Meet the Team: Maxim Boelter (CCO)

Get to know our team better. Next up, Maxim Boelter.

I. The starter

One to two paragraphs per answer.

Who are you and what do you do at Black One?

I’m Maxim — co-founder and CCO at Black One.

At Black One, I oversee our creative output (content, products, etc.) and ensure that both creators, as well as our customers, experience the value they desire. An additional task is reviewing and evaluating various creatives that want to work at our company. Character- and culture- fit is the most important factor besides their level of engagement and adaptable skillset.

What is your personal and professional background?

I like to think that I had a rather interesting childhood. I was born in Berlin but raised across 3 continents and 8 countries. I saw the inside of a lot of different schools and initially had a hard time always being “the new kid.” My upbringing was a good mixture of tough love, freedom (with clear boundaries), and high standards. In retrospect, I’m thankful for this as it set me up to take responsibility for my life from early on. I was encouraged to “do stuff,” fall on my face trying new things, take risks, and experiment.

Thanks to my mother’s background in music, I was also raised with an emphasis on the creative. Before I was 10 years old I had already started playing the violin, cello, and piano; composing smaller piano pieces together with my teacher as well. Ultimately, I stuck with the clarinet (for whatever reason) and played it intensively up until I left school at 17. I remember getting into electronic music when I was around 12 years old. At the time I was mostly listening to heavy metal and classical music (don’t ask). However, there was a certain allure to electronic music that drew me in.

Not too long after, at around 13, I started getting into “DJing.” I remember convincing my dad to buy me the Numark Mixtrack Pro for my birthday. Together with Traktor (software) I then went down the rabbit hole and spent most of my time (outside of school) practicing and pretending that I’m playing festivals. Fast-forward two years and now things got a little bit more serious.

Between the torture of school and pressure from my mother, I had still found the time to DJ for free at people’s parties, events, etc. This proved to be an important stepping stone (as you’ll find out in the next paragraph). On top, I was deeply involved with learning music production after I finally got my own laptop. I realized that I’ll never reach my goal (playing in front of thousands of people) if I don’t make music and build a brand with it. If you’re wondering, yes, I spent most of my time inside. I also had a great music teacher at school that encouraged my “dreams” and convinced the school to purchase new computers — a godsend for the pain it was to produce with a bad laptop.

I started to consider a career in music after I won a worldwide DJ competition at 15. While playing one of the parties someone told me about the competition and that I should enter “just for fun.” Never would I have guessed that I would actually win it. This was what I won with (lol):

I was the label’s official DJ for a while after (until I ended the relationship).

The bit of exposure and learnings then gave me more courage to pursue my dreams. I also had a lot of interest in pursuing physics but my parents didn’t think it was lucrative enough (they had no clue I saw music as the 2nd most viable option). Not long after, the electronic music I was making started to get decent enough for listening too.

At the time (and even now) there isn’t really a guide on how to make it as an artist. And at 16, you’re not really thinking about it in terms of releasing great content, building your 1000 true fans, generating enough revenue to sustain your lifestyle, getting the right people involved to help you grow, etc. But I had the luck of connecting with many cool and talented people via Facebook. Constantly learning and supporting each other meant that I also collaborated with many of them musically.

A few of those tracks were then signed by Selected. a year after (once they launched their label). During my brief time as an “artist”, I really experienced how inefficient and unfair the music industry can be. With problems left and right, I knew that I had to find different ways to support what I enjoyed doing the most. It wasn’t DJing anymore or wanting to be a performing artist, but rather just creating music.

At now 17, after releasing some tracks, one of Sony’s sub-labels reached out wanting to license a song in the UK. Shortly after I was also offered the opportunity to remix some of their artist’s songs. This was right around when I also got into ghost production. I saw it as the easiest way to make money quickly from the thing I enjoy doing. Long story short, the next years were spent working for and with various artists and major labels. I progressed as an engineer as well as producer and got a great glimpse into what the music industry does behind closed doors.

Eventually, I had enough though. Constantly being pressured into creating music I didn’t care about (or like) for their profit wasn’t what I had in mind. It wasn’t good for my mental or physical health and despite making money, I felt like I needed to do something “bigger”. My ambition grew and I started meeting more people outside of the music industry. That’s exactly how I ended up meeting Klaus H. Wilch and developing Black One.

What is the background of your family?

I’ve learned many things from both of my parents. Observing what creates success and what should be avoided. My mother is definitely the person that instilled what one might consider “musical gifts” into me from a very young age. Whereas my father (who built and managed several companies) is who I have many core similarities with in terms of ambition and business.

My mother is an incredible musician in her own right. Mentored by the great Nathan Milstein (considered one of the best violinists of all time) she was known best for playing the violin professionally and giving concerts throughout the world for many years. My father, originally an architect, founded different companies and was one of the first to develop software solutions for the construction/architecture markets. Now my parents focus primarily on real estate management and property investments.

What are your passions and hobbies outside of work?

I’m grateful for the fact that my “work” has the ability to encompass almost all of my passions and hobbies. Therefore, I’ll only highlight areas that don’t provide tangible results towards my work.

One could say that I’m quite obsessed with my own health and well-being. And not in the pseudoscience “the health trend of today” type way either. There’s a lot of misinformation out there in the world (everyone is trying to sell you a product or their belief). I’m fascinated with how the body and mind work. I could write so much on this topic alone but I’ll just leave it at that for now. Otherwise, I enjoy mixed martial arts, lifting weights, cooking tasty and nourishing meals, and adventures with my girlfriend a lot.

What was the hardest so far while building/working at Black One?

Staying patient and getting comfortable with things taking longer than expected. I wouldn’t say this was “hard” but most things building Black One haven’t been for me personally. Maybe it’s just part of my character that I don’t dwell on “hard” life situations. Looking on the bright side and enjoying the process is what I’m better at. Therefore I’d say so far things have been uncomfortable or frustrating for me at most (even when you only have 0.24 cents in your bank account — I’m great at fasting though).

What are your goals in 2020?

Finally working on more music again! Making some hits and collaborating with more creatives.

II. Work & Character

Answer within only one to three lines.

What energizes you at work?

Flow and genuine creativity. Moving my body. Humor. Finishing important tasks earlier than expected.

Your main principles?

Stop “wishing,” accept reality and deal with it. Be open-minded. Simplify. Fail well, greet pain, reflect. In life, strive to be the professional, not the amateur.

Your main piece of wisdom:

  • Raise your standards, everything “difficult” becomes easier.
  • The destination of life is death; fall in love with the process and don’t sweat the small stuff.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • Bring awareness to your energy, state, and thought-patterns. Get out of your head and into your body when possible.
  • Beauty is a measurement of effort to be divine. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
  • Action leads to more action, excuses create more excuses. Both have their momentum.
  • Worldview controls your life, so choose it wisely.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Your attitude towards any circumstance can be controlled and shapes your reality.

Your strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Self-aware. Self-Controlled. Focused. Patient. Detail-orientated. Disciplined. Frugal.

Weaknesses: Can get stuck on fixing details which drastically slows down my work. Very direct and (not knowingly) insensitive, can rub people the wrong way. Ignorant towards topics I don’t deem important (but others do). I could be less rigid and critical sometimes. Overconfidence has come off as arrogance in the past.

What makes you angry?

I rarely get “angry.” What works for me is simply communicating better and managing expectations. So instead of using the word anger, let’s use annoying instead.

Things that annoy me: incompetence, delusional behavior, “productive” procrastination. False accusations. Unreliability. Limited-resource “leeches” — time, energy, attention, etc.

Yet, I try not to sweat the small stuff. The consequences of anger tend to be more harmful than the circumstances that aroused them. We should make ourselves responsible first if things don’t go the way we intended them to.

Optimist, Realist or Pessimist?

A realist in past and present. Optimistic when looking into the future.

What’s one totally irrational/daily fear that you have?

Nothing too irrational or something that I contemplate on a daily basis. But stuck alone in an ocean surrounded by pitch-black water and waves crashing in...been there, done that. Not worth reliving.

Your biggest fear?

I like fear. It’s at the root of our actions, choices, and eventual decisions that shape our lives. Especially when I see other people afraid of something, I get excited for them.

Therefore I would say the one overarching main fear (or outcome) that I have: not living a life worth remembering. Everything else is just uncomfortable or temporary fear of the unknown. Stop thinking so much, do. After all, the cost of inaction can be much greater than facing your fears.

Role models?

I think for every aspect of my life, I look to different masters in that domain. Take your pick from any of the greatest minds or leaders throughout history. Not only measuring their achievements but also how they lived their lives.

What’s one thing about you that surprises people?

My age. I’m actually very empathetic (as in being able to put myself into the shoes of someone else and understand their situations); what I lack is sympathy — probably a product of my upbringing.

For what are you most grateful today?

Childhood experiences and “tough” parenting making me very self-sufficient from early on. My around 6 near-death experiences.

What does success mean to you?

It’s usually a few things with these types of questions. But I have personally felt the most successful when happiness (the state not the emotion) in the present moment is not compromised by external stressors. I believe crafting a reality and lifestyle for oneself that maximizes these moments is key.

III. The fun & embarrassing

Any nicknames?

Back in school: “Dicki” — as in a German “chubby.”

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

For many years in my life, I was a total night owl. However, looking back at those times those were also my most unhealthy and lonely. I now look forward to getting up as early as I can (while still spending enough time with my loved ones between leaving work late and going to bed). I need at least 6 hours of sleep to do my best work and I’m the most present in the morning.

All-time favorite books you would recommend?

Let me break this up into different categories. First up, it would be the books that have had the most profound impact on the course of my life:

The Way of the Superior Man
Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment

Some Business Books I’ve Enjoyed:

  • The E-Myth Revisited — Michael E. Gerber
  • Your First 100 Million — Dan Pena
  • The Magic of Thinking Big — David J. Schwartz
  • 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing — Al Ries & Jack Trout
  • The 10X Rule — Grant Cardone
  • Relentless — Tim S. Grover
  • High Output Management — Andrew Grove

Some Health Books I Like (and recommend):

  • Estrogeneration — Anthony G. Jay
  • How To Eat, Move And Be Healthy — Paul Chek
  • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration — Weston A. Price
  • Generative Energy: Restoring the Wholeness of Life — Ray Peat

Other:

  • Tools of Titans — Tim Ferriss
  • Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters — Alan S. Miller, Satoshi Kanazawa
  • Meditations — Marcus Aurelius
  • The Evolution Of Desire — David M. Buss
  • The Madness of Crowds — Douglas Murray
  • Deep Work — Cal Newport

TV shows/films you would recommend?

TV Shows: Entourage, Californication, Silicon Valley, Archer, Futurama.

Films: Christopher Nolan & Hans Zimmer collaborating, David Fincher movies, The Lobster, Wall-E.

When you are online just for fun, what’s interesting to you in terms of content and sites?

YouTube for almost anything. Medium is great. I like some podcasts too.

Other:

What is on your bucket list?

  • Visit space
  • Wild camping across the world for at least 6 months
  • Build a billion-dollar company
  • 10 consecutive muscle-ups, deadlift 280kg (with good form)
  • Jump out of a high-altitude plane (with a parachute)
  • Complete an elite military training program
  • Get below 15% body fat (and maintain)
  • Pet and swim with Manatees

What don’t you give a damn about?

  • “News” and gossip
  • The current education system
  • Your “problems” and complaining
  • Surface-level and banal information
  • Chronically close-minded individuals
  • Materialistic possessions purchased to impress others

What do you give a damn about?

  • Discipline
  • Experimentation
  • My loved ones (obviously)
  • Treating your body and mind with respect
  • People who call out B.S. and who I can laugh with and learn from.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to pretty much everything for “evaluation purposes.” What ends up in one of my playlists is usually something that impresses and energizes me while expressing a particular vibe I resonate with.

Songs that you listen to at the moment / come to your mind right now?

Some tracks in my playlist right now:

  • Therapy — Duke Dumont
  • Disco Inferno — The Trammps
  • California Soul — Marlena Shaw
  • Zephyr — Dax J
  • Gang Gang — Jackboys & Sheck Wes
  • For the Dollar Bill — Tommy Tate
  • Careless — Dusky
  • The Threat Is Real — Megadeath
  • Vex Oh — Kaytranada
  • Spirit In The Sky — Norman Greenbaum
  • Millions — Young Thug
  • Pjanoo — Eric Prydz
  • Shook Ones, Pt. II— Mobb Deep

What fictional place would you most like to visit?

The Star Trek or Futurama universe (inside one of the spaceships).

If you could hang out with any cartoon character, who would you choose and why?

Bender or Archer. We’d have a swell time.

If someone were to play you in a movie, who would you want it to be?

No idea. Maybe Bradley Cooper (so I actually watch the movie).

Any last words?

Memento Mori

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Black One Entertainment

Black One Entertainment

We're on the mission to create the ultimate one-stop platform and creative playground for our artists.

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