“What you love and care about has to be greater than the fear you are feeling.” — Brian Sirgutz
Brian Sirgutz, Founder & CEO of Ampathy, is an incredible human being who focuses his life’s work on integrating empathy into art & technology. Brian has taught me so much over the years about the power of the human connection, the importance of standing up for what you believe in and finding empathy for others in even the most difficult of situations. Brian is one of those rare people you meet in your life’s journey who inspires you to make the world a better place and to be the best person you can be. We are so happy to share Brian’s words of wisdom with you.
Amy Powell: Is there one piece of advice that you wish your 9 year old self would give you today that would make an impact on your career?
Brian Sirgutz: Yes, the most important thing would be: 1) do not worry about trying to “fit in” or “please others” which leads to a second piece of advice, learn to take time between what you are feeling and how you react. Take a few deep breaths and then respond or accept a challenge.
Amy: Was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? how did you bounce back?
Brian: Yes, I had tried to start a record label after dropping out of New york University and lost all my money. I did not want anyone to know I was broke and had no place to live so until a Sumoian bouncer named Olo gave me $20 so I could eat and put some gas in my car. From that point, I got a job parking cars and being a bellhop at the Sunset Tower hotel until I got back on my feet.
A few months later, I signed my first artist, drove cross country with the bands demo tape and after a few months of shopping it to major record companies, while I was bussing tables at a restaurant in Soho called Boom until 5AM every night for $60, it finally happened!!! I got a deal for my label through one of the best record companies Sire / Warner Brothers and with the person who signed some of the best artists of all time.
Amy: How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?
Brian: I still have not “learned” .. there is no learning.. only doing. What you love and care about has to be greater than the fear you are feeling. Fear isn’t protecting you, it’s keeping you comfortable. There is an important distinction. So the only risk you are taking is choosing to do nothing,
Amy: What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable?
Brian: Be humble, be fiercely curious, everyone has something to offer. People want to be seen, loved, ready to join a journey maybe even your journey.. So I try to find the most passionate people and get out of their way.. and let them shine!!
Amy: What is the most fun part of your job?
Brian: Seeing the look on people’s faces when they see the art I wish to bring into the world. My purpose, what lights me up is seeing others free themselves from the shackles of their everyday lives. How can we serve ourselves by serving others, how can we serve others by serving ourselves?
Rumi has a great quote “Take off your mask, your face is glorious” .. the most fun part of my job is seeing people get to take off their masks; sometimes for the first time… and that is not just fun, but glorious.