This is one of a series of interviews honoring Grady College College alumni who have been recognized as Bulldog 100 recipients in 2021. The Bulldog 100 is sponsored by the UGA Alumni Association and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni.
Other Grady College alumni recognized in the 2021 Bulldog 100 class include:
- Heather Adams, Choice Media (ABJ ’98)
- Brooke Beach, Marketwake (ABJ ’11)
- Rebecca Berton, Rheos Gear (ABJ ’11)
- Leo Falkenstein, Consume Media Atlanta (ABJ ’13, BBA ’14)
- Katherine Mason, SculptHouse Boutique (ABJ ’12)
2021 is Gorlin’s seventh consecutive year being honored by Bulldog 100. He is a serial entrepreneur with two companies among the top-100 fastest growing Bulldog businesses.
Gorlin is a regular voice at Grady College and UGA when it comes to entrepreneurship. In 2016, he was a featured speaker for TedxUGA. You can see that talk here.
Grady College: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?
Gorlin: “Grady equipped me with communication skills that are critical for any entrepreneur— specifically, how to tell a good story, and how to talk to lots of different kinds of people. You have to be able to connect with people who don’t think like you and be able to get them to see things from your perspective. Finding the story in an idea is how you do that. You can buy accountants and lawyers, but good storytellers are hard to come by.”
GC: How has your field changed since you were a Grady student?
Gorlin: “It sometimes distresses me that my degree in Newspapers no longer exists at the school I graduated from. So much for my early aspirations to be the next Lewis Grizzard.”
GC: What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?
Gorlin: “No matter what your project is, you need to factor in inertia. You have to just go — just get started. There’s value in the grind. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to build a tech startup or write a book; you have to take the first few steps, and then you have to just keep moving. There will be times that you have to make decisions with imperfect information. Embrace that. Perfect is often the enemy of done.”
GC: What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
Gorlin: “People like to do business with people they like. Find ways to say yes. At the end of the day, business is really just a continuous set of problems you have to solve. So above all other skills, try to work with “figure-it-outers” first.”
GC: What is the most important skill an entrepreneur must master?
Gorlin: “Starting things is a messy endeavor. Be cool with it.”
GC: What is your favorite memory from your time in Athens?
Gorlin: “I started one of my first businesses when I was at UGA. My dad encouraged me to get my pilot’s license while I was in college, and after doing so, I started Classic City Air Tours, giving students and parents tours over Athens in a Cessna 172. Highlights of the tour included UGA Sanford Stadium and Kenny Rogers’ farm. It didn’t hurt my dating life, either.”