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The Post and Courier featured a great interview with our 2017 Chairman of the Board, Patrick Bryant, written by Dave Munday. Enjoy this excerpt and read the rest of the interview at the Post and Courier.
From the Post and Courier, February 20, 2017:
Patrick Bryant, a partner in several businesses, was installed this month as chairman of the board of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
He started out as a television cameraman in Columbia and in 1997 launched Go To Team, which has 10 offices around the country and provides video for television networks and corporate clients, including this year’s presidential inauguration and Super Bowl.
His next endeavor was Cigar Row, which includes the $125 Churchill London Cut that’s wrapped in 24k edible gold.
His third startup was Bidr, which offers software for online fundraising. He also operates Harbor Entrepreneur Center, a non-profit that provides work spaces in Charleston, North Charleston and Summerville.
Bryant lives in Mount Pleasant, is single and has two boys, 15-year-old Pate and 12-year-old Jack.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your term as board chairman of the chamber? Do you have a particular platform, plan or vision for your term?
A: Membership engagement. My No. 1 goal is to create opportunities for our members to get more involved in the long-term goals for the region. Our board is an incredibly strong group of community leaders. Together we can move some really big rocks. We will launch some pretty significant chamber groups in different locations around the region. This will give our members a chance to interact with each other a lot closer to their homes or businesses.
Q: With all those companies, how do you keep from getting overextended?
A: Ha, I do get overextended. I know my Facebook looks amazing, but I don’t post when people sue me. I have these really great partners. Each one of the businesses I’m involved in has someone at the top that is completely amazing. I’m a big picture guy and am blessed to work with some really detail oriented people that are the best at executing on the business idea.
Q: Do you expect to start more companies or businesses?
A: Absolutely. I have had that moment of wondering what I would do after leaving a great business a couple of times now. I’ve learned to give my self a mental break knowing that in short order I’ll get bored and jump back into something that feels right. I never operate from a place of fear. I’m completely willing to jump back out there and start at zero again. I tell new entrepreneurs, the world will determine whether you are stupid or brave based only on success … be brave regardless, take risk.
Q: What’s your advice for somebody wanting to start his or her own company? Where do you see opportunities in the Charleston area?
A: My advice to someone wanting to start a business is generally, just get started. Come up with an idea that you can execute on and start selling it to someone. From there you launch other ideas and learn what the market wants. My first idea never looks like the business later on. I’m always listening to the market and changing. So I can spend all this time planning and still be wrong or just start working and get to the solution faster. Software is the No. 1 business opportunity in Charleston. There is no doubt in my mind that Charleston’s software/IT cluster will continue to grow. Learn some code, even just the basics and start looking for what is missing that you can help develop.
Q: Who is your favorite business leader and why?
A: Anita Zucker inspires me. Her husband Jerry is a legend whom I admired very much. The amazing thing about Anita is her commitment to the community. Here’s an individual that has enough resources to do nothing, and instead she devotes her life to making the world a better place.
Q: What are you doing to grow the next leader in your company?
A: Leadership Charleston from the chamber really teaches our upcoming leaders about Charleston. It prepares them to understand the larger issues and get connected in their community. I think it’s critical to for business leaders to be community leaders.
Learn more about the Chamber’s Leadership programs, including Leadership Charleston and our accelerated skills-based program Leadership Discovery. You can also learn more about Patrick and the Chamber’s other volunteer leaders at Charlestonchamber.net.