It’s All About Relationships

“There’s no other way to succeed in this business” Rich Motzkin says

We’re in LA, sat in a conference room overlooking a great skyline as we interview him for 500 Days the documentary

But let me backtrack a little bit

5:30am, we’re in the car and heading to the airport for a flight to San Diego, where the plan is to interview Landon Donovan for the film

After a two hour flight, we’re in the sunny city, enjoying the great weather but there’s a few problems

Landon has literally just come out of retirement and is having a busy time sorting things out, matter of fact, the day before, he was in Mexico unveiling the deal to thousands of Leon fans

The interview should of been cancelled but thankfully due to his relationship with Steve and their shared connection to agent Rich Motzkin, Landon wants to go ahead but it’s going to be a tight squeeze

He give’s us a location to meet him and ask’s that we be there for a certain time so that he can fit it around his schedule as he’s dealing with this new move of coming out of retirement and moving his family to Mexico

Only problem is we’re waiting at the airport for the camera operator to pick us up and drive us to the location and by the time he arrives, we will most likely be late. He arrives eventually and we drive to the location, getting there about 10 minutes late

Thankfully Landon is running behind us by 2 minutes so it seems that everything worked out. We set up as quickly as possible and wrap the interview in good time but there’s no time to stop as we have a scheduled interview in LA with Rich

So it’s a two hour plus drive to LA where we arrive with good time

At the Wasserman Agency, a beautiful receptionist meets us and ask’s us who we are here for, after informing her, she tells us he’ll be with us shortly.

This brings us to the beginning of this post

I’m sat opposite Rich as he details his relationship with Steve and the part he played in his journey. He tears up when he thinks about the injury that would ultimately lead to Steve’s retirement. I can see he has a deep affection for his ex client

So I ask him after the interview why he places so much value on connecting with his clients

“because it’s all about relationships, I’ve been in this business for going on 25 years and the one thing I’ve learned about being effective, having a great career and just being a good human being is to prioritise relationships over everything else. I know a lot of people who place earning an income over building and sustaining relationships with clients and I can definitely affirm that those people rarely go as far as they could have had they set better priorities”


If you’ve ever watched Entourage, Rich is comparable to Ari Gold in that he works hard on behalf of his clients to get them the best deals he can but unlike Ari in the early seasons of the show, Rich clearly has a compassionate worldview for how he does business

Put the client first, relationships over profits, connections over client commitments. from the way he talks about Steve, remembering key dates, small moments that most would look over and forget considering how long ago they were, he clearly pays close attention to his clients and their journey

“well I’ve been in this so long that I now see my very first clients like brothers, clients like Steve are like my sons and these new generation of clients that my team bring in our like my grandkids… least that’s how they make me feel” he gives a tired laugh

Rich is always smiling, he has a zest for life

Just a few days ago he was in Mexico finalising the Landon Donovan deal, today in his office he’s on the move, the place looks sparse with very little memorabilia on the walls

“we’re moving offices actually, today is our last day here – our next office is way better than this”

I look around at the great space, the great view and the remember the beautiful receptionist at the front desk, damn, a better place than this?

I tell him about my Ari Gold comparison, he chuckles, apparently I’m not the first to tell him that

Similar to Ari, he’s loyalty for and to his clients, brightly shines through

It truly is all about relationships


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