Banking on Your Name
Next we're going to be meeting michael greco the right michael greco and michael greco will tell us about how to bank on your name banking and on your name and he has a number of different businesses were going to talk to him about why he has thes and not other businesses and then we'll ask the question on whether or not all of his businesses a successful and how he manages all these entities you'll find michael on twitter dot com michael greco and his handless michael greco and you can also follow him on instagram also at michael greco so hello michael I'm so glad you're here hey, how are you? I'm very good thank you. Thanks for taking out on a saturday. I know you're a very busy man so let's jump right in tell us about your different businesses, please. Well, the most important thing I did years ago was read the book rich dad poor dead and realized some basic stuff that buying a car, buying a house when people call things investments they're not really an investment and investments o...
r a business should be bringing you cash I saw I came in and I saw the word cash on the screen I thought all right that's that's really what this is about right? So, um a business a business should generate revenue and in this crazy photo world that we have great years and down years and up and down I wanted other things that brought in revenue streams so I took I strategically strategically took a couple of things I knew like I was part of a digital capture company and we had a product toe archive hard drives and I actually store all my data on hard drives so I took that product and I like that product because it wasn't just a photo product it's a product that goes out into a bigger market of I t and high tech and the corporate world so I have that product line called pro storage a number of years ago I wrote a book called lighting in the dramatic portrait and I wrote that book because I wanted a position myself photographically as an expert in my field is an expert in lighting but now I've taken that book and I realized that the publisher didn't hav e book rights so I created the e book myself and in fact I created I got some distribution and I created and evil company with some partners called visual ist publishing you're you're one of my partners so you you know firsthand about you know a lot of the lot of the things I do I take my name and reputation and I'll do workshops I'm doing neff stoppers workshop in two weeks in the bahamas and I strategically do things that expand and round out my cash flow that that fill in between the assignments and the big commercial jobs okay? And for somebody who's never heard about michael greco. So who is michael greco? Michael greco has been around a long time. I started my career as a as a photo journalist I worked for the associated press and the boston herald I left boston to be a regular for people magazine out here in california live in santa monica I've lived here for over twenty years and early on in living here I decided a transition into creative portraiture, which became a lot of celebrity portraiture and advertising work. So thiss past couple of months, if you go to my block, I just did a big ad campaign with joe torry for cohen resnick, the accountancy, the consultancy I just we just did a huge pizza hut campaign with major celebrity. I can't say who the celebrity is, but, um where we do these big job it's like there's a lot of space in between the big jobs and the magazine shoots and you know, so we're the best thing like like I said, rich dad, poor dad, great book you want something that it can be almost passive income in other words, if I could be selling phone product at night around the world while I'm sleeping that's a great business that's a business that's working for me excellent and how did you choose thes businesses thes ad on when you as you're banking on your name did you was it based upon like you said with the pro photo storage was it based upon your experience is it sort of coming natural to you? Are you cia? You're recognizing the opportunity or you actively searching and building I recognized the I'm recognizing the opportunity I'm seeing I mean I do a combination of both I invest in businesses and I look at my investing strategically I worked very close with my investment adviser but I see an opportunity and if I see an opportunity I usually try to build a team that I can work with that if I don't have the expertise in the field that that other partners have the expertise in the field so with the lighting book the opportunity came up to me I was asked by random house what was then watson guptill I never walked up to me after one of my talks that at the javits center of the photo plus expo and asked me if I would do a book so that opportunity walked up to me but like with pro storage that was a company of partners one of the partners ren you know helped run the company in the wrong direction let me put it that way and what I was left with was a product I the company's sort of fell apart and then you have to look at it. All right, are you going to take something that's not working and continue to be beating your head against the wall and try to make it work? Or are you going to take the one shiny thing out of it and make money with it? So I sort of I was left with the assets of this company, and I took the one product and and we're doing well, I mean, it's apple buys, you know, apple buys this product by in large quantity it's selling toe large corporations, we just got into the anger ingram micro distribution system, which is so now we're into every corporation around the world through a huge distribution network, so and it's not really passive income, I mean, I have to work at it, and I strategically have to figure it out. I have a phone call every week with my marketing department and my social media people, but but it's an existing asset that I didn't that I recognized had some legs too. So listen, michael, we're getting some life questions in from our audience. Are you willing to answer a couple questions? Yeah, of course, of course, let me let me add one more thing, please, you know, a few years ago I did a documentary project and a book project and I realized that I thought I wanted to make documentaries I thought this would be a great business and what you realize is documentaries they're not necessarily a great money making venture right? Everyone tells you docks make no money document so so do I go and make another dog no like you know you have to recognize when something is is not you know I did this one it was great it was but I'm not going to go out and do something where I've proven to myself already that we're just after four years about to go into the black but everyone in the industry also tells you docks or not, you know, documentaries they're not really a big huge money making proposition, so you have to really look at what works and what doesn't work wonderful thank you so much for saying that and let's turn it over to our host question michael really you're talking about passive income perhaps you khun do you have a good idea for passive income for photographers and other creatives and what is it? Can you just say what it is very specifically well, passive the first part of passive income for power passive income is investment passive income is something you put money here you buy, you know they're they're classic if you read if you read investment books or you know an apartment building you know, especially if it's managed where you don't have to do anything except collect checks is passive income, some great businesses that they say to buy our laundromats, carwashes things that have existing management, where you don't have to be there and run a car wash, but carwashes make ah, fortune a laundromat everyone needs to clean their clothes. It's like these air businesses that just they give you a what we call a cash on cash return if you invest one hundred thousand dollars and you get twenty or twenty five thousand dollars in return, you're getting a twenty five percent cash on cash return and that's a passive if you don't have to run it that's a passive investment and passive income if you're not running. So for photographers, the obvious one is licensing your work. When you're shooting, you don't give away the rights you keep the rights, you limit the usage for advertising to let's, say, a year, and if the client then wants to re license that work and use it the next year, they have to license it. I'm continually getting licensing fees, selling images, a stock, two magazines that I think is an artist number one number one passive revenue stream is the re licensing of their work. Disney does not give away mickey mouse you know they business has run on licensing in the licensing business and you know what, michael I'm going to jump in there right right away you have a rule when you enter an agreement ah you sniff it out when it doesn't work so uh is it what? Higher higher higher slow fire fast you give it enough time you try to figure you you try to figure out if it has legs and but my my new thing is is I would I would dump a lot of money into a business to make it successful and it's it's hire sluts I guess it's the same you know it's the same analogy higher slow like don't invest a lot of money don't throw money at something hopes that it's gonna work you know I did that with with a book project and threw money at it and it didn't necessarily that wasn't necessarily the right thing to do if I didn't throw the money at it the book project would have been financially successful so you want to go in slow test the water see if there's a demand because you can do all the business plans you want you can do you can do all the analysis you want you can do all of thie figuring of people are going to buy this or not but the real test is are they going to buy it but is there really legs there great and that's that's really the test so it would be it would be not necessarily hire slow but dump money and slow okay good and and fast I think that you know you give it a year two years, three years by three years if you've put in not a lot of money you could feel like walking away that's okay okay do we have any more questions? Okay. Good. So so we're through do you guys have any questions for michael? Okay, excellent. Well see you you left everybody speeches tell us very quickly before we let you go about about your book because I do think we have such a large audience photographers I'm going to give the girls in a moment just tell him really quickly about your your book that sold thousands and thousands and thousands of copies it was I had a book agent who does like best sellers in the how to feel like a self help that how to self help and the book hit like six hundred on amazon one day and she goes you know you have a best selling book this is s oh it's a it's a niche book it's a lighting book for professionals called lighting in the dramatic portrait it's now it's we've lowered the price we've put it back on amazon and itunes at nine ninety five so it's it's at a you know an impulse purchase price go there now always ask for the clothes didn't we just go through this very good michael it's at an impulse purchase you know I've done this long enough it's like it's it's intuition so it's at an impulse purchase price so but it's it's really it was I think it was the first book that had that a photographer had a personal style in a personal vision and salt lighting there are a few out there now but this was the first book where I took the vision and the edgy lighting I used in the nineties and and on shoots for and I used to shoot for entertainment weekly a lot time magazine and I took that that unusual lighting the lighting that was out of the box and and put it in put in the book and I tell everything so it's a really good you know it's a really good manual it's you know if you have the book you can have it on your ipad right on a shoot go home and it's trying this so yeah and and I have met so many photographer so when when I share with them that you and I working together is it you're working with michael greg thank you so much michael the book did exactly what it was supposed to do that right? Yes, it did well, thank you so much for being here really appreciate your time okay, so michael has taught us on how to bank on your name. So what do you think of michael? Yeah, it doesn't make it like not so threatening when you when you think about sort of these other things I mean that's what it's like you you go through it and to you you try different things in here here is the pro storage and is actually a product I think it's unbelievable because it allows you instead of like you have like these hard drives anybody's in the creative world you have like these hard drives like stacked and have you ever noticed that when you want to read by the same hard drive if you like that change something the cable is different so you can use the old k was of the new cable and then you have it on your desk and gets really hot and dusty and then you don't remember which drive you have what on then you start the labeling machine and then next thing you have to stress doesn't sound familiar he figured out a way to fix that and, uh and has a backup solution. I'm actually going to be doing a couple of videos with him about this because I I think everybody needs to know about this I mean my and I don't have a lot because my content is video, you know, the videos I produced but even with the whatever six to seven drives that I have, but it's already at the point of going, and then he has the lighting and the dramatic portrait. This is the book we were talking about, and it is been called the bible to tow lighting. I mean, I know a lot of photographers, and then you confined him for workshops. If you want to go out and shoot with him, this is a workshop he's doing in the bahamas. And these are always great fun. So, thanks again for michael, for helping us out here today.