EntrepreneurTV’s new show Chicago CEOs is packed with actionable advice viewers can use to launch and grow a business. In each episode, top executives based in The Windy City discuss their approach to ideation, company culture, risk management, and all the intangibles that go into living a productive and balanced life.
Last week, EntrepreneurTV’s director of programming Brad Gage spoke with the creators of the show, William and Christopher Salvia, to find out their methods for creating great content, as well as what they’ve learned from interviewing so many successful. Here are excerpts from that conversation, which have been edited for length and clarity. Watch the entire interview in the video above.
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Brad Gage: How would you describe the show to someone who’s never seen it before?
William Salvi: I would describe this show as a profile and humanizing series about CEOs and the brands they run. It comes out of a place of curiosity, where we get to know what makes them tick, what motivates them, what their mission is — all that.
Chris Salvi: Yeah. And one way to build on top of it is we think it’s differentiated in the market because a lot of content in the business world tends to be heady. We want to hit the heart more with this.
Brad Gage: What was the inspiration for the show?
William Salvi: We run an agency, Salvi Media, and primarily what we do is create content for businesses and brands. Chris came to me one day and said we should interview business leaders. So we went to a family friend and a mentor of ours, Ed Wehmer of Wintrust, who’s in season one. And we interviewed him and he said, well, why don’t I introduce you to the executives of the White Sox and Bulls and the Cubs. And we were like, sure! So then all of a sudden we have this list of CEOs that he was gracious enough to provide to us. So we called it Chicago CEOs, but we have hopes for this series to go national, and then international. But that’s how it started. We just got lucky enough to be introduced to the right people.
Chris Salvi: There are two sides to our agency. One is the agency side that services our clients with branding and digital strategy, and the other is media production. We still see plenty of opportunity in making content for businesses, especially B2B businesses.
Brad Gage: I would love to know the best piece of advice that was given to you by the CEOs.
William Salvi: We hear this all the time, “Hire people who are obviously very smart or are experts in their field.” They’re experts at what they do and you just get out of their way. That has come up more and more. I think the more you get away from trying to do everything and just do the things that you are good at — ultimately leading the vision and the mission of your company — that’s what’s important for being a leader.
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Brad Gage: If you could give a one-word piece of advice for a beginner with a startup, what would it be?
Chris Salvi: “Conviction.” It all starts from within. You need to have a conviction or belief in what you’re doing.
Will Salvi: “Focus.” I know the way we feel about our own business. We are not going to stop trying to grow it, trying to build it. We will not stop, we will be relentless in that pursuit.
EntrepreneurTV’s original programming is built to inspire, inform and fire up the minds of people like you who are on a mission to launch and grow their dream businesses. Watch new docu-series and insightful interviews streaming now on Entrepreneur, Galaxy TV, FreeCast, and Plex.
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