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Interviews

Interview with Dani Miller and Mackinzie Dae

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Where did the idea for your company or organization come from? *

Dani: In May 2018, I was completely blindsided, as was every other employee that worked at the same small public relations firm as I, when on a Wednesday, just after close of business, the owner called us all into his office and proceeded to clean house without very much explanation. Shocked and upset and fired for the first time ever, I did the only thing I knew, gather all of my resources and open my own firm. That’s how The Epoch Advisory began. The dictionary definition of the noun “epoch” pronounced “epic” is “the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of anything.” We’re a creative boutique agency championing a personal approach to public relations in the Hollywood scene. We want to make a difference and we strive to change the world for the better with every client we work with and any project we take on.

Mackinzie: I enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in 2008 and I served for five years. Afterwards, I went to business school and kept finding myself working in or around art creating digital content. Nu Dae was born while I was a trainer at Equinox with the mission of helping my clients realize that every day is a new day to do something different. This message translated when I was developing the mission for Nu Dae Productions in that every day affords us the beautiful ability to create something out of nothing and as a result, on the backend, we aim to give creators an ability to tell their stories authentically, honestly, and openly.

What gave you the idea to have your companies merger? *

Mackinzie: The first time I ever heard Dani speak was in the beginning of the summer when she was interviewed on iHeartRadio. She was so passionate about everything she said and I was really inspired by all of the things she stood for. She gave me the push I needed at the time I needed it to keep working hard at what I love. It just so happened that I was already in talks with The Dolan Twins with regards to producing their directorial debut and they had come to me with Cub Sport’s song and story. I wanted Dani on my side so I asked her to be apart of my team.

Dani: After Mackinzie and I joined forces, it was clear that we were a match made in heaven. It’s one thing to think that you and your team are doing a good job, but it’s another thing when others notice and attest to the good job you’re doing. For example, when location hosts and your crew are impressed and compliment you and your partners teamwork. It certainly wipes away any doubts you may have had about working together. I think it was in the middle of this project, when we realized that we were capable of anything and we decided to merge Epoch and Nu Dae.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive? *

Dani: Our typical day begins with Mackinzie waking up to about 15 emails and calendar invites and missed calls from me even though it’s before 9:30am and sadly, there’s really no other reason except for the fact that I’m a total psycho… I wish I was kidding. No, but really we make a lot of lists. And we try to delegate tasks to one another when we know the other is more capable of getting a faster desirable end result. Mackinzie doesn’t mind being that “bad” guy so when someone I need an answer from isn’t answering, I’ll have him step in and reach out. It’s really all about knowing and owning what we are each good at and asking for help when we need it. I think it’s important to be confident in asking for help.

Mackinzie: Haha, we are working on boundaries… All jokes aside, we are most productive when we have deadlines. My Marine background has led me to have a very regimented way of going about things. It’s all a work in process though. Everyone works well in different ways and we are still figuring out how to work most productively, but it’s evident through our work product that we are on the right track. Keeping communication lines open and free are one of the most important things in our business because being on the same page is what makes us so good at what we do.


How do you bring ideas to life? *

Mackinzie: We have a mission. And that mission is to produce work that conveys our client’s messages in memorable, moving, unique ways. Ways that makes us proud. I want to say that the ideas don’t just come to us, but really, they do. I say that in the humblest way possible… This project really opened my eyes to realize just how well Dani and I work together. At this point, I can truthfully say that all of the projects on our calendar are not only exciting because I’m confident in our abilities to get what needs to be done, done, but now I’m also confident that we can accomplish anything and we can do anything easily.

Dani: We think strategically. And we think creatively. I’m constantly attempting to connect all the dots, in way shape or form. I think we are really lucky to come from such diverse backgrounds because it allows us to see the same project from so many different angles and offer solutions that really reflect our collective experience. It’s really interesting to me because, at the heart of it all, Mackinzie and I are problem solvers and the beginning of any good business idea is the solution to a problem. Therefore, I think that our solutions are the backbone of what brings our and our clients’ ideas to fruition.


What’s one trend that excites you? *

Dani: I’m not one to really jump on trends… I like to think I’m ahead of the game, but you can be the judge of that, haha. I would like “long-term relationships” to become a trend and I’d love to see simply “be nice”, become a trend. Relationships are everything. I don’t mean to be so simple, but it really is so simple: being nice helps your relationships. With our company, one of my goals is to establish an open dialogue where mutual trust is key. If mutual trust and mutual honesty don’t exist than relationships don’t exist. And if relationships, don’t exist than you’re all alone.

Mackinzie: While my answer to this question is more calculated than Dani’s theory, I want to make sure to mention how important her message is: relationships are everything and you’re only as good as your team. For me, I’m interested to see what happens when this social media bubble pops. It’s similar to the housing bubble we experienced in 2008 in more than one way. It’s a situation, just like 2008, in which assets appear to be based on implausible or inconsistent views about the future. It’s comforting to see the Dolan Twins move into the production space as directors stepping out of the social media realm. This is a great protection for when this bubble bursts. And I’m proud that we got the opportunity to be a part of that.


What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur? *

Dani: Mackinzie and I are both very hands-on. I think that because we are ultimately small by design and perfectionists to a fault, we’re than able to 110% fully immerse ourselves in all of our work that we produce. Our clients and collaborators receive complete hands-on focus and get our full attention no matter the project, no matter the budget, and no matter the size.

Mackinzie: I think Dani hit the nail on the head with her answer, but I’ll just dive a little deeper. We always have a backup plan. I think this is one of the best habits we have and without fail, it makes certain that we never fail. Everything goes according to plan because of this very fact. That’s part of our secret sauce, for sure.

What advice would you give your younger self? *

Dani: Just go with it. Move on. If you don’t think about, it won’t bother you. Be nice. Be nice to yourself. Be nice to others. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be nice. Always.

I don’t run with wolves, I sit with them. Thanks @projectwildsong, I love Moo!!!!!

A post shared by Dani Miller (@killadmilla) on

Mackinzie: Today is yesterday’s tomorrow. Did I do the things I said I would start tomorrow? Or am I procrastinating the future? How many different versions of me exist in one dae? My morning self is not my midnight self. My midnight self, controls my morning self, and the future of today. Todae i… I’ll decide about tomorrow.


Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on. *

Dani: You’re only in control of two things: how you feel and how you react. Nothing else is up to you.

Mackinzie: Monday’s are exciting. Dani and I love Mondays. You can like Monday’s too, if you change your state, you’ll change your mind.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do? *

Dani: One thing I actively attempt to do is get as many people and as many brands as I can to collaborate on any given project. I’m able to do this because I’ve been carefully and cautiously building my network since I was 16 years old. I recommend that every entrepreneur read “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi and start making an excel list of your network and their contact information. If you think about someone in your network, reach out to them even if it isn’t for a reason and just simply because you were thinking of them. This is one way I keep my relationships fresh and it has the added bonus of never looking like your using someone when you ask them for something. It shows that you value your relationship.

Mackinzie: As an entrepreneur and frankly, as a human, you have to realize that you can always learn. There are always things that you don’t know, and things are constantly changing. Never stop learning and never stop perfecting your craft. Dani has a rigorous educational background and I still watch her trying to soak up any knowledge about the things she doesn’t know or understand. Ignorance is never cool. Having the knowledge to form your opinions and back them up is. You can never know too much.


What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? *

Dani: One strategy that has helped me grow my business is by partnering with Mackinzie, someone that I can trust. This trust stems from our ability to communicate, our mutual respect for one another and our deep-rooted loyalty. Without communication, there is no relationship. Without mutual respect, there is no worth. Without trust, there would be no future for our business. 

Mackinzie: It’s reported that only 1% of people are successful at doing something that they try to do. Do you know why that percentage is devastatingly low? It’s because everyone is too afraid to even try to do the thing they want to do so they never start, or they don’t ever try because they’re afraid that they’ll fail. One strategy that has helped our business to grow is that we aren’t afraid to fail because failure isn’t an option. If there is one thing that I will say over and over again, is that success is no accident. It’s a combination of hard work, perseverance, determination, dedication, a little bit of sacrifice, a love for what you’re doing and love for the people you’re doing it with.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it? *

Mackinzie: Everyone fails. Dani and I both have. Sometimes we fail each other, but we quickly recognize the failure and learn from it and then work to find peace through re-establishing our equilibrium in our work product. Peace isn’t a state – it’s a choice, and you have to remake that choice every single day. It’s possible to get a sense of stability, a habit of peace, but it’s life an egg that’s balanced, spinning on its point: lose your momentum and then you’ve lost your equilibrium too.

Dani: If you just start something and you try to do accomplish it, and you just keep trying and you don’t take no for an answer, nothing can stop you. While I’ve learned from my failures, I wouldn’t classify them as failures; but instead, I’d classify them as lessons. This way, I can file them in a folder in my brain free of negativity, and welcome growth. In the past, I struggled discarding negativity. By becoming self-aware of it and shifting my perception, I’ve been able to get a better hold on it. One thing I’ve been trying to do is to replace my “I’m sorry”s with “thank you”’s. So instead of saying “sorry I’m late”, I’ll say “thanks for waiting for me”. It’s not only shifted the way that I feel, but it’s improved my relationships with others who now get to receive my gratitude as opposed to my negativity.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers? *

Dani: What excites you? And I mean, something that really gets you going. I’ll give you an example:  In 2015, I was super into the music festival world. I went to all the festivals. I carefully curated my outfits for each festival and each party. I wasn’t making any money doing this, but everyone seemed to like my style and I was invited to everything. I needed income and fast, but I wanted to have fun and still be relevant in the music festival scene. That’s how I founded the Locals Only Club, a members-only music and arts community with a boutique that offered festival-styled clothing fitting to the events that we offered to our members. I sent out invites and event information to all of my subscribers. And it worked. I realized that I wanted to use Locals Only Club to connect the fashionable and trendy festival go-ers with hard-to-find unique styles that reflected their true personality. I was able to turn something I loved doing, which started out as giving ensemble suggestions to friends, into a business. When I was over the festival scene, so was Locals Only Club and I closed its doors in 2017. Take something you’re passionate about and figure out a novel approach to making it into a business. Always start by trying to come up with a solution to a problem.


What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why? *

Dani: The best $100 I recently spent was at Ban.do. One thing I am certain of, is that I am a product of my environment. Therefore, getting a planner from Ban.do that says encouraging cute phrases and buying a bunch of jelly roll pens to write with and having file folders that say “You’re gold baby, solid gold” make me feel good in my working environment. Not to mention, they leave a good impression.

Mackinzie: I, too, benefitted from her Ban.do purchase. And she’s right. Her silly little office supplies give everyone a smile and a vote of confidence, me included. I especially enjoy the notebook she gave me with the message “Be Nice” in huge letters on its cover.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it? *

Dani: We use our google drive for everything. It’s our life line. I love trying new programs, but sometimes taking the time to go through all of them can be unproductive. To be honest, our google drive has everything we need to conduct our business successfully.

Mackinzie: Dani is a huge fan of systems and procedures, so I follow her lead on this one. If she says we’re using a new program, we’re using a new program. Typically, she’s right on point.

KEY TAKEAWAYS 

Dani and Mackinzie, always excited by Mondays, complement one another in every way possible and are clearly putting in effort to work as seamlessly as they can. Their passion for changing the world for the better by aligning with projects that actually make a different is magic in the making. Their collaborations are highly curated in an effort to stay true to each of their business’s original roots prior to their merger. They aim to help make a difference in the lives of young people as well as share their mission to fight bullying and stand up for the normalization of the conversation surrounding the importance of mental health. Big hearts meet strong work ethic. Beyond the glitz and glamour of an industry known for churning and burning, Dani and Mackinzie make it clear that when there is a passionate team of two self-aware individuals working on your side, anything is possible.

 

 

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

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Interviews

16-Year-Old Tucker Leary Makes People Famous On Instagram With His 5 Million Follower Network

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Tucker Leary from Boston owns a 5 million follower network of pages on Instagram, manages rap artists social media, and is most known for “making people famous.” I had the pleasure to interview him, here’s how it went:

When did you decide to start building a 5 million follower network?

Tucker: I always wanted to make money doing something I loved, so I started  an Instagram page of football highlights at 11 years old. Since then, I have been able to grow one of my accounts to 409,000 real active followers in 5 days. I’ve grown @thutmose rap carrier to where it is now, along with helping many others start an Instagram Carrer. Another big accomplishment is when I did over $40k in a month drop shipping.

That’s amazing Tucker. What have you done to differentiate yourself from everyone else in your field?

Tucker: One thing I do is see where people’s weak spots are, then I take advantage of it. For example, I use physiological methods like certain color ways on my posts, certain amount of words, certain hidden images etc. When I capitalize on these, it disadvantages others in my field and makes me one of the top dogs.

What would would you say to someone looking to jump into entrepreneurship?

Tucker: The one piece of advice I would give someone would be that nothing in this world that is worth working for happens overnight! I started Instagram when I was 11 years old, and it’s taken 5 years for me to build my 5mil network. Now that I’m here I look back and see all the times I almost quit, but just kept grinding.

What have been the biggest lessons you learned over the last 5 years?

Tucker: To keep my head down and stay in my own lane, not let others opinions differ how you do you, take risks.

After learning that what is your personal definition of success?

Tucker: My definition of success would be able to live freely with no money struggles, and to make sure my mom never has to worry about anything financially.

What is one thing you wished you knew when you started?

Tucker: I wish I knew that the internet isn’t always good to you. For example, when I started Instagram 3 days after my birthday. I had an amazon gift card, an iTunes gift card and some Starbucks gift cards. I used those instead of PayPal to buy shutouts and I got scammed on every deal.

What do you think has been that best advice you have ever received?

Tucker: Don’t listen to what others say about you.

What do you think has been the biggest challenge? 

Tucker: The biggest challenge was when I got sim hacked. The hacker took all my Instagram accounts, my money in my bank etc.

Tucker: My biggest reward was when I did my first $10,000 account deal when I was 14.

What was the most interesting story that’s happened to you?

Tucker: The most interesting thing to happen to me is when I was out to dinner with my brother one night. There was this guy in our community known as the “god”. He was the best of the best, had all the connections, and had a huge Instagram account etc. I had seen a picture of him a long time ago and was standing in line to get a seat. This guy walks in and it was him, the “god”. After that I introduced myself, and we got lunch the next day. A couple months later I was visiting his apartment in LA.

What are two thing you wish someone told you when you first started?

Tucker: Two things I wish someone told me when I started is that success doesn’t happen overnight, and that your network is your net worth.

Is there anyone that inspires you? 

Tucker: Two people that very much inspire is me include my business partner (Cristian) @cristian on Instagram and my good friend (Dylan) @trippin on Instagram. Cristian has helped me gain multiple connections, and brought me into the real business world out in Los Angles CA,. Dylan has helped me learn the ins and outs of how to really gain an account to its max, how to run a successful page and how to talk to real business men and women.

Tucker: One person who really helped me to get to where I am is Shane Howard, @showoff on Instagram.

A lesson I learned from them is to take risks, without risks there is no reward and I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Awesome story and advice! What’s the best way for someone to reach out to you?

Tucker: The best way for someone to reach me is by Instagram dm, my Instagram is @Tuckerrs

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How Digital Marketer Anthony Ocasio Helps Brands Successfully Get Digital Exposure

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Anthony Ocasio (@rsvpant) is a self-taught successful E-Commerce business owner & Digital Marketer who has launched, & assisted with automating multiple online businesses. During Anthony’s time working with various marketing agencies he has had the opportunity to help brands like Mercedes Benz, Toyota, WWE, Crunch Gyms & many more reach new heights with their Online Digital presence through marketing.

Since establishing his own SMMA while receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from The University of Tampa Anthony has been able to transform his own life by living on his own terms, and being able to reach people all over who are looking for core knowledge. He’s worked side by side with small businesses in creating a source of revenue through E-Com, and has helped with expanding their Digital Footprint. Anthony has been recognized, and published in Newspapers like The Minaret, and NFTE for his outstanding online business achievements.

Besides working with Small Businesses owners Anthony has worked alongside Fitness Coaches, Realtors, Musicians, and Independent Entrepreneurs who wanted to increase exposure digitally, and continue to build their personal brand. 

His goal is to help as many entrepreneurs through his 1-On-1 coaching, and mentorships. Anthony’s goal is for everyone to realize that financial freedom is possible, and E-Commerce, and Digital Marketing can definitely be an outlet to achieve just that. I had the opportunity to interview Anthony. Here’s what He had to say: 

Hey Anthony! Could you tell us a little more about your background story?

Anthony Ocasio: I grew up in Brooklyn New York with my mom, and two brothers. During my childhood I always had an entrepreneurial spirit which let me to find multiple ways on generating income. During elementary school I use to sell lead pencils, erasers, and supplies to my friends, and other classmates. Generated about $10-15 a week, which for me at the time felt like a lot of money. That continued as I entered middle, school & college. Throughout high school I traveled across New York with the Peer Leader Program helping other students prepare for college, and develop their business ideas. Through that program I received the “Peer Leader of the Year” Award.

My first business plan competition was also in high school, but took place at Columbia University. It was through a great program called Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). I did not win, however I was a semi-finalist, and subsequently still received funding for my clothing idea shortly after. In college I started my first SMMA which was acquired, and I later resigned to pursue Ecommerce full time, which led me to create an Ecommerce / Digital Marketing Development Agency called “The Ecom Way”.

What have been your major accomplishments?

Anthony Ocasio: Besides being the first sibling in my family to graduate college. It’s definitely running successful businesses, and ultimately helping 100’s of people see potential, and growth within their own business.

What differentiates you from everyone else in your field?

Anthony Ocasio: I prefer taking the 1-On-1 approach to working with entrepreneurs, and business owners. I don’t mass distribute materials like courses etc; instead I work, and understand the unique needs that everyone has. With my diverse background, I’m fortunate to not just be skilled / experienced in one area, but multiple as it pertains to running, operating, and essential building a “brand.” That allows me to not only reach more people, but help with different components to running a successful business.

What would you say to someone who came to you for advice about taking ‘the leap of faith’ into entrepreneurship?

Anthony Ocasio: Don’t be afraid to take risk, and to fail. Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned came from my failures.

What were the biggest entrepreneurship lessons you’ve learned?

Be patient, but understand when to take action!

What is the best way for someone to reach you if they are interested in working with you?

Anthony Ocasio: They can reach out to me from my website www.theecomway.com , send me a DM on Instagram @RsvpAnt, or simply shoot me an email at [email protected]

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Entrepreneurship

How Matt Hamilton Cultivated High Performance Skills That Put Him In The Position To Capitalize In This Billion Dollar Industry

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  • Matt Hamilton went from college dropout with a 1.8 GPA, to being the Founder & CEO of Revenue Forge – A full service marketing and branding agency built for the modern day. I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt. Here’s what he had to say!

Hey Matt! I’m interested more in your background story and how you got to where you are today. Could you give us a look into your background story?

Matt Hamilton: Growing up, school wasn’t a choice for me. It was mandatory. I was always reminded by my friends, peers, coaches, parents of the cliche “Go to school, get good grades, play sports, train for the scholarships, and then get your degree so you can get a well paying job.” This never sat well with me. I never really knew what I wanted to do, but that was just about the last thing I was interested in. Interestingly enough though, that’s exactly what I did.

I quickly found out that the education system was not the platform that would teach me the proper principles of high success. I looked around and compared the habits of college students and teachers against the habits of those who had already attained high performance and success, and (not) to my surprise, I found massive differences. College is sort of like pre-school for adults. No matter how similar to the real world it may be, it’s just not the real world.

What did you decided to do after realizing that? 

Matt Hamilton: As you may be able to tell already, I think very differently than a lot of people. Instead of going out every night, I stayed in my dorm room to work on business projects and network with celebrity influencers online. The work I was doing pushed me to cultivate high performance skills, and put me in a position to build key relationships. In a few months time, I realized if I didn’t go after my passions, I’ll be stuck at a desk job paying bills for the rest of my life. So I left.

After leaving what was your vision for the future?

Matt Hamilton: My vision consisted of working full time on my business, and massively changing the lives of my clients. There was one problem. When I got home, I had no clients. Zero. I went from making money and progress in my dorm room, to living back at my parents house with zero clients. I fell into bad habits, bad routines, and left room for complacency in my work. I was shocked by the raw reality of the real marketplace. This is not what I wanted, but it is what I expected. I took the safety net out from under myself. I gave myself no other option. I wanted the real, raw, non simulated experience of being punched in the mouth, and having no choice but to work my ass off to get the results I wanted. I was jolted awake by the stark reality that if I continue to allow my surroundings to dictate my actions, I would never achieve any of the goals I set for myself.

What did you decide to do once you realized this?

Matt Hamilton: I did everything to get new clients. I went to local business alliances, Networking groups, I did walk-ins, cold emails, cold calls, free work, work through referrals, and just about any other way you can think of. I just worked. That’s it. Sure enough, I started noticing that something was happening. Suddenly I had people reaching out to ME. I started gaining momentum.

I didn’t get complacent this time. No. This pushed me to go harder. And then harder still. Quite possibly the best feeling about being in this business is seeing the look of sheer joy on any of my clients faces when we’re able to really deliver for them. That’s why I do it. The impact it has on their business is worth way more to me than any sort of monetary value I can receive.

I will continue to grow and scale my agency to a National powerhouse, and hopefully impact others on the way. I want other people to understand that we only have one life. Only one. If you don’t ever take the risk to chase your dreams, the probability of you living out that dream goes down to basically 0. So don’t be afraid. What’s the worst that can happen?

You have an amazing story. What were the biggest entrepreneurship lessons you’ve learned?

  1. Persistence. Even when things get real dark, or there doesn’t seem to be any opportunities for you to capitalize on, its extremely important to stay persistent in those times of
  2. Uncertainty. The persistence and faith that you show in times of uncertainty are similar to the correct answer on a multiple choice test. When you’re tested, the answer is to keep going. No matter what.

What would you say to someone who came to you for advice about taking the “leap of faith’ into entrepreneurship?

Matt Hamilton: If it’s something you want to do, take the jump. Don’t think about it, because the “what if’s” will paralyze you. Realize that the only voice you need to listen to is the one in your own head. And when you do, don’t quit on yourself – ever.

What is the best way for someone to reach you if they are interested in working with you?

Connect with me on instagram @officialmatthamilton

 

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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