Episode #113 – Ilan Srulovicz – Creative Entrepreneur. Unwavering Truth Seeker.

“It all comes down to diversity of thought and diversity of opinion being expressed. The more people are exposed to different ideas, the more they will be willing to accept and be able to listen to those ideas and then come up with a challenging viewpoint to those ideas. And in doing so they challenge themselves to formulate new, more integrated versions of reality.” – Ilan Srulovicz  

  • [02:08] Patrick introduces his next TEDM guest: Ilan Srulovicz.
  • [03:41] Ilan and Patrick get right on into it as Ilan succinctly describes what he does and how he and Patrick became acquainted.
  • [5:47] Ilan tells the inception story of Égard watch company which was inspired by his father’s support and Ilan’s desire to acknowledge that in a unique and creative way.
  • [7:34] Ilan talks about the pre-selling strategy he employed to kick start the interest and sales and of his watch design: the story he built around it with a dash of exclusivity. The story around the watch, and the watch itself caught the eye of William Shatner whom he partnered with on a new design. Using a then-new crowd funding strategy to the pre-sale campaign of their new offering launched a whole new level of success for Égard.
  • [09:54] Ilan explains the emotional driver behind choosing a watch to design over any other product. The feeling that underpinned it was unmistakable.
  • [12:15] A connection over passion. Ilan expands on how he came to partner with William Shatner on his watches through a well-articulated story and a shared passion.
  • [13:54] Ilan walks through the narrative, the vision, and the unique aspect of Égard plus what he believes every entrepreneur needs: two why’s. He further discusses his approach to building the business, and important lessons from his learning process.
  • [18:30] Moving forward to today, Ilan discusses the evolution of the company and why they chose to relocate from California to Florida from a business and a personal perspective.
  • [22:31] Individual responsibility. Ilan expresses his ideology around personal responsibility, freedom, the videos he has created in support of those views and mass censorship.
  • [27:00] Patrick and Ilan have a robust discussion around the reaction to this pandemic and the polarization it has created, as one of the most detrimental outcomes to our society. Who sets the status quo and what becomes of those who challenge it on either side? Freedom of speech has always been the catalyst for real, positive change and now the narrative steers toward erasing the past and stifling freedom. Living in our echo chambers is a dangerous position and challenges open and diverse viewpoints which inspire critical thinking.
  • [33:30] Ilan talks about the background and passion of the short films he has created and produced which sparked a bit of controversy, and lot of important messaging. His primary driver is to humanize situations to counteract broad, detrimental generalizations. We must lift one another.
  • [39:49] For a company to be out of integrity with their core messaging and pander to the popular trends of the moment, is to produce a result that is damaging both to their credibility and often society as a whole. Ilan would argue that it is the role of companies to strive for advertising that supports positive reinforcement among humans, not divisiveness and discord.
  • [43:08] Ilan shares the evolution of his opinions and feelings around police officers and what finally drove him to dig in, do the research and formulate his own position beyond the portrayal of media headlines, which led to his short film Speak Truth. When every position promoted by media, entertainment or politics is motivated and perpetuated by fear and in support of victimization then humanization must become the counter position.
  • [52:41] Being witness to the shocking and dismaying display of racism and dehumanization during the height of the de-fund police movement, moved Ilan to take a stand, not in defense of, but in the humanization of police officers. Ubiquitous generalizations become harmful, particularly when outlets of influence to the mass population appear to take a bellows approach to damaging rhetoric.
  • [57:25] From Ilan’s standpoint the threat of backlash or censorship, though a real concern, is never more important than taking a stand for what he believes in.
  • [59:20] Another vigorous discussion about the exploitation of suffering in the name of political posturing. Inconsistency and hypocrisy from political leaders and parties further drives a wedge of divisiveness that pushes out our innate sense of compassion in the name of political allegiance.
  • [66:21] Anger and outrage have a distinctive difference when they are based on a need to stop an idea from being expressed vs. allowing for numerous ideas to be expressed. One is coming from a state of fear and the other from love. When outrage is in support of truth seeking and diversity of thought, positive change can occur.
  • [69:52] The important take-away in speaking about the background of his mother and father, and the experiences of hardship both he and they have undergone, is that none of them defined themselves by those hardships, instead they were used to help formulate perceptions of reality. Hardships were never used to fall victim to, nor to be excuses for inaction, rather to be empowered by. The number one lesson Ilan has taken from his father throughout his life is “always focus on the things that are actionable.”
  • [74:55] Leadership. How intentional is Ilan around his personal leadership in all areas of his life? Truth seeking has helped to inform Ilan’s core values and how he shows up.
  • [78:50] Ilan shares what he’s up to in the world of investment real estate: who influenced his interest, what he’s buying and the philosophy behind his strategy.
  • [85:36] Ilan and Patrick discuss the trend of real estate in big city centers like New York during times like these and the future of watches!
  • [89:05] Time to get at this Rapid-not-so-rapid fire! Ilan’s self-care in the frame of sport; favourite book from childhood; iPhone AND Android; a job he doesn’t enjoy but he does anyway; what “acting out of love” means to Ilan; favourite swear word; message at the pearly gates; room-desk-car; favourite tune; favourite movies.
  • [98:43] Ilan’s gratitude.

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