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The Importance of Creativity in Business

with Jeffrey Madoff

with guest Jeffrey Madoff #MakingBank S5E20

Often, people in business dismiss the idea of their creativity or vice versa. However, only being good at one thing isn’t ideal when it comes to owning and creating a business. The best entrepreneurs combine their knowledge of business and their creativity to find success, to push past obstacles, and to accomplish their dreams.  


Jeffrey Madoff, the founder of Madoff production in New York City, joins us in this episode of Making Bank. He talks about how he accomplished his dream of being a fashion designer, which led him to join a production company. Stressing the importance of both creativity and business, Jeffrey talks about his experiences diving into the entrepreneur world.  


Learn how Jeffrey challenges the ideas placed on entrepreneurs and the importance of doing what you love.  


Diving into Business 


When Jeffrey started his business, he went from designing T-shirts in Wisconsin to running NYC production company that collaborates with ad agencies, public relations firms, and directly with clients. It was no easy journey to get where he is, but he never hesitated when it came to be doing what he wanted – or knowing what he had to do to accomplish the things he wanted.  


“I learned a tremendous amount and I learned by, you know, literally just diving into it. And I don’t know if it’s a plus or minus, but I never let my ignorance stop me from trying things…and I figured out I had the confidence that if it was something that interested me, that I figure out how to do it,” Jeffrey says about starting his fashion business. There was something inside of him that allowed him to pursue the passion he had.  


Jeffrey figured that he had the confidence to achieve if he wanted to do something – and it’s not always easy. Learning quickly, he realized how much business could affect his own life, he could see beyond just how his life was changing. Between having to lay people off, trying to survive recessions, and trying to grow as a business, he learned how his business affected the lives of people. That’s what made the company something so much bigger than just his dream, or his concept. 


If Jeffrey laid someone off, he recognized that it went beyond just the individual, and it followed back to the family of the person he was laying off. And when his company grew, it allowed him to have more opportunities to give people possibilities and jobs, chances to create and help.  


To be a great entrepreneur is to look beyond yourself – beyond the individual. It’s playing a part in a bigger scheme to help the world and the people around you.  




Looking Beyond Business Skills 


“I had learned skills that could help me in business. And that frankly informed what I came to do later in terms of teaching because I realized that unless you’re taking accounting classes or basic business courses if you’re in a creative field, you aren’t taught business,” Jeffrey says. Developing the skills that you need to understand your business, and how to accomplish what you want to create yourself is crucial.   


When you have creative talent and focused on artistic abilities, it may seem hard to make a business out of it.  You know what you have to offer, but you can’t quite push through the wall of business yet. The importance of learning business is universal – it’s related to every aspect of creating things even if you aren’t the one directly dealing with a checkbook.  


By becoming universally rounded in business and beyond, you’re putting your products and creativity at an advantage. Jeffrey was able to take his creativity, his fashion, and turn it into a business. Jeffrey put himself in a spot that he could sell what he was coming up with.  


“What was really interesting about it and probably my main insight and takeaway are that all businesses are the same. The protocols for all businesses, I should say, are the same. And what I meant by that is, you know, there are certain things that you to know…when I started a clothing company, it started with an idea, right? And then I could sketch the clothes…what kind of labor am I going to need…? What are the labor costs?” Jeffrey says his creative process lead right into his business process.  


When you’re coming into your business, you’re pulling that basic knowledge that you learned from a young age, following a sort of process to achieve success. When you run a business, you have to go beyond just what you’re creating – you’ve got to know what it’s going to cost, how many steps beyond it being in your head to your hands it will take.  


Breaking down the business wall with creativity ensures that you can stay in the business you want. Entrepreneurship isn’t just dependent on being good at one thing – it’s being well rounded and having the ability to take opportunities and make it work for yourself.