Many times people decide to venture out on their own after leaving a major corporation. That was the case for veteran public relations executive Ron Carter, who has built his career in the entertainment business working at major record companies.
“After leaving Quincy Jones’ Qwest Records in 2001, it was a natural progression for me to start my company. I began working on a few projects which soon turned into several projects. This was the beginning of The Carter Agency,” he says. But as with any transition, there were challenges and adjustments.
“My main challenge in transitioning from a major corporation, the Time Warner family, to my own company was working capital. I suddenly realized that whatever resources were needed for me to complete my tasks were all my responsibility. When I worked at Qwest Records, I didn’t have to worry about such things as paper, ink for the computers, furniture, payroll, clips, travel etc. It was an adjustment I had to embrace immediately, if I was going to survive as a business owner,” shares Carter.
Since then, his firm has provided public relations services to a variety of clients. Currently, Pasadena, California-based The Carter Agency (TCA) is with The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity; The City of Pasadena, Public Works Department and production company Playhouse Theater Players. Past clients include Pasadena Unified School District, musician Doc Powell, Internet shopping portal 1IMall.com, developer Dorn Platz, and singer/songwriter/producer Peven Everett, among others.
Over time, Carter has had to find a way to deal with the fickle whims and trends of the entertainment business. “I have dealt with the changes in the entertainment industry by diversifying my consultancy,” he says. “My current clients include public agencies and non-profit organizations. I also have a few entertainment clients. Because the entertainment business changed, for my agency to survive I had to adapt and not solely depend upon entertainment clients. I am presently in discussions with three potential entertainment clients even though I am not actively pursuing entertainment clients. Thank God, I am blessed.”
Carter’s 2014 growth goals have become a reality. “When I started the year, i prayed for a blessed year for my company. I am happy to report that so far, I have hired 13 students and 5 other companies to assist me with the work I am presently doing. I will also be hiring about 20 more students next week.,” he says.
Carter says building his business has been a learning process. “My most important business lesson is to never give up. And, hire competent, smart and loyal individuals. Also, because being an entrepreneur can be a lonely pursuit, it is imperative that one has enormous patience,” he says, adding that it´s all been worth it. “I enjoy the freedom my work affords me. I work very diligently everyday, sometimes 14 to 22 hours a day. Like right now. But, I have the freedom to take time off whenever I am really tired, because I am my own boss. Also, having the ability to set my own schedule most of the time is priceless. Being a business owner is very challenging. It is not a venture to be taken lightly,” he continues. “I have learned over the past 12 years my strengths and weaknesses. I have also learned how blessed I am to have my business survive over the past 12 years.”