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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

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

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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.

 

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Entrepreneurship

Judge Graham: The Man Behind Huge Digital Agency Exits

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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.

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Interviews

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

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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.

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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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