Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders

Claude Rothman’s BIO

Claude Rothman spent many years in Paris, France where she studied Law (La Sorbonne) and Finance (Sciences-Po Paris). She also studied at the music conservatory for many years. Dotted with such a training, she developed a business expertise during more than ten years working in several sectors of activity such as high tech, transportation, and consulting. Her skills are as varied as negotiation, answer to international calls for tenders, project financing, costs controls and risks analysis. Then, she decided to put such a business expertise to the benefit of the Arts which are her real passion.

Her creativity started then to be completely unleashed: she created a piano and music methodology for very young students after she studied what her competition was doing and following a training with music together, she created a drama technique based exclusively upon improvisation. She’ll touch such a number of varied activities that one can wonder if she’ll ever stop.

From music teacher, she started working with puppets and then teaches drama (after completing her training a year at MIT) in parallel of a new avenue consisting into supporting young artists and working on the production of a huge project.

Claude Rothman is planning to produce the Requiem of Dutch composer Dan Loredan which requires 100 singers and 60 musicians.  For now, aware of the economical challenges she is facing, as any cultural organization, she is trying to secure her board and cash flow.  In the meantime, the new entity “Claude Rothman for the Arts” works at the exhibition of the Spanish photographer Pilar Mauri.  As one can see she is as she herself says it a real “world citizen”, used to travel and dialog in three dialect: English, French and Spanish.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

1. Oprah Winfrey has been inspiring us each month with her unique approach to life and to creating our very best lives so, as a tribute to her, A La Oprah, what did you know for sure when you decided to be a solo business practitioner?

Claude: I knew for sure I’ll succeed.

 

2. Take us through a typical day with your schedule from start to finish.

Claude:

  • Shower
  • Breakfast while I shake my agenda for the possible RdV, Quick look at emails (the important one)
  • Wake up my son
  • Start working by answering important emails.  Work on the prospects, projects, existing programs…
  • Quick lunch while I quickly read the NY times on line.
  • I start working again
  • Return from school, homework, I cook diner.
  • I play piano.
  • Check Facebook, magazines, LI, see if there’s any interesting artist and/or speak with some of them on Skype.
  • If possible 10-30′ exercise
  • I read until our very late European diner time

There are of course many variations such as business lunch, meetings…

 

3. What are a few of your “can’t live without” applications on your personal computer/smart phone?

Claude:

 

4. What are your tricks for time management?

Claude: I’m naturally very organized. I have my routine but as soon as there’s a priority, it almost takes all of the non primordial time without limit until done (always on time).

 

5. Best advice received when you started your business?

Claude: Never give up. It fits me well, I’m persistent 🙂

 

6. If given an extra hour each day to seek new ideas and brainstorm, what are some sources you turn to?

Claude: The Internet, newspapers, magazines, books and people.

 

7. Given the current economic climate, how has your strategy for your companies changed for the short-term and long-term?

Claude: In the short term, I’ve been obliged to research more sources of cash flow. I used to do everything by myself, alone, adding training if needed.  Today, this is no longer possible and in still in the short term I am prospecting to create a solid team of leaders like me.

The medium-long term puts the emphasis on the organization’s communication and identification of our public i.e. website, advertising, public relation. With the Loredan’s Requiem project I made an enormous amount of research and plan to write a blog which will challenge the most stubborn prejudices.

 

8. What’s been your proudest achievement as an entrepreneur?

Claude: The successful switch from 100% business career to a mostly artistic career.

 

9. What are some of the ways that you achieve balance in your life?

Claude: My family is crucial, so I make sure to be available at snack time and stop everything at diner time + 20:30 (there are some exceptions of course such as meeting a deadline).
The Arts are of course fundamental in my life so, I take the time every day to read, explore…
Finally, I try to exercise a little bit each day at home (no more than 30 minutes).

 

10. Two books you would recommend highly to our readers (and why?)

Claude:

  • ‘The Chronicles of Lymond’ by Dorothy Dunnett. I love and recommend any book of this historical fiction collection because it takes you through time and space. I’ve been to most of the countries she deals with and deeply enjoyed the accuracy of her descriptions of the culture, traditions, aesthetic, beauties.
  • ‘Chronicles of Amber’ by Roger Zelazny. This science fiction collection is unique.  The ideas are incredible and when you try to picture the scenes, they are amazingly splendid and colorful.  There has been many copies since then but he was the first and there’s some genie in each and all of his books.

 

11. If you received a surprise bonus equal to half of your monthly salary, what (if anything) would you spend it on?

Claude: I’ll spend it on my business which needs a more important cash flow considering the size of the projects I undertake now.

 

12. What are some of your most rewarding charitable involvements and why?

Claude: I give to many associations but two have my preference:

  • Doctors Without Borders; they always do more with tangible results.
  • Breast Cancer Research.  I feel results are almost there and feel helping to push in that direction.

 

13. Who has been the most influential person to you as you’ve advanced in your career?

Claude: David Unger (www.davidunger.net, solutions@davidunger.net) not only directed my steps in the non profit world which is his expertise but always asked about my projects, followed them sometimes with advise.Constructive and professional, David offered his time and support which is very unusual nowadays.

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