fbpx
Connect with us
GET YOUR TICKETS TO OUR NEXT DISRUPT MASTERMIND EVENT!

Interviews

Interview with Darrl “The Hairbender” Robert

Published

on

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.

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.

Continue Reading
Comments

Interviews

Meet Andra Gogan; The Multi-talented Vlogger and Two Time World Record Holder

Published

on

What were you doing when you were around ten years old? Most of us at that age still had no idea of how the world works. Many still had no dream of whom they wanted to become, and those who did, dreamt of what they wanted to be when they become adults. Most of the dreams do not come true. Even so, there are a few individuals that take a different path. At only 11 years of age, Alexandra Gabriela Valentina Gogan, famously known as Andra Gogan, was already breaking world records and achieving the unthinkable.

Gogan is a young woman with many talents, which she discovered at a young age. She is a singer, actor, vlogger, and can play the guitar. Incredibly, she has excelled in all those fields and is continuing to do so. Gogan is achieving what no one else of her age before her have achieved. Gogan is setting the pace for others coming after her.

Breaking Two World Records with Music

Gogan is a 21-year-old YouTube star from Buzau, Romania. She started singing at the age of three. Together with her brother,  Răzvan Gogan, with whom they share the same talent, they went on to do things that were not done before by anyone in the music industry. They appear not once, but twice in the Guinness Book of World Records.

In 2009, Gogan and her brother broke the record for the longest live concert held by a child. The show lasted for three hours and 20 minutes after she performed 55 songs continuously. Gogan also broke the world record for the most CDs released by a child. She had released a total of 16 albums.

The world record was confirmed on September 15 of that year. 

Some of her music compilations include, Hallelujah (2013), Beautiful Sick (2014), See you in September (2017), What a Boy (2017), And you can be popular (2017), Your Eyes Speak When You Don’t (2017), Whatever Happened (2018), You Break a Generation (2018), Dislike (2018), Heart on Insta (2018), Christmas with  you (2018) among others.

Apart from her brother, her father, Florin Gogan has also appeared on one of her Instagram posts.

Going into Acting

Apart from breaking the two world records, Gogan has achieved more in the field of acting. She, however, did not start in front of a camera. Gogan’s first started as a voice-over actor. One of the first projects she did of that kind was when she did voice-overs for the animation Rise of the Guardians in the year 2012. 

Later on, she became famous after dubbing live-action animation shows like Doctorița Plușica, Ferb, Phineas, Dog with a Blog, Violet, and Jake and the Pirates Nowhere for Disney, and Come on, Young Titans! For Cartoon Network. Also, she did commercials and other voice-overs for secondary characters for Disney Junior, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon.

Her most significant success though was when she did the Romanian version of the animated princess in Sofia the First, Ariel Winter did the English version of the same animation movie. Gogan and her brother also participated in the 2016 Romanians Got Talent, a reality contest television program done by the British company, Simco Limited and featured on PRO TV.

What She’s up to Now 

Her journey as a vlogger started in 2016 when she launched the mini-series, How to Become Popular at High School. The mini-series went on for four seasons, from 2016 to 2018. Since then, she has accumulated a total of 780,000 YouTube subscribers, millions of views, and almost 700,000 followers on Instagram.

Currently, Gogan is still making music with her brother, choreography, influencing and vlogging on her Tik Tok. She has an audience of over 1.5 Million viewers in TikTok and is planning a music concert scheduled for September this year, Tickets for the Chisinau concert.

In conclusion, Andra Gogan’s success speaks for itself. She has conquered the entertainment world at such a young age, which is nothing short of incredible. That, demonstrating that it is possible to achieve one’s dreams no matter the age. After all, it is just a number. Don’t let it come between you and your dreams.

 

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

Judge Graham: The Man Behind Huge Digital Agency Exits

Published

on

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Judge Graham. Judge is a veteran in the digital marketing space and has exited from multiple agencies for hundreds of millions of dollars. We talked about how he got started, his experience, and more. 

 

 

  • Hey Judge, what does your experience in the digital marketing space look like? 

 

 

Judge: After making a high 8-Figure exit from one of my agencies, I moved on to another agency and replicated my processes and helped sell that agency for a 9-Figure exit.

 

 

  • How did you position your agencies to sell?

 

 

Judge: A few pivotal things I teach on were key to positioning to sell. The first is recurring revenue. If your business isn’t generating recurring revenue, you won’t be able to sell it for a lot of money. The second is culture, I worked relentlessly to build a rock-solid culture in every business that I am involved with.

 

 

  • Was selling your agency always the goal? 

 

 

Judge: It was always the original goal to make an exit from my agencies. When starting, your positioning is much different if your ultimate goal is to sell.

 

 

  • What shifts have you seen in digital marketing?

 

 

Judge: I tell all my consulting and mentorship clients this today. In 2019, digital marketing has progressed so much, that we live in the best time to start an agency. The marketplace has become much more educated, and the software has become much easier to use.

 

 

  • What would you tell an agency owner just starting out?

 

 

Judge: Find a good mentor, and position your agency to sell. 

 

 

  • If you were to start an agency today, what steps would you take to secure another big acquisition? 

 

 

Judge: The same process I took in the past, build recurring revenue and a great culture and stop selling tactics, sell revenue.

Continue Reading

Interviews

Meet the Girl behind One of Instagrams Most Prominent Photography Pages; Giulia Woergartner

Published

on

Giulia Woergartner is a travel and commercial photographer, based in northern Italy. Growing up in the heart of the Italian Alps, Giulia was surrounded by beauty, which helped shape her love for natural beauty and photography. Because of this, the Dolomites were the earliest subjects of her pictures, an opportunity many photographers can only dream of.

With her yellow jacket and a camera in her hand, she is always chasing the adventure and exploring beautiful corners of this world. Giulia is also very passionate about the environment, the protection and conservation of our planet.

Here are a few questions I asked her:

 

What is it exactly you do?

 

I am an artist working as a full-time photographer and filmmaker. My main audience is on Instagram and that is also where part of my income is coming from. As an outdoor photographer, I travel around the world working for lifestyle, outdoor and tourism companies, creating content but also promoting their services or products on my Instagram.

 

Why did you choose Photography?

 

Photography has been a doorway to appreciate the place I live in and sparked the curiosity to see the world. The love for photography has developed alongside my interest in the environment and the outdoor. I love having access to the memories I’ve lived through my photographs. Photographs are very powerful, they keep the memories forever even if things have changed over time. 

 

What is traveling the world as a photographer like?

 

Traveling around the world, meeting different people and getting to know different cultures is a dream of many. Traveling always brings a lot of challenges and puts you into uncomfortable situations sometimes, this could be a facing a flat tire on a road trip or losing your passport one day before leaving the country. However, I am grateful for making a living out of something I love and I wake up every day full of energy, ready for the next adventure! 

 

Best tips for someone looking to start their photography journey?

 

Go shoot as much as you can! I think with everything you need to put in the work and practice. So many people don’t want to put in the work because they just see the results of others without thinking about the path they have to take to get there. In our fast-paced society, I feel like no one has the patience anymore, good things take time and sometimes you just need a little bit of luck, dedication, and self-awareness to move closer to your goals.

 

What are your core principles?

 

Creativity, Curiosity, and Impact

 

What makes your work different than others? 

 

I was very fortunate to attend an art high school where very early, I developed a close understanding of colors, shape, and composition. My understanding of detail and the way I see subjects has advanced very quickly because of my wide knowledge of art in general. I think in photography there is more to than just going out and taking a photograph, somehow you always let a part of you into the pictures that can express emotions and it can be interpreted differently by any viewer and that is the great thing about art. I like to see myself as an artist rather than a photographer. 

 

What are your future plans?

 

One thing that I am definitely not is someone who is thinking too much about the future or projecting it. I like to live life one step at a time and I do not plan or think more than 1-2 months ahead. Life has a weird way of always trying to change the plans you are making and so I just stopped swimming against the current and just go with the flow. Of course, I have dreams and visions I’d like to accomplish but I prefer thinking about how to get there “one step at a time”! 

For now, I am road tripping on the West Coast of the USA, visiting serval national parks and beautiful landscapes I’ve been wanting to see since I was a little child. The best thing about living in an age where we share so much about ourselves on social media is that you can be a part of everyone’s story. So if you want to know what is next, you know where you can follow my adventures!

To keep up with Giulia’s journey you can follow her Instagram here.

Continue Reading
Disrupt Week

Join the Newsletter



apple disrupt podcast
spotify disrupt podcast
Google Play Disrupt Podcast
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.

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Disrupt LLC