Attorney Jamaal Buchanan talks talent management and producing films in L.A.


Buchanan Management and Consulting LLC is the brain child of chief executive officer Jamaal Buchanan. As a Chicago native who has always possessed an intellectual, artistic, and versatile character, he sought to establish a company that addresses the management and consulting needs of entertainers, athletes, business entities, as well as politicians.

Here, he talks about inspiration.

What inspires you to show up at work every day?
Ultimately, I am inspired to work with artists and businesses that are predestined to change the world. I receive ultimate gratification in knowing that I was instrumental in assisting actors, musicians, and business leaders in achieving their goal of using the media to reach and influence the masses. For instance, working with celebrity actress Erica Hubbard of ABC Family’s “Lincoln Heights” and BET’s “Let’s Stay Together,” and The Erica Hubbard Foundation, has been rewarding to know that numerous at-risk kid organizations around the country have benefited from our joint efforts and hard work.

How did you determine your career path?
I always possessed a desire to work in the entertainment industry as an Attorney utilizing my knowledge of Contract Law and Business Organization Law. When the opportunity presented itself for me to work with various entertainers in a more “hands-on” creative capacity I immediately expanded my vision and developed a strategic plan catering to artist management and development. While slightly different than working on contracts, I am now able to passionately work in a more creative lane.

What other industries connect to your career choice?
There are a plethora of industries that connect to Buchanan Management & Consulting. They include but are not limited to Talent Agencies, Public Relation Companies, Production Companies, Directors, Writers, Acting Coaches, Print and Online Publications, as well as Media & Visual Professionals

Describe the skill sets that are essential to future business leaders and innovators.
I think one of the main skill sets needed is the ability think and step outside of the box providing quality service to customers that is superior to your competitors. If you can create a product or service that everyone wants, and they have to come to you to get it, you will become successful.

Define innovative methods you apply to your business and life.
I think that John C Maxwell’s book entitled There Is No Such Thing As Business Ethics said it best when it asserted that how you treat a person in your daily living should mirror how you operate in the business world. They are not mutually exclusive avenues of conduct. Simply put, treat someone how you would want to be treated in the business world as well in everyday life. If practiced, this golden rule is a key element to overall success.

How do you set goals and evaluate your success?
I evaluate my success by how happy my clients are when they verbalize their sincere gratitude for my services. A clients’ success story is my success story. A major method that I implement when setting goals is to set a target date on when I want the goal accomplished. I then exhaust any and all resources to make sure that the goal is met by that particular date.

Who can you rely on for support and best practices?
I am on the board of directors of a great organization called the Talent Managers Association where I am surrounded by a team of extraordinary individuals who provide support and guidance for fellow managers.

What information and increased skill methods do you use?
I constantly stay abreast of the ever changing and evolving legal, business, and entertainment worlds by reading trade magazines, websites and blogs daily, researching the law on issues and cases that are relevant to BMC, as well as networking with key players in the select industries.

Name your favorite role models for success in two industries.
One successful individual who has influenced me on several levels is Mr. Kevin Conlon of Conlon & Dunn Public Strategies. Kevin has provided public strategies for President Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Senator John Kerry, and Governor Howard Dean to name a few. He is a person who is able to access what a person or business needs and cure that need by utilizing his voluminous resources.

Another successful individual is Al Machera, who is the CEO of Westlake Studios. This is a premiere studio in Los Angeles where Michael Jackson recorded Thriller and where platinum recording artists record on a daily including Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blidge, and countless others. Al’s love and affinity for is family and the arts, coupled with his business acumen has definitely been a formula I have attempted to model myself after.

Names three books that changed how you saw life that you would recommend to others.
The Bible is always a relevant read and always on point for both business and personal life. Lord of The Flies by William Golding is a great book I read in elementary school and the lessons on leadership in adverse times have always stuck with me. Lastly, Assata by Assata Shakur is a great biography that takes you back into time and tells the story of survival during tense social times.

Explain why lifelong learning is important to you.
To learn is to grow. Continual growth is vital in the business world as times, people, and industry customs constantly change. You have to be able to learn and adjust with the way business trends are created changed and then changed again.

Describe the voice of success that you hear in your head.
The voice of success in my head is one that acknowledges my accomplishments but is always telling me to expect more and pushing me to go to the next level. “You graduated from college? That’s good. … Now, go to law school.” That inner voice is never satisfied and will never let me quit no matter how difficult an obstacle may seem.

Community success based on what you do in the community means what to you?
People are a direct reflection of their immediate and extended communities. I was fortunate enough to be raised in a close knit community where neighbors, church members, friends, and community leaders actually cared and looked out for each other. I acquired this same altruistic love and began volunteering with my neighborhood alderman and state representatives, participating in church youth groups, and also civic organizations, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. These experiences have undoubtedly given me a deep love and compassion for the community I grew up in and new communities I have adopted.

What role does technology play in your daily life?
Technology is the future and the future is here! I use the internet each and every day for business and personal life. Communication that use to take a week can now take 60 seconds via email and even less on Instant Message programs. In today’s world if you don’t have access to the internet you are behind in every aspect of living. Whether it’s paying bills, banking, shopping, conducting business ventures, or entertainment. You must know the basics of effectively using the internet.

What software and technology tools have made the biggest difference in your life?
YouTube, IMDB, Actors Access, Soundcloud, Reverbnation, and several other websites I use to pitch clients for jobs have been great resources for BMC.

How do music and cultural events define your self-identity?
Music, culture, and the arts have always been first loves of mine. Music is one of the most influential media venues in the world. You can communicate to masses of people in a short amount of time. Culture pays a key role because it gives an immediate outlet for people to instantly relate to and call their own. There are so many elements that make up ones culture, but one can be defined by what the masses perceive their culture to consist of. Even if that persons perception is inaccurate. Thus, one must define their own culture and not let others tell you who you are.

Define your personal culture.
My own personal culture is one I describe as having a Renaissance theme attached to who I am and what I am doing. As an educated African American male raised in Chicago but has lived all over the country, my upbringing mixed with my educational pursuits, coupled with society’s viewpoints displayed through the law, music, literature, pop culture, religion and science have produced an individual who wants to bring knowledge of the arts, literature and sciences, values, morals, and respect back into the world.

Describe your favorite vacation spot.
My favorite vacation spot includes amazing weather, great food, sandy beaches and friendly people. You can’t go wrong with Tahiti, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. But, I definitely have Africa — specifically Egypt and South Africa — on my radar.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would change the way that we treat each other. There would be more love and compassion in the world. More respect. This would directly change the way people live and place more value on the gift of life. We don’t love and respect each other as we should. The amount of judgment, racism, sexism, ageism, and discrimination is unbearable at times. If there was more value placed in the human life, we would see the economy, healthcare, national and international relations begin to change.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would want more patience. There is so much I feel I need to accomplish, but I know that it takes time and won’t happen overnight.

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