Scott Cohen is the co-founder of digital distribution pioneer, The Orchard. The Orchard is the largest digital distributor in the world, with offices in more than 20 countries. As a well-recognized public speaker and lecturer, Scott travels the world evangelizing new business models for the digital age. He is a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University and sits on the BPI Council.
Scott’s music career started in the late 80’s in independent and major label artist management. In addition to his responsibilities at The Orchard, he manages the Raveonettes, the Dum Dum Girls, the Deer Tracks, Queen Kwong, and Bleech. Scott is a minimalist and a strict vegan.
1. How do you define success?
Being happy, while excelling professionally.
2. What is the key to success?
Patience and happiness in the moment. It is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to put in the time, but not be so goal-focused that you are not present in the moment.
3. Did you always know you would be successful?
Yes. I never thought there was another option.
4. When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
Fear. Fear of disappointing myself, my family, and my friends. Fear of having to get a day job. Fear of being wrong.
5. What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
In business, to sell the dream of the future, while offering something of value in the present.
6. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spare time? I just like discovering new things.
7. What makes a great leader?
Supporting the people you are leading, rather than controlling the people you lead.
8. What advice would you give to college students about entering the workforce?
Network and work. Start to carve out a career before you ask someone to give you a job. Walking around with a CV/resume in hand is the worst way to get a job. Start doing what you want so you become valuable to an organization. However, I am not a big believer in people getting day jobs. Entrepreneurship is a much safer, long-term strategy.
This interview is an excerpt from Success: 30 Interviews with Entrepreneurs & Executives by Jason Navallo.