I had the pleasure of interviewing Seasoned Entrepreneur and industry-leading CEO of Soundskilz, a major event production and talent booking company, Steve Clayton.
Soundskilz went from a small operation DJing at weddings, to one of Southern California’s premier full-service event production companies specializing in producing large corporate events, concerts, festivals, and even booking major talents like Ice Cube, Migos, and Wu Tang Clan just to name a few.
Rachel Dares: Steve, so tell me, how did you become an Entrepreneur?
Steve Clayton: I became an Entrepreneur in college. I was at parties thinking how can I go to these parties for the rest of my life and make a living at it? How can I get paid to party?
Rachel Dares: What would you consider the top 3 characteristics that set successful entrepreneurs apart?
Steve Clayton: I would say that 3 characteristic of successful entrepreneurs are:
1) Vision – to know where you are going. With this vision you can also identify where you can truly benefit the world.
2) Passion – Passion is the why. Following your passion is the key to always being “in the game”. Passion will allow you to continue the sacrifice and struggle even when it gets extremely difficult.
3) Surround yourself with success – Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with people who are more successful at certain aspects of their business than they are.
Rachel Dares: What motivates you?
Steve Clayton: I became an Entrepreneur because of the desire to control my lifestyle. I saw being an Entrepreneur as a way to maximize my return on effort. The dream of designing my world motivates me. This design includes all the things that I enjoy including my hobbies, my family and privileged things.
Rachel Dares: What’s the best advise you’ve ever been given?
Steve Clayton: The best advise I’ve been given is to enjoy the journey not the destination.
Rachel Dares: What business achievement are you most proud of?
Steve Clayton: The business achievement that I am most proud of is establishing and growing my business to where it is today to enable my family and I to live a life that we truly enjoy.
Rachel Dares: What do you consider your biggest mistake in business?
Steve Clayton: My biggest mistake in business was early on. I was unwilling to learn about capital investment, funding and equity. I learned about these a few years later. But those few years, I feel were years that financial mistakes could have been avoided.
Rachel Dares: What 3 pieces of advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
Steve Clayton: The 3 pieces of advice I would give to aspiring Entrepreneurs are:
1) Take Strategic Calculated Risk – the analysis of this will help guide you to limit your negatives.
2) Be Prepared to Say Yes – expect the unexpected and when it arrives, be prepared to say YES to those opportunities.
3) Surround yourself with success – you can’t be in business by yourself. You can’t do everything. Trust in others who will lead you to be successful.
Rachel Dares: What current projects are you currently working on?
Steve Clayton: I’m involved in a great deal of projects. I’m working on the upcoming Chalice Festival, a Cannabis Music and Arts Festival in Washington, DC this coming September. A couple of winery concert series, the San Bernardino County Fair, as well as, some consulting projects, speaking engagements with Canadian Music Week. There’s also the launch of my new book. And, a new coaching program for DJs that are just starting out in the industry and those that have the desire to grow their DJ business.
Rachel Dares: Wow! For those looking to connect with you for either the production, speaking or coaching side of your business, how are they able to connect with you?