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Interview with Darrl “The Hairbender” Robert

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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.

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Editorial

Learn How Digital Nomad Ksaveras Jancauskas Is Disrupting The Instagram Marketing Industry

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Ksaveras Jancauskas is a digital nomad who helps industry leaders and businesses, spanning different countries, to grow their online presence via Instagram and scale their brand. 

So far, Ksaveras started and scaled his Instagram marketing agency to a 6-figure firm. The well-known brands and non-profits such as RepresentUS and GivePower Foundation been clients of Ksaveras. The biggest turning point for Ksaveras was when he was able to grow brands to over 221,000 real followers in just ten days!]

In this article, Ksaveras shares how he climbed up the industry ladder and became the successful digital marketer he is today. 

Being Different

If you’ve heard about Ksaveras before then you’ve probably heard of the Instagram Leverage Framework. The Instagram Leverage Framework is the brainchild of Ksaveras and is referred to as a system that helps anyone assert their authority in their industry.  

With this system, Ksaveras has generated ten times return on investment (ROI) for different businesses on Instagram. This is why he’s one of the most sought after Instagram experts in the world. 

Overcoming Challenges

At the start of his journey to success, Ksaveras faced a significant amount of challenges. His biggest challenge was that he trusted a lot of unqualified individuals to carry out his task. Slowly but surely, his brand was no longer sought after by prospects.

“I tried taking shortcuts by delegating my work to individuals who offered cheap prices, but in turn, they gave my clients a lot of substandard results.” -Ksaveras says.

In due time, he learned that trust is a belief that has to be built and that taking words for a fact without testing can prove detrimental to the status of a business. Ksaveras also shares that it’s important to test a product before you sell it. He’s acknowledged the fact that it’s better to employ individuals yearning to learn and improve on their craft every day than to outsource to a third party “professionals.” 

Values and Principles

Ksaveras is a proud advocate of the “learn something new every day” movement. He never rests on his laurels and no matter the level of success he attains, he doesn’t get comfortable. 

Everyone in his industry learns how to grow Instagram accounts and then complacency sets in. Instead of following the status quo, Ksaveras improves himself every day and according to him, he knows more about Instagram than Instagram knows about themselves. 

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Garrett Atkins- Making Use of Full-Service Digital Platforms to Serve Others

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With the advent of the internet and advanced technologies, many business-minded people are investing in this sector. In fact, the number of people who have become reputed and wealthy online entrepreneurs has surged over the past 10 years. Among the reputed entrepreneurs who have stood out in the market, entrepreneur Garrett Atkins is a class above his peers.

At the age of 27 years, Garrett Atkins owns one of the successful full-service digital advertising companies. He is the Chief Executive Officer of VIE Media, a company based in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also the founder and a major stakeholder in St. Louis Podcast.com, the only and the most incredible podcast recording studio in the region. 

What Does Garrett Atkins Advertising Business Focus On?

Through his VIE Media; Mr. Atkins has been working with many household brands that have also taken advantage of his full-service digital advertising platform. These labels include The UPS Store, Better Homes & Garden, Metro Powered by T-Mobile and Sansone Group. Other notable brands include Farmers Insurance and Arsenal Credit Union among others. 

For small business owners, VIE Media has been a blessing. Thanks to incredible leadership and guidance of Garrett, the company has been working with numerous renowned start-ups as well as small to medium-sized businesses. The good news is that Garrett has been responsible for the establishment and growth of these relationships that have led to these incredible partnerships.

Significantly, through his podcast recording studio, Garrett Atkins has changed the livelihood of many people looking for a means to share and view content online. His podcast has been using advanced technology such as 4K video recording of the podcast. 

Through his podcast, it has been easy for his clients content to be distributed to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and other incredible platforms. Luckily for most of his clients, the content is also perfect to distribute via social media. 

The most common platforms many of his clients use are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. This has been possible due to the implementation of high-quality videos.

Garrett Atkins has been an Inspiration to Many People 

It is not all about making money when it comes to Garrett Atkins’s endeavors. He is also a motivational public speaker who has inspired many people. He has been using social media, podcasting, and leadership to inspire many people not only in St. Louis but also in many other parts of the world. 

Among the great event, he has graced as a keynote speaker is the St. Louis Live2Lead event, an event that focuses on leadership. 

Garrett believes firmly that in life, those who do good things will then be rewarded down the road. Not because we live in some type of fantasy land but rather because people take notice of the good deeds you do and people to admire such things. They admire these things so much that they are also willing to work and provide a helping hand to those who are making a positive impact. 

What More Garrett Atkins has to Offer?

Mr. Atkins believes in the mantra that; nothing feels better than helping another human being. He is a Board of Directors of KMA Foundation, a non-profit organization that works together with the Missouri Department of Transportation. 

The main focus of the organization has been to identify roads where there is a high rate of fatalities and make necessary changes to reduce such deaths. Through this organization, Garrett Atkins and his team have been traveling to many high schools enlightening students about safe driving techniques and sensitizing the importance of safe driving. 

The organization has also been offering a scholarship to needy students. Mr. Atkins has been a staunch believer of good relationships and he believes they are the best way to serve other peoples’ interests. He wants to always be recognized as a great content creator, entrepreneur, public speaker, and a devoted philanthropist.

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How to Beat the Odds in Life with “Your Favorite Online Trapper” Anthony Williams

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Anthony Williams’ success is a classic story of falling on hard times and rising back up by reinventing himself. Before finally realizing his potential. From getting caught in one of the biggest marijuana busts to becoming one of the most promising and successful young entrepreneurs and economists. This young man has come a long way. At 24, Anthony Williams has achieved more than many of his age. His life story has been awe-inspiring, and it was only his determination and perseverance that he has allowed him to overcome all the difficulties that came his way and has become the man of influence and substance that he is today. Let’s take a closer look at his life and the struggles that he had to go through in a little detail.

Anthony Williams – An Eventful Life full of Struggles

Born in the twin cities St Paul- Minneapolis, Anthony was abandoned by his parents while he was still a kid. Raised amidst immense hardships by his grandmother, “Nanny,” he had seen all sorts of eventualities and difficulties coming through. Anthony recalls a police raid at his mom’s residence as his first memory since he was born. He then later lived in a Public Housing Project, called “The Rose” with his Nanny and his other siblings.

The harsh reality of life hit him hard when he and his family were kicked out of the rose when he was 17 and was rendered homeless. This was just before he was about to enter his senior year at high school. He would have perhaps perished in oblivion had one of his best friends who co-coincidentally also goes by the name of Anthony would not have helped him. Anthony, then moved into his friend’s house and lived there for a good five years till the age of 23.

While living with his now extended family, he had too little money to afford to go to a community college and hence had to drop out in less than two months of attending St. Paul Community College. He was forced into the world of drug dealing to make ends meet while working a job, but even that was barely enough for him to survive alongside his newly found family. The worst was about to come in 2017 when a Minnesota Police Patrol team intercepted a truck full of marijuana and had charged Anthony for possessing 50 kgs (nearly $2M worth) of it since he was also in the pick-up truck. He went to jail as well and had to fight a legal battle to beat the case against him. His good friend and an exemplary lawyer Daniel Repka helped him to win the case.

Having seen his life and struggles, let’s look at his success story as well.

Successes and Achievements

Anthony started with day trading in the Foreign Exchange Market initially and kept digging in the world of finance and banking, and after acquiring enough knowledge, he helped his mentor with improving his credit so that he could qualify to buy a Lamborghini SVJ. Since then, there has been no looking back, and he has been named as “The Numbers Guy” or “Your Favorite Online Trapper.”

At the age of 24, he has achieved quite a lot for any 24-year old. He has been successful in creating the first-ever hybrid company involving Finance and Education in Minnesota. His expert knowledge about numbers, money, and the financial markets has made him a sought after name by many independent Financial and Banking institutions. He is an A-list Board Certified Credit Consultant and is FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), and FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) certified. Anthony has helped clients with institutions as well as the end customers with his expert consultant services. When wearing his suits, Anthony proudly wears his Star Achiever Award lapel pin that he received during his early days in business as a Network Marketer for his exemplary service.

Anthony Williams – The Man with a Vision

With all that said, Anthony makes it pretty clear that he is into this business to help others. Perhaps that is much to do with the deep-rooted pain he had gone through being financially weak in his teens. He envisions, creating a system where people understand finance and the importance of money and how to go about increasing one’s worth, value, and credit through means of teaching financial literacy and investing.

His vision is to continuously create a delightful client and student experience showing that human touch, love, and compassion towards people with their particular financial problems. His purpose is to not only provide solutions to them but also to make them feel the way nobody else can make them feel when handling the sensitive topic of money — your friend in the financial arena.

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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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