Interview With Nancy Etz of Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

Nancy Etz is a Literary and Packaging Agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Etz works in the Los Angeles office and represents many of the world’s leading writers, directors, and producers in television including Noah Hawley, Courtney Kemp and Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

She has been central to the sale of several of the most impactful shows on television in the past 10 years, including Fargo, Power, The Rookie, NCIS: New Orleans, and the upcoming I Am The Night.

How and why did you become an entrepreneur? Was it something you always intended for yourself? 

I knew I had an interest in business, but I also had a strong interest in literature and art. In fact, in college I was an English major. However, the television and entertainment business seemed like an attractive field for me.

Many agents begin their careers in entertainment as assistants to other agents. Being an assistant allowed me to learn how the entertainment industry works. Working as an assistant to an agent showed me how I could combine my interest in business, art, and entrepreneurship in a remarkably interesting way.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for female entrepreneurs?

I think that the most important thing is to be your most authentic self, figure out who you are, and present that to your world as honestly as you can, and without hesitation.

I also think it is crucial to find a mentor or a confidant that you can bounce ideas off. Too often, young entrepreneurs get blinded by their excitement, and should take opportunities to slow down and take a step back. This allows you to look at your projection holistically and pivot, if necessary.

What do you think are the most common mistakes novice entrepreneurs make? And how can they avoid making them?  

I think the most important thing about being an entrepreneur is planning and preparation. For example, to create a very solid business plan, you should spend the necessary weeks and months to ensure everything is at its best.

Once everything is planned, that’s when you should start your enterprise. The most common mistake young people make is to try to do too much too soon and without being truly prepared.

Preparing for errors and understanding how to correct them is vital to this industry, any industry really. As entrepreneurs, you will make mistakes, but learning from them is the key to successful entrepreneurship.

How do you help support entrepreneurs who wish to further their education?

I try to work with young entrepreneurs by giving my time, acting as a mentor, and by giving financially to different institutions. When I was young in my career, the time and mentorship I was given helped me monumentally.

By giving financially, I want to help create opportunities for those who would otherwise not have the financial ability to continue their education. Having a higher education often opens doors for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Which female entrepreneurs inspire you the most? Why do you look up to them?    

I work in a business filled with great female entrepreneurs. I work alongside a number of them in my company. I also have the pleasure of representing many writers and directors who are genuinely entrepreneurial as they create new programming.

I look up to these amazing women because of their talent and passion for making our industry great. Many of these women have helped me and others open the door to other outstanding female entrepreneurs.