Alumnus follows his dream

By Hannah Ray Lambert

Evergreen reporter

When Daniel Taibleson started his own company, he learned almost everything the hard way.

In May of 2012, the WSU graduate launched Only the Beat, an online community that provides electronic dance music news and, occasionally, free downloads.

Taibleson said he has been passionate about electronic dance music for a long time and, before starting Only the Beat, wrote for another website. Through that job he met a publicist out of Denver and started an internship which enabled him to work closely with artists.

“I wanted to break off and do my own thing,” Taibleson said.

Although he was unfamiliar with the technical side of building a website, Taibleson said he quickly gathered people who could help him start out.

“A good leader is someone who knows how to surround themselves with people that are smarter than themselves,” he said.

Financial Advisor Justin Rezvani said a coworker introduced him to Taibleson. The two began talking, and Taibleson wanted to involve him in the project. He said the company vision drew him in.

“It’s a really strong team and the whole vision behind it is driven by passion,” Rezvani said.

In the beginning, Rezvani did on-camera interviews of high-profile DJs, including Markus Schulz. Now, though, he focuses on the monetary side of the business.

When Taibleson was building his team, he started with close friends who were passionate about the music.

He said one of his biggest mistakes was that he was afraid to turn anyone down or put strict parameters on what he wanted people to do because he wasn’t paying them.

“I built up a really big team of people that were posting here and there without any structure,” he said. “It was a learning experience.”

He said he is now confident in his core team.

“The hardest part of starting a business is finding those quality people, especially if you have limited cash flow to start with. I learned most everything the hard way, but that’s not a bad thing.”

Taibleson said graduates should be as proactive as possible and explore different outlooks. He said they shouldn’t be afraid of failure or taking risks.

“There’s really no such thing as failing unless you don’t learn from your failure,” he said. “Take risks, but take smart risks.”

He said some of his company’s biggest competitors are college students because they have a lot of free time. He emphasized that students should take advantage of their free time to network and build a resume.

“When you graduate college, no one cares what your GPA was,” he said. “It’s ‘What have you done?’ ‘How much money have you made someone?’ ‘What have you accomplished?’”

Rezvani agreed with this sentiment and recommended that college students do what they can to fill a resume before graduating.

He said campus involvement is one of the easiest and most fruitful ways for students to differentiate themselves.

“There are literally limitless options,” Taibleson said. “You just have to take the initiative…. The future belongs to people who really care.”