Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My arrival was very much unorthodox & I never saw it coming. I was arrested when I was younger & that resulted in me being a felon. So the only jobs I could actually get that were paying decent was construction. I worked hard on those jobs but that wasn’t enough because when contracts slowed down, those with felony convictions were let go a week or two after the employees that took off a lot. So I prepared myself for the next let down by enrolling in barber school & cutting hair on the side when I got off from work. About 9 months after finding a new job working as a carpenter’s helper, I was pink slipped again in the same order as before. But I walked away smiling this time because I had built up a small clientele base that could keep me going in the right direction. I worked in two shops before opening my own. The journey wasn’t all peaches & cream but it definitely was very much worth it. I haven’t looked back since.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
Recently I had been working with a very influential social media sensation now turned mogul by the name of Supa Cent. Her fiancé and I had known each other for years and I had been cutting his hair for the same amount of time. So he introduced us & I started cutting her son’s hair also. At one point we worked out a promotion deal & her page ended up getting shutdown. Long story short, I just held up to my end of the bargain & stayed down. It didn’t bother me because I understood the situation. She was very transparent about it & she used other channels to keep light shining. Then some time later, she blew & became a millionaire. Shortly after she sent me a text asking for my PayPal address in regards to an upcoming event. I then got an alert for a deposit. Supa had sent me $5,000.00. That was crazyyyy! She later explained that during her times of shutdown that a lot of people closed their doors on her & that she just wanted to show her appreciation. I’m still their barber today but now it’s mostly house calls. They rarely come to the shop.
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?
In retrospect I laugh at this all the time. When I was building the layout for my shop, the parish had just implemented a new law requiring barbershops & salons to have a water fountain installed. My architect and I went back & forth with them about it seeming like forever. I was fiery about until I looked up & noticed 6 months had passed & the only thing standing between my shop being closed & opening was a silly water fountain.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Aside from creativity & attention to detail, my story of redemption completely sets me apart. It’s not too often that you hear about a kid go from serving time for selling the wrong product to flying on private jets for a haircut. Nobody really knows how hard that transition was but me. I never thought I’d be where I’m at today, looking back to 10 years ago. Times were so bleak but I held on to what was important to me. And that was to never go back & to totally turn my life around. It’s funny because nobody would know I went through so much because I don’t look or act like it. That’s a constant reminder that I did a great job on reinventing myself. I now own a successful barbershop, service a special clientele & have investments in stock & real estate. That’s a long way from hanging on the corner.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
GROWTH & BALANCE! That’s everything to avoiding the burn out. You have to take classes & constantly evolve because this industry flips so much. And if you fall behind in current trends, you’ll find yourself in a place of complacency that’s slowly deteriorating. That’ll make you feel worn & not valued. Another way to avoid the burn out is BALANCE! You need to find that cool place where the scale doesn’t tip heavily in any one direction. You need that family, friends & self time (taking care of body) aside from business. It rejuvenates your spirit & keeps you peaking all across the board. The worst thing is feeling like a machine. I learned this the hard way but I’m definitely trending in that direction now. And it’s paying dividends. My personal life is better & also my business. And that’s b/c of GROWTH & BALANCE!
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?
One of my career goals was to become a celebrity barber. I accomplished that feat but not without some help along the way. And I can’t mention one without the other. My mentor really polished me before I made the transition. He taught me how to conduct myself & what to expect. So my first celebrity client was Keisha Cole’s son. That was a referral from my guy Captain Smash. He wasn’t able to make the trip from Baton Rouge so he gave her manager my number & we went from there. After that it was a ripple effect. A friend of mine was practicing at the gym & Nick Toons of The New Orleans Saints asked him who cut his hair. He passed on my information & I started making house calls for Toons. And that’s how I met client turned family Brandin Cooks of The L.A. Rams. Nick Toons also referred Russell Wilson to me. That was totally cool! I cut his hair for Essence & he shared it on his snap chat. I gained like 4 thousand new followers on Instagram from it. Since then my network has grown through the likes of Marcus Harvey, Ray Johnson, & Maria Barreda. I’ve worked on movie sets, cut hair for Empire, & been called on by platinum R&B artists because of these wonderful people. Grateful to have them in my circle.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
My pinnacle of success serves as inspiration to a lot of people. And I tell my story so that it’ll help those overcome the same struggles I did. Crazy thing is, a lot of people pull from it who may going through something totally different. It empowers so many people. And that’s a good thing!
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough”, by Og Mandino is my favorite life quote. Every time I faced in obstacle I would recite this in my head. I remember when I was struggling to open my shop & almost lost it. I went back to this & it helped me overcome. I started working more hours even to the point that I would work on Christmas Day & into the wee hours when I needed to. My determination to succeed absorbed failure every time.
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 is that I needed an architect with a live stamp to get my drawings approved and cleared by the parish to move forward with construction. I did just the opposite lost about a month in build out because I didn’t know the latter. #2 allow your staff to blossom in their own time. I used to try & push stylists & barbers who worked in my shop. You can’t do that because you’ll push them away. I saw that with my sister. One day she woke up & decided to be a stylist full time. It was one of my happiest decisions to hear. I saw her potential & knew what she could be. More often than not you should just encourage people & let them develop at their own rate. It’s better that way. #3 Build business credit. I paid cash for everything early on. That hurt me when I wanted to acquire a piece of real estate in my business name because I didn’t have the credit it get approved for funding. I ended up missing out on that opportunity. #4 never take on a subbed out corporate job without signing a contract & or partial payment. I did this for a barber who lives out of state & never got paid. I put together a crew to cut hair for a festival & he stopped answering my calls. I paid the barbers out of my own pocket. I took him to court & won b/c he didn’t show. #5 hire a certified accountant. I got audited so much because I was letting anyone do my taxes & using third party entities to handle payroll. I was messed up really bad. So I hired an accountant & he cleaned everything up & put me on the right track. I can’t express how valuable a good accountant is.
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.
If I could start a movement it would definitely be prison reform. I’ve seen so many brothers that are super talented & don’t know how to use it; especially after a jail stint.
How Marco Cabrera Created a 6 figure Real Estate Empire in Less Than a Year
All his life, Marco Cabrera has been an entrepreneur at heart. Ever since he was a little boy, Marco Cabrera’s mind was business oriented. He learned from a tender age to take advantage of every presenting opportunity to make some money. At some point in his childhood, he made money from his mother’s friends by offering to paint their nails for $5. When 7-year-old Marco knew that her mom’s friends used to get paid on Fridays, he realized it would not be difficult to get $5 from each of them by doing their nails on Saturdays when they came over to their house.
To Marco’s parents, that might have just been their kid passing time while making a few bucks to buy candy with. To Marco, however, this was the beginning of a long journey into the corporate world. It was never going to be an easy journey, especially considering that business is full of risks and an uncertain future. There was much learning to do, and Marco was ready to go all in on the lessons life was going to teach him.
Believing in Himself and Learning From His Mistakes
True to his nature as a serial entrepreneur, Marco Cabrera worked hard to the extent of setting up 5 businesses. Like any other risk-taker out there, he knew there was a chance that a few or none of the businesses would grow into huge enterprises. Even so, he was not about to stop dreaming, and most importantly, taking action.
In his own words, Marco says, “Some of the companies did better than others, but what mattered most to me was taking action, believing in myself and learning from my mistakes.” One such mistake he made was backing down from his dreams. Instead of pushing through with his dream of becoming the entrepreneur he was born to be, he ended up being employed. Though he was still making a sizeable income from two of his best-performing businesses, he wanted something more for himself, his wife, and two kids.
From Stable to Uncomfortable
Marco Cabrera might have secured a ‘stable’ job six years ago, but to him, it was the same as having given up on the dream of greatness. He wanted a life higher and beyond the corporate cubicles, he had found himself in. Marco says, “I felt like I had thrown in the towel on my dreams, and was now settling. I knew something was not right.” The discomfort he felt being in the corporate cubicles then bred the determination to leave it all for something else. He realized it was not all about the money, but about fulfillment. Then came the tall and thick wall separating him from leaping onto his destiny – fear. Marco’s vision had been somewhat blurred by the confines of the corporate job that he was terrified about failing if he dared trying reaching for his dreams. Marco Cabrera, however, knew that something had to give, and it surely did.
Building a Fresh Relationship With God
Having lacked the strength in him to move forward, Marco looked to God for help. He started working on his relationship with God. That is how he found the confidence, faith and drive to get to where he had always wanted to be, where he was supposed to be. He confesses, “Through Jesus Christ, I have been able to get clarity and a new focus in my life, family, and business.” During his time growing in Christ, Marco attended a seminar where he met a distinguished real estate investor, who later became his mentor. Before long, Marco, through his mentor’s coaching, was able to finally create a six-figure real estate business. Marco Cabrera finally saw and lived the reality of his lifelong dream, and it all happened within a year.
Unlike many who give up on their visions, Marco Cabrera did not. He finally quit his corporate job to fully become a real estate investor. Today, he closes deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars every month without prior experience of having ever been in the real estate industry. So, what is stopping you from pursuing your dreams? Are you stuck in some corporate cubicle feeling sorry about yourself? Don’t let life beat you down. Like Marco, you can find help in Jesus and finally see the realization of your dreams.
5 Things Photographers Need to Know By Jaime Flores
Jaime Flores is a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). He is best known for his portraits but also does a variety of different types of photography. In just a span of a year, he grew his two instagram accounts to have 10x more followers than he had we started. Before photography, Jaime was going to college with no real idea of what he wanted to do for a career. After receiving his Associate’s degree with an emphasis in business, Jaime decided not to continue school and look for something new to pursue in life. He bought his first camera in April of 2018 and quickly gained the knowledge needed in order to be commercially successful in his hometown.
At first his focus was only portraits but later on he began doing product photography, events, landscapes and more. In May of 2019 he started his own Media company called Digital Trends Media. The company provides photography, videography, graphic design, and social media management services. Jaime hopes to inspire and help others find skills that are needed in today’s world driven by social media.
1. Carry your camera at all times
It’s actually really important to always have your camera with you. Pretty often, people get curious and will ask you: “Are you a photographer?” or “What kind of camera do you have?”. Use that as a chance to show them your work and/or hand them a business card (you should always have some). Take your camera everywhere you go and learn to take candid photos of people out in the city, take pictures of your food/drinks, take pictures of nature, etc. This seems pointless but people are willing to buy print versions of those types of photography. Expand your skillset beyond portraits.
2. Leverage your personality
Don’t rely solely on your work to catch the attention of potential clients. Your work will only get you so far but you have to be willing to put your personality out there as well. If you take a look at some of the most successful and well known photographers, you’ll notice that they not only take amazing pictures but they also have huge personalities. People love to see what the person behind the camera is like.
3. Make your photography stand out
Editing is crucial, spend lots of time learning new editing techniques. Also, when shooting portraits, take your time and really analyze backgrounds. Take pictures from numerous angles to give your pictures unique perspectives. Combine a unique editing style with new angles/ideas, and you will gain popularity.
4. Youtube is your best friend
A question I get asked all the time is: “How can I get better at taking pictures?” My answer is always Youtube and practice. Of course you can pay to attend seminars and pay for online photography courses, but to me that’s all unnecessary. All the information you need can be found on YouTube for FREE. At least that’s how I learned everything I know.
5. Cameras don’t do the work for you
A common misconception that people tend to have is that having a good camera is all it takes to be a good photographer. Nowadays an iPhone camera is the best camera to use as a beginner. Anyone can buy the most expensive camera but it takes knowledge about camera settings in order to take the best pictures, as well as good editing skills.
There are 4 Ways to have Fun All Summer Long
Three Connecticut friends transformed a dream into a booming business. While watching sports one night, something sparked their creativity and they realized that there was a gap in the sports industry. After conducting additional research, they found that they truly had an original idea, so they came together and created the blueprint for their game, and within a year, a prototype was born! Now there is a new way to enjoy summer sports whether you’re on a beach, at a picnic, gym, or park. This four- way intersecting volleyball net has all the fun of a traditional volleyball game but with a unique twist and a brand-new set of game rules.
The World’s First 4-Way Volley Ball Net
Chris Meade, the co-founder of CrossNet recounts the journey of creating the world’s first 4-way volleyball net when the idea was only in its infancy. “A prototype that was created and tested on a beach in the summer of 2018 gained lots of attention. It went from the four of us playing and having a good time to 25 people waiting in line and me not even getting to play my own game at the beach. As soon as that happen, we knew we had a great game.”
Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight
In most cases, success doesn’t happen overnight, and this was definitely the case for the Connecticut trio, they attribute their success to creating a clear set of game rules for their users, implementing strong branding techniques, and utilizing social media to build brand awareness and outreach. “We were three kids from a farming town in Connecticut. We had an idea and we were able to make it come to life, and now we’re being played in over 500 gym classes across the world. You can also find their products in some of the world’s top retail stores like Walmart, Target, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Amazon, and many more.
Meade enjoys the life that entrepreneurship has awarded him. Since the business has taken off, he’s able to reclaim his time, energy, and life back. When asked how has entrepreneurship improved his life, he had this to say: “I have more flexibility! “Nothing is worse than going to a job everyday and working for somebody to improve their business. Everyday I wake up and ‘think how do I improve my business?’ Which is a direct impact on my life and the life that I live.”
Changing the Game of Outdoor Sports
Meade is proud of the success and attention that the CrossNet game has gained since it’s release in June 2017, he also mentions that the sports industry has plenty room for innovation, yet, despite the passing of time, the industry lacks fresh innovation, until now! “The outdoor game and sports market is a very boring industry, and I mean that in the sense that no innovative outdoor game products really came out to the market. Our parents and their friends have been playing corn hold, Frisbee, and basketball outside for the last 100 years. There’s only so many times [that a new outdoor game is developed] and becomes a game changer, and we’ve brought in a four-way volleyball net, four-square combined, and a new game of CrossNet.”
CrossNet Brings Value to Players
CrossNet is a unique game that brings value to anyone who is willing to take part in the sport. Families can enjoy this game at a picnic, or at the beach. Physical education instructors can use this game as a pre-workout tool or as a fun workout for students. Even professional athletes can find ways to enjoy this game. Its versatility and easy game rules makes this a suitable activity for anyone to enjoy. Meade says “Leisure players can now play volleyball in a one-on-one setting. Children and young adults who are looking to learn the basic skills of volleyball can now play with select friends. It’s also a great warm-up and skill and development tool as well.
Here’s to the Future!
Chris Meade is a young 26-year-old who has successfully traversed the world of business and entrepreneurship. Together, him and his friends were able to take an idea, and turn it into profit. As a piece of advice to young aspiring entrepreneurs, he says “Have a concrete idea and run it by your peers. Don’t give up! It’s been over two years in the making and we went from a company that celebrated one sale a day, to now making the news in Minnesota were sport anchors are taking our game out of the box and showing the entire state of Minnesota.”
For business inquiries and questions, Chris Meade can be reached at chr[email protected].
Bark Up! A Look Inside America’s Top Doggy-Treat Delivery Service by Sean Kelly
How Marco Cabrera Created a 6 figure Real Estate Empire in Less Than a Year
5 Things Photographers Need to Know By Jaime Flores
Meet Gen-Z’s Teenage Meme Tastemaker
An interview with Tony Pizarro; An American Philanthropist, Entrepreneur and Marketing Guru
Nick Thomson is disrupting the mortgage industry with VIVA
Interviews3 weeks ago
7 Skills Poker Taught Me for Life Success
Entrepreneurship3 weeks ago
Sam Bakhtiar On His Way To A Quarter Billion
Interviews1 week ago
A Quarter Million in First Year of Business; This is Jordan Platten
Entrepreneurship4 weeks ago
Hector Gonzalez suggests why attractive messaging and copywriting is important for business
Entrepreneurship3 weeks ago
John Danes – Expelled From High School To Serial Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship3 days ago
Tony Pec also known as “The Godfather of Instagram”
Entrepreneurship3 weeks ago
Interview With Serial Entrepreneur, Business Coach, Social Media Consultant & Marketing Specialist Rio Osorio
Interviews4 weeks ago
How Agostino Marengo Helps Millennials to grow and build the Future of Business