Name: Michael Roderick
Current Job: Founder of Small Pond Enterprises LLC and host of the Access To Anyone Podcast
Current Place: New York City
Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island
What I wanted to be when I grew up: A Teacher
College degree: Double Major in Theatre Performance and Secondary Ed. English from Rhode Island College, then a Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University.
What do you love about what you do?
I love helping people see more in themselves and finding new and innovative ways to help them spread their message.
What is the biggest challenge?
Entrepreneurship is full of challenges every day, but the biggest is growing a business while also being a father to two young girls (one three years old and the other six months) There’s a lot of scheduling and managing of time needed.
What has made your career journey unique?
I’ve lived about 17 different lives. I started as a High School English teacher and quickly ended up becoming department chair as well as hosting the Drama Club.
While I was teaching, I was getting my Masters degree. I also was mentoring student teachers from the program I was graduating from as well as running a theatre company. I also wrote and directed shows, cast short films for NYU film students, and ran a general management business before moving into producing Broadway shows.
I left teaching to continue to work on Broadway as a producer and a consultant and started to develop a business focused on networking. This led to me being hired by an educational technology startup in business development. While at that job I came up with the idea for a conference for connectors and left the startup world to run the conference and my consulting business.
Then, after the birth of my first child, I pivoted my business to focus on messaging and helping people create Referable Brands. Along the way I also created a networking event combined with a scavenger hunt all over NYC called Relationship Adventure Day and started a podcast called Access to Anyone.
What motivates you?
My two favorite things in the world are solving problems and connecting people. I love seeing what new ways there are to look at problems and finding the missing pieces for people. It’s amazing to watch someone truly own who they are and create something wonderful and I love doing that kind of work.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Make the time to learn about the stuff you consider “boring” as a creative. It’s really important to understand finance when it comes to business. Don’t avoid looking at the numbers, embrace them.