For Lou Taylor, it comes down to perspective. Taylor is the Founder and CEO of Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group. The company represents professional athletes, artists, actors, executives, supermodels, and musicians providing a range of financial, business management, and tax services, including accounting, financial statement prep, participation rights audits, royalty audits, tour and production accounting services, and estate planning.
Her goal is to provide her high-profile clientele with peace of mind via the security of knowing that their financial positions are sound both while they are playing or performing and after they have finished their careers in the spotlight.
Tri Star also helps its clients to build, develop and position their brands and businesses.
From the moment Lou Taylor created Tri Star, she was heavily involved in all aspects of the business. That meant being deeply connected to her client’s personal and professional goals.
At first, she was reinvesting heavily in the company, especially when it came to talent. Despite starting as a modest private business, she was able to provide extraordinary experiences for her earliest clients and employees, many of whom have been with her and the company for over 20 years.
Lou Taylor has learned much in the 29 years of Tri Star’s existence. As she reflects on those 5 things she wished someone had told her before she became President, she shares insights on her approach to strategy and growth.
Learn to Keep White Space
For designers and artists, white space is an important concept. It’s the part of the canvas, work of art, or even printed page that’s left blank. That doesn’t mean the piece is empty or incomplete. It means that the full, completed work must include that piece of white space, the part that is not filled up, consumed, and used.
The same principle applies to ourselves. Taylor wishes someone had told her younger self to “fight for white space.” The Tri Star business can be all-consuming and requires a 24/7 commitment to clients and their lives and work. In the beginning, that meant Taylor would fly into New York City first thing in the morning, work a full day and then fly home.
Now, she has the luxury of flying in the day before and spending a few hours recharging in Central Park, getting in a good workout and a cup of coffee before she settles into a busy day of work.
Hire Before the Need
Lou Taylor is now a big believer in hiring ahead of the need. Scaling a business is complex and requires careful consideration. A major pain point in scalability is not having the right people in the right job with the right plan for growth. You need all three, according to Taylor to scale your business successfully.
Outsourcing Coaching Services are Critical
Coaching employees is important. It helps with their personal development and helps to keep the work, priorities, culture, and expectations clear. In the beginning, Taylor was able to do most of the coaching herself when her business was small.
However, bandwidth changes for the CEO as the organization evolves and expands. As a leader, you may see what’s needed for professional coaching, but you simply don’t have the capacity to do so.
At Tri Star, there was a point where outsourced coaching services became necessary as the company continued to grow. Once those resources were identified, retained, and began to work within the organization, the culture began to shift for the better, as everyone was coached in the same direction.
Get Some Outside Perspective
Most successful business executives have a small team of trusted advisors. At first, this group may include a few close friends or family members and your company’s accountant and lawyer.
Both the CEO and her employees knew that outside counsel was important. Taylor admits that she greatly prefers laying out policies, procedures, and processes and letting someone execute on those parameters.
While a talented human resources director can often help, sometimes it is best to have outside resources available to assist not just the CEO but also other employees. This type of support also says a lot about how an organization values its employees.
Don’t Take It Personally
“Like anyone else you learn as you go, and the one thing I wish from day one someone would have said to me is: don’t take anything personally”. Lou Taylor’s last piece of advice for business leaders is not to take anything personally. Always put professionalism first, but appreciate human nature.
A big part of the business world is competition, and the natural human response to this is self preservation. Don’t take it personally when other people focus on their business needs first. Let it go, Lou Taylor says. It’s “like a great therapy session” when someone tells her to not take things personally, something she can appreciate even 29 years after starting her business.
As Lou Taylor’s business nears the end of its third decade, she continues to seek advice from others and reflect on the perspective she’s gained as one of the entertainment industry’s most respected and successful executives.