John D Church CEO of Heady Entertainment
by D Paige Ruppert
I sat down with John Church, CEO of Heady Entertainment, to discuss the field of entertainment management. With the company still in its starting years, John has big plans for Heady Entertainment. I wanted to figure out just what helped him get there along the way? For John it was not necessarily a particular progression of jobs or selective education that got him where he is today. When asked what helped him to reach his current position his answer was simple, “unwavering faith in a dream.” He did not actively seek out his position, it found him.
Realizing that the market for local entertainment had not yet been tapped in his area, John sat down with close friend and now business partner Dave Adams and created a business plan. And what was that plan? “To cultivate and support a community that is brought and held together by the love of live music.” Both partners wanted to give back to the music community they were so passionate about, “So we started throwing shows, got lucky and were successful, and did it a bunch,” said John.
Every spare moment John has is still spent researching strategies, ideas, applications and marketing tools to drive the business forward. It is important to set both short and long term goals. You need to have more than idea, you need a business plan and a drive to actually get it done. In the years to come John has both long-term and short-term goals for the company. In the short term John would like the company to expand it’s staff and it’s reach up and down the east coast. Five years down the road, he hopes to see Heady Entertainment running the show for national acts and hosting it’s own version of Bonnaroo.
Valuable experience has been gained through the lessons John has learned running and growing Heady Entertainment. “Education isn’t all from books, a lot of it is experience and wisdom. You can make up for lack of education with true passion,” John shared. In his opinion facing trials has forced the company to not grow too quickly, allowing them to learn and adapt.
The first lesson, there are going to be people that make your job difficult regardless of the passion you have for it. There are nice people, mean people, professionals, and unprofessionals. Community is a pillar of their mission statement and because of this they need to be an example within that community when working both behind the scenes and in public. You have to have the ability to let things go. “If you have a bad day, let it slide because sometimes it looks like your dream is going to die and you just have to know it isn’t, and tomorrow is a new day,” said John. Any time you take a loss you question your passion and dedication. No one wants a mistake to come back and look bad on him, her or the company, but it is in that moment you need to believe in yourself most.
The second lesson, you must network yourself. Linked-in has been found to be a key resource for professional networking. “Most of the people in this business have been doing it a long time, and you know what, if you ask for it they are going to help you succeed because they want to spread their knowledge and create an investment in you.” John shared. You have to practice your communication skills and be prepared to learn whenever you get the opportunity. The connections you form can be your most valuable assets for the future.
When it comes down to it, If he could do it all over, John wouldn’t change a thing. You can’t learn if you don’t experience the losses that teach you. Even though Heady Entertainment still has a long and exciting journey ahead, every time a show comes together they are gratified with the greatest feeling of knowing they brought it all together.
Heady Entertainment will be hosting a Mad Tea Party Pre-Party Saturday April 18th at Jammin Java, featuring The Heavy Pets and Jelly Bread: https://www.facebook.com/events/1597417493807563/