The Life and Extraordinary Success of Armand Peri (armandperi.com) – the Story of How One Man Overcame All Odds to Create One of the Leading Brands in the Entertainment Industry
Growing up as the son of first-generation immigrant parents, Armand Peri struggled to find his place in life. His family was penniless and lived in a small cramped one-bedroom apartment in Newark, NJ. Although his parents were loving and caring, they instilled a pessimistic view of life into Armand at a young age. They believed that one had little control over one’s fate in life; if you were born poor then you were meant to be poor. There was a lot of complaining between his mother and father over what they could and could not afford. Armand had greater ambitions and always believed in the American Dream. He would later venture out into the real world and prove his parents wrong.
As a young teenager Armand quickly developed a special talent for art and leveraged his talents to attend a prestigious art high school in Newark, NJ. He quickly won many national talent art competitions and even travelled to Washington D.C. to meet with President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan. Soon later he applied and was accepted into the School of Visual Arts in New York City. However at the pressure from his parents to find a more traditional stable career, he switched his major to architecture.
He applied his dedication to the arts to bodybuilding and began lifting weights during his teens. He quickly grew from 127 pounds to over 200 pounds and would eventually win the local Mr. Teenage New Jersey competition at the age of 19. He treated his body like a blank art canvas and created and sculpted the physique he had always dreamed of. It was during his bodybuilding career that he would meet a fellow bodybuilder who worked at a local male revue. Intrigued, he quickly began working there himself and found instant success with the clientele.
Sensing a gap in the market for a high-quality male revue show, Armand Peri ventured off and began his own show in 1998 called Hunk-O-Mania. He grew the company slowly at first but it eventually ballooned into a successful venture with shows in over 19 cities and national tours throughout the year. His show has been seen by millions of women and has received praise and accolades from various media outlets.
When asked what the secret to his success was, he simply replies that most people who seek success are looking for a quick fix and an easy answer. The intelligent and astute entrepreneurs are always looking for something deeper because they understand that success is a long-term journey. They are willing to put in the time and want to relate to others who have traveled that journey before them.
One piece of advice is to immerse yourself in hobbies outside of your work. Armand believes that it is very important to focus on a creative outlet that will allow one to clear one’s mind of the stress that becoming and entrepreneur entails. It is important to pursue those interests and hobbies with the same drive and ambition it takes to grow a business. Outside activities instill a sense of purpose and help people build smaller “wins” over time and provide entrepreneurs with the confidence to make good business decisions. The goal is to avoid burnout which is a real problem for entrepreneurs.
He also believes that it is important to find the missing gap in the field that one is in. Business opportunities develop when people decide to find a better way of solving an existing problem. It is important to find an inefficiency in the market and then find a better way to either rebuild, present or promote something. Even someone working in a deli could identify missteps during their daily operations. It is important to identify these inefficiencies and develop a solution to promote a product and/or service. There is always a better method of doing things.
Also, it is important to develop a strong idea of the market and the business. Many entrepreneurs fail because they do not fully understand the market they are in. One should be the number one authority of the market they seek to find success in. As an example, some people decide to start a software company but do not fully understand the development process or how to communicate with software engineers. It is not necessary to be a micromanager but it is important to know every role of the business in order to make the best decisions. By fully immersing oneself in the industry, Armand believes that one will uncover hidden opportunities.
Next, Armand stresses the importance of focusing on the customer’s needs. The customers are the ultimate bosses. It is important to learn what customers are looking for and what they are struggling with. Determine how one can improve their lives or provide a better experience. By immersing oneself in the customer’s shoes an aspiring entrepreneur can respond to their needs accordingly.
Finally, Armand believes it is important to exactly define what one desires and is looking to achieve. Although it may sound simple many people do not clearly define their goals or what success is. Many entrepreneurs speak of success using general terms. They only want the fancy car or the big house but it is more important to focus on concrete goals such as having control over finances or having the freedom to travel. Armand was successful because he set his goals incrementally. He wrote down these goals on the back of his closet door and set out to achieve them one by one. Even though some of his goals were lofty, he was able to achieve them through hard work. He clearly defined what his goals were for financial success and business expansion. It is very important for entrepreneur to clearly define what they are looking to achieve in order to develop the correct blueprint to go about achieving these goals.
Armand is truly the definition of the American Dream. Coming from nothing and speaking very little English when he first came to the United States, he was able to leverage his knowledge and business acumen into building one of the leading entertainment brands in the industry. At this point in his life he feels that it is more important to give back and to inspire others who were in his shoes. By following his guidance, he truly believes that anyone can also achieve the American Dream.