Dave Lukas Chats with Jeffrey Madoff
279: Wisdom, Life Lessons, and Making a Living from Your Ideas with Jeffrey Madoff
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jeffrey Madoff. Jeff is the founder of Madoff Productions, based in New York City. His company collaborates with ad agencies, public relations firms and directly with clients to produce commercials, branded content and live streaming events.
He began his career as a fashion designer and was chosen as one of the top 10 designers in the U.S. then switched careers to film and video production. You have seen his work and probably didn’t even know it. Jeff and his team are the geniuses behind commercials, online content and brand stories for companies ranging from Victoria's Secret, Calvin Klien, and Ralph Lauren to Harvard University and private equity firms that position companies for sale or acquisition.
Jeff is also the author of the best-seller, Creative Careers Making a Living With Your Ideas.
And that is why I asked him to come on the show, not only the share his incredible wisdom gained during this storied career, but to discuss how to make a great living with your ideas.
Jeff was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He credits his resilience to growing up there. His parents were entrepreneurs that had retail stores in Akron. Jeff got the entrepreneurial spirit from his parents and so did his sister. It was what he knew, so he’s never had a job. He went to the University of Wisconsin for college. Jeff shares a funny story of how he chose Wisconsin. He also made it on to the wrestling team. He got a double major in philosophy and psychology and Jeff said, “It set him up for no job whatsoever!”
Getting the degrees did help him with critical thinking and an intellectual curiosity that are very important to success.
He was working in a small boutique in Madison after graduating. A good friend of his called him up and had saved some money and wanted to put it to work. Jeff told him that he understood retail and could draw/design clothing, so he could start a clothing company. His friend sent him $2500 which was more money than Jeff had ever seen at any one time and he was off and running. He had no idea how to build the business but knew how to sell retail. He didn’t know how clothing was manufactured, etc. He had a lot to learn in a little time.
He was “ignorant, not stupid.” “Ignorant, you can learn, but stupid is forever.”
What is the process you teach for turning an idea into a living?
After all of the work you did for the book and all of the people you interviewed for it, were there any constants that stood out across them that helped their success?
At the 18 min mark, we talk about the DCP formula and how Jeff has seen in his work.
“The only way you get better at anything is to do it over and over again.”
At the 20 min mark, Jeff shares some interesting thoughts on Apple vs. Sony.
Talk about the power of story when it comes to marketing and branding and how important it is.
At the 27 min mark, Jeff shares a story of a conversation with Ralph Lauren where he told him he was like Walt Disney.
Talk about the balance of emotion vs. logic and how it relates to business…
At the 31 min mark, Jeff shares a story of something a guest shared in his class when it comes to how we make decisions with an example of buying a bottle of wine.
How do we make better decisions as consumers?
The difference between wander vs. wonder, explain that.
Running your ideas like a business. Tell us about that.
What has surprised you most in your entrepreneur journey?
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