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Follow Your Dreams, Fearlessly

“Follow Your Dreams, Fearlessly” A discussion with Gary Bredow and Jenny Feterovich from the hit PBS series “START UP”

About 6 years ago Jenny Feterovich was in Chicago producing the filming for the Ukraine version of the show “The Bachelor”.  They were looking to film the contestants inside a kitchen of a Chicago deep dish pizza joint falling in love while making pizza.  I remember this call vividly.  I was picking up my son from day care and a woman with a heavy Russian accent calls my cell to see if I can point her in the right direction for this.  I thought of two places off the top of my head that could maybe accommodate, and gave her contact info for each of them.  It ended up not working out, but she was able to track down a place in the suburbs that was willing.  Later Jenny called me back to tell me “I have another project coming up soon and I think you might be perfect for it, I will call you in a couple of weeks.”

A few weeks later we have another conversation about a TV show called Start-Up that she was creating.  It was literally a start up for her, they were about to start filming season 1 and asked if Chicago Pizza Tours could be part of it.  We happily accepted and the rest is history.  Their show took off, our business was off and running and here we are years later, they’re airing season 5 and I’ll be celebrating 8 years in business in a couple of months.  A great business relationship can happen at any moment, even when you’re picking up your child at day care.

Fast Forward To 11/8/17

As I mentioned, Jenny & Gary successfully created 5 seasons of Start-Up.  They’ve heard stories from 192 entrepreneurs and are in town working with their show sponsor State Farm to share their knowledge at Next Door Chicago.  The following are some highlights I found useful.  You won’t get the full context and the stories that go with each, but nevertheless these are great.

  • We are 100% in control of our own destiny
  • Don’t take the easy way out, you have to put in the hard work
  • You don’t have to have all the answers, let go and trust your instincts
  • When selling a niche product, you have to educate your customers
  • It may have nothing to do with what you’re selling, but HOW you’re selling and WHO you are selling to
  • Don’t ever feel entitled, nothing is below you
  • Take nothing for granted, don’t celebrate success too early
  • Anything is possible
  • Form long term relationships, markets change
  • Fail forward, your bad decisions are your lessons
  • Your true trust and loyalty ultimately has to be within yourself
  • Don’t be a ‘Jack of all trades’, be focused
  • Ideas are great, EXECUTION is the game