Mike Perlis: Discussing decisions that lead him from working for a local magazine to being Publisher of Playboy
Date of Show: November 13, 2020
Mike Perlis: How to Decide on Your Next Job with Confidence
Sometimes, the next big stepping stone in your career isn’t what you expected it to be. When opportunities are thrown at you out of left-field, how do you properly evaluate whether you should capitalize on it or not?
How do I decide if a job currently being offered to me is really the best option?
Is it ever okay to take a job or a role that doesn’t feel genuinely me just to get ahead in my career?
How important is money when choosing a job, exactly?
John and Paul welcome Mike Perlis, who shares the many huge decisions he had to make throughout his career in order to achieve the level of success he enjoys today.
3 MAJOR POINTS DISCUSSED
● Almost any business is people-oriented. Never underestimate the power of great mentors and peers who challenge you. When starting up a business, surround yourself with people who you consider as being forward-thinking, having good moral character, and are better than you in ways that will help the entire team rise as you all contribute your individual gifts to the business.
● Stay true to yourself and your strengths when deciding on a job. Taking a job just because it pays well or looks good may seem enticing in the short-term; but it’s never worth it in the grand scheme of things. Walk the path that you feel most at home on, and that means taking on a role in which you can contribute the best of yourself and your talents and skills. On the other side of the coin, sometimes opportunities come your way that you didn’t expect, but in many ways fit right in with your skill set while serving as a potential launching pad for even greater opportunities. For Mike, that left-field opportunity was an offer to serve as President of Playboy Magazine.
● When you have big career ambitions, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Mike is completely satisfied with the trajectory of his high-profile career in the publishing world. However, when asked what he would change, he replies that he would have wanted to entertain his “sense of adventure and willingness to take on new things with a little bit more patience”. Aside from this, Mike reminds us to avoid letting money take center-stage when deciding on which opportunities to accept. Even though he knew this intellectually, Mike could not resist a few lucrative offers in the past simply because they were lucrative. As Mike himself says: “There is no price for your happiness or for doing what you really know you’re best at, as opposed to trying to put a square peg in a round hole.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE
● Why Mike decided to become a bartender at the very beginning of his professional life [04:49]
● Moving into the publishing world [14:08]
● Finding the right mentors and being the “conductor” of your team [19:53]
● Navigating ups and downs in your career [22:35]
● Joining Playboy and working for Hugh Hefner [30:52]
● Deciding on whether or not a particular job is really the best decision for you [35:42]
● Leaving Playboy [43:18]
● Working with SoftBank, living through the dot-com bubble, and beyond [51:06]
● Being the first non-family member to serve as CEO of Forbes Media [54:53]
● Career decisions that Mike regrets [59:05]
● Mike’s framework for making decisions [1:01:44]
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Mike Perlis is a business executive with deep experience managing a wide range of content and multimedia brands. Mike is currently on the boards of Condé Nast Global, IDG, Hart Energy, Ground Truth and Your Tango. He is on the Board of Advisors of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and is a Board member of Hurricane Island Outward Bound.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Perlis served as Publisher of GQ, President of Playboy Publishing, assuming Hugh Heffner’s publisher position, President of TVSM, Rodale Publisher of Runner’s World and Men’s Health, and Chairman and CEO of IDG Peterborough.
Mike Perlis was also the first non-family member to run the Forbes Media business as CEO. He spearheaded the sale of majority ownership in the company to Hong Kong based investors in 2014.
Mike has also served as a General Partner for 10 years at SoftBank and continues to be a Special Partner.
ABOUT OUR HOSTS
Jon Kramer, Managing Director JMK Solutions www.jmk-solutions.com is a marketing services veteran with 35+ years of experience working with leading agencies, and major consumer packaged goods brands.
Most recently, Jon was the Enterprise Sales Marketing lead at WestRock, a $16B packaging and display company, responsible for interfacing with their largest clients. Earlier, he was CMO of the RockTenn Merchandising Division where he created a shopper-marketing team, and go-to-market strategies for the Henkel company. He was also responsible for providing the selling organization with insights into the evolving US retail environment.
Previously, Kramer served for 10 years as CEO of J. Brown, the Shopper Marketing agency of Grey Worldwide. He was responsible for creating the organizational positioning and strategy, and led all new-business efforts. During his tenure, J. Brown became the leading U.S. shopper marketing Agency, virtually defining the discipline.
Paul Kramer’s distinguished marketing career is characterized by a long track record of building high performance communication organizations. His expertise is a unique blend of creativity, technical marketing analysis, and a keen business sense for strategic positioning. Paul’s earlier career included being the CEO of Catapult Marketing, President and COO of Hyper Marketing Inc and President and COO of D.L. Ryan Companies and has sat on Epsilon’s Strategic Management Team.
Paul is skilled in all areas of marketing. He is especially strong in strategic planning, national brand management, marketing communications, and business development. In addition, he has a solid management foundation with accomplishments in P&L management, intellectual property, forming and maintaining strategic alliances and building business.
Today, Paul is the General Partner of Riverside Consulting, a strategic consulting company working with senior leadership to help guide their business’ success.
● Visit our website: www.rearviewinsights.com