Episode 36: Martin Perelmuter – Entrepreneur Unleashed!


Meet Martin Perelmuter.  Martin is an unapologetic idealist.

He’s passionate about people and ideas, and after 20 years in the speaking industry believes more than ever that a great speech can provide the impetus for action and be a catalyst for change.

Prior to co-founding Speakers’ Spotlight, Martin was a corporate lawyer at a prestigious international law firm. While he realized early on in his career that he needed to do something more entrepreneurial, he learned some incredibly valuable best practices that have shaped his approach to client service and business management.

Martin’s views on the speaking industry have been reported in various television and print media, and have been published in over 60 countries. He’s been a guest lecturer at several colleges and universities, and was a keynote speaker at the Public Words Speaker Forum at The Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School in Cambridge.

Martin is a graduate of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Western Ontario, and the Faculty of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.

He lives in Toronto with his wife and business partner Farah, and their children Jade and Cole. He is an avid reader and music lover.

In this episode we talk about the entrepreneurial drive and what made Martin step out on his own.  Martin outlines what it took to get things moving in his own business.  The bottom line is it takes a LOT of hard work.  What attracted hi to the industry was his passion for people and ideas.  It was the opportunity to pursue his passion that led him to leave the security of a law career.

Cold calls!  Yes! We talk about cold calls.  I found it refreshing to hear this from a fellow entrepreneur.  I think that there is a lot of misconception about what it takes to build relationships.  There is a real opportunity for those that are willing to pick up the phone and talk to people.  In this digital world we are receiving a lot less calls then we ever have.  Human to human calls are becoming a rarity and therefore gives those that are willing to do it a real advantage.

Organic growth has taken their organization to 29 full time staff.  It is important to note that organic growth doesn’t just happen without a lot of hard work.  Building relationships is the key and putting yourself out there.

Exceeding expectations has been the key to their growth.  Not necessarily under promise and over deliver, because let’s face it, to get the gig you have to promise fairly high.  The key is to over promise AND over deliver.  It is about planting the seed for longer term opportunities even if you have to forego immediate gratification.

Martin cites Simon Sinek’s Start With Why as a driving force for their success.  They have spent a lot of time determining their why as an organization and took the time to learn how to articulate that.  It took them fourteen years before they crystalized exactly what that looks like.

Sharing that vision with the organization is a key to building a cohesive organization.  We explore some strategies that Martin has used to ensure his team is on board and shares that vision.  While growing as an organization it is imperative that the leadership makes sure that that “why” never goes fuzzy.

Book Recomendations

Good To Great – Jim Collins

Skinny Legs and All – Tom Robbins 

Start With Why – Simon Sinek

Power Cues – Nick Morgan

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