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“5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Manage a Team” With Brian Lim, founder and CEO of iHeartRaves

Culture is to your employees, what your brand is to your customers. Take care of your team and they will take care of you and your customers. I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Lim, founder and CEO of iHeartRaves, INTO THE AM, and Emazing Lights which collectively form The Emazing Group. They are curators […]


Culture is to your employees, what your brand is to your customers. Take care of your team and they will take care of you and your customers.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Lim, founder and CEO of iHeartRaves, INTO THE AM, and Emazing Lights which collectively form The Emazing Group. They are curators of all over print clothing and world leaders in festival fashion and gaming apparel. They have been featured in the Inc. 5000, four years in a row.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I was going to music festivals all the time and we noticed there was a need for festival outfits and apparel. I quickly realized that buying apparel on sites like Etsy and eBay wasn’t the greatest source because they didn’t have very good customer service, and often times I wouldn’t receive products on time. The other thing that really stuck out to me with the whole rave scene is the freedom of self-expression that’s associated with it. I wanted to inspire creativity and encourage people to continue expressing themselves freely through fashion. So I started out with $100 selling out of the trunk of my car and was able to grow that into a 50+ person company, which grosses over $20M per year.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Emazing Group Olympics — We created a series of fun team building games where team members are in random groups and compete against each other in games such as beer pong, relay races and obstacle courses. Being able to see the entire team fully engaged and talking trash to each other has been a very memorable experience.

Another great time has been at our company holiday party at Dave and Busters. We decided to do an open bar and we were ordering 40 shots every round. We had one person throw up in our private room and needless to say we aren’t really welcome back. : )

Our Shark Tank experience: https://www.emazinglights.com/pages/emazinglights-shark-tank

How do you synchronize large teams to effectively work together?

We have a pragmatic approach utilizing defined systems and processes to tackle projects. Software helps streamline communication and project management tremendously. Tools like Slack, Basecamp, 7geese (SMART Goals) and many other tools are great but nothing beats in-person meetings like daily standups for keeping the team synchronized.

What is the top challenge when managing global teams in different geographical locations? Can you give an example or story?

We have an offshore team in India and the Philippines to supplement our USA staff of 60 people.

The biggest challenge is the time difference and syncing up the team whenever changes occur. The second biggest challenge is not being able to sit down face to face and having to rely on voice chat or video chat which isn’t always stable.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Culture is to your employees, what your brand is to your customers. Take care of your team and they will take care of you and your customers.

Most times when people quit their jobs they actually “quit their managers”. What are your thoughts on retaining talent today?

I agree with that statement 100%. We do bi-annual surveys company-wide where our team rates their direct managers. We then take that data and perform ongoing training for our managers to improve overall performance.

Based on your personal experience, what are the “5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Manage a Team”. (Please share a story or example for each, Ideally an example from your experience)

The five things you need to successfully manage a team are vision, organizational alignment, clear goals and objectives, proper funding, and then being able to get out of the way for the team to execute.

Expanded version:

– Set clear goals and objectives for the entire team and individually

– Get the right people on the bus and ensure they are on the right seat

– Ensure proper capital / funding to reach the teams objectives

– If you did everything well and created great alignment then get out of the way of the team and let them execute on the vision

This is how we have been able to create and acquire additional brands to add to the Emazing Group.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The Unicorn Crew from iHeartRaves promotes the spreading of positivity one kandi bracelet at a time.

At 30 years old, I have been primarily focusing on our company’s’ growth and sustainability. We have created some awesome community programs such as the Unicorn Crew and Glove4Glove which are aimed to get support from our communities to bring the most amount of good to our target audience. I plan to spend more time on this topic as I get more free time in the future.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Free up time to work on the business, instead of in the business.”

“The sweet spot in life is the intersection of your strengths and passion.”

“If you could rehire this person again today knowing what you know about them, would you? If not, they shouldn’t be a part of the team.”

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