearing. But there’s a

separate designation for who the songwriter is, right? So in this case Rico being the songwriter, yes, he would be in a position to earn royalties. From you know for every time you know Starbucks or Target or the airport you know played his  music. The algorithm by which an organization like ASCAP uses to determine how much you get paid is a trade secret. We don’t actually know but we can surmise that it at least has something to do with how much of the real estate of the airwaves, you know, you occupy. The more your song gets played the more royalties you’ll receive. 

Karl: [00:17:43] That’s very very interesting. Does it expand out beyond music? So if let’s take writings, and now we get digital media. People are putting out cat stuff on YouTube and creating funny videos, cartoon videos, explainer videos. Are all of those…

Rico: [00:18:01] Or even doing a public service where the news media recording a crime just happening and then they sell it to CNN. I mean, do they have copy right on those things?

Beth: [00:18:11] Yes, yes. And if any kind of original creative content you that you birth into the world belongs to you. And that would include, you know, silly cat videos. You know, it may just be something that you created at home. You probably have hours and hours worth of cat videos, but you have that one little clip where they did something funny. That piece of video, that audio-visual work contains a copyright. And the owner of that copyright is the person who created it.

Karl: [00:18:37] And there’s, there isn’t a similar organization for video, for writers, for all these different creative types of art. There’s a similar organization that manages that for them as well?

Beth: [00:18:52] No, but that would, that sounds like a wonderful idea. Right now, it’s really, you know, if I have a silly cat video and you want to use it, you know, for the Peachtree Corners podcast, then we would do an arm’s length transaction. You know, for what that licensing deal would be. Whether you pay me or I simply agree to grant you, you know royalty free license. Right now that’s something where you would have to approach the copyright holder directly to get that, get that permission. 

Rico: [00:19:19] There are protections in place. And although there was, I was involved in a website that was done once and we used stock photo as position only. Because eventually we’re going to remove the stock photo, put real photos on there. Two years later a lawyer reaches out and said that there’s a stock photo on that site you never purchased. How did they know it was never purchased, I don’t know. But they wanted their fee and they wanted it removed. But they wanted their fee at least to be paid. So there are protections, at least the free market allows protection in place for some things, right? 

Beth: [00:19:53] Well, you just perfectly identified one of the issues that modern-day content creators are facing. Is that, and it kind of goes back to the question you asked earlier, what’s one of the mistakes that people make in this industry? And its really disseminating, you know, their content without thought as to how to control it. You know, it’s like once something is out there it’s darn near impossible to retract it, right? So we have had to as an industry get really creative in how we monitor, you know, the use of our content. You know, make sure that anybody who is the recipient of a license that they stay within the confines of that license, right? So there are guard rails you can do this, but it doesn’t mean you can do that. And so there are little bots that you can put out into the internet to find out, you know, where did this Photograph go, right? And there are, certainly there are ways to get around that you know, but there are really sophisticated ways in which attorneys, you know and firms that represent content creators can track the usage of that content around the internet. I’d really like to see a more uniformed system to make that happen. I think that maybe blockchain might reveal some of the ways in which we can do that, but that’s maybe a future development. 

Karl: [00:21:11] I mean you’re trying to tap into something that it seems an interesting area of policy, government policy. So you’re also part of the Georgia sledded legislature representing, the district is 1995 here. Are there legislations that’s happening locally or federally to help corral what’s happening in this area. Especially with the internet because I see so much content being generated and I haven’t, I can’t imagine how someone could begin to manage and regulate all of that. 

Beth: [00:21:56] I think when it comes to managing your content and policing it, you know, I think one of the most important things anybody can do is just first to understand what your rights are. Hopefully they’re listening to your podcast today and they’re starting to pick up on the importance of this. As far as legislation goes, you know, we’re very fortunate in Georgia that about 10-12 years ago. We passed the, what is shorthand called the Georgia film tax credit, you know, which has been a great development for our state to attract the film business here. You know that is an engine of content creation, which has really been great. And so, you know down at the Capitol we’re certainly always, you know, in defense mode of that tax credit. You know, I think that it has so many benefits that we can’t even really measure. That really, that played a

very important role in my decision to get involved in public policy and to run for office. You know, I did not get into politics through politics. I got into it through the Arts and entertainment industry because I see firsthand  how smart state policy can really shape an entire industry and change lives. You know, bringing thousands of new job opportunities to Georgians and helping to develop a generation that has grown up with film and creativity and appreciation for the Arts right here in our own backyard. Georgia has a good history of you know of legendary music and I’m glad to see that happening now in the film industry. I bring up the film tax credit because there is a bill that has been proposed to create, well I should say a couple of years ago, they did pass what is shorthand known as the music tax credit. To essentially grant the music industry some of the same benefits that we granted to the film industry and to try to make sure we have more film business here. We certainly have a lot of talent in Atlanta, but anybody who’s been around the music industry in Atlanta will tell you that we lack some of the upper echelons of the business here. Which you know that like a lot of the record labels that used to be here have left or folded or just gone under. And so, you know, there’s lots that can be done to incentivize, you know music touring. That touring should originate in Georgia because that generates lots and lots of jobs. So they did pass a version of that bill before I arrived in the legislature. There are some issues with that bill. For example, it does provide some tax credits just like the film tax credit. The difference is in under that music legislation, those tax credits are not transferable. The transferability of those tax credits is key. 

Rico: [00:24:47] Transferable between businesses if they were purchased? 

Beth: [00:24:49] Correct. Because the concept of a tax credit is that it gets applied to your next project, right? So, you know, so some film companies may come here, make a film, they get the tax credit. Well, that has value. They can actually sell those tax credits to another company so that they can actually receive text benefit if that Film Production Company doesn’t otherwise have another project going on, right? And so the same could be true of the music tax credit. We created this incentive for production companies and for touring companies to bring their business to Georgia, but we did not make them transferable. And that makes… 

Rico: [00:25:29] Why did they? I mean, is there an another rationale that if it’s transferable maybe that business doesn’t come to Georgia? I mean is there a reason why? 

Beth: [00:25:38] You’ll have to ask the legislators who were there before me. But my understanding is that there was some hesitation about the bill to begin with so they thought well, let’s just get something on the books and we’ll fix it later. But we’re now in the Fix-It phase. But we have encountered some pushback there even though I do think that these are, these are common-sense changes that have bipartisan support. And I really want to encourage the the Arts entertainment working group who currently is vetting that bill to favorably pass it out of their committee. So it can go to ways and means. 

Rico: [00:26:14] Can I ask you about the trends as far as the movie industry goes? Because there’s always that talk that those credits will go away.  And people are fearful of that because then if that goes away, where’s all the production go? You know, that’s what happened to I think it was South Carolina?

Beth: [00:26:28] North Carolina.

Rico: [00:26:30] Where they nixed it. And then a lot of their industry just went away. 

Karl: [00:26:33] They came to Georgia.

Rico: [00:26:35] Yeah, which was good for us now. But there’s still talk, I  think when Kim came in there was some talk at some point. About his campaign about him wanting to do that, about removing that text printed. Do you see any trends there heading that way?

Beth: [00:26:48] You know every public statement that I’ve heard Kim say suggest that he is in support of continuing that tax credit. You know, some of his administration’s actions this year would suggest that maybe they don’t covet the film industry as much as I wish he did. You know because everything kind of works in an ecosystem, you change one thing about Georgia law that has an impact on other areas. And I have serious concerns about things like HP 481, the anti-abortion bill, you know. Which you know, a lot of people don’t want that here in Georgia. They think it is anti-business. And the film industry for the most part agrees with that but I don’t want to make a blanket statement about the film industry there’s certainly, you know, a multitude of political beliefs and affiliation within the film industry itself.  You know, so one of the challenges that we have with the film tax credit, the reason we always have to play defense on it, is because if you look at pure numbers, you see how much the tax credit quote-unquote costs in terms of lost revenue and you might see well that certainly is a lot of revenue that we’re losing. You know, you might question are we even breaking even on that? Is there a return on that investment? And I think it’s really hard to measure that because if you do away with the film tax credit all of that production business goes away, right? There’s, I mean and to me that would be a much larger hit to our state’s economy than if you just looked at how much the tax credit costs in terms of real dollars.

Karl: [00:28:15] I could echo that and I see it. All of the film business that moved into, Georgia generates additional dollars in support. If you look at from a real estate standpoint, AirBnB, since the film industry come and has taken off people that are investors in that part of the economy. All these folks need to be fed. So restaurants catering food, they need signage, they need support. But what I think is really, really understated is the longer the film industry exists here in Georgia. We’re building another generation of folks that are supportive of the Arts, skilled in the arts, able to create films which are jobs. Businesses tied around this other industry. If you look at what it did for California, how many people that live in California are artists are coming in there because the option is there. In New York City to film all where theater is really big and film, there’s a lot of artists that live and support and businesses that go there. It could be short-sighted to look at that how it impacts the other parts of the economy when you look at that. But I see small business owners that generate a lot of business from supporting the film studios here in Gwinnett County. There’s at least three of them that I know of that are driving economic activity. But I see young people choosing career paths that weren’t available 25 years ago before that was here. 

Rico: [00:29:49] That’s right.

Beth: [00:29:50] Yeah, I think you nailed it. You know, I’ll add a couple of more long-term views to this. You know, one of the things I love about the film industry is that it has relatively low environmental impact, right? You know people come in, they make a production, they don’t leave a permanent footprint with one exception. That you know, it can sometimes create a lasting legacy for some of these locations. For example, Rabun County, you know 30-40 years later is still known as the birthplace of Deliverance. And it’s kind of a local draw, right? Yeah and Senoia Georgia, home of the Walking Dead. I mean, you know, this generates you know additional ongoing opportunities in terms of film tourism. You know, I can draw some of those hardcore fans to locations like that. So I think there’s all kinds of benefits, you know. And another one is a lot of people don’t realize that Atlanta is a hotbed of advertising as well. The advertising community in Georgia is incredibly robust. Well, if you think about you know, the life cycle of a film or television show it’s short-term. You have people with these amazing talents in terms of on-screen Talent or behind the screen. You know in front of the camera, you know Gaffers, lighting, sound, all of that. Well when they’re not working on a film and television production a lot of those guys work in advertising, right? So, you know to have those two industries able to kind of coexist side-by-side strengthens both of them. 

Karl: [00:31:25] Have a friend that’s a camera, Steadicam operator and he does films and so on. But in between jobs, he does a lot for commercials, advertising. But that would be harder to find folks like him if the industry didn’t start generating the skill set in this capability within the market here.

Rico: [00:31:46] It took it took a decade, right?

Karl: [00:31:47] Yeah.

Rico: [00:31:48] I mean there was hardly any, just creating props for film sites, or electricians, or woodworkers, or HV AC, or you know, I mean those. As much as we have that industry room to build that infrastructure for the film industry is taking a decade to get there.

Karl: [00:32:06] So I’m curious. I know these arts start when you’re young. Entertainment, whether it can be Sports, it could be music and art. And there’s parents out there that have no real knowledge of how to guide and advise there. What would be some places where parents and people starting out in the business can start to educate themselves? One, about the rights that you mentioned about that they have but really, you know, understanding what are some of the things they need to start putting in place as they’re starting to develop these talents and start putting it out there. Where can they learn more about that? 

Beth: [00:32:40] Well, they can certainly come see me. It actually is quite common that when I am representing somebody who’s maybe a legal minor or you know is still very young, you know, the 18 to 21 range. That their parents will take, you know, almost an ownership stake in their career. It’s kind of, entertainment is kind of unique in that way. You know, if you go off and become a scientist or a lawyer your parents don’t usually get involved. But when it comes to entertainment, it’s arguably a good idea. Because so many people do get taken advantage of and if you know if your child is getting involved in film and television or music, you know, they really need somebody that they can trust to look out for their best interests until the day when they can fully you know, understand and appreciate the legal complexities of what they’re doing. You know, certainly a minor child cannot enter into a contract without their parents consent. There are all kinds of labor laws, you know for minor children on film sets. So I think there’s a lot that parents can do to. First encourage their children to explore the Arts. You know, it’s okay to you know, just you know to make mistakes. It’s okay to just experiment, you know, whether it’s with some kind of visual media or with film and television. I remember my parents have always had a video camera around and so, you know, that’s where I kind of got started in high school was we’d have a class project and I would make it a film. I still have those, by the way. And you know, it’s little things like that that just kind of build up over time and it ultimately impacts the career decisions that your child makes. So, you know I’ll throw out a pitch for myself if you want legal advise parents, you are welcome to come in to be an advocate for your child. You know, you can always in place of your minor child join some of the professional organizations that exist in Atlanta and around the country for various professions. So for example, the music industry,

we have the recording Academy, otherwise known as the Grammys, right? That’s a great networking opportunity, great networking organization. But they also do a lot of educational panels. There are equivalents in the the film industry. Its Georgia Production Partners is one that comes to mind. The Atlanta Film Society puts on the Atlanta film festival and they do a lot of Education Workshops. Yeah, you know if your child is into gaming there’s a Georgia game developers Association there. There’s a lot of parent can do you know to encourage their child and to protect them. And even one of the best things that a parent can do is just to you know, while their child is having fun creating, you know art. You know, if it seems like they’re moving in a direction of that becoming their profession, you know, it’s never too early to start talking with your child about what it means to have a business. You know, what it means to turn their art, you know into money. What it means to make a living in the entertainment industry because there’s not a lot of people that are in a position to have that conversation with artists and I really wish artists had the opportunity to have that conversation more often.

Karl: [00:35:59] I’m curious. Did you play many instruments or do music or what was your art of passion growing up? 

Beth: [00:36:06] I played clarinet in sixth grade band. And I play just enough piano to get by but I actually don’t have very, you know, a whole lot of musical talent myself. Which is partly why I do what I do because I very much wanted to be involved in the Arts and entertainment industry but I had basically no artistic talent myself. So I thought well, what’s the next hardest thing I can do. And I thought well, I’ve always you know, I’ve always been good at school. I will go to law school and become an advocate for people in the Arts and entertainment industry. 

Karl: [00:36:42] Oh, that’s fabulous. I know I was talking to someone a couple weeks ago and they create music on their laptops like so many people do. He does it for fun. And he spends hours and I could think of how many kids do that today.

Rico: [00:37:00] The software on there you can do your own beats, doing all sorts of stuff.

Karl: [00:37:04] They’re doing their own videos and so on but that conversation are early on, you know with their parents on starting to think about the business side of what they’re producing is an opportunity that could guide them. Because when they’re making choices under it’s fun and it’s a game for them when you’re younger, but some of them have some talent and starting to think about putting those things in whether it’s joining the organization, you mentioned. Having a conversation with an attorney that specializes in this so they can make the right choices early on. I always feel once their talent explodes all of a sudden everyone’s grabbing for pieces of it and they’re not prepared in those first few deals or the first few meetings they have. They’re not equipped to understand their rights and how to do that, so.

Rico: [00:37:55] You know, it’s funny because it’s some Industries like acting right to you do have an agent. You have to have an agent to be able to close a deal on an acting gig with the company, right? So some Industries you have some protection you still need a lawyer though everything right?  

Karl: [00:38:09] Absolutely. Well, I really want to thank you. You’ve given us a lot to share with folks that are starting to look at these creative arts and understand the business side. But just curious, you know, do you have anything coming up or things that are coming up as we’re getting late into the running out the final part of the year. Anything that you’ve got going on? 

Beth: [00:38:34] So a couple of things. You know between now and the end of the year and before the next legislative session starts is I’ve been doing a lot of outreach with some of the larger film studios in town. We just toured Eagle Rock studios in Norcross the other week. I actually have a friend who works there and he was excited about me running for office and he knew what I did for a living and said hey why don’t you come down to the studio. So we finally made that happen. It’s an amazing operation that they have going on and you wouldn’t even know it. It just sits in the, in a quiet industrial park in Norcross. So we’re, going to be touring Black Hole in a couple of weeks. We’re waiting to hear back from a couple of Studios. I mostly want some of these studios around town to know that they have an advocate at the state house, right? You know, I am the only legislator in Georgia, the only elected official who actually works in the entertainment industry. It’s a topic that a lot of people down at the Capitol like to talk about but I actually bring that professional experience to the table. Beyond that we have the Esports Summit coming up, you know, this is kind of a new tangential area of the entertainment industry that has really excited me and fascinated me and I’m looking to get more involved in the game industry here. So I will be at the Esports Summit. It’s kind of adjacent to Dreamhack which is coming up and…

Rico: [00:40:02] It’s running at about the same time. 

Beth: [00:40:04] Yeah, it’s a first it’s the Esports Summit and then kind of leads directly into Dreamhack. So it’s that weekend of November 14th through the 17th.

Rico: [00:40:11] The public’s allowed into dreamhack. So, I mean that’s a great place to go if you’re into gaming I mean it’s phenomenal. Thousands of gamers go in there. 

Beth: [00:40:20] It is. It has become the largest Sports industry, you know, eclipsing all of the others. It’s remarkable and I just, I know there’s a lot of young people there and I want to make sure that when they enter into contracts with some of these teams or they enter into some of these contests that they have protection. So I’ll be at that event and I look forward to hopefully meeting some people there. You know, my office is here at Atlanta Tech Park, so I’m not here every day, but if anybody’s up here at the park, feel free to seek me out. I’d love to chat with you.

Rico: [00:40:53] They can find you on Facebook at Beth Moore Entertainment Lawyer.

Beth: [00:40:57] Beth B. Moore simple. Yeah, I do include my middle name. There is another famous Beth Moore out there. So I have to distinguish myself. But yes, I do have a Facebook page where I post a lot of helpful articles kind of introducing folks to some you know, some basic legal concepts to help them along the way. I have a Instagram account and Twitter account. So you can find me there at BethBMoore. 

Karl: [00:41:23] I’d love to share some of that stuff as we talked to business owners and a lot of folks that are thinking about their kids especially, you mentioned Esports. I could imagine how many, kids are trying to convince their parents that there’s a, my career and future in that. But they’re actually not lying. It is actually true to do that. But I think getting education and knowledge out there for folk, getting them in touch with folks like yourself to begin to protect them early on and even incorporating building a business around what they do is really important for them to think about that from the beginning. But we want to thank our guest Beth Moore attorney specializing in entertainment law and intellectual property and she’s also our local Georgia State Representative. You can reach her on various methods both online and here at Atlanta Tech Park. And really thank you for sharing some of these tips and highlighting an industry that’s so large globally, but when it comes from the business side, no one really is talking, exposing and starting to get educated on this. And this is a great first step. So we’d love having you back in and continue the conversation as time goes on. We also want to thank Atlanta Tech Park for hosting the Capitalist Sage podcast. If you’re starting a business and looking for a great place, environment to work, where you can get to meet people from diverse backgrounds, technology, entertainment, law, government. It’s a great place to build community. And so you can start by attending an event at Atlanta Tech Park and Peachtree Corners. If you like what you see schedule yourself a tour and find yourself a home to build your business. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld business advisors in Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are able to help consult whether it’s you’re starting a business or thinking about starting a business. You’re in business and trying to grow it or you’re trying to exit the business and find a buyer. Our team of consultants help people through each phase of that process and Rico.

Rico: [00:43:28] Yes?

Karl: [00:43:29] What’ve you got going on?

Rico: [00:43:30] I have a lot of things going on with many different hats all just pouring down. I’m a publisher of Peachtree Corners magazine. And if you haven’t seen it already. This is the last latest issue that’s come out.

Karl: [00:43:42] Great episode. Another another great issue.

Rico: [00:43:45] Thank you. Thank you. The next one is 20 under 20. Some of the best kids in Peachtree Corners are going to be highlighted that have either impacted the city or their family. Or have done something great in sports, entertainment, science. So we’re going to be doing that a major a cover story for the next issue that’s coming out. Just the end, just before

Thanksgiving. So we’re going to be doing that. As far as Mighty Rockets what I do, my day job, when I’m not doing the publishing part is that I do all sorts of content Marketing Online for companies. Lately I’ve been doing, done a few stop motion animation videos for product videos that I’ve been involved in and we’ve been doing a bit of personal branding for a couple of clients that just want to build their personal brand online. Because of the services that they sell is consultant and such. So busy, I don’t mind. I don’t have a, I can’t do that nine to five thing that we keep talking about. And I’ve heard that book about working seven hours a week. And the rest of it you don’t have to. Or seven days a week whatever it’s something I can’t do that and think my clock doesn’t stop until midnight.

Karl: [00:44:55] I understand. Where can folks find and follow what we do online?

Rico: [00:45:01] Sure. They can find Capital, well, if you search Google Capitalist Sage podcast, you will find us. We’re on iTunes, Iheart, Spotify, SoundCloud  YouTube. ITunes, obviously, leave a review there if you do listen to it there. You can go to LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com and you’ll see playlists on the homepage of the latest episodes that we’ve done.

Karl: [00:45:23] Absolutely. And also on Facebook, Peachtree Corners Life. You can go follow us on there. Everytime we post a  new episode it will come up in your feed so you can check in there. And you can follow us on any of those others so you’ll be alerted when there’s a new episode and makes it really easy to share with friends and other folks.

Rico: [00:45:43] You can watch the video on Facebook or on YouTube or listen to the podcast. 

Karl: [00:45:48] Absolutely. Well, thank you everybody. Really it’s been a pleasure to continue to share these episodes with folks. So stay tuned for our next episode. Alright, have a great day.

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Hargray Fiber Partners with Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners to Provide Critical Fiber Connectivity and Infrastructure

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Hargray Fiber

Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners announced its strategic partnership with Hargray to provide critical infrastructure for its Lab and the innovators that use it each and every day. Curiosity Lab is a 5G-enabled autonomous vehicle and smart city living laboratory located in Peachtree Corners, Ga., a northern suburb of Atlanta.

Since its inception 70 years ago, Hargray has grown from a local telephone company to an industry telecommunications leader, offering a wide variety of internet, TV and phone services throughout the southeast. Hargray Fiber, based in Savannah, GA, operates more than 2,000 route-mile fiber network in cities throughout the southeastern United States. Recognizing Curiosity Lab’s commitment to the advancement of smart city technology, Hargray partnered with the Lab to supply it with fiber connectivity. Throughout Curiosity Lab, Hargray’s fiber optic cable will serve as the key infrastructure backbone, with all services using or connected to the Lab’s network benefiting from Hargray’s efficient, seamless transfer of data.

Hargray Fiber will continue its expansion in the Peachtree Corners market by bringing its full suite of communication products including enhanced data, voice and video services including Hosted Unified Communications, Metro-Ethernet, multi-gigabit symmetrical circuits and video services all delivered exclusively over Hargray’s 100% fiber-optic network.

“Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners is a one-of-a-kind location for innovative smart city, wireless and autonomous vehicle companies to test and demo their technology,” said Chris McCorkendale, Senior Vice President, for Hargray Fiber. “Our partnership with Curiosity Lab will help these companies advance their technology and bring to market a broader and more robust suite of communication services to market.”

“As Hargray Fiber continues to expand its southeastern presence, we’re excited to offer leading fiber services to Lab users,” said Betsy Plattenburg, executive director of Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners. “With Hargray’s Fiber support, companies moving to Peachtree Corners and operating in the Lab will benefit from quick, easy connectivity.”

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MY SALON Suite Celebrates Official Grand Opening of at Town Center

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My Salon Suite

MY SALON Suite in Peachtree Corners celebrated its grand opening on Oct. 21 at its new location at Town Center. Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason was on hand to perform the ribbon cutting, and residents were invited to tour the salon and enjoy refreshments.

A wide range of beauty and personal care services are available at MY SALON Suite, including hair, make-up, skin care, microblading, eyelash extensions and massage therapy. MY SALON Suite provides expansive private salon suites, luxurious décor, elite furnishings and custom amenities to member professionals, who operate their salon businesses independently.

To learn more, visit mysalonsuite.com/peachtree-corners.

Below are grand opening pictures including individual grand openings within MY SALON Suite.

Photography by Remi DeLong

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