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Interviews

Interview with Artist Armando Cabba

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Armando Cabba, a 28 year old Canadian artist and owner of his own gallery Atelier Cabba based in Paris. An artist on the rise gaining recognition for his portraits, Cabba is beginning to make his mark on the business front as a young artist who opened up his own independent space.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?


Just like how I got into art itself, this all kind of happened by chance. Around 2014, I was a bit lost after leaving the academy back in Florence in terms of where to go career wise. There was a feeling of being over saturated regarding school, so I continued to work independently which brought me to France. Setting up was not easy as it was in Italy. Finding a studio in Paris was beyond challenging for countless reasons. I was getting desperate to the point I almost renovated an old brothel just so I can have a place to create. After a solid 7 months of constant searching, I found the space I’m currently in.

Atelier Cabba was more of an idea to happen much later in my career and now I’m 2 years into it. Having a workspace to paint in is one thing, but operating a gallery at the same time is a new kind of game. The best way to describe it is seeing a dog walking itself on the street holding a leash in its mouth. All the responsibilities that happen behind the scenes are on me as opposed to being under gallery representation.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

 

I don’t have a story that stands out in specific, but it’s been interesting to see how the public has been reacting first hand. There’s been a solid engagement and relationship formed with me and the local community. I’m also not hard to miss roaming around covered in paint near Moulin Rouge in search of snacks while saying “hi” to everyone. Even though it’s a very lonely gig to paint, I don’t feel completely isolated. There’s also no middle man who will tell me what happened at the gallery that week. There’s no human filter between the artist and the public. Each day is completely unpredictable.

 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

 

There are no such things as mistakes, only happy accidents. A funny happy accident I had was when I really ran out of patience with one visitor. It was an artist that came in and began to compliment all the work up in the gallery, but it turned real sour real quick. On many occasions I get lots of artists who try to drop off their portfolios. The deal is that if there’s a show, it has to be a collaboration where we work together on something instead of me just hanging up your work. He all of a sudden did a 180 in his attitude and went off on how I don’t know stuff about things when it comes to running a gallery.

After 5 minutes of grumpy Parisian rambling, I tossed him my keys and told him “You seem to know what’s up. You do it. I’m off to get a beer. Send me a postcard when you’re famous” I made my way next door and did what I said I was going to do. He came outside with a look of horror and told me I was crazy using the most poetic profane french I’ve ever heard.  That would be my major mistake considering it was a rare time I lost patience plus I didn’t take into consideration who this person could actually be. Also, this isn’t Canada. People in Paris do tend to steal things, so I ran a giant risk of him actually locking me out of my gallery. That would of been one hell of a hostage situation.

 

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Atelier Cabba stands out because it’s one of the few spaces where the artist is present. You enter my world when you walk through the door. There’s a freedom for both me and visitors. Anyone can come in and see me working away and watch, ask questions, be creepy and stare while eating a sandwich erotically, etc. It’s nice to hear what people have to say directly and it brings me out of my usual mental flow. I have my regulars who come in to share stories or things they found. There’s a special bond and feeling of participation in my atelier. It’s all organic and not staged. When you step into most galleries, there’s a sterile inhuman feeling. A sense of “Should I actually be in here? Do I know enough to be here? Am I rich enough to be here?” You’re in this sacred space and you occasionally have the assistants who will look up from their desks to say hello. They also act like they are doing super serious work, but I’m pretty sure they’re playing the T-Rex game when the Google machine isn’t working. Things aren’t popping off in an empty gallery. You can’t fool me.

 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?


I would say to be careful regarding what people say. Being one of the rare individuals out there who both creates and operates a business, you get a buttload of criticism. Some of the advice is very helpful, and other times it feels very much like you’re dealing with a backseat driver. To all my artists, always beware of the any white middle aged bald man who wears atypical circular framed glasses and colourful pants. These guys always have some “strong” commentary and they’re everywhere. I’m convinced they’re some sort of a boss level of art critics and I haven’t figured out where they originate from or who is making them.

 

Anyways, I occasionally get my moments where I really wonder if I’m actually doing well or if I do have talent. Just because I’m making money, does that translate it to me being talented? I also wonder that since I have this space, am I actually good at what I’m doing? Am I basic? Did I just get lucky? I forget that people aren’t me or have the same drive. What what I want to say is that it’s normal to have these questions and feelings, but it’s not easy to do that mental tightrope walk. Don’t let the words of others influence you to the point where your mind will devour itself.

 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

 

That person would have to be my dad. He’s supported my decision to be an artist the moment it happened. He wanted to be a singer, but my grandfather wouldn’t allow it. My father didn’t want me to go through the same thing, so he’s been my number one fan. As I was beginning to expose my work, I had a chip on my shoulder due to feeling I was stuck in his shadow. He’s such a big personality and character that you’d think he’s a figment of your imagination. I wanted to make my name stand out as opposed to being just “Traian’s son who paints”. I had a lot of success, but I also fell flat on my face sometimes. He knew what I was trying to prove and we sorted things out by finally talking like mature human beings. Once upon a time, he had the same rebel attitude with my grandfather and we all know the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I realized it’s okay to ask for help and advice especially concerning the business end of things. Without him I don’t think I’d be where I am today at all. My level of talent in my work would probably be years behind and I’d be stuck in a slave like contract with god knows who. He’s been an inspiration to me and still is. I’m Armando Cabba because of him.

 

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?  

 

As I’ve continued to grown along with my platform, I’ve been maintaining my values of giving back. I’ve opened the doors of Atelier Cabba to many different people not only for future collaborations, but as a safe space for all. People can be themselves and free. I’m quite outspoken on social and political issues, so it’s clear where me and my company stand.

There are tons of big ideas and plans for the future regarding positive actions for the world. It’s about timing. Right now I’m currently working with L’Atelier Des Arts who are hosting artist workshops and conferences in Bretagne to show the community all the possibilities of having a career in a creative field. It’s the early stages and I’m not doing it for the money. If I can help inspire one person in their life, it’s all worth it. I’ll be there in early January talking to and teaching people about portraits along with how I got started with Atelier Cabba.

 

My business is a reflection of myself. People who support Atelier Cabba know that Atelier Cabba supports them.

 

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

 

“Be so good they can’t ignore you” – Steve Martin


Put in the hours and effort to get a point where you’re satisfied and then push further beyond that. Once you adopt that idea, people will notice you. Some people will still say no, but at least they’ll look silly for doing so.

 

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Beware of flimflam people. You don’t need a Rasputin character whispering ideas deep in your ear. These are the type of people that try to come in and make all these plans on a whim about money filled futures and dreams coming true when in reality they have their own agenda. They’re selling you ideas disguised as a new relationship. Lots of “We’re going to do this” and “We’re going to do that” get thrown around. The moment you agree to it, nothing ever happens or you get asked the unsurprising question of “Can you fund it all first?”. Don’t get taken for a ride or hang on to false words.


  1. Don’t be shy to ask for help and advice. I made the mistake to be my own coach at a young age like I knew how the world worked. I fell down many times during this whole journey because of my pride. Once I accepted I needed help, I asked for it and look where I’m at. Ask questions to people who know about business. Sure you might know how to create all sorts of custom oil mixes, but what do you know about gallery contract fine print at age 21?

    3. Be your number one fan. I had a lot of people look at me strange when I quit the academy. I had lots of people laugh at me when I said I wanted to be a world famous artist. I have my handful of friends who I know are there for me without a doubt, but you also cover your own back. Be your own cheerleader. Hype yourself up when no one is around. Don’t worry, it all balances out. All those people who didn’t take me seriously? They’re trying to take me out for dinner like I’m a fancy date. All those women who stood me up for portraits back in the day? They’re now in my DMs asking to spend time with me Paris so I can draw them like one of my french girls. Don’t let that crap get to your head as much it strokes your ego. The Universe balances itself out. Trust me.

  2. Roll with it. If some new project or idea gets thrown at you, sometimes it’s a good idea to just try it if you have nothing to lose. One of these ideas I rolled with involved a white pair of shoes. I was asked to paint them in 24 hours and now it’s become a thing eversince. Worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work and you know better for the future.

    5. If you can’t join them, beat them. I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to get the approval of people who didn’t matter at the end of the day. It’s normal to want to be part of something and now with everything I have, I’m happy it never worked out. Not because they’ve changed, but because I’ve surpassed them and my previous self. I just wanted to score touchdowns for them and here I am dancing in their end zones.

 

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement  that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

 

I never really thought about starting a movement. Does that mean I have to go chanting “Make Art Great Again”? There are so many more important movements and issues that need more exposure. Their voices need to be heard and I’m more concerned with helping them than my personal vain goals like one day watching Jeff Koons choke on a balloon. Sure, I want to open up the art world to more undiscovered talent and to have people feel again, but there are more important things we need to support in my opinion. I don’t talk about my art a lot in person. When I do, I tend to segway into other topics like mental health and toxic masculinity. People are going through some real struggles and need a lot more than just a “Thoughts and Prayers” tweet. We need to hear from them directly and not my version of it. I don’t suffer from the white savior complex. I don’t believe everything will be resolved the moment I’m involved in it. These issues are about them, not me. They live it every single day and if Atelier Cabba can provide any help, I’m all in.

 

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Best way would be to follow me on instagram @armandocabba. To see my full portfolio along with all the other social media nonsense, check out my site http://www.armando-cabba.com

 

If you’re ever in Paris, stop by the in person. Atelier Cabba is located at 3 Rue Vintimille in the 9eme.

 

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

 

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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Interviews

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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