Philip Gelp, President of PhoenixDrumco.com
In March 2014, I received a call from a lifelong friend. At that time she was working as an interim marketing director for a nonprofit organization. During the day, she had to meet with a benefactor to collect donations for the upcoming event. After her meeting, she had called and left me a message that she had met an amazing woman and couldn’t wait to share the experience.
Linda was extremely impressed by this woman who has traveled the world, speaks several languages and according to Linda; a real almost ridiculously gifted “know it all.”
“I don’t know how it came to that, but she ended evaluating our nonprofit over coffee. She asked a couple of simple questions and then did some calculations in her head and her estimate was dead on. It’s like she just edited our books. How could she do this? I was stunned.” Linda said, “You surely could use someone like this.”
Linda has dug up that she charges $15K for three months of work and is highly selective of her clients, quoting Isaac Barrow “Nothing of worth or weight can be achieved with half a mind, with a faint heart, and with a lame endeavor.”
I asked her to arrange a meeting. I did not know what to expect from the meeting other than Linda telling me that Mel Brooks is a straight shooter and brutally honest. She will tell you exactly what she thinks and will not sugarcoat anything.
I found Mel to be classy, confident, business savvy, profoundly perceptive and articulate. She asked great questions and listened very carefully to my answers. She was able to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses within the first 15 minutes of our meeting. Whoa! Once I witnessed Mel in action and realized what she had to bring to the table I decided that I couldn’t afford not to hire her.
The first order of business - as Mel quickly pointed out- was to “incorporate me” and then create my company’s culture around me -standards, policies, procedures codes, regulations, etc. “You are the epicenter of the earthquake. Whatever wave or vibe you send out affects every aspect of your business. "You are the business.” was my new mantra. Mel worked with me diligently, addressing problems and flaws, fixing me first, from my appearance to language, body language; business protocol; etiquette and correspondence; presentation; from first to lasting impression. Mel kept emphasizing that people only do business with people they like. Looking back, I can see how my presentation was negatively affecting my business. But in my defense, most of us are totally unaware of how we are perceived. It takes someone honest and non-bias, not your family and friends to tell you where you need improvement.
True to her word she proceeded to comb through every aspect of our business. For example, on the first day of business, she noted an error in our branding that if not corrected at that time, would have cost us millions in legal fees. No one before her noticed that. She has the elephant patience to explain until you understand an issue or concept. She supports her point with studies; literature, examples, data, reviews, etc. How anyone can collect and retain this much information is beyond me. Mel is indeed a gifted mind.
Mel takes no prisoners; she always gives you homework and will make sure you do it. Simply, she holds you accountable, to perform better than your best and accepts no excuses for lack of effort or performance. Mel will not allow you to procrastinate or quit. Not on her watch. I say that Mel works with you, not for you.
Working with Mel is intense, so it does help that she mixes her wisdom with refreshing humor. Mel has a tremendous skill set that covers every aspect of business development; graphic to product design, production, manufacturing pros, and cons, media, marketing, branding, copyright, and patent law, contract negotiations, hiring, firing, sales, lead generation, networking, mergers, partnership, budgeting, investments, etc. Hiring consultants for each aspect of my business would have cost me “X” times more and wouldn’t have been so productive and valuable. Mel is the complete package as far as I am concerned.
She rebranded our company, assembled a team of savvy people to implement our strategy and supervised every step of the way. Everything goes through her, and nothing gets by her without her approval. No matter how minuscule of an error I guarantee you, she will spot it dead on.
Mel has tremendous integrity, and she demands the same. She is supporting her business associates but will only vouch for those who have earned her respect and trust under observation and in due process.
Our company has been doing better every month since that fated day in March 2014, sales and profits far surpassed our initial projections. She turned our premium brand to now unquestionably one of the most prestigious and highest in quality in our industry.
Mel’s company’s and personal motto is “True service equals true rewards.” She works tirelessly, always there, available day or late into the night, because once you start working with her, there is no stopping until it is done. She puts more time into her clients and their projects than as specified in her contract.
Hiring Mel Brooks was the best investment I have made in my 30 years of business.