John Amato: The Art of Business


For The Curious,

I’ve been getting into e-mail conversations with many of you ever since I asked people to send me photos of where they listen to Big Questions.

One of the things I learned is that a lot of folks were hoping to get takeaways at the end of the podcast to summarize the tools that we can all use to better our lives. So I thought I’d give it a try. If it catches on, maybe we’ll call this note Takeaway Tuesday.

There are a lot of takeaways in this episode with John Amato -- the CEO of Billboard Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter.

The quote from Andy Warhol on the photo in John’s office is a great way to start: Good business is the best art.

The way I see it, the best art endures. So when John told me that he wakes up every morning thinking about where his companies are going to be ten years from now, it made me wonder how I might think that way.

I’ve never been one to look very far ahead. When I was traveling around the world as a young guy, I woke up every day not knowing where I was going, who I was going to meet, or what might happen. I loved the spontaneity.

But now that I’m developing Big Questions, I understand how critical forward thinking is.

I’ve begun to arrange a slew of episodes in advance. In the coming weeks you’ll be hearing from Larry King, Bill Nye, The Science Guy, and the singer Rachel Platten. While I can’t fathom looking ahead 10 years, I’m proud to be thinking 30 days down the road!

Not only that, but I just signed on for a conference connected to my mentor, Tim Ferris, taking place August 26-29. It’s called two12. And it brings entrepreneurs to the Four Seasons in Vail, Colorado for a series of keynotes and strategy sessions. Attendees each get paired with six mentors to plan out their business strategies. Your mentors are folks like the head of media for Nike, the CEO of Home Depot and the founder of Bleacher Report.

There will be farm-to-table meals and zip-lining across the Rockies. If you’d like to join me, check out the event at:

That’s five months down the road – a long way for me. Even if you’re the type of person who likes to plan ahead, I encourage you to allow my conversation with John to push you out even further. Let me know where it takes you, and if your thoughts make you feel like an artist.



Kevin HekmatComment