Meet Adam Jacobs – Managing Director at Hunter Talent + Bubblegum Casting, Investor,Forbes Contributor, Entrepreneur Magazine Contributor, Amazon Best Selling Author.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Adam Jacobs: Hey! I am Adam, the Managing Director of Bubblegum Talent, the longest-running child talent agency in Australia, and also the Managing Director at Hunter Talent, the adult branch of Bubblegum talent. I boast of being an award-winning digital marketer and Amazon best-selling author, have worked with some of Australia’s biggest brands, media properties, and agencies to secure talented children and adults working in the entertainment and modelling industry. I’ve been a contributor to giant publications like Forbes, Yahoo!, Insider, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you at your company since you started working there?
Adam Jacobs: Everything seems interesting with the industry I chose to get involved in. To be dealing to see talents out there starting, to see them land jobs and book out projects, see them on billboards, on TV, in commercials, it’s an interesting thing to see our talents work their way into the limelight with our help – the hustle I do every day generally is interesting. But to share a specific story – there was a time that a baby under our representation made $5000 daily – it was a groundbreaking experience!
No one can achieve success without some help. Who helped you become successful? Can you share a story about that person?
Adam Jacobs: I have an amazing network – most of my friends are older entrepreneurs who’ve experienced significant success. Most of my friends have experienced the highs, lows, defeats and successes and have been vital in helping me. More than one of my friends has been there for me. Once when I was needing advice over a difficult client who was not paying those friends and mentors opened up their networks to me… lawyers, advisors, even their own employees. It saved our business.
Can you tell our readers how your company is different in your industry? Give us examples to illustrate those differences.
Adam Jacobs: The agency is known to be the longest talent agency running in Australia and has been running for four decades straight. Besides that, we are also the leading ones in the industry. What distinguishes us is our experience – we have been doing this longer than anyone else, our approach to innovation, always trying to see how we can improve and perform better than both our competitors and the general market, openness to change, for example, what worked pre-COVID won’t work during COVID, so the ability to be open to change and to move things around is important. Additionally, we are constantly nurturing our relationships with casting directors, producers and clients.
Adapt or die is a necessity when navigating challenging times. Tell us how your industry is changing since the pandemic started.
Adam Jacobs: We used to have physical offices and satellites, had our workshops done physically, the photoshoots, the protocols, it was a major turn for us because we deal with kids, we had to deal with photoshoots here and there. Being restricted by the pandemic took a big toll on us – and it was honestly challenging, it felt like a downfall. Luckily though, we were able to come through, find ways to adjust, adapt and do what we have to do. It was a long period of formulating and testing on what works best amid the pandemic protocols and the restrictions it had brought upon us. We had to shift completely to remote work, interviews and auditions were done online and self-taped auditions became the primary way of application.
Many readers wonder what are the biggest challenges you had to overcome in 2021 to remain successful?
Adam Jacobs: As I have mentioned, it took most of me, most of the team, and most of us – in 2021, things had been so unpredictable, it had a period where we thought the situation is going back to normal and suddenly things shifted so quickly, that in a matter of days, everything had to be restricted again. Although it was a lot easier compared to the earlier days of the pandemic, there were still times that were rough for each party (us and the models). Physical operations were still highly restricted, the customer experience was harder to manage, and although we have been doing great in handling our clients and customers, things were way harder than before.
How did you overcome these obstacles? What helped you the most during these difficult times?
Adam Jacobs: Honestly, it was a positive outlook and the teamwork that was established throughout the process. I never felt alone. Multiple brains dealt with the situation, and multiple hands executed the plans. It was a matter of knowing how to be resilient –I kept thinking how arrows work, they would have to take a step back before it can skyrocket and do its job – to target again. There were no concrete steps on how to deal with the obstacles because no matter how much preparation you do, obstacles can pin you down and render you helpless.
Share some lessons you learned while adapting your business practices during the past couple of years.
Adam Jacobs: Lessons I’ve learned throughout the years of the pandemic:
- You are stronger than you think you are.
- Value your people, they are your resources.
- Ideas are the currency of this era.
- Working fast and anticipating what comes next totally changes the present and the future. Have an outlook that would keep you striving to be better, not the best, because striving to be the best makes you complacent.
- It’s not how good you are, it’s always going to be how good you want to be – in the industry, personally, in every aspect.
- In the era we are in, criticisms are to be valued more than praise. When people stop talking about constructive criticisms, it only means one thing – what you do is dead.
What advice did you wish you had received before the pandemic that you’d like to share now with aspiring entrepreneurs?
Adam Jacobs: All I could ever wish is that I should have known that at any moment, nothing is too stable for obstacles and nothing is exempted when a pandemic comes rolling down and puts everything at a halt. I’ve already said it, I don’t think there are actual steps or a book that would tell you the exact pieces of advice on what to do when big things come, but I should have known that it can happen to anyone, it can happen to you and it can happen to me, no matter how established or how everything seems to run seamlessly and perfectly.
All great companies are spearheaded by great leaders, but tell us how your team supported your decisions? Is there a particular example that stands out the most?
Adam Jacobs: The whole team was part of the decision-making process. Suggestions from here and there were all valued, and we all had a concrete plan on how to execute them. They formulated adjustments, all of the teams came together and had one goal – to keep on going on despite the situation. We had shifted everything online – the workshops, interviews, models had to do self-tapes and everything. The team acted as a catalyst for these things.
What do you plan on tackling during 2022? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Adam Jacobs: We’re planning on expanding and having more satellites all over Australia, doing more in marketing, and just keeping on dominating the industry. We’re in a transitional phase and we’re slowly getting back to what we used to be and we’re starting to acquire again what we used to have. The agony of transitioning would probably be one of the biggest battles because it is a lot of effort, would need a ton of trials and errors once again, and would need a lot of people and brains to collaborate and do teamwork to finally get there again. So far, however, we’re very positive that this is the period of getting back again.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, I do have one more question for you. When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?
Adam Jacobs: So many first times in this industry – and I keep doing first times with clients, with the models, everything seems like a risk. Just a tip to readers: Go do it. No better time to be doing what you have to do than today.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Adam Jacobs for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Adam Jacobs or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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