Peter Schwartz is a respected international business consultant with 30 years of experience in marketing, website design, SEO maximization, partnership business agreements, and crisis communications for top organizations in the technology, healthcare, sports, transportation, and finance fields. After graduating from Princeton High School in Princeton, New Jersey, Peter earned his B.A. in Political Science, Cum Laude from The George Washington University, also spending a year at The London School of Economics (LSE).
Peter received his M.A. in International Business and Politics from New York University’s Stern School of Management in the evening while working full time at the Epilepsy Foundation. His master’s thesis on national healthcare reform was conducted under the tutelage of renowned Princeton University professor and author Lawrence Mead. Peter then honed his professional skills in the New York City global headquarters of top marketing agencies Edelman, FleishmanHillard, and Grey Advertising.
Over the years, Peter’s clients have included Berkshire Hathaway, Insperity, Polaris, PwC, Merck, Girl Scouts of America, Beverly Hills Center for Plastic and Laser Surgery, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Pfizer, Proctor & Gamble, Allied Pain & Spine in Silicon Valley, HNS Dentistry of Beverly Hills, and the Triune Therapy Group. Peter has placed clients in top media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, Telemundo, Cosmo, The Doctors on CBS, Investor’s Business Daily, CNBC, CNN, Food and Wine, Fox TV, USA Today, Gannett Magazine, Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Radio, Reader’s Digest, and Vice.
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Table of Contents
Before we begin, our readers are interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to be where you are today or was it something you were led to? Share with us your journey.
Peter Schwartz: My initial interest professionally was in the field of politics but after a semester in Washington DC watching Congress at work up close, I couldn’t stomach the prospect! I turned my attention to international relations and business and that’s where I have been focused ever since. I’d like to say that I always wanted to have my agency but that’s not true. I started my firm since I had too many insufferable bosses in a row!
Tell us a bit about your current focus. What is the most important thing that you’re working on and how do you plan on doing it?
Peter Schwartz: I’m lucky to have a half dozen or so very interesting clients spread across several specialty areas including medicine, banking, government relations, and other fields. My number one priority is making sure my clients get the best service I can provide every day.
Some argue that punctuality is a strength. Others say punctuality is a weakness. How do you feel about it, please explain.
Peter Schwartz: The older I get the more I realize that punctuality is a quality that reflects your respect for the person you’re meant to be meeting or are scheduled to speak with as well as a reflection of the quality of your organizational skills. These are important attributes, so the more punctual you can be the better!
How important is having good timing in your line of work and in the industry that your organization operates in?
Peter Schwartz: Good timing is crucial since without it nothing would work out at all. So understanding not just what needs to be done but also when it needs to be done is a skill set that deserves serious focus.
Founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, states “Timing is everything in life, and it’s particularly crucial in entrepreneurship. People often equate success with luck, but it usually comes down to impeccable (and carefully mapped out) timing”. Do you agree with this statement? Please answer in as much detail as necessary.
Peter Schwartz: Founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson is right when he states “Timing is everything in life, and it’s particularly crucial in entrepreneurship. People often equate success with luck, but it usually comes down to impeccable (and carefully mapped out) timing”. Branson is talking about good judgment and good planning. If you have those two things you’re halfway to your goal!
As a leader/entrepreneur/CEO, how do you decide when to put the pedal to the metal and when to take a break? How do you time the key moments in your career?
Peter Schwartz: I feel it’s crucial to listen to that internal voice which tells you went to ease off and when to give it more gas. At the end of the day, you will only be able to do your best and make progress towards your goals if you’re at your best to do so.
Branson also states “If you’re starting to feel like you’re just going through the motions and losing sight of why you started, it might be time to take a break”. But how do you decide when to take a break?
Peter Schwartz: I take a break when I don’t believe I’m up to giving a task my best. There’s no use doing something if you’re not able to give it what it takes to be a success.
“Timing can be everything when starting up. It can be the difference between building a thriving business and not” How has good timing helped you achieve success in your career or business? Are there any particular examples from your career that you would like to share?
Peter Schwartz: I believe that good timing has helped me achieve success in my career and my business. One particular example from my career that I would like to share involves when I went out on my own and launched my consulting career. I knew the timing was right and so I leaped. I haven’t looked back.
“When you’re thinking of starting up, ask yourself: ‘Is the community I want to serve ready for this idea?’ It could make all the difference!” Would you like to add anything to this piece of advice for all the aspiring entrepreneurs?
Peter Schwartz: You must do two things at the same time when launching a new product or service: provide something that people need but don’t know they need yet. This means that you need to both educate them on why they need it and provide it to them at the same time. That can be complicated but it’s an important way of looking at what the task ahead of you involves.
COVID forced many businesses to adapt fast, some did so successfully, others failed, it was a lot due to good or poor timing. What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned during the pandemic?
Peter Schwartz: The pandemic has taught entrepreneurs that the skills that they’ve developed over the years count for a lot and that they need to learn to trust their gut because it’s based on all those years of learning their skills and understanding the marketplace in which they work.
Your insight has been incredibly valuable and our readers thank you for your generosity. We do have a couple of other bold questions to ask. What fictional world would you want to start a business in and what would you sell?
Peter Schwartz: An alternative reality world that involved people who are addicted to being compassionate would be one I’d like to see. I’d be interested in starting a charity in that world that could help people fulfill their visions of compassion!
Before we finish things off, we would love to know, when you have some time away from business, what is one hobby that you wish you could spend more time on?
Peter Schwartz: I love films and I’d love to be able to spend more time watching them, especially in the middle of the day and in a beautiful new IMAX cinema with large tubs of salty and buttered popcorn!
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Peter Schwartz 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 Peter Schwartz or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin
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