Wed, 10 June 2020
Today I’m excited to have Amber Mazola on the show. She is the executive producer for the show “The Profit.” If you watch the show, you’ve seen her on the show at times, talking to Marcus Limonus about the businesses that he’s had on the show. We’re going to learn about her journey and how she got to where she is today. She runs a successful business, and we’ll learn about her take action moment and how she made things happen. Let’s get right into it and here from Amber.
Amber’s Unique Path to Success
Right out of high school, I started working as a PA in New York. I worked on a show called Cosby, that had Bill Cosby on it. I did all the grunt work like getting everyone coffee, doing runs in the city, and basically anything else that needed to get done. It helped me to learn people skills and how to connect and network with others in the industry. Working as a PA also made me realize that I am never to goo for anything and definitely helped me through my entire career and made sure I never felt like I was better than anyone else.
From there, I moved on to being an assistant, and then a writer, and eventually I got into working on unscripted shows. I ended up working on a show called Girls Behave Badly, a prank show where I wrote all the pranks and that I worked on that show for about five years and then decided to go to the unscripted world. At the time, I had no idea that I’d be a producer.
How Amber Became a Producer
I loved the creativity and enjoyed being a freelance producer. I would go from job to job, and it made it really exciting. It was fun to meet a lot of new people and work on lots of different projects. At times, I felt that writing was a bit lonely, and I quickly realized that I would rather be interacting, interviewing people, and being in the field.
At the time, it never occurred to me that I might own my own business someday. Even though, as I look back now, I was doing a lot of the same things at the time. I had a producer I worked with at E that encouraged me to start my own business and actually helped me along the way at the beginning to make that happen.
The Launch of Amber’s Business
I put together a pilot for my very first show as a business owner and. It was basically a mini recreation of what the actual show would look like and had to send it to the network to look at it. At the time I was eight months pregnant and had to run it over to the studio because the tape we had originally sent over wasn’t working. They ended up showing it last and it went really well. It ended up being one of the select few that they picked up. It was called Dirty soap and was about soap opera stars from E!. It followed the lives of these gifts and their relationships.
It was a crazy time. I had to quickly build a company while I had just had a baby on top of everything else. It’s really important to hire people who you truly trust and make sure you’re not being a micromanager even though it might be hard to let go. You can’t do it all alone and it’s important to have a team that can help get things done.
How Networking and Hardwork Led to Amber’s First Show
As I was a producer working my way up through the ranks, I traveled a lot, worked long hours, and worked with executive producers. During the years, I proved that I willing to do anything and work hard to make things happen. I was also good at working and communicating with the talent on the shows. Being in the business for so long, I worked with the same people and the executives for years. They feel like family and are at other networks now, so it helped me open doors and pitched my ideas.
I had a lot of times where it was two steps forward and one step back but I never gave up. My first show was canceled after the first season, and it was hard to move forward, especially after I had just started my business. It was so hard when I was told that it was canceled. I had been on a high and things were going well, and everyone liked what they saw, but the raters were low, so the show couldn’t go on.
Note From Scott: You have to work hard to get your foot in the door. In my opinion your network is your net worth and you have to work hard to make things happen.
How “The Profit” Came to Be
I had been asked by a producer to come over to CNBC and be a showrunner around the time I had landed my first show. I said no because I had just started my own business and wanted to focus on that. I was told my another producer that if I came over and helped run the show, he would help me relaunch my business.
The show I agreed to run was called Treasure Detectives. After it was over, the producer said he had one more show he had that he wanted me to help with. I didn’t want to do it because it was a business show, and I didn’t have as much experience working on those types of shows. He said that’s exactly why he needed someone like me to help create the story around the show and have someone with a different view of things.
For the first season of “The Profit,” I was the showrunner. I helped do all the behind the scenes stuff. After the first season, the production company they had been working with didn’t work out, so my company was able to pick up the show. We were responsible for making the entire show happen. We basically took on all the responsibility and was in charge of the pre-production, production, post prediction, and to get the show ready to air.
The biggest change we made from season one to season two was traveling to help businesses all across the country. We realized that whatever businesses needed help or the ones that Marcus wanted to choose, we had to go, and it didn’t matter where they were located.
What Challenges Do You Face On The Profit?
Because it’s happening in real-time, we don’t stay with one business for more than a couple of days. We go in, and Marcus helps them out, and then we leave and go on to the next one. We make a lot of fast changes, so it’s hard to help the business owners follow through, and they’re not sure what to do when we leave.
Marcus is clear on what he wants to be done when he leaves and what he expects when we get back after the changes have been implemented. Sometimes the businesses need money to make it happen, but it’s a challenge when they have to do everything on their own.
Another challenge is that Marcus is one person and doesn’t have an assistant, so it’s hard because he has so many businesses that he is running and helping with. He likes to know first-hand what's happening and be the contact person when people reach out to him.
It’s also challenging when people present themselves differently on a casting tape than in real life, so when we show up, things aren’t what we expect.
My company is in charge of casting for the show. We get applications and have a casting team that goes through thousands of them. We look for certain criteria that Marcus wants and then present the top candidates for him and the network to choose from.
How Amber Balances Work & Family
When you have kids, you just have less time to do other things and have select windows to work on things. When I travel, I’m not gone longer than 48 hrs, or I will take my kids with me. I do miss dinner and bedtime a lot because I work late.
There is always something that suffers, and it’s usually my relationships. I will say that after the quarantine is over and I’m back to work, I would say the change I’m going to make is I’m going to get to work earlier and leave at 5 pm so I can have dinner and do bedtime with my kids because I realize just how important family time is.
Note From Scott: It’s really important to simplify and get your things in order. If you have a schedule it’s easier to get things done. Family is everything and it’s tough to balance when you’re an entrepreneur for sure because there are always things you could be working on.
Amber’s Take Action Moment
If I hadn’t taken a step backward to be a showrunner again after starting my business I never would have had the opportunity to work on “The Profit.” It got me to where I am today and by taking a step back it led to something great.
My advice would be to never give up and dont be afraid of the word no. Keep going to make things happen even.
If you want to follow along on my journey you can find me on Instagram @amber_mazola.
Final Thoughts From Scott
Thanks for joining me today for my interview with Amber. I loved hearing her story and how she got to where she is today and how she is reshifting her priorities and restructuring her schedule so she has more time with her kids. You can see it’s never easy but as long as you keep showing up and working hard you can be successful while still having a family.
It’s interesting to see how people are led by the actions they take. It’ll work itself out in the end as long as you keep taking action. I hope you enjoyed that!
Remember, I am here for you, I believe in you and am rooting for you.
Now it’s time for you to go out and take action. Now go get em!
Takeaways From Today’s Episode
Quote: Your network is your net worth and you have to work hard to make things happen or I had a lot of times where it was two steps forward and one step back but I never gave up.