In this intimate series of interviews, Mommynoire captures the magnetic pulse of Amber Noble Garland. She confidently discusses her diverse career portfolio, her industry trials, and most importantly, how having a two-year-old daughter named Leah put her hustles all in perspective.
Konnectshun: Tell us about your career now. First off what have you done music-related lately?
In 2010, I began managing Q Parker (of the group 112) when he was at the very beginning stage of establishing his solo career. In 2012 as a team, Q & I co-executive produced and co-A&Red his debut solo album. We also partnered to develop a fitness brand profile with the annual fitness calendar we created and co-executive produced for the past four years. Q’s group, 112 ,had sold over 20 million records worldwide and won several prestigious awards, but decided to take a hiatus and hadn’t released any new music for nearly five years at the time. When Q sought me out to be his manager, I was still consulting for a couple of record companies. Actually, I had no real desire to manage anyone who would be categorized as a “new artist” due to the amount of time and resources I knew would be involved, but I truly believed in Q and I wanted to see him get a real shot that many artists don’t always get, so I took the leap of faith with him.
Konnectshun: What was most exciting about that time and what were some challenges?
Since we pretty much had to start from scratch, it was fun to put on my product manager/brand strategist/marketing hat again. Q pulled out his best vocals, rolled up his sleeves and we got busy! Together we had to creatively figure out how to take an artist who was known as a member of a famous group that had been off the scene, and help him be taken seriously as a solo artist since that role was such a departure from being in a group system. I am proud of the odds we beat as a team, and I love the body of work we assembled with his debut solo album, ‘The MANual.” In fact, iTunes named it as one of the best albums of 2012.
Konnectshun: What else have you and Q worked on?
Over the past few years, I’ve worked with Q to really develop his acting resume and experience in musical theater. Since 2010, Q has had leading roles in five musical stageplays. The most recent role was in Kandi Burruss’ production called “A Mother’s Love” which actually took place in November 2013, but will be airing on upcoming episodes of “The Real Housewives Of Atlanta” in February and March 2014. All the blood, sweat and tears (literally, lol) we paid over the past three years has laid the groundwork for what will be Q’s career going forward. We go back nearly 20 years, so I am happy that God chose me to help lay the foundation in his career journey.
The music business is still in a very volitale state, so I’ve always encouraged all recording artists I know to expand their repretoire with other marketable skills that can compliment what they do musically.
Konnectshun: Are you playing your ideal career role now? Who are you working with?
Without a doubt, I am absolutely playing my ideal role! I pride myself for having a knack for developing talent, and helping people shape and build real brand properties for themselves. I particularly love to work with people who were “counted out” by others, and show them how they can become top-of-mind again. It’s safe to say I’ve been known to root for the underdog from time to time. However, where my head is now, I am really focused on only working with people who are willing to work as hard for themselves as they expect me to work on their behalf. I don’t care if you’re the “under-dog” or the “top-dog”….my drive, commitment and loyalty is fueled by those who are willing to put the work into becoming successful from laying brick by brick with me.
Also, being a serial entrepreneur is part of my DNA, and something that was further embedded in my head since I first read Robert G. Allen’s groundbreaking book, “Multiple Streams Of Income: How To Have A Lifetime Of Unlimited Wealth.” That book changed my life forever. My portfolio consists of a boutique talent management/booking/consulting firm, a TV production and publishing company, a multi-state real estate partnership and a couple of fractional partnerships I have in select non-entertainment business entities.
On the management front, I have been building my company, I For Talent Management, Booking & Consulting, since I was in college in the mid-90’s. I take pride in saying that I have participated in negotiating deals totaling more than $15 million in gross revenue deals for talent clients over the years.
I am going into my 20th year of managing Egypt Sherrod’s TV and radio career. Most recently we added author, national speaker and TV producer to her resume. I also have the privilege of representing former world boxing champion/TV host/beauty brand ambassador/author/speaker, Laila Ali. I also work with media pioneer, Jamie Foster Brown, who is the publisher/CEO of Sister2Sister Media.
Konnectshun: Wow, your endeavors are so impressive. Where are you headed next?
I am super excited about where my overall business ventures are headed. I expanded my business by adding an “experts” division to my company. This group of carefully selected individuals are extraordinary talents who bring something meaningful and powerful to the table with highly-respected expertise in various areas, not to mention most of them have authored books, are keynote speakers, some have appeared on television and most are doing other really amazing things. My role is consulting with them to further maximize on their brand and earning potential, but I will not be their day-to-day manager. This new endeavor has me really excited.
As a talent manager, a big part of my business is devoted to coaching my clients/partners, so moving into more of a formal “career coach” role is a natural matriculation for me. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my own book that tells the story of how I left a dreamy six-figure job in the midst of a recession, but came out on top. Aside from that I am moving into a different role in television as a producer, and a couple of the shows I’ve pitched are going into development in the next few months. Another thing that has me pretty pumped is a strategic merger that Egypt Sherrod and I are doing as it relates to our respective successful real estate businesses. She’s a realtor in real life in addition to hosting HGTV’s hit show, “Property Virgins,” and I have been a successful real estate investor and realtor myself for a number of years now, so officially combining our efforts in multiple states made perfect sense.
Konnectshun: How has parenting changed your perspective on work?
Parenting my nearly two-year old amazing daughter Leah, has taught me that “work-life balance” is not just some cute buzz phrase that you see on a t-shirt, but it is a mandatory part of my life now. Being Leah’s mommy has made me become far more regimented when it comes to work, and it’s forced me to place an even higher premium on my time which is valuable now more than ever.
Konnectshun: Check back with us soon for part 4 of this 4-part series where Amber talks her keys to creating long-lasting client relationships.
Originally posted on Mommynoire.com
Edited by Kweli Wright/Mommynoire