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Interviews

Interview with Rory Brown | Charleston, SC Native | Food Critic

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After spending the first 40 years of his life in the United States, Rory Brown decided to focus on the quality of life and began living internationally. He now spends his time in Charleston, South Carolina, Sydney, Australia, Lake Como, Italy, and Kauai, Hawaii. His appreciation for simple health food that embraces local traditions of excellence has earned him credit among farm-to-table communities everywhere he goes. Rory Brown began his career as a technologist and has always focused on healthy lifestyle choices. His well-researched lifestyle writing has increasingly focused on living life to the fullest each day throughout the world.

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was walking down Market Street in Charleston, SC just after I had dinner at Peninsula Grill. I was in deep contemplation of the sweet harmony the chef produced by the spices and herbs used to make my entree. It was that night I decided to become a food critic and the very next day I started my blog to share my culinary adventures with the world. My enthusiasm for food and the scientific reasoning behind the use of ingredients and their effects on healthy living fuel my writing and my pursuit of exploring the world to find the best each region has to offer.

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

I believe that life is lived in pursuit of purpose and passion as well as for conquering your fears. After buying my home in Kauai, Hawaii, I decided to rise above my fear of scuba diving in the ocean at night. I went on this excursion with a couple of local divers. We had lights underwater, and though I was nervous for the initial couple of minutes, I was immediately in awe of the underwater life around me. I took it all in and loved every moment of being in the depths of the Pacific. We were just about to surface when all of a sudden, we noticed that there was a school of manta rays swimming towards us. It was honestly one of the scariest times of my life, but swimming with manta rays ended up being one of the most magical things in the world and the icing on the cake that night.

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?

When I first started my blog, I was really technical in my style of writing. I was packed with information in my mind, and I wanted to share my entire knowledge-base with my readers and subscribers. The funniest thing I ever did was mention the scientific name and origination of morels (which are a delicacy in the mushroom family). I went into exhaustive detail about morels when I realized, a page into writing about their genus, that nobody really needed to know that much information about a mushroom. I realized that I had to balance the scientific relevance of a particular ingredient with the actual physical properties of its taste and what it added to the dish. I became a lot better with incorporating both the factual and the palpable as my food adventures and writing progressed, but in the beginning, it was a comical struggle for sure.

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

My company is one of a kind because the perception I have with taste is one of a kind as is my quest to balance delicious food with a healthy lifestyle. I started my blog with an overwhelming passion for wanting to bring good food and its origins home to people around the world. I have homes in Charleston, Kauai, Sydney, and Lake Como and I travel between my homes to make sure I keep my taste buds aware and my writing nuanced. With the advent of the internet, our world is certainly becoming more accessible, and my writing does its part to share the sights, smells, and tastes of the world with our readers.

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

Thriving in our industry takes a lot of determination and hard work. I would encourage my colleagues to be mindful of the rapidly changing methods of cooking and how they are being applied to cuisines. I would encourage them to be thirsty for information and hungry to help people make food decisions that are well thought out.

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?

I will forever be grateful to my mom who has been a guiding light throughout my life. When I first told her about my idea to start my company and establish a blog, she told me that she saw the spark in my eyes and the joy in my voice when I talked about it and that she was behind me a hundred percent. Every great business idea needs someone to believe in it and someone else to back up its believer. 

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

I try to use my success to bring goodness into the world on a daily basis. The motivation for my work is rooted deeply in trying to help people from all over the world understand cuisine that is not local to them. I write about my experiences with food so that I can share what I have learned with my readers and hopefully produce a little bit of happiness or curiosity in their day.

 

 

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

“Shortcuts make long delays.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes and one that I cherish in my life. I was in middle school when I first came across this quote, and it changed my life. I was trying to come up with a science project for school, and I came up with the idea that would test the types of soil that would grow the best carrots. I bought two different kinds of soil rather than the recommended six variants of soil to grow the carrots in. Suffice it to say that I did not do very well in the science fair and instead, had to come up with a whole new project altogether. Shortly after the science fair ended, I came across the Tolkien quote, and since then, I have avoided taking shortcuts.

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.    You won’t have blog visitors instantly.

2.    You will have hurdles with writing some days.

3.    Taking a break from writing is okay.

4.    Do not rush anything.

5.    Stay true to who you are.

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.

A movement that I would love to trigger is a collective movement towards gardening in the home. I know that communal gardens are popping up in neighborhoods and that some people certainly do garden in their backyards, but I would love to take that movement a little further. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see gardens on windowsills or garden boxes in balconies or a portion of a backyard dedicated to growing herbs and vegetables? If everyone, regardless of whether they live in an urban atmosphere or suburbia, started to grow something on their own, I think conscious eating would be on the rise as well. I believe people would take more pride in their food choices and healthier eating would be more achievable for a larger population. 

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

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Interviews

How Marco Cabrera Created a 6 figure Real Estate Empire in Less Than a Year

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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.  

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Entrepreneurship

5 Things Photographers Need to Know By Jaime Flores

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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.

 

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Entrepreneurship

There are 4 Ways to have Fun All Summer Long

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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.  

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The real final four.

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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.

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The best place to meet your friends is at the net.

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New-Found Freedom

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.”

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Spike what? CROSSNET!

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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.

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Sunset CROSSNET in Australia. (via @nbva.manly)

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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 [email protected].

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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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