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Interviews

Interview with Kapil Srivastava

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Kapil Srivastava, founder of Guitarmonk India. He is an international, multicultural musicologist, and a guitarist who is bridging the gap between nations through the universal language of music. Kapil coined the brand name “Guitarmonk” and pioneered a number of creative milestones under the same label. He runs India’s largest chain of guitar centres along with a publication and record-label. Seeing a need for community involvement as well as culture and heritage preservation, Kapil also established Guitarmonk Social, the CSR division that promotes awareness on various socio-health issues and involves charitable activities across India through promotion of music for health and leisure and culture enrichment. Guitarmonk learners are spread across 150 Indian cities and in more than 28 countries while Guitarmonk technical and production teams are rolled out in over 50 nations around the globe. 

Kapil also won notable awards and wrote for several publications including government magazines. Honoured by all three government ministries and several MNCs, Kapil also created music for Bollywood movie and collaborated with various celebrities including Grammy Winner Pt. VM Bhatt, Padam Bhushan Ustad Sultan Khan and many others etc. 

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

I fell in love with guitar at first sight. When I was around 10 years old, I got exposed to a guitarist doing a live performance playing Bollywood tunes that really struck me. I got fascinated by the sweetness and uniqueness of this instrument. The desire of knowing more of  this mystery of creating sounds and learning this art paved the way which later on evolved into what and who I am today as Guitarmonk. 

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

It is very difficult to pick one or two but I can share with you the philosophy behind our name. When we formally launched the company in 2005, there were lots of unmatched brand names that came up, which were very attractive but not deep enough to represent who I was or who we really are. And then a very interesting thought came into my mind and that was the idea of the fusion of the guitar and a monk passionate about music. Hence, the name Guitarmonk came into fruition. It was the perfect representation and image for me and the company.

I have always visualized Guitarmonk as a character. A musical character, with a guitar in hand, the character with reason, passion and a mission. I see Guitarmonk as a talent with power to overcome difficulties in life, which today came out as a solution provider concept. Guitarmonk was more of a personality, a lifestyle or a life spirit than a mere firm or company name to me. In the heart of Guitarmonk is a merger of western and eastern world, cultures & genres, materialism and spirituality. As you can see, almost 15 years down the line, and we are still on track naturally to the same philosophy and spiritual path.  

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? 

This has been the funniest, so far.  We were the first music brand in India to have a franchise model in 2008. And we invested a lot of money and time in designing the project. It was a matter of both pride and honour to achieve this milestone and we’re excited to head for our first franchise event. It was the first biggest business exhibition that we conducted in a 5 star hotel for 2 days. It was also the most expensive event we did that cost us Rs. 1,00,000 a day. Previously, we used to conduct International and City book fairs for our publications, which were actually a lot easier and economical. As there was a lot at stake, so I carefully guided my team to make use of this event at all cost. We all have to be there in our suits and ties. We have to entertain every visitor (basically a non-musical investor). I even made sure that select staff will reach there on time with business plans and start entertaining the clients. It was a paid event and 2000 investors were expected in 2 days. We were expecting somewhere around 200 pax to visit our booth. And each one of them needs to be counselled & assisted effectively. The first day we had a marvellous battle and we captured 150 leads for both national and international. The second day, all my staff felt like army generals and they were completely overwhelmed as the crowd was huge and the booth was jam-packed. There was a long list of people on waiting area who were all eager to hear what we have to say. All entrance passes were with my staff and I was waiting outside the gate so they can escort me inside. The long waiting time was beginning to get on my nerves and I felt like breaking in through the gates, I believe I waited for 2 hours until one of them missed my presence and called me up. When I entered I had no time to question them simply because there was no time for it. The war was on. And I was up for the game. My learning with this is that we are the best person to take responsibility and accountability for ourselves instead of relying too much to others. 

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

As Guitarmonk, we wanted to build a concept and a model that would eliminate the limitation on this industry. It would set a new perspective and new way of looking into the guitar, music or arts. There are millions of Guitar Teacher, Guitar Institutes and Guitar Players in the world and most of them are struggling. This struggle is not only limited to Guitar but most of the art-forms be it fine arts or performing arts. There is not much we can do by being in such framework and boundaries. As music is regarded a lifestyle and only comes as a second priority, after our survival. It’s not a cup of tea for people with survival lifestyle. It is important that we extend our boundaries of functions and perception and break away from conservative approaches. At Guitarmonk, we no longer choose to be in the same rat-race cycle to survive. We are determined to move beyond the regular functions and to strengthen our capacity to be a successful platform rather than just be a platform seeker. We decided to build our enterprise and own our infrastructures and expand our boundaries. We created work for national awarded artists, celebrities and talents worldwide. Guitarmonk as a company have implemented several verticals to make that possible, to grow the perception of people of seeing us beyond the regular impression as an institute, teachers or guitar players to a concept and a cause that creates a difference in the lives of people in so many ways. 

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

Playing good guitar and getting financially stable via guitar are two different things; they are not two sides of the one coin. They are not by-product of each other. They are different facets. You definitely need to be a good guitarist to maintain a good career but not vice versa. It doesn’t mean your career is going to be stable and good if you are a good guitarist alone.  If you want to make money and grow financially, you need to understand the market, the demographic opportunities. You also need to have a career and life coach or mentor apart from a technical adviser in music. A sound body and a sound mind is also your key towards success not just in career but in life in general.

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

There is not just one person because every person I met both in person and professionally has helped shaped my lifeline. They inspired me, motivated me directly and indirectly to be where I am today. For example – My first teacher exposed me to his own live performances and I was like his intern or apprentice. I was not paid but it was a great exposure. My second teacher guided me about recording studios and the list goes on. My computer friends inspired me to learn computers and programming. I developed my first website on my own and edited the html coding. My business gurus showed me the ropes on how to have fun, freedom and power in being an entrepreneur. I got the opportunity to market, manage and lead the team. I am grateful to each and everyone who has become part of my journey.  

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

I have a different philosophy. I have learned that if we are doing well even without the intention of spreading goodness, we will still receive lots of good things in return. I believe that what goes around comes around. It’s a perspective. I never intended to spread goodness and yet a lot of people still mail us, saying they feel inspired and grateful for our presence and they appreciate the work we do. Success has the capability to inspire others but every human being also owe themselves the responsibility to be successful . Being Indian, with a spiritual upbringing and heritage, I am inclined on raising self-consciousness and achieving spiritual growth. 

Do you have a favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how it is relevant to your life? 

I wrote one quote that says, “If I can let a terrorist hold a guitar instead of a weapon, we will win the war. Music or any art is a way to include beauty, emotions and gratefulness in one’s life. We can transfer these values to our surroundings by sharing and teaching them. Art is not just a popularity contest; it is indispensable to personality growth, peace of mind and way to ameliorate life.

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. 

If I can turn back the time, I would really appreciate if someone will give me the following tips:

  1. The best investment that you can make is in yourself; invest for self-growth and development and everything else will follow.
  2. Compensate your time and efforts invested in the business by giving yourself a salary.
  3. Make your health a priority. Sometimes we sacrifice our health to gain wealth only to later on spend our wealth to regain good health. Our health is our asset and an investment so we can run the business with a sound mind and body.
  4. Find gurus and mentors to guide you with your business plan and strategy as well as to help empower you as you grow emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially
  5. Take time out to enjoy your personal life. Do not forget that you still have a life outside the company premises.

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. 🙂

We can apply music in our lives in so many creative ways. More than entertainment, music is a great tool for healing depression and relieving stress. It can be a formal engagement for school-age kids and adults in corporate via employee engagement. Also, a great mental training for restless minds, a good vehicle for emotional ventilation, and brings endless fun and joy to our daily lives. We can inspire, empower and communicate many things through music. It is also an effective marketing tool. At Guitarmonk, we use music in all different ways. Besides entertainment and education, we are applying music not just commercially but socially and therapeutically too. 

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can connect with me through facebook.com/kapilguitarist and visit our website www.guitarmonk.com

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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Entrepreneurship

Jordin Roussell – Scaling a 7 Figure Real Estate Company

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Recently, I was fortunate enough to sit down for an interview with Jordin Roussell. Jordin has scaled his Real Estate Company, Gulf South Home Buyers, to 7 Figures very quickly. I asked him how he got started, and for tactical advice for anyone looking to get into Real Estate Investing.

  • Hey Jordin, what do you do?

 


Jordin Roussell: I’m a real estate entrepreneur, I am the Founder of Gulf South Home Buyers. 

 

 

  • What made you become an entrepreneur?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: My first journey with entrepreneurship was actually network marketing. I was sold on the idea of having freedom, creating impacting, and getting to travel the world. The venture came to an end rather quickly, but those desires for freedom, impact, and travel never left me. After I dropped out of college, it took me a little time to pick myself up after some personal things took place in my life, but I knew with what I wanted out of life my options for obtaining the three things I desired were very limited which led me back into entrepreneurship. 

 

 

  • How did you get started investing in real estate?

 

 

Ravi Abuvala: It’s a funny story! I was 19, scrolling through Instagram and this guy I was following had just posted a video about this 18 year old kid, one of his students, making $25k with none of his own money and no credit. I was stunned, I did some more research and for the next 2 years consumed everything real estate I could. Just after my 21st birthday I was fed up with working a 9-5 and took the plunge, quit my job, and made the decision to go all in on real estate. 

 

 

  • How have you scaled your company?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: Other than the traditional ways of increasing marketing. I became genuinely obsessed with helping people out of their distressed situations and because I stopped focusing less on money and more on the people I could help. This quickly established me as a leading authority in real estate in my city.   

 

 

  • What advice would you give to someone looking to get started in Real Estate?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: There’s several ways to get started in real estate and make money, but the most important thing when getting started is to find one strategy. Whether it’s wholesaling, fix and flips, purchasing rentals, bond for deeds, or anything else, just go all in on the strategy until you can do it in your sleep, then transition into another strategy. Focusing on too many strategies at once is similar to shiny object syndrome in my opinion.  

 

 

  • How do you find deals?

 

 

  • Ringless Voicemail
  • Direct Mail
  • Google Adwords
  • Referrals 

 

 

  • How do you find investors?

 

 

  • Direct Mail
  • Meetups
  • One of the best ways to get investors and cash buyers is to obtain a list of properties that have been purchased for cash in your city. Filter the ones that have bought 2 or more because the chances of them being investors increases, and send them a post card explaining what you do with your contact info on it. 

 

 

  • Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?

 

 

Jordin Roussell: Operating in multiple states within multiple markets. Helping 1000’s of families per year close a chapter and start a new one. 

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Interviews

Personality Sales: The Path to Success with James Winn

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From a young age, James Winn was always concerned that no matter what direction he took in life, he was going to be unable to achieve his full potential.  he constantly bounced from dream to dream, seeing quickly that without focus and resolve on a specific topic, results would never come. He began to realize that one of the reasons people aren’t successful is because they were unwilling to change consistently, and that is when he decided to make a change to himself.

 

He entered college two years early, and achieved a business degree, which opened his eyes to the business world, and he stated that he loved it, ultimately because in business, it isn’t what you know, it is about your ability to sell yourself and exceed expectations.  He learned quickly that people don’t choose individuals for opportunities solely based off of qualifications, rather off of the amount of qualities that he was able to show that he possessed in the networking process.

 

His current chosen career path is Banking, and at the age of 24 he is a branch manager for one of the largest Credit Unions in the western United States.  Being a branch manager has challenged him in many ways that he did not anticipate, but he stated that the beauty of doing something you were approved for through your self-sales ability is that when you are approved for a position by those above you, you can make mistakes and still be appreciated and supported.  Even though he is young, his ability to network and sell himself has kept him in a position where the average age of those employed is over 30.

 

A perfect example of making mistakes that are easily forgiven, is one that he made in his first few months as a branch manager.  He sold himself on his ability to motivate people and provide direction to teams, but his first couple of months, his team was struggling to meet goals.  Their production had even dropped. On top of that, he was going through a very difficult breakup, which caused him to lack the focus and resolve that was needed in order to maintain structure on my team.  He was failing as a manager for the personal reasons like losing someone he loved, and because he was not truly ready to take on that position. He was expecting that his managers would not take the fact that he had promised results and was not delivering very well, but was surprised when they quickly offered their support and assistance.

 

He stated that in retrospect, the reason they offered their support is because he sold himself so well, that they could not believe that the lack of success was who he truly was. His personal brand was one of efficiency, excellence, and success, and he had confidently sold himself to them as that type of person through networking, testimonies, interviews, success stories, and overcoming challenges that were thrown his way.  he realized that in any walk of life, in any business, you can find success if you sell yourself effectively, following these 5 rules:

 

 

 

Anticipate Their Needs

 

When someone is looking for an individual to fill their need in their business, research their business to understand what qualities and needs they will need to fulfill that need.

 

Create Examples

 

Once you have determined the need they have for their business, create examples from life experiences to show how you are exactly what they are looking for.  Use personal experience, the experiences of those around you, or education to create perfect examples that the business is looking for.

 

Network, Network, Network… and Network

 

Success is a long hard road, and in order to achieve greatness, you have to have individuals around you with influence that are willing to vouch for you.  A friend can be made easily, so the more friends you have, the more likelihood you will maintain your reputation throughout struggles. I maintained my job through struggles because I knew people, not because I was doing a good job.

 

Utilize your successes as stepping stones

 

Successes can  be individuals, achievements, or other things that impress those around you.  The key to selling yourself is to mention your successes to build relevance in yourself, but not to show that you are overly proud of them.  After mentioning a success, modestly mention how you are proud of the accomplishment, but cannot wait to prove what you are truly capable of

 

Bring up those around you whenever possible

 

In order to be successful, you must be surrounded by success.  Whenever you have the chance to elevate someone into success, they become a beacon of your personal brand.  For example, Apple would not be popular if they did not have individuals who loved their products. Depending on your business, you may not be selling products, but you can build relevance in yourself and your brand through the success of those who have associated themselves with you.

 

“Ultimately, if your goal is success, you must be willing to make changes to yourself every day.  Anticipating the needs of future customers, employers, and businesses will require change, which is difficult for some people.  My favorite saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The question is, what will you do today to sell yourself to those around you and become more successful?”

 

James Winn

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Jeremy Haynes – Scaling Megalodon Marketing to a Top Digital Agency in the World

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Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeremy Haynes for an interview. Jeremy owns Megalodon Marketing, which is one of the top Digital Marketing Agencies in the World. He has worked with Personal Brands like Dan Lok, Garret White, and many more. I asked him about scaling his agency, how he got started, and for his best tips and tricks.

  • Jeremy, what does your company do?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I have two companies that I actively run. Megalodon Marketing is my marketing agency I’ve run the last few years, and we focus on scaling the world’s largest personality brands. We help take these entrepreneurs to 6 or 7 figures monthly selling different information products.

 

My second business I actively run is Jeremy, INC. That business acts as an umbrella to all of my mentoring programs and events. Currently, I help over 1,900+ paid students with starting and scaling a marketing agency, digital marketing, and personal branding.

 

 

  • How did you choose digital marketing?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: This might sound cheesy, but digital marketing chose me. I was selling phones in Costco down in Miami Beach, and this guy who I sold a phone to offered me a job as his head of marketing. He had confidence in me that I could learn fast, and that I likely knew social media more than him. All of the responsibilities of a digital marketer were thrust upon me to figure out and I welcomed the opportunity with open arms. That later led me to getting recruited by a prominent sales trainer and mentor named Grant Cardone, which later helped me get into entrepreneurship full time.

 

 

  • What made you choose Personal Branding as your niche? Did you start your agency only focused on that niche?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I’ve tried a few other industries, and didn’t find the same level of fulfillment I get helping personal brands. When we help a personal brand get more clients and customers, we’re selling transitions, skills, and outcomes.

 

There’s nothing better than getting feedback from thousands of customers telling you their lives are infinitely better from an investment into a course, event, or mentoring package that you helped get into their hands.

 

 

  • How have you leveraged Personal Branding for yourself?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Absolutely! I’ve managed to teach in 3 different Tai Lopez Programs, a Mentor Box program without being an author, have trained over 1,900+ paid students, impacted hundreds of thousands through content and press, have scaled a marketing agency to over 7 figures yearly all through my personal brand.

 

It’s natural human behavior to connect to other humans who you have commonality with or can get value from. People have a different and unnatural behavior when attempting to communicate with a company.

 

As a simple example, look at human behavior when they call a corporation to complain versus the behavior of bringing a problem to the attention of one singular person’s attention. The person who calls McDonalds and complains about their order treats the rep with less respect typically, because talking to a company is interpreted different mentally. It doesn’t feel like the same accountability model we have when communicating to someone on a one to one level.

 

 

  • Best tips for a beginner agency owner?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Focus on results that help businesses make more money, do not focus on time and effort intensive services.

 

I’ve sold it all, funnels, advertising, marketing automation, chat bots, social media management, graphic design, web development, video services, etc. At one point I had 27 staff and 3 offices here in the USA.

 

The lessons I consistently learned the hard way, were that clients did not respect our time or effort, they respected results. Even if we set expectations several times throughout the relationship that you can’t make money until we get xyz done first, the client always only cared about the results, nothing else.

 

So that’s what we started selling, for more money and with less staff, less time, and less overhead. We started only taking the highest revenue driven actions, and didn’t bother with anything else. This changed the game for my agency! We realized that if something took us an hour, but produced massive ROI for the client, they could care less if we only worked an hour for the month.

 

We had to overcome the employee conditioning that more time invested and more hard work does not equal achievement and results.

 

 

  • Top 3 Personal Branding tips?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Content is content, and ads are ads, do not confuse the two. Most personal brands will make call to actions in their content, or will add links to their posts not knowing that significantly reduces the organic reach of the post.

 

Content should be strategically created, because all social interaction is now retargetable. This is the modern day email marketing, and the segmented lists are in the Facebooks Ads Manager labeled as ‘Audiences’.

 

If you learn to apply psychology into your content, like managing to establish the authority bias, curiosity bias and social proof in your first piece of content you show an ideal future customer who doesn’t know you yet, you’ll be lightyears ahead of other person brands. Most of the marketers and advertisers in the personal brand game go straight for the pitch, which disrespects people in the sales process. The key is to show your ideal buyers content in a strategic sequence first, and then move them into your direct response ads.

 

 

  • What are your 3 core principles?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Low time commitment, low responsponsibility and high profitability for both myself and the client.

 

These core values keep me focused on the highest revenue driven actions and the most impactful actions for myself and others in any situation.

 

In a world full of others who rob you and your time and consume your energy, I’m thinking like an engineer solely focused on efficient results. How can I put the least input in, and produce the most output.

 

This thinking goes into everything, including ad spend for clients as an example. How can we spend the least and make the most?

 

Or for my students, how can they invest in my course and put the least amount of time and effort in to get the most results compared to other investments?

 

 

  • What makes Megalodon Marketing different?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: Our long list of previous wins and losses and our depth of applied knowledge in the Personal Brand industry. We’ve managed to produce some significant results for clients over the years, and we’re always excited to help the next personal brand we work with to get to 7 figures monthly while impacting millions around the world.

 

 

  • What are your future plans?

 

 

Jeremy Haynes: I’d love to get even more results for my students and clients while expanding my own personal brand. Impacting people and expanding their potential has become a main focus for me, you don’t know what you don’t know, and that can kill you or seriously limit your opportunities!

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