MEDUSA BREWING CO.
What is your business?
Medusa Brewing Company is a microbrewery and taproom located in Hudson, MA that specializes in producing beer from all over the style catalog. We are a brewery that holds a strong focus on beer, its tradition, and the people we serve. We brew everything from Belgian-style ales and German lagers, to juicy IPAs and flavor-rich stouts, and we provide an incredible space for it to be consumed in. We aim to treat all of our guests with the upmost respect while providing them with an experience they’ll want to share and relive.
Keith Sullivan, Co-Owner of Medusa
Images by Elise Meader Photography
What is your favorite quote ever, and why?
I have two quotes. One that has stuck with me for a long time, and one that I recently became attached to. They serve completely different purposes, but are a handy tool to have in your pocket when you need some inspiration. The first one I am sure a lot of people have heard. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” It reminds me to take the time to watch my sons discover new things, sit in front of a fire with my wife, call my parents, reach out to my brother, or pick up a guitar and escape for a bit. That’s life, and John Lennon said that one. The other quote is quite different, but I recently heard it and fell in love. “The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers.” It’s a slight elaboration on a famous Peter Drucker quote, but I don’t know who actually said/wrote it. Regardless, I couldn’t agree with it more.
How do you stay creative while running a business?
Creativity is a funny word, for me anyway. Creativity creates creation, and creation creates creativity. When an idea becomes a reality that you’ve nurtured and built, you ultimately become attached to it. Watching that idea succeed, be it a beer that receives praise or an event that has incredible turnout, spawns the desire to keep creating. Every successful business owner understands the importance of disruption and the role that creativity plays in it. Not every idea is a good one, and that’s why you keep creating new ones. The more you create, the more you succeed.
When you are in a rut, where are your favorite places to go for inspiration?
Whenever I am in a rut my wife Christie drags me out. I don’t have a favorite place to be because she seems to be able to do it no matter where I am or how deep that rut may be. If I need inspiration, I look to my boys, my wife, and my partners at Medusa. That’s my family and they inspire me.
What is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
Balance. Managing our marketing, digital presence, business development, customer relationships and programs, our family of employees, and the need to keep up with growth (or stay ahead of it), is extremely time-consuming. A business is a living thing that requires nurturing and doesn’t understand the clock. It’s important to give yourself and your family time whenever possible. It’s hard, but you get the hang of it, eventually.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing at the beginning of your journey, what would it be?
There is no problem that can’t be solved. Believe in yourself, your partners, and those who share your vision.
KEITH’S 5 FAVORITE THINGS
The things that get me going,
in no particular order, are:
A good view
If you could say one thing to an entrepreneur who is struggling to find their way, what would it be?
Sorry, but I have 3, and they work.
1. The key to creating a successful business is to disrupt the market. Whether you are a small business impacting a limited geographical area, or a large business that is trying to steer the direction of their markets, disruption of the status quo is key to drawing attention, customers, and
2. Success runs on energy. If it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. You can use a lot of energy trying to make something work that won’t work the way it was put together. Try to refocus your energy and build something else from the ground up. I see a lot of businesses try the same thing over and over in hopes that variation will eventually work. It likely will work, but it’s a completely inefficient and risky process that can leave you torched by competitors. Now, refer back to #1!
3. Don’t try to be a hero and “do it all”. Accept help, accept partners, and accept your capabilities and incapabilities. Take that same mentality and apply it to your business. Don’t try to do it all. Focus on something and do it better than everyone else.
I’ve done a lot in my life and don’t live with any regrets. I’ve made some mistakes, but lessons aren’t free right? Sometimes I wonder how I got here and I then I remind myself that I am a bit of a risk-taker. I am also a dreamer…
I come from a technology background, and to this day I still work in the field. I love what I do, I love my family, and I plan to retire early and take my wife around the World.
I once played bass guitar in a band that opened for Huey Lewis and The News, and I’ve traveled all around Alaska. Somewhere in that mix I wound up meeting my business partners and Medusa eventually arrived. I want to see my boys grow up and become fathers themselves, and I want to get back into writing music at some point.
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