CEO & Co-Founder
Aaron Loring Davis is the CEO and Co-Founder of Exploration, a media management and technology company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. He is also the CEO and Founder of Loring Company (www.loringcompany.com), which includes the following portfolios:
Tuesday Music, a timeless music acquisition private equity fund-
CSA Housing, real estate investments in value-add single and multi-family housing
Oak Bay Partners, rum and whiskey spirits acquisition private equity fund
Enduring Ventures, long-term acquisition and holding companywww.enduring.ventures
Aaron also owns a retreat space outside of Nashville @secretforestcamp (Instragram) and is the lead author of How The Music Business Works as well as a regular speaker and consultant on the subject. Aaron earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and is a self taught software engineer. He resides in Nashville with his wife and their two cats, Hamburger and King Tau Tau.
What is a personal piece of advice (business advice/saying/quote) that you lean on and could pass on to others?
“Facta, non verba” translates roiughly to “deeds, not words”.
I work in music so this has sort of a dual meaning for me. 1) talk is cheap..actions are so much more valuable…so many have this idea or this plan or learned this new technique….and NEVER DO ANYTHING! 2) don’t explain the music..just let me hear it.
This stuff was not as evident when I started my career, but now that I’ve worked with some of the best in the world, both at the front and behind the stage, it’s so clear who is operating and who is talking about it.
Best business book you’ve ever read?
I don’t think there is a single one book. I read so many..and reread them from time to time. Different parts. Maybe just a section of one and cover to cover of another.
I think the first business book I read in a sitting and one I really fell in love with, was Be My Guest about Conrad Hilton. One used to find the simple read in the nightstand with the Bible of every Hilton hotel room. It was so thrilling for me, a true American making good. He was born in New Mexico before it was a state and cut his teeth hosting folks as a kid, as his mother would send him to the train station to recruit wild catters and oil men to stay in their Bed & Breakfast. Didn’t buy his first hotel until he was 31..and then the Great Depression hit..but through determination and honesty and grit and transparency and good fortune didn’t go the way of many of his competitors..and went on to build one of the most important real estate companies ever. Makes me smile to just think about the man.
One misstep you took in your business that you could caution others about?
All these muppets pontificating ‘balance’ and ‘following your passion’ are totally full of 💩 these are quips to sell books and tickets to seminars.
Balance is for gymnastics and accounting. To be great, one must be obsessed. And it requires incredible sacrifice. There are only a handful of humans that have ever lived that were able to do it all and to suggest it to us mortals is a folly and a ruse.
Following your passion to make money is a great way to ruin your hobbies and art and passions!! As soon as you MUST have that special thing you love so much be a commercial success, the magic is gone. It’s a lot more of a reliable and proven path to make money where you know you can make money and then do the things you’re passionate about simply because you love them.
How to you de-stress after a particularly hard day?
I love to make things..it usually starts as a drawing or words or bullet points to reflect on as I gather materials..and then it’s sitting down and making the thing. I find that time dilates pretty significantly once I’m in the zone. Recent projects include carving spoons and leather work and I bought the beginnings of a forge to begin working with steel.
I reckon the most consistent ritual is that my wife and I drive our old beat up John Deere Gator to the end of our road and back home each day when she gets off work at 5pm. It’s a fun reset.
What’s something about you that would surprise everyone reading this?
My interests are pretty vast and I enjoy learning about all kinds of things..folks close to me say I’m nerdy in this way. But if it interests me, I have no issue searching the idea out a bit, buying / consuming the seminal volumes on the subject, and seeking out subject matter experts to share their perspectives. I’m ever grateful folks indulge me.
Also, I’m building a weird Airbnb @secretforestcamp on your favorite social media network.
What EO benefit has been most valuable to you?
Forum is great!! The referral network is undefeated.
Any exciting plans for this summer?
I write this on a flight to London to elope with my lovely bride.