I am a creative. I am unreasonably passionate about the results of my creative process, and that’s never going to change. I couldn’t change that if I wanted to. I try to temper that passion with a business-minded approach to life, a thorough daily task list, and a disciplined schedule. It helps me to work fairly consistently as a full time entrepreneur and freelancer. It allows me to channel my creative energy into creating sustainable working habits. It will never temper the intense emotions I associate with the ideas that I choose to bring to life.
Nigel Degraff has visited a grand total of 33 countries, but he grew up in the notorious Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn. He spends the majority of his time creating content around his experiences with cultural festivals and exotic destinations around the world, but his first foray into content creation was through the creation of a hip-hop blog called RealTalkNY. Clearly, his life is all about plot twists.I spoke to Nigel about how he transitioned between very different creative hustles, obstacles he had to overcome in the process, and some of the coolest experiences he’s had as a world traveler.
Delving into the details of your lowest points is difficult, but extremely cathartic. It's a level of vulnerability that I've been afraid to embrace for my entire life. Facades can be temporarily comforting. I instinctively hide behind them, even as I attempt to use my experiences to help others as a coach. With this story, I'm starting to fully embrace every detail of my journey - even the things that I was afraid to admit, before. I'm still a bit afraid, but am deciding to push through that.
Ashley Spencer displayed remarkable perseverance and mental toughness en route to winning the bronze medal in the Women's 400m hurdles at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. She employed a similar level of perseverance to overcome the many obstacles that she faced along her journey as a collegiate and professional athlete. Her story is amazing, and the conversation I had with Ashley about her mentality, experiences, and plans for the future is very inspirational for those of us seeking to achieve exceptional results, even if our goals don't involve an Olympic podium.
I quit my day job six months ago. It's been a crazy period in my life. I'm still not where I want to be financially, or professionally. That being said, I've made it through a period of my life that I was scared to embark upon for years, until a negative experience in the corporate world forced me to jump into the unknown on my own terms before I got fired. I've learned a few important things since I left my job that I intend to carry with me for the rest of my life.
If you’re active on the Washington, D.C. social scene, it’s likely that you’ve heard of Sunni And The City. She's a daytime FM radio host, Ciroc brand ambassador, frequent philanthropist, and a social media tour de force. Sunni's bright, bubbly personality and polished delivery is a great fit for the high profile nature of her work, and her life, but her path to success was anything but glamorous. Learn more in the interview that follows.
Xavier Burgin, also known as @XLNB on Twitter, is a graduate of USC's film school who is notorious for long form Twitter stories such as #TinaAndTheGucciFlipFlop. I chopped it up with X to get more insight into his journey as a storyteller, how he's been able to see exponential social media growth, advice for creatives looking to get their thoughts out there, and more.
As I’ve continued to build brands and become a somewhat consistent member of the “morning gym” club, I’ve noticed that there are actually a few key similarities between bodybuilding and social media branding. Both of these processes may seem arduous, uncomfortable, and unattainable without understanding how to prioritize.
Let’s talk about how you are going to beat the odds.