Shaun Silva has had a successful career producing videos for major country acts including Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryan. After more than a decade producing videos, he decided he wanted to open a post-production company in Nashville. It was a huge challenge for someone who was great at making videos but not an expert in running a business.
“I had a vision. I remember very clearly walking into this place and sitting there and saying ‘OK, am I going to be able to do this?’” Silva said. “Creatively, I thought, yeah, I can do this. Financially, man, I don’t know.”
When he was producing videos, Silva was typically hiring freelancers for each project. A post-production facility would require full-time, salaried staff. And to attract the best talent, he’d need to offer benefits like insurance and a 401(k) package. He didn’t know how to do that.
Silva got in touch with Chad Greer, a Northwestern Mutual wealth management advisor, for help building the business. Silva wanted to attract full-time employees. But, as Greer recalls, “He didn’t know how to get them to come to work for him, he didn’t know how to get benefits setup,” Greer said, “My team set him up with a benefits specialist, an attorney and a banker.”
Leaning on Greer and his team was natural for Silva. “As a director, I’m not a one-man show. I lean on people for their expertise. I lean on a cinematographer, I lean on a gaffer for lighting … it was no different what I did with Chad,” Silva said.
“It is important to me that when people walk in here every day that they are not only inspired by the work that they’re doing but that there is a level of comfort and security so that they know that their families are being taken care of,” Silva said.