We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas J. Bellezza and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Thomas J., we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The process behind starting my own business basically evolved naturally through connections referred to me based on my proof of results for myself. I was always about me. I wanted my band to be successful. I want to get to the top to do what I wanted. But once I began guiding people it all changed for me.

I never wanted to work so bills could get paid. Earlier on in my life I knew I wanted to be creative. The only way to do that was potentially work within my industry of choice. Early on I realized no career would give me the freedom to add my values back to the world or attempt multiple things outside of one field.

All I could focus on was opportunities that could elevate my missions and afford bills. For ten years I played music with a band. Through this process I found a calling that opened my eyes to do more. People would ask me how I got where I did with the band, or even the process of getting a great show. It all led to me becoming a consultant.

Opening up BBR Productions gave me the freedom to help others achieve their goals and gave me a chance to work in every field of my interest. While working to guide people I started performing and creative careers in entertainment. Additionally, during this time I became more involved in consulting, speaking, and giving people information.

People I grew up around educated me on the value of incorporating. When I put time into BBR Productions I did it the right way. I S Corp the company with a focus on bringing people together by being an all inclusive company dedicated toward helping entertainers find their yes in life and succeed through consulting, marketing, and development.

My own company allowed me to focus all my time on my missions which so happen to be my career too. If I had stayed working for a supermarket, or even Blockbuster video, I would have never been able to open doors for myself enough to help others. I had to take a chance failing on what I loved instead of succeeding in a career I hate.

What should our readers know about your business?
BBR Productions is a company I built from a young age to do one thing “Bringing dreams to reality.” Everything about this company stems from a skill I learned to bring reality to my band back from 1997-2007. We consult, market, and develop on how to be successful in the entertainment industry.

Consulting gives me a chance to sit with people one on one to go over the needed tools and steps to attack based on their individual variables. Teaching is a powerful tool when you can shine a light on the misconceptions people take action on before knowing the business side of it. This is why I also do speaking engagements.

Marketing is about designing a brand, to build awareness which creates interest that ultimately generates sales for people to buy into your brand’s message emotionally. We focus on the meaning behind your missions, morals, and ideals. You have to know what you want to give to life to become that mission through truth in action.

Development lets the creative side of our passions come out. I love writing, performing comedy, music, acting, directing, the list goes on till beyond the stars in the sky. What I love more than those things is collaborating with others doing the same things. I help develop people, ideas (films | games | books), and businesses.

How did I get to where I am today business-wise? | Honestly, it was a long road of fail to succeed. What got me to a point where this was my main responsibility, that came down to habit changes. I am going to list out somethings people should do, that I did, to get where I am today with my company, and career in entertainment.

1. Save a financial foundation that affords you at a minimum 18-months of your average monthly overhead. This was my start-up capital. I now could live off the money in my business account to help me build relationships, market my mission, and practice my industry by getting involved. I no longer had to say yes to jobs for money, I could say yes to opportunities because I had money fueling me.

2. Define your Safety-net. For me it was 3 months. As long as my financial foundation could afford me over 3-months of my average monthly overhead, I could organize the money earned over that safety-net. Every cent I earned I now could place into my 3 needs of purpose: security, growth, and dream. Plus an emergency fund. How did I do that? If I earned $100 I would split it 60/40. 60% of that money would go evenly into my 3 needs of purpose. The other 40% would get split between going back into my financial foundation (so it kept growing) and my emergency fund.

3. GET INVOLVE! I got involved in everything and anything I could that had to do with entertainment. I did background work, I worked at a theater | playhouse, worked with music studios, gave my time to film productions, worked with other people on their projects.

4. Network to build and cultivate relationships in the hopes of establishing a strong circle of influence. This is about the people you know and how you can get them to remember you. It is your job to follow up, not theirs. It is your job to build that relationship, not theirs. Give your time to others.

5. Invest, invest, invest. Use the “growth” need from your 3 needs of purpose to invest money into assets. This also includes investing into results. When you invest time and money into bigger things that ultimately reflect your missions, and payback in results (which can be money, relationships, opportunities) you are building your brand’s reputation within your community.

6. Join unions, get involved with unions. Work with unions. Help unions out. Like, SAG-AFTRA, or the WGA, or even ASCAP. You can meet a lot of great people this way, plus the resources available are fantastic.

There is more but these are important tools to what helped me.

Was it easy? | No. It was easy to say yes this is what I want to do. But it was not easy to achieve the life I wanted. Nothing great is easy. The hardest part is saying yes. I see many people in my field who give up early, or those who don’t even give it a 100% because they have to work a side job. The financial foundation makes it so you do not have to work the side job anymore. The issue is I see people make excuses to do the things they hate, like get up early for a job they do not like, but they won’t make excuses to do the HARD stuff we all HATE doing to make a career. Remember this… what you do is not your job. Your job rewards you to do the thing you do passionately.

What do I want the world to know about me? | I want you to know that I am no one. But I am someone to someone. Look at yourself as valued to the life you are in. And be the best version of yourself that you can be. I learned a long time ago that I cannot ask people to change. I have no right to order others to be different. What I can do without hesitation is become the change I want to see in the world. By being good to people, helping others, and bringing people together I hope one day I will influence habits of unity so people work together, grow together, and rise together.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love this question. What’s that old saying “It’s the quality of time, not the quantity!” I would ask them for what kind of vacation they were looking for: calm and just a mental break or a “let me see the town” kind of vacation.

Oddly enough, my friends are pretty much like me. We are low key and it’s about the time spent that makes it all the more worth it. If I had to plan it, I would give them a nice relaxing place to rest their mind and be at ease.

Each night would be a new dinner I would cook to their liking. Some of my friends like to prep food and cook, so depending on who it is, I would hold off till they got there to prep. The cooking experience would be a group effort nonetheless.

I’d invite people over from around the area to hangout. Get my in-town friends to meet my out-of-town friends. We’d probably watch movies, or play RISK. Yeah, knowing us, we’d play RISK a lot. My favorite game, and a majority of my friends love that game.

We’re not really beach people, but we are sit in the back around a BBQ and enjoy a night of good BBQ and conversation. I know, we’re boring, but those moments of calm are exciting to us.

I’m not a drinker, never tried drinking, doing drugs, or smoking. Usually my friends are the same except for a few here or there.

All in all the experience for the week would be based on catching up, getting to hangout together, and if the opportunity pops up to go to another friend’s house, or meet-up with people, we’d jump on that.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a lot of people who have changed my world view on how to be successful. To label each name would give me carpal tunnel. What I can say is everyone I did meet had value in the growth of my character. Some people had more influence than others. The outcome was the still the same. I learned from their habits, good or bad.

Advice given to me early on is “be nice to everyone, you never know who someone is, or knows.” This and the advice that “Your success has nothing to do with you, it has to do with the people around you.” really woke me up as a young arrogant person thinking I had to succeed on my own valued merit.

Once I was aware of how relationships change everything, I stopped thinking inward, and began exploring ways to get involved with others to help them. In these explorations I learned even more. Since a good rule of thumb is; the five people you hangout with become the world you live in. I made sure the people around me were influential.

Not in the sense they would influence my career. People who would influence my behavior. What I liked, didn’t like, about how others treated people, or the lack of real advice one might give, such as “to be a successful musician, play lots of shows and write good albums.” which was advice that had nothing to do with relationship building.

All these people gave me the tools I needed to guide others, and myself. When it came to amazing mentors, sometimes I found myself being mentored by situations that were the results of team effort. What I mean is, the way we failed up to success, or pivoted from failure to succeed with those around me, helped guide me.

Website: https://www.makearightlefthere.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/thomasjbellezza

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bbrproductions/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThomasJBellezza

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThomasJBellezza

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/BBRoseProductions?sub_confirmation=1

Other: www.BBRProductions.com

Image Credits
David Genik [main photo] Beatrice Sniper JD McGibney Thomas J. Bellezza Thomas J. Bellezza Beatrice Sniper Thomas J. Bellezza Thomas J. Bellezza JD McGibney

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