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The Art of Thinking Big

Ever since I was little I had big aspirations. Like any kid I believed that I could truly be anything I wanted to. Without thought of requirements, schooling, or what have you. First it was a President of the United States, an NBA player, and various other career paths. I was never afraid to think big. As I grew these notions were slowly pushed back. The “realities” if you will began to settle. Grades, society, and the people & influences around me.

“There no money in that field.”

“There’s no security in that.”

Insert phrase here….

It wasn’t only in myself in which I saw this light go out but the friends around me. We began settling for the smaller more achievable tasks in life. It was easier to think small than it was to pursue something that we actually wanted or fantasized about. I remember when I first started my business I was told to focus on the world immediately around me before looking at the bigger picture & thinking globally. But it made no sense to me. This day in age we have the power to extend our reach globally. While I believe a small difference can offset many other changes down the road I always thought about the “bigger picture”.

As I grew in age, experience, and maturity I began to learn while it may be easier to think small. It’s much more easier to achieve the bigger ideas. If only because most people quit before even starting because they think its unachievable. That in itself gives you a head start. I opened my thinking beyond myself and began to focus on problems that may have started with me but effected people around the world. My goal when I started my first business was simple to “help people & create an impact.”

It dawned on me that the size of my success was only limited by my thinking. That said if I pursued the smaller ideas than I could only expect marginal results. Versus going for the bigger obstacles, challenges, goals & achieving bigger results. Now this doesn’t make the overall process simple. You still have to work hard, smart, and efficiently but it does make it worth it.

You see by thinking big & pursuing the things you want out of life you unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. Motivation to me has always been a reminder of something you were always capable of doing. I never thought about failure or a plan B only for the reason that it was a distraction for what I wanted. Nothing would deter me from those goals.

Thinking big can be anything from curing world hunger, cancer, or what have you. Understand that thinking big doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to accomplish every little thing you set out for in life rather that you try. The ability to think & pursuit it in the first place is the big step in itself. Success is never guaranteed whether the task is big or small. I’ve always had the impression though that if your going to put your all & tackle a problem make it a big one. One that doesn’t just impact you but others globally. As with anything ideas are nothing. It’s the execution that truly matters. Next time the idea of something big daunts you & prevents you from execution remember that really thats the hardest part. Getting started. From there it involved dedicating your whole being to that cause.

If something is important enough you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure. -Elon Musk

I believe this day in the age we need more people willing to think big. Understanding that to think big can mean variety of things. While there are global issues thinking big can be something that has a cascading effect. The simple problems in life or the environment around you can quantify as big thinking. To me to think big is to not limit yourself in your capabilities of achieving something. If you so fail or come half way you’ve made a progress in something so significant that in itself is a huge contribution to the world.

Along the way I’ve learned the following about thinking big:

  • You can’t expect everyone to understand or even comprehend your vision, idea, or what have you

As with anything you can’t expect someone else to understand your outlook on something. They’ll see it differently & of course their own personal opinions/viewpoints are taken into account. It’s best you let go of others opinions and the naysayers. Focus on the solution.

  • Depth over distance

When it comes to whatever it is your pursuing I believe in depth over distance. Impact over how far, long, or much you may make. Those things tend to work themselves out when you focus on making the most impact within your field. To think big to me is to focus on problems that everyday people suffer from. Thing that appeal to the masses not just niche or market.

  • Different not better

You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. The saying goes there is no money in innovation its repetition. You need to find which matters most to you. Just know that rather than trying to implement a whole new solution to a problem sometimes the simplest answer to life’s big issues can be solved in the simplest of ways. Also remember when it comes to thinking and implementing something big that you don’t have to just be different but fundamentally so. You have to be different than the rest & offer something they don’t to even compete. So to not just think big but exert bigger effort.

  • Everything hasn’t been done

The most common thing I’ve been told is that “but everything has been done already”. While that may be true to a certain effect again refer above. Just because something exists remember that doesn’t mean it’s the best possible version. So in all everything hasn’t been done. Every solution, implementation, variation hasn’t been tried. Thats the reason we have trends & apps that take off now & again. In order to think big you have to let go of the notion that it’s been done before & focus on how you can either improve upon it or bring something different to the table.

So dare to think big. Tackle life’s big problem. I’ve ultimately learned along the way you can always think bigger. Expand upon your goals, aspirations, improve. There’s always room for improvement whether its a big business, skill your learning, or problem your trying to solve. Remember success isn’t made by simply fitting in rather standing out. Most fear thinking big for a variety of reasons. Fear of failure, not being good enough, etc. Just try to remember the world needs people willing to take the risk for a bigger return. Those who are willing to not just change their own life but that of others through their work. Life to me is like a game of chess. Ultimately your trying to position yourself for the best results. Moving piece by piece in light of the bigger picture, goal, vision. In order to think big you have be able to envision your success & know that thinking is just one very small step in the overall process. Everyone has ideas but in the end its taking that idea or goal & putting it into action.

The art of thinking big isn’t so much a mindset rather a lifestyle. Something you don’t just adapt but instill in everything you do going forward. Think big.

You’re the cover & people are judging you

The old saying goes “Never judge a book by its cover” what most people don’t tell you is that its utter bullshit. In life you are the cover & you are being judged. Sometimes you’re the one passing the judgement. I’ve come to learn that the reality of the real world is this. People will judge you for many things, hell they’ll judge you purely on appearance & that’s okay. Learning to deal with it & move through it is what matters.

I began my journey as an “entrepreneur” at a very young age. I was eleven years old & had no idea that these videos I uploaded to Youtube would eventually lead to an income & career path. That said starting & managing a business is hard enough let alone the fact that I was a kid going into middle school. I remember the comments of users around the world skipping my video simply due to the fact that I sounded like a kid. The e-mails that were either glanced over or not taken seriously again due to my age. This that & the other. I learned from then on that the world is going to judge you, more so if they don’t even know you. Why? Cause its easy, it’s easier for us as humans to judge people we don’t know anything about cause at that rate anything is possible.

A comment from a video I posted 6 years ago.

A comment from a video I posted 6 years ago.

As I grew older I tried to mold my image. Give off the vibe of a young but serious entrepreneur and founder. I dressed more formal & tried to demand the respect of others in the way I appeared. Honestly that worked better than I thought. Throw on a suit & tie and walk into the room like you’ve been somewhere & you’d be amazed how people perceive you. I thought that was the secret to everything to appeal to everyones first impression. As you only make them once & I thought I’d make it my goal to always make a lasting one. Through more experiences & time I learned that method is only part of the equation.

The bigger picture & lesson to be learned was simple. No matter what you do & whatever your background may be people will still judge you. Friends, family, strangers its almost human nature. Those who can’t will judge those who do. People who don’t understand your way of living or choices in life will judge from afar cause thats what is easiest. I learned to separate those voices & people, to pay no mind what they said or thought.

At the end of the day it’s about knowing that people will always be judging you for who you are & the decisions you make. The key is to learn to do things anyway. To silence the judgements of others & proceed. Now I’m not saying don’t take any criticism into account or realities of life at times but learn whose voices matter you & those that don’t.

The book in the saying is your life, you’re writing that story each and everyday and you can’t expect others to know every page & chapter. Rather they see the cover it’s appearance, title, how it stands out or doesn’t and make judgements from there. Your job is to pay no mind & keep on writing, going, pursuing whatever it is you want out of life. The reality is you need to learn to deal with judgement every step of the way cause it’s always there good or bad. We all do it whether we’re conscious to it or not. How we present ourselves to the world does matter, it gives a idea of how we want to be perceived or for that matter where our focus lies. There are highly successful people who care about their image & those who don’t each for their own reasons. Some care to the point to which they need to uphold their image while others could care less & focus on what matters to them. Regardless of which side your on what matters more is how we carry on. Carry on through the judgement, hate, doubt, and every other obstacle life has in store. I strive not to avoid the obstacles in life as we may be taught by society but overcome them.

After all its your book & you dictate the story.

Kanye West & Dame Dash to purchase KarmaLoop

Karmaloop the popular online street wear retailer that has been suffering over the past couple of months has a new found savior. Kanye West & Dame Dash.

The online clothing retailer has recently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy also known as rehabilitation bankruptcy in an effort to reorganize the business. However being $40 million in debt is no easy task to climb out from.

The dynamic duo who has stepped up to the plate to buy KarmaLoop outright is rapper/singer-songwriter turned fashion designer Kanye West & entrepreneur & former partner at Roc-a-Fella Records Dame Dash. Official announcement of the purchase was displayed through a series of videos on Instagram.

A video posted by @duskopoppington on

A video posted by @duskopoppington on

A video posted by @duskopoppington on

  The main takeaways from the video blurbs being

Honorable people stick together (Shots at Jay Z)

 

We decided to go & buy KarmaLoop. We just talked about it so its going to happen.

As of yet there is no figures released regarding the price of the acquisition however makes sense on Kanye West part as his recent dive into the world of fashion & streetwear. KarmaLoop will prove a challenge to see if the two can save it from its current position & pave a new direction for the online retailer. It’s an interesting purchase & moreover an interesting pair behind it all. Dame famously known for signing Kanye to Roc-a-Fella records back in 2000 only to have a falling out upon the split between Jay Z & Kanye & Dame Dash. Only patching things up recently between the two & I’m sure only the start of their collaboration projects. Lastly Greg Selko founder & CEO of Karmaloop has announced that he will be staying on the team to help with the new acquisition. Tweeting from his personal account several hours ago    

Fiverr Overview: The $5 Marketplace

I’ve used Fiverr for nearly 2.5 years now, first introduced by a good friend Duncan Maile about the site & it’s vast marketplace. Whether your a seller or buyer your bound to find some use out of Fiverr for kick starting a project, making things work on a budget, or just earning anywhere from a part time to full time income.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 6.22.20 PM

Fiverr is an online marketplace where people do specific tasks for a “Fiverr” or $5 USD. The idea being gigs are “I will _____ for $5”.  These gigs can be anything from produce a video, design a logo, record a voiceover & thousands of other gigs. On the other end you can of course sell your service to customers for $5. Now while this is the base price there are many add ons that allow sellers to make more.

Gig Extras: Are extra services offered within a gig for more money (increments of $5) so for example I have a extra within my gig that allows for rendering a video in 1080P for an additional $10.

Custom Orders: This was recently introduced but allows for clients for bigger scale projects allow for custom orders.

All of these are unlocked as you climb the tier of levels for Fiverr sellers.

The site itself is filled with various categories that are sure to fill your needs one way or another.

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Another great aspect of the site if your a buyer you can post out the type of job you need done to help find the correct sellers.

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All that said I’ve made several thousand dollars from Fiverr in the past. An experience that has taught me a lot about the service & site itself. Fiverr is a great way to take something you may be talented or skilled in & offer it for a side income. Dedicating more time you can make a considerable amount of money. At the same time I’ve had my quarrels with the site. As someone who transitioned to a client services business ScreencApp there’s a bit of a gap when it comes to Fiverr & the real world client services business. Typically in my experience the transition to have people who pay less than $5 for a gig aren’t usually interested in spending anything 10x that cost.

The old adage still stands however be willing to pay for quality work. So whether your a buyer or seller always keep these things in mind.

  • As a buyer know your only paying usually $5 for a service expect that & nothing more. Of course there are standards and such but don’t expect $1,000 quality for $5 worth of work
  • As a seller do your best to hold your satisfactory level with your clients to a high but don’t offer the impossible for prices that aren’t premium

In the future I’ll dive deeper into some things I’ve learned along the way on the service.

None the less Fiverr is a very popular service & great platform to get started. If your a entrepreneur on a budget & looking to get simple things like a logo, website, graphics & other material set up than for under $100 you can get a lot done via Fiverr. In the same respect as a seller I’ve had many other doors open up from the site. Frequent clients of mine went on to contact me to work on various other projects & or bulk orders. Thats one of the big advantages of the network despite the smaller payout compared to normal you have access to thousands of clients looking for sellers.

So in summary if I had to round up my experience of the service overall in my time using it:

Pros:

  • Access to a wide client base
  • Potential for expansion
  • Great way to establish side income/full time
  • Affordable method for finding certain services

Cons:

  • Payout delay is a bit long
  • Customer Support is a hit or miss in my experience
  • Their $5 Gig material at the end of the day which depending on your seller can be a really great or not so great experience

 

Fiverr is a very massive marketplace which I think you’ll be able to utilize whether you want to be a seller or buyer. That said if your interested in signing up & giving it a chance check out my link below to get a free gig. Additionally feel free to check out my gig page where I still offer basic gigs on their service.

Sign up today & get a free gig!

My Fiverr Profile

Apple’s $700 Billion Empire

Apple has just closed with a market value surpassing $700 billion the first company ever in history to do so. The technology empire is now the first ever company to surpass such a milestone beating out the likes of Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, and Google. Recently disclosing their record breaking earning of $18 billion out of the $74 billion revenue they made silenced much of the press that forecasted Apple’s doom.

At the course Apple is going & with projected growth and product launches it isn’t inconceivable to think that they’ll be the first trillion dollar company.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 1.27.02 PM

 

To put things into perspective Apple as a company has the power to buy out its rival competitors such as Google or Samsung or for that matter both at their current market caps & still have billions left over. No big deal.

The bigger question going forward is their growth & future of the empire. With product launches such as the Apple Watch, future iPhone launches, and other avenues Apple may dive into can only lead to larger revenues. The question isn’t so much as what they’ll do from here but how high can the company go. Tim Cook Apple’s CEO recently made claims that they’re heading into their “biggest & boldest project ever.”  with their recent investment into First Solar of $848 million to build a 1,300-acre farm of solar energy to power their all new HQ in California. This will lead to energy cost savings over time & ultimately money (not that they’re at loss of that).

TC

Tim Cook recently went on to state in his interview at Goldman Sachs that he believe Apple can keep up their growth. More importantly that like Steve Jobs before him that Apple doesn’t believe in limiting themselves.

“We don’t believe in laws like the law of large numbers, Steve ingrained in us that putting limits on your thinking is never good.”

So whether its the Mac, iOS, or some other ecosystem Apple will focus on going forward we’re more than positive they’ll excel. Setting a new bar for competitors not just in the technology space but worldwide.

Thus begins the journey for the first ever trillion dollar company.

 

Expedia Buys Orbitz for $1.6B Cash

Expedia the global online travel agency network of Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Travelocity and many more now adds a new name to its roster. They’ll be purchasing Orbitz for $1.6 billion (at $12 per share).

Orbitz

Building up Expedia’s empire to compete with others in the space. This caused the market prices to shoot up for each of the companies. Orbitz (OWW) going up 24% & Expedia (EXPE) up about 4% since the announcement. The travel mogul has spent the last year buying multiple brands to grow their customer base. Buying out Australia based company Wotif Holdings Ltd & Travelocity for over $800+ million.

Barney Harford CEO of Orbitz & former employee of Expedia had this to say about the acquisition.

Our mission at Orbitz Worldwide has been to build our brands to be the world’s most rewarding places to plan and purchase travel. We’re excited for Orbitz Worldwide to join the Expedia family and for our teams to work together to further enhance the offerings we provide to our customers and partners. 

Travel industry has been gaining in competition with the sprout of services such as Kayak, Hipmunk, Airbnb & so on. Expedia last week reported their 4th quarter profits which were a bit low due to foreign exchange costs. While Orbitz this Thursday is due to release their quarterly reports so we’ll see the insight into how they did Q4.

We’ll have to wait to see how the series of acquisitions plays out in the 2015 year for the Expedia empire.

The Power of the Suit

A big part of the sites revision is the expansion into new categories one of the many new ones being menswear and fashion. Suits are a big part of who I am & how I carry myself in the world. I’ve always admired a well cut suit & the way an individual carries it. So I’m excited to share my own perspective on this space in fashion & advice & lessons I’ve learned along the way.

When I was youngerI remember I used to think of suits as office job attire or for only formal events. Never seeing past their symbolism in the society till I began working for myself. Starting from the age of eleven & producing online content I was looked at as a kid with a hobby. When my site grew & eventually I would go on to start a business I wore suits as way of earning others respect. That I was to be taken seriously & this wasn’t just a hobby. All of this brings me to present day where I’ve learned a lot more about my sense of style, suits, and menswear as a whole. Learning that it isn’t just about other perception but more importantly your own & how you carry yourself. The suit is but a piece of clothing. That’s the most important thing when it comes to suits no matter the type, quality, brand you can afford how you carry yourself is what is key to harnessing its power.

The suit nowadays says a lot about our society. It’s the uniform for most workers, a night out in town, or the formal level of attire when it comes to certain events. Dress it up or down the suit has become a versatile fashion piece since its early inception. It’s been adapted to the culture, circumstances, and even conditions its been worn in from military occasions or the slimmer tailored fit thats so popular today

So where does the power itself come from the outfit. Well there so many details that make up a suit to begin with. But to break down in a basic format you have

  • Suit Jacket 
  • Suit Pants
  • Dress Shirt
  • *Optional: Tie/Accessories

Of course the anatomy of a suit goes well beyond this. What separates a suit typically from a jacket, sports coat, and so on is that its sold as a complete set. This can be a 2 or 3 piece suit depending on your preference.

That said the suit eludes a certain power to it that I’ve learned growing up from wearing them in High school & out in the everyday world.

A suit gives you a feeling of class, power, and certain elegance if worn correctly.

It makes you stand a certain way, walk a bit more confidently, and overall appear tapered or a bit slimmer to the eye if cut right. They provide a sort of illusion that if carried correctly speaks for itself. An attire that in fashion & culture has really remained timeless from the cinema world to fashion brands worldwide are continually innovating on. Some of the worlds best are recognized for the suit. Think everyone from the famous & infamous Frank Sinatra, Al Capone, the President of the United States (or any political figure for that matter), Gordon Gecko, James Bond, the list goes on and on.

 

All of this achieved via perception. Lapels, the fit, button stance, and much more all add to the overall appeal of a suit. It can make you appear taller, thinner, a bit bulkier all without the need to hop on that treadmill. However I don’t like to think of it as method to hide or false advertising rather a way to highlight an individuals figure no matter their size or shape.

At the end of the day the suit is but a piece of clothing. However it carries in itself the sense of power, business, and so much more. It’s a vital part of a mans wardrobe this day in age. No matter what you do for a living you probably have at least one suit in your closet for the odd occasion, interview, formal event and so on.

Grey Pinstripe+Dark Blue Grey Pinstripe+Purple Solid Double Breasted

I’ve made my share of mistakes in the suit world from decisions when buying off the rack, meeting with a tailor to get a custom made suit, and other fashion sins as they’d be considered. That’s the best part of it all you live & learn along the way. As a CEO & just everyday human being I aim to present myself to the world the way I want to be portrayed. For me thats most comfortable in a suit & tie. I follow the principle in life that you only make first impressions once so make them count. I’m not saying the suit will improve your workflow or make you a better human its simply a tool. A facilitator that can make you feel like a million bucks & present yourself to the world in a certain light. The power when all is said & done comes from you & the confidence you carry with it.