Susan Brown is the Producer and co-host of Beyond the Fog Radio and this week’s Featured Woman in Business Interview.
Tell us about your business and who your target audience is
Susan Brown: I produce and co-host Beyond the Fog Radio, a podcast that explores the untold stories of San Francisco’s long history and the characters that help shape it. Our audience is really anyone who wants to know the history of San Francisco and the Bay Area as we stick to the idea that San Francisco and the Bay Area is home to so many people who may not really know our culture and our amazing and rich history. We have an enormous variety of interview subjects and stories that unfold….when you stop and ask questions, you get amazing answers.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
I would say that growing up dyslexic taught me how to do things that I excel at and that I love. I had a very hard time with normal things like reading, writing, spelling and math. I was picked last on sports teams and I was teased very badly at a young age so my parents were smart and they guided me to the things I love which was theatre. I studied to be an actor from a young age all the way through college. In graduate school I discovered that I am a very good film director. I have directed eight documentary films and have produced for ad agencies. In addition to Beyond the Fog Radio, I also run a touring company, Beyond the Fog, where we curate customized, exclusive and off the beaten path experiences for both visitors and locals. I am also a photographer and I love to sing. I am a big believer that if you do what you love you will succeed. I am a natural storyteller because giving people a place to tell their story is so enriching and so amazing and it’s a great way to give back! So being an entrepreneur is in my core — I will always do the unexpected. I have on rose colored glasses by choice. I love life and I love people. I will always work because it makes me truly very, very happy
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I have a background as a producer in advertising and as a filmmaker, and I have worked in politics in New York and in San Francisco. Living and working in politics for the Manhattan Borough President really taught me how to respond under pressure, how to be responsible for what you say and do and how to not over promise. And it taught me how to give what you can no matter what because you are in service to the public as you are working for what is best for everyone and not for a profit. You must be prepared to explain how and why you came to your decision on why you are doing something. That was invaluable and that translated into the private sector truly caring what you do and who you affect is invaluable.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I have directed six documentary films including one about being an adult dyslexic living in a non-dyslexic world as well as three films on my father, Mayor Willie L. Brown, along with a film on the music video business. Directing films taught me how to organize not only my thoughts and my vision but how to communicate my vision and my ideas to my collaborators so that they can execute what I see and so that the audience can also experience what I envisioned. I now apply these skills to producing our podcast Beyond the Fog Radio and I am VERY VERY VERY proud of our podcast.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Do what makes you happy and do what makes your heart sing, Yes! It’s business but in business integrity is EVERYTHING! Approach everything the way that YOU would want someone to approach you and KINDNESS is king.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Work hard, be honest and always do something for someone else just because it’s the right thing to do.
What productivity tools do you use — or resources/tools that have helped you run your business?
Because I am dyslexic, hands on tools work best for me. I don’t have one particular tool as I use many tools and the ones that work best are the ones that are developed for humans by humans to make things better for people. I like to be one-on-one and in person as much as possible because everything is better in person when you can see the person’s eyes and feel their energy.
Do you have any new projects coming up or have you just completed a big project?
Getting our podcast out to as many people as possible and then attracting sponsors is my main goal as our content is EXCELLENT. We just need as many listeners as possible. I am VERY proud to say we have a media partner and we are very close to an airline sponsor so our wonderful podcast is expanding and growing and I am very proud of that.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Spending time with my friends and my family is vital for me, it’s how I replenish. I love to ride my bike, I love to share meals and I love to dance and travel.
What is the Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
I would like Beyond The Fog Radio to be monetized by this time next year, so that we begin to self-sustain ourselves and reach more listeners with our unique and incredible stories that shine a spotlight on the legends and innovators in the Bay Area.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Always be yourself in all situations, be true to yourself, step up and be responsible for your actions and your words and above everything be KIND and be honest.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?
Websites: Beyond-the-fog.com and www.beyondthefogradio.com
Social: Instagram @beyondfog and @beyondthefogradio
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