If you've heard the name Ian Gerard at some point in the past, you may not be quite sure exactly who this person is. However, it would be safe to say that he is easily one of the foremost individuals when it comes to spearheading movements that are centered around the Arts or other entrepreneurial endeavors. If that has your interest piqued, you might want to keep reading so you can find out 10 more things about the Vassar Alum. By the time you're finished, you'll likely want to know even more about this dynamic and unique individual. For starters, you can look at these 10 things listed below.
1. He's probably one of the most progressive people you're likely to run into
There is no doubt about the fact that Gerard has always felt like people should push themselves in order to be their best. That passion has only been equaled by the fact that he feels like each individual should be supported by other like-minded people. To that end, he has been working to create these types of organizations for more than 20 years now.
2. He has experience as a CEO
As a matter of fact, he was not only the entrepreneur that started GenArt, but also the company's CEO. He began that endeavor back in 1997, far before it was considered hip, trendy or cool to do such things. GenArt was a company that was designed specifically to help new artists find their footing, largely through collaboration and peer support. You might say that in some ways, it was the forerunner to The Social University, which will be discussed in greater detail later on.
3. He was a lawyer
You might not think of someone that is so supportive of the Arts as a law professional, but that is precisely what he was. Up until he founded GenArt in 1997, he actually had a practice as a corporate lawyer. Perhaps this is a prime example of someone who has studied for years to work in a specific profession and then ultimately finds that the particular profession in question really isn't for them after all. It happens all the time and apparently it happened in his case as well. There's certainly no shame in it. In reality, the only shame is failing to be true to oneself.
4. He got a vote for sexiest man alive
Apparently, it isn't just his business prowess or his love for the Arts that gets people's attention. In 2005, he was also voted by Time Magazine as the sexiest man alive, something that seems to make headlines each and every year. Typically, the people who receive such votes are well-known celebrities, A-listers who have become household names almost universally. It's relatively rare that someone who hasn't been heard of publicly, at least not a great deal, receives such a vote.
5. He's no stranger to representing celebrities
While he was the CEO of GenArt, he had a client list that would make most people's heads spin, not the least of which included Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. There were plenty of A-list celebrities that routinely sought the services of his company. Although the company would see a dramatic slump after he left, he did come back for a short time to help after it was relaunched several years later. It seems that it was indeed his passion for the industry that was keeping the company going strong because at two separate points when he has stepped down, things have gone very badly for the company and they happened relatively quickly.
6. He has found a way to join his love of the Arts with personal interests
Even the toughest and most hardened individuals have some type of love for the Arts, whether it includes movies, music or books. It just might be all of the above. However, a lot of people don't necessarily know how to incorporate that love into their daily lives. Gerard found a way to make it happen when he founded a company called Syndicate-5. The gist of the company was to take forms of the Arts that people were interested in and then create products specifically for each individual based on those interests.
7. He doesn't believe in doing anything unless it can be done with passion
Some people are able to focus on things that they're not particularly passionate about and they still do a good job. For others, it's almost impossible to focus on something unless they are truly passionate about it in the first place. In Gerard's case, he firmly believes that unless one is passionate about something, they really shouldn't waste their time with it. He's quick to point out that life is far too short to spend it doing something you never wanted to be doing to begin with.
8. He also understands combining passion with good business sense
It would be nice to live in a world where the only thing that you ever had to do was something that you wanted to do but unfortunately, that's just not realistic. However, it is possible to surround yourself with the things that you are passionate about, especially when you're able to combine them with a different type of understanding that makes it more likely that you will succeed in those endeavors. For example, Gerard has a deep love for the Arts and a good understanding of business and he frequently marries the two together in order to create new and successful ventures.
9. He currently runs The Social University
This might sound like some type of online school, but it really couldn't be any different if it tried. In reality, it's similar to GenArt, only not quite as formal. The idea behind it is to get people that love the Arts together and then make positive changes in the world as a direct result of that love. It's really about having like-minded people come together, just as in the previous case.
10. He doesn't take no for an answer
Clearly, if he were the type of person to say okay every time someone else said no, he would never have achieved the things that he has achieved thus far. This is something that he tries to pass on to others as he teaches them that without a doubt, there will be doors slammed in every person's face at one time or another. The key to success is to keep knocking on doors until you find one that finally opens.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith