We had the good fortune of connecting with Dave “Chachi” Denes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dave “Chachi”, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I would love to say we had a grand plan and the company was throughly thought out and researched before we launched Benztown. However, It was really out of necessity. In the throws of the financial crisis, the company I was working for had massive layoffs on President Obama’s inauguration Day and I was one of 2000 plus employees who were invited to leave. At the time I was terrified but in retrospect it turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me professionally.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
This is a tough and very broad question… I could write a book on this question alone. Benztown is an audio production company that primarily serves terrestrial radio but we also do podcast and scoring. There’s not really one answer on how we got to where we are today. It’s been a series of events, hard-work, good timing and lot of luck. Building a company is not easy at all. If it were everyone would do it. I would say it’s incredibly gratifying to help our clients and work with such an amazing team. That being said there are a lot of stressful days and there are times I question my sanity. However, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I’m very fortunate and passionate about what I do. A few tips to overcoming the challenges. A. Hire people that are smarter than you. You can’t do it all and no one is great at everything. Understand your weaknesses and find team members that compliment your skillset. B. Be persistent. Most people give up too soon. Tony Robbins says it best “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade! ” Tony Robbins C. Positivity. You will get treated poorly. Clients will dump you, people will tell you no but you have to dust yourself off and get back up. Stay optimistic and don’t let negative situations get you down for too long. They will pass. I want the World to know if you offer a terrific service and/or product at a fair price and treat your clients and employees better than anyone else the rest will take care of itself.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love showing people around. Here are a few of may favorite places around town: 1. Disneyland. 2. Olvera Street 3. Descanso Gardens 4, Griffith Park. Horseback Riding, Observatory, Zoo and Hiking 5. Venice Beach. I don’t personally go there often but it’s a must for visitors 6. Rodeo Drive. I love fashion and feel it’s essential to understanding pop culture. 7. Don Cucos 8. Hollywood Blvd./ Musso and Franks 9. Yamashiro (My parents got engaged there) 10. Dodgers
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a lot of shoutouts and I am so grateful for all the assistance and mentorship I recieved throughout the years. There’s no way we would have been successful without their support. Tracy Johnson, Jhani Kaye, Roy Laughlin, Michael Steele, Michael Martin, Rick Dees, Dan Kieley, Craig Rossi, Mike McVay, my partners, Andy, Oli, George and Masa, our clients, my parents who taught me to take calculated risks and to not give up and most importantly the Benztown Brigade. Their hard-work, dedication and passion is second to none and they make my job easy. Inspirational Books: Bob Iger “The Ride of a Lifetime” Seth Godin “Purple Cow” Kip Tindell “Un-Containable” Phil Knight “Shoe Dog” Sam Walton “Made in America”
1. Dave “Chachi” Denes, Chris Johansing, Dylan Riggs, Teddy Shrader, Laura Keeney, Kevin Horton, Susan Aksu, Bonnie Nordling 2. Susan Aksu, Gary (The Mascot) and Bonnie Nordling 3. Chris Johansing, Scott Mayton, Oliver Klenk, Dave “Chachi” Denes, Suzanne Grimes (President of Westwood One) Andy Sannemann, Masa Patterson, Bonnie Nordling 4. Brad Leask (Nova 96.9), R Dub! (Sunday Night Slow Jams) Sam Wickens (BBC) 5. Gary and Kevin Horton 6. Radio Days Asia 6. Country Radio Seminar Ty Bentli (Apple), Corri English and Dave “Chachi” Denes 7. Canadian Music Week