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EXCLUSIVE: The Adventures Of Tom Ward, The Celeb Interviewer Who Lived A Double Life – American Categorical (NYSE:AXP), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)


Everybody has a superpower. It rests on whether or not you could have sufficient persistence to comprehend and strengthen your superpower.

That is based on Tom Ward, the author and superstar interviewer behind The Tow Ward Present.

“On the finish of the day, I’m an everyday dude with little identifiable abilities of any form,” he chuckled throughout a Benzinga chat. “In my case, I’m good at one factor and that’s speaking to folks.”

Earlier than internet hosting his personal present in Los Angeles, Ward was in gross sales. However his major purpose is to repeatedly enhance — the life-style technique of Kaizen.

“It took me a few years to get to the place I’m now. It didn’t occur in a single day, and I’m getting a bit higher with each interview, pitch, and manufacturing,” he stated. “All of it provides up in time, and that’s my intent.”

‘Reinventing You’

Ward, a New Jersey native, was a mean child from a middle-class household. He discovered little ardour within the mundane careers he pursued after attending Rutgers College–Camden.

“Among the coolest folks I knew on the time had been gross sales guys and entrepreneurs who owned their very own companies,” he stated. “They dressed cool and had been pleasant.”

Ward beforehand offered vehicles at Mercedes Benz Group MBGYY, Porsche Vehicle Holding POAHY, and Toyota Motor Corp TM dealerships close to Philadelphia and Phoenix. He additionally labored for Illinois Software Works Inc. ITW, the place he offered tools to grocery shops, together with Amazon Inc.-owned AMZN Entire Meals and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. SFM.

With “little oversight” and a company American Categorical Firm AXP card got here a “sense of freedom” that made the tools gross sales gig tolerable for a few decade earlier than Ward burned out.

“If I’ve to go to a different commerce present, and stand in entrance of an oven for 3 days, I’m going to kill myself,” he recalled.

On the time, Ward was studying “Reinventing You: Outline Your Model, Think about Your Future” by Dorie Clark, a famed advisor, speaker and instructor at Duke College and Columbia Enterprise Faculty.

“Dorie’s factor was to interview folks,” he stated.

Accordingly, Ward spoke with native entrepreneurs over espresso, inquired about their motivations and requested if that they had any suggestions for achievement.

“The opposite factor Dorie taught me that modified my life was to write down.”

Life Classes From Rick Rubin

Ward typically consumed and blogged content material throughout numerous pursuits, together with hip-hop. One interview that grabbed his consideration was Tim Ferriss’ interview with music producer Rick Rubin.

“The following week I used to be nonetheless desirous about the interview and I wrote about life classes from Rick Rubin,” Ward stated.

To his shock, Jessica Alba discovered the weblog and posted it by way of social media.

Graphic: LinkedIn submit by actor and businesswoman Jessica Alba.

Clark ultimately put Ward in contact with Forbes the place he turned a contributor. Regardless of emotions of being an “imposter and fraud,” Ward “took the chance” and commenced writing with a give attention to advertising and social media, all whereas sustaining a gross sales job.

Pitches from public relations homes had been typically declined. However one occasion the place Ward deviated paid off massive time.

Jake Paul’s representatives pitched a dialog in regards to the influencer’s pursuits past media.

“I used to be like: ‘Who the hell is that this child with 20 million followers that I’ve by no means heard of,’” he requested. His response was a particular “Sure.”

What adopted was a two-hour dialog with Paul at his dwelling.

“We talked enterprise and I discovered a ton,” Ward stated. “He wasn’t just a few child who does movies. He was a well-thought-out enterprise man who had objectives and a plan.”

The 2 exchanged telephone numbers and, after ending the article, Ward despatched Paul a hyperlink to the story and a message expressing his gratitude.

Paul, appreciative of Ward’s piece, posted the article on social media.

Graphic: Twitter submit by Jake Paul.

After what felt like quarter-hour, the article generated about 100,000 views, far past the five hundred clicks Ward’s articles would sometimes get.

Writing, Ward realized, was a critical endeavor that he might leverage so as to affect others and develop a monetizable model.

Ward’s work permeated the influencer group. On paper, he “had nothing in widespread” together with his interviewees. However that didn’t matter. He “was the one one taking them critically,” and that spoke volumes.

Because of a newly-minted reference to Paul, public relations representatives, and phrase of mouth, Ward managed to talk with quite a lot of influencers and creatives, together with Kate Hudson, Emma Chamberlain, Griffin Johnson, Josh Richards, David Dobrik and designer John Varvatos.

The Subsequent Evolution: YouTube

However Ward needed one thing greater than 800-word articles and a few publicity. So, he determined to start out a YouTube channel.

“I’d pay a digital camera man to shoot and an editor to edit,” he stated. “I used to be dropping cash for 3 years whereas my coworkers, at my actual job, had been laughing at me.”

Ridicule apart, Ward seemed on the ambition as many do sports activities; the interviews had been a passion, and Ward’s household provided full assist which “meant every part.”

Any YouTube monetizations or sponsorship proceeds had been funneled into an account Ward drew on to assist fund the price of manufacturing.

“I used to be 44 and I knew I couldn’t do my day job and this nicely, on the similar time,” Ward stated. “It actually hit dwelling once I left for Paris Hilton’s home after speaking about bakery ovens for hours.”

Understanding he had reserves able to deplete, Ward took an opportunity on himself, stop the gross sales gig and pivoted to interviewing.

“Although my views are down, I don’t care. That’s what I’m considering, and it retains me in contact with the Dobriks and Charli D’Amelios who wish to discuss enterprise and issues they’re launching.”

“Dobrik and D’Amelio might even supply me recommendations on how one can develop,” he stated. “That’s priceless recommendation.”

Graphic: Tom Ward interviews Charli D’Amelio.

Ward’s present additionally goals to share uplifting tales of entrepreneurs throughout all ages, race, gender, and identification.

“I’m only a man in search of to be taught,” he stated. The movies and articles are “puzzles, and there’s no handbook,” he elaborated. He’s even able to embrace new challenges, even when it means not making as a lot cash over the subsequent yr.




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