Will Curran is a 23 old entrepreneur who started an entertainment company right out of high school. His first company was AZ Pro Djs, which later changed to become Endless Entertainment. He has been featured on several news channels as well as on the Inc 500 Start-up Companies and Under30CEO. He has received several scholarships including the Edson Entrepreneur Initiative. His passion for music has led him to become very successful in his field of expertise at a very young age.
Meet Will Curran from Endless Entertainment!
We’re definitely growing. We’re new, but we’re making a name for ourselves now. Our biggest focuses is on the quality of events and making sure our clients are very happy! Its never about us as much as its about them. Because of this, we’ve grown really fast. While, we’re not like big entertainment companies that are gobbling up other companies like crazy, we are growing at a very natural rate with our success at events.
It’s definitely getting better here in Arizona because this state is truly an up and coming market!
One of your first focuses was to DJ for the under 21 category. How has that been beneficial to you and Endless Entertainment?
When you first start a business it’s really important that you have a niche. You need to have a specific idea and stick to it. I feel like a lot of people try to do everything. Jack of all trades, master of nothing. However, its really about the niche game. Especially when you’re first starting out, you have to have a niche and you have to stay true to it to show that you’re really good at it. Once that’s accomplished, then you can branch out to other areas.
When I first started, it was teen events, high schools, and colleges. It was really good for me, because I could say that I was the only company that did that. This instantly made me an authority! When I started doing more of them, I could say I was the master of it even more. However, when time progresses you have to learn how to evolve. One of things we realized with the high school and college market is that although it is really great and we’re good at doing their events, we need take upon that next step and evolve as a company to do even larger events and shows. So now, we’re focusing to also do large-scale events. In the past, some of the large-scale events that Endless Entertainment has done include the Fiesta Bowl Block Party, Phoenix Comicon, ASU Undie Run, celebrity concerts, and several corporate events as well as galas.
Explain the importance of niche marketing in terms of your efforts with Endless Entertainment?
When you try to master everything, you discover that sooner or later you will be hurt. There is someone that is always going to be an expert in one of those categories. You can’t be just ‘okay’ at something, because the experts will completely dominate you. Regardless, you have to show that you are an authority in one specific field. People have a natural need to listen to authority as psychological experiments dictate. If your able to develop that niche and become that authority, you will put yourself above others and people will naturally listen to you.
Did you have all the resources to start DJing in high school?
Heck no! I was really lucky that my parents always supported me, but I was also really lucky that my parents wouldn’t just give me anything I wanted. They were the parents that if I wanted something, I had to go and get it myself. That mentality taught me to hustle really early on. In high school, when I first started DJing, I initially started with an internet radio station. I got a DJ software from online and started mixing some tracks on that. I did that for a while to test the waters, and I realized that I really liked DJing.
At the time, I was also doing web design. I was making websites for people. I had $400 saved up from doing these websites for people as a freshman. With that money, I bought and a ‘DJ and a box kit.’ Although I had all the equipment I needed, I found myself without records. Before CDs and mp3s were popular, records were the big thing. I had to buy records at the time which I discovered were really expensive. 10 bucks for one song! If you’re complaining about paying 99 cents for a song, try being a DJ and wanting a song, when you may not even play that song in your set. Therefore, I actually convinced a professional DJ to let me create his website for 20 records, which I still have today. With that being said, I had to find my own resources and do everything by myself. I realized the importance of hard earned money in these moments.
It seems that everyone who becomes successful in their ventures during their college years drops out. Why did you stay in college?
A lot of times you hear about the successful people. The Mark Zuckerbergs. The Bill Gates. The people that dropped out and became super successful because school was holding them back. There’s always those times when you consider that you’re making more money right now, than if you were to graduate and get a job. So its a really big thought especially with the influence of the media and investors that are willing to pay tons of money for kids to drop out of school. So you hear about all these success stories, but you don’t hear about the 95% of people who drop out and are failing miserably. Therefore, I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. At the time, when I first came to ASU, I had an entrepreneurship scholarship. I was getting paid to go to school, which is what kind of really motivated me to get into school. But by the time my scholarship ended up being dissolved because the benefactor passed away, we were all left in tight positions. All of us in the program that received that scholarship were sitting there with a year under our belts, thinking we’re going to have to pay a lot of money and whether or not we really want to continue and do this. For me, it was the fact that I had $10,000 of school paid for, why not just get it done with. It was mostly the determination of finishing something I had started. There was also family pressure because everyone in my family had graduated from college.
In addition, I learned how to take advantage of the resources at college. A lot of people when they think of school and then their business, they think of a waste of time. And it truly is a lot of the times. However, I tried to take classes that would help me grow as a businessman. Along with that, I took advantage of the resources on campus. A lot of people don’t realize that most of these professors have been in business before. Some of them have even owned their own companies. If you just go up to them and ask them a question, they’ll answer it. The best part about it is, it’s completely free! When you get out of school and you’re not a student, consultation fees can become very expensive. So, I took advantage of this and they became some of my mentors. There’s also other resources like for example, at ASU there’s the Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative. It funds student-run companies up to $20,000. It also gives them free office-space in Scottsdale, AZ and free consultation and advising.
What is an average day like for you?
There is no average day for Will Curran. Mondays thru Fridays are when I’m in the Endless Entertainment office, working with my staff, conducting several meetings to build relationships or create potential clients, and e-mails. You may think this is boring, but when you’re spending the time to grow your company it becomes really fun. From time to time, I do touch a little bit of every department in the company from marketing to operations, finance, production, etc. Fridays and Saturdays are usually show days. 75% of the time, I’ll be at a show either setting up, managing the production of the show, doing the lighting or sound design of the show, or I’ll be entertaining the crowd through my DJing. Sundays are literally sitting on the couch and don’t move. My body starts to regenerate and by Monday, I’m completely ready to go!
What is the importance of reading to you and what are your favorite books?
I have a lot of favorite books. I was lucky to have a dad that pushed me to read but I didn’t like to read when I was really young. I was like any typical high school kid. I avoided summer reading until the week before school, cramming the entire book in. However, it wasn’t until I discovered that there’s books about things that I actually liked. First thing that got me hooked on books was learning how to market stuff. My first favorite book was Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. That book really got me thinking and my mind racing.
Some people like fiction books, but then I ask myself what do I get out of fiction books? If I want to get entertained, I’ll go watch a movie. A lot of people in our generation don’t realize the amount of information there is. You can find a lot of valuable information on YouTube. Some people alos think StumbleUpon is such a time waste. However, in my StumbleUpon I choose categories like business, marketing, entrepreneurship, management, etc. I’ll even watch videos right before I go to bed of lectures or interviews. However, when you need something, a lot of the times the only way to get that information is from books because people that know what they’re doing are writing books.
Another favorite book is Drive by Daniel Pink, which talks about motivation beyond money and understanding reasons why people are motivated to work. A favorite author is Seth Godin and everything he writes is fantastic because he’s a marketing genius. I also like the book The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki because of his upfront business style and how he teaches you how to grow your start-up.
What are your thoughts on the education system and whether or not it is currently hindering creativity amongst the youth?
Yes! I definitely the education system is hindering creativity. When I was in high school, they don’t really teach you to find out what you like, but instead they teach you things that they are told to teach. I understand that you have to know how to do simple things like math, but when I started getting into classes like Calculus, I asked myself why I’m spending time in this when I know that I’m never going to need this because technically I had a company at the time. When I started getting deeper in my business, I knew for a fact that I won’t be needing all this stuff. If I did need someone to figure out where my revenue is going in 10 years or something along those lines, I’ll simply pay someone to do that. I definitely think programs like sports and music in school are really important to keep some means of creativity in tact.
Schools should incorporate a little bit of time towards creativity like Google time, because Google pays their employees three hours a week to do whatever the heck they want. They can work on whatever projects they’d like. Google Maps and Gmail were created because of this simple idea to boost creativity. Why can’t schools give three credits, for example, to do whatever you want to work on? When I was in high school, I didn’t know what an entrepreneur or business-marketing was. The only thing I enjoyed was economics because we discussed business-like topics which really fascinated me.
Closing thoughts and advice for other fellow entrepreneurs?
If you want to do something, just do it. A lot of college kids are afraid to start companies when they’re in college. A lot of people have brilliant ideas to start an app or create a microchip, but they do nothing about it. The people that really succeed aren’t necessarily the ones that come up with the great ideas, they’re the ones that execute and do it. For example look at myself, what I do is not new. Endless Entertainment has no proprietary technology. A lot of companies have the same type of equipment as we do. However, the reason we’re so successful is because we execute! Go after what you want to do and do it now. Find out what you like and just try to do something with it. Showing passion at a very early age can really take you places. Don’t wait to start. Don’t be afraid.
If you liked the interview and want to get in contact with Will Curran or if you have any questions for him, you may message him through his Facebook page. If you’d like to schedule an event with Endless Entertainment, you may go on their website at Hello Endless.