Unafraid And Unapologetic with Damian Pelliccione

Brian Thompson chats with Damian Pelliccione, CEO and co-founder of Revry, a global, LGBTQ-first streaming network with free live TV, movies, series, news, and more. Through Revry, Damian champions diversity and inclusion in the media and entertainment industry.

On the episode, Damian shares their journey to becoming a first-time CEO and the corresponding struggles with imposter syndrome. They also highlight the importance of working on yourself and setting good boundaries, and how being your authentic, unapologetic self gives your business the best chance of thriving.

Episode Highlights

Mission-driven businesses leave a legacy.

For Damian, Revry’s mission is to be the driving, positive force in media for queer culture. To meet that mission, Revry creates content reflective of the entire LGBTQ community, which is not homogenous by race, gender, sexual orientation, or language.

Revry also lives out its mission by having an incredibly diverse workforce that is reflective of the audience it wants to serve.

“We’ve attracted the most diverse, talented team on the planet, and I’m very proud of everyone who works for us,” Damian said.

But the mission of Revry goes beyond the workforce and content that it produces today. While Damian is proud of how far the company has come, they envision that Revry will ultimately be part of their legacy.

“You realize this is going to be bigger than me; this will live beyond me,” Damian said. “This legacy that hopefully we are building with this business will resonate well beyond my years, and that is the coolest thing I could ever do with my life.”

Fail big. Fail fast.

When Damian talks to young entrepreneurs, they emphasize the need to fail big and fail fast — but also to learn from failures. While starting over or starting something new is part of the entrepreneurial process, it’s also important to build resilience.

“You may have to scrap the whole thing and start over and try something new, but that’s okay,” Damian said. “The difference is the resilience to never give up, to keep going.” 

Learning from failure and adapting is part of Damian’s own entrepreneurial journey. Damian believes that their “false starts” before Revry were crucial to getting them to where they are today in both work and life.

“Had those not existed for me, had I not had those experiences, had I not taken the time to listen to them and evaluate what went wrong … there’s no way I’d be sitting here talking to you,” they said.

Be unafraid and unapologetic in business and life.

Damian was clear about their biggest takeaway for entrepreneurs: “Live out loud. Be unapologetic. Be vulnerable. And be unafraid.”

One way Damian lives their life in this manner is by dressing to impress themself. One way that they do that is by wearing heels on public stages, panels, and conferences.

“There’s something about putting on that shoe that gives me the vote of confidence,” they said. “I feel powerful, and I feel fabulous. That’s the energy that I want to exude when I’m doing something in a public forum.”

By not holding back from their true, authentic self, Damian believes they’re permitting others to also live as their authentic selves. But even more, that living authentically has made them even more respected professionally.

“Business is evolving to the point where that level of authenticity is going to be such a tenant to company cultures and will hopefully soon be equated in a datapoint to show this is how you really build a brand,” Damian said. “You are the brand.”

Resources + Links

About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast 

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.