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GET YOUR TICKETS TO OUR NEXT DISRUPT MASTERMIND EVENT!

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Last Monday, LeBron James unveiled his new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio – powerfully demonstrating to the world the power and influence of the modern day athlete.

His school aims to disrupt the unfortunate trend of at-risk students falling behind the K-12 population in the classroom, by providing a STEM based curriculum to low-income and at-risk students.

Originally, I promise was a non-profit focused on helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds focus on achievement. Now it transformed into a school program that can educate them all year round.

There are several disruptive differences that makes I Promise school unique:

There will be longer school days vs the normal 7am – 3pm schedule. The normal school year schedule will be unique as well, students will get the same amount of time off from school on holidays and summer but the schedule will be broken up differently to make sure students will be continuously learning year-round.

In an effort to simulate some of the home support that might be missing for school work. students will also have extra access to teachers and the school’s facilities. I promise will also have support for student’s parents that may not have completed high school or need employment by providing a GED program and job placement services. Another plus is that the students will receive a bike on their first day of class, to escape dangerous parts of Akron and to explore, motivated by LeBron James’s youth, when he did the same thing.

I Promise is a regular public school and not a charter, private or reform school. Usually schools that offer such perks are usually private and aren’t free for students, but this LeBron James wanted this school to be accessible to all youth in the Akron area.

Here’s to LeBron James, who’s disruption even caught the ire of the President of the United States.

Craig is a web developer and digital marketer at Disrupt.

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Daanish Azim – The Phonepreneur

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Earlier this week I was able to sit down with Daanish Azim as we discussed his journey and how he got to where he got today.

  • Hey Daanish, how old are you, where are you from, and what is it that you do?

I just turned 23 years old last month, I’m from Chicago, IL. I Currently run few online businesses such as an amazon dropshipping store, I’m building up an entrepreneur clothing brand, and I resell phones for profit as well as teach others my methods on how to flip phones for profit.

  • What was the first entrepreneurial experience you had that you can remember?

The first entrepreneurial experience I would say I had was buying and reselling phones when I was around 17/18 years old just so I can make some extra income so I can help my dad as he was going through some job issues. But as my first business owner venture, I would say it really began with joining a network marketing company.

  • When did you know that you wanted to work for yourself and go a different route?

I knew this at a pretty young age, but it wasn’t really until my last year of high school, that I really started studying the number of people who went to college and the amount of debt they took on for college and how long it took people to actually pay back all their student loans while they were maybe even working at a job they don’t even like. This is when I knew I had to figure out ways to work for myself and take a different route than the majority of people. Also, a quote that really stuck with me that I heard from a successful multi-millionaire was “watch the masses, do the opposite” this quote till this day sticks in my head.

  • How did you get into flipping phones?

It honestly happened pretty randomly, I was always amused by the fact of flipping things to make a profit rather than just working a job to make $10/hr(or whatever per $/hr). So as I was one day looking to buy a new phone I found a nice phone at that time called a Moto X for like $150 which I knew was a good deal, so I ended up driving about an hour with my dad to go buy the phone, pretty randomly I decided to list the phone for like $280 on eBay the next day and literally the phone sold within 24 hours of my eBay listing and I was in shock. Imagine I bought a phone for 150 and sold online for 280 without much work or time involved and netted about $100 profit on that one sale, that’s when I knew there was money to be made with flipping phones and that’s how my journey started with this side hustle!

  • How have you had so much success in your industry? 

In simple terms I was able to figure out how to flip a phone for a profit and by doing it enough times and learning through trial and error I was able to understand this hustle A-Z and by now I’ve been able to buy well over 300-400 phones in the past few years and flip them for a profit and done well over 150k in sales with it while never having a warehouse or shop or anything, just straight out of my house mainly just leveraging my phone to do it,  And now I’ve been able to start teaching some students 1on1 and coming out with a course soon to teach people how to resell phones for a profit to make additional income.

  • What would you say your 3 core values are? 

My 3 core values would have to be integrity, responsibility, and self-improvement.

  • How have you leveraged personal branding and social media to grow your business?

I had just opened up a business Instagram page like less than 2 years ago and I’m so glad I did. By posting content and being my true-self and connecting with others it has helped in many ways. I’ve built some great connections with other like-minded individuals, been able to partner up with other people just leveraging my personal brand as well as being able to take on a few students who I’ve never met but  just by leveraging and building up my personal brand it has given me so many opportunities and been able to connect and make some great friendships through it.

  • What advice would you give a young person looking to get started in entrepreneurship?

One of my biggest advice would be to just get started! Most young people tend to think more and act less. I would also tell them to focus more on self-education and first start by investing into themselves and start to go to any entrepreneurial events they can get a chance to go to and try to find a mentor/coach who is where they’d like to be and is willing to guide and help them.

  • What do you want your life to look like in 5 years? 

5 years from now my goal is to be totally financially independent, making a positive impact, speaking on stages, helping my parents in any way, having a partner, traveling the world, giving lots back to charities, and just overall being fulfilled while still chasing a bigger dream and vision for myself.

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Sports, Startups, Sneakers, Strategy: Max Martinez Envisions/Chases It All

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It is not every day that you see a sportsman excel in business as much as they did as an athlete. Even so, some defy the odds and shine even more as entrepreneurs.

Max Martinez, a former Cornell running back, is a classic example of an athlete that has managed to do just that. He has overachieved in the business industry by using his athlete mentality and applying it in entrepreneurship. As the first Ivy Leaguer in his family, Martinez achieves anything into which he puts his mind. From playing college football, founding startups, working for Instagram, managing a VC firm to running his agency, he really wants it all.

Martinez is a dreamer and an achiever. In this piece well get to look at his success journey, achievements, and where he sees himself in the future.

A Brief Look into His Background

Martinez is a Miami born and raised athlete turned entrepreneur. The founder and creative director of his own agency, Maxfuture Strategies, since 2016, he focuses on solving unique problems that companies face, including strategy, advertising, content production, and software in the digital, business, and creative industries. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he is a dual citizen of Spain and the United States.

At 18, he left Miami and went to play football for the Ivy League Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he went on to play for four years. During his time there, he utilized every opportunity that came his way. While dedicating most of his time to football and his Government major, Martinez managed to start two companies, MaxyClean and Cornellious. MaxyClean was a pickup and delivery laundry service business, which he sold for $20,000 after one month, and Cornellious was a non-profit humor site that raised over $4,000 for three different charities and accumulated over 500,000 YouTube views.

After graduating with a bachelors in Government, the time for Martinez to take on new challenges in the real world.

Taking the Athlete into the Business Industry

In 2013, after graduating from Cornell University, Martinez moved to San Francisco and co-founded Phroogal. Though not easily, he managed to run a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. With a set target of crowdfunding $75,000 in a month, Phroogal raised $78,000, becoming the first ever FinLit startup successfully crowdfunded. Investors voted them as winners of 2014’s Most Promising FinTech’ startup at the Bank Innovation’s Demovation Challenge in Seattle. Martinez then went on to work for Instagram after moving on from Phroogle.

At Instagram, he was part of a six-person team responsible for streamlining the verification process of NBA, NFL, and Premier League players. He did this for three months and moved back to New York where he became the Managing Director of a venture capital firm, General American Capital Partners. Martinez built strategies for their portfolio companies and found new investment opportunities for the company. As a long-term result, they were able to purchase FC Bordeaux of France’s Ligue 1.

Being an athlete, Martinez thrives off of challenges and competition. After achieving his goals with General American Capital Partners, he needed a new challenge. In November 2016, he moved to Madrid and founded Maxfuture Strategies.

Martinez’s Successes and Dreams

Martinez’s success story goes back to his teenage days. When he was 16, he broke Michael Vick’s all-time Nike Combine record as a junior at Belen Jesuit high school. He has continued to conquer new challenges to this day because of his love for strategies and sports. In 2016, he created the Miami Legacy MLS team concept, including the name, color scheme, logo and uniforms, for David Beckham’s MLS franchise which was endorsed by AS.com and the Miami New Times. Later on that year, Adidas chose him as a global finalist for the Real Madrid 2016-2017 alternate jersey design, which led him to successfully networking with former Nike designer, now Adidas Creative Director, Marc Dolce.

It was then when Martinez realized he wanted to take his talents to the sports apparel world. From creating strategies for Puma basketball and StockX to designing uniforms for the Long Island Nets of the NBA G-League, he has dedicated 2019 to getting his foot in the door at Nike. After finishing courses in Sneaker Ergonomics at FIT in New York City, the latest concept he’s working on, his Jordan Z1ON line for NBA rookie sensation Zion Williamson, is a project he truly believes will show that he understands the sports apparel industry from every different perspective.

A competitive athlete who has also had tryouts with the LA Galaxy of the MLS and Delaware Blue Coats of the NBA G-League, Max Martinez is a true conqueror and go-getter. He has proven he is more than just an athlete. Martinez believes his elite work ethic and versatility are what make him the best.

 

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Ryall Graber a Professional Athlete Turned Business Mogul Shares Her 5 Tips for Success

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Ryall Graber the 8x IFBB Fitness Champion has now transformed her career as a successful athlete into a successful entrepreneur helping thousands of people change their lives. As a former athlete, Graber discusses how she transformed many of the habits that she developed as an athlete in the business world. Graber stresses how creating a structured group of habits can teach anyone to become more successful or happier in their lives. She then shares five different guidelines for how to shape a more successful future. She focuses much of her talk on self-belief and pushing through difficult circumstances. Furthermore, she promotes an ambitious attitude where one is setting goals high and achieving them constantly.

 

Tip 1: Follow Your Dreams!

 

Human behavior is often unpredictable. Nonetheless, Ryall Graber discusses how she felt that her transition from a dental hygienist to her athletic career just “felt right.” Despite the pragmatic and practical concerns of those around her, Graber remained confident in her decision because she felt that it was the right decision for her to make. Typically, Graber discusses, humans can naturally feel doubtful about things that scare them. She was able to squash her own fears because she felt passionate about what she wanted to do and then set about doing it.

 

If you are in love with your career or business, Graber argues that you will work harder to keep it going. She discusses how great ideas can only be great if you are daring enough to try them, and put them into practice. This determination will help you to set your goals and drive you forward.

 

Tip 2: Set Goals and Reconnect With Them Every Day

 

Ryall Graber then talks about how it is important to set goals. It is one thing to begin the journey, and quite another to continue the journey effectively. By setting small, achievable goals at first, one is able to gain confidence in themselves. If there are certain goals that cannot be achieved, Graber recommends evaluating and then adjusting the goals to something that is more realistic. Patience and focus are central components to future success, according to Graber. Motivation ultimately should not be something that one finds hard to come by. Re-tinkering your goals should be an effort of focus, not trying to be interested in what you do. Graber conveys that it is difficult starting out into a new career or a new job. It is important to set goals so that you do not waste time and lose the ability to improve oneself. As you set goals, it is important to constantly revisit and re-assess them to make sure that you are busy with tasks for yourself. If you are not focused, chances are you are not motivated either.

 

Tip 3: Don’t Let Circumstances Define You, Believe In Yourself And Never Give Up

 

Everyone goes through difficult situations in their lives. In order to be successful, one must be different from everyone else. When a situation might force the average person to quit, figuring out how to persevere it can be a valuable lesson. Circumstances will test your will and your love for what you want to do. If your first answer is that you don’t want to continue through your pain, it might not be the “dream” job that you want. Ryall proposes that success is like a pathway – you start at one end, and then you must journey through it in order to find it. She utilizes the analogy of “when life throws you lemons, make lemonade.” In order to do this, you must remain confident but learn from your mistakes.

 

Graber discusses how everyone runs into tough circumstances. It is important to grieve during times of loss, but at the same time use this as fuel towards never experiencing those emotions in the future. Graber frames the discussion as “every champion must start as a beginner.” By understanding that you have a lot to learn, you must avoid being overconfident and also learn from each experience. A champion’s mentality, or an athlete’s in general, comes from learning from your errors and mistakes.

 

Tip 4: Focus on Commitment Not Motivation

 

The motivation we seek will follow if you’re truly committed are to your goals. As you hit your goals your motivation will rise. It’s super important to set daily goals you can hit, as you hit your goals your confidence and motivation will rise and start to domino effect that is why being consistent is important when achieving complex goals. Once you start building the momentum you’ll be unstoppable.   

 

Tip 5: Don’t Let Your Circumstances Define You 

 

In Ryall’s athletic career she mentions “During my athletic career I suffered dozens of setbacks. I suffered from an eating disorder that was developed from extreme dieting as a fitness competitor, I gained and lost hundreds of pounds, I experienced low self-esteem, I experienced multiple injuries, hypothyroidism and I endured a painful divorce. She says “I am human just like you, so when I say ‘Don’t let your circumstances define you,’ it’s not from a place of judgment or from a pedestal. I say this to remind people that they’re not alone. If I can overcome and conquer then so can you and remember that regardless of whatever you’re facing in your life right now, there is only one person that can change it. It’s YOU!” 

 

Conclusion

 

In order to achieve your dreams, one must know what they are. Brainstorm ideas of what interests you and drives you every day. Ryall says that ‘clarity of knowing exactly what you want to achieve will give you power. And once you find them, commit to them 100% and continue to ignite the inner flame within you. It will take time to achieve them, it will even take time to fully understand what passion really feels like, but as you continue this journey it will mold and sculpt the person you were destined to become.’

 

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