Ep.01 Ernie Valladares
[00:00:00.690] - Nick
I think it's going to kick off in a sec, I'm under the livestream.
[00:00:04.890] - Ernie
Yet the meeting is now streaming live on Facebook.
[00:00:09.150] - Nick
What was it, what it says, just as yet, you're going to pull it over pretty good. I think it's going right. Yeah, we are. All right, we are live. Very good. All right. And so can you tell me how to pronounce your last name? I mess up every single time, Valladares?
[00:00:24.900] - Ernie
Yeah, you can say it like that
[00:00:25.530] - Nick
I got it right.
[00:00:26.340] - Nick
[00:00:26.880] - Ernie
There it was, yeah.
[00:00:27.850] - Nick
Yeah, very good. All right. So let's get this kicked off. So welcome to Zero to Infinity, which is a show dedicated to those making their mark in business, inspiring those who are looking to start or scale their business and bring it to the next level. And so if you're on here on this live stream or watching this play back, you're invited to join us as we uncover, their lessons, our guest lessons, their takeaways, and especially the turning points that got them to where they are today and how they're making it happen right now.
[00:00:55.080] - Nick
So today I'm joined by Ernie Valladares, and he is the owner and founder of the Lucrative Youth, which is, as I like to say, a full service recording studio based in Miami, Florida. You can correct me on that, Ernie. And currently he's working with some big names right now and he's working with him, Ky-Mani, which is Bob Marley's grandson, reality star Joseline Hernandez, Cash Money Records, Maybach Music Group and even Atlantic Records, just to name a few.
[00:01:20.850] - Nick
And he describes himself as a music fanatic who is lucky enough to create a business out of something that he loves and is passionate about. And aside from running a studio, which I'm sure you work in and out a lot, he is personally managing artists and he loves playing and watching soccer when he's not working in the studio and just says a little housekeeping for anyone watching this live. Please leave your comments and questions in the in the comments below here.
[00:01:46.440] - Nick
And we'll read those during the Q&A section a little bit further along the program. And so with that, welcome to the livestream. How's it going?
[00:01:53.730] - Ernie
Doing great, man. Thank you. Honestly Nick there's great opportunity to be here. Zero to infinity. I love the name. Excited to see this because this is the first episode am I right?
[00:02:03.030] - Nick
I know this is the first, The Real Story. Yeah I know this is this is the first very first episode. And hopefully we get one or two people during the livestream. But, you know, I, I got inspired. I mean, let me back up for a second how we met. We met because you reached out to the Babson based program. Right. Which is the Babson alumni with Supporting Entrepreneurs program. And I went to school there.
[00:02:26.310] - Nick
You went to school there and we got connected that way, which very, very cool that we did. And it's a great program. But, you know, we jumped on a call and I was sitting there and, you know, I didn't really know too much. I look at your website, all that stuff. But when you were telling back your story about just in the past year of how you went from basically zero to where you are today, it was truly inspiring.
[00:02:47.190] - Nick
I was like, man, I wish I recorded this conversation. I wish I just had other people on this call, because truly, you are just making it happen in the age of Covid and the age of so much stuff going on, you're able to take a recording studio.. a Recording company and bring it from nearly a place of what others would have thought impossible to where you are today, which I mean, I'm not going to brag for you, but it's going places.
[00:03:10.320] - Nick
You have a massive amount of attention now. You are well past six figures. I'm not I'm not going to I'm not going to hide it. But you're doing really, really well. And I just wanted to kind of just hear that story. I'm sure other people do, too. And hopefully this conversation is going to inspire people that are either starting their business, whether it's music business or any business, or have an idea that's creative or having an impetus to start something and just getting out there and swinging the bat like you have.
[00:03:35.100] - Nick
So I hope that's what people can take away from this conversation. I hope that's what people can take away from the show. And so many can kind of just let's bring it back to that conversation that we had and just kind of tell me how this all began. You're the inspiration for lucrative youth. Maybe we start with what it is and we'll just go from there to see what happens.
[00:03:54.540] - Ernie
So I think, yeah, just as a real summary of what it is, we're a full service music company right now. Like you said, we're based out of we have our headquarters in a recording studio in Miami, Florida, right now. We offer tons of different services, such as, you know, video, music videos, photos, artist management and development. And we're even getting into the side of publishing. So ultimately, it's like we're really trying to enter this music industry and see how wide it really is and how many different angles can really be touched upon.
[00:04:23.940] - Ernie
When we talk about where it all really started, I'll take it back to it was my junior year at Babson or actually sophomore year at Babson, as you know, like I think the critical year. I think it's a critical year in any college students life because you realize, like, life is getting kind of real, like you're past the freshman year where you come in to Babson or any school, you know, your freshman year now your sophomore year, you're starting to grow up a little bit, now it's like junior year.
[00:04:50.490] - Ernie
You're seeing whether it's an internship, whether it's a job offer, like everything's getting a lot more real. You know, you're two years away from being in the quote unquote, real world. I when I came into Babson at the time, I was working on a venture that was in the automobile space and technology had absolutely nothing to do with music. Absolutely a completely different sector. And I worked on my first two years, worked even with the Babson Blanc Center, which is where we met.
[00:05:15.990] - Ernie
And that was like. Supercool how the base and everything is coming full circle, but of due two things in life, which I realized that life is just life, I ended up stopping working on that venture my sophomore year summer. So I was like I first had and thought like, oh, this this is what I'm working on for however long maybe, you know, I planned on finishing college, working on that same venture. So when it kind of just like all kind of came to an end right before that summer, I was like, oh, this is like a critical moment for me.
[00:05:45.840] - Ernie
I have to now. I realized that my next step has to be the next step I really want to take, because now I realize everybody around me on my you know, my roommates, they're all getting internships to certain places. And, you know, all my friends, everybody's sort of they're doing stuff that sort of defining what they're going to do. I realized that it was going to be one of the most important decisions that I ultimately make in terms of what I'm going to be doing.
[00:06:09.600] - Ernie
At the time, I didn't. All I had was the name. It was just Lucrative Youth, which is now obviously the name of my company, which we really created. And it was it was it was nothing more than an idea. I just I liked Lucrative Youth. You know, we were lucrative. Yes. You think of the profit. You think of something that just, you know, that can be creative and just generate value and just create something big.
[00:06:29.520] - Ernie
And then, I felt as though I was part of the youth. We're all part of the youth. It's ultimately something, you know, just a name, a word in my head that just came together and I always just had it there. And I was like, you know what? So I'm going to create something with that, eventually, something with that eventually. I didn't know when. But that day when it was now becoming into the summer and it was time to really choose, I realized, you know what, this is really what I'm going to start doing.
[00:06:53.520] - Ernie
I'm going to push forward. At the beginning, all it was was me. And I called my founder, now my partner Adolfo, who at the time was a videographer. We had a conversation. I was just like, hey, you're shooting videos and you're taking pictures for a lot of cool. Like at the time, it was only super local artists like people that people might not even know outside of the 20 mile radius. But it was people that we knew and people artists at the end of the day, for me, I like the music of it.
[00:07:24.120] - Ernie
So I thought it was super cool that my friend was working with these artists. But I also noticed that at the time it was like, yes, he was working with these artists, but there was so much I felt like there was a lot more that can be created. Like I'm now sitting in I was able to be with people who hung out with a whole bunch of different artists, a bunch of different videographers, photographers and just people that were ultimately in this industry.
[00:07:47.630] - Ernie
The space I was looking at is like this, something that I thought I recognized, like I said, that my next move was going to have to be the move that I really, really got into music was.. I never when I when I first started this, I never really thought of music as a business.
[00:08:03.110] - Ernie
I thought of it as..
[00:08:04.280] - Nick
That's the thing. You're not you're not an engineer....
[00:08:06.770] - Ernie
No,I'm not. I have absolutely no. That's the thing. Like, I, I love music because I just I grew up listening to music my entire life. I always like you know, It was always there was always the number one passion. I never was a rapper. I never was a singer. I never was a producer. I never really did anything in terms of actually creating music. All I did was I had, you know, friends that were videographers, friends that were artists.
[00:08:28.190] - Ernie
And and it got to a point where, just through like my own network or to me now, I was able to have friends that were local artists. And just like when I mean local, I mean as early level as, hey, I just made my first song last week, too, is like, oh, I've performed at a couple of bars. I have a couple of like, you know, following like, you know, there's a lot of levels in that look.
[00:08:48.680] - Nick
But then through just through that as well and even through like now family, friends and just over our network. I'm now I now have people that are already established in the music industry and they're now starting to enter into my network. So this year I see this like, you know, there is a group of creatives growing. I have my partner here with the video. And I said, hey, you know what? We're going to start something.
[00:09:07.580] - Ernie
We're what we're going to do is take your camera and just interview artists that we know, artists as in people who were singers, rappers, people who painted, people who did, you know, photography, videography, just people who we thought came into this market of ours, which was those independent artists, those creatives that were in that trying to just expand their craft and see what they needed to be offered. So we just started off. We were like, hey, we're going to create a series that's going to be interviews we're going to talk to these people.
[00:09:41.090] - Ernie
Very something simple. You, me and a camera, sit down in front of us, and let's just have a conversation the way how we're doing right now. That's how we started off. We wanted the people to ultimately meet these artists and go deeper than just a normal, normal interview.
[00:09:56.180] - Nick
The first the first thought was just to get in front of just get in front of people that you want to connect with and be able to provide something of value to them to sort of like get your foot in the door, I'm guessing. Is that
[00:10:06.350] - Ernie
Exactly! Because while we were getting our foot in the door through interviews, we started to meet more and more people. And as we met these people, not only did we meet them, but we learned what they needed because I was a big thing, you know, a lot of identity.
[00:10:19.700] - Ernie
You have to do market research for whatever venture you ultimately get into and market research. Sometimes it's easy for certain industries. You go on Google and you find out statistics and all that. But when what we were trying to build was really a community, a platform, something that can offer value to certain to people who were creatives in the industry, the only way to really do that was to be there with them, to really speak with them, to really learn what it is that they needed, to see what they were doing on a daily basis.
[00:10:46.340] - Ernie
And in the way we did that was by through these interviews, through going through through trying to build out while building our brand and our name, learn more about who at the end of the day was going to be our client. What could we offer them?
[00:11:01.130] - Nick
And so what was the so you're going through this motion at some point? You probably all kinds of things were happening. At some point you said I need to create something. I need to create a studio, a physical play. Am I jumping the gun here, am I moving too far ahead. Is that what happened?
[00:11:16.220] - Ernie
so what it was like you said, I was that summer twenty eighteen where it all got official when I said, OK, I'm now moving on from that last venture, I'm going to go all in.
[00:11:25.880] - Ernie
Now here's look that first summer when we picked up the camera, started recording. And then as we continue to we've just started with first, like we said, just the camera. Then we said, hey, you know what? Now that we see what we're doing, we're getting we're creating some more content. We start building our social media pages. Well, two at the same time. We start doing that we start with a lot of artists that we know and they say, hey, let's try to expand.
[00:11:48.710] - Ernie
We are doing stuff such as sponsoring events. We sponsored two or three events with local artists that we already knew to work to be able to get our name out there as well, to so that all the artists that were at the event, they would say, OK, what's this going to be? Oh, what's this brand or what are they doing? Oh, they have some cool local interviews, whatever may be the whole time while we're doing this and we're building up.
[00:12:08.750] - Ernie
What we're doing, like I said, is analyzing the market. And at the time, we realized right away that there's potential to create a one stop shop that could really, really offer all the services that we know that these people are ultimately going everywhere to different locations together, like go running. All around that we know if we bring it in-house and put it under one roof, will be able to offer the experience to them that they need while while creating value services.
[00:12:37.680] - Nick
So let me ask you this. During a time when you're thinking about creating a studio, a place where people could go and actually bring this to reality, what was going through your mind? What were you feeling at the time? Did you did you believe that it could work at that point or did you have a what were you feeling or what was your what was the situation?
[00:12:56.100] - Ernie
So it's funny because when before we even picked up the camera, like like I said, this was an idea I had in my head like that, not just the name, not like I didn't I knew where we were going to go, but I didn't know how. I didn't know where or when. But before we knew everything was going down because my partner Adolfo, when I brought him in and I said, hey, look, you know what? Let's let's talk about this, like, you know, they're like, you know, your friend called the hey, I have something just to talk to you about.
[00:13:22.230] - Ernie
See, to run your brain. We sat on and it's funny because we bring this up every, like six months or every year where we remember that day, like in like. April 2018 or May, whatever it was, where we sat down on the pier in Dania and we spoke about absolutely everything that we've done, we haven't done it all yet, but we spoke about, you know, really getting into these events, creating content with these artists, releasing our music, getting our own location like we dreamt really, really big.
[00:13:54.750] - Ernie
And we and we still have a lot of those goals to that we still have to reach. But we really we knew that all of this was coming. It just all it took was us to continue working, continue going. And still, like we said, we have a lot of goals to reach. But it's just awesome because we bring up this conversation every like, you know, like six months to a year. We're like, you know, we said that was going to happen.
[00:14:15.450] - Ernie
Like when when we do it when we sit there, like we said when we first moved the studio, I think it's also surreal. But it's like we really we said we're going to do so. We just did it. It's like for us, we laugh about it because it's like any of it. It's like the beauty of it. When you know that you're really just enjoying it. Like we're not it's not anything that's just being done out of, like, strictly looking for monetary gain or anything like that.
[00:14:36.840] - Ernie
It's just like we had this vision and now we're blessed enough to point to where as we work harder and harder every day, all we get is closer and closer to our goals.
[00:14:46.200] - Nick
Right now we're going to I'm going to circle back a layer and kind of pull out specifically what is working, what you've learned along the way. But I want to take it back a little bit to the story that you were telling me about how when you were starting your studio at the at the start of Covid, you ran to a lot of issues, business lies and things like that. But a lot of people this is part of the story. This is part of why we're talking is because a lot of people would just given up, you know, at what you faced.
[00:15:14.910] - Nick
And I want you to go into that. But a lot of people have just said, you know, let's just pack it up, whatever, I'll get a job. But that didn't happen with you. And you tell us about that. Tell us that story and why you just persevered through all that.
[00:15:30.060] - Ernie
I'm going to bring it back to before Covid because there was a step like, a lot of people would have just stopped that even right before Covid that I think we can't overlook it. So as we said, we started in June 2018 was when it was like, well, that's when I formed the LLC. So that's how I really see it on paper. They OK, things got official on that date. I said this is what I'm doing.
[00:15:51.630] - Ernie
There's no talk more about an internship, there's no more talk about anything else. Like I'm not interning in absolutely anything. I'm tunnel vision on this and that's how we're going to move. But a year after that, after like then we grew by growing our name, you know, starting with everything I just ran you through. We moved into our first studio. So right now, we're operating out of that's the second studio that we've moved into.
[00:16:12.660] - Ernie
The first studio,
[00:16:14.930] - Ernie
moved into in the summer of twenty nineteen, and after months of hassles, jumping through ropes and like, you know, a lot of city bureaucratics and politics at the end of the day. I was told that I couldn't start I couldn't operate my business where I was after being told that it was fine, that I could, you know, you need a business license to be able to operate a recording studio. And it's really was a lot of stuff like zoning, real estate, a lot of stuff that at the end of the day is just somebody signing off on a piece of paper if we're going to really be straightforward with it.
[00:16:48.910] - Ernie
But I was there for three, or four months in that warehouse. Every month continuously had overhead costs every month, waiting on somebody to come sign a permit every month, waiting to then just be told, hey, no. And at that point, there was nothing I could do. Like we were there and we're like, you know, how could they do this? They were just like, you know, we're really just trying to start small business owners trying to do our own thing.
[00:17:11.560] - Ernie
Like, there's no it's every dollar that we've put into this capital has been like barely scraped by by us, just pieces of together to make it happen. But then we have something to sort of come in and the sellers know. And unfortunately, there's nothing you can do in that moment. We don't have the money to go litigation to go do all this thing. It's just notm, it doesn't make sense for us to have to pull everything out. A complete loss had four months, but invested into location and ultimately now be up in there.
[00:17:36.880] - Ernie
Like, what are we going to do at this point? You know, like it could have been easy to kind of just, like you said, give up and say, you know what didn't work out? We tried. But at that point it was when we were just getting more and more traction, because even though we didn't build out our studio yet at the other warehouse, I had a lot of like those clients. Come check out the location, come see you have an understanding of what we're doing here.
[00:17:59.050] - Ernie
Come interact with us whether we had a ping pong table in there and that's smaller, like, you know, it's an empty warehouse with a ping pong table. Nothing else besides the ping pong table in a little room. I'd have my client, my clients just playing ping pong. And I was taking some pictures, taking some videos, like little stuff to just build relationship, you know, build rapport with these people and have an understanding because we were never just trying to build something where we offer you a service.
[00:18:20.380] - Ernie
We were building a community. We were building people to come work together. We're building, you know, where everybody, artists, producers, creatives, anybody could just come and really, like, create together. So at that point, you know, it was it was tough on us because after four months in location, we're OK. What are we going to do? We have I had people every day literally text me, is it open yet?
[00:18:39.730] - Ernie
Are you ready? Can I book like, you know, or when is it going to be open? But we're waiting. We're waiting. We're waiting. We realized that nothing was going to stop us at that point.
[00:18:49.180] - Nick
This is a good little point here. You had built up some juice essentially from all the work that you did before, just all that like. So the guerrilla style where you was just let's get out there. Let's swing the bat. Let's just put a camera from these people, interview them, talk to them, build their network. And you're not even basically up and running a business and you're getting calls every single day. It's not a bad problem to have for starting out.
[00:19:10.450] - Ernie
No, it was that was that was my proof that I needed this, you know, like that what was telling me, like, hey, like, you know, yes. That was a validation. I had people were ready to pay for a service that I didn't have yet. But I knew if I created that, I would already have sales just organically based on how we were getting it. So immediately, you know, of course, with that set back when we were we were bummed out.
[00:19:33.790] - Ernie
We thought it was the world against the city, blah, blah. But we realized that the only thing you could do is just continue going at it every day, immediately, immediately within within a couple of days of moving out from from that location and closing up everything. We were on the hunt for a new location, location, what we had to find a new spot that we could continue with, what we wanted to do, continue building the studio, continue building everything.
[00:19:55.900] - Ernie
And that's where we're going to get into this whole situation you spoke about.
[00:20:00.130] - Nick
Let's dive in.
[00:20:01.150] - Ernie
Yeah. So this was it was December of 2019, which was a couple of months before Covid when we said we found our new studio. So we've been we just got out of the other one and now this one new and current studio, we move in in December. We're obviously super happy, like, you know, we're excited. We're in the process of building. It had to completely build our booth. We do the floors, paint the walls, the whole nine yards to really, you know, ultimately create a location that took months and months and months of waiting and everything.
[00:20:29.740] - Ernie
When I learned that through all these projects and stuff like that, like everything always takes longer than expected, no matter what. There's no other way around it. Like it's just the reality of it, because just things pop up that you could have never expected. And it's just it just how you deal with it and continue to adapt and move forward. So after all of this, we said we just had the other warehouse issue. We finally moved into this one.
[00:20:50.230] - Ernie
My plan was to open the studio in spring break 2020. So. Let's say, hypothetically, spring break is on this Friday, OK? On Monday, everybody started to get a little worried about Corona. Tuesday, everybody's like, OK, this kind of might be serious, this is not like a joke or, you know, because first I was like, oh yeah, somebody, you know, that's not going to come over here.
[00:21:15.100] - Ernie
Doesn't really matter. They're like, OK, hold on. It might actually happen. Then Wednesday, mind you, Friday, I'm on a flight to Miami where I'm supposed to open up the studio, you know, because everything's fine. The construction of these done is going to be a grand opening. Let's have a party, everything. On Wednesday, we received the call from our college. Babson's saying everybody has 48 hours to vacate the premises.
[00:21:36.940] - Ernie
The semester is now online. And from there, the entire world just got, went into Covid mode. So it was like on my end personally, I was like, whoa, like I was about to open up. Finally, my studio, I find, like, you know, went through everything at the other warehouse. I got the building and everything here. And I finally have this location that I've been working so hard for that I can't do anything because at the end of the day, it was we lived with you know, it's a pandemic, especially in March when it first started.
[00:22:04.750] - Ernie
Everybody has no idea what's going on. There's so much uncertainty. You don't know. You know, it just it was a lot of uncertainty and a lot of like, what are we going to do next, you know, at that moment, which is pretty sad. Yeah. That moment, it was very it was it was crazy. It was very easy to say, you know, OK, that's it. Like, I don't know, I can't really do anything now.
[00:22:25.030] - Ernie
Like, this is not how the world is stopping me. You know, it's not even letting me even if I have what I need. Because what I needed first was at the other time was the studio having a location where I could offer these services. Now I have it's built and everything, but now I can't even offer it because now we're in the middle of something that nobody even knows what's going on. So we're first month now. We're so now we're here in the situation for first month.
[00:22:46.780] - Ernie
We're just like. We can't really do anything, you know, it's like, oh, we're we're it sucks because we were so close and so ready to, like, finally get to what we wanted to. But, you know, the city's shutting down. Everybody is the cases are getting worse. People don't know what's going on. At the end of the day, health is the most important thing as well to. We're not trying to put our own families at risk.
[00:23:12.070] - Ernie
I'm not trying to put myself at risk. So, you know, it was just a lot up in the air. We at the time realized that in order to just at that moment, we had to adapt because it was the only thing that was going to allow us to survive. You know, we had to be able to adapt to the reality of the situation. And just as how right now we're on Zoom and recording a video chat where you're based.
[00:23:33.530] - Ernie
You're in Boston. I'm in Miami. We utilized Zoom to to create content because at the core we recognize that my company is not a recording studio. At the end of the day, I'm building a platform for all these creatives to be able to come work. We have various services. Yes, in this exact moment, my recording studio is its core of it because it's where I can bring all my clients. It's where I have services that can be offered directly.
[00:23:58.090] - Ernie
And and, you know, it's it's a perfect club where we continue to work on all of the things there. But at the end of the day, the recording studio itself is not my business. I had to take a step back and recognize that in order for my business to continue to thrive in this situation, while I could do nothing at the recording studio, I had to touch other things, such as the social media, such as what we got into.
[00:24:18.940] - Ernie
Like we said on the Zoom, we took advantage of Zoom and started doing stuff. There was interviews with local artists, with producers that would produce over Zoom and we would record it share to our social media. We would have like, you know, just interviews with people who we knew were artists around and just really just adapting at the time. While, yes, the whole time we're kind of, you know, we're up in the air because we realized how much it sucks that we can't get people into the studio.
[00:24:43.180] - Ernie
But again, we just kept it going, kept going and recognized that holding up that network, building up , adapting, building our, you know, our pool of people that we know that day is tomorrow. Once we can finally open up and get into the studio, there will be people those are already leads that will probably be turned into sales.
[00:25:02.470] - Nick
You know, this is a this is a big takeaway. And I can speak from experience about this and other people that I know about, especially the creative field.
[00:25:09.310] - Nick
But even just entrepreneurs in general. People are starting businesses. We tend to like focus so much working in our business. We don't have a way to kind of sit back and look at the stuff that's going on because we're burning so much time doing the work itself. And we're not thinking about delegating. We're not thinking about hiring. I mean, obviously, sometimes you don't have enough money to hire, but I mean, even from the beginning, you kind of had a sense that, you know what, I need to put the pieces together and get people in the room to build this.
[00:25:37.360] - Nick
It wasn't you saying, you know, I'm a shut everyone out and everyone else out and just do it myself. This is really I think that was I imagine that was part of a big reason why you've been able to accelerate is by having people come together that we're experts in their field. They were just driving and staying in their lane. And you were there managing all of this and not to just toot your horn a little bit.. You're humble, but you've grown this business to where it is and just over a year, right?
[00:26:04.700] - Ernie
Yeah. We really sit down and talk about it. Yeah. Because we're not even less, to be honest, because we were supposed to open up March in terms of like really the core, because it's all been just sort of fueling like this entire business, the background. But due to obviously the pandemic and just so much uncertainty, it wasn't until the last day of June that we took our first we officially took our first client in the recording studio.
[00:26:28.630] - Ernie
So it's only it's really been at the point five, six months of like full on studio operation. Everything was just kind of in the other end was just really just taking it, taking it hard and just trying to keep going. How we could survive it, like scraping by, scraping by.
[00:26:42.910] - Nick
What were some of the things if you look back now on during that period of growth, you're still growing. What were some of the things that you could just tell people watching us? What were some of the things that you wish you had done differently or wish you had? I know that's a great place to start. What would you have done differently, if anything at all, or maybe modify a little bit in your approach? We'd love to hear anything.
[00:27:04.960] - Nick
Any insight about that?
[00:27:07.850] - Ernie
I'll think of something that I would do different, but if I'm being completely honest, I probably say nothing because I've learned so much on the way. Like they're like we're really kind of just scraping the surface on a lot of the things that we've that I've really, really been through and gone through to get us to really where we are right now. There's been some times where, like, you know, it could be like, yes, I may have.
[00:27:30.800] - Ernie
I may have if I moved a little bit more. Lean towards this way a little bit more than that way, it could have worked out better, quote unquote, but even like, you know, maybe I maybe I stayed in my other warehouse, if it wasn't for you know trying to go to the city and apply for a permit, maybe I was in there. But at the end of the day, every single situation and every single decision that we went through, we made got us to where we are today.
[00:27:56.690] - Ernie
And I'm so happy and proud of where we are right now that I think every moment really had to play out the way that even the setbacks and the losses, because at this point, there's been so many more holes to look at it from a big picture. But it's like they just build us. They build from every single angle and they've allowed us to. But if I'm going to say stuff maybe that I would say to do a little bit that I change, maybe get a little bit better, I'd say.
[00:28:28.020] - Ernie
Finding a way to maybe manage certain tasks and certain things like in a more just more organized, you know, because like you said, I am really at this point, I've done everything like I do. I can't say like if you were to ask me that, you know, for the most part, everybody you have a certain title, you have a certain job or role or whatever may be within an organization, within a company like I do absolutely everything.
[00:28:56.340] - Ernie
Not not to like I said toot my horn or whatever it may be, but it's just the reality of it. Like I find myself one day touching this side while the other side all the way over here. So it's like that's I mean, I have to do it at the end of the day. Like, that's the real reality of what we're at and that's why it happens like that. But I think if there was a way to be able to sometimes like, you know, just manage that a little bit better and kind of like control, because it's hard when you're when you're really at the end of the day all over the place.
[00:29:22.950] - Ernie
I think that would definitely be something that I'd work on at the end of the day.
[00:29:26.820] - Nick
[00:29:27.420] - Nick
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And while you're during this journey from where you started to where, you know, are there any realizations or things that you had in your mind that you thought were one way and they turned out to be differently, that were a part of your growth during this time?
[00:29:44.770] - Ernie
I'm trying to think, what do you mean by that exactly?
[00:29:47.530] - Nick
Meaning sometimes when you when you..i Don't know, when you take on a new job or a new client or something like that, you you learn something about yourself that. It's kind of a life lesson or business lesson built into that, that you're like, man, this is really this is great. I didn't I didn't really realize that this is the way it worked before.
[00:30:09.260] - Nick
Go ahead. No, no, no. Safe, safe for you.
[00:30:11.170] - Nick
Because, you know, when you're when you're starting off, you know, the things that the clients value are different than sometimes what you think they value. You know, a lot in my business, it's all about the business result ultimately. And, you know, in my field, it's easy to get kind of stuck in the gear, stuck in the look and the stuff getting nerdy about it. But its a transition for me right there.
[00:30:36.460] - Ernie
And I think that's that's definitely a big, big one that I think is like really opened my eyes recently. So recently, like, I I'm very, very happy with my studio setup. I have a great, I'll go toe to toe with absolutely any studio in Miami, you were here on live so I'll say it in terms of creating quality, in terms of giving everything. However, at the same exact time, I can also sit here and be humble and have an understanding of the monetary of my equipment and of just everything that my studio is actually pennies compared to some of these million dollar studios, five million other studios that are around me.
[00:31:13.630] - Ernie
And at the end of the day, we now sit down here and not directly, but we kind of compete with.
[00:31:19.990] - Nick
And I think that's kind of I think you're being humble. The what we're going to get into this. But you're telling me that, you know, it's OK, you can dish it out here, but you have people showing up and people are telling people the social proof is growing. And it's not because you guys are just there.
[00:31:34.450] - Nick
It's because you guys are doing great work. You're providing great service, you're getting it done and the word is getting out. What's right is that,
[00:31:41.820] - Ernie
yeah, it is also beyond that is the fact to where I'm now at the I sit in the room and I'm left to the fact where I compete with those top and multimillion dollar studios without even directly competing. I have clients that go to those studios and record at those studios at the same exact time they come to my studio and they love the experience that we offer them.
[00:32:04.050] - Ernie
They come back and they continue to look at my studio. And even though, like I said, like I said, it's not I'm not it's not a home set up. It's a professional studio. We like I said, we get we can compete on sound with any studio no matter what. But in terms of just monetary wise, you know, we're not we're sitting at a much more humble position because we're still in our starting stages at the end of the day, like we've used my first year.
[00:32:25.870] - Ernie
But even at the level that we're at, I still give the experience. That surpasses a multimillion dollar studio. And to me, that is just always been like it's a great feeling to know that that's the position that I'm in right now.
[00:32:42.470] - Nick
And you're not you're not a little pop up shop studio by any means to talk about the people that you have on rotation, your engineers, all that stuff. You're kind of your process or that you have set up there, because I want to get that point across. You're not you're not still stuck in a basement. You guys are.
[00:32:58.890] - Ernie
[00:33:00.110] - Ernie
Yeah. So I just I just say, just to let you know, just to say, because the reality is there's a lot of these studios that have been there for 50 years, like, you know, they have their iconic there's their songs all the time. And and now at the same exact time here in my studio, what we're doing, we create the environment in the set up to where somebody who could be walking, who's used to walking into places that are surrounded by Grammys and you saw all of this can still be at that level and feel as though we're giving them what they really need.
[00:33:29.270] - Ernie
The part that you spoke about, for example, the engineers, which I think is a big one for those who don't really have an understanding of what a recording studio and like who the key people are, as I offer ultimately the location. And I now have a bunch of engineers who are I've worked with over 40, 50 engineers at this point, which the recording engineers what they do is they record the vocals for my clients or they make them as well, too.
[00:33:52.400] - Ernie
And whatever may be our current group of engineers are all top 10 Billboard Train. They work like, you know, some of them have actually gold plaques and a lot of them or have worked with various various Top End, Top End clients. So now that ensures that the quality is coming out of my studio is up to par and can compete with absolutely everybody, the engineers. Such it's something that I because like I said, I don't have absolutely any music background.
[00:34:15.740] - Ernie
I don't know it. I've had to because like I said, we do absolutely. I do absolutely everything at some point. I've engineered some sessions, I've recorded some sessions for some clients when it's come down to and having to. But in terms of me having a background or me being somebody who can really, really sit down and do it, that's not the reality of it. So that's what I do is and I find I now have the pool of engineers all that.
[00:34:39.680] - Ernie
Now I know through this, the only way to really do this is by doing you really learn because a lot of people. Yeah, you can have the thing about this, that you can have your your resume, you know, everybody's like, oh yeah, you have your resume, you work or whatever. But at the end of the day, that doesn't really matter in this. It could be somebody who just started last week and he has a vibe and he's able obviously have to be able to do the work at the end of the work, is going to speak for itself.
[00:35:03.830] - Ernie
But it's so much about goes further beyond than just knowing how to press buttons on a computer and being able to do the vocal. You have to be a person. You know, I want the client to be able to talk to you on the client, to be able to feel as though they're comfortable with you and to be able to really, really just get into that experience of the things. Because at the end of the day, the reality, yes, there's a few that are ten million dollars is a studio such as mine.
[00:35:28.160] - Ernie
And there's even people that are at home recording in the closet. All three are fine. If you really, really talk about it. This New Age in the way of the music industry, the entire world is flipping. Is it showing that a lot can be done with less. So that's why with that being known, you have to be able to offer the experience and just the overall value from other angles
[00:35:48.530] - Nick
and just hearing you speak. And I just keep thinking back to some of the other stuff that we talked about that I found really impressive about where you are and where things are going.
[00:35:59.810] - Nick
Let's touch upon right now how busy you guys are, even in the age where businesses, studios, all kinds of stuff is closing. Right. We hear all kinds of doom, gloom stories. But the truth of the matter is, you're especially for a studio. I mean, you don't think of a studio as one of those businesses that are able to thrive and prosper in things like that. So that speaks really to this. This process is philosophy that you have going into this and just really connecting the dots, connecting the right people and making it happen.
[00:36:26.900] - Nick
And you guys have been very busy, right? You guys are so booked.
[00:36:32.540] - Ernie
like I told you was the first it was the last day of June. We had our first booking. And every month since then, it's been constantly growing. You know, like obviously the first month it was it was not many bookings, a couple of bookings, whatever it may be. But every single month we continue to grow. We continue to grow, continue to grow, building on our client base, building our like just everything, just slowly, slowly, slowly growing.
[00:36:55.580] - Ernie
Now, over the last couple months, we've had great growth and we're really blessed to the point where now I don't I don't only have one room in my studio now and I have two rooms in my studio. And we're pretty much we're at the point where every single day we have both of our rooms booked
[00:37:10.880] - Nick
and built out a new room. Because you were so booked with the first room.
[00:37:14.780] - Ernie
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, we had enough. We had enough to where we needed it. That's that's the level where we're getting to right now in order to get to where we're we're booked all day pretty much. And it's a blessing. Honestly, it's great to that.
[00:37:29.030] - Nick
You guys are booked basically every day. All day you're using. 2 Studios, basically doubled operations, and you've been able to scale up and this is not this does not come from sitting at your desk working day in, day out, trying to make it work. It's really pulling back for a moment and figuring out what pieces can you put together to make this happen and serve the people. This really started from the traffic source, which is going out there and finding, creating, creating a vibe, creating sort of the vibe, the sauce that's kind of happening in the background here in the words getting out and people are coming to you at this point.
[00:38:06.270] - Ernie
Exactly. Yeah, that's that. Because that's always been the core, as we always said, like it was never we were never just a recording studio, you know, like people could come in in one day, spend the whole day with us, have, of course, their songs recorded because we have a recording studio. But you can also have your merchandise designed and potentially, you know, on the way to be printed. Then you can also have your cover art photo shot.
[00:38:29.700] - Ernie
Maybe not in the studio, but may be take a step over to another location if it's for that, and to wrap that all up as well to we could even record the music video for you. So it's like we try to that's really how we how we pull these clients in and then show them that it's not just the one service we're giving you, that we want to be able to create more value for you because we see the market and we know that there's some clients that are coming in on label budgets that are coming in on where it doesn't where in reality.
[00:38:56.260] - Ernie
It's crazy to talk about it like that, but it's like, OK, the monetary side of things isn't where they're so focused on what the other side is. Huge market that we want to get into is that we have all these artists that are just starting off these artists and we want to be able to offer them that complete package, these artists that maybe, you know, there's times where we know that the artist may not have the budgets to necessarily do a full music video and records and record studio time.
[00:39:20.880] - Ernie
But it's somebody that we know if we work with them right now and we take more of, like, you know, sort of an involved approach, even like even an invested approach in terms of where we'll even we'll wave studio time fees, because we understand that it's an art so we can create with it's an artist that they have tomorrow, you know, even though today they're not necessarily at the level where we know through the potential that we can see in them.
[00:39:45.810] - Ernie
If we sure if we if we invest them through our services, invest them through the things that we know, we can create value that they have tomorrow and may be able to be a return on investment for us.
[00:39:55.500] - Nick
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I just want to say for anyone watching this, you guys are more than welcome. We're monitoring the comments and all that stuff. Please leave your comments or questions in the Facebook commentary below this feed. There. And we can ask this during the Q&A section. And so I have a few questions here that I just want to. Kind of just get across here, what is the so maybe just kind of layout the importance, what we kind of covered it, but I really want to hammer this home about the idea of building that social network or building that connections, building those connections with people organically.
[00:40:34.290] - Nick
I mean, you're not doing this at all with any kind of paid advertising or anything like that. You're getting out there at first and you were just figuring out what people would be magnetized to and then placing that content and connecting those dots. Can you dove into that strategy just a little bit in a nutshell? So people kind of really understand the strategy, because I think a lot of people are a lot of people are afraid to put themselves out there on social media.
[00:40:55.890] - Nick
I know I am a lot of times, of course. And so what can you speak to that and how that's been sort of a pivotal part of your growth, even at the beginning?
[00:41:04.500] - Ernie
Definitely. So since the beginning of this, we've never put any money yet. I say. Yeah, because obviously the aftermath, we really fully grow and it's inevitable. But to date, we haven't put any money into paid advertising. Anything every single client, every single follower in our Instagram, every single person is part of our community. And what we're building has all been one hundred percent organic, one hundred percent word of mouth. And just just really just through us maneuvering and building up, you know, it's as easy as when we started off.
[00:41:39.640] - Ernie
And we go to events and people say, oh, well, sure, OK, the shirts cool. Like all this logo, like this mobile. And they're like, OK, what is that? You know, hey, that's cool. What is that? But they don't know anything about it. We're just getting into their head, you know, just getting it into their head, getting into like, oh, OK. These are some people that is pretty cool.
[00:41:59.760] - Ernie
What is lucrative youth, how can we get at them? How can we really do that?
[00:42:04.050] - Nick
Yeah, that's very good. And then when you're working with the full spectrum of your clients and things like that, you from what it sounds like, you don't treat the people that are just coming in with a limited budget versus those big studios like Atlantic Records or Maybach or Cash Money. All those guys that are coming into your studio, you treat them pretty much all the same because you you speak to them. And I'm sure you know that at any level you're going to see these people as you're on the way up.
[00:42:28.500] - Nick
You might see them on another way down. You know,
[00:42:31.860] - Ernie
that's a big, big, big thing for us because at the end of the day. We have like, you know, I've worked with all levels of clients like like you said, like I have I've had clients that just started making music like they come in and this is their first time ever in a studio, like they've never been to a recording studio. They never recorded any music, and they just want to try it out.
[00:42:52.820] - Ernie
So it's kind of like a hobby to them, like, oh, hey, you know what? I'll try it out. And at the same time, I have Grammy Award winning multi platinum like legends that are that take this as a career and these people that have made their entire lives of music. And it's very two different clients in terms of what they outputted. But in terms of how our approaches and experience we give them, make sure that every single person that walks through our doors has the ability to feel like they are that Grammy Award winning artist already, because to us, it's being humble is such a key.
[00:43:28.600] - Ernie
And it's too important in this because it's an industry filled with a lot of arrogant people and a lot of just it's a facade. It's sad and it's just the reality of it. But we allow ourselves and I think that's really a big core of why we continue to have the success that we do it, because even these people that come in and get the same Grammy Award superstars, whatever, we don't treat them as such to us. They're the same.
[00:43:54.700] - Ernie
They're just, you know, we treat them great because we treat the same person. Who just started off great. But it's never been a matter of like, you know, wow, I can't believe this. Like, no, I didn't do the regular people. The people want to come work and create and they recognize that energy from us. And that's the experience that they're going to get. And it's always it's what brings them back over and over every time.
[00:44:16.930] - Nick
That makes a lot of sense. You know, as we're winding down this conversation, I really want to get from you any lessons or any takeaways or anything you've learned that you can impart on people watching this, that maybe just starting their business or looking at their business where they are today and they want to scale it or bring it to a new level. What kinds of things can you share with them that you've experienced that you can share with them?
[00:44:39.670] - Ernie
I'd say at the end of the day, the most important thing that you can do is really keep going when you know that you believe in something and it's what you want to do. I've been, like I said, working on this now this project, this company for three years. And if you ask me out, I haven't worked a day in my life like I've been through some pretty Buckwild situations where most people would not be able to come back for, like you said, and not just one, not just two like we could really sit here and really, really talk about that if it came down to.
[00:45:12.940] - Ernie
But at the end of the day. The reality is you just can't be afraid to change the , you know, like everybody is going to be doing something in like, you know, it's a highly competitive industry and that's everything. It's not just music that I'm speaking about. It's really just the world. And anything that people get into, if you get caught up in what the others are doing, like, you know, and you try to compare your own journey with somebody else's, you're always going to end up a step behind.
[00:45:39.910] - Ernie
Because whatever I've gone through, whatever you've gone through, whatever anybody, that's their journey. That's their story. And as long as you sit down there, you know that you're going to get to where you are going to get to. I promise that nothing will be able to really set you back. That's how that's that's what I live by. Every single day, we wake up. And, you know, it's crazy because because, like you said, we built it in such short of a time.
[00:46:00.580] - Ernie
And it's like I still to this day, I don't even get really like that moment to really kind of like take a step back and really realize, oh, wow, we're we're really here because I'm just still so tunnel visioned. And I have an understanding of where my goal is. And I know that I'm not there yet. So it's like I know that that's what's keeping me. Where I am right now, it's not with anybody else, there's nobody that anybody can give me, they won't push me more because it's already there to me.
[00:46:30.320] - Nick
And you're twenty two right now?
[00:46:32.560] - Ernie
[00:46:33.240] - Nick
Oh, yeah. Fantastic. This is this has been amazing and just sort of tie everything together. What are your future what's the future looking like for lucrative youth. What are your plans or do you guys or are you guys going to take this?
[00:46:46.220] - Ernie
So I think that's a great question because we really like I thought, you know, like I told we were on back to that period me and Adolfo on that first day, like, we know where we're going, we know where we're on the way to, and we're just keep on keep on doing it, keep on really getting into it. But to really, really sum it up, I think we're we're looking to get this going is we're really going to make a huge positive change in this industry.
[00:47:14.360] - Ernie
Like our whole thing is always been creating value for people. Throughout the years I . We've broken our backs for so many people to do good by them because that's just who we are and that's why we continue to be in the position that we are. But it's been more like, you know, a humble level to a certain extent to where because our platform isn't at the level where it will be. The day is tomorrow, but our goal won't change.
[00:47:40.530] - Ernie
We know that once we continue to elevate it, once we continue to this company continues to grow, well, then I'll be able to offer that value and just change a lot of people's lives to really being honest in the best way possible, because we're we're now seeing like we want to make a change in this industry. We want to be able to be really, really pivotal in that change that I believe is coming.
[00:48:02.250] - Nick
Wow. That's really well put. And that sounds like a whole other episode potentially to have you come back and talk all about that philosophy and where that's going. And honestly, I, I this has been a fascinating conversation, truly insightful. And I hope a lot of people watching this are going to pull a lot of stuff out of this and really impact their own business in their own lives with it. And I just want to say thank you and how can people connect with you.
[00:48:23.860] - Nick
What's the best way to interact with you? Are you open to people asking questions?
[00:48:30.300] - Ernie
You guys can first check out our page on Instagram at the @lucrativeyouth. That's where you'll see, like all our content, go down to the latest videos. And for the most part, we're continuing to you'll see over the next couple of months, we continue to expand and grow that because we realize the importance of that platform. But through me, you could also find me on Instagram @ErnieV_or anybody, have any any questions, have anything to do, obviously a person in the music industry.
[00:48:57.450] - Ernie
But I also analyze it just as as really as I do every other thing. And it's a matter of just that, that keep going mentality and just trying to continue working and get a little bit better than we were yesterday today.
[00:49:09.570] - Nick
And that is really well put. I think it's a great place to end. And yeah, I just want to say thank you to Ernie and to anyone watching. I hope you guys got a lot out of this and we'll leave it right there. And I just wanna say thank you and hope some time you'll have the time to come back on. And we're all super excited to see where you are going to take this. You're going to take it to the next level.
[00:49:29.130] - Nick
I can only imagine where this is going to go. So goodluck on your journey.
[00:49:32.790] - Speaker 2
Thank you. Zero to Infinity. It's super awesome. Like, I'm very I'm honored to be a part of this. Like, thank you very much for setting this up. I'm super excited to see where you take this. And again, thank you for everything.
[00:49:45.780] - Nick
Awesome. We're going to we're going to keep tabs on your growth and we're going to see this. We're going to see you go.
[00:49:51.770] - Ernie
Everybody follow us at @Lucrative Youth and just stay tuned.
[00:49:55.640] - Nick
stay on for a sec
[00:49:57.110] - Ernie